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Chapter 25:

A journey from Dresden to Berlin, and back again, was a very different undertaking in 1836 from what it is now, five days being consumed in going to the Prussian capital, with halts for the night at Leipzic, Dessau, Wittenberg, and Potsdam, and three days required for the return. In Berlin, where Mr. Ticknor and his family arrived on the 17th of May, they witnessed a great review and sham fight of twenty thousand men, at which the Dukes of Orleans and Nemours were present, and on the 19th Mr. Ticknor began his visits, of which he describes the most interesting as follows:—
May 19.—In the afternoon I made some visits, but found nobody . . . . except Neander, the Church historian, a perfect type of such German students as I used to see often when I was here before, but of whom this is the first specimen I have seen this time; living up three or four pair of stairs, buried in books, so near-sighted that he can see little more than an inch beyond his nose, and so ignorant of the world that the circle of his practical knowledge is not much wider than that of his vision; dirty in his person, and in the midst of confusion; but learned withal, earnest, kind, and I thought conscientious. I should be glad to see more of him, and wish we had many such at home.

May 20.—Mr. Forster1 came this morning, and carried us to see the collection of antiques and the picture-gallery. . . . . The first we visited was the collection of antiques, which is placed partly in a fine rotunda in the centre of the building. . .. . It did not strike me as a very good collection in any respect .. . . . We saw it hastily, and shall go again, but two or three things struck me a good deal; among [494] others a bust of Julius Caesar in green basalt, the finest bust in the gallery, and the most distinct and characteristic head of him I have ever seen; and the beautiful bronze boy, stretching his arms upward in worship, four feet four inches high, of which I have often seen casts, but never before saw the exquisite original. It was found in the Tiber, and given by Clement XI. to Prince Eugene, after which it went to Prince Lichtenstein, and out of his collection it was bought by Frederick II. for ten thousand rix dollars. It is decidedly the finest ancient work of art in Berlin, and would be a beautiful one anywhere.

In a note written a few days later, Mr. Ticknor says:—

It is a curious fact, that in the fine collection of vases kept in this same building we afterwards saw one bearing on its sides a representation of a sculptor at work on a figure, with his tools about him, and the figure was obviously the same with that of this worshipping boy. Is it possible that this vase came from the tomb of the very sculptor of this statue, and that thus, after the lapse of two or three thousand years, and at the distance of as many miles, this beautiful work, and the record of it, have been thus strangely brought together by the counter-currents of conquests and revolution, which have driven the seats of empire from Greece to Italy, and from Italy to the barbarous North, carrying in their train the arts and monuments of all?

. . . . The picture-gallery is arranged—it is not too much to saywith magnificence, as well as taste. . . . . It is a large gallery, comprising something in all the schools,—though not always of all the masters who ought to be there,—perfectly well arranged in historical order, so as to be easily studied and understood, in rich and beautiful halls, fresh and beautiful frames, admirably well managed and cared for; but, after all, for the number of pictures, not a great many good ones. . .

On our return home we found Mr. Wheaton, who arrived yesterday from Copenhagen. . . . . I was very glad to see a countryman, and to come under the protection of my own minister. I went out with him and made one or two calls, but found nobody at home excepting Professor Gans, one of the most popular lecturers in the University here, and the least liked by the government, who have restrained him somewhat in the exercise of his functions as a teacher. It seemed, however, as if it could hardly be necessary, even on their [495] own principles. He talked, to be sure, very freely upon political subjects, and I dare say may lecture very freely upon history, which is his principal branch but he seemed so round, easy, and fat, that I should hardly think there could be much that is dangerous in his mitigated radicalism. . . .

May 21.—Mr. Forster having the good-nature to continue our cicerone, we have seen several things this morning very pleasantly. . . . . From the Gewerbe-Institut we were carried to an old building opposite, once the residence of the Margraves of Brandenburg, now containing, among other things, the ateliers of Rauch, Wach, and Tieck. . . . At Rauch's we saw many fine models of works, finished or undertaken,—four beautiful winged Victories in marble, for the King of Bavaria; a beautiful Danaide pouring out water, nearly completed, for the Crown Prince; and several other things,—but we missed seeing himself, as he is gone to Halle for a visit. I recollect both Rauch and Tieck very well, living in the picturesque valley of Carrara, in 1818, and hard at work on the monuments to which they have since trusted their fame. I should have been very glad, however, to see Rauch again; for though, when I saw him, he had already settled his reputation by the statue of the Queen at Charlottenburg, he had not proved the greater compass of his genius now shown in the still more beautiful statue at Potsdam, and the statues of Blucher, Scharnhorst, and Bulow, with their bas-reliefs in the great square in Berlin.

