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Antoine Claude Pasquin dit Valery and His Italian Travels
EARLY NINETEENTH-CENTURY ITALY
AS OBSERVED BY A FRENCH SCHOLAR-LIBRARIAN
ANTOINE CLAUDE VALERY
An Expository Study
The student has his Rome, his Florence, his whole glowing Italy, within the four walls of his library. He has in his books the ruins of an antique world and the glories of a modern one.
— Henry Wadsworth LONGFELLOW (1807-1882)
I. ANTOINE CLAUDE PASQUIN KNOWN AS VALERY
Valery first saw the light of day in Paris, the 8th of August 1789. He was born Antoine Claude Pasquin, but later assumed the surname Valery. There is meager information about his earlier years, but, as his future works reveal, we can assume that most of his youth was devoted to serious study in the better schools of his day, where he received a thorough classical education. Of his physical appearance, we know that he stood well over six feet tall—a major distinguishing feature in his day. In 1834, he was stricken with an eye disorder, which proved to be a serious setback in his work.
Valery was still in his early twenties when he obtained employment as a clerk at the Conseil d’État, where his uncle, Claude-Jean-BaptisteHochet, was secretary general. Since Valery’s vocation was literature and bibliographical research, his office routine did not appeal to him and, at the first opportunity, he left the Conseil d’État in 1815 for the more challenging post of librarian at the Castle of Saint-Cloud (Avenel). Here at last he was able to bury himself amid stacks of books and thus satisfy his yearning for more knowledge.
Before he was twenty-six, Valery had been introduced to his first circle of distinguished friends. Indeed, it was Chateaubriand who first encouraged him in his incipient literary career (Avenel). Through his own personal merits, namely a vast erudition and an unusual memory, Valery won the friendship and confidence of many famous men of letters. Alexandre Dumas père termed him “un homme fort instruit,” an estimate with which many contemporaries concurred (Alexandre Dumas père, op. cit., p. 137).
An indefatigable worker, he was to be found studying and writing from the early hours of the morning. He devoted his evenings to the prestigious literary circles of Paris, such as those of Madame de Genlis, Duchess Duras, Countess Swetchine, Madame de Pomaret and Viollet-le-duc. It was at these gatherings that he first met celebrities like Lamartine, Beyle, Mérimée, Delacroix, Jacquemont, Balzac and others (Delécluze, pp. 278, 279).
In 1822 Valery was appointed caretaker of the Louvre Library archives and inspector of the libraries attached to several royal castles (Avenel). The following year he published his first literary work, Études morales, politiques et littéraires. In1825 he edited Xavier de Maistre’s Les Prisonniers du Caucase, L’Expédition nocturne, and La Jeune sibérienne. Valery assumed this publishing venture when the author’s nephew refused to do so because he deemed these works mediocre.
By this time Valery had gained recognition as a literary critic. Thanks to his writings and his lectures at the literary salons, he won respect for his sound literary judgment and unwillingness to be easily swayed by the latest fads. Unlike some contemporaries, he was careful not to reject the past, in which he discerned positive as well as negative values. His acceptance of modern ideas was eclectic. The novel, Sainte-Périne, which he fashioned after the “aristocratic type” of the Édouard and the Moine, was the fruit of these concepts. In 1826, the year of its publication, the novel met with considerable success among the conservative set that favored the Restoration. However, because of its sluggish action it would not appeal to the modern reader..
Valery does not state explicitly how he became interested in Italy and Italian culture. Probably his association with Lamartine, who had visited the country, played a part in it. However, we must remember that Valery had been a voracious reader of the major Italian authors of the past. His first trip to Italy occurred in 1826 and, after two additional trips, he began to compile the Voyages Historiques. This is not the traditional guidebook calling attention exclusively to places of interest to the traveler, but a veritable storehouse of historical, literary and artistical data—in other words, a rather comprehensive study of Italy past and present. Also during this Italian sojourn, the Revue Encyclopédique featured articles about Italian culture signed by Valery.
After his return from Italy, Valery was appointed librarian to the King at the Versailles and Trianon palaces (Avenel). From 1830 to 1834, approximately, he was occupied editing his Voyages. Later in 1834 he resumed his travels, this time his destination was Sardinia and Corsica. It was during this visit that he first experienced trouble with his eyesight, which he ascribed to his excessive reading. Owing to this unexpected handicap, he was forced to end his sojourn prematurely and to turn to his wife for assistance in writing. Valery credits his wife with the writing of the entire manuscript of the Voyages en Corse et en Sardaigne, published in 1837.
His intensive study of Italy soon won Valery the admiration and recognition of prominent Italians of his day. Thus, during his fifth trip to that country, on January 21, 1841, he received membership in the Reale Accademia delle Scienze of Turin. A similar honor was bestowed on him by other learned societies, including the Reale Accademia di Scienze of Naples.
In 1841, Valery published L’Italie Confortable, a work more in line with the traditional guidebook, but still bearing many literary references. The following year, two more works, Les Curiosités et anecdotes italiennes and La Science de la vie, came off thepress, an indication that Valery’s productivity had not slowed down in spite of his physical ailments.
In 1843, Valery returned to Italy, this time in order to complete a work undertaken years earlier, namely the publication of some of the Mabillon and Montfaucon correspondence. In the first edition of the Voyages, he had announced the intention of publishing forty of these letters, which he had discovered in the Monte Cassino archives. His search for more documents related to this project had continued over a period of twenty years. The Correspondance de Mabillon et Montfaucon went to press in 1846. This was the last of his works to be published. A partial blindness ultimately crippled his activities.
Although his wife assisted him in his writing during his last years, upon his death in January 1847, he left a Voyage en Sicile unpublished, which would have completed his Italian travel series. He also left in manuscript a selection of La Fontaine’s fables, which he had prepared as reading matter for his granddaughters.
After a brief summery cultural of Valery’s life and a general discussion of his works, we shall examine his notions about Italy’s heritage in its manifold aspects as presented in the works dealing specifically with Italy.
II. THE WRITINGS OF VALERY
1. Études morales, politiques et littéraires (1823) consists of four chapters dealing with religion, philosophy, politics and belles-lettres. Each chapter is a brief standalone dissertation, but as a whole, the Études does not present a unitary philosophical system or body of doctrines. The preface outlines what amounts to a general philosophy applicable to this and future works.
L’on trouvera dans ce livre les plus étranges contrastes; le goût des choses nouvelles et seules possibles, et le respect du passé; l’adoration du christianisme, et des regrets sur les erreurs d’un zèle sans prudence; l’amour de la liberté, et le mépris des doctrines de la révolution; toujours une conviction profonde. (Études morales, préface, p. v.).
Besides giving us the substance of this work, these words are a declaration of the author’s eclecticism and conservative position akin to that of the early French romanticists like Chateaubriand, their spiritual father. These “conservatives” reacted against the rationalism of the eighteenth century, rejecting what they considered the ruinous effects of 1789 and favored a return to earlier traditions. The author of the Études accepts some progressive ideas on the one hand, and on the other, expresses a desire to conserve religion, supports the ideal of a temperate monarchy, and the retention of certain “classical” features in literature.
Already in this early work, we notice a decided penchant for Italy even though Valery had yet to visit the country. Oddly enough, Valery inaugurates his admiration for Italy with a reappraisal of its military tradition.
Si depuis longtemps l’importance militaire de l’Italie est à peu près nulle, elle semble cependant encore la patrie des grands capitaines; la plupart des généraux habiles de Charles-Quint étaient italiens ainsi qu’Alexandre Farnese vainqueur de Henri IV, Ambrogio Spinola, de Maurice de Nassau, Piccolomini, Montecuccoli, Buonaparte et Messena. (Études, p. 257).
The Études was reviewed quite favorably by the leading critics of the day. They commended it for its philosophical merits and applauded its fine style, so reminiscent of the eighteenth century in its clarity and simplicity. This trait, they remarked, had become somewhat rare in the treatment of erudite subject matter.
2. Sainte-Périne: Souvenirs contemporains (1826) is Valery’s first and only foray in the genre of the novel. Its setting is the second half of the eighteenth century and the early years of the nineteenth. The story is about two lovers who are prevented from marrying owing to various circumstances. In the twilight of life, they meet again—in the Sainte-Périne hospice in Paris. Old and disillusioned with life, they manage to rekindle the old flame and marry.
Sainte-Périne is basically a psychological novel where the analysis of feelings is emphasized to the detriment of action, producing thereby a rather sluggish read. However, according to Joachim Merlant, Sainte-Beuve found the novelvery appealing. This favorable opinion may have been due in part to the French critic’s kindred philosophical leanings. Indeed, Valery uses this medium as a vehicle for the exposition of his ethical tenets and his condemnation of the Revolution of 1789. This ethical preoccupation permeates both this and later works, where morality colors Valery’s evaluation of art and literature as well as human conduct.
As in his earlier work, Valery succumbs to the temptation of inserting in the narrative a number of literary allusions accompanied by quotations from Dante, Tasso, Schiller, and Goethe. Whether we consider these extraneous elements as imperfect assimilation or a pretext for a display of erudition, they definitely constitute early evidence of Valery’s intimate familiarity with and appreciation for Italian literature.
3. Voyages Historiques, littéraires et artistiques en Italie (1831-1833) is Valery’s account of his three trips to Italy during the 1826-1828 period. The first edition was published in separate volumes beginning in 1831. After his fourth trip, in 1838, Valery published a second revised edition which he considered definitive (Italie confortable, p. viii). The Voyages Historiques, (hereafter referred to as Voyages ) met with immediate success and several reprints were issued, not to mention the many unauthorized editions that sprang up in Belgium as well. An English version by C. E. Clifton, based on the second edition, appeared in 1839. Encouraged by the success of the second edition, Valery was preparing a third, for which he had already collected notes, when his unexpected death in 1847 interrupted this work (Avenel).
When Valery set out to write about his travels, it was apparent to him that, though many works on Italy were in circulation, they were out of date and could no longer be trusted as guides for travelers of his day. For instance, Lalande’s Voyages, in spite of its rich information, no longer reflected the reality of present-day Italy. In the field of art history, as Valery points out, there had been undeniable progress thanks to the works of Lanzi in painting, Cicognara in sculpture, and Quatremère in architecture (Voyages, p. v.). Valery hoped to provide the traveler with a kind of portable library and methodical catalogue of the vast museum that is Italy (Voyages, ibid.). Herein the memorable events, the great men, the poetical reminiscences of Italy are interwoven with the descriptions of monuments and places. The author realized that this procedure occasionallydiminished the literary effect, but considered it his duty to prefer accuracy and usefulness (L’Italie confortable, pp. v, and viii).
Dans le récit de mes courts voyages, j’aime à mêler le souvenir des femmes à celui des hommes illustres, à l’impression toujours nouvelle des beautés de la nature, des merveilles de l’art et de tous les enchantemens qui m’ont ravi : ce souvenir me charme et m’émeut encore au milieu de mes regrets : je voudrais qu’il pût répandre quelque grâce sur ces pages languissantes, et donner la fraîcheur et la vie à mes faibles tableaux. (Original spelling observed).
The Italian literary journal L’Antologia recognized the originality of the Voyages and Valery’s objective approach with these remarks: “Il libro del Valery non somiglia a quei di tanti altri viaggiatori stranieri, che amano l’Italia come gli antichi amavano uno schiavo leggiadro di forme e non digiuno di lettere e d’arti, l’amano per insultarla.” Furthermore, according to L’Antologia’s reviewer, Valery showed: “affezione riverente e sincera…rettitudine delle intenzioni, la diligenza delle indagini, bontà di cuore, sentimento religioso.”(L’Antologia, VII, 1832, B, 9).
Valery’s all-encompassing account of Italian civilization transcends the limitations and scope of the common guidebook. The reader will see in it not only an informal introduction to Italian literature, albeit in bits and pieces, evoked by the sight of monuments and places, but will value it as a reliable source for a study of Italy during the early nineteenth century. The remaining sections will hopefully lend support to this statement. Moreover, footnotes have been added to the original ones, to provide identification of individuals—often obscure or minor—and information about institutions mentioned throughout the original text. These notes, derived from more recent research, prove time and again the reliability of Valery’s testimony.
4. L’Italie confortable (1841). In his desire to avoid repeated updating of the Voyages, Valery devised thiswork as a receptacle for the usual information found in guidebooks to the exclusion of literary and artistic considerations. As an “appendix, it provides the traveler of that period with a collection of useful information about lodgings, postal regulations, transportation facilities, health standards etc., and for the modern reader, a vivid cross-section of living conditions in Italy between 1828 and 1840.
5. Voyages en Corse, À l’Île d’Elbe et en Sardaigne (1837).The appearance of Napoleon on the European scene at the turn of the century had brought into prominence the names of Corsica and Elba. Until then, these islands, and Sardinia as well, had been relatively unknown (Voyages en Corse, etc. I, v). Valery’s intention was to acquaint the common traveler with the wild beauty of these unfamiliar islands and at the same time complete the cycle of works on Italy. Here, as in the earlier Voyages, we find details about monuments and works of art. In addition, Valery, yielding to his penchant for little known facts, calls attention to two deserving Corsican historians, Pietro Cirneo and Pietro Filippini,--well known locally, but unheard of elsewhere.
It must be noted that, thanks to this account, Valery introduced Prosper Mérimée to Corsica and indirectly gave France one of her better known novels, Colomba. Most critics agree that Mérimée got the inspiration for his story from Voyages en Corse, where the vendetta is mentioned for the first time. However, the vendetta, which actually occurred in 1833, had as its real protagonist Madame Colomba, described by Valery as an old woman. Mérimée’s good artistic sense led him to substitute Colomba’s daughter, with a greater heroine potential and appeal. Indeed, Valery had described her as “une jeune personne belle, blanche, forte, qui fait aussi bien le coup de fusil que madame sa mère. »
Perhaps, if Valery’s eyesight had not failed during this trip, he would have made a more extensive study of these islands. In his opinion, this unexpected handicap was not a major setback. During a period of forced rest, with the help of friends, he was able to check his notes against the statistics on Corsica found in Robiquet’s work,Voyages en Corse, I, pp. viii, ix). This work met with considerable success with reviewers, who hailed it as an important contribution to the science of history and ranked it on a par with his Voyages historiques.  and thereby add to the accuracy of his reports (
6. Curiosités et anecdotes italiennes (1842). Valery explains in his preface that this work is the same as the Variétés italiennes, so often announced and cited in the earlier Voyages historiques and L’Italie confortable (Les Curiosités, p. v). However, because the title “Variétés” had been used by others and also because it did not adequately convey the nature of the serious research that went into the book’s preparation, he decided on the change. Inasmuch as the book contains historical facts as opposed to mere anecdotes, it would seem that even the new title fails to do justice to the true nature of the contents. Les Curiosités is actually a selective history and anthology of Italian literature presenting the reader with a wide range of topics. The titles of just a few of the forty chapters speak for themselves: Le dominicain Jacques Passavanti et son Miroir de la vraie pénitence; Louis Cornaro et ses Discours sur la vie sobre; M. Palmieri et sa Vie civile ; Fêtes, jeux populaires et luxe de l’Italie au Moyen-Âge ; Du dialecte vénitien ; Lucrèce Borgia et le cardinal Bembo ; Le Tasse en France ; Le père Cesari, et la Renaissance de la langue italienne ; Monti, Pindemonte, Manzoni, Silvio Pellico.
This wealth of subject matter is not an ostentatious exhibition of knowledge absorbed from secondary sources inasmuch as many of the critical opinions expressed by Valery are his very own (Les curiosités, p. 2). With regard to authors like Monti, Pindemonte, Manzoni and Silvio Pellico—his contemporaries—Valery’s judgment is first-hand. While in Italy, he also met these men on several occasions, discussed literature with them, and corresponded with them on a regular basis from France.
In his Dizionario bio-bibliografico, Carlo Frati acknowledged Valery as an important and reliable source for data on other personalities, mainly distinguished scholars and bibliophiles like Affò, Gamba, Mezzofanti and Peyron. Given his professional expertise, Valery could not remain a tacit observer in his visits to Italian libraries. He asked to be shown documents and manuscripts which collected dust in inaccessible alcoves; he read them with avid interest, and made annotations and comparisons. Often he thought he had made an important discovery, as when he found ten letters written by Lucrezia Borgia to Pietro Bembo at the Ambrosiana library of Milan .
The various Italian authors introduced in Les curiosités are regularly accompanied by passages from their works translated into French. On occasion, the author even leaves a few quotations in the original Italian so as to acquaint his countrymen with the language and arouse admiration for its beauty. In an era in which foreign literatures could count on official French support for the establishment of new lecture chairs, these passages were meant to promote the same assistance for Italian: “Cette langue toujours si imparfaitement étudiée, à cause de sa facilité apparente, que la mode, l’industrie, le commerce et la guerre, font sacrifier aux âpres idiomes du Nord… » (Les Curiosités, p. vi). From these words it is apparent that Valery considered Italian not only the vehicle of the masterpieces of the Renaissance, but also a most euphonious and aesthetic language per se.
7. La Science de la vie (1842). Because of its anthological contents, this work bears a kinship with the Les Curiosités. For this reason it may be regarded as part of a cycle of works intended to illustrate Italian literature. It consists of seven short essays in which lengthy passages are quoted from Italian literature and translated into French. Planned as a “moral guide,” La Science is based on a number of Italian “moralists.” Thus, the first chapter, on the soul and salvation, contains illustrative passages from Passavanti’s Specchio della vera penitenza. Luigi Cornaro’s La Vita sobria serves the same purpose in the second chapter titled the “Care of the body and personal health.” The third on government, draws from La Vita civile by Matteo Palmieri; the fourth, on family, from Il Trattato della famiglia; the fifth and sixth, on manners and customs, from the Cortegiano and the Galateo respectively. Finally, the seventh essay on ethics and family economy makes use of Tasso’s Dialogo del padre di famiglia.
These treatises, though the product of the culture of an earlier age, had, in the author’s view, timeless value because of their ethical subject matter (Curiosités, p. 140). Moral edification could still be derived from these readings and society could be renewed by drawing from Pandolfini’s and Palmieri’s doctrines. The works of Italian authors, Valery insists, have not ceased to be important world classics and modern society had many a lesson to learn from them.
8. Correspondance inédite de Mabillon et de Montfaucon avec l’Italie (1846). A critic once said that had Valery been born at the time of Mabillon and not at the close of the eighteenth century, he would have become a Benedictine monk—such was his admiration for the brothers of Saint Maur. In fact, Valery spent the greater part of his life in the seclusion of libraries exploring the realm of forgotten manuscripts. For the preparation of the Correspondance he actually resided in the monasteries of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and Monte Cassino. This collection in its entirety is the result of his research at the libraries of Rome, Florence, Monte Cassino, Saint-Germain-des-Prés and several other libraries in Paris. His patient and untiring efforts yielded a harvest of more than 400 letters signed by Mabillon, Montfaucon and a large number of prominent men of the Congregation of Saint Maur. La Correspondance consists of the letters by these men and the related answers from Italian men of letters. Unfortunately, a part of the Italian answers is wanting because they were destroyed in the fire of May 20, 1794 which ravaged Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Some of the names that appear in this correspondence are: Magliabechi, Sergardi, Gattola, Bacchini, Muratori, Cosimo de Medici III—a veritable literary chronicle of eighteenth-century Florence, Rome and Paris. La Correspondance continues to be an important source of reference for studies on Mabillon. For scholars interested in Italian studies, the letters provide an additional chapter on the relations between Italy and France during the period when the letters were written. As early as 1850, a reviewer for the Italian Archivio storico acknowledged this importance and declared that the letters belonged more to Italy almost than to France: “All’Italia quasi più che alla Francia appartiene il carteggio…”
III. VALERY AND ITALY’S CULTURAL HERITAGE
Valery’s love and admiration for Italy, already apparent in his first two works, became veneration after his visits to the country. The enthusiasm generated by his observations in loco impelled him to commit to writing what he had seen so that the wonders of Italy could be shared with his French reading public. His profoundly classical background, his penchant for research, his profession as librarian, and the awareness of the great influence Italian culture had had in France enabled him to undertake this form of “popularization” with unusual competence.
Reflections on Italian literature populate almost all of Valery’s works, but only in a fragmentary manner, as it was not his intention to write a systematic, homogeneous literary history. This is how he explains his method in writing the Voyages:
Dans le récit de mes courts voyages, j’aime à mêler le souvenir des femmes à celui des hommes illustres, à l’impression toujours nouvelle des beautés de la nature, des merveilles de l’art et de tous les enchantemens qui m’ont ravi : ce souvenir me charme et m’émeut encore au milieu de mes regrets : je voudrais qu’il pût répandre quelque grâce sur ces pages languissantes, et donner la fraîcheur et la vie à mes faibles tableaux. (Voyages, p. 100. Original spelling observed).
Accordingly, whatever criticism we do find, it is mostly incidental and compressed into short sentences or reduced to a mere epithet. Noteworthy is Valery’s preference for the curiosities and anecdotes related to Italian history or literature, which leads him to dwell, at times, on the lesser known to the exclusion of the more famous. In this respect, his treatment is a valuable supplement to the standard works of literary history.
In this section, it will be sufficient to present in a more or less chronological order Valery’s evaluation of the Italian literary figures of the past; a subsequent section will deal with writers who were his contemporaries.
Dante. The Age of Reason had not been very kind to Italy’s greatest poet. Iconoclasts like Voltaire in France, and Bettinelli in Italy, dealt him their heaviest blows. Before the Revolution of 1789, there had been only two French translations of the Divine Comedy. But with the turn of the century, after decades of oblivion, this situation was changing. With the advent of Romanticism, Dante started to regain his prestige not only in Italy but even in France, where Chateaubriand, V. Hugo and Sainte-Beuve read him with renewed fervor. Scholars like E. Delécluze, C. Labitte, Lamennais, Ozanam, and others, contributed new translations and outstanding critical studies. The fondness for the Middle Ages, an important feature of the nascent Romanticism, and the break with pagan literary traditions associated with classicism, contributed in part to this rapprochement.
Valery is an enthusiastic participant in this renewed interest in Dante. He is not only intimately familiar with Dante’s writings—as frequent quotes prove—but he reveals also a considerable understanding of the text. In discussing Dante and Homer, he states that the latter’s verses are the reflection of an unhappy poet living in a primitive age, whereas the Divine Comedy is the product of political exile during a period of factions and party fanaticism. Thus the Inferno is the hell of the Italian parties, revolutions and civil wars; the actors are the human passions and the ideologies which stirred the period—and all of creation is the stage for this great poem. Like Bossuet, Dante has a peculiar language never spoken before or after him, and like Bossuet he turns the most prosaic things into marvelous ones. Valery is inclined to see more analogies between the two: a predilection for monarchy, a desire for independence from the Roman Curia, an immense faith, intrepid Christianity and crystal-clear theology: “Ce poète du XIII siècle a tout senti et tout exprimé. » (Voyages, p. 322). In his estimation, the intellectual achievements of the Duecento, so marvelously epitomized in the Commedia, had not been surpassed despite the material progress of his own day: “Qu’on ne vante plus si hautement nos progrès, notre perfectibilité : l’art humain, tout ce qui s’apprend, a pu se perfectionner, mais l’intelligence ne s’est point étendue. » (Voyages, p. 323).
Dante’s verses left such an impression on Valery that they accompanied him wherever he went in Italy. A scene, a monument or a work of art would evoke passages from the Divine Comedy. For instance, the sight of the Veja bridge in Verona recalled the bridges of the Inferno: “Il est fort probable que le pont de Veja lui donna l’idée des ponts de son Enfer. » (Voyages, p. 104). In Venice, the Arsenal, a mere vestige of the thriving shipyard of the past, elicits this exclamation:
Combien il diffère dans sa solitude de cet arsenal peint si admirablement par Dante, qui a fait entrer dans sa description les termes techniques de marine, et les a rendus harmonieux, poétiques, imitatifs, tant ce prodigieux génie sait tout dire. (Voyages, p. 146).
Dante’s verses repeatedly haunt the pages of the Voyages, and when we come to the closing lines, the author pays this last tribute:
Si dans mes courses de l’Italie, j’avais souvent appelé le Dante à la peinture des sites et des monuments de sa patrie, il m’offrait encore au sommet des Alpes, son harmonieux, son pittoresque langage pour rendre les flocons de neige tombant légèrement sur la cime de la montagne :
Come neve in Alpe, senza vento
J’aime à finir ce long et pénible ouvrage, inspiré par l’aspect ou les souvenirs de l’Italie, par un trait emprunté à son plus grand poète (Voyages, p. 523).
Valery’s favorable attitude toward the Middle Ages enabled him to better appreciate the major representatives of that period. His foundation in Thomistic philosophy made his reading of the Commedia more fruitful. Indeed, owing to his high regard for the Schoolmen, he could maintain that their disputes were no hindrance to the progress of knowledge. Their controversies imparted to the minds of those thinkers the vigor, shrewdness and alertness that they brought to bear afterwards on other subjects. Their disputations were exercises that served as a “gymnasium” for developing their minds (Voyages, p. 348).
Petrarch. Valery has very little to say about the Canzoniere. Instead, he chooses to dwell on the minor works in Latin, and his opinion, in this regard, is quite negative. The Africa he dubs “un poème long, ennuyeux, languissant,” while the De remediis is essentially a dry listing of the good and evil in life, in short, a philosophical treatise, full of maxims, mythological and historical names, more a learned dissertation than the lamentation of an unhappy man (Voyages, p.63).
Valery quite often takes aim at the personal life of Italian writers, and that of Petrarch is no exception. Petrarch calls to mind Voltaire, with whose life he sees several parallels of similarity and dissimilarity. Petrarch was courted by kings and republics, popes and universities; he befriended cardinals, prominent noblemen, and Cola di Rienzo. He was the absolute ruler of that domain of letters which he had practically founded. While admitting that Petrarch showed vanity and the usual frailties of a man of letters, Valery claims that he makes up for this in his devotion to his country, his compassion for its misfortunes, and his moving friendship with Boccaccio. Both he and Voltaire were guests of philosophical kings, were loved by famous women, tormented by their bitter critics, and carried on a vast correspondence with their contemporaries, wherefore their letters constitute valuable annals of their epoch (Voyages, p. 167). On the other hand, Voltaire was the enemy of J.-J. Rousseau, ridiculed his country as he had all other things, and ridiculed its misfortunes.
On the subject of Petrarch’s love for Laura, Valery remains non-committal as to its nature: real or merely metaphysical. As for the hot issue of the day, the theorized marriage of Laura to Hugo de Sade, Valery hastens to endorse the celibacy theory put forth by the French Petrarchist, Marsand. He explains his position thus: “J’avoue que j’inclinerais volontiers à cette opinion, conforme à l’esprit du temps, et que j’aimerais fort à voir une personne aussi poétique débarrassée de ces onze enfans que lui donne grossièrement par vanité l’abbé de Sade.”(Voyages, p. 167).
Moral considerations seem to govern Valery’s literary evaluations in general. This may explain in part, why, in spite of the Petrarchan influence in France, he was lukewarm toward the singer of Laura. Petrarch’s moral conduct appeared inconsistent to Valery, for he does not hesitate to chastise him for having sired a child out of wedlock. In discussing a sonnet dedicated to Petrarch’s “natural” daughter, he expresses the following condemnation: “par sa crudité, il déconcerte singulièrement les idées que l’imagination se fait de la fidélité du chanteur de Laure.” (Voyages, p. 69).
Boccaccio. The church of Santo Stefano in Florence recalled to mind the days of old when the city was the resplendent center of literature. For it was in this church that Boccaccio filled the first chair founded by the Florentine Republic for the interpretation of Dante’s masterpiece. « C’est là qu’au milieu du désordre démocratique, il reprochait publiquement et avec hardiesse à ses concitoyens leurs vices, leurs avidité mercantile, et qu’il les excitait à la gloire et à la vertu. » (Voyages, p. 279). Evidently, Valery had read the Decameron and Boccaccio’s minor works because he mentions them several times in the Voyages. Specifically, he mentions the Ninfale fiesolano which he found very boring (Voyages, p. 300). However, he admits, the work might have provided pleasant reading when the women referred to by Boccaccio were better known. Without referring to any specific work, Valery states that Boccaccio is the profound yet gay and sentimental observer of reality and truly personifies the Tuscan genius, and that he is the admirable creator of Italian prose (Voyages, p. 307).
Valery reserves larger space for minor writers of the moralistic ilk. To Jacopo Passavanti he devotes an entire chapter, both in the Curiosités and La Science de la vie. In Valery’s estimation, Passavanti’s Specchio della vera penitenza is a true model of prose worthy of Boccaccio for its excellent style, purity of language and grace (Curiosités, p. 3). Another merit lies in Passavanti’s power of expression and the wisdom of his ethical principles reminiscent of the pathos of found in Bourdaloue. Valery reproaches Ginguené for omitting Passavanti on the grounds that his Specchio was a book of devotion (Curiosités, p. 57).
Another minor work that appealed to Valery because of its moralistic concerns was Del governo della famiglia, which he, like his contemporaries, erroneously attributed to Agnolo Pandolfini, also wrongly ignored by Ginguené. Even though this work contains remarkable insights about morality, Valery takes a dim view of the author’s exclusion of women from learning. Overall, Del governo still had enduring value, for it contained advice applicable to any endeavor to reform family values, much needed in Valery’s time (Curiosités, p. 120).
Valery also has praise for Matteo Palmieri’s Vita civile, which he considers a masterpiece of “primitive” Italian writings. Here Valery sees a kinship between Palmieri and Montesquieu. Both believe in the importance of ancient customs and the necessity of preserving them. As a writer of the Renaissance, Palmieri is well in advance of his times, even ahead of Machiavelli, in advocating a national army to replace unreliable mercenaries (Curiosités, p. 114).
Machiavelli. On his way from Florence to Siena, Valery stopped at San Casciano, where he visited Machiavelli’s villa, the retreat in which the “Florentine secretary” composed most of his works, including the Prince. Valery disagrees with a commonly held opinion that Machiavelli’s maxims were a reflection of his times. His reason is that a French contemporary, De Thou, who visited and sojourned in Italy, held opposite views. Furthermore, Valery chastises Machiavelli’s biographers for having focused mainly on his works to the exclusion of his personal life, which commands little esteem. He disapproves of Machiavelli’s servile petitions addressed to the Medici, his enemies, and of his licentious conduct. Machiavelli may have been a literary genius, but he was at the same time an immoral man. This had also been the opinion of Avenel who regretted the absence of an « elevated character » in Machiavelli: “Malgré les regrets causés par ce triste désaccord entre l’âme et les talens, le jugement porté par M. Avenel, différent de l’opinion commune, nous paraît infiniment plus neuf et plus juste.” (Voyages, p. 305).
