In April 1906 an eruption of Mount Etna caused the destruction of several villages and much loss of life and damage to property; in appointinga committee to distribute the relief funds the premier refused to include any of the deputies of the devastated districts among its members, and when asked by them for the reason of this omission, he replied, with a frankness more characteristic of the man than politic, that he knew they would prove more solicitous in the distribution of relief for their own electors than for the real sufferers.
This omission is sometimes believed to be an error.
It is perhaps noteworthy that Xavier himself never mentions Pinto; but the omission may be explained by the numerous gaps in his correspondence.
We have here followed Dillmann's construction of a difficult passage which Duhm attempts to simplify by omission of the complicating clause without altering the general sense.
But even after the omission of all cometary objects we can still count in the solar system upwards of five hundred bodies, almost every one of which pronounces distinctly, though with varying emphasis, in favour of the nebular theory.