Edward Browne (1677): An Account of Several Travels through a Great Part of Germany, pp. 117-153: From Vienna to Hamburg.
TAKING a farewell of the Imperial City of Vienna, I ordered my Journey for Prague in Bohemia, which is usually six days Journey by Coach in the Summer, and eight in the Winter. I went over the great Bridge of Vienna, upon the large Stream of the Danube, passing by the Chappel of St. Bridget, of an eight-square Figure. This Bridge is a very great and massy work, supported by many high Trees, and Timber, and hath between two and three thousand Trees laid upon it cross, or side by side, from one side of the Bridge to the other, for the passage over it, after the German manner of making Bridges. At Ratisbone there is a handsome Stone-bridge over the Danube, and between that place and Vienna, divers of Wood; but fromVienna to Belgrade I observed none but what were made with Boats.
Having passed the River, I entred into the Trans-Danubian Austria, or that part of Austria which lieth between the Danube and the River Theya, and came unto Corneuburg, a pretty Town, about which place the Emperour often hunteth; it is near the Hill Bisneberg, which is opposite unto Kalenberg. The Swedes advanced far when they took this place in the last wars, and held it sowell, that they were not easily forced out of it. From thence I came to Stockerau, near the mouth of the River Mida, where it runneth into the Danube. A place much noted for the death of St. Colman a Scotch Saint, highly honoured in these parts. From thence to Guntersdorff, so to Colnedorff or Koldorff, which although it be on the South of the River Theya, is accounted the first Village of Moravia, and then came into Znaim.
In all this part of Austria, which extendeth a great length on the North-side of the Danube, conceived to have been anciently inhabited by the Marcomanni and Quadi, there are few or no Towns of antiquity, largene§, or note; for the Romans made their Stations and Colonies upon the South-side of the Danube; but the Country is full of Villages, and populous. One of the chiefest Towns is Crembs, which some call Cremona Austri¾, which I saw as I came down the Danube. A great part of this Country was notably harrassed and plundered by the Swedes. The Soyl is light, and easie to be ploughed.
Znaim is a handsome place, with many painted Houses in it, and accounted the fourth chief Town in Mahren, or Moravia; Olmütz, Brün, and Iglaw being the other three, famous1 for the death of the Emperour Sigismund. It is seated by the River Theya, which divideth Moravia from Austria, and running at last into the River Mark, affordeth accommodation of passage into the Danube.
From thence we passed by Ulverskirken, Paulitz, and Moravian Budweisse to Zimmaw, and by Byrnitz came to Igla, or Iglau, upon the River Igla, which at last runneth into the great River Marck, a very pleasant place, seated upon a Hill, on the Frontiers of Bohemia. It is well fortified la moderna, upon one side, and hath one of the largest Piazza’s that I have seen.2
Moravia, is a pleasant and fruitful Country affording plenty of necessaries for life; the people are plain-dealing, stout, and make good Souldiers. It is commodiously furnished with Rivers, the greatest whereof is the Mora or Marck, which arising in the Northern part thereof, runneth quite through the Country, and entreth the Donaw not far from Presburg. The other considerable Streams are the Theya or Thaisa, the Swarta, the Schwitta, which run into the Marck. In the last Turkish wars the Tartars having passed the Wag in Hungaria, made incursions into Moravia, and carried away some thousands of the Inahbitants.
Leaving Igla, we soon came into Bohemia, first coming into Stecken, then to Teutchin Broda by the River Saczua, formerly a strong place, taken by Zisca the famous Bohemian General, who then forced the Emperour Sigismund to fly out of Bohemia by the way of Igla. From thence we came to Haberne, and so to Janikaw: At this place, upon the 24th of February, 1643. was fought that memorable Battel between the Swedes, commanded by Leonard Torstenson, and the Imperialists under Count Hatzfield, Goetz, and other Commanders. The Imperialists had the better at first; but falling upon the Enemies Baggage, and being too greedy of Booty, they were defeated, three thousand slain, four thousand taken prisoners, with their General Hatzfield, and six or seven Colonels. The success hereof gave the Swedes advantage to proceed further, and into Silesia and Austria. In this Town meeting with a Gentleman who came from Schaclitz, which is not far from the Risgeburg, or Mount of Gyants, above the Head of the River Elbe, I enquired of him concerning the spirit Ribensal, which is said to infest that Country, but he could say nothing therein of his own knowledge; and though he was confident that there was such a Spirit, yet he confessed that for twelve years it had done no hurt.3 In Hills, Mountains, and places of Mines such reports are ordinary. It is reported that a Spirit haunts the Silver Mines of Brunswick: And another to be in the Tinn Mine of Slackenwalde in this Country of Bohemia, and to walk in the shape of a Monk, who strikes the Miners, sings and plays on the Bag-pipes, and doth many such Tricks. And Agricola in the latter end of his Sixth Book De re Metallica, gives this for one reason why Mines, or passages in Mines, are given over.
From Janikaw I travelled to Czaslaw, a good Town, and the chiefest in the Czaslawer Circle: In this place they say that Zisca was buried, that famous Bohemian General;4 he lost one Eye by an Arrow, and was at length blind of both, yet gave not over the war, and proved successful in it. He wished his Friends to make a Drum of his Skin, which should serve to fright away their Enemies. And though he cared not for any Sepulchral Monument, yet he had one in this place.
From Czaslaw we came to Guttenberg, or Cottenberg, about eight Bohemian miles from Prague, every mile being five or six English miles. A large Town, and much frequented, not from the River Albis or Elbe, of especial note for the Silver Mines about it: The Hills near it are not high, and consequently the Mines are not so deep as those of Hungary, and some others in Germany; yet some are above seventy or eighty Fathoms. They have wrought at these Mines seven hundred years, and there are about thirty of them. I went down into that which was first digged, but afterwards left for a long time, but they work there now again, it is called the Cotna, or Auf der Cotten, upon the Cotten, or Coat-hill; and as the Story goeth, a Monk walking over this Hill found a kind of a Silver Tree sticking to his Garment, which was the occasion that they afterwards digged and built these Mines, and the place retains the name of Cottenberg.
The Mine into which I descended near the Town, is but nineteen Fathoms deep; the chief Vein of the Ore runneth South, and is about a foot in breadth: the Ore holdeth or containeth in it Silver and Copper, so that out of a hundred pound weight of Ore, they ordinarily get an Ounce of Silver, and eight, nine, or ten ounces or more of Copper, even to pounds, but it is not well known, for the Copper-works are the Emperours. The Undertakers get out what Silver they can, and afterwards sell the Ore unto the Emperours Officers; but some Ore is so rich as to contain eight or nine ounces of Silver. A blew Earth which they meet with in digging, affords the best hope of Ore. Two men lately perished in this Mine, having made a fire in it, being either choaked with the smoak, or, as they thought, by the poysonous exhalations forced out of the Minerals by the fire. I have read that Libussa the Princess, and reputed Sorceress of Bohemia, foretold many things concerning these Mines; but certain it is, that for the advantage and profit these bring, the Town hath suffered much in many wars. The Emperour Sigismund made haaste out of it upon the approach of Zisca, and seeing he could not hold it, burnt the town; but it was soon rebuilt and possessed by Zisca, whose party called it the Purse of Antichrist.