The Curiosités contains several pages on Tasso and a lengthy account of his trip to France and the exaggerated and unfounded theories regarding his insanity. Valery takes issue with Ginguené’s theory that Tasso’s insanity was caused by his effort to practice continence, an impossible feat given his nature. An unpublished letter Valery discovered in the Ferrara library sheds light on Tasso’s confinement; therein he informs his correspondent, Marquis Buoncompagno, of the “pleasantness” of his internment (Curiosités, p. 272). On the basis of this correspondence, Valery asserts that Tasso’s confinement bore a resemblance to a “maison de santé” rather than imprisonment in a dungeon. Other unpublished letters seen by Valery shed even more light on Tasso’s childhood, his character and the background for some of his poems. From these sources, there emerges a picture of a courageous, mocking, flirtatious and pleasure-loving Tasso, unlike the silent, brooding type described by Ginguené (Curiosités, pp. 281, 282). In a letter to Luca Scalabrino, Tasso describes himself as “il più loquace uomo del mondo.”
Valery has great admiration for Baldassarre Castiglione, “un des plus dignes, des plus magnifiques représentants de la civilisation italienne des XV e XVI siècles.” (Voyages, p. 238). The value of the Cortegiano, Valery says, transcends the confines of the courts of princes, for it benefits all humankind. Its counsel with respect to conduct, manners, the necessity of speaking little of one’s self etc., is applicable to all well-bred persons. Besides being a wonderful literary work, the Cortegiano is a pleasing book of morals, and for this reason he includes it in his moral guidebook, La Science de la vie. This is one of those books having the power to penetrate more deeply into the spirit and customs of the inexhaustible fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
Le noble auteur, à la fois homme de cour et de guerre, diplomate et dilettante, en retrace fidèlement, dramatiquement, les opinions, les préjugés, les pratiques, les habitudes, la licence, le sensualisme, mêlés d’une spiritualité si haute et si raffinée, et il n’en oublie pas même les ridicules, car leur frivolité apparente complète l’histoire. (La science, p. 192).
Moralistic concerns seem to have determined Valery’s interest in Fracastoro, whose honorable life should not be confused, we are told, with the contents of his treatise, De morbo gallico.  “La vie honorable et pure de Fracastor ajoute encore à l’admiration pour ses talens.” (Voyages, p. 101). And the talents are those of natural philosopher, astronomer, physician and poet. It was at Incaffi, during a plague that ravaged Verona, that Fracastoro composed “ce poème si chaste.” Syphilis is a charming poem whose only fault is that of being dedicated to Bembo “un homme corrompu, sans élévation, et plus digne du sujet que des vers.” (Voyages, p. 101).
Valery compares Fracastoro to Virgil, whose style the Italian imitated. However, unlike the works of most modern Latin versifiers, Fracastoro conveys real warmth and feeling. His expressions of “patriotism” are even superior to Virgil’s in sentiment, for he seems to embrace all of Italy in his sorrowful utterances. To further justify this predilection for Fracastoro, “poète que peu de personnes lisent,” Valery transcribes some of the verses that delighted him at Incaffi (Voyages, p. 101).
At the Pitti Library in Florence, Valery examined Galileo’s manuscripts, his correspondence, works attacking him (with his marginalia), and the manuscripts of his pupils, Viviani, and Torricelli. Valery observes that in his notes, Galileo, among other things, discussed Tasso, showing a preference for Ariosto. Galileo’s criticism, in his view, is harsh, insolent and “fort injuste.” (Voyages, p. 292). Galileo found fault with Tasso’s style because of its tendency to excessive ornamentation and tinselry, a characteristic of Seicentismo.
While admitting that the Seicento marks a period of decadence, Valery makes an effort to salvage a few authors. Among those deemed worthy of better recognition are Redi, Marino, Chiabrera and Frugoni. Valery also has favorable comments for Alessandro Guidi, and pleads that this “Pyndare italien” be better known, in spite of the fact that contemporary critics were inclined to consider him a mediocre poet (Voyages, p. 421).
Tassoni’s Secchia rapita holds an important place in the Voyages, as Valery is eager to vindicate the merits of this “poème charmant” from the unjust attacks by Voltaire. He can hardly believe that such a judge could declare this work lacked imagination, variety and grace, whereas these qualities shine forth in a multitude of passages. Valery goes on to show how Voltaire borrowed freely from the Secchia rapita, and wonders whether his disparagement was another way of concealing his pilfering (chi disprezza vuol comprare, or, ha comprato!). In giving his own evaluation of the poem, Valery concedes its superiority over the many productions of the same period, but also senses a sort of decadence in the poet’s soul (Voyages, p. 207). By this Valery means that he regrets that Tassoni mocked the customs and freedom of his country’s past and thinks that wars, like the one between Modena and Bologna, so national in character, should have inspired a national epic and not just burlesque verses “à la Tassoni.” While pure and elegant in form, Tassoni’s poetry lacks conviction and enthusiasm to the detriment of its value as literature (Voyages, p. 210).
With regard to the Settecento, the Age of Reason, some of the greatest Italian representatives of this period, such as Goldoni and Metastasio, are virtually glossed over. On the other hand Valery shows a greater interest in the scholarship of this period, represented by the likes of Muratori, termed a “colosse d’érudition,” and Tiraboschi, whose Storia della letteratura italiana he valued as a reference work (Voyages, p. 213). In this Settecento firmament, he also includes the Neapolitan philosopher, G.B. Vico, a “génie allemand sous le soleil de Naples.” (Voyages, p. 346). Though he does not give any indication of having read the Scienza Nuova, he correctly understood its importance by calling attention to the studies on Vico by his fellow countrymen Michelet and Ballanche.
The Settecento, with its return to classicism and stress on rationalism by the “philosophes,” did not warm up to Dante. Like Voltaire in France, men like Bettinelli, Algarotti and Frugoni proved hostile to the author of the Commedia. In Valery’s opinion, they had misunderstood Dante (Voyages, p. 230). The faith and enthusiasm of the Florentine exile could hardly be felt in an age of relative peace, indifference and satire. At any rate, Bettinelli, in spite of his personal merits, belongs with those eighteenth-century literary figures who owed their reputation more to their connections than to the superiority of their works (Voyages, p. 230).
His opposition to the “philosophes” may have no doubt swayed Valery’s judgment with regard to Cesare BeccariaHe avers that the “lex talionis” will always prevail as a deterrent: “Je n pense pas non plus qu’une semblable innovation puisse être comparé à la liberté civile, à la tolérance religieuse, à l’abolition de l’esclavage, et autres améliorations justes et naturelles.” (Voyages, p. 55).. A forerunner of modern penology, the author of Del delitto e delle pene was a product of the Enlightenment. Yet he did not meet with Valery’s favor because of his ideas perceived as daring and rash. He takes issue with Beccaria on the subject of crime prevention and the abolition of the death penalty.
In Scipione Maffei Valery sees a precursor of the French Revolution in virtue of his numerous progressive and practical ideas, among which stand out the changes he advocated regarding the parasitic Italian aristocracy. The ideas for theater reform Maffei propounded in his treatise Dei Teatri antichi e moderni meet with Valery’s approval. He goes on to point out that San CarloBorromeo, Muratori, Fénélon and Pope BenedictXIVhad also advocated similar changes.
Because of the candor and simplicity of Maffei’s tragedy Merope, Valery judges it superior to Voltaire’s homonymous play, which fails to achieve the natural, familiar and simple tone of Greek tragedy. Maffei’s work had been denigrated by Voltaire and Italian critics alike. But now, this negative position had been recanted, and Italians viewed Merope more benevolently and even proclaimed its superiority to Voltaire’s because of its Shakespearean qualities (Voyages, p. 303).
The performance of Alfieri’s Agamennone at Modena occasioned Valery’s general impressions of the so-called Italian Sophocles. This play seemed too regular, too well measured, too brusque. These traits plus the barrenness of the stage—typical of Alfieri’s dramas—were not acceptable to Valery, whose objection was that they constituted an exaggeration of Greek drama: “ses quatre éternels personnages, malgré le pathétique et la violence même de leurs sentimens, ne suffisent point à animer la scène.” (Voyages, p. 210).
The patriotism displayed in Alfieri’s plays displeases him because it contains hateful, impetuous and exclusive elements. He also expresses a negative view of the actual effect of Alfierian drama on the Italian public:
…quand on joue une de ses pièces, chacun se croit obligé d’y aller par esprit public, mais tout le monde s’y ennuie et s’y fatigue. Je ne crois point d’ailleurs que cet engouement pour Alfieri, qui veut être du patriotisme, soit bon aujourd’hui à quelque chose….il doit être plutôt funeste aux Italiens, et les égarer que les exalter et ennoblir. (Voyages, p. 230).
Valery’s familiarity with Italian men of letters of his day was not limited to a reading of their works. He actually had occasion to meet several of them in person. Among these were the most important authors of the early Ottocento: Monti, Pindemonte, Pellico.
In 1827 Valery met Antonio Cesari, the stubborn advocate of purism. Cesari, he observes, was a “lively, ardent, excitable old gentleman”—the true picture of an abbot (Curiosités, p. 328). Cesari, though very kindly disposed, was also very odd in the way he carried himself and dressed, and was prone to manias and irritability. His death, the following year, was almost passed over by the public, which was grieving over the deaths of Monti and Pindemonte.
Cesari was a “fanatical partisan of the language of the Trecentisti,” and Valery ascribes this enthusiasm to the reading of the Specchio della vera penitenza. Cesari’s reform, he says, was salutary inasmuch as it provided a barrier against the avalanche of foreign words imported in the late Settecento, a phenomenon that led Monti to remark that one who spoke Italian spoke French and English at the same time (Curiosités, p. 330). However, Valery maintains that Gaspare Gozzi was the solitary exception in this effort to preserve linguistic integrity by imitating the Trecentisti. Cesari’s purism seemed to be winning adherents as is evidenced by Carlo Botta’s prose, Monti’s verses and Perticari’s works of criticism.
In the field of linguistics, the “pungent writings” of Giordani, the Operette morali of Leopardi, the History by Colletta, and the “ingenious work on the fortune of words” by Manno, were inValery’ estimation definite accomplishments (Curiosités, p. 328). Worthy of praise, in this regard, are the “purified” editions of the new dictionaries, of which the Dizionario dei sinonimi by Niccolò Tommaseo was a foremost example.
In concluding his remarks on this topic, Valery expresses hope that this “revolution” (=the purist movement) be consummated by the publication of the Crusca dictionary. He suggests that it be a popular edition, and that it be freed of its numerous quotations and erudite references, resembling in this respect the 1838 edition of the Petit dictionnaire de la Académie Française (Curiosités, p. 328).
In 1828 Valery had met Monti whom he describes as a man « souffrant, anéanti » but preserving “sa physionomie encore noble et son regard plein de poésie. » (Voyages, p. 55). The two men spent their time together discussing literature, the contemporary literary scene and trends. Monti spoke interestingly of the Provençal influence on Italian and, in this connection, expressed praise for the work of Raynouard, a French scholar who shared Monti’s ideas in his Difesa di Dante. Monti enjoyed widespread popularity in that period, and Valery terms him “le premier poète contemporain.” (Curiosités, p. 356).
By an affinity of ideas Valery is drawn to Manzoni and Pellico, both outstanding for their virtuous qualities and “par des principes peut-être encore plus élevés.” (Curiosités, p. 357). He esteems them both as men of solid Christian beliefs, crediting them with the reaction against the materialism and despair of the new age –“cette littérature de la matière et du désespoir.” (Curiosités, p. 358). Their return to Christianity constitutes a second religious regeneration, the effects of which will outlast those of the first regeneration brought about by La Harpe and Chateaubriand (Curiosités, p. 358). Manzoni’s Osservazioni sulla morale cattolica is an example of the powers of Italian genius and its fondness for the loftier principles of civilization. Men like Manzoni and Pellico are a singular honor to Italy, if literary personalities are the expressions of the public’s moral tenets (Curiosités, p. 357). Valery characterizes Pellico’s Christianity as that of a scholar and philosopher, since his conversion is not simply the result of an emotional crisis, but also of a reasoned conviction, based on a thorough study of Church history and apologetics (Curiosités, pp. 359, 360).
The Curiosités contains only laconic references to other Italian writers, some of whom were to be ranked among the great by posterity. Thus we find no critical estimate of Ugo Foscolo, whose major works were known to Valery, as he indicates by repeated quotations; and his evaluation of Giacomo Leopardi is limited to a linguistic appraisal of his moral writings and the very general classification of this poet among the “leading modern poets.” In passing, Valery also mentions Carlo Botta, Paolo Costa, Pietro Giordani, Dionigi Strozzi and Gian Battista Niccolini.
IV. ITALY’S CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS
Given his profession, Valery, was bound to gravitate toward centers of learning where he could examine precious collections of ancient books and manuscripts. Italian scholars and librarians of the day vied with each other to open to their French colleague the portals of their sanctuaries. Hence the more numerous and constant references in Valery’s works are those concerning libraries; this is especially true of his Voyages where the libraries, academies and universities occupy the place of honor, which a common guidebook would more appropriately yield to the best hotels and general conveniences and services of a given country.
From 1826 to 1843, Valery toured Italy six times and on each occasion he visited the principal libraries. The material he collected in his notes was the result of visits to no less than sixty-seven libraries in Milan, Venice, Rome, Naples, Turin, Pisa, Genoa, Pavia, Ferrara and various other cities (forty-two, in all) and contacts with thirty-two librarians and bibliophiles. Since it would take us too far a field if we were to examine Valery’s observations about all the libraries, it will suffice to limit our review to some of the major ones, focusing on their peculiarities, their strengths, and their shortcomings.
The condition in which he found Italian libraries during the first half of the nineteenth century is described for the most part in the Voyages. Both in large and small centers, literature and learning were essentially still in the hands of the religious orders and of private individuals. Gradually these institutions were being relinquished by the religious to the civil authorities, who in turn opened them to the public. But one of the principal obstacles which bogged down this transfer was inadequate cataloguing—a deficiency Valery decries repeatedly. He realized only too well how, due to the lack of a “key,” immense holdings, veritable treasures, could remain inaccessible. Furthermore, the average reader or scholar was too frequently deterred from using a library because of the intricate routine involved in just procuring a book. In spite of this state of inadequacy and undue restrictions, the system was not entirely beyond control. According to Valery, more up-to-date procedures were slowly being introduced, and many an Italian scholar, fully aware of the problem and the urgency of its solution, could be found lending a helping hand to the librarians in promoting the project of re-organization. This, then, is the scene into which Valery stepped when he visited Italy.
