previous next
[172]

He therefore records the facts and conclusions that he gathered, in the order he proposed, in a very clear and interesting manner; but in the many succeeding years Rome has been so studied and developed by the best minds and the finest art, that we refrain from giving even what was very curious at the time it was written, and the proof of most faithful and scholarly research.

To Elisha Ticknor

Rome, January 1, 1818.
Once more, dearest father and mother, my New Year's festival is passed away from you. It makes it sad, but I do not complain. It is a great deal that God has so kindly favored and promoted all the objects for which I came to Europe, has spared my life and increased my health, and, by bringing me nearer to the period when I shall finish the pursuits that separated me from you, [has] made it more probable that we shall meet again in the happiness we once so gladly enjoyed together. . . . .

With Rome, I find every day more reason to be contented; and if I were condemned to live in Europe, I am sure this is the place I should choose for my exile beyond any other I have yet seen. Nature here is so beautiful, as soon as you leave the immediate environs and go a little way among the hills, that it seems as if the works of man were hardly necessary for his happiness,—and yet where has man done so much? Antiquity has left such traces of splendor and magnificence that Rome might be well content with ruins alone,—and yet the modern city has more fine buildings than all the rest of the world beside . . . . But these are not all the attractions of Rome, for they bring here a deputation from the elegant and refined class from every nation in Europe, who, when united, form a society such as no other capital can boast. . . . .

My chief occupation now is Italian literature, in which I have nearly finished all I proposed to myself. . . . . The only difficulty I find is in speaking, and this I really know not how I can get over. With my servant and such persons I speak nothing else, of course, but there the thing ends; for, though I go every evening into society somewhere, I never hear a word of Italian any more than I should in Kamtchatka, unless it be at Canova's, and sometimes at the Portuguese Ambassador's. It is not, in fact, the language of conversation and intercourse anywhere, and therefore I can never acquire the facility and fluency I have in German and


Creative Commons License
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.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Italian (2)
Elisha Ticknor (1)
Antonio Canova (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
January 1st, 1818 AD (1)
January 1st (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: