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his Last Desperate Struggle,” “Gaul Sinking from Exhaustion,” “Dead Gaul Lying over his Shield," are regarded as among the most meritorious. There is a curious old map of the world here, the work of Fra Mauro, a Camaldulensian monk, in 1459. In an upper room, called the Sala della Bussola, “once the ante-chamber of the three Inquisitors of the Republic,” there is an opening in the wall, “formerly decorated by a lion's head in marble, into the mouth of which documents containing secret information used to be thrown.” The library is remarkable for age and valuable historically. One of the books, kept in a private apartment and shown pecially, is well worth seeing. It is called “The Golden Book,” in which the names of the nobili were entered, and contains among many other beautiful pictures twelve representing the months of the year. Its form is large octavo or small quarto, and it is six or eight inches thick. The text, beautifully written in Greek or Hebrew, is illuminated with gold on each page, all, like the pictures, done by hand - the work, we understood, of monks. We were conducted across the Bridge of Sighs, over which so many unfortunates have passed to their death; but there being persons in the prison, which is still used for convicts, the door on the prison side is kept locked, and we were not admitted. With Byron we could each say:
“I stood in Venice on the Bridge of Sighs;
A palace and a prison on each hand.”
This bridge extends to the prison from the second story of the Palace, and is lighted by two or more square grated windows. In the ground or underground story of the Palace there are dungeons-one
for political and the other for brigand prisoners — and these we were allowed to examine, being conducted into them by the custodian, who carried a torch or lamp to light the way. The first had a raised wooden floor for a bed and the second only a flat stone two or three inches above the cold stone floor of the dungeon. There are holes in the wall through which the food was passed to the prisoners, who were kept always in total darkness — the attendant waiting upon them without a light. Near the dungeons are. places for confession, and by a grated window near by, a narrow stall where those condemned to death were beheaded. In the floor at the end of this small space are holes, which we saw, through which the blood of the slain ran into the water below, and their bodies were taken into gondolas and buried in the sea.
We also saw where the machinery was fastened for the strangulation of prisoners sentenced to that mode of taking leave of this world.
There is a spacious area formed by one side of St. Mark's and three inner walls of the Doges' Palace; and within this are two wells with bronze curbs breast high. From the number of men and women - many more of the latter than the former -- who come here for water, one might suppose the whole city is supplied from this source. These poor creatures come with two heavy copper buckets, holding eight or ten quarts cach, hooked upon a flat hooped stick resting on one shoulder, and with a rope ten or fifteen feet in length and a hook at one end, with which to lower the bucket and draw it up by hand. Every one has his or her cord, which is kept ever in hand, and each well is large enough in circumference to allow ten or a dozen persons to draw water at one and the same time. Deep grooves are
worn in the bronze curbing by these ropes. These water-carriers are very expert at their business; and we stood for some time admiring the manner of filling their buckets. On being lowered, the bucket, by sudden jerks, was set to tilting so that on touching the water it was instantly filled. We wonder if Rachel drew water in this way?
After all, one of the most charming sights of Venice is the hundreds of tame doves that are fed every day in the Piazza San Marco some accounts say at the expense of the city, and others that “an old lady, widowed and childless, left a large amount to be expended for this purpose, she having been much interested in their welfare during her life.” Badeker says that “according to tradition, Admiral Dandolo, while besieging Candia at the beginning of the thirteenth century, received intelligence from the island by means of carrier pigeons, which greatly facilitated its conquest. He then dispatched the birds to Venice with the news of his success, and since that time their descendants have been carefully tended and highly revered by the citizens. They nestle in the nooks and crannies of the surrounding buildings, and are generally seen in great numbers in the evening perched on the façade of St. Mark's.” But whether fed by the city or not, they are not likely to go hungry, for we have never been in the Piazza that we have not observed several tourists who, like ourselves, bought corn and fed them for the pleasure of it. Any number of Italian boys stand ready with their cornucopias of grain for sale; but, as a matter of economy and not to be restricted, we usually filled our pockets at some grocery store on our way to the square, which is the great place of resort for all Venice. The moment
the doves saw we were provided they would flock by hundreds around us, and fly up and eat from our hands; sometimes as many as six or eight resting on our hands, wrists, and arms at the same time, all eager for their repast. They appeared to like our holding them by the toes, as they found it difficult to balance themselves when others were alighting on their backs or necks. We caught one for a moment, but she got away and flew off, evidently indignant at our ill manners. We felt guilty. '
FLORENCE, NOVEMBER 15.-- We came here by
3. way of Padua, Ferrara, and Bologna. We did not stop at Padua, but we had a view of the town from the railroad station. It has much the look of Verona, and, like that city and Mantua, on the road to Modena, it has been made famous by Shakspeare. During the reign of Augustus it is said to have been the wealthiest town in Upper Italy.
"From the middle ages down to the present day Padua has been celebrated for its University, which was founded by Frederick II. in 1238. The town, a quiet place of fifty-one thousand inhabitants, occupies an extensive area.
Its narrow streets and arcades are interspersed with spacious gardens.” Ferrara is a very old town, in which Ariosto and Tasso flourished, to the former of whom, in one of the public squares, there is a high monumental column surmounted by his statue. It was the birthplace of Girolamo Savonarola, and Titian also resided here for a time.
Near one of the churches we saw a number of very beautiful marble monuments and statues, mostly modern, among which is one erected in 1872 by a Mr. Hardcastle, of Boston, to the memory of Alfred Lowell Putnam, a Bostonian, who died there on the 2d of October, 1855. We do not remember to have heard of him before, but he was probably an artist or scholar. For several centuries prior to 1600, when the family became extinct, this city was governed by the house of Este. Roscoe, in his “Life of Leo X.,” relates of this family a story, the interest and brevity of which will justify its repetition here. He writes that in the early part of the year 1505 died Ercole of Este, Duke of Ferrara, after having governed his States with great credit, both in war and peace, during thirty-four years. His son, Alfonso I., husband of the infamous Lucretia Borgia, succeeded him. The reign of Alfonso I., Roscoe observes, was marked by a most tragical event, which endangered his safety and destroyed or interrupted his domestic tranquillity. Besides his two sons, Alfonso and Ippolito, the younger of whom, Ippolito, had been raised to the dignity of a Cardinal, the late Duke had left by his wife Leonora a son named Ferdinand, and by a favorite mistress an illegitimate son called Don Giulio. Attracted by the beauty of a lady of Ferrara, to whom they were distantly related, the Cardinal and Don Giulio became rivals in her affections; but the latter had obtained the preference, and the lady herself, in confessing to Ippolito her partiality to his brother, dwelt with apparent pleasure on the extraordinary beauty, of his eyes. The exasperated ecclesiastic silently vowed revenge, and availing himself of an opportunity, while he was engaged with Don Giulio in the chase, he sur