A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume Three
by Thomas Frognall Dibdin
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We soon commenced an earnest conversation; all four of us frequently being upon our legs, and speaking, at the same time. The price was quickly fixed by the owner of the MS.; but not so readily consented to by the proposed purchaser. It was 120 louis d'or. I adhered to the offer of 100: and we were each inflexible in our terms. I believe indeed, that if my 100 louis d'or could have been poured from a bag upon the table, as "argent-comptant," the owner of the MS. could not have resisted the offer: but he seemed to think that, if paper currency, in the shape of a bill, were resorted to, it would not be prudent to adopt that plan unless the sum of 120l. were written upon the instrument. The conference ended by the MS. being carried back to be again deposited in the family where it had so long taken up its abode. It is, however, most gratifying for me to add, that its return to its ancient quarters was only temporary; and that it was destined to be taken from them, for ever, by British spirit and British liberality. When Mr. John Payne visited Germany, in the following year, I was anxious to give him some particulars about this MS. and was sanguine enough to think that a second attempt to carry it off could not fail to be successful. The house of Messrs. Payne and Foss, so long and justly respected throughout Europe, invested their young representative with ample powers for negotiation—and the Codex Ebnerianus, after having been purchased by the representative in question, for the sum first insisted upon by the owner—now reposes upon the richly furnished shelves of the BODLEIAN LIBRARY—where it is not likely to repose in vain; and from whence no efforts, by the most eminently successful bibliographical diplomatist in Europe, can dislodge it.

I must now say a few words respecting the present state of the FINE ARTS at Nuremberg, and make mention of a few things connected with the vicinity of the town, ere I conduct the reader to Manheim: regretting, however, that I am necessitated to make that account so summary. I consider M. KLEIN to be among the very brightest ornaments of this place, as an artist. I had seen enough of his productions at Vienna, to convince me that his pencil possessed no ordinary powers. He is yet a young man; somewhere between thirty and forty, and leads occasionally a very romantic life—but admirably subservient to the purposes of his art. He puts a knapsack upon his back, filled with merely necessary articles of linen and materials for work—and then stops, draws, eats, drinks, and sleeps where it pleases him: wherever his eye is gratified by strong characteristics of nature—whether on cattle, peasants, soldiers, or Cossacks.

Klein appears to have obtained his exquisite knowledge of animal painting from having been a pupil of GABLER—a professed studier of natural history, and painter of animals. The pupil was unluckily absent from Nuremberg, when I was there; but from many enquiries of his ultimate friends, I learnt that he was of a cheerful, social disposition—fond of good company, and was in particular a very active and efficient member of a Society of Artists, which has been recently established at Nuremberg. Klein himself, however, resides chiefly at Vienna—there not being sufficient patronage for him in his native city. His water-coloured drawings, in particular, are considered admirable; but he has lately commenced painting in oil—with considerable success. His etchings, of which he has published about one hundred, are in general masterly; but perhaps they are a little too metallic and severe. His observation of nature is at once acute and correct.

In the neighbourhood of Nuremberg—that is to say, scarcely more than an English mile from thence—are the grave and tomb-stone of ALBERT DURER. Dr. Bright having printed that artist's epitaph at length[177]—and it being found in most biographical details relating to him—it need not be here repeated. The monument is simple and striking. In the churchyard, there is a representation of the Crucifixion, cut in stone. It was on a fine, calm evening, just after sunset, that I first visited the tombstone of Albert Durer; and shall always remember the sensations, with which that visit was attended, as among the most pleasing and impressive of my life. The silence of the spot,—its retirement from the city—the falling shadows of night, and the increasing solemnity of every monument of the dead—- together with the mysterious, and even awful effect, produced by the colossal crucifix... but yet perhaps, more than either, the recollection of the extraordinary talents of the artist, so quietly sleeping beneath my feet ... all conspired to produce a train of reflections which may be readily conceived, but not so readily described. If ever a man deserved to be considered as the glory of his age and nation, ALBERT DURER was surely that man. He was, in truth, the Shakspeare of his art—for the period.

Notwithstanding I had made every enquiry among the principal booksellers, of Antiquars, [178] for rare and curious old volumes, I literally found nothing worth purchasing. The Baron Derschau was doubtless my best friend on this score. Yet I was told that, if I would put a pair of horses to my carriage, and drive, to Furth—a short two German mile stage from Nuremberg, and which indeed I had distinctly seen from the windows of the citadel—I should find there, at a certain Antiquar's, called HEERDEGEN, an endless, variety of what was precious and curious in the department of which I was in search. Accordingly, I put the wheels of my carriage in motion, within twenty-four hours of receiving the intelligence. The road to Furth is raised from the level of the surrounding country, and well paved in the centre. It is also lined by poplar trees, a great part of the way. I have reason to remember this visit for many a long day. Having drove to M. Heerdegen's door, I was received with sufficient courtesy; and was told to mount to the top of the house, where the more ancient books were kept, while he, M. Heerdegen, settled a little business below. That business consisted in selling so many old folios, by the pound weight, in great wooden scales;—the vendor, all the time, keeping up a cheerful and incessant conversation. The very sight of this transaction was sufficient to produce an hysterical affection—and, instead of mounting upwards, I stood—stock still—wondering at such an act of barbarity! Having requested permission to open the volumes in question, and finding them to contain decretals, and glosses upon councils, I recovered myself by degrees ... and leisurely walked to the very topmost floor of the house.

