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A tour through some parts of France, Switzerland, Savoy, Germany and Belgium by Richard Boyle Bernard

Part 3 out of 4

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number of mills of various kinds.

Having been much struck with the spirit of industry and activity which
distinguishes the appearance of this little state, I felt anxious to
inquire concerning the government, and a gentleman of this town, to whom
I was introduced when at Geneva, was kind enough to give me ample
information on the subject. As I say but little respecting the history
of _large states_, perhaps I may be excused for the following details,
which I think possess some interest.

The state of Neufchatel is an independent sovereignty, allied with
Switzerland; which alliance secures its independence, and every prince,
on succeeding to the sovereignty, is obliged to ratify it. The actual
government is a mixture of aristocracy and democracy. The sovereignty,
which is _almost a name_, is inalienable and indivisible, and cannot be
sold or given to a younger branch of the reigning family, without the
consent of the people--it is hereditary, and a female is capable of
inheriting it. The revenues of the sovereign arise from quitrents,
fines, tithes, and the exclusive right of trout fishing in the autumn;
he can, on no pretext whatever, exact any thing additional from the
state, and the total of his revenue does not exceed 45,000 francs. The
prince has the disposal of all civil and military employments, not
reserved particularly for popular election; he is represented by a
governor, who presides at the general meetings of the estates of the
principality, but has no vote unless the numbers are equally divided. In
the event of a _contest_ relative to the succession to the principality,
the _Estates General_ are alone competent to decide between the
different claimants; and the Canton of Berne has always decided any
differences that may have arisen between the prince and the people
respecting their particular rights. The last time when the estates were
called upon to decide between a number of claimants for the sovereignty,
was in 1707, on the death of the Duchess of Nemours without issue. Most
of the claimants came in person to Neufchatel, or sent ambassadors to
support their pretensions. Amongst them were the King of Prussia,
Margrave of Baden Dourlach, the Prince of Nassau, the Prince of Conde,
the Marquis d'Algers, the Count of Montbeliard, &c. &c. In bestowing the
sovereignty on the King of Prussia, care was taken that he should
confirm all the doubtful privileges of the people; for it is a
fundamental maxim of this little state, "_that the sovereignty resides
not in the person of the prince, but in the state_".

The Neufchatelois are permitted to serve in the armies of _any power,
not at war with the Prince of Neufchatel, as such_, and accordingly it
has happened that they have often fought against the Prussians in the
wars of Frederic the Great. By the treaty of Tilsit, 1806, this state
was severed from Prussia, and given by Buonaparte to Marshal Berthier;
but the recent events have restored it to the King of Prussia, and the
inhabitants seem to bear the greatest attachment to his Majesty. I saw,
in two places, the triumphal arches under which he passed in his late
visit to Neufchatel. It appears probable that this will be acknowledged
as a canton by the Swiss Diet, but that the nominal sovereignty of the
King of Prussia will be preserved. The chief advantage his Majesty
derives from this country is the supply of a great number of recruits to
his army. I saw a body of 1,400 soldiers, of excellent appearance, set
out on their march for Prussia.

At the village of _St. Blaise_ we observed, under the sign of one of the
inns, the sentiment, "_Honorez le Roi; soignez l'agriculture_" We next
proceeded to visit the celebrated lake of Bienne, which is about nine
English miles by four. The isle of St. Pierre, so much praised by
Rousseau, is situated near the centre of the lake, about a league from
Cerlier, where we embarked for it. It is about half a league in
circumference. The ancient convent is inhabited by a farmer, and the bed
of the philosophic Rousseau is now at the command of any of his admirers
who may wish to repose in it.

There is also a large building, which is in summer the scene of much
festivity, and which commands an extensive and interesting prospect.

One side of this island rises boldly from the lake to a great height;
the other is on a level with its waters. It contains many vineyards, and
several large chesnut trees. The town of Bienne, until its union to
France in 1799, presented the singularity of a Protestant state being
nominally subject to a Roman Catholic prelate (the Bishop of Basle). Its
liberties were guaranteed by the Swiss Diet, where it sent a
representative, a privilege the bishop did not possess. Its future
government is not yet determined on. The country about Nydau more
resembles Holland and Switzerland, being marshy, or drained by Canals.
Many Swiss writers are of opinion, that formerly the lakes of
Neufchatel, Morat and Bienne were united; and the appearance of the
country renders the supposition not improbable.

The Pont de Thiel divides the territories of Rome and Neufchatel; and it
is also the limit of the French language, none of the peasants beyond
the bridge being able to answer any questions but in German. However, at
all the chief inns, in both Switzerland and Germany, some of the waiters
speak French. It is difficult to suppose a more sudden change than
presents itself to the traveller on his passing this bridge. The houses,
dress, and appearance of the inhabitants, all announce that he is
arrived in a country differing entirely from France, Savoy, and the Pays
de Vaud.

The enormous black crape head-dresses of the women have a most singular
effect, as well as their long hair, which reaches halfway down their
backs, plaited into several divisions. It is said, that in some
districts, the females after marriage, roll it round their heads. The
costume of the men much resembles that of our sailors. Cotton or woollen
caps are more worn than hats, as was the custom in England until about
the time of Henry the Eighth.

We sent our baggage by the coach to Berne, and walked three leagues to
breakfast at Anet, in German _Eis_, a large village pleasantly situated.
We observed that the direction posts had a translation into French of
the German names, &c.; a precaution very useful on the frontiers of
nations speaking two different languages. We found our inn extremely
neat, as indeed the inns generally are throughout Switzerland; and that
is one great advantage to the traveller which it possesses over France,
where it is seldom that good accommodations can be procured at a country
inn. If the inns are more expensive than in France, the comfort is
greater also. The French talk much of the rapacity of the Swiss, and
have a common saying-, "_Point d'argent point de Suisse_"; but it would
be unreasonable to expect that the Swiss should give their services
gratuitously to strangers; and, considering how much their country is
frequented by strangers, the guides, servants, &c. &c. cannot be accused
of any particularly great extortion. Still, those who expect to find
Switzerland a cheap country will be disappointed, as many of their inns
(particularly at Zurich) are more expensive than some in England. There
can be, however, no country more agreeable to travel in than this, as
the scene is continually varying, and presents a succession of lofty
mountains, forests, cultivated grounds, lakes, rivers, and cascades,
which will fully occupy the attention and excite the admiration of the
tourist. The people are extremely civil. and those who understand
German have assured me that they are also well informed.

Although Anet is at such a short distance from the frontiers of
Neufchatel, we found there were but two persons there who could speak
French. One of them was our landlord, who provided us with a guide to
conduct us to Mount _Iulemont, or Suslemont_ (which was the object we
wished to see particularly, from previous report) as he could speak only
German, our intentions were explained to him by the Landlord, and we
managed, by signs, to understand enough for our purpose. Many of the
German and English words have a strong resemblance; and a stranger in
Germany is more likely to be understood by trying English than French,
where neither are spoken. We at length arrived on the mountain, and were
much pleased with the extensive prospect from it, which resembles a vast
chart or map; the country surrounding us for many leagues in all
directions, being flat, although the view was terminated by distant
mountains. From hence we saw, at the same time, the three lakes of
Neufchatel, Bienne, and Morat, which had a beautiful effect. A traveller
should not fail to visit this place. We continued our walk in the
afternoon to Arberg, three and a half leagues further, through a plain
which presented one of the most cheerful and interesting scenes I had
seen. It was quite covered with peasants, engaged in ploughing out
potatoes, and in gathering the leaves of the tobacco-plant, of which
there was a vast quantity. We were constantly occupied in returning
their salutations, as they seldom fail to speak to passengers. The
country was mostly unenclosed. I here observed the first extensive
_beech_ woods I had yet seen on the Continent, which are occasionally
mixed with fir, the most common timber in Switzerland. We arrived, after
sunset, at Arberg, where we found good accommodations after the fatigues
of the day. It takes its name from the river Aar, by which it is
surrounded. At each end of the town is a wooden bridge covered, to
preserve the timber from the weather. The town is a great thoroughfare
between Berne, Neufchatel, and the Pays de Vaud; and we observed, in the
market-place, several waggons stationed until morning.

* * * * *

CHAP. XIII.

We proceeded next day to Morat. Its lake is about two leagues in length
by three quarters of a league in breadth, and is said to be the only
lake in Switzerland where that voracious fish, the _silurus_, is found.
There are many vineyards in this vicinity, but the wine is very
indifferent. It is, however said to produce the best _Kirschrvasser_, or
Cherry brandy in Switzerland. Morat is celebrated in history for the
memorable victory obtained under its walls, by the Swiss, over the
formidable army of the last duke of Burgundy in 1476. The bones of the
Burgundians were piled up by way of monument on the field of battle. The
triumph of the Swiss over their invaders was recorded by many
inscriptions, of which the following is admired for its simplicity.

D.O.M.
Caroli incliti et fortissimi Burgundiae ducis exercitus
Muratum obsidiens, ab Helvetiis caesus, hoc sui
Monumentum reliquit, 1476.

This trophy was destroyed by the French in 1798; as they, perhaps,
feared that this memorial of the success of the Swiss, in contending for
their liberty, should incite them again to rise against the descendants
of those whom they had formerly defeated; and their vanity was probably
hurt by the existence of a record, disadvantageous to their countrymen.

We dined at the neat little village of Seedorf, and proceeded in the
evening in an open carriage to Berne. Part of the road is very hilly,
and at one time we had an interesting prospect of the island of _St.
Pierre_, and the end of the lake of Neufchatel, at about five or six
leagues distance. About half a league from Berne we passed the _Aar_
(which is here a broad and rapid stream) by a long bridge of wood,
covered according to the general custom in Switzerland.

The city of Berne presents a _beautiful coup-d'oeil_, and is one of the
few places I have seen, where the interior does not greatly diminish the
impression, occasioned by the distant prospect. The road was lined by
lofty trees, and presented a very cheerful scene.

Berne is deservedly considered as _one of the handsomest cities in
Europe_; it stands on a hill surrounded on two sides by the beautiful
stream of the Aar; it is surrounded by higher grounds richly cultivated,
and interspersed with woods, whilst the view is terminated by the snowy
summits of the Alps.

The chief street is half a league in length. The houses, which are in
general uniform, are built of free-stone upon piazzas, and have a
stately appearance, and there are several towers which add to the
general effect. In the middle of the street, runs a rapid stream, and
there is sufficient space for two carriages to pass at each side of it.
Fountains are also placed at regular distances. The piazzas are flagged
and kept extremely neat; but, I should think, that in this climate they
must make the houses cold in winter. This was the first place since my
departure from London, where I found a flagged way for the convenience
of pedestrians.

Berne is not a city of very remote antiquity, having been founded in
the year 1191. It is 1650 feet above the level of the sea. The
fortifications are kept in tolerable order, but from the height of most
of the surrounding hills, above the city, cannot be considered as of
much utility. In the trenches are kept several very large stags, and
also several _bears_; there being an annual rent of 1200 livres for
their support. This animal is thus favoured, as being the _armorial
bearing_ of the city (to which it gives name) and these arms are every
where to be seen, there being few barns without them. There are many
handsome churches in Berne: the tower of the cathedral is very fine, and
it contains many windows of stained glass. The public library is well
worth visiting; as is also the _botanic_ garden, which is on a most
extensive scale; in it is placed the tomb of the celebrated _Haller_. I
was much struck by the great number of chemists' shops in Berne. The
bakers' shops also are very numerous, and the bread is inferior to none
in Europe.

A stranger is surprised to see the _convicts chained to the carts_
which are constantly in use to keep the streets clean. I confess the
sight displeased me, and this system would not be tolerated in England,
where I think there was an attempt to introduce it during the reign of
Edward the Sixth. The objects that most pleased me, at Berne, were the
_public walks_, which are unequalled by any I have _ever_ seen, in
respect to their number, extent, and the neatness with which they are
kept. The views from some of these walks are quite magnificent; one, in
particular, on an eminence beyond the city, which follows the course of
the Aar for a long distance, commands a view which can never be
forgotten by these who have seen it. The city is a striking object at a
distance from the number of its spires; but although, from the
spaciousness of its streets, it covers a good deal of ground, yet it is
by no means populous, the inhabitants being only 11,500, but there are
no mendicants. The public roads, in the Canton of Berne, are kept in
excellent order, and every thing indicates the activity of the
administration. The government is an aristocracy, and I was informed
the chief power of of the state is vested in about twentyfour of the
principal families. There are, doubtless, in general, many strong
objections against this form of government, but the comfort, opulence,
and appearance of content, which is remarked in the Bernese is such,
that it is impossible to suppose they are not well governed; the least
observant traveller may soon perceive, by the appearance of a people,
whether they are subject to a free or to a despotic government. I
cannot, however, subscribe to Pope's opinion,

"That which is best administered is best."

The _form_ is still in my judgment the first requisite; nor can I agree
that the goodness consists in the mere administration. I visited the
agricultural establishment of M. de Fellenberg, at Hofwyl, two leagues
from Berne, where may be learnt the principles of rural economy, and
where annual fetes are given for the encouragement of farming; and I
also made an excursion to Hindelbanck, three leagues distant, where is
a much admired monument, erected from a design of M. Nahl; it represents
his wife, who died in child-bed, breaking; from her tomb with her child
in her arms. The Canton of Berne, before the separation from it of the
Cantons of Vaud and Argovia, formed about a third of Switzerland; its
population is now about 300,000. The country is fruitful, but like the
rest of Switzerland does not afford a sufficient supply of corn for its
inhabitants. Its fruit and vegetables are excellent. Its mountains feed
vast herds of cattle, and there is abundance of game. Its exports are
principally horses, cottons, watches, and kirschwasser, (or spirit
extracted from the cherry) there are manufactories of silks, and woollen
stuffs, and its gunpowder is in much estimation throughout Europe. The
salt comes mostly from France, but does not cost above five sols the
pound. Groceries are still dear, but are much reduced since the downfall
of the continental system. This Canton first entered into the Swiss
Confederation, in 1353. I made some enquiries respecting clergy, from a
most respectable minister of my acquaintance, who informed me, that the
senate appoint to all ecclesiastical benefices--that the clergy are
divided into _synods_ which assemble separately every year under the
presidency of a _Dean_, to examine into the conduct of each pastor, and
to deliberate in the presence of the _Bailiff of the District_,
concerning ecclesiastical affairs. The criminal code is well arranged,
and justice is administered with a promptitude that merits the highest
praise, since legal delay often proves worse than injustice.

I was doubtful in what direction I should next proceed, when I was
induced, as the season was advanced, to give up the idea of visiting
Oberland, and to accompany a gentleman going to Lucerne; if the country
was less romantic than that which I lost the opportunity of seeing, I
was with a companion who would have rendered an excursion in any country
entertaining. We left Berne in an open carriage, and took the road to
Worb, where we visited a _sawmill_, and were much pleased with that
useful invention. There are near the village several of the most
extensive bleach-greens in Switzerland. At Luzelflueh we passed the river
Emmen, and soon after stopped some time whilst oar horses rested. I have
never been in a country where horses are taken better care of; they are
always in excellent condition, and after mounting any considerable hill,
the driver does not fail to give them some slices of bread.

As we proceeded, we were struck with the profusion of autumnal crocuses,
with which the fields were enlivened, and stopped to sleep at the
inconsiderable village of Sumiswald, where the inn, like the rest of the
houses, was entirely built of wood. We were shewn into an apartment
where several peasants were at supper, and on the table lay a newspaper,
which (although its date was not very recent) seemed to interest them
extremely. Several more peasants having come in, we were, as strangers,
conducted into a more private room, but it was so _small_, as to give us
the idea that we were in a _box_. Our hostess was not long in preparing
supper, and as it was _extremely frugal_, she produced for us a bottle
of _Neufchatel wine_, of much better quality than one could have
expected to meet with in so retired a situation. We set out at an early
hour next morning, and, after passing through a vast forest of fir,
arrived to breakfast at Zell, in the canton of Lucerne, where the number
of chapels by the road-side announced that the Roman Catholic was the
established religion. The valley beyond Zell is extensive and well
watered. The peasants display much ingenuity in _irrigating_ their
meadows. The orchards are numerous, and, as well as the meadows, are
refreshed by _ductile streams_. In the centre of the valley rises a
lofty eminence, on the summit of which are the remains of the castle of
Hapstalla, which, half concealed by a mass of wood, forms a conspicuous
object amidst the cultivation of the surrounding scenery. The small
towns of Huttweil and Willisan present nothing worthy of remark; but
Sursee is a neat town, and the lake of Sempacli adds greatly to the
cheerful appearance of the country, which it waters to a considerable
extent. The town of Sempach is noted in history for the defeat of
Leopold, Duke of Austria, in 1386, by the forces of the Swiss
confederation. The Duke, together with his chief nobility, perished in
the engagement, which is further memorable by the heroism of _Arnold
Winkdried_. The approach to Lucerne along the river Reuss is singularly
beautiful, the banks are steep and well wooded, and the distant
appearance of the city, front the number of its turrets and spires, is
highly impressive. Its situation is certainly superior to that of any
city in Switzerland (Berne perhaps excepted). The mountains which
surround that part of the lake seen from the town, immediately reminded
me of the magnificent scenery of Killarney. The beauty of its situation,
and the imposing aspect which Lucerne presents at a distance, renders
the gloominess of its interior the more striking; and I do not know,
whether coming from Berne, where all is activity, gave me the
impression, but I think I never was in a more melancholy and deserted
town of the same magnitude. The population is only 4,000; but, to judge
from its extent, it might contain at least three times that number. It
is difficult to account exactly for the causes of this inactivity, but I
should be inclined to think some blame attaches to its government, as
here are no traces of that beneficial superintendence which is so
perceptible at Berne, This city cannot even boast of a public library.
There are at Lucerne several curious wooden bridges, to join the
different parts of the town separated by the river and the lake. They
are from 5 to 600 feet in length, and one of them contains a vast number
of paintings from scriptural subjects, and also from the Swiss history.

There are several handsome buildings at Lucerne, but many towns that
cannot boast of such a number, much exceed it in general appearance.

We observed a great quantity of fruit for sale, and good peaches for one
sol each. The celebrated plan, or rather, model, of this and the three
surrounding cantons, by General Pfiffer, is to be seen here on payment
of thirty sols; it is well worthy of a visit, and the General is said to
have refused _ten thousand pounds_ for it. Buonaparte is said to have
wished to possess it.

The lake of Lucerne, called also the lake of the _Four Cantons_, or the
_Waldstraller See_, is one of the most picturesque pieces of water in
Switzerland, and by its numerous windings, as well as by the rivers
which fall into it, affords facilities for commerce, which are
astonishingly neglected.

Mont Pilate rises majestically from the lake. It is, perhaps, one of the
highest mountains in Switzerland, if measured from its base, and not
from the level of the sea. Its elevation from the level of the lake is,
according to the measurement of General Pfiffer, not less than 6000
feet. Its name was, it is thought, given it by the Romans, from the
accumulation of snow upon its summit.

Mount Rigi, so generally visited by travellers, presents another
distinguished feature in this romantic country. The ascent to this
mountain having been within a few days rendered extremely difficult by
a fall of snow, we were advised not to attempt it, and I the more
readily acquiesced, having found the ascent to Montanvert difficult,
although unobstructed with snow. I therefore set out to visit two
classic spots in the history of Switzerland, which distinguish the banks
of this lake; first, the Gruetli (the Runnimede of Switzerland), a field
now covered with fruit-trees, where the neighbouring cantons on the 12th
of November, 1307, first took the engagement to found the liberty of
their country. They carried their plan into execution on the 1st of
January, 1308, by forcing their tyrannical governors to quit a country
thenceforward destined to be free. The second place is about a league
and a half distant, it is the Rock of Aschen-berg, 5240 feet above the
level of the lake (which is here 600 feet deep), on a part of which,
called Tell Platte, that patriot killed the tyrant _Gessler_ here is a
small chapel. I also visited the little town of _Gersau_ (which was, by
the French, united to the canton of Schweitz), remarkable as being the
smallest republic existing in Europe, as it contains only _one hundred
square toises_, and from 900 to 1000 inhabitants, who subsist chiefly by
agriculture; there is besides, a small manufacture of cotton. Their
_metropolis_ is a neat village, where only, perhaps; a pure democracy
subsisted without anarchy and dissensions.

The canton of Schweitz, which, at present, gives name generally to the
whole confederation of cantons, is said to have been first inhabited by
some persons forced to _quit Sweden_ by religious differences. The union
of this canton to those of Uri and Unterwald, first suggested that more
extended confederacy, so essential to the existence of these diminutive
states.

Here the Roman Catholic is the only religion tolerated, but intolerance
in Switzerland is not peculiar to the Roman Catholic cantons, as in
some, _Calvinism_ only is permitted. At Brunnen I met some persons going
on a _pilgrimage_ to the shrine of Notre Dame des Ermites, at
Einsiedlen, one of whom was a Frenchman, decorated with the _Lys_. It
would be well for the Bourbons if all their subjects were possessed of
but a small part of the loyalty which this gentleman expressed for them.
Brunnen is a large and handsome town, situated on the lake; it was here
that the cantons of Schweitz, Uri, and Unterwald, concluded their
perpetual alliance. Altorf is the capital of the canton of _Uri_, it
contains many handsome houses, and here is the statue of William Tell,
in the place where he was condemned to shoot the arrow at his son. The
cattle in this Canton, as well as in Schweitz, are large and handsome. I
was told that many of their favourite cows had silver bells fastened
round their necks. The horses are also provided with tails of a large
size, the noise of which I thought extremely unpleasant, although often
obliged to listen to it for many hours together. Stantz is the chief
town of Unterwald, but is only remarkable for its being prettily
situated. _In the three original_ cantons, every citizen on attaining
the age of sixteen, has the right of suffrage in the General Assemblies.
On my return to Lucerne from this excursion, it appeared more gloomy
than ever, and I determined on quitting it next morning for Zug. The
Pope's nuncio resides in this town, as being the capital of the chief
Roman Catholic canton, and I observed sentinels at his door, although
there were none at the gates of the city. Lucerne was, under the French
system, the seat of the general government of Switzerland, now removed
to Zurich. The canton of Lucerne is, in general, well cultivated, and
contains not less than 100,000 inhabitants. Between Lucerne and Zug, I
observed a number of peasants practising with the ancient weapons of
William Tell, which they appeared to use with great dexterity.

The badness of the road retarded considerably our arrival at Zug (Zoug,
as it is pronounced and written in German); & small but neat town, and
the capital and only town of its Canton, which is the least in
Switzerland, containing only 30,000 inhabitants, of whom 2500 inhabit
the capital. The lake, which washes the town, is about three leagues
long by one broad; one side of it presents a few mountains, but the
other (nearest the town) is flat, marshy, and uninteresting. Between Zug
and Zurich, we passed over the field of battle, where Zuingle, the
reformer, lost his life; the plain is, I think, called Cappel. The road,
which is still indifferent, passes through a country which resembles a
continued orchard. We passed the river _Sill_ by a long covered bridge,
and stopped at a neat inn, where we found some honey not inferior to any
in France, although here they do not think it necessary (as in Poitou)
to carry the hives of bees about the country, that by _travelling_ they
may collect every sort of perfume which it affords. Above the inn is a
mountain of vast height, which commands an extensive prospect over the
surrounding country. We soon after beheld one of the most magnificent
scenes of which Switzerland can boast, the view of the lake of Zurich,
from the hill above the village of Horgen. As it was evening when we
arrived there, I could judge of the justness of Zimmerman's beautiful
description of it at that time, which I had often admired at a period
when I had but faint expectation of ever seeing the scene itself.

Before visiting Switzerland, I had often felt surprise, on considering
the great variety of states which subsist in a country of such
comparatively limited extent; but I no longer felt that astonishment,
when I saw how completely many of the Cantons are divided from each
other, by chains of mountains, and how greatly their inhabitants differ
in their dress, manners, and religion. In one day, in the cantons of
Berne, Lucerne, and Zug, I saw three perfectly distinct modes of dress;
and the enormous sleeves and crape head dresses of _Berne_, compared
with the large flat hats, and short petticoats of Lucerne, are as
totally different costumes as could be supposed to prevail in two of the
most remote countries. The _political_ divisions of Switzerland are
almost as numerous as its geographical; and there are few countries
where more diversities of opinion prevail, respecting the means of
securing that liberty which is the boast of its inhabitants.

