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royal garden near St. Mark's are the only green spots to break the sameness of the crockery tiles. The city seems like one isle out of the tower, from which the canals are unseen, connected with the main land by the bridge of the railroad (three miles long), leading to Milan. The hills of the west range up along the horizon, beyond which sleeps Ferrara. Odd looking chimneys, made apparently to catch rain, open their mouths in desperate yawns, while under and around them, upon the flat roofs, are frequently seen tables, chairs, and flowers, where resort at evening this air-loving people. The Adriatic is dotted with piles and gondolas, as well as with isles. To-day it is cloudy and gloomy. The breeze comes keen with driplets of rain. We take a glance at a few of the leaning towers of oozy Venice, and descend to visit the Ducal Palace.
The lion's mouth-sans the mouth-is at its old orifice of accusation. We enter superb stair-cases, passing the spot where Doge Marino Faliero was crowned and-hanged; and after looking until the eye aches at pictures of Venetians fighting Turks, and Doges being received and blessed by Popes, we find ourselves in the Great Council Chamber. It is a noble hall. At one end is a picture of Paradise, the largest oil painting in the world, being 85 by 35 feet. The room is 176 feet long and 185 broad, and is used as a library. How I love to enter a silent, solemn library, filled with the embound essence of the past, concentrated in words that 'live an immortality rather than a life.' Here, in this palace, lives have been strangled under the decree of the infernal Council of Ten; here the best blood of Venice was spilt at the beck of the cruel Decemvir; but in these alcoves the best compensation for blood is treasured up for a' life beyond life.' How calmly, now, do these spirits rest in their bindings of white. Not more peacefully rests their dust in the cerements of the grave.
"Here all the rage of controversy ends
And rival zealots rest like bosom friends:
And thin partitions angry chiefs divide;
And Bellarmine has rest at Luther's feet."
If these sectarian controversialists sleep not here, I am sure TASSO has repose in the bowers of his own muse, and DANTE feels no pang of exile in these hospitable shelves. All around are the forms of the Doges looking down upon their ancient hall. Only one portrait is wanting. A black curtain hangs over the place where Marino-the infamous-might have been.
The Venetian style of painting is admirable in more respects than having definitiveness of outline and clearness of expression, without which, whatever connoisseurs may say, painting is irksome to the eye, if not perplexing to the mind. Some persons make a merit of admiring paintings because they are dim and indefinite. The darker the outline, the more gloomy the figures and the greater the visual effort to see what the artist may have designed, the more excellent, in their eye, is the painting. To all such, we would simply say, "look to the Transfiguration of Raphael—the mightiest effort of the pencil; and if you can find in it any dim, dark uncertainty, clinging about the forms or the idea which they embody, then hang your galleries full of blackish landscapes and shady forms, and call them-beautiful." How much more admirable in this regard is the painting of Venice than the school of Naples! But hurry is the word! The Council of Ten no longer close their mysterious door. The Council of Three have lost their guard. We enter each. Aye! even the deep, dark dungeons where the political prisoner received the rack, and the massive doors which lead to the Bridge of Sighs opens, and with spectral lamplight we view each den of horror, and gaze out of those bars where the sad prisoners looked last at the clear moonlight which was reflected from the Adriatic! The instruments of fiendish torture were in the Arsenal. We only saw its exterior.
How these sights speak of the cruel past! What a pro
gress has man made even here, where Austria holds the key, since the golden days when the marriage ring was cast into the Adriatic! What a change could be marked upon that large globe in the library, where America in the sixteenth century is drawn in doubtful limning beyond the sea, and upon which I remarked the Florida Indians only as inhabiting the United States! Navigation has improved since the era when the Venetian ran to Crete and Byzantium, or planted the golden ball upon her mast as the symbol of her commercial glory.
In one respect the Venetians may boast. They have no dust to blind the eye of the passenger. Their streets are well watered. Another item is, that you hear no clatter of carriages or drays. No common council is troubled to death about paving the way. But as an offset, it must be confessed that piledriving is troublesome, although bathing is handy. Water for drinking is carried about upon the shoulders by women and sold. It is drawn from the wells of bronze in the Ducal Piazza, into which it is poured for filtration after being boated into the city.
With dirt and sea-weed as her foundation, Venice has arisen from the sea, a city of might, and of wonderful duration in the course of time. For thirteen centuries, she continued independent and potent, unattacked by the scourges of the North, who overran the beautiful plains of Lombardy; and during that time extended her sway over great nations, from the Pireus-whose lions yet adorn her harbor-to Constantinople, where her towers yet bespeak her conquests!
Lombardy,---The Garden of the World.
"Every tree, well from his fellow grew,
HE Austrian power is by no means to be contemned. One need not sojourn long even in Italy to ascertain that. This garden spot of the world, stretching from the Apennines and the Po to the Alps, has been sadly divided since our ancestral relatives, the Long Beards or Lombards, held it; and rejoiced to hold it under Queen Theolinda and the Iron Crown. A considerable portion of proud old Lombardy, including the Queen of the Adriatic, now owns the Austrian yoke. The treaty of Vienna, in 1814, which fixed, temporarily, the destiny of the Bonapartes (for the world is not yet done with them), also fixed in Austria all its former possessions, including Venice, which she had not before the revolutionary war. These possessions were erected into a distinct kingdom from that of Austria proper, and are known as the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom. There are two governments, Venice with 2,168,553 inhabitants, and Milan with some five thousand more than Venice.
These plains of Lombardy have ever been the theatre of ravages and wars. Long before Marengo, Lodi, and Arcoli were fought by Bonaparte, these fertile plains had attracted the eye of the savage Teutons, as they looked down through the Alpine passes. The best part of Italy, described by Virgil as the ubere glebae et potens armis,—the land of the mulberry and the worm, the vine and the olive-the realm of beautiful·lakes mir
roring lofty mountains,—the instructress of Christendom during the middle ages, in civil law and medicine,-now wears the badge of the Austrian, from the Northern to the Maritime Alps, stretching from the frontiers of Piedmont, where the Austrian in white uniform demanded our passports before we launched upon Maggiore, to the city of watery streets, which the reader has skimmed in my last chapter.
You may remember, that while at our hotel in Rome, one of the servants being a Republican, received a notice from Richard Roe, the government in possession, to quit the premises within a given time; and that we proposed to annex him to our confederacy. Well he met us, as agreed, in Venice, and by his knowledge of Italian, solved for us many difficulties. He bears the swelling and artistic name of Dominichino Pollano, and loves priests as do the other Republicans of 1848.
The Elector of Saxony, whom we shall ever respect as the successor to the great and good defender of Luther, was determined not to be left behind by us. We found him at the railroad station with his Queen, in the royal train, about to puff homeward. He seems always to beat us. We were behind him at the Venetian tower yesterday morn. We liked his homely and matter-of-fact air, but his aide-de-camp-Oh! mercy of me!
"He had so tricked himself with Art,
That of himself he was least part."
The Queen sat in her golden chair in the car, as it whizzed by the long stretched necks of prying Venetians, who seemed to snuff with eagerness the air of royalty. We were soon in full chase over the three-mile bridge, then out of the marshy land into the garden of gardens. On either side mulberries, festooned with and joined together by vines pendant with embryo clusters made vistas of exceeding loveliness. The trees were linked hand and hand by their green tendrils and branches, and as our cars dashed by, they danced jubilantly and gracefully. All nature was inwoven in one verdant texture; the ploughed fields, off of