The Roman holiday, in 1823, of Delecluze, a prominent art critic and gifted painter from Paris, has been compiled by Louis Desternes from his intimate journal and letters. The account tells of his sudden and unreturned love for Amelie Cyvoct, the niece of the brilliant, exquisite Mme. Recamier; of the latter's ultra-smart retinue and her passionate liaison with Jean-Jacques Ampere. Delecluze gives vent to all sorts of romantic effusions, sophisticated gossip, haphazard philosophizings. He is witty, a keen judge of society and social relationships, and intensely aware of the moral aspects of his behavior. But Delecluze is not a doer or a pursuer and one comes to suspect that his continued reflections and hesitations and soulful outpourings are the mark of a man who would rather play at love than make it. The interlude, taken as a whole, is more of a mood, an aesthetic and amateur psychologist's experiments with the heart, than a serious and believable confession of adult love.