I passed an hour this evening at Miss Solmar's, a well-known maiden lady of pleasant pretensions in conversation, who talks all tongues and keeps open house every evening. I met there, besides the Forsters,—with whom I went,—Varnhagen, formerly Prussian Minister in Bavaria, and more famous as the husband of the famous ‘Rahel,’ many of whose letters, etc., he has published since her death. Quite lately he has printed two volumes of letters addressed to her by Genz, W. von Humboldt, and many more distinguished men, with characters of them by himself, which excite a good deal of remark. Genz, it appears by them, was paid great sums of money by Pitt. The lady, however, under all circumstances, appears to great advantage, and was by common, if not universal consent, a very remarkable person, counting among her correspondents and intellectual admirers a very large number of the most distinguished men in Germany.

May 22.—I dined to-day. . . . with Count Raczynski, a Pole of large fortune, a very handsome man, a man of letters, and given to [496] the arts; has a pretty good collection of modern pictures, and is now about to publish, in three quartos, both in French and German, a history of recent painting in Germany, the plates for which he showed me,—or at least a number of them,—and if the work is as good as the engravings that illustrate it, it will be good enough. He lives in the style of a nobleman of the first class, and gave us a very pleasant dinner. Von der Hagen, the editor of the Niebelungen, and the great scholar in whatever relates to the earliest German literature, dined there, with Brassier, the Prussian Secretary of Legation at Paris, Mr. Wheaton, and one or two others of whom I took no note. I talked a good deal with Von der Hagen, and was glad to find he is about to republish the Bodmer collection, with additions.

May 23.—I visited by appointment to-day, at one o'clock, the Prime Minister, Ancillon, and found him a stout, easy, darkcom-plexioned gentleman, nearly seventy years old, with gray hair, almost white, dressing a little point device but with no air of fashion, and talking very well and liking to hear himself talk. He is by birth of Neufchatel, an old possession of the Prussian monarchy, which is kept from a principle of honor, not profit, so that, though a Frenchman in most respects, he is a born subject of the King. He is mentioned in Mad. de Stael's ‘Germany,’ with Humboldt, John von Muller, Fichte, etc., among the persons whom the King of Prussia had, before 1809, attracted to Berlin, and fixed there.

He was originally a clergyman, and a fashionable preacher to one of the French congregations in Berlin, as well as author of a good many works in light literature and some in politics, which come under the convenient name of Melanges. Afterward he became the tutor of the present Crown Prince and heir-apparent, from which period, sinking altogether the one that preceded it, he gave me today an apercu of his own history. From this it appeared that the King used to consult and employ him about public affairs, while he still superintended the Prince's education. This duty, he said, lasted fifteen years, and was succeeded, eight years ago, by the duty of being Minister for Foreign Affairs, a burthen over which he groaned this morning,. . . . telling me what a rafraichissement it was to escape from it, sometimes, an hour in the morning, and read a Latin or Greek book. I thought this affected, and in bad taste; but he talked well, and made phrases which, I am sure, pleased himself. He asked me to dinner to-day, but I was engaged; and then he asked me to come next day after to-morrow afternoon, between five and six o'clock, [497] ‘pour causer un peu,’ which I thought rather an idle business for a Minister of State.

May 24.—. . . . After we had been through the vases and the gems, we met in the gallery of pictures, by appointment, its director, Waagen,2 who, in the course of about two hours and a half, went through the whole of it, so as to give us a view of the history of modern painting, from the Byzantine times down to the present. His great learning, his admirable taste, and his genuine enthusiasm made it very interesting; and it was easy, talking as he did, rapidly and well, with specimens before him, to teach a good deal in a short time. I was very glad to find that he did not think it his duty to be excessive in his praises of his own gallery; and in truth, though we enjoyed his lecture very much, we did not admire the collection any more than when we first saw it.

In the afternoon we went to the Sing-Akademie, to hear a rehearsal of the music of Faust, composed by the late Prince Radzivil, and left by him as a legacy to this Institution. It is a curious establishment, which I think could not exist in any other country, and of which, I believe, no so good specimen is to be found, even in Germany. . . .

May 25.—This morning we had the pleasure of going through the collection of gems and Greek vases, with Professor Tolken, their learned keeper and director. . . . .

