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steam boat-of France from the coupe of a Geneva diligence-and all within the compass of one summer; it is so much of course that a moiety at least of these tourists should publish the "Elegant Extracts" of their notebooks in one or other, or all of the approved forms-" Prose, verse, and epistles," that the quality of information concerning Germany is a thing
much more to be desired than the quantity. We speak of such information as is accessible to general readers who may neither have the means or inclination of consulting books in a foreign language, or of the graver and therefore duller kind.
The name of Mr. Gleig will naturally attract the majority of those readers who seek to be entertained. They will not, we think, find themselves disappointed; and with the entertainment they will also find combined no small mass of important information in an agreeable shape and in general of sound and wholesome digestion. It must, indeed, be admitted, that Mr. Gleig's experience in bookmaking has not been wholly thrown away; we have long descriptions of magnificent scenery, grand panoramas, splendid dioramas, and so forth on every fourth or fifth page. We have a narrative of the campaign of 1813, a history of the Calixtine controversy, with here and there a spell of legendary lore ; and finally, we are told that which every guide-book will tell by the way of not being told it, because it is what every guide-book will tell. Once, however, admit the necessity of manufacturing three volumes, and the certainty, for certainty it is, that three volumes could not, under the circumstances, be otherwise manufactured; and we have only reason to be thankful, that the artist is one capable of making the inevitable evil as light as may be, of causing dulness to be less dull, and infusing some interest into a thrice told-tale.
Mr. Gleig having sailed with his wife and family from London to Hamburg, on the 31st of March, 1837, crossed the Prussian frontier on his route to Berlin, on the 8th of April.
"From the instant that our carriagewheels touched the soil, of which the black eagle that surmounts an obelisk of granite seems to be the guardian, we felt as if we had entered upon a new state of society. The villages through which we passed were all of them neat and clean
the towns bustling and prosperous. Every where new buildings were in progress. We felt, indeed, that we were
in a land where the government was strong, for soldiers and revenue-officers swarmed round us; but we saw likewise that the strength of the government was exerted, to promote what it believed to be the best interests of the people. From the border-line of Prussia all the way to the capital, and from the capital till you touch the border-line again, there is no such thing as languor in any department. Fields admirably tilled bespeak an industrious peasantry, shops well supplied and well frequented, testify to the presence of a spirit of commerce; nay, the very excess of uniforms, though at first it may startle, if it fail to offend, the English traveller, is not without its influence in commanding at least his respect. He sees that the country is not only great and prosperous, but that its rulers are determined to keep it so."
In common with all other travellers, Mr. Gleig is much struck with the magnificent appearance of Berlin. A more intimate acquaintance, however, does not realize the anticipation which the first appearance has excited. A city not gradually increasing with the increase of its population, or adapted in its varied forms to the varied purposes of human life by the combined experience and taste of those who need its accommodations; but rising as if by magic at the command of a despot on an area limited by the will of One, and after a plan devised by One's imagination, can hardly be supposed to exhibit that "busy hum of men," which, in the towered cities of older growth, seems to make the life that reigns there almost an attribute of the very buildings themselves; or to excite those numberless associations which enable the artificial beauty of a town to hold equal sway in many a mind with the simple beauty of nature. The city of Berlin, indeed, with its splendid edifices, its military regularity and dreary magnificence, seems no unapt symbol of the Prussian government itself, the most perfect specimen of a civilized despotism which perhaps ever existed.
"There can be no doubt whatever that Prussia presents, in all its departments, the visible marks of what is called generally, and perhaps justly, a well-regulated state. Its government, though strong, is rarely oppressive; that is to say, the amount of practical liberty enjoyed by the subject is as great as men need desire.
No human being is restricted from going to and fro at pleasure; for the passport which is necessary to bear him harmless with the police, the authorities never refuse, unless the party applying for it be known as a mischievous character. The privacy of no man's house is ever wantonly invaded. Whatever the bent of his genius may be, each citizen is free to indulge it, so long as the community takes no hurt from its indulgence; and life and property are every where as secure as an efficient police can make them. Moreover there no longer exists that odious line of demarcation between the man of noble birth and the plebeian, which, at a date not very distant, restricted the enjoyment of offices of honour and trust exclusively to the former class. The mechanic, by dint of industry and skill, may now raise himself to distinction; the merchant may purchase land; the boor may attain to rank in the army; governments, secretaryships, the administration of departments, judgeships, ay, and a share in the king's confidence and councils, all are open to be competed for by talent, and integrity, and zeal. I do not mean to say that, in point of fact, the nobles do not continue to engross by far the larger share of these preferments. It is quite natural that they should. the theory of the constitution recognises no such generic difference between the noble and the peasant, as that the latter should be cut off from all hope of prizes which lie within the reach of the formerthough the noble in Prussia, just as in England and elsewhere, enjoys advantages in the race, which, in nine cases out of ten, enable him to leave his more humbly-born competitor behind.
"Again, the anxiety of the ruler to diffuse intelligence through all orders and degrees of his subjects, is striking and praiseworthy. The people are not only encouraged but compelled to send their children to the schools, with one of which each parish is provided; and the slightest irregularity of attendance on the part of the pupils sure to bring down punish ment on their parents. Nor is it to the conferring of the mere elementary branches of education-to the care with which it is provided that no Prussian shall lack the opportunity of learning to read, and write, and keep accounts that the attention of the government is restricted. The capital, at least, contains seminaries in which young men are gratuitously instructed in the principles of the art or trade which they design to follow; and the results are, that in many mechanical operations, particularly in the casting of iron, modelling, and such like, they have attained in Berlin to a degree of excellence
which we shall scarcely find equalled elsewhere.
"In all this we perceive the exact intermixture of liberality and arbitrary power, which we might expect to find in the proceedings of a government, anxious, indeed, to promote the well-being of its subjects of every class, yet nowise disposed to abate one jot of its own claim to unlimited and unquestioning obedience. Knowledge, for example, is not only rendered accessible, but it is forced upon the people; they must learn something, because it is the will of their rulers that they should not be wholly ignorant. But while the law interferes only so far as to render the acquisition of the humblest species of lore obligatory, the munificence of the monarch affords every conceivable facility to such as may desire to prosecute their researches further. In the Gwerbe Schule and Architectural Academy, the ambitious mechanic will find ample means of gratifying his thirst for improvement; in the University the means and appliances of study have been afforded, without any regard to expense. The collections in botany and mineralogy, the anatomical preparations, the museum of natural history, and the zoological specimens, are all perfect in their degree, and all stand open to the inspection of the students. And as these various helps and aids to learning would be useless, were competent masters wanting to direct the studies of the youth, so no efforts have been spared to bring together such a body of professors as should ensure to Berlin the distinction, which she actually enjoys, of taking rank, though the youngest, at the very head of the German universities."
"In the regulations which affect men's civil callings and professions, in the administration of justice, in the management of commerce, the most prying eye will fail to discover in Prussia the slightest bias in favour either of classes or of individuals. Some of these regulations may appear to us impolitic; others, perhaps, ludicrously absurd; but there is nothing in them which can convict the government of a disposition to deal loosely with the rule of right. For example, whatever walk of civil life a man may desire to follow, it is necessary that he should obtain a license, and he pays for it, on a classified scale, a fixed annual tribute to the government. We may smile, if we please, when we are told, that the physician, the notary, the carpenter, the slop-seller, the butcher, the brewer, the baker, and the vendor of drugs, are all, like hawkers and pedlars among themselves, required to take out licenses. We may come to the
conclusion, that in abolishing the system of guilds, it would have been more wise, as well as more liberal, to have done so absolutely, than to supplant it by a device so clumsy as the present. Still, nothing can be charged against the impartiality of the government, which takes every species of civil occupation alike under its care, and causes the member of a liberal profession to be registered, and certificated, and licensed, with the very same strictness which it applies to the worker in a common trade.
Nothing can be more pure, nothing more free even from the stain of suspicion, than the administration of justice, whether in criminal or civil cases, throughout Prussia. Among the provincial judges and magistrates there may be, here and there, a deficiency of intelligence; for the provincial judges and magistrates are elected by the people, and hold office for three years only. But against their integrity I never heard that a charge was brought, or that their behaviour, in any case, laid them open to it. Berlin, on the other hand, we find not only a thorough acquaintance with the law, but an immoveable purpose to be guided by it in all their decisions. And though the appointments there emanate directly from the crown, and are known to be revokable at the will of the minister, it does not appear that this consideration has the smallest effect upon the minds of the persons holding them. The fact, indeed, is, that in Prussia, as well as in England, it must ever be the policy of the government to keep the great stream of justice undisturbed. Cases may, perhaps, occur in both countries, where an arbitrary monarch or minister might desire to crush an enemy, or obtain possession of an estate; but these, in the nature of things, must be of rare occurrence; and for their occurrence, in the adjust ment of a matter so important, no provision can be made. He would be a
very foolish, as well as a very wicked prince, who could wish to see the judg ment-seat filled, except by persons proof against the influence, as well of intimidation as of bribery. Of the exact amount of salaries awarded either to the supreme or the inferior judges, I cannot speak. I only know that the former are paid out of the treasury, while the latter derive their emoluments from the rents of the borough lands.
