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“ themselves from the imputation of inaccuracy, for it is not “ possible to conjecture whether they are right or wrong « whilst the sources of their information are concealed.” M. Cibrario can say all this, and much more of his own work. His researches are extended over a good number of years, taken from undoubted sources, being the original household and account books of a large number of governors of fortresses and provinces, noble families and princely houses, and embracing all manners of objects. These documents, all inedited, are faithfully quoted, so that, not only the application of this information, but the sources from which it is derived, are altogether new, never having before attracted the attention of the antiquarian or the historian. The tables drawn up by the author are to be divided into four classes, as the reader may perceive from the following words of M. Cibrario: “ Inserirò,” he says, “ quì appresso le tavole del prezzo de'
grani per centonove anni cioè dal 1289 al 1397; Il para
gone del vario prezzo de' grani in diversi mesi d'un anno “ medesimo; Le tavole del ragguaglio delle antiche monete “ colla moneta corrente ; Le tavole dei prezzi di tutte le prin“ cipali opere e cose che erano in commercio."- Page 479.
Before giving the last series of tables here mentioned, M, Cibrario gives us a very interesting chapter on commerce, navigation, credit,” &c. in which we cannot avoid noticing three statements utterly unintelligible, as we think, and in which some glaring error of the press must have occurred : « Quando i Bardi e Peruzzi banchieri del Re d'Inghilterra “ fallirono la prima volta nel 1339, tenean credito verso detto “re d'un milione e trecento sessantacinque mila fiorini, il che o viene ad essere in moneta corrente £274,870,05 :" and to this incomprehensible cipher is added the following note: “S'inganna il dotto signor conte Pecchio ragguagliando quella “ somma di fiorini a soli settantacinque milioni di lire nostre." It is this note that has made us notice these statements, as it seems to exclude the supposition of an error in printing. Further on the author continues, "Nel 1337, Giovanni Salim“ beni ebbe a distribuire circa a cento mila fiorini (20,386,20).” This is likewise unintelligible. Then we find, “Nel 1357, a “ Siena era il valsente di venti milioni di fiorini che corrisponde
think it is, the last numbers are meant to represent two millions, &c. (2,038,620), and the former ones twenty-seven millions, &c. (27,487,005), that is little more than one third of the sum mentioned by Pecchio, whose fault is to overstate the real amount,--not understate it, as M. Cibrario's words “ soli settantacinque milioni,” would make us to believe. These sums ought always to be written out at full length, to prevent mistakes of this description, scarcely avoidable by readers when authors themselves are so apt to fall into them.
The failure mentioned by M. Cibrario of the two great banking-houses Bardi and Peruzzi, had a most disastrous effect on the commercial transactions of Tuscany, as well as of all the rest of Italy. Villani, on mentioning the subject with some minuteness and in two different places of his history (book xi. ch. 87, and book xii. ch. 54), does not fail to observe how much public credit was shaken by such an occurrence, and how wide-spread were the consequences of those failures. A large number of smaller commercial houses, and of private individuals, who had deposited their funds in the hands of either the Bardis or the Peruzzis, were ruined. That old and contemporary historian reproaches these bankers with having so foolishly placed themselves and the property entrusted to them at the mercy of a foreign sovereign-our Edward III.—who, being unable to fulfil his engagements, was the cause of their disaster. Mr. Bond, of the British Museum, has discovered among the Cottonian Manuscripts in that institution (Nero, B. vii. fol. 4.) a letter of the republic of Florence to Edward III., in which it is stated that the Bardis and their partners and families were reduced to great distress after their bankruptcies, consequent upon his having failed to fulfil his engagements towards them. The republic earnestly entreat the king to relieve the pressing wants of these persons, by repaying them, if not what was owing to them, at least enough to support themselves. Having been favoured by Mr. Bond with a copy of this interet ing document, we beg to submit it to our readers :
Regum gloriosissime et domine! Quia tronus regius clementia roboratur, perinde confidentius ad mayestatis vestræ diadema sublime recurrimus, in favorem sociorum hactenus societatis Bardorum de Florentia. Ipsi enim socii et successores eorum occasione dissolutæ societatis prædictæ facti sunt de locupletibus pauperes et egeni, in tantum quod gravati propter copiosa servitia quæ dicti olim socii contulerunt vestræ mayestati, ponentes fere totum hæs eorum in servitium mayestatis affatæ, tempore guerræ præcipue, quo tempore vestra serenitas pecunioso suffragio indigere dicebatur. Dictorum igitur dudum sociorum filios et successores creditores vestræ celsitudinis quantum efficacius possumus et humilius vestro culmini regio commendamus, supplicantes mayestati præfatæ quatenus in eos munificentiæ vestræ dexteram extendentes, dignemini misericorditer agere cum eisdem, et de ærario regio vel aliter subvenientes eisdem, liberalitate regia quam decet erga servitores suos fore propitiam et clementem ; ut, qui maximam quantitatem pecuniæ in obsequiis regiis effuderunt, restitutionis ejusdem vel saltem subventionis pro manutentione status ipsorum sub mayestatis vestræ trono non fiant expertes. Prædicta quippe honorem sublimitatis regiæ cernunt; ipsique et nos nostraque communitas perinde erimus ad fidelia obsequia et mandata dispositi regiæ voluntatis; quam sospicem conservet omnipotens regno suo! Data Florentiæ, die xxx. Januarii x. indictionis. [A.D. 1357 ?]
Devotissimi mayestatis v....
