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Letters of a Traveller Notes of Things Seen in Europe and America   By: (1794-1878)

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[Transcriber's Note: Footnotes have been numbered and moved to the end.]

Letters of a Traveller;

Or, Notes of Things Seen in Europe and America

By William Cullen Bryant.


To the Reader.

The letters composing this volume were written at various times, during the last sixteen years, and during journeys made in different countries. They contain, however, no regular account of any tour or journey made by the writer, but are merely occasional sketches of what most attracted his attention. The greater part of them have already appeared in print.

The author is sensible that the highest merit such a work can claim, if ever so well executed, is but slight. He might have made these letters more interesting to readers in general, if he had spoken of distinguished men to whose society he was admitted; but the limits within which this may be done, with propriety and without offense, are so narrow, and so easily overstepped, that he has preferred to abstain altogether from that class of topics. He offers his book to the public, with expectations which will be satisfied by a very moderate success.

New York, April , 1850.


To the Reader

Letter I. First Impressions of an American in France. Tokens of Antiquity: churches, old towns, cottages, colleges, costumes, donkeys, shepherds and their flocks, magpies, chateaux, formal gardens, vineyards, fig trees. First Sight of Paris; its Gothic churches, statues, triumphal arches, monumental columns. Parisian gaiety, public cemeteries, burial places of the poor

Letter II. Journey from Paris to Florence. Serenity of the Italian Climate. Dreary country between Paris and Chalons on the Saone. Autun. Chalons. Lyons. Valley of the Rhine. Avignon. Marseilles; its growth and prosperity. Banking in France. Journey along the Mediterranean. American and European Institutions

Letter III. Tuscan Scenery and Climate. Florence in Autumn. Deformities of Cultivation. Exhibition of the Academy of the Fine Arts. Respect of the Italians for Works of Art

Letter IV. A Day in Florence. Bustle and Animation of the Place. Sights seen on the Bridges. Morning in Florence. Brethren of Mercy. Drive on the Cascine. Evening in Florence. Anecdote of the Passport System. Mildness of the Climate of Pisa

Letter V. Practices of the Italian Courts. Mildness of the Penal Code in Tuscany. A Royal Murderer. Ceremonies on the Birth of an Heir to the Dukedom of Tuscany. Wealth of the Grand Duke

Letter VI. Venice. Its peculiar Architecture. Arsenal and Navy Yard. The Lagoons. Ceneda. Serravalle. Lago Morto. Alpine Scenery. A June Snow Storm in the Tyrol. Splendor of the Scenery in the Sunshine. Landro. A Tyrolese Holiday. Devotional Character of the People. Numerous Chapels. Sterzing. Bruneck. The Brenner. Innsbruck. Bronze Tomb of Maximilian I. Entrance into Bavaria

Letter VII. An Excursion to Rock River in Illinois. Birds and Quadrupeds of the Prairies. Dad Joe's Grove. Beautiful Landscape. Traces of the Indian Tribes. Lost Rocks. Dixon. Rock River; beauty of its banks. A Horse Thief. An Association of Felons. A Prairie Rattlesnake. The Prairie Wolf; its habits. The Wild Parsnip

Letter VIII. Examples of Lynch Law. Practices of Horse Thieves in Illinois. Regulators. A Murder. Seizure of the Assassins, their trial and execution. One of the Accomplices lurking in the Woods. Another Horse Thief shot

Letter IX. An Example of Senatorial Decorum. The National Museum at Washington. Mount Vernon. Virginia Plantations. Beauty of Richmond. Islands of James River. An Old Church. Inspection of Tobacco. Tobacco Factory. Work and Psalmody. Howden's Statue of Washington.

Letter X. Journey from Richmond to Charleston. Pine Forests of North Carolina. Collection of Turpentine. Harbor of Charleston. Aspect of the City.

Letter XI. Interior of South Carolina. Pine Woods. Plantations. Swamps. Birds. A Corn Shucking. Negro Songs... Continue reading book >>

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