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A Boston Boy's Visit To The Pope

A Boston Boy's Visit To The Pope image
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Wc copy the following amusing sketch from the private journal of a young American travoller, the extract having been originally published in the Boston Transcript : - Invitcd whilst in Rome, to o as the Romans did, I went With a jleasant party, to be presented at an ïour duly appointed, 3 o'clock P. M.,to lis holiness the Pope. ThcSwiss guard ere on duty in i'ull dress, and ariving at ie papal resirlence, wc ascended the rand and magnificent stair-cases into the ala Regia, wYiere wc exerted our paence, and looked at the frescoes, unlil friend who was to join the party made lis appcarance. We wcrethen conduced into the Sistine Chnpel, where we 'aited another interval, and then iuto a all hung with crimson silk, whcre we were obliged to undergo a still longer probation. By and by a pricst all done up in purple, carne and cscorted us up several rooms, and iinally left us in the hall of Maps, permitting us during his absence to study geography if we chose, and fïnd out "which way the land lay." - Soon a second individual in piirplc carne and beckoned to another party who were waiting like ourselves to follow him. We attempted to do the same, but the door was slammed in our faces, and we turned back again to study geography. I hadcauerhta s-Hmnse of the Pope,ever, andof evcry one entering his presence, all going in on one knee and one foot, like a flock of lame ducks. At last our turn came, and the great Gregory lonored us with o private audience. Dr. C was first ; Mrs. followcd ; Madame next, whilst I brought up the rear. I could not resist laughing even in the presence of the Pope, at the ludicious appearance of the presentation party. Dr. C , in a state of extra hum lty, threw himselfinto a recumbentposition, and was laying on the Hoor like a ñ'og, kissing the cross on the Pope's slipper ; Airs. was waiting to get a chance, and Madame was en bended knee hopping along like a lame dock. For myself, I wassatisfied with a bow, this being all that was really requisito. - The first salution being over,we all stood up in a row, and were duly presented to his Holiness. Fixing his eye upon me, perhaps because I was the youngest of the part}-, he asked me where I was from? I replied from the United States. He then asked me from what part of that country ; and when I said "from Boston," he remarkcd that in former times, he had heard that in that city they carried images of the pope and thedevil in the same procession. He asked me i f the custom was still continued. I replied in the negative and he then asked who would be the next President - a question too far ahead to answer satisfactorily. He next inquired whether I knew Mr. Green, the Consul. 1 told him I did not. He then observed that he formerly introduced many j Americans to him, and wondered why. for the last two years, he had presented so few. Dr. C replied casually, that it might be because few were travelling. (The city, ho wever, is full of them, but the real reason is, thatour Consul is not popular, and the Americans have as little as Dossible to do with hira.)Finally, the Pope gave us his blessing, aid me a particular good-bye as Signor A.jnericano - turned his back, in order ihat we need not back out, and we departid side wavs with our heads over our shoulders, 'ready to turn in case he should, as it is not alïowed in his presence to turn your back to him. Pope Gregory is not handsomo, but he seemed to be a kind, well-disposed person, and not wanting in character. - He is eighty years old ; never eats meat nor wears linen. He sleeps on a wool maltrass. and was dresced in a flannel gown buttoned all the way down ; he wore red leather slippers with nn cmbroidered cross on the top of each, and had on a skuíl cap. It is snid that his valet makes a deal of money in the sale of his old slippers, which are tnuch soutrht nfierbv the faithfut and others.