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I send for the amusement of such of
be interested in Italian literature, a translation of the Oration pronounced at Venice on the death of the Doge Loredano, one of the greatest men that the Venetian republic can boast. It was printed in that city, for the first time, from inedited state-papers, A. D. 1795, and dedicated to the last of the Venetian Doges, Ludovico Manin. It was spoken by the senator Andrea Navagero, who was employed by the Senate to write the history of his country; but dissatisfied with his labors, committed them to the flames. He died ambassador to France, A. D. 1529. Loredano, the subject of the oration, was elected Doge of Venice A. D. 1501. It was he who steered the vessel of St. Mark through the stormy sea of the league of Cambray; and your readers, will perceive, from the tenor of the oration, that his private vittues were not less eminent than his public merit. He died in 1521.
Venice, during his Dogate, appears to have attained the summit of her glory; and notwithstanding her loss of the battle of Agnadel, the Doge had the satisfaction of seeing before his death the territories in the Terra-firma restored to the republic. The august Venetian Senate was at this period the focus of political wisdom
* Called so by the French; by the Venetians, the battle of Ghiaradádda; by Machiavelli, the battle of Vailà.
and diplomatic dexterity. The arts and sciences were shining with unrivalled lustre throughout Italy; while in the Venetian states, Tartaglia was seen at Brescia, solving for the first time, the higher equations, and submitting the discharge of bombs to mathematical laws; at Verona, Fracastori united the fame of the physician to that of the poét; in the capital, Aldo Manuzio was superintending his press, and diffusing classical literature through barbarous and priest-ridden Europe ; Titian, Pordenone, and Sebastiano del Piombo were embellishing the churches and palaces with their labors, while the canals of the Dominante were choked with gondolas transporting strangers to see the Serene Republic, which had weathered the tempest of the league of Cambray, and the Doge Loredano, who then filled the ducal chair.
WILLIAM ROSCOE, ESQ.
ORATION DELIVERED AT VENICE ON THE DEATH
IS RESPECTFULLY ÍNSCRIBED.
Jy it be true, o Venetians ! that those who quit this mortal life retain any perception of the transactions of this world, I am of opinion that Leonardo Loredano in witnessing these splendid obsequies, and this august assembly which partakes of the grief of the whole city at his loss, will experience no small gratification from your piety and benevolence testified towards him by these solemn rites.--He, indeed, who judges wisely, will be convinced that nothing can be more grateful to him than this proclamation of his virtues ; especially, when it is considered that similar honors which have been profusely lavished on preceding doges, and which have always corresponded with the dignity of the republic, may appear to suffer some detraction, by the reflection that they belong rather to the republic itself, than to the doges to whom they are attributed. But the merit of Loredano is solely his own; neither is there any one who can presume to share it with him. Common honors, after being the subject of public discussion for a while, soon fall into oblivion, and seldom outlive contemporary witnesses ; but such as Loredano's, if committed to a worthy recorder, acquire daily more weight, and a perpetual accession of vigor among succeeding generations. These are only noticed in particular spots ; those traverse the world in all directions, and are commemorated in divers places at the same instant. The better therefore that any one is, the more does he thirst for praise; neither is any good so highly appreciated by the virtuous as true glory. He who determines to run a virtuous career, prescribes for himself a difficult and laborious course of life. He must voluntarily undergo many hard ships; all pleasures are to be despised : many Hangers must be braved; and many contrarieties must be withstood. It is not however easily credible, that any individual can be possessed of so stern and iron a nature, as to delight in a perpetual conquest of difficul ties. How then are we to account for this ? The hope of realising: praise and glory lightens dangers and difficulties, mitigates the asperities of toil, and inspires a contempt of the allurements of pleasure. It is this hope that accompanies virtue, in the same manner as shadows, bodies; it is this that administers a compensation for all the troubles borne for virtue's sake; it is this that applies so strong a stimulus to well-disposed minds, that' several have been found not: only to prefer it to the enjoyment of the pleasures of this world, but: cheerfully to lay down their lives, hoping thus to extend the short limits assigned to them, and, as it were, to render them immortal. Aware of these principles of action, our ancestors held it conducive to the public good not only to encourage, but to increase, as far as lay in their power, this noble thirst for glory; and since many other wise provisions were instituted in our republic with this view, they ordained, that in addition to the other honors conferred on our, doges after death, eulogiums should be pronounced in commemoration of their virtues. This was instituted not only to remunerate. those who presided with integrity at the head of the state, but to operate as an incentive to others, who, seeing that the recollection of virtuous deeds survived those who were their authors, might also strive to live in the recollection of a grateful posterity, and thus commence, as it were, the beginning of a longer life. At present, nothing perhaps is wanting to add dignity to the affecting ceremony and heart-felt gratitude conferred on the memory of our deceased Doge, but that the commemoration of his virtuous life has not devolved on an adequate panegyrist, on one of sufficient talent so to commit to record his immortal actions, that they may descend to the latest posterity. I hope notwithstanding to prove, that on this point you will not have much ground for complaint. As far as lies in your power you have done your part; you have provided at the public expense, a splendid funeral, corresponding with the merits of the deceased, and with the dignity of our republic. You, illustrious senators, are seated in the midst of a numerous assembly; the whole population of Venice surrounds you ; there is no individual present, who does not deplore our excellent Doge as one taken off in the flower of his youth, rather than as one gradually worn out by age. In the command which I have received from you to deliver his eulogium in public, you have paid a due tribute to his memory: much will however be wanting on my part, if I,
be found unequal duly to record his merits. I am indeed of opinion
of great commanders. Almost all the opulence and dignity of Venice which are considerable, owe their origin and increase to maritime affairs ; many and high were the achievements of our ancestors at sea, many are still daily performed by our brave commanders, and so prominent are their talents in this line, that many years since and not without reason) has the sovereignty of the sea been assigned to the Venetian standard ; and any one, whether by consulting history, or his own recollection,