In the afternoon I kept my appointment with the Minister Ancillon, ‘pour causer un peu.’ He was alone; comfortable, easy, and agreeable, as before. He talked about the systems of politics now prevalent in Europe, and, as far as I could learn, avowed his preference for a sort of juste milieu aristocratique, which would keep things quiet and easy; declaring, for instance, that he thought Metternich's system unwise, but the present management of Austria very important to the welfare of all Germany. ‘Enfin,’ said he, ‘ il y a trois systems de politique à present en Europe: il y a d'abord, le systeme du mouvement sans progress, c'est la revolution; il y a le systeme qui veut que tout reste ou il est; et il y a le systeme du progres, par moyen des lumieres.’ This I took to be downright phrase-making. On the arts he talked better, especially of the schools of Dusseldorf and Munich; but he talked best upon matters of literature, for he is, after all, more of a man of letters, I suspect, than anything else. He said that when Mad. de Stael was here she excited a great sensation, and that she had the men of letters of the time, as it were, trotted up [498] and down before her, successively, to see their paces. ‘I was present,’ he went on,

when Fichte's turn came. After talking with him a little while, she said, ‘Now, Mons. Fichte, could you be so kind as to give me, in fifteen minutes or so, a sort of idea or apercu of your system, so that I may know clearly what you mean by your ich, your moi, for I am entirely in the dark about it?’

The notion of explaining in a petit quart d'heure, to a person in total darkness, a system which he had been his whole life developing from a single principle within himself, and spinning, as it were, out of his own bowels, till its web embraced the whole universe, was quite shocking to the philosopher's dignity. However, being much pressed, he began, in rather bad French, to do the best he could. But he had not gone on more than ten minutes before Mad. de Stael, who had followed him with the greatest attention, interrupted him with a countenance full of eagerness and satisfaction: “Ah! c'est assez, je comprends, je vous comprends parfaitement, Mons. Fichte. Your system is perfectly illustrated by a story in Baron Munchausen's travels.” Fichte's face looked like a tragedy; the faces of the rest of the company a good deal like a comedie larmoyante. Mad. de Stael heeded neither, but went on: ‘For, when the Baron arrived once on the bank of a vast river, where there was neither bridge, nor ferry, nor even a poor boat or raft, he was at first quite confounded, quite in despair; until at last, his wits coming to his assistance, he took a good hold of his own sleeve and jumped himself over to the other side. Now, Mons. Fichte, this, I take it, is just what you have done with your ich, your moi; n'est-ce-pas?’

There was so much of truth in this, and so much esprit, that, of course, the effect was irresistible on all but poor Fichte himself. As for him, he never forgot or forgave Mad. de Stael, who certainly, however, had no malicious purpose of offending him, and who, in fact, praised him and his ich most abundantly in her De l'allemagne.

This, to be sure, is not much like the talk of a man upon whose spirits the burthens of the state rest with a very fretting wear. I stayed with him about an hour and a half, and he amused me the whole time in this way.

May 26.—Alexander von Humboldt came this morning and spent an hour with us.3 . . . . He looks much as he used to, but older, and his hair is grown white; his manners are kind and flattering and courtly, even more than they used to be, though his person and [499] movements are awkward; and he talks with even increased volubility, pouring out stores of knowledge always in good taste, and with beautiful illustrations, but now and then medio defonte leporum surgit amari aliquid.

Once or twice he gave very hard hits to M. Ancillon, and, in general, throughout the conversation, maintained a very liberal tone in politics. The King gives him a large pension, but he does not keep house, living almost entirely at the palace and in society, and occasionally employed in affairs of the state. His heart, however, is at Paris, where his life, no doubt, was as agreeable to him as life can be; and he said very frankly this morning, as well as with his uniform courtliness, that he hoped to meet us there; ‘for you must know,’ said he, smiling, ‘I made my bargain with the King, as the Cantatrici do, that I should be allowed to pass three months every year where I like, and that is Paris.’ I never knew a person at once so courtly and so bold in his conversation, or who talked so fast,— so excessively fast,—and yet so well.

We dined with the English Minister, Lord William Russell, the second son of the Duke of Bedford, who was aide-de-camp to Lord Wellington the four last years of the Peninsular war, and, I think, had the command of the British troops sent to Portugal, under Mr. Canning's administration. . . . . The dinner was agreeable, but in a more purely English tone than anything I have met since we left England. When we were coming away, he invited us very earnestly to dine with him to-morrow, and as I hesitated a little, he said that Humboldt had been to him and asked him to invite him to meet us; adding that if we would come he would also ask Mr. Wheaton. It was, of course, too agreeable a proposition to be rejected.

I passed the evening at Savigny's, who, I suppose, next after Humboldt, has the highest intellectual reputation of any man in Berlin; is the author of the great work on the ‘History of Roman Law,’ the head of ‘the Historical School’ in politics, as opposed to those who wish for great changes, or ‘the Liberal School,’ of which Gans is the head; and finally, much trusted and consulted by the government as a practically wise and powerful man.

He lives in a fine house near the Brandenburg gate, and seems more comfortably and even elegantly arranged than any German professor I remember to have visited. He is tall and stately, a little formal, perhaps, and pretending in his manner, but talking well both in French and German. His hair is combed down smoothly on [500] both sides of his head, and his face is red, so that he has not the intellectual look that belongs to his character; but he reveals himself at once in his conversation. He seemed to understand our present politics in America pretty well, and said he supposed President Jackson was ‘a sort of Tory by instinct, who, having settled his power on the most absolute radicalism, uses it with very little restraint.’ His sympathies, of course, are all with our old Federalists, of whom he knew a good deal.

Some company came in, and among the rest the Baroness von Arnheim, who has recently published a most ridiculous book, containing a sentimental correspondence, which, under the name of ‘Bettina,’ or ‘Little Betty,’ she carried on with Goethe when she was nearly forty years old and he above seventy, representing herself in it as a little girl of fifteen desperately in love with him. I saw it in Dresden, and thought it disgusting; and did not wonder that Mrs. Austin, in London, told me she had refused to translate it from the manuscript, because she thought any well-taught Englishwoman would be ashamed to have anything to do with a book which seemed to claim the reputation of an intrigue that undoubtedly never existed. I could not get through it, though it is all the rage with multitudes in Germany. But this evening I perceived by her conversation that she must be the Bettina, whose other name I did not know, and I told her so . . . . . It is generally understood that Goethe had taste enough to be very little pleased with the sentimental and indecent nonsense of this lady's correspondence, though it was full of the most violent admiration and adoration of himself. Few of his letters appear, and they are very cool in their tone. Mad. d'arnheim was the mother of two or three full-grown children when she composed all this nauseous galimatias.

May 27.—This morning, early, Humboldt sent me a truly courtly note, to say that he had made arrangements to have certain collections opened for us to see,—not forgetting, however, at the end of all his courtliness, to give a cut at M. Ancillon,—and at eleven o'clock he came in his carriage to take us to see them. First, he carried us to the Bau-Akademie,—the Academy of Architecture, an institution which has been arranged and formed by the King to suit Schinkel. . . .

From the Academy of Architecture, M. de Humboldt carried us to the University, a large and massive palace, built by Frederic II. for his brother Henry, 1757-64, and given by the present King for purposes of knowledge. His object was to show us the collections in [501] mineralogy, geology, and zoology. . . . . In the collections of zoology we found Professor Lichtenstein, the well-known traveller, who spent six years at the Cape of Good Hope, ‘when it was little better,’ as Humboldt said, ‘than a menagerie.’ I saw him here twenty years ago, and he was then, as he is now, pleasant and obliging, with much the air and bearing of a man of the world. He carried us, I think, through sixteen halls, all of them respectable in their appearance, but the halls of birds really wonderful. Here Humboldt left us, to keep an appointment at the palace, reminding us that we should meet at dinner. . . .

One thing struck me very much this morning; I mean the great deference shown everywhere to M. de Humboldt. Our valet-de-place and the people of the inn where we lodge, look upon us as quite different persons, I am sure, since he has chaperoned us; and nothing could exceed the bows and the ‘excellencies’ with which he was received everywhere. Even the three professors had put on their best coats and their orders of merit to receive him, and though they showed no sort of obsequiousness to him, they treated him with a consideration and distinction not to be mistaken. This is partly owing to his personal claims and character, but partly, also, to his immediate and intimate relations with the King.

We met him again at dinner, at Lord William Russell's, where were also Mr. Wheaton, the Baron von Munchhausen, the Hanoverian Minister, Sir George Hamilton, Lord Fitzgerald, and a young Englishman. The conversation was, of course, chiefly in Humboldt's hands, who talks with incredible volubility both in French and English, and seems to talk equally well upon all subjects; always, however, I suspect, with a little indulgence of sarcasm towards individuals he does not approve. He was very amusing to-day, and very instructive too; for knowledge, facts, hints, seem to crowd and struggle for utterance the moment he opens his mouth. I am sorry to think we shall hardly see him again.

May 28.—The morning was occupied in visiting to take leave, and in making preparations for our departure to-morrow. I dined with M. Ancillon, who had a little more the air of a minister to-day than when I saw him on two former occasions. Mr. Wheaton dined there; Count Raczynski; Baron Miltitz, formerly Prussian Minister at Constantinople; Brassier, the present Secretary of Legation at Paris; De Bresson, a member of the French Chamber of Deputies; and two or three others whom I did not know. The dinner was truly exquisite, and the attendance as exact as possible. . . . . M. [502] Ancillon is so wisely aware of his position that he has refused a patent of nobility, and makes as little pretension as possible, so as to excite as little ill — will as he can; but he is a thorough absolutist in his politics, and showed it to-day.

