John Evelyn's Diary 1644 is in John Evelyn's Diary 1640s.
John Evelyn's Diary January 1644
John Evelyn's Diary 04 January 1644
04 Jan 1644. I passed this day with one Mr. J. Wall, an Irish gentleman, who had been a friar in Spain, and afterward a reader in St. Isodore's chair, at Rome; but was, I know not how, getting away, and pretending to be a soldier of fortune, an absolute cavalier, having, as he told us, been a captain of horse in Germany. It is certain he was an excellent disputant, and so strangely given to it that nothing could pass him. He would needs persuade me to go with him this morning to the Jesuits' College, to witness his polemical talent. We found the Fathers in their Church at the Rue St. Antoine, where one of them showed us that noble fabric, which for its cupola, pavings, incrustations of marble, the pulpit, altars (especially the high altar), organ, lavatorium, etc., but above all, for the richly carved and incomparable front I esteem to be one of the most perfect pieces of architecture in Europe, emulating even some of the greatest now at Rome itself. But this not being what our friar sought, he led us into the adjoining convent, where, having shown us the library, they began a very hot dispute on some points of divinity, which our cavalier contested only to show his pride, and to that indiscreet height, that the Jesuits would hardly bring us to our coach, they being put beside all patience. The next day, we went into the University, and into the College of Navarre, which is a spacious, well-built quadrangle, having a very noble library.
Thence to the Sorbonne, an ancient fabric built by one Robert de Sorbonne, whose name it retains, but the restoration which the late Cardinal de Richelieu has made to it renders it one of the most excellent modern buildings; the sumptuous church, of admirable architecture, is far superior to the rest. The cupola, portico, and whole design of the church, are very magnificent.
We entered into some of the schools, and in that of divinity we found a grave Doctor in his chair, with a multitude of auditors, who all write as he dictates; and this they call a Course. After we had sat a little, our cavalier started up, and rudely enough began to dispute with the doctor; at which, and especially as he was clad in the Spanish habit, which in Paris is the greatest bugbear imaginable, the scholars and doctor fell into such a fit of laughter, that nobody could be heard speak for a while: but silence being obtained, he began to speak Latin, and made his apology in so good a style, that their derision was turned to admiration; and beginning to argue, he so baffled the Professor, that with universal applause they all rose up, and did him great honors, waiting on us to the very street and our coach, and testifying great satisfaction.
John Evelyn's Diary February 1644
John Evelyn's Diary 02 February 1644
02 Feb 1644. I heard the news of my nephew George's birth, which was on January 15th, English style, 1644.
John Evelyn's Diary 03 February 1644
03 Feb 1644. I went to the Exchange. The late addition to the buildings is very noble; but the galleries where they sell their petty merchandise nothing so stately as ours at London, no more than the place where they walk below, being only a low vault.
The Palaise, as they call the upper part, was built in the time of Philip the Fair, noble and spacious. The great Hall annexed to it, is arched with stone, having a range of pillars in the middle, round which, and at the sides, are shops of all kinds, especially booksellers'. One side is full of pews for the clerks of the advocates, who swarm here (as ours at Westminster). At one of the ends stands an altar, at which mass is said daily. Within are several chambers, courts, treasuries, etc. Above that is the most rich and glorious Salle d'Audience, the chamber of St. Louis, and other superior Courts where the Parliament sits, richly gilt on embossed carvings and frets, and exceedingly beautified.
Within the place where they sell their wares, is another narrower gallery, full of shops and toys, etc., which looks down into the prison-yard. Descending by a large pair of stairs, we passed by Sainte Chapelle, which is a church built by St. Louis, 1242, after the Gothic manner: it stands on another church, which is under it, sustained by pillars at the sides, which seem so weak as to appear extraordinary in the artist. This chapel is most famous for its relics, having as they pretend, almost the entire crown of thorns: the agate patine, rarely sculptured, judged one of the largest and best in Europe. There was now a very beautiful spire erecting. The court below is very spacious, capable of holding many coaches, and surrounded with shops, especially engravers', goldsmiths', and watchmakers'. In it are a fair fountain and portico. The Isle du Palais consists of a triangular brick building, whereof one side, looking to the river, is inhabited by goldsmiths. Within the court are private dwellings. The front, looking on the great bridge, is possessed by mountebanks, operators, and puppet-players. On the other part, is the every day's market for all sorts of provisions, especially bread, herbs, flowers, orange trees, choice shrubs. Here is a shop called NOAH'S ARK, where are sold all curiosities, natural or artificial, Indian or European, for luxury or use, as cabinets, shells, ivory, porcelain, dried fishes, insects, birds, pictures, and a thousand exotic extravagances. Passing hence, we viewed the port Dauphine, an arch of excellent workmanship; the street bearing the same name, is ample and straight.
John Evelyn's Diary 04 February 1644
04 Feb 1644. I went to see the Marais de Temple, where are a noble church and palace, heretofore dedicated to the Knights Templar, now converted to a piazza, not much unlike ours at Covent Garden; but large and not so pleasant, though built all about with divers considerable palaces.
The Church of St. Geneviève is a place of great devotion, dedicated to another of their Amazons, said to have delivered the city from the English; for which she is esteemed the tutelary saint of Paris. It stands on a steep eminence, having a very high spire, and is governed by canons regular. At the Palais Royal Henry IV. built a fair quadrangle of stately palaces, arched underneath. In the middle of a spacious area, stands on a noble pedestal a brazen statue of Louis XIII., which, though made in imitation of that in the Roman capitol, is nothing so much esteemed as that on the Pont Neuf.
The hospital of the Quinze-Vingts, in the Rue St. Honoré, is an excellent foundation; but above all is the Hôtel Dieu for men and women, near Nôtre Dame, a princely, pious, and expensive structure. That of the Charité gave me great satisfaction, in seeing how decently and christianly the sick people are attended, even to delicacy. I have seen them served by noble persons, men and women. They have also gardens, walks, and fountains. Divers persons are here cut for the stone, with great success, yearly in May. The two Châtelets (supposed to have been built by Julius Cæsar) are places of judicature in criminal causes; to which is a strong prison. The courts are spacious and magnificent.
John Evelyn's Diary 08 February 1644
08 Feb 1644. I took coach and went to see the famous Jardine Royale, which is an inclosure walled in, consisting of all varieties of ground for planting and culture of medical simples. It is well chosen, having in it hills, meadows, wood and upland, natural and artificial, and is richly stored with exotic plants. In the middle of the parterre is a fair fountain. There is a very fine house, chapel, laboratory, orangery, and other accommodations for the President, who is always one of the king's chief physicians.
From hence, we went to the other side of the town, and to some distance from it, to the Bois de Vincennes, going by the Bastille, which is the fortress, tower, and magazine of this great city. It is very spacious within, and there the Grand Master of the artillery has his house, with fair gardens and walks.
The Bois de Vincennes has in it a square and noble castle, with magnificent apartments, fit for a royal court, not forgetting the chapel. It is the chief prison for persons of quality. About it there is a park walled in, full of deer; and in one part there is a grove of goodly pine trees.
The next day, I went to see the Louvre with more attention, its several courts and pavilions. One of the quadrangles, begun by Henry IV., and finished by his son and grandson, is a superb, but mixed structure. The cornices, moldings, and compartments, with the insertion of several colored marbles, have been of great expense.
We went through the long gallery, paved with white and black marble, richly fretted and painted à fresco. The front looking to the river, though of rare work for the carving, yet wants of that magnificence which a plainer and truer design would have contributed to it.
In the Cour aux Tuileries is a princely fabric; the winding geometrical stone stairs, with the cupola, I take to be as bold and noble a piece of architecture as any in Europe of the kind. To this is a corps de logis, worthy of so great a prince. Under these buildings, through a garden in which is an ample fountain, was the king's printing house, and that famous letter so much esteemed. Here I bought divers of the classic authors, poets, and others.
We returned through another gallery, larger, but not so long, where hung the pictures of all the kings and queens and prime nobility of France.
Descending hence, we were let into a lower very large room, called the Salle des Antiques, which is a vaulted Cimelia, destined for statues only, among which stands that so celebrated Diana of the Ephesians, said to be the same which uttered oracles in that renowned Temple. Besides these colossean figures of marble, I must not forget the huge globe suspended by chains. The pavings, inlayings, and incrustations of this Hall, are very rich.
