Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Flight of the Earls (Author: Tadhg Ó Cianáin)

section 79

Omitting Paris in France and Lisbon in the kingdom of Portugal, this city is one of the greatest cities in


Christendom. There is some likeness and rivalry between it and Rome and Naples. It is situated on level, even ground, wide, firm, extensive, and well-equipped, having palaces and well-made, well-built houses. There is a good river, which flows from Lake Como, divided into many portions through it, and having many bridges. Much of the supplies of the city and the country come by that river from Como and from Germany. There is a strong castle, one of the best fortified in the world, having a thousand Spanish soldiers equipped with all conveniences and requisites always guarding it by night and day, at the side of the city, which it controls and commands. There are five hundred great guns planted on the castle. A special governor subordinate to the earl is in command. Not many people, Spaniards and Irish alone excepted, are allowed into it. The earl himself has a splendid palace in the very centre of the city. A company of soldiers always armed act as guard about it both night and day. The city cathedral of Santa Maria del Duomo is close to the palace. It is a very great and beautiful church with five rows of marble columns and a marble architrave. There is a splendid chapel built beneath the great altar of the church where there are many relics of saints and holy people. Of the famous Innocents that were slain by Herod, son of Antipater, when searching for Christ, there are eleven in that chapel. On the feast of the Innocents each year their bodies are shown to all. In front of the great high-altar is the body and tomb of Cardinal Borromeo, who was archbishop in the city nine years before


that time. Since he died everyone thinks he is a saint, and he will soon be canonised in Rome.