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 23 of 46)
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the poorer sort, on any pawn, and at reasonable interest,
together with magazines for deposit of goods, till redeemed.

Hence, to the Schools of this nourishing and ancient
University, especially for the study of physic and anatomy.
They are fairly built in quadrangle, with cloisters beneath,
and above with columns. Over the great gate are the
arms of the Venetian State, and under the lion of St.

Sic ingredere, ut teipso quotidie doctior ; sic egredere nt indies
Patrise Christianseq ; Republics utilior evadas ; ita demum Gymnasium
a te feliciter se ornatum existimabit.


About the court-walls, are carved in stone and painted
the blazons of the Consuls of all the nations, that from
time to time have had that charge and honour in the
University, which at my being there was my worthy friend
Dr. Rogers, who here took that degree.

The Schools for the lectures of the several sciences are
above, but none of them comparable, or so much fre-
quented, as the theatre for anatomy, which is excellently
contrived both for the dissector and spectators. I was
this day invited to dinner, and, in the afternoon, (30th July)
received my matricula, being resolved to spend some
months here at study, especially physic and anatomy, of
both which there were now the most famous professors in
Europe. My matricula contained a clause, that I, my
goods, servants, and messengers, should be free from all
tolls and reprises, and that we might come, pass, return,
buy, or sell, without any toll, &c.

The next morning, I saw the garden of simples, rarely
furnished with plants, and gave order to the gardener to
make me a collection of them for an hortus hyemalis, by
permission of the Cavalier Dr. Veslingius, then Prefect and
Botanic Professor as well as of Anatomy.

This morning, the Earl of Arundel,* now in this city, a

* The celebrated Thomas, Earl of Arundel, part of whose collection was
eventually procured for the University of Oxford by Mr. Evelyn, and is dis-
tinguished by the name of Marmora, Arunddiana.

p 2


famous collector of paintings and antiquities, invited me
to go with him to see the garden of Mantua, where, as one
enters, stands a huge colosse of Hercules. From hence to
a place where was a room covered with a noble cupola,
built purposely for music ; the fillings up, or cove, betwixt
the walls, were of urns and earthen pots, for the better
sounding; it was also well-painted. After dinner, we
walked to the Palace of Foscari all' Arena, there remain-
ing yet some appearances of an ancient theatre, though
serving now for a court only before the house. There were
now kept in it two eagles, a crane, a Mauritanian sheep,
a stag, and sundry fowls, as in a vivary.

Three days after, I returned to Venice, and passed over
to Murano, famous for the best glasses in the world,
where having viewed their furnaces and seen their work,
I made a collection of divers curiosities and glasses, which
I sent for England by long sea. It is the white flints they
have from Pavia, which they pound and sift exceedingly
small, and mix with ashes made of a sea- weed brought out
of Syria, and a white sand, that causes this manufacture
to excel. The town is a Podestaria by itself, at some
miles distant on the sea from Venice, and like it built
upon several small islands. In this place, are excellent
oysters, small and well-tasted like our Colchester, and
they were the first, as I remember, that I ever could eat ;
for I had naturally an aversion to them.

At our return to Venice, we met several gondolas full
of Venetian ladies, who come thus far in fine weather to
take the air, with music and other refreshments. Besides
that, Murano is itself a very nobly built town, and has
divers noblemen's palaces in it, and handsome gardens.

In coming back, we saw the islands of St. Christopher
and St. Michael, the last of which has a church enriched
and incrusted with marbles and other architectonic orna-
ments, which the monks very courteously showed us. It
was built and founded by Margaret Emiliana of Verona, a
famous courtezan, who purchased a great estate, and by
this foundation hoped to commute for her sins. We then
rowed by the isles of St. Nicholas, whose church, with the
monuments of the Justinian family, entertained us awhile :
and then got home.

The next morning, Captain Powell, in whose ship I was

]645.] JOHN EVELYN. 213

to embark towards Turkey, invited me on board, lying
about ten miles from Venice, where we had a dinner of
English powdered beef and other good meat, with store of
wine and great guns, as the manner is. After dinner,
the Captain presented me with a stone he had lately
brought from Grand Cairo, which he took from the
mummy-pits, full of hieroglyphics ; I drew it on paper
with the true dimensions, and sent it in a letter to Mr.
Henshaw to communicate to Father Kircher, who was
then setting forth his great work " Obeliscus Pamphilius,"
where it is described, but without mentioning my name.
The stone was afterwards brought for me into England,
and landed at Wapping, where, before I could hear of it,
it was broken into several fragments, and utterly defaced,
to my no small disappointment.