At a distance, Zurich seems surrounded by beautiful hills, descending
gradually to the river Limmat, which, issuing from the lake, divides the
city into two unequal parts. These bills are rich in pastures and
vineyards, interspersed with neat cottages; the horizon is bounded by
the mountains of Utliberg, which are connected with the Alps; forming,
altogether, a very striking and interesting picture.

* * * * *

CHAP. XIV.

On entering Zurich, it is impossible not to feel a sensation of
disappointment, as its internal appearance by no means corresponds with
the beauty of the distant scene. Its streets are narrow and winding, and
the houses are mostly of mean architecture, but there are few places
where I observed more of the activity of commerce. Many of its churches
and public buildings are handsome. It boasts a population of 14,000, a
number exceeding that of any town in Switzerland, Geneva excepted. The
Canton is next in importance to Berne, and contains 180,000 inhabitants.

The reformation was introduced here in 1523, by Ulric Zuingle, whose
death was noticed in the last chapter; he, like _Pope Julius_, exchanged
for a time the mitre for the helmet. The inns at Zurich are more
expensive than the hotels of Paris; they say it is owing to this being
the seat of the Swiss Diet. I had the honour of dining in company with
several of the Deputies (at the public table at the Sword Tavern) and
they seemed very inquisitive as to the state of affairs in England. Our
company exceeded thirty, and the dinner was unusually tedious: this
seems to have been _expected_, as there were pans of _charcoal_ or
_ashes_, placed under the principal dishes, which had a very unpleasant
effect. A _band of music_, stationed in an adjoining room, only served
to add to the confused noise of the servants, without allowing us to
judge of the beauty of the music, or of the merits of the musicians; and
I felt no regret when the master of the band at length thought fit that
we should purchase an interval of quiet. Before I quitted Zurich, I was
desirous of making an excursion on its lake, and accordingly joined a
party in visiting Rapperschwill, which is situated in a charming
country, but is chiefly remarkable for its bridge, constructed of wood,
over that part of the lake which is by a promontory reduced to the width
of 1800 feet, forming, perhaps, the longest bridge in Europe, except
that of St. Esprit, near Nismes, which is 3000 feet. The bridge of
Prague is 1700 feet, and that of Westminster 1200.

Soon after my return from this excursion, I set out for Schaffhausen;
but after we had lost sight of the lake and city of Zurich, the country
had nothing to interest the traveller. About a league from Zurich is the
Greinfensee, but that piece of water is not interesting, either in point
of scenery or extent. The river Glatt flows through the plain; it has
none of the characteristics of a Swiss stream, "_but choked with sedges,
works its weary way_."

About two leagues further, we passed the river Joss, which, by the
beauty of its windings amongst wooded hills (on one of which stands an
ancient castle) convinced us that we had not yet altogether bid farewell
to the romantic scenery of Switzerland.

The woods here are very extensive, and almost entirely composed of fir;
they produce annually a succession of plants which form an underwood,
and greatly contribute to the beauty of the scene, by concealing the
naked stems of the older trees.

The houses in the villages in the canton of Zurich much resemble those
in England, being mostly built of plaster, and roofed with tiles. I was
pleased with this change, after the heavy wooden houses, and projecting
roofs (of nearly three times the height of the building) usually seen in
the canton of Berne. They do not tend to enliven the country like those
of Zurich, where the eye notices the contrast between the whitened
cottages and green meadows. We spent a day at Winterthur, which is a
considerable municipal town, rendered lively by trade. The manufactory
of oil of vitriol is on a large scale, and is worthy of attention. There
are several bleach-greens in the neighbourhood, as well as many
vineyards, but of no great celebrity. The public library is extensive,
and there is also a considerable collection of medals.

We left Winterthur on foot, as the bridge over the river Thur was under
repair, and not passable for a carriage, and as we wished to approach
the _fall of the Rhine_ by this road. We breakfasted at _Adelfaigen_,
three leagues distant, and near the town were ferried over the Thar.
About two hours afterwards, we heard the distant roar of the Cataract,
and although I had heard so much previously of the grandeur of the
scene, yet I was not disappointed with the sight. There are many falls
much greater in point of height, and I had seen two previously which
exceed the present one in that particular, but then the force of Water
was there inconsiderable and uncertain: here one of the greatest rivers
in Europe falls with inconceivable force down a perpendicular height of
from sixty to eighty feet. The colour of the Rhine is greenish, and the
mixture of the water with the foam, has a curious effect. The castle of
Lauffen hangs over the river, and appears to tremble from the force of
the Cataract.

The surrounding scenery is bold and picturesque, and when viewed from a
boat on the river, the effect is very striking. There is a _camera
obscura_ placed in an ancient castle, which projects into the fiver, and
which we admired extremely. It is supposed that the height of this
celebrated cascade is much diminished from what it was formerly, and if
we consider the vast force of the torrent which the rock has sustained
for ages, it seems but reasonable to conclude, that it must have yielded
to such powerful and long continued assaults. We remained a considerable
time contemplating this magnificent scene, and then returned through the
village of Lauffen, and observed that the spire of its _church_ was
covered with _painted tiles_, which in this district seem a common
species of decoration.

We observed the peasants in many places employed in making _cyder_,
which they but seldom think of doing except the season has proved
unfavourable for the _vines_. I was told that here, as in Burgundy, the
_last favourable vintage was that of_ 1811, and that consequently the
proprietors of the vineyards (of which the cultivation is so expensive)
were much distressed.

The red stockings of the peasants in this Canton have a remarkable
appearance, and reminded me of the dress of the theatre.

Schaffhausen is the capital of the Canton of that name, and is built on
the right bank of the Rhine. Its bridge is but lately completed, in the
place of the ancient one, constructed by _Grubenman_, which was
considered as a great architectural curiosity, but was destroyed during
one of the campaigns in this country. The town of Schaffhausen is well
built, and has a handsome appearance. Its population is calculated at
7000, and that of the Canton at 23,000.

The reformed religion was introduced here in 1529. The clergy are paid
by the state, but their allowance is far from liberal. _Many sumptuary
laws_ exist here, and dancing is prohibited by them, except under
particular circumstances. I am, however, inclined to question whether
these laws are still enforced.

In the vicinity of the town are some manufactories of linens, cottons,
and silks. The country is well cultivated, and the road between
Oerlingen and Bancken affords an extensive prospect of the Swiss
mountains, which seem ranged in array to bid a last farewell to the
departing traveller, who cannot but feel regret on leaving a country not
less distinguished for the magnificence of its scenery, than for the
simplicity and good nature of its inhabitants.

At Schaffhausen I made many inquiries respecting the celebrated
_Schabecyge_ or _Chapsigre_ cheese (made in the canton of Glarus) and
found that the principal ingredient which gives it so strong a perfume
is the _trifolium odoratum_, or _meliot odorant_. The aromatic qualities
of this cheese render it very wholesome. The _Swiss tea_, composed of
_mountain herbs_, is said to be so likewise; it is not, however, very
palatable as a beverage, nor should I think it very effectual as a
remedy. If it meets in general with no greater approbation than it did
in a party where I saw it tried, Switzerland cannot expect to carry on
any trade in this article, sufficient to prejudice the exclusive
commerce which the East India Company enjoy with China.

There being nothing to detain, me at Schaffhausen, I was induced, at the
request of a Doctor of the University of Leipsic, with whom I became
acquainted at Zurich, to join him in proceeding in the diligence into
Germany. I found this conveyance, although tedious, yet little if at all
inferior to those in France (although I had understood the contrary in
that country). The Doctor would have been a most agreeable companion,
but for his unfortunate love of tobacco; _his pipe_ was hardly well
_extinguished_, before he was busy in striking his flint to _rekindle_
it. He seemed much surprised that I did not smoke, and still more so
when I told him it was not usual in England to smoke in _company_; for
in Germany, after dinner and in the evening, when ladies are present, it
is usual to smoke a segar. The Doctor seemed to meditate a journey into
England, but I doubt whether he will find any thing there sufficient to
afford him an equivalent for the abandonment of the _six pipes_ which he
told me he used alternately at Leipsic.

The others who composed our party had also their pipes, but were
moderate in using them.

The Germans are an extremely civil people compared with the French; a
traveller is better treated among them, without the perpetual
_affectation of superiority_; and, in the parts where I have been, he
will have no reason to regret the change from a French to a German inn.

The general civility I met with in _Germany_, and the pains the people
often took to make themselves understood, as well as to understand, and
supply whatever might be requisite, claims my best acknowledgments. I
had occasion to observe the truth of the remark, that there are many
words, and expressions, very similar in the English and German
languages; they further agree in being the two languages in Europe, the
most difficult to be learnt by a stranger.

The Sunday dress of the peasants resembles that worn a century ago in
England. Woollen caps are little used in Germany; and, in Suabia, I
observed cocked hats were very general.

It was late in the day when we left _Schaffhausen_. Our road lay
through a country, where the succession of woods, shewed us, that the
_Black Forest_, although reduced, was not destroyed, and occasionally we
had extensive views towards Switzerland. We had fallen into that sort of
_reverie_ which most travellers experience towards the close of the day,
and which generally suspends conversation, the mind finding
entertainment in its own illusions, when we were roused by finding
ourselves in Deutlingen. We here passed the _Danube_, which is
inconsiderable, when compared with the vast size it afterwards acquires,
by the junction of other considerable rivers, in the various countries
which it fertilizes by its waters. We reposed here for some hours, and
to my astonishment the Doctor, laying aside his pipe, entertained us
with his performance on a piano forte, which was in the room, and when
his tea arrived his place was occupied by another performer.

The passion of the Germans for _music_ is very strong, and certainly
this was a more agreeable mode of passing the evening, than the
tiresome recurrence of political discussions, so general in France, and
which seldom fail to end in unpleasant altercations. At Deutlingen we
entered the kingdom of Wurtemberg; and our passports, which had been
signed previously to our leaving Schaffhausen, were here re-examined: at
Stutgard they were again demanded, and although the Royal Arms were
affixed by the police there, yet at Ludwigsburg, we were detained half
an hour for further scrutiny, although it is only one stage from
Stutgard. The Grand Dukes of Baden, and of Hesse Darmstadt, whose
dominions we next entered, were less suspicious and were satisfied at
our writing down our names and destination. There are few countries more
sub-divided than Germany. Its ancient constitution was described as,
"_Confusio divinitus conservata_," and a _confusion_ it certainly was,
for the circle of Suabia alone, contained _four ecclesiastical, and
thirteen secular principalities: nineteen independent abbies and
prelacies, and thirty-one free cities_. This list was, however, greatly
reduced during Buonaparte's supremacy in Germany; he increased the
dominions of Baden, Bavaria, and Wurtemberg with the spoils of the
ecclesiastical possessions, and of the free cities. He nearly doubled
the territory of Wurtemberg, and its population was increased from
700,000 to 1,300,000. The territory of Baden is of great length, but
narrow; its population is now increased to 940,000. The Germans are, in
general, extremely anxious for the re-establishment of the _ancient
system_; as, notwithstanding its defects, it afforded them an appeal
from the tyranny of their numerous sovereigns to the _Diet and the
Emperor_, besides that it _united the Germans as one people_. On the
dissolution of the old system, the several princes of the
"_Confederation of the Rhine_" became _absolute_ over their own
subjects, but _military vassals to Buonaparte, who, like Cade, was
content they should reign, but took care to be Viceroy over them_.

The _game laws_ are much and justly complained of in Germany. In
Wurtemberg they are particularly oppressive. The farmers, however, seem
more opulent than in France. The possessions of many of the nobility are
much neglected, as they reside almost entirely at one of the great
capitals. Suabia is generally unenclosed, and is not often enlivened by
country houses, the inhabitants residing together in villages. Its trade
consists in the sale of its cattle, which are in vast numbers, together
with that of its _corn_, wood, and wines, which are occasionally of
tolerably good quality. The kingdom of Wurtemberg is extremely fruitful,
and is well watered by the Necker, as well as by several smaller
streams. After supplying its own population, which is as numerous as can
be found in most parts of Europe of the same extent, it exports vast
quantities of grain to Switzerland. Almost the whole kingdom consists of
well-wooded mountains, and of cultivated plains; and farming seems to be
well understood.

The posts are conducted in a much better manner than I had expected. The
drivers are all provided with a French horn, and wear the royal livery,
yellow and black, with which colours also the direction-posts are
painted. The roads are in excellent order, and mile-stones are regularly
placed; these roads are vastly superior to those in the states of Baden
and Darmstadt, where there are a number of turnpikes. The traveller
cannot fail to perceive that the activity of the government of
Wurtemberg, much exceeds that of many of the surrounding states. We
breakfasted at Bahlingen, a handsome and regularly built town. Here we
witnessed a dreadful accident: the conductor of the diligence, a large
and heavy man, whilst arranging some packages, fell from the top of the
carriage into the street, and laid open one side of his head, and had he
fallen on a pavement it would probably have proved fatal. A surgeon was
immediately sent for, who informed us that the wound was not very deep,
and that he hoped it would have no serious effects. Our next stage was
Heckingen, in the little state of Hohenzollern. The ancient castle of
that name is situated on an eminence, and is visible, for many leagues,
in all directions. The territories of this state are about fifteen
miles by ten, and contain about 30,000 inhabitants: but I believe there
are two reigning families; those of _Hohenzollem Heckingen_ and
_Hohenzollern Sigmaringen_. This house is of considerable eminence; the
royal family of Prussia are descended from a junior branch, which became
possessed by purchase of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, and thus
founded a power, which being aggrandized by the policy of succeeding
sovereigns, now holds so distinguished a place in the political scale of
Europe. We soon quitted the territories of the princes of Hohenzollern,
and again entered Wurtemberg, and after passing for several leagues over
a highly improved country arrived at Tubingen.

* * * * *

CHAP. XV.

Tubingen is a large and ancient town, containing about 5000 inhabitants:
its situation is low, and it is chiefly worthy of notice, as being one
of the most celebrated _universities_ of the south of Germany. I was
informed by one of its members who travelled in the Diligence, that the
number of students did not then exceed 250, but that he had no doubt it
would increase as public affairs assumed a more settled appearance. Here
is little of that academic discipline, which distinguishes our
universities. There are no colleges, and the students live in private
houses, according to their respective inclinations. There are eight
professors, and an attendance on the lectures of such of them as the
student may prefer seems to constitute the sum of his academic duty.
There is a large botanic garden, which is kept in good order, and
contains a long range of green-houses and stoves.

I here agreed to accompany a gentleman of my acquaintance, who wished
to _travel post_ to Frankfort: and had no reason to regret having left
the Diligence, with the tediousness of which I was heartily tired. We
set out accordingly in a sort of cabriolet, resembling a covered
curricle, for Stutgard. We found much less delay at each post than we
were led to expect; and part of the time was employed in greasing and
examining the wheels of the carriage before starting: this custom
prevents many accidents, for that operation for which no time is
specified, is commonly neglected.

The price of each station is regulated by government; and the
postmasters and drivers are very civil and obliging; but the celerity
with which every thing is procured at an English inn, is not to be
expected here, as the Germans are habitually slow in all their
movements.

A German dinner is still more tedious than a French one, and it is
perhaps yet more foreign to our taste. The custom of sleeping between
_feather beds_, as it may be altered by the traveller, if unpleasant to
him, cannot be considered as a _grievance_; but all who have been
accustomed to the _social and companionable cheerfulness of a fire_,
must regret that custom, which here substitutes for it, the _dull and
unenlivening heat of a stove_.

That fire-place, which is so essential to the comfort of our apartments,
is by German taste placed in the passage and shut up, whilst heat is
conveyed into their rooms by flues.

We arrived at Stutgard without the occurrence of any thing worthy of
mention, and were much pleased with its general appearance; its streets
are spacious, and the houses mostly well built. The city has increased
considerably in size, since it has become the constant residence of its
sovereign. Its population is estimated at 24,000. It is an open place,
but although there are no fortifications there are gates, the only use
of which are to detain the traveller whilst his passport is under
examination. The reformed religion is here established, but the churches
have nothing to boast of in appearance. The palace is a handsome
building of Italian architecture, surrounding three sides of a square.
It is built of hewn stone, and over the centre entrance is placed a
large _gilt crown_. Not far from the modern palace is the ancient
_Chateau_, surrounded by a deep ditch, and flanked by gloomy bastions,
formerly the requisites to a prince's residence, but incompatible with
the luxury sought for in a modern palace.

Wishing to judge of the taste of a German palace, we procured a _Valet
de Place_ to conduct us over this; we found it fitted up in a manner
which corresponded in many points to that usual in great houses in
England. The suites of rooms are very numerous, but they are mostly of
small dimensions. Every apartment is provided with a musical clock. The
marbles, carpets, china, and glass lustres, are generally the production
of Wurtemberg. Many of these productions display much taste, and seem to
deserve the encouragement they receive.

A few of the rooms had fire-places, and almost all of them had to boast
of some specimens of the industry and ingenuity of the _Queen_, either
in painting or embroidery. There is a museum of considerable extent,
which opens into the _King's Private Library_, where the books are all
concealed behind large _mirrors_, so that we could not judge of either
the value or taste of the selection. In a building near the palace, is
the King's Public Library, but we were told there was nothing in it
particularly worthy of notice. There are but very few paintings by the
great masters in this palace; but we were particularly struck by a
portrait of _Frederick_ the Great, by a German artist. I have forgotten
his name; but this portrait proves his skill.

The Council Chamber is a handsome apartment, and contains two marble
figures of _Silence_ and _Meditation_. The Council Table is _long and
narrow_, which would not meet with _Lord Bacon's_ approbation, as, if I
recollect right, he gives the preference to a _round table_, where all
may take a part, instead of a long one, where those at the top chiefly
decide. We next visited the royal stables, which contain a vast number
of fine horses, the King being very fond of the chase.

I was informed, that in his _Private Stables_ here and at Ludwigsburg,
there were from 700 to 800 horses, a number which exceeds that of most
princes in Europe. The garrison of Stutgard consists of about 3000 men.
We saw some of the troops go through their evolutions; and I have seldom
seen a finer body of men. The band was remarkably fine. On the parade
were two little boys, sons of Prince Paul, who were decorated with
stars. Having sufficiently satisfied our curiosity at Stutgard, we
proceeded to Ludwigsburg, one stage distant, where there is a handsome
royal palace adorned with extensive gardens, and many enclosures for
game, of great extent. The town is not large, but is regularly built;
and the houses, as at Stutgard and many other places in Germany, are
remarkable for having a vast number of windows. After some delay about
_passports_, we were suffered to proceed, as they sometimes will not
give post horses without examining the passports. Beyond the town we met
several waggons, one of them I remarked was drawn by fourteen horses.
There is much more traffic on this road than on any I had yet travelled.

We passed through but one great town, Heilbron, formerly an imperial
free city, but which, together with Ulm and many others, was _given_ by
Buonaparte to the King of Wurtemberg. It is a tolerably well built
place; and from the number of vessels in the river, I conclude it has a
share of trade. The country round it is unenclosed, and for a great
distance we saw no pastures, to that they must support their cattle on
artificial crops. At Furfeld we could procure no accommodation, it being
full of company; we were therefore, notwithstanding the lateness of the
hour, obliged to go on to Sinzheim. We parried the rain tolerably well
(the carriages are but partly covered) with our umbrellas; and escaped
narrowly a more serious disaster, having been nearly overturned by a
waggon, which broke one side of our carriage.

We found the inn small, but the people particularly obliging. I
perceived that they expected some personage of great importance, as the
landlady questioned our driver repeatedly whether _Der Cossack_ had
arrived at the last stage. It was not, however, until we had retired to
rest, that the expected guest arrived; and if importance is to be
measured by noise, his must have been great indeed.

Our road to Heidelberg lay for several miles along the banks of the
Necker, which are well-wooded, and adorned with several villages, and a
large convent. The gate by which we entered Heidelberg, is a remarkably
fine piece of Grecian architecture. The city is large and well built;
but there is little appearance of trade or activity amongst its
inhabitants. The _Castle_ is situated on a steep hill above the town,
and its terrace commands a vast prospect over a plain, enlivened by the
windings of the river, as well as by the spires of the city. This palace
was the residence of the electors palatine, and must have been a fine
piece of Gothic architecture. It was laid waste, together with the
_whole palatinate_, in consequence of those orders which will for ever
disgrace the memory of Lewis the Fourteenth.

It is, however, still striking; and although the scene is _silent and
desolate_, it is _unquestionably grand_.

In a building adjoining the castle, is the famed _Tun of Heidelberg_,
constructed by one of the electors at the suggestion of his buffoon,
whose statue is placed near this enormous tun, which can contain 326,000
bottles. We were told that _the jester_ (some will not allow him to be
called _the fool_) assisted his master in drinking eighteen bottles of
the best Rhenish wine daily. The table where they sat, near the tun, is
still shewn. The country about Heidelberg and Manheim is from its
fertility called the _Garden of Germany_; but I have seen in Germany
much finer districts. It is a well cultivated plain, and abounds with
vineyards: beyond Manheim is a greater extent of ground under potatoes,
than I have ever met with before out of Ireland. There is but little
wood, and the roads run between rows of walnut and cherry trees. Manheim
is considered as one of the handsomest cities in Germany, being built
on a regular plan. It consists of twelve streets, intersected at right
angles by eight others; but there is in this regularity a _sameness_
which soon tires the eye.

The Rhine passes close on one side of the city, and the Necker washing
the other side, soon after falls into the Rhine, over which there is a
bridge of boats. The palace is in a fine situation, and _next to
Versailles_, is the largest structure for the residence of a sovereign
that I have seen. This city became the residence of the electors
palatine, after the destruction of the Castle of Heidelberg, and the
palace was erected in consequence. On the accession of the reigning
family to Bavaria, Munich became their capital, and this palace was
neglected. Subsequent changes have transferred this country to the Grand
Duke of Baden, who continues to reside at Carlsruhe.

It would now require vast sums to restore this edifice; which will
probably be soon as desolate as the Castle of Heidelberg, with which,
however, it could never stand a comparison, either in point of
situation or architecture. There are some handsome walks near the
palace, which extend along the Rhine, where the fortifications have been
demolished. There are some spacious squares in the city; that before the
town-house is adorned by a handsome _bronze fountain_. The population of
the city has been estimated at 24,000; but it has probably rather
diminished of late. Several of the tradespeople exhibit the arms of
Baden over their shops, and boast of supplying their sovereign's family
with various articles; but trade has every appearance of being here at a
very low ebb. The road for some leagues beyond Manheim was by far the
worst we had yet passed in Germany; but then we had made a _detour_ in
visiting Manheim, which does not lie on the direct road to Frankfort.

The next place of any note was Darmstadt, the residence of the grand
duke of Hesse Darmstadt: it seems a place of recent origin, where much
has been attempted and but little completed. There are several spacious
streets marked out, and a few good houses dispersed over a considerable
extent of ground, which give it a melancholy appearance.

Its situation is not well chosen, as it is in a sandy plain, without any
river in the vicinity.

We visited the old castle or palace, situated in the centre of the town,
which seems now used as a barrack. The number of troops seemed very
considerable, and they are not inferior to the Wurtembergers in
appearance. Near the old palace are handsome gardens laid out in the
English taste, which were much frequented on Sunday. The present grand
duke inhabits a palace in the suburbs, which has little to boast of.

A few hours drive brought us to Frankfort. The country for the most part
is flat, and abounds with woods, but, except near Frankfort, has little
to interest the traveller. We found that great commercial city fully
answerable to our expectations. Every thing announces the opulence of
its inhabitants. The streets are spacious, and adorned with houses far
surpassing any that either Paris or London can boast of. Some of the
great merchants maybe literally said to inhabit palaces. There are a
vast number of inns; some of them are on a great scale, and worthy to be
ranked among the best in Europe. I observed in the streets here a greater
number of _handsome private carriages_ than I had seen in Paris.
Although the _situation_ of Frankfort is not remarkable, in a
picturesque point of view, when compared with some other cities, yet it
is extremely advantageous for its inhabitants, being placed in the
centre of the richest country in Germany, whilst the Mein and Rhine
afford every facility for commerce. The roads are also in excellent
order. That between Frankfort and Mayence is paved, and is perhaps the
most frequented in Germany. There are various well-known manufactures,
and the shops are supplied with the productions of all countries. I
first noticed here the custom of having small mirrors projecting into
the streets, that the inhabitants may see, by reflection, what passes in
them.

The advantages of Frankfort for commerce have attracted a vast number
of Jews, and reconcile them to many regulations, imposed by the
magistrates, which otherwise they would not submit to. Their numbers are
said to exceed 6,000 in a total population of nearly 50,000. The fame of
Frankfort is not, however, merely of a commercial nature. It can boast
of having produced many of the most eminent _literary_ characters of
Germany.

All religions are here tolerated; but, under its old constitution, the
members of government were Lutherans, and Calvinists were excluded from
any share in the management of affairs. The present magistrates are only
provisionally appointed since the late change in its situation. The
cathedral is a venerable Gothic edifice, as is also the town-house; but
Frankfort is more remarkable for a general air of magnificence than for
the exclusive elegance of any particular buildings. There are seven or
eight gates to the city, some of which are handsome, and adorned with
statues of many worthies, whose names I could not learn. The busts of
Alexander and Roxana were however too conspicuous to escape notice; but
their connexion with Frankfort I am not antiquary enough to trace.
Frankfort cannot be considered as a fortified place. Its bastions are
planted with shrubs, and form a pleasant walk for the citizens.
_Hamburg_ has recently afforded a melancholy example of the evil which
walls may bring upon a commercial city; and the people of Frankfort
cannot regret the use to which their bastions are applied. I was, by the
favour of a merchant, to whom I had an introduction, admitted as a
temporary member of the _Casino_, or _Public Institution_. It is one of
the best conducted establishments I have seen. There are not less than
110 _newspapers_, besides other periodical publications; and, after an
interval of two months, I was glad again to peruse an English newspaper.
The reading-room, like the council-chamber at Stutgard, is adorned by a
figure of Silence, and I think the hint seems well observed. There are,
however, several very spacious and elegantly decorated apartments, for
conversation, cards, billiards, &c. These rooms are frequented by ladies
in the evenings, and then bear some resemblance to a London rout. The
_concerts_ at Frankfort are remarkably good. There is only one theatre;
and, as the performance was in German, I only went once out of
curiosity. The number of villas around Frankfort are numerous and
handsome, and the villages are large, and have every appearance of
opulence. Here are many fine orchards, and the _cider of Afschaffenburg_
can be only distinguished from wine by a connoisseur.

At Hochst, six miles from Frankfort, stands the large edifice noticed by
Dr. Moore, as having been built by a great tobacconist of Frankfort, out
of spite to the magistrates of that city, with whom he had quarrelled;
and he endeavoured to induce merchants to settle here. His plan,
however, failed, and this great building is almost uninhabited. This
village is at present chiefly remarkable for a manufacture of porcelain
of excellent quality.

Great preparations were making at Frankfort to celebrate the anniversary
of the glorious battle of Leipsig; and I was present at the inspection
of about 6,000 men, preparatory to the great review on the eighteenth.
There were many ladies present, and, although the weather was far from
being warm, yet few of them wore bonnets. In general their hair was
rolled round their heads.

Not being able to delay any longer in Frankfort, I took the road to
_Mayence_, and passed through the large village of _Hochheim_, which
contains 300 families. It was formerly the property of the chapter of
Mayence, but its future destiny is at present undecided. From this place
is derived the English name of _Hock_, which is applied to all the wine
of the _Rhingau_. There are vast numbers of vineyards and fruit-trees
around the village; and, from a hill above it, is seen the junction of
the Mayn with the Rhine, in the midst of this rich country. The waters
of the Mayn are of a dark hue, but do not, however, succeed in
obscuring altogether the colour which the Rhine brings from Switzerland,
and which I had so much admired at Schaffhausen. From the bridge of
boats, which is 1,400 feet in length, and which forms the communication
between Mayence and Cassel, one sees the Rhine forced by mountains to
change its northerly direction, and, after forming some small islands it
runs for some distance to the eastward. The mountains, which change the
course of this vast river, form the _Rhingau_ so celebrated for its
wines. That of the village of _Rudesheim_ is particularly noted for
producing the best wine of the Rhingau, and consequently of Germany. The
French had expended vast sums on the fortifications of _Cassel_ and
_Mayence_, and rendered the latter one of the keys of Germany, as well
from its strength as from its situation. They had always a great depot
here, which considerably benefited the city; the loss of that advantage
is much regretted.

When seen from the bridge (which is longer than that of Westminster)
Mayence presents a striking appearance on account of its spires, and the
vessels that line its quay, which presents a scene of considerable
activity. On the customhouse were displayed the flags of Austria,
Prussia, and Bavaria; but to which of those powers the city is to be
subject is still undetermined. On the river are a great number of
corn-mills, necessary where there is so great a garrison. The barracks
are handsome, and on a large scale. The general appearance of the
interior of Mayence is bad. The streets are in general narrow, dirty,
and intricate. Near the castle are some good houses.

The cathedral is one of the largest buildings in _Germany_, It has
suffered considerably in the late wars, and is now covered with wood.
Its appearance is not, however, very striking, and it is surrounded with
mean houses. I observed that a statue, "_a l'Empereur_" is still
standing in front of one of the houses in this city. Its population is
said to be 26,000. The inhabitants, for a considerable distance round
Mayence, subsist principally by agriculture. They export their grain on
the Rhine to Switzerland. They have abundance of vegetables, and the
lower orders live a good deal on cabbage, which is here of a large size.

* * * * *

CHAP. XVI.

At Mayence I embarked on the Rhine for Cologne (above 100 English miles
distant), to see the banks of a river so highly celebrated. Our company
in the boat was not numerous, and would have been sufficiently
agreeable, but for the continual _political rhapsodies_ of two
Frenchmen, one of whom was an officer, and spoke with confidence of
recovering all the conquests of France. These Frenchmen, in spite of the
remonstrances of the Germans present, insisted, like the physicians in
Moliere, _that they best knew what was for their good_, and that they
(the Germans) mast be again united to France. One of these politicians
asked me, if I did not think that Talleyrand would demand the left bank
of the Rhine, as _essential_ to France, at the congress of Vienna. I
answered, I did not think it was probable he would ask for countries
which France had so recently relinquished, nor was it to be expected
that the Allies would, to oblige him, depart from their principle of
restraining France within those boundaries, which had, for centuries,
been found as extensive as were consistent with the tranquillity of the
rest of Europe; and that, for my own part, I could not conceive the
acquisition of those provinces to be _essential_ to France, which had
never been more prosperous than at a period when she formed no
pretensions to so great an aggrandizement.

Waving any further discussions on a subject which the _vanity_ of these
gentlemen would have extended _ad infinitum_, or, at least, longer than
I wished, I left them to their own lucubrations, and went on deck to
contemplate the grandeur of the scenery which surrounded us, and which
was reflected in the transparent waters of the Rhine. The river here
resembles a succession of lakes, and is surrounded in many places by
such lofty mountains, that I was often at a loss to guess on which side
we should find an opening to continue our course. The country along the
Rhine is considered as one of the richest districts in Europe; it
abounds with considerable towns, and with villages which, in other
countries, would be considered as towns. Almost every eminence is
crowned with an ancient castle, and there is scarcely a reach of the
river which does not exhibit some ruin in the boldest situation that can
be imagined. The houses too being mostly white, and covered with blue
slates, add considerably to the beauty of the scene.

The _Tour de Souris_ is situated on an island near the _Gulph of
Bingerlock_, where the river presents a curious appearance, being
extremely agitated by hidden rocks, and the different currents are very
violent. We dined at Bingen, where the Noh falls into the Rhine. The
mountains of Niederwald cast a considerable shade around, and the
mixture of woods and vineyards is highly picturesque, but the vines
being mostly blighted, had this year the same autumnal tint as the
trees. In this country, the vine is _almost the only product_ of the
soil, and the inhabitants, who subsist chiefly by it, now behold with
regret its withered state, and are melancholy and inactive, instead of
being engaged in the pleasing cares of the vintage.

This is the _third year_ here, as well as in Burgundy and other
districts, since there has been a favourable vintage; and it is only by
mixing some of the vintage of 1811, with that of the subsequent years,
that the inhabitants can dispose of a small portion of this inferior
produce.

Boppart was the former residence of the electors of Treves, but the
Palace is now falling to decay. Whilst contemplating this mouldering
pile, I was struck with the well-known sounds of our national air, '_God
save the King_,' which some of the company below sang in chorus (being
probably tired of the politics of the Frenchmen, as much as I was), this
air being originally German. The evening was fine for the season, and
about sun-set, several of the distant hills presented a fine appearance,
having bonfires ou their tops, this being the 18th of October, which
will be long celebrated in commemoration of the decisive battle of
Leipzig. Most of the company came on deck to witness the effect of the
bonfires. The Germans seemed delighted at the sight which the Frenchmen
surveyed in silence. One of them, however, soon recovering his
loquacity, asked me if I had been at _Paris_, which he said was the
greatest city in the world, and _larger than London_.

This I could not assent to, being contrary to fact. Yet it would he
difficult for _French ingenuity_ to prove what _benefits_ result to a
country from an overgrown capital. _Superiority_ is, however, all they
contend for. We soon saw the singular building (in an island) called the
_Palatinate_; it is now used as a public granary, and was _illuminated_
in honour of the day, as was also the neat village of St. Goar, where we
passed the night. _All_ seemed to partake of the festivity, and _I_
could net discern in the inhabitants any symptoms of regret that they
were no longer subject to France.

Having set out at an early hour, we reached Coblentz to breakfast. It is
a large town, containing 12,000 inhabitants, and is advantageously
situated at the confluence of the Moselle and Rhine. It was garrisoned
chiefly by the _Royal Guards of Saxony_, who exceeded in appearance any
troops I had seen on the Continent. Some of them are stationed in the
ci-devant palace, which is situated close to the river.

The lofty mountain opposite the town is covered with the _ruins of
Ehrenbreitstein_, which was at one time considered as the strongest
fortress on the Rhine. Opposite the town was a bridge of boats, but it
was destroyed in the last war, and a flying bridge is substituted pro
tempore. The Rhine is so rapid near Andernach, as never to freeze in the
severest winter, and it here proceeds longer in a straight course, than
I had yet seen in any part. Neuwied, although subject to inundations, is
a large well built and commercial town. Lower down, on the left bank of
the river, I observed an obelisk, which I found, on inquiry, was erected
to the French General Marsan, who fell during the period of the first
invasion of Germany by the French republicans. Still farther, and close
to the river, stands an ancient building, called _The Devil's House_,
but, from what circumstance, I could not exactly discover. Some
attribute it to the vast number of windows which it contains.

The situation of Lowdersdorf is highly picturesque, and the surrounding
hills are shaded with woods of great antiquity. We here saw several
rafts of timber of large dimensions, proceeding slowly down the stream.
At Linz, the landsturm were mustered to fire a volley, as the victory of
Leipzig was celebrated for two or three days in most parts of Germany.
At Bonn, I witnessed further rejoicings, and the illuminations presented
a highly pleasing effect when beheld from the river. I was at this place
invited to a _ball and supper_, where I remained until a late hour,
enjoying the general festivity.

Bonn is a well built city, containing about 14,000 inhabitants, and was
formerly the general residence of the electors of Cologne. About a
league above the city are the seven mountains, and near them is a
beautiful island of considerable extent, in which is a large convent.

Here ends the picturesque scenery of the Rhine, which pursues the rest
of its course through a flat country, until its waters are dispersed
amongst the canals of Holland. The river is here of great width, but not
so deep as it is higher up.

Before Bonn we saw the remains of two merchant vessels which had been
wrecked there a few days before. Those who embark on the Rhine for
pleasure, should here leave their boats, and pursue the rest of their
journey by land, as the country ceases to be interesting, and the
navigation is often difficult.

We set out with a favourable wind; but about a league from _Cologne_ our
boat was driven on the right bank of the Rhine by a violent gale; and as
there appeared no immediate prospect of proceeding by water, most of the
party determined on walking to the city. We found the flying bridge had
been damaged by the late storm, and were therefore obliged, to wait a
long time for a boat of sufficient size to pass the river, which was
greatly agitated, and which is here of great depth, although much
narrower than at _Mayence_. Few cities present a more imposing
appearance than Cologne; a vast extent of buildings, a profusion of
steeples, and a forest of masts, raise the expectations of the
traveller. The deception cannot be more justly or more emphatically
described than in the words of Dr._Johnson:_ "Remotely we see nothing
but spires of temples, and turrets of palaces, and imagine it the
residence of splendour, grandeur, and magnificence; but when we have
passed the gates, we find it perplexed with narrow passages, disgraced
with despicable cottages, embarrassed with obstructions, and clouded
with smoke."

Cologne is one of the largest and most ancient cities in Germany; it was
founded by _Agrippa_, and is above three miles in length; but the
population is only between 40 and 50,000, which is very inconsiderable
for its great extent. From the number of its churches, which at one time
amounted to 300, it has been called the Rome of Germany. One of them
(the Dome), although still unfinished, is one of the grandest efforts
of architecture, and excites the admiration of all judges of that art.
The port owes its improvement to Buonaparte, and the quay is lined with
ships of considerable size.

The city was anciently imperial, and the Elector of Cologne could not
reside more than three days together in it without permission of the
magistrates; but those who have ever seen this gloomy city, will not, I
think, consider this restriction as a grievance.

I here left the Rhine; it is difficult sufficiently to praise the
beauties of its banks, which afford also ample scope for the researches
of the naturalist. They are not, however, adorned with that number of
country-seats which enliven many of our rivers, and a few convents and
palaces only are to be seen; although villages and towns are very
numerous. I must not omit to mention, that I visited the house in which
_Rubens_ was born; his name is given to the street, which, like most
others at Cologne, has little beauty. He had furnished many of the
churches of his native city with paintings, but several of them have
been removed to Paris. He has been called _the Ajax of painters_, and
his great excellence appears in the grandeur of his _compositions_; the
art of colouring was by him carried to the highest pitch. Rubens,
however great his skill, deserves the praise of _modesty_, as, although
he is allowed to have been little inferior to Titian in _landscape_, he
employed Widens and Van-uden when landscapes were introduced into his
paintings, and Snyders for animals, who finished them from his designs.

The country around Cologne is well cultivated, but is unenclosed up to
the walls of the city, and there are none of those elegant villas to be
seen which distinguish the neighbourhood of Frankfort; but it is
impossible for any two places to be more completely the reverse of each
other in every respect.

My next stage was Juliers, the ancient capital of the duchy of the same
name; it is a small city, but is well fortified, and its citadel is said
to be of uncommon strength. As we approached Aix-la-Chapelle the roads
became very indifferent, the soil being a deep sand; they are, however,
in many places paved in the centre.

Aix-la-Chapelle is a large, and, in general, a well-built city. The
windows, in most of the houses, are very large, and give it a peculiar
appearance. It was called by the Romans _Aquisgranum_, or _Urbs
Aquensis_. It has for ages been celebrated for its waters, which
resemble extremely those of Bath; but some of the springs are still
hotter. There are five springs which attract every year much company;
but the season had ended before my arrival. This city was chosen by
_Charlemagne_ as the place of his residence, on account of the
pleasantness of its situation; and, until its incorporation with France,
held the first rank amongst the imperial cities of Germany. According to
the _Golden Bull_ the emperors were to be crowned here; but Charles V
was the last who conformed to that regulation.

The ancient walls of Aix enclose a vast extent of ground, and afford a
pleasant walk; but there is much of the space enclosed in fields and
gardens, and the population is not proportioned to the remaining
buildings, being no more than 30,000. The surrounding country is highly
picturesque and varied, cultivation and woods being interspersed. The
woods in this country have been, however, much diminished of late years.
But there are, it may be observed, coal mines to supply sufficient fuel
for the inhabitants.

The town or great village of Burscheid adjoins the gates of Aix; it is
very flourishing. Near it is a fine abbey. I was also pleased with the
ruins of the Castle of Frankenberg. Here is a manufactory of needles,
and about Aix are several of cloth.

From the Tower of Sittard is a view of vast extent over the Netherlands.
The cathedral of Aix is a large Gothic structure, but many of its
decorations are trifling, and inconsistent with the solidity of its
massy columns of marble and granite. Its doors are of bronze highly
wrought, but full of fissures.

The streets here are crowded with beggars; and I think I never was in a
place where so little respect is paid to the observance of Sunday. In
most towns on the continent the theatres, &c. are open, but most of the
shops are closed during some part of the day; here they were open during
the whole day, and seemed equally busy as during the rest of the week.

The country between _Aix_ and _Liege_ produces great quantities of hops
(the vine of the north of Europe), and the beer here is very good.
Clermont is a neat village, with several good houses.

We passed over some mountains, which seem to be the limit of the German
language; the inhabitants of them speak a dialect intelligible neither
at Liege nor Aix.

The country near Liege is rich, and the city is situated in a beautiful
valley on the Meuse; it is extremely large, but is ill built, and the
streets are more intricate and dirty even than those of Cologne. There
is a good deal of trade carried on here, and the population is estimated
at not less than 50,000. There are a great number of churches, but I was
not much struck with any of them; that of the Dominicans is said to be
copied from St. Peter's at Rome. There are a great number of booksellers
here, and I was told it was a famous place to procure cheap books. The
coal here seems of good quality, and the place is surrounded with
collieries. The lower orders in this city speak a jargon called
_Walloon_, which is completely unintelligible to the higher classes.

The French customs are generally prevalent here; and it is said, the
inhabitants regret their separation from France. There were vast
manufactories of cutlery here, but the French, before their departure,
destroyed most of the machinery; this, together with the failure of
other trades, is said to produce the distress which fills the streets
with beggars.

The _general appearance_ of the inhabitants of Liege is not more
prepossessing to a stranger than that of their city. There are said to
be a great number of _thieves_, and I saw some surprised whilst cutting
the trunks from behind a carriage at the inn-door. The money here is
extremely adulterated, and is not taken one stage from the city, a
circumstance which frequently is attended with great loss to the
traveller, if he has occasion to receive much change.

In this neighbourhood are several vineyards, but the climate is too cold
to admit of the wine having a good flavour. They here cultivate a
species of cabbage, the seed of which produces a thick oil, which is
used in dying stuffs, and forms part of the composition of the black
soap of this country.

I found that the season had long ended at Spa; that the roads were bad,
and that it was above thirty miles out of my way, and therefore
determined on proceeding to Brussels in the diligence, to make trial of
one of the public carriages of this country, having found the posting
good from Cologne to Liege. I found it extremely spacious, when compared
to those in England, and it was lined with faded yellow damask. I had
but two companions, who, according to _Rousseau's Axiom_, would not be
entitled to the name of _men_, which, he says, belongs to none under
_five feet six inches_.

They proved, however, sufficiently agreeable companions, and I found
they resided at _Louvain_. We proceeded at the rate of rather more than
four English miles an hour, which was quicker than I had before
travelled in a public carriage on the continent. Our first stage
presented nothing remarkable; but the next, _St. Tron_, was a remarkably
neat little town. There is a spacious square, surrounded with good
houses, and at one end is the _town-house_; the church is a large
building, and its steeple contains a set of musical chimes, to which the
people of this country are very partial.

We next reached _Tirlemont_, formerly one of the most considerable
cities of Brabant, which is at present by no means of equal importance.
The surrounding country is fruitful; many of its villages contain
cottages of clay, which I did not expect to see in so opulent a
province; they are indeed spacious, and the interior is kept very neat.
The general appearance of the people here is much more in their favour
than at Liege.

Tirlemont contains manufactures of flannels, stockings, and cloth. The
_cotton trade_, formerly the great staple of the Netherlands, has of
late years been greatly on the decline.

* * * * *

CHAP. XVII.

Although the present population of the Netherlands bears no proportion
to that which it formerly maintained, yet it is still very considerable,
and exceeds that of any country in Europe, Holland only excepted; being
202 persons to each square mile (see ch. xi. for the population of
Switzerland, &c.) The decrease in the number of inhabitants in these
provinces is chiefly to be attributed to the religious persecutions
which compelled thousands of industrious families to emigrate.

This depopulation is very perceptible in many of the cities I passed
through, which are capable of containing double their present number of
inhabitants, and is nowhere more striking than at Louvain, where the
present population does not exceed 25,000, and where formerly there were
4000 manufactories of cloth, which supported 15,000 labourers. This
city is surrounded with an ancient wall of brick, which, as well as its
numerous towers, presents a half mined appearance. Many of the public
buildings of Louvain indicate its former opulence. The town-house is
considered as a model of Gothic architecture, and the cathedral of St.
Peter is a stately building. The portal of the _Collegium Falconis_
presents a specimen of Grecian architecture, which is much admired for
the simplicity. The _University of Louvain_ was formerly of great
celebrity, and no person could exercise any public authority in the
Austrian Netherlands, without having graduated here. This regulation,
however beneficially intended, only produced the effect of raising
extremely the expence of the different diplomas, without being attended
with any advantage, except to the funds of the university. In the
present unsettled state of the _Netherlands_, it cannot be expected that
the seats of learning should be as much frequented, as they probably
will be when their new sovereign shall have had leisure to turn his
attention to the important subject of _public education_; and the
wisdom of the regulations he has promulgated, on other matters of
general interest (particularly that which enforces the more solemn
observation of Sunday) leaves little room to doubt that this point will,
in its turn, be duly and successfully attended to. Those who have
resided at Louvain have observed, that its inhabitants are in general
_more polite_ than in most of the towns in these provinces; but my stay
was not sufficiently long to enable me to form any opinion on the
subject. The manners of the people do not seem to me very dissimilar
from those of the French, but others think they most resemble the Dutch.
In fact, the _Netherlanders_ have no _very peculiar characteristics_,
but partake, in many respects, of those which distinguish the various
nations from whom they are descended. They have been much and often
abused by various writers, who have attributed to them the _faults_ of
almost all the nations of Europe, without allowing that they possess any
of the good qualities by which those faults are palliated in the other
nations. Those, however, who are of a candid disposition will not feel
inclined to assent to the truth of statements so evidently dictated by
enmity or spleen. But whilst I would not have the Flemish considered as
a compound of all that is exceptionable in the human character, I do not
consider them as meriting any _particular praise_; nor can I vindicate
them from the charge of dishonesty, which has been so often alleged
against them. In general on the Continent, where _the English_ are the
_subjects of extortion_, the fraud is considered as trivial, and the
French often boast in conversation how _John Bull is pillaged at Paris_.
But whatever may be the _Flemish character_, it is allowed by all that
they follow the French customs in their domestic arrangement, but are in
general more cleanly. Their _kitchens_ are kept very neat, and the
cooking apparatus is ranged in order round the stove, which, in many of
the kitchens that I saw in the small inns, projects considerably into
the room.

Many of the inhabitants of these provinces (like my two companions in
the Louvain Diligence) are below the middle size; they are extremely
intelligent and active, and in general civil to strangers. Before I quit
Louvain, I must not omit to notice that it is famous for its beer, which
is certainly the best I have tasted on the Continent. The number of
breweries is said to exceed twenty, and the consumption is astonishingly
great in the neighbourhood, besides a considerable export trade.

I continued my journey to Brussels along an excellent road, the centre
of which was paved, as from the nature of the soil, it would be
otherwise impassable in winter. The roads in this country run for many
miles together, in a straight line between rows of trees; and I must
confess I thought it very uninteresting to travel through. The flatness
of its surface, is but rarely interrupted by any eminence, which affords
a prospect calculated to make any impression on the mind. There are many
neat villages, and occasionally one sees _country seats_ decorated in
that formal style of gardening, which was originally introduced from
this country into England, but which has there long since yielded to a
more natural taste. The farming seems very neatly managed; the numerous
canals, although they add nothing to the beauty of the country, are of
great utility to the farmer; and travelling is very cheap in the boats,
which pass between the chief towns.

