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men of other ages have acquired for them ; lost in voluptuous ease, unmindful of the glory of their ancestors, and reckless of their national degradation.

The governments set the example themselves, and encourage this state of repose and torpidity. It is a strong stroke of policy with the Holy Alliance, as it has been with all tyrants from Cæsar downward, to administer an opiate to their subjects, in the gilded shape of spectacles, splendid shows, unmanly amusements, and enervating pleasures. The emperor of Austria has openly announced, that he wishes no schools, no colleges, no literature, no philosophy, in his dominions ; and it is one of the fundamental maxims of the Tuscan government, " to let the world go of itself.” The Athens of Italy is hut a shadow of its former greatness and glory. Not only is the age of the Republic gone ; but the traces of the liberal policy of Leopold, of a still later period, have vanished, leaving only stupor and imbecility behind-a degraded nobility and an enslaved people. Public institutions languish ; oflices of trust are made sinecures for favourites ; the tures of the state are increased fourfold; ecclesiastics are multiplied without number ; education is neglected ; learning and the arts are on the decline.

As an Italian expressed it to me, “palaces are stripped of their pictures and statues, to buy chickens and charcoal.” Yet the Tuscan government is perhaps justly accounted the most liberal, and the Tuscan state the happiest in Italy.

I have described some of the pursuits and amusements, of which the Grand Duke declared himself the patron, and which occupied his attention day after day. Another pageant will still more forcibly ilustrate the character of the sovereign and the nature of his cares. It was proclaimed, that on the afternoon of the 30th there would be a great horse-race of a peculiar character. We followed the multitude to see the show. The scene was laid in Florence, on the right bank of the Arno. A course had been prepared at a great expense, by strewing with sand or macadamizing a line of streets, leading from the Cascine to the Roman gate. For the whole of this distance, terraces, balconies, windows, and side-walks were thronged with people, while the middle of the street, till the race commenced, presented an unbroken chain of carriages, filled with the court of Tuscany, foreign ministers, public functionaries of all descriptions, the nobility and gentry in their richest dresses, with chasseurs and footmen without number. The fronts of the houses were hung with banners of crimson and gold. In many places along the way, temporary galleries, like the benches of an amphitheatre, were erected, and tickets of admission regularly

sold, as at the doors of a play-house. These seats were all full at an early hour.

The Grand Duke and his family appeared among the multitude, in a chariot drawn by six proud steeds, richly caparisoned with glittering harnesses and gorgeous ornaments, vying with the liveries of his retinue. A pavilion had been purposely prepared for him at the corner of two of the streets, in a conspicuous situation, near the starting-post. Here he was seen in the midst of his courtiers, canopied by crimson and purple. Crowds pressed as near as they could, to catch a glimpse of the face, and bask in the smile of the august sovereign. I heard a female, next to me in one of the amphitheatres, say to her neighbour

- See! the Grand Duchess is laughing." Round the pavilion a regiment of soldiers was stationed, accompanied by a fine military band, who played some of the national airs, which used to animate the old republicans on to battle.

At length the signal was given, and the four race-horses were brought upon the course, without riders, saddle or bridle. They were girt with belts, bearing the numbers one, two, three, and four. Spurs were attached to their sides in such a way, that the faster the poor ani. mals ran, the more their bleeding flanks were lacerated. So ingenious is man in devices of cruelty ! The mechanic who invented this species of torture, probably received a premium as liberal, as was offered to the aeronaut, for risking his neck to amuse others. But the bugle sounds, and clear the course! is the cry. Napoleon's exhortation might with propriety have been proclaimed—“ save himself who can !” The horses were let loose in the midst of such a multitude, and left the goal like shot, goaded on by the patent spurs. A passage was cleared for them by a retreat of the crowd, sometimes but a few paces in advance. Fortunately no one was run over on this occasion ; but at a similar celebration, on St. John's Day, in June last, six persons were killed. His Highness has lost more subjects in these sports, than he ever lost in battle, though he holds the rank of General in the Austrian service. At the end of the course, the steeds are caught, like pigeons, in a sheet of canvass.' The Grand Duke receives intelligence by express, which horse has won; and he communicates the important tidings by message, in the form of hand-bills, thrown in a shower from his pavilion like the Pope's benedictions, among the gaping multitude below. Such is the finale of this grand spectacle. To bring the subject home, what would be thought of the President of the United States, should he and his secretaries forget the cares of office, and appear at a race-course, with their pockets stuffed with hand-bills ?,

I was offered an introduction to the Grand Duke, but declined it, feeling no wish to go through with an empty formality, and having seen as much of him in public, as was sufficient for my purposes. From all I have been able to learn, he possesses little mind and no force of character. He was educated by pedants and religionists, who amused him with jests, and inculcated lessons of subserviency to the church, instead of liberal views becoming a prince. Religious toleration nominally exists in his dominions ; yet informations by the priesthood, and proscription and banishment by the government, are said to be frequent. Report ascribes to him studious habits, and mornings spent among his books ; but the fruits of his researches are not visible in his public measures. The commercial, agricultural, and manufacturing interests are depressed ; the economical system of his predecessors has been deserted; the extravagance of his court is greatly aug. mented; taxes are quadruple the amount of former years; and his subjects are reduced to beggary.

