The Project Gutenberg EBook of Pilgrimages to the Spas in Pursuit of
Health and Recreation, by James Johnson

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most
other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions
whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of
the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at  If you are not located in the United States, you'll have
to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this ebook.

Title: Pilgrimages to the Spas in Pursuit of Health and Recreation
       With an inquiry into the comparative merits of different
              mineral waters: the maladies to which they are applicable,
              and those in which they are injurious

Author: James Johnson

Release Date: August 15, 2019 [EBook #60104]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


Produced by Susan Skinner, K Nordquist and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive/American Libraries.)

Different Mineral Waters:—




Little College Street, Westminster.



The observations and reflections contained in the following pages, are the results of several autumnal excursions in the line of the German Spas, undertaken partly for health, partly for recreation, and partly for information on a subject that now interests a large portion of English invalids. The contents of the volume are like the objects which gave it origin. They are miscellaneous—and probably this character will be objected to, on the principle, “ne sutor ultra crepidam.” I have yet to learn, however, why a physician should be debarred from indulgence in general observations or reflections, and confined exclusively to professional topics. His education, habits of thought, and knowledge of human nature do not particularly disqualify him for a task which is daily undertaken by people of all grades of acquirement, and degrees of ability. The truth is, that being too independent to write for the mere purpose of catching the approbation of others, I have followed the bent of my own inclinations, and, if taken to task by censors, have little other reason to offer for my conduct than the old one—“stat pro ratione voluntas.”

There is one portion of the book, however, (a very small one, some twenty pages of letter-press) which may require some apology. The course of the Rhine leads to most of the German Spas, and is therefore traversed annually by multitudes of invalids as well as tourists. Every castle and promontory on its banks has its legend, and these traditions contribute to fix the picture of the locality in the mind’s eye, by association, for ever afterwards. In one of my excursions, some years ago, it struck me that these legends were designed, originally, each to convey some moral precept—at all events, I became convinced that they were capable of being moralized. Under this impression, I condensed the principal traditionary tales that have their locale in sight of the voyager, and deduced what I considered to be the moral or useful precepts which they concealed under a wild and improbable fiction. If I have failed in this attempt, the intention, at least, was good. Throughout the whole volume, my object has been to compress into small space much useful information for invalid or tourist, and, on all occasions, to start subjects for meditation or reflection, well knowing, from long experience, that such occupations of the mind on a journey, are eminently conducive both to pleasure and health.

In the principal or professional portion of the work, I have endeavoured to collect all the information in my power, and, in the exercise of my judgment, to sift the grain from the chaff, thus to steer clear of the extremes of exaggeration and scepticism. There has been too much of the former abroad, and too much of the latter at home. Holding myself perfectly free from all obligation to subserve local interests on one side of the channel, or foster[iii] national prejudices on the other, I have spoken my mind, with equal fearlessness and, I hope, impartiality.

The typography of this volume will prove that, although I must plead guilty to the charge of “making a book,” it has not been constructed on the approved principles of “book making.” By certain mechanical processes well known “in the trade,” this slender tome might have been easily expanded into two or even three goodly, or at least costly octavos, without the expenditure of a single additional line, word, or thought. But, bearing in mind the old Greek maxim that “a great book is a great evil,” I was determined that, should my lucubrations come under this head at all, the evil as well as the book should be on a small scale. Spa-going invalids have evils enough, God knows, to carry on their shoulders, without the addition, of a “Mega Biblion” in their wallets.

There is one defect in this work, however, which common honesty compels me to point out to the intending purchaser, before he parts with his money. If the travelling invalid expects to find here a catalogue of the post-houses, the signs of the inns, the prices of the wines, the fares of the table-d’hôtes, the pretensions of the cuisine, &c. &c. &c., except upon very rare occasions, he will be woefully disappointed. All this species of information, and a great deal more, will be found in that excellent emporium of peripatetic lore—“Murray’s Handbook.” But even this useful feature in the “red-book,” is not without its alloy. The character of caravanserais is perpetually changing, as well as that of their landlords; and when one of these gets a good name in a guide book, the afflux of travellers to that point too often causes the master to become proud, the servants lazy, the fare bad, and the bill exorbitant. Many a bitter anathema have I heard launched against the “Handbooks, &c.” for leading tourists and invalids to be starved and fleeced at the “Red Lion,” when they might have fared sumptuously and cheaply at the “Black Swan.”

Still, the Handbook is equally invaluable and indispensable to the continental traveller; and, as far as the Spas are concerned, Dr. Granville’s work is full of information on this subject. The profession and the public, indeed, are deeply indebted to Dr. Granville and Mr. Edwin Lee for opening out wider and clearer views of the continental mineral waters; but the subject itself, so far from being exhausted, is only in its infancy of investigation. Whether we regard the constituent elements of the waters themselves, their physiological operation, or their remedial efficacy, there is ample room for many future inquirers.

I have now only to return my sincere thanks to the various German and other physicians on the continent, from whom I received oral, written, or published information, and to say that I shall feel myself honoured by any future communications from the same sources, on the subject of the Spas.


Suffolk Place, Pall Mall,
May, 1841.



First Pilgrimage.
Hygeian Fountains of Germany 1
The Valetudinarian in pursuit of health 2
The Steamer 2
The Gathering in the Steamer 3
The Conservative Traveller 4
The Sea—the Maas 5
Rotterdam 6
The Hague 8
Haerlem 8
Normal Schools 9
Amsterdam 10
Batavian Characteristics 12-14
Cologne 15-17
The Rhine 18
Drachenfels—Scenery 19
Legend of Drachenfels 22
Do. of Roland and Hildegund 24
Last Nuns of Nonnenwerth 25
Truenfels, or the Rock of Fidelity 27
The Flying Bridge 29
Rheineck renovated 29
Hammerstein, Andernach, &c. 30
Coblentz 30
Ehrenbreitstein—Gibraltar 31
Coblentz to Mayence—omnibussing 33
Stolzenfels, and Legend 33
The Brothers—Legend 34
Lurley, or the Echo, with Legend 35
Singular Locality of Echo 37
Schomberg—Reflections 38
The Seven Sisters, or Fate of Coquettes 38
Pfalz 39
The Hall of Mirrors 40
Moral of the Mirrors 42
The Devil’s Ladder 43
Moral of the Ladder 45
The Bridal of Rheinstein 46
The Mouse Tower, and Moral 48
Change of Scene 49
Topography of 50
Theories of Mineral Waters 51
Composition of the Waters 52
Effects of the Bath 52
Phenomena produced by the Waters 53
Disorders benefitted by the Waters 55
Counter-indications 56
“Bad-sturm,” or Crisis 57
Hæmorrhoidal Mania 58
Cautions respecting the Baths 59
Directions for using the Waters 60
Spa-life 61
“Cursaals,” or “Curst-Hells 63
One-sided Morality 64
The Adler, or Eagle Bath 65
Author’s Theory of Kochbrunnen 65
The Dandy of Sixty—Bath Cream 66
Mr. Lee on the Wisbaden Waters 67
Drive from Wisbaden to Schlangenbad 72
The Serpent’s Bath 73
The Cauldron of Medea 74
The Phœnix of Schlangenbad 74
Dr. Granville’s animadversions 75
Waters of Schlangenbad 76
Order off the Bath 76
Table d’Hôte at Schlangenbad 77
German Salaam 77
Stomach and Teeth in Germany 79
Value of Life 80
Fame of the Serpent’s Bath 81
The Three Brunnens 82
Composition of the Waters 83
Effects of the Chalybeates 84
Indications for their Use 84
Counter-indications 85
Mode of taking them 85
The Baths 86
German Society and Manners 86
[v]Verbondung, or German Duel 90
Scenery—Springs, &c. 94
Ursprung 94
Cautions respecting the Baths 95
Lines Written at the Alten-Schloss 96
Dissipation 97
Journey from Baden-Baden to Wildbad 98
The Devil’s Mill 99
The Schwein-General 100
Valley of the Enz 102
The Raft-floaters 103
Topography of Wildbad 104
The Warm Baths 105
The Elysian Fountain 106
Disappointment 107
Bathing in common—pros and cons 108
Composition of the Waters 109
Effects of the Baths and Waters 110
Medicinal Properties 111
The Spa-Fever 112
The “Auxiliary” to Mineral Waters 112
Disorders cured or relieved by Wildbad 113
Counter-indications 116
Zurich 119
Lake of Wallenstadt 120
Astounding Cavern 125
Source of the Waters 126
Waters of Pfeffers 129
or the Cure of Diseases by Perspiration and Cold Water
Calido-frigid Sponging 137
Second Pilgrimage.
Chemin de Mer—Chemin de Fer 139
Antiquity of the Omnibus 139
Belgian Rail-roads 140
Antwerp route to the Spas 141
Reminiscences of the Walcheren Expedition 141
Liege 142
Waters of Chaude Fontaine 142
Route from Liege to Spa 143
Former Celebrity of Spa 144
Pouhon—Sauveniere—Geronsterre—Tonnelet 145
General Composition of the four Springs 145
Medicinal Agency of the Spa Waters 146
Regimen proper at Spa 147
Environs of Spa 148
Gambling at Spa 149
Decadence of the celebrity of Spa 150
Antiquity and Site of Aix 151
Fontaine Elisée 151
Aspect of the Spa-drinkers 152
Vitality of Mineral Waters 153
Caloricity Hypothesis 153
Disorders benefitted by the Waters 154
Waters of the Borcette 154
Antiquities of Aix-la-Chapelle 154
Antiquity and locality of Ems 155
A new Sprudel discovered there 155
Composition of the Ems Waters 156
Physiological Operation of the Waters 156
Disorders to which they are applicable 157
Pulmonary Complaints benefitted by Ems 158
Counter-indications 160
Point of Saturation, or Crisis 161
General rules for taking the waters and baths 161
Cautions necessary for using the Baths 163
City and Cemetery—reflections on 164
Situation in the heart of Germany 166
[vi]Maxbrunnen—Ragoczy 167
Composition of the Waters 167
Pandur—Soolensprudel—Theresienbrunnen 168
Medicinal Agency of the Kissengen Waters 169
Disorders to which the Waters are applicable 170
Physical effects and medicinal properties of the different Springs 172
The Baths of Kissengen 174
Counter-indications 176
Point of saturation 176
Order of the day at Kissengen 177
Physiognomy of the various Spas 177
Acidulous Chalybeate of Bocklet 178
The purest Chalybeate in Europe 180
I. Franzensquelle or Brunn 182
Hufeland’s Testimony to the Waters 184
II. Salzquelle 185
III. Cold Sprudel—IV. Louisenbrunn 186
Gas Baths of Franzensbad 187
Mud Baths of Franzensbad 189
Personal experience of the Mud Baths 190
Disorders to which the Mud-Baths are applicable 191
Mr. Spitta on the Mud-Baths 192
I. The Kreuzbrunn 195
Composition and Physiological effects 195
Disorders to which the Kreuzbrunn is applicable 197
II. Ferdinandsbrunn 198
III. Carolinenbrunn and Ambrosiusbrunn 199
The Baths of Marienbad 201
Physical and Physiological Effects of the Baths 201
Mud-Baths of Marienbad 202
Gas-Baths of Marienbad 203
Physiological and Medicinal Effects 204
Notice of Dr. Herzig’s Work on Marienbad 206
Lobkowitz’s Ode to the Sprudel 208
Ancient History of Carlsbad 209
Description of the Sprudel 210
Muhlbrunn 210
Neubrunn—Theresienbrunn 211
Sprudelsteins and Incrustations 211
Serio-comic Anecdote of a Hypochondriac 212
German Hypotheses respecting the Waters 212
Picturesque situation of Carlsbad 212
Hufeland’s Eulogy of the Carlsbad Waters 213
Lord A’s wonderful cure 213
Melancholy case of Surgeon Fraser 213
Dr. De Carro’s opinions of the Waters 214
Crowd of Hypochondriacs at Carlsbad 215
Counter-indications 216
Bad-sturm, or Crisis, of Carlsbad 217
Regime at Carlsbad 218
Almanac of Carlsbad 219
Changes of fashion respecting the Springs 219
The Sprudel on Calculous Complaints 220
Dr. Hlawaczek on the Carlsbad Waters 221
Physiognomy of Diseases at a great Spa 222
Auxiliaries to Recovery at a large Sanitarium 222
Medicinal Auxiliaries 224
Moral and Physical Auxiliaries 226
Romantic Situation of this Spa 228
Sources and establishments 228
Qualities of the Waters 229
Disorders to which they are applicable 230
Romantic and Picturesque appearance of the City 231
Picturesque Journey from Prague to Teplitz 232
Splendid Bathing Establishments here 232
Temperature of the Springs 233
Former state of Public Baths—modern custom 233
Dr. Richter’s Work on the Teplitz Waters 234
Mode of Bathing and Remedial Agency 235
Disorders to which the Waters are applicable 236
Topography of the Contiguous Country 237
Splendid View from the Spitalberg and Schlossberg 237
Mr. Spitta on the Waters of Püllna, Saidschitz, and Sedlitz 238
Battle-field of Culm—Historical Reminiscences 245
Furious Combat between Vandamme and the Allies 247
Bohemian Thermopylæ 248
Napoleon’s Star fades for ever 248
Tetschen—Count Thun’s Palace 249
Enter Saxon Switzerland 249
Remains of an Antediluvian World 250
Monchenstein, a curious fragment of Rock 251
Hernskretchen, Preberchthor, Kuhstall 251
Kœnigstein, impregnable Fortress of 252
Geological Reflections 253
A German Hotel, comforts of 254
Singularly wild and rude Scene of the Bastei 255
Geological Reflections—Antediluvian World 256
Huge Natural Colliseum, and fine Echo 256
Elbe to Dresden 257
Pillnitz—Regal Felicity—Royal Dramatist 257
First Impressions favourable 258
Bridge, Palace, Cathedral, Theatre 258
Magnificent View from the Cupola of the Cathedral 259
Battle-field of August 1814—Tomb of Moreau—Star of Napoleon 259
Character of Napoleon—Exhumation of his Ashes 260
Royal Catholic Church—Music—The Requiem 261
Picture Galleries of Dresden 261
Jargon of the Connoiseurs 261
Chef-d’œuvres of Art 262
The Green Vaults—Reflections in 263
The Rustkammer, or Armoury—Reflections 264
Dresden China 265
Tharand—an Excursion 265
Revolution in Saxony, after that in Paris of 1830 266
Privileges of the People 266
Dresden to Leipzig 267
An Oasis in the Desert 267
The Cradle and Grave of Literature 267
Cerebro-gestation 268
Retrospection from the Observatory 269
The decisive Battle of Leipzig, Oct. 1814 270
Cossack Valour 271
Fall of Napoleon’s Star 271
Magdeburg 272
Advantages of Fortifications 272
Navigation of the Elbe 273
Hamburg 273
Conclusion of the Second Pilgrimage 275
Difficulty of drawing characteristics 276
1. Physiognomy—2. Language—3. Ideology—4. Unanimity 277
5. Patience—6. Religion 277
7. Affability 278
Causes of Affability 278
8. Education 279
Normal Schools 280
9. Learning 281
10. The Press 282
Censorship 282
11. Domestic Manners 283
12. Women 283
13. Morality 284
14. Socialism 284
15. Time 284
Time past 285
Time present and to come 286
16. Titles, Decorations 286
17. Aerophobia 286
18. Female Peasantry 287
19. Status quo 287
20. Locomotion 288
21. The Burschen or Collegiate Youths 289
22. German Cookery 290
23. Gallic and German Patriotism 291
24. Prisons 292
25. Beds and Bed-rooms 293
26. The German Stove versus English Chimney 295
27. Verlobung, or betrothing 296
28. March of Population 297
29. Poetry 298



(First Pilgrimage.)

