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of written depositions and secret applications to the judges. When I imagined I had done with my fiscal notices and was sliding into other things, a new tax was notified on land, which is supposed to have been imposed in order to make up for the deficiency which will naturally follow in the custom-house revenue, in consequence of the late prohibitive decrees. It is, however, impossible to enumerate all these changes as they arise; this would be to attempt to give the weight and measure of a body which is continually growing. You will exclaim, How do the proprietors exist under these accumulated burthens? To this I answer, that an immense number of them are ruined, and those who yet keep together a part of their inheritance, remain without heart or hope. Were the dues of the church in like proportion, they must be absolutely crushed, but these are fortunately light in Italy. To begin with Venice, they are very inconsiderable; but perhaps some account of the clerical economy of this place may be acceptable. Venice is now divided into thirty parishes. The rectors of them have their estates as the Patriarch has ; the minimum of their respective income being fixed at seven hundred franks, or about thirty pounds sterling; but it is to be understood that more than half of them enjoy a revenue of at least double the amount. The minimum of the salary of the vicars and coadjutors of these, as they are called (and there are many such in each parish), is fixed as I understand it, at four hundred
francs. In general, this last body depend on the auxiliary masses which they celebrate, each of which is paid by the person who causes it to be said, at the rate of about fifteen-pence of our
money. The income of bishops, to reascend in the scale, in like manner, depends, on fixed property or funds, but, if it falls beneath a given sum, is, as well as the preceding deficits, to be made good out of the cassa di beni demaniali, as is also that of the country rectors, whose minimum is about thirty pounds a year, arising, as I before stated, out of tithes: but these have often other sources of revenue, in the lands or funds. The tythes collected, I mean in the Venetian state, except in some few cases, such as I shall specify in a more general view of this subject, often do not exceed the fortieth instead of the tenth allotment of produce as with us. In consequence, the livings of the clergy are moderate in the Stato Veneto ; From what I can learn there are not above fifty considerable ones. These, however, are rich, there being perhaps as many which amount to three hundred pounds a year, a large sum here, more particularly in the country; for we must allow that men are not only rich or poor in proportion to what they have and what that will buy, but also in roportion to what they want. ow in Italy, not only necessaries are cheaper, but (more particularly out of great cities) fewer things are necessary; so that I should almost rate this sum spent in a parsonage in Italy as much more thanequivalent toathousand pounds
pounds a year spent in a rectory in England, where, from greater commerce, the modes of artificial life are more generally multiplied and diffused. I should not conclude my account of the Venetian clergy, without giving some little insight into its character, but that this is now melted into that of the Italian clergy, monastical or regular, and is of course no longer animated by the spirit which distinguished it in the days of Fra’ Paolo. The Patriarch, however, retains his authority, as a sort of puny pope, and grants divorces as in the time of the Venetian republic.
You will recollect you and I having once discussed the principle of these divorces, which appears such a manifest infringement of the maxims of the Roman Catholic church. What we imagined, I find confirmed upon inquiry: these do not, in any degree, com. promise the doctrine of marriage being a sacrament, and therefore indissoluble; since the union, however sanctioned, has always been held to be conditional as to certain points; and these divorces were and are granted on the allegation of circumstances which would have rendered a marriage voidab initio, according to the long established maxims of Rome.
LOCAL I) ESC RIPTIONS.
DESCRIPTION OF ABA No. (From Rose's Letters.) - Abano, August, 1817. I AM at last established—
Fra l'Adige e la Brenta a pie de' colli,
or, to speak plain prose, am arrived at Abano.
This village is about three miles from the Euganean Hills; and the houses, occupied by those who resort to the place, for the benefit of its muds and waters, are yet nearer, all situated in an extensive plain: from this rises a sort of natural tumulus of a figure nearly circular, of about fifteen feet i. and, I should think, above one hundred in circumference. It appears to be of the same sort of composition as the neighbouring hills, perhaps the wreck of one, consisting of calcareous stone, tufo, and other materials, indicative of a volcanic origin.
From this mount burst two or three copious streams of hot water, which are capable of boiling an egg hard, at their source. A part of these serves to fill the baths, and , pits for heating the muds; a part loses itself in cuts and wet ditches, amidst the meadows, and a part turns the wheel of a mill, which whirls amidst volumes of smoke. The meadows, which are of a surprising richness, extend about two miles without interruption, when they are broken by an insulated hill, entirely covered with trees, jo, and vines: from the foot of this issue smoking streams, and a little farther is another single hill, from whose roots issue hot mineral waters. The structure of the hills, and the character and position of their strata, show evidently that they were once links in the Euganean chain. There are other springs of the same nature, and having all of them more or less of medicinal virtue; which procured this place the ancient name of Aponon, apparently parently derived (as has been conjectured) from a privative and orowog, pain.
