John Evelyn's Diary 1646

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 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 Orléans. 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 Orléans, 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 Orléans 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.

Around 1687. John Riley Painter 1646-1691. Portrait of Edmund Waller Poet 1606-1687.

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.