In Milan, Valery paid more than one visit to the Ambrosiana, (Voyages, p. 45). Research at this library was particularly difficult due to the medieval arrangement of its catalogue, where the authors were listed by their first names: “Il y a sur cette table une multitude de Jean, de Jacques et de Pierre; et pour trouver Pétrarque, il faut chercher François.”(Voyages, p. 45).Even more mystifying to the visitor were the innumerable volumes lacking identification shelved along the walls of an immense hall. Valery comments (tongue in cheek) how this could lead one to wonder if those unidentified volumes possibly concealed treatises on the occult. Fortunately, the librarians knew perfectly well what was there and relied exclusively on their memory, “et le catalogue n’est là qu’une tradition.”(Voyages, p. 45).where the doors were graciously opened to him by Mazzuchelli, Bentivoglio and Mancini, respectively head librarian, assistant librarian and clerk. About Mazzuchelli, Valery recalls that a stroke had impaired the abbot’s reading ability and that this handicap persisted for the rest of his life
The Brera Library of Milan—principally composed of the collections from the monasteries suppressed in 1789 and books from the libraries of Albert von Haller, count Carlo Firmian and Cardinal Durini(Voyages, p. 49). Other “remarkable” libraries Valery found in Milan were the Pagnani with its fine collection of Aldine editions, the Melzi, rich in Italian works of the fifteenth century, and the Reina, Litta, Archinto and Trivulzio, the latter, rich in manuscripts and early editions of Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarch (Voyages, p. 50).—is rated by Valery as the Italian library best supplied in the areas of science, natural history and travel. Like the libraries in Paris, this too had numerous readers, and this made him feel almost as if he were in one of his libraries back home
In Bologna, Valery was impressed with the Magnani Library, bequeathed in 1781 by the Bolognese ecclesiastic whose name it bore. Though recently founded, it had already acquired three thousand volumes, and the beneficiary of a yearly grant from the city for new acquisitions (Voyages, p. 197). Magnani, a man of great learning, wished that his library be made accessible to his fellow citizens, and above all, that it remain open when the others were closed. Valery regarded this provision most favorably, being aware of the innumerable holidays and religious feast days customarily observed by most Italian libraries. This shortcoming was especially true in the Papal States where, for instance, the Vatican Library was barely open one hundred days the whole year. A case in point was his experience with the Laurenziana Library. One day, during a brief stopover in Florence, he decided to visit this library, but discovered, to his great disappointment, that it was closed because of the feast of Saint Catherine (Voyages, p. 197).
Bologna’s University Library with its eighty thousand volumes and four thousand manuscripts held Valery’s attention for a considerable time. There he met the head librarian, abbot Mezzofanti, who later became “prefect” of the Vatican Library. Mezzofanti was famous throughout Europe for his exceptional memory and for his knowledge of a vast number of languages. Byron, Valery recalls, spoke of him as “a Briareus of languages and a walking library.” Yet, in spite of his prodigious erudition, Mezzofanti was unpretentious and humble.” (Voyages, p. 188).
Concerning Florence’s Laurenziana Library, Valery makes note of the quaint layout of its codices. These were displayed wide open on the reading room desks to which they were fastened by a small chain. Always the true bibliophile, he worried that this arrangement could strain the bindings and mar their freshness and beauty. These bulky volumes tied to chains “bespeak the literary manners of another age,” he lamented. Furthermore, uncomfortable benches were placed between the eighty-eight desks (plutei) for the readers (Voyages, p. 256).
What was special at the Laurenziana was its collection consisting exclusively of manuscripts, of which there were nine thousand total. A work still in progress was Bandini’s catalogue of Greek, Latin, and Italian manuscripts, “a real masterpiece of method, accuracy and criticism.”  The librarian, Signor Furia, declared his commitment to its continuation, and Valery expresses hope that his efforts might equal his predecessor’s. Valery considers of equal importance the catalogues by Assemani and Biscioni of Oriental and Hebrew manuscripts.  He also dwells at length on descriptions of various prized possessions at the Laurenziana, among which are the Medici Virgil of the fifth century, the Pandecta, the famous copy of the Decameron transcribed by Amaretto Mannelli, a copy of Cicero’s Epistolae Familiares in Petrarch’s hand, to mention a few. Among the unpublished manuscripts Valery examined were: Marsilio Ficino’s commentaries on Plato’s Philebo, Plato’s Parmenides, Sophist, Timaeus, Phaedo; the treatises De divino furore, de Virtutibus moralibus, De Quatuor sectis philosophorum; Questions on the Mind; a translation of the hymns of Orpheus and Sayings of Zoroaster; and the Italian version of Dante’s De Monarchia. “Different works, these, proving the fervent activity of the leading literary men of the Renaissance.” (Voyages, p. 257).
The Riccardi Library, which had become city property at the turn of the century in 1811, was founded in1552 byRiccardo Romolo Riccardi,Andrés, Valery points out, speaks of these libraries as separate entities in his Cartas familiares. The Riccardi impressed Valery with its large manuscript collection, and he singles out a ninth century manuscript of Pliny’s Natural History; Caesar’s Commentaries, corrected by Celsus, and numerous unpublished letters by Poggio Bracciolini (Voyages, p. 263). a pupil of the humanist Pietro Vettori. Another Riccardi, the canon Gabriele, considerably enlarged its holdings in the eighteenth century. Juan
The Marucelliana, founded in 1751 and the least ancient of Florence’s public libraries, was considered, at the time of Valery’s writing, a branch of the Laurenziana because it was located nearby and under the same management. Once more Valery has reason to complain about accessibility: this one was open only three days a week, without counting the additional close days observed by Italian libraries in general. Here, the most outstanding collection was the MareMagnum, extremely valuable for purposes of research (Voyages, pp. 262, 263).
Valery also spent time in the Magliabechiana library, whose holdings had been enriched by the annexation of other libraries, namely, Marmi, Gaddi, Biscioni, Palatina, Lami Andrés, were also added to the Magliabechiana. Cocchi, the head librarian, had compiled a catalogue which, though methodical, did not present a very clear arrangement and, therefore, was difficult to consult. On the other hand, a catalogue judged praiseworthy was that of the fifteenth-century editions published by the librarian Ferdinando Fossi assisted by Follini. Among the listed editions, Valery cites the Mayence Bible of 1462, the first Homer printed in Florence in 1488, and Cicero’s Epistolae familiares of 1469, and others.and that of the Abbey of Roccettini of Fiesole. The libraries of Santa Maria Novella and of the Strozzi family, treated as separate entities by
In the Pitti Palace library, which housed the library of Grand Duke
FerdinandIII—a collection of fifteen hundred valuable manuscripts—Valery noted among them the manuscripts of works by Machiavelli, Tasso and Galileo(Voyages, p. 263). 
The Eternal City’s numerous libraries provided still more pleasurable hunting grounds. The famed Vatican library, “la plus ancienne de l’Europe,” contained then 100,000 volumes plus 24,000 manuscripts. Like Andrés, Valery wonders what literary treasures were actually there, given the mystery surrounding the bookshelves (Andres, I, 167). In a reading room almost always empty, he saw the decree of Pope Sixtus V excommunicating those who dared take a single volume from the library without a signed papal authorization, “un règlement,” he remarks, “empreint de l’esprit pontifical romain, et que repousseraient les habitudes littéraires de France.”(Voyages, p. 388).Angelo Mai was the head librarian, and Valery found in him the most capable and interesting guide and also a most obliging person. With Mai, Valery toured hall after hall, stopping to examine the precious autograph manuscript of Petrarch’s Rime, the Divine Comedy in Boccaccio’s hand, and a sketch of the first three cantos of the Gerusalemme, penned by Tasso in his nineteenth year.
The Collegio romano library(Voyages, p. 402). had a considerable collection, but it was not very well arranged, and access was not easy for patrons despite the politeness of its custodians. Unfortunately, it had experienced the loss of eleven thousand volumes
The Minerva Library, also called Casanatense after the Cardinal librarian of the Vatican, contained 4,500 manuscripts; its 120,000 books made it the richest in Rome in printed works. The Dominicans were in charge of the library and granted easy and cordial admittance. Father Magno, who had been the librarian for thirty years, escorted Valery and let him gain access to the numerous books on the Church Index. Two theologians attached to the Casanatense were assigned the task of refuting errors or resolving difficulties in religious matters submitted to them by patrons. This tribunal required no fee for its assistance; nonetheless, it was rarely consulted. Valery observes that “on doit toutefois rendre hommage à l’esprit éclairé et tolérant des théologiens actuels, l’un, le R-P Magno, et l’autre, le R-P Degola.”(Voyages, pp. 415, 416).
At the San Filippo Neri library, Valery could only hastily view a few items because the librarian, Father Conca, had to be summoned from hearing confession and therefore could linger only a few moments with his guest. Valery has lavish praise for the collections of the Chigiana as one of those historical treasures so frequently encountered in Italy, especially in Rome (Voyages, p. 423). At the Barberini library, Valery was pleasantly surprised to behold the autograph manuscripts of Bembo, della Casa, Galileo, Pallavicini and a great number of printed books with marginal notes by eminent writers (Voyages, p. 428). He also visited the Corsini library and that of the Santa Croce monastery(Voyages, p. 408).
In Naples, described as the noisiest city in the world, Valery welcomed the respectful silence of its libraries. The Royal library, located at that time in a main hall of the royal palace, comprised 150,000 volumes and 3,000 manuscripts, whose main provenance was the old Farnese Library (which King Carlos III brought from Rome), the Palatine and Jesuit libraries, part of the library of San Giovanni Carbonara and still others from suppressed monasteries. A committee made annual acquisitions and the library was entitled by law to two copies of every new work publishedin the realm. While Valery was on the site, he learned that the assistant librarian was publishing the catalogue of the fifteenth-century editions. Clients of this library were rather numerous, but many complained, as in other cities, of the difficulty in obtaining books. On the plus side, a room had been set aside for the blind, where personnel provided by the library read to them. Here Valery was reminded once again of Dante, namely Purgatorio, Canto XIII: “Lo mento a guisa d’orbo in su levava.” (Voyages, p. 341).
Valery mentions four additional public Neapolitan libraries: the Brancacciana, founded in 1675 by a legacy of CardinalBrancaccio, was the oldest; the Ministerial, formed in 1807 from the libraries of suppressed monasteries, the City library, and lastly, the University library, also consisting of books from suppressed monasteries. The San Filippo Neri monastery library proved disappointing because its catalogue consisted only of an authors’ list. However Valery was able to admire the celebrated manuscript of Seneca’s tragedies with Zingaro’s brilliant illustrations (Voyages, p. 341).
In the Voyages Valery describes nine Italian universities as they appeared in the early Ottocento.
Valery was impressed by the singular contrast between Pavia’s ancient monuments--the vestiges of the Middle Ages—and the modern, scientific aspect of the university, with its museum of natural history, its departments of experimental philosophy, anatomy, and botanical garden. Fourteen hundred students, “distinguished in appearance and noted for their zeal and ability” constituted the enrolment. Some years earlier, the institution had lost celebrated professors such as Tamburini, Volta, and Scarpa,(Voyages, p. 67 seqq.). —a veritable “brain drain.” However, some prominent men were still teaching there, among them, Configliachi, Brugnatelli, Moretti, Zandrini, Marabelli, Panizza, del Chiappa. Graduation from a “liceo” was a prerequisite for admission to the university. The main departments were three: politics/law, medicine, and philosophy. Valery gives a detailed description of the course offerings, and remarks that their variety and extent disprove the charge of Austrian “obscurantism.” Among courses offered were pedagogy, statistics, and paleography, which, he points out, were not in the French university curricula. Furthermore, faculty salaries had been increased—they were at least as high as those of the professors of the Academy in Paris—and were higher than those granted under French rule
Concerning the university library, Valery reports that an assistant-librarian’s position was vacant in 1826 and was open to competition, as were all posts in public instruction in the Lombardo-Veneto region. Valery approved of this method, at least for posts of secondary importance; however the Italians disapproved of it as “offensive.”
Even after the civil unrest of 1831, the University of Bologna could point with pride to its roster of celebrated professors. Valery mentions Valeriani, Tommasini, Orioli, Mezzofanti, and Schiassi(Voyages, p. 186). . The department of medicine had greater importance than other branches of learning. The faculty salaries were not as good as those of their colleagues at Pavia, yet, though there could have been better remuneration elsewhere, these professors remained loyal to their school and city, “an act of patriotism.”
From Valery’s point of view, the universities of Parma, Pisa and Siena, by comparison, were struggling for survival. The enrolment at Pisa rarely exceeded four hundred. Siena barely averaged three hundred, and had very little to offer its faculty by way of compensation. On the other hand, the university of Perugia, with a small enrolment of three to four hundred, normal in proportion to the city’s population, was one of the best in the Papal States, and ranked just below Rome and Bologna. Its faculty consisted of professors of extraordinary merit, like Vermiglioli, Mezzanotte, Antinori, Bruschi, and Martini. The university’s prized possession was its archeological collection (donated by various citizens) consisting of artifacts excavated in the outlying countryside (Voyages, p. 479).
Valery has words of admiration also for La Sapienza of Rome, which derives its name from the Augustinian quotation “Initium sapientiae timor Dei” inscribed over its entrance. The University consisted of five colleges: theology, law, medicine, philosophy, and philology. Fifty professors made up its faculty, among whom he singles out Morichini, Trasmondi, Matteis, Folchi, and Carpi. Though enrolment statistics were lacking, courses in chemistry, physics, medicine and law seemed to be the most popular (Voyages, p. 436). Valery even managed to sit in on a few lectures.
The University of Genoa had no more than four hundred students, “an inconsiderable number for so populous a town.” Valery also laments the status of the course offerings, which had been reorganized in 1816. The university had faired better under the previous French administration, he says. Now, despite the merit of some of its professors, chiefly Viviani and Mojon, it had lost some of its ancient luster (Voyages, pp. 504, 506).
Of all the institutions Valery visited, the University of Turin stood out as worthy of its ancient celebrity. “À l’entrée de l’Italie, elle pouvait être regardée comme le plus éclatant foyer de lumières de cette docte et spirituelle contrée.”(Voyages, p. 514).The students numbered more than two thousand and several of its professors were in the highest ranks of European learning. Such were Plana, Bridone, Giobert, Cantù, Berson, and abbot Peyron.
In the Austrian dominated provinces of the North, Valery found one of the most efficient systems of public education. Contrary to what the Edinburgh Review had alleged, the Austrian government had not neglected public instruction in its Italian provinces(Voyages, p. 51). To disprove this charge of Austrian obscurantism, Valery states emphatically that, after Scotland, Austria had done the most to encourage public education. Furthermore, it was the expressed desire of the Austrian Emperor that every small town should have its school. The effects of the Austrian educational program were clearly visible in Lombardy, and Valery quotes a sample syllabus to corroborate his assertion.
Elementary instruction in Rome. The schools numbered 372, with a total of 14,000 pupils. District schools (scuole regionali) required a fee of 10 paoli and were run by laymen. Class size was limited to sixty students. If this limit was exceeded, an assistant teacher was pressed into service. Physical punishment, still common in many schools of Europe at that time, existed also in the schools of Rome, where it took the form of the lash. Valery was pleased to learn that some teachers had done away with physical punishment and their schools seemed all the better for it (Voyages, p. 437).
San Nicola a strada Giulia is cited as an excellent model of a “popular school.” There, in the evening, after working hours, eighty tradesmen’s children went to learn the “three R’s” free of charge.
THE PERIODICAL PRESS
In general, the focus of the Voyages is on cultural activities of a higher level: the academies, literary circles and professional journals. Among the latter, Valery remembers the Giornale arcadico, “the indignant champion of classical doctrines,” the Florentine Antologia of Viesseux, “which sought to propagate the new doctrines,” and the Milanese Biblioteca italiana, whose editorial policy was neutral(Voyages, p. 423).
A more comprehensive picture of the output of periodical literature in Italy in those years refers to Naples. Here, though the book trade was not brisk, a man of letters had at his disposal a considerable number of journals dealing with scientific, legal, administrative, and literary subjects. Indeed, the city of Naples could boast of the largest number of such publications in Italy. In 1837, Valery could count a total of nearly two hundred journals in the entire country. The distribution among the Italian cities was as follows: Naples 40, Milan 29, Turin 14, Palermo 13, Venice 12, Rome 10, Trieste 8, Florence 7, Genoa 6, Verona 5, Modena 5, Bologna 5, Messina 4; Siena and Pisa, 3 each. It is apparent that the major concentration was in the cities of the North (Voyages, p. 342).
