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passing through here, in their way to Italy and night at Annecy: the day after, by noon, we got the south, which at present happen to be near to Geneva. I have not time to say any thing about thirty in number. It is a fortnight since we set it, nor of our solitary journey back again. out from hence upon a little excursion to Geneva. We took the longest road, which lies through Savoy, on purpose to see a famous monastery,
TO HIS FATHER. called the Grand Chartreuse, and had no reason to think our time lost. After having travelled seven
Lyons, Oct. 25, N. S. 1739. days very slow (for we did not change horses, it
In my last I gave you the particulars of our little being impossible for a chaise to go post in these journey to Geneva; I have only to add, that we roads) we arrived at a little village among the stayed about a week, in order to see Mr. Conway mountains of Savoy, called Echelles ; from thence settled there. I do not wonder so many English we proceeded on horses, who are used to the way, choose it for their residence; the city is very small, to the mountain of the Chartreuse. It is six miles neat, prettily built, and extremely populous; the to the top; the road runs winding up it, commonly Rhône runs through the middle of it, and it is surnot six feet broad; on one hand is the rock, with rounded with new fortifications, that give it a miliwoods of pine-trees hanging over head; on the tary compact air; which, joined to the happy, lively other a monstrous precipice, almost perpendicular, countenances of the inhabitants, and an exact disat the bottom of which rolls a torrent, that some-cipline always as strictly observed as in time of times tumbling among the fragments of stone that war, makes the little republic appear a match for have fallen from on high, and sometimes precipi- a much greater power; though perhaps Geneva, tating itself down vast descents with a noise like and all that belongs to it, are not of equal extent thunder, which is still made greater by the echo with Windsor and its two parks. To one that has from the mountains on each side, concurs to form passed through Savoy, as we did, nothing can be one of the most solemn, the most romantic, and more striking than the contrast, as soon as he apthe most astonishing scenes I ever beheld. Add proaches the town. Near the gates of Geneva to this the strange views made by the crags and runs the torrent Arve, which separates it from the cliffs on the other hand; the cascades that in many king of Sardinia's dominions; on the other side of it places throw themselves from the very summit lies a country naturally, indeed, fine and fertile; down into the vale, and the river below; and many but you meet with nothing in it but meagre, rag. other particulars impossible to describe; you will ged, bare-footed peasants, with their children, in conclude we had no occasion to repent our pains. extreme misery and nastiness: and even of these This place St. Bruno chose to retire to, and upon no great numbers. You no sooner have crossed its very top founded the aforesaid convent, which the stream I have mentioned, but poverty is no is the superior of the whole order. When we more; not a beggar, hardly a discontented face to came there, the two fathers, who are commissioned be seen, numerous, and well-dressed people swarmto entertain strangers (for the rest must neithering on the ramparts; drums beating, soldiers wellspeak one to another, or to any one else,) received clothed and armed, exercising; and folks, with us very kindly; and set before us a repast of dried business in their looks, hurrying to and fro; all fish, eggs, butter and fruits, all excellent in their contribute to make any person, who is not blind, kind, and extremely neat. They pressed us to sensible what a difference is between the two gospend the night there, and to stay some days with vernments, that are the causes of one view and them; but this we could not do, so they led us the other. The beautiful lake, at one end of which about their house, which is, you must think, like the town is situated; its extent; the several states a little city; for there are 100 fathers, besides 300 that border upon it; and all its pleasures, are too servants, that make their clothes, grind their corn, well known for me to mention them. We sailed press their wine, and do every thing among them- upon it as far as the dominions of Geneva extend, selves. The whole is quite orderly and simple; that is, about two leagues and a half on each side; nothing of finery, but the wonderful decency, and and landed at several of the little houses of pleathe strange situation, more than supply the place sure that the inhabitants have built all about it, of it. In the evening we descended by the same who received us with much politeness. The same way, passing through many clouds that were then night we eat part of a trout, taken in the lake, that forming themselves on the mountain's side. Next weighed thirty-seven pounds: as great a monster day we continued our journey by Chamberry, as it appeared to us, it was esteemed there nothing which, though the chief city of the duchy, and extraordinary, and they assured us, it was not unresidence of the king of Sardinia, when he comes common to catch them of fifty pounds: they are into this part of bis dominions, makes but a very dressed here, and sent post to Paris upon some mean and insignificant appearance; we lay at great occasions; nay, even to Madrid, as we were Aix, once famous for its hot baths, and the next' told. The road we returned through was not the
