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Having therefore reposed till he had recovered breath, he returned to the charge, and took the muds and baths for a considerable time, without injury indeed at first, but without any sensible benefit. At length, when all considered his perseverance as fruitless, these began to act, and their effect was as rapid as it had at first been slow. He now mounted on crutches, and, after a few days, quitted the place, having arrived at walking with a stick. He returned this spring, completed his cure in three or four weeks, and danced quadrilles; we will charitably hope as a test of his recovery. The circumstances of this case were so extraordinary that I determined to examine the books of the house, where ever article is noted down from a bat to a bouillon, in order to see what had been his system and how far it might throw light upon his cure. I found, from these, that he had deviated very much from the regimen ordinarily pursued, and instead of taking fourteen or fifteen muds and baths, in as many consecutive days, limiting his stay to a fortnight; he had remained here, on his first visit, between two and three months, taking the remedies of the place (I think thirty muds and as many baths) at very uncertain intervals. I have very little doubt that this mode of regimen greatly assisted the cure; for we know that when any medicine is administered for a long time together, or only suspended for short and certain intervals, the remedy and the disease soon come to a sort of amicable understanding, and I have observed that these muds

after fifteen or sixteen applications lose their effect as a rubejacient upon the skin. But you will say, is there no one on the spot who has studied their qualities, and who is capable of directing their application? Alas! here is, at present, neither skilful doctor nor apothecary, nor indeed any person or thing that ean contribute to the convenience or necessities of an invalid. There is not even a bathing-room with a bell in it, nor is there a thermometer in any of the baths. You are not however to suppose that the want of all instruments necessary to precision in medical or other research is merely local ; for I never saw the pulse felt by a stop-watch in this country, nor did I indeed myself, ever see such an implement in Italy. But I am getting away from Abano and its miseries. To those I have already enumerated, may be added a damp and heavy air, which blunts the appetite and deadens the spirits of the strong and the rich, while it shows its effect in ague amidst the famished and the weak. It is clear therefore that the air cannot assist the virtues of these baths and muds, but on the contrary, must be considered as detracting from their salutary ef. fects. The other circumstances of the place, such as the absence of all usual means of diversion, appear as little calculated to come in aid of their virtues. Every one knows the advantage of keeping the spirits amused under every species of cure. Now there is scarcely ever a news

paper paper to be had in the coffeeroom, or a book to be procured short of Padua; but perhaps the pleasures of the place are more calculated for an Italian than an Englishman. These ordinarily consist in coffee-house prose, or listening to some improvvisatore, in dancing (that is those who can) to the squeak and squall of a fiddle, tormented by some itinerant blind professor, in billiards by day, or in faro by night. But that which best ensures amusement is the fund of good humour and gaiety which the invalids here bring with them, and which each throws cheerfully into the common stock. Both sexes, when they have finished their mud-mattins and their masses, may be seen lounging in knots, if the heat will admit, under an avenue, which forms the charm of a melancholy garden; and here you have no lamentations from them over personal or local miseries, nor do you ever detect their ill-humour escaping by some secret vent. They fall naturally into society with each other, and no one ever seems to fear, as with us, another's springing an acquaintance upon him, which may blow him up in the eyes of his more fastidious or fashionable friends. All is ease, nature, and gaiety. This system of sociability is almost universal in Italy. Yrecollect passing two days in the family of a gentleman who occupied the principal house in a small town in Tuscany, where, to my great astonishment, I perceived, on returning from an evening walk, the ominous pre

parations of lights and cardtables. Having asked the meaning of this, I was told that it was my host's turn to hold an assembly, solemnized in rotation at the houses of all the notables of the place. At this all were present from the feudatario to the apothecary. In some instances indeed even common shop-keepers are admitted (and were so formerly) to these country conversazioni. Yet, on returning to the city, all have the good sense to fall back into their proper ranks. * + # + * DESCRIPTION OF THE SETTE COMMUNI.

(From the same.)

