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Title: Literary Landmarks of Venice
Author: Hutton, Laurence
Language: English
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                   [Illustration: CALLE DEL PISTOR]

                          LITERARY LANDMARKS




                            LAURENCE HUTTON



                       [Illustration: colophon]

                               NEW YORK
                     HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS

                Copyright, 1896, by HARPER & BROTHERS.

                        _All rights reserved._

                         WILLIAM DEAN HOWELLS
                          WHOSE VENETIAN LIFE
                              MADE HAPPY
                           MY LIFE IN VENICE


CALLE DEL PISTOR                              _Frontispiece_

ORNAMENTAL HALF-TITLE                   _Facing page_   xii

IN OTHELLO’S TIME                           “      “      6

THE OTHELLO HOUSE                          “      “      10

PETRARCH AND LAURA                             _Page_    16

THE HOUSE OF PETRARCH                   _Facing page_    20

A CHARACTERISTIC CANAL                     “      “      26

BYRON’S PALACE                             “      “      30


ENTRANCE TO THE MERCERIA                   “      “      34

CASA FALIER, WHERE MR. HOWELLS LIVED       “      “      40

GOLDONI’S STAIRCASE                        “      “      42

GOLDONI’S STATUE                           “      “      44


THE “NOAH CORNER” OF THE DOGE’S PALACE     “      “      56

THE HOUSE IN WHICH BROWNING DIED           “      “      60


In a chapter upon “Literary Residences,” among _The Curiosities of
Literature_, Isaac D’Israeli said: “No foreigners, men of letters,
lovers of the arts, or even princes, would pass through Antwerp without
visiting the House of Rubens, to witness the animated residence of
genius, and the great man who conceived the idea.” This volume is
intended to be a record of the Animated Residences of Genius which are
still existing in Venice; and it is written for the foreigners, for the
Men of Letters, for the lovers of art, and even for the princes who pass
through the town, and who care to make such houses a visit.

It is the result of many weeks of patient but pleasant study of Venice
itself. Everything here set down has been verified by personal
observation, and is based upon the reading of scores of works of travel
and biography. It is the Venice I know in the real life of the present
and in the literature of the past; and to me it is Venice from its best
and most interesting side.

The Queen of the Adriatic is peculiarly poor in local guide-books and in
local maps. In the former are to be found but slight reference to that
part of Venice which is most dear to the lovers of bookmen and to the
lovers of books; and the latter contain the names of none but the larger
of the squares, streets, and canals, leaving, in many instances, the
searcher after the smaller thoroughfares entirely afloat in the
Adriatic, with no compass by which to steer.

The stranger in Venice, accustomed to the nomenclature of the streets
and the avenues, the alleys and the courts, of the cities and towns with
which he is familiar in other parts of the world, may be interested to
learn that here a large canal is called a _Rio_, or a _Canale_; that a
_Calle_ is a street open at both ends; that a _Rio Terrà_ is a street
which was once a canal; that a _Ramo_ is a small, narrow street,
branching out of a larger one; that a _Salizzada_ is a wide, paved
street; that a _Ruga_ is just a street; that a _Rughetta_, or a
_Piscina_, is a little street; that a _Riva_ is a narrow footway along
the bank of a canal; that a _Fondamenta_ is a longer and a broader
passage-way, a quay, or an embankment; that a _Corte_ is a court-yard;
that a _Sottoportico_ is an entrance into a court, through, or under, a
house--that which in Edinburgh is called a _Pend_, and in Paris a
_Cité_; that a large square is a _Piazza_; that a small square is a
_Piazzetta_, or a _Campo_; that a small campo is a _Campiello_; that a
plain, commonplace house is a _Casa_; that a mansion is a _Palazzo_;
that an island is an _Isola_; that a bridge is a _Ponte_; that a tower
is a _Campanile_; that a ferry is a _Traghetto_; that a parish is a
_Parrochia_; and that a district is a _Contrada_, or a _Sistiere_.

Armed with this information, the readers must do the rest for

To Mrs. Clara Erskine Clement, to Miss Henrietta Macy, to Mrs. Walter F.
Brown, to Mr. Charles Dudley Warner, to Dr. Alexander Robertson, to Mr.
William Logsdail, I owe my thanks for much valuable information given me
while I was enlarging, elaborating, and revising the article, printed in
_Harper’s Magazine_ for July, 1896, upon which this volume is based.

                                              LAURENCE HUTTON.

Casa Frolo,

   50 Giudecca.


[Illustration: Title page, LITERARY LANDMARKS OF VENICE]


It is almost impossible for any one who is at all familiar with the
voluminous amount of literature relating to the history and to the art
of Venice, to refrain from quoting, voluntarily or involuntarily, what
he has read and absorbed concerning “the dangerous and sweet-charmed
town,” which Ruskin calls a golden city paved with emerald, and which
Goethe said is a city which can only be compared with itself.
Comparisons in Venice are certainly as odorous as are some of its
canals, while many of its streets are not only paved with emerald, but
are frescoed now with glaring End-of-the-Nineteenth-Century
advertisements of dentifrice and sewing-machines.

That which first strikes the observant stranger in Venice, to-day, is
the fact that the Venetians have absolutely and entirely lost their grip
upon the beautiful. Nothing on earth can be finer than the art of its
glory; nothing in the world can be viler than the so-called art of its
decadence. That the descendants of the men who decorated the palaces of
five or six hundred years ago could have conceived, or endured, the
wall-papers, the stair-carpets, and the hat-racks in the Venetian hotels
of the present, is beyond belief. Whatever is old is magnificent, from
the madonnas of Gian Bellini to the window of the Cicogna Palace on the
Fondamenta Briati. Whatever is new is ugly, from the railway-station at
one end of the Grand Canal to the gas-house at the other. And the iron
bridges, and the steamboats, and the drop-curtain in the Malibran
Theatre are the worst of all.

When the English-speaking and the English-reading visitors in Venice,
for whom this volume is written, overcome the feeling that they are
predestined to fall into one of the canals before they leave the city;
when they become accustomed to being driven about in a hearse-shaped,
one-manned row-boat; when they have been shown all the traditional
sights, have bought the regulation old brass and old glass, have learned
to draw smoke out of the long, thin, black, rat-tailed straw-covering
things the Venetians call cigars--when they have seen and have done all
these, they will find themselves much more interested in the house in
which Byron lived, and in the perfectly restored palace in which
Browning died, than in the half-ruined, wholly decayed mansions of all
the Doges who were ever Lord Mayors of Venice. The guide-books tell us
where Faliero plotted and where Foscari fell, where Desdemona suffered
and where Shylock traded; but they give us no hint as to where Sir
Walter Scott lodged or where Rogers breakfasted, or what was done here
by the many English-speaking Men of Letters who have made Venice known
to us, and properly understood. Upon these chiefly it is my purpose here
to dwell.

Venice, with all her literature, has brought forth but few literary men
of her own. There are but few poets among her legitimate sons, and few
were the poets she adopted. The early annalists and the later historians
were almost the only writers of importance who were entitled to call her
mother; and to most of these she has been, though kindly, little more
than a step-mother or a mother-in-law.

Shakspere, who wrote much about Venice, and who probably never saw it,
remarked once that all the world’s a stage. Venice, even now, is a grand
spectacular show; and no drama ever written is more dramatic than is
Venice itself. Mr. Howells prefaces his _Venetian Life_ by an account of
the play, and the by-play, which he once saw from a stage-box in the
little theatre in Padua, when the prompters, and the scene-shifters, and
the actors in the wings, were as prominent to him as were the tragedians
and comedians who strutted, and mouthed, and sawed the air with their
hands, in full view of the house; and he adds: “It has sometimes seemed
to me as if fortune had given me a stage-box at another and grander
spectacle, and that I had been suffered to see this Venice, which is to
other cities like the pleasant improbability of the theatre to everyday,
commonplace life, to much the same effect as that melodrama in Padua.”
It has been my own good fortune to spend, at various seasons, a short
time in the pit--“on a standee ticket”--just to drop in for a moment now
and then, when the performance is nearly over, and to look not so much
at the broken-down stage and its worn-out settings, not so much at the
actors and at the acting, as to study the audiences, the crowds of men
and women in parquet, gallery, and boxes, who have been sitting for
centuries through the different thrilling acts of the great plays played
here; and have applauded, or hissed, as the case may be.

So strange and so strong is the power of fiction over truth, in Venice,
as everywhere else, that Portia and Emilia, Cassio, Antonio, and Iago,
appear to have been more real here than are the women and men of real
life. We see, on the Rialto, Shylock first, and then its history and its
associations; and the Council Chamber of the Palace of the Doges is
chiefly interesting as being the scene of Othello’s eloquent defence of

It is a curious fact, recorded by Th. Elze, and quoted by Mr. Horace
Howard Furness, in his Appendix to _The Merchant of Venice_, that at the
time of the action of that drama, in Shakspere’s own day, there was
living in Padua a professor of the University whose characteristics
fully and entirely corresponded with all the qualities of “Old
Bellario,” and with all the requisites of the play. In his concluding
passages Elze described the University of Padua at the close of the
Sixteenth Century, when there were representatives of twenty-three
nations among its students. He said that not a few Englishmen took up
their abode in Padua, for a longer or a shorter time, for the purposes
of study; all of whom must naturally have visited Venice. “And,” he
added, “if it has been hitherto impossible to prove that Shakspere drew
his knowledge of Venice and Padua, and the region about, from personal
observation, it is quite possible to suppose that he obtained it by word
of mouth, either from Italians living in England,


or from Englishmen who had pursued their studies at Padua.”

