Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/192

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SHAWL-STRAPS.

viands in a famous palace, with Guido's Cenci downstairs, a great sculptor next door, three lovely boys as waiters, and "Titian T." to head the feast, and follow it up with dates from the Nile, and Egyptian sketches that caused the company to vote a speedy adjournment to the land "of corkendills" and pyramids.

These and many other joys they tasted, and when all else palled upon them they drove on the Campagna and were happy.

It is sad to be obliged to record that these quiet drives were the especial delight of the unsocial Lavinia, whose ill-regulated mind soon wearied of swell society, classical remains, and artistic revelry. Ancient Rome would have suited her excellently, she thought; but modern Rome was such a chaos of frivolity and fanaticism, poverty and splendor, dirt and deviltry, dead grandeur and living ignorance, that she felt as if shut up in a magnificent tomb, the bad air of which was poisoning both body and soul.

Her only consolation was the new freedom that seemed to blow over Rome like a wholesome wind. Old residents lamented the loss of the priestly pageants, fĂȘtes, and ceremonies; but this republican