(From the 1913 A. C. Fifield edition with some portions taken from
the 1881 edition.)
Author's Preface to First Edition
I should perhaps apologise for publishing a work which professes to
deal with the sanctuaries of Piedmont, and saying so little about
the most important of them all - the Sacro Monte of Varallo. My
excuse must be, that I found it impossible to deal with Varallo
without making my book too long. Varallo requires a work to
itself; I must, therefore, hope to return to it on another
For the convenience of avoiding explanations, I have treated the
events of several summers as though they belonged to only one.
This can be of no importance to the reader, but as the work is
chronologically inexact, I had better perhaps say so.
The illustrations by Mr. H. F. Jones are on pages 95, 211, 225,
238, 254, 260. The frontispiece and the illustrations on the
title-page and on pages 261, 262 are by Mr. Charles Gogin. There
are two drawings on pages 136, 137 by an Italian gentleman whose
name I have unfortunately lost, and whose permission to insert them
I have, therefore, been unable to obtain, and one on page 138 by
Signor Gaetano Meo. The rest are mine, except that all the figures
in my drawings are in every case by Mr. Charles Gogin, unless when
they are merely copied from frescoes or other sources. The two
larger views of Oropa are chiefly taken from photographs. The rest
are all of them from studies taken upon the spot.
I must acknowledge the great obligations I am under to Mr. H. F.
Jones as regards the letterpress no less than the illustrations; I
might almost say that the book is nearly as much his as mine, while
it is only through the care which he and another friend have
exercised in the revision of my pages that I am able to let them
appear with some approach to confidence.
CHAPTER I - Introduction
Most men will readily admit that the two poets who have the
greatest hold over Englishmen are Handel and Shakespeare - for it is
as a poet, a sympathiser with and renderer of all estates and
conditions whether of men or things, rather than as a mere
musician, that Handel reigns supreme. There have been many who
have known as much English as Shakespeare, and so, doubtless, there
have been no fewer who have known as much music as Handel: perhaps
Bach, probably Haydn, certainly Mozart; as likely as not, many a
known and unknown musician now living; but the poet is not known by
knowledge alone - not by gnosis only - but also, and in greater part,
by the agape which makes him wish to steal men's hearts, and
prompts him so to apply his knowledge that he shall succeed. There
has been no one to touch Handel as an observer of all that was
observable, a lover of all that was loveable, a hater of all that
was hateable, and, therefore, as a poet.