I amused myself by asking him how it happened that in the Staatszeitung,—the official paper,—this morning, a compliment to Von Raumer was omitted, when the whole of the rest of a speech of Lord John Russell, in which the compliment was contained, was translated and printed. He replied merely that he could not imagine; but everybody at table knew, as well as I did, that it was because the government does not like to have so liberal a man as Von Raumer so much distinguished. In the conversation that followed he was bitter upon the ‘Travels in England’;4 when I mentioned Humboldt, he gave him, too, en passant, a coup de langue, as I anticipated; abused Varnhagen's book, and his character of Gentz in particular; and, in short, was a thorough Tory all round. Of the ten persons at table, however, three or four of us were not at all of his mind, so that every now and then there came a little more vivacity into the conversation than might have been expected. . . . . On the whole, I did not like M. Ancillon. He did not strike me as possessing a mind of a high order, or as having an elevated or noble character. He may be a good man for every-day affairs, and get along well enough where no emergency requires boldness or a wide and wise circumspection, and he is certainly a most agreeable talker and makes admirable phrases; but that, I suspect, is all. Such as he is, however, much of the destiny of Prussia may be in his hands; for he has not only the confidence of the King, but owes his present place to the regard of his former pupil, the Prince Royal. And the destinies of Prussia are important, indeed, for all Germany and for all Europe. . . .

The King has been on the throne almost forty years; he has done and suffered a great deal with his people and for his people, and they, on their side, have a great love for him, and a well-founded trust in his honesty, his regard for justice, his irreproachable private character, and his good intentions. While he lives, therefore, I think there will be no movement. But he is now sixty-six years old, and men are already anxiously inquiring whether his successor will not give them the representative forms enjoyed in Saxony, Bavaria, and elsewhere in Germany. And how can it be otherwise? The whole training of the Prussian people for above five-and-twenty years has been fitting [503] them for a freer government. When Scharnhorst provided for making every man in the country a soldier, he provided the first element of public freedom, in the sense of personal power and rights which his system necessarily gave to every individual. When Stein gave the inhabitants of the cities the corporate privilege of electing their own municipal officers and transacting their own affairs, the whole country was shown how political rights might be used and exercised; and when universal education, by really effective schools, was added to both, it seems as if the last needed ingredient was added to the popular character, to make ready the ways that lead to change. I think, therefore, the change will come when the affection and respect felt for the present King no longer stand in the way of it. His successor is said to be less inclined to a liberal system than his father, and the tutor and favorite Minister of the Prince, M. Ancillon, is known to be less so; but I think they must yield to the spirit of the times, or become its victims.

In Berlin there is a life and movement very striking to one who has just come, as we have, from the quietness of Dresden. Its external appearance is greatly changed since I was here about twenty years ago, when only a year had elapsed from the battle of Waterloo, and Prussia was but just beginning to feel the effects of her renewed strength and increased resources. . . . .

Of the society of Berlin, of course, I saw, properly speaking, nothing. . . . What I saw was sharply divided into two great political classes, and the expression of opinion on both sides was plain and free enough in conversation; but the censorship of books is severe, and the only newspaper printed in Berlin that is readable is carefully made up, and extremely dull, nothing being admitted into it that can displease the Ministry.

A long, curious, statistical sketch of the University of Berlin follows these remarks. On the 29th May, Mr. Ticknor and his family left Berlin, and on the 31st reached Dresden.

As we drove through its well-known, friendly streets, it seemed as if we were returning to a home, so natural and cheerful did everything appear to us. As we intended only to pass the night in Dresden, I went out immediately to see Tieck, whom I had promised to see again on our way to Vienna. By chance it was his birthday, and I found him surrounded by a large party of his friends, many of whom I knew perfectly well. It was an agreeable surprise to me to be [504] greeted by so many, once more, whom I had not thought to meet again. Among the rest, I found there his brother, the sculptor, whom I had failed to see at his atelier in Berlin,—a grave but agreeable person, younger, I suppose, than the poet. But I could not stop long with them,. . . . and came back to our arrangements for leaving North Germany.

June 5.—We left the Saxon Switzerland this afternoon, in a boat resembling a gondola a little, managed by three men, of whom one steered, and the two others drew it with a tow-rope, at the rate of about three miles an hour up the Elbe. . . . . The mountains on either side of the river, during the fourteen or fifteen miles we passed through them in this way, are grand and picturesque, in several parts reminding us of the Highlands on the North River. . . . . At last, just as the mountains began to subside into gentler forms, and become covered with cultivation, we came in sight of Tetschen, an enormous mass of building, standing on a bold rock above the Elbe, with a corresponding rock still bolder on the other side, round the bases of both which are gathered—as is so often the case—a village, formed at first for protection, but now thriving with industry and trade. Tetschen is called a castle, and has been built at different times, from the year 1000, when it was a possession of the King of Bohemia, down to the last century, when, about 1706, the last additions were made, that gave it its present vast extent. It has, however, nothing military in its character, though it was held and fortified as a military position by the Austrians in the wars both of 1809 and 1813.

