Page images

try, that fobriety, that fupplenefs and acutenefs, for which the Genevans are fo remarkable. If Plato was right in denying that probity is to be found in a city of fhops and warehouses, at least Geneva is not the place to feek for it. I will even venture to say, that the religion of Geneva is too fublime, too metaphyfical, and too much divefted of every fenfible object, to influence the manners of a people; for which the mind must be affected and the heart engaged. It has more of the fchool of the Portico or Lyceum, than of any kind of worship. It was for want of fenfitive objects in their religion, that the Ifraelites fet up the golden calf at the foot of mount Horeb, and this being nearly the cafe' with the Genevans, they have fet up intereft as their golden calf. As to the Genevan fages faying that their religion is pure Chriftianity, the Chriftianity of the primitive church, facro-faneta Chrifti religio in fuam puritatem repofita, as it ftands on the front of the town-houfe; they cannot but know that the Chriftianity of the primitive church, was the religion not of a people cafually born in it, but of fublime, elect and fanctified fouls, electi, vocati, fancti, who embraced it from choice, who, on their initiation into it, facrificed all the defires of flesh and blood, and whofe moft delightful hope was martyrdom.'

It ought to be remembered that the above remarks upon the Genevan religion and worship are made by one accustomed to the pomp and fplendour of the Romish church. Should it be allowed that the former is in fome refpects too abftracted and intellectual, it is undoubtedly certain that the latter very ill comports with the ends of rational religion, and is utterly remote from the spirit of the New Teftament. Further, if, according to what this Writer here fays, fobriety and industry are the fruits of a thirft of gain, it may alfo be faid, that we may observe this fame thirft prevailing with perfons who are indolent and extravagant, and who are therefore fometimes rapacious and unjuft in order to fupply the demands of eafe and pleasure.

In our Author's relation of his paffage over the Alps, he employs fome pages in confidering Hannibal's celebrated enterprize, and fuppofes that, great general croffed thefe mountains, not by the way of St. Bernard, according to common tradition and opinion, but by the way of mount Cenis or Genevre. We cannot attend him through his remarks and criticisms upon this fubject, nor through a variety of other obfervations on paintings, fculpture, antiquities, commerce, &c. with which he prefents us, and which would entertain our Readers. We proceed, therefore, to the account here given of the inftitute at Bologna.

The preference, he fays, of Bologna, with regard to publie foundations, whether modern, or perhaps ancient, confifts



In its celebrated inflitute. The sciences and arts are assembled together in one of the finest palaces in the city, and connected, as I may fay, by a large and well-chofen library, in all faculties here is whatever the citizen's intereft, and the foreigner's curiofity, can defire. Its aftronomical obfervatory is furnished with the beft inftruments: anatomy has an amphitheatre, in which are the ftatues of the most ancient and modern phyficians, and a spacious room filled with a set of anatomical pieces in wax painting and fculpture, befides a moft convenient apartment for the study and practice of those arts, have two large rooms full of models of the most valuable remains of antiquity, taken from their originals: the pupils of architecture have a hall crowded with defigns and models of the finest pieces ancient and modern, among which are all the obelisks of Rome. This affemblage of ftudies in every branch is farther enriched with curious museums of antiques and natural hiftory. Now, imagine all these advantages heightened by the voice, and the lectures of able profeffors of every art and every science: and this gives an idea of the magnificence of this foundation, which holds the greater part of its riches from Benedict XIV.'s love to his country, where his family, fo early as the 13th century, was in high reputation by the talents of Sarafino de Lambertini whom the Modenese invited from Bologna, to be their podertate. It was that illuftrious pope who furnished the obfervatory with inftruments executed, on his orders, by the moft fkilful English artifts; it was he who employed Hercules Lelli to make the waxen collection of anatomical pieces. Abbé Count Farfetti, a Venetian, having asked him leave to take models of the fineft antiques in Rome, he granted it, on condition he should cause two copies to be made of every piece, referving the choice to himself, but the price to the count; which having been punctually performed, the pope faw himfelf poffeffed of an invaluable collection, both for completeness and execution. This munificent patriot fent it away to Bologna, where, even in a literal fenfe, it fills three large apartments of the INSTITUTE.

