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of patients, and moreover that, being a one-eyed man, he was the easiest to be found, I walked towards the shady walk near the Allee Saal, resolving eventually to consult him; however, in turning a corner, happening almost to run against agentleman in black, " cui lumen ademptum," I gravely accosted him, and finding, as I did in a moment, that I was in the right, in the middle of the street, I began to explain that he saw before him a wheel which wanted a new tire—a shoe which required a new sole, a worn-out vessel praying for the hand of the tinker—in short, that feeling very old, I merely wanted to become young again.
'Dr. Fenner is what would be called in England "a regular character," and being a shrewd, clever fellow, he evidently finds it answer, and endeavours to maintain a singularity of manner, which with his one eye (the other having been extinguished in a college duel) serves to bring himself into general notice. As soon as my gloomy tale was concluded, the Doctor, who had been walking at my side, stopped dead short, and when I turned round to look for him, there I saw him, with his right arm extended, the fore-finger and thumb clenched, as if holding snufF, and the other three digits horizontally extended like the hand of a direction-post. With his heels together, he stood as lean and as erect as a ramrod, the black patch, which like a hatchment hung over the window of his departed eye, being supported by a riband wound diagonally round his head. "Monsieur!" said he, (for he speaks a little French,) " Monsieur," he repeated, " a six heures du matin, vous prendrez a la Pauline trois verres !—trois verres a la Pauline!" he repeated. "A dix heures, vous prendrez un bain— en sortant du bain, vous prendrez (he paused, and after several seconds of deep thought, he added) encore deux verres—et a cinq heures du soir, Monsieur, vous prendrez (another long pause) . . . encore trois verres!! Monsieur, ces eaux vous feront beaucoup de bien!" The arm of this sibyl now fell to his side, like the limb of a telegraph which has just concluded its intelligence. The doctor made me a low bow, spun round upon his heel—" and so he vanished."
• I had not exactly bargained for bathing in, as well as drinking, the waters; however, feeling in good humour with the little world I was inhabiting, I was willing to go with (i. e. m/o) its stream, and as I found that almost every visiter was daily soaked for an hour or two, I admitted that what was good for such geese might also answer for the gander; and that, at all events, a bath would have the advantage of drowning for me one hour per day, in case I should find four-and-twenty of such visitors more than 1 wanted.'— Bubbles, pp. 85-87.
The author proceeds to sketch the usual doings of a day in this pleasant watering-place; and, as this department of German life is really new to most English people, we shall quote freely. One great article in its healthfulness is, we have no doubt, the earliness of the hours kept by everybody. No one thinks of being in bed much beyond five o'clock. At that time—
• Every house was open—the streets already swept—the inhabitants all up—the living world appeared broad awake—and there was nothing to denote the earliness of the hour, but the delicious freshness of the cool mountain-air, which, as yet unenfeebled by the sun, was in that pure state in which it had all night long been slumbering in the valley. The face of nature seemed beaming with health; and though there were no larks at Schwalbach gently " to carol in the morn," yet immense red German slugs were every where in our path, looking wetter, colder, fatter and happier, than I have words to express; they had evidently been gorging themselves during the night, and were now crawling into shelter to sleep away the day.
• On reaching the brunuen, the first thing I received there was a emile from a very honest, homely, healthy old woman, who, seeing me approaching, had selected from her table a glass as large and globular as ever shone in a Teniers. "Guten morgen," she muttered, without at all deranging the hospitality of her smile; and then stooping down she dashed the vessel into the brunnen beneath her feet, and in a sort of civil hurry (lest any of its spirit should escape) presented her eau medicinale. Clear as crystal, sparkling with carbonic acid gas, and effervescing quite as much as Champagne, it was nevertheless miserably cold; and the first morning, what with the gas, and what with the low temperature of this iron water, it was about as much as one could do to swallow it; and even then for a few seconds feeling as if it had sluiced the stomach completely by surprise, I stood hardly knowing what was about to happen,—when, instead of the teeth chattering, as I expected, I felt the water suddenly grow warm within my waistcoat, and a slight intoxication, or rather exhilaration, succeeded.'—Bubbles, p. 90.