In another more private garden toward the Queen's apartment is a walk, or cloister, under arches, whose terrace is paved with stones of a great breadth; it looks toward the river, and has a pleasant aviary, fountain, stately cypresses, etc. On the river are seen a prodigious number of barges and boats of great length, full of hay, corn, wood, wine, and other commodities, which this vast city daily consumes. Under the long gallery we have described, dwell goldsmiths, painters, statuaries, and architects, who being the most famous for their art in Christendom have stipends allowed them by the King. Into that of Monsieur Saracin we entered, who was then molding for an image of a Madonna to be cast in gold of a great size to be sent by the Queen Regent to Loretto, as an offering for the birth of the Dauphin, now the young King.
I finished this day with a walk in the great garden of the Tuileries, rarely contrived for privacy, shade, or company, by groves, plantations of tall trees, especially that in the middle, being of elms, the other of mulberries; and that labyrinth of cypresses; not omitting the noble hedges of pomegranates, fountains, fish-ponds, and an aviary; but, above all, the artificial echo, redoubling the words so distinctly; and, as it is never without some fair nymph singing to its grateful returns; standing at one of the focuses, which is under a tree or little cabinet of hedges, the voice seems to descend from the clouds; at another, as if it was underground. This being at the bottom of the garden, we were let into another, which being kept with all imaginary accurateness as to the orangery, precious shrubs, and rare fruits, seemed a Paradise. From a terrace in this place we saw so many coaches, as one would hardly think could be maintained in the whole city, going, late as it was in the year, toward the course, which is a place adjoining, of near an English mile long, planted with four rows of trees, making a large circle in the middle. This course is walled about, near breast high, with squared freestone, and has a stately arch at the entrance, with sculpture and statues about it, built by Mary di Medicis. Here it is that the gallants and ladies of the Court take the air and divert themselves, as with us in Hyde Park, the circle being capable of containing a hundred coaches to turn commodiously, and the larger of the plantations for five or six coaches abreast.
Returning through the Tuileries, we saw a building in which are kept wild beasts for the King's pleasure, a bear, a wolf, a wild boar, a leopard, etc.
John Evelyn's Diary 27 February 1644
27 Feb 1644. Accompanied with some English gentlemen, we took horse to see St. Germains-en-Laye, a stately country house of the King, some five leagues from Paris. By the way, we alighted at St. Cloud, where, on an eminence near the river, the Archbishop of Paris has a garden, for the house is not very considerable, rarely watered and furnished with fountains, statues, and groves; the walks are very fair; the fountain of Laocoon is in a large square pool, throwing the water near forty feet high, and having about it a multitude of statues and basins, and is a surprising object. But nothing is more esteemed than the cascade falling from the great steps into the lowest and longest walk from the Mount Parnassus, which consists of a grotto, or shell-house, on the summit of the hill, wherein are divers waterworks and contrivances to wet the spectators; this is covered with a fair cupola, the walls painted with the Muses, and statues placed thick about it, whereof some are antique and good. In the upper walks are two perspectives, seeming to enlarge the alleys, and in this garden are many other ingenious contrivances. The palace, as I said, is not extraordinary. The outer walls only painted à fresco. In the court is a Volary, and the statues of Charles IX., Henry III., IV., and Louis XIII., on horseback, mezzo-relievo'd in plaster. In the garden is a small chapel; and under shelter is the figure of Cleopatra, taken from the Belvidere original, with others. From the terrace above is a tempest well painted; and thence an excellent prospect toward Paris, the meadows, and river.
At an inn in this village is a host who treats all the great persons in princely lodgings for furniture and plate, but they pay well for it, as I have done. Indeed, the entertainment is very splendid, and not unreasonable, considering the excellent manner of dressing their meat, and of the service. Here are many debauches and excessive revelings, as being out of all noise and observance.
From hence, about a league further, we went to see Cardinal Richelieu's villa, at Ruell. The house is small, but fairly built, in form of a castle, moated round. The offices are toward the road, and over against it are large vineyards, walled in. But, though the house is not of the greatest, the gardens about it are so magnificent, that I doubt whether Italy has any exceeding it for all rarities of pleasure. The garden nearest the pavilion is a parterre, having in the midst divers noble brass statues, perpetually spouting water into an ample basin, with other figures of the same metal; but what is most admirable is the vast inclosure, and variety of ground, in the large garden, containing vineyards, cornfields, meadows, groves (whereof one is of perennial greens), and walks of vast length, so accurately kept and cultivated, that nothing can be more agreeable. On one of these walks, within a square of tall trees, is a basilisk of copper, which, managed by the fountaineer, casts water near sixty feet high, and will of itself move round so swiftly, that one can hardly escape wetting. This leads to the Citronière, which is a noble conserve of all those rarities; and at the end of it is the Arch of Constantine, painted on a wall in oil, as large as the real one at Rome, so well done, that even a man skilled in painting, may mistake it for stone and sculpture. The sky and hills, which seem to be between the arches, are so natural, that swallows and other birds, thinking to fly through, have dashed themselves against the wall. I was infinitely taken with this agreeable cheat. At the further part of this walk is that plentiful, though artificial cascade, which rolls down a very steep declivity, and over the marble steps and basins, with an astonishing noise and fury; each basin hath a jetto in it, flowing like sheets of transparent glass, especially that which rises over the great shell of lead, from whence it glides silently down a channel through the middle of a spacious gravel walk, terminating in a grotto. Here are also fountains that cast water to a great height, and large ponds, two of which have islands for harbor of fowls, of which there is store. One of these islands has a receptacle for them built of vast pieces of rock, near fifty feet high, grown over with moss, ivy, etc., shaded at a competent distance with tall trees: in this rupellary nidary do the fowl lay eggs, and breed. We then saw a large and very rare grotto of shell-work, in the shape of Satyrs, and other wild fancies: in the middle stands a marble table, on which a fountain plays in divers forms of glasses, cups, crosses, fans, crowns, etc. Then the fountaineer represented a shower of rain from the top, met by small jets from below. At going out, two extravagant musketeers shot us with a stream of water from their musket barrels. Before this grotto is a long pool into which ran divers spouts of water from leaden escalop basins. ST. GERMAINSThe viewing this paradise made us late at St. Germains.
The first building of this palace is of Charles V., called the Sage; but Francis I. (that true virtuoso) made it complete; speaking as to the style of magnificence then in fashion, which was with too great a mixture of the Gothic, as may be seen in what there is remaining of his in the old Castle, an irregular piece as built on the old foundation, and having a moat about it. It has yet some spacious and handsome rooms of state, and a chapel neatly painted. The new Castle is at some distance, divided from this by a court, of a lower, but more modern design, built by Henry IV. To this belong six terraces, built of brick and stone, descending in cascades toward the river, cut out of the natural hill, having under them goodly vaulted galleries; of these, four have subterranean grots and rocks, where are represented several objects in the manner of scenes and other motions, by force of water, shown by the light of torches only; among these, is Orpheus with his music; and the animals, which dance after his harp; in the second, is the King and Dolphin;17 in the third, is Neptune sounding his trumpet, his chariot drawn by sea horses; in the fourth, the story of Perseus and Andromeda; mills; hermitages; men fishing; birds chirping; and many other devices. There is also a dry grot to refresh in; all having a fine prospect toward the river, and the goodly country about it, especially the forest. At the bottom, is a parterre; the upper terrace nearly half a mile in length, with double declivities, arched and balustered with stone, of vast and royal cost.
In the pavilion of the new Castle are many fair rooms, well painted, and leading into a very noble garden and park, where is a pall-mall, in the midst of which, on one of the sides, is a chapel, with stone cupola, though small, yet of a handsome order of architecture. Out of the park you go into the forest, which being very large, is stored with deer, wild boars, wolves, and other wild game. The Tennis Court, and Cavallerizzo, for the menaged horses, are also observable.
We returned to Paris by Madrid, another villa of the King's, built by Francis I., and called by that name to absolve him of his oath that he would not go from Madrid (in which he was prisoner), in Spain, but from whence he made his escape. This house is also built in a park, and walled in. We next called in at the Bonnes-hommes, well situated, with a fair chapel and library.
