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much reason or common sense, received it with the 40 tion, would not greatly approve of it, and that the new doge would not be received with the usual acclamations, Ziani took care that great quantities of money should be thrown among the multitude, when he was first presented to them. No doge was ever received with louder acclamations.

During the reign of Ziani, the singular ceremony of espousing the sea was first instituted.

Pope Alexander III, to avoid the resentment of the emperor Frederic Barbarossa, had taken refuge at Ve. nice, and was protected by that state. The emperor sent a powerful fleet against it, under the command of his son Otho. Ziani met him with the fleet of Venice. A very obstinate engagement ensued, in which the Venetians were victorious. The doge returned in triumph, with thirty of the enemy's vessels, in one of which was their commander Otho. All the inhabitants of Venice rushed to the seashore, to meet their victorious doge : the pope himself came, attended by the senate and clergy. After embracing Ziani, his holiness presented him with a ring, saying, with a loud voice,' take this ring; use it as a chain to retain the sea, henceforth, in subjection to the Venetian empire : espouse the sea with this ring, and let the marriage be solemnized annually, by you and your successors, to the end of time, that the latest posterity may know that Venice has acquired the empire of the waves, and that the sea is subjected to you, as a wife is to her husband.'

As this speech came from the head of the church, peo ple were not surprised to find it a little mysterious: and the multitude, without considering whether it contained

great

est applause. The marriage has been regularly celebrated every year since that time.

After the death of Ziani, if the terms which had been agreed upon previous to the election, had been literally adhered to, the grand council of four hundred and seventy would have proceeded to choose a doge, simply by the plurality, of votes ; but, for some reason which is not now known, that method was waved, and the following

adopted.-Four persons were chosen by the grand council, each of whom had the power of naming ten ; and the whole forty had the appointing of the doge.

Their choice fell upon the same Orio Malipier, who had declined the dignity in favour of his friend Ziani.

Under the administration of Malipier, two new forms of magistracy were created; the first was that of the avogadors. Their duty is to take care that the laws in being shall be punctually executed ; and while it is the business of other magistrates to proceed against the transgressors of the laws, it is theirs to bring a process against those magistrates who neglect to put them in execution. They decide also on the nature of accusations, and determine before which of the courts every cause shall be brought, not leaving it in the power of either of the parties to carry a cause to a high court, which is competent to be tried by one less expensive; and no resolution of the grand council, or senate, is valid, unless, at least, one of the three avogadors be present during the deliberation. It is also the duty of the avogadors to keep the originals of all the decisions and regulations of the grand council and senate, and to order them, and all other laws, to be read over, whenever they think proper, by way of refreshing the memories of the senators. If the senators are obliged to attend during those lectures, this is a very formidable power indeed. I am acquainted with senators in another country, who would sooner give their judges the power of putting them to death at once, in a less lingering manner.

The second class of magistrates, created at this time, was that called Judges al Forestieri ; there are also three of them. It is their duty to decide, in all causes between citizens and strangers, and in all disputes which strangers have with each other.

This institution was peculiarJy expedient, at a time when the resort from all countries to Venice was very great, both on account of commerce, and of the crusades.

In the year 1192, after a very able administration,

Malipier, who was of a very philosophical turn of mind, abdicated the office of doge, and Henry Dandolo vas e. lected in his place.

I am a great deal too much fatigued with the preceding narrative, to accompany one of his active and enterprising genius at present; and I have good reason to suspect, that you also have been, for some time past, inclįn

ed to repose.

LETTER X.

Venice. HENRY DANDOLO had, in his early years, passed, with general approbation, through many of the subordinate offices of government; and had, a few years before he was elected to the dignity of doge, been ambassador at the court of Manuel, the Greek emperor at Constantinople. There, on account of his inflexible integrity, and his refusing to enter into the views of Manuel, which he thought contrary to the interest of his country, his eyes were almost entirely put out, by order of that tyrant. Notwithstanding this impediment, and his great age, being above eighty, he was now elected to the office of doge.

