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#12 - ITALY

Size: 3" x 5"
Copyrighted: 1893
Lithographer: Kaufmann & Strauss

Italy - gondoliers, gambling

Reverse - Text
Right section:
ITALY the sunny, the land of blue skies and genial warmth, possesses a picturesque people. They are poor but happy, careless, light-hearted, impulsive, impetuous, affectionate, sanguine, emotional, langorous and generous. Pomp and circumstance dazzle them. Ribbons, gewgaws and bright colors enslave their fancy.
Numerous pageants and mimes are celebrated throughout the year by the Italians and into the vortex of this innocent dissipation the children of Italy throw themselves heart and soul. The greatest of these is Carnival Week. For six days the people masquerade and jollity free and unrestrained rules. There are races, games of all kinds, mummeries and horse play. Every point of vantage is decked with flowers and all means employed which fancy can suggest Business is suspended and on the last three days vehicles may not traverse the streets. For the nonce noble and clown, dowager and peasant-maid meet on a level. The gondola, the most graceful of all boats, glides over the lagoons and canals of Venice. The gondoliers who propel them excel all other boatmen. Wondrous is their skill and dexterity and their boats thread the waters as though they were endowed with life itself.
Music is to the Italians as the breath of their nostrils, even their children evoke from the violin, the harp and the flute melody to thrill the most unsentimental, and their voices in song are pathetic and sweet. Who could believe, yet such was a fact, that owing to this wonderful susceptibility to music by Italian children, a society was formed, known as the Padrone, for the purpose of teaching children music and then making mendicants of them.
Gambling is a universal Italian propensity. Go where you will, in every street and square of every city and village, you may see the devotees of gambling throwing dice or playing cards. Indeed dice are of Italian origin as cards are claimed to be.

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