The boatswain of the ship also gave me a hand and foot
of a mummy, the nails whereof had been overlaid with
thin plates of gold, and the whole body was perfect, when
he brought it out of Egypt ; but the avarice of the ship's
crew broke it to pieces, and divided the body among them.
He presented me also with two Egyptian idols, and some
loaves of the bread which the Coptics use in the holy
Sacrament, with other curiosities.

8th August. I had news from Padua of my election to
be Syndicus Artistarum, which caused me, after two days'
idling in a country villa with the Consul of Venice, to
hasten thither, that I might discharge myself of that
honour, because it was not only chargeable, but would have
hindered my progress, and they chose a Dutch gentleman
in my place, which did not well please my countrymen,
who had laboured not a little to do me the greatest
honour a stranger is capable of in that University. Being
freed from this impediment, and having taken leave of
Dr. Janicius, a Polonian, who was going physician in the
Venetian galleys to Candia, I went again to Venice, and
made a collection of several books and some toys. Three
days after, I returned to Padua, where I studied hard till
the arrival of Mr. Henshaw, Bramstone, and some other
English gentlemen whom I had left at Borne, and who
made me go back to Venice, where I spent some time in
showing them what I had seen there.

26th September. My dear friend, and till now my


constant fellow-traveller, Mr. Thicknesse, being obliged to
return to England upon bis particular concern, and who
had served his Majesty in the wars, I accompanied him
part of his way, and, on the 28th, returned to Venice.

29th. Michaelmas-day, I went with my Lord Mowbray
(eldest son to the Earl of Arundel, and a most worthy
person) to see the collection of a noble Venetian, Signor
E/ugini. He has a stately Palace, richly furnished with
statues and heads of Roman Emperors, all placed in an
ample room. In the next, was a cabinet of medals, both
Latin and Greek, with divers curious shells and two fair
pearls in two of them ; but, above all, he abounded in
things petrified, walnuts, eggs in which the yolk rattled/ a
pear, a piece of beef with the bones in it, a whole hedge-
hog, a plaice on a wooden trencher turned into stone and
very perfect, charcoal, a morsel of cork yet retaining its
levity, sponges, and a piece of taffety, part rolled up, with
innumerable more. In another cabinet, supported by
twelve pillars of oriental agate, and railed about with
crystal, he showed us several noble intaglios of agate,
especially a head of Tiberius, a woman in a bath with her
dog, some rare cornelians, onyxes, crystals, &c., in one of
which was a drop of water not congealed, but moving up
and down, when shaken ; above all, a diamond which had
a very fair ruby growing in it; divers pieces of amber,
wherein were several insects, in particular one cut like a
heart that contained in it a salamander without the least
defect, and many pieces of mosaic. The fabric of this
cabinet was very ingenious, set thick with agates, tur-
quoises, and other precious stones, in the midst of which
was an antique of a dog in stone scratching his ear, very
rarely cut, and comparable to the greatest curiosity I had
ever seen of that kind for the accurateness of the work.
The next chamber had a bedstead all inlaid with agates,
crystals, cornelians, lazuli, &c., esteemed worth 16,000
crowns ; but, for the most part, the bedsteads in Italy are
of forged iron gilded, since it is impossible to keep the
wooden ones from the cimices.

From hence, I returned to Padua, when that town was
so infested with soldiers, that many houses were broken
open in the night, some murders committed, and the nuns
next our lodging disturbed, so as we were forced to be on

1645.] JOHN EVELYN. 215

our guard with pistols and other fire-arms to defend our
doors ; and indeed the students themselves take a barba-
rous liberty in the evenings when they go to their strum-
pets, to stop all that pass by the house where any of their
companions in folly are with them. This custom they call
chi vali, so as the streets are very dangerous, when the
evenings grow dark ; nor is it easy to reform this intole-
rable usage, where there are so many strangers of several

Using to drink my wine cooled with snow and ice, as
the manner here is, I was so afflicted with an angina and
sore-throat, that it had almost cost me my life. After all
the remedies Cavalier Veslingius, chief professor here,
could apply, old Salvatico (that famous physician) being
called, made me be cupped, and scarified in the back in four
places ; which began to give me breath, and consequently
life; for I was in the utmost danger; but, God being
merciful to me, I was after a fortnight abroad again;
when, changing my lodging, I went over against Pozzo
Pinto, where I bought for winter provision 3000 weight of
excellent grapes, and pressed my own wine, which proved
incomparable liquor.