At this time, some of the most powerful princes and nobles of France and Flanders, instigated by the zeal of Innocent III, and still more by their own pious fervour, resolved, in a fourth crusade, to attempt the recovery of the Holy Land, and the sepulchre of Christ, from the hands of infidels ; and being, by the fate of others, taught the difficulties and dangers of transporting armies by land, they resolved to take their passage from Europe to Asia by sea. On this occasion they applied to the Venetian state, who not only agreed to furnish ships for the transportation of the army, but also to join, with an armed fleet, as principals in the expedition.

The French army arrived soon after in the Venetian state ; but so ill had they calculated, that, when every thing was ready for the embarkation, part of the sum

which they had agreed to pay for the transporting their troops, was deficient. This occasioned disputes between the French leaders and the state, which the doge put an end to, by proposing, that they should pay in military services what they could not furnish in money. This was accepted, and the first exploits of the crusade army were, the reduction of the town of Zara, and other places in Dalmatia, which had revolted from the Venetians. It had been previously agreed, that, after this service, the army should embark immediately for Egypt; but Dan, dolo, who had another project more at heart, represented that the season was too far advanced, and found means to persuade the French army to winter in Dalmatia.

During this interval, Dandolo, availing himself of some favourable circumstances, had the dexterity to determine the French crusaders, in spite of the interdiction of the pope, to join with the Venetian forces, and to carry their arms against the emperor of Constantinople; an expedition which, Dandolo asserted, would facilitate their ori. ginal plan against the Holy Land, and which, he was convinced, would be attended with far greater advantages to both parties.

The crown of Constantinople was never surrounded with greater dangers, nor has it ever known more sudden revolutions than at this period,

Manuel, who had treated Dandolo, while ambassador, with so much barbarity, had been precipitated from the throne. His immediate successor had, a short time after, experienced the same fate, Betrayed by his own brother, his eyes had been put out, and, in that deplorable condition, he was kept close prisoner by the usurper. The son of this unfortunate man had escaped from Constantinople, and had arrived at Venice, to implore the protection of that state: the compassion which his misfortune naturally excited, had considerable effect in promoting the doge's favourite scheme of leading the French and Venetian forces against Constantinople. The indefatigable Dandolo went, in person, at the head of his

countrymen. The united army beat the troops of the usurper in repeated battles, obliged him to fly from Con. stantinople, placed his brother on the throne, and restored to him his son Alexis, who had been obliged to take refuge at Venice, from the cruelty of his uncle, and had accompanied Dandolo in this successful enterprise.

A misunderstanding soon after ensued between the united armies and Alexis, now associated with his father on the throne of Constantinople. The Greeks murmured at the favour which their emperor shewed to those foreigners, and thought his liberality to them inconsistent with his duty to his own subjects. The crusaders, on the other hand, imagined, that all the wealth of his empire was hardly sufficient to repay the obligations he owed to them. The young prince, desirous to be just to the one, and grateful to the other, lost the confidence of both; and, while he strove to conciliate the minds of two sets of men, whose views and interests were opposite, he was betrayed by Murtsuphlo, a Greek, who had gained his confidence, and whom he had raised to the highest dignities of the empire. This traitor insinuated to the Greeks, that Alexis had agreed to deliver up Constantinople to be pillaged, that he might satisfy the avarice and rapacity of those strangers who had restored his family to the throne. The people fly to arms, the palace is invested, Alexis and his father are put to death, and Murtsuphlo is declared emperor.

These transactions, though ascertained by the authenticity of history, seem as rapid as the revolutions of a theatrical representation.

The chiefs of the united army, struck with horror and indignation, assemble in council. Dandolo, always decisive in the moment of danger, gives it as his opinion, that they should immediately declare war against the usurper, and make themselves masters of the empire. This opinion prevails, and the conquest of the Greek, empire is resolved upon.

After several bloody battles, and various assaults, the

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