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These will please you best, I think.
A little — there!) 'Hear birdy sing?'
(Now his head is up too high,-
Baby see bird by an' by ? (That's right-keep him so !)-'Good baby,' –
(Steady!) — 'Baby would al't cry!'-
We must still as statues be.
“Yes, it's good. I know you 'll like it.
I'll have proofs without delay. Can't be better. Finished ? — Friday.
Very much obliged. Good day!”
BY FRANK R. STOCKTON.
first built; some of them are still inhabited by
the descendants of the princes and nobles who built IN FLORENCE AND VENICE.
them. In the walls of these palaces are the same
iron rings to which the knights and cavaliers used E left ourselves in Capri, to tie their horses, and here, too, are the iron
as you will remember, sockets in which torches were thrust to light up the not knowing how long we street about the palace doors. These things are should have to stay there. sound and strong, and would be perfectly fit for But I am happy to say use to-day if people still tied their horses to that, after having been de- rings in the sides of houses, or thrust torches tained there two days, dur- into iron sockets. It is a peculiarity of the ing which we scattered city that nearly everything, no matter how long ourselves over the whole ago it was made or built, is in good condition. island, and made up our Florence has been well kept, and if the painters, minds that it was a place and poets, the architects, the sculptors, and phiwhere we could spend a losophers of former days could return to it, they summer vacation with per- would probably feel very much at home. Giotto fect satisfaction, the steam- could look up at the beautiful campanile, or bellboat came and we sailed tower,* that he built, and find it just as he had left away.
it; and if he had forgotten what he meant by And now we are in Flor- groups and symbols which he put upon it, he ence, having come by rail- could step into the adjoining street and buy a way from Naples, stopping book by Mr. Ruskin, the English art critic, which over night in Rome. As would tell him all about it. Dante could sit on the I have said before, each same stone if somebody would take it out of a
prominent Italian city is as wall for him) on which he used to rest and watch different from all the others as if it belonged to an- the building of the great duomo, or cathedral. other country; and, in fact, at one time or another This stone, now called the Sasso di Dante, was they each did belong to a different country. placed, after the poet's death, in the wall of a
We can not walk in the narrow streets by the tall house near the spot where it used to lie, and there palaces, and in the great open squares of Florence, it is now, with an inscription on it. Farther on, called by the Italians La Bella, because it is so the two architects who built the cathedral would beautiful, without being reminded at every step of find statues of themselves, one looking up at the by-gone times; and yet there is nothing ancient dome, because he made that; and the other at the about Florence. It is preëminently a city of body of the building, because that was his work. the Middle Ages, and with the exception of the The great, round baptistery, near by, would look dress of its citizens, it looks almost as mediæval very familiar, with its beautiful bronze doors on to-day as it did in the time of Dante and Michael which are twelve exquisite bass-reliefs representing Angelo. The Romans were here, of course, but Scripture scenes. And if these returned Florenthey left few or no ruins behind them, and in our tines were to go inside, they would probably see rambles through Florence we shall never think of some babies baptized in very much the same way the ancient Romans. This, I know, will be a com- in which it used to be done in the Middle Ages. fort to some of us. It was in the Middle Ages On the opposite side of the street they would still that Florence raised itself up so that the whole find the bigallo, a very pretty little building, in the world might see it, and it was not only political open porch of which babies were put on exhibition power or commercial greatness that then was seen, at certain periods, so that any one who wished to but a city of poets and architects, of men of learn- adopt a child could come there and see if any one ing, and of thought. One of the charms of Florence of those on view would suit. It was, in fact, a sort now, will be that we can see it just as it was at of baby market. The place is now an orphan asythe time of its greatest glo The lofty, fortified lum, but I believe the babies are not set out for palaces appear in as good order as when they were adoption. In a small street, not far from the
* An engraving of this bell-tower was printed in St. Nicholas for July, 1881.
cathedral, Dante would find his old house still sorts of curious things, generally relating to old standing; and Michael Angelo could go into his Florence, such as arms, costumes, etc. There are house and find, in the room which he used as his also here a great many statues and other works of study, a lot of unfinished pencil-drawings just as art. One of these is that fine figure of Mercury, he left them.
