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brass, supposed to be of Apollo, with this modern inscription on the pedestal, which I must confess I do not know what to make of, Ut potui huc veni musis et fratre relicto. I saw in the same gallery the famous figure of the wild boar, the gladiator, the Narcissus, the Cupid and Psyche, the Flora, with some modern statues that several others have described. Among the antique figures, there is a fine one of Morpheus in touchstone. I have always observed, that this god is represented by the ancient statuaries under the figure of a boy asleep, with a bundle of poppy in his hand. I at first took it for a Cupid, till I had taken notice that it had neither bow nor quiver. I suppose Dr. Lister has been guilty of the same mistake in the reflections he makes on what he calls the sleeping Cupid with poppy in his hands.
Corpora nudorum tabulâ pinguntur Amorum
It is probable they chose to represent the god of sleep under the figure of a boy, contrary to all our modern designers, because it is that age which has its repose the least broken by cares and anxieties. Statius, in his celebrated invocation of Sleep, addresses himself to him under the same figure.
Crimine quo merui, juvenis placidissime Divú,
Sily. lib. 5.
Tell me, thou best of gods, thou gentle youth,
I never saw any figure of sleep, that was not of black marble, which has probably some relation to the night, which is the proper season for rest. I should not have made this remark, but that I remember to have read in one of the ancient authors, that the Nile is generally represented in stone of this colour, because it fows from the country of the Ethiopeans; which shows us that the statuaries had sometimes an eye to the person they were to represent, in the choice they made of their marble. There are still at Rome some of these black statues of the Nile which are cut in a kind of touchstone.
Usqui coloratis, amnis devexus ab Indis. Virg. Geor. 4. At one end of the gallery stands two antique marble pillars, curiously wrought with the figures of the old Roman arms and instruments of war. After a full survey of the gallery, we were led into four or five chambers of curiosities that stand on the side of it. The first was a cabinet of antiquities, made up chiefly of idols, talismans, lamps, and hieroglyphics. I saw nothing in it that I was not before acquainted with, except the four following figures in brass.
I. A little image of Juno Sispita, or Sospita, which perhaps is not to be met with any where else but on medals. She is clothed in a goat's skin, the horns sticking out above her head. The right arm is broken that probably supported a shield, and the left a little defaced, though one may see it held something in its grasp formerly. The fee
The feet are bare. I remember Tully's description of this goddess in the following words: Hercle inquit quàm tibi illam nostram Sospitam quam tu nunquam ne in Somniis vides, nisi cum pelle Caprinâ, cum hastå, cum scutulo, cum calceolis repandis.
Il. An antique model of the famous Laocoon and his two sons, that stands in the Belvidera at Rome. This is the more remarkable, as it is entire in those parts where the statue is maimed. It was by the help of this model that Bandinelli finished his admirable copy of the Laocoon, which stands at one end of this gallery.
III. An Apollo, or Amphion. I took notice of this little figure for the singularity of the instrument, which I never before saw in ancient sculpture. It is not unlike a violin, and played on after the same manner. I doubt however whether this figure be not of a later date than the rest, by the meanness of the workmanship.
IV. A Corona Radialis, with only eight spikes to it. Every one knows the usual number was twelve, some say, in allusion to the signs of the zodiac, and others to the labours of Hercules.
Ingenti mole Latinus
VIRG. Æn. lib. 12.
The two next chambers are made up of several artificial curiosities in ivory, amber, crystal, marble, and precious stones, which all voyage-writers are full of. In the chamber that is shown last stands the celebrated Venus of Medicis. The statue seems much less than life, as being perfectly naked, and in company with others of a larger make: it is, notwithstanding, as big as the ordinary size of a woman, as I concluded from the measure of her wrist; for, from the bigness of
any one part it is easy to guess at all the rest, in a figure of such nice proportions. The softness of the flesh, the delicacy of the shape, air, and posture, and correctness of design in this statue are inexpressible. I have several reasons to believe that the name of the sculptor on the pedestal is not so old as the statue. This figure of Venus put me in mind of a speech she makes in one of the Greek epigrams.
Γυμνεν οίδε Παρις με και Αχίσης και "Αδωνις ...
But where has this Praxiteles been prying? There is another Venus, in the same circle, that would make a good figure any where else. There are among
the old Roman statues several of Venus in different postures and habits, as there are many particular figures of her made after the same design. I fancy it is not hard to find among them some that were made after the three statues of this goddess, which Pliny mentions. In the same. chamber is the Roman slave whetting his knife and listening, which, from the shoulders upwards, is incomparable. The two wrestlers are in the same room. I observed here likewise a very curious bust of Annius Verus, the young son of Marcus Aurelius, who died at nine years of age. I have seen several other busts of him at Rome, though his medals are exceeding rare.
The great duke has ordered a large chamber to be fitted up for old inscriptions, urns, monuments, and the like sets of antiquities. I was shown several of them, which are not yet put up. There are two famous inscriptions that give so great a light to the histories of Appius, who made the highway, and of Fabius the dictator; they contain a short account of the honours they passed through, and the actions they performed. I saw too the busts of Tranquillina, mother to Gordianus Pius, and of Quintus Herennius, son to Trajan Decius, which are extremely valuable for their rarity, and a beautiful old figure made after the celebrated hermaphrodite in the Villa Borghese. I saw nothing that has not been observed by several others in the Argenteria, the tabernacle of St. Laurence's chapel, and the chamber of painters. The chapel of St. Laurence will be perhaps the most costly piece of work on the face of the earth, when completed; but it advances
so very slowly, that it is not impossible but the family of Medicis may be extinct before their burial place is finished.
The great duke has lived many years separate from the duchess, who is at present in the court of France, and intends there to end her days. The cardinal, his brother, is old and infirm, and could never be induced to resign his purple for the uncertain prospect of giving an heir to the dukedom of Tuscany. The great prince has been married several years without any children, and notwithstanding all the precautions in the world were taken for the marriage of the prince, his younger brother, (as finding out a lady for him who was in the vigour and flower of her age, and had given marks of her fruitfulness by her former husband) they have all hitherto proved unsuccessful. There is a branch of the family of Medicis in Naples: the head of it has been owned as kinsman by the great duke, and it is thought will succeed to his dominions, in case the princes, his sons, die childless; thought it is not impossible but in such a conjuncture, the commonwealths, that are thrown under the great duchy, may make some efforts towards the recovery of their ancient liberty.
I was in the library of manuscripts belonging to St. Laurence, of which there is a printed catalogue. I looked into the Virgil which disputes its antiquity with that of the Vatican. It wants the “ Ille ego qui quondam, &c.” and the twenty-two lines in the second Æneid, beginning at Jamque adeo super unus eram. -I must confess I always thought this passage left out with a great deal of judgment by Tucca and Varius, and it seems to contradict a part in the sixth Æneïd, and represents the hero in a passion, that is, at least not at all becoming the greatness of his character. Besides, I think the apparition of Venus comes in very properly to draw him away immediately after the sight of Priam's murder; for, without such a machine to take him off, I cannot see how the hero could, with honour, leave Neoptolemus triumphant, and Priam unrevenged. But