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Pollnitz, Volume II, by Karl Ludwig von Pöllnitz

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Title: The Memoirs of Charles-Lewis, Baron de Pollnitz, Volume II
       Being the Observations He Made in His Late Travels From
              Prussia thro' Germany, Italy, France, Flanders, Holland,
              England, &C. in Letters to His Friend. Discovering Not
              Only the Present State of the Chief Cities and Towns; but
              the Characters of the Principal Persons at the Several

Author: Karl Ludwig von Pöllnitz

Release Date: January 5, 2012 [EBook #38501]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


Produced by Robert Connal, Henry Gardiner and the Online
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Transcriber's Note: The original publication has been replicated faithfully except as listed here.
Lestevenon de Berkenroode.





Baron de Pollnitz.


The OBSERVATIONS He made in his late Travels
from Prussia thro’
In LETTERS to his Friend.

Discovering not only the PRESENT STATE
of the Chief Cities and Towns;


The CHARACTERS of the Principal Persons
at the several COURTS.


Vol. II.

The Second Edition, with Additions.


Printed for Daniel Browne, at the Black-Swan,
without Temple-Bar.

































MEMOIRS OF THE Baron de Pollnitz.



SIR,Rome, July 30, 1730.  

Thus am I at length arrived at the famous City of Rome, that City which has been so long the Mistress of the World, and is still the Metropolis of Europe: But don’t expect I should give you a perfect Description of it, because that would require a Man better skilled in Architecture than I am. I shall only mention such things as to me appeared to be the most beautiful, or those which I thought the Reverse, and which yet the Ostentation of the Italians cries up for the Wonders of the World. I shall make it my Business, to give you an Account of Things animate, much rather than those which are inanimate; the latter having been so well 2described, that all I could say to you upon that Head would be but a Repetition of what you have read a thousand times over.

Rome is certainly one of the finest Cities in the World; but it is not now That Rome of which we read such pompous Accounts, it having scarce any Remains left of what it was in ancient Days. Notwithstanding this, it must be owned, that it has matchless and stately Structures. Nothing is equal to its Churches, its Fountains, and some of its Palaces. At one’s first Entrance thro’ the Gate del Popoli, a Foreigner cannot but be struck with Admiration, when he looks right before him, which methought resembled the grand Decoration of a Theatre; but when I cast my Eyes to the Right and Left, the Scene was quite different: I believed I was entring into a Village. This is a Riddle, which I will now endeavour to explain to you. When I looked strait before me, I immediately perceiv’d a Square of a triangular Form, at one Point whereof stands the Gate del Popoli, through which I entered, facing three very long Streets drawn to a Point, in the Shape of a Goose-foot. These Streets are separated by two Churches, the Fronts whereof are magnificent, and of regular Architecture. In the middle of the Square there’s a stately Obelisk, or Spire, of oriental Granate, which, according to the Inscription on the Pedestal, was raised by Pope Sixtus V. At the foot of this Pyramid, on the Town-side, there’s a Fountain. All this together makes the Square a Beauty, and seemed to be worthy of Rome: What follows appear’d to me to have the Air of a Village. The first Thing one perceives at the Left-hand of the Square, is a Church consecrated to Our Lady, the Architecture of which is very plain; and on the same Side are several very sorry Houses, or rather Huts. The Right-hand of the3 Square consists of Hay-Barns, and two or three wretched Hovels.

From the Square del Popoli, I shall run through the three Streets which lead from thence to the chief Quarters of Rome. I shall begin with that in the Middle, which fronts the Gate. ’Tis called the Street del Corso, because there it is that in the Carnival Time, the Barbary Horses run Races, and where there is the Pasciggio, or Ring, frequented every Day by the Coaches. This Street runs thro’ almost all Rome, and has some fine Houses in it, particularly the Palaces Ruspoli, Gicci, Carolis, Mancini, Pamphili, and Bolognetti. It crosses the Squares of St. Mark and Colonna. The first is a Quadrangle, encompassed with good substantial Buildings, and adorned with the famous Antonine Pillar, which the Senate caused to be erected to the Honour of Antoninus the Pious, whose Statue was formerly on the Top of it, but has since given place to the Effigies of St. Paul. St. Mark’s Square is so called, because it lies before the Church dedicated to the Saint of that Name. In it stands the Palace of Venice, a vast Pile of Building, now occupied by the Ambassador of the Republic, but was the Residence of Pope Sixtus V.

The second Street which takes its Rise in the Square del Popoli, is called la Strada Ripetta. It has nothing in it remarkable but the Stairs leading down to the Tiber, which are of a grand Design, and so contrived, that there are two Flights of a Stair-case, without Steps, for the Convenience of the Horses that carry the Goods which are landed at the Foot of the Stairs; that being one of the principal Ports of Rome.

The third Street, which ends in the Square of Spain, has also nothing in it worth seeing. To hear a Roman speak of the Square of Spain, one would4 think it the finest Place in the World; but I know nothing that less deserves that Character. ’Tis much narrower in the Middle than at both Ends; it is but half-paved; and, excepting the Palace of Spain, which is occupied by the Cardinal Bentivoglio[1], the Ambassador of that Crown, and the Palace de Propaganda, it has not one handsome House. In the Middle of it there’s a plentiful Fountain, in form of a Bark, placed in an oval Bason. This Fountain stands at the Foot of a prodigious Stair-case, which leads to the Church of Trinity on the Mountain, belonging to the French Minims. ’Twas made during the Pontificate of Pope Innocent XIII. of the Family of Conti, out of the Money which a rich Frenchman left on his Death-Bed for that very Purpose. They say, that no less than 60,000 Roman Crowns were expended in it; which, if true, ’twas Money very ill laid out; for the Stair-case is of a Taste perfectly Gothic, and so ill built, that it is actually falling to Decay, though it is not above five Years since it was finished. If the old Romans were but to peep out of their Graves at this Piece of Work, I dare say, they would blush to see how their Successors build.

The Square of Spain, as ugly, and as much hid as it is by Houses, is the Place of Rendezvous for all the Beau Monde in the City. Here the Ladies, sitting at their Ease in their Coaches, receive the Homage of the Gentlemen standing at their Coach-doors; and thus an Hour or two is spent every Evening, in breathing the worst Air in Rome, mixed with Clouds of Dust; and one5 is not only pester’d with Beggars, but every Minute in Danger of being crush’d to pieces between the Coaches, which press forward, without keeping their Ranks, or observing any Order. I know not how you would like it, but I am sure, for my own Part, who am not a Man for amorous Prattle, I avoid being here as much as possible, and had rather go up to the Terras, which is upon Mount Trinity. There I have the Pleasure to see something of what passes in the Square of Spain; I extend my View over all Rome, and even into the Country beyond it, and there I breathe the fresh Air, without the Risque of being broke upon the Wheel. ’Tis true, that I see none except Abbés and Prelates; but they are not Eye-sores to me, and besides, I should find the same at the Doors of the Ladies Coaches.

Foreigners reside commonly in the Square of Spain, and the seven Streets which run into it. This Quarter belongs to the Jurisdiction of the Spanish Ambassador, whither the Sbirri dare not pursue a Criminal, or to venture being seen there; for if they did, they would be attacked by Bravo’s, who, like the Swiss of the Spanish Minister, are very jealous of their Rights of Franchise, which all Ambassadors enjoy as well as he: This is often the Source of many Disorders, and, if I may venture to say it, authorizes Wickedness, because it gives the Criminals so ready an Opportunity of finding Refuge; but ’tis a rare Income for the Bravo’s and their Captain; for the Libertines and Malefactors who retire into their Masters Quarter, can do no less than pay them for their Protection.

The Square of Spain leads me to give you some Account of the Square Navona, which, tho’ by no Means regular, and by much too narrow for the Length of it, may be numbered among the6 finest Squares in the World. ’Tis adorned with noble Fountains, two of which are worth the strict Attention of the Curious. The Middlemost, which is the largest, was erected by Order of Pope Innocent X. of the Family of Pamphili, according to a Model by Signior Lorenzo Bernini, who has made a shining Display of his Art in this pompous Work. The Whole is a large oval Bason, lined with white Marble, in the Midst of which there rises a Rock, with four Grottos cut in it, and on the Top there’s an Obelisk, or Spire, of oriental Granate, which was formerly in the Circus of the Emperor Antoninus Caracalla. At the four Corners of the Rock, there are four Statues of white Marble, sitting in Attitudes equally bold and noble, which represent the four principal Rivers of the World, the Ganges, the Nile, the Danube, and Rio de la Plata, in the West-Indies. These four Statues, tho’ made by different Hands, are alike beautiful, and adorned with the Attributes suitable to each Statue. The second Fountain is a white Marble Bason in an oval Figure, in the Middle of which a Triton appears sitting on a Dolphin cut in Marble, done by the Hand of the famous Michael Angelo Buonarota.

Opposite to the great Fountain stands the fine Church of St. Agnes, begun by Innocent X. and finished by his Nephews the Princes Pamphili. ’Tis one of the most sumptuous and stately Edifices in Rome. The Inside is an Oval. It abounds every-where with Marble, Gilding, and excellent Paintings. Adjoining to this Church is a great and magnificent Palace, belonging to Prince Pamphili, who lets it out to the Cardinal Corsini[2]. There’s a Gallery which is admired by the Connoisseurs in Painting.


The Pantheon, commonly called the Church de la Rotonda, because of its round Figure, is a Monument of the Magnificence of ancient Rome, which has been well preserved. Agrippa caused this Temple to be built, with an Intention to dedicate it to Augustus his Father-in-Law; but he afterwards devoted it to Jupiter Ultor, or the Avenger. Pope Boniface I. or, as others say, Boniface IV. consecrated this Temple to the True God, by dedicating it to the Holy Virgin and the Martyrs, with the Title of Sta. Maria ad Martyres. Nothing is more Majestic than the Portico of this Church, which is supported by sixteen Columns of oriental Granate, of a wonderful Height and Circumference, all of a Piece, and of the Corinthian Order. The Church, which is round, receives Light only by an Opening in the Middle of the Roof, which is built in Form of a Dome. The Walls are lined with Marble, even up to the Cornish which supports the Roof, and several little Chapels are cut out in the Wall. The Roof was heretofore covered with Brass, but Urban VIII. stripped the Church of that magnificent Covering, and employ’d the Brass partly on the High Altar of St. Peter’s Church, and of the rest of it he caused those Guns to be cast that are still to be seen in the Castle of St. Angelo. The Pope who did this, being of the Barberini Family, gave Occasion to the Romans, who take a Pleasure in criticising the Conduct of the Popes, to say, that the Barberini had done even more than the Barbarians; and really, it is worthy of Remark, that in the several Sackings of Rome the Rotonda was always spared.

St. Peter’s Church so astonished me, that I cannot pass it by in Silence. To tell you in few Words what I think of it; I believe, that though there were no other Building in Rome but this8 Church, it would be worth while to make a Journey hither on Purpose to see it. The Area which lies before this superb Pile, can’t but be admired by all that see it. Pope Alexander VII. caused it to be laid out after the Model of my Hero in Architecture, Signior Lorenzo Bernini. The Form of this Area is round, and encompassed by a Peristyle of two hundred eighty-six Pillars, which leads all the way under Covert to the Church. These Columns support an Architrave adorned with a great Number of Statues, representing divers holy Martyrs. The Area is adorned with two magnificent Fountains, which continually throw out vast Sheets of Water, into three Basons, the lowermost whereof, being the largest, serves to let out the Water, which runs under Ground. An Obelisk of seventy-two Feet in Height, besides the Basis, stands up in the Middle of the two Fountains. Pope Sixtus V. who may justly be reckoned the Restorer of Rome, on account of the Ornaments with which he embellished every Part of it, caused it to be set up, after ’twas dug out of the Earth, near the Place where now stands St. Peter’s Sacristy. He ordered it to be erected on a very high Pedestal; and Signior Fontana, the famous Architect, was the Man by whose Direction so immense a Weight was raised to that Height. ’Tis said, that Pope Sixtus V. commanded that every Man who assisted in raising this Obelisk should keep Silence on Pain of Death, for fear lest Talking should distract the Workmens’ Thoughts, and take them off from a due Attention to the Orders of the Architect; and as they knew that Sixtus would be obeyed, not a Man spoke a Word. The Work went on very well, till when the Spire was almost raised, the Ropes happened to be too short. This Accident so confounded9 Fontana, that he knew not what to do, when one of the Spectators took it in his Head to call out to him to throw Water upon the Ropes. Fontana followed his Advice with such good Success, that the Pope promised a Reward for the Person who would own that he gave it: But no body cared to trust Sixtus; the Adviser concealed himself in the Crowd, and it could never be known who he was. The whole Height of the Obelisk, including the Base and Cross, is one hundred and eight Feet. Sixtus V. caus’d some Timber of the real Cross to be set in the Cross of gilt Brass at the Top of the Spire, and granted ten Years Indulgences to any Person that shou’d salute it, and at the same Time repeat three Pater-nosters, and as many Ave Maries.

When you have passed over the great Square, there’s an Ascent of some Steps to a grand Platform or Terras, that leads into the Portico which is before the Church. The Roof of it is supported by Columns of the Corinthian Order, adorned with Basso Relievos of Marble. The Cieling is of Stukoe, divided into several Compartments in the Mosaic Taste, which form the Arms of Paul V. of the Borghese Family; the whole gilt all over. As one turns to the Right in this Portico, one sees the Statue of Constantine the Great, carved in Marble by Bernini, who has represented the Emperor on Horseback, in a Posture of Astonishment at the Appearance of the Cross. Over-against this Statue, on the Left-side of the Portico, is Charlemaign’s Statue, likewise on Horseback, done by Augustin Cornicchini, a Native of Peschia in Tuscany; but ’tis not near so bold a Figure as that carved by Bernini. At the Entrance of the Church, we leave on the Right-hand the holy Gate, which the Pope opens and shuts every twenty-five Years, at the Time of the great Jubilee.


I must confess that the inside Decoration of St. Peter’s did not strike me at first View; for I imagined that every thing there must be Gold and Azure, but I was mistaken; tho’, after having examined Things closely, I was, as it were, in an Ecstasy at the Variety of Beauties I there saw. The High Altar, which is almost in the middle of the Dome, is of a Magnificence not to be parallelled. It stands by itself, and is on all Sides open, consisting of four wreathed Columns of Brass, of an immense Height and Bulk, which support a Canopy of the same Metal, surmounted by Angels holding Festons of Flowers, so completely carved, that one would naturally imagine the Whole to be the Work of a Goldsmith. At this Altar none can celebrate Mass but the Pope himself, and the Cardinal Dean, by his Holiness’s express Permission; and underneath, in a Chapel richly adorned, there lie some Parts of the Holy Bodies of the Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul. There’s a Descent into this Chapel by a Stair-case of fine Marble, consisting of two Flights, in Form of a Horse-shoe, and surrounded by a Balustrade of Brass, supporting a great many Silver Lamps, which never cease to burn, except on Good-friday, when the Church is hung in Mourning, in Memory of the Death of our Saviour.

At the Bottom of the Church stands, highly elevated, St. Peter’s Chair, a very fine Piece of Work, all of Brass, gilt, and supported by the four Fathers of the Church, St. Ambrose, St. Jerome, St. Augustine, and St. Gregory, of a gigantic Size, with a Glory of Brass, gilt, over them, raised as high as the Roof. Under the Chair is an Altar, on both Sides of which there are stately Tombs of Brass and Marble, of incomparable Workmanship and Beauty. The Mausoleum of Urban VIII. on the Right Hand, has two admirable Statues of white11 Marble, representing two Virtues, of such exquisite Beauty, that there was a Necessity of covering their Nudities to prevent the like Scandal which a certain Spaniard gave, in whom a Statue of this sort kindled an unruly Passion. These two Tombs are not the only ones which adorn this Church; for there are many others altogether as superb; particularly, the Mausoleum of the Countess Matilda, and that of Christina Queen of Sweden, to whom the Popes granted Burial in St. Peter’s Church, where, except the Successors of that Apostle, none can be interred. These two Princesses were of such high Birth, and had done so much for the Church, that they well deserved to be honoured with this Distinction; for the first defended the Church, at the Head of her Army, against the Emperor Henry IV. the other even abdicated her Crown, and abandoned her Dominions, to embrace the Roman Religion. Christina’s Tomb is nobly designed, without being overcharged with Ornament; and there is her Picture in a great Medal of Brass, which is perfectly well executed.

Tho’ every thing in St. Peter’s Church is worthy of the particular Observation of a curious Traveller, I think nothing deserves it more than the noble Pictures of Mosaic Work, wherewith the Altars are decorated, than which there can be nothing more complete; for it surpasses any thing that was ever done by the Ancients. ’Tis but a few Years that the Artists have arrived to the Perfection we now discover in Works of this kind. One of these Pictures, which is just finished, represents the Story of Sta. Petronilla, St. Peter’s Sister, so excellently designed, and so nicely coloured and polished, that nothing in the Art of Man can out-do it. One would swear ’twas a Picture behind a Glass; yet it consists only of little Glass Squares, exactly cemented together by a certain Gum that is extremely astringent.12 ’Tis a Piece of Work of the more Value, because it is Proof against the Injuries of Weather, and nothing can damage it. They design to remove out of this Church all the Pictures painted in Oil, which grow mouldy by Time and Moisture, and to put Pictures of Mosaic Work, in their place. If this Project, which is in a good Forwardness, and carried on apace, be ever finished, St. Peter’s Church will be possessed of a Treasure the more precious because there will be none like it.

The subterraneous Parts of the Church are altogether as magnificent as the Superstructure; for Marble and Pictures of the Mosaic kind are its Ornaments. ’Tis worth while to take the Pains to go up to the Top of this Church, which one ascends by a sloping Stair-case, without one Step, that leads to the Dome; and by other Stairs, not so commodious, one rises to the Globe, which, ’tis said, will hold, twenty Persons with Ease. Upon St. Peter’s Day the Church is illuminated from the Foundation to the Cross, by Lamps without Number, which make a very fine Appearance.

All the other Churches of Rome are beautiful Piles, and ’tis certain that the least of ’em contains something that will entertain a curious Spectator. Those of them indeed that are the most worthy of Attention, are, St. Paul’s without Rome, St. John’s de Lateran, St. Mary Major’s, the Churches of Jesus, St. Ignatius, St. Philip de Neri, our Lady’s of Victory, the Church of St. Agnes, and the Noviciate of the Jesuits.

As to the Foundation of St. Mary Major’s Church, there is a Tradition, that two Bridegrooms of Quality, both very rich and very devout, having pray’d to the Holy Virgin, that she would please to reveal to them for what good Purpose they should bestow their Wealth; the Mother of God signified13 to them in a Dream, that she would have them build a Church at the Place which they would find cover’d next Day with Snow; a Thing the more extraordinary at that Time, because it was the Month of August. But, to the End that this Revelation might be the more authentic, the Holy Virgin imparted it the same Night to the Pope St. Liberius I. who next Day made a Procession round the City, accompanied by all the Clergy, and by John a Patrician, and a Senator of Rome, and found that Spot of Ground where now stands the Church of St. Mary Major, covered with Snow. The Building was begun that very Day, and at first the Church was called the Liberian Church, and also the Church of St. Mary of the Manger, because the Manger in which our Saviour lay, was there deposited; and at last it was called St. Mary Major, because it is the biggest of those Churches in Rome that are dedicated to the Holy Virgin.

I have been so long upon Churches, that ’tis high Time to shift the Scene. I am now going to acquaint you of what has happened here since I came, referring what I have farther to relate to you concerning the Buildings of Rome to another Opportunity.

The Conclave is ended, and we have at last got a Pope: After tedious and warm Disputes, which had divided the sacred College for four Months, they have elected Cardinal Corsini. The Cardinals could not determine whom to chuse for Head of the Church, till about a Week ago. Cardinal Imperiali was proposed at first, and he would certainly have been the Man, upon account of his great Age and Merit, if the Cardinal Bentivoglio, the Minister of Spain, had not put the Negative upon him in the Name of their Catholic Majesties; nevertheless, ’tis the Opinion of many People, that the Cardinal had no such Order in his Pocket at14 that Time, tho’ he had it at the Election of Pope Conti; because out of personal Pique to Cardinal Imperiali he had represented him to his Master as an Enemy to the House of Bourbon, and too much attached to the Emperor. Probably the Cardinal Bentivoglio thought, that because their Catholic Majesties did, at his Solicitation, grant an Exclusion to Cardinal Imperiali that Time, it was to continue for ever; at least, his unreasonable Grudge against his Eminence made him take that Handle. The Reason he bore him so much ill Will was this; Bentivoglio had a Brother, a Marquis, who, for certain Outrages which he had caused to be committed by his Bravoes, was arrested by Order of this very Imperiali, when he was Legate of the Holy See at Ferrara. Cardinal Bentivoglio, who was a proud haughty Man, took this as such an Affront to his Family, that he could never forget it; and as the Italians seldom lose an Opportunity of taking Revenge, he laid hold on this: So that Cardinal Imperiali came short of the Tiara, merely for having done an Act of Justice.

Cardinal Imperiali being thus set aside, Corsini was proposed for Pope; but his Eminence fearing he should be excluded by the Germans, pretended an Unwillingness to accept of the Pontificate, and desired his Brethren to cast their Eyes upon some other Person. Davia was proposed, and would undoubtedly have been in St. Peter’s Chair, if Cardinal de Bissi, a Frenchman, had not excepted against him, on pretence that he was a Jansenist. ’Tis true, that Cardinal Davia was never a great Friend of the Jesuits, and that M. Bissi is a Man after their own Hearts: The Society, indeed, is accused of having put the French Cardinal upon it; but this is what I won’t swear. Though, be it as it will, I think, if the Society were convinced that Davia was their Enemy, they did very wisely to15 set him aside. During this, Cardinal Corsini, who still kept the triple Crown in View, and had only declined it for fear of being opposed by the Imperial Cardinals, wrote to the Great Duke, and to the Grand Princess Violante, desiring the former to intercede for him directly with the Emperor, and the latter with the Bavarian Family; to the end that Family might do him good Offices at Vienna. His Wishes were accordingly answered; for the Great Duke earnestly desired the Emperor to consent to the Election of Corsini, and he obtained for Answer, that his Imperial Majesty would order his Cardinals not to oppose him. Corsini having this favourable Answer, engaged his Friends to bring him again upon the Stage. And the Cardinal Chamberlain Albano, the Head of the Cardinals, made by Clement XI. his Uncle, spoke for him to all of his Party, who accordingly gave their Votes for him; but Cardinal Barberini hearing that Corsini was going to be proposed a second time, declared openly against him; and said, he would never consent to his Election. The Chamberlain was in no great Pain for this Opposition; for he was much more apprehensive of the Imperialists, and particularly of the Cardinal Cienfuegos, who was very earnest for the Election of Colonna, or some other Subject of the Emperor. The Chamberlain therefore went at Midnight to the Cardinal Cienfuegos, and proposed the Choice of Corsini to him; and not finding him intirely for it, he threw himself at his Feet, and conjured him for God’s sake not to oppose the said Cardinal’s Advancement. ‘You see, said he, that we cannot agree in the Choice of a Pope. Will you end your Days here? ’Tis now four Months that we have been shut up. What have you to say against Corsini? He is old, and, according to the Course of Nature, cannot live longer than the Time it will take us up to destroy the Factions16 that are among us. If you have a Notion that he is not in the Interests of the Emperor, you perceive that it can’t be long in his Power to hurt him. Moreover, if you consent to his Advancement, he will be obliged to own his Obligation to the Emperor for the Pontificate, and consequently cannot but make him an Acknowledgment.’ The Cardinal Chamberlain water’d his Discourse with a great many Tears, for the good Man can weep when he will. This so moved Cienfuegos, who is the best-natured Soul in the World, that he gave his Consent to the Election of Corsini. But then the French feigned they would not be for him any longer, and pretended to take Umbrage at the Germans espousing the Man whom they had before opposed. They stood out abundance of Intreaty, but at length they consented, saying, that since the Germans made the Pope, they would name the Minister; which was granted them. They nominated Cardinal Banchieri, who had been Vice-Legat at Avignon, to be Secretary of State. The Cardinal Cienfuegos, who was puffed up with the Thoughts of having made the Pope, did not so much as think of opposing the French in the Nomination of a Minister who was intirely devoted to them. Many People of very good Sense are of Opinion that the Germans were bubbled in this Affair, and that the French made both the Pope and the Minister. Whether ’twas so or not, I cannot say; the Intrigues of the Conclaves will never be rightly known, but in the Valley of Jehosaphat; yet it seems to me, that since we have been the Masters of Italy, we are even more hated there than the French ever were, and ’tis certain that they were hated there with a Vengeance. ’Tis very probable, therefore, that the Italian Cardinals had it not very much at Heart, to give us a Pope that17 was in our Interest. Be this as it will, even to the very Day of the new Pope’s Exaltation, all the City of Rome thought the Cardinal Cienfuegos Master of the Conclave; which is so true, that among the Satires current during the Vacancy of the Holy See, the Cardinal was exhibited at a Window of the Conclave, taking Aim with a Fuzee at the Holy Ghost, which was hovering about the Place, in form of a Dove.

Cardinal Corsini was proclaimed Pope on Wednesday the 12th of July, in the Morning. He took the Name of Clement XII. in Honour to the Memory of Clement XI. who made him a Cardinal. He is in the 78th Year of his Age. All good People are pleased at his Advancement, and since the Romans could not get a Roman for their Pope, they are not sorry that he was preferred to his Competitors. He was generous and noble, good-natured, mild, and affable, while a Cardinal, and we may expect that he will not hide those Qualities now he is a Pope.

In the Afternoon of his Advancement to the Pontificate, Clement XII. received a Visit from the Pretender, and the Princess his Lady, who are here styled the King and Queen of England. After he had conversed a while with them, he went on Foot to the Chapel of Pope Sixtus, and placed himself on a Seat before the Altar, where he received the Adoration of the Cardinals, who came according to their Seniority, and kneeling down, kissed his Foot, and his Right-hand. The Pope embraced them one after the other, and gave them the Pax to kiss. ’Tis only upon that Day and the Coronation-day, that the Cardinals kiss the Pope’s Foot; for afterwards, they only kiss his Hand. When this first Ceremony was over, the Pope was seated in his Chair of Procession, which is a great Arm-chair, adorned with red Velvet, richly18 embroidered with Gold; and then eight Men took him upon their Shoulders, and carry’d him thro’ the great Stair-case to St. Peter’s Church. When they came before the Chapel of the Holy Sacrament, the Pope was set down; and rising from his Chair, he went and kneeled at a Desk prepared for the Purpose. After a short Prayer, he returned to his Chair, and was carried towards the High Altar, where he was seated in the Middle. There the Cardinals paid another Adoration to him, like that which they made to him in Sixtus’s Chapel; and then the Pope was carried into a Pew, near the Altar, where he put off his Mitre and Cope, and being put into a Sedan, returned to his Apartment, where he quickly after received the Compliments of the Ambassadors, the Roman Princes, and of all the Quality of Rome; and in the Evening, there were Illuminations and Bonfires throughout the City, accompanied with a Discharge of the Cannon of the Castle of St. Angelo.

The same Rejoicings were continued next Day, which the Pope spent in giving Audiences, and naming his Ministers. Then it was, that at the Recommendation of the French, he appointed the Cardinal Banchieri Secretary of State. They say, that in the Evening, Clement XII. had a long Conversation with the Persons who had the greatest Share of his Confidence when he was a Cardinal, and asked them, what they said at Rome about his Exaltation. One of them intreated to be excused from telling him, but the Pope injoining him to declare the whole Truth to him, the Confident obeyed, and told the Pope that the Romans seemed to approve of the Choice which the Cardinals had made; but that they were apprehensive they should have no better Treatment19 from the Florentines, than they had from the Beneventines, under the last Pontificate. ‘The Romans,’ said the Pope, ‘are afraid then without a Cause; for I will have no Respect of Persons, but will so govern, that if I don’t win the Love of my Subjects while I live, they shall, at least, be sorry when I die.’ Then turning about to his Nephew the Marquis Neri Corsini, now a Cardinal, whom he had made a Prelate but the Day before; ‘I exhort you, Nephew, said he, to behave so as to offend nobody. My Reign cannot be long. My Age and my Infirmities ought to put me upon thinking of the Grave, much rather than of human Grandeur. Let you and I live then so, that our Name may not be hated when I am no more seen; and let us, if possible, so carry it to Mankind, that I may be lamented after Death, and that you may not want Friends.’ ’Twas with such Sentiments as these, that Clement XII. ascended the Throne of St. Peter.

The Ceremony of his Coronation was performed on the 16th of July, and I can assure you, that, setting aside the Number of Cardinals and Bishops who attended at it, there was nothing in it magnificent. The Pope, vested in his Pontificalibus, and preceded by the Sacred College, went in Procession to Sixtus’s Chapel, where he made a very short Prayer, and then was carried thro’ the grand Stair-case under St. Peter’s Portico, where he was seated on a Throne, and admitted St. Peter’s Chapter to kiss his Foot. He was from thence carried into the Church, and put down at the Chapel of the Holy Sacrament, before which he made his Prayer kneeling, as did also the Cardinals. After this Prayer, he was carried to the Chapel of St. Gregory the Great, where he made another short Prayer prostrate before the Altar. Then he was placed20 in a Throne on the Right-side of the Altar, and the Cardinals seated themselves upon Benches, on both Sides of the Chapel. While the Musick was performing a Tercet, they put on their white Copes, embroidered with Gold, and their Mitres of white Damask, and the Archbishops and Bishops did the same. After this, they went all, both Cardinals and Prelates, to perform Homage to the Pope, with this Distinction, that the Cardinals kissed only the Hand of the Holy Father, but the Prelates kissed his Hand and his Foot too. When this Ceremony was ended, the Pope caused the Crucifix to be elevated, and gave his first Blessing to the Standers-by, and the Populace, thereto annexing a plenary Indulgence in articulo mortis. He afterwards descended from his Throne, put himself again in his Chair of Procession, and was carried before the High Altar. He was the only Person that had then the Mitre on his Head; for the Cardinals and Prelates held theirs in their Hands. While he was thus carried in Procession, a Master of the Ceremonies went before him, burning Flax three times, calling out aloud at each time to him, Sancte Pater! sic transit Gloria Mundi: i. e. Holy Father! so passeth away the Glory of the World. This Exhortation to the Remembrance of the Frailty of human Greatness seemed to me to touch the Pope’s Heart; for he lifted up his Eyes to Heaven, and the very Tears trickled down his Cheeks. When he drew near the Altar, he fell on his Knees, and prayed with a great deal of Devotion and Humility. He then received the Benediction of three of the eldest Cardinal Priests, and the first Cardinal Deacon presented him with the Pall; after which, he went up to the Altar, perfumed it with Incense, and then caused himself to be seated in his Throne, which was 21erected at the Bottom of the Church, facing the Altar. The Cardinals sat upon high Benches, on both Sides the Throne, in two Ranks, leading to the Altar. The Persons whom they here call the King and Queen of England, with the Princes their Sons, and their whole Court, were in a Gallery on the Right-hand of the Throne, and in another Gallery opposite to this, were the principal Ladies of Rome, and the most distinguished Foreigners. I was there in the Retinue of the Prince of Waldeck, who has been here these two Months.

From that Gallery, we saw the Cardinals, the Archbishops, and the Bishops, pay their Homage to the Pope; which was performed by kissing the Pope’s Hand and Foot. Then the Pope tuned High Mass, at which the Epistle and Gospel were sung, both in Greek and Latin, by a Greek Bishop and a Cardinal Deacon. The Pope, after he had performed the Consecration, returned to his Throne, where a Cardinal assistant Priest carried the consecrated Host to him, and the Chalice, of both of which the Pope took one half kneeling and bare-headed. He sucked the Divine Blood, according to a Custom, thro’ a golden Tube; and when the Cardinal assistant Priest had taken the half that remained, both of the consecrated Host, and the Chalice, the Mass was ended. After the Office was over, the Pope, preceded by the Cardinals, Bishops, and Prelates, was carried in grand Procession to the Gallery which is over the great Gate of the Church, fronting the great Square, where he was seated on a very high Throne, in order to be seen by the People; and after two Cardinal Deacons had taken off his Mitre, and put on his Tiara, kissing at the same Time both his Hand and Face, the Pope rose up, and gave his solemn Benediction standing, to the People22 that were crowded in St. Peter’s Square, and the Streets that led to it: At the same Time the Cannon of the Castle of St. Angelo were fired, and the Light-horse Carabineers and Guards made a Discharge of their small Arms. Then the Pope descended from the Throne, and being again placed in his Chair, was carried in Procession to his Apartment, where he dismissed the Cardinals, who, I believe, wanted Rest as well as the Holy Father, after a Ceremony which had lasted five Hours. At Night the Houses were all illuminated, and a fine Firework was play’d off at the Castle of St. Angelo.

Here give me Leave to make a Remark upon an Author, in whose Favour I have seen you prepossessed, namely, Mr. Misson, who, in his Account of the Pope’s Coronation, the Ceremony of which, he says, he copied out of the Ceremonial of Rome, describes this Act as the most magnificent and superb that can possibly be seen; for, according to him, the Pope’s Throne is covered with precious Stones, tho’ I assure you, that there cannot be a greater Mistake; for if, as I said once before, we except the many Cardinals, Bishops, and Prelates, whose Presence renders the Ceremony august, nothing is more plain and simple. St. Peter’s Church, indeed, is hung upon that Day with red Damask, laced with gold Tinsel, but ’tis the very same upon every grand Festival; nor is St. Peter’s Throne, upon this Occasion, richer than ordinary; and I can’t imagine where Misson could see those Canopies covered with precious Stones. That Author really affected to impose on his Readers, and this is not the only Place where he has deviated from the Truth.

The first Pope, who caused himself to be crown’d, was Damasus II. in the Year 1048. And Urban V. was the first that used the triple Crown, commonly23 called the Tiara; and this he did, to shew that the Vicar of Jesus Christ has Pontifical, Imperial, and Regal Power; and for the same Reason, St. Peter was anciently described (as is still to be seen in the Palace of the Vatican) holding three Keys in his Right-hand.

Not many Days after the Coronation, the Pope quitted the Vatican, and took up his Residence in the Palace of Monte Cavallo. The Holy Father marched out with a Pomp which pleased the Romans, who are naturally fond of Pageantry; and they were the more delighted with this, because they had seen nothing like it during the Pontificate of the deceased Pope. He rode in a very splendid Coach, preceded by the Roman Nobility on Horseback, his Guards, and all his Houshold, which formed a numerous Train. The Streets were full of People, who nevertheless discovered no Signs of Joy, as is usual when the Popes go abroad; for the Romans, when they saw Clement XII. remember’d that he was a Florentine; and there needed nothing more to put them out of Conceit with him. I am, &c.





SIR,Rome, Sept. 10, 1730.  

In this Letter I shall run through the Palaces of Rome, as briefly as I traversed the Churches in my former. I shall take Care to mention no Houses to you, but such as deserve the Name of Palaces; for you must know, that the Buildings which we Ultramontains think much to call Hotels, are here styled Palaces.

I think, that the Pope’s two Palaces called the Vatican and Monte-Cavallo deserve to be mentioned before all the others: The first, for its Extent and Magnificence; the second, because the Popes give it a Preference to the other, from an Opinion here, that it stands in the most healthful Air in the City.

The Vatican is a Building extremely irregular, very great and very high, and so close to St. Peter’s Church, that it takes off a great deal of its Beauty. As to the Outside of it, I don’t see any thing to be admired in this Building, except the Quantity of Brick and Stone that has been employed in it; but as to the Inside, ’tis quite otherwise; for one cannot help being astonished at the Grandeur of the Apartments, and the Beauty of the Pictures every-where, in which the best Painters of Italy seem to have strove to display the utmost of their Art: Raphael especially has done Wonders here: His Master-piece is a Picture representing the History of Attila, a Piece which one cannot behold without being charmed.


Sixtus’s Chapel is of singular Beauty, on Account of its wonderful Paintings, and especially for that great Picture of the Day of Judgment, by Michael Angelo Buonorato, who, ’tis said, represented all the Persons of his Acquaintance so much to the Life, that ’twas impossible to mistake them; and that he placed his Friends among the Elect, and those that he did not love, among the Damned; whereupon a Prelate, who was a Domestick of Pope Sixtus IV. then in St. Peter’s Chair, finding himself among the damned, complained of it to the Pope, and desired him to deliver him out of such bad Company; but the Holy Father told him, that his Power extended no farther than Purgatory; that he could deliver Souls from thence, but not from Hell; and that therefore, since ’twas his Misfortune to be in such Company, there he must stay.

The Vatican Library is, without Dispute, the finest and the greatest in the World. ’Tis full of MSS. in the Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, Latin, and other Languages. Pope Sixtus V. spared no Cost to enrich it with the best Books; and since his Death, it has been very much augmented by the Heidelberg Library, and that of Christina Queen of Sweden. The former was brought hither, as I think I told you, after the Defeat of Frederic the Elector Palatine, King of Bohemia, when Heidelberg submitted to the Power of the House of Austria. The latter was purchased by the Pope from that Queen’s Heirs. The Building which contains this Library is worthy of the great Sixtus V. who caused it to be built from the very Foundation. ’Tis generally divided into two Parts, viz. the Public, and the Private. The first is three hundred Feet long, and sixty broad. The second consists of two great Rooms, into which the Admittance is not so easy as into the Gallery, because of the very scarce MSS. that are there contained. Sixtus V. caused26 the whole Library to be painted, both Inside and Outside, in which he employed the most ingenious Artists of his Time. The Outside represents, in different Figures, the Arts, the Sciences, and the Virtues. In the Inside, there are painted in divers Compartments, the most memorable Actions of Sixtus V. the holding of sixteen Councils; the most celebrated Libraries; and the Men, in short, ever since Adam, who have been most distinguished in the World for their Learning. In the private Library are painted the principal Actions of Pope Sixtus V. and the Doctors of the Church.

The last Pope Benedict XIII. was of a different Opinion from the Popes his Predecessors, with regard to the Palace of the Vatican. He thought it too fine for his Residence, as he did also the Palace of Belvidero, which is properly a House of Pleasure, tho’ it joins to the Vatican. And as ’twas his Maxim, that a General ought to die in the Army; and a Bishop, if not at the Altar, at least near his Church; he was not willing to quit the Neighbourhood of St. Peter; and therefore, on the Backside of the Gardens of the Pontifical Palace, he caused a little House to be built, with some few Rooms in it that looked into the Country; where all his Furniture was a few matted Chairs, all his Ornaments the Images of certain Saints, and all his Companions a Brother of his own Order, with whom he used to take the Air, and say his Breviary; and he could go out of this Apartment whenever he pleased, without being seen.

I fansy, Sir, you will not be sorry if I should make a Digression here, touching the Person of this Pope, who was perhaps the most humble, and the most regular in his Morals, that ever filled the Papal Chair since St. Peter. Being born at Rome, of the illustrious Family of the Ursini, he entered very young into the Order of St. Dominic, and was made27 a Cardinal at twenty-three Years of Age, by Pope Clement X. of the Altieri Family. He commonly resided, after he was a Cardinal, at Benevento, of which he was Archbishop. ’Twas there that he heard of the Death of his Predecessor Innocent XIII. of the Family of Conti. When he received the News, he had just given away all his Money to the Poor, so that he was fain to borrow of Fini, whom he afterwards made a Cardinal, the Sum of eight hundred Crowns, to enable him to repair to the Conclave at Rome. The Division of the Sacred College, who could not agree in the Choice of a Pontiff, was the Cause of his Advancement. The Cardinals aimed at placing the Tiara upon the Head of a Man who might wear it just long enough, either to dissipate, or to form their Cabals, and no longer. They were all convinced, that by chusing the Cardinal Ursini, they should give a holy Pope to the Church, but an indifferent Prince to the State; however, they thought to remedy this Deficiency, by planting such Ministers about the Pope, as they did not doubt would make him do what they pleased. But they were egregiously mistaken; for the Cardinal Ursini, when he was advanced to the Pontificate, was resolved to be Pope; and he chose his own Ministers, without consulting the Sacred College. One Coscia, a Neapolitan Clergyman, born of mean Parents, had for a long Time a great Ascendant over him. The Pope advanced him to the Purple, preferred him to the highest Offices both in the Church and the State, and made him Archbishop of Benevento.

This new Creature bore greater Sway than ever any Cardinal Nephew had done, when Nepotism was in its Meridian. He was guilty of a thousand Oppressions. Nothing was to be seen, but Rapine and Injustice; and he converted all Things, even the most sacred, into Money. Every body groan’d;28 but it was to no Purpose to complain, for the Pope was so byassed in his Favour, that he turned a deaf Ear to all his Accusers. Even the Cardinals, sensible of the public Misery, vigorously represented to the Pope the Grievances that happened under his Administration; but he would not hear them, and imputed their Remonstrances to Envy. Coscia confirmed him every Day too in this Sentiment. They will accuse me of every thing that is ill, said he to the Holy Father, but God is my Witness, that I discharge my Duty; and they hate, and strive to blacken me, for no other Reason, but because perhaps I am in this respect too strict. I have been very well assured, that the Cardinal, when he made his Defence to the Pope, often shed Tears, which wrought so much on his Good-nature, that he wept too.

I know not whether I dare vouch the Truth of the following Story, which however is firmly believed by all the People of Rome. Certain Cardinals represented to the Pope one Day, that Coscia was not only guilty of innumerable Extortions, but that he led the most irregular Life in the World, and diverted himself every Day with Prostitutes. The Pope said, he would inquire into the Matter, and punish Coscia, if what they alledged was true. Accordingly he taxed him with it the very same Day, but Coscia easily brought himself off. He said, ’twas all Calumny; swore with Tears in his Eyes, that he was innocent; and desired the Pope to hear him in Confession. The Pope agreed to it; he said what he pleased, and his Holiness almost took him for a Saint. But Coscia, fearing lest the Pope should at length open his Eyes, thought to blind him the more by writing an anonymous Letter, which he caused to be delivered to him by a trusty Valet de Chambre, importing in Substance as follows: ‘Your Holiness being so prepossessed in Favour of Cardinal Coscia, that you will give Credit29 to nothing that is told you of his Debaucheries, ’tis thought proper to acquaint you, that this very Night, at Nine o’Clock, the Cardinal will have some Mistresses in his Chamber. Your Holiness may be an Eye-witness of the Intrigue, if you will but take the Trouble to repair to the Cardinal’s Apartment, and peep thro’ the Key-hole.’ The Pope did not fail to go at the Time mentioned; but instead of seeing what he expected, the Cardinal, who imagined he would come, took care to be on his Knees at Prayer, with his Beads in one Hand, and a Crucifix in the other, which he kissed with a great Air of Contrition. The Pope, beholding the crafty Cardinal in this Posture, cry’d out to somebody that was with him, Do but see that holy Man, who has been represented to me in such a wicked Light! Would to God that all the Clergy were like him. Then entring into the Cardinal’s Chamber, Dear Coscia, said he, embracing him, They have accused you to me as the greatest of Sinners, and I was so weak as to think you guilty; I ask your Pardon, and I pray God to forgive me the Injury I have done you. He afterwards joined with Coscia in reading the Litanies of the Holy Virgin; and he wanted no other Proof of his being a Saint. Thus was the honest Pope made the Dupe of the greatest of Hypocrites. But, to the Pope’s Sorrow, this was not all; Cardinal Coscia was not the only Man who abused his Credulity; for all that served him being Beneventines, and as cunning as Coscia, whose Creatures they were, they tried who should bubble the Pope most; which made Cardinal Buoncompagno say, That the Pope was like the Holy Sepulchre, in the Hands of the Turks.

This good Pope never knew what Money was, nor the Value of it; but gave away all that he had, and especially to the Poor, for whose Relief he sold all the Presents he received. He could never30 understand how a Piece of Gold could be sometimes worth less than a Piece of Silver; and I have been told, that one Day, as he was selling some Presents he had received from the Emperor of China, to his unworthy Beneventines, one of them offered thirty Crowns for a thing that was perhaps worth five hundred. Another came and offered a gold Crown-piece. The Pope, surprized at the golden Proffer, said to him that had offered the thirty Crowns, ‘I am sorry I can’t let you have the Thing; you offered me only Silver, but here’s one offers me Gold; what I sell, is for the Poor, and I will not wrong them.’ Accordingly, he that held out the gold Coin had the Preference; and thus did those Knaves juggle together to trick the Pope. They had one common Purse, and what they bought of the Holy Father at their own Price, they sold afterwards in Rome, and shared the Profit.

At the Beginning of his Pontificate, the Governor of Rome having complained to him that Pharao and Basset proved the Ruin of a great many People, he answered him smartly, Alas! are not you the Governor? Send the Gamesters to the Gallies. He never loved to talk of State Affairs, and would never read the Relations given by Nuncios, who, he said, were only Newsmongers and Spies, with whom he did not care to have any Concern; nor would he ever advance them to the Purple, but always put them back, tho’ perhaps the Term of their Nunciature had been long expired.

This holy Pope, for I really believe him a Saint, lived in the very midst of Rome, and of his Court, like a Hermit, always at Prayer, or employed in the Functions of the Priesthood. He was an Enemy to Luxury and Pageantry, would never suffer a Clergyman to kneel at his Feet, but always made him rise, and sit down by him; being as humble as ’twas possible for any mean Priest, and perhaps31 too humble for his Character. He went out every Day in a sorry Coach, with only a Pair of Horses, without Guards, without any Companion, as I said before, besides a Brother of his Order, viz. the Dominican, to the Rules of which he always adher’d, and without any Attendants but a Couple of Footmen, and six of his Swiss Guards. If he happened to meet with any Carriage in a narrow Street, he bade his Coachman stop, saying, he did not desire to fall out with any body. So much is enough for Benedict XIII. who was a pious Pope, and would have been a good Prince too, if his Ministers had been Men of Honour. I now return to the Vatican.

This Palace joins to the Castle of St. Angelo, which is the Citadel of Rome, by a covered Gallery, which was made at a Time when the turbulent Romans, not paying their due Obedience to the Popes, the latter thought proper to make themselves a Passage to it in case of a Revolution; but, Thanks to God, this Precaution is no longer necessary; for the Popes are the Masters. The Castle of St. Angelo is for Prisoners of State, and in it is the Arsenal, which, by the way, is in a very bad State. There are also kept the four Millions of Roman Crowns, which Pope Sixtus V. deposited there, with an Injunction, by a Bull, at the same Time, that they should not be touched but to serve some pressing Exigency of the Church. It has the Name from the Appearance of an Angel to Pope St. Gregory the Great, putting up a Sword all over bloody, in its Scabbard, to denote that God had stay’d the Pestilence, in regard to the Prayers of St. Gregory, who, accompanied by all the Clergy and People of Rome, carried in Procession to St. Peter’s Church two Images of the Virgin, the one painted by St. Luke, and kept in the Church of St. Mary Major, the other, which appeared to St. Galle, and is worshipped in the Church of St. Mary in Compitello.


From the Castle of St. Angelo you will please to follow me to the Palace of Monte Cavallo, which is travelling from one End of Rome to the other. Gregory XIII. began this Palace, and several of the succeeding Popes have carried it on. ’Tis much more spacious than magnificent, and yet none of the Apartments are good for much, except that of the Pope, who indeed is well lodged. Paul V. of the Borghese Family, who, next to Sixtus V. was the Pope that has most embellished Rome, has also most of all contributed to the Embellishment of the Palace of Monte Cavallo. Here are excellent rich Cielings, made in the Time of his Pontificate. This vast Building forms a long Square, with a great Court in the Middle, encompassed with Piazzas, five hundred Paces in Length. The two cross Buildings, of which that at the farther End forms the main Body of the Building, are higher than those on the Sides. In the Front of the main Building there’s a mosaic Picture of the Holy Virgin, with the Infant Jesus in her Arms, as designed by Charles Maratti, which is an admirable Piece. There are also fine Paintings in the Apartments, but they are not near so magnificent as those of the Vatican. The Furniture of this Palace, and indeed, of all the Pontifical Palaces, is far from being rich. The Hangings are of crimson Damask, with Lace and Fringe of gold Tinsel. The Seats are Benches of Wood, painted with the Arms of the reigning Pope, and varnished; and the Cardinals themselves have no other in the Apostolical Palace. From the Pope’s Apartments there’s one of the most agreeable Prospects that can be over almost all Rome, and very far into the Country. The Air of Monte Cavallo is said to be the best in Rome, and indeed no other Reason could induce the Popes to33 reside here rather than at the Vatican. The Gardens belonging to it are very much admir’d by the Italians, who never travell’d out of their Country, where Gardening is not in very great Perfection; but as for us Ultramontains, who know a little of what belongs to Gardens, we look upon those of this Country with very great Indifference.

The Capitol is a considerable Building, with Curiosities worthy a Traveller’s Attention. It was built in the Pontificate of Gregory XIII. The Ascent to it is by a Stair-case of several Flights, adorn’d on both Sides with Balustrades of Free-stone, at the Bottom of which two Lions are plac’d, of a kind of black Stone like Jet, which form two Fountains. At the Top of the Stair-case, there are two great Horses representing Castor and Pollux, when they came Express to Rome with the News of the Victory gain’d over the Tarquins. In the Midst of the Area, which is form’d by three separate Piles of Building, two whereof are as advanc’d Wings to the main Building that fronts the Ascent, there’s an Equestrian Statue in Brass, of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, which is the most beautiful, and completest Piece that was perhaps ever made of the Kind. They say here, that the Republic of Venice offer’d some Years ago to pay as many Sequins for this Statue as cou’d be put into the Horse’s Belly. If this be true, that Republic was undoubtedly more wealthy than it is at present. ’Tis certain, that the Capitol contains a considerable Treasure in ancient and modern Statues, in Basso Relievos, and in all Sorts of Fragments of Antiquity. The Structures are according to the Direction of Michael Angelo.

In the middlemost Pile of Buildings, which is much higher than the two others, the Senate of34 Rome meets, and there Justice is administer’d. There are two Flights or Steps up to the Gate which opens into the Hall of the Tribunal where they plead. Between the two Flights, there’s a stately Fountain adorn’d with two antique Statues of Marble, lying on Pedestals, representing the Nile and the Tiber; and in a Niche over it, is the Statue of Roma triumphans, a Work of Porphyry, an antique Marble of excellent Sculpture.

The Inside of these three Piles of Building contains fine Paintings, particularly the Rape of the Sabines; and among the modern Statues, the Connoisseurs esteem the brazen Statue of Pope Urban VIII. done by Bernini; the Colossal Statue of Pope Leo X. in Marble, done by Lorenzetto of Florence; those of Alexander Farnese, Marcus Antoninus, Colonna, Gregory XIII., Paul III. and many others, in short, which I don’t mention, as being of less Value, and which are not much minded here, because they are not done by the best Hands, but wou’d pass with us for Master-pieces.

Being in the Neighbourhood of that great Square call’d Campo-vaccino, I cannot help giving you some Account of it; not that I pretend to particularize it, because I have not sufficient Learning. Here we see the admirable Ruins of the Magnificence of old Rome, which I cannot behold without pitying the Condition they are in at present. You wou’d have the same Concern as I have, were you in the Middle of a large Square, and to see nothing all round it but Ruins; to see on one Side the Walls of the ancient Capitol, on the other the Constantine Arch erected with so much Expence by the Senate and People of Rome, broken and half-bury’d; beyond that, the Arch of Titus, in a Condition still worse; on35 your Left, the immense Ruins of the Temple of Peace; the Vestigies of the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, on the Architrave of which is this vain Inscription, Divo Antonino, Divæ Faustinæ; on your Right-hand the melancholy Ruins of the Temple of Concord, which, to judge of it by the eight Pillars that are still remaining, must have been very superb; it was built to fulfil a Vow made by the Dictator Furius Camillus for having reconcil’d the Plebeians and the Patricians. ’Twas in this Temple, according to Varro, that the Senate assembled to treat of the Affairs of the Republic. In short, here are so many other unfortunate Remnants of the Mistress of the Universe, as wou’d put you in mind of the Instability of this World, and that all is Vanity. But what wou’d you say, if you shou’d go on till you come to the famous Coliseum, which Time, the Destroyer of all Things, had spar’d, but was destroy’d by Men, and such too as were most concern’d in the Preservation of every thing in Rome that was beautiful? And what wou’d you think, if you saw there was scarce enough remaining of this stately Edifice to give you an Idea of what it was once? ’Twas Vespasian that caus’d it to be built after the Model which was intended by Augustus. Its Form on the Outside is round, and ’tis built of a prodigious Height, intirely of great Free-Stones. The Court or Arena is oval. There were three distinct Rows of Seats in the Amphitheatre, the highest for the Senators, the second for the Knights, and the third for the common People. They say it contain’d eighty-five thousand Spectators. It was dedicated by Titus, who upon that Occasion celebrated a great Feast, distributed large Sums to the common People, and enter’d five thousand wild Beasts of all Sorts into it in one Day. Paul III. and Urban36 VIII. caus’d the Coliseum to be demolish’d, and made use of the Stones for building the Palaces which are now inhabited by their Families.

Having entertain’d you sufficiently with the public Structures, let us now take a View of some of the private Palaces; but before I introduce you into them, I will give you my Thoughts of the Palaces of Rome in general. I don’t deny that there are finer and greater Palaces here than elsewhere; but of these there are few; and as for the others, they are not worth so much Notice as is taken of ’em. Methinks, ’tis with the Buildings of Rome, as with those People, whose Reputation being once well establish’d, we are apt to applaud in them, what in others perhaps we shou’d censure. A great many Palaces are admir’d here, barely from the Prepossession that Architecture flourishes here more than any-where else. Indeed, this was true enough heretofore, in the Time of a Sixtus V. a Paul V. and an Urban VIII. who had the Embellishment of Rome at Heart; but ’tis not so now, since the indolent Popes have nothing more of that Work upon their Hands. I can assure you, that they actually build now much better in France than they do in Italy, especially as to the Distribution of the Apartments, of which the Italians have no Notion. Most of the Apartments of Rome consist of a long Suite of Rooms, often very small ones, which have no Way out of them but the Door you enter at; and commonly the Rooms have no Light, nor Chimney, nor Place to set up a Bed, or Canopy; which is the Reason that those two Pieces of Houshold Stuff are seldom fix’d where they shou’d be; mean time, Canopies are what the Roman Princes and Cardinals are very fond of, and many of them have no less than five or six; vain Ostentation, which makes those Gentlemen fancy they are37 giving Audience, when they are only receiving Visits! After all, one must not look for such Ornaments here as they have in France, and elsewhere. As to their Floors, they are only made of Bricks; they know nothing of Wainscotting; their Glazing is horrible; and most of their Ceilings, tho’ there are some very magnificent, are of Timber, so coarsly work’d, that the Gilding employ’d on them serves only the more to expose their Deformity. The Furniture is almost everywhere the same; consisting either of red Damask, with an upper Border of Velvet, of the same Colour, adorn’d with Tinsel Lace and Fringe resembling Gold, or else of Pictures, which are, indeed, the most perfect of the Kind; but when I see five or six Rooms all together in a Row, full of Paintings, I fancy myself in some Picture-shop at the Fair of St. Germain. Besides, these Pictures are in such sorry old-fashion’d Frames, that they disparage them. They have but few Looking-glasses, and those very small. As for Porcellane and crystal Vessels, they are not much in Vogue; but, on the other hand, here are beautiful Statues which I admire, and think very fine; but I shou’d be better pleas’d to see them in a Gallery, in a Salon, or in a Garden: For I don’t think they look well in a Chamber. All the Furniture one sees here is antique, having been laid in, for most part, by Popes that have been a long while in their Graves; and there’s no House furnish’d in the modern Taste, except those of the Cardinals del Giudici, Albano, Bolognetti and Carolis.

’Tis time now to enter into some of the Palaces. That which they call here the Farnese Palace, is, in my Opinion, the most magnificent in Rome; Michael Angelo was the Architect. Most of the Stones of this Building were taken38 out of the Coliseum of the Emperor Vespasian, by Order of Paul III. who made no Scruple to destroy the proudest Monument of Antiquity for the sake of furnishing his Nephews with a Palace. This Palace is two Stories high, and has a perfect Square before it, adorn’d with two stately Fountains, the Water of which continually spouts up fifteen Feet high, and then falls by two Sheets into a Shell or Cistern of oriental Granate, of a vast Bigness, and all of a Piece. The Entrance to this Palace is through a great Court, adorn’d within by Doric Pillars; and this leads to a square Court, the Buildings of which are supported by Arches, with great Galleries well cover’d over, where we see the famous Statues of Hercules and Flora, which are really worthy the Observation of the Curious. In a second Court, which is pretty much neglected, there is to be seen, in a wooden Case, the magnificent Groupe of white Marble, all of one Piece, representing the Fable of Dirce, fasten’d to a Bull, by Zethus and Amphion, the Sons of Antiope, Wife of Lycus King of Bœotia, who, to take Revenge for their Mother, whom Lycus had divorc’d, because she had suffer’d herself to be debauch’d by Jupiter in the Form of a Satyr, were so barbarous as to murder Lycus, and to tie Dirce by the Hair of her Head to the Horns of a wild Bull, by which she was dragg’d about, till the Gods, pitying the State of this Princess, turn’d her into a Fountain. This great Machine was brought from Rhodes to Rome by Order of the Emperor Antoninus Caracalla, and was found under Ground in the very Place where were formerly the Baths of that Emperor, from whence Paul III. had it brought to the Palace of his Family, that it might serve as a Vista to the grand Gate; but it has not yet been plac’d there.


The great Stair-case which leads to the Apartments is adorn’d with several fine Statues. We enter first into a great Hall, where we have the History of Alexander Farnese, when he pass’d the Scheld, who is represented as crown’d by Victory, with Flanders and the Scheld chain’d to his Feet. There is also a Number of other fine antique Statues in several Niches, and upon several Pedestals. The first Chamber is painted in Fresco by Salviati and Zucaro. There we see the Emperor Charles V. and Francis I. King of France, shaking each other by the Hand; the memorable Transactions of Paul III. and Martin Luther in Conference with that Pope’s Nuncio. In the next Apartments there are a great many fine Bustos and Ceilings, well painted and richly gilt. But the finest Piece of all in this Palace is the Gallery, which was painted throughout by Annibal Carache, whose skilful Hand has therein represented with very great Art the several Deities assisting at the Triumph of Bacchus. In fine, no Cost has been spared in this Palace. I have been assured, that the Furniture of it was very magnificent formerly; but it is since all taken away, and the Palace serves to lodge the Minister of Parma. ’Tis pity that ’tis not finish’d, for in Truth it wou’d be a fine Piece of Building; but the Case is the very same with all St. Peter’s Miracles, which is the Name they give to all the Palaces built by the Popes for their Families. The Popes are old Men when they come to the Pontificate, and Modesty, or Decency, hinders them from doing any thing for their Families, the first Year or two; so that they begin in the Decline of their Years, to undertake vast Designs, which they don’t live to finish; and ’tis seldom that their Nephews pursue what was begun by their Uncles, either because they don’t care to make a Shew of the Wealth that40 was left them, or else because they have not Souls great enough for the Undertaking; for, to be plain, those Nephews of the Popes are seldom good for much, and have had a poor Education. The Generality are Persons of a mean or base Extraction, who become Princes without any Merit but the Fortune of their Uncles, and are so intoxicated with their Grandeur, that they are swallow’d up in Sloth, and think of nothing, not even of the Preservation of their growing Families; so that they quickly fall to decay, and as soon as their Spring is over, they are snatch’d off on sudden by Winter.

Paul III. had a Project for building a Bridge over the Tyber, behind the Farnese Palace, in order to give it a Communication with the Garden of the little Farnese Palace, which is on the other Side of the River, in the Quarter call’d Longara; and if this Design had been executed, the Duke of Parma wou’d have had a much finer Palace at Rome, than he has in his own Capital.

The Barberini Palace is in no respect inferior to the Farnese, and is larger, and, without doubt, richer in Pictures, Statues and Tapestry. The Stair-case is very much taken Notice of, which runs up winding, and forms a great oval Well in the Middle, from the Bottom to the Cupola. The great Hall, which is a stately Room, is painted in Fresco by Peter Cortona, who has artfully represented the four Cardinal Virtues, and the Triumph of Glory, with their proper Figures and Ornaments, all to great Perfection. The Apartments to which this Hall leads, are very spacious, and really contain a vast Treasure in Pictures and Statues, of which were I to give you all the Particulars, I shou’d never have done. That which very much disfigures this Palace is the Entrance to it, a Defect which however might 41easily be remedied, were they only to pull down two or three Outhouses which belong to it.

The Palace Pamphili in the Street del Corso will be, as to the Outside, the most magnificent in Rome, when the grand Front, which is now actually carrying up, is finish’d. The Prince Pamphili who is the Owner of it, is very well able to go through with it; for he is one of the richest Noblemen in ready Money in Rome. His Brother the Cardinal, who died a little while ago, left him four hundred thousand Roman Crowns in Specie. The Prince is a very good Œconomist, has no Children, and being not like to have any, because of the Variance betwixt him and his Wife, his Nephew the Duke Carpidetti, who is the last of the Pamphili Family, will be his Heir. The Prince and his Lady have been often parted; and though they have been as often reconcil’d, either by their Kindred, or by the Popes, they are continually at Variance; nevertheless, I have been assured by People who know them perfectly well, that when they are asunder, they are very loving, and write to one another the most tender Letters; but that as soon as they come together, they hate one another as bad.

’Tis not long ago that the Campagna di Roma was infested by Locusts (which are here call’d Grilli) to such a Degree, that Pope Benedict XIII. curs’d them, and banish’d them to the Sea, in which it is pretended they were all drown’d. This Miracle being talk’d of some Days after in Presence of the Prince Pamphili, he made Answer, that he did not believe it; for, said he, were it so, I shou’d be the most unhappy of Men! But, ‘How is it possible for all the Grilli to be plung’d headlong into the Sea, and the Campagna di Roma to be deliver’d from them, and that I shou’d still keep the Grillo in my House?’ He alluded42 hereby to his Wife, who is of the Grillo Family in Genoa.

If the Duke Carpinetti shou’d die without Issue, as ’tis believ’d will be the Case, from his having been married these four Years past to a Lady who never yet conceiv’d, the immense Estate of the Pamphili Family goes to the Family of the Constable Colonna, and really it will then be in better Hands. You know that the Colonna’s are the gayest People in Rome, and the most illustrious next to the Princes of Sovereign Families, to many of whom they are related. They have the Honour to be of the same Stock as the Royal Family of Prussia. Since the Ursini Family is extinct, there’s not one in Rome can equal the Colonna’s. The Head of this Family is hereditary Constable; he is Prince del Soglio, (of the Throne) and as such, in all public Ceremonies, he sits at the Right-hand of the Pope’s Throne, which is a Place that he yields to none but the Nephews of the reigning Pope. He is moreover Knight of the Golden Fleece, and the present Emperor declar’d him his perpetual Ambassador for presenting the Hackney, which is a Mark of the Tribute that the Kingdom of Naples owes to the Holy See[3]. The Colonna’s are well-bred, affable and generous, and always liv’d with a Dignity suitable to their Birth. The present Cardinal, and the Constable his Nephew, are perhaps two of the finest Gentlemen in the World. They both dwell in the same Palace, and live in a Concord and Union, which is the more beautiful, because ’tis what is seldom known43 among the Great. Their Palace is one of the most magnificent in Rome, as to the Inside of it; and ’tis pity but that it had another Front. It owes its Rise to none but its Owners, without being oblig’d for it to any of St. Peter’s Successors. Instead of giving you the Particulars of every Room, I need only tell you, that they are all richly furnish’d. It has Cabinets, Pictures and Statues, that are of an extraordinary Beauty. The Gallery is truly Royal, and has Beauties that are not to be found in that of Versailles, which is admir’d by all Europe: Such are four Pillars of antique yellow Marble, two of which support an Arch at each End, whereby there’s an Entrance to the Salon, which is at the End of the Gallery. This might be said to be a complete Gallery, if one of the Salons at the End of it was not raised five or six Steps, whereas the other is level with the Apartment and the Gallery. The Roof of this fine Piece of Building is painted, and represents the Victory gain’d in the Time of Pius V. over the Turks at Lepanto, by the Valour of Mark Antony Colonna. These Paintings are by different Hands, and not all of the same Beauty. As to the Pictures and Statues that adorn the Walls which are fac’d with Marble, ’tis impossible to see any thing more complete; and this is a Truth even confessed by Frenchmen. I never saw a finer Show than this Gallery makes, when illuminated on the Eve and Festival of St. Peter, which is the Time of the Constable’s presenting the Hackney to the Pope.

This Ceremony was perform’d not many Days ago; but as it cou’d not be on St. Peter’s Festival, by reason of the Vacancy of St. Peter’s See, it was done at the Church of Our Lady del Popoli, on the Day of the Festival of that Church. The Pope went thither with a great Train, the Cardinals44 Olivieri and Banchieri, the one Secretary of the Briefs, and the other Secretary of State, sitting over-against him in his Coach. When he came to the Gate of the Church, he was put into his Procession Chair, and carried towards the Altar, where he ton’d the Vespers, which were continu’d by the Music. During this, Don Philip Corsini, the Pope’s grand Nephew, and all the Nobility that accompany’d the Holy Father, set out on Horseback from the Church, and went to the Constable’s Palace. They were attended by a Detachment from the hundred Swiss Guards, Light-Horse and Carbineers. Don Philip Corsini complimented the Constable in the Name of Clement XII. and told him, that he came to conduct him to an Audience of his Holiness. A Detachment of Light-horse began the March; then came all the Feudatory Nobility of the Kingdom of Naples: The Princes march’d alone, according to their Rank, being preceded by their Gentlemen and Officers on Horseback, and follow’d by the Hackney, which is a white Horse carrying a Saddle of red Velvet, in form of a Pannel, with the Housing of the same Stuff, richly embroider’d with Silver, trailing on the Ground: A Purse of red Velvet was hung about his Neck, wherein was the Bill of Exchange for seven thousand Ducats, which is the Tribute that the Kingdom of Naples pays to the Holy See. Immediately after the Hackney, came the Constable, between two Files of the hundred Swiss, preceded by thirty-six Footmen, and surrounded by sixteen Pages, all of his own Livery. Don Philip Corsini was on his Right-hand, and M. Acquaviva, the Major Domo, (who has been a Cardinal ever since 1733.) on his Left. The feudatory Prelates follow’d him, drest in short purple Mantles, and riding on Mules, two a breast. The March was clos’d by fifteen of the 45Constable’s magnificent Coaches, four of which were drawn by six Horses. When the Constable came to the Church, he alighted, and met the Pope, who was just then going out of it in his Procession Chair. The Ambassador kneeling before him, said to him, ‘That the Emperor Charles VI. King of the Two Sicilies, his Master, had charg’d him to deliver to his Holiness, the Tribute of the Hackney, and the seven thousand Ducats, which his Imperial and Royal Majesty ow’d to the Holy See, for the Kingdom of Naples.’ This Compliment must be made in the Spanish Tongue, to which the Pope makes Answer in Latin. Clement XII. said, ‘We accept the Tribute and the Present which our well-beloved Son Charles VI. Emperor and King of the Sicilies, owes to us; and we give to him, and his August Spouse Elizabeth the Empress, to his Kingdoms and Dominions, and to all his Subjects in general, our Apostolical Benediction, in the Name of the Father, &c.’ When the Pope had said this, the Ambassador, who was all the while on his Knees, rose up, and an Apostolical Notary, who was present, immediately made an Entry of this Function in the Apostolical Register, according to Custom. This done, Clement XII. went out of the Church, and return’d with a great Train to the Palace of Monte-cavallo. The Constable came out in a Moment after, accompanied by the Emperor’s Ambassador, his Cardinal Cienfuegos, who rode in the Constable’s chief Coach, the Constable sitting on his Left-hand. The Footmen of the Cardinal, and of the Ambassador, walk’d in a Body together, without any Distinction, but the Coaches follow’d alternatively, viz. one Coach of the Cardinal’s, and one of the Constable’s. His Eminency had ten, which were each drawn by only a Pair of Horses. Thus they46 arriv’d at the Constable’s Palace, which they found illuminated with Flambeaux of white Wax. All the Nobility of Rome came in a few Moments after, with all the Cardinals. They were plentifully regal’d with Refreshments, and a fine Firework was play’d off, which was erected in the Court-yard in such a manner, that it fronted alike both the Palace and the Street. Next Day the Constable and the Cardinal took another Tour with a great Train thro’ the principal Streets of Rome; and in the Evening, the Ambassador’s Palace was illuminated, where the Sacred College, and all the Nobility, appear’d, as they did the Night before; and there was another Firework: Thus the Ceremony ended, and ’tis also Time for me to conclude my Letter, by assuring you, that I am ever, &c.



SIR,Rome, Dec. 5, 1730.  

Tho’ I am heartily weary of entertaining you with Palaces, yet I can’t forbear giving you some Account of the Palace of the Prince Borghese. There’s an admirable Court-yard, and the Buildings round it are of an elegant and agreeable Contrivance. They are two Rows of Arches, one above the other, supported by ninety-six Columns of Granate, which form Corridors or Galleries, so that one may walk all round under Shelter. The Summer Apartment,47 which is level with the Court, is fit to lodge a Monarch. ’Tis adorned with the choicest Paintings, and several of the Rooms have the Pleasure of Fountains in them always playing into Basons of Porphyry, or other precious Stones, of which one is a complete Piece of Work of massy Silver. The Furniture is not answerable to all this Magnificence, it being all as old as the Time of Paul V. who was of the Borghese Family, and tho’ no more than an Advocate at first, rais’d his Family from the mean State it was in at Sienna.

The Eldest of this Family has a Revenue of one hundred and sixteen thousand Crowns, and as he lives, is in no manner of Danger of becoming a Bankrupt. There is not a Family in Rome for which St. Peter has done more than this. The Prince’s Palace in the City is, as I have told you, a stately Building. There are fine Stables belonging to it, and there’s a second Palace fronting the first, which serves in common for the Domestics. Almost all the Houses of that Ward, which is one of the most populous in Rome, belong to this Prince, who has also several magnificent Country Houses, particularly that of Mondragone, near Frescati, built by Pope Paul V. and the Garden near the Gate Pinciano, made by Cardinal Scipio Borghese, one of that Pope’s Nephews. Before the Art of Gardening was introduc’d into Germany and France, the Gardens of Italy were reckon’d the finest in the World; but now-a-days ’tis otherwise, and unless (as is partly observ’d before) a Man is an Italian, and never pass’d the Alps, he will look with Contempt upon all the Gardens which the Romans call wonderful, charming, and astonishing. Nevertheless, I wou’d not have you think that I find no Beauty at all in their Gardens; I admire the continual Verdure of their Holyoaks, Firs, Pines and Laurels,48 of which the Walks are form’d, tho’ they are gloomy and melancholy. I am amaz’d at the Magnificence of those who made those Gardens, and am pleas’d to find by what they have done, that they had the Taste of Noblemen, and that indeed they have not come short of the most excellent Works in their Time. But then I am sorry to see how little Care their Nephews take of these Things, how they suffer them to run to Ruin, and how little they know to make a good Use of the Estates left them by Providence. Thanks to the Foundations of Paul V. and Cardinal Scipio, the Houses and Gardens of the Prince Borghese are kept in better Order than those of the other Roman Nobility; yet for all this, they are not near so neat, and so well trimm’d, as the Gardens of France, Holland, and the Ultramontane Countries.

Mondragone stands upon an Eminence, and fronts the City. ’Tis a large Building, after the Model of the Palace of Monte-cavallo. The Apartments are spacious, but very sorrily furnish’d. The House at the Vineyard Pinciano is only magnificent on Account of the rare Sculptures with which ’tis adorn’d. ’Tis almost intirely cover’d on the Outside with stately Basso-relievos, of antique Marble, among which, ’tis a Pleasure to see Curtius on Horseback, throwing himself and Horse headlong into the Gulph, to deliver his Country from the Pestilence. The Statue of Belisarius, in the Attitude of a poor Man begging Alms, is so well made, that it raises Compassion. The Apartments, tho’ very ill furnish’d, are adorn’d with fine Pictures and Statues: Among the latter, you wou’d admire David holding his Sling, cut in Marble by Signior Bernini; the Groupe representing Daphne beginning to be metamorphos’d into a Laurel, at the Nick of Time49 when the God of Day is going to embrace her; the ancient Statue of Seneca expiring in the Bath, which is of antique black Marble, representing the Philosopher up to the Middle of his Legs in a Cistern, or Vessel of African Stone, of modern Workmanship; the famous Statue of the Gladiator in a fighting Posture, the Work of Agasias the Ephesian, as the Greek Inscription denotes, which is at the Foot of the Statue; and in fine, the fair Hermaphrodite lying on a Matrass, all of Marble, of curious Workmanship. ’Tis said that this Statue was discover’d under the Foundations of the Front of the Church of Our Lady of Victoria, at the Time that Cardinal Scipio Borghese caus’d it to be erected; and really ’tis so curious a Piece, that it wou’d have been pity it had not been found, and brought again to Light. Were I to tell you of all the other Statues of the Prince Borghese, I shou’d never have done; for no King in the World has so many, or so fine; and he may boast of being the Owner of a Treasure that is inestimable.

I beg leave to take a present Farewel of every Thing relating to Buildings and Statues, and must acquaint you after what Manner Clement XII. has taken Possession of the Church of St. John de Lateran. This Ceremony was perform’d on Sunday the 19th of November last. The Pope went in the Morning with his usual Train from the Palace of Monte-Cavallo to that of the Vatican. At half an Hour past eighteen o’Clock, as they call it here, which with us is about half an Hour past One in the Afternoon, the Cavalcade began. Two Trumpets and four Light-Horsemen of the Guard led the Way, follow’d by several close Carriages cover’d with Tapestry embroider’d with the Arms of the Cardinals to whom they belong’d: Then came the Cardinals Mace-bearers, with their Maces of solid Silver. These were follow’d by50 their Eminencies Gentlemen and Chaplains, by the Legate of Bologna, and the Roman Princes, all very sorrily mounted, and dress’d in black Coats and Cloaks. Four of the Pope’s Equerries in red Robes, his Holiness’s Taylor, and two Boys of the Wardrobe, in Robes of red Serge, went before two Portmanteaus trimm’d with red Velvet lac’d with Gold, which were carry’d on the Backs of Mules, in form of a Litter. The Grooms in Surtouts of red Serge, two and two, leading the Hackneys of the Tribute for Naples. The Pope’s Mules with Caparisons of red Velvet, with Lace and Fringe of Gold. Three Litters cover’d with red Velvet trimm’d with Gold Lace. The Master of the Pope’s Stables follow’d by two Prickers. At some Distance from thence came the Roman Nobility, walking without Distinction of Rank, all dress’d in black Coats and Mantles, with great Perukes, and their Hats off. Then came five of the Pope’s Mace-bearers, in long-sleev’d purple Gowns with black Velvet Lace, bearing their Maces of solid Silver, and follow’d by fourteen Drummers on Foot, in Surtouts of red Sattin with yellow and red Lace, bearing the Arms of the fourteen Quarters, or Wards of the City of Rome. Four of the Pope’s Trumpeters dress’d in Red with Gold Lace. The Valets of the Apostolical Chamber in red Robes. The Valets de Chambre call’d Camerieri extra muros. The Commissary and Fiscal of the Chamber in purple Robes. The Consistorial Advocates dress’d in Black. The Chaplains of the Commonalty in red Robes. The Valets of the Privy-chamber, and the Chamberlains of Honour in purple Robes. The four last carry’d on long Poles the four Cardinals Hats that are vacant. Then came forty Officers of the Senate and People of Rome, in Gowns of black Velvet, and51 wearing Caps of the same Stuff: These were follow’d by the Clerks of the Chamber, the Auditors of the Rota, by the Master of the sacred Palace walking on the Left of the Dean, by the Auditors of the Rota, and by fourteen Marshals wearing white sattin Waistcoats under Gowns of purple Mohair, and Caps of black Velvet. Then came the Governor of Rome in his Camail and Rochet, the Princes del Soglio in black Coats and Cloaks, two Masters of the Ceremonies preceding the Pope’s Cross-bearer, who carry’d the Image of our Saviour turn’d towards the Holy Father, and walk’d between two Ushers bearing red Wands. Then the Holy Father appear’d in a Litter, like a Phaethon, lin’d with red Velvet embroider’d and lac’d with Gold, carry’d by two white Mules. Twenty-four Pages in an antique Dress of white Sattin, with a great many red and silver’d Ribbands, and black Cloaks lin’d with white and silver Mohair, and inrich’d with broad Gold Lace, encompass’d the Litter, as did the Footmen, the Scavengers and the Lance-presadoes, in scarlet Cloaths trimm’d with Gold. Immediately before the Litter the Captain of the hundred Swiss rode on Horseback, arm’d with a Cuirass of Iron, and his Helmet, at the Head of two Files of the hundred Swiss arm’d with Cuirasses like himself. His Holiness, who was in the Middle, wore a white Cassock. He had a Rochet on, and over it a Stole of red Sattin embroider’d with Gold, the Camail or short Mantle of red Velvet lin’d with Ermin, a Cap of the same Stuff, and over that a red Hat. Next to the Litter came the Almoner, the Gentleman Carver, the Secretary, and the Physician. At some small Distance follow’d fourteen Cardinals riding on Mules, who were dress’d in purple Habits, and had their Cowls flapp’d over their Eyes, with their red52 Hats. They were follow’d by Signior Neri Corsini, a Nephew of Clement XII. at the Head of the Patriarchs, Archbishops, assistant Bishops, Apostolical Prothonotaries, the Auditor of the Chamber, the Treasurer, the Recorders of the Signature, and the other domestic Prelates, all clad in their Rochets and Camails of Purple. The March was clos’d by the Light-horse and Carbineers. The former had at their Head the Marquis Bartholomew Corsini, and the Duke Strozzi, (both Nephews of the Holy Father) who shone in gilt Cuirasses, and had over them Surtouts of red Grogram, or Mohair, embroider’d with Gold. They had on their Hats great Plumes of white Feathers, and their Pages carry’d their Spears and Helmets before them. The Light-horse had over their Cloaths, which are not of the same Pattern, Surtouts of red Cloth with Gold Lace; their Hats were adorn’d with large Plumes of white and red Feathers, and for their Arms they bore Lances, at the End of which are little Standards of red and blue Taffeta, such as I have seen carry’d by the Spahis.

All this Cavalcade pass’d thro’ the Capitol, the Court whereof was hung with Tapestry of red Damask lac’d with Gold Tinsel. The Marquis Frangipani, a Roman Senator, receiv’d the Pope, and presented him the Keys of the Capitol, after making a short Speech to him, which the Pope answer’d by a Benediction. At Campo-Vaccino, thro’ which the Train pass’d, the Pope found near the Farnese Vineyard a triumphal Arch, which the Duke of Parma, as Feudatory of the Holy See, is oblig’d to erect every Time that the new Popes take Possession of the Lateran Church. From the Capitol to the said Church, which is a very considerable Distance, the Streets were hung with Tapestry furnish’d by the Jews, who had brought out a great many moth-eaten Rags for the Purpose.


When the Pope alighted from his Litter, he was receiv’d at the Gate of St. John de Lateran, by the Cardinal Picus de Mirandola, Arch-priest of the said Church, who presented the Holy Father with the Cross to kiss, and being preceded by the Chapter of St. John de Lateran, conducted him to the Throne which was erected on the Right-side of the great Gate. The Pope being there seated, array’d himself in his Pontificalibus, and put on the Mitre, after which he admitted the Chapter to kiss his Foot. Then the Cardinal Arch-priest harangu’d him in the Name of the Chapter, and presented him the Keys of the Church, one of which was of Gold, the other of Silver, in a Silver gilt Bason adorn’d with Flowers. During this, the Cardinals put on their Copes and their Mitres. Then the Pope rising from his Throne, advanc’d towards the great Gate of the Church. The Cardinal Arch-priest perfum’d him with Incense thrice, and presented the Sprinkler to him, which the Pope dipp’d into the Holy Water, and therewith sprinkled the Clergy and Laity. Then he seated himself in his Procession Chair, and was carry’d thro’ the Body of the Church to the High Altar, the Members of the Chapter holding a Canopy over his Head. The Pope kneeling before the Holy Sacrament, made a short Prayer, and went and plac’d himself upon a Throne erected at the Bottom of the Choir facing the Entrance. There he receiv’d the usual Obeisance of the Cardinals, Bishops, Prelates and other Clergy, and then gave his solemn Benediction to the Standers-by, being assisted in this Ceremony by two Cardinal-Deacons, who put on his Mitre, and took it off, just as the Service requir’d. Then his Holiness descended from the Throne, and being seated in his Procession Chair, was carry’d to the Lateran Palace. During this, the Musick54 play’d Anthems, and the Cardinal Arch-priest read several Prayers. When the Pope arriv’d at the great Pew fronting the spacious Square that opens towards the City of Rome, he ascended a very high Throne, and gave his Benediction twice to all the Christian People. Then he saw some slight Medals scatter’d among the Populace, which were struck with his own Die. After this, he was carry’d in a Sedan to his Coach, in which he took with him the Cardinals Banchieri and Olivieri, and thus he return’d to the Palace of Monte-Cavallo, attended by his usual Train.

This Cavalcade and Ceremony, after all that can be said, appear more magnificent in the Descriptions or Prints that are engrav’d of them, than they are in reality. If I may presume to say so, it has an Air of Masquerade which I don’t think suitable to the Court of the Vicar of Jesus Christ. All the Laity dress’d in Black, and most of the Clergy in Purple, mounted upon Mules; all this, I say, forms a very dismal Pomp. Most of the Cardinals and Prelates are ancient, and to see them on Horseback, is not to see them at an Advantage. Carpets of different Colours were hung out at all the Windows, as is the Custom here upon all solemn Festivals, either in Processions, or in public Entries. But in my Opinion, all this Tapestry, instead of adorning the Houses, makes them look like Brokers Shops. The Carpets which are hung out in France and the Netherlands upon such Solemnities have an Air much more majestic.

The Models after which the triumphal Arch was erected were very fine; but as it was executed in Paper and Pastboard, a great Rain which had fallen for some Days before, had almost spoil’d it. Besides this, the Order of the Procession was very ill observ’d; for there were sometimes Intervals 55of half a Quarter of an Hour. And when the Pope went out of the Lateran Church, there was so great a Stop of Coaches, that he was above an Hour getting along. ’Tis said, there will speedily be a Promotion of Cardinals; if so, I shall not fail to let you know what passes at that Ceremony. But at present I shall add no more, and I question whether you will hear from me again before Lent. I am, &c.



SIR,Rome, March 10, 1731  

I was some Days ago at an Audience of the Holy Father. I might have had it sooner, but I thought fit to give Way to those that were more importunate for it; for Clement XII. has been continually teaz’d upon that Score from the very Day of his Exaltation. The Form of demanding Audiences is the same here as at other Courts, and I assure you, the Difficulty of obtaining them is every whit as great; so that in this Point, all Countries, and all Courts are alike.

Having made my Application to Signior Acquaviva, the Major Domo, who officiated as Head-Chamberlain, in the room of Signior[4] Doria, then indisposed, he gave the Pope Notice that I attended, and he order’d me to be immediately admitted. I left my Hat and Sword at the56 Door, according to Custom. I found the Pope sitting under a Canopy, in an Elbow-chair, ascended by three Steps, with his right Foot resting on a Cushion of red Velvet. As I enter’d the Chamber, Signior Acquaviva bid me kneel, which I did, and the Pope gave me his Blessing. I then rose up, and approach’d him as far as half the Length of the Chamber, when I kneel’d again, and receiv’d the Pope’s Blessing a second Time. Then I arose again, and coming up close to the Pope, I kneel’d again, and receiv’d a third Blessing, all which Blessings really did not cost his Holiness much Trouble; for they consisted in no more than making a Sign of the Cross, without speaking one Word. The Pope, who is talkative, but eloquent, ask’d me many Questions, and recollected that he had known me when he was only a Cardinal. He was extremely gracious, and I had reason to be satisfied with my Audience so long as I had no Favour to ask. But the Moment that I put myself in the Number of Petitioners, I saw the Pope’s Countenance change; his Smiles were turn’d into Frowns, and I could easily perceive that he had rather have my Room than my Company. But being appriz’d beforehand, that his Holiness was always uneasy at receiving Petitions, I proceeded without omitting a Word of what I had to say to him. In going out of the Chamber, I went backward, kneeling three times by the Way, as I had done at Entrance, and the Pope at each time gave me his Blessing, which was all that I got by my Audience; but I am preparing to desire another very soon; for they say, the honest Pope loves to be importun’d, and therefore I will gratify him in his own Way.

Indeed all that go to the Audience of the Holy Father fare no better than I did, unless they are57 Princes, and even the Catholics must all kiss the Pope’s Toe. The Prince Regent of Waldeck, who was here not long ago, went to an Audience of his Holiness, and was receiv’d in the same manner as the Princes of Brunswic had been formerly: He waited some Moments in the Antichamber, and without being oblig’d to leave his Sword and Hat, as those of his Retinue were, he was introduc’d by the Major Domo to the Pope, who receiv’d him seated on his Throne. The Prince did not kneel as he enter’d, nor did the Pope, who ask’d him several Questions, and was inform’d that he was a Lutheran, give him his Blessing: Before he withdrew, the Prince desir’d the Pope, that he would give him leave to introduce his Retinue to him; when one of his Gentlemen, scrupulous to the last Degree, neither kneel’d, nor kiss’d the Pope’s Foot. At Geneva indeed he deserv’d to have his Statue erected, tho’ here his Politeness was call’d in question; but as for the Prince of Waldeck, all Rome was charm’d with his obliging and polite Behaviour: He spent four or five Months here, and liv’d handsomely. He apply’d himself to the Knowledge of Antiques, and made a Collection of Stones finely cut, which, tho’ not so large as some are, is not the worse chosen; for he has discover’d a very great Taste and Skill in Curiosities; and happy would it be for Germany if all its Princes were like him.

The Prince of Waldeck leads me to give you an Account of those unfortunate Princes who are here call’d the King and Queen of England. Perhaps you will not dislike to know what they are doing, and on what Foot they stand here. That unfortunate Prince, which is a Title I think no body can envy him, lives a very melancholy Life; and I question whether the Pension which the Pope allows him of 12000 Crowns, is enough to make58 him easy under his Afflictions: He lodges in the Palace of the Marquis Monti, and has a great Number of Domestics, but few in his Service that are Persons of Quality. My Lord Dunbar is the chief Man at his Court, since Mr. Hayes, to whom the Pretender gave the Title of my Lord Inverness, retir’d to Avignon: This Gentleman is intrusted with the Education of the young Princes, who are here styl’d the Prince of Wales, and the Duke of York, and as lovely Children they both are as one shall see.

The King, or the Pretender, it matters not, is complimented with the Style of Majesty by the Pope, and by all that have Access to him. He never goes to an Audience of the Holy Father in public, but always by the Back-stairs; and the Pope not only gives him an Arm-chair, but all the Honours are paid to him that are due to a King who keeps incognito. When the Cardinals visit him, he gives them the Tabouret, or little Stool; but the Imperial Cardinals never go to see him, nor did they think fit to do it, even at the Time when the Emperor seem’d to be more embroil’d with the King of Great Britain than ever; whereas the French Cardinals go to him every Day, and are always with him, notwithstanding the strict Alliance between the King their Master, and the King of Great Britain. When the eldest Prince, who is here styl’d the Prince of Wales, goes to wait on the Pope, he is treated as the presumptive Heir of a Crown; he has a Chair set for him with a Back to it, and takes Place of the Cardinals. As to the younger Son, the pretended Duke of York, his Rank is not yet settled, nor has he yet made a Visit to the Pope.

The Pretender is of a middling Stature, but a mere Skeleton; and if I may venture to say it, has nothing in his Looks of an Impostor: He is prodigiously59 like the Pictures I have seen of the late King James II. his Father, only his Aspect is something more melancholy; but he is so far from it in his natural Temper, that he is a Lover of Pleasures, and would indulge himself in Gallantry, if he was not so strictly watch’d by the Priests; for if the scandalous Chronicle does not belye him, Mrs. Hayes, alias Lady Inverness, had, for a while, the Honour of obliging him. If one may guess at the Heart by external Appearances, he is sincerely attach’d to the Religion which he professes, yet without being such a Bigot as some will have him to be; for he causes his Children to be educated by Protestants, and every Sunday a Church of England Minister preaches in English in the Protestant Chapel of his Palace: He is extremely reserv’d at first to those with whom he is not acquainted, but it wears off by Degrees; and when once he knows People, he is very courteous and civil to them. I have the Honour to be often at his Table, and I am bound to acknowledge his Favours to me.

His Table, which is commonly laid for a dozen Guests, is serv’d with what is grand and delicate. The Queen eats at her own little Table. People are seated at the King’s Table without any Distinction of Rank, and he sits himself between the two Princes his Sons: He talks a great deal at his Meals, but the Tone of his Voice is not the most agreeable: His Conversation runs generally upon common Topicks, and falls very naturally upon his Misfortunes. All this Prince’s Time is regularly divided; he rises early, devotes the Morning to his Business, hears Mass before Noon, when he goes to Dinner, and after sitting an Hour and half, or two Hours at Table, takes a Nap; and then, unless it be a Saint’s Day, when he goes to Vespers, he walks out for the Air in some Garden60 or other without Rome, where he exercises himself on Horseback, or else diverts himself at Mall with his Sons, and his Gentlemen. In the Evening he returns to his Palace, and receives Visits from the Cardinals; at Ten o’Clock he goes to Supper, and at Midnight to Bed. During the Carnival he was almost every Day at the Opera, where his Box being very large, he used to sup with the Gentlemen and Ladies of his Court.

The Queen his Wife is a Princess, who deserves in reality to be a Queen; and tho’ not a sparkling Beauty, it may be said that her Person is infinitely charming; she has indeed the Character of a most accomplish’d Lady, and never was there a better natur’d Person with more Humility; she is friendly, compassionate, charitable; her Piety is exemplary, and in Truth, she leads the Life of a Saint, without affecting the Shew of ceremonial Devotion; for she has nothing more at heart than to do good, and her Love of one sublime Virtue is incredible; for tho’ she is heartily attach’d to her own Religion, she has no Rancour against those who differ from her in Opinion, but would fain reclaim them by her good Example and good Nature. Were she Mistress of a Kingdom, she would certainly make it her Rule to discharge the Duties of her Rank as became it; and indeed, Nature has given her great Advantages to acquit herself worthily in such a Sphere; for she has a wonderful quick Comprehension, an admirable Memory, and she speaks Polish, High-Dutch, French, Italian, and English so well, that ’tis not easy to distinguish which of those Languages is most familiar to her. I own to you, that of all the Princesses whom ever I had the Honour to approach, I don’t know one more deserving of the Veneration of the Public. I should be glad to see her happy; and if that Respect and Duty, from which I shall never depart, did not61 bind me so strongly to the King and Queen of Great Britain, I could wish to see her wear the Crown of the three Kingdoms.

