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birth, and that its martyrs and champions made the first effectual resistance to Papal tyranny ; and here too may yet be found that primitive Christianity, those simple manners, and noble traits of character which must have distinguished the ancient natives of a district, where the corruptions, introduced elsewhere by the Roman hierarchy, were never tolerated.
I am not aware of any publication, that has anticipated this attempt to call the attention of readers to the scenes described in the following pages, nor do I know of any volume in which the present condition of the Vaudois, and their former interesting history is brought under review in the form which I have here adopted. The list of books, inserted in the Appendix, No. I. contains the principal authorities, which have been consulted for the purpose of giving a correct sketch of the ancient Waldensian churches: these books are, for the most part, very rare, and if they were not so, the distance of time at which they were printed, and the periods of history that they comprise, would show, that the writer of a narrative, who brings the relation down to the last year, is taking up ground that has not yet been occupied, unless indeed by an occasional pamphlet.
My principal object is to make the singular community, which forms the leading subject of this volume, more known to the world, than it has lately been"; and to re-announce, what seems to be almost forgotten, that the race of the old Waldenses, of whom such extraordinary tales have been told by crusaders, inquisitors, troubadours, romancers, and historians, still exists in the Vaudois, still occupies the strong holds of rock and mountain, from which their fathers never could be driven, and still resembles the ancient stock in every thing that constitutes “ A PEOPLE OF GOD.” I have therefore chosen to throw a great part of my materials into the more attractive form of a traveller's narrative, interwoven with incidents, anecdotes, and observations, in order that I may catch the attention of such readers, as would not engage with a work professedly ecclesiastical.
The weightier matter, and such as could not conveniently be introduced in the Narrative, but which is indispensable towards an illustration of
a Those who take an interest in the Vaudois must regret, that they have not found a more conspicuous place in Mr. Southey's admirable work, " The Book of the Church.”
the subject is added in an Appendix, which has been adopted in preference to notes, as the latter are sometimes thought to interrupt the continuity of a relation, and are often overlooked entirely.
The documents contained in the Appendix will not be thought cumbersome or unessential to the work, by those who love to grapple with the subject. They will assist the researches of such as are inclined to investigate the opinions and conduct of the Waldenses, as opposed to the Romanists; and will enable them to trace the former, with the interruption of very short intervals, from the primitive, through the dark and middle ages, to the present enlightened times ; and to recognize their political existence from century to century, either in the writings of their barbes, in the bulls of popes, or in the edicts of princes.
One of the maps, that of “ part of Savoy and Piemont,” is delineated upon a larger scale, and in a more accurate style, than could have been otherwise accomplished, if I had not been fortunate enough to obtain the assistance of a grand topographical chart of Piemont, which was lately made, under the direction of scientific persons,
employed by the Sardinian government. The other, that of the “ three valleys of Luzerna, San Martino, and Perosa,” is taken from an old map, drawn by Valerius Crassus, in the year 1640.
I am proud to acknowledge how much I am obliged to my friend, the Rev. John Lamb, the present Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, and Master of Corpus Christi College, for facilitating my access to the valuable Vaudois manuscripts, deposited in the University Library, and for furnishing me with the fac-similes that front pages 211, 230, and in the Appendix, p. X.
To the Honourable Mrs. Fortescue I am also more indebted, than I know how to express in adequate terms, for permitting me to embellish my volume with Mr. Nicholson's six lithographic drawings", from her faithful and beautiful sketches of the scenery in the valley of Luzerna. I employed an artist of Turin, to go from that city to the Vaudois villages, for the purpose of taking views both of the landscape and buildings; but when they were finished and transmitted to me in England, I had the mortification of finding
* In the Quarto, but not in the Octavo Edition,
that most of them proved such indifferent performances, that it would be useless to have them engraved. The views of the churches of San Giovanni, Villaro, and La Torre, and of the interior of the latter, drawn on stone by Mr. King, from the originals by the Piemontese draughtsmen, are the only four which I could venture to retain out of the whole collection, and these are merely inserted to give an idea of the construction of the Vaudois churches.
In this dilemma, Mrs. Fortescue most kindly made me an offer of a selection from her valuable portfeuille, and expressed her regret, that from several untoward circumstances, she was not able to make more than five sketches in the Vaudois country. The letter in which this gratifying proffer was communicated, contained an observation, which I cannot but transcribe, as it offers so strong a confirmation of the account which this volume is meant to give of the Vaudois, and the transcendant beauties and sublimities of nature, by which they are environed.
'I do not know any part of the continent that
€ In the Quarto Edition.