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our seats are in play-houses; but, from their materials, beauty, and structure, never was an artificial scene more beautiful to the eye, nor is any place, for the size of it, so full of well-designed and stately palaces, as may be easily concluded by that rare book in a large folio which the great virtuoso and painter, Paul Rubens, has published, though it contains [the description of] only one street and two or three churches. The first palace we went to visit was that of Hieronymo del Negros, to which we passed by boat across the harbour. Here I could not but observe the sudden and devilish passion of a seaman, who plying us was intercepted by another fellow, that interposed his boat before him and took us in; for the tears gushing out of his eyes, he put his finger in his mouth and almost bit it off by the joint, showing it to his antagonist as an assurance to him of some bloody revenge, if ever he came near that part of the harbour again. Indeed, this beautiful city is more stained with such horrid acts of revenge and murders, than any one place in Europe, or haply in the world, where there is a political government, which makes it unsafe to strangers. It is made a galley matter to carry a knife whose point is not broken off. This palace of Negros is richly furnished with the rarest pictures; on the terrace, or hilly garden, there is a grove of stately trees, amongst which are sheep, shepherds, and wild beasts, cut very artificially in a grey stone; fountains, rocks, and fish-ponds: casting your eyes one way, you would imagine yourself in a wilderness and silent country; sideways, in the heart of a great city; and backwards, in the midst of the sea. All this is within one acre of ground. In the house, I noticed those red-plaster floors which are made so hard, and kept so polished, that for some time one would take them for whole pieces of porphyry. I have frequently wondered that we never practised this [art] in England for cabinets and rooms of state,” for it appears to me beyond any invention of that kind; but by their careful covering them with canvass and fine mattresses, where there is much passage, I suppose they are not lasting in their glory, and haply they are often repaired. There are numerous other palaces of particular curiosities, for the marchands being very rich, have, like our neighbours, the Hollanders, little or no extent of ground to employ their estates in : as those in pictures and hangings, so these lay it out on marble houses and rich furniture. One of the greatest here for circuit is that of the Prince Doria, which reaches from the sea to the summit of the mountains. The house is most magnificently built without, nor less gloriously furnished within, having whole tables* and bedsteads of massy silver, many of them set with agates, onyxes, cornelians, lazulis, pearls, turquoises, and other precious stones. The pictures and statues are innumerable. To this palace belong three gardens, the first whereof is beautified with a terrace, supported by pillars of marble: there is a fountain of eagles, and one of Neptune, with other sea-gods, all of the purest white marble; they stand in a most ample basin of the same stone. At the side of this garden is such an aviary as Sir Francis Bacon describes in his Sermones fidelium, or Essays, wherein grow trees of more than two feet diameter, besides cypress, myrtles, lentsicuses, and other rare shrubs, which serve to nestle and perch all sorts of birds, who have air and place enough under their airy canopy, supported with huge iron work, stupendous for its fabric and the charge. The other two gardens are full of orange-trees, citrons, and pomegranates, fountains, grots, and statues. One of the latter is a colossal Jupiter, under which is the sepulchre of a beloved dog, for the care of which one of this family received of the King of Spain 500 crowns a-year, during the life of that faithful animal. The reservoir of water here is a most admirable piece of art 1 and so is the grotto over-against it. We went hence to the Palace of the Ditkes, where is also the Court of Justice; thence to the Marchant’s Walk, rarely covered. Neart the Ducal Palace we saw the public armoury, which was almost all new, most neatly kept and ordered, sufficient for 30,000 men. We were shewed many rare inventions and engines of war peculiar to that armoury, as in the state when guns were first put in use. The garrison of the town chiefly consists of Germans and Corsicans. The famous Strada Nova, built wholly of polished marble, was designed by Rubens, and for stateliness of the buildings, paving, and evenness of the street, is far superior to any in Europe, for the number of houses; that of Don Carlo Doria is a most magnificent structure. In the gardens of the old Marquess Spinola, I saw huge citrons hanging on the trees, applied like our apricots to the walls. The churches are no less splendid than the palaces: that of St. Francis is wholly built of Parian marble; St. Laurence, in the middle of the city, of white and black polished stone, the inside wholly incrusted with marble and other precious materials; on the altar of St. John stand four sumptuous columns of porphyry; and here we were shewed an emerald, supposed to be one of the largest in the world.