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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a Sabine, with another man under foot, the confusion and
turning of whose limbs is most admirable. It is of one
entire marble, the work of John di Bologna, and is most
stupendous ; this stands directly against the great piazza,
where, to adorn one fountain, are erected four marble
statues and eight of brass, representing Neptune and his
family of sea-gods, of a Colossean magnitude, with four
sea-horses, in Parian marble of Lamedrati, in the midst
of a very great basin; a work, I think, hardly to be
paralleled. Here is also the famous statue of David, by

1644.] JOHN EVELYN. 95

M. Angelo ; Hercules and Cacus, by Baccio Bandinelli; the
Perseus, in copper, by Benevento, and the Judith of Dona-
telli, which stand publicly before the old Palace with the
Centaur of Bologna, huge Colossean figures. Near this
stand Cosmo di Medicis on horseback, in brass on a
pedestal of marble, and four copper basso-relievos by John
di Bologna, with divers inscriptions; the Ferdinand the
First, on horseback, is of Peitro Tacca. The brazen boar,
which serves for another public fountain, is admirable.

After dinner, we went to the Church of the Annun-
ciata, where the Duke and his Court were at their
devotions, being a place of extraordinary repute for
sanctity: for here is a shrine that does great miracles,
[proved] by innumerable votive tablets, &c. covering
almost the walls of the whole church. This is the image
of Gabriel, who saluted the Blessed Virgin, and which the
artist finished so well, that he was in despair of per-
forming the Virgin's face so well; whereupon it was
miraculously done for him whilst he slept ; but others say
it was painted by St. Luke himself. Whoever it was,
infinite is the devotion of both sexes to it. The altar is
set off with four columns of oriental alabaster, and lighted
by thirty great silver lamps. There are innumerable
other pictures by rare masters. Our Saviour's Passion in
brass tables inserted in marble, is the work of John di
Bologna and Baccio Bandinelli.

To this church joins a convent, whose cloister is painted
in fresco very rarely. There is also near it an hospital for
1000 persons, with nurse-children, and several other cha-
ritable accommodations.

At the Duke's Cavalerizza, the Prince has a stable of
the finest horses of all countries, Arabs, Turks, Barbs,
Gennets, English, &c., which are continually exercised in
the manege.

Near this is a place where are kept several wild beasts,
as wolves, cats, bears, tigers, and lions. They are loose
in a deep walled court, and therefore to be seen with
more pleasure than those at the Tower of London, in their
grates. One of the lions leaped to a surprising height, to
catch a joint of mutton which I caused to be hung down.

* There are many plain brick towers erected for defence,

There seems to be an omission in the MS. as to their leaving Florence
and going to Sienna.


when this was a free state. The highest is called the
Mangio, standing at the foot of the piazza which we went
first to see after our arrival. At the entrance of this
tower is a chapel open towards the piazza, of marble well-
adorned with sculpture.

On the other side is the Signoria, or Court of Justice,
well built a la moderna, of brick ; indeed the bricks of
Sienna are so well made, that they look almost as well as.
porphyry itself, having a kind of natural polish.

In the Senate-House is a very fair Hall where they
sometimes entertain the people with public shows and
operas, as they call them. Towards the left are the
statues of Romulus and Remus with the wolf, all of
brass, placed on a column of ophite stone, which they
report was brought from the renowned Ephesian Temple.
These ensigns being the arms of the town, are set up in
divers of the streets and public ways both within and far
without the city.

The piazza compasses the facciata of the court and
chapel, and, being made with descending steps, much
resembles the figure of an escalop-shell. The white ranges-
of pavement, intermixed with the excellent bricks above
mentioned, with which the town is generally well paved,,
render it very clean. About this market-place (for so it
is) are many fair palaces, though not built with excess of
elegance. There stands an arch, the work of Baltazzar di
Sienna, built with wonderful ingenuity, so that it is not
easy to conceive how it is supported, yet it has some im-
perceptible contignations, which do not betray themselves
easily to the eye. On the edge of the piazza is a goodly
fountain beautified with statues, the water issuing out of
the wolves' mouths, being the work of Jacobo Quercei, a
famous artist. There are divers other public fountains in
the city, of good design.