casts of which we all have seen. It stands tip-toe In the principal piazza, or square, of the city on one foot, and is winged on head and heels. would still be seen standing the great Palazzo The palaces of Florence were built for fortresses Vecchio, which is a town hall now, just as it used as well as for residences, and they still stand, tall, to be; and near by still stands the vast open massive, and gray, looking down upon the narrow portico adorned with statuary, in which the nobles streets of the city. On the corners of some of and the magistrates once gathered to view public these we shall see great lamps surrounded by the spectacles or meetings in the open square. But intricate and beautiful iron-work, for which the Savonarola, the famous monk and patriot of Flor artist blacksmiths of the Middle Ages were ence, could not see the spot in this square where famous. he was burned at the stake. This place has been It will soon become evident to those of us who covered by a handsome fountain. Here, in the have not remembered the fact, that the Medici vast Uffizzi Palace, the Duke de Medici, Cosmo family were once very prominent citizens of FlorIII., would find that now-celebrated statue of There are Medici statues in the public Venus which he brought to Florence in the six- places; the Medici palaces indicate the power and teenth century. It was an ancient statue then, wealth of the family; and in the church of San but its great fame has come to it since, and it still Lorenzo, besides some grand sculptured tombs by is known as the Venus di Medici and not by the Michael Angelo, we shall see the Chapel of the name of its sculptor-Cleomenes, the Greek, the Princes, an immense hall, built by the Medici son of Apollodorus.
family as a place in which to bury their dead, at a What a grand collection of pictures and sculpt. cost of over four millions of dollars. The octagonal ures, with the most of which they would be very walls of the room, which is very high and covered familiar, would the returned Florentines of the by a dome, are composed of the most costly marbles Middle Ages find in the long galleries of the and valuable stones, while upon lofty pedestals Uffizzi Palace, and in those of the Pitti Palace on around the room are the granite sarcophagi of six the other side of the river Arno, which runs of the Medici princes, gorgeously adorned with through the city! These two palaces are united emeralds, rubies, and other precious gems. by a covered gallery, which forms the upper story If we happen to be in Florence on Ascension of a very old bridge called the Ponte Vecchio, Day, we shall see a great many people in the streets which is a curious and interesting structure. Each who offer for sale little wooden cages, two or three side is lined with little shops which, ever since the inches square, which are used in a very peculiar year 1593, have been occupied by goldsmiths and way. Each person who wants to know what his jewelers. The shops are still there, and if the or her fortune is to be during the ensuing year, old-time goldsmiths were to come back, they would buys one of these cages, and into it is put a cricket, have no difficulty in finding their old places of great numbers of which are caught on that day by business.
children, and even men and women, in the fields The Pitti Palace is a very grand building, with and roads outside of the town. Each cricket is a front as long as a New-York block from avenue kept in its cage without food, and if it grows thin to avenue. The massive stones of which it is enough to get out between the little bars, and esbuilt, some of them twenty feet long, are rough capes, then its owner expects good luck during all the and unhewn, and the whole building has a very year; but if the cricket's constitution can not withmassive and imposing appearance. This nd the stand privation, and it dies the cage before it is Uffizzi Palace together contain one of the most thin enough to get out, then the person who imprisvaluable and extensive collections of pictures in the oned it must expect misfortune. Many travelers world. Even the covered way over the bridge has buy some of these curious little cages as memenits walls hung with pictures. Here we shall wander tos; but if we do not wish to be troubled by Mr. from hall to hall, and gallery to gallery, and look Bergh, or our own consciences, we shall not go upon many of those great works of art, of which we into the cricket fortune-telling business. have so often seen engravings, or which we have The suburbs of Florence are very beautiful, and read and heard about.
from some points in them we have charming The Bargello is a large and old stone palace, once views of the city, and the valley in which it lies, the residence of the Podesta, or chief magistrate the river, and mountains all about. To the of the town. It is now a museum filled with all north, on an eminence, is the very ancient and
mus were ever
picturesque loon-like, out of the water. In the open lagoon town of Fie- is a large island with a tail church-spire. Far sole, with re- away are other islands, purple in the distance ; mains of great vessels sail about with brightly colored sails, often walls, which red or orange; gondolas shoot here, there, and were built by everywhere; and a little farther down, large ships the Etruscans and steamers lie at anchor. Our gondolas skim before Romu- around with a sweep, and stop at the steps of the lus and Re- hotel, which come down into the water.
