12 JANUARY 1839, Page 13


Ma. GLEIG is a person well qualified to travel with advantage. Having heretofore visited strange countries, he can discern, more easily than a common tourist, those points in man or nature which are really natural characteristics, and as such especially worthy of notice : the habits of an old campaigner fit him to con- tend with sudden difficulties, and put up with hard fare and rough ways : his experience as a clergyman may be supposed to have given him some of that unctuous smoothness which distinguishes divines of all persuasions, and is necessary to enable them to minister successfully to persons of various ranks and tempers : lastly, he has the faculty of observation, sharpened by a long course of training as a descriptive writer and it novelist, together with the power of readily conveying his ideas, which practice, and that alone, imparts. Hence, though his Germany, Bohemia, and Hew. gary, is not entirely new in all its subjects, and scarcely a first- rate book of travels, it must be considered a valuable addition to our stock of information respecting the great Germanic Empire. It is readable, and easily read from beginning to end—notwith- standing some historical notices prompted by the scene, which might beneficially be omitted : it is a pleasant intermingling of per-

sonal adventure, and sketches of the more striking objects in a very long journey, with the deductions which the author has drawn from his whole experience during its course ; and the reader gains the opinions of a strong-headed though prejudiced Tory upon the workings of Prussian and Austrian despotisms, as well as upon the state of opinion in the countries subject to their sway.

Ill health having rendered a withdrawal from England neces- sary for a time, Mr. GLEIG, with his fitmilv, started for Ham-

burg in the spring of 1837. From Hamburg he travelled to Berlin ;

thence to Dresden; and, after a short sojourn, passed on to Schen- dau-a summer pleasure place in the range of low but romantic and

picturesque mountains which separate Saxony from Bohemia, and called the Saxon Switzerland, but erroneously our author considers, as the district wants what the Alps have and has what the Alps have not. Having settled his family and explored the neighbourhood,

Mr. GLEN; and his son started on a pedestrian tour through the less frequented parts of Bohemia ; trusting to village inns lbr

bed and meals, to a map and chance directions for the route. After crossing the kingdom successflilly, and entering Silesia, visions of wondrous pilgrimages, or pilgrimages in search of won-

ders, floated before his mind : but they were all dissipated by a reckoning, which dissipates many other schemes. On counting his cash, our traveller found so little left, that he was compelled to beat a retreat, and reach home by forced marches. After the departure from Schandau, we hear no more of Mrs. GLEIG. Our author and his son, contemplating Hungary, were in

consequence of the nature of their passports compelled to visit • Vienna ; and after seeing its sights, they proceeded onwards,— sometimes traversing the country on foot, sometimes in the com- mon post-waggon, now and then getting a lift in the carriage of a Hungarian gentleman whom they accidentally met, or being franked on by an English officer in the Austrian cavalry service. Their fare was as various as their modes of travel : occasionally they were en- tertained at the mess or the magnate's table ; more frequently they lived at the miserable village inns, varied by the good hotels of the principal towns. So wandering, they reached Pesth, and thence de-

scended the Danube to Semlin. From this vis-à-vis to Belgrade, Mr. GLEIG'S route, we believe, is entirely new. Having heard

much of the singular military colonies planned by EUGENE, by which the Turkish frontier is defended, he determined to visit them ; and passing into Croatia, reach some port in the Gulf of Venice. All went merrily riding over the vast plain of Hungary in wag- gi?ns. In Croatia, the people were more sullen. At last, near Fiume, an insolent Pandour, (a sort of police-officer attached

to the post-house,) to whom our author justifiably gave offence, seems to have reported that he was a Turkish spy. A brawl ensued: ignorant of the language, and provoked at what he con- ceived an assault, the old man of war overcame the new man of peace, and Mr. GLEIG, with more of pluck than discretion, re- sisted. He was of course overpowered ; wounded, ironed, and

kept in durance, with the prospect of a prison ; when he was oppor- tunely released by the arrival of the English Vice-Consul from

1'111111e. Redress for the insult was demanded; and the peasants were all flogged, but the magistrate and mover escaped. In Mr. GLEIG's statement there is now nothing but what is fair and calm. It is easy, however, to see, that on the spot there were two sides to the story. He refused to stop when called to, (not understanding

what was said); he fired first; he resisted when resistance was clearly useless ; he was travelling near a frontier exposed to nightly inroads; and when arrested his passport was not regular. This, indeed, he is inclined to put upon the authorities at Vienna, who made it out for " Pesth and its vicinity :" but had the passport

given him the range of Hungary, it would not prima fade entitle him to traverse Croatia.

