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. 208 Humanitas, letter from, describing the condition
Camphor, why is it rotary in water? 144--The
Female Fortitude. Importance of a Good Hand-
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Currency, readjustment of its numerical value,
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. . 835
LONDON SATURDAY JOURNAL
PUBLISHED BY WILLIAM SMITH, 113, FLEET STREET.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 4, 1840.
AN AUTUMN RAMBLE AMONG THE VINEYARDS OF THE RHEINLAND.
SINCE the navigation of the Rhine has been opened up by means of steam-boats, no part of the Continent has attracted so many visiters as the district of the Rheinland. While as yet steamboats were not, and the “wide and winding" river, unconscious of the music of the paddle-box, and dull "as the seas ere steam was made to hiss," floated, on its "proudly swelling breast of waters," no braver argosies than the sluggish and lumbering coche d'eau, (similar to our own old canal passage-boats,) the visitants to this terrene paradise (then, indeed, a Paradise Lost!) were few and far between. Now, however, their name-thanks to the wonder-working power of steam!—is Legion; and in the height of the season, not a day passes that the Rotterdam boat does not, in its upward voyage, bear a goodly freight of Syntaxes in search of the picturesque, who, like their namesake,
"Rave, and sketch, and madden round the land!"
Of course, the component parts of the cargo are somewhat heterogeneous" black spirits and white, red spirits and grey" English, Dutch, Belgian, French, &c. &c. &c. ; yet, on the whole, two nations may be said to predominate, the Dutch and the English.
In former times, your Dutchman was a living exemplar of the philosophical definition of the vis inertiæ—that a body in a state of rest has a tendency to remain in the same for ever. Torpid and dull as his own sluggish canals, like them he "creamed and mantled, and did a woeful stillness entertain." Like the stove in his room, he was a complete fixture; and like that, he showed no other signs of animation than the smoke he emitted. As to his forsaking his swamps and croaking nightingales, and going elsewhere in search of the picturesque, the bare idea was preposterous. Archimedes, in the pride of his philosophy, boasted that he would move the "great globe itself," could he but get a fitting fulcrum; but with this, and all appliances and means to boot, the Syracusan sage would vainly have applied his lever to the Dutch
Now-a-days, however, incredible as it may seem, your Hollander has become quite volatile and restless-so much so, that you might fancy him first cousin to St. Vitus. You find him blowing a cloud at the Falls of Schaffhausen, on the peaks of the Righi or the Jungfrau, and even amid the ruins of the "Eternal City." Scarcely has summer well commenced, before flocks of "flying Dutchmen" are on the wing, intent on migrating southwards; all ranks and ages combining, as it were,
"With one consent to rush into the Rhine.'
wonderful to meet with him here or anywhere. Indeed, we suspect that the wonder would be, to discover a corner where John is not to be found. Should Mr. Green succeed one of these days— and the odds are, perhaps, in its favour-in piloting his huge Nassau air-ship to the Lunar regions, we will lay an even bet that he finds friend Bull at table with the "Man in the Moon," washing down the "powdered beef, turnip, and carrot," with rummers of genuine Château Longueville and Montrose; such, if we may credit"Mad Tom," being the Lunar bill of fare.
Some idea may, perhaps, be formed of the swarms of English that annually ascend the Rhine, from the fact that the inns in this quarter, besides being furnished with the customary Fremdenbuch, or livre des étrangers, (in which all and sundry write down their names and additions, according to the statute to that end made and provided,) have, moreover, a second tome of goodly size, expressly for Messieurs les Anglais. This latter folio is in such request, that it is necessary to replace it more than once during the season. So very common, in fact, has a trip to the Rhine become now-a-days, that the denizens of Whitechapel and Mile-end take out a ticket for Mainz per Batavier, much as they do one for Herne Bay; and on their return talk of the Drachenfels, the Lorelei, and the Gewirr, as familiarly" as maids of fifteen do of puppy-dogs."
