Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

On others practise thy Ligurian arts ;
Thin stratagems, and tricks of little hearts
Are lost on me; nor shalt thou safe retire,
With vaunting lies to thy fallacious sire.

DRYDEN. There are a great many beautiful palaces standing along the sea-shore on both sides of Genoa, which make the town appear much longer than it is, to those that sail by it. The city itself makes the noblest show of any in the world.

The houses are most of them painted on the outside; so that they look extremely gay and lively, besides that they are esteemed the highest in Europe, and stand very thick together. The Newstreet is a double range of palaces from one end to the other, built with an excellent fancy, and fit for the greatest princes to inhabit. I cannot however be reconciled to their manner of painting several of the Genoese houses. Figures, perspectives, or pieces of history, are certainly very ornamental, as they are drawn on many of the walls, that would otherwise look too naked and uniform without them : but instead of these, one often sees the front of a palace covered with painted pillars of different orders. If these were so many true columns of marble, set in their proper architecture, they would certainly very much adorn the places where they stand, but as they are now, they only shew us that there is something wanting, and that the palace, which without these counterfeit pillars would be beautiful in its kind, might have been more perfect by the addition of such as are real. The front of the Villa Imperiale, at a mile distance from Genoa, without any thing of this paint upon it, consists of a Doric and Corinthian row of pillars, and is much the handsomest of any I saw there. The duke of Doria's palace has the best outside of any in Genoa, as that of Durazzo is the best furnished within. There is one room in the first, that is hung with tapestry, in which are wrought the figures of the great persons that the family has produced; as perhaps there is no house in Europe, that can shew a longer line of heroes, that have still acted for the good of their country. Andrew

Doria has a statue erected to him at the entrance of the Doge's palace with the glorious title of Deliverer of the Common-wealth; and one of his family another, that calls him its Preserver. In the Doge's palace, are the rooms, where the great and little council, with the two colleges, hold their assemblies; but as the state of Genoa is very poor, though several of its members are extremely rich, so one may observe infinitely more splendor and magnificence in particular persons houses, than in those that belong to the public. But we find in most of the states of Europe; that the people show the greatest marks of poverty, where the governors live in the greatest magnificence. The churches are very fine, particularly that of the Annunciation, which looks wonderfully beautiful in the inside, all but one corner of it being covered with statues, gilding, and paint. A man would expect, in so very ancient a town of Italy, to find some considerable antiquities; but all they have to show of this nature is an old rostrum of a Roman ship, that stands over the door of their arsenal. It is not above a foot long, and perhaps would never have been thought the beak of a ship, had not it been found in so probable a place as the haven. It is all of iron, fashioned at the end like a boar's head; as I have seen it represented on medals, and on the columna rostrata in Rome. I saw at Genoa Signior Micconi's famous collection of shells, which, as Father Buonani the jesuite has since told me, is one of the best in Italy. I know nothing more remarkable, in the government of Genoa, than the bank of St. George, made up of such branches of the revenues, as have been set apart, and appropriated to the discharging of several sums, that have been borrowed from private persons, during the exigencies of the common-wealth. Whatever inconveniences the state has laboured under, they have never entertained a thought of violating the public credit, or of alienating any part of these revenues to other uses, than to what they have been thus assigned. The administration of this bank is for life, and partly in the hands of the chief citizens, which gives them a great authority in the state, and a powerful influence over the common people. This bank is generally thought the greatest load on the Genoese, and the managers of it have been represented as a second kind of senate, that break the uniformity of government, and destroy, in some measure, the fundamental constitution of the state. It is however very certain, that the people reap no small advantages from it, as it distributes the power among more particular members of the republic, and gives the commons a figure: so that it is no small check upon the aristocracy, and may be one reason, why the Genoese senate carries it with greater moderation towards their subjects than the Venetian.

It would have been well for the republic of Genoa, if she had followed the example of her sister of Venice, in not permitting her nobles to make any purchase of lands or houses in the dominions of a foreign prince. For at present the greatest among the Genoese, are in part subjects to the monarchy of Spain, by reason of their estates that lie in the kingdom of Naples. The Spaniards tax them very high upon occasion, and are so sensible of the advantage this gives them over the republic, that they will not suffer a Neapolitan to buy the lands of a Genoese, who must find a purchaser

among his own countrymen, if he has a mind to sell. For this reason, as well as on account of the great sums of money which the Spaniard owes the Genoese, they are under a necessity, at present, of being in the interest of the French, and would probably continue so, though all the other states of Italy entered into a league against them. Genoa is not yet secure from a bombardment, though it is not so exposed as formerly; for, since the insult of the French, they have built a mole, with some little ports, and have provided themselves with long guns and mortars. It is

It is easy for those that are strong at sea to bring them to what terms they please ; for having but very little arable land, they are forced to fetch all their corn from Naples, Sicily, and other foreign countries; except what comes to them from Lombardy, which probably goes another way, whilst it furnishes two great armies with provisions. Their fleet that formerly gained so many victories over the Saracens, Pisans, Venetians, Turks and Spaniards, that made them masters of Crete, Sardinia, Majorca, Minorca, Negrepont, Lesbos, Malta, that settled them in Scio, Smyrna, Achaia, Theodosia, and several towns on the eastern confines of Europe, is now reduced to six gallies. When they had made an addition of but four new ones, the king of France sent his orders to suppress them, telling the republic at the same time, that he knew very well how many they had occasion for. This little fleet serves only to fetch them wine and corn, and to give their ladies an airing in the summer

The republic of Genoa has a crown and sceptre for its Doge, by reason of their conquest of Corsica, where there was formerly a Saracen king. This indeed gives their ambassadors a more honourable reception at some courts, but, at the same time, may teach their people to have a mean notion of their own form of government, and is a tacit acknowledgment that monarchy is the more honourable. The old Romans, on the contrary, made use of a very barbarous kind of politics to inspire their people with a contempt of kings, whom they treated with infamy, and dragged at the wheels of their triumphal chariots.

season.

PAVIA, MILAN, &c. From Genoa we took chaise for Milan, and by the way stopped at Pavia, that was once the' metropolis of a kingdom, but is at present a poor town. We here saw the convent of Austin monks, who about three years ago pretended to have found out the body of the saint, that gives the name to their order. King Luitprand, whose ashes are in the same church, brought hither the corpse, and was very industrious to conceal it, lest it might be abused by the barbarous nations, which at that time ravaged Italy. One would therefore rather wonder that it has not been found out much earlier, than that it is discovered at last. The fathers however do not yet find their account in the discovery they have

made; for there are canons regular, who have half the same church in their hands, that will by no means allow it to be the body of the saint, nor is it yet recognised by the pope. The monks say for themselves, that the very name was written on the urn where the ashes lay, and that in an old record of the convent, they are said to have been interred between the very wall and the altar where they were taken up. They have already too, as the monks told us, begun to justify themselves by miracles. At the corner of one of the cloisters of this convent are buried the duke of Suffolk, and the duke of Lorrain, who were both killed in the famous battle of Pavia. Their monument was erected to them by one Charles Parker, an ecclesiastic, as I learned from the inscription, which I cannot omit transcribing, since I have not seen it printed.

Capto a Milité Cæsareo Francisco I. Gallorum Rege in agro Papiensi Anno 1525. 23. Feb. inter alios proceres, qui er suis in prælio occisi sunt, occubuerunt duo illustrissimi principes, Franciscus Dux Lotharingiæ, et Richardus de la Poole Anglus Dux Suffolciæ a Rege Tyranno Hen. VIII. pulsus regno. Quorum corpora hoc in cænobio et ambitu per annos 57, sinc honore tumulata sunt. Tandem Carolus Parker d Morley, Richardi proximus consanguineus, Regno Angliæ a Regina Elizabethở ob Catholicam fidem ejectus, beneficentia tamen Philippi Regis Cath. Hispaniarum Monarchæ Invictissimi in Stutu Mediolanensi sustentutus, hoc qualecunque monumentum, pro rerum suarum tenuitate, charissimo propinquo. et illustrissimis principibus posuit 5. Sept. 1582. et post suum exilium 23. majora et honorificentiora commendans Lotharingicis. Viator precare Quietem.

This pretended duke of Suffolk was Sir Richard de la Poole, brother to the earl of Suffolk, who was put to death by Henry the eighth. In his banishment he took upon him the title of duke of Suffolk, which had been sunk in the family ever since the attainder of the great duke of Suffolk under the reign of Henry the sixth. He fought very bravely in the battle of Pavia, and was magnificently interred by the duke of Bourbon, who, though an enemy, assisted at his funeral in mourning.

Parker himself is buried in the same place with the following inscription :

D. 0. M. Carolo Parchero d Morley Anglo er illustrissimâ clarissima stirpe. Qui

« AnteriorContinuar »