On a little slip of land between the gulf of Lepante and Athens, we
come to Corinthe; we know it not, save a few immense pillars of
marble pinnacling the site of Corinthe. Artists from all parts of the
world come here and sit down at their base to sketch their
dimensions; then away they go, with no regretful feelings for the
great founders of arts stupendous, who, perhaps, three thousand years
ago, were known far and near as men of the best faculties. The
greatest gem that Rome ever put in its crown, was the one that was
made by imagination of the Greecian dictator when listening to
Cicero, he said, “Rome has robbed us of all we possess, but our
eloquence, and it seems as if that is going towards Rome.” But Rome
has since fallen as low as Athens!

In the Ionian sea, between Sicily and Greece, are the Ionian islands,
seven in number, and Corfu is the principal one; they now all belong
to the English. Out further the East Indias, where the queen of
England has 150,000,000 subjects; on the coast of Africa, at the cape
of Good Hope, the West Indias, and the Canadas, is her sceptral wand
waving its ambrosial food of civilization. “The sun never sets on the
Queen’s domain.”

Between Asia, Macedonia, and Greece is the most celebrated
archipelago in the world. Six days along the Adriatic have brought me
to Trieste, in Northern Italy. It now belongs to Austria. The
Austrian sceptre is waving over nearly half of Italy. It is generally
believed she cannot much longer hold her Italian possessions. The
army of Austria, like its eagle’s wings, is stretched to its utmost
extremity of space. She could not sustain 50,000 more troops, without
breaking some of her internal machinery. Like an overflowing river,
she is most too high to rise any higher without damaging her Union.
She seems to have taken the last drop of the Italian’s patience and
forbearance, while Leghorn, Lucca, Trieste, Venice, and other Italian
cities, and other foreign powers, are trying to overflow her channels
of power; they are perfectly willing that these troubled waters
should spread across the plain of the Hapsburg policy, and turn the
institution of tyranny from Hungary, Bohemia, and Italy; but the
beardless, blue-eyed Emperor seems to be as undisturbed as a god of
liberty, and heedless of the consequences of a rebellion of these
warlike people. Five hours’ ride from Trieste is Venice, a city in
the sea. More lovely cities, perhaps, have been built, but I have
never seen them. As our steamer threw out her anchor about fifty
yards from the city, I could see on the other side of the city, a
railroad in the sea, and cars running along as the sea spray washed
their sides. On all sides gondolas were racing toward us, which we
went ashore in. This magnificent city is built in the sea, and it
costs more to drive down piles, in Venice, to build a house, than it
costs in London or Paris to build the whole house.

There is one building in this city of the sea, more beautiful inside,
in its old age, than most of the best buildings of its kind, in any
kingdom in the world, are in when they are new. It is the church of
St. Mark. The body of St. Mark is in its cloisters, resting in his
magnificent tomb, like a sleeping giant that dare not be aroused. The
floor of this old gothic building is precious stones; the pillars
near the alters are alabaster. The Pope, in the Doge days of Venice,
put his foot upon the Emperor Alexander’s head. All the magnificent
displays of state, even in these times, cannot be worthy of the
notice of the people of this part of the world, unless it be the will
of the Pope; he is much feared by the monarch’s of to day. It has
been proven that the Napoleon of to day has been seeking the smile of
Pius IX. It seems very strange to some people, but not to me, that
the kings of England and France, in the eleventh century, should hold
the Pope’s horse for him to alight. While walking around the church
of St. Mark, I saw a beautiful figure of a woman leaning gracefully
from a stool downward. I watched her to see if any miracle was about
to be performed. I saw the beautiful creature move with a blush upon
her cheek. She was confessing to an old father, of whom, I saw, was
more partial than moral worth sanctions, for as soon as she left the
box, another made application, but the priest took no notice of it,
but walked into his vestry. The applicant was an old woman, and
homely as a bone, which, I have no doubt, was qualifications for
religion not comporting with his reverence’s sensitive taste of moral
obligation, to receive confessions from so ugly a source to fill up
the ranks of his beautiful herds. This poor old woman waited some
time for his return, but like gifts from lips that frequent promise,
he never came.

