« AnteriorContinuar »
him with his benediction. Such is the substance of the account left by the archbishop of Salerno, who was present at the ceremony, and whose story is confirmed by every subsequent narration. It would be not worth so minute a record, were it not the triumph of liberty as well as of superstition. The states of Lombardy owed to it the confirmation of their privileges; and Alexander had reason to thank the Almighty, who had enabled an infirm, unarmed old man to subdue a terrible and potent sovereign.'
Stanza xii. lines 8 and 9. The reader will recollect the exclamation of the highlander, Oh for one hour of Dundee! Henry Dandolo, when . elected Doge, in 1192, was eighty-five years of age. When
he commanded the Venetians at the taking of Constantinople, he was consequently ninety-seven years old. At this age he annexed the fourth and a half of the whole empire of Romania,? for so the Roman empire was then called, to the title and to the territories of the Venetian Doge. The threeeighths of this empire were preserved in the diplomas until
See the above cited Romuald of Salerno. In a second sermon which Alexander preached, on the first day of August, before the Emperor, he compared Frederic to the prodigal son, and himself to the forgiving father.
2 Mr. Gibbon has omitted the important &, and has written Romani instead of Romaniæ. Decline and Fall, cap. lxi. note 9. But the title acquired by Dandolo runs thus in the Chronicle of his namesake, the Doge Andrew Dandolo. Ducali titulo addidit. “ Quartæ partis et dimidiæ totius imperii Romaniæ.” And. Dand. Chronicon. cap. iii. pars xxxvii. ap. Script. Rer. Ital. tom. xii. page 331. And the Romaniæ is observed in the subsequent acts of the Doges. Indeed the continental possessions of the Greek empire in Europe were then generally known by the name of Romania, and that appellation is still seen in the maps of Turkey as applied to Thrace.
the dukedom of Giovanni Dolfino, who made use of the above designation in the year 1357.'
Dandolo led the attack on Constantinople in person: two ships, the Paradise and the Pilgrim, were tied together, and a drawbridge or ladder let down from their higher yards to the walls. The Doge was one of the first to rush into the city. Then was completed, said the Venetians, the prophecy of the Erythræan sybil. “A gathering together of the powerful shall be made amidst the waves of the Adriatic, under a blind leader; they shall beset the goat-they shall profane Byzantium—they shall blacken her buildings-her spoils shall be dispersed; a new goat shall bleat until they have measured out and run over fifty-four feet, nine inches, and a half.".
Dandolo died on the first day of June, 1205, having reigned thirteen years, six months, and five days, and was buried in the church of St. Sophia, at Constantinople. Strangely enough it must sound, that the name of the rebel apothecary who received the Doge's sword, and annihilated the ancient government in 1796-7, was Dandolo.
Stanza xiži. lines 3 and 4.
See the continuation of Dandolo's Chronicle, ibid. page 498. Mr. Gibbon appears not to include Dolfino, following Sanudo, who says, titolo si usò fin al Doge Giovanni Dolfino." See Vite de' Duchi di Venezia. ap. Script. Rer. Ital. tom. xxii. 530. 641.
2 « Fiet potentium in aquis Adriaticis congregatio, cæco præduce, Hircum ambigent, Byzantium prophanabunt, ædificia denigrabunt; spolia dispergentur, Hircus novus balabit usque dum Liv pedes et ix pollices, et semis præmensurati discurran,". (Chronicon, ibid. pars xxxiv.]
« il quale
Chioza on the 16th of August, 1379, by the united armament of the Genoese and Francesco da Carrara, Signor of Padua, the Venetians were reduced to the utmost despair. An embassy was sent to the conquerors with a blank sheet of paper, praying them to prescribe what terms they pleased, and leave to Venice only her independence. The Prince of Padua was inclined to listen to these proposals, but the Genoese, who, after the victory at Pola, had shouted,“ to Venice, to Venice, and long live St. George," determined to annihilate their rival, and Peter Doria, their commander in chief, returned this answer to the suppliants : « On God's faith, gentlemen of Venice, ye shall have no peace from the Signor of Padua, nor from our commune of Genoa, until we have first put a rein upon those unbridled horses of yours, that are upon the Porch of your evangelist St. Mark. When we have bridled them, we shall keep you quiet. And this is the pleasure of us and of our commune.