We found a carriage on the shore, waiting to receive us, for we were coming to make a visit to the family at the castle,5 and though the time of our arrival was uncertain, something in the look of our boat made them suspect who it was, and induced them to send kindly to meet us. The passage up to the castle was winding, partly through [505] a sort of park full of fine old trees; but the last part of the way the hoofs of the horses rung on the solid rock that forms the foundations of the castle itself. Driving under a large and imposing portal, we entered the vast court round which the castle extends, and at the farther end of it were kindly welcomed by the Count and Countess Thun, at the bottom of the grand staircase. They led us up, and carried us at once to the suite of apartments destined for our use; but it seemed as if we never should reach them, so long were we passing through an arched passage-way of stone, ornamented on one side, opposite to the windows, with a series of antlers of stags, fitted to carved wooden heads, with an inscription signifying by whom each had been killed, and in what year. At last we reached our rooms, four in number, and corresponding—especially in the huge size of the largestto the rest of the character of the castle, and fitted up most comfortably. Our host and hostess remained with us a few minutes, till we were quite installed, and then left us to dress. The whole was done with great elegance and courtesy. . . .

The Count is, I suppose, a little over fifty years old, a tall, quiet, dignified-looking man, who talks but little. His title is Count von Thun-Hohenstein, and his family, originally the Lords of Thun, in Switzerland, from the twelfth century, has been settled in this castle since 1620. The Countess is of the Bruhl family, descended from the great minister. She is obviously a sensible, affectionate, excellent woman.

They have five children,—three sons and two daughters. The eldest-Count Francis-lives at home and takes care of the estate; a truly agreeable, natural, frank young man of about sevenand-twenty, with a good deal of talent, much accomplished in the arts, and otherwise thoroughly educated. The second son [Count Frederick] is in Vienna; and the third [Count Leo], about twenty-four years old, has a place in the government at Prague, lives there chiefly, and manages another great estate of the family in that neighborhood. Both of them, as I was told in Dresden, are rather uncommon persons; the first remarkable for his knowledge of natural history, and the youngest for his diligence in his profession,—which is the law, —and for the wide, philanthropic views which he has expressed in a sensible work on prison discipline. The whole family, indeed, is well known through this part of Germany for its intelligence, accomplishments, and excellent character; living on their estates generally the whole year, and doing great good by the kindness they exercise and the spirit of improvement they diffuse. They are, of course, [506] Catholics, but they are—though very religious—not bigoted; have travelled a great deal, and lived in England, as well as other countries, so that, among their other accomplishments, they all talk good English. . . .

We joined the family at tea, in a small, pleasant sort of boudoir, formed in the projecting tower of the castle, which almost overhangs the Elbe, commanding very grand and beautiful views up and down the river. The conversation was very agreeable. Mr. Noel, an Englishman of about five-and-thirty, quite well known in Austria and Saxony for his talents and philanthropy, and a near connection of Lady Byron, is an inmate of the family, and talks extremely well. He is a great admirer of Dr. Channing, as is also Count Leo, the third son of Count Thun, who has translated the Essay on Bonaparte, and was prevented from printing it only by the publication of another translation. It is a curious circumstance, which rendered our conversation more interesting. . . .

June 6.—The castle bell rang at five this morning for prayers, and again for mass at half past 8, in the chapel; but it was at such a distance from our apartments that I took it for a bell in the village. When I went to breakfast I was curious to measure the length of that portion of the grand, cloistered passage through which we pass, and I found it between one hundred and fifty and one hundred and sixty paces,. . . . so that some estimate may be made from this of the vast size of the outside of the castle, as this constitutes only about one third of the length of the inner wall on the court. . .. . The breakfast was unceremonious, and after it we all went to our rooms, the Count and Countess telling us they should come to us presently to fetch us for a walk. They came quite soon, and we went with them over the grounds nearest the castle. They are very ample, and laid out in gardens, with hot-houses, etc., and a park, with fine shaded walks, old trees, fancy temples, and other buildings for shelter and ornament. It is all very grand, and suits the nobleness of the whole establishment. . . . .

Dinner was served punctually at two, and was very delicate and rich, but served with perfect simplicity .. . . . The whole lasted only a little more than an hour, after which we went to the room in the tower, where the ladies prepared and served the coffee. One or two things reminded us rather picturesquely of the country we are in and its usages. Before any one sat down at table there was an instant's pause, as if for prayer; the Count, as the feudal head of the family, was served before the Countess, but not till after his guests; [507] after dinner they all rose, crossed themselves, and stood an instant, as if to return thanks; and when we had come into the room where we took coffee, the family kissed one another and bowed to us. . . .

