with the occasional interjection of a soup or steak: the fruits were apricots, green almonds, and figs; the salads, those of the exception under the second declension of nouns in our old Latin Grammar; the wines, the light, cooling, delicious product of the country. By this time Greene came to me,—in accomplishments and attainments our country has not fivemen his peers,— and we walked to the Forum, or to San Pietro, or out of one of the gates of Rome: many an hour have we sat upon a broken column or a rich capital in the Via Sacra, or the Colosseum, and called to mind what has passed before them, weaving out the web of the story they might tell; and then, leaping countries and seas, we have joined our friends at home, and with them shared our pleasures. After an ice-cream we parted; I to my books again, or sometimes with him to his house, where over a supper not unlike the dinner I have described, we continued the topics of our walk. This was my day's round after I had seen the chief of those things in Rome that require mid-day, so that I was able to keep in the house. I read Dante, Tasso's ‘Gerusalemme,’ the ‘Decameron’ of Boccaccio, the ‘Rime’ of Politian, all the tragedies of Alfieri, the principal dramas of Metastasio —some six vols.,—the ‘Storia Pittorica’ of Lanzi, the ‘Principe’ of Macchiavelli, the ‘Aminta’ of Tasso, the ‘Pastor Fido’ of Guarini; and much of Monti, of Pindemonte, Parini, the histories of Botta, the ‘Corbaccio’ and ‘Fiammetta’ of Boccaccio, &c. Since I left Rome I have continued my studies; have read the ‘Promessi Sposi’ by Manzoni,—the finest romance I have ever read,—the ‘Rime’ of Petrarch, Ariosto, all of Macchiavelli—except his tract on the art of war—embracing his ‘Discorsi,’ his ‘Storia,’ his comedies; the ‘Storia’ of Guicciardini, the tragedies and ‘Rime’ of Manzoni, the principal plays of Niccolini, Nota, and Goldoni, ‘Lettere di Jacopo Ortis,’ &c., of Ugo Foscolo, the autobiography of Alfieri, and a great deal else that I cannot now call to mind, particularly of the lyrics, in which Italian literature so abounds. I now find myself in the midst of some of the most remarkable works of our age, and those too of our own profession. I mean those of Romagnosi; his introduction to the ‘Diritto Publico,’ is a specimen of masterly analysis, and strength of conception; his ‘Genesi del Diritto Penale’ is the most remarkable work I know on ‘Criminal Law,’—your codifiers should read it. And his work on the ‘Law of Waters’ is superior to any thing we have in its discussion and reasoning, though I am not prepared to say that it contains much that we can practically employ. I know no country that within a few years has produced such great, regenerating writers as this despised Italy. Alfieri is forty thousand strong. I am lost in wonder at his power. What an arch is that of Italian literature spanning from Dante to Alfieri,—two columns fit to sustain the mightiest pressure! I was not aware till I read the latter that such a mind had shone upon our times; the finding him out seems like getting near Homer or Shakspeare. And Manzoni still lives! All his writings are full of the most fervent morality, and the ‘Promessi Sposi’ will do the preaching of myriads of sermons. Botta writes with the heart of a Roman of the Empire, who saw the republic decline, but longed to bring
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 16 : events at home.—Letters of friends.— December , 1837 , to March , 1839 .—Age 26 - 28 .
Chapter 17 : London again.—characters of judges.—Oxford.—Cambridge— November and December , 1838 .—Age, 27 .
Chapter 18 : Stratford-on-avon.—Warwick.—London.—Characters of judges and lawyers.—authors.—society.— January , 1839 , to March , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 19 : Paris again.— March to April , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 20 : Italy .— May to September , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 21 : Germany .— October , 1839 , to March , 1840 .—Age, 28 - 29 .
Chapter 22 : England again, and the voyage home.— March 17 to May 3 , 1840 . —Age 29 .
Chapter 23 : return to his profession.— 1840 - 41 .—Age, 29 - 30 .
Chapter 24 : Slavery and the law of nations.— 1842 .—Age, 31 .
Chapter 25 : service for Crawford .—The Somers Mutiny.—The nation's duty as to slavery.— 1843 .—Age, 32 .
Chapter 27 : services for education.—prison discipline.—Correspondence.— January to July , 1845 .—age, 34 .
Chapter 28 : the city Oration,— the true grandeur of nations. —an argument against war.— July 4 , 1845 .—Age 34 .
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.