John Evelyn's Diary 1646 is in John Evelyn's Diary 1640s.
John Evelyn's Diary January 1646
John Evelyn's Diary 01 January 1646
01 Jan 1646. In January, Signor Molino was chosen Doge of Venice, but the extreme snow that fell, and the cold, hindered my going to see the solemnity, so as I stirred not from Padua till Shrovetide, when all the world repair to Venice, to see the folly and madness of the Carnival; the women, men, and persons of all conditions disguising themselves in antique dresses, with extravagant music and a thousand gambols, traversing the streets from house to house, all places being then accessible and free to enter. Abroad, they fling eggs filled with sweet water, but sometimes not over-sweet. They also have a barbarous custom of hunting bulls about the streets and piazzas, which is very dangerous, the passages being generally narrow. The youth of the several wards and parishes contend in other masteries and pastimes, so that it is impossible to recount the universal madness of this place during this time of license. The great banks are set up for those who will play at bassett; the comedians have liberty, and the operas are open; witty pasquils are thrown about, and the mountebanks have their stages at every corner. The diversions which chiefly took me up was three noble operas, where were excellent voices and music, the most celebrated of which was the famous Anna Rencia, whom we invited to a fish dinner after four days in Lent, when they had given over at the theater. Accompanied with an eunuch whom she brought with her, she entertained us with rare music, both of them singing to a harpsichord. It growing late, a gentleman of Venice came for her, to show her the galleys, now ready to sail for Candia. This entertainment produced a second, given us by the English consul of the merchants, inviting us to his house, where he had the Genoese, the most celebrated bass in Italy, who was one of the late opera band. This diversion held us so late at night, that, conveying a gentlewoman who had supped with us to her gondola at the usual place of landing, we were shot at by two carbines from another gondola, in which were a noble Venetian and his courtesan unwilling to be disturbed, which made us run in and fetch other weapons, not knowing what the matter was, till we were informed of the danger we might incur by pursuing it farther.
Three days after this, I took my leave of Venice, and went to Padua, to be present at the famous anatomy lecture, celebrated here with extraordinary apparatus, lasting almost a whole month. During this time, I saw a woman, a child, and a man dissected with all the manual operations of the chirurgeon on the human body. The one was performed by Cavalier Veslingius and Dr. Jo. Athelsteninus Leonœnas, of whom I purchased those rare tables of veins and nerves, and caused him to prepare a third of the lungs, liver, and nervi sexti par: with the gastric veins, which I sent into England, and afterward presented to the Royal Society, being the first of that kind that had been seen there, and, for aught I know, in the world, though afterward there were others. When the anatomy lectures, which were in the mornings, were ended, I went to see cures done in the hospitals; and certainly as there are the greatest helps and the most skillful physicians, so there are the most miserable and deplorable objects to exercise upon. Nor is there any, I should think, so powerful an argument against the vice reigning in this licentious country, as to be spectator of the misery these poor creatures undergo. They are indeed very carefully attended, and with extraordinary charity.
John Evelyn's Diary March 1646
John Evelyn's Diary 20 March 1646
20 Mar 1646. I returned to Venice, where I took leave of my friends.
John Evelyn's Diary 22 March 1646
22 Mar 1646. I was invited to excellent English potted venison, at Mr. Hobbson's, a worthy merchant.
John Evelyn's Diary 23 March 1646
23 Mar 1646. I took my leave of the Patriarch and the Prince of Wirtemberg, and Monsieur Grotius (son of the learned Hugo) now going as commander to Candia; and, in the afternoon, received of Vandervoort, my merchant, my bills of exchange of 300 ducats for my journey. He showed me his rare collection of Italian books, esteemed very curious, and of good value.
The next day, I was conducted to the Ghetto, where the Jews dwell together in as a tribe or ward, where I was present at a marriage. The bride was clad in white, sitting in a lofty chair, and covered with a white veil; then two old Rabbis joined them together, one of them holding a glass of wine in his hand, which, in the midst of the ceremony, pretending to deliver to the woman, he let fall, the breaking whereof was to signify the frailty of our nature, and that we must expect disasters and crosses amid all enjoyments. This done we had a fine banquet, and were brought into the bride-chamber, where the bed was dressed up with flowers, and the counterpane strewn in works. At this ceremony, we saw divers very beautiful Portuguese Jewesses, with whom we had some conversation.
I went to the Spanish Ambassador with Bonifacio, his confessor, and obtained his pass to serve me in the Spanish dominions; without which I was not to travel, in this pompous form:
Don Caspar de Teves y Guzman, Marques de la Fuente, Señor Le Lerena y Verazuza, Commendador de Colos, en la Orden de Sant Yago, Alcalde Mayor perpetuo y Escrivano Mayor de la Ciudad de Sevilla, Gentilhombre de la Camara de S. M. su Azimilero Mayor, de su Consejo, su Embaxador extraordinario a los Principes de Italia, y Alemania, y a esta serenissima Republica de Venetia, etc. Haviendo de partir de esta Ciudad para La Milan el Signior Cavallero Evelyn Ingles, con un Criado, mi han pedido Passa-porte para los Estates de su M. Le he mandado dar el presente, firmando de mi mano, y sellado con el sello de mis armas, por el qual encargo a todos los menestros de S. M. antes quien le presentase y a los que no lo son, supplico les dare passar libramente sin permitir que se le haya vexation alguna antes mandar le las favor para continuar su viage. Fecho en Venecia a 24 del mes de Marzo del an'o 1646.
Mar. de la Fuentes, etc.
Having packed up my purchases of books, pictures, casts, treacle, etc. (the making an extraordinary ceremony whereof I had been curious to observe, for it is extremely pompous and worth seeing), I departed from Venice, accompanied with Mr. Waller (40) (the celebrated poet), now newly gotten out of England, after the Parliament had extremely worried him for attempting to put in execution the commission of Array, and for which the rest of his colleagues were hanged by the rebels.
The next day, I took leave of my comrades at Padua, and receiving some directions from Dr. Salvatico as to the care of my health, I prepared for my journey toward Milan.
It was Easter-Monday that I was invited to breakfast at the Earl of Arundel's. I took my leave of him in his bed, where I left that great and excellent man in tears on some private discourse of crosses that had befallen his illustrious family, particularly the undutifulness of his grandson Philip turning Dominican Friar (since Cardinal of Norfolk), and the misery of his country now embroiled in civil war. He caused his gentleman to give me directions, all written with his own hand, what curiosities I should inquire after in my journey; and, so enjoining me to write sometimes to him, I departed. There stayed for me below, Mr. Henry Howard (17) (afterward Duke of Norfolk), Mr. J. Digby, son of Sir Kenelm Digby (43), and other gentlemen, who conducted me to the coach.
