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    Ch. 6 - Beggar Boys

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    Chapter 6
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    The painter Callot--who does not know the name, at least from
    Hoffmann's "in Callot's manner?"--has given a few excellent pictures
    of Italian beggars. One of these is a fellow, on whom the one rag
    lashes the other: he carries his huge bundle and a large flag with the
    inscription, "Capitano de Baroni." One does not think that there can
    in reality be found such a wandering rag-shop, and we confess that in
    Italy itself we have not seen any such; for the beggar-boy there,
    whose whole clothing often consists only of a waistcoat, has in it not
    sufficient costume for such rags.

    But we see it in the North. By the canal road between the Venern and
    Vigen, on the bare, dry rocky plain there stood, like beauty's
    thistles in that poor landscape, a couple of beggar-boys, so ragged,
    so tattered, so picturesquely dirty, that we thought we had Callot's
    originals before us, or that it was an arrangement of some industrious
    parents, who would awaken the traveller's attention and benevolence.
    Nature does not form such things: there was something so bold in the
    hanging on of the rags, that each boy instantly became a Capitano de

    The younger of the two had something round him that had certainly once
    been the jacket of a very corpulent man, for it reached almost to the
    boy's ancles; the whole hung fast by a piece of the sleeve and a
    single brace, made from the seam of what was now the rest of the
    lining. It was very difficult to see the transition from jacket to
    trowsers, the rags glided so into one another. The whole clothing was
    arranged so as to give him an air-bath: there were draught holes on
    all sides and ends; a yellow linen clout fastened to the nethermost
    regions seemed as if it were to signify a shirt. A very large straw
    hat, that had certainly been driven over several times, was stuck
    sideways on his head, and allowed the boy's wiry, flaxen hair to grow
    freely through the opening where the crown should have been: the naked
    brown shoulder and upper part of the arm, which was just as brown,
    were the prettiest of the whole.

    The other boy had only a pair of trowsers on. They were also ragged,
    but the rags were bound fast into the pockets with packthread; one
    string round the ancles, one under the knee, and another round about
    the waist. He, however, kept together what he had, and that is always

    "Be off!" shouted the Captain, from the vessel; and the boy with the
    tied-up rags turned round, and we--yes, we saw nothing but packthread,
    in bows, genteel bows. The front part of the boy only was covered: he
    had only the foreparts of trowsers--the rest was packthread, the bare,
    naked packthread.
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