same we came by; we crossed the Rhone at Seys- up the hill again with him in his mouth. This sel, and passed for three days among the moun- was done in less than a quarter of a minute; wo tains of Bugey, without meeting with any thing all saw it, and yet the servants had no time to new; at last we came out into the plains of La draw their pistols, or to do any thing to save the Bresse, and so to Lyons again. Sir Robert has dog. If he had not been there, and the creature written to Mr. Walpole, to desire he would go to had thought it fit to lay hold of one of the horses, Italy, which he has resolved to do; so that all the chaise, and we, and all must inevitably have tumscheme of spending the winter in the south of bled above fifty fathoms perpendicular down the France is laid aside, and we are to pass it in a precipice. The seventh we came to Lanebourg, much finer country. You may imagine I am not the last town in Savoy; it lies at the foot of the sorry to have this opportunity of seeing the place famous Mount Cenis, which is so situated as to in the world that best deserves it: besides, as the allow no room for any way but over the very top pope, who is eighty-eight, and has been lately at of it. Here the chaise was forced to be pulled to the point of death, can not probably last a great pieces, and the baggage and that to be carried by while, perhaps we may have the fortune to be pre-mules: we ourselves were wrapped up in our furs, sent at the election of a new one, when Rome will and seated upon a sort of matted chair without be in all its glory. Friday next we certainly begin legs, which is carried upon poles in the manner our journey; in two days we shall come to the of a bier, and so begun to ascend by the help of foot of the Alps, and six more we shall be in pass- eight men. It was six miles to the top, where a ing them. Even here the winter is begun; what plain opens itself about as many more in breadth, then must it be among those vast snowy moun- covered perpetually with very deep snow, and in tains where it is hardly ever summer? We are, the midst of that a great lake of unfathomable however, as well armed as possible against the depth, from whence a river takes its rise, and tumcold, with muffs, hoods, and masks of beaver, fur- bles over monstrous rocks quite down the other boots, and bear skins. When we arrive at Turin, side of the mountain. The descent is six miles we shall rest after the fatigues of the journey. *** more, but infinitely more steep than the going up;
and here the men perfectly fly down with you,
stepping from stone to stone with incredible swiftTO HIS MOTHER.
ness in places where none but they could go thr
paces without falling. The immensity of the preciTurin, Nov. 7, N. S. 1739. pices, the roaring of the river and torrents that run I am this night arrived here, and have just sat into it, the huge crags covered with ice and snow, down to rest me after eight days' tiresome journey: and the clouds below you and about you, are objects for the three first we had the same road we before it is impossible to conceive without seeing them; passed through to go to Geneva; the fourth we and though we had heard many strange descripturned out of it, and for that day and the next tions of the scene, none of them at all came up to it. travelled rather among than upon the Alps; the We were but five hours in performing the whole, way commonly running through a deep valley by from which you may judge of the rapidity of the the side of the river Arc, which works itself a men's motion. We are now got into Piedmont, passage, with great difficulty and a mighty noise, and stopped a little while at La Ferriere, a small among vast quantities of rocks, that have rolled village about three quarters of the way down, but down from the mountain tops. The winter was still among the clouds, where we began to hear a so far advanced, as in great measure to spoil the new language spoken round about us; at last we beauty of the prospect; however, there was still got quite down, went through the Pas de Suse, a somewhat fine remaining amidst the savageness narrow road among the Alps, defended by two and horror of the place. The sixth we began to go fortresses, and lay at Bossolens: next evening, up several of these mountains; and as we were through a fine avenue of nine miles in length, as passing one, met with an odd accident enough: straight as a line, we arrived at this city, which, Mr. Walpole had a little fat black spaniel, that he as you know, is the capital of the principality, and Was very fond of, which he sometimes used to set the residence of the king of Sardinia.* * * We down, and let it run by the chaise side. We were shall stay here, I believe, a fortnight, and proceed at that time in a very rough road, not two yards for Genoa, which is three or four days' journey, broad at most; on one side was a great wood of to go post.