It would require scenery like that of the Rhine, to induce me to adopt
this conveyance; but many of these canals pass between banks which
exclude all view of the surrounding country. I found the Netherlander
generally impatient to be relieved from the great military expences,
incident to their present situation. There is, I think, little reason to
doubt, that when some of the existing taxes can be removed, the _Orange
family_ will become popular. The stamp duties are very heavy; there are
land and house taxes, and a personal tax. It is to be expected, that the
people should wish for a diminution of their burdens, but _Liege_ is the
only place I have visited in the countries lately relinquished by
France, where the separation seems to be generally regretted. I found
that the Prussian government, was by no means popular, on the left bank
of the Rhine, and that an union with either Austria or Bavaria, was much
wished for in those provinces, whose future destiny remains to be
decided at the Congress of Vienna.

Having met with but few English travellers since I had quitted
Switzerland, I was much struck on entering Brussels with the _vast
numbers_ of my fellow subjects, moving in all directions. The garrison
was almost entirely composed of English troops, so that I felt here
quite at home. I found that there was an _English theatre_, as well as a
French one, and that balls, and entertainments of all descriptions, _a
l'Anglaise_, were in abundance. Indeed the upper part of the city
differed little in appearance from an English watering place.

Brussels is a city of great extent, built partly on the river Senne
(naturally a very inconsiderable stream, but which, being formed here
into a canal, becomes of much advantage), and partly on a hill,
commanding an extensive view of the rich and fertile plain by which it
is surrounded; much of which resembles a vast kitchen garden. It is,
like Louvain, surrounded by a ruined wall of brick, as formerly all the
towns of Flanders were fortified. This was the capital of the Austrian
Netherlands, and lately the chief place of the French department of the
Dyle: it will, probably, now become, for a part of the year, the
residence of its new sovereign, whose sons are at present amongst its
inhabitants. The inhabitants of Brussels are calculated at 70,000, and
its environs give the traveller an idea of its importance, as they have
an appearance of much traffic and are decorated with many villas which
announce the opulence, but not always the good taste of their owners.
The city is, in general, irregularly built, and the lower part does not
deserve commendation; but the _place royale_ is fine: the park is
surrounded by many handsome public buildings, and by a number of private
houses, which would ornament any capital in Europe. The park is of
considerable extent, and forms an agreeable promenade. Its avenues are
kept in excellent order; they abound with statues and other formal
decorations, which are, however, more admissible in a city promenade
than in the retirement of the country. A fountain here was celebrated by
_Peter the Great's_ having fallen into it, as that monarch, like Cato,
was said,

"Saepe mero caluisse virtus."

"His virtue oft with wine to warm."

The circumstance was recorded by the following inscription:

"Petrus Alexowitz, Czar Moscoviae, magnus dux, margini hujus fontis
insidiens, illius aquam nobilitavit libato vino hora post meridiam
tertia, die 16 Aprilis, 1717."

"That renowned General P.A., Czar of Moscovy, having poured forth
ample libations of wine, whilst sitting on the brink of this
fountain fell into, and ennobled its waters about three o'clock in
the afternoon of the 16th of April, 1717."

The town-house is one of the most conspicuous of the public buildings at
Brussels, although it is situated in the lowest part of the town, its
steeple rising to the height of 364 feet; it is a very fine piece of
Gothic architecture. The equestrian statue, noticed by M. Dutens, as
being placed on the _top of a house_ in the square before the
town-house, has disappeared; the horse and his rider having been removed
to a more suitable situation. The church of St. Gudule presents a
venerable and interesting appearance; it contains several fine
paintings, and windows of stained glass. There are many ancient tombs of
the old Dukes of Brabant. The church of St. James is also worthy of
notice, and its facade of the Corinthian order, is an elegant and
uniform piece of architecture, which does honour to the taste of the
builder.

Brussels contains many fine collections of paintings, which I have not
time to enumerate; but I was much pleased with some pictures of _M.
Danoots_, to whom I had a letter. They are not very numerous, but are
undoubted originals of S. Rosa, Teniers, Rembrandt, Myiens, and of J.
Bassano, who is remarkable for having attained a greater age (82) than
most of the great painters, he has accordingly left behind him a
greater number of pictures than almost any other master. He is said to
have expressed great regret on his death-bed, that he should be obliged
to quit the world at the moment when he had begun to make some little
progress in his art. A shorter life than Bassano's, is, however,
sufficient to establish the reputation of an artist. _Raphael_ died in
his 37th year, but public opinion has placed him at the head of his art
for _general proficiency_.

There are several excellent hotels in Brussels which command a view of
the park. I was at one of these, the _Hotel de Bellevue_, and found the
hour of the _table d'hote_ had been changed to accommodate the English,
to four o'clock, at least two hours later than the usual time; but as
the company consisted always entirely of English it was but reasonable
they should fix the hour. The dinner here more resembled an _English
one_ than any I had hitherto seen on the Continent, and reminded me of
the public tables at Cheltenham.

Brussels was some months since a very _cheap_ residence, but I have
been assured, that the prices of most articles have more than doubled
since our troops first arrived here. Living at an hotel here is nearly
as expensive as in London; but no doubt there is a considerable saving
in the expences of a family who are recommended to honest trades-people.
There are still a number of good houses to be let, notwithstanding the
great influx of English, many of whom have engaged houses for _four or
five years_, on terms which seem _very reasonable_ to those accustomed
to the _London prices_.

The country round Brussels presents several excursions which would
probably have better answered my expectations had the weather been more
favourable. The Abbey of _Jurourin_, was a country seat of the princes
of the Austrian family, and was formerly famous for its menagerie. The
forest of _Sogne_ is of great extent; and its numerous avenues, which
now had a sombre appearance, are, no doubt, in summer, much frequented
by the inhabitants of Brussels. This forest was the property of the
Emperor of Germany, and is said to have produced an annual revenue of
one million of florins.

The prison, or house of correction, at _Vilvorde_, is worthy of
attention, from the excellent manner in which it is conducted. Those who
wish for the introduction of some improvements into our workhouses,
might surely derive many useful hints from the manner in which similar
establishments are conducted abroad; and although I have never thought
much on the subject, yet I did not fail to remark the cleanliness,
regularity, and industry, which prevailed here and in another place of
the same kind near Berne.

Brussels is seen to great advantage from the ancient ramparts which
surround it. I went entirely round the city in about two hours, and
afterwards attended divine service, which was performed in English, to a
congregation which proved the great number of English now here. There
are at present but _few very strongly fortified cities_ in Belgium,
compared with the vast number which it formerly contained. The period is
past, when, after the ablest engineers had exerted their utmost skill
in the construction of fortifications around its cities, generals, not
less distinguished, contended for the honour of reducing them. Amongst
numberless other instances, the siege of _Ostend_ sufficiently attests
how successful the engineers have been in rendering those places strong;
and also bears ample testimony to the perseverance of the commanders who
at last succeeded in taking them. Ambrose Spinola entered Ostend in
1604, after a siege of above three years, during which the besieged lost
50,000 and the besiegers 80,000 men. The siege and capture of
_Valenciennes_ might also be adduced, if testimony were wanting of the
zeal and bravery of British armies and commanders. But however justly
these sieges are celebrated in _modern times_, the _antiquarian_ who
contends for the _supremacy of past ages_ over the present, will not
fail to instance the siege of _Troy_ and the exploits of Achilles and
Agamemnon, as a more distinguished instance of perseverance than any to
be met with in these _degenerate_ _days_, and if he should meet with
some _sceptic_ who insists that the heroes of Homer owe their existence
only to the imagination of the poet, although he can assent to no such
hypothesis, yet he will also instance the siege of _Azotus_, on the
frontiers of Egypt, which Psammeticus, meditating extensive conquests,
and thinking it beneath him to leave so strong a fortress unsubdued, is
related to have spent 29 years of his reign in reducing.

As I was desirous of visiting Antwerp and Ghent, and as the period
allotted for my tour was drawing to a close (a circumstance which the
advanced season of the year gave me but little reason to regret) I left
Brussels, enveloped in a fog, which might remind the English
fashionables of those so prevalent in London during the gloomy season of
November, and proceeded to Malines, 14 miles distant, formerly one of
the greatest cities of Belgium, but now like too many other once
celebrated places in that country, affording a melancholy contrast to
its former splendour, and proving that in the vicissitude of all
sublunary affairs, cities, as well as their inhabitants, are subject to
decay.

Non indignemur mortalia corpora solvi Cernimus exemplis oppida
posse mori.

Here are several manufactories of excellent lace and many breweries, but
the beer is considered as greatly inferior to that of Louvain. The
houses are spacious, and exhibit singular specimens of ancient taste;
the roofs rise to a great height and terminate in a sharp point. Their
walls are generally of an excessive whiteness. The tower of the
cathedral is highly finished, and rises to a vast height. There being
little to detain me here, Malines being more remarkable for what it once
was, than for what it now is, I continued my way to Antwerp along an
excellent paved road, lined by avenues of trees, which are often so cut
(the Dutch differing from the Minorquins, who never prune a tree,
saying, that nature knows best how it should grow) as not to be at all
ornamental, and in some places cannot be said to afford either "from
storms a shelter, or from heat a shade." In that state, however
unnatural, they answer the intention of their planters, by marking the
course of the road in the snowy season, without excluding the air from
it in the wet weather, prevalent in autumn.

Antwerp is one of the most celebrated cities of Europe, and although its
present situation is far from comparable with its former celebrity, yet
it has revived greatly of late years; and the events which have restored
to these provinces their independence, will, no doubt, fill with the
vessels of all trading nations those docks, which were constructed by
the French Government at such incredible expence, and with far different
views than the encouragement of commercial speculations. The canals by
which these docks communicate with Bruges and Ostend, that the navy of
Napoleon might run no risks by passing on the _high seas_, are vast
works, which must have cost enormous sums of money. The Scheld is here
about half the width of the Thames at Westminster; but _Antwerp_ is
above fifty miles from its mouth. Its depth is very considerable; and
such was at one period the commerce of Antwerp, that not less than 2000
vessels annually entered its port. The present population of this city
is stated at 60,000. There are manufactures of lace, silk, chocolate,
and extensive establishments for refining sugar. The export of the
productions of the fruitful district which surrounds the city is very
considerable. Nothing proves more strongly the _riches of these
provinces_, than the short period in which they recover the evils of a
campaign; and it was their fertility in grain, which principally
rendered them of such importance to the French government. During the
late scarcity in France, the crops succeeded tolerably well here; and
Buonaparte obliged the inhabitants of Belgium to supply France at a
price which he fixed himself, and by which _they lost_ considerably.

There are many buildings at Antwerp, which are justly admired for their
magnificence, particularly the cathedral, which, like many other
churches here, was decorated by the pencil of Rubens. The tower of the
cathedral is a rich specimen of Gothic. The general effect of this
building is lessened by a number of mean houses which surround it. The
church of St. Andre contains a monument to the memory of Mary Queen of
Scotland. The town-house is a large building; its facade is 250 feet in
length, and is composed of all the orders of architecture. Many of the
streets at Antwerp are tolerably well built. I was informed that many
individuals have good collections of paintings, by the chief painters
which this country has produced. It is impossible to pass through
Flanders without being struck with the exactness with which its painters
have represented the face of their country, and the persons of its
inhabitants. Antwerp, on the whole, has a tolerably cheerful appearance.
The promenade of Penipiere is pleasant, and much frequented by the
citizens.

The country between Antwerp and Gand, presents, like the rest of
Flanders, a level surface, highly cultivated, traversed by excellent
roads, running in straight lines from one town to another. I must,
however, own that I have seldom traversed a more uninteresting country.
But as the reign of a prince, which affords the fewest incidents for the
commemoration of the historian, is thought to be often the most
fortunate for the interests of his subjects, so a country, which is
passed over in silence by the tourist, as devoid of those natural
beauties, which fix his attention, often contains the most land
susceptible of cultivation, which best repays the labours of the
husbandman, and is the most valuable to the possessor. Many of the
Flemish inns are very neat; but the traveller who has recently quitted
Germany, is struck with their inferiority in point of decoration
(although, perhaps, in no other respect) to those of that country, which
abound with gilding, trophies, and armorial bearings, to invite the
stranger, who here has a less shewy intimation of the entertainment he
seeks for. The peasants here commonly wear wooden shoes; and they who do
not consider how powerful is the force of custom, are surprised how
they contrive to walk so well, in such awkward and clumsy machines.

* * * * *

CHAP. XVIII.

