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A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume Three
by Thomas Frognall Dibdin
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And now, my good friend, methinks I have given you a pretty fair account of the more prominent features of this city—in regard to its public sights; whether as connected with still or active life: as churches, palaces, or theatres. It remains, therefore, to return again, briefly, but yet willingly, to the subject of BOOKS; or rather, to the notice of two Private Collections, especially deserving of description—and of which, the first is that of the EMPEROR HIMSELF.

His Majesty's collection of Books and Prints is kept upon the second and third floors of a portion of the building connected with the great Imperial library. Mr. T. YOUNG is the librarian; and he also holds the honourable office of being Secretary of his Majesty's privy council. He is well deserving of both situations, for he fills them with ability and success. He has the perfect appearance of an Englishman, both in figure and face. As he speaks French readily and perfectly well, our interviews have been frequent, and our conversations such as have led me to think that we shall not easily forget each other. But for the library, of which he is the guardian. It is contained in three or four rooms of moderate dimensions, and has very much the appearance of an English Country Gentleman's collection of about 10,000 volumes. The bindings are generally in good taste: in full-gilt light and gray calf—with occasional folios and quartos resplendent in morocco and gold. I hardly know when I have seen a more cheerful and comfortable looking library; and was equally gratified to find such a copious sprinkling of publications from Old England.

But my immediate, and indeed principal object, was, a list of a few of the Rarities of the Emperor's private collection, as well in ms. as in print. Mr. Young placed before me much that was exquisite and interesting in the former, and splendid and creditable in the latter, department. He begged of me to judge with my own eyes, and determine for myself; and he would then supply me with a list of what he considered to be most valuable and splendid in the collection. Accordingly, what here ensues, must be considered as the united descriptions of my guide and myself:—Mr. Young having composed his memoranda in the Latin language. First, of the MANUSCRIPTS. The Gospels; a vellum folio:—with illuminated capitals, and thirteen larger paintings, supposed to be of the thirteenth—but I suspect rather of the fourteenth—century. A Breviary ... "for the use of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy" This vellum MS. is of the fifteenth century, and was executed for the distinguished character to whom it is expressly dedicated. This is really an elegant volume: written in the gothic character of the period, and sprinkled with marginal and capital initial decorations. Here are—as usual in works of this kind, executed for princes and great men—divers illuminations of figures of saints, of which there are three of larger size than the rest: and, of these three, one is eminently interesting, as exhibiting a small portrait of DUKE CHARLES himself, kneeling before his tutelary saint.

Here is an exceedingly pretty octavo volume of Hours, of the fifteenth century, fresh and sparkling in its illuminations, with marginal decorations of flowers, monsters, and capriccios. It is in the binding of the time—the wood, covered with gilt ornaments. Office of the Virgin: a neat vellum MS. of the fourteenth century—with ornamented capital initials and margins, and about two dozen of larger illuminations. But the chief attraction of this MS. arises from the text having been written by four of the most celebrated Princesses of the House of Austria, whose names are inscribed in the first fly leaf.

Here is a "Boccace des Cas des Nobles" by Laurent Premier Fait—which is indeed every where. Nor must a sprinkle of Roman Classics be omitted to be noticed, however briefly. A Celsus, Portions of Livy, the Metamorphosis of Ovid, Seneca's Tragedies, the AEneid of Virgil, and Juvenal: none, I think, of a later period than the beginning or middle of the fifteenth century—just before the invention of printing. Among the MSS. of a miscellaneous class, are two which I was well pleased to examine: namely, the Funerailles des Reines de France, in folio—adorned with eleven large illuminations of royal funerals—and a work entitled Mayni Jasonis Juris consulti Eq. Rom. Caes., &c, Epitalamion, in 4to. The latter MS. is, in short, an epithalamium upon the marriage of Maximilian the Great and Blanche Maria, composed by M. Jaso, who was a ducal senator, and attached to the embassy which returned with the destined bride for Maximilian. What is its chief ornament, in my estimation, are two sweetly executed small portraits of the royal husband and his consort. I was earnest to have fac-similes of them; and Mr. Young gave me the strongest assurances that my wishes should be attended to.[148] Thus much; or perhaps thus little, for the MSS. Still more brief must be my account of the PRINTED BOOKS: and first for a fifteener or two. It is an edition of Dio Chrysostom de Regno, without date, or name of printer, in 4to.; but most decidedly executed (as I told Mr. Young) by Valdarfer. What renders this copy exceedingly precious is, that it is printed UPON VELLUM; and is, I think, the only known copy so executed. It is in beautiful condition. Here is a pretty volume of Hours, in Latin, with a French metrical version, printed in the fifteenth century, without date, and struck off UPON VELLUM. It has wood-cuts, which are coloured of the time. From a copy of ms. verses, at the beginning of the volume, we learn that "the author of this metrical version was Peter Gringore, commonly called Vaudemont, herald at arms to the Duke of Lorraine; who dedicated and brought this very copy to Renatus of Bourbon." I was much struck with a magnificent folio Missal, printed at Venice by that skilful typographical artist I.H. de Landoia, in 1488—UPON VELLUM: with the cuts coloured.[149] A few small vellum Hours by Vostre and Vivian are sufficiently pretty.

In the class of books printed upon vellum, and continuing with the sixteenth century, I must not fail to commence with the notice of two copies of the Tewrdannckh, each of the date of 1517, and each UPON VELLUM. One is coloured, and the other not coloured. Mr. Young describes the former in the following animated language: "Exemplar omnibus numeris absolutum, optimeque servatum. Praestantissimum, rarissimumque tum typographicae, tum xylographicae artis, monumentum." Lucani Pharsalia, 1811. Folio. Printed by Degen. A beautiful copy, of a magnificent book, UPON VELLUM; illustrated by ten copper plates. M.C. Frontonis Opera: edidit Maius Mediol. 1815. 4to. An unique copy; upon vellum. Flore Medicale decrite par Chaumeton & peinte par Mme. E. Panckoucke & I.F. Turpin. Paris, 1814. Supposed to be unique, as a vellum copy; with the original drawings, and the cuts printed in bistre. Here is also a magnificent work, called "Omaggio delle Provincie Venetae" upon the nuptials of the present Emperor and Empress of Austria. It consists of seventeen copper-plates, printed upon vellum, and preserved in two cases, covered with beautiful ornaments and figures, in worked gold and silver, &c. Of this magnificent production of art, there were two copies only printed upon vellum, and this is one of them.

Up stairs, on the third floor, is kept his Majesty's COLLECTION of ENGRAVED PORTRAITS—which amount, as Mr. Young informed me, to not fewer than 120,000 in number. They commence with the earliest series, from the old German and Italian masters, and descend regularly to our own times. Of course such a collection contains very much that is exquisite and rare in the series of British Portraits. Mr. Young is an Italian by birth; but has been nurtured, from earliest youth, in the Austrian dominions. He is a man of strong cultivated parts, and so fond of the literature of the "Zodiacus Vitae" of Marcellus Palingenius—translated by our Barnabe Googe: of the editions of which translation he was very desirous that I should procure him a copious and correct list. But it is the gentle and obliging manners—the frank and open-hearted conversation—and, above all, the high-minded devotedness to his Royal master and to his interests, that attach, and ever will attach, Mr. Young to me—by ties of no easily dissoluble nature. We have parted ... perhaps never to meet again; but he may rest assured that the recollection of his kindnesses ("Semper honos nomenque," &c.) will never be obliterated from my memory.[150]

Scarcely a stone's throw from the Imperial Library, is the noble mansion of the venerable DUKE ALBERT of Saxe-Teschen: the husband of the lady to whose memory Canova has erected the proudest trophy of his art. This amiable and accomplished nobleman has turned his eightieth year; and is most liberal and kind in the display of all the treasures which belong to him.[151] These "treasures" are of a first-rate character; both as to Drawings and Prints. He has no rival in the former department, and even surpasses the Emperor in the latter. I visited and examined his collection (necessarily in a superficial manner) twice; paying only particular attention to the drawings of the Italian school—including those of Claude Lorraine. I do not know what is in our own royal collection, but I may safely say that our friend Mr. Ottley has some finer Michel Angelos and Raffaelles—and the Duke of Devonshire towers, beyond all competition, in the possession of Claude Lorraines. Yet you are to know that the drawings of Duke Albert amount to nearly 12,000 in number. They are admirably well arranged—in a large, light room—overlooking the ramparts. Having so recently examined the productions of the earlier masters in the German school, at Munich—but more particularly in Prince Eugene's collection of prints, in the Imperial Library here—I did not care to look after those specimens of the same masters which were in the port folios of the Duke Albert. The Albert Durer drawings, however, excited my attention, and extorted the warmest commendation. It is quite delightful to learn (for so M. Bartsch told me—the Duke himself being just now at Baden) that this dignified and truly respectable old man, yet takes delight in the treasures of his own incomparable collection. "Whenever I visit him (said my "fidus Achates" M.B.) he begs me to take a chair and sit beside him; and is anxious to obtain intelligence of any thing curious, or rare, or beautiful, which may add to the worth of his collection."