I am, &c. pines, and on the other a vast precipice; it was noon-day, and the sun shone bright, when all of a *** That part of the letter here omitted, contained only a desudden, from the wood-side, (which was as steep scription of the city; which, as Mr. Gray has given it to Mr. upwards as the other part was downwards) out
West in the following letter, and that in a more lively man.
ner, I thought it unnecessary to insert; a liberty I have taken rushed a great wolf, came close to the head of the in other parts of this correspondence, in order to avoid repo horses, seized the dog by the throat, and rusher tition.
too every now and then at a distance among the TO MR. WEST.
trees; il me semble, que j'ai vu ce chien de visage Turin, Nov. 16, N. S. 1739. là quelque part. You seemed to call to me from After eight days' journey through Greenland, the other side of the precipice, but the noise of the we arrived at Turin-you approach it by a hand- river below was so great, that I really could not some avenue of nine miles long, and quite straight. distinguish what you said; it seemed to have a caThe entrance is guarded by certain vigilant dra-dence like verse. In your next you will be so good goons, called Douaniers, who mumbled us for some to let me know what it was. The week we have time. The city is not large, as being a place of since passed among the Alps, has not equalled the strength, and consequently confined within its for single day upon that mountain, because the wintifications: it has many beauties and some faults; ter was rather too far advanced, and the weather a among the first are streets all laid out by the line, little foggy. However, it did not want its beauregular uniform buildings, fine walks that surround ties; the savage rudeness of the view is inconthe whole; and in general a good lively clean ap-ceivable without seeing it: I reckoned, in one day, pearance: but the houses are of brick, plastered, thirteen cascades, the least of which was, I dare say, which is apt to want repairing; the windows of one hundred feet in height. I had Livy in the oiled paper, which is apt to be torn; and every chaise with me, and beheld his “Nires cælo prope thing very slight, which is apt to tumble down. immista, tecta informia imposita rupibus, pecora There is an excellent opera, but it is only in the jumentaque torrida frigore, homines intonsi et carnival: balls every night, but only in the carni- inculti, animalia inanimaque omnia rigentia gelu; val: masquerades too, but only in the carni- omnia confragosa, præruptaque." The creatures val. This carnival lasts only from Christmas to that inhabit them are, in all respects, below humaLent; one half of the remaining part of the year nity; and most of them, especially women, have is passed in remembering the last, the other in ex- the tumidum guttur, which they call goscia. Mont pecting the future carnival. We can not well Cenis, I confess, carries the permission mountains subsist upon such slender diet, no more than upon have of being frightful rather too far; and its horan execrable Italian comedy, and a puppet show, rors were accompanied with too much danger to called Rappresentazione d'un'anima dannata, give one time to reflect upon their beauties. There which, I think, are all the present diversions of the is a family of the Alpine monsters I have mentionplace; except the Marquise de Cavaillac's conver-ed, upon its very top, that in the middle of winter sazione, where one goes to see people play at ombre calmly lay in their stock of provisions and firing, and taroc, a game with seventy-two cards all paint- and so are buried in their hut for a month or two ed with suns, and moons, and devils, and monks. under the snow. When we were down it, and a Mr. Walpole has been at court; the family are at little way into Piedmont, we began to find “ Apripresent at a country palace, called La Venerie. cos quosdam colles, rirosque prope sil ras, et jam The palace here in town is the very quintessence humano cultu digniora loca.” I read Silius Italiof gilding and looking-glass; inlaid foors, carved cus too, for the first time; and wished for you, acpanels, and painting wherever they could stick a cording to custom.- We set out for Genoa in two brush. I own I have not, as yet, any where met days' time. with those grand and simple works of art, that are to amaze one, and whose sight one is to be the better for: but those of nature have astonished me
TO MR. WEST. beyond expression. In our little journey up to the Grande Chartreuse I do not remember to have
Genoa, Nov. 21, 1738 gone ten paces without an exclamation, that there Horridos tractus, Boreæque linquens was no restraining. Not a precipice, not a torrent,
Regna Taurini fera, molliorem
Advehor brumam, Genuæque amantes not a cliff, but is pregnant with religion and poetry. There are certain scenes that would awe an atheist into belief, without the help of other argu At least, if they do not, they have a very ill
One need not have a very fantastic imagi- taste; for I never beheld any thing more amiable: nation to see spirits there at noon-day: you have only figure to yourself a vast semicircular basin, death perpetually before your eyes; only so far re- full of fine blue sea, and vessels of all sorts and moved, as to compose the mind without frighting sizes, some sailing out, some coming in, and others it. I am well persuaded St. Bruno was a man of at anchor; and all around it palaces and churches no common genius, to choose such a situation for peeping over one another's heads, gardens, and his retirement; and perhaps should have been a marble terraces full of orange and cypress trees, disciple of his, had I been born in his time. You fountains, and trellis-works covered with vines, may believe Abelard and Heloïse were not forgot which altogether compose the grandest of theatres. upon this occasion: if I do not mistake, I saw you. This is the first coup d'æil, and is almost all I am
