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of the populace; the government bears the
guilty man no ill-will; he is sent to the galleys.
He is not so very badly off there; the public
consideration follows him; sooner or later he
will receive his pardon; for the Pope, who cares
nothing about his crime, finds it cheaper to let
him go than to board and lodge him. Put the
case at the very worst. Imagine a crime so
patent, so monstrous, so revolting, that the
judges the least interested in the question are
obliged to condemn the culprit to the pain of
death. You fancy, perhaps, that they will hasten
to strike for the sake of the example? Nothing
of the kind. They throw him into a dungeon;
they forget he is there; they hope he will die of
his own accord. In the month of July, eighteen
hundred and fifty-eight, there were, in the little
town of Viterbo, twenty-two persons condemned
to death, who amused themselves with singing
psalms till the executioner should come to fetch
them. The executioner comes; he takes one of them,
and kills him. The people are moved with
compassion; the crowd is in tears. One single cry
escapes from every mouth, "Poveretto!"—Poor
dear fellow! The reason is that his crime dates
ten years back; no one remembers anything
about it; he himself has expiated it by penitence.
His punishment would have afforded a good
example if it had taken place ten years sooner.
Such are the rigours of penal justice. You would
laugh too loudly were you told of its gentlenesses.
The Duke Sforza Cesarini shoots one of his
servants for addressing him without sufficient
respect. The Pope condemns him to a month's
retirement in a convent, for example's sake. Ah,
if they touched the sacred ark, if they killed a
priest, if they menaced a cardinal, there would
be no such thing as asylum, or galleys, or
clemency, or delay! Thirty years ago, in the
Piazza del Popolo, the murderer of a priest was
hacked into morsels. It is not long since they
decapitated the man who attempted to attack
Cardinal Antonelli with a dinner-fork. The cardinal,
overflowing with clemency, threw himself
officially at the feet of the Pope, to implore a
pardon, which he was sure not to obtain. He
pays a pension to the widow: is not that the act
of a clever man?

Simple theft, innocent theft, the theft of snuffboxes
and silk handkerchiefs, the theft which
seeks a modest alms in its neighbour's pocket,
is tolerated at Rome as paternally as beggary is.
The official statistics publish, with a slight
reduction, the number of the Roman mendicants.
It is to be regretted that they do not give the
list of pickpockets; for they are legion. The
government knows them all by name, and leaves
them to their own devices. The strangers are
rich enough to pay a tax on national industry.
Besides, the thieves will never steal the Pope's

A Frenchman collars an elegant gentleman
whom he discovers in the act of taking his watch.
He leads him to the nearest station, and hands him
over to the sergeant on duty. "I believe your
statement," replies the subaltern. "The man
is a Lombard; you must be a very fresh arrival
not to know him. But, if all the fellows of his
cut were taken up, our prisons would never be
big enough to hold them. Be off, my man,
and take better care of yourself in future."
Another stranger is plundered in the middle
of the Corso, at midnight, as he is coming from
the theatre. He goes to make his complaint,
when the magistrate says to him, severely, "Sir,
you were out at an unseasonable hour, when
all honest people are in bed." Another is
stopped by thieves on the road from Rome to
Civita Vecchia. He gives up his cash, arrives at
Palo, and tells his tale to the political employé.
This worthy man, who fingers and crumples the
passports of strangers till they give him twenty
sous, replies to the complainant, "What would
you have? The country is in great distress."
But on the eve of the grand fêtes, as it will
not do for a religious ceremony to be disturbed
by malefactors, all the scamps of Rome are
expected to come to prison. They go there of
their own accord; they do business witli the
paternal government by private contract. If any
professional conveyancer failed to come to the
rendezvous, they would fetch him from his lodgings
in the middle of the night. In spite of
these wise measures, more than one watch
strays during the Holy Week. But don't go
and complain to the police; they will reply, with
a placid countenance, "We have taken our
precautions, by arresting every known thief; if
there are new thieves, the more's the pity!"

As to the magistrates, some are estimable,
some are otherwise,—witness the story of the
Marquis de Sesmaisons. Some one robbed him
of half a dozen silver forks and spoons; he had
the imprudence to make his complaint. Justice
required him to give an exact description of the
stolen objects. He did more; he confided to
the public prosecutor the remainder of the
dozen; which involved the loss of a dozen
spoons and forks, if the chronicle speaks the
truth. The misconduct of the public functionaries
is tolerated as long as it does not directly
injure the powers that be. Employés of every
rank hold out their hand and ask for something
to drink. The government is glad, rather than
sorry for it; it admits of so much being cut off
from the salaries.

Respecting the subject of finance, the trumpet
bellows loud enough to wake the dead. It is
commonly said, "If the subjects of the Pope
are held in compulsory poverty, they pay hardly
any taxes; which is a compensation." It is
also stated, here and there, that they are
governed at the rate of nine francs per head per
annum. This figure is fabulous; but, were it
authentic, the Romans would not be the less to
be pitied. The moderate amount of their taxes
is a sad consolation for a people whose pockets
are empty. What would be thought of the
English government, if, after ruining commerce,
manufactures, agriculture, and all the sources of
public prosperity, the ministry were to say to
the nation, "Rejoice greatly; henceforward
your taxes shall not exceed nine shillings a
year!" The English would reply, with