John Evelyn's Diary March 1644
John Evelyn's Diary 01 March 1644
01 Mar 1644. I went to see the Count de Liancourt's Palace in the Rue de Seine, which is well built. Toward his study and bedchamber joins a little garden, which, though very narrow, by the addition of a well-painted perspective, is to appearance greatly enlarged; to this there is another part, supported by arches in which runs a stream of water, rising in the aviary, out of a statue, and seeming to flow for some miles, by being artificially continued in the painting, when it sinks down at the wall. It is a very agreeable deceit. At the end of this garden is a little theater, made to change with divers pretty scenes, and the stage so ordered, with figures of men and women painted on light boards, and cut out, and, by a person who stands underneath, made to act as if they were speaking, by guiding them, and reciting words in different tones, as the parts require. We were led into a round cabinet, where was a neat invention for reflecting lights, by lining divers sconces with thin shining plates of gilded copper.
In one of the rooms of state was an excellent painting of Poussin, being a Satyr kneeling; over the chimney, the Coronation of the Virgin, by Paulo Veronese; another Madonna over the door, and that of Joseph, by Cigali; in the Hall, a Cavaliero di Malta, attended by his page, said to be of Michael Angelo; the Rape of Proserpine, with a very large landscape of Correggio. In the next room are some paintings of Primaticcio, especially the Helena, the naked Lady brought before Alexander, well painted, and a Ceres. In the bedchamber a picture of the Cardinal de Liancourt, of Raphael, rarely colored. In the cabinet are divers pieces of Bassano, two of Polemburg, four of Paulo Brill, the skies a little too blue. A Madonna of Nicholao, excellently painted on a stone; a Judith of Mantegna; three women of Jeronimo; one of Stenwick; a Madonna after Titian, and a Magdalen of the same hand, as the Count esteems it: two small pieces of Paulo Veronese, being the Martyrdoms of St. Justina and St. Catherine; a Madonna of Lucas Van Leyden, sent him from our King; six more of old Bassano; two excellent drawings of Albert; a Magdalen of Leonardo da Vinci; four of Paulo; a very rare Madonna of Titian, given him also by our King; the Ecce Homo, shut up in a frame of velvet, for the life and accurate finishing exceeding all description. Some curious agates, and a chaplet of admirable invention, the intaglios being all on fruit stones. The Count was so exceeding civil, that he would needs make his lady go out of her dressing room, that he might show us the curiosities and pictures in it.
We went thence to visit one Monsieur Perishot, one of the greatest virtuosos in France, for his collection of pictures, agates, medals, and flowers, especially tulips and anemonies. The chiefest of his paintings was a Sebastian, of Titian.
From him we went to Monsieur Frene's, who showed us many rare drawings, a Rape of Helen in black chalk; many excellent things of Sneiders, all naked; some of Julio and Michael Angelo; a Madonna of Passignano; some things of Parmensis, and other masters.
The next morning, being recommended to one Monsieur de Hausse, President of the Parliament, and once Ambassador at Venice for the French King, we were very civilly received, and showed his library. Among his paintings were a rare Venus and Adonis of Veronese, a St. Anthony, after the first manner of Correggio, and a rare Madonna of Palma.
John Evelyn's Diary 06 March 1644
06 Mar 1644. Sunday. I went to Charenton, two leagues from Paris, to hear and see the manner of the French Protestant Church service. The place of meeting they call the Temple, a very fair and spacious room, built of freestone, very decently adorned with paintings of the Tables of the Law, the Lord's Prayer, and Creed. The pulpit stands at the upper end in the middle, having an inclosure of seats about it, where the Elders and persons of greatest quality and strangers, sit; the rest of the congregation on forms and low stools, but none in pews, as in our churches, to their great disgrace, as nothing so orderly, as here the stools and other cumber are removed when the assembly rises. I was greatly pleased with their harmonious singing the Psalms, which they all learn perfectly well, their children being as duly taught these, as their catechism.
In our passage, we went by that famous bridge over the Marne, where that renowned echo returns the voice of a good singer nine or ten times.
John Evelyn's Diary 07 March 1644
07 Mar 1644. I set forward with some company toward Fontainebleau, a sumptuous Palace of the King's, like ours at Hampton Court, about fourteen leagues from the city. By the way, we pass through a forest so prodigiously encompassed with hideous rocks of whitish hard stone, heaped one on another in mountainous heights, that I think the like is nowhere to be found more horrid and solitary. It abounds with stags, wolves, boars, and not long after a lynx, or ounce, was killed among them, which had devoured some passengers. On the summit of one of these gloomy precipices, intermingled with trees and shrubs, the stones hanging over, and menacing ruin, is built an hermitage. In these solitudes, rogues frequently lurk and do mischief (and for whom we were all well appointed with our carabines); but we arrived safe in the evening at the village, where we lay at the Horne, going early next morning to the Palace.
This House is nothing so stately and uniform as Hampton Court, but Francis I. began much to beautify it; most of all Henry IV. (and not a little) the late King. It abounds with fair halls, chambers, and galleries; in the longest, which is 360 feet long, and 18 broad, are painted the Victories of that great Prince, Henry IV. That of Francis I., called the grand Gallery, has all the King's palaces painted in it; above these, in sixty pieces of excellent work in fresco, is the History of Ulysses, from Homer, by Primaticcio, in the time of Henry III., esteemed the most renowned in Europe for the design. The Cabinet is full of excellent pictures, especially a Woman, of Raphael. In the Hall of the Guards is a piece of tapestry painted on the wall, very naturally, representing the victories of Charles VII. over our countrymen. In the Salle des Festins is a rare Chimney-piece, and Henry IV. on horseback, of white marble, esteemed worth 18,000 crowns; Clementia and Pax, nobly done. On columns of jasper, two lions of brass. The new stairs, and a half circular court, are of modern and good architecture, as is a chapel built by Louis XIII., all of jasper, with several incrustations of marble through the inside.
Having seen the rooms, we went to the volary, which has a cupola in the middle of it, great trees and bushes, it being full of birds who drank at two fountains. There is also a fair tennis court, and noble stables; but the beauty of all are the gardens. In the Court of the Fountains stand divers antiquities and statues, especially a Mercury. In the Queen's Garden is a Diana ejecting a fountain, with numerous other brass statues.
The great Garden, 180 toises long and 154 wide, has in the center a fountain of Tyber of a Colossean figure of brass, with the Wolf over Romulus and Remus. At each corner of the garden rises a fountain. In the garden of the piscina, is a Hercules of white marble; next, is that of the pines, and without that a canal of an English mile in length, at the end of which rise three jettos in the form of a fleur-de-lis, of a great height; on the margin are excellent walks planted with trees. The carps come familiarly to hand (to be fed). Hence they brought us to a spring, which they say being first discovered by a dog, gave occasion of beautifying this place, both with the palace and gardens. The white and terrific rocks at some distance in the forest, yield one of the most august and stupendous prospects imaginable. The park about this place is very large, and the town full of noblemen's houses.
Next morning, we were invited by a painter, who was keeper of the pictures and rarities, to see his own collection. We were led through a gallery of old Rosso's work, at the end of which, in another cabinet, were three Madonnas of Raphael, and two of Andrea del Sarto. In the Academy where the painter himself wrought, was a St. Michael of Raphael, very rare; St. John Baptist of Leonardo, and a Woman's head; a Queen of Sicily, and St. Margaret of Raphael; two more Madonnas, whereof one very large, by the same hand; some more of del Sarto; a St. Jerome, of Perino del Vaga; the Rape of Proserpine, very good; and a great number of drawings.
Returning part of our way to Paris, that day, we visited a house called Maison Rouge, having an excellent prospect, grot, and fountains, one whereof rises fifty feet, and resembles the noise of a tempest, battle of guns, etc., at its issue.
Thence to Essone, a house of Monsieur Essling, who is a great virtuoso; there are many good paintings in it; but nothing so observable as his gardens, fountains, fish-pools, especially that in a triangular form, the water cast out by a multitude of heads about it; there is a noble cascade and pretty baths, with all accommodations. Under a marble table is a fountain of serpents twisting about a globe.
We alighted next at Corbeil, a town famous for the siege by Henry IV. Here we slept, and returned next morning to Paris.
John Evelyn's Diary 18 March 1644
18 Mar 1644. I went with Sir J. Cotton (23), a Cambridgeshire Knight, a journey into Normandy. The first day, we passed by Gaillon, the Archbishop of Rouen's Palace. The gardens are highly commended, but we did not go in, intending to reach Pontoise by dinner. This town is built in a very gallant place, has a noble bridge over the Oise, and is well refreshed with fountains.
This is the first town in Normandy, and the furthest that the vineyards extend to on this side of the country, which is fuller of plains, wood, and inclosures, with some towns toward the sea, very like England.
