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Florentine Vases.

273

phizzes; since here may be seen busts without number of those-Whose names are known to fame and those-Who scarcely have a name.

In this Studio I selected two large, and beautiful, Alabaster Vases, paying the price agreed for them; also for the box to pack them in, &c. and gave directions for sending them to England. As they were meant for a present, I much wished to pay every possible contingency of expense up to their delivery, but this being asserted to be impossible, I parted with a strict understanding upon honour (I wish it had been upon paper) that the whole further charges should not exceed One Pound. During my absence from England, and in about two months after purchase, they were delivered in London with this bill.

Account of charges upon a case received from Florence by the Schooner

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Foreign Postage 3s. 10d.-Entry 6s. .. 0 Duty 2s. 6d.-Officers and Men at Custom House 2s.—Landing, Wharfage,

&c. 4s.

...

...

Porterage and Delivery, 7s. 6d.-Com

mission 10s.....

Freight, Primage, Pierage

VOL. I.

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Florentine Vases.

Upon hearing of this demand, long afterwards, I was very indignant, and wrote instantly to desire it might not be paid, since I could prove it to be contrary to all previous agreements; and deemed it therefore, either a gross surcharge, or mistake.

In the intermediate time however, it had been paid; but, in consequence of some remonstrance, the London agent had ventured to deduct 20s.

Upon my return to town, I explained the case to this agent, who promised his efforts to obtain redress, but I have long since abandoned all idea of this, more particularly as three houses are respectively concerned in the matter:-the Florentine artist; the Leghorn, and London, agents.

I do not insert this trifling occurrence with any vindictive feelings; I merely speak of it as a caution to any who may subsequently make such, or more extensive, purchases, with a recommendation, unless they are utterly regardless of the cost of the article to have a specific agreement, to cover all contingent charges.

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Sunday. On the ensuing Wednesday, it is fixed that we set off for Rome. If it be allowable to speak of pains proceeding only from disappointed anticipation, I may be allowed to speak of mine arising from the absence of the British Ambassador, Lord Burghersh.

To Florence at large his present stay in England is matter of regret; to Englishmen his loss is more

severe.

Society at Florence.

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To his mansion all who were worthy were wel come, and to his own countrymen, once properly introduced, a reception there, was naturally a passport to the circles of the other English, and Florentine, nobility. For myself, I had that introduction which I may justly think would have brought me within the sphere to which His Excellency extended his favours; and as I know of few objects more valuable to a traveller than an insight into the manners, and modes, of foreign society, I must proportionately lament the chance which has thus deprived me of this range of visiting. Nevertheless, I have had the advantage of admission into some other superior circles, and from the circumstance of being directed by chance into a house where I became very intimate with its most agreeable inmates, I have less felt the want of, or the wish for a more extended circle of visiting. happy here to record Miss W. daughter of General Sir Charles W. whose amiability deserves more than this brief notice; nor do I forget Miss H. who, to the advantages of birth, unites the charms of person, and of talent, with the vivacity of the liveliest of dispositions.

I am

Intimacy with Mrs. H. and the young lady, led to some gallantry, from a certain young gentleman of the party to Miss H. and it having been reported, whether truly or no, I cannot tell, that the said lady had exercised her skill in miniature

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Departure for Rome.

painting by a sketch of his portrait, on the ensuing morning, this effusion was accordingly presented to her.

Address to a Young Lady who drew the Author's Portrait.

Matilda deigns her talents bright

To bid the pencil trace

A Head; and, thus, recall to sight
Th' expression of the face.

To fading colours she refers
The features to impart :-

To me such aid needs not ;

For Hers are graven on my heart.

5th Inst.-At length it was decided to leave Florence with all its attractions, and, accordingly at eleven o'clock on Wednesday morning we set out for Rome, sleeping at Poggibonsi the first night, and reaching Sienna the next morning. Here purer Italian is said to be spoken, commonly, than in most other cities of Italy. Our short stay allowed little more than an inspection of the Cathedral.

The town is built on volcanic ground, and one eruption in 1797 did incalculable damage. So irregular, and hilly, is Sienna that the Baptistery, adjoining the Cathedral, is just under it, so that through an iron lattice in the pavement of the church one may look down into the other building. This Cathedral was erected in the thirteenth century, and the present façade (its second) was the work of

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two Siennese architects, Agnolo, and Agostino. It is very striking from the profusion, and crowding, of minute ornaments cut in the stone windows, columns, doors, and everywhere else, externally. The pavement near the choir, after having been much worn, is now carefully preserved by a wooden covering, it being inlaid with the most ancient species of mosaic work known, done by Beccafumi, surnamed Meccarino, and by Duccio de Buoninsegna.

It is formed by the intermixture of white and grey marble, hatched with black mastic. The incidents best represented are the Sacrifice of Isaac: Jephtha's rash vow: and Moses striking the rock.

The Vestry possesses the Catholic Musical Service, with the Psalms, admirably written on vellum, and beautifully illuminated by the Monks.

The

Around the vault of the nave, and choir, are a set of heads of Popes in terra cotta. It can hardly be supposed that these should be accurate. first of the series is Jesus Christ, having the dark complexion of a Moor, and an Oriental turban; next to him is St. Peter, holding the keys of heaven, and hell; and the last of the number is Alexander III.

The greatest rarity of Sienna is an antique group of Grecian sculpture, dug up under the church, and there treasured, commonly called the Graces.

Much might be expected from such a promise as

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