You know that this Princess is Daughter to Prince James Sobieski, and by consequence Cousin German to the Emperor, and the Queen of Spain, and Niece to the Elector Palatine, and the Queen of Spain, Widow of Charles II. Yet all this did not protect her from being arrested at Inspruck, when she pass’d that Way to Italy, to be married to the Pretender; she was kept in very close Custody, and the Manner of her Deliverance shews the Superiority of her Genius. The Pretender sent Mr. Gaydon, then a Major in the Service of France, to try if he could procure her Liberty; the said Officer went to Inspruck, accompany’d by Mr. Wogan, an English Gentleman, and one Misset, an Irishman, who carry’d his Wife with him. They arriv’d accordingly at Inspruck with a great Retinue, and there they pass’d for People of Consequence: They contriv’d so that their Coach Wheels broke at the Gate of the City, to give them a Pretence for staying in the Town till their Coach was repair’d: They introduc’d themselves into all Assemblies, and found out a Nun whom they brib’d to deliver Letters to the Princess. Having fix’d on the Day for carrying her off, and even appointed the Hour, which was Eleven at Night, they got a young Woman of the Princess’s Stature to pass thro’ the Guards in the Antichamber, and to lie in the Prisoner’s Bed, who for two Days had pretended to be sick. The Princess put on the Girl’s Cloaths, and in that Disguise went out of her Apartment, pass’d thro’ her Guards, and made up towards Misset, who gave a Whistle opposite to the Convent, as had been agreed on beforehand, that she might know whom to apply to. The Princess was conducted to an Inn, and as it had snow’d a 62great deal, and was very dirty and dark, she happen’d to step into a Slough; one of her Shoes stuck so fast in the Mud, that she was oblig’d to leave it behind her, and to walk only with one Shoe on to the Inn. From thence, without giving herself Time to change her Stockings, she went, wet and draggled as she was, into a Coach, where Mrs. Misset and Mr. Gaydon had the Honour to sit with her. Wogan rode by the Side of the Coach, and Misset stay’d two Hours longer at Inspruck, to see whether any Discovery was made of the Princess’s Flight. The Silence of the Guard was such, that he believ’d they knew nothing of the Matter, so that he rode after the Princess, but kept two Post-Stages behind, in order to watch if they were not pursued, which was a very good Precaution; for early next Day it was found out that the Princess had made her Escape; and the Commandant at Inspruck immediately sent off Messengers to all the great Roads, with Orders to all the Officers of the Country to apprehend the Fugitive. Misset being overtaken by one of those Messengers, he travell’d a little way with him, and resolv’d either to make him drunk, or to knock him on the Head. Having provided himself beforehand with a certain intoxicating Drug which immediately bereaves People of their Senses, and throws them into a profound Sleep, he gave some of it to the Messenger; and when he found him doz’d, he took away his Dispatches, and went and overtook the Princess, who, after travelling three Days and three Nights successively, without Rest, was got into the Dominions of the Holy See.

Arriving at Bologna, she there found my Lord Dunbar, vested with a Proxy from the Pretender, then in Spain, to marry her; which Ceremony was accordingly perform’d there without much Pomp, and the Princess set out in a few Days for Rome.63 My Lady Marr, accompany’d by all the English of both Sexes that were at Rome of the Pretender’s Party, went in that Prince’s Coaches to meet the Princess; and the Cardinals, the Roman Princes, and all the Nobility likewise sent their Coaches. Thus did the Princess make her public Entry into Rome, where she was receiv’d with great Marks of Respect; and there she was, not long after, join’d by her Husband[5].

While I am speaking of the Pretender, I ought not to omit acquainting you of a certain Prophecy in every body’s Mouth here, which was said to be found among the Papers of the late Pope, importing, that in the Year 1734, the Pretender should be in the peaceable Possession of the Throne of Great Britain; but I would not give much Money for his Hopes[6]. Be this as it will, the Prophecy is as follows:

Dum Marcus cantabit Hallelujah,
Et Antonius Veni Creator,
Et Joannes Baptista cænabit,
Tune regnabit et triumphabit Rex in Anglia Jacobus III.
i. e.
When Easter falls on St. Mark’s Day,
And Whitsunday on St. Antony’s of Padua,
And when St. John the Baptist’s is a Sacrament Day,
Then King James III. shall reign and triumph in England.

Thanks to God, the Carnival is ended; I say, Thanks to God, because it was to me very tiresom,64 tho’ it lasted here, according to an establish’d Custom, but a Week. During all that Time, from Two o’Clock in the Afternoon till Sun-set, all the Streets were full of Masquers, some on Foot, and some in open Chaises: The former say a thousand silly Things, and the latter throw Meslin in one another’s Eyes by Handfuls; but the best on’t is, that either by their Cloaths, or their Equipage, every body is known. Besides, the Pageantry of the Romans is always the same, even in Masquerades; they dress up their Domestics like Harlequins, and make them follow them with their Faces bare. They thus rake the Air gravely in open Chariots made like Gondolas. Their Horses are adorn’d with Plumes of Feathers, and loaded with little Bells like ours in the Sled Races. In the Evening the Coaches range themselves in two Rows in the Street del Corso, which is besides pretty narrow, and there they see the Race of Barbs, which are five or six Horses, that are suffer’d to run loose without a Rider, from the Gate del Popoli to a Place beyond the Venetian Palace. The poor Beasts gallop thro’ the Shouts and Cries of the Populace, and are often crippled by striking themselves against the Coaches. The first of these Horses that reaches the Goal wins a Prize for his Master, which generally consists of a Piece of Cloth of Gold, and at Sun-set every body retires. Mean time a Roman will tell you, that the Carnival of Rome is the finest in the World.

But the thing of which they brag most, and which they believe is no-where to be parallell’d for Magnificence, is their Balls, of which you shall now be Judge: Several Gentlemen having clubb’d this Winter for the Hire of the Palace Barberini, near the Mount of Piety, and caus’d it to be furnish’d by the Jew Brokers; when the Day was fix’d for the Ball, they invited all the Ladies; and65 as to the Gentlemen, they had the Liberty of appearing there mask’d, provided they made themselves known at the Door: All the Rooms were small, and but poorly lighted; there were several Pieces of Dancing to the Music of five or six Violins: The Room design’d for the principal Nobility was encompass’d with Forms, and the Place for the Dancers was an oval Nook rail’d in. A Gentleman of the Company that gave the Ball stood at the Entrance of the Oval; they gave him the Title of Master of the Hall, and ’twas he that call’d out the Dancers. All the Ladies were mask’d at this Ball, which was call’d a Feast, but I know not why; for there were Glasses indeed, but there was nothing to eat or drink. The Ladies were all very gay, and some of them in Court-Dresses. I have been twice at these pretended Entertainments, but was so tir’d, and in such Danger of being press’d to Death, that I don’t care to go again; for which reason the Romans say, I have not an elegant Taste.

Neither am I very well reconcil’d to their Plays, of which indeed here are none all the Year, except during the Carnival; but then we had two Opera-Theatres, and four or five for Comedy. Of all these Theatres there’s but one that’s good for any thing, and that’s the Ladies Theatre, commonly call’d the Theatre of Aliberti because ’twas built by Order of one Count Aliberti. The Room is excessively large, so that the Voices are lost in it; it has seven Rows of Boxes, so low and little, that it makes the Room look like a Henroost; the Pit will hold 900 Persons with Ease: The Stage is spacious, very high, and fitely decorated; but they don’t shift the Scenes with that Dexterity as they do at our Play-houses, yet, when the whole is put together, the Place is not to be despised: The Habits of the three principal Actors are magnificent,66 but those of the rest are horrible. Their Voices are good, and so are their Instruments for the most part; but their Dancers are too bad to behold, and you can’t imagine any thing more hideous: The Women are in the Disguise of Men, out of a ridiculous Scruple, if I may venture to call it so, which they have here, that Women should not be seen at the Theatres. This is the Reason, that the Operas of Rome are vastly inferior to the other Operas of Italy. There is not perhaps a more ridiculous Sight, than to see these Creatures, who are but half Men, play the Parts of Women; yet, tho’ they have neither Air nor Gracefulness, they are applauded here as much as the best Actresses are elsewhere. Tho’ I am passionately fond of the Italian Music, yet I own to you, that I am disgusted with their Operas, when I see those Eunuchs play the Part of a Roland, a Hercules, or some such Hero; and I have not Patience to see no more than half a dozen Actors, no Machines, and no Dances, except in the Interludes. In my Opinion, such an Opera rather deserves the Name of a Concert; good Voices here are very scarce, and there are actually but five or six Men, and three Women, that have the Reputation of singing well. The Case is the very same with the Composers; they have just lost one of the ablest Men of that Class; viz. Leonard Vinci, who, they say, was poison’d at Naples; but there are still remaining M. Hass, commonly call’d the Saxon, and Signior Purpora, of whom the former is a German, who married the famous Signiora Faustina.

While I am giving you an Account of the Pleasures of Rome, I ought not to omit the Inundations of the Square Navona, which are perform’d on the four Sundays in the Month of August. Two Thirds of the Square being then laid under Water, it forms a Lake, in which the Coaches make a67 Ring. The adjacent Windows are full of Spectators, and the Fronts of the Houses are crowded by the Populace, who make hideous Shouts and Outcries, when a Coach happens to take in a little Water, or when one overturns, which sometimes is the Case. The oddest Thing of all to my Mind is, that while the People were intent upon seeing the Coaches pass, and playing a thousand Pranks, a Jesuit, mounted upon a Rail at the other End of the Square, bawl’d out in vain for an Audience of Penitents; and tho’ very few, if any body, heard him, yet he went on haranguing, and ’twas not his Fault that every body did not forsake all to hear him. About twenty Paces from the Preacher was a Mountebank, who, by the comical Jests and Actions of his Merry-Andrew, drew a much greater Audience to him than the Jesuit had.

Are not these now very inchanting Pleasures? Yet a Roman, who never pass’d the Ponte Mole, as there are a great many who have not, will tell you there are none like those of Rome. But I affirm that the Romans don’t know what Diversion is; for in those Parties of Pleasure where reigns the greatest Freedom, there’s always an Air of Constraint, which one does not see elsewhere: Nor does a free Deportment become them, insomuch that when they assume such a Carriage, they naturally forget Politeness, which besides is not what they are much used to; for they know how to be respectful, much more than to be polite. The Way to be acquainted with them thoroughly, is to visit them at their Country-Seats, where they are more frank, less ceremonious, and more sociable, and where they live much better than they do at Rome, at least they feed better; and I will even venture to say, that they there spend high, but they get not the Credit by such Living which they ought, because they don’t set it off to the best Advantage; and if I am68 not too much prejudiced, it seems to me, that they grudge the Expence. The most sumptuous Article of their Repasts is Deserts, and they have excellent Cooks and Butlers; but as for us Ultramontains, we are not quite so well used to their Method of Cookery.

I know not whether ’tis the Depravity of my Taste, or the Want of Discernment; but I cannot conceive what Motives, except Devotion or Curiosity, can bring any Man to Rome, than which there is hardly a more melancholy City in the World: Yet I know some Foreigners, and in particular certain Englishmen, who are fond of Rome to a Degree of Enthusiasm. I strive to think as they do, and would fain persuade myself, that the Life which they lead here is agreeable; but I can’t be of that Opinion, nor can I accustom myself to take up Manners and Customs so contrary to ours. At my Age, ’tis a hard Matter to fall into a new Taste and Fashion of Living: Those of Rome don’t agree with me, and I foresee they never will; yet if by Chance I should meet with any Pastime here, I promise you, I’ll revoke my Complaints, and give you an Account of my Pleasures, as I do of my Chagrin.

The People here rise late, and go to Bed late; the first Thing which they do is to drink Chocolate; then they hear Mass in their domestic Chapel, of which almost every House has one: They afterwards make some Visits, return home at Dinner-time, undress, and dine frugally with their Families. After their Meal they get between the Sheets, and sleep for an Hour or two; and after that, loiter away as much in doing nothing at all; but then they dress, and go the Ring, which is without the Gate del Popoli; from thence to the Ponte Mole there’s a Walk, which is very sorrily pav’d, between two Walls, and some pitiful Houses; and69 there’s no Air, but Dust enough to choak one. When the Sun is upon its Decline, the Beau Monde repairs to the Square, or Place d’Espagne, where I think I have already told you how they amuse themselves. From the Square they go and make their Visits of Ceremony: At Two o’Clock at Night, which in the long Days in Summer is about Ten with us, they fall into Assemblies. These may be divided into three Classes, the great Companies for Gaming, the private Companies where they also play, and the Societies in which they only converse. Neither of the three are very numerous, which is owing to the Difference between the Princesses and the Ladies, and to the Fondness of all the Ladies to have Company at their own Houses.

The Assemblies that are most frequented by Foreigners, are those of Mesdames Corsini, the Pope’s Nieces, the Duke of Santo Bueno, and the Countess of Bolognetti. These are the three Houses at Rome where there is most Company, and where Foreigners are most civilly entertain’d. The Duke has a Concert at his House every Friday, at which are present all the People of Distinction at Rome. Madame de Bolognetti has a grand Assembly every Sunday, which begins with a great Levee of Women, for the most part well-dress’d, who lend their Ears to two or three prating Abbés, lolling carelessly on the Backs of their Chairs. A Foreigner enters, and salutes the Company respectfully; but no Lady gives heed to him, except Madame Bolognetti, a fine young Lady, who is the only one that rises; and she does her best to entertain the poor Stranger in French, which she talks very prettily. Many other Ladies both understand, and can speak this Language; but whether it is owing to Timorousness or Ill-nature, they don’t care to talk it; which is so true, that I remember the first Time I travell’d hither, I one Day accosted a very amiable70 Lady in the French Tongue, because then I did not understand the Italian; but she answer’d me in good French, Sir, I neither speak nor understand the French Language. She then turn’d about, and in a Moment I saw a well-looking Abbé come in, who talk’d with her in private all the Evening, and probably in such a Language as she understood.

After the Levee they fall to play, but ’tis at such Games as we Ultramontains know no more of than Magic; viz. such as Tarot, Pazzica, Premiere, and Milchiades. As to the last of these, I take it to be like the Languages, which ’tis difficult to be Master of, unless People begin to learn them when they are young. It would take up a Man’s whole Life to learn to know the Cards, whereof at one Game they play with 99, which are painted too with very extraordinary Figures of Popes, Devils, &c. and it often happens, that the Devil takes up the Pope. During the Conclave they play at Pharao, but the Pope has prohibited all Games of Hazard, which was an Injury to many Houses that subsisted by the Money for the Cards.

The private Assemblies differ only from the public ones, in that they have not so much Company. There is generally the Mistress of the House, and a Dozen Petits-colets, who really are the Petits-Maîtres of this Place, supposing them to be Italians; for you are not to imagine that these Gentlemen will suffer a poor Ultramontain Abbé to put in a Word, because they think he has neither Sense nor Merit. As this is a Country of Priests, you shall see ten Sparks of the Band to one of the Sword. ’Tis true, that the Abbé wears the same Habit as the Gentlemen of the Gown, and as all others do who are not able to lay out much Money in Cloaths; so that when you see a Petit-colet come out of any suspicious Places, you must beware71 of Mistakes; for they are not always Priests, nor even Clergymen.

The third Class of Assemblies, where there is no Gaming, is generally at the House of some Prince; there I spend my Evenings with great Pleasure and Freedom; yet ’tis at one of the chief Houses of Rome, and really the Conversation is held in one of the finest Apartments in the World. I enter a very spacious magnificent Room, illuminated by a Couple of Wax Candles, so that if Custom had not taught me the way, I shou’d be at a Loss where to salute the Master and Mistress of the House: These two little Candles are plac’d in great Candlesticks of Silver upon old-fashion’d Stands of the same Metal. A Fountain of solid Silver, from which the Water spouts with a soft Murmur, invites me agreeably to Slumber; and it seems as if those in the Room were afraid to awake me; for they do nothing but whisper, and not a Mortal stirs from the Spot in which his good or ill Fortune plac’d him, because it wou’d be a Crime even to move a Chair; so that unless one had a speaking Trumpet, a Man must be content to converse with his next Neighbour. The Moment one enters the Room, two Pages in a black Livery attend us with Ice upon Salvers, but I don’t accept it every time ’tis offer’d; for if I did, my Stomach wou’d have long ago been congeal’d like the frozen Ocean. This profound Silence, this murmuring Fountain, all these Cardinals, Prelates and Abbats, dress’d in Black; the two Wax Candles, giving a dismal Light; all this, I say, together, makes the Assembly look like Mutes posted to watch a Corpse, and I assure you that a Church-yard itself does not put me more in mind of Mortality. Nevertheless it sometimes happens that one or other of the Company raises his Voice, and relates the News of the Day. This is generally confin’d to what is done72 within the City; for what was said by the Pope, the contrary Effect of some Medicine, or else some Cardinal or Prelate, the Heat or Cold of the Weather, and the Age of the Moon, are the common Topics. And after having thoroughly canvass’d these momentous Subjects till Midnight, all the Company retires with their Heads as empty as their Stomachs.

Can you think, Sir, after what I have told you, that a Foreigner passes his Time here well? No, truly, Rome is a City that a young Gentleman indeed ought absolutely to see; for here he will conceive a perfect Notion of Architecture, establish himself in a Taste for Painting and Sculpture, and acquire a true Idea of the Magnificence of old Rome: But when he has digested all this, I would advise him to be gone, since there is nothing more for him to learn, and he is in Danger of forgetting every thing. There is not so much as one good Fencing Master, and scarce a Master of the Languages that understands the Italian; and those who are Dabblers in this Way are generally Foreigners, who have neither Accent nor Method. All that a young Gentleman can learn here is Architecture, and the Canon Law; for as to Ecclesiastical History, there are few People that are Masters of it in its Purity.

A Gentleman that lives beyond the Mountains will here be apt to forget the good Manners he may have contracted in France, or elsewhere; for, I say it again, the Generality of the Romans know nothing more than Ceremony, because they are ignorant of good Manners, and there’s scarce one of them in a thousand that has the Air of a Man of Quality: To be a Judge of this, one must see them at Table, and in what a very slovenly Manner they behave at their Meals, which is owing to their eating generally alone; for they then loll so73 much at Table, that when they dine in Company, they are at a Loss what to do. They are not only nasty in their manner of eating, but in their Cloaths; for I believe there is not above one out of thirty that puts on fresh Linen every Day. I remember that in 1719, when I was in France, a Reformado Colonel, who, tho’ an Italian, was in the French Service, often came to me in a Morning, and seeing me dress myself, told me one Day that he observ’d I follow’d the French Fashion strictly: I ask’d him, In what? He made Answer, In my changing my Shirt every Day. Nevertheless I wou’d not have you think that this Slovenliness is general; for there are People as much perfum’d here as elsewhere; and you may take my Word for it, that a Petit-Maître at Rome is as great a Fop as the pertest French Petit-Maître. Indeed they are more rare here than elsewhere, because no young Sparks are admitted to the Assemblies before they are twenty Years of Age.

But as for what remains of the Character of the Romans, I must tell you ingenuously, that I think the Notion we on the other Side of the Mountains have of them comes far short of it. There are good People in all Countries, and I know some Romans of as strict Probity as the honestest Teutonics. I know others that are not so honest; but is not the Case the same every-where, and is there one Country upon the Face of the Earth, where all the People are virtuous? The Italians are in general accus’d of being jealous, but I really think it wrong; for there’s no Nation where the Ladies have more Freedom than here. ’Tis possible that some of the Leaven of the antient Jealousy may still remain among the Citizens; but as to the People of Quality, I don’t think them any more liable to that Imputation than our People are. I wish I cou’d say as much in their Vindication as74 to their being too much given to Niggardliness; but the Fact is too well known, and ’tis the original Sin of almost all the Italians, particularly of the Romans, from the highest to the lowest; and ’tis undoubtedly this avaricious Temper which makes them so sober as they are; for I think I took Notice to you, that when they are at other Folks Tables, they are intemperate enough; yet I never saw the better Sort drunk, and the common People but very seldom. They are accus’d also of being revengeful, which may be true enough; but really they are cry’d out against upon that Score much more than they deserve; for I have known some that have receiv’d Affronts, so good-natur’d as to forget them. ’Tis true, that the Populace are very apt to make use of the Stilletto, but this is owing to the too great Indulgence of Justice. A Man convicted of Murder for the first Time is condemn’d to the Gallies; tho’ in some Cases indeed he is only banish’d from the City, and the Ecclesiastical State; and then, after two or three Years Absence, he pays 50 Crowns, and returns to Rome. They who have committed a Murder, and are not apprehended, generally compound the Matter with the Government by paying a certain Sum of Money. If Justice was no stricter in our Part of the World, and if our Churches were Sanctuaries, as they are here, we shou’d have more Crimes perhaps committed among us than there are at Rome, where, when all is said and done, we don’t hear of Robberies, nor of Murders committed for the sake of Robberies; and tho’ there are no Lanthorns, nor Watchmen, nor Patrolls here in the Night, I shou’d make no Scruple to go from one End of the City to the other with my Purse in my Hand. What I shou’d be most afraid of wou’d be the being assassinated by Mistake; but even Murders of this Kind are much oftner75 committed among the Dregs of the People, than among Persons of Breeding; for since I have been here, I have not heard of such an Accident to any Person of Note.

I happen’d not long ago to be one Evening at a House not far from my Quarters, so that I went home alone, and on Foot; it might be about Eleven o’Clock, ’twas a fine Moon light Night, and there were a great many People stirring in the Streets. I pass’d thro’ the Street del Corso, and just as I came to the Square of Colonna, near the House of Cardinal Imperiali, I saw two Men coming towards me, one at a little Distance behind the other: As the former brush’d close by me, I heard a Pistol go off, and saw the poor Man fall down dead at my Feet: The Shot came from the Man that was behind, with whom, it seems, he had a Quarrel at Gaming; but nobody troubled their Heads to apprehend the Criminal, so that he went very quietly to take Shelter in a Church, where I saw him some Days after; at length he is got abroad, and if he can but make up the Sum of 50 Crowns, he will be sure of his Pardon, after three Years Exile. But ’tis really an abominable Case, that sacred Places, set apart to keep the Holocaust without Spot or Blemish, shou’d serve as a Place of Retreat for a Miscreant, that comes in reeking with his Neighbour’s Blood. This is an Abuse which every body confesses, but they are loth to violate antient Privileges. In the last Pope’s Time, Alberoni propos’d to the other Cardinals in a Congregation to solicit the Pope to take away the Franchises from the Churches; but his Proposal was rejected, whereupon he said with Indignation, ‘Since ’tis so, I heartily wish, that some Villain wou’d take it into his Head to murder some one of you, and fly for Refuge to the Church of which I am Protector: I assure you, that were the whole 76Sacred College to demand him of me, instead of delivering him up to Justice, I wou’d do all in my Power to promote his Escape.’ ’Tis said, that Clement XII. has a Mind to take away those Franchises with regard to Assassins; but I question whether he will have the Courage to venture at it, because it brings so much Grist to the Friers Mills, the Privileges of whose Convents procure them the Respect of the better Sort of People, and the Homage of the Mob.

Notwithstanding the Disorders that happen here, and the Abuses that are so establish’d, yet there is not a City in the World where God is better serv’d, and where Charity to the Poor is more put in Practice. For this Purpose there’s a great Number of Hospitals, among which that for Pilgrims is worth seeing. Hundreds of Pilgrims of all Nations are admitted into it almost every Day, who are there lodg’d and taken care of for three Days, and then dismiss’d with Money in their Pockets. Towards the latter end of the Holy Week, these Pilgrims are serv’d, the Men by the Cardinals, and the Women by the Princesses and Ladies of Rome.

Divine Service is perform’d with very great Pomp in all the Churches, but particularly in the Pope’s Chapel. Were I to give you an Account of all the Ceremonies therein observ’d, it wou’d take me up another Day. I will, in due Time and Place, give you a Narrative of the Ceremonies of the Holy Week, which, tho’ I was present at once before, during the Pontificate of Clement XI. I am very desirous of seeing again, that I may be the better enabled to relate them to you hereafter. I am, &c.




SIR,Rome, June 15, 1731.  

Tho’ the first Promotion of Cardinals by Clement XII. was made the Close of the last Year, yet I had so many other Matters to entertain you with, that I deferr’d giving you an Account of that Ceremony till now. This Promotion was made in Favour of three Nuncios, (who, by the way, never quit their Nunciatures, but for the sake of being made Cardinals) I mean the Nuncios in Germany, France, and Spain, and Signior Ruspoli, the Pope’s Kinsman. The latter might have had the Hat during the Pontificate of Benedict XIII. his Father having obtain’d it for him of Cardinal Coscia, on the Promise of thirty thousand Crowns; but being appriz’d of the Bargain, which his Father had made with Coscia, he went to Corsini, then a Cardinal, and now Pope, who was his Father’s Friend and Kinsman, and having told him what had pass’d betwixt his Father and Coscia, intreated him to frustrate the Contract, saying, that he wou’d never accept of a Hat, unless he had it from the Pope’s mere Good-will. Cardinal Corsini being charm’d with the generous Temper of young Ruspoli, took Care to vacate the Bargain; and now that he is seated in St. Peter’s Throne, he has preferr’d Ruspoli over the Heads of many Prelates, who have grown grey in the Service of the Holy See.


This Promotion was made at Monte-Cavallo. The Pope had declar’d in a private Consistory, that he was resolv’d to make five Cardinals, viz. the three Nuncios above-mention’d, Signior Ruspoli, and a Fifth, whom he reserv’d in Petto. The Cardinal Secretary of State, for want of a Cardinal Nephew, immediately dispatch’d Couriers to the Nuncios to carry them the News of their Promotion, and likewise sent to acquaint Ruspoli of what had pass’d. This Prelate, who waited for the good News in the Apartment of the Cardinal Secretary of State, went immediately up the Back-Stairs to the Pope, and thank’d him for the Favour he had just done him, and then return’d to his Palace, where he receiv’d the Compliments of all the Nobility. In the Afternoon he went and paid a Visit to Signior Neri Corsini, Clement XIIth’s Nephew, the Man whom the Holy Father had reserv’d in Petto. On the Thursday following there was a public Consistory, in which the new Cardinal, who, till that Day, had, according to the Ceremonial, been oblig’d to keep his Chamber, and to be dress’d in Purple, receiv’d the Hat from the Pope’s own Hand. His Eminency repair’d in the Morning to the Chapel of Monte-Cavallo, while the Cardinals were assembled in the Chamber of the Consistory. He was join’d in the Chapel by these Cardinals, viz. Barberini, who represented the Dean of the Sacred College; Ottoboni, the Great Chancellor; Albano, the Chamberlain; and Cienfuegos, Treasurer of the Chapel. Their Eminencies, after great Compliments, led their new Collegue towards the Altar, and gave him the usual Oath of Fidelity to the Holy See. They return’d from thence into the Hall of the Consistory, and the new Cardinal was left alone in the Chapel, with his Caudataire, or Train-bearer, and a Master of the Ceremonies. During79 this, the Cardinals went, and made their Obedience to the Pope, by kissing his Hand; after which two of the Cardinal Deacons went to fetch Cardinal Ruspoli, and introduced him into the Hall of the Consistory. As he enter’d within the Bar, he made a low Bow to the Pope, who was seated at the other End on his Throne; he made a second Obeisance in the Middle of the Hall, and a third at the Foot of the Throne; after which he fell on his Knees, and kiss’d both the Foot and Hand of the Holy Father, who rais’d him from the Ground, and embraced him. The new Cardinal went afterwards, and embraced his Collegues, according to the Order of their Seniority, and then return’d and fell on his Knees again to the Pope. A Master of the Ceremonies drew the Cowl over his Head, and the Pope put on his Hat, which was taken off in a Moment by the Master of the Ceremonies. The new Cardinal now kiss’d the Holy Father’s Foot and Hand a second Time; and the Pope, rising from his Throne, retired to his Chamber, whither Ruspoli followed him, and after having thank’d him for the Honour he had done him, went and rejoin’d the Cardinals in the Hall of the Consistory. This done, they went in Procession, with the Pope’s Music playing before them, to the Chapel, where Te Deum was sung; after which the Cardinals went into the great Room that is before the Chapel, call’d the Royal Hall. There they form’d a Circle, where the new Cardinal thank’d his Collegues for the Honour they had done him, by admitting him for a Brother, and then they all retir’d. When Ruspoli came home, he there found a Gentleman of the Pope’s Privy-chamber, who brought him the Hat, which the Pope had just before put upon his Head, in a Silver Bason. When Dinner was over, the new Cardinal repair’d with a great80 Train to St. Peter’s Church; after which he went and paid his Respects to the Pretender to the Crown of England, and to the Princess his Wife; he also made a Visit to the Cardinal Dean; and on the Days following he visited the whole Sacred College, without regard to their Rank.

A Week after the public Consistory the Pope held a private one, in which he both shut and open’d the Mouth of Cardinal Ruspoli. At the former Ceremony, the new Pope kneeling at the Holy Father’s Feet, his Holiness laid two Fingers on the Cardinal’s Mouth, and strictly injoin’d him not so reveal to any body what shou’d pass in the Consistories at which he shou’d be present. This closing up of the Mouth formerly depriv’d the Cardinals of either speaking or voting, whenever it happened that they enter’d the Conclave before the Pope had open’d their Mouths; which might sometimes be the Case, because the Popes generally left an interval of some Days between the Ceremony of shutting the Mouth, and that of opening it. But Pius V. declar’d by a Bull which he publish’d the 26th of January 1571, that the shutting of the Mouth being a mere Ceremony, it shou’d not exclude the new Cardinals from giving their Votes, or speaking.

Cardinal Ruspoli being now upon his Legs before the Pope went and took his Place among the Cardinals: At the same time the Holy Father pronounc’d the Words extra omnes, which are repeated by a Master of the Ceremonies, and oblige all but the Cardinals to turn out. Then the secret Consistory was held, after which the Doors were set open, and every body re-enter’d the Room. The new Cardinal went again, and threw himself at the Pope’s Feet, who open’d his Mouth, by giving him the Power both of Voting and 81Speaking. At the same time he nominated the Church of which he was to bear the Title, and this he did by putting on his Finger a Gold Ring adorn’d with an oriental Saphir, for which the Cardinal, according to a Custom establish’d by Gregory XV. is to pay five hundred Crowns of Gold to the College de propaganda fide. With that the Ceremony ended. In the Evening the Palaces of the Cardinals, the Princes and the Foreign Ministers, and those likewise of the other Persons of Quality, were illuminated as they had been on the Day of the Promotion.

There are, as I have observ’d, two Sorts of Consistories, the one Public, the other Secret, and they are both notify’d to the Cardinals by two of the Pope’s Ushers, who receive the Order directly from the Holy Father himself. These Ushers give previous Notice also of all the public Chapels to be held, of all Processions, Cavalcades, and other Ceremonies. They wear Gowns of purple Cloth, and carry a black Wand. They speak to the Cardinals on the Knee, in these Terms, Eminentissime Domine, Crastina Die, Hora, &c. in Palatio Apostolico erit Consistorium secretum, or, fiat Processio. They have this Privilege, that the Cardinals must not let them wait a Moment; but are oblig’d to admit them, in what Plight soever they are, to receive their Messages standing, and to veil their Bonnet to them. These Ushers have the Privilege also, that when they find a Cardinal at Table, they may carry off the best Dish, unless the Cardinal chuses rather to give them a Couple of Pistoles.

This Consistory is in a proper Sense the Pope’s Council of State, wherein he deliberates secretly with the Cardinals on the most important Affairs of the Holy See. After the Pope has therein given a particular Audience to each Cardinal, the82 Bishops are therein nominated to vacant Sees, and the Palls conferr’d upon the Archbishops. Every thing that has been treated of in the consistorial Congregations, is there determin’d, as is, in short, every thing whatsoever relating to the Welfare of the Church, both in Spirituals and Temporals: And this is what is call’d the Secret Consistory. In the Public Consistory, the Pope receives the Ambassadors that come from Tributary Countries, and delivers the Hat to the new Cardinals. The Pope has the Power of assembling the Consistory as often as he thinks fit, and on that Day all other Congregations are suspended. In this Public Consistory, the Pope’s Throne is rais’d much higher than ordinary, and the Cardinals sit on high Benches, with their Train-bearers plac’d at their Feet. The Constable Colonna, in Quality of first Prince of the Throne, stands on the Right-hand of it, which is a Post of Honour that he yields to none but the Pope’s Nephews. The Ambassador of Bologna, and the Conservators of Rome, in Robes of Gold Tissue, are plac’d on both Sides of the Throne, about which are also the Pope’s great Officers. The Holy Father is supported by two Cardinals, one on the Right, the other on the Left of the Throne, sitting on Stools.

When the Pope declares he has a Cardinal in Petto, tho’ he names him not, he is always sure to be a Cardinal, and walks even at the Head of all those that are to receive the Hat before him. When it happens that the Pope dies ere he has declar’d him in Public, ’tis sufficient if the Holy Father leaves a Note behind him, wherein he says, that the Person whom he declar’d a Cardinal in Petto, is such a one; or if two Cardinals attest that they heard the deceased Pope say, who was the Man that he had nominated in Petto.


The Dignity of a Cardinal is look’d upon here as the greatest Thing in the World. There are no Cabals nor Intrigues of any kind, which the Prelates of this Court don’t form to obtain it; and a Family at Rome never thinks its Fortune made, if it has not some Cardinal of its own Name. This is so true, that one of the first Princes in Rome, who did not want a Hat in his Family, for the sake of illustrating it, did nevertheless, during the Pontificate of Benedict XIII. purchase one for his Son, of the Cardinal Coscia, at the Price of eighty thousand Crowns. But ’tis mere Ambition only that can make a Man wish to be a Cardinal; for the Life which those purple Gentry lead, is, as ’tis here said, the most melancholy in the World; every thing they do at home is by Compass and Measure; they are continually under Uneasiness and Constraint, oblig’d almost every Day to be present at Chapels, Congregations, and Consistories, must give and receive Visits of Ceremony, assist at the Festivals of the Church, at the taking of Habits, granting of Audiences; in short, a Cardinal who minds his Profession, has not an Hour in the Day that he can call his own. ’Tis true, that an infinite deal of Respect is paid to them; but what signify such empty Honours, attended with a perpetual Constraint, to a rational Man, who is moreover a Nobleman by Birth, and does not forget that he is but a Man? I am sure, there are above four Cardinals to whom their Grandeur is a Burden.

When a Cardinal goes abroad with a great Train, which is here call’d in Fiochi, he must have three Coaches. That in which he rides himself goes foremost, preceded by all his Livery Servants, and a Footman carrying an Umbrella under his Arm. All that meet him, tho’ they are Princes, must stop for him; and when two Cardinals84 meet one another riding out after this manner in State, they must both stop their Coaches, and compliment each other, and then the oldest passes on first. When the Cardinals thus ride out with this Ceremony, they are dress’d in long Robes of Scarlet, except in Time of Lent, when they are of Purple. Their common Dress is that of an Abbat, with a red Bonnet and Stockings; and ’tis in this Habit they make their familiar Visits, without any Retinue, and with the Curtains of their Coach drawn. The best way of seeing them, after a Person has been once introduc’d to them, is to attend in their Train, when they go to any public Function, or to make any Visit of Ceremony. The Cardinal, when he takes Coach, salutes those who are to ride with him. The most honourable Place in it is by the Side of the Cardinal, the second upon a Seat in the Boot or the Coach, next to his Eminency, and so of the rest.

As to the vehement Outcry in our Part of the World against the Luxury of the Cardinals, I really think it unjust; for I can’t see wherein it consists. Their Houshold is not over and above numerous. Their Domestics are generally a Maître de Chambre, an Officer who they say is tantamount to the great Chamberlain of our Electors; a Cupbearer; a Train-bearer; one or two Gentlemen; two or three Priests; as many Valets de Chambre; eight or ten Lackeys; three Coachmen; eight Horses, and three Coaches. Their Furniture is red Damask very plain. They keep so frugal a Table, that they commonly allow their Cook but one or two Testoons a Day to defray the Expence of it, exclusive of the Bread, Wine and Fruit; for they always eat alone. None but the Cardinal Ministers keep an open Table at any time; and of these, not one does it at present, but the85 Cardinal de Polignac, the Minister[7] of France: For the Cardinal Cienfuegos, the Emperor’s Ambassador, has retrench’d his Table, by reason of his great Age; as has the Cardinal[8] Bentivoglio, on account of his Infirmities.

I can’t help thinking there’s much more Reason to exclaim against the ridiculous Pretension of the Cardinals to an Equality with crown’d Heads, and to take Place of Sovereigns, tho’ a Cardinal is often but an ordinary Man at first, only rais’d to the Purple by good Fortune, and the Favour of the Pope; of which we have living Instances in two Creatures of the last Pontificate, the Cardinals Fini and Coscia. That such Cardinals shou’d presume to have the Precedency of an Elector of Bavaria, or of Cologne, of a Duke of Lorain, and in short, of every Prince whatsoever, is what, notwithstanding all my Respect to the Sacred College, I must own to be an Absurdity. That these Cardinals have conceiv’d such a high Opinion of their Dignity, is owing to the excessive Complaisance of the Princes of Italy, who every-where give them the upper Hand; and a Cardinal takes so much State upon himself, that he refuses the Precedency in his own House, to a Sovereign Prince of Italy. Our Princes on the other Side of the Mountains are perhaps as staunch Catholics, and as much devoted to the Holy See, as the Italian Princes are; yet they don’t pay this Homage to the Cardinals. And indeed, what Reason is there for it? We have seen Cardinals in the Service of Sovereigns; and I dare affirm, there are very few of ’em that wou’d refuse to be Pensioners to an Elector of the Empire.


When one Cardinal makes a Visit to another, the latter receives the Visitant at the Coach-door, and conducts him into the Chamber of Audience, where they both place themselves in Arm-chairs, under a Canopy; and after having been a few Minutes by themselves, the Gentlemen of the Cardinal that receives the Visit, bring them Ice, Chocolate, and Sweetmeats. When the Stranger goes away, the other waits on him to the Coach, lends him a Hand to put him into it, and even shuts the Coach-door. They give one another the Title of Eminency, but in all their Interviews there’s a great Air of Constraint.

The complete Number of Cardinals is Seventy. They are the Pope’s Counsellors in ordinary, and have the Right of electing him. They are distinguish’d into three Orders, viz. Six Cardinal Bishops, fifty Priests, and fourteen Deacons. Their Number was fix’d by Pope Sixtus the Vth. The first Cardinal Bishop is styl’d Dean of the Sacred College. He that is so now is Cardinal Pignatelli, Archbishop of Naples. This Dean, the first Cardinal Priest, and the first Cardinal Deacon, are styl’d Chiefs of the Order; and as such they have the Prerogative of giving Audience to Ambassadors, and to the Magistrates of the Ecclesiastical State, during the Vacancy of the Holy See. Innocent the IVth, while the Council was held at Lyons, made a Rule that the Cardinals Hat shou’d be red, to denote that they were always ready to shed their Blood for the Liberties of the Church. Boniface the VIIIth order’d that they shou’d wear scarlet Robes. Paul III. requir’d that their Bonnets shou’d be of the same Colour; and Urban the VIIIth granted them the Title of Eminency, which before that was only given to the Ecclesiastical Electors of the Empire, and to the Grand Master of Malta. The Council of Trent 87own’d it to be the Right of all Nations, to put in for the Dignity of Cardinal; but those who push for it with the greatest Success, are the Kindred of the reigning Pope, the Nuncios in Germany, France and Spain, the Auditors of the Rota, the Clerks of the Chamber; and in fine, many of the Pope’s Great Officers.

There are few Examples in History of Cardinals that have quitted the Hat. The first that had a mind to do it, was the Cardinal Ardicinio; but Pope Innocent VIII. refus’d to consent to it, at the Remonstrance of the Cardinals, who represented to him, that the Church ought by no Means to be depriv’d of so good a Subject. Some time after this, Cardinal Borgia resign’d his Dignity to Alexander VI. The Cardinal Henry of Portugal quitted his too, for the sake of succeeding to his Brother,[9] the King Don Sebastian. After him, Ferdinand de Medicis, upon the Death of his Brother Francis de Medicis, without Issue Male, preferr’d the Sovereignty of Tuscany to the red Hat, which he restor’d to Pope Sixtus V. There are also several Instances of Persons who have preferr’d an austere Retirement to the vain Grandeur of the Purple, particularly Cardinal Maurice of Savoy, Ferdinand and Vincent Gonzague, Francis of Lorain, Camillus Pamphili, John Casimir of Poland; and Gabriel Filippuci of Macerata, so lately as in the Pontificate of Clement XI. This Resignation of the Hat cannot be made without the Pope’s Consent to it; and when this is done, the Cardinal who renounces it must pay the Officers of the Apostolical Palace the same Sum, as his Heirs wou’d be oblig’d to pay, if he was dead.

There being a Hat vacant by the Exaltation of every Pope, they commonly honour one or88 other of the Pope’s Family with it who advanc’d them to the Purple; which is what they here call Restitution; and when they omit this Piece of Respect, they are accus’d of Ingratitude. Clement XII. has not yet made this Restitution to the Albano[10] Family, tho’ he has promoted half a score Cardinals. He thought it was more natural to confer that Dignity on his Kindred and Friends; and at the last Promotion which he made, he contented himself with making an Apology to the Albani, because he did not restore their Hat to them for that time, assuring them, that he wou’d take care to satisfy them, at the very next Promotion. The Albani were oblig’d to set a good Face on a bad Game; but I would not give them much for the Hat they are like to have of Clement XII. for you are to take Notice, that the Pope is fourscore Years of Age; that he is afflicted with the Gout and other Ailments; that there is not one Hat vacant, and yet the Holy Father hopes to live to make another Promotion, and then to satisfy the Albani.

The Pope pretends to the Prerogative of deposing the Cardinals, but they deny it. Be this as it will, there’s hardly an Instance that the Popes ever exercis’d this Act of Authority. Clement XI. had an Intention indeed to haue depriv’d Cardinal Alberoni of his Hat, because when the Cardinal was the Minister of Spain, he employ’d that Money against the Emperor, which the Pope had permitted him to levy upon the Clergy for the War against the Turks. But Clement XI. met with so much Opposition from the Sacred College, that he cou’d not accomplish it, and died. Whether Clement XII. will succeed better, and whether he will ever be able to deprive Coscia of89 his Hat, which is what he seems to be very much set upon, I know not; for he too is thwarted under-hand by a great many of the Cardinals, who, as unworthy as Cardinal Coscia is of the Purple, are not willing that he shou’d serve as an Example for the future. The Pope is also too old to see the Issue of this Process, which, tho’ it has been fifteen Months depending, is not yet very far advanc’d. Cardinal Coscia is retir’d to Naples. He has been very much blam’d for quitting Rome, and People who know the Tricks of this Court, have assur’d me that he might have stay’d here safe enough. As for my own Part, if I had been the unfortunate Cardinal Coscia, I wou’d have retir’d, but not in the Manner that he did. Moreover I promise you, that were I in the Case that he is now, they shou’d cite me long enough before I wou’d be seen at Rome; and I think, whoever advis’d him to the contrary, was in the wrong[11].


You know that immediately after the Death of Pope Benedict XIII. the Populace ran to Coscia’s Palace, plunder’d it, and wou’d have torn the Cardinal Limb from Limb, if he had not escap’d by a Back-door; after which, he disguis’d himself, and left the City. He ought not to have come back again, or else he shou’d have got a safe Conduct from his Collegues, whereby he might have been sure of a Permission to retire to his Archbishoprick of Benevento, after the Election of the new Pope; but he did not take this Precaution. He came and assisted at the Conclave, and afterwards went to live in his Palace. The new Pope threaten’d him with the Castle of St. Angelo; whereupon he was frighten’d, and march’d out of the Country; which is charg’d upon him as a Crime, because a Bull of Innocent X. of the Pamphili Family, publish’d the 19th of February, 1646, injoins, that no Cardinal shall depart out of the Dominions of the Holy See, without Leave of the Pope; with this Clause moreover, that the Cardinal who disobeys it shall be summon’d three times in the Space of fifteen Months, viz. once at the End of each six Months, and the last Time at the End of three Months after the second Citation; and if then the Cardinal be still obstinate, and does not return, he shall be depriv’d of the91 Hat. Coscia has as yet been cited but once, and does not seem inclin’d to return, tho’ his Acquaintance don’t stick to affirm that he will. Mean time, he has been depriv’d of the Archbishoprick of Benevento, which the Pope has conferr’d on[12] M. Doria, the first Gentleman of his Bed-chamber; a Thing so unusual, that Cardinal Coscia complain’d of it bitterly, tho’ to no manner of Purpose. I question whether the Cardinal will ever come hither again, even tho’ the Pope were to give him his Passport: And really, what happen’d to M. Targa, his Brother, is enough to deter him; for this Prelate coming to Venice, after he had been at Vienna, soliciting the Emperor’s Protection for himself and his Brother in vain, the Pope order’d him to return to Rome; which, after having desir’d, and obtain’d Promise of a Safeguard for his Person, he did accordingly, and took up his Lodging in a Convent. But two Days after this, the Pope sent him an Order to remove to another, and not to stir out of it without his Leave. Targa yields Obedience, and the Monks, to whose Guard he was committed, watch him narrowly; yet for all this, there came certain Soldiers one Night, who carry’d him off to the Castle of St. Angelo; which seems to be the very Safeguard that the Pope intended by his Promise; for there he is closely confin’d, and can speak to nobody. These severe Acts of Justice are frequent in the Pontificate of Clement XII. who taking a Fancy to undo every thing that was done by his Predecessor, on Pretence that the said Pope alienated the Rights of the Holy See, we hear of92 nothing but Writs and Attachments. The wisest Men, or, if you will, the greatest Criminals, get out of the Way, while others suffer themselves to be arrested, as did Signior Sardini, who was impeach’d of having put the late Pope upon making a Treaty with the King of Sardinia, by which the Holy Father granted that Prince the Nomination to all the Bishopricks and Benefices in his Kingdom. This Prelate was arrested in his House in the Night-time, and committed to the Castle of St. Angelo, where he is kept a Prisoner of State[13]. Not many Days before he was arrested, all his Papers were seiz’d, which he desir’d to have again for the Vindication of his Conduct, but they were refus’d. Some Days ago the Pope sent to tell him, that he had his Leave to justify himself, if he cou’d; to which Sardini made Answer, That he had nothing to say; that the Pope shou’d be his Judge, and Cardinal Corsini, his Holiness’s Nephew, shou’d be his Advocate: But all this has stood him in no stead; he is still in Prison, and ’tis said, that the Pope will either behead or pardon him.

Some time ago Cardinal Ottoboni made Interest for one Nocera, a Canon, who was in Trouble also upon Sardini’s Account; and he desir’d the Pope that he wou’d please to call in the Writ issued for attaching the Person of Nocera, who was retir’d to a Sanctuary at Albano. The Pope made Answer to the Cardinal, That he was sorry he93 cou’d not grant him his Request; but that he wou’d not charge his Conference with the Sin of having suffer’d Iniquity to pass with Impunity. ‘We are old, said the Holy Father; and our Age tells us, that it can’t be long before we shall appear at God’s Tribunal; therefore we are desirous of so behaving, that we may hope there to find Mercy; but this is what we dare not expect, if we don’t let Justice take its Course. Who knows, my dear Cardinal, whether we shall live till To-morrow?’ ‘Your Holiness, reply’d the Cardinal, ought not to think of dying so soon: For God generally grants to great Princes two Stages of Life, one wherein to display their Justice, and the other their Mercy. He has permitted your Holiness to finish the Career of Justice, and ’tis to be hop’d, that he will also permit you to run that of Mercy.’

I will conclude my long Letter with a very curious Anecdote, which I had from Cardinal Imperiali, who has had the Purple so long, that he is actually grown grey in it. As he was talking one Day of the Bull of Innocent X. which forbids the Cardinals from departing the Ecclesiastical State without the Pope’s Leave, he told me, That Innocent X. fulminated this Bull by reason of the Elopement of Cardinal Astalli, his Kinsman, when he went to deprive him of his Hat. What gave Occasion to all the Rout was this: After the Portuguese had shook off the Yoke of the Spaniards, and restor’d the Braganza Family to the Throne, the King of Spain, who always took the Title of King of Portugal, pretended that ’twas his Right to nominate to the Bishopricks and Benefices that became vacant in Portugal. The Pope was at that time in so much Subjection to the Spaniards, that this Plea of their Monarch perplex’d him sadly. At last he thought of94 extricating himself out of this Difficulty, by referring it to a Consistory to nominate to the Portuguese Bishopricks, and he resolv’d to assemble one with all Speed for that Purpose. He imparted his Design to no Person but the Cardinal Secretary of State, and the Cardinal Astalli, whom he injoin’d not to speak of it on Pain of Death. The Evening when the Consistory was to be summon’d for the next Day, the Ambassador of Spain made such an earnest Application for an Audience of him, that he durst not refuse it. The Minister therein told him, That he was inform’d of his Design; and at the same time protested against every thing that shou’d be done in the said Consistory, contrary to the Pretensions of the King his Master. The Pope, very much incens’d that his Secret had taken Wind, suspected that he had been betray’d by his Secretary of State, and he reproach’d him for it bitterly, threatning him with the Loss of his Head. The Minister swore, that he had not reveal’d it to the Spaniard; and he said moreover, That if the Ambassador knew of his Holiness’s Secret, it cou’d be only from Cardinal Astalli. He desir’d but twenty-four Hours of the Pope to prove his Innocence; and to find out where the Guilt lay. For this End he sent for one of the Spanish Ambassador’s Valets de Chambre, and promis’d him five hundred Pistoles, if, after he put his Master to Bed, he wou’d search his Pockets, and take out a Letter which he said he knew there was in one of them, written in the very Hand of Cardinal Astalli. The Valet de Chambre cou’d not stand the Temptation, but carry’d the fatal Letter to the Cardinal Secretary of State, and he made Haste with it to the Pope; whose Wrath was then wholly turn’d against Astalli, to such a Degree, that he forbad him his Palace, and actually intended to have him95 arrested the very next Day: But Astalli disappointed him of that Pleasure, escap’d the same Night in a Felucca from Rome, and sail’d for Sicily. Then it was that Innocent X. issued the Bull in Question. He caus’d Astalli to be summon’d, who indeed return’d to the Dominions of the Holy See; but he stay’d in a little frontier Town of the Kingdom of Naples, where he was accompany’d by a Guard of two thousand Spaniards, who remain’d with him as long as the Pope liv’d, after whose Death Astalli return’d to Rome. I have the Honour to be, &c.



SIR,Rome, Sept. 5, 1731.  

Give me Leave to tell you, that I think the Approbation with which you honour my Narratives, favours more of Compliment than Sincerity; for all the Merit they can challenge, is, that they are written with an unaffected Simplicity. I tell you Things just as I find them, or as they are reported to me; if I accuse wrongfully, ’tis owing to my Misinformation, or my Credulity; for I do my best, and set about it heartily, and you can’t define any thing more. You wish to know the Ceremonies of the Holy Week; I will now relate them to you as they pass’d this Year.


On Palm Sunday, the Pope distributed Palms in the Chapel of Monte-Cavallo to all the Cardinals, and others that were present.

Upon the last Wednesday in Lent, the Cardinals went after Dinner to the Pope’s Chapel, where they were present at Vespers, and the Tenebræ, sung by the Pope’s Voices, without being accompany’d by Instruments. ’Tis perhaps one of the finest Pieces of Music that was ever compos’d, and ’tis so much valued here, that the Master of the Chapel dares not to give Copies of it, nor the others to transcribe it, on Pain of Excommunication.

The Pope being somewhat indispos’d upon Holy Thursday, Cardinal Barberini officiated for him. The Cardinals repair’d in the Morning to the Vatican in Sixtus’s Chapel, and assisted at High Mass; after which the Cardinal Barberini, preceded by the Bishops and Cardinals, all in Mitres and white Copes, carry’d the Holy Sacrament in Procession, under a Canopy held up by eight Archbishops, into Paul’s Chapel, which was finely illuminated. There our Lord’s Body was deposited, after which the Cardinals went into a Hall, where they found thirteen Priests of divers Nations, dress’d in white woollen Robes, with square Caps of the same, all sitting on a high Bench in form of a Gradatory. Cardinal Barberini, who sat on a Throne erected at the End of the Hall, took off his Cope, and having put on the Chasuble, he pronounc’d some Collects, which were answer’d by the Music. He then put off the Chasuble, took a white Napkin, and went and wash’d the Feet of the Priests, in a silver gilt Bason, which was carry’d by the Masters of the Ceremonies. Having wip’d their Feet dry, he kiss’d them, and distributed to each Priest, by the Hands of the Apostolical Treasurer, two Medals of Gold, and one of Silver. Then he reascended the Throne,97 and having again put on the Chasuble, he struck up the Pater-noster, and the Music finish’d it. This done, he went with the Cardinals his Brethren into a separate Room, where he resum’d his ordinary Habit. On the other Hand, the thirteen Priests were led by a Master of the Ceremonies into a Hall, where they seated themselves at a Table, which was elegantly serv’d. The Pope’s Chamberlains of Honour waited on them, and if the Pope had been well, he wou’d have done the same himself. The Cardinals din’d also together, and their Dinner, which was one of the most sumptuous, is always provided at the Expence of their Eminencies out of certain Monies coming to them from the Rota and the Datary. The Priests Table is defray’d by the Apostolical Chamber, and the Service of both Tables is order’d by the Pope’s Major Domo. The Cardinal’s Beaufet is very neat; I have seen some that are more magnificent, but never one that is better dispos’d. The Cardinals always take their own Liquor with ’em; which, ’tis said, has been their Practice ever since the Catastrophe that happen’d to Pope Alexander VI. and his Son Cæsar Borgia, Duke de Valentinois, when the latter, for the Sake of having the Debris of the Cardinal Adrian de Cornetto, order’d Wine that was poison’d to be serv’d up at a Supper where the Pope was to be present, together with the said Cardinal, for whom he intended the poisonous Draught. But Cornetto had the good Luck to escape the Snare, and only the Pope and Cæsar suffer’d by it: For being both thirsty, when they came into the Supper-Room, and calling for a Glass of Wine at the very Instant when the Person who was let into the Secret was gone out of the Room, another fill’d them out each a Bumper, of the Wine that was prepar’d, which98 kill’d the Pope; but Cæsar, having caus’d himself to be wrapp’d up in the Skin of a Mule, recover’d.

After Dinner, the Cardinals return’d to Sixtus’s Chapel, where they assisted at the Tenebræ, and the Miserere. This Day’s Ceremony of washing Feet is a Custom of antient Standing among the Catholic Princes. We find in the History of France, that Robert the Pious, he that was call’d King of his Morals, as well as of his Subjects, constantly kept two hundred poor Men in his Retinue, and often wash’d their Feet, particularly upon Holy Thursday. So at Vienna, Versailles, in Spain, and at several other Courts, the Empress, the Queens, and other Sovereign Princesses, wash the Feet of thirteen Women upon the same Day.

Upon good Friday in the Morning, the Cardinals were again present at Divine Service in Sixtus’s Chapel; after which, they din’d together, but they had nothing besides Roots; and one of the Pope’s Chaplains read the Lecture. After their Repast, they again assisted at the Miserere, and then they all went down into St. Peter’s Church, where, having form’d a Semi-circle before the High Altar, they kneel’d down upon Cushions of purple Cloth, and in that Manner reverenc’d the Reliques, which were held forth to them from a high Balcony. These were the Spear with which our Saviour’s Side was pierc’d, the Holy Handkerchief, and a great Piece of the Cross on which he was crucify’d.

On Saturday the Cardinals assisted at Divine Service, in the Chapel of Monte-Cavallo.

Upon Sunday, which was the first Day of Easter, the Pope, dress’d in his Pontificalibus, was carry’d in his processional Chair to his Chapel, where he struck up the High Mass, which was sung to the End by a Cardinal Priest. Then the99 Pope was carry’d to the Box or Gallery facing the Great Square, where a Cardinal Deacon read the Bull In Cœna Domini with an audible Voice; after which the Pope fulminated the Apostolical Censures against Heretics, by throwing down a lighted Flambeau into the Square. After this, the Holy Father, while the Cannon were fir’d from the Castles of Monte-Cavallo, and St. Angelo, gave his Benediction twice to the Populace, who were on their Knees in the Square, and in the Streets that led to the Palace. The Blessing which the Pope gives that Day is solemn, and extends to the whole Christian World. I forgot to tell you, that upon Holy Thursday and Good Friday, while the Church is in Mourning for the Saviour of the World, the Pope’s Chapel is stripp’d of all Ornaments, the Throne of the Holy Father is without a Canopy, and the Pope neither gives so much as one Blessing, nor admits any body to kiss his Foot or his Hand.

Since I am treating of Ceremonies, I will give you an Account of those that are observed at the Fabrication and Distribution of the Agnus Dei’s of white Wax, which on one Side represent the Saviour of the World, in the Form of a Lamb, (bearing the Standard of the Cross) according to the Attribute that was given him by his Forerunner St. John the Baptist. This of Agnus Dei is an old Custom in the Church. St. Augustin makes mention of it in his 118th Epistle. Baronius assures us, in his 8th Volume, that ’twas the Custom in his Time, upon the Quasimodo Sundays, to distribute among the People Agnus Dei’s consecrated by the Pope. And Cardinal Bellarmine says, that in 798, Pope Leo III. gave an Agnus Dei to the Emperor Charlemain, which was set in a Gold Frame adorn’d with precious100 Stones[14]. All the Popes consecrate Agnus Dei’s in the first Year of their Pontificate; and they perform the same Ceremony in the Jubilee Year, and every seven Years, reckoning from the first Year of their Exaltation. Clement XII. perform’d the Ceremony on the Wednesday after Easter, in the great Hall of his Apartment at Monte-Cavallo, which was then hung with red Damask adorned with Gold Lace. The Pope’s Throne was at one End of the Hall, with an Altar on his right Hand; and between the Throne and the Altar, there was a Pew for the Pretender and his Family. Opposite to the Throne, there was a great Gallery, with Steps to it, for the Ambassador of Venice, the Ladies, and other Persons of Distinction. Under that Gallery was an Amphitheatre for the Spectators of the second Class. Within the Rails, which were cover’d with red Damask, there was a square Pit, and in the Middle of it four large Cisterns of solid Silver, full of Water,101 placed on Pedestals of Wood, silvered and gilt, Admirably carv’d by Bernini. When the Pope, accompanied by ten Cardinals, whom he had invited to this Ceremony, was entered into the Hall, and seated on his Throne, two Chamberlains of Honour placed a Cistern before him of the same Kind as the four that were in the Hall. The Pope, who had a Mitre upon his Head, of silver Brocade, and a Cope of the same, struck up the Veni Spiritus Sancte, which the Music carry’d on. Afterwards the Holy Father read some Collects, and blessed the Water that was in the Cistern before him, into which he poured Holy Oil, and Holy Chrism. Then came four Cardinals with silver Ladles, who dipp’d them into the Holy Water, and carry’d it to mix with the Water that was in the four Cisterns. This done, the Pope and the Cardinals put on great white Aprons, and the Cardinals sat two and two upon Joint-stools at each Cistern, while two other Cardinals supported the Pope. The Chamberlains of Honour, and the Prelates of the Houshold, brought the Agnus Dei’s in wooden Tubs, wash’d with Silver; and as fast as they threw them into the Cisterns fill’d with Holy Water, the Pope and the Cardinals fish’d them up again with great Skimmers of Silver, and put them into other Tubs, which the Prelates deliver’d to the Sextons. This lasted near two Hours, till the Pope, being quite fatigued, rose up, read some more Collects, and then retired. The same Ceremony was repeated next Day, and in these two Days they made threescore thousand Agnus Dei’s, which they say cost the Chamber twelve thousand Crowns.

Upon Quasimodo Sunday, the Pope distributed the Agnus’s with very great Ceremony in the Chapel of Monte-Cavallo. He was carry’d in his Processional Chair from his Apartment to the102 Chapel, where, being seated on his Throne, and the Agnus Dei having been perform’d by the Music, one of the Apostolical Subdeacons, carrying the Agnus’s in a Silver Bason, preceded by the Cross, and by the Acolytes, or Assistants at Mass, bearing Wax Candles in great Silver Candlesticks, and the Censer, enter’d the Chapel, and kneeling down, said to the Pope with a loud Voice, Pater Sancte, isti sunt Agni novelli, qui annunciaverint nobis Alleluja; modo venerunt ad fontes, repleti sunt charitate; Alleluja. To which the Choir answered, Deo Gratias; Alleluja. Then the Sub-deacon rose, and went and kneel’d down in the Middle of the Chapel, where he repeated the same Words as before. He did the same Thing at the Foot of the Pope’s Throne, to whom he presented a Bason full of Agnus Dei’s, in little Packets, wrapp’d up in Cotton, which the Holy Father distributed to the Cardinals, and all the Standers-by, who receiv’d them on their Knees. I got my Share of them, and only wait for an Opportunity to send some to you.

There’s a Sort of People here who carry their Pretensions very high. These are the Roman Princes, who for most part are only beholden for this princely Dignity to the Happiness of their Families, in having one of them a Pope; for many of them are scarce so much as Gentlemen. They are complimented with the Style of Excellency, but this Title extends only to the First-born of the Family. They require a vast deal of Homage from their Domestics, and all affect to have Canopies and Chambers of Audience in their Palaces. They expect that a Gentleman should come to their Houses without sending Word beforehand, and wait in their Antichamber till they are pleas’d to see him. You will think that they must be very necessitous Gentlemen,103 who will submit to this Rule, and that their Excellencies Antichambers are only frequented by their own Domestics. When they receive Visits from one another in Ceremony, they seat themselves under a Canopy like the Cardinals; then they go abroad in State, and have two Coaches to follow their Body-Coach, in which his Excellency sits forward by himself, and his Gentlemen ride backward, and at the Boots of the Coach: A Footman carries an Umbrella before them, as is done before the Cardinals, which is a Signal of Respect that requires all Coaches, except those of the Cardinals or Priests, to give them the Way, and even to stop while they pass by.

The Princesses formerly did not use to give the Right Hand to the Ladies of Quality at their own Houses; but since the Honours annex’d to Nepotism have been abolish’d, they have been oblig’d to humble themselves, and to treat the Ladies as their Equals; yet for all this they correspond together very little. Heretofore too the Pope’s Nieces did not give Precedence to any body, not even to the Princesses; and all Ladies in general were oblig’d to be in a full Dress, when they paid them a Visit; nor did the Nieces go to any body’s House, but enjoy’d all the Honours of Sovereigns. But all this is over now; for the Nieces of the present Pope not only give the Right Hand to Ladies of the lowest Rank, but also return their Visits. Indeed the Princesses Corsini are extraordinary civil and complaisant to every body; and even at this Day, tho’ the Pope has declar’d their Husbands Princes and Dukes, they are content to pass with the Title of Marchionesses, and have set up no Canopies. The Nobility are vastly pleas’d with their Carriage, but the Princes are much disgusted at it, and think that by such Behaviour they disparage their Dignity.


Some Days ago an Englishman, one Thirems, who has been a long time in the Service of the Great Duke of Tuscany, and is very much attach’d to the Corsini Family, said to the Pope, with whom he is very free, that the Behaviour of the Corsini Ladies was very much applauded by the Nobility, but as much dislik’d by the Princes. ‘What! said the Pope, Do the Princes think that my Nephews and Nieces were not of as good Blood, when they had only the Title of Marquises and Marchionesses, as they are now they have the Title of Prince? I would have them know, that tho’ I have declar’d my Nephews Princes and Dukes, it was rather to conform to an old Custom, than with any Design to ennoble them.’

I would pardon the Roman Princes all their Vanity, if they enjoy’d any solid Prerogatives; but at their Estates they are no more than plain Gentlemen, and whenever the Pope pleases, he sends the Sbirri to arrest them, as well as the meanest of his Subjects. The Thing which puffs up this Gentry to such a Degree, is, that Gentlemen of good Families make no Scruple to wait on them, the Poverty among the Nobility being very great, and there being but a very indifferent Chance for Gentlemen of the Sword, because the greatest Part of the Roman Gentry are so much degenerated from their Ancestors, that they have no Taste for Arms; while their Fondness for Rome, and the Notion they have, that there is not such a delightful Place in the World, hinders them from going abroad, and puts them under a Necessity of being Slaves to People, who are very often their Inferiors in Birth.

Nor do the Roman Princes distinguish themselves either by their Air, or their Manner of Living. They have a great Number of Footmen indeed, some no less than two dozen; but they live very105 meanly, so that not one of them keeps an open Table, or has any thing to treat with but Ice, and at most a Dish of Chocolate. The Evening is the Time to converse with them; for as soon as the Angelus has sounded, all Ceremonies at Rome are over, the Abbats and Priests go in the Lay Habit to the Cardinals, and all Compliments at meeting are set aside.

The Princes and the Cardinals give their Domestics such sorry Wages, that their Livery Servants are continually mumping. The first Time one comes to a House, the Domestics accost you for something to drink, which is what they call Lucky Handsel; they mump again at New-Years Tide, and in the Month of August, which is what they call la Ferra Gusta, and again when the Mistress of the House is brought to bed of a Son; in short, they find out so many Pretences, that they are perpetually teizing People for Money.

The Princesses have the Privilege of being lighted to the public Spectacles by eight Flambeaux of white Wax; but I have known some of them, who, for saving their Wax, never burnt any till they came within four or five hundred Paces of the Theatre, when they stopp’d to give their Lacqueys Time to light their Flambeaux, in order that they might arrive at the Opera in Pomp. And when they went out, they stopp’d at the very same Place for the Lacqueys to put out their Flambeaux, from which Place all the Light the Princesses had to go home by was no more than a couple of little dark Lanthorns, which are here made use of commonly. This way of going with eight Flambeaux puts me in mind of a certain English Dutchess, who having travell’d in that manner at Rome, would fain have introduced the Fashion at Paris too; but she was forbid to make that Parade there, because the first two or three times that she went abroad 106with so much Splendor, every body fell on their Knees, and thought the Holy Sacrament was carrying to some sick Person.

Most of the Ladies, as well as Princesses, have very magnificent Coaches, but seldom make use of them. The Marquis Sudarini, who has lately match’d his Son, has made his Daughter-in-law a Present of a Coach, for which he gave 7000 Roman Crowns, and there are many others that cost more Money; but these Coaches are terrible Machines, and ’tis as much as a Pair of Horses can do to drag them along: Besides, these stately portable Houses have an Attendance on them, which is by no means suitable; they are generally accompany’d by half a score, or a dozen shabby Footmen, who, with the Swords that they wear, look more like Catchpoles than Footmen. Their Liveries in general are Scarecrows, and I do not think that there are any in the whole World more fantastical: The Lacqueys are for the most part old, dirty, unshapable Fellows, because, when once a poor Wretch has a Livery put upon his Back, he never throws it off, and does not so much as attain to the Honour of being a Valet de Chambre. When he is past his Service his Master jubilées him, that is to say, puts him upon Half-pay, and he serves no longer. The Appearance or Neatness of a Servant are Things that are not regarded here; and provided they have but the Number, what matters it, say they, how they look?

This Maggot of keeping so many Lacqueys has infected even the Citizens; they who are in such mean Circumstances, that they cannot afford to maintain them the whole Year round, covenant with them only for Sundays and Saints Days. Thus a Journeymen Shoemaker, or a Chimney sweeper, who has but that very Day put a Scrub Livery on his Back, and that often borrow’d of a Tallyman,107 shall walk gravely before young Master, or pretty Miss, to and from Church, with his greasy Hair turn’d up behind his Ears, and a long Sword by his Side. For it would be reckon’d indecent here to see a Woman or a Miss go abroad alone, and the most abandon’d Prostitutes are always attended with a Matron.

The Funerals of Persons of Quality are perform’d here with very great Pomp; all the Dead are carried to Interment with their Faces bare. I saw the Funerals of Cardinal Buoncompagno, Archbishop of Bologna, and the Prince Ruspoli. The former was carried by Night in one of his Coaches to the Church of St. Andrew de Laval, which was hung all over with Black. Next Day the Corpse was laid upon a Bed of State in the Middle of the Nave of the Church, dress’d in the Sacerdotal Vestments, with the Head turn’d towards the Choir, and the Cardinal’s Hat at the Feet: Four Valets de Chambre stood at the Corners of the Bed, and each held a Banner of black Taffeta, with the Arms of the Deceas’d: There were an hundred great Tapers or Torches of White Wax in large Iron Candlesticks round the Bed: The high Mass was sung with Music, and the whole Sacred College was present: When the Cardinals enter’d the Church, they made a short Prayer to the Holy Sacrament on their Knees; after which they went and kneeled at the Feet of the Deceased, where they said a Pater, and the Prayer Absolve Domine, &c. and then taking the Holy Water Brush, they sprinkled it on the Corpse: The Cardinals retir’d after the Mass, but the Corpse lay expos’d till the Evening, when the Priests Vestments were taken off of the Deceased, and he was put into a Leaden Coffin, which was inclos’d in another of Cypress Wood, and then let down into the Grave. The Prince Ruspoli’s Corpse was expos’d in the Church108 of St. Laurence Lucini, which had been his Parish Church, in the same manner as the Cardinal de Buoncompagno was; but none of the Cardinals, nor any of the Deceased’s Kindred, assisted at the Office; for the Italians say, ’tis barbarous to oblige Relations to attend each other’s Funerals, as is the Fashion with us.

But tho’ they do not attend at the Funerals, yet they wear Mourning much more regularly, and longer than we do. A Woman’s Mourning is black from Head to Foot, so that one does not see the least Bit of Linen they have, which is not a very favourable Circumstance to those of a brown Complexion. The Pope’s Nieces never wear Mourning, not even for their nearest Relations; for the Romans reckon it so great a Happiness for a Family to have a Pope of it, that they say nothing ought to afflict the Kindred of a Pope.

They bury People here twenty-four Hours after they are dead, and sometimes sooner. ’Tis surprizing to see how quick they dress their Churches, whether for Funerals or Festivals, which it must be allow’d is always done with extraordinary Magnificence and Elegance. Most of the Churches have their own Suits of Hangings. Upon solemn Festivals they are commonly hung with Crimson Damask, with a Border of Velvet of the same Colour, adorn’d throughout with Lace and Fringe of Gold. All these Festivals of the Church are celebrated with very great Pomp and Bustle; all the Houses of the adjacent Quarters are illuminated in the Eve of the Festival, as well as in the Night itself; which always concludes with a Firework play’d off in the most spacious Part of the Quarter where it is celebrated, at the Expence of the Parishioners. The Romans have a singular Taste for all Holidays, and are great Admirers of Spectacles: They are at least as mere Cockneys as the Parisians,109 and every little Novelty makes them run to it, as if they had never seen the like in their Lives, tho’ all that they see is but the same Thing over again: They erect a Firework in the Twinkling of an Eye; these are very high Machines made of Reeds cover’d with Paper, which makes a very great Shew at little Expence: There’s scarce a Week that passes in the Summer-time, but they have one or two of these Fireworks.

The Tribunal of the Rota is, next to the Congregations of the Cardinals, the chief Tribunal in Rome, if not of the whole World; for its Authority extends over all the Kingdoms and Dominions that acknowledge the Holy See. It consists of a dozen Prelates, who have the Title of Auditors; viz. one German, one French, two Spaniards, one Bolognese, one Ferrarese, one Venetian, one Tuscan, one Milanese, and three Romans. They have four Notaries under them, and the oldest Auditor is President; they meet twice a Week in the Palace where the Pope resides. Appeals in all Catholic Countries for Causes relating to Benefices are made to the Tribunal of the Rota.

The Governor of Rome is always a Prelate, and commonly an Archbishop in partibus; his Post gives him the Rank immediately after the Cardinals, and he challenges Precedency of the Ambassadors of crown’d Heads[15]; tho’ I cannot positively say whether these yield it to him, because I never yet saw them appear at any public Ceremony. This Governor is the Sovereign Judge of Criminal Causes, and takes Cognisance of all Civil Causes, that require a speedy Issue: He has under him a Lieutenant and an Auditor Civil, a Lieutenant and two Judges Criminal, with a Multitude of Subaltern Officers; and the Provost, who is call’d the110 Barrigello, with 300 Sergeants, or Sbirri. When he goes abroad, he is attended by his Guards, who are ten or a dozen old Halbardiers, more ragged than any that you ever saw; he causes his Horses to wear Tufts of black Feathers; for you must know, that there are four Sorts of Plumes; the Cardinals who are Princes by Birth, or the Ambassadors, have them of Red and Gold; those of the Cardinals, who are not Princes, are plain Red; the Princes have theirs of Gold Colour: The Governor of Rome, and the other Prelates, as the Major Domo, cause their Horses to wear black ones: The Governor always goes abroad with two Coaches, and has an Umbrella carried before him as the Cardinals have: He goes twice a Week to an Audience of the Holy Father, to give him an Account of what passes, but particularly to make a Report of the condemn’d Malefactors; and he must never be absent from Rome: One of the noblest Prerogatives belonging to his Office, is, that he never quits it but to be made a Cardinal.

Another Magistrate of Note at Rome is the Senator: The Romans pretend that he represents the ancient Senate of Rome; if so, ’tis but a poor Epitome of it. He lives in the Capitol, and must always be born out of Rome. He holds his Office by Patent from the Pope, and has it for his Life. He has under him several Subaltern Officers; two Lieutenants Civil, styl’d Collaterals; a Judge, intitled Captain of the Appeals; a Lieutenant Criminal, or Fiscal, who passes Sentences of Death; and he has a Right to take Cognisance of all Causes Civil and Criminal, that happen to arise between the Citizens and Inhabitants of Rome: For this End he has also under him 30 Notaries or Commissaries, and the Prisons of the Capitol are at his Disposal: When he appears at any public Ceremony, he is dress’d in a long Robe of Gold Brocade lin’d111 with red Taffeta, and a Cap of black Velvet: He has a Seat to himself in the Pope’s Chapel, and goes, like the Governor of Rome, twice a Week, to give an Account to the Pope and the Cardinal Nephew of what has pass’d at his Bar; he is then dress’d in a long Simar, or Robe of Velvet, or black Mohair. When he enters into his Office, he takes an Oath to the Pope, and his Holiness gives him the Staff of Command, which is a Sceptre of Ivory; he is afterwards conducted with great Ceremony to the Capitol, guarded by all the Nobility of Rome on Horseback, and by all the Militia of the City.

Their Manner of executing Criminals is very singular. They have but two Sorts of Punishments here, viz. the Strappa Corda, and the Gibbet. The first, tho’ ’tis not mortal, seems to my Mind more terrible than Death itself; the Malefactor being ty’d with his two Hands together to a Rope, by which he is hoisted 15 or 16 Feet from the Ground, and then let fall on a sudden, so that he generally becomes a Cripple for Life. When a Man is to be hang’d, they talk of it a Week beforehand, as if it was the finest Holiday in the World: The Night before the Execution, several Prelates, Princes, and others of Quality admitted into the Confraternity of Comforters, repair at Midnight to the Prison. When they come near the Dungeon, they make a great Noise, and with a loud Voice ask the Gaoler, Where is such a one? naming the Criminal that is to be condemn’d. Here he is, says the Man, loud enough to be heard by the Criminal. Open the Doors to us, say the Comforters; he is in a bad State there, we will remove him to a Place where he shall be better. The Turnkey opens the Dungeon, and lets in the Comforters, who exhort the Criminal to go along with them; and being guarded by a Company of the Sbirri, they put him 112in the middle, and carry him thro’ several Galleries and Turnings towards the Door of a Chapel, before which is hung a Piece of black Cloth. Just as the Criminal is preparing to enter it, the Fiscal, calling him by his Name, says to him, You—there is your Sentence; and at the same time throws him a Paper, in which the Sentence is written: The Criminal reads it, or else one of the Comforters does that Office for him: That very Moment the Sbirri withdraw, and the Comforters remain alone with the Criminal: Then the Cloth hung before the Chapel Door is lifted up, and the Patient is led to an Altar at the End of it, with a Crucifix upon it, in the middle of six lighted Wax Candles, where the Question is put to him, If he is willing to confess: If he says, Yes, as very few Italians die willingly without Confession, a Confessor is allotted him, who gives him the best Advice that he can.

The Italians generally make their Exit like good Christians, but ’tis with very great Reluctance. A Man, who was condemn’d to die some Years ago for the Crime which brought down Fire from Heaven upon Sodom, would not hear any Talk of Confession; upon which Cardinal Banchieri, at that time only a Prelate, being one of his Comforters, and exhorting him to beg of God to pardon his Sins; What! said the Criminal to him, Would you have me die for a Crime, of which you Priests are all guilty to a Man? I don’t know, said the Cardinal, of any Priests that are so unhappy as to commit such a Crime; but if there are, they don’t plead guilty in the Face of Justice. Another Malefactor being very loth to die, a Comforter said to him, that Kings and Popes must all submit to Death. True, reply’d the Convict, but they are not all hang’d.

After a Criminal has confess’d, he receives the Sacraments, and the Comforters continue with him113 till the next Day. At Ten o’Clock, which is the Hour of Execution, he is convey’d in a Cart to the Gallows, to which he rides backwards, attended by two Priests, and two Comforters. When they are come to the fatal Place, they set him down out of the Cart before a Chapel to say his Prayers; and then they make him walk backwards to the Foot of the Ladder, which he always mounts with his Back to it; when the Hangman, who is at the Top of it, fastens the Rope about his Neck, and then leans with all his Weight upon his Shoulders, to put him out of his Pain. After he is expir’d, Masses are said in all the Churches, and even in the Pope’s Chapel, for the Repose of his Soul; and for this End a Collection is made, to which the poorest People contribute something; at length, after he has hung four or five Hours, he is bury’d like another Man.

You’ll excuse me, Sir, for concluding my Letter with such a dismal Subject: The Post is just going off, and I have many other Letters to write, so that I hope you won’t take it ill that I add no more to this. I am, &c.



SIR,Rome, October 10, 1731.  

This being in all Appearance the last Letter I shall write to you from Rome, I shall now give you the best Answer I can to the Questions you put to me in your last.


You desire, Sir, that I should give you a faithful Character of the Holy Father; but do you consider well what it is you require? Is it likely that such a private Man as I, who only see the Pope thro’ a Perspective in all his Glory and Grandeur, shou’d be able to paint him? No, Sir, the Successors of St. Peter are not like other Princes: None but such of their Domestics as are their most intire Confidents can know them thoroughly; and these, either out of their Zeal or Policy, paint them always, if not as they are, at least as they ought to be. You will tell me, that in all Courts ’tis the same Case; and that, notwithstanding this, one may judge of Princes by their Actions. ’Tis very true, yet this gives us but an imperfect Idea of Princes, who often do Good or Harm without meaning either.

To judge by outward Appearances, Clement XII. may be rank’d among the greatest Popes that ever the Church had: He had always, even before he was Pope, the Reputation of an honest Man, and all his Pride is to merit that Character: He is rigid; and, if I may venture to say it, sometimes blunt in his Answers: His earnest Application to the retrieving of the Finances, which were very much disorder’d by the Ministers of Benedict XIII. renders him an Œconomist, perhaps more than suits with his Dignity: He has the Interests of the Holy See very much at heart; but is accus’d of being more troubled for the Loss of the Duchy of Parma, (which they give out here was devolv’d to the Holy See by the death of the Duke Francis Farnese) than for the Disturbances owing to the Affair of the Constitution in France: He is a great Admirer of Persons of Quality, but he does them little good: His good Husbandry extends even to his Nephews, whom he has loaded with Honours and Titles; but he has hitherto given them 115very little Money. When he was a Cardinal, his House was open to every body; he liv’d magnificently, and it was expected he would rather be a prodigal Pope, than a saving one: He was civil and affable, but not very ready to do Services; for if he made his Friends welcome, he thought that was enough; Business was what took up little of his Time, and he bent his Thoughts more to noble Living than to Affairs of State. And the Romans, who had other Reasons not to be pleas’d with his Election, said he rose to the Pontificate from a Game at Picquet.

Since he is become a Pope, he is quite another sort of a Man: He is desirous to know every thing that passes, and is fond of being his own Minister. But ’tis his Misfortune, that his Memory begins to fail him, and he is almost blind; besides which, as he never was employ’d in State Affairs, he knows them not so much by Experience as Theory: Yet for all this it were to be wish’d, for the sake of the Ecclesiastical State, that he had been chose Pope in the place of Benedict XIII. But ’tis the Unhappiness of this Country, that its Princes are commonly more harass’d with their bodily Infirmities, than with the Cares of Government: ’Tis pity that the Pope is so old; for he has the very Qualities that constitute a great Prince. Notwithstanding his great Age, he has had the good Luck to make ten Cardinals, tho’ he has not been sixteen Months in the Pontificate; but his last Promotion of five Cardinals was not generally approv’d of. Among other coarse Pasquinades that were utter’d upon that Occasion, this Inscription was affix’d to several Gates of the Pontifical Palace, Nostro Signora fa una bella Promotione, quatro Matti, ed un Minchione, i. e. Our Lord, has made a fine Promotion, four Madmen and one Fool. Those five Cardinals were Signior Guadagno, the Pope’s Nephew,116 formerly a barefooted Carmelite; Signior Doria Maestro di Camera, Archbishop of Benevento; Signior Gentili, a Datary, who had been formerly Secretary of the Congregation of the Bishops, and the Regular Clergy, a Post which, tho’ the very next Step to a Cardinal’s Cap, the Pope had made him resign for the Office of a Datary, which is but a mean Commission; Signior Ferrayo, and Signior Bichi, both Nuncios in Portugal.

The last is noted for the Broils that he occasion’d between the Holy See and the Court of Lisbon: The King of Portugal being disgusted with this Nuncio for having defrauded him of the Customs, by entring Goods upon his own Account, which he sold afterwards to the Prejudice of the Portuguese Merchants, and being moreover exasperated with this Prelate for assuming more Authority to himself, than his Predecessors had ever done, demanded of Clement XI. to recall him; and upon that Pope’s Death he repeated his Instances to Innocent XIII. who at length consented to his Demand: But then the King, for what Cause I know not, alter’d his Mind, and declared he was not willing that Bichi should leave his Court till the Term of his Nunciature was expired. And as the Pope had nominated M. Ferrayo to relieve Bichi, and was obstinate for the Return of the latter to Rome, the King order’d his Ambassador to demand of the Pope for what Reason he recall’d Bichi; and in case the Holy Father should declare that it was to punish his Nuncio, He injoin’d him to say, that this Minister was intirely innocent of the Matters laid to his Charge in Portugal; but that if, on the contrary, the Pope should give him to understand, that he recall’d Bichi, to give him such an Office in the Apostolical Palace as might secure him a Cardinal’s Hat, he the Ambassador should then make Answer, that His Portuguese Majesty117 was of Opinion, the Dignity of Nuncio at his Court ought to procure the Purple for all those who resided with him in that Quality; and that therefore his Majesty would never suffer M. Bichi to depart from Lisbon, till he was declared a Cardinal.

The Pope exclaimed against the King’s new Demand, repeated his Orders to Bichi to return to Rome, and sent away M. Ferrayo for Portugal. But the King would not let Bichi go out of the Kingdom, nor Ferrayo come into it; and Bichi himself refus’d to obey the Holy Father, who threaten’d him with Excommunication, but the Prelate, being sure of the King’s Protection, did not much value the Apostolical Censures. The King in short continu’d to solicit the Hat for him strenuously; but Innocent XIII. would not hear it mention’d, alledging that it was not proper for him, who, in Quality of Cardinal Protector of Portugal, had impeach’d Bichi at the Holy See, to advance him to the Purple. Benedict XIII. who was of a beneficent and pacific Disposition, no sooner came to the Pontificate, but he wrote a Letter with his own Hand to the King of Portugal, wherein he promis’d him the Hat for Bichi. The Sacred College, when they were inform’d of the Pope’s Intentions, made smart Remonstrances to him, and every Cardinal in particular represented to him how unworthy Bichi was of the Purple. Cardinal Corsini, the present Pope, was the Man that declar’d himself against that Prelate with the greatest Warmth; for he told the Pope, that notwithstanding his Respect for his Holiness, he would never consent that Bichi, that dishonourable, that faithless Man, (which were the Epithets wherewith he honour’d him) should be one of his Brethren. In a Word, the whole Sacred College shew’d so much Disgust at the Thoughts of this Promotion, that the Pope was oblig’d to revoke the Promise118 he had made to the King of Portugal. That Monarch, incensed to see himself made a Jest of by the Priests, recalled his Ambassador and Envoy then at Rome, and ordered his Subjects to leave that City, and to have nothing more to do with the Holy See. And the Pope, in his Turn, recalled Ferrayo, who still continued in Spain, on the Frontier of Portugal, and summoned Bichi to Rome, whither at last he was determined to return.

During this, Benedict XIII. died, and Clement XII. succeeding him, Bichi, who is his Kinsman, went to Sienna, the Place of his Birth. There it was that he heard of his Promotion, which was made on the 24th of September last, but not without strong Debates in the Sacred College. A great number of the Cardinals put the Holy Father in mind, that he was formerly the most zealous Stickler against Bichi: And in the Consistory wherein the Pope propos’d him, a Cardinal gave his Opinion, that the Prelate might be admitted into the Sacred College in Quality of a Penitent, The Pope happening to say, that he knew of no other Way to come to an Accommodation with the King of Portugal, than by making Bichi a Cardinal; one of the Cardinals made Answer, ‘I question whether the promoting of Bichi will set us to Rights with Portugal; but let it happen as it may, ’twill be, at the worst, but one Hat more ill bestow’d.’

The Romans actually pine for an Accommodation with Portugal; for the Ambassadors of that Crown have always expended great Sums here, especially since the Accession of the present King, who has caus’d a great deal of Money to be laid out here in Statues, Pictures, and other Things of Value. ’Tis reckon’d upon the whole, that the Absence of the Portuguese is a Loss to the City of119 Rome of above a Million of Roman Crowns in a Year.

The Pope’s Nephews are like their Uncle, Men of great Sincerity, Honour and Probity; but whether ’tis owing to the Indolence of their Tempers, or to their Want of Interest with their Uncle, they serve nobody, and know not the Pleasure of doing Good. The Cardinal, who should naturally have the most Credit, is he that has the least: He is penurious to the last Degree[16]. Before he was made a Cardinal and Minister, People conceiv’d a high Idea of him; they believ’d that a Person who had travelled so much as he had done, and who had been many Years employ’d by the Great Duke in France, and at the Congress of Cambray, must needs be well versed in Business; therefore they apply this Verse to him,

Tel brille au second rang, qui s’eclipse au premier.
i. e.
He shines so much in the second Class, as eclipses him in the first.

Every body allows he is an upright Man; but they don’t look upon him as a Minister. He is so reserved, that ’tis quite disgusting; and when he grants any Favour, he does it in so strange a Manner, that they who receive it are sorry they were beholden to him. I question whether he will 120have very many humble Servants left, when his Uncle dies.

In the same Consistory wherein the Pope made Bichi a Cardinal, the Holy Father talk’d a great deal about the Succession of Parma. He complain’d in general Terms of the Emperor, for arrogating to himself those Prerogatives relating to the Dominions of Parma, which were only due to the Holy See. He acquainted the Sacred College with every thing that he had done for maintaining the Rights of the Church; he said, that as soon as he was informed that the Duchess of Parma was really not with Child, he ordered his Nuncio at Parma to take Possession of the Dominions, that were devolved to the Holy See by the Extinction of the Male Line of the Farnese Family; that his Nuncio had executed his Orders; but that Stampa, the Emperor’s General and Commissary, had caus’d an Edict to be publish’d, whereby, in the Name of the Emperor, he forbad all the Subjects of Parma from owning any other Sovereign, but him to whom his Imperial Majesty shou’d give the Investiture of the Duchy. The Pope said, he was sorry when he heard Stampa had taken that Step; but that he expected from the Emperor’s Justice and Piety, that he wou’d not approve of the Conduct of his General, and that he wou’d not do any thing contrary to the incontestable Claim of the Holy See to the Dominions of the Farnese Family. The Cardinals returned a very modest Answer to the Pope, thanking him for the Endeavours he had us’d to maintain the Rights of the Holy See, and praying him to continue them. The Cardinals Cienfuegos and Bentivoglio, being inform’d of all the Complaints which the Pope intended to make in this Consistory, took care not to be there. These Gentlemen are extremely angry with the121 Emperor; ‘What! said they, to have no more Respect for the Pope and the Holy See, to invade the Estates of the Church, and dispose of them as he pleases, are these Actions becoming an Emperor, Protector of the Catholic Faith?’ Really, to hear how they talk, one wou’d think the Emperor had actually taken all they had from ’em; tho’ I am persuaded, that if he would but give them the Duchy of Parma, they wou’d consent to his being a Jansenist.

You desire, Sir, to be inform’d of the Reception that is given here to Ambassadors. I shou’d have done this long before you desired it, if I had seen any Ambassador go to an Audience of the Pope, besides the Maltese, who has not so grand a Reception here as the Ambassadors of Crown’d Heads. ’Twas on the second Sunday in Lent, in the Afternoon, that the Ambassador of Malta, who has resided here six Years in Quality of Ambassador of that Order, made his Entry as Tributary Ambassador Extraordinary. This Minister, repairing without any Retinue to the Vineyard of Pope Julius, without the Gate del Popoli, was complimented there, on the Part of the Pope, by the Major Domo, and the oldest Prelate; and on the Part of the Cardinals, and principal Nobility, by their Gentlemen. After this, the Cavalcade was made with more Order than is commonly observ’d here at public Ceremonies. First came the several Coaches and Six of the Cardinals, Princes, and other Persons of Distinction, following one another without Observation of the respective Ranks of their Owners. Then came two of the Ambassador’s Grooms on Horseback, who were follow’d by four cover’d Waggons, and a Couple of Field Carriages, cover’d with Tapestry, that was embroidered with his Excellency’s Coat of Arms. Next came the Ambassador’s122 Master of the Horse, follow’d by six led Horses, two Trumpets, with the Lackeys, Valets de Chambre, Pages, and Gentlemen belonging to the Ambassador, all on Horseback. These were follow’d by the chief Lackeys of the Cardinals riding upon Mules, and carrying their Master’s red Hats flung over their Shoulders; and after these came the Cardinals Gentlemen, who were follow’d by a Detachment of Light-horse. The Chamberlains of Honour follow’d riding upon Mules. The Knights of Malta on Horseback rode just before the Ambassador, who was supported by the Major Domo, and Signior Colonna, the oldest Prelate. His Excellency was preceded by twelve running Footmen in his Livery, and he walked in the Middle of a Couple of Files of the hundred Switzers of the Pope’s Guard. Three of the Ambassador’s Coaches and Six clos’d the March. The whole Train pass’d thro’ the chief Streets of Rome, and accompany’d the Ambassador to his Palace, where his Excellency treated all the Company with Refreshments.