After this, we walked to the Sapienza, which is the
University, or rather College, where the high Germans-
enjoy many particular privileges when they addict them-
selves to the civil law : and indeed this place has produced
many excellent scholars, besides those three Popes, Alex-
ander, Pius II., and III., of that name, the learned ./Eneas.
Sylvius ; and both were of the ancient house of the Pic-

1644.] JOHN EVELYN. 97

The chief street is called Strada Romana, in which
Pius II. has built a most stately Palace of square stone
with an incomparable portico joining near to it. The town
is commanded by a castle which hath four bastions and
a garrison of soldiers. Near it is a list to ride horses in,
much frequented by the gallants in summer.

Not far from hence is the Church and Convent of the
Dominicans, where in the chapel of St. Catherine of
Sienna they show her head, the rest of her body being
translated to Rome. The Duomo, or Cathedral, both
without and within, is of large square stones of black and
white marble polished, of inexpressible beauty, as is the
front adorned with sculpture and rare statues. In the
middle is a stately cupola and two columns of sundry
streaked coloured marble. About the body of the church,
on a cornice within, are inserted the heads of all the
Popes. The pulpit is beautified with marble figures, a
piece of exquisite work ; but what exceeds all description
is the pavement, where (besides the various emblems and
other figures in the nave) the choir is wrought with the
history of the Bible, so artificially expressed in the natural
colours of the marbles, that few pictures exceed it. Here
stands a Christo, rarely cut in marble, and on the large
high altar is a brazen vessel of admirable invention and
art. The organs are exceeding sweet and well tuned.
On the left side of the altar is the library, where are
painted the acts of ^Eneas Sylvius, and others by Raphael.
They showed us an arm of St. John the Baptist where-
with, they say, he baptized our Saviour in Jordan ; it was
given by the King of Peloponnesus to one of the Popes,
as an inscription testifies. They have also St. Peter's
sword, with which he smote off the ear of Malchus.

Just against the cathedral, we went into the Hospital,
where they entertain and refresh for three or four days,
gratis, such pilgrims as go to Rome. In the chapel
belonging to it lies the body of St. Susorius, their founder,
as yet uncorrupted, though dead many hundreds of years.
They show one of the nails which pierced our Saviour,
and St. Chrysostom's Comment on the Gospel, written by
his own hand. .Below the hill stands the pool called
Fonte Brand e, where fish are fed for pleasure more than



St. Francis's Church is a large pile, near which, yet a
little without the city, grows a tree which they report in
their legend grew from the Saint's staff, which on going
to sleep he fixed in the ground, and at his waking found
it had grown a large tree. They affirm that the wood of
it in decoction cures sundry diseases.

2nd November. We went from Sienna, desirous of being
present at the cavalcade of the new Pope, Innocent X.* who
had not yet made the grand procession to St. John di Late-
rano. We set out by Porto Romano, the country all
about the town being rare for hunting and game. Wild
boar and venison are frequently sold in the shops in many
of the towns about it. We passed near Monte Oliveto,
where the monastery of that Order is pleasantly situated,
and worth seeing. Passing over a bridge, which by the
inscription, appears to have been built by Prince Matthias,
we went through Buon-Convento, famous for the death of
the Emperor, Henry VII., who was here poisoned with
the holy Eucharist. Thence, we came to Torrinieri, where
we dined. This village is in a sweet valley, in view of
Montalcino, famous for the rare Muscatello. f After
three miles more, we go by St. Quirico, and lay at a private
osteria near it, where, after we were provided of lodging,
came in Cardinal Donghi, a Genoese by birth, now come
from Home ; he was so civil as to entertain us with great
respect, hearing we were English, for that, he told us he
had been once in our country. Amongst other discourse,
he related how a dove had been seen to sit on the chair in the
Conclave at the election of Pope Innocent, which he mag-
nified as a great good omen, with other particulars which
we inquired of him, till our suppers parted us. He came
in great state with his own bedstead and all the furniture,
yet would by no means suffer us to resign the room we had
taken up in the lodging before his arrival. Next morning,
we rode by Monte Pientio, or, as vulgarly called, Monte
Mantumiato, which is of an excessive height, ever and anon
peeping above any clouds with its snowy head, till we had
climbed to the inn at Radicofani, built by Ferdinand, the
great Duke, for the necessary refreshment of travellers in
so inhospitable a place. As we ascended, we entered a

* John Baptista Pamphili, chosen Pope in October, 1644, died in 1655.
f A wine.