The famous lapidaries of Venice for false stones and pastes, so as to emulate the best diamonds, rubies, etc., were Marco Terrasso and Gilbert.
An account of what Bills of Exchange I took up at Venice since my coming from Rome, till my departure from Padua: [Note. removed].
In company, then, with Mr. Waller (40), one Captain Wray (21) (son of Sir Christopher, whose father had been in arms against his Majesty, and therefore by no means welcome to us), with Mr. Abdy, a modest and learned man, we got that night to Vicenza, passing by the Euganéan hills, celebrated for the prospects and furniture of rare simples, which we found growing about them. The ways were something deep, the whole country flat and even as a bowling-green. The common fields lie square, and are orderly planted with fruit trees, which the vines run and embrace, for many miles, with delicious streams creeping along the ranges.
Vicenza is a city in the Marquisate of Treviso, yet appertaining to the Venetians, full of gentlemen and splendid palaces, to which the famous Palladio, born here, has exceedingly contributed, having been the architect. Most conspicuous is the Hall of Justice; it has a tower of excellent work; the lower pillars are of the first order; those in the three upper corridors are Doric; under them, are shops in a spacious piazza. The hall was built in imitation of that at Padua, but of a nobler design, à la moderne. The next morning, we visited the theater, as being of that kind the most perfect now standing, and built by Palladio, in exact imitation of the ancient Romans, and capable of containing 5,000 spectators. The scene, which is all of stone, represents an imperial city, the order Corinthian, decorated with statues. Over the Scenario is inscribed: "Virtuti ac Genio Olympior: Academia Theatrum hoc à fundamentis erexit Palladio Architect: 1584". The scene declines eleven feet, the soffito painted with clouds. To this there joins a spacious hall for solemn days to ballot in, and a second for the Academics. In the piazza is also the podesta, or governor's house, the facciata being of the Corinthian order, very noble. The piazza itself is so large as to be capable of jousts and tournaments, the nobility of this city being exceedingly addicted to this knight-errantry, and other martial diversions. In this place are two pillars in imitation of those at St. Mark's at Venice, bearing one of them a winged lion, the other the statue of St. John the Baptist.
In a word, this sweet town has more well-built palaces than any of its dimensions in all Italy, besides a number begun and not yet finished (but of stately design) by reason of the domestic dissensions between them and those of Brescia, fomented by the sage Venetians, lest by combining, they might think of recovering their ancient liberty. For this reason, also, are permitted those disorders and insolences committed at Padua among the youth of these two territories. It is no dishonor in this country to be some generations in finishing their palaces, that without exhausting themselves by a vast expense at once, they may at last erect a sumptuous pile. Count Oleine's Palace is near perfected in this manner. Count Ulmarini is more famous for his gardens, being without the walls, especially his cedrario, or conserve of oranges, eleven score of my paces long, set in order and ranges, making a canopy all the way by their intermixing branches for more than 200 of my single paces, and which being full of fruit and blossoms, was a most delicious sight. In the middle of this garden, was a cupola made of wire, supported by slender pillars of brick, so closely covered with ivy, both without and within, that nothing was to be perceived but green; between the arches there dangled festoons of the same. Here is likewise a most inextricable labyrinth.
I had in this town recommendation to a very civil and ingenious apothecary, called Angelico, who had a pretty collection of paintings. I would fain have visited a palace, called the Rotunda, which was a mile out of town, belonging to Count Martio Capra; but one of our companions hastening to be gone, and little minding anything save drinking and folly, caused us to take coach sooner than we should have done.
A little from the town, we passed the Campo Martio, set out in imitation of ancient Rome, wherein the nobles exercised their horses, and the ladies make the Corso; it is entered by a stately triumphal arch, the invention of Palladio.
Being now set out for Verona, about midway we dined at Ostaria Nova, and came late to our resting-place, which was the Cavaletto, just over the monument of the Scalageri,36 formerly princes of Verona, adorned with many devices in stone of ladders, alluding to the name.
Early next morning, we went about the city, which is built on the gentle declivity, and bottom of a hill, environed in part with some considerable mountains and downs of fine grass, like some places in the south of England, and, on the other side, having the rich plain where Caius Marius overthrew the Cimbrians. The city is divided in the midst by the river Adige, over which are divers stately bridges, and on its banks are many goodly palaces, whereof one is well painted in chiaro-oscuro on the outside, as are divers in this dry climate of Italy.
The first thing that engaged our attention and wonder, too, was the amphitheater, which is the most entire of ancient remains now extant. The inhabitants call it the Arena: it has two porticos, one within the other, and is thirty-four rods long, twenty-two in breadth, with forty-two ranks of stone benches, or seats, which reach to the top. The vastness of the marble stones is stupendous. "L. V. Flaminius, Consul. anno. urb. con. liii". This I esteem to be one of the noblest antiquities in Europe, it is so vast and entire, having escaped the ruins of so many other public buildings for above 1,400 years.
There are other arches, as that of the victory of Marius; temples, aqueducts, etc., showing still considerable remains in several places of the town, and how magnificent it has formerly been. It has three strong castles and a large and noble wall. Indeed, the whole city is bravely built, especially the Senate house, where we saw those celebrated statues of Cornelius Nepos, Æmilius Marcus, Plinius, and Vitruvius, all having honored Verona by their birth; and, of later date, Julius Cæsar Scaliger, that prodigy of learning.
In the evening we saw the garden of Count Giusti's villa where are walks cut out of the main rock, from whence we had a pleasant prospect of Mantua and Parma, though at great distance. At the entrance of this garden, grows the goodliest cypress, I fancy, in Europe, cut in a pyramid; it is a prodigious tree both for breadth and height, entirely covered, and thick to the base.
Dr. Cortone, a civilian, showed us, among other rarities, a St. Dorothea, of Raphael. We could not see the rare drawings, especially of Parmensis, belonging to Dr. Marcello, another advocate, on account of his absence.
Verona deserved all those elogies Scaliger has honored it with; for in my opinion, the situation is the most delightful I ever saw, it is so sweetly mixed with rising ground and valleys, so elegantly planted with trees on which Bacchus seems riding as it were in triumph every autumn, for the vines reach from tree to tree; here, of all places I have seen in Italy, would I fix a residence. Well has that learned man given it the name of the very eye of the world:
Oscelle mundi, Sidus Itali cœli,.
Flos Urbium, flos cornicuumq' amœnum,.
Quot sunt, eruntve, quot fuere, Verona.