Among the significant names given by Elze as students at Padua are
Rosenkranz, in 1587 to 1589, and Guldenstern, in 1603.

One of the most distinguished of the English representatives who took up
his abode in Padua in the middle of the Eighteenth Century, was Oliver
Goldsmith, who, according to John Forster, received his degree there,
although there is no official record of such a fact.

Signor Giuseppe Tassini, in his _Curiosità Veneziane_, published in
1863, gives the following account of what is known as “Othello’s House,”
which has, in all probability, never before been put into English, and
is here roughly translated. At the right-hand side of the Campo del
Carmine, or on the little canal of the same name, he says, in effect,
stands what is left of an ancient palace supposed, but incorrectly, to
have belonged once to an influential family called Moro. Christoforo
Moro, a cadet of the house, was sent to Cyprus in 1505; and he returned
in 1508 to relate to the magnificos of his native city his adventures
there, having in the meantime lost his first wife. In 1515 he was
married again, and to Demonia Bianco, daughter of Donato da Lazze.
Rawdon Brown and other writers, continues Signor Tassini, believe that
upon this hint Shakspere spoke, making Othello a Moor, as a play upon
the name Moro, and turning Demonia Bianco into Desdemona. But he adds
that the Goro, not the Moro, family lived here in the beginning of the
Sixteenth Century, the latter occupying a palace in the Campo di S.
Giovanni Decollato, now the Campo S. Zan Degolà, some distance away.

Confusing the names of Goro and Moro, and fancying that the ancient
figure of a warrior standing on the corner of the Campo del Carmine
house, now blackened by time, although not so black as he is painted,
represents a Moor, the guides and the gondoliers, and even the
antiquaries, of Venice have given to “Othello’s House,” according to
Signor Tassini, a local reputation and a name which it does not merit.

The beautiful little Gothic Palazzo Contarini-Fasan, built in the
Fourteenth Century and done over at the end of the Nineteenth, on the
right bank of the Grand Canal, going towards the Rialto, and near the
Grand Hotel, seems to have no excuse, either from tradition or from any
confusion of names, for calling itself “the House of Desdemona” at all.
Its only dramatic interest to-day consists in the fact that it has been
the home of Signora Eleonora Duse, the leading actress of Italy, who is
called by her admirers the Italian Sara Bernhardt, although she has
genius enough of her own to warrant her being compared with no one but

And thus perish, at the hands of a transatlantic, present-day iconoclast
and grubber after the truth, two of the most cherished of the Landmarks
of Venice.

Mr. Hare is of the opinion that the Doge Christoforo Moro, buried in the
Church of S. Giobbe in the Canareggio District, is the Moro of the
Othello legend, although he died in 1470, almost half a century before
Signor Tassini married him to Desdemona; and his tomb, in the chancel
of the church, as Mr. Hare points out, “is ornamented with the moro or
mulberry, which was his family device.” It will be remembered that
Othello inherited from his mamma a handkerchief spotted with
strawberries (mulberries?) which played an important part in the great
tragedy of his life.

Christoforo Moro lies under a large flat stone in front of the altar of
the church. The slab has been greatly defaced by the tread of
generations of priests and of acolytes, but its carvings still bear
distinct traces of fruits which to-day look as much like strawberries as
mulberries, while certain of their leaves are decidedly of the
strawberry form. A portrait of Doge Moro hangs in the sacristy of S.
Giobbe. It exhibits a face in which there are no signs of the duskiness
which dramatic tradition has given to Othello during all these years,
but which is hard enough to have silenced the most dreadful belle who
ever frighted the isle from its propriety.

Mr. Hare also explains that a story very like to that of Shakspere’s
_Othello_ was told

[Illustration: THE OTHELLO HOUSE]

in the seventh novella of the third decade of Giovanni Battista
Cinthio’s collection of stories, called the _Ecatomiti_, in which the
name of the heroine is the same, and in which the original Iago
suggested to Othello that a stocking filled with sand might be an
admirable weapon against his wife if it were judiciously applied to her
back. Mr. Hare quotes Bishop Bollani as writing in 1602, June 1st: “The
day before yesterday, a Sanudo, living in the Rio della Croce, on the
Giudecca, compelled his wife, a lady of the Cappello family, to go to
confession, and the following night, towards the fifth hour, plunged a
dagger into her heart and killed her. It is said that she had been
unfaithful to him, but the voice of her neighborhood proclaimed her a

The voice of the gallery has proclaimed Desdemona a saint ever since!

The Venetians still believe implicitly in the statue of the sunburnt
warrior, and in Shakspere’s history of his life. And Mr. Howells’s
gondolier not only showed him the house of Cassio, near the Rialto
Bridge, but was ready to point out the residence of the amiable Iago
and of Emilia, his wife. Cassio, I may remark, is said here to have been
Desdemona’s cousin, and Iago is believed to have been the major-domo of
the distracted household.

The modern Venetian dealers in second-hand portraits, and the venders of
bric-à-brac of all kinds, seem to have learned their strict and
universal Economy of Truth from the memorial tablets over their shops.
If you are offered here an article of original, homemade, present-time
antiquity for five lire, you may depend upon getting it for two lire and
a half, and you may be sure that it costs you, even then, about twice as
much as it is worth. If an inscription in old Latin or in choice Italian
tells you that “Here lived” some particular Venetian hero of sword or
pen, you may put down in your diary that he probably visited next door,
or that he died over the way.

The tablet devoted to Marco Polo, however, being upon the side of a
play-house where fiction is supposed to reign supreme, seems to have
established itself as the exception which proves this rule. Only a
small portion of the Palazzo dei Polo now remains. What is left of it is
little more than a fragment of an outside staircase in a corner of the
Corte Millione in the Canareggio District. The mansion at one time
covered no small part of the neighboring territory, which still bears
distinct traces of wealthy and aristocratic occupancy. Over the door-way
of the Malibran Theatre, on the Rio del Teatro Malibran, is an
inscription stating that “This was the house of Marco Polo, who
travelled in the remotest parts of Asia, and described them. This tablet
was placed here by the Commune in 1881.”

The great voyager was born in this house, and here he spent, in
comparative quiet, after many years of toilsome but profitable travel,
the last days of his life. Having, like Shakspere’s banish’d Norfolk,
retired himself to Italy, here in Venice he gave his body to this
pleasant country’s earth, in 1323 or thereabouts. How far the rest of
the quotation is applicable to his peculiar case no man, of course, can
say. Polo was called by alliterative neighbors “Mark the
Millionaire”--hence the “Corte Millione”; and the rich man,
proverbially, does not find heaven a place of easy access.

The Corte Millione, Polo’s court-yard, is now the _al-fresco_ foyer of
the Malibran Theatre, which was built originally in 1678. But hardly one
of the millions of Venetian youths who, for more than two centuries,
have cooled themselves under the stars, by the side of Polo’s old well
and Polo’s old marble balustrade, between the acts of the play or the
ballet, ever heard of Mark the Millionaire, or care where he lived or
where he died.

The mystery as to the exact part of this pleasant country’s earth which
received Marco Polo’s body has never been cleared up. In a copy of his
last will and testament, I read, however, that he left a certain sum of
money to the Monastery of Saint Lawrence here, “where I desire to be
buried.” He certainly buried his father, Nicolò Polo, in the old and
original Church of S. Lorenzo; and the natural inference is that he
himself lies somewhere within its precincts. The sarcophagus erected
for the elder Polo by the filial care of the younger Polo is known to
have existed, until towards the end of the Sixteenth Century, in the
porch leading to the church.

The old building was renewed, from its very foundations, in 1592, and no
traces of the ancient structure remain; the old parochial records no
longer exist, and even the name of the Polos is as unknown to the
parochial authorities to-day as it is to the worldlings who crowd the
theatre erected upon the site of the house which was their home.

Petrarch is known to have made several visits to Venice, and he is said
to have been very familiar with it, and very fond of it, even in his
youth. In 1353 or ’54 he was certainly here, for a short time, in an
official capacity; and documentary evidence clearly proves that he
settled in Venice in 1362--a cholera year--and remained here until 1368,
making annual excursions to Padua, and spending certain of the summer
and autumn months with friends at Pavia. During this

[Illustration: DEL PETRARCHA. E. DI M. LAVRA.]

period he determined to bequeath a portion of his rich library to Venice
for the use of students and the general public, and as an example to
other men. He was highly esteemed by the Venetians, and his house was
the meeting-place of the wise and the powerful. Boccaccio was his guest
here for many months; they talked and walked, and they sailed the canals
and the lagoons together in perfect sympathy; and there still exists a
letter of Petrarch to Boccaccio, asking the latter poet to come again,
and to stay longer next time.

