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Notes, Ecclesiological and Picturesque, on Dalmatia, Croatia, Istria, Styria, with a Visit to Montenegro


by the Rev. J. M. Neale, M.A.,
Warden of Sackville College.

London: J. T. Hayes, Lyall Place, Eaton Square.


I. Austria Proper, and the Salzkammergut
II. Styria
III. Trieste and Aquileia
IV. The Glagolita Rite
V. Istria
VI. Veglia; Ossero; and To Zara
VII. Zara: Sebenico
VIII. Spalato
IX. Macarska, Curzola, Cattaro
X. The Ecclesiastical Divisions and Church Poetry of Dalmatia
XI. Montenegro
XII. Ragusa; and Home

To His Imperial Apostolic Majesty,
Francis Joseph I. This Volume is, by His Majesty’s Gracious Permission, Most Respectfully Dedicated.


THE reasons which induced me to undertake the tour, an account of which the reader has before him, have been briefly detailed in the First Chapter.

I could not have carried it out with any advantage to the objects which I had in view, had it not been for the great kindness of His Excellency Count Apponyi, the Ambassador from Austria to this country. At the request of the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, to whom my warm thanks are also due, Count Apponyi favoured me with a very strong official recommendation to the authorities, both Ecclesiastical and Civil, in Dalmatia and the neighbouring provinces,—a document which proved most truly a golden key, opening every door, and surmounting every difficulty.

Notwithstanding the excellent works of Sir G. Wilkinson, Mr. Paton, and Mr. Adams, an ecclesiological account of Dalmatia had yet to be written. I may also add that, to the best of my knowledge, several parts of our tour—a portion of Istria, and the whole Island of Veglia, so curious from the Glagolita rite—have never yet been described by an English traveller.

The more I was thus interested in those countries and those peoples,—

O fortunatos nimium, sua si bona norint!

the more I entertain the earnest hope that their prosperity may continue, unattacked by the malice of agitators, or the grasp of ambition.

The more I compare the gentle sway of the House of Hapsburg with the cruel tyranny in old times of the Venetian Lion, the more earnestly I pray that the miseries of war proposed to be kindled, of the myriads to be armed against each other in the Littoral, may come to nought. Verily, heavy will be his guilt who shall defile those lovely—and no less happy than lovely—valleys of Dalmatia with the horrors of bloodshed! Nowhere is loyalty more ardent; nowhere is education better carried out; nowhere, as it seems to me, are both Churches, Greek and Latin, more honourably acquitting themselves of their duty.

GOD grant that all may long remain so! and with regard to those nations or monarchs who seek to destroy that present happiness, I think that every English Churchman will echo the old prayer, "Dissipa gentes quÊ bella volunt!"

It was only some six years ago, that we, who thought the war with Russia unnecessary and unjust, were regarded by the vast majority of Englishmen as monomaniacs. We have lived to see public opinion on ourside. In like manner, I doubt not that we shall live to see, in the judment of all right-minded persons, Garibaldi and Walker classed together as filibusters; distinguished, at first, not by their guilt, but by their success; and at last, I trust, distinguished neither by the one, nor the other. I doubt not that we shall live to hear the noble defence of Gaeta, the almost romantic courage of its King and Queen, the unshaken loyalty of its defenders classed with the heroism of PlatÊa and Saragossa. And there, as everywhere, may GOD either now defend, or in His own good time restore, the right!


. 29, 1861.

Circumstances, unnecessary to be stated, have kept back the following pages longer than I had intended.

I have to express my regret that I have not received the plan of Aquileia referred to at p. 47; and have therefore omitted the Appendix. I am sorry that, from my far greater familiarity with Portuguese than with Italian, some names of Saints, in the accounts of churches, are spelt as they would be in the former language. I should mention, that part of Chapter VIII has already appeared in the pages of an Ecclesiastical Review.

It will be a sufficient gratification to me if I shall be thought by ecclesiologists (and especially by my valued friends and fellow-students the Committee of the Ecclesiological Society), to have thrown any light on the churches (I have described exactly a hundred) of the seldom-visited countries of which my little volume treats.

And, with respect to the remarks in the former part of this Preface, it does seem that, at last, the wholesale confiscation of ecclesiastical property, and the butcherly cruelties perpetrated on Calabrian Royalists, are beginning to open men's eyes to the true character of the Italian Revolution.

If I may end with a reference to that class to whom these pages are principally addressed—what ecclesiologist (to take no higher view than that of a mere ecclesiologist) can fail to execrate the Government that has suppressed that most glorious Convent of Assisi, and left it the victim of complete and certain ruin?

EAST GRINSTEAD, June 6th, 1861.

It is remarkable that the date of the above protest against Sacrilege should have been also that of its fearful Nemesis in the death of Count Cavour.

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