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rest content with the splendid recollections of our new foreign friend touching the Tuillieries, Vallombrosa, Florence and the “Eternal City;" towers, temples, kingdoms, and the glorious achievements of art and science, which crowded the auspicious realms through which he had roamed. The burning thirst which possessed me to see those affecting scenes, was no ways allayed by studying the witchery of M. Stael's Italy, or the mystery of Mrs. Radcliffe’s Udolpho: I had no other view of earthly bliss at that time, than to find myself on the “ lilied fields of France ;" and that the stern dominion of Napoleon made such a consummation to be in some respects impossible, only added to the intensity of boyish desire, already sufficiently exalted. The precious soil of the most christian kingdom, was not then to be trodden by every Englishman who might possess time and inclination for that object, for in those days it was said of Napoleon and his dominions,
“ France like a Turkish haram, was close shut,
Crouching thy sad and iron yoke beneath,
Of gallant foes, heart break, and nameless death.
And mourn'd fair freedom's lily trodden down;
And pois’d the foremost swoop at England's crown.” The lapse of years, however, and tougher work than playing at cricket in college garden, somewhat dissipated the intoxicating illusions of youth ; neverthe
less I have always felt a predominant desire to visit foreign parts, and chiefly those consecrated by history and civilization ; so that it was with a considerable feel. ing of hope, and even exultation, that I found Provi. dence had so adjusted my affairs in the spring of that it seemed not an improper step to gratify this early founded predilection.
Having been alone during the excursion, I employed sometimes the spare evenings in noting down what had struck my fancy in the course of the day, in the stream of novelty which ran continually before the eyes : and found on returning to my native land that I had amassed a moderate cargo of first impressions, which indeed forms the stock of the present sheets. It may be asked, where lies the use of recording those ephemeral images that pass through the mind on the sight of new things ; which can contain little else than a false estimate concerning them, to be corrected by a more minute investigation, and steadier inspection : second thoughts are best, we are accustomed to say, and there is danger in trusting to those sudden conclusions, which experience shews to prove on most occasions a fertile source of mistake and mischief. But perhaps it may be justly replied, that the error lies more in giving to first impressions undue weight, while we exercise our judgment upon them, than in originally forming or promulgating them. And in as far as graphical effect is concerned,