Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

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. Saviour'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. 7th October. We had a most delicious journey to Marseilles, through a country sweetly declining to the south and Mediterranean coasts, full of vineyards and olive-yards, orange trees, myrtles, pomegranates, and the like sweet plantations, to which belong pleasantly-situated villas to the number of above 1500, built all of freestone, and in prospect shewing as if they were so many heaps of snow dropped out of the clouds amongst those perennial greens. It was almost at the shutting of the gates that we arrived. Marseilles is on the sea-coast, on a pleasant rising ground, well-walled, with an excellent port for ships and galleys, secured by a huge chain of iron drawn across the harbour at pleasure; and there is a well-fortified tower with three other forts, especially that built on a rock; but the castle commanding the city is that of Notre Dame de la Garde. In the chapel hung up divers crocodiles' skins. We went then to visit the galleys, being about twentyfive in number; the Capitaine of the Galley Royal gave us most courteous entertainment in his cabin, the slaves in the interim playing both loud and soft music very rarely. Then he shewed us how he commanded their motions with a nod, and his whistle making them row out. The spectacle was to me new and strange, to see so many hundreds of miserably naked persons, their heads being shaven close and having only high red bonnets, a pair of coarse canvass drawers, their whole backs and legs naked, doubly chained about their middle and legs, in couples, and made fast to their seats, and all commanded in a trice by an imperious and cruel seaman. One Turk amongst the rest he much favoured, who waited on him in his cabin, but with no other dress than the rest, and a chain locked about his leg, but not coupled. This galley was richly carved and gilded, and most of the rest were very beautiful. After bestowing something on the slaves, the capitaine sent a band of them to give us music at dinner where we lodged. I was amazed to contemplate how these miserable caitiffs lie in their galley crowded together; yet there was hardly one but had some occupation, by which, as leisure and calms permitted, they got some little money, insomuch as some of them have, after many years of cruel servitude, been able to purchase their liberty. The rising-forward and falling-back at their oar, is a miserable spectacle, and the noise of their chains, with the roaring of the beaten waters, has something of strange and fearful in it to one unaccustomed to it. They are ruled and chastised by strokes on their backs and soles of their feet, on the least disorder, and without the least humanity, yet are they cheerful and full of knavery. After dinner, we saw the church of St. Victoire, where is that saint’s head in a shrine of silver, which weighs 600 pounds. Thence to Nôtre Dame, exceedingly well-built, which is the cathedral. Thence to the Duke of Guise's Palace, the Palace of Justice, and the Maison du Roi; but nothing is more strange than the great number of slaves working in the streets, and carrying burthens, with their confused noises, and jingling of their huge chains. The chief trade of the town is in silks and drugs out of Africa, Syria, and Egypt, and Barbary horses, which are brought hither in great numbers. The town is governed by four captains, has three consuls and one assessor, three judges royal; the merchants have a judge for ordinary causes. Here we bought umbrellas against the heats, and consulted of our journey to Cannes by land, for fear of the Picaroon Turks, who make prize of many small WOL. I. G