It is now high time, methinks, to take leave not only of public and private collections of books, but of almost every thing else in Vienna. Yet I must add a word connected with literature and the fine arts. As to the former, it seems to sleep soundly. Few or no literary societies are encouraged, few public discussions are tolerated, and the capital of the empire is without either reviews or institutions—which can bear the least comparison with our own. The library of the University is said, however, to hold fourscore thousand volumes. Few critical works are published there; and for one Greek or Roman classic put forth at Vienna, they have half a score at Leipsic, Franckfort, Leyden, and Strasbourg. But in Oriental literature, M. Hammer is a tower of strength, and justly considered to be the pride of his country. The Academy of Painting is here a mere shadow of a shade. In the fine arts, Munich is as six to one beyond Vienna. A torpidity, amounting to infatuation, seems to possess those public men who have influence both on the councils and prosperity of their country. When the impulse for talent, furnished by the antique gems belonging to the Imperial collection,[152] is considered, it is surprising how little has been accomplished at Vienna for the last century. M. Bartsch is, however, a proud exception to any reproach arising from the want of indigenous talent. His name and performances alone are a host against such captious imputations.[153] There wants only a few wiser heads, and more active spirits, in some of the upper circles of society, and Vienna might produce graphic works as splendid as they would be permanent.

We will now leave the city for the country, or rather for the immediate neighbourhood of Vienna; and then, having, I think, sent you a good long Vienna despatch, must hasten to take leave—not only of yourself, but of this metropolis. Whether I shall again write to you before I cross the Rhine on my return home—is quite uncertain. Let me therefore make the most of the present: which indeed is of a most unconscionable length. Turn, for one moment, to the opening of it—and note, there, some mention made of certain monasteries—one of which is situated at CLOSTERNEUBURG, the other in the suburbs. I will first take you to the former—a pleasant drive of about nine miles from hence. Mr. Lewis, myself, and our attendant Rohfritsch, hired a pair of horses for the day; and an hour and a half brought us to a good inn, or Restaurateur's immediately opposite the monastery in question. In our route thither, the Danube continued in sight all the way—which rendered the drive very pleasant. The river may be the best part of a mile broad, near the monastery. The sight of the building in question was not very imposing, after those which I had seen in my route to Vienna. The monastery is, in fact, an incomplete edifice; but the foundations of the building are of an ancient date.[154] Having postponed our dinner to a comparatively late hour, I entered, as usual, upon the business of the monastic visit. The court-yard, or quadrangle, had a mean appearance; but I saw enough of architectural splendour to convince me that, if this monastery had been completed according to the original design, it would have ranked among the noblest in Austria.

On obtaining admission, I enquired for the librarian, but was told that he had not yet (two o'clock) risen from dinner. I apologised for the intrusion, and begged respectfully to be allowed to wait till he should be disposed to leave the dining-room. The attendant, however, would admit of no such arrangement; for he instantly disappeared, and returned with a monk, habited in the Augustine garb, with a grave aspect and measured step. He might be somewhere about forty years of age. As he did not understand a word of French, it became necessary again to brush up my Latin. He begged I would follow him up stairs, and in the way to the library, would not allow me to utter one word further in apology for my supposed rudeness in bringing him thus abruptly from his "symposium." A more good natured man seemingly never opened his lips. Having reached the library, the first thing he placed before me—as the boast and triumph of their establishment—was, a large paper copy (in quarto) of an edition of the Hebrew Bible, edited by I. Hahn, one of their fraternity, and published in 1806, 4 vols.[155] This was accomplished under the patronage of the Head of the Monastery, Gaudentius Dunkler: who was at the sole expense of the paper and of procuring new Hebrew types. I threw my eye over the dedication to the President, by Hahn, and saw the former with pleasure recognised as the MODERN XIMENES.

Having thanked the librarian for a sight of these volumes—of which there is an impression in an octavo and cheap form, "for the use of youth"—I begged that I might have a sight of the Incunabula Typographica of which I had heard a high character. He smiled, and said that a few minutes would suffice to undeceive me in this particular. Whereupon he placed before me ... such a set of genuine, unsoiled, uncropt, undoctored, ponderous folio tomes ... as verily caused my eyes to sparkle, and my heart to leap! They were, upon the whole—-and for their number—such copies as I had never before seen. You have here a very accurate account of them—taken, with the said copies "oculis subjectis." St. Austin de Civitate Dei, 1467. Folio. A very large and sound copy, in the original binding of wood; but not free from a good deal of ms. annotation. Mentelin's German Bible; somewhat cropt, and in its second binding, but sound and perfect. Supposed first German Bible: a large and fine copy, in its first binding of wood. Apuleius, 1469. Folio. The largest and finest copy which, I think, I ever beheld—with the exception of some slight worm holes at the end. Livius, 1470. Folio. 2 vols. Printed by V. de Spira. In the original binding. When I say that this copy appears to be full as fine as that in the collection of Mr. Grenville, I bestow upon it the highest possible commendation. Plutarchi Vit. Parall. 2 vol. Folio. In the well known peculiarly shaped letter R. This copy, in one magnificent folio volume, is the largest and finest I ever saw: but—eheu! a few leaves are wanting at the end. Polybius. Lat. 1473. Folio. The printers are Sweynheym and Pannartz. A large, fine copy; in the original binding of wood: but four leaves at the end, with a strong foxy tint at top, are worm-eaten in the middle.

Let me pursue this amusing strain; for I have rarely, within so small a space—in any monastic library I have hitherto visited—found such a sprinkling of classical volumes. Plinius Senior, 1472. Folio. Printed by Jenson. A prodigiously fine, large copy. A ms. note, prefixed, says: "hunc librum comparuit Jacobus Pemperl pro viij t d. an [14]88," &c. Xenophontis Cyropaedia. Lat. Curante Philelpho. With the date of the translation, 1467. A very fine copy of a well printed book. Mammotrectus, 1470. Folio. Printed by Schoeffher. A fine, white, tall copy; in its original wooden binding. Sti. Jeronimi Epistolae. 1470. Folio. Printed by Sweynheym and Pannartz. In one volume: for size and condition probably unrivalled. In its first binding of wood. Gratiani Decretales. 1472. Folio. Printed by Schoeffher. UPON VELLUM: in one enormous folio volume, and in an unrivalled state of perfection. Perhaps, upon the whole, the finest vellum Schoeffher in existence. It is in its original binding, but some of the leaves are loose. Opus Consiliorum I. de Calderi. 1472. Idem Opus: Anthonii de Burtrio. 1472. Folio. Each work printed by Adam Rot, Metensis: a rare printer, but of whose performances I have now seen a good number of specimens. These works are in one volume, and the present is a fine sound copy. Petri Lombardi Quat. Lib. Sentent. Folio. This book is without name of printer or date; but I should conjecture it to be executed in Eggesteyn's largest gothic character, and, from a ms. memorandum at the end, we are quite sure that the book was printed in 1471 at latest. The memorandum is as follows: "Iste liber est magistri Leonardi Fruman de Hyersaw, 1471."

Such appeared to me to be the choicer, and more to be desiderated, volumes in the monastic library of Closterneuberg—which a visit of about a couple of hours only enabled me to examine. I say "desiderated"—my good friend—because, on returning home, I revolved within myself what might be done with propriety towards the possession of them.[156] Having thanked the worthy librarian, and expressed the very great satisfaction afforded me by a sight of the books in question—which had fully answered the high character given of them—I returned to the auberge—dined with an increased appetite in consequence of such a sight—and, picking up a "white stone," as a lucky omen, being at the very extent of my Bibliographical, Antiquarian, and Picturesque Tour—returned to Vienna, to a late cup of tea; well satisfied, in every respect, with this most agreeable excursion.

There now remains but one more subject to be noticed—and, then, farewell to this city—and hie for Manheim, Paris, and Old England! That one subject is again connected with old books and an old Monastery ... which indeed the opening of this letter leads you to anticipate. In that part of the vast suburbs of Vienna which faces the north, and which is called the ROSSAU—there stands a church and a Capuchin convent, of some two centuries antiquity: the latter, now far gone to decay both in the building and revenues. The outer gate of the convent was opened—as at the Capuchin convent which contains the imperial sepulchres—by a man with a long, bushy, and wiry beard ... who could not speak one word of French. I was alone, and a hackney coach had conveyed me thither. What was to be done. "Bibliothecam hujusce Monasterii valde videre cupio—licetne Domine?" The monk answered my interrogatory with a sonorous "imo:" and the gates closing upon us, I found myself in the cloisters—where my attendant left me, to seek the Principal and librarian. In two minutes, I observed a couple of portly Capuchins, pacing the pavement of the cloister, and approaching me with rather a hurried step. On meeting, they saluted me formally—and assuming a cheerful air, begged to conduct me to the library. We were quickly within a room, of very moderate dimensions, divided into two compartments, of which the shelves were literally thronged and crammed with books, lying in all directions, and completely covered with dust. It was impossible to make a selection from such an indigested farrago: but the backs happening to be lettered, this afforded me considerable facility. I was told that the "WHOLE LIBRARY WAS AT MY DISPOSAL!"—which intelligence surprised and somewhat staggered me. The monks seemed to enjoy my expression of astonishment.

I went to work quickly; and after upwards of an hour's severe rummaging, among uninteresting folios and quartos of medicine, canon-law, scholastic metaphysics, and dry comments upon the decretals of Popes Boniface and Gratian—it was rather from courtesy, than complete satisfaction, that I pitched upon a few ... of a miscellaneous description—begging to have the account, for which the money should be immediately forthcoming. They replied that my wishes should be instantly attended to—but that it would be necessary to consult together to reconsider the prices—and that a porter should be at the hotel of the Crown of Hungary, with the volumes selected—to await my final decision. As a book-bill sent from a monastery, and written in the Latin language, may be considered unique in our country—and a curiosity among the Roxburghers —I venture to send you a transcript of it: premising, that I retained the books, and paid down the money: somewhere about 6l. 16s. 6d. You will necessarily smile at the epithets bestowed upon your friend.

