The travels of Sig. Pietro della Valle, a noble Roman, into East-India and Arabia Deserta in which, the several countries, together with the customs, manners, traffique, and rites both religious and civil, of those Oriental princes and nations, are faithfully described : in familiar letters to his friend Signior Mario Schipano : whereunto is added a relation of Sir Thomas Roe's Voyage into the East-Indies.
Della Valle, Pietro, 1586-1652., Roe, Thomas, Sir, 1581?-1644., Havers, G. (George)

LETTER XVI.

From Rome,April 4. 1626.

[ I] AT length I am come to Rome, the place of my Nativity; but though I walk upon the banks of Tyber and the seven Hills, yet my mind runs wandring through Turkie and Persia, hoises sail again to the wind, and roams as far as the Indi∣an shores, reviewing Ikkeri, Manel, and Calecut. Whence em∣barquing again in the great Dolphin, it reconducts me over Seas and Lands, to my recent and late Peregrinations, and even to the Rock of Euplea, whither now I return both with my Thought and Pen. Being divided there, from Sig: Angelo, Sig: Andrea, and the rest with expressions of much affection, whilst they in another boat return'd towards Naples, I with my Felluca's set sail, and,

Post varios casus, post tot discrimina rerum
Tendimus in Latium.
In a few hours I came to Procida, where I was entertain'd by Sig: Antonio d' Antonii in his Garden; and not onely din'd there, but in expectation of a fit hour to depart, (because I would not touch at Gaeta, but intended to go directly to Terracina) I also lodg'd there all night. The Judge of Procida being inform'd, whether by the Mariners or others I know not, of the Coffin of Sitti Maani which I had, according to the cheating tricks us'd in the Kingdom of Naples, thought to get something from me upon this occasion; and to make the case more heinous, he waited till mid-night when we were all asleep, (notwithstanding he might have done it in the day-time when I walkt up and down the whole Island with the Women) and at that unseasonable time came with many armed people to disquiet us in the House where I was, saying, that he would see my goods, and stop the Coffin; with other such Language. I, who was prepard for such en∣counters, shew'd him the good Bills which I had brought from Naples, and, in short, made him take as a favor a small pittance, which I gave him out of respect to the Master of the House where I lodg'd.

March the fourteenth, I left Procida before day, and putting to Sea arriv'd with a pretty rough Sea at Terracina, where Hora∣tio Pagni, Steward of my House, to whom I had written from Page  315Naples to wait for me here, had been some dayes expecting me, with another man-servant to SigraFaustina Alberina my Aunt. As soon as he saw our Felluca's afar off, and conje∣ctur'd who we were, because the Tide was so boisterous that we could not easily get to shore, he caus'd certain men to wade into the Sea naked, who with ropes presently drew both the Boats to Land in safety, where Horatio and his Companion receiv'd us with much gladness and many tears, and conducted us to a Lodging already provided for us in one of the Inns upon the Sea-side. Sig: Paolo Heltori, Governour of Terracina, sent to invite me to his House, and to excuse himself for not com∣ing in Person to fetch me, for that he was taken up with the Prince of Venosa Ludovisio, who lodg'd with him in his passage to Naples, whether almost all the Roman Barons, Vassals of Spain, were summon'd by the Vice-Roy, (as 'twas believ'd) about some disgusts which he had with them about matters of Titles, and the like Complements; and the Prince of Venosa was now at Terracina upon the Way. I thank'd the Governour, but declin'd the favor; partly, to avoid giving him more trouble at such a busie time; and, partly, because I intended to depart forth-with.

March the fifteenth, A Captain came from Sezze, to invite me [ II] in the name of Sig: Francesco della Valle Governour there, (whom I knew already by fame of his Books of Poetry, and desir'd much to know personally) that I would lodg with him in my passage to Rome, adding, that he would wait for me at Case Nuove, an Inn upon the way, subject to his jurisdiction. Whereupon, after I had heard Mass in a Church near the shore, I imbarqu'd with all my people and Goods, and, at night, arriv'd at Case Nuove, where I found the said Sig: Francesco della Valle, who entertain'd us nobly, and, upon the like desire which he had of knowing me, we establish'd a great and perpetual friendship.

March the sixteenth, I dispatcht Horatio with part of my ser∣vants and carriage to Rome, particularly, with the Coffin of Sitti Maani, ordering him to get it into Rome secretly before the day of my arrival, for preventing all difficulties that might arise either from the guards of the Gate, or the Toll-house, or other∣wise: to which purpose I also writ Letters to SigraLaura, with orders what was to be done. I, with the Women, and only two Servants, leaving the rest of my Goods in charge with the Host, because there wanted Mules to carry them, went with Sig: Frances∣co to Sezza, there to wait for a Coach, which I had writ for to Rome. In the Evening, the Prince of Rassano Aldobrandino pass'd by Case Nuove towards Naples, whither he was summon'd with the rest.

