Wandering through the vast hall of the Ragione at Padua, where the very shadows seem asleep as they glide over the wide unpeopled floor, it is not easy to remember that this was once the theatre of eager intrigues, ere the busy stir of the old burgh was utterly extinguished.
In the Middle Ages it was one of the towns which struggled most successfully against the Imperial rule. In 1164 it joined the Lombardy league, and instituted its free government. The town was then extended, and the Palazzo della Ragione built. In 1222 the University of Padua was founded, in consequence of the dissolution of that at Bologna.
In the same way, John Stuart Mill never declared himself a Socialist, but that, nevertheless, in opinion he was one, is made evident by his autobiography and his posthumous fragments on Socialism. Humboldt Pub. Co., New York. ARDIGÒ, La Formazione naturale, Vol. II. of his Opere filologiche, and Vol. VI., La Ragione, Padone, 1894. Guyau, L'Irréligion de l'avenir. Paris. 1887.
Under his directions, a spacious theatre was fitted up in the old Gothic Palazzo della Ragione on the cathedral square. Here Latin comedies were performed before an audience which included the most learned classical scholars of the day, and Italian dramas were seen for the first time upon the stage.
Ercole, therefore, in the year 1502, was residing in one of the two palaces mentioned above, which were connected with each other by a row of structures extending from the old castle to the Piazza before the church, which ended in the Palazzo della Ragione. They are still connected, although the locality has greatly changed. The duke's palace was opposite the church.
'Sta la ragione che abbiamo cantato; Sia a Gesù bambino rappresentata." The sudden introduction of "Quel Angelo" in this song reminds us of a similar felicity in the romantic ballad of "Lord Bateman," where we are surprised to learn that "this Turk," to whom no allusion had been previously made, "has one lovely daughter." The air to which this is sung is very simple and sweet, though monotonous.
"E con ragione," said the Italian, "for there is no place like N. for doing business in the whole world. I myself have sold seventy pounds' worth of weather-glasses at N. in one day. One of our people is living there now, who has done bene, molto bene." "That's Rossi," said I, "how is it that I did not mention him first?
Bernini and the superb fountain of Trevi derive from Michelangelo on one side; Vignola's cold classic profiles and Palladio's resuscitation of old Rome in the Palazzo della Ragione at Vicenza emerge upon the other.
What wild and confused reminiscences on the wrinkled visage we should find thereafter of the fierce republican times, of Ecelino, of the Carraras, of the Venetian rule! And is it not sad to think of systems and peoples all passing away, and these ancient women lasting still, and still selling grapes in front of the Palazzo della Ragione? What a long mortality!
At the steps of the Palazzo della Ragione he halted, cap in hand. The trumpeters shrilled for silence, the Secretary of the Republic read a Latin speech; everybody applauded what nobody understood. Amilcare, at the end of it, swung off his horse and ran up the steps. He embraced the orator, embraced the signori one after another; greetings flashed about, tears, laughter, clappings on the back. But he kept his head throughout: it was seen that he wished to present his wife. Present her! Enthusiasm grew frenzied; he had to battle his way down the steps to regain her side. He lifted her lightly down; hand in hand they went up the steps again. Molly excelled herself, was the wonder of the whole city. How she curtsied to their lordships what a figure she had for that grace how tall, how supple, and how slim! When she gave her rosy cheek to each in turn, there was a kind of caught sob audible in the crowd. The simplicity of the act brought tears to tender eyes: men laughed or looked haggard, according as the trouble took them; women, more at home with tears, clung to each other as they cried. A marvel all believed her an angel clean from heaven; the kiss of peace, la bocca della Carit