With such a mode of travel, in such countries, a better book might have been expected. The causes—not of this failure, for there is none, but of this shortcoming—are two, which it may be worth while to note. One is the want of flexibility and vivacity in the author's mind ; which is a strange compound of the school- master, the divine, and the martinet ; and this is of course without remedy. The other cause admitted of one. In Bohemia, Hun- gary, and Croatia, Mr. GLEIG was ignorant of the language, even, in the two latter, to the extent of being unable to make his wants understood. This not only shut him out from all communion with the people, and from all knowledge of their condition and character, as well as all sympathy with their feelings so far as they depend upon utterance, but it deprives his travels of dramatic spirit, and reduces them to sketches of scenery or the incidents of personal adventure ; unless when he falls in with a linguist. It is strange, when men set out on distant and expensive journies, that they neglect the one thing needful. If they could not acquire a whole language, they could at least get an idea of its principles, and some of its customary forms of speech. One of the most interesting of modern books of travels, and the most thoroughly imbued with national character, is CONOLLY'S " Overland Journey :" but Mr. CONOLLY knew the language of several of the people amongst whom he journeyed ; he had at his elbow a man who was completely master both of their languages and manners ; and he was com- pelled to sojourn amongst them. The leading topics of Mr. GLEIG'S pen are—pictures of land- scapes and objects ; disquisitions upon -morals, social conditions, and religion ; personal adventure, mostly in a small way ; and sketches of characters and modes of life. We will take our ex- tracts indiffil.ently from each. Of the general administration of Prussia, Mr. GLEIG speaks well, but not rapturously. The boasted educational plan he censures, because it is too "laic ." and he more judiciously objects to it as tending to form the mind after a machine-like fashion, giving it the stamp of authority ; though, so far as education in England, under clerical auspices, effects any thing, it does the same in another and less practically useful direction. Of the state of one branch of morals lie gives an indifferent account.

"Intoxication is the reverse of frequent 'among the Prussians, and even the street quarrels of the lowliest classes generally evaporate in words. But in other respects I do not find that the moral tie holds them with too tight a pressure. 1 had occasion to inquire of one whose opportunities of judging were excellent, bow Berlin, and indeed Prussia in general, might in this respect he accounted of? and I received an answer, which I give almost in his own words. 'Berlin,' said he, 'is a scene of constant intrigue. We don't all drink, we don't all play, but we all intrigue. From the prince to the peasant each has his atfaire &amour in hand, and we care very little though all the world should know it. Of the rest of Prussia I ani less competent to speak ; but you will probably find that what takes place in the capital takes place in the provinces also."

The cause of this, and of some other real or fancied evils, Mr. GLEiu attributes to the want of an established religion, (Prussia pay- ing indifferently Catholics and Protestants); to the absence of articles of faith, which has encouraged mysticism, rationalism, and speculations of all kinds; and to the poverty of the clergy. On all these points Mr. GLEIG seenis to us influenced by profes- sional prejudices, and to confound accidental effects with causes. In England, for example, articles of faith have not prevented end- less dissent ; though, the national character differing, it takes a dif- ferent shape from the dissents of Germany ; whilst the tendency of an authorized exposition is, as Mr. GLEIG unconsciously admits, to stifle truth, and cause an interested suppression of opinion. Nor can the patronage of two forms of religion have much efFeetper se upon the morals of' a people ; for in Britain we have not two patronized, but two established religions, one on this side of the Tweed and another across it. A clergy recruited from the mass of the people, and so poor as to be driven to sordid occupations to eke out their means, will not be able, in an advanced nation, to set a social example, or to exercise much influence perhaps, unless in the case of rare merit or virtue. But clerical payment, closely considered, is mostly an affair of circumstances. '.1:he dignitaries of the Church may be put aside, as they will be men of family who as rarely benefit by their examples as the poorest parson ; and a long train of gradations in income almost requires a corresponding gradation of classes. The clergymen of England stand alone no further than does the social condition of England. Even among the Vo- luntaries, we find the income of the preacher rise with that of his flock. The first Dissenting ministers got little or nothing when their followers were poor ; at present some of their chapels yield a handsome living.

