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L'univers est une espece de livre, dont on n'a lu que la
page quand on n'a vu que son pays. J'en ai feuilleté un assez grand nombre, que j'ai trouvé également mauvaises. Cet examen ne m'a point été infructuex. Je hassais ma patrie. Toutes les impertinences des peuples divers, parmi l'esquels j'ai vcéu, m
m'ont cilé avec ulle. Qand je n'aurais tiré d'autre benefice de mes voyages que celui-là, je n'en regretterais ni les frais, ai les fatigues.
The following poem was written, for the most part amidst the scenes which it attempts to describe. It was begun in Albania; and the parts relative to Spain and Portugal were composed from the author's observations in those countries. Thus much it may be necessary to state for the correctness of the description. The scenes attempted to be sketched are in Spain, Portugal, Epirus, Acarnania, and Greece. There for the present the poem stops: Its reception will determine whether the author may venture to conduct his readers to the capital of the East, through Ionia and Phrygia : these two cantos are merely experimental.
A fictitious character is introdaced for the sake of giving some connection to the piece; which, however, makes no pretension to regularity. It has been suggested to me by friends, on whose opinions I set a high value that in this fictitious character, “Childe Harold," I may incur the suspicion of having intended some real personage : this I beg leave, once for all, to disclaim-Harold is the child of imagination, for the purpose I have stated. In some very trivial particulars, and those merely local, there might be grounds for such a notion but in the main points, I should hope, none whatever.