I can describe little more than what I see: but for a more scientific description of the place you may refer to the Philosophical Transactions, where there is a paper on this tract of country, by Mr. Strange, formerly English resident at Venice.
All spots of a similar description are supposed to have been honoured by the visits or residence of demi-gods. This was the case with Abano, though one should have thought a secondchop Trojan would have been *fci. for so insignificant a place, for it has to boast of the presence of Hercules himself, who was supposed to have ploughed two long furrows, visible in a marble rock; I suppose for the distribution of the springs.
w Praetereagrandes effossi marmore sulci __Saucia longinquo limite saxa secant: Herculei (sic fama refert) monstratur aratri Semita, vel casus vomeris egit opus. - Claud. de Apono.
It is to be remarked, that the same fable was related of Hercules by the Leontines in Sicily, where there were also springs of the same description, and that sulphureous waters were, I believe, generally (for what reason I know not) dedicated to this demi-god.
The place was moreover once hallowed by oracles, probably inspired by the mephitic vapour which issued from fissures in the mountains, and many local deities were worshipped here, who were
supposed to preside over these salutary springs. The fame o these indeed appears to have been widely diffused, and it should seem that this tract in the later ages of the empire once ranked with Baja itself. Many passages might be adduced from classical authors to this effect, and the magnificent remains of baths and building confirm the fact of their having been of ancient celebrity. But not only have these works of men sunk in ruin, those of nature herself have felt the hand of time, and little resemblance can be found in the landscape before me to that which is presented us by Claudian, who visited these baths in the time of the emperor Honorius. Some traditions moreover are preserved of sudden changes operated here by the action of volcanic fire, and I was myself a witness to one of the wonders which mature is probably continually playing off, having seen the main branch of the streams which break from the tumulus before mentioned, change its channel, and suddenly work itself a different vent. It is not however upon its geological wonders that the modern notoriety of Abano principally rests. It is celebrated for its muds, which are taken out of its hot basins, and applied either generally or partially, as the case of the patient may demand. These are thrown by, after having been used, and, at the conclusion of the season, returned to the hot fountains, where they are left till the ensuing spring, that they may impregnate themselves anew with the mineral virtues which these
they have been applied, when un
checked by cold. Hence heat is considered as so essentially seconding their operations, that this watering-place, or rather mudding-place, is usually nearly deserted by the end of August; though there are some who continue to wallow on through the whole of September. The baths, though sometimes considered as a remedy in themselves, are most generally held to be mere auxiliaries to the muds, and usually but serve as a prologue and interlude to the dirty performance which forms the subject of the preceding paragraph, they being supposed to open the pores and dispose the skin to greater susceptibility. There is no doubt great fanaticism in this part of Italy respecting the virtues of these muds, which are here considered as aplicable to many cases in which it would be ridiculous to suppose they could be efficacious. On the other hand, there seems to be as much perverse incredulity Vol. LXI.
amongst medical men on the other side of the Alps, always excepting our own, who, without rejecting the possibility of the thing, seem (at least those I have known) very discreetly to suspend their belief. I can for myself see nothing improbable in the effects which the muds are supposed in many cases to produce; but to pursue a safer mode of reasoning, I have seen myself cases which might alone fairly establish the reputation of Abano. It is true, however, that the muds act very uncertainly, but this is probably the case with every medicament; and I suppose, with the exception of bark and mercury, it may be said that there is no such thing as a o To show, however, that there is no ground for despair even in , apparently desperate cases, and where the first effects of the remedy seem to promise least, I shall mention one of late occurrence, of which I was not indeed an eyewitness, but which still forms the subject of conversation amongst the frequenters of the baths; a great proportion of whom were witnesses to the fact. Agentleman of Feltre, of about two or three and forty, was brought here last year, labouring under the effects of a recent par ralytic stroke, and contrary to the advice of his physicians, who considered him too much reduced to be able to support the severe discipline of the place. His first attempt confirmed their opinions, and he was obliged, through mere debility, to suspend his operations; but he was of that class of invalids who determine to get well and in their own way. 2 L Having