We lay this night at a village, called Magny. The next day, descending a very steep hill, we dined at Fleury, after riding five leagues down St. Catherine, to Rouen, which affords a goodly prospect, to the ruins of that chapel and mountain. This country so abounds with wolves that a shepherd whom we met, told us one of his companions was strangled by one of them the day before, and that in the midst of his flock. The fields are mostly planted with pears and apples, and other cider fruits. It is plentifully furnished with quarries of stone and slate, and hath iron in abundance.
I lay at the White Cross, in Rouen, which is a very large city, on the Seine, having two smaller rivers besides, called the Aubette and Robec. There stand yet the ruins of a magnificent bridge of stone, now supplied by one of boats only, to which come up vessels of considerable burden. The other side of the water consists of meadows, and there have the Reformed a church.
The Cathedral Nôtre Dame was built, as they acknowledge, by the English; some English words graven in Gothic characters upon the front seem to confirm it. The towers and whole church are full of carving. It has three steeples, with a pyramid; in one of these, I saw the famous bell so much talked of, thirteen feet in height, thirty-two round, the diameter eleven, weighing 40,000 pounds.
In the Chapel d'Amboise, built by a Cardinal of that name, lies his body, with several fair monuments. The choir has behind it a great dragon painted on the wall, which they say had done much harm to the inhabitants, till vanquished by St. Romain, their Archbishop; for which there is an annual procession. It was now near Easter, and many images were exposed with scenes and stories representing the Passion; made up of little puppets, to which there was great resort and devotion, with offerings. Before the church is a fair palace. St. Ouen is another goodly church and an abbey with fine gardens. Here the King hath lodgings, when he makes his progress through these parts. The structure, where the Court of Parliament is kept, is very magnificent, containing very fair halls and chambers, especially La Chambre Dorée. The town-house is also well built, and so are some gentlemen's houses; but most part of the rest are of timber, like our merchants' in London, in the wooden part of the city.
John Evelyn's Diary 21 March 1644
21 Mar 1644. On Easter Monday, we dined at Totes, a solitary inn between Rouen and Dieppe, at which latter place we arrived. This town is situated between two mountains, not unpleasantly, and is washed on the north by our English seas.
The port is commodious; but the entrance difficult. It has one very ample and fair street, in which is a pretty church. The Fort Pollet consists of a strong earth-work, and commands the haven, as on the other side does the castle, which is also well fortified, with the citadel before it; nor is the town itself a little strong. It abounds with workmen, who make and sell curiosities of ivory and tortoise-shells; and indeed whatever the East Indies afford of cabinets, porcelain, natural and exotic rarities, are here to be had, with abundant choice.
John Evelyn's Diary 23 March 1644
23 Mar 1644. We passed along the coast by a very rocky and rugged way, which forced us to alight many times before we came to Havre de Grace, where we lay that night.
The next morning, we saw the citadel, strong and regular, well stored with artillery and ammunition of all sorts: the works furnished with fair brass cannon, having a motto, Ratio ultima Regum. The allogements of the garrison are uniform; a spacious place for drawing up the soldiers, a pretty chapel, and a fair house for the Governor. The Duke of Richelieu being now in the fort, we went to salute him; who received us very civilly, and commanded that we should be showed whatever we desired to see. The citadel was built by the late Cardinal de Richelieu, uncle of the present Duke, and may be esteemed one of the strongest in France. The haven is very capacious.
When we had done here, we embarked ourselves and horses to pass to Honfleur, about four or five leagues distant, where the Seine falls into the sea. It is a poor fisher-town, remarkable for nothing so much as the odd, yet useful habits which the good women wear, of bears' and other skins, as of rugs at Dieppe, and all along these maritime coasts.
John Evelyn's Diary 25 March 1644
25 Mar 1644. We arrived at Caen, a noble and beautiful town, situate on the river Orne, which passes quite through it, the two sides of the town joined only by a bridge of one entire arch. We lay at the Angel, where we were very well used, the place being abundantly furnished with provisions, at a cheap rate. The most considerable object is the great Abbey and Church, large and rich, built after the Gothic manner, having two spires and middle lantern at the west end, all of stone. The choir round and large, in the center whereof elevated on a square, handsome, but plain sepulcher, is this inscription:
"Hoc sepulchrum invictissimi juxta et clementissimi conquestoris, Gulielmi, dum viverat Anglorum Regis, Normannorum Cenomannorumque Principis, hujus insignis Abbatiae piissimi Fundatoris: Cum anno 1562 vesano hæreticorum furore direptum fuisset, pio tandem nobilium ejusdem Abbatiae religiosorum gratitudinis sensu in tam beneficum largitorem, instauratum fuit, aº D'ni 1642. D'no Johanne de Bailhache Assætorii proto priore. D.D"..
On the other side are these monkish rhymes:
Qui rexit rigidos Northmannos, atq. Britannos.
Audacter vicit, fortiter obtinuit,.
Et Cenomanensis virtute coërcuit ensis,.
Imperiique sui Legibus applicuit.
Rex magnus parvâ jacet hâc Gulielm' in Urnâ,.
Sufficit et magno parva domus Domino.
Ter septem gradibus te volverat atq. duobus.
Virginis in gremio Phœbus, et hic obiit.
We went to the castle, which is strong and fair, and so is the town-house, built on the bridge which unites the two towns. Here are schools and an University for the Jurists.
The whole town is handsomely built of that excellent stone so well known by that name in England. I was led to a pretty garden, planted with hedges of alaternus, having at the entrance a screen at an exceeding height, accurately cut in topiary work, with well understood architecture, consisting of pillars, niches, friezes, and other ornaments, with great curiosity; some of the columns curiously wreathed, others spiral, all according to art.
John Evelyn's Diary 28 March 1644
28 Mar 1644. We went toward Paris, lying the first night at Evreux, a Bishop's seat, an ancient town, with a fair cathedral; so the next day we arrived at Paris.
John Evelyn's Diary April 1644
John Evelyn's Diary 01 April 1644
01 Apr 1644. I went to see more exactly the rooms of the fine Palace of Luxemburg, in the Fauxbourg St. Germains, built by Mary di Medicis, and I think one of the most noble, entire, and finished piles that is to be seen, taking it with the garden and all its accomplishments. The gallery is of the painting of Rubens, being the history of the Foundress's Life, rarely designed; at the end of it is the Duke of Orléans' library, well furnished with excellent books, all bound in maroquin and gilded, the valance of the shelves being of green velvet, fringed with gold. In the cabinet joining to it are only the smaller volumes, with six cabinets of medals, and an excellent collection of shells and agates, whereof some are prodigiously rich. This Duke being very learned in medals and plants, nothing of that kind escapes him. There are other spacious, noble, and princely furnished rooms, which look toward the gardens, which are nothing inferior to the rest.
The court below is formed into a square by a corridor, having over the chief entrance a stately cupola, covered with stone: the rest is cloistered and arched on pilasters of rustic work. The terrace ascending before the front, paved with white and black marble, is balustered with white marble, exquisitely polished.
Only the hall below is low, and the staircase somewhat of a heavy design, but the facia toward the parterre which is also arched and vaulted with stone, is of admirable beauty and full of sculpture.
The gardens are near an English mile in compass, inclosed with a stately wall, and in a good air. The parterre is indeed of box, but so rarely designed and accurately kept cut, that the embroidery makes a wonderful effect to the lodgings which front it. 'Tis divided into four squares and as many circular knots, having in the center a noble basin of marble near thirty feet in diameter (as I remember), in which a Triton of brass holds a dolphin, that casts a girandola of water near thirty feet high, playing perpetually, the water being conveyed from Arceuil by an aqueduct of stone, built after the old Roman magnificence. About this ample parterre, the spacious walks and all included, runs a border of freestone, adorned with pedestals for pots and statues, and part of it near the steps of the terrace, with a rail and baluster of pure white marble.
The walks are exactly fair, long, and variously descending and so justly planted with limes, elms, and other trees, that nothing can be more delicious, especially that of the hornbeam hedge, which being high and stately, buts full on the fountain.
Toward the further end, is an excavation intended for a vast fish-pool, but never finished, and near it is an inclosure for a garden of simples, well kept; and here the Duke keeps tortoises in great number, who use the pool of water on one side of the garden. Here is also a conservatory for snow. At the upper part, toward the palace, is a grove of tall elms cut into a star, every ray being a walk, whose center is a large fountain.
The rest of the ground is made into several inclosures (all hedge-work or rows of trees) of whole fields, meadows, bocages, some of them containing divers acres.
