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the fasters eat prodigiously and make the doughnuts,—some of them declaring up for their usual Lenten fare. One of that Mercury has already descended from the principal days is that of the 19th of Olympus at the command of the gods to March, dedicated to San Giuseppe, (the secure a large supply of the frittelle, most ill-used of all the saints,) when the and praying all believers to make haste, little church in Capo le Case, dedicated or there would be no more left. The latto him, is hung with brilliant draperies, ter alternative seems little probable, when and the pious flock thither in crowds to one sees the quantity of provision laid in say their prayers. The great curtain is by the vendors. Their prayer, however, swaying to and fro constantly as they is heeded by all; and a gay scene enough come and go, and a file of beggars is on it is,-- especially at night, when the great the steps to relieve you of baiocchi. Be- cups filled with lard are lighted, and the side them stands a fellow who sells a print shadows dance on the crowd, and the of the Angel appearing to San Giuseppe light flashes on the tinsel-covered fesin a dream, and warning him against the toons that sway with the wind, and illumsin of jealousy. Four curious lines be- inates the great booth, while the smoke neath the print thus explain it:- rises from the great caldrons which flank
it on either side, and the cooks, all in “Qual sinistro pensier l' alma ti scuote?
white, ladle out the dripping frittelle into Se il sen fecondo di Maria tu vedi, Giuseppe, non temer; calmati, e credi
large polished platters, and laugh and Chopra è sol di colui che tutto puote."
joke, and laud their work, and shout at
the top of their lungs, “ Ecco le belle, ma Whether Joseph is satisfied or not with belle frittelle !” For weeks this frying this explanation, it would be difficult to continues in the streets; but after the determine from his expression. He looks day of San Giuseppe, not only the sarather haggard and bored than persuad- cred frittelle are made, but thousands of ed, and certainly has not that cheerful minute fishes, fragments of cauliflower, acquiescence of countenance which one broccoli, cabbage, and carciofi go into is taught to expect.
the hissing oil, and are heaped all “doDuring all Lent, a sort of bun, called rati” upon the platters and vases. For maritozze, which is filled with the edible all sorts of fries the Romans are justly kernels of the pine-cone, made light with celebrated. The sweet olive-oil, which oil, and thinly crusted with sugar, is eaten takes the place of our butter and lard, by the faithful,— and a very good Catholic makes the fry light, delicate, and of a “ institution” it is. But in the festival beautiful golden color; and spread upon days of San Giuseppe, gayly ornamented the snowy tables of these booths, their booths are built at the corner of many of odor is so appetizing and their look so the streets, especially near the church in inviting, that I have often been tempted Capo le Case, in the Borgo, and at San to join the crowds who fill their plates Eustachio, which are adorned with great and often their pocket-handkerchiefs (con green branches as large as young trees, rispetto) with these golden fry, “ fritti doand hung with red and gold draperies, rati," as they are called, and thus do honwhere the “ Frittelle di San Giuseppe” are or to the Saint, and comfort their stomfried in huge caldrons of boiling oil and achs with holy food, which quells the devserved out to the common people. These il of hunger within.* frittelle, which are a sort of delicate * This festival of San Giuseppe, which doughnut, made of flour mixed sometimes takes place on the 19th of March, bears a cuwith rice, are eaten by all good Catholics,
rious resemblance to the Liberalia of the anthough one need not be a Catholic to find
cient Romans, a festival in honor of Bacchus, them excellent eating. In front of the
which was celebrated every year on the 17th
of March, when priests and priestesses, adornprincipal booths are swung “Sonetti” in
ed with garlands of ivy, carried through the praise of the Saint, of the cook, and of city wine, honey, cakes, and sweetmeats, to
