The Rumour-monger

Windows into History

stpetersSnippets 139.  In 1854 the American Rev. George Foxcroft Haskins went on a tour of Europe and one of the highlights of his trip was an extended stay in Rome.  Although he had a wonderful time there, he was disappointed to  discover tour guides spreading rumours about the Pope and the Vatican.  The following quote is taken from Travels in England, France, Italy and Ireland, published in 1856.

There is a class of men in Italy called Cicerones. Their office is to accompany tourists from place to place, to point out all objects worthy of notice, to expatiate on the merits of all sorts of things, and to make as much money as they can. The money making I have put last, but with them it is always the first, and the most important thing. Truth, in their estimation, unless it pays, is a useless drug. Falsehood, if…

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