excerpt from 'Letters on Italy; illustrated by engravings' pp. 60-61 (283 words)

excerpt from 'Letters on Italy; illustrated by engravings' pp. 60-61 (283 words)

part of

Letters on Italy; illustrated by engravings

original language

urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

in pages

60-61

type

text excerpt

encoded value

[Letter VIII]

[Castellan describes a day observing carnival in Florence]

 The spectacle which we ourselves saw was very agreeable. The carriages, which throng the road, give great brilliancy to the scene; they are filled with masks who answer the joy and acclamations of the multitude by throwing them cakes and confetti, and by sprinkling showers of perfumed water from little syringes towards the spectators who line the windows and the balconies: some of the carriages contain musicians, and others are in the shape of triumphal cars, ornamented with different symbols. 

I shall only mention one of these masquerades, where luxury was united to good taste, and the contrivance appeared to me new and ingenious: the car, drawn by twelve beautiful horses richly caparisoned, represented Olympus ornamented with foliage, and on which stood the principal heathen deities, surrounded by nymphs and rural gods, and a numerous orchestra. Jupiter occupied the summit of the mountain, seated on the extended wings of an eagle, and enveloped with clouds, whilst Apollo and the Muses were singing and reciting some sonnets, copies of which were thrown amongst the crowd, and in the midst of the deafening noise of the musical instruments Jupiter was perceived to be agitated on his throne of clouds. He shortly leaves the summit of the mountain, rises majestically in the air, and sails along amid the applause of the wondering multitude, on whom he lances his artificial thunder, which, as it falls, changes into serpents; he still ascends, and as the last rays of the sun shine upon him he vanishes from the eyes of the enchanted crowd, who load with prolonged applause the contrivers of a spectacle as splendid as it is ingenious.

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excerpt from 'Letters on Italy; illustrated by engravings' pp. 60-61 (283 words)

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