Notwithstanding, however, the numbers of our countrymen who annually repair to the Rhine in search of the picturesque, there are none, we shrewdly suspect, who become so little acquainted with the actual charms and beauties of this enchanting region. Nor is this at all surprising, if we take into consideration the mode in which the tour is usually performed; which, without exaggeration, is pretty much after the following fashion:-Having recovered from the fatigues of the sea-voyage, under the kind and Pays Bas" judicious treatment of the worthy landlord of the “ Hotel, our tourists, bidding adieu to the windmills of Rotterdam, embark on board the "Dampfschiff." In all probability, they spend a day in the city of the Three Kings, to take a peep at the cathedral, or at St. Ursula and her eleven thousand virgins, and pay a visit to Jean Maria Farina, in order to buy a case of the veritable "Eau de Cologne." * Another day, perhaps, is spent at Königswinter, to ascend the Drachenfels, and shake hands with the "castled crag ;" or to make a pilgrimage to the neighbouring "Nonnenwerder's cloisters pale," and, with Campbell in hand, drop a tear over the fate of "the brave Roland," and the "love
* Of this far-famed perfume Cologne boasteth a goodly host of fabricators— well nigh a hundred. The real Simon Pure is Jean Maria Farina; whose unpretending boutique is situated in the "Jülichsplatz," or Place de Juliers. Next to him rank Johann Maria Farina, (who displayeth no smali taste in the outer adornment of his flaskets,) Francis Maria Farina, and Anthon Zanolli. The last-mentioned distillateur prepares a mixture which he calls "Eau de Cologne double: " yet, albeit double in price, it is not of twofold excellence, being decidedly inferior to Jean Maria's. The latter gentleman is undoubtedly facile princeps among his rivals. His " entire" possesseth a certain indescribable nameless something which we miss in all the others. He retaileth the flasket at a shilling-coin of this realm; and those who purchase one or more cases (of six flaskets each) receive a certain rabat. Eau de Cologne may indeed be had, from one of the multitude, at sixpence a flasket; but such sus
picious mixtures we counsel thee, reader, to eschew:
"O, give us genuine eau, or give us none!"
Bradbury and Evans, Printers, Whitefriars.
liest maiden of Allémayne."* Coblenz, it may be, detains our travellers another day, that they may have the pleasure of reading on the very spot (how charming !) the "noble Childe's" lines about "Ehrenbreitstein's shattered walls," and all that sort of thing. This done, off they go! and steam it up to Mainz; sketching right and left, (and this, too, from the deck of a steam-boat!) quite in raptures with the rich succession of romantic scenery which deploys itself on this part of the river; and on landing at Mainz, they, nem. côn.
Was never scene so sweet, so fair!"
For the first time since they left Rotterdam, perhaps our party here forsake the steam boat, and make an excursion, en voiture, to Frankfort; after a due contemplation of the lions of which city -not forgetting Danneker's statue of Ariadne, and Mr. Jügel's pictures and prints-they return to Mainz. And here, with most folks, the tour is at an end. Some disciples, to be sure, of Ude and Kitchener, who are blest with what pbrenologists would term an exuberant gastronomic development, hold on as far as Strasburg-not, indeed, to feast on the Minster, but on the fole gras; the odours of which allure these eagles of the cuisine to the carcass. A scantling, too, of the lovers of cascade scenery ascend even to Schaffhausen. By far the greater number of English tourists stop, however, at Mainz, and thence descend by steamsteam again!-to Rotterdam, where the Batavier receives them once more into its capacious cabin for London; the tour having occupied, counting from the time they embarked at the Tower stairs to their landing at the same, little more than two weeks. If people, on their return home, after this rapid way of doing business, are quite in raptures with the Rhine,-why, then, all's well. If, however, some grumbling individual should venture to
observe, that, after all he had read and heard on the subject, he was a leetle disappointed, we can only answer, by way of comfort (cold enough, perhaps), so we should think. Why, what else could the man expect that thus glues himself to the steam-boat? The endless beauties of the Rhenish scenery are only to be enjoyed from the banks, ascending a height now on this side, and now on that; anon peeping into this vineyard, or diving into that dell. To expect that we are to see all the fine sights merely by opening our eyes on the deck of a steam-boat, is surely, to say the least, somewhat unreasonable. Of this we are convinced, that no one,
who goes about the business in a proper way, will be disappointed; except, indeed, those Sir Oracles who travel from Dan to Beersheba, and find it all barren.