This was on 10th October. Soon after came to visit
me from Venice Mr. Henry Howard, grandchild to the
Earl of Arundel, Mr. Bramstone, son to the Lord Chief
Justice, and Mr. Henshaw, with whom I went to another
part of the city to lodge near St. Catherine's, over-against
the monastery of nuns, where we hired the whole house,
and lived very nobly. Here I learned to play on the
theorb, taught by Signor Dominico Bassano, who had a
daughter married to a doctor of laws, that played and sung
to nine several instruments, with that skill and address as
few masters in Italy exceeded her ; she likewise composed
divers excellent pieces. I had never seen any play on the
Naples viol before. She presented me afterwards with
two recitatives of hers, both words and music.

31st October. Being my birth-day, the nuns of St.
Catherine's sent me flowers of silk-work. We were very
studious all this winter till Christmas, when, on Twelfth-
day, we invited all the English and Scots in town to a
feast, which sunk our excellent wine considerably.

1645-6. In January, Signor Molino was chosen Doge


of Venice, but the extreme snow that fell, and the cold,
hindered my going to see the solemnity, so as I stirred not
from Padua till Shrovetide, when all the world repair to
Venice, to see the folly and madness of the Carnival ; the
women, men, and persons of all conditions disguising
themselves in antique dresses, with extravagant music and
a thousand gambols, traversing the streets from house to
house, all places being then accessible and free to enter.
Abroad, they fling eggs filled with sweet water, but some-
times not over-sweet. They also have a barbarous custom
of hunting bulls about the streets and piazzas, which is
very dangerous, the passages being generally narrow.
The youth of the several wards and parishes contend in
other masteries and pastimes, so that it is impossible to
recount the universal madness of this place during this
time of license. The great banks are set up for those who
will play at bassett ; the comedians have liberty, and the
operas are open ; witty pasquils are thrown about, and the
mountebanks have their stages at every corner. The
diversion which chiefly took me up was three noble operas,
where were excellent voices and music, the most cele-
brated of which was the famous Anna Rencha, whom we
invited to a fish-dinner after four days in Lent, when they
had given over at the theatre. Accompanied with an
eunuch whom she brought with her, she entertained us
with rare music, both of them singing to a harpsichord.
It growing late, a gentleman of Venice came for her, to
show her the galleys, now ready to sail for Candia. This
entertainment produced a second, given us by the English
consul of the merchants, inviting us to his house, where he
had the Genoese, the most celebrated base in Italy, who
was one of the late opera-band. This diversion held us so
late at night, that, conveying a gentlewoman who had
supped with us to her gondola at the usual place of land-
ing, we were shot at by two carbines from another gondola,
in which were a noble Venetian and his courtezan un-
willing to be disturbed, which made us run in and fetch
other weapons, not knowing what the matter was, till we
were informed of the danger we might incur by pursuing
it farther.

Three days after this, I took my leave of Venice, and
went to Padua, to be present at the famous anatomy lee-

1646.] JOHN EVELYN. 217

ture, celebrated here with extraordinary apparatus, lasting
almost a whole month. During this time, I saw a woman,
a child, and a man dissected with all the manual opera-
tions of the chirurgeon on the human body. The one was
performed by Cavalier Veslingius and Dr. Jo. Athelsteinus
Leonaenas, of whom I purchased those rare tables of veins
and nerves, and caused him to prepare a third of the
lungs, liver, and nervi sexti par: with the gastric veins,
which I sent into England, and afterwards presented to
the K/oyal Society, being the first of that kind that had
been seen there, and, for aught I know, in the world,
though afterwards there were others. When the anatomy
lectures, which were in the mornings, were ended, I went
to see cures done in the hospitals ; and certainly as there
are the greatest helps and the most skilful physicians, so
there are the most miserable and deplorable objects to exer-
cise upon. Nor is there any, I should think, so powerful an
argument against the vice reigning in this licentious
country, as to be spectator of the misery these poor creatures
undergo. They are indeed very carefully attended, and
with extraordinary charity.

20th March. I returned to Venice, where I took leave
of my friends.

22nd. I was invited to excellent English potted venison,
at Mr. Hobbson's, a worthy merchant.