Heduardo, Dei gratia, Angliæ et Franciæ Regi." The last of the series of tables given by M. Cibrario is extremely useful and amusing, giving us an insight into the domestic life of the great Italian families in the middle ages, their economical arrangements, luxury in dress and eating, &c. the cost of their pastimes, and therefore of the importance attached to them, &c. In 1303 Amedeo V. bought, in London, two paintings of the “trois morts et trois vifs,” for which he paid 40s. 6d., equal to about 348 francs, or 141. in our own days in Piedmont*. In 1365, a horse (destrier), given by
vexillifer justificet } populi et communis
M. Cibrario has the following observation on this entry:
“ Allusivi a una famosa leggenda composta poco prima intitolata il dire dei tre morti e dei tre vivi.” This leggenda or dire was very popular in the middle ages. The morale of it consisted in calling man's mind to the vanity and futility of worldly splendour by comparing it with the hideousness of a skeleton or corpse. There were several of these legends on this subject by various hands. In the Catalogue Lavalliere, n. 2736, is described a MS. collection of French prose and poetry of the latter end of the thirteenth century,
which contains two of these compositions: The first, (N. 22.) begins
Ce sont li jij morts et li jij vis
Que boudouins de Conde fist. The second, (N. 23.)
Chi commenche li iij mors et li iij vis
Ke maistres nicholes de marginal fist. Mr. Douce (Dance of Death, Lond. 1833, p. 31) thinks that the earliest allusion to this legend is perhaps that occurring in the Campo Santo of Pisa, by Orgagna. “ The painter," he says, “ has introduced three young men on horseback, with coronets on their caps, and who are attended by several domestics whilst pursuing the amusement of hawking. They arrive at the cell of St. Macarius, an Egyptian
Amedeo VI. to Galeazzo Visconti, cost one thousand florins (19,496 francs), and two little female slaves, bought by the same prince in 1367, at Constantinople, cost 72 perperi, (730 francs). English horses, even then, were imported into Italy, and must have been in great request, since the duty which they paid at Bard was comparatively enormous. In 1283 there went through Bard 2225 common horses, and 99 English ones. The former paid 9 danari viennesi (1 fr. 55 cent. each, or 18. 3 d.), the latter paid 1s. ld. each, (now equivalent to 12 fr. 88 cent., or 10s. 8 d.).—Page 434.
We beg to conclude our remarks with recommending this work to such readers as feel an interest in economical and historical researches, as well as to those who wish to acquire sound information on interesting subjects conveyed in an agreeable form. Whatever has appeared to us to call for improvement can be easily altered in a second edition : the plan of the work, its general execution, the importance of the subject deserve nothing but praise, and the author must obtain it from all candid judges.
well as it can be made out, (corrected from the work Pitture del Campo di Santo di Pisa, engraved by Lasinio, which seems to have been unknown to Douce]:
Se nostra mente fia [fosse ?) bene accorta
La superbia e sarà da morte (sic); and with the other points to three open coffins, in which are a skeleton and two dead bodies, one of them a king." Vasari, in the life of Orgagna, says, “ E poi da basso San Machario, che mostra a que' tre re che cavalcando con loro donne e brigata vanno a caccia, la miseria umana in tre re che morti, e non del tutto consumati, giacciono in una sepoltura, con attenzione guardata dai re vivi," &c. In the library of the British Museum there is a beautiful MS., forming part of the Arundel Collection, containing an illumination, which at the beginning of the inner column of the page, represents three kings; and three dead bodies, or skeletons, at the beginning of the outer columns. Under the first illumination is written de vivis regibus; under the second de mortuis regibus ; each rubric followed by a French poetical dialogue. But there is no doubt the work was executed in England, there being at the top of the page the following quatrain, written all in one line:
“ Ich am afert. Lo what ich se
Me pinkehit. Bep deueles þre
For Godes loue. Be wer by me.” The first two lines are, of course, spoken by the living kings, and the twoʻlast by the dead ones. The MS. is of the earliest part of the fourteenth century, and seems not to have been known to Mr. Douce. See Catalogue of MSS. in the Brit. Museum, new series, p. 22, n. 83. A copy of the French dialogue is given at the conclusion of the preface, and the outline of the illumination has been engraved at the end of the volume.
Recent Occurrences at Cracow. Among the political problems whose solution is of vital interest to the preservation of the balance of power in Europe, is one whose importance is in inverse ratio to the territorial extent of the country most concerned; but which involves some of the most sacred principles of international law. We allude to the Free Town of Cracow," the vicissitudes of whose fortunes we have before now taken occasion to dilate upon, and more especially at a former period, when our Minister for Foreign Affairs had solemnly, in his place in Parliament, promised to send an English Resident thither,-a promise which our readers probably well know remains to this day unfulfilled.
To show however that the necessity for this step was not exaggerated by us, and to recall to their memory the principal facts of interest respecting this last remnant of Polish nationality, we propose to detail in as summary a form as we can, the circumstances under which the Republic of Cracow was established, the treaties by which its independence was placed under the guaranty of the Great Powers of Europe, and the systematic and, alas ! unresisted violation of every stipulation by certain of those Great Powers, so solemnly appointed its defenders. Our rapid narrative of the sufferings of the “ Free State” is derived from official documents; its object is to correct the errors which prevail, and to refute the misrepresentations which self-interested tyranny, shrinking from the light, has succeeded in spreading. After the last partition of Poland in 1795, Cracow underwent many vicissitudes; from 1795 to 1809 she remained under the domination of Austria ; in 1809 she was incorporated in the grand duchy of Warsaw; at a later period, ceded to Prussia by the Emperor Alexander, she again became, in 1815, an integral portion of the grand duchy. The last fundamental pact of the Republic rests on the arrangements made by the Great Powers in 1815, and the separate treaties concluded by them amongst themselves, at the Congress of Vienna. These treaties are dated the 3rd of