THE first place in this collection has been given to the narrative of Odoric of Pordenone, a Beatus or semi-saint of the Roman Church, not as the first in time, nor perhaps in value, but as on the whole the most curious and as that which was the original nucleus of the volume.
Odoric was a native of Friuli, a country which was perhaps bettèr known to travellers before there was a railway through it. Few now, in passing from Trieste to Venice, or from Venice to Vienna, think it worth while to break their journey for the sake of seeing such places as Pordenone, Udine, or Cividale ; and thus those interesting cities, though on or near a great thoroughfare, still keep a rare old-world flavour and simplicity.
This border land had in old times closer relations to Germany than to Italy. It has again close relations of a certain kind to 1