On the Day of Audience, the Ambassador went in his Equipage to the Palace of Monte-Cavallo, attended by the Coaches of the Cardinals and the Nobility. He was receiv’d at the Top of the Stairs by the Major Domo, who conducted him into that called the Prince’s Apartment. The Ambassador having waited there a little Time, two Masters of the Ceremonies came to acquaint him, that his Holiness was ready to admit him to an Audience in the Consistory then sitting. The Ambassador went thither, conducted by the Masters of the Ceremonies; and Signior Acquaviva, the Major Domo, received him at the Entrance of the Hall of the Consistory, and conducted him to the Entrance of the Court fronting the Pope. The Ambassador fell on his Knees, and123 made a profound Obeisance to the Pope, who gave him his Blessing. Then he fell on his Knees again in the Middle of the Court, and the third Time at the Pope’s Feet, to whom he made his Speech kneeling. In this Posture he also delivered the Letter from the Grand Master to the Holy Father, who gave it to a Prelate, ordering him to read it. The Ambassador arose, and having crossed the Court, saluting the Cardinals on the Right and Left, he fell on his Knees at the Entrance of the Court, opposite to the Holy Father. There he heard the Grand Master’s Letter read, and afterwards a very long Speech in Latin, which an Abbat, who was a Knight of Malta, made in the Name of the Order, upon his Knees. The Prelate had no sooner read the Letter, but he answered the Speech in Latin. The Ambassador, who was still on his Knees, arose, after the Prelate had ended his Speech; went and kneel’d again at the Pope’s Feet, which he kiss’d, and then presented to his Holiness the Knights of Malta, who had accompany’d him to the Audience, and who all kiss’d the Holy Father’s Feet. The Pope, rising from his Seat, retir’d to his Apartment; but the Ambassador stay’d in the Hall of the Consistory, till all the Cardinals were gone out. He then returned to his Palace, where he gave a grand Repast to the Knights of his Order. The next and the following Days, he made his Visits of Ceremony to the Cardinals. Their Eminencies don’t give Precedence to the Ambassadors; but bating that only, they treat them as their Equals.

I have been assured, that the Ambassadors Extraordinary of Kings are lodged three Days in the Pontifical Palace, during which they have the Honour to dine once with the Holy Father. If I continue here till the Arrival of the Duke of St. Aignan, the Ambassador of France, who is every124 Day expected, I will give you an Account how he is received; for tho’ these Ceremonies are printed here, I shall be willing to have ocular Demonstration of the Things that I write to you.

Of all the public Functions at this Place, there is none more august, and more solemn, than the Procession with the Holy Sacrament, when ’tis carry’d by the Pope. Upon Corpus Christi Day, the Holy Father was placed in an Arm-chair, without a Back to it, with a Desk before him, upon which he laid the Pyx that contained the Holy Sacrament. His Cope, which was very long, and very wide, so cover’d the Desk and the Chair, that the Pope seemed to be kneeling. His Head was uncovered, and in this Posture he was carry’d by eight Men. In my whole Life, I never saw any thing more exemplary than the Countenance of the Pope during the Ceremony, his Face being the very Picture of Contrition and Devotion. The Procession set out from St. Peter’s Church, attended by all the Fraternities, the Monastic Orders, the Roman Nobility, the Conservators of Rome, the Governor of Rome, the Chapter of St. Peter, and all the Prelates and Bishops. Three Tiara’s, and as many Mitres, adorn’d with Pearls and Diamonds, were carry’d before the Holy Father. The Pope was environed with the hundred Swiss of his Guards, all in Armour, and by the Officers of his Chamber; and the Procession was clos’d by the Light-horse, and Cuirassiers on Horseback. The Colonnade of St. Peter, and the Streets, were hung with Tapestry, and cover’d with Canvas, to keep off the Heat of the Sun. As the Pope passed by the House where the Family of the Stuarts liv’d, he gave to those Princes the Blessing of the Holy Sacrament. The Holy Father’s Nieces were in a neighbouring House; but125 they did not receive that Honour, it being reserved only for Sovereigns.

You seem, Sir, to be so much prejudiced against the holy Office of the Inquisition, that I must endeavour to convince you of the mistaken Notion, which, I presume to say, you have conceived upon that Head. Honest People have no more Reason to dread this Tribunal, than any of the other Courts of Justice. They tell a thousand Stories of it in our Part of the World, and especially among the Protestants, which are absolute Falsehoods. Be but an honest Man; speak of God and the Saints with all due Respect, or at least don’t offer to insult them; give no public Scandal; and you have nothing to fear from the Holy Office. To speak the Truth, will not a Man in all the Christian Countries, that is notoriously impious in Word or Deed, will he not be taken to Talk by the Consistories, and by the Law? I own, for my part, that I don’t see wherein that Barbarity, and that Inhumanity consists, which the Holy Office is charg’d with in Protestant Countries; on the contrary, it seems to me to be the mildest Tribunal in the World. Let me be guilty of the greatest Injuries to God and Religion, in Thought, Word or Deed; if I do but go and confess my Crimes to the Holy Office, and tell them I repent of my Wickedness and Folly, the Father Commissary will represent the Horror of my Sins to me, will exhort me, for the Salvation of my Soul, to behave and think better for the future, and at last will absolve me. Where now is that Protestant Tribunal, which is content with a voluntary Confession? Instead of absolving the Penitent, don’t they condemn him to Imprisonment, and bodily Pains?

For these sixteen Months that I have been at Rome, I have not heard of any one’s being arrested126 by the Holy Office; on the contrary, I have seen Acts of Clemency perform’d by this Tribunal, so much run down, which perhaps the Consistory of Geneva would never have done. I had not long been here, but there came one Pallas, a Native of Toulon, and Captain in France, who brought a young Woman with him, whom he said he had ravish’d; he desir’d a License of the Vicar to marry her, which was granted. But some Months after, there comes a Woman, who appear’d to be the Wife of Pallas, and the Mother of the young Creature that he had but just married, and who was ready to lie in. Pallas, perceiving his Crime on the Brink of being detected, goes and reveals the whole to the Holy Office, which first gave him Protection for his Person, and in a few Days after acquitted him, injoining him at the same time to take his first Wife again. This Pallas dying not many Days after, his two Wives went to Law for their Jointure. I question now whether this Officer would have been acquitted by a Parliament of France.

The Congregation of the Holy Office was established by Pope Paul III. at the Solicitation of the Cardinal John Peter Caraffa, who afterwards, becoming Pope, by the Name of Paul IV. made a remarkable Addition to the Authority of this Tribunal. That Holy Pontiff, Pius V. reduced it to its present State. This Congregation consists of a dozen Cardinals, besides a Number of Prelates, and a great many Divines of different Orders, who are called Consultori & Qualificatori del Santo Officio. Among those are included a Conventual, the General of the Dominicans, the Master of the Sacred Palace, the Commissary of the Holy Office, the Fiscal, and the Assessor, which last must always be a secular Prelate. This Tribunal takes Cognizance of the Causes of Heresy,127 and of such novel Opinions as are repugnant to the Soundness of the Catholic Faith; as also of Matters of Apostasy, Witchcraft, the Abuse of the Sacraments, and other wicked Actions; and it likewise takes Cognizance of prohibited Books. It sits twice a Week, viz. on Wednesdays in the Convent of Minerva, and on Thursdays in Presence of the Pope, who is the Head of it. The oldest Cardinal has the Title of Secretary of the Holy Office, and is the Keeper of its Seals. None but Cardinals can vote in it, and they admit of no Proposals but what they think proper.

The Palace of the Holy Office is close by St. Peter’s Church, and there live the Assessor, the Father Commissary, the Fiscal, the Notary, and other Officers. There also the Prisoners are kept, and there they are try’d, according as the Case requires. The Officers of the Holy Office acknowledge no other Judges in the first Instance, but the Assessor of the Tribunal whereof they are Members; and they appeal for the Definitive Sentence to the Cardinals who are Members of the Congregation.

I will conclude my long Letter with a Remark, which I have made upon the Romans in particular, and the Italians in general, I mean its to the reciprocal Hatred of the Inhabitants of the different States of Italy. That the Romans hate the Florentines, I think I have told you more than once; but that’s not all, for they as heartily hate the Neapolitans and the Genoese. They commonly say, that there must be seven Jews to make one Genoese, and seven Genoese to make one Florentine. ’Tis unaccountable how the People of Italy can so hate one another. I can’t imagine that they should be so blind as not to see the Prejudice it does them; for, in short, ’tis not barely the Hatred of one Province to another, but it diffuses its Poison to the Towns128 that are subject to one and the same Sovereign. These People don’t consider that they form one and the same Nation; and that if they did but unite together, they would be both rich and powerful; but being jealous of one another, they only seek to ruin each other, and by that means deprive themselves of the most solid Support of their Liberty.

To my mind, we act much more rationally; for tho’ our Germany is divided into many more Dominions than Italy is, we do however form a Body against Foreigners, who have a Design upon our Estates and our Liberties. The lesser Princes comply with the Emperor’s Will; and their own Interest, and that of the Empire, is all one. Our Princes visit and associate with one another, and maintain a Sort of common Friendship; the Italian Princes on the contrary never visit one another; and when by chance a Sovereign of four or five Leagues of Country comes to have an Interview with such another Sovereign as himself, it takes up as much Negociation to adjust it, as was necessary to settle the Interview between Philip IV. and Lewis XIV. But is it not ridiculous to see such petty States act towards one another with as much Finesse and Craft as the most powerful Kingdoms? ’Tis this Diffidence, this reciprocal Hatred between the Governments and Towns of Italy, that has made them for a long time the Sport of Foreigners; whereas, if these People did but keep up a good Understanding with one another, they would soon drive them out; for Nature has furnish’d them with Ditches and Walls, which if they don’t defend, ’tis their own Fault: But it seems as if Providence, by which the Fate of all Dominions is determin’d, would not have it so.

Adieu, Sir, for the present: I cannot be sure when I shall write to you again, much less when I129 shall have the Pleasure of embracing you, tho’ there’s scarce a Day passes over my Head but I do it in Imagination. Do you but render me like for like, and be assur’d that nobody in the World is more strictly than I am, Yours, &c.



SIR,Genoa, Nov. 2, 1731.  

The Road from Rome to Loretto has been so fully describ’d, that I think I should pass it over in Silence; nor shall I say any thing more to you of the Santa Casa, which you know in what manner the Angels bore to the Place where it now stands. If you would be inform’d of the Treasure of this House, look into the Voyages of Misson, who has given a large Account of every Particular: Since he wrote, the Treasure is not very much increas’d, the Princes having almost done making their Offerings to it. The Queen of France has lately settled a perpetual Endowment on it for the Celebration of four Masses a Day, by way of Thanksgiving for the Birth of the Dauphin.

From Loretto to Bologna the Road is good, and ’tis a fine fruitful Country; I stay’d three Days the longer at that City, on purpose to see the Cardinal Grimani, who is Legate there from the Holy See. He is a Prelate of great Virtue, sound Morals, and polite, but unaffected Behaviour.130 He has been Internuncio at Brussels, Nuncio at Cologne, and in Poland, and in this Quality he resided at Vienna, when he was advanc’d to the Purple. I knew him at all those Nunciatures; I saw him at Rome, when he went thither to receive the Hat, and I have now seen him again at Bologna, and find he is the same Man now he is both Cardinal and Legate, that he was when but an Internuncio[17]. For ’tis only in vulgar Souls that Honours change Manners.

Notwithstanding the Reluctance I had to repass the Apennine Hills a second time, I was forced to resolve upon it, or else to renounce all Thoughts of being at Leghorn at the Arrival of the Fleets from Spain and England, I have been at Florence, and have had the Honour to wait on the Great Duke, and Madame the Electoress Palatine Dowager. I had formerly paid my Compliments to this Princess, both here and at Dusseldorp, and she was now pleas’d to call me to mind again, and to shew me abundance of Respect and Kindness: Her most Serene Electoral Highness lives very retir’d, and is almost continually at her Devotions: She has her own Ladies of the Bed-chamber; but as for the rest, she is attended by the Officers of the Great Duke, and makes use also of that Prince’s Equipage.

I did not suppose that I should be able to pay my Respects to the Great Duke, because I had been told, that it was very difficult to get an Audience of him; yet I attain’d to that Honour at the very Time when I least of all expected it. As I was going from the Electress’s Apartment, I met one of the Great Duke’s Valets de Chambre, who131 came to tell me, That his Royal Highness wanted to speak with me: This Message so surpriz’d me, that I thought the Man mistook me for another Person, till he convinced me of the contrary: I was obliged to yield Obedience, and the Valet de Chambre introduc’d me to the Audience: I found the Great Duke sitting upright in Bed, accompany’d by several Lap-dogs, with nothing on but a Shirt without Ruffles, and a long Cravat about his Neck of coarse Muslin: His Cap was very much besmear’d with Snuff, and truly there was nothing neat nor grand about him: By his Bed-side there stood a Table in Form of a Beaufet, upon which there were Silver Buckets, that contain’d Bottles of Liquors and Glasses: His Royal Highness receiv’d me however with great Marks of Goodness, reproach’d me because I had not yet desired to see him, and said to me in the kindest Manner possible, That I did very ill to treat my old Friends with so much Indifference. The Prince remember’d he had known my Father, and he call’d to mind, that when he was at Berlin, my Parents paid him all due Respects; he ask’d me what News from the Court of Prussia? and wanted to know all the Alterations that had been made there since his Time: He talk’d to me of the Court of Rome, and particularly of the Pope; and said with a Smile, That the Holy Father was at first his Subject, afterwards his Equal, and now the Master of him, and of all the Catholic Princes. The Conversation at length took a gayer Turn, and ran upon Pleasures, good Chear, and the Bottle. The Grand Duke said, ’twas too early in the Day to drink Wine, (for ’twas no more than Two o’Clock in the Afternoon) but that he had a choice Dram, of which I should taste, and he was so good as to fill me a Glass of it out of a Bottle which was by his Bed-side. ’Twas to no Purpose for me to132 protest, that I never drank Drams; I was fain to drink that Glass, then another, and after that a third. The Great Duke assum’d no State upon Account of his Rank, but treated me as his Equal, and drank Glass for Glass with me. I was just going to fall at his Knees, and to beg Quarter, when, as good Luck would have it, Joannino, his favourite Valet de Chambre, came in, and whisper’d something in his Ear. Upon this the Great Duke put on a serious Air, and soon after dismiss’d me, but charg’d me not to go from Florence before I had receiv’d his Commands. Make yourself as merry as you can, said the Prince; but be sure not to go away without taking year Leave of me. Two Hours after I return’d to my Inn, his Royal Highness sent me a Present of Fowls, Bologna Sausages, Cheese, Sweetmeats, and other good Things, together with several Dozens of Bottles of most excellent Wine; so that I assure you I had Subsistence enough for three Months.

I stay’d four Days, expecting the Great Duke’s Orders; but as none came in all that Time, I desir’d his Favourite Joannino to ask him if he had any Commands for me; upon which he sent me word, that he desir’d I would stay two Days longer, and that then he would see me. I heard that a Courier was arriv’d from Leghorn, which brought him News, that the Spanish Fleet had been seen at Sea; upon which I thought, that the Grand Duke would be very much taken up with his Ministers; but I was soon inform’d, that he left all Matters intirely to the Management of his Ministers, the Commandeur d’Elbene, and the Marquis Rinuccini, who settled every thing as they thought fit with Father Ascanio, the Spanish Minister.

The Great Duke lay snug in his Bed, not that he was sick, but out of pure Indulgence. ’Tis now twenty-two Months since he went out of his Palace, 133and above seven since he put on his Cloaths. His Levee is not till Noon, and then he sends for such as he has Business with to his Bed-chamber; but this is an Honour which the Florentines don’t easily attain to; for he seems to be fondest of the German Nation, whose Language he speaks well, and pretends even to know its various Dialects. There are few Pilgrims that pass this Way, either to or from Rome, but he sends for them to his Court, where he converses whole Hours with them, refreshes them with his Cordials, and puts a Crown in their Pockets when they go away: He dines at Five o’Clock in the Evening, and sups at Two in the Morning: He always eats alone, commonly in his Bed; and spends two or three Hours in Table-Talk with Joannino, and some young Fellows call’d Ruspanti, because they are Pensioners to the Great Duke, and paid in Ruspes, which are a Coin of the same Value as Sequins; and some of them have two, three, and even five Ruspes a Week. They are paid by Joannino every Wednesday and Saturday; but all their Business is to attend the Great Duke, whenever he sends for them at Dinner or Supper; ’tis said their Number consists of above three hundred, and that they cost his Royal Highness 80,000 Crowns per Ann. They consist of all Nations, but of Germans more than any other. They wear no Livery, nor are they all clad alike; and they are only Known by their Locks, which are always very much curl’d and powder’d.

When the two Days which the Great Duke had order’d me to stay were expir’d, I again sent for his Leave to be gone; upon which he commanded me to wait on him, and receiv’d me altogether as kindly as he did the first Time: He kept me near three Hours, during which he did me the Honour to talk with me on a thousand different Subjects; and then he dismiss’d me, saying, Farewel,134 go to Leghorn, and see my new Guests safe ashore.

I cannot leave Florence, without thinking it my Duty to mention some Persons of Note to you, whom I was acquainted with at this Court.

The Commandeur d’Elbene is Steward of the Great Duke’s Houshold, and President of his Council, and venerable both for his Age and his Merit.

The Marquis Rinuccini is the second Minister, but is properly the Soul of the Council, having been employ’d in Business a long time; for in 1711 he was the Great Duke’s Envoy at the Hague, and about that Time he attended the late Elector Palatine to the Election of an Emperor at Franckfort. He was afterwards sent Envoy from the Great Duke to the Congress at Utrecht, and from thence he went to England: When he return’d from his Embassies, the late Great Duke admitted him a Member of his Council, and put him at the Head of Foreign Affairs, of which he has still the Direction. ’Twas he that dispos’d the Great Duke and the Electress to submit to the Times, and to recognize Don Carlos, the Infante of Spain, for their Successor: And in fine, he is the Man that settles all Matters against the Arrival of that Prince, who is expected here with very great Impatience.

Tho’ the Nobility of Florence are in general very civil to Foreigners, yet ’tis certain, that the Marquis Richardi is one of those Gentlemen that give them the best Welcome; and as he is one of the richest Gentlemen in Tuscany, he is also one of those that keep the best House; he has three Sons, and one of them is a Prelate; the eldest of them, Don Vincenzo, who is like some Day or other to be the Head of the Family, has travell’d very much, and is certainly a Gentleman of very great Acquirements and Merit.


There are a great many fine Ladies here, but they don’t dress well, and have not near so much Liberty as those of Rome: There’s one Madame Suarez indeed, that cuts a very great Figure, and keeps open House to all Comers; she receives Foreigners in a grand Manner, especially the English; but her House would be better, if there was not so much Gaming in it.

Before I set out from Florence, I can’t think it will be improper to give you a few Particulars concerning the Family of the Medicis, which is near being extinct in the Person of the Great Duke John Gaston.

This Family has given seven Sovereign Princes to Tuscany. Cosmo the First, of that Name, was also the first Great Duke. He obtain’d that Title about Ann. 1568. from the Emperor Maximilian II of whom he had demanded the Title of King of Hetruria; but the Emperor return’d him for Answer, That he knew of but one King in Italy, and that was himself. However, to gratify Cosmo’s Vanity, Maximilian invented the Title of Great Duke, that of Arch Duke being already the Appenage of the House of Austria. The Names of the seven Great Dukes, with their Alliances, are as follow.

Cosmo I. who married Eleanor of Toledo.
Ferdinand I. who married Joan of Austria.
Francis I. who married Mary Magdalen of Austria.
Cosmo II. whose Wife was Claude of Lorain.
Ferdinand II. married to Mary de la Rovero, Duchess of Urbino.
Cosmo III. who married Margaretta Louisa of Orleans.
John Gaston, married to Anna Maria Frances of Saxe-Lawenbourg.

The Family of Medicis calls to my Mind that of the Kettlers, Dukes of Courland; and I fansy the136 following Parallel will hold between the two Families. The Medicis, before they were Sovereigns of Tuscany, were Standard-Bearers of Florence; the Kettlers were Gentlemen, and Grand Masters of the Teutonic Order in Courland. The Emperor Maximilian II. made Medicis Grand Duke: Sigismond Augustus, King of Poland, made Kettler a Duke. The two Families have each given seven Sovereigns to Europe, and they are alike related to the greatest Families. The last of the Medicis, and the last of the Kettlers, were married to Princesses of the Saxon Family. They both see Foreign Powers disposing of their Succession before they are dead[18]. Both Families began to flourish almost at the same time, at the two Extremities of Europe; and in all Appearance their Period is like to be the same.

I could stay but six Days at Florence this Journey, because I had a mind to see the Landing of the Spaniards at Leghorn. I had no Time neither to lose, for they came into the Road the Day before I arriv’d, and landed two or three Days after. The Fleet was compos’d of two Squadrons, one of which, viz. the English, consisting of thirteen Ships, was commanded by Admiral Wager. The two Squadrons set Sail at one and the same time, but had been dispers’d by a Storm in the Gulph of Lyons. The English came in all together;137 but the Spaniards arriv’d one after another, and some of their Transports were lost. In fine, the Troops were all landed on the second of November, All Souls Day, whereon there fell a terrible Rain, on which the Superstitious sounded dismal Conjectures. The Marquis de Charni[19], the Commander of the Spanish Forces, came on Shore the Day preceding, to adjust all Matters with the Marquis Rinuccini, whom the Grand Duke had sent for that Purpose to Leghorn. The Spanish General was oblig’d to take an Oath of Fidelity to the Grand Duke before the Marquis Rinuccini, which when he had done, the Spanish Forces enter’d the City, incorporated themselves with those of the Grand Duke, and mounted Guard on the very same Day that they landed. It is stipulated, that there shall be always two Thirds Spaniards to one Third of the Great Duke’s Soldiers. The Spanish Army consists of no more than 6000 Men, but then they are the Flower of their Troops, and there are Arms and Equipage for above 20,000. There’s one Swiss Regiment, another of Walloons.

I have been to see the two Admiral Ships: The English has three Decks, and carries 86 Guns: The Spanish, which had Admiral Mari on board, carries 90 Guns, has three Decks also, and is by much bigger than the English Man of War: It had been fitted up for bringing over the Infante Don Carlos, and no Expence was spar’d to render it magnificent. The Admiral’s Cabbin was hung with Sky-blue and Silver Brocade; the Tables, Chairs, and the Frames of the Pier Glasses, &c. were of Indian Lacca Red and Gold: But notwithstanding all this Magnificence, the English Ship was the neatest, and138 far out-did the Spaniard in the civil Treatment of those that went aboard. The English Naval Officers are almost all Men of Quality: They strove who should be the most polite to such as came to visit them, and talk’d very modestly both of their Ships and their Tackling; whereas the Spaniards bragg’d of theirs beyond measure; they pretended that their Ships, which had only two Decks, were much easier to work than those of the English, which are all of three Decks; and affirm’d, that as their Ships were broader and longer, and their Decks higher, they were much more formidable than the English, and not so much incommoded by the Smoak in a Battle. On the other hand, I was told by an Engish Officer, That a Ship with three Decks was preferable to one that had but two, because when ’tis a high Sea, and they are forc’d to shut up the lowermost Deck, there are still two Batteries remaining, whereas a Ship with but two Decks, in the same Case, can have but one remaining: Besides, a Ship with three Decks, said the Officer, being higher than a Ship with but a couple, has a great Advantage over what the other has, when they come to Boarding. As I understand nothing of Navigation, I know not whether my Englishman was in the right. But be that as it will, I am of the Opinion, which prevails almost universally, that whenever it shall please God to let second Causes have their Effects, it will be always safer to lay a Wager on the Side of the English than on the Spanish Ships.

On St. Charles’s Day, which was the Festival of the Infante Don Carlos, the Marquis Mari gave us a grand Feast: I say us, because I was there, as well as all Leghorn, Florence, Sienna, Lucca, and Pisa, which you’ll say was a goodly Company, and I assure you moreover, it was very gay. The Florence Gentry, who expected that the Infante would139 have come with the Fleet, had all bespoke new Apparel; and as they are naturally very prodigal, they spar’d no Cost upon this Occasion. The Lucquese Gentry did not come short of them, of whom it may be said, that taking the Milanese and Genoese along with them, they are of all the Italians the most polite, and have most of the Air of Men of Quality. Besides the Italians, there was so great a Concourse of Englishmen and Foreigners at Leghorn, that all the Lodgings were taken up; nevertheless Provisions were in great Plenty, and as cheap as ever.

The English are return’d home. ’Tis said, that the Infante[20] will come hither speedily by Land. The Tuscans long mightily to see him, and expect he will work Miracles; for besides what they have heard in his Praise, they lay great Stress upon a Prophecy of Nostradamus, who says in one of his Stanzas,

Du plus profund de l’Occident d’Europe,
De doubles Nopces un Enfant naitra,
Qui vers le Po menera grande Troupe:
Son bruit au Regne d’Orient plus croitra.
i. e.
‘In the most Western Part of Europe an Infant
shall be born of a double Marriage, who shall
lead a great Force towards the Po, and whose
Fame shall spread to the Eastermost Kingdom.’

This Child, born of a double Marriage, must be the Infante, who is the Son of Philip V. by his second Wife.

I heartily wish that I cou’d have staid at Florence till this Prince arriv’d; but I have order’d140 my Affairs so as to be at Paris before Christmas, and I must steer my Course accordingly. Yet before I leave Leghorn, I must give you some Account of this City, which is of more Note for its great Trade, than for its Antiquity. ’Tis one of the neatest Cities in Italy, and that to which there’s the greatest Concourse of Foreign Merchants, either for the sake of Trade, or for Shelter from their Creditors: The City is well built, the Streets broad, strait and lightsome, and several have Canals in them, after the Manner of Holland. The great Square is beautiful, and the Port magnificent, being divided into the great and little Harbours, the former of which has been render’d convenient by the Expence of a fine Mole, and some Towers that serve for Light-houses; the other, which has a very narrow Entrance, serves for the Gallies. There’s an admirable Marble Statue of Cosmo I. de Medicis, which is rais’d on a Pedestal of the like white Marble: The Great Duke is represented in Armour, with a Ducal Mantle over his Shoulders, a Turban on his Head, and a Scymitar at his Feet. The Concomitants of this fine Statue are worthy of a nice Observation: At the very Foot of the Base or Pedestal, at the four Corners, there are as many Slaves in Brass, representing Turks, in admirable Attitudes, which seem, as it were, chain’d to the Pedestal: The Connoisseurs reckon them Master-pieces: Their Proportion, which is twelve Foot, makes the Vulgar think they represent four Giants; but Tradition says, that they are the Figures of four Turks, viz. the Great-Grandfather, the Grandfather, the Father, and the Son; who being all on board a Turkish Vessel, the youngest of them, who was an Astrologer, prophesied to his Companions, as they embark’d, that on such a Day they shou’d all be taken into Slavery by the Christians; which Prediction, to their Misfortune, came to pass; for they were taken by141 the Great Duke’s Gallies, and this Prince caus’d their Statues to be carv’d, to transmit the Event to Posterity.

Pisa, tho’ a much more considerable City than Leghorn for its Antiquity, and the Beauty of its Buildings, is not so pleasant a Place by far. ’Tis a large, fine, well built City, but extremely thin of People; ’tis divided into two Parts by the River Arno, which comes from Florence, and forms two stately Kays here. The Cathedral is a great stately Fabric of Gothic Architecture: It has three great Gates, the Doors or Leaves of which are of Brass, and represent the Passages mention’d in the New Testament, a Proof how grosly they are mistaken, who say they were the Gates of Solomon’s Temple; but they are not near so fine as those at the Baptistery of Florence. The Inside of the Church is answerable to the Magnificence of the Outside, and the Roof is supported by sixty Marble Columns.

I say nothing to you of the Tower that leans to one Side, and which consists of six or seven Degrees or Rows of Pillars one above another, nor of the stately Baptistery, much less of the Church-yard, call’d il Campo Santo. Look into Misson, he will tell you the Measures of every thing; for that Gentleman always carry’d Mathematical Instruments about him, so that there was nothing but what he measur’d and weigh’d.

Pisa is a City, which a Traveller can’t avoid seeing, but ’tis impossible for him to stay in it; the People being so proud of the Honour their Ancestors gain’d by the Conquest of Carthage, that their Vanity is perfectly surfeiting.

Having stay’d but one Day at Pisa, I proceeded in my Journey to Genoa, passing thro’ the Forest of Viareggio, where, if I had had a great Charge of Money about me, and had credited what my142 Guide said, I shou’d have sweat for Fear; because he affirm’d to me, that there was not a Week throughout the Year but Passengers were robb’d and murder’d in this Forest. But when I came to the Village of Viareggio, which stands in the Middle of the Forest, I heard that every Word my Guide has told me was false; and that since the Courier from Lucca was robb’d, which was eighteen Years ago, they had not heard of any Robbers this Way: This put me very much in Heart again, for, to be plain with you, I don’t care to tilt with Highwaymen; but for all this, an Italian Lacquey that I have in my Service, cou’d not be easy: As we had still three Leagues of this Forest to pass thro’, he conjur’d me to take a Guard; but I banter’d him, and proceeded on my Way. My Lacquey rode by me on Horseback, telling his Beads. I had scarce travell’d half a League, but I saw five Men coming arm’d; my Lacquey, who was the first that spy’d them, cry’d out like a Madman, Jesu Maria! what! must I die without Confession? Misericordia! Misericordia! I put my Head out of the Chaise to take a View of the Men, who had innocently put my Lacquey into such a Fright, and found by their Garb, that they were Soldiers from Lucca, who patroll’d there for the Security of the Forest. The Panic which my Lacquey was under made me at first laugh very heartily, but I soon changed my Note; for when we came to Pietra-Santa, a little Place in the State of Lucca, he had not Strength to alight from his Horse; for the Fright had so seiz’d him, that he was almost dead: He wanted a Confessor; but I thought a Surgeon would do every whit as well for him, and therefore I sent for one, and caus’d him to bleed the Fellow, who in two Hours time grew better. I took him into my Chaise, and went and lay at Massa di Carrara, the Capital of a very small Feodal Sovereignty143 of the Empire, belonging to Cardinal Cibo, the last of his Family. After his Death, this Principality is to fall to his Niece, who, ’tis said, is design’d for the young Prince Eugene of Savoy, Nephew[21] to the Great Eugene, and Lieutenant-General of the Emperor’s Forces.

The Founder of this Family was Alberic Cibo, the natural Son of Innocent VIII. and, for his Sake, the Emperor Maximilian II. erected Massa into a Feudal Principality of the Empire: This City has nothing remarkable in it but the Prince’s Palace, which makes some Shew. The Emperor keeps a Garrison in it[22]. The People at Massa are of good florid Complexions, and the Country is famous for its Quarries of Marble, and for Oil in abundance.

From Massa to Sersana, or Sarzana, a City in the State of Genoa, the Country is extremely well cultivated, being planted with Olive-Trees and Vines. In this City the Genoese have a Governor, or Podestat, but they keep a very sorry Garison in it; and if the Republic has no better Soldiers to withstand the Corsicans, who are call’d the Devils of Italy, I question whether the Rebellion will be soon suppress’d. The Sergeant of the Guard at the Gate made me a very civil Petition for Charity, which he assured me was a small Tribute due to him from Foreigners.

From Sersana I proceeded to Lerici, a little Town on the Sea-side. There I put my Chaise on board a Felucca, and arriv’d in less than twenty-four Hours at Genoa, tho’ I stay’d some Hours at Sestri, an Episcopal City of that Republic: It is a small, but pleasant Town, and144 very agreeably situate upon a Rock forming a Cape, which runs very far into the Sea. This Town is defended by a Fort, which seem’d to me to be well furnish’d with Cannon, but the Garison is no better mann’d than that of Sersana.

Genoa, from that Side which is next the Harbour, affords one of the greatest and finest Points of View in the World; and though most of the Streets are narrow, close, and not very lightsome, yet among all the Towns of Italy it is with Justice call’d the Superb; for there is not a City in Europe, where there are more spacious and magnificent Palaces, and where the Houses are in general better built. This rich and stately City has been subject to several Revolutions, but never suffer’d a greater Shock than in 1684. when ’twas bombarded by Order of Lewis XIV. The Marquis de Seignelai, who was the Minister of his Revenge, discharg’d his Commission so well, that from the 18th of May to the 28th, he caus’d 13,000 Bombs to be thrown into the Town. The Genoese were oblig’d to humble themselves, and the King granted them a Peace, on Condition that they wou’d send four Senators into France, to make their Submission to him by the Mouth of the Doge, whose Title was to be kept up, tho’, according to the Laws of the Republic, he loses it as soon as he stirs a Foot out of the City, Francis-Maria-Imperiali Lercari was then the Doge, who went to Versailles, and had his Audience there on the 15th of May 1685. He affected to appear very gay there, by which means he gave more Lustre to the Satisfaction which he came to make, than to his own Dignity.

The French boast very much of this Event, and have not only struck Medals upon it, but have represented it in Basso Relievos of Brass, in Tapestries, and in Pictures; and all their Historians talk of it as one of the most glorious Epochas of the145 Reign of Lewis XIV. Far be it from me to detract from the Glory of a Reign, which all the Universe admires, and to this Day respects; but I cannot help saying, that I question whether the French wou’d easily pardon any other Nations for making the like Boast of their Exploits. The Spaniards, who have the Character of being vain, are, in my Opinion, if I may presume to say it, less so than the French. They have a more glorious Passage in their History, and that is, the Excuses which Philibert, Prince of Piedmont, Son to Charles Emanuel, Duke of Savoy, made in Person to Philip IV. King of Spain, in 1610. That Monarch, being disgusted at the Conduct of the Duke, because he had made a Treaty with France, sought to be reveng’d on him, and found an Opportunity. Henry IV. King of France being assassinated, Mary de Medicis, the Regent, was in no Condition to embroil herself with Spain, by assisting Charles Emanuel. Philip IV. improv’d this Opportunity, and caus’d Troops to march from the Milanese towards Piedmont: The Duke, in order to divert the Storm, sent his Son to Madrid. The young Prince was very well receiv’d there at first, but he had the Mortification to be oblig’d to make the most submissive Speech that could come from the Lips of a Sovereign Prince: ‘Sir, said he, addressing himself to the King, the Duke, my Lord and Father, being hinder’d from coming himself, by his Age and Business, has sent me to supplicate your Majesty on my Knees, to accept of the Satisfaction which I am now making. I am at a Loss for Terms strong enough to express the Grief of the Duke my Father for the Loss of your Favour. I fall once more at your Majesty’s Feet, resolv’d not to rise, were I to die on the Spot, till you have granted me the Favour I desire of you, which is, to take the Duke my Father, and our whole Family, into146 your Royal Protection. By this, Sir, you will give a Proof of your Readiness to pardon the greatest Errors, and of the Kindness which you always had for a Family which is devoted to you, and honours you as its Lord and Father. This Declaration, which is now made at your Knees by a Prince of your Blood, shall, if necessary, be seal’d by mine. The Duke my Father absolutely relies upon your Majesty’s Goodness, and we resign ourselves to you without Reserve. If it pleases you to grant me the Favour which I humbly desire of you, it will be a new Obligation, that will attach us forever to your Interests.’

Was not so submissive a Speech as this more likely to feed the Vanity of the King of Spain, than all the Excuses made by the Doge of Genoa to puff up Lewis XIV? And is not a Prince of Piedmont at Madrid, a Person of more Consequence than a Doge of Genoa at Versailles? Nevertheless, the Spaniards have neither struck any Medals, nor raised any Monuments to transmit that Event to Posterity. Pardon me, Sir, for this Digression: The Prince of Piedmont’s Speech is not to be met with in all the Historians: I believ’d it would be acceptable to you, and thought it was not altogether foreign to my Subject, to put the Reparation made by that Prince in a Parallel with that of the Doge. I now resume the Thread of my Narrative.

The Street Balbi, and the new Street, are more like Galleries than Streets. The former lies near the beautiful Church of the Annunciation and the first considerable Structure that appears in it, is the Jesuits College, of which James Balbi, a Genoese Nobleman, made a Present on his Death-bed to the Society, on Condition that his Arms would always remain over the great Gate. The Reverend147 Fathers the Jesuits have laboured much to efface this poor Remembrance of their Benefactor, and for this End have had great Law-Suits with the Balbi Family; but at length they were condemn’d by an Arret of the Senate to keep up the Arms of the Founder, and there they still remain.

The two Palaces Purazzi, which are in the same Street, are very magnificent, and richly furnished. In one of those Palaces there is a Theatre, called the Theatre of the Falcon, which is so extremely well laid out, that every Spectator may see and hear what passes with Ease, and without incommoding his Neighbour, the Boxes being large and convenient, and the Ornaments dispos’d every-where with Judgment.

The new Street is every whit as magnificent as the Street Balbi. Here are the two Palaces Brignole, and indeed they are both stately Buildings. Their Ornaments are the finest that can be imagined, and of the newest Fashion: The Furniture is extremely rich, there being excellent Pictures by the greatest Masters, Chimney and Pier-Glasses of an extraordinary Size, and placed to Advantage; Tables of choice Marble upon Stands of an excellent Contrivance, and very richly gilt: In short, one wou’d not wish to see any thing more fine, and more complete. Messieurs Brignole are four Brothers, of whom there is but one that has a Son: They are immensely rich, and have seven magnificent Palaces in Genoa.

The Palace of the Duke Doria, which is in the same Street, is grand and stately; but not so richly furnished as the Palace of the Prince Doria, without the Gate of St. Thomas, which owes its Foundation to the celebrated Doria, who was a General of the Emperor Charles V. This Palace is148 very extensive, and has a Prospect of the Sea, but the Apartments are low and old-fashioned.

The Suburb of St. Peter d’Arena is very large, and contains several noble Palaces, of which the Palace Imperiali, where the Emperor and Empress lodged at their Return from Spain, is esteemed by the Connoisseurs in Architecture.

The People at Genoa are more sociable than they are at Venice, and the Nobility here much more easy of Access. I don’t believe, that they who accuse the Italians of Jealousy, include the Genoese in that Charge; there being few Countries in the World where the Women are allow’d more Freedom, and where, to all Appearance, they take more. A Woman must have very few Charms indeed, if she has not two or three profess’d Lovers. These Sparks, who go by the Name of Cicisbei, are never out of their Sight; but they take great Pains in their Amours, being obliged to run so fast by the Side of their Mistresses Sedan, that they earn a Glance from the Fair with the Sweat of their Brows. There are Ladies here, who have five or six of these Admirers always attending them where-ever they go; and ’tis happy for these Rivals, that they never fall together by the Ears. ’Tis true, that if they quarrel, they would be obliged to box it; for the Gentry here don’t wear Swords, their Dress being like that of the Lawyers in France; but they always wear short silk Mantles, which I could wish the Counsellors of Parliament in France would likewise wear, in order to distinguish them from Tailors and Shopkeepers.

The People of Quality here dress very well, and the Genoese of both Sexes have a much better Air than those of Florence and Rome. The Princess of Modena’s Residence with them has not been to their Detriment; for they have contracted149 a courtly Behaviour, to which the Italians are pretty much Strangers. The Genoese in general understand good Living, and are never deficient in that respect, for want of knowing better. Tho’ they are said to be a sorry People, I could like to live here very well. I have been at two of their Assemblies, upon Occasion of the Marriage of a Nobleman, and have not seen any thing more magnificent; for a King could not have made a more splendid Entertainment. I was introduced to them by the Count Guiccardi, Envoy Extraordinary from the Emperor, and received abundance of Civilities. This Envoy is a Subject of the Duke of Modena, and was formerly in his Service. He was that Prince’s Minister at Vienna, when he went into the Service of his Imperial Majesty. He married the Countess Sinzendorff, who was the Daughter of Hawitz, the Grand Marshal at Dresden. This Lady was a Lutheran; but being at Vienna, and having a Curiosity to go to Divine Service in the Metropolitan Church of St. Stephen, while she was looking upon a Picture of the Holy Virgin, a Flash of Lightning came into the Chapel where she was, and scorch’d her in a Part, which I verily believe she wou’d not shew for all the Gold of Peru; but she received no other Harm, and thinking that she saw the Holy Virgin protecting her, it made such an Impression upon her, that she embraced our Religion, of which she is an exemplary Professor.

You know that the Genoese are actually at War with their Subjects the Corsicans, who have newly publish’d a Manifesto of their Reasons for taking Arms. If all they say be true, ’tis certain they have been very ill used; and that if any Rebellion can be excus’d, theirs may. This War has already cost the Republic immense Sums, and by the Turn which Affairs are taking, ’tis to be presumed it150 will run them into a much greater Expence. The Corsicans have chose one Giafferi for their Leader. He is a Man of Courage, and a good Head-piece: They say he has taken an Oath to procure his Country its Liberties; and if the Genoese are not assisted by some Power, he is like enough to succeed.[23] Time will bring all Things to Light. I am, &c.




SIR,Turin, Nov. 28, 1731.  

The Road hither from Genoa is very bad at this time of the Year. During the first two Post-Stages I cross’d one River no less than thirty-two times, and saw a great many fine Houses on the Banks of it; for tho’ the Neighbourhood of Genoa is very mountainous, ’tis very pleasant, all the Hills being covered with Chesnuts, and other Fruit-Trees. After I had travell’d about four Post-Stages, I enter’d on the Plain which brought me to Turin. This is certainly one of the finest Countries in the World, and wants nothing but Causeys.

The most considerable City that I met with in my Road, was Alexandria de la Paille, which stands on the River Tanaro. ’Tis a great Town, but not very populous. It formerly depended on the Milanese, and was yielded by the Emperor to the King of Sardinia, who keeps a good Garison in it, and has set Men at Work to repair the Fortifications, which had really been very much neglected. This City is also of Note for its Fairs, which are the most considerable in Italy.

I afterwards came to Asti, where I found nothing good but an Inn, which indeed is one of the best of Italy, From thence I went and lay at Quieri, a great Town in Piedmont, ill built,152 but full of People of Quality, and situate in a Plain, which is perfectly beautiful; but I was in so much Haste to get to Turin, that I did not stay there. I pass’d by the Foot of a Hill, on which stands the Castle of Montcallier, a Royal Palace built by her late Royal Highness, the Mother of King Victor Amedeus. The Apartments are large and magnificent, and command one of the finest Prospects in the World; but the Gardens belonging to it are no more worth a Traveller’s View, than the Village of Montcallier itself.

At some Distance from this Place I cross’d the Po over a wooden Bridge, and came thro’ a pleasant Avenue to Turin, the Capital of Piedmont, and the ordinary Residence of the Dukes of Savoy. Those Princes chose also to make it the Seat of the Chamber of Accompts, and of the Senate, which is what they call in France the Parlement; and they have rendered it one of the strongest and finest Cities of Italy, exclusive of its charming Situation. ’Tis divided into two Parts, the old and the new City, with Bastions and Outworks, well fac’d, and a Citadel very regularly fortify’d. It stands eighteen Miles from the Alps, in a Plain which has the Po on one Side, and the Duero on the other.

This City will always be remember’d for the Siege which it sustained in 1704, when the Marshal and Count Daun, Governor of Milan, commanded here, by the Emperor’s Permission, at the Request of the Duke of Savoy. He defended the Place against the Duke of Orleans, the Grandson of France, and gave Time to Prince Eugene of Savoy to come to its Relief, and oblige the Enemy to raise the Siege. The French pretend, that all this was done by Order from Court; and that the Duchess of Burgundy, the Daughter153 of King Victor Amedeus, was the Person that prevail’d on Lewis XIV. to consent to the raising of the said Siege. As I am not privy to what pass’d at that Time in the Cabinet of the King of France, this is an Anecdote, which I can neither affirm nor deny; but as the Belief of what the French give out upon this Head is not an Article of Faith, I hope they will not be angry, if I do not give Credit to Rumours, so much to the Dishonour of the greatest King that ever they had: For how can it be imagin’d, that if Lewis XIV, had really a Desire, that his Army should decamp from before Turin, he would have chose to have subjected that Army to the Hazard of being obliged to fight against his Will and his Orders, and by that Means to have expos’d the Honour of his Nephew, the Glory of his Arms, and the Lives of a great many brave Men, which were lost in that Defeat? Surely, a Retreat concerted in the Cabinet would have been made in better Order, and would not have had the Appearance of a Flight. But the French have this Notion: They were never routed, but ’twas either because it pleased the Court that they should be routed, or because of some Jealousy betwixt their Generals. They lost the Battle of Hochstet, for want of a right Understanding betwixt the Elector of Bavaria, and the Marshal de Tallard; that of Ramillies, because the Marshal de Villeroy would not let the Elector of Bavaria have the Honour of beating us; that of Audenarde, because the Duke of Vendosme’s receiving that Shock, was a real Satisfaction to the Duke of Burgundy, the Presumptive Heir of the Throne: And M. de la Motte, too, suffered himself to be beaten near Wynendale, only in Complaisance to the Duke of Burgundy, who was apprehensive that he should not be able to persuade the King his Grandfather154 to the Peace, which he had very much at Heart, if Lisle was not taken by the Allies, which City could not have been mastered, but by letting the Convoy pass, which M. de la Motte had attack’d. The Passage of the Scheld, the raising of the Siege of Brussels, the Surrender of Ghent, without strikeing a Blow; all this was done also by Order of the Duke of Burgundy, who was for a Peace upon any Terms, and cou’d not obtain it without sacrificing both the Army and Glory of the King his Grandfather. But to speak the Truth, were all the Marshals of France to tell me the same Story, they would find me as great an Unbeliever as St. Thomas, and wou’d never prevail with me to be guilty of such an Insult upon the Memory of the Duke of Burgundy, the wisest Prince of his Time, as to believe that he had the Honour of his Country, and the Interests of his Family so little at Heart.

Nothing can be more regular than that Part of Turin, which is called the new City. The Houses are of Brick, and three Stories high. The Streets are wide, strait, and well-pav’d. It has fine Churches, particularly the Metropolis, or Chapel of the Holy Handkerchief, which is also the Royal Chapel, and may be reckon’d the Master-piece of Architecture. ’Tis in the Form of an Octogon Dome, all fac’d, not excepting the Roof, with black Marble. The Altar is in the Middle of the Dome. There is preserved the precious Relique of our Lord’s Handkerchief, of which there’s the like in St. Peter’s Church at Rome, and at Besançon. I had been told, that I should be able to distinguish the very Print of the Face in this Handkerchief, and a Part of our Saviour’s Body; but I was not so happy as to discern any thing like it.

The King’s Palace makes no great Appearance, nor indeed is it quite finish’d; nevertheless,155 the Apartments are well contriv’d; The Furniture is rich, and there are excellent Pictures, and magnificent Cielings. There are Gardens in this Palace, which are artfully dispos’d in the Manner of Fortifications, according to beautiful Plans; but setting this aside, they are not much adorn’d.

The finest, and the completest Thing at Turin, and perhaps in Europe, in the modern Architecture, is the Front of the Palace of the late Madame Royale, the King’s Grandmother. This Palace is contiguous to the King’s Palace, and communicates with it by a Gallery. ’Twas a very old Building, and made a poor Appearance; but Madame Royale spar’d no Cost, either in Gilding or Painting, to set off the Inside. When this was done, it happened that the Stair-case was inconvenient; upon which her Royal Highness, who was in every Thing magnificent, undertook to build one; and to this is owing the stately Front, of which I here make mention. This Princess consulted with all the skilful Architects in Italy, and fix’d upon the Plans, which to her appear’d the most grand and beautiful. Before this Stair-case was built, they us’d to say that Madame Royale’s Palace was a House without a Stair-case; and now they say ’tis a Stair-case without a House; and really, the Stair-case wou’d become the Louvre, it being by much too big for the Building it belongs to.

I cou’d not get a Sight of the Castle of the Venerie, three Leagues from Turin; for while King Victor is a Prisoner there, no body is suffer’d to go near it. You must, no doubt, have heard of that Prince’s being under an Arrest; but I question whether you have been inform’d of what gave Occasion to that Affair, and of the Manner of his being taken into Custody. What I have heard of it from People of Credit, is as follows.


King Victor Amedeus, after the Death of the Queen his Wife, who was Daughter of Philip of France, the late Duke of Orleans, by Henrietta of England, fell in Love with the Marchioness of[24] St. Sebastian, Lady of Honour to the Princess of Piedmont, now Queen of Sardinia. The Virtue of Madame de St. Sebastian, and the King’s Devotion for her, induc’d him to marry this Favourite. But not thinking it honourable for a King to place a Subject on his Throne, he took a Resolution to resign his Crown, before he contracted so unequal a[25]Match. He imparted his Design to Madame de St. Sebastian, who did all she cou’d to prevail with Victor to continue upon the Throne; but finding he was resolv’d not to make her a Queen, she consented to his Abdication, still thinking herself highly honour’d to become the Wife of a Prince, who had worn a Crown. King Victor consulted with his chief Favourites about his Abdication, who all advis’d him not to leave the Throne. His Son King157 Charles conjur’d him to keep Possession of it. I protest to your Majesty, said this Prince, I never once indulged a Wish to govern, and think myself exceeding happy to be your First Subject. But all his Remonstrances were of no Effect; and the 5th of September, 1730, was fix’d for the Day of Abdication. Upon that Day, all the chief Persons in the Government, and the Senate, met in the great Hall of the[26]Palace. There the King appear’d without any Mark of Royalty, accompany’d by the Prince of Piedmont, and declar’d to the Assembly, that he was resolv’d to yield the Throne to his Son; and that from that Moment he exempted them, as he did all his Subjects, from the Oath of Allegiance they had taken to him. He exhorted them, at the same time, to acknowledge his Son Charles, Prince of Piedmont, for their King; and desir’d them to be as Loyal to their new Sovereign, as they had been to him. Then the Act of Abdication was read with a loud Voice, by the Marquis del Borgo, Secretary of State, and Charles was recogniz’d for King.

After the Ceremony was over, King Victor, with the Marchioness of St. Sebastian, whom he had married, on Condition[27] that she shou’d wear no other Title, set out for Chamberry, which he had chose for the Place of his Retirement. But158 scarce a Month was past, ere he began to repent of having given the Reins out of his Hands, though the King his Son behaved as dutifully to him, as if he had been still his Subject. When King Victor resign’d, he advis’d his Son to cause the Lands of the Nobility and Gentry to be survey’d, and to impose a Tax on them, in Proportion to the Number of Acres. This Scheme, tho’ it had a View to the Increase of the King’s Revenues, tended to the Ruin of the Nobility; for which Reason, Charles when he came to the Crown, did not think proper to put it in Execution. Victor being incensed at it, wrote about it to his Son, rather in the Style of his Lord and Master, than his Father; and perceiving that Charles was still averse to his Counsel, he entertained a Thought of reascending the Throne[28]. To this End, he secretly felt the Pulse of the People, and found them all faithful Subjects to Charles: Yet all this did not discourage him; he relied upon the Troops, which he knew had an Esteem for him, and he thought they wou’d also be his Friends; for most of the Officers having been preferr’d by him, he did not doubt but they were still attach’d to him, and he flatter’d himself with their Concurrence to his Designs. He wrote to the Marshal Rhebinder, in general Terms indeed; but in a Style that was very soothing and tempting. This General, who was Commander159 in Chief of the Forces, being sensible of what Consequence it was to deprive King Victor of the least Hopes of reascending the Throne, returned him Answer, that he owned he was obliged to him for his Estate, Honours, and every Thing: ‘Your Majesty, said the Marshal in his Letter, has made me all that I am. I am under no Obligation to King Charles; but my Engagements to your Majesty are inexpressible; tho’ of all the Favours which you have heap’d upon me, the Honour of your Esteem was always to me the dearest. Give me leave therefore, Sir, to preserve that Esteem, which I presume to say, I have acquir’d by the Blood I have spilt for your Service; whereas, Sir, I shou’d forfeit it, were I so unhappy as to be guilty of Perjury to the King whom you have given me, and to whom you have injoined me Obedience. I shall be as true to him as I was to your Majesty, and will shed the last Drop of my Blood to maintain him on the Throne. I am however always ready to give your Majesty the most sincere Marks of my Respect for your Person, being fully persuaded, Sir, that your Majesty will lay no Commands on me, but such as are agreeable to that Justice, which ever accompanied all your Actions, &c.

This Answer was not sufficient to cool King Victor’s Ambition to resume the Government. He wrote a second time to the Marshal de Rhebinder, and to other General Officers. He assumed an imperious Style, and signify’d, that he knew how to punish those that refus’d to obey him. All these Letters were carried to King Charles, who being concerned to see his Father so uneasy, said to those who brought them, What wou’d you have me do? He is my Father, I depend upon your Fidelity and resign myself to Providence.


The King was still in Hopes, that he shou’d be able to make Victor easy, and was willing to have an Interview with him; and for that Purpose he went with his Queen to Evian, and from thence to Chamberry, where Charles paid his Father a Visit, but found him very much out of Temper. The Prince however bore all with the Dutifulness of a Son. But when he took leave of Victor, he paid a Visit to Madame de St. Sebastian, with whom he had a long Conference. He desir’d this Lady to pacify King Victor, and to dissuade him from concerning himself any farther with State Affairs. He hath made me King, said Charles, and King I will be. You can do any thing with him; therefore make him easy. If he does not like this, let him choose any other Castle or Place in my Dominions that he likes better, of which he shall have the intire Disposal. They say Charles dropt a Hint in this Conversation, that he was inclin’d to yield his Father a Province in Sovereignty; however, he promis’d great Advantages to Madame de St. Sebastian, not only for herself, but for the Son that she had by her former Marriage, and for her Brothers. This Lady promis’d the King all that he desir’d, but kept her Word very ill; for her Ambition to be Queen prompted her to make King Victor every Day more and more uneasy.

Victor after this observed no Measures, and said publicly, that he would reascend the Throne. To this End, he thought it necessary for him to be nearer Turin. He therefore wrote to the King his Son, that the Air of Chamberry was bad for his Health, and desir’d him to let him go and reside at the Castle of Montcallier. Charles was return’d to Turin when he receiv’d this Letter; but before he had Time to answer it, he understood that the King his Father, and Madame de St. Sebastian, were already come to Montcallier.161 He was not at all sorry for it, because, as he knew King Victor’s Designs, he cou’d better observe his Motions, when so near him: And King Victor, on his Part, was glad that he was at Montcallier, in Hopes that the Neighbourhood of Turin might give him a better Opportunity of tampering with the Garison, and the commanding Officer of the Place. He did all that was in his Power to gain them, and gave such publick[29] Proofs of his Intention to reascend the Throne, that Charles’s Ministers[30], fearing lest he should call in Foreigners to his Assistance, unanimously advis’d the King to confine him. The young Prince exclaim’d several times against this Proposition. What! said he, make my Father a Prisoner! No, I can never consent to that: And indeed, it was a long time ere he cou’d agree to it; but at length he was prevail’d on by the strenuous Solicitations of his Council; tho’, when he sign’d the Order for confining him, his Hand shook to such a Degree, that the Secretary of State was obliged to guide it.

The Count de la Perouse, Lieutenant-General of his Forces, was charged with the Execution of the Warrant for arresting King Victor, and had a Detachment given him of three thousand Men, drawn out of the Garisons of Turin, and other neighbouring Places, to support him at the Undertaking. They all march’d out at the same162 Hour from their Quarters, without knowing whither they were to go; and at Two o’Clock next Morning they all came to the Place appointed at Montcallier. The Count de la Perouse, attended by the Chevalier de Solare, Lieutenant Colonel of the Guards, at the Head of a Detachment of Grenadiers, with their Bayonets screw’d to their Musquets, went up to the great Stair-case of the Palace, which led to King Victor’s Apartment, while the Marquis d’Ormea, Secretary of State, who carry’d the Order sign’d by King Charles, secur’d the Back-stairs with another Detachment of the Grenadiers. M. de la Perouse, finding the Apartment shut, broke open the Door; and, after seizing a Page in waiting, that was asleep in the first Anti-chamber, he made his Way farther, and forc’d open all the Doors, till he came to the Chamber where the King was a-bed with Madame de St. Sebastian. This Lady, hearing a Noise, arose immediately, and having only Time to slip on a Night-gown, ran to the Door; when seeing so many arm’d Men, she cry’d out, Oh! Sir, we are betray’d! They gave her no Time to say more; but two Officers carry’d her into the next Chamber, where they caus’d her to be dress’d, and afterwards conducted her to Ceve, a Fortress of Piedmont.

Neither the Outcry of Madame de St. Sebastian, nor all the Noise that was made, had awak’d King Victor, who always slept sound. The Chevalier de Solare seiz’d the King’s Sword, which he saw lying on a Table; and the Count de la Perouse went to the Bed-side, and open’d the Curtains. Upon that, the King started out of his Sleep, and ask’d what was the Matter. The Count de la Perouse said to him, That he had Orders from the King to arrest him. What King do you mean? said Victor: ’Tis I that am your King and Master; you ought to acknowledge no other. Your Majesty has been so, reply’d163 the Count, but you are so no longer; and since it has pleas’d you to give us King Charles for our Lord and Master, and to command us to obey him, I hope you yourself will set us an Example of such Obedience. The King was in a violent Passion, threaten’d the Officers, and refus’d to rise. The Chevalier de Solare coming too near the Bed, the King punched him with his Elbow in the Belly, and commanded him in Wrath to withdraw. As he still continued obstinate in his Refusal to rise, the Officers lifted him. up, and dress’d him. The King was heard to say, in the mean time, that he only wish’d to sit two Hours on the Throne, that he might hang up the Rascals that had misled his Son; and he nam’d the principal Lords of the Court.

As soon as he was dress’d, the Officers surrounded him, and conducted him down the great Stair-case to his Coach, that waited for him in the Yard. The King, seeing the Anti-chamber full of Grenadiers, seem’d surpriz’d at it; and the Soldiers, who as yet knew not on what Errand they were sent, seem’d no less surpriz’d, when they saw their old King was to be carry’d off a Prisoner. What! Our King! said they softly to each other, What has he done? What is the Matter? The Count de la Perouse, fearing a Mutiny, call’d out Silence, in the King’s Name, on Pain of Death. The old King found drawn-up in the Court-yard a Regiment of Dragoons, which he had always valu’d above the rest of his Troops. The Sight of it affected him, and he wou’d have spoke to it; but no Time was allow’d him, and he was oblig’d to go into the Coach. The Count de la Perouse, and the Chevalier de Solare, ask’d his Leave to sit with him; but the King answer’d, That he would not suffer it: So they mounted their Horses, rode by the Sides of the Coach, which was surrounded by the Soldiers, and conducted him to Rivoli. I164 had almost forgot to tell you, that when he went from Montcallier, he ask’d for three Things; his Wife, his Papers, and his Snuff-Box, the last of which was all he obtain’d.

The Day after he came to Rivoli, as they were clapping iron Bars, and double Shutters, to the Windows of his Apartment, the King ask’d the Glazier what he was going to do! I am going, said the Man, to put on double Shutters to your Windows that you mayn’t catch Cold this Winter. How now, Varlet! said the King, Do you think I shall spend all the Winter here? Ah! by my Faith, reply’d the Glazier, you will pass this winter here, and I believe many more.

This Prince is attended with Care, and treated with all the Respect due to his Person; and they say, he begins to be sedate. The Chevalier de Solare, and two Captains of the Guards, are set over him, with whom he sometimes plays at Billiards. They have Orders to treat him with all manner of Respect; but to give no Answer to any of his Complaints[31].

In the whole Course of this Affair, ’tis fortunate for King Charles, that not one of his Subjects has fail’d in his Allegiance to him; he has not been oblig’d to stain his Government by any bloody Execution; nor has he caus’d above three Persons to be apprehended, among whom were King Victor’s two Physicians, that carried his Letters; but they are lately set at Liberty, and a good Understanding is like to be quickly restored between the father and the Son.

They say, that Madame de St. Sebastian is fallen into a deep Melancholy; and that she lives intirely upon Broth, which is of her own making. After her Disgrace, her Son, who was an Ensign in the Guards, was no longer seen at Court. The young165 King missing him, ordered the Marquis d’Ormea, Minister and Secretary of State, to acquaint him, that he might come to Court, and continue in his Employment; and that his Majesty assured him he did not intend that he should be a Sufferer for any Crime whatsoever, which Madame de St. Sebastian had committed, and that he would take Care of his Fortune.

The Piedmontese are charm’d with their new King, and indeed, he is a Prince that has the Qualities of a good Monarch: He is humane, compassionate, generous and beneficent. He is a little under Size in Stature, but very well shaped, dances well, loves Pleasures, and particularly Hunting. Without Flattery, one may say, he is endowed with a great many Virtues; and that if he has Faults, ’tis only owing to the Human Nature, with which intire Perfection is incompatible.

The Queen[32] is of the Family of Hesse Rhinfels. She is tall and slender; her Air is both majestic and modest; she is fair, and has a very fine Complexion, is a Princess of solid Piety, charitable to the Poor, and ready to do Good to all Mankind, but particularly to her Family. She is the Mother of two lovely[33] Princes, and a Princess, and seems very attentive to give them an Education suitable to their Birth.

The Ceremonial of this Court is pretty much the same with that which is observed at the Court of France, The King and Queen always eat together, and permit none to be Spectators but the Officers of their Houshold. The Ladies must not come to the Palace, without being in the Court Dress, the Queen alone wearing a Mantua. Her Majesty has six Ladies of Honour to attend her,166 who must be all Wives, and as many Maids of Honour. She has a Drawing-Room every Night, when the Queen is seated in an Arm-chair, the young Princess of Carignan, and the Queen’s youngest Sister, sitting on Folding-chairs, two Rows off, by the Side of the Queen’s Chair; and all the Ladies stand, with the Gentlemen behind them. This Drawing-Room holds for about an Hour, when the Queen rises, and, saluting the Princesses and Ladies, retires. After this, all the Nobility repair to some House where there is an Assembly. The gayest of all is held at the House of the Marchioness de Prie, whose Husband was Lieutenant Governor of the Netherlands, who often gives a Ball, at which the King is sometimes present.

There’s an Air of Ease and Freedom in this City, which is not to be enjoy’d in all Italy besides; and the Piedmontese don’t think themselves Italians; so that I am often ask’d, Whether I came last from Italy? Or, Whether I am going to it? I could like to live in this City better than in any other. I think this Mixture of the French Manners with the Italians is perfectly agreeable and just. The People here live well. There are several Noblemen that keep a good Table, and are very civil to Strangers. For this, the Marshal de la Rhebinder is particularly noted. This General is a Native of Livonia: He commanded the Elector Palatine’s Troops in Italy, and then went into the Service of the Duke of Savoy, in Quality of Lieutenant General, and Colonel of a foreign Regiment of Foot. King Victor created him a Velt-Marshal, and he is actually Commander in Chief of the King of Sardinia’s Troops.

The Marquis d’Ormea is the Chief or President of the Council, first Secretary of State, and Prime Minister. He was heretofore in the Confidence of King Victor. That Prince had sent him to Rome,167 where the Marquis d’Ormea obtained great Advantages of Pope Benedict XIII. for the King his Master; particularly the Nomination to all Benefices. This Minister was recall’d in the first Year of the Pontificate of Clement XII. when his Holiness was so inclement as to revoke all that his Predecessor had granted. Not long before King Victor’s Abdication he returned to Turin. King Charles does nothing without him. He is a Gentleman of Good-nature, an Enemy to Subterfuges, and is sacred to his Promises. I knew him at Rome, and have the Honour of seeing him here as often as the Multiplicity of his Affairs will permit him to receive my Visits. Every body here applauds and speaks well of him, which is not always the good Fortune of People elsewhere, that are in Places: This Minister has a Brother a[34]Cardinal, and an only Son, who is a very lovely Youth, and has a natural Inclination to tread hereafter in the Steps of his Father.

The Youth here don’t seem to be so hair-brain’d as they are elsewhere: I don’t know whether they are really wiser, but however they seem to be so in Public. Were I to advise a Father of a Family, it should be to send his Children to the University here, than which I question whether there’s a better in Europe, as well with regard to the Masters of the Exercises, as to the Care taken of the Youth, who are boarded, dieted and instructed in all the Sciences and Exercises, and divided into two Classes; of which the one only studies the Law, and therefore does not pay so much as the other; but they must be all Gentlemen. They are only allow’d to go abroad on certain Days of the Week; but then they may appear at Court, and go where they please, except to Houses of Gaming.


The Out-parts of Turin are infinitely pleasant. The Country is adorned with a great many pretty Cassines or Pleasure-Houses, which are only separated by Meadows, that are constantly water’d by a Number of little Brooks. I take the Air every Day upon the Esplanade, between the City and the Citadel, where there are fine Walks, and one often meets with very pretty Women. The Blood here is perfectly good, and all the Piedmontese Ladies have a great deal of Life and Spirit. I am very sorry to leave them, but the Misfortune is unavoidable, and Haste presses me to be gone. I propose to be in ten or twelve Days at Lyons, if I don’t stay at Chamberry; but this you will know by my next Letter. Don’t fail to write to me at Paris, and believe me to be, &c.



SIR,Lyons, March 2, 1732.  

Tho’ I had pass’d Mount Cenis twice before, and travers’d Savoy, yet I thought the Passage of the Alps as disagreeable as ever; and am heartily glad to find myself in this City, which is better than all Savoy put together.

From Turin I went and lay at la Novalaise. I first pass’d by the Castle of Rivoli, which stands on an Eminence, and to which there’s an Avenue from Turin in a strait Line of three Leagues in Length. Then I travell’d thro’ Susa, which, by the way, is a very dirty Town, upon the Banks169 of a River form’d by Torrents from the neighbouring Mountains, which seem, as it were, to bury Susa alive. This City, and the Valley in which ’tis built, are commanded by the Fort de la Brunette, an important Place, which King Victor Amedeus caus’d to be erected for the Defence of Piedmont. Nature and Art have alike contributed to fortify it. ’Tis provided with a good Garison, and all Necessaries to sustain a Siege; and if it had been built in the Time of Lewis XIII. I doubt whether that King, and his Minister the Cardinal de Richelieu, would so easily have passed the Mountains.

La Novalaise is a sorry Town, with a wretched Inn, which is the more disagreeable, because Strangers are oblig’d to stop there to unload their Effects, and put them on the Backs of Mules to carry them to the other Side of the Mountain. I was carried over it in a matted Elbow-chair by four Men, who relieved one another at proper Distances, and often took me upon their Shoulders; so that if I had been ever so little given to Chimeras, I should have fansied myself a Pope.

At the Top of the Mountain is a[35]Lake, and also an Hospital, which I thought made but a poor Appearance. Pilgrims are there entertain’d, and other Foot Passengers, for three Days; and there are two Priests to receive the Passengers, and to serve the Church. This is a very laudable Foundation in a sorry wretched Country, where, notwithstanding this Provision, People are often found dead in the Snow. Those poor Reverends may boast, that they live in one of the saddest Places in the World, their greatest Amusement for nine Months in the Year, being to see the Snow 170fall, and to blow their Fingers. The Descent from Mount Cenis on the Side of Savoy is by much the[36] easiest, where in the Winter-time People have the Pleasure of rolling down in a Sled, which the Country People call se faire ramasser. This Way of travelling is very commodious and diverting, and so swift, that an Arrow from a Cross-bow does not fly faster. I knew an English Gentleman that stay’d a Week together at Lanebourg, and who, after he had come down this Mountain, went up again and again, purely for the Pleasure of se faire ramasser.

Lanebourg and its Inn are no better than La Novalaise; but one is oblig’d to stop again here for fresh Horses. Those who don’t travel Post, and make use of the Carriers of Turin or Chamberry, are seldom put to this Trouble, because most of these People have Pack-horses on both Sides the Mountain, and have nothing to do but to send their Baggage away, which is very quickly loaded. From Lanebourg to Chamberry all the Road is bury’d, as it were, by Rocks and Mountains, and frightful Precipices: There are Rails indeed, but not strong enough to stop a Carriage: I saw a Cart drawn by four Horses tumble down one of those Precipices, by which the Horses were kill’d, and the Cart with its whole Lading, which consisted of Porcelain and Glass Wares belonging to the Prince of Carignan, broke in a thousand Pieces: The Carrier, tho’ he was not at all to blame, drew out his Knife in order to stab himself, and wou’d actually have done it, if my Postilion and other People had not hinder’d him.

I pass’d thro’ several little Towns in my Way hither, that are not worth mentioning; St. John de Maurienne is the chief, because ’tis the See171 of a Bishop, and the Capital of a Province of that Name; ’tis a very antient County, and the first Inheritance of the Princes of Savoy; this Valley extends from the Alps to the River of Isere on one Side, and from the Tarentaise to the Dauphinois.

Chamberry, the Capital City of Savoy, is not a Town where you must expect sumptuous Fabrics, the Houses there making but a mean Figure, yet the Place is not for that Reason one jot the less agreeable; ’tis situate on the Banks of the River Orbanno in a very little Plain encompass’d with Hills, where there are charming Walks, and special Company. There’s a great Number of Nobility, who indeed are not the most money’d Men; yet they make good Entertainments, and keep a great deal of Company. The Ladies are beautiful, and the Gentlemen handsome, the common People good-natur’d and civil, and the Savoyards in general are a very good Sort of People. They are accus’d of being too thrifty, but perhaps ’tis more out of Necessity than Inclination; for when a Man is oblig’d to support the Dignity of a Noble or Gentleman, and has but a small Fortune, he is forc’d to be a good Husband whether he will or no.

At the Distance of five Leagues from Chamberry I descended a high Mountain, in which I perceiv’d a Road had been cut for half a League. I saw by a Latin Inscription at the Foot of the Mountain, which I had not Time to copy, that the Romans formerly undertook to make this Road; but, judging it impossible, gave it over; yet Charles Emanuel II. for the Good of his Subjects, and the Public in general, undertook it; and had the Glory to carry it to a Conclusion, which was the most useful and magnificent Thing that a great Sovereign could do: But I question whether he wou’d have accomplish’d it, if, like the Romans, he had172 not made use of Gunpowder. There was a Necessity for the blowing up of prodigious high Rocks for establishing the Bed of the Causey, which is fenc’d on both Sides by Rocks cut out in Form of Walls, that are as high as the Top of the Mountain. This hollow Way is subject to great Mists; when I pass’d, it was the finest Weather in the World on the Plain; but when I enter’d the Valley, I found a Mist so thick, that I could not see my Postilion.

This Mist brought me to the Town of Echelles, which is at the Foot of the Mountain at the Entrance of a Plain that leads to Lyons. I also pass’d to Pont de Bonvoisin, a little Town which is shar’d betwixt the Kings of France and Sardinia. Both these Princes have their Custom-houses here, the Officers of which are not very tractable. The King of France keeps a Commandant, and two free Companies, in that Part of Bonvoisin, which belongs to him. This is the first Town of Dauphiny, which is not one of the least Provinces in the Kingdom. It was granted to Philip de Valois by Humbert de la Tour, the last Sovereign Prince of Dauphiny, who bore the Title of Dauphin of the Viennois. History says, that Humbert, finding himself childless, made a Grant of his Principality to the King of France, and chose a Monastic Life at Lyons in the Order of St. Dominic, in the Rules of which he liv’d with the very great Esteem of good Men. He was afterwards elected Prior of this Convent, and nominated Patriarch of Alexandria. Some say, that having been the innocent Author of the Death of his only Son, his deep Concern for this Accident made him resolve to embrace the Monastic Life; but others pretend, that having a secret Grudge against the Duke of Savoy, whom he was too weak to cope with, he made an Agreement with the King of France, on purpose that the Duke173 might have a Neighbour powerful enough not only to oppose, but to reduce him to Reason. But if this be true, it must be own’d to be a sad Sort of Revenge for a Prince to strip himself of a Sovereignty, purely to injure his Neighbour. I fansy there are few Princes wou’d be of the Humour to take such a Revenge. The same Humbert requir’d, that the eldest Son of France shou’d be styl’d the Dauphin, which was granted him, and has been observ’d ever since. The Duke of Orleans, the first Prince of the Blood of France, is Governor of Dauphiny. This Province has a Parliament, which is held at Grenoble. The antient Dauphins resided at Vienne, which is an Archbishoprick. ’Twas to the Neighbourhood of this City, that Herod and Pilate, our Saviour’s Judges, were banish’d.

Lyons is so considerable a City, that the French commonly say, Next to Paris, Lyons[37]. The Sâon runs thro’ this City, and the Rhone washes its Walls;174 ’tis a large opulent City, for the Inhabitants are industrious, laborious, and given to Trading. There’s not a Town in France, if in the whole World, where they make such fine Stuffs. They endeavour to imitate them at Turin, in Holland, and elsewhere, but they can’t come up to them. The City of Lyons is the See of an Archbishop, who is at present M. de Rochebonne, and therein succeeded the late M. de Villeroi, Son to the late Marshal of that Name, who was Lewis the XVth’s Governor. The Villeroi Family has been for a long time in Possession of the Government of Lyons, and the chief Dignities of its Province. The late Marshal obtain’d the Government of Lyons and the Lyonnois from King Lewis XIV. who also granted him the Reversion of the said Government for his eldest Son, the Archbishoprick for his second Son, and the Abbey of St. Peter in Lyons for his Daughter. The Duke of Orleans, when Regent of the Kingdom, conferred on him moreover the Reversion of the Government of Lyons for his Grandsons the Duke de Retz, and the Marquis d’Alincourt, and nominated the latter Lieutenant-General of the Province. Tho’ Authority generally renders those hated who are vested with it, yet the Gentlemen of the Name of Villeroi have ever escap’d that Fate; ’tis true they have always acted with very great Moderation, and are beneficent, well-bred, civil and generous, so that they are mightily belov’d in Lyons, where the late Marshal was as much respected as the King himself; for he procur’d great Advantages for the Province, and for the City in particular.

They tell a very good Story concerning the Admission of the first Villeroi to the Archiepiscopal Dignity of this City. The Chapter of Lyons is one of the most haughty in all Christendom, and ’tis not without Reason; for it is founded upon the Blood175 of above 20,000 Martyrs, and has always been reputed the Seminary of Popes, Cardinals and Bishops, who have been taken from thence to govern the Church. Nobility is inseparable therein from the Priesthood, and ’tis an Observation made by several Authors, that in the third Century the Chapter consisted of seventy-four Canons, of whom one was the Son of an Emperor, nine the Sons of Kings, fourteen the Sons of Dukes, thirty the Sons of Counts, and twenty were Barons. ’Tis no wonder therefore, that the Counts of Lyons, for they are not called Canons, made a Scruple to admit for their Archbishop Camillus de la Neuville, who was not of their Body, and whom King Lewis XIV. had nominated to this Archbishoprick. Neuville is known to be the Name of the Family of Villeroi. The Grandfather of this Prelate was the first of the Family that was of any Eminence; he had been Treasurer of the War-Office, and Prevôt des Marchands of the City of Paris; his Grandfather Nicolas de la Neuville had been Secretary of State, and his Father Charles de la Neuville was the first of the Family who had a Title of Honour, which was that of Marquis d’Alincourt, Sieur de Villeroi, an Estate which Peter le Gendre Treasurer of France, had given to his Grandfather. The Marquis d’Alincourt was Governor of Lyons and the Lyonnois, and dying in the Service of the King, as Ambassador at Rome, his Majesty gave his Son the Archbishoprick of Lyons, when it became vacant. The Chapter refus’d to admit him, because he was not of a suitable Rank, nor a Member of their Body; but the King found a way to make himself obey’d, and when the Archbishop harangu’d the Chapter, he took these Words of the Psalmist for his Text, The Stone which the Builders had rejected, is become the head Stone of the Corner. The Discourse he made was, they say, as insulting to the Chapter as one 176would expect from the Choice of the Text. The Dean, whose ready Wit was applauded, made no other Answer to the Archbishop, than by taking the next Verse to that which the Prelate had chose, viz. This is the Lord’s (the King’s) Doing, it is marvellous in our Eyes. Notwithstanding this, the new Archbishop found means to become both the Spiritual and Temporal Governor of this City; for he was made Lieutenant-General in the Government of the Lyonnois till the Year 1693, when he was succeeded by the Son of the Marshal Villeroi his Nephew, and the latter was succeeded by M. de Rochebonne.

The Person who commands in the Absence of the Duke de Villeroi, Governor of the City, is the Prevôt des Marchands, which is so much the worse for any Foreigner that comes Post; for he is carried to his House, and as strictly examin’d as if he was a Prisoner at the Bar. I was also oblig’d to conform to this Custom; having made me wait a long time in an Anti-chamber, where was a Mixture of People of all Sorts, he appear’d at last with an Air of Importance, which was not natural to him. The Questions he put to me, and the Answers I gave, were very Laconic, and I imagine that there is no Love lost betwixt us.

The Prevôt des Marchands ought to be chang’d every three Years; but when he is acceptable to the Court, he is commonly continued. One wou’d think, that the transitory Grandeur of these Gentlemen shou’d not make them so vain; for when they are turn’d out of their Employment, they make just the same Figure as a Stage-Player, after he has put off the Roman Habit, in which he has represented Mithridates or Pyrrbus.

I have reason to be as much pleas’d with M. Poultier the Intendant, as I have to dislike M. Perichon, the Prevôt des Marchands. I have been to 177make him a Visit, which he has return’d; and for these four Days that I have been here I go every Night to his House, where I see the best People of this City, in which there’s good Company, tho’ few Nobility. The Merchants of the first Rank live like petty Sovereigns, and have fine Houses, both in the Town and the Country. If a Foreigner has ever so little Acquaintance here, he cannot fail of being diverted; for the Lyonnois are civil and obliging, and not so much absorb’d in Commerce as to neglect good Manners. They are extraordinary civil to me, and make me very welcome. They delight in Gaming, and are not insensible to Love and the Bottle.

The Comedy here is tolerable, and as much frequented as if it was the best: The Comedians generally make their Fortunes in this City, and if they don’t get an Estate, they can at least shew a fine Wardrobe. At one of these Madams Levees a Captain is oblig’d to yield the Precedence to a Journeyman Shopkeeper. There’s an old Actress here, who forty Years ago was the Darling of the Generality of Lyons: The People of good Taste wish her banish’d from the Theatre, but there’s no persuading this superannuated Beauty not to expose her wither’d Charms: She has the Direction of the Comedy, which brings her in 20,000 Livres a Year. An Attempt has been made to cut off her Pension, which really might be better employ’d; but Mademoiselle Marez, which is the Name of this Matron, remonstrated, that she cou’d not live with less than 35000 Livres a Year, that her Gallant was not able to furnish her the odd 15,000 any longer, that she had no Estate; and that if they touch’d her Pension, she shou’d be undone for ever. Reasons so just as these prevail’d, so that it was not thought fit to push poor Mademoiselle Marez to an Extremity. A Lady of this Province happening178 to be in Town, and hearing it reported that Mademoiselle Marez had no less than 15,000 Livres a Year from her Gallant, said smartly, Ah! base Jade! She ought to be burn’d; She takes the Bread out of the Mouths of above fifteen honest Wives.

I often take the Air here in the Square of Belle-Cour, or Lewis le Grand, where I am sure to meet with good Company, there being always a great many very pretty Women, and well dress’d, who act the Ladies of Quality very well. But I mention my Walks at Belle-Cour to you, without acquainting you what Sort of Place it is: ’Tis not pav’d, nor near so wide as it is long: The Houses at both Ends are uniform, and finely decorated; and it were to be wish’d, that those on the two Sides were of the same Proportion. On one Side of this Square there’s a Row of Trees, and in the Middle an Equestrian Statue of Lewis XIV. who is there represented on Horseback on a Pedestal of white Marble; but with no other Inscription than the Name, Lewis XIV. which, after all that can be said, is a great deal of Praise in a little Compass; and the late Marshal de Villeroi, who engag’d the Citizens of Lyons to be at the Expence of it, thought it the greatest and most respectful Compliment that cou’d be paid to the Original.

There’s another Square here call’d les Terreaux, which is worthy of Notice; in the Front of it stands the Town-house, which is a grand and magnificent Edifice of Stone. Lewis XIV. on Horseback is represented in Basso-Relievo over the Gate. On the Left-hand of the Town-house upon the Square of Terreaux stands the Abbey of St. Peter, which is a great Building, and, when finish’d, will not want for Magnificence. I am, &c.




SIR,Paris, March 20, 1732.  

For the sake of good Wine I preferr’d the Djon Road to Paris, before the great Road from Lyons thro’ Tarare; but I have been rightly serv’d for being so over-nice in my Palate, for I have been sadly impos’d on, and did not meet with one Glass of good Wine at any House of Entertainment in all the Road, which in other respects I found pleasant enough. I sent my Chaise to Chalons upon the Saone, and went thither by Water in the Boat that carries Passengers, who go in the Diligence (Stage Coach) to Paris. In this Vehicle, which otherwise was not a very pleasant one, I happen’d to meet with a Couple of Officers of my Acquaintance, very amiable Gentlemen. We pass’d by Trevoux, the Capital of the Principality of Dombes, of which the Duke de Maine is Sovereign: It came to him by Inheritance from the late Mademoiselle de Montpensier, Daughter of Gaston of France, Duke of Orleans, a Princess who render’d herself famous in the Civil Wars by the taking of Orleans, and by ordering the Cannon to be fir’d from the Bastille upon the Army of Lewis XIV. who never intirely forgave her for that Piece of Disrespect, and to punish her wou’d never give her leave to marry[38]. ’Twas to reconcile the King180 to her, that her Ladyship made the Duke de Maine her Heir. Dombes has a Parliament, and Trevoux is famous for the Literary Journal printed there, which causes such frequent Disputes among the Learned.

After having pass’d Trevoux, we saw several other Towns, Villages and Mansion-houses in a Country, one of the finest Landskips that ’tis possible to imagine. We din’d very much in Haste at a Village, and went and lay at Macon, an Episcopal City, where the Canons of the Cathedral have the Title of Counts, as well as those of the Church of St. John at Lyons. This City did not seem to me to have any thing remarkable, and whether there is any good Company in it, I did not stay long enough to see.

Chalons upon the Saone is also the See of a Bishop, but did not appear to me to be one jot more considerable than Macon: I went to see the Castle, which has a full Command of the Town: There I was shew’d the Apartment where the Duchess of Maine was kept Prisoner during the Regency of the Duke of Orleans. A Person had need of all that Spirit which she is known to have, to bear up under a Disgrace equal to hers: ’Twas but a little before, that all the People of France were fond of making their Court to her; her Grandeur was not equall’d by any Princess of the Blood, and her Lodgings were perfectly superb; but on a sudden she fell from all her Splendor, and was oblig’d to live in a miserable Castle, with no Companions but the Women that are absolutely necessary to attend her[39]. I will hereafter give you a more particular181 Account of this Princess; but I now proceed on my Journey.

From Chalons I went to Dijon, after having pass’d thro’ Beaune, and along by the best Vineyards in all Burgundy. To tell you frankly my Mind, I had quite another Idea of Dijon, than what I really found it to be: ’Tis an ancient City, and most of the Houses are old, and make no great Appearance, tho’ they are very convenient, and well fitted up. In the Street of Conde, which is newly built, the Houses are of equal Proportion. The lower Part consists of Shops, and over them are the Merchants Lodging-Rooms, and there are Iron Balconies at the Windows, which, if the Houses were higher, wou’d make a fine Sight. This Street leads to the Place Royale, in which there’s an Equestrian Statue of the late King Lewis XIV. which is plac’d on so high a Pedestal, that it even raises the Statue higher than the Houses that surround the Place, which moreover is by much too small to contain so great a Monument. The Houses are actually very low, and if they were to be carry’d higher, the Statue would look as if it were imprison’d in a Cage. This Mass of Copper was cast in Paris, and first carry’d by Water to Auxerre, where it remain’d a long while, it being so very heavy and large, that it was in a manner immoveable; but at last it was remov’d by Land Carriage to Dijon, but not without very great Difficulty, and as great Expence; yet it appeared to me to be one of the least Statues in the Kingdom.


This Statue faces the King’s House, where lives the Duke of Bourbon, Governor of the Province. ’Tis a very spacious Building, with two advanc’d Wings, but can only be reckon’d a very irregular Structure. I did not go to see the Apartments, because I was told, that they were not furnish’d, and not worth the Trouble of a View.

The Palace, where the Parliament meets, is very ancient, and one of the vilest in the Kingdom. Whether the Dukes of Burgundy resided there heretofore, I know not; but if they did, they were not very sumptuously accommodated.

Dijon was erected, but a few Years ago, into a Bishoprick, by the late Pope Benedict XIII. at the Request of the Duke of Bourbon; who was very glad to procure that Honour for the Capital of his Government.

The Ring at Dijon is the finest Thing about this City; which is really neither fine nor agreeable. The common People are not over and above civil, and those of Quality value themselves very much upon their Nobility. Pray read only the Letters of Bussi Rabutin, and you will know what Sort of Gentry the Burgundians are; for they are all, like him, puffed up with their Birth. The Parliament of this Province consists generally of Persons of Quality.

The Duke of Bourbon is the fourth Governor of Burgundy, of the Conde Family; to which this Government is a Sort of Appenage. This Prince never comes to Dijon, but to hold an Assembly of the States. The Count de Tavannes, who is Lieutenant-general of the Province, commands there in his Absence. There is an Intendant, and all the Sovereign Courts. Notwithstanding so much Company, I thought Dijon a melancholy Place; and I have seen a great many Towns in France of less Note, which to me had a more gay and agreeable183 Appearance. There is a public Concert here, to which I was forc’d to go, whether I would or not; I thought, before I went, that it would be but indifferent, and so indeed I found it. The Hall was magnificent, the Company numerous and splendid, and the Concert would have been very good, if there had been Musicians; but as it was, it resembled the Butchers Concert of Marrow-bones and Cleavers.

From Dijon I went to Auxerre and Sens, of which the last is the See of an Archbishop; and that’s all I can say of it, because I only staid there to change Horses. When I came to Auxerre, I found the whole Street where the Post-house stands in an Uproar, it being full of Mob, and especially of Women, who all seem’d very much enrag’d. This was owing to a Transaction the Night before, when the Wife of a Baker qualify’d her Husband for one of the chief Posts in the Seraglio: The Motive which induc’d her to this barbarous Action was Jealousy: Her Husband, who was about twenty Years old, and a very likely Man, was (at least, as the scandalous Chronicle of Auxerre said) a little too intimate with a Pastry Cook Woman, who was young and handsome. The Baker’s Wife, who was old and ugly, not being able to bear the Thoughts of her Husband’s Inconstancy, had taken Care to lay a Razor under her Bolster; and at the very Time when her Husband was giving her the Marks of his Tenderness for her, she made him a second Abelard. This Tragedy having happen’d just as I arriv’d at Auxerre, the Inhabitants were all very much incensed against the Baker’s Wife, and hurry’d the poor Wretch to Prison. The Women curs’d her heartily, yet in their serious Imprecations there was something perfectly comical. I verily believe, that if they had184 had her at their Mercy, they would have tore her to Pieces.

Fontainebleau, a Royal Palace which I pass’d thro’, is fourteen Leagues from Paris. There’s a great Village belonging to it, which stands in the Middle of a large Forest, wherein a great Number of long Roads is cut, for the Conveniency of Hunting. The Palace is irregular, because all the Kings from Francis I. to Lewis XIV. have made very considerable Additions to it; nevertheless the Apartments are grand and magnificent. There’s a great Number of Cielings painted by celebrated Masters, whom Francis I. sent for on purpose from Italy. The Gallery of the Stags is noted for the cruel Action committed there by Christina, Queen of Sweden; who caus’d her Master of the Horse, and her Favourite Monaldeschi, to be assassinated there before her Face, after having shewn him some Letters, which he had the Indiscretion to write, and reproach’d him for his Treachery, in the Presence of the Minister[40] of the Order of the Holy Trinity, whom she had sent for to give the poor Man Confession, and who in vain solicited his Pardon. Lewis XIV. was very much disgusted at an Execution thus committed in his Palace, and, as it were, under his Nose: Indeed, rather than be oblig’d to manifest his Resentment, he chose to keep a profound Silence; but tho’ he dissembled it as much as possible, Christina perceiv’d, that she had staid too long at his Court, and resolv’d to retire to Rome, where in 1689 she died.

But Fontainebleau has lately been the Scene of an Action more pleasant, grand and glorious, viz. the Ceremony of the Marriage of King Lewis XV. The Duke of Orleans having marry’d the Queen by185 Proxy, at Strasbourg, the Princess came by short Days Journies to a Place about a League from Moret; where she was met by the King, and the Princesses of the Blood. I had the Pleasure of being an Eye-witness of this Interview. When the Two Coaches of the King and Queen came in Sight of each other, they advanc’d a few Paces upon the Trot, and then stopp’d; when their Majesties alighted, and walk’d to each other upon Carpets. When the Queen came near to the King, she kneel’d down upon a Cushion of blue Velvet, seeded with Fleurs-de-Lys of Gold. The Dukes of Orleans and Bourbon rais’d her up again, when the King saluted her, but said nothing to her: The Princes and Princesses saluted her also, and she receiv’d them with such a good-natur’d, modest Air, as prepossess’d the whole Court in her Favour. Then the King went into his Coach, where the Queen seated herself on his Left-hand; and the Princes and Princesses having plac’d themselves according to their Rank, they thus proceeded to Moret. I heard the late Duchess of Orleans say, that there was a very great Silence observ’d in the Coach for some time, because all that were in it, out of Respect to the King, waited for him to speak first: But as he said nothing, the Duchess of Orleans, who had seen the Queen in Germany, and at Metz, was the first that broke Silence; and, by degrees, the Conversation became general. When they arriv’d at Moret, the King and the Queen, attended by the Princes and Princesses, went into the Queen’s Closet: There the King talk’d; and after having stay’d about an Hour, he return’d to Fontainebleau, with the same Train that attended him when he set out from thence.

The next Morning, at Eight o’Clock, the Queen arriv’d at Fontainebleau, without any other Retinue than what she had during her whole Journey. Being186 in an Undress, she went strait to her Apartment, and sat down to the Toilet; when she was dress’d, Word was brought to her, that the King was arriv’d; who, in a few Moments after, made his Appearance, in a Mantle of Gold Brocade, trimm’d with Spanish Point of Gold, the whole enrich’d with Diamonds. His Majesty, having saluted the Queen, walk’d the same Instant towards the Chapel, and the Queen follow’d immediately after him, supported by the Dukes of Orleans and Bourbon: She was dress’d in a Blue Velvet Gown, seeded with Fleurs-de-Lys of Gold; her Petticoat, and the Tail of her Gown, were fac’d with Ermin, and adorned with Diamonds; and her Royal Mantle, which was like her Gown, was held up by the Princesses of the Blood. She had the Royal Crown on her Head; and ’tis certain, that every thing about her was truly magnificent, and made a very grand Appearance. The Chapel was adorn’d with a rich Suit of Hangings, of blue Velvet, imbroider’d with Gold. The Elector of Cologne, the Electoral Prince of Bavaria, now Elector, the Duke Ferdinand, and the Bishop of Freisingen and Ratisbon, were present incognito at the Ceremony. The Cardinal de Rohan gave their Majesties the Nuptial Benediction. The Queen happening to be out of Order during the Mass, the Duke of Bourbon, who perceiv’d it, gave her some Balm-water, by which her Majesty found immediate Relief.