The library is another no lefs fplendid monument of Bene dict's favour to fcience. On his exaltation to the pontificate he left it his private library, with a great many memoirs and collections of his own hand-writing. The favours which fovereigns are defirous of from the pope, form a fettled correfpondence between them and Rome, by which the popes are often confiderable gainers, and common popes turn the produce to the profit of their family or favourites: Benedict XIV. being as far from any interefted views for his relations as he had been for himself in private life, the foreign ministers had no fastening on him, fo that at length they bethought themfelves of attacking him by his curious fondness for books. France being more

in the way of supplying this tafte, than any other power, spared nothing for its gratification; all the Louvre editions, ancient and modern, Le Jai's Polyglot, the Byzantine hiftory, the callections of councils, the great works of facred and profane literature, together with every valuable production of French typography, were fent to Rome by loads, and in the neatest and most curious bindings. The pope received them with transport, and, after entertaining himself with them for a few months, fent them away to Bologna. The example of France was followed. by other powers; England itfelf joined in this contribution, which all terminated in the advantage of the Inftitute. Benedict XIV. farther left to it, at his death, his whole remainder of books, obfervations and collections.'

The description of the fair at Sinigaglia, which is held on the last eight days of July, may afford fome amusement to our Readers :

The fhore, along which we had come from Fano, fays our Author, was lined with culverines, cannon, loop-holes, old arquebufes, all pointed towards the fea; likewife with parties of foldiers in barracks at regular diftances, besides fome fhips of the pope's lying in the offing. In fhort, nothing had the apoftolic chamber omitted for the fafety of the fair. Mr. Merlini, prefident of Urbino, was there in perfon, and kept open house for the neighbouring nobility. All this nobility, men, women, and children, for whom this fair is a party of pleasure, throws a *pleasing variety, and a kind of tranquillity, amidst the perpetual buftle of crowds of people of all nations, eagerly looking out for one another, or hurried in removing goods from the harbour or road to the city, from the city to the harbour or road, in unpacking or packing up, in embarking or landing: not a fingle beaft of carriage or draught is made ufe of for this business, the whole is done by fachini, or porters, who, with equal dexterity and ftrength, carry the greatest burdens, whether in weight or bulk. The streets are all fhaded by tents hung acrofs, and wetted from time to time, and, for the conveniency of carriage, the ground is boarded. Palaces, houses, the whole city, is a warehouse; the harbour, the quays, the streets, are one continued fhop, and in the midst of them, a thousand little ambulatory fhops moving backwards and forwards. The ditches, the glacis, and the outworks of the city, are covered with tents, huts, kitchens, and horfes ftanding at pickets; and in every little cottage are ftowed feveral families. The people of fashion fhelter themselves in the coffee-houses, where abbés are always gallanting the ladies, and thefe tricked up in all their finery in the French mode. The bafis of this fair is formed by the islands, and all the coafts of the Adriatic, Sicily, and a part of the Archipelago. The Greeks fpeak Italian, or make use of the Lingua Francu 2 a harsh compound of Greek, Italian and Provençal,



the three fmootheft languages now in being. By their air and countenance, they appear as good people as one would wish to deal with every one lay dozing on the pavement, his body being a kind of fence to his little fhop, and thus fold away without changing his fituation. In all other dealers the national air might be diftinguished at first fight. The Lombard, the Swifs, and the Lyonefe called to every one that paffed by to fee what they liked, eagerly difplayed all his fhop, exacted beyond all reafon, but very complaifantly thanked the least customer. The Hollander was wholly taken up with the difpofition of his fhop, placing and brushing and cleaning every piece. The Romanefe and Sicilian leaning with his belly against his counter, with his hat thrust down to his eyes, and his hands across in the fleeves of the oppofite arm, was ruminating on his accounts. The fullen and haughty Englishman fhewed what goods were afked him, at the fame time naming the price, and on any appearance of haggling, haftily put them up again, and took t'other turn in his fhop. I faw two Frenchmen there, one an abbé, taken up, like us, with viewing the fair; the other having bought a fillet of a pretty Grecian woman, was for adding to it two small ribbons, and defired her to favour him fo far as to few them to the two ends of the large ribbon. These words were no fooner out of his mouth, than out came, over the Grecian beauty's fhoulder, a brawney arm, naked to the elbow, holding up to the abbe's nofe a fift with the fore-finger erect, and at the fame time accompanied with a fierce voice, Signor, no, from her indignant husband, to whom that ugly arm belonged.

