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The Lion of Saint Mark A Story of Venice in the Fourteenth Century   By: (1832-1902)

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E text prepared by Martin Robb


A Story of Venice in the Fourteenth Century


G. A. Henty.

Preface. Chapter 1: Venice. Chapter 2: A Conspiracy. Chapter 3: On The Grand Canal. Chapter 4: Carried Off. Chapter 5: Finding A Clue. Chapter 6: The Hut On San Nicolo. Chapter 7: On Board A Trader. Chapter 8: An Attack By Pirates. Chapter 9: The Capture Of The Lido. Chapter 10: Recaptured. Chapter 11: The Battle Of Antium. Chapter 12: In Mocenigo's Power. Chapter 13: The Pirates' Raid. Chapter 14: The End Of The Persecutor. Chapter 15: The Battle Of Pola. Chapter 16: The Recapture Of The Pluto. Chapter 17: An Ungrateful Republic. Chapter 18: The Release Of Pisani. Chapter 19: The Siege Of Chioggia. Chapter 20: The Triumph Of Venice.


Of all the chapters of history, there are few more interesting or wonderful than that which tells the story of the rise and progress of Venice. Built upon a few sandy islands in a shallow lagoon, and originally founded by fugitives from the mainland, Venice became one of the greatest and most respected powers of Europe. She was mistress of the sea; conquered and ruled over a considerable territory bordering on the Adriatic; checked the rising power of the Turks; conquered Constantinople; successfully defied all the attacks of her jealous rivals to shake her power; and carried on a trade relatively as great as that of England in the present day. I have laid my story in the time not of the triumphs of Venice, but of her hardest struggle for existence when she defended herself successfully against the coalition of Hungary, Padua, and Genoa for never at any time were the virtues of Venice, her steadfastness, her patriotism, and her willingness to make all sacrifice for her independence, more brilliantly shown. The historical portion of the story is drawn from Hazlitt's History of the Republic of Venice, and with it I have woven the adventures of an English boy, endowed with a full share of that energy and pluck which, more than any other qualities, have made the British empire the greatest the world has ever seen.

G. A. Henty.

Chapter 1: Venice.

"I suppose you never have such nights as these in that misty island of yours, Francisco?"

"Yes, we have," the other said stoutly. "I have seen just as bright nights on the Thames. I have stood down by Paul's Stairs and watched the reflection of the moon on the water, and the lights of the houses on the bridge, and the passing boats, just as we are doing now.

"But," he added honestly, "I must confess that we do not have such still, bright nights very often, while with you they are the rule, though sometimes even here a mist rises up and dims the water, just as it does with us."

"But I have heard you say that the stars are not so bright as we have them here."

"No, I do not think they are, Matteo. I do not remember now, but I do know, when I first came here, I was struck with the brightness of the stars, so I suppose there must have been a difference."

"But you like this better than England? You are glad that your father came out here?"

Francis Hammond did not answer at once.

"I am glad he came out," he said after a pause, "because I have seen many things I should never have seen if I had stayed at home, and I have learned to speak your tongue. But I do not know that I like it better than home. Things are different, you see. There was more fun at home. My father had two or three apprentices, whom I used to play with when the shop was closed, and there were often what you would call tumults, but which were not serious. Sometimes there would be a fight between the apprentices of one ward and another. A shout would be raised of 'Clubs!' and all the 'prentices would catch up their sticks and pour out of the shops, and then there would be a fight till the city guard turned out and separated them. Then there used to be the shooting at the butts, and the shows, and the Mayday revels, and all sorts of things. The people were more merry than you are here, and much more free... Continue reading book >>

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