After Mass was ended, they return’d in great Ceremony to the Queen’s Apartment; and soon after was the Royal Feast, when the Princes and Princesses din’d with their Majesties. All this was very fine, but the Room was so much too small, that they who were in it were ready to be smother’d, and three-fourths of the People could not get in.


When the Feast was over, their Majesties chang’d their Apparel, and took an Airing with the Royal Family in a Calash, round the great Canal, preceded by all the Court Nobility, and the Officers of the King’s Houshold, and follow’d by the Ladies, in Coaches drawn each by Six Horses. But ’tis certain, that in the whole, there was nothing more magnificent than the Number of the Persons, and their Cloaths; for as to their Equipages, they were very ordinary; there was not so much as one new Coach, the Liveries were old, and the Nobility very sorrily mounted.

When the King and Queen were return’d to the Palace, there was a Drawing-room; after which, their Majesties supp’d with the Princesses of the Blood; and during the Supper, there was a Concert. When their Majesties arose from Table, they went to the Windows, and saw the Firework, and the Illumination in the Park; which was very much admir’d, but really appear’d trifling to us Germans, who are accustom’d to see Fireworks that cost immense Sums, and which are executed in a Manner that surpasses every thing done elsewhere of the Kind. Thus ended all the Rejoicings upon account of the King’s Marriage. They say there were great Illuminations and Bonfires also at Paris; but as I was at Fontainebleau, I did not see them. ’Tis certain tho’, that how much soever the French were pleas’d with the Marriage of their King, they were in no very great Humour to rejoice at a Time when a Pound of Bread cost eleven Sols, and few were they that had a Belly-full. ’Tis no laughing Matter, when the Guts grumble. But I leave this long Digression, and resume the Thread of my Narrative, by proceeding with the Description of Fontainebleau.


This Royal Palace is accompanied with a fine Park, which, tho’ not near so much adorned as the Park of Versailles, has remarkable Beauties, not to be met with in that. The great Canal is superb, and, generally speaking, the Palace of Fontainebleau, with all that environs it, has much more of the Air of a Royal Palace, than Versailles and Marly. The Village or Town of Fontainebleau, for I know not which to call it, is very well built. Most of the Lords have great Houses here, where they put their Equipages and Domesticks; it being the Custom at the Court of France, for every Lord that belongs to the Court to be lodg’d in the King’s Palace; and the French are so infatuated with this Practice, that a Nobleman had rather be lodg’d in a Manger at Court, than in an Apartment ever so commodious and magnificent, in his House at Versailles and Fontainebleau.

The Road from Fontainebleau to Paris is pav’d all the Way. There are a great many fine Houses on it, particularly Petitbourg, belonging to the Duke d’Antin, to whom it came by Succession, from his Mother, the Marchioness Montespan. Very great Buildings have been erected there within these few Years, which have the Appearance of Magnificence and Grandeur; not to mention the rich Furniture, the Pleasures of the Park, and several other Things, so ingeniously chose, and so beautifully dispos’d, as are infinitely delightful.

Choisy, which belongs to the first Princess Dowager of Conti, Daughter of Lewis XIV. by Mademoiselle de la Valiere, is, to my thinking, one of the finest Houses in the Kingdom. ’Tis built intirely in the modern Taste, and stands by the River Side. The Apartments are richly adorn’d. The Garden which belongs to it is spacious, and189 several Alleys are cut out in it, which yield very fine Walks, and render Choisy an inchanting Place. Were I to mention all the other fine Houses to you that are upon the Road, I should never have done. If you consult the Delices de la France, you will find a large Account of all those Houses, as well as of their Names and Situation. For my part, my Head akes so much at this Instant, that ’tis impossible for me to add any more: But in a few Days, you shall hear farther from me; and then I will give you some Account of Paris: In the meantime, believe me to be always Yours intirely, &c.



SIR,Paris, April 1, 1732.  

Don’t imagine, that I am going to give you an exact Description of the City of Paris; for that would be an Undertaking to as little Purpose, as it is beyond my Ability. Paris has been so fully describ’d, and is so much talk’d of, that most People know what Sort of Place it is, though they have never seen it. Several Authors are so divided about the Antiquity of Paris, that I can say nothing positive to you upon this Head. Cæsar, in his Commentaries, speaks very much in its Favour, and says, that in his Time, this City was call’d Lutetia. The Learned differ also about the Origin190 of this[41]Name; but I shall leave them to dispute this Matter as long as they please, and assure them, that I am not concerned in their Quarrel.

According to Father Daniel, Paris was the Capital City of France, in the Reign of Clovis, about the Year 507. But even then, Paris was a Place of very little Consequence; and, if it be duly consider’d, could not be rank’d among the great Towns, before the Reign of Philip Augustus; That Prince made it his Endeavour to embellish it, and added Buildings to it, which at that Time were reckon’d very magnificent. Since his Reign, Paris has always been the Seat of the Kings, and has been continually increasing in Grandeur and Beauty. But none of its Kings has contributed so much to the Magnificence of Paris, as the Prince who least resided in it, I mean Lewis XIV. who caus’d such Structures to be rais’d in it, as are worthy of the greatest Monarch in the World. Of some of these Works, I may hereafter give you a more particular Account.

The French pretend, that no City in Europe contains so many Inhabitants as Paris; but the English say, the most populous is London; yet, without the least Hesitation, I determine it for the latter of the two Rivals. My Reason for it is this: At Paris, eighteen or twenty thousand191 People die every Year, and at London twenty-three or twenty-four thousand; tho’ I don’t dispute, but Paris seems more populous: For in the latter, every body is to be seen in the Streets, either on Foot or in Coaches; whereas at London, Passengers are continually going up and down the Thames; which River is seldom without carrying forty or fifty thousand People, who, if diffus’d in the Streets, would make them look fuller of People than those of Paris. Besides, what makes the Capital of France appear to be more populous, is, that it has more Coaches and Carts; whereas at London, one always sees Goods going up or down the River; which is the Reason, that Carts are not so much in Use there: And most of the Ladies, instead of Coaches, ride in Sedans. But a Frenchman will tell me, you shall see five or six Families in one House at Paris; whereas at London, they are seldom two. To this I shall answer, that ’tis true, there are more Lodgers in the Houses of Paris; but this stands for nothing, and only proves, that there are more Houses at London. At Paris, there are many Hôtels, or great Houses, Convents, large Gardens, public Squares, Quays, and a River that runs through the Middle; all which takes up a great deal of Ground; and in several of the Suburbs, without which Paris itself is but a little Place, there are intire Marshes. But at London,’tis quite otherwise, such Hôtels are uncommon there, and few Houses there have Courts to them. They are all very much pent up, and many a House at London is not so big as the Halls in a great many of the Hôtels at Paris.

But what matters it, whether London is bigger or less than Paris? I shall now speak of the latter, not as the biggest, but as the most beautiful City in Europe. ’Tis reckon’d, there are in Paris192 nine hundred Streets, with above twenty thousand Houses, of which four thousand have great Gates, and Courts to turn Coaches in. The Number of Inhabitants amounts to above eighty thousand; in which must be reckon’d one hundred and fifty thousand Domestics. There are at least twenty thousand Coaches, and near one hundred and twenty thousand Horses for Carriages of all Sorts, of which, one Year with another, ten thousand die. In fine, the very Expence of the Lanthorns, which are lighted nine Months in the Year, is computed at two hundred thousand Crowns at least. The common Revenues which the City of Paris produces, are said to amount at least to twenty-eight Millions of Livres; a Sum, which, I believe, is not rais’d by some Kingdoms.

Paris enjoys all the Prerogatives that can be enjoy’d by the Capital of a powerful Kingdom. This City has not only the Reputation of being the Residence of Kings, but is the Seat of an Archbishop, a Parliament, an University, an Intendant, a Governor, and of all the Sovereign Courts in the Government. Its Metropolitan Church, which was heretofore no more than the See of a Bishop, Suffragan to the Archbishop of Sens, is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. St. Denys, who liv’d in the first Ages of Christianity, is own’d to be its Founder, or at least its first Bishop. Its first Archbishop was Francis de Gondy, who obtain’d that Dignity by a Bull of Pope Gregory XV. in 1622. since which Time there have been seven Archbishops. Whoever is the Archbishop, has the Title of Duke of St. Cloud, and in that Quality is both Duke and Peer of France. The present Archbishop’s Name is N. N. de Vintimille of the Counts du Luc. He succeeded Lewis-Antony, Cardinal de Noailles, and finds his Diocese as disobedient to his Mandates, as it was to those of his Predecessor. 193The good Prelate does all he can, to bring back his[42]stray’d Sheep; but it seems as if most of the Parisians know not what they would be at; and indeed the greatest Number dispute about Matters, which they don’t understand. I find the Talk of all Paris engross’d by two grand Subjects; I mean grand for the Parisians, and, if I may venture to say it, for the French in general: For, to be plain, ’tis owing to the Want of something else to talk of during a long Peace, that they busy themselves very seriously about Things, which at other Times they would think unworthy of their Attention. The one is the Affair of Father Girard and la Cadiere; the other, the pretended Miracles of the Abbé Paris. There is nothing so base, with which Knavery and a furious Zeal can inspire a Party, but what has been said and written on these Subjects. The Enemies of the Jesuits have[43]invented, that194 Father John Baptist Girard, a Native of Dole in Franche Comté, debauch’d one la Cadiere, who came to him for Confession; they prevail’d on the young Woman to accuse him of Crimes, the very Idea of which is shocking, and which the most resolute Villain would not dare perhaps to be guilty of, much less Father Girard; who, till accus’d of this Wickedness, had always pass’d for an honest Man, whose Conduct and Morals had been edifying in Places where he had been, and particularly at Toulon, where nevertheless he is said to have committed the most horrid Enormities. But la Cadiere has recanted; and the Parlement of Aix, before whom the Cause was pleaded, has declar’d Father Girard innocent. Yet the Jansenists exclaim, and wish that the King would cause the Members of that Parlement to be hang’d up, because they could not in Conscience bring in Father Girard guilty.

The following Epigram is lately publish’d upon that Parlement:

Pour avoir immolé le Fils du Tout-Puissant
Pilate moins que vous nous parut detestable;
Il ne reçût point d’or pour punir l’Innocent,
Mais vous en recevez pour sauver le coupable.
i. e.

Pilate, tho’ he sacrific’d the Son of the Almighty, is even less detestable in our Eyes than you; for he receiv’d no Gold to punish the Innocent, but you take it to save the Guilty.

Or thus:
Of Judges that in Judgment sit,
Whether incurs most Banns,
He that for Gold doth Vice acquit,
Or Virtue gratis damns?195
Pilate, who sacrific’d the Son
Of the Almighty Lord,
Because no Golden Bribe he won,
Is less than you abhorr’d.

Father Girard’s Adventure calls to my Mind a great Scandal of this Nature, that happen’d in the fourth Century, on Occasion of a Lady’s Confession to a Deacon; which obliged the Patriarch Nectarius to abolish Auricular Confession throughout the East; as may be seen in the fourth Tome of Fleuri’s Ecclesiastical History. This Author, in his Sixteenth Tome, says, that in the twelfth Century there were Abbesses in Spain, who preach’d, gave Blessings, and confessed Persons of both Sexes. If this Practice was re-establish’d, there would be no Room to fear such Disorders and Scandals as have happen’d in Provence.

The second Topic, which takes up a great deal of the Parisians Conversation, is the pretended Miracles of the Sieur Paris, to whose Tomb People flock as much as they could be suppos’d to do to the Holy Sepulchre itself. Curiosity drew me thither as well as others; and I found such a vast Crowd of People, that ’twas with much ado I could get to the Stone which covers the Saint of the Populace. While I was looking at this Tombstone, I heard ’em cry behind, Stand by, make Room there; so that I thought some Prince of the Blood was coming; but ’twas no more than a mean-looking Fellow, who, with a very contrite Air, went and stretch’d himself on the Tomb; where he had not lain many Moments, but I saw him turn up the Whites of his Eyes, grind his Teeth, foam at the Mouth, and twist his Body into such Postures, that he look’d more like one that had the Devil in him, than the Favourite of a Saint. These Agitations lasted as long as the196 Man had any Strength; after which he was carry’d off, and I assure you, that when he was taken from the Tomb, he had a much more sickly Look than when he came to it. Nevertheless the People bawl’d out, A Miracle! and I even heard it said, Who can doubt one Moment, after so manifest a Cure as this, that Paris is a Saint!

Such Miracles, as this that I have now related to you, are work’d here every Day: One can’t set a Foot into a House, without being entertain’d with some new Story plac’d to the Accompt of the Abbé Paris; yet I protest, that not one single Miracle has been prov’d: and M. Herault, the Lieutenant-General of the Police, to whom all these Miracles are reported, said, in my Hearing, that there was not one of them true; that ’twas a palpable Delusion; and that ’twas only tolerated, the better to trace it up to its Source, and to undeceive the Populace; which, I believe, will be no easy Matter, they are so much prepossess’d in Favour of their Saint. The only Way would be for the Pope to canonise the Sieur Paris, and then I am persuaded, that all the Devotees of this new Saint wou’d abandon him, rather than be in the Holy Father’s Mess. But here I leave both Father Girard and the Abbé Paris, though perhaps I shall find an Opportunity of discovering all that I may hear of them to you, when I think it worthy of your Regard; but I shall be far from troubling you with every impertinent Tale that is reread about them; for I verily believe, that all the Songs and Verses that are made upon them wou’d form several Volumes: And it must be expected this Humour will last, till something new starts up to drown both these Subjects of present Conversation. I own to you, that I am very much in Pain to think what the French can have to amuse them after this is over; for their Genius is such, that it must have something197 to work upon, tho’ ’tis happy for them that a mere Nothing suffices, and that such Nothing is always treated by them as a serious Affair, and proves to them an inexhaustible Fund of Something.

You ask me, how I employ my Time here? which is a Question that is not very soon answer’d. My Amusements are of such various Kinds, that, to be plain with you, I find myself at a loss to account for them. I should often be very much puzzled to prove an alibi of two Days. This Country is my Centre, and Paris is to me the Spring of Youth. Never was any Reflection more mortifying to me, than the Thought that I am not in a Condition to fix my Habitation here; for tho’ I find Faults in the French, as well as in all other Nations, yet I acknowledge they have a thousand good Qualities; and I think them much more amiable at home than they are abroad, where, be a Man ever so much prepossess’d in their Favour upon other Accounts, he is surfeited with their eternal Criticisms, and to hear them incessantly remarking, They don’t do so at Paris. You don’t see this in France. Here they are polite, good-natur’d, humane, civil and engaging; and a Foreigner, who can bring himself ever so little into their Way of Thinking, Acting, and Speaking, will always be sorry to leave them.

But I am not about giving you the Character of the French; what I am now to acquaint you with is, how I live with them. In a very irregular Course of Life, I aim at a certain Regularity: I rise very late, because I don’t go to Bed till Two or Three o’Clock in the Morning: When I am dress’d, I go to some Cabinet of Curiosities, some Library, or to some Structure or other, which, tho’ I have seen perhaps an hundred times, I revisit with Pleasure, because I always find some new Beauty in it. Such are the Hôtel or Hospital of the Invalids,198 founded and built by Lewis XIV. Val de Grace, the Church which is the Repositary of the Hearts and Bowels of the Kings and Princes of the Royal Family, and was founded by Anne of Austria, Mother to Lewis XIV. the Choir of Notre Dame, adorn’d with Marble and Brass by Lewis XIV. to fulfill a Vow made by King Lewis XIII. his Father; the Louvre, with all the Beauties it contains; and, in fine, a Number of other stately Fabrics, which I don’t mention or describe to you, because a thousand Authors have already given a better Account of them, than I am able to do. After having thus saunter’d away two or three Hours, I return home to Dinner; for I rarely dine abroad: When I have din’d, if I am alone, I read for an Hour or two; after which I go out, either to make Visits, or else to take the Air. I often go to their Plays, not only because I have a Taste that way, but to avoid Gaming; for you can’t go into a House, but they bring out the Cards. After the Comedy is over, which I am forc’d, whether I will or not, to prefer to the Opera, I go to some House, where there’s no saying nay, but I must make one at Quadrille, to ease me of my Money; for I know not what ’tis to win. I am entertain’d with a good Supper, and then I join in a second Party at Quadrille, and sometimes in a third; and go home at three o’Clock in the Morning, with an empty Pocket.

This Itch for Gaming, which has infected the Generality of the French, is look’d upon as one of the Plagues of the Nation. I can’t imagine how ’tis possible for People, who can scarce stay a Quarter of an Hour in one Place, but are generally restless where-ever they are, to sit five or six Hours together in cutting and shuffling the Cards. ’Tis however a necessary Evil, especially for a Foreigner, who must otherwise make a very silly199 Figure, till he is quite initiated in the Customs of the Country. The Ladies say of a Man who does not play, that he is a useless Piece of Lumber; and the most flaming Lovers cease to make Love, as soon as Cards are brought upon the Carpet.

There are some Houses however, where this Passion for Gaming is not quite so prevalent; ’tis said too, that the Lawyers Houses are not so liable to the Contagion; but I own, I am not conversant enough with them to know the Difference. ’Tis certain, that at Court they play deeper than any-where, and very many of the Nobility have impair’d their Fortunes, for the sake of having the Honour to be one of a Party with the King. His Majesty commonly plays at Lansquenet; the Party consists of twelve Cutters, who set a Lewis d’Or upon the Card. The King, and the principal Gamesters, as the Count de Tholouse, the Duke d’Antin, the Duke de Grammont, and the like, set two, and sometimes four Lewis d’Ors upon a Stake. The King is reckon’d to have the best Luck of all that play in the Queen’s Apartment: Any body that is well dress’d is admitted to make one of the Company, which forms a great Court, tho’ a mix’d Assembly. All the Ladies sit round the Gaming-table, and the Men stand. The French say, that Gaming sets every body upon a Level. There’s one S. Remi, who had been a Lacquey first to the Marshal d’Estrée’s Lady, and then to the Duke of Bourbon, who preferr’d him to be his Valet de Chambre, and at the Queen’s Arrival gave him a Post in her Majesty’s Houshold, which he held at the same time that he officiated as the Duke’s Valet de Chambre: I have seen this Man raise or fall the Mirth of the King’s Company at Pleasure; ’tis true, he does not cut; but he is at every Card, and makes very good Pastime. At Fontainebleau, I heard him one Day bet the King twenty Lewis200 d’Ors, upon his own Card against his Majesty’s. The King answer’d coolly, No, Marquis; which is a Nickname that his Majefty has given him, and may nevertheless be transmitted to the Posterity of this S. Remi, who is moreover Fop enough to be a Marquis.

This Medley of People at Play has been the Custom in France at all times. I remember to have heard the late Mother of the Regent say, That when she went upon a time from Versailles, where she resided with the King, to see her Husband, Lewis XIV’s Brother, who was gone to spend a few Days at St. Cloud, she found him playing at Lansquenet with a dozen Cutters, of whom she knew but two; and when the Game was out, she ask’d her Husband, who the People were that he had been playing with: They are very honest Fellows, reply’d the Prince, good substantial Tradesmen of Paris, who play well, and for a great deal of Money. The old Lady gave us moreover to understand, that she had not been at that time long in France, and that she was so vex’d to find her Husband in such Company, that she cou’d not forbear to upbraid him for it; but her Husband turn’d it all off with a Laugh, and made her Answer, That she had still a Spice of the German Haughtiness, but that it would wear off in Time.

’Tis certain however, that this Liberty, with which all Sorts of People are indulg’d, of coming in for a Game and away, renders them fawcy. That noted Comedian Baron, the greatest Coxcomb of all Men living before the Quinaults, was one Day at the House of the Prince de Conti, the same that had been chose King of Poland, where they were playing at Lansquenet. Baron, pulling his Purse out with a careless Air, said to the Prince, Ten Lewis D’Ors upon the Knave, M. de Conti. Done, Britannicus, said the Prince de Conti, who knew that201 Baron had been just acting that Part in a Play. It is certain, that at many of the Womens Houses, the Gamesters are as much pamper’d as a Father Confessor is by his Female Votary. A greet many Houses subsist here by the Emoluments of Gaming, where, were it not for the Money arising from their Cards, their Suppers would be very light, and many that now ride wou’d go on Foot. The Duke de Gevres, Governor of Paris, and the Prince de Carignan, who have a Grant for licensing all manner of Gaming, have farm’d it out, and get 120,000 Livres a-piece by it clear Money; which one shall hardly find in any City in the World.

This Gaming puts me in mind of a Lottery they have here every Month, which is a Sort of Game too, where the Banker is the greatest Gainer. These Lotteries have been set on foot by the Parson of the Parish of St. Sulpice, to help build his Church, and twenty Sols is the Price of each Ticket; but they prove the utter Undoing of many a Lacquey and Maid-Servant; which made a Friend of mine say, that the Parson of St. Sulpice, out of Gratitude to the poor Devils, for burying their Wages in his Lottery, could do no less, when they die, than bury their Carcases for nothing. This Lottery is worth to the Parson about 20,000 Livres a Month, besides the Sums he gets from the pious Contributions of several Persons zealous for the House of God: Nevertheless these Works go on so slowly, that the Parson’s Trowel is not like to be laid aside yet-a-while, tho’, if his Church be ever finished, ’twill be the greatest and the finest in the Kingdom; for all the new Works are design’d by Giles Maria Oppenord, the Duke of Orleans’s chief Architect, and one of the most skilful of his Profession in France.

The Parsonage of St. Sulpice is the most considerable, not only of Paris, but perhaps of Europe;202 for it brings in the Parson as much as some good Dioceses do their Bishops. The Right of Presentation to it is in the Abbat and Friers of the Abbey of St. Germain. The present Incumbent is M. Languet de Gergy, who has one Brother that is Bishop of Soissons[44], and another now an Ambassador at Venice[45]. The Vigilance both of the Pastor, and of the Priests whom he employs for administring the Sacraments, cannot but be commended: The latter form a numerous Society, attend their Function with Application, and Divine Service is perform’d in the Church with very great Edification. The Society, and several Seminaries join’d to it, form together the most numerous Body of Clergy in all the Kingdom. The Seminary of St. Sulpice is one of the most frequented, because the Ecclesiastical Discipline is there taught and practis’d with Care; perhaps too, because Subjects are often taken from thence for the chief Dignities of the Church. Nothing is more edifying than to see the Procession of this Parish upon the Day of Corpus Christi, when there’s a numerous Appearance of the Clergy in magnificent Copes: The Canopy, under which the Holy Sacrament is carry’d, is extraordinary rich. Twenty-four young Clergymen go before the Holy Sacrament, and twelve always walk backward, perfuming the Host, as they go, with Censers of Silver. There is not a Procession in the Kingdom that is made with more Dignity and Order[46]. With your Favour, I will conclude this203 Letter with the bare Mention of this Sacred Ceremony. As I propose to go to-morrow to Versailles, I shall send you what Observations I make there. I am, &c.



SIR,Versailles, April 15, 1732.  

I have been now just ten Days at Versailles, where I have had the Honour of greeting the King and Queen, and all the Royal Family. I perceiv’d the King since his Marriage is grown very fat, but he is still one of the finest Princes in Europe. It may be said of Lewis XV. that he is a Prince born without Vice, and free from that Haughtiness, which is commonly attach’d to Royalty: He is familiar with his Courtiers, reserv’d to Persons that are unknown to him, and particularly to Ambassadors, and more secret and circumspect than Persons of his Age. He has the Morals, Behaviour, and Sentiments of a good Man, and from thence France may expect his Reign will be gentle and peaceful. It appears, as if Lewis XV. will be content with the Government of one of the most powerful Monarchies of the World, and that he204 will not be inclin’d to disturb Europe, for the sake of conquering a Town or a Province. He has been educated in such Sentiments of Justice, that his Neighbours ought not to be afraid of him, since God has undoubtedly chose him to be one of the Arbitrators of Europe, in order for the Preservation, and not for the Destruction of Equity: Lewis the Pacific and the Debonaire will be his distinguishing Titles: Must not these be dearer to his Subjects, than the bloody Title of Lewis the Conqueror? And may he not be great, and at the same time a Lover of Peace? Hitherto the King seems to follow the Plans of Government chalk’d out by the late Duke of Burgundy, his Father, whose Wisdom is still rever’d by France. God grant that he may always take them for his Models, and that his Reign may be long, and end as glorious as it begun!

I never cast my Eyes upon Lewis XV. without admiring the Providence which has preserv’d him, contrary to the People’s Expectation. I have had the Honour to see him Duke of Anjou, his Brother, the Duke of Bretagne, being then alive. I have seen him the Dauphin of France, and at length I have seen him on the Throne: He had at one time a pale Complexion, which did not promise long Life. What Diseases has he not labour’d under! yet he now enjoys a perfect State of Health, and the Crown, which was so likely to devolve to collateral Branches, is establish’d upon the Head of this young Prince, and like to descend to his own Posterity. In fine, a King of France, Father of five Children living before he is twenty Years of Age, is such a Phænomenon as is hardly to be parallell’d in antient or modern History, and ’tis in my Opinion more extraordinary even than the advanc’d Age, and the long Reign of his Great-Grandfather.

The Queen is a Princess of exemplary Virtue, whose sole Application is to discharge her Duties to205 God, the King, and her Children: She is extremely gracious and civil, and has a great Happiness of expressing herself in the French, German, and Polish Languages: She had formerly a great Taste for Music, and is now fond of Reading; but being entirely conformable to her Husband’s Sentiments, she takes no manner of Share in the Government: She loves no Pageantry nor Ceremony, and the Rank of being the first Queen in the World seems to have no other Effect upon her, than to render her Virtues more venerable and conspicuous.

As for the Children of France, they are as yet too young to be characteris’d. Mean time I assure you, ’tis a fine Sight to see them going to the Queen’s Apartment, or running along the Gallery, with at least forty Attendants in their Train, including the Ladies and Chambermaids. The Person intrusted with the Care of the Education of the Children of France is the Duchess de Ventadour; but as she is very far advanced in Years, and not able to be with them every-where, the Duchess of Tallard, her Grand-daughter, is join’d with her in the Commission. This Lady is the Daughter of the Prince de Rohan, Brother to the Cardinal: The Choice which has been made of her to succeed the Duchess of Ventadour, has been applauded by the whole Court; and in short, there are few Ladies that have a more noble Carriage, more Politeness, and sublimer Sentiments: And ’tis very remarkable, that since the Birth of the Dauphin, Lewis XIVth’s only Son, the Mother, the Daughter, and the Grand-daughter have always been trusted with the Education of the Children of France.

Her Royal Highness, the Widow of the Regent, who is Daughter to Lewis XIV. by Madame de Montespan, is the first in Rank at Court, and she is the only Princess that has a Right to sit at Table with their Majesties, when they dine in State; but206 ’tis a Prerogative that she does not often make use of, because she has such a Dislike to Dress, that she appears little at Court; and when she comes to the King or Queen, ’tis in private: She commonly resides at Paris, or at Bagnolet[47]: She is the only Princess of the Kingdom that has Guards, and enjoys the Honours of a Daughter of France. King Lewis XIV. granted all these great Distinctions to the late Duke of Orleans, in Favour of this Marriage, to which that Prince agreed against the Consent of his late Father, and the express Prohibition of his Mother; who was so exasperated against her Son, for not resisting Lewis XIVth’s Will and Pleasure, that she lifted up her Hand against him, when he told her that he was just marry’d, would not see her Daughter-in-law for a long time, and never could endure the Thoughts of the Match, till she saw her Grand-daughter marry’d to the Duke of Berry. Since that time, she has not been so strongly prejudic’d against her, but acknowledges her Royal Highness’s Virtues, and always kept a good Correspondence with her. This Princess lives very retir’d in the Midst of the Court, and is very much employ’d in Works of Piety.

Her Son, the Duke of Orleans, is a Prince of exemplary Devotion, being almost continually at Prayer, or performing Works of Charity: He made two or three Attempts to retire from the World, but the King thinking his Presence necessary in his Council, would not consent to it. His most serene Highness is the first Prince of the Blood, and Governor of Dauphiny; and he was once Colonel and Captain General of the French Infantry, but he resign’d that Post some Years ago. This Prince marry’d the Princess of Baden, by whom he has a Son styl’d Duke of Chartres, a hopeful young Prince, who is207 educated at St. Cloud, remote from the Grandeur and Hurry of the Court.

The Duke of Orleans has also four Sisters in the Kingdom, the eldest of whom is the Abbess de Chelles, who was formerly styl’d Mademoiselle de Chartres. This Princess, in spite of all the Persuasions of the late Regent and the Duchess, who did their utmost to divert her from it, took the Habit of a Nun, tho’ she was one of the most amiable Princesses in Europe, and might have made a great Prince happy.

The second Sister is the Queen of Spain, the Dowager of Lewis I. whom she marry’d when he was Prince of Asturias, before his Father resign’d the Crown of Spain to him; but the young King did not live long to enjoy it, and after his Death, the young Queen Dowager having a Desire to return to France, their Catholic Majesties consented to it, and the King of France allow’d her the Castle of Vincennes to reside in, where for some time she liv’d: She had not been there many Weeks, when she receiv’d a Visit from the King, who said, before he went, that his Visit would be short. I am not very talkative, said his Majesty, and they say, that the Queen of Spain does not talk at all; so that I don’t believe we shall have much Conversation: And indeed the Visit was very short. The Queen receiv’d the King at the Step of the Coach, and the King taking her by the Hand, led her into his Chamber, where two Arm-Chairs were plac’d for them under a Canopy. The King seated himself on the Right Hand, and after a few Words spoke by the Duke de Bourbon, and the Duke de Noailles, who, as Captain of the Guards, stood behind the King’s Chair, his Majesty rose, and went away with the same Ceremonies as he came. Some time after this, the Queen of Spain went to visit the King, when her Guards were plac’d in all the Posts208 of Versailles, the King’s Guards being order’d to make room for them. The King receiv’d the Queen as she alighted from the Coach, and every thing pass’d with the same Formality as at Vincennes. The Queen of Spain, after some Stay at the Castle of Vincennes, went to live in those Apartments at Luxembourg, which had been the Residence of her Sister the Duchess of Berry; but some time ago she retir’d to a Convent, and her Family, which was at first exceeding numerous, was very much reduc’d. If we except the vain Honours of Royalty, she would have been far more happy, if she had never been a Queen; for then she might have marry’d again; whereas now she must continue a Widow, and pass the Prime of her Days in Solitude and Retirement.

The third Sister of the Duke of Orleans is Mademoiselle de Beaujolois, who was design’d as a Match for the Infante, Don Carlos; but when the Infanta of Spain was sent back from France, return’d to this Kingdom with the Queen, her Sister: She is one of the most beautiful and most amiable Princesses upon Earth, worthy to reign, and worthy of the Infante[48].

Mademoiselle d’Orleans[49], her Sister, is a very charming Princess, with an exceeding graceful Air, and Behaviour fully answerable to her Birth.

Next to the Family of Orleans, the first in Rank is that of Conde, which consists of three Princes, and six Princesses: The Duke de Bourbon is the chief, who is great Steward of the King’s Houshold, and Governor of Burgundy, His Highness lost one Eye in Hunting, by an unfortunate Shot from the Duke209 of Berry: He was marry’d very young to Mademoiselle de Conti his Cousin, who died without Issue. He was also but young when he made the Campaigns in Germany, in Company with his Brother-in-law the Prince of Conti. After the Decease of Lewis XIV. the Duke went to Law with the legitimated Princes, and caus’d the Duke de Maine to be degraded from the Rank of Prince of the Blood, to which he had been promoted by an Arret solemnly register’d in Parliament during the Life of the late King. The Duke of Bourbon demanded, as first Prince of the Blood, whom he then represented, by reason of the tender Age of the Duke of Chartres, now Duke of Orleans, to have the Superintendance of the King’s Education, to which Post the Duke de Maine had been nominated by the late King’s last Will: He obtain’d his Demand, and the Duke de Maine retir’d to Seaux. The Duke de Bourbon had after this a great Share in the Affairs of the Regency, and the Duke of Orleans took care to keep him in good Humour. At the unexpected Death of the Regent, the Duke, being then at Versailles, went to the King, and demanded the Post of Prime Minister, vacant by the Death of his Royal Highness, and obtain’d it. The late M. de la Vrilliere, Secretary of State, being perhaps a little too forgetful of his Obligations to the Son of a Prince who had heap’d Favours upon him, drew up the Patent instantly, and caus’d it to be sign’d by the King, before the Duke of Chartres, who was at the Opera at Paris, could hear the News of his Father’s Death; so that tho’ he went Post to Versailles, and demanded the Office of First Minister, the Duke of Bourbon told him, that the King had dispos’d of it to himself. The Duke was no sooner vested with the Authority of Prime Minister, than he made great Alterations in the Government; but these are the Subject of History rather than of a210 Letter. M. le Blanc, who had been Secretary at War, and was the Darling of the Officers, was committed to the Bastille; and M. de Breteuil, who had been formerly Master of the Requests, and Intendant of Tours, succeeded him in that Office; which was the Consequence of a Misunderstanding, or rather a Hatred, between two Ladies, who were the Mistresses, the one of the Duke of Bourbon, the other of M. le Blanc. All the Friends of the latter, among whom was M. the Count de Belle-Isle, shared in his Disgrace. The four Brothers of the Name of Paris had the Management of the Finances, of which Brothers two had been Soldiers in the Guards; but they had the Cunning to extricate themselves from that melancholy State, and to render themselves necessary to the Government during the Time of the Regency. M. d’Argenson Keeper of the Seals had been their Patron, and rais’d them upon the Ruins of Mr. John Law, and his System. Whatever was done by these Brothers is foreign to my Purpose: Their rapid Fortune drew Envy upon them, and they soon became the Objects of the public Hatred.

The most remarkable Transactions of the Duke’s Administration, were the sending back of the Infanta, and the Marriage of the King. The Duke, foreseeing the Inconveniencies to which France would be liable, if the King should die without Issue, thought it best to prevent so fatal an Accident, which it had not been possible for him to have done without marrying the King. The Infanta of Spain was a Child, and it would be at least eight Years before they could hope for any Issue from her; whereas by marrying the King to another speedily, there was a Chance of having a Dauphin very soon, who would secure the Tranquillity of the Kingdom. His most Serene Highness therefore propos’d this Affair to the Council, which at first he found very211 much divided about it; for they were apprehensive of the Resentment of the King of Spain, and the Duke himself was heartily sorry, that he was under a Necessity of giving their Catholic Majesties just Cause of Disgust for the sake of the public Good: The Council being at last agreed, they pass’d a Resolution unanimously to send back the Infanta. This was accordingly notified to the Court of Spain, where News so unexpected was receiv’d with all the Indignation possible. The Infanta was sent back. The Duchess of Tallard had the Care of conducting her to the Spanish Frontier. All the Honours due to the Daughter of a great King were paid to this Princess, and every thing that could be thought of, was done to soften the Displeasure of their Catholic Majesties for her Return. All France murmur’d in secret at the Departure of this Princess; for she had won the Hearts of all who had seen her, by a Behaviour and a Genius so vastly above one of her Age, that they prognosticated she would one Day be a great Queen. Not long after she was sent away, the King was married to a Princess so happy in Childbearing, that Heaven thereby seems to applaud what the Duke has done, and the People, quite forgetting the Infanta, bless his Name.

The King, after he had been married a few Months, thought it was not convenient for a Prince of the Blood to have the Direction of his Affairs; and therefore he displac’d the Duke of Bourbon from the Post of Prime Minister, and made the late Bishop of Frejus, now the Cardinal de Fleury, the sole Depositary of his Authority. The Duke receiv’d Orders to retire to Chantilly, a Seat he has near Senlis; and there his Friends put it into his Head to marry a second Wife: Several Princesses were propos’d to him, but he determin’d his Choice for Eleonora of Hesse-Rhinfelds, Sister of the Princess212 of Piedmont, now Queen of Sardinia[50]; and the Brother of this Princess, having a Proxy sent to him from the Duke, married her at Rotenbourg, in Presence of the Count de Gasse, whom the Duke had sent to assist in his Name at this Ceremony. The young Duchess no sooner arriv’d in France, but her Beauty, and the Charms both of her Person and Mind, made her admir’d by the whole Court, of which she is now one of the principal Ornaments: She is belov’d and respected by all Mankind, and every body pities her, that the Duke has not all that Tenderness for her which she deserves, and which it were to be wish’d he had for the Support of the Conde Family, of which the two only Princes remaining, viz. the Counts de Charolois and Clermont, are not married.

The Count de Charolois is tall, handsome, and well-set: His Entrance upon the Stage of Action was much taken Notice of; for a Thirst after Glory was the Passion of his Soul, as soon as he came to the Years of Understanding. The War being kindled in Hungary, and Prince Eugene of Savoy having gain’d a Victory near Temiswar, which reviv’d that Hero’s Reputation in France, the Count de Charolois had a mind to learn the Art of War under so great a Master, and to make the Campaign which immediately follow’d that of Temiswar; but he did not dare to discover his Intention, and fearing that he should not obtain the Consent, either of the Duke of Orleans the Regent, the Duchess his Mother, or the Duke his Father, he resolv’d to set out privately, being sure that he should be applauded for his Undertaking, if he could be so happy as to put it in Execution. He imparted his213 Design in Confidence to M. de Billy, one of his Gentlemen, and to Renault his first Valet de Chambre, and with these two Attendants he set out from Chantilly on Pretence of Hunting. He travell’d five or six Post-Stages with the very Horses that belonged to the Duke his Father; after which he left them to the Care of the Post-master, and hir’d fresh Horses, with which he reach’d Liege; where he rested some Days, and having provided himself with Linen, went to the Court of the Elector of Cologn, whom he had known in France: His first Visit at Bonn, was at the House of M. de S. Maurice, the Elector’s Prime Minister; but he did not find him at home. M. de Billy thereupon desir’d to speak with his Lady, and told her, that a certain Punctilio of Honour had oblig’d him to come from France with the young Gentleman in his Company; but Madame de S. Maurice, not thinking he was a Prince of the Blood, and taking the Count de Charolois for some petty Officer, gave him a very cold Reception: However, she sent for her Husband, who was then attending the Elector’s Person; and when the Count de S. Maurice came, he presently knew the Count de Charolois, paid him all due Respects, and hasten’d to notify his Arrival to the Elector, who at first was concern’d to hear it, because his Electoral Highness knew not but he might disoblige the Court of France by receiving the Count, who he imagin’d had left the Kingdom upon some Disgust. Nevertheless, after reflecting with himself, that whatever the Count de Charolois might have done, the Court of France could not be angry with him for paying a Regard to his Quality as Prince of the Blood, he sent to invite him to his Palace. The Count went thither accordingly, by the Name of the Count de Dammartin, which he always travell’d With as long as he was absent from the Kingdom.214 The Elector receiv’d him With all the Marks of the highest Esteem, kept him several Days at his Court, and then furnish’d him with Money for his Journey to Munich; where he no sooner arriv’d, but he wrote to the Duke his Father to send him Remittances, and the necessary Equipages for the Campaign which he was then going to make.

Tho’ the Count de Charolois did not find the Elector of Bavaria at Munich, yet he was as well receiv’d as if he had been there; and the Electress, tho’ he had not been to see her, no sooner heard of his Arrival, but she order’d all due Honours to be paid to him. When the Elector return’d to Munich, he was overjoy’d to find this Prince there, and offer’d to make his Peace in France, in which he succeeded so far, as to get his Departure out of the Kingdom approv’d by the Duchess and the Regent. When the Count’s Domestics were arriv’d, he set out for Hungary, and pass’d through Vienna without saluting the Emperor, or the Empress Dowager his Cousin German. The Empress Was so offended at it, that she wrote to her Aunt, who was the Prince’s Grandmother, and signified to that Princess, that she did not think it handsome for a Prince of such Descent as the Count de Charolois, to pass through Vienna to serve in the Imperial Army, without having seen the Emperor. The Count’s Relations did not fail to reproach him for his Want of Respect to their Imperial Majesties. He excus’d himself, by saying that he did not know what Treatment he ought to expect; but the Answer he receiv’d, was an Order from the Regent in the King’s Name, to wait on their Imperial Majesties as he return’d from the Campaign.

He signaliz’d himself in it very much, but with so little Care of his Person, that Prince Eugene of Savoy often reproach’d him for it: He took a Pleasure to go up to the very Breast-work of the215 Trenches; and from thence with Screw-Guns he fir’d at the Turks, as if he had been shooting at small Birds: On the other hand the Turks did not spare him, but sent their Balls whizzing about his Ears in Return for his Frolic. The Count was present at the Battle of Belgrade, and saw that Place taken: He afterwards went to Vienna, and staid there some Weeks, where he had an Audience of the Emperor, not incognito, but as the Count de Charolois. The Emperor receiv’d him at the Favourita standing: His Audience was attended with this odd Circumstance. The Count, being not acquainted with the Ceremonial, did not know that he should find the Emperor all alone; and therefore, when he enter’d the Closet, and saw a Man in a very plain Dress leaning with his Back against a Table, he took him for some private Gentleman; but in a few Moments he spy’d the Golden Fleece: He was doubtful in his Mind, after all, whether ’twas the Emperor; but he advanc’d, saying within himself, that in either case there was not much Harm in being mistaken. The Emperor receiv’d him with very great Marks of Distinction, and the Count kiss’d his Hand, because he had been told it was the Custom, and that all the Princes of the Empire did the same. He afterwards went to the Apartment of the Empresses, and had reason, where-ever he came, to be satisfied with his Reception.

From Vienna he return’d to Munich, after which he made the Tour of Italy, and lodg’d at Rome at the House of the Cardinal de Tremouille, who had then the Care of the Affairs of France. After having repass’d the Mountains, he came back to Munich, where he stay’d a Year and an half, being always lodg’d and defray’d, together with his Retinue, at the Expence of his Electoral Highness, who kept a Table for him for twelve Guests, besides Hunting-Equipage, and Horses at his Command.


Hunting is this Prince’s chief Amusement since he return’d to France: He appears seldom at Court, and neither meddles nor makes with Affairs of State. They talk often of getting him a Wife; but he does not seem to have any more Goût for the Sacrament of Marriage, than his younger Brother the Count de Clermont, a young Prince of a lovely Person, a sweet Nature, and who seems to have a way of Thinking becoming his Birth. They who approach him, and know him intimately, have assur’d me, that he has all the Qualities that can be to form hereafter a great Prince. It seems as if he were design’d for the Church, since his most Serene Highness actually enjoys several considerable Abbeys; but hitherto this Prince dresses in the Lay Habit, and performs no Spiritual Function. While I was speaking of the Count de Charolois, I forgot so tell you, that he is Governor of la Touraine, in which Honour he succeeded the late M. Dangeau, first Gentleman-Usher to the late Duchess of Burgundy. In his time la Touraine was not reckon’d among the great Governments; but as the Regent was willing to give one to the Count de Charolois, after having granted away the Reversions of all the great Governments, he thought of no other Expedient, than to put la Touraine in the Rank of the other Provinces.

The three Princes that I have just mention’d, are the Sons of Madame the Duchess (of Bourbon) the legitimated Daughter of Lewis XIV. and Madame de Montespan; She is a Princess who has been cry’d-up in Europe for her Wit, Beauty, and the Charms of her Person. Tho’ she is the Mother of a numerous Family, she may still be reckoned among the Beauties of the Court; and ’tis certain, that when the Duchess is with the Princesses her Daughters, she seems rather to be their Sister than the Mother. This Princess is immensely rich, those who manage217 her Affairs having acquir’d a vast Estate in the contagious Actions of the Missisippi. She lives with very great Magnificence, and has lately caus’d a Palace to be built, which may be rank’d with the finest Structures in Europe. Her most Serene Highness is often at Chantilly with the Duke her Husband, but the rest of her Time she divides betwixt the Court and City.

The Princess of Conti the second Dowager, the Princesses of Charolois, Clermont and Sens, are her Daughters, and form one of the most beautiful Families that ever was. ’Tis pity that Princesses so beautiful and accomplish’d are not well match’d, but their Greatness is a Bar to their Settlement in Marriage; besides, this Century has been more prolific every-where in Princesses than in Princes. The Princess of Conti, who has some Thoughts of a Wife for the Prince her Son, has just bought the fine House which was built by the Count de Belle-Isle, out of the vast Sums which he got by Missisippi Stock; there she proposes to end her Days, and she already appears but seldom at Court, which indeed the Trouble of Dressing hinders a great many Princesses and Ladies from frequenting. The Princess of Conti was very young when she married, and has had two Sons; but there’s only one of them living, whom in his Father’s Life-time was styl’d the Count d’Alais, and is now the Prince of Conti[51].

As for Mademoiselle de Charolois, all the Charms imaginable are united in her Person: She has a noble Aspect, a very lively sparkling Wit, and of all the Duchess’s Daughters she is the most like her Mother, and has the most sprightly Ideas. During the Regency of the Duke of Orleans, when Money was become extraordinary scarce, Mademoiselle de Charolois appear’d at the Royal Palace218 with two Lewis d’Ors in her Ears for Pendants; upon which the Duke of Orleans asking her the Meaning of that new Fashion, she made him Answer, that she found Lewis d’Ors scarcer than Diamonds, and that therefore she wore them as such. Mademoiselle de Charolois lives in the little Hôtel de Bourbon, which formerly belong’d to Anne of Bavaria the Palatine, the Widow of Henry Julius of Bourbon, Prince of Conde, Grandmother to the Princes and Princesses of the Conde Family. This Princess has a Family here independent on Madame the Duchess (of Bourbon); but she generally follows the Court, and as she is very fond of Hunting, and rides well, she makes one at all the King’s Matches.

Mademoiselle de Clermont is not only very beautiful, but has an Air of Quality, good Nature and Modesty, which distinguishes her from all the Grandees of the Court. Calumny, which does not always favour the Royal Blood here, could never shed its Venom upon this Princess, and the whole Court ever admir’d her for her Sobriety and Virtue. She is Superintendante of the Queen’s Houshold, and went in this Quality with the Ladies of Honour to meet her Majesty at Strasbourg.

Mademoiselle de Sens, with her Beauty, is both graceful and modest: She was brought up under her Grandmother the Princess; and after her Decease, the Duchess of Brunswic, her Great Aunt, Mother to the Empress Amelia, who spent her latter Years in France, had the Care of her Education, and form’d her one of the most amiable Princesses upon the Earth.

The Conti Family, which is the third Branch of the Princes of the Blood, consists at this time of two Dowager Ladies, a young Prince, and a Princess, call’d Mademoiselle de la Roche-sur-yon. The Princess of Conti, the first Dowager Lady, is the219 legitimated Daughter of King Lewis XIV. by Mademoiselle de la Valiere: This Princess is celebrated for her Beauty, Wit, and noble Air, which she still retains: She happen’d to be a Widow when she was very young. Some say that the King of Morocco demanded her in Marriage, but I have been assur’d by many People, that ’tis a mere Fiction. Be this as it will, such a Match was not practicable; for tho’ Religion had been altogether out of the Question, King Lewis XIV. would never have sacrific’d a Daughter so dear to him, and one who was the Ornament of his Court, to a Marabou[52]. The220 Princess of Conti, since the Death of her Brother the Dauphin, has not appear’d in public, and only visits the King and Queen privately in their Majesties Closet. Her Occupations are Works of Piety and Charity, and her Life is an Example of Virtue: She commonly resides in her Hôtel at Paris, which is beautiful and magnificent, and formerly belong’d to the Marshal-Duke de Lorges.

The legitimated Princes, Sons of Lewis XIV. are the Duke de Maine, and the Count de Tholouse. The former is Grand Master of the Ordnance, Colonel-General of the Swiss and Grisons, and Governor of Guienne: He married Louisa-Benedictina of Bourbon-Condé, by whom he has two Sons and a Daughter. The Duke de Maine possesses the Sovereignty of Dombes, which the late Mademoiselle, Daughter of Gaston of France, Son of Henry IV. left him by Will. This Prince signaliz’d his Valour in his Youth: He has the Misfortune to halt, but he has a superior Genius, 221and is a Man of true Christian Piety. The late King distinguish’d him above all his Children, of which he gave an illustrious Proof, when he appointed him Superintendant of the Education of Lewis XV. and when he made him a Sharer in the Authority of the Regency, together with the Duke of Orleans, whom he would have been glad to have intirely excluded from it, if his Royal Highness’s Birth had not given him an absolute Title to it. Some Years before this, the said King, by a Declaration the most solemnly register’d that ever any was, had recognis’d the Ability of the Duke de Maine, the Count de Tholouse, and their Posterity, to succeed to the Crown on Failure of Issue by the lawful Princes. The Princes of the Blood, in Complaisance to Lewis XIV. before whom every Knee was bow’d, did not oppose a Declaration so little for their Honour: But in the Beginning of Lewis XVth’s Reign they commenced a Suit upon it against the legitimated Princes. The Arret which call’d them to the Succession of the Crown was revok’d, and the Count de Tholouse was the only one that retain’d for his Life the Honours that were annex’d to the Dignity of Prince of the Blood. The Duke de Maine and his Children were depriv’d of these great Prerogatives, and reduc’d to the Rank of their Peerage. Some Years after, however, it pleas’d the King to restore those Honours to the Duke de Maine, and to his Sons the Prince of Dombes, and the Count d’Eu; but these Princes continue excluded from the Crown.

I have already acquainted you how the Duke of Bourbon depriv’d the Duke de Maine of the Superintendance of Lewis XVth’s Education: But that was not the only Circumstance that mortified him; for at that Juncture the Point that seem’d to be solely in View, was to undo every thing that had 222been done by Lewis XIV. And the Duke, together with his Employments and Honours, also lost his Liberty. He was accus’d of holding a Correspondence with the Prince de Cellamare, the Spanish Ambassador, who endeavour’d to excite the French to a Rebellion against the Regent, by promising them Assistance from the King his Master: Hereupon the Duke de Maine was arrested, and committed Prisoner to Dourlens in Picardy, where he was closely confin’d. They who are not the most zealous of this Prince’s Friends, agree that he supported this Reverse of Fortune with an heroic Constancy. I heard it said by the People who were set to watch him, that they never saw him once deviate from that Serenity of Mind, and that good Nature which accompany all his Actions. But the Duchess of Maine did not receive the News of his Disgrace with the same Tranquillity; for being born with all the high Spirit of the Great Conde her Grandfather, she rav’d against the Regent, but especially against her Nephew the Duke, whom she look’d upon as the Author of her Misfortunes. They say moreover, that the Duke de Maine himself was rattled by her before he was confin’d. ’Twas on the Day that Lewis XV. came to the Parlement to hold his first Bed of Justice, when the Duke de Maine was turn’d out of that Share which the late King’s last Will gave him in the Regency. As this Duke came home from the Parlement, he found his Wife in the utmost Impatience to know what had been done; of which when he had given her an exact Account, the Duchess could not bridle her Passion, but looking on her Husband with Indignation, she said, I have nothing left then to possess, but the Shame of having married you! When she received Orders to quit to the Duke of Bourbon that Apartment which she had in the Thuilleries, while the 223Duke de Maine was Superintendant of the King’s Education; Yes, said she, I will quit it with a Vengeance, and at the same time order’d it to be stripp’d quite bare of Furniture; and for the more Haste she dash’d the Looking-glasses, China, and all Goods of that Sort in Pieces. Nevertheless, when she was apprehended, and during the Time that she was detain’d, she was not heard to utter a Complaint or a Murmur; but supported her Disgrace with that Magnanimity for which she is admir’d, a Quality which elevates her so far above other Women, and sets her on a Par with the greatest Men.

The Duke and Duchess of Maine are often at Seaux, a fine House but a little Distance from Paris, on the high Road to Orleans, built by John Baptist Colbert. Here they have always a gay Court. This Duchess is so much in Love with the Arts and Sciences, that all Men of Letters look on her as their Patroness; and there are few Poetical Compositions which are not first presented to her. The last Time I paid my Court to her, the following Piece, compos’d of no more than two Rhymes, was read there, and so highly applauded, that I herewith send you a Copy of it[53].


The Prince of Dombes, the Duke of Maine’s eldest Son, is a tall handsome well set Gentleman,225 and has the Reversion of his Father’s Offices. Whether the Count d’Eu has any Employments, I know not. Both these Princes are commonly at Court. Mademoiselle du Maine is a very amiable Princess, whose Education has been fully answerable to her Birth, and who, by her Manners and Politeness, approves herself the worthy Daughter of her Mother.


The Count de Tholouse, great Admiral of France, is the second Son of King Lewis XIV. by Madame de Montespan. In the last War he commanded the Naval Army of France. He is one of the handsomest and comeliest Lords at Court. He is noble and magnificent in every thing that he does, and they say, he is generous. He is very polite, and has always been as much esteem’d for his Merit, as for his Rank of a legitimated Prince, which he has preserved, tho’ his Brother was divested of it. It was believed for a long time, that this Prince would not marry, and that his great Estate would fall to the Children of the Duke de Maine; but he married some Years ago, Maria Victoria of Noailles, Widow of the Marquis de Gondrin, Son to the Duke d’Antin, by whom he had a Son, who is now the Duke d’Epernon. The Count de Tholouse has had a Son by her also, who is called the Duke[54]de Ponthievre; by which Title, the Count has the Rank of a Peer in Parliament. This Prince, since his Marriage, has commonly resided at Rambouillet, where the King frequently makes Parties for Hunting. His Majesty shews a very great Regard for the Countess of Tholouse, which gives her Authority to talk to his Majesty with a great deal of Freedom. The French say, she was the Occasion of the Duke of Bourbon’s being put out of the Ministry. ’Tis certain, however, that the King was at Rambouillet, when the Duke de Charost went and told the Duke, That it was his Majesty’s Pleasure, that he should quit the Station of Prime Minister. The Duke being at Versailles when he receiv’d227 the unwelcome News, they say, he desired to speak with the King and Queen; but that the Duke de Charost told him, he had Orders for his Removal to Chantilly. His most Serene Highness obey’d, and did not appear to be afflicted for the Loss of his Authority, so much as for the falling-off of his Friends and Creatures. The Marchioness de Prie, Lady of the Bed-chamber to the Queen, whom he honoured with a very singular Esteem, received Orders to leave the Court, and to retire to Normandy; where, during her being in Favour, she had purchased a considerable Estate. The Brothers of the Name of Paris, those Objects of the Public Odium, were divested of their Authority. M. de Blanc came again into the Ministry: M. de Belle-Isle regain’d his Liberty, and obtained the Command of the Troops of the Government of Metz, and the three Bishopricks. The Marchioness de Prie had the Mortification to see her Employment of Lady of the Bed-chamber fill’d up by the Daughter of M. le Blanc, to whom she was a declared Enemy, and whom she had endeavoured to ruin. This Lady was not able to support herself long under her Disgrace; for having been used to bear a Sway, she could not reconcile herself to Retirement; but languished for a while, and at length died of a Colic, which gave her horrid Pains. She was not much regretted, because she had made few Friends; Ambition and Self-Interest had taken intire hold of her. She thought her Disgrace unsufferable, and the little Reflection she made upon the Revolution of Fortune, rendered hers but the more intolerable. I will hereafter give you an Account of the Cardinal de Fleury, and of the Persons now of the First Rank at Court; but at present my Pen is ready to drop out of my Fingers; for ’tis One o’Clock in the Morning, and if I write any more,228 I shall but give you my Dreams. Therefore I am, with all the Esteem, possible, &c.



SIR,Versailles, May 1, 1732.  

In my last Letter I mention’d the Princes and Princesses of the Blood Royal to you; in this I am to give you an Account of those Persons at this Court, who are in the most exalted Stations.

The Cardinal de Fleury, by his Dignity of Cardinal, and much more by his Character, as the Depositary of the Royal Authority, has the first Rank in the State next to the Princes of the Blood. This Prelate, tho’ far advanced in Years, is brisk and lively to Admiration. His Stature is somewhat above the middle Size; he has a happy Physiognomy, to which Fortune has not given the Lye; and he is humble, good-natur’d and civil. You know that he was Bishop of Frejus. He resign’d that See to excuse himself from the Pastoral Charge of Souls, when the late King Lewis XIV. nominated him, by his Last Will, Preceptor to the young Dauphin, now King Lewis XV. This was almost the only Article of Lewis the Grand’s Will, which the Regent put in Execution. M. de Frejus won the Heart of the young Monarch to such a Degree, that the Prince was intirely wrapp’d up in him; and his Affection for him has increas’d so much ever since, that now it may be literally229 said, that the Cardinal de Fleury is the Depositary, or Trustee, of the Royal Authority. The Regent, a Prince of Penetration, if ever there was one, quickly perceived what an Ascendant M. de Frejus had over the young Monarch; and being apprehensive of what might be the Consequences of it, he was continually contriving how to remove the Prelate from Court. With this View he offered him the Archbishoprick of Rheims, which was vacant by the Death of the Cardinal de Mailly; but M. de Fleury, who resigned the Bishoprick of Frejus, that he might not have the Charge of Souls, was so far from accepting one of the greatest Archbishopricks in the Kingdom, that he absolutely refused it. The Duke of Orleans, who was intent upon carrying his Point, offered to make him a Cardinal; for he hoped, that the Pope’s ill State of Health would quickly bring on a Conclave; and that then M. de Frejus would be obliged to go to Rome, where he thought he shou’d be able to continue him, on Pretence of managing the King’s Affairs there; and that then the young Monarch’s Fondness to see his Favourite would by that Means insensibly be weaned. But M. de Frejus saw the Hook that was hid under this Bait. The red Hat did not dazzle his Eyes; and he knew moreover, that if he kept close to the King’s Person, he could be sure of a Hat whenever he pleased. However, he thank’d the Duke of Orleans, and told him, he had no such ambitious Views, and that he preferred his Station in the King’s Council, before all the Dignities, to which, in his Goodness, he had Thoughts of promoting him. The Duke of Orleans, however chagrin’d at the Prelate’s Moderation, was forc’d to keep it to himself; he was afraid to make use of his Authority; for it was not long before this, that he banish’d the Marshal de Villeroy to Lyons,230 at which the People grumbled; and to put away the Preceptor too, would have rais’d a Clamour against him, throughout the whole Kingdom. M. de Frejus continued at Court as a Member of the Privy Council, and there was not a Courtier who gave more constant Attendance; and in this Station he supported the Ministry of the Cardinal du Bois, the Duke of Orleans, and the Duke of Bourbon; but he confin’d himself all the while within the Bounds of his Office. At the King’s Marriage, he accepted of that of Great Almoner to the Queen, and by that Means his Attachment to the Court became more strict. When the Duke de Bourbon was disgrac’d, the King offered the Place of Prime Minister to M. de Frejus, who, indeed, accepted of that eminent Post; but ’twas on Condition, that he should not be compelled to take the Title, and that he might always lay an Account of every Thing before the King.

The Bishop of Frejus being thus become Master of the Government, it was but reasonable that he should be adorned with the Purple, to give the more Lustre to his Character. Mean time France, had no Hat to demand, for the Number of her Cardinals was completed. The Emperor having a Pretension at that Time to a Hat, the King desired him to yield it to him for his First Minister; and the Emperor, overjoy’d that he could oblige the King, and that he could make the Minister some sort of Amends for his pacific Sentiments, gave him his Nomination accordingly. Pope Benedict XIII. sent the Cap to the Bishop, who then assumed the Title of Cardinal de Fleury; and with this Title he now governs the State, not with the general Applause of the French, because the Thing is impossible; but at least, with the Approbation of his King, of Foreigners, and indeed,231 of every Man in the Kingdom, who is thoroughly inform’d of the State of France in particular, and of Europe in general. Yet those who have the least Affection for the Cardinal, must acknowledge his Disinterestedness and Integrity; for the worst Enemy he has, cannot accuse him of amassing Riches, or of coveting to aggrandize his Family; in which respect he is, perhaps, negligent to a Fault, his Kindred having the Character of Persons of Worth.

The Cardinal’s Expences are as much circumscrib’d as his Dignity will admit of. He is very regular in his Way and Manner of Living, and no doubt, ’tis the strict Regimen which he observes, that keeps him in so vigorous a State of Health: For he gives very great Application to Business, And I don’t think he can be upbraided with wasting of Time in his Diversions.

The French (I speak of those who hope to make their Fortune by the Sword) find fault with his Temper as too pacific. We are despis’d, (say they) our Neighbours make Treaties and Alliances without us, and France is no longer what she was in the Time of Lewis XIV.

I am not here proposing to make a Panegyric on the Cardinal, but I cannot help letting you see how weakly those People talk, who censure his Conduct as to Foreign Affairs. I don’t pretend to enter into the Domestic Affairs of the Kingdom, tho’ I am very well persuaded, that the Cardinal’s Integrity, and his Zeal for the King, incline him to act to the best of his Power. I will only leave you to judge if his Inclination to Peace is blameable. When he came into the Ministry, he found the King’s Coffers exhausted, and the Kingdom in a Condition, which requir’d Rest rather than a War, the Event of which is always uncertain. But after all, Who is there to go to232 War with? What shall be the Pretence? Who is it that insults France? Or, Who desires any thing more of her than her Friendship? Have not the Treaties of Utrecht, and Baden, and all the Treaties made since, during the Regency of the Duke of Orleans, settled the Interests of Europe? Did not England earnestly court the Alliance of France? Has the Emperor seem’d less desirous of it? Nay, Did not Spain itself, forgetting the sending back of the Infanta, enter into her former Engagements with this Crown, as soon as the Cardinal de Fleury was vested with the Ministry? In what respect then, can the French think themselves despis’d by their Neighbours? I will take upon me to prove, on the contrary, that Lewis XV. during the Cardinal de Fleury’s Ministry, instead of being neglected, has been as much courted by the Foreign Powers, as Lewis XIV. was in all that Glory which procured him the Title of Louis le Grand. When the Clamour was for abolishing the Ostend Company, How did England and Holland bestir themselves to make the King a Party in their Quarrel? What did not the Emperor do to engage him in his Interest? Every thing was uncertain, as long as France remained undetermined. The English and the Dutch prepared to attack the Emperor, and the latter made ready for his Defence. The Cardinal having got the King to declare for the Maritime Powers, the Emperor abolish’d the Ostend Company immediately. What more could have been obtained by a War?

When the Talk was, of introducing the Infante Don Carlos into Italy, what Measures, what Solicitations were not employ’d by the Powers concerned, either to bring over Lewis XV. to their Party, or to oblige him to a Neutrality? Count Sinzendorff’s coming from Vienna to Versailles, on purpose to treat for the Tranquillity of Italy, seems 233to me a Proof, that the Emperor does not neglect France to such a Degree as the Uneasy and Disaffected would fain have it believed. In good Truth, if France had not threatened to attack the Emperor, in case he did not consent to the Introduction of the Infante into Tuscany, would his Imperial Majesty have been influenced by the bare Menaces of Spain? That Monarch is too well established in Italy, to fear any thing from that Crown; and if Equity and Justice did not always accompany his Actions, it would have been easy for him to have taken Possession of Tuscany; and the Spaniards, who have never been able to retake Gibraltar, and who, perhaps, would never have reduced Barcelona without the Assistance of the French, would have found it a very difficult Matter to have turned them out of it. The Cardinal de Fleury having persuaded the King to declare in Favour of the Infante, he threatens to join the English and Spaniards; and the Emperor seeing all Europe against him, but especially France, which is capable of striking the hardest Blows, yields to the Times, and grants every thing that is desired of him. Can there be any thing more to the Honour of the Cardinal? And, Why should a War be undertaken, if Menaces alone are sufficient to obtain what is desired?

But, say the Disaffected, we purchase Peace of all the World by our Money. The Cardinal is not chargeable with lavishing the King’s Money. I know not that he gives away any, unless it be the Subsidies granted to the Crowns of Denmark and Sweden. If that be purchasing a Peace, Lewis XIV. and the Regent after him, were much more lavish of the Royal Treasure, and perhaps with less Profit; and it would be easy to demonstrate, that in order to dislodge the Spaniards from Sicily, the Regent sent more Money into Germany and234 England, in one Month, than the Cardinal gives away in a Year to the Northern Crowns; tho’ one of ’em has for Time out of Mind been used to draw Subsidies from France. Yet all this while, the Regent was not accused of purchasing a Peace of his Neighbours; because, in order to make it necessary to buy a Peace, some Prince or other must have threatened him with a War. But ’tis certain, that no Power did then, or does now, think of attacking France. Let her continue peaceable, and there we will leave her.

But on the other hand, tho’ it were not justifiable for the Cardinal to entertain pacific Sentiments, and tho’ he were to indulge the Passion of the French, I would fain know of those who are so hot for a War, Whether they are well assured it would have a happy Issue? And, Whether, when a War is once begun, it would be in their Power to put an End to it, whenever they thought it consistent with their Affairs? Nay, I will suppose that every thing should happen as they would wish, and that the War should prove a fortunate one; What Acquisition can France make, which would not be more to her Expence than her Advantage? For the farther she extends her Conquests, the more Enemies she will have of Course, and the more Troops she will be oblig’d to maintain. The Frontiers of the Kingdom are secured. Are a few more Towns, nay, an intire Province, a sufficient Temptation for a King of France? And are they an Equivalent for the Blood and Treasure that must be expended to acquire them? No, surely, the Cardinal is perfectly in the right, and I must beg the Frenchmen’s Pardon, when I tell ’em, they know not what they would be at. How desirous were they of the late Peace? And they have scarce tasted the Fruits of it, but they now want a War. If the Cardinal should enter into a War,235 and the Consequences of it should prove fatal, Would they not throw the Blame upon him? They would say for the Purpose, that it was inconsistent with a Priest to make War. For my Part, I think the Cardinal de Fleury has substantial Reasons for doing what he does. The French have been so long accustomed to the turbulent Reign of Lewis XIV. which was interspersed throughout with great Events, that they know not how to reconcile themselves to one that is more placid and calm; but ’tis to be hoped, they will ere long. Whatever they do, the Cardinal seems to be very easy, let them say what they will of him. As he knows that he has nothing to reproach himself with, and that he has always preferred the Good of the Public to his own private Interest, he is afraid of no Revolution in his Fortune. He is sensible that Innocence always holds up its Head, and that real Merit is above the Reach of Envy and Malice.

M. Daguesseau the Chancellor of France, is the Chief Magistrate of the Kingdom, and his Office is attended with such great Prerogatives, that the King cannot take it from him. The Person whom he succeeded in this eminent Dignity, was M. Voisin, who being Secretary of War, was made Chancellor by Lewis XIV. upon M. de Pontchartrain’s resigning that Post, to devote the Residue of his Life to God in Retirement. M. Voisin dying suddenly in the Beginning of the Duke of Orlean’s Regency, M. Daguesseau, then Attorney-General, was, by his Royal Highness, appointed Chancellor in his Room. All France applauded this Choice. Every body was so satisfied of this Magistrate’s Candour and Integrity, that nobody doubted he would assert Justice and Equity; and in short, he perfectly answered the Expectations of the Public. But as true Merit,236 is always the most envied, a Cabal was soon formed against his Integrity. M. Daguesseau refused to put the Seal to certain Edicts, which he thought contrary to the Welfare of the Government; at which the Duke of Orleans was so incensed, that he banished the Chancellor to Frene, a fine Seat belonging to that Minister near Meaux; and the Seals were given to M. d’Argenson, Lieutenant of the Police, with the Title of Keeper of the Seals, which was formerly no more than a bare Commission; but the Regent was then for erecting it into an Office. The Parliament of Paris exclaimed very much against this Innovation, but the Regent, after all, was obey’d. Upon the Death of M. d’Argenson, the Chancellor was recall’d, and the Seals restor’d to[55]him; but he held them not long; for the Regent, who was resolved to have no Ministers but such as knew how to obey, disgraced the Chancellor a second time for opposing his Will, and gave the Seals to M. d’Armenonville. The latter dying during the Cardinal de Fleury’s Ministry, the Seals were given to M. de Chauvelin, who, besides the Title of Keeper of the Seals, has also the Office of Minister and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. The Chancellor, who has been recalled for some time, assists at the Council; but his Office has been depriv’d of its greatest Lustre, since the Seals have been separated from it.

M. Chauvelin, Keeper of the Seals, Minister and Secretary of[56]State for Foreign Affairs, owes237 his Advancement to the Cardinal de Fleury, who seems to confide in him intirely. This Minister is reckon’d very laborious, good-natur’d and civil. The Foreign Ministers are so taken with him, that they think no more of Messieurs de Torcy and de Morville. The former was of the Colbert Family, Secretary of Foreign Affairs under Lewis XIV. a Man, as one may say, born for the Ministry, and whose great and good Services have been very much cry’d-up, but more rewarded by the Applauses of Europe, than by Favours from the Court. The other was the Son of the late Keeper of the Seals, d’Armenonville, and had acquir’d a great Reputation in his Embassies to Holland, and the Congress of Cambray, when he desired Leave to[57] retire, and was succeeded by M. Chauvelin.

The Count de Maurepas is Grandson to the Chancellor de Pontchartrain, and Son to the Count de Pontchartrain, Secretary for the Maritime Affairs in the Reign of King Lewis XIV. He enter’d very young into the Ministry, and has so behav’d as to gain Friends and Dependants. I have not heard one Man give him an ill Word, while every body speaks well of him; but as for his Secretaries, or chief Clerks, the Seafaring People often exclaim against the Airs of Importance which some of those Scribes put on, who watch all Opportunities to impose on the Honesty of the Minister, in Favour of their Creatures, to the Prejudice of other Subjects, who have more Merit.

The Count de S. Florentin is of the Family of Phelypeaux, as is also the Count de Maurepas, who married his Sister. He is the Son of M. de la Vrilliere, Secretary of State; and had the238 Reversion of his Father’s Office granted him by the Regent, when he was scarce twenty Years of Age. M. de la Vrilliere dying not long before the King’s Marriage, M. de S. Florentin entered on his Office. He has that Province which relates to Affairs Ecclesiastical. He married, some Years ago, the Daughter of the late Count de Platen, Great Chamberlain, and Hereditary Post-Master of Hanover; but neither of ’em knew one another before the Match was made. Mademoiselle de Platen was a Lutheran, but is turn’d Catholic. The Lady, her Mother, for Whom I had as profound a Veneration as for any Woman in the World, and whose Memory I still revere, brought her into France. M. de S. Florentin has Reason to be pleas’d with the Choice he has made: For his Lady is not only very charming, but has noble Sentiments, and a Virtue which Calumny itself durst not asperse. When she married M. de S. Florentin, King George I. of Great Britain settled a Pension upon her of forty thousand Livres, for forty-five Years; and King George II. on his Accession to the Crown, was pleased to confirm the said Pension, upon that Lady’s going to London to solicit it, in Company with her Mother-in-law Madame de la Vrilliere, now Duchess of Mazarine.

M. d’Angervilliers, formerly Intendant of Alsace, is Secretary of the War-Office, in which he succeeded M. le Blanc, who was the Secretary a second time, when he died at Versailles. The first time that he was Secretary, he was supplanted by M. de Breteuil, during the Ministry of the Duke de Bourbon; and he, in his Turn, supplanted M. de Breteuil, the Queen’s Chancellor, in the Ministry of the Cardinal de Fleury. You see by this, that the War-Office has been several times chang’d in a few Years; but ’tis like to remain always in the239 Hands of M. d’Angervilliers, whose Application, Vigilance and Integrity, are very much cry’d-up by the Officers, and all that have to do with him. I gave you some Account of this Minister, when I wrote to you from Strasbourg, to which I have nothing to add.

As the Secretary of War has been often chang’d of late Years, the Comptroller-General of the Finances has been much more so. From the Year 1711, when I first came to Paris, to this Day, I have known seven Comptrollers General, and not one of ’em died in the Office: So that this Post may well be compared to that of the Grand Vizier, which is alike struggled for, and alike fatal to those who are invested with it.

Of all the Men who have had that ticklish Employment of Comptroller-General in France, there is not one that has made a more shining Fortune, and a Fortune that sooner slipp’d from him, than John Law. This Man, of whom many People have wrote and talk’d without knowing him, and according to their Passions, was a Scotsman, born with a narrow Fortune, but strong Desires to inlarge it. He had travell’d through several Parts of Europe, and Gaming prov’d his chief Subsistence. He won considerable Sums in Italy, especially at Genoa; and there it was that he hatch’d all those Projects which he put in Execution in France. ’Tis true, that he did not come into this Kingdom, till he had offered his Services to Victor Amadeus, the King of Sardinia. This Prince told him, That his Dominions were too small for the Execution of so great a Design; but that France was a Theatre, where he might expect to make his Market, and thither he advised him to go. If I know the Humour of the French, added the King, I am sure they will relish your Schemes. John Law took the Monarch’s Advice, and shewed240 his Project to the Regent, who approved it; and the Projector soon found, that he had the Purses of the French absolutely at his Command. As he was a Protestant, he made his Abjuration in the Recollets Church at Melun, in the Diocese of Sens, in the Month of December 1719, in the Hands of the Abbé[58]Tancin. In the Month of January following, he was made Comptroller-General; but he quitted that Post in June; abruptly left Paris on the thirteenth of December 1720; and after rambling about for a while, not knowing where to fix, (for his own Country did not suit him) he died at Munich. The Generality of the French accuse him of having exhausted France, and sent away immense Sums to Foreign Countries. How true this is, I know not, but ’tis certain, that Law, after his Disgrace, liv’d very meanly. His Widow and his Son, (Mr. John Law)[59] who are actually at Utrecht, make no very great Figure there, which very many People ascribe to Policy. But for my own Part, who think more freely, and don’t see what could hinder Mrs. Law and her Son from making a Display of their Riches, in the Country where they live; I can’t help crediting what People, and such as were John Law’s Intimates, have assured me for a certain Truth, viz. That Law being puff’d-up with his Fortune, and not thinking it would be so short-liv’d, had no Thought of securing it in Foreign Countries; and that if he had such a Purpose, he had not Time to send any Sums out of the Kingdom. He was oblig’d241 both by Necessity, and out of Policy, to make Purchases in France; and accordingly he made considerable Acquisitions; but they were no more than a pleasant Dream to him, and the Loss of them only made his Disgrace the greater Affliction. I am of their Opinion, who believe that John Law was richer when he came to France, than he was three Months after he left it. This Copy of Verses was made upon him, which, perhaps, you will not be sorry to see[60].

The Title of it is, A Commission of the Office of Comptroller-General of the Finances, for Mr. John Law.
De par le Dieu porte-marotte,
Nous Général de la Calotte,
Attendu que le Régiment
Est obligé sensiblement
Au Sieur Law, de qui la Science
Et conduite dans la Finance
Nous a donné maints Calotins,
En inventant les Bulletins,
Autrement dits Billets de Banque,
Pour servir au jeu de la Blanque,
Jeu non renouvellé des Grecs,
Comme le Fade jeu de l’Oye,
Mais imaginé tout exprès
Pour exciter l’homme à la joye:
Témoin les Plaisans viremens,
Et continuels changemens,
Que l’on a vu dans le Royaume
De Quinquempoix & de Vendôme,
Et Principauté de Soissons,
Où l’Achat & le Dividende
242 Causoient un Rumeur st grande,
Qu’on ne vit jamais tant de Rats
Obseder gens de tous états:
Mari, Femme, Garçon & Fille!
Laquais, Servantes, la Famille!
En un mot, sans rien excepter,
Venoit jouer & blanqueter,
Et s’y portoit de telle sorte,
Qu’il falloit Gardes à la Porte
Pour renvoyer chacun chez soi,
Après les trois coups de Beffroi.
Là de tous Païs & Provinces,
Marchands, Magistrats, Artisans,
Prélats, Guerriers & Courtisans,
Ducs & Pairs, & même des Princes,
Non du Païs, mais bien forains,
Accouroient comme des Essains,
Malgré vent, grêle, pluye & crotte,
Pour y jouer à la Marotte,
En beaux & bons deniers comptant,
Contre des Voleurs Calotines,
Dont la France & terres voisines
Se pourront souvenir longtems.
A ces Causes, vu l’Abondance
Des Calotins qui sont en France
De tous Rangs & de tous états,
Par le moyen du dit Sieur Las,
Nous lui consions nos Finances;
Voulons que sur ses Ordonnances
Nos fonds soient œconomisés,
Augmentés & réalisés;
Afin que selon son merite
Chacun ait part, grosse ou petite,
Dans nos immenses Revenus,
Tant de gros Fonds que de menus.
Or comme un pareil Ministere
Est sert étendu dans sa Sphere,
243 Lui donnons pour prémier Commis,
Nompar[61] qui des moins endormis
Connoit la manœuvre diverse
De la Finance & du Commerce.
Lui donnons pour Profits & Droit,
Pensions, Gages & Salaries,
Le quart de tous les Angles droits,
Que couperont les Commissaires
Au papier qui sera visé,
Et duquel en homme avisé
Il a si bien grossi le nombre,
Que la France y seroit à l’ombre,
Si tous le Billets rassemblés,
Et les uns aux autres collés,
On en pouvoit saire une Tente.
Au surplus de ladite Rente,
Lui donnons notre grand Cordon,
Passant de la droite à la gauche,
Ainsi qu’un légere ébauche
De sa droiture, dont le fond
Va si loin que [62]Terrasson même,
Grand calculateur du Système,
Ne pourroit pas le mesurer.
En outre, pour mieux honorer
Le chef de ce grand Personnage,
Qui fit bouquer tout homme sage,
Et soi disant docte & profond,
Lui donnons Calotte de plomb,
De la haute et prémiere classe;
Et pour surcroit de telle grace,
Joignons à ces [63]Coqs dont la voix
Chanta la Justice au François,
Papillons, Rats & Girouettes,
244 Hannetons Grelots, & Sonnettes.
En mémoirs d’un si beau chant,
Qu’au sortir de France on publie
Qù il va chanter en Italie,
Où sans doute il aura beau champ
Pour exercer son grand Génie,
Et sa connoissance infinie
Dans l’art de décupler les sonds
Par Billets payables à vue,
Desquels aujourd’hui nous voyons
En France une si bonne Issue.
Ordonnons à tous les Païs
De notre vaste Dépendance,
De l’ecouter dans ses avis,
Sur-tout dans l’art de la Finance;
Art qu’il possede eminemment.
Fait au Conseil du Régiment[64].

’Tis certain, that never was any thing more splendid, than the short Reign of his Fortune. The French perfectly idoliz’d, him, and even those who turned their Backs to his Altar, could not help admiring him as an extraordinary Man. The Nobility did not scruple to pay their Homage to him; and I have seen Dukes and Peers of France waiting in his Antichamber, like the meanest Subjects. Towards the Close, there was no coming to the Speech of him without Money. The Swiss must be feed for Entrance at his Gate, the Lacqueys245 for Admittance into his Antichamber, and the Valets de Chambre for the Privilege of Access to his Presence-Chamber or Closet. The Audiences too were very short, and People were quickly dismissed with very little Merchandise for a great deal of Money. Mean time he was civil, and his Fortune did not seem to have puff’d him up. He was a fine handsome Man, of a fair Complexion, as the English generally are, and had a very noble Port. Nobody understood Algebra better than he did, and, let his Enemies say what they please, his System was good in itself, and might have been beneficial to France, if it had been punctually follow’d.

The Scheme was calculated for keeping two Thirds more of Species in the Kingdom, than of Bills, in which Case there would always have been Money enough to have paid off those Bills. But this did not satisfy the Avarice of the Under-strappers; and in 1720, when the Bank Bills were put down, there were two Thirds of Bills in the Kingdom, to one Third of Money, viz. five hundred Millions of Money, to a thousand Millions in Bills; and M. d’Argenson, the Protector of the four Brothers of the Name of Paris, prevailed on the Regent to circulate 1760 Millions of extraordinary Bills not registered, with which People bought and sold Shares; and during this Commerce, the Bills were realiz’d by the Brokers into Species; insomuch that, according to a Computation then made by Barême, they say, that at the Time of the total Suppression of the Bills, which was in October 1720, there were more Livres Tournois in the famous Bank of Missisippi, than there had been Minutes since the Creation of the World. All this Variety of Bills had so stupified the Parisians, and they gave them such intire Credit, that before the Arret of the246 fifteenth of May 1720, which sunk the Bills from ten per Cent. per Mensem to half their Value, a Parisian did not care to be paid in Specie; for he thought Bills were far better, not only because they were not liable to be lower’d, but because they were more ready to count, and especially to carry. A Man that had Millions in his Pocket did not perceive the Weight of ’em, whereas but one hundred Louis-d’ors are too heavy; and, how was it possible for a Man to carry them in his Pocket without being tir’d? While Peoples Fortunes were in Paper, I could boast of having had a Letter-case once in my Hands, in which there were Notes to the Value of thirty-two Millions. If they had been my own, I question whether I should have let them lie in Bank Bills, with the Hazard of losing half the Value. What follows, is a short, but curious Account of this Scheme[65].

Lewis XIV. a little before he died, was two thousand two hundred Millions in Debt: But by the Reduction of the Principal and Interest of the Revenues of the Town-House, (of Paris) by strikeing off two fifths upon all Contracts, and by reducing Interest to four per Cent. the Debts of the State were reduced to one thousand eight hundred Millions; which was the very Sum that was owing from the Crown, when Lewis XV. came to it. The Debts of the Government were afterwards reduced to one thousand four hundred Millions, by sinking a Quarter, a half and three-fourths upon the State Bills, as well as all other Debts owing by the King, as also on Pensions, and by the Recovery of great Sums thro’ the Chamber of Justice. Mr. Law thought he should be able to extinguish all the Debts, by a Scheme which he form’d247 upon the Profits that were made by Missisippi. For this Purpose he erected a Bank, and caused as many Shares to be created, as amounted to one hundred and fifty Millions, at one hundred Livres each, payable in State Bills, which, to the Advantage of the Buyers, rose to no less than one thousand. After this, he created more Actions, to the Value of one hundred and five Millions, payable in Money or Effects, at one thousand per Cent. which, with the former one hundred and fifty Millions, produced one thousand six hundred and fifty Millions; a Sum more than sufficient to cancel all the King’s Debts. Besides this, Mr. Law created Bank Bills for one thousand two hundred Millions, of which he received the Value, either in Money or Effects. He raised the Money higher, upon which there were at least three hundred Millions Profit, that are not brought to the Accompt. He compelled all People to carry their Money to the Bank, by certain Arrets, which injoin’d People at first, to keep no more than one hundred Livres by them, and afterwards but five hundred. So that in eight Months Management, he augmented the old Debts of the State, that were one thousand four hundred Millions, to one thousand six hundred and fifty Millions; which, added to the one thousand two hundred Millions of the Bank, rise to two thousand eight hundred and fifty Millions, due at this Time from the King. If to this we add the Præmium to which the Actions rose, which at one thousand eight hundred among private People, make five thousand four hundred Millions more; to which the one thousand two hundred Millions in Bank Bills must be added; it will appear that the Public is charg’d with six thousand six hundred Millions in Paper; and for the paying off of that Sum, there will be but five hundred Millions in the Kingdom248 in Specie, when they are reduced to their intrinsic Value. The King having received one thousand six hundred and five Millions in Effects, of which he owed the greatest Part, and Actions or Shares being taken instead thereof, which Actions, by secret Management, rose to five thousand four hundred Millions among the Subjects, Mr. Law thereby gave the People the Opportunity of putting three thousand seven hundred and five Millions in their Pockets.

An Account of the Bank Bills that subsisted, and of those that were burnt.
Bills engraved   669000000
Bills printed   1927400000
Bills of10000Livres 1134000000
 1000  1123200000
 100  299200000
 10  40000000
Bills burnt of10000Livres 562500000
 1000  138528000
 100  6026000
 10  273460
There then remained
therefore in Trade   1989072540

The Fortunes made at Paris, during this Missisippi Contagion, are so extraordinary, that unless one had seen it, ’twere impossible to believe it; and, what is still more unaccountable, the greatest249 were rais’d by mere Scoundrels; for except a few of the Court Lords and Ladies, it look’d as if Fortune had resolved to put the Gentry into Almshouses, for the Sake of inriching a Parcel of Bankrupts, Lacqueys, Beggars, and other of the Mobility[66]. And ’tis my real Opinion, that if God had not interpos’d, Footmen would at length have been the Masters, and the Masters the Footmen. The Handicraftsmen laid by their Work; there was nothing talked of but Actions, and every Place echoed with Missisippi and Quinquempoix, which is the Street where all that hopeful Trade was carried on.

These lucky Missisippians have nevertheless seen the Turn of Fortune’s Wheel. The Generality of those who had not the Precaution to send their Money out of the Kingdom, were called to Accompt, and obliged to disgorge a Part of their Gains. Whether the King got much by this Scrutiny, I know not; but I believe it had the same Fate as the Chamber of Justice, established in 1716, in the Augustins Convent at Paris, for the Prosecution of People employ’d in the Finances. This Tribunal, at the Head of which was M. de Portail, now the first President, had condemned several Tax Gatherers for an infinite Number of Misdemeanors committed in the King’s Finances. Some were punished as they justly deserved. A great many were tax’d in Proportion to the Declarations they were forced to make of their immense Wealth, which might have produc’d very considerable Sums for the Ease of the Government, at that Time plung’d over Head and Ears in Debt. But these Bloodsuckers of the People compounded250 for a Trifle of Expence, by a few Presents to a Lady, or to some Nobleman who had the Favour of the Regent. This was a Golden Shower, of which the least Part fell into the King’s Coffers.

I have made a terrible Digression. Mr. Law carried me to Missisippi, which is a long Voyage, and a Country from whence a Man can’t return whenever he has a Mind to it; but I am now come back to the Court. I have mentioned the Ministers to you, but they are not the only Persons that have a Seat in the Council. One of its Members is the Marshal de Villars, who being of all the French Generals, the Man that made the most shining Figure during the last War, I think myself oblig’d to give you a more particular Account of him.

Francis Hector, Duke de Villars, Marshal of France, and Dean of the Marshals, is a Gentleman of a good Family, his Father having been a Commander of the King’s Orders. His Stature is above the middle Size, and he has the Port and Step of a Nobleman. He has an agreeable winning Countenance, and hazel Eyes, which are lively and sparkling. He is a Man of Penetration, crafty, complaisant, and capable of great Affairs. He talks a great deal; but what he says is to the Purpose. He is laborious, attach’d to, and indefatigable in Business, a courageous good Soldier, and a successful General. Satire charges him with Avarice, as it did the Duke of Marlborough his Rival: He is, withal, accused of being too haughty, and too conceited of his Actions, and his Merits. This, indeed, may be true enough; for I myself was Witness to a Conversation, in which he discovered it sufficiently plain. ’Twas the Winter after the Battle of Denain, when the251 Marshall being at Dinner with the late[67]M. d’Armagnac, Great Master of the Horse, where I was likewise a Guest; he talked a great deal about his Exploits, to which I listened so attentively, that he took Notice of it; and being unknown to him, he whispered the Master of the Horse in the Ear, to know who I was; and when the Marshal was told that I was a German, he paid me a good deal of Respect. Then resuming his Discourse, and addressing it to me, he talked of his Victory at Denain, with an Air of mighty Self-Applause. But why, said he, did your People drown themselves? I am merciful, I would have given them Quarter; and they ought surely to have asked it. I declare to you, that my Soul was all in Fire for the Honour of Germany. Those Words, Mercy and Quarter, I took for an Insult upon my Country. I was young and hot-headed, and was just going to return him an Answer that would not have become me; however, I kept my Temper, and ’twas not till the second or third Provocation that I made him Answer, That I did not think he ought to be surprized at what the German Troops did, because they had known his Valour sufficiently before the Battle of Denain, but never had a Trial of his Clemency. I saw that he did not relish my Answer, upon which he shifted the Subject, and did not speak a Word more to me all the Time.

Some time after the Peace, however, I made him Satisfaction: ’Twas at the House of the Duchess de Lude, Lady of Honour to the Duchess of Burgundy. There was a great deal of Company, and among the rest, the Marshal de Villars. The Conversation fell upon the Custom of the Ancients, to give Surnames to their Heroes; and the Moderns were blam’d for not doing so too. What252 Name should we find for you, Marshal? said the Duchess de Lude. I replied immediately, This would be no difficult Task. I don’t think that any Title would suit the Marshal de Villars better than that of Germanicus Franciscus. This Trifle hit the Marshal’s Taste so nicely, that he put on a smiling Countenance, and said a great many obliging Things to me.

The Marshal de Villars, in his Youth, was a Page to Lewis XIV. He enter’d into the Service very young, and distinguished himself at his first setting-out, so that he really owes his Advancement more to his Services and Merit, than to Fortune. After the Peace of Ryswic, he had the Care of the King’s Affairs at the Emperor’s Court; but was recalled from thence a little before the War began, upon Account of the Succession to the King of Spain, Charles II. When the War was declared, M. de Villars, at that time Lieutenant-General, was in the Army in Germany, commanded by the Marshal Catinat. The Marquis de Villars, with a Detachment from the Army, attack’d the Imperialists near Fridlinguen in 1702. The French said, that he won the Victory; the Germans say, No. Which Party is in the Right, I can’t tell; but be it as it will, the Staff of a Marshal of France was M. de Villars Reward for the Battle. The same Year the Duke of Savoy entring into an Alliance against the two Crowns, at the very Time that he assured them of his Attachment, the Treaty which that Prince made with the Emperor and his Allies, was kept secret for a while, tho’ not so secret but the Elector of Bavaria knew of it; and his Electoral Highness reproaching the Envoy of Savoy with it, that Minister actually swore he knew nothing of the Matter, and that, moreover, he did not believe it; upon which the Marshal de Villars, who was present,253 clapp’d his Hand upon the Envoy’s Shoulder, and repeated this Verse to him out of Racine; Tu ne le crois que trop, malheureux Mithridate, i. e. Ah! poor Mithridates! thou believest it but too much. In 1704, the Marshal de Villars was recalled from the Army in Germany, to command in the Cevennois, where he gained Palms and Olives, as well as Laurels; for by his good Nature and Moderation he pacified a Rebellion, which the too great Severity of his Predecessor, the Marshal de Montrevel, had but the more inflamed.

After this, he had the Command of the Army in Germany, and kept it till 1709, when he went into the Netherlands to relieve the Duke de Vendosme, who was sent into Spain. M. de Villars, when in Flanders, retriev’d the Honour of France, which had been sully’d there by several Defeats. For tho’ the French suffer’d another at the Battle of Malplaquet, yet they made so brave a Stand, that the Allies could not help admiring their Courage. The Marshal de Villars, being wounded in the Knee, was obliged to retire, and to leave the Command to the Marshal de Boufflers, who drew off the Army in good Order. They give out, that when the Marshal de Villars heard the News, he said, Villars was not there; he could not be everywhere. The Allies paid dear for this Victory; for they lost twenty-three thousand Men, besides a considerable Number of Officers of Distinction. They might say as Pyrrhus did, after the Defeat of the Romans, One more such a Victory, and I am undone. The French lost eight thousand one hundred thirty-seven Men; and during the whole Course of the War, there was not a more bloody, nor a more obstinate Battle.