1644.] JOHN EVELYN. 99

very thick, solid, and dark body of clouds, looking like
rocks at a little distance, which lasted near a mile in going
up ; they were dry misty vapours, hanging undissolved for
a vast thickness, and obscuring both the sun and earth, so
that we seemed to be in the sea rather than in the clouds,
till, having pierced through it, we came into a most serene
heaven, as if we had been above all human conversation,
the mountain appearing more like a great island than
joined to any other hills ; for we could perceive nothing but
a sea of thick clouds rolling under our feet like huge waves,
every now and then suffering the top of some other mountain
to peep through, which we could discover many miles off :
and between some breaches of the clouds we could see
landscapes and villages of the subjacent country. This
was one of the most pleasant, new, and altogether sur-
prising objects that I had ever beheld.

On the summit of this horrid rock (for so it is) is built a
very strong fort, garrisoned, and somewhat beneath it is a
small town ; the provisions are drawn up with ropes and
engines, the precipice being otherwise inaccessible. At
one end of the town lie heaps of rocks so strangely broken
off from the rugged mountain, as would affright one with
their horror and menacing postures. Just opposite to the
inn gushed out a plentiful and most useful fountain which
falls into a great trough of stone, bearing the Duke of Tus-
cany's arms. Here we dined, and I with my black lead
pen took the prospect.* It is one of the utmost confines
of the Etrurian State towards St. Peter's Patrimony, since
the gift of Matilda to Gregory VII., as is pretended.

Here we pass a stone bridge, built by Pope Gregory
XIV., and thence immediately to Acquapendente,f a town
situated on a very ragged rock, down which precipitates an
entire river (which gives it the denomination), with a most
horrid roaring noise. We lay at the post-house, on which
is this inscription :

L'Insegna della Posta/e posta a posta,
In questa posta, fin che habbia a sua posta
Ogn' un Cavallo a Vetturi in Posta.

Before it was dark, we went to see the Monastery of the

* An etching of it, with others, is in the library at Wotton.
+ Twelve miles from the Duke's inn, according to Lassells.

H 2


Franciscans, famous for six learned Popes, and sundry other
great scholars, especially the renowned physician and ana-
tomist, Fabricius de Acquapendente, who was bred and born

4th. After a little riding, we descend towards the Lake
of Bolsena, which, being above twenty miles in circuit,
yields from hence a most incomparable prospect. Hear
the middle of it are two small islands, in one of which
is a convent of melancholy Capuchins, where those of the
Farnesian family are interred. Pliny calls it Tarquiniensis
Lacus, and talks of divers floating islands about it, but they
did not appear to us. The lake is environed with moun-
tains, at one of whose sides we passed towards the town
Bolsena, anciently Volsinium, famous in those times, as
is testified by divers rare sculptures in the court of St.
Christiana's church, the urn, altar, and jasper columns.

After seven miles' riding, passing through a wood here-
tofore sacred to Juno, we came to Montefiascone, the head
of the Falisci, a famous people in old time, and heretofore
Falernum, as renowned for its excellent wine, as now for
the story of the Dutch Bishop, who lies buried in St.
Flavian's church with this epitaph :

Propter Est, Est, dominus meus mortuus est.

Because, having ordered his servant to ride before, and
enquire where the best wine was, and there write Est, the
man found some so good that he wrote Est, Est, upon the
vessels, and the Bishop drinking too much of it, died.

From Montefiascone, we travel a plain and pleasant
champain to Viterbo, which presents itself with much state
afar off, in regard of her many lofty pinnacles and towers ;
neither does it deceive our expectation ; for it is exceedingly
beautified with public fountains, especially that at the
entrance, which is all of brass and adorned with many rare
figures, and salutes the passenger with a most agreeable
object and refreshing waters. There are many Popes
buried in this city, and in the palace is this odd inscription :

" Osiridis victoriam in Gigantas litteris historiographicis in hoc anti-
<juissimo mat-more inscriptam, ex Herculis olim, nunc Divi Laurentij
Templo translatam, ad conversanda : vetustiss : patriae monumenta atq'
decora hie locandum statuit S.P.Q.V."

1644.] JOHN EVELYN. 101

Under it :

Sum Osiris Rex Ju- Sum Osiris Rex qui Sum Osiris Rex qui

piter universe in terra- ab Itala in Gigantes terrarum pacata Ita-

rum orbe. exercitus veni, vidi, et liamdecema'nos quo-

vici. rum inventor fui.