yet able to give you an account of, for we arrived week before last; crossed the mountains, and lay late last night. To-day was, luckily, a great fes- that night at Tortona, the next at St. Giovanni, tival, and in the morning we resorted to the church and the morning after came to Piacenza. That of the Madonna delle Vigne, to put up our little city, (though the capital of a dutchy) made so friporisons; (I believe I forgot to tell you that we pery an appearance, that instead of spending some have been sometime converts to the holy catholic days there, as had been intended, we only dined, church,) we found our lady richly drest out, with and went on to Parma; stayed there all the fola crown of diamonds on her head, another upon lowing day, which was passed in visiting the fathe child's, and a constellation of wax lights burn- mous works of Corregio in the Dome, and other ing before them: shortly after came the doge, in churches. The fine gallery of pictures, that once his robes of crimson damask, and a cap of the belonged to the Dukes of Parma, is no more here; same, followed by the senate in black. Upon his the King of Naples has carried it all thither, and approach, began a fine concert of music, and among the city had not merit enough to detain us any the rest two eunuchs' voices, that were a perfect longer, so we proceeded through Reggio to Modefeast to ears that had heard nothing but French na; this, though the residence of its duke, is an operas for a year. We listened to this, and breath- ill-built melancholy place, all of brick, as are most ed nothing but incense for two hours. The doge of the towns in this part of Lombardy: he himself is a
a very tall, lean, stately, old figure, called Con- lives in a private manner, with very little appearstantino Balbi; and the senate seem to have been ance of a court about him; he has one of the nomade upon the same model. They said their pray- blest collections of paintings in the world, which ers, and heard an absurd white friar preach, with entertained us extremely well the rest of that day equal devotion. After this we went to the Annon- and part of the next: and in the afternoon we ciata, a church built by the family Lomellini, and came to Bologna: so now you may wish us joy of belonging to it; which is, indeed, a most stately being in the dominions of his Holiness. This is structure! the inside wholly marble of various kinds, a populous city, and of great extent: all the streets except where gold and painting take its place.— have porticos on both sides, such as surround a From hence to the palazzo Doria. I should make part of Covent Garden, a great relief in summer you sick of marble, if I told you how it was lav- time in such a climate; and from one of the prinished here upon the porticos, the ballustrades, and cipal gates to a church of the Virgin, (where is a terraces, the lowest of which extends quite to the wonder-working picture, at three miles distance) sea. The inside is by no means answerable to the runs a corridor of the same sort, lately finished, outward magnificence; the furniture seems to be and, indeed, a most extraordinary performance. as old as the founder of the family.* Their great The churches here are more remarkable for their embossed silver tables tell you, in bas-relief, his paintings than architecture, being mostly old victories at sea, how he entertained the emperor structures of brick; but the palaces are numerous, Charles, and how he refused the sovereignty of the and fine enough to supply us with somewhat commonwealth when it was offered him; the rest worth seeing from morning till night. The counis old-fashioned velvet chairs, and Gothic tapestry. try of Lombardy, hitherto, is one of the most beauThe rest of the day has been spent, much to our tiful imaginable; the roads broad, exactly straight, hearts' content, in cursing French music and ar- and on either hand vast plantations of trees, chiefchitecture, and in singing the praises of Italy. We ly mulberries and olives, and not a tree without a find this place so very fine, that we are in fear of vine twining about it and spreading among its finding nothing finer. We are fallen in love with branches. This scene, indeed, which must be the the Mediterranean sea, and hold your lakes and most lovely in the world during the proper season, your rivers in vast contempt.
is at present all deformed by the winter, which “The happy country where huge lemons grow,"
here is rigorous enough for the time it lasts; but as Waller says; and I am sorry to think of leav- one still sees the skeleton of a charming place, ing it in a week for Parma, although it be
and reaps the benefit of its product; for the fruits
and provisions are admirable: in short, you find The happy country where huge cheeses grow.
every thing that luxury can desire, in perfection. We have now been here a week, and shall stay
some little time longer. We are at the foot of the TO HIS MOTHER.
Appenine mountains; it will take up three days Bologna, Dec. 9, N. S. 1739. to cross them, and then we shall come to Florence, Our journey hither has taken up much less where we shall pass the Christmas. Till then time than I expected. We left Genoa (a charm- we must remain in a state of ignorance as to what ing place and one that deserved a longer stay) the is doing in England, for our letters are to meet us
there : if I do not find four or five from you alone, * The famous Andrea Doria.
