John Chetwode Eustace.

A tour through Italy : exhibiting a view of its scenery, its antiquities, and its monuments, particularly as they are objects of classical interest and elucidation : with an account of the present state of its cities and towns : and occasional observations on the recent spoliations of the French (Volume 1) online

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Online LibraryJohn Chetwode EustaceA tour through Italy : exhibiting a view of its scenery, its antiquities, and its monuments, particularly as they are objects of classical interest and elucidation : with an account of the present state of its cities and towns : and occasional observations on the recent spoliations of the French (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 48)
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I 642 EUSTACE (John Chetwode) A Tour through Italy, Exhibiting a View of its Scenery,
its Antiquities, and its Monuments ; Particularly as they are Objects of Classical
Interest and Elucidation : With an Account of the Present State of its Cities and
Towns : and Occasional Observations on the Recent Spoliations of the French, first
EDITION, with 10 plates and a folding engraved map, 2 vols., 4to, contemporary blind-
stamped calf, gilt, gilt bordered sides enclosing gilt crest, gilt backs, joints ii>eak, 1813

Brunut II, 1113. Graesse II. 527 : "This book acquired for its author a sudden and a wide

reputation. His acquaintance was sought by almost all persons in this country distinguished bv
„ ., „ pp_ ,j^

Vankor talents" — D.N.B.

^'^5i:^^>22.^r2?^ <^y^if-^:Tz:..e^-r^^ ,/^«=fc_e_«_













Haec est Italia diis sacra, hae gentes ejus, hsec oppida populorum.

Plin. Nat. Hist. in. 20.







Sfc. Sfc. 8i-c.





BY HIS lordship's





The Author presents the following pages to the Public with
diffidence. He is aware that the very title of a Tour through
Italy is sufficient in itself to raise expectation, which he has
learned from the fate of similar compositions, is more fre-
quently disappointed than satisfied. To avoid as much as
possible this inconvenience, he thinks it necessary to state
precisely the nature and object of the present work, that the
reader may enter upon its perusal with some previous knowledge
of its contents.

The Preliminary Discourse is intended chiefly for the infor-
mation of youthful and inexperiericed travellers, and points
out the qualities and accomplishments requisite to enable them
to derive, from an Italian Tour its full advantages. The Reader
then comes to the Tour itself.

The epithet Classical sufficiently points out its peculiar


character, which is to trace the resemblance between Modern
and Ancient Italy, and to take for guides and companions in
the beginning of the nineteenth century, the writers that pre-
ceded or adorned the first. Conformably to that character,
the Author may be allowed to dwell with complacency on the
incidents of ancient history, to admit every poetical recollection,
and to claim indulgence, if in describing objects so often
alluded to by the Latin H^riters, he should frequently borrow
their expressions ;

Materiae scripto conveniente suae*.

Citations, in fact, which notwitlistanding the example of
Cicero, and the precept of Quintilianf-, some severe critics are
disposed to proscribe, may here be introduced or even lavished,
without censure ; they rise spontaneously from the soil we
tread, and constitute one of its distinguishing beauties.

In Modern History, he may perhaps be considered as some-
times too short, but it must be remembered that Modern
History is not Classical, and can claim admission only as an
illustration. As for the forms of government established in

* Ovid, Trist. 1. v. i.

+ Quintil. lib. i. cap. v. Edit. Rollins.


many provinces by the present French rulers, they are generally
passed over in silence and contempt, as shifting scenes or rather
mere Jiguranti in the political drama, destined to occupy the
attention for a time, and to disappear when the principal cha-
racter shows himself upon the stage.

Of the state of painting and sculpture, though these arts
reflect so much lustre on Italy, little is said ; an acknowledg-
ment which may surprize and disappoint many readers. But,
on the one hand, to give a long catalogue of pictures and
statues, without explanatory observations, appeared absurd;
and on the other, to execute such a work in a becoming man-
ner requires leisure, technical information, and the pen of a
professed artist, perhaps of a Reynolds. The subject is there-
fore touched incidentally only; but as it is extensive and amusing,
and atfords scope to the display of skill, taste and erudition
united, it will, it is to be hoped, ere long attract the attention of
some writer capable of doing it justice.