Near the town is a sulphureous fountain, which conti-
nually boils. After dinner, we took horse by the new way
of Capranica, and so passing near Mount Ciminus and the
Lake, we began to enter the plains of Rome; at which
sight my thoughts were strangely elevated, but soon
allayed by so violent a shower which fell just as we were
contemplating that proud Mistress of the world, and
descending by the Vatican (for at that gate we entered),
that before we got into the city, I was wet to the skin.

I came to Rome on the 4th November, 1644, about five
at night ; and, being perplexed for a convenient lodging,
wandered up and down on horseback, till at last one con-
ducted us to Monsieur Petit's, a Frenchman, near the
Piazza Spagnola. Here I alighted, and, having bargained
with my host for twenty crowns a month, I caused a good
fire to be made in my chamber and went to bed, being so
very wet. The next morning (for I was resolved to spend
no time idly here) I got acquainted with several persons
who had long lived at Rome. I was especially recommended
to Father John, a Benedictine monk and Superior of his
Order for the English College of Douay, a person of sin-
gular learning, religion, and humanity ; also to Mr. Patrick
Gary, an Abbot, brother to our learned Lord Falkland, a
witty young priest, who afterwards came over to our
church ; Dr. Bacon and Dr. Gibbs,* physicians who had
dependence on Cardinal Caponi, the latter being an excel-
lent poet ; Father Courtney, the Chief of the Jesuits in the
English College; my Lord of Somerset, brother to the
Marquis of Worcester; and some others, from whom I
received instructions how to behave in town, with directions

James Alban Gibbs, a Scotchman bred at Oxford, who resided many
years at Rome, where he died 1677, and was buried in the Pantheon there,
with an epitaph to his memory under a marble bust of him. He was an
extraordinary character. In Wood's Athense is a long account of him, and
also some curious particulars in Warton's Life of Dr. Bathurst ; he was a
great writer of Latin poetry, a small collection of which he published at Rome,
to which is prefixed his portrait neatly engraved.


to masters and books to take in search of the anti-
quities, churches, collections, &c. Accordingly, the next
day, November 6, I began to be very pragmatical.*

In the first place, our Sights-manf (for so they name
certain persons here who get their living by leading
strangers about to see the city) went to the Palace Farnese,
a magnificent square structure, built by Michael Angelo,
of the three orders of columns after the ancient manner,
and when architecture was but newly recovered from the
Gothic barbarity. The court is square and terraced, having
two pair of stairs which lead to the upper rooms, and con-
ducted us to that famous gallery painted by Augustine
Caracci, than which nothing is more rare of that art ; so
deep and well-studied are all the figures, that it would
require more judgment than I confess I had, to determine
whether they were flat, or embossed. Thence, we passed
into another, painted in chiaroscuro, representing the
fabulous history of Hercules. We went out on a terrace,
where was a pretty garden on the leads, for it is built in a
place that has no extent of ground backwards. The
great hall is wrought by Salviati and Zuccharo, furnished
with statues, one of which being modern is the figure of a
Farnese, in a triumphant posture, of white marble, worthy
of admiration. Here, we were showed the Museum of
Fulvius Ursinos, replete with innumerable collections ; but
the Major-Domo being absent, we could not at this time
see all we wished. Descending into the court, we with
astonishment contemplated those two incomparable statues
of Hercules and Flora, so much celebrated by Pliny, and
indeed by all antiquity, as two of the most rare pieces in
the world : there likewise stands a modern statue of Her-
cules and two Gladiators, not to be despised. In a second
court was a temporary shelter of boards over the most stu-
pendous and never-to-be-sufficiently-admired Torso of Am-
phion and Dirce, represented in five figures, exceeding the
life in magnitude, of the purest white marble, the contend-
ing work of those famous statuaries, Apollonius and Tau-
risco, in the time of Augustus, hewed out of one entire

* Mr. Evelyn must mean this in a good sense, very active and full of busi-
ness, viz. what he came upon, to view the antiquities and beauties of Rome.

+ The present name for these gentlemen is with the Italians a Cicerone,
but they affect universally the title of antiquaries.

1644.] JOHN EVELYN. 103

stone, and remaining unblemished, to be valued beyond all
the marbles of the world for its antiquity and workmanship.
There are divers other heads and busts. At the entrance
of this stately palace stand two rare and vast fountains of
garnito stone, brought into this piazza out of Titus' s Baths.
Here, in summer, the gentlemen of Rome take the fresco in
their coaches and on foot. At the sides of this court, we
visited the Palace of Signor Pichini, who has a good collec-
tion of antiquities, especially the Adonis of Parian marble,
which my Lord Arundel would once have purchased, if a
great price would have been taken for it.

