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which is never the case amidst oppressive poverty.
Notwithstanding the fertility of the country around it, the town of Placentia itself is but thinly inhabited, and seems to be in a state of decay. What first strikes a stranger on entering this city, are two equestrian statues, in bronze, by Giovanni di Bologna ; they stand in the principal square, before the Town-house. The best of the two represents that consummate general Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma and Placentia, who commanded the army of Philip II. in the Netherlands. The infcription on the pedestal mentions his having relieved the city of Paris, when called to the affiftance of the League into France, where his great military skill, and cool intrepidity, enabled him to baffle all the ardent impetuosity of the gallant Henry. He was certainly worthy of a better master, and of serving in a better cause. We cannot, without regret, behold a Prince, of
the Duke of Parma's talents and character, fupporting the pride of an unrelenting tyrant, and the rancour of furious fanatics.
Except the Ducal Palace, and some pictures in the churches, which I dare swear you will cordially forgive me for passing over undescribed, I believe there is not a great deal in this city worthy of attention ; at all events I can say little about them, as we remained here only a few hours during the heat of the day, and set out the same evening for Milan.
ILAN, the ancient capital of Lom
bardy, is the largest city in Italy, except Rome; but though it is thought rather to exceed Naples in size, it does not contain above one-half the number of in. habitants.
The cathedral stands in the centre of the city, and, after St. Peter's, is the most considerable building in Italy. It ought by this time to be the largest in the world, if what they tell us be true, that it is near four hundred years since it was begun, and that there has been a considerable number of men daily employed in completing it ever since; but as the injuries which time does to the ancient parts of the fabric, keep them in constant employment, without the possibility of their work being ever com13
pleted, pleted, Martial's epigram, on the barber Eutrapelus, has been applied to them with great propriety. That poor man, it seems, performed his operations so very slowly, that the beards of his patients required shaving again on the side where he had begun, by the time he had finished the other.
EUTRAPELUS TONSOR DUM CIRCUIT ORA LUPERCI, EXPUNGITQUE GENAS, ALTERA BARBA SUBIT.
No church in Christendom is so much loaded, I had almost said disfigured, with orna
The number of statues, withinfide and without, is prodigious; they are all of marble, and many of them finely wrought. The greater part cannot be distinctly seen from below, and therefore certainly have nothing to do above. Besides those which are of a size, and in a situation to be distinguished from the street, there are great numbers of smaller ftatues, like fairies, peeping from every cornice, and hid among the grotesque ornaments, which are here in vaft profusion. They must have coft much labour to the artists who formed
them, and are still a source of toil to strangers, who, in compliment to the person who harangues on the beauties of this church, which he says is the eighth wonder of the world, are obliged to ascend to the roof to have a nearer view of them.
This vast fabric is not simply encrusted, which is not uncommon in Italy, but intirely built of solid white marble, and supported by fifty columns, said to be eightyfour feet high. The four pillars under the cupola, are twenty-eight feet in circumference. By much the finest ftatue belonging to it is that of St. Bartholomew. He appears flayed, with his skin flung around his middle like a fash, and in the easiest and most degagé manner imaginable. The muscles are well expressed ; and the figure might be placed with great propriety in the hall of an anatomist ; but, exposed as it is to the view of people of all professions, and of both sexes, it excites more disgust and horror than admiration. Like those beggars who uncover their sores in the VOL. II. Gg