As to the Style — in the first place some, perhaps many
expressions, and occasionally whole sentences, may have been
inadvertently repeated ; a defect great without doubt, but
pardonable because almost unavoidable in descriptive compo-
sition. JfJio, in truth, can paint like Nature, or who vari/ his
colouring with all the tints of Italian scenery, lighted by Italian
VOL. I. b


skies ? If Lucretius has repeated at length two of the most
beautiful passages in his poem *, the Author may claim indulg-
ence, if in describing the perpetual recurrence of similar objects,
he has been betrayed into similar language.

In Proper Names, he has ventured frequently to use the
ancient appellation if not irrecoverably lost in the modern.
Thus, he sometimes introduces the Benacus, Liris, and Athesis,
instead of the Lago di Gardn, Garigliano and Adige, because
the former names are still familiar to the learned ear and by
no means unknown even to the peasantry. The same may be
said of the Aruo, the Tiber, and several other rivers, and may be
extended to many cities and mountains. He has, as much as
possible, attempted to discard the French termination in Italian
names, and laments that he cannot carry consistency so far
as to apply it to antiquity, and rejecting the semi-barbarous
appellations with which the French have misnamed some
of the most illustrious ancients, restore to Horace, and
Virgil, all their Roman majesty-j-. But this general reforma-
tion must be left to more able and more popular writers, or
rather perhaps recommended to the learned gentlemen who

* Lib. I. V. 925.— Lib. iv. v.

f Titus Livius owes the recovery of his Roman appellation to the Bishop of
Llandaff. — Apologi/ for the Bible.


preside over the Universities and the great Schools, and to the
Critics who direct the pubhc taste in Reviews, and have of late
exercised no small influence over custom itself.

We now come to objects of greater moment, and here the
Author must, however reluctantly, obtrude himself on the atten-
tion of the Reader. Religion, Politics, and Literature, are the
three great objects that employ every mind raised by education
above the level of the labourer or the mechanic; upon them,
every thinking man must have a decided opinion, and that
opinion must occasionally influence his conduct, conversation,
and writings. Sincere and undisguised in the belief and pro-
fession of the Roman Catholic Religion, the Author affects not
to conceal, because he is not ashamed of its influence. However
unpopular it may be, he is convinced that its evil report is not
the result of any inherent defect, but the natural consequence
of polemic animosity, of the exaggerations of friends, of the
misconceptions of enemies. Yes! he must acknowledge that the
affecting lessons, the holy examples, and the majestic rites of the
Catholic Church, made an early impression on his mind ; and
neither time nor experience, neither reading nor conversation, nor
much travelling, have weakened that impression, or diminished
his veneration. Yet with this affectionate attachment to the
ancient Faith, he presumes not to arraign those who support
other systems. Persuaded that their claims to mercy as well as
his own, depend upon Sincerity and Charity, he leaves them



and himself to the disposal of the common Father of All,
who, we may humbly hope, will treat our errors and our defects
with more indulgence than mortals usually shew to each other.
In truth, Reconciliation and Union are the objects of his warmest
wishes, of his most fervent prayers : they occupy his thoughts,
they employ his pen; and if a stone shall happen to mark the
spot where his remains are to repose, that stone shall speak of
Peace and Reconciliation.

We come next to Politics, a subject of a very delicate hature,
where difference of opinion, like disagreement in Religion, has
given occasion to many rancorous and interminable contests:
and here, expressions apparently favourable to republicanism,
or perhaps the general tendency of his principles to the cause "of
freedom, may incline some of his readers to suspect him of an ex-
cessive and unconstitutional attachment to that form of govern-
ment. Without doubt. Liberty, the source of so many virtues, the
mother of so many arts, the spring of public and private happiness,
of the glory and the greatness of nations, is and ever will be the
idol of liberal and manly minds, and that system which is most
favourable to its development must necessarily obtain their appro-
bation. But fortunately they need not have recourse to fine-spun
theories for the principles, or look to past ages or distant coun-
tries for the- practice of a free, and, Avhat may justly be called, a
republican government. The Constitution of England actually
comprises the excellencies of all the ancient commonwealths.


together with the advantages of the best forms of monarchy;
though Hable, as all institutions are, to abuse and
decay, yet like the works of Providence, it contains in itself the
means of correction and the seeds of renovation. Such a system
was considered as one of unattainable perfection by Cicero, and
by Tacitus pronounced, a vision fair but transient. A scheme of
pohcy that enchanted the sages of antiquity may surely content
the patriot and the philosopher of modern days, and the only
wish of both must be, that, in spite of courtly encroachment and
of popular frenzy, it may last for ever.