Leaving Cottenburg, I came to colline and to Bohemian Broda, so named to distinguish it from Dutch or Teutonick Broda before mentioned, a considerable good town, and from thence came to Prag, or Prague, the Capital and Royal City of the Kingdom of Bohemia. The Walls of this City seem to enclose the greatest Circuit of ground of any I have seen in Germany, but the Hills and void spaces within it take up a large Tract, and therein it is like the City of Lyon in France; it is seated upon the River Muldau, by the Bohemians named Ultaue, a large rapid River, arising in the South part of Bohemia, and before it arriveth at prague, receiveth the River Sarsua and the Watta into it; and Northward of Prague the River Egra, and joyneth with the Elbe.
This great place consisteth of three Towns, named the Old, the New, and the Kleine Seitten, or lesser Town. The old Town lieth upon the East of the River Muldau, is very populous, full of Buildings, private and publick. Very considerable in this part is also the University, wherein are great numbers of Students and Scholars, there being but one University in Bohemia; many persons also resorting thither from other Countries. It is scarce credible what is reported of the number of Scholars in Prague in former Ages, as hath been delivered by divers Authors. And Lewis du May, counsellor unto the Duke of Wirtenburg, affirmeth, That there are at present scarce so many Students in all Germany, as there were at Prague in the year 1409. when they reckoned above Forty thousand under the Rectorship of John Hus. Charles the Fourth, Emperour, and King of Bohemia, founded the University of Prague, giving equal priviledges to the Bohemians, Polanders, and Germans: and when he would retrench his favours towards Strangers, there went out of the town in a weeks time twenty four thousand Scholars, and a little after, sixteen thousand, whereby we may judge there were more Scholars in Prague than other persons in some great Cities. There are also in this old town divers Colledges and Cloysters. The Jesuites have a fair, handsome Colledge, near unto the Bridge, but the Buildings of the old Town are inferiour to those of the lesser Town.
The new Town is large, and together with the River, encompasseth the old, and is divided from it by a large Trench or Ditch, into which they can let in the River. The Irish have a Cloyster of Franciscans near unto an old Tower in the Wall of the old Town. The Jesuites have also begun a large Cloyster, which, if finished according to its beginning and design, will be very spacious and noble. They are now making Bastions abot the Towne at one end thereof; there is also a Citadel, but not finished, at Wisseraht, or Wissegrade, formerly the Seat of the Princes of Bohemia, and also of the famous Princess Libussa, the Daughter of Crocus, and Wife unto Primislaus.
The Kleine Seitten, or lesser Prague, far exceedeth the other for pleasantness and beauty of Buildings and fair Palaces. This part lieth Westward of the River Muldaw, which between this and the old Town, is passable by a strong Stone-bridge, consisting of sixteen great Arches, being about Seventeen hundred foot long, and Thirty five foot broad, and two open Gates under two high Towers of Stone at each end. A great part of this Town lieth high, and upon the Hill standeth Hratschin, or Upper Prague, and a Summer House of the Emperours, besides a Magnificent Palace of the Emperours, as King of Bohemia; and by it a fair Cathedral Church dedicated to St. Veit, first built by St. Wenceslaus, Duke of Bohemia, 923. from whence the Town and River is best viewed. In this church are divers old Monuments for great Persons; as for Pogiebrachius a Bohemian King, Wenceslaus, Rodolphus the Second, Charles the Fourth, Ladislaus, Maximilian the Second, and other Arch-Dukes and Emperours. There are also many Houses of the Nobility in this part of the City. The Palace and Garden of Colaredo is exceeding neat, though small. But I was most pleased with the Palace of count Wallensteyn, Duke of Friedland, General unto the Emperour Ferdinand the Second, who being suspected to Usurp that Kingdom, was afterwards killed at Egra. This Palace was built upon the Ruins of an hundred Houses, purposely plucked down to make room for it; wherein the Hall is large, the Garden handsome; upon one side whereof there is a place to manage Horses, and near unto it a Fish-pond: in another part ther eis a noble Aviary with a Garden and Trees in it, after the manner of the Aviary of Prince Doria at Genoa, which is eighty paces long, and eighteen broad. The Stable is large, and worth the seeing, wherein there is a Marble Pillar between each Horse, and for every Horse there is placed in a rich nich of the Wall a Rack of Steel, and Manger of Marble, and over his Head hangeth a Picture of the Horse, as big as the Life, with his Name under it. Among the rest, I observed that a Bay-horse had for his Name Monte d'Oro, a Mare, Bella donna, another Espagnoletta, and his most beloved Horse was named Mas Querido.
Some have thought that the best high German is spoken in this part of Prague; and there living so many of the Nobility and great Persons, it is not to be wondred at, that their Language is better than ordinary. But the common Language of Bohemia is a Dialect of the Sclavonian, though very many speak also High dutch, as we found in all our passage through that Country. Koningsmark being with his Force on the Frontiers of Bohemia, a discontented Colonel of the Imperialists came unto him, making it probable that he might surprize Hratschin, and the lesser side of Prague, which he suddainly atempted, and so successfully, that he surprized many Officers, and old Colaredo in his Bed, getting so great a Booty, that he could scarce carry it away.
A part of Prague is inhabited by Jews, and called the Jews Town; there are no small number of them, and many rich, as trading in all Commodities, and have good skill in Jewels, and several sorts of Stones digged out of the Mines in Bohemia: I bought some Bohemian Topazes of them, neatly cut and well-figured, and some which were very large and clear, were at the rate of seven or eight Dollars. During my stay here, I had a great desire to have saluted Johannes Marcus Marci, a famous Physician and Philosopher of Prague, and also to have induced him to a Correspondence with the Royal Society, but I understood that he had left this World, to the great grief of Learned Men in these and other parts.
Many here do speak still of John Hus and Jerome of Prague, and I have seen Silver Medals of them. They were surely notable men; and I shall only set down what Æneas Sylvius, or Pope Pius the Second said of them. Johannes ætate major & authoritate, doctrinâ & facundiâ superior Hieronymus, pertulerunt ambo constanti animo necem, & quasi ad Epulum invitati ad incendium properarunt, nullam emittentes vocem quæ miseri animi posset ferre indicium: ubi ardere ceperunt, hymnum cecinere quem vix flamma & fragor ignis intercipere potuit, nemo Philosophorum tam forti animo mortem pertuliße traditur quam isti incendium. In Hist. Bohemica. John was of greater years and authority, Jerome of more Eloquence and Learning: both of them endured their Death with great constancy, and went unto the fire as though invited to a Banquet: when they began to burn, they sung an Hymn, which the flame and fire could scarce intercept. None of the old Philosophers endured their death with such a courageous mind as these the fire.