As for these my brothers of Genoa, that you have brought with you to give up to us, I will not have them : take them back; for, in a few days, hence, I shall come and let them out of prison myself, both these and all the others.”! In fact, the Genoese did advance as far as Malamocco, within five miles of the capital; but their own danger and the pride of their enemies gave courage to the Venetians, who made prodigious efforts, and many individual sacrifices, all of them carefully recorded by their historians. Vettor Pisani was put at the head of thirty-four galleys. The Genoese broke up from Malamocco, and retired to Chioza in October ; but they again threatened Venice, which was reduced to extremities. At this time, the 1st of January, 1380, arrived Carlo Zeno, who had been cruising on the Genoese coast with fourteen galleys. The Venetians were now strong enough to besiege the Genoese. Doria was killed on the 22d of January by a stone bullet 195 pounds weight, discharged from a bombard called the Trevisan. Chioza was then closely invested: 5000 auxiliaries, amongst whom were some English Condottieri, commanded by one Captain Ceccho, joined the Venetians. The Genoese, in their turn, prayed for conditions, but none were granted, until, at last, they surrendered at discretion; and, on the 24th of June 1380, the Doge Contarini made his triumphal entry into Chioza. Four thousand prisoners, nineteen galleys, many smaller vessels and barks, with all the ammunition and arms, and outfit of the expedition, fell into the hands of the conquerors, who, had it not been for the inexorable answer of Doria, would have gladly reduced their dominion to the city of Venice. An account of these transactions is found in a work called the War of Chioza, written by Daniel Chinazzo, who was in Venice at the time.'
1 “ Alla fè di Dio, Signori Veneziani, non haverete mai pace dal Signore di Padoua, nè dal nostro commune di Genova, se primieramente non mettemo le briglie a quelli vostri cavalli sfrenati, che sono su la Resa del Vostro Evangelista S. Marco. Imbrenati che gli havremo, vi faremo stare in buona puce. E questa e la intenzione nostra, e del nostro commune. Questi miei fratelli Genovesi che havete menati con voi per donarci, non li voglio; rimanetegli in dietro perche io intendo da qui a pochi giorni venirgli a riscuoter dalle vostre prigioni, e loro e gli aliri."
Stanza xiv. line 3. Plant the Lion-that is, the Lion of St. Mark, the standard
I“ Chronaca della guerra di Chioza," &c. Script. Rer. Italic. tom. xv. pp. 699 to 804.
of the republic, which is the origin of the word PantaloonPiantaleone, Pantaleon, Pantaloon.
Stanza xv. lines 7 and 8. The population of Venice at the end of the seventeenth century amounted to nearly two hundred thousand souls. At the last census, taken two years ago, it was no more than about one hundred and three thousand, and it diminishes daily. The commerce and the official employments, which were to be the unexhausted source of Venetian grandeur, have both expired.' Most of the patrician mansions are deserted, and would gradually disappear, had not the government, alarmed by the demolition of seventy-two, during the last two years, expressly forbidden this sad resource of poverty. Many remnants of the Venetian nobility are now scattered and confounded with the wealthier Jews upon the banks of the Brenta, whose palladian palaces have sunk, or are sinking, in the general decay. Of the “ gentil uomo Veneto,” the name is still known, and that is all. He is but the shadow of his former self, but he is polite and kind. It surely may be pardoned to him if he is querulous. Whatever may have been the vices of the republic, and although the natural term of its existence may be thought by foreigners to have arrived in the due course of mortality, only one sen
1« Nonnullorum è nobilitate immensæ sunt opes, adeo ut vix æstimari possint: id quod tribus è rebus oritur, parsimonia, commercio, atque iis emolumentis, quæ è Repub. percipiunt, quæ hanc ob causam diuturna fore creditur."-See de Principatibus Italiæ, Tractatus, edit, 1631.