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Mr. Edward Browne to his Father.
[Ms. SLOAN. 1868.] SIR,
I wrote to you the last weeke from Turino. I am now come to Genoa. Trauayling in this country is more expensiue then I could imagine, butt the hopes of seeing the most remarkable places in Europe, and attaining that sweet languauge heere spoken, doth still encourage mee. I have been heere alreadie 4 dayes, and intend to morrow or next day to go by sea to Lerici, a port of this state, about 70 miles of. Genoa is one of the best ports in these seas; hath a noble tower or pharo, the most stately one I euer beheld ; the inhabitants exceeding rich; many palaces exceeding those of kings and princes in other parts. At Signor Imperiale his palace, I saw fish ponds built of marble, and set about with statuas ; fish come upon whistling, and follow one as hee walks upon the side of the ponds. The orange and lemon trees are delightfull, and come to better perfection then in France. The water workes are not to be expressed ; they hauing a great conuenience of the hill to make their water rise. This Imperiale hath 5 daughters, to euery one whereof hee giues in mariadge about thirtie thousand pound sterling. Out of his windowe hee can see so much of his owne as is of value vnto him fiftie pound sterling a day. The palace of Prince Doria is the most famous in the citty; where is an auiary or bird cage of fourscore paces long and 18 broad; very high, so that many trees growe vnder it. There are also fountaines and many strange birds; where I saw an hen of Grand Cayro, &c. In the garden of this house is a fountaine with Neptune riding upon 3 sea horses, one of the noblest in Italie. Strada Noua, or the new street, hath eleuen palaces, and is reputed the fayrest in Europe. I saw Francesco Maria Balbi his palace, furnished with pictures of old masters, also del Negro and the Duke of Genoa his palace; the senate house and the manner of choosing their officers. Their gallies much delighted mee,
butt the poor slaues, and their miserable life, is a very pitifull spectacle.
ED. BROWNE. Genoua, Nou. 14, 1664.
Mr. Edward Browne to his Father.
(Ms. SLOAN. 1868.) SIR,
I am now, thanckes bee to God, safely arriued at Rome; haueing inioyed my health better then I could expect. My last I wrote to you was from Genoa, since which time I haue not found a good opportunity of writeing. My greatest affliction is, that I cannot hear from home or receue your commands here. Wee set sayle in a small boat from Genoa, but the wind being contrary, wee were four days before wee got half the way to Leghorn. Wee put in at Porto Fin al Leuanto, and landed at Lerici in Porto Venere. The coast is rocky. Near Lerici is a fort fitted to a rock in the sea, in which is a spring of fresh water. From hence to Massa, well situated on the side of an hill in sight of the sea, the princes garden is the most remarkable, where the orange trees and myrtles grow to a uast bignese. Three miles from hence is Carrara, from whence comes the best marble in Italy. From thence to Luca, a towne that lyes upon flat ground, incompas'd round with hills, at three or four miles distance. Tis a place extremely well fortified, hath eleuen bastions and a wall of earth that four coaches may goe a brest on; the side shoring, and set with fiue rowes of poplars round the towne. There is a good armory in the Gonfaloniere's palace. To Pisa, where the church is admirable for its pictures, mosaique work in stone and wood. The gates of bronze rarely carued ; they report them to be those that belonged formerly to the temple of Hierusalem. At one end of this church is a ery high steeple, with eight rowes of marble pillars, one above another, built purposely awry. At the other is a round church dedicated to St John, with a noble pulpit and baptistair in it. On the north side standes the Campo Santo, the noblest buriing place surely in Christendome. Among the rest lyes Mathilda. Wee saw Bartolus his hous, and the physick garden, ouer which is written, hic Argus esto, non Briareus; tis a long square, not well furnished with plants, nor yet very big. In the closet of rarities were many things remarkable: a beast which they called a syren; Ægyptian idolls, much larger than those I had seen before; all sorts and productions of mineralls, very orderly placed; with gummi, resinæ, &c. At Legorne, the Duke of Florence his statua, with 4 slaues tied to the pedistalls, is uery noble. The streets there are uniforme, and the houses well painted. Wee happened to be there on St Cicilis day, the festiuall of the musitians; so as wee heard the eunuchs singe. One Coseni hath the noblest voice of any in Tuscany. At Florence, for statuas of Baccio Bandinelli, of Michael Angelo; and for pictures of all the rare masters of Italy and elsewhere; for an inestimable treasure, for raritis of all sorts, the Dukes gallery and closets goe beyond all that is possible to be seen. Amongst other masters, Corregios paintings pleased mee best. The cathedral is of black and white marble; the cupola as high again as Boston steeple. At the west end an old temple of Mars made into a church. St. Laurence chappell is couered in the inside with pretious stones; the alter is of an inestimable valew, set with large topaces and other stones, long pillars of chrystalls, and the like. Wee saw Michel Angelo's tombe, with Painting, Caruing, and Architecture lamenting him: Baccio Bandinelli his, carued by his own hand : a very neat library of manyscripts, the desighn of the front of it by Michal Angelo; and many other very remarkable things, wich would take up too much roome to describe. Of Rome I can say but little, haueing beene here but a day and a hafe. Two mile before wee came to the towne, we saw Neros sepulchre, passed ouer the Via Flaminia, a uery
5 Sloping, aslant; from the oblique or slanting position of a shore, or buttress. A Norfolk word. See Forby's Vocabulary of East Anglia.