Plurimum Reverende, ac Venerande Domine!

Mitto cum hisce, quos tibi seligere placuit, libros, eosdemque hic breviter describo, addito pretio, quo nobis conventum est; et quidem ex catalogo desumptos:

Florins. Missale Rom. pro Pataviensis Ecclae ritu. 1494 5 Missa defunctorum. 1499 3 Val. Martialis Epigrammatum opus. 1475 25 Xenophontis Apologia Socratis 3 Epulario &c. 1 De Conceptu et triplici Mariae V. Candore 1 ac demum Trithemii Annales Hirsaug. et Aristotelis opera Edit. Sylburgii 35 ——- 73 Quae cuncta Tibi optime convenire, Teque valere perpetim precor et opto.

P. JOAN. SARCANDER MRA. Ord. Serv. B.M.V.

This is the last bibliomaniacal transaction in which I am likely to be engaged at Vienna; for, within thirty-six hours from hence, the post horses will be in the archway of this hotel, with their heads turned towards Old England. In that direction my face will be also turned ... for the next month or five weeks to come; being resolved upon spending the best part of a fortnight of those five weeks, at Ratisbon, Nuremberg, and Manheim. You may therefore expect to hear from me again—certainly for the last time—at Manheim, just before crossing the Rhine for Chalons sur Marne, Metz, and Paris. I shall necessarily have but little leisure on the road—for a journey of full 500 miles is to be encountered before I reach the hither bank of the Rhine at Manheim.

Farewell then to VIENNA:—a long, and perhaps final farewell! If I have arrived at a moment when this capital is comparatively thinned of its population, and bereft of its courtly splendors—and if this city may be said to be now dull, compared with what its winter gaieties will render it—I shall nevertheless not have visited it IN VAIN. Books, whether as MSS. or printed volumes, have been inspected by me with an earnestness and profitable result—not exceeded by any previous similar application: while the company of men of worth, of talents, and of kindred tastes, has rendered my social happiness complete. The best of hearts, and the friendliest of dispositions, are surely to be found in the capital of Austria. Farewell. It is almost the hour of midnight—and not a single note of the harp or violin is to be heard in the streets. The moon shines softly and sweetly. God bless you.

[134] In Hartman Schedel's time, these suburbs seem to have been equally distinguished. "Habet (says he, speaking of Vienna) SUBURBIA MAXIMA et AMBICIOSA." Chron. Norimb. 1493. fol. xcviii. rev.

[135] Schedel's general description of the city of Vienna, which is equally brief and spirited, may deserve to be quoted. "VIENNA autem urbs magnifica ambitu murorum cingitur duorum millium passuum: habet fossa et vallo cincta: urbs autem fossatum magnum habet: undique aggerem prealtum: menia deinde spissa et sublimia frequentesque turres; et propugnacula ad bellum prompta. AEdes civium amplae et ornatae: structura solida et firma, altae domorum facies magnificaeque visuntur. Unum id dedecori est, quod tecta plerumque ligna contegunt pauca lateres. Cetera edificia muro lapideo consistunt. Pictae domus, et interius et exterius splendent. Ingressus cuiusque domum in aedes te principis venisse putabis." Ibid. This is not an exaggerated description. A little below, Schedel says "there is a monastery, called St. Jerome, (much after the fashion of our Magdalen) in which reformed Prostitutes are kept; and where, day and night, they sing hymns in the Teutonic dialect. If any of them are found relapsing into their former sinful ways, they are thrown headlong into the Danube." "But (adds he) they lead, on the contrary, a chaste and holy life."

[136] I suspect that the houses opposite the Palace are of comparatively recent construction. In Pfeffel's Viva et Accurata Delineatio of the palaces and public buildings of Vienna, 1725 (oblong folio,) the palace faces a wide place or square. Eighteen sculptured human figures, apparently of the size of life, there grace the topmost ballustrade in the copper-plate view of this truly magnificent residence.

[137] [Recently however the number of Restaurateurs has become considerable.]

[138] In Hartmann Schedel's time, there appears to have been a very considerable traffic in wine at Vienna: "It is incredible (says he) what a brisk trade is stirring in the article of wine,[139] in this city. Twelve hundred horses are daily employed for the purposes of draught—either for the wine drank at Vienna, or sent up the Danube—against the stream—with amazing labour and difficulty. It is said that the wine cellars are frequently as deep below the earth, as the houses are above it." Schedel goes on to describe the general appearance of the streets, and the neatness of the interiors, of the houses: adding, "that the windows are generally filled with stained glass, having iron-gratings without, where numerous birds sing in cages. The winter (remarks he) sets in here very severely." Chron. Norimb. 1493, fol. xcix.

[139] The vintage about Vienna should seem to have been equally abundant a century after the above was written. In the year 1590, when a severe shock of earthquake threatened destruction to the tower of the Cathedral—and it was absolutely necessary to set about immediate repairs—the liquid which was applied to make the most astringent mortar, was WINE: "l'on se servit de vin, qui fut alors en abondance, pour faire le platre de cette batise." Denkmahle der Baukunst und Bildneren des Mittelalters in dem Oesterreichischen Kaiserthume. Germ. Fr. Part iii. p. 36. 1817-20.

[140] There is a good sized (folded) view of the church, or rather chiefly of the south front of the spire, in the "Vera et Accurata Delineatio Omnium Templorum et Caenobiorum" of Vienna, published by Pfeffel in the year 1724, oblong folio.

[141] This head has been published as the first plate in the third livraison of the ECCLESIASTICAL ANTIQUITIES of Vienna—accompanied by French and German letter-press. I have no hesitation in saying that, without the least national bias or individual partiality, the performance of Mr. Lewis—although much smaller, is by far the most faithful; nor is the engraving less superior, than the drawing, to the production of the Vienna artist. This latter is indeed faithless in design and coarse in execution. Beneath the head, in the original sculpture, and in the latter plate, we read the inscription M.A.P. 1313. It is no doubt an interesting specimen of sculpture of the period.

[142] Vol. ii. p. 312-313.

[143] There is a large print of it (which I saw at Vienna) in the line manner, but very indifferently executed. But of the last, detached group, above described, there is a very fine print in the line manner.

[144] See p. 245 ante.

[145] As in that of the Feast of Venus in the island of Cythera: about eleven feet by seven. There is also another, of himself, in the Garden of Love—with his two wives—in the peculiarly powerful and voluptuous style of his pencil. The picture is about four feet long. His portrait of one of his wives, of the size of life, habited only in an ermine cloak at the back (of which the print is well known) is an extraordinary production ... as to colour and effect.

[146] I am not sure whether any publication, connected with this extraordinary collection, has appeared since Chretien de Mechel's Catalogue des Tableaux de la Galerie Imperiale et Royale de Vienne; 1784, 8vo.: which contains, at the end, four folded copper-plates of the front elevations and ground plans of the Great and Little Belvederes. He divides his work into the Venetian, Roman, Florentine, Bolognese, and Ancient and Modern Flemish Schools: according to the different chambers or apartments. This catalogue is a mere straight-forward performance; presenting a formal description of the pictures, as to size and subject, but rarely indulging in warmth of commendation, and never in curious and learned research. The preface, from which I have gleaned the particulars of the History of the Collection, is sufficiently interesting. My friend M. Bartsch, if leisure and encouragement were afforded him, might produce a magnificent and instructive work—devoted to this very extraordinary collection. (Upon whom, NOW, shall this task devolve?!)

[147] See the OPPOSITE PLATE.

[148] The truth is, not only fac-similes of these illuminations, but of the initial L, so warmly mentioned at page 292, were executed by M. Fendi, under the direction of my friend M. Bartsch, and dispatched to me from Vienna in the month of June 1820—but were lost on the road.

[149] Lord Spencer has recently obtained a copy of this exquisitely printed book from the M'Carthy collection. See the AEdes Althorpianae; vol. ii. p. 192.

[150] [I annex, with no common gratification, a fac-simile of the Autograph of this most worthy man,

]

[151] He has (now) been dead several years.

[152] ECKHEL'S work upon these gems, in 1788, folio, is well known. The apotheosis of Augustus, in this collection, is considered as an unrivalled specimen of art, upon sardonyx. I regretted much not to have seen these gems, but the floor of the room in which they are preserved was taken up, and the keeper from home.

[153] It will be only necessary to mention—for the establishment of this fact—the ENGRAVED WORKS alone of M. Bartsch, from masters of every period, and of every school, amounting to 505 in number: an almost incredible effort, when we consider that their author has scarcely yet passed his grand climacteric. His Peintre Graveur is a literary performance, in the graphic department, of really solid merit and utility. The record of the achievements of M. Bartsch has been perfected by the most affectionate and grateful of all hands—those of his son, Frederic de Bartsch—in an octavo volume, which bears the following title, and which has the portrait (but not a striking resemblance) of the father prefixed:—"Catalogue des Estampes de J. ADAM de BARTSCH, Chevalier de l'Ordre de Leopold, Conseiller aulique et Premier Garde de la Bibl. Imp. et Roy. de la Cour, Membre de l'Academie des Beaux Arts de Vienne." 1818. 8vo. pp. 165. There is a modest and sensible preface by the son—in which we are informed that the catalogue was not originally compiled for the purpose of making it public.

The following is a fac-simile of the Autograph of this celebrated graphical Critic and Artist.



[154] The MONASTERY of CLOSTERNEUBURG, or Nevenburg, or Nuenburg, or Newburg, or Neunburg—is supposed to have been built by Leopold the Pious in the year 1114. It was of the order of St. Augustin. They possess (at the monastery, it should seem) a very valuable chronicle, of the XIIth century, upon vellum—devoted to the history of the establishment; but unluckily defective at the beginning and end. It is supposed to have been written by the head of the monastery, for the time being. It is continued by a contemporaneous hand, down to the middle of the fourteenth century. They preserve also, at Closterneuburg, a Necrology—of five hundred years—down to the year 1721. "Inter caeteros praestantes veteres codices manuscriptos, quos INSIGNIS BIBLIOTHECA CLAUSTRO-NEOBURGENSIS servat, est pervetus inclytae ejusdem canoniae Necrologium, ante annos quingentos in membranis elegantissime manu exaratum, et a posteriorum temporum auctoribus continuatum." Script. Rer. Austriacar. Cura Pez. 1721. vol. 1. col. 435, 494.

[155] The librarian, MAXIMILIAN FISCHER, informed me the quarto copies were rare, for that only 400 were printed. The octavo copies are not so, but they do not contain all the marginal references which are in the quarto impressions.

[156] In fact, I wrote a letter to the librarian, the day after my visit, proposing to give 2000 florins in specie for the volumes above described. My request was answered by the following polite, and certainly most discreet and commendable reply: "D....Domine! Litteris a Te 15. Sept. scriptis et 16 Sept. a me receptis, de Tuo desiderio nonnullos bibliothecae nostrae libros pro pecunia acquirendi, me certiorem reddidisti; ast mihi respondendum venit, quod tuis votis obtemperare non possim. Copia horum librorum ad cimelium bibliothecae Claustroneoburgensis merito refertur, et maxima sunt in aestimatione apud omnes confratres meos; porro, lege civili cautum est, ne libri et res rariores Abbatiarum divenderentur. Si unum aliumve horum, ceu duplicatum, invenissem, pro aequissimo pretio in signum venerationis transmisissem.

"Ad alia, si praestare possem, officia, me paratissimum invenies, simulque Te obsecro, me aestimatorem tui sincerrimum reputes, hinc me in ulteriorem recordationem commendo, ac dignum me aestimes quod nominare me possem,

... dominationis Tuae E Canonia Claustroneoburgensi, addictissimum 17 Septbr 1818. MAXIMILIANUM FISCHER. Can. reg. Bibliothec. et Archivar."



Supplement.

RATISBON, NUREMBERG, MANHEIM.

Supplement.

Having found it impracticable to write to my friend—on the route from Vienna to Paris, and from thence to London—the reader is here presented with a few SUPPLEMENTAL PARTICULARS with which that route furnished me; and which, I presume to think, will not be considered either misplaced or uninteresting. They are arranged quite in the manner of MEMORANDA, or heads: not unaccompanied with a regret that the limits of this work forbid a more extended detail. I shall immediately, therefore, conduct the reader from Vienna to

RATISBON.

I left VIENNA, with my travelling companion, within two days after writing the last letter, dated from that place—upon a beautiful September morning. But ere we had reached St. Poelten, the face of the heavens was changed, and heavy rain accompanied us till we got to Moelk, where we slept: not however before I had written a note to the worthy Benedictine Fraternity at the monastery—professing my intention of breakfasting with them the next morning. This self-invitation was joyfully accepted, and the valet, who returned with the written answer, told me that it was a high day of feasting and merry-making at the monastery—and that he had left the worthy Monks in the plenitude of their social banquet. We were much gratified the next morning, not only by the choice and excellence of the breakfast, but by the friendliness of our reception. So simple are manners here, that, in going up the hill, towards the monastery, we met the worthy Vice Principal, Pallas, habited in his black gown—returning from a baker's shop, where he had been to bespeak the best bread. I was glad to renew my acquaintance with the Abbe Strattman, and again solicited permission for Mr. Lewis to take the portrait of so eminent a bibliographer. But in vain: the Abbe answering, with rather a melancholy and mysterious air, that "the world was lost to him, and himself to the world."

We parted—with pain on both sides; and on the same evening slept, where we had stopt in our route to Vienna, at Lintz. The next morning (Sunday) we started betimes to breakfast at Efferding. Our route lay chiefly along the banks of the Danube ... under hanging woods on one side, with villages and villas on the other. The fog hung heavily about us; and we could catch but partial and unsatisfactory glimpses of that scenery, which, when lightened by a warm sunshine, must be perfectly romantic. At Efferding our carriage and luggage were examined, while we breakfasted. The day now brightened up, and nothing but sunshine and "the song of earliest birds" accompanied us to Sigharding,—the next post town. Hence to Scharding, where we dined, and to Fuersternell, where we supped and slept. The inn was crowded by country people below, but we got excellent quarters in the attics; and were regaled with peaches, after supper, which might have vied with those out of the Imperial garden at Vienna. We arose betimes, and breakfasted at Vilshofen—and having lost sight of the Danube, since we left Efferding, we were here glad to come again in view of it: and especially to find it accompany us a good hundred miles of our route, till we reached Ratisbon.

Straubing, where we dined—and which is within two posts of Ratisbon—is a very considerable town. The Danube washes parts of its suburbs. As the day was uncommonly serene and mild, even to occasional sultriness, and as we were in excellent time for reaching Ratisbon that evening, we devoted an hour or two to rambling in this town. Mr. Lewis made sketches, and I strolled into churches, and made enquiries after booksellers shops, and possessors of old books: but with very little success. A fine hard road, as level as a bowling green, carries you within an hour to Pfaetter—the post town between Straubing and Ratisbon—and almost twice that distance brings you to the latter place.

It was dark when we entered Ratisbon, and having been recommended to the hotel of the Agneau Blanc we drove thither, and alighted ... close to the very banks of the Danube—and heard the roar of its rapid stream, turning several mills, close as it were to our very ears. The master of the hotel, whose name is Cramer, and who talked French very readily, received us with peculiar courtesy; and, on demanding the best situated room in the house, we were conducted on the second floor, to the chamber which had been occupied, only two or three days before, by the Emperor of Austria himself, on his way to Aix-la-Chapelle. The next morning was a morning of wonder to us. Our sitting-room, which was a very lantern, from the number of windows, gave us a view of the rushing stream of the Danube, of a portion of the bridge over it, of some beautifully undulating and vine-covered hills, in the distance, on the opposite side—and, lower down the stream, of the town-walls and water-mills, of which latter we had heard the stunning sounds on our arrival.[157] The whole had a singularly novel and pleasing appearance.

But if the sitting room was thus productive of gratification, the very first walk I took in the streets was productive of still greater. On leaving the inn, and turning to the left, up a narrow street, I came in view of a house ... upon the walls of which were painted, full three hundred years ago, the figures of Goliath and David. The former could be scarcely less than twenty feet high: the latter, who was probably about one-third of that height, was represented as if about to cast the stone from the sling. The costume of Goliath marked the period when he was thus represented;[158] and I must say, considering the time that has elapsed since that representation, that he is yet a fine, vigorous, and fresh-looking fellow. I continued onwards, now to the right, and afterwards to the left, without knowing a single step of the route. An old, but short square gothic tower—upon one of the four sides of which was a curious old clock, supported by human figures—immediately caught my attention. The Town Hall was large and imposing; but the Cathedral, surrounded by booths—it being fair-time—was, of course, the great object of my attention. In short, I saw enough within an hour to convince me, that I was visiting a large, curious, and well-peopled town; replete with antiquities, and including several of the time of the Romans, to whom it was necessarily a very important station. Ratisbon is said to contain a population of about 20,000 souls.

The Cathedral can boast of little antiquity. It is almost a building of yesterday; yet it is large, richly ornamented on the outside, especially on the west, between the towers—and is considered one of the noblest structures of the kind in Bavaria.[159] The interior wants that decisive effect which simplicity produces. It is too much broken into parts, and covered with monuments of a very heterogeneous description. Near it I traced the cloisters of an old convent or monastery of some kind, now demolished, which could not be less than five hundred years old. The streets of Ratisbon are generally picturesque, as well from their undulating forms, as from the antiquity of a great number of the houses. The modern parts of the town are handsome, and there is a pleasant inter-mixture of trees and grass plats in some of these more recent portions. There are some pleasing public walks, after the English fashion; and a public garden, where a colossal sphinx, erected by the late philosopher Gleichen, has a very imposing appearance. Here is also an obelisk erected to the memory of Gleichen himself, the founder of these gardens; and a monument to the memory of Keplar, the astronomer; which latter was luckily spared in the assault of this town by the French in 1809.

