But the word Vatican is familiar to travellers in another signification: that Of a place with museums of matchless sculpture; and a gallery of paintings, and a chapel whose paintings are yet more famous. This does not help them to understand the first signification. The number of English people who have visited the Vatican Collections without giving any thought beyond them to the Vatican is very great. This is excusable because there is no guide-book in English, and no adequate guide-book in any language, to the Vatican as a Palace. The reason is not hard to discover. In the days before the cataclysm of 1870, when Pius IX. Was on the Papal Throne reigning like an Augustus, the insatiable curiosity which characterises readers pampered by the gossip-loving periodicals of the twentieth century had not demanded what we call books 0/ travel, meaning books of sight-seeing, which are so popular now. And since 1870 the Vatican has been in mourning.