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ILLUSTRATED FROM DRAWINGS
S. PROUT, ESQ. F.S.A.
PAINTER IN WATER COLOURS TO HIS MAJESTY.
Voi cui fortuna ha posto in mano il freno
MARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY
TO THE READER.
If Italy has been beautifully and appropriately termed the garden of Europe, Rome and Venice may lay no less fair a claim to be regarded as the two noblest conservatories of its choicest productions. They teem with exhaustless treasures—the fruits of its intellectual clime; unrivalled specimens of that supremacy of genius whose vigorous germ and rapid growth half realize our dreams of the glory and fascination of the old Grecian and Roman worlds. The revival and perfection, indeed, of art and learning in Rome and Venice vied with their influence over the spiritual and temporal fortunes of mankind.
It is for this—the early and exalted fame of Italy in the intellectual race of nations—the cherished hopes of that Italy we love to picture as great in freedom as she has shone in arms and arts—that the author presumes to offer no apology to English tourists for recurring to the same consecrated scenes—to the same high names,--nor impugns the sincerity of their regard for what is most lofty and ennobling in classic and heroic recollection, by hurrying too rapidly over Italian ground. What eye but still loves to linger upon that land of the south-its sky, its waters, its