John Evelyn.

Diary and correspondence, To which is subjoined the private correspondence between King Charles I. and Sir Edward Nicholas, and between Sir Edward Hyde, afterwards earl of Clarendon, and Sir Richard Browne (Volume 1) online

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Online LibraryJohn EvelynDiary and correspondence, To which is subjoined the private correspondence between King Charles I. and Sir Edward Nicholas, and between Sir Edward Hyde, afterwards earl of Clarendon, and Sir Richard Browne (Volume 1) → online text (page 10 of 46)
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Biscay, having misbehaved, I was forced to discharge him ;
he demanded of me (besides his wages) no less than 100
crowns to carry him to his country ; refusing to pay it, as
no part of our agreement, he had the impudence to arrest
me ; the next day I was to appear in Court, where both


our avocats pleaded before the Lieutenant Civil: but it
was so unreasonable a pretence, that the Judge had not
patience to hear it out. The Judge immediately acquit-
ting me, after he had reproached the avocat who took part
with my servant, he rose from the Bench, and, making a
courteous excuse to me, that being a stranger I should be
so used, he conducted me through the court to the street-
door. This varlet afterwards threatened to pistol me.
The next day, I waited on the Lieutenant, to thank him
for his great civility.

18th. The Queen of England came to Tours, having
newly arrived in France, and going for Paris. She was
very nobly received by the people and clergy, who went to
meet her with th& trained bands. After the harangue,
the Archbishop entertained her at his Palace, where I
paid my duty to her. The 20th, she set forward to Paris.

8th September. Two of my kinsmen came from Paris to
this place, where I settled them in their pension and

14th. We took post for Richelieu, passing by Tlsle
Bouchard, a village in the way. The next day, we ar-
rived, and went to see the Cardinal's Palace, near it. The
town is built in a low, marshy ground, having a narrow
river cut by hand, very even and straight, capable of
bringing up a small vessel. It consists of only one con-
siderable street, the houses on both sides (as indeed
throughout the town) built exactly uniform, after a modern
handsome design. It has a large goodly market-house
and place, opposite to which is the church built of free-
stone, having two pyramids of stone, which stand hollow
from the towers. The church is well-built, and of a
well-ordered architecture, within handsomely paved and
adorned. To this place belongs an Academy, where,
besides the exercise of the horse, arms, dancing, &c., all
the sciences are taught in the vulgar French by professors
stipendiated by the great Cardinal, who by this, the cheap
living there, and divers privileges, not only designed the
improvement of the vulgar language, but to draw people
and strangers to the town ; but since the Cardinal's death
it is thinly inhabited ; standing so much out of the way,
and in a place not well situated for health, or pleasure.
He was allured to build by the name of the place, and an

1644.] JOHN EVELYN. 75

old house there belonging to his ancestors. This pretty
town is handsomely walled about and moated, with a kind
of slight fortification, two fair gates and draw-bridges.
Before the gate, towards the palace, is a spacious circle,
where the fair is annually kept. About a flight-shot from
the town is the Cardinal's house, a princely pile, though
on an old design, not altogether Gothic, but mixed, en-
vironed by a clear moat. The rooms are stately, most
richly furnished with tissue, damask, arras, and velvet,
pictures, statues, vases, and all sorts of antiquities, espe-
cially the Cffisars, in oriental alabaster. The long gallery
is painted with the famous acts of the Founder ; the roof
with the life of Julius Cassar ; at the e^nd of it is a cupola,
or singing theatre, supported by very stately pillars of
black marble. The chapel anciently belonged to the
family of the Founder. The court is very ample. The
gardens without are very large, and the parterres of excel-
lent embroidery, set with many statues of brass and
marble ; the groves, meadows, and walks are a real

16th. We returned to Tours, from whence, after nineteen
weeks' sojourn, we travelled towards the more southern
part of France, minding now to shape my course so, as I
might winter in Italy. With my friend, Mr. Thicknesse,
and our guide, we went the first day seven leagues to a
castle called Chenonceau, built by Catherine de Medicis,
and now belonging to the Duke de Vendome, standing on
a bridge. In the gallery, amongst divers other excellent
statues, is that of Scipio Africanus, of oriental alabaster.

21st. We passed by Villefranche, where we dined, and
so by Muneton, lying at Viaron-au-mouton, which was
twenty leagues. The next day by Murg to Bourges, four
leagues, where we spent the day. This is the capital of
Berry, an University much frequented by the Dutch,
situated on the river Eure. It stands high, is strong, and
well placed for defence; is environed with meadows and
vines, and the living here is very cheap. In the suburbs
of St. Prive, there is a fountain of sharp water which they
report wholesome against the stone. They shewed us a
vast tree which they say stands in the centre of France.
The French tongue is spoken with great purity in this
place. St. Stephen's church is the cathedral, well-built


a la Gothtque, full of sepulchres without-side, with the
representation of the final Judgment over one of the ports.
Here they show the chapel of Claude de la Chastre, a
famous soldier, who had served six Kings of France in
their wars. St. Chapelle is built much like that at Paris,
full of relics, and containing the bones of one Briat, a
giant of fifteen cubits high. It was erected by John.
Duke of Berry, and there is shewed the coronet of the
dukedom. The great tower is a Pharos for defence of the
town, very strong, in thickness eighteen feet, fortified with
graffs and works ; there is a garrison in it, and a strange
engine for throwing great stones, and the iron cage where
Louis, Duke of Orleans, was kept by Charles VIII. Near
the Town-house stands the College of Jesuits, where was
heretofore an Amphitheatre. I was courteously enter-
tained by a Jesuit, who had us into the garden, where we
fell into disputation. The house of Jaques Coeur is worth
seeing. Bourges is an Archbishopric, and Primacy of
Aquitaine. I took my leave of Mr. Nicholas, and some
other English there ; and, on the 23rd, proceeded on my
journey by Pont du Charge; and lay that evening at
Coulaiure, thirteen leagues.

24th, by Franchesse, St. Menoux, thence to Moulins,
where we dined. This is the chief town of the Bourbon-
nois, on the river Allier, very navigable. The streets are
fair ; the Castle has a noble prospect, and has been the
seat of the Dukes. Here is a pretty park and garden.
After dinner, came many who offered knives and scissors
to sell; it being a town famous for these trifles. This
Duchy of Bourbon is ordinarily assigned for the dowry of
the Queens of France.

Hence, we took horse for Varennes, an obscure village,
where we lay that night. The next day, we went some-
what out of the way to see the town of Bourbon 1 'Ar-
chambaut, from whose ancient and rugged castle is derived
the name of the present Royal Family of France. The
castle stands on a flinty rock, overlooking the town. In
the midst of the streets are some baths of medicinal
waters, some of them excessive hot, but nothing so neatly
walled and adorned as ours in Somersetshire ; and indeed
they are chiefly used to drink of, our Queen being then
lodged there for that purpose. After dinner, I went to

1644.] JOHN EVELYN. 77

see the St. Chapelle, a prime place of devotion, where is
kept one of the thorns of our Saviour's crown, and a piece
of the real cross ; excellent paintings on glass, and some
few statues of stone and wood, which they show for
curiosities. Hence, we went forward to La Palise, a
village that lodged us that night.

26th. We arrived at Roane, where we quitted our
guide, and took post for Lyons. Roane seemed to me
one of the pleasantest and most agreeable places ima-
ginable, for a retired person : for, besides the situa-
tion on the Loire, there are excellent provisions cheap and
abundant, It being late when we left this town, we rode
no farther than Tarare that night (passing St. Saforin), a
little desolate village in a valley near -a pleasant stream,
encompassed with fresh meadows and vineyards. The
hills which we rode over before we descended, and after-
wards, on the Lyons side of this place, are high and
mountainous ; fir and pines growing frequently on them.
The air methought was much altered, as well as the
manner of the houses, which are built flatter, more after
the eastern manner. Before I went to bed, I took a land-
scape of this pleasant terrace. There followed a most
violent tempest of thunder and lightning.

27th. We rode by Pont Charu to Lyons, which being but
six leagues we soon accomplished, having made eighty-five
leagues from Tours in seven days. Here, at the Golden
Lion, rue de Flandre, I met divers of my acquaintance,
who, coming from Paris, were designed for Italy. We
lost no time in seeing the city, because of being ready to
accompany these gentlemen in their journey. Lyons is
excellently situated on the confluence of the rivers Soane
and Rhone, which wash the walls of the city in a very
rapid stream ; each of these has its bridge ; that over the
Rhone consists of twenty-eight arches. The two high
cliffs, called St. Just and St. Sebastian, are very stately ;
on one of them stands a strong fort, garrisoned. We
visited the cathedral, St. Jean, where was one of the fairest
clocks for art and busy invention I had ever seen. The
fabric of the church is gothic, as are likewise those of St.
Etienne and St. Croix. From the top of one of the
towers of St. Jean (for it has four) we beheld the whole
city and country, with a prospect reaching to the Alps,


many leagues distant. The Archbishop's Palace is fairly
built. The church of St. Nisier is the greatest ; that of
the Jacobins is well built. Here are divers other fine
churches and very noble buildings we had not time to
visit, only that of the Charite", or great hospital for poor
infirm people, entertaining about 1500 souls, with a school,
granary, gardens, and all conveniences, maintained at a
wonderful expense, worthy seeing. The place of the Belle
Cour is very spacious, observable for the view it affords, so
various and agreeable, of hills, rocks, vineyards, gardens,
precipices, and other extravagant and incomparable advan-
tages, presenting themselves together. The Pall Mall is
set with fair trees. In fine, this stately, clean, and noble
city, built all of stone, abounds in persons of quality and
rich merchants : those of Florence pbtaining great privi-
leges above the rest. In the Town-house, they show two
tables of brass, on which is engraven Claudius's speech,
pronounced to the Senate, concerning the franchising of
the town, with the Roman privileges. There are also other

