y part, and throngs were unable to gain even admission. The vast audience was made up chiefly of the best and most fashionable society in Rome. It included many of the highest nobility, who occupied the boxes they held for the season. Everywhere the bright colored, elegant toilets of the ladies met the eye, while the gentlemen were brilliant in fête attire. Fresh young faces and noble old visages were side by side, the beauty of youth and the impressiveness of age, and the male countenances were not less striking than those of the females. Truly, it was a grand assemblage, one that should delight the heart and flatter the vanity of even the most capricious of prima donnas.
At first there was a low hum of conversation throughout the theatre, together with preliminary visits from box to box, but the flutter began to subside as the musicians appeared, and by the time they were in their places in the orchestra absolute silence reigned. When the conductor made his appearance he was greeted with a burs