« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
all familiar, through the reports that lar” with the service is a dreadful have appeared in the Times
shibboleth, fatal even to excellence. From the growing feeling in favour Vent-pegs flying out, gases escaping, of the Whitworth guns, as well as and accidents which, we are told, may from an impression abroad that one depend on the false adjustment of a special inventor has received more 1,000th part of one inch, begin at official countenance than perhaps is length to encourage doubts and suscustomary in England, the whole ques- picions among the men who have the tion has just been reopened again. Eandling of these arms; and suspicion Without balancing their merits very and doubt cause uncertainty. This minutely, or wishing to prejudge the feeling has a greater influence than question, it is impossible to deny that would be supposedl, and actually brings the Whitworth has the meritof greater about mistakes and accidents. simplicity and of less delicacy--a In conclusion, it may be said that merit which, when we come to the Captain Palliser's plan commends rude wear and tear of war and field itself by economy, and the utilization service, and even granting there is of a large existing, “plant.”. It is some superiority on the other side, in simple and inexpensive-merits of no range and accuracy of aim, must common order in these days of large counterbalance every other. The outlay and costly extravagance. fact of a weapon becoming “unpopu
THE GRAND TOUR-FOURTH EXCURSION.
THE COURT OF SAXONY.
If an engagement were made that the population. Hence their depenthere should be presented in these pa- dence on Silesia and Bohemia. The pers a true picture of the tone of so- farms were generally large, and the ciety, and the moral condition of the small cultivators were obliged to use upper and lower classes throughout great economy. It was no
uncommon Europe, A.D. 1730-40, the disap- thing to see the cow, after having pointed reader would have just furnished the breakfast-milk, taking grounds for complaint.
the ox into partnership, and helping Whether agreeable to ourselves or to drag the plough through the light not, however, we must glance at un soil for many hours of the day. Meat welcome and, on the whole, repulsive was as unfrequent at the tables of the subjects; but, at least, in doing so, small farmers as if their lot had been we shall cherish a righteous awe of cast in green Erin. Potatoes, cabthe critics, and imitate those tigers bages, and turnips, furnished the mentioned by that great Egyptian au- staple of food, and coffee in a very thority, the late Tom Moore, whoavers diluted state was drunk in large that these beasts, while quenching quantities. When the Englishmen their thirst with Nile water, keep were leaving the country and getting running all the time they are lapping over the Erzgeberge mountains, they it, lest they should find themselves had an opportunity of inspecting the on a sudden in the interior of a cro- diligent working of the mines by the codile.
thrifty and industrious people. The As our travellers quitted the Prus- gentlemen turned their woods to the sian for the Saxon possessions, they best account, and at that period the became sensible of a change for the Saxon wool, dyed blue, was an article better in the soil and climate, and in acceptable through the greater part the dispositions of the people also. of Europe. They found the middle ranks and the At Leipzig, which they took in artizans very industrious and intelli- their progress to Dresden, they found gent, and disposed to literature ac- the town all alive with the manufacture cording to their means. The great of velvets, silks, rough cloths, linen, obstacle to the thorough well-being carpets, and apothecaries' drugs! and of the people was the insufficiency of even then distinguished by the number native-grown corn for the wants of of books there printed, and by the
surprising quantities of that commo sury, called the Green Vault (Grüne dity interchanged by the booksellers Gewolde), consisted of three arched through all the German States, at the rooms, filled with complete sets of prefairs held on New Year's Day, and at cious stones, forming buttons, hatEaster and Michaelmas, Vienna being loops, sleeve-buttons, shoe-buckles, the only city unrepresented. Saxony sword-belts, snuff-boxes, &c., nicely was at the time the Attica of Ger- arranged in crystal cases. The great many in literature and æsthetics. picture-gallery was only begun at the
Our tourists were struck by the period of our friends' visit. houses of Leipzig, which were dis This would be a more edifying tinguished by their great size and paper if as much good might be said height, built with freestone, and the of the inhabitants of the palaces lower floors used as warerooms by the as of the palaces themselves, but foreign traders who resorted regularly such is unhappily not the case. If to the fairs. It was no uncommon Augustus, the Elector, whom we occurrence to find two or three kings have seen at Berlin, enjoying a priand queens, and a couple of score of vate dinner with Frederic William, princes and princesses collected at one was distinguished by a high degree of of these re-unions. They were sur- immorality, no one could point out prised, too, at the vast and curious his grandfather, John George II. (ob. trade in larks yearly caught in its 1680), his father
, John George III., neighbourhood, and exported to other who died of a camp pestilence in German States, as well as to Holland 1691, or his own elder brother, John and Denmark, the export-duty being George IV., whose life and short reign a grosh (2d. British) for every sixty of three years ended in 1694, as models birds. Nightingales were also mar- of domestic life. Still there were good vellously abundant.
points about his father, the third John A word about their cuisine while George. He was openly rebuked en route. The ordinaries in the from the pulpit, by a stout Court smaller towns and villages between preacher, for sins respecting which Leipzig and Dresden did not favour- King David had unfortunately set ably impress our travellers, either by him an evil example; and after the the quality of the fare or the cleanli- second or third rebuke, he had the ness of the apparatus. At Meissen manliness to promote the conscienthey visited the manufacture of the tious clergyman to a higher post in beautiful gold-enamelled porcelain, the church-at Berlin. Thus the prothe invention of a professed alchemist, phet was rewarded, and the sinner who pretended he could make gold. relieved. The King of Poland believing in his Augustus's brother, of the short skill, shut him up in the Castle of reign, was an industrious, intelligent, Königstein, near Dresden, so that he and judicious prince, and would have might have the full benefit of his done more for his electorate but for labours. The distracted man, in his having been entrapped in the meshes miserable endeavours to produce the of Mlle. Von Neitschutz, an artful precious metal, lighted on the secret and ambitious girl, provided with a of the beautiful ware mentioned- lynx-eyed and enterprising mamma. nearly as valuable a discovery. He was so enthralled by the devices
In Dresden they beheld a nicely of the pair, that he treated his wife, laid out city, even in the beginning of Eleanore Louise, of Eisenach, with the eighteenth century, remarkable utter neglect, and would have even for its tall houses, broad streets, spa- divorced her but for the interposition cious squares, and its splendid stone of Augustus, his brother and successor. bridge connecting the old and new Mlle. held a promise of marriage of towns. Among the public buildings, some kind, and her infatuated lover so was the palace of the Indies, the wrought on the Emperor that he conrooms of which were filled with the ferred on her the title of Countess of most costly China and Japan wares, the Holy Roman Empire. The next one room, furnished with curtains, step was to procure for her the fursofa-covers, and other draperies, com ther title of princess. That done, she posed of feathers so skilfully wrought would push the Electress from her that to casual observers they had the throne ! appearance of satin. The royal trea Philtres, it was said, had been un
sparingly resorted to by mother and On the demise of the noble and daughter. The Elector was at her feet. heroic John Sobieski, our Elector was An event, however, occurred which chosen his successor on the throne of interrupted the progress of their Poland, with the title of Augustus II., splendid machinations. She
She was having conformed, with true German taken ill. She attributed the attack flexibility, to the Roman Catholic to poison. It proved to be small-pox, religion as a condition precedent. It and the remedies to drive in thé is hard to conceive Solomon as under disease succeeded in covering her with considerable religious influence at the
black scurf.” She died in her period of his espousals with his palace in Dresden, at the age of thousand pagan wives, more or less. twenty, and shortly after her death, Nor is it probable that Augustus's green and yellow spots appeared all affairs of state and affairs of galover the body. The Elector had it lantry, his fears of Charles XII. and wrapped in the costliest materials, his fears of Madame Cozel, left him celebrated the obsequies, with a wild sufficient time to decide on the comand forlorn magnificence, and soared parative merits of Calvin's Institutes even to profaneness in her epitaph. and the Catechism of the Council of
Poorthing !-her countenance, they Trent. say, had neither a good nor noble ex This prince, in addition to an agree
ression. She was vicious and per- able appearance, . was one of the verse ; yet her epitaph vaunted her strongest men of his time, and to these
numerous virtues and the profusion attractive qualities he added a maof her excellent qualities, which left jestic air, good-nature, politeness, and imperishable regrets in all hearts.” courage. He was not only generous, The infatuated John George, forget- but knew how to confer his favours ting orthodoxy, coolly assumed her gracefully. Let these gifts be compresent portion to be with the blessed, bined with a total destitution of reliand apostrophized her accordingly, gion and a thirst for pleasure, and
Having staid by her during her the result has not far to be sought. illness, and remained near the corpse Pleasant it must have been to the for a considerable time, he was seized enemy of man, in his excursions down with a mortal malady, and died the Elbe, to witness his reckless exwithin four weeks. Such was the peditions among the frail beauties detestation in which mother and of Saxony, which is well known not to daughter were held, that the survivor yield the palm of loveliness to any was tried for witchcraft, and the poor country in Europe. corpse was exhumed in order to be
During a sojourn, in his youth, at examined for witch-marks. None, Venice, he made a visit, in disguise, however, were found, and the remains accompanied by two of his gentlemen, were re-interred in a field, divested of to the apartment of a celebrated its silks and velvets, and the valuable astrologer. He had covered his dark jewels that studded and embroidered brown locks with a yellowish peruke, them.
