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hue of romance settles over daily in reality powerfully felt. Contrast
existence in Venice than elsewhere ; this Venetian ordinance with the de-
and this is chiefly occasioned by the crees of the French Consular and Im-
peculiarity of its situation as a city. perial Governments, regulating the
An intense consciousness of life, a lace and embroidery on the dresses
fermentation of the passions, and a of Princes, Chamberlains, Senators,
quick and tingling, sympathy with and Members of the Legislative Boo
those of others, result from the close- dy! The difference is such as we
ness of the neighbourhood :-the feel. ought to find distinguishing what is
ings and sensations are also fed and French from what is Italian.
heated by that voluptuous indolence, The Venetian character is in every
which change of place every where respect a concentrated one : the in-
else disturbs and dispels, but which habitant of Venice knows the peculi-
it here generates and pampers. arities of his condition, and regards
What Lady Mary Wortley Monta- them as his proud distinctions and
gue said of the Turkish dance, which privileges : he feels as a triton or
she saw performed to the fair re- a sea-god, in comparison with the
cluses of a seraglio, may be said of common mortals of the continent: to
an excursion in a gondola: it in- walk half a mile he considers an act
evitably suggests voluptuous ideas. of slavery and degradation: he seems
The lounger going to pay his visits, to himself to live in a more elegant
and the merchant to look after his and easy element than mankind in
affairs, glides along, reclining on general; he regards the water as an
cushions soft as eider-down, and bu- Arab, or a Parthian, regards his
ried in a curtained twilight. The ef- steed :- it is, at once, his crea-
fect of this mode of common com- ture, and a part of his being ;-he
munication on the disposition, is very cannot conceive human life to be en-
different from that of a walk along durable where a man's limbs must
the Strand, through Temple-bar, to transport him whither he wishes to
Fleet-street, and the Royal Ex- go. His prerogative, in this respect,
change!

couples itself with the historical hos An excitement of temperament, nours of his national name, and thus and inactivity of habit, we thus gives to the lowest Venetian a feelsee, are the natural effects of the ing of brotherhood with the highest, remarkable position of Venice, and -and of immeasurable superiority they form the most striking features over the inhabitants of terra firma. — in the Venetian character. The same At the last ridotto of the carnival of circumstances, too, by concentrating 1818,-a curious scene took place: the interest of life within narrow a gallant Englishman, profiting by bounds, render it more busy and the liberty which masks afforded to deep.—They also give to the man. the ladies, had given his arm to a feners of society a certain reserved, male of distinction, and was walking mysterious air, which, whether in with her up and down the ball-room. politics, business, or pleasure, has His regular mistress, belonging to the look of intrigue, and of more be- an inferior class of the people, mading meant than meets either the eye dened with jealousy, approached her

The old government of this rival, and attempted to tear off the vicelebrated republic Was quite in sor, which, under the circumstances, unison with such manners: it was was so necessary to its fair wearprompt, and violent, but secret and er. Horror pervaded the place; it calm. It did by spies the business was an attempt which alike shockof soldiers, and fostered the pride, ed national feeling, and alarmed inand gratified the passions of a haugh- dividual interests :—if masks were ty intolerant aristocracy, while it removable, what security could a ordained that no colour should be woman of character possess ? “ Are shown in public but black, that the you mad!” was exclaimed to the equality of citizens might not be in- exasperated aggressor:-" she is a sulted by the gaudy pretensions of lady (una dama) whom you have inwealthy vanity. In this, as in every sulted !"-" Io son' Veneziana," (I thing else here, there was evinced a am a Venetian,) was the dignified depth of sentiment, leading to a con- reply ; conveying, with Latin brevia, tempt for affecting to feel what was ty, the force of Roman feeling. Ta

or ear.

be a woman of Venice sets other dis-' mission of the Senate; and this was tinctions at nought.

not willingly given to pretty women. The history of Venice is peculiarly I was at that time said to be pretty; calculated to instil this conscious so I did not find it

easy to go about, pride in the national name. It ori-, as I wished. I did not scruple, howginated in popular resistance to op- ever, to take an occasional trip to pression; and, from humble self-de- Milan without saying any thing. I fence, the power of the state rose to ventured to do this, because the Inthe height of triumphant dominion. quisitors used to come to my parties ; Though, in the course of this rise, one indeed preferred coming to a têtethe mass of the people lost that liber- à-tête; so I felt pretty sure they ty which endeared to them the first would do me no harm : they might, piles that were driven to oppose the however, have imprisoned me in my waves of the Adriatic, threatening to own house for such a fault.” overwhelm them on their sand- This was the way to keep the peobanks, yet the language and titles ple of Venice strictly Venetians; and of their institutions continued to sug- the natural effect of such a system gest to them their favourite ideas; of policy was, to create a consciousand nominally, at least, their rulers ness of companionship (like that of