The same Author compareth Prague unto the City of Florence in Tuscany, wherefore having seen both places, I cannot omit to say something. I had a view of the City of Florence from the top of the Domo, or Cathedral, and of Prague from the Church of St. Veit, upon the Hill in the lesser Town: Prague seemed to my eye to contain a far greater Circuit than Florence; it seemed also more populous, and to exceed it very much in the number of People, the Streets larger, and the Windows of Palaces and fair houses being of Glass, looked not so tatterdly as the ragged Paper Windows of Florence. The River Arno, which runs through Florence, is not to be compared with the Muldau at Prague, having run about an hundred miles frmo its Head. The large, massy, long Stone-Bridge exceedeth any of, it not all, the four Bridges of Florence. The Emperours Palace also upon the Hill is very stately: But as for the well-paved Streets of Florence, the Domo or Cathedral with black and white Marble, with a Cupola, second only to that of St. Peters of Rome, for the incomparable Chappel of St. Laurence, and the Dukes Gallery and Rarities, I must confesss I saw not any thing in Prague which answered them. At Weissenberg, or the white Hill near Prague, that deciding Battel was found Novemb. 8. 1620. between Frederick Prince Palatine of the Rhine, elected King of Bohemia, and the Forces of the Emperour Ferdinand the Second, which gave such a deep blow unto the Protestant Party, wherein so many of Frederick’s Forces were slain and drowned in te River in their flight, wherein also that famous Commander Papenheim was found lying among the dead, who notwithstanding died not of his wounds, but was reserved to end his days with the King of Sweden in the memorable Battel of Lutzen.
From Prague I designed to pass by water down the Muldaw, which uniteth with the Elbe about Mlenick,and so down the Elbe unto Hamburg. But the Winter advancing, and the Weather proving cold, the Boats did not go as in Summer, and therefore I took my Journey by Land, and leaving Prague and the Muldau on the right hand, I passed the first day to Zagethal, the next to Weluerne, and so to Budin and Labasitz upon the Elbe. Having passed over the Egra, a considerable River, arising not far from the City of Egra, and at last running into the Elbe; the next day by the Castle of Kriegstein, or Warrestone, seated upon a high steep Rock, I came to Ausig, a small City not far from the Elbe, having little remarkable in it, like many other small Cities of Bohemia, and so foward to Nolndorff, where we lodged upon Mount Kninsberg, the day after we entred into Misnia, passing by Peterswald, and Hellendorff the first Village in Misnia, and Kisibel, where are Iron Minesabout eighteen Fathoms deep, and Iron works.
We now understood that Bohemia was a larger Country than we expected; it lieth round, and some say it is there days postage over; others that the Diameter extendeth two hundred miles. From Igla upon the confines unto Hellendorff, it took nine days Journey in November by Coach, not reckoning the time I staid at Prague. In many places there are very ill Passages, and so rudely mended with great Trees, laid side by side, that they are often very troublesome to pass.
We travelled afterwards towards Dresden, in a fruitful Country, wherein were many Deer in most parts of the way, in sight of the Castle of Pilnitz, a strong place, and seated high. I could not but cast an eye on the Rocks behind us in the Forest of Bohemia, which looked like the Ruines of a Wall which formerly enclosed Bohemia, which Country is described with a Forest or Woods round about it. But I confess I did not really perceive that there was such a Wood round about it as is commonly set forth in Mapps; only both within, and also in many parts of the borders, there are great Woods which are conceived to hav been part of the Hercinian Forest.
The Bohemians are a strong, stout, and hardy People, make good Souldiers, and have made great wars both at home and abroad; and Histories are full of their warlike Exploits. The chief Magazine of the King is at Egra, a strong City, accounted the Second of Bohemia. The Country affordeth also lusty and strong Horses. The common sort of People are boysterous, rough, and quarrelsome, especially in drink, whereto they are too much addicted. The Nobility and Gentry are civil and king unto Strangers. There are many great Families of the Nobility, among which that of Rosenberg and Popel is ancient, and of high esteem. Since the unhappy accepting of the Crown by Frederick Count Palatine, and the ill success upon it, there hath been a great alteration in this Country, both as to People and their Manners; for thereupon many thousands left the Kingdom, and many who remained, turned their Religion. And the Emperours have used the like severity upon others in their Hereditary Dominions.
The next considerable place we came unto was Dresden in Misnia, as well worth the seeing, as almost any Town in Germany. Dresden is the Seat and Residence of the Elector of Saxony, seated upon the River Elbe, over which there is a very noble Stone-bridge of Seventeen Arches. The City is very well fortified after the Modern way, the Bastions Revestues, and in each Bastion a Cavallier: It hath also a large Trench or Ditch about it, in some places double; and the River Elbe addeth unto its strength. The Walls are very strong: and they say, that when the first Stone was laid to build them, there was placed in the Earth a Silver Cup gilded, a Book of the Laws, and another of Coyns, and three Glasses filled with Wine. It hath also three Gates. The places most worth the seeing are these:: The Italian Garden in the Suburbs; the Hunters House in the old Town beyond the River; the Electors Palace; his House for wild Beasts; his Stable-house and Arsenal, of which I shall set down some things observable in their kind. In the Electors Palace, the Hall is very large, and handsomely painted with Cities, Gyants, and the Habits of several Nations, and set out with seven large branched Candlesticks: But that which affordeth the greatest delight is his Kunstkammer, Art-Chamber, or Collection of Rarities, both of Art and Nature. In the first Partition are to be seen all manner of well-made Instruments belonging to most Trades, as Joyners, Turners, Barbers, Smiths, Chirurgeons, and other Artificers: Instruments to force open Doors, Chests, &c. In the other Chambers these and the like are observable.
A Tube-glass four Ells long. A large blew Turkish-glass. Variety of Coral and artificial Works of it. Fowls made out of Mother of Pearl. Drinking Cups in the shape of Dragons, Elephants, &c. Castles of Gold and Mother of Pearl. Many Fowls and Cups made out of Nautili, and other Shells, and out of Oestrich-eggs. A fine Oestrich made out of its Egg, and with the Feathers of Gold. A Cup made out of the Ball taken out of an Oxes Stomach, richly set, about a foot long. A Stone as big as my fist, like a Bezoar-stone, taken out of a Horse. A Purse made out of the Linum Incombustibile. Silver Ore from the Mines of Freiberg, almost pure, in strings and shoots. A natural Cross of Silver Ore. One hundred and twenty one Heads carved on the outside of a Cherry-stone. A Religious Man or Frier of Japan carved in Box. A Chrystal Cabinet, sold by Oliver Cromwell, wherein is kept a Ring which hath Stones in it in the shape of a Castle. His Majesty King Charles the Second on Horsback, carved out of Iron. A Head of King Charles the First. A Glass Organ, Topazes unpolished, ten Inches in Diameter. A Cup out of a Topaze. Emeralds an inch in Diameter, as they grow in the Rock, resembling the Vitriolum Nativum, as I saw it in Paradise-hill by Schemnitz in Hungary. Stones named Thunder stones, smelling of Fire. Rocks made out of all sorts of Ore, and the names of the places written upon them from whence they were digged.
The Figures of Fishes in Stones out of Mansfield; the Stones are dark-coloured, but the Fishes of a gold or Copper colour. All sorts of Stones which are to be found about Saxony and Misnia polished. Two large pieces of pure Virgin Gold out of the Mine. A Cabinet of all sorts of Apothecaries Instruments and chief Druggs. A Hart with a Cabinet made in his side, containing all Medicines taken from a Hart. A white Hart as big as the Life, made out of the shavings and filings of Harts horn, and looking like Plaister. Figures printed in Trees. A spur in part of a Tree. Horns in Trees.
A Chamber of all manner of Mathematical Instruments and Charts. A good Library of Mathematical Books. An Unicorns-horn, which they will have to be of a Land Unicorn, being neither wreathed nor hollow. A Dart of Unicorns-horn. Among the Pictures in the same Chambers these seemed remarkable: A Picture by Colier, of the Siege of Jerusalem, with great number of Figures, and highly esteemed. Four Heads of the Elements made out of the Creatures which belong to them in Caricatura. A painting of Merchants Letters stuck behind green Tape. A Storm by Rubens. Two Nuns by Lucas van Leyden. A Picture of Dr. Luther in the Cloyster, in his Gown, and after his Death. There is also great variety of excellent Clockwork, and an attempt for a perpetual motion by a rowling bullet. A Cuckow singeth by Clockwork, a Horsman runneth and shooteth, a Crab creepeth upon a Table so well as to amaze and delight; but among all, the Crab seems to be most naturally imitated.
In the Stable house, besides the extraordinary noble Stable of Horses, wherein every Horse eats out of Rack or Iron, and Manger of Copper; and on a Pillar by him his Comb, Bridle, and Saddle, and other Necessaries, hang; besides a handsome Window with a Curtain before him. There are observable a very Fountain and pond et about with handsome Ballisters, where the Horses are watered. A long walk arched and painted with Horses; over which is a Gallery with the Pictures of all the Dukes and Electors of Saxony, both in their Military and Electoral Habits. Two Beds of Marble. Drinking Cups which seem not great, yet so contrived as to hold divers quarts. A Spring which causeth a Horseman in Silver to com eriding in, bringing a Cup of Wine in his hand. A pair of noble Pistols with all the Stories in the New and Old Testament upon them. A Glass Gun. A Gun which shoots off Forty times without charging again. A Piece which sheweth the manner of the fist invention of striking Fire in Guns. A Lock without a cock.
A Chamber of rich Sleds for Horses, made use of in Jollity and pompous Courses upon the Snow. A white Bears skin stuffed. Tigers and Lyons Skins. A Cassowares Skin. Good Armour for Men and Horses. Many sorts of Indian Mony, Duntans, and other sorts. A Picture of Laplanders and their Customs. A Lapland Drum with Figures to conjure by. A Chamber of all Hunting Arms and Necessaries.
The Armamentarium Armory or Arsenal, is a long, square Building, wherein are about Four hundred brass Pieces of Ordinance, great number of Muskets and Armour in the upper Room. Silver Coats of Male. Pieces of Ordinance to be charged behind. Retorts and Alembicks in the shape of Granados. The Steeple of the chief Church was lately burnt by Lightning, and the Canon melted which were upon it.
In the Hunting-house, in the old Town, are fifteen Bears very well provided for and looked unto. They have Fountains and Ponds to wash themselves in, wherein they much delight: And near to the Pond are high ragged Posts or Trees set up for the Bears to climb up, and Scaffolds made at the top to sun and dry themselves; where they will also sleep, and come and go as the Keeper calls them. The Horn Gallery is also remarkable in this place, out of which there are three Chambers; one painted with several sorts of Hunting; another with all sorts of Fowl; and a third with great variety of Beasts.
In the House for wild Beasts I took notice of a Marian, which is a four-footed Beast, that hangeth upon Trees by the Tail. Also a wild or Mountain-Cat of a large size. Five young Bears. Five old black Bears. A white Bear very large; the feet, the head, and the neck are longer than those of the black, but not so thick. Two Lyons. Ten Luekses; very fine Beasts, in bigness, colour, and shape between a Tiger and a wild Cat; the tips of their Ears and Tails are black, their Eyes lively, their Skin Lyon coloured, and spotted, especially about their Eyes.
The Italian Garden and Summer-house n the Suburbs is very notable, wherein are two Obelisks, two gallant Fountains, a Theatre and good Landskips. This Garden and Summer house were built by two of the Prince Electour’s Eunuchs, and afterwards sold unto the Prince of Six and twenty thousand Dollars.
Dresden is but a late City, and was formerly a Village. The Churfurst, or Elector, was not in the Town; but the Chur-prince his Son was there: A Person rather of low than middle Stature, his Hair long and yellow, his Face ruddy, his Body well set and active, and he is very well beloved. The present Elector of Saxony is John George the Second, Grand Marshal of the Empire, a great and powerful Prince, who keeps a Royal Court and Attendance, having his Guards and Officers after the manner of Kings. His Dominions lye in Misnia, Thuringia, Voytland and part of Lusatia. His Revenues are large, from Impositions upon Commodities. His Profits great, from the Tax upon Beer, which ariseth to no small sum, especially in Wittenberg, Torga, and Leipsick. And his Silver Mines are considerable. And the Funeral of the last Electour Joannes Georgius the First, was very magnificent 1657. at which there were twenty four Horses of State covered with black, and the Electoral Escutcheon embroydered thereon, and every one led by two Gentlemen, and three thousand five hundred persons in mourning.
Dr. Luthers Holiday was kept when I was there. The chief Church is very fair: They preach every morning at seven a Clock. The Lutheran women mourn in white, as others do in Black: and the woman of the House doth ordinary say Grace instead of the man. The best High-dutch is spoken in this place, and other parts of Misnia, which is a very pleasant fruitful Country, and full of good Towns and Villages.
Leaving this noble place, I took not the nearest Road, but turned out of the way unto Freiberg, a place noted for Silver Mines; whereof I had read something in Agricola, and heard very much in these parts. About an English mile or two from Freiberg, there are many remarkable Mines. I took notice of three of them: One called Auff den hohen berg, or upon the high Hill, which is the deepest in these parts, as being seventy seven of their Fathoms deep; each of their Fathoms contains twelve of their Ells, and three of their Ells makes one of our Fathoms. So that the depth of this Mine exceedeth any of those wherein I was in Hungary. There is another Mine called Himmelfurst, or the Prince of Heaven, wherein not long since there was Ore found so rich, as in an hundred pounds weight to contain an hundred and thirty Marks of Silver, or sixty five pounds in the hundred, but there was not much of it: And where the Veyns are richest, they are observed to be thinest, about two fingers broad; but the ordinary Ore is but poor, holding an ounce, or an ounce and a half, in an hundred pounds weight; and if it holdeth but half an ounce they work it. Nor is this much to be wondered at, for in the vast rich Mines of Peru and Chili, they will work the Silver Ore which containeth four or five ounces in a hundred pound weight, and ten or twelve ounces is the ordinary rate of the common Ore of that rich Mountain of Potosi, out of which Hill alone, if we believe Albero Alonso Barba, Curate of the Parish of St. Bernard in that City, there hath been more Silver taken than would cover all Misnia over and over: For thus he saith, Potosi hath already yielded between four and five hunded Millions of pieces of Eight. A quantity sufficient to make such another Hill of Silver: It is hard to form a concepton equal unto so exorbitant a heap of Riches; but the better to help our imagination herein, know, that if the Ground were covered with so many pieces of Eight, laid as close to one another as possible, they would take up the space of sixty Leagues square.
Here at Freiberg they have many ways to open the Ore whereby it may be melted; as by Lead and a sort of Silver Ore which holds Lead in it. They have also Sulphur Ore found here, which after it is burned, doth help much towards the fusion of Metals: And besides these, Slich, or pounded and washed Ore; and Slacken, which is the Dross or Cake, or Skum taken out of the Vortiegel, or Pan which receiveth the melted Minerals let out at the bottom of the melting Furnace. Their Treibshearth, or driving Furnace, where the Litharge is driven off, agreeth better with the Figure of it in Agricola, than those of Hungary; some of the Litharge is green: Their Buckwork and their Engines which pound the Ore, the Coal, and Clay, are also very neat. Much of their Ore is washed, especially the poorest, and that which is mixed with stones, quarts, or sparrs.
This is peculiar in their working, that they burn the pounded and washed Ore in the Roasthearth, before they melt it in the Smeltzover, or melting Furnace.
At these Mines of Hungary where I as, they used not the Virgula divina, or forked Hazel, to find out Silver Ore, or hidden Treasure in the Earth; and I should little depend thereon: but here they have an esteem of it. And I observed the use thereof, and the manner how they did it. But I shall omit the Description of it, because it is set down in divers Books, and it cannot be so well described as shown to the Eye.
I saw also another Mine, called Auss der Halsbrucker, about eighty of our Fathoms deep, and much worked: They have divers sorts of Ore; but they contain either Silver and Copper, Silver and Lead, or all three; but they work them only for Silver. They have divers damps in these Mines, where it is deep. The Mines are cold where the outward Air comes in; but where not, warm. The greatest trouble they have is by dust, which spoileth their Lungs and Stomachs, and frets their Skins. But they are not su much troubled with water; and have very good Engins, to draw the water out.
The Sulphur, or Brimstone Ore which is found here, is also rich; it is hard and stony, as other Ores are: that which hath red spots is accounted the best. They use a peculiar Furnace to melt the Brimstone from the Ore; some whereof yieldeth three pounds of Sulphur out of an hundred weight of Ore, which as it melteth runneth out of the Furnace into water, or the Exhalations from the Ore near or in the Fire, are condensed into Brimstone by the Surface of the Water placed to receive it; this is once again melted and purified. Some of the Brimstone Ore containeth Silver, some Copper, and some both in a small proportion.
After the Sulphur is melted from the Ore, the remainder serveth for two uses; that is, either for the melting of Silver, or for the making of Vitriol: To the former only thus; A proportion is cast into the melting Furnace of the Silver, to this end, to use the Miners expression, to make the Silver which is hard, fluid.
The other use, and which is more considerable, is for the making of Vitriol, or Copperose in this manner: They take the Ore out of which the Brimstone hath been already melted, and burn it once again, or let it still burn in the open Air; then putting it into a large Fatt, they pour water upon it, so as to imbibe and drink in the Vitriol; this Water is afterwards boyled to a sufficient height, and let out into the Coolers, where sticks are set in it, as in the making of Sugar Candy: The purst Chrystallized Vitriol sticks unto the wood, the rest to the sides and bottom. Thus the Sulphur Ore, after the Sulhur is taken out of it, still worketh upon the Silver Ore, and openeth the Body of it in the Fire; but when this Ore is also deprived of its Vitriol, it worketh no more upon Metals.
Friberg is a round well-walled City; hath handsome Streets, a Piazza, the Elector’s Castle, and five Gates. The Church of St. Peter is fair, where many of the Dukes and Ducal family have been buried, and have fair Monuments; especially Duke Mauritius, Elector of Saxony, whose Monument in black Marble is raised three piles high, adorned with many fair Statua’s in Alabaster and white Marble, and esteemed one of the noblest, if not the best, in Germany. And when this Town was surrendred unto Holck and Gallas, Octob. 5. 1632. The Duke of Saxony paid 80000 Dollars to save the Monument of his Predecessours from being ransacked and defaced, it being the fashion of divers German Princes to be buried in their Robes, with their Ensigns of Honour, Rings, Jewels, and the like, which would have been booty, and probably have run the same fortune as the Cloister of Haibron, within twelve English miles of Nurenberg, where some of the Marquisses of Onspach, who are of the Electoral House of Brandenburg, lye entombed, where Tillie’s Souldiers brake open the Vault, and robbed the dead Corpses of the Marquisses, George Frederick, and Joachim Ernest, of the Jewels, Rings, and other rich Ornaments with which they were entombed.
There are some Vaults and Subterraneous Cavities in the City, by which there are passages into the Mines. This place was formerly streightly besieged by the Emperour Adolphus, for the space of a year and a month, and at last betrayed by a Fugitive, who let in a party of the Emperours into the Town by a Subterraneous Passage near St. Donats Gate, and upon the continual Batteries made at the Town, and concussion of the Earth about it, the Earth sunk down in many places, and swallowed great numbers of the Emperours Army.
These Mines afford great benefit unto the City, and also unto the Elector; They are said to have been found out in the year 1180. But there have been other Silver Mines discovered since; as at Schneeberg, at Anneberg, and at Joachims Dale, 1526.
Having passed some time at Friberg, I ordered my Journey for Leipsick, and travelling by Waltheim and Coldick, came unto it.
Leipsick is seated upon the River Elster, which arising in Voytland, or Terra Advocatorum, passeth by it, and afterwards runneth into the River Sala. It is a rich and great trading City; hath three Marts in the year, and great resort unto it from many parts: It is well built, and divers Houses are seven stories high. The Castle is strictly guarded, and hath in it a strong white Town: But the Works about the Town are not very considerable, although they might be made strong.
The Church of St. Nicholas is well adorned, and hath the name to be the fairest within side of any Lutheran Church in Germany; they have also a remarkable Burial-place or Godtsaker, walled about, and cloystered near the Wall, wherein the better sort are buries, as the rest in the middle and open part. Which put me in mind of that noble Burial-place which I saw at Pisa in Tuscany, called Il campo Santo, because the Earth which the Emperour Frederick Barbarossa brought from the Holy Land, for the Ballast of his Ships, was laid upon that Ground.
Leipsick is famous for two great Battels fought near unto it in the last Swedish wars; one between Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, and Count Tilly, General of the Imperialists, 1631. wherein the Swedes obtained a great Victory. Tilly was wounded, fled, and lived not long after. Another some years after in the same place, wherein Leonard Torstenson the Swede, overcame Archduke Leopoldus Gulielmus, and Octavio Piccolomini, Generals of the Imperial Army. And about a mile and a half from hence, at Lutzen, another great Battel was fought, 1632. between the King of Sweden and the Imperial Army, commanded by Albert Wallensteyn Duke of Friedland, wherein the Swedes obtained the Victor, but the King of Sweden was slain; and on the Imperial side that famous Commander, Godfrey Count of Pappenheim.
There is also an University at Leipsick, first occasioned by the German Scholars of Prague, who in the troubles of the Hussites came hither, to the number of Two thousand in one day; and is still one of the Three Universities in the Elector’s Dominions; the other being Jena by the River Sala, and Wittenberg upon the Elbe. In this University they are much addicted to the study of the Law, but there are also Learned men in other Faculties.
The Magistrates of Leipsick are also considerable. Der herr von Adlershelme was the Burgomaster, a courteous Learned Person, and great Virtuoso, who had collected and observed many things: He hath five fair Daughters brought up in all commendable ways of working, Drawing, Painting, Inlaying with Flowers, with Mother of Pearl, Stones, and other pretty Works. And they speak divers Languages, which they learned at a School in Holland: So that his House hath a great deal of excellent Furniture of his Childrens work, and is one of the most considerable Curiosities to be seen in Leipsick. His Summer-house is handsome, painted both within and without: And in the Water about, are Muscovy Ducks, Indian Geese, and divers rare Fowls. In his Chamber of Rarities there are many things considerable: But I have seen divers of them in other places, and lately set down some Varieties of the Elector of Saxony, I shall mention but a few.
An Elephants Head with the dentes molares in it. An Animal like an Armadillo, but the Scales are much larger, and the Tail broader. Very large flying Fishes. A Sea-horse. Bread of Mount Libanus. A Cedar-branch with the Fruit upon it. Large Granates as they grow in the Mine. A Sirens hand. A Chameleon made out of a Fish. A piece of Iron, which seemeth to be the head of a Spear, found in the Tooth of an Elephant, the Tooth being grown about it. The Isle of Jersey drawn by our King. A piece of Wood with the Blood of King Charles the First upon it. A Greenland Lance with a large Bell at the end of it. Much Japan painting, wherein their manner of huntin and working may be observed. A Picture of our Saviour, the Hatches of which are writing, or written, and contain the story of his Passion. Bevers taken in the River Elbe. A Picture of the murther of the Innocents, done by Albert Durer. Pictures of divers strange Fowls. A Greenland Boat. The Skins of white Bears, Tigres, Wolves, and other Beasts. And I must not omit the Garter of an English Bride, with the story of it; of the Fashion in England for the Bridemen to take it off, and wear it in their Hat, which seemed so strange to the Germans, that I was obliged to confirm it to them, by assuring them that I had divers time wore such a Garter my self.
Leaving this busie and trading City of Leipsick, I directed my Journey unto Magdeburg, and travelled through a plain Country, between the River Sala and the Elbe, by Landsberg, nigh to Petersdorff, where there is a small Hill which overlooks all the Country, so to Köhten, the Residence of the Prince of Anhalt, then to Caln, and over the River Sala, before it runneth into the Elbe, which arising at Mount Fichtelberg, now hastneth towards it. Fichtelberg is a considerable Mountain, near which are divers Mines, Bathes, and Mineral-waters, of which Gaspar Bruschius hath written a Description. And from it arise four Rivers, running to the four quarters of the World. The Maine or Mœnus, towards the West; the Nab or Nabus, towards the South; the Æger towards the East; and the forementioned Sala towards the North. These four afterwards fall into the three greatest Rivers of Germany, the Danube, the Rhine, and the Elbe. Then to Sals or Saltz, a place noted for Salt-springs, and that night to Magdeburg.
Parthenopolis, or Magdeburg, is seated by the River Elbe, formerly the Metropolitan City of Germany, now under the Marquis of Brandenburg, of very great Circuit, but little more than half built again, since it was sacked and burnt by Tilly, and Thirty six thousand persons put to the Sword and destroyed. I could not but observe the ruinous and destructive effects of the late wars in many parts of Germany, but not in any so great and flourishing a place as this: And a man might think, that after this great destruction of Houses and People, this place should not be able to stand a Siege; yet a few years after it was besieged by General Hatzfield, unto whom (Bannier the Swede not being able to relieve it) it was yielded. The Cathedral Church is very fair, and built like an English one, by the Emperour Otho the First, and his Empress Editha, an English woman, Daughter, unto King Edmund, whose Effigies in Stone I saw in the Church, with nineteen Tuns of Gold by her which she gave thereto. And to say the truth, English mony hath done great things in Germany, for hereby, or with a good part thereof, this Church was built or endowed. Leopoldus, Duke of Austria, built the old Walls of Vienna with the ransome of King Richard the First, whom he detained in his return through Austria from the Holy Land. King Edward the First sent a great Sum of Mony unto the Emperour Adolphus, for the raising of Souldiers in Germany, which the Emperour employed in purchasing a great part of Misnia for himself.
The Lutheran Churches are handsome, and their Pulpits are extraordinary noble, and richly set off, as I observed, through all Saxony, Norimberg. And where they are Masters of the Places, and have not their Churches only by permission; here they shewed me in the Cathedral Church pf St. Maurice, the Statua’s of the five wise Virgins smiling, and of the five foolish Virgins lamenting, which are very well expressed: They shewed me also two odd Reliques, which they still kept as Rarities; that is, the Bason wherein Pilate washed his hands, when he declared himself free from the blood of our Saviour; and the Ladder whereon the Cock stood when he crowed after St. Peter’s denying of Christ.
In the Ruines of the Cloister of the Augustines, there is still to be seen Luther’s Chamber, his Bedstead, and Table, and upon the Door are these German Verses.
Dis War Lutheri Kammerlin,
Wan er in’s Closter kam herin,
Gedachnis halb wird noch itzund
Herin gesehen sein Bettespund.
Luther did lodge within this little Room,
When first he did into the Cloister come;
In memory whereof we still do keep
The Bedstead upon which he us’d to sleep.
I lodged at Magdeburg, in an old man’s House, who would tell me many stories of the burning of the Town, the cruelties and bloody usage of the people, who were destroyed without exception: The Nuns, many of them being drowned in the River Elbe. After which some observed that Count Tilly never prospered in his wars. He told me also that Dureus lodged with him, who was employed by King Charles the First, to endeavour a reconciliation between the Lutherans and Calvinists in Germany, and to unite them if possible. We were now in the Territory of the Elector of Brandenburg, Fridericus Wilhelmus, Great Chamberlain of the Empire, who is in effect possessed of Magdeburg, and next unto the Austrian Family, is the most potent Prince in Germany, being able to raise great Armies, and his Dominions so large, that they are reckoned to extend two hundred German miles in length, from the further part of Prussia into Cleve. but they lay not together, but interspersed with many other Princes Countries: Howsoever, a Horse-man may so order his Journey, as to lye every night in one of the Electour’s towns, in travelling from one end of his Territories to another.