and assumed the bearing of an atHere was a tragedy. “They had tendant. The astrologer, however, sowed in the flesh, and of the flesh addressed him at once by the titles, had reaped corruption.” But all could “My Lord,” and “Your Highness," not avail to prevent his successor, and persevered in the same vein, notFrederic Augustus, from copying his withstanding the assertions of the offences against morality in more than three that he was under a mistake. a hundredfold proportion. It is as- “I know well enough,” he rejoined, serted that the number of his children “to whom I have the honour of speakborn out of wedlock was three hun- ing.” He conducted them into a closet dred and fifty-four. Yet towards the and bade the prince look into a mirdecline of his life, Frederic William ror hanging on the wall. The first of Prussia, of whom we have lately glance showed himself in the Elector's been speaking, agreed to receive him habit; the second presented him with as husband of his daughter, the future crown and sceptre, and at the third Margravine of Bareith; and had it he was horrified at finding himself not been for the opposition made by dying of wounds. However clever Augustus's son the match would have this adept might have been, he was been ratified,
evidently no conjuror, as Augustus's
death at a comparatively early age versed in all the long-drawn-out prowas the natural consequence of his ceedings, or flounce, or stomacher, or life of unlimited indulgence.
lofty tête worn by the high-born laOurwanderers had the good-fortune dies; but we cut all this short, and to make acquaintance with the once confine ourselves to the outward womuch-spoken-of Count Pollnitz, whom man of the Empress, who had on a we have already introduced to our “straw-coloured gown of silver-tissue, readers, a thriftless, whimsical, rest- adorned with diamonds, and her headless, gad-about, who reverenced every dress was adorned all over with pearls crowned head about whose court he 'like pears.' (?) The archducal bride happened to flutter for the time being, wore a farthingale, and her gown as devoutly as ever Boswell did the was of silver brocade, adorned with great Lexicographer,
diamonds." He gave them, in his gossipping At the nuptial banquet the bride-, way, an account of the marriage of the groom had the honour of sitting at Electoral Prince, afterwards Augustus his lady's right hand; but Pollnitz's III., with the Archduchess Maria hearers were scandalized to learn that Josepha, daughter of Emperor Jo- he was provided with a mere plainseph and the Hanoverian Princess backed chair, while his Princess, and Wilhelmina Amelia, in which recital her parents, and her sister, the unhe did not spare them the least item married Arch-Duchess, enjoyed the of the marchings and counter-march- honour and comfort of chairs with ings of the Saxon ambassador to and arms. The ladies of the court stood from Emperor, Empress, and Dowager round till the imperial family took Empress, to obtain the consent of fa- their first glass of wine, and then rether, mother, and dowager grandmo- paired to an adjoining room to help ther. All kindly consented as far as themselves. They returned again to each was concerned, but still with the the dessert. proviso that Maria Josepha was will The Turkish ambassador dined in ing. On the question being proposed a sort of gallery fitted up in this hall, to the party chiefly interested, who had and was waited on by thirty of his been accidentally in the next room, own dependents, and not neglected in and very richly dressed, she at once the matter of sweetmeats. Being signified ready compliance with their afterwards asked what he thought of highnesses' wishes. The delighted the entertainment, he said it was ambassador then advanced and pre- very fine, but in his mind the grandest sented the bridegroom's portrait, which object in the room was the person of the dutiful bride presented to her mo- the Empress. ther without even looking at it. The Next evening the whole court atgratified parent at once proceeded to tended an opera composed expressly affix the richly-framed gage of love to to celebrate the happy event, the the waist of her daughter's dress, but Prince Elector still obliged to sit after the delighted ambassador on bended the Arch-Duchesses (daughter and knee requested that the coveted oper- sisters of the Emperor). Dear, howation might be performed by himself. ever, as was to Pollnitz the atmosThe impatient bridegroom did not at phere breathed by imperial and royal first venture nearer to the city than highnesses, even he found the enterto a house two leagues away, but the 'tainment a little too long, and the air Empress, and the bride, and her sister, of the theatre somewhat too hot. favoured him with an interview of a But that performance was not half hour's length at an intermediate worthy to be mentioned in the same convent, after which the betrothed sentence with one that took place went to make their confession as if after the arrival of the illustrious pair they were simple peasants. At six in Dresden. It lasted so long that next evening he proceeded to the King Augustus ate his supper in the palace, and having changed his dress, pit, and tables suitably provided and paid his respects to his imperial were furnished to the ladies in the father-in-law the procession to the boxes. These events had place in the royal chapel began.