M. Heerdegen was not long after me. He is a most naif character; and when he is pleased with a customer, he presents him with an india ink drawing of his own portrait. On receiving this testimony of his approbation, I did not fail to make my proper acknowledgements: but, with respect to the books with which I was to load my carriage, there was scarcely a shadow of hope, of even securing a dozen volumes worth transporting to the banks of the Rhine. However, after three hours pretty severe labour—having opened and rejected I know not how many books of Medicine, Civil and Canon Law, Scholastic Divinity, Commentaries upon Aristotle, and disputations connected with Duns Scotus, together with a great number of later impressions of the Latin Bible in the XVth century—I contrived to get a good Latin Plutarch, some pretty Aldine octavos, a few Lochers and Brandts, a rare little German poetical tract, of four leaves, called the Wittemberg Nightingale, and an Italian Bible printed by the Giuntae, which had belonged to Melancthon, and contained his autograph:—all which, with some pieces by Eckius, Schottus, and Erasmus, to the amount of 4l. 4s. of English money, were conveyed with great pomp and ceremony below.

However, I had not been long with M. Heerdegen, before a clergyman, of small stature and spare countenance, made his appearance and saluted me. He had seen the carriage pass, and learnt, on enquiry, that the traveller within it had come expressly to see M. Heerdegen. He introduced himself as the curate of the neighbouring church, of which M. Fronmueller was the rector or pastor: adding, that his own church was the only place of Christian worship in the village. This intelligence surprised me; but the curate, whose name was Link, continued thus: "This town, Sir, consists of a population of ten thousand souls, of which four-fifths are Jews; who are strictly forbidden to sleep within the walls of Nuremberg. It is only even by a sort of courtesy, or sufferance, that they are allowed to transact business there during the day time." M. Link then begged I would accompany him to his own church, and to the rector's house—taking his own house in the way. There was nothing particularly deserving of notice in the church, which has little claim to antiquity. It had, however, a good organ. The rector was old and infirm. I did not see him, but was well pleased with his library, which is at once scholar-like and professional. The library of the curate was also excellent of its kind, though limited, from the confined means of its owner. It is surprising upon what small stipends the Protestant clergy live abroad; and if I were to mention that of M. Link, I should only excite the scepticism of my readers.

I was then conducted through the village—which abounded with dirty figures and dirty faces. The women and female children were particularly disgusting, from the little attention paid to cleanliness. The men and boys were employed in work, which accounted for their rough appearance. The place seems to swarm with population—and if a plague, or other epidemic disorder should prevail, I can hardly conceive a scene in which it is likely to make more dreadful havoc than at Furth. Although I had not obtained any thing very special at this place, in the book way, I was yet glad to have visited it—were it only for the sake of adding one more original character to the bibliopolistic fraternity upon the Continent. In spite of the very extraordinary line of business which M. Heerdegen chooses to follow, I have reason to think that he "turns a good penny" in the course of the year; but own that it was with surprise I learnt that Mr. Bohn, the bookseller of Frith Street,[179] had preceded me in my visit—and found some historical folios which he thought well worth the expense of conveyance to England.

It remains only to return for a few hours to Nuremberg, and then to conduct the reader to Manheim. One of the four days, during which I remained at Nuremberg, happened to be Sunday; and of all places upon the Continent, Sunday is, at Nuremberg, among the gayest and most attractive. The weather was fine, and the whole population was alternately within and without the city walls. Some Bavarian troops of cavalry were exercising near the public walks, and of course a great multitude was collected to witness their manoeuvres. On casting my eye over this concourse of people, attired in their best clothes, I was particularly struck with the head dresses of the women: composed chiefly of broad-stiffened riband, of different colours, which is made to stick out behind in a flat manner—not to be described except by the pencil of my graphic companion. The figure, seen in the frontispiece of the third volume of this work, is that of the Fille de chambre at our hotel, who was habited in her Sunday attire; and it displays in particular the riband head-dress—which was of black water-tabby sarsenet. But as these ribands are of different colours, and many of them gay and gorgeous, their appearance, in the open air—and where a great number of people is collected, and in constant motion—is that, as it were, of so many moving suns. In general, the Nurembergeoises have little pretensions to beauty: they are; however, active, civil, and intelligent.

It is rarely one takes leave of an hotel with regret when every days journey brings us sensibly nearer home. But it is due to the kind treatment and comfortable lodgings, of which I partook at Nuremberg; to say, that no traveller can leave the Cheval Rouge without at least wishing that all future inns which he visits may resemble it. We left Nuremberg after dinner, resolving to sleep at Ansbach; of which place the Margrave and Margravine were sufficiently distinguished in our own country. I had received a letter of introduction to Monsieur Le Comte de Drechsel, President de la Regence—and President of the corporation of Nuremberg—respecting the negotiation for the Boccaccio of 1472; from which, however, I augured no very favourable result. The first stage from Nuremberg is Kloster Heilbronn: where, on changing horses, the master of the inn pressed me hard to go and visit the old church, which gives the name to the village, and which was said to contain some curious old paintings by Albert Durer: but there was literally no time—and I began to be tired ... almost of Albert Durers! At Ansbach we drove to the Crown, a large and excellent inn. It was nightfall when we entered the town, but not so dark as to render the size and extent of the Margrave's palace invisible, nor so late as to render a visit to two booksellers, after a late cup of tea, impracticable. At one place, I found something in the shape of old books, but purchased nothing—except an edition of Boccaccio's Tales, in French, with the well known plates of Roman Le Hooge, 1701. 8vo. It was loosely bound in sorry calf, but a florin could not be considered too much for it, even in its sombre state. The other bookseller supplied, by the tender of his friendly offices, the deficiencies of his collection—which, in fact, consisted of nothing but a stock of modern publications.

The next morning I visited the Comte Drechsel—having first written him a note, and gently touched upon the point at issue. He received me with courtesy; and I found him particularly intelligent—but guarded in every expression connected with any thing like the indulgence, even of a hope, of obtaining the precious volume in question. He would submit my proposition to the municipality. He understood English perfectly well, and spoke French fluently. I had received intimation of a collection of rare and curious old books, belonging to a Mr...., in the environs of Ansbach; who, having recently experienced some misfortunes, had meditated the sale of his library. The owner had a pretty country house, scarcely a stone's throw from the outskirts of the town, and I saw his wife and children—but no books. I learnt that these latter were conveyed to the town for the purpose of sale; and having seen a few of them, I left a commission for a copy of Fust and Schoeffher's edition of Pope Boniface's Councils of 1465, UPON VELLUM. I have never heard of the result of the sale.