Many tribes of the great John Bull family appear, of late years, to have abjured “red port” and “brown stout,” in favour of several breweries on the Continent, and especially in Germany. These breweries are deeply seated in the bowels of the Earth, and the art and mystery of their brewings are far beyond the sight and cognizance of man. Whether cocculus Indicus, logwood, sloe-juice, or opium enter into their gigantic vats and boiling cauldrons, it is hard to say; but, however manufactured, they are thrown up on the surface of our globe, pro bono publico—greatly to the detriment of doctors, druggists, and apothecaries, in this and in many other countries.

The subterranean distilleries are conducted on the homœopathic principle—viz. that of employing the minutest quantities of active materials—probably in order to do the least possible harm. They have many and great advantages over the homœopathic laboratories. They diffuse their ingredients through such immense potions of water, that, to get at a few grains of the former, we are obliged to ingurgitate some quarts of the latter. Now the mere mechanical flow of such prodigious doses of fluid through the various outlets—the bowels, kidneys, skin, &c. must sweep away morbid secretions, and contribute to the breaking down of obstructions in different organs, independently of the medicinal agents that are diffused through the mass of liquids in the greatest possible state of division and solution—circumstances which enable them to permeate and penetrate through innumerable capillary tubes and complicated glandular apparatuses, where grosser materials could never reach.

The natural fountains of Hygeia, however, have other advantages and auxiliaries, of which the laboratory of the chemist, and the pharmacy of[2] the practitioner are deprived. Hope itself, though often resting on fallacious and exaggerated histories of cures, contributes much to the accomplishment of even marvellous recoveries. The severing, or even relaxing of that chain which binds care round the human heart, and augments the sufferings and the progress of disease, is no mean ally of the spa. It is true indeed, that the “splendid misery” of the great, and the corroding grief of the exile, cannot be thrown off by change of climate—

Scandit æratas vitiosa naves
Cura—quid terras, alio calentes
Sole, mutamus—patriæ quis exul
Se quoque fugit?[1]

But the valetudinarian in pursuit of health, is somewhat differently circumstanced. The change of scene and air—of food and drink—of rising and retiring—of exercise and conversation—in short, of the whole moral and physical conditions around him, effect, in many cases, such a mental and corporeal improvement, as makes easy work for the mineral waters—especially when the extreme dilution of their contents is taken into consideration.

Let it not be supposed, however, that this picture is without any reverse. Many diseases—especially organic ones—are aggravated by the journey to a distant spa—by the imprudent use of the water—by the warm or hot bathing—by the enthusiasm or rather hydromania, of the spa-doctor, who, having little acquaintance with the constitution of the patient, extols his favourite spring, and recommends it in almost every complaint. To separate probabilities from improbabilities, and impossibilities from both, will be attempted occasionally in the following pages, as we pass in review some of the principal resorts of invalids on both sides of the Rhine.


The Batavier, all humps and hollows—the reverse of what one would expect in anything Batavian—and as ugly a black whale as ever floundered through an Arctic Ocean, received an ample cargo on the 3rd. of August 183—. I shall not attempt to minutely analyse such a numerous as well as motley group, on the short acquaintance of twenty-six hours. It was pretty evident, however, that we had on board representatives of various classes of society—more especially of the arts, sciences,[3] and professions. The lawyer had left his clients to live in peace—the doctor had left his patients to die in peace:—and the pastor had committed his flock to some vicarious shepherd. The merchant had handed his ledger, and the banker his money-shovel to their clerks—and it seemed as though half the shopocracy had left their counters in care of the shopmen.

All was bustle and confusion among the steamers starting for various destinations—and I verily believe that the inhabitants of Pompeii did not rush in greater haste or in greater numbers to the sea, when chased by the ashes and lava of Vesuvius, than did the inhabitants of the metropolis to the banks of the Thames on this beautiful morning! There were to be seen senators, who had patriotically injured their own constitutions while reforming that of their country—tailors from Bond Street, going to Vienna and Athens to measure the “Corinthian pillars of the state,” on the philosophical principles of Laputa—aldermen from Bucklersbury, to exude a portion of green fat and callipash in the valleys of Switzerland—geological chemists, with hammers, bags, and blow-pipes, bound for the mountains of Taunus to ascertain the age of Mother Earth, by means of the fish-bones, oyster-shells, and pebbles, which she had swallowed at some of her grand suppers—antiquarians journeying to the Roman forum to disinter the bones of M. Curtius and his horse, which had lain so long in their marble cerements—engineers from a new joint-stock company to survey a line of rail-road over the Great St. Bernard—candidates for the Traveller’s Club, going to qualify by crossing some pons asinorum over the Danube—tourists of all calibres; some to make a tour simply; some to write a tour badly; but the greater number to talk of a tour afterwards—nabobs from the East; some with the complexion of a star pagoda; some as pallid as a sicca rupee; and others as blue as Asiatic cholera—Cantabs, with their tutors, going to study spherics among the Alps of Oberland—Oxonians, to collate Greek and gibberish among the Ionian Isles—Missionaries from Paternoster-row and Albemarle-street, to convert foolscap into food for circulating libraries, and the “bitter wassers” of Germany into Burgundy and Champaigne for themselves—Conservatives flying from the “West-end,” to preserve the remnants of a shattered constitution—landlords from Green Erin going to spend their rack-rents in the fashionable saloons of Baden Baden—roué’s from St. James’s, repairing, as a forlorn hope, to the Cur-saals (anglice, Cursed Hells) of Nassau and Bavaria—bacchanals, debauchees, and gourmands, hastening to Kissengen and Carlsbad, in hopes of restoring their jaded appetites and reducing their tumid livers—Judges from Westminster, who, in all actions of “Rus versus Urbem,” had lately determined in favour of the plaintiff, without reference to the jury—Bishops, who had left their black aprons on the Banks of the Thames, to have a peep at the lady with scarlet petticoats on the banks of the Tyber—aspiring youths of enlarged[4] views and high pretensions, determined to see the world from the summit of Mont Blanc—pallid beauties, from Portman Square, with their anxious mammas, bound to Ems and Schwalbach, in hopes of transmuting their lillies into roses, by exchanging the midnight waltz for the “mittag” meal, and fiery port for the sparkling “wein-brunnen”—faded belles and shattered beaux, of certain and uncertain ages, repairing to Schlangenbad, for satin surfaces and renewal of youth. We had members of both houses who had inhaled sulphuretted hydrogen gas to such an extent, in St. Stephens, during the session, as to cause violent explosions of malodorous philippics, to the great annoyance of their opposite neighbours:—these were on their way to the Alps for pure air before the next eruption. Here were seen veterans from the “United Service,” whose memories had survived their hopes, bound on a pilgrimage to Waterloo and Camperdown, to heave a last sigh over the setting sun of martial glory, and the degenerate æra of insipid peace. Here were whigs, tories, radicals and revolutionists; together with men of high church, low church, and no church doctrines, but all (incredible to relate) unanimously agreed on one principle, that of the “mouvement.”[2]

These and hundreds, not to say thousands of others, whose avocations, objects, and pursuits were only known to themselves—

——an undistinguished crew
O’er whom her darkest wing Oblivion drew——

were rushing to the Thames, and deserting the Metropolis, as though it were the “City of the Plague,” or the seat of Asiatic cholera.

But to return to the Batavier. Honour to the man who first applied steam to locomotion. His ingenuity has enabled him to distil from water a light vapour which conquers the ocean from whence it sprang. It more than half diminishes the terror of the sea and the miseries of the voyage. It brings Lisbon and Gibraltar within the same distance of London as Edinburgh used to be. Though lighter than the air we breathe, it can resist the impetuosity of the heaviest storm, and stem the torrent of the most rapid river. It has nearly broken the trident of Neptune, and owns little allegiance to his sceptre. Steam may now say to the watery god, what the ocean monarch once said to a brother deity—


“Non tibi imperium Pelagi sævumque tridentem,
Sed mihi sorte datur.”——

Æolus may unchain the winds—Boreas may bluster, and Auster may weep; but steam heeds them not. Resistance only lends it strength, and oppression elasticity. The offspring of eternal and implacable enemies (fire and water), its birth is invariably and necessarily fatal to its parents. The new Being thus generated is as gigantic in power as it is transitory in existence. Imprisoned for a moment, it bursts its barriers—regains its liberty—and dies! But these struggles for freedom work the iron wings that impel the monster steamer through the briny waves. Deep in the womb of this moving volcano, we see the fires of Ætna glowing—cauldrons boiling—pumps playing—chains clanking—Ixion’s wheels incessantly revolving—steam roaring—and volumes of smoke belched upwards, to darken the skies with artificial clouds. Could some of our forefathers rise from their graves, and behold a steamer flying over the waves against wind and tide, and without oar or sail, they would be not a little astonished, and curious enough to know the name of the planet to which they had been wafted after leaving their native earth.


Campbell, our immortal poet, has dedicated an amatory epistle to the sea, descriptive of her various charms. When in good humour, no lady has a smoother face, or a more smiling countenance, and she then well deserves the title of “mirror of the stars,” which the bard has gallantly conferred on her. But when ruffled in temper, she is one of the veriest termagants I have ever encountered. She will then fret and foam—aye, and proceed from words to blows, knocking about her friends and her foes, like stock-fish.

Many have been the philtres and objurgations proposed for securing her “crispid smiles,” and obviating her “luxurious heavings;” but few of them are of any value. I have found it best to lie down, bandage my eyes, and let the angry Goddess have her own way. In the present instance her marine majesty was in a singularly mild mood, during the passage. A nautilus might have spread his sail and gone to sleep in safety. We approached the low sand hills concealing a still lower surface of country—struck on the Brill—and after two or three rolls, the Batavier tumbled like a whale into the Maas. We were soon abreast of Schiedam, whence volumes of smoke and vapour redolent of gin were wafted over us by the northern breeze, while a hundred windmills were whirling round as far as the eye could reach. It is curious that in Holland, the most watery country in the world, grain is ground by means of wind; while in Switzerland, the most windy country in Europe, corn is ground by means of water. A moment’s reflection clears up the paradox. In Holland,[6] water sleeps during seven days in the week, unmolested, save by the occasional crawling of the trackschuyt:—in Switzerland, every stream leaps joyously from rock to rock, grinding the corn, washing the linen, spinning the flax, turning the lathes, and performing a hundred domestic services.


In a few hours after passing the Brill, we arrived at the most bustling and thriving town in Holland. A protracted line of shipping, receiving and discharging their cargoes—an even jetty or quay, planted with majestic trees—and a long row of noble-looking houses facing the river, preclude all view of Rotterdam. It is impossible to get a prospect of any Dutch town except from its highest steeple. Immediately, as is my custom, I ascended the spire of St. Lawrence’s cathedral, and there enjoyed a magnificent coup-d’œil of the fine sea-port, and the adjacent country, as far as the Hague. Each street is a kind of duplicate (double portrait) of the quay: the centre of almost every one being Macadamized, not with granite or gravel, but with the masts, yards, decks, and high bugger-luggs of ships. This species of Macadamization not being the most convenient for carriages or pedestrians, the broad trottoirs on each side, roughly paved and thickly planted, serve for all kinds of viators, and must give ample encouragement to corn-cutters, blacksmiths, veterinary surgeons, and coach-builders.

Nine-tenths of the houses present their gable-ends to the street—a high flight of steps leading to the hall—and a coach door at the side, leading to the court. Each mansion (where there is not an open shop) is a merchant’s castle, flanked with warehouses filled with goods, neatly furnished, and kept remarkably clean. The inhabitants differ from those of an English town much less than the inhabitants of any other continental city. The women are far more fair and handsome than either the French, Germans, or Italians—and the word “comfort,” unintelligible in any language but our own, is practically legible in every street of Rotterdam.

I made my bow to the statue of Erasmus, though the name called up some scholastic recollections, not of the most pleasant kind, as connected with his Naufragium: after which, we perambulated this city of “ships, colonies, and commerce,” till a late hour in the evening.

From the moment that John Bull first sets foot on any part of the Continent between Scandinavia and Cape Coast Castle, he begins to pay daily the penalty of early-acquired and long-continued bad habits. But this is not all. Some of his good habits stand in the way of his comfort and health. The sooner he makes up his mind to the change, the better. And first, of sleep. If he means to enjoy the blessings of “tired Nature’s sweet restorer,” he must repair to his chamber as soon as possible after the sun has taken his evening bath in the Atlantic. And he should spring from his couch before, rather than after, Apollo pleases to—


“Rise refulgent from Tithonus’ bed.”

In most of the continental towns, the streets are as silent as those of Pompeii after ten o’clock; but the bustle begins at day-light, and he must have taken a strong dose of opium who can sleep after that hour! The cocks are crowing, the carts are clattering, the waiters are knocking up the travellers going off by diligence or steamer, the travellers themselves are bawling out for “eau chaude,” “warm wasser,” “boots,” “coffee,” or the “billet”—in short, the jargon of different languages resounding through the lobbies for an hour or two after day-light, would put Babel to shame. And last, not least, the eternal ding-dong of bells, especially in Catholic countries, from dawn of day till eight o’clock, might convince the most sceptical Protestant that purgatory is no fable, but an actual punishment inflicted by the priests on this side of the grave, as a foretaste of the future!

Still, in most of the continental towns, there is an interval of five or six hours in the night, during which the wearied limbs of the traveller may rest, and his ears may be relieved from discordant sounds. Not so at Rotterdam. The night is infinitely more noisy than the day. It is then that the real bustle begins at the Hotel des Pays Bas, and along the whole line of the quay. The absence of light appears to operate on this amphibious race in the same way as it does on frogs, bats, and owls, and various animals addicted to nocturnal depredation. By midnight the sailors of different nations begin to get sober for the second or third time since morning, and the work of loading and unloading, craning and carting, &c. begins in good earnest. The eternal chorus of “yo heave ho,” from a thousand throats, o’ertopping, but not drowning the boisterous din of unutterable discord on all sides, would rouse the god of sleep from his bed of ebony, and put his prime minister, Morpheus, to flight.

How the Rotterdamers preserve their lives in the midst of stagnant water surrounding and pervading every habitation, and ingurgitated by man, woman, and child, is only explicable on one of two principles—perhaps of both. They are accustomed to it, as the eels are to skinning:—or the neighbouring Scheidam poisons the animalculæ, and prevents their poisoning the people. There is yet one other supposition. In every habitation and chamber of Rotterdam, and indeed of Holland, there is very perceptible to the senses a malodorous effluvium, composed of three different gases, and emanating from gin, peat and tobacco. This “tertium quid”—this “tria juncta in uno”—may possibly tend to counteract, or, at all events, to cover the malarious exhalations continually rising from a quiescent pool, into which the debris of all utterable and unutterable things are daily and nightly plunged![3]



I have long been tired of rambling through museums and picture-galleries—churches and palaces—gardens and promenades; but I am absolutely sick of the endless and reiterated descriptions of all these and a thousand other things, which every tourist delineates anew, as if he had been the first visitor that ever saw the lions!