LITERARY SALONS AND ACADEMIES
For a detailed and interesting description of an Italian literary salon, we can turn to Valery’s account of the Florentine salon of Carlotta Lenzoni Medici in the words of Clifton’s English:
This amiable mistress has one of these Italian drawing rooms that assemble every night the literary men of the town and well-educated people of fashion, and become real academies, without pride, constraint, or pedantry. The imagination moreover is singularly charmed at hearing announced in these saloons the immortal names of Buonarroti, Peruzzi, Alberti and others, borne by men of merit, who in the absence of glory have obtained esteem, and whose family traditions are sometimes worth collecting. In these old and true Italian societies, there are sometimes literary readings totally unexpected, no previous announcement having been given, where one is allowed to be candid. The pastimes, songs, stories, all the intellectual diversions painted by Castiglione in his Cortegiano, and by Bargagli in his Vegghie Sanesi, are still kept up in these parties of hearty amusement and mirthful gaiety. These ladies, so natural and lively, are moreover capable of most gravely discussing questions of ancient or modern literature, the fine arts, or the present interests of civilization, and conversations on these subjects occasionally start up in the midst of these pastimes and are treated in a superior manner. The deep learning and literary talents of the Italian ladies of the Sixteenth Century may still be found among those of the present epoch. Despite my numberless involuntary omissions, I have already had the pleasure of mentioning the names of some few, and I hope henceforth to do them less wrong. Florence has produced and possesses some of the most distinguished. Signora Carniani Malvezzi, married at Bologna, a good poetess and able Latinist, has translated some of the philosophical and political works of Cicero with great felicity, and her translation of the Republica is even superior to that of PrinceOdescalchi; in a different kind, her translation in verse of Pope’s Rape of the Lock is esteemed for its elegance and harmony; this lady is still engaged in composing an epic poem on the expulsion of the duke of Athens from Florence, and the cantos already published have made the public anxious for the rest. Signora Fantastici Sulgheri Marchesini, improvisatrice of Florence, justly celebrated, has successfully translated parts of Bion and Anacreon. Independently of the Italian women noted for their writings, there is a multitude of other merely lovers of learning, who relish and duly appreciate good works, are conversant with modern and ancient languages, have even followed scientific lectures, and with all this learning, have not the slightest trace of presumption, vanity, or affectation; in fine, they have that quiet sterling merit spoken of by la Bruyère, “qu’elles ne peuvent couvrir de toute leur modestie.” (Historical Voyages, p. 287).
This introduction to the activities of an Italian literary salon of the period is both an appraisal of, and a tribute to the culture of Italian women, for whom Valery always has words of respect and reverence. As a habitué of the most distinguished Parisian salons of his day, Valery was qualified by experience to judge and compare this aspect of culture.
Valery mentions also the names of twenty Italian academies and several learned societies. These intellectual centers showed definite signs of regeneration after a period of decline due to pedantry and preciosity that prevailed in the previous century. These societies appeared to have resurrected their original ideals and to be rapidly regaining their prestige with beneficial effects for Italian culture in general. Although the Crusca academy often seemed to be oppressive in linguistic legislation, it also had its merits. “L’Académie de la Crusca, la plus ancienne de ce genre, tribunal grammatical qui a censuré le Tasse, comme l’Académie Française Corneille, l’objet comme celle-ci d’éternelles plaisanteries, et cependant toujours et justement honorée. »(Voyages, p. 263). The true motive behind the Crusca’s linguistic rulings, Valery explains, is not unwarranted dictatorship, but the preservation of the purity of the Tuscan language. This concern for linguistic purity he takes up again (as seen above) in connection with abbé Cesari.
Valery evinces considerable enthusiasm for the Gabinetto Vieusseux, which he visited in Florence. It did not escape him that this circle was supplied with all the leading European literary journals, periodicals and magazines. He points out that the availability of this varied and disparate reading material was bound to serve as further enlightenment: “Un tel établissement, au centre de l’Italie, doit finir par avoir une action puissante sure le perfectionnement, les progrès, la civilisation de ce pays, et il semble presqu’une institution.”(Voyages, p. 286). His Italian contemporaries, had learned to appreciate the advantages to be derived from such an institution. Like the Gabinetto Vieusseux, other learned societies, whose function was the search for truth for the public good, were gradually being formed with the purpose of replacing the old and useless academies devoted to versification and pedantry, now fading away. It was not unusual to find in smaller localities men busy with the study of the sciences, and who modestly held meetings without clamoring for the title of “academicians.” From all these observations, Valery appears to have well understood the movement that was afoot in Italy—this being a sincere revival of culture and not a concern with mere externals devoid of substance.
Other statements by Valery concerning literary trends in general may be regarded as reflecting his own conservatism, yet correct in their correspondence to the facts he beheld. In this respect, his comparison of the French and Italian literary scenes is interesting. In France, the recent literature was just so much trash, he opines. The classical, termed by him “haute littérature,” had been discarded, since those most capable of pursuing it had turned to a genre more at the level of declining intellects. Money had become the sole incentive, and thus writings had become easy, fantastic, monstrous and corrupting. In Italy instead, writers persisted in their attachment to the “haute littérature.” Practicioners of this type of literature were Monti, Parini, and Manzoni. Unfortunately, their works were poorly rewarded by their publishers(Curiosités, pp. 326, 327).
Ader, M. Review of Études morales, politiques et littéraires. Le Mercure du XIX Siècle, V (1824), 247.
Andrés, Juan. Cartas familiares del Abate a su hermano D. Carlos Andrés dándole noticia del viage que hizo a varias ciudades de Italia en el año 1785 publicadas por el mismo D. Carlos. Madrid: N.N. 1790-93.
Antonelli, Giuseppe. Sopra la Biblioteca Pubblica di Ferrara, osservazioni del Cav. Valery, trad. da don Giuseppe Antonelli, con annotazioni bibliografiche. Ferrara: Bresciani, 1838.
Arrigon, L. J. Les Années romantiques de Balzac, d’après des documents nouveaux et inédits. Paris : Perrin, 1927.
Avenel. « Nécrologie de M. Valery, » Moniteur Universel. Paris: Dimanche 18 Juillet 1847, p. 2120.
Baschet, Robert. E. J. Delécluze : Carnet de route d’Italie. Paris: Boivin, 1942.
Bergkamp, J. U. Dom Jean Mabillon and the Benedictine Historical School of St-Maur. Washington: Catholic University of America, 1927.
Berthier, Alfred. Xavier de Maistre. Paris: Vitte, 1918.
Broglie, César Paul Emmanuel de. Mabillon et la société de l’abbaye de Saint-Germain des Prés à la fin du dix- septième siècle. Paris: Plon, Nourrit et Cie, 1888. 2 vols.
Counson, Albert. Dante en France. Paris: Fontemoing, 1906.
«Curiosités et anecdotes italiennes,» «La Science de la vie,» La Revue Indépendante, VII (10 Avril 1843), 475.
Delécluze, Étienne Jean. Souvenirs de soixante années. Paris: Lévy, 1862.
Deries, Léon. Un moine et un savant : dom Jean Mabillon. Vienne, France : Abbaye Saint-Martin de Ligrège, 1932.
«Études morales, politiques et littéraires,» Revue Encyclopédique, XX (Oct. 1823), 644.
Frati, Carlo. Dizionario bio-bibliografico dei bibliotecari e bibliofili italiani. Firenze: Leo S. Olschki, 1933.
Gregorovius, Ferdinand. Lucretia Borgia. New York: Appleton & Co., 1903.
J. H. R. P. Review of «Curiosités et anecdotes italiennes.» Bibliographie Catholique, I (1842), 367.
Il Primo secolo della R. Accademia delle Scienze di Torino, notizie storiche e bibliografiche 1783-1883. Torino:
L. D. L. Review of La Science de la vie. Bibliographie Catholique, III (1843), 40.
Louandre, Charles. «Mabillon, Les Bénédictins français et la cour de Rome au XVII siècle.» La Revue des Deux Mondes, XVII (Janv. 1847), 325.
Maraggi, J. B. «Les Sources de Colomba.» Revue de Paris, (15 Juillet 1928), 446.
Maystre, Henri. Chapitre inédit d’histoire littéraire et bibliographique de X. de Maistre. Genève : C. Eggimann et Cie., 1895.
Merlant, Joachim. Le roman personnel de Rousseau à Fromentin. Paris : Hachette, 1905.
Patin, H. Review of «Sainte-Périne.” Revue Encyclopédique, XXXI (Août 1826), 506.
Review of «Correspondance de Mabillon et Montfaucon.» Archivio Storico Italiano, I serie, appendice Tomo VIII, Firenze : Vieusseux, 1850, p. 489.
Robiquet, François Guillaume. Recherches historiques et statistiques sur la Corse. Paris : chez le frère de l’auteur et Rennes : Duchesnes, .
Séché, Léon. Les amitiés de Lamartine. Ire série. Paris : Mercure de France, 1911.
Soumet, Alexandre. Review of «Études morales, politiques et littéraires.» La Muse Française 1823-1824. Édition critique par Jules Marsan. I, 103.
Trahard, Pierre. La Jeunesse de Prosper Mérimée, 1803-1834. Thèse pour le doctorat. Paris : Champion, 1925. 2 vols.
Trompeo, Pietro Paolo. Nell’Italia romantica, sulle orme di Stendhal. Roma: Leonardo da Vinci, 1924.
Villat, Louis. Voyages en Corse. Besançon : Millot, 1924.
«Voyages historiques et littéraires et artistiques en Italie,» Reviewed in L’Antologia, XLIV c (1832), 13. Also XLVII (1832), b 19.
Below are editions of Valery’s printed works listed online by various major libraries. Multiple locations of the same edition are represented by the symbol in parenthesis. Bibliothèque Nationale Paris (BNP), British Library (BL), Harvard University library (Har), New York Public Library (NYP), Library of Congress (LOC), Princeton University Library (PUL), Italian National Library System (INLS)
Études morales, politiques et littéraires, ou Recherche de la vérité par les faits, par M. Valery. Paris : chez Ladvocat, 1823. In-8, II-332 p. BNP 2copies
Études morales, politiques et littéraires, ou Recherche des vérités par les faits, par M. Valery. Paris: chez Ladvocat, 1824 2e éd. In-8, II-332 p. BNP
Sainte-Périne, souvenirs contemporains, par M. Valery. Paris: Ponthieu, 1826. In-12, XI-256 p. BNP
Sainte-Périne, souvenirs contemporains, par M. Valery. Paris : Barba, 1827 LOC.
Voyages historiques et littéraires en Italie pendant les années 1826, 1827 et 1828, ou l'Indicateur italien, par M. Valery. À Paris : chez Le Normant, 1831-1833. 5 vol. in-8. BNP has 10 copies
Note(s): Au vol. IV, l'adresse devient ″chez Vve Le Normant″ BNP PUL
Voyages historiques et littéraires en Italie pendant les années 1826, 1827 et 1828, ou l'Indicateur italien, par M. Valery. À Paris : chez Le Normant, 1831-1833. 2 vols HAR
Voyages historiques et littéraires en Italie pendant les années 1826, 1827 et 1828, ou l'Indicateur italien par M. Valery. Bruxelles : L. Hauman, 1835. 606 p.; Pet. in-4 . BNP has 3 copies BL HAR LOC NYP
Voyages historiques, littéraires et artistiques en Italie, guide raisonné et complet du voyageur et de l'artiste. 2e édition entièrement revue, corrigée et augmentée d’un grand nombre de descriptions de lieux, monuments, tableaux, etc. avec une table générale analytique et une belle carte routière de l’Italie par M. Valery. Paris: A. André, 1838. 3 vol. in-8 ° BL HAR BNP has 4 copies
Voyages historiques, littéraires et artistiques en Italie, guide raisonné et complet du voyageur et de l'artiste. 2e édition... augmentée... par M. Valery. Paris : Baudry, 1838. 3 vol. in-8, carte colorée au vol. III. BNP has 3 copies
[Valery] Sopra la Biblioteca pubblica di Ferrara, osservazioni del cav. Valery, tr. da Giuseppe Antonelli. Ferrara: Bresciani . PUL
Voyages historiques et littéraires en Italie 3 éd. rev., cor. et complétée d’après ouvrages récents de l’auteur, par M Valery. Bruxelles : L. Hauman et cie., 1842. 2 p. l. 616 p. 26 cm. LOC Unauthorized ed.
Voyages historiques et littéraires en Italie 3 éd. rev., cor. et complétée d’après ouvrages récents de l’auteur, par M Valery. Bruxelles : Société Belge de librairie, 1842. 616 p. 26 cm. INLS Unauthorized ed. (same as preceding edition).
Voyages historiques et littéraires en Italie 3 éd. rev., cor. et complétée d’après ouvrages récents de l’auteur, par M Valery. Bruxelles : L. Hauman et cie., 1843. 1 p. l. 616 p. 25 cm. HAR INLS Unauthorized ed
Voyages historiques et littéraires en Italie 3 éd. rev., cor. et complétée d’après ouvrages récents de l’auteur, par M Valery. Bruxelles : L. Hauman et cie., 1844. 1 p. l. 616 p. 25 cm. INLS Unauthorized ed.
Historical, literary and artistical travels in Italy, a complete and methodical guide for travellers and artists, by M. Valery... Translated with special approbation of the author, from the 2d corrected. and improved edition by C.E. Clifton with a copious index and a road map of Italy. Paris: Baudry, 1839.
viii, 781 p. fold map 19 cm LOC NYP HAR BNP
Historical, literary and artistical travels in Italy, a complete and methodical guide for travellers and artists, by M. Valery... Translated with special approbation of the author, from the 2d corrected. and improved edition by C.E. Clifton with a copious index and a road map of Italy. Paris: Baudry, 1842.
viii, 781 p. fold map 19 cm PUL
Historical, literary and artistical travels in Italy, a complete and methodical guide for travellers and artists, by M. Valery... Translated... from the 2nd... edition by C. E. Clifton... Paris: Baudry, 1852.
In-12, III-784 p., fig., carte coloriée, couv. ill. BNP
Autre(s) auteur(s) : Clifton, C. Ebenezer. Traducteur
L’Italie confortable, manuel du touriste ; appendice aux Voyages historiques, littéraires et artistiques en Italie. Paris et Leipzig : J. Renouard et Cie., [1841 ?]. Viii, 368 p 18 cm. LOC INLS
L'Italie confortable : manuel du touriste, appendice aux voyages historiques, littéraires et artistiques en Italie / par M. Valéry...Paris: J. Renouard, [184?]. VIII-368 p. in-12 BNP
Note(s) : Postérieur à 1840, d'après les dates citées dans l'ouvrage
L’Italie confortable, manuel du touriste ; appendice aux Voyages historiques, littéraires et artistiques en Italie. Bruxelles : Société typographique belge A. Wahlen et Compagnie, [184?]. Viii, 368 p 18 cm. INLS Unauthorized ed.
L’ltalie confortable, manuel du touriste, appendice aux Voyages historiques en Italie. Par M. Valery..] Bruxelles, [1840?]. 12o. BL Unauthorized ed.
L’Italie confortable, manuel du touriste, appendice aux Voyages historiques en Italie. Par M. Valery. [Another edition.] Paris et Leipzig; Versailles [printed, 1841]. 8o. BL
Italy and its conforts, manual of tourists, by Valery. London: Longman, Orme, Brown, Green and Longman, (s. d.). In-12, V-306 p., fig. au titre, carte BNP
Curiosités et anecdotes italiennes, par M. Valery. Paris: Amyot, 1842. In-8, VII-452 p. BNP HAR NYP LOC
Curiosités et anecdotes italiennes, par M. Valery. Bruxelles: Société belge de librairie, 1843.