From Ansbach to Heilbronn, which can be scarcely less than sixty English miles, few things struck me on the road more forcibly than the remains of a small old church and cloisters at Feuchtwang—where we stopped to change horses, the first stage after Ansbach. It rained heavily, and we had only time to run hastily through these very curious old relics, which, if appearances formed the test of truth, might, from the colour of the stone and the peculiarity of the structure, have been old enough to designate the first christian place of worship established in Germany. The whole, however, was upon a singularly small scale. I earnestly recommend every English antiquary to stop longer than we did at Feuchtwang. From thence to Heilbronn, we passed many a castle-crowned summit, of which the base and adjacent country were covered by apparently impenetrable forests of fir and elm; but regretted exceedingly that it was quite nightfall when we made the very steep and nervous entrance into Hall—down a mountainous descent, which seemed to put the carriage on an inclined plane of forty-five degrees. We were compelled to have four horses, on making the opposite ascent; and were even preceded by boys, with links and torches, over a small bridge, under which runs a precipitous and roaring stream. Hall is a large, lively, and much frequented town.

Heilbronn, or Hailbrunn, is a large consequential town; and parts of it are spacious, as well as curious from appearances of antiquity. The large square, where we changed horses, was sufficiently striking; and the Hotel de ville in particular was worthy of being copied by the pencil of my companion. But we were only passing travellers, anxious to reach Manheim and to cross the Rhine. The country about Heilbronn is picturesque and fertile, and I saw enough to convince me that two days residence there would not be considered as time thrown away. It is one of the principal towns in the kingdom of Wirtemberg, and situated not many leagues from the Black Forest, or Schwartz Wald, where wild boars and other wild animals abound, and where St. Hubert (for aught I know to the contrary) keeps his nocturnal revels in some hitherto unfrequented glen ... beneath the radiance of an unclouded moon.

But if Heilbronn be attractive, from the imposing appearance of the houses, Heidelberg is infinitely more so; containing a population of nine thousand inhabitants. We reached this latter place at dinner time, on Sunday—but as it rained heavily for the last hour previous to our entrance, we could not take that survey of the adjacent country which we so much desired to do. Yet we saw sufficient to delight us infinitely: having travelled along the banks of the river Neckhar for the last three or four miles, observing the beautifully wood-crowned hills on the opposite side. But it is the CASTLE, or OLD PALACE of HEIDELBERG—where the Grand Dukes of Baden, or old Electors Palatine, used to reside—and where the celebrated TUN, replenished with many a score hogshead of choice Rhenish wine—form the grand objects of attraction to the curious traveller. The palace is a striking edifice more extensive than any thing I had previously seen; but in the general form of its structure, so like Holland House at Kensington, that I hesitated not one moment to assign the commencement of the sixteenth century, as the period of the building in question. The date of 1607,[180] cut in stone, over one of the principal doors, confirmed my conjecture.

I now looked eagerly on all sides—observing what portions were more or less dilapidated, and wondering at the extent and magnificence of the building. Room after room, corridor succeeding corridor—saloons, galleries, banquetting apartments, each and all denuded of its once princely furniture—did not fail to strike my imagination most forcibly. Here was the Hall of Chivalry, which had been rent asunder by lightning: yonder, a range of statues of the old Electors Counts Palatine:—a tier of granite columns stood in another direction, which had equally defied the assaults of the foe and the ravages of time. In one part, looking down, I observed an old square tower, which had been precipitated in consequence (as I learnt) of an explosion of gunpowder. It was doubtless about a century older than the building from which I observed it. On an eminence, almost smothered with larch and lime, and nearly as much above ourselves as we were from the town, stand the ruins of another old castle ... the residence of the older Counts Palatine. The whole scene was full of enchantment to an antiquarian traveller; and I scarcely knew how to quit one portion of it for another.

The terrace, at the back of the castle, forms a noble and commanding walk. Here, in former days, the counts and dukes of the empire, with all their trains of duchesses and damoiselles, used to parade in full pomp and magnificence, receiving the homage of their dependants, and the applause of the townsmen. From hence, indeed, they might have looked down, in the proud spirit of disdain, upon their vassal subjects:—or, in case of rebellion, have planted their cannon and pulverised their habitations in a little hour. It is hardly possible to conceive a more magnificent situation ... but now, all is silence and solitude. The wild boar intrudes with impunity into the gardens—and the fowls of heaven roost within those spacious chambers, which were once hung with rich arras, or covered with gorgeous tapestry. Scarcely three human beings ... who seem to sleep out their existence ... are now the tenants of THAT MANSION, where once scarcely fewer than one hundred noblemen with their attendants, found comfortable accommodations. A powerful, and yet not unpleasing melancholy, touches the heart ... as one moves leisurely along these speaking proofs of the mutability of earthly grandeur.

