Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

decorator on this side the Atlantic. Mr. PLATT's services are now so frequently in requisition, in the erection or completion of noble edifices in town and country, and in arranging the interiors of our noblest steamers, that he may be said to embody and represent the highest taste of the country, in his especial branches of art. . . . THE * Buffalo Daily Courier,' a well-filled sheet, edited by Mr. WILLIAM A. Seaver, its proprietor, has arisen like a spynx' from the ashes of its recent conflagration, and in its new and handsome dress presents a very attractive appearance. We observe in its columns the hand of Mr. George HASKINS, now and then; a young gentleman who knows how to wield a pleasant quill, and does it. . . . It would have been an illustration of the luxury of doing good' if our friend M — of P could have seen the reception, by the publisher hereof, of the twenty new names which he forwarded in one day for our subscription-list. He seemed,

- in the fulness of joy and hope,
To be washing his hands in invisible soap,

In imperceptible water.' To R — of B- , L— of A- , (S. C.,) and all who have interested themselves in extending our circulation, we cordially unite' in tendering our hearty thanks . . . The Albion' weekly literary and political journal appears in a new and very handsome address, and a late issue is accompanied by a large and exceedingly spirited engraving from LANDSEER's celebrated picture of Dignity and Impudence,'twa dogs' who will become as famous to the eye, as Burns's poem to the mind, of the world. Mr. LANDSEER may congratulate himself upon having so good an interpreter of his picture upon stone as our engraver, Mr. SadD. "The Albion is conducted with marked dignity, spirit and industry by Mr. YOUNG, its present editor and proprietor, and has, as it has always had, our cordial good wishes for its prosperity. ... 'D.' is a cynic. Don't think so ill of the world. It's a very pleasant world, if you know how to treat and to enjoy it. It contains many very warm-hearted, simple-hearted, right-hearted men and women. “After all,' says one who had known and tested mankind, after all, the common varieties of human character will be found distributed in much the same proportion everywhere, and in most places there will be a sprinkling of the uncommon ones. Everywhere you may find the selfish and the sensual, the carking and the careful, the cunning and the credulous, the worldling and the reckless. But kind hearts are also every where to be found; right intentions, genial minds, and private virtues.' ... We were about to say a few words touching the desideratum supplied by the establishment mentioned below, but · The Home Journal has anticipated us, in this brief paragraph of and concerning' 'Curious Furniture at Marley's in Ann-street, below Nassau: 'One of the greatest treats we have lately had, (in the way of idling the pinch of the quill out of our fingers,) has been the inspection of some most sumptuous specimens of Chinese furniture, for sale at MARLEY's in Ann-street. It was brought to this country by a wealthy oriental merchant, and is the first we have ever seen of the massive articles of that country's luxuries. Those who have acquired, in Europe, a distaste for the glaring look of newness, like furniture on show in the cabinet-maker's ware-room, which our New-York houses wear, will do well to step in and see something which looks as if the proprietor was well off before yesterday. MARLEY's rooms are a museum for such things, but what we speak of, forms just now the most attractive novelty.' Rare and elegant furniture, of all descriptions, with articles of vertu for parlors and dressing-rooms, may always be found at this popular depository. . . . We speak

by the card.' ... The last issoo' of the ‘Bunkum Flag-Staff has not reached our office. We fear that the harrassing - life of mind' which the editor has lately been leading has given him a brain-fever. But, as the late William COBBETT says, in his poem of Lallah-Rookh,' we hope for the best. ... We are well pleased to hear of the success of the New York Weekly Mirror.' Our friend Mr. FULLER finds leisure not only to attend to the duties of the honorable and lucrative station which he holds under UNCLE SAMUEL,' and to edit his sprightly and most readable daily journal, but also, with the aid of capable assistants, to make a most various and excellent weekly. ... The following lines have been handed us by a Scottish gentleman for many years connected with the public press at Aberdeen and an adjacent town of Scotland. They will derive an added interest at a period so near the startingpoint of Time in his annual career :

[blocks in formation]