In-8, VII-452 p. PUL Unauthorized ed.
Voyages en Corse, à l'île d'Elbe et en Sardaigne par M. Valery…Paris: L. Bourgeois-Maze, 1837-1838
2 vol. in-8 BNP has 4 copies HAR 2 NYP
Voyages en Corse, à l'île d'Elbe et en Sardaigne par M. Valery…Bruxelles, Société belge de librairie, 1838. 2 v 16 cm. HAR Unauthorized ed.
La Science de la vie, ou Principes de conduite religieuse, morale et politique, extraits et traduits d'auteurs italiens, par M. Valery. Paris: Amyot, 1842. In-8, VIII-331 p. BNP Owns 2 copies & 1 elect.copy
Correspondance inédite de Mabillon et de Montfaucon avec l'Italie : contenant un grand nombre de faits sur l'histoire religieuse et littéraire du 17e siècle ; suivie des Lettres inédites du P. Quesnel à Magliabechi, bibliothécaire du grand-duc de Toscane Come III, et au cardinal Noris accompagnée de notices, d'éclaircissements, et d'une table analytique par M. Valéry. Paris : J. Labitte, 1846. 3 vol. ; in-8 BNP BL
Note(s) : La majorité du texte est en français, mais certaines lettres sont en italien et d'autres en latin
Autre(s) auteur(s) : Montfaucon, Bernard de (1655-1741). Auteur du texte Valery, Antoine-Claude
Auteur(s) : Quesnel, Pasquier (1634-1719)
Titre(s) : Lettres inédites du P. Quesnel à Magliabechi, bibliothécaire du grand-duc de Toscane Come III, et au cardinal Noris.
Other Spurious Editions
Voyage en Suisse par M. Valery pour servir d’introduction aux Voyages en Italie, par le même auteur ; avec un plan de la vallée de Chamounix. Bruxelles, Société belge de librairie, Hauman et cie. 1842.
188p  folded leaf of plates ; map ; 17 cm. HAR Unauthorized ed.
Venise et ses environs, par Valery. Bruxelles, Société belge de librairie, 1842. 234 p.  fold. leaf of plates ; plan ; 17 cm. HAR Unauthorized ed.
Souvenirs et portraits dela société italienne.
Notes : cut from Revue de Paris : Paris, 28 novembre 1841, tome 35, pp  – 271. Extracts from his Curiosités et anecdotes. HAR
Voyages en Italie [, par M. Valery]. [Tome Ier.] [Texte imprimé]. Paris : impr. de J. Pinard, (s. d.)
In-8, 478 p. BNP Unauthorized ed.
 The bibliography at the end of this study contains the full titles of works mentioned here.
 The only full-length account of Valery’s life is the obituary by Avenel, Moniteur Universel, dimanche, 18 juillet, 1847, p. 2120. Avenel, Valery’s personal friend, had known him since the publication of his first work.
 Alexandre Dumas père, Mémoires (New York : Bureau du Courier des États-unis, 1852), II, 137 : « Valery était bibliothécaire comme Nodier ; il avait six pieds un pouce hauteur…Au reste, susceptible au plus haut degré et ne pouvant digérer les plaisanteries, si inoffensives qu’elles fussent, sur sa grande taille. » Additional details are found in L .J. Arrigon, Les Années romantiques de Balzac (Paris : Perrin, 1927), p. 257 : « Au cours de la soirée, Valery, bibliothécaire des palais de Versailles et de Trianon, célèbre pour sa haute taille…ouvre un manuscrit et s’apprête à en donner lecture…c’est le cinquième tome de ses Voyages historiques …mais, contraste singulier, ce géant a une voix si douce, si faible, qu’on l’entend à peine… »
 Claude-Jean-Baptiste Hochet was born in Paris in 1772. From the start, he endorsed the principles of the revolution of 1789, but he deplored its excesses and crimes. After holding various important government posts, in 1815 he became secretary general of the Conseil d’État. After forty-five years of distinguished service, in 1839 he retired from this position, in which he was succeeded by a son. (based on « Esquisse historique sur M. Hochet » by Tisseron and de Quincy in Société des études staëliennes, publications en ligne).
 Étienne Jean Delécluze, Souvenirs de soixante années (Paris: Lévy, 1862), p. 277. For more on Delécluze, see section III.
 Madame de Duras (Claire de Dufort, duchesse de Duras) 1777-1828, author of the novel Édouard. (1911 Encyclopedia). Stéphanie Félicité Ducrest de St-Albin, comtesse de Genlis (1746-1830). French writer and educator. Wrote four volumes of plays for children and close to 100 volumes of historical romances. “La Comtesse Stéphanie Félicité Du Crest de Saint Aubin de Genlis est une femme de lettres et une harpiste qui mit son salon au service de la musique. Orpheline, elle avait été recueillie par le Fermier Général Le Riche de La Poupelinière. Son salon, plutôt dédié à la pratique de la harpe (son instrument de prédilection, pour lequel elle écrivit une méthode), offrait aussi de la musique de chambre. » (Webmaster Kitweb). Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc (1814-1879), French architect, foremost exponent of Gothic revival in France. Famous for restorations of Notre Dame and the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris and cathedrals of Amiens and Laon. Author of standard works on medieval architecture (Columbia Viking Desk Encyclopedia, II, 1404). Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863), leading French romantic painter. As a colorist he ranks among the great French painters. (The Columbia Viking Desk Encyclopedia I, 349, 1960 rev. edition). Sophie-Jeanne Soymonof Swetchine (Moscow 1782-Paris 1857), Russian aristocrat, married general Swetchine, with whom she moved to Paris at the beginning of the Restoration. Held a literary salon, where she saw all the distinguished men of the period, Chateaubriand, Cousin, Tocqueville, etc. Left writings in French (Catholic Encyclopedia online).
 Information about these men will be found in subsequent sections with the following exception: Victor Jacquemont b. 1801. A gifted naturalist, conversant with medicine, geology, botany and literature. A friend and correspondent of Stendhal and Prosper Mérimée; had close ties with the chief scholars and most brilliant writers of his day. His botanical interests took him from France to Brazil, South Africa, Haiti, Canada, United States and India. He met with an untimely death at age 31 on an expedition to the Himalayas.”
 Xavier De Maistre’s works edited by Valery may have appeared collected in one volume, since later editions are titled: Expédition nocturne autour de ma chambre. Par l’auteur du Voyage autour de ma chambre. Paris : Dondet-Dupré père et fils. Ponthieu libraire, 1825. (The Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale of Rome catalog). La jeune sibérienne [Les prisonniers du Caucase]. Paris : Didier & Méricant. [18.. ?], New York Public Library catalog. Les Prisonniers du Caucase. La Jeune Libérienne [sic]. Par l’auteur du Lépreux de la cité d’Aoste [i.e. Xavier de Maistre], etc. Paris, 1825, British Library. All libraries list many editions or reprints in French, English and Italian. Thus the novel must have been considered a viable product in spite of the negative assessment by de Maistre’s nephew.
 A detailed account of Valery’s role in editing these writings is in Alfred Berthier, Xavier de Maistre (Paris: Vitte, 1918), pp. 130-134. See also Pietro Paolo Trompeo, Nell’Italia romantica (Roma: Leonardo da Vinci, 1925), p. 175, and Léon Séché, Les Amitiés de Lamartine, Ire série, (Paris: Mercure de France, 1911), pp. 75, 76.
 Pierre Trahard, La Jeunesse de Prosper Mérimée (Paris: Champion, 1925), I, 239.
 Ibid., p. 230, Trahard speaks of “la conscience littéraire du classique Valery.”
 Joachim Merlant, Le Roman personnel (Paris: Hachette, 1905), p. 312. Édouard is a novel by Madame de Duras (full name : Claire de Dufort, duchesse de Duras) 1777-1828. (1911 Encyclopedia), The Moine is by Mme de Rauzan, of whom we have scant information. She probably belonged to the aristocratic de Rauzan family, noted for its wines, as attested by Thomas Jefferson.
 Revue Encyclopédique, XXXI, août 1826, p. 506.
Reference is to the first edition of the Voyages historiques, littéraires et artistiques en Italie (Paris: Lenormant, 1831-1833). All of Valery’s works will be discussed in a subsequent section.
For Valery’s articles on «La Société d’agriculture de Turin» and «Nécrologie de Vincenzo Berni degli Antoni» see Revue Encyclopédique, juillet-septembre 1828, XXXVIII, p. 256 sqq.
Voyages en Corse, à l’Île d’Elbe et en Sardaigne, (Paris: L. Bourgeois-Maze, 1837), préface, I., pp. viii and ix.
Il Primo secolo della Reale Accademia delle scienze di Torino: Notizie storiche e bibliografiche 1783-1883 (Torino: Paravia, 1883), p. 230.
 In Revue des Deux Mondes, nouv. série (Janvier 1847), p. 325 a reviewer stated: “Cette correspondance longtemps ignorée, a étée enfin tirée de l’oubli, et mise en lumière, grâce aux investigations de M. Valery, le savant bibliothécaire de Versailles. »
 In Curiosités, p. 371 Valery announced as follows: “La description détaillée du casin de Sainte Lucie se trouvera dans le Voyage en Sicile, en Calabre, en Pouille et a Bénévent.”
 François-RenéFrench author, active in politics until 1830. Wrote Génie du Christianisme (1802). A founder of French Romanticism, noted for his rich, noble and poetic style., vicomte de Chateaubriand (1768-1848).
 Alessandro FarneseFaught at Lepanto (1571). In 1590 led an army to support the League against Henry IV of France. Ambrogio Spinola (1569-1630). Spanish general, born in Italy of a noble Genoese family. In 1602 he entered the service of Spain and in 1604 took Ostend from Maurice of Nassau. Philip IV appointed him in 1629 governor of Milan. Ottavio Piccolomini (1599-1656). Italian general in the Imperial service during the Thirty Years War. Raimondo Montecuccoli (1609-1681). Italian field marshal in the Imperial service. Fought in the Thirty Years War; defeated the Turks at Szent-Gotthard, Hungary, 1664. Massena was one of Napoleon’s best field marshals. (1545-1592). Duke of Parma and Piacenza.
 La Muse Française, 1824-1824, Édition critique par Jules Marsan, I, 103. See reviews also in Le Mercure du XIX Siècle, V (1824), 247; La Revue Encyclopédique, XXIII (Juillet 1824), 103.
 See Joachim Merlant, Le Roman personnel (Paris: Hachette, 1905), p. 312.
 Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve (1804-1869). Major French literary historian and critic of the 19th century. See his criticism in Causeries du lundi.
.See the Revue Encyclopédique, XXXI (Août, 1826), 507.
 Les Curiosités, p. vii: “Le public européen, qu’on me permette de le dire, auquel deux éditions françaises, une traduction anglaise, et d’énormes contrefaçons belges ont fait connaître mes Voyages…»
 Valery, Historical, Literary and Artistical Travels in Italy. English version by C. E. Clifton (Paris: Baudry, 1839). Valery mentions Clifton as the authorized translator of the Voyages in L’Italie confortable, p. viii.
 Joseph Jerôme Lefrançais de LalandePrimarily remembered as an astronomer and teacher. Memoirs of his travels are his Journal d’un voyage en Angleterre, 1763, and Voyage d’un François en Italie, 1769 (records travels in 1765-1766).. (1732-1807).
 Luigi Lanzi (1732-1810). Distinguished classicist and philologist. Wrote Storia pittorica dell’Italia.
Was also president of the Crusca academy.
 Leopoldo Cicognara (1767-1834). Politician, author, and collector of Italian antiquities. Celebrated for his Storia della scultura (Venice, 1813-1818), in 3 vols; and Catalogo ragionato dei libri d’arte, (Pisa, 1821).
 Antoine Chrysostome Quatremère de QuincyFrench politician and art critic. Archeologist and superintendent of arts and public monuments (1816); editor of the Dictionary of Architecture (1795-1825). (1755-1849).
 Hereafter the chronological order of presentation has been disregarded because of the close relation of L’Italie confortable with Voyages.
 Hereafter cited as Voyages en Corse.
 Antonio Pietro FilippiniLocal historian, author of De Rebus Corsicis. (1529-1594), historian and chronicler, author of La Historia de Corsica. Pietro Cirneo, a.k.a. Petrus Cyrnaeus (Corsica 1447-1506).
Before his trip to Corsica in 1839, Mérimée knew about the island only from Valery’s work. Cf. Pierre Trahard, La Jeunesse de Prosper Mérimée (Paris: Champion, 1828), III, 122-133.
François Robiquet, Recherches Historiques et Statistiques sur la Corse, Paris, 1835, réédition librairie Benelli, Paris, 1983 (the subtitle adds : ancien Ingénieur en chef des ponts et chaussées, Paris).
See Revue des Deux Mondes, XII (15 octobre 1837), 255.
 Jacopo Passavanti (1302-1357). Dominican friar; taught philosophy at Pisa and theology at Siena. Author of Specchio della vera penitenza and Lenten sermons. Luigi Cornaro (1457-1566). Venetian nobleman. After a severe illness, he began a regimen to lose weight. At age eighty-three he wrote La vita sobria on temperance and sobriety. Matteo Palmieri (1406-1475). Author of works in Latin and Italian. A history, Annali fiorentini; Della vita civile, a dialog with Angolo Pandolfini and others. His La città di vita was condemned by the Church, because of its Neoplatonic elements.
 Antonio Cesari (1760-1828). Respected scholar and philologist; as a language purist, advocated Trecentisti prose writers as models. Faught against foreign neologisms, especially Gallicisms. Vincenzo Monti (1754-1828). Italian poet known chiefly for his epic Bassvilliana (1793) and translations from Homer. Ippolito Pindemonte (1753-1828). His admiration of and debt to the classics are evidenced by his translation of the Odyssey. He was also open to the modern literatures of England, France, and Germany. Author of tragedies, poems, essays, novellas. Adapted into Italian the English “graveyard” poetry in the tradition of Pope and Gray. Silvio Pellico (1789-1854). Author of dramatic poetry (see his Francesca da Rimini, 1815) and Le mie prigioni (1832) a moving account of his experience as a political prisoner of the Austrians.
 Carlo Frati, Dizionario bio-bibliografico dei bibliotecari e bibliofili italiani (Dal secolo XIV al XIX), raccolto e pubblicato da Albano Sorbelli (Firenze: Leo S. Olschki, 1933).
 Ireneo Affò (1741-1797), Franciscan friar; teacher, later head-librarian of the Palatina Library of Parma. Published several scholarly works, dealing chiefly with local history. Bartolomeo Gamba (1776-1841), a scholar and bibliographer. Author of Serie di testi di lingua e di altre opere importanti nella italiana letteratura scritte dal secolo XIV al XIX. Venezia, 1839. Giuseppe Mezzofanti (1774-1849) was an Italian cardinal and linguist. It is believed he spoke 38 languages and 50 dialects fluently. He could speak many other languages with less fluency. In 1797 he became professor of Oriental languages and Greek at the University of Bologna. In 1803 he was appointed assistant librarian of the University of Bologna. In 1833, he succeeded Angelo Mai as Custodian-in-Chief of the Vatican Library, and in 1838 was made a cardinal. (Source: the public domain 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica). Amedeo Peyron (1785-1870), professor of Oriental languages at the University of Turin. Jean Mabillon (1632-1707), French scholar and Benedictine monk. His De re diplomatica first used the critical method in authenticating douments (Source: Columbia Viking Desk Encyclopedia).
