Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (Italian).djvu/30
A GREAT DAY.
"Well, at last we got across. All the streets leading to the Piazza of St. Peter were choked with human beings. When we reached the foot of one of the two streets that run straight to St. Peter's we heard a great roar, like the noise of the sea in a gale; it seemed to come to us in gusts, now near by, now a long way off. It was the noise of the crowd in the square before St. Peter's. We rushed ahead more madly than ever; climbing over each other, carried along, pushed, swept, and dragged, till at last we reached the square. God, if you could have seen it!—What a spectacle! The whole huge square was jammed, black, swarming; no longer a square,
"Suddenly I noticed that the crowd had turned to the left. Round we all went; very slowly, with the greatest difficulty, shoved, trampled on, knocked about; with our arms pinned to our sides, and hardly able to breathe, we fought our way, street by street, to the little square by the bridge of St. Angelo. The bridge itself was crammed with people; beyond it, there were more crowds, which seemed to stretch all the way to St. Peter's. The right bank of the Tiber swarmed like an ant-hill. Crossing the bridge was a hard job; it took us over a quarter of an hour. The poor devils on each side, in their fear of being pushed over the edge, clutched the parapet madly, and shouted with terror; I believe there were several accidents.