Every pre-conceived idea of Venice, as a city or a society, belongs purely to the imagination. Of all the cities of Italy, Venice has been the most frequently and accurately described, both by the pencil and the pen. The streets of Venice, sometimes formed on piles, sometimes founded on the scattered rocks or islets, and united at every step by little bridges, where they are crossed by canals, resemble in dimension the Parisian passage, or the alley of London: they are perhaps something narrower, and infinitely cleaner, than either. The Churches of Venice are numerous, and even still splendid. The Austrian government of Venice, therefore, is not only a pure and unmixed despotism, but a studied and designed aggregation of every abuse that can tend to desolate and oppress, to break the spirit of the species, to damp industry, and to quench hope.