Next the street side, and more contiguous to the house, are knots in trail, or grass work, where likewise runs a fountain. Toward the grotto and stables, within a wall, is a garden of choice flowers, in which the duke spends many thousand pistoles. In sum, nothing is wanted to render this palace and gardens perfectly beautiful and magnificent; nor is it one of the least diversions to see the number of persons of quality, citizens and strangers, who frequent it, and to whom all access is freely permitted, so that you shall see some walks and retirements full of gallants and ladies; in others melancholy friars; in others, studious scholars; in others, jolly citizens, some sitting or lying on the grass, others running and jumping; some playing at bowls and ball, others dancing and singing; and all this without the least disturbance, by reason of the largeness of the place.
What is most admirable, you see no gardeners, or men at work, and yet all is kept in such exquisite order, as if they did nothing else but work; it is so early in the morning, that all is dispatched and done without the least confusion.
I have been the larger in the description of this paradise, for the extraordinary delight I have taken in those sweet retirements. The Cabinet and Chapel nearer the garden-front have some choice pictures. All the houses near this are also very noble palaces, especially Petite Luxemburg. The ascent of the street is handsome from its breadth, situation, and buildings.
I went next to view Paris from the top of St. Jacques' steeple, esteemed the highest in the town, from whence I had a full view of the whole city and suburbs, both which, as I judge, are not so large as London: though the dissimilitude of their several forms and situations, this being round, London long,—renders it difficult to determine; but there is no comparison between the buildings, palaces, and materials, this being entirely of stone and more sumptuous, though I esteem our piazzas to exceed theirs.
Hence I took a turn in St. Innocent's churchyard, where the story of the devouring quality of the ground (consuming bodies in twenty-four hours), the vast charnels of bones, tombs, pyramids, and sepulchers, took up much of my time, together with the hieroglyphical characters of Nicholas Flamel's philosophical work, who had founded this church, and divers other charitable establishments, as he testifies in his book.
Here divers clerks get their livelihood by inditing letters for poor maids and other ignorant people who come to them for advice, and to write for them into the country, both to their sweethearts, parents, and friends; every large gravestone serving for a table. Joining to this church is a common fountain, with good relievos upon it.
The next day I was carried to see a French gentleman's curious collection, which abounded in fair and rich jewels of all sorts of precious stones, most of them of great sizes and value; agates and onyxes, some of them admirably colored and antique; nor inferior were his landscapes from the best hands, most of which he had caused to be copied in miniature; one of which, rarely painted on stone, was broken by one of our company, by the mischance of setting it up: but such was the temper and civility of the gentleman, that it altered nothing of his free and noble humor.
The next morning, I was had by a friend to the garden of Monsieur Morine, who, from being an ordinary gardener, is become one of the most skillful and curious persons in France for his rare collection of shells, flowers, and insects.
His garden is of an exact oval figure, planted with cypress, cut flat and set as even as a wall: the tulips, anemones, ranunculuses, crocuses, etc., are held to be of the rarest, and draw all the admirers of that kind to his house during the season. He lived in a kind of hermitage at one side of his garden, where his collection of porcelain and coral, whereof one is carved into a large crucifix, is much esteemed. He has also books of prints, by Albert [Durer], Van Leyden, Callot, etc. His collection of all sorts of insects, especially of butterflies, is most curious; these he spreads and so medicates, that no corruption invading them, he keeps them in drawers, so placed as to represent a beautiful piece of tapestry.
He showed me the remarks he had made on their propagation, which he promised to publish. Some of these, as also of his best flowers, he had caused to be painted in miniature by rare hands, and some in oil.
John Evelyn's Diary 06 April 1644
06 Apr 1644. I sent my sister my own picture in water colors, which she requested of me, and went to see divers of the fairest palaces of the town, as that of Vendôme, very large and stately; Lougueville; Guise; Condé;.
Chevereuse; Nevers, esteemed one of the best in Paris toward the river.
I often went to the Palais Cardinal, bequeathed by Richelieu to the King, on condition that it should be called by his name; at this time, the King resided in it, because of the building of the Louvre. It is a very noble house, though somewhat low; the galleries, paintings of the most illustrious persons of both sexes, the Queen's baths, presence-chamber with its rich carved and gilded roof, theater, and large garden, in which is an ample fountain, grove, and mall, worthy of remark. Here I also frequently went to see them ride and exercise the great horse, especially at the Academy of Monsieur du Plessis, and de Veau, whose schools of that art are frequented by the nobility; and here also young gentlemen are taught to fence, dance, play on music, and something in fortification and the mathematics. The design is admirable, some keeping near a hundred brave horses, all managed to the great saddle.
John Evelyn's Diary 12 April 1644
12 Apr 1644. I took coach, to see a general muster of all the gens d'armes about the city, in the Bois de Boulogne, before their Majesties and all the Grandees. They were reputed to be near 20,000, besides the spectators, who much exceeded them in number. Here they performed all their motions; and, being drawn up, horse and foot, into several figures, represented a battle.
The summer now drawing near, I determined to spend the rest of it in some more remote town on the river Loire; and, on 19th of April, I took leave of Paris, and, by the way of the messenger, agreed for my passage to Orléans.
The way from Paris to this city, as indeed most of the roads in France, is paved with a small square freestone, so that the country does not much molest the traveler with dirt and ill way, as in England, only 'tis somewhat hard to the poor horses' feet, which causes them to ride more temperately, seldom going out of the trot, or grand pas, as they call it. We passed divers walled towns, or villages; among others of note, Chartres and Etampes, where we lay the first night. This has a fair church. The next day, we had an excellent road; but had liked to come short home: for no sooner were we entered two or three leagues into the Forest of Orléans (which extends itself many miles), but the company behind us were set on by rogues, who, shooting from the hedges and frequent covert, slew four upon the spot. Among the slain was a captain of Swiss, of the regiment of Picardy, a person much lamented. This disaster made such an alarm in Orléans at our arrival, that the Prevôt Marshal, with his assistants, going in pursuit, brought in two whom they had shot, and exposed them in the great market place, to see if any would take cognizance of them. I had great cause to give God thanks for this escape; when coming to Orléans and lying at the White Cross, I found Mr. John Nicholas, eldest son to Mr. Secretary. In the night a cat kittened on my bed, and left on it a young one having six ears, eight legs, two bodies from the middle downward, and two tails. I found it dead, but warm, in the morning when I awaked.
John Evelyn's Diary 21 April 1644
21 Apr 1644. I went about to view the city, which is well built of stone, on the side of the Loire. About the middle of the river is an island, full of walks and fair trees, with some houses. This is contiguous to the town by a stately stone bridge, reaching to the opposite suburbs, built likewise on the edge of a hill, from whence is a beautiful prospect. At one of the extremes of the bridge are strong towers, and about the middle, on one side, is the statue of the Virgin Mary, or Pieta, with the dead Christ in her lap, as big as the life. At one side of the cross, kneels Charles VII., armed, and at the other Joan d'Arc, armed also like a cavalier, with boots and spurs, her hair disheveled, as the deliveress of the town from our countrymen, when they besieged it. The figures are all cast in copper, with a pedestal full of inscriptions, as well as a fair column joining it, which is all adorned with fleurs-de-lis and a crucifix, with two saints proceeding (as it were) from two branches out of its capital. The inscriptions on the cross are in Latin: "Mors Christi in cruce nos á contagione, labis et æternorum morborum sanavit". On the pedestal: "Rex in hoc signo hostes profligavit, et Johanna Virgo Aureliam obsidio liberavit. Non diu ab impiis diruta, restituta sunt hoc anno D'ni 1578. Jean Buret, m. f".—"Octannoque Galliam servitute Britannicâ liberavit. A Domino factum est illud, et est mirabile in oculis nostris; in quorum memorià hæc nostræ fidei Insignia". To this is made an annual procession on 12th of May, mass being sung before it, attended with great ceremony and concourse of people. The wine of this place is so strong, that the King's cup bearers are, as I was assured, sworn never to give the King any of it: but it is a very noble liquor, and much of it transported into other countries. The town is much frequented by strangers, especially Germans, for the great purity of the language here spoken, as well as for divers other privileges, and the University, which causes the English to make no long sojourn here, except such as can drink and debauch. The city stands in the county of Bealse (Blaisois); was once styled a Kingdom, afterward a Duchy, as at present, belonging to the second son of France. Many Councils have been held here, and some Kings crowned. The University is very ancient, divided now by the students into that of four nations, French, High Dutch, Normans, and Picardines, who have each their respective protectors, several officers, treasurers, consuls, seals, etc. There are in it two reasonable fair public libraries, whence one may borrow a book to one's chamber, giving but a note under hand, which is an extraordinary custom, and a confidence that has cost many libraries dear. The first church I went to visit was St. Croix; it has been a stately fabric, but now much ruined by the late civil wars. They report the tower of it to have been the highest in France. There is the beginning of a fair reparation. About this cathedral there is a very spacious cemetery. The townhouse is also very nobly built, with a high tower to it. The market place and streets, some whereof are deliciously planted with limes, are ample and straight, so well paved with a kind of pebble, that I have not seen a neater town in France. In fine, this city was by Francis I. esteemed the most agreeable of his vast dominions.
