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One of our intimates was Mario, thirty years before the idol of London. He was very poor, having dissipated the enormous sums which his and Grisi's divine voices had brought them. Mario was, on and off the stage, always the great gentleman. With snow-white hair and beard and the complexion of a girl of sixteen, he also retained the fire of his dark eyes. His dress was superlatively neat and fresh-looking, and even when he dined with us quite alone he wore white waistcoat and gloves, things unknown to his countrymen of that day. He was a hermit, and the only other house he visited was that of his kind and devoted friend Prince Ladis Odescalchi, who once persuaded the great singer to come to one of our balls, and it was delightful to see how his friends of ancient days crowded around him, and the greatest lady in the land called to him gaily with threatening finger Ah! I have to come to the English Embassy to find you!'
Giovanni Costa, so much admired in English art circles as the greatest Italian painter of that day, but in his native country only appreciated as a patriot, was another hermit who often darkened our doors, and I blush to say that he lost many hours, when not approving of something I had painted, rubbing it over with soft soap and holding it for half an hour under a tap until the texture which he so much liked was obtained. He used to treat his own pictures in that way, a fact which may interest those who possess some of his treasures. Lenbach, the great Bavarian painter, was also much in our house. He was very generous to me in giving away what he called his tricks in painting. He retained much of his peasant origin in his rough-andready speech. He told me how, when he was young, he used to wander about on foot and paint portraits for six or seven shillings. One day in his studio, in which were assembled the portraits of most of the famous men of that day, he pointed to that of Mr. Gladstone, a splendid likeness, saying 'Ist er nicht wie ein fanatischer Bauer?' This remark became very interesting to me when, many years later, I heard of the contention of Theosophists that Mr. Gladstone was a reincarnation of Jack Cade.
Mr. W. W. Story's studio was at the end of our garden, and I often sat with him whilst he was working. As a man he was even more interesting than as an artist, for he was full of information, fun, and original thought, with a very kindly disposition. He was a delightful and witty companion, and I often think of the summer evenings when he accompanied me to the Correa, the open-air theatre in the tumulus of Augustus, where, when the bells of the neighbouring churches began to ring, the actors had to leave off speaking; and when a summer shower came on, all
the audience, which sat on chairs on the gravel, rushed into a semicircle of booths at the back, which did duty for boxes.
One hot afternoon in May I went with Mr. Story to the celebration of Metastasio's centenary in the gardens of the Arcadia. This is a literary society dating from the Renaissance, which still exists. On a small stage in the open air men and women, boys and girls, recited poetry. Around them in a semicircle were seated many Cardinals and Roman Princes and great ladies of the Papal camp. A little further back were those that belonged to the Arcadia, with their friends and relations.
Above the trees of the garden rose the cupola of San Pietro in Montorio, the roofs of the Spanish Academy, and in the background the Acqua Paula. Below lay extended the whole of Rome, mellow, brown, and mysterious in the waning sunlight. Beyond, a strip of the Campagna vanishing in the vapour which bathed the base of the Sabine and Latin hills.
I had unusual opportunities of knowing many artists and scientists, as they did me the honour of electing me a member of the Insigne Accademia of San Luca,' the oldest academy of the world, I believe. Only one other lady belonged to it, the learned Countess Ersilia Lovatelli, daughter of the artistic and scientific blind Duke of Sermoneta, the cleverest and most cultured man in Roman society. The sittings of the Academy were most solemn and dignified, and it was difficult to remember that one was in the nineteenth century.
Another typical Roman scene lingers in my mind. One day my old and valued friend Princess Corsini Corsini Scotti came to see me. I was her only link with the white society of Rome, for she was ultra-black, had frequent audiences with the Holy Father and received chiefly Cardinals. She came to ask me whether I would come to her matinée,' the first one she had given since her husband's death. Only,' she begged, could you come as your own private self and not as English Ambassadress? and please bring your daughter.' I readily agreed, and on the appointed day, escorted by the Duke of Ripalda, also a most pronounced Papalino, and, as possessor of the Farnesina Palace, Princess Corsini's nearest neighbour, we mounted the wide stairs leading to the splendid apartment on the first floor of the palace.
On the first row of armchairs, disposed in a semicircle, sat the Cardinals, and behind them on chairs the black society of Rome. Against the wall stood a kind of altar raised upon a daïs, and upon it burned wax tapers in tall candlesticks, though it was the middle of the day. The Cardinals and the bright spring toilettes of the ladies made a rich harmony against the splendid gold and velvet hangings of the palatial room. We came purposely late, so as not to embarrass our kind hostess while she was receiving ; but VOL LXXI-No. 421
if a bomb had burst in the middle of the room the consternation could hardly have been greater, for a good many of those who were present knew me by sight, and some of them to speak to. We sat down very quietly, and the Duke of Ripalda stood near us. The recitals began, all of them by pupils of Seminaries. They were eulogies of different Popes in verse. There was a good deal about heretics in them, but we did not take this to ourselves. One phrase, however, proved too much for my daughter's youthful gravity; it was piped out in a high treble by a little fellow nine years old:
Il nostro buon Papa, il sesto Alessandro,
and then followed a panegyric of the Borgias. The whole thing had a wonderful cachet; it was like one of the receptions the President de Brosses describes in his lively diaries. Then followed a collation set out as they were in the time of Louis the Fourteenth, but we went away, fearing that our remaining might make difficulties for the old Princess.
