• Coryat's crudities : hastily gobled up in five moneths travells in France, Savoy, Italy, Rhetia commonly called the Grisons country, Helvetia alias Switzerland, some parts of high Germany and the Netherlands : newly digested in the hungry aire of Odcombe in the county of Somerset, and now dispersed to the nourishment of the travelling members of this kingdome

    Modern English (post-1500)
    Published in 1602
    Renaissance Clothing and Textile Terms
    1600 AD - 1699 AD

Citations

Observations of Strasbourg

I observed that some of the women of this City do use that fashion of plaiting their haire in two long locks hanging downe over their shoulders, as before in Zurich and Basil. But it is not a quarter so much used here as in Basil. As for those strange kinde of caps that the women promiscuously with the men doe weare in Basil (as I have before said) none of them are used here, but most of the women, especially their Matrons doe weare very broad caps made of cloth, and furred, and many of them blacke velvet caps of as great a bredth.

Observations of Zurich.

Their Lictores or Serjeants doe weare party-coloured cloakes, which are of a blew and white colour according to the armes of the City.
The habits of the Citizens doe in some things differ from the attyre of any nation that ever I saw before. For all the men doe weare round breeches with codpeeces. So that you shall not finde one man in all Zurich from a boy of ten yeares old to an old man of the age of a hundred yeares, but he weareth a codpeece. Also all their men doe weare flat caps and ruffe bandes. For I could not see one man or boy in the whole City weare a falling band.

Many of their women, especially maides doe use a very strange and phantasticall fashion with their haire that I never saw before, but the like I observed afterward in many other places of Switzerland, especially in Basil. For they plait it in two very long locks that hang downe over their shoulders halfe a yard long. And many of them doe twist it together with prety silke ribbands or fillets of sundry colours.

Strange beds. The beds of the Innes of this City and of all the other Helvetian and German Cities are very strange, such as I never saw before. The like being in the private houses of every particular Citizen as I heard. For every man hath a light downe or very soft feather bedde laid upon him which keepeth him very warme, and is nothing offensive for the burden. For it is exceeding light, and serveth for the coverled of the bedde. In the refectory of that Inne where I lay which was at the signe of the two Storkes, there is a stove, such a one as I have before mentioned in my Observations of Padua, which is so common a thing in all the houses of Switzerland and Germany (as I have before said) that no house is without it. I found them first in Rhetia, even in the City of Curia.

Observations of Verona

Monkes in Verona. For I saw eighteene couples of them accompany a corpse of one of their Fraternity to Church, being attired with blacke buckram vailes, and marked with the signe of the starre on the left side of their breasts, girt with a blacke girdle, their heads covered with a blacke hood that came over all their shoulders, and hid all their face. Before their eyes were made two holes to looke out : each of them carryed a burning candle in his hand of virgin wax, and some of them three candles, and there was put into every candle two peeces of their little tin money called gazets.

Observations of Bergamo.

The Gentlewomen of this city doe weare very strange Counterfeit kinde of chaines about their neckes. First sight of them will imagine they are very precious ornaments, worth three or foure hundred duckats, and made of pure gold : as indeede I did. But after better consideration he will find them counterfait. For indeed they are but copper, as an Italian told me. They hang very large about their necks, being about three times double, and have extraordinary great linkes. Also I observed that their attire doth much differ from the habits of the Italian Gentlewomen in other cities of Italy. For whereas most of their gownes are of Sattin or Taffata ; the sleeves of them are exceeding great in the middest, and so little at the hands, that they cannot weare them upon the sleeves of their other garments. So that they alwaies hang loose and flapping. This fashion they have borrowed from the Spaniards. For I saw it much used by the Spanish Gentlewomen at Turin, and by a woman Mountebanke in Venice that imitated the Spanish attire.

Observations of Lower Baden.

Ragged Boors, clownes commonly called Boores, who because they went in ragged cloathes, strooke no small terrour into mee ; and by so much the more I was afraid of them, by how much the more I found them armed with weapons, my selfe being altogether unarmed, having no weapon at all about me but onely a knife. Whereupon fearing least they would eyther have cut my throate, or have robbed me of my gold that was quilted in my jerkin, or have stripped me of my clothes, which they would have found but a poore bootie. For my clothes being but a threed-bare fustian case were so meane (my cloake onely excepted) that the Boores could not have made an ordinary supper with the money for which they should have sold them ; fearing (I say) some ensuing danger, I undertooke such a politike and subtile action as I never did before in all my life. For a little before I mette them, I put off my hat very curteously unto them, holding it a pretty while in my hand, and very humbly (like a Mendicant Frier) begged some money of them (as I have something declared in the front of my booke) in a language that they did but poorely understand, even the Latin, expressing my minde unto them by such gestures and signes, that they well knew what I craved of them : and so by this begging insinuation I both preserved my selfe secure & free from the violence of the clownes, and withall obtained that of them which I neither wanted or expected. For they gave me so much of their tinne money called fennies (as poore as they were) as paid for halfe my supper that night at Baden, even foure pence halfe-peny.

Observations of Basle.

The men or this Citie weare great codpieces and ruffe bandes as the Tigurines do. Also they weare a strange kind of hat, wherein they differ from all other Switzers that I saw in Helvetia. It is made in the forme of a cap, very long crowned, whereof some are made of felt, and some of a kinde of stuffe not unlike to shagge in outward view. It hath no brimmes at all, but a high flappe turned up behind, which reacheth almost to the toppe of the hat, being lesser and lesser towards the toppe. This fashion is so common in the Citie, that not onely all the men generally doe weare it both Citizens and Academicks (in so much that Amandus Pollanus wore the same in the Divinity schoole) but also the women whatsoever, both yong and old. Moreover their women, especially maides doe weare two such plaited rowles of haire over their shoulders wherein are twisted ribbons of divers colours at the endes, as the women of Zurich. I observed many women of this Citie to be as beautifull and faire as any I saw in all my travels : but I will not attribute so much to them as to compare them with our English women, whome I justly preferre, and that without any partialitie of affectstion, before any women that I saw in my travels, for an elegant and most attractive natural beautie.

Observations of Frankenthal.

There hapned unto me a certaine disaster about the middest of my journey betwixt Franckendall and Wormes, the like whereof I did not sustaine in my whole journey out of England. Which was this. I stept aside into a vineyard in the open field that was but a litle distant from the high waie, to the end to taste of their grapes wherewith I might something asswage my thirst : hoping that I might as freely have done it here, as I did often times before in many places of Lombardie without any controulement. There I pulled two little clusters of them, and so returned into my way againe travelling securely and jovially towards Wormes, whose lofty Towers I saw neere at hand. But there came a German Boore upon me (for so are the clownes of the country commonly called) with a halbert in his hand, & in a great fury pulled off very violently my hat from my head (as I have expressed in the frontispice of my booke) looked very fiercely upon me with eyes sparkling fire in a manner, and with his Almanne wordes which I understood not, swaggered most insolently with me, holding up his halbert in that threatning manner at me, that I continually expected a blow, and was in deadly feare lest he would have made me a prey for the wormes before I should ever put my foote in the gallant City of Wormes. For it was in vaine for me to make any violent resistance, because I had no more weapon then a weake staffe, that I brought with me out of Italy. Although I understood not his speeches, yet I gathered by his angry gestures that the onely cause of his quarrel was for that he saw me come forth of a vineyard (which belike was his maisters) with a bunch of grapes in my hand. All this while that he threatned me with these menacing termes I stood before him almost as mute as a Seriphian frogge, or an Acanthian grashopper, scarce opening my mouth once unto him, because I thought that as I did not understand him, so likewise on the other side he did not understand me. At length with my tongue I began to reencounter him, tooke heart a grace, and so discharged a whole volley of Greeke and Latin shot upon him, supposing that it would bee an occasion to pacific him somewhat if he did but onely thereby conceive that I had a little learning. But the implacable Clowne

Non magis incepto vultum sermone movetur
Quam si dura silex, aut stet Marpessia cautes.

And was so farre from being mitigated with my strange Rhetoricke, that he was rather much the more exasperated against me. In the end after many bickerings had passed Friends In betwixt us, three or foure good fellowes that came from need. Wormes, glaunced by, and inquired of me what the quarrell was. I being not able to speake Dutch asked them whether any of the company could speake Latin. Then immediately one replyed unto me that he could. Whereupon I discovered unto him the whole circumstance of the matter, and desired him to appease the rage of that inexorable and unpleasant peasant, that he might restore my hat againe to me. Then he like a very sociable companion interposed himselfe betwixt us as a mediator. But first he told me that I had committed a penal trespasse in presuming to gather grapes in a vineyard without leave, affirming that the Germanes are so exceeding sparing of their grapes, that they are wont to fine any of their owne countreymen that they catch in their vineyards without leave, either with purse or body ; much more a stranger. Notwithstanding he promised to do his endevour to get my hat againe, because this should be a warning for me, and for that he conceived that opinion of me that I was a good fellow. And so at last with much adoe this controversie was compounded betwixt the cullian and my selfe, my hat being restored unto me for a small price of redemption, which was twelve of their little coynes called fennies, which countervaile twenty pence of our English money. But I would counsel thee gentle reader whatsoever thou Counsel to art that meanest to travell into Germany, to beware by my travellers example of going into any of their vineyardes without leave. For if thou shalt happen to be apprehended in ipso facto (as I was) by some rustical and barbarous Corydon of the country, thou mayest perhaps pay a farre deerer price for thy grapes then I did, even thy dearest blood.

From Vincenza to Verona.

Within a mile of Verona on the left hand of the way there is a faire little Monastery that belongeth to the order of those Monkes that are called Camaldulenses, which doe weare white gownes and cowles of the same. There are but eight of the Fraternity, their Church is very Faire, and they have a Cloyster that invironeth almost their whole Monastery, round about adorned with many beautifull pillars, whereof I told twenty eight of a great bignesse.

Observations of Venice (Men's dress)

It is said there are of all the Gentlemen of Venice, which are there called Clarissimoes, no lesse then three thousand, all which when they goe abroad out of their houses, both they that beare office, and they that are private, doe weare gownes : wherein they imitate Romanes rerum Dominos, gentemque togatam.

Most of their gownes are made of blacke cloth, and over their left shoulder they have a flappe made of the same cloth, and edged with blacke Taffata : Also most of their gownes are faced before with blacke Taffata : There are others also that weare other gownes according to their distinct offices and degrees ; as they that are of the Councell of tenne (which are as it were the maine body of the whole estate) doe most commonly weare blacke chamlet gownes, with marvielous long sleeves, that reach almost downe to the ground. Againe they that weare red chamlet gownes with long sleeves, are those that are called Savi, whereof some have authority onely by land, as being the principall Overseers of the Podestaes and Praetors in their land cities, and some by Sea.

There are others also that weare blew cloth gownes with blew flapps over their shoulders, edged with Taffata. These are the Secretaries of the Councell of tenne. Upon every great festivall day the Senators, and greatest Gentlemen that accompany the Duke to Church, or to any other place, doe weare crimson damaske gownes, with flappes of crimson velvet cast over their left shoulders. Likewise the Venetian Knights weare blacke damaske gownes with long sleeves : but hereby they are distinguished from the other Gentlemen. For they weare red apparell under their gownes, red silke stockings, and red pantafles.

All these gowned men doe weare marveilous little blacke flat caps of felt, without any brimmes at all, and- very diminutive falling bandes, no ruffes at all, which are so shallow, that I have seene many of them not above a little inch deepe. The colour that they most affect and use for their other apparel, I mean doublet, hose, and jerkin, is blacke : a colour of gravity and decency. Besides the forme and fashion of their attire is both very auncient, even the same that hath beene used these thousand yeares amongst them, and also uniforme. For all of them use but one and the same forme of habite, even the slender doublet made close to the body, without much quilting or bombase, and long hose plaine, without those new fangled curiosities, and ridiculous superfluities of panes, plaites, and other light toyes used with us English men. Yet they make it of costly stuffe, well beseeming Gentlemen and eminent persons of their place, as of the best Taffates, and Sattins that Christendome doth yeeld, which are fairely garnished also with lace of the best sort. In both these things they much differ from us English men. For whereas they have but one colour, we use many more then are in the Rain-bow, all the most light, garish, and unseemely colours that are in the world.

Also for fashion we are much inferiour to them. For we weare more phantasticall fashions then any Nation under the Sunne doth, the French onely excepted ; which hath given occasion both to the Venetian and other Italians to brand the English-man with a notable marke of levity, by painting him starke naked with a paire of shears in his hand, making his fashion of attire according to the vaine invention of his braine-sicke head, not to comelinesse and decorum.

But to returne to these gowned Gentlemen : I observed an extraordinary custome amongst them, that when two acquaintances meete and talke together at the walking times of the day, whereof I have before spoken, eyther in the Dukes Palace, or S. Markes place, they give a mutuall kisse when they depart from each other, by kissing Salutations. one anothers cheeke : a custome that I never saw before, nor heard of, nor read of in any history. Likewise when they meete onely and not talke, they give a low congie to each other by very civill and courteous gestures, as by bending of their bodies, and clapping their right hand upon their breastes, without uncovering of their heads, which sometimes they use, but very seldome.

Observations of Venice (Women's Dress)

Most of the women when they walke abroad, especially to Church, are vailed with long vailes, whereof some doe reache almost to the ground behinde. These vailes are eyther blacke, or white, or yellowish. The blacke eyther wives or widowes do weare : the white maides, and so the yellowish also ; but they weare more white then yellowish.

It is the custome of these maydes when they walke in the streetes, to cover their faces with their vailes, verecundiae causa, the stuffe being so thin and slight, that they may easily looke through it. For it is made of a pretty slender silke, and very finely curled : so that because she thus hoodwinketh her selfe, you can very seldome see her face at full when she walketh abroad, though perhaps you earnestly desire it, but only a little glimpse thereof.

Now whereas I said before that onely maydes doe weare white vailes, and none else, I meane these white silke curled vayles, which (as they tolde me) none doe weare but maydes. But other white vayles wives doe much weare, such as are made of holland, whereof the greatest part is handsomely edged with great and very faire bone-lace. Almost all the wives, widowes and mayds do walke abroad with their breastes all naked, and many of them have their backes also naked even almost to the middle, which some do cover with a slight linnen, as cobwebbe lawne, or such other thinne stuffe : a fashion me thinkes very uncivill and unseemely, especially if the beholder might plainly see them. For I beleeve unto many that have prurientem libidinem, they would minister a great incentive & fomentation of luxurious desires. Howbeit it is much used both in Venice and Padua. For very few of them do weare bands but only Gentlewomen, and those do weare little lawne or cambricke ruffes. There is one thing used of the Venetian women, and some others dwelling in the cities and towns subject to the Signiory of Venice, that is not to be observed (I thinke) amongst any other women in Christendome : which is so common in Venice, that no woman whatsoever goeth without it, either in her house or abroad ; a thing made of wood, and covered with leather of sundry colors, some with white, some redde, some yellow. It is called a Chapiney, which they weare under their shoes. Many of them are curiously painted ; some also I have seene fairely gilt : so uncomely a thing (in my opinion) that it is pitty this foolish custom is not cleane banished and exterminated out of the citie. There are many of these Chapineys of a great heigth, even half a yard high, which maketh many of their women that are very short, seeme much taller then the tallest women we have in England.

Also I have heard that this is observed amongst them, that by how much the nobler a woman is, by so much the higher are her Chapineys. All their Gentlewomen, and most of their wives and widowes that are of any wealth, are assisted and supported eyther by men or women when they walke abroad, to the end they may not fall. They are borne up most commonly by the left arme, otherwise they might quickly take a fall. For I saw a woman fall a very dangerous fall, as she was going down the staires of one of the little stony bridges with her high Chapineys alone by her selfe : but I did nothing pitty her, because shee wore such frivolous and (as I may truely terme them) ridiculous instruments, which were the occasion of her fall. For both I my selfe, and many other strangers (as I have observed in Venice) have often laughed at them for their vaine Chapineys.

All the women of Venice every Saturday in the afternone doe use to annoint their haire with oyle, or some other drugs, to the end to make it looke faire, that is whitish. For that colour is most affected of the Venetian Dames and Lasses. And in this manner they do it : first they put on a readen hat, without any crowne at all, but brimmes of exceeding breadth and largeness : then they sit in some sun-shining place in a chamber or some other secret roome, where having a looking-glasse before them they sophisticate and dye their haire with the foresaid drugs, and after cast it backe round upon the brimmes of the hat, till it be throughly dried with the heat of the dressing. sunne : and last of all they curle it up in curious locks with a frisling or crisping pinne of iron, which we cal in Latin Calamistrum, the toppe whereof on both sides above their forehead is acuminated in two peakes. That this is true, I know by mine owne experience. For it was my chaunce one day when I was in Venice, to stand by an Englishman s wife, who was a Venetian woman borne, while she was thus trimming of her haire : a favour not affoorded to every stranger.

Observations of Venice (Courtesans)

But since I have taken occasion to mention the particulars of their women, I will insist farther upon that matter, and make relation of their Cortezans also, as being a thing incident and very proper to this discourse, especially because the name of a Cortezan of Venice is famoused over all Christendome. And I have here inserted a picture of one of their nobler Cortezans, according to her Venetian habites, with my owne neare unto her, made in that forme as we saluted each other. Surely by so much the more willing I am to treate something of them, because I perceive it is so rare a matter to find a description of the Venetian Cortezans in any Authour, that all the writers that I could ever see, which have described the city, have altogether excluded them out of their writings. There fore seeing the History of these famous gallants is omitted by all others that have written just Commentaries of the Venetian state, as I know it is not impertinent to this present Discourse to write of them ; so I hope it will not be ungratefull to the Reader to reade that of these notable persons, which no Author whatsoever doth impart to him but my selfe. Onely I feare least I shall expose my selfe to the severe censure and scandalous imputations of many carping Criticks, who I thinke will taxe me for luxury and wantonnesse to insert so lascivious a matter into this Treatise of Venice. Wherefore at the end of this discourse of the Cortezans I will adde some Apologie for my selfe, which I hope will in some sort satisfie them, if they are not too captious.

The woman that professeth this trade is called in the Italian tongue Cortezana, which word is derived from the Italian word cortesia that signifieth courtesie. Because these kinde of women are said to receive courtesies of their favourites. Which word hath some kinde of affinitie with the Greeke word eratpa which signifieth properly a sociable woman, and is by Demosthenes, Athenaeus, and divers other prose writers often taken for a woman of a dissolute conversation. As for the number of these Venetian Cortezans it is very great. For it is thought there are of them in the whole City and other adjacent places, as Murano, Malomocco, &c. at the least twenty thousand, whereof many are esteemed so loose, that they are said to open their quivers to every arrow. A most ungodly thing without doubt that there should be a tolleration of such licentious wantons in so glorious, so potent, so renowned a city. For me thinks that the venetians should be daylie affraid least their winking at such uncleannesse should be an occasion to draw down upon them Gods curses and vengeance from heaven, and to consume their city with fire and brimstone, as in times past he did Sodome and Gomorrha. But they not fearing any such thing doe graunt large dispensation and indulgence unto them, and that for these two causes.

First, ad vitanda majora mala. For they thinke that the chastity of their wives would be the sooner assaulted, and so consequently they should be capricornified, (which of all the indignities in the world the Venetian cannot patiently endure) were it not for these places of evacuation. But I marvaile how that should be true though these Cortezans were utterly rooted out of the City. For the Gentlemen do even coope up their wives alwaies within the walles of their houses for feare of these conveniences, as much as if there were no Cortezans at all in the City. So that you shall very seldome see a Venetian Gentleman s wife but either at the solemnization of a great marriage, or at the Christning of a Jew, or late in the evening rowing in a Gondola.

The second cause is for that the revenues which they pay unto the Senate for their tolleration, doe maintaine a dozen of their galleys, (as many reported unto me in Venice) and so save them a great charge. The consideration of these two things hath moved them to tolerate for the space of these many hundred yeares these kinde of Laides and Maides, who may as fitly be termed the scales 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 contemplate their beauties, and enjoy their pleasing dalliances. And indeede such is the variety of the delicious objects they minister to their lovers, 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 live in very magnificent and portly buildings fit for the entertainement 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 I have 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 Goddesse of love, in so much that thou wilt thinke she made a late transmigration from Paphos, Cnidos, or Cythera, the auncient habitations of Dame Venus. For her face is adorned with the quintessence of beauty. In her cheekes thou shalt see the Lilly and the Rose strive for the supremacy, and the silver tramels of her haire displayed in that curious manner besides her two frisled peakes standing up like prety Pyramides, that they give thee the true Cos amoris. But if thou hast an exact judgement, thou maist easily discerne the effects of those famous apothecary drugs heretofore used amongst the Noble Ladies of Rome, even 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 have an elegant naturall beauty, doe varnish their faces (the observation whereof made me not a little pitty their vanities) with these kinde of sordid trumperies. Wherein me thinks they seeme ebur atramento candefacere, according to that excellent *Proverbe of Plautus ; that is, to make ivorie white with inke. Also the ornaments of her body are so rich, that except thou dost even geld thy affections (a thing hardly to be done) or carry with thee Ulysses hearbe called Moly which is mentioned by Homer, that is, some antidote against those Venereous titillations, shee wil very neare benumme and captivate thy senses, and make reason vale bonnet to affection. For thou shalt see her decked with many chaines of gold and orient pearle like a second Cleopatra, (but they are very litle) divers gold rings beautified with diamonds and other costly stones, jewels 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 have expressed it in the picture of the Cortizan that I have placed about the beginning of this discourse) or laced with five 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 unto thee most delectable allurements, yet if thou shalt rightly weigh them in the scales of a mature judgement, thou wilt say with the wise man, and that very truely, that they are like a golden ring in a swines snowt. Moreover shee will endevour to enchaunt thee partly with her melodious notes that she warbles out upon 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 Cortezan (if she be a selected woman indeede) a good Rhetorician, and a most elegant discourser, so that if she cannot move thee with all these foresaid delights, shee will assay thy constancy with her Rhetoricall tongue. And to the end shee may minister unto thee the stronger temptations to come to her lure, shee will shew thee her chamber of creation, 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 ; even the picture of our Lady by her bedde side, with Christ in her armes, placed within a cristall glasse.

But beware notwithstanding all these illecebrae & lenocinia amoris, that thou enter not into termes of private conversation with her. For then thou shalt finde her such a one as Lipsius truly cals her, callidam & calidam Solis filiam, that is, the crafty and hot daughter of the Sunne. Moreover I will tell thee this newes which is most true, that if thou shouldest wantonly converse with her, and not give 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 up in the prison, where thou shalt remaine till thou hast paid her all thou didst promise her. Therefore for avoiding of those inconveniences, I will give thee the same counsell that Lipsius did to a friend of his that was to travell into Italy, even to furnish thy selfe with a double armour, the one for thine eyes, the other for thine eares. As for thine eyes, shut them and turne them aside from these venereous Venetian objects. For they are the double windowes that conveigh them to thy heart. Also thou must fortifie thine eares against the attractive inchauntments of their plausible speeches. Therefore even as wrestlers were wont heretofore to fence their eares against al exterior annoyances, by putting to them certaine instruments called a/m(pwtises : so doe thou take unto thy selfe this firme foundation against the amorous woundes of the Venetian Cortezans, to heare none of their wanton toyes ; or if thou wilt needes both see and heare them, doe thou only cast thy breath upon them in that manner as we doe upon steele, which is no sooner on but incontinent it falleth off againe : so doe thou only breath a few words upon them, and presently be gone from them : for if thou dost linger with them thou wilt finde their poyson to be more pernicious then that of the scorpion, aspe, or cocatrice. Amongst other things that I heard of these kinde of women in Venice, one is this, that when their Cos amoris beginneth to decay, when their youthfull vigor is spent, then they consecrate the dregs of their olde age to God by going into a Nunnery, having before dedicated the flower of their youth to the divell; some of them also having scraped together so much pelfe by their sordid facultie as doth maintaine them well in their old age : For many of them are as rich as ever was Rhodope in Egypt, Flora in Rome, or Lais in Corinth. One example whereof I have before mentioned in Margarita Emiliana that built a faire Monastery of Augustinian Monkes.
There is one most notable thing more to be mentioned concerning these Venetian Cortezans, with the relation whereof I will end this discourse of them. If any of them happen to have any children (as indeede they have but few, for according to the old proverbe the best carpenters make the fewest chips) they are brought up either at their own charge, or in a certaine house of the citie appointed for no other use but onely for the bringing up of the Cortezans bastards, which I saw Eastward above Saint Markes streete neare to the sea side. In the south wall of which building that looketh towards the sea, I observed a certaine yron grate inserted into a hollow peece of the wall, betwixt which grace and a plaine stone beneath it, there is a convenient little space to put in an infant. Hither doth the mother or some body for her bring the child shortly after it is borne into the world ; and if the body of it be no greater, but that it may conveniently without any hurt to the infant bee conveighed in at the foresaid space, they put it in there without speaking at all to any body that is in the house to take charge thereof. And from thenceforth the mother is absolutely discharged of her child. But if the child bee growne to that bignesse that they cannot conveigh it through that space, it is carryed backe againe to the mother, who taketh charge of it her selfe, and bringeth it up as well as she can. Those that are brought up in this foresaid house, are removed therehence when they come to yeares of discretion, and many of the male children are employed in the warres, or to serve in the Arsenall, or Galleys at sea, or some other publique service for the Common weale. And many of the females if they bee faire doe matrizare, that is, imitate their others in their gainfull facultie, and get their living by prostituting their bodies to their favourites.

Thus have I described unto thee the Venetian Cortezans ; but because I have related so many particulars of them, as few Englishmen that have lived many yeares in Venice, can do the like, or at the least if they can, they will not upon their returne into England, I beleeve thou wilt cast an aspersion of wantonnesse upon me, and say that I could not know all these matters without mine owne experience. I answere thee, that although I might have knowne them without my experience, yet for my better satisfaction, I went to one of their noble houses (I wil confesse) to see the manner of their life, and observe their behaviour, but not with such an intent as we reade Demosthenes went to Lais, to the end to pay something for repentance ; but rather as Panutius did to Thais, of whom we read that when he came to her, and craved a secret roome for his pastime, she should answere him that the same roome where they were together, was secret enough, because no body could see them but onely God ; upon which speech the godly man tooke occasion to persuade her to the feare of God and religion, and to the reformation of her licentious life, since God was able to prie into the secretest corners of the world. And so at last converted her by this meanes from a wanton Cortezan to a holy and religious woman. In like manner I both wished the conversion of the Cortezan that I saw, and did my endevour by perswasive termes to convert her, though my speeches could not take the like effect that those of Panutius did. Withall I went thither partly to the end to see whether those things were true that I often heard before both in England, France, Savoy, Italy, and also in Venice it selfe concerning these famous women, for

Segnius irritant animos demissa per aures
quam quae sunt oculis subjecta fidelibus, & quse ipse sibi tradit spectator

Neither can I be perswaded that it ought to be esteemed for a staine or blemish to the reputation of an honest and ingenuous man to see a Cortezan in her house, and note her manners and conversation, because according to the The maxime, Cognitio mali non est mala, the knowledge ledge of evil is not evil. I thinke that a virtuous man will be the more confirmed and settled in virtue by the observation of some vices, then if he did not at all know what they were.

Observations of Venice (Mountebanks)

For I hope it will not be esteemed for an impertinencie to my discourse, if I next speake of the Mountebanks of Venice, seeing amongst many other thinges that doe much famouse this Citie, these two sorts of people, namely the Cortezans and the Mountebanks, are not the least : for although there are Mountebanks also in other Cities of Italy ; yet because there is a greater concurse of them in Venice then else where, and that of the better sort and the most eloquent fellowes ; and also for that there is a larger tolleration of them here then in other Cities (for in Rome, &c. they are restrained from certain matters as I have heard which are heere allowed them) therefore they use to name a Venetian Mountebanke for the coryphaeus and principall Mountebanke of all Italy : neither doe I much doubt but that this treatise of them will be acceptable to some readers, as being a meere novelty never before heard of (I thinke) by thousands of our English Gallants.

Surely the principall reason that hath induced me to make mention of them is, because when I was in Venice, they oftentimes ministred infinite pleasure unto me. I will first beginne with the etymologic of their name : the word Mountebanke (being in the Italian tongue Monta inbanco) is compounded of two Italian words. Montare which signifieth to ascend or goe up to a place, and banco a bench, because these fellowes doe act their part upon a stage, which is compacted of benches or fourmes, though I have seene some fewe of them also stand upon the ground when they tell their tales, which are such as are commonly called Ciaratanoes or Ciarlatans, in Latin they are called Circulatores and Aoyrtae, which is derived from the Greeke worde ayelpeiv which signifieth to gather or draw a company of people together, in Greek Oav/maTOTroioi. The principall place where they act, is the first part of Saint Marks street that reacheth betwixt the West front of S. Marks Church, and the opposite front of Saint Geminians Church. In which, twice a day, that is, in the morning and in the after noone, you may see five or sixe severall stages erected for them : those that act upon the ground, even the foresaid Ciarlatans being of the poorer sort of them, stand most commonly in the second part of S. Marks, not far from the gate of the Dukes Palace.

These Mountebanks at one end of their stage place their trunke, which is replenished with a world of new-fangled trumperies. After the whole rabble of them is gotten up to the stage, whereof some weare visards being disguised like fooles in a play, some Women that are women (for there are divers women also amongst Mountebanks), are attyred with habits according to that person that they sustaine ; after (I say) they are all upon the stage, the musicke begins. Sometimes vocall, sometimes instrumentall, and sometimes both together. This musicke is a preamble and introduction to the ensuing matter : in the meane time while the musicke playes, the principall Mountebanke which is the Captaine and ring-leader of all the rest, opens his truncke, and sets abroach his wares ; after the musicke hath ceased, he maketh an oration to the audience of halfe an houre long, or almost an houre. Wherein he doth most hyperbolically extoll the vertue of his drugs and confections :

Laudat venales qui vult extrudere merces.

Though many of them are very counterfeit and false. Truely I often wondred at many of these naturall Orators. For they would tell their tales with such admirable volubility and plausible grace, even extempore, and seasoned with that singular variety of elegant jests and witty conceits, that they did often strike great admiration into strangers that never heard them before : and by how much the more eloquent these Naturalists are, by so much the greater audience they draw unto them, and the more ware they sell. After the chiefest Mountebankes first speech is ended, he delivereth out his commodities by little and little, the jester still playing his part, and the musitians singing and playing upon their instruments. The principall things that they sell are oyles, soveraigne waters, amorous songs printed, Apothecary drugs, and a Commonweale of other trifles. The head Mountebanke at every time that he delivereth out any thing, maketh an extemporall speech, which he doth eftsoones intermingle with such savory jests (but spiced now and then with singular scurrility) that they minister passing mirth and laughter to the whole company, which perhaps may consist of a thousand people that flocke together about one of their stages.

For so many according to my estimation I have seene giving attention to some notable eloquent Mountebanke. I have observed marveilous strange matters done by some of these Mountebankes. For I saw one of them holde a viper in his hand, and play with his sting a quarter of an houre together, and yet receive no hurt ; though another man should have beene presently stung to death with it. He made us all beleeve that the same viper was linealy descended from the generation of that viper that lept out of the fire upon f S. Pauls hand, in the Island of Melita now called Malta, and did him no hurt ; and told us moreover that it would sting some, and not others. Also I have seene a Mountebanke hackle and gash his naked arme with a knife most pittifully to beholde, so that the blood hath streamed out in great abundance, and by and by after he hath applied a certaine oyle unto it, wherewith he hath incontinent both stanched the blood, and so throughly healed the woundes and gashes, that when he hath afterward shewed us his arme againe, we could not possibly perceive the least token of a gash.

Besides there was another black gowned Mountebanke that gave most excellent contentment to the company that frequented his stage. This fellow was borne blind, and so continued to that day : he never missed Saint Markes place twise a day for sixe weekes together : he was noted to be a singular fellow for singing extemporall songes, and for a pretty kinde of musicke that he made with two bones betwixt his fingers. Moreover I have seene some of them doe such strange jugling trickes as would be almost incredible to be reported. Also I have observed this in them, that after they have extolled their wares to the skies, having set the price of tenne crownes upon some one of their commodities, they have at last descended so low, that they have taken for it foure gazets, which is something lesse then a groat. These merry fellowes doe most commonly continue two good howres upon the stage, and at last when they have fedde the audience with such passing variety of sport, that they are even cloyed with the superfluity of their conceits, and have sold as much ware as they can, they remove their trinkets and stage till the next meeting.

Thus much concerning the Mountebankes.