John Evelyn's Diary 28 April 1644
28 Apr 1644. Taking boat on the Loire, I went toward Blois, the passage and river being both very pleasant. Passing Mehun, we dined at Baugenci, and slept at a little town called St. Dieu. Quitting our bark, we hired horses to Blois, by the way of Chambord, a famous house of the King's, built by Francis I. in the middle of a solitary park, full of deer, inclosed with a wall. I was particularly desirous of seeing this palace, from the extravagance of the design, especially the staircase, mentioned by Palladio. It is said that 1800 workmen were constantly employed in this fabric for twelve years: if so, it is wonderful that it was not finished, it being no greater than divers gentlemen's houses in England, both for room and circuit. The carvings are indeed very rich and full. The staircase is devised with four entries, or assents, which cross one another, so that though four persons meet, they never come in sight, but by small loopholes, till they land. It consists of 274 steps (as I remember), and is an extraordinary work, but of far greater expense than use or beauty. The chimneys of the house appear like so many towers. About the whole is a large deep moat. The country about is full of corn, and wine, with many fair noblemen's houses.
We arrived at Blois in the evening. The town is hilly, uneven, and rugged, standing on the side of the Loire, having suburbs joined by a stately stone bridge, on which is a pyramid with an inscription. At the entrance of the castle is a stone statue of Louis XII. on horseback, as large as life, under a Gothic state; and a little below are these words:
Hic ubi natus erat dextro Ludovicus Olympo,.
Sumpsit honoratâ regia sceptra manu;.
Felix quæ tanti fulsit Lux nuncia Regis!
Gallica non alio principe digna fuit.
Under this is a very wide pair of gates, nailed full of wolves and wild-boars' heads. Behind the castle the present Duke Gaston had begun a fair building, through which we walked into a large garden, esteemed for its furniture one of the fairest, especially for simples and exotic plants, in which he takes extraordinary delight. On the right hand is a long gallery full of ancient statues and inscriptions, both of marble and brass; the length, 300 paces, divides the garden into higher and lower ground, having a very noble fountain. There is the portrait of a hart, taken in the forest by Louis XII., which has twenty-four antlers on its head. In the Collegiate Church of St. Savior, we saw many sepulchres of the Earls of Blois.
On Sunday, being May-day, we walked up into Pall Mall, very long, and so noble shaded with tall trees (being in the midst of a great wood), that unless that of Tours, I had not seen a statelier.
From hence, we proceeded with a friend of mine through the adjoining forest, to see if we could meet any wolves, which are here in such numbers that they often come and take children out of the very streets; yet will not the Duke, who is sovereign here, permit them to be destroyed. We walked five or six miles outright; but met with none; yet a gentleman, who was resting himself under a tree, with his horse grazing by him, told us that half an hour before, two wolves had set upon his horse, and had in probability devoured him, but for a dog which lay by him. At a little village at the end of this wood, we ate excellent cream, and visited a castle builded on a very steep cliff.
Blois is a town where the language is exactly spoken; the inhabitants very courteous; the air so good, that it is the ordinary nursery of the King's children. The people are so ingenious, that, for goldsmith's work and watches, no place in France affords the like. The pastures by the river are very rich and pleasant.
John Evelyn's Diary May 1644
John Evelyn's Diary 02 May 1644
02 May 1644. We took boat again, passing by Charmont, a proud castle on the left hand; before it is a sweet island, deliciously shaded with tall trees. A little distance from hence, we went on shore at Amboise, a very agreeable village, built of stone, and the houses covered with blue slate, as the towns on the Loire generally are; but the castle chiefly invited us, the thickness of whose towers from the river to the top, was admirable. We entered by the drawbridge, which has an invention to let one fall, if not premonished. It is full of halls and spacious chambers, and one staircase is large enough, and sufficiently commodious, to receive a coach, and land it on the very tower, as they told us had been done. There is some artillery in it; but that which is most observable is in the ancient chapel, viz, a stag's head, or branches, hung up by chains, consisting of twenty browantlers, the beam bigger than a man's middle, and of an incredible length. Indeed, it is monstrous, and yet I cannot conceive how it should be artificial they show also the ribs and vertebræ of the same beast; but these might be made of whalebone.
Leaving the castle, we passed Mont Louis, a village having no houses above ground but such only as are hewn out of the main rocks of excellent freestone. Here and there the funnel of a chimney appears on the surface among the vineyards which are over them, and in this manner they inhabit the caves, as it were sea-cliffs, on one side of the river for many miles.
We now came within sight of Tours, where we were designed for the rest of the time I had resolved to stay in France, the sojournment being so agreeable. Tours is situate on the east side of a hill on the river Loire, having a fair bridge of stone called St. Edme; the streets are very long, straight, spacious, well built, and exceeding clean; the suburbs large and pleasant, joined to the city by another bridge. Both the church and monastery of St. Martin are large, of Gothic building, having four square towers, fair organs, and a stately altar, where they show the bones and ashes of St. Martin, with other relics. The Mall without comparison is the noblest in Europe for length and shade, having seven rows of the tallest and goodliest elms I had ever beheld, the innermost of which do so embrace each other, and at such a height, that nothing can be more solemn and majestical. Here we played a party, or party or two, and then walked about the town walls, built of square stone, filled with earth, and having a moat. No city in France exceeds it in beauty, or delight.
John Evelyn's Diary 06 May 1644
06 May 1644. We went to St. Gatian, reported to have been built by our countrymen; the dial and clockwork are much esteemed. The church has two handsome towers and spires of stone, and the whole fabric is very noble and venerable. To this joins the palace of the Archbishop, consisting both of old and new building, with many fair rooms, and a fair garden. Here I grew acquainted with one Monsieur Merey, a very good musician. The Archbishop treated me very courteously. We visited divers other churches, chapels, and monasteries for the most part neatly built, and full of pretty paintings, especially the Convent of the Capuchins, which has a prospect over the whole city, and many fair walks.
John Evelyn's Diary 08 May 1644
08 May 1644. I went to see their manufactures in silk (for in this town they drive a very considerable trade with silk-worms), their pressing and watering the grograms and camlets, with weights of an extraordinary poise, put into a rolling engine. Here I took a master of the language, and studied the tongue very diligently, recreating myself sometimes at the Mall, and sometimes about the town. The house opposite my lodging had been formerly a King's palace; the outside was totally covered with fleur-de-lis, embossed out of the stone. Here Mary de Medicis held her Court, when she was compelled to retire from Paris by the persecution of the great Cardinal.
John Evelyn's Diary 25 May 1644
25 May 1644. Was the Fête Dieu, and a goodly procession of all the religious orders, the whole streets hung with their best tapestries, and their most precious movables exposed; silks, damasks, velvets, plate, and pictures in abundance; the streets strewed with flowers, and full of pageantry, banners, and bravery.
John Evelyn's Diary June 1644
John Evelyn's Diary 06 June 1644
06 Jun 1644. I went by water to visit that goodly and venerable Abbey of Marmoutiers, being one of the greatest in the kingdom; to it is a very ample church of stone, with a very high pyramid. Among other relics the Monks showed us is the Holy Ampoulle, the same with that which sacres their Kings at Rheims, this being the one that anointed Henry IV. Ascending many steps, we went into the Abbot's Palace, where we were showed a vast tun (as big as that at Heidelberg), which they report St. Martin (as I remember) filled from one cluster of grapes growing there.
John Evelyn's Diary 07 June 1644
07 Jun 1644. We walked about two miles from the city to an agreeable solitude, called Du Plessis, a house belonging to the King. It has many pretty gardens, full of nightingales; and, in the chapel, lies buried the famous poet, Ronsard.
