Victorian Poem.

The Venetian republic (1297 — 1797) ended hastily when Napoleon’s French “Republican” army camped opposite it. The noble families that founded it dissolved it in self preservation. It was basically a Senate, run by noble families, for noble families, and as such allowed for freedom. The modern model would be Hong Kong under the British.

And the republic was hated by the Victorian progressives. The preferred the Jacobins. I don’t like Wordsworth, but he was wiser.

On the Extinction of the Venetian Republic

ONCE did she hold the gorgeous East in fee,
And was the safeguard of the West; the worth
Of Venice did not fall below her birth,
Venice, the eldest child of Liberty.
She was a Maiden City, bright and free;
No guile seduced, no force could violate;
And when she took unto herself a mate,
She must espouse the everlasting Sea.
And what if she had seen those glories fade,
Those titles vanish, and that strength decay,—
Yet shall some tribute of regret be paid
When her long life hath reach’d its final day:
Men are we, and must grieve when even the shade
Of that which once was great has pass’d away.

William Wordsworth