it back. As a writer I like Guicciardini better than Macchiavelli, though the latter is neater and more polished. Tasso and Ariosto pale before Dante. Tasso is too elaborate. Ariosto is tedious from his great length, and the constant succession of stories but slightly varied: he is a bright and beautiful kaleidoscope. Petrarch is always delicious. I read Dante with great attention, using four different editions, and going over a monstrous mass of notes and annotations. I have astonished some of the librarians in the places where I have been by my inquiries; that is, it seemed strange to them that an American should be dealing so minutely with their treasures. My aim has been to acquire the literature, and to see the country. Whether en voyageor stationary, I employ at least six hours a day in study: I do not find this inconsistent with seeing sights to my heart's content. What matters it to me if the road be dull, or my fellow-passengers sleepy? My poet is always interesting, and his eye is not heavy with slumber. Then if the scenery is fine or the conversation interesting, I give myself to them with a greater zest. I ought not to forget to mention among my reading, that of newspapers; I habitually read every American, English, French, Spanish, and Italian journal I can lay my hands on. I average ten a day; but, with my facility in handling these, I despatch the greater part while taking coffee or ice. You know the English papers well; perhaps the French not so well. The latter are conducted with great ability, and have a wide influence upon the Continent. Stop even in a small village,— or certainly in any town of considerable size,—and enter a cafe,and you will find one or more papers by the last post from Paris. It is the Paris press that supplies the news for the Continent; in Rome, I first learned Roman news through Paris, and I always looked to the French press for Oriental intelligence, though I was eight hundred miles nearer the source than Paris. What do you think of Maroto? Is he a traitor? The Milan and Venice press are branding him with the foulest terms. But Spain seems to be near repose. Greenough at Florence is a wonderful fellow, an accomplished man, and master of his art,—I doubt not, the most accomplished artist alive,—a thinker of great force, and a scholar who does not trust to translations, but goes to the great originals. I came to know him very well, and the more I saw of him the better I liked him. He has written some beautiful and instructive essays on art, which he has promised to prepare for publication (though of this nothing is to be said). As a writer he will take a very high stand. I feel proud of him. . . . I have German to learn; but I have the consolation of knowing that I know as much about it now, as I did of Italian when I came to Italy. I did not understand the ‘Carta di Sicurezza’ that was given me at the gate of San Giovanni, when I entered Rome, the 21st of May. At the first town that I come to in Germany I shall stop, take a master, and commence an assault for one week; then move on, studying on the road to Vienna; three weeks in Vienna,—a master all the time; then to Prague, Dresden, Berlin, and probably next down to Heidelberg,—an immense sweep; then down the Rhine into Belgium, to London, where I expect to be
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 .
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