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[8] putting leather only over the back, where flexibility is necessary. His purpose in using cedar is to keep out the worms and all other vermin. He talked to me a great deal about Captain Basil Hall, with whom he has a grievous quarrel1 . . . .

I visited, too, Kaltenbaeck, the editor of the Austrian periodical for History and Statistics. He was immersed in papers and books, and complained bitterly of the trouble given him by the merely mechanical restraints imposed by the censorship, which take up, it seems, a great deal of his time to no purpose, as he is careful never to print, or propose to print, anything that could offend. I talked with him a good deal about it, and as the censorship of the press is more truly an effective part of the system of things in Austria than it ever was anywhere else, I have been curious to inquire into it and understand it a little.

Great complaints are made of delay. Kaltenbaeck said to-day, it is often intolerable. On one occasion Grillparzer, the best of their dramatic poets,—who, I am sorry to find, is absent from Vienna on a journey,—presented a piece to the censors, and got no answer for so long a time that he was vexed, and would write no more. One day the last Emperor asked Grillparzer why they had had nothing new from him for so long a time, and the poet had the good sense to tell him the truth. The Emperor replied, ‘Well, send me the manuscript, and I will read it.’ He did so, and the piece was ordered to be represented. But he seldom thus interfered. I remember in Dresden, Forbes, who was Charge in Vienna for some time, and who is perfectly good authority for a story of the sort, told me that the Emperor went one night to see a new piece which pleased him very much, and when it was over, said, ‘Well, now I am glad I have heard it, for I am sure Metternich will stop it, there is so much liberalism in it’; which accordingly happened.

Von Hammer told me that a good many years ago he wrote, during some travels there, a volume of poems about Italy, which he was aware contained passages somewhat too free for the meridian of Vienna, but which yet passed the censorship and was printed anonymously.

1 This quarrel arose from the conduct of Captain Hall, during a visit to the Baroness Purgstall, an aged relative of Von Hammer,—by marriage,—who lived in Styria; and his account of her domestic life in a book entitled ‘Schloss Hainfeld, or a Winter in Styria.’ The Baroness Purgstall was a native of Scotland, and appears in Lockhart's Life of Scott, under her maiden name, as Miss Cranstoun. Von Hammer, who inherited a portion of her estate, and added the name of Purgstall to his own, published an answer to Captain Hall's work.

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