Page:Littell's Living Age - Volume 131.djvu/198

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192

THE POPE'S DAILY LIFE

the mountains of rosaries, chaplets, crosses, and scapularies which every day are sent from Rome to the five parts of the globe. Those accompanying the pope to the library do their utmost to divert and interest their master, who is always of an easy, accommodating temper. The pope enjoys an epigram, especially if it is neatly turned in verse, and he is not the last to add the spur of his wit to those satirical hits launched at the head of those oppressors, the Piedmontese, and other barbarians. When he has dismissed his attendants the pope returns again to work. He occupies himself now with religious affairs, with the secretaries of the Congregation of Briefs. The day at last comes to an end. It is now eight o'clock; the hour for supper has come. His supper is like that of an anchorite—a little bouillon, a couple of boiled potatoes, water, and a little fruit. The pope, however, does not yet go to bed. He is closeted with a prelate in his private library. If he has a discourse to deliver—an occupation to which he devotes himself very willingly, for the pope is an excellent orator—he causes the gospel of the day to be read to him, and picks out the passage which is to be the subject of his text, and immediately improvises an allocution, the groundwork of the discourses to be delivered. If he has nothing particular on hand, the prelate who is with him seeks a book in the library and begins to read. The Holy Father soon discovers that sleep is gathering on him. The prelate stops reading, and kneels. "Holy father, your benediction." The pope lifts his hand, pronounces the benediction. It is now ten o'clock. A quarter of an hour later, with the exception of those prelates who have vigils to perform, all are asleep in the Vatican. In the corridors no one is to be seen but the Swiss Guard, habited in his mediæval costume, and a Remington rifle on his shoulder. Outside the wind whistles through the immense porticos of the square of St. Peter, and the cold night wind flutters the green plumes in the hat of the Bersaglieri sentry watching from afar the entrance to the Vatican.




It is to be supposed that the Old and New Testaments are a good deal read in this country, and yet there seems to be no little indistinctness in many minds as to what is in them and what is not. It is not uncommon to hear statements both of fact and doctrine solemnly affirmed to be contained in Scripture, for which, when chapter and verse is sought, the real authority turns out to be either Milton or Watts's hymns. On the other hand, it is said that a candidate indiscreetly quoting the New Testament on the hustings was greeted with the comment, "Bravo, Shakespeare." So, if a weekly contemporary is to be believed, one of the leaders in the late disturbance at Bristol denied that the New Testament contained any mention of St. Bartholomew. And this, whether true or not, is at least possible; for the best historian of Scotland, in his first edition, set down that apostle in a list of "saints not mentioned in Scripture." So Mr. Buckle commented at some length on the words "hell hath enlarged herself," mistaking them for the literal statement of a Scotch Presbyterian divine, instead of the oriental imagery of the prophet Isaiah. At Bristol, indeed, it is not at all clear whether the adoration of the magi is not looked on as something for which there is no scriptural warrant. To be sure it would be hard to find scriptural warrant for the royal character of Caspar, Melchior, and Balthacar, or for the blackness of the last of the three. But it may be well to have it understood that the magi in a vaguer shape are in the book, and St. Bartholomew also; and, on the other hand, that many curious details which are popularly believed on the authority of "Paradise Lost" are certainly not to be found there. Pall Mall Gazette.




Bread. — Bread contains 80 nutritious parts in 100; meal, 34 in 100; French beans, 92 in 100; common beans, 89 in 100; peas, 93 in 100; lentils, 94 in 100; cabbages and turnips, the most aqueous of all the vegetables compared, produce only 8 lb. of solid matter in 100 lb.; carrots and spinach produce 14 lb. in the same quantity; whilst 100 lb. of potatoes contain 25 lb. of dry substance. From a general estimate it results that 1 lb. of good bread is equal to 2 1-2 lb. or 3 lb. of potatoes; that 75 lb. of bread and 30 lb. of meat may be substituted for 300 lb. of potatoes. The other substances bear the following proportions: 4 parts of cabbage to 1 of potatoes; 3 parts of turnips to 1 of potatoes; 2 parts of carrots and spinach to 1 of potatoes; and about 3 1-2 parts of potatoes to 1 of rice, lentils, beans, French beans, and dry peas.