No man visits this proud palace without visiting also the equally celebrated TUN—of which Merian, in his well known views, has supplied us with a print or two. It is placed in the lower regions of the palace, in a room by itself—except that, by the side of it, there stands a small cask which may hold a hogshead, and which is considered to be the ne plus ultra of the art of cooperage. It is made in the neatest and closest- fitting manner imaginable, without either a nail, or piece of iron, or encircling hoop; and I believe it to be nearly as old as the great Tun. This latter monstrous animal, of his species, is supported by ribs—of rather a picturesque appearance—which run across the belly of the cask, at right angles with the staves. As a WINE CASK, it has long maintained its proud distinction of being the largest in the world. A stair-case is to the right of it, leading to a little square platform at the top; upon which frolicksome lads and lasses used, in former days, to dance, when the tub had been just filled with the produce of the passing year's vintage. The guide told us that one Elector or Grand Duke, I think it was CHARLES THEODORE, had immortalised himself, by having, during his regency, caused the great tun of Heidelberg to be fairly twice emptied;—"those (added he) were golden days, never to return. At present, and for a long time past, the cask is filled almost to the very top with mere lees." In an adjoining cellar, I was shewn a set of casks, standing perpendicularly, called the Twelve Apostles. The whole of this subterraneous abode had, I must confess, a great air of hospitality about it; but when I mentioned to the guide the enormous size of those casks used by our principal London brewers—compared with which, even the "GREAT TUN" was a mere TEA-CUP—he held up his hands, shook his head, and exclaimed with great self- satisfaction... "cela ne se peut pas etre!"

After I had dined, I called upon M. Schlosser, one of the professors of the University—for which this town is rather celebrated.[181] Attached to this University, is a famous Library of MSS. and printed books—but more especially of the former. It has been long known under the name of the Palatine Library; and having been seized and transported to the Vatican, at the conclusion of the thirty years war, and from thence carried to Paris, was, in the year 1815, at the urgent intercession of the King of Prussia, restored to its ancient-resting-place. What "a day of joyance" was that when this restoration took place! M. Schlosser adverted to it with a satisfaction amounting... almost to rapture. That gentleman made me a present of the first part of his Universal Biography, published at Franckfort on the Main, the preceding year, in 8vo.—in the German language—with copious and erudite notes. He shewed me the earlier printed volumes of the Public Library; of which, having unluckily lost the few memoranda I had taken—but which I believe only included the notice of a first Caesar, first Suetonius, and first Tacitus—I am not able to give any particular details. M. Schlosser conversed a good deal, and very earnestly, about Lord Spencer's library—and its probable ultimate destination; seeming to dread its "dispersion" as a national calamity.

It was late in the afternoon, when darkness was rather prematurely coming on—and the rain descending almost in torrents—that I left Heidelberg for MANHEIM—the ultima Thule of my peregrinations on the German side of the Rhine. The road is nearly straight, in good order, and lined with poplar trees. People of all descriptions—on foot, in gigs, carriages, and upon horseback—were hastening home—as upon a Sunday evening with us:—anxious to escape the effects of a soaking rain. Unfavourable as the weather was, I could not help looking behind, occasionally, to catch glimpses of the magnificent palace of Heidelberg; which seemed to encrease, in size and elevation as we continued to leave it in the rear. The country, also, on the other side of the Neckhar, was mountainous, wooded, and picturesque: the commencement of that chain of hills, which, extending towards Mayence and Cologne, form the favourite and well known scenery which Englishmen delight to visit. As my eye ran along this magnificent range, I could not but feel something approaching to deep regret ... that other causes, besides those of the lateness of the season, operated in preventing me from pursuing my course in that direction. It was impossible ... however I might have wished to visit the cities where Fust and Schoeffher and Ulric Zel are supposed to lie entombed, and where the FIRST PRODUCTIONS OF THE PRESS were made public—it was impossible for me to do otherwise than to make Manheim the colophon of my bibliographical excursion. The glass had been turned for some time past, and the sand was fast running out.

It was rather late when we drove to the Golden Fleece at Manheim, the best inn in the town—and situated in a square, which, when we visited it, was filled by booths: it being fair time. With difficulty we got comfortable lodgings, so extremely crowded was the inn. The court-yard was half choked up with huge casks of Rhenish wine, of different qualities; most of them destined for England—and all seemed to be agitation and bustle. The first night of my arrival was a night of mixed pleasure and pain, by the receipt of nearly a dozen letters from Vienna, Munich, Stuttgart, and London, collectively: the whole of which had been purposely directed to this place. The contents of the Stuttgart letter have been already detailed to the reader.[182] The first object of my visitation at Manheim, on the morrow, was the house of DOM. ARTARIA—known, throughout the whole of Germany, as the principal mercantile house for books, prints, and pictures.[183] With these objects of commerce, was united that of banking: forming altogether an establishment of equal prosperity and respectability. The house is situated in the principal square, at the corner of one of the streets running into it. It has a stone front, and the exterior is equally as attractive in appearance, as the interior is from substantial hospitality. The civility, the frankness, the open-heartedness of my reception here was, if possible, more warm and encouraging than in any previous place in Germany; and what rendered the whole perfectly delightful, was, the thorough English-like appearance of every thing about me. Books, prints, pictures—and household furniture of every description—bespoke the judicious and liberal taste of the owner of the mansion; while the large and regular supplies of letters and despatches, every morning, gave indication of a brisk and opulent commerce. It so happened that, the very first morning of my visit to M. Artaria, there arrived trucks, filled with boxes and bales of goods purchased at the Frankfort fair—which had not been long over. In some of these ponderous cases, were pictures of the old masters; in others, prints.. chiefly from Paris and London,[184] and principally from the house of Messrs. Longman and Co. in Paternoster row. Among these latter, was a fine set of the Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica, in ten volumes, 4to. bound in russia—which had been bespoke of M. Artaria by some Bavarian Count: and which must have cost that Count very little short of 120 guineas. The shelves of the front repository were almost wholly filled with English books, in the choicest bindings; and dressed out to catch and captivate the susceptible bibliomaniac, in a manner the most adroit imaginable. To the left, on entrance, were two rooms filled with choice paintings; many of them just purchased at the Frankfort fair. Some delicious Flemish pictures, among which I particularly noticed a little Paul Potter—valued at five hundred guineas—and some equally attractive Italian performances, containing, among the rest, a most desirable and genuine portrait of Giovanni Bellini—valued at one hundred and fifty guineas—were some of the principal objects of my admiration.