I thought I had exhausted this city and its neighbourhood, and that I might pass the short remainder of the time I had destined to it, in all the luxury of idleness; but I am admonished by the incessant bells of the cows which are descending from the mountains, in order to winter in the plains, that I have omitted to make mention of a migratory race, the masters of these herds, who inhabit a part of the Vicentine; and who have claims upon the attention of the traveller.

I allude to the Sette Communi; the inhabitants of which have, E believe, excited some curiosity at home. The district occupied by these people, contains eighty-six square Italian miles. This area is almost entirely mountainous, and the spot where stands the capital, Asiago, is eight hundred toises above the level of the sea. The whole space, which, in addition to the seven burghs, contains

2 L 2. twenty

twenty-four villages, is bounded by rivers, alps, and hills. . Its most precise limits are the Brenta, to the east, and the Astico to the west; which rivers were called by the Romans, the greater and lesser Medoacus,

“Terrarum septem tractus jacet inter utrumque . . Medoacum: hic major dicitur, ille minor.”

To the north, it has for boundary the Tyrolian Alps, looking towards Walsagna, and to the south, the hills of the line of Marostica as far as Caltrano. These are volcanic, but the tract of the Seven Commons is, itself, calcareous. The population of this, previous to the last dreadful year of pestilence and famine, consisted of thirty thousand souls, but is now diminished to twenty-five thousand. The moral character of this people, who till lately enjoyed a comparatively free government, is, like that of most free men, and more especially of free mountaineers, simple, #. and good. For the rest, their customs savour of a race long insulated from their neighbours. Some of these (but such are principally confined to the less civilized villages) remind one of some of the Celtic usages. Thus they wake their dead the night before interment, performing certain games about the bier. If a traveller dies by the way, they plant a cross upon the spot, and all who pass by cast a stone upon his cairn. Some go on certain seasons in the year to the high places and woods, where it is supposed they worshipped their divinities;

but the origin of the custom is forgot amongst themselves, they alleging no better reason for the practice than that their fathers did so before them. If a man dies by violence, instead of clothing him, as the dead are usually clothed, they lay him out, with a hat upon his head and shoes upon his feet, seeking to give him the appearance of a way-faring man; perhaps as symbolizing one surprised in the great journey of life. If a woman dies in §: birth, they lay her out, set off with all He; bridal ornaments. Such are some of the most remarkable of their customs and observances. This people, in the simplicity of their modes of life, are sufficient to themselves, cultivating all the productions of agriculture, except the vine, which their mountains are too cold to produce, and manufacturing all necessary articles; in some of which they even drive an export trade to Venice and the circumjacent cities. But the general mode of life is pastoral and migratory. When their mountains are covered with snow (as they have now been for some time), they descend, in search of warmth and herbage, to the plains, and you may see their beasts feeding on the ramparts of Padua, and the masters hutted under the walls, The same may be observed of them in all the odd corners and suburbs of Vicenza, and various other lowland towns. There is something very remarkable in the physiognomy of this people, who bear about them evident marks of a Teutonic origin. This is a wide word; and, and, there are those who trace them up to a more certain stem, and will have them to be the remains of the wreck of the Cimbri, defeated by Marius and Catulus. This opinion derives some countenance from Strabo, who, in his fifth book, amongst some other races, whom he plants in this tract of country, specifies the “Simbri, equibus nomini Romano hostes extiterunt aliqui.” But it is always to be remembered that he speaks of different nations occupying the country I am describing, and of the scattered Simbri, or Cimbri, as only one amongst several. But, if the region was occupied at the first, as it should appear, by various tribes, these mongrel mountaineers mixed their blood, in after-times, with several other swarms, issuing out of what has been called the great northern hive. Ancient historians have recorded many such local irrup'tions, and, above all, that in the time of Theodoric; who assigned to a quantity of northern men, habitations and lands amongst these mountains. Instead therefore of considering these people as legitimate sons of the Cimbri, it is surel more consonant to all the evidence of history, to say that the flux and reflux of Teutonic invaders at different periods, deposited this back-water of barbarians; who have no better title to the denomination they have assumed, than the inhabitants of Kent and Sussex have to a Belgic, or those of Suffolk to a Danish, origin. There is, in truth, no other foundation for this claim set up

