« VorigeDoorgaan »
been bold, in our vulgar phrase, to mend my draught, for you left me with an extreme thirst; and to have begged your conversation again jointly with your said learned friend, at a poor meal or two, that we might have banded together some good authors of the ancient time, among which I observed you to have been familiar. 66 Since
your going, you have charged me with new obligations, both for a very kind letter from you, dated the sixth of this month, and for a dainty piece of entertainment, that came therewith; wherein I should much commend the tragical part, if the lyrical did not ravish with a certain Doric delicacy in your songs and odes, wherein I must plainly confess to have seen yet nothing parallel in our language, ipsa mollities. But I must not omit to tell you, that I now only owe you thanks for intimating unto me, how modestly soever, the true artificer.
For the work itself I had viewed some good while before with singular delight, having received it from our common friend Mr. R. in the very close of the late R.'s poems printed at Oxford; whereunto it is added, as I now suppose, that the accessory might help out the principal, according to the art of stationers, and leave the reader con la bocca dolce.
Now, sir, concerning your travels,wherein I may challenge a little more privilege of discourse with
I suppose, you will not blanch Paris in your way. Therefore I have been bold to trouble you with a few lines toMr.M.B. whom you shall easily find attendyoung
lord S. as his governor; and you may surely receive from him good directions for shaping of your farther journey into Italy, where he did reside by my choice some time for the king, after mine own recess from Venice.
“ I should think, that your best line will be through the whole length of France to Marseilles, and thence by sea to Genoa, whence the passage into Tuscany is as diurnal as a Gravesend barge. I hasten, as you do, to Florence or Sienna, the rather to tell you a short story, from the interest
have given me in your safety.
“ At Sienna I was tabled in the house of oné Alberto Scipioni, an old Roman courtier in dangerous times, having been steward to the Duca di Pagliano, who with all his fainily were strangled, save this only man, that escaped by foresight of the tempest. With him I had often much chat of those affairs; into which he took pleasure to look back from his native harbour; and at my depart
ure towards Rome, which had been the centre of his experience, I had won confidence enough to beg his advice, how I might carry myself securely there, without offence of others, or of mine own conscience. “Signor Arrigo mio,” says he, “ i pensieri stretti, et il viso sciolto;' that is, ' your thoughts close, and your countenance loose,' will go safely over the whole world. Of which Delphian oracle (for so I have found it) your judgment doth need no commentary; and therefore, sir, I will commit you with it to the best of all securities, God's dear love, remaining Your friend, as much at command as any of longer date,
“ H. Wotton."
66 P.S. Sir, I have expressly sent this by my foot-boy to prevent your departure, without some acknowledgment from me of the receipt of your obliging letter, having myself through some business, I know not how, neglected the ordinary conveyance. In any part where I shall understand you fixed, I shall be glad and diligent to entertain you with home-novelties, even for some fomentation of our friendship, too soon interrupted in the cradle.”
Not long after the receipt of this letter he began his journey; and, accompanied only by a servant, who attended him through the whole of his travels, proceeded immediately to Paris, where he was received with distinction by Lord Scudamore, the ambassador from England. By this nobleman he was introduced, with much honourable attention, to the famous Grotius, whom he had expressed a particular desire to see, and who then resided in the capital of France as the minister of Christina, the eccentric queen of Sweden. Were we able to ascertain with precision all the circumstances of this interview between two extraordinary men, eminently raised above the level of their species by their talents and their attainments, we should probably acquire nothing from our knowledge to excite our wonder, or, if our expectations were high, to save us from disappointment. In the formality and coldness of a first meeting, and especially where one party would be restrained by the consciousness of having much to lose, and the other by the felt impropriety of pressing upon esta
© Nobilissimus vir Thomas Scudamorus Parisiis humanissime accepit; meq; Hugoni Grotio viro eruditissimo, quem in: visere cupiebam, suo nomine et suorum uno atq; altero deducente, commendavit. Def. Sec. P.W. vol. y. 231.
blished rank and reputation, no great display of erudition, or brilliant exchanges of fancy were likely to take place. Compliments requited with civilities; some enquiries respecting the traveller's plans, and some advice on the subject of their execution, constituted, perhaps, the whole of this memorable conference,
After the delay of a few days only at Paris, our traveller renewed his progress, and,
Fired with ideas of fair Italy,
pursued the direct road to Nice; where a vessel, readily procured by the letters to the merchants which he brought from Lord Scudamore, received and landed him at Genoa. From this city he passed immediately through Leghorn and Pisa to Florence, and on the banks of the Arno, made famous by the purity of the Tuscan language, which was spoken on them, and by the learning and talents that frequented them, he made what may be considered as his first pause.
Here he resided for two months; and his conversation and manners soon introduced him into the high and literary circle, where he speedily rendered himself the object of very general admiration. He obtained admission into those private academies, which