"It will be distinctly understood that in thus eulogizing the Prussian courts of justice, I speak only of those which take cognizance of cases in which politics are nowise mixed up. For political offenders I am afraid that there is not in Prussia, more than in other absolute monarchies,
any law whatever. He who is suspected of plotting against the government-be who is accused of disseminating dangerous opinions, may be, and is, arrested without the pretext of a process; and even if the established tribunals pronounce him guiltless, his release or farther confinement depends on the mere will of the minister. In like manner I offer no opinion as to the working of the Code Napoleon, which still exists in the Rhenish provinces, and is by them warmly admired. But the ordinary tribunals of Prussia Proper are all, as I have stated, free from taint; and as such, command the respect of the people to the full as much as they secure the approbation of a strictly honest sovereign."
We cannot, we confess, perfectly coincide with Mr. Gleig's notion of impartiality, which appears to consist in treating all classes as slaves alikean impartiality, to conceive which the power of abstraction may, doubtless, be adequate, but certainly by a process present business, however, is to be not very easy to British minds. Our thankful for Mr. Gleig's information, and not to quarrel with his sentiments.
Her military system is that of which Prussia is most proud. Its object is to enforce a certain quantum of military education on all her subjects; and so far it would appear to be perfectly successful. All young men between the ages of 18 and 26 years are liable to be drawn, and all, when drawn, must serve. Each serves for three years, and the discipline maintained during the time of service is at once mild and effective. Mr. Gleig, however a very competent judge, and who enters into the subject con amore -doubts, and it would seem with reason, the probability of making good soldiers within this short period of training. This is a most important and stability of Prussia. Her strength, consideration in estimating the power as that of every despotic government, must be in her army; and if the effect of making all her subjects soldiers be to have none good, then, however submission may be enforced at home, still the only intelligible compensation for domestic slavery-security against foreign foes-is, in point of fact, sacrificed to the procuring that which it, and it alone, can make in any degree desirable.
Mr. Gleig is much inclined to defend the commercial policy of Prussia, which seems to be formed, as far as circumstances will admit, on the enlightened
model of China. She has agreed with several other states of Germany to establish one same scale of duties-to get rid of all intermediate customhouses to divide among the states thus united, the accruing profits in proportion to the population of each-and, finally, to impose on manufactured goods imported from abroad a duty far exceeding in amount that which is imposed on a similar species of goods manufactured at home. This, it will be seen, is, in effect, to confine, as far as possible, the consumption of goods to those of home manufacture, and to exclude, as far as possible, those of other nations at once to deprive the subjects of this union of the benefits of foreign art and foreign enterprise, with all the consequential benefits of foreign intercourse, and to irritate other nations by excluding them from a commerce alike beneficial to themselves and to the states with which it might be holden. This system, Mr. Gleig conceives, is unjust to nobody, and he thinks he has shown this, because it is at least perfectly "impartial" to the states with whom Prussia is confederated, and of those with whom she is not she takes, as she ought to take, no account. We are no friends to what is called a "free trade" under the present circumstances of the world; but we certainly do think that in cases of this kind some regard might be paid to the individuals which compose a state as well as to its government, and some consideration had of those ties which connect the members of all states as members of one family-the humankind.
Despotism is never so unhappy in its success as when upon its proper principles it seeks to enforce religion and morals upon its subjects. The system of Prussia is of a piece throughout, and there is no one chapter in the whole of Mr. Gleig's valuable work more important than that on the moral and religious condition of Prussia. The toue of Mr. Gleig's remarks is, in general, thoroughly and wholesomely British, and honourable alike to his feelings as a Christian and a man. is well worthy of what, we fear, from the nature of things, it never can have, the honest attention of the friends of what is called ecclesiastical reform and a cheap religion at home-and as worthy of what we trust it will have, the thankful attention of every true friend of the interests of religion and
morality. We shall now give some
"I do not wish to represent the Prussian government as in any respect discountenancing religion, or the Prussian people as utterly depraved. I believe, on the contrary, that the wishes of the first are all sound and wholesome, and that the last, considered in the mass, are quite as moral as most of their neighbours that belong to the same great family. Intoxication, for example, is the reverse of frequent among the Prussians, and even the street-quarrels of the lowliest classes generally evaporate in words. But in other respects I do not find that the moral tie holds them with too tight a I had occasion to inquire of pressure. one whose opportunities of judging were excellent, how Berlin and indeed Prussia in general, might in this respect be accounted of? and I received an answer, which I give almost in his own words: intrigue. We don't all drink, we don't Berlin,' said he, is a scene of constant all play-but we all intrigue. From the prince to the peasant, each has his affaire d'amour in hand, and we care very little though all the world should know it. Of the rest of Prussia I am less competent to speak; but you will probably find that what takes place in the capital, takes place in the provinces also.'