The Campaign of 1712 was the most glorious to the Marshal de Villars, of any that he ever made; for he therein gained the Victory at Denain,254 and in two Months time took from the Allies what had cost them several Campaigns.

’Twas about the same time, that, upon the Death of the Duke de Vendôme at Vinaroz in Spain, Lewis XIV. conferr’d his Government of Provence upon the Marshal, who was also made a Duke and Peer. They tell a Story, that when he went to take Possession of his Government, and the Deputies of the Province presented him with a Purse full of Lewis d’Ors, One of ’em said, Here, my Lord, is such another Purse as that we gave to the Duke de Vendôme, when, like you, he came to be our Governor; but that Prince refus’d to take it. Ah! said the Marshal de Villars, squeezing the Purse, M. de Vendôme has not left his Fellow behind him.

The War in the Netherlands being finish’d by the Peace at Utrecht, the Marshal de Villars had again the Command of the Army in Germany. When he took his Leave of the King, he said to him, I most humbly intreat your Majesty to consider, that I leave you in the midst of my Enemies, whilst I am going to fight yours. He actually took Landau and Fribourg, and afterwards return’d to Versailles, to receive the King’s Orders to go and treat of a Peace with Prince Eugene of Savoy. During the Campaign his Enemies told the King, in hopes his Majesty would blame him for it, that he had laid out the Sum of 1800,000 Livres in the Purchase of an Estate. The King asking him one Day at Dinner, if it was true that he had made such a Purchase; Yes, Sir, replied the Marshal, who suspected that those who told the King of it were then at the Table, I have bought an Estate which cost me 1800,000 Livres; and if the War continues, and your Majesty trusts me with the Command of your Army, I hope to purchase a more considerable one next Year at the Expence of your Enemies. But instead of making another Campaign, the Marshal went to Rastadt,255 where he and Prince Eugene of Savoy sign’d the Preliminaries of the Peace, which those two Generals concluded afterwards at Baden on the seventh of June 1714. Since that time the Marshal has always resided at Court. The French look upon him as the Restorer of their Reputation in the Netherlands, the Support of the State, and the chief Captain of his Time: He is loaded with Wealth and Dignities: He is a Duke and Peer, a Marshal of France, a Grandee of Spain, a Knight Commander of the King’s Orders, a Knight of the Golden Fleece, and Governor of Provence. He has an only Son, for whom he has obtain’d the Reversion of his Government[68].


Perhaps I have detain’d you too long about the Marshal de Villars; but I thought the little Particularities257 I have given you would do you a Pleasure, and that you would not be sorry to know some Circumstances of a Man, who, after all, has been much cry’d-up in Europe. I shall be more brief in my Account of the other Noblemen, and of these I shall name but two or three, of whom you have heard some Talk, and such as are in most Reputation with us.

James Fitz-James Duke of Berwic, a Peer and Marshal of France, a Peer of England, a Grandee of Spain, a Knight of the Garter, and of the Golden Fleece, is the legitimated Son of James II. King of Great Britain[69]. He follow’d his Father to France, where he served with Distinction. In 1706 he had the Marshal’s Staff given him; and in 1707 he commanded the Army of the two Crowns in Spain, where he defeated the Lord Gallway near Almanza. The King of Spain, to reward him for such great Service, made him a Grandee of Spain, and gave him the Duchy of Liria, which M. de Berwic yielded to his eldest Son, who is actually in Possession of it. In 1714 the Marshal-Duke of Berwic reduc’d Barcelona under the Obedience of Philip V. This City had refus’d to acknowledge that Prince, and tho’ abandon’d, and without any Hopes of Relief,258 continued the War with an Obstinacy of Men who seem’d to be desperate. The very Women, the Priests, Friers, all were Soldiers in Barcelona; and during the Siege, which held sixty-one Days with open Trenches, after a Blockade of eleven Months, there were five hundred and forty-three Friers and Priests kill’d and wounded in the Sallies and Attacks. The City was taken on the eleventh of September by Storm: The Battle lasted from Four o’Clock in the Morning till Eleven, when the Inhabitants retir’d into the new Town, which is only separated from the other by a single Wall. They surrender’d next Day at Discretion to the Marshal-Duke de Berwic, who gave them a verbal Promise to save their Lives, and to protect the City from Plunder, on their paying down a large Sum of Money. Barcelona being thus reduc’d, the Marshal return’d to France loaded with Wealth and Honours. Upon the Death of King Lewis XIV. he was admitted to the Council of the Regency, and sent soon after to command in Guienne. The Regent gave him the Command of the Army against the King of Spain, which his Royal Highness had before offer’d to the Marshal de Villars; but that Nobleman told him, He would never draw his Sword against a Prince who might one Day become his Sovereign, a Prince for whose Service he had already spilt some Blood, and one for whom the Kingdom had expended such a Treasure. The Marshal-Duke of Berwic, being not so delicate, accepted of the Command, took St. Sebastian, and obey’d the Regent much more than he was bound to do in Duty.

For this he was continued in the Command of Guienne, and particularly of Bourdeaux. For some time past the Marshal-Duke has been very much259 at Court, and often at his Ducal Lordship in Picardy[70].

Victor-Maria Duke d’Estrées, whom I ought to have mention’d before the Duke of Berwic, as being260 the oldest Marshal of France, is Vice-Admiral of the Kingdom, a Duke and Peer, a Grandee of Spain, a Commandeur of the King’s Orders, and a Knight of the Golden Fleece. He is the last of his Family, which has been render’d illustrious by all the great Dignities of the Kingdom ever since[71] the charming Gabriella d’Estrées, who was Mistress to Henry IV. He lives with as much Splendor and Magnificence as most Noblemen in France: His House is open to all Foreigners of Distinction, and Men of Knowledge and Learning are well receiv’d in it. The Marshal has a fine Library, a most beautiful Cabinet of Medals, and a complete Collection of antique Stones that are grav’d. Besides the Estate of the Family of Estrées, of which he is the only Head, he made great Acquisitions by Missisippi Stock, and there are few Sovereigns that have finer Diamonds. Since the Troubles that arose in Bretagne during the Regency of the Duke of Orleans, the Assembly of the States of that Province is always held by this Nobleman. The Nobility of Bretagne extol him very much, and find a great Difference between their Treatment by this Marshal, and the rigid haughty Air with which the late Marshal de Montesquiou carried it to them during the Regency. Tho’ the Marshal d’Estrées is very much attach’d to the Court, yet he is often at Paris, where he has a very fine House, and is visited by the greatest and the best People in the Kingdom. The Marshal’s Lady, who is Noailles, Sister to the Countess de Tholouse, was formerly a Lady of the Bed-chamber to the Duchess of Burgundy; she has all the Politeness of the ancient Court, and tho’ she is past the Bloom of her Youth, she is still one of the most amiable Women at261 Court, and by her Management there is not a more agreeable Family than hers in the Kingdom. I am, &c.



SIR,Paris, May 22, 1732.  

Yesterday I loiter’d away a good deal of Time with a Couple of Englishmen, to whom, as they call it in Italy, I was a Cicero[72]. Nevertheless, you must not expect me to give you an Account of every thing I saw; and besides, so much has been already said of Versailles, that you shall hardly find one Book in twenty, almost, but what treats of the Beauties of this Royal Palace.

After having shew’d my English Gentlemen the Castle, the Chapel, the Stables and the Park, I carried them to the Royal Abbey of St. Cyr, which they had heard so much Talk of, that they long’d to see it: ’Tis a grand stately House, and worthy of the Magnificence of the great Monarch who founded it, at the Solicitation of Madame de Maintenon, for the Education of two hundred and fifty young Damsels, whose Families are not able to give them a Maintenance suitable to their Birth. Immediately after the Demise of Lewis XIV. Madame de Maintenon retir’d to St. Cyr, and there she always dwelt till she died. She went thither indeed,262 even during the King’s Illness, as soon as she found that the Physicians had given him over; the King, however, contrary to all Expectation, recover’d; and not seeing Madame de Maintenon, ask’d where she was: Upon this the Lady return’d, when the King gave her a handsome Reprimand for abandoning him, and desir’d her to stay with him as long as he had any Remains of Life. Madame de Maintenon obey’d, but the King’s Breath was no sooner out of his Body, than she took Coach, and went to St. Cyr, with a Design never to stir from it as long as she liv’d.

She had the Consolation, however, of receiving Visits there from all the Princes and Princesses of the Blood; and even the late Madame the Regent’s Mother, who never visited Madame de Maintenon in the King’s Life-time, thought she could not excuse herself from making her a Visit. The Regent went thither likewise, and told her, she might depend upon his punctual Regard to every Tittle that the late King had order’d in her Favour by his last Will and Testament. Madame de Maintenon return’d him Thanks, and said, that as she was resolv’d to be retir’d for the Residue of her Life, she desir’d but 40,000 Livres a Year for her Subsistance. Four Years after this she died, and was interr’d in the Church of St. Cyr, in the Middle of the Choir, in a Tomb of plain black Marble, with the following Epitaph engrav’d on it; which I lik’d so well, that I have copied it Word for Word, and send it to you, because I don’t believe you have seen it elsewhere.

Très baute & très puissante Dame
Madame Francoise d’Aubigne,
Marquise de Maintenon;
263Femme Illustre, Femme vraiment Chrétienne;
Cette Femme forte que le Sage chercha vainement dans son Siecle,
Et qu’il nous eût proposé pour modele, s’il eût vêcu dans le nôtre.
Sa Naissance fut très noble.
On loua de bonne heure son Esprit, & plus encore sa Vertu.
La Sagesse, la Douceur, la Modestie sormoient son Caractere,
Qui ne se démentit jamais.
Toujours égale dans les differentes situations de sa vie;
Mêmes Principles, mêmes Regles, mêmes Vertus.
Fidèle dans les exercices de Piété,
Tranquille au milieu des agitations de la Cour,
Simple dans la Grandeur,
Pauvre dans le centre des richesses,
Humble au comble des honneurs;
Révérée de Louis le Grand,
Environnée de sa gloire,
Autorisée par sa plus intime confiance,
Dépositaire de ses graces,
Qui n’a jamais fait d’usage de son pouvoir,
Que par sa bonté.
Une autre Esther dans la faveur,
Une seconde Judith dans la Retraite & l’Oraison:
La Mere des Pauvres,
L’Asyle toujours sûr des malheureux,
Une vie si illustre
A été terminée par un mort sainte
Et precieuse devant Dieu.
Son Corps est resté dans cette sainte maison,
Dont elle avoit procuré l’établissement;
Et elle a laissé à l’univers
L’exemple de ses vertus.
Décédée le 15 d’Avril 1719.
Née le 28 de Novembre 1635.264
i. e.

The most high and most potent Lady
The Lady Francese d’Aubigny,
Marchioness of Maintenon.
A Wife illustrious[73], a Woman truly Christian;
That virtuous Heroine whom the wise Man sought in vain in his Time,
And whom he wou’d have propos’d to us for a Pattern, if he had liv’d in ours.
She was of Birth most noble,
Her Wit was early commended, and much more her Virtue.
Sobriety, good Nature and Modesty, form’d her Character,
From which she never derogated.
Always unchangeable in the various Situations of her Life;
The same Principles, the same Rules, the same Virtues.
Sincere in the Exercises of Piety,
Tranquil during the Storms at Court,
Plain in the Midst of Grandeur,
Poor in the Centre of Wealth,
265Humble at the Summit of Honours;
Rever’d by Lewis le Grand,
Environ’d with his Glory,
Vested with his most intimate Confidence,
The Depositary of his Favours,
Who never made use of her Power
But to do Good.
Another Esther in Favour,
A second Judith in Retirement and Prayer:
The Mother of the Poor,
The never-failing Asylum of the Unfortunate.
A Life so illustrious
Was cut off by a Death Pious,
And precious in the Sight of God.
Her Body lies in this Sacred House,
Of which she procur’d the Establishment:
And her Virtues she has left
To the World for a Pattern.
She departed this Life April 15, 1719.
Being born the 28th of November 1635.

My Englishmen thought the Panegyric upon Madame de Maintenon a little too much strain’d. I confess that I think she is well equipp’d with a Character; and if it be true, that she was as humble as her Epitaph imports, I make no doubt, but if she had liv’d to see such an Encomium, it would have put her Modesty sadly out of Countenance: For ’tis certain, that this Lady had a very great Fund of Virtue and Piety; and I have heard it said by Persons, who otherwise had no reason to be fond of her, that ’twas impossible to be acquainted with her, and not to esteem her.

When I return’d from St. Cyr, I came hither to see M. Voltaire’s Tragedy of Brutus, which is so fine a Piece, that I and my English Companions were charm’d with it: We not only admir’d the Conduct and Versification of it, but we applauded266 the Freedom with which the Author makes the Romans think and speak. Mean time, the French are not of our Opinion. The Respect due to Royalty, say they, is not well preserv’d in it. They censure the Author for presuming to confine the Royal Authority within the Bounds of Justice. M. de Voltaire, say they, never could imbibe these Sentiments in France. ’Tis very plain that he contracted them beyond Sea. They may be relish’d well enough by the English; but to us they are intolerable: And if M. de Voltaire goes on to write in this Manner, he may, perhaps, have an Apartment in the Bastile. I confess that terrible Name dumb-founder’d me, and I did not dare to say a Word in the Author’s Vindication, for fear of being deem’d his Accomplice. The Bastile and the Holy Office are two Terms which always silenc’d me, even when I have had the strongest Inclination to speak my Mind.

As for the Comedians, they perform’d Wonders. One du Frêne actually out-did himself. He is Brother to Quinaut, an excellent Comedian in the Parts which require Humour, but excessively out-of-the-Way in Tragedy; and take him off the Theatre, impertinent beyond Expression, as is also his Brother, tho’ they are both Men of Wit.

The Players are much more respected here than they are elsewhere, which makes them insolent to the last Degree. The Nobility are fond of their Company, and admit them to their Parties of Pleasure: And as they are Kings upon the Stage, and Equals and Companions at Table with the best Lords in the Kingdom, no wonder that it turns their Brains. But that which must needs render them arrogant beyond Measure, is a late Instance of Regard paid them by the French Academy, who, by a Letter, invited the Performers in the French Comedy, to hear an Oration made in267 their Academy; which the Comedians took for such an Honour, that the very next Day they offer’d the Members of the Academy Admission to their Comedy Gratis; which the Academicians made no Scruple to accept, to the great Amazement of the whole City of Paris, which blames the Members for it not a little: The Fault is laid at the Door of certain Authors, who are in League with the Comedians, and gave the Invitation without consulting the rest of the Members, of whom several that had, no Hand in the Transaction, protested against the Conduct of those who had, the Consequence of which was a Quarrel in the Academy. Indeed, one would imagine by that Day’s Work, that they did not really consider what they were doing; and the Noblemen who are Members of the Academy, cry out against it very much. ’Tis true, that the Comedians who presume to offer Admission Gratis to a Marshal de Villars, a Marshal d’Estrées, or other Noblemen of that Rank, are not mean Fellows, and deserve the Appellation of the Company of Comedians, instead of Troop; in order to distinguish them from the Strollers in the[74] Country. Why then should not they be honour’d? The Actors in the Opera, who, as well as they, divert the Public for Lucre, have, indeed, the Privilege, that a Gentleman may be admitted among them without Disparagement to his Title. This is a Favour, says a modern Author very justly, which had never yet been granted to those who perform in the public Spectacles, and who give Diversion for Money; because in268 most of the Ages of Christianity, they had been look’d upon as Persons excommunicated and infamous, by reason of the Corruption in Morals, owing to their then too licentious Representations, which, perhaps, is no longer apprehended to be the Case at present. ’Tis certain, that if a Performer in an Opera may be noble, I can’t see why a Person mayn’t be the same in a Comedy; tho’ ’tis my Opinion, that if Stage-players may be Gentlemen, Rope-dancers and Tumblers have a Title to it; for, besides the Honour they have of diverting the Public, they run the Risk of breaking their Necks every Day; and is not that the Lot of the Nobility?

As I returned Yesterday with my Englishmen from Versailles, we went to St. Cloud, where we had the Honour to see the Duke de Chartres, the only Son of the Duke of Orleans. This Prince was in the Park, to see a young Officer of the Train of Artillery make Proofs of some Pieces of Ordnance. We were surpriz’d to see how attentively the young Prince observed every thing, and to hear him ask the Officer such Questions as were not to be expected from one of his Years. We had reason also to applaud the gracious and polite Reception which he gave us. To be plain, I was charm’d to see a Grandson of the late Madame, so worthy of herself, and of the illustrious Blood from which he is descended.

St. Cloud is a Palace belonging to the Duke of Orleans, first Prince of the Blood, and was built by Order of the late Monsieur Philip of France, (Brother of Lewis XIV.) who added very magnificent Gardens to it. ’Tis certain, that if the late King had chose St. Cloud for his Residence, instead of Versailles, he might have had a finer Building with less Expence. What is most admir’d at St. Cloud, are the Gallery and Salon,269 both painted by Mignard, the Cascade, and the great Water-work, which throws up the Water a hundred Feet high, and which nothing exceeds of the Kind, but the Work that was made by the Direction of an[75]English Gentleman at Herenhausen, near Hanover, in the Reign of King George I.

St. Cloud has been fatal to several Princes of the Royal Family. Henry III. was assassinated there on the first of August 1589, at eight o’Clock in the Morning, by James Clement. Henrietta of England, first Wife to the late Philip of France, Duke of Orleans, only Brother to Lewis XIV. died there suddenly of a Colic, on the 30th of June 1670. She said that she was poison’d, for which Reason the King caus’d her Corpse to be open’d in Presence of the English Ambassador. ’Tis a difficult Matter, to judge whether that Princess’s Suspicions were true; for the Physicians and Surgeons found all her noble Parts corrupted, tho’ she was but twenty-six Years old. Her Husband paid his Tribute to Nature on a sudden, in the same Palace, on the 4th of June 1701.

What I have mentioned to you of the unhappy Catastrophe of the last of the Valois, puts me in Mind of a Passage in History, that Te Deum was forgot in the Ceremony of his Coronation; that the Crown fell from his Head; and that there was no Oil in the Sacred Phial, to perform the customary[76] Unction; which were then taken for ill Omens, and Time prov’d them but too true.


Since I am upon Tragical Events, I will mention a Thing to you that lately happen’d in England, and which I was assur’d by the English Gentlemen, in our Return from Versailles, is a certain Fact.

One Richard Smith, a Bookbinder, and his Wife Bridget, were about a Fortnight ago found hanging in their Chamber near their Bed-side, about three or four Feet Distance from one another; and in the next Room, their Daughter, who was but two Years old, was found shot thro’ the Head. There were three Letters left upon the Table, of which the following is the most material; and I send you a Copy of it, because it will let you into the Stoic Character of the English Nation. ’Tis directed to Mr. Brindley, a Bookbinder at London, in that which is call’d New Bondstreet.

Cousin Brindley,

‘These Actions, consider’d in all their Circumstances, being somewhat uncommon, it may not be improper to give some Account of the Cause, and that it was an inveterate Hatred we conceiv’d against Poverty and Rags; Evils, which through a Train of unlucky Accidents were become inevitable; for we appeal to all that ever knew us, whether we were either idle or extravagant; whether or no we have not taken as much Pains to get our Living as our Neighbours, altho’ not attended with the same271 Success.

We apprehend the taking our Child’s Life away to be a Circumstance for which we shall be generally condemn’d; but for our own Parts, we are perfectly easy upon that Head. We are satisfy’d it is less Cruelty to take the Child with us, even supposing a State of Annihilation, as some dream of, than to leave her friendless in the World, expos’d to Ignorance and Misery. Now in order to obviate some Censures, which may proceed either from Ignorance or Malice, we think it proper to inform the World, that we firmly believe the Existence of Almighty God; that this Belief of ours is not an implicit Faith, but deduced from the Nature and Reason of Things: We believe the Existence of an Almighty Being from the Consideration of his wonderful Works, from a Consideration of those innumerable celestial and glorious Bodies, and from their wonderful Order and Harmony. We have also spent some Time in viewing those Wonders which are to be seen in the minute Part of the World, and that with great Pleasure and Satisfaction, from all which Particulars, we are satisfied, that such amazing Things could not possibly be without a first Mover, without the Existence of an Almighty Being: And as we know the wonderful God to be Almighty, so we cannot help believing but that he is also good, not implacable; not like such Wretches as Men are, not taking Delight in the Miseries of his Creatures; for which Reason we resign up our Breaths unto him, without any terrible Apprehensions, submitting ourselves to those Ways, which in his Goodness he shall please to appoint after Death. We also believe the Existence of unbody’d Creatures, and think we have Reason for that Belief, altho’ we don’t pretend to know their Way of subsisting.


We are not ignorant of those Laws made in Terrorem; but leave the Disposal of our Bodies to the Wisdom of the Coroner and his Jury; the Thing being indifferent to us where our Bodies are laid: From whence it will appear how little anxious we are about a Hic jacet; we for our Parts neither expect, nor desire such Honours, but shall content ourselves with a borrowed Epitaph, viz.

‘Without a Name, for ever silent, dumb,
Dust, Ashes, nought else is within this Tomb.
Where we were born or bred, it matters not,
Who were our Parents, or have us begot.
We were, but are not: think no more of us;
For as we are, so you’ll be turn’d to Dust.

‘It is the Opinion of Naturalists, that our Bodies are at certain Stages of Life compos’d of new Matter, so that a great many poor People have new Bodies oftner than new Cloaths: Now as Divines are not able to inform us which of those several Bodies shall rise at the Resurrection, it is very probable, that the deceased Body may be for ever silent as well as any other.’

Richard Smith.
Bridget Smith.

The Coroner’s Inquest, after the usual Formalities, brought in their Verdict, whereby they declared Richard Smith guilty of that Crime, which they call in England, Felo de se, or Self-Murder; and of Wilful Murder as to his Child. Bridget was brought in a Lunatic, tho’ she had sign’d the Letter with her Husband, and acknowledged273 that she was equally concerned in the Murder of her Child; so that I think her Corpse deserved hanging, at least for a little while: And sure I am, that she would not have been found a Lunatic here.

There being commonly some little Piece of Entertainment at the End of Tragedies, I am now to divert you with some such Farce. ’Tis the Adventure of a certain pert Coxcomb of a Counsellor, with the Abbé de Vayrac, an Author, and a Man of[77]Wit. Not many Days ago, as the Abbé was walking on Foot, he was overtaken with a Shower of Rain, which made him take Shelter under a Penthouse, at a Shop-door. At the same Time, who should pass by in a magnificent Coach, driving at a mad Rate, as if he would run over every Thing in his Way, but a Counsellor, whose furious Career was stopp’d all on a sudden, by something that broke his Harness! This Disaster happen’d just at the Place Where the Abbé de Vayrac stood, dress’d like other Authors, with an old tatter’d Hat upon his Head, and a shabby Cloak over a Coat quite thread-bare. The Thing that most diverted the Counsellor, was his Hat, and he order’d one of his Lacqueys to ask him, if it was not as old as the Battle of[78]Rocroy. You must know, the Lacqueys of this Country are more brazen-fac’d and insolent than they274 are any-where else; and the Counsellor’s discharg’d his Errand to a Tittle. M. l’Abbé, said he, in a Droll Tone, my Master wants to know in what Battle your Hat receiv’d all those Wounds. At the Battle of Cannæ, Friend, reply’d the Abbé; and then he laid on five or six heavy Blows upon the impudent Ambassador’s Shoulders with his Cane. The Counsellor, seeing his Domestic so soundly drubb’d, stepp’d instantly out of his Coach, and running to the Abbé, said, What are you doing? The Abbé reply’d very sedately, I am chastising Insolence. Parbleu, M. l’Abbé, said the Counsellor, I think you are a pleasant Fellow to presume to strike a Servant of mine! Surely you don’t know me; for if you did, you would have more Respect for my Livery. Pardon me, reply’d the Abbé, I know you very well. And who am I? said the Counsellor. Why you are a Fool, reply’d the Abbé; upon which the Gentleman thought fit to sneak off. This is a very true Story; for I had it from the Abbé de Vayrac himself, who told it to me with the same Gravity as he had answer’d the Counsellor.

Tho’ Lacqueys are not commonly the Subjects of Conversation, yet I think that those of Paris deserve some Notice. They form so considerable a Body, that there are many Kings who have not so numerous an Army. Besides, these Fellows make such extraordinary Fortunes, and often rise so quick from Valets, to be Masters and Gentlemen, that really they ought not to be confounded in the Lump with the European Lacqueys. Those of ’em who set up for fine Fellows, as many of ’em do, (for in the Livery of Paris, you meet with every Thing that is handsome and gay) such, I say, as are in the Service of some young Noblemen, are commonly Equals and Companions with their Masters. There are others who are the Darlings of the Fair Sex; and if Satire may275 be credited, and Appearances, perhaps, into the Bargain, there are Ladies even of the first Quality, who don’t always treat their Lacqueys like Servants. ’Tis true, they most commonly take them out of the Livery, and in order to bring them near their Persons, they make them their Pages, or Valets de Chambre. Nothing is thought too good for these Favourites of Venus; they are rigg’d out like Princes, and were you to see one of these fortunate Lacqueys, you would naturally take him for some Person of Consequence. And indeed, there are some who act the Man of Quality to such a Perfection, that nothing can exceed it; and they have often better Manners than their Masters. The Airs of Importance, and of Quality, are very natural to the French. There are others of the menial Class, that enjoy the Favour of their young Masters, in a Way so uncommon, that one knows not what to think of it; and many of those young Gentlemen, forgetting the Respect that is due to their own Persons, and their Families, make Parties at Supper with ’em, at which Time, I fansy, Conversation is the least Part of the Entertainment. But such is the Spirit of Debauchery, that it has infected the Generality of the young People at Court; tho’ ’tis true enough, that it ever was so.

I don’t say that excessive Debauchery is the universal Goût of the Nation; for, on the contrary, the French are virtuous from the Cradle to the Grave, if they are but so happy as to get over the four or five Years of juvenile Fury, and to surmount the tumultuous Passions which their great Vivacity kindles in their Breasts, and prompts them to do Things at twenty Years of Age, which at thirty they detest and abhor; and I affirm of the French in general, that they are not vicious by Inclination. The Nobleman is infinitely more so,276 than the Bulk of the People; and whether it is bad Company, bad Counsel, or whatever else that misleads him, he thinks that to be debauch’d gives him a fine Air; and many of ’em really boast of being greater Deboshees, than in Fact they are.

But this does not seem to me to be the Case of the Women (I mean of those who are not very rigidly attach’d to the Precepts of Virtue). They always preserve an Appearance of Decency, which imposes on such as don’t know them: Nor is their Conversation licentious; and if they are naughty, ’tis in private. ’Tis certain that our Countrymen don’t do the French Ladies Justice. Many of our young Fellows, when they come home from Paris, affecting to be Coxcombs, tell Stories so much to the Disadvantage of the Fair Sex, that most of the German Gentlemen, and especially of our Ladies, think the Reverse of what they ought to do. Virtue and Modesty are as eminent among the Sex here as elsewhere; and those Whifflers, that give themselves the Liberty of scandalizing them, very often know not how to call one Woman of Quality by her right Name, and even never saw her Antichamber. ’Tis certain, that there are Women of Quality here, who have laid aside the Mask; but of these there are so few, that the whole Sex ought not to be reproach’d for their Misconduct. I give you my Word and Honour, that there are fine young Ladies here, born to charm our Sex, whom Calumny itself is obliged to respect; and I don’t see what more can be desired. I’ll vouch the same for the young Gentlemen, of whom indeed, the greatest Number is very much debauch’d, but there are some that have not quitted the Reins of Modesty. A Tremouille, a Luxembourg, a Boufflers, and many more, may be set up as Examples to277 our Youth, who, perhaps, would be worse than the Youth of France, if they were enter’d as young into Company, and seated in the Centre of Joy and Pleasures. But I perceive, that instead of a Letter I am drawing a Case. Therefore here I drop my Brief, and think my Epistle long enough to be concluded. I am intirely Yours, &c.



SIR,Paris, May 28, 1732.  

I was puzzled some time ago, to think what could make the French forget Father Girard and la Cadiere, and the pretended St. Paris; for I apprehended, those two Articles would be the Subject of Conversation a great while longer; but I was mistaken: ’Tis all forgot; and there’s something now upon the Tapis, of quite another Kind.

The Archbishop of Paris having thought fit to issue his Mandate for suppressing a certain printed Paper, intitled Nouvelles Ecclesiastiques, (a Sort of Ecclesiastical News-Journal) the Parliament of Paris was disgusted, and made an Arret, condemning the Archbishop’s Mandate. The Court took the Prelate’s Part, and declar’d all that was done by the Parliament upon this Occasion, null and void. The Parliament standing up mightily for its Privileges, which nevertheless it holds only by the good Pleasure of its Kings, discontinued its Assemblies, and the King was obliged to issue278 repeated Orders, before the Members would resume their Business. Mean time the Advocates and Solicitors have thought fit to espouse the Cause of the Parliament, and refuse to plead till the King has done Justice to the Parliament, (’tis their own Term) by preserving it in the Possession of Appeals against Incroachments; which it has really enjoy’d for many Years, and which is the Ground of the present Disputes. The Parliament say, that they are the more justifiable in supporting this antient Prerogative, because they are obliged to it in Conscience, and for the Welfare of the State committed to their Charge. For, say they, what would be the Consequence, were the Archbishop’s Mandate to be authorized? The Pope and the Bishops would, by Degrees, assume that Right which they pretend to, of pronouncing Excommunications for very trivial Causes, and even of putting the King himself under an Interdict, and consequently of usurping a Temporal Despotic Power under the Umbrage of their Spiritual Power, which, say the Parliament, is absolutely contrary to the Liberties of the Gallican Church; by Virtue whereof, ’tis sufficient for the Parliament alone, in the like Case, to stigmatize and condemn those Nouvelles Ecclesiastiques, as they have already done for a long Time.

This is, in general, the Situation of Affairs, and the Substance of the Arguments made use of by the Parliament for the Maintenance of their Rights, which are stuff’d with Abundance of pompous Terms, such as the Obligations of Conscience, the Liberties of the Gallican Church, and a thousand such Expressions, with which the very Hawkers make your Ears ring as you go along the Streets. The Ladies too have for the present laid aside all the Jargon of Dresses, to learn that Language; and she who us’d to talk of Cornets279 and Gorgets, now assumes the Style of an Advocate, pleads for Gallican Liberties, overturns the Church, and sends the Sacred College and the Bishops to the Gallies. In short, I can’t express to you, how ridiculous the French are in these Cases. Being fond of every Thing that’s new, be it good or bad, they catch at it blindfold; which is a plain Confirmation of the Inconstancy of these People, who are so fickle, that I verily believe, if any one should take a Fancy to preach Mahometanism to them, they would embrace it with their usual Levity.

The following, my dear Friend, is a Piece of Poetry, which, I think, is good, and make no Doubt will please you. The Subject of it is, Christian Tranquillity. If I can pick up any Thing new for you, before I go hence, I will not fail to send it to you. I supp’d lately in a Place with M. de Voltaire, and another Poet, the latter of whom rehearsed a very pretty Piece to us, of which he refused to give us a Copy, pretending ’twas imperfect; but however, he has promised it to me. When I have it, I will send it to you.

Surles les Disputes du Tems.On the Disputes of the Times.
Plein d’ignorance et de Miseres,Why wilt, audacious mortal Man,
Pourquoi, Mortel audacieux,So wretched, and so ignorant,
Veux-tu sur des profonds mysteresOn Mysteries dark and profound
Porter un œil trop curieux!resume to cast an Eye too nice?
Toi, pour qui toute la NatureDost thou, to whom all Nature seems
Ne paroit qu’une Enigme obscure,But an impenetrable Riddle,
Tu sondes les Divins Decrets?Pretend to fathom God’s Decrees?
Tu croi que ton foible gênieThink’st thou thy feeble Genius can
De l’Intelligence infinieThe mighty Secrets e’er unfold
Pourra dévoiler les Secrets?Of infinite Intelligence?
Crains les ténèbres respectables,Fear thou the dark, but awful Shades,
Où Dieu cache sa Majesté;Where God his Majesty conceals;
De ses Desseins impénétrablesFor who the Veil can penetrate
Qui peut percer l’obscurité?Of his impenetrable Schemes?
Mesure la vaste étendueMeasure the vast immense Extent
De ces Globes, qu’offre à la vueOf all those Globes that may be seen
Un tems serein et lumineux.In Weather most serene and bright.
Mais arrête ici ton audace,But here thy fond Presumption check;
Tu ne peux voir que la surfaceFor thou nought but the Surface seest
De ce Théatre merveilleux.Of this Theatre wonderful.
Où t’emporte l’ardeur extrémeWhere will thy furious Ardor stop,
De tout comprendre, et de tout voir?All Things to comprehend and see?
Tu ne te connois pas toi-même:And know’st not what thou art
L’Esprit échape à son savoir;thyself,
Et la Raison impérieuseThy Mind a Stranger to its Bounds:
De la Grace victorieuseWill then imperious Reason dare
Veut pénétrer la Profondeur!Presume to penetrate the Depths
Paul, tout rempli de sa Lumiere,Of all-victorious Grace Divine?
Nous apprend quelle est la maniereGreat Paul, in whom its Light shone full,
Dont elle agit sur notre cœur.Explains to us the Manner how
Grace operates upon our Hearts.
Je sens en moi que la NatureI feel within, that Nature’s self
Veut établir ma Liberté;To fix my Freedom makes Efforts;
Elle se plaint, elle murmure,And when her Power is controll’d
Quand son pouvoir est disputé.She murmurs inward, and complains.
Mais si j’interroge mon AmeBut if my Soul I do but ask
Comment une céleste flâmeWhich way a Flame celestial
La fait agir, la fait mouvoir;Induces it to act and move;
Je crains que cette Ame hautaineI fear this haughty swelling Soul
Ne donne à la puissance humaine,To human Power will ascribe
Ce qui vient du Divin Pouvoir.That which to Pow’r Divine is due.
Surpris de l’Intervalle immenseAstonish’d at the Space immense
Qu’on voit de l’Homme au Créateur,Betwixt the Creature and Creator,
Si je n’admets une PuissanceIf I do not a Pow’r confess
Qui concourt avec son Auteur,Concurring with its Author,
Ce n’est plus pour moi qu’un vain titre,Free Agency, or that Free-will
Que le franc, que le libre Arbitre,Of which my Reason so much vaunts,
Que ma Raison sais tant vanter:Is but for me an empty Plea:
Je ne connois plus de Justice,That Justice I no longer own,
Qui récompense et qui punisse,Which doth reward and punish too,
Ce qui ne peut rien mériter.What strictly neither can deserve.
Ainsi mon Ame est suspendueThus is my Soul held in Suspense
Entre les Sentimens divers.Betwixt Opinions contrary.
Par-tout où je porte ma vue,Where-e’er my roving Eyes I turn
Je vous des Abîmes ouverts.Abysses open to my View.
Pour me garantir du naufrage,For fear of being cast away,
Je n’ose quitter le rivage;I dare not quit the Sight of Shore;
La crainte assûre mon repos.And ’tis this Fear my Peace secures.
Combien, dans cette Mer profonde,How many, in this Ocean deep,
Flottant à la merci de l’onde,Floating at Mercy of the Waves,
Se perdent au milieu des flots?Are by those Waves immerg’d and lost!
De tant de disputes fameuses,Let us the dang’rous Tracks avoid
Où nous embarque notre orgueil,Of those Disputes but too well known,
Fuyons les Routes dangereuse:In which our Pride engageth us:
L’Homme à Lui-même est un écueil;Man’s to himself a fatal Rock;
Dans le petis Monde sensible,For in this little World of ours
Est un Dédale imperceptible,There is a Dadalus unseen,
Dont nous ignorons les Détours.Whose Windings are to us unknown.
La Foi de notre sort decide:’Tis Faith our Fortune doth decide,
Elle tient le fil qui nous guide;She holds the Thread which is our Guide;
Sans elle, nous errons toujours.Or else we always go astray.
Heureux le cœur simple et docile,Happy that honest docile Heart,
Qui sans raisonner sur la Foi,Which without reas’ning about Faith
Respecte dans nos Saints ConcilesOur Holy Councils venerates,
Le sacré dépôt de la Foi;The Sacred Guardians of that Faith;
Ne franchissant point la Barriere,And dares not climb o’er that Barrier.
Que le Pere de la lumiereFix’d by the Father of all Light
Met aux vains efforts de l’esprit.Against proud Reason’s vain Efforts.
A quoi nos soins doivent-ils tendre?To what shou’d our Endeavours tend?
Est-ce à pratiquer, ou comprendreIs it to practice, or comprise
Ce que le Ciel nous a prescrit?The Things which Heaven has prescrib’d?
Laissons la Sagesse éternalleLet’s to Eternal Wisdom leave
Disposer des cœurs à son gré:The sole Disposal of all Hearts:
Il suffit à l’Homme fidelle,The true Believer is content,
Que par lui Dieu soit adoré.That God by him shou’d be ador’d.
Qu’importe à ces Docteurs habiles,What do these cunning Doctors gain,
Que par des Raisons trop subtilesWho by too subtle Arguments
Un Système soit combattu?A System strive to overthrow?
Que produit leur haute science,What does their Knowledge great avail,
Si Dieu ne met dans la BalanceIf God but in the Balance cast
Que l’Innocence & la Vertu?Virtue and Innocence to turn the Scale?

It were to be wish’d, that every Frenchman had the same Christian Tranquillity; for then they would not worry one another as they now do, nor would they give such a Scandal to Europe. But the Matter is push’d so far, that I don’t foresee how a Stop can be put to it. It will be always a Worm preying upon the Vitals of France, and a Bone of Contention between the Court and Parliament.

Some Days ago, the Court banish’d the Abbé Pucelle, a Counsellor of Parliament. This Man is another Broussel, and I believe, he would be overjoy’d, if he could revive the ancient Barricades283 which were erected during the Minority of Lewis XIV. after the Queen Mother Anne of Austria had caus’d that same Broussel to be put under an Arrest. But as yet there does not appear to be so much Rout about the Abbé Pucelle, notwithstanding he made a very great Noise in Parliament. There he spoke like an Angel, and every body said he defended the Liberties of the Gallican Church so well, that nobody could do it better. Nevertheless, I am apprehensive, that he will be at a Loss how to vindicate his own Liberty; and I am very much mistaken, if he has not a Lodging at Vincennes, or the Bastile, before he dies. The Parliament leaves no Stone unturn’d, that he may be recalled; and will do no Business at all, till that dear Brother of theirs is restored. Mean time, all Affairs are at a Stand, by which private Persons are the Sufferers: And yet these very Counsellors, who make a Scruple of Conscience to register an Edict from the King, which infring’d the ancient Privileges of the Parliament, don’t care what becomes of poor Widows and Orphans, that languish for the Issue of a Process kept in Suspense by these Domestic Quarrels! In Truth, I cannot but admire the good Nature of the King, and the Moderation of the Cardinal de Fleury. I am sure, that the Regent, and the Cardinal Dubois, would not have had so much Patience: For the former sent the Parliament to Pontoise, and caus’d the Members to be arrested and banish’d for a less Offence; and at the Time too, when the Parliament remonstrated against the Alteration of the Species, in which the Fortune of every Frenchman was concerned. Hitherto all the Representations of the Parliament for the Return of the Abbé Pucelle, have been of no Effect; and I fansy, that the first President will be forced to284 make another Trip to Compiegne, where the King has for some Time past resided[79].

A Couplet has lately been made upon the Abbé’s Exile: I don’t remember the Beginning of it, but it ends thus;

Que de bonnes gens vont pleurer! Que de filles vont crier, Rendez-nous Pucelle, ô gai, Rendez-nous Pucelle!

i. e.

How do the good Women lament! How do the Daughters cry, Give us back Pucelle, Give us back Pucelle[80]!

You must allow the French are merry Mortals. Let what will happen, they’ll find something or other in it to divert them. Every thing is to them a Subject for a Song; and I remember to have heard of a Ballad they made and sung upon the Plague in Provence, in 1720. Mean time, these Jarrings between the Court and Parliament have absolutely effac’d the Memory of the blessed Paris. ’Tis true, he began to be out of Vogue, after the Court caus’d the Church-yard of St. Medard to be stopp’d up, where he lies interr’d. If this had been done at first, a great deal of Scandal would have been prevented. I am very sorry I can’t stay to see what will be the End of all these Things; but my Affairs call me to Germany, whither I propose to set out the first Opportunity; therefore write to me no more at present.


Two Days ago, I saw such a Slur put upon the Charms of a young Lady, that she was thoroughly mortified. ’Twas the Marchioness de R——, one of the Ladies of the Bed-chamber. She has been us’d, for a long time, to daub her Face very awkwardly, with a great deal of White, Red, and Patches; but on that Day she out-did herself. She came into the Garden of the Thuilleries, on Purpose to be admir’d; for she has the Reputation of a very great Coquette: But she was hooted at by a great many smart Fellows that follow’d her, and gather’d all the Mob about her, so that the poor Lady was glad to retire; and being oblig’d to wait a little for her Coach, was very much hiss’d into the Bargain by those prodigal Puppies the Lacqueys; so that in my Life I never saw a Woman more run down.

The same Night I supped with the Marquis de L——, whom I had never seen before. I was told by a certain Lady, That he ow’d his Fortune to an old Woman: For tho’ he was a Man of a good Family, yet, being a younger Brother, he was not rich. When he was twenty Years of Age, he pleased the Marchioness de L——, who was threescore and ten, to such a Degree, that she offer’d to marry him; and the Marquis, who was then but a plain Gentleman, did not want very much Intreaty to accept the Proposal; for tho’ he was a Man of a handsome Presence, he did not presume to think that any young Woman would fall in Love with him, who had one hundred and fifty thousand good Livres a Year to her Fortune, which was what the Marchioness really had to bestow upon whom she pleased. As the two Lovers return’d from the Church of St. Sulpice, where they were married, the Marchioness carried her Spouse to her own House; and leading him into an Apartment, You need not be afraid, Sir, said286 she; don’t imagine that I married you to toy with. This is your Apartment; mine is on the other Side of the House. You shall lie here, and I’ll lie in my own Chamber. I was willing to make a Man of you, because I took you for a deferring young Fellow: But this I could not do, without taking you to be my Husband; and I had rather it should be said, that I am an old Fool for marrying a young Fellow, than to give any Colour for reporting, that I keep you in Pay. ’Tis more honourable both for you and me, that we are married; for now I can do what I please for you without the Censure of the Public. This, too, is what I have resolv’d on; and as I have no Relations, you may depend upon it, that all I have in the World will be one Day or other your own. All the Acknowledgment I desire of you, is some little Share in your Respect, and I am persuaded you are too much of a Gentleman to use me ill. Judge you how much the Marquis was surprised, at a Speech which he so little expected. He was ready to fall at the Feet of his Bride, and to give her Proofs of his Ecstasy of Love, when she push’d him from her, and said, None of these extraordinary Fits, I beseech you, Sir; let us live together like Friends: All the rest is superfluous. In short, she gave him to understand, ’twas her absolute Determination, that he should never think of her as his Wife. The Marquis was obliged to comply; and after having liv’d thus in perfect Harmony for seven Years, the Lady died, and left her Husband Heir to all her Estate.

The young Fellows undoubtedly stand the best Chance for the great Fortunes. I had Engagements here, when I was but twenty-two Years of Age, with an old Lady too, but she was not altogether to disinterested as the Marchioness de L——; for tho’ she was kind to me, she obliged me to a great deal of Duty. This Lady of mine was forty Years older than myself; yet287 what with Patches, and the Red and the White, her Charms were renewed every Day to such a Degree, that ’twas well I was twenty-two Years of Age, or else they would have frightened me. But fourscore thousand Livres a Year, which I always kept in View, made me take that for natural, which was only artificial; insomuch that if I had been put to my Oath, I know not whether I should not have sworn that my superannuated Mistress was but in her Teens. We lived a couple of Years together very lovingly. The Lady happened to have two Sons living, old enough both of ’em, to be my Fathers; yet she did not despair of having another Brood. For this End she proposed Matrimony to me, and I freely consented. But my Sons-in-law in futuro, being advertised, by whom I know not, where I had appointed a Meeting with their Mother, came and fell at her Feet, and conjured her not to wrong them and their Children, (for they were both married) by marrying me. The Lady was stagger’d in her Resolution, and was just going to promise her Sons, that she would not have me; when I came to her in the Nick of Time, and so encouraged her by my Presence, that she got the better of her Weakness.

Mean time, the Sons sprung a new Mine, which answered their End. Their Mother was a Coquet, but one of the pious Sort, and devoted that Time to God, which she did not spend with me, or at her Toilet. The Sons detached a Priest of St. Sulpice to her. The holy Man chose his Opportunity when I was abroad. I did not foresee, that a Blow would come from such a Quarter; or else the Swiss, and all her Domestics, being my Creatures, I could easily have kept him out of the House. He discharged his Commission so effectually, that he prevailed to have the288 Signing of the Marriage Articles, which were to have been executed the very next Day, put off for three Months longer. I was not very much chagrin’d when I heard this News; for I confess, I flatter’d myself, that ’twas not possible for the Lady to escape me. By the Description I have given you of my Sweetheart, you will imagine that I was not over Head and Ears in Love. Whatever Scruple the Priest of St. Sulpice had raised in her, she carried it to me the same as ever: We still liv’d very lovingly together, and I had considerable Presents made to me, which I squandered away as fast as I received. At the same Time, I did not dare to mention any Writings for my Security; and to talk to a Mistress of threescore Years and ten, about making her Last Will and Testament, was, I thought, a strange kind of Courtship, and the Way to spoil all.

Nevertheless, this Misfortune fell upon me, when I least of all expected it. As I went one Morning into my Dear’s Chamber, I found her at her Toilet, complaining of a great Pain in her Head. She told me, That she was in a sad Quandary too, because she had invited People to Dinner, but was not in a Condition to keep them Company; and she desired me, therefore, to do them the Honours of her House: But I prevailed with her to send Word to those whom she had invited, that she was ill, and that she should be glad to see them another Time. I then left her, with a Promise to come back and dine with her; and having taken a Walk, I returned accordingly; when I found her dress’d more gay than usual. She told me, that a Dish or two of Coffee had quite remov’d her Head-ach, and that she had trick’d herself up to please me. We din’d together, but she eat very little, and began very soon to complain again; so289 that I made her lie down upon the Bed, and taking a Book in my Hand, I sat down by her to read, while she rested: But all on a sudden, I felt her lay hold of my Hand, and as I turned about to her, my Mistress gave my Hand a Squeeze, and that Instant expir’d. I called for Help, and both Surgeons and Physicians came, by whose Order she was blooded; but ’twas to no Purpose: For there’s no returning from the Shore of the Dead.

This Accident so surprized me, that I did not so much as think of securing my own Effects; but went into my Room, and presently I was given to understand, that one of the Sons of the Deceased was come with an Officer to seal up all her Effects. I did not in the least oppose it, nor, indeed, had I any manner of Title to dispute it. But my Good-nature only made the Son the more insolent; for he even came into my own Apartment, to seal up such Effects as belong’d to me. I told him, that if he did not withdraw, I would make my Servants, and those of the Deceased, who had all a Respect for me, turn him out. During this, the late M. de N——, a Counsellor of Parliament, who was very much my Friend, came to see me, who advised me to quit my Quarters with all Speed, and to pack up every Thing that belong’d to me immediately. He also offer’d me Room in his House for my Furniture, and other Effects; which Offer I accepted, and in a few Hours every Thing of mine was clear’d off of the Premises. The Sons, after this, threaten’d to enter an Action against me; but as they had no Proof of any Thing that I ow’d to their Mother, they did not presume to molest me. If I had been of the Temper then, that I am now, I should not have so soon forgot the Loss I suffer’d; for, besides a good She-Friend, which is a290 rare and precious Thing, I lost the Hopes of a splendid Fortune.

I know not how it came into my Head, to entertain you with my quondam Amours. But ’tis a Vein of Prating which I am indulg’d in, more by you than by any body. Farewel, my Dear, you will hear no more of me about this Country, for I am preparing to quit it the very first Opportunity.



SIR,Brussels, June 4, 1732.  

When I left Paris, I kept on the Pavement all the Way to Chantilly, which may pass for the finest Seat in the Kingdom, since the great Additions made to it by the Duke of Bourbon, who is the Lord of it. The Forest likewise, of Chantilly, is as fine as any thing that ever Art and Nature form’d. ’Tis a magnificent Palace, the Stables are stately, and the Park is adorned with the finest Pieces of Water in the World. Lewis XIV, who was always very desirous of being the Master of this House, wanted to purchase it of the late Prince. The latter made Answer to him, That it was at his Service, only he begged him, he would make him the Keeper of it from that Moment. The King perceived, that the Prince resigned it to him with some Reluctance, and therefore spoke no more of it.


The Duke de Bourbon, who is certainly the richest Prince in Europe, that is not a Sovereign, lives very much at Chantilly, since he is no longer in the Ministry. There is always a very numerous Court, and he lives there more like a King, than a Prince of the Blood.

After having walked sufficiently about Chantilly, I went and lay at Senlis, and next Day arrived in good Time at Cambray, a City famous upon several Accounts; but its Beauty does not answer its Reputation. Cambray, the Capital of the Cambresis, was formerly an Imperial City, and its Archbishop was a Sovereign and Prince of the Empire. France having seized Cambray, there remains nothing more to the Archbishop, of so many fine Prerogatives, but the empty Title of a Prince of the Empire; which he still retains, tho’ he has no Vote nor Session at the Diet. Since 1712, that I came for the first Time into France, the Church of Cambray has had four Archbishops. I then found the See possessed by the Illustrious Francis de Salignac de la Mothe Fenelon, Preceptor of the late Duke of Burgundy, Father of Lewis XV. He had for his Successor John d’Estrées; but the latter died before he had taken Possession of the Archbishoprick. The celebrated Cardinal Dubois succeeded to him; but he did not enjoy that Dignity long, for he died at Versailles the 10th of August 1723. The Abbé de S. Albin, the natural Son of the Duke of Orleans, the Regent, was appointed Archbishop of Cambray at an Age when he had need of Dispensations from Rome, to qualify himself for that Dignity.

I think ’twill not be impertinent to make some little mention of the Cardinal Dubois, and, perhaps, you will not be sorry to hear a few Particulars of him. In the first Place, these were his Titles; William Cardinal Dubois, Priest Archbisho292p and Duke of Cambray, Prince of the Holy Empire, Count of the Cambresis, Abbat of St. Just de Nogent under Couffy, of Bourgueil, Airvaux, Cercamps, St. Winoxberg, and St. Bertin of St. Omer; Principal and Prime Minister, and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; Great Master and Superintendant General of the Couriers, Posts and Relays of France; one of the forty Members of the French Academy and that of the Belles Lettres: And chose by the Prelates and other Deputies at the General Assembly of the Clergy of France, to be their first President.

The Cardinal Dubois was not of extraordinary Extraction, but was born with great Talents, and an uncommon Genius. He was Preceptor to the Duke of Orleans, afterwards Regent of the Kingdom; which was the Reason that the Prince and he were so well acquainted with each other’s Thoughts, that the least Sign given by the One, was understood by the other. The Abbat Dubois was employed in the Negociations of Peace in England, and at Utrecht. When the Duke of Orleans came to be Regent, he sent him to take care of the King’s Interests at the Court of King George I. of Great Britain; with whom he concluded the famous Treaty of the Quadruple Alliance. When the King came of Age, the Regent being desirous to have a first Minister that he could confide in, chose the Abbat Dubois, whom he first made an Archbishop, and then obtain’d a Cardinal’s Hat for him. ’Tis said, that the Cardinal was beginning to forget his Obligations to his Benefactor, and thinking to shake off all Submission to him, when he died at Versailles, after having enjoyed his splendid Fortune but a few Years. His Illness was of no long Continuance, but very painful. La Peyrome, the King’s chief Surgeon, made an Operation upon him for a Disorder293 which the Cardinal’s Enemies ascribe to his Incontinence, before he was Archbishop. He dreaded the Operation very much, and was loth to undergo it, tho’ the Surgeons assured him, that nothing else could save his Life. The Duke of Orleans, to whom the Minister’s Life was dear, made use of his Authority, and obliged the Cardinal to submit to the Operation, which did not answer his Royal Highness’s Hopes; for in a few Days after it, his Favourite died. The Eagerness with which the Duke of Orleans seized the Ministry, confirmed the Public in their Opinion, that the Cardinal had entertained a Thought of asserting his own Independency.

The Cardinal was not much lamented; for he was blunt, violent and outrageous; which was not the Way to acquire the Good-will of a Nation, which loves that Decency and Politeness should be kept up in every Thing. Satire, or, if you please, Calumny, gave it out, that the Cardinal was married at Tours, when he was made Archbishop, and that his Wife liv’d in that City; that he gave it in Charge to M. de Breteuil, the Intendant of Tours, to prevail upon her, if possible, not to discover that she was his Wife; but that she refused to relinquish the Advantage; that thereupon M. de Breteuil sent for the Parish Register where the Marriage was solemnized, and tore out the Leaf in which their Names were entered; and that the Woman was going to make a great Noise, but was threatened with Confinement, and by that Means obliged to be silent.

I will not engage for the Truth of all, or any Part of this Story; but ’tis what the scandalous Chronicle has given out, and what has reach’d even to Rome; so that when it was told to the late Pope, with a great many other Passages concerning the Cardinal, he was heartily vexed, that he294 had advanced him to the Purple; and I have been assured, that it was such a Grief to the Holy Father, that it help’d to shorten his Days.

The Duchess de F—— was with the Cardinal one Day, when being in one of his sullen Moods, his Eminency, in plain Terms, bade her go and pick Violets. The Lady complaining of him to the Duke of Orleans, the Regent, the Prince made Answer, You are much in the right, Madame; the Cardinal Dubois is a Brute, but, nevertheless, he has a good Head-piece.

This Cardinal made a Compliment of much the same Nature to the Cardinal de Noailles, who telling him one Day as he came from an Audience of the Duke of Orleans, That the said Prince would not give Ear to his Representations, but bade him go and —— himself, you understand the rest; the Cardinal Dubois made Answer, And really, Brother, the best Thing your Eminency can do, is to obey.

These Stories put me in mind of another that was current all over Paris, a little after the Cardinal Dubois was advanced to the Purple. The Lacqueys of these two Cardinals happening to be at a certain Place together, they had a Dispute about their Master’s Pre-eminency. Our Master, said the one, is the oldest Cardinal, Duke and Peer, and a Commander of the Kings Orders. The others said, Ours is a Prince of the Empire, Duke of Cambray, and Prime Minister. Ours, replied the former, consecrates Bishops; therefore, to be sure, he has the Preference above the Cardinal Dubois—— A very pretty Argument this! said one of Dubois’s Lacqueys, Why, if there’s any thing in Consecration, my Master is the greater Lord, in that respect too: For yours may consecrate Bishops, but mine consecrates G-d every Day of his Life. And, indeed; if the Fellow meant his Master’s Swearing by all that’s Sacred,295 he was not in the wrong; for the Cardinal had a very bad Habit of Swearing, like any Grenadier.

The Cardinal left no great Estate behind him; and whether it was owing to his Disinterestedness, or to his want of Time to amass Wealth, his Fortune being but of a short Duration, his Heirs had not much Reason to rejoice at his Death. The Duke of Orleans soon forgot him, and nothing preserved his Memory so long in France itself, but certain Satires and Epitaphs made upon him by the Wits; which might have been transmitted, perhaps, to Posterity, if there had not been too much Gall in them. The Cardinal Dubois lies interr’d in the Church of St. Honore, where his Brother was a Canon. This Clergyman set up a Marble Tomb for him, where the Cardinal is represented on his Knees, inclin’d towards the Altar of the Choir, but his Head seems to turn from it; upon which the Critics remark, that he durst not, since his Death, look towards what he had profan’d in his Life.

The Cardinal Dubois obtained in Favour of Cambray, that the Congress should be held there for accommodating the Differences between the Emperor and Spain. The French made great Boast of this Matter, and vaunted how much it was to the Honour of the Duke of Orleans, that all the Powers of Europe should send Ambassadors to him, to submit their Fortunes to his Arbitration. The same Things were said with regard to the Congress of Soissons. They are come, said the Court-Flatterers, into our own Country, to desire Peace of us. They were not so modest as the Allies were heretofore; for when Lewis XIV. sent his Ambassadors to Aix la Chapelle, Nimeguen, Ryswic, Gertruydenberg, Utrecht, Rastadt, &c. we did not say, That the King came to beg a Peace of us; whereas the French always said, That they gave Peace to296 Europe. Be this as it will, they have no very great Reason to boast of the two last Congresses that were held in their Country; which tho’ both were opened with a World of Splendor, yet both came to nothing. The Treaty of Vienna, concluded the 19th of April 1725. O. S. put a Period to the Cambray Congress; the Operations of which, during four Years Continuance, amounted to nothing more than forming fine Rules for the Ceremonial, and the maintaining of a good Order among the Domestics. The Baron de Ripperda, afterwards created a Duke and Grandee of Spain, and also Prime Minister to their Catholic Majesties, being a Person of great Vivacity, was so tir’d with the Dilatoriness of the Congress of Cambray, that he went to Vienna, with the Name of the Baron de Puffenberg, and established so strict a Friendship betwixt his Master and the Emperor, that the like was never, perhaps, known before between those two Courts, even when the House of Austria possessed the Throne of Spain. This very much eclipsed the Glory of the Congress of Cambray, and the Congress of Soissons received as great a Check afterwards by the Treaty of Seville.

From Cambray, I went to Valenciennes, the last Place in French Flanders, and one of the most considerable Towns in that Province. The Governor of it is the Prince de Tingry, who is the Son of the famous Duke de Luxembourg, the Marshal of France; whose Honour our Writers have endeavoured to sully, by accusing him of having held a Correspondence with the Devil, and of gaining so many Victories over us by that Means. The Prince de Tingry distinguished himself very much during the last War, by the Name of the Chevalier de Luxembourg. He contributed a great deal to the Support of Lisle when it was besieged, by throwing a Convoy of Powder into it297 in the Night-time. He is look’d upon by all the Officers, as one of the chief Generals in France. Considering his Birth, Merit, Services, and those of his Father too, he ought to have had the Marshal’s Staff a long time ago; and ’twas thought he would have been included in the last Promotion, but he happened to be left out[81]. He is now one of the oldest Lieutenant-Generals. I cannot help mentioning his Politeness and Civility, having infinite Reason to acknowledge his Favours to myself.

Mons, the Capital City of Hainault, is not so large a City as Valenciennes, but I believe has more Gentry in it; and that, if it had a French Garison, would have more Parties of Pleasure. The Duke d’Aremberg is Governor both of this City, and of Hainault, of which he is Hereditary Grand Bailiff; but he resides at Brussels, and never comes into this Province, except to hold an Assembly of the States. This Nobleman is a Sovereign Prince of the Empire, Lieutenant-General and Colonel of a Regiment of Foot, Governor of Hainault, and of the City of Mons, Knight of the Golden Fleece, and lately a Captain of the Halbardiers of the Emperor’s Guard. He was but in his Cradle when he received the Collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece from King Charles II. after his Father had been killed in Hungary. He is the only Nobleman in all the Netherlands, that has recognized the House of Austria alone, for his Sovereign. His Mother, who is the Daughter of the late Marquis de Grana, Governor of the Netherlands, prevented him from engaging with any other Side, and always rejected the Advantages298 that were offered to her on the Part of Philip V. After the Netherlands were reduced to the Obedience of their lawful Sovereign, by the Battle of Ramillies, the Duchess d’Aremberg and her Son were the first to acknowledge King Charles III. The Son had a Flemish Regiment in that Prince’s Service, and was very young when he made his first Campaign under my Lord Marlborough. ’Twas under him and Prince Eugene of Savoy, that he made all his future Campaigns, wherein he always signalized his Valour, but particularly at the Battle of Belgrade. ’Tis certain, that if the Duke had stay’d longer at Vienna, he would have had some important Employment long ere now. He has all the Qualities necessary for a good General, and an able Minister, and has every Endowment that renders a Man amiable. The Emperor values him, and Prince Eugene of Savoy lov’d and esteem’d him: But the Duke seems to have no Inclination to improve these Advantages, and prefers the tranquil Pleasures of Brussels, to the Tumult of the Court of Vienna.

I don’t mention the Battle of Malplaquet, which was fought in the Neighbourhood of Mons; nor the Siege of that City; which, to be sure, have been often repeated in your Ears, and what I have already told you of upon other Occasions.

From Mons to Brussels, there’s a famous Causey. We pass thro’ Halle, whose Church is very much frequented by the Devotees of this Country, and has a miraculous Image of the Holy Virgin, to which the Princes of the House of Austria have made great Presents.

The City of Brussels is not populous, in Proportion to its Bigness, nor is the Town itself so pleasant as its Out-parts. The Houses are generally old, and it may be said, that excepting the Churches, and the Town-house, there is not299 a Structure worth the Mention. One very great Inconvenience of Brussels, is its irregular Situation, which is all up-hill and down-hill; so that if it was as large as Paris, it might truly be called the Hell of Horses: And another very great Nuisance is the little Care taken of the Streets, where one is always bespatter’d with Dirt, or choak’d with Dust.

The Palace which was burnt, was an old Edifice, with commodious Apartments, but irregular. Its Ruins, which are still to be seen, look like those of the Palace of Priam: Why they are not removed, I know not. The Archduchess, Governess of the Netherlands, lives in the Palace of Orange, belonging to the Prince of Nassau, the Hereditary Stadtholder of Friesland. She has not much Room there, but her most Serene Highness prefers it to the Palace of Egmont, the Apartments of which are more spacious and commodious, tho’ ’twas offered her by the Duke d’Aremberg, who is the Proprietor of it.

This Princess had like to have perished in the Flames of the Palace, which was set on Fire by the Indiscretion of the Confectioners, who were preparing Sweetmeats for a Ball, which the Archduchess intended to give the next Day. The Fire caught the Sugar, and spread into the Confectionary. The Officers thought they should be able to suppress it without any Noise, but it mastered them. ’Twas four Hours, however, before it alarmed the Palace; and in the mean time, they say, a great Part of the Building, and of its Furniture, might have been saved, if the Burghers had been permitted to have given their Assistance: But for fear of Confusion, and of the Embezzlement of Goods, which generally happens in such Calamities, the Gates of the Palace were kept shut a long Time, and the Soldiers pushed off such Burghers300 as offered to come near, so that the whole was consumed. The Archduchess was saved, as it were, by a Miracle; for a little Dog that lay with her, scratching her Face, awaked her, when she perceived the Smoke, and called out to her Women. At the same Instant, her Guards broke open the Door, so that she had only time to slip on a Gown, and one Stocking. The Floor was quite burnt, and fell in, the Moment that she was gone out of her Chamber. She made a Shift to save her Dog, and that was all. Her most Serene Highness went instantly to Prayers in her Chapel; but the Flames spreading to that Sanctuary, she was obliged to retire to the House of the Prince de Rubempré, her Master of the Horse, whose House fronted her Palace, and which, from thence, she saw consumed to the Ground, with all its Treasure; but nothing seemed to give her so much Pain, as the Misfortune of her Domestics, and the Danger to which they were exposed. But even here the Archduchess could not be safe; for Rubempré’s House was so near her own, that ’twas fear’d the Fire would have reach’d it; so that she was obliged to retire to the Palace of Orange, then occupied by the Count de Visconti, the Grand Master of her Houshold, and her First Minister. The Princess de Rubempré furnished her with Stockings, and the Countess de Visconti, with Shifts and other Apparel; and ’twas in these borrowed Cloaths, that a Daughter, descended from so many Emperors, did, next Day, receive the Compliments of all the Nobility. Her Wardrobe was quite destroyed, and nothing saved but the Plate.

Every body agrees, that the Archduchess preserved an extraordinary Serenity of Mind, under so great a Misfortune. She was continually encouraging some, and comforting others. The only Thing that heartily grieved her, was the unhappy301 Fate of Mademoiselle d’Uhlefeldt, Lady of the Golden Key, whose Mother was one of the Ladies of Honour. This unfortunate young Lady, thinking her Mother still asleep, was caught by the Flames as she was running to her Apartment to awake her. She was snatch’d as soon as possible out of the Flames, but was all over parched from Head to Foot, and died the next Day, after having received the Sacraments of the Church, and the Farewels of her Mother; with a Constancy the more to be admired, because she was very young, very dear to her Mother, and on the Point of making a very advantageous Settlement. The whole Court was charm’d, to see with what Resignation she bore her Misfortune. She said several times, that she died with Pleasure, since God had saved the Archduchess and her Mother. Her most Serene Highness honoured her with her Tears, and caused a magnificent Funeral to be performed for her, in the Church of the Reverend Fathers the Jesuits; at which all the Nobility of Brussels was present, and every Soul was sorry for the Loss of her.

In searching among the Ruins of the Palace, most of the Archduchess’s Jewels were found again, and only some Ear-pendants of great Value, and a Gold Toilet, were missing.

The Archduchess is the eldest of the Emperor’s three Sisters. She is jolly, but dances nimbly and gracefully. The Princess has a noble and majestic Aspect. She appears to be extremely grave, and talks little, but with Dignity; and she is Mistress of several Languages. When she came into the Netherlands, as she parted thro’ Louvain, she returned an Answer in Latin, to the Deputies of the University, who harangued her in that Language. She is Mistress of History, Geography, and many other fine Sciences; and without flattering her,302 she may be said to be a Mirror of Virtue and Piety. ’Tis impossible for any one living to be more charitable; and she does not know what it is to refuse Access to the Unfortunate. She wishes it were in her Power to serve all that ask Favour at her Hands, and is very much perplexed when she is obliged to give a Denial. That Portion of the Day, which she does not devote to God, she bestows upon Business, to which she gives very great Application: And her most Serene Highness is so easy of Access, that ’tis no manner of Difficulty to obtain an Audience of her.

The same Honours are paid to her here, as are paid to the Emperor at Vienna. She always eats alone, and for most part in Public. Her Ladies wait on her at Table. She lends a gracious Ear to those that speak to her, and returns the kindest Answers. She was never known to express the least Disgust with any of her Domestics.

Her Second in Affairs is the Count Don Julio Visconti, by Birth a Milanese, a Person of Honour, and of a good Family, a Man of Integrity and Sincerity, impossible to be byass’d by any thing but Justice, a good Œconomist, and always disinterested. Tho’ the People of this Country are not the most ready to speak well of their Governors or Superiors, they all agree, that M. de Visconti is a Minister not to be corrupted. He is pretty tall, and has a grave stern Countenance. He has such a Weight of Affairs upon his Hands, that he cannot always give the like Attention to every thing, but refers many Things to his Secretary, Henry Crumpipen by Birth a Westphalian, who was born with all the Talents for Business. He is good-natur’d, civil, courteous, ready to do Kindnesses, has an extraordinary Memory, and is a Man of a singular Application. He is universally beloved303 here, and every one allows, that he is as uncorrupt as his Master.

M. de Visconti is lately appointed Viceroy of Naples, and is to be relieved here by the Count Frederik de Harrach; who is not only a Person of a great Family, but has a very amiable Temper, and the Carriage of a Person of Quality. He was at Cambray during the Congress, where, tho’ he had not the Character of Ambassador, he was let into all Affairs, the Emperor’s Plenipotentiaries being ordered to communicate every thing to him. After that, he was sent as a Minister to take care of the Emperor’s Affairs at the Court of Turin, From thence he was recalled, and sent Ambassador from his Imperial Majesty, as King of Bohemia, and first Secular Elector, to the Diet of Ratisbon; which Post he is quitting, in order to come hither, to be Prime Minister to the most Serene Archduchess. I make no doubt but he will be acceptable to the Flemings; for he is affable and engaging, active, laborious, generous and liberal, and loves Expence and Pleasures. As he has a Fortune of his own, and another by his Wife, who is a Princess of Lichtenstein, he is in a Condition to please the People of[82]Brussels, who expect their Ministers, &c. to lay out a great deal of Money with ’em; and therefore daily regret the Loss of Maximilian Emanuel the Elector of Bavaria, because that Prince expended seven or eight Millions with them every Year, which he drew from Bavaria. The Archduchess, say the People of Brussels, spends nothing, and her Court is rather a Convent; yet if they considered that this Princess has but four hundred and sixty, or at most, but five hundred thousand Florins Revenue,304 they would, no doubt, be more sparing in their Reflection. With this Sum, which is a Trifle for so great a Princess, her most Serene Highness maintains a very large Houshold, pays everybody well, and keeps out of every body’s Debt; which is what can’t be said of any Governor or Sovereign of the Netherlands, who always went away from these Provinces in Debt. The Inhabitants have been accustomed to make Complaints Time out of Mind, and I believe, if the Question was put to every single Native of Brabant or Flanders, there would be very few that could tell what sort of Government they would have, and what Master would suit them best: For, since the Death of Charles II. King of Spain, they have been under four several Dominions, and have had eight or nine Governors, who have all given them Cause to murmur. The only one that ever had their Applause, was the Marshal Count de Daun, now Governor of Milan, which, perhaps, was as much owing to his succeeding the Marquis de Prie, whose Recal every body desired, as to the advantageous Alterations he made in the Government.

The Court of Brussels is really not the most inviting Court in the World. The Ceremonial at Vienna is observed here almost in every thing. The Archduchess is served like the Empress, and nobody has the Privilege of eating with her; only the Duke of Lorain was indulg’d that Liberty, but ’twas at one of the Hunting Seats, and then the Ladies attended him as they did the Archduchess. When the Elector of Bavaria came hither with the Princes his Brothers, in their Return from France, he said ’Twas very comical, that he who lay every Night with an Archduchess at Munich, could not have the Pleasure of dining with an Archduchess at Brussels.

The Ladies of this Country, who have Titles, of whom there are many whose Husbands are305 Grandees of Spain, insisted, at first, on the Privilege of being seated on a Stool in the Presence of her most Serene Highness; but they were disappointed in their Claim; and notwithstanding they urged, that the other Governesses of the Netherlands had granted them this Distinction, they were answered, That those other Governesses were not Sisters of the Emperor; and that if they were such, they did not keep to the Ceremonial of the Court of Vienna, where all Ladies, Princesses as well as others, stand in Presence of the Archduchesses. Others claim’d the Privilege to come to the Palace in a Coach and Six, and some have actually presumed to drive in with such Equipage: But the Guards, who are better instructed in the Ceremonial than such Ladies, sent them back again, and told them, That it was not proper for any but her most Serene Highness, to come with six Horses. The Ladies turned back, not a little mortified; and for some time took it in such Dudgeon, that they would not appear at Court; but when they saw that nobody regarded their Pouting, and were apprehensive of an Order from Vienna, they came to Court again, and now do as they ought.

The Nobility and Gentry of this Country are extremely haughty. There are some Families which are really of very great Quality, but a great many, who, tho’ they have very pompous Titles, would be very much at a Loss to prove their noble Parentage. If you would take their Word for it, they were all heretofore Counts of Hainault, Flanders, Dukes of Brabant, Guelderland, and so on. Their Ancestors have performed important Services to the State, but most of them are now retired, or if they serve, it is in Spain or France. To go to Vienna, to make Court to the Emperor! oh fy! say they, ’tis fatiguing to306 Death. The Manners of the Germans are so different, proceed they, from ours; their Service is so unpolite! To be confined in that Place called Hungary! don’t mention it to us. There’s not a Mortal to converse with. These Gentlemen, after all, have Reason on their Side: For many of ’em, tho’ they have never served the Emperor, and perhaps, never seen him, have been preferred to Regiments, Governments, and the most distinguished Employments in the Netherlands; and as they have had such good Success, they would be to blame to act otherwise. They serve in Spain, and come to Brussels to receive their Reward.

It must be owned, nevertheless, that tho’ few of the Flemings, under whom I generally include all the Subjects of the Austrian Netherlands, go to Vienna, ’tis partly owing to the Narrowness of their Fortunes. The Nobility, being not rich, are not able to lay out much Money; and they live therefore with very great Œconomy, like private People. They seldom make Invitations to Dinner, and not one of ’em keeps an open Table. Yet there are more Equipages here with the Ducal Mantle, than in Vienna itself. All those Dukes and Princes, made by the Kings of Spain, formerly assumed only the Title of Excellency; but since they have been under the German Government, they are called my Prince, and Monsieur. They would fain usurp the Title of Highnesses, which is given them by their Domestics, and many poor Gentlemen, who interlard it with abundance of Monseigneurs. The Duke d’Aremberg is the only Nobleman who supports the Expence of a Man of Quality; and tho’ he is the Person to whom most Honour is due, yet he is one that least requires it.

Brussels is a great Sufferer by the frequent Absence of the Prince of la Tour and Taxis, Hereditary307 Post-master of the Empire, and the Netherlands. When this Nobleman is at Brussels, he lives with very great Splendor and Magnificence. His House is open to all Men of Quality, and ’tis the Asylum of Foreigners. The Princess de la Tour, who is a Princess of Lobkowitz, is wonderfully civil; and by her noble and gracious Deportment, and her agreeable Conversation, attracts all persons of Merit; and all Foreigners are charmed with her[83]. The Natives have a Regard for the Family of la Tour, but ’tis attended with Envy. The Prince de la Tour, tho’ not a Sovereign, is nobly ally’d. His Mother was a Furstenberg: His Wife is a Lobkowitz: His Son is married to a Princess of Brandenbourg-Culmbach; and his Daughter to the Prince Alexander of Wurtemberg: So that all who question the Antiquity or Nobility of the Family of la Tour, are, I think, very much in the wrong. I will not dispute that there are Families more ancient, tho’ those of la Tour have printed several Volumes in Folio, to prove the great Antiquity of their Origin, as well as their Descent from the Torres, who were so long at Variance with the ancient Viscontis. And I can’t help thinking, that a Family, which has been ally’d for many Generations with the greatest in the Empire, and whose Son has been a [84]Canon or Count of the Cathedral of Cologn, may be rank’d among our best Families in Germany.

Of all the Ladies, the Princess de la Tour is most distinguished by the Archduchess; for which the other Ladies envy her, but this is very natural: For the Princess de la Tour was born at308 Vienna, and, as it were, brought up with the Archduchess; and Friendships so early contracted are generally the most lasting. Besides, the Princess de la Tour discovers such an Attachment to the Archduchess, that ’tis not surprising that she should honour her with her Confidence.

I have told you, that the Pleasures of the Court of Brussels are not very gay, and I’ll assure you those of the City are much of the same dull Taste. There’s a very fine Theatre here, but the Comedy acted on it is horrible. The Assemblies here are very melancholy, and will be more so when the Countess de Visconti is gone, since, were it not for that Lady, there would be no such Pleasures here. Whoever saw Brussels in the Time of the War, and sees it now, scarce knows the Place again. Every thing falls to decay, and it has hardly any Trade stirring, but in Lace, Camblets and Tapestry; the Fabric of which is, indeed, brought to very great Perfection. Lenir’s Manufacture of Tapestry excels all the rest for the Beauty of its Colours, and he furnishes England and Italy with it. Devos, who works for Germany, made the fine Tapestry of Prince Eugene of Savoy, and the History of Charles V. for the Emperor Charles VI. Vermillon sends a great many of his Works to Portugal, France, and Muscovy. Van der Borg the Son has lately made a fine Piece of Tapestry for the Archduchess, representing the Israelites worshipping the Golden Calf, and Moses receiving the Tables of the Law. The Father of Van der Borg, who is as good a Workman as the Son, has made magnificent Tapestries for the Chamber of the States, which represent the joyful Entry of Philip the Fair, Duke of Brabant. They are in the Town-house, and worth seeing.

Here lives the Marshal de Zumjungen, who commands the Emperor’s Troops in this Country.309 He is a Person of very great Merit, and has been raised by his Valour and Services to the chief Military Employments[85]. He is descended of an ancient Patrician Family of Francfort, and professes the Lutheran Religion. He was at first but a common Soldier, and has gone thro’ all the Degrees of Preferment. He is a General of very great Experience, and is very well beloved by the Officers. He makes Foreigners very welcome, and lives very handsomely, without being at extraordinary Expence.

The Governor of Brussels is the Marshal de Wrangel, a venerable old Man, and much respected. He is a Sweed, and, like M. de Zumjungen, has gone thro’ all the Military Employments from a Dragoon. He is not very rich, but lives handsomely upon what he has, and always keeps a very good Table.

The Prince de Rubempré is of the Family of Merode, one of the most distinguished in the Netherlands. He is Master of the Horse to the Archduchess, and Knight of the Golden Fleece, a very courteous Nobleman, and one of the richest in the Low Countries.

The Prince of Nassau is Captain of her most Serene Highness’s Band of Pensioners, and Knight of the Order of St. Hubert. He is the younger Brother of the Prince of Nassau-Siegen, who, after the Death of William III. King of Great Britain, assumed the Title of Prince of Orange; which he still goes by in Spain, where he is a Pensioner to the King. The Prince of Nassau, of whom I here make mention, was also formerly in the Service of Spain. He married the Sister of the Marquis de Nesle in France, and went some Years310 ago into the Service of the Emperor, who made him one of his Lieutenant-Generals. I make no Doubt but his Birth, and the assiduous Application he gives to the Office which he holds under the Archduchess, will soon procure him the Honour of the Golden Fleece.

I shall set out in a few Days to make the Tour of Flanders, a Country so well known, and of which you have heard so often from Officers, who are continually going and coming to it, that I think, I need not confirm to you what you know of it already. Therefore, only expect a superficial Account of it. You shall hear from me by the next Post. Mean time, I have the Honour to be, &c.



SIR,Liege, June 28, 1732.  

From Brussels I went to Ghent, the Capital City of the County of Flanders, and a Bishoprick, suffragan to the Archbishop of Mechlin. The Scheld passes thro’ the City, which, with its Suburbs, is divided into several Islands by the Lys, and a great Number of Canals. ’Tis very large in Circumference, insomuch, that ’tis reported, the Emperor Charles V. us’d to say, That he could put Paris into his Gand[86]. This might be true enough then, but now Ghent might311 easily be contained in Paris, because, like all the Towns in the Netherlands, it is decay’d, and not so large, nor so powerful, as it was formerly. The Citizens of Ghent were heretofore much disposed to rebel; but the most notable Revolt they ever made, was from Charles V. for which they were severely punished by that Emperor; who, forgetting that he was their Countryman by Birth, no sooner heard of their Revolt, but he passed through France to chastise the Rebels. Accordingly, he caused twenty-five of the principal Burghers to be put to Death, banished a greater Number, confiscated the Estates of the Ring-leaders, took away their Artillery, their Arms, and their Privileges; condemned them to pay a Fine of above one Million two hundred thousand Crowns, and built a Citadel; by which Means Ghent became, as it were, a wide Desert, many of its Inhabitants retiring to other Towns.

The Fortifications of Ghent consist of great Outworks, a Counterscarp, broad Ditches and good Ramparts. Its Bulk, Situation and Wealth, render it very considerable; but it takes up too much Ground to be a good Place: Nevertheless, I have heard that King William of England, used to say, that in a Time of War, it was much more convenient for the Allies to keep Ghent than Brussels.

I have done nothing at Ghent but sauntered about the Streets. I have been to see all the Churches, of which there is a great Number, and some of them very fine; but have made no Acquaintance, except with the Baron de Stein, Colonel of a Regiment of the Infante of Portugal, a Gentleman of good Extraction and Merit; who is married to Mademoiselle de Watteville, formerly Lady of the Bed-chamber to the Archduchess, Governess of the Netherlands. She is a Lady worthy to be312 respected, and is esteemed by all Ghent. What Amusements there are in this Town, I cannot say; but if I am not deceived in Appearances, there are no Pleasures here but what must be insipid.

I went in the Bark along the Canal from Ghent to Bruges, which is the most commodious and agreeable way of Travelling in the World. I was in a good Room, and with Company very happily mix’d. At Noon we had a Dinner served up, as if it had been at the best Victualling-house at Brussels; where, by the way, there are excellent Inns. ’Tis a Rule in this Bark, for the Women to drink at Free-cost, the Men paying for the Wine. This cuts pretty deep into the Reckoning; for there is generally a good Number of Women on Board; and the Flemish Women are, for most part, good Topers of the Juice of the Grape.

Bruges in the County of Flanders stands in a great Plain, three Leagues from the Sea, upon the Canal of Reye; which being divided into several navigable Streams, forms several Islands in this City. Another Canal goes to Ostend, which is but three Leagues off, and carries Ships to Bruges of four hundred Tons. ’Tis this that keeps up the Trade here, tho’ ’tis considerably diminished, since many of the Merchants went to settle at Antwerp, and in Holland; notwithstanding which, Bruges is still one of the biggest and best Cities in Flanders. Here are magnificent Structures, both sacred and profane. The Streets are broad, strait and open, with several large Squares, and there’s no want of Inhabitants; but they know no Pleasure besides Eating and Drinking. ’Tis a hard matter for a Foreigner to get acquainted with ’em; for the Flemings are naturally unsociable, and it seems as if they were afraid to converse with a German. When the Count de Lalaing, formerly313 the Viscount of Audenarde, is in this City, of which he is Governor, one is sure of being welcome at his House; but, unlucky for me, he happened to be at Brussels. And, as I don’t care to be in the Spleen, I went immediately to Ostend.

This City is famous for standing-out a Siege of three Years and three Months, again Albert Archduke of Austria; and for the India Company established here, by a Grant from the Emperor, which all Europe, however, agreed to get revoked. Ostend never was a Town of much Note for Pleasures. ’Tis small, but worth seeing. Its Port is the most considerable that belongs to the Emperor in Flanders. Its Situation renders it very strong: ’Tis encompass’d with two very deep Canals, has eight Bulwarks, and a large Ditch, several Bastions, and good Outworks, kept in due Repair. If the Ostend Company had continued, this would certainly have been a powerful City. The People began to build here apace, but now every Thing is at a Stand, both Buildings and Commerce: For Holland and England swallow-up all, and seem to have vowed the Ruin of the Netherlands.

Newport, to which I went by the Canal, is infinitely worse than Ostend. ’Tis a perfect Hole, but extremely well fortify’d, and can lay the Country under Water for several Leagues. The Air here is detestable, to such a Degree, that there’s never more than a Detachment in the Garison at one time, and yet a great many Men die here. The Inhabitants have a livid unwholesome Complexion. There is not a Soul to make a Visit to, and the Officers, who love Company, are sick to Death for want of knowing what to do with their Time.

As I left Newport, I returned to Ghent, and went to Courtray, over one of the finest Causeys,314 with Trees on both Sides, that is in all Flanders. This, which is a pleasant little Town, drives a great Trade in Holland, and damask’d Linen, and its Inhabitants are wealthy. Its Fortifications are good for nothing; nevertheless, here is a Governor, a Commandant, and the whole Complement of Superior Officers. The first is M. de Devenish, an Irishman, one of the Emperor’s Major-Generals. The second is M. Dickson, a Scotsman, who has a Colonel’s Commission, and is one of the civilest Men I know; his only Fault being, perhaps, that he is too liberal. He was very generous to me. There are five or six Persons of Quality in this Town, who, rather than expose themselves too much to Spleen, will not admit of Visits from the Towns-people. The Chapter of the Collegiate Church of St. Mary consists of true Priests, who rail at one another plentifully, and are never seen together but in the Chapter-house, where they have the Diversion of abusing each other heartily; so that I dare say, were they to embrace at High Mass, they would hug so lovingly, as to squeeze the Breath out of one another’s Bodies.

I proceeded over a fine Causey to Menin, one of the Barrier Towns belonging to the Emperor, with a Dutch Garison. The Count[87]de Nassau Laleck, Lieutenant-General, and Colonel of a Regiment of Horse in the Dutch Service, is Governor of it. To qualify himself for this Government, he must (like all the Governors or Commandants of the Barrier Towns) have taken an Oath of Fidelity to the Archduchess, to the Emperor, and also to the States General his Masters. But I can’t imagine how he would be able to reconcile such Swearing to his Conscience, in case a War 315should break out between the Emperor and Holland. I think this Oath may be put upon a Par with that which is taken by the Captain of the Bucentaur at Venice, when he carries that Vessel out to Sea, to bring her back into Port, be the Weather what it will. Menin is one of the most regular Fortifications in Flanders. M. de Vauban, by whom they were directed, thought them his Master-piece. Yet some will have it, that the Works are too close together, and too small. This Place was very ill defended in the last War, insomuch, that I heard some Officers say, there was no Breach made in it. The French Commandant, when he surrendered it to the Duke of Marlborough, having demanded Leave to march out of the Breach, was answered, That ’twas not adviseable for him to do it, unless he had Ladders; upon which he chose, with his Garison, to march out at the Gate. There’s no Company at Menin, but Mademoiselle de Laleck, and some Officers Wives, who are Persons of very great Merit.

Lisle, the Capital of French Flanders, is as gay, populous and trading a City, as the Towns of Imperial Flanders are declining. ’Tis a large, fine, and well fortified City. The Streets are broad and well-pav’d. It has two magnificent Squares, and Edifices both sacred and profane, which discover its Riches. There’s a new Town-house building here, in a bad Situation; but when finish’d, will be grand and magnificent. The Duke de Bousslers, whose Father acquir’d great Glory by his vigorous Defence of Lisle, is Governor of this City, and of French Flanders. He is a fine handsome young Nobleman, tho’ of an under Size. He applies very much to the Military Science, and gives very great Hopes of his Proficiency in that Calling. The Officers cry him up very much; and I heard every body speak316 well of him. He makes a noble Appearance, and lives generously. I found him extremely civil and respectful to every body, with a sweet and amiable Temper, far from the Presumption to which Youth are but too liable; in a Word, such a one, that a Friend to France would wish all her young Noblemen were like to him.

There are several good Houses in Lisle, particularly that of Madame de Mouchi, heretofore Lady of the Bed-chamber, and Favourite of the late Duchess of Berry; the Houses of the Commandant of the Town, and the Citadel, and of the Intendant; and in all these Houses there’s abundance of good Company. The French Officers make a much better Appearance than ours do, and as soon as the Service is over, they all treat one another upon a Par. Here is a good Comedy, and a tolerable Theatre for it. In Winter there are a great many Balls, and a true Relish of good Living here; such as eating in Company, Gaming, and Other Diversions.

You know that Lewis XIV. took Lisle from the Spaniards. The Allies retook it in 1708, after a long Siege; which, when one considers the Number of Princes and great Noblemen who were present at it, such as the King of Poland, the Electoral Prince of Hanover, now the King of Great Britain, and the late Landgrave of Hesse Cassel, puts one in Mind of the Siege of Troy. Lisle was restored by the Treaty of Utrecht to France, which Crown, in Exchange for it, yielded Ypres and its Chatellany to the Emperor.

Commerce flourishes mightily in this City, and there’s a Concourse to it from all Imperial Flanders, because of the Profit to be made by the Mint. Since the Peace, the City has been very much augmented and embellished; so that there are few Towns that outstrip it. I was very much 317delighted here, and if my Affairs had not call’d me back to Germany, I should have stay’d here some time longer.

I return’d again thro’ Ghent, and from thence went to Antwerp, surnam’d the Trading; for you must know, that all the Towns in the Low Countries have Surnames: Thus, Brussels is called the Noble, Ghent the Great, Louvain the Wise, Mechlin the Genteel, Namur the Strong; and so of the rest.

Antwerp, anciently one of the finest and richest Cities in Europe, stands in a pleasant fruitful Plain on the Right Side of the Scheld. Our Lady’s Church, which is the Cathedral, is a very great Building, that is worth seeing, for the magnificent Pictures with which ’tis adorned. The Town-house and the Jesuits Church are worthy of a Traveller’s Attention. This Church was formerly very magnificent, but was consumed by Lightening in 1718; when the Reverend Fathers the Jesuits lost a real Treasure in Pictures. They rebuilt it, but with more Frugality than their Predecessors. The fine Pictures done by Rubens, and two very magnificent Chapels, are still to be seen.

The Foundation of Antwerp, its Citadel, built by the famous Duke of Alva, and all the Calamities which this City suffered during the Civil Wars for Religion, are Things too well known for me to mention them.

Antwerp is very much fallen from what it was once. ’Twas formerly a City of the greatest Trade in Europe; but Amsterdam is risen upon its Ruins; for Towns, like all other Things, must submit to Fate. Antwerp is incomparably better situate than Amsterdam, and the largest Vessels came to it heretofore by the Scheld; but this River is now choak’d up by Vessels full of Stones, and other Things, sunk there on Purpose by the 318Dutch, those charitable Neighbours of the Netherlands. Notwithstanding its Decay of Trade, there are Families here extremely rich. All its wealthy Citizens keep magnificent Equipages, wear lac’d and embroider’d Cloaths, and their Wives dress like Princesses. They all go to the Assembly, which begins at an early Hour, where they play at Quadrille, and then every one goes Home to Supper. There’s a charming Walk upon the Ramparts, but no Company, besides the Priests, who pretend there to con their Breviary. There is one of the prettiest Theatres that is to be seen out of Italy, but no Play. So that, take it all together, you may perceive this is not a Place of the greatest Entertainment.

The Marquis de Rubi, one of the Emperor’s Major-Generals, is Governor of Antwerp. He should, by Right, live in the Citadel or Castle; but as his House there is very much run to Ruin, he has one in the City, where he appears with Dignity. He is a Catalan, and was Viceroy of[88]Sardinia, when the Spaniards made a Conquest of that Kingdom in the Time of Cardinal Alberoni.

This, Sir, is all that I have to say to you of Antwerp; from whence I went to Mechlin, a pretty Town, where the Metropolitan Church is worth seeing. The Cardinal de Bossu, Brother of the Prince de Chimay, is its Archbishop, and the only one in the Netherlands, belonging to the House of Austria. You know, that at Mechlin is held the Sovereign Council or Parliament, which is the Reason one sees such a Swarm of Attornies and Solicitors here, and hears so many319 of the Quirks of the Law. There are few People of Quality here, and the Assemblies are not very inviting.

The Causey between Mechlin and Louvain is a new Piece of Work. Before this was cast up, the People of Mechlin were obliged, in the Winter-time, to go thro’ Brussels, in order to avoid the bad Roads, which was a great Way about.

Louvain is a great City, where one sees a vast Number of Students, Doctors, Priests and Friers. But none of these being Companions for me, I only pass’d quite thro’ the Town; for I had seen the Churches before; and I was not a Stranger to the turbulent Spirit of the Inhabitants, who are the most unpolish’d of all the Netherlands. One of the grand Privileges of the University of Louvain, is a Nomination to a great Number of Benefices; about which they are actually at Law with several Bishops of the Netherlands, who pretend to dispute their said Right; on Pretence, that the University prefers Men to Livings, of whose Persons or Sentiments they have no Knowledge. Mr. Strickland, by Birth an Englishman, and Bishop of Namur, is to go on the Part of the Bishops, to get this Affair determined at Rome. But I’ll lay a Wager, that he will do nothing more than see the Datary and the Rota with a round Sum of Money.

