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The most striking thing in the social life of this time is the domestic arrangement whereby every married woman was supposed to have at her beck and call, in addition to her husband, another cavalier, who was known as a cicisbeo and was the natural successor of the Florentine cavaliere before mentioned. Cicisbeism has been much criticised and much discussed as to its bearing upon public morals, and many opposite opinions have been expressed with regard to it. The Countess Martinengo Cesaresco, who is a most careful and able student of Italian life, has the following to say upon the subject: "He [the cicisbeo] was frequently a humble relative in every family were cadets too poor to marry, as they could not work for their living, or too sincere to become priests, to whom cavalier service secured a dinner, at any rate, if they wanted one. It was the custom to go to the theatre every evening the box at the opera was an integral part of the household arrangements, a continuation of the salon only it could not be reached without an escort. The chaperon did not exist, because a woman, no matter how old, was no escort for another woman, nor could she herself dispense with an attendant of the other sex. A dowager of sixty and a bride of sixteen had equally to stay at home if there was not a man to accompany them. The cavalier's service was particularly in request at the theatre, but he was more or less on duty whenever his lady left her house for any purpose, with the doubtful exception of going to church. No husband outside a honeymoon could be expected to perform all these functions: he, therefore, appointed or agreed upon the appointment of somebody else to act as his substitute. This was, in nine cases out of ten, the eminently unromantic cavalier servitude of fact. The high-flown, complimentary language, the profound bowing and hand-kissing of the period, combined to mystify strangers as to its real significance. Sometimes, when there was really a lover in the question, the cavalier servente must have been a serious impediment; he was always L