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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

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260      Material for a Projected Sequel

After which I was very civil to him.

At Bellinzona a man told me that one of the two towers
was built by the Visconti and the other by Julius Cassar, a
hundred years earlier. So, poor old Mrs. Barratt at Langar
could conceive no longer time than a hundred years. The
Trojan war did not last ten years, but ten years was as big a
lie as Homer knew.

We went over the Albula Pass to St. Moritz in two dili-
gences and could not settle which was tonic and which was
dominant; but the carriage behind us was the relative minor.

There was a picture in the dining-room but we could not
get near enough to see it; we thought it must be either Christ
disputing with the Doctors or Louis XVI saying farewell to
his family—or something of that sort.

The Sacro Monte at Varese

The Sacro Monte is a kind of ecclesiastical Rosherville
Gardens, eminently the place to spend a happy day.

The processions were best at the last part of the ascent;
there were pilgrims, all decked out with coloured feathers,
and priests and banners and music and crimson and gold and
white and glittering brass against the cloudless blue sky.
The old priest sat at his open window to receive the offerings
of the devout as they passed, but he did not seem to get more
than a few bambini modelled in wax. Perhaps he was used
to it. And the band played the barocco music on the barocco
little piazza and we were all barocco together. It was as
though the clergymen at Ladywell had given out that, instead
of having service as usual, the congregation would go in pro-
cession to the Crystal Palace with all their traps, and that the
band had been practising " Wait till the clouds roll by " for
some time, and on Sunday, as a great treat, they should
have it.

The Pope has issued an order saying he will not have masses
written like operas. It is no use. The Pope can do much, but
he will not be able to get contrapuntal music into Varese, He
will not be able to get anything more solemn than La Fille de
Madame Angot into Varese. As for fugues—I I would as soon
take an English bishop to the Surrey pantomime as to the
Sacro Monte on a festa.