THE COLOSSEUM AND THE FORUM
It is the voluble sorrow common to all the emotional visitors in Rome that the past of the different generations has not been treated by the present with due tenderness, and the Colosseum is a case notoriously in point. But, if it was an Italian archaeologist who destroyed the wilding growths in the Colosseum and scraped it to a bareness which nature is again trying to clothe with grass and weeds, it ought to be remembered that it is another Italian archaeologist who has set laurels all up and down the slopes of the Forum, and has invited roses and honeysuckles to bloom wherever they shall not interfere with science, but may best help repair the wounds he must needs deal the soil in researches which seem no mere dissections, but feats of a conservative, almost a constructive surgery. It is said that the German archaeologists objected to those laurels where the birds sing so sweetly; perhaps they thought them not strictly scientific; but when the German Kaiser, who always knows so much better than all the other Germans put together, visited the Forum, he liked them, and he parted from the Genius Loci with the imperial charge, "Laurels, laurels, evermore laurels." After that the emotional tourist must be hard indeed to please who would begrudge his laurels to Commendatore Boni, or would not wish him a perpetual crown of them.