Excess of caution made him surround the captains of his troops with spies, and check them at the moment when he feared they might become too powerful. This want of confidence neutralized the advantage which he might have gained by his choice of fitting instruments. Thus his selection of Francesco Sforza for his general against the Venetians in 1431 was a wise one.
It is the gayest of theatres, and the most intimate, for all save the floor and a trifling space under the flat ceiling is boxes; one hundred and twenty-three little ones and eight big ones, each packed with Venetians who really do enjoy a play while it is in progress, and really do enjoy every minute of the interval while it is not.
It is said to have lost half its inhabitants; in Sardinia and Corsica, according to the account of John Villani, who was himself carried off by the black plague, scarcely a third part of the population remained alive; and the Venetians engaged ships at a high rate to retreat to the islands; so that, after the plague had carried off three-fourths of her inhabitants, their proud city was left forlorn and desolate.
In this, then, the Venetians are separate from other schools by rightness, and they are so to their last days. Venetian painting is in this matter always right. But also, in their early days, the colourists are separated from other schools by their contentment with tranquil cheerfulness of light: by their never wanting to be dazzled.
At this juncture of time it happened that the state of Venice had immediate need of the services of Othello, news having arrived that the Turks with mighty preparation had fitted out a fleet, which was bending its course to the island of Cyprus, with intent to regain that strong post from the Venetians, who then held it; in this emergency the state turned its eyes upon Othello, who alone was deemed adequate to conduct the defense of Cyprus against the Turks.
Cublai Khan consented with great reluctance, and a splendid fleet was fitted out and victualed for two years, consisting of fourteen ships of four masts, some of which had crews of two hundred and fifty men. On parting with the Venetians the munificent Khan gave them rich presents of jewels, and made them promise to return to him after they had visited their families.
Ruskin suggests that the best looking is a Venetian and the others the Venetians' inferiors drawn from the rest of the world. The third has youths and women with symbols, signifying I know not what. All are corpulent enough to suggest gluttony. This is repeated in No. 11 on the Piazzetta side. The fourth has various animals and no lettering. The fifth has lions' heads and no lettering.
He adds, that they tie their boats to their walls, as people tie their cows and horses in other places. In the middle of the eighth century, the Venetians no longer confined their navigation to the Adriatic, but ventured to double the southern promontory of Greece, and to trade to Constantinople itself.
In December he quartered his troops in the Bolognese and Romagna; while the Austrian s and Piedmontese were distributed in the Modenese and Parmesan. The pope was passive during the whole campaign; the Venetians maintained their neutrality, and the king of the two Sicilies was overawed by the British fleet in the Mediterranean.
Full of valor and skilled in military science, they approached Ravenna by forced marches. But the French tyrant also sent out a strong force to meet the Spaniards and their allies, the Venetians." "When the enemy came in sight, the Spaniards did not decline battle. They had with them an engineer, possessed of the talent of an Archimedes and a Dædalus.