But, more interesting than either, in my humble judgment, and yet not divested of a certain vexatious feeling, arising from an ignorance of the original—was a portrait, painted in oil, of the size of life, quite in the manner of Hans Holbein ... yet with infinitely more warmth and power of carnation-tint. It was alive—and looked you through, as you entered the room. Few galleries, of portraits contain a more perfect specimen of the painting of the times. For the original, I believe, M. Artaria asked three hundred guineas.[185]

The purse and table of M. Artaria were as open and as richly furnished as were his repositories of books and pictures; and I was scolded because I had not made his house my head quarters during my residence at Manheim. I dined with him, however, twice out of the four days of my stay; and was indifferent to plays and public places of resort, in the conversation and company which I found at his house. Yet it was during the circulation of his double-quart bottles of old Rhenish wine—distributed with a liberality not to be exceeded by the Benedictines at the monastery at Goettwic, and yet more exquisite and choice in its flavour—that the gallant host poured forth the liberal sentiments which animated a bosom... grateful to providence for the success that had crowned his steadily and well directed labours! I never saw a man upon whom good fortune sat more comfortably, or one whom it was so little likely to spoil. Half of my time was spent in the house of M. Artaria, because there I found the kind of society which I preferred—and which contained a mixture of the antiquary and collector, with the merchant and man of the world. After this, who shall say that a fac-simile of his Autograph (now that he is NO MORE!) can be unacceptable even to the most fastidious.

Among the antiquaries, were Messrs. TRAITEUR and KOCH. The former had been public librarian at Munich; and related to me the singular anecdote of having picked up the first Mentz Bible, called the Mazarine, for a few francs at Nancy. M. Traiteur is yet enthusiastic in his love of books, and shewed me the relics of what might have been a curious library. He has a strange hypothesis, that the art of printing was invented at Spire; on account of a medal having been struck there in 1471, commemorative of that event; which medal was found during the capture of that place about two centuries ago. He fixed a very high price—somewhere about forty pounds—upon the medal; which, however, I never saw. He hoped (and I hope so too, for his own sake) that the Prince Royal of Bavaria would offer him that sum for it, to enrich his collection at Munich. M. Traiteur talked largely of a German book in his possession, with the express date of 1460; but though I was constantly urging him to shew it to me, he was not able to put his hand upon it. I bought of him, however, about ten pounds worth of books, among which was the Life of St. Goar , printed by Schoeffher in 1481, quarto—the date of which had been artfully altered to 1470—by scratching out the final xi. This was not the knavery of the vender. M. Traiteur offered me the Tewrdanckhs of 1517, upon paper, for ten pounds: a sum, much beyond what I considered to be its real worth—from the copy having been half bound, and a good deal cropt. He was incessant in his polite attentions to me.

M. Koch had been, if he be not yet, a grocer; but was so fond of rare old books, that he scarcely ever visited his canisters and sugar-loaves. I bought some very curious little pieces of him, to the amount of ten or twelve guineas: among which, was the strange and excessively rare tract, in Latin and German, entitled De Fide Concubinarum in Sacerdotes, of which a very particular account appears in the Bibliographical Decameron, vol. i. p. 229, 235. His simplicity of manners and friendliness of disposition were equally attractive; and I believe if he had possessed the most precious Aldine Classics, upon vellum, I could have succeeded in tempting him to part with them.

The town of Manheim is large, neat, and populous; containing 20,000 souls. The streets run generally at right angles, and are sufficiently airy and wide. But, compared with the domestic architecture of Augsburg, Munich, and Vienna, the houses are low, small, and unornamented. The whole place has much the appearance of a handsome provincial town in England. There are gardens and public walks; but the chief of these is connected with the old red-stone palace of the former Elector Palatine. The Rhine terminates these walks on one side; and when I visited them, which was twice during my stay, that river was running with a rapid and discoloured current. The Rhine is broad here; but its banks are tame. A mound is raised against it, in some parts, to prevent partial overflows, and a fine terrace crowns its summits. A bridge of boats, over which you pass into France, is immediately in view. Upon the whole, these gardens, which seem to be laid out in the English fashion, and which are occasionally varied by some pleasing serpentine walks, are left in a sad state of neglect. The breeze from the river plays freely along the osiers and willows, with which its banks are plentifully planted; and I generally felt refreshed by half an hour's walk upon the broad, dry, gravel terrace, which comes close up to the very windows of the palace. The palace itself is of an enormous size—but is now bereft of every insignia of royalty. It is chiefly (as I understood) a depot for arms.

I ought to mention, among the social gratifications, of which I partook at Manheim, that arising from the kind attentions of M. ACKERMANN; a gentleman, retired from business, and residing in the place or square:—devoting the evening of a bachelor's life to the amusement resulting from a small but well chosen collection of coins and medals. He shewed me several of surprising delicacy and finish ... more especially of the sixteenth century, executed at Nuremberg—and tempted me to become a purchaser of the Gold Royal of our Edward IV., for which I offered him five louis. As he thought himself handsomely paid, he presented me, in addition, with a beautiful silver medal of the sixteenth century—struck at Nuremberg—of which particular mention has been made in a preceding, page.[186] One of my visits to M. Ackermann was diversified by the sight of a profusion of fine grapes, of both colours, which had been just gathered from his garden—within the suburbs of the town:—where, indeed, a number of finely trimmed gardens, belonging to the citizens of Manheim, are kept in the highest state of cultivation. The vintage had now set through-out Germany and France; and more delicious grapes than those presented to me by M.A., could seldom be partaken of. Yet I know not if they were quite equal to those of Ratisbon and Heilbrunn. Passing along a very extensive vineyard, we stopped—requesting the valet to alight, and try to procure us some of the tempting fruit in view ... in order to slake our thirst during a hot journey. In a second he disappeared, and in a minute reappeared—with a bunch of black grapes—so large, full, and weighty ... that I question if Van Huysum or De Heem ever sat down to such a model for the exercise of their unrivalled pencils. The juice of this bunch was as copious and delicious as the exterior was downy and inviting. We learnt, however, that these little acts of depredation were not always to be committed with impunity; for that, in the middle of extensive fields, when the grape was ripe enough to be gathered, watch-boxes were placed—and keepers within these boxes were armed with carbines, loaded with something more weighty than powder!