But these are, comparatively, every day objects. A much more interesting source of observation, to my mind, were the very few existing relics of the once celebrated monastery of ST. EMMERAM—and a great portion of the remains of another old monastery, called ST. JAMES—which latter may indeed be designated the College of the Jacobites; as the few members who inhabit it were the followers of the house and fortunes of the Pretender, James Stuart. The monastery, or Abbey of St. Emmeram was one of the most celebrated throughout Europe; and I suspect that its library, both of MSS. and printed books, was among the principal causes of its celebrity.[160] The intelligent and truly obliging Mr. A. Kraemer, librarian to the Prince of Tour and Taxis, accompanied me in my visit to the very few existing remains of St. Emmeram—which indeed are incorporated, as it were, with the church close to the palace or residence of the Prince. As I walked along the corridors of this latter building, after having examined the Prince's library, and taken notes of a few of the rarer or more beautiful books, I could look through the windows into the body of the church itself. It is difficult to describe this religious edifice, and still more so to know what portions belonged to the old monastery. I saw a stone chair—rude, massive, and almost shapeless—in which Adam might have sat ... if dates are to be judged of by the barbarism of form. Something like a crypt, of which the further part was uncovered—reminded me of portions of the crypt at Freysing; and among the old monuments belonging to the abbey, was one of Queen Hemma, wife of Ludovic, King of Bavaria: a great benefactress, who was buried there in 876. The figure, which was whole-length, and of the size of life, was painted; and might be of the fourteenth century. There is another monument, of Warmundus, Count of Wasserburg, who was buried in 1001. These monuments have been lithographised, from the drawings of Quaglio, in the "Denkmahle der Baukunst des Mittelalters im Koenigreiche Baiern," 1816. Folio.

Of all interesting objects of architectural antiquity in Ratisbon, none struck me so forcibly—and indeed none is in itself so curious and singular—as the MONASTERY OF ST. JAMES, before slightly alluded to. The front of that portion of it, connected with the church, should seem to be of an extremely remote antiquity. It is the ornaments, or style of architecture, which give it this character of antiquity. The ornaments, which are on each side of the door way, or porch, are quite extraordinary, and appear as if the building had been erected by Mexicans or Hindoos.

Quaglio has made a drawing, and published a lithographic print of the whole of this entrance. I had conjectured the building to be of the twelfth century, and was pleased to have my conjecture confirmed by the assurance of one of the members of the college (either Mr. Richardson or Mr. Sharp) that the foundations of the building were laid in the middle of the XIIth century; and that, about twenty miles off, down the Danube, there was another monastery, now in ruins, called Mosburg, if I mistake not—which was built about the same period, and which exhibited precisely the same style of architecture.

But if the entire college, with the church, cloisters, sitting rooms, and dormitories, was productive of so much gratification, the contents of these rooms, including the members themselves, were productive of yet greater. To begin with the Head, or President, DR. C. ARBUTHNOT: one of the finest and healthiest looking old gentlemen I ever beheld—in his eighty-second year. I should however premise, that the members of this college—only six or eight in number, and attached to the interests of the Stuarts—have been settled here almost from their infancy: some having arrived at seven, and others at twelve, years of age. Their method of speaking their own language is very singular; and rather difficult of comprehension. Nor is the French, spoken by them, of much better pronunciation. Of manners the most simple, and apparently of principles the most pure, they seem to be strangers to those wants and wishes which frequently agitate a more numerous and polished establishment; and to move, as it were, from the cradle to the grave ...

"The world forgetting, by the world forgot."

As soon as the present Head ceases to exist,[161] the society is to be dissolved—and the building to be demolished.[162] I own that this intelligence, furnished me by one of the members, gave a melancholy and yet more interesting air to every object which I saw, and to every Member with whom I conversed. The society is of the Benedictine order, and there is a large whole length portrait, in the upper cloisters, or rather corridor, of ST. BENEDICT—with the emphatic inscription of "PATER MONACHORUM." The library was carefully visited by me, and a great number of volumes inspected. The local is small and unpretending: a mere corridor, communicating with a tolerably good sized room, in the middle, at right angles. I saw a few hiatuses, which had been caused by disposing of the volumes, that had filled them, to the cabinet in St. James's Place. In fact, Mr. Horn—so distinguished for his bibliographical trouvailles—had been either himself a member of this College, or had had a brother, so circumstanced, who foraged for him. What remained was, comparatively, mere chaff: and yet I contrived to find a pretty ample sprinkling of Greek and Latin Philosophy, printed and published at Paris by Gourmont, Colinaeus, and the Stephens, in the first half of the sixteenth century. There were also some most beautifully-conditioned Hebrew books, printed by the Stephen family;—and having turned the bottoms of those books outwards, which I thought it might be possible to purchase, I requested the librarian to consider of the matter; who, himself apparently consenting, informed me, on the following morning, that, on a consultation held with the other members, it was deemed advisable not to part with any more of their books. I do not suppose that the whole would bring 250l. beneath a well known hammer in Pall-Mall.

The PUBLIC LIBRARY was also carefully visited. It is a strange, rambling, but not wholly uninteresting place—although the collection is rather barbarously miscellaneous. I saw more remains of Roman antiquities of the usual character of rings, spear-heads, lachrymatories, &c.—than of rare and curious old books: but, among the latter, I duly noticed Mentelin's edition of the first German Bible. No funds are applied to the increase of this collection; and the books, in an upper and lower room, seem to lie desolate and forlorn, as if rarely visited—and yet more rarely opened. Compared with the celebrated public libraries in France, Bavaria, and Austria, this of RATISBON is ... almost a reproach to the municipal authorities of the place. I cannot however take leave of the book-theme, or of Ratisbon—without mentioning, in terms of unfeigned sincerity, the obligations I was under to M. AUGUSTUS KRAEMER, the librarian of the Prince of Tour and Taxis; who not only satisfied, but even anticipated, my wishes, in every thing connected with antiquities. There is a friendliness of disposition, a mildness of manner, and pleasantness both of mien and of conversation, about this gentleman, which render his society extremely engaging. Upon the whole, although I absolutely gained nothing in the way of book-acquisitions, during my residence at Ratisbon, I have not passed three pleasanter days in any town in Bavaria than those which were spent here. It is a place richly deserving of the minute attention of the antiquary; and the country, on the opposite side of the Danube, presents some genuine features of picturesque beauty. Nor were the civility, good fare, and reasonable charges of the Agneau Blanc, among the most insignificant comforts attending our residence at Ratisbon.

We left that town a little after mid-day, intending to sleep the same evening at NEUMARKT, within two stages of Nuremberg. About an English mile from Ratisbon, the road rises to a considerable elevation, whence you obtain a fine and interesting view of that city—with the Danube encircling its base like a belt. From this eminence I looked, for the last time, upon that magnificent river—which, with very few exceptions, had kept in view the whole way from Vienna: a distance of about two hundred and sixty English miles. I learnt that an aquatic excursion, from Ulm to Ratisbon, was one of the pleasantest schemes or parties of pleasure, imaginable—and that the English were extremely partial to it. Our faces were now resolutely turned towards Nuremberg; while a fine day, and a tolerably good road, made us insensible of any inconvenience which might otherwise have resulted from a journey of nine German miles.

We reached Neumarkt about night-fall, and got into very excellent quarters. The rooms of the inn which we occupied had been filled by the Duke of Wellington and Lord and Lady Castlereagh on their journey to Congress in the winter of 1814. The master of the inn related to us a singular anecdote respecting the Duke. On hearing of his arrival, the inhabitants of the place flocked round the inn, and the next morning the Duke found the tops of his boots half cut away—from the desire which the people expressed of having "some memorial of the great captain of the age."[163] No other, or more feasible plan presented itself, than that of making interest with his Grace's groom—when the boots were taken down to be cleaned on the morning following his arrival. Perhaps the Duke's coat, had it been seen, might have shared the same fate.

The morning gave me an opportunity of examining the town of Neumarkt, which is surrounded by a wall, in the inner side of which is a sort of covered corridor (now in a state of great decay) running entirely round the town. At different stations there are wooden steps for the purpose of ascent and descent. In a churchyard, I was startled by the representation of the Agony in the Garden (so often mentioned in this Tour) which was executed in stone, and coloured after the life, and which had every appearance of reality. I stumbled upon it, unawares: and confess that I had never before witnessed so startling a representation of the subject. Having quitted Neumarkt, after breakfast, it remained only to change horses at Feucht, and afterwards to dine at Nuremberg. Of all cities which I had wished to see, before and since quitting England, NUREMBERG was that upon which my heart seemed to be the most fixed.[164] It had been the nursery of the Fine Arts in Bavaria; one of the favourite residences of Maximilian the Great; the seat of learning and the abode equally of commerce and of wealth during the sixteenth century. It was here too, that ALBERT DURER—perhaps the most extraordinary genius of his age—lived and died: and here I learnt that his tombstone, and the house in which he resided, were still to be seen.

The first view of the spires and turretted walls of Nuremberg[165] filled me with a sensation which it is difficult to describe. Within about five English miles of it, just as we were about to run down the last descent, from the bottom of which it is perfectly level to the very gates of the city—we discovered a group of peasants, chiefly female, busied in carrying barrows, apparently of fire wood, towards the town. On passing them, the attention of Mr. Lewis was caught by one female countenance in particular—so distinguished by a sweetness and benevolence of expression—that we requested the postilion to stop, that we might learn some particulars respecting this young woman, and the mode of life which she followed. She was without stockings; of a strong muscular form, and her face was half buried beneath a large flapping straw hat. We learnt that her parents were engaged in making black lead pencils (a flourishing branch of commerce, at this moment, at Nuremberg) for the wholesale dealers; and they were so poor, that she was glad to get a florin by conveying wood (as we then saw her) four miles to Nuremberg.