This church is attached to the palace of the great Doge of Venice,
and across a canal that runs between this palace and the prison, is a
bridge. When a culprit was judged and sent across this bridge, he
never saw again his 25th hour. All the instruments the ingenuity of
man could invent, is here found to destroy the human body. I saw one
machine to put a man in, and gradually break his bones; at the crush
of each bone, he would be asked “if he would confess the crime?”
Another was a steel covering for a man’s head, with seven holes in
it; the culprit’s head would be firmly placed in this iron case,
whilst he would be seated on an iron block, one nail would gradually
be driven in at a time, until all the seven holes would be filled
with long nails, meeting in the centre of the head, unless he
confessed his guilt when some of the nails were hammered down.
Another machine was something like a brace for the loins, and each
end came curve like together and left it in the shape of a hoop; it
had a lock and key, and old tyrannical lords used it when they left
home, to protect their wives’ virtue. He would put it around below
the loins, lock it, put the key in his pocket, and go out hunting. No
man could unlock it, and in those times false keys were not so easily
obtained as now. When he returned he would unlock it, as he could
then keep guard over her to his own satisfaction.

From this horrid place, reader, come with me down the great canal
that traverses the whole town, with its branches, to where, at from
ten to one o’clock every day, would meet together the “merchants of
Venice.” Here their financiering would daily rock thrones, but now
you see a long row of decaying old walls whose bases are wrapt in
sea-weed, like climbing serpents, that now dwell in those damp, old
commercial halls, now rotting away. I asked the guide for the site of
Desdemona’s father’s house, but that was forgotten.

Here we find no horses, carriages, or cars, but myriads of gondolas
intercept the traveler at every turn of an alley or canal. On a
beautiful moonlight night, I went through the city in my gondola, and
as my oar struck the salty brine fiercely, I could see myriads of
lights reflected from the various built palaces, and the sea looked
like a diamond lawn.

One morning, at sunrise, I was rapidly roaring towards the depot that
was to carry me to Verona. All was lone and still, for the Venicians
are no early risers. As still as the zephyr wind gondolas passed by
me, and away the ripples flew. I left this city in the sea, and about
ten o’clock arrived at Verona; a city so handsome in appearance–so
magnificent in its ruins–so picturesquely situated in a plain, I
felt as if I could dwell an age with it. Having obtained a cicerone
we repaired to the old ruined walls of Julliete’s fathers’ house;
afterwards the old man insisted on us going to see the half of her
tomb, which is still preserved. No traces can be found of Romeo or
his father’s house or tomb.

In Verona is many beautiful churches, the principal of which is San
Zenone. San Zenone was a black man, and was the patron of Verona. He
is represented as seated in a chair, with costly robes around him;
his face is the picture of gloom, whilst his brow is stern and
commanding. Preparations were going on for the reception of one of
the oldest Bishops of Italy. The church was thrown wide open and
workmen were employed in all parts of the inside of this edifice.
Behind the altar, was preserved some holy water, brought from Rome
for the occasion. The priest poured some out of the jug into a tin
bucket and gave it to one of his boy aids to pour in the basin found
at the entrance to all Catholic churches. This little priest boy
returned to the vestry for more, received it, but when he returned to
the basin where he had deposited the first bucket full, he discovered
that the basin was minus the first bucket of water. His great
amazement scared even the workmen. He returned to the priest and
informed him that some unforeseen cause had deprived the church of
the precious libation. The priest soon discovered the phenomenon, and
pronounced it an omen unfavorable to the reception of the great
bishop on his way here. It was talked about town that day, that the
great bishop could not be received in the aisles of San Zenone. But I
saw a thirsty boy looking in at the door, go up to the basin and
drink his fill of the holy water, brought from Rome in a jug, and
pronounced it not so good as he thought it was, by a jug full. I told
the proprietor of the hotel that a boy drank the water, and he said,
“I must be mistaken, as no one in Verona was so ignorant as to quench
thirst on holy water.” Some said it was the devil thirsting for the
protection of San Zenone, for no admirer that hoped for salvation by
the intercession of this holy saint, would be guilty of such a rash
act, as they could not expect him to intercede in behalf of the
spoilers of his festivals, unless their admiration of him was so
great that they felt it their duty to partake of his blessings beyond
the power of their resistance, even of stealing them.

