Italy with Sketches of Spain and Portugal HTML version
ITALY; WITH SKETCHES
OF SPAIN AND
BY THE AUTHOR OF “VATHEK.” THIRD
EDITION. IN TWO VOLUMES. VOL.
I. LONDON: RICHARD BENTLEY, NEW
BURLINGTON STREET, Publisher in Ordinary to His
SOME justly admired Authors having condescended to glean a few
stray thoughts from these Letters, which have remained dormant a
great many years; I have been at length emboldened to lay them
before the public. Perhaps, as they happen to contain passages
which persons of acknowledged taste have honoured with their
notice, they may possibly be less unworthy of emerging from the
shade into daylight than I imagined.
Most of these Letters were written in the bloom and heyday of
youthful spirits and youthful confidence, at a period when the old
order of things existed with all its picturesque pomps and
absurdities; when Venice enjoyed her piombi and submarine
dungeons; France her bastile; the Peninsula her holy Inquisition.
To look back upon what is beginning to appear almost a fabulous
era in the eyes of the modern children of light, is not unamusing or
uninstructive; for, still better to appreciate the present, we should
be led not unfrequently to recall the intellectual muzziness of the
But happily these pages are not crowded with such records: they
are chiefly filled with delineations of landscape and those effects
of natural phenomena which it is not in the power of revolutions or
constitutions to alter or destroy.