It only remains to mention, that, having left particular directions with the house of M. Artaria, to forward all the cases which had been consigned to me, at their own house, from Vienna and Nuremberg, to that of Messrs. Arch and Co., booksellers, Cornhill, I had nothing to do but renew my letter of credit, and pass over the Rhine into France. I started immediately after dinner, from M. Artaria's house; horses having been brought to the door.


About four o'clock we passed over the bridge of boats, across the Rhine, and changed horses at Ogersheim and Spire, sleeping at Germezsheim. The Rhine flows along the meadows which skirt the town of Spire; and while the horses were changing, we took a stroll about the cathedral. It is large, but of a motley style of architecture—and, in part, of a Moorish cast of character. Nothing but desolation appears about its exterior. The roof is sunk, and threatens to fall in every moment. No service (I understood) was performed within—but in a contiguous garden were the remains of a much older edifice, of an ecclesiastical character. Around, however, were the traces of devastation and havoc—the greater part arising from the bullets and cannon balls of the recent campaigns. It was impossible, however, for a typographical antiquary to pass through this town, without feeling some sensations approaching to a sort of pleasing melancholy: for HERE were born the TWO SPIRAS—or John and Vindelin de Spira—who introduced the art of printing into Venice. I do not suppose that there exists any relic of domestic architecture here old enough to have been contemporaneous with the period of their births.

The journey to Paris, through the route we took, was such—till we reached St. Avold, about two hundred and fifty English miles from the capital—as is never likely to induce me to repeat the attempt. The continuation of the chain of mountains called the Vosges, running northerly from Strasbourg downwards—renders the road wearisome, and in parts scarcely passable—as the government has recently paid no attention to its reparation. Landau, Weissenbourg, and Bitche are the principal fortified towns; the latter, indeed, boasts of a commanding fort—upon a very elevated piece of ground, ranked among the more successful efforts of Vauban. The German language continued chiefly to be spoken among the postilions and lower orders, till we left Forbach for St. Avold. At Landau, about three hundred and sixty miles from Paris, I parted with my valet—- for Strasbourg; under the impression that he would be glad to resume his acquaintance with me, on any future occasion: at the same time he seemed to long to be taken with us to London—a city, of all others, he said, he was desirous of seeing. He had also half imbibed the notion that its streets were paved with gold.

Metz is a noble city: finely situated, strongly fortified, and thickly inhabited. The Moselle encircles a portion of it in a very picturesque manner. The inn, called the Cheval Blanc, should rather be that of Cheval Noir—if it take its epithet from the colour of the interior—for a dirtier hotel can scarcely exist. It was a fine moonlight night when we left Metz, on a Sunday, resolving to sleep two stages on the road. The next day we dined at Dombasle, a stage beyond Verdun; and were within about seventy miles of Chalons sur Marne. The vintage and the fruits of Autumn were now rich and abundant on all sides. The fields were all purple, and the orchards all red and gold. Wine casks, stained with the gushing juice, met us between every stage; while on the right hand and left, we saw the women walking beneath their perpendicular baskets, laden with the most bountiful produce of the vineyard. Such a year of plenty had hardly been remembered within the oldest memory. Mean time, the song and the roundelay were heard from all quarters; and between Dombasle and Clermont, as we ascended a wooded height, with the sun setting in a flame of gold, in front—we witnessed a rural sight, connected with the vintage, which was sufficient to realise all the beautiful paintings ever executed by Watteau and Angelis.

It was late when we reached Chalons. The next day, we started for Rheims, and stopped at Sillery in our way—the last stage on that side of it. The day was really oppressive—although we were in the middle of October. At Sillery we drank some Champagne—for which it is famous—the produce of the same year's vintage. It had not been made a fortnight—and tasted rather sharp and strong. This, we were triumphantly told, was the sure test of its turning out excellent. We were infinitely delighted with Rheims, more especially with THE CATHEDRAL. The western porches—and particularly that on the north side—are not less beautifully, than they are elaborately, sculptured. The interior, immediately within the western porches—or rather on the reverse sides of them—presents sculpture of admirable workmanship:—of the fourteenth century. But the porches appeared much lower than I had imagined. In the nave is an isolated roman sculpture,[187] of the lower age, cut in a block of marble—and unconnectedly placed there. This has been engraved in the Antiquite Expliquee of Montfaucon. At the further end of the choir, is an elaborately sculptured modern monument—containing many beautiful figures in white marble:—upon the whole, one of the most interesting which I had seen upon the Continent. The upper part of the exterior of the cathedral, on the south side, is very elegantly carved; but the towers are short, and under repair. The lower part of the south exterior of the cathedral is entirely marred, as to picturesque effect, by the recent buildings attached to it. Upon the whole, however, the Cathedral at Rheims is a very pure and interesting specimen of Gothic architecture. Nor must I omit an anecdote connected with its present state of preservation. That it escaped the ravages of the revolution, was owing, as I learnt, to the respect which was paid to the Cure of some neighbouring parish. He came down to the armed multitude, when they were ripe for every species of destruction. He told them—they might take his LIFE ... but entreated them to spare the MOTHER CHURCH. They spared both: but many marks of their devastation are yet seen; and pieces of old sculpture, dragged from their original places of destination, are stuck about in different parts, over shopkeepers' doors. I could have filled a caravan with several curious specimens of this kind:—which would have been joyfully viewed by many a Member of the Society of Antiquaries. The population of Rheims is estimated at about thirty thousand. It appears to be situated in a fertile and picturesque country.