, and themselves were united in a school-fellows); a feeling of sympacommunity of fellowship, which the thy, and a necessary intimacy of comforms of a monarchy are calculated munication throughout society, unto destroy. The power which, in favourable to the regularity of mothe latter, is made personal, always rals, but calculated to beget a soft, remained national in the republic. and generous, and romantic spirit, The stern scrutiny and universal in- under the influence of which, volupterference of the authority of the go- tuous indulgence lost almost all its vernment, had the effect of connect- coarseness, and became in a measure ing the people with it in feeling, as reconciled to many of the virtues. members of a family of which it was This kindness and gentleness of disa the supreme. The most formidable position still mingle, in a remarkable officers of the state went about in degree, with the licence of private familiar society, dressed as common manners; they even give a sort of citizens, and chatting as common quiet enthusiasm to character, and visitors: this, while it gave them contribute not a little to confer that a prodigious influence, and a terri- poetical embellishment on daily life, ble knowledge as rulers, took off which it wears at Venice to an exthat look of estrangement and se- tent which I do not believe is elseparation which is often so offensive where equalled. to popular feeling in a court,—at the The age of the State of Venice is same time, it gave them opportuni- also one of the circumstances in her ties of qualifying the rigour of the situation, calculated to render the law, in things that were trifles to the national feeling of her people intense state, though of importance to the and exclusive. Sh can trace her comfort of individuals; and it is chief- origin clearly back to the first pile of ly when it is found galling in these her empire ; her history falls altogethat a government acquires the cha- ther within modern times, yet inracter of being tyrannical. A Vene- cludes almost every romantic, chitian “ Dama," experienced in the valrous, and poetical feature, which ways of Venice, -whom age has left a course backward into early obe fascinating, because nature has made livion could supply. The line of her her-amiable, used to speak to me magistrates, and the series of her with fervour, at her conversazioni, great exploits, are capable of being of the days of the old government:- retained in the memory of the vulgar, “ it had sadly dwindled down to us," while they suggest to their imagina-(said she,) « but it was still some- tion wonders as inspiring as those of thing which we at once feared and fabulous narrative. The Venetian, venerated. We all considered our- therefore, feels himself in full posselves the children of the State, and session of all the honours of the Ve it kept us in order with a good deal netian name; they come down to of severity. The members of noble him by unbroken descent, and with families durst not travel without per- a force still accumulating in their

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progress through time, having never sions; and one of scarlet, for the been interrupted by any of those grand church ceremonies. The black chasms, in which history is swallow- veil, worn by the ladies, was called ed up. The language of the vulgar zendal, or zendaletto,— and under in Venice is marked with phrases its protection they threaded the that intimate a sense of the great ex- throng of the carnival; faced the ploits of the republic, and provide for crowd of the square of Saint Mark, the perpetuity of their fame. If one at noon-day; and took their places, of the lower classes talks of quarrel- amongst the promiscuous company ling with another, he says, “I will of a coffee-room in the evening, make a war of Candia upon him!” known, perhaps, to some, but not and their oaths bear the character of refusing the proffered small-talk of the middle ages: they are assevera- any. The latter custom, divested of tions that transport us to the ranks the disguise which rendered it so of the crusaders; we seem to be lis- piquant, still exists :-it is true, that tening to the violent expressions of females of the very best society are not the soldiery of “ blind old Dandolo.” now to be seen in the public coffeeMuch more of the original Venetian rooms; but women, belonging to facharacter, indeed, is now preserved milies of wealth and high respecta-. amongst these classes, than with those bility, are still to be found spending who call themselves their betters. The their evenings in these places of refazziol fazzioletto, or graceful Vene- sort : not going in and out, as casual tian veil, is only to be seen now on visitants, which is common in France, the heads of the girls of humble con- but frequenting a particular house, dition. A more beautiful style of and even occupying a particular seat, dress cannot be imagined. The faz- duly as the evening comes. Their ziol is white, and is drawn down by presence there is regularly expected the side of each cheek, as we see in by their friends, and they are undersome of the statues of Roman ladies. stood to receive visits at their selected The black eyes, and long languishing coffee-room. Grace and propriety features of the young wearers, divide are wonderfully preserved on the Conthe folds in a way which it is safer tinent, under circumstances, and in the to describe than regard.