The next morning we traveled over the downs where Marius fought and fancied ourselves about Winchester, and the country toward Dorsetshire. We dined at an inn called Cavalli Caschieri, near Peschiera, a very strong fort of the Venetian Republic, and near the Lago di Garda, which disembogues into that of Mantua, near forty miles in length, highly spoken of by my Lord Arundel to me, as the most pleasant spot in Italy, for which reason I observed it with the more diligence, alighting out of the coach, and going up to a grove of cypresses growing about a gentleman's country-house, from whence indeed it presents a most surprising prospect. The hills and gentle risings about it produce oranges, citrons, olives, figs, and other tempting fruits, and the waters abound in excellent fish, especially trouts. In the middle of this lake stands Sermonea, on an island; here Captain Wray (21) bought a pretty nag of the master of our inn where we dined, for eight pistoles, which his wife, our hostess, was so unwilling to part with, that she did nothing but kiss and weep and hang about the horse's neck, till the captain rode away.
We came this evening to Brescia, which next morning we traversed, according to our custom, in search of antiquities and new sights. Here, I purchased of old Lazarino Cominazzo my fine carbine, which cost me nine pistoles, this city being famous for these firearms, and that workman, Jo. Bap. Franco, the best esteemed. The city consists most in artists, every shop abounding in guns, swords, armorers, etc. Most of the workmen come out of Germany. It stands in a fertile plain, yet the castle is built on a hill. The streets abound in fair fountains. The Torre della Pallada is of a noble Tuscan order, and the Senate house is inferior to few. The piazza is but indifferent; some of the houses arched as at Padua. The Cathedral was under repair. We would from hence have visited Parma, Piacenza, Mantua, etc.; but the banditti and other dangerous parties being abroad, committing many enormities, we were contented with a Pisgah sight of them.
We dined next day, at Ursa Vecchia, and, after dinner, passed by an exceeding strong fort of the Venetians, called Ursa Nova, on their frontier. Then by the river Oglio, and so by Sonano, where we enter the Spanish dominions, and that night arrived at Crema, which belongs to Venice, and is well defended. The Podesta's Palace is finely built, and so is the Duomo, or Cathedral, and the tower to it, with an ample piazza.
Early next day, after four miles' riding, we entered into the State of Milan, and passed by Lodi, a great city famous for cheese, little short of the best Parmeggiano. We dined at Marignano, ten miles before coming to Milan, where we met half a dozen suspicious cavaliers, who yet did us no harm. Then, passing as through a continual garden, we went on with exceeding pleasure; for it is the Paradise of Lombardy, the highways as even and straight as a line, the fields to a vast extent planted with fruit about the inclosures, vines to every tree at equal distances, and watered with frequent streams. There was likewise much corn, and olives in abundance. At approach of the city, some of our company, in dread of the Inquisition (severer here than in all Spain), thought of throwing away some Protestant books and papers. We arrived about three in the afternoon, when the officers searched us thoroughly for prohibited goods; but, finding we were only gentlemen travelers, dismissed us for a small reward, and we went quietly to our inn, the Three Kings, where, for that day, we refreshed ourselves, as we had need. The next morning, we delivered our letters of recommendation to the learned and courteous Ferrarius, a Doctor of the Ambrosian College, who conducted us to all the remarkable places of the town, the first of which was the famous Cathedral. We entered by a portico, so little inferior to that of Rome that, when it is finished, it will be hard to say which is the fairest; the materials are all of white and black marble, with columns of great height, of Egyptian granite. The outside of the church is so full of sculpture, that you may number 4,000 statues, all of white marble, among which that of St. Bartholomew is esteemed a masterpiece. The church is very spacious, almost as long as St. Peter's at Rome, but not so large. About the choir, the sacred Story is finely sculptured, in snow-white marble, nor know I where it is exceeded. About the body of the church are the miracles of St. Charles Borromeo, and in the vault beneath is his body before the high altar, grated, and inclosed, in one of the largest crystals in Europe. To this also belongs a rich treasure. The cupola is all of marble within and without, and even covered with great planks of marble, in the Gothic design. The windows are most beautifully painted. Here are two very fair and excellent organs. The fabric is erected in the midst of a fair piazza, and in the center of the city.
Hence, we went to the Palace of the Archbishop, which is a quadrangle, the architecture of Theobaldi, who designed much for Philip II in the Escurial, and has built much in Milan. Hence, into the Governor's Palace, who was Constable of Castile. Tempted by the glorious tapestries and pictures, I adventured so far alone, that peeping into a chamber where the great man was under the barber's hands, he sent one of his negroes (a slave) to know what I was. I made the best excuse I could, and that I was only admiring the pictures, which he returning and telling his lord, I heard the Governor reply that I was a spy; on which I retired with all the speed I could, passed the guard of Swiss, got into the street, and in a moment to my company, who were gone to the Jesuits' Church, which in truth is a noble structure, the front especially, after the modern. After dinner, we were conducted to St. Celso, a church of rare architecture, built by Bramante; the carvings of the marble facciata are by Annibal Fontana, whom they esteem at Milan equal to the best of the ancients. In a room joining to the church, is a marble Madonna, like a Colosse, of the same sculptor's work, which they will not expose to the air. There are two sacristias, in one of which is a fine Virgin, of Leonardo da Vinci; in the other is one of Raphael d'Urbino, a piece which all the world admires. The Sacristan showed us a world of rich plate, jewels, and embroidered copes, which are kept in presses.
Next, we went to see the Great Hospital, a quadrangular cloister of a vast compass, a truly royal fabric, with an annual endowment of 50,000 crowns of gold. There is in the middle of it a cross building for the sick, and, just under it, an altar so placed as to be seen in all places of the Infirmary.
There are divers colleges built in this quarter, richly provided for by the same Borromeo and his nephew, the last Cardinal Frederico, some not yet finished, but of excellent design.
In St. Eustorgio, they tell us, formerly lay the bodies of the three Magi, since translated to Cologne in Germany; they, however, preserve the tomb, which is a square stone, on which is engraven a star, and, under it, "Sepulchrum trium Magorum"..
Passing by St. Laurence, we saw sixteen columns of marble, and the ruins of a Temple of Hercules, with this inscription yet standing:
Imp. Cæsari L. Aurelio Vero Aug. Arminiaco Medio Parthico Maxi Tribi Pot. VII. Impi IIII. Cos. III. P. P. Divi Antonini Pij Divi Hadriani Nepoti Divi Trajani Parthici Pro-Nepoti Divi Nervæ Abnepoti Dec. Dec.
We concluded this day's wandering at the Monastery of Madonna delle Grazie, and in the refectory admired that celebrated Cœna Domini of Leonardo da Vinci, which takes up the entire wall at the end, and is the same that the great virtuoso, Francis I., of France, was so enamored of, that he consulted to remove the whole wall by binding it about with ribs of iron and timber, to convey it into France. It is indeed one of the rarest paintings that was ever executed by Leonardo, who was long in the service of that Prince, and so dear to him that the King, coming to visit him in his old age and sickness, he expired in his arms. But this incomparable piece is now exceedingly impaired.