* The church of St. Ambrosio, belonging to the Jesuits, will, when finished, exceed all the rest; and that of the Annunciada, founded at the charges of one family, f in the present and future design can never be outdone for cost and art. From the churches we walked to the Mole, a work of solid huge stone, stretching itself near 600 paces into the main sea, and secures the harbour, heretofore of no safety. Of all the wonders of Italy, for the art and nature of the design, nothing parallels this.j. We passed over to the Pharos, or Lantern, a tower of very great height. Here we took horses, and made the circuit of the city as far as the new walls, built of a prodigious height, and with Herculean industry; witness those vast pieces of whole mountains which they have hewn away, and blown up with gunpowder, to render them steep and inaccessible. They are not much less than twenty English miles in extent,S reaching beyond the utmost buildings of the city. From one of these promontories we could easily discern the island of Corsica; and from the same, eastward, we saw a vale having a great torrent running through a most desolate barren country; and then turning our eyes more northward, saw those delicious villas of St. Pietro d’Arena, which present another Genoa to you, the ravishing retirements of the Genoese nobility. Hence, with much pain, we descended towards the Arsenal, where the galleys lie in excellent order. The inhabitants of this city are much affected to the Spanish mode and stately garb.” From the narrowness of the streets, they use sedans and litters, and not coaches. 19th. We embarked in a felucca for Livorno, or Leghorn; but the sea running very high, we put in at Porto Venere, which we made with peril, between two narrow horrid rocks, against which the sea dashed with great velocity; but we were soon delivered into as great a calm and a most ample harbour, being in the Golfo di Spetia. From hence, we could see Pliny’s Delphini Promontorium, now called Capo fino. Here stood that famous city of Luna, whence the port was named Lunaris, being about two leagues over, more resembling a lake than a haven, but defended by castles and excessive high mountains. We landed at Lerici, where, being Sunday, was a great procession, carrying the Sacrament about the streets in solemn devotion. After dinner, we took posthorses, passing through whole groves of olive-trees, the way somewhat rugged and hilly at first, but afterwards pleasant. Thus we passed through the towns of Sarzana and Massa, and the vast marble quarries of Carrara, and lodged in an obscure inn, at a place called Wiregio. The next morning, we arrived at Pisa, where I met my old friend, Mr. Thomas Henshaw, who was then newly come out of Spain, and from whose company I never parted till more than a year after. The city of Pisa is as much worth seeing, as any in Italy; it has contended with Rome, Florence, Sardinia, Sicily, and even Carthage. The palace and church of St. Stefano (where the order of knighthood called by that name was instituted) drew first our curiosity, the outside thereof being altogether of polished marble; within, it is full of tables relating to this Order; over which hang divers banners and pendants, with other trophies taken by them from the Turks, against whom they are particularly obliged to fight; though a religious order, they are permitted to marry. At the front of the palace, stands a fountain, and the statue of the great Duke Cosmo. The Campanile, or Settezonio, built by John Venipont, a German, consists of several orders of pillars, thirty in a row, designed to be much higher. It stands alone on the right side of the cathedral, strangely remarkable for this, that the beholder would expect it to fall, being built exceedingly declining, by a rare address of the architect; and how it is supported from falling I think would puzzle a good geometrician. The Duomo, or Cathedral, standing near it, is a superb structure, beautified with six columns of great antiquity; the gates are of brass, of admirable workmanship. The cemetery called Campo Santo, is made of divers galley ladings of earth formerly brought from Jerusalem, said to be of such a nature, as to consume dead bodies in forty hours. 'Tis cloistered with marble arches; and here lies buried the learned Philip Decius, who taught in this University. At one side of this church, stands an ample and well-wrought marble vessel, which heretofore contained the tribute paid yearly by the city to Caesar. It is placed, as I remember, on a pillar of opal stone, with divers other antique urns. Near this, and in the same field, is the Baptistery of San Giovanni, built of pure white marble, and covered with so artificial a cupola, that the voice uttered under it seems to break out of a cloud. The font and pulpit, supported by four lions, is of inestimable value for the preciousness of the materials. The place where these buildings stand they call the Area. Hence, we went to the College, to which joins a gallery so furnished with natural rarities, stones, minerals, shells,
* There are such at Hardwick Hall, in Derbyshire, a seat of the Duke of Devonshire's.
* One of which, Lassells says, weighed 24,000 lbs. “Voyage through Italy,” 1670, p. 94. + Lassells says, in the Palace. .
* Lassells calls it a great dish, in which they say here that our Saviour ate the Paschal Lamb with his Disciples; but he adds that he finds no authority for it in any ancient writer, and the Venerable Bede writes, that the dish used by our Saviour was of silver. Of an authentic relic of St. John he observes that Baronius writes credibly.
+ Two brothers, named Lomellini, allow the third part of their gains. —Lassells.
f The break-water at Plymouth is at least as stupendous a work.
§ Lassells says, finished in eighteen months, and yet six miles in compass.-P. 83.
*. Thus described by Lassells: “broad hats without hat-bands, broad leather girdles with steel buckles, narrow breeches, with long-waisted doublets and hanging sleeves. The great ladies go in guard infantas (child-preservers); that is, in horrible overgrown vertigals of whalebone, which being put about the waist of the lady, and full as broad on both sides as she can reach with her hands, bear out her coats in such a manner, that she appears to be as broad as long. The men look like tumblers that leap through hoops, and the wo like those that anciently danced the hobby-horsein country mummings.” -P. 96.