In these catalogues there can be nothing new, even to the fire-side traveller, and I shall pass them by, with merely an occasional reflection or remark. I find but one or two notes in my diary of the Hague—one, the record of a most capital BULL—not made by an Irishman, but by a Dutchman—the “Jeune Taureau,” by Paul Potter. This sturdy, stiff-necked, sandy-haired representative of my countrymen, is no bad sample of the breed. I wish a certain animal of this species, which stands in Fleet Street, with a mouth wide open, and greedy for all kinds of provender, were to be brushed up a little, a la Paul Potter. I am sure it would increase the number of spectators, if not of subscribers, to our witty, keen, and sarcastic hebdomadal of Temple-bar.[4]

At the dull aristocratic and academic town of Leyden, we crossed a sad memorial of fallen greatness—the drivelling descendant of the majestic Rhine, reduced to the dimensions of a canal, and, like the degenerate offspring of some renowned hero, disgracing the line of his noble ancestor! Restive and perverse in its last act, it only flows when the tide ebbs, and stands motionless during the flood. Leyden being a university “open to all parties,” and influenced by merit only (with a little gold), it imposes no oath on the candidates for its degrees—whatever may be the creed of the aspirant.


This is a phrenological city, distinguished by a remarkable bump—the largest “organ of music” in the world. But there is a greater lion in[9] Haerlem than the great organ—one whose distant roarings have struck more terror into the heart of John Bull than did ever Napoleon, with his legions at Boulogne. This monstrous birth of the French revolution—this offspring of atheism and education, in which the orthodox light is extinguished—

“Monstrum horrendum, informe, ingens, cui lumen ademptum,”

is neither more nor less than a “normal school.” As this term is not in Johnson’s Dictionary, it is inferred by our home oracles, that it exists not in any language, ancient or modern. As I cannot give its derivation, I shall try at its definition. It is a school where “boys and girls are taught the rudiments of knowledge without wrangling about creeds.” It is alike open to the Jew and the Gentile, the Protestant and Catholic, the Baptist and Anabaptist, the Unitarian and Trinitarian. Now as each of these sects holds its own theology to be the true orthodox one, I do not see how any one form of religious instruction can be combined with elementary education. We might as well try to force the same note on all the inmates of a menagerie, as the same creed on all the elèves of a normal school. And, after all, why should theology be taken out of the hands of the pastor, to be put into those of the pedagogue? May not letters be taught without a Liturgy—and cyphering without a Catechism? We see that, in two of the most Protestant countries—Prussia and Holland—the system works well, at least peaceably. The children of various sects can learn to read without ridiculing, and to write without stigmatizing each other’s creeds. They live in peace while acquiring the rudiments of human knowledge at school—and they repair to the chapels or synagogues of their parents to hear the word of God, where it is most properly delivered. A youthful harmony or even friendship is thus generated among all persuasions, and is never afterwards entirely obliterated.

But I imagine that an unnecessary dread of this “tree of knowledge,” whose mortal fruit—

“Brought death into the world and all our woe,”

is entertained by the good people of England. Reading, writing, and arithmetic do not constitute knowledge, but merely the machinery by which it may be afterwards acquired. These rudiments are, like the types of the printer distributed in their compartments—void of learning or science in themselves, till they are worked up by the compositor—who, himself is only an instrument in the hands of a higher agent. “The instruction given in the schools (says an excellent observer, Mr. Chambers) is deficient of nearly all that bears on the cultivation of the perceptive and reflective faculties, and consequently the expansion of the intellect.” This education rarely extends beyond reading, writing, arithmetic, and geography—while the superior orders are taught the French[10] language. At or under 14 years of age, the child leaves school and merges on the ordinary avocations of life. There is in Holland nearly a total absence of scientific instruction. Words not things are taught, and no taste is generated for literature. Yet this elementary education at school, and religious instruction at home, have rendered the people remarkable for order, piety, and morality. In no other country is there so little crime or squalid poverty.

I wish I could say as much for civil as for religious liberty in this country. The press is more completely muzzled than any cart-dog in London. The latter may open his jaws so far as to growl; but the press is hermetically sealed in this submarine territory. No book can be translated or published without the censor’s license—nay, a hand-bill, announcing the importation of Warren’s blacking or Morrison’s pills, cannot be printed or affixed to a wall, without a license and a stamp! In a conversation with an intelligent Dutchman respecting this restriction on the press, I was completely silenced by the following argument. I believe, said the gentleman, that in your profession, prevention is considered to be better than cure. I assented. Then, said he, I observe in all your newspapers that people are tried, and sometimes severely punished, for publishing libels, although the authors may not believe them to be such at the time of writing them. Now the paternal Government of Holland prevents such misfortunes and evils from happening to its subjects, by examining the document before publication, and thus taking on itself the responsibility, in case it should turn out afterwards to be libellous. There was no answering this argument. The Dutch are the most patient animals that ever lived beneath a yoke, or bowed beneath a load of taxes. Talk of John Bull’s rates and taxes! They are bagatelles compared to those in Holland! Every species of business, from the cobbler to the ship-builder, is taxed after a graduated scale, varying from a few shillings to twenty or thirty pounds annually. Every dwelling, every window, door, fireplace—even the furniture, is taxed according to its value! The taxes on houses are more than a fourth of the rent! The necessaries of life are, in fact, extremely dear, and were it not for the solace of tobacco, gin, and coffee, the poorer classes of Dutchmen would die in their dykes under the pressure of hunger and taxation, notwithstanding their loyalty to King, and love of Vaderland!


How often does the monotonized traveller in Holland and Belgium sigh for the luxury of a zig-zag mule-track along the steep acclivity of some alpine height, as a change of scene from the eternal right-lined chaussée, terminating out of sight, beyond the verge of the horizon, or dipping apparently, like Pharaoh’s route, into a lake or the ocean! The Haerlem[11] pavé is constantly menaced by the Zuyder-Zee on the right, and the German Ocean on the left; but it escapes a watery grave, and safely lands the weary tourist in Amsterdam. Ascending the tower of the Stadthouse, or palace, I cast my wondering eyes over the largest community of beavers that ever lived upon logs, or drove their far-fetched piles into the muddy bottom of lake or pool! Strange that the dry land of this our globe should not afford space enough for cities or towns, without invading the Adriatic and the Zuyder-Zee for the sites of Venice and Amsterdam! From this bird’s-eye view, the confusion and commixture of land and water is inextricable and incalculable. The city stands on nearly one hundred detached islets, connected by more than three times that number of drawbridges—the houses rising bolt upright out of the water—each street being a quay lined with trees—and each mansion a warehouse, as evinced by the crane and rope at the attic for hoisting in goods, furniture, fuel, and provisions. The space between the houses and the water, is much narrower than at Rotterdam, and I think the bustle and activity of commerce are far less conspicuous in the northern than in the southern entrepôt. The water, though capable of floating ships, is unfit for cooking or drinking—and, were it not for the springs of Seltzer, and the distilleries of Scheidam, I imagine that hydrophobia would universally prevail.

I suspect that the Amsterdammers were originally a colony from Palestine. Like the “chosen people,” they are much fonder of conveying merchandize from one hand to another, than of manufacturing any article of trade or commerce. The only fabrications that I could see, were those of ships to carry, and houses to contain goods. The building of houses has long been limited to the re-construction of those whose foundations had given way—and naval architecture has received many checks—the annihilation of the whale-fishery among others. But the red-herring still cheers the heart of the Hollander, and qualifies the brackish water of the Zuyder-Zee. While wandering through the streets in the evening, I found that gin-palaces were not confined to England. They are on a splendid scale here, and frequented by better classes of society than in the British metropolis. We saw burgesses—probably burgomasters—with their wives, and sometimes with their children, drinking, smoking, and listening to the dulcet sounds of Swiss or Bavarian hurdi-gurdies. This was not quite in keeping with the grave, moral, and religious character of the Dutchman.

It is not my inclination—to say the truth, it is not my forte—to describe the lions of Amsterdam—or of any of the other dams in this hybrid offspring of land and water. It was quite enough for me to see the shows—their pictorial delineation I leave to those of my tourist brethren who have studied under that inimitable painter, and hero of the hammer, Geo. Robins, Esq. They can readily transmute a varnished treckschuyt[12] into a Cleopatra’s barge—a buggerlugg into a bust of bronze—a Flanders mare into a prancing Bucephalus—a brick trottoir into a tesselated pavement—or a Belgian flat into a garden of the Hesperides. The worst of this is, that, by the time they have ascended the Rhine, or entered Switzerland, their stock of the picturesque is expended, and they have only the sublime to draw upon for the remainder of the tour.

To see the sights of Amsterdam, the gilders and stivers must be in perpetual motion. Even at the doors of the churches, the padré’s demand your money for admittance into their cold, damp, and dreary tabernacles—a most unusual practice on the Continent.

In order to vary the journey, we returned by Utrecht to Rotterdam:—but although the route was alter, the scene was idem—and I will not detain the reader with any account of it.


Of all the geological ups and downs which the surface of this globe presents, none is more remarkable, or less remarked, than that which the land of Holland has undergone. Every particle of its soil must once have occupied some higher land or even mountain of the Continent, before it travelled down to take its bath in the ocean—ultimately to rise to nearly the level of the sea—then to be rescued from the waters, partly by the operations of Nature, and partly by the industry of man. Even now the mighty Alps are daily crumbling down, and every shower of rain, and mountain torrent washes down its quota of soil to the Mediterranean or the German Ocean.[5] Should no volcanic revolution interrupt these watery changes, a period must come—ten thousand years are but a dot in the stream of time—when the high lands will be worn down into alluvial deposits which, rising from their oceanic beds, will become annexations to the existing plains. The lower heights will of course shew the effects of this “wear and tear” sooner than the snow-clad Alps; but even these last must one day undergo that transmutation and transplantation to which all sublunary things are destined. This is no imaginary speculation. It is not in Holland alone that we see vast tracts of land carried down from the hills—buried in the deep, for a time—and afterwards rescued from their watery beds. The Delta of the Nile was once among the mountains of Abyssinia—the Sunderbunds have spread far and wide to the south of Calcutta, dividing the Ganges into a hundred mouths—extending the land into the bay of Bengal, and sustaining myriads of animals, and even man himself—the Mississippi and the St. Lawrence are digging the grave of the Alligagny mountains—the mighty Andes—“Giant[13] of the Western Star,” who now

“Looks from his throne of clouds o’er half the world”—

is silently and slowly suffering disintegration by the Plata and Amazon, committing its atoms to the depths of the Atlantic, thence to emerge, at some remote epoch, the habitation of races of animated beings that have no types, perhaps, in the present or past creations. Even the cloud-capt Himalaya, whose base extends over thousands of miles, feeds with its substance the insatiate mouths of the Indus, the Ganges, the Burrhampooter, and the Yrawaddy, whose turbid waves roll down to distant seas the alluvial tribute; themselves the unconscious ministers of an Almighty will!

Thus it would appear that the levelling principle is as operative in the physical as in the moral world—among mountains as well as among men. But there is one great and essential difference between the two. The Himalaya may require thousands of years longer to wear down than the Cordillera. This is merely a difference in time. But no time, or space, or circumstance can effect an equilibrium in the moral or intellectual world. If such a level could be obtained, it would instantly perish, or recede to a greater distance than ever. Equality of this kind, like Heaven’s bright bow—

“Allures from far yet as we follow flies.”

Equal right can never lead to equal might.

But to return from this digression. How is it that the Helvetian and the Hollander, whose countries are the very antipodes of each other—whose manners, customs, and pursuits are as different as Alps are from sand-hills, should yet present a more striking similarity in one moral feature, than the inhabitants of any other two countries? Of all the nations of Europe, the Helvetians and Hollanders, inhabiting the highest and the lowest grounds in the world, are most enthusiastically attached to their native soils, and experience the greatest degree of nostalgic yearning when separated from home. The amor patriæ of the Swiss is proverbial—that of the Dutchman is quite as strong, though not so well known.

“The Hollander (says Mr. Chambers,) is bred up from his infancy to have the highest ideas of his “Vaderland”—of her people—her warriors—her wealth—her power. He is taught to consider this Vaderland as standing highest in the rank of nations—that every thing belonging to her is best. He is an admirer, without being a benefactor of his country—a patriot without public spirit—contented and self-satisfied with his country and every thing belonging thereto.”

The Helvetian can hardly be more enamoured of his mountains than is the Hollander of his alluvial plains! But whence this coincidence? Is it that the Dutchman remembers the high descent of his native soil—that[14] it floated down from the Alps and other highlands—that it was redeemed from the ocean by his labour and skill—enriched, fertilized, and adorned by the industry of his forefathers—and, finally, that it had become, under his fostering care, a second “Garden of Eden,” the pride of Batavians, and the envy of the world?

Or is it that extremes approximate?—That the hardy Helvetian, raised above the storm’s career, but whose—

“Rocks by custom turn to beds of down,”

can look, with feelings of pride and independence, from his airy citadel of health and activity, down on surrounding nations—whilst the phlegmatic Hollander, secure from winds and waves, under the shelter of his break-water ramparts, surveys with kindred feelings and self-gratulations his fertile flats, his irrigated fields, and commerce-bearing canals—his senses steeped in that musing mood, that “fool’s paradise” suspended midway between the excitement of gin, and the tranquillity of tobacco?

Be this as it may, there can be little doubt that the moral and physical character—the inward temperament and outward man—are all very much modified by the climate, the soil, and the circumstances around us. It might not be difficult to shew that the prominent characteristics of the people in question are modified by these external agencies. The Hollander is accustomed to watch, with the patience of a cat, for that precise period when the alluvial deposits on his shores have attained that level which permits him to stretch out his mounds of earth, and grasp the piece of newly-emerged ground for future culture:—hence his patience and vigilance through life, while watching the opportunity of benefiting himself. He observes, from infancy, the labour and expense of realizing this property in the soil:—hence his economy, even to parsimony. His climate is damp and cold: his temperament is therefore phlegmatic. The surface of his country is flat and monotonous; without monuments of antiquity, historical renown, or classical recollections:—there is, consequently, no more poetry in his composition than in a Dutch cheese, or a stagnant canal. Living beneath the level of the ocean, he is liable to inundations from the watery element:—he is therefore habitually cautious of all contingencies. The equinoxes, the vernal and autumnal floods, the changes of the moon, are all important epochs and events in a submarine territory;—he is, therefore, a calculating animal, from his cradle to his grave. At war with the elements, he is naturally brave even to obstinacy, whether the cause be right or wrong; and will fight to the knees in blood, rather than either advance or retreat. Monotony being almost universal, ideality is nearly null:—the Dutchman, therefore, smokes during the greater part of his time, in default of conversation—tobacco being, at once, the cause and the excuse for taciturnity. In Holland there are nearly as many canals for communication, as there are dykes for defence:—the[15] Batavian is, therefore, eminently commercial:—but the limits of the soil being narrow, and the population dense, colonization became necessary, despite of the “Vaderlandsleifde,” and emigration continues though the colonies have dwindled away. The intellectual views of the Hollander are nearly as limited as his geographical. There are no mountains, whence a wide and varied prospect can be taken in by the eye—neither are there academic eminences, from which the mind can soar into the regions of literature, science, art, or philosophy. As it is infinitely more difficult to raise dykes than children—to extend the soil, than to swell the census—so the Batavian has been a political economist long before the science was taught by Malthus, or practised by Martineau, in this country. As a merchant, he is honest and honourable in his negociations abroad—punctual as his pipe in receipts and disbursements at home. Exclusively occupied with the concerns of self—whether ruminating, fumigating, or calculating—he has little time, and less inclination, to meddle with affairs of state. The measure of his patriotism is amply sufficient for an abundance of loyalty—and if “passive obedience and non-resistance” be cardinal virtues in subjects, then the Dutch ought to be dear to the heart of their sovereign. I have no doubt that they are so. It is only a matter of reciprocal feeling—for assuredly the sovereign is dear to the Dutch.

Embarking at Rotterdam, the steamer ploughs its weary way through the muddy Maas for three long days, before it reaches Cologne. One night is spent in the malodorous town of Nymeguen—and the other on board—so that, altogether, this is one of the most monotonous voyages that could well be projected. There is not even the satisfaction of finding one bank or place more ugly, or more uninteresting than another—which would be some little variety, and afford some subject for remark. All is puddle-dock in the near, and sand-bank in the distance. Here and there the spire of a church, the roof of a house, or the mast of a schuyt appears on the horizon, for a time, and vanishes again in the blank.


If the narrow streets of Cologne be famous, or rather infamous, for bad smells, it is to be recollected that the waters of that ancient city are more valuable than the wines of the neighbouring Rhine:—that they are carried to every corner of the earth—and prized for their delicious flavour, beyond the richest productions of Rudesheim or Johannisberg. Thus good cometh out of evil—and the most grateful perfume is exhaled from the most malodorous city of Europe. “Give a dog a bad name,” and the sooner you shoot him the better. Yet if a stranger arrived at Cologne, by day or by night, not knowing the name of the place, he might traverse its numberless and crooked streets, without remarking more disagreeable scents than his[16] nose would encounter on the banks of the Tiber, the Arno, or the Seine—in the wynds of Auld Reekie, the Gorbals of Glasgow, the purlieus of the Liffey—or even of father Thames, between Puddle-dock and Deptford. I will not maintain that all the little rivulets which meander the streets of this town, after a shower of rain, are the veritable “Eau de Cologne” of Messieurs Farina; but I must say that the olfactories of my fair countrywoman of the “Souvenirs,” were more delicate than impartial, when she penned the following sentence. “But the dreadful effluvia of the black, filthy streams that defile every street, penetrated even through the folds of pocket-handkerchiefs soaked in perfume.”—Souvenir, p. 93.

Fiction being the “soul of poetry,” we need not wonder that the Bard should seize the opportunity of having his fling at poor Cologne. Accordingly Coleridge exercised his wit and his acrimony in the following lines, in which he apostrophises Cloacina, and the nymphs, “who reign o’er sewers and sinks.”

“The river Rhine, it is well known,
Doth wash the city of Cologne,
But tell me nymphs, what power divine
Shall henceforth wash the river Rhine?”

Probably it was this real or supposed pollution which caused the noble river to dive into the sands, soon after passing Cologne, and hide its head for ever. It cannot be denied that Cologne is a city of the dirty and malodorous order—and we cannot much wonder at the fact, seeing that it was Roman in the beginning, and has never changed its nature or name from the days of Germanicus to the present moment. After passing from the Romans to the Franks, and from the Franks to the Germans, it became a “Holy City”—and that was enough to ruin Rome itself. It became, of course, the rendezvous of priests, monks, and nuns, and the seat of abbeys, monasteries, nunneries, and churches. Notwithstanding these misfortunes, it rose into a rich and flourishing entrepôt of commerce, when its bigotted ecclesiastical government took the wise resolution of banishing the merchants, because most of them were Jews and Protestants. The exiles settled in other cities on the Rhine, and left the swarms of monks and priests among their rotten relics, to starve and “stink in state.” Here we have a key to the malodorous effluvia that penetrated the perfumed handkerchief of the lady of the “Souvenirs”—for I will be bold enough to aver that she did not leave a nook or corner unexplored in Cologne, where anything curious was to be seen. It is a great pity that Napoleon, when he suppressed the convents and monasteries, did not order the scavengers and police to sweep out all the mouldering bones, putrefying flesh, and decomposing integuments of saints and martyrs that have been congregated in churches, chapels, and other monastic institutions for two thousand years. If this had been[17] done at Cologne, there would have been no occasion for perfumed handkerchiefs to the noses of travellers.

By the way, where were the brains of the three magi, or wise men of the east, (whose skulls are crowned and impearled here,) when they allowed the suicidal decree to go forth against the merchants of Cologne? These relics of the church perform miraculous cures of physical ills; but they never, by any accident, prevent, much less punish, the perpetration of moral mischief. The schoolmaster is much more wanted than the scavenger in Cologne!

—— “Alchymists may doubt
The shining gold their crucibles give out;
But faith—fanatic faith—once wedded fast
To some dear falsehood—hugs it to the last.”

The first rush is made to the hotel—and the next to the Dom Kirche—an unfinished cathedral, of course—like all great abbeys—for, if finished, no more contributions could be levied. A tower of the cathedral, intended—abbeys, like some other places, are “paved with good intentions”—to be 500 feet high, but which only attained the altitude of 20 feet, throws all sentimental tourists into ecstasies. From its brother, which grew up much taller, a good panoramic view of Cologne and vicinity is obtained. Then comes the tomb of skulls—the crania of the three magi—Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar—stolen by the mother of Constantine from the Holy Land—conveyed by some mysterious agency from Constantinople to Milan—and thence pillaged by Barbarossa, and presented to the Bishop of Cologne! For 700 years these empty skulls have been gazed at by the millions of numbskulls still emptier, that have come to visit them! They are decorated with gilt crowns, set with pearls—and their names are written in ruby characters!

Near these holy, but harmless relics, are deposited, among many masses of bones and filth—“les entrailles” of Queen Marie de Medicis, together with the head of St. Peter, &c. &c. &c. But in the church of St. Ursula, things are done on a grander scale. The bones of 11,000 English ladies, who were wrecked in the Rhine, on their voyage to Rouen!! are here deposited—the owners having taken the veil rather than join in wedlock with the Huns, who then possessed the Holy City. Other records say that, in imitation of Lucretia, they sacrificed their lives to preserve their honour—and their bones were carefully preserved from that time to this! Did the fair lady of the “Souvenirs” hold her “perfumed handkerchief” to her nose, while contemplating these blanched remains of her heroic sisterhood?

The city of Cologne measures seven miles in circumference—her streets are narrow—and her houses are high. Yet the population scarcely exceeds[18] 50,000 souls—with bodies attached to them!! Thus then, it is evident that this Holy City is one vast cemetery, partly above, and partly under ground—a huge museum of mouldering anatomy, useless alike to the living and the dead, and only commemorative of the weakness, darkness, ignorance, and superstition of the human mind!

I confess that I was silly enough, nearly twenty years ago, to spend some days and dollars in exploring these mummeries at Cologne; and those who prefer such pursuits to the pure air of the mountains, and the smiling landscapes of Nature on the banks of the Rhine, may follow the example.

At nine o’clock in the morning, we left the Hotel du Rhin, and repaired to the busy banks of the river, where steam was hissing, and tourists were bustling into the vessels. Five or six arches of the bridge suddenly slipped their cables, and swinging round by the impulse of the stream, opened a free passage for the ascending and descending boats. Away they went upwards and downwards, full of passengers—some on the tiptoe of expectation to see the wonders of the Rhine—others, having satisfied their curiosity, were winging their way home, to the chalky cliffs of Old England.


And here we change the land of facts for the land of fictions. We now enter the regions of romance and robbery—of love and murder—of tilts and tournaments—of dungeons deep and turrets lofty—of crusades against the creed of the Ottoman abroad, and of forays against the property or life of the neighbour at home—of riot and revelry in the castle, and of penury and superstition in the cottage—of beetling precipice and winding river—of basaltic rock and clustering vine—of wassail war and vintage carol. It is probable that few ascend this famous river without experiencing some feelings of disappointment, although none will acknowledge it, lest their taste should be condemned, and themselves voted to be barbarians, insensible alike to the beauties of nature and the wonders of art. But the Rhine, like many a fine child, has been spoiled—especially by poets and painters. The tourists and romance-writers, too, have combined to spoil the Rhine-child—for although all romance-writers are not tourists, yet all tourists are, ex officio, romance-writers.

Thus the mountains of the Rhine, though none of them are much higher than the rock of Gibraltar—are represented as “stupendous”—every dingle and dell that opens between the hills, is painted as more beautiful than the valley of Rasselas, Chamounix, or Grindenwalde—the river itself is made to flow like liquid emeralds or sapphires, though it receives so many muddy streams, after its partial filter in Constance, that it is nearly as yellow as the Tiber, and as turbid as the Thames, before it gets[19] half-way between Schaffhausen and Dusseldorf.[6] The vines too, which are strung on stunted sticks, like onions,—enclosed between rude stone terraces—and which more frequently disfigure than embellish the banks of the Rhine, are extolled beyond those of Italy, which are gracefully festooned from tree to tree, bending down the branches with the weight of delicious grapes. Notwithstanding these and many other deficiencies on the one hand, and exaggerations on the other (which all will acknowledge in their hearts, though none will declare by their tongues), the Rhine is the most picturesque, beautiful, romantic, and interesting river on the face of our globe. I have twice ascended, and thrice descended the stream, from its source in the Alps to its sepulture in the ocean—with various lateral excursions—and still with undiminished pleasure. But then I came to the survey with a conviction that, like all other places of the kind, it was flattered by the painter, falsified by the poet, and dressed in meretricious ornaments by the tourist and novellist. I was therefore not disappointed, but highly gratified.


Knowing, from experience, that the first twenty miles of the Rhine from Cologne, are totally devoid of interest, I left my companions at their wine in the Rhenischer, and started in the diligence for Bonn—and thence to Godesberg, where I slept. Long before sunrise I had crossed the Rhine, and threaded my way up the steeps of the Drachenfels. This is probably the finest view on the Rhine—far superior to that which Sir F. Head has described as taken from the top of a tree on the hill behind the Bad-haus at Schlangenbad.

“The Drachenfels, which is the steepest of the Seven Mountains, has infinitely the advantage of situation, rising abruptly from the river to a stupendous height, clothed midway with rich vines and foliage, and terminating in red and grey rock. On its brow are the ruins of an ancient castle, standing on their colossal and perpendicular base—a type of man’s perseverance and power. The magnificent and picturesque prospects which encompass on all sides this enchanting spot, as if Nature, with a profuse and lavish hand, had diffused around so many and varied beauties, that having exhausted her wonted combination of mountain, hill, and dale, with water, flowery mead, cultivated field, mantling forests, and luxuriant vineyards, she had by this profusion of witching scenery peculiarly marked it for her own.” This description is not exaggerated—which is saying a great deal for it. The Drachenfels, indeed, has been immortalized by[20] legendary tale, poetic lore, and pictorial delineation. An ingenious artist of the present day, (Mr. Leigh,) has recently given a panoramic view from the summit of this rock, with all the fidelity and minuteness of the painter. I can corroborate the description, though I could not imitate the picture. A short extract or two will serve as specimens.

“The whole of this delicious panorama was bathed in a flood of subdued golden light, which intermingled its luscious hues with the cooler tones of twilight. As if preparing to receive the setting sun with glory, the horizon emitted a deep yet brilliant crimson lustre, spangled with flakes of gold, while richer and more fantastic streaks of purple appeared ready to envelop its glowing form as it slowly and majestically sailed behind the darkened curtain of the distant hills. The nearer features of this lovely scene, illumined by the silvery aspect of lingering day, were invested with a tranquil dignity and beauty which soothed the vision as it embraced their harmonious contours, softened by the genial light. The more distant objects partook of the hue of the glowing west, and, by their deep tone, enhanced the paler radiance of the more immediate prospect.

“The character of the entire scene is extremely imposing: the site whence it is beheld is sufficiently lofty to command an immense extent, yet not so elevated as to make all around dwindle into collections of spots. Its beauty is not of that uniform description which presents an endless succession of cultivated points, without offering any features of striking interest; for, while on the one side, the eye glides along vast and varied plains, on the other, it ranges over all the diversities of a mountainous country, from the bare and rugged castled crags to the green uplands shelving down to picturesque valleys and streams.

“To the north the series of gentle eminences and valleys lose their individual distinctions, and blend into one extensive plain, patched with the varied colours of their produce, and dotted with the divisions of trees and hedges which unite by their graceful lines the numerous villages that intersect it. On this variegated expanse the serpentine course of the unruffled Rhine may be traced like a stream of molten silver, flowing onwards towards Cologne, its bright bosom continuously seen, occasionally bearing specks of vessels gently descending with the current. Innumerable towers and spires gleam amidst the verdant glades, or peer from the deepening woods; and as the eventide breeze flows through the gentle air, the pleasing and varied harmonies of chiming bells, afar and near, break upon the ear.”

“On the same side, a series of gradual elevations, shelving down to the Rhine, forms the commencement of the cluster of the Drachenfels, whose bold forms sweep majestically around the towering rock of the Dragon, like the turbulent waves of the ocean against the soaring lighthouse. Turning to the west, the conical form of the Godesberg, surmounted[21] by its picturesque towers, and relieved by the sparkling habitations at its base, stands out conspicuously from the deeper toned ridge of hills, by which it appears shut in between Bonn and Rolandseck. Behind this wooded screen are the diversified forms of the Eifel chain, extending in various ramifications towards Spa, Treves, and Luxembourg, occupying the territory between the Mosel and the Maas.”

“On the shore beyond, embowered amidst the surrounding uplands, is the partially concealed town of Oberwinter; beyond which, a sharp point of land juts into the Rhine, nearly opposite the village of Unkel. From this point commences the interminable series of mountain summits, which stretch along the horizon in all the grandeur of form, harmony of composition, and fascination of colour. The eye rises from the placid bosom of the Rhine, in which the pure sky is serenely mirrored, and, after dwelling with rapture on the gorgeous hues of the nearer landscape, it glides with increasing fervour over the air-drawn bulwarks which tower around this lovely scene. These choice materials of redundant Nature, tipped with the magical hues of a gorgeous sunset, and a translucent twilight, and invested with the majesty of sweeping yet mellow shadows, sufficiently account to my own mind for the lengthened description in which I have with all humility indulged.

‘——Expression cannot paint
The breadth of Nature and her endless bloom.’”[7]

While viewing this magnificent scene from the little Caffé, perched as close to the edge of a precipice as the ruined castle itself, it was impossible not to recall the words of our immortal bard and country’s boast—Byron.

The castled crag of Drachenfels
Frowns o’er the wide and winding Rhine,
Whose breast of waters broadly swells
Between the banks which bear the vine,
And hills all rich with blossom’d trees,
And fields which promise corn and wine:—
And scatter’d cities crowning these
Whose far white walls along them shine.
The river nobly foams and flows,
The charm of this enchanted ground,
And all its thousand turns disclose
Some fresher beauty varying round!
The haughtiest breast its wish might bound,
Through life to dwell delighted here
Nor could on earth a spot be found
To Nature and to me more dear.


From this spot the ruined tower of Godesberg, all lonely on a conical mount, looks like a solitary vidette on his out-post, while the seven mountains around us—

——like giants stand
To sentinel enchanted land.

