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EUSTACE's CLASSICAL TOUR.

The extreme disappointment experienced by choosing the Classical Tourist as a guide in Italy must be allowed to find vent in a few observations, which, it is asserted without fear of contradiction, will be confirmed by every one who has selected the same conductor through the same country. This author is, in fact, one of the most inaccurate, unsatisfactory writers that have in our times attained a temporary reputation, and is very seldom to be trusted even when he speaks of objects which he must be presumed to have seen. His errors, from the simple exaggeration to the downright mis-statement, are so frequent as to induce a suspicion that he had either never visited the spots described, or had trusted to the fidelity of former writers. Indeed, the Classical Tour has every characteristic of a mere compilation of former notices, strung together upon a very slender thread of personal observation, and swelled out by those decorations which are so easily supplied by a systematic adoption of all the commonplaces of praise, applied to everything, and therefore signifying nothing.

The style which one person thinks cloggy and cumbrous, and unsuitable, may be to the taste of others; and such may experience some salutary excitement in ploughing through the periods of the Classical Tour. It must be said, however, that polish and weight are apt to beget an expectation of value. It is amongst the pains of the damned to toil up a climax with a huge round stone.

The tourist had the choice of his words, but there was no such latitude allowed to that of his sentiments. The love of virtue and of liberty, which must have dis. tinguished the character, certainly adorns the pages of Mr. Eustace ; and the gentlemanly spirit, so recommendatory either in an author or his productions, is very conspicuous throughout the Classical Tour. But these generous qualities are the foliage of such a performance, and may be spread about it so prominently and profusely, as to embarrass those who wish to see and find the fruit at hand. The unction of the divine, and the exhortations of the moralist, may have made this work something more and better than a book of travels, but they have not made it a book of travels; and this observation applies more especially to that enticing method of instruction conveyed by the perpetual introduction of the same Gallic Helot to reel and bluster before the rising generation, and terrify it into decency by the display of all the excesses of the revolution. An animosity against atheists and regicides in general, and Frenchmen specifically, may be honourable, and may be useful as a record; but that antidote should either be administered in any work rather than a tour, or, at least, should be served up apart, and not so mixed with the whole mass of information and reflection, as to give a bitterness to every page; for who would choose to have the antipathies of any man, however just, for his travelling companions ? A tourist, unless he aspires to the credit of prophecy, is not answerable for the changes which may take place in the country which he describes; but his reader may very fairly esteem all his political portraits and deductions as so much waste paper, the moment they cease to assist, and more particularly if they obstruct, his actual survey.

Neither encomium nor accusation of any government nor governors is meant to be here offered ; but it is stated as an incontrovertible fact, that the change operated, either by the address of the late imperial system, or by the disappointment of every expectation by those who have succeeded to the Italian thrones, has been so considerable, and is so apparent, as not only to put Mr. Eustace's anti-gallican philippics entirely out of date, but even to throw some suspicion upon the competency and candour of the author himself. A remarkable example may be found in the instance of Bologna, over whose papal attachments, and consequent desolation, the tourist pours forth such strains of condolence and revenge, made louder by the borrowed trumpet of Mr. Burke. Now Bologna is at this moment, and has been for some years, notorious amongst the states of Italy for its attachment to revolutionary principles, and was almost the only city which made any demonstrations in favour of the unfortunate Murat. This change may, however, have been made since Mr. Eustace visited this country; but the traveller whom he has thrilled with borror at the projected stripping of the copper from the cupola of St. Peter's, must be much relieved to find that sacrilege out of the power of the French, or any other plunderers, the cupola being covered with lead.*

If the conspiring voice of otherwise rival critics had not given considerable currency to the Classical Tour, it would have been unnecessary to warn the reader, that however it may adorn his library, it will be of little or no service to him in his carriage : and if the judgment of those critics had hitherto been suspended, no attempt would have been made to anticipate their decision. As it is, those who stand in the relation of posterity to Mr. Eustace, may be permitted to appeal from contemporary praises, and are perhaps more likely to be just in proportion as the causes of love and hatred are the farther removed. This appeal had, in some measure, been made before the above remarks were written ; for one of the most respectable of the Florentine publishers, who had been persuaded by the repeated inquiries of those on their journey southwards to reprint a cheap edition of the Classical Tour, was by the concurring advice of returning travellers, induced to abandon his design, although he had already arranged his types and paper, and had struck off one or two of the first sheets.

The writer of these notes would wish to part (like Mr. Gibbon) on good terms with the Pope and the Cardinals, but he does not think it necessary to extend the same discreet silence to their humble partisans.

“What, then, will be the astonishment, or rather the horror, of my reader, when I inform him......... the French Committee turned its attention to Saint Peter's, and employed a company of Jews to estimate and purchase the gold, silver, and bronze that adorn the inside of the edifice, as well as the copper that covers the vaults and dome on the outside."--Chap. iv., p. 130, vol. ü. The story about the Jews is positively denied at Rome.

HOURS OF IDLENESS:

A SERIES OF POEMS ORIGINAL AND TRANSLATED."

“Virginibus puerisque canto.”—Horace, lib. 3, Cia 1. “Mhul op he useratvee uhte ti velkei,"—HOMER, Iliad, x. 249. "Ee whistled as be went, for want of thought.”— Dryder.

p" First published in 1817.j

TO THE RIGPT HONOURABLE

FREDERICK, EARL OF CARLISLE,

KNIGHT OF THE GARTER, ETC. ETC.

THE

SECOND EDITION OF THESE POEMS

Es Inscribed,

BY HIS OBLIGED WARD AND AFFECTIONATE KINSMAN,

THE AUTHOR

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[Isabella, daughter of William, fourth Lord Byron (great-great uncle of the Peet), became, in 1742, the wife of Henry, fourth Earl of Carlisle, and was the mother of the fifth Earl, to whom this dedication was addressed. This lady was a poetess in her way. The Fairy's Answer to Mrs. Greville's “Prayer for Indifference,” in Pearch's Collection, is usually ascribed to her. Lord Carlisle acknowledged the receipt of the Poet's volume before reading the contents, and never returned to the subject. “Perhaps the Earl," said Lord Byron, “bears no brother near the throne, and if so, I will make his sceptre totter in his hands ")

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