Mistake us not, gentlest of readers, as if we found fault with those individuals, who having only two or three weeks at most to spare, dedicate it to a steam-trip up the Rhine. No such, if they would have a peep of the Rheinland, can only have it from the deck of a steam-boat; and, after all, their time and money are, perhaps, not ill bestowed. Our quarrel is with those who have no such excuse: that numerous class who have more time on their hands than they can manage to kill-who, sated with the dull monotony
*The hapless loves of the "brave Roland' and the fair Cunegonda, or Bertha, (for the Chronicles are not consentient in the name of the lady,) have been "married to immortal verse" by Schiller and Campbell. The former,
however, has transferred the scene of his ballad (wherefore is not very apparent)
to Switzerland; while his brother bard, more true to the legend, has preserved its local habitation on the banks of the Rhine, in the vicinage of the Siebengebirge, the isle of Nonnenwerth, and Rolandseck. During several years that we spent in this neighbourhood the "Nonnenwerder's cloisters pale were doing service as an hotel. Its fish dinners were famed far and near: its anguilles en matelot and carpe à la crême were superb, and its cellars (like all convent cellars) were plenished with the choicest juices of the Rhine. Latterly the hotel wanted a tenant, and there was some talk of making a lottery of the island and convent; but what came of it we know not, as our destiny carried us into another and distant region about this time.
of a too-tranquil existence, take to travelling, much for the same reason that Pat took his wife, to make him unaisy. Such, we think, might do far better, and if they will allow us to be their guide, we promise to put them on a plan whereby they will not only rid themselves of their superfluous time, but be enabled actually to enjoy the scenery of the Rhine. A residence of several years in various parts of the Rheinland, with constant rambles by steam, horseback, voiture, and foot, nearly along the whole length of the river, has familiarised us so perfectly with all its features, that the whole panorama, from Schaffhausen to Rotterdam, is vividly depicted on our mental retina: in the words of Comus, somewhat altered,
"We know each vineyard, every wooded knoll,
To begin, then, with the beginning ;-we must observe, that no one need expect to become acquainted, at least in any satisfactory degree, with the beauties of the Rheinland landscapes, who puts his trust in steam-boats. If the tourist cannot make up his mind to shoulder his knapsack, and, staff in hand, to trudge along, up hill and down dale, he must, at least, make up his mind to lose much of what he goes in quest of. If he will have the steam-boat, the whole steam-boat, and nothing but the steam-boat; if, instead of taking the trouble to go in search of the Romantic and the Beautiful, he expects that these fair damsels are to come of their own accord to pay him a visit on board the Dampfschiff, he may, peradventure, find himself woefully disappointed. Of game of all sorts there is, assuredly, no lack in this region; but if the sportsman be too lazy to "hunt the deer with hound and horn," he must forego his haunch of venison, and eke his "pasties of the "First catch your hare," says the judicious Mrs. Glasse, doe." in initiating the profane into the mysteries of hare-soup making. Imitating this golden rule, which is of universal application, we say to the picturesque hunter, "First catch your landscape:" that is, being interpreted, stand not transfixed to the deck of the Friedrich Wilhelm, or the Marianne, with thy hands in the pockets of thy snow-white dimity unmentionables; staring in stupid bewilderment around thee, thy mouth wide agape, as if in hopes that a shower of larks, piping hot, were about to descend to the tune of "All hot! all hot!' Incontinently sever thy timber-make for terra firma-give the vapouring boat leg-bail-shoulder thy crutch -to the right about-March! This do, and trust an old stager for once, you shall see what you shall see,-ay, and something besides. On all occasions, indeed, we are strenuous advocates for the primitive mode of travelling; quite agreeing with Miss Martineau, that your pedestrian is the only one who really travels to any purpose. If this be true in the general case, it is particularly so as regards the scenery of the Rhine; which, we must again and again repeat, is only to be enjoyed by him who takes the trouble to trudge along the banks of the river,† exploring with care every "Dingle and bushy dell of this fair scene."