30th. We bargained with a waterman to carry us to
Avignon on the river, and got the first night to Vienne,
in Dauphine. This is an Archbishopric, and the province
gives title to the Heir-apparent of France. Here we
supped and lay, having, amongst other dainties, a dish of
truffles, which is a certain earth-nut, found out by a hog
trained to it, and for which those animals are sold at a
great price. It is in truth an incomparable meat. We
were shewed the ruins of an amphitheatre, pretty entire;
and many handsome palaces, especially that of Pontius
Pilate, not far from the town, at the foot of a solitary
mountain, near the river, having four pinnacles. Here it
is reported he passed his exile, and precipitated himself
into the lake not far from it. The house is modern, and
seems to be the seat of some gentleman; being in a very
pleasant, though melancholy place. The cathedral of
Vienne is St. Maurice ; and there are many other pretty
buildings, but nothing more so, than the mills where they
hammer and polish the sword-blades.

Hence, the next morning we swam (for the river here is
so rapid that the boat was only steered) to a small village
called Them, where we dined. Over-against this is another

1644.] JOHN EVELYN. 79

town, named Tournon, where is a very strong castle under
a high precipice. To the castle joins the Jesuits' College,
who have a fair library. The prospect was so tempting,
that I could not forbear designing it with my crayon.

We then came to Valence, a capital city carrying the
title of a Duchy; but the Bishop is now sole Lord tem-
poral of it, and the country about it. The town having a
University famous for the study of the civil law, is much
frequented; but the churches are none of the fairest, hav-
ing been greatly defaced in the time of the wars. The
streets are full of pretty fountains. The citadel is strong
and garrisoned. Here we passed the night, and the next
morning by Pont St. Esprit, which consists of twenty-two
arches ; in the piers of the arches are windows, as it were,
to receive the water when it is high and full. Here we
went on shore, it being very dangerous to pass the bridge
in a boat.

Hence, leaving our barge, we took horse, seeing at a
distance the town and principality of Orange ; and, lodging
one night on the way, we arrived at noon at Avignon.
This town has belonged to the Popes ever since the time
of Clement V. ; being, in 1352, alienated by Jane, Queen
of Naples and Sicily. Entering the gates, the soldiers at
the guard took our pistols and carbines, and examined us
very strictly ; after that, having obtained the Governor's
and the Vice-Legatees leave to tarry three days, we were
civilly conducted to our lodging. The city is on the
Rhone, and divided from the newer part, or town, which is
on the other side of the river, by a very fair stone bridge
(which has been broken) ; at one end is a very high rock,
on which is a strong castle well furnished with artillery.
The walls of the city are of large square free-stone, the
most neat and best in repair I ever saw. It is full of well-
built palaces ; those of the Vice-Legate and Archbishop
being the most magnificent. There are many sumptuous
churches, especially that of St. Magdalene and St. Martial,
wherein the tomb of the Cardinal d'Amboise is the most
observable. Clement VI. lies buried in that of the Celes-
tines, the altar whereof is exceeding rich: but for nothing
I more admired it than the tomb of Madonna Laura, the
celebrated mistress of Petrarch. We saw the Arsenal, the
Pope's Palace, and the Synagogue of the Jews, who here


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 fur-
nished with many antiquities in and about it. The
Jesuits have here a royal College, and the City is a Uni-

7th October. We had a most delicious journey to Mar-
seilles, 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 twenty-
five 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
n nod, and his whistle making them row out. The spec-

1644.] JOHN EVELYN. ^

tacle 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 Notre Dame, exceedingly well-built,
which is the cathedral. Thence to the Duke of Guise's
Palace, the Palace of Justice, and the Maison du Hoi;
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

VOL. i. o


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 Visone, but the town and
city are at some distance from each other. It is a bishop-
ric; 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

llth. 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 Spa-
niards 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 town-
walls very fair. We were told that within it was an ample

1644.] JOHN EVELYN. 83

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 morn-
ing, 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 protec-
tion 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. B/emo) 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 tlie
wind, and with much ado and great peril we recovered the
shore, Avhich 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, fall 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 peculiar joys of Italy in the perfumes-
of orange, citron, and jasmine flowers, for divers leagues-

16th. We got to anchor under the Pharos, or watch-
tower, 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 Prat-

Online LibraryJohn EvelynDiary and correspondence, To which is subjoined the private correspondence between King Charles I. and Sir Edward Nicholas, and between Sir Edward Hyde, afterwards earl of Clarendon, and Sir Richard Browne (Volume 1) → online text (page 10 of 46)