Soon after this we left Rome. It was a sad leave-taking, for the charm and glamour of the sunny skies, the atmosphere of art and intellect, had cast a powerful fascination over me. I thought that life in the North would appear grey and dull, and I remembered the words Lord Lytton had said to me many years ago: 'When you have once lived in Italy it takes the colour out of everything else.'
When I saw the crowd of friends who had come to see us off, words failed me, and it was with tears only that I could bid adieu to the Città Eterna.'
A LITTLER' ENGLAND?
ISSUES of an exceedingly grave character are raised for the United Kingdom by the coincidence of a rapidly falling birth-rate and a rapidly rising rate of emigration. I do not think it is generally realised that, at the beginning of the second decade of the twentieth century, we are threatened with a decline in population. If it were realised, and the inevitable consequences of such a decline fully understood, the subject would engross public attention. In point of fact, it is to be feared that very few of our governing classes are alive either to the facts of the case or to their consequences. On the day of the great debate upon our relations with Germany, which took place on Monday, the 27th of November 1911, I put down a question on the subject for oral answer in the House of Commons by the President of the Local Government Board. The question was designed to contrast the excess of births over deaths with the loss by emigration, and to direct attention to the deplorably small balance between the two figures. In reply, Mr. John Burns stated that the excess of births over deaths in the United Kingdom for the first nine months of 1911 was 329,710, and that the Board of Trade return of passengers to and from places out of Europe for the same period showed a balance of outward movement of 237,067.
The last figure related to both British subjects and foreigners. If we correct it by taking the return of British subjects only, we get for the nine months a British emigration of 218,191. That is to say, the approximate increase of British population in the United Kingdom in the first three quarters of 1911 was 329,710 less 218,191, or only 111,519.
This remarkable information excited no interest in those who provide the public with information and ready-made opinions. Not even The Times thought it worth reporting. If I had asked whether General Caneva was boiling Arabs in oil at Tripoli, or if the Germans had yet decided to make a further increase in their Navy Law, the answer would have found place in many newspapers. Apparently it did not occur to any one that the answer to my question had a distinct bearing upon Britain's place
in the world, and consequently upon foreign affairs, and that Germany could by no conceivable means injure British interests. as they are possibly being injured by forces operating from within the British Empire.
Let us examine carefully the facts of the case.
The emigration from the United Kingdom during the past year has been of unprecedented dimensions. In the times of bad trade which visited us a generation ago, a great flow of emigrants occurred which gathered strength and was not checked for many years. Even then, however, emigration did not exceed 246,000 in any year. This figure, which was reached in 1883, remained a record down to 1911, when it rose to 262,000. Scotland alone lost 61,358 of her people by emigration last year, as against 58,384 in 1910.
It is well to make clear what is the basis of these emigration statistics. We cannot, of course, know whether a passenger leaving a British port for Canada or Argentina is an emigrant or not. All we can do is to count passengers outward to places out of Europe, and to compare the result with a count of passengers inwards from places out of Europe. Thus, in 1911 we know that 454,576 British subjects left the United Kingdom for places out of Europe, and that 192,718 British subjects arrived in the United Kingdom from extra-European ports. We therefore deduce an emigration of 261,858 in the twelve months as a sufficiently approximate estimate of the facts. It is by this method that column 1 of Table A is arrived at.
It will be seen that the emigration from the United Kingdom has undergone extraordinary variations in the long period examined in the table, and it should be particularly observed that these variations appear to be largely independent of the condition of trade. Column 2 of the table shows the state of trade as measured by exports of British produce and manufactures, and column 3 gives the unemployment rate amongst trade unionists as returned to the Labour Department of the Board of Trade. It is reasonable to suppose that the bad times which followed the great trade boom of 1872-73, and which produced in 1879 an unemployment rate of nearly 11 per cent., were responsible for the great increase of emigration in the latter year, and the great exportation of people which continued, and, indeed, increased in the good years 1882-83 and in the good and bad years following. In the closing years of the nineteenth century emigration almost ceased. Trade and employment were exceedingly good in 1899, and emigration fell to 46,000. In the opening years of the present century emigration again increased, until in 1907, a year of excellent trade, it almost reached the record of 1883. In 1908 there was a great decline in both trade and emigration, following upon