practice of customs, where they would With the higher orders, the Vene- be infallibly lost, and coarseness and tian peculiarities do not so much disgusting licence take their places, seem extinct as repressed: they are in England. From the habit just like actors retired from the stage, but mentioned, public intercourse gains with the strong propensity" still a vivacity and interest which it canin their breasts. The way of living not possess amongst colder and more in Venice had formerly all the in- cautious manners; and nothing is terest of a dramatic entertainment. seen to offend decency, or even alarm Women of respectable condition never decorum. Even in the free season of appeared out of doors but in masks. A the carnival, when women in masks, noble Venetian's wardrobe was that of without male companions, rush in a performer in a solemn pageant. He and out, and through the rooms of was obliged to possess eight different the coffee houses, at all hours of the cloaks; three of which, under the clas- night, they may safely calculate on sifying name of Bauta, were for his passing through the whole ordeal appearance in masquerade. The first unmolested by insult. The reason, was for wear in the spring and sum- perhaps, is, that intrigue is unimer,--and the principal occasion of versal. Beyond exclamation its display was the feast of Ascension, of “ ah, la bella mascheretta,” the when the Doge married the Adriatic: Venetian never goes, unless he finds -the second, for Autumn, apper- his flirtation acceptable. The secret tained more particularly to the the- of Continental manners, in this reatre, and the ridotto, or masked spect, seems to be, that the sexes ball : the third, for winter, sported are less separated in imagination throughout the gay carnival. His there than in England : our ideas of five other cloaks consisted of two for women partake of a mystical undesummer, both of white taffeta; one finable nature, which cannot be refor winter, of blue cloth; one of ferred to matter of fact, but springs white cloth, for great state occa- altogether from the workings of the

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imagination, like that species of men- dotto. Surrounded by the memotal exaltation which distinguishes rials of former magnificence, when some of the more severe of our reli- glory was united to enjoyment, he gious sects. When any thing is done devotes himself to enjoyment now to dispel this vision, where it exists, that glory is gone. Yet he is not respect and forbearance disappear at insensible to what he has lost: he once; while, on the Continent, the

seems to labour with a secret of restandard estimation being altogether gret,, and a desire of vengeance, of a lower pitch, is more invariably which a sentiment, compounded of adhered to.

fear and pride, hinders him from disBut to hear a noble Venetian lady closing. Speak to him of the merits of the old days, speak of the past, it of an opera-singer, or the charms of a would appear that what now strikes ballerina, and he gives loose to the a-stranger as free, gay, and uncon

enthusiasm of his disposition: “ Oh strained in the manners of the place, la bella!he exclaims, in a tone as if is mere dullness in comparison with he were sucking into his soul, as one the picture it once afforded. The sucks the heart of an orange, all the government of the aristocracy com

moral and physical beauty of the bined greater degrees of political ty- universe. But make an allusion to ranny and social licence than modern the political condition of his country; times can parallel : innumerable were to the hopes excited and betrayed in its galas to the gentry, its shows and the course of late events; to the sad amusements to the populace: the story of fluctuation which his city masked paramour, and the state spy tells, now that the Austrians have went together throughout Venice: the found it necessary to pass a law, prosquare of Saint Mark was constantly hibiting the owners of marble pacrowded with mountebanks, gallants, laces from pulling them down for the mistresses, merchants from Aleppo, sake of selling their materials do friars, peasants from Friuli, dressed this, and his features may be instante as for a melo-drama, and musicians, ly seen to drop into an expression of cooks, and processions. The Inqui- grief mingled with suspicion, and a sitors overlooked the motley group despairing indifference :-he regards from the windows of the Dogal Pa- you silently with his large black eyes; lace, and dispatched their sbirri to perhaps a few words escape from his conduct the denounced over the lips, but what he utters is hopeless “ bridge of sighs!" Voluptuous en

and uncomplaining. “ Destiny-desjoyment, and the pleasures of taste tiny, -we must all bow our heads to and grandeur, were made the diver- destiny !" said a Venetian gentleman sion from polítical reflection and dis- to me, when I was expressing comcussion; and the habit then engen- miseration of the fallen state of Vedered still exists. It is true Titian nice. Sometimes a quiet bitterness, no longer paints, Palladio no longer in the shape of a jest, marks the re builds; no glorious spoils now arrive ply :- What can be in the heads of from the East ; Senators and mem- your oppressors ?" was asked, in my bers of the Council of Ten have been hearing, of a nobleman of an old Ves displaced by hateful foreigners, and netian family :-" nothingwas the the long-featured large-eyed Italian laconic answer. It is their constant is stared out of countenance by the habit when such subjects are introwhiskered visages of Germany.' Yet duced, to insinuate some allusions to voluptuous pleasure is still deeply the “ palmy state of Rome,” and the rooted in his soul,-mingled with à ancient honours of the Italian name melancholy altogether poetical, for it -as if they wished to throw off the bears nothing of that look of care imputation of disgrace by appealing which sharpens its aspect in more

