Page:Pictures From Italy.djvu/75

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63
GENOA.

the face but perfectly quiet, and not to be bent on any terms. The number of cripples in the streets, soon ceased to surprise me.

There are plenty of Saints' and Virgin's Shrines, of course; generally at the corners of streets. The favourite memento to the Faithful, about Genoa, is a painting, representing a peasant on his knees, with a spade and some other agricultural implements beside him; and the Madonna, with the Infant Saviour in her arms, appearing to him in a cloud. This is the Legend of the Madonna della Guardia: a chapel on a mountain within a few miles, which is in high repute. It seems that this peasant lived all alone by himself, tilling some land atop of the mountain, where, being a devout man, he daily said his prayers to the Virgin in the open air; for his hut was a very poor one. Upon a certain day, the Virgin appeared to him, as in the picture, and said, "Why do you pray in the open air, and without a priest?" The peasant explained because there was neither priest nor church at hand—a very uncommon complaint indeed in Italy. "I should wish, then," said the Celestial Visitor, "to have a chapel built here, in which the prayers of the Faithful may be offered up." "But Santissima Madonna," said the peasant, "I am a poor man; and chapels cannot be built without money. They must be supported, too, Santissima; for to have a chapel and not support it liberally, is a wickedness—a deadly sin." This sentiment gave great satisfaction to the visitor. "Go!" said she. "There is such a village in the valley on the left, and such another village in the valley on the right,