"Startled by an avowal so candid, I became naturally anxious to ascertain to what causes my friend attributed a state of things, the evils attending which he did not scruple to deplore. In this respect, however, I found him either less willing or less able to be communicative. I hinted at the mischievous tendency of the law of divorce, but he would not agree with me. It was better,' he said,
that every facility should be afforded for the dissolution of the marriage contract, than that persons should live together unhappily. I asked, whether there was no principle of religion in the land, to operate as a check upon the indulgence of men's vicious humours. 'Oh yes,' he replied, we are a very religious people. Don't you see a church in every parish? But our religion takes no heed of such matters as these, and we should soon
quarrel with it if it did.'
"And your clergy,' continued I,are they without weight enough to make their example felt, even where their precepts may fail in securing attention ?'
"Our clergy,' replied he, with a smile
why, yes, they are very excellent people in their way-very good men, without doubt; but really no human being pays the slightest regard either to what they say or what they do.'
"Well, but the gospel on which your religion professes to be founded-is it quite held at nought among you?" "My answer was another smile, of which I could not, without real pain, stop to analyze the import. He immediately added, however, as if conscious that he was treading upon delicate ground, The gospels are by no means slightly estimated among us. We all admit that the code of morals taught in them is perfect-but -but-we don't profess to be guided by it."
"In Prussia the clergy are universally poor. The living of Spandau, one of the richest in the kingdom, brings in an annual revenue of only two hundred Frederic d'ors, or one hundred and fifty or sixty pounds of our money. In the country places, such is the depressed state of the clergy, that they are obliged, in many instances, to eke out their slender incomes by working in the fields like day labourers. Again, though the state religion of Prussia be Protestant, (for the distinctions between Lutheran and Calvinist are now forgotten,) such is the liberality of the government, that in parishes where the majority of the inhabitants profess the Romish faith, a Romish priest draws the stipend, and occupies both the church and the glebe-house. Here, then, we have the two great evils already referred to a clergy universally pauperized, and a state religion not fairly countenanced by the state. What is the consequence?
"If the Prussian clergy were far more learned than they are-and I am willing to allow that there is a prodigious mass of learning among them-if their habits of life, instead of being those of the recluse, were, in point of activity and energy, all that their office requires-it seems next to impossible, that, labouring under such palpable disadvantages they should ever acquire the smallest influence within the domestic circles of their parishioners. Cut off by their poverty from associating with the higher classes, and separated from the lower by the superior cultivation of their intellects, they may be eloquent in their pulpits, and able, and even orthodox at their desks, yet produce little effect for good upon the public mind, or the public morals. For it is neither by their preaching, nor by their writing, that the ministers of religion most effectually serve the purpose for which the state provides them with a subsistence. It is in the daily intercourse of life in the domiciliary visits which they pay to the cottages of the poor-by the tone which they give to general society wherever they join in it, that the best
opportunities are afforded to them of moulding the opinions of those around them, because it is in such situations that they best succeed in earning the respect of their neighbours; and I need not add, that the precepts of religion never carry with them half so much weight as when they come to us from those whom we both know and estimate rightly. But this can never be the case in a country where the political position of the clergy is such, that a noble house would feel itself disgraced, were one of its poorest scions to enter into holy orders; where the emoluments of office are so wretched, and the condition of the pastor so humble, that the very peasants scarce look on the last with respect, or to the first as an object of ambition. It is better, however, to describe in detail, than to go on with a general line of reasoning. The following is a correct sketch of what befell when I paid a visit to the incumbent of a country parish, certainly neither the poorest nor the most secluded within the limits of the Prussian dominions.
"The parsonage-house stood close to
him; namely, a large basin of the thinnest