1 on the banks of a little river so shrunken by the suns of summer that it seems fast passing into a tradition, but swollen by the autumnal rains with an Italian suddenness of passion till the massy bridge shudders under the impatient heap of waters behind it, stands a city which, in its period of bloom not so large as Boston, may well rank next to Athens in the history which teaches come la uom s' eterna.

Originally only a convenient spot in the valley where the fairs of the neighboring Etruscan city of Fiesole were held, it gradually grew from a huddle of booths to a town, and then to a city, which absorbed its ancestral neighbor and became a cradle for the arts, the letters, the science, and the commerce2 of modern Europe.

1 The Shadow of Dante, being an Essay towards studying Himself, his World, and his Pilgrimage. By Maria Francesca Rossetti

Se Dio te lasci, letter prender frutto
Di tua lezione.
Boston: Roberts Brothers. 1872. 8vo. pp. 296.

2 The Florentines should seem to have invented or re-invented banks, book-keeping by double-entry, and bills of exchange. The last, by endowing Value with the gift of fern-seed and enabling it to walk invisible, turned the flank of the baronial tariff-system and made the roads safe for the great liberalizer Commerce. This made Money omnipresent, and prepared the way for its present omnipotence. Fortunately it cannot usurp the third attribute of Deity,— omniscience. But whatever the consequences, this Florentine invention was at first nothing but admirable, securing to brain its legitimate influence over brawn. The latter has begun its revolt, but whether it will succeed better in its attempt to restore medieval methods than the barons in maintaining them remains to be seen.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Secolo Di Dante (2)
W. M. Rossetti (1)
Se Dio (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1872 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: