Milan 7br. 27th. 1730 – NS.


I have been out of Venice these three Months, and on my arrival here I saw a lettr. from you, sent me by my Friend Mr. Smith. in it I see a copy of directions abt. ye. Monumental piece to ye. memory of Sr. I. Newton: I was formerly favoured wth. ye. same Notices more than once, and sent you my opinion abt. 'em in a letter which I writ to you from Rome in ye. month of Xbr. last & wch I put into ye. French post my selfe tho' I find by wt. you write yt. it must have miscarryed: I keep no copys of my Letters, therefore shall give my present opinion abt. ye. piece as you <2> {wou'd} have it, and as I intended it.

In all the pieces I have had done, there is (in each of 'em) a Sepulchre wherein I suppose my Heroe lyes – the sepulchres are adorned wth. statues, urns, basso-relievo's &c, allusive to the Virtues, arms of the Family &c of each of 'em The sepulchres I suppose placed in a solitary scituation, & yt. there is an anniversary Ceremony performed (on a certain day) at 'em – I introduce Figures (under each of 'em) properly Employed as I think to explain ye. meaning of the Visitants, & their intentions &c.

'Tis impossible to tell (in such a narrow compass) more than one main story witht. running into wt. wou'd be very trivial, & ye. pieces wou'd resemble the cutts in The Gierusaleme Liberata


In the Monumt. to ye. Memory of the Duke of Malbró', I make a soldier attended wth. Guards &c. as visiting ye. Monumt. of a great General – I mean nothing more in it but this visit – now if I was to {ex}|re|present his battles, sieges and ability's as an able counsellour I have no way to do it but by Medaglions, Medals Basso relievo's – statues &c.

To shew you yt. I have not been negligent in serving you, I have ordered a piece to be done of ye same size wth. those of ye. D. of Richmond's but turn'd long ways – the perspective & Landscape have been done these six month's but how to dispose of the Figures is ye. great difficulty & I'me affraid impossible, at least to my own satisfaction & if it can't be done to my satisfaction I'll promise you shall never have it


I wish ye. gentleman who assisted you wth. the plan of the Landscape & ye. disposition of ye. several groupes of figures wou'd make a small Sketch of his picture, wch. will explain his Meaning much better than I can understand it by writing –

I would be glad to know, wt. size he intends ye. Figures to be (in a cloath of yt. length & breadth) and how he wou'd have ye. resemblances kept of the several philosophers, astronomers &c. and ye. different Meanings expressed of ye. different groupes of Figures &c.

In short better heads than mine in Rome & Bologna are puzzled how to contrive it –

Sr. Isaack Newtons Monument is one of ye. collection wch. Sr. William Morice has & assoon as I {send} it him be so good as to cast an Eye on it <5> {and} Let me have yr. opinion abt. it –– If yt. or something like yt. will please you I will have it well Executed by ye. same or some other able painter: if not I'll try whether anything can be done in ye. manner you desire; if neither pleases you, than {sic} ye. Fifty pound wch. I recd. shall be repd. you, by ye. same hand: this is all I think necessary to be sd. on this score.

Ime glad you have given ye. coission to Mr. Smith for ye. pictures of Canaletto, & I hope you'l like 'em when they are done. I am, it may be, a little too delicate in my choice, for of twenty pieces I see of him I don't like eighteen & I have seen several sent to London yt. I <6> {wou'd not} give house room too, nor two pistols each. He's a covetous, greedy fellow & because he's in reputation people are glad to get anything & at his own price.

'Tis above three years yt. he has two copper plates in his hands, for ye. D. of Richmond & I thought it wrong to sett him at work on new work 'till he had delivered wt. he has been obliged to do so long since.

The Two copper plates of the D. of Richmd. two of Mr. Southwell & two of Sr. Wm. Morice are in his buon gusto – pray compare these with any other you know & you'l soon discern ye difference – If I can be of any use to you I hope you'l Honr. me wth. yr. Coands. I am yr. very much oblig'd servt. Owen Swiny


Pietro Patroni has been Employed for two years past in making telescopes &c. for ye. K. of Spain, and 'tis difficult to get any thing out of his hands. I sent him a pistol \on ye. receipt of yr. former lettr./ wch. is half ye. price of the Glass you desire, & I have pd. him ye. remainder now, & he promises to send it me to Venice in a Month: assoon as I receive it Ill forward it to you.


To Iohn Conduit Esqr. at his house in Great-George-street near Hanover-square London

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Professor Rob Iliffe
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