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DIGNITIES 411

given to both sexes. The titles "Cavalliere" and "Commendatore" which accompany Papal Orders are popular in Italy, but in other countries the ribbons and insignia of the Orders are treasured highly. In Germany the great attraction is probably the uniform which always permits the possessor of even the lowest rank to carry a sword and to wear a two-cornered hat. All these Orders can be obtained fot services rendered, and also for money. There are fixed prices and the transactions are a part of regular Roman business. Good excuses can be quite dexterously invented. The same may be said of the tides of Baron, Count and Marquis as conferred by the Pope. What merit might not achieve money can supply.

The Court dignity of chamberlain is conferred upon priests and lay- men. The lay Camerieri di Spada e Cappi are either secret chamber- lains or honorary chamberlains, according to whether they hail from the nobility or the citizenry. Only four chamberlains of each kind are employed and paid. The several hundred "superfluous ones" have a right to render occasional ante-room service (practically all of them live outside Rome) and to wear the much coveted uniform, the dress version of which is antique Spanish, with a feathered hat and a neck ruff. The priestly chamberlains wear a much coveted prelati- cal violet. The numerical relationship between those on active service and those who are "superfluous" is about the same in both groups.

Many a pious or frivolous soul may take offense at such matters. But is there not behind all this a smile that comes from the depths of knowledge of human nature? Precisely because tides and insignia are of no value, Rome uses them as the steward in the Gospel used the mammon of iniquity with which he made friends. All these wearers of honours do no injury to the Papal court; and hundreds of people in all the world, who covet or possess a place in the spodight, are indebted more deeply to Rome by such distinctions than they would otherwise be. Everything serves the great business of the Church even human vanity. It is impossible not to let one's doubts concerning these transactions vanish in a broad grin.

In so far as the important offices and dignities are concerned, Rome is serious enough. This is proved by the manner in which the loftiest prelates are chosen. Here the hierarchy according to divine law and the hierarchy according to Church law intercept each other. As a


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