noble entrance to the city, and came in at Porta dell Popolo, where stands an Ægiptian obelisk, dedicato al sole da Augusto nel circo massimo, and makes a braue [show], down three long streets which look against it. The amphitheatre not so intire as that at Nismes. Tis still, besides what is underground, as high again as the castell at Norwich. The reliques of the old capitoll, new capitoll, Vespatian and Constantines triumphall arches, St Peters and the buildings by it by this present pope, very magnificent. An obelisk stands before it but without hieroglyphicks. Mr. Wray is here at Rome : hee hath been in Sicilia and Malta. I haue bought itinerario D'Italia di Franc. Scoto, which giues mee notice of most thinges remarkable in Italy, in which also there are mapps of all the great cities. Sir,
Your most obedient sonne
ED. BROWNE. Rome, December 6, 1664.
Mr. Edward Browne to Mr. Craven.
(ms. SLOAN. 1868.]
Let it suffice, deare friend, for this time, that I tell
I am at Naples, a place that goes farre beyound those great expectations I had of it, and where I meet with so many remarkables that I'll not venter to set them downe, till I see there be roome left in my letter for them. 'You shall know then, at present, those rarities I have seen this day. Wee went from hence in the morning by Castello del Ouo, a rock in the form of an egge, upon which stands a strong castell, which hath communication under the ground and sea with Castell Novo; haveing Castell di St Elmo on the right hand. These three forts held out against Massinello, and were the onely refuges of the Spaniards in the eight dayes fury of that noble rascall. Hard by stands the mountaine Pausillippo, so fruitfull that it beares grapes thrice in a year, and green pease and hartichokes at present, with many other fruites, which require the heat of our summer in England. Under this mountain wee rode very nigh a mile in a stately vault, haueing no other light then what comes in at both ends; hallowing out al the way, “al marino,” to give notice to others, that might chance to trauell here at the same time, which side to take. Tis paued with broad stones, just as the Via Appia was, from hence to Rome. After this wee took dogs and went to Grotto del Cane, where wee saw one killd out right, the second, dead in appearance, we reuiud by throughing him into the Lake of Agnano. Much taken with this curiosity, I went into the grot myselfe, and findeing no inconuenience from those poysonous exhalations, either by standing or putting my hand to the place where the dog died, I was about to put my head to it allso; when, to the hindrance of my satisfaction in this point, my companions and the guide furiously tore mee out of the grot, and I think, without some persuasions, would haue throwne mee into the lake also.? Hard by here wee went into the stoues of St. German, a place naturally hot, where many come to swet. The house is diuided into diuers roomes, some much hotter then others. There is a strong salt shoots out of the walls. From hence wee went to a place now cald Sulfaterra, by some Forum Uulcani. If I had not seen the mountain Vesuuius and his smoking entrailes, I shuld with more feare haue approachid these sulfurious breathings; and indeed at present this smoeks the more furiously of the two. Wee roade about half a mile here, where the earth being hollow our horses feet sounded a march upon it, till wee came to the thickest of the smoak, which riseth with so great a force that casting many things into it, it caried them up a great heighth into the air. Holding our swords in it, the water dropped from them. I was afraid at first they had been melted. Wee were not able to put our hands nighe the ground by reason of the heat. The smoak of this place I saw fifteen mile of, and I suppose it is uisible much further by sea. It is within a mile of ancient Puteoli, where wee saw many antiquities; an old amphitheatre, ruines of the sepullchre of Virgill, of Cicero's hous, and the like. Here I bought diuers Roman coins, Roman seals, some odd fishes, shells,
6 Alexander the Seventh.