During the life of Ferdinand his father, he was not initiated at all into the cares of state, and on his accession to the throne, at an early age, his ministers took the reigns of government into their own hands. They still have control of the public interests, leaving to the Grand Duke merely the management of private affairs, and the promotion of his personal favourites to office. Fassombroni is the Prime Minister ; a veteran in office, who has gained an ascendency over the mind of the sovereign, by a pretended attachment to his father. He is a man of a good deal of address and shrewdness, making a great show of liberality and regard for the interests of the people, while he is only seeking to advance his own, by securing his place. The Minister of the Interior was educated in the Papal Court, and has brought with him all its bigotry and superstition, together with the haughtiness of his rank, and an open contempt for popular rights. The third minister is a mere cipher ; a lawyer of moderate talents, and a sort of clerk to his associates. Such is the government of Tuscany, denominated good only by comparison, because the other petty sovereignties of Italy are worse. Sardinia and Naples, the extremes in territory, are also the extremes in degradation, surpassing even the empire of the Pope. It is no uncommon thing for exiles from the tyranny of other Italian States, to seek refuge in Tuscany. Several banished Sicilian nobles were seen at Florence.

The streams from a corrupt fountain must of course be impure; and the evils of the Tuscan government are diffused through its remotest and lowest channels. I made particular inquiries into the judicial system. The administration of justice here, as in other parts of Italy, is defective, arbitrary, and despotic. It has scarcely the shadow of independence, and personal rights and property are placed at the mercy of capricious tribunals. All the courts are the mere creatures of the sovereign, whose will is the law, directed in subserviency to his interests, partialities, or animosities. The subordinate tribunals go through the forms of judicial proceedings, with the civil law for their guide; and in most instances, their decisions may be impartial. vision of all important cases is vested in the Grand Duke, and they are ultimately disposed of as he may dictate. A cause was recently decided against a French nobleman, in which the amount in litigation was $500,000. Some hard things were said of the motives of the tribunal, and the French minister protested against the equity of the decision.

But the super

LETTER LXXX.

FLORENCE CONTINUED-PRODUCTIVE INDUSTRY OF TUSCANY-MANUFAC.

TURE OF SILKS-STRAW HATS-PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS-EDUCATION ASCENDENCY OF THE PRIESTHOOD-RELIGIOUS PROCESSIONS-A LIVING

SAINT--THEATRES-OPERA-THE GOLDONI-ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS

--READING-ROOM-ITALIAN NEWSPAPERS.

July, 1826.

I MADE inquiry into the state of productive industry in Tuscany, and obtained information more in detail, than can here be given without converting a brief sketch into a dissertation on statistics and political economy. The two most prominent branches of manufactures are silks and straw hats. It is estimated, that about 100,000 persons are employed in these two kinds of fabrics. Both are on the decline, from causes already assigned, from the competitions of other nations, and from recent changes in the commercial world. The exportation of silks to Cyprus, Damascus, and other parts of the Levant, formerly so extensive and profitable to Tuscany, has been almost entirely suspended by the war between the Turks and the Greeks, and the monopolizing traffic of the French. Less quantities are also sent to Germany. The English have never allowed the importation of any thing beyond the raw material, to supply their own manufactories. At present, therefore, the trade is confined chiefly to the United States, Portugal, and a few places in the north of Europe.

These fabrics are wrought almost entirely in Florence. In some districts of the city, a great majority of the inhabitants are weavers. Houses are purposely constructed in a substantial manner, with two looms each, in the first and second stories, and three in the third. Young and robust females are employed in the manufacture, which is extremely hard work. At the

age of forty they are worn out, and be: come unfit for the severe labour of driving the looms.

The raw materials are prepared by the peasantry, who commence their labours about the last of April. Seed is sown and a crop of silkworms spring up. When of a proper size, they are placed upon mats and fed with the leaf of the mulberry, till full grown and their skin becomes semi-transparent and glossy. They are then transferred to the birch, where they spin their silken webs. In the month of June, the cocons are collected and exposed for sale in the Florentine market. They are immersed in hot water, to destroy the worm forming the nucleus, who would otherwise eat his way through the envelope. The

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