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The reception which the former edition met with in other quarters excited very different sentiments. The Author could not but regard it as a compliment, to be visited with many pages of foaming and untranslatable abuse from Kotzebue, in his Literary Journal published at Weimar. That the pensioned correspondent of the Emperor of Russia, who resided in Germany for the express purpose of a literary and political espionnage, and of making periodical delations to his Imperial master, should become furious at an independent Englishman, who presumed to inform his countrymen how Princes were esteemed, and dinners served up on the banks of the Rhine, was an instance of amusing inconsistency which could surprize none who knew any thing of Kotzebue's life and character. In saying this, the Author cannot be suspected of feeling less horror than the rest of the world at that writer's unhappy fatea fate however, which, considering the
virulence and personality of his writings and the unprincipled extravagance of his politics, is rather a subject of lamentation than of wonder.
London, May 1821.
A lusty plaine abundant of vitaille ;
On emerging from the mountainous defiles through which the magnificent road called the Route Napoleon had followed the brink of the Rhine from Bonn as far as Bingen, we entered a vast rich plain, here and there diversified by undulating hills, and stretching nearly as far as the eye can reach. As I shall probably revisit the banks of the Rhine on my return, you shall then receive some description of their beauties, which may, comparatively speaking, be said to cease at Bingen. Our road now lay through cheerful and luxuriant avenues of fruit-trees. The purple hills of the Rhingau rose in a fine amphitheatre on the opposite side of the river, while the loaded orchards and the ripe harvest, which the peasants were just beginning to cut,
gave an air of fertility to the uninclosed and uniform plain around us. We stopped at Ingelheim, a neat little borough governed by a burgomaster, whom we had the honour of meeting at the inn, where his dignity was acknowledged by the fair hostess and her fat spouse, with a profusion of “ Herr burgomeisters, and other ceremonious civilities, of which, Titlewhether first or fourth rate-is never defrauded by the respectful and decorous Germans. Ingelheim was one of the many residences—an Irishman might say birthplaces—of Charlemagne; for some traditions give it, in common with almost as many towns as claimed to be the cradle of the great Poet, the latter as well as the former honour; and all decorate a splendid palace which the doughty Sovereign built here, with a hundred columns brought from Ravenna and Rome.
Tectum augustum ingens centum sublime columnis.
This palace, of which some slight remains are still standing, was the scene of the well-known romantic amours of the monarch’s fair daughter Bertha with Eginard
MAYENCE.DECAY OF THE CITY.
his secretary. Here it was that the tender Bertha carried her lover through the snow on her shoulders, to the astonishment of Charlemagne, who was looking on from a window of the quadrangle. You remember the story as quoted by Addison in the third volume of the Spectator.
The Gothic towers and belfries of the old Ecclesiastical Capital of Mayence rose before us with a gloomy state at the extremity of the plain. On entering it, the draw-bridge, the ditches, the bastions, the sentinels and examinings of passports, reminded one of the military reign which has succeeded to that of the church. This ancient city is large, rambling, and irregular; the streets generally lofty, narrow, and dirty, with the exception of the Grosse Bleiche, or Great Bleaching Place, a handsome wide street, running from the upper part of the town towards the Rhine, terminating in a cheerful Place planted with trees. Notwithstanding its general darkness and dirt, Mayence has an imposing and gloomy character of decayed consequence. Considered as the second ecclesiastical city in Europe, it has few rem