Rome and I had both grown older since I had seen her last, but she seemed not to show so much as I the forty-three years that had passed. Naturally a city that was already twenty-seven centuries of age (and no one knows how much more) would not betray the lapse of time since 1864 as a man must who was then only twenty-seven years of age. In fact, I should say that Rome looked, if anything, younger at our second meeting, in 1908, or, at any rate, newer; and I am so warm a friend of youth (in others) that I was not sorry to find Rome young, or merely new, in so many good things. At the same time I must own that I heard no other foreigner praising her for her newness except a fellow-septuagenarian, who had seen Rome earlier even than I, and who thought it well that the Ghetto should have been cleared away, though some visitors, who had perhaps never lived in a Ghetto, thought it a pity if not a shame, and an incalculable loss to the picturesque. These also thought the Tiber Embankments a wicked sacrifice to the commonplace, though the mud-banks of other days invited the torrent to an easy overflow of whole quarters of the town, which were left reeking with the filth of the flood that overlay the filth of the streets, and combined with it to an effect of disease and of discomfort not always personally unknown to the lover of the picturesque. There used to be a particular type of typhoid known as Roman fever, but now quite unknown, thanks to the Tiber Embankments and to the light and air let into the purlieus of that mediaeval Rome for which the injudicious grieve so loudly. The perfect municipal housekeeping of our time leaves no darkest and narrowest lane or alley unswept; every morning the shovel and broom go over the surfaces formerly almost impassable to the foot and quite impossible to the nose.

I am speaking literally as well as frankly, and though I can understand why some envious New-Yorker, remembering our blackguard streets and avenues, should look askance at the decency of the newer Rome and feign it an offence against beauty and poetry, I do not see why a Londoner, who himself lives in a well-kept town, should join with any of my fellow-barbarians in hypocritically deploring the modern spirit which has so happily invaded the Eternal City. The Londoner should rather entreat us not to be humbugs and should invite us to join him in rejoicing that the death-rate of Rome, once the highest in the civilized world, is now almost the lowest. But the language of Shakespeare and Milton is too often internationally employed in deploring the modernity which has housed us aliens there in such perfect comfort and safety. One must confine one's self to instances, and one may take that of the Ludovisi Quarter, as it is called, where I dwelt in so much peace and pleasure except when I was reminded that it was formed by plotting the lovely Villa Ludovisi in house lots and building it up in attractive hotels and apartment-houses. Even then I did not suffer so keenly as some younger people, who had never seen the villa, seemed to do, though there are still villas to burn in and about Rome, and they could not really miss the Ludovisi. It was a pretty place, but not beyond praise, and the quarter also is pretty, though also not beyond praise. The villa was for the pleasure and pride of one family, but it signified, even in its beauty, nothing but patrician splendor, which is a poor thing at best; and the quarter is now for the pleasure and pride of great numbers of tourists, mostly of that plutocracy from which a final democracy is inevitably to evolve itself. I could see no cause to beat the breast in this; and in humbler instances, even to very humble, I could not find that things were nearly as bad in Rome as they have been painted.

There is no doubt but at one time, directly after the coming of the capital, Rome was badly overbuilt. There is no doubt, also, that Rome has grown up to these rash provisions for her growth, and that she now "stuffs out her vacant garments with her form" pretty fully. One must not say that all the flats in all the houses are occupied, but most of them are; and if now the property of the speculators is the property of the banks, the banks are no bad landlords, and the law does not spare them the least of their duties to their tenants; or so, at least, it is said.

Another typical wrong to the old Rome, or rather to the not-yet Rome, was the building-up, beyond the Tiber, of the Quarter of the Fields, so called, where Zola in his novel of Rome has placed most of the squalor which he so lavishly employs in its contrasts. In these he shows himself the romanticist that he always frankly owned he was in spite of himself; but after I had read his book I made it my affair to visit the scenes of poverty and misery in the Quartiere dei Prati. When I did so I found that I had already passed through the quarter without noting anything especially poor or specifically miserable, and I went a third time to make sure that I had not overlooked something impressively lamentable. But I did not see above three tenement-houses with the wash hung from the windows, and with the broken shutters of poverty and misery, in a space where on the East Side or the North Side in New York I could have counted such houses by the score, almost the hundred. In this quarter the streets were swept every morning as they are everywhere in Rome, and though toward noon they were beginning to look as slovenly as our streets look when they have just been "cleaned," I knew that the next morning these worst avenues of Rome would be swept as our best never have been since the days of Waring.