year 1719. The good loquacious count did Profusion was one of Augustus not spare his hearers a yard of II.'s little failings. He celebrated the marble slab or Turkey carpet, tra- reception of his daughter-in-law by
an entertainment in the Turkish style, sapped the foundation a little, Augusthus described :
tus thought he might venture to give “Upon the feast-day the whole court
the edifice of morality a final shake. peared at the Turkish palace in the Habits Having induced him to drink more of Turks. The King came in the Dress of than was good for soul or body one a Sultan, but without any Attendants. His evening, he conducted him into an Majesty' was soon after followed by the apartment tastefully and gorgeously Princess, his Daughter-in-law, with her furnished. While giving the various Ladies. Her Royal Highness for whom objects of art due attention, his eye the Entertainment was made, found a body of Janizaries drawn up in the Court curtain before a recess, and there, re
was caught by the withdrawing of a Yard of the Palace. The King received clining on a couch, was an ivory her at the Entrance of his Apartment, and conducted her into a Hall spread with fine statue, as perfect in form, as it seemed Tapestry, and laid with Cushions richly to him, as any Venus or Grace that embroidered.
was ever extracted from a shapeless "The King and Princess being seated, stone by Athenian chisel. Well, there were served by twenty-four Negroes in is no essential harm in the finest Sumptuous Dresses, with Sherbet, Coffee, specimen of sculpture unless comand Sweetmeats, in great Vessels of massy municated by an evil inspiration of Silver; nor were Scented Waters and per- the sculptor; but the pious and tipsy fumed Handkerchiefs forgot. After this monarch, as he approached, was senCollation they drew near the Windows to sible of motion in the eyelids, lips, see the Pillau (which is the rice of Turky), and arms of the false work of art. and the King's Bounty-money distributed to the Janizaries. This was followed by a
The effect was different from what Comedy, with an Entertainment of Turkish Augustus expected. Frederic WilDances
. Then came the Supper, the Guests liam turned round, and seeing his son sitting cross-legged upon the Cushions, and behind him, he angrily pushed him the Courses being served up after the towards the door, and had he had the fashion of Turky, by the Negroes and young royal cane in hand, he would have Turks. While they were at Table, the made it ring on his shoulders. He Company was diverted by the various openly declared his disgust at the Leaps and Postures of certain Tumblers and
snare laid for him, and threatened to Rope Dancers. Supper being over, they went into the Garden, which was illumin- quit the court at once, if any other ated with several Thousands of Chrystal trick of the kind were attempted. Lamps. There was Tilting and Shooting The vicious career of the future pupil at the Mark, and whenever the Mark was
and friend of Voltaire commenced
with hit a Sky Rocket was sent up, which for that visit to Dresden. the time seemed to Sprinkle Thousands of Frederic Augustus, born in 1670, Stars among those in the Firmament. became Elector of Saxony in 1694. After this the Company retir'd into the Whatever his faults, harshness or opend the Ball; and there was Dancing till tyranny were not of the number. five o'clock in the morning, when the Ball Though public indignation obliged was concluded with a sumptuous Break- him to have the old soldier abovefast, that was served at the several Tables mentioned prosecuted for witchcraft, after the Manner of our own Country, he managed to defer the punishment which, with the Leave of the Mussulmen, till all excitement on the subject had is as good as theirs."
died away. His profligacy was ex
treme; but Lady Mary Wortley MonAllusion has been already made to tagu and Baron Riesbach insinuate a marriage projected between Augus- that the Saxon ladies must share the tus and Frederica Sophia Wilhelmina, blame which he so richly deserved. Princess Royal of Prussia. Her fa- The Baron insisted that the ladiesther, Frederic William, and her bro- ay, even the daughters of farmers and ther, the future hero of the Seven shopkeepers--were acutely sensitive Years' War, paid a visit to Dresden to the influence of sentimental novels, during the negotiation, and were roy- and a consequent desire of filling the ally entertained. The earnest Fre- parts of those heroines, one of whom deric William was scandalized at first, is so well personified in Miss Edgat the lax examples set by King and worth's "Leonora.” These impresCourt, but, as far as eating and drink- sionable beauties were always more ing were concerned, he was soon se- ready to make sacrifices for that allduced into excesses. Having thus exacting passion so dominant in the