I had now left the pure German Language behind me, for at Magdeburg comes in another kind of German, called Plat-Deutsch, Broad-Dutch, Nidersachsische, or the Language of lower Saxony; a great Language, spoken in the Northern part of Germany: They speak it at Hamburg, Lubeck, and many great Cities: But they can converse with the other High-dutch, and with some difficulty also with the Netherlanders; the one speaking in his Language, and the other replying in his.
At this City of Magdeburg was performed the first Turnament that was in Germany, which was opened in the year 635. by the Emperour Henry, Surnamed the Fowler, who coming from the war of Hungary, exceedingly satisfied with the Nobility, would oblige them to exercise themselves in handling their Arms, and managing their Horses, and therefore instituted these Sports, whereby the Nobility was powerfully attracted to Valour and Gallantry, and induced to perfect and accomplish themselves to all kind of Chevalry. No new Nobility, no Bastard, no Usurper, none guilty of High Treason, no Oppressor of Widows and Orphans, none born of Parents whereof one wa of base Extraction and Ignoble, no Heretique, Murderer, Traytor, no Coward that had run away from the Battel, nor indiscreet Person that had given offence to Ladies by word or deed, were admitted to this Honour, nor above One of the same Family at a time. Princes came into the Lists with four Squires a piece, Counts and Barons with three, a Knight wit two, and a Gentleman with one.
The hour and place for the Turnament being appointed, he that had a desire to break a Lance there, came to the Presidents Lodgings to have his Name written down, which was done in the presence of three Heralds, to whom the Champion delivered his Helmet and Sword, and after he had been at Confession, presented himself in the Lists with one or more Squires, according to his quality. The Horses of the Combatants were to be without fault or exception; the Caparisons and Furniture such as gave no offence; their Saddles without any extraordinary rising before and behind, and all things equal. After which they performed all kind of Exercises on Horse-back: and after the Jousts were ended, every man repaired to the President of his Nation, to wait for the Sentence of the Judges; and he that best deserved the Prize, received it either from the hand of some Lady, or from the Prince that gave it.
These Pastimes were afterwards disused, upon the Emulation it caused between the Princes and Nobility, who strove to outvie one another or upon wars, in which there was no leisure for such Exercises; or perhaps upon consideration that divers brave men lost their lives in these Encounters: And no less a Prince than Henry the Second, King of France, neglecting to wear his Beaver down, was slain in a Turnament.5 And at Darmstadt also, in the year 1403. at the Three and twentieth Turnament which was held in Germany, the Gentlemen of Franconia and those of Hesse, drew so much blood upon one another, that there remained dead upon the place seventeen of the former, and nine of the latter.
The Winter growing on called me to make haste to Hamburg, from whence I intended to pass by Sea into England, and therefore I took the advantage of the Stage-Coaches at Magdeburg, and in four days came to Hamburg; I travelled through a Country for the most part barren, of little accommodation, or scarce any thing very remarkable, through part of the Electour of Brandenburg, and then through the duke of Lunenburg’s Country, passing by the City of Lunenburg, a handsome walled City, beautified with divers fair Churches, with high Spires. The Church of St. Lambert, the Town-house, and the Duke’s Palace, are fair. Here are Salt-springs in the Town, very beneficial to the place, and supplying the neighbour Countries. The Town is commanded by a Hill near to it, called Kalkberg, which lieth on the North-side.
In this Road through lower Saxony, I could not but take notice of many Barrows or Mounts of Earth, the burial Monuments of great and famous Men, to be observed also in open Countries in England, and sometimes rows of great Stones, like those in Wormius his Danish Antiquities: And in one place I took more particular notice of them, where three massy Stones in the middle, were encompassed in a large square by other large Stones set up an end.
Hamburg is a fair City, and one of the great ones of Germany; it is seated in a Plain, being populous, rich, and remarkably strong: It is fortified a la Moderne, much after the way of Holland, with works of earth, but in no place yet Revestues, or faced with brick or stone: The Territory belonging to it is but small; it is divided into the new and the old Town. There are five Gates: The Stone gate, leading towards Lubeck; the Dome-gate; the Alten-gate, or which leadeth unto Altenaw, a place near the Town, belonging to the King of Denmark, where the Romanists and Calvinists have their Churches; the Bridge-gate; and the Dike-gate. The Buildings of this City are handsome, and commonly have a fair entrance into them. The Senate-house is noble, adorned with carved Statua’s of the Nine Worthies. The Exchange or place of meeting for Merchants, was then enlarging, it being too small to receive those Numbers which frequented it. Many of their Churches are very fair, with high Steeples, covered with Copper. The Front of St. Katherines is beautiful. The Steeple of St. Nicholas is supported with great gilded Globes. The other great Churches, are the Dome-Church, S. Peters, St. Jacob. The greater and less, St. Michael, the New Church in the New town. The lesser Churches, are St. Gertrude, St. Mary Magdalen, and the Holy Ghost. They have a Sermon every day, as in other Lutheran Cities.
The River Alster runs through it into the Elbe, and turneth many Mills: and the Tide comes up divers Streets, through Chanels, although it be distant eighteen German miles from the Sea, or Mouth of the Elbe. This place aboundeth with shipping, and many of good Burden, and is well seated for Trade, as having an open passage into the Ocean, and being but a days Journey from the Lubeck on the Baltick Sea, and being seated upon the long River Elbe, the third great River of Germany, whereby it may have Commerce with a great part of the Country, and as far as Bohemia.
Hamburg is full of Strangers and Merchants of several Countries. The English Company have good Priviledges and a rich Trade and Ships come laden thither with Cloath to the value of an hundred thousand pounds sterling; and they live here in good Reputation, and to the honour of their Country: they are Persons of worth, courtesie, and civility; and I heartily wish them all success in their Affairs. I must not omit the acknowledgment of my particular Obligation to that learned and worthy Person, Mr. Griffin, Preacher unto the Company, Mr. Free the Treasurer, Mr. Banks, who hath been in many places of Natolia, and the Holy Land, Mr. Jenkinson, and my very obliging Friends Mr. Catelin and Mr. Townly.
This place hath the happiness to be quiet when the great Princes of Europe are at war; for it desires to hold a strict Amity with Princes, and declines all Dissention with them.
I found a Ship at Hamburg bound for London, and while it was fitting for Sail, I made a short excursion into part of the King of Denmarks Country; and returning to Hamburg again, I ordered my affairs for England upon the first wind, and hoped the next Tide to get over the Altenaw sand, and to pass the Blanckneß, but a cross wind prevented, so that I left not Hamburg till the tenth of December, and then I had the good Company of Mr. Hoyle, who came from Narva, and set Sail in a new Ship; but the days being at the shortest, and the nights dark in the New Moon, the Tide falling also in the day time, we were able to get no further the first day than Stadt, or Stoade, upon the River Zwingh, a strong Town, belonging to the King of Sweden, where the Ships that come up the River pay Custome, and where the English Merchants had formerly their Residence, when they left Hamburg upon a Discontent.
December the 11th. we came by Gluckstadt, belonging to the King of Denmark, where the Castle, the King’s Palace, and the Church are handsome, and Anchored that night before the Mouth of the River Oast, which ariseth in Bremerland, and falleth into the Elbe a mile from Brunsbüttel, on the other Holsatian shoar.
