Stories from the history of Italy


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Side 236 - You would have thought the very windows spake, So many greedy looks of young and old Through casements darted their desiring eyes Upon his visage, and that all the walls With painted imagery had said at once 'Jesu preserve thee! welcome, Bolingbroke! Whilst he, from one side to the other turning, Bare-headed, lower than his proud steed's neck, Bespake them thus: 'I thank you, countrymen,: And thus still doing, thus he pass'd along.
Side 35 - Unshaken, unseduced, unterrified, His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal ; Nor number nor example with him wrought To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind, Though single.
Side 38 - the manners of the Italians were rude. A man and his wife ate off the same plate. There were no wooden-handled knives, nor more than one or two drinking cups, in a house. Candles of wax or tallow were unknown ; a servant held a torch during supper. The clothes of men were of leather unlined : scarcely any gold or silver was seen on their dress.
Side 38 - ... any gold or silver was seen on their dress. The common people ate flesh but three times a week, and kept their cold meat for supper. Many did not drink wine in summer. A small stock of corn seemed riches. The portions of women were small ; their dress, even after marriage, was simple. The pride of men was to be well provided with arms and horses ; that of the nobility to have lofty towers, of which all the cities in Italy were full. But now frugality has been changed for sumptuousness ; every...
Side 168 - ... and respected. Nothing affords me more pleasure than the reflection that my conduct has not given offence to any one; but that, on the contrary, I have endeavoured to serve all persons to the best of my abilities. I advise you to do the same. With respect to the honours •of the state, if you would live with security, accept only such as are bestowed on you by the laws and the...
Side 62 - In this time (says the historian) the woods began to rejoice that they were no longer infested with robbers; the oxen began to plough; the pilgrims visited the sanctuaries; the roads and inns were replenished with travellers ; trade, plenty, and good faith were restored in the markets; and a purse of gold might be exposed without danger in the midst of the highway.
Side 73 - ... a soldier's oath. In their hats they wore a medal, such as in that age was often distributed in war ; and they were evidently subalterns in one of those Free Bands which were always ready to serve in any quarrel, if a service it could be called, where a battle was little more than a mockery ; and the slain, as on an opera-stage, were up and fighting to-morrow.
Side 183 - The whole extent of that beautiful country," says Guicciardini, " was cultivated, not only throughout its wide plains and fruitful valleys, but even amidst its most sterile and mountainous regions; and under no control but that of its native nobility and rulers, exulted not only in the number and riches of its inhabitants, but in the magnificence of its princes, in the splendour of many superb and noble cities, and in the residence and majesty of religion itself. Abounding with men eminent in the...
Side 167 - Leaning on his staff, the old man descended from the palace amidst the indignant sympathy of the assembled multitude, and retired to his private house ; but his heart was broken. The sound of the great bell of St. Mark, which tolled to announce the election of his successor, struck on his ear as a. deathknell. His agitation produced the rupture of a blood-vessel and instantaneous suffocation. The people had dared to...
Side 77 - Dissensions were not to be prevented; and those martial spirits which were so fierce and formidable abroad could not be habituated to any considerable moderation at home. Those who expect in a free State to see the people undaunted in war and pusillanimous in peace, are certainly desirous of impossibilities; and it may be advanced as a general rule that whenever a perfect calm is visible, in a State that calls itself a republic, the spirit of liberty no longer subsists. Union, in a body politic,...

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