We went into the Campo Vaccino, by the ruins of the
Temple of Peace, built by Titus Vespasianus, and thought
to be the largest as well as the most richly furnished of all
the Roman dedicated places : it is now a heap rather than
a temple, yet the roof and volto continue firm, showing it
to have been formerly of incomparable workmanship.
This goodly structure was, none knows how, consumed by
fire the very night, by all computation, that our Blessed
Saviour was born.

From hence, we passed by the place into which Curtius
precipitated himself for the love of his country, now with-
out any sign of a lake, or vorago. Near this stand some
columns of white marble, of exquisite work, supposed to be
part of the Temple of Jupiter Tonans, built by Augustus ;
the work of the capitals (being Corinthian) and architrave
is excellent, full of sacrificing utensils. There are three
other of Jupiter Stator. Opposite to these, are the ora-
tories, or churches, of St. Cosmo and Damiano, heretofore
the Temples of Romulus ; a pretty odd fabric, with a tri-
bunal, or tholus within, wrought all of Mosaic. The gates
before it are brass, and the whole much obliged to Pope
Urban VIII. In this sacred place lie the bodies of those
two martyrs ; and, in a chapel on the right hand, is a rare
painting of Cavaliere Baglioni.

We next entered St. Lorenzo in Miranda. The portico
is supported by a range of most stately columns; the
inscription cut in the architrave shows it to have been the
Temple of Faustina. It is now made a fair church, and
has an hospital which joins it. On the same side is St.
Adriano, heretofore dedicated to Saturn. Before this was
pnce placed a milliary column, supposed to be set in the


centre of the city, from whence they used to compute the
distance of all the cities and places of note under the
dominion of those universal monarchs. To this church are
likewise brazen gates and a noble front : just opposite we
saw the heaps and ruins of Cicero's Palace. Hence we went
towards Mons Capitolinus, at the foot of which stands the
arch of Septimius Sever us, full and entire, save where the
pedestal and some of the lower members are choked up
with ruins and earth. This arch is exceedingly enriched
with sculpture and trophies, with a large inscription. In
the terrestrial and naval battles here graven, is seen the
Roman Aries [the battering-ram] ; and this was the first
triumphal arch set up in Borne. The Capitol, to which
we climbed by very broad steps, is built about a square
court, at the right hand of which, going up from Campo
Vaccino, gushes a plentiful stream from the statue of
Tyber, in porphyry, very antique, and another representing
Rome ; but, above all, is the admirable figure of Marforius,
casting water into a most ample concha. The front of this
court is crowned with an excellent fabric containing the
Courts of Justice, and where the Criminal Notary sits, and
others. In one of the halls they show the statues of
Gregory XIII. and Paul III., with several others. To
this joins a handsome tower, the whole facciata adorned with
noble statues, both on the outside and on the battlements,
ascended by a double pair of stairs, and a stately Posario.
In the centre of the court stands that incomparable
horse bearing the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, as big as the
life, of Corinthian metal, placed on a pedestal of marble,
esteemed one of the noblest pieces of work now extant,
antique and very rare. There is also a vast head of a
colossean magnitude, of white marble fixed in the wall.
At the descending stairs are set two horses of white marble
governed by two naked slaves, taken to be Castor and
Pollux, brought from Pompey's Theatre. On the balus-
trade, the trophies of Marius against the Cmibrians, very
ancient and instructive. At the foot of the steps towards
the left hand is that Colonna Miliaria, with the globe of
brass on it, mentioned to have been formerly set in Campo
Vaccino. On the same hand, is the Palace of the Segniori
Conservator!, or three Consuls, now the civil governors of
the city, containing the fraternities, or halls and guilds.,

1644.] JOHN EVELYN. 105

(as we call them) of sundry companies, and other offices
of state. Under the portico within, are the statues of
Augustus Caesar, a Bacchus, and the so renowned Colonna
Rostrata of Duillius, with the excellent bassi relievi. In
a smaller court, the statue of Constantine, on a fountain, a
Minerva's head of brass, and that of Commodus, to which
belongs a hand, the thumb whereof is at least an ell long,
and yet proportionable ; but the rest of the Colosse is lost.
In the corner of this court stand a horse and lion fighting,

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 12 of 46)