On my way to the railroad station, I passed the amphitheatre, that,
in the gladiatorial days of Verona, held one hundred thousand persons
in its arena, and where they saw the lion tear the man, and again
where the man slew the lion. That same night I slept at Mantua, one
of the most strongly fortified towns of Italy, and from here I went
to Bologna and bought a sausage. This is a beautiful town so far as
churches and graveyards add to the beauty of towns, and the latter is
more extensive than the former. I informed the landlord of the hotel
Europe that I needed a guide for at least a day. He went in search of
one and returned with a schoolmaster, who had closed his school of
fifty scholars, to wait on us at the enormous sum of one ducat per
day. This was a little pert man with a body twice as long as his
legs. “Gentlemen,” said he, “let us be moving, there is a great deal
to be seen before nightfall in Bologna.” I informed him that I wanted
to see one of the sausage manufactories, but he seemed to be
ignorant that Bologna was celebrated in the sausage line. He asked
some wayfaring man through those old lonesome streets to tell him
where sausage was made. After seeing the manufactory and the lean
donkeys, he took me to see a gymnasium, and here I saw the insignia
of every organized people on the earth except my own, and looking for
our eagle, stars and stripes, without finding them, I asked him how
it was they could not be found. He said this institution was ten
years old, to his certain knowledge, and as we were a new people and
country, he supposed this was the reason. Bologna, like a candle,
must soon be extinguished for want of fuel of such combustibles as
will burn up the dark ignorant pile now hid from the bright light
that ought to shine supreme from the temple of wisdom of the times.

Venice, with her sea bathed palaces, may survive it, as she is still
in beauty the “pride of the sea,” more so than Bologna is the pride
of graveyards, churches and sausage. The “Two Young Men of Verona” is
better known to the world to-day than Verona or Bologna.

When we were within two hours drive of Florence, the Capitol of
Tuscany and as it is also called the “Italian Capitol of fine arts,”
we stopped at a hotel to dine and feed horses. The landlord having
ascertained that we might probably feel like paying something for
what he called dinner, came into the sitting room with a live chicken
by the neck and wished to know if I would order something to eat; I
answered in the affirmative, when he gave his arm a twist and off
went the chicken from his head, fluttering into nonentity. I informed
mine host that the stage would hardly wait so long as was necessary
to prepare the fowl, and he said he knew more about that than I did.
A few moments after this he returned with the crawling flesh of the
chicken, some wine and bread, as if he had done something really
worth mentioning, and said, “now sir, here is some as fresh chicken
as you ever eat, I am not like those town hotels that allow every
thing to rot and stink before they sell it.” A beautiful Italian girl
that was a passenger in the dilligence with me, was waiting to get
something, and she said to me “you sir, seem to be the lucky one.” I
thought it proper to give some one a small piece of the fresh
chicken, but if she had not been so pretty she might have been the
“unlucky one.” Up over the door of this man’s house was written,
these German words, _Gasthof Zum New York_. It not taking as much
time to dine in the Gosthof as in the stable, we took a walk to see
the extraordinary phenomena of a muddy place that one can set a
blazing with a match. Having arrived at Florence and hoteled myself I
ascertained where the races were, and was told they would commence in
thirty minutes and that my hotel window was as good a seat at the
races as I could get. I looked out of the window and saw the streets
clean as a floor of a log cabin, and written upon the corner
“Course.” That was the name of the street. A few minutes after the
heralds proclaimed “that this course must be cleared” as round at the
stand the horses were on the track. This street is circular, and the
horses run round, till they come to where they start from, when the
race is awarded to the first that comes. No riders are allowed, but
the people which makes a paling round the track, hurry each horse on.
The horses don’t seem to know they are running a race, because the
shouts of the populace at every window, corner and alley is so
frightening they are trying all the time to get out of the track.

