In the north of Italy the dowry consists of gold ornaments, and a bride will sometimes have as many as twenty-three gold rings upon her fingers at the wedding.

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Just as among old-fashioned folk in England at the beginning of the century it was thought incorrect for a betrothed girl to visit her future husband's house, so the young Tuscan peasant of our day is ordered, as she values her reputation, never to approach her lover's dwelling, and even in her walks to avoid it.

A valuer has meanwhile drawn up an inventory of the bride's belongings, and this paper is delivered to the capoccio of the bridegroom's house.

A friend of the present writer met a cart drawn by white oxen, decked with gorgeous head-fringes, on the road between Scirollo and Loreto.

The cart was laden with linen and household goods, two immense and gaily decorated pillows topping the pile.

These become heirlooms and are portioned out to the daughters of the house as they marry.

In many parts of Italy the dowry is brought with great pomp to the bridegroom's house the day before the wedding.In Venice they prefer to be married at the earliest morning mass ; in some parts of the Val d'Arno after sundown.The Tuscan bride wears a black dress, with a white bonnet or cap, while even in the coldest weather she carries a fan.The Venetian bride walks by the canal side on the compare's arm, in her second-best wedding dress, for only the evening dance witnesses her best display of finery.The bridegroom and the comare follow in their wake, and thus they go to church in procession.Marry on Monday and you are sure to go mad ; on Tuesday, and there is the prospect of endless suffering before you ; " while Thursday, as the witches' combing-day, is out of the question.