Munich August 6 1835
My dear Sir.
Since I wrote you last I have received two letters from you giving a statement of the affairs of the office, the manner in which you had arranged the purchase of C[harles] Burnham, the settlement of my account for the half year, and the other dispositions you had made. 1 It is all perfectly satisfactory. I am sure I ought to feel obliged to you for the trouble you have taken and the results you have brought about. Will you be so good as to say to Mr. Hannah that I wish he would mention the gross receipts and expenses of the paper in the semi annual statement he sends me. 2 Now, if you want something for your paper, here it is. 3
Since my last letter I have visited Venice, a city which realizes the old mythological fable of Beauty born of the sea. I must confess however that my first feeling on entering it was that of disappointment. As we passed in our gondola out of the lagoons, up one of the numerous canals which permeate the city in every direction in such a manner that it seems as if you could only pass your time either within doors or in a boat, the place appeared to me a vast assemblage of prisons surrounded with their moats, and I thought how weary I should soon grow of my confinement and how glad to escape again to terra firma. But this feeling quickly gave way to delight and admiration, when I landed and surveyed the clean though narrow streets, never incommoded by dust nor disturbed by the noise and jostling of carriages and horses, by which you may pass to every part of the city--when I looked again at the rows of superb buildings, with their marble steps ascending out of the water of the canals, in which the gondolas were shooting by each other--when I stood in the immense square of St. Mark, surrounded with palaces resting on arcades under which the shops rival in splendour those of Paris and crowds of the gay inhabitants of both sexes assemble towards the evening and sit in groups before the doors of the coffee houses--and when I gazed on the barbaric macnificence of the church of St. Mark and the Doge's palace surrounded by the old emblems of the power of Venice and overlooking the Adriatic, once the empire of the republic. The architecture of Venice has to my eyes something watery and oceanic in its aspect. Under the hands of Palladio, the Grecian orders seemed to borrow the lightness and airiness of the Gothic. 4 As you look at the numerous windows and the multitude of interposing columns which give a striated appearance to the fronts of the palaces, you think of stalactites and icicles, such as you might imagine to ornament the abodes of the water gods and the sea nymphs. The only thing needed to complete the poetic illusion is transparency or brilliancy of colour, and this is wholly wanting, for at Venice the whitest marble is soon clouded and blackened by the corrosion of the sea air.