There’s a very good Pavement from Louvain to Tirlemont, which is a Town in a Manner abandoned, and where I know of nothing remarkable; so that I brush’d thro’ it, and went and lay at Maestricht, one of the best and strongest Places in Europe, belonging to the Dutch; to whom Spain abandoned it by the Peace of Munster. The French Army took it in 1673, in thirteen Days, and the Allies retook it in fifty. The Dutch Propriety in it was recogniz’d by the Peace320 of Nimeguen, and they maintain a numerous Garison in it. The Governor of it is Prince William of Hesse Cassel, Brother to the King of Sweden; but since the Death of the Landgrave of Hesse, that Prince being vested with the Regency of the said Landgraviate, resides no longer at Maestricht; which is a Loss to this Town, for he kept a fine Court there, and liv’d with all the Dignity answerable to his high Birth. The Person who commands in the Place during his Absence, is the Brigadier[89] d’Amerongen.

The Walks about Maestricht, especially those on the Ramparts, are charming; for there’s no want of good Company, and ’tis the genteelest of all the Garisons that belong to the Dutch. ’Tis a very pretty Town, with beautiful Squares, and the Streets are very open. The Catholics, as well as Protestants, have Churches here, and keep up that Union which is remarkable in all the Towns of Holland. The Maese passes thro’ this Town, and over it there’s a Stone Bridge; from which, I have been assured for a Truth, the late Marshal d’Auverquerque, when a young Man, leaped his Horse into the River, to convince Mademoiselle de Feldtbruck, how sincerely he loved her. It seems he was one Day making his Vows and Protestations to her at her Coach-Door, when she told him, That she looked upon all he said to be Flams, and that she would lay him a Wager, he did not love her enough to leap his Horse over into the River. He accepted the Wager, and won it at the Risque of his Life. He was so fortunate as to keep his Footing in the Stirrups, and his Horse was so good as to wade with him to the321 Shore. But after he had taken this dangerous Leap, he reflected on the capricious Temper of his Mistress; and broke off his Courtship with the young Lady; which, I think, was the least she deserved.

I stay’d a few Days at Maestricht, which City put me in Mind of my Father, who died there in the Service of the Elector Frederic of Brandenbourg. I have been to shed a few Tears at his Tomb in the new Church, which is the only Devoir I could pay to his Memory; the Religion wherein he died, forbidding me to put up the Prayers of the Church for him.

The City of Liege is about five Leagues from Maestricht. A Vessel goes thither, and returns every Day. But to go against the Stream of a River so rapid as the Maese, and which in the Summer-time often wants Water, is what I shall never advise any Friend of mine.

The Generality of the Antiquarians will have it, that Liege was built by that Ambiorix King of the Eburons, a great Enemy of the Romans who cut in Pieces one of their Legions, commanded by two of Cæsar’s Lieutenants; for which Affront, Cæsar afterwards took a sweet Revenge. But be this as it will, ’tis certain that Liege is a very ancient City. ’Tis large and very populous, and situate in a pleasant Valley, encompassed with fine Hills and Dales; wherein there are Meadows, thro’ which there run several Rivulets, that fall into the Maese, which passes thro’ the City, and has a Bridge over it of Stone. The Cathedral, dedicated to St. Lambert, is famous for its Chapter, which consists of Princes, Cardinals, and Persons of the first Quality; in which Number are included some of but ordinary Extraction, who become Lords of Manors, or Tressonciers, (the Title that the Canons assume) by means of the Doctor’s322 Degree. But this Chapter, let it be as venerable as it will, comes very far short of being as well constituted as those of Germany.

The Palace of the Prince and Bishop of Liege is ancient. It has large Rooms, but is so pent up by little Streets, that the Apartments are not airy enough[90]. The present Bishop is the last Survivor of the Family of Berg. He was chosen against powerful Competitors, who were the Elector of Cologne, and the Cardinal of Saxe Zeits; but he had the good Luck to be chose when himself did not expect it. Whether the Chapter is pleased with him, I know not; but the Populace are very fond of him. He governs with Moderation and Wisdom. He is very just, rarely pardons a Crime, is of very difficult Access, but in other respects good; very regular in his Affairs, and abounding in Charities; which, perhaps, are not always distributed according to his Intention. He had for a long time a Capuchin to be Confessor, who directed every Thing; but the good Father was accused of loving his Brothers too well, and of being accessary to their Breach of the Vow of Poverty. This Capuchin Minister died without being lamented for any thing else, by that Prince’s Domestics. He is succeeded in his Post of Confessor, by another Capuchin; but his Authority is more limited.

The Prince leads a very private Life, and is eight Months in the Year at Serai, a Country House a small League from Liege, on the Banks of the Maese, towards Huy, where he has seldom any body with him but his Confessor, the Captain of his Guards, and a Gentleman of his Bed-chamber. His Table is not so sumptuous as ’tis elegant; his Liveries are very modest, his Guards323 but few, and cloath’d exactly alike. He has rais’d a Regiment of Guards, of which the Count de Beaufort, Brother to the Governor of Charleroy, is the Colonel. This Regiment is lodged in the old Caserns of the Citadel, which was formerly very considerable, but has been intirely ruin’d and demolish’d, since it was besieg’d and taken by my Lord Marlborough. ’Twas also stipulated in the Treaty of Peace, that the Citadel of Liege shall not be rebuilt.

You know, that the Episcopal See of Liege was formerly at Tongres; of which, they say, that Maternus, sent by St. Peter, was the first Bishop. The See was transferr’d by his Successors, first to Maestricht, and then to Liege.

There are some magnificent Churches in this City, where those that love Paintings will be delighted. The Churches in general are beautiful, and have for most part been repaired within these few Years. St. Paul’s Church here would be admir’d, even in Rome itself. Divine Service is perform’d in it with very great Regularity; and ’tis impossible not to be edify’d by it, the Roman Ritual being observed in every Particular.

The Pleasures of Liege consist very much in Drinking, for there’s little Society among the Women; and as for the Men, they are generally at the Tavern, where there are good Bar and Burgundy Wines, and a sort of Beer still better, neither of which being very dear, the People of Liege go with Joy to the Bottle; but being, at best, Men of warm Brains, great Talkers, Railers and Backbiters, their Entertainments and Assemblies commonly end like the Italian Comedies. The Liegeois are accused of being insincere, and are called, the Italians of the Netherlands. They drive a great Trade, with as little Honesty as elsewhere. They are Drunkards, quarrelsome, and so vindictive,324 that they think any sort of Revenge sweet. They love Law-suits and Chicanery, to such a Degree, that the Country of Liege alone furnishes the Chamber of Wetzlar with more Business than all the Empire. I confess, that of all the People I ever conversed with, there are none for whom I have less Esteem, and none, whose Society I shall always more avoid; tho’ I shall ever esteem the honest Folks there, of whom, I am persuaded, there are some: But I enter not into Particulars, I speak only of the Generality of the Liegeois, who appeared to me such as I have describ’d them; and if I wrong them, I ask their Pardon. Another Man may conceive what Idea of them he pleases, and for my own part, I shall be overjoy’d to hear of any Merit found among them.

The Country of Liege is fruitful, and abounding with all Things, except Wine and Oil, which they must have from Foreigners. Here are Mines of Iron and Lead, Quarries of Marble, and a sort of Mineral, which is an Earth proper to burn, and their common Fuel; but a Fuel very disagreeable, because of its nasty Smell, which is infinitely worse than the English Coal, and renders Liege, in the Winter-time, as black and as sooty as London.

The Bishop is Lord of the whole Country: He has, however, his States, who are not always of the Prince’s Opinion. In this Country are reckon’d fifty Baronies, a great Number of Abbies, above twenty wall’d Towns, and near fifteen hundred Villages. This Principality is subject to the Empire.

I reckon to set out hence To-morrow, and to go and lie at Spa, where I hope to be merry. Be you the same, and believe me to be always Yours, &c.




SIR,Cologn, July, 13, 1732.  

The Road from Liege to Spa is very disagreeable, and, really, the Place itself is not worth the Trouble of going to it; I mean, for such as are not under a Necessity of using the Waters; for I am not willing to embroil myself with the English, who neglect the best Waters in the World, which they have at Bath and Tunbridge, to go to those of the Spa. Here are several Springs, which the Physicians of the Place adjust to all Distempers. That of Poubon, which is in the Middle of the Square of Spa, is good for the Gravel, the Sciatica, and in short, for every Thing, except the Stomach; but then, on the other hand, this Part of the human Body may be set to Rights by the Water of the Geronstere, which must be taken every Morning, three Quarters of a League from Spa, in a little Coppice, where a sorry Hovel is built, to shelter the Water-drinkers from the Rain. But how good soever the Geronstere Spring is for the Stomach, it is of no manner of Service to the Breast; in which Case they must go to another Fountain, of which I have forgot the Name. The Physicians and Inhabitants of Spa, good People, consulting their own Interest more than the Health of the Foreigners, tell them absolutely, that they must continue to drink the Waters, at least, six Weeks successively;326 which Precepts the English follow very readily, and even go beyond them. I knew a young Irishman, who for three Years fansied himself to be sick, and was continually taking the Waters of the Spa. He would fain have persuaded me, that otherwise he should have died: He complained of a great Pain in his Kidneys; yet he look’d very well, eat heartily, slept sound, and danced like one mad. While I was at Spa, I thought myself at London, there being ten Englishmen to one Foreigner. I believe that Nation, in short, has laid a Plot to take away Spa from the Bishop of Liege. I was overjoy’d to renew my Acquaintance there with Persons of good Families, whom I had known at London. Tho’ I am extremely prepossessed in Favour of England and Englishmen; yet I cannot help agreeing with many others, that they are more amiable, and more sociable Abroad, than they are at Home.

In my Road from Spa to Aix la Chapelle, I came to Limbourg, the Capital Town of the Duchy of that Name, and truly, the most dismal Capital in the World. It stands upon a Mountain, as it were, by itself, and in one of the most disagreeable Situations that can be imagined. Heretofore it was fortified, but is now dismantled. There are, however, three hundred Invalids that keep Guard here, such a one as it is. The whole Country has a very miserable Appearance; yet I have been assured, that the Inhabitants are very well to pass. They have good Store of Cattle, make a great deal of Cheese, and manufacture very good Cloth, for which they have a great Vend in the Netherlands, and at Frankfort Fair; where a great many Pieces are sold, which pass for the Cloth of Holland, and even of England. The Road from Limbourg to Aix la Chapelle, which is327 four Leagues, is very disagreeable to travel in a Chaise, because of the Rocks and Mountains.

Aix la Chapelle, which is an Imperial City, owes its Foundation to Charlemagne, who established the Seat of his Empire here; and, they say, that the Town-house was formerly Part of his Palace. This City is fixed by the Golden Bull, to be the Place for Crowning the Emperors. Charlemagne caused his Son Louis the Pious to be crowned there, by Hildebold, Archbishop of Cologne; since which, there have been thirty-six Emperors crowned in Aix. They who have been crowned elsewhere, have always given an Instrument to the City of Aix, and to the Chapter Royal of the Church of our Lady, declaring, that this Ceremony, performed elsewhere, shall be of no Prejudice either to the City, or its Church.

The Annals of Aix, among several other miraculous Events, report, That during the Coronation of Rodolph I. there appeared a great bright Cross over the Church of our Lady, as a Mark that God approved of the Choice which the Electors had made of that Prince, according to the Advice given them by Albert the Great, of the Dominican Order, Bishop of Ratisbon, and Rodolph’s Confessor. When the Electors were going to take the Oath of Fidelity to Rodolph, according to Custom, the Sceptre which they were to touch, was not to be found; whereupon Rodolph, who did not think this Ceremony absolutely needless, took a Crucifix from the Altar: See, (said he to the Electors, who stood round Charlemagne’s Chair, in which Rodolph sat) see the Signal of that by which we and all the World have been redeemed; we will make use of this, instead of the Sceptre. Then kissing the Crucifix very devoutly, it so wrought upon the Princes and Electors, that without staying for the Sceptre, they took the Oath, and paid Homage with their328 Hands crossing each other. I forgot to tell you, that the Cross which appeared in the Firmament, during this Transaction, tho’ white at first, became red as Blood; which being told to the Emperor Rodolph, he said, If God gives me Life, I will go beyond Sea, and there sacrifice my Blood for my Sins, for the Honour of my Saviour Jesus Christ. Probably, this Emperor did not live to perform his pious Resolution; for History does not say, that he ever went to Sea; but it mentions, that when this Prince was only the Count de Hapsbourg, he met a Priest in a Field, walking on Foot, and carrying the Viaticum to a Person that was sick, and that Rodolph, such was his Devotion for the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, alighted from his Horse, and set the Priest upon it, using this Expression, That it should never be said, that the Man who carried the Saviour of the World, should walk on Foot, while he, Rodolph, sate on Horseback. The Priest, who was wrought upon by the Zeal of the Prince, and inspired by God, prophesied to him, That he should be chose Emperor, and that his Posterity should attain to the highest Honours. The Event has answered the Prediction; for God has so blessed Rodolph’s Family, which now goes by the Name of the House of Austria, that since his Time, the Imperial Sceptre has not departed from it; Charles VI. being the fifteenth Emperor, besides seven Kings of the Romans, who are descended, without Interruption, from the Rodolphin Line.

The Church of our Lady is very ancient, being consecrated by Pope Leo III. in Presence of the Emperor Charlemaign, and as many Bishops attended at the Ceremony as there are Days in the Year; of whom, no doubt, a great many were Bishops in Parts beyond the Seas. At this Consecration a Thing happened very surprising and329 extraordinary; to which you may give as much, or as little Credit as you please. ’Tis, that God, in order fully to answer Charlemagne’s Desire to complete the aforesaid Number of Bishops, of which there wanted two, permitted St. Monulphus, and St. Gondulphus, Bishops of Tongres, who had been both dead a long time, and buried in the Church of St. Servais, at Maestricht, to appear visibly at the Solemnity of this Coronation, and to receive the Pope’s Blessing; after which they vanish’d. But I think, without pretending to dive into this Mystery, that if these two Bishops were really Saints, they ought to have given the Pope their Blessing, as being older Saints than the Holy Father. Mean time, that there is such a Story, you are not to doubt; for in the Roof of the Church of St. Servais at Maestricht, I saw a Picture that represents it. There is an Angel holding out a Label in the Language of Brabant, signifying, Monulphus and Gondulphus, arise, and go to the Consecration of the Church of Aix: And upon their Tomb there is this Latin Distich, expressing their Departure from thence to the Church at Aix la Chapelle.

Excitus bâc arcá Monulphus, Aquisque dicato Gondulphus Templo se reddit uterque Hierarcha.

After such authentick Evidences of so extraordinary a Passage, a Man must be very incredulous not to believe it. I should never have done, were I to give you an Account of all the precious Reliques that are in our Lady’s Church, of which you know that the Emperor is by Birth a Canon. The great Reliques are only shown once every seven Years, when Pilgrims come from all Parts, and particularly from Hungary; but as they are then only exposed from the Top of a Steeple,330 the poor Creatures have only the Satisfaction of seeing them at a very great Distance; and after having been regaled by the City of Aix, most of ’em return Home, without being able to say what they have seen. The first and most ancient Relique, is the Shift which the Holy Virgin had on when she was delivered of our Lord. Whenever these Reliques are exposed, a Priest makes a Proclamation to the People, what Relique he is going to shew them. The following is the Form of one of those Proclamations.

At the first Relique.
We shall shew you the Linen, the sacred Raiment, in which the Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God, was drest the Night of the Holy Nativity of Our Lord, when she brought forth Jesus Christ, Very God and Very Man. Therefore let us beseech God, that we may look upon this sacred Relique in such a Manner, that the Honour and Glory of God may be thereby advanced, and that we may obtain his Grace, and his sacred Benediction.

The other Proclamations are in the same Taste: But so much for Reliques.

In the Church of Aix, there is a very great Treasure, consisting of Vessels of Gold and Silver gilt, Copes embroider’d with Pearls, and other sacred Ornaments, which are very rich. There is the Royal Chair, in which Charlemaign sate in his Tomb three hundred and twenty-five Years. ’Tis of white Marble, not polished, because it was covered with Plates of Gold; but what’s become of ’em, I know not. ’Tis in this Chair that the King of the Romans goes and seats himself as soon as he is consecrated; and here the Electors, and the Chapter of the Church, go and331 make their first Obeisance to him, in Quality of King of the Romans. The High Altar, and the Pulpit, are covered with Plates of Gold, adorned with Jewels of a great Value, especially an Agate of an extraordinary Size; the Whole given by St. Henry of Bavaria, the second Emperor of the Romans of that Name. Were I to give you all the other Particulars of this Church’s Treasure, my Letter would swell to a Volume.

The Citizens of Aix, being in Hopes to have that Congress there, which was held afterwards at Soissons, caused their Town-house to be repaired; so that ’tis now one of the finest in Germany. They also built new Baths, very proper and commodious, and the Structure makes a handsome Appearance. Aix, take it all together, is a very pretty Town, and there’s very good Company here, even when the Waters are not in Season; but the noisy Pleasures are not to be expected. The Houses of the Countess de Golstein, and the Baron of Dobelstein, are of great Relief. The last is a Gentleman of Merit, and of a good Family, his Father having been a General Officer in the Service of Joseph Clement, Elector of Cologne; and having served in France, the last War, with Reputation. He honoured me with his Friendship, and I revere his Memory.

Of all the Places where the Waters are used, there’s none of more agreeable Accommodation than Aix; the Lodgings and Provisions here being perfectly good. There’s the House of Bougir, near the Fountain, where the late King of Denmark, the Queen, the Princess, and all their Retinue, were lodged very conveniently. This House is exceeding well furnished, and belongs to very genteel People, who, during the Season, hold Assemblies, and give a Ball, in a Room which is perfectly fine.


From Aix la Chapelle, I came in less than a Day to Cologne, thro’ a very even Road, and a flat Country all the Way, excepting a Hill that one ascends going out of Aix. I passed thro’ Juliers, the Capital of a Duchy of that Name, upon the little River Roer, which is very subject to overflow its Banks. Several Authors will have it, that Julius Cæsar caused this City to be built, while others ascribe its Foundation to Drusus. Which of them soever it was, the Town does no Honour to either. There is not one House in it, that can be called a Structure; and I thought the Fortifications were very much neglected. The Castle, or Citadel, which I only saw at a Distance, ’tis to be hoped, is in a better State. The Elector Palatine keeps a good Garison there, commanded by the General Haxhausen; whose House is, I think, the best in all Juliers. The Roman Catholic is the only Religion exercised in the City, but the Lutherans and Calvinists have their Chapel on the Glacis of the Place; and ’tis natural enough to suppose, that ere long they will have Churches in the Town itself, since nothing stands in the Way but the Life of the Elector Palatine; after whose Death, ’tis hardly supposed that the King of Prussia will let a Country slip from him, to which he has such just Pretensions.

Cologne is the greatest City in Germany, but the saddest in Europe. There’s nothing to be heard in it but tolling of Bells, and nothing to be seen but Priests, Friers and Students; many of whom beg Alms with a Song. The People of Cologne boast, that Agrippina, the Mother of Nero, was born there; and that this Princess, in order to give the City signal Proofs of her Good-will and Generosity, very much augmented its Circumference, and peopled it with a Colony of Veteran Romans. ’Twere to be wish’d, that this333 Empress was still living, and that she would take it into her Head to people Cologne again, where there are really more Houses than Families. For ’tis a poor Burgher indeed here, who has not a whole House to himself.

If the Inhabitants of a Town were the more righteous for having a Number of Churches, those of Cologne would be the greatest Saints upon Earth; for they have as many Churches and Chapels as there are Days in the Year. The most considerable is the Metropolitan Church, dedicated to the Apostle St. Peter. If it were finished, it would be one of the greatest and most magnificent Buildings in Europe; but in its present Condition, it does no very great Honour to the Chapter, which is the most illustrious in Germany; the Canons being all born Princes, or Counts of the Empire, who must prove their Nobility from sixteen Descents. There are, indeed, some Canons who are only Doctors; but, properly speaking, they are no more than the Officers of the Chapter. The Bodies of the three Kings that were brought to Cologne, lie in a Chapel behind the Choir. They came into the City through a Gate towards the Rhine, which was walled up, as soon as the sacred Reliques had pass’d, that nothing might profane it. The Effigies of the three Kings are painted over it. The Inhabitants of Cologne have such a Veneration for these Reliques, that I believe, it would not be proper so much as to question whether they are genuine, in a Company of the Burghers.

The Nobility and Gentry at Cologne are as polite as they are elsewhere; but the Vulgar are extremely clownish. There are very ancient Patrician Families here, who make as plain Proof that they are descended from the old Romans, as334 the Duke de Ventadour in France does, that he is a Kin to the Holy Virgin.

The Town is governed by a Senate, and is a Free Imperial City; nevertheless, the Elector of Cologne holds the Supreme Court of Justice here, by a sort of Chief Justice, or Lieutenant Criminal, who has no manner of Dependance on the Magistrates. The principal Offices are shared among the Patricians or Senators; who keep close at their own Houses, and shun the Nobility, as do all the Patricians of Germany. There are very few Families of Quality in this City, considering its Bigness. The Noblemen of the Chapter, are all the good Company to be met with in Cologne, and they are respectful to Foreigners; but the greatest Part of ’em are very little in Town; for as soon as their Residence is expired, they either go Home, or remove to other Places, where they are Prebendaries. There are substantial Tradesmen here, who eat well, and drink still better. They may be merry Blades, for aught I know, but I have not kept them Company; and you need not be told, that our Germanic Haughtiness will not permit us to demean ourselves to them.

There are a great many other Curiosities to be seen in this City, particularly the House where the Horses went up of their own Accord into the Garret, to convince a Man, that his Wife, who was buried the Day before, was not dead. You will find the Account of it in Misson’s[91] Letters. I have been to see the House where the unfortunate Queen Mary de Medicis lodg’d, while she liv’d here, and where she died in a Condition so forlorn, as may be a Warning to the World of the Frailty of Human Grandeur. The ungrateful Cardinal de Richelieu, on whom she had heap’d 335Riches and Honour, not content with having banish’d her out of the Kingdom, abandon’d her to the Want of every thing; and while himself liv’d in the Luxury of the most splendid Fortune, he made the Queen suffer the Martyrdom of Misery and Sorrow. Cardinal Mazarin, his Successor in the Ministry, retir’d likewise to this Town, while the whole Kingdom of France was in a Conspiracy against him; but he had the Glory to defeat it.

I shall say nothing to you of the Revenues of this City, because I have seen nobody that could give me the least Insight into that Matter. It maintains some Companies of very sorry Soldiers, who keep Guard at the Gates, at the Town-house, and very insolently search the Luggage of all Comers; which is, certainly, of all Inconveniencies the greatest; because when one is not above two hundred Steps from our Quarters, we are obliged to unloose our Portmanteaus, which are then search’d, and every thing turn’d topsy-turvy; after which, one is obliged to be at the Trouble of putting every thing to rights again, while the very Fellows, that have put all in Confusion, have also the Impudence to ask for a Spill of Money to drink. In other Towns, an Officer goes with you to your Quarters, and you shew him what you have. But the Imperial Cities always affect to differ from others in certain Particularities, which are generally in direct Opposition to their own Interest, and constantly so to the Convenience of the Public.

There are Protestants settled here, who are not the poorest People in the City. They go to Church at Mulheim, a Village in the Country of Berg, about half a League off.


I set out To-morrow for Bonn, where the Elector is expected every Hour. He comes from Mergendahl, where he has been elected Grand Master of the Teutonic[92] Order, tho’ the Pope thought he337 had Benefices enough before. This is actually the Sixth which the Elector holds at this Time, and I believe the Seventh will not escape him. The least of all brings him in a hundred thousand Crowns a Year. I don’t think there’s any Harm in the Plurality of Benefices, but in the Abuse of ’em; which is a Thing that cannot be charged to the Score of the Elector. I shall let you know in my next, what I think of this Prince’s Court. In the mean time, and always, I am with the most perfect Esteem, &c.



SIR,Bonn, July 30, 1732.  

As I came to Bonn, two Days before the Return of the Court, I had all that time to walk about. This City stands upon the Rhine, five Leagues from Cologne; from whence one travels to it thro’ one of the finest Roads in the World, well-pav’d and planted with Trees, over a large fruitful Plain, encompassed with Hills laden with Vines and Woods. This is a City so very ancient, that Florus tells us ’twas founded by Drusus. The Learned say, ’tis338 the Ara Ubiorum of the Ancients, mention’d by Tacitus. Be this as it will, Bonn has not the least Monument that favours of the Roman Magnificence; is now but a little City, and of no Consequence at all, when the Court is not there. ’Twas heretofore very well fortify’d, and has sustained several Sieges, particularly one in 1689, by Frederic Elector of Brandenbourg, afterwards King of Prussia, who besieged it at the Head of his own Troops, and those of Munster and Holland; and lost a great many Men before it. His tall Musqueteers, all French Gentlemen and Protestants, distinguished themselves in an extraordinary manner; for, being just come out of France, with a Spirit of Hatred and Revenge against Lewis XIV. who, by repealing the Edict of Nantes, had forced them to abandon their Country, they performed such valiant Feats as were surprising, and were never weary of Fighting; every Frenchman that was a Catholic, being odious to them. St. Bonnet, their commanding Officer, a Man of Birth and Bravery, was killed as he was storming the Breach in Quality of Volunteer. This Officer thought it was an Injustice to him, that he was not appointed to command the Storm, and complained of it to the Elector; who told him, That he knew very well ’twas his Due, but that he thought it best to spare an Officer for whom he had a very great Esteem. St. Bonnet said, He did not think it would be for his Reputation to stay behind; and therefore he begged his Electoral Highness, by all Means, not to let him lose an Opportunity, which would undoubtedly procure him the Honour of convincing him of his Zeal. The Elector, by way of Reply, laid his absolute Commands on him, not to think of Fighting, but to continue always near his Person. St. Bonnet, ambitious of Glory, and, perhaps, hurry’d by his Fate, did not pay Obedience to the Elector’s 339Commands, and was wounded by a Musquet Ball, of which he died two Days after, very much regretted by his Master, and the whole Army.

During this Siege, Bonn was reduced to a Heap of Rubbish, so that scarce a House was left standing; for the Baron d’Asfeldt, who commanded in the Place for Lewis XIV. made a very stout Defence; having sustained a Blockade of two Months, and twenty-seven Days open Trenches.

This City was again besieg’d in 1703, by my Lord Duke of Marlborough, who obliged the Marquis[93] d’Alegre, now Marshal of France, to capitulate at the End of eleven Days. It had been agreed by the Treaty of Utrecht, that the Dutch should keep Garison in Bonn; but the Elector Joseph Clement, not long after his Re-establishment, found Means to turn them out, and to be Master, as it was but reasonable, in his own Territories.

This same Prince, at his Return from France, found his capital City in a sorry Condition; a great many Houses destroy’d in the last Siege, were not yet rebuilt, and his own Palace lay in Ruins. But he set about the Repair of every thing; and in short, in a few Years, not only caused the old Houses to be rebuilt, but likewise erected a great many new ones, and built a Palace, which makes a grand Appearance, and would have been one of the most considerable Structures in Germany, if it had been brought to Perfection. The main Body of it, which is quite finish’d, has spacious Apartments, laid out with Art, richly adorn’d, and nobly furnish’d. The Tapestry with which the Chapel is hung upon grand Festivals, is worth seeing. It represents, in twelve great Pieces, the History of our Lord’s Nativity; which is wonderfully340 well designed; and they may be reckon’d the Master-pieces of the Gobelins, where the Elector Joseph Clement, caused them to be made.

The principal Church of this City is a large Pile. They say it was founded by St. Helena, the Mother of the Emperor Constantine, to the Honour of the Holy Martyrs Cassius Florus, and Malusius, Soldiers of a Roman Legion. The Statue of that Princess, in yellow Copper, is placed at the Extremity of the Nave. The Saint is represented on her Knees, adoring the Cross, which she holds in her Left-hand. The Attitude of this Statue is so very noble, that it would certainly be esteemed, if it were in any Church of Rome.

Tho’ the Elector has all the Pleasures that can be desired at Bonn, yet he spends most of his Time at Bruhl, a House he caused to be built three Leagues out of Town; which, tho’ not very large, has very fine Apartments, adorned with every thing that is completely elegant and magnificent. The Elector is making some Gardens to it, which are like to be exceeding fine when finish’d.

The late Elector caused a Castle to be erected, about one Quarter of a League from Bonn, near a Village called Popelsdorff, which was built in Form of a Circus, and the Architecture of it was very singular; but the present Elector has been pleased to pull down a Part of it, and to employ the Materials in the Works at Bruhl. Near Popelsdorff, there’s a Nursery very well laid out, and kept in neat Order.

All these Houses are an Embellishment to the Suburbs of Bonn, which are moreover very agreeably situate. I was infinitely more delighted here, than at Cologne; for Bonn grows every Day finer, while the latter is decaying.

After having walk’d about here a great deal, expecting the Elector’s Return, this Prince is at341 length arrived, together with Duke Ferdinand his Brother. He was welcom’d with the Discharge of the Cannon, and complimented by all the Persons of Distinction in Town, upon his Return, and upon his Advancement to the Grand Mastership of the Teutonic Order. Next Day there was a Gala at Court, when the Elector was dress’d in a Lay Habit, and wore a Sword; at which every body was surprized, because the Dress which is most affected by the Electors of Cologne, is like that of the Cardinals: But the Elector declared, he appeared in that Habit, as Grand Master of a Military Order.

His Electoral Highness has a just Title to be called Clement Augustus; for he has a stately Mien, is handsome, and of easy Access, and loves Pleasures, and particularly Hunting, as much as his Condition will admit of. His regular Life, and the Soundness of his Morals, may serve for an Example to many older Prelates, that are not so powerful, nor so nobly descended. He lived in his Infancy at Gratz, together with the Princes his three elder Brothers. The Elector, his Father, sent him afterwards, with Duke Philip his Brother, to Rome. The Marquis Santini, a Native of Lucca, a Commandeur of the Order of Malta, and a Lieutenant-General in the Service of Bavaria, was appointed for their Governor. Duke Philip was chose Bishop of Paderborn and Munster. The Gentleman who was very instrumental in his Election, was the Count de Plettenberg, now the Elector’s Prime Minister, who was then purely attach’d to that Prince, from the Devotion he always had for the House of Bavaria; and Duke Philip dying not long after his Election, the Count prevailed on those two Chapters, to chuse the young Duke Clement-Augustus for their Bishop. This Prince received his Bulls from the Pope’s own342 Hand, at Rome; and afterwards went and took Possession of his Bishoprick. Not long after this, the Elector of Cologne, his Uncle, caused the young Prince to be appointed his Coadjutor: And upon the Death of Joseph Clement, Clement Augustus succeeded him also in the Bishoprick of Hildesheim. After the Death of the Duke of York, Ernest-Augustus, Duke of Brunswic-Lunenbourg, and Bishop of Osnabruck, he was chose for Successor to that Prince’s Episcopal See; and he is just now elected Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, by the unanimous Choice of the Knights, who have Commanderies in that Order.

The Enemies of the House of Bavaria murmur sadly to see half a Dozen of such great Benefices in the Possession of one Prince; What! say they, one Bishop to hold so many Bishopricks! there are few Instances of the like in all our Annals; ’tis not agreeable to the Canons of the Church. I am not so well versed in the Canon Law, as to determine, whether it be so or no; but I am not ignorant, that other Princes have held as many, and even more Benefices; and that ’tis for the Welfare and Interest of the Church, that the Elector should be a powerful Prince. Albert, Cardinal of Brandenbourg, was at the same time Archbishop of Mentz and Magdebourg. The Archduke Leopold held nine great[94] Benefices; but it was not said in his Time, that this was not agreeable to the Canons of the Church. Francis of Newbourg, the last Elector of Mentz, tho’ not a Priest, held five Bishopricks and Abbies, and yet there was no Outcry against him; why then should it be thought so strange, that the Elector should have six? This Prince is not inferior either in Birth or343 Merit to the Archduke Leopold, and to the Prince of Newbourg.

Tho’ I am not a Pensioner to the Elector, I cannot help saying, that the Catholics, instead of clamouring against his Grandeur, ought, on the contrary, to do every thing they can to increase it: For the several Bishopricks held by this Elector, are so surrounded, and even indented, by the Dominions of the greatest Protestant Powers, that neither of them, separately, would be able to defend itself, in case it should be the Misfortune of Germany to be exposed to a religious War; whereas, being united under one Head, they are a formidable State.

But, say the Grumblers again, Bernhard de Galen was only Bishop of Munster, and yet he made Holland tremble. This is very true; but they don’t consider, that this Prelate was supported by all the Power of Lewis XIV., or else, as turbulent and as martial as he was, he would never have entertained a Thought of attacking the Seven Provinces. But admitting that he had been able to have made War singly with the Republic, what does that signify to the Time present? The Face of Europe, and particularly of Germany, is very much chang’d since his Death. The Protestants, who were then weak, are become powerful. They are the Masters of Commerce, which is the Fountain of Wealth; and they have Provinces, the best situate that can be, for receiving Foreign Succours. The Catholics, on the contrary, are exhausted, divided in Interest, and their Dominions impoverished by the Loss of Manufactures, and the Want of Trade. Therefore, I say it again, ’tis my Opinion, that instead of opposing the Grandeur of this Elector, they are obliged by Interest, to contribute their utmost to augment it,344 in order to furnish Religion and the Church with an able Protector.

Pardon me, Sir, this long Plea, into which I was drawn by a religious Zeal, and for the just Cause of a Prince who challenges both Love and Respect. His Prime Minister is Ferdinand Count de Plettenberg-Nordkirchen, whose Family has been of distinguish’d Rank for a long time in Westphalia, and has given several Princes Bishops of Paderborn and Munster. It had formerly only the Title of a Barony, and M. de Plettenberg is the first Count of it. Soon after he had been promoted to this Dignity, the Emperor nominated him a Member of his Privy Council; and his Imperial and Catholic Majesty, has lately sent him the Order of the Golden Fleece, to reward him for having prevailed on the Elector to guarantee the Pragmatic Sanction: The Count de Plettenberg is adorned, therefore, with all the Dignities which a Lay Nobleman can be ambitious of in Germany: He is Count of the Empire, one of the Emperor’s Privy Counsellors, a Knight of the Golden Fleece, Grand Master of the Elector of Cologne’s Houshold, his Great Chamberlain, and his Prime Minister.

Nor was there ever any Person more deserving of those Employments, the Elector being partly obliged to him for his own[95] Grandeur. ’Twas this Minister, as I have already said, who caused this Prince to be chose, first, Bishop of Paderborn and Munster, and afterwards Bishop of Hildesheim345 and Osnabruck: He also contributed very much to his being elected Coadjutor of Cologne; for had it not been for his Representations, the deceased Elector Joseph Clement would, perhaps, have never been prevailed on to accept of a Coadjutor, because he apprehended, that he should not live long after he had taken such a Step: But the Count de Plettenberg dispossessed him of that silly Surmise; and by that Means procured, for his Master, the second Electorate of the Empire. You will naturally imagine, Sir, that such great Services, performed by this Minister, for a Prince to whom he was not a Subject, could not but be attended with great Rewards. They have purchased him the Elector’s intire Confidence, who leaves all Affairs wholly to him. The Count uses his Authority with Moderation, and is civil and courteous. His Behaviour is noble and easy, and his Personage altogether as agreeable. He has none of those Airs of Superiority, which they commonly assume, who in their Grandeur are the Favourites of Fortune. Being advanced to be the First Minister of a great Prince, at an[96] Age when a Person would scarce presume to think himself fit to meddle with State Affairs, he makes Labour itself a Pleasure, and has nothing of that mysterious haughty Air, which only serves to alienate Peoples Hearts; for he is easy of Access, hears attentively those who speak to him, and gives clear Answers without affecting Evasions or Delays. He is generous, liberal and beneficent, vigilant, laborious, and in Love with Business. He rises at Five o’Clock every Day, and employs the Morning, in Business. After this, he keeps a magnificent Table, where, in the midst of an Abundance and Delicacy, there is that Frugality346 observed, which is so laudable in those who have Places. After Dinner, he goes into his Closet, where he gives Audience to the Subaltern Ministers, leaving it to the Countess his Spouse, to do the Honours of his House, which is always open to Persons of Distinction and Merit. As he was born to one of the greatest Estates in Germany, so he is one of those Noblemen who live with the greatest Magnificence. His Expences are considerable. His House is richly furnished, and full of excellent Pictures by the most skilful Masters. Yet the Magnificence of his House in Town does not come near to that of his Seat at Nordkirchen, where every Thing is stately, and has the Air of a Prince. Mean time, the Count de Plettenberg adorns it every Day, and is actually making Gardens to it, which will not easily be match’d in Germany. This Minister has an only Son at the University of Leyden, a Youth of great Hopes, who is already actually an Aulic Counsellor of the Emperor, his Chamberlain, and Master of the Horse[97] to the Elector of Cologne; and to whom the Count de Plettenberg, besides his great Estate, will leave his Steps to follow, and his Example to imitate.

There are many other Persons of good Birth and Merit at this Court. The Baron de Nothasst, Lieutenant-General, Chamberlain, and Captain of the Elector’s Guard. M. de Walhot de Goudenau, Marshal of the Court. The Baron de Schourss, and the Marquises Caponi and Trotti, the Elector’s Chamberlains, are distinguished for their Civility to Foreigners. The Baron de Sparr, by Birth a Swede, whose Father died in the Service of France, is Almoner to the Elector, and Dean of Bonn. His Electoral Highness has lately sent him to347 Rome, to desire the Holy Father’s Approbation of his Election, as Grand Master of the Teutonic Order. M. de Sparr was Page to the late Elector of Bavaria, in which Post he behaved with an uncommon Sobriety, applied himself to the Study of several Languages, and learnt to speak them with the same Ease as his Mother-Tongue. He made great Progress in Music, History, and Geography, and neglected no Means to render himself one Day or other, useful to the State, and to his Prince. After he had served as Page, he entered into the Military Service, and was made a Major in the Guards, and Chamberlain to the Elector of Bavaria. He proposed to make a Settlement, when God, whose Decrees are impenetrable, inspired him with a Resolution to go into Holy Orders. For this End, he quitted his Employments, and retired to a Seminary, which he only left to take up Priest’s Orders. He said his first Mass in the same Church, and on the same Day, that the Duke Theodore of Bavaria, Bishop of Ratisbon and Freisingen, said his. He went a Year ago to Rome, where he applied himself strenuously to the Study of the Canon Law. I knew him there, and found that he had the Esteem of every body. He has such Sentiments of Piety and Honour, that ’twere to be wished all our Clergy had the like; for then they would do more Service both to God, and the World.

The Elector’s Houshold is very numerous, but he has no more than two Regiments of Foot in his Electorate. The Baron de Nothasst is Commander in chief of those Troops, which, tho’ but a Handful, are sufficient for the Guard of Bonn, Rhinberck, and Keiserswaert, which were fortified heretofore, but have since the Peace been demolished.

In the Absence of the Elector, the Dean of the Chapter of Cologne governs with the Title of348 Stadtholder. He is lodged in the Electoral Palace, and is served by the Elector’s Officers. During this Time, Bonn is a very melancholy Place. The Nobility and Gentry have their Assemblies at the House of the Countess de Fugger, where there are many more of the Fair Sex than ours, and the Canonesses of this City make a shining Figure. In such good Company I leave you, and am, &c.



SIR,Mentz, Aug. 20, 1732.  

I have been up the Rhine from Bonn to Mentz, to avoid the disagreeable Passage over the Mountains of Wetteravia. I was not fatigu’d, but then I was pretty much chagrin’d. I landed at Lintz, a little Town in the Electorate of Cologne, on the right Side of the Rhine; and there I drank the excellent Wine of Bleickert, which is made near the Village of Huningen, about a League from this Town. The Liegeois, who know how to brew Wine as well as Beer, buy up a great Quantity of it, which they balderdash after their Manner, and sell for Burgundy. After I had fill’d my Bottles, I continued my Voyage, and arrived at Andernach, a little Town, which is a considerable Gainer by the Floats of great Timber that are brought hither, and sent from hence for Holland. Here is also a great Vent of Stone Jugs and Pitchers, and of the Mineral Water of349 Dunchstein, which in the Summer is very much drank with Wine.

A little above Andernach, on the other Side of the River, there’s an abandon’d Seat belonging to the Count de Neuwidt, who lays up his Hunting-Equipage in it. The Vulgar have a Notion, that this House is haunted by the Devil; which is a sort of Superstition that is to be met with, more or less, in all Countries.

The little Town of Neuwidt gives its Name to a County of the Empire, where the Count has a very pretty House. This Nobleman, and his Subjects too, are[98]Calvinists. He married a Daughter of the late Count Alexander de Dhona, who was the King of Prussia’s Governor. She is a Lady highly to be valued for her Virtue, her Understanding, and her Behaviour.

The Rhine, which runs thro’ none but a plain Country from Neuwidt to Bonn, is, above that Place, pent up by Mountains so high, that they give me the frightful Remembrance of the Alps. These terrible Rocks are cultivated to the very Top, and produce excellent Wines. One can hardly take one’s Eyes off of them, there’s such a variegated Prospect of Vineyards, Woods, Towns, Villages, Gentlemen’s Seats, and Cottages.

The only Town of Consequence is Coblentz, in the Electorate of Triers, at the Conflux of the Moselle and the Rhine, in a fine Valley surrounded with noble Hills. The City is fenced with grand Walls and Ramparts. Its two Rivers350 are a great Advantage to its Commerce, and to them ’tis obliged for all its Wealth. In this Town there reside several Persons of Quality, such as the Counts de la Leie, and de Metternich, the Barons de Walpol, and d’Oels. The Count de la Leie is a very rich Nobleman, lives high, and is very charitable; so that the Poor look upon him as their Father, and the Convents as their Supporter. He is a Gentleman of sound Piety, very great Politeness, and all his Behaviour is to the last Degree noble. He has an only Son by the Countess de Schonborn, Sister to the Elector of Triers, a young Gentleman of a lovely Presence, and whose Merit infinitely surpasses his Years.

The Fortress of Ehrenbreitstein, which is properly the Citadel of Coblentz, stands on the other Side of the Rhine. They reckon it impregnable, for this Reason, perhaps, because it was never taken. It is situate upon a high Mountain, or deep Rock, which stands in a manner by itself, and is on all Sides of very difficult Access. The Works are all of Stone, and several cut out in the Rock. There is a Cannon here, which, they say, is longer than the famous Culverin, that Lewis XIV. caused to be carried from Nancy to Dunkirk. The Palace of the Elector of Triers is at the Foot of this Fortress, in a Place which is very much pent up by the Rhine on one Side, and by a Rock on the other. It makes but a mean Appearance, and the Apartments are low, incommodious, and very much exposed to the Sun. Near this Palace is a little Town called Dahl, where live most of the Elector’s Domestics. This Quarter has a Communication with the City of Coblentz by a flying Bridge.

The present Bishop of Triers is Francis-George Count de Schonborn, who is the younger Brother of the Cardinal Bishop of Spires, and of the Bishop of Ramberg and Wurtzbourg. He is also Bishop of351 Worms, and Abbat of Elwangen. He was elected Archbishop, when Francis-Lewis of Newbourg was translated from the Electorate of Triers to that of Mentz. This Prince is not tall, but very stout, and has a fine Aspect: He is affable, and very civil. His Courtiers assured me, that he was a very kind Master, and his Subjects seemed to be pleased with his Government. His Disbursements seem to me to be very moderate, and his Houshold not large.

From Coblentz I went to Sanckewerdt, which is the Foot of the Castle of Rhinfeldts, belonging to a Catholic Branch of the Family of Hesse. The Landgrave of Cassel was once in Possession of this Fortress, and claimed it as his Right, by Virtue of his being the eldest of the Family of Hesse. Upon this Occasion he was engaged in a great Law-Suit, but the Aulic Council gave a Verdict in Favour of the Prince of Rhinfeldts, and the Troops of Hesse Cassel were by an Imperial Commission turn’d out. A Garison is actually kept here for the Emperor, and the Circle of the Upper Rhine. This Place is reckoned one of the most important upon the Rhine, over which River here is a Passage by a flying Bridge.

As I still went up the River, I came to Binger-Loch, a Name which is given to a Cascade, that the Rhine forms here between two Rocks. This is reckoned as the most dangerous Passage of all the Rhine, though there’s no Danger to be apprehended, unless the Watermen are drunk with Wine; which is too commonly the Misfortune at this Place, where the Juice of the Grape costs little or nothing. Near to this Hollow, upon a Rock, in the midst of the Rhine, there’s the famous Rats-Tower; built, according to Tradition, by Hatto Bishop of Mentz, in the Year 969, to secure him from the Rats, which gnaw’d him as a352 Punishment for his having burnt a considerable Number of poor People in a Barn, that came in a great Dearth of Provisions, to beg he would give them Bread; when this barbarous Prelate, hearing the Shrieks of those unfortunate Wretches in the Flames, ask’d his Courtiers if they did not hear the Rats cry? How improbable soever this Story may seem, ’tis as much believed by the Vulgar, as if it were an Article of Faith; insomuch that when I told my Watermen I questioned the Truth of the Fact, they said, that if I had any Doubt of it, I could not be a good Catholic. For my Part, I sincerely believe, that this Tower served heretofore as a Place of Toll, and, perhaps, for a Mainguard to a Castle, of which the Ruins are still to be seen, and in which ’tis said that Bishop Hatto dwelt, when he was obliged to retire to the Tower, where he was, nevertheless, gnaw’d by the Rats.

The little City of Bingen is not far from thence, on the left Side of the Rhine. ’Tis the most considerable of all the Rhingau, and ’tis thought to produce the best Rhenish Wine; for you are to know, that the Fashion of Wine alters, as well as of every thing else. Formerly the Wine of Bacharach was most in Vogue, and the French have not disdained to celebrate it in their drunken Catches; but now that Wine is no longer in request by the Wine-Conners, who are here so delicate, that if they do but wet their Lips, they can presently tell the Age and the Growth of any Wine that they taste. They say now, that the Wine of Bacharach is worth nothing, in comparison with the Wine of Ridelsheim, and of Johannesberg, Vineyards in the Rhingau: But for my Part, who have the Happiness not to be so nice, I thought the Wine of Bacharach very353 good, and should not be sorry if I was obliged to drink that, and no other.

From Bingen to Mentz, the Rhine is very broad. This capital City of the first Electorate of the Empire is seated on the left Side of the Rhine, over which there’s a Bridge of Boats, that is pretended to be in the very same Place where Charlemaign caused one to be made of five hundred Paces in Length, in the Year 798. The Antiquarians of this City, in spite of the best Authors, will have it to be built by a Son of Japhet, or at least by a great Lord who escaped out of Troy. Be it as it will, ’tis very ancient, and has suffered, as almost all the Towns in the World have, great Revolutions. They say that St. Crescent, who was a Disciple of St. Paul, was its first Bishop. But what I know for a greater Certainty, is, that the Elector of Mentz is Archbishop, and Great Chancellor of the Empire. The Person who is now possessed of that eminent Dignity, is Philip-Charles, Baron of Eltz; who was chose unanimously on the Ninth of June last. He was a Capitular of the Metropolitan Churches of Mentz and Triers, Great Chanter of Mentz in the Year 1710, Suffragan to the Bishop of Triers, Provost of the Collegiate Church of St. Peter at Monstadt, a Privy Counsellor to the late Elector of Mentz, his Predecessor, and President of his Aulic Council. His Election by the Chapter of Mentz has been applauded by the whole Empire; but particularly by those who know this Prince’s Candour, and the Purity of his Morals. He succeeded Francis-Lewis of Neubourg, whose Predecessor was Francis-Lotharius, Count de Schonborn, who was also Bishop of Bamberg. This Prince, who has had this Dignity a long time, has caused his Capital City to be very much embellished, furnish’d it with good Fortifications, and put it into such a354 Condition, that it may be looked upon as a powerful Bulwark of the Empire. The French had begun to fortify Mentz in 1688; and the Marshal d’Uxelles, who then commanded here for King Lewis XIV. put it into such a Condition, as to sustain a Siege of seven Weeks open Trenches against Duke Charles of Lorain, to whom he surrendered it by Capitulation. Most of the Works, cast up by the French, being only of Earth, were demolished, and others of Stone erected in their stead.

The Town is not airy, the Streets being narrow and crooked. There are some fine Houses here, particularly those of the Barons de Dalberg, Ingelheim and Rolling; but ’tis pity they are not in a better Situation.

The Metropolitan Church is an ancient Structure, which has nothing remarkable but its Treasury, one of the richest in Germany. I remember to have read in an old Chronicle of Bishop Conrade, that in his Time there was in this Treasury a Cross of Gold of six hundred Weight, adorned with Diamonds; and that at the Foot of the Cross, these Latin Words were engraved;

Auri sexcentas habet hæc crux aurea libras.

Whether there ever was such a Cross here, I know not; but I can assure you, there is none here now. The Chapter of this Church consists intirely of Persons of Quality, but they don’t admit Princes to it.

The Elector’s Palace would be a magnificent Pile, if the Whole was answerable to the new main Body of the Building, whose Apartments are commodious and grand, and enjoy one of the finest Prospects in the World.


That which most deserves a Traveller’s View in this City, is the Carthusians-house, one of the finest in Europe, as well for its Buildings, as its Situation. The Church belonging to it is small, but very neat; and the Pews of the Friers are most nicely carved in Wood. The Joiner’s Work is adorned with Sculpture, very well executed; which represents the Passages of the New Testament. The main Body of this Fabric fronts the Rhine, and there are Apartments commodious enough to lodge a Sovereign, and his Retinue. The Cloister is very spacious, and forms a perfect Square, with the Cells of the Carthusians round it, each of which, consists of four or five rooms, all upon one Floor; plainly, but neatly furnished. The Carthusians, after the Hours are over which they devote to spiritual Exercises, cultivate their own little Gardens, or employ themselves in the Work of Joiners, Turners, and the like useful and industrious Occupations.

It may be said, to the Praise of the Carthusians in general, that they always keep clear from the Intrigues of the World, the Converse of Women, and the Ambition of aspiring to Prelacies. They live in a manner, so as that tho’ they are not very serviceable to the Public, they cannot do it any Prejudice; which is what can scarce be said of the other Orders.

At the Foot of the Carthusians-house, which stands on a very high Hill, is the Palace and Garden of the Favorita, belonging to the Elector. Francis-Lotharius de Schonborn, caused this House to be erected; the Gardens of which are not extraordinary large, and may be call’d a Labyrinth of Grottos, Cascades, Summer-houses and Statues; but the Whole are heap’d, as it were, one upon another, and ranged with very little Fancy. There’s a Salon, accompanied with six Pavilions, detach’d356 from it, disposed in such a manner, that from each Pavilion there’s a Prospect of the Rhine, the Main, and of all the fine Scenes of the Country on the other Side of those Rivers.

For the rest, ’tis a very dull City, as are almost all the Cities subject to the Ecclesiastical Princes. Nevertheless, there’s a great Number of Gentry here, but they scarce ever visit one another, except in Ceremony. The Men rarely visit the Ladies, and seem, to my Mind, to be fondest of the Bottle. One of the chief Diversions of the Inhabitants of Mentz is to go all the Summer long to some neighbouring Places where they use the Waters; such as Wisbade, Schwalbach and Schlangenbadt. And while these Waters are in Season, Mentz, Francfort, Darmstadt, and all the neighbouring Towns, look as if they were quite forsaken.

I was some Years ago at Schwalbach, and was very merry there. ’Tis a little Town, between the Hills, three Leagues from Mentz, and belongs to the Landgrave of Hesse-Rhinfelds. The Waters which are drank there, very much resemble those of Spa in Taste; but, I think, they are stronger. I am sure, that if Schwalbach was so happy as to be frequented for the sake of its Waters, by two or three English Gentlemen of Distinction, it would make a Fortune out of the People of that Country, and bear away the Purse from Spa. The Method of taking those Waters is altogether the same as at Spa; and they observe the same Regimen, but with much greater Mirth. For here is a great Room, where every body meets without Distinction of Persons, and where they play at all Sorts of Games; and it’s surrounded too with Shops, in which there are a thousand Sorts of fine Toys. Here is commonly a Ball, and sometimes a German Comedy, which 357really, I think, is but indifferent; and here are often great Feasts, at which every one pays their Quota. But there are generally some Princes here to take the Waters, who make Entertainments for the Gentry.

Schlangenbadt, which is a League from Schwalbach, is a Place that consists properly of two great Houses, one belonging to the Elector of Mentz, and the other to the Landgrave of Hesse Darmstadt. Here they use the Hot Baths, which are extremely wholesome for relaxing the Nerves, and for the Stone. Barren Women also frequent this Place; but if they don’t take very great Care of themselves, they generally return pregnant.

This, Sir, is all the Account I can give you of Mentz, and its Neighbourhood. Having done all my Business here, I am making ready to be gone in a few Days. I propose to go back the same Way that I came, and as I fall down the Rhine, I hope in two Days to be at Cologne, from whence I shall proceed thro’ Dusseldorff towards Cleves. There I hope to have a Letter from you, than which nothing can be more welcome. I am, &c.



SIR,Cleves, Sept. 1, 1732.  

At my Return to Cologne, I went to see the Castle or Palace of Bensberg, belonging to the Elector Palatine, in the Country of Berg, three Leagues from the Rhine,358 which River I passed over a flying Bridge, between Cologne and Duitz. This House is worth seeing. ’Twas founded by Order of the Elector John-William, who was a Prince in every Thing magnificent, and sent for the most able Workmen from Italy to build it. All this great Structure is built of very hard Stone. The Ornaments, such as the Frises and Architraves, are of a Kind of grey Marble, which they dig out of neighbouring Quarries. The Apartments are large, very well decorated, and adorned with the finest Paintings; and they have a Prospect of a vast Length of Country, which offers a Variety of grand and noble Scenes to View.

From this House I went to Dusseldorff, the Capital of the Duchy of Berg, belonging to the Elector Palatine. This City stands in the midst of a fine fruitful Plain, five Leagues from Cologne. The Rhine washes its Walls, and runs at the Town with such Violence, that they have been obliged to make great Works to break the Current. Dusseldorff is but a small Place. The late Elector John-William, who resided in it, had undertaken to aggrandize it with an additional Quarter, which they call the New-Town; but that Prince’s Death, and the Absence of the Court, put a Stop to the Buildings. The present Elector is fortifying this Place; but ’tis carried on so slowly, that ’twill take up a great deal of Time to finish it.

The Elector’s Castle or Palace is ancient, and has nothing remarkable, but a Gallery of Pictures; which Gallery consists of five great Divisions or Salons, three whereof are much bigger than the other two. The Pictures in the first Room are all by the Hand of Rubens. That of the Last Day of Judgment is an admirable Piece, and one of the best that was ever done by that excellent Painter. They say he painted it for the Duke359 Wolffgang de Neubourg, in Acknowledgment for that Prince’s having taken him out of Spain, where Rubens was going to be arrested by the Holy Office. The Pictures in the second Room are all done by several Flemish Masters, but most of ’em by Van Dyck. The third Room, which is the biggest, contains Pictures by the most skilful Italian Masters. The fourth is adorned with the Works of the Chevalier Van der Werf, a Dutch Painter, who died lately at the Hague, having had the Honour to see some of his Pictures sold for a thousand gold Ducats the Piece. The Elector John-William gave him a Pension of six thousand Florins, besides paying him two thousand Florins for each Picture. No Flemish Painter excelled him in Designing, or had a better Hand at mixing of Colours. His Painting is so fine, and the Colouring so lively, and so well fansied, that no Enamel is more beautiful. Among his Works, the Connoisseurs admire the Life and Passion of our Saviour; Diana in the Bath, a Piece for which the Elector John-William paid twenty thousand Florins; and the Picture of Mary-Anne of Medicis, that Elector’s Wife, which Princess is represented with her Court-Ladies in the Habit of the Vestal Virgins. The fifth and last Room, which is the most magnificent, contains select Pieces by Masters of the first Rank; as Raphael, Julius Romain, Peter di Cortona, Guido, Titian, Paul Veronese, Tintoret, Correggio, Albano, the Caracchis, Joseph Pin, Paul Rubens, Van Dyck, Reimbrants, and many others. But that which no less attracts the Curious in another Taste, is the Abundance and Variety of other Things that are distributed up and down the several Rooms; as Figures of Brass, of the utmost Perfection, copy’d, for most part, from the finest Antiques, placed upon beautiful Tables of Florence; portable Cabinets, adorned with excellent360 Miniature, or inlaid Work; and, in short, an infinite Number of other Things, that are very much to be admired, and render this Gallery truly magnificent.

Under these Rooms there’s another Gallery, full of Statues of Marble and Plaister, according to the Model of all the celebrated Statues of Rome and Florence; the Moulds of which were collected by the Elector John-William, with very great Care and Expence.

In the Market-place opposite to the Palace, is that Elector’s Equestrian Statue, who is represented in Armour on Horseback, with the Electoral Bonnet on his Head. But this Monument, which is of Brass, is not answerable to the Cost of it: For the Horse is represented in a walking Pace, with his Tail dragging nine Inches on the Ground, which makes a very wretched Figure; tho’ ’tis said, that the Man who cast this Statue, took a Horse which the Elector had for his Model. Possibly he might have a fine Mane and Tail, but this is what does not appear in Brass. The whole Monument is erected on a Pedestal of grey Marble, very solid, and even without any Inscription or Ornaments. Nevertheless, John-William of Neubourg, the Elector Palatine, deserved as much as any Prince in the World, to have his Virtues transmitted to Posterity by some Inscription. He was magnificent, generous, liberal, a Protector of the Arts and Sciences: His Court and his Disbursements were like those of a King; his Good-nature render’d him amiable; he was the Delight of his Courtiers, and the Darling of his Subjects.

This great Prince lived at a Time when Germany had four other Princes, who were as great Patrons of the Arts and Sciences as himself; viz. Frederic-Augustus King of Poland, Frederic King361 of Prussia, Antony-Ulric Duke of Brunswic-Lunenbourg, and Charles Landgrave of Hesse Cassel; of all which Princes, the only one that survives is the King of[99] Poland, the rest having no Life but in History, where they are sure of Immortality; for, besides the Monuments they have left of their Grandeur, Men of Learning will not fail to transmit their Glory to the latest Posterity.

The present Elector Palatine having fixed his Residence at Manheim, there’s a Regency at Dusseldorff, of which the Count de Schasberg is the President. The Country of Berg, and that of Juliers, depending on it, are governed by States, without whose Consent the Sovereign cannot lay any Taxes. These Countries bring in a Million of Crowns to the Elector. All Religions are tolerated here, and every Communion has its particular Churches; but the Catholics only are admitted to the Civil Employments. The Reverend Fathers the Jesuits have a fine Church, and a beautiful Convent here. There’s a Chapel without the Cologne Gate, which is worth seeing. ’Tis built after the Model of the Santa Casa of Loretto, and adorned with very fine Paintings. ’Twas founded by the Electress, Wife of John-William, to the Honour of the most Holy Virgin.

Tho’ the Court is no longer at Dusseldorff, yet here is very good Company, and the Gentry are very sociable and friendly to Foreigners. There are amiable and deserving Ladies here, particularly Madame de Speik, whose Husband is a Major-General. She would be very fit to adorn a Court.

I went from Dusseldorff to Keiserswerdt, formerly a Place of Importance, which held out a destructive Siege, but is now wholly dismantled.362 From thence I proceeded to Duisbourg, a Town in the Duchy of Cleves, at the Extremity of a Forest, where they catch wild Horses, which are small, but indefatigable and very serviceable. The City of Duisbourg is only remarkable for its University. The Country betwixt this Town and Wesel, is all a Plain, and a very gravelly Soil, yet produces every thing that’s good.

After having crossed the Rivers of Roer and Lippe in the Ferry-boats, I came to Wesel, a strong Place of the Duchy of Cleves, belonging to the King of Prussia: ’Tis regularly fortify’d, and has a very good Citadel towards the Rhine. The late King of Prussia, Frederic I. was the first that set about fortifying of Wesel; and his Son, King Frederic-William, has caused those Works to be carried on and finished. M. Bot, now a General Officer in Saxony, had the Direction of those Works in the first Place; after which, the Care of them was committed to M. Walrave, a Colonel Engineer. They have both contributed to render Wesel one of the strongest Places in Germany. Nothing in this Town more particularly deserves a Traveller’s Attention, than the Berlin Gate, of which M. Bot drew the Model: I never saw any Thing finer, or more perfect of the Kind. The Arsenal also is worth seeing, and is extremely well furnished with all Necessaries, whether of Ordnance or Ammunition.

In my Way from Wesel to this Town, I came to Santen, formerly a famous City, but now very much decay’d. The Catholic Church is a beautiful Structure, and has a miraculous Image of the most Holy Virgin, to which the Natives pay great Devotion.


’Tis five Leagues from Santen to Cleves, thro’ one continued Range of[100] Walks. The Avenue that leads to Cleves is magnificent. This Town is small, but very pleasant, and well built. The King’s Palace is ancient, yet it has fine Apartments; and among the rest, a magnificent Hall. There’s nothing surely in Nature, completer and finer than a View of these Apartments. Lewis Duke of Burgundy, Grandson to Lewis the Great, coming with his Army to Cleves in 1702, thought the Situation of the Place so charming, that he was heard to say, more than once, That he wish’d Versailles was as well situate.

Cleves is the Seat of the Regency of this Duchy, the President of which is M. de Borck, a Gentleman of Quality and Merit, who acquits himself of his Office with a great Share of Integrity and Application, is very civil, and a Gentleman of a fine Presence.

There are several good Families in this City, particularly those of the Chancellor de Becker, a Gentleman of distinguished Merit, who makes very handsome Entertainments, and lives with great Splendor; and of the Baroness de Blaspiel, a Lady of Birth and Merit. She was Maid of Honour to the Queen of Prussia, who honoured her with her Confidence; and never was a Favourite more worthy of it; for she always preserved the same Respect for her Mistress, and the same Regard for all Mankind. The whole Court of Berlin thought her an Ornament, when it pleased the King to remove her from Court, by banishing M. de Blaspiel, who was one of his Ministers, to his Estate in this Province, where he died,364 and having no Children, left his Wife Heiress of a very considerable Estate. I don’t know but this Lady thinks herself as happy in this Retirement, as she was at Court: All the Country respects her; and one time, when the King came hither, his Majesty, together with the Prince Royal, did her the Honour to come and dine with her, and gave her Tokens of the sincerest Esteem. I was formerly very well acquainted with Madame de Blaspiel at Court, and had Opportunity to know the Goodness of her Temper thoroughly, which is what has induced me to give you a more particular Account of her, than of other Persons of Distinction in this City, with whom I was not so well acquainted. Farewel, my dear Friend, I am afraid I shall not see you again so soon as I expected; but whenever that happens, I shall have a great many Facts to tell you, which ’tis not always safe to commit to a Letter. I kiss your Hand, and am, &c.



SIR,Amsterdam, Nov. 29, 1732.  

Instead of excusing myself for my late Silence, I confess to you, that had it not been for the obliging Reproaches you make me upon that Account, I should not have entertained you with any more of my Travels. Not that I thought Holland did not deserve your Attention as much as any other Country in the World, but365 because, as I found I had nothing new to send you, I thought it best not to surfeit you with the Repetition of what others before me have said much better. But as you seem to think these Arguments not sufficient, I will endeavour to satisfy you in the best manner I can; and you are a Gentleman of too good Sense to expect more.

From Cleves I went to Nimeguen, a Town in the Province of Guelderland, and the Bulwark of the Seven United Provinces, towards the Dominions of Prussia; from which ’tis but two Leagues distant. This Place stands on the Side of a Hill on the Banks of the Vahal, a River which comes out of the Rhine, and falls into the Maese, near the Town of Dort or Dordrecht. The French, after eight Days Siege, took it in 1672, at the Time when the Republic seem’d ready to sink under the Weight of their Arms. Since that Time it has been very much fortify’d; so that ’tis now a Place of Consequence. This Town is famous for the Peace which was sign’d here in 1678, between France and the States General; and in the next Year, between the Emperor, Spain, the Princes of Germany, and France. It has no remarkable Edifice. From one of its Bastions, which is much higher than the rest of the Fortifications, there’s a Prospect of a great Tract of Country beyond the Vahal; which is one of the finest Views in the World, and the most agreeable Sight that Nimeguen affords.

After having crossed the Vahal over a flying Bridge, I travelled four or five Leagues upon a very narrow crooked Dike, which in rainy Weather is very much broke. It seems as if it was made for the Destruction both of Coaches and Passengers; for if the Coachman be ever so little aukward, or the Horses skittish, a Man is in Danger of breaking his Neck, the rather, because the366 common Caravans, or Stage-Coaches in Holland, are so made, that a little Matter turns ’em topsy-turvy; so that one would imagine the Inventor of ’em studied to contrive a Vehicle, the most uneasy, and the most dangerous, that could be to the Lives of Mankind. Suppose to yourself, a cursed high Waggon, which you get up to by an Iron Step, placed between the wheels, which are hardly two Feet from one another. The Body of the Caravan is covered with Hoops, in Form of a Cradle, spread over with an Oil-cloth, and so low, that the least Shock jolts one’s Head against the Roof. This infernal Machine, invented, no doubt, for the Entrance of Proserpine into Hell, instead of a Thill, has a Hook, by which the Coachman, who is commonly drunk, guides the Horses, by placing one Foot on it, while be rests the other against the Crupper of one of his Horses, which almost touch the Caravan. No less than eight People are stow’d in these horrible Break-necks, which, to compleat the Abomination, makes such a Rattle as is perfectly stunning to all the Passengers.

’Twas in one of these pretty Stage-Coaches that I came very much jaded to Rhenen, a little Town on an Arm of the Rhine, which has for a long time been the Residence of the Family of the unfortunate Frederic Elector Palatine, who was chose King of Bohemia. That Prince caused a House to be built there, which now belongs to the King of Great Britain, as Heir to the Electress Sophia his Grandmother, the Daughter of the said Frederic, by Elizabeth Princess of England; but all the Use which the King makes of this House, is for the Accommodation of his Equipage in his Journies to and from Hanover.

The Road from Rhenen to Utrecbt is like the Sands of Libya; I mean that which the Caravans367 take in the rainy Season; for in fine Weather they go through a Plain, the Soil of which is extremely clayish, and by consequence, not passable when it has rain’d.

As disagreeable as the Country is, through which I passed, yet there are several fine Country Houses, of which that belonging to the Earls of Athlone, whose Ancestor was General of the Dutch Infantry, and made a Peer of Great Britain by King William III. is one of the most considerable: But it is inferior to Zeist, a Palace belonging to the Count of Nassau, Son of the late Mons. d’Odyck, distinguished in the Republic for his Birth and Employments, his Ability in Business, and his Magnificence. This House is, in my Opinion, one of the finest in the Seven Provinces, and has most of the Air of a Nobleman’s Palace. It has fine Gardens, and stately Avenues. Lewis XIV. resided in it at the Time when that Monarch, like an impetuous Torrent, came to ravage the Republic. The Count de Nassau-Zeist had afterwards the Honour to see at the same Place Frederic I. King of Prussia, whose Presence Was undoubtedly more agreeable to him, because it was accompanied with the Peace, and because that Prince only drew his Sword for the Defence of the Republic, and its Allies.

The Country Houses in general, which are situate in the Provinces of Utrecht, Guelderland and Over-yssel, have much more the Appearance of Palaces than those in Holland; where Land is so dear, that they can only make Models of Houses and Gardens; which, if they were executed, would not want for Magnificence.

The Neighbourhood of Utrecht is charming: A large fine Avenue leads to the City, at the Entrance of which, on the Left-hand, is the Mall, which Lewis XIV. so admir’d upon Account of368 its Walks, that he wish’d he could transport them to Versailles, and ordered his Troops not to cut down the Trees.

Utrecht, as to its Outside, seems very ancient. I fansy that the Walls of Jericho, which fell at the Sound of the dreadful Trumpets of Israel, were not unlike the Walls of this City; and its Inhabitants, probably, did not think them a whit stronger, because they were so much in haste to carry their Keys to the King of France, notwithstanding the Offers made to them by the Prince of Orange, to defend the Place. Lewis XIV. entered this City with all the Pomp of a Conqueror; but he made a very short Stay here, which, they say, was owing to a Remark made to him, That in a great Part of the Town, the meaner Sort of People lived under Ground; and that it would be an easy Matter for those subterraneous Inhabitants to place Gunpowder in those Cellars, and blow them up at the time that his Majesty came by. If this Circumstance is true, they who possessed the King with this Jealousy were unacquainted with the Dutch, who, ’tis possible, might have had no Respect for the Person of the King, in a Tumult, or in a Battle; but when they had received him into their Town, he had nothing to fear, because Treachery and Dissimulation are no Parts of their Character.

The Streets of Utrecht are spacious and very airy, its Houses pleasant and well built. A great many Houses have been built here since the Congress for that Peace, which put an End to the War for the Succession to Charles II. King of Spain. This City, next to the Hague, is the most agreeable for Persons of Quality, of whom here’s a great Number, as well as of other Persons, who having got Fortunes by Trade, retire hither for the peaceable Enjoyment of what they have acquir’d.


The great Church which was formerly the Metropolis, still preserves its Chapter, into which Persons need no other Proofs nor Vocation for Admittance than Money, these Prebends being bought and sold like Companies of Dragoons. The Court of Rome always nominates the Archbishop, who commonly resides at Amsterdam. I think the Person who enjoys this[101]Dignity now, is a Native of this City, but ’tis probable he has no View to a Cardinal’s Cap, he being a declared Jansenist. The Carthusians who retired from France under the specious Pretext of securing their Consciences from Oppression, are settled in his Diocese, where they live in two separate Convents not very far from Utrecht, and are very zealous Distributers of the Writings published in France, about the Religious Differences. They had acquired the Esteem of the Protestants, who did not think they differ’d very widely from their Communion; but since they endeavour to make the Sieur Paris pass for a Saint, I know not whether they will not lose the good Opinion that has been conceiv’d of ’em. For in this Country, they have no great Value for these Favourites of the Court of Heaven, and much less for those who increase the Number of ’em. Be this as it will, ’tis allow’d by every body, even by the most zealous Roman Catholics, that setting aside their Religious Sentiments, there’s no Fault to be found with370 their Morals and Behaviour, and that they live as regularly as they did perhaps in the Convent which they have abandoned.

The Town-house has nothing in it that is magnificent, at least if one may believe those who have seen it; for I had not the Curiosity to examine it: Nor is there any Edifice of Consequence in the Town. Their Dwellings are neat, but not large, which is the Reason that during the Congress the Ambassadors had very scanty Lodgings, tho’ it was not for want of Money, insomuch that several of ’em might have purchased the Houses they lived in, with the Money they paid for the Rent of their Apartments, during the Course of their Ministerial Residence. Speaking of this Congress, puts me in Mind of what certain Satirical Politicians said concerning the Three Treaties of Peace that had been concluded successively in the Dominions of the Republic. Nimeguen, said they, signified Neim-Weg (Take all), Reiswick, Reis-Weg (Pluck up all), and Utrecht, Ausser Recht (Witbout Right). If every Thing be fairly examin’d, all this perhaps may be true enough, but the Laughers would not be on the Side of the Allies.

I made use of the Vessel that goes and comes Three times a Day from Utrecht to Amsterdam, which is not only the most commodious, but the best regulated, and the cheapest Passage in Europe. One knows to a Minute when it goes off, and within one Quarter of an Hour that it gets into Port. If you agree for the Rous or Cabin, one is alone, or with what Company you please. I thought the Vessel in which I came to Utrecht, so much like a moving Dungeon that I was as glad when I came out of it, as a Prisoner, when he is set at Liberty. The Canal which carried me to Amsterdam presents a thousand agreeable Objects371 to View, being diversified all the Way with fine Country-houses, magnificent Gardens, Meadows and Villages.

After having admired every Thing that proves the Wealth of the Inhabitants, I am arrived at Amsterdam, that modern Tyre, the Mistress of Commerce, the Warehouse of the World, and one of the finest, greatest, and most wealthy Cities in Europe. It contains both sacred and profane Edifices, which are magnificent; but at the same Time (for I speak freely) retains I know not what Air of the Cit, which one does not meet with in the Buildings of Venice and Genoa, which are of a sublimer Taste, because the Nobility are the Governors. The Things which may be said to be truly great and noble at Amsterdam, are its Ramparts faced with Bricks, and the broad and deep Ditches with which ’tis encompassed.

Amsterdam is the only Town in the World which may be compared in any measure to Venice. For tho’ ’tis not built as Venice is, in the midst of the Sea, it stands as that does upon Piles. Like Venice it consists of a vast Number of Islands, and its principal Streets have Canals, with the Adventage of spacious Kays at their Doors, fenc’d with Trees; whereas at Venice, the Water is only pent in by the Houses. That I take to be all the Resemblance there is between these two Rivals in Commerce; for as to the Beauty of the Structures, there is no Comparison; one Canal Grande, and one Canal Reggio, being worth more in this respect than all Amsterdam. There are Palaces, and here are Houses, which are neat, genteel and pleasant, without the Rules of Architecture, and built of Brick. Heretofore the Amsterdammers Manner of Building was very extraordinary. Most of the old Houses that are yet in Being, stand upon Stilts, which I explain thus: The372 Front of the first Floor, upon the Ground, is commonly all Windows, which are separated by wooden Pillars that support all the Stone-work of the other Floors, which, happy for them, is very slight; for there’s seldom a Wall more than two Bricks in Thickness, and the Ceilings are nothing but Boards, so that the People in the first Floor have the Pleasure to know, that every Word they say is overheard in the second. I don’t criticize the Manner of the Distribution of their Rooms; tho’, to be plain, their Architects know no more of this Matter than they do how to carry up the Chimnies, which are almost all of them smoaky. ’Tis true, that the Inhabitants are not very much incommoded by it, and that they might even do without them[102]. For the Women warm themselves with a Turf all Day long, which they put into a little earthen Pan, and this into a wooden Stove, with Holes bor’d in it, which they keep under their Petticoats, and sit over it, as a Hen broodeth over her Chicken. The Men are always within Doors, dressed in a Night-gown lined with Flannel, under which they are Twaddled in three or four thick Waistcoats: And if the Weather be cold, they also make use of such a Stove as the Women do, or else warm themselves in the Kitchen, where there is seldom Bustle enough to prevent their creeping to the Chimney-corner; and I would venture a Wager, that there are many substantial People here who don’t boil the Pot above once a Week: For there’s no Nation in the World that feeds worse than the Dutch, and particularly the Amsterdammers, Butter, Milk, Cheese, and Salt-fish, being their common Diet.


But I have deviated from the Article I was upon, touching their Manner of Building. I cannot conceive how ’tis possible for Houses that are so slight to stand: And there are some that perfectly totter from Side to Side; but I had rather see a Woman dance, than a House. A great Number of those Houses have lately been set upright. One of those Pinacles, in Form of a Sugar-loaf, which is at the Top of most of the old Houses, unhappily fell down and kill’d three Persons that were passing along the Street: Whereupon the Government, out of their great Care to prevent all such Accidents for the future, ordered the Landlords of every House to cause those staggering Pyramids to be pulled down: This has had two good Effects; for People are not so liable to be knock’d o’the Head, and the Town looks handsomer. The principal Ornament of the Houses is their Windows, there being scarce a Country that has finer Glazing, and many of the Houses have Windows of polish’d Plate-glass. But in some Palaces of Venice or Genoa, the Paintings and Gildings only of the Ceilings are worth more than the finest House in Amsterdam. Yet I don’t deny but there are Houses here, in the Rearing of which no Cost has been spar’d, but in general they are small. There are scarce any that have above five Windows in Front, others have four, and the greatest Part three. The Entry is by Steps of black Marble or Stone. To the Houses of the common Size, there’s a very narrow Entry pav’d with white Marble, with which the Walls are often fac’d, at least to a certain Height. The Apartment consists generally of two Rooms on a Floor, a little Court behind it, and a second Pile of Building, which is but one Room in Depth, and has Lights towards the Garden. At Venice and374 Genoa, a Merchant (for I set the Nobles aside) will have at least an Apartment of three or four Rooms. At Amsterdam the Furniture is neatest, and in Italy the richest. Here one shall find a curious Piece of Flemish Tapestry, a Closet of Pictures, fine Glass, a great deal of China Ware, and curious Toys from the Indies; the Floor shall be covered with fine Persian Carpets; but you shan’t see any Furniture of Velvet embroidered with Gold, no Lustres of Rock-Crystal, no great Collection of Paintings, nor that Abundance of antique Busts, Vases and Statues of Marble and Brass. In fine, to conclude this long Parallel, I must tell you, that if the Palaces of Italy were as neat as the Houses of Amsterdam, there would be nothing to compare to them; and if the Houses of Amsterdam were as much neglected as those of Italy, they would be of no Manner of Account.

Be a House here ever so small, there’s always some Apartment in it uninhabited, which is the finest Part of the Building. ’Tis a Sanctuary whereof the upper Servant Maid of the House is the grand Priestess. She has so profound a Respect for this unfrequented Place that she never enters it without putting off her Shoes, for fear of soiling the Floor, which is held in so great Veneration that they pay it a Sort of Worship: ’Tis the Residence of the Houshold Gods, and one is sure of incurring the Indignation both of the Mistress and the Maids, if one does not shew the same Veneration to their Floor as they do. Whoever enters the House, must first rub their Feet upon a Mat at the Door, and be sure not to spit, were they in Danger of being choak’d, unless they find a little Basket of Sand laid there for the Purpose; and if a Person should but happen to drop the least Thing capable of spotting the375 Floor, I am not sure that the Priestesses would not sacrifice the Delinquent to their Idol, and that we should not see the Revival of the Story of Orpheus and the Bacchantes. There are however some particular Days in the Year when the Priestesses give their Masters Leave to enter these Sanctuaries, and therein to receive Company; but the very next Day, this Place, which in the Language of the Country is called Besse-Kamer (i. e. the best Room) is wash’d and purify’d, as our Churches are after they have been profaned. I don’t make Things a jot worse than they are in reality, and I am sure there are some Rooms that are not opened four times in a Year, unless it be to air the Goods. ’Tis the same with a thousand fine Things in the Amsterdammers Possession, which they don’t make use of for fear of spoiling them: Thus they live in the midst of Abundance, and of Wealth, without the Hearts to enjoy what they have. Nevertheless, within these few Years past, they begin to have some Taste of Life: They give into Equipage, Furniture, and Rural Entertainments, and their Women into Dress and Splendor. The old Men exclaim against new Fashions, and say the Republic is in a declining State, in which they resemble one of our Emperors, who observing that his Master of the Horse had changed the Cord-Traces, which had been the Fashion of his Court, into Leather Traces, cry’d out, That Luxury would be the Ruin of his Family, and his Government.

The Government of Amsterdam is in a Senate, consisting of sixty-three Persons, who hold their Places for Life; and when any one dies, ’tis the Senate that appoints his Successor: In this Body there are twelve Burgomasters, of whom four preside annually. They chuse three out of the twelve every Year, who with one of the four of the last376 Year, that continues in Office, have the Direction of Affairs. These latter, before they enter into their Office, are obliged to take an Oath to the senior Burgomasters. He who is continued from one Year to the other, has the Presidency for three Months, after which the others take it in their Turns; and they who go out of their[103]Office, are commonly employed as Treasurers of the City, or as Counselor-Deputies to the States of Holland, residing at the Hague.

The Office of Burgomaster is more honourable than profitable; for ’tis said, their Salary is only five hundred Florins per Annum: But their Authority is considerable; for they are the chief Magistrates, and in some Sort the Masters of the City. They dispose of all the public Money, and they alone judge of what is necessary for the Safety of the Town. They are the Guardians of the Bank, which can only be opened in the Presence of one of ’em. They confer all Offices, and may therewith gratify whom they will, and if they please, their own Children; so that, as in Germany, there needs but a Bishop in a decay’d Family to repair its Misfortunes, so here, if there be but a Burgomaster in a Family, ’tis enough to make ’em all easy.

There is also in this City a Bailiff, who is called Hoofd-Schout, or Hoofd-Officier, who is the same that is elsewhere called the Lieutenant of the Police. He has under him three Substitutes, who are called the Under-Schouts. These are they who377 apprehend Malefactors, which they often do in the midst of a Mob, only accompanied with a Couple of Archers who have no other Arms but Swords. Yet every one trembles at the Sight of ’em, and two Men carry another to Prison, with more Ease than forty Archers can do the like at Paris.

The Senate meets in the Stadthouse. This Fabric, so much celebrated for its Magnificence, and because it contains the richest Bank in the Universe, is really a stately Edifice; and tho’ it has Defects, it may be ranked in the Number of the finest Buildings in Europe. It fronts a Square called the Dam, in the Centre of the City. The Building is almost a complete Quadrangle, with Pavilions at each Angle. In the middle of the principal Front there’s an advanced Building which takes up one third of the whole Front. ’Tis decorated by seven Porticos, so small that they disfigure all this great Pile of Building; which they pretend was not owing to the Ignorance of the Architect, but to a political Cause: For at the Time that this Stadthouse was built, the Republic was but in its Infancy. The Populace of Amsterdam, a turbulent Mob, ready for any Mischief, were then far less submissive to their Magistrates than now; and they so often disturbed those Magistrates in their Deliberations, that the Architect chose to make the Avenues so narrow, on purpose to prevent the Inconveniencies of too easy an Entrance by a Crowd of People. But if this was his true Reason for not keeping to the Rules of Architecture, three great Porticos would have done as well as seven small ones: He might have given them due Proportion, and the Front would have been more majestic. But the Number Seven was the chosen Number, and it was to represent the Seven United Provinces, to378 whose Union the City of Amsterdam owes its Enjoyment of Liberty and Commerce. Notwithstanding this Defect, ’tis certain that a Foreigner, tho’ he will not offer to compare this Stadthouse to the Palace of Versailles, to the Escurial, or to the Procuraties at Venice; and tho’ when he looks on it, he may only think he sees a Town-house, and not the Palace of a King, or of a powerful State, yet he cannot behold it without Admiration, especially if he does but consider that every Material in this Building was brought from foreign Countries.

The Outside of this great Fabric is all of Free-stone, extremely well put together; and an Order of very substantial Pilasters ranges quite round the whole. The Part which projects from the principal Front, is terminated by a Pediment, which is a grand Piece of Sculpture. It represents the City of Amsterdam, under the Figure of Cybele, seated in a Chair. Four Naiads, and two Sea Nymphs, present her with Crowns of Palms, and Laurels, and Fruit, in token of the Power and Abundance which this City receives by Commerce. On the other Side, Neptune, accompanied by the Tritons, seems approaching to pay his Homage to the Goddess, undoubtedly to denote the Power of this City at Sea. All this magnificent Groupe is extremely well executed, and very much esteemed by the Connoisseurs. A Dome at the Top of this Edifice has eight great open Arches all round, which support the Cupola; and in this Dome there’s a Chime of Bells which the Lovers of such noisy Music say is very good Harmony.

The first Room within is the Chamber of Justice, wherein the Criminals receive their Sentence. It has three Porticos which open into the great Square, from whence may be seen what passes in that Chamber. This Room is adorned with Bas-Reliefs379 of white Marble, done by excellent Hands. Solomon’s Judgment is there represented in such a grand Manner as is wonderful. Beyond this Chamber is the great Stair-case, which has no manner of Ornament, and little or no Light. It leads to the great Hall, which is really magnificent, but not very lightsome. It is adorned with Pilasters and Bas-Reliefs of white Marble, executed with infinite Art. The arch’d Roof, which is of Wood, and painted with Oil, is not answerable to the Richness of this Hall. Four great Coridors or Galleries, laid open by great Arches on both Sides, at the two Ends of the Hall, lead to the Apartments, and are adorned with white marble Pilasters two and two, Flowers in Bas-Relief, and Statues of a grand Disposition; and the Emblems with which the Gates are adorned, are all very suitable to the Business that is transacted in the Chamber to which they open.

I shall not undertake to give you the Particulars of all these Rooms, not only because it would carry me too far, but because I observed nothing in them, except some Paintings, that is worth your Notice. The Arsenal takes up one intire Floor over these Chambers, but is only considerable for the prodigious Quantity of Arms of the modern Fashion, especially Muskets, which are the Manufacture of this City, and a Part of its Commerce.

The ground Floor is very low, but consists of fine great Arches. Here are contained the Offices of the Bank, and the Prisons, from which no body ever yet escaped, and it is humanly impossible they should; for besides that the Walls are very thick, the whole is strongly barricaded both within and without, by iron Bars, the very Appearance of which is frightful. But if ’tis possible for Prisons to be agreeable, these would certainly be such, for they are all lightsome; the Prisoners are380 not so ill used as they are elsewhere, but are allowed proper Nourishment, and not suffered to Wallow in their Nastiness.

The Stadthouse is the Place where all Persons are married, who are not of the Religion that prevails in the Country. This is a Ceremony that may be seen every Sunday, and is performed in the Presence of two Echevins, and a Secretary. The People that are to be married, go into a Room where the Magistrates are seated at a Table, and there they are entered one after the other without Distinction of Rank, into the Register of Marriages; after which they go Home with the Satisfaction of having been as well married as if the Ceremony had been performed by the Pope himself; nor are they under the least Necessity of having recourse to the Church. Nevertheless, all the regular People go to some Priest or Minister to receive the nuptial Benediction.

The Treasure of the Bank is kept in a Place under Ground, which extends, as I am assured, a great Way under the Square of the Dam.

Every body agrees that it is immense, but nobody knows exactly of how many thousand Millions it consists; and it is a Question, whether its Credit be not infinitely greater than its Cash; it being certain that the Public has such a Confidence in it that every body puts their Money into it, though without any Interest for it: On the contrary, it costs One hundred and five Florins ready Cash, to have One hundred Florins Bank. The largest Payments are commonly made in Bank Notes: A certain Sum is registered in the Bank Books, which is transferred, either in whole, or in Part, to the Person to whom the Payment is to be made, This is called The Keeping an Account at the Bank. It was a Correspondence of this Nature which the famous John Law would fain have381 establish’d at Paris; and he would certainly have succeeded, if he had had but the Fund of the Bank of Amsterdam, and the public Confidence.

They say that the Revenues of this City amount to fifty thousand Livres a Day, which I am apt to believe is true; for really the Taxes here are very considerable, the Subjects of this State paying more than those of any Crown whatsoever: All the Difference consists in the Distribution of the Taxes, and the Manner of raising them: Here they are laid equally upon the Rich and upon the poor, upon Citizens and upon Foreigners.

The Liberty so much boasted of in these Provinces, is no more than that which the good People of other Countries enjoy; nevertheless, I must except Religion, which every one here may adapt to his own Fancy. The Liberty therefore consists only in the Equality of Conditions: But for a Boor to presume to be saucy to a Burgher, to despise the Nobility, to censure his Masters with Impunity, and to treat all Kings as Tyrants, seems to me to be a Liberty which favours very much of Libertinism. The Germans and the French, who are not used to such Licentiousness in their own Country, easily fall into it here; and ’tis really a Wonder to hear them in a Coffee-house talking of Sovereigns, especially when, inspir’d with a Holy Zeal, they plead for the Religion, which, say they, is every-where oppressed, except in the Dominions of the Calvinists. They think every Government tyrannical, which does not allow intire Liberty of Conscience. ’Tis true that in this Country every one believes as he pleases: And here are Religions of every Kind, which nevertheless tend to one and the same Centre, viz. the acquiring of Riches, and the tormenting both of Body and Soul, to get an Estate, not to enjoy382 it, but to have the Pleasure of dying rich. Money, the Darling and the Idol of the whole World, is so adored in this City, that it stands in the stead of Birth, Wit, and Merit. A Man who has but a small Share of the Favours of Fortune, is neglected almost every-where; but here he is despised.

Next to those of the prevailing Religion, the Catholics, among whom I include the Jansenists, are the most numerous: I have been told, they are above twenty thousand. They have fourteen Churches, served by different Orders of Friers, who as they die, the States have declared, shall be succeeded hereafter by none but the secular Priests who are Natives of the Country. They say, that this Resolution was taken, because the Monks sent the Money which they received for the Poor, to their Convent. What Ground there is for this Charge, I know not; but be it as it will, who can be sure that the Priests will not employ the Poors Money to enrich their own Families? The Catholics form a considerable Body in this State, both for their Number and their Wealth. It may be said that they are with the Jews (forgive me the Parallel) one of the chief Supports of its Commerce; for as they cannot hold Offices, they are Merchants from Father to Son; tho’ ’tis true, that among the Protestants who are in Offices, there are some who trade.

What I have now said to you of our Clergy, engages me to give you some Account of two Calvinist Preachers here, who are very much esteemed, and mightily followed by those of their Communion. The one is M. Alstein, a German Minister, who preaches in the Church called the Chapel, a Man of exemplary Morals, who avoiding angry Disputes and bitter Invectives, preaches truly Christian Morality, which reaches to the383 Heart. He was Minister of the Garison of Potsdam, in the Dominions of Prussia, when he was called hither by the German Colony established in this City. He is belov’d and esteemed for his Modesty, Good-nature and Candour. This Testimony which I pay him of the Veneration and Esteem I have for him, is perfectly agreeable with the Character given of him by the Voice of the Public.

The second Preacher is M. Châtelain a French Minister, with whom I have no Acquaintance; but he has a very great Character, and I have heard him preach. It were to be wish’d, that all the Clergy (our Priests will suffer me not to forget them) had it as much at Heart as this Minister has, to instruct their Audiences; and that they would preach Morality, which is the Life of all Religions, because it is founded upon Piety and Virtue. M. Châtelain was Minister at the Hague, when he was called to this City, where he has the Pleasure of being as much esteem’d and follow’d by his Flock, as he was by that which he left.

I have many other Things to acquaint you with, but upon my Word, I can write no more at present, my Pen falling out of my Hand. I shall resume it however against next Post, not so much to tell you of Amsterdam, as to assure you that no body can be more intirely yours, than I am, &c.




SIR,Amsterdam, Dec. 7, 1732.  

Since the Weather is set in for Frost, I keep my Station upon the Ice, to see the People slide upon Skates; a favourite Exercise of the Dutch, in which they acquit themselves with marvellous Dexterity. These Skates are a very little smooth Piece of Wood, like a Weaver’s Shuttle, except that the Part on which the Heel and the Sole of the Shoe rest most, is a little broader. The Remainder of it is slender and crooked at the End, that the Iron which is underneath may the better cleave the Snow, and that they may with the more Ease surmount the Obstacles and little Hillocks in the Ice, over which they pass with great Rapidity, but not without Danger of breaking their Legs or Arms, and often of being drowned. The Dutch are less exposed to these Inconveniencies than others, because they are most expert in the Art; for they learn to skate when they can scarce go alone. This is rather the Diversion of the common People, and of the lusty young Fellows, than of the Gentry, or of Men full-grown. These go in Sleds, after the Manner of our Country, which is what they call here Narren; i. e. to play the Fool: And indeed, to consider it duly, I think ’tis a right Name for it.

