Imatges de pàgina
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LONDON:

W. LEWIS, FINCH-LANE, CORNHILL.

PREFACE.

CIRCUMSTANCES needless to be here detailed, have inaterially retarded the publication of Reine Canziani. Had it been printed at the period in which it was written, it would have preceded more than one popular work, describing some of the same scenery, and several local peculiarities, which I have myself attempted to delineate. However disadvantageous this may be to me, and it is mortifying certainly to find oneself anticipated in the intent of amusing, or of interesting under the garb of novelty. I have no' remedy within my reach more efficient than this, a reliance on the justice of my readers, who will (why should I doubt it?) award to my work all the attention to which its merits may entitle it, and give me full credit for the truth of my assertion.

For the most interesting particulars relative to Reine Canziani, I am indebted to an accom

plished and amiable Englishman, whose name graces the latter pages of these memoirs. From him I obtained all those minuter traits, that give a correct insight into the mind and manners of my heroine. He alone had it in his power to communicate her thoughts and sentiments, elicited in the frankness of social converse, pure and genuine as they came from the heart; and, to give with accuracy incidents which must otherwise have been buried in oblivion, as they were imparted to none but him. The embellishment of a narrative is a work of minor importance, nor is it one of much difficulty or merit. In this respect, I have availed myself of the privileges of an author; introducing such scenic descriptions as accorded with the positions in which the dramatis personæ are placed.

When I was at Corfu, some years ago, I accidentally met with a Greek merchant, of the name of Paleopulo, whom I discovered to be a son of the Nicholas Paleopulo mentioned in my volumes; and it was highly satisfactory to me, to hear him corroborate those events occurring at Belgrade and Constantinople, in which the Canziani family bore so conspicuous

a part. From him I also gained some local information, which has assisted me greatly in the compilation of my memoir.

If one individual, amidst the many or the few who may give an hour's attention to these volumes, rises from the perusal of them with a warmer admiration of those virtues which elevate the mind of man, and with a deeper detestation of the vices that degrade and deform it, my end will be fully answered. If the young and the unwary are aroused, by results here detailed, to a just apprehension of those pleasures that may end in their destruction, however fair and seducing their first approaches may be if they are induced to acknowledge, without first obtaining a fatal experience, the truth of the Persian maxim I have chosen for my motto,

“ He who plants thorns will not gather roses," the success of

my

efforts will answer my utmost hopes. And, above all, if they who have the happiness of others at their disposal, become sensible, through my means, of the baseness and cruelty of betraying a trust of affection; and that he who sports with feelings over which accident or intent have given him absolute power, thus making bankrupt of the heart, is, morally speaking, tenfold more of a felon than the man who plunders on the highway, or strikes his dagger into the breast of his enemy. If such a conviction be established in the mind of but one of my readers, I shall feel that I have not written in vain.

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