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17
THE WHITE STONE

festation. The peasant who has in vain solicited a favour of the Bambino, returns to the chapel, and addressing on this occasion the Incoronata herself, exclaims:

"'I am not speaking to you, you whoreson, but to your sainted mother.'

"The women make the Madré di Dio a confidant of their love affairs. They believe with some show of reason that being a woman she understands, and that there is no need to be on a footing of delicacy with her. They have no fear of going too far—a proof of their piety. Hence we must view with admiration the prayer which a fine lass of the Genoese Riviera addressed to the Madonna: 'Holy Mother of God, who didst conceive without sin, grant me the grace of sinning without conceiving.'"

Nicole Langelier here remarked that the religion of the Romans lent itself to the evolution of Rome's policy.

"Bearing the stamp of a distinctly national character," he said, "it was, for all that, capable of penetrating the minds of foreign nations, and of winning them over by its sociable and tolerant spirit. It was an administrative religion propagating itself without effort together with the rest of the administration."

"The Romans loved war," said M. Goubin, who studiously avoided paradoxes.