Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/161

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
iv
141
THE TUSCAN REVOLUTION

constitution, and he was to tell them his decision at the Pitti Palace this afternoon; I do not know if he appeared; but at six he was gone. To-morrow General something or other from the King of Sardinia comes. You have no idea of the happy wild excitement the town has been in all day; everywhere the Italian colours, troops of men, with bright coloured flags, going about the streets, crying "Viva l'Italia!" "Viva il re Vittorio Emanuele!" "Viva l'independenza Italiana!"; at the cafes and hotels great flags up, and hardly a man without a bow or feather or something of Italian colours. It is very impressive and exciting; there is something so beautiful in unity, in men forgetting for a time their petty cares and dislikes, enmities, passions, interests, uniting in the great common feeling. Coachmen seem especially patriotic. I have not seen one without the Italian colours; perhaps it may be that, being mezza festa, and many people wanting carriages, in the present state of feeling a coachman who had the colours would be preferred. M. would call it very wrong of me to be suspicious, and attribute bad motives to people.

I cannot help pitying poor old Hyena; I hope he is pretty comfortable. No doubt he has been sending his things off for a long time. He would not have been bad, if he had been a private gentleman, poor fellow; he was out of his place, like a poor old dog having to draw a great cart. There were great placards up saying that the Grand Duke had gone, and that General —— from Piedmont would come, and in the meanwhile begging of the people to behave properly, and not to make any disturbance. But they were as peaceable as possible; seemed as if they would like to shake hands with everyone. I never saw such a