Excerpt from Tales From the Italian and Spanish, Vol. 4 of 8: A New Sort of Fiction; Realism and Romance, Adventure and Humor, Revealing the Soul of the Latin Lands
Lecco, the principal of these towns, giving its name to the territory, is at a short distance from the bridge, and so close upon the shore, that, when the waters are high, it seems to stand in the lake itself. A large town even now, it promises soon to become a city. At the time the events happened which we undertake to recount, this town, already of con siderable importance, was also a place of defense, and for that reason had the honor of lodging a commander, and the advantage of possessing a fixed garrison of Spanish soldiers, who taught modesty to the damsels and matrons of the coun try; bestowed from time to time marks of their favor on the shoulder of a husband or a father; and never failed, in autumn, to disperse themselves in the vineyards, to thin the grapes, and lighten for the peasant the labors of the vintage.
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