By William Cullen Bryant.
To the Reader.
The letters composing this volume were written at various times, during
the last sixteen years, and during journeys made in different countries.
They contain, however, no regular account of any tour or journey made by
the writer, but are merely occasional sketches of what most attracted his
attention. The greater part of them have already appeared in print.
The author is sensible that the highest merit such a work can claim, if
ever so well executed, is but slight. He might have made these letters
more interesting to readers in general, if he had spoken of distinguished
men to whose society he was admitted; but the limits within which this may
be done, with propriety and without offense, are so narrow, and so easily
overstepped, that he has preferred to abstain altogether from that class
of topics. He offers his book to the public, with expectations which will
be satisfied by a very moderate success.
New York, _April_, 1850.
To the Reader
Letter I. - First Impressions of an American in France. - Tokens of
Antiquity: churches, old towns, cottages, colleges, costumes, donkeys,
shepherds and their flocks, magpies, chateaux, formal gardens, vineyards,
fig-trees. - First Sight of Paris; its Gothic churches, statues, triumphal
arches, monumental columns. - Parisian gaiety, public cemeteries, burial
places of the poor
Letter II. - Journey from Paris to Florence. - Serenity of the Italian
Climate. - Dreary country between Paris and Chalons on the Saone. - Autun.
- Chalons. - Lyons. - Valley of the Rhine. - Avignon. - Marseilles; its growth
and prosperity. - Banking in France. - Journey along the Mediterranean. -
American and European Institutions
Letter III. - Tuscan Scenery and Climate. - Florence in Autumn. -
Deformities of Cultivation. - Exhibition of the Academy of the Fine
Arts. - Respect of the Italians for Works of Art
Letter IV. - A Day in Florence. - Bustle and Animation of the Place. - Sights
seen on the Bridges. - Morning in Florence. - Brethren of Mercy. - Drive on
the Cascine. - Evening in Florence. - Anecdote of the Passport
System. - Mildness of the Climate of Pisa
Letter V. - Practices of the Italian Courts. - Mildness of the Penal Code in
Tuscany. - A Royal Murderer. - Ceremonies on the Birth of an Heir to the
Dukedom of Tuscany. - Wealth of the Grand Duke
Letter VI. - Venice. - Its peculiar Architecture. - Arsenal and Navy
Yard. - The Lagoons. - Ceneda. - Serravalle. - Lago Morto. - Alpine Scenery. - A
June Snow-Storm in the Tyrol. - Splendor of the Scenery in the
Sunshine. - Landro. - A Tyrolese Holiday. - Devotional Character of the
People. - Numerous Chapels. - Sterzing. - Bruneck. - The Brenner. - Innsbruck.
- Bronze Tomb of Maximilian I. - Entrance into Bavaria
Letter VII. - An Excursion to Rock River in Illinois. - Birds and Quadrupeds
of the Prairies. - Dad Joe's Grove. - Beautiful Landscape. - Traces of the
Indian Tribes. - Lost Rocks. - Dixon. - Rock River; beauty of its banks. - A
Horse-Thief. - An Association of Felons. - A Prairie Rattlesnake. - The
Prairie-Wolf; its habits. - The Wild Parsnip
Letter VIII. - Examples of Lynch Law. - Practices of Horse-Thieves in
Illinois. - Regulators. - A Murder. - Seizure of the Assassins, their trial
and execution. - One of the Accomplices lurking in the Woods. - Another
Letter IX. - An Example of Senatorial Decorum. - The National Museum at
Washington. - Mount Vernon. - Virginia Plantations. - Beauty of
Richmond. - Islands of James River. - An Old Church. - Inspection of
Tobacco. - Tobacco Factory. - Work and Psalmody. - Howden's Statue of
Letter X. - Journey from Richmond to Charleston. - Pine Forests of North
Carolina. - Collection of Turpentine. - Harbor of Charleston. - Aspect of the
Letter XI. - Interior of South Carolina. - Pine Woods. - Plantations. - Swamps.
- Birds. - A Corn-Shucking. - Negro Songs. - A Negro Military Parade. -
Character of the Blacks. - Winter Climate of South Carolina.
Letter XII. - Picolata. - Beauty of the Season. - The St. John's. - A
Hammock. - Voyage from Charleston to Savannah. - City of Savannah. - Quoit
Club. - A Negro Burial-Place. - Curious Epitaphs. - Bonaventure. - Majestic
Avenues of Live-Oaks. - Alligators. - Black Creek.
Letter XIII. - Woods of Florida. - Anecdotes of the Florida War. - Aspect of
St. Augustine. - Its Streets. - Former Appearance of the City. - Orange
Groves. - Fort of St. Mark. - Palm Sunday. - A Frenchman preaching in
Letter XIV. - Climate of St. Augustine. - Tampa Bay. - Melons in
January. - Insects in Southern Florida. - Healthfulness of East Florida. - A
Sugar Plantation. - Island of St. Anastasia. - Quarries of
Shell-Rock. - Customs of the Mahonese. - A Mahonese or Minorcan hymn.
Letter XV. - Florida the "Poor Man's Country." - Settlement of the
Peninsula. - The Indian War. - Its Causes. - Causes of the Peace. - The
Everglades. - St. Mary's in Georgia. - Plague of Sand-Flies. - Alligator
Shooting. - Tobacco Chewing.
Letter XVI. - The Champlain Canal. - Beauty of its Banks. - Whitehall. -
Canadian French. - A Family setting out for the West. - The Michigan Lay. -
Letter XVII. - Grasshoppers. - White Clover. - Domestic Arrangements of two
unmarried Ladies. - Canadian French Laborers. - Quakers. - A Pretty Mantua
Maker. - Anecdote told by a Quakeress. - Walpole. - Keene. - A Family of
healthy young Women.
Letter XVIII. - A Voyage to Liverpool. - Mountains of Wales. - Growth of
Liverpool. - Aspect of the Place. - Zoological Gardens. - Cemetery among the
Rocks. - Ornamental Cultivation. - Prince's Park. - Chester. - Manchester.
- Calico Printing.
Letter XIX. - Edale in Derbyshire. - A Commercial
Traveller. - Chapel-en-le-Frith. - The Winnets. - Mam Tor. - Heathy
Hills. - The Lark. - Caverns of the Peak of Derbyshire. - Castle of the
Peverils. - People of Derbyshire. - Matlock. - Derby.
Letter XX. - Works of Art. - Power's Greek Slave. - Exhibition of the Royal
Academy. - Turner's late Pictures. - Webster. - Thorburn. - New Houses of
Parliament. - Artists in Water-Colors.
Letter XXI. - The Parks of London. - Their Extent. - Want of Parks in New
York. - Sweeping of the Streets. - Safety from Housebreaking. - Beggars. -
Increase of Poverty.
Letter XXII. - Edinburg. - The Old Town. - The Castle. - Solid Architecture of
the New Town. - Views from the different Eminences. - Poverty in the Wynds
and Alleys. - Houses of Refuge for the Destitute. - Night Asylums for the
Houseless. - The Free Church. - The Maynooth Grant. - Effect of Endowments.
Letter XXIII. - Fishwomen of Newhaven. - Frith of Forth. - Stirling. -
Callander. - The Trosachs. - Loch Achray. - Loch Katrine. - Loch Lomond.
- Glenfalloch. - Dumbarton. - The Leven.