Signor N. Barozzi, in a volume entitled _Petrarca e Venezia_, published
in Venice in 1874, reprints, from the old plan of the city, now in the
Archæological Museum, a rough sketch of Petrarch’s house during his
residence here between 1362 and 1368; and he seems to establish the fact
that it was hired by the poet, not presented to him by the city, as is
generally believed. It was then called the Palazzo del Molin, and it
stood near to the Ponte del Sepolcro on the Riva degli Schiavoni, a
broad promenade and wharf a short distance east of the Ducal Palace.
This house, according to Petrarch himself, was humble enough; it had two
towers, a style of architecture not uncommon in those days; and
according to Signor Barozzi it was, later, a monastery, and at the
present time is occupied as a barrack. If Signor Barozzi and the plan
are correct, it is _not_ the house marked by the tablet, and pointed out
in the guide-books as Petrarch’s, but the building on the corner of the
little Calle del Dose, and some forty or fifty paces to the east of the
generally accepted spot.

The two original towers of the Petrarch house disappeared long ago; the
entire front is new and ugly, and the rear portions, although they are
old and picturesque, do not date back to the Fourteenth Century. There
is, probably, no part of the mansion left, as Petrarch knew and loved
it, except, perhaps, the pavement of the court-yard. Even the old marble
well is not as old as the days of the great poet. The interior of the
establishment is not now seen of the public, except by permission of the
military authorities, but it is one of the most interesting of the
Landmarks of Venice, because of its association with the two immortal
men who once adorned it.

Petrarch from his tower had a perfect view of the city and of the
Adriatic, watching as he did the navies of the then known world as they
entered and left the harbor, and looking out over the sea and down upon
the crowds of busy men. His life here was, no doubt, a happy one; as
must be the life of any man who brings to Venice some knowledge of its
history, some idea of its art, some fondness for its traditions, and
letters of introduction to some of its men of mind in all professions.

Signor Tassini says that while Petrarch lived here he often enjoyed the
society of his natural daughter, Francesca, who once, in this house, and
in the absence of her father, received the sad news of the death, at her
home in Pavia, of her infant child; when Boccaccio acted as comforter,
and tried in vain to stay her maternal tears.

Mr. Horatio F. Brown and Mr. Howells both quote a letter, written in
Latin, by Petrarch to his friend Pietro Bolognese, in which he describes
a famous festival held in the Piazza S. Marco to celebrate a victory
over the Greeks in Candia. The poet was seated in the place of honor, at
the right of the Doge, in the gallery of the Cathedral, and in front of
the bronze horses; and he tells of the many youths, decked in purple and
gold, ruling with the rein, and urging with the spur, their horses in
the then unpaved square, and watched by a throng of spectators so great
that a grain of barley could not have fallen to the ground. There is not
a horse in all Venice to-day; the youths wear ulsters when it is cold,
and very little of anything when it is hot; and every grain of barley
which falls to the ground is ravenously devoured by the doves, who alone
of all the Venetians wear the purple now. If tradition, for the once,
speaks truly, these very doves are the direct descendants of the
carrier-pigeons which brought to Admiral Dandolo information from spies
in Candia leading to the capture of the island, and which may have
received grains of barley from the hand of Petrarch himself. As such do
the doves of the present day receive grains of barley from me.

Mr. Brown, in his admirable study of _The Venetian Printing Press_, says
that Aldus is not known, of a certainty, to have lived in the house, or
even on the site of the house, No. 2311 Rio Terra Secondo, in the parish
of S. Agostino, which is marked with a tablet


as his. But the fact that there still exists a letter addressed to
Gregoropoulos at the little narrow Calle del Pistor, close by, and
written while Gregoropoulos was employed by Aldus as corrector of Greek
manuscript and Greek proof, would seem to imply that the famous
printing-press may have stood in the latter street, if such a gutter can
be called a street at all. It resembles no thoroughfares elsewhere in
the world except the closes of Edinburgh; but it is not unlikely to have
been the scene of the birth of the Aldines so dearly prized by the
bookworms of to-day. The original Aldus is believed to have settled in
Venice about 1488. As Mrs. Clara Erskine Clement remarks, he was no mere
printer; and although it is by that name now that he is most frequently
regarded, he was a scholar before he was a printer, and he became a
printer because of his scholarship. Concerning the many troublesome
visitors to his place of business who went there to gossip and to kill
their time, Aldus wrote, upon a later establishment: “We make bold to
admonish such, in classical words, in a sort of edict placed over our
door, ‘Whoever you are, Aldo requests you, if you want anything ask for
it in a few words and depart, unless, like Hercules, you come to lend
the aid of your shoulders to the weary Atlas. Here will always be found,
in that case, something for you to do, however many you may be.’”

Aldo Pio transferred the business in, or about, 1506 to the Campo S.
Paternian, now called the Campo Manin; and there he lived and printed
good books and good literature, succeeded by his son and his grandson. A
very modern Bank for Savings now occupies the site of this
establishment, and covers the entire back of the square. But a marble
tablet of recent date, placed on its side, bears an inscription to the
effect that “Aldo Pio, Paolo, and Aldo II., Manuzio, Princes in the Art
of Typography in the Sixteenth Century, diffused, with classic books
from this place, a new light of cultured wisdom”; the translation being
by Dr. Alexander Robertson. This Campo S. Paternian house was probably
that which bore the inscription quoted above, and relating to Atlas and
the intellectual Hercules.

According to tradition, a certain Hercules named Erasmus came, in 1506,
to lend his shoulder to the support of the load; and found something to
do. Erasmus in the workshop of Aldus, printing, perhaps, his own
_Adages_, is a picture for a poet or a painter to conjure with. Venice
in all its glory never saw a greater sight.

Luther is known to have passed through Venice a few years later than
this. He is supposed to have lodged in the cloisters of the Church of S.
Stefano here, on his way to Rome, and to have celebrated mass at its
high altar. S. Stefano is near the square of the same name, and it is
not otherwise particularly distinguished. It dates back to the end of
the Thirteenth and the beginning of the Fourteenth Century.

Another Hercules, as great in his way as was Erasmus, lent the aid of
his shoulders to the weary Atlas of the Aldine Press in the Sixteenth
Century; to wit, Paolo Sarpi, Scholar, Scientist, Philosopher,
Statesman, Author, and Martyr, whom Gibbon called “the incomparable
historian of the Council of Trent,” and who is called by his present-day
biographer, Dr. Robertson, “the greatest of Venetians.”

Sarpi was born in Venice, in 1552; he was educated in Venice; in Venice
he spent the better part of his life; in Venice he died; and in Venice
he was very much buried. He was brutally stabbed by hired assassins
while crossing the Ponte dei Pugni, in 1607; but he recovered, and did
not surrender his indomitable soul until 1623.

Sarpi’s posthumous fate for two centuries was an exceedingly restless
one. His body was interred originally at the foot of an altar in the
Servite Church here, with which he was intimately associated. In 1624
the Servite friars, warned of an intended desecration of his grave,
removed his bones to a secret place in their monastery. The next year
they carried them back to the church. In 1722 they were removed to still
another part of the same church. In 1828, the whole establishment having
become a ruin, Sarpi’s bones were carried to the Seminary belonging to,
and adjoining, S. Maria della Salute. They were next transferred to a
private house in the parish of S. Biagio; then they were kept, for a
time, in the Library of Saint Mark, in the Doge’s Palace, and finally
they were placed under a slab, near the main entrance of the Church of
S. Michele, on the Cemetery Island of that name, where, after having
been once more disturbed, in 1846, it is to be hoped they will be
permitted to rest.

The church of the Servites no longer exists. A fragment of its ancient
wall and two fine old door-ways, however, are still left. The main
entrance, long ago bricked up, remains to-day, with one other old gate,
which was the entrance to the monastery; and that is all. The larger
portion of the site of the foundation is a flower garden; a modern
chapel, dedicated in 1894, occupies a small corner of the ground. And
the rest is an industrial school for poor girls, from seven to
twenty-one years of age, who here, without cost to themselves, are
educated for a self-supporting, useful life; as noble a monument as
Paolo Sarpi could wish or have. The remains of the church of the
Servites may be reached by the Rio di S. Fosca; and they stand in the
parish of S. Maria dell’ Orto. Here Sarpi wrote his almost countless
works, from a _Treatise on the Interdict_, and a _History of
Ecclesiastical Benefices_, to the _History of the Uscocks_, a band of
pirates who infested the Dalmatian coast.

An elaborate statue of Sarpi, erected in 1892, is in the Campo Fosca,
near the scene of his attempted murder, and on his direct way between
his cloistered home and the Ducal Palace. The Greatest of the Venetians
stands, in monumental bronze, with his face to the street and his back
to the canal, and in figure as well as in features he suggests in many
ways the younger, and the greater, of the D’Israelis, with whom, except
in nationality, he had so little in common.