It was market-day when we entered Nuremberg, about four o'clock. The inn to which we had been recommended, proved an excellent one: civility, cleanliness, good fare, and reasonable charges—these form the tests of the excellence of the Cheval Rouge at Nuremberg. In our route thither, we passed the two churches of St. Lawrence and St. Sebald, of which the former is the largest—and indeed principal place of worship in the town. We also passed through the market-place, wherein are several gothic buildings—more elaborate in ornament than graceful in form or curious from antiquity. The whole square, however, was extremely interesting, and full of population and bustle. The town indeed is computed to contain 30,000 inhabitants. We noticed, on the outsides of the houses, large paintings, as at Ratisbon, of gigantic figures: and every street seemed to promise fresh gratification, as we descended one and ascended another.

My first object, on settling at the hotel, was to seek out the PUBLIC LIBRARY, and to obtain an inspection of some of those volumes which had exercised the pen of DE MURR, in his Latin Memoirs of the Public Library of Nuremberg. I was now also in the birthplace of PANZER—another, and infinitely more distinguished bibliographer,—whose Typographical Annals of Europe will for ever render his memory as dear to other towns as to Nuremberg. In short, when I viewed the Citadel of this place—and witnessed, in my perambulations about the town, so many curious specimens of gothic architecture, I could only express my surprise and regret that more substantial justice had not been rendered to so interesting a spot. I purchased every thing I could lay my hand upon, connected with the published antiquities of the town; but that "every thing" was sufficiently scanty and unsatisfactory.

Before, however, I make mention of the Public Library, it may be as well briefly to notice the two churches—- St. Sebald and St. Lawrence. The former was within a stone's throw of our inn. Above the door of the western front, is a remarkably fine crucifix of wood—placed, however, in too deep a recess—said to be by Veit Stoss. The head is of a very fine form, and the countenance has an expression of the most acute and intense feeling. A crown of thorns is twisted round the brow. But this figure, as well as the whole of the outside and inside of the church, stands in great need of being repaired. The towers are low, with insignificant turrets: the latter evidently a later erection—probably at the commencement of the sixteenth century. The eastern extremity, as well indeed as the aisles, is surrounded by buttresses; and the sharp-pointed, or lancet windows, seem to bespeak the fourteenth, if not the thirteenth century. The great "wonder" of the interior, is the Shrine of the Saint,[166] (to whom the church is dedicated,) of which the greater part is silver. At the time of my viewing it, it was in a disjointed state—parts of it having been taken to pieces, for repair: but from Geisler's exquisite little engraving, I should pronounce it to be second to few specimens of similar art in Europe. The figures do not exceed two feet in height, and the extreme elevation of the shrine may be about eight feet. Nor has Geisler's almost equally exquisite little engraving of the richly carved gothic font in this church, less claim upon the admiration of the connoisseur.

The mother church, or Cathedral of St. Lawrence, is much larger, and portions of it may be of the latter end of the thirteenth century. The principal entrance presents us with an elaborate door-way—perhaps of the fourteenth century—with the sculpture divided into several compartments, as at Rouen, Strasbourg, and other earlier edifices. There is a poverty in the two towers, both from their size, and the meagerness of the windows; but the slim spires at the summit, are, doubtless, nearly of a coeval date with that which supports them. The bottom of the large circular, or marygold window, is injured in its effect by a gothic balustrade of a later period. The interior of this church has certainly nothing very commanding or striking, on the score of architectural grandeur or beauty; but there are some painted glass-windows—especially by Volkmar—-which are deserving of particular attention. Nuremberg has one advantage over many populous towns; its public buildings are not choked up by narrow streets: and I hardly know an edifice of distinction, round which the spectator may not walk with perfect ease, and obtain a view of every portion which he is desirous of examining. The Fraueenkerche, or the church of St. Mary, in the market-place, has a very singular construction in its western front. A double arched door-way, terminated by an arch at the top, and surmounted by a curious triangular projection from the main building, has rather an odd, than a beautiful effect. Above, terminating in an apex—surmounted by a small turret, are five rows of gothic niches, of which the extremities, at each end, narrow—in the fashion of steps, gradually—from the topmost of which range or rows of niches, the turret rises perpendicularly. It is a small edifice, and has been recently doomed to make a very distinguished figure in the imposing lithographic print of Quaglio.[167] The interior of this church is not less singular, as may be seen in the print published about sixty years ago, and yet faithful to its present appearance.

I know not how it was, but I omitted to notice the ci-devant church of Ste. Claire, where there is said to be the most ancient stained glass window which exists—that is, of the middle of the thirteenth century; nor did I obtain a sight of the seven pillars of Adam Kraft, designating the seven points or stations of the Passion of our Saviour. But in the Rath-hauz Platz, in the way to the public library, I used to look with delight—almost every morning of the four days which I spent at Nuremberg—at the fragments of gothic architecture, to the right and left, that presented themselves; and among these, none caught my eye and pleased my taste, so fully, as the little hexagonal gothic window, which has sculptured subjects beneath the mullions, and which was attached to the Pfarrhof, or clergyman's residence, of St. Sebald. If ever Mr. Blore's pencil should be exercised in this magical city for gothic art, I am quite persuaded that this window will be one of the subjects upon which its powers will be most successfully employed.

A little beyond, in a very handsome square, called St. Giles's Place, lived the famous ANTHONY KOBERGER; the first who introduced the art of printing into Nuremberg—and from whose press, more Bibles, Councils, Decretals, Chronicles, and scholastic works, have proceeded than probably from any other press in Europe. Koberger was a magnificent printer, using always a bold, rich, gothic letter—and his first book, Comestorium Vitiorum, bears the date of 1470.[168] They shew the house, in this square, which he is said to have occupied; but which I rather suspect was built by his nephew JOHN KOBERGER, who was the son of Sebaldus Koberger, and who carried on a yet more successful business than his uncle. Not fewer than seventeen presses were kept in constant employ by him, and he is said to have been engaged in a correspondence with almost every printer and bookseller in Europe. It was my good fortune to purchase an original bronze head of him, of Messrs. Frauenholz and Co., one of the most respectable and substantial houses, in the print trade, upon the Continent. This head is struck upon a circular bronze of about seven inches in diameter, bearing the following incription: JOANNES KOBERGER ... SEIN. ALTR. xxxx: that is, John Koberger, in the fortieth year of his age. The head, singularly enough, is laureated; and in the upper part of it are two capital letters, of which the top parts resemble a B or D—and F or E. It is a fine solid piece of workmanship, and is full of individuality of character. From an old ms. inscription at the back, the original should appear to have died in 1522. I was of course too much interested in the history of the Kobergers, not to ask permission, to examine the premises from which so much learning and piety had once issued to the public; and I could not help being struck with at least the space which these premises occupied. At the end of a yard, was a small chapel, which formerly was, doubtless, the printing office or drying room of the Kobergers. The interior of the house was now so completely devoted to other uses, that one could identify nothing. The church of St. Giles, in this place, is scarcely little more than a century old; as a print of it, of the date of 1689, represents the building to be not yet complete.

I shall now conduct the reader at once to the PUBLIC LIBRARY; premising, that it occupies the very situation which it has held since the first book was deposited in it. This is very rarely the case abroad. It is, in fact, a small gothic quadrangle, with the windows modernised; and was formerly a convent of Dominicans. M. RANNER, the public librarian, (with whom—as he was unable to speak French, and myself equally unable to speak his own language—I conversed in the Latin tongue) assured me that there was anciently a printing press here—conducted by the Dominicans—who were resolved to print no book but what was the production of one of their own order. I have great doubts about this fact, and expressed the same to M. Ranner; adding, that I had never seen a book so printed; The librarian, however, reiterated his assertion, and said that the monastery was built in the eleventh century. There is certainly no visible portion of it older than the beginning of the fifteenth century. The library itself is on the first floor, and fills two rooms, running parallel with each other; both of them sufficiently dismal and uninviting. It is said to contain 45,000 volumes; but I much question whether there be half that number. There are some precious MSS. of which M. Ranner has published a catalogue in two octavo volumes, in the Latin language, in a manner extremely creditable to himself, and such as to render De Murr's labour upon the same subjects almost useless. Among these MSS. I was shewn one in the Hebrew language—of the eleventh or twelfth century—with very singular marginal illuminations, as grotesques or capriccios; in which the figures, whether human beings, monsters, or animals, were made out by lines composed of Hebrew characters, considered to be a gloss upon the text.

As to the printed books of an early date, they are few and unimportant—if the subject of them be exclusively considered. There is a woeful want of classics, and even of useful literary performances. Here, however, I saw the far-famed I. de Turrecremata Meditationes of 1467, briefly described by De Murr; of which, I believe, only two other copies are known to exist—namely, one in the Imperial library at Vienna,[169] and the other in the collection of Earl Spencer. It is an exceedingly precious book to the typographical antiquary, inasmuch as it is supposed to be the first production of the press of Ulric Han. The copy in question has the plates coloured; and, singularly enough, is bound up in a wooden cover with Honorius de Imagine Mundi, printed by Koberger, and the Hexameron of Ambrosius, printed by Schuzler in 1472. It is, however, a clean, sound copy; but cut down to the size of the volumes with which it is bound. Here is the Boniface of 1465, by Fust, UPON VELLUM: with a large space on the rectos of the second and third leaves, purposely left for the insertion of ms. or some subsequent correction. The Durandus of 1459 has the first capital letter stamped with red and blue, like the smaller capital initials in the Psalter of 1457. In this first capital initial, the blue is the outer portion of the letter. The German Bible by Mentelin is perfect; but wretchedly cropt, and dirty even to dinginess. Here is a very fine large genuine copy of Jenson's Quintilian of 1471. Of the Epistles of St. Jerom, here are the early editions by Mentelin and Sweynheym and Pannartz; the latter, of the date of 1470: a fine, large copy—but not free from ms. annotations.

