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[163] been disputed with much warmth, and with a waste of obscure learning, by Count Cicognara, President of the Academy of Venice, Schlegel, Mustoxidis, a native of Corcyra and a member of the French Institute, and Dandolo, a young Venetian patrician of talent and acuteness. Six pamphlets have been published, and the war is not at an end. The question is, whether these four horses were a part of the Roman plunder of Greece, and, after having been placed by Nero on his arch at Rome, were transported by Constantine to ornament his new city, or whether they were originally of Chios, and, without having ever seen Athens or Rome, were brought in the fifth century, under Theodosius the younger, to Constantinople. It is a question that can never be decided, but it is a curious and interesting fact, that the young Dandolo, who has shown both learning and modesty in this controversy, is the direct lineal descendant of the blind old Doge of the same name, who in 1204 was the first to mount the breach at Constantinople, and, after having refused the Empire of the East, and placed Baldwin on the throne, brought these very horses as the trophy of his country's triumph. . . . . It is not a little singular that the father of this young man is the very man who, with fallen fortunes and proud blood, is appointed commander of the arsenal, and is obliged every day to visit the ruins of the glory his fathers founded.

October 17.—At the Academy of Arts we enjoyed an unexpected pleasure. It is in the former Convent della Carita, famous from the circumstance that Alexander III., escaping from the fury of the Emperor Frederick, lived here a long time incognito. A part of it is by Palladio, and one of the finest of his works . . . . . In this convent, now made into halls for the purpose, are collecting and collected from Paris, . . . . and from churches where they have slept in forgetfulness, the great works of the Venetian school. Two commanded my admiration, and dimmed the splendor of the rest,—one is Tintoretto's masterpiece, the miraculous liberation, by St. Mark, of a slave condemned to death; . . . . all is as confused as his wild genius could have devised, and yet it all centres on the one object, and the whole piece is as living as if the fact were passing before you. The other picture is a magnificent Assumption, by Titian, now, as it were, first produced to the world . . . . . All that is known of it is that it was extremely admired while in his possession, that it was put up in its place [the church of Sta. Maria Gloriosa] in a cross light, . . . . and that the three centuries of tapers that piety has burned under it, and of incense it has offered up to it, had so completely incrusted it with a coat of black varnish, that in the best and strongest light not a feature of the

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