Early next morning came the learned Dr. Ferrarius to visit us, and took us in his coach to see the Ambrosian Library, where Cardinal Fred Borromeo has expended so vast a sum on this building, and in furnishing with curiosities, especially paintings and drawings of inestimable value among painters. It is a school fit to make the ablest artists. There are many rare things of Hans Breugel, and among them the Four Elements. In this room, stands the glorious [boasting] inscription of Cavaliero Galeazzo Arconati, valuing his gift to the library of several drawings by Da Vinci; but these we could not see, the keeper of them being out of town, and he always carrying the keys with him; but my Lord Marshal, who had seen them, told me all but one book are small that a huge folio contained 400 leaves full of scratches of Indians, etc. But whereas the inscription pretends that our King Charles had offered £1,000 for them,—the truth is, and my Lord himself told me, that it was he who treated with Galeazzo for himself, in the name and by permission of the King, and that the Duke of Feria, who was then Governor, should make the bargain; but my Lord, having seen them since, did not think them of so much worth.
In the great room, where is a goodly library, on the right hand of the door, is a small wainscot closet, furnished with rare manuscripts. Two original letters of the Grand Signor were shown us, sent to two Popes, one of which was (as I remember) to Alexander VI. [Borgia], and the other mentioning the head of the lance which pierced our Blessed Savior's side, as a present to the Pope: I would feign have gotten a copy of them, but could not; I hear, however, that they are since translated into Italian, and that therein is a most honorable mention of Christ.
We revisited St. Ambrose's church. The high altar is supported by four porphyry columns, and under it lie the remains of that holy man. Near it they showed us a pit, or well (an obscure place it is), where they say St. Ambrose baptized St. Augustine, and recited the Te Deum; for so imports the inscription. The place is also famous for some Councils that have been held here, and for the coronation of divers Italian Kings and Emperors, receiving the iron crown from the Archbishop of this see.37 They show the History by Josephus, written on the bark of trees. The high altar is wonderfully rich.
Milan is one of the most princely cities in Europe: it has no suburbs, but is circled with a stately wall for ten miles, in the center of a country that seems to flow with milk and honey. The air is excellent; the fields fruitful to admiration, the market abounding with all sorts of provisions. In the city are near 100 churches, 71 monasteries, and 40,000 inhabitants; it is of a circular figure, fortified with bastions, full of sumptuous palaces and rare artists, especially for works in crystal, which is here cheap, being found among the Alps. They have curious straw-work among the nuns, even to admiration. It has a good river, and a citadel at some small distance from the city, commanding it, of great strength for its works and munitions of all kinds. It was built by Galeatius II, and consists of four bastions, and works at the angles and fronts; the graff is faced with brick to a very great depth; has two strong towers as one enters, and within is another fort, and spacious lodgings for the soldiers, and for exercising them. No accommodation for strength is wanting, and all exactly uniform. They have here also all sorts of work and tradesmen, a great magazine of arms and provisions. The fosse is of spring water, with a mill for grinding corn, and the ramparts vaulted underneath. Don Juan Vasques Coronada was now Governor; the garrison Spaniards only.
There is nothing better worth seeing than the collection of Signor Septalla, a canon of St. Ambrose, famous over Christendom for his learning and virtues. Among other things, he showed us an Indian wood, that has the perfect scent of civet; a flint, or pebble, that has a quantity of water in it, which is plainly to be seen, it being clear as agate; divers crystals that have water moving in them, some of them having plants, leaves, and hog's bristles in them; much amber full of insects, and divers things of woven amianthus.
Milan is a sweet place, and though the streets are narrow, they abound in rich coaches, and are full of noblesse, who frequent the course every night. Walking a turn in the portico before the dome, a cavaliero who passed by, hearing some of us speaking English, looked a good while earnestly on us, and by and by sending his servant, desiring we would honor him the next day at dinner. We looked on this as an odd invitation, he not speaking to us himself, but we returned his civility with thanks, though not fully resolved what to do, or indeed what might be the meaning of it in this jealous place; but on inquiry, it was told us he was a Scots Colonel, who had an honorable command in the city, so that we agreed to go. This afternoon, we were wholly taken up in seeing an opera represented by some Neapolitans, performed all in excellent music with rare scenes, in which there acted a celebrated beauty.
Next morning, we went to the Colonel's, who had sent his servant again to conduct us to his house, which we found to be a noble palace, richly furnished. There were other guests, all soldiers, one of them a Scotchman, but we could not learn one of their names. At dinner, he excused his rudeness that he had not himself spoken to us; telling us it was his custom, when he heard of any English travelers (who but rarely would be known to pass through that city for fear of the Inquisition), to invite them to his house, where they might be free. We had a sumptuous dinner; and the wine was so tempting, that after some healths had gone about, and we had risen from the table, the Colonel led us into his hall, where there hung up divers colors, saddles, bridles, pistols, and other arms, being trophies which he had taken with his own hands from the enemy; among them, he would needs bestow a pair of pistols on Captain Wray (21), one of our fellow-travelers, and a good drinking gentleman, and on me a Turkish bridle woven with silk and very curiously embossed, with other silk trappings, to which hung a half moon finely wrought, which he had taken from a bashaw whom he had slain. With this glorious spoil, I rode the rest of my journey as far as Paris, and brought it afterward into England. He then showed us a stable of brave horses, with his menage and cavalerizzo. Some of the horses he caused to be brought out, which he mounted, and performed all the motions of an excellent horseman. When this was done, and he had alighted,—contrary to the advice of his groom and page, who knew the nature of the beast, and that their master was a little spirited with wine, he would have a fiery horse that had not yet been managed and was very ungovernable, but was otherwise a very beautiful creature; this he mounting, the horse, getting the reins in a full carriere, rose so desperately that he fell quite back, crushing the Colonel so forcibly against the wall of the menage, that though he sat on him like a Centaur, yet recovering the jade on all fours again, he desired to be taken down and so led in, where he cast himself on a pallet; and, with infinite lamentations, after some time we took leave of him, being now speechless. The next morning, going to visit him, we found before the door the canopy which they usually carry over the host, and some with lighted tapers; which made us suspect he was in a very sad condition, and so indeed we found him, an Irish Friar standing by his bedside as confessing him, or at least disguising a confession, and other ceremonies used in extremis; for we afterward learned that the gentleman was a Protestant, and had this Friar, his confidant; which was a dangerous thing at Milan, had it been but suspected. At our entrance, he sighed grievously, and held up his hands, but was not able to speak. After vomiting some blood, he kindly took us all by the hand, and made signs that he should see us no more, which made us take our leave of him with extreme reluctancy and affliction for the accident. This sad disaster made us consult about our departure as soon as we could, not knowing how we might be inquired after, or engaged, the Inquisition being so cruelly formidable and inevitable, on the least suspicion. The next morning, therefore, discharging our lodgings, we agreed for a coach to carry us to the foot of the Alps, not a little concerned for the death of the Colonel, which we now heard of, and who had so courteously entertained us.