December the 12th. we lost sight of the Northern shoar, and passed Cook’s Haven, in full hopes to put out to Sea that night; but about Three in the Afternoon we were becalmed a League and a half below it, where we were forced to come to an Anchor again, lest the strong Elbe should set us on ground among the Sands: So we lay that night between Thicksand on the North, and Newark on the South, right over against a Light-house.
December the 13th. the wind turning Westernly, an blowing hard, we returned to Cook’s Haven, and came to Anchor. Here I came a shoar, and went up the Land to the Fort in this place belonging to the City of Hamburg: It is a high square Work, with a double Ditch, and some Vessels come up to the Fort; but the Ditch or Chanel which comes thither out of the Elbe, is dry at low water. The Town is called Reutsbüttel, not far from the Lands end. Two or three days after, with a cold North-
Heiligeland is a small Island, having about two thousand Inhabitants, and six or seven small Vessels belonging to it, which are imployed a great part of the year in bringing Lobsters and other Fish to London or Quinborough, the Inhabitants living most on Fish. We bore out to Sea one night, and the next day made towards the Land again, and sailed in sight of Schiemoniekeoghe, Amelandt, and Schelling: in the Evening we saw the Lights at the Vly and Texel; when we were near the Land, we were much troubled with the Frost and cold Weather, and less when we were at Sea. The next day we had a fair wind, and made such way, that in the Evening we took down our Sails, and let the Vessel drive, not being willing to deal with the shoar in the night. The next morning we soon discovered the Northshoreland covered with Snow, and came to an Anchor in the Margarite-Road, where the wind growing very high, we rode it out for two days and two nights, and came safe on shoar (praised be god) upon Christmas-day morning.
Now having made so long a walk in Germany, I must confes I returned with a better opinion of the Country, than I had before of it; and cannot but think it very considerable in many things. The Rivers thereof are noble, and seem to exceed those of France and Italy. Of the Rivers of Italy, the Padua or Po, is the most considerable, which notwithstanding, hath no very long course, before it runneth into the Adriatick Sea. And Italy being divided by the Appenning-hills, running from West to East, the Rivers which arise from either side, cannot be long, neither on the South-side, before they run into the Mediterranean, as the Arno, Garigliano, and others: Nor on the North side, before they run into the Adriatick, or the Po.
The chief Rivers of France, as the Loyre, the Seine, the Rhosne, and the Garonne, I cannot but highly commend, having passed upon them for divers days. There are also four great Rivers in Germany; the Danube, the Rhine, the Elbe, and the Oder, but none of France seem comparable unto the Rhine and Danube. France having the Sea upon the North, the West, and the two large Provinces of Languedoc, and Province upon the Mediterranean Sea, hath the opportunity of Noble Cities and Seaports: But some doubt may be made, Whether any thereof do exceed Hamburg, Lubeck, and Dantzick.
The great number of populous, large, and handsome Cities, doth afford great content unto a Traveller in Germany; for besides about Sixty six free Imperial cities, there are many more of good note belonging to particular Princes, and divers highly priviledged. And surely a true Estimation of the Cities and Towns of these days, cannot be duly made from the Accounts and Descriptions thereof left an hundred years since or more, for since those times, Buildings have been better modelled and ordered; Fortifications and Out-works more regularly contrived; Convents and Public Houses more neatly and commodiously built; and fair Colledges and Churches of the Jesuites, which are now to be seen in most, do much set off the Beauty of great Places. Every where we meet with great and populous Towns, Villages, Castles, Seats of the Nobility, Plains, Forests, and pleasant Woods. And besides the satisfaction we may have from Objects above ground, we may find no small content in the wonders thereof under it, in Mines, Minerals almost of all sorts, of Gold, Silver, Copper, Iron, Tinn, Lead, Quicksilver, Antimony, Coal, Salt, Sulphur, Cadmia, and others, where there are also singular Artificers and Workmen, in the several Artifices thereof. Conversation with the People is easie, they behaving themselves wthout much Formality, and are plain-dealing and trusty, so that a Traveller needs not to be so solicitous and heedful of what hehath, as in some other Countries, which are esteemed of greater Civility. The Women are generally well-complexioned, sober, and grave, and they have not yet learned the custome of their Neighbours of France and Holland, to admit of being saluted by Men: faithful to their Husbands, and careful in the affairs of their Houses.
They make good provision against the cold of their Country, by sleeping between two Feather-beds and Stoves.
The common Stoves in Inns, wherein there are for the most part several Companies eating, drinking, and in the nigh sleeping, are convenient, considering the great cold, or at least tolerable; but they being rooms close shut up, the smell of the meat, and especially of Cabbage, an usual Dish amongst them, makes them unpleasant, so that sometimes I preferred the course of hot Countries, while I called to mind, that in Province and Italy we drank frozen Julebs, which we dissolved with the heat of our hands; slept upon a sheet, on the outside of the Bed, with all the Windows of the Chamber open; and as we sate at dinner, there was a Fann in the middle of the Room, hanging over our Heads, about two yards broad, which with a string was pulled backward and forward to cool us, and divers had Pans filled with Snow, to cool the sheets when they went into their Beds.
Germany is a great Hive of men, and the mighty destruction of men made by the last German wars, and by the Plague is so repaired, that it is scarce discernible. They are fruitful, and full of Children: They are not exhausted by Sea, Colonies sent forth, or by peopling American Countries; but they have some consumption by wars abroad, when they bear peace at home: few wars being made in other parts of Europe, wherein there are not some Regiments of Germans; the People being naturally Martial, and persons well descended, very averse from a Trading course of Life.
While I read in Tacitus of the old barbarous and rude State of Germany, how poorly they lived, that they had their Houses at a distance from one another; how ignorant they were in Arts; and it was doubted whether their Country afforded Mines; that they lived by exchange of things, making little or no use of mony, and the like, I may justly wonder to behold the present advance and improvement in all commendable Arts, Learning, Civility, splendid and handsome Cities and Habitations, and the general face of things incredibly altered since those ancient times; and cannot but approve the expressions of a Learned Man, though long since, That if Augustus, Civilis, and those old famous men of German, should revive in their Country again, and look up to Heaven, beholding the Constellations of the Bears and other Stars, they might probably acknowledge that these were the same Stars which they were wont to behold; but if they should look downward, and well view the face of all things, they would imagine themselves to be in a new world, and never acknowledge this to have been their Country.
1 Znaim, that is, where Sigismund died in 1437.
2 Now Jihlava in the Czech Republic; the piazza is intact.
3 I.e., the Riesengebirge.
4 Or Ziska, who died in 1424; he is celebrated, in the 17th century and to this day, among Protestants because his treasonous and extraordinarily bloody activities were aimed against "Catholics" (in marks because the term had little meaning in the context of the actual disputes of his time). The Hussite forces remaining after his death were called orphans, Tschisika, from which some of the more fanciful etymologists derive gypsy.
5 In 1559 — 925 years later.
James Eason welcomes most comments, criticism, and suggestions.