Page:Margaret Fuller by Howe, Julia Ward, Ed. (1883).djvu/201

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

186

MARGARET FULLER.


a letter to her mother, bearing the date of November 16, she says:—

“I am again in Rome, situated for the first time entirely to my mind.... I have the sun all day, and an excellent chimney. It [her lodging] is very high, and has pure air, and the most beautiful view all around imaginable.. The house looks out on the Piazza Barberini, and I see both that palace and the Pope's [the Quirinal]."

The assassination of the Minister Bossi had taken place on the previous day. Margaret describes it almost as if she had seen it:—

“The poor, weak Pope has fallen more and more under the dominion of the cardinals. He had suffered the Minister Rossi to go on, tightening the reins, and because the people preserved a sullen silence, he thought they would bear it. . . . Rossi, after two or three most unpopular measures, had the imprudence to call the troops of the line to defend him, instead of the National Guard. . . . Yesterday, as he descended from his carriage to enter the Chamber [of Deputies], the crowd howled and hissed, then pushed him, and as he turned his head in consequence, a sure hand stabbed him in the back."

On the morrow, the troops and the people united in calling upon the Pope, then at the Quirinal, for a change of measures. They found no audience, but only the hated Swiss mercenaries, who defeated an attempt to enter the palace by firing on the crowd. “The drum beat to call out the National Guard. The carriage of Prince Barberini has returned, with its frightened inmates and liveried retinue, and they have suddenly barred up the court-yard gate." Margaret felt no apprehension for herself in all this turmoil. The side