by the inhabitants of the Sette Communi, than the passage of Strabo, which I have mentioned; and there is no evidence of this claim having been advanced previous to the year 1597, when, in an account of an o visit to Asiago, I find the following observation, “ Cimbros se esse asserunt.” From that time to this, they have been voted Cimbrians, upon what grounds, you, who are acquainted with the ordinary mode of reasoning in such cases, may easily conjecture; Not being satisfied, I addressed myself on this point to a learned person of the race who had collected much matter touching his tribe, and I subjoin the answer in totidem verbis : “I nostri popoli sono pieni divivacita, corraggiosi, d'un animo nobile e generoso, industriosi, pieni di talento, gran cacciatorie bravi soldati, caratteri che DIMoSTRANo la loro origine, benchè lontana, da una nazione delle più antiche eleali del mondo.” The person who furnished me with this and some other answers to queries which I addressed to him, is about to publish on this subject, and much is here expected at his hands. But if you are curious to see what has already been printed respecting this people and their pretensions, take a few examples, not selected from amongst the most ridiculous. Thus we are told that their language is Teutonic, but not intelligible to their German neighbours, and this is forsooth a test of Cimbrism; for, though not intelligible to Germans, it is to Danes; more, it is the purest Danish ; but Danish, forsooth, is Cimbric; therefore, the inhabitants tants of the Sette Communi are Cimbri. Q. E. D. Thus we are told by Busching, that “in this district is preserved the ancient Cimbric language, or S. speak more exactly) the moern Saxon idiom ; but in such perfection, that Frederic 4th of Denmark, who satisfied himself, in his own person, of the truth, declared that it was not spoken in so polished a manner in his own court"—and this account, though in itself contradictory, we are (heaven help us!) expected to believe. But, not to let the cause be prejudiced by a bad advocate, and supposing his Danish majesty to have said, not that he had never heard Sacon, but that he had never heard Danish spoken in so genuine a manner in his court, and supposing the thousand oral traditions, yet preserved here, of this prince and members of the Sette Communi were true (though one. must be a beast to believe them), what is to be deduced from them, other than that this people speak Danish 2–which is, after all, a lie. But, not to waste words on this matter, I send you a specimen of Bossuet's Catechism, translated into their tongue, and which will probably convey some preciser notions than those with which we have been hitherto favoured. The learned who have heretofore written on the subject perhaps considered this as too simple and vulgar an expedient. A subordinate point appeared to me to deserve investigation; to wit, whether they had any national denomination amongst themselves, which, like our highland name of Gaël, might beindicative of their origin. But

though I rummaged books and interrogated all who had made a

study of this people, I could

never find one, dead or living, who had ever made the inquiry. Being however persuaded that this was very essential to the investigation of the question, I sought out these savages in their huts and hired farms, and talked with such as could speak Italian, both in my own person and through an Italian servant. But, as to the point at issue, all assured me they had no name for themselves but that of the Sette Commtini. At last, my servant asserted that he had found one who said they had another name in their own language, which this brighter barbarian informed me was Sieben perghe / You will probably, as well as myself, see nothing in this but the translation of the Italian name of the Sette Communi. But what changes might not be wrung upon it by one who was disposed to chime into the ordinary cant of the hunters of national monuments! “Sieben perghe, it is true,” they would say, “may signif seven burghs. But these words may also signify seven mountains, or seven shepherds.” In the first case, they would therefore probably send us in search of the origin of these people to some city situated upon seven hills, as to Rome or Constantinople; in the second, we should have to hunt out seven leaders of pastoral tribes; and find them perhaps in the Tartarian tales | One more circumstance appears to me to be interesting in the story of the Sette Communi. It should seem, that the fidelit Wlt

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