Beyond the tenements the generous breadth of the new streets has been bordered by pleasant stucco houses of the pretty Italian type, fleetingly touched but not spoiled by the taste of the art nouveau,standing in their own grounds, and not so high-fenced but one could look over their garden-walls into the shrubs and flowers about them. Like suburban effects are characteristic of the new wide residential streets on the hither side of the Tiber, and on both shores the streets expand from time to time into squares, with more or less tolerable new monuments - say, of the Boston average - in them. The business streets where they bear the lines of the frequently recurrent trams are spacious and straight, and though they are not the Corso, the Corso itself, it must be remembered, is only a street of shops by no means impressive, and is mostly dim under the overtowering walls of palaces which have no space to be dignified in. Now and then their open portals betray a glimpse of a fountained or foliaged court, but whether these palaces are outwardly beautiful or not no one can tell from what sight one can get of them; no, not even the most besotted sentimentalist of those who bewail the loss of mediaeval Rome when they mean Rome of the Renaissance. How much of that Rome has been erased by modern Rome I do not know, but I think not so much as people pretend. Some of the ugly baroque churches have been pulled down to allow the excavation of imperial Rome, but there are plenty of ugly baroque churches left. It is said the princely proprietors of the old palaces which are let in apartments along the different Corsos (for the Corso is several) are going to pull them down and put up modern houses, with the hope of modern rents, but again I do not know. More than once the fortuities of hospitality found one the guest of dwellers in such stately domiciles, and I could honestly share the anxiety with which they spoke of these rumors; but there are a great many vast edifices of the sort, and I should not be surprised if I went back to Rome after another forty-three years to find most of them standing in 1951 where they now stand in 1908. Rome was not built in a day, and it will not be unbuilt or rebuilt within the brief period that will make me one hundred and fourteen years old. By that time I shall have outlived most of the medievalists, and I can say to the few survivors: "There, you see that new Rome never went half so far as you expected."

But no doubt it will go further than it has yet gone, in the way that is for the good and comfort of mankind. In one of the newer quarters, of which the Baths of Diocletian form the imperial centre, my just American pride was flattered by tho sign on a handsome apartment-house going up in gardened grounds, which advertised that it was to be finished with a lift and steam-heating. Many of the newer houses are already supplied with lifts, but central heating is as yet only beginning to spread from the hotels, where steam has been installed in compliance with the impassioned American demand to be warm all round when one is in-doors. New Rome is not going so fast and so far but that it will keep, to whatever end it reaches, one of the characteristic charms of the old and older Rome. I shall expect to see when I come back in 1951 the same or the like corners of garden walls, with the tops of shining foliage peering over them, that now enchant the passer in the street; from the windows of my electric-ele-vatored, steam-heated apartment I shall look down into the seclusion of gardens, with the golden globes of orange espaliers mellowing against the walls, and the fountain in the midst of oleanders and of laurels

  "Shaking its loosened silver in the sun."

Slim cypresses will then as now blacken through the delicate air against the blue sky, and a stone-pine will spread its umbrella over some sequestered nook. By that time the craze for the eucalyptus which now possesses all Italy will be over, and every palm-tree will be cut down, while the ilex will darken in its place and help the eternal youth of the marbles to a greener old age of moss and mould in the gloom of its spreading shade. All these things beautifully abound in Rome now, as they always have abounded, and there is no reason to fear that they will cease to abound.

Rome grows, and as Italy prospers it will grow more and more, for there must forever be a great and famous capital where there has always been one. The place is so perfectly the seat of an eternal city that it might well seem to have been divinely chosen because of the earth and heaven which are more in sympathy there than anywhere else in the world. The climate is beyond praise for a winter which is mild without being weak; there is a summer of tolerable noonday heat, and of nights deliciously cool; the spring is scarcely earlier than in our latitudes, but the fall is a long, slow decline from the temperature of October to the lowest level of January without the vicissitudes of other autumns. The embrowning or reddening or yellowing leaves turn sere, but drop or cling to their parent boughs as they choose, for there is seldom a frost to loosen their hold, and seldom a storm to tear them away.