The D’Israelis, it will be remembered, were descended from a line of
prosperous Jewish merchants who had lived here in the days when Venice
was still, in a measure,


the Queen of the Adriatic. Neither of the two men of the race who made
it famous in the annals of literature was born here, but they were both
of them visitors here, although neither of them has left any record as
to where or when. Isaac D’Israeli, however, in a paper upon “Venice,”
among his _Curiosities_, in refuting Byron’s statement that “In Venice
Tasso’s Echoes are no more,” takes bodily and literally, without credit,
Goethe’s description of how he “entered a gondola by moonlight. One
singer placed himself forwards and the other aft, and then proceeded to
S. Giorgio.” Then follow, in Goethe’s words, D’Israeli’s remarks upon
the music of the gondoliers, closing, still in Goethe’s words, with an
experience familiar to all subsequent visitors here: “The sleepy canals,
the lofty buildings, the splendor of the moon, the deep shadows of the
few gondolas that moved like spirits hither and thither, increased the
striking peculiarity of the scene; and amidst all these circumstances it
was easy to confess the character of this wonderful harmony.”

In another chapter of _The Curiosities_, which is entitled “The Origin
of the Newspaper,” D’Israeli, stealing, perhaps, from somebody else,
tells us that the first expression of Literature in the form of a
periodical was made in Venice. It was, he says, a Government organ
originally issued once a month; and even long after the invention of
printing it appeared in manuscript. It was called _La Gazetta_, he adds,
perhaps from “gazzera,” a magpie, or chatterer, or more likely from
“gazzeta,” the small Venetian coin which was its price after it appeared
in type. If this fact establishes another Literary Landmark for Venice,
let Venice have all the credit of it.

Marino Sanudo, the younger and the greater of that name, was one of the
early sons of Venice who found his mother neither nourishing,
comforting, nor affectionate. He began to take notes, and to make notes,
even as a child, his initial researches having commenced before he was
ten years of age. He started his _Diary_ when he was about seventeen;
fifty-six volumes of it, covering a period of almost as many years, are
still in existence, although not in Venice; and the larger portions of
them have been printed. Besides these, he published voluminous works,
all of them of the greatest value to the student of the history of his
native state. Mrs. Oliphant calls him “one of the most gifted and
astonishing of historical moles.” The height of his aspiration was the
gratitude and appreciation of the world, by whom he was entirely
forgotten for three centuries or more, until Rawdon Brown rescued his
name, and his works, from oblivion, and shamed the Venetians into
marking, in a suitable way, the house in which he lived; although there
is no record of the grave in which he was laid.

Sanudo’s house is still standing on the corner of the Fondamenta and the
Ponte del Megio, directly in the rear of, and not far from, the Fondaco
dei Turchi. It is plain and substantial, what is called a genteel
mansion, and it was a worthy home for a plain and substantial and modest
Man of Letters. The tablet is weather-worn and stained, and it looks
much older than the days of Rawdon Brown. The inscription, roughly
translated, states that “Here dwelt Marino Leonardo F. Sanuto, who,
while he well knew the history of the whole universe, still wrote with
truth and fidelity of his own country and of his own times. He died here
in April, 1536.”

According to tradition, says Signor Tassini, when Tasso came to Venice
with Alfonso di Ferrara to meet Henry III. of France, he lodged in what
is now known as the Fondaco dei Turchi, an Italo-Byzantine structure of
the Ninth Century, and one of the oldest secular buildings in the city.
It stands on the Grand Canal, on the left as one sails from St. Mark’s
to the railway-station, and past the Rialto; but it was entirely
modernized about a quarter of a century ago, and it now contains the
collection of the Museo Civico. There is also a tradition that Tasso, in
later years, found refuge in the Palazzo Contarini delle Figure, on the
other side of the Grand Canal and on the other side of the Rialto
Bridge. It is near to the Mocenigo Palace, once the home of Byron.

[Illustration: BYRON’S PALACE, VENICE]

Montaigne arrived in Venice in 1580, and his remarks about the city and
its inhabitants three centuries ago are quaint and entertaining. He was
somewhat disappointed in the show places, but greatly interested in the
people. He recorded that he hired for himself a gondola, which he was
entitled to the use of, night and day, for two lire _per diem_, about
seventeen sous, as he explained, including the boatman. Provisions here
he found as dear as at Paris; but then, in other respects, he considered
it the cheapest place in the world to live in, for the train of
attendants which one required elsewhere was here altogether useless,
everybody going about by himself, which made great saving in clothes;
and, moreover, one had no occasion for horses. His stay here was very
short. He said of Italy generally that he had never seen a country in
which there were so few pretty women. And the inns he found far less
convenient than those of France or Germany. The provisions were not half
so plentiful, and not nearly so well dressed. The houses, too, in Italy
were very inferior; there were no good rooms, and the large windows had
no glass or other protection against the weather; the bedrooms were mere
cabins, and the beds wretched pallets, running upon casters, with a
miserable canopy over them; “and Heaven help him who cannot lie hard!”

Milton was in Venice in the months of April and May, 1639, but the only
incident of his stay here which he recorded is that he shipped to
England a number of books which he had collected in different parts of
Italy; and some of these, we are told, by one who saw them later in the
lodging-house in St. Bride’s Church-yard, London, were curious and rare,
“including a chest or two of choice music-books from the best masters
flourishing then in Italy.”

Among the volumes which Milton bought and studied in Venice was a
history of the town, in Latin, printed by the Elzevirs in 1631. It
contains the folding-plates of the Rialto, and of the interior of the
Council Chamber of the Doges, which are reproduced here; and the
well-preserved copy of the same work, bought behind the Cathedral by


the present chronicler, for a few lire, he highly prizes, as presenting
views of the public places of Venice contemporary with _The Merchant of
Venice_ and _Othello_, and as, perhaps, having passed here through
Milton’s own hands. It was the latest and most authentic chronicle of
its kind when Venice received Milton on the bosoms of her canals.

John Evelyn came to Venice in the month of May, 1645, and, as he put it,
as soon as he got ashore his portmanteaus were examined at the Dogana,
and then he went to his lodging, which was at honest Signor
Rhodomante’s, at the Black Eagle, near the Rialto, one of the best
quarters of the town. The journey from Rome to Venice, he stated, cost
him seven pistoles and thirteen julios. “Two days after, taking a
gondola, which is their water-coach,” he said, “we rode up and down
their canals, which answer to our streets. These vessels are built very
long and narrow, having necks and tails of steel, somewhat spreading at
the beak, like a fish’s tail, and kept so exceedingly polished as to
give a great lustre.” His first visit was to the Rialto. “It was
evening, and the canal where the Noblesse go to take the air, as in our
Hyde Park, was full of ladies and gentlemen.... Next day I went to the
Exchange, a place like ours, frequented by merchants, but nothing so
magnificent.... Hence I passed through the Merceria, one of the most
delicious streets in the world for the sweetness of it [!]; and is all
the way, on both sides, tapestried, as it were, with cloth of gold, rich
damasks and other silks, which the shops expose and hang before their
houses from the first floor; ... to this add the perfumes, apothecaries’
shops, and the innumerable cages of nightingales, which they keep, that
entertain you with their melody from shop to shop, so that shutting your
eyes you could imagine yourself in the country, when, indeed, you are in
the middle of the sea.” Evelyn left Venice at the end of March, 1646.

Ruskin, in _The Stones of Venice_, speaks of “the hostelry of the Black
Eagle, with its square door of marble deeply moulded in the outer wall,
where we see the shadows of its


pergola of vines resting on an ancient well, with a pointed shield
carved on its side.” This must not be confounded with Signor
Rhodomante’s establishment, where Evelyn was entertained two centuries
earlier. Evelyn’s Black Eagle, after many inquiries among the oldest
residents of its neighborhood, and after much interesting and fluent
interchange of bad Italian and worse English, was discovered to be the
ancient house near the Rialto Bridge, now numbered 5238 Calle dei
Stagneri, on the Ponte della Fava, and close to the Campo S.
Bartolommeo, where stands the Goldoni statue. The house has retired to
private life, and is, at present, the home of a practising lawyer in
good standing.

Ruskin’s Black Eagle died an unnatural death in 1880, when a certain
unusually narrow street was wiped out of existence, under the direction
of a chief magistrate (whose name was Dante di Siego Alighieri), to make
way for the broad avenue now known as the Street of the 22d of March.
The inn was in a retired corner, but on the line of travel between the
larger hotels and the Square of S. Moisè. Not a stone of it seems to be
left in Venice now.

Ruskin himself, while preserving and polishing _The Stones of Venice_,
was very fond of an old-fashioned modest little inn, called La Calcina,
in the Zattere Quarter, on the corner of the Campiello della Calcina and
by the bridge of the same name. Ruskin’s rooms were over the portico,
looking out on the Giudecca Canal, and in fair weather he breakfasted
and dined under the shadow of a pergola of vines in the very small
garden in the rear of the house.

On the Zattere side of this hostelry, over a little gateway in a passage
leading to the garden, is a tablet stating that here died the celebrated
poet Apostolo Zeno, in 1750. He was born in Venice, eighty-two years
before. He came of an old Venetian family, distinguished in the world of
letters. He was a poet, “and the reformer and renovator” of the
melodrama in Italy, and he wrote works of a serious as well as of a
romantic character. His fine library is now a portion of the Library of
St. Mark.

During another visit to Venice Ruskin lived in the house of Rawdon Brown
(q. v.); and after Mr. Brown’s death he lodged at the Hotel Europa. All
this information was gathered from his personal guide, who described him
as “a very curious man, who looked at things with his eyes shut,”
imitating, as he spoke, that half-closed-eyelid gaze of a near-sighted
person so familiar to all normally visioned observers.

