« PreviousContinue »
Rise and fall
Thus ever must it be, like changing wind,
Rich in her mines, had Spain been rich in mind,
century), the inhabitants of Venice were supplied in two ways with the products of India. All light articles were conveyed from the Persian Gulf up the Tigris to Bassora, and thence to Bagdad, from which they were carried to some port of the Mediterranean; while all more bulky matters were conveyed by the ancient route to the Red Sea, and thence across the desert, and down the Nile to Alexandria. There is no doubt but that the Crusades, as the writer just cited observes, brought people, scarcely before known to each other, to associate; and especially the fourth Crusade, when Constantinople was taken by the Latins, under Baldwin, in 1204, with a force consisting of French, Germans, and Venetians. This period, according to Hallam, may be reckoned the most splendid of the Venetian State; and then it was, that the lucrative trade for Indian articles received a great impulse, and which extended to Genoa ; though, perhaps, it was in Alexandria that the Venetians received always a full supply of Indian articles ; and it was at no distant period after this (fifty years), that, as we have seen, the famous Hanseatic League was established, including Cologne, and which led that body to establish the staple of their trade with the southern parts of Europe. Thither the merchants of Italy, particularly those of Venice, resorted, and, in return for the produce of the east, they got the commodities of the north. But to this mode of commerce was put a stop, at all events it was much damped, by the discovery of the Portuguese, of a new route to India, and the subsequent commercial enterprise of that nation in 1497. The reader is referred to a most comprehensive and excellent work on commerce, lately published by G. B. Depping, Paris, 2 vols. entitled, Histoire du Commerce entre le Levant
So Lusitania, erst by Romans nam’d,
Proud of the triumph of one generous reign ; But at no distant period, humbled, sham'd :
Strong proof that all that's reap'd is reap'd in vain,
If not imbued with what can best maintain A nation's rights.—Woe to that artful prince,
Who, strange to say, first broke his word in twain; Then, 'gainst a brother's wish, and common sense, Proclaimed despotic power, with insolence !
France, ah ! beware--the precious blood scarce cold
Which ran a very torrent through thy streets ;Would that by bolder Bard were ably told
The tragic drama of thy wond'rous feats ;Raymond but echoes what the world entreatsBe moderate :-thou still hast much to do.
et l'Europe depuis les Croisades, jusqu'à la fondation des Colonies de l'Amerique, tome ii. page 263.
There are a few regrets amidst thy sweets :
Sympathy. Ah! who could turn a pitiless eye to those
Sad sufferers in a late tremendous gale—
How kindliest hearts may err, where all are pale ?
With bitterest tears the exil'd must bewail
Those awful days, while memory remains !
For ye, who sorrow in yon castle'd jail,
Which were entail'd in most disastrous reigns !
Italia! what hast thou to hope or fear
From the red dragon, revolution rais'd ?
1 Since writing the above stanza, it would appear that the agitation of the waves, subsequent to the late awful storm in France, had not yet alto
Thou hast-deny who dare—a long arrear
Of Freedom due to thee, thou most abas d.
In days of yore-the puissant, the praised -
First Regal, then Republican (so phras'd),
When Alaric ?, with his bold Gothic crew,
Made plunder of the Mistress of the World! And, at no distant period, Gesneric too,
That Vandal monster, all his fury hurl'd ;
The prey of
gether subsided. It seldom soon does on such occasions; but the abatement is usually sufficient to enable an able pilot to ascertain the weak points of the state-vessel, to refit, and again proceed on a successful voyage.
1 When Theodosius, son of Valentinean, was appointed Emperor of the East by Gratian, he did much in checking the incursions of the barbarians into the Roman provinces, on the bank of the Danube. However, in the succeeding reign, A. D. 410, Alaric came with his Goths, and swept every thing before him, took possession of Rome, and gave it up to plunder for five days. Forty-five years later, Gesneric, King of the Vandals, who pillaged the same city for eleven days; and, subsequently, Attila, King of the Huns, commonly called the Scourge of God, committed the greatest ravages
And last, not least, dread Attila unfurl'd
The standard of his wrath on Roman power.
How many noble hearts his slaves had thirl'd,
"Twere painful to review thy wayward fate,
Thou wonder of the earth ! yet ’neath that Prince
A Goth, 'tis true, but Goth of excellence.
Her vicissi. tudes.
over great part of Europe. At length the Empire of the West was finally extinguished, when Augustulus abdicated, and Odoacer, a general of the Heruli, had the address to get himself proclaimed King of Italy, A. D. 476.
1 The lenity of the Ostrogoths in Italy has been accounted for in two ways,-partly from the polish their manners may be supposed to have de. rived from their intercourse with Rome, and partly from the individual character of Theodoric himself, who had been educated at Constantinople, and initiated in all the learning of the times. It is well known that, on having slain Odoacer, he established the kingdom of the Goths in Italy, embraced Christianity, and reigned with much wisdom. He died A. D. 526. Several of the successors of Theodoric were princes of great adence and humanity. Ravenna was their seat of government, which, in real magnificence, vied with ancient Rome.