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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 Bastile, 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, mouldings, and compartments, with the insertion of several coloured marbles, have been of great expense. We went through the long gallery, paved with white and black marble, richly fretted and painted a 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, amongst which stands that so celebrated Diana of the Ephesians, said to be the same which uttered oracles in that renowned Temple. Desides those 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 towards the Queen's apartment is a walk, or cloister, under arches, whose terrace is paved with stones of a great breadth; it looks towards the river, and has a pleasant aviary, fountain, stately cypresses, &c. 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 moulding 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 lybrinth 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 imaginable 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, towards 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 a-breast.
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, &c.
27th . 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 a 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 towards Paris, the meadows, and river.
At ar, 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 revellings, as being out of all noise and observance. From hence, about a league farther, 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 towards 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, corn-fields, 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 harbour 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, &c., 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, &c. 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. The 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 towards 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; amongst these, is Orpheus with his music, and the animals, which dance after his harp; in the second, is the King and Dolphin; * 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 towards the
* The imaginary animal, or serpent, so called.