But not only at this time and at these on the 25th of March, and sometimes is booths are good fritti to be found. It very gay and picturesque, and always is a favorite mode of cooking in Rome; charming to one who has eyes to see and a mixed fry (fritta mista) of bits and has shed some of his national prejuof liver, brains, cauliflower, and carciofi dices. By eight o'clock in the morning is a staple dish, always ready at every open carriages begin to stream out of the restaurant. At any osteria con cucina Porta San Giovanni, and in about two on the Campagna one is also sure of a hours the old castellated monastery may good omelet and salad; and, sitting un- be seen at whose feet the little village der the vines, after a long walk, I have of Grotta-Ferrata stands. As we admade as savory a lunch on these two ar- vance through noble elms and planeticles as ever I found in the most glitter trees, crowds of contadini line the way, ing restaurant in the Palais Royal. If beggars scream from the banks, donkeys one add the background of exquisite bray, carretti rattle along, until at last mountains, the middle distance of flowery we arrive at a long meadow which seems slopes, where herds of long-haired goats, alive and crumbling with gayly dressed sheep, and gray oxen are feeding among figures that are moving to and fro as the skeletons of broken aqueducts, ruin- thick as ants upon an ant-hill. Here are ed tombs, and shattered mediæval tow- gathered peasants from all the countryers, and the foreground made up of pic- villages within ten miles, all in their festuresque groups of peasants, who lounge tal costumes; along the lane which skirts about the door, and come and go, and the meadow and leads through the great men from the Campagna, on horseback, gate of the old fortress, donkeys are with their dark, capacious cloak and long crowded together, and keeping up a ironed staff, who have come from count- constant and outrageous concert; saling their oxen and superintending the timbanci, in harlequin suits, are making farming, and carrettieri, stopping in their faces or haranguing from a platform, and hooded wine-carts or ringing along the inviting everybody into their pennyroad, — there is, perhaps, as much to show. From inside their booths is heard charm the artist as is to be seen while the sound of the invariable pipes and sipping beer or eau gazeuse on the hot drum, and from the lifted curtain now Parisian asphalte, where the grisette stu- and then peers forth a comic face, and diously shows her clean ankles, and the then disappears with a sudden scream dandy struts in his patent-leather boots. and wild gesticulation. Meantime the
One great festa there is during Lent closely packed crowd moves slowly along at the little town of Grotta-Ferrata, about in both directions, and on we go through fourteen miles from Rome. It takes place the archway into the great court-yard. gether with a portable altar, in the middle of
Here, under the shadow of the monaswhich was a small fire-pan, ( foculus,) in which,
tery, booths and benches stand in rows, from time to tiine, sacrifices were burnt. The arrayed with the produce of the countryaltar has now become a booth, the foculus & villages,--shoes, rude implements of huscaldron, the sacrifices are of little fishes as bandry, the coarse woven fabrics of the well as of cakes, and San Giuseppe has taken
contadini, hats with cockades and rothe place of Bacchus, Liber Pater; but the
settes, feather brooms and brushes, and festivals, despite these differences, have such grotesque points of resemblance that the lat
household things, with here and there the ter looks like the former, just as one's face is tawdry pinchbeck ware of a peddler of still one's face, however distortedly reflected jewelry, and little quadretti of Madonna in the bowl of a spoon; and, perhaps, if one
and saints. Extricating ourselves from remembers the third day of the Aathesteria, the crowd, we ascend by a stone stairwhen cooked vegetables were offered in honor
way to the walk around the parapets of of Bacchus, by putting it together with the Liberalia, we shall easily get the modern festa the walls, and look down upon the scene. of San Giuseppe.
How gay it is! Around the fountain,
O voi matrone rigide,
which is spilling in the centre of the court, a constantly varying group is gathered, washing, drinking, and filling their flasks and vases. Near by, a charlatan, mounted on a table, with a huge canvas behind him painted all over with odd cabalistic figures, is screaming, in loud and voluble tones, the virtues of his medicines and unguents, and his skill in extracting teeth. One need never have a pang in tooth, ear, head, or stomach, if one will but trust his wonderful promises. In one little bottle he has the famous water which renews youth; in another, the lotion which awakens love, or cures jealousy, or changes the fright into the beauty. All the while he plays with his tame serpents, and chatters as if his tongue went of itself, while the crowd of peasants below gape at him, laugh with him, and buy from him. Listen to him, all who have ears!
