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Note 9, page 100, line 3.
The “Planter of the Lion.” Plant the Lion that is, the Lion of St. Mark, the standard of the republic, which is the orgin of the word Pantaloon - Piantaleone, Pantaleon, Pantaloon.
Note 10, pag 100, line 16 and 17.
Too oft remind her who and what enthrals. The population of Venice at the end of the seventeenth century amounted to nearly two hundred thousand souls. At the last census, taken two years, it was than about one hundred and three thousand, and it diminishes daily The commerce and the official employments, which were to be the unexhausted source of Venetian grandeur, have both expired. Most of the patrician mansions are deserted, and would gradually disappear, had not the government, alarmed by the demolition of seventytwo, during the last two years, expressly forbidden this sad resource of poverty. Many remnants of the Venetian nobility are now scattered and confounded with the wealthier. Jews upon the banks of the Brenta, whose palladian palaces have sunk, or are sinking, in the general decay. Of the “gentiluomo Veneto,” the name is still known, and that is all.
I “Nonnullorum è nobilitate immensae sunt opes, adeo ut vix aestimari possint: id quod tribus è rebus oritur, parsimonia, commercio, atque iis emolumentis, quae e Repub. percipiunt, quae hanc ob causam diuturna fore creditur." Seo de Principatibus Italiae, Tractatus. edit. 1631,
is but the shadow of his former self, but he is polite' and kind. It surely may be pardoned to him if he is querulous. Whatever may have been the vices of the republic, and although the natural term of its existence may be thought by foreigners to have arrived in the due course of mortality, only one sentiment can be expected from the Venetians themselves. At no time wera the subjects of the republic so unanimous in their resolution to rally round the standard of St. Mark, when it was for the last time unfurled; and the cowardice and the treachery of the few patricians who recommended the fatal neutrality, were confined to the persons of the traitors themselves.
The present race cannot be thought to regret the lose of their aristocratical forms, and too despotic government; they think only on their vanished independence. They pine away at the remembrance, and on this subject suspend for a moment their gay good homour, Venice may be said, in the words of the scripture, “to die daily;” and so general and so apparent is the decline, as to become painful to a stranger, not reconciled to the sight of a whole nation expiring as it were before his eyes. So artificial a creation having lost that principle which called it into life and supported its existence, must fall to pieces at once, and sink more rapidly than it rose. The abhorrence of slavery which drove the Venetians to the sea, has, since their disaster, forced them to the land, where they may be at least overlooked amongst the crowd of dependans, and not present the humiliating spectacle of a whole nation loaded with recent chains. Their liveliness, their affability, and that happy indifference which constitution alone can gire, for philosophy aspires to it in vain, have not sunk under circumstances;
but many peculiarities of costume and manner have by degrees been lost, and the nobles, with a pride common to all Italians who have been masters, have not been persuaded to parade their insignificance, That splendour which was a proof and a portion of their power, they would not degrade into the trappings of their subjection. They retired from the space which they had occupied in the eyes of their fellow citizens ; their continuance in which would have been a symptom of acquiescence, and an insult to those who suffered by the common misfortune. Those who remained in the degraded capital, might be said rather to haunt the scenes of their departed power, than to live in them. The réffection, “who and what enthrals,” will hardly bear a comment from one who is, nationally, the friend and the ally of the conqueror. It however, be allowed to say thus much, that to those who wish to recover their independence, any masters must be an object of detestation ; and it may be safely foretold that this unprofitable aversion will not have been corrected before Venice shall have sunk into the slime of her choked canals.
Note 11, page 101, line 3.
Note 12, page 102, line 5. And Otway , Radcliffe, Schiller , Shakspeare's art. Venice Preserved; Mysteries of Udolpho; the Ghostseer, or Armenian; the Merchant of Venice; Othello.
Note 13, page 103, lines. 1 and 2.
But from their nature will the tannen grow
Tannen is the plural of tanne, a species of fir peculiar to the Alps, which only thrives in very rocky parts, where scarcely soil sufficient for its nourihment can be found. On these spots it grows to a greater height than any other mountain tree.
Note 14, page 107, lines 1 and 2.
A single star is at her side, and reigns
The above description may seem fantastical or exaggerated to those who have never seen an Oriental or an Italian sky, yet it is but a literal and hardly sufficient delineation of an August evening (the eighteenth) as contemplated in one of many rides along the banks of the Brenta near La mira.
Note 15, page 108, lines 8 and 9.
Watering the tree which bears his lady's name With his melodious tears, he gave himself to fame. Thanks to the critical acumen of a Scotchman, we now know as little of Laura as ever. The discoveries of the
Abbé de Sade, his triumphs his sneers, can no longer
See An historical and critical Essay on the Life and Character of Petrarch; and a Dissertation on an Historical Hypothesis of the Abbé de Sade: the first appeared about the year 1784; the other is inserted in the fourth volume of the Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and both have been incorporated into a work, published, under the first title, by Ballantyne in 1810.
We must not, however, think that these memoirs are as much a romance as Belisarius or the Incas, although we are told so hy Dr. Beattie, a great name but a little authority. 2 “labour' has not been in vain, notwithstanding his "love" has, like most other passions, made him ridiculous. 3 The hypothesis which overpowered the struggling Italians, and carried along less interested critics in its current, is run out. Whe have another proof that we can be never sure that the paradox, the most singular, and therefore having the most agreeable and authentic air, will not give place to the re-established ancient prejudice.
It seems, then first, that Laura was born, lived, died, and was buried, not in Avignon, but in the country. The fountains of the Sorga, the thickets of Cabrieres, may resume their pretentions, and the exploded de la Bastie again be heard with complacency. The hypothesis of the Abbé had no stronger props than the parchment sonnet and medal found on the skeleton of the wife of Hugo de Sade, and the manuscript note to the Virgil of Petrarch, now in the Ambrosian library. If these proofs were both incontestable, the poetry was written, the medal composed, cast, and deposited within the space of twelve hours; and these deliberate duties were performed round the carcase of one who died of the plague, and was hurried to the grave on the day
Memoires pour la Vie de Pétrarque. 2 Mr. Gibbon called his Memoirs"" a labour of love,” (see Decline and Fall, cap. lxx. note 1.), and followed him with confidence and delight. The compiler of a very voluminous work must take much criticism upon trust; Mr. Gibbon has done so, though not so readily as som, other authors.