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night for the public, whatever he might have picked up during his forages, in quest of news for his Chronicle, by day. The chance visit of a wanderer, with a budget of news from the great world beyond, often afforded the scribe of the household employment for his pen during many a long evening; and what he thus communicated was considered ample remuneration for the hospitality he received. Great cities and monasteries, also, not unfrequently preserved a collection of such facts as fell under their observation; and private individuals, in like manner, treasured up the ephemeral events of the day. Even after the invention of printing, the office of annalist was long in falling into disuse. The general reluctance of the many, whose interests are impaired by popular improvements to yield up at once their calling and bread, is shown by a curious petition to Pope Sixtus IV. in 1472, from two printers named Sweynheim and Pannartz, complaining of the poverty brought on them by having published more works than they could sell, and praying relief. And the Parliament of Paris, on a yet more lamentable petition from the copyists of MSS. setting forth the new art as alike cruel to them and dangerous to the public, ordered some of the books first printed in France to be seized,

either from superstition or false compassion. The inestimable benefits of the press were from many causes slowly developed to the middle classes: books yet scarce, and very dear, had many obstacles to encounter in their journeys abroad, and were especially slow in travelling to the Alpine castles and sequestered towns of Helvetia. Private chronicles thus continued to be the fashion both in Switzerland and Italy long after they were discontinued in England, where in fact they never existed to any great extent.

The author of these sketches of the past is not aware that any of her subjects has yet appeared in an English dress. Circumstances twice led her to arrest a wandering course for a season near public libraries, whose ample shelves, rich in the lore and literature. of Helvetia, opened to her a mine of untouched wealth. Neither have they been selected from their peculiar interest in her eyes, but because they were the first made in advancing from Bâsle, the great portal which unlocks Switzerland to the northern traveller, - towards the orange marble palaces of

groves, myrtle bowers, and Italy, by the lovely banks of the Leman, and the sublime pass of the Simplon. Far, very far, is she from imagining that a pencil so rapid and feeble

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has left nothing unmarked-nothing undelineated -nothing for one more gifted to depict. wide and flowery mead many blossoms will escape the eye of the most assiduous gatherer - many ears of good wheat, probably, remain in a large field after the weary or time-pressed gleaner has bound up his sheaves and departed. These sketches were at first hastily designed for the amusement of three young relatives, and are now lithographed for those, whose position or pursuits forbid them from wandering over the snowy Alps, or through the classic cities of Italy

and it is merely hoped, that amid the diversified scenes thus re-produced, some may not be found uninteresting or uninstructive.

Baths of Lucca, Italy,

March, 1846.

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