In the third day of the fair, the Venetian commander of the gulph appeared off Sinigaglia in his proper fhip, accompanied with fome fmaller gallies. Every year he makes this ap-pearance, under pretence of protecting the fair, but rather to receive a fettled fee paid him by the apoftolic chamber, and which by Venice is looked on as an acknowledgment from the pope of its fovereignty over the gulph. In a pretty keen expos tulation about this fee, a pope asking the Venetian ambassador, where were the republics vouchers for the fovereignty of the gulph, They are to be found, Holy Father, answered he, on the back of Conftantine's grant.'

Our Author now proceeds to make fome quotations from Muratori and other hiftorians, giving an account of the culture and population of this part of Italy in the middle age, alfo of their manners and cuftoms compared with those of later date; but we pass over these to attend our Author to the famous city of Venice, on which he employs many pages.

In fpeaking of the ftate of religion at Venice, he fays, The offices and religious ceremonies, which the Italians comprehend,


under the generical name of funzioni, are as common and as pompous here as all over Italy, and conducted with the strictest decency. Concerning this, I was told that at the expofition of the hoft in St. Mark's church, and at which the fenate affifted, whilft the whole affembly were kneeling, an English gentleman remained standing. A fenator fent to him to kneel, and his meffage not meeting with immediate compliance, he went himfelf. Sir, faid the Englishman, I don't hold with tranfubftantiation. Ne anche io, warmly replied the fenator, pero gin occhione, o fuor di chiefa. "Nor I neither, but down on your knees, or

get out of the church."

His account of the manner of worship obferved by the Greeks (who together with Jews, Armenians, Proteftants, we are told enjoy fome toleration) gives us no very pleasing idea. The archbishop, fays he, happened to officiate the day that I went to their church.-I was not wanting to obferve all the ceremonies of the office. Every Greek, whether layman or ecclefiaftic, on his entrance into the church, ftopped in the middle of the choir, where flightly bending his body, and looking to the door of the chancel, in which is the only altar belonging to this church, he made a fign of the crofs, beginning with his thumb on his head, then from the right to the left, and from thence with a peculiar gracefulness, drawing it down to his knees, and thefe motions were repeated feveral times. Afterwards going up to the chancel, he kiffed, with the greatest marks of veneration, the pictures against the wall which conceals from the choir and the people what is doing in the chancel. These ceremonies being gone through, he withdrew backward to his feat. The archbishop himself being come, at the head of his feminary, performed all the like ceremonies before putting on his pontificalia.

During the whole fervice the fanctuary is closely fhut, opening only at fhort intervals for faying prayers over the people, which are accompanied with benedictions, and for taking in the elements which are to be confecrated.

The office is compofed of pfalmody performed by the choir, and prayers, which are fung by the officiating prieft within the chancel: these prayers are of St. John Chrifoftome, and have all the energy and loftinefs which that kind of compofition admits of. Whilft the choir is finging, fome boys likewise within the fanctuary ftrain their voices in Kyrie cleefons and Amens, not the leaft correfponding with the public finging which goes on amidst all this bawling.

• The chancel's being shut during the whole fervice, furprized me the more, having heard fome perfons in France fay, that it was quite otherwife in the primitive church, to the rites of which, according to the very fame perfons, none had fo faith


[ocr errors]
« EelmineJätka »