Under the influence of this cordial, which seems to have acted upon him like fuel to a steam-coach, our author and his friend appear to have beeu in the custom of forthwith ascending one or other of the zigzag paths which are cut in various directions through the woods overhanging the valley of the brunnens, but which are so steep that they seldom find favour with the German waterbibbers. After breathing the mountain air for an hour, it was time to descend for glass the second—and another hour's walk prepared them, in like fashion, for beaker the third. By this time all ranks of people had arisen from their beds, and the sun being now warm, the beau monde of Langenschwalbach were, from a gazebo hut high above them, seen slowly loitering up and down the promenade.
•At the rate of about; a mile and a half an hour, I observed several hundred quiet people, crawling through, and frittering away that portion of their existence, which lay between one glass of cold iron water and another. If any individual were to be sentenced to such a life, which in fact has all the fatigue, without the pleasing sociability of the
tread-mill, tread-mill, he would call it melancholy beyond endurance; yet, there is no pill which fashion cannot gild, or habit sweeten. I remarked that the men were dressed, generally, in loose, ill-made, snuffcoloured great coats, with awkward travelling caps of various shapes, instead of hats. The picture, therefore, taking it altogether, was a homely one; but although there were no particularly elegant, or fashionable-looking people; although their gait was by no means attractive—yet even from the lofty distant hut I felt it was impossible to help admiring the good sense, and good feeling, with which all the elements of this German community appeared to harmonize one with the other. There was no jostling or crowding, no apparent competition, no turning round to stare at strangers: there was " no martial look, nor lordly stride," but real, genuine good-breeding seemed natural to all, —it is true, there was nothing which bore a very high polish, yet it was equally evident, that the substance of their society was intrinsically good enough not to require it. The behaviour of such a motley assemblage of people, who belonged of course to all ranks and conditions of life, in my humble opinion did them and their country very great credit. It was quite evident, that every man on the promenade, whatever may have been his birth, was desirous to behave like a gentleman, and that there was no one, however exalted might be his station, who wished to do any more.'—Bubbles, p. 102.
'That young lady, rather more quietly dressed than the rest of her sex, is the Princess Levenstein—her countenance (could it but be seen from the hut) is as unassuming as her dress, and her manners as quiet as her bonnet; her husband, who is one of that group of gentlemen behind her, is mild, simple, and (if in these days, such a title may without offence be given to a young man) I would add, he is modest. There are one or two other princes on the promenade, with a very fair sprinkling of dukes, counts, barons, &c.
"There they go, all together in a row!"
but though they congregate—though, like birds of a feather, they flock together, is there, let any haunter of Cheltenham say, anything arrogant in their behaviour—and the respect which they meet with from every one, does it not seem to be honestly their due'!
'That uncommon awkward, short little couple, who walk holding each other by the hand, and who, d propos to nothing, occasionally break playfully into a trot, are a Jew and Jewess, lately married; and as it is whispered that they have some mysterious reason for drinking the waters, the uxorious anxiety with which the little man presents the glass of cold comfort to his herring-made partner does not pass completely unobserved.
'That slow gentleman with such an immense body, who seems to be acquainted with the most select people on the walk, is an ambassador who goes no where—no, not even to mineral waters—without his French cook, which is quite enough to make everybody speak well of
him. him,—a very honest, good-natured man his excellency seems to be; but as he walks, can any thing be more evident, than that his own cook is killing him 1 and what possible benefit can a few glasses of cold water do to a corporation which Falstaff s belt would be too short to encircle? —Often and often have I pitied Diogenes for living in a tub, but this poor ambassador is infinitely worse off, for the tub, it is too evident, lives in him.'
