Observations and Reflections Made in the Course of a Journey through France, Italy, and Germany, Vol. I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 302 pages of information about Observations and Reflections Made in the Course of a Journey through France, Italy, and Germany, Vol. I.
out of town yet; we have therefore had leisure to establish our own household for the winter, and have done so as commodiously as if our habitation was fixed here for life.  This I am delighted with, as one may chance to gain that insight into every day behaviour, and common occurrences, which can alone be called knowing something of a country:  counting churches, pictures, palaces, may be done by those who run from town to town, with no impression made but on their bones.  I ought to learn that which before us lies in daily life, if proper use were made of my demi-naturalization; yet impediments to knowledge spring up round the very tree itself—­for surely if there was much wrong, I would not tell it of those who seem inclined to find all right in me; nor can I think that a fame for minute observation, and skill to discern folly with a microscopic eye, is in any wise able to compensate for the corrosions of conscience, where such discoveries have been attained by breach of confidence, and treachery towards unguarded, because unsuspecting innocence of conduct.  We are always laughing at one another for running over none but the visible objects in every city, and for avoiding the conversation of the natives, except on general subjects of literature—­returning home only to tell again what has already been told.  By the candid inhabitants of Italian states, however, much honour is given to our British travellers, who, as they say, viaggiono con profitto[Footnote:  Travel for improvement], and scarce ever fail to carry home with them from other nations, every thing which can benefit or adorn their own.  Candour, and a good humoured willingness to receive and reciprocate pleasure, seems indeed one of the standing virtues of Italy; I have as yet seen no fastidious contempt, or affected rejection of any thing for being what we call low; and I have a notion there is much less of those distinctions at Milan than at London, where birth does so little for a man, that if he depends on that, and forbears other methods of distinguishing himself from his footman, he will stand a chance of being treated no better than him by the world. Here a person’s rank is ascertained, and his society settled, at his immediate entrance into life; a gentleman and lady will always be regarded as such, let what will be their behaviour.—­It is therefore highly commendable when they seek to adorn their minds by culture, or pluck out those weeds, which in hot countries will spring up among the riches of the harvest, and afford a sure, but no immediately pleasing proof of the soil’s natural fertility.  But my country-women would rather hear a little of our interieur, or, as we call it, family management; which appears arranged in a manner totally new to me; who find the lady of every house as unacquainted with her own, and her husband’s affairs, as I who apply to her for information.—­No house account, no weekly bills perplex her peace; if eight servants
Project Gutenberg
Observations and Reflections Made in the Course of a Journey through France, Italy, and Germany, Vol. I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook