Page images

of Venice;" which he calls maiden, because it never was conquered. His entertaining and industrious details upon this place occupy no less than 133 pages. His application was here so intense, that he states in his letter, before quoted, that "divers Englishmen that lay in the same house with me, observing my extreme watching wherewith I did grievously excruciate my body, incessantly desired me to pity myself, and not to kill myself with my inordinate labours. The most curious part of these observations refer to the manners of the Venetian courtezans with one of whom Coryate was supposed to have had an intrigue in order to obtain his intelligence. After noticing some political reasons for encouraging them, he proceeds thus:

"The consideration of these two things hath moued them to tolerate for the space of these many hundred yeares these kinde of Laides and Thaides, who may be as fitly termed the stales of Christendome as those were heretofore of Greece. For so infinite are the allurements of these amorous Calypsoes, that the fame of them hath drawen many to Venice from some of the remotest parts of Christendome, to coutemplate their beauties, and enioy their pleasing dalliances. And indeede such is the variety of the delicious obiects they minister to their louers, that they want nothing tending to delight. For when you come into one of their palaces (as indeed some few of the principallest of them liue in very magnificent and portly buildings fit for the entertainment of a great Prince) you seeme to enter into the paradise of Venus. For their fairest roomes are most glorious and glittering to behold. The walles round about being adorned with most sumptuous tapistry and gilt leather, such as haue spoken of in my Treatise of Padua. Besides you may see the picture of the noble Cortezan most exquisitely drawen. As for her selfe shee comes to thee decked like the Queene and Godesse of loue, in so much that thou wilt thinke she made a late transmigration from Paphos, Cnidos, or Cythera, the ancient habitation of Venus. For her face is adorned with the quintessence of beauty. In her cheekes thou shalt see the Lilly and the Rose striue for the supremacy, and the siluer tramels of her haire displayed in that curious manner beside her two frisled peakes standing vp like petty Pyramides, that they giue them the true Cos amoris. But if thou hast an exact iudgement, thou maist easily discern the effects of those famous apothecary drugs heretofore vsed amongst the Noble Ladies of Rome, euen stibium, cerussa, and purpurissum. For few of the Cortezans are so much beholding to nature, but that they adulterate their faces, and supply her defect with one of these three. A thing so common amongst them, that many of them which haue an elegant naturali beauty, doe varnish their faces (the obseruation whereof made me not a little pitty their vanities) with these kinde of sordid trumperies. Wherein me thinks they seeme ebur atramento condefa

cere, according to that excellent Prouerbe of Plautus: that is, to make iuorie white with inke."

A little further on he gives a more particular description of her.

"For thou shalt see her decked with many chaines of gold and orient pearle like a second Cleopatra, (but they are very little) diuers gold rings beautified with diamonds and other costly stones, iewels in both her eares of great worth. A gowne of damaske (I speake this of the nobler Cortizans) either decked with a deep gold fringe (according as I haue expressed it in the picture of the Courtezan that I haue placed about the beginning of this discourse) or laced with fiue or sixe gold laces each two inches broade. Her petticoate of red chamlet edged with rich gold fringe, stockings of carnasion silke, her breath and her whole body, the more to enamour thee, most fragrantly perfumed. Though these things will at the first sight seeme vnto thee most delectable allurements, yet if thou shalt rightly weigh them in the scales of a mature iudgment, thou wilt say with the wise man, and that very truely, that they are like a golden ring in a swines snowt. Moreouer shee will endeauour to enchaunt thee partly with her melodious notes that shee warbles out vpon her lute, which shee fingers with as laudable a stroake as many men that are excellent professors in the noble science of Musicke; and partly with that heart-tempting harmony of her voice. Also thou wilt finde the Venetian Courtezan (if she be a selected woman indeede) a goode Rhetorician, and a most elegant discourser, so that if shee cannot moue thee with all these foresaid delights, shee will assay thy constancy with her Rhetoricall tongue. And to the end shee may minister vnto thee the stronger temptations to come to her lure, shee will shew thee her chamber of recreation, where thou shalt see all manner of pleasing objects, as many faire painted coffers wherewith it is garnished round about, a curious milke-white canopy of needle worke, a silke quilt embrodered with gold: and generally all her bedding sweetly perfumed. And amongst other amiable ornaments shee will shew thee one thing only in her chamber tending to mortification, a matter strange amongst so many irritamenta malorum; euen the picture of our Lady by her bedde side, with Christ in her armes, placed within a cristall glasse. But beware notwithstanding all these illecebræ et lenocinia amoris, that thou enter not into termes of priuate conversation with her. For then thou shalt finde her such a one as Lipsius truly cals her, callidam et calidam Solis filiam, that is, the crafty and hot daughter of the Sunne. Moreouer I will tell thee this newes which is most true, that if thou shouldest wantonly conuerse with her, and not giue her that salarium iniquitatis, which thou hast promised her, but perhaps cunningly escape from her company, shee will either cause thy throate to be cut by her Ruffiano if he can after catch thee in the City, or procure thee to be arrested (if thou art to be found) and

clapped vp in the prison, where thou shalt remaine till thou hast paid her all thou didst promise her. Therefore for auoiding of these inconueniences, I will give thee the same counsell that Lipsius did to a friend of his that was to trauell into Italy, euen to furnish thyselfe with a double armour, the one for thine eyes, and the other for thine eares."

The passage in which he compares the poverty of the Venetian theatres with "the stately play-houses in England" has been quoted by Stevens in his notes to Shakespeare. At Bergamo he could procure no lodging, and was obliged to sleep in a stable between horses; for which he was repeatedly jeered on his return to his native country. After leaving Italy he enters Rhetia, and inserts in his book a long oration in praise of travel in Germany, and several Latin letters which passed between him and some of the learned reformed clergy of Switzerland. After he leaves Italy the work certainly becomes less amusing. Quitting Basle he visits Strasburgh, in high Germany, and very minutely describes the celebrated clock there. At Heidelburg he saw the great tun, upon the top of which he sat and drank a cup of Rhenish; he speaks much in detail of it, as "the strangest spectacle that he saw in his travels." Near Frankendahl he was in great danger of suffering severely from the hands of a German Boor, who seized his hat, and threatened to beat him for taking a few grapes out of a vineyard. At Mentz he dilates upon the discovery of printing by Guttenburg, and passes by water to Frankfort, where he is present at the Autumn Fair, and is much delighted with the wealth displayed there. Colen and Nimiguen next occupy his attention; and he bestows great praise upon Gorcum, on the Wael, which is certainly not very well merited. Dortrecht, Middleburg, and Flushing are the last places he mentions; from whence he sails for England; where he arrives on the 3rd of October, 1608; having started on the 14th of May. The last two pages are filled by an enumeration of the distances between the different cities he had passed through.

Such are the contents of Coryates's Crudities; in which, as our readers will perceive, is a vast collection of desultory information, collected without judgment, and inserted without order. The criticism of George Wither upon this author, in his "Abuses stript and whipt," is severe, but on the whole just.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

-Th' other who are knowne

To have no gifts of nature of their owne,

For all their knowledge gotten in the schoolès,
Are worse, by much ods, then unlearned fooles.
Now thou that wouldst know rightly these men's state,
Goe but a while, and talke with Coryate,

And thou wilt soon be able to maintaine,

And say with me that learning's somewhere vaine.

Lib. ii. Sat. 1, 1613.

The laborious and learned Hearne, in a letter recently printed in Sir E. Brydges' Restituta, dated Sep. 9, 1726, speaks of it thus: "I have not yet seen Mr. Lang to thank him for his very kind present of Coryates Crudites, which is a most rare book, &c. As there are abundance of very weak idle things in that book, so there are withal very many observations that are very good and useful, as was long since noticed by Purchas and some others."

This work which usually sells at from eight to twelve guineas, has an engraved title and several plates representing the Tun at Heidelburg, the Venetian Courtezan, &c. C. P. J.



ART. XI.-A new and complete Master Key to Francis Walkingame's Tutor's Assistant, in which every Rule, Case, Table, and Question is inserted at length, and each sum properly stated and worked in full, so that all the figures may be seen at first view. By C. PEARSON. London. L. Nichols, 8vo. 1816. Pp. 244.

By inserting all the rules and questions with the sums, this book answers the purpose of a tutor as well as a key, and is, we believe, the first of the kind, uniting on so comprehensive a scale these advantages. The present volume extends to compound interest, commencing with the elementary rules: it is the intention to publish a second, comprehending the whole. We highly approve of the plan, and wish the author the success it merits.

ART. XII-A Treatise on Profits, Discounts, and Interest ; explaining how to compute the gross Amount of any net Sum, and to secure a certain net Profit. By JOHN Lowe. Birmingham, printed for the author. London, W. Walker, 8vo. 1816. Pp. 159.

THE rules laid down in this Treatise are sufficiently explicit, and the tables are arranged in a manner to facilitate dispatch, so that we think it a useful auxiliary to traders in their calculations. Tables for interest and for dealers by retail are added, to render the work more complete.

ART. XIII.-An Investigation of the Errors of all Writers on Annuities, in their valuation of Half Yearly and Quarterly Payments; including those of Sir Isaac Newton, Demoivre, Dr. Price, Mr. Morgan, Mr. Hutton, &c. &c. with Tables. By WM. ROUSE. London, Lackington and Co. 8vo. 1816. Pp. 40.

THE Author endeavours to shew that by the theorems and tables now in use, we are taught, that although there is a difference between the values of two Annuities, where one is paid yearly and the other quarterly, if they are to continue twenty or thirty years; yet if the same Annuities are for one hundred years, or for ever, there is no difference at all. He introduces four cases illustrative of his theory; and at the conclusion, gives a specimen of a set of Pocket Tables, shewing the Interest acquired in buying Leases, Annuities, or any net yearly income whatever. These Tables are now in the Press.

ART. XIV.-A Treatise on the Atmosphere and the source of Solar Heat. By an OXONIAN. London, Blacklock, 12mo. 1816. Pp. 64.

THE writer of this little work appears to be a young enthusiast, applying his contemplations to very lofty subjects; and his avowed purpose is to prove, in opposition to the principles and speculations of the Newtonian system, unconfirmed by facts, the non-existence of a vacuum, and that the Sun receives from the Planets the materials of combustion. Plaudite!

CRIT. REV. VOL. IV. July, 1816.


« PreviousContinue »