The first day we got as far as Castellanza, by which runs a considerable river into Lago Maggiore; here, at dinner, were two or three Jesuits, who were very pragmatical and inquisitive, whom we declined conversation with as decently as we could; so we pursued our journey through a most fruitful plain, but the weather was wet and uncomfortable. At night, we lay at Sesto.
The next morning, leaving our coach, we embarked in a boat to carry us over the lake (being one of the largest in Europe), and whence we could see the towering Alps, and among them the great San Bernardo, esteemed the highest mountain in Europe, appearing to be some miles above the clouds. Through this vast water, passes the river Ticinus, which discharges itself into the Po, by which means Helvetia transports her merchandizes into Italy, which we now begin to leave behind us.
Having now sailed about two leagues, we were hauled ashore at Arona, a strong town belonging to the Duchy of Milan, where, being examined by the Governor, and paying a small duty, we were dismissed. Opposite to this fort, is Angiera, another small town, the passage very pleasant with the prospect of the Alps covered with pine and fir trees, and above them snow. We passed the pretty island Isabella, about the middle of the lake, on which is a fair house built on a mount; indeed, the whole island is a mount ascended by several terraces and walks all set above with orange and citron trees.
The next we saw was Isola, and we left on our right hand the Isle of St. Jovanni; and so sailing by another small town built also on an island, we arrived at night at Margazzo, an obscure village at the end of the lake, and at the very foot of the Alps, which now rise as it were suddenly after some hundreds of miles of the most even country in the world, and where there is hardly a stone to be found, as if Nature had here swept up the rubbish of the earth in the Alps, to form and clear the plains of Lombardy, which we had hitherto passed since our coming from Venice. In this wretched place, I lay on a bed stuffed with leaves, which made such a crackling and did so prick my skin through the tick, that I could not sleep. The next morning, I was furnished with an ass, for we could not get horses; instead of stirrups, we had ropes tied with a loop to put our feet in, which supplied the place of other trappings. Thus, with my gallant steed, bridled with my Turkish present, we passed through a reasonably pleasant but very narrow valley, till we came to Duomo, where we rested, and, having showed the Spanish pass, the Governor would press another on us, that his secretary might get a crown. Here we exchanged our asses for mules, sure-footed on the hills and precipices, being accustomed to pass them. Hiring a guide, we were brought that night through very steep, craggy, and dangerous passages to a village called Vedra, being the last of the King of Spain's dominions in the Duchy of Milan. We had a very infamous wretched lodging.
The next morning we mounted again through strange, horrid, and fearful crags and tracts, abounding in pine trees, and only inhabited by bears, wolves, and wild goats; nor could we anywhere see above a pistol shot before us, the horizon being terminated with rocks and mountains, whose tops, covered with snow, seemed to touch the skies, and in many places pierced the clouds. Some of these vast mountains were but one entire stone, between whose clefts now and then precipitated great cataracts of melted snow, and other waters, which made a terrible roaring, echoing from the rocks and cavities; and these waters in some places breaking in the fall, wet us as if we had passed through a mist, so as we could neither see nor hear one another, but, trusting to our honest mules, we jogged on our way. The narrow bridges, in some places made only by felling huge fir trees, and laying them athwart from mountain to mountain, over cataracts of stupendous depth, are very dangerous, and so are the passages and edges made by cutting away the main rock; others in steps; and in some places we pass between mountains that have been broken and fallen on one another; which is very terrible, and one had need of a sure foot and steady head to climb some of these precipices, besides that they are harbors for bears and wolves, who have sometimes assaulted travelers. In these straits, we frequently alighted, now freezing in the snow, and anon frying by the reverberation of the sun against the cliffs as we descend lower, when we meet now and then a few miserable cottages so built upon the declining of the rocks, as one would expect their sliding down. Among these, inhabit a goodly sort of people, having monstrous gullets, or wens of flesh, growing to their throats, some of which I have seen as big as an hundred pound bag of silver hanging under their chins; among the women especially, and that so ponderous, as that to ease them, many wear linen cloth bound about their head, and coming under the chin to support it; but quis tumidum guttur miratur in Alpibus? Their drinking so much snow water is thought to be the cause of it; the men using more wine, are not so strumous as the women. The truth is, they are a peculiar race of people, and many great water drinkers here have not these prodigious tumors; it runs, as we say, in the blood, and is a vice in the race, and renders them so ugly, shriveled and deformed, by its drawing the skin of the face down, that nothing can be more frightful; to this add a strange puffing dress, furs, and that barbarous language, being a mixture of corrupt High German, French, and Italian. The people are of great stature, extremely fierce and rude, yet very honest and trusty.
This night, through almost inaccessible heights, we came in prospect of Mons Sempronius, now Mount Sampion, which has on its summit a few huts and a chapel. Approaching this, Captain Wray's (21) water spaniel (a huge filthy cur that had followed him out of England) hunted a herd of goats down the rocks into a river made by the melting of the snow. Arrived at our cold harbor (though the house had a stove in every room) and supping on cheese and milk with wretched wine, we went to bed in cupboards so high from the floor, that we climbed them by a ladder; we were covered with feathers, that is, we lay between two ticks stuffed with them, and all little enough to keep one warm. The ceilings of the rooms are strangely low for those tall people. The house was now (in September) half covered with snow, nor is there a tree, or a bush, growing within many miles.
