Sunday, May 07, 2006

Day 20 - 2nd May 1483

"On the 2nd of May we went in the morning to St. Mark's, and attended Masses in the great church of St. Mark. When the Masses were over, we went into the palace of the Doge of Venice, to wait upon the Doge himself with the letter which the most illustrious Sigismund, Archduke of Austria, had entrusted to my lords for them to present to him, as aforesaid, in my account of the 17th April. So we went up the stone stairs from the court of the palace to the portico, and standing outside the hall of judgment, we asked to be admitted to an audience of the senate. We were at once admitted into the place of the consuls, and placed in the presence of the Doge and the senate. Now, the Lord John, Baron van Cymbern, holding aloft the letter of the Archduke of Austria, walked forward in a most gallant fashion into the midst of the hall, went up to the Doge, presented the letter to him with a courtly reverence, and retired. The Doge looked at the seal, and on recognising it, kissed it, and handed it to the senators who sat with him, that they also might kiss it. He then caused the letter to be read in the hearing of all present. When he had heard it, the Doge arose, and through an interpreter offered his services to the pilgrims, and calling each of them to him severally, gave his hand to each man, drew him towards him, and kissed him in the Italian fashion. After this my lords begged for letters commendatory to the Captain-general of the Sea, and to the governors of the islands, in order that, if need were, they might invoke the protection of these persons aforesaid. This request was straightway granted, and the letters were written and delivered to us."

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