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