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Ferrara is a poor, deserted city of some 30,000 inhabitants, dwelling in a town built for 100,000. Side streets vacant, houses out of repair, weather-stained, and a world too large for their present occupants, grassgrown courts, ragged old people; this is the picture of these ancient Italian cities. Padua is but a little more lively, with its university attended by 400 to 500 students.

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Venice, the city risen from the sea," is the point to which the traveller hastens. It is perhaps the only city in the world which does not disappoint his expectations. It is, indeed, a dream-like creation upon the waters. Gondolas meet you at Fusina or Mestre, where you leave the carriage, to ferry you across to Venice, a distance of about four miles over a shallow lagune, in which the water-road is marked out by large piles. The gondola is a wherry, not so neatly built as the Thames wherry, with the upper half of a mourning hackney-coach, such as our undertakers send out in the rear of a burial train, stuck midships. In this the sengers sit, or recline on cushions, and may shut themselves up as in a coach with the glass-windows or the blinds. Two fellows at opposite ends and sides of the boat stand shoving the oars from them, and paddle along pretty quickly, avoiding the running foul of other gondolas with great dexterity, it is said; but, in truth, there has been no great danger of running foul of others in the most frequented canals of Venice in this nineteenth century. In turning corners they might possibly bump against each other, and they give a short cry, to warn those coming down the water street to keep to the right or left. The gondolier has nothing of the seaman about him, and out of his own ditches, would, I suspect, be found a sorry boatman; for the boat part of his conveyance is not so neat, nor so well kept as the coach part. Venice is not without her streets. There is access by land to every house in Venice. Thousands of little alleys, like Cranbourne


merable, make the landways not even very circuitous, and the great mass of the population go about their daily business as in other towns, through the streets. The gondolas are but the equivalents of the hackneycoaches of other cities. I question if a greater proportion of the 100,000 people living in the Tower Hamlets, Ratcliffe, Poplar, and on either side of the Thames in that district, be not upon the water in any given minute of the day, than of this 100,000 people. The lower classes, and even the gondoliers, have by no means the air of a seafaring or even of an aquatic population. Our London boatmen, even those who ply above bridge, have all something jack-tarish about them. would never mistake the man who lives by his boat among us for a terrestrial biped. Here, even about the dock-yard, or in the boats of the guardship, a frigate, you do not see a man in gait and appearance like a seaman. But for the anchor in their caps, the men of their ship-of-war might be taken for dismounted dragoons as readily as for seamen. This want of charac teristic appearance of any class of men among the populations of the south of Europe is remarkable. In northern countries, the soldier, the sailor, the husbandman, the tailor, the smith, the shoemaker, the mechanic, the gentleman, have, each class, something about them not to be mistaken, dress them as you will, — an appearance, a something peculiar to their craft or class. It is expressed, or expected, even in all paintings of the Dutch or English school. But in Italian life or pictures, nothing of this peculiar characteristic appearance of a class is to be found. It is by his appendages of dress only you distinguish the soldier from the priest. It is probable, therefore, this characteristic something in the appearance does not exist in such intensity among southern populations. What is this something? I take it to be expression of mind strongly applied to one single object or train of objects, affecting in time the deportment, the language, the way of thinking, the manners, the very gait, face, and air

of the individual, and making him brother-like to all others of the same occupation. In the countries in which less industry is required to obtain a living, the mind, the will, and even the muscles and positions of the body, are less constantly and intensely applied and exercised in the one way peculiar to the craft or profession by which the individual gains his living, and obtain no such preponderance over the ordinary appearance common to all.