Gand, or _Ghent_, is the capital of Flanders, and is one of the greatest
cities in Europe as to extent; it is seven miles in circumference. It is
situated on the Scheldt and Lys, which are here joined by two smaller
rivers, which with numerous canals intersect the city, and form upwards
of twenty islands, that are united by above 100 bridges. No position can
be conceived more favourable for trade than this. But Gand is greatly
fallen from the once splendid situation she held amongst the cities of
Europe, and although superior to either Brussels or Antwerp in point of
appearance, its population is now inferior to those cities, being
reduced to 58,000: a very inconsiderable number for a city of such
extent. Gand is celebrated as the birthplace of the Emperor Charles the
Fifth. It exhibited at different periods proofs of his attachment to a
place of which he boasted being a citizen, and of the severity with
which he punished the revolt of its inhabitants. In more ancient times
Gand produced another character of political importance, _d'Arteville_,
a brewer, whose influence in this city (then one of the first in Europe)
made King Edward the Third of England solicitous for his friendship; and
history informs us, that one of his sons, at the head of 60,000 Gantois,
carried on a war against his sovereign.

Here was concluded the celebrated treaty in 1516, called the
Pacification of Gand; and it may in future times be famous for the
conclusion of a treaty between England and America.

Charles the Fifth comparing the extent of Paris with that of this city,
is said to have remarked, "_qu'il auroit mis tout Paris dans Gand_;"
and, except Paris, and perhaps Cologne, it is the largest city I have
seen on the Continent. Many of the canals have some appearance of trade.
I observed many very extensive bleach-greens beyond the ancient ditches
and works which surround the city. The walls along the canal of _la
Coussure_ are the most frequented by the inhabitants.

The cathedral is a handsome structure, and contains some beautiful
carving. The church of St. Michael is also a noble and venerable
edifice. There are many other handsome churches amongst the number which
the city contains, and I do not recollect ever to have been in a place
where there are such a number and variety of _chimes_.

The town-house is an extremely large and handsome building, in the
ancient taste, as indeed are most of those in the Netherlands. The city
contains many elegant private houses. The streets are remarkably clean
and spacious, but the want of an adequate population is very
perceptible. Here is a good public library, and the Botanic Garden is
considered as the best in the Netherlands. The prison built by the
Empress Maria Teresa is well worthy of a visit; and the stranger cannot
fail of being struck with the extreme activity and industry which
prevails within its walls. Every thing seems conducted much in the same
manner, of which I had occasion to notice the advantages at Vilvorde.
There is a theatre; but those who have lately arrived from Brussels or
Lisle will not be much struck with the merits of the performers. From
Gand to Ostend and Dunkirk there are no public conveyances, except along
the canals. This mode of travelling I was not inclined to adopt; and
hearing that the road by Lisle, although thirty miles longer, passed
through a finer country, I determined to proceed that way. I did not
hear a favourable account of _Ostend_; and, notwithstanding the peace,
above a third of the houses were said to be untenanted. Bruges has
neither river nor fountain, but abundance of stagnant canals and
reservoirs. The word _Bourse_, as designating the place where merchants
assemble to transact business, had its first origin from a house at
Bruges, then belonging to the family of _Van der Bourse_, opposite to
which the merchants of the city used to meet daily. As the road between
Ghent and Lisle did not claim any minute survey, and as I had been
satisfied with the trial I had before made of a diligence in their
country, I engaged a place for Lille for the next morning.

I was awakened, long before daybreak, by the noise of packing in the
carriages in the yard, and by the vociferations of several Frenchmen in
the house, who seemed to exert their lungs more than the occasion
required. I was not sorry to see them set off in a different carriage
from that in which I was to proceed, as their extreme noise would have
been tiresome. I had not to complain that my companions made an
unnecessary _depense de parole_. They were, I believe, all Flemish. One
of them prided himself on being able to speak a little English, which he
said he could read perfectly, and pulled from his pocket "The Vicar of
Wakefield," which, he assured me, he admired extremely. I have, on many
occasions, in Germany, been in company with persons who were more
desirous of beginning a conversation in English, than able afterwards to
continue it; but in general I have found that the English make less
allowance for the want of proficiency of foreigners in their language
than foreigners do for our ignorance of theirs. On one occasion, at a
_table d'hote_, a person who sat near me pointed out a gentleman at some
distance, and observed that it would be impossible to please him more
than by giving him an opportunity of speaking English, as he valued
himself much on his knowledge of that language. He was not long without
finding the opportunity he sought for, but not the approbation which he
had probably expected.

But to return to the diligence. The rest of the passengers being
lethargic after dinner, an elderly lady and I had the conversation to
ourselves. She complained frequently of her _poor bonnet_, which, from
its _extraordinary elevation_ (having to all appearance antiquity to
boast of) was frequently forced in contact with the top of the carriage
by the roughness of the pavement. I told her, I had heard that the
bonnets at Paris had been much reduced in point of height, and that
perhaps something between the French and English fashions would in time
be generally worn. But although she had to complain of the
inconvenience arising from the unnecessarily large dimensions of her
headdress, she expressed a hope that no such reduction might take
place, as the English bonnets were in her opinion so extremely
unbecoming, that she should much regret any bias in the French ladies
towards such an innovation.

The pavement on which we travelled was rendered very necessary by the
weight of the carriages, which would soon make the road impassable. The
country resembled the rest of Flanders. I observed a greater number of
sportsmen than I had yet seen, well provided with dogs, ranging a
country which is too thickly inhabited to abound in game; and I have
seldom seen a district where there are fewer birds of any kind. Courtray
is a large and handsome town. Here I observed some large dogs employed
in drawing small carts, a custom very general in Holland. The town-house
bears an inscription, indicating that it was erected _by the senate and
people of Courtray_; a style lately used by all the cities of Germany
which depended on the empire, however inconsiderable they had become in
the course of years. There are many beggars here although the town and
neighbourhood exhibits more industry than I had observed since I left
Antwerp.

At Courtray and Menin the garrisons are English, and a little beyond the
last named place we entered France. The _boundary stone_ was pointed out
to me as curious, from having escaped unnoticed during the revolutionary
times, as it bears the royal arms of France on one side and those of
Austria on the other, and after a series of eventful years, it serves
again to point out the ancient and legitimate limits of France. We were
detained above an hour at the custom-house, as the diligence was heavily
laden and all merchandise, as well as the baggage of the passengers, was
examined with minute attention.

The tax was however only on the patience, the purse not being diminished
by any claim from the officers, who were extremely civil in assisting to
arrange what their search had convinced them not to be illegal. Our
passports were not demanded until we reached the out-posts of Lille, and
we were not long detained, as every thing was satisfactory. I was told
that a few days before, two English travellers not being provided with
sufficient passports, were taken out of the diligence and conveyed under
an escort into Lille, where they were next day recommended to return to
England, and provide themselves with proper passports.

Lille is the capital of French Flanders, and the chief place in the
department _du Nord_; it is one of the handsomest and best built cities
of France, as well as the strongest fortified. The _citadel_ especially,
is considered as the _chef d'oeuvre_ of the celebrated _Vauban_, this
place having been one of the most important fortresses on this side of
France; it has again become so, although far removed from that line
which an insatiable ambition would have established as the boundary of
France; and which included nations not desirous of the union. The
population of Lille is estimated at 61,500. It contains many
manufactories, which a period of tranquillity will probably restore to
their ancient prosperity. Many of the streets here reminded me of Paris.
The cathedral is a handsome building, as are also the exchange, the
theatre, and the porte royale. The barracks are large and spacious; and
there being generally a large garrison, the _theatre_ is well attended
and the performers superior to those in most provincial towns. I was
told by a gentleman who has resided here for some time, that there are
few towns in France which exceed this in point of agreeable society. He
had two letters of introduction on his arrival and found no difficulty
in enlarging the circle of his acquaintance. He added, that many English
had settled here for the sake of economy; and it certainly is cheaper
than most of the great towns of Belgium.

I had much reason to be satisfied that I took this road to Calais,
instead of going by the canals, as the country was much diversified, and
the _view from Cassel_ was one of the most striking and extensive that I
had ever seen. Notwithstanding that the month of November is not
calculated for seeing a country to advantage, some of the richest and
best cultivated provinces of France and Flanders are discovered from
this commanding situation. The scene is bounded on one side by the sea
and on the other by the mountains of Hainault. Those who are acquainted
with the country assert that from Cassel you can see thirty towns or
considerable villages, of which seventeen are fortified. Cassel itself
is by no means remarkable; it was at one time a place of great strength,
but its fortifications have gone to decay, although its situation must
always render it a strong position. After a considerable descent on
leaving Cassel, we arrived in the plain, which extends to the coast,
with but little variation. It is fertile in corn and produces hops.
There are several rich pastures and a tolerable proportion of wood. This
day we travelled entirely in the department _du Nord_, where the roads
are much attended to. I observed a few country houses and a chateau of
General _Vandamme_.

Berg is a considerable town, but badly situated; the country from thence
to Dunkirk is a flat and marshy plain, resembling those extensive
tracts which occupy a large proportion of the counties of Cambridge and
Lincoln. It abounds with canals and drains, which in some places are
higher than the fields, but this uninteresting district feeds large
herds of cattle, and is in many parts well cultivated. One of the chief
canals leading to Dunkirk runs parallel with the road for a great
distance, its banks are planted with trees, which have a stunted
appearance, owing probably to their proximity to the sea. I observed on
the canal several boats laden with the produce of the country, as well
as the stage boats. Dunkirk is well built, and the streets being
spacious it makes a favourable impression on the mind of the traveller,
who is perhaps more liable to the force of a first impression than most
others. Some of the churches and public buildings are handsome and the
number of inhabitants is estimated at 22,000. Its name is said to
originate from a church built here by the Duns in 646, and in Flemish
its name signifies the _church of the Duns_. There is much similarity
between many words in the English and Flemish, but the latter cannot
claim the praise of agreeableness.

It is endeavoured by a proclamation of the _Prince Sovereign_ to restore
the _Flemish language_ in all public acts and pleadings at law, to the
exclusion of the French, which during the union of Belgium with France,
was alone allowed to be used, and pains were taken that in all schools
the French language only should be taught. But it is a difficult task,
to overcome the partiality of a people for their ancient dialect, and
the Flemish language is still used by the lower classes even in those
parts of Flanders which have been united for above a century to France.
At this day the difference between the two nations is not altogether
done away.

The scheme of again uniting Belgium and the left bank of the Rhine to
France, is here perpetually introduced. The French talk of the oppressed
state of the Belgians, and of the vast number of _ordinary_,
_extraordinary_, and _indirect_ imposts to which they are subject, and
conclude that they must wish to become again the subjects of France, as
if they would by that means escape taxation. That they would rather be
subject to the _mild government of Louis XVIII_. than to the _oppressive
tyranny of Buonaparte_, I can easily conceive; but is it unnatural that
they should be desirous of existing as an independent nation, under a
government of their own? Yet were it ascertained beyond dispute, that
the wishes of the Belgians are such as the French represent them, surely
the general interests of Europe, and the preservation of that balance of
power so essential to its permanent tranquillity, would forbid the
further extension of France, which might again reassume that
preponderance which it has cost the other powers so much to reduce. I
am, however, inclined to think, that the wishes of the Belgians are not
such as they are represented; but the French _knowing a little, presume
a good deal, and so jump to a conclusion_.

The merchants here seem to expect that their city will obtain the
privileges of a _free port_, which have been lately granted to
Marseilles, but upon what grounds their hopes are founded, I did not
distinctly understand.

Dunkirk was at one period subject to England; being taken in 1658, it
continued an English garrison until sold by that needy monarch Charles
the Second, to Louis the Fourteenth, in 1662. The odium of this
transaction was one of the causes of the disgrace of that great
statesman, Lord Clarendon, and a house which he was then building,
obtained the popular appellation of _Dunkirk House_. In the possession
of so enterprising and ambitious a sovereign as Louis, Dunkirk became so
formidable by its fortifications, that the demolition of them was deemed
essential to the interests of England, and was accordingly insisted on
by the Treaty of Utrecht, 1713; but by the treaty of 1783, the article
against its being fortified was annulled, and although several works
have been constructed since that period, it has by no means re-assumed
its former strength. From Dunkirk, I proceeded to Gravelines, which,
although inconsiderable as a town, is strong as a fortress, since the
flat country which surrounds it may be laid under water to a great

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