As the weather continued not only serene, but almost sultry—and as we began to be weary of packing and unpacking, and sleeping at so many different inns in the route—I resolved upon travelling all night, and pushing on at once for Paris: where our fatigue would have a temporary cessation. I left, therefore, this venerable city about six o'clock in the evening—intending to travel without intermission till I reached my old quarters at the Hotel des Colonies, in the Rue de Richelieu. The road is paved in the middle, the whole way to Paris; but we were careful to avoid the centre. In other respects, this road is broad, and has a noble appearance. As we quitted Rheims, and were gaining the height of the first hill, on the Paris side, we turned round to take a farewell view of the venerable cathedral. It will be long ere I forget that view. The moon, now at full, was rising—in unclouded majesty—just above the summit of the old towers of the cathedral. Her orb was clear, pale, and soft; and yet completely irradiated. The towers and western front were in a cold, gray tint: the houses, of inferior dimensions, were shrunk to insignificancy. There was, therefore, nothing but a cloudless sky, a full moon, and the cathedral of Rheims:—objects, upon which the eye rests, and the imagination riots... as ours did ... till a turning of the road shut out the scenery from our view.

It was considerably past midnight when I reached Soissons—the principal town between Rheims and Paris. I breakfasted at Dammartin. About mid-day I entered Paris, and found the hostess of the Hotel des Colonies, (who had been apprised by letter of our intention of returning thither) perfectly disposed to give me a cordial reception, after an absence of about three months. Having settled my affairs, and enjoyed a short repose at Paris of a fortnight, I returned with my companion, by the diligence, to Calais; and landed at Dover within about six months, and a half of my departure from Brighton to Dieppe. Although my tour was carried on in the most favourable of seasons—and with every sort of comfort, and attention arising from letters of recommendation, and hospitable receptions in consequence—yet I had undergone, from a constant state of excitement and occupation, a great deal of bodily and mental fatigue; and I question if poor Park, ... had it pleased Providence to have allowed him to re-visit his native shore... would have retouched BRITISH EARTH with greater joy than I experienced, when, leaping from the plank, put out from the boat, I planted my foot upon the shingles at DOVER ...

... reddens landes Domino.[188]

[157] The Emperor of Austria having stopped at this hotel, the landlord asked his permission to call it from henceforth by his Majesty's name; which was readily granted. There is an Album here, in which travellers are requested to inscribe their names, and in which I saw the imperial autograph.

[158] Especially in the striped broad shoes; which strongly resemble those in the series of wood-cuts descriptive of the triumphs of the Emperor Maximilian.

[159] There is a lithographic print of it recently published, from the drawing of Quaglio—of the same folio size with the similar prints of Ulm and Nuremburg. The date of the towers of the Cathedral of Ratisbon may be ascertained with the greatest satisfaction. From the Nuremberg Chronicle of 1493 folio xcviii, recto, it appears that when the author (Hartmann Schedel) wrote the text of that book, "the edifice was yet incomplete." This incomplete state, alludes, as I suspect, to the towers; for in the wood-cut, attached to the description, there is a crane fixed upon the top of one of the towers, and a stone being drawn up by it—this tower being one story shorter than the other. Schedel is warm in commendation of the numerous religious establishments, which, in his time, distinguished the city of Ratisbon. Of that of St. Emmeran, the following note supplies some account.

[160] Lord Spencer possesses some few early Classics from this monastic library, which was broken up about twenty years ago. His Lordship's copy of the Pliny of 1469, folio, from the same library, is, in all probability, the finest which exists. The MONASTERY OF ST. EMMERAM was doubtless among the "most celebrated throughout Europe." In Hartmann Schedel's time, it was "an ample monastery of the order of St. Benedict." In the Acta Sanctorum, mense Septembris, vol. vi. Sep. 22, p. 469, the writer of the life of St. Emmeram supposes the monastery to have been built towards the end of the VIIth century. It was at first situated without the walls,—but was afterwards (A.D. 920) included within the walls. Hansizius, a Jesuit, wrote a work in 1755, concerning the origin and constitution of the monastery—in which he says it was founded by Theodo in 688. The body of St. Emmeram was interred in the church of St. George, by Gaubaldus, in the VIIIth century, which church was reduced to ashes in 1642; but three years afterwards, they found the body of St. Emmeram, preserved in a double chest, or coffin, and afterwards exposed it, on Whitsunday, 1659, in a case of silver—to all the people.

[161] He died in April, 1820.

[162] [NOT so—as I understand. It is re-established in its previous form.]

[163] So I heard him called everywhere—in Austria and Bavaria—by men of every degree and rank in society; and by professional men as frequently as by others. I recollect when at Landshut, standing at the door of the hotel, and conversing with two gallant-looking Bavarian officers, who had spent half their lives in the service: one of them declaring that "he should like to have been opposed to WELLINGTON—to have died even in such opposition, if he could not have vanquished him." I asked him, why? "Because (said he) there is glory in such a contest—for he is, doubtless, the FIRST CAPTAIN OF THE AGE."

[164] Dr. Bright, in Travels in Lower Hungary, p. 90-3, has an animated passage connected with this once flourishing, but now comparatively drooping, city. In the Bibl. Spenceriana, vol. iii. p. 261-3, will be found an extract or two, from Schedel's Nuremberg Chronicle, fol. c., &c. edit. 1493, which may serve to give a notion of the celebrity of Nuremberg about three centuries and a half ago.

[165] Or rather, walls which have certain round towers, with a projecting top, at given intervals. These towers have a very strong and picturesque appearance; and are doubtless of the middle part of the fifteenth century. In Hartman Schedel's time, there were as many of them as there were days in the year.

[166] [A large and most beautiful print of this interesting Shrine has been published since the above was written. It merits every commendation.]