Les curiosités, p. 229: “Le premier, peut-être, des voyageurs d’Italie, j’ai révélé l’existence au fond d’un portefeuille de la bibliothèque Ambrosienne de Milan, les dix lettres de Lucrèce Borgia à Bembo…À la suite de ces lettres est une pièce de vers espagnols de celui-ci, qui respire le platonisme le plus exalté, le plus pur. La réponse de la dame est beaucoup plus nette, et elle l’accompagne d’une boucle de ses blonds cheveux, que refusent aujourd’hui de montrer et que nient les custodes de l’Ambrosienne, depuis mon indiscrète indication.» Referring to this collection, Ferdinand Gregorovius, in his Lucretia Borgia (New York : Appleton & Co., 1903), p. 306 mentions only 9 letters. When Gregorovius wrote, the letters and the lock of hair were “freely examined by everyone who visits the famous library.”
 Le Correspondant, 25 Sept. 1847, p. 837.
 Correspondance inédite, p. v.
 The first unit of the Nazionale library was the private library of Antonio Magliabechi donated the city of Florence. It opened its doors to the public in 1747 under the direction of Giovanni Targioni Tozzetti. Further additions came from the estates of other scholars and the acquisition of private libraries. In 1774 it received part of Antonio Cocchi’s library and in 1783 the Accademia della Crusca holdings. In 1860 the Palatina dei Lorena library was incorporated in the Magliabechiana, which in 1885 became the Biblioteca Nazionale. For more detailed information about Magliabechi, see section IV. Ludovico Sergardi (1660-1726), an Italian satirist who in his Satire and Epistole attacked customs of the day, the clergy, and other poets. Erasmo Gattola, a Benedectine at Montecassino. Expert in paleography, was curator of manuscript archives of Cassino. Corresponded with Muratori, Bacchini, Fontanini, Monfaucon, Mabillon, etc. In 1734 published the Placito di Capua, dating back to 960, considered the first official document containing an entire statement in the Italian vernacular, which he had discovered in the Montecassino archives. Benedetto Bacchini (1651-1721). A scholar of wide interdisciplinary interests, including philosophy, theology, history, music, anatomy, and math. Was Muratori’s teacher. Was in contact with the major scholars of his day. Founded the literary journal Giornale dei letterati d’Italia.Cosimo III de' Medici (1642–1723), grand duke of Tuscany (1670–1723); son and successor of Ferdinand II de' Medici. During his long reign the government of Tuscany degenerated into bigoted and corrupt despotism. His son and successor, Gian Gastone de' Medici, was the last of the family to rule Tuscany.
 The third volume of the Correspondance, like the rest of Valery’s works, has an excellent index of names with biographical notes and historical data. These methodical indices did not escape the eye of reviewers who recognized their importance and found them superior to similar compilations by others.
 Among the more recent works on Mabillon, the following have utilized Valery’s work extensively: Léon Deries, Un moine et un savant, Dom Jean Mabillon (Vienne: Abbaye Saint-Martin de Ligrège, 1932); J.U. Bergkamp: Dom Jean Mabillon and the Benedictine Historical School of St. Maur (Catholic University, 1927); and E. De Broglie, Mabillon et la société de l’abbaye de St-Germain-des-Prés (Paris: Plon, 1888).
 Archivio Storico ItalianoCf. also Revue des Deux Mondes, nouvelle série, (1 janvier, 1847), XVIII, 325 ; Le Correspondant (25 Sept. 1847), p. 837., appendice, tomo V, p. 254.
 Saverio BettinelliIn his “Lettere virgiliane” he criticized Dante, claiming his Commedia was obscure and coarse. He also criticized the poetic works of Foscolo and Alfieri. (1718-1808), taught at Brescia, Bologna,Venezia and Parma.
 Etienne-Jean Delécluze, (1781-1863). Painter and art critic. Was Louis David’s pupil. Charles Labitte (1816-1845). A printer and bookseller. Wrote Dante Alighieri: la Divine Comédie. Paris, Charpentier, . Félicité Robert de Lamennais, (1782-1854). French priest. Strongly condemned Gallicanism. The Revolution of 1848 had his sympathies. After 1851 occupied himself chiefly with the translation of Dante until his death in 1854. Antoine Frédéric Ozanam (1813-1853). French scholar, leader of Catholic social thought; founder of St. Vincent de Paul Society (1833). Wrote notable works on early mediaeval history, literature and thought. Had influence in Germany and Italy.
 Cola di Rienzo (1313-1354). A Roman popular leader, self-proclaimed tribune of the sacred Roman republic. Dreamed of forming a united state under Rome. His violent and tyrannical rule led to his murder.
 Antonio Marsand (1765-1842), born in Genoa of Swiss parentage, was a prominent Petrarch scholar. Marsand, of French extractio (orignal name, Marchand) tought economics at the University of Padua. A bibliophile and Petrarch scholar, in 1826 he published a catolog of his Petrach collection, later sold by him to King Charles. Cf. C. Frati, Dizionario bio-bibliografico dei bibliotecari e bibliofili italiani, Firenze, 1933, pp. 335-336.
 Louis Bourdaloue (1632-1704). Often described as “king of preachers and the preacher of Kings.” Noted for his eloquence like his contemporary Bossuet. Authored spiritual exercises, sermons, oraisons funèbres.
 Pierre-Louis Ginguené (1748-1815). French author. Wrote criticism for Mercure de France. His chief work is the Histoire littéraire d’Italie (in 14 volumes), 1811-1835. In the composition of this history he was guided for the most part by Tiraboschi.
 Jacques-Auguste de Thou (1553-1617). French historian. Accompanied the ambassador Paul de Foix to Italy (1572-76). An eminent Latinist, De Thou published several collections of Latin poems, but his fame rests chiefly on his Historiae written in Latin.
This correspondent could not be identified.
 Luca Scalabrino. Tasso’s correspondent and, according to recent research, his lover.
 Fracastoro, GirolamoIn his poem, De Morbo Gallico, the heroine, Syphilis, (hence the name of the disease) contracts VD and dies. (1483-1553). Italian physician, poet, Latinist.
 Francesco Redi (1626?-1698?). Italian naturalist, poet and court physician to the dukes of Tuscany. His chief poetical work was il Bacco in Toscana, 1685. Gabriello Chiabrera (1552-1638). Man of letters; attempted epics, which were failures; but shows a delicate touch and fine taste in some of his lyric poetry. Carlo Frugoni (1692-1768). Was considered the best representative of the Arcadia movement. He introduced free verse into Italian lyric poetry. Alessandro Guidi (1650-1712); Italian poet, member of Arcadia. Reformed the traditional stanza giving it an arbitrary number of lines.
 Pietro Metastasio (1698-1782). Italian author of melodramas used as librettos by many composers. Was court poet at Vienna. Exercised much influence on 18th -century opera.
 Ludovico Antonio Muratori (1672-1750); a major Italian research scholar and bibliographer; edited collections of historical documents. Especially noteworthy his Rerum italicarum scriptores and Antiquitates Italicae medii aevi.
 Jules Michelet (1798-1874), director of the history section of French National Archives (1831), held the chair of historical studies at the Collège de France (1838). In addition to his several historical publications, he is noted for important translations, among which was Vico’s Scienza nuova. Pierre-Simon Ballanche (1776-1847), French philosopher; elected to the Académie française in 1842; a frequenter of Mme Récamier’s salon. He is regarded as the precursor of both liberal Catholicism and romanticism. (Source: The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Copyright © 2003 Columbia University Press).
 Francesco Algarotti (1712 -1764). A product of the Enlightenment, his interest lay mainly in science, philosophy and mathematics. Was a friend of Voltaire and Maupertuis. His interest was the popularization and diffusion of the ideologies of the Enlightenment.
 Cesare Bonesan BeccariaItalian economist, jurist and criminologist. His notable contribution was bringing about penal reform throughout Europe. Author of the still vital Dei delitti e delle pene, wherein he argues for the abolition of the death penalty. (1738-1794).
 Scipione Maffei (1675-1755). A member of the Arcadia; published several volumes of poetry, literature, paleography, theology, etc. His tragedy Merope, was translated by Pope and imitated by Voltaire. Love is a dominant psychological element in his dramas.
 Carlo Borromeo (1538-1584). A Catholic saint. Nephew of Pius IV. Was a cardinal and papal secretary. Reopened the Council of Trent and promoted the Catholic Counter-Reformation.
 Benedict XIV (born Prospero Lambertini 1675-1758), was pope 1740-1758. Renowned for his learning and patronage of the arts.
Gaspare Gozzi (1713-1786), brother of Carlo Gozzi (1720-1806), both Italian men of letters. In his Difesa di Dante, Gaspare refuted Bettinelli’s attack against Dante in Lettere virgiliane.
Carlo Botta (1766-1837), a physician by profession, involved in politics; wrote about medicine, physics, poetry and more. His historical works are important: Storia della indipendenza degli Stati Uniti; Storia d’Italia dal 1789 al 1814 and a continuation of Guicciardini’s history. Giulio Perticari (1779-1822), the son-in-law of Vincenzo Monti, with whom he sided against Cesari’s position favoring the Tuscan prose writers of the 14th century as exclusive models for modern authors.
Pietro Giordani (1774-1848), Italian author whose literary production is vast. Wrote about literature and history.
Pietro Colletta (1775-1831). Author of many works; was a contributor to the Antologia. Remembered chiefly as a historian. His Storia del reame di Napoli was published posthumously in 1834.
Giuseppe Manno (1786-1868). Wrote various histories of Sardinia, but is remembered mainly for his linguistic treatise, Della fortuna delle parole, Torino, 1831.
Niccolò Tommaseo (1802-1874). Author of various political tracts and accounts. His most important work was in literature and philology, e.g., Dizionario dei sinonimi, 1830, Dizionario della lingua Italia, Torino, 1868-1879, completed posthumously by G. Meini.
See note above about the Crusca academy.
François-Juste Marie Raynouard (1761-1836). French poet, dramatist, and philologist. Authored poems and tragedies. Because of the success of his plays, he was elected to the French Academy in 1807. He was one of the pioneers of Romance philology and made a lasting reputation by his researches on the troubadours.
Jean-François La Harpe (1739-1803), a French critic, poet and playright. Was a good friend of Voltaire, whose "son" he professed to be, and whom he imitated so closely that he was nicknamed "the monkey of Voltaire."
Paolo Costa (1771-1836). Taught philosophy at Bologna. Among his many publications, his commentary on Dante’s Commedia and a biography of Dante are worthy of note. Giambattista Niccolini (1782-1861). An Italian dramatist who followed Alfieri’s use of tragedy for political propaganda. This political bias pervades his imitations of Shakespeare. His best play was Arnaldo da Brescia, denouncing the temporal power of the Papacy. Strozzi? There is a poet named Dionigi Strocchi in this period, who may be the person Valery had in mind. Strocchi imitated Greek and Latin poetry and translated Callimacus and Vergil.
 Founded by Cardinal Federico Borromeo, this Milanese library was one of the first to be opened to the public, according to the wishes of its patron (1609). It was named Ambrosiana after the patron saint of Milan. Borromeo collected a large number of codices in Greek, Latin, Vulgar Latin and various Oriental languages. These manuscripts represent precious collections that come from religious institutions. The wealth of its holdings makes the Ambrosiana one of the most important libraries in Italy and the world. It has had many famous librarians among whom, Ludovico Antonio Muratoriand cardinal Angelo Mai.
 Giovanni Maria Mazzucchelli (1707-1768), author of the justly famous Scrittori d’Italia, a biographical dictionary, of which only volumes for letters A and B were published. Cornelio Bentivoglio (1668-1732). Bishop. Reformed the University of Ferrara. Appointed Cardinal in 1719.
 Albrecht von Haller (Bern 1708-1777), held the chair of anatomy, surgery and botany at the University of Göttingen. After his death, Emperor Joseph II purchased his library of mostly scientific works (15,000 books and 145 manuscripts) and donated it to the Brera Library. Carlo Firmian (Tyrol 1716-1782), served the Hapsburg rulers as a diplomat and in politics. Upon his death, his collection, consisting of 40,000 books covering various fields of learning, had to be sold piecemeal to cover his estate’s debts. The government bought parts of it for the University of Pavia and the Brera libraries. The Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense of Milan holds the Durini collection, donated by Angelo Maria Durini (1725-1796), a poet and Latinist. It comprises some manuscripts, 15 incunabula, more than 2,500 books, etc. Noteworthy for its valuable Cinquecento editions. See L. ZUMKELLER, “Un mecenate del '700 e la Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense: il cardinale Angelo Maria Durini e la donazione della sua Biblioteca all'istituzione culturale milanese,” in «Il Bibliotecario», 7, 1990, n. 26, p. 105-114.
 The Biblioteca Trivulziana was started in the XVIII century and was one of the most renowned private libraries in Europe. It owes its origin to Alessandro Teodoro (1694-1763) and don CarloTrivulzio (1715-1789) who added considerably to the initial core. Gian Giacomo Trivulzio (1774-1831), an eminent philologist, concentrated on acquisitions of works by and on Dante and Petrarch. The Archinto library mentioned here may be traced to Filippo Archinto (1549-1632), the nephew of Filippo Archinto, archbishop of Milan. Lorenzo Litta (1756-1820). A distinguished littérateur, played a prominent part in contemporary ecclesiastical history. The collection mentioned by Valery may have been his, or, his family’s.
 Angelo Maria BandiniSee next note for more details. (1726-1803), librarian of the Biblioteca Laurenziana.
 Angelo Maria Bandini became head librarian of the Marucelliana library (Florence) in 1751 which he directed until 1802, when he was succeeded by Francesco Del Furia (1803-1856), who ran it for the next fifty years. During his tenure, the library catalog, by author and title, was completed, and the Anton Francesco Gori manuscript collection was acquired. He also continued with the expansion of Marucelli’s universal bibliography, bringing it to its present total of 111 volumes.
 Simeon Assemani was a member of an illustrious Maronite family of Mount Lebanon, Syria, all clergy men. Regarded among the most illustrious pioneers of modern Oriental studies. Simeon was the grand-nephew of the first and second Assemanis, b. 1752, in Tripoli, Syria; d. at Padua, Italy, 1821. In 1785 he was appointed professor of Oriental languages at the seminary of Padua, and in 1807 obtained the chair of Oriental languages at theUniversity of Padua. Under Giovanni Targioni Tozzetti, the Magliabechiana changed from public to private in 1747, as Magliabechi had wanted. It was enriched with the acquisition of the libraries of Antonio Cocchi, Giovanni Lami, Niccolò Gamurrini, and part of the Gaddi collection and that of Anton Maria Biscioni.
 Francesco d’Amaretto Mannelli’s transcription of Boccaccio’s Decameron and Corbaccio (1384) is preserved in the Laurentian codex XLII.1.
 Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499), Florentine Neoplatonist humanist; translated Plato into Latin; wrote on Platonic philosophy; was head of Cosimo de Medici’s academy.
 The Riccardi collection was begun in the sixteenth century by Riccardo Romolo Riccardi, and enlarged by Francesco Riccardi. It contains a considerable number of scientific and philosophical texts. The City Council purchased it in 1813. Its manuscript holdings include autograph works by Petrarch, Boccaccio, Savonarola and the major Humanists (Alberti, Ficino, Poliziano and Pico della Mirandola) as well as splendid illuminated codices and bindings.
 Pietro Vettori (1499-1585), a Florentine humanist, lectured on Greek and Latin humanities at the University of Florence (1538-1583). Noted for his philological studies and commentary on Aristotle’s Art of poetry.