In what is now called the Casa Brown, a stone’s-throw from the Calcina
Inn, and in the home of his warm friend and literary executor Mr.
Horatio F. Brown, lived and worked, while in Venice, John Addington
Symonds, and herefrom he went, in the spring of 1893, to Rome to die.
Symonds’s apartments were on the lower floor of the house, which stands
on the Bridge and Campiello Incurabili, of the Zattere. In the upper
story were written Mr. Brown’s _Venetian Studies_, _Life on the
Lagoons_, _The Venetian Printing Press_, etc.

Rawdon Brown lived and died in the Casa della Vida; S. Marcuolo--the
address is taken from one of his own visiting-cards. He occupied the
second and third floors of this house, which fronts upon the Grand
Canal, nearly opposite the Church of S. Eustachio; and many of his
contemporary Men of Letters, besides Ruskin, were here his guests. He
bequeathed his apartments and their contents to two faithful old

Mr. Brown was buried, in August, 1883, in the Protestant portion of the
Cemetery of S. Michele.

Not far from Brown, in the same grounds, lies Eugene Schuyler,
“Statesman, Diplomatist, Traveller, Geographer, Historian, Essayist,”
who died at the Grand Hotel in Venice in 1890.

G. P. R. James, who died in Venice in 1860, was buried in this same
Protestant Cemetery. The tablet over his grave, blackened by time,
broken and hardly decipherable, contains the following epitaph, said to
have been the composition of Landor: “His merits as a writer are known
wherever the English language is, and as a man they rest on the heads of
many. A few friends have erected this humble and perishable monument.”
There is a vague tradition among the older alien residents here that
James was not buried at S. Michele at all, but on the Lido, where are a
few very ancient stones and monuments marking the graves of foreign
visitors to Venice. They are in a state of picturesque and utter
dilapidation, moss-covered, broken, and generally undecipherable; and
none of them seem to be of later date than the middle of the Eighteenth
Century. They are within the ramparts of Forte S. Nicolò, near the
powder-magazine, and are only seen by the consent of the military
authorities, which is obtained with difficulty. It is said that Byron
expressed a wish to leave his bones here, if his soul should be demanded
of him in Italy.

Sir Henry Layard lodged at the Hotel di Roma in 1867, when began his
connection with the glass-works of Murano.

He did not purchase the Palazzo Cappello, on the Grand Canal, corner of
the Rio S. Polo, until 1878. Here he received and entertained nearly all
the distinguished visitors to Venice, until the time of his death,
which occurred in London in 1894.

Mr. Howells, upon his first arrival in Venice, lodged, for a time, in
the house of his predecessor as American Consul, in a little street
behind the Square of St. Mark. Then he removed to the Campo S.
Bartolommeo, on the Rialto side of the square, and later he lived in the
Campo S. Stefano before he began house-keeping in the Casa Falier, a
queer little mansion on the right-hand side of the Grand Canal, three
doors from the infamous Iron Bridge. The Casa Falier has cage-like,
over-hanging windows, one of them figuring as “The Balcony on the Grand
Canal,” from which he saw, and set down, “sights more gracious and fairy
than poets ever dreamed.”

His latest house here, in 1864-5, was in the Palazzo Giustiniani dei
Vescovi, on the other side of the thoroughfare. It is the middle of
three Gothic palaces on the Grand Canal which look towards the Rialto,
are next to the Palazzo Foscari, and which, as some one has expressed
it, are now a


mosaic-mill. Here he received and put upon record the impressions of his
_Venetian Life_, which have given so much pleasure to so many readers,
in Venice and out of it, and which have told us so many things we want
to know about Venice and the Venetians.

Mr. Charles Dudley Warner, during one long and happy summer in Venice,
wrote the story of his _Winter on the Nile_. He lived in the Barbaro
Palace, on the Grand Canal, not far from the Falier house of Mr.
Howells, on the same side of the stream, but on the other side of the
Iron Bridge, and nearly opposite the modern-mosaic-frescoed ancient
establishment of Murano-work, which Mr. Howells occupied later. Over the
front door of Mr. Warner’s house is a great carved head of some ancient
worthy, perhaps a Barbaro, perhaps a saint or a god, whose rank or title
is to-day unknown. Mr. Warner’s writing was done in a little room with a
balconied window, on the top floor of the neighboring Palazzo Fosclo.

Of the other later-day historians of Venice, it may be stated that Dr.
Robertson, the annalist of Sarpi and of St. Mark’s, lives in the Casa
S. Leonardo, on the Rio S. Maria della Salute, and by the side of the
church of that name; that Mr. Augustus J. C. Hare took most of his
_Walks in Venice_ from the Hotel Milano, fronting on the Grand Canal;
that Mrs. Clara Erskine Clement designed her crown for _The Queen of the
Adriatic_ at the Hotel Europa; and that Mrs. Oliphant made _The Makers
of Venice_ in a house in the Campo S. Maurizio.

To go back to the men of other days. Addison came to Venice in the
winter of 1699-1700. His remarks upon Italy are entertaining enough,
although of the guide-book order, and he is uniformly silent regarding
his experiences here. As Walpole said of him, he travelled through the
poets and not through Italy; all his ideas were borrowed from the
descriptions, not from the reality, and he saw places as they had been,
not as they were.

Goldoni is one of the few native actors of Venice who merit an encore
here. He is as interesting to-day as he was to the audiences who crowded
the theatres of Venice to


witness his performances. He seems to have been born in the Calle dei
Nomboli, at the corner of the Ponte and the Fondamenta S. Tomà, in the
fine old house which contains the medallion portrait of the poet, and an
inscription stating that here Carlo Goldoni first saw the light in 1707.
It is still known as the Palazzo Centani, and it still possesses a
beautiful Gothic staircase, upon the railing of which a little marble
lion still placidly sits. But, as Mr. Howells points out,
notwithstanding the assertions of the guides and the guide-books to the
contrary, the dramatist could hardly have written many of his immortal
comedies here, unless he was unusually precocious even for a poet, for
he was a small child when his family moved to Chioggia.

Signor Tassini says that Goldoni was once a resident in the Campo
Rusolo, called also Campo Canova. The modern statue to Goldoni, 1883,
with its harmonious base, stands in the Campo S. Bartolommeo, near the
Rialto Bridge. And there is a tradition that Goldoni was at one time in
some way associated with the present Teatro Minerva in the Calle del
Teatro S. Moisè, off the modernized Via 22 Marzo, and now the home of
the intellectual Marionettes.

In an elaborate and very carefully prepared volume, entitled _J. J.
Rousseau à Venise, 1743-1744_, written by M. Victor Ceresole, and
published in Geneva and in Paris in 1885, the writer proves very
conclusively that Rousseau did not remain so long in Venice as Rousseau
declared he did in the _Confessions_; and he points out, upon
contemporaneous documentary evidence, that Rousseau occupied the tall
thin house in the Canareggio Quarter, which is to-day on the Fondamenta
delle Penitente, and bears the number 968. It is the warehouse of a firm
of wood merchants, who have removed the grand staircase and have
utilized a greater part of the aristocratic old mansion, which was once
the home of a powerful Venetian family, and later of the Spanish
Ambassadors, as a storehouse for their merchandise, imported from the
mountains of Cadore, the land of Titian, and retailed by the innkeepers

[Illustration: GOLDONI’S STATUE]

of the present at seventy cents an armful. Rousseau lived long enough in
Venice to have added to his own innate power of invention some of the
Venetian love of exaggeration; and if, in his _Confessions_, he
increased the length of his stay here by at least one-third, it is not
easy to say how much of what he said he did here is fiction or fact.

Upon the Ramo dei Fuseri side of the Hotel Victoria and upon the little
bridge of the same name is a tablet bearing the following inscription:
“_Goethe wohnte hier 28 Sep.-14 Oct. MDCCLXXXVI_.” Notwithstanding the
bad reputation for veracity which the Venetian tablets generally have
achieved for themselves, and despite the extraordinarily free and
phonetic translation of a distinguished American artist from Hartford,
Connecticut, to the effect that Goethe “weren’t here,” it seems from his
own confessions that Goethe _was_ here, on this identical spot, and at
that particular period of his existence, for he wrote: “I am comfortably
housed in ‘The Queen of England’ [so named in honor of the consort of
George III.], not far from St. Mark’s Square, and this is the greatest
advantage of my quarters. My windows look out on a small canal between
high houses; directly under me is an arched bridge, and opposite a
densely populated alley. So live I, and so shall I for some time remain,
until my packet is ready for Germany, and until I have had a surfeit of
the pictures of the city. The loneliness I have sighed for with such
passionate longing I now enjoy. I know perhaps only one man in Venice,
and I am not likely to meet him in some time.”