So it is said by those who profess a more intimate acquaintance with the Roman meteorology than I can boast, but from the little I know I can believe anything of it that is of good report. Everywhere the prevalence of the ilex, the orange, the laurel, the pine, flatters January with an illusion of June, and under our hotel windows I was witness of the success of the sycamore leaves in keeping a grip of their native twigs even after the new buds came to push them away. In the last days of March a plum-tree hung its robe of white blossoms over the wall of the Capuchin convent from the garden within; but the almond-trees had been in bloom for six weeks before, and the deeper pink of the peach had more warmly flushed the suburbs for fully a fortnight.

Still, a mild winter and an endurable summer will not of themselves make a great capital, and it was probably the Romans themselves who in the past made Rome the capital of the world, first politically and then religiously. Whether they will make it so hereafter remains to be seen. In the sense of all the Italians being Romans, I believe, with my profound faith in the race, that they are very capable of doing it; and they will have the help of the whole world in the work, or what is most liberal and enlightened in the whole world. As it is, Rome has a pull with Occidental civilization which forever constitutes her its head city. The only European capitals comparable with her are London, Paris, and Berlin; one cannot take account of New York, which is merely the commercial metropolis of America, with a possibility of becoming the business centre of both hemispheres. Washington is still in its nonage and of a numerical unimportance in which it must long remain almost ludicrously inferior to other capitals, not to dwell upon its want of anything like artistic, literary, scientific, and historical primacy. It is the voluntary political centre of the greatest republic of any time and of a nation which is already unrivalled in its claim upon the future. But it is not of the involuntary and unconscious growth of a capital like London, which is the centre of a mighty state, deep-rooted in the past, and the capital of that Anglo-Saxon race of which we are ourselves a condition, and of a colonial empire without a present equal. Paris is France in the sense of representing the intense life of a nation unsurpassed in the things which enlighten and ennoble the human intellect and advance mankind. Berlin is the concentration of the strong will of a state which has made itself great out of the weak will of sundry inferior states, homogeneous in their disunity more than in any positive quality, and which stands for a political ideal more nearly reactionary, more nearly mediaeval, than any other modern state. Berlin is not German as Paris is French, and Rome is not so exclusively Italian. In fact, her greatness, accomplished and destined, lies in just the fact that she is not and never can be exclusively Italian. Human interests too universal and imperative for the control of a single race, even so brilliant and so gifted as the Italian race, which is naturally and necessarily in possession, centre about her through history, religion, art, and make every one at home in the city which is the capital of Christendom. Now and then I saw some shining and twinkling Japs going about with Baedekers, and I imagined them giving a modest and unprejudiced mind to Rome without claiming, tacitly or explicitly, the right to dispute the Italian theory and practice in its control. But every Occidental stranger (if any one of European blood is a stranger in the home of Christianity) I knew to be there in a mood more or less critical, and in a disposition to find fault with the Rome which is now making, or making over.

We journeyers or sojourners can do this without expense or inconvenience to ourselves, and we can easily blame the Italian conception of the future city which, to name but one fact, has made it possible for us to visit her in comfort at every season and to come away without having come down with the Roman fever. In spite of the sort of motherly, or at the worst step-motherly, welcome which she gives to all us closely or distantly related children of hers; in spite of her immemorial fame and her immortal beauty; in spite of her admirable housekeeping, in which she rises every morning at daybreak and sweeps clean every hole and corner of her dwelling; in spite of her wonderful sky, her life-giving air; in spite of the level head she keeps in her political affairs, and the miraculous poise she maintains between the antagonism of State and Church; in spite of her wise eclecticism in modern improvements; in spite of her admirable hygiene, which has constituted her one of the healthiest, if not the healthiest city in Europe; in spite of the solvency which she preserves amid expenses to which the vast scale of antiquity obliges her in all her public enterprises (a thing to be hereafter studied), we, the ungracious offspring of her youth, come from our North and West and censure and criticise and carp. I have seldom conversed with any fellow-visitor in Rome who could not improve her in some phase or other, who could not usefully advise her, who, at the best, did not patronize her. I offer myself as almost the sole example of a stranger who was contented with her as she is, or as she is going to be without his help; and I am the more confident, therefore, in suggesting to Rome an expedient by which she can repair the finances which her visitors say are so foolishly and wastefully mismanaged in her civic schemes. A good round tax, such as Carlsbad levies upon all sojourners, if laid upon the multitudinous tourists joining in such a chorus of criticism of Rome would give them the indefeasible right to their opinions and would help to replete a treasury which they believe is always in danger of being exhausted.