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brac hunter, overrated as are its natural beauties and climate by the holiday traveller. Nevertheless, a few months of man's life may be passed there with considerable gratification. Rome at present I leave to the Romans. Meanwhile we have Venice, and its world-wide renown, and exquisite glass of other days, if you can get any, and highly-glazed or enamelled pottery called "Venus porselayne," of very ancient date. Its manufactory ceased in 1822, and its productions, though interesting, were never very fine: its mark a double red anchor. Naples also once boasted a factory, named Capo di Monte, and the china there manufactured is the most rare, if really good, and most beautiful of all Italian porcelain. While in the neighbourhood of Florence, Doccia (or Genori), more ancient than Capo di Monte, had, and still has, in the days we live in, one of the largest manufactories of Europe, producing even finer specimens than in the past. In Turin, or Vineuf called Turin, and in Milan, as indeed in numerous internal towns of Italy, the energetic hunter may still discover something worthy of research.
We will first make a short stjour at Venice— "that glorious city on the sea." The very writing of the name excites the lover of art, and creates a longing to be there. Sky, air, and water are as of yore, but those who peopled the scene live only in history. All the peculiarities which marked their nationality and independence are gone. Even the national dress, the red tabano of the men and the black soudale of the women, has entirely disappeared. Still Venetian interests remain, and will for ever. Starting from Vienna, it is immaterial which route you select, whether over the Semmerang or the Brennen. If time be no object, the lover of nature, no less than the lover of art, will be amply repaid; indeed, it has ever been a matter of astonishment to me that, while autumn holidayseekers travel over the beaten tracks of Europe, so few are found in Vienna, or wandering amid the beauties of Lower Austria; the one, as I have said, a city full of interest and pleasant society, the other offering charms of nature which, if rivalled elsewhere, cannot be surpassed. As regards Venice, there are probably few who will read these pages who are not aware that our own factory of Chelsea, whose productions rival nearly all others in beauty of taste and decoration, emanated from Venice; and there is so much similarity between the best periods of Venetian and Chelsea porcelain, that it is by no means improbable that the same workmen were employed. Both manufactories adopted the anchor as their mark. Venice, or rather Murano, can boast more particularly of its exquisite glass; but although many splendid collections still exist, good specimens, if any, are rare in the bric-a-brac market of Europe. The islands dotted about Venice in the Lagune have great interest. Among them the most considerable, and certainly the most flourishing, was Murano. It formerly possessed the most perfect glass manufactory of Europe, not only during the Middle Ages, but till the beginning of the last century. Mirrors and every species of production, in shape, colour, and design were made there with immense skill and taste. It is said that Henry III. of France, when visiting the manufactory in 1574, ennobled the whole of the workmen. If true, they really
deserved it. In addition to the beauty of the Venice crystal, it was supposed to possess the virtue of detecting poison. The cup or glass shivered to atoms if any envenomed beverage was poured in it—rather a valuable property this at the table of Alexander VI. or the Duchess of Ferrara. In addition to the glass-works the island contains a fine cathedral of the ninth century.
Murano still holds its head above the Venetian waters, and claims a race of men, descendants from the old Venetian glass-workers, who have not quite forgotten the art; nor are form, beauty, and tone of chaste colouring quite banished from their minds. They have worked on patiently, always hoping and believing that Venice would some day awake from her lethargy, and retake her position. Their hopes are so far realized. Murano has produced a workman, by name Lorenzo Plade, who has discovered, if not precisely all, yet many of the lost secrets, while the energy, love of art, and patriotism of Salviati have gone far to revive the ancient splendour of Venetian glass. And yet beautiful, very beautiful, as are many of the modern productions, to the real connoisseur their date is at once evident. The old Venetian glass was light, bright, and vitreous in appearance, while it displayed the richest possible colours. To a great extent all these merits are retained in the revival at Murano. Venetian glass is that which is commonly named blown glass; thus every piece is an original work of human ingenuity, and the same material is used as in the days of old.
The millefiore, the smelze, perfect imitations of agates, lapis lazuli, the rich ruby colours, the brilliant aventurine, some in imitation of old glass, some more modern imitations, are to be had in London, Paris, and elsewhere, and they are charming. Venetian enamels have always been famous, and among the peculiar productions of Venice may be reckoned the beautiful composition called aventurine, the secret of which is said to be in the possession of a single manufacturer. As regards Venetian mirrors, once unrivalled, they have lost much of their reputation, as foreign competitors produce larger sheets. The annual