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three thousand Spanish pistoles. It consists of designings in mechanism and engineering : I was shown in it a sketch of bombs and mortars, as they are now used. Canon Settala’s cabinet is always shown to a stranger among the curiosities of Milan, which I shall not be particular upon, the printed account of it being common enough. Among its natural curiosities I took particular notice of a piece of crystal, that enclosed a couple of drops, which looked like water when they were shaken, though, perhaps, they are nothing but bubbles of air. It is such a rarity as this that I saw at Vendome in France, which they there pretend is a tear that our Saviour shed over Lazarus,
and was gathered up by an angel, who put it in a little crystal vial, and made a present of it to Mary Magdalene. The famous Pere Mabillon is now engaged in a vindication of this tear, which a learned ecclesiastic, in the neighbourhood of Vendome, would have suppressed, as a false and ridiculous relic, in a book that he has dedicated to his diocesan, the bishop of Blois. It is in the possession of a Benedictin convent, which raises a considerable revenue out of the devotion that is paid to it, and has now retained the most learned father of their order to write in its defence.
It was such a curiosity as this I have mentioned, that Claudian has celebrated in about half a score epigrams.
Solibus indomitum glacies Alpina rigorem
Sumebat, nimio jam preciosa gelu.
Sed medio mansit proditor orbe latex:
Et conservatæ plus meruistis aquæ.
Are valued more than if in rubies fixt. As I walked through one of the streets of Milan, I was surprised to read the following inscription, concerning a barber that had conspired with the commissary of health and others to poison his fellow-citizens. There is a void space where his house stood, and in the midst of it a pillar, super
scribed Colonne Infame. The story is told in handsome Latin, which I shall set down, as having never seen it transcribed.
Hic, ubi hæc Area patens est,
Jo' Jacobi Moræ :
Et cum aliis Conspiratione,
Plures ad diram mortem compulit.
Excelso in Plaustro
Hanc domum, Sceleris officinam,
Et erigi Columnam,
Idem ordo mandavit.
M. D. C. xxx. Kal. Augusti. Præside Pub. Sanitatis M. Antonio Montio Senatore R. Justitiæ Cap. Jo.
Baptistâ Vicecomit. The citadel of Milan is thought a strong fort in Italy, and has held out formerly after the conquest of the rest of the duchy. The governor of it is independent on the governor of Milan; as the Persians used to make the rulers of provinces and fortresses of different conditions and interests, to prevent conspiracies.
At two miles distance from Milan there stands a building, that would have been a master-piece in its kind, had the architect designed it for an artificial echo. We discharged a pistol, and had the sound returned upon us above fifty-six times, though the air was very foggy. The first repetitions follow one another very thick, but are heard more distinctly
in proportion as they decay. There are two parallel walls which beat the sound back on each other, till the undulation is quite worn out, like the several reverberations of the same image from two opposite looking-glasses. Father Kircher has taken notice of this particular echo, as Father Bartolin has done since in his ingenious discourse on sounds. The state of Milan is like a vast garden, surrounded by a noble mound-work of rocks and mountains : indeed, if a man considers the face of Italy in general, one would think that nature had laid it out into such a variety of states and governments as one finds in it. For as the Alps at one end, and the long range of Apennines, that passes through the body of it, branch out on all sides into several different divisions: they serve as so many natural boundaries and fortifications to the little territories that lie
them. Accordingly we find the whole country cut into a multitude of particular kingdoms and commonwealths in the oldest accounts we have of it; till the power of the Romans, like a torrent that overflows its banks, bore down all before it, and spread itself into the remotest corners of the nation. But as this exorbitant power became unable to support itself, we find the government of Italy again broken into such a variety of sub-divisions, as naturally suits with its situation.
In the court of Milan, as in several others in Italy, there are many who fall in with the dress and carriage of the French. One may, however, observe a kind of awkwardness in the Italians, which easily discovers the airs they give themselves not to be natural. It is indeed very strange there should be such a diversity of manners, where there is so small a difference in the air and climate. The French are always open, familiar, and talkative: the Italians, on the contrary, are stiff, ceremonious, and reserved. In France every one aims at a gaiety and sprightliness of behaviour, and thinks it an accomplishment to be brisk and lively: the Italians, notwithstanding their natural fieriness of temper, affect always to appear sober and sedate; insomuch that one sometimes meets young men walking the streets with spectacles on their noses, that they may be thought to have impaired their sight by much study, and seem more grave and judicious than their neighbours. This difference of manners proceeds chiefly from difference of education: in France it is usual to bring their children into company, and
o cherish in them, from their infancy, a kind of forwardness und assurance : besides that the French apply themselves nore universally to their exercises than any other nation in he world, so that one seldom sees a young gentleman in France that does not fence, dance, and ride, in some tolerble perfection. These agitations of the body do not only ive them a free and easy carriage, but have a kind of mehanical operation on the mind, by keeping the animal spirits lways awake and in motion. But what contributes most to his light, airy humour of the French, is the free conversaion that is allowed them with their women, which does not -nly communicate to them a certain vivacity of temper, but nakes them endeavour after such a behaviour as is most aking with the sex.
The Italians, on the contrary, who are excluded from naking their court this way, are for recommending themelves to those they converse with by their gravity and wiscom. In Spain, therefore, where there are fewer liberties of his nature allowed, there is something still more serious and omposed in the manner of the inhabitants. But as mirth s more apt to make proselytes than melancholy, it is oberved that the Italians have many of them for these late ears given very far into the modes and freedoms of the rench; which prevail more or less in the courts of Italy, as hey lie at a smaller or greater distance from France. It nay be here worth while to consider how it comes to pass, hat the common people of Italy have in general so very reat an aversion to the French, which every traveller cannot but be sensible of, that has passed through the country. "he most obvious reason is certainly the great difference hat there is in the humours and manners of the two nations, which always works more in the meaner sort, who are not ble to vanquish the prejudices of education, than with the obility. Besides that, the French humour, in regard of the iberties they take in female conversations, and their great mbition to excel in all companies, is in a more particular nanner very shocking to the Italians, who are naturally jealus, and value themselves upon their great wisdom. At the ame time the common people of Italy, who run more into news and politics than those of other countries, have all of hem something to exasperate them against the king of France. The Savoyards, notwithstanding the present inclinations of their court, cannot forbear resenting the infinite mischiefs he did them in the last war. The Milanese and Neapolitans remember the many insults he has offered to the house of Austria, and particularly to their deceased king, for whom they still retain a natural kind of honour and affection. The Genoese cannot forget his treatment of their Doge, and his bombarding their city. The Venetians will tell you of his leagues with the Turks; and the Romans, of his threats to Pope Innocent the Eleventh, whose memory they adore. It is true, that interest of state and change of circumstances
have sweetened these reflections to the politer sort, but impressions are not so easily worn out of the minds of the vulgar. That, however, which I take to be the principal motive among most of the Italians, for their favouring the Germans above the French, is this, that they are entirely persuaded it is for the interest of Italy to have Milan and Naples rather in the hands of the first than of the other. One may generally observe, that the body of a people has juster views for the public good, and pursues them with greater uprightness, than the nobility and gentry, who have so many private expectations and particular interests, which hang like a false bias upon their judgments, and may possibly dispose them to sacrifice the good of their country to the advancement of their own fortunes; whereas, the gross of the people can have no other prospect in changes and revolutions, than of public blessings that are to diffuse themselves through the whole state in general.
To return to Milan: I shall here set down the description Ausonius has given of it, among the rest of his great cities.
Et Mediolani mira omnia, copia rerum :