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always faced the enemy, so in death I will not turn my back upon them."
WOLFE.—The death of this General, as related by Smollett, is equally animating. In the assault upon Quebec, he stationed himself where the attack was most warm, and as he stood conspicuous in the front of the line, he had been aimed at by the enemy's marksmen, and received a shot in the wrist, which however did not oblige him to quit the field. Having wrapped a handkerchief round his hand, he continued giving orders without the least emotion, and advanced at the head of the grenadiers with their bayonets fixed, when another ball unfortunately pierced the breast of this young hero, who fell in the arms of victory, just as the enemy gave way. When the fatal ball took place, General Wolfe finding himself unable to stand, leaned upon the shoulder of a lieutenant, who sat down for that purpose. The officer seeing the French give way, exclaimed, “ They run! they run !” “ Who run?” cried the gallant Wolfe, with great eagerness, when the lieutenant replied, “ the French !" “ then,” said he, “ I die happy.” So saying, the hero expired, in the 34th year of his age.
HALLER.—This celebrated physician perceiving his end approaching, kept feeling his pulse to the last moment, and when he found that life was almost gone, he turned to his brother physician and observed, “ My friend the artery ceases to beat,” and almost instantly expired.
ADRIAN.—This emperor dying, made that celebrated address to his soul which Pope has so beautifully translated,
CHATELAR was one of the many unfortunate individuals who were sacrificed at the shrine of Mary's beauty. From historical records it appears that this youth who was condemned to death for an improper attachment to his queen, met his fate with the greatest fortitude, and ascended the scaffold divested of every sentiment of fear. On the scaffold he made a very laconic address to the spectators, the subject of which is not recorded in history, and turning toward, the window of the chamber usually occupied by the queen, and which commanded a view of the spot, he still professed his unalterable, passion, and gloried at meeting his fate in such a cause : he then repeated some lines from the works of Ronsard, which were very applicable to his situation, and with a dauntless demeanour, gåve his head to the block, which was severed by the executioner at one blow.
· VENICE. This is the country of Titian, of Palladio, of Marcello, who from a nobleman became one of the finest musicians in Italy; of Bembo, one of the most liberal and accomplished of cardinals; of Paul Sarpi, who kept his countrymen independent of the church of Rome.
The Venetians are like a lively family cut off from the rest of Europe. Let the reader imagine himself pushing off from a sea-coast, and coming at a distance of a league and a half upon a city standing in the sea. This is Venice. It is built upon seventy-two little islands, the houses abutting directly upon the water, the finest of them without even a landing place but the stairs; so that instead of streets there are only canals of sea-water; and instead of coaches and carts, gona dolas and other boats. Perhaps the best idea the reader can have of a Venetian street, is to imagine a street like Portland Place, or rather a more winding one like the High Street at Oxford, mixed with nobler as well as smaller houses, and the full sea running through it, with abundance of boats of traffic and swift darting gondolas. The gondola is a sort of wherry, about five feet broad, and twenty-five long, covered with black cloth, and having a cabin standing up in the middle of it like the body of a caravan. The cabin is covered with black also, and has moveable windows with curtains. A Venetian gentleman keeps his gondola as an Englishman does his coach; only with much greater cheapness. The full compliment of a gondola is two rowers, who stand to their oars, one at each end, and with their faces the reverse way of our boatmen. They are very expert, and dart their gondolas in and out among the intricacies of this watery bustle, like fish. They are proverbial for their cheerfulness and honesty. They used to be famous for singing passages out of Tasso and other Italian poets; but political trouble has dashed the spirits even of the Venetian gondolier, and he is now comparatively mute.* The guitar, however, is still heard in Venice, especially of an evening; and the visitor continually hears those delightful dancing airs which have been collected and published in this country. The chief, or rather the only place of assemblage for the inhabitants of Venice out of doors (for they have a fine opera, and multitudes of opera houses within ) is a large square, containing the principal church, and the government offices. Here all ranks are accustomed to meet of an evening; and here something of amusement is generally going forward all day, from the guitar-player to the punchinello. There is very little more standing-room throughout the city ; and so little vegetation, that they call a court by way of eminence the Court of the Tree, and there is a church entitled our Lady of the Garden. There is a monastery with one of these gardens, such as they are; the palace Zenobio has another, and a Casino, * called Zanne, another. We suppose they muster up some others in miniature; but there is an island near Venice, where the gentry have country-houses, and contrive to be a little more horticultural.
