Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/207

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A fair was held in the town, and a delightful surprise-party was got up among the artists of Rome. Twenty-five came driving over in a big carriage, with four gaily decorated horses, postilions, hampers of lunch, flutes and horns, and much jollity bottled up for the occasion.

A very festive spectacle they made as they drove through the narrow streets with flowers and streamers in their hats, singing and joking in true artistic style.

They meant to have lunched in the open air; but, as it was cloudy, decided to spread the feast at the hotel. Such a delightful revel as followed! A scene from the "Decameron," modernized, would give some idea of it; for after the banquet all adjourned to the gardens of the Doria Villa, and there disported themselves as merrily as if all the plagues of life were quite forgotten, and death itself among the lost arts. Flirting and dancing, charades and singing, stories and statues, poems and pictures, gossip and gambols, absorbed the hours as pleasantly as in the olden time. And if the costumes were not as picturesque as those in Vedder's fine picture, the ladies were as lovely, the gentlemen as gallant, and