Returning, we stepped into a Convent of Franciscans, called St. Cosmo, where the cloister is painted with the miracles of their St. Francis à Paula, whose ashes lie in their chapel, with this inscription: "Corpus Sancti Fran. à Paula 1507, 13 Aprilis, concrematur verò ab Hæreticis anno 1562, cujus quidem ossa et cineres hìc jacent". The tomb has four small pyramids of marble at each corner.
John Evelyn's Diary 09 June 1644
09 Jun 1644. I was invited to a vineyard, which was so artificially planted and supported with arched poles, that stooping down one might see from end to end, a very great length, under the vines, the bunches hanging down in abundance.
John Evelyn's Diary 20 June 1644
20 Jun 1644. We took horse to see certain natural caves, called Gouttière, near Colombière, where there is a spring within the bowels of the earth, very deep and so excessive cold, that the drops meeting with some lapidescent matter, it converts them into a hard stone, which hangs about it like icicles, having many others in the form of comfitures and sugar plums, as we call them.
Near this, we went under the ground almost two furlongs, lighted with candles, to see the source and spring which serves the whole city, by a passage cut through the main rock of freestone.
John Evelyn's Diary 28 June 1644
28 Jun 1644. I went to see the palace and gardens of Chevereux, a sweet place.
John Evelyn's Diary 30 June 1644
30 Jun 1644. I walked through the vineyards as far as Roche Corbé, to the ruins of an old and very strong castle, said to have been built by the English, of great height, on the precipice of a dreadful cliff, from whence the country and river yield a most incomparable prospect.
John Evelyn's Diary July 1644
John Evelyn's Diary 27 July 1644
27 Jul 1644. I heard excellent music at the Jesuits, who have here a school and convent, but a mean chapel. We have now store of those admirable melons, so much celebrated in France for the best in the kingdom.
John Evelyn's Diary August 1644
John Evelyn's Diary 01 August 1644
01 Aug 1644. My valet, one Garro, a Spaniard, born in Biscao, having misbehaved, I was forced to discharge him; he demanded of me (besides his wages) no less than 100 crowns to carry him to his country; refusing to pay it, as no part of our agreement, he had the impudence to arrest me; the next day I was to appear in Court, where both our avocats pleaded before the Lieutenant Civil; but it was so unreasonable a pretense, that the Judge had not patience to hear it out. The Judge immediately acquitted me, after he had reproached the avocat who took part with my servant, he rose from the Bench, and making a courteous excuse to me, that being a stranger I should be so used, he conducted me through the court to the street-door. This varlet afterward threatened to pistol me. The next day, I waited on the Lieutenant, to thank him for his great civility.
John Evelyn's Diary 18 August 1644
18 Aug 1644. The Queen of England (34) came to Tours, having newly arrived in France, and going for Paris. She was very nobly received by the people and clergy, who went to meet her with the trained bands. After the harangue, the Archbishop entertained her at his Palace, where I paid my duty to her. The 20th she set forward to Paris.
John Evelyn's Diary September 1644
John Evelyn's Diary 08 September 1644
08 Sep 1644. Two of my kinsmen came from Paris to this place, where I settled them in their pension and exercises.
John Evelyn's Diary 14 September 1644
14 Sep 1644. We took post for Richelieu, passing by l'Isle Bouchard, a village in the way. The next day, we arrived, and went to see the Cardinal's Palace, near it. The town is built in a low, marshy ground, having a narrow river cut by hand, very even and straight, capable of bringing up a small vessel. It consists of only one considerable street, the houses on both sides (as indeed throughout the town) built exactly uniform, after a modern handsome design. It has a large goodly market house and place, opposite to which is the church built of freestone, having two pyramids of stone, which stand hollow from the towers. The church is well built, and of a well-ordered architecture, within handsomely paved and adorned. To this place belongs an Academy, where, besides the exercise of the horse, arms, dancing, etc., all the sciences are taught in the vulgar French by Professors stipendiated by the great Cardinal, who by this, the cheap living there, and divers privileges, not only designed the improvement of the vulgar language, but to draw people and strangers to the town; but since the Cardinal's death, it is thinly inhabited; standing so much out of the way, and in a place not well situated for health, or pleasure. He was allured to build by the name of the place, and an old house there belonging to his ancestors. This pretty town is handsomely walled about and moated, with a kind of slight fortification, two fair gates and drawbridges. Before the gate, toward the palace, is a spacious circle, where the fair is annually kept. About a flight-shot from the town is the Cardinal's house, a princely pile, though on an old design, not altogether Gothic, but mixed, and environed by a clear moat. The rooms are stately, most richly furnished with tissue, damask, arras, and velvet, pictures, statues, vases, and all sorts of antiquities, especially the Cæsars, in oriental alabaster. The long gallery is painted with the famous acts of the Founder; the roof with the life of Julius Cæsar; at the end of it is a cupola, or singing theatre, supported by very stately pillars of black marble. The chapel anciently belonged to the family of the Founder. The court is very ample. The gardens without are very large, and the parterres of excellent embroidery, set with many statues of brass and marble; the groves, meadows, and walks are a real Paradise.
John Evelyn's Diary 16 September 1644
16 Sep 1644. We returned to Tours, from whence, after nineteen weeks' sojourn, we traveled toward the more southern part of France, minding now to shape my course so, as I might winter in Italy. With my friend, Mr. Thicknesse, and our guide, we went the first day seven leagues to a castle called Chenonceau, built by Catherine de Medicis, and now belonging to the Duke de Vendôme, standing on a bridge. In the gallery, among divers other excellent statues, is that of Scipio Africanus, of oriental alabaster.
John Evelyn's Diary 21 September 1644
21 Sep 1644. We passed by Villefranche, where we dined, and so by Muneton, lying at Viaron-au-mouton, which was twenty leagues. The next day by Murg to Bourges, four leagues, where we spent the day. This is the capital of Berry, an University much frequented by the Dutch, situated on the river Eure. It stands high, is strong, and well placed for defense; is environed with meadows and vines, and the living here is very cheap. In the suburbs of St. Privé, there is a fountain of sharp water which they report wholesome against the stone. They showed us a vast tree which they say stands in the center of France. The French tongue is spoken with great purity in this place. St. Stephen's church is the cathedral, well built à la Gothique, full of sepulchres without-side, with the representation of the final Judgment over one of the ports. Here they show the chapel of Claude de la Chastre, a famous soldier who had served six kings of France in their wars. St. Chapelle is built much like that at Paris, full of relics, and containing the bones of one Briat, a giant of fifteen cubits high. It was erected by John, Duke of Berry, and there is showed the coronet of the dukedom. The great tower is a Pharos for defense of the town, very strong, in thickness eighteen feet, fortified with graffs and works; there is a garrison in it, and a strange engine for throwing great stones, and the iron cage where Louis, Duke of Orléans, was kept by Charles VIII. Near the Town-house stands the College of Jesuits, where was heretofore an Amphitheater. I was courteously entertained by a Jesuit, who had us into the garden, where we fell into disputation. The house of Jaques Cœur is worth seeing. Bourges is an Archbishopric and Primacy of Aquitaine. I took my leave of Mr. Nicholas, and some other English there; and, on the 23d, proceeded on my journey by Pont du Charge; and lay that evening at Coulaiure, thirteen leagues.
John Evelyn's Diary 24 September 1644
24 Sep 1644. By Franchesse, St. Menoux, thence to Moulins, where we dined. This is the chief town of the Bourbonnois, on the river Allier, very navigable. The streets are fair; the castle has a noble prospect, and has been the seat of the Dukes. Here is a pretty park and garden. After dinner, came many who offered knives and scissors to sell; it being a town famous for these trifles. This Duchy of Bourbon is ordinarily assigned for the dowry of the Queens of France.
Hence, we took horse for Varennes, an obscure village, where we lay that night. The next day, we went somewhat out of the way to see the town of Bourbon l'Archambaut, from whose ancient and rugged castle is derived the name of the present Royal Family of France. The castle stands on a flinty rock, overlooking the town. In the midst of the streets are some baths of medicinal waters, some of them excessive hot, but nothing so neatly walled and adorned as ours in Somersetshire; and indeed they are chiefly used to drink of, our Queen being then lodged there for that purpose. After dinner, I went to see the St. Chapelle, a prime place of devotion, where is kept one of the thorns of our Savior's crown, and a piece of the real cross; excellent paintings on glass, and some few statues of stone and wood, which they show for curiosities. Hence, we went forward to La Palise, a village that lodged us that night.