Let us whisper, too, in thine ear, tourist in posse, that the flask of Marcobrunner or Laubenheimer, wherewith, seated on some "coigne of vantage" overlooking the river, thou assuagest the meridian heat, will seem to thee quite another beverage, when enjoyed al fresco after a morning's ramble, than erewhile in the cribbed and confined cabin of the steam-boat.
Having thus shown you how you are to travel, we will now, with your leave, instruct you when you are to travel.
"Which is the best time for visiting the Rhine?" indeed! Were we to answer this question as our own feelings would dictate, we should be inclined to say, "The whole year round." Nothing can be more delightful than a Spring ramble on the Rhine, when the vineyards are in full blow, when "the vines with the tender grape give a good smell." The luxury of dropping
Not that we mean entirely to discard steam; 'tis all very well in its right place that is, by way of a finish; of which more afterwards,
quietly down the river in your boat, on a lovely morning in May, when every sense is refreshed by "gentle gales,"
"fanning their odoriferous wings,
And whispering whence they stole their balmy spoils,"
is exquisite in the extreme! Nor less so is it, to stray along the banks, or through the vineyards, when "day her sultry fire hath wasted," in the cool of the evening:
"What time 'tis sweet
To scent the breathing vines at set of day."
How lovely, too, appear the vine-clad slopes, when "rosy Summer," rushing into the embraces of her bright-haired sire, empur. ples the landscape with her blushes; while, "from his watchtower in the skies," that "blithe spirit," so sweetly sung by the lamented Shelley, rains down a shower of melody
"That steeps the sense in the soft dews of sleep! "
Nay, even when Winter "rules the inverted year," making the green one white, and hangs, as if in derision, his glittering but barren icicles on vines that lately bowed beneath treasures of gold and purple; yea, even then, much-loved Rhine, as we have strayed along thy banks, and mused on thy "castled crags," where sign of life was not, save the "ivy never sere," have we not felt that it was good for us to be there?
But chiefly when the "queen of vintage," buxom-brown Autumn, cometh (not to speak it profanely) with dyed garments, glorious in her apparel, to tread out the wine-press, whose fatness maketh the heart of man glad, doth this delightful region wear its most joyous aspect. Then truly every little hill becometh, for the
figuration, and one universal tabernacle is erected unto Mirth. At this season, when "jest and youthful jollity" are in the ascendant, reader, do we counsel thee to make thy first acquaintance with the Rhine. For then, not only is the mirth which is rife in the land infectious, but the "mellowing year" bestows upon the aspect of externe things a grace beyond the reach of flaunting Summer. Then, too, when thy heart floweth over with
"Dance, and Provençal song, and sun-burnt mirth," and thou must, perforce, for a season cry Hold, enough!" thou mayest in some "close covert," keep consort with the "mute Silence" and the "cherub Contemplation;" thy reveries undisturbed by aught save the breeze of Autumn, that, sighing overhead amid the sere leaves, doth "smooth the raven-down" of thy pensive thoughts. Beshrew us! but thy heart must be made of sterner stuff" than we wot of, if it find not fitting response to its emotions, whether "grave or gay, or lively or severe," in an Autumn ramble in the Rheinland.
As the "gathering of the grape," or "Weinlese," varies considerably in point of time along the river, (being always later the higher you ascend,) the tourist may thus enjoy, by timing his movements accordingly, one uninterrupted vintage holiday of eight or more weeks. To effect this in the most agreeable way, he should be at his post on the outskirts of the vine district, in the first or second week of September. Perhaps Bonn is the most eligible station to select for this purpose; as being not only, so to speak, the "ultima Thule" of the vine, but also the spot where the Rhine begins first to unfold its charms: and here, then, should thy tent, adventurous tourist, be pitched at the time indicated. The vine, indeed, makes its appearance several miles below Bonn; but it is in the immediate vicinage of this place that the first symptoms of a vintage present themselves.