Mr. Gi.rno's description of their military system is full, but con- tains nothing very new. To its merits he renders ample justice. This is his criticism on what he considers its defects-

" To counterbalance these excellences, however, there is one grave and se- rious drawback, which, though at present it be lightly thought of, must, in case of war, make itself felt. You cannot have, by any exertion on the part of your officers' a veteran army. Before your recruit is well versed in his duties, the term of his service expires, and you have all your labour to go through again with his successor. Now this tells not only against the private soldier, but against the officer. The former has not advanced beyond the elements of' his education ere lie is transferred to a body, which, meeting in arms for no more than fourteen days in each year, can furnish but few opportunities of int- pri.ven ant. If he hold the ground which he had gained—in other words, if he forget not the lessons learned during his brief apprenticeship in the Line--it is as MUCh as you have a right to expect from him. So also the latter: like • selinoliiiaster, who is incessantly en. in teaching children their alphabet, or the simplest rules of grammar, he at er grows disgusted with his profession* or falls into the erior of believing that to drill a squad, or at most to manceuire &battalion, isaU that is necessary to arrive at eminence. No doubt, the Prus- sian regiments look remarkably well when formed in line, or open or close co- lumns. They are composed of the very flower of the people, and are all young men ; their dress is at once the neatest and the most convenient in Europe ; and there is about them a sort of Bohadil swagger, which' if it be not allowed to run wild entirely, is best encouraged amongst soldiers.. But their isaarching is indifferent, their style of doing duty that of irregulars, their manceuvering not more perfect than every military man would expect it to be under similar cir- cumstances. In an active war, you may form good troops out of stout rustics i after one or two campaigns ; but all the zeal n the world will not convert the said rustics into good troops by a couple of years spent in the sort of training for which alone peace affords an opportunity. " The Prussians in general—I mean the government and the nation—seem well pleased with the system ; and I am not surprised at the circumstance, for it is an economical one. It renders the military service popular, and it seems to have the effect of binding the different orders of society in a friendly chain together. It is not, I suspect, so popular among the old and most experienced of the Prussian officers. These latter complain, that, especially in the Cavalry and Artillery services, its effects are most mischievous. The first arm, they say, is very awkward even to the last ; for men are seldom put upon their horses under a year, and another year is required to perfect them in all the mysteries of the menage. And for the last, though men serve in the Artillery, or are assumed to serve, during five years, it is quite inefficient. For you do not change all at once in any of the branches of the army, so as to have a body of recruits the first year, men half-trained the next, and by the end of the third a force tolerably effective. But the process of discharge and enrolment is going on perpetually ; and you are left by it at all moments in the predicament of a builder, who, out of a mass of materials, excellent if moulded into shape, cannot find bricks enough with which to carry on his operations. The Prussian army, as it now exists, is not only unfit to take the field, but can scarce furnish drilled soldiers sufficient to do the ordinary duties of its many fortified places."

He says nothing of the English Corn-laws and their effects, but his facts incidentally prompt some reflections. The whole of Hungary, and great part of Bohemia, are evidently capable of growing vast quantities of corn. The nobles of the former are vain, addicted to show and expense ; but are miserably off for money, and, for want of markets, cultivate little more than will supply their families and serfs. Nor, though roads arc execrable, or nonexistent, are they without means of com- munication. Hungary has the Danube, and its plains afford good scope for railways, or common roads. Bohemia has the earlier course of the Elbe, partly navigable for small craft. Yet even with no surplus cultivation, and in defiance of bad communication, the late failure of the crops had affected the corn-market in Bohemia.