John Evelyn's Diary 26 September 1644
26 Sep 1644. We arrived at Roane, where we quitted our guide, and took post for Lyons. Roane seemed to me one of the pleasantest and most agreeable places imaginable, for a retired person: for, besides the situation on the Loire, there are excellent provisions cheap and abundant. It being late when we left this town, we rode no further than Tarare that night (passing St. Saforin), a little desolate village in a valley near a pleasant stream, encompassed with fresh meadows and vineyards. The hills which we rode over before we descended, and afterward, on the Lyons side of this place, are high and mountainous; fir and pines growing frequently on them. The air methought was much altered as well as the manner of the houses, which are built flatter, more after the eastern manner. Before I went to bed, I took a landscape of this pleasant terrace. There followed a most violent tempest of thunder and lightning.
John Evelyn's Diary 27 September 1644
27 Sep 1644. We rode by Pont Charu to Lyons, which being but six leagues we soon accomplished, having made eighty-five leagues from Tours in seven days. Here at the Golden Lion, rue de Flandre, I met divers of my acquaintance, who, coming from Paris, were designed for Italy. We lost no time in seeing the city, because of being ready to accompany these gentlemen in their journey. Lyons is excellently situated on the confluence of the rivers Soane and Rhone, which wash the walls of the city in a very rapid stream; each of these has its bridge; that over the Rhone consists of twenty-eight arches. The two high cliffs, called St. Just and St. Sebastian, are very stately; on one of them stands a strong fort, garrisoned. We visited the cathedral, St. Jean, where was one of the fairest clocks for art and busy invention I had ever seen. The fabric of the church is gothic, as are likewise those of St. Etienne and St. Croix. From the top of one of the towers of St. Jean (for it has four) we beheld the whole city and country, with a prospect reaching to the Alps, many leagues distant. The Archbishop's palace is fairly built. The church of St. Nisier is the greatest; that of the Jacobins is well built. Here are divers other fine churches and very noble buildings we had not time to visit, only that of the Charité, or great hospital for poor, infirm people, entertaining about 1,500 souls, with a school, granary, gardens, and all conveniences, maintained at a wonderful expense, worthy seeing. The place of the Belle Cour is very spacious, observable for the view it affords, so various and agreeable, of hills, rocks, vineyards, gardens, precipices, and other extravagant and incomparable advantages presenting themselves together. The Pall Mall is set with fair trees. In fine, this stately, clean, and noble city, built all of stone, abounds in persons of quality and rich merchants: those of Florence obtaining great privileges above the rest. In the Town-house, they show two tables of brass, on which is engraven Claudius's speech, pronounced to the Senate, concerning the franchising of the town, with the Roman privileges. There are also other antiquities.
John Evelyn's Diary 30 September 1644
30 Sep 1644. We bargained with a waterman to carry us to Avignon on the river, and got the first night to Vienne, in Dauphiné. This is an Archbishopric, and the province gives title to the heir-apparent of France. Here we supped and lay, having among other dainties, a dish of truffles, which is a certain earth-nut, found out by a hog trained to it, and for which those animals are sold at a great price. It is in truth an incomparable meat. We were shown the ruins of an amphitheatre, pretty entire; and many handsome palaces, especially that of Pontius Pilate, not far from the town, at the foot of a solitary mountain, near the river, having four pinnacles. Here it is reported he passed his exile, and precipitated himself into the lake not far from it. The house is modern, and seems to be the seat of some gentleman; being in a very pleasant, though melancholy place. The cathedral of Vienne is St. Maurice; and there are many other pretty buildings, but nothing more so, than the mills where they hammer and polish the sword blades.
Hence, the next morning we swam (for the river here is so rapid that the boat was only steered) to a small village called Thein, where we dined. Over against this is another town, named Tournon, where is a very strong castle under a high precipice. To the castle joins the Jesuits' College, who have a fair library. The prospect was so tempting, that I could not forbear designing it with my crayon.
We then came to Valence, a capital city carrying the title of a Duchy; but the Bishop is now sole Lord temporal of it, and the country about it. The town having a University famous for the study of the civil law, is much frequented; but the churches are none of the fairest, having been greatly defaced in the time of the wars. The streets are full of pretty fountains. The citadel is strong and garrisoned. Here we passed the night, and the next morning by Pont St. Esprit, which consists of twenty-two arches; in the piers of the arches are windows, as it were, to receive the water when it is high and full. Here we went on shore, it being very dangerous to pass the bridge in a boat.
Hence, leaving our barge, we took horse, seeing at a distance the town and principality of Orange; and, lodging one night on the way, we arrived at noon at Avignon. This town has belonged to the Popes ever since the time of Clement V.; being, in 1352, alienated by Jane, Queen of Naples and Sicily. Entering the gates, the soldiers at the guard took our pistols and carbines, and examined us very strictly; after that, having obtained the Governor's and the Vice-Legate's leave to tarry three days, we were civilly conducted to our lodging. The city is on the Rhone, and divided from the newer part, or town, which is on the other side of the river, by a very fair stone bridge (which has been broken); at one end is a very high rock, on which is a strong castle well furnished with artillery. The walls of the city are of large, square freestone, the most neat and best in repair I ever saw. It is full of well-built palaces; those of the Vice-Legate and Archbishop being the most magnificent. There are many sumptuous churches, especially that of St. Magdalene and St. Martial, wherein the tomb of the Cardinal d'Amboise is the most observable. Clement VI. lies buried in that of the Celestines, the altar whereof is exceedingly rich: but for nothing I more admired it than the tomb of Madonna Laura, the celebrated mistress of Petrarch. We saw the Arsenal, the Pope's palace, and the Synagogue of the Jews, who here are distinguished by their red hats. Vaucluse, so much renowned for the solitude of Petrarch, we beheld from the castle; but could not go to visit it for want of time, being now taking mules and a guide for Marseilles.
We lay at Loumas; the next morning, came to Aix, having passed that extremely rapid and dangerous river of Durance. In this tract, all the heaths, or commons, are covered with rosemary, lavender, lentiscus, and the like sweet shrubs, for many miles together; which to me was very pleasant. Aix is the chief city of Provence, being a Parliament and Presidential town, with other royal Courts and Metropolitan jurisdiction. It is well built, the houses very high, and the streets ample. The Cathedral, St. Savior's, is a noble pile adorned with innumerable figures; especially that of St. Michael; the Baptisterie, the Palace, the Court, built in a most spacious piazza, are very fair. The Duke of Guise's house is worth seeing, being furnished with many antiquities in and about it. The Jesuits have here a royal College, and the City is a University.
John Evelyn's Diary December 1644
John Evelyn's Diary 12 December 1644
12 Dec 1644. I went again to St. Peter's to see the chapels, churches, and grots under the whole church (like our St. Faith's under Paul's), in which lie interred a multitude of Saints, Martyrs, and Popes; among them our countryman, Adrian IV., (Nicholas Brekespere) in a chest of porphyry; Sir J. Chrysostom; Petronella; the heads of St. James minor, St. Luke, St. Sebastian, and our Thomas à Becket; a shoulder of St. Christopher; an arm of Joseph of Arimathea; Longinus; besides 134 more bishops, soldiers, princes, scholars, cardinals, kings, emperors, their wives; too long to particularize.
Hence we walked into the cemetery, called Campo Santo, the earth consisting of several ship-loads of mold, transported from Jerusalem, which consumes a carcass in twenty-four hours. To this joins that rare hospital, where once was Nero's circus; the next to this is the Inquisition-house and prison, the inside whereof, I thank God, I was not curious to see. To this joins His Holiness's Horseguards.
On Christmas-eve, I went not to bed, being desirous of seeing the many extraordinary ceremonies performed then in their churches, at midnight masses and sermons. I walked from church to church the whole night in admiration at the multitude of scenes and pageantry which the friars had with much industry and craft set out, to catch the devout women and superstitious sort of people, who never parted without dropping some money into a vessel set on purpose; but especially observable was the puppetry in the Church of the Minerva, representing the Nativity. I thence went and heard a sermon at the Apollinare; by which time it was morning. On Christmas-day his Holiness sang mass, the artillery of St. Angelo went off, and all this day was exposed the cradle of our Lord.
John Evelyn's Diary 29 December 1644
29 Dec 1644. We were invited by the English Jesuits to dinner, being their great feast of Thomas [à Becket] of Canterbury. We dined in their common refectory, and afterward saw an Italian comedy acted by their alumni before the Cardinals.