Before the races commence, a carriage with four greys is conveying an
old man and wife up a street that comes to the course and branches
off, and after the race, himself and lady is the first to ride on the
street called “_la course_;” and after his carriage every other
person has a right to enter the promenade of this man and wife, the
Grand Duke, of Tuscany. In the next carriage to his was a tall lady
with a beaux by her side, who, I learned, was the Princess, his
daughter. Next to her carriage, was a Mr. Bullion from California,
trying to pass himself off for a real American gentleman. These are
the times when men who make money in the Eldorado, come home to the
States to show off. He certainly had more money than brains. He had a
liveried carriage. The smoke curled up in little clouds behind him,
his feet were on the fore cushion of the open Calashe, and a
profusion of beard adorned all the lower extremity of his face. His
beard reminded me of Col. May’s the captor of La Vega. The Duke
halted a moment causing all in the train to halt also, when Mr. B.
rose up in his carriage and looked round the Dukes carriage and told
his driver to drive on. He was informed that he could not, and he
looked up very wise as if he would like to know why. A few minutes
after the train moved, and he said to his driver “wait a little, I
don’t want them to think I want to follow them.” The driver stopped
and got himself in trouble, for the vehicle behind him told him to
drive on or get out of their way. Here the Police interfeared and
ordered Mr. consequence Bullion Esq., of the El Dorado to get out of
the way of gentlemen and ladies. He tried to pursuade the officers to
bear in mind he was talking to an American citizen; but there was as
much difference as space between the Torrid and Frigid Zone. The
officer gave him to understand that he might be a Florentine, but he
must get out of the way of other people. Mr. B. spit a mouthful of
juice in the carriage, threw his feet on the front cushion and told
the driver to go on. At first my national pride was somewhat lowered,
but on second thought, I gloried in knowing that Americans are not
responsible for every upstart that goes abroad and violates the rules
and regulations of other communities because they were not made to
suit his taste, for which no body ever cared but himself. The good
people of Europe know full well that there is always thistles among
roses and not all good among themselves.

American people are not as selfish as Italians. Italians will hate a
man for ever for a Paul or Bioca. I got acquainted with an Italian at
the work shop of Hiram Powers, and this young man volunteered to show
me Florence, which would of course save me the expense of a lacquey;
and my old lacquey told me he wished this man was dead, as he had
deprived him of a Ducat. An English writer, tells a tale on
Fontenelle thus: “He once ordered some asparagus cooked in oil for
his dinner, for he was passionately fond of it; in five minutes
afterwards, an abbey came to see him on some church politics, and as
it is usual in France to ask ones friend how he wishes his dinner
cooked and name what you have, Fontenelles told the old man what he
had, and the old man said he would have half of the asparagus cooked
in butter. Fontenelles thought it a great sacrafice, but said
nothing. Thirty minutes afterward the abbey’s valet came down in the
parlor and exclaimed in great sorrow that while the abbey was washing
he was taken with an apilepic fit and was dead. Fontenelles struck
the youth on the shoulders and said, “run to the kitchen and tell the
cook, to cook all the asparagus in oil.”” Now this was indeed a
selfish man. Sam Slick asked a country beaux “why it was that such a
fine looking gentleman as himself was not married where so many
pretty ladies were?” His answer was “when I offer my hand to a lady,
she will be a lady!” This is another selfish man. An Irishman once
drinking his neighbors wine was too selfish to testify his
approbation of its merrits, by drinking a toast of such good wine to
his neighbor. At last he was compelled to drink one, and he said,
“here is to my wifes husband.” The French is celebrated for eating,
the Yankee for his pride, and Irishmen for their toddies.

“The lads and lasses blightly bent,
To mind both soul and body,
Set round the table weel content
And steer about the toddy.”