[167] This is a striking and interesting print—and published in England for 1l. 1s. The numerous figures introduced in it are habited in the costume of the seventeenth century.

[168] The author of this work was Franciscus de Retz. As a first essay of printing, it is a noble performance. The reader may see the book pretty fully described in the Bibl. Spenceriana, vol. iii. p. 489.

[169] See p. 320 ante.

[170] See a copy of it described at Paris; vol. ii. p. 126.

[171] See p. 182 ante.

[172] [He is since DEAD.]

[173] Only three livraisons of this work have, I believe, been yet published:—under the title of "Gravures en Bois des anciens maitres allemands tirees des Planches originales recueillies par IULIAN ALBERT DERSCHAU. Publiees par Rodolphe Zecharie Becker." The last, however, is of the date of 1816—and as the publisher has now come down to wood-blocks of the date of 1556, it may be submitted whether the work might not advantageously cease? Some of the blocks in this third part seem to be a yard square.

[174] They are now in the library of Earl Spencer.

[175] I will describe this singular specimen of old art as briefly and perspicuously as I am able. It consists of an impression, in pale black ink—resembling very much that of aquatint, of a subject cut upon copper, or brass, which is about seventeen inches in height (the top being a little cut away) and about ten inches six-eighths in width. The upper part of the impression is in the shape of an obtusely pointed, or perhaps rather semicircular, gothic window—and is filled by involutions of forms or patterns, with great freedom of play and grace of composition: resembling the stained glass in the upper parts of the more elaborated gothic windows of the beginning of the fifteenth century. Round the outer border of the subject, there are seven white circular holes, as if the metal from which the impression was taken, had been nailed up against a wall—and these blank spots were the result of the aperture caused by the space formerly occupied by the nails. Below, is the subject of the crucifixion. The cross is ten inches high: the figure of Christ, without the glory, six inches: St. John is to the left, and the mother of Christ to the right of the cross; and each of these figures is about four inches high. The drawing and execution of these three figures, are barbarously puerile. To the left of St. John is a singular appearance of the upper part of another plate, running at right angles with the principal, and composed also in the form of the upper portion of a gothic window. To the right of the virgin, and of the plate, is the "staggering" date abovementioned. It is thus: This date is fixed upon the stem of a tree, of which both the stem and the branches above appear to have been scraped, in the copper, almost white—for the sake of introducing the inscription, or date. The date, moreover, has a very suspicious look, in regard to the execution of the letters of which it is composed. As to the paper, upon which the impression is taken, it has, doubtless, much of the look of old paper; but not of that particular kind, either in regard to tone or quality, which we see in the prints of Mechlin, Schoen, or Albert Durer. But what gives a more "staggering aspect" to the whole affair is, that the worthy Derschau had another copy of this same impression, which he sold to Mr. John Payne, and which is now in the highly curious collection of Mr. Douce. This was fortunate, to say the least. The copy purchased by myself, is now in the collection of Earl Spencer.

[176] I should add, that the dotted manner of executing this old print, may be partly seen in that at page 280 of vol. iii. of the second edition of this work; but still more decidedly in the old prints pasted within the covers of the extraordinary copy of the Mazarine Bible, UPON VELLUM, once in the possession of Messrs. Nicol, booksellers to his late Majesty, and now in that of Henry Perkins, Esq.

[177] Travels in Lower Hungary, 1818, 4to. p.93.

[178] Buchhandler is bookseller: and Antiquar a dealer in old books. In Nuremberg, families exist for centuries in the same spot. I.A. ENDTER, one of the principal booksellers, resides in a house which his family have occupied since the year 1590. My intercourse was almost entirely with M. Lechner—one of the most obliging and respectable of his fraternity at Nuremberg.

[179] [Now of Henrietta Street Covent Garden. As is a sturdy oak, of three centuries growth, compared with a sapling of the last season's transplanting, so is the business of Mr. Bohn, NOW, compared with what it was when the above notice was written.]

[180] It is either 1607, or 1609.

[181] The reputation of the University of Heidelberg, which may contain 500 students, greatly depends upon that of the professors. The students are generally under twenty years of age. Their dress and general appearance is very picturesque. The shirt collar is open, the hair flowing, and a black velvet hat or cap, of small and square dimensions, placed on one side, gives them a very knowing air. One young man in particular, scarcely nineteen from his appearance, displayed the most beautiful countenance and figure which I had ever beheld. He seemed to be Raphael or Vandyke revived.

[182] See note at page 49-51.

[183] Since March 1819, called the firm of ARTARIA and FONTAINE.

[184] Among the prints recently imported from the latter place, was the whole length of the DUKE OF WELLINGTON, engraved by Bromley, from the painting of Sir Thomas Lawrence. I was surprised when M. Artaria told me that he had sold fifty copies of this print—to his Bavarian and Austrian customers. In a large line engraving, of the Meeting of the Sovereigns and Prince Schwartzenberg, after the battle of Leipsic—from the painting of P. Krafft—and published by Artaria and Fontaine in January 1820—it is gratifying to read the name of our SCOTT—as that of the engraver of the piece—although it had been previously placed in other hands.

[185] [It was brought to England about three years ago, and is YET, I believe, a purchasable article in some Repository. It should at least be seen by the whole tribe of COGNOSCENTI in Pall Mall.]

[186] See page 439.

[187] The town is said to abound with Roman antiquities; among which is a triumphal arch of the time of Augustus, and an arcade called the Romulus. It was at Rheims where the holy ampoule, or oil for consecrating the Kings of France was kept—who were usually crowned here. A Jacobin ruffian, of the name of Ruht, destroyed this ampoule during the revolution. This act was succeeded by his own self-destruction.

[188] CHRISTMAS CAROL: printed by Wynkyn De Worde, 1521, 4to. see Typog. Antiquities, vol. ii. p. 251.



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