Later in the afternoon we crossed the river, and immediately began to ascend the steep side of the mountain opposite, on which the Count has had pleasant and convenient paths cut for several miles, with seats and arbors for rest, and for enjoying the views, which are constantly opening with great variety and beauty, up and down the Elbe. The ladies went only part of the way to the top, and then, returning by a different path, found carriages that took them across the river [in boats]. We went quite up, and enjoyed magnificent prospects. We passed through the deer-park,—or a portion of it,— through several plantations of trees of different sorts, and saw some of the arrangements of so large an estate. Everything was on a grand scale. The Herrschaft or Lordship of Tetschen, which extends over both sides of the Elbe, is about sixteen English miles square, comprising eighteen thousand inhabitants6. . . . .

We had frequent views of the castle, whose enormous size struck me more and more. . .. . I asked the Count how it came to be so vast. He said that anciently the magistrates of the town of Tetschen, who were appointed by the family, had their right of residence within its walls, and that when he came into possession, in 1808, he found five families, with their servants and equipages, regularly established in different parts of it. . . . . ‘So,’ he added, ‘I built them houses in the town which were so much better, that they were glad to exchange, and the consequence is that I have a larger castle than I want. However, it is full a good many times every year.’ This I knew already, for they are very hospitable. Last year the Emperor and Empress of Austria, the Emperor and Empress of Russia, the King of Prussia, and the Crown Prince, with Metternich, etc., came over from Toplitz and made a visit, so that at one time they had forty persons in the castle, no one of whom was below the rank of Prince. . . . . Our walk lasted between four and five hours, so that we did not reach the castle till half past 8 o'clock, which, however, was but just after sundown. . . . . [508]

June 7.—. . . . After breakfast this morning we crossed the river with the two Counts, and went to see a pottery-ware manufactory, established and carried on by two Saxons, who have been at work here ten years, and in that time have increased their establishment from two hands to fifty. The ware is extremely pretty,. . . . and the family, who interest themselves very much in all that goes on in the neighborhood, have taken care to furnish the enterprising manufacturers with good models, both ancient and modern, so that almost all their forms are graceful. I was surprised to find that they had constantly large orders from New York; for instance, for one form of a vase for flowers they have now an order for three hundred dozen.

After dinner and coffee, a party up the river was proposed. I set out with the gentlemen on foot, the ladies followed in carriages, and we met about a mile or two off, at the pheasantry, a large piece of enclosed territory appropriated to rearing and preserving these birds for the family use, and having houses to accommodate the attendants. . . . . We came down by a very pretty church to the river-side,. . . . where we found a gondola waiting for us, in which we had a delicious passage, partly rowing, partly floating, through beautiful scenery, back to the castle. . . . .

June 8.—Yesterday morning the family came to our apartments and invited us to see the side of the castle where they live in winter. It was like a separate establishment of dining-rooms, saloons, etc., and near it were the private apartments of the Count and Countess, with their daughters, including his private library of three or four thousand volumes; separate sitting-rooms for each, and so on, all very nice and comfortable .. . . . The great library is near, just fitting up, with about fifteen thousand volumes, brought from different parts of the castle,—a grand room, well suited to its purposes.

This morning they took us to the other side of the pile, where we passed through the billiard-room, and I know not how many suites of apartments for guests, to the chapel, capable of containing about three hundred persons, besides the gallery for the family, and where mass is performed every day, prayers chanted at morning, noon, and night, and the regular service on Sundays. On this side of the castle is a third dining-room, with antechambers, etc., where they dine in the hottest weather. . . . .

But there must be an end to all things, and the time had now come when our visit must be closed. At about eleven o'clock, therefore, [509] . . . . we were going to take our leave; but the family in a body insisted upon seeing us off, and, walking through their beautiful gardens, crossed the river with us, and parted from us most kindly, following us with waving of caps and handkerchiefs till the turn of the road carried us out of sight. . . .

June 12.—We have travelled to-day twelve German miles, from Liebkovitz to Prague, and all the way have felt that we were really in Bohemia. . . . . We have been in the midst of a Sclavic population, we have heard Bohemian constantly talked, and have found all the public notices posted regularly in both languages. The greater part of the way the country, though highly cultivated, was uninteresting; we passed for miles through monotonous fields of waving corn, . . . . passing, as it were, over a vast prairie. From Schlan to Prague we rose a good deal, and on the top of the eminence looked down upon the capital of Bohemia, stretching up and down both sides of the Moldau. It is certainly one of the most picturesque cities I have ever seen, standing on five hills, with great masses of buildings in every direction, broken by an uncommon number of old steeples, towers, and domes, while the river, crossed by its ancient and highly ornamented bridge, sweeps majestically through the midst of the whole. It is not half as large as Berlin, but it gives the idea of a great deal more magnificence.