It is here that the poetry of the Rhine commences, together with its legendary lore, and romantic scenery. After a comfortable breakfast at the Eagle’s Nest Inn, and a slight survey of the topography of the rock’s narrow crown, I climbed to the highest practicable part of the ruin, and seating myself securely, had several hours of leisure to contemplate the scene, and indulge in meditation. On former occasions, I had read the legends of the Rhine, while wandering on its banks, more for amusement than instruction, yet it never till now crossed my mind that, in the comparatively rude ages when they were written, they might have been intended, each to convey some moral lesson. The more I reflected on this subject, the more I was impressed with the idea, and, at all events, I determined to try my hand at the extraction of a moral from each tale, whether such moral were originally intended or not. I could not do better than begin with the—

(No. 1.)

Every visitor to this place is shewn the cavern, once occupied by a huge dragon, to whom the neighbouring inhabitants paid divine honours, and even offered human sacrifices. The prisoners of war were considered to be the most agreeable victims to this Pagan monster. Among a number of recent captives was one day found a beautiful young lady, educated in the Christian religion. Her beauty was raising a quarrel among the conquering chiefs, when the Elders advised that the cause of the contention should be consigned to the dragon. She was accordingly led to the summit of the rock, and chained to a tree. Multitudes were assembled to view the sacrifice. The first rays of the sun that darted into the cavern, roused the voracious reptile, who issued from his den, and directed his tortuous course to the usual place of his bloody feast. As soon as he came in sight, the destined victim drew from her bosom the crucifix and image of her Saviour—fixed her eyes on the emblem of redemption—and calmly awaited her fate. The monster gazed on his lovely and helpless prey, already within his grasp—slackened his pace—stopped—appeared petrified, with his basilisk eyes rivetted on the virgin. She stood as firm as the rock beneath her or the faith within her! A thrill of horror ran through the assembled crowd, and the silence that prevailed was still as the grave. The moment of suspense was agonizing to the spectators;[23] but continued only a few seconds, when the dragon sent forth a horrible and unearthly yell—darted over the precipice—and disappeared for ever! The multitude flew to the lady, unbound her chains, and fell at her feet, as if she were an angel from Heaven. Conversion to the true faith among the neighbouring people followed—a chapel was erected on the spot where the miraculous interposition took place—and it was thenceforth considered the cradle of Christianity in that part of the country.


The moral of this legend is sufficiently obvious. But it goes far beyond the miraculous interposition of Providence, too commonly and too impiously proclaimed in Protestant as well as in Catholic states. The legend illustrates a great principle of human nature—the power of religion over the fear of death—even when that death is aggravated by the horrors of merciless cruelty and ignominious torture! Nor is it any drawback on true religion that a false faith will sometimes exert a similar influence in the hour of trial. The Hindoo widow mounts the funeral pyre of her husband, under the influence of a religious persuasion that she is performing a sacred duty to the dead—and braves the devouring element in the hope of joyful immortality. It is also true that a few minds of a certain mould will spurn the fear of death, under the influence of a greater fear—that of dishonour. The Roman stoics, without the aid of religious faith, might prefer falling on their own swords, to the disgrace of dragging the captive’s chains behind the triumphal chariot of the conqueror:—but neither Cato nor Cassius would have stood unmoved before the dragon of Drachenfels.

The serenity of the Christian in the hour of peril, the agony of sickness, and the approach of death, contrasts greatly with the sullen abandonment of the stoic, and the reckless desperation of the infidel.

Here my meditations were broken by seeing the long black banner of the steamer wreathing over the placid river, and impinging against the sides of the hills. Descending from my airy seat, I soon joined my companions on the crowded deck, and proceeded on our voyage. It is fashionable for modern tourists to draw characteristic sketches of the passengers in steam-boats on the Rhine. I think it is one of the worst theatres that could be selected for that purpose. The scenery itself, and the legendary tales which fix the localities in the memory, are quite sufficient for ordinary attention, without attempting to dive into the peculiarities of individual character, which are not so easily fathomed as the sentimental tourist would have us to suppose.

We have scarcely got disentangled of the Drachenfels, when we find ourselves between a ruined tower on the summit of a volcanic peak on the right, and a spruce hotel in the midst of the Rhine, on a little island to[24] our left. The former is the far-famed Rolandseck, and the latter is the ancient convent of Nonnenwerth converted into a modern caravansera.

(Legend the Second.)

The beautiful Hildegund and the valiant Roland (nephew of Charlemagne) were ardently beloved by, and betrothed to each other. Roland, however, postponed his marriage, till he had, once more, unsheathed his sword against the infidels in Palestine. Every day of his absence seemed a year to his Hildegund, who often listened in her bower to the praises of her lover carolled by the boatmen of the Rhine. News arrived that the Holy City was rescued from the Saracens, and that peace was signed:—But Roland returned not. One evening a military knight craved hospitality at her father’s castle. He had just returned from the seat of war, and, to eager enquiries respecting Roland, related the manner of his death on the field of battle, covered with honourable wounds! The effect on the amiable Hildegund may be easily conceived. After a short noviciate in the convent of Nonnenwerth, she took the veil, and next morning her lover arrived at her father’s castle, expecting to fly into her arms! Petrified by the astounding intelligence that Hildegund was wedded to Heaven, Roland abjured all society—built himself a hermitage on the hill overlooking the convent, and sat at its door from morning till night, listening to the matins and vespers that ascended from the living sepulchre of his betrothed. One day he saw a funeral on the island, and soon learnt that it was that of his Hildegund! The next day he was found dead, sitting at the door of his hermitage, his face turned to the convent!


The moral of this tale is homely, but not the less important on that account. The misery resulting from long-existing affiances, where time, or space, or adverse circumstances separate the betrothed, is of daily occurrence, and comes within the observation of every one. How often do we see females kept in this state of uncertainty till every prospect of other settlement in the world has vanished—and, after all, where the happiness of one party is blasted for ever by the death or inconstancy of the other! Protracted courtships are bad enough; but prospective marriages are far worse! Sat verbum sapientibus—or rather amantibus.

A certain personage in the drama of the above legend, is deserving of a passing word—viz. the eaves-dropper—one of those unlucky tale-bearers, whose officious tongues too often destroy the peace of whole families, and that without malice prepense on the part of the babbler!


(Legend the Third.)

The history of Nonnenwerth discloses a curious trait of human nature, which has seldom been noticed. In the first moral storms of the French revolution, a number of nuns and novices of noble families, took refuge in the Sestertian convent of Nonnenwerth. They remained tranquil till Napoleon came to the throne, when a great disaster threatened to overwhelm their peaceful asylum. The emperor was a calculating philosopher, as well as an able general. He foresaw that monasteries and convents—especially the latter—were bad nurseries for conscripts; and therefore, in imitation of our Eighth Henry, of blessed and pious memory, he suppressed them all, with one stroke of his pen! The nuns of Nonnenwerth petitioned for an exemption from the proscription, but petitioned in vain. Josephine, like Juno, interceded with the sceptre-bearer, and begged that the convent on the Rhine might be made an exception to the general rule—that the nuns might be suffered to remain, and add to their number as death thinned their ranks. Napoleon, like Jove—

“——Accorded half the prayer—
The rest, the god dispersed in empty air.”

They were permitted to retain possession of the convent during their natural lives—after which, Nonnenwerth was to revert to the state. This was a great concession, and the nuns were satisfied, as they themselves were provided for—and some favourable revolution might occur when they were gone.

Time rolled on smoothly,—and, although a sister occasionally paid the debt of nature, the event did not make a very serious impression, but only afforded topics of reflection on the uncertainty of human life, or perhaps recalled to the memory of the living some traits of goodness and amiability in the dead, that had, somehow or other, escaped their notice while their sainted sister resided amongst them. But every year diminished the number of the survivors, till, at length, the vacant chambers and the contracted circle at prayers and refection, forced themselves on the notice of even the most inobservant of the sisterhood. And now it was that the unwelcome question began to obtrude itself on the thoughts of the nuns:—“Who shall go next to her long abode?” It required no great extent of arithmetic to shew the strength of the establishment at present, as compared with ten or twelve years before—and each sister began to assume the office of actuary, and calculate the probable duration of life within the walls of the convent! From this time, the serenity of their minds was somewhat disturbed. The question would obtrude itself on their thoughts, even in their devotions, and rise occasionally in the troubled dream.


Meanwhile the inexorable tyrant did not fail to knock as regularly at the gate of the convent as at the door of the peasant’s hut on the neighbouring mountain.

“Pallida mors æquo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas
Regumque turres!”—[8]

The social circle was narrowed every year—the number of nuns fell to 20—15—12! About this time a new question, still more appalling than the other, flashed across the mind of every inmate of Nonnenwerth. It was not as to who should be the first to—

“Leave the warm precincts of the cheerful day,”

but who was likely to be the last to wander in solitude round the deserted chambers, recalling the well-known features of each departed tenant,—or, who was to be the last on the bed of sickness or death, without a sister’s smile to soothe her sufferings—or a sister’s tear to mark the spirit’s flight? This new subject of reflection absorbed all others. Even religion failed to calm the troubled imagination of frail mortals placed in such singular and unnatural circumstances! Any one of them could reconcile herself to the idea, however triste, of dying in society—but none of them to the horrible thought of living in solitude, and departing unwept!

“On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the dying eye requires.”

This little community resembled a Tontine, but with all the advantages of such an institution completely reversed and turned into calamities. In the civil Tontine, every lapse of life renders the remaining lives more valuable—in the Tontine of the convent on the Rhine, it rendered them more miserable—the consummation, the ultimatum of human misfortunes, being still reserved for—the last Nun of Nonnenwerth!

In one short year of epidemic influence and moral depression, the solemn requiem was six times heard in the convent chapel, for the repose of souls no longer to be troubled by mundane cares or fears. This reduced the sisterhood to six.

There are physical pains which the body cannot long sustain—and so are there moral prospects on which the eye of reason is unable to dwell. This was one of them. The remaining nuns took immediate steps to secure other asylums—and soon afterwards separated from each other,[27] and from Nonnenwerth—for ever! The island reverted to the state, and the convent was converted into a caravansera, whose doors are ever open to the travelling novice, without reference to age, sex, creed, or country.

This short history will suggest various reflections to the mind. The legislator will see that solitude is more formidable to many minds than death itself—while the philanthropist will be convinced that monastic institutions are contrary to nature, and, as such, can never exist, without constant supplies from society at large. The vanity of human wishes is well illustrated by the history of Nonnenwerth. The nuns thought themselves fortunate in securing a beautiful, healthy, and tranquil asylum for life—little knowing how soon the convent would appear to them more horrible than the dungeon of a prison!

Reverting from history to romance, we cannot leave the Seven Mountains without noticing the—

(Legend the Fourth.)

In a lonely and desolate valley near the Rhine, some remains of a tomb are seen, with an inscription, of which the word “Liba” only is legible. Liba was the beautiful daughter of the Chevalier Balther, and betrothed to the brave and amiable Count de Grunstein, whom she loved. But, the “days of true love seldom do run smooth.” Balther owed a grudge to the pious but severe Englebert, Archbishop of Cologne, and instigated some of the prelate’s vassals, who were also indisposed to the Archbishop, to take away his life. Several of the malefactors were seized and executed; all confessing at the scaffold that Balther was the person who prompted them to the murder. These confessions induced the Emperor to order a troop of soldiers to burn the original conspirator’s castle and all within its walls. The order was duly executed, and, in the middle of a stormy night, the flames ascended to the apartments of Balther and Liba. The affectionate daughter, with the greatest difficulty, and with wonderful presence of mind, conducted her aged father through a subterranean passage, to the neighbourhood of the chateau; but not before the old man was dreadfully scorched by the fire. A cavern in the mountain’s side afforded them shelter from the vengeance of the Emperor, and the affectionate daughter sustained her parent by fruits and roots collected every night in the vicinity of their retreat. Meantime Balther’s eyes were entirely destroyed by the inflammation resulting from the flames of the castle; but he became reconciled, or at least resigned, to his afflictions and fate. One day, he begged to be conducted to the mouth of the cavern, where he[28] might inhale the pure air, though he could no longer enjoy the cheerful light of Heaven. The dutiful Liba indulged the wish of her afflicted father, and, while they were sitting there, she espied, at no great distance, her faithful lover, Grunstein, leaning in melancholy mood against a tree, his javelin and dogs at his side. The first impulse of nature was to rush into his arms, and implore his assistance; but love and reason instantly checked her. She reflected that the asylum in Grunstein’s castle would only expose her betrothed lover to the persecution of the Emperor. At this moment, her father cried out that he saw the sun and the blue sky, though his eyes were entirely destroyed. The maiden looked around, and beheld a black speck in the heavens. She fell on her knees, and implored the mercy and forgiveness of the Almighty towards her parent. Balther joined in the prayer, and, at that instant, the thunder roared, and a flash of lightning reduced the father to a cinder, and the pious daughter to a corpse! Grunstein roused from his reverie, commenced his descent, and, in his way down into the valley, beheld the fair form of his betrothed Liba, apparently asleep—but totally lifeless! He erected a chapel on the spot, dedicated to “Notre Dame des Douleurs,” and a tomb in the rock for his Liba, where the name still remains legible.


The moral of this tale is two-fold. It illustrates the force of filial affection, and the certainty of retributive justice.

The artful instigations of Balther, which induced others to commit murder, evaded the law of the land, but did not escape the Eye of Heaven. The cruel and illegal steps of the Emperor, in burning the castle, thus involving the innocent with the guilty, cannot be too severely reprobated, though it was consonant with the tyranny of those dark ages. It may seem inconsistent with divine justice, that the innocent and affectionate daughter should have been struck down by the same thunderbolt that hurled vengeance on her father’s guilty head. But although “the ways of Providence are dark and intricate” in appearance, they are not, as the Roman philosopher asserts, “puzzled in mazes and perplexed with errors.” The amiable Liba may have escaped a life that might have been embittered by the memory of her father’s fate, and tainted, in the eyes of the world, by a father’s crime. She might have involved her faithful lover in ruin—and thus have made a bad exchange of easy death and eternal happiness, for a lingering existence of misery and degradation!

The fidelity of Liba, in this legend, is only a fair sample of that moral heroism and natural affection, that pervade the breasts of the daughter, the mother, and the wife, as compared with those of the son, the father, and the husband. The comparison is by no means flattering to the “stronger sex.”


At a very short distance from Nonnenwerth, we pass the town of Unkel on our left hand; and here the stream of the Rhine is narrowed by some remarkable basaltic rocks on the opposite side of the river. These ought to be observed by those who have not seen specimens of this production of volcanic fire. It is the same kind of rock as that which is seen at the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland, and at Staffa in the Hebrides. These basaltic columns had so much obstructed the navigation of the river at this place, that some of them were obliged to be blown up, about forty or fifty years ago.

Passing by Remagen on the right hand, and Linz on the left, we soon come to the ruins of Argenfels, close to the banks of the river, with its legendary tale, which need not be noticed. Near this we have a specimen of the Flying-bridge, so common on this and other continental rivers. A mooring is fixed in the middle of the stream, from which a long chain or rope, suspended by small boats at convenient distances, extends to the passage-boat, which swings from bank to bank, at the end of this long rope, exactly like the pendulum of a clock, only it is horizontal, not perpendicular. There is no occasion for oar or sail. The helm of the passage-boat being turned to port or starboard, the stream of the river acting on it, swings the tail of the pendulum, with its load of passengers, from one bank to the other in a few minutes. Nothing can be more simple or philosophical—but not one in one thousand of the passengers, up and down the Rhine, comprehend the principle.

We soon get so accustomed to “castled crags” and mouldering castles, that we are rather surprised, on turning our eyes from the ruins of Argenfels on our left, to see an ancient chateau (Rheineck) on our right, resuscitated from the sepulchre of its forefathers, and perched in new life on an airy cliff. An old tower stands at one end, like the head-stone of a grave, reminding the modern mansion that it too will be a ruin in its turn!

Rheineck has undergone some of the transmigrations of Vishnou. It was a Roman fort, and bore the imperial eagle on its banner. Then it became a robber’s castle, and received the spoils of its master, torn from their rightful owners. And now it is the residence of a philosopher (Professor Holweg)—the seat of science, letters, and humanity. It is said to be constructed in strict imitation of the castles of feudalism on the Rhine. But although Rheineck has changed masters, it is still under the protection of the same tutelar divinity—Mercury, among his other numerous avocations, having been the god of letters as well as of robbers.

Qui feros cultus hominum recentum,
Voce formasti, catus et decoræ
more Palestræ.

Passing by Brohl on the right, we come to one of the most imposing[30] and extensive ruins on the left—the shattered and scattered fragments of Hammerstein Castle, crowning the mount and craggy rocks of the same name. The precipices descend in rugged and jutting promontories to the shores of the Rhine, each crowned with some remains of the ancient royal and magnificent chateau, and presenting scanty terraces of the vine, creeping up the crevices.

We soon afterwards range along the ancient town of Andernach, the ruins of which, with modern towers and spires, are backed and flanked by a vast screen of basaltic mountains of sombre hue and antique grandeur. Here Drusus Germanicus erected one of his fifty towers, in his Rheinish campaigns, and in the time of Julius Cæsar.

The banks of the river now become more approximated, and the stream more rapid. Steam, however, bids defiance to stream, and the vessel ploughs its way, though with greatly retarded velocity. There is but little remarkable between this and Coblentz, except the beautiful little town of Neiwied, with its flying-bridge, near which Julius Cæsar crossed the Rhine—and, eighteen centuries afterwards, General Hoche, with the victorious French army, performed the same feat, but with far more difficulty. Here the Jew and the Gentile—the Protestant and the Catholic—the Quaker and the Sceptic—all live upon equal terms, and with equal rights, unmolested in the free enjoyment of their various beliefs or disbeliefs—and travelling quietly towards the grave, or whatever “undiscovered country” may lie beyond that bourne, without jostling each other on the road, or forcing their creeds down the throats of their reluctant neighbours!

When will the “liberty of conscience,” in our own proud country, be uncoupled with inequality of political rights, or unattended by the rancour of the odium theologicum!


The cities, towns, villages, hamlets, and even the houses along the Rhine, bear a closer resemblance to one another (each in its class) than in any part of the world through which I have wandered. Even the old castles, and the rocks on which they are built, are often such fac-similes of each other—that it is next to impossible for the acutest perception, joined with the most retentive memory, to retain distinct ideas of these objects, passing in rapid succession before the eye of the tourist!—

Coblentz, like Macedon, has a river—nay, a brace of them—one brown, the other blue.[9] As necessary consequences, there are two[31] bridges, as unlike one another, as any two things of the same kind can well be. One rests its foundations on the rocky bed of the Moselle—the other on the turbid surface of the Rhine. There is a number of streets—a great number of houses—and a still greater number of people, amounting to some 12,000. Then there are churches enough, considering the number of church-goers—and in some of them, there are more dead bodies present at divine service, than living souls. There is a palace—not that of a prince, but of justice. There is good water and good wine; but both of them are brought over the Moselle bridge. Of hotels, there is no lack; the masters and “kellners” of which can tell a “hawk from a handsaw”—and more than that, they can distinguish an Englishman from a native, as readily as they can a Thaler from a Kreutzer. Coblentz has evidently more strength than wealth—more soldiers than merchants—more shells than yolks—more articles of war than of commerce. Her high loop-holed walls along the banks of the river, with one or two wharves, shew that she is compressed into a military fortress, rather than expanded into a fine mart of commerce!


The following are the sentiments of two pictorial artists. “The whole surface of the rock, glowed with the richest hues of sunset—its naturally deep-toned and richly coloured form assuming an endless diversity of tints combined with a focus of harmonious light, and relieved by the broad shadows of the surrounding objects.”—Leigh.

“We behold the mighty and stupendous rock of Ehrenbreitstein, crowned with fortifications—the Gibraltar of the Rhine—rising in towering majesty, and frowning in sullen grandeur on the beautiful and picturesque city of Coblentz, casting its deep and darkened shadow over the calm and glassy surface of the Rhine beneath.”—Tomlinson.

I have been often past, and sometimes over this “broad stone of honour,” and, I confess that, to my eye, it is about as shapeless and unpicturesque a mass of mountain as I ever beheld. It is a huge truncated cone—the lower-fourth of an enormous sugar-loaf—an Egyptian pyramid, cut down to the first floor—or rather it is a gigantic butcher’s block, on which a good bit of mangling has been done in its time. There is really but little that excites interest about the fortress, except its massive and passive strength—its vis inertiæ—its impenetrability by shot or shells. You might as well batter Ben Nevis as Ehrenbreitstein! You might sweep its rugged brow of every man, mortar, parapet, and bastion, but[32] the rugged, dogged rock would stand in all its “brute force,” unmoved by the iron showers that fell on its head!

“The Gibraltar of the Rhine!” No man who ever viewed that renowned fortress, would have made the comparison. I resided on the rock several months, and every feature of it is as fresh in my mind’s eye, as it was 40 years ago, when I last left it. Imagine a gigantic rock rising out of the ocean to a height of fifteen hundred feet, connected with the main land only by a narrow, low isthmus of sand—with three sides perpendicular (North, East, and South), and one sloping at an angle of 45 degrees from the summit of the mountain to the water’s edge, sprinkled with little gardens and lodges—while the sea-line is bristled with batteries and flanked by spit-fire tongues, bearing the heaviest artillery, behind which lies a town, containing specimens of every nation between the Ganges and the Atlantic. Through the perpendicular cliffs that overhang the neutral ground, vast galleries for cannon, and profound excavations for ammunition, are cut, tier over tier, pointing destruction upon every foot of the isthmus below. Then the ruins of the old Moorish castle, perched on the crags at one extremity of the rock, while Europa Point, a high table-land a hundred feet above the level of the sea, stretches out to the South, like a splendid parade, with barracks, hospitals, &c. But oh! from O’Hara’s tower on the summit, what a glorious prospect! The boundless and tideless Mediterranean to the East—the vast and heaving Atlantic to the West—the fantastic mountains of Grenada to the North—and Africa fading away towards Carthage and Algiers to the South.

There is not, there cannot be a spot on this earth where such an extensive, magnificent, varied, and beautiful view (one hundred miles in radius) can be obtained, as from the summit of Gibraltar—a spot unique, between two mighty oceans, and two great continents—having Africa and Europe, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, as it were, at your feet!

Is it nothing to stand on one of the “Pillars of Hercules” and contemplate the other within a few miles of you? Descending into St. Michael’s cave, near the apex of the rock, we find ourselves surrounded by thousands and tens of thousands of stalactitic figures, assuming the grotesque forms of everything which the most fertile imagination could conceive—dispersed through caverns where human step has never been able to trace the depth or extent—and supposed to form subterranean, or rather submarine, communications with the opposite fortress of Ceuta in Africa! Wander through the town, and you will observe the costume, the language, the manners, the habits, the productions, the features—almost the passions and thoughts of every people on earth—from the Calmuc Tartar of the East, to the Red Indian of the West—from the Laplander of the North, to the Hottentot of the South. To compare Gibraltar with Ehrenbreitstein, then, is to compare “Hyperion with a Satyr”—or Vesuvius with the funnel of a steam-boat. I leave the prodigies of valour performed[33] by Englishmen, in taking and retaining the key of the Mediterranean, out of the question, believing that Prussian arms would, under similar circumstances, have achieved equal exploits. Of all nations, we have the least reason to doubt the prowess of Prussia. She fought at our side, when the destinies of Europe vibrated in the balance!


Between Cologne and Coblentz it is mere child’s play for the tourist. The stream is wide, and the attractive objects are so reasonably distant from one another, that the traveller has time to consult his map, peruse Schreiber, and even con over some of the shorter legends, between castle and castle. But it is another affair above Coblentz. The stream becomes more confined and tortuous—the banks more abrupt and contiguous—the ruins, towns, and villages more numerous—the embarkations and debarkations more frequent, with all their consequences of hurly-burly among the passengers, topsyturvy of luggage, scrambling after books, charts, and sacs-de-nuits, bowings, kissings, and embracings, or, as Hood would say, “omni-bussings,” among goers and comers, together with the clattering of plates and dishes, and the chattering of all known and unknown tongues—these, and many other interruptions, sadly discompose the contemplations of the philosopher, and the musing meditations of the tourists in pursuit of the picturesque, or the Syntaxes in search of the sublime.

The “Rhenish Confederacy” must have had a most salutary influence in fraternising the people of these provinces. Not only does every German in the steamer salute his “cousin Germans” on both cheeks; but, if his neck were long enough, he would kiss every man, woman, and child, on both banks of the river, from Cologne to Constance! These palpable inosculations, however, being impracticable, the caps and hats are converted into social telegraphs, which

“Speed the soft intercourse from soul to soul,”

and establish a chain of sympathies and reciprocities between land and water along the whole course of the Rhine.


We have proceeded but a little way above Coblentz, when we find ourselves between two remarkable ruins—one on the banks of the Lahn, (Lahenec), and one on our right—Stolzenfels. This last has a short legend attached to it, which may be glanced at, en passant.

The robber chief of this strong-hold was remarkable, even among the Rhine-robbers, for cruelty and ferocity. This was not all. He contemned the gods, and laughed at religion as the superstition of the ignorant.[34] In the intervals of robbery and murder, he amused himself with tormenting his vassals, whose lives hung upon the mere caprice of their tyrant lord. One evening, while carousing and scoffing, the light of the moon was suddenly obscured—flocks of ravens flew screaming through the air—darkness overspread the Rhine—and distant thunder was heard growling among the mountains. The Stolzenburger turned pale, and, for the first time in his life, fell on his knees to pray. Before he could utter a word, a dreadful crash was heard—a thunderbolt had struck the castle—and the tyrant was buried in the ruins!


A death-bed repentance may be better than none; but that piety which is extorted by terror, hardly deserves the name.

The long and straight reach of the river, from the entrance of the Lahn to the chateau of Liebneck, presents no striking feature, except the frowning castle (now an hospital) of Marksburg, crowning an apparently inaccessible mountain, which modern art might render impregnable. In another reach or two, we pass Boppart, and come to the scene of a legendary tale.

“The course of true love never did run smooth.”
(Legend the Fifth.)

A little above Boppart, but on the opposite side of the river, two mouldering ruins, on two craggy rocks, close to each other, arrest the attention of even the most indifferent passenger. The legend attached to them is of a very melancholy character. A nobleman had two sons and an amiable ward, of whom both of the brothers were enamoured. The elder resigned his pretensions, and retired to Rheuse, a part of the family estate. The younger was affianced to, and beloved by, the beautiful ward, Eloise, whose name deserves to be transmitted to posterity. The Holy, but insane Crusades, however, induced the intended bridegroom to join the military bigots of that day, in a war of extermination against the Musselmen. The result of his religious zeal was the conquest—not of the Holy City, but of a Grecian mistress, with whom he returned to his castle on the Rhine. The elder brother (Liebenstein), incensed at this double crime (profanation of the crusade and breach of his vows to the lady), challenged him to mortal conflict. The amiable ward (Louisa) rushed between the combatants—prevented fratricide—and immediately took the veil. The guilty pair led, at first, a riotous, but soon a wretched life. The Grecian lady proved faithless, and eloped! The brothers became reconciled—lived in the contiguous castles, whose ruins are still seen—and died without[35] issue!—The property of the ward was dedicated to the purpose of founding a convent (Bornhoffen) at the foot of the mountain on which the castles were built. As to the brothers—

They never enter’d court or town,
Nor looked on woman’s face,
But childless to the grave went down,
The last of all their race.
And still upon the mountain fair,
Are seen two castles gray,
That, like their lords, together there
Sink slowly to decay.[10]

The darker features of this drama are every day seen on the stage of life. Lovers’ vows plighted, soon to be broken—man’s promises of eternal love cancelled—women’s hopes and happiness blighted—but perfidy sooner or later punished.

It was enough for Sternfels to bring home a mistress from Palestine, without parading his guilty partner before the eyes of his betrothed and insulted Louisa. Yet this, and worse, we every day witness! Sternfels’ punishment was not light. The ingratitude of his mistress, and a life of solitude and remorse, were severe chastisements!

Winding along from the ruins last-mentioned, we come to a very striking object, a little short of St. Goar, which attracts the attention of all passengers. It is a dismantled fortification, still black with the powder by which it was blown up in the French revolution. The Rheinfels was long a robber-fortress of the first water, and its tyrant chiefs carried their depredations and extortions to such a height as to league all the adjacent provinces against them. The chiefs held out and defied the country; but at length the strong-hold fell—and, with it, the whole of the brigand castles on both sides of the Rhine.

(Legend the Sixth.)

Almost immediately after passing the ruins of the Rheinfels, we enter a narrow and sombre river gorge, where the stream is impetuous, turbulent, and tortuous; the cliffs of dark basalt rising almost perpendicular, but in rugged strata or layers, inclining in all directions from the horizontal to nearly the vertical. Here the Rhine like its sister the Rhone—

——“Cleaves its way between
Rocks that appear like lovers who have parted
In haste; whose mining depths so intervene,
That they can meet no more, though broken-hearted.”

And here is still heard that prattling nymph, Miss Echo, who, like many a descriptive tourist, repeats her parrot-note for the tenth time—with no other variation than that of diminished force and distinctness. This lady, who, when young, was dismissed from the skies for allowing her tongue to wag too freely, has since endured the severe punishment of keeping silent, except when spoken to! She is not permitted to ask, but only to iterate questions—having the privilege, on some rare occasions, and in some peculiar places, of repeating the said question, or rather the last word or syllable of it twice or even many times. The present spot is one of these favourite localities—and the voices which she loves to hear and to imitate are those of the cannon, the bugle, and the horn. The clanking and plashing of the steamers are unfavourable to the delicate iterations of Echo, and often drown her voice entirely. Though not so witty as her sister of Killarney, who answers, instead of repeating the questions put to her, yet she occasionally cracks a joke on the mayor of the neighbouring town, when some stentorian German bawls out from the opposite rock, “Who is the mayor of Oberwesel?” The damsel, with a faint but clear titter, replies, “esel”—or ass! so that lord mayors on the banks of the Rhine, as well as of the Thames, are sometimes treated with ridicule.

There can be little doubt that boat-wrecks, raft-wrecks, and loss of life were of frequent occurrence in a locality like this, where the rapid stream is twisted into whirlpools, between rugged banks, the very proximity of which increases the difficulty of the passage, and the danger of drowning, where the vessel or flotilla is stranded. The eddying surge, the sunken rock, and the serrated perpendicular shore, in a dark and tempestuous night, must render the navigation of this dreary ravine most hazardous—and escape, in case of an overturn, all but hopeless.