23rd. I took my leave of the Patriarch and the Prince
of Wirtemberg, and Monsieur Grotius (son of the learned
Hugo) now going as commander to Candia ; and, in the
afternoon, received of Vandervoort, my merchant, my bills
of exchange of 300 ducats for my journey. He showed me
his rare collection of Italian books, esteemed very curious,
and of good value.

The next day, I was conducted to the Ghetta, where the
Jews dwell together in as a tribe, or ward, where I was pre-
sent at a marriage. The bride was clad in white, sitting
in a lofty chair, and covered with a white veil ; then two
old Rabbis joined them together, one of them holding a
glass of wine in his hand, which, in the midst of the cere-
mony, pretending to deliver to the woman, he let fall, the
breaking whereof was to signify the frailty of our nature,
and that we must expect disasters and crosses amidst all
enjoyments. This done, we had a fine banquet, and were


brought into the bride-chamber, where the bed was dressed
up with flowers, and the counterpane strewed in works.
At this ceremony, we saw divers very beautiful Portuguese
Jewesses, with whom we had some conversation.

I went to the Spanish Ambassador with Bonifacio, his
confessor, and obtained his pass to serve me in the Spanish
dominions; without which I was not to travel, in this
pompous form :

" Don Gaspar de Teves y Guzman, Marques de la Fuente, Senor Le
Lerena y Verazuza, Comendador de Colos, en la Orden de Sant Yago,
Alcalde Mayor perpetuo y Escrivano Mayor de la Ciudad de Sevilla,
Gentilhombre de la Camara de S. M. su Azimilero Mayor, de su Consejo,
su Embaxador extraordinario a los Principes de Italia, y Alemania, y a
esta serenissima Republica de Venetia, &c. Haviendo de partir de esta.
Ciudad para LaMilan el Signior Cavallero Evelyn Ingles, con un Criado,
mi ban pedido Passa-porte para los Estates de su M. Le he mandado
dar el presente, firmado de mi mano, y sellado con el sello de mis armas,
por el qual encargo a todos los menestros de S. M. antes quien le presen-
tase y a los que no lo son, supplico les dare passar libramente sin per-
mitir que se le haya vexacion alguna antes mandar le las favor para
continuar su viage. Fecho en Venecia a 24 del mes de Marzo dell
an'o 1646. Mar. de la Fuentes, &c."

Having packed up my purchases of books> pictures,
casts, treacle, &c., (the making and extraordinary cere-
mony whereof I had been curious to observe, for it is
extremely pompous and worth seeing) I departed from
Venice, accompanied with Mr. Waller (the celebrated
poet), now newly gotten out of England, after the Parlia-
ment had extremely worried him for attempting to put in
execution the commission of Array, and for which the rest
of his colleagues were hanged by the rebels.

The next day, I took leave of my comrades at Padua,
and receiving some directions from Dr. Salvatico as to
the care of my health, I prepared for my journey towards

It was Easter-Monday that I was invited to breakfast
at the Earl of Arundel's.* I took my leave of him in his
bed, where I left that great and excellent man in tears on
some private discourse of crosses that had befallen his

* Laseells, who travelled a short time after Mr. Evelyn, says, that the Earl
died here, and that his bowels are buried under a black marble stone, inscribed,
" Interiora Thomse Howard Comitis Arondelise." P. 429.

1646.] JOHN EVELYN. 219

illustrious family, particularly the undutifulness of his
grandson Philip's turning Dominican Friar (since Cardinal
of Norfolk), and the misery of his country now embroiled
in civil war. He caused his gentleman to give me direc-
tions, all written with his own hand, what curiosities I
should inquire after in my journey ; and so, enjoining me
to write sometimes to him, I departed. There stayed for
me below, Mr. Henry Howard (afterwards Duke of Nor-
folk), Mr. J. Digby, son of Sir Kenelm Digby, and other
gentlemen, who conducted me to the coach.

The famous lapidaries of Venice for false stones and
pastes, so as to emulate the best diamonds, rubies, &c., were
Marco Terrasso, and Gilbert.

An accompt of what Bills of Exchange I took up at Venice since my
coming from Rome, till my departure from Padua.

llth Aug., 1645 . . .200

7th Sept. . .. . . . 135

1st Oct. . . . .100

15th Jan., 1646 . . . . 100

23rd April . . . .300

835 Ducati di Banco.

In company, then, with Mr. Waller, one Captain Wray
(son of Sir Christopher, whose father had been in arms
against his Majesty, and therefore by no means welcome
to us), with Mr. Abdy, a modest and learned man, we got
that night to Vicenza, passing by the Euganean hills, cele-
brated for the prospects and furniture of rare simples,
which we found growing about them. The ways were
something deep, the whole country flat and even as a
bowling-green. The common fields lie square, and are
orderly planted with fruit-trees, which the vines run and
embrace, for many miles, with delicious streams creeping
along the ranges.

Vicenza is a city in the Marquisate of Treviso, yet ap-
pertaining to the Venetians, full of gentlemen and splendid
palaces, to which the famous Palladio, born here, has
exceedingly contributed, having been the architect. Most
conspicuous is the Hall of Justice ; it has a tower of
excellent work ; the lower pillars are of the first order ;
those in the three upper corridors are Doric ; under them,
are shops in a spacious piazza. The hall was built in


imitation of that at Padua, but of a nobler design, a la
moderna. The next morning, we visited the theatre, as
being of that kind the most perfect now standing, and
built by Palladio, in exact imitation of the ancient Romans,
and capable of containing 5000 spectators. The scene,
which is all of stone, represents an imperial city, the order
Corinthian, decorated with statues. Over the Scenario, is
inscribed, "Virtuti ac Genio Olympior: Academia Thea-
trum hoc a fundamentis erexit Palladio Architect: 1584."
The scene declines eleven feet, the soffito painted with
clouds. To this, there joins a spacious hall for solemn days
to ballot in, and a second for the Academics. In the
Piazza, is also the podesta, or governor's house, the facdata
being of the Corinthian order, very noble. The Piazza
itself is so large as to be capable of jousts and tournaments,
the nobility of this city being exceedingly addicted to this
knight-errantry, and other martial diversions. In this
place, are two pillars in imitation of those at St Mark's at
Venice, bearing one of them a winged lion, the other the
statue of St. John the Baptist.

In a word, this sweet town has more well-built palaces
than any of its dimensions in all Italy, besides a number
begun and not yet finished (but of stately design) by
reason of the domestic dissensions betwixt them and those
of Brescia, fomented by the sage Venetians, lest by combin-
ing, they might think of recovering their ancient liberty.
For this reason, also, are permitted those disorders and
insolences committed at Padua among the youth of these
two territories. It is no dishonour in this country to be
some generations in finishing their palaces, that without
exhausting themselves by a vast expense at once, they may
at last erect a sumptuous pile. Count Oleine's Palace is
near perfected in this manner. Count Ulmarini * is more
famous for his gardens, being without the walls, especially
his cedrario, or conserve of oranges, eleven score of my
paces long, set in order and ranges, making a canopy all
the way by their intermixing branches for more than 200
of my single paces, and which, being full of fruit and blos-
soms, was a most delicious sight. In the middle of this
garden, was a cupola made of wire, supported by slender
pillars of brick, so closely covered with ivy, both without

* Lassells calls him Valmerana, p. 435.

164G.] JOHN EVELYN. 21

and within, that nothing was to be perceived but green ;
betwixt the arches, there dangled festoons of the same.
Here is likewise a most inextricable labyrinth.

I had in this town recommendation to a very civil and
ingenious apothecary, called Angelico, who had a pretty
collection of paintings. I would fain have visited a Palace,
called the Rotunda, which was a mile out of town, belong-
ing to Count Martio Capra ; but one of our companions
hastening to be gone, and little minding anything save
drinking and folly, caused us to take coach sooner than we
should have done.

A little from the town, we passed the Campo Martio,
set out in imitation of ancient Rome, wherein the nobles
exercise their horses, and the ladies make the Corso ; it is
entered by a stately triumphal arch, the invention of

Being now set out for Verona, about midway we dined
at Ostaria Nova, and came late to our resting-place, which
was the Cavaletto, just over the monument of the Scala-
geri,* formerly Princes of Verona, adorned with many
devices in stone of ladders, alluding to the name.

Early next morning, we went about the city, which
is built on the gentle declivity and bottom of a hill, envi-
roned in part with some considerable mountains and downs
of fine grass, like some places in the south of England; and,
on the other side, having the rich plain where Caius Marius
overthrew the Cimbrians. The city is divided in the midst
by the river Adige, over which are divers stately bridges,
and on its banks are many goodly palaces, whereof one is
well painted in chiaro-oscuro on the outside, as are divers
in this dry climate of Italy.

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 23 of 46)