Pictures from Italy: American Notes

Pictures from Italy: American Notes

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Pictures from Italy: American Notes

Pictures from Italy: American Notes

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Excerpt

On a fine Sunday morning in the Midsummer time and weather of eighteen hundred and forty-four, it was, my good friend, when--don't be alarmed; not when two travellers might have been observed slowly making their way over that picturesque and broken ground by which the first chapter of a Middle Aged novel is usually attained--but when an English travelling carriage of considerable proportions, fresh from the shady halls of the Pantechnicon near Belgrave-square, London, was observed (by a very small French soldier; for I saw him look at it) to issue from the gate of the Hotel Meurice in the Rue Rivoli at Paris.

I am no more bound to explain why the English family travelling by this carriage, inside and out, should be starting for Italy on a Sunday morning, of all good days in the week, than I am to assign a reason for all the little men in France being soldiers, and all the big men postilions: which is the invariable rule. But, they had some sort of reason for what they did, I have no doubt; and their reason for being there at all, was, as you know, that they were going to live in fair Genoa for a year; and that the head of the family purposed, in that space of time, to stroll about, wherever his restless humour carried him.

And it would have been small comfort to me to have explained to the population of Paris generally, that I was that Head and Chief; and not the radiant embodiment of good-humour who sat beside me in the person of a French Courier--best of servants and most beaming of men! Truth to say, he looked a great deal more patriarchal than I, who, in the shadow of his portly presence, dwindled down to no account at all.

There was, of course, very little in the aspect of Paris--as we rattled near the dismal Morgue and over the Pont Neuf--

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