From this uncomfortable place, we prepared to hasten away the next morning; but, as we were getting on our mules, comes a huge young fellow demanding money for a goat which he affirmed that Captain Wray's (21) dog had killed; expostulating the matter, and impatient of staying in the cold, we set spurs and endeavored to ride away, when a multitude of people being by this time gotten together about us (for it being Sunday morning and attending for the priest to say mass), they stopped our mules, beat us off our saddles, and, disarming us of our carbines, drew us into one of the rooms of our lodging, and set a guard upon us. Thus we continued prisoners till mass was ended, and then came half a score grim Swiss, who, taking on them to be magistrates, sat down on the table, and condemned us to pay a pistole for the goat, and ten more for attempting to ride away, threatening that if we did not pay it speedily, they would send us to prison, and keep us to a day of public justice, where, as they perhaps would have exaggerated the crime, for they pretended we had primed our carbines and would have shot some of them (as indeed the Captain was about to do), we might have had our heads cut off, as we were told afterward, for that among these rude people a very small misdemeanor does often meet that sentence. Though the proceedings appeared highly unjust, on consultation among ourselves we thought it safer to rid ourselves out of their hands, and the trouble we were brought into; and therefore we patiently laid down the money, and with fierce countenances had our mules and arms delivered to us, and glad we were to escape as we did. This was cold entertainment, but our journey after was colder, the rest of the way having been (as they told us) covered with snow since the Creation; no man remembered it to be without; and because, by the frequent snowing, the tracks are continually filled up, we passed by several tall masts set up to guide travelers, so as for many miles they stand in ken of one another, like to our beacons. In some places, where there is a cleft between two mountains, the snow fills it up, while the bottom, being thawed, leaves as it were a frozen arch of snow, and that so hard as to bear the greatest weight; for as it snows often, so it perpetually freezes, of which I was so sensible that it flawed the very skin of my face.
Beginning now to descend a little, Captain Wray's (21) horse (that was our sumpter and carried all our baggage) plunging through a bank of loose snow, slid down a frightful precipice, which so incensed the choleric cavalier, his master, that he was sending a brace of bullets into the poor beast, lest our guide should recover him, and run away with his burden; but, just as he was lifting up his carbine, we gave such a shout, and so pelted the horse with snow-balls, as with all his might plunging through the snow, he fell from another steep place into another bottom, near a path we were to pass. It was yet a good while ere we got to him, but at last we recovered the place, and, easing him of his charge, hauled him out of the snow, where he had been certainly frozen in, if we had not prevented it, before night. It was as we judged almost two miles that he had slid and fallen, yet without any other harm than the benumbing of his limbs for the present, but, with lusty rubbing and chafing he began to move, and, after a little walking, performed his journey well enough. All this way, affrighted with the disaster of this horse, we trudged on foot, driving our mules before us; sometimes we fell, sometimes we slid, through this ocean of snow, which after October is impassible. Toward night, we came into a larger way, through vast woods of pines, which clothe the middle parts of these rocks. Here, they were burning some to make pitch and rosin, peeling the knotty branches, as we do to make charcoal, reserving what melts from them, which hardens into pitch. We passed several cascades of dissolved snow, that had made channels of formidable depth in the crevices of the mountains, and with such a fearful roaring as we could hear it for seven long miles. It is from these sources that the Rhone and the Rhine, which pass through all France and Germany, derive their originals. Late at night, we got to a town called Briga, at the foot of the Alps, in the Valteline. Almost every door had nailed on the outside and next the street a bear's, wolf's, or fox's head, and divers of them, all three; a savage kind of sight, but, as the Alps are full of the beasts, the people often kill them. The next morning, we returned to our guide, and took fresh mules, and another to conduct us to the Lake of Geneva, passing through as pleasant a country as that we had just traveled was melancholy and troublesome. A strange and sudden change it seemed; for the reverberation of the sunbeams from the mountains and rocks that like walls range it on both sides, not above two flight-shots in breadth, for a very great number of miles, renders the passage excessively hot. Through such extremes we continued our journey, that goodly river, the Rhone, gliding by us in a narrow and quiet channel almost in the middle of this Canton, fertilizing the country for grass and corn, which grow here in abundance.
We arrived this night at Sion, a pretty town and city, a bishop's seat, and the head of Valesia. There is a castle, and the bishop who resides in it, has both civil and ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Our host, as the custom of these Cantons is, was one of the chiefest of the town, and had been a Colonel in France: he treated us with extreme civility, and was so displeased at the usage we received at Mount Sampion, that he would needs give us a letter to the Governor of the country, who resided at St. Maurice, which was in our way to Geneva, to revenge the affront. This was a true old blade, and had been a very curious virtuoso, as we found by a handsome collection of books, medals, pictures, shells, and other antiquities. He showed two heads and horns of the true capricorn, which animal he told us was frequently killed among the mountains; one branch of them was as much as I could well lift, and near as high as my head, not much unlike the greater sort of goat's, save that they bent forward, by help whereof they climb up and hang on inaccessible rocks, from whence the inhabitants now and then shoot them. They speak prodigious things of their leaping from crag to crag, and of their sure footing, notwithstanding their being cloven-footed, unapt (one would think) to take hold and walk so steadily on those horrible ridges as they do. The Colonel would have given me one of these beams, but the want of a convenience to carry it along with me, caused me to refuse his courtesy. He told me that in the castle there were some Roman and Christian antiquities, and he had some inscriptions in his own garden. He invited us to his country-house, where he said he had better pictures, and other rarities; but, our time being short, I could not persuade my companions to stay and visit the places he would have had us see, nor the offer he made to show us the hunting of the bear, wolf, and other wild beasts. The next morning, having presented his daughter, a pretty well-fashioned young woman, with a small ruby ring, we parted somewhat late from our generous host.
Passing through the same pleasant valley between the horrid mountains on either hand, like a gallery many miles in length, we got to Martigni, where also we were well entertained. The houses in this country are all built of fir boards, planed within, low, and seldom above one story. The people very clownish and rusticly clad, after a very odd fashion, for the most part in blue cloth, very whole and warm, with little variety of distinction between the gentleman and common sort, by a law of their country being exceedingly frugal. Add to this their great honesty and fidelity, though exacting enough for what they part with: I saw not one beggar. We paid the value of twenty shillings English, for a day's hire of one horse. Every man goes with a sword by his side, the whole country well disciplined, and indeed impregnable, which made the Romans have such ill success against them; one lusty Swiss at their narrow passages is sufficient to repel a legion. It is a frequent thing here for a young tradesman, or farmer, to leave his wife and children for twelve or fifteen years, and seek his fortune in the wars in Spain, France, Italy, or Germany, and then return again to work. I look upon this country to be the safest spot of all Europe, neither envied nor envying; nor are any of them rich, nor poor; they live in great simplicity and tranquillity; and, though of the fourteen Cantons half be Roman Catholics, the rest reformed, yet they mutually agree, and are confederate with Geneva, and are its only security against its potent neighbors, as they themselves are from being attacked by the greater potentates, by the mutual jealousy of their neighbors, as either of them would be overbalanced, should the Swiss, who are wholly mercenary and auxiliaries, be subjected to France or Spain.
