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Turin, o&. zoth. A S I find you doat upon long letters, I am Il determined not to spare you, but shall en. deavour to crowd into this all I have to say on the subject of Turin and its environs. In my last, I had scarce gone through the palace, not having made mention of the Library nor the Theatre; the former is said to contain curious manuscripts, but we could not see them, an excuse being made, that some person was out of the way who had them in charge. Plans of all the battles of prince Eugene are preserved here. There is little else remarkable in this apartment. They shew a moveable staircase, which is neatly finished, but is very common in all considerable libraries in
England. .. As to the Theatre it is strikingly magnificent,
and so far superior to any theatre I ever saw before, that at first sight I could not believe it admitted of criticism. Notwithstanding which, 1 am at present convinced of the justness of Cochin's obfervations, which are so clear as to render every reader a competent judge of its proportions, c. if endued with the smallest degree of taste, or the most superficial knowledge in architecture. I could wish, with all my heart, to see a theatre at
London but half as well built; and would willingly compound for all the faults Cochin has justly discovered. The form is that of an egg cut across. There are six rows of boxes ; narrow indeed in front, but very convenient within ; and hold eight persons with ease *. The King's box is in the second row, fronting the stage ; it is 30 feet wide, Paris measure; and the back part, covered with looking-glass, reflects the stage in such a manner, that those who happen to have their backs turned to the actors, either conversing, or ac play, may see the performance in the glasses. These glasses form a partition, which can be moved whenever they choose to enlarge the box, there being a room behind. The very great breadth of the stage produces a most noble effect. The proscenium measures forty-five Paris feet [this measurement I took from Cochin), he does not give the extent of the stage behind the coulises; the depth of the stage 105, beyond which they can add a paved court of 24 feet t. A gentle rising is contrived at the sides. By which may be introduced triumphal cars, for great procesfions,
* The Italians play at cards, receive visits, and take all forts of refreshments in their boxes; they resemble little rooms, rather than boxes at a theatre. There are no benches, but what is much more convenient, chairs, which are moved about at pleasure.
+ M measured it, and found it thus, according to Eng. lish measure; stage 96 feet broad, including 36 feet behind the coxlifes, and 125 deep.
horses, horses, &c. They can also throw a draw-bridge across when the scene requires it, and have a contrivance for letting in water, lo as to prelent a jet d'eau of 30 fçet high. Sixty horses at a time have been brought upon the stage, and have mareuvred with ease in representations of battle : the orchestra is so curiously constructed, as, by having a place left underneath, which is concave and semicircular, to augment the found of the inftruments very considerably. I am forry that, as it is not carnival time, we have no chance of being present at an opera, there being none performed in this theatre but at that lealon, when they re. prefent the serious opera. The only theatre now open is that of Carignan, which, though called Imall here, is, I assure you, by no means despicable. Here they give none but operas bouffon at this time of the year; I shall have occasion to say
more upon this subject before I quit Turin. Palace of That part of the palace * of the duke of Savoy
· which is modern, is fronted, in the most ornaof Pied
mental manner, by Philip Juvara (the reft bring old); and is in the best itile of architecture of any building ac Turin. The Corinthian pillars, with their entablature, terminated by a fine balluftrade, upon which are placed statues, vases, &c. make a firiking appearance. But the stair case is admired here to such a degree, that they affert it to be the
* This palace is now called that of the Prince of Piedmont, as he occupies it at present; for the duke of Savoy has apartments in the King's palace.
first in the world; it is double, and unites at top, from whence you enter the grand faloon. Cochin's remark thereupon seems well founded, 66 Cet escalier est en, gceral fort beau, quoique l'on trouve que la cage qui l’earferme, soit trop etroit pour sa longeur, il y a des details fort ingenieusement decorés, & d'autre de mauvais golit, & d'une archi. težiure trop tourmentée, &c. The apartments are well furnished, and would appear much more grand and considerable than they do, was it not for the staircase; the noble appearance of which indicates your finding a more magnificent and extensive suite of rooms. -- Another great palace grows on to that of the King's, which is called, Tbe Acaderny. The Manége is very large, and finely vaulted; the apartments neat, and fit for the purpoles for which they are designed.--! believe I did not mention to you the gallery in the King's palace, where the archives are kept. These are arranged with such method, that, although they are extremely voluminous, the King can, at a moment, turn to the population,, extent, and productions of the smallest subdivision of his hereditary dominions, or of those acquired by him at the conclusion of the war in 17440 , commonly called, Les païs conquis; their present and pait revenue, at or for any given period within the two last centuries, by, the day, week, or year; their capability of bearing a further increase of taxes, in cases of recesiity; their value, and casual increase, or decrease, in different branches
of Table Ifiaque.
of manufactures, as well as the rumber of militia, and of recruits, which each can furnish upon any emergency.
The Table Ifaque is one of the most celebrated Egyptian antiques in all Italy. This Nab or table is of copper ; it is covered all over with hierogly. phics. The principal figure is an Isis, fitting; she has a kind of hawk on her head, and the horns of a bull. Many and various are the conjectures formed by the learned in regard to the meaning of the figures upon the table. Some have imagined, they could prove it to be a compass; others, a perpetual calendar; and not a few have pretended to find in it principles of philosophy and politics; while, more ingenious ftill, fome have afferted, that it contains a complete body of theo. logy. After what I have said, you cannot expect from me an opinion upon this subject. I am not impertinent enough to pretend I discovered any thing more, than a strange chaos of men, women, ugly birds, and other animals, frightfully delineated, by straight lines fometimes springing all from a point, like rays, then suddenly turning into angular figures, formed by filver incrusted into copper. It is evident, that much silver has been taken out of this table, as the grooves remain. Notwithstanding the seeming confusion of the representations, the silver lines are very neat, and extremely well inserted into the copper.-Mons. Groffo Cavallo gave himself a great deal of trou. ble to procure us a very learned differtation on the