But I have never found even wit, to justify an Italian’s selfishness,
only sublimity of meanness is an Italian’s selfishness.

On my departure from Florence, I luxuriated at Lucca, the bathing
resort of the Tuscans. The city is old with stout walls around it.
Three hours ride in a viturino will bring you to the baths. They are
beautifully located, down in a valley with craggy and fertile
mountains hanging over. It was quite a place in old times, and
Counts, and Dukes and other nobles used to flock here to gamble,
until so much murder was committed, Lucca broke up the resort of
these monied men, and until very recently it was thought to be
destroyed and dead, but the Austrians, who occupy all the important
places in the government of this part of Italy, wishing to resurrect
something that has already been in the Italians’ mind as a pleasant
dream, hotels have been built, and livery stables erected, for the
accommodation of the gay portion of Florence, Pisa, Genoa, Leghorn,
and even Milan. On my way from Florence to Lucca I stopped at Pisa.
Pisa is well known to the world as holding up one of the seven
wonders of the world, to the world’s travelers and sight seers. I
have reference to the “leaning tower.” In describing the “leaning
tower,” I will merely say, that the first vast and solid layer of
stone is heavy enough to hold all the others laid upon it. Each layer
is fastened to the one under, and though it might protrude several
feet on the layers protruding side, this few feet of reaching out
stone can have no power over all the rest of that same layer around
this immense tower. The next layer protrudes on the same perched side
of the tower, and straight over the reaching edge of its under layer;
as each layer is fastened with iron spikes to its under layer, there
can be no chance of even the very top falling down on the side of the
tower. It leans so much on each layer as to make the top of the tower
reach away over the base on the leaning side, so much so that, were
it to break loose, it would fall over to the earth without touching
the base or foundation of the leaning side of the tower.

The City of Pisa is well known in Italian history, by the awful
contentions that used to exist among next door neighbors. Men used to
fight on the top of their own houses, and go on conquering, from
house to house, until they would slay as many as twenty lords, whose
property would be theirs as spoils of war. One hour and a quarter’s
ride from Pisa is Leghorn, a city full of hats and bonnets. The bay
is dotted over with little white houses, and some miles out in the
sea; and I see hundreds of small boats rowing towards bath houses.
The strongest merchants here are English, who ship Leghorn hats and
bonnets to foreign ports, as well as their own, but the city belongs
to the Hapsburg sceptre, and thousands of Austrian soldiers stand in
the by ways of public places.

Twelve hours travel through the sea from here, brought me to the
“City of Palaces,” Genoa. It is a city on the side of a hill, with
eight story palaces looking down on the sea. Before the fifteenth
century it had the inducement for traders that Lyons to-day has. Silk
was manufactured here in a way that astonished that age of pride; but
since the invention of steam, all those scientific arts that this
trade called for is but as nothing, and Italians look at our steam
power machines, and then at all their scientific arts, and like the
proud fowl that gazed downward, their feathers fall.

I must now pass over many places and their accomplishments, and
hasten back to France, to prepare myself for the roughest voyage
yet–Egypt, Arabia and Palestine. Here is the Pyramids, Memphis, (now
Cairo) Thebes, the Nile, the Red sea, the desert of Sahara, Mount
Sinai, the tomb of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, at Hebron, the
city of David; and to Jerusalem, down to Jericho where the Jordan’s
muddy waters slip under the briny and sulphurous liquid of the grave
God dug for Sodom and Gomorrah; and to Olives, Carmel, Tabor and
Calvary; and to Damascus, the Cedars of Lebanon, Nazareth, Bethel,
and the temple of Balbec or Baal.

Prussia, Bavaria, Sardinia and Saxony I will pass through without
comment, more than to say that I found them separate nations of one
people, save in language. However, I will say, that of all the German
kingdoms the most despotic is Austria; but she hates slavery more
than the “freest government in the world.” Austria tyrannizes over
man, but she cannot tyrannize, chattelize, and prostrate their rights
with impunity, any more than Washington, Jefferson, or Henry could.