March the twenty second, The Prince of Salmona Borghese, who was going likewise to Naples, enter'd Sezza with a solemn Cavalcade, being met at the foot of the Hills by the Governor, all the Militia of horse and foot, the Bishop, and a company of Page  316 all the Gentlemen of the Town. Which honour I believe was done him by the procurement of Sig: Girolamo Muti, a Servant to the Card. Borghese, who was ally'd by marriage to many in Sezze, and accompani'd him hither. I visited the said Prince as soon as he was alighted, and he express'd much civility to me, and satisfaction with my Visit.

March the twenty third, In the Morning before I was up, the Prince of Sulmona sent Sig: Baldassar Pignatello, Gentleman of his Chamber, to visit me, and to bid me Adieu, being he was just ready to depart. I dress'd my self in haste, and went to wait upon him before he took horse, as he did presently after. In the Evening, Horatio return'd to Sezze, but without a Coach, for at Sermoneta, the people being advertis'd of the Coffin which he carri'd with him, refus'd to let it pass without particular licence, but (which was worse) would have it carri'd about the Town. Horatio would not put it into the hands of the Priests, as they im∣portun'd him, but left it in a handsom chamber in the Inn, under the care of one of my servants, and went directly to Rome, where he stay'd till he had got Licences both from Sermoneta, Velletri, and Rome, for the free carrying of it. And because he knew I wisht this business done before I enter'd into Rome my self, he brought no Coach, as he might have done, but came with these dispatches to see what I intended to do. When I saw the Bills were good, and proof against all difficulty, I dispatcht a footman purposely to Rome for a Coach to carry me thither.

[ III] March the twenty fifth, A Messenger whom I sent to carry the Coffin from Sermoneta to Rome, arriv'd there, and without being seen or stay'd by any person, consign'd the same to Sig: Laura, who plac'd it in my chamber, as I had appointed.

March the twenty sixth, In the Evening the Coach which was to carry me to Rome, arriv'd at Sezze, from whence, bidding adieu to Sig: Francesco della Valle, I departed the next day, and by night got to Velletri.

March the twenty eighth, Departing from Velletri, in the Morning we pass'd by Genzano in sight of its Lake, which was sometimes the famous Lacus Triviae; afterwards by Riccia, where the Sig: Savelli have a goodly Palace. We stay'd to dine at Al∣bano, beholding Castel Candolfo afar off, and the place where Al∣ba longa sometimes stood. In the Evening we arriv'd at Rome as privately as could be, because being a Widower, I was unwil∣ling to admit of the congratulatory meeting which divers in∣tended to me; and going to the Holy Stairs, I there, according to my appointment, enter'd into another Coach, which carri'd us leisurely through the longest Street of Santa Maria Maggiore, and about other Streets also, till it was more late and dark. At length we enter'd my House by the back-gate, and I presently caus'd all the doors to be lock'd, to the end the news of my ar∣rival might not bring any to disturb me before I had spoken a little with Sig: Laura, as I desir'd. I was no sooner enter'd, but Page  317 I found Sig: Francesco Maria della Riccia, who waited for me, and with Sig: Laura his Mother, did me the favour to dwell in the house, as also Sig: Gaspara Salviano my Friend. Sig: Laura, scarce recover'd of a great sickness, which had indanger'd her life whilst I was at Naples, yet walkt down into the Court as well as she could with a staff to receive me there; and accordingly I was receiv'd with a joy sutable to the great desire they had of us, and to the long absence of so many years. We ascended all together, and after some conversation amongst us, and a long discourse between me and Sig: Laura, who inform'd me of sun∣dry things, it being about three hours within night, I sent to to advertise Sig: Faustina Alberina my Aunt, and also the Sig: Crescentii, of my arrival; excusing my self that I went not in per∣son to see them, because it was too late. Sig: Faustina came im∣mediatly to me, and with her my Daughter Silvia, who was so grown that I did not know her; as also Sig: Antonia Ruggieri, Mother of Sig: Tiberio Alberii, whom likewise I did not know at first. We supt all together very joyfully, and after a long conver∣sation, Sig: Faustina with her company retir'd home. Sig: Gaspare remain'd with me that night; and, before I went to bed, I caus'd the Coffin of my Sitti Maani to be deliver'd to me. Hi∣therto I have been continually visited by almost all the Nobility of Rome, and also by many Ladies, Kinred, and Friends, who after so many years absence see me again, and receive me a stran∣ger and pilgrim in my own Country with exceeding pleasure. This is an account of what hath occurr'd within the few days since my departure from Naples, and arrival at Rome. At pre∣sent, I am preparing to repay Visits, and to kiss the feet of our Lord Pope Vrban VIII, whereof, and all other occurrences, I shall advertise you. I kiss your hands, and humbly salute all my Friends.

From Rome,April 4. 1626.