ページの画像
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

BONN. 175

the Rhine, and its monuments lie so deep, that it is

not till recently, that many of them have been dug

up and brought to light. * *
There are some fine fresco paintings, by Maler

Gotzenberger, in one of the university rooms.

They are the Faculties of Philosophy, Theology, and Law. An allegorical female figure presides over each department. Alas! for the justice of the representation' while Philosophy is beautiful, Theology is unattractive and unlovely. The Genius of Law is dignified and fine. In the Faculty of Philosophy are attempted portraits of Homer and the Greek tragedians, of Plato, Socrates, and Phidias; one of Shakspeare; and a bountiful proportion of

Germans—Kant, Goethe, Schiller, &c.

We introduced ourselves to Professor A. W. Schlegel, who answered many inquiries about the state of things in Prussia—property, education, the army, &c.—all in a tone of great admiration for their government and institutions. In speaking of Goethe, he said, “We consider him the greatest poet of the age.” o As to the state of things in Prussia, appearances in the villages we have passed through are certainly very bad. The houses are poor, the streets very filthy, and the people look miserably. Ramparts, battlements, soldiers, appear everywhere, and everything looks like a military despotism. But another and more powerful army is arising in Prussia; and its spreading tents are the school. houses of the land. Prussia has established per haps the most perfect system of popular education in the world. At least it appears so on paper; I have some doubts whether its working is to produce as much intelligence as our own. Its patron and provider is the government; and hence all the machinery is likely to be more perfect. But whe. ther the result is likely to be as good, as in schools which are the objects of voluntary individual support and affection among the people, is the question. Still, however, be all praise given to the Prussian system. Whether its formers have their eyes open to the inevitable result, whether they suspect that they are depositing an element in the popular bosom which will yet shake the foundations of the government, may well admit of more than a doubt. But that a people really educated will longendure the crushing weight of the Prussian military establishment, that they will doom themselves and their wives and daughters to such unalleviated toil as lays its burden upon every limb and feature around me—that an enlightened population of thirteen or

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

WALLEY OF THE RHINE. 177

fourteen millions will consent to support nearly two hundred thousand regular troops, besides training more than three hundred thousand militia, is what no person who has studied the tendencies of

modern intelligence and consequent freedom, can

believe. Religion may be introduced into the
system, as it is well introduced into that of Prussia;
and the politician may look upon it as a useful
instrument to sustain the system or to countervail
its tendencies; but the issue is as inevitable as the
principles of human nature are certain.
MAYENCE. This valley of the Rhine is, indeed,
a glorious thing. It is all that I expected; it is
more. The entire route from Bonn to Mayence
is, as it were, through a grand gallery of the most
striking objects, in the departments both of scenery
and antiquities. The eye is absolutely satiated
with majestic old ruins; the imagination is wearied
out with calling up the scenes of history and ro-
mance, peace and war, life and death, that have
passed in them; one is exhausted and paralyzed
by the burden and pressure of his thoughts and
feelings; a day in riding through these scenes, is
as if one listened, all day, to inspiring and thrilling
music; his musings are all sighings, and aspira-
tions, and prayers; at every turn of the eye, he
can scarcely repress his tears. The memories of

a thousand years are around him at every step, At almost every great opening in the view of the banks of the Rhine, stupendous battlements and towers rise, from summit to summit, and upon one inaccessible crag after another—-twenty or thirty in number, during the two days' ride—all, save one, in ruins; almost all, with one grand towerin the centre, so firmly built that time has scarcely touched it; all built evidently for defence—upon heights so steep and stupendous, that it must have required strong heads to look down from their turrets and windows without shrinking. These objects are indeed the most striking; but to complete the view, the hills are everywhere clothed with vineyards, the banks every now and then spread into little valleys, sometimes into broad ones, as in the Rheingau; and the noble stream, varying in width from one to two thousand feet, imbosoms many islands. There is one thing to detract from the beauty of the Rhine, as well as of all the other principal rivers in Europe that I have seen, and that is, that the waters are turbid—owing, doubtless, to the clayey soils through which they pass. They are of a whitish colour, and no sky, however pure its azure, can give them the rich hue of our American StreamS,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

CONDITION OF THE PEOPLE, 179

In entering, at Bingen, the duchy of Hesse Darmstadt to-day, it was curious again to observe the immediate change in houses, countenances, circumstances, manners. The frame houses, filled in with brick or other materials, almost universal in Prussia, instantly and almost completely disappear; beggars gather around the carriage again, and this, too, though the country appears just as well off and even better; so that there must be a change of education and character to account for this, or else of police. - One thing in all these countries very much attracts our notice. All the people, literally all, live in crowded, and mostly dirty villages. Among all these rich fields and vine-clad hills, so beautiful for country seats and cottages, there is not one house—not one. There are no fine seats in the vicinity of the towns, with a little more space and decoration about them; but all habitation is confined to the dense, compact, crowded village. This, doubtless, was originally owing to the necessity of building for defence; and now, if the people had a taste for it, they are too poor to build for pleasure, abroad in the country. I should like to know what is the effect of this village life upon society. Is it as pure ? Is it not more kind, more social, less reserved, less cold 7

« 前へ次へ »