The Place where I take the Air, is upon the River of Amstel, without the Gate of Utrecht,385 where I see several Thousands of People scudding along upon Skates, so fast that they seem to fly. If one of these Skaters was to be seen in Swisserland, I know not whether he would not suffer the Fate of Brioche, the Puppet-Show Man, whom the People of those Cantons burned for a Conjurer.

These Skaters are a great Relief to me; for to tell you a Secret, I am quite sick of this City, which really is not a Place for a Man to live in, that is not concerned in Trade; and a Foreigner especially, knows not how to bestow himself. He can find nowhere to go but to some sorry Coffee-house, or melancholy Walk. In the one he is sure to be incens’d with Tobacco, and stunned with wretched Commentaries upon News-Papers or the Price of Pepper and Ginger; in the other he is as solitary as a Hermit. Their Comedies are but a poor Relief to such as don’t understand Dutch, which besides is a Language that I think is not very fit for the Stage, any more than ours. I thought the Actors pitiful, and the Habits trifling; but the Decorations are fine, and the Theatre spacious and magnificent. I can’t imagine why the Magistrates will not let French Comedies be acted in their City, where I think they would do more Good than Harm; for they would help to polish the Youth, and would undoubtedly keep them from that Temptation to Debauchery, to which Idleness, and the Difficulty of knowing where to spend the Evenings, naturally incline them. I heard d’Argenson, the late Keeper of the Seals say, he had observed, while he was Lieutenant of the Police at Paris, that there were more Disorders and Debaucheries committed in that City, during the Fortnight at Easter, when the Theatres were shut up, than were committed in four Months, while all Shows were386 kept open. I doubt not but it would be the same at Amsterdam, where there is a numerous Youth, for whom the Parents are blindly complaisant, and ready to kill the fatted Calf; so that being left to their own Devices, and having in general but few Maxims of Education, they run with the Stream of their Passions into all Extravagancies. These young Fellows, who prefer the Exercise of driving a Chaise before all others, set up in the mean Time for fine Gentlemen; but how well they perform their Part, I leave you to think.

The Assemblies, or Societies, as they are here called, have nothing that is engaging. You see very fine Faces there, but not a Tongue moves, at least to a Foreigner, the very Sight of whom seems to frighten them. Here they drink Tea, or play a Game at Ombre, or Quadrille, and afterwards go in quest of a Supper.

Those Societies, or Clubs, where there are no Ladies, are still worse. In these they smoke and drink in Abundance, talk of Trade or Politicks; and at such Times, woe be to those Powers that have forbid the Importation of Dutch Toys into their Dominions. The only Remedy here against Chagrin, is Reading, of which a Man may have his Heartful; for Amsterdam is not only the Centre of the Bookselling Trade, but here are Book-sellers, that are very ready to lend Books to such, who, like myself, cannot be at the Charge of a Library. I divide my Time between Reading, the Coffee-house, and taking the Air, the latter of which I use very moderately, one being obliged to go so far for it, that I think of it at least four times before I set out. The Canals, such as the Heers-Gracht, and the Keizers-Gracht, are pleasant Walks in the Town, because they are planted with Trees; but they are indifferently paved. Upon these two Canals, live Persons of the greatest387 Distinction, or rather those of the greatest Wealth in the City.

One of the finest Walks in it is the Bridge, which joins the Rampart from one Side of the Amstel to the other. ’Tis six hundred and fifty Feet in Length, and seventy in Breadth; and here one enjoys an admirable Prospect, which is the only one perhaps that can be compared with the View from Pont-Royal at Paris.

The Admiralty, with its Precinct, forms a little Town. ’Tis one of the Arsenals of the Dutch Navy. Here one actually sees Seventy Men of War, and Materials for building a much greater Number. With the Leave of the Venetians, their Arsenal, so much boasted, is by no means comparable to this, with regard to Naval Stores.

The Admiralty Office is so near the India Company’s Warehouse, that I am tempted to give you some Account of a House which contains such a Treasure. ’Tis a very great Structure of several Stories, distributed into divers Chambers, or Rooms, where there is a prodigious Quantity of all manner of Spices, of which the most common Sorts lie in Heaps as Corn does in our Granaries. There are also a great many other Things of Value; and in a Word, every Thing, be it ever so precious, that comes from the Indies. After I had walked about an Hour in this Warehouse, I was, as it were, embalmed with the Odour of all the different Spices, which made my Head ake exceedingly, or else I should have thought myself metamorphosed into a Mummy; but jesting apart, I fancy that were a Carcase to be deposited in this House, it would be free from Corruption. The India Company is properly a Republick, within the Republic itself. It arms, disarms, raises and disbands Officers and Soldiers, without being accomptable to the State. It maintains388 a Governor in the Indies, who lives there with more Pomp and Grandeur than his Masters do here. As a Neapolitan Lady at Madrid wish’d Philip IV. that he might one Day be Viceroy of Naples, so it might be said to a Director of the East-India Company, I wish you may be one Day Governor of Batavia.

I don’t give you an Account of the Houses of Correction, nor of the Hospitals, of which here are a great Number well founded, and well maintained, because I have an extraordinary Antipathy to Prisons, and dread the very Name of an Hospital, to which however I perceive that I am making great Strides; but it will be Time enough for me to give you an Account of those Mansions, when I have fixed my Quarters there. A Description of a Synagogue would not, I believe, be material to you; therefore I shall only acquaint you, that here are two, one for the Portuguese Jews, which is very fine, the other for the German Jews. They are both Jews alike, but differ in their Taste and Sentiments. The Portuguese Jews are the handsomest of the two, for they shave their Beards, and some of them are very genteel. I was shew’d one the other Day, who was a smart young Fellow, and might, have cut a Figure among the Petits-Maîtres. I was told, that he had been educated in our Religion, and that he seemed to be fond of it; but being at Paris, in the Retinue of M. ***, Ambassador of ***, he ran away from that Minister’s Service, and came to Amsterdam, where he turned as staunch a Jew as if he had never heard the Name of Jesus Christ.

Near the Jews Quarter there is the Garden of Simples. I am not Botanist enough to tell you what Plants it contains; but have been assured, that ’tis one of the finest in Europe for foreign389 Plants, which, considering the great Trade that is carried on by the Dutch, is not improbable.

When I have told you, that the public Walk, which they call The Plantation, is near this Garden, and that it consists of several fine Rows of Trees, one of which is cut out in the Shape of a Fan, I shall think that I have not omitted giving you the minutest of my Remarks on the Inside of Amsterdam.

The Suburbs of this great City, in which ’tis said there are about five hundred thousand Souls (as many as are in Naples) are extremely populous. There are above eight hundred Windmills continually at Work, in grinding Corn, or sawing of Timber. On the other Side of the Harbour, there are several Villages, of which Sardam is the most considerable, not only for its Size, in which it surpasses many Towns, but for the Wealth of its Inhabitants, who are called Peasants, and pretend to be nothing else, tho’ I can’t imagine why; for they trade and make a Figure here upon the Exchange, like the most substantial Merchants, and don’t apply themselves to Agriculture. I have been told, that there are above a thousand Windmills at Sardam, always employed in sawing of Timber; which would have been a rare Field for Don Quixot to have display’d his Valour. That Neatness of which the Dutch are so fond, is cultivated to the greatest Nicety in this Village; and the Amsterdammers themselves cannot but own and admire it.

The Peasants of Sardam dress more like the Citizens of Amsterdam than those of the other Villages in these Parts do, whose Apparel is of a very extraordinary Fashion. They wear monstrous large Trowsers, wide enough to make some People a whole Suit. Under this Trowser there is another Pair of Breeches, and perhaps a third,390 or else a Pair of Drawers; and to the two Pair of Breeches which are in Sight, they have solid Plate Buttons bigger than a Crown piece, They also wear four or five Waistcoats, one over the other, which are set so thick with silver Buttons that they perfectly touch one another. Over all this Cloathing they have a dark-colour’d Surtout or Doublet, which keeps them extremely tight downward, and therefore all their Waistcoats ride up, so that they seem to have Breasts like Women. Their Shoes are Seamen-like, or, with Reverence be it spoken, such as are now worn by the French Petits Maitres. They have also silver Buckles, but so large that they are fitter for the Harness of Horses than for Shoes. I assure you, that if the Romans had been dressed like these Peasants, the Carthaginians would have taken a richer Booty in silver Buttons than they did at the Battle of Cannæ, when they took that Heap of Roman Rings. The Women also wear a small Equipage of Gold and Silver. They have gold Ear-pendants, a Bodkin of the same which fastens their Caps, Chains about their Necks, in Form of Pearl Necklaces, great Rings, and in all this there’s no Expence grudged.

The Sardamers are so very much wedded to their ancient Habit, that a Father once refused to own his Son, because having been for some Years in France, he came to wait on him upon the Exchange of Amsterdam, in a Suit of Cloaths bedawb’d with gold Lace. Young Calf, which was the Peasant’s Name, arriving at Amsterdam about Change-Time, went thither, supposing he should find his Father there, in which he was not mistaken, and he ran to embrace him; but the Father pushing him away, ask’d him what he wanted, and told him that he did not think he had the Honour to be known to him, and that probably he was mistaken in his Man. The Son’s calling him Father,391 signify’d nothing. Old Calf being inexorable, interrupted him, saying, I your Father! I have but one Son, who is such a Peasant as I am, and not a Lord, as you seem to be. The young Fellow perceived that his Father took Umbrage as his Dress; therefore he went to a public House, sent for Cloaths after the Sardam Mode, and having thus equipped himself, went upon the Exchange next Day, where his Father received him with all the Tokens of the most endearing Tenderness. After that Day, young Calf, who went in France by the Name of de Veau (which is the Signification of his Name translated into French) always continued to dress in this Manner. This gave Occasion some Years ago to a very pleasant Adventure: A Frenchman who had known M. Calf at Paris by the Name of de Veau, coming to Amsterdam, inquired every-where for M. de Veau, who he said was a very rich Nobleman, of high Rank, as he guessed by his Train of Attendants. It was a long Time before he could hear any Tidings of him, because few People knew that young Calf had frenchified his Name in foreign Countries. At length a Frenchman, who was settled at Amsterdam, offered the Parisian to find out his Friend for him. For this Purpose he carried him to the Exchange; and pointing to M. Calf, Stop, said he to him, there’s the Man you are looking for. The Frenchman, who did not know M. de Veau in his Country Garb, thought that his Guide bantered him. Parbleu Mons. said he, I told you plain enough, that the Person I want is a Nobleman, and not a Peasant. M. Calf hearing the Foreigner speak, and knowing him at first Sight, went up to him, and welcomed him upon his Arrival in Holland. The Frenchman knew him instantly by his Voice, but thought himself in a Trance, because he could not imagine how ’twas392 possible for a Person whom he had known a Nobleman in France, to be a Peasant in Holland. M. Calf explained the Mystery of it to him however, as far as was convenient, considering the Place where they were, and desired his Company to Sardam. The Frenchman went accordingly, and when he came thither, ’twas a fresh Matter of Surprise to him to see the Peasant had the House and Furniture of a Nobleman. M. Calf shew’d him, that tho’ he had laid aside the Garb, he had not renounced the Politeness of the French, entertained him with good Chear for several Days, and then sent him back highly delighted to Amsterdam.

The Village of Sardam being in North Holland, I cannot avoid giving you some Account of this Nook of that Province. Here is a perfect Miscellany of Meadows, Canals, Country Houses, Gardens, great Villages, and good Towns, an Uniformity of Beauties, which is only disagreeable by being continued. He that sees one Town or House, sees all, and so of the rest. The principal Towns of this Canton are Horne, Alcmaer, and Enckbuysen, which are all built with the same Neatness, but have nothing of Magnificence belonging to them, except it be the Walks at their Gates. All these Places are so deserted, that it would take up the Emigrants of three or four Bishopricks to people them. Their Trade decays, Amsterdam being the Loadstone that draws all to it. This Part of the Province of Holland is very much infested with Worms which eat into the very Stakes pf the Dykes. The People are in Hopes that the Frost will kill them, and put an End to a Calamity which is one of the worst that can befal this Country. It is not certain how these Insects breed, nor whether it be in the Sea, or in the Timber itself: One would imagine from some393 little external Specks of the infested Stakes, these Worms must breed in the Sea, and from thence make their Way into the Wood, no bigger than Needles, after which they grow as big as the Silkworm, and gnaw the Inside of the Timber, in such a Manner that it looks like a Honeycomb. The Spoil they make is said to be in those Parts only of the Stake which are under Water. The Damage they have done to the Dykes is very considerable, and has so very much alarmed the States, that they have prohibited Plays, &c. at the Hague, and ordered public Prayers. A great many People pretend that this Province was visited by such a Scourge fifty or sixty Years ago, and that it was delivered from it by a Sort of Fish, that have never been seen since, which devoured all those Worms. Others treat this as a Fable, and say, that such Insects were never known, much less the Fish by which they were devoured. Be this as it will, several Treatises will shortly be published, to shew the Origin, Nature and Progress of the present Species of Worms. If I am not mistaken, these Books will point out the Method, and the Remedies proper for destroying them; and if any of ’em are printed before I depart this Country, I will not fail to send them to you.

For the rest, I cannot say that I have had any other Satisfaction in my Tour to North Holland than the Gratification of Sight; for Company does not seem to be the Taste of the Country. I never stirred out but every body took me for a very odd kind of a Man: Yet I am no Petit-Maître; nor is there any Thing uncommon in my Make. The Sex in this out-of-the-way Country is very handsome, and here are Country Lasses who have a delicate Complexion, not inferior to the finest Ladies. These Sylvan Beauties are generally fair,394 and have such a languishing Look, that I guess they would not prove unkind to any young Faun that courted them. For my own Part, who am too far advanced in Years to attempt an Intrigue with ’em, I content myself with admiring these beautiful Nymphs, whose Favours would perhaps rather mortify than gratify me, and which in either Case, I should not prefer to the Honour of your Friendship; a Thing to me of Price inestimable. Of this I beg the Continuance, and flatter myself, that I deserve it by the Attachment with which I am, &c.



SIR,Helvoetsluys, Feb. 2, 1733.  

Being detained in this Port by Winds that have for these six Days obstinately opposed my Passage to England, without any Prospect of their changing, I am at full Leisure to inform you of such Things as I have seen since the last Letter that I had the Honour to write to you from Amsterdam.

I was carried from that City in the Boat in less than three Hours to Harlem, the second of those Towns that have a Right to send Deputies to the Assembly of the States of the Province. It was for a long Time the Rival of Amsterdam, and actually at War with it, but could not hinder its Aggrandisement. While those Provinces fought for their Liberty, Harlem was besieged, taken and plunder’d by the Spaniards, against whom the very395 Women bore Arms. In 1559, Pope Paul IV. erected this Town into a Bishoprick, but it never had more than two Bishops. The Splendor of it is owing to its Manufactures, which consist of Silk-Stuffs, Cambrics, strip’d Dimities, and Thread Stockings. Its Whitsters also bring a great Revenue to this Town. The Florists cannot fail of being agreeably amused here, by reason of Flowers of such Beauty, that I have been assured a Tulip-Root has been sold there for fourteen hundred Florins. But the greatest Honour of Harlem is to have given Birth to Laurence Coster, the Inventor of Printing. I am not ignorant that Mentz disputes with Harlem for the Honour of that Invention, but this being a Controversy which ’tis none of my Province to determine, I sincerely believe, when I am at Harlem, that Coster is the Inventor of this wonderful Art, provided I may be at Liberty to believe the contrary when I am at Mentz, and to be uncertain of the Matter everywhere else. Coster’s House is to be seen here with the following Inscription placed Over the Gate, which denotes, that Printing, the Best Art for perpetuating the other Arts, was first invented here about Anno 1440.

Memoriæ Sacrum.
Ars Artium Optima,
Hic Primum Inventa
Circa Annum MCCCCXL.

In order to reconcile the two Towns, I believe it might be granted, that Coster invented the Art of Cutting in Wood, which was formerly made use of, and that John Faustus of Mentz invented the Characters of Metal, that are used now. By this Means the two Parties will have equal Share396 in the Glory of the Invention, which after all is disputed with them by the Chinese, who prove that the Art of Printing was known to them two thousand Years ago.

As I walked about in Harlem, my Guide bid me look at certain Cambrick Cockades trimm’d with Lace, which were tied to some of the Doors. He told me, that this was to shew that the Woman of the House was in Childbed; which procures the Husband a Protection, so that he cannot be arrested during six Weeks that his Wife is supposed to lye-in. What was the Occasion of the Grant of this Privilege, I could not learn, nor by what Prince it was granted.

The Walks of Harlem, especially that in the Wood, which is at the Gates or the Town, would be charming, if they were not so sandy. On the other Hand, the Canal which leads from this Town to Leyden, is one of the most disagreeable in the Province, there being scarce any Thing upon its Banks but Meadows and Downs.

Leyden is one of the largest and finest Cities in the Country. It has been subject, as all sublunary Things are, to great Revolutions and Misfortunes. The Spaniards besieged it in 1573, and as they despaired of taking it by Force, they intended to reduce it by Famine. The Inhabitants were drove to the utmost Misery, till they pierced the Dykes of the Maese, and the Issel, by which Means all the great Meadows about Leyden became a perfect Sea of Water, and the Spaniards, in Danger of perishing, raised the Siege: And the 3d of October is annually observed with Rejoicings in Memory of the Deliverance of the Town upon that Day of the Month.

The great Church, dedicated to St. Peter, is one of the finest Structures in Holland. The Roof is supported by three Rows of tall Pillars.397 All the other Buildings are neat, the Streets broad and airy, and a great many have Canals. ’Tis pity but this Town had a greater Number of Inhabitants, who had Estates to live upon; for it swarms with the meaner Sort of People, all Carders of Wool, or Makers of Cloth, who are not very well to pass, the Manufactures being very much decay’d, since the Importation of Cloth from Holland has been prohibited by some of its neighbouring States.

The University seems to be in a more thriving Way. There are actually three great Men for Professors, Vitriarius for the Civil Law, Boerhaave for Physic, and s’Gravesande for the Mathematics. The first is a Gentleman of so much Learning, and has so happy a Way of expressing himself, that he draws all the young Nobility of Bohemia and Austria to Leyden. Of all the Protestant Universities, those of England excepted, I know of none where the Students are more regular and retir’d than they are at Leyden: Nor is there any Place more proper for Students, who are at the Fountain of Literature, and may live here how they please, without being obliged to Profusion: For the Students here don’t value themselves upon the Richness of their Cloaths, as they do in Germany; and many of them seldom put off their Morning Gowns, which is also the favourite Dress of the Burghers; so that the first time I came thro’ this City, I really thought there had been some epidemical Disease in it: For all the People appearing in the Streets in an Undress, look like so many Patients. The famous Chamber of Anatomy has been so much describ’d, that I forbear to speak of it. The Catholics have Churches here, up one Pair of Stairs, as they have in all the Towns of the Seven Provinces. Some of these are very rich, and of good Families.


The Passage from Leyden to the Hague, whether by Land, or by the Canal, is equally pleasant, on account of the beautiful Country-Seats, and fine Gardens, that are to be seen, which way soever you look; so that these three Leagues seem as nothing at all.

The Hague, which is called a Village, because ’tis not inclosed, and sends no Deputies to the Assembly of the States of the Province, is nevertheless a better Place than many great Cities which have that Privilege, and is certainly one of the finest in Europe. The States General, as well as those of this Province, assemble here, and ’tis the Place of Residence for the foreign Ministers. Heretofore the Counts of Holland lived here. Since the Establishment of the Republic, the Stadtholders have kept their Court here; and the Hague, as much a Village as it is, may be reckoned for the Capital of the whole United Provinces. The Inhabitants are more genteel, more sociable, and in every respect more conversable than in the other Parts of Holland. The Nobility here are esteemed, and Merit does not go for nothing. The Ladies have a good Air, and dress well, and have something more engaging than mere Beauty.

The Houses are more spacious and better built, tho’ perhaps not so magnificent as those at Amsterdam; and here are some Palaces with Gardens.

The Palace which they call the Court, was anciently the Residence of its Sovereigns, and afterwards of the Stadtholders. This is a great Fabric, consisting of several Structures, which form a very irregular Tower. There meet the States General, the Council of State, the States of Holland, the Council of Nobles, and that of the Gecommitteer de Raden, or Deputy Counsellors of the Province. Their High Mightinesses hold their Conferences in two large magnificent Rooms, one399 of which is called the Chamber of the Truce, because the Truce for twelve Years was there concluded with Spain. ’Tis in this Chamber that the States give Audience to the Foreign Ministers. There is also another great Room in the Palace, in which are hung up all the Colours and Standards taken from the Enemies of the Republic. Adjoining to the Court, is the Palace or Hotel for lodging the Ambassadors during the three Days that the State defrays their Expence. It was built by Prince Maurice of Nassau, after he returned from his Government at Brasil, and he adorned it with all the Rarities that are the Production of the Indies. But all these Things, as well as the Palace, were consumed by the Flames in 1707, on the very Day that the Duke of Marlborough set out for the Army. Nevertheless, as only the Timber Work was burnt, some private Persons who had a Mortgage upon this House, afterwards caused it to be rebuilt as it now stands, which tho’ ’tis not very large, yet makes a good Appearance.

The Palace of the Old Court belonging to the King of Prussia, because it fell to Frederic I. by Inheritance from King William III. is a large Pile of Building, at the Bottom of a Court, formed by two advanced Wings, which are supported by high Arches, and joined together by an Iron Balustrade, which separates the Court from the Street. The Apartments are large and commodious, and there’s a very fine Hall, adorned with Paintings by good Hands. To this Palace there is a large Garden, which was very much embellished by the late King of Prussia, who gave Leave for all People of Fashion to see it; but ’tis now neglected. The King’s Minister, and the[104] Count de Hompesch, General of the States Cavalry,400 have Lodgings there. I could name several other Houses of Consequence to you, which I pass over in Silence, for fear of swelling my Letter with Things that are needless.

The Situation of the Hague is very different from that of the other Towns of this Province, and in its Neighbourhood there’s every Thing that forms a fine Landskip. Every Inlet into the Place is by fine Avenues paved With Bricks. There is not a better Road than that which leads to Scheveling, a Village on the Sea Shore, a League from the Hague. ’Tis a strait Walk cut out of the Downs, and inclosed by double Rows of Trees interspersed with Pyramids of Yews. The Delft Road, and that which leads to Loosduinen, one or two Leagues from the Hague, are also very beautiful. In short, go which Way one will, we always find charming Walks, and even within the Town there are some that are very agreeable. That called the Voorbout is the most frequented, it being the Ring for the Coaches. There’s a great Walk in the Middle, well gravelled and railed in, where in all the Summer Evenings there’s very fine Company. ’Twas Charles V. that embellished the Hague with this Walk. It has occasioned several Disputes between Ambassadors about Precedence; but the most remarkable that ever happened was that between M. de Thou, the French Ambassador, and M. de Gamarre, the Ambassador of Spain. These two Ministers were taking the Air, each in his Coach and Six, when they met full Butt, and neither would give Way, so that their Domestics were just going to Boxing; when some Gentlemen of the Assembly of the States, who saw what gave Occasion to the Dispute, offered the Ambassadors their Mediation, and proposed to both of ’em to return back at that very Instant by the same401 Way they came. M. de Gamarre was very ready to comply with any Proposal; but M. de Thou refused every one, and would by no means admit of an Equality betwixt himself and the Ambassador of Spain. The Gentlemen of the Assembly of the States being by this Time reinforced by several others, all equally desirous to pacify the Disputants, M. de Beverwert, the first of the Nobles of the Province of Holland, after having spent no less than four Hours in Debates and Conferences to no purpose, seeing M. de Thou obstinately bent in demanding a free Passage, proposed at last to M. de Gamarre, to drive off across the Ring; and for doing this with the better Grace, he offered that there should be two Openings made in the Ring; by which Means, said he, his Excellency would have the Rail opened to him, and the Honour of the Right-hand. The Spanish Ambassador accepted of the Proposal, and thereby ended the Dispute; which, had it not been for the Wisdom and Care of the States, might have been attended with fatal Consequences. Both Parties pleased themselves with the Fancy, that they had gained the vain Honours of Precedency; a trifling Advantage indeed, tho’ in short, if there were any Advantage to boast of, it was with the Ambassador of France, because he obtained the Liberty of his Passage, which was all he demanded; and he finished his Carrier, while the Spaniard returned home, perhaps because they had disputed so long till Night overtook them.

The French, who were always very jealous of Precedency, have had the most Disputes about this Matter. The Count d’Estrades, the Embassador of Lewis XIV. had one in this same Voorbout, with the Prince of Orange, afterwards King of Great Britain. Their Coaches happened to meet, and each of ’em aiming at the Post of Honour,402 they stopped over-against one another. The Ambassador’s Servants ran from his Lodgings, and were joined by all his Friends; but he forbad them to proceed to Violence, for fear of the Misfortune which would infallibly have happened, and would have been very great, by reason of the Concourse of People that flock’d together for the Prince. The Pensionary, being informed of it, hastened to the Spot, to prevent any Disorder; and the Ambassador, seeing him coming, said to him, I know not what the Prince’s People mean; I was ignorant till now, that the High and Mighty States had a Sovereign (implying that the Ambassadors only give Way to Sovereigns). He sent at the same Time to the Princess Dowager of Orange, to know whether the Prince’s Governor was not more to blame for this Misconduct, than the Prince himself? She answered, That ’twas the King of England’s Business to concern himself in the Affair; for she imagin’d, that his Britannic Majesty was bound in Interest to support the Dignity of his Nephew’s Rank. Nevertheless, she follow’d the Advice of the Pensionary, and went into the Walk that was between the Rails. The Prince her Son alighted to shew his Respect for her, and made his Coach turn about, so that the Ambassador’s passed into the Rank which he claimed to be due to him. This Minister pretended, that the Prince’s Ancestors never had Precedence of the Ambassadors; that on the contrary, they went a League from the Hague to receive them, on the Part of the States; insomuch that Frederic-Henry the Prince’s Grandfather, tho’ upon Pretence of the Gout he excused himself from the Ceremony, yet he did not take the first Place. Charles II. might perhaps murmur at it; but being sold to France, he did not stand up for his Nephew’s interests.


Since I am upon the Article of Ambassadors, I will now give an Account of such Foreign Ministers as reside at the Hague.

M. de Fenelon, Brigadier of the French King’s Armies, is his most Christian Majesty’s Ambassador to the States General. This Minister is Nephew to the Great Fenelon, Archbishop of Cambray. He is esteemed for his Modesty, his Candour, and for the Order he keeps in his Family. His Expence is not very considerable, and appears much less than it is to the Inhabitants of the Hague, who have not forgot what was spent among them by my Lord Chesterfield, Ambassador from Great Britain, one of the most sumptuous Noblemen in England, who was perfectly adored by the common People, and whose Absence is regretted by all Persons of Distinction.

The Count de Sinzendorff, the Emperor’s Plenipotentiary, has a great Estate in the Hereditary Dominions. He is Son-in-Law to the Great Sinzendorff, Chancellor of the Imperial Court, which is the Reason that he began very young to display his Talents for Business. He has been so successful as to re-establish the good Harmony between the Republic and the Emperor, which was violated by the Establishment of the Ostend Company, and to get the Pragmatic Sanction guaranteed by their[105] High Mightinesses.


The Count de Golofskin is Plenipotentiary Minister of Russia, which Employment he fills with the general Approbation of all that know him. He is as civil and courteous as the Climate in which he was born is sharp. He passed his Youth at Berlin, and performed his Exercises at the Academy founded by the late King Frederic I. He was afterwards several Years Envoy Extraordinary from the late Czar Peter the Great, and from the late Empress Catharine to the Court of Prussia; from which Court the present Empress Anne sent him in Quality of her Ambassador to that of France: And now he has the Management of his Sovereign’s Affairs with the States General. He is esteemed for his Sagacity and good Nature. While he resided at Berlin, he there married the Daughter of the late Count Ferassier de Dhona, who unhappily lost his Life in the Affair of Denain, where he acted as Lieutenant-General of the Infantry in the Service of the States. She is a Lady whose Virtue commands Respect, and she has the most charming Family that is to be seen.

M. de Masch, Envoy from the King of Prussia, is a very fit Person to manage the Interests of the King his Master in this Country, where a Minister ought to be civil and popular. The late King appointed him Governor to the Princes of Brandenbourg Culmbach, the eldest of whom is actually the Prince Regent of Bareith. M. de Masch has inspired those Princes with such Sentiments as do him Honour. He was a Privy Counsellor of the Regency of Cleves, when the King sent him into this Country, where he has been so happy as to put an End to the long Disputes that had subsisted[106] between405 his Prussian Majesty, and the Prince of Nassau Orange, concerning the Succession to the Estate of the late King William III.

M. de Brosse, a Frenchman by Birth, manages Affairs here for the[107]King of Poland, in whose Service he is a Major General. He has acquired very great Esteem, owing to his Talents, his Politeness, and his fine Understanding. He observes great Decorum in his Family; nevertheless, he makes a grand Appearance.

M. de Sporck, Minister here from the King of Great Britain, as Elector of Brunswic-Lunenbourg, is a Gentleman of good Extraction. He came very young into Business; and as he is on the Spot to take for his Pattern his Father-in-Law, the Grand Pensionary of Holland, one of the wisest Ministers of his Time, ’tis to be presumed he will make a great Progress. He lives as grand as most Envoys. His Lady is very well behaved, and does the Honours of her Family to Perfection.

I am not acquainted with the Envoys of[108]Sweden and[109]Denmark. M. d’Ayrolles takes care of the Interests of the King of Great Britain, and acquits himself like a Gentleman of long Experience in Business.


Don Lewis d’Acunha, the Plenipotentiary Minister of the King of Portugal, has been for a long Time trusted with the most important Embassies. He was his Majesty’s second Ambassador at the Congress of Utrecht, which Employment he afterwards had in England, then in France, and now again here, where he makes a Figure worthy of his Character. He has the Reputation of being an able Negotiator, and a crafty Politician. He is very polite, is fond of Grandeur, and when he was younger, was no Enemy to Gallantry.

Thus, Sir, have I given you an Account of most of the Foreign Ministers who reside at the Hague. Those of the States are not many. M. de Slingeland the Grand Pensionary is at the Head of ’em. The consummate Wisdom of this Minister, who is grown grey in the Direction of the Secrets of this State, is acknowledged universally. The Republic deems him as one of its principal Pillars, and Europe ranks him amongst its greatest Ministers. He was heretofore Secretary of the Council of State, when the Hague was what Rome was formerly under a Sixtus V. the Centre of Politics. He succeeded the late M. Hoornbeck in the Office which he now holds, and exercises this painful Employment with universal Approbation. Tho’ he is well stricken in Years, and very much troubled with the Gout, he gives Application to Business[110].

His Second is the Gressier Fagel, one of the greatest Genius’s of the State, who is to be reverenced for his great Age, and respected for his Virtue, for his Learning, his Candour, and for that noble Freedom which accompanies his Words and his Actions. Being a Lover of Learning, he has a Library, which is a most learned Collection;407 and a Cabinet of Medals, and of the most rare antique Stones. His House is adorned with Pictures, done by the most able Masters, with Vessels, Urns, and all the most precious Things which Antiquity has left, of which there is nothing but what he takes a Pleasure to shew to the curious Connoisseurs. ’Tis pity that this Minister, who has every Quality for which the greatest Men are reverenced, cannot live for ever.

’Tis certain that the Hague contains a vast Number of worthy Persons of both Sexes, and this State may boast of having as great a Number of Subjects of known Probity, as any other Country perhaps in the World. Were I to name them all to you, Sir, it would be attempting a Work above my Capacity, and require a Volume. I may hereafter give you an Account of such only as make the greatest Figure at the Hague, either on Account of their Employments, or their Birth.

The Hague is the best Place in Europe for a Foreigner to make a good Acquaintance with the greatest Ease, because of the many Societies or Assemblies, public Spectacles and Walks. If a Person appears ever so little in public, he is presently known. The Houses that are most open to Company, and where the most distinguished Persons of both Sexes at this Place are to be seen, are those of my Lady Albemarle, M. de Keppel, and the Count de Welderen. My Lady is Dowager to the Earl of Albemarle, General of the Dutch Infantry, Colonel of the Swiss, Governor of Tournay, and Knight of the Order of the Garter. He was of the Keppel Family, which has for a long time been distinguished in these Provinces. He had been Page to the Prince of Orange, who, when he came to be King of Great Britain, created him a Peer of England, with the Title of an Earl. He heaped Wealth and Honours408 upon him, and it may be said, that my Lord Albemarle, and my Lord Portland, were two Noblemen for whom William III. always professed the highest Esteem. My Lord Albemarle maintained himself in Favour by his Assiduity, his Complacency, by a Fund of real Merit, and by his Care not to ask any Thing, but to leave every thing to the King’s voluntary Grace and Favour. This Nobleman has left a Son, who has a Regiment in England. The Lady his Dowager is the Sister of Messieurs Vander Duin, Nobles of this Province. She lives in a very decent Manner, and is always considered as the first Lady of the Hague.

M. de Keppel[111], the Brother of the late Earl of Albemarle, is a Lieutenant-General in the Service of the State, and Colonel of a Regiment of Horse. He was for some time Envoy Extraordinary from their High Mightinesses to the Court of Prussia. He lives very grand at the Hague, his Behaviour is extremely noble, and his Family will always bear a good Character in all the Countries of the World. Madame de Keppel, heretofore Welderen, does the Honours of it with all the Care possible, and she is extremely valued and esteemed. Her Son the Count de Welderen, Deputy of the Province of Guelderland, to the States General, is not inferior to her in Politeness. He was very young when he was admitted a Member of the State in the room of his Father, and was soon after appointed Ambassador to England, in order to congratulate409 their Britannic Majesties on their Accession to the Throne. His Expence in England was very splendid, but the English did not so much mind the young Ambassador’s Magnificence, as his prudent Conduct. He brought back with him the Applauses of their Majesties, and the Court of England, the Esteem of honest Men, and the Affection of the Citizens of London. At his Return to the Hague, the Count de Welderen resumed his Seat in the Assembly of the States General. He lives still in a grand Manner, and his House is one of the gayest in the Country. He has a younger Brother a Member of the Council of State, (they call him the Waldgrave) who is a young Gentleman of great Merit.

My Lady Cadogan, the Dowager of my Lord Cadogan, a trusty Friend of the late Duke of Marlborough, and his Successor in his Employments, keeps an Assembly every Sunday Night. She is Mother to the Duchess of Richmond, who is look’d upon at the Court of England, as one of its Ornaments; and she has another Daughter, viz. my Lady Margaret, one of the most amiable Ladies at the Hague.

The Countess de Wartemberg, the Dowager of the Prime Minister of Frederic I. King of Prussia, lives retired at the Hague, much after the same Manner as the Duchess of Mazarine did at London. She turns Night into Day, and Day into Night. Her House is open to all Foreigners, and there is very great[112]Play. But she is not so410 fond as the Duchess of Mazarine was, of Pieces of Wit, and Men of Learning. If a St. Evremond wrote or said ever such good Things, I believe she would always give the Preference to a young Alcides.

By the Account I have now given you of the Families, you perceive, Sir, that here are so many, that a Man cannot be at a Loss where to go. There is not a Day but some Assembly is held here at one House or another alternatively. There are no Plays performed here for the present, they being, as I think I have told you, prohibited by the States, by reason of the Worms that infest the Dykes upon the Sea Coasts of this Province. The Comedians continue here nevertheless, and there is an Opera which an Hebrew Anti-Comedian has sent for from Paris, on Purpose to ruin the Comedy, when the Theatres are open. On the other hand, an Anabaptist, a zealous Man for411 the Comedy, rather than that the Opera and its Protector should triumph, stands up stifly for the Comedy. All the People at the Hague are Parties in this great Quarrel; but ’tis my Opinion, that in order to reconcile them, the States will permit neither the one nor the other. This Schism would be a very copious Subject for exercising the Pens of the Writers of Comedy; and I am surprised that some Wit or other does not regale the Public with their Thoughts upon it, the rather because they are not here in any Danger of Persecution from the Lieutenant of the Police[113].

You will, no doubt, think it a Phænomenon, to find that a Hebrew, whom in Germany we treat with a sort of Disdain, which perhaps is neither very Generous, nor very Christian, should concern himself in the Spectacles, and presume to force an intire Town to conform to his Taste: But you are to know, Sir, that the Jews are treated in this Government upon quite another Footing than they are elsewhere; and really, as for the Portugueze Jews, they deserve it; for a Texeyra, a Schwartzo, a Dulis, have done such generous Actions as are worthy of the most virtuous Christians. They live like Noblemen, and indeed such you would take them to be. They are admitted into all Assemblies, and even their Wives appear there: They treat and receive all Persons of Distinction at their Houses: They relieve our Poor, contribute to our Churches, and differ in nothing from us, but in frequenting the Synagogue.


The Nobles of the greatest Distinction in the Province, are the Wassenaars, and the Boetselaars.[114] The former are divided into several Branches, whereof that of Obdam is the eldest. The Emperor Charles III. raised this Branch to the Dignity of Count of the Empire. The present Count d’Obdam is Grandson to the famous Admiral of that Name, who delivered Copenhagen, and in Gratitude for whose Services, the King of Denmark conferred the Order of the Elephant upon him, which no Foreigner had been honour’d with before, unless he were a Prince. After this Admiral’s Death, the same Order descended to his Son, who died a Lieutenant-General, and Colonel of a Regiment of Horse in the Service of the Republic. The present Count d’Obdam is Knight of the Order of St. John, and, together with his[115] Brother, is of distinguish’d Rank in this Government. He spent Part of his Youth at the Court of Berlin, where his Father was Envoy Extraordinary. At that Time nobody was so brisk and gay; but he is thoroughly changed, and lives now very much retired, and applies himself wholly to Devotion and Business.

Of the Blood of Nassau Orange, those Princes, Founders of the Republic, there remains no more than one young Prince, besides the Counts d’Auverquerque, Zeist and Laleck, who are by the Left Venter. The Prince is Hereditary Stadtholder of Frieseland, Stadtholder of Groningen, Stadtholder and Captain General of the Province of 413Guelderland, and the Country of Drente. He bids fair some Day or other to be a worthy Possessor of the Station of the Princes whose Name he bears[116].

Maurice, Count d’Auverquerque, is the Son of a Peer of Great Britain, who was promoted to that Dignity by King William III.[117] He is a Major General, and Colonel of a Regiment of Dragoons. He is a Nobleman of distinguished Merit, and signalized himself very much in the last War.

M. de Zeist, one of the richest Nobles of this Province, is Deputy of the Province of Utrecht, in which he has a great Estate.

The Count de Laleck is the oldest Lieutenant General of Horse in the Service of the States. He has a Regiment, and is Governor of Menin, one of the Barrier Towns. The three last-mentioned Counts are Cousins, and form three Branches. They are descended from Prince Maurice of Orange, and Anne of Mechlin. My Grandmother was a Daughter of that Prince.

I am still to give you an Account of M. Hogendorp, Receiver General of the State, an Office which in this Country, as well as elsewhere, is liable to Envy, and exposes him that exercises it, to the Censure of the Public. M. Hogendorp has had his Share of both, for several Years: And tho’ his Enemies have not been wanting in any Thing to ruin him, yet he stands his Ground, and the States approve of his Conduct. He lives with as great Magnificence and Splendor almost as any Subject of the Republic.

In one of my former, I gave you an Account of two living Preachers at Amsterdam; and here I414 cannot refrain the mention of a certain Minister lately dead, whose Name is illustrious among those of his own Communion, and ours too. The Person I mean, is M. Saurin, who was always reckoned here, and in all the Provinces, one of the most eloquent Preachers, since the Repeal of the Edict of Nantes.

A great Number of Epitaphs have been made for this famous Preacher; but as they are all good for nothing, I content myself with sending you an Epitaph on those very Epitaphs.


On the EPITAPHS made for
Sous ces tisons, sans titres, sans paraphes,
Incognito gisent vingt Epitaphes,
Qu’ont arraché de leurs maigres cerveaux,
Incognito vingt chétifs Pôetereaux;
Difaut vouloir par detestable rime
Loiier encor certain Esprit sublime,
Dont rien ne dis, savon qu’à ses talens,
Vivant trouva force contradisans.
Chantres grossiers du bourbeux Marecage,
Pour Dieu, cessez votre maudit ramage!
Si noblement chanter n’est votre fort,
Dires tont court, Le grand Saurin est mort.
It may be thus Engslish’d:

i. e.
Under these Firebrands
lie incognito, no less than a
Score of Epitaphs, without
Title or Subscription, rack’d
incognito from the sterile Brains
of as many paltry Poetasters,
pretending by detestable Doggrel
to extol a certain sublime
Genius, of which I say nothing,
but that whilst he was
alive, he met with a great
many who contradicted his
Talents. But, for God’s sake,
ye stupid Bards of the muddy
Fens, leave off your cursed
croaking! And as you have
not the Gift of noble Poetry,
say nothing more, than that the.
Great Saurin is dead.

During my Stay at the Hague, I heard much Talk of one Armand a Frenchman, whose extraordinary Adventures were at that Time the Discourse of all Companies. He did not want Understanding, but he was one of the oddest and most extravagant Mortals breathing. His Passions, which sometimes rose to a Degree of Fury,415 were the Cause of all his Misfortunes. I have been promised the History of him, and if my Friend keep his Word with me, I will not fail to send it to you[118].

The History of John Barre, called ARMAND.

JOHN BARRE, a Native of the Province of Burgundy, appeared at Amsterdam in 1720, by the Name of Armand. He was a handsome Man, in the Prime of his Age, and seemed to have had a good Education. He said he was come from France, because he had killed a Man in a Duel. Any other Man besides himself, in a Case of the like Nature, would have been at a terrible Nonplus to find himself pursued by Justice, and forced to fly from his native Country, and his Friends, without Money, into a strange Land, of which he understood not the Language, and thrown into a great City, in the midst of a numerous People, where a poor Man is so hard put to it to make an Acquaintance. But Armand was never at a Loss for Stratagems to relieve him. Being a bold intriguing Man, an excellent Tongue-pad, and a Poet into the Bargain, or at least very ready of making Verses, he quickly found Means to get Acquaintance. He might even have passed for a Man of Quality, if Necessity had not forced him to make use of a Talent which was a plain Discovery of the contrary; for he shewed himself a complete Writing-Master, and made excellent Scholars in a very little Time.

With this Resource, Armand might have lived very happy; but the Violence of his Temper, and his satirical Humour, made him quickly lose416 his Patrons and best Friends. Besides these Defects, of which he was beyond all measure guilty, he was suspicious, haughty, self-will’d beyond Comparison, fantastical in every Part of his Behaviour, and an extravagant Admirer of his own Productions; so that a Person was sure of being thought the worst Enemy he had, if he did not applaud every thing he did; and ’twas enough to put him into a Fury, if one did not think as well of his Verses, as he did himself. Two or three Passages only are sufficient to demonstrate this to be true.

He lodged at the House of a Burgher, who had so great an Opinion of him, that he thought himself happy in having such Opportunities of Familiarity with a Man who had won his Heart by his Wit and his Behaviour. As they often eat and drank together, Armand invited his Landlord one Day with all his Family and some Relations to a Supper, when, according to his usual Way, he had provided a magnificent Repast. When they were seated at Table, a Lady of the Company thought fit to call for a particular Sort of Bread, which she had been used to eat; whereupon the Landlord immediately sent out of the Room for some; which Armand perceiving, and mistrusting that they thought he had not provided Bread enough, he rose nastily from Table, and went out, but came back again in a Moment, with a Basket full of Bread, which he turned topsy-turvy upon the Table: And as if this Piece of Rudeness was not enough, he ran out of the House like a Madman, and spent the rest of the Evening in walking up and down, at a great Rate, before his Door.

Having heard, that M. P——, Agent for the Naval Affairs of France at Rotterdam, made Verses in a very pretty Manner; he went by the Inspiration417 of Apollo, to pay him a Visit; and after having made him a Compliment on his Quality of Poet, he presented him some Verses of his own making, of which he earnestly desired that he would give him his Opinion. M. P——, who was not so fond of Flattery as Armand, made him Answer, That he had been misinformed; that he was far from being a good Judge of Poetry, and therefore hoped he would not look upon him in that Light. Armand took his Answer for a downright Affront, and retired bluntly from him, not without abusing him. Nor did Mr. C——r, to whom he paid a Visit for the same Purpose, fare a whit better; and to be revenged of both those Gentlemen, he wrote an Epigram against them, which he pasted up one Sunday at the Door of the French Church.

Armand being disgusted with the Reception he met with from the Wits at Rotterdam, had recourse to the Merchants. He went to see M. C——t, a Person of known Probity, either to present his Verses to him, or to offer him his Service, in Quality of a Writing-Master. As M. C——t was a little hard of Hearing, he thought it proper to apprize our Poet of it in the first Place; but he, imagining that ’twas only a Pretence to dismiss him, turned his Back upon him, and went away very much incensed at the Affront which he thought he had received. He had even the Rashness to fix up a very offensive Paper some Days after, at the Exchange, to tarnish the honest Man’s Reputation; and the same being immediately torn down by M. C——t’s Friends, Armand, as soon as he heard of it, put up another, even more insulting than the former. M. C——t, to prevent his being again exposed to such Insults, carried his Complaints to the chief Magistrate of Rotterdam, who summoned the Author418 of the Advertisement to appear before him. Armand obeyed the Writ, and pleaded in his own Defence, that being a Foreigner, he did not know he had done any thing that was prohibited by the Laws of the Country; but that having been lately informed of the contrary, he was willing to make the Person injured any Amends that should be thought proper, and promised at the same Time to depart the City forthwith. The Magistrate put up with his Reasons, and only insisted, on the Performance of his Promise. Therefore he left the City, and set out to his former Quarters at Amsterdam.

The ill Success of his Verses was so far from abating his versifying Humour, that his Passion for Poetry was only become the stronger. At his Return to Amsterdam, he began to write Satires against his Enemies at Rotterdam, whom he accused of having ruined all his Projects. Then he undertook to turn the tender Amours of Abelard and Eloisa into Burlesque Verse. This Piece, full of Obscenities, and of satirical Lashes of his Enemies, quickly ran thro’ all the Coffee-houses; and when he thought he had put the finishing Stroke to it, he met with a Bookseller, who was willing to undertake the Printing of it, tho’ it had been despised by all good Judges.

While this Work was printing, Armand contracted a Friendship with the Count de Bucquoy, so well known for his Adventures and Extravagances. This Count too pretended to write Verses, and was as great a Rattle as Armand. Their Resemblance of each other so much in Temper, was judged at first to be such a Cement as would have consolidated their Friendship for a long Time: But a too great Freedom taken by the Count embroiled them implacably, and gave Rise to a Scene which had like to have been tragical. The Count,419 who was not yet perfectly acquainted with his Friend’s Blind-side, took it into his Head one Day, as he was in Armand’s Chamber, to make a Criticism upon his Poetry, which was a little too severe. Armand, to whom nobody had ever presumed before to talk at that Rate, was in a furious Passion, and called his Censor an impudent Fool, and a Fortune-Hunter. At last the two Poets fell to Blows; but Armand being the strongest Man, he forced the Count out of his Chamber, kick’d him down Stairs, and so drove him into the Street.

We proceed now to that fatal Accident of Armand’s Life, which was the Cause of all his Misfortunes, and brought him at last to the Scaffold. Armand had contracted a Friendship of a long standing, with a Person of Bayonne, one B——, a young Fellow, who tho’ destitute of a Fortune, had been so lucky as to marry a very rich Heiress. At the Time when the Public believed there was the strictest Union subsisting betwixt them, they were strangely surprized to hear that B—— had informed against his Friend, for a horrible Outrage; and that upon this Accusation Armand was arrested, and committed to Prison. B—— pretended that being one Day in Armand’s Chamber, Armand shut the Door upon him, and forced him, with a Dagger at his Throat, to sign a Bond for a thousand Ducats. Armand’s general Character was enough to condemn him; whereas B——, on the contrary, passed for a young Man of an unblameable Behaviour; but, to his Misfortune, the Affair was so circumstanced, that it could not be duly prov’d; for, instead of calling out for Help, at least, as he went out of the Room, he retired without saying one Word, and did not so much as go and make his Complaint till two Days after: But for want of direct Evidence against420 the Prisoner, he caused Inquiry to be made into his Life and Conversation, and discovered, that Armand was but a borrowed Name, and that his true one was John Barré; that he had a Wife and four Children; that he had been Receiver of the Salt-Office at Vezelay in Burgundy; in short, that he had kill’d his Brother-in-Law in the Country, with a Fowling-Piece; and that having fled for it, he was outlaw’d and condemn’d to be hang’d.

When Armand appear’d before the Judges, he fairly own’d what his Accusers had alledg’d against him, with regard to his Name, the Place of his Residence, and the Cause of his Flight; but he deny’d his having murder’d his Brother-in-Law, tho’ he confessed that he had kill’d him in his own Defence. As what he had done in France, was quite out of the Question; the Judges were only for adhering to the Point in hand. Armand said, that B—— had of his own Accord given him a Bond for a thousand Ducats, in Acknowledgment for the Service he had done him, in lending him some Money, and promoting his Marriage. He pleaded his own Cause very courageously, without the least Trembling or Self-Contradiction. B——, on the contrary, seemed to falter in every thing that he said, which made it suspected by some, that he had only charg’d Armand, in order to have a Pretext for not paying the Sum that he had promised him. Yet others, with more Probability, ascribed B——’s Faint-heartedness upon this Occasion to his natural Timorousness, and to the Confusion into which an Accusation of this Nature, laid without any Proofs to support it, must needs cast him.

Armand being very urgent for an Issue of the Affair, the Judges, who found nothing that could support B——’s Pretensions, passed a Sentence, Whereby the latter was to pay the thousand Ducats,421 and the Defendant was to be set at Liberty, after giving Security for the said Sum, in case of an Appeal to the Court of Holland, saving to himself the Liberty of prosecuting his Adversary for Costs, Damages, Interest, and Reparation of Honour. B—— did not fail to appeal from that Sentence to the Court, as did like wise Armand, who having given the Security required, and received the thousand Ducats, shews himself thro’ the whole Town, with a long Beard, which he suffered to grow in Prison, and which he swore should not be taken off till he had carried his Cause at the Court.

In order to hasten the Decision of the Affair, he repaired to the Hague, where the Court at length passed a Sentence, which confirmed that of Amsterdam; and then he sued for Repair of Honour, and for Damages and Interests. B—— finding himself by this Means cast in all his Demands, and fearing the Consequences of the Law-Suit, thought fit to set his Affairs in Order, and withdrew to France. The Court immediately clapp’d a Seal upon his Effects, summon’d him three times to appear, and ’tis probable that he would have been condemned upon an Outlawry, if Armand’s Misbehaviour had not put a sudden Stop to the Courte of Justice. The Occasion of this Incident was as follows:

Armand was so impatient for the Issue of his Process, that he went every Day to teaze his Judges, who sometimes were not at Leisure to grant him Audience. Upon a certain Day, as he came to the Door of the Attorney-General, one of the Domestics told him, his Master was not at home; and the Man was going to shut the Door against him, when Armand said, I know the contrary, and must needs speak with him. Upon this they fell to abusing one another, when Armand,422 losing all Patience, struck the Domestic several Blows, and put the whole House in an Alarm, for which he was carried to Prison; from whence however he might have had a speedy Deliverance, if he would but have confessed his Fault, and made the Attorney-General proper Satisfaction: But instead of doing this, he behaved to Mr. Attorney in a strange Manner, and threatened to be revenged of him. But he paid dear for his Insolence, and was sentenced to lie in Prison twelve Years. He remained there till 1734, when the Court thought fit to remove him to another Town, till the Expiration of the Term mentioned in the Sentence. Armand being acquainted with this Resolution, imagined, no doubt, that he was now to be treated with more Severity than ever, and perhaps that he should be privately dispatched; and from that Time he had no Command of himself. He formed a Design to murder the Archers when they came to meddle with him, or at least to prevent their seizing him; and for this Purpose he had taken one of the Bed-posts, which he not only armed with Nails, but fastened the Blade of a Penknife at one End of it. Being thus prepared for his Defence, on the Day appointed for his Removal; two Archers came to take him, of whom he ripp’d up the Guts of one, and broke two Ribs of the other. After this, none of the Archers durst venture to come near him, till the following Stratagem was thought of, by which they effectually quelled him. Two Archers were ordered to make each a Hole in the Wall of the Prison, and at the very Instant when Armand was peeping through one of them, to examine the Cause of it, a Pistol was discharg’d in his Face, loaded with Sand, which put his Eyes, Tongue and Face into such an Agony, that he was not able to defend himself, but surrendered,423 and begged Quarter. At the same Time he was seized, and clapped in Irons. When he was under Examination, he confessed, that his Design was to murder any one that offered to remove him; and that he would do it again, if it were in his Power; which Circumstance was such an Aggravation of his Crime, that he was condemned to lose his Head.

The View of approaching Death was so far from being shocking to him, that he seemed perfectly unconcerned. But what was very observable in this unaccountable Man, was that the dreadful Prospect of the infamous Death he had so justly deserved, was so far from engrossing his Thoughts, that it did not in the least abate the Fondness he had always discovered for his Verses; so that at the very Time when a Minister was preparing him for Eternity, he interrupted him short, by telling him, Sir, Here are some Verses of my own composing; I desire you would let me read them to you. I always loved to divert myself with Works of this Sort. An Attorney, who was present at the same Time, performing the Office of a Comforter, seemed to be shock’d at the Reading of a Composition so unsuitable to one in such Circumstances; but Armand, looking on him with a very angry Countenance, told him in plain Terms, That he was an Ass; and that he wondered how a Man of his Profession, an Attorney, at constant Variance with Heaven, and for ever and ever accursed, should take it into his Head to turn Comforter, and pretend to make Peace between God and Man.

The Day of Execution being[119] come, he was carried before the Judges to hear Sentence of Death passed upon him: But they had scarce begun to 424pronounce it, when he grew strangely outrageous, and said, ’twas unjust to read his Sentence to him in a Language which he did not understand. It was to no Purpose that they told him, it should be explained to him in French; for he still rav’d on in the same Strain; so that they were obliged to stop his Mouth with a Handkerchief, which they held tight behind, by both Ends. However, upon his making a Sign that it strain’d him too much, they slacken’d it, and then he promised, that if they would take it quite off, he would keep a profound Silence. He was attended to the Place of Execution by a Minister, and saluted such of his Acquaintance as he saw mixed in the Crowd, with a Smile. When he was on the Scaffold, and fixed his Eyes on the Gallows, he turned pale, saying, that he had been promised different Treatment, and that he did not think he should be turned out of the World in the Manner for which he saw that Preparation. They encouraged him, by telling him, that he should only have his Head cut off, if he did not use Violence; but that if he did, he should be hanged, and hoisted up to the Gallows by a Pully, there for that Purpose. He made Answer, that he did not care to swing out of the World by a Halter. He then asked the Executioner, if he was perfect in his Business; to which he answered in the Affirmative, adding, That he had by his Dexterity made sixteen Heads leap already, with very good Success, and that he hoped his would be the seventeenth to do him Honour. Then Armand demanded where the Sword was, and the Executioner told him, that it should be ready at the Time. At last the fatal Moment being come, he fell on his Knees, and as soon as his Eyes were blinded, he had his Head struck off at one Blow.


I have nothing particular to tell you of the Palace at Honslaerdyck, and of the[120] House in the Wood, which belong to the King of Prussia, because they are neither of ’em what they were formerly. They are running so to Decay, that shortly they will not deserve the Mention. As I passed to Honslaerdyck, I went thro’ the Village of Loosduinen, where I saw in a Church, the Basin, in which, ’tis said, were baptized the three hundred and sixty-five Children, of which a Countess of Holland was delivered at one[121] Birth, in Pursuance of the Wish, or rather Curse of a poor Woman, who having a Charge of Children, and coming to beg Alms of her, was not only denied, but rebuked for having so many Children; whereupon she wished, that the Countess, who was then pregnant, might be brought to Bed of as many Children as there were Days in the Year; which happened accordingly. This remarkable Event is set forth in a Picture carefully preserved in the Church.

The Palace of[122] Ryswic, where the Peace was signed in 1697, being in no better Condition than that of Honslaerdyck, I did not think fit to strike out of the fine Road to Delft, to go and see it. This Town, which is a League from the Hague, has nothing remarkable to be view’d, besides the Tomb of William I. Prince of Orange, who was assassinated at Delft, in 1584, by Balthasar Gerard, of the Franche Comté. The Republic which caused this Mausoleum to be erected, spar’d no Cost to leave Posterity a Monument worthy of its Founders,426 and of their Gratitude for the signal Services which had been done them by that Hero. The Arsenal for the Land Service of this State, is at Delft, and there are few in Europe that are better furnished, or kept more in Order. This Town drives a great Trade in earthen Ware. As it is at the same Distance from Ryswic as the Hague, the Ambassadors of France resided here during the Congress. ’Tis now inhabited by several People, who either from being weary of the World, or by Reason of Misfortunes, have chose Retirement. From hence you will imagine, ’tis not a very gay Place, so that I made no Stay here, nor no Acquaintance.

Rotterdam, three Leagues from Delft, is by much the most populous Place, and is only inferior to Amsterdam, on Account of its Commerce. Its Situation on the Maese, six Leagues from the Sea, gives it a Communication with all the Towns of Holland, and the neighbouring Provinces, both by means of that River, and several Canals and Rivers that fall into it. Its greatest Trade is with England and France, and here are three English Churches, viz. One that is Episcopal, or of the Church of England by Law establish’d, one Presbyterian, and one Scots. As to us Catholics, we have several Churches here in Chambers, and the Jews have a neat Synagogue.

The Statue of Erasmus, the Restorer of the Latin Tongue, which is placed in the Market-place, is altogether plain. This learned Man is represented in the Habit of a Doctor, holding a Book in his Hand. The Pedestal is plainly decorated with a Latin Inscription, as is the House where he was born, which is preserved just as it was then, and is a very small and mean Building. ’Tis said, that on the same Square where Erasmus’s Statue stands, the Magistrates intend to427 erect a Stadthouse, of which they are really in great Need, that which they have being a very sorry one. If this Project takes, it were to be wished that they may employ a more able Architect, and a more diligent one than they have made use of in building an Exchange, which has been a long Time begun, and is but half finish’d yet. ’Tis true, that as it is, ’tis too large for the Number of Merchants that meet in it; but after all, ’tis amazing that a City, which has the Reputation of being wealthy, should let one of its principal Edifices stand unfinish’d.

There are some magnificent Houses in this Town, but its greatest Ornament is its Canals, broad and deep enough for the Entrance of Shipping, which is a great Convenience to its Trade. I know not how sociable the People are at Rotterdam; for tho’ I have gone through it several times, I never stay’d long enough there to make any Acquaintance in it. I always took the Air for most part upon the fine Kay that runs along the Maese, which is beautified with a pleasant Row of Trees on one Side, and noble Houses on the other.

From Rotterdam I went thro’ Maeslandsluys to the Brille, a well fortified Town upon the Maese, near the Mouth of that River. This Town is famous in the History of the Netherlands, because in the Year 1572, William de Lumai, Count de la Marck, and some of his Confederates, who went out to Sea, to avoid falling into the Hands of the Duke of Alva, took it by Surprize, and there laid the first Foundations of the Liberty of the United Provinces.

When I left the Brille, I came to Helvoetsluys, the saddest Place in all Holland. The Winds, which have been boisterous for some Days, hinder the Packet-Boat and me from setting out428 for England. In the mean time, I am very ill here. I am cramm’d twice a Day with boil’d Ducks, roasted Ducks, and others tossed up with a high Ragoû, and yet I am ask’d if I will not please to have more Seasoning. Perhaps it was this Town only that a certain Frenchman had seen, when he said that he had taken Notice of but three Things in Holland, and they began all three with the Syllable Ca, viz. Canals, Canards (Ducks), and Canaille, i. e. Mob; for certainly there are other Things to be seen in the rest of Holland, where there are as many genteel People as in any Country in the World. Nay, I dare affirm, that a certain Candour prevails here, which is perhaps not so general elsewhere. ’Tis rare for a Dutchman to know the Arts of Tricking and Cheating, and he is of a friendly Disposition, if his Purse be out of the Question. If they were not so much in Love with their Money, there would be as few Faults to find with this Nation as any. I could like to live with ’em very well. When one treats them with Civility, one may do any thing with ’em. And it was a Saying of the Emperor Charles V. You must give the Dutch good Words, leave ’em the Shadow of Liberty, but make them pay well for it.

Be these People as much as they will for their own Interest, they are charitable, and would have every one live. They have not perhaps that gay Wit, which is of all Things so taking; but then they have good Sense. I have often taken a Place in the Boats, on purpose to hear what was said there; and have been surprised to find the common People talk of Trade, of the Interests of the State, and of other Countries, of the Manners of different People, of the History of their own Country, and in short, of a thousand other Things, with more Justness, perhaps, than a great many 429Epigrammatists, Stanza-makers, and Rhymesters could do elsewhere.

For the rest, this Country is as charming in some Things, as it is disagreeable in others. ’Tis certain, that the People are now and then too insolent; yet a Dutchman does not care to be the first to give an Affront; and unless a Foreigner provokes him by his Pride, or his Pertness, he will indulge himself in his Phlegm.

I can’t imagine why Foreigners take a Pleasure to run down Holland, as a Country where they have been skinn’d. This might have been the Case with ’em in such a Hole as Helvoetsluys, or else at Rotterdam, when one Carpentier, a French Refugee, kept the Sign there of the Marshal de Turenne; but ’tis not so in a good Town, where every Foreigner, I mean such as are willing to be sociable, and to eat at the Landlord’s Table, know what they have for their Money. The Ordinary is settled, Wine, Lodging, and every Thing at a certain Price. Suppers are the only Meals that plunge deep in a Man’s Purse, of which a Foreigner must be cautious. As to Carriages, either by Land or Water, the Fare is fixed; and ’tis impossible for a Man to be cheated, unless it be in frosty Weather, when ’tis certain one is at the Mercy both of the Watermen and Coachmen.

’Tis wrong also for some Foreigners to cry out, as they do, against Justice, which I find more impartial here than elsewhere. But it does not always act with the Vivacity which a Foreigner would wish for, who often has neither the Time, nor the Means, nor the Inclination to wait for it. He then finds fault with Justice, when he ought rather to blame the Situation of his Affairs.

I fear that you will be angry with me for having abused your Attention by this long Letter,430 which I now conclude, by assuring you, that nobody can be more intirely than I am, &c.



SIR,London, April 12, 1733.  

’Tis not possible for me to be insensible how greatly I am obliged to you for that Uneasiness which you seem to be under, till you can hear of my Arrival in some safe Harbour of this Kingdom, tho’ ’tis no more than what I expected from such a Friend as you. I should have prevented your Anxiety upon this Score, if I had not thought it proper to take a little View of this Country, before I wrote one Word to you about it; and now I flatter myself that I am able to satisfy your Curiosity.

I had one of the most favourable Passages that could be; for in less than eighteen Hours, I came from Helvoetsluys to Harwich, which is the Harbour for the Packet-Boats that pass betwixt this Kingdom and Holland.

Harwich not seeming to me to be worth a Traveller’s Notice, I only stopped to hire Horses, and came with all Speed to London. That City, which for its Extent, the Number of its Inhabitants, and their Wealth, may pass, not only for the Capital of a powerful Kingdom, but even for the Capital of Europe: That City, where True Liberty bears Rule; where the Arts and Sciences are cultivated and protected; where the Inhabitants 431enjoy the Goods of Fortune without vain Ostentation; where Merit is considered, and Birth highly valued, when ’tis accompanied with Virtue: That City, in fine, where are still to be found those Roman Souls, which other Nations admire, but know not how to imitate.

Yet London, with all the Attributes I have now given it, with its magnificent Structures, both sacred and profane, cannot be rank’d among the finest Cities; for many of its Streets being dirty and ill-paved, its Houses of Brick, not very high, nor adorn’d with Architecture, but blacken’d with the unmerciful Smoke of Coal-fires, gives it a dark Hue, which renders it far less agreeable than it would be otherwise.

The Riches of London, if not of all England, are owing to the Thames, and the Citizens set more Value by this River, than by any other Advantage that they enjoy: Of this a certain old Alderman had the Courage to give King Charles II. a convincing Proof, at a Time when that Monarch was so extremely angry with the City of London, that when the Lord Mayor and Aldermen went to Court, with a View to pacify him, he exclaimed bitterly against them, and told ’em, that he knew how to make them feel the whole Weight of his Resentment, and that he would for that End remove his Court to Oxford. At this the old Alderman, who pretended to be hard of Hearing, said to a Nobleman that was present at the Audience, loud enough to be over-heard by the King, What says his Majesty, my Lord? Will he in his Wrath take the Thames from us? Meaning thereby, that since the King could not take that River from the City, the Inhabitants would not be sorry for his going to Oxford. Indeed, in all my Travels I never saw a finer Sight than this River, from its Mouth to London-Bridge:432 For besides its being continually covered with Ships, Barges, Boats, &c. going up and down with the Tide, its Banks are adorned with a Variety of fine Scenes, such as Towns, Villages, and Country-Houses. Among others, there’s the great and magnificent Hospital of Greenwich, founded in the Reign of Charles II. for disabled Seamen, or the Invalids of the Navy. Tho’ this Structure is not yet finish’d, it may be rank’d amongst the most considerable in Europe, and is not inferior in Grandeur to many Royal Palaces. Its Situation also is so charming, that were it for that alone, it were worth while to take a Turn on Purpose to see it.

London stands on the Left-side of the River, where it forms a Crescent. The famous Bridge upon which Queen Elizabeth caused the Head of the Earl of Essex to be exposed, after having flatter’d him that he should one Day be a Partner in her Throne, is eight hundred Feet long, and sixty broad; but the Prospect of the River is stopp’d by Houses on both Sides, which are neither fine nor lofty.

St. Paul’s Church, the Cathedral of London, is, next to St. Peter’s at Rome, the greatest and most stately Temple in Europe; and I even question, whether it would not be more magnificent than St. Peter’s, if it had such a Square or Colonnade before it, as that has; but I mean only the Outside of it; for as to the Inside, they are not to be compar’d. The principal Front of St. Paul’s is of that sort of Architecture which the old Romans, those Masters in the Art of Building, would not perhaps have thought unworthy of their Time; tho’ ’tis certain this beautiful Front is render’d the less majestic by two little Towers or Steeples of a very Gothic Taste, which are placed upon the two Angles of the Building. This whole Fabric stands by itself,433 and is built in the Form of a Cross, with a great Dome in the middle. The Entrance to it is by three grand Porticos on the North, South, and West. Opposite to the principal Front there’s an Area, encompass’d with an Iron Palisado, in the midst of which is a white marble Statue of Queen Anne, in whose Reign this Church was finish’d; which was begun so long ago as after the Great Fire, in the Reign of Charles II. The Queen is there represented standing with all her Regalia. She holds in her Right hand a Sceptre; but ’tis so much like a Wax Taper, that one would almost swear she was performing an[123] Amende honorable: And really, this Statue is unworthy of the Queen whom it represents; of the Church before which it stands, and of the City of London, by whose Order ’twas erected. All the Church is of very white Stone, which the Smoke, that Bane of London, has rendered black on one Side. The Inside of it is as plain as the Outside is magnificent. The Dome only is painted of an Ash Colour. The Choir (for the Church of England retains the Use of Choirs) is separated from the Nave, by a Wall of just such a Height as to support the Organs, which by this Means serve the Choir and the Nave of the Church alike, but disfigure both. The Seats, or Stalls of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, when they assist at Te Deum, are of Wood, and built like those of the Canons in our Churches. The subterraneous Parts are very magnificent, and contain Vaults,434 in which are interred such People as they belong to.

The famous Monument erected in Memory of that sad Conflagration which consumed one Third of the City, in the Reign of King Charles II. is a very lofty Pillar of the Doric Order, fluted, and has a Stair-case in the Inside of it, which goes up to a Platform at the Top, from whence there’s a Prospect of the whole City, and a great many fine Scenes.

The Royal-Exchange, where the Merchants meet at One o’Clock every Day, is a large square Building of Free-stone. The grand Portico is adorned with Columns, and has a Tower on the Top, with Chimes in it. The Inside of it consists of a Court surrounded with Piazzas, over which are placed the Statues of the Kings that have reigned in England; which are of Free-stone, and all done by bad Hands. The Statue of King Charles II. in whose Reign this Edifice was built, stands in the midst of this Court, and is of white Marble, representing the King in the Habit of a Roman Emperor. This is not one of the worst Statues in London; where indeed Sculpture is of all Arts the least cultivated; but why, I can’t conceive; since most of the English Nobility have been in Italy, and have there acquired a Taste for what is fine and curious.

The famous Tower of London, which is, as it were, the Citadel of this Metropolis, stands on the Bank of the Thames, at the Extremity of the City, going down the River. It contains several Buildings, but without Uniformity. Here are kept the Jewels of the Crown, and the Crown itself, Lions, and other outlandish Creatures, and the Arsenal of Arms; and in this Tower are confined certain Prisoners of State; but thro’ good Fortune, the Reign of King George II. now upon435 the Throne, has been so free from Punishment or Severity, that the Tower is empty of Prisoners.

As one goes up the Thames towards St. James’s, End of the Town, where the King and most of the Nobility reside, one passes along by a Palace called the Savoy, because it was built by the Princes of Savoy, Uncles of Queen Eleanor of Provence, Wife to Henry III. This Building has nothing in it from one End to the other, but what is very deformed. The Chamber is still to be seen here in which John II. King of France was imprisoned, who, like Regulus, came and re-delivered himself into the Custody of his Conqueror, when he found the Estates of his Kingdom not disposed to perform the Terms of Peace, which he had signed, and which were the Condition of his having obtained Leave to go to France.

The Palace of Whitehall, which is the common Landing-place for People that come out of the City by Water, is nothing to what it was possibly before the unhappy Fire began, by which it was consumed in the Reign of William and Mary. There’s a Pile of Building yet standing, which is magnificent, and is called the Banquetting-House. I was here shewn the very Window which the unfortunate Charles I. came out of, when the Usurper Cromwel made him walk from the Throne to the Scaffold. All the Buildings called by the Name of Whitehall, are now in the Hands of private Owners, by Grants of the late King George I.

St. James’s Palace, where the King lives, is only separated from Whitehall by St. James’s Park. This House has nothing in it answerable to the Majesty of the Prince who resides in it, and there are few Princes in Europe worse lodged than the King of England. I have been assured, that the Nation offered the late King George I. to build him a436 new Palace; but that he made Answer, that since so many Kings, his Predecessors, had lived in that Palace, and been content with it, he thought it would do as well for him; and that he did not desire, that, for the sake of accommodating him, the Nation should be put to any sort of Inconvenience; but that its Funds might be employed in something that was more urgent, and more useful.

St. James’s Park is the same Thing here as the Thuilleries are at Paris; only this Park is more plain and artless; for here is Meadow Ground, with Walks of Trees, and a Canal in the middle of the whole. Mean time this Simplicity has a certain Beauty, which cannot be describ’d, tho’ the Spectator feels it, and prefers it to the finest Gardens. Charles II. who was vastly fond of walking out for the Air, had a mind to make Embellishments in the Park, and for this End sent to Paris for the famous Le Neautre, the Man that laid out the Garden of the Thuilleries, and the Park at Versailles. But this Frenchman, after having viewed the Park well, advised the King to let it stand as it did, assuring him that he could not make any thing better than it was. The grand Walk called the Mall, is full of People every Hour of the Day, but especially in the Morning and Evening; and their Majesties often walk in it with the Royal Family, who are attended only by half a dozen Yeomen of the Guard, and permit all Persons, without Distinction of Rank or Character, to walk there at the same Time with ’em; for which Reason the Crowd of People here is sometimes too great; but then it forms one of the most diversified Scenes imaginable: The Ladies and Gentlemen always appear here in rich Dresses; for the English, who Twenty Years ago did not wear Gold lace, but in their Army, are now embroidered and bedawb’d as much as the French; I437 speak of Persons of Quality; for the Citizen still contents himself with a Suit of fine Cloth, a good Hat and Wig, and fine Linen: Every body in general is well clad here, and even the Beggars don’t make so ragged an Appearance as they do elsewhere.

Of the fine Houses that open to the Park, those of Marlborough and Buckingham are the most considerable. The former is very richly furnished, and adorned with admirable Paintings. ’Tis occupied by the Dowager of that great Duke of Marlborough, who led the English to triumph where-ever he came, and made the proudest of Kings to tremble.

Buckingham House is not so big as Marlborough House, but infinitely better situate; for it fronts the great Walk of St. James’s Park, and is only separated from it by Grates of Iron. ’Tis one grand Building, with two advanced Wings, one on each Side, that are united to the main Body of the Building, by two open Galleries, forming a Semi-circle. In the middle of the Court there’s a fine Water-work, and behind the House a great and magnificent Garden, at the End whereof there was to be a Canal, which was actually begun, but remains unfinish’d. This fine House is occupied by the Duchess Dowager of Buckingham, a natural Daughter of King James II.

St. James’s Quarter of the Town, and all the Out-parts of London in general, are very regularly built, the Streets strait, broad and airy, and want nothing but to be better paved; which is a great Misfortune, that cannot be remedied but by an excessive Expence. They say, that Lewis XIV. offered Charles II. to furnish him Stones enough to pave London, provided Charles would furnish him with Gravel from England, to lay in the Gardens of his Royal Palaces. Whether this be true, I438 know not; but it seems to me that the Advantage would have been for the English Prince. Be it as it will, the Bargain was not struck, and London is still the Sufferer for want of it.

There are several great and fine Squares here, some of which, in my Opinion, would be more beautiful, were it not for the Fancy of adorning them with Gardens, which perhaps is owing to the Want of Stones for paving them. As these are encompassed with Iron Palisadoes, they look very much like Church-yards. St. James’s Square is the most considerable in London, not only for its Bigness, but for the Residence of Persons of the greatest Quality. Instead of a Garden, it contains a great fine Piece of Water, surrounded with an iron Balustrade. Three Sides of this Square are very regular; and it were to be wished, that the Proprietors of the fourth Side would be prevailed to build that in the same Manner. In this Square live the Earl of Strafford, Ambassador from Queen Anne to the Congress at Utrecht; and the Duke of Norfolk, a Roman Catholic, Earl Marshal, first Duke, and first Baron of England, Chief of the Illustrious Family of Howard; from whence was descended Catharine the Fifth Wife of Henry VIII. who had not a more happy Fate than the unfortunate Anne Bullen, who preceded her. The Duke of Norfolk’s House here has very fine Furniture, and most magnificent Pictures.

Grosvenor’s Square, which is just finished, is even larger than St. James’s Square, and its Houses are much more magnificent. In the middle of the Garden is the Statue of King George I. on Horseback, of Lead, gilt, and indeed very ill executed. Of the many Statues that there are in London, the best is that of Charles I. represented on Horseback in Brass. It owes its Preservation to a sort of Miracle: The Usurper Cromwell having caused it to439 be pulled down, and exposed to Sale, a Founder, who happen’d to be a zealous Royalist, bought it, and buried it under Ground, till the Restoration of Charles II. to whom he made a Present of it; and this Prince caused it to be set up at Charing-Cross, where it still continues. When I see it, I always look upon it as an Image that has escap’d the Fury of the Iconoclastes.

Since, the Accession of the Hanover Family to the Throne of Great Britain, London is infinitely larger than it was. There’s one intire Quarter goes by the Name of Hanover. The Parliament being apprehensive, that in Process of Time the Town would grow too big to support itself, pass’d an Act some Years ago for restraining the building on new Foundations; and if this had been done twenty Years ago, this City would nevertheless have been too large.

I say nothing to you of the other Squares, because my Design is only to give you a general Idea of London, and not a very exact Plan, that being a Business which I leave to some Traveller who is better instructed. Besides, to tell you the plain Truth, I am quite weary of entertaining you with Towers and Walls. Therefore I shall only say a Word or two more as to Houses and Churches. The House of the Duke of Montagu, Son-in-Law to the late Duke of Marlborough, is the most considerable. The Apartments are large and well laid out, and the Cielings exceeding fine, particularly those of the great Stair-case and Salon, wherein the Story of Phaethon is represented in a wonderful Manner. But all these fine Apartments are not furnish’d, and ’tis even said, that the Duke intends to lett his House to the Count de Montijo, the Spanish Ambassador.

Of the modern Churches that of St. James, which is the Parochial Church of the Court, is the440 finest, having a Portico before it, supported by Columns, after the Manner of the Rotunda at Rome.

The Abby Church of Westminster, in which the Kings are crown’d and interred, is a great Fabric, which contains the Tombs of several Kings, and other Persons illustrious either for their Birth or Merit. Henry the VIIth’s Chapel, wherein that wise King is interred with his Queen, is very magnificent, as is also the Tomb of the Dukes of Newcastle. That of the late Mr. Craggs, who was Secretary of State to King George the Ist, is plain, but of a beautiful Contrivance: It represents that Minister in the Grecian Manner, and leaning in a very noble Attitude upon an Urn. The famous St. Evremont has a Place here amongst the Men of Learning: The Representation of him is in Form of a large Medal, on which there is a short Inscription, denoting that this Mausoleum was erected for him by his Friend my Lord Galloway.

Amongst the Reliques which are still preserved in this Church, there is one, which for its Antiquity, I believe, has not its Equal, it being the Stone which served for Jacob’s Pillar, when he dreamt of that mysterious Ladder which reached up to Heaven. This precious Relique is very much neglected, and I cannot imagine how it came to be so abandoned by that pious King James II. The English would do well to make a Present of it to the Republic of Venice, where this Stone would quadrate exactly with the Piece of Moses’s Rock in St. Mark’s Church. The Cardinal Cienfuegos shew’d me a Piece of it, when I was last at Rome: He told me, that he stole it in his Return from Portugal, where he had been Ambassador, when he came to London with a Commission from the Emperor to King George I. He added, that it was the only Robbery he was ever guilty of in his Life; and that he should have been exceeding441 scrupulous of committing it, if this Stone had been as much honour’d in England as it deserved; but that finding it neglected and despised, he could not help filching a Piece of it, which he was so fortunate as to strike off with a Key, at the very Nick of Time when the Keeper of it happen’d to be looking another way. I told him, that I did not think that he needed to have been so very scrupulous of this Theft; that I was persuaded, that if he had given the Keeper a Guinea at most, he might have had a much greater Piece; and that perhaps for a Trifle more he might have brought away the whole Stone. O Lord! cry’d the Cardinal, lifting up his Eyes to Heaven, I wish then I had purchased it.

In Westminster Abbey I also saw the Stone Chair which Edward I. that proud Conqueror of Scotland, caused to be brought from the Abbey of Scoon to that of Westminster, in order to give the Scots to understand that they had no longer any Sovereign Power in their Country. Ever since that Time the Kings of England have made it a Rule to be seated in that Chair on the Day of their Coronation.

The Palace of Westminster, tho’ formerly noted for the Residence of the Kings, and now for the Assembly of the Parliament, is altogether plain. The Hall where the Royal Feast is celebrated on the Coronation-Day, is one of the largest in Europe.

The Room where the Lords meet, which is called the House of Peers, is not much ornamented, nor is the King’s Throne in it at all magnificent: They say, that a new Parliament-House is speedily to be erected; which is an Undertaking that deserves an able Hand to conduct it, the Parliament of Great Britain being, next to the Dyet of the Empire, the most august Body in the Universe.


When the King goes to meet his Parliament, ’tis with all the Splendor of Royalty, and he appears there with the Crown on his Head, dress’d in Royal Robes. His Throne is at the Bottom of the Room, whereas that of the King of France, when he holds his Courts of Justice, is plac’d in a Corner, with his Peers on each Side of him. But here the Prince of Wales alone, as Heir of the Crown, sits in the same Line with the King, and the Peers sit upon Benches by the Sides of the Room, and across it. I have not yet had the Honour to see his present Majesty in his Parliament; but I saw the late King his Father there; and I assure you, that the Sight of this august Assembly inspired me with such Sentiments of Respect, as I don’t know that I was ever impress’d with before. When I saw that King, the Best and most Just of Monarchs, come to give the Royal Assent to what the Peers of the Kingdom, or rather the Fathers of the People, had agreed to, I thought I saw Augustus in the Capitol approving the Decrees of the Senate, and the Senate applauding the Actions of the Emperor. Nevertheless the Parliament does not always applaud the King’s Measures; but on the contrary makes a noble Stand against them when they tend to incroach upon the public Liberty. ’Tis true, that since the late Revolution, which depriv’d the Stuart Family of the Throne, the Kings and their Parliaments have always agreed very well. Such is the Genius of the Nation, that a mild just King is sure of their Love and Respect, and he finds them as obedient to his Will, as a Tyrant King finds them reluctant. All that find Fault with the English for Disaffection to their Kings, have not duly read their History, or are fond of Slavery; and they who think a King of Great Britain is to be pity’d because he is not absolute, have a false Notion of kingly Power. A Monarch443 of England is capable of doing as much Good as any King in the World; but he can do no Wrong. And what can a King, if he be an honest Man, (pardon me this Expression, ’tis a Character not unworthy of a King) desire more? What needs there more to satisfy his Ambition? And is it possible, that a Man can be pitied, because ’tis not in his Power to make Millions of People miserable? For my part, I think that the English, who do not stand up for their Laws and Liberties, are altogether as criminal, as they who oppose the Will of their Sovereign in a State where Arbitrary Power is once established.

What I admire in the English, is not only the Firmness with which they plead for their Rights, but their Manner of doing it. In other Nations we see Deputies from Parliaments or States makeing Remonstrances to their Sovereign, which are studied and concerted. An Englishman, on the contrary, makes his upon the Spot: He first hearkens attentively to what the Court Party has to propose, and if he finds it detrimental to the State, he opposes it solidly; not with Expressions that are flourish’d and far-fetch’d, but strongly represents the Inconveniencies of the Thing, and enforces what he says by the Quotation of Laws and Precedents. A true English Nobleman or Gentleman sacrifices every thing he has, for his Country: The Court and its Favours are not strong enough to captivate him: He can renounce both, when he thinks himself engaged in Honour to oppose the Court Measures in Parliament, and he lays down his Employments. A King has seldom the Pleasure of turning a Man out, and much less that of being solicited by the Person in Disgrace to restore him to Favour. An Englishman who should write such Letters as Bussi Rabutin wrote to Lewis XIV. would, I believe, be as much despised in444 England, as Bussi was esteemed in France. They that are out of Favour, are not shunn’d here as they are elsewhere; and they are so far from being abandoned by their Friends, that a Nobleman has often a greater Levee in his Disgrace than he had when in Favour. At the same Time I can’t but think, that this Indifference for standing well or ill with the Court, is sometimes push’d too far. I have been told, a propos, that Queen Catharine of Portugal, Wife of Charles II. having forbad a certain Lady to come to Court, for having behav’d in a Manner that gave Offence, the Lady made her Answer, That she would obey her, and that she assured her Majesty, she would never give herself the Trouble to visit her again, ’till she could see her for Six-pence; by which she meant, when the Queen was dead, and exposed to View at Westminster.

His present Majesty having some Years ago forbad the D——ess of Q——y to come to Court, for some disrespectful Behaviour, the Duke who was that Lady’s Husband, and likewise disapproved her Conduct, immediately resign’d his Employment of V——e A——l of Sc——d, and absented himself from Court; but the D——ss and he were nevertheless seen as public Abroad as ever, and received abundance of Visits at Home. In short, a Man is only shunn’d here for being a Criminal, or a Coward.

There’s no King serv’d with greater Respect than a King of Great Britain: Even the Peers minister to him upon the Knee. His Family is very numerous; his Guards, which are spruce, form a considerable Body; his Court is always very much throng’d; and in short, he wants nothing of the Honours of Royalty. Since the late Revolution, a King is not accountable for any Thing he does; and the Ministers alone are culpable, and responsible445 to the Parliament for any Thing that happens wrong.

The present King is not tall, but very well shap’d, has a stately Port, a very grave Countenance, and speaks little, but with great Propriety. The French, English, and the Italian Languages are as familiar to him as the German. He reads a vast deal, and knows more than most do, who wear the Royal Diadem. Being not puffed up with Pageantry, and vain Grandeur, he does not give into superfluous Magnificence; but is an Œconomist, without Avarice; liberal, without being profuse; an Enemy to Vice, and a Friend to Virtue; sober and regular in his Ways and Manners; of a lively Temper, full of Spirit and Ambition, but submitting both the one and the other to Reason. He is active and laborious; understands Affairs, has a quick Apprehension, and a wonderful Memory. As Electoral Prince of Hanover, he gave Proofs of his Valour in the Netherlands at the Battles of Oudenarde and Malplaquet; as Prince of Wales, he shew’d that Adversity could not abate his Courage; and as King and Elector, he makes it evident, that he can both forgive an Injury, and forget it. His People are happy under his Reign. In England his only Study is to maintain the Peace and Balance of Europe, to make Commerce flourish, and to render the Nation one of the most powerful in the World. At Hanover he endeavours, by good Offices to his Subjects there, to alleviate their Sorrow for his Absence. He has not made any miserable since he begun his Reign; and if the Blessings of the People help to prolong the Days of their Kings, his Britannic Majesty may hope for one of the longest of Reigns.

The Queen is a Princess in whose Person every thing that challenges Respect does at the same time command Affection. Her Presence is majestic, 446but accompany’d with Modesty and Good-nature; her Behaviour is the most courteous that can be; and her Wit, which is both solid and sparkling, is adorn’d with a thousand fine Accomplishments. She ever look’d upon all the trifling Amusements of her Sex with Disdain; and particularly never affected Ornament in Dress. The reading of choice Authors was always one of her greatest Pleasures; and her Majesty may be said to be one of the most learned Princesses in Europe. Having lost the Margrave of Brandenburg Anspach her Father, when she was very young, and her Mother the Princess of Saxe-Eysenach marrying again to John George IV. Elector of Saxony, she was left under the Guardianship of Frederic Elector of Brandenburg, afterwards King of Prussia; by which means she spent Part of her early Days at the Court of Berlin, where the Electoress, who was Sister to the late King George I. gave her a Tincture of her own Politeness, and inspired her with those sublime Sentiments, for which she was admired by all that approach’d her. The young Princess of Anspach had at that time all the Charms of Nature; and the Fame of her Beauty attracted the Addresses of Charles III. King of Spain, our august Emperor, who offered her his Hand and his Crown: But the Princess was so strongly attach’d to her Religion, that she refused both. God reserv’d her, no doubt, to make Great Britain happy, and she married the Electoral Prince of Brunswic-Lunenbourg. Not many Years after this, she saw (but without any visible Emotion of Joy) her Father-in-Law and her Husband call’d to the Possession of one of the chief Thrones in the World. I was then at Hanover, and will venture to assure you, that the whole Electoral Family heard of this new Addition to their Greatness with a Moderation which render’d them worthy of their Fortune; and the447 Princess in particular demonstrated, that she was thoroughly satisfy’d in her Mind, that she could be happy without a Crown, and that both her Father-in-Law and her Husband were already Kings in her Eye, because they so highly deserved that Title. When she became Princess of Wales, she was so prudent as to keep fair with both the Parties which then divided the Royal Family. The late King had a sincere Esteem for her, and she in return paid him very great Respect. And[124]now that she is Queen, her Majesty contributes all that’s in her Power to make the Subjects happy. The King lets her into a Share of Affairs, and leaves the Regency of the Kingdom to her in his Absence.

Among the Joys of their Britannic Majesties we ought to reckon the numerous Family with which Heaven has bless’d ’em. It consists of two Princes and five Princesses. The eldest, who has the Style and Title of Prince of Wales, tho’ he is not very tall, has a majestic Air, and when among the Courtiers, is easily distinguish’d to be the chief Personage. He is extremely civil, affable, good-natured and polite. It may be truly said of him, that he has the Soul of a King; for few Princes are more generous. He loves Pleasures and Magnificence; he is gallant, has a penetrating Genius, talks very much, but always with Judgment, and to the Point. He is Master of several Languages, and understands History and Geography. He is perfect in all his Exercises, and really is not ignorant of any one Thing that a Prince of his Rank ought to know. The Hanoverians, among whom he was educated, ador’d him, and the English seem altogether as fond of him.

The young Duke of Cumberland, second Son to their Majesties, resembles what the Painters represent448 to us by the Name of Cupid. He has Sense infinitely superior to his Age, is very dexterous, and an apt Scholar. He speaks English, High-Dutch, Latin, and French; and I think more than this cannot be expected of a Prince who is not yet full thirteen Years of Age[125].

Of the five Princesses I shall only mention the three eldest, the other two being as yet too young for a Character. The eldest, whom they call the Princess Royal[126], has an excellent Shape, and an Aspect of Modesty and Goodness, which wins the Hearts of all that see her. Her Temper is as engaging as her Physiognomy; and her Mind, which is disengaged from all Trifles, is more solid than might be expected from her Age. The reading of good Books, Conversation with Persons of Merit, and her Application to Music, are her chief Employments. She is extremely civil, and obligeing; and they say, she is generous and beneficent. ’Tis a Pleasure to see her on Horseback; she dances with a very good Grace, and really has all the Virtues becoming her high Birth.

The Princesses Amelia and Caroline, were they not the most shining Beauties, have personal Charms, and such Qualities of the Mind as cannot fail in time of making some Prince or other happy.

With these Characters of the Royal Family I shall conclude my Letter, which is already long enough: I shall give you the rest of my Remarks without Delay. In the mean time be assured, that I am always with an inviolable Attachment, &c.




SIR,London, May 4, 1733.  

The last brought us to the Royal Family, and what relates to the Court. The latter is more numerous than brilliant, if it be certain that Pleasures form the Splendor of a Court. Of these their Majesties don’t seem to be fond, at least of those noisy Pleasures, that instead of unbending the Mind, which ought to be the Aim of all Pleasures, only serve to fatigue it.