Ei move i paralitici,
Udite, udite, O rustici!
E i portenti infiniti
Benefattor degli uomini,
And so on and on and on. There is never an end of that voluble gabble. Nothing is more amusing than the Italian ciarlatano, wherever you meet him; but, like many other national characters, he is vanishing, and is seen more and more rarely every year. Perhaps he has been promoted to an office in the Church or government, and finds more pickings there than at the fairs; and if not, perhaps he has sold out his profession and good-will to his confessor, who has mounted, by means of it. into a gilded carriage, and wears silk stockings, whose color, for fear of mistake, I will not mention.
But to return to the fair and our station on the parapets at Grotta-Ferrata. Opposite us is a penthouse, (where nobody peaks and pines,) whose jutting fraschi-covered eaves and posts are adorned with gay draperies; and under the shadow of this is seated a motley set of peasants at their lunch and dinner. Smoking plates come in and out of the dark hole of a door that opens into kitchen and cellar, and the camerieri cry constantly, “ Vengo subito," " Eccomi quà,"— whether they come or not. Big-bellied flasks of rich Grotta-Ferrata wine are filled and emptied; and bargains are struck for cattle, donkeys, and clothes ; and healths are pledged and brindisi are given. But
È questo l'odontalgico,
there is no riot and no quarrelling. If that close, intimate, and absorbing relawe lift our eyes from this swarm below, tion existing between them and the lowwe see the exquisite Campagna with its est classes is frightful. Senza complisilent, purple distances stretching off to menti, it is “ tolerable and not to be enRome, and hear the rush of a wild tor- dured.” When a poor man can procure rent scolding in the gorge
a raw onion and a hunch of black bread, the stones and olives.
he does not want a dinner; and towards But while we are lingering here, a noon many and many a one may be seen crowd is pushing through into the inner sitting like a king upon a door-step, or court, where mass is going on in the cu- making a statuesque finish to a palazzo rious old church. One has now to elbow portone, cheerfully munching this spare his way to enter, and all around the door, meal, and taking his siesta after it, fulleven out into the middle court, con- length upon the bare pavement, as calmtadini are kneeling. Besides this, the ly as if he were in the perfumed chamwhole place reeks intolerably with garlic, bers of the great, which, mixed with whiff of incense from the church within and other unmentiona
“ Under the canopies of costly state,
And lulled with sounds of sweetest meloble smells, makes such a compound that
dy." only a brave nose can stand it. But stand it we must, if we would see Domen- And, indeed, so he is; for the canopy of ichino's frescoes in the chapel within; and the soft blue sky is above him, and the as they are among the best products of plashing fountains lull him to his dreams. his cold and clever talent, we gasp and Nor is he without ancient authority for push on,- the most resolute alone get- his devotion to those twin saints, Cipolla ting through. Here in this old monaste- and Aglio. There is an “odor of sanctiry, as the story goes, he sought refuge ty” about them, turn up our noses as we from the fierce Salvator Rosa, by whom may. The Ancient Egyptians offered his life was threatened, and here he them as firstfruits upon the altars of their painted his best works, shaking in his gods, and employed them also in the sershoes with fear. When we have exam- vices for the dead; and such was their ined these frescoes, we have done the attachment to them, that the followers of fair of Grotta-Ferrata ; and those of us Moses hankered after them despite the who are wise and have brought with us a manna, and longed for “the leeks and well-packed hamper stick in our hat one the onions and the garlic which they did of the red artificial roses which every- eat in Egypt freely.” Nay, even the fasbody wears, take a charming drive to tidious Greeks not only used them as a the Villa Conti, Muti, or Falconieri, and charm against the Evil Eye, but ate them there, under the ilexes, forget the garlic, with delight. And in the “ Banquet” finish the day with a picnic, and return of Xenophon, Socrates specially recomto Rome when the western sun is painting mends them. On this occasion, several the Alban Hill.
