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discovered, turned the trade of the East into new channels, which, combining with several other causes, gave a deadly shock to the power and commercial prosperity of Genoa, which, except a few short intervals, has continued to decline ever since, and from which depression it is not at present likely soon to recover.
The government of Genoa had long been aristocratical, and it was customary to elect the chief magistrate, called the Doge, every two years.
Since the revolution in France it has generally partaken of the same form of government: it remains to be shewn what good effects will arise from it, for bettering the condition of this country, and especially in ameliorating the circumstances of the
lower orders of its inhabitants.
The air and sail of Genoa partake much of the salubrity and abundance, so conspicuous throughout all Italy, though it is not so fruitful as its neighbouring country Leg
horn, which partly arises from its mountainous situation, and partly from the want of good cultivation. In general seasons they have not a sufficient supply of corn, which deficiency is supplied by public granaries.
Their chief, manufactories, in some of which they excel, are silk, velvet, damask, &c. which they frequently export, together with large quantities of fruit, chiefly the produce of the country, and, with sufficient encouragement, its exports might be soon increased.
Description of Leghorn-Liberality of its Government--Delightful Vicinity--Various and abundant Productions-Prevalent Religion-Reflection-Brief account of its History--Illustrious Magistrates—-Improvements in Criminal Code-Influence of France-Lucca and Pisa-Return to Mi
SCARCELY had we bid adieu to Genoa, when we were gratified with a view of Leghorn, and all its pleasing vicinity and. dependencies.
This interesting place rises majestically. on the borders of the Tuscan Sea, and equals, if not surpasses, every other port in Italy, in navigation and commerce: the reasons are obvious. Here is a free port, and toleration. The merchandize brought hither, is passed over without that rigorous and vexatious inspection, which proves a
check to liberal trade. The inhabitants are computed at sixty thousand persons, consisting of various nations and denominations. The Greeks, Jews, and Armenians, have their several places of worship. The Jews are computed at upwards of ten thousand, of which there are numbers of the first respectability, who, although they labour under several disadvantages, from imposts, &c. are notwithstanding in a pros perous condition. Near the town is a capacious mole for shipping, and not far from it an elegant light-house.
The country adjacent to Leghorn is delightfully interspersed with several towns and villages, all which are enlivened by, and partake of the general benefits of their common port. The air is salubrious, and the soil very fertile. It produces, in abundance, corn, oil, delicious and substantial fruits and vegetables, which, with quantities of fine silk, and other valuable productions, form the principal articles of their trade.
The Roman Catholic is the prevalent religion; but is there not reason to hope, that the liberal spirit so conspicuous among the inhabitants of Leghorn and its neighbourhood, may, under Divine Providence, tend to bring in genuine Christianity, and that it may extend, in all directions, till superstitious Italy is evangelized?
The ancient history of Tuscany is closely connected with that of Rome, of whose empire it formed an integral part. We may date its modern history from the reign of Charlemagne, who possessed it at the close of the eighth century. After which it became subject to Germany, whose monarch appointed the viceroy, till a pope, famous for political, as well as ecclesiastical intrigue, encouraged these governors to render themselves independent of their masters, and accept of his protection against the emperor. Hence the beginning of two powerful factions, which about the middle of the twelfth century divided the whole empire, which was not confined to Italy