I passed this day with one Mr. J. Wall, an Irish gentleman, who had been a friar in Spain, and afterwards a reader in St. Isidoro’s chair, at Rome; but was, I know not how, getting away, and pretending to be a soldier of fortune, an absolute cavalier, having, as he told us, been a captain of horse in Germany.
It is certain he was an excellent disputant, and so strangely given to it that nothing could pass him. He would needs persuade me to go with him this morning to the Jesuits’ College, to witness his polemical talent.
We found the Fathers in their Church at the Rue St. Antoine, where one of them showed us that noble fabric, which for its cupola, pavings, incrustations of marble, the pulpit, altars (especially the high altar), organ, lavatorium, etc., but above all, for the richly carved and incomparable front I esteem to be one of the most perfect pieces of architecture in Europe, emulating even some of the greatest now at Rome itself.
But this not being what our friar sought, he led us into the adjoining convent, where, having showed us the library, they began a very hot dispute on some points of divinity; which our cavalier contested only to show his pride, and to that indiscreet height, that the Jesuits would hardly bring us to our coach, they being put beside all patience.