We were now arrived at St. Maurice, a large handsome town and residence of the President, where justice is done. To him we presented our letter from Sion, and made known the ill usage we had received for killing a wretched goat, which so incensed him, that he swore if we would stay he would not only help us to recover our money again, but most severely punish the whole rabble; but our desire of revenge had by this time subsided, and glad we were to be gotten so near France, which we reckoned as good as home. He courteously invited us to dine with him; but we excused ourselves, and, returning to our inn, while we were eating something before we took horse, the Governor had caused two pages to bring us a present of two great vessels of covered plate full of excellent wine, in which we drank his health, and rewarded the youths; they were two vast bowls supported by two Swiss, handsomely wrought after the German manner. This civility and that of our host at Sion, perfectly reconciled us to the highlanders; and so, proceeding on our journey we passed this afternoon through the gate which divides the Valais from the Duchy of Savoy, into which we were now entering, and so, through Montei, we arrived that evening at Beveretta. Being extremely weary and complaining of my head, and finding little accommodation in the house, I caused one of our hostess's daughters to be removed out of her bed and went immediately into it while it was yet warm, being so heavy with pain and drowsiness that I would not stay to have the sheets changed; but I shortly after paid dearly for my impatience, falling sick of the smallpox as soon as I came to Geneva, for by the smell of frankincense and the tale the good woman told me of her daughter having had an ague, I afterward concluded she had been newly recovered of the smallpox. Notwithstanding this, I went with my company, the next day, hiring a bark to carry us over the lake; and indeed, sick as I was, the weather was so serene and bright, the water so calm, and air so temperate, that never had travelers a sweeter passage. Thus, we sailed the whole length of the lake, about thirty miles, the countries bordering on it (Savoy and Berne) affording one of the most delightful prospects in the world, the Alps covered with snow, though at a great distance, yet showing their aspiring tops. Through this lake, the river Rhodanus passes with that velocity as not to mingle with its exceeding deep waters, which are very clear, and breed the most celebrated trout for largeness and goodness of any in Europe. I have ordinarily seen one of three feet in length sold in the market for a small price, and such we had in the lodging where we abode, which was at the White Cross. All this while, I held up tolerably; and the next morning having a letter for Signor John Diodati, the famous Italian minister and translator of the Holy Bible into that language, I went to his house, and had a great deal of discourse with that learned person. He told me he had been in England, driven by tempest into Deal, while sailing for Holland, that he had seen London, and was exceedingly taken with the civilities he received. He so much approved of our Church-government by Bishops, that he told me the French Protestants would make no scruple to submit to it and all its pomp, had they a king of the Reformed religion as we had. He exceedingly deplored the difference now between his Majesty and the Parliament. After dinner, came one Monsieur Saladine, with his little pupil, the Earl of Caernarvon, to visit us, offering to carry us to the principal places of the town; but, being now no more able to hold up my head, I was constrained to keep my chamber, imagining that my very eyes would have dropped out; and this night I felt such a stinging about me, that I could not sleep. In the morning, I was very ill, but sending for a doctor, he persuaded me to be bled. He was a very learned old man, and, as he said, he had been physician to Gustavus the Great, King of Sweden, when he passed this way into Italy, under the name of Monsieur Gars, the initial letters of Gustavus Adolphus Rex Sueciæ, and of our famous Duke of Buckingham, on his returning out of Italy. He afterward acknowledged that he should not have bled me, had he suspected the smallpox, which broke out a day after. He afterward purged me, and applied leeches, and God knows what this would have produced, if the spots had not appeared, for he was thinking of bleeding me again. They now kept me warm in bed for sixteen days, tended by a vigilant Swiss matron, whose monstrous throat, when I sometimes awakened out of unquiet slumbers, would affright me. After the pimples were come forth, which were not many, I had much ease as to pain, but infinitely afflicted with heat and noisomeness. By God's mercy, after five weeks' keeping my chamber, I went abroad. Monsieur Saladine and his lady sent me many refreshments. Monsieur Le Chat, my physician, to excuse his letting me bleed, told me it was so burnt and vicious as it would have proved the plague, or spotted fever, had he proceeded by any other method. On my recovering sufficiently to go abroad, I dined at Monsieur Saladine's, and in the afternoon went across the water on the side of the lake, and took a lodging that stood exceedingly pleasant, about half a mile from the city for the better airing; but I stayed only one night, having no company there, save my pipe; so, the next day, I caused them to row me about the lake as far as the great stone, which they call Neptune's Rock, on which they say sacrifice was anciently offered to him. Thence, I landed at certain cherry gardens and pretty villas by the side of the lake, and exceedingly pleasant. Returning, I visited their conservatories of fish; in which were trouts of six and seven feet long, AS THEY AFFIRMED.
The Rhone, which parts the city in the midst dips into a cavern underground, about six miles from it, and afterward rises again, and runs its open course, like our Mole, or Swallow, by Dorking, in Surrey. The next morning (being Thursday) I heard Dr. Diodati preach in Italian, many of that country, especially of Lucca, his native place, being inhabitants of Geneva, and of the Reformed religion.
The town lying between Germany, France, and Italy, those three tongues are familiarly spoken by the inhabitants. It is a strong, well-fortified city, part of it built on a rising ground. The houses are not despicable, but the high pent-houses (for I can hardly call them cloisters, being all of wood), through which the people pass dry and in the shade, winter and summer, exceedingly deform the fronts of the buildings. Here are abundance of booksellers; but their books are of ill impressions; these, with watches (of which store are made here), crystal, and excellent screwed guns, are the staple commodities. All provisions are good and cheap.
The town-house is fairly built of stone; the portico has four black marble columns; and, on a table of the same, under the city arms, a demi-eagle and cross, between cross-keys, is a motto, "Post Tenebras Lux", and this inscription:
Quum anno 1535 profligatâ Romanâ Anti-Christi Tyrannide, abrogatisq; ejus superstitionibus, sacro-sancta Christi Religio hìc in suam puritatem, Ecclesiâ in meliorem ordinem singulari Dei beneficio repositâ, et simul pulsis fugatisq; hostibus, urbs ipsa in suam libertatem, non sine insigni miraculo, restituta fuerit; Senatus Populusq; Genevensis Monumentum hoc perpetuæ memoriæ causâ fieri atque hoc loco erigi curavit, quod suam erga Deum gratitudinem ad posteros testatum fuerit.
The territories about the town are not so large as many ordinary gentlemen have about their country farms, for which cause they are in continual watch, especially on the Savoy side; but, in case of any siege the Swiss are at hand, as this inscription in the same place shows, toward the street:
Anno a verâ Religione divinitûs cum veteri Libertate Genevæ restitutâ, et quasi novo Jubilæo ineunte, plurimis vitatis domi et forsi insidiis et superatis tempestatibus, et cum Helvetiorum Primari Tigurini æquo jure in societatem perpetuam nobiscum venerint, et veteres fidissimi socii Bernenses prius vinculum novo adstrinxerint, S.P.Q.G. quod felix esse velit D.O.M. tanti, beneficii monumentum consecrârunt, anno temporis ultimi CCƆ.IƆ.XXXIV.
