Pictures From Italy

Charles Dickens
Pictures From Italy

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Title: Pictures from Italy
Author: Charles Dickens
Release Date: September, 1996 [EBook #650] [This file was first
posted on September 17, 1996] [Most recently updated: September 2,

Edition: 10
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII

Transcribed from the 1913 Chapman & Hall, Ltd. edition by David
Price, email [email protected]



If the readers of this volume will be so kind as to take their credentials
for the different places which are the subject of its author's
reminiscences, from the Author himself, perhaps they may visit them,
in fancy, the more agreeably, and with a better understanding of what
they are to expect.
Many books have been written upon Italy, affording many means of
studying the history of that interesting country, and the innumerable
associations entwined about it. I make but little reference to that stock
of information; not at all regarding it as a necessary consequence of my
having had recourse to the storehouse for my own benefit, that I should
reproduce its easily accessible contents before the eyes of my readers.
Neither will there be found, in these pages, any grave examination into
the government or misgovernment of any portion of the country. No

visitor of that beautiful land can fail to have a strong conviction on the
subject; but as I chose when residing there, a Foreigner, to abstain from
the discussion of any such questions with any order of Italians, so I
would rather not enter on the inquiry now. During my twelve months'
occupation of a house at Genoa, I never found that authorities
constitutionally jealous were distrustful of me; and I should be sorry to
give them occasion to regret their free courtesy, either to myself or any
of my countrymen.
There is, probably, not a famous Picture or Statue in all Italy, but could
be easily buried under a mountain of printed paper devoted to
dissertations on it. I do not, therefore, though an earnest admirer of
Painting and Sculpture, expatiate at any length on famous Pictures and
This Book is a series of faint reflections--mere shadows in the water--of
places to which the imaginations of most people are attracted in a
greater or less degree, on which mine had dwelt for years, and which
have some interest for all. The greater part of the descriptions were
written on the spot, and sent home, from time to time, in private letters.
I do not mention the circumstance as an excuse for any defects they
may present, for it would be none; but as a guarantee to the Reader that
they were at least penned in the fulness of the subject, and with the
liveliest impressions of novelty and freshness.
If they have ever a fanciful and idle air, perhaps the reader will suppose
them written in the shade of a Sunny Day, in the midst of the objects of
which they treat, and will like them none the worse for having such
influences of the country upon them.
I hope I am not likely to be misunderstood by Professors of the Roman
Catholic faith, on account of anything contained in these pages. I have
done my best, in one of my former productions, to do justice to them;
and I trust, in this, they will do justice to me. When I mention any
exhibition that impressed me as absurd or disagreeable, I do not seek to
connect it, or recognise it as necessarily connected with, any essentials
of their creed. When I treat of the ceremonies of the Holy Week, I
merely treat of their effect, and do not challenge the good and learned

Dr. Wiseman's interpretation of their meaning. When I hint a dislike of
nunneries for young girls
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