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TO THE MEMORY
C A R L O FIL ANGIER I,
PRINCE OF SATRIANo, LIEUTENANT-GENERAL IN THE ARMY OF THE
EX-PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS OF
FERDIN AND THE SECOND,
KNIGHT OF THE MOST NOBLE ORDER OF ST. JANUARIUs,
IS WERY RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED.
To visit every spot in Italy which classic writers had rendered famous—to identify the site of battle-fields, and trace the position of the adverse armies—to realise the scenes so poetically described by Virgil—to walk in the footsteps of the illustrious dead, and muse over “the graves of those that cannot die,” were the objects I had in view in undertaking my solitary tour through Italy. Italy is fascinating to the youthful mind; and I confess that I was prepared to brave every danger, that I might wander over those scenes that had witnessed the noblest exhibitions of human prowess. With these feelings, I threw myself unarmed and fearlessly on the protection of the Italian people, and I am delighted to acknowledge that from almost all I received unvarying kindness.
From the end of April to the end of September I was constantly exposed to the scorching heat of an Italian climate; and when I think of the daily fatigues to which I had to submit, I am now surprised that I was able to withstand such excessive labours. I traversed Italy from its most southern point through its whole range, sometimes along the coast and sometimes in the mountainous regions of the Apennines as far as the valley of the Po; and, though my ears were assailed without ceasing by the dangers to which I was exposing myself, I carried out my design, and visited nearly every famous spot in Italy.
But it was not merely the scenes of noble exploits that I cared to visit, but I was anxious to examine how far the superstitions of Roman times still survived. I found many interesting traces of those early days, and could not help feeling that the Christian religion had not exercised the influence that might have been expected on the Italian mind. The Madonna occupies the place of many heathen goddesses; Juno Lucina survives in many parts of the country. Streams still have their presiding divinities, and dispense healthful influences around. It is needless to say that the everlasting hills are there, and that the physical features of the country are the same as of old. Earthquakes shake the foundations of the earth as in early times, and brigands still terrify the inhabitants, as they did two thousand years ago. So true is it that “what has been will be,” and that there is nothing new, materially or spiritually.
I believe that I accomplished what had never, so far as I am aware, been attempted before. Swinburne in the years 1777– 1780, and Keppel Craven in 1818, had gone pretty nearly over the same ground; but they travelled with all the attendance of high rank, and protected by a constant guard of soldiers. I went alone, often on foot, without a guard, always unarmed, and only once with a guard of armed men across a dangerous pass of the Southern Apennines. (By the mode of travelling which I adopted, I saw much of the every-day life of the Italians. They were more at home with an unpretending traveller than with those whom they could not help regarding as their superiors, and who were surrounded with the éclat of high rank. In this way I got a knowledge of their modes of life, of their superstitions, of their religious thoughts, as they were ready to enter into conversation with one who made no pretence to be different from themselves, and who was prepared to make allowance for the different state of civilisation in which they were placed.,
They were interested, too, in one who showed such a desire to make himself acquainted with their manners and customs, as I never attempted to throw ridicule on what might appear silly and absurd, but always acknowledged that every nation has a