In the Senate-house, were fourteen ancient urns, dug up as they were removing earth in the fortifications.
A little out of the town is a spacious field, which they call Campus Martius; and well it may be so termed, with better reason, than that at Rome at present (which is no more a field, but all built into streets), for here on every Sunday, after the evening devotions, this precise people permit their youth to exercise arms, and shoot in guns, and in the long and cross bows, in which they are exceedingly expert, reputed to be as dexterous as any people in the world. To encourage this, they yearly elect him who has won most prizes at the mark, to be their king, as the king of the long-bow, gun, or cross-bow. He then wears that weapon in his hat in gold, with a crown over it made fast to the hat like a brooch. In this field, is a long house wherein their arms and furniture are kept in several places very neatly. To this joins a hall, where, at certain times, they meet and feast; in the glass windows are the arms and names of their kings [of arms]. At the side of the field, is a very noble Pall-Mall, but it turns with an elbow. There is also a bowling-place, a tavern, and a trey-table, and here they ride their menaged horses. It is also the usual place of public execution of those who suffer for any capital crime, though committed in another country, by which law divers fugitives have been put to death, who have fled hither to escape punishment in their own country. Among other severe punishments here, adultery is death. Having seen this field, and played a game at mall, I supped with Mr. Saladine.
On Sunday, I heard Dr. Diodati preach in French, and after the French mode, in a gown with a cape, and his hat on. The Church Government is severely Presbyterian, after the discipline of Calvin and Beza, who set it up, but nothing so rigid as either our Scots or English sectaries of that denomination. In the afternoon, Monsieur Morice, a most learned young person and excellent poet, chief Professor of the University, preached at St. Peter's, a spacious Gothic fabric. This was heretofore a cathedral and a reverend pile. It has four turrets, on one of which stands a continual sentinel; in another cannons are mounted. The church is very decent within; nor have they at all defaced the painted windows, which are full of pictures of saints; nor the stalls, which are all carved with the history of our Blessed Savior.
In the afternoon, I went to see the young townsmen exercise in Mars' Field, where the prizes were pewter-plates and dishes; 'tis said that some have gained competent estates by what they have thus won. Here I first saw huge ballistæ, or cross-bows, shot in, being such as they formerly used in wars, before great guns were known; they were placed in frames, and had great screws to bend them, doing execution at an incredible distance. They were most accurate at the long-bow and musket, rarely missing the smallest mark. I was as busy with the carbine I brought from Brescia as any of them. After every shot, I found them go into a long house, and cleanse their guns, before they charged again.
On Monday, I was invited to a little garden without the works, where were many rare tulips, anemones, and other choice flowers. The Rhone, running athwart the town out of the Lake, makes half the city a suburb, which, in imitation of Paris, they call St. Germain's Fauxbourg, and it has a church of the same name. On two wooden bridges that cross the river are several water-mills, and shops of trades, especially smiths and cutlers; between the bridges is an island, in the midst of which is a very ancient tower, said to have been built by Julius Cæsar. At the end of the other bridge is the mint, and a fair sun-dial.
Passing again by the town-house, I saw a large crocodile hanging in chains; and against the wall of one of the chambers, seven judges were painted without hands, except one in the middle, who has but one hand; I know not the story. The Arsenal is at the end of this building, well furnished and kept.
After dinner Mr. Morice led us to the college, a fair structure; in the lower part are the schools, which consist of nine classes; and a hall above, where the students assemble; also a good library. They showed us a very ancient Bible, of about 300 years old, in the vulgar French, and a MS. in the old Monkish character: here have the Professors their lodgings. I also went to the Hospital, which is very commodious; but the Bishop's Palace is now a prison.
This town is not much celebrated for beautiful women, for, even at this distance from the Alps, the gentlewomen have somewhat full throats; but our Captain Wray (21) (afterward Sir William, eldest son of that Sir Christopher, who had both been in arms against his Majesty for the Parliament) fell so mightily in love with one of Monsieur Saladine's daughters that, with much persuasion, he could not be prevailed on to think on his journey into France, the season now coming on extremely hot.
My sickness and abode here cost me forty-five pistoles of gold to my host, and five to my honest doctor, who for six weeks' attendance and the apothecary thought it so generous a reward that, at my taking leave, he presented me with his advice for the regimen of my health, written with his own hand in Latin. This regimen I much observed, and I bless God passed the journey without inconvenience from sickness, but it was an extraordinarily hot unpleasant season and journey, by reason of the craggy ways.
John Evelyn's Diary July 1646
John Evelyn's Diary 05 July 1646
05 Jul 1646. We took, or rather purchased, a boat, for it could not be brought back against the stream of the Rhone. We were two days going to Lyons, passing many admirable prospects of rocks and cliffs, and near the town down a very steep declivity of water for a full mile. From Lyons, we proceeded the next morning, taking horse to Roanne, and lay that night at Feurs. At Roanne we indulged ourselves with the best that all France affords, for here the provisions are choice and plentiful, so as the supper we had might have satisfied a prince. We lay in damask beds, and were treated like emperors. The town is one of the neatest built in all France, on the brink of the Loire; and here we agreed with an old fisher to row us as far as Orleans. The first night we came as far as Nevers, early enough to see the town, the Cathedral (St. Cyre), the Jesuits' College, and the Castle, a palace of the Duke's, with the bridge to it nobly built.
The next day we passed by La Charité, a pretty town, somewhat distant from the river. Here I lost my faithful spaniel Piccioli, who had followed me from Rome. It seems he had been taken up by some of the Governor's pages, or footmen, without recovery; which was a great displeasure to me, because the cur had many useful qualities.
The next day we arrived at Orleans, taking our turns to row, of which I reckon my share came to little less than twenty leagues. Sometimes, we footed it through pleasant fields and meadows; sometimes, we shot at fowls, and other birds; nothing came amiss: sometimes, we played at cards, while others sung, or were composing verses; for we had the great poet, Mr. Waller (40), in our company, and some other ingenious persons.
At Orleans we abode but one day; the next, leaving our mad Captain behind us, I arrived at Paris, rejoiced that, after so many disasters and accidents in a tedious peregrination, I was gotten so near home, and here I resolved to rest myself before I went further.
John Evelyn's Diary October 1646
John Evelyn's Diary 01 October 1646
01 Oct 1646. It was now October, and the only time that in my whole life that I spent most idly, tempted from my more profitable recesses; but I soon recovered my better resolutions and fell to my study, learning the High Dutch and Spanish tongues, and now and then refreshing my dancing, and such exercises as I had long omitted, and which are not in much reputation among the sober Italians.