Ilow do you like the New-lights?' was wont to ask Mr. Povey, as ' Dr. O'FLAIL, of poor Power,' as 'Dr. O'TOOLE.' 'Oh!' exclaims the latter, 'what, you mane the Gash-Lights! Be me sowl, they ’re gay and sparkling, now and ag'in ! And the same may be said of Mr. G. G. Foster's Gas-Light,' by which, in a recent volume of graphic sketches, published by Messrs. DEWITT AND DAVENPORT, he surveys New-York with the eye and pen of an artist. . . . Tue present number of the KNICKERBOCKER was ready for the binder on the twentieth of January. Hereafter the work will appear with unfailing punctuality on the first of each month in the Atlantic cities, and near that period in most of the cities of the Union. Correspondents, publishers, etc., will please to take note of this, and 'act accordingly. Our circulation in England, increased by the activity of our new agents in London, requires us to go to press at an early day, that the work may be in London as nearly as possible by the first of each month. ... CORRESPONDENTS must bear with us yet a little.'

[blocks in formation]

• The Hartz, the most northerly range of mountains in Germany, is about seventy miles long, and twenty to twenty-eight broad : it lies on the confines of Hanover, Brunswick, Anhalt, Bernburg, and Prussia, and is divided among them, though the largest share belongs to Hanover. The Brocken, the loftiest summit, is lower than the highest British mountains, but the Hartz chain rises alone, immediately out of a level plain extending all the way to the Baltic, whose inhabitants, accustomed to an uninterrupted flat, exaggerate both the elevation and the beauties of the only range of hills that falls within their observation.'

The above extract from • Murray's Hand-Book' may serve as a very general account of the Hartz mountains; and I beg the reader to bear with me, if in the following short narrative I confine myself principally to my personal adventures and experiences, however trifling they may be, while spending two or three days amid scenes so full of natural beauty, and made classic by the pen of the greatest poet of Germany.

The Hartz traveller from Berlin makes his first stop at the city of Magdeburg on the Elbe, the ancient capital of Northern Saxony, its medieval walls and fosses still stretching round about it, though the grass now grows in its streets ; in whose river-castle the famous Baron Trenck was long confined; where Luther, as a school-boy, sung hymns from door to door; which played so conspicuous a part in thirty years' war; and which was sacked by the Austrian general, Tilly, who slew thirty thousand of its inhabitants in revenge for their manful and obstinate resistance to his arms. I saw in the cathedral the helm and right gauntlet of this ferocious captain, whose name has come down to us through blood and smoke, a watch-word of terror, although history does not deny to it the praise of faithfulness and power. Austria and tyranny never seem to have lacked their Tillys; their supremely devoted, able, and VOL. XXXV.

13

successful champions. The cathedral of Magdeburg is a majestic pile, but rather bare and plain, when compared with the prodigious luxuriance of ornamental stone-carving, usual to Gothic structures of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. It contains some remarkable monuments, and among them the sepulchre of a noble Frau, who, after she had been buried some days, revived, came out of her tomb, returned to her husband and lived with him lovingly nine years longer. Those of my readers who desire to know more of this singular history, of the circumstances of this extraordinary revivification, and of the surprise, delight, or consternation of the husband, must of course go themselves to Magdeburg, and inquire of the pleasant old lady who told it to me. She will I doubt not, give them full and minute information, for she had a tongue in her head, and she loved to hear it wag.

I chatted with her full half an hour, standing in the cool shadow of the cathedral spire, while she gestured energetically with a bunch of keys nearly as large as her turban. She entered into all her family history. One of her boys had imbibed the religious gloom of the old church in his spirit, and he was going to be a preacher; another had studied its stones and its pillars, and followed with his childish eye its grandly springing arches, until they met and crossed in the high airy vault, and he was going to be a master mason. I left my old lady of the keys and took the post-wagen' to Halberstadt. This is a small city, still upon the plain, but within full sight of the 'green palaces' of the Hartz mountains. Having no companion with whom to make a pedestrian excursion, and there being no public conveyance to many of the interesting localities of the region, I found it necessary at Halberstadt to hire a small mountain curricle.

