When I was last there,
however, it was hardly possible to see anything, for everything was
being turned topsy-turvy by the arrangements which were being made
for the approaching fetes.
These were very gay and pretty; they
must have cost a great deal of money, and I was told that the
municipality in its collective capacity was thought mean, because
it had refused to contribute more than 100 francs, or 4 pounds
sterling. It does seem rather a small sum certainly.
On the afternoon of Friday the 13th of August the Patriarch
Monsignor Ballerini was to arrive by the three o'clock boat, and
there was a crowd to welcome him. The music of Locarno was on the
quay playing a selection, not from "Madame Angot" itself, but from
something very like it - light, gay, sparkling opera bouffe - to
welcome him. I felt as I had done when I found the matchbox in the
sanctuary bedroom at Graglia: not that I minded it myself, but as
being a little unhappy lest the Bishop might not quite like it.
I do not see how we could welcome a bishop - we will say to a
confirmation - with a band of music at all. Fancy a brass band of
some twenty or thirty ranged round the landing stage at Gravesend
to welcome the Bishop of London, and fancy their playing we will
say "The two Obadiahs," or that horrid song about the swing going a
little bit higher!
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