Observations of Paris.

A little within this hall there is another goodly and beautiful roome, wherein the Judges sit in judgment : there do the Advocats and Civilians pleade, and discusse matters of controversie. There I saw two grave auncient Judges sit in judgment in their scarlet gownes, accompanied at the bench with many other Civilians that were attired in blacke gownes, with certaine tippets and formalities that they weare upon pleading days, as the badges of their profession. The roofe of this roome is very rich, being sumptuously gilt and embossed with an exceeding multitude of great and long bosses hanging downward, which were likewise gilt.

Observations of Fountainbleau (guards' dress)

Seing I have now mentioned the guarde, I will make some large relation thereof according as I informed my selfe partly at the French Court, and partly by some conference that I have had since my arrivall in England, with my worthy and learned friend M. Laurence Whitaker.
The French guard consisteth partly of French, partly of Scots, and partly of Switzers. Of the French Guarde The French there are three rankes : The first is the Regiment of the guard. which consisteth of sixteene hundred foote, Musketeers, Harquebushers and Pikemen, which waite always by turns, two hundred at a time before the Loure Gate in Paris, or before the Kings house wheresoever he lyeth. The second bee the Archers, which are under the Captaine of the Gate, and waite in the very Gate, whereof there be about fiftie. The third sort bee the Gard of the body, whereof there are foure hundred, but one hundred of them be Scots. These are Archers and 600 Switzers.
Of the Switzers, there is a Regiment of five hundred, which waite before the Gate by turnes with the French Regiment, and one hundred more who carie onely Halberts and weare swords, who waite in the Hall of the Kings house, where soever he lyeth. The Archers of the Garde of the body weare long-skirted halfe-sleeved Coates made of white taffatie Cloth, but their skirts mingled with Red and Greene, and the bodies of the Cotes trimmed before and behind with Mayles of plaine Silver, but not so thicke as the rich Coates of the English Garde. The Switzers weare no Coates, but doublets and hose of panes, intermingled with Red and Yellow, and some with Blew, trimmed with long Puffes of Yellow and Blewe Sarcenet rising up betwixt the Panes, besides Codpieces of the like colours, which Codpiece because it is by that merrie French writer Rablais stiled the first and principall piece of Armour, the Switzers do weare it as a significant Symbole of the assured service they are to doe to the French King in his Warres, and of the maine burden of the most laborious imployments which lye upon them in time of Peace, as old suresbyes to serve for all turnes. But the originall of their wearing of Codpieces and partie-coloured clothes grew from this ; it is not found that they wore any till Anno 1476 at what time the Switzers tooke their revenge upon Charles Duke of Burgundie, for taking from them a Towne called Granson within the Canton of Berne, whom after they had defeated, and shamefully put to flight, together with all his forces, they found there great spoils, spoyles that the Duke left behind, to the valew of three Millions, as it was said. But the Switzers being ignorant of the valew of the richest things, tore in pieces the most sumptuous Pavilions in the world, to make themselves coates and breeches ; some of them sold Silver dishes as cheape as Pewter, for two pence half-pennie a piece, and a great Pearle hanging in a Jewell of the Dukes for twelve pence, in memorie of which insipid simplicite, Lewes the eleventh King of France, who the next yeare after entertained them into his Pension, caused them to bee uncased of their rich Clothes made of the Duke of Burgundies Pavilions, and ordained that they should ever after weare Suites and Codpieces of those varyegated colours of Red and Yellow. I observed that all these Switzers do weare Velvet Cappes with Feathers in them, and I noted many of them to be very clusterfisted lubbers. As for their attire, it is made so phantastically, that a novice newly come to the Court, who never saw any of them before, would halfe imagine, if he should see one of them alone with out his weapon, hee were the Kings foole. I could see but few roomes of the Palace, because most of the The Scottish Scots that waited the Sunday morning when I was there, hapned to dine at a marriage of their country woman in the towne, so that I could see them no more all that day, otherwise they promised to have procured me the sight of most of the principall roomes.

Observations of Savoy.

In Lasnebourg which was the last towne of Savoy that I lodged in, situate under the foote of that exceeding high mountaine Senis, I observed these three things. First the shortnesse of the womens wastes not naturally but artificially. For all women both of that towne and all other places besides betwixt that and Novalaise towne of Piemont, at the descent of the mountaine Senys on the other side, some twelve miles off, did gird them selves so high that the distance betwixt their shoulders and their girdle seemed to be but a little handfull. Secondly, the heigth of their beds : for they were so high High beds. that a man could hardly get into his bedde without some kinde of climing, so that a man needed a ladder to get up as we say here in England. Thirdly, the strangenesse and quaintnesse of the womens head attire. For they wrappe and fold together after a very unseemly fashion, almost as much linnen upon their heads as the Turkes doe in those linnen caps they weare, which are called Turbents.

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