More precious, however, in the estimation of the critical bibliographer—than either, or the whole, of the preceding volumes—is the very rare edition of the Decameron of Boccaccio, of the date of 1472, printed at Mantua, by A. de Michaelibus.[170] Such a copy as that in the public library at Nuremberg, is in all probability unparalleled: it being, in every respect, what a perfect copy should be—white, large, and in its pristine binding. A singular coincidence took place, while I was examining this extraordinarily rare book. M. Lechner, the bookseller, of whom I shall have occasion to speak again, brought me a letter, directed to his own house, from Earl Spencer. In that letter, his lordship requested me to make a particular collation of the edition of Boccaccio—with which I was occupied at the very moment of receiving it. Of course, upon every account, that collation was made. Upon its completion, and asking M. Ranner whether any consideration would induce the curators of the library to part with this volume, the worthy librarian shouted aloud!... adding, that, "not many weeks before, an English gentleman had offered the sum of sixty louis d'or for it,—but not twice that sum could be taken!... and in fact the book must never leave its present quarters—no ... not even for the noble collection in behalf of which I pleaded so earnestly." M. Ranner's manner was so positive, and his voice so sonorous,—that I dreaded the submission of any contre-projet ... and accordingly left him in the full and unmolested enjoyment of his beloved Decameron printed by Adam de Michaelibus.

M. Ranner shewed me a sound, fair copy of the first Florentine Homer of 1488; but cropt, with red edges to the leaves. But I was most pleased with a sort of cupboard, or closet-fashioned recess, filled with the first and subsequent editions of all the pieces written by Melancthon, I was told that there were more than eight hundred of such pieces. These, and a similar collection from the pens of Luther and Eckuis at Landshut,[171] would, as I conceive, be invaluable repertories for the History of the Reformation upon the Continent. Although I examined many shelves of books, for two successive days, in the Public Library of Nuremberg, I am not conscious of having found any thing more deserving of detail than what has been already submitted to the reader.

Of all edifices, more especially deserving of being visited at Nuremberg, the CITADEL is doubtless the most curious and ancient, as well as the most remarkable. It rises to a considerable height, close upon the outer walls of the town, within about a stone's throw of the end of Albrecht Durer Strasse—or the street where ALBERT DURER lived—and whose house is not only yet in existence, but still the object of attraction and veneration with every visitor of taste, from whatever part of the world he may chance to come. The street running down, is the street called (as before observed) after Albert Durer's own name; and the well, seen about the middle of it, is a specimen of those wells—built of stone—which are very common in the streets of Nuremberg. The house of Albert Durer is now in a very wretched, and even unsafe condition. The upper part is supposed to have been his study. The interior is so altered from its original disposition, as to present little or nothing satisfactory to the antiquary. It would be difficult to say how many coats of whitewash have been bestowed upon the rooms, since the time when they were tenanted by the great character in question.

Passing through this street, therefore, you turn to the right, and continue onwards, up a pretty smart ascent; when the entrance to the citadel, by the side of a low wall—in front of an old tower—presents itself to your attention. It was before breakfast that my companion and self visited this interesting interior, over every part of which we were conducted by a most loquacious cicerone, who spoke the French language very fluently, and who was pleased to express his extreme gratification upon finding that his visitors were Englishmen. The tower, of the exterior of which there is a very indifferent engraving in the Singularia Norimbergensia, and the adjoining chapel, may be each of the thirteenth century; but the tombstone of the founder of the monastery, upon the site of which the present Citadel was built, bears the date of 1296. This tombstone is very perfect; lying in a loose, unconnected manner, as you enter the chapel:—the chapel itself having a crypt-like appearance. This latter is very small.

From the suite of apartments in the older parts of the Citadel, there is a most extensive and uninterrupted view of the surrounding country, which is rather flat. At the distance of about nine miles, the town of Furth (Furta) looks as if it were within an hour's walk; and I should think that the height of the chambers, (from which we enjoyed this view,) to the level ground of the adjacent meadows, could be scarcely less than three hundred feet. In these chambers, there is a little world of curiosity for the antiquary: and yet it was but too palpable that very many of its more precious treasures had been transported to Munich. In the time of Maximilian II., when Nuremberg may be supposed to have been in the very height of its glory, this Citadel must have been worth a pilgrimage of many score miles to have visited. The ornaments which remain are chiefly pictures; of which several are exceedingly precious. Our guide hastened to show us the celebrated two Venuses of Lucas Cranach, which are most carefully preserved within folding doors. They are both whole lengths, of the size of life. One of them, which is evidently the inferior picture, is attended by a Cupid; the other is alone, having on a broad red velvet hat—but, in other respects, undraped. For this latter picture, we were told that two hundred louis d'or had been offered and refused—which they well might have been; for I consider it to be, not the only chef-d'oeuvre of L. Cranach, but in truth a very extraordinary performance. There is doubtless something of a poverty of drawing about it; but the colouring glows with a natural warmth which has been rarely surpassed even by Titian. It is one of the most elaborated pictures—yet producing a certain breadth of effect—which can be seen. The other Venus is perhaps more carefully painted—but the effect is cold and poor.

Here is also, by the same artist, a masterly little head of St. Hubert; and, near it, a charming portrait of Luther's wife, by Hans Holbein; but the back-ground of the latter being red and comparatively recent, is certainly not by the same hand. The countenance is full of a sweet, natural expression; and if this portrait be a faithful one of the wife of Luther, we must give that great reformer credit for having had a good taste in the choice of a wife—as far as beauty is concerned. Here are supposed portraits of Charlemagne and Sigismund II., by Albert Durer—which exhibit great freedom of handling, and may be considered magnificent specimens of that master's better manner of portrait painting. The heads are rather of colossal size. The draperies are most elaborately executed. I observed here, with singular satisfaction, two of the well-known series of the TWELVE APOSTLES, supposed to be both painted and engraved by Albert Durer. They were St. John and St. Paul; the drapery, especially of the latter, has very considerable merit. But probably the most interesting picture to the generality of visitors—and indeed it is one entitled to particular commendation by the most curious and critical—is, a large painting, by Sandrart, representing a fete given by the Austrian Ambassador, at Nuremberg, upon the conclusion of the treaty of peace at Westphalia, in 1649, after the well known thirty year's war. This picture is about fourteen feet long, by ten wide. The table, at which the guests are banquetting, is filled by all the great characters who were then assembled upon the occasion. An English knight of the garter is sufficiently conspicuous; his countenance in three quarters, being turned somewhat over his left shoulder. The great fault of this picture is, making the guests to partake of a banquet, and yet to turn all their faces from it—in order that the spectator may recognise their countenances. Those who sit at table, are about half the size of life. To the right of them, is a group as large as life, in which Sandrart has introduced himself, as if painting the picture. His countenance is charmingly coloured; but it is a pity that all propriety of perspective is so completely lost, by placing two such differently sized groups in the same chamber. This picture stands wofully in need of being repaired. It is considered—and apparently with justice—to be the CHEF D'OEUVRE of the master. I have hardly ever seen a picture, of its kind, more thoroughly interesting—both on the score of subject and execution; but it is surely due to the memory of an artist, like Sandrart,—who spent the greater part of a long life at Nuremberg, and established an academy of painting there—that this picture ... be at least preserved ... if there be no means of engraving it.

In these curious old chambers, it was to be expected that I should see some Wohlegemuths—as usual, with backgrounds in a blaze of gold, and figures with tortuous limbs, pinched-in waists, and caricatured countenances. In a room, pretty plentifully encumbered with rubbish, I saw a charming Snyders; being a dead stag, suspended from a pole. There is here a portrait of Albert Durer, by himself; but said to be a copy. If so, it is a very fine copy. The original is supposed to be at Munich. There was nothing else that my visit enabled me to see, particularly deserving of being recorded; but, when I was told that it was in THIS CITADEL that the ancient Emperors of Germany used oftentimes to reside, and make carousal, and when I saw, now, scarcely any thing but dark passages, unfurnished galleries, naked halls, and untenanted chambers—I own that I could hardly refrain from uttering a sigh over the mutability of earthly fashions, and the transitoriness of worldly grandeur. With a rock for its base, and walls almost of adamant for its support—situated also upon an eminence which may be said to look frowningly down over a vast sweep of country—THE CITADEL OF NUREMBERG should seem to have bid defiance, in former times, to every assault of the most desperate and enterprising foe. It is now visited only by the casual traveller ... who is frequently startled at the echo of his own footsteps.