’Tis very easy to obtain the Honour of being introduced to their Majesties, and the Royal Family, nothing more being necessary, than to send in one’s Name to the Duke of Grafton, his Majesty’s Lord Chamberlain, and my Lord Grantham, the Queen’s Master of the Horse. People go to the King’s Levee, and the Queen’s Drawing-Room, as they do in France. Their Majesties dine in Public only upon Sundays, when none eat with ’em but their Children. The Table is in Form of an oblong Square, in the Middle of which sit the King and Queen, with the Prince of Wales on the Right, and the three eldest Princesses on the Left. The Service here is performed in the same Manner as it is in France. The Table is plac’d in the midst of a Hall, surrounded with Benches to the very Cieling, which are fill’d with an infinite Number of Spectators. The same Room serves also for the Balls, when there are any at Court.450 Three times a Week there’s an Apartment here, called the Drawing-Room, which is open’d at Ten o’Clock at Night. About this Hour the Ladies repair to the said Apartment, which consists of three great Salons, made by the Direction of Queen Anne, which are the only tolerable Rooms in all St. James’s Palace. The King comes to it attended not only by the Queen, who is led by the Prince of Wales, but by the Princesses her Daughters. Their Majesties converse there for a few Moments with such Persons as they are pleased to distinguish; after which the Queen makes a profound Curtsy to the King, and goes to play for about an Hour with the Princess-Royal, and two Ladies, whom her Majesty singles out of the Company, and a little before Midnight their Majesties retire. Upon those Days that there’s no Drawing-Room, the King and Queen are generally at the Opera, or the Play-house. In fine Weather they take the Air in St. James’s Park, or the Suburbs of London. In Summer-time their Majesties are for the most part at Kensington, Windsor, or Hampton-Court, the two last of which Palaces are beautiful. The first of these was built by the famous Cardinal Wolsey, the Favourite of King Henry VIII. and before Lewis XIV. began to build; was reckon’d the finest Palace in Europe.

The King does not hunt much, but employs most of his Time with his Ministers, consulting the Welfare of his Dominions. Of these Sir Robert Walpole is the Principal, and he is the only Commoner in Great Britain that is honoured with the Order of the Garter. This Minister, who is not less applauded by the Court Party, than he is censured by the contrary Faction, has the general Veneration and Esteem of all the Courts of Europe; where ’tis confess’d to be owing to his Direction that the Cabinet of St. James’s gives Motion at this Time to all451 Europe, and that he is the Soul of all Councils, all Deliberations, and all Resolutions. Sir Robert Walpole seems, in my Opinion, to be attended with the Fate of my Lord Duke of Marlborough, who, tho’ admir’d by the whole World, and even by those to whom he did most Mischief, was hardly valued in his own Country, which he crown’d with Glory and Prosperity. I shall say nothing to you at present of this Gentleman’s private Character, because I am not yet well enough acquainted with it. As I have no Business with him, I see him pass along; and that’s all. I want some Neutral Man (that is to say, one who is neither for nor against this Minister) that knows him well, and will let me into the Knowledge of him too. If I am so fortunate as to find out such a Person, I will impart to you such Lights as he shall give me. Mean time I hear him talk’d of in Public as one that understands the Constitution of the Kingdom better than any Man in it, who thoroughly knows the Strength and Weakness of the State, and one whom nothing terrifies, nothing astonishes: And I may add, there’s no Man more bold and enterprizing. He perfectly knows his Countrymen, and has the true Art of Government: And no Body speaks with more Eloquence in Parliament; where whatever he proposes seldom fails of being pass’d; and the Lower-house is, as one may say, determined by him.

His greatest Opponents in Parliament are Mr. P——y in the House of Commons, and my Lord St——d in the House of Peers. This Lord, you know, was for a long time Ambassador from Queen Anne to the Court of Berlin, and afterwards to the States General; and that it was he that sign’d the Treaty of Peace at Utrecht: He was a Member of the Privy Council when the Queen died; but King452 George I. did not think fit continue him; at which his Lordship being disgusted, absented from Court, and became in Parliament the Censor of the Ministers. After the Death of King George I. the Earl paid his Respects to their present Majesties, who received him with very great Marks of Distinction; which however did not hinder his constant Opposition to the Measures of the Court: Yet it cannot be deny’d that his Lordship behav’d with very great Prudence in the Changes that happened upon the Accession of the Brunswic Family to the Throne. This Lord, speaking to me one Day of those Alterations, in the Voyage which I made hither in 1728, told me, that if he had been rul’d by the Duke of Ormond, he would have been in the same miserable Circumstances as that Duke. “He did all he could, said he, to persuade me to quit the Kingdom with him; but he was so far from decoying me away, that I made use of all the Rhetoric I was Master of, to persuade him to stay at home, because we had neither of us done any thing but by Order of the Queen our Mistress; that therefore we had nothing to fear, and that the worst that could happen to us would be a Censure. But the Duke had such a Terror upon him, that all these Arguments were not powerful enough to encourage him; and but a few Hours before he went off, he came and conjured me to leave the Kingdom with him. I made him this Answer: I have nothing to reproach myself with, my Lord, I have obeyed the Queen, and I have too high an Opinion of the Justice of my Country, and too great a Confidence in the Equity of the King, to fear any Thing. The Answer which the Duke made me was, Well then, my Lord, I must take the same Farewel of you as the Prince of Orange did of Count Egmont. Farewel,453 Count without a Head. To which I replied, Farewel, Duke without a Duchy. The Event has shewn, that I was a better Prophet than the Duke of Ormond: For I enjoy my Estate in Peace, whereas what he had is taken from him.” In the same Conversation the Earl talked a great deal to me of their Majesties, and in Terms of the profoundest Respect. He expressed an infinite Value for the King, who when Prince of Wales, said he, always treated him with very great Regard and Goodness. Nevertheless this Lord seldom appears at Court: He spends the Summer in the Country, and the Winter at London, where once a Week he has an Assembly; but in other respects he lives very retired, and at no great Expence.

The Duke of Newcastle is Secretary of State. This Nobleman is extremely civil, very rich, and lives grand. He has the Province of foreign Affairs, in Conjunction with my Lord Harrington, who, when he was only Colonel Stanhope, gain’d Reputation as Ambassador in Spain, and at the Congress of Soissons. I knew this Minister at Madrid in 1719, and can vouch for him, that he is one of the worthiest and soberest Men in the World. He is good-natur’d, modest, generous, and mighty sincere. He is shy of new Acquaintance, but when once a Man knows him, the better he will like him.

I don’t think that the Ministers of this Country, or the Nobility, are so haughty as they are represented in our Country; and have Reason to think, that they who say the English are not civil to Foreigners, have not been very conversant with ’em. ’Tis true, they are not so engaging as the French; but when a Man is known among them, gives into their Ways, and courts their Favour,454 in short, they are, methinks, as courteous and civil as any other People in the World. An Englishman won’t be saying at every Turn, That he has the Honour to be your most humble Servant; that he has the Honour to say, to hear, and so of the rest. He will say it perhaps once in a Conversation, and that’s all; nor, on the other hand, does he want to be loaded with Compliments, Acknowledgments, and impertinent Bows. As he is above Trifles, he looks upon all those frothy Expressions as frivolous; and this it is that makes our young Travellers think, that the English are not polite. Such far-fetcht and bombast Phrases are commonly all that those Sparks have learnt at a great deal of Expence in their Travels to France, and they are perfectly astonished, when they come into a Land of good Sense, and see so little Notice taken of what they have paid for so dear, and what has cost them so much Pains to acquire.

There are some English People, who upon certain Occasions seem to forget the Persons they were great with but the Day before. In my former Voyage to this Country, I was at first surprised at this sort of Behaviour, and ascribed the Cause of it to the Pride of the English; but I was convinced afterwards, that it was owing much more to a melancholy Temper, which is general to almost the whole Nation. An Englishman of this Cast is not the less a Friend upon that Account, and if one does not take Notice of that Unevenness of Temper, he will naturally come to himself, and they readily forgive their Friend for any Absence of Thought. In short, the English have their Failings, because they are but Men; but I shall always pay very great Credit to an Englishman, when he tells me, that he is my Friend. In order to acquire the Friendship of these People, ’tis absolutely necessary to speak455 their Language. Many of them understand French and Italian, but they don’t care to speak foreign Languages; and when they do, ’tis either from Necessity or Constraint. Now Constraint is what the English don’t at all like; for as they enjoy the greatest Liberty of any People in the World, they have an Aversion to every Thing which cramps it.

Their Manners differ extremely from those of the French, which is what the latter are at a Loss to account for; because they have been always so much imitated by all other Nations, that they think themselves the Directors of Mankind, and that the English do them an Injustice in not following their Copies. To give you my Judgment as to the Manners of these two Nations, is what I shall not undertake, being restrained from it by several Considerations, especially the Fear of doing Wrong either to the one or the other, and that I should not give a right Judgment in so great a Cause. They are both perhaps not exempt from very great Failings; but it seems to me, that the English are not the Slaves of that Tyrant, Custom, and chuse to follow their Genius and good Sense. They don’t surfeit themselves with those Nothings which the French call Politeness, and which seem to be invented only to pass away the Time. In fine, to speak my Mind plainly, if I was but twenty Years of Age, I could like to be a complete Frenchman; but now that I am forty, I am perfectly reconciled to the Manners and Customs of the English.

A Zeal for Religion seems to me to be the only Point in which there is a Conformity of Temper between the two Nations: And tho’ they differ widely in Principles, yet they both cry out loudly for the Privileges of their Church, and both have equally their Fanatics. For tho’ London has not 456such as are Devotees to St. Paris, it has other Sectaries, who are as senseless. For the rest, the two Nations may boast of having produced a great Number of good Men, as appears from the many good Books of Devotion and Morality, for which we are obliged to them. And as for Libertines, I think neither Nation has reason to reproach the other, and that there are as many at London as at Paris.

The English are run down for their Cruelty, but I know not for what Reason, unless it be, that in a Battle they do not readily give Quarter, and are apt to pursue their Advantage too far. I fansy it would be easy to prove, that other Nations, who charge the English with this Vice, are more cruel than they. For in short, the Barbarities committed in the Conquest of Mexico, the burning of the Palatinate, the Massacre of St. Bartholomew, the Sicilian Vespers, the Assassinations of the best of Kings, are Cruelties that are not to be matched in the History of England. We don’t hear of those Assassinations in this Country, that are committed elsewhere; and even the Highwaymen seem to be more humane here than Abroad; for they generally content themselves with what is given them, without shedding of Blood; and some of them are so generous, as to give Money to People whom other Highwaymen had stripped. ’Tis inconceiveable how many Stratagems these Rogues make use of to carry their Points. I have been told a great many Stories upon this Head, of which I give you the following, because I think ’twas very well contrived.

As a Nobleman was travelling in his Coach, the Roads were so extremely bad, that his Servants who were on Horseback, were forced to turn out of the High-Road into a By-Way. His Lordship came by Degrees into a Vale, where he met457 with a Man on Horseback, who putting a Gun into the Coach, said to him, My Lord, this is a good Gun; ’tis worth a hundred Pieces between Friends; I would advise you to buy it. The Nobleman understood his Meaning, but being defenceless, he drew a hundred Guineas out of his Purse, which the Highwayman took, and gave him the Gun. The first Thing that my Lord did, was to present it at the Highwayman; but he told him, that he was not afraid of him; for, in short, the Gun was not charged, so that my Lord could not recover his Money.

As the Highwaymen are so artful in committing Robberies, they are much more so in escaping Justice. A Highwayman, who had also committed a Murder near London, some Years ago, rode fifty French Leagues that Day, upon the same Horse. When he came to the Place where he thought himself safe, he took out his Watch; and shewing it to the People of the Inn where he sat up, I call you to witness, said he, that at such an Hour I came hither, and I desire you to give me a Certificate of it in Writing. They gave him one accordingly, which Piece of Paper saved his Life; for when he was apprehended, his Judges being assured that he was the Murderer, were just going to condemn him, when he ask’d them, At what o’Clock the Murder was committed? The Judges having told him the Hour, How come you to think, said he, that ’twas possible for me so be guilty of the Crime of which you accuse me, when I was that very Day fifty Leagues from the Place where ’twas committed? The Judges, thinking it out of the Power of Man to be there, and so far off too, in that Time, set the Culprit at Liberty. Mean time, the President being persuaded that he was guilty, ask’d him privately how it was; and the Highwayman,458 after having made him promise to keep the Secret, confessed the Fact.

I could tell you a Number of such Stories, not so much to convince you, that the English are not cruel, as to prove to you, that their Highwaymen are cunning. All the Laws here are mild, and not severe. There are no Tortures, nor are such made use of, even in Conspiracies. Nobody is condemned to die, if he be not found guilty before two Tribunals or Juries, composed of Persons who are, as near as can be, Men of equal Rank with the Party accused. The first Tribunal must consist of more than twelve Persons, but twelve is the Number by whom the Bill must be found. The second Tribunal consists precisely of twelve Jurymen, who must all be agreed in their Verdict, and be shut up together, without being allowed Victuals or Drink, till they are all of the same Opinion. There are but two Sorts of Execution known here, viz. Hanging and Beheading, of which the last is reserved only for such as are Peers of the Realm.

It seems to me, by what I have now told you, that the English are as humane, and more so, than we are, who refine upon Tortures and Executions; as if ’twere nothing to make a Man suffer, and that ’twas not enough to take that Life from him, which no Monarch in the World can prolong one Moment, much less restore to him from whom he has once taken it.

The Execution of Criminals here is a perfect Shew to the People, by Reason of the Courage with which most of ’em go to the fatal Tree. I lately saw five carried to the Gallows, who were dressed, and seemed to be as well pleased, as if they were going to a Feast. The Executions here are not performed with that terrible Apparatus as they are elsewhere. There is not that Number of459 Halbardiers, nor all that Gravity, which sometimes strikes a greater Awe than the Execution itself. A Criminal goes to the Gallows here in a Cart. When he is directly under it, he is fastened to the Top of it, when a Smack of a Whip makes the Horses draw away the Cart, and the Criminal remains hanging. I am told, that his Friends or Neighbours pull him by the Feet, in order to dispatch him the sooner. They who die without Fainting, are always extolled to the Skies by the Populace, and the least of their Characters are, that they died like brave Gentlemen.

’Tis one of the distinguishing Characters of an Englishman, to be intrepid in the Article of Death. We are forbid by Religion, to approve of that Contempt of Life; yet we can’t help admiring it in the Romans, from whom the English have, no doubt, derived the Practice of putting an End to their Days, when Life is a Burden to them. These Self-Murders are but too frequent here, and are committed by Persons of good Families, as well as by the Dregs of the People. I gave you an Instance in one of my Letters from Paris, of a certain Bookbinder and his Wife, who hang’d themselves at London, for fear of that Misery in Life which they thought unavoidable. I could give you other Instances as tragical, if I were not apprehensive, that such melancholy Catastrophes would give you Horror. Mean time you must agree with me in the Impossibility of accounting for such a strange odd Turn of Mind in these People; for in short, other Nations don’t seem by their Actions to have any more Religion than the English, and they are all equally sensible of Misfortunes; yet one rarely hears of a Foreigner makeing an Attempt upon himself. How come the English then to be so free with Life? Does it proceed460 from a greater Sense of Courage, or of Cowardice?

A great many of ’em hang themselves purely for Love. I own to you, that if I were so forsaken by God, as to commit such a foolish Prank, it should be for an English Woman. They have, in my Opinion, such an Air of Modesty and Good-nature, and withal, such a bashful Simplicity, as charm me, and such tender languishing Eyes too, as tho’ not universally pleasing, yet captivate me to such a Degree, that if I was but twenty Years of Age, I should have gone very much astray. Most of the English Women are handsome; they have the finest Hair in the World, and are only obliged to pure Nature for the Beauty of their Complexions. ’Tis a Pleasure to see them blush. The frankest of ’em retain an Air of Modesty, which would persuade one, that they don’t affect to be wicked. They are commonly very richly dressed, but not altogether in the Taste of the French Ladies, which is the only Fault that I find with ’em. They seem to affect Dressing to their Disadvantage. Their Gowns so close before, with strait Sleeves, which don’t reach beyond the Elbow, make them look as if they had no Shoulders nor Breasts. And what is worse than all, they have broad flat Rumps to their Gowns, and Hoop-Petticoats, narrow at the Top, and monstrously wide at the Bottom. They are always laced, and ’tis as rare to see a Woman here without her Stays on, as it is to see one at Paris in a full Dress. I wish the English Ladies would take Pattern by the French a little more in their Dress; for in my Judgment, the Knots of Ribban in their Cornets, and a thousand Trinkets with which the latter set themselves off, are very becoming to the Sex. On the other hand, I should be glad, if the young Gentlemen did not imitate the French Air and 461Dress so much as they do; but kept to the Manners of their own Country, which are more suitable to the Men. They say, that among the good Qualities of the Women here, they are equally susceptible themselves of the Passion of Love, which they are so apt to kindle in the Men. This is very good, and perfectly natural; for in my Opinion, nothing is so ill becoming to the Fair Sex as Hard-heartedness, the rather, because I believe ’tis possible for a Woman to be in Love, without abandoning Virtue.

The Ladies here have little to employ them; their Amusement being to give and receive Visits, to go often to Court, to have the Pleasure of being seen, which really is of all Pleasures that which they seem to take most Delight in. This is the Motive that carries them to the public Walks, Concerts, and Theatres; in all which Places they are mightily reserved, have but little Talk, and their chief Conversation is the Flutter of their Fans. I was one Day paying a Visit at a House where there was an Assembly of twenty Women, and not one Man besides myself: They look’d upon one another, but did not speak a Word. I may defy you to shew me any other Place where there’s a Score of Women in Company, and not one Tongue stirring. As for the rest, the Women here enjoy great Liberty. They turn out in a Morning, with a black velvet Mask on their Faces, a Coif on, in form of a Hat, with the Brims down, a round Gown, and a white Apron; and in this Trim they go to the Park, or whithersoever they please. They take the Air very much on Horseback. In short, they do what they have a Mind to. Mean time the Husbands are seldom of their Parties, and trouble themselves very little whither they go, being too much Philosophers, and of too good Sense,462 to make their Honour dependent on the Virtue of their Wives, which at the same time, I verily believe, to be in less Danger here than elsewhere, it being not the Genius of the English, to take a great deal of Pains for an Amour; and I am persuaded, that Hercules’s Love for Omphale will never be equalled in this Country.

The Pleasures of this great City are of many and various Kinds; yet I have known Englishmen, at their Return from Paris, say, they thought London too dull a Place for ’em to live in. Others would argue with me, that there’s more Diversion at Rome. You know, Sir, what I have related to you, of the Pleasures both of Rome and Paris; and after I have given you an Account of those of London, such as they are, or may be taken, you shall be the Judge betwixt those Frenchify’d or Italianized Englishmen, and me.

A Man of Sense, a Scholar, a Devotee; in one Word, a Man, is never at a Loss here for suitable Company, and I defy him to meet with better on the other Side of the Herring-Pond: The irregular Man, or rather the Deboshee, has here his full Swing: And the fine Gentleman, whom I place in a Medium betwixt the two Extremes, has enough to regale his Appetite. As the Species of the latter, is the most prevailing, we will shew how he passes his Time: He rises late, puts on a Frock, (which is a close-body’d Coat, without Pockets or Plaits, and with strait Sleeves) and leaving his Sword at home, takes his Cane, and goes where he pleases. The Park is commonly the Place he walks to, because ’tis the Exchange for Men of Quality. There he has it at his Choice to make any Engagement whatsoever. Then he goes home to dress, and afterwards saunters to some Coffee-house, or Chocolate-house, frequented by the Person he would see; for ’tis a463 sort of Rule with the English, to go, once a Day at least, to Houses of this Sort, where they talk of Business and News, read the Papers, and often look at one another, without opening their Lips; and ’tis very well they are so mute; for if they were as talkative as the People of many other Nations, the Coffee-houses would be intolerable, and there would be no hearing what one Man said, where there are so many. The Chocolate-house in St. James’s-street, whither I go every Morning, to pass away the Time, is always so full that a Man can scarce turn about in it. Here are Dukes, and other Peers, mixed with Gentlemen; and to be admitted, there needs nothing more than to dress like a Gentleman. At one o’Clock, they go to Court, to the King’s Levee, and from thence to the Queen’s Apartment, where is commonly a great Number of Ladies, very well dressed. At three o’Clock they all retire to their several Appointments. Dinners here are very expensive, and parties at Taverns very much in Fashion. At private Houses the Ladies retire as soon as Dinner is over, and the Men remain at the Table; upon which, the Cloth being taken off, the Footmen place a Bottle of Wine, or more, if all the Guests don’t drink the same Sort, with Glasses well rinsed, and then they withdraw, only one waits at the Beaufet. The Bottle now goes round; every one fills his Glass as he pleases, and drinks as much, or as little as he will; but they always drink too much, because they sit too long at it.

When the Company breaks up from Table, if it be fine Weather, they go out again for the Air, either in a Coach to Hide Park, where the Ring is, or else on Foot to St. James’s Park. In the Winter they make Visits till the Plays begin; but these Representations really deserve a separate Article, and you shall have it by-and-by at large. After464 the Opera’s or Plays are over, the Company goes to the Assemblies, which are alternative, sometimes at one Lord’s House, and sometimes at another’s, or else they repair to the Drawing-room. At Midnight they go to Supper. The Companies formed at the Taverns are the merriest, and Bacchus is commonly seconded by Venus. At Day light the jolly Carousers retire home. Judge, after what I have now said, whether a young Gentleman has not as much to amuse himself at London, as at Paris and Rome. Believe me, that they who say that this City is too melancholy for ’em, only say so to give themselves an Air.

At private Houses the Tables are served with as much Neatness and Delicacy as in any Country in the World. There are three Dishes commonly at each Course, and Plates are often laid two or three deep, which is the Reason that People always eat more than they would otherwise, and that Abundance of Time is spent at Table. There is excellent Beef here; and I am in Love with their Puddings, which are made of Flour, Eggs, Crumbs of Bread, and in short, a thousand Ingredients that I know nothing of, but all together make very good Fare. There’s one Custom established in these Houses, which to be sure you would not dislike, viz. That at the first Time of a Man’s Introduction to a Family, he salutes the Mistress of the House with a Kiss, which tho’ but a very modest one, ’tis a Pleasure to see a Colour come into the Lady’s Cheeks, as if they had committed a Fault. A second Custom, which is not so agreeable as the former, is, that after a Man has been entertained, something must be given to the Servants of the House: And this Gift must be proportioned to the Rank of the Master of the House at whose Table you have sat; so that if a Duke gives me a Dinner four times a465 Week, his Footmen would pocket as much of my Money, as would serve my Expences at the Tavern for a Week. I wonder why the English keep up this Custom, those especially who live so magnificently, and pay their Domestics so handsomely, that I believe they are as happy as any of their Class in the World.

The Tavern Reckonings run excessive high, but then there’s the best of Attendance and Accommodation; in which respect I prefer them to the Cabarets of Paris, where the Table Linen is generally very course and dirty.

The Assemblies here are so throng’d, that there’s hardly any stirring. Nevertheless, there are seldom more than three or four Gaming-Tables. Almost every body is standing. They are in perpetual Motion, like a Swarm of Ants; they jostle and squeeze by one another, then ask Pardon, pass mutual Compliments, and just inquire after one another’s Health; but ’tis in a manner impossible to hold a Conversation.

The gayest and most numerous Assembly in Europe is upon the Ball-Days at the Grand Theatre in the Hay Market. I can safely say, that I never saw a finer Sight in my Life. Sometimes there are no less than three thousand in Company. Every Person pays a Guinea, for which they are accommodated with all manner of Refreshments, and all the Sorts of Wines imaginable, besides a stately Desert of Fruit and Sweetmeats. All this numerous Assembly parades in several Rooms richly adorned, and completely illuminated. In several of these they dance, and in others there’s Play. The Entertainment opens with a Concert perform’d by the ablest Musicians in London. Then the Ball begins, and holds till next Morning. At these Balls the Company are often mask’d, and then the King and the Prince of Wales honour466 them with their Presence; but the Queen and the Princesses are never there. At all these Entertainments, every body appears very well dressed, and the Ladies especially are stuck all over with Jewels; for there is no Country in the World where there are finer Diamonds. The English Dances are Country-dances, which require several Couples at a time; and all that perform in them, close in by Turns, which gives Opportunities of making an Acquaintance. The Tunes to which they dance are so brisk, that I fansy they would be more agreeable to the Vivacity of the French, than the Sedateness of the English.

As to Plays, the English are fond of them, and have more of ’em than any other Nation. They have an Italian Opera, which is the best and most magnificent in Europe. They pay a Guinea for the Boxes, half a Guinea for the Pit, and a Crown for the Gallery. But though ’tis always crouded, yet it won’t defray the Expences of Acting; so that several of the Nobility contribute to the Salaries of the Actors, which are extravagant; but then they have the best Voices of Italy. An Actor, whose Name is Senesino, has one thousand five hundred Pounds a Year, besides Presents in Abundance. The Music of these Operas is generally composed by one Handel, who is esteemed by a great many People beyond all Expression, but others reckon him no extraordinary Man; and for my own part, I think his Music not so affecting as ’tis elegant. The Decorations are very fine, and the Room is very large, and much more beautiful than that at Paris. The Company sit for most part in the Pit, where the Ladies form Semi-Circles, so that all their Faces are seen, which makes a very good Effect. I forgot to tell you, that the whole is well illuminated with Wax candles. There’s467 Dancing between the Acts, when there is no burlesque Interlude.

Besides the Italian Opera, there’s an English one, where they sing only the Tunes, the rest being recited. This, I think, is more just, than when the whole is sung; at least a Man does not sing when he is killing or beating himself.

The English Comedy is no less esteemed by the English, than it has been severely criticiz’d by the French, who say, ’tis not comparable to theirs. The Wits of both Nations have treated this important Subject very gravely, and have alike shewn their Presumption. I am far from giving my Judgment betwixt them; but I must say, that it seems to me, that the French are too much cramp’d by their Rules, and the English not enough. Thus do the two Nations discover the Difference of their Taste, the one for Obedience, the other for Liberty. Tho’ the English are not such nice Observers of the Simplicity of the Subject, and the Unity of Place, yet they seem to me to abound in happy Sentiments: And how much prejudiced soever they may be said to be in Favour of their own Productions, yet they do not want an Esteem for such French Pieces, where they meet with Sentiments that are agreeable. The Tragedy of Brutus by Voltaire is just translated here, which is a Piece that has had a better Run even at London, than at Paris; and as it was composed by the Author in England, he was so intirely captivated with the Freedom of Thinking among the English, that he had in some measure forgot he was a Frenchman, and speaks in it of Kings as if they were but Men.

The Plays lead me to give you an Account of the rest of those Pleasures in which the English seem to take Delight. They hunt much, but in a Manner very different from us. They ride exceeding468 hard, and hunt a poor Hare with as much Eagerness as they pursue a routed Enemy. Their Hounds, and their Horses too, encourage their Keenness for the Sport, there being not the like in the World for Speed; so that England furnishes almost all the Nobility in Europe with Horses and Dogs, as the King of Denmark does with Falcons.

The Swiftness of the English Horses is the Reason that there are Horse-Races every Year at a Place called Newmarket; and this really is what Travellers may say is worth seeing. These Races continue for several Days successively, and infinitely surpass those which are seen in Italy. They are run round a large Plain. Two Horses mounted by Jockeys contend which shall run fastest. The Riders are weighed, and to the lightest of them they give that Weight which he wants of the other. They ride without a Saddle, and with such Velocity, that the Eye can scarce keep Pace with ’em. Upon these Occasions, Wagers are laid of several thousand Pounds Sterling: And it seems to be a Festival celebrated to the Honour of Plutus, the God of Riches; for the Jockey that wins the Prize is sure to be refreshed with a Shower of Guineas, every one crouding to reward him. Such is the Custom of the English, who not only pay those handsomely who contribute to their Pleasures, but load them with Presents. This is to be seen at all the Prize-sightings, Rope-dancings, Tumblings, and such Diversions, where every one throws down Money upon the Stage to them that play their Part best. The Actors at the Opera and the Play-houses have also Gratuities, besides their Salaries; for once a Year, every Performer has a Benefit-Night, as they call it, which is the Surplus Money then taken, over and above the Charges of the House; and if the Person be a Favourite of the Town, as469 Notice is given by Play-Bills pasted up, for whose Benefit the Play is to be acted, People send for more Tickets than they shall make use of, for the Party’s Encouragement. This Generosity of the English towards those who give them Pleasure, extends in a particular Manner towards their Mistresses, for whom they think nothing too fine, nor too dear. Thus, ’tis not to Assiduity that they are willing to be obliged for the Favours which they receive, but to their Money, and their Presents; wherein they differ widely from certain Abbés of Rome, of whom no less than five or six club for the keeping of one Mistress.

These Abbés put me in mind of a numerous Tribe here, called Chaplains, whose bonny Countenances are a pretty evident Proof, that at the Reformation of the Church of England, their Revenues were not very much impaired. Whether these Gentlemen are more sober than our Clergy, I know not; but by Appearances I am almost tempted to think, that they have the same Thirst for Honour and Wealth, the same Cares and Uneasiness; in fine, that they are Men alike. The Difference is, that the English are subject to the Laws, that their Passions are kept within Bounds, and that the Laity are not so superstitious as to take them for Oracles. ’Tis said that they make admirable Sermons, the constant Tenor of which is to reform Mankind, and to guide them in the Path of Virtue. They read them instead of pronouncing them by Heart, which prevents them from falling into that extravagant Gesticulation, and those mad Rants and Enthusiasm, which commonly irritate more than edify. But I think I have said enough to you of the Clergy, when I had undertaken to give you a farther Account of the English Diversions. Those of the Vulgar are, the Battles of Animals, Prize-fighters, Wrestlers,470 and in a Word, all Manner of Diversions that contribute to the shedding of Blood; for here, Wounds go for nothing, and Death itself is but little dreaded. I fansy the English are descended from Mutius Scævola, because, like that Roman, they despise Pain. Among the Pleasures of the Populace there are some too that are mixed with Insolence; of which I saw an Instance a few Days ago in St. James’s Park. A Man had laid a Wager, that he would run round the Park in so many Minutes; and that he might be the less incumbered in his Race, he stripped himself stark naked, so that his Hand served him for a Fig-leaf. In this State of Nature he travers’d along the Mall, thro’ an infinite Concourse of People. The Ladies, astonish’d at such a Sight, knew not how to keep their Countenances: Some turned their Heads aside, others hid their Faces with their Fans, but they all made a Row, as well as the Men, to let him pass by. After he had finished his Race, he gravely put on his Cloaths, near Whitehall, where he left ’em; and as he had won the Wager, abundance of People, instead of checking him for his Insolence, threw him Money. Judge by this, if any People are so good-natur’d and happy as the English.

Among the Pleasures of this Nation, I must not forget to mention the Parties they make for the Country. This the English set a great Value upon, and really well they may; for indeed their Country is very beautiful. It produces them every thing but Wine. Their Fields have always a fresh Verdure, the Gentlemens Country-Seats are superb, and in the Country the English live with the Grandeur of Noblemen, whereas at London they live for most part like mere private Men.

Nothing can be more agreeable to the Eye, than the Suburbs of London, particularly along471 the Thames. I cannot conceive how a Native of England, and one too that has a Fortune to depend on, can resolve to leave these Regions, as a great many English nevertheless do, who prefer Countries to which Nature has not been so kind, before their own. I confess, that if I had one thousand Pounds Sterling a Year in England, I would renounce the most shining Offers of Fortune elsewhere; for the Climate here is mild, without that excessive Heat or Cold which is so troublesome in other Parts of the World: And indeed, ’tis for this Cause that the Fruits here are not so kindly as elsewhere, and that the Grape does not grow here for the Production of Wine; but then, this Defect is supplied by the Grapes of Spain and Portugal, which are imported here in Abundance.

One of the most agreeable Prospects in the Country here, is to see the happy Condition of the Peasants, who are all well lodged, well clad, and well fed. Their Lot is happier than that of many Gentlemen in certain Provinces that I know. Here is nothing of that excessive Subordination which is demanded by the Grandees of other Countries. A Gentleman who makes a Visit to a Lord, is receiv’d by him as his Equal, without being made sensible of the Difference that has happened betwixt them on the Score of Birth. Nevertheless, the great Men are very much honoured here; for while they are civil, every body strives to pay them all Sorts of Deference, but nobody thinks he is born to be insulted by them.

The Great Men here, as well as in France, don’t scruple to marry Women of inferior Families. Indeed there ought to be a great Distinction made between the English Merchant and the Merchants of other Countries. The English are often descended from the greatest Families in the Kingdom, 472and we have seen some of them go from behind their Compter to a Peerage, when by Right of Succession they rise from Cadets to be the eldest of their Families. Thus, when a Nobleman marries a Merchant’s Daughter, she sometimes proves his Cousin, or a Lady of a distinguish’d Family; whereas in France, she is always the Daughter of a Plebeian.

These, Sir, are the few Remarks that I have made upon this Country, and I wish they may entertain you. As I propose to make some longer Stay here, I may hereafter send you farther Observations on what occurs. In the mean time, continue me in the Honour of your Remembrance, and be thoroughly persuaded, that no Person in the World is more particularly than I am, &c.




An Alphabetical INDEX



Abbés, Italian, 69, 70.
Five or six club for one Mistress, 469.
Abbesses that preach’d, bless’d and confess’d, 195.
Academy, French.
Its Invitation to the Stage-Players, and their Return of the Favour, 266, 267.
Acquaviva, Cardinal, 4, 44, 55.
—— Charles, Pr. of, 136.
Acunha, Lewis de, 406.
Agasias the Ephesian, 49.
Agnus Dei’s, their Fabrication and Distribution, Origin and Consecration, 99, &c.
Agrippa, Emperor, 7.
Agrippina, the Mother of Nero, 332.
Aignan, (St.) Duke de, 85, 123.
Aix la Chapelle, t. 327.
Reliques exposed there, 329.
Aix Parliament.
The Jansenists with the Members hang’d, 194.
An Epigram, making them greater Sinners than Pilate, ibid.
Alacoque Maria, made a Saint by a Bishop, 202.
Alais, Count de, 217.
Albano Cardinal, 15, 16, 37, 78, 88.
—— Painter, 359.
Albemarle, Earl and Countess, 407, 408.
Alberoni’s Proposal to the Cardinals, to take away the Franchises of Churches, 75.
Clement XIth’s Design to deprive him of the Hat, 88.
Albert, Archduke of Austria, 313.
Albert the Great, Bishop of Ratisbon, 327.
Albert, Cardinal of Brandenbourg, 336, 342.
Albin, St. Abbé of, 291.
Alcmaer, t. 392.
Alegre, Marshal, 339.
Alexander Farnese, 39.
Alexander VI. Pope, 97.
Alexandria de la Paille, t. 151.
Aliberti, Count, his Theatre, 65.
Alincourt, Marquis de, 174, 175.
Remarkable Preferment of his Son to the See of Lyons, 175, 176.
Almanza Victory, to what ascrib’d, 259.
Alstein, a German Minister, 382.
Altelli, General of the Corsicans, 150.
Alva, Duke of, 317.
Ambiorix, King, 321.
Ambrun, Council of, 240.
Amelia, Princess, 448.
Amende honorable, Punishment, what, 433.
Amerongen, Brigadier de.
The Token he gave of his Love for a Lady, at the Hazard of his Life, 320.
Amsterdam, t. 317, 371.
Anabaptist, Dutch, his Zeal for Comedy, 410, 411.
Andernach, t. 348.
Angelo, Michael, 33, 37.
St. Angelo, Castle, 31.
Angervilliers, M. de, 238, 239.
Anne of Austria, 198.
—— of Bavaria, the Palatine, 218.
—— Queen of England, Reflection on her Statue at St. Paul’s, 433.
—— Princess Royal of England, 448.
Anna Maria Frances of Saxe-Lawenburg, Duchess of Tuscany, 135.
Antin, Duke of, 188, 199.
His Son, 226.
Antonine Pillar, 3.
Antoninus Caracalla, Emperor, 38.
Antoninus and Faustina’s Temple at Rome, 35.
Antwerp, t. 317.
Ara Ubiorum of the Ancients, 338.
Archduchess, Governess of the Netherlands, 299, to 302, 304.
Ardicinio, Cardinal, 87.
Aremberg, Duke de, (just made Generalissimo of the Imperial Forces in the Austrian Netherlands) 297, 298, 299, 306.
Argenson, M. de, Keeper of the Seals, 210, 236, 245, 385.
Armagnac, M. de, 251.
Armand his extraordinary Adventures, 414, &c.
Armenonville, M. de, 236.
Arno, R. 141.
Ascanio, the Spanish Minister, 132.
Asfeldt, Baron de, 339.
Asperen, Count de, 403.
Assassins, Sanctuary at Rome, 75, 76.
Assemblies, at Rome, 69, 70, 71.
Astalli, Cardinal, his Elopement when the Pope went to deprive him of his Hat, 93 to 95.
Asti, t. 151.
Astrologer, Turkish, his Prophecy relating to himself, Father, Grandfather, and Great-Grandfather, 140.
Athlone, Earl of, 366.
Aubigny, Theodore de, Admiral, the famous Protestant and Author, 264.
—— Frances de, his Grand-daughter, who was Marchioness de Maintenon, 262 to 265.
Her Family, 264.
Audenarde, Battle, to what the French ascribe the Loss of it, 153.
Audiences, the Ceremony of those given by the Pope, 55, &c.
August, Snow in that Month, 13.
Augustus, Emperor, 7.
—— King of Poland. The Countess of Wartemberg’s Attack upon him, 410.
Auricular Confession, why abolish’d throughout the East, 195.
Author, the, his Amour with an old Coquet of the pious Sort, 286, &c.
—— At what Age he could like to be a Frenchman, and at what an Englishman, 455.
—— His Father’s Death, 321.
Auverquerque, Maurice, Count de, 412, 413.
Auxerre, t. 183.
Ayrolles, M. de, 405.
Bacharach, Wine, 352.
Baden, Princess, marry’d to the Duke of Orleans, 206.
Treaty there, 255.
How Prince Lewis was surpriz’d by M. Villars, 256.
Bagnolet Village, 206.
Baker castrated by his jealous Wife, 183.
Balbi, James, a Genoese Nobleman, 146.
Balls at the Haymarket, magnificent, 465.
Banchieri, Cardinal, 16, 18, 44, 54, 112.
Bank Bills, French, 245 to 248.
—— Of Amsterdam, 380.
Barberini Family, more barbarous than the Barbarians, 7.
—— Cardinal, 15, 78, 96.
—— Palace, 40, 64.
Barcelona reduc’d, 257.
Bareith, Prince of, 404.
Baron, a French Comedian and Coxcomb, 200.
Barre, John, his extraordinary Adventures, 414, &c.
Barricades of Paris erected, 283.
Bavaria, Elector of, 214, 303.
Beaufort, Count de, 323.
Beaujolois, Mademoiselle de, 208.
Becker, M. de, Chancellor, 363.
Belisarius’s Statue, 48.
Belle-Isle, Count de, 210, 217, 227.
Benedict XIII. Pope, 26. His Credulity abus’d by the Cardinals, particularly Coscia; and his great Humility and Sanctity, 26 to 30.
A Reflection on his Ministers, 114.
Benefices, Instances of Pluralities, 337, 342.
Benefit-Nights at the Theatre, 468.
Bensberg, t. 357.
Bentivoglio, Cardinal, 4, 13, 14, 85.
His Dissatisfaction with the Emperor about Parma, 120.
Death and Successor, 130.
—— Marquis, 14.
Berg, Country, 361.
Bernini Lorenzo, Architect, 6, 8.
—— The Sculptor, 9, 34, 48, 101.
Berry, Duke of, 206.
Berwic, James, (late) Duke. His Parentage and Preferments, 257 to 259.
His too great Obsequiousness to the Regent and Court of France, 258, 259.
His Death and Successor, 259.
His great Aversion to the English, and Ingratitude to the King of Spain, 258, 259.
Beverwert, M. de, 401.
Bichi, Cardinal, 116, 117, 118.
Bingen, t. 352.
Binger-Loch, a Cascade upon the Rhine, 351.
Bissi, Cardinal, 14.
Blanc, M. le, Secretary, 210, 227, 238.
Blaspiel, Baron and Baroness de, 363, 364.
Bleickert Wine, 348.
Blood Divine, suck’d by the Pope, 21.
Bodies Human, a Thought concerning them, 272.
Boerhaave, Professor, 397.
Boetselaars, 412.
Bois, Cardinal de, 230, 291, 292.
Story of his Marriage, 293.
His brutish Conversation, and Habit of Swearing, 294, 295.
His Tomb, and Remark upon it, 295.
Bologna, t. 129, &c.
Bolognetti, Cardinal, 37.
—— Countess, 69.
Boniface VIII. Pope. His Order about the Cardinals Robes, 86.
Bonn, t. 337.
Bonnet, (St.) an Officer, 338.
Bookselling Trade, the Centre of it, 386.
Bookbinder and his Wife, Suicides, 270 to 273.
Bork, M. de, 363.
Borghese, Prince, his Palace, 46, 48, 49.
His Family the Favourites of St. Peter, 47.
Borghese, Scipio, Cardinal, 47, 48, 49.
Borgia, Cardinal, his Resignation of the Hat, 87.
—— Casar, Duke de Valentinois, his Contrivance to poison a Cardinal, like to have been fatal to himself, 97, 98.
Borgo, Marquis del, 157, 161.
Bossu, Cardinal de, 318.
Bot, General, 362.
Boufflers, Marshal, 253, 315.
Bougir’s House at Aix la Chapelle, 331.
Bourbon, Duke of, 182, 186, 207, 290, 291.
How he lost an Eye, 208.
Made Superintendant of the King’s Education, and Prime Minister, 209, 210, 221.
Displac’d, 211, 226, 230.
His Marriage, 212.
—— Duchess of, 216, 217.
Brandenburg Anspach, Margrave, 446.
Breteuil, M. 210, 238, 293.
Brignole, Messieurs, of Genoa, 147.
Brille, t. 427.
Brioche, Swiss, burnt for a Conjurer, 385.
Brosse, M. de, 405.
Brouffel arrested by Anne of Austria, 283.
Bruges, t. 312.
Bruhl, Seat of the Elector of Cologne, 340.
Brunette, Fort de la, 169.
Brunswic, Duchess of, 218.
—— Lunenburg, Antony-Ulric, Duke, 361.
Brussels, t. 298.
Its Trade, and the Pleasures of the Court and the City, 308, 317.
Brutus’s Tragedy by Voltaire, 265, 266, 467.
Bucentaur of Venice, the Oath taken by her Captain, 315.
Buckingham House, 437.
—— Duchess Dowager, ib.
Bullen, Anne, Queen, 438.
Buonarota, Mich. Angelo, 6, 24.
Buoncompagno, Cardinal, his Comparison of the Pope to the Holy Sepulchre, 29.
His Funeral, 107.
Burgomasters, Dutch, 376.
Burgundians, their Character, 182.
Burgundy, Wine, counterfeited, 348.
Burgundy, Duke, his Honour vindicated, 154.
How much he is still venerated in France, 204.
Bussy, Rabutin’s Letters, 182, 443.
Cadiere, Mademoiselle la, her Affair with Girard her Father Confessor, 193.
Her Recantation of the Charge against him, 194.
Cadogan, Earl and Countess, 409.
Calf, M. disowns his Son by reason of his Dress, 390.
Cambray, t. 291.
Congress, 295, 296.
Campagna di Roma, infested by Locusts, 41.
Campo Vaccino, Square, at Rome, 34.
Canals, Canards, and Canaille 428.
Canons, where they have the Title of Counts, 180.
Capitol, of Rome, 33.
Caponi, Marquis de, 346.
Carache, Annibal, Painter, 39, 359.
Caraffa, John Peter, Cardinal, 126.
Cardinals in Petto, what, 82.
The slavish Life of the Cardinals, with all their Dignity, 83.
Their Manner of going Abroad, 83, 84.
Their Dress, and a Vindication of ’em from Luxury, 84.
The Vanity of their Pretension to an Equality with crown’d Heads, 85.
Their Manner of Visiting, and their several Orders, 86.
Why their Hats are Red, and their Robes and Bonnets Scarlet, ib.
How they came to the Title of Eminency, ib.
Who the greatest Pushers for the Hat, and who have resign’d it, 87.
Their Consinement to the Dominions of the Holy See, 90, 93.
Why they always take their own Liquor with them, 97.
Carignan, Prince of, 201.
Carlos, Don, his Journey to Tuscany, 139, 233, 318.
A Prophecy of Nostradamus apply’d to him, 139.
Carnival, at Rome, 64.
Caroline, Princess, 448.
Carolis, Cardinal, 37.
Carpentier, a French Refugee in Holland, 429.
Carpinetti, Duke, 42.
Casimir, John of Poland, Cardinal, his Resignation of the Hat, 87.
King, 336.
Cassius, Florus, 340.
Castor and Pollux, represented by two great Horses, 33.
Catharine, Queen, Wife to Hen. VIII. 438.
Wife to Char. II. threatened by a Lady never to be visited again, till she could be seen for 6 d. 444.
Catinat, Marshal de, 252.
Cellamare, Prince of, 180, 222.
Cenis, Mountain, 168, 169, 170.
Cevennois Rebellion suppressed, how, 253.
Chalons, upon the Saone, t. 180.
Chamber of Justice in France, 249.
Chamberry, t. 171.
Chantilly, Seat, 290.
Chaplains, English, 469.
Charlemagne, Emperor, 325, 330.
Charles Emanuel II. of Savoy, his finishing a Road on the Alpes, which the Romans began, 171.
Charles V. Emperor, 311, 400.
His Declaration about the Dutch, 428.
—— VI. Emperor. 328.
His Addresses to the Princess (the late Queen of Great Britain) 446.
Charles I. King of England, the Window from which he walk’d to the Scaffold, 435.
His Statue. 438.
—— II. King of England, his Statue, 434.
His Menace of the City of London, 431.
His Design to improve St. James’s Park, 436.
—— King of Sardinia, his dutiful Conduct towards his Father, at and after his Abdication, 155.
His Queen, 165.
Charni, Marquis de, General, 137.
Charolois, Count de, 212 to 217.
—— Madem. de, 217, 218.
Charost, Duke de, 226, 227.
Chartres, Duke de, 206, 209, 268.
—— Madem. de, 207.
Châtelain, M. de, 383.
Chauvelin, M. de, Keeper of the Seals, (just remov’d) 236.
Chelles, Abbess of, 207.
Chesterfield, Earl of, 403.
Children, 365
born at once, 425.
Chimay, Prince de, 318.
Chocolate-house, in St. James’s street, 463.
Choisy, t. 188, 189.
Christina, Queen of Sweden, 11, 25.
A cruel Action of hers, 184.
Church, built by a Lottery, 201.
Churchill, Arabella, 257.
Cibo, Cardinal, 143.
Alaric, ibid.
Cicero’s, in Italy, what, 261.
Cicisbei, the Name of those who gallant the Genoese Ladies, 148.
Cienfuegos, Cardinal, 15, 16, 17, 45, 78, 85.
His Dissatisfaction with the Emperor in the Affair of Parma, 120.
The Theft he committed in Westminster Abbey, 440.
Claude, of Lorain, Duchess of Tuscany, 135.
Clement Augustus, Elector of Cologne, 332, 336, 342.
His Revenue, 337.
His Brothers, 341.
His Aggrandisement asserted to be for the Interest of Popery, 342, 343.
Clement XI. (Pope) his Design against Cardinal Alberoni, 88.
—— XII. Pope, 6.
His Election, 13.
Adoration of the Cardinals to him, 17, 18.
His Coronation, 19.
Our Author’s Audience, 55.
His Promotion of Cardinals, 77, 78, 115.
His great Age and Ailments, 88.
His Severity, 91, 167.
General Character, 114.
Concern for losing the Duchy of Parma, 114.
—— James, the Assassin, 269.
Clermont, Count de, 212, 216.
Mademoiselle de, 217, 218.
Cleves, t. 363.
Cloud, St. Duke of, 192.
Palace of, 268.
Clovis, King of France, 269.
Coblentz, t. 349.
Coffee-Houses, much frequented by the English, 463.
Cologne, Elector of, 213.
City, 332, 336.
Colonna, Cardinal, 15, 42.
—— Signior, a Prelate, 122.
—— Constable, and Family, 42, 82.
Comedies, French and Dutch, 385.
Comptroller General’s Office in France, compar’d to the Post of the Grand Vizier, 239.
Conclave, for the Choice of a Pope, 13, 70.
Concord, Temple of, at Rome, 35.
Conde, Family, 182, 208.
Hon. Julius of Bourbon, Prin. 218, Louisa Benedictina, Princ. 220.
Consistories of Rome, 81.
Constantine, Arch. at Rome, 34.
Conti, Cardinal, 91.
—— Family of, 218.
—— Princess Dowager of, 188, 217-220.
—— Lewis of Bourbon, Prince, his Marriage, 208, 217.
—— Mademoiselle, 209.
Cornetto, Adrian, Cardinal, a Design to poison him, 97.
Cornicchini, Augustin, the Statuary, 9.
Coronation Chair, of the English Sovereigns, 441.
Corpus Christi, Ceremonies on that Day at Rome, 124.
and at St. Sulpice, 202.
Correggio, Painter, 359.
Corsica, Island, more Cost than Worship to the Genoese, 150.
Corsicans, call’d the Devils of Italy, 143.
Their War with the Genoese, 149, &c.
Corsini, Cardinal, 6.
His Election to be Pope, 13.
His Nephew, Neri Corsini, a Cardinal, 19, 78, 119.
Bartholomew, another, 52, 92.
Philip, his great Nephew, 44.
Character of his Nephews, 119.
Mesdames, the Popes Nieces, 69, 103, 104.
His Antipathy to Cardinal Bichi, 117.
Cortona, Peter, Painter, 40, 359.
Coscia, Cardinal, his Abuse of the Pope’s Credulity, 27, 28.
His Bargain with Ruspoli’s Father, to get his Son a Cardinal’s Hat, 77.
Another of his Bargains of that sort, 83.
His Treatment by the Popes, 89, 90, 91.
His Imprisonment, 91.
Cosmo, I. II. III. Great Dukes of Tuscany, 135.
Statue of the First, 140.
Costa, Auditor General of Corsica, 150.
Coster, Laurence, of Harlem, 395.
Courland, Dukes Kettlers, 135, 136.
Courtray, t. 313.
Craggs, Secretary, his Monument, 440.
Crescens, St., Disciple of St. Paul, 353.
Crumpiper, Henry, 302.
Culmbache, Brandenburgh, Princess of, 307, 404.
Cumberland, (Prince William) D. of, 447.
Cumiane, Mademoiselle de, 156.
Curtius’s Statue, 48.
Cyr, St. Abbey of, 261.
Daguesseau, M. Chancellor, 235, 236.
Dalberg, Baron de, 354.
Damasus II. Pope, 22.
Dammartin, Count de, 213.
Dangeau, M. de, 216.
Daphne’s Metamorphosis, 48.
Davia, Cardinal, 14.
David with his Sling, a Statue, 48.
Daun, Marshal, 152, 304.
Dauphin, of France, whence that Title, 173.
Dauphiné, 172, 173.
Delft, t. 400, 425.
Denain, Battle, 251, 404.
Denys, Saint, 192.
Devenish, M. de, 314.
Devils of Italy, who, 143.
Devos’s Tapistry, 308.
Dickson, Colonel, 314.
Dijon, t. 181.
Dirce, her Fable, 38.
Dobelstein, Baron de, 331.
Dohna, Alexander de, Count, 349.
—— Ferassier de, Count, 404.
Dombes, Prince of, 221, 224.
—— Principality, 179, 180, 220.
Doria, Cardinal, 55, 91, 116.
—— General, 147.
Ducks, in abundance, 418.
Duisbourg, t. 362.
Dulis, a Jew, 411.
Dunbar, Lord, his Station at the Pretender’s Court, 58.
His Marriage of Princess Sobleski by Proxy, 62.
Duncan, M. de, 407.
Dunchstein, Mineral Water, 349.
Dusseldorf, t 358.
Dutch, vindicated from Treachery, 368, 428.
Their common Food, 372.
Their Coffee-houses, and Comedies, 385.
Assemblies, 386.
Dress, 390.
Lasses, 393.
Dyck, Van, Painter, 359.
Echelles, t. 171.
Edward I. King of England, the Trophy he brought from Scotland, of his Conquest, 441.
Egmont, Count, the Prince of Orange’s Farewell of him, 453.
—— Palace in Brussels, 299.
Elbeue, de, Commandeur, the Tuscan Minister, 131, 134.
Eleanor, of Toledo, Gr. Duchess of Tuscany, 135.
—— of Provence, Wife to K. Hen. III. 435.
Eminency, how that Title came to the Cardinals, 86.
Emperors, German, their Manner of giving Audience, 215.
Enckhuisen, t. 392.
England’s Kings, their Power and Court, 442, 443, 444.
Its Soil and Climate, 470, 471.
Englishmen, said to be better Abroad than at Home, 326.
Their Manners, 453, &c. 463.
The Dress of the Courtier and the Citizen, 436, 437, 460.
Genius of the Nation, 442, 462.
Vindicated from Disaffection to their Kings, 442.
Applauded for defending their Rights, 443.
Their friendly, tho’ melancholy Tempers, and their Aversion to Constraint, 454, 455.
Their Diversions, 467, 469, 470.
Their Manners compared with the French 455.
Vindicated from Cruelty, 457, 458.
Their too great Freedom with Life, 459.
Their Womens Beauty, 460, 461.
Their Behaviour in Public, 461.
Why the English are supposed to be descended from Mutius Scavola, 470.
An Influence of their Good-nature and Happiness, ibid.
Blam’d for preferring other Countries to their own, 471.
Their different Living in the Country from the City, 470.
Epernon, Duke de, 226.
Epitaph upon Epitaphs, 414.
Erasmus’s Statue, 426.
Essex, Earl of, his Head expos’d, 432.
Estrades, Count de, Ambassador, 401.
Estrées, Marshal de, Victor Maria, his Conduct, Character, Dignities, Family, Estate, and his fine Diamonds, 260.
—— Gabriella de, Mistress to Henry IV. of France, 260.
Eu, Count de, 221, 225.
Eugene, of Savoy, Prince, 143, 259.
St. Evremont, M. his Monument, 440.
Eysenach, Saxe, Princess of, 446.
Fagel, Gressier, 406.
Farnese, Francis, Duke of Parma, 114.
Farnese, Palace, at Rome, 37.
Faustina, Signora, 66.
Faustus, John of Mentz, 395.
Fest, Ceremony of washing them on Holy Thursday, 98.
Feldtbruck, Mademoiselle de, the severe Test she requir’d of her Lover’s Affection, 320.
Fenelon, Archbishop of Cambray, 291, 403.
—— Brigadier and Ambassador, 403.
Ferdinand de Medicis, Duke of Tuscany, 135.
Ferrayo, Cardinal, 116, 117, 118.
Ferrero, Cardinal, 167.
Filippucci, Cardinal, his Resignation of the Hat, 87.
Fine Gentleman, his Character, 462.
Fiochi, of the Cardinals, what it means, 83.
Fireworks of Germany, expensive, 187.
Flax, why burnt at the Pope’s Coronation, 20.
Flemings, unsociable, 312.
Flemish Woman, good Topers, ibid.
Fleury, Cardinal de, made Prime Minister, 211.
His Character, 228 to 235, 283.
Florence, t. 130, &c.
Florentin, Count de St. 237, 238.
Flowers, beautiful, where, 395.
Fontainebleau, Palace and Town, 184, 188.
Fontana, the Architect, 8, 9.
Force, Duke de la, 243.
France, whether ’twas her Interest to enter into the last War, 232 to 235.
Francis, I. King of France, 184.
Francis de Medicis, Great Duke of Tuscany, 135.
Frangipani, Marquis, 52.
Frederic, King of Bohemia, 366.
—— Elector of Brandenburg, 338, 362, 446.
—— Augustus, King of Poland, 360, 361.
Frederic, King of Prussia, 361, 362, 367, 399.
Frejus, Bishop of, 228, 229, 230.
French, how they accounted for the Loss of so many Battles in the last War, 153.
Not so modest as the Allies, 295.
Their Levity, 196, 197, 279.
Their good Qualities, 197, 275, 276.
Their Fashions, by whom to be followed, and by whom avoided, 460, 461.
Frêne, M. du, a famous French Comedian, 266.
Fribourg, t. 254.
Fridlingen Battle, 252.
Frouley, Count de, Ambassador, 202.
Fugger, Countess de, 348.
Furius Camillus, the Dictator, his Vow, 35.
Furstenberg, Princess, 307.
Galen, Bernard de, Bishop, the Terror of the Dutch, 343.
Galloway, Lord, 440.
Gamarre, the Spanish Ambassador’s Dispute with M. de Thon, a French Ambassador, about Precedency, 400.
Gamesters, order’d to the Gallies, 30.
Gaming, prohibited by the Pope, 70.
—— One of the Plagues of the French Nation, 198.
What their Ladies call a Man who does not play, and what the Men say of Gaming in general, 199, 200.
How Gamesters are caress’d at many Womens Houses, and the great Emoluments of Gaming, 201.
Who have a Grant for licensing it, ibid.
Gardening, in Italy, declin’d, 33, 47.
Gasse, Count de, 212.
Gaston, John. See Tuscany’s Great Duke.
Gaydon, Major, in the Pretender’s Service, 61, 62.
Gendre, Peter le, 175.
Genoa, t. 144.
Its Neighbourhood, 151.
Its Bombardment by the French, 144.
Character of the Genoese, 148.
Their War with the Corsicans, 149.
Gentili, Cardinal, 116.
Gentlemen, whether that Title be more due to Stage-Players, than to Rope-Dancers or Tumblers, 268.
George I. King 436.
His Statue, 438.
Compar’d to Augustus, 442.
George II. King, 434, 445.
His Queen, 445, 446, 447.
Their Manner of Dining in Public, 449.
Drawing-Room, 456.
Gerard, Balthasar, the Assassin, 425.
Gergy, Parson of St. Sulpice, 202.
—— His Brother, Bishop of Soissons, ibid.
—— Another, Ambassador at Venice, ibid.
Germain, (St.) Abbat and Friers, ibid.
German Princes, wiser than the Italian, 128.
Germany, the Strength of the Protestants and Papists there, 343.
Gevres, Duke, 201.
Ghent, t. 310, 317.
Giafferi, Leader of the Corsican Rebels, 150.
Girard, Father, his Affair with a Lady at Confession, 193, &c.
Giudici, Cardinal, 37, 90.
Gladiators, Statue, 49.
Golofskin, Count de, 404.
Golstein, Countess de, 331.
Gondrin, Marquis de, 226.
Gondulphus, Bishop, his Ghost, 329.
Gondy, Francis de, Archbishop of Paris, 192.
Gonzague, Cardinals, their Resignation of the Hat, 87.
Goudenau, Marshal de, 346.
Grafton, Duke, 449.
Grammont, Duke de, 199.
Grana, Marquis de, 297.
Grantham, Earl of, 449.
s’Gravesande, Professor, 397.
Great Duke of Tuscany, by whom the Title was invented, 135.
Greenwich Hospital, 432.
St. Gregory the Great, Pope, 31.
Gregory XIII. Pope, 32.
Gregory XV. Pope, 192.
Grenoble, t. 173.
Greys, M. 405.
Grilli (Locusts) apply’d to a Family of that Name, 41.
Grimani, Cardinal Legate, 129, 130.
Grosvenor’s Square, 438.
Guadagno, Cardinal, 115.
Guiccardi, Count, 149.
Guido, Painter, 359.
Hackney, the Ceremony of presenting it to the See of Rome for Naples, 42 to 46.
Hague, Village, 398, &c.
Halle, t. 298.
Handel, the Composer, 466.
Handkerchief of our Saviour, a Relique to be seen in three Places, 154.
Hanover Family, the Temper with which they received the News of their Accession to the British Throne, 446.
Hapsbourg, Count, 328.
Harlai, President, his Repartee to the French Comedians, 267.
Harlem, t. 394.
Harrach, Frederic, Count de, 303.
Harrington, Lord, 453.
Harwich, t. 430.
Hass, M. the Saxon, 66.
Hats, Cardinals, why red, 86.
Hatto, Bishop, pursued and gnawed by Rats, 352.
Hawitz, Grand Marshal, 149.
Haxhausen, General, 332.
Hayes, Mr. and Mrs. styl’d Lord and Lady Inverness, 58, 59.
Hazard, Play, prohibited by the Pope, 70.
Heidelberg Library, 25.
Helvoetsluys, t. 417 to 429.
Henneberg, Countess of. See Holland.
Henry III. King of France, his Assassination, 269.
Ill Omens observ’d at his Consecration, ibid.
—— King of England, his Wife, 435.
—— VIIth’s Chapel, 440.
Henry of Portugal, Cardinal, his Resignation of the Hat, 87.
St. Henry of Bavaria, Emperor, 331.
Herenhausen Water-Works, 269.
Hermaphrodite Statue, 49.
Herod, whither banish’d, 173.
Hesse Rhinfels, Princess of, (late) Queen of Sardinia, 165, 212.
—— Eleonora, Duchess of Bourbon, her Marriage, 212.
Hesse Cassel, Prince Williams, 320.
Landgrave, 351.
—— Charles, Landgrave, 361.
Highwayman’s remarkable Escape, 457.
Hildebold, Archbishop of Cologn, 327.
Hochstet, Battle, to what the French ascribe the Loss of it, 153.
Hogendorp, M. 413.
Hohen-Zollern, Count de, 344.
Holland, Florence IV. Count of, 425.
Holland, Countess of, his Daughter, deliver’d of three hundred sixty-five Children at a Birth, 425.
Holy Ghost, Picture of a Cardinal taking Aim at him with a Fusee, 17.
Holy Week, how observed at Rome, 96.
Hompesch, General, 399.
Honslaerdyck, Palace, 425.
Hoornbeck, Pensionary, 406.
Horne, t. 392.
Horses, Dogs, and Falcons, where they abound most, 468.
House, in the Wood, 425.
Howard, Family of, 438.
Jacob’s Pillow, 440.
Jagellon, K. of Poland, 336.
St. James’s Palace and Park, 435, 436.
Square, 438.
Church, 439.
James II. King, censur’d for neglecting a very precious Relique, 440.
Jew, Dutch, his Zeal for the Opera, in Opposition to an Anabaptist, who was as hot for Comedy, 410, 411.
Jews, at Amsterdam, 388, 411.
Imperiali, Cardinal, 13, 14, 93.
NB. He dy’d in January 1736-7.
India, Company, Dutch, 388.
Infanta of Spain, sent back from France, 210, 211.
Ingelheim, Baron de, 354.
Innocent IV. Pope, his Order about Cardinals Hats, 86.
Innocent X. Pope, 90, 93.
Inquisition, at Rome, not so bad as represented, 125.
Congregation of the Holy Office, 126.
Invalids, Hospital, at Paris, 198.
Inverness, Lord and Lady, 58, 59.
Joan, of Austria, Duchess of Tuscany, 135.
Joannino, the Duke of Tuscany’s Favourite, 132, 133.
Johannesburg Wine, 352.
John St. de Maurienne, t. 170.
John-William, Elector Palatine, 358, 359.
John II. King of France, why compar’d to Regulus, 435.
John III. King of Portugal, 87.
Joseph Clement, Elector of Cologne, 345.
Isis, Goddess, and her Temple, 190.
Italians, their revengeful Temper, 14.
Jealousy and Niggardliness, 73, 74.
Their Disposition towards the French and Germans, 16.
Their Behaviour at Executions, 110, 111, 112.
Their Hatred to one another, 127.
The Formality of settling the Interviews of their petty Princes, 128.
Why they are the Jest of Foreigners, ibid.
Who the most polite, 139.
Italians, of the Netherlands, who, 324.
Italy, Devils of, who so called, 143.
Judgement, Day of, a remarkable Painting, 24.
Juliers, t. 332, 361.
Keiserswaert, t. 347, 361.
Keppel, M. de, 407, 408.
Kettlers Family, Dukes of Courland, 135.
Their Parallel with the Medicis of Tuscany, 136.
Keys of St. Peter, what they denote, 23.
Kings of Cologne, 333.
Kroon, Theodore, Van der, 369.
Lacqueys, at Paris, the Favourites of their Ladies and young Masters, 275.
A Conversation between those of two Cardinals, about their Pre-eminence, 294.
Lalaing, Count de, 312.
Lalock, Nassau, Count de, 314, 315, 412, 413.
Landau, t. 254.
Lanebourg, t. 170.
Lansquenet, The French King’s Party at that Game, 199.
Lateran Church, the Ceremony of the Pope’s taking Possession of it, 49.
Lauzun, M. de, 179.
Law, John, the Projector, 210, 239.
King of Sardinia’s Advice to him, 239.
His Death, and his Widow and Son, 240.
A Copy of Verses on him, 241.
His Coat of Arms, 243.
The Homage paid to him in his Prosperity, 244.
Description of his Person, and Remarks on his System, 245, &c. to 250, 380.
Leghorn, t. the grand Appearance there on the Arrival of the Spanish Fleet, in which they expected Don Carlos, 139.
Description of the City, &c. 140, &c.
Leie, Count de la, 350.
Lenoirs Tapistry Manufacture, 308.
Leo III. Pope, his Present to Charlemain, 99.
Leopold, Archduke, 342.
Lepanto, Victory, 43.
Lerici, t. 143.
Lewis d’Ors, worn in a Lady’s Ears for Pendants, 218.
Lewis, the Pious, 327.
—— Duke of Burgundy, 363.
Lewis XIV. his Statue, &c. at Lyons, 178.
At Dijon, 181.
His Debt, 246.
His Offer to Charles II. of Stones for Gravel, 437.
—— XVth’s Marriage, 185-211.
His Character, 203, 204.
His Queen and Children, 204, 205.
Lewis, Pr. of Baden, how surpriz’d by M. Villars, 256.
Leyden, t. 396.
—— University, 397.
St. Liberius I. Pope, 13.
Lichtenstein, Princess de, 303.
Liege, t. 321 to 324.
Limburg, t. 326.
Lintz, t. 348.
Lippe, Count de la, 344.
Liria, Duke of, 257, 259.
Lisle, t. 296, 315, 316.
Livery, Servants at Rome, their poor Wages, 105.
The Practice of Jubileeing them, what, 106.
Some kept only for Sundays and Holidays, ibid.
Lobkowitz, Princess, 307.
Locusts, in Italy, curs’d by the Pope and banish’d to the Sea, 41.
London, t. 430.
to the End. King Charles IId’s Menace against this City ridicul’d by one of the Aldermen, 431.
Its Increase since the Accession of the Present Royal Family to the Crown, 439.
—— Prov’d to be more populous than Paris, 190, 191.
It’s Bridge, 432.
Cathedral, ibid.
Monument, Burse, and Tower, 434.
Streets not well pav’d, 437, 438.
Its Diversions, 462, &c.
Assemblies, 465.
Dances and Plays, 464 to 467.
Macon, t. 180.
Maestricht, t. 319, 329
Mailly, Cardinal, 229.
Maine, Duke of, 179, 180, 181, 220, &c.
Duchess, her Imprisonment, 180, 222, 223.
His Degradation, 209, 222.
—— Mademoiselle de, 225.
Maintenon, Madame de, 261.
Lewis XIVth’s Reprimand of her for leaving him in his last Sickness, 262.
Her Retirement, Death, Tomb and Epitaph, 162, 263, &c.
Her Family and Pension to the last, 264.
—— Who is the present Marquis, ibid.
Malines, Lady of, 314.
Malplaquet, Battle, 253.
Malta, Grand Master’s Title, 86.
His Ambassador’s Reception by the Pope, 121.
Malusius, 340.
Maratti, Charles, a Designer, 32.
Marble, rich Quarries of it, 143.
Mark William, de Lumay, Count de la, 427.
Marcus Aurelius Antonius, his Equestrian Statue, for which the Venetians offer’d as many Sequins as could be put into the Horse’s Belly, 33.
Marez, a noted old Actress of Lyons, 177, 178.
Margaretta Louisa of Orleans, Duchess of Tuscany, 135.
Mari, (Spanish) Admiral, 137, 148.
Marienbourg, t. 336.
Mariensteal, t. ibid.
Marlborough’s Duke, and Palace, 437.
Marpurg, t. 336.
Marquis de L——, his Fortune made by an old Lady, 285.
Marr, Lady, her meeting Princess Sobleski, 63.
Mary Magdalen of Austria, Duchess of Tuscany, 135.
St. Mary Majors Church at Rome, 12.
Mary de la Rovero, Duchess of Urbino, 135.
Mary de Medicis, Regent of France, 145.
Masch, M. de, 404
Massa di Carrara, t. 142.
Maternus, Bishop, 323.
Mathurias, Order of, 184.
Matilda, Countess, 11.
Maurepas, Count de, 237.
Maurice, Prince, 314, 399.
Maurice, M. de St. Prime Minister, 213.
Maurice, Cardinal of Savoy, his Resignation of the Hat, 87.
Maximilian II. Emperor, his Answer to Cosmo of Tuscany, when he wanted the Title of King, 135.
Mazarine, Cardinal, 335.
Mazarine, Duchess de, 238, 409, 410.
Mechlin, t. 317, 318.
Medicis, Family of, 135.
Their Parallel with the Family Kettlers, of Courland, 136.
Medicis, Ferdinand de, Cardinal, his Resignation of the Hat, 87.
—— Bernard de, 136.
—— Juvence de, ibid.
—— Octaviano de, ibid.
—— Mary de, Queen, 334.
—— Mary-Anne, Electress Palatine, 359, 361.
Melun, t. 240.
Menin, t. 314.
Mentz, Francis Lewis, Elector of, 336, 342, 353.
—— Philip Charles, Elector, 353.
Mentz, t. ibid.
—— Francis, Lotharius, Elector, ibid.
Merchants, Difference betwixt the English and Foreigners, 471.
Mercy, Count de, 255.
Metternich, Count de, 350.
Michael Angelo, 33, 37.
Mignard, the Painter, 269.
Milan, conquer’d, 256.
Milciades, an Italian Game at Cards, 70.
Mirandola, Picus de, Cardinal, 53.
Misset, M. 61, 62.
Missisippi Scheme, and its Projector, Verses thereupon, 241, &c.
Its Fate compar’d to that of the South-Sea Scheme, 244.
A curious Account of it, 246 to 250.
Misson, Mr. his Account of the Pope’s Coronation reflected on, 22.
His being always furnish’d with Mathematical Instruments, 141.
Mistresses, Generosity of the English to theirs, 469.
—— Kept in Partnership, ib.
Modena, Princes of, 148.
Molland, Palace, 363.
Mondragone Seat, near Rome, 48.
Money, the Scarcity of it in France, 217.
Worship paid to it at Amsterdam, 381, 382.
Mons, t. 297.
Montague House, 439.
Montcallier Castle, 152.
Monte Cavallo Palace, 32.
Montespan, Marchioness, 188, 205, 216, 226, 264.
Montesquiou, Marshal, 260.
Monti, Marquis, the Pretender’s Landlord. 58.
Montijo, Count de, 439.
Montpensier, Mademoiselle de, her Fame in the Civil Wars of France, 179.
Her Restraint from marrying, ibid.
Montrevel, Marshal de, 253.
Monulphus, Bishop of Tongres, his Ghost, 329.
Morville, M. de, 237.
Mouchi, Madame de, 316.
Mouths of the Cardinals, the Ceremony of Opening and Shutting them by the Pope, 80.
Muley Ismael of Morocco, his pretended Demand of the Princess of Conti in Marriage, 219.
Mulheim, t. 335.
Murder, how punish’d at Rome, 74.
Mutius Scavola, a Conceit that the English are descended from him, 470.
Namur, t. 317, 319.
Naples, the Tribute paid for it to the See of Rome, 43 to 46.
Nassau, Princes of, 309.
—— Zeist, Count de, 367.
—— Orange, Prince of, 412.
Navona, Square, 5.
The Ceremony of watering it, 66.
Neautre, M. le, 436.
Nectarius, Patriarch, 195.
Nephews of the Popes, their general Character, 40.
Nesle, Marquis de, 309.
Netherlands, Austrian, Pride and Poverty of the Nobility and Gentry, 305, 306.
Newbourgh, Lewis-Antony de, 336.
—— Francis, Elector of Mentz, 336, 342.
Neuhoff Theodore, Baron de, proclaim’d K. of Corsica, 150.
Neville Camillus, Nicolas and Charles, de la, 175.
Neuwidt, t. and Count de, 349.
Newcastle, Duke of, 453.
Newmarket Races, 468.
Newport, t. 313.
Nimeguen, t. 365, 370.
Noailles, Lewis-Antony, Cardinal, 192, 294.
—— Duke de, 207, 264.
Noailles, Maria Victoria de, 226.
—— Duchess d’Estrées, 260.
Nocera, a Canon, 92.
Nordkirchen, Seat, 346.
Norfolk, Duke of, 438.
Nostradamus, a Prophecy of his apply’d to Don Carlos, 139.
Nothast, Baron de, 346, 347.
Novalaise, la, t. 169.
Nouvelles Ecclesiastiques, prohibited by the Archbishops of Paris, 277.
Differences about it, betwixt the Court and Parliament, 277, 278.
Nuncios, of the Pope, 77.
Obdam, Count de, 412.
Odyck, M. de, 367.
Oels, Baron de, 350.
Olivieri, Cardinal, 44, 54.
Openord, Giles Maria, Architect, 201.
Operas, in France, the Distinction paid to the Actors, 267.
Orange, Palace in Brussels, 299, 300. at the Hague, 425.
—— Princes of, 309, 401, 401, 412, 413, 425.
Orbano, R. 171.
Orleans, Dukes of, 173, 174, 179, 206, 207, 209, 212, 221, 229, 230, 236, 268, 269, 283, 292, 293, 295.
—— Duchess, 185.
Dowager, 205, 206.
Henrietta, Duchess of, her Death, 269.
His Sisters, 207, 208.
Philippa, her Death, 208.
Louisa Diana, her Marriage and Issue, 208, 217.
Orleans, t. taken, 179.
Pagan Impertinences, reviv’d in the Christian Religion, 203.
Pain, despis’d by our Nation, 470.
Palatine, Electress Dowager, 130.
John-William, Elector, 358, 359, 360.
Pallas, a French Officer, who married both Mother and Daughter, acquitted by the Inquisition, 116.
Palmquist, Ambassador, 405.
Pamphili, Princes, 6, 41, 42.
Palace, 41.
—— Camillus, Cardinal, his Resignation of the Hat, 87.
Pantheon, at Rome, 7.
Paris, Abbé, his pretended Miracles, 195, &c. 284.
Paris, Brothers, 210, 227, 245.
Paris, t. 189, &c.
Whether most populous, this City, or London, 190, 191.
Number of its People, Streets, Houses, 192.
Expence of its Lanthorns, and its Revenues, ibid.
Archbishop’s Title, ibid.
By whom founded, and most beautify’d, 190, 192.
Its Prerogatives, 192.
Governor, 201.
Lacqueys, 274, 275.
Parliaments, 283.
What Charles V. meant when he said, He could put this City into his Glove, 310.
Parliament House, 441, 442.
Parma, Dukes of, the Office they are to perform for the Pope, 52.
The Pope’s Concern for the Loss of the Duchy, 114, 120.
Patricians, of Germany, 333, 334.
Paul III. Pope, 38, 40.
His Order about the Cardinals Caps, 86.
His Establishment of the Inquisition, 126.
—— IV. Pope, the Solicitor of it, ibid.
—— V. Pope, 32, 47, 48.
Peasants, English, their Happiness, 471.
Pericon, M. Magistrate at Lyons, 176.
Perauss, Count de la, 161, 162, 163.
Peter, St. d’Arena Suburbs of Genoa, 148.
Peter, St. why describ’d as holding three Keys, 23.
His Church and Chair, at Rome, 7 to 12.
Who buried in it, 11.
His Miracles, what, 39.
Petitbourg, t. 188.
Petits Colets, the Petits Maitres of Rome, 70, 73.
Petronilla, St. 11.
Peyrome, la, Surgeon, 292.
Phaethon’s, Story finely painted, 439.
Pharao, plaid in the Conclave of Cardinals, 70.
Philibert, Prince of Piedmont, his submissive Speech to Phillip IV. King of Spain, 145.
Philips, Mr. Preceptor to the Duke, 448.
Philipsburg, Siege of, 259.
Picus, de Mirandola, Cardinal, 53.
Piedmontese, their Court and Character, 165, 166, 168.
Pietra Santa, t. 142.
Pignatelli, Cardinal, 86.
Pilate, whither banish’d, 173.
Pilgrims, Hospital at Rome, 76.
Pin, Joseph, Painter, 359.
Pisa, t. 141.
Pride of the People, ibid.
Pius V. Pope, 80, 126.
Pizzighitone, taken, 255.
Platen, Count de, Post-master of Hanover, 238.
His Daughter’s Marriage and Pension from King George I. and II. 238.
Plettenburg, Count de, 341, 344, 345, 346.
Polignac, Cardinal, 85.
Pont de Bonvoisin, t. 172.
Pontchartrain, M. de, Chancellor, 235, 237.
Ponthievre, Duke de, 226.
Popelsdorf, Village, 340.
Popes, the Days on which the Cardinals kiss their Feet, 17.
Character of their Nephews, 40.
Reception of Ambassadors, 121.
Pope, who was the first that was crown’d, 22.
Compar’d to the Holy Sepulchre, 29.
Portail, M. de, President, 249.
Portland, Earl of, 408.
Portugal, Henry, Cardinal of, his Resignation of the Hat, 87.
Its broils with the Court of Rome, 116 to 119.
Poultier, M. Intendant at Lyons, 176.
P——y, William, 451.
Poyntz, Stephen, Esq, 448.
Pragmatic Sanction, 403.
Prebends, bought and sold, 369.
Precedence, Disputes about it betwixt Ambassadors, 400 to 403.
Pretender, his Pension and Honours from the Pope, 57, 58.
His Landlord, Courtiers, and Domestics, Style, and Stature, and his Sons, 58, 59.
His Treatment from the Imperial and French Cardinals, 58.
His Aspect and Character, 59.
His Mistress, ibid.
His Protestant Chapel, and Table, ibid.
His Wife, 60, 61.
Prophecy of his coming to the British Throne, 63.
Preys, M. 405.
Prie, Marchioness, 166, 227, 304.
Priests, Italian, a heavy Charge against them, 112.
—— Flemish, always railing at one another, 314.
Printing, where invented, 395.
Procession Chair, of the Popes, 17.
Prussia, Ducal or Brandenburg, 336.
Fredric, K. of, 338.
Pucelage, its Meaning, 284.
Pucelle, a Counsellor, banish’d from the Parliament at Paris, 282, 283.
Verses on his Exile, 284.
Pussenburg, Baron de, 296.
Puppet-player, burnt for a Conjurer, 385.
Purpora, the Singer, 66.
Pyrrhus’s Saying, after he had defeated the Romans, 253.
Q——y, Duke of, his Behaviour on the Duchess’s being forbid the Court, 444.
Quieri, t. 151.
Quinaut, the famous Comedian, 266.
Rabutyn, Bussy’s, Letters, 181, 443.
Raby, Lord, his Amour, 410.
Race, run round St. James’s Park, by a naked Man, 470.
Ramillies, Battle, to what the French ascribe the Loss of it, 153.
Raphael, Painter, 24, 359.
Rastadt, Treaty, 254.
Ratisbon, Theodore, Bishop of, 349.
Rats, Tower in the Rhine, 352.
Ratto, Signior, 4.
Bishop of Cordoua, 85.
Regulas, John II. K. of France compar’d to him, 435.
Reimbrants, Painter, 359.
Reliques, at Aix, the Time and Manner of exposing them, 329, 330.
Remi, (S.) a noted Better at the French Court, 199, 200.
Restitution, by the Popes, what, 88.
Retirement, Verses in Praise of it, 223.
Retz, Duke of, 174.
Rhebinder, Marshal, 158, 159, 166.
Rheims, t. 269.
Rhen, t. 366.
Rhenish Wine, where the best, 352.
Rhinbeck, t. 347.
Rhine, R. 349.
Rhinfields Castle, 351.
Richardi, Marquis, and his Son Don Vincenzo, 134.
Richelieu, Cardinal’s Ingratitude to Q. Mary de Medicis, 334, 335.
Richmond, Duchess, 409.
Ridelsheim, Wine, 352.
Rinuccini, Marquis, 132, 134, 137.
Ripperda, Duke de, 296.
Rivoli Castle, 158.
Robbery, on the Highway, remarkable, 457.
Robert, (the Pious) K. of France, 98.
Rochebonne, M. Archbishop of Lyons, 174, 176.
Roche, Sur-yon, Mademoiselle de la, 218.
Rodolph I. Emperor, a miraculous Appearance at his Coronation, 327, 328.
Roer, River, 332.
Rohan, Cardinal, 186.
—— Prince, 205.
Roll, Baron de, 346.
Rolling, Baron de, 354.
Romain, Julius Painter, 359.
Roman Princes, their high Pretensions, 102, 104.
—— Princesses and Popes Nieces more humble than formerly, 103.
How they are lighted to the Plays, 105.
Their unwieldy Coaches, and scrub Liveries, 106.
Why they never wear Mourning, 108.
Rome, t. Manners of the People, 67, 72, 73, 406.
Its Squares, 2, &c.
Churches, 6, &c.
Palaces, 24, &c. 36, &c.
Theatres, 65.
Their Diversions and Repasts, 68, 69.
Our Author’s Dislike of this City, 68, 72.
Why young Gentlemen ought to visit it, 72.
Its Hospitals, 76.
Consistories, 81.
The Time when all Ceremonies are laid aside, 105.
Their Funerals, 107, 108.
Mourning, 108.
Their Fireworks, 109.
Its Governor, 109, 110.
Senator, 110.
Executions, 111, 113.
Their Hatred of other Italians, 127.
Rota, Tribunal of, 109.
Rotonda Church, 7.
Rotterdam, t. 426.
Rubempré, Prince and Princess de, 300, 309.
Rubens, Painter, 317, 358, 359.
Ruhi, Marquis de, 318.
Ruspanti, Pensioners, why so call’d, 133.
Ruspoli, Signior, his Promotion to be a Cardinal, 77 to 80.
—— Prince’s, Funeral, 108.
Rysnic, 370, 425.
Sacrament, Holy, the Grandeur and Solemnity of the Pope’s Procession with it, 124, and of the Parish of St. Sulpice in France, 202.
Saltzu, Herman de, 336.
Salviati, Painter, 39.
Santa Croce, Prince of, 42.
Santen, t. 362.
Santini, Marquis, 341.
Santa-Buona, Duke, 60.
Sardam, Village, 389.
Sardini, Prelate, his Imprisonment, 92.
Sardinia, K. the Pope’s Grant to him, ibid.
Sardinia, Victor Amedeus late K. of, his Abdication and Imprisonment, 156 to 164.
Son’s Duty to him, 157 to 164.
Sarno, Duke of, 136.
Sarzana, t. 143.
Sastago, Count de, 318.
Savoy, Duchess of, 156.
Palace in the Strand, 435.
Savoy, Princes of, 435.
Savoyards, Character, 171.
Saurin, M. 414.
Saxony, John George IV. Elector of, 446.
Scaliger’s Character of Lyons, 173.
Scarlet, why the Cardinals Robes and Caps are of that Colour, 86.
Scarron, Paul, the Poet, who was Madame de Maintenon’s Husband, 264.
Schasberg, Count de, 361.
Scheld River, 3.
Scheveling, t. 400.
Schlangenbadt, t. 357.
Schourff, Baron de, 346.
Schouts, Dutch, 376.
Schwalbach, t. and Waters, 356.
Schwartzo, a Jew, 411.
Sculpture, not the best in London, 434.
Seaux, the Duke of Maine’s Seat, 223.
Schonborn, Countess de, 350.
—— Francis-George, Count de, Bishop of Triers, 350.
—— Bishops of Spires, and Bamberg, 350, 353.
Sebastian, St. Marchioness de, 156, 157, &c. 160, 162, 164.
—— K. of Portugal, 87.
—— St. t. taken, 258.
Seignelay, Marquis of, his Bombardment of Genoa, 144.
Senator, of Rome, 110.
Seneca’s Statue, 49.
Senesino, the Singer, 466.
Senez, Bishop of, 240.
Sens, t. 183.
Mademoiselle de, 217, 218.
Sersara, t. 143.
Servants, the Custom of treating ’em in England, ridiculed, 465.
Sestri, t. 143.
Ships, the Difference betwixt the English and Spaniards, and those of three Decks, and two, 138.
Sinzendorf, Count, 232, 403.
—— Countess, her Conversion to Popery by a Flash of Lightning, 149.
Sixtus IV. his Power as to Hell and Purgatory, 25.
—— V. Pope, 8, 9, 25, 31.
Skates, Dutch, describ’d, 384.
Slingeland, the (late) Grand Pensionary of Holland, 406.
Smith, Richard, Bookbinder, and his Wife, their tragical Catastrophe, 270, &c.
Their Apology for killing themselves and their Child, and the Confession of their Faith, 271, 272.
Snow, in August, 13.
Sobieski, Prince and Princess. 61, 63.
Her Arrest, as she went to be marry’d to the Pretender, 61.
Her Escape, 61, 62.
Her Reception at Rome by Lady Marr, &c. and the Cardinals, 63.
Her Death, ibid.
Sodomite, the pert Answer of one to a Cardinal, 112.
Soissons, Congress, 295, 296.
Solare, Chevalier de, 162, 163, 164.
Spa, t. and Waters, 325.
Great Resort to it, 326.
Spain, Q. Dowager of Lewis I. her Marriage, and her silent Visit from Lewis XV. 207.
Her Retirement to a Convent. 208.
Spaniards Arrival at Leghorn, 134, 136, 137.
Comparison between their Officers and Ships, and the English, 138.
Sparr, Baron de, 346, 347.
Speik, Madame de, 361.
Spigo, Marquisate, and Marchioness, 157, 158, 160.
Spinola, John Baptist, Cardinal, 130.
Spork, M. de, 405.
Stadthouse, at Amsterdam, 377 to 380.
Stage Players, the extravagant Respect paid to ’em in France, 266, &c.
A Joke put upon them by President Harlai, 267.
Stampa, General, 120.
Stein, Baron, 311.
Stilletto, the frequent Use of it at Rome, 73, 74.
Stoves, Dutch, describ’d, 372.
Strafford, Earl of, 438, 451, 452.
His prophetical Conversation with the D. of Ormond, 453.
Strappa Corda, what, 111.
Strickland, Bishop, 319.
Strozzi, Duke, 52.
Suarez, Madame, 135.
Sudarini, Marquis, his Present of a fine Coach to his Daughter-in-law, 106.
Sulpice, St. the Parson’s, Lottery, 201.
His Parsonage a fat one, 202.
Its Seminary, ibid.
Surnames, the Moderns blamed for not giving them to their Heroes as well as the Ancients, 251.
Susa, t. 168.
Tallard, Duchess, 205, 211.
Tancin, Archbishop of Ambrun, 240.
Tapistry Manufactures, 308.
Targa, Bp. Cardinal Coscia’s Brother, 91.
Tavannes, Count de, 182.
Taverns, English, better than the French, 465.
Tenebra, a fine Piece of Music, 96.
Terrasson, Abbé, 243.
Teutonic Order, Masters of it, 326.
Texeria, a Jew, 411.
Thames River, 431, 432.
Theatres at Paris, better open’d than shut, 385.
Theodore, Baron de Neuhoff, proclaim’d K. of Corsica, 150.
Tholouse, Count de, and Countess, 199, 220, 221, 226.
Her Sister, 260.
Thou, M. de, Ambassador, his Dispute with a Spaniard about Precedency, 400.
Tingry, Prince de, 296.
Tintoret, Painter, 359.
Tirlemont, t. 319.
Titian, Painter, 359.
Titus’s Arch at Rome, 34.
Tongres, t. 323.
Torcy, M. de, 237.
Tour and Taxis, Prince and Princess, 306, 307, 308.
His Mother and Children, 307.
Tour, Humbert de la, 172, 173.
Touraine, la, 216.
Tranquillity, Christian, a Poem, on the Disputes of the Times, 279.
Treaties of Peace, three concluded successively in the Dominions of the Dutch, 370.
Tremouille, Cardinal de, 215.
Trevoux, t. 179, 180.
Triers, Francis-George, Count de Schonborn, the present Bishop, 350, 351.
Triple Crown, by what Pope first worn, 22.
Trotti, Marquis de, 346.
Tuilleries, in France, Garden, 436.
Tulip-Root, of great Value, 395.
Turin, t. 152.
Its University, 167.
Its Siege, 152, 153.
Tuscans, the great Hopes they entertained of Don Carlos, 139.
Tuscany’s Great Duke, his Manner of giving Audience in Bed, with his Lap-Dogs, and his hearty Reception of our Author, 131, 132, 134.
His Indolence in his Bed-chamber, and Deshabille, 133.
His Kindness to Pilgrims, and Fondness for the Germans, ibid.
His Pensioners and Paymaster, ibid.
Who influenced him to recognise Don Carlos for his Successor, 134.
Twicked, Wassenaer de, 412.
Tyburn Executions, 458, 459.
Vahal, River, 365.
Val de Grace Church, 198.
Valenciennes, t. 296.
Valere, Mademoiselle de, 188, 219.
Valois, Philip de, 172.
Vander Borg’s Tapistry, 308.
Vander Duin, Messieurs, 408.
Vandyke, 359.
Varengeville, Joanna de, Wife of the Marshal Villars, 255.
Vatican Palace, 24, 31.
—— Library, 25.
Vauhan, M. Engineer, 315.
Vayrac, Abbé, the Author, 273.
His pleasant Rencounter with a pert Coxcomb of a Counsellor, 273, 274.
His Plagiarism, 274.
Vendosme, Duke de, 253. Why he has not left his Fellow, 254.
Venerie Castle, 155.
Venice and Amsterdam compar’d, 371.
Ventadour, Duke and Duchess de, 205, 334.
Vermillon’s Tapistry, 308.
Veronese, Paul, Painter, 359.
Versailles Park, 436.
Vespasian’s Amphitheatre, 35.
Uhlefeldt, Count de, 403.
Uhlefeldt, Mademoiselle de, her unhappy Fate in the Fire at Brussels, 301, 403.
Viareggio Forest and Village, 141, 142.
Victor, King of Sardinia, his Abdication and Imprisonment, 155 to 164.
His Advice to the famous John Law, 239.
His Treaty with France and Spain, 252.
Vienna Treaty, 296.
Vienne, t. 173.
Villars, Marshal de, Francis Hector, 250 to 256.
Our Author’s smart Answer to him, when he boasted of his Clemency at Denain, 251.
His Invention of a Surname for the Marshal, which put him in good Humour, 252.
His Creation as Marshal of France, ib.
His Conduct in the Cevennois and in Flanders, 253.
His Preferment to the Government of Provence, and his Compliment to the Memory of his deceased Predecessor, 254.
His remarkable Expressions to the French King, when he went to the Command in Germany, and when he had purchas’d an Estate, ibid.
His Command, Sickness and Death, in Italy, 255.
His Family and Character, ibid. 256.
His nimble Trip from a Ball to a Battle, ibid.
A Sonnet made on him when he set out last for Italy, ibid.
His Scruple to accept of a Commission to act against the King of Spain, 258.
Villeroy, M. 174, 178, 229.
The Family, ibid. 175.
Vinci, Leonard, 66.
Vintimille, N. N. Archbishop of Paris,