In Literature, if the Author differs from those who have
preceded him in the same Tour, if he censures the opinions of
a.ny oiher traveller or writer, he hopes he has expressed the
reasons of his dissent with the tenderness and the attention due
to their feelings and reputation.

On the merits of the French language and literature he
differs from many, but he is open to conviction even on this
subject, and only requests the Reader to weigh with impartiality
the reasons which he produces against both, and the more so,
as the question is of greater impojtance than may perhaps be
imagined ; for, to the wide circulation of French authors may be
attributed many of the evils under which Europe now labours.
This observation naturally leads to the following. If ever he in-
dulges in harsh and acrimonious language, it is when speaking of


the French, their principles, and measures; and on this subject
he acknowledges that his expressions, if they correspond with
his feelings, must be strong, because his abhorrence of that go-
vernment and its whole system is deep and unqualified.
Neither the patriot who recollects the vindictive spirit with
which the Ruler of France carries on hostilities against Great
Britain, the only bulwark of Europe, and the asylum of the
Independence of Nations, because he knows where Freedom
makes her last stand,

Libertas ultima mundi
Quo steterit ferienda loco,

Lucan vii.

nor the philosopher who considers the wide wasting war Avhich
the French government has been so long carrying on against the
liberties and happiness of mankind, will probably condemn the
author's feelings as intemperate, or require any apology for
the harshness of his expressions. As long as religion and lite-
rature, civilization and independence are objects of estimation
among men, so long must revolutionary France be beheld with
horror and with detestation.

It now only remains to inform the reader, that the Tour
sketched out in the following pages was undertaken in com-
pany with Philip Roche, Esq. a young gentleman of fortune,
who, while he spared no expence to render it instructive, con-


tributed much to its pleasures by his gentle manners, and by
his many mild and benevolent virtues; virtues which, as it was
hoped, would have extended their influence through a long and
prosperous life, and contributed to the happiness, not of his fa-
mily only, but of an extensive circle of fiiends and acquaintance.
But these hopes were vain, and the Author is destined to
pay this unavailing tribute to the memory of his friend and

The two gentlemen who, with the Author and his fellow tra-
veller, formed the party often alluded to in the following pages,
were the Honourable Mr. Cust, now Lord Brownlow, and
Robert Rushbroke, of Rushbroke Hall, Esq. The infor-
mation, the constant politeness, and good humour of the
former, with the liveliness, the mirth, and the accomplishments
of the latter, heightened the pleasures of the journey, and, by
supplying a continual fund of incident and conversation, ren-
dered even Italy itself more delightful. To Lord Brownlow,
the Author must acknowledge another obligation, as he is in-
debted to his Lordship for several useful observations during the
course of this work, and particularly for the details of the ex-
cursion to the island of Ischia, and the account of the solitudes
of Camaldoli and of Alvernia.

The publication of these volumes has been delayed by fre-
quent avocations, and particularly by a more extensive and


scarcely less interesting excursion to parts of Dalmatia, the
Western Coasts of Greece, the Ionian Islands, to Sicily, Malta,
Sec. &c. The details of this latter Tour may, perhaps, be pre-
sented to the public if the following pages shall seem to meet
its approbation.

Great Chesterford, Essex,
Sept. 14, 1812.


Jam mens praetrepidans avet vagari
Jam laeti studio pedes vigescunt
O dukes comitum valete coetus
Long^ quos simul a domo profectos
Diverse varias via reportant.

Catul. XLiv.

