Illustrations are not included. An illustrated HTML version can be found at Project Gutenberg.
the Venetian stock was ultimately derived." If the tradition has any truth, we think with a deeper interest of that instinct for commerce which seems to have been in the very blood of the early Venetians. Did it, indeed, come down to them from the merchants of Tyre and Carthage? From that wonderful trading race which stretched out its arms all over Europe and penetrated even to our own island? From the first, Venice cut herself adrift, as far as possible, from Western ties, but she turned to Eastern people and to intercourse with the East with a natural affinity which savours of racial instinct. All her greatness was derived from her Asiatic trade, and her bazaars, heaped with Eastern riches, must have assumed a deeply Oriental aspect. Her customs long retained many details peculiar to the East. The people observed a custom for choosing and dowering brides, which was of Asia. The national treatment of women was akin to that of an Oriental State; Venetian women lived in a retirement which recalled the life of
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