Of" paternal governments" Mr. GLEI0 does not sewn to entertain such favourable notions as Mrs. Treow.opE, and some others of that calibre of mind ; and he represents Bohemia as dissatisfied to a man, and the serfs throughout Hungary ripe for discontent if not all discontented. Here are some of his observations on these topics.

"It would be idle to conceal that the extreme vigilance of the Government in these repects, and, still more, its bigoted hostility to every thing which might recall the recollection of Bohemian independence, huts given great um- brage to the thinking portion of the people. I have conversed with persons in every rank, and I found none who spoke of it except in bitterness. But it is not by these means alone that the house of Austria endeavours to shield its Bohemian subjects from the infection of Liberalized opiuions. I had intrusted to me, before leaving London, an English book, which I was to forward or de- liver to a gentleman of rank in the country. He would not send for it by the hands of a common messenger. He came in person many miles to receive it, 'Because,' said he, one does not know what may happen, and it is best to avoid collision with the police.' The hook was a very harmless one—it was only the first volume of Lockhart's Life of' Sir ;Vatter Scott; but my friend did not consider that it would be prudent to make a parade of its reception. Again, I visited a gentleman in Prague, and found upon his table a smother of the Foreign Quarterly Review. There was au article in it which bore upon the existing condition of Bohemia,—an able paper, on the whole, though here and there inaccurate. I conversed with him about it ; and, bathe, an hour to spare, I accepted his offer to carry it to my hotel, and there read it. When you send it back,' said he, 'be so good as wrap it carefully up in paper. We don't know where we are safe, in this country ; and your Foreiyn Quarterly is not one of the favoured publications which we are licensed to import.' What a pitiable state of existence is this what a perfect bondage of mind, for width the utmost security to person and property can never make amends!"

Let us turn to lighter matters; remarking, ere we go, that the author's character as an Englishman, both in Bohemia and Hun- gary, especially in the latter, secured him every attention.


This point [an invitation to sleep] being settled to the satisfaction of all the parties concerned, we proceeded to equip ourselves in travelling costume, and, rod in hand, bent our steps towards Eisenhammer. A more unpropi- tious pi- tious day for the angler can scarcely be imagined for a cold east wind

blew, and from time to time a thin drizzling rain beat our faces. Still we determined to make the attempt ; and truly we had no'cause to repent of our resolution. In the course of four hours, which we devoted to the sport, we

caught upwards of ten pounds of trout ; the number of fists killed being at the same time only eleven,—a clear proof that the Bohemian Iser deserves just as much praise as Sir Humphry Davy, in his charming little book, has bestowed upon its namesake near Munich. But killing the trout constituted by no

means the sole amusement which we that day enjoyed. An English fishing- rod and English tackle were objects quite as novel to the good folks of Eisen- hammer, as they had been to the citizens of Gabel ; and the consequence was, that we bad the entire population of the village and hamlets round, in our train. And the astonishment of these simple people, first at .the machinery and then at our mode of using it, I have no language to describe. When first I hooked a trout, there was a general rush to the river-side ; the movement being produced, manifestly enough, by alarm lest the line should break ; and though the animal was floundering and springing about in twelve feet of water at least, two or three young men could scarcely be restrained from jumping in. But when they saw the monster—and a very large fellow he was—after running away with some fathoms of line, and bending the rod like a willow-wand, gradually lose his strength, and sail reluctantly towards the shore, I really thought they would have gone crazy with delight. They jumped about, swore, and shouted like mad people and made such a plunge auto the shallows to bring him out, that we Lad well nigh lost him. The scene was altogether quite irresistible.