To make our approach, however, by just gradation, we will first land thee on the "Boomjies" at Rotterdam. We perceive that the "salt-sea foam" hath somewhat disturbed thy internal equilibrium. Tut! man, 'tis but a trifle, and it will go hard if thou do not speedily regain thy" wonted state" under the skilful treatment of our worthy friend, Mr. Walter, of the "Pays Bas;" that prince of aubergistes. Trust us, he will in a trice pluck out the "rooted sorrow;" and he administereth his lenitives with so much of the genuine suaviter in modo, as materiaily to enhance their beneficial effects. For the present, then, we bequeath thee to his safe-keeping.
"To-morrow to fresh scenes, and pastures new!"
AND HIS STORY OF THE BATTLE OF COPENHAGEN AND THE WOUNDED LIEUTENANT.
HEAVEN knows how old Jack Truesail came by his extreme sensibility, but he certainly had a very unusual share of it, since it gave him the name in which he figures in the title of this paper. He was, in truth, a perfect martyr to his feelings, especially on one particular subject; and often did we wonder how one so constituted had ever become a man-of-war's man; but this he had been
in his day, and for many years too.
He was a little, weatherbeaten-faced old man, who eked out the scanty subsistence afforded by a small pension by working as a jobbing porter, in which capacity we frequently employed him, as he was an honest, civil, and obliging creature, with some very amusing eccentricities of manner and character.
Jack had been jobbing with us for some time, when a friend, who had known him longer, and therefore better than we did, came in, and on perceiving him at work, exclaimed, "Ah, Jack! are you here too?"
"Yes, sir," replied Jack, touching his hat respectfully.
"Has Jack," said our friend, turning to us with a significant look, which, however, we did not at the time understand, "has Jack ever told you the story of the battle of Copenhagen and the wounded lieutenant ?"
We replied he had not.
"Oh, then," said our friend, "that's a treat to come."
Curious to hear Jack's story, and the business in hand at the
"Come then, Jack," said our friend, "give it us; give us the story of the battle of Copenhagen and the wounded lieutenant." Jack smoothed down his hair, turned his quid in his mouth, and in a bold and confident tone began—
"Well, you see, gentlemen, at the time of this here affair of Copenhagen, I sarved on board the Dareall; and as fine a ship she was as ever swum on salt water. She, carried fifty-six guns, and 450 men; all as pretty fellows as ever wore check shirts. We had some fine fellows of officers too, especially our first leeftenant-a real good soul as ever trod a quarter-deck. Well, d'ye see, before the battle began, our ship was stationed just right opposite the Crown Battery, one of the most bloodiest sitiations in the
whole line. Never mind, my boys; there we were, not a bit afeard, and every man of us ready to do his dooty. Well, d'ye see, the battle began, and at the first fire, [here we thought Jack's voice became a little tremulous,] our poor leeftenant [Jack's emotion was here quite marked] received-a-shot-in-thethigh." A pause; Jack couldn't go on. He made an effort to resume. "Yes, poor fellow, a shot in the thigh. Well, in three minutes after, he-he-he-"
could not utter another word, but blubbered like a child. Here Jack fairly broke down; his feelings overcame him; he
"I see, Jack, you can't get on," said our friend; "you'll give us the rest some other time;" and struggling to suppress a laugh, which we thought not very creditable to his feelings, he abruptly bade us good morning, and rushed out without one word of explanation.
Sympathising with poor Jack's feelings, we also withdrew, leaving him to finish his work, and regain his composure. We thought it would be cruel to press him to complete his story in his then excited state of mind; so resolved on delaying the gratification of my curiosity till some other opportunity.
One half-idle afternoon, about a week after this, suddenly recollecting Jack's unfinished tale, we strolled into an adjoining apartment, where he was at work, seated ourselves on a bale of goods, and reminding him of the circumstance, requested he would give us the remainder of the story of the battle of Copenhagen and the wounded lieutenant. Jack raised himself from the work on which he was engaged, stroked down his hair, as before, turned his quid, and looking at us with a smile, said