curious reasons for their use are adduced, And here, in passing, one word on the of which we who despise them should not onions and garlic, whose odor issues from be ignorant. Niceratus says that they the mouths of every Italian crowd, like relish well with wine, citing Homer in the fumes from the maw of Fridolin's confirmation of his opinion; Callias afdragon. Everybody eats them in Italy; firms that they inspire courage in battle; the upper classes show them to their dish- and Charmidas clenches the matter by es to give them a flavor, and the lower declaring that they are most useful in use them not only as a flavor, but as a “ deceiving a jealous wife, who, finding food. When only a formal introduction her husband return with his breath smellof them is made to a dish, I confess that ing of onions, would be induced to believe the result is far from disagreeable ; but he had not saluted any one while from home.” Despise them not, therefore, 0 rate,) and to him his acolytes waft inSaxon ! for as “their offence is rank," cense, as well as to the huge figure of the their pedigree is long, and they are sa- Madonna which follows. This figure is cred plants that “smell to heaven.” of life-size, carved in wood, surrounded Happily for you, if these reasons do not by gilt angels, and so heavy that sixteen persuade you against your will, there is a stout facchini, whose shabby trousers certain specific against them,-Eat them show under their improvised costume, yourself, and you will smell them no are required to bear it along. With this longer.
the procession comes to its climax. ImThe time of the church processions is mediately after follow the guards, and a now coming, and one good specimen great concourse of the populace closes takes place on the 29th of March, from the train. the Santa Maria in Via, which may stand As Holy Week approaches, pilgrims with little variations for all the others. begin to flock to Rome with their oil-cloth These processions, which are given by capes, their scallop-shell, their long staffs, every church once a year, are in honor their rosaries, and their dirty hands held of the Madonna, or some saint special- out constantly for “una santa elemoly reverenced in the particular church. sina pel povero pellegrino." Let none They make the circuit of the parish lim- of my fair friends imagine that she will its, passing through all its principal streets, find a Romeo among them, or she will and every window and balcony is deco- be most grievously disappointed. There rated with yellow and crimson hangings, is something to touch your pity in their and with crowds of dark eges. The front appearance, though not the pity akin to of the church, the steps, and the street love. They are, for the most part, old, leading to it, are spread with yellow sand, shabby, and soiled, and inveterate mendiover which are scattered sprigs of box. cants,—and though, some time or other, After the procession has been organized some one or other may have known one in the church, they “ come unto the yel- of them for her true-love, “ by his cockle low sands,” preceded by a band of music, hat and staff, and his sandal shoon," that which plays rather jubilant, and what the time has been long forbye, unless they unco pious would call profane music, pol- are wondrously disguised. Besides these kas and marches, and airs from the op- pilgrims, and often in company with them, eras. Next follow great lanterns of strung bands of peasants, with their long staffs, glass drops, accompanied by soldiers ; may be met on the road, making a pilthen an immense gonfalon representing grimage to Rome for the Holy Week, the Virgin at the Cross, which swings clad in splendid ciocciari dresses, carbackwards and forwards, borne by the rying their clothes on their heads, and confraternità of the parish, with blue chanting a psalm as they go. Among capes over their white dresses, and all these may be found many a handsome holding torches. Then follows a huge youth and beautiful maid, whose faces wooden cross, garlanded with golden ivy- will break into the most charming of leaves, and also upheld by the confrater- smiles as you salute them and wish them nità, who stagger under its weight. Next a happy pilgrimage. And of all smiles, come two crucifixes, covered, as the body none is so sudden, open, and enchanting of Christ always is during Lent and until as a Roman girl's; and breaking over Resurrection-Day, with cloth of purple, their dark, passionate faces, black eyes, (the color of passion,) and followed by and level brows, it seems like a burst the frati of the church in black, carry- of sunlight from behind a cloud. There ing candles and dolorously chanting a must be noble possibilities in any nation hymn. Then comes the bishop in his which, through all its oppression and mitre, his yellow stole upheld by two degradation, has preserved the childlike principal priests, (the curate and subcu- frankness of the Italian smile.