There are few things about Venice that will be heard of. more directly interesting to us than the gondolas,
which constitute a peculiar and delightful feature OING on with of the city. If ordinary rowboats were substituted our journey, for gondolas, Venice would lose one of its greatest the next place charms. These boats, which are truly Venetian, we shall visit and are used nowhere else but here, are very long,
is Venice, the narrow, and light. The passengers, of whom “City in the Sea.” This lies, as we all know, in a there are seldom more than four, sit on softly shallow part of the Adriatic, and is built upon three cushioned seats in the middle of the boat, and the large islands, and one hundred and fourteen smaller portion occupied by them is generally covered in islands. Instead of streets it has one hundred and cold or rainy weather by a little cabin, something fifty canals. The railway on which we arrive crosses like a carriage-top, with windows at the sides and a bridge more than two miles long; the wide stretch a door in front. In hot weather, when the sun of water lying between the city and the mainland; shines, this cabin-top is taken off, and its place supand when we go out of the station, instead of plied by a light awning. Very often, however, neither finding carriages and cabs in waiting for us, we is needed, and at such times the gondola is most see the famous long black boats of Venice called enjoyable. At the bow of every gondola rises a gondolas. There is not a horse, a cab, or a carriage high steel affair, brightly polished, which looks of any kind in all the city. The people go about like an old-fashioned halberd or sword-ax; these in gondolas or other kinds of boats, or walk in the are placed here principally because it has always alleys, streets, and squares, which are found all been the fashion to have them, and they are also over the city. If any one wishes to cross a canal, useful in going under bridges; if the ferro, as this he can do it by that one of the three hundred and handsome steel prow is called, can go under a seventy-eight bridges that happens to be most bridge without touching, the rest of the gondola convenient.
will do so also. There is but one color for a gonThe Grand Canal, nearly two miles long, and dola, and that is black; this, especially when as broad as a small river, winds through the city. the black cabin is on, gives it a very somber apAt one end of it is the railway station, and at the pearance. Many people, indeed, liken them to other the hotel to which we are going. When we floating hearses, with their black cords, tassels, are all ready -- four of us, with our baggage, in and cushions. But when their white or bright each gondola — the two gondoliers, one stand- colored awnings are up, or when they have neither ing at the stern and the other at the bow, push canopy nor awning, their appearance is quite on their long oars and send us skimming over the cheerful. There is nothing funereal, however, water. We shall not make the whole tour of the about the gondoliers, of whom there is generally Grand Canal, but soon leaving it, we glide into one to each gondola. It is only when the boat is one of the side canals, and thread our way swiftly heavily loaded, or when great speed or style is dealong, between tall houses rising right out of the sired, that there are two of them. The gondolier water, under bridges, around corners, past stands in the stern, as we have so often seen him churches, and open squares filled with busy people in pictures, and rests his oar on a crotched pro-grazing, but never touching, other gondolas going jection at the side of the boat; he leans forward, in the opposite direction, until we shoot out into throwing his weight upon his oar, and thus sends the lower part of the Grand Canal, near its junc- his light craft skimming over the water. As he tion with the lagoon, or bay, in which Venice lies. sways forward and back, sometimes, apparently on Tall palaces, with their fronts beautifully orna- one foot only, it seems as if he were in danger of mented, now stand upon our left, and on the op- tumbling off the narrow end of the boat; but he posite bank is a great domed church with beautiful never does, — Trust him for that.
The dexterity carvings and sculptures, which seems to rise, bal- with which he steers his craft, always with his oar