I shall wonder.
tions; if not, we must wait for the carnival, when TO HIS MOTHER.
all those things come of course. In the mean Florence, Dec. 19, N. S. 1739. time, it is impossible to want entertainment; the We spent twelve days at Bologna, chiefly (as famous gallery, alone, is an amusement for months most travellers do) in seeing sights; for as we we commonly pass two or three hours every mornknew no mortal there, and as it is no easy matter ing in it, and one has perfect leisure to consider to get almission into any Italian house, without all its beauties. You know it contains many hunvery particular recommendations, we could see no dred antique statues, such as the whole world can company but in public places; and there are none not match, beside the vast collection of paintings, in that city but the churches. We saw, there- medals, and precious stones, such as no other fore, churches, palaces, and pictures from morning prince was ever master of; in short, all that the to night; and the 15th of this month set out for rich and powerful house of Medicis has, in so Florence, and began to cross the Appenine moun- many years, got together. And besides this city tains: we travelled among and upon them all abounds with so many palaces and churches, that that day, and, as it was but indifferent weather, you can hardly place yourself any where without were commonly in the middle of thick clouds, having some fine one in view, or at least some statue that utterly deprived us of a sight of their beauties:' or fountain, magnificently adorned; these unfor this vast chain of hills has its beauties, and all doubtedly are far more numerous than Genoa can the vallies are cultivated; even the mountains pretend to; yet, in its general appearance I can not themselves are many of them so within a little of think that Florence equals it in beauty. Mr. Waltheir very tops. They are not so horrid as the pole is just come from being presented to the elecAlps, though pretty near as high; and the whole tress palatine dowager; she is a sister of the late road is admirably well kept, and paved throughout, great duke's; a stately old lady, that never goes which is a length of fourscore miles, and more. out but to church, and then she has guards, and We left the Pope's dominions, and lay that night eight horses to her coach. She received him with in those of the Grand Duke of Fiorenzuola, a pal- ceremony, standing under a huge black canopy, try little town, at the foot of mount Giogo, which and, after a few minutes' talking, she assured him is the highest of them all. Next morning we of her good will, and dismissed him; she never went up it; the post house is upon its very top, sees any body but thus in form; and so she passes and usually involved in clouds, or half buried in her life, * poor woman! * the snow.
Indeed there was none of the last at the time we were there, but it was still a dismal habitation. The descent is most excessively steep,
TO MR. WEST. and the turnings very short and frequent: however we performed it without any danger, and in
Florence, Jan. 15, 1740. coming down could dimly discover Florence, and I THINK I have not yet told you how we left that the beautiful plain about it, through the mists;' charming place Genoa; how we crossed a mounbut enough to convince us, it must be one of the tain all of green marble, called Buchetto; how we noblest prospects upon earth in summer. That came to Tortona, and waded through the mud to afternoon we got thither: and Mr. Mann,* the come to Castel St. Giovanni, and there eat musresident, had sent his servant to meet us at the tard and sugar with a dish of crows gizzards gates, and conduct us to his house. He is the secondly, how we passed the famous plains best and most obliging person in the world. The
Qua trebie glaucas salices intersecat undà, next night we were introduced at the Prince of
Arvaque Romanis nobilitata malis. Craon's assembly (he has the chief power. here in Visus adhuc amnis veteri de clade rubere, the Grand Duke's absence).— The princess and Et suspirantes ducere mæstus aquas ; he were extremely civil to the name of Walpole,
Maurorumque ala, et nigræ increbrescere turme, 80 we were asked to stay supper, which is as much
Et pulsa Ausonidum ripa sonare fuga. as to say, you may come and sup here whenever Nor, thirdly, how we passed through Piacenza, you please; for after the first invitation this is al- Parma, Modena, entered the territories of the ways understood. We have also been at the pope ; stayed twelve days at Bologna; crossed the Countess Suarez's, a favourite of the late duke, Appenines, and afterwards arrived at Florence. and one that gives the first movement to every None of these things have I told you, nor do I inthing gay that is going forward here. The news tend to tell you, till you ask me some questions is every day expected from Vienna of the great concerning them. No, not even of Florence itself, dutchess's delivery; if it be a boy, here will be all except that it is at fine as possible, and has every sorts of balls, masquerades, operas, and illumina
• Persons of very high rank, and withal very good sensa will only feel the pathos of this exclamation.
. Afterwards Sir Horace Mann.