There was no work performed that day:in the iron-fouudry. Every soul belonging to it, from the superintendent down to the errand-boy, came forth to

swell our train ; and we walked up the Iser, attended as never Highland chief was, even in the good old times of heritable jurisdictions. Nor was this all. religious procession, that is to say, a numerous body of peasants from some et the villages near, bound'on a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James in Starke back, heapeued to descend the hill just as I was playing a fish ; and the effert produced upon them was quite as miraculous as could have been brought about by the saint himself. The sound of their psalmody ceased ; the crucifix ems lowered ; and man and woman, boy and maiden, breaking loose from their ranks, flocked down en mane, to ascertain the cause of so strange a phenomenon.


We might have traversed a space of eight English miles, pausing from time • to time to look round from the eminences that came in our web when a Sle. vonian village, the first of the sort which we had seen, appeared in the die. titmice. It reminded me more of the wigwams which I have seen inhabited by slaves in Jamaica, than of any settlement of labourers in any quarter of civilized Europe. It was a more hamlet ; containing, perhaps, sonic twenty huts, all of them circular in their form, and thatched over with straw ; and as they stood apart one from another, there needed but a small stretch of the fancy tore. gard them as the dwelling-places of Negroes. But the figures which passed to and from them—how shill I describe these ? Their loose trousers and short cloaks, their hats, broad in the brim, yet sharp and high in the crown, care upon us at first with an effect so strange that I know not in what terms to define it. Had we been standing in any other situation than under the bun. ing RUU of a July day, I could have fancied that we had fallen suddenly among a body of' Esquimaux. And then their tools—their three-pronged spades, with handles twelve feet long at the least ; their rude litters for the convey. mice of corn-sheafs, their rakes, their hoes, fabricated on the exact model of the classics—and their ploughs, mere beams of timber, put together in the most unworkmanlike mariner; all these were so different from the implements made use of elsewhere, as more and more to impress upon us an assurance that at length our craving after the novel in Inman society would be gratified.


There are a good many Protestants scattered through Hungary, and in these mountain Xstricts they abound. The vale of Sullov, for example, is prime. pally peopled by them ; and their presence is marked, both there and elsewhere, by a more than common display of the traces of industry around them. It is said, too, that they are in general more moral than their Romish neighbours, and it is certain that they are better educated; indeed, education among the Catholic portion of the Hungarian peasantry is entirely neglected. But I am bound to add, that from the Catholics, though the dominant party in the state, the Pro. testants receive no annoyance. The most perfect harmony, on the contrary, prevails ; for no person considers it necessary to fall out with his neighbours because of differences in their creed ; and the very clergy of the rival churches exercise all the rites of hospitality one towards another. As I shall haveoceai eion to revert to this subject by and by, when it will fall in more naturally with the order of my journal, I must for time present content myself with remarking, that time spirit ot tolerance is more conspicuous among the humanists than among their rivals. I never beard a Catholic speak with a sneer of the faith of the Protestants ; I never beard it Protestant speak otherwise than C011. temptuously of the ignorance and superstition of his Catholic neighbour.