That a place so singular and so perilous, coupled with a remarkable and musical echo, should become the scene of some popular or superstitious legend, is not at all wonderful. Accordingly a fourth Siren was added to the classical list, and located on the banks of the Rhine, instead of the coast of Sicily, to lure (lurlei) the enchanted mariner from his helm or oar, by her melodious song, and wreck himself and bark on the treacherous rocks. Lurley carried on the trade of her elder sisters for some time, with considerable success, but not without some redeeming qualities; for she often pointed out the best places for the poor fishermen to cast their nets. At length a young Palatine Count determined to emulate the hero of Ithaca, and break the spell of the enchantress. For that purpose he embarked on the Rhine, and steered towards the dangerous pass, but without taking the precaution of the wily Greek, to stop the ears of the crew with wax, and cause himself to be bound to the mast. As the[37] count’s barge approached the rocks, Lurley poured forth one of her most melodious lays over the face of the river. The men dropped their oars, and the count’s senses were all absorbed in listening to the divine strains. A sudden eddy of the stream whirled the boat’s head towards the shore—another dashed her against the rocks—and, in another instant, all were engulphed in the boiling whirlpool!

This catastrophe caused a great sensation, and the count’s father sent a veteran warrior, with a select party of soldiers, to surround the rock, and seize the sorceress. On approaching the summit, Lurley was seen for the first time by human eyes, with arms, ankles, and neck encircled with corals, and even her flowing tresses braided with the same emblems of the deep. She demanded their purpose. The veteran announced his determination to force her into the Rhine, there to expiate the death of the young count. Lurley replied, by throwing her corals into the river, singing at the same time—

Entends ma voix, puissant Pere des eaux,
Fais parter, sans delai, tes rapides chevaux.

Instantly a great storm arose—the river boiled with foam—and two towering waves, bearing some resemblance to milk-white steeds, surged along the rock, and bore Undine (for such was the nymph) to her paternal grottoes under the waters. From that time the song of Lurley was never heard; but her spirit still hovers about her favourite rocks, and mimicks the voices of the boatmen as they pass the place.

The veteran warrior returned to the count’s father, and was agreeably surprised to find the son safely returned to his paternal mansion by the kind Undine.

A contemplation of this locality irresistibly leads me to the conclusion that, here existed in some remote period, a cataract, similar to that now existing, but rapidly crumbling down, as at Schaffhausen. The alluvial plains between Heidelberg and the present bed of the Rhine, were unquestionably a large lake, which would be drained by the wearing down of a cataract at some lower part of the river. When the falls of the Rhine at Schaffhouse are reduced to mere rapids, it is probable that the lake of Constance will become an alluvial valley. The valley of the Rhone was once a lake, till the flood-gate at St. Maurice gave way, and converted the lake into a plain. The huge walls of basaltic rock piled up in strata on each side of the Rhine at Lurley, torn by fire and worn by water, draw the mind to contemplate the myriads of years which must have rolled along, since first they upsprung from the bowels of the earth in liquid lava—and the countless ages required to form this sombre gorge by the mere attrition of the unceasing current!



While passing the picturesque little town of Oberwesel, and just beyond the Lurley-rocks, we raise the eye to the ruins of Schomberg, possessing some interest to the British traveller, as the patrimonial castle of Duke Schomberg, who lost his life in the battle of the Boyne. Alas! that the very name of a mouldering ruin should, after the lapse of a century and a half, engender in the breasts of the same people, living under the same government, professing the same religion, speaking the same language, and having the same interests, such deadly sentiments of hatred and animosity! No two feudal robbers and enemies on the banks of the Rhine, ever viewed each other with such cut-throat propensities, as do the Orange-man and White-boy on the banks of the Boyne! A century and a half hence, when the fiery passions of the present day shall have long been quenched in the grave, and the immortal spirits shall be awaiting the verdict of a final tribunal, posterity will scarcely believe that, amongst their ancestors, Christian charity meant murderous extermination—and that the surest road to Heaven was that which was tracked with the blood of our neighbours! The glorious orb of day shines as joyously over those mouldering ruins, as when the proud castle first rose in majesty over the frowning precipices—nay, as when the Rhine itself first began to trickle from the virgin snows of the Alps:—and why should not the heavenly light of Christianity shed its benign influence over the professors of that faith, as well now, as when the Redeemer inculcated charity and forbearance during his mission on earth? No! It is much easier to preach than to practise the Christian virtues—and the former is considered the more efficacious of the two, by the disciples of Faith.

(Legend the Seventh.)

Cupid is not a god that may be safely tampered with. His arrows are sharp, his feelings are keen, and his resentments are sometimes implacable. Seven beautiful sisters resided in the castle of Schomberg, overhanging the Rhine; and their hearts were as insensible to love as are the seven rocks in that river near Oberwesel, which now bear their names. Their charms and their wealth attracted crowds of suitors from various quarters. The sisters, however, gave smiles to all, yet favours to none of their admirers. Proffers of marriage were always declined, and sometimes treated with levity. Vanity was their ruling, almost their only passion, and adulation was its food. Their public suitors were the subjects of their private merriment. But mischief sometimes mingled with their mirth. By words, looks, or demeanour, they occasionally seemed to shew a preference to certain[39] of their admirers. This led to jealousies, quarrels, bloodshed, and even death. The ranks, however, were constantly filled up by adventurous and ardent lovers, as the Byzantine throne (according to Gibbon) was never without a tenant, though the grave was always ready dug at its foot! But beauty, which is the gift of Nature and Chance, is the first charm which falls before the hand of Time. The sisters had only this one personal attraction, and it began to fade. The suitors diminished in number, and at length totally disappeared! It was then too late to remedy the evil of their own vanity and cruelty. The scene of their former flattery had now become insupportable, and they prepared to remove across the Rhine to a sequestered retreat, where their wounded pride and present humiliation might alike be buried in obscurity. They selected a dark night for leaving their castle and passing the river. When near the Lurley Rocks, the gnome of that place, who had often witnessed the imprudent and unfeeling conduct of her neighbouring sisters, lured the boatmen towards a treacherous sunken shoal, when the vessel was overturned, and all were buried in a watery grave! The Seven Sisters are still seen occasionally, in very low states of the river, raising their heads out of the water, in the form of rocks, and struggling with the foaming and impetuous current!


The moral of this short legend is transparent. The coquette, the flirt, the jilt, is a kind of moral swindler who, having no feelings or affections herself, trifles with those of others. It must be confessed that there are similar characters among the other sex, who are, if possible, still more reprehensible. But the female who plays this disreputable game, runs a greater risk, for obvious reasons, than the male deceiver. The foregoing legend illustrates the danger of relying on mere personal charms, as the great magnet of attraction. Qualities and accomplishments of mind are more durable, and more to be depended on, than beauty of form or feature!


The robbers of the Rhine were not content with building depôts for stolen, or rather plundered goods, on every eminence, and levying “black mail” on every kind of land carriage; but they invaded “the free navigation of the Rhine,” as some of their descendants now do. A rock on the river whereon to erect a toll-bar was a great treasure in days of yore. The quadrupeds of the mouse-tower were much less voracious and graminivorous, than the bipeds of the same. The latter might not perhaps have nibbled at the body of a bishop, but they took good care to shear his flocks, in their transit up and down the Rhine. Nearly opposite Caub we pass close to an object which looks like a dwarf castle, sailing up the stream on the back of a whale. This was a very convenient edifice for[40] the Rhenish palatines of the adjacent castle of Stahlee. It served the purpose of a custom-house, to collect the “rint,” and a prison to secure the refractory:—in other words, it performed the double function of dungeon and douane. One of the involuntary tenants of this narrow crib, was the own and the only daughter of Conrad, the palatine himself, whose name was Agnes. The lady had been betrothed, with her parents’ and her own consent, to Henry Duke of Brunswick; but a king having offered his hand, Conrad commanded her to change her affections, and set them on a higher rank than that of a duke. Agnes demurred in her own breast, though not openly; for affection, like faith or belief, will not come or go at our own bidding—much less at that of another. In the temporary absence of the father, Agnes, with the consent and privity of her mother, was privately married to the duke. When Conrad learnt this, he ordered his daughter to the Pfalz, till the marriage could be dissolved. Meantime it soon became evident that certain proofs of prior attachment on the part of Agnes, would be too unequivocal to escape the notice of the regal suitor, if the marriage were annulled; and Conrad, after a double confinement of Agnes in the Rhine prison, became reconciled to the duke—and all ended happily.

Passing Bacharach and the “Ara Bacchi,” which shews its propitious face in fertile vintages, we soon come to Lorch, where we have a legend that must not be passed unnoticed.

(Legend the Eighth.)

Three students from Nuremburg, determined, during one of their vacations, to make the tour of the Rhine. Arrived at Lorch, they learnt that the sombre and triste valley of Wesperthal, behind Mount Kedrick, was the habitation of hobgoblins, who failed not to harass and frighten every one who penetrated into its dreary recesses. This account only stimulated their curiosity, and tempted their courage. They therefore repaired to the valley, and were soon treading on fairy ground. While wandering about, they came to an enormous mass of rock, bearing some rude resemblance to an old castle. In its sides were several apertures, like gothic windows, and its summit was something in the shape of a dome. Presently at one of these apertures there appeared three young ladies of surpassing beauty, who, instead of frowning on the young cavaliers, invited them, by their smiles and signals, to approach the castle. They soon found a narrow door, through which they entered, and passing along a kind of avenue, they came to a stair-case, which they mounted, and entered a vast and magnificent vestibule. They had scarcely time to cast a glance around them, when they were involved in the most Cimmerian[41] darkness. After groping about, for some time, they discovered a door, which they managed to force open, when they found themselves in a splendid hall, illumined by hundreds of chandeliers, and covered from the dome to the floor with brilliant mirrors. But instead of finding the three nymphs, who had beckoned them from the windows, they were astounded by the sight of at least three hundred, who all stretched out their hands, at once, while welcoming the three youths to their father’s mansion! The students were stupified, not knowing which to address, or whom to salute, so bewildered were they by the reflection of three hundred beauties, and double that number of hands, from the surrounding mirrors! Their embarrassment was not lessened by the peals of laughter set up by the mischievous nymphs. In the midst of this scene, a door opened, and a venerable old man, with locks like snow, but clothed in jet black vestments, entered. “Welcome, my children,” said he; “you are come, no doubt, to demand my daughters in marriage. You shall have them, and with each a hundred weight of solid gold. But there is one condition. My daughters have lost their pet birds, and you must search for them, and bring them back from yonder wood.” “Take each your partner,” then said the old man, in a voice of thunder. The youths stepped forward, each to seize the hand of his mistress—but grasped only empty air. At this, the father joined his daughters in a peal of laughter. When the merriment had subsided, the old man led the young suitors to the real nymphs, whose salutes assured the students that they were real flesh and blood, and whose beauty soon captivated their whole souls. They were now eager to fulfil the condition imposed upon them. “You will recognize the Starling,” says the old man, “by the riddles which it has got by rote and is always propounding—the Rook by its hoarse croak—and the Magpie, by the burthen of its chatter, being the birth, parentage, and education of its grandmother.” They set out for the forest, and soon found the three birds, perched on the branch of an oak, chattering and chanting the ditties which they had been taught in the chateau. I have only room for the magpie’s theme—

“Ma grand-mêre etait une pie,
Qui pondait des œufs d’ou sortaient des pies.
Et si elle n’etait pas morte,
Elle serait encore en vie.”[11]

The young gentlemen soon secured the pet birds, and returned with them to the castle. But what a change presented itself to their horrified senses! The chateau was gray with moss—the hall deprived of its mirrors[42] and lustres, and only exhibiting naked walls! In three niches, sate three withered, tawny, toothless hags, with wine and fruit before them, on three small tables! They instantly rose, and stretched out their wrinkled, yellow, and skinny arms to embrace their lovers, while they mumbled and snivelled, from mouths and noses, their nauseous welcomes, and most loving assurances of eternal attachment and fidelity! To add to the mortification of the bridegrooms, the three pet birds joined their mistresses in such a chorus of squallings, croakings, and catterwaullings, that the young men were obliged to stop their ears to keep out the infernal din! Meanwhile the withered witches led their paramours to the tables, and presented them refreshments, for which they had little stomach. Each, however, took a glass of exquisite wine, which they had scarcely swallowed, when they fell into a state of complete insensibility! When they awoke, which was not till mid-day, they found themselves lying among prickly bushes at the foot of a tall rock, worn into furrows by the storms and rains, their limbs so cold and stiff that they had the greatest difficulty in retracing their steps! While dragging their weary limbs along, they were saluted from every projecting rock by the old hags—and from every branch of tree by the chatterings and croakings of the cursed pet birds! On clearing the valley, the young gentlemen made a vow never again to pay attention to the allurements of female beauty, when proffered on the “voluntary system” of the nymphs of Wesperthal.


I think the allegory of Wesperthal is little inferior to that of Circe, or even of the Syrens. It combines, indeed, the morals of both. Under the head of curiosity and thirst of rash adventure, are shadowed forth the headstrong passions of youth. Then the allurements and temptations by which they are so easily led from the paths of virtue—the Cimmerian darkness in which they are plunged—the blaze of false light, glittering tinsel, and meretricious splendour that attracts them on to their ruin—the penalties which are soon exacted from this short-lived felicity—the stupor in which their senses are drowned—and the remorse and horror in which they finally wake from the delirium of “passion’s wild career.”

Among some sly strokes of irony conveyed in this allegory, the accomplishments of the “pet birds” are biting satires on the education and mental habits of their mistresses in the chateaus of that time. Happily for us, there are now no charades of the starling, croakings of the rook, or magpie chatterings about ancestral honours, among the wives and daughters of the nineteenth century.


“Omnia vincit amor.”
(Legend the Ninth.)

There cannot be a doubt that the legend of the “Devil’s Ladder,” was clearly intended to convey a double moral, as will presently be seen.

Over the little town of Lorch, rises abruptly the craggy, and apparently inaccessible mountain of Kedrick, on which is a solitary tower. Sibo, the Chief of Lorch, was a gloomy, eccentric, and rather misanthropic character. One stormy night, a decrepid old creature, of extremely dwarfish stature, rapped at his door, and demanded the usual rights of hospitality, commonly accorded in that age of chivalry. Sibo drove him from his gate with rudeness, and even brutality. Next day, when the dinner-bell rang, Garlinda, the only child of Sibo, a beautiful girl, twelve years of age, was nowhere to be found! Search was made in all directions, but in vain. A shepherd, however, reported that, early in the morning, he saw a young girl, who was culling flowers at the foot of the Kedrick, surrounded and seized by a number of little old men, who climbed with her up the mountain. The chevalier cast his eyes towards the summit of the steep, and clearly discerned his daughter there, who appeared to be stretching her arms towards her parent’s habitation! The vassals were summoned, and numerous efforts were made to scale the rock; but every attempt was frustrated by fragments of stone coming down the precipices with such fury, that the men were forced to fly for their lives. The wretched Sibo now endeavoured by penances, prayers, donations to the churches, monasteries, and convents, as well as distributions among the poor, to propitiate the powers above, and regain his only child. Heaven seemed hardened against him, and the gnomes of Kedrick retained their captive. The only consolation of the father was, that Garlinda was seen at sunrise and sunset, looking from her airy prison down to the valley of Lorch. Days, months, and years rolled on, without any prospect of regaining his lost treasure. Meantime, every care was taken of Garlinda’s health and comfort by the fairies of the rock—and especially by an aged female gnome, who watched her assiduously, and occasionally gave her hopes of deliverance from captivity.

