Excerpt from Letters From Italy
I the very matter-of-fact objects that stare him in the face, when he is expecting some hallowed monument of the past, will of ten quite upset his gravity, and compel him to laugh, where he thought to have been serious and re¿ective. It has bee... n my effort in these Letters to give a faithful transcript of my feelings, in all these sudden transitions. To some there may often appear too much lightness and frivolity. For ourselves, we like to have a man give himself in his travels - we wish to hear him soliloquizing - and we read his book not to learn that he can be, or is, a very serious and profound man, but to know, how things struck him - that is, travel with him. Amid the new and exciting scenes that constantly meet trav ellers, in perhaps a hurried passage over a country, they can not, and do not, have the views and feelings so often given, for appearance' sake, as their honest ones.
Our purpose has been to let others, if possible, look through our eyes; and whether we have succeeded or not, or whether they would have obtained a very interesting view if they did, we leave the reader to judge. Descriptions of galleries of art, paintings, etc. Have been avoided, as possessing interest to those only who have travelled over the same ground, and become familiar with the details necessary to make those descriptions clear. We have attempted, also, to give some idea of the condition of the inhabitants, especially of the lower classes, as they are topics seldom referred to in passing over the most classic land on the globe.
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