and Italy, and, worse still, in the shameless corruption of the Italian custom-houses, the officers of which regularly solicit a paltry bribe from every passenger as the consideration of leaving his baggage unexamined. I am told that in this place the custom of giving presents extends even to the courts of justice, the officers of which, from the highest to the lowest, are in the constant practice of receiving them. No American can see how much jealousy and force on on the one hand, and necessity and fear on the other, have to do with keeping up the existing governments of Europe, without thanking heaven that such is not the condition of his own country.
MANUSCRIPT: Unrecovered TEXT: LT I, pp. 15-23; first published in EP for November 24, 1834.
Florence Oct. 11 1834.
My dear Sir
Something was said when I saw you last of letters that were to pass between us during my residence abroad. Nearly four months have now elapsed since I left America, and I hear nothing from you--in revenge for which neglect I am going to inflict upon you a long epistle.
I have just returned from a visit to the Museum of Natural History, the finest it is said in the world. Do not be alarmed--I am not going to bore with an account of what you have often seen better described than I could do it. The Professor of Anatomy connected with this institution (I do not now recollect his name) is said to be a man of uncommon talent, particularly as a lecturer. He was obliged to leave Milan on account of his political opinions, a year or two since, and coming to Florence, the professorship of anatomy was bestowed upon him by the Grand Duke of
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Publication information: Book title: The Letters of William Cullen Bryant. Volume: 1. Contributors: William Cullen Bryant II - Editor, Thomas G. Voss - Editor, William Cullen Bryant - Author. Publisher: Fordham University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1975. Page number: 423.
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