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Pett, A

An excursion to Horace's Sabine farm, April 1st 1846.

Additional Title(s):

To Horace's farm

Physical Description:
1 v. ([1], 8, [1] leaves) : chiefly ill. ; 21 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio A 2011 107
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Archives & Manuscripts
Title from cover.
In contemporary brown paper wrappers, stitched; cover title on white paper label.
Manuscript story, original and unpublished, featuring 10 leaves of large illustrations, all drawn in pen and brown ink. The illustrated title leaf ("To Horace's farm") is signed A. Pett, presumably the artist of the entire work.
The story is comprised of a series of skillfully executed drawings narrating the mishaps which befall Mr. & Mrs. Pett, and their three travelling companions, in the course of their search for the site of Horace's Sabine farm. In the first drawing, the party--"full of classical ideas”-- sets out from Tivoli. The gentlemen ride ahead, unaware of the fact that the ladies, riding side-saddle, have been attacked by urchins, and at least one umbrella stolen. In subsequent drawings, the party travels "an ancient Roman road which is more curious than pleasant" and suffers a "derangement of costume ... in a lane of brambles not mentioned by Horace." The Fons Bandusiae (Spring of Bandusia) turns out to be "sloppy and unpleasant."
Despite a delightful moment in a vineyard where the party "quaff the Sabine wine in honor of Horace," more disappointments follow, for they fail to find the farm. A guide is sent for, who digs with his hands to reveal "a fragment of the pavement of Horace's Sabine Farm!" The subsequent drawing illustrates "The fragment!"--a piece of mosaic some 2 inches square. A final unnumbered drawing shows "Mrs. P.'s Visions of Horace at his Sabine Farm"--with assorted scenes of pure bucolic bliss.
The short story captures, with humor and skill, the flavor of an expedition of middle-class tourists in the classical world: good-humored, enthusiastic, and eager to learn--but without the scholarly respect of an 18th-century visitor. The Sabine Villa of the Roman poet Horace, celebrated in his verse as an arcadia of rural simplicity and contentment, was a place embedded in the Western consciousness both as an ideal and as an actual, physical site. For the British in particular the Sabine farm had a special resonance, and by the age of the Grand Tour its general district came to be visited by enterprising travelers.
Subject Terms:
Campagna di Roma (Italy) -- Description and travel.
Grand tours (Education)
Horace -- Homes and haunts -- Italy -- Licenza.
Pett, A.
Tivoli (Italy) -- Description and travel.
Villa of Horace (Licenza, Italy)
Short stories.
Comic histories.
Ink drawings.
IIIF Manifest:

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