My coachman was a decayed postillion, who still wore jack-boots and the post-horn button, and had not forgotten the ancient knack of making his whip sound like the report of a horse-pistol. We commenced our journey in a severe rain storm, and for the first few miles encountered no animated existence, excepting occasional flocks of geese, each tended by its little griselda, who sat patiently knitting on a rock hard by, clad in red-petticoat and wooden shoes. But soon the clouds rolled away, and beneath the dewy glistening beams of the sun, a large company of Prussian lancers practising their morning exercises in a wide meadow at our side, formed a most lively picture. Some of them were picketted at great distance, others had alighted, and were standing in negligent attitudes by the sides of their horses, and others still were in full action, spurring their steeds and swinging their lances, while the officers at regular and central positions, sat upon their chargers immovable as statues. Before reaching the mountains, we passed through the quaint old town of Quedlinburg, the birth-place of that great genius Klopstock, that ushering star of German literature. The streets of this town were so narrow, that it seemed as if one, standing in the centre with his arms extended, might have grasped the noses of the red-faced burghers who puffed away in solemn rivalry at their miniature windows on either side. Soon, however, the steep frequent hills, the darklywooded valleys, the roaring shingly streams, and the bare granite rocks, informed us we had arrived at the Hartz highlands; and full noon found

us at the foot of the mountain, on whose summit stands the gray castle of Falkenstein.

I left my carriage at a small mill, and walked up the mountain under the guidance of the miller, the ruddiness of whose cheeks shone out through the meal which had lodged upon his whiskers. As soon as he discovered that I was from the New World, his conversation became very amusing. His idea of America seemed to be that of a vast dark forest, with three important clearings, named New-York, Boston, and Cincinnati. He wished to know what language Americans spoke; and he seemed to be surprised that I should have no personal acquaintance with a relative of his who had recently emigrated to the Western Continent.

I have been more than once astonished to find, even among educated Germans, how their ideas of the geography and topography of our country were, like my friend the miller's, limited to one or two of our principal cities. Professor Ritter lectures to them in vain. They do not seem to have the slightest comprehension of the names or extent of the different states, or of the great sectional divisions of the republic, such as New England, the Middle States, or the Western States. The United States they call North-America, and the city of New York generally embraces in their minds all that is habitable and civilized in the United States.

The first sight which greeted my eyes, on entering the walls of the castle, was an extraordinary one. In the ancient banqueting-hall, now used as a room of entertainment, sat twelve German students, be-spectacled, be-bloused, and be-bearded, who were smoking their pipes, roaring their songs, and quaffing white-beer, where of yore ruffled nobles gathered around the wassail-bowl, and satin-clad dames chatted of falcon-flying, and sipped Bordeaux. I visited all parts of this finely-preserved strong-hold; walked through sounding galleries studded with broad-branching trophies of the chase ; looked into the deserted chapel where the faded tapestry still mouldered over the elevated seat of the lord; peeped into gloomy chambers with pictured windows and carved oaken ceilings; climbed to the top of the loftiest watch-tower, and from its windy height, looked up and down the winding valley of the Selke, catching here and there glimpses of other towers, each on its solitary crag, and once tenanted, like this, with stern forms and stormy hearts, but now left to the possession of the bird and the beast, whose wild names and nests they seemed to emulate. Yet who, with a touch of enthusiasm in his nature, or with the faintest image of past time stamped upon his imagination, can stand upon spots like these, the silent homes of vanished chivalry, and not rush back in thought to its passionate and heroic age? When life was more crowded and more vivid ; when one bold strait road led up to Fame; when the simplicity of song stirred the soul to difficult deeds, and the approval of Beauty constituted their richest reward; when the eye experienced a childish delight in the pomp and bravery of power; when men's hearts were more simple, though we may call them deluded, and their actions more earnest, even though chargeable with madness and folly.

But peace to the ghost of ancient chivalry! We would not awake

« AnteriorContinuar »