The canals of Venice are very clean for canals, but still they are canals smelling now and then of bilge water. There is a rise and fall of tide here of about three feet, but no current. It is singular that here, at the head of the Adriatic, there should be a visible ebb and flood, and none on the shores of the Mediterranean itself. A long island or bar of sand, called the Lido, runs across the head of this narrow sea, about three miles below Venice, leaving a passage between each end of it and the main land. The sea runs in by these passages or mouths, forming a lagoon behind this island, of considerable extent, but very shallow (not above 18 feet in the deepest of the navigable channels), so that the difference between ebb and flood, not perceptible on the shores of the wide and deep Mediterranean, (which in general is very deep all round, and close to the Italian shores,) is shown here by laying dry, and covering the mud banks in this shallow lagoon. Venice is built upon the little islets in this little sea, covering them so entirely with her buildings, that she may be truly described as a city springing from the waters. No natural land is to be seen-all is water or wall. It is possible that some individuals here may be strangers to the ordinary appearances of animal and vegetable life in the country, may never have seen growing corn, nor heard the lark singing, and know not what the country means.

Whoever regrets the decay of Venice, the extinction of her independence as a state, regrets the advance of society from barbarism to civilisation. The Republic

of Venice was a huge compound of all the evil principles of a social condition collected together under an oligarchy. Despotism, intolerance, mutual distrust among those wielding the power, disregard of the people, cruelty, secrecy, terrorism, all the extreme evils of bad government, were united here. It has passed away, and even the relics of its former greatness are rapidly decaying the palaces, quays, bridges. In some future age, the traveller may be inquiring, Where stood Venice? The port of this queen of the seas has at present in it two foreign brigs, a government guard-ship, and some small craft. The appearance of Venice is probably more novel and impressive now in her decay, than in her best days. When her port was crowded with vessels, her canals with lighters conveying goods, her quays with merchandise, she may have been very like some parts of Amsterdam, or other great commercial cities penetrated by canals. In her present state she is unique, because it is not the movement of a seaport or commercial town upon her waters, but the ordinary communications of her own inhabitants with each other. Shipping and trade are not seen in it. The coasting trade of Venice, however, in small craft, is not inconsiderable. The The very supply of 115,000 people, a strong garrison, a naval depôt, and a host of public functionaries employed in the civil government of the district, with every article, even to the fresh water they use, must employ many market boats, and small craft. Foreign trade at all times has only been forced into this channel; and its present course, by which consumers in this part of Europe receive their supplies through Trieste, a port nearer to them and to the producers, with more convenience and saving of time for shipping, is undoubtedly more natural and advantageous. We see with regret the decay of ancient power and magnificence; but where these were founded on monopoly and oppression, and when we see the supply of the necessaries and comforts of life better, cheaper, and more widely diffused through society by

the downfal of this grandeur and power, we may dry our eyes, and be consoled. The extinction of the independence of Venice, and the transfer of her territory to Austria, however iniquitous in principle and execution, has been of advantage to the inhabitants of the old Venetian states. A government strong like the Austrian can afford to be impartial, favours no one class in systematic, uncontrolled oppression; and where one ruling class had uncontrolled power, as the nobility had in the old Venetian state, raises in reality the condition of the other classes, by depressing this formerly dominant class, subjecting all to equal and known law, and giving security and protection to every man against petty authority. Abuses from power lodged in the hands of incompetent, arrogant, or stupid, but still responsible functionaries, are more tolerable and curable, than those of a powerful irresponsible class of nobility without a king.

It strikes the traveller, that here, among the insulated population of a decaying city, he sees no mendicity, and very little extreme poverty; while Bologna, Ferrara, Padua, and all the other towns he passes through (Florence alone excepted), are full of beggars, or beggarly people, ill clothed, apparently ill fed, and idle. What may be the cause of this striking difference in Venice? Mendicity is less common, because it is less of a trade here, the classes who have any thing to give going generally by water, so that there are few streetstations in which a mendicant could place himself with a certainty of finding passengers who could relieve him. But poverty and idleness are less prevalent also, because the position of this insulated population creates a check upon their increasing beyond the means of subsistence. There can be no marrying here among the lower class upon the vague hope of finding a living some how. A some-how living is out of all question here, even in hope, because land-work, garden-work, horse-work, and the millions of ramifications of labour connected with these found in other cities, are by

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