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.
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