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THE "ROTHSCHILDS OF ROME !"

The correspondent of the "Daily News" sends from Rome the following interesting account of Don Alessandro Torlonia and his great wealth : — Who, whether he haB set foot in the Eternal City or no, has not heard of the Torlonias — the Rothschilds of Rome ? In the course of last summer, when the momentary crisis here was at its height, Don Alossandro Torlonia — the acting head of the house — won extraordinaiy popularity by writing a letter to the Pope, in which ho offered to buy up the inconvertible government paper, and substitute a metal currency in its place, providing that the existing managers of the Roman .Bank, with Cardinal Antonelli's brother at their head, were sent about their business, and the direction confided to himself. At that time it was quite impossible to get notes converted into coin at any price, for the siniplo reason that there was no coin in the Bank. Even now, when things have improved somewhat, it is with the utmost difficulty that you can get change for a scudo note, even at shops in the Carso, and there is not a hotel-keeper or a tradesman in Rome who would even look at a fivescudi note if you were sufficiently ignorant of the state of things hero to present it in payment in the expectation of getting any change out of it. Of the small piece of silver, which you obtain with no little difficulty, many are so worn and thin that they seem in a sort of transition stage between silver and paper, and have long since lost all trace of any image or superscription whatever. So rolling in wealth is Don Alestandro Torlonia, that Ms riches are admitted to be literally untold, and only this much is known for certain, that everything in Rome worth having, except the Pope and St. Peter's, already belongs to him. Ho wonder then that at the Vatican Don Alessandro should bo looked upon as a hardly less dangerous character than Victor Emmanuel himself, and that the insulting offer which he made last summer, to buy up the Holy Father, and add him to his possessions, should have been decidedly rejected, even though it had not entailed the removal of an Antonelli from a lucrative place. On his first appearance in public after making the abovementioned patriotic offer Don Aleasandro received such an ovation as has not been witnessed in Rome •ince those of which Pio IX, was himself the object, when he gave the first impulse to the Italian revolution in 1846. This Don Alessandro is the same Torlonia who risked his whole fortune on the gigantic enterprise of draining the Fucine Lake, the issue of which struggle with nature was so long dobtful that it became a common saying in Rome, " O Torlonia secca ll lago Fucino, o il lago Fucino secca Torlinia" — (Either Torlonia will drain the Fucine lake, or the Fucine lake will drain Torlonia). In the end, however, Tovlonia got the better of the hike, and rodeemed about 100,000 acres of land for cultivation. Over what was a few years ago a barren waste of waters, flourishing crops may now be seen waving every harvest time, and with last year's produce Don Alessandro had a scheme of feeding the now almost starving Roman people by selling them broad of his own baking at a reduced rate. Such, at least, was the account of the story given me by a patriotic and exceedingly liberal Roman, who made a severe case against the government out of the sudden stoppage of Torlonia's extensive bread-baking-by-machinery works, which threw some 200 workmen out of employment just a fortnight ago. I am bound, however, to add that on proceeding to the spot and making inquiries I learned quito a different version of the affair, entirely exculpating the government from any direct interference in the matter. Only this much is certain, that the works are stopped, and that the Roman people stand little chance at present of getting their bread at a reduced rato.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NOT18670430.2.18

Bibliographic details

THE "ROTHSCHILDS OF ROME!", North Otago Times, Volume VIII, Issue 202, 30 April 1867

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675

THE "ROTHSCHILDS OF ROME!" North Otago Times, Volume VIII, Issue 202, 30 April 1867

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