vessels about these parts; we not finding a galley bound for Genoa, whither we were designed. 9th. We took mules, passing the first night very late in sight of St. Baume, and the solitary grot where they affirm Mary Magdalen did her penance. The next day, we lay at Perigueux, a city built on an old foundation; witness the ruins of a most stately amphitheatre, which I went out to design, being about a flight-shot from the town; they call it now the Rolsies. There is also a strong tower near the town, called the Visome, but the town and city are at some distance from each other. It is a bishopric ; has a cathedral; with divers noblemen’s houses in sight of the sea. The place was formerly called Forum Julij, well known by antiquaries. 10th. We proceeded by the ruins of a stately aqueduct. The soil about the country is rocky, full of pines and rare simples. 11th. We lay at Cannes, which is a small port on the Mediterranean; here we agreed with a seaman to carry us to Genoa, and, having procured a bill of health (without which there is no admission at any town in Italy), we embarked on the 12th. We touched at the islands of St. Margaret and St. Honore, lately re-taken from the Spaniards with great bravery by Prince Harcourt. Here, having paid some small duty, we bought some trifles offered us by the soldiers, but without going on shore. Hence, we coasted within two leagues of Antibes, which is the utmost town in France. Thence by Nice, a city in Savoy, built all of brick, which gives it a very pleasant appearance towards the sea, having a very high castle which commands it. We sailed by Morgus, now called Monaco, having passed Villa Franca, heretofore Portus Herculis, when, arriving after the gates were shut, we were forced to abide all night in the barge, which was put into the haven, the wind coming contrary. In the morning, we were hastened away, having no time permitted us by our avaricious master to go up and see this strong and considerable place, which now belongs to a prince of the family of Grimaldi, of Genoa, who has put both it and himself under the protection of the French. The situation is on a promontory of solid stone and rock. The townwalls very fair. We were told that within it was an ample court, and a palace, furnished with the most rich and princely moveables, and a collection of statues, pictures, and massy plate to an immense amount. We sailed by Menton and Ventimiglia, being the first city of the republic of Genoa; supped at Oneglia, where we anchored and lay on shore. The next morning, we coasted in view of the Isle of Corsica, and St. Remo, where the shore is furnished with evergreens, oranges, citrons, and date-trees; we lay at Port Mauritio. The next morning, by Diano, Araisso, famous for the best coral fishing, growing in abundance on the rocks, deep and continually covered by the sea. By Albenga and Finale, a very fair and strong town belonging to the king of Spain, for which reason a monsieur in our vessel was extremely afraid, as was the patron of our bark, for they frequently catch French prizes, as they creep by these shores to go into Italy; he therefore plied both sails and oars, to get under the protection of a Genoese galley that passed not far before us, and in whose company we sailed as far as the Cape of Savona, a town built at the rise of the Apennines; for all this coast (except a little of St. Remo) is a high and steep mountainous ground, consisting all of rock-marble, without any grass, tree, or rivage, formidable to look on. A strange object it is, to consider how some poor cottages stand fast on the declivities of these precipices, and by what steps the inhabitants ascend to them. The rock consists of all sorts of the most precious marbles. Here, on the 15th, forsaking our galley we encountered a little foul weather, which made us creep terra, terra, as they call it, and so a vessel that encountered us advised us to do; but our patron, striving to double the point of Savona, making out into the wind put us into great hazard; for, blowing very hard from land betwixt those horrid gaps of the mountains, it set so violently, as raised on the sudden so great a sea, that we could not recover the weather-shore for many hours, insomuch that, what with the water already entered, and the confusion of fearful passengers, (of which one who was an Irish bishop, and his brother, a priest, were confessing some as at the article of death), we were almost abandoned to despair, our pilot himself giving us up for lost. And now, as we were weary with pumping and laving out the water, almost sinking, it pleased God, on the sudden to appease the wind, and with much ado and great peril we recovered the shore, which we now kept in view within half a league in sight of those pleasant villas, and within scent of those fragrant orchards which are on this coast, full of princely retirements for the sumptuousness of their buildings and nobleness of the plantations, especially those at St. Pietro d’Arena; from whence, the wind blowing as it did, might perfectly be smelt the peculiarjoys of Italy in the perfumes of orange, citron, and jasmine flowers, for divers leagues seaward.* 16th. We got to anchor under the Pharos, or watchtower, built on a high rock at the mouth of the Mole of Genoa, the weather being still so foul that for two hours at least we durst not stand into the haven. Towards evening, we adventured, and came on shore by the Prattique-house, where, after strict examination by the Syndics, we were had to the Ducal Palace, and there our names being taken, we were conducted to our inn, kept by one Zacharias, an Englishman. I shall never forget a story of our host Zachary, who, on the relation of our peril, told us another of his own, being shipwrecked, as he affirmed solemnly, in the middle of a great sea somewhere in the West Indies, that he swam no less than twenty-two leagues to another island, with a tinder-box wrapped up in his hair, which was not so much as wet all the way; that picking up the carpenter's tools with other provisions in a chest, he and the carpenter, who accompanied him, (good swimmers it seems both) floated the chest before them; and, arriving at last in a place full of wood, they built another vessel, and so escaped After this story, we no more talked of our danger, Zachary put us quite down. 17th. Accompanied by a most courteous marchand, called Tomson, we went to view the rarities. The city is built in the hollow or bosom of a mountain, whose ascent is very steep, high, and rocky, so that, from the Lantern and Mole to the hill, it represents the shape of a theatre; the streets and buildings' so ranged one above another, as

• Mr. Evelyn was so struck with this circumstance of the fragrancy of the air of this coast, that he has noticed it again in his dedication of the “Fumifugium ” to King Charles the Second.

« AnteriorContinuar »