Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/301

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Schiavoni, noted the extraordinary movement of the port: the huge vessels "as large as my house, and with masts taller than its towers." They lay like mountains floating on the waters; and their cargoes were wine for England; honey for Scythia; saffron * oil, linen for Assyria, Armenia, Persia, and Arabia; wood went to Egypt and Greece. They brought home again various merchandise to be distributed over all Europe. "Where the sea stops the sailors quit their ships and travel on to trade with India and China. They cross the Caucasus and the Ganges and reach the Eastern Ocean."

And in the history of Venetian mainland extension there was one task to which all this accumulation of wealth and resources was to be dedicated; the destruction of the Carraresi and the acquisition of Padua. Venice knew that the Lords of Padua were permanently hostile. The action of Francesco Carrara soon proved that the Republic could not, even if it would, leave him alone. In 1384 Carrara bought from the Duke of Austria, Treviso, Ceneda, and Feltre, commanding the great northern road into the Pusterthal by Cortina d'Ampezzo; he was now master of all the mainland between the Alps and the Lagoons; nothing remained for him to seize in that direction. But westward, between him and the Visconti of Milan, lay the territories of Vicenza and Verona, feebly held by Antonio, the last of the Scala family. Visconti and Carrara entered into a league to despoil Antonio. Verona was to be added to Milan, Vicenza to Padua. The attack was delivered simultaneously and Visconti's general entered Verona, but instead of halting there he pushed on to Vicenza, and captured that city in his master's name. When too late Carrara saw what his alliance with Visconti implied. He appealed to Venice for help. But although the Republic had no desire to see the powerful Lord of Milan so near the Lagoons, she had still less intention of supporting Carrara whom she knew to be treacherous. Visconti's emissaries were already in Venice offering to restore Treviso, Ceneda, and Feltre if the Republic would assist him to crush Carrara. The terms were accepted and Padua fell to Visconti.

Such a powerful prince as Gian Galeazzo was not likely to prove a less dangerous neighbour to Venice than Carrara had been. But his rapid advance in power, and his obvious intention to create a North-Italian kingdom, immediately produced a coalition against him of all the threatened Princes. Venice joined the league but she had no intention of challenging Visconti on the mainland herself; she adopted a less costly plan and invited the Carraresi to return to Padua promising to support their enterprise; Sir John Hawkwood, the Florentine General, was pressing Visconti on the Adda; Visconti's forces were scattered; the Paduans weary of his rule rose in revolt and the Carraresi recovered possession of their city (1390).

The Peace of Genoa which ensued (1392) was highly satisfactory to Venice. Without any cost to herself she had recovered Treviso, Ceneda,