While I am on the subject of ancient art—of which so many curious specimens are to be seen in this Citadel—it may not be irrelevant to conduct the reader at once to what is called the Town Hall—a very large structure—of which portions are devoted to the exhibition of old pictures. Many of these paintings are in a very suspicious state, from the operations of time and accident; but the great boast of the collection are the Triumphs of Maximilian I, executed by Albert Durer—which, however, have by no means escaped injury. I was accompanied in my visit to this interesting collection by Mr. Boerner, a partner in the house of Frauenholz and Co.—and had particular reason to be pleased by the friendliness of his attentions, and by the intelligence of his observations. A great number of these pictures (as I understood) belonged to Messrs. Frauenholz and Co.; and among them, a portrait by Pens, struck me as being singularly admirable and exquisite. The countenance, the dress, the attitude, the drawing and colouring, were as perfect as they well might be. But this collection has also suffered from the transportation of many of its treasures to Munich. The rooms, halls, and corridors of this Hotel de Ville give you a good notion of municipal grandeur.

Nuremberg was once the life and soul of art as well as of commerce. The numismatic, or perhaps medallic, productions of her artists, in the XVIth century, might, many of them, vie with the choicest efforts of Greece. I purchased two silver medals, of the period just mentioned, which are absolutely perfect of their kind: one has, on the obverse, the profile of an old man with a flowing beard and short bonnet, with the circumscription of AEtatis Suae LXVI.; and, on the reverse, the words De Coelo Victoria. Anno M.D. XLVI. surrounding the arms of Bavaria. I presume the head to be a portrait of some ancient Bavarian General; and the inscription, on the reverse, to relate to some great victory, in honour of which the medal was struck. The piece is silver-gilt. The boldness of its relief can hardly be exceeded. The other medal represents the portrait of Joh. Petreius Typographus, Anno AEtat. Suae. IIL. (48), Anno 1545—executed with surprising delicacy, expression, and force. But evidences of the perfect state of art in ancient times, at Nuremberg, may be gathered from almost every street in which the curious visitor walks. On the first afternoon of my arrival here, I was driven, by a shower of rain, into a small shop—upon a board, on the exterior of which were placed culinary dishes. The mistress of the house had been cleaning them for the purpose of shewing them off to advantage on the Sunday. One of these dishes—which was brass, with ornaments in high relief—happened to be rather deep, but circular, and of small diameter. I observed a subject in relief, at the bottom, which looked very like art as old as the end of the fifteenth century—although a good deal worn away, from the regularity pf periodical rubbing. The subject represented the eating of the forbidden fruit. Adam, Eve, the Serpent, the trees, and the fruit—with labels, on which the old gothic German letter was sufficiently obvious—all told a tale which was irresistible to antiquarian feelings. Accordingly I proposed terms of purchase (one ducat) to the good owner of the dish:—who was at first exceedingly surprised at the offer ... wondering what could be seen so particularly desirable in such a homely piece of kitchen furniture ... but, in the end, she consented to the proposal with extraordinary cheerfulness. In another shop, on a succeeding day, I purchased two large brass dishes, of beautiful circular forms, with ornaments in bold relief—and brought the whole culinary cargo home with me. While upon the subject of old art—of which there are scarcely a hundred yards in the city of Nuremberg that do not display some memorial, however perishing—I must be allowed to make especial mention of the treasures of BARON DERSCHAU—a respectable old Prussian nobleman, who has recently removed into a capacious residence, of which the chambers in front contain divers old pictures; and one chamber in particular, backward, is filled with curiosities of a singular variety of description.[172] I had indeed heard frequent mention of this gentleman, both in Austria and Bavaria. His reception of me was most courteous, and his conversation communicative and instructive. He did, and did not, dispose of things. He was, and was not, a sort of gentleman-merchant. One drawer was filled with ivory handled dirks, hunting knives, and pipe-bowls; upon which the carver had exercised all his cunning skill. Another drawer contained implements of destruction in the shape of daggers, swords, pistols, and cutlasses: all curiously wrought. A set of Missals occupied a third drawer: portfolios of drawings and prints, a fourth; and sundry volumes, of various and not uninteresting character, filled the shelves of a small, contiguous book-case. Every thing around me bore the aspect of temptation; when, calling upon my tutelary genius to defend me in such a crisis, I accepted the Baron's offer, and sat down by the side of him upon a sofa—which, from the singularity of its form and materiel, might formerly possibly have supported the limbs of Albert Durer himself.

The Baron commenced the work of incantation by informing me that he was once in possession of the journal, or day-book, of Albert Durer:—written in the German language—and replete with the most curious information respecting the manner of his own operations, and of those of his workmen. From this journal, it appeared that Albert Durer was in the habit of drawing upon the blocks, and that his men performed the remaining operation of cutting away the wood. I frankly confessed that I had long suspected this: and still suspect the same process to have been used in regard to the wood cuts supposed to have been executed by Hans Holbein. On my eagerly enquiring what had become of this precious journal, the Baron replied with a sigh—which seemed to come from the very bottom of his heart—that "it had perished in the flames of a house, in the neighbourhood of one of the battles fought between Bonaparte and the Prussians!!" The Baron is both a man of veracity and virtu. In confirmation of the latter, he gave all his very extraordinary collection of original blocks of wood, containing specimens of art of the most remote period of wood engraving, to the Royal University at Berlin—from which collection has been regularly published, those livraisons, of an atlas form, which contain impressions of the old blocks in question.[173] It is hardly possible for a graphic antiquary to possess a more completely characteristic and beguiling publication than this.

On expressing a desire to purchase any little curiosity or antiquity, in the shape of book or print, for which the Baron had no immediate use, I was shewn several rarities of this kind; which I did not scruple to request might be laid aside for me—for the purpose of purchasing. Of these, in the book way, the principal were a Compendium Morale: a Latin folio, PRINTED UPON VELLUM, without date or name of printer—and so completely unknown to bibliographers, that Panzer, who had frequently had this very volume in his hands, was meditating the writing of a little treatise on it; and was interrupted only by death from carrying his design into execution. It is in the most perfect state of preservation. A volume of Hours, and a Breviary of Cracow, for the winter part, PRINTED UPON VELLUM—in the German language, exceedingly fair and beautiful. A TERENCE of 1496 (for 9 florins), and the first edition of Erasmus's Greek Testament, 1516, for 18 florins. The "Compendium" was charged by the Baron at about 5l. sterling. These, with the Austrian historians, Pez, Schard, and Nidanus, formed a tolerably fair acquisition.[174] In the print way, I was fortunate in purchasing a singularly ancient wood-cut of St. Catherine, in the peculiarly dotted manner of the fifteenth century. This wood-cut was said to be UNIQUE. At any rate it is very curious and rare; and on my return to England, M. Du Chesne, who is the active director in the department of the prints at Paris, prevailed upon me to part with my St. Catherine—at a price, which sufficiently shewed that he considered it to be no very indifferent object to the royal collection of France. This however was a perfectly secondary consideration. The print was left behind at Paris, as adding something to a collection of unrivalled value and extent, and where there were previously deposited two or three similar specimens of art.

But the Baron laid the greatest stress upon a copper plate impression of a crucifixion, of the date of 1430: which undoubtedly had a very staggering aspect.[175] It is described in the subjoined note; and for reasons, therein detailed, I consider it to be much less valuable than the St. Catherine.[176] I also purchased of the Baron a few Martin Schoens, Albert Durers, and Israel Van Mechlins; and what I preferred to either, is a beautiful little illumination, cut out of an old choral book, or psalter, said, by the vendor, to be the production of Weimplan, an artist, at Ulm, of the latter end of the fifteenth century. On my return to England, I felt great pleasure in depositing this choice morceau of ancient art in the very extraordinary collection of my friend Mr. Ottley—at the same price for which I had obtained it—about five and twenty shillings. Upon the whole, I was well satisfied with the result of the "temptation" practised upon me at Baron Derschau's, and left the mansion with my purse lightened of about 340 florins. The Baron was anxious to press a choice Aldus or two upon me; but the word "choice" is somewhat ambiguous: and what was considered to be so at Nuremberg, might receive a different construction in London. I was, however, anxious to achieve a much nobler feat than that of running away with undescribed printed volumes, or rare old prints—whether from copper or wood. It was at Nuremberg that the EBNER FAMILY had long resided: and where the Codex Ebnerianus—a Greek MS. of the New Testament, of the XIIth. century—had been so much celebrated by the elaborate disquisition of De Murr—which is accompanied by several copper plate fac-simile engravings of the style of art in the illuminations of the MS. in question. I had heard that the ancient splendors of the Ebner family had been long impaired; that their library had been partly dispersed; and that THIS VERY MS. was yet to be purchased. I resolved, therefore, to lose no opportunity of becoming possessed of it ... preparing myself to offer a very considerable sum, and trusting that the spirit of some private collector, or public body, in my own country, would not long allow it to be a burden on my hands. Accordingly, by the interposition and kind offices of M. Lechner, the bookseller, I learnt, not only in what quarter the MS. was yet preserved, but that its owners were willing to dispose of it for a valuable consideration. A day and hour were quickly appointed. The gentleman, entrusted with the MS.—M. Lechner as interpreter, my own valet, as interpreter between myself and M. Lechner, who could not speak French very fluently—all assembled at the Cheval Rouge: with the CODEX EBNERIANUS, bound in massive silver, lying upon the table between us. It is a small, thick quarto volume; written in the cursive Greek character, upon soft and fair coloured vellum, and adorned with numerous illuminations in a fine state of preservation. Its antiquity cannot surely be carried beyond the XIIth century. On the outside of one of the covers, is a silver crucifix. Upon the whole, this precious book, both from its interior and exterior attractions, operated upon me infinitely more powerfully than the ivory-handled knives, gilt-studded daggers, gorgeous scraps of painting, or antique-looking prints ... of the Baron Derschau.

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