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J48                              DIARY OF                            LONDON

Alexander turned in his frolic at Persepolis, with divers
temples,   columns,   relievos,   and    statues,    yet   extant,
which he affirmed to "be sculpture far exceeding anything
he had observed  either  at Rome, in   Greece, or in any
other  part   of  the  world   where   magnificence   was   in
estimation.    He said there was an  inscription in letters
not intelligible,   though  entire.    He was  sorry he could
not gratify the  curiosity of  the Society at present, his
things not being yet out of the ship; but would wait on
them  with  them on his return  from Paris, whither he
was  going the next day,   but with intention  to return
suddenly,   and   stay  longer   here,    the   persecution   in
France not suffering Protestants, and he was one, to be quiet.
He told us that Nineveh was a vast city, now all buried
in her ruins, the inhabitants building on the subterranean
vaults, which were, as  appeared, the first stories  of the
old city, that there were frequently found huge vases of
fine earth, columns, and other antiquities; that the straw
which the Egyptians required of  the Israelites,   was not
to burn, or cover the rows of bricks as we use, but being
chopped small to mingle with the clay, which being dried
in the sun (for they bake not in the furnace) would else
cleave asunder; that in Persia are yet a race of Ignicolae,
who worship the sun and the fire as Gods; that the wo-
men   of   Georgia   and Mingrelia  were  universally,  and
without any compare; the most  beautiful   creatures for
shape, features, and figure, in the  world, and  therefore
the Grand Seignor and Bashaws  had had from   thence
raost  of  their wives   and   concubines;  that   there   had
within these hundred years been Amazons among them,
that is to say, a sort or race of valiant women, given to
war; that Persia was extremely fertile; he spoke also of
Japan and China,  and of  the many great errors   of our
late geographers, as we suggested   matter for discourse.
We then  took our leave,   failing  of  seeing his papers;
but it was told us by others that indeed he dared not open,
or show them, till he had first showed them to the French
King; but of this he himself said nothing.

2d September, 1680. I had an opportunity, his Maj-
esty being still at Windsor, of seeing his private library
at Whitehall, at my full ease. I went with expectation
of finding some curiosities, but, though there were about
1,000 volumes, there were few of importance which I hadhen he went into the chamber of the