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ART. I. Rambles in Italy, in the Years 1816-17; by an American.
Baltimore 1818.Remarks on Antiquities, Arts and Letters, during an Excursion in
Italy, in the years 1802–3; by Joseph Forsyth, Esq. from the
second London edition.— Boston, 1818. Rome, Naples, and Florence, in 1817; by the Count de Stendhall.
London 1818. THE HE historical works of Roscoe have been reprinted and much
read in these States;--Shakspeare, whose muse alights so often and fondly beyond the Alps, has, perhaps, more devotees here, than at home; the Latin Classics are by no means confined to the colleges of the atlantic coast, but form a considerable part of the business of all the great schools with which even the basin of the Mississippi now abounds;--and yet it may be asserted with confidence, that there is no portion of Europe in which Americans in general take less interest than in Italy. The fine arts, of which she continues to enjoy the palm, have hitherto touched them but feebly;-in looking abroad, they have been, as was natural, engrossed by the countries with which their relations of politics and trade were most important; and, in truth, ancient literature and history, though constituents of their education, are rarely so taught and studied with them, as to create a spirit of philosophical investigation, or perpetuate a liberal curiosity.
We have many reasons for wishing the attention of the present generation of our countrymen to be attracted to modern Italy. It would incessantly carry them back to the Roman philosophy and character, the strength, solidity, and elevation of which are so congenial with our institutions;-it would produce a taste and zeal for that branch of the fine arts, architecture—which seems to belong especially, by inheritance and affinity, to a republican people: If it should, according to its natural tendency, the more speedily bring all those arts into favour and activity, we need not say how much would be gained on the score of refinement and reputation.
The Italy of the middle ages,—when liberty had no other temple, and gave her four centuries of sway and glory,-is a most in