How much Goethe did for Venice, and for the Hotel of the English Queen,
Goethe himself probably never knew. But ever since Goethe expressed, in
print, his romantic love for the place, German brides have been
coming here on their wedding-trips, and have been trying to see
Venice as Goethe saw it, and have been quoting Goethe to their
husbands-of-a-day-or-two, and have been pretending an enthusiasm for
Venice which they do not always feel, simply because, somehow, this is
considered, on Goethe’s account, the proper thing for German brides to

The biographers of Samuel Rogers have printed only fragmentary portions
of the _Diary and Letters_ written during his visit to Italy in 1814,
and very few of his personal experiences here have been preserved. We
learn that Venice greatly delighted him, and that he was particularly
fond of loitering about the Square of St. Mark. No doubt he was wont to
break his fast at the Restaurant Quadri, and very likely he was
accustomed to break the fast of the doves who loitered there too.

Byron spent the winter of 1816-’17 in Venice. On the 17th of November,
1816, he wrote to Moore: “I have fallen in love, which, next to falling
into the canal (which would be of no use, as I can swim), is the best,
or the worst, thing I could do. I have got some extremely good
apartments in the house of a Merchant of Venice, who is a good deal
occupied with business, and has a wife in her twenty-second year.” He
spoke more than once of these lodgings, but he gave no hint as to where
they were, and he asked Murray to address him _Poste Restante_. Moore,
however, says that for many months he continued to occupy the same rooms
“in an extremely narrow street, called the Spezzeria, at the house of a

The Spezzeria is not a street, but a district of the town, near the
Rialto Quarter. It was devoted, in Byron’s day, to the dealers in
spices. His Merchant of Venice, therefore, should have been a vender of
drugs, sugars, coffees, spices, wax-candles and the like, in wholesale.
But, alas for the romance of it all! tradition, in Venice, says that he
was a plain, commonplace baker who lived, in good enough style, not in
the Spezzeria, but in the Frezzeria, the Street of the Makers of Arrows.

In December Byron wrote to Murray: “I have begun, and am proceeding in,
a study of the Armenian language, which I acquire, as well as I can, at
the Armenian Convent here, where I go every day to take lessons of a
learnèd friar, and have gained some singular and not useless


with regard to the literature and customs of that Oriental people. They
have an establishment here--a church and convent of ninety monks, very
learned and accomplished men, some of them. They have also a press, and
make great efforts for the enlightening of their nation. I find the
language (which is twin, the literal and the vulgar) difficult, but not
invincible (at least I hope not). I shall go on. I found it necessary to
twist my mind ’round some severe study; and this, as being the hardest I
could devise here, will be a file for the serpent.”

He twisted his mind around the Armenian tongue for upwards of half a
year, a long time for Byron; and his memory is still held dear among the
Armenian brothers, although, of course, none of those are left now who
remember him personally; and there are only a few relics of him to be
found here. A poor portrait, not contemporaneous; his desk; his
inkstand; his pen; and some of his manuscript Armenian exercises are
reverently preserved. An aged monk who came to Venice after Byron’s day
showed me, one sunny afternoon, his own apartment, which he said had
once been the English poet’s. Although large and comfortable, and
scrupulously clean, it is scantily and plainly furnished, and is not
very inviting in itself. It has but one window, which is almost directly
over the main entrance of the establishment, with an outlook on to the
little canal and the open waters beyond. The beautiful old monastery,
with its more beautiful old garden, is peaceful and restful; far from
the madding crowd, and surrounded by an air of intellect and learning
which might tempt one to try to twist one’s mind around something sweet
and nourishing for one’s own sake, if not for Byron’s.

On the 14th June, 1817, Byron wrote to Murray again, this time from “the
banks of the Brenta, a few miles from Venice, where I have colonized for
six months to come.” He was again in Venice in 1818 and 1819, and he
wrote, “I transport my horse to the Lido bordering the Adriatic (where
the fort is), so that I get a gallop of some miles daily along the strip
of beach which reaches to Malamocco.” At this period he was occupying
the centre of the three Mocenigo Palaces, on the Grand Canal.

Moore met Byron in Venice in 1819, and he describes the five or six days
they spent together here. He found Byron with whiskers, and fuller both
in face and person than when he had seen him last, and leading anything
but a reputable life. In Venice portions of _Manfred_, _Childe Harold_,
and _Don Juan_ were written.

Bakers and poets, in Venice, seem to have a mutual attraction, for there
are men still living here who remember Gautier when he was a lodger over
the baker’s shop in the Campo S. Moisè, on the left-hand side, and
opposite the corner of the church, as one goes towards the Square of St.
Mark. His landlord, like Byron’s, was a Merchant of Venice in bread and
cakes, in a retail way; and the establishment is still to be seen on the
same spot, its window filled with the staff of life of all sizes and in
every shape, some of the latter often fantastic.

The gondolas of Venice have frequently been compared to hearses, but
Shelley likened them to “moths, of which a coffin might have been the
chrysalis.” Clara Shelley, a daughter of the poet, died “at an inn” in
Venice in 1818, and “she sleeps on bleak Lido, near Venetian seas.”

In _Julian and Maddalo_, written in 1818, Shelley tells us how he--

    “ ... rode one evening with Count Maddalo
     Upon the bank of sand which breaks the flow
     Of Adria towards Venice: a bare strand
     Of hillocks, heaped from ever-shifting sand,
     Matted with thistles and amphibious weeds,
     Such as from earth’s embrace the salt ooze breeds,
     Is this; an uninhabited sea-side,
     Which the lone fisher, when his nets are dried,
     Abandons; and no other object breaks
     The waste, but one dwarf tree and some few stakes,
     Broken and unrepaired, and the tide makes
     A narrow space of level sand thereon,
     Where ’twas our wont to ride while day went down.
     This ride was my delight.”

The Lido, of course, is here referred to. Later, in the same poem, he

    “Servants announced the gondola, and we
     Through the fast-falling rain and high-wrought sea
     Sailed to the island where the mad-house stands.”

Elsewhere he speaks of “ocean’s nurseling, Venice”; but he never states
where he lodged in Venice during any of his brief visits here.

Scott arrived in Venice on the 19th of May, 1832, and he remained here
until the 23d. His biographer says that he showed no curiosity about
anything but the Bridge of Sighs and the adjoining dungeons, down into
which latter he would scramble, though the exertion was exceedingly
painful to him. It is not recorded where he lodged here, and he went
slowly and sadly home to die.

George Sand and Alfred de Musset spent a number of months, in 1833-34,
at the Hotel Danieli, and there De Musset was very ill of a brain-fever,
caused, according to the story of old residents, by Mme. Dudevant’s
desertion of him, although other, and perhaps better, authorities
declare that she never left his bedside until he was pronounced out of
danger. All statements agree, however, that she was not with him when
his brother came for him, in the spring of 1834, and carried him back to

James Fenimore Cooper, on his arrival here in 1838, “spent a day or two
at the Hotel Leone Bianco, on the northwest side of the Square”; but
later he “took apartments near the Palazzo, where he set up his own
gondola.” He did what we all do on our first visit to Venice; but his
conclusions are so unlike those of most of us that they are worth
recording. “Although Venice was attractive at first,” he says, “in the
absence of acquaintances it became monotonous and wearying. A town in
which the sound of wheels and hoofs is never known, in which the
stillness of the narrow, ravine-like canals is seldom broken, unless by
the fall of an oar or the cry of a gondolier, fatigues one by its
unceasing calm. I do not remember to have been so much struck with any
place on entering it. I do not recollect ever to have been so soon tired
of a residence in a capital.”

The very absence of the noise of hoof and wheel, the very silence of
which he complains, are, to most tired-minded travellers, the greatest
of the charms of the capital city of Venice. But happily we each have
our own points of view.

Dickens came first to Venice in 1844, when he wrote to Forster: “Here I
sit in the sober solitude of a famous inn, with the great bell of St.
Mark ringing twelve at my elbow; with three arched windows in my room
(two stones high) looking down upon the Grand Canal, and away, beyond,
to where the sun went down to-night in a blaze.” He did not tell the
name of the famous inn; but it sounds like Hotel Danieli. Elsewhere he
said to the same correspondent: “My Dear Fellow--Nothing in the world
that you have ever heard of Venice is equal to the magnificent and
stupendous reality; the wildest visions of _The Arabian Nights_ are
nothing to the Piazza of St. Mark, and the first impression of the
inside of the Church. The gorgeous and wonderful reality of Venice is
beyond the fancy of the wildest dreamer. Opium couldn’t build such a
place, and enchantment couldn’t shadow it forth in vision.” In 1853 he
wrote to Forster: “We live in the same house I lived in nine years ago,
and have the same sitting-room--close to the Bridge of Sighs and the
Palace of the Doges. The room is at the corner of the house, and there
is a narrow street of water running round the side.” Again, no doubt,
Hotel Danieli.

In 1845 Mrs. Jameson wrote to Catharine Sedgwick: “Did you visit Venice?
I forget. In the world there is nothing like it. It seems to me that we
can find a similitude for everything else, but Venice is like nothing
else--Venice the beautiful, the wonderful. I had seen it before, but it
was as new to me as if unbeheld; and every morning when I arose I was
still in the same state of wonder and enchantment.” She made several
visits to Venice, but she gave no hint as to her places of lodgement

George Eliot and Lewes arrived in Venice on the night of the 4th June,
1860. “What stillness!” she wrote, “what beauty! Looking out from the
high windows of our hotel, I


felt it was a pity to go to bed. Venice was more beautiful than romance
had feigned.”

