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sance — when liberty and humanity awoke, and art, literature, science, poesy, all suddenly felt a new influence come over them. The Church itself shook off its apathy, inspired by a new spirit. Liberty, long downtrodden and tyrannized over, roused itself, and struck for popular rights. The great contest of the Guelphs and Ghibellines began. There was a ferment throughout all society. The great republics of Italy arose. Commerce began to flourish; and despite all the wars, contests, and feuds of people and nobles, and the decimations from plague and disease, art, literature, , science, and religion itself, burst forth into a new and vigorous life. One after another there arose those great men whose names shine like planets in history — Dante, with his wonderful “Divina Commedia," written, as it were, with a pen of fire against a stormy background of night ; Boccaccio, with his sunny sheaf of idyllic tales; Petrarca, the earnest lover of liberty, the devoted patriot, the archæologist and philosopher as well as poet, whose tender and noble spirit is marked through his exquisitely finished canzone and sonnets, and his various philosophical works; Villari, the historian ; and all the illustrious company that surrounded the court of Lorenzo the Magnificent Macchiavelli, Poliziano, Boiardo, the three Pulci, Leon Battista Alberti, Aretino, Pico della Mirandola, and Marsilio Ficino; and, a little later, Ariosto and Tasso, whose stanzas are still sung by the gondoliers of Venice; and Guarini and Bibbiena and Bembo, — and many another in the fields of poesy and literature. Music then also began to develop itself; and Guido di Arezzo arranged the scale and the new method of notation. Art also sent forth a sudden and glorious coruscation of genius, beginning with Cimabue and Giotto, to shake off the stiff cerements of Byzantine tradition in which it had so long been swathed, and to stretch its limbs to freer action, and spread its wings to higher flights of power, invention, and beauty. The marble gods, which had lain dethroned and buried in the earth for so many centuries, rose with renewed life from their graves, and reasserted over the world of Art the dominion they had lost in the realm of Religion. It is useless to rehearse the familiar names that then illumined the golden age of Italian art, where shine preëminent those of Leonardo, the widest and most universal genius that perhaps the world has ever seen ; of Michel Angelo, the greatest power that ever expressed itself in stone or color; of Raffaelle, whose exquisite grace and facile design have never been surpassed ; and of Titian, Giorgione, Veronese, and Tintoretto, with their Venetian splendors. Nor did science lag behind. Galileo ranged the heavens with his telescope, and, like a second Joshua, bade the sun stand still; and Columbus, ploughing the unknown deep, added another continent to the known world.

This was the Renaissance or new birth in Italy ; after the long drear night of ignorance and darkness, again the morning came and the glory returned. As Italy above all other lands is the land of the Renaissance, so Florence above all cities is the city of the Renaissance. Its streets are haunted by historic associations ; at every corner, and in every byplace or piazza, you meet the spirits of the past. The ghosts of the great men who have given such a charm and perfume to history meet you at every turn. Here they walked and worked centuries ago ; here to the imagination they still walk, and they scarcely seem gone. Here is the stone upon which Dante sat and meditated, was it an hour ago or six centuries ? Here Brunelleschi watched the growing of his mighty dome, and here Michel Angelo stood and gazed at it while dreaming of that other mighty dome of St. Peter's which he was afterwards to raise, and said, “ Like it I will not, and better I cannot.” As one walks through the piazza of Sta Maria Novella, and looks up at the facade that Michel Angelo called his “sposa," it is not difficult again to people it with the glad procession that bore Cimabue's famous picture, with shouts and pomp and rejoicing, to its altar within the church. In the Piazza della Signoria one may in imagination easily gather a crowd of famous men to listen to the piercing tones and powerful eloquence of Savonarola. Here gazing up, one may see towering against the sky, and falling as it were against the trooping clouds, the massive fortress-like structure of the Palazzo Publico, with its tall machicolated tower, whence the bell so often called the turbulent populace together; or dropping one's eyes, behold under the lofty arches of the Loggia of Orcagna the marble representations of the ancient and modern world assembled together, peacefully : the antique Ajax, the Renaissance Perseus of Cellini, the Rape of the Sabines, by John of Bologna, and the late group of Polyxines, by Fedi, holding solemn and silent conclave. In the Piazza del Duomo at the side of Brunelleschi's noble dome, the exquisite campanile of Giotto, slender, graceful, and joyous, stands like a bride and whispers ever the name of its master and designer. And turning round, one may see the Baptistery celebrated by Dante, and those massive bronze doors storied by Ghiberti, which Michel Angelo said were worthy to be the doors of Paradise. History and romance meets us everywhere. The old families still give their names to the streets, and palaces, and loggie. Every now and then a marble slab upon some house records the birth or death within of some famous citizen, artist, writer, or patriot, or perpetuates the memory of some great event. There is scarcely a street or a square which has not something memorable to say and to recall, and one walks through the streets guided by memory, looking behind more than before, and seeing with the eyes of the imagination. Here is the Bargello, by turns the court of the Podestà and the prison of Florence, whence so many edicts were issued, and where the groans of so many prisoners were echoed. Here is the Church of the Carmine, where Masaccio and Lippi painted those frescoes which are still living on its walls, though the hands that painted and the brains that dreamed them into life are gone forever. Here are the loggie which were granted only to the fifteen highest citizens, from which fair ladies, who are now but dust, looked and laughed so many a year ago. Here are the piazze within whose tapestried stockades gallant knights jousted in armor, and fair eyes, gazing from above, “rained influence and adjudged the prize.” Here are the fortifications at which Michel Angelo worked as an engineer and as a combatant; and here among the many churches, each one of which bears on its walls or over its altars the painted or sculptured work of some of the great artists of the flowering prime of Florence, is that of the Santa Croce, the sacred and solemn mausoleum of many of its mighty dead. As we wander through its echoing nave at twilight, when the shadows of evening are deepening, we may hold communion with these great spirits of the past. The Peruzzi and Baldi Chapels are illustrated by the frescoes of Giotto. The foot treads upon many a slab under which lie the remains of soldier, and knight, and noble, and merchant prince, who, centuries ago, their labors and battles and commerce done, were here laid to rest. The nave on either side is lined with monumental statues of the illustrious dead. Ungrateful Florence, who drove her greatest poet from her gates to find

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