* It is curious and natural enough, that one of their most favourite passages was the beginning of the seventh book of the Jerusalem Delivered, where Erminia gets among the country-people. They sang to a kind of a chaunt, sometimes responding to each other; and the effect at night-time, when the sound came softened by distance over the water, was often delightful. Rousseau, who was once at Venice, published the chaunt in notes. We do not remember whether it is from
Next to its watery streets, Venice is remarkable for the number of its bridges and palaces. The latter are truly so called, and comprise many of the master-pieces of Palladio. Every noble family appears to have once occupied a palace some of them many palaces. They stand upon the principal canals, into which run smaller ones, all of them having their bridges. These bridges, however, are in general very small; nor is the famous one, called the Rialto, so remarkable as its celebrity would imply, though it is built in a striking manner, of one arch. It has houses on it, like old London bridge, though not after the same fashion. They cross it in a covered angle, forming a double arcade. The artist who built. it was called Antonio of the Bridge. In the same spirit of
him that Mr. Shield has copied it in the appendix to his Introduction to Harmony; but it is there to be found. Ariosto used to be the great favourite with the Venetians; but Tasso's poem seems to have superseded even the Orlando in popularity. An Italian gentleman, when asked his opinion of this mystery, thought it explained by the great mixture of Turkish affairs in the Jerusalem, the Venetians having had a good deal to do with the Turks, both as enemies and friends.
* Baretti defines one of these Casinos exactly. He calls it “ a small house kept for pleasure in a town, besides our own.” They are in great request at Venice; more so now, we suppose than ever, since the nobility have shrunk in their palaces like withered nuts.
poetical tendency, the bridge leading to the city jail is called the Bridge of Sighs; and one of the principal canals, probably from the residence of some great musician, is entitled the River of Song. · The Venetians have always been famous for they enjoying temper, and what the Italians call Brio-a certain sparkling of the animal spirits. A quintessence of this quality would seem to have been almost the only thing which made a late celebrated dramatist, Goldoni, be taken all over Europe for a great genius. Yet the Venetian character in general is relieved from the frivolous by an evident capacity for the serious. The wine in their blood has a body with it. There is a tone and substance in their coinposition as different from the old French levity, as Titian's pictures are from La Guerre. You still meet with Titian's men and women at Venice,—the same rich dark complexions and fine figures; the same faces, earnest without sharpness, quick without confusion, thoughtful without severity, voluptuous without grossness. The men are robust as well as agile: the women have that sort of tone in their composition which made the very courtezan of Venice, a Calypso to strangers, and enthroned the more sentimental mistress at the top of her sex, at once to fascinate and to rule.
The leading men in the state, the counsellors at law, &c. take advantage of this solid part of the national character to affect a prodigious air of gravity : and it was perhaps from a mixed spirit of republican pride, and a sort of gusto of contrast to the pleasurability of their temperament, that black colours became the national wear. Not only the divines and lawyers wore black, but the statesmen wore black, the ladies all wore black; and the gondolas, carrying guitars and lovers in their bosoms, were clothed in the same external symbol of solemnity. We believe it is the same to this day, if not so universally. There seems in this a kind of pleasant and avowed hypocrisy, which stands the lively and sincere Venetian instead of the more hypocritical zests of other countries.
Venice originated with fugitives from the Italian peninsula during the fierce time of Attila, and subsisted afterwards as an independent state for many centuries, unbesieged even but by the waves. Its famous oligarchical form of government, under which it became mistress of the sea, still divides the opinions of politicians. Some think it must have been an intolerable tyranny ; while others, among whom is our republican countryman Harrington, have regarded it as the true model of a popular state. The truth seems to be, that the good climate and cheerful temperament enjoyed by the Venetians, rendered them very easy subjects; and this easiness had its effect in turn upon their leaders, who with all their outward stateliness were in reality like themselves. There was none of the physical suffering, which naturally renders the people so impatient in harder climates; and on the other hand, the rulers were generally wise and kind, and not provoked into tyranny either by conscious injustice, or extranational ambition. The Venetians were too contented with what was done and allowed, to quarrel for the last, sad privilege of political talking; and provided a Venetian did not talk politics, he might talk or do any thing he pleased. Thus they were like a happy family living under a father of austere aspect and real good nature. But as their less happy neighbours out-grew them, this happy family was to be disturbed ; and it was so. Venice in common with the other northern states of Italy became the property of the greatest neighbour for the time being—of the Court of Vienna first, then of France, and now of Vienna again. Its nobles are at length ruined; its palaces almost deserted; and the gay Venetian, now a pensive animal to what he was, meditates on the approaching period when his very city is to be forsaken by the sea; when Venice itself, eyeless, voiceless, and dead, is to stand like a gigantic skeleton on a stagnant and deserted shore, whistling with the screams of sea-fowl, and the disdainful rushing of the wind.
This apprehension now appears to be a good deal entertained. It was entertained also nearly forty years back, perhaps long before; and was understood to be disproved at that time. According to the systems, however, and calculations of modern philosophy, the sea-coasts all over the globe are in a constant state either of an accression or diminution of waters; and the imagination, in its gloomier moments, may still contemplate the desolation of Venice, approaching or far off.
Still the Venetians compared with most other people are a happy race. The blood runs quicker in their veins. They have more music, more freshness and easiness of life, more