On the 15th May, 1864, she wrote to the Trollopes, from the Hôtel de
Ville: “We reached Venice three days ago, and have the delight of
finding everything more beautiful than it was to us four years ago.” Her
last visit to Venice was made with Mr. Cross, in the summer of 1880,
when her husband was very ill at the Hotel Europa.

Nearly opposite the Europa, on the Grand Canal, stands the Casa
Simitecolo, in the parish of S. Gregorio, where Miss Constance Fenimore
Woolson died, on the 24th January, 1894. She had, during the preceding
year, occupied apartments in the Casa Biondetti, on the same side of the
Canal, but nearer the Suspension-Bridge. As was her own desire, Miss
Woolson was buried in the Protestant Cemetery in Rome.

Mr. Hare says that Châteaubriand was once a guest at the Europa; and
that Wagner, in the same house, wrote a certain Literary-Musical
Landmark, called _Tristram and Isolde_. Wagner died in 1883, in the
Palazzo Vendramin Calerghi, on the Grand Canal, a fine mansion, dating
back to the end of the Fifteenth Century. It is opposite the Museo
Civico, and is sometimes called the “_Non Nobis_ Palace,” because of the
inscription “_Non Nobis Domine, Non Nobis_,” in great letters across its

In the month of May, 1869, Helen Hunt wrote: “We are most comfortably
established at the Hotel Vittoria, _not_ on the Grand Canal, thank
Heaven! When N---- at first said that she did not dare to stay on the
Grand Canal, because she feared too much sea air, I was quite dismayed.
But now I am thankful enough to have dry land, that is, a stone floor
laid on piles, on _one_ side of our house. I look down from any window
into one of the cracks called streets; the people look as if they were
being threaded into the Scriptural needle’s eye, and a hand-organ looks
like a barricade.” “Cracks called streets” is good.

On “Thanksgiving Day, 1873,” Lowell wrote to Thomas Hughes: “To-day the
weather is triumphant, and my views of life consequently more cheerful.
It is so warm that we are going out presently in the gondola, to take up
a few dropped stitches. Venice, after all, is incomparable, and during
this visit I have penetrated into little slits of streets in every
direction on foot. The canals only give one a visiting acquaintance. The
_calli_ make you an intimate of the household.”

In October, 1881, Lowell wrote to Mr. Gilder from Hotel Danieli: “It is
raining; never mind, I am in Venice. Sirocco is doing his worst; I defy
him, I am in Venice. I am horribly done; but what can I expect? I am in

Lord Houghton was living in 1878 at the Pension Suisse, or Hôtel de
Rome, on the Grand Canal.

In 1878 Browning was at the Albergo dell’ Universo, the Palazzo
Brandolin-Rota, on the shady side of the Grand Canal, just below the
Accademia and the Suspension-Bridge. Here he remained for a fortnight;
and he visited the same hotel again in 1879, 1880, and 1881. In 1885 he
occupied a suite of rooms in the Palazzo Alvise, on the other side of
the Grand Canal, and about midway between the Grand Hotel and the Hôtel
Grande Bretagne; and during the same year he entered into negotiations
for the purchase of the Palazzo Montecuccoli, next door to the Albergo
dell’ Universo, which he used to frequent. He wrote: “It is situated on
the Grand Canal, and is described by Ruskin--to give no other
authority--as ‘a perfect and only rich example of Byzantine Renaissance:
its warm yellow marbles are magnificent.’ And again, ‘an exquisite
example [of Byzantine Renaissance] as applied to domestic architecture.’
So testifies _The Stones of Venice_.” He never owned the palace,
however, the foundations of the house proving insecure.

During the last year of his life he lived in a beautifully restored
palace on the Grand Canal. It is one of the finest private residences in
Europe; but as it is now the home of the poet’s son, it is not, of
course, except in his absence, open to the public view. It contains many
original portraits of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, by


artists and at different ages, a number of bronze and marble busts of
them by the present occupant, and notably their private libraries. Never
was seen such a collection of absolutely invaluable “presentation
copies” from all the writers of note who were the contemporaries and the
friends of the wonderfully gifted husband and wife. To at least one
visitor to Venice it is the most interesting spot in the interesting
city; and he would rather be the possessor of that private library than
of all the rest of the great treasures of Venice put together.

Off the library, and on what, for want of a better term, may be called
the drawing-room floor, is a bow-windowed recess delicately and
exquisitely decorated in white and gold. It was originally the private
chapel of that member of the Rezzonico family who became Pope Clement
XIII.; and, carefully restored, it has been dedicated by the husband and
the son to the memory of Mrs. Browning. It is plainly visible from the
larger and the smaller canal; but it was not intended for the world to
see, and what is its nature, and what its contents, I have no right yet,
and no wish here, to disclose.

On the side of the Browning Palace, above the little Canal of S.
Barnaba, and immediately below the windows of the poet’s bedroom, is a
tablet with this inscription,

“Robert Browning died in this house 12th December, 1889.

    “Open my heart and you will see
     Graved inside of it ‘Italy.’”

This Rezzonico Palace was purchased by Mrs. Robert Barrett Browning in
1888, and here at the close of the next year the poet died. He had said
to Miss Browning, not very long before, that he wished to be buried
wherever he might chance to breathe his last: if in England, by the side
of his mother; if in France, by the side of his father; if in Italy, by
the side of his wife. Further interments having been prohibited in the
English Cemetery in Florence, where lies his wife, his body was placed
temporarily in the chapel of the Mortuary Island of S. Michele here. A
few days later he was laid at rest in the Poets’ Corner at Westminster
Abbey, with “Italy” graved inside his heart.


Addison, Joseph, 42.

Aldo II., Manuzio, 22.

Aldo, Paolo, 22.

Aldo, Pio, 20-22.

Barozzi, N., quoted, 17.

Boccaccio, 16-19.

Bollani, Bishop, quoted, 11.

Bolognese, Pietro, 19.

Brown, Horatio F., 37.

Brown, Horatio F., quoted, 19, 20-21.

Brown, Rawdon, 37-38.

Brown, Rawdon, quoted, 8, 29-30.

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, 60-61.

Browning, Robert, 59-63.

Byron, Lord, 30, 38, 47-51.

Byron, Lord, quoted, 27.

Ceresole, Victor, quoted, 44.

Châteaubriand, 57.

Cinthio, G. B., quoted, 11.

Clement, Clara Erskine, 42.

Clement, Clara Erskine, quoted, 21.

Cooper, James Fenimore, 54-55.

Dickens, Charles, 55-56.

Disraeli, Benjamin, 26-27.

D’Israeli, Isaac, 26-27.

D’Israeli, Isaac, quoted, v., 27-28.

Dudevant, Mme., 53-54.

Duse, Elenora, 9-10.

“Eliot, George,” 56-57.

Elze, Th., quoted, 6-7.

Erasmus, 23.

Evans, Mary Anne, 56-57.

Evelyn, John, 33-34.

Furness, Horace Howard, quoted, 6-7.

Gautier, Théophile, 51.

“George Eliot,” 56-57.

“George Sand,” 53-54.

Gibbon, Edward, quoted, 24.

Goethe, 45-47.

Goethe, quoted, 1, 27.

Goldoni, Carlo, 42-44.

Goldsmith, Oliver, 7.

Gregoropoulos, 21.

Hare, Augustus J. C., 42.

Hare, Augustus J. C., quoted, 10-11, 57.

Houghton, Lord, 59.

Howells, William Dean, 40-41.

Howells, William Dean, quoted, 5, 11, 19.

Hunt, Helen, 58.

James, G. P. R., 38-39.

Jameson, Anna, 56.

Landor, Walter Savage, quoted, 38-39.

Layard, Sir Henry, 39-40.

Lewes, George Henry, 56-57.

Lowell, James Russell, 58-59.

Luther, Martin, 23.

Milton, John, 32-33.

Montaigne, 31-32.

Moore, Thomas, quoted, 48, 51.

Moro, Christoforo, 7, 8, 9-10.

Musset, Alfred de, 53-54.

Oliphant, Margaret W., 42.

Oliphant, Margaret W., quoted, 29.

Petrarch, 16-20.

Polo, Marco, 13-15.

Polo, Nicolò, 14-15.

Robertson, Alexander, 41-42.

Robertson, Alexander, quoted, 22, 24.

Rogers, Samuel, 47.

Rousseau, J. J., 44-45.

Ruskin, John, 36, 37.

Ruskin, John, quoted, 1, 34-35, 60.

“Sand, George,” 53-54.

Sanudo, Marino, 28-30.

Sarpi, Paolo, 23-26.

Schuyler, Eugene, 38.

Scott, Walter, 53.

Shakspere, 4, 6-7.

Shakspere, quoted, 4, 13.

Shelley, Percy B., 52-53.

Symonds, John Addington, 37.

Tassini, Giuseppe, quoted, 8-9, 19, 30, 43.

Tasso, 30.

Wagner, Richard, 57-58.

Walpole, Horace, quoted, 42.

Warner, Charles Dudley, 41.

Woolson, Constance Fenimore, 57.

Zeno, Apostolo, 36.


Accademia, 59.

Agostino, S., Parish, 20, 21.

Alvise, Palazzo, 60.

