Page images
[merged small][graphic]


The Author presents the following pages to the Public with diffidence. He is aware that the very title of » a Tour through Italy » is sufficient in itself to raise expectations, which, as he has learned from the fate of similar composition, is more frequently disappointed'than satisfied. To avoid as much as possible this inconvenience, he thinks it necessary to state precisely the nature and object of the present work, that the reader may enter upon its perusal with some previous knowledge of its contents.

The Preliminary Discourse is intended chiefly for the information of young and inexperienced travellers, and points out the qualities and accomplishments requisite to enable them to derive from an Italian Tour, its full advantages. The Reader then comes to the Tour itself.

The epithet Classical sufficiently points out its peculiar character, which is to trace the resemblance between Modern and Ancient Italy, and to take for guides and companions in the beginning of the nineteenth century, the writers that pre

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

ceded or adorned the first. Conformably to that character, the Author may be allowed to dwell with complacency on the incidents of ancient history, to admit every poetical recollection, and to claim indulgence, if in describing objects so often alluded to by the Latin writers, he should frequently borrow their expressions;

Materiae scripto conveniente suae. *

Citations, in fact, which notwithstanding the example of Cicero and the precept of Quintilian t, some severe critics are disposed to proscribe, may here be introduced or even lavish

* Ovid, Trist. 1. v. i.
+ Quintil. lib. i. cap. v. edit. Rollin.

ed, without censure; they rise spontaneously from the soil we tread, and constitute one of its distinguishing beauties.

In Modern History, he may perhaps be considered as sometimes too short ; but it must be remembered that Modern History is not Classical, and can claim admission only as an illustration. As for the forms of government established in many provinces by the present French rulers, they are generally passed over in silence and contempt, as shifting scenes or rather mere figuranti in the political drama, destined to occupy the attention for a time, and to disappear when the principal character shows himself upon the stage.

Of the state of painting and

« PreviousContinue »