The degree of preparation necessary for travelling de-
pends upon the motives which induce us to travel. He who
goes from home merely to change the scene and to seek for
novelty ; who makes amusement his sole object, and has no
other view but to fill up a few months that must otherwise
remain unemployed, has no need of mental preparation for his
excursion. A convenient post-chaise, a good letter of credit,
and a well-furnished trunk are all that such a loiterer can

VOL. I. c


possibly wish for; for occupation he will have recourse to inns,
to coftee-houses, and to theatres, with their appurtenances,
which cannot fail to supply him with incidents, anecdote, and
pastime in abundance. But he who believes with Cicero that
it becomes a man of a liberal and active mind to visit
countries ennobled by the birth and the residence of the
Great; who, Avith the same Roman, finds himself disposed by
the contemplation of such scenes to virtuous and honourable
pursuits; he who, like Titus Quintius employing the first days
of leisure after his glorious achievements in visiting the cele-
brated monuments of Greece, embraces the earliest opportunity
of visiting the classic regions of Ital}'', such a traveller Avill
easily comprehend the necessity of providing before-hand the
information necessary to enable him to traverse the country Avith-
out constant difficulty, doubt, and inquiry. And indeed, if
there be a Tour in which such preparation is more peculiarly
necessary than in any other, it is that which I allude to: as
Italy owes more to history than even to nature; and he
who visits it merely with his eyes open to its embellishments,
and his mind intent on observation, though he may see much
and learn much also, will 3^et, with all his curiosity and dili-
gence, discover one-half only of its beauties. Even those
travellers who have made some efforts to qualify themselves
by previous application, will find many occasions to regret
that they have not extended their researches still farther, and


that they have not, by a longer course of preparation, added to
their means both of amusement and of instruction *. It may,
therefore, be considered as an appropriate, if not as a ne-
cessary, introduction to an account of Italy, to point out to
the reader such branches of information as are either indis-
pensable or highly advantageous to a traveller visiting that
country; after which I mean to add a few reflections and
cautions, with a view either to prevent inconveniencies or to
remove prejudices.


I. As these pages are addressed solely to persons of
a liberal education, it is almost needless to recommend the
Latin Poets and Historians. Virgil and Horace, Cicero and
Livy, ought to be the inseparable companions of all tra-
vellers ; they should occupy a corner in every carriage.

* Vous ne sauriez eroire, sai/s the Abbe Bartheletni to the Comte De Caj/Ius,
Combien mon voyage (en Italie) ma humilie; j'ai vu tant de choses que j'ignorois,
et que j'ignore encore, qu'il m'a paru fou de se savoir gre de quelques connois-
sances -superficielles. — L,ettre xxi.

Yet the author of Anacharsis was one of the most learned and judicious anti-
quaries in France.

c 2


and be called forth in every interval of leisure to relieve
the fatigue and to heighten the pleasure of the journey.
Familiar acquaintance or rather bosom intimacy with the
ancients is evidently the first and most essential accomplish-
ment of a classical traveller. But there is a class of Poets
Avho, though nearly allied in language, sentiments, and country,
to the ancients, are yet in general little known; I mean the
modern Latin poets, Vida, Sannazarius, Fracastorius, Flami-
nius, Politian, &c.* who laboured so successfully to restore the
pure taste of antiquity.

Boileau and the French critics affected to despise these authorsf-.

* Pope printed, or rather, I believe, reprinted with additions, a collection of
poems from these authors in two volumes duodecimo. The Clarendon press gave
the public a superb specimen of typographical elegance, in an edition of Vida, ia
three volumes octavo, in the years 22, 23, 24, of the last century.

+ The contempt which the French critics generally shew for modern Latin
poetry may, perhaps, arise from a consciousness of their own deficiency in this re-
spect. Vaniere, Raphi, an<3 SantetiU, lire the only Latin poets, if I recoiiect well,
of any consideration that France has produced, and though they are not without
some merit, yet they betray in the effort with which they advance and in
the very art which they display, somewhat of the Intent barbarian. Even in
Latin prose the French do not seem to have succeeded better. There is always
an appearance of study and constraint in their style, very different from the easy,


and, for what reason it is difficult to discover, undervalued their
Jatinitj. But men of equal discernment, Atterburj', Pope, and
Johnson, entertained a very different opinion of their merit, and
not only read but sometimes borrowed from them. Every body
is acquainted with the beautiful compliment which the British
poet pays to Vida, and through him indirectly to his fellow
bards, whose united rays lighted up the glories of the second
Augustan age ; and every reader not blinded by prejudice must
admit the propriety of this poetical tribute, and acknowledge,
that not Vida only but several of his contemporaries tread
in the footsteps of their illustrious countrymen Virgil and
Horace; not unfrequently catch a spark of their inspiration,
and often speak their language with the grace and facility which
distinguish native Romans. Upon the present occasion I mean
to recommend, in particular, only such passages in their works
as have an immediate connection with Italy, and are calculated