Armenian Convent, 48-50.

Barbaro, Palazzo, 41.

Barnaba, S., Canale, 62.

Bartolommeo, S., Campo, 35, 40, 43.

Biagio, S., Parish, 25.

Biondetti, Casa, 57.

Black Eagle, Inn, Evelyn’s, 33-35.

Black Eagle, Inn, Ruskin’s, 34-36.

Brandolin-Rota, Palazzo, 59.

Brenta, The, 50.

Briati, Fondamenta, 2.

Bridge of Sighs, 53, 56.

Brown, Casa, 37.

Calcina, Campiello della, 36.

Calcina, Ponte della, 36.

Calcina, Inn, 36, 37.

  Dose, del, 18.
  Nomboli, dei, 43.
  Pistor, del, 21.
  Stagneri, dei, 35.
  Teatro, del, S. Moisè, 44.

Campo or Campiello:
  Bartolommeo, S., 35, 40, 43.
  Calcina, della, 36.
  Canova, 43.
  Carmine, del, 7, 8.
  Fosca, 26.
  Incurabili, 37.
  Manin, 22-23.
  Maurizio, S., 42.
  Moisè, S., 36, 51.
  Paternian, S., 22-23.
  Rusolo, 43.
  Stefano, S., 23, 40.

  Barnaba, S., 62.
  Calcina, della, 36.
  Carmine, del, 7.
  Giudecca, 36.
  Grand Canal, 9, 30, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 51, 55, 57, 59, 60, 61.

Canareggio, District, 10, 13, 44.

Canova, Campo, 43.

Cappello, Palazzo, 39-40.

Carmine, Campo del, 7 8.

Carmine, Canale del, 7.

  Biondetti, 57.
  Brown, 37.
  Falier, 40-41.
  Leonardo, S., 42.
  Simitecolo, 57.
  Vida della, 37-38.

Centani, Palazzo, 43.

Chioggia, 43.

  Eustachio, S., 38.
  Giobbe, S., 10.
  Giorgio, S., 27.
  Lorenzo, S., 15-16.
  Maria della Salute, S., 25, 42.
  Michele, S., 25.
  Moisè, S., 51.
  Servite, 24-26.
  Stefano, S., 23.

Cicogna, Palazzo, 2.

Contarini delle Figure, Palazzo, 30.

Contarini-Fasan, Palazzo, 9.

Council Chamber of the Doges, 6, 32.

Croce, Rio della, 11.

Danieli, Hotel, 53-54, 55-56, 59.

  Canareggio, 10, 13, 44.
  Spezzeria, 48.
  Zattere, 36, 37.

Dogana, 33.

Doge’s, Palace of the, 5, 25, 54, 56.

Dose, Calle del, 18.

English Queen, Hotel, 45-46, 58.

Europa, Hotel, 37, 42, 57 bis.

Eustachio, S., Church, 38.

Exchange, The, 34.

Falier Casa, 40-41.

Fava, Ponte della, 35.

Fondaco dei Turchi, 29, 30.

  Briati, 2.
  Megio, del, 29.
  Penitente, delle, 44.
  Tomà, S., 43.

Fosca, Campo, 26.

Fosca, S., Rio, 26.

Foscari, Palazzo, 40.

Fosclo, Palazzo, 41.

Frezzeria, Via, 48.

Fuseri, Ramo dei, 45.

Giobbe, S., Church, 10.

Giorgio, S., Church, 27.

Giudecca Canal, 36.

Giudecca Island, 12.

Giustiniani dei Vescovi, Palazzo, 40-41.

Goldoni Statue, 35, 43.

Grande Bretagne, Hôtel, 60.

Grand Canal, 9, 30, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 51, 55, 57, 59, 60, 61.

Grand Hotel, 9, 38, 60.

Gregorio, S., Parish, 57.

  Black Eagle, Evelyn’s, 33-35.
  Black Eagle, Ruskin’s, 34-36.
  Calcina, 36, 37.
  Danieli, 53-54, 55-56, 59.
  English Queen, 45-46, 58.
  Europa, 37, 42, 57 bis.
  Grand, 9, 38, 60.
  Grande Bretagne, 60.
  Leone Bianco, 54.
  Milano, 42.
  Roma, 39, 59.
  Suisse, 59.
  Universo, 59-60.
  Victoria, 45-46, 58.
  Ville, de, 57.

Incurabili, Campiello, 37.

Incurabili, Ponte, 37.

Leonardo, S., Casa, 42.

Leone Bianco, Hotel, 54.

Library of S. Marco, 25, 36.

Lido, 39, 50, 52.

Lorenzo, S., Church, 15-16.

Malamocco, 51.

Malibran Theatre, 2, 13, 14.

Manin, Campo, 22-23.

Marco, S., Cathedral, 19-20, 55.

Marco, S., Library, 25, 36.

Marco, S., Piazza, 19-20, 40, 46, 47, 54, 55.

Marcuolo, S., Parish, 37-38.

Maria dell’ Orto, S., Parish, 26.

Maria della Salute, S., Church, 25, 42.

Maria della Salute, S., Rio, 42.

Marzo, 22; Via, 35-36, 44.

Maurizio, S., Campo, 42.

Megio, Fondamenta del, 29.

Megio, Ponte del, 29.

Merceria, Via, 34.

Michele, S., Cemetery Island, 25, 38-39, 62.

Michele, S., Church, 25.

Milano, Hotel, 42.

Millione, Corte, 13, 14-15.

Minerva Theatre, 44.

Mocenigo, Palazzo, 30, 51.

Moisè, S., Calle del Teatro, 44.

Moisè, S., Campo, 36, 51.

Moisè, S., Church, 51.

Molin, Palazzo del, 17.

Montecuccoli, Palazzo, 60.

Museo Civico, 30, 58.

Nicolò, S. Forte, 39, 50.

Nomboli, Calle dei, 43.

Non-Nobis, Palazzo, 58.

  Alvise, 60.
  Barbaro, 41.
  Brandolin-Rota, 59.
  Cappello, 39-40.
  Centani, 43.
  Cicogna, 2.
  Contarini delle Figure, 30.
  Contarini-Fasan, 9.
  Doge’s, 5, 25, 54, 56.
  Foscari, 40.
  Fosclo, 41.
  Giustiniani dei Vescovi, 40-41.
  Marco, S., 25, 36.
  Mocenigo, 30, 51.
  Molin, del, 17.
  Montecuccoli, 60.
  Non-Nobis, 58.
  Polo, dei, 13-15.
  Rezzonico, 61-62.
  Vendramin-Calerghi, 58.

  Agostino, S., 20-21.
  Biagio, S., 25.
  Gregorio, S., 57.
  Marcuolo, S., 37-38.
  Maria, S., dell’ Orto, 26.

Paternian, S., Campo, 22-23.

Piazza S. Marco, 19-20, 40, 46-47, 54, 55.

Penitente, Fondamenta delle, 44.

Pistor, Calle del, 21.

Polo, Palazzo dei, 13-15.

Polo. S. Rio, 39-40.

  Bridge of Sighs, 53, 56.
  Calcina, 36.
  Fava, della, 35.
  Incurabili, 37.
  Megio, del, 29.
  Pugni, dei, 24.
  Rialto, 6, 32-33, 34, 35, 40, 43.
  Sepolcro, del, 17.
  Sosperi, dei, 53, 56.

Protestant Cemetery, 25, 38-39, 62.

Pugni, Ponte dei, 24.

Quadri, Restaurant, 47.

Rezzonico, Palazzo, 61-62.

Rialto Bridge, 6, 32-33, 34, 35, 40, 43.

  Croce, della, 12.
  Fosca, S., 26.
  Maria della Salute, S., 42.
  Polo, S., 39-40.
  Teatro Malibran del, 13.
  Terra Secondo, 20-21.

Roma, Hotel, 39, 59.

Rusolo, Campo, 43.

Schiavoni, Riva degli, 17.

Secondo, Rio Terra, 20-21.

Sepolcro, Ponte del, 17.

Servite Church, 24-26.

Simitecolo, Casa, 57.

Sosperi, Ponte dei, 53, 56.

Spezzeria, District, 48.

Stagneri, Calle dei, 35.

Stefano, S., Campo, 23, 40.

Stefano, S., Church, 23.

Suisse, Pension, 59.

Teatro Maibran, Rio del, 13.

Tomà, S., Fondamenta, 43.

Turchi, Fondaco dei, 29, 30.

Universo, Albergo dell’, 59-60.

Vendramin-Calerghi, Palazzo, 58.

  Frezzeria, 48.
  Marzo, 22, 35-36, 44.
  Merceria, 34.

Victoria, Hotel, 45-46, 58.

Vida, Casa della, 37-38.

Ville, Hôtel de, 57.

Zattere, District, 36, 37.


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ANNE. A Novel. Illustrated. 16mo, Cloth, Ornamental, $1 25.

FOR THE MAJOR. A Novelette. 16mo, Cloth, Ornamental, $1 00.

CASTLE NOWHERE. Lake-Country Sketches. 16mo, Cloth, Ornamental, $1 00.

RODMAN THE KEEPER. Southern Sketches. 16mo, Cloth, Ornamental, $1 00.


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