MASCH 30, 1861.1
It is a curious fact in the physiology of the Sponge, that it
suffers terribly from thirst. the above is a sketch from
nature, made by our artist on one of those dry dusty days in the
beginning of march.
AFFAIRS IN ITALY.
From Our Own Correspondent,
Rome. March 7th.
Dear Vanity:—I have given up my pontifical pretensions, and
retired from private life.
Pius IX is once more at the head of things. . . .
Apropos of which, Thouvknel got off a clever joke the other day.
" Brittania," remarked he, " rules the waves; but our friend
Pms rules the See."
It was considered, by many, the best mot of the season.
We have had no collision here, as yet, but there is no knowing
how soon one may occur. The officers of the French army,
and the ward politicians, are banded together to overthrow my
influence. They can't do it.
Meanwhile, I am confined to my room. History, probably, contains no parallel to my case.
I told you, in my first letters, how unfortunate I was in the way
of losing limbs. First an arm; then a leg, until I hadn't a leg to
stand upon, nor an arm to' my back.
Now, you will be surprised to learn, new limbs are growing out. . . .
. . . Upon my honor !
I have, springing from my right shoulder, a beautiful little arm,
young and fresh as that of a child. Legs are also appearing.
The surgeons and physicians here don't know what to make of
this phenomenon. Some attribute it to the climate, some to the
... I think it is hereditary.
Of course, I am charmed. It was so very inconvenient, to be a
mutilated wreck. And dancing ... an amusement of which I am
passionately fond . . . was simply impossible.
Now, within a few weeks, I shall be frisking once more. I shall
sport and gambol in the public places.
But more important matters demand my attention. Other
things than legs are on foot in Italy, and there are other things
than arms on hand.
Spring comes. . . . Garibaldi is spoiling for a fight. I'm another. Ten thousand brave soldiers await my decision, each one a little more anxious than the others to go in and win. Austria
quakes. Sardinia shakes and Prussia trembles!
Civitella del Tronto is being bombarded. My Zouaves are there,
throwing brickbats into the place by the thousand. Cialdini ob
jects. He says that Joe Garibaldi has Gone Back On him, and broken the treaty they had agreed to. But it is well known that
Cialdini is not veracious. I know Garibaldi too well to believe
such a thing of him.
Let me tell you a little incident of his youth. I quote from Par-
ton's (commonly known as "Fanny Fern's husband") biography:
" The sun was setting in the west, naturally enough, when this
youthful but talented person sought the cool and umbrageous vistas
of his father's garden.
" In his stalwart though adolescent right hand, he bore a small
hatchet, given him by some kind but injudicious friend.
"With thoughtless steps, he approached a fine and fruitful
apple-tree. Which he chopped into it with his hatchet.
"His father drew hear. It was the only thing he could draw.
" 'Joe,' said he, in the pensive and monotonous voice for which
he was so justly Celebrated; ' Joe, how came that tree cut.' "
" The reply has become historical.. .
■'*' I cut it with my little hatchet, and T cannottell a lie !'
" Such was the character of the future Dictator of Italy."
And Parton does him no more than simpWjustice■-. . . excuse
me. A caMnon-ball, fired by some artillerists who are practicing
in the square in front of my house, has carried away my inkstand,
leaving tnt but one penfull of ink with which to Write the name of
;:;..;,v """' ■ ■;..;.' McArone.
P, S. I have just learned that I was egregiously mistaken in
my charge against somebody, of claiming the authorship of these
letters. He didn't do it. He isn't any such a man. McA.
Our Special Caput Mortuum writes us from Boston, that the
inhabitants of that orderly city are indulging in an immense excitement over '' JJn Ballo in Maschera.'' He attributes this extraordinary revulsion in favor of Verdi, not to the excellence of the
opera itself, or to the efforts of the Troupe in doing it justice, but
entirely to the Digest of the Plot recently published in Vanity
Fair, which from its manifest superiority over the Authorized
Libretto, has entirely superseded that pink and yellow publication
at the Academy. The whole fashionable and literary world of
Boston had been in fact wrought up to a pitch of delirious expectancy by the perusal of our Libretto ; the consequence of which
was an enormous rush to what our Chinese editor calls the Singsong, and an immense endorsement of its merits.
It cannot be denied that the tribute paid us by our Special is
eminently Gratifactory, and we accept it as such. But we fear
the credit is not all to us. The Story, the scenery and the music
are naturally and thoroughly Bostonian—tlMnc, hinc Mae," milk
in the cocoa-nut. For even Verdi's hardest West End opponents
(see Dwight's Journal, which is iEsthetic Boston, you know,) are
driven to acknowledge its merits, admitting that some passages (as
in the moonlight scene,) reveal Chorus 'casions of great brilliancy.
Ralph Waldo Emerson Improved The Occasion we learn, to point
out the fact that the bewilderment of Amelia in the Out of Town
scene is admirably carried out by the crazy manner in which the
moon changes to different quarters of the heaven, suggesting a
sympathetic chronic lunacy.
In fact, all Athens declares that Vanity Fair has raised for
Verdi a limonumentum aire perennius?' (Allusion to the comparative brass in Trovatore and Traviata.) Whenever, and if, that
monument shall be completed, and shall take its position by the
side of the Franklin or Webster statues, may V. F. be there to
see. The most suitable material for such a structure would be, of
course, the Verd' Antique.
A dinner was lately given in London, to Colonel Sir Arthur
Cotton, just arrived from India, where he has done the Sitate much
service by his promotion of Canalling for the purpose of irrigation.
The moral to be deduced from this is, that English Cotton is
superior to American Cotton ; inasmuch as the former promotes
irrigation, while the latter is only productive of irritation.
The Tribune the other day had a letter, a half column long,
which it said contained liles plus fraiches nouvelles de Venfer."
Where's the Satanic press ?
The loges of the Academy of Music at a Philharmonic Concert.