unaffected flow of Italian authors. The latter only have either preserved or
recovered the certa vox Romani generis, urbisque propria, in qua nihil qffeitdi,
nihil clisplicere, nihil animadverli possil, nihil sonure, aut olere peregrinmn. —
(Cicero de Or.)

Hence Mr. Roscoo has reason to mention these poets with parti.olity, under
the fluttering but meriied appellation of the rivals of Vijgil aiid Horace.


to give an additional interest to any part of its history, scenery,
or antiquities. In these passages, where the subject calls forth
their energies, they glow with the fire of enthusiasm, and in
numbers not unworthy the fathers of Roman verse, pure, ma-
jestic, or pathetic, celebrate the grandeur, describe the beauties,
or lament the misfortunes of their country.


II. It is evident that he who wishes to become acquainted
with the manners, or to enjoy the society of the inhabitants of
any country, must previously Ifearn their language; it is not
therefore my intention, at present, merely to recommend, what
indeed no traveller entirely neglects, the study of Italian, but
to enforce the necessity of commencing it at a much earlier
period, and of continuing it for a much longer space of time than
is now customary. He who enters Italy with an intention of ap-
plying to its language particularly, must make a longerfesidence
there than our countrymen usually do, or he will find too many
external calls upon his attention and curiosity to allow him to
devote his time to cabinet studies. Information there, is to be
gathered, not from sedentary application, but from active research
and observation. One day is devoted to the contemplation of
churches or ruins, the nextis passed in the examination of pictures,
a third is dedicated to a groupe of ancient statues, and a fourth


and a fifth are agreeably spent in the galleries or the gardens of
a villa; then excursions are to be made to spots consecrated by
history or by song, to Horace's Sabine farm or to Virgil's tomb,
to Tibur or Tiiscuhan, to Fesole or Vallombrosa. In these de-
lightful and instructive occupations, days, weeks, and months
glide away with imperceptible rapidity, and the few leisure
hours that may chance to occur at intervals are scarcely suffi-
cient to give the diligent traveller time to collect his remarks and
to embody his recollections. Let him, therefore, who wishes to
visit Italy with full satisfaction and advantage acquire, if pos-
sible, such an acquaintance with its language, previous to his
journey, that nothing may be wanting to complete his command
of it but practice and conversation. He that travelkth into a
iountrij before he hath some entrance into the language, goeth to
school and not to travel, says Bacon.


III. The next object which claims the attention of the
traveller is the Historic of the different Revolutions of Itahj, not
only before, but during the decline and after the fall of the
Roman Empire.

The republican part of Roman history is considered
as purely classical, and as such is presupposed in the first


paragraph. The hves or the reigns of the first Emperors are
contained in Suetonius, Tacitus, and Herodian, whose curious
and amusing volumes must of course be perused with attention,
■while the Scriptores Historice Augusta will not be neglected.
The Abate Denina's History of the Revolutions of Italy, a
work in great estimation, gives a very full and satisfactory
view of the whole subject, including both ancient and mo-
dern times. To these historical works we may add, Cluve-
rius's Italia, containing as many passages from ancient au-
thors, geographical remarks, and disquisitions, and of course
as much solid information as will satisfy the curiosity of the
keenest enquirer.


IV. Though I do not mean to turn young travellers into
profound antiquaries, yet I would have them at least skim
over all the regions of ancient learning. No spot in this ex-
tensive territory is either dreary or unproductive. Medals
are intimately connected with the history and with the manners,
the arts and even the taste of the ancients.

. . . . And faithful to their charge of fame

Online LibraryJohn Chetwode EustaceA tour through Italy : exhibiting a view of its scenery, its antiquities, and its monuments, particularly as they are objects of classical interest and elucidation : with an account of the present state of its cities and towns : and occasional observations on the recent spoliations of the French (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 48)