We had heard much of the dull and monotonous character of the great plain of Hungary. We had now a veritable specimen of it before us: for many long and weary miles we drove ere so much as a cottage made its appear. mice, and all the while the corn waved on either hand rank and luxuriant. Yet, singular as to us this state of things appeared, it is but a copy, and au imper- fect one, of what prevails elsewhere. There are parts of the country, cape. cially in the great plain of the Theiss, where you may travel an entire day without encountering either the houses or the faces of men ; and all the wlea your route will be through fields loaded with abundant crops of wheat and rye. illoreover, the customs of the people who occupy that plain are to the full as striking as the external appearance of the country ; and it may be well if I describe them. for The long and fierce wars which Hungary sustained with Turkey, and the cotti exposure of these open districts to perpetual invasion, first induced the inlet. bit ants to congregate into heaps; and the habits then contracted have never • \..1 sioce been laid aside. Accordingly, there are no such things as villages ime hamlets, far less detached dwellings, to be seen anywhere ; but, at remote in• tervals one from smother, you come upon towns, towns of the veriest hots., • yak where dwell six, eight, ten, and sometimes as many as thirty thousand peasants çt together. I low they preserve order among themselves, I do not know ; for • their 'Imagist totes SCCII1 t1.1 possess little influence over them ; yet they do live tile peaceably. enough ; and, though all are poor and squalid and filthy to a degree, gm there seems to be a perfect indifference to the evils which poverty and squalor 'thr: bring with them. They are to a man agriculturists. It is by the labour of ':spoi their hands that the boundless plains through which you have travelled are cultivated ; and the process by which the mighty operation is performed is this. Atli When the season fur plait:I:Jung awl solving comes round, the males march mm, . a body feom their homee. they elect wipe:tins, or huts, here and there in tho fields; amid then setting to work, they toil from Monday till Saturday ; living a 1( on the provisions which they may have brought with them, and sleeping at mid night in their bivouac. On Saturday they all return to the town, and do not yee, be ire it again till Monday. In this manner the first processes are carried icli their permanent habitations, there to abide in idleness and filth till some fresh ' operation becomes necessary. Finally, when harvest is ready, the bivouac is .1 resumed ; the women comin.s., fiwth this thne to assist in getting it in. And so :the ends the huts are abandoned. pti through ; and when all the seed. has been scattered, the people march back to • , the completion of the sowing season sent them back to town, so when reaping


The gentleman whose guests we had thus unexpectedly become, belonged to'hii that class in Hungarian society width corresponds, in respect to rank, with our at, untitled aristocracy—the proprietors of estates which have descended to them " through many generations. lie inhabited a country-house, which, in point of size and the general aspect of timings in and around it, I can compare to nothing so aptly as the dwelling of a Highland laird. It was along-fronted, two-storied, white-walled chateau, having before it a sort of court, or grass-plot ; round which ran a gravelkd drive, that was fenced off from the road only by a hedge and paling. -At the bottom of this court, again, aua at right angles with the swing-gate by which we entered, stood a range of cottages, where dwelt this grooms and menials, and hangers-on ilium the family; while just across the Ian road were stables, coach-houses, sheds, barns, and a garden, well stocked with fruit and vegetables. Of park, or paddock, or grounds purely ornamental, there was, however, no trace. Except where the green court lay, (and it was not wholly ornamental, inasmuch as the draw-well stood exactly in the centre of it,) every rood of land bed been laid under the plough. tip to the very walls of the mansion the corn crops were growing; and in the hamlet where we and our host first met, the labourers or serfs by whom they were reared re- sided.

It was not, however, in the outward appearance of things alone that I traced a close resemblance between the domicile of this Hungarian gentleman and that of the Highland laird ; rather, perhaps, as he was half a century ago: than as you now find him, except in rare cases. The family of Mr. Scultati (for so my yonng friend was called) appeared of countless extent. There was no end to the retainers, men, women, and children, who went to and fro before his hall-door and thronged his kitchen. Eating and drinking, moreover, ap- peared to be a work which suffered small intermission ; and the viands, though coarse perhaps, were most abundant. Then, again, I saw one woman arrive with several couples of fowls, another with a basket of eggs, a third with a jar of milk, a fourth with something else ; and I learned that such were not so much the spontaneous offerings of a good-will, as the feudal perquisites which the chief claimed and the cotter and small tenant paid. "It is thus," said my kind host, " and thus only, that the hospitalities of such a household as mine could be kept up. These things are brought to one every day. What could I do with them, if I did not feed the people whom you consider so numerous ?" , We must break off here, though there are several other points that claim attention ; especially the description of the militia or military colonies of the Turkish frontiers, along great parts of .which .Mr. GLEIG travelled, and some sketches of what he saw during his journey. His suggestion that a similar plan might be adopted on the Canadian frontier, has been made without due ,consideration. It is alien to our habits, and to our laws as prac- tised now ; and could only be established by us at a vast expense. If the Canadas can be kept from the Americans in no other way, they are not worth keeping.