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A certain accumulation of these immunities constitutes, with a solitary and recent exception in Switzerland, the essence of European liberty, even at this hour. It is scarcely necessary to tell the reader that this freedom, be it more or less, depends on a principle entirely different from our Here the immunities do not proceed from, but they are granted to the government; being, in other words, concessions of natural rights made by the people to the state, for the benefits of social protection. So long as this vital difference shall exist between ourselves and other nations, it will be vain to think of finding material analogies in the institutions. It is true that, in an age like this, public opinion is itself a charter, and that the most despotic government which exists within the pale of Christendom, must, in some degree, respect its influence. The mildest and justest governments in Europe are, at this moment, theoretically despotisms. The characters of both prince and people enter largely into the consideration of so extraordinary results, but it should never be forgotten that, though the character of the latter be sufficiently secure, that of the former is liable to change. Admitting, however, every benefit which can possibly flow from a just administration, with wise and humane princes, a government which is not properly based on the people, possesses an unavoidable and oppressive evil of the first magnitude, in that of the necessity of supporting itself by physical force and onerous impositions, against the natural action of the majority.

Were we to characterise a republic, we should say it is

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on a large than on a small scale, though contrary to brillian theories which have been written to uphold different institutions, must be evident on the smallest reflection, since the danger of all popular governments is from popular mistakes, and a people of diversified interests and extended territorial possessions are much less likely to be their subjects than the inhabitants of a single town or county. If to this definition we should add, as an infallible test of the genus, that a true republic is a government of which all others are jealous and vituperative on the instinct of self-preservation, we believe there would be no mistaking the class. How far Venice would have been obnoxious to this proof, the reader is left to judge for himself.

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CHAPTER I.

"I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs,
A palace and a prison on each hand;

I saw from out the wave her structures rise,
As from the stroke of the enchanter's wand:
A thousand years their cloudy wings expand
Around me, and a dying glory smiles

O'er the far times, when many a subject land
Look'd to the winged lions' marble piles,

Where Venice sat in state, thron'd on her hundred isles."

BYRON.

THE sun had disappeared behind the summits of the Tyrolean Alps, and the moon was already risen above the low barrier of the Lido. Hundreds of pedestrians were pouring out of the narrow streets of Venice into the square of St. Mark, like water gushing through some strait aqueduct, into a broad and bubbling basin. Gallant cavalieri and grave cittadini; soldiers of Dalmatia, and seamen of the galleys; dames of the city, and females of lighter manners; jewellers of the Rialto, and traders from the Levant; Jew, Turk, and Christian; traveller, adven turer, podestà, valet, avvocato and gondolier, held their

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melody of the flute; the grimace of the buffoon, and tl tragic frown of the improvisatore; the pyramid of the tesque, the compelled and melancholy smile of the harpis cries of water-sellers, cowls of monks, plumage of warrior hum of voices, and the universal movement and bustl added to the more permanent objects of the place, rendere the scene the most remarkable of Christendom.

On the very confines of that line which separates wes ern from eastern Europe, and in constant communic tion with the latter, Venice possessed a greater admixtu of character and costume, than any other of the numero ports of that region. A portion of this peculiarity is st to be observed, under the fallen fortunes of the place; b at the period of our tale, the city of the isles, though I longer mistress of the Mediterranean, nor even of the Adr atic, was still rich and powerful. Her influence was fe in the councils of the civilized world; and her commerc though waning, was yet sufficient to uphold the vast po sessions of those families, whose ancestors had become ri in the day of her prosperity. Men lived among her islan in that state of incipient lethargy, which marks the progre of a downward course, whether the decline be of a mor or of a physical decay.

At the hour we have named, the vast parallelogram the piazza was filling fast, the cafés and casinos within th porticoes, which surround three of its sides, being alread thronged with company. While all beneath the arches w gay and brilliant with the flare of torch and lamp, t noble range of edifices called the Procuratories, the ma sive pile of the ducal palace, the most ancient christia church, the granite columns of the piazzetta, the triumph masts of the great square, and the giddy tower of the car

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