June 13.—Young Count Leo Thun came to see us this morning. He has a place in the criminal administration of the government here. . . . . He seems a young man of strong character and great love of knowledge and progress, has much Bohemian nationality about him. . . . . He offered himself to show us Prague, and we accepted his kindness, with some limitations. . . . .

This morning I went with my valet-de-place to see the quarter assigned to the Jews, where they have lived since the thirteenth century. It is very crowded, dirty, and disagreeable; for, as they are not allowed to live anywhere else, and have constantly been increasing, they have become packed together in an extraordinary manner. Their burial-ground is curious, with its heavy gravestones, covered with long Hebrew inscriptions, but it is even more crowded with the dead than their streets are with the living. The stones almost constantly touch each other, so that if as many have been buried here as are indicated, they must rest in tiers, one above the other. Yet the whole room is by no means filled; for when Joseph II. forbade burial within the limits of the cities, there was still space left here, so that the crowding must have been from economy, not from necessity. Their synagogue [510] was not curious; I mean the principal one, which I saw, for they have nine.

In the afternoon we drove out with Count Thun to see the city and a little of its environs. . . . . On our return we passed by the enormous palace where Wallenstein lived during the interval of his loss of the Emperor's favor, when—as I think Schiller relates—he pulled down the houses in the neighborhood to have free room, and stretched chains across the streets to keep quiet, affecting to be served only by nobles, and maintaining more than imperial forms and ceremonies. The estate still exists, of enormous extent, and the square before it is still called Waldstein's Square. . . . . The palace belongs to a descendant of his brother, but not the same one who lives at Dux.

June 15.—. . . . I passed a considerable part of my morning in what is called the Collegium Clementinum, or, really, the buildings of the University. It is like a city within a city, so wide do its squares and courts extend. It was originally a great establishment of the Jesuits, and is built in the fine style of architecture they adopted in all such cases. . . . .

The library contains about ninety-three thousand volumes, a beggarly matter for such an institution; and, what is worse, they looked as if they belonged to the studies of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, rather than to those of the nineteenth. One or two of the manuscripts interested me very much. The records of John Huss's Rectorship of the University, written in his own hand, and a copy in his own hand, also, of a work of Thomas Aquinas, were worth going far to see. I was shown, too, a curious book for the service of the Church, with the music belonging to it, splendidly illustrated, in which, on St. John's day, is a special service in honor of John Huss, as if he were one of the saints of the Church, which, in fact, he was considered here in the sixteenth century. In the margin are three very well finished miniatures,—the upper one, Wickliffe striking fire with a steel and flint, and endeavoring in vain to blow it to a flame; the middle one, Huss lighting a candle at the spark; and, below, Luther bearing a blazing torch.

The manuscript, therefore, belongs to the sixteenth century, and shows much of the confused state of religious opinion and party in Bohemia from the time of the Utraquists to the Thirty Years War. Indeed, in several parts of this manuscript Huss is called ‘Divus Johannes Huss,’ as if he were regularly canonized.

In the afternoon we drove to the Hradschin, visited anew the [511] cathedral, walked in the Volksgarten, and enjoyed the fine views of the palace and the magnificent views of the city itself, with its hills, its towers and domes, and its grand masses of old buildings; went to the Bubensch Gardens, where we drove about some time, and came back to the city by Wallenstein's Square and Palace.

7 [512]

1 Head of one of the public collections in the Arts, and formerly Professor in the University of Berlin.

2 Author of various works on art.

3 He had been in Potsdam with the King until the day before this.

4 Von Raumer's.

5 In the early spring, when forming his plans for summer travel, Mr. Ticknor found it—strange to say—by no means easy to get information about the routes through Austria, especially for Upper Austria and the Stelvio Pass into Italy. He was referred for such inquiries to Count von Thun—Hohenstein, who frequently came to Dresden, and on whom Mr. Ticknor called when next he arrived. The Count showed the utmost kindness in answering all questions, and, before the interview ended, invited Mr. Ticknor to bring all his family for a visit to Tetschen; the party then including—besides the children and three servants—a German landscape—painter, Herr Sparmann, whom Mr. Ticknor had engaged to travel with him for three months as a teacher. Mr. Ticknor accepted the invitation as cordially as it was given.

6 Mr. Ticknor says: ‘The family owns a still larger estate near Prague, and two other possessions elsewhere, so that it is very rich. Everything [about Tetschen] looked rich and flourishing; cotton manufactories have been established, potteries, etc., and the town within twenty years had nearly doubled its population.’ In the wars against Bonaparte, this Count Thun, then a young man, raised a regiment on his own estates, equipped it, offered it to the government, and commanded it through the campaign of Wagram.

7 Prague was then comparatively seldom visited, and the Journal contains full descriptions and historical memoranda of its peculiarities, but these have, of course, greatly lost their interest.

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