 Juan Andrés, Cartas familares a su hermano D. Carlos Andrés dándole noticia del viage que hizo a varias ciudades de Italia en el año 1785, 1788, 1791 (Madrid: 1790-93), I, 83.
Aulus Cornelius Celsus, fl. A.D. 14?. A Latin encyclopedist; author of eight books on medicine.
Francesco Marucelli (1625-1703), a man of letters and bibliographer, collected a rich library of historical and scientific value. After his death in Rome, the collection was moved to Florence, where it was opened to the general public, as per his will. Marucelli also composed a universal bibliography, Mare Magnum, in 15 volumes, where he classified by subject and described all works published up to the end of the 17th century. His nephew Alessandro Marucelli and A. M. Bandini, continued additions to the collection, now part of the Biblioteca Marucelliana of Florence.
Magliabechiana Library holdings and provenance:5799 Mss subdivided in 40 classes constitute the oldest and therefore core collection of the Nazionale Centrale, begun with Antonio Magliabechi’s legacy (1714) and increased with later acquisitions from: Accademia degli Apatisti; Accademia della Crusca; Accademia Fiorentina; San Agostino di Cortona (monastery); Badia Fiorentina; Biblioteca Mediceo Palatina Lotaringia; Anton Maria Biscioni; Giuseppe Bardelli; Cistercensi; Antonio Cocchi; Della Rena (Cosimo, Francesco, Orazio); Domenicani; Doni Granducali; Vincenzo Follini; San Frediano in Cestello; Gaddi (libreria); Niccolò Gamurrini; Gesuiti; San Giuseppe (chiesa); Giovanni Lami; Paolo Lorenzini; Antonio Magliabechi; Santa Maria Nuova (ospedale); Anton Francesco Marmi; San Michele in Visdomini; Museo di Fisica; Patrimonio Ecclesiastico; Flaminio Pellegrini; Luigi Poirot; Regia Galleria; Segreteria di Stato; Segreteria Vecchia; Strozzi (libreria); Giovanni Targioni Tozzetti; Teatini (congregazione). The collections mentioned by Valery have been italicized.
 Antonio Cocchi (1695-1758), taught Anatomy at the University of Florence. A prominent naturalist, he founded the Botanical Society of Florence with Pier Antonio Micheli. He translated several Greek works that formed his collection of Graecorum chirurgici libri.Part of his library was acquired by the Magliabechiana. See preceding footnote.
 Ibid., p. 263: “Il a considéré tout ce que l’esprit humain peut savoir sous trois aspects: les paroles, les choses et les faits ; ces derniers, moraux ou sacres ; et il a conséquemment établi quatre grandes divisions, savoir : les belles-lettres, la philosophie et les mathématiques ; l’histoire profane, l’histoire ecclésiastique, sous-divisées elles-mêmes en dix parties ; d’où il résulte que la grammaire commence son bizarre catalogue qui se termine par la bible. »
 Little can be found about life and dates of Follini and Fossi. Both were definitely librarians at the Magliabechina (see above). The following information may be helpful. By a decree dated Oct 31 1769, whose purpose was the reorganization and cataloguing of the Segreteria Vecchia archives, Pietro Leopoldo (of Loraine) deputized Carlo Bonsi, Riguccio Galuzzi and Ferdinando Fossi. As for Follini, we have his Osservazioni sopra l'opera intitolata Della costruzione e del regolamento di una pubblica universale biblioteca, con la pianta dimostrativa, trattato di Leopoldo della Santa ... e sull'articolo riguardante la medesima, inserito nel giornale di Milano, intitolato Biblioteca italiana n. XX agosto 1817. - Firenze : presso Gaspero Ricci, 1817. 60, p. 18.
 10. Ferdinando III d’Asburgo Lorena, archduke of Austria, grand duke of Tuscany, 1790-1801, 1814-1824.
Angelo Mai (1782-1854). Roman cardinal and celebrated philologist. Proficient in paleography, he was appointed in 1811 to a position in the Ambrosiana Library, Milan. This led to his initial discoveries: Cicero's orations: "In Curionem" (1814); the correspondence of Fronto, works of Plautus, and commentaries on Terrence etc. To these ancient writers must be added the Italian Humanists, the Latin poets of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, Poliziano, Sannazaro, Bembo, Sadoleto, and others, whose works he printed for the first time in the "Spicilegium Romanum."
The Collegio Romano, was founded in 1581-1584 by St. Ignatius of Loyola. After Rome became the Italian capital, the collegio housed the Biblioteca Nazionale.
 The Casanatense library owes its origin to the Dominicans of the S. Maria sopra Minerva monastery. It was opened to the public in 1701. Its initial holdings of more than 25,000 volumes came from Cardinal Girolamo Casanate‘s collection (1620-1700). It became a departmental library in 1810-1814, during the first Roman Republic, but continued to be a Domican preserve under the direction of father Giacomo Alberto Magno, who is credited with continued progress in its cataloguing and organization.
 Eustachio Degola, a declared Jansenist priest. Converted Manzoni’s wife, Enrichetta Blondel, to the Catholic faith. Very probably not the same person mentioned by Valery.
 Pallavicini could not be identified.
 Neri Corsini (1685-1770), of the illustrious Tuscan Corsinis, when he became a cardinal, bought the Riario palace in Rome (at Lungara), in which he stored his collection of prints, drawings, as well an important painting collection.
 On January 13th 1804, during the reign of Ferdinand IV, the library was officially opened to the public as the Royal Library. In 1816 the name changed to Royal Bourbon Library. After Italy’s unification in 1860, it became the National Library of Naples.
 Carlo III or Carlos III (1716-1788), the son of King Philip V of Spain (1683-1746), at fifteen became duke of Parma, and later in 1735, King of Naples. He departed Naples after a reign of 25 years to succeed his father on the Spanish throne. A benevolent and wise ruler, he eliminated the obsolete feudal structures of the realm and created a modern state. Naples, during this period, became once more the capital of an independent state and one of the more important cultural centers in Europe, with a population second only to Paris
 The Palatina is covered in note 24.
 The origin of the present manuscript collection at the Biblioteca nazionale of Naples can be traced back to the last years of the 18th century when Ferdinand IV established the Royal Library of Naples. Within years this nucleus was enriched by the addition of priceless holdings from libraries of the suppressed religious orders. Among the more significant additions was that of the Augustinian monastery of San Giovanni a Carbonara, formerly owned by Girolamo Seripando, the general of the Augustinian order who had been the Apostolic delegate to the Council of Trent.
.The Brancacciana library was established in Rome in the early half of the 17th century by Cardinal Francesco Maria Brancaccio and brought at his direction to Naples. At the Cardinal’s death, the collection comprised 20,000 volumes. His nephew, Cardinal Stefano Brancaccio, can be considered the real founder of the library. After his passing, his brothers, Emanuele and Giovanni Battista added 35,000 volumes to the collection, which was finally housed in a building adjacent to the Church of Sant’Angelo a Nido. Though the inauguration took place in 1690, it wasn’t until the following year that it was actually opened to the public. In 1724, Charles VI of Austria gave the Brancacciana the right to receive a copy of all works published in Naples, and this decree was confirmed by Charles III in 1742. In 1922 it became part of the Biblioteca Nazionale di Napoli. The Ministerial library referred to here may be the Biblioteca San Giacomo (now part ot the Nazionale). This library was initially located at San Giacomo (hence its name), which had been the site of government ministries, hence the name Ministeriale. The so-called Palatine collection (Fondo Palatino) was a part of the Royal Palace library, formed in the second half of the XVIII century. This was the private library of King Ferdinand IV, and when the Bourbons had to flee Naples in 1799, it was transferred to Palermo, where it was catalogued and organized. After Italy’s unification in 1860, this collection was divided among the Nazionale, University and San Giacomo libraries. No information seems to be available for the San Filippo Neri monastery library.
 Antonio Scarpa (b. 1752). At only age 14 he began his medical studies at Padua and at age 18 obtained his doctorate there in1770. He held a professorship of anatomy and theoretical surgery at the University of Modena in 1772 and later that of human anatomy at the University of Pavia (1783). Scarpa was the founder of orthopedic surgery. He was succeeded in the chair of anatomy by a former student, Bartolomeo Panizza (1785-1867) in 1804. Pietro Tamburini (1737- 1827), Italian theologian, one of major representatives of Italian Jansenism at the close of the 18th century. Taught philosophy and theology at the Brescia seminary. He was appointed to the chair of moral theology at the University of Pavia and then held the chair of moral philosophy. Alessandro Volta, renowned physicist (1745- 1827). In 1769 Volta published his first paper, "De vi attractiva ignis electrici", which drew attention and helped to secure for him his first public appointment as professor of physics in the Liceo of Como (1774), a position he held until 1779, when he was appointed to the chair of natural philosophy at the University of Pavia. In 1799 he invented the battery. In 1815 the Emperor of Austria appointed him director of the philosophical faculty of the University of Padua, a position he resigned four years later in order to retire to private life.
 Luigi Configliachi (1787-1864), a Barnabite abbé, university professor of history and a naturalist. Luigi Valentino Brugnatelli (Pavia 1761-Pavia 1818); doctor of medicine (University of Pavia), but worked thereafter mostly in chemistry. In 1796 the University appointed him to the chair of chemistry. He founded several scientific journals, among which la Biblioteca fisica d’Europa (1788), gli Annali di Chimica (1790), respectively the first Italian journal of chemistry and the first Italian journal of physics and natural history (1808). Giuseppe Moretti (1782-1853), an Italian botanist, taught at University of Pavia for 25 years. Promoted mycological studies vigorously. Francesco Marabelli held the chair in pharmacy, 1802-1818. Pharmacy did not acquire an independent status for most of the 19th century, during which it remained associated with the departments of medicine and natural science. Bartolomeo Panizza, practiced surgery in Bologna in 1807. In 1808 he earned the doctorate in medicine under the famed Scarpa. He succeeded Fattori in the chair of anatomy in1817. He was also substitute professor of ophthalmology in 1818-1819 at the University of Pavia. He was reckoned among top authorities in the field of neurology. Giuseppe Antonio del Chiappa, professor of special therapy and clinical surgery at the University of Pavia.
 Luigi Valeriani (1758-1828) graduated in Law at Bologna in 1782. In 1801, he was appointed to the first chair of economics at the University, acknowledged as a one of the earliest academic economists in Europe. His lectures and published works made him the most influential teacher of economics in Italy during the first half of the nineteenth century. Giacomo Tommasini (Parma 1768-1846), member of the medical college of Parma. An eminent clinician, practiced professionally in Bologna from 1815 to 1829. Giuseppe Mezzofanti (1774-1849), an Italian cardinal and linguist. Born and educated in Bologna. He became professor of Arabic at the University of Bologna. In 1803 he was appointed assistant librarian at the University of Bologna, and later professor of Oriental languages and of Greek. Mezzofanti held this post until his transfer to Rome in 1831. In 1833, he succeeded Angelo Mai as Custodian-in-Chief of the Vatican Library, and in 1838 was made cardinal. Mezzofanti is well known as a polyglot who, it is believed, spoke 38 languages and 50 dialects fluently. He could speak many other languages with less fluency. Filippo Schiassi, a professor of archeology, regent of the University of Bologna from 1817-1824.
 Giovanni Battista Vermiglioli (Perugia 1769-1848). Doctor of canon and civil law. Held the chair of Archeology at the University of Perugia 1810-1846. Domenico Bruschi, held the chair of Botany 1811-1826 also at the Unversity of Perugia. Mezzanotte, Antinori and Martini are common surnames in Perugia, but none could be identified with certainty in connection with the University.
 Domenico Lino Morichini. In 1807 he is listed as professor of chemistry at La Sapienza of Rome. Chief physician at the Santo Spirito Hospital. Morichini was the first to introduce the new chemistry in Rome. The physics museum of La Sapienza (Rome) was established in 1748. Among the men associated with the departments of physics or chemistry were Pietro Carpi , Antonio Trasmondi, (la Sapienza) and Morichini, who held the first chair in chemistry, 1800. Other professors were Scarpellini, Calandrelli, Linotte, Folchi, Provinciali, who in 1810 were assigned the task of converting weights and measures to the new metric system. The Mineralogy Museum of La Sapienza was established in 1804 by Pope Pius VII. Its first curator was Fr. Carlo Giuseppe Gismondi (1762-1824), who acquired the mineral collection of Camillo Clerici, thus forming the museum’s core; he also compiled its first catalog. His successor was Pietro Carpi (?-1861) who added the large collection of Monsignor Lavinio de’ Medici Spada (1801-1863).
 Domenico Viviani (1772-1840), a doctor of medicine and philosophy; later studied botany at Pavia. In 1802 the University of Genoa appointed him to the chair of Natural history. He founded the city’s first botanical garden. For Benedetto Mojon, we have only his dates (1784-1849); Library of Congress lists Sull’utilità del dolore as one of his works.
 Vittorio Amedeo II, Duke of Savoy, granted the University of Turin its charter in 1720. The chair in Physics was established in 1737, when the University was reorganized into four colleges. Eandi Vassalli, was life secretary of the Accademia Reale delle Scienze. He retired in 1822 and in his place we find Father Giorgio Follini until 1826. Giovanni Plana (1781-1864), an astronomer and mathematical physicist. He was named professor of astronomy in 1811 and two years later director of the observatory of the Reale Accademia delle Scienze. He later became professor of Analysis and also held the chair of Rational Mechanics at the Military Academy (where he was later appointed director of Mathematical Studies). Amedeo Peyron (1785-1870), professor of Oriental languages at University of Turin. Giovanni Antonio Giobert (1761-1834), a chemist at the same university, known for the Giobert formula used in removing patina from palimpsests.
 Michelangelo BuonarrotiBaldassare Peruzzi (1481-1536), Italian architect of the Renaissance. Designed Massimo Palace in Rome and assisted Bramante in plans for St. Peter’s. Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472), Italian architect. Authored the first printed book on architecture, which helped spread appreciation for the classical Roman style. needs no introduction.
 Scipione Bargagli (1540-1612), Sienese author of Trattato delle imprese, Il Turamino ovvero del parlare dello scrivere sanese, I trattenimenti, etc.
 Teresa Carniani Malvezzi (1785-1859), born in Florence but Bolognese by adoption after marrying Francesco Malvezzi De’ Medici. Stood out in Bologna society because of her literary genius. Translated A. Pope’s TheRape of the Lock, and some of Cicero’s works. She received membership in various academies, such as the Regia Accademia delle Scienze of Turin. In her cultural salon, which enjoyed international fame, she entertained Vincenzo Monti, Carlo Pepoli, Francseco Oriosi, Angelo Mai and Ippolito Pindemonte.
 Carlo OdescalchiAs a newly ordained priest, he ordained priest Gioacchino Pecci, eventually Pope Leo XIII. Early in life he published the significant Memorie istorico-critiche dell' Academia de' Lincei (Rome, 1806). (1786-1841), cardinal, prince, archbishop.
 Gauthier (Gualtiero) de Brienne, a.k.a. Duca d’Atene, became absolute ruler of Florence in 1342 but was driven out by a popular uprising in 1343.
 This Florentine lady could not be identified.
 L’Accademia della Crusca was established in Florence in 1582. Its purpose was to serve as “watchdog” over linguistic usage and to preserve Italian from unnecessary neologisms. In 1591, its members decided to compile a dictionary of the Italian language, which went into print in 1612.
 Giampietro Vieusseux (1779-1863). Founded his Gabinetto di lettura (=reading room) in 1819 in Florence. Leading men and women of his day gathered at his salon. He co-founded with Gino Capponi the literary journals Antologia, and Archivio storico italiano.