Our author says he fancied at first three huge bumpers of the Pauline would ' leave little room for tea and coffee but that he found, on trial, ' the stowage of the vessel to be quite what it had been at starting.' It was, no doubt, from this custom of eating an English breakfast at nine o'clock, that he found himself so totally unqualified to do justice to a German dinner at one, P. M. As soon as his breakfast was over, he generally enjoyed the luxury of idling about the town; and in passing the shop of a blacksmith, who lived opposite to the sign of the Goldene Kette, the manner in which the man tackled and shod a vicious horse always amused him. On the outside wall of the house, two rings were firmly fixed, one close to the ground, to which the head of the patient was lashed; the other about five feet high, to which the hind foot, to be shod, stretched out to the utmost extent of the leg, was secured by a cord which passed through a cloven hitch fixed to the root of the poor creature's tail. The hind foot was consequently very much higher thin the head; indeed, it was so exalted, and pulled so heavily at the tail, that the animal seemed to be quite anxious to keep all his other hoofs on terra firma.
'With one hoof,' says our author,' in the heavens, it did not suit him to kick—with his nose pointing to the infernal regions, he could not conveniently rear ; and as the devil himself was apparently pulling at his tail, the horse at last gave up the point, and quietly submitted to be shod.'—p. 130.
Ever and anon the tranquillity of the place would be disturbed by the arrival of some German grandee in his huge carriage:—
* For at least a couple of minutes before the thing appeared, the postilion, as he descended the mountain, was heard attempting to notify to the town the vast importance of his cargo, by playing on his trumpet a tune which in tone and flourish exactly resembled that which in London announces the approach of Punch. There is always something particularly harsh and discordant in the notes of a trumpet badly blown; but when placed to the lips of a great, lumbering German postilion, who, half-smothered in his big boots and tawdry finery, has, besides this crooked instrument, to hold the reins of two wheel horses, as well as of two leaders, his attempt, in such deep affliction, to be musical is comic in the extreme; and when the fellow at last arrived at the Goldene Kette, playing a tune which one expected every moment would make the head of Judy pop out of the
Vol. L. No. c. Y carriage, carriage, I could not help feeling that, if the money which that trumpet cost had heen spent on a pair of better spurs, it would haye been of much more advantage and comfort to the traveller: but German posting always reminds me of the remark which the Black Prince was one day heard to utter, as he was struggling with all his might to shave a pig.'—Rubbles, p. 145.
We must here pause for a moment. Many of our countrymen have, we make no doubt, often joined in thus ridiculing the tawdry, heavy equipment of the continental postilion, especially his great, unmeaning, yellow worsted tassels, and certain other broad ornaments which seem better adapted to a four-post bedstead than to a horseman. Our traveller, however, who is no mean authority on such a subject, very shrewdly gives us the other side of the case: —' Many years have elapsed,' he says, ' since I first observed that, somehow or other, the horses on the Continent manage to pull a heavy carriage up a steep hill, or even along a dead level, with greater ease to themselves than our English horses. If any unprejudiced person would only attentively remark with what little apparent fatigue three small, ill-conditioned horses will draw, not only his own carriage, but very often that huge, overgrown vehicle the French Diligence, or the German Eil-wagen, 1 think he would agree with me; but the whole equipment is so unsightly—the rope harness is so rude—the horses without blinkers look so wild—there is so much bluster and noise in the postilion—that, far from paying any compliment to the turn-out, one is very much disposed at once to condemn the whole thing, and, not caring a straw whether such horses be fatigued or not, to make no other remark than that, in England, one should have travelled at nearly twice the rate with one-tenth of the noise. But neither the rate nor the noise is the point—our superiority in the former and our inferiority in the latter cannot be doubted. The thing to account for, is, how such small, weak horses do actually manage to draw a heavy carriage*up-hill with so much ease to themselves. Now, in English, French, and German harness, there exist, as it were, three degrees of comparison as to the manner in which the head of the horse is treated; for, in England, it is elevated, or borne up, by what we call the bearingrein—in France, it is left as nature placed it (there being to common French harness no bearing-rein)—and, in Germany, the head is tied down to the lower extremity of the collar, or else the collar is so made that the animal is by it deprived of the power of raising his head. Now, passing over, for a moment, the French method, which is, in fact, the state of nature, let us for a moment consider which is better—to bear a horse's head up, as in England, or to pull it downwards, as in Germany.'