Wednesday, July 24, 2013
WHEN IN ROME, 1788
Often a new procession increases the general crush. A dozen Pulcinelle, for example, assemble, elect a king, crown him, put a sceptre in his hand, seat him in a decorated carriage, and accompany him along the Corso, with music and loud cheers. Now one perceives that each of them is wearing his own individual variation of this commonest kind of fancy dress. One wears a wig; another a bonnet, and another a birdcage on his head instead of a cap, in which a pair of birds, dressed up as an abbate and as a lady, are hopping about on their perches.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Italian Journey (1786-1788), translated by W.H. Auden and Elizabeth Mayer, New York, Pantheon Press, 1962.