to the testimony of history. Can the northerly situations.-A Venetian of Italian nature have degenerated, they the present day passes the German ask? or are we only the victims of sentinel with a look of resolute care- circumstances ? They who observe lessness, lounges through the coffee- fairly and philosophically the wonroom, cheapens fruit, or drinks the derful qualities of this people, disfragrant levantine beverage, regards coverable as they are in the midst of the ruins of the state around him, their fallen condition, will scarcely be heavés a sigh, and goes to the rie able to prevail upon themselves to :

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deny to the Italian the benefit of the is classical, – for which reason he most flattering of these alternatives. would probably have denied magni

Such are the people whom the ficence to Babylon of old ;-but he stranger now finds at Venice; but, applies the epithet “ luminous” to whatever melancholy signs of the fluc- the style of Palladio, and it is pretuations of prosperity he may disco- cisely the word to characterise it. ver amongst them, the scenery of the There are three churches by this cecity-its external features, seem to lebrated man on the small island just have suffered nothing of change, and mentioned. Eustace seems to prefer they certainly come nearer the gran- of his buildings the San Georgio, in deur of an Arabian tale than any the island of that name; but I quite thing I had fancied to be in actual agree with Addison who was most existence. The square of Saint Mark; struck by the Redemptore, in the the mosque-like cathedral, covered Giudecca. Nothing can be more exwith grotesque figures in prodigious quisite than its light elegance. This mosaic work; its arches shining with beautiful building was erected as a gilding, and its whole exterior pre- monument of the thankfulness of Vesenting a union of the fantastic with nice for the cessation of a fierce pesthe grand,-oriental taste with west- tilence; and the Doge and great ofern wealth and power; the opening ficers of state used to go to it annuon the water between the two East- ally in procession, on the third Sunern Pillars — the spoils of the cru- day of July. The French, with their sades, on one of which stands “ the natural barbarity, let out this church winged lion;"—the severe front of the to an exhibitor of balloons, and inDogal palace, conveying a look of tended to sell it for the purpose of aristocratical authority, and bearing being pulled down for its materials. testimony by its architecture to the The merchants of the city of Venice triumphs of the republic in the east; redeemed it from their hands, and the quay of the Schiavi,-with its they continue to pay a clergyman to bridges, its prison, and the gaily co- officiate within its walls. loured barks, from the islands and Saint Mark appears to me to be the Dalmatian coast, run up on its the greatest curiosity, and one of the slope,—these present a picture, alto- most impressive objects in the class gether more oriental than Italian, but of edifices, that it is possible for a of most captivating and surprising traveller to see. It is florid and groeffect. Greeks, Turks, Armenians, tesque without; gloomy and strange mingle their costume with the white within. It is decorated with pillars veils of the Venetian girls. The vari. brought over from Jerusalem and ous wild states that border the eastern from Constantinople, the dissimilaside of the Adriatic, send here their rity of which suggests them to be mariners and traders : merchants trophies, and makes them appeal come here too from Syria and Egypt: more forcibly to the imagination. It they are all to be seen on the quay, is covered with representations in and in the square of Saint Mark, mosaic, one or two of them designs some smoking, some drinking coffee, by Titian, but most of them in the some bargaining - while in front style of the meagre artists of the low stretches a magnificent sheet of Greek empire, the subjects of which smooth water, in the middle of which are all religious, though the manner stands the island of the Giudecca,- of handling them is often offensive to confronting the eye of the spectator decency. Our Saviour, in one, is rewith the marble porticoes of Palladio! presented suffering the operation of The square of Saint Mark, as a fo- circumcision. This building stands reign traveller observes, is distin- a strange monument of the wild suguished by a picturesque majesty of perstitions of the age when it was appearance, which probably cannot built, of the fierce heroism of that be equalled in the world. It is the day, its barbarous taste, sublime fanplace of rendezvous for the advocates, cy, and ambition of grandeur. It is merchants, ambulatory comedians, a mass of consecrated robbery ; a pile musicians, improvisatori, and Aspa- of plunder applied to the purposes of sias. Eustace has done gross injus- devotion. It represents the young tice to Venice: he could not feel its and ardent republic, active and hardy beauty and sublimity because neither to seize, eager to possess, yet tog in

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