Four years had now elapsed, and Sibo gave up all expectation of recovering his daughter; when Ruthelm, a brave young knight, who had distinguished himself in the wars against the Infidels, returned to the[44] place of his nativity, near Lorch. On learning the fate of Garlinda, he determined to effect her rescue, or sacrifice his life. Her father promised the hand of the lady to her deliverer. Ruthelm reconnoitred, with anxious eye, every side of the rocky mountain; but no part offered the least prospect of escalade. It rose like a rugged wall in every direction! Returning to his chateau in pensive meditation, he met a diminutive dwarf on the road, who accosted him, and asked him if he had heard the story of Garlinda’s captivity on the summit of Kedrick? On replying in the affirmative, the dwarf hinted that he could effect her freedom if Ruthelm promised to marry her. The lover eagerly closed with the proposal, and the dwarf vanished from his sight.

The youthful knight began to fear that the promise of the dwarf was a deception, when an aged female gnome stood before him, and presenting him with a small bell, desired him to repair to the valley of Wesperthal, a gloomy and haunted ravine behind the Kedrick, and there seek the entrance of a deserted mine, which he would recognize by two old pine trees that grew at its mouth. When he had descended a few steps into the mine, he was to ring the bell thrice, and abide the result. Ruthelm was punctual to the directions, and found the place. As soon as the bell was rung, a light was seen rising from the bottom of the mine, and presently a dwarf appeared, and demanded what Ruthelm wanted. He related the promise of the female dwarf, and her injunction to ring the bell which she had given him. The dwarf examined the bell. The inhabitant of the mine commanded Ruthelm to be at the foot of the mountain before the dawn of next morning. Then drawing a small trumpet from his girdle, he sounded it thrice, when instantly the ravine and the whole valley swarmed with gnomes carrying ropes, hatchets, saws, and hammers. In a few minutes trees were heard falling down the sides of the ravine, felled by the axes of the gnomes, while hundreds of these nimble gentry were busily employed in forming the wood into the different parts of the ladder.

Ruthelm slept little that night, and was at his post before the dawn of morn. He found the ladder placed against the perpendicular precipice, and reaching to its highest pinnacle. He began to mount the ladder; but the terrific vibrations and oscillations of the slender machine, required all the courage of a hero, and all the devotion of a lover—

——lest the deficient sight
Topple down headlong.——

At length he reached the summit of the rock, and was rewarded for his hazard, by the sight of Garlinda reclining asleep in a bower of roses and eglantine. Her beauty surpassed all that had been reported, even by her own friends. While gazing on the sleeping nymph, she awoke, and Ruthelm dropped on his knee. At that instant the little old man, who[45] had carried off Garlinda, stood before them, and, with frowning looks, demanded the name of the intruder, the cause of his visit, and the means by which he had ascended the mountain? Ruthelm firmly replied, that he came to deliver Garlinda from her prison, and restore her to an affectionate, but broken-hearted parent—that the means of his access would be explained by the bell, which he held in his hand. Garlinda, at these words, burst into a flood of tears, and entreated the dwarf to allow her to visit her father. The dwarf paused for a moment, and then replied:—“Your father, Garlinda, has been amply punished for his inhospitality, and you deserve reward for your patience and resignation. For you, Sir Knight, (addressing Ruthelm,) the jewel you seek is not yet purchased, even by the perils you have encountered. A more dangerous task remains—the descent from this mountain. You must return by the ladder; I will conduct Garlinda by a secret path to her father’s mansion.”

Ruthelm, in descending the ladder, found infinitely more difficulty than in his ascent: and several times his head turned giddy, and he was nearly precipitated to the bottom of the ravine. When he reached Sibo’s castle, he found the daughter in the arms of her father, who was weeping for joy. Sibo, from that moment, kept his gate open to every object of distress—a practice which was continued by Ruthelm and Garlinda, during a long series of years.


To counterpoise the baser passions and propensities of our nature, the Omniscient Creator has implanted others in the human breast of an ennobling kind. Thus charity and benevolence antagonise selfishness and avarice. But these passions and propensities, good and bad, are not left to contend with each other in anarchy, like jarring elements. Over them is placed a power without passion, an emanation from the Deity, designed to control the vicious and foster the virtuous workings of the spirit, either by direct influence, or, which is more common, by nullifying the bad by the good propensities.

It is this God-like Reason, which distinguishes Man from the Brute creation. The latter have but one governing passion or instinct, each, from which they cannot deviate, and which never fails to lead them to their proper objects. But even in Man, and especially in uncultivated states of mind, Reason is too often unequal to the governance of the unruly passions, and requires the aid of another and higher power—Religion.

Reason may, and too often does, err; but instinct is as undeviating in its course as the earth in its revolutions round the sun. Whenever the voice of Reason and the dictates of Religion are resisted, and ultimately disregarded, some prominent passion from the vicious side of human nature is sure to gain and to retain the mastery. The consequences need[46] not be told! Every day that vice retains possession of the soul, diminishes the chance of virtue regaining the ascendancy:—Hence the evil of procrastination in the work of reformation!

But to return. Hospitality to the stranger, and charity to the indigent are virtues so universally acknowledged, that few are bold enough to deny them in theory, though there are many Sibos who are chary of the practice. The sums which were lavished on monasteries and convents, in useless remorse, would have saved the Chieftain of Lorch many a bitter hour of reflection, had they been judiciously applied to the relief of penury and misfortune, before he was made to taste the bitter cup of anguish himself!

The other part of the legend illustrates the well-known fact that—

“Love will hope where Reason would despair.”

And not only hope, but accomplish things apparently impossible of achievement. Ruthelm was not the only one who has fallen in love of unseen objects, and only known through pictorial or descriptive representations. Few have passed the juvenile period of life without having some imaginary goddess or hero in their thoughts, endowed with all the virtues and charms which—

“Youthful poets fancy when they love.”

Whether time and experience have always realized (as Jonathan would say) these golden dreams, can only be determined by the knowledge of each individual.

Leaving Lorch, then, on our left, (in ascending the river) our attention is strongly attracted to a renovated chateau on our right—Rheinstein. Here we must halt for a few minutes.

(Legend the Tenth.)

About midway between Lorch and Bingen, on our right hand, stands the renovated castle of Rheinstein, on a romantic eminence, and very near the Rhine. It is no longer a desolate pile of ruins, but the habitation of a royal prince of Prussia, whose proud banner floats on its lofty turret. No destructive missile or drawn sword now repels the inquisitive stranger. The draw-bridge falls at the approach of Jew or Gentile, rich or poor—and the renovated halls are thrown open to the inspection of all visitors.

Tradition informs us that the original castle was inhabited by a Baron Sifred, a dissolute young robber, who carried off from France, a beautiful[47] maiden, and detained her in durance vile within his impregnable fortress. The captivity of the lady, however, made a wonderful revolution in the baron’s life. The noise of revelry and arms was superseded by the sounds of the lute—and Yutta became the bride of Sifred. Twelve months of love and happiness flew rapidly round, and Yutta presented her husband with a pledge of their affection—a female child. The mother survived the birth only a few hours. The baron shut himself up in his castle, and dedicated his time to the education of his daughter.

Guerda grew up to the delight of her father’s declining years—and to the relief of wandering pilgrims, who sought refuge in the castle, and who sounded the fame of Guerda’s beauty far and near.

Hosts of suitors now flocked to the castle, but they were referred by Sifred to an approaching tournament at Mayence, where his daughter would select the most valiant knight. Her appearance at the assemblage excited universal admiration; and two knights determined to win her hand—Kuno of Reichenstein, and Conrad of Ehrenfels. The latter was the elder, and of a fierce disposition—the former was evidently preferred by the lady. Notwithstanding prodigies of valour, Kuno was defeated, and Conrad claimed the hand of Guerda. The father received the victor as his future son-in-law; while the dejected Kuno prepared to join an expedition to Palestine. The hapless Guerda was overwhelmed with grief; but her father was inexorable! The day of the nuptials was fixed—the cavalcade, with Guerda, the pallid victim of parental tyranny, mounted on a milk-white steed, proceeded towards the chapel, which was midway between the castle of her father and that of Kuno of Reichenstein. When near the sacred edifice, Guerda’s horse suddenly reared and plunged, endangering the life of the bride. Conrad, while endeavouring to seize the reins, received a dreadful kick from the furious steed, which prostrated him on the ground. The animal immediately darted forward, like an arrow from a bow, and never stopped till he carried the betrothed to the very gate of Kuno’s castle. Her lover, who witnessed this exciting scene, flew to the gate—gave admittance to Guerda—dropped the portcullis—and secured the treasure! Conrad was killed by the blow from the steed, and Sifred soon afterwards gave consent to the nuptials of Kuno and Guerda.

Would that, in every mercenary and ill-assorted match, the bride were mounted on so spirited and sensible a palfrey as that of Guerda, when proceeding to the altar! The runaway marriage of Rheinstein was far preferable to many of those slow and stately processions which attend the contracts of fashionable modern life!


(Legend the Eleventh.)

It appears that there were corn-laws, or at least corn-monopolists, in days of yore as well as now. A dignitary of the church (not our church), the bishop of Mentz, had well-stored granaries, and fared sumptuously. A time of scarcity arrived. The populace begged for bread; but the bishop would only give them blessings. These would not fill the stomach, and the clamour becoming louder, the bishop waxed wroth. He flung open one of his granaries containing but little grain. The people rushed in—he bolted the doors—and set fire to the building! Murder will be out, sooner or later, and even punished in this world. The rats and the mice took up the cause of their masters. They cut through the floors and ceilings of the palace—nibbled holes in the arras—and poked their little noses through to smell the fat bishop. This was notice to quit, or furnish a cannibal supper for the unwelcome intruders.

“They gnawed the arras above and beneath,
They ate each savoury dish up.
And shortly their sacrilegious teeth
Began to nibble the bishop!”

The holy man betook himself to a tower in the middle of the Rhine; (Tours des Rats) but the nimble little quadrupeds swam across in legions—scaled the tower—and devoured the bishop!

One morning his skeleton there was seen,
By a load of flesh the lighter,
They had picked his bones uncommonly clean,
And eaten his very mitre!

The moral is good, though the tale is improbable. But if the Auto da Fé of the bishop was a romance, the atrocity of the action has too often been surpassed even in our time—and that by “butcherly blockheads” in the cause of bigotry and superstition, though in the name of religion!

I suspect that the moral of the “Mouse or Rat Tower” lies much deeper than is supposed. It seems to indicate that, although the rich and the powerful may sometimes evade the law, they can never escape punishment. The inward monitor cannot be stifled, cross what rivers, seas, or mountains we may—

“Cœlum non animum mutant
qui trans mare currunt.”

which I would liberally translate thus:—


O’er sea and land the guilty flies,
To blunt the stings of conscience keen;
Vain hope! That “worm that never dies,”
Preys on his vitals all unseen!

The mice were meant to represent the conscience of the cruel bishop, from which, neither the streams of the Rhine nor the battlements of the tower could protect him.


After passing Bingen, the poetry of the Rhine disappears—or sinks into smooth but unimpassioned prose. The “castled crags” and precipitous cliffs soften down into sloping glades and country villas—the river widens, and becomes studded with innumerable islets, verdant to the water’s edge—the majestic and romantic features of the scenery are changed into the beautiful and the fertile—it is like turning from the statues of Mars and Bellona to those of Cupid and Psyche! The legends and tales vanish with the rocks and ruins where they had a “local habitation”—romance degenerates into reality—the fervid imagination is softened down into sober judgment—and the excitement of admiration subsides into the tranquillity of reflection! The eye is spoiled for the charms of the wide-spread Rhinegau, teeming with the grape, and with every necessary of life; yet the landscape is loveliness itself. What it has lost in sublimity, it has fully gained in beauty.

The sun had just set beneath the horizon, and while—

“Twilight’s soft shades stole o’er the village green,
With magic tints to harmonize the scene,”

our contemplations were broken by the steamer suddenly sheering alongside the jetty at Biberich, and discharging its cargo of human beings close to the royal palace of Nassau. After the usual bustle attendant on the transmigration of souls, bodies, and baggage, from water to land, we were safely deposited, in less than an hour, at the Adler Hotel, within a stone’s throw of the celebrated Kochbrunnen, or chicken-broth distillery at Wisbaden.


This is one of the most celebrated spas in Germany—and more frequented, as a medicinal spa, than any other by our countrymen and women. It is only four miles from Biberich, near Mayence, and is very pleasantly situated, with a ridge of the Taunus to the north-east, while the country is open between it and the Rhine, in the opposite quarter. It is a very handsome town, of seven or eight thousand souls, and the capital of the duchy of Nassau. It is, itself, in a slight depression of the ground, but[50] not so much as to impede a free circulation of air. Wisbaden is healthy, though rather warm, owing, probably, to the hot springs under the surface. The temperature, however, renders it a good winter residence for those who are unable or disinclined to seek the shores of Italy or other southern localities. The neighbouring country produces all the necessaries of life in abundance, and the vicinity of Frankfort, Mayence, and the Rhine, secures it the luxuries, when required. Excellent water is conducted from the Taunus for the use of the town. The Cursaal is the most magnificent in Europe—the hotels are numerous and good—the walks and rides exceedingly varied, cheerful, and salubrious. There are from ten to fifteen thousand annual spa-drinkers and bathers—while a far greater number spend a short time at Wisbaden for pleasure. A considerable number of the hotels have bathing establishments—the Eagle is the oldest—and is well appointed. In turning up from this hotel towards the Cursaal, we stumble on the Kochbrunnen, (the scalding spring,) the grand source of the drinking waters, and also of several baths. It has rather a mean appearance, and the water looks rather of a greenish-yellow colour, and seems turbid in the well, with a scum over a part of it, which is called “cream,” and is considered by the chemists as a peculiar animal or extractive matter, whose nature and source are unknown. The taste is that of weak chicken-broth with rather too much salt. There are upwards of nine hundred baths in the different establishments.

The plantations, extending from the back of the Cursaal to the old ruin of Sonnenburg Castle, are very beautiful—and thence are paths cut among the umbrageous woods to the Platte, the Duke’s Summer-house, on one of the mountains of Taunus, whence a magnificent view is obtained—Rhineward and Inland.

The road to Schwalbach and Schlangenbad present fine airy drives and walks over high, open, and unwooded grounds, communicating health and vigour to the enfeebled frame.

As may be supposed, the Romans were well acquainted with Wisbaden, and close to the Kochbrunnen, in the Romerbad, may be still seen the remains of several Roman baths—and one in particular having two springs of its own. But the monuments of antiquity in this place are numerous.

Three grand theories respecting the causes and sources of thermal springs divide the transcendental philosophers, naturalists, and physicians of Germany. These are the electro-chemical—the volcanic—and the vital. Wurzer expresses the opinions of the first class thus:—“As Nature is performing her operations in her immense laboratory, she has here a galvanic apparatus of immense size. Extensive masses of mountains, perhaps of unfathomable depth, probably form the individual plates of this voltaic column.” This is tolerably bold. While Brand and Faraday are dissolving metals by the tiny galvanic apparatus in Albemarle[51] Street, Nature is manufacturing mineral waters at Wisbaden, Ems, and Carlsbad, on a magnificent scale! Lichtenberg, however, surpasses Wurzer in the sublimity of his ideas on this subject.

“In the distilling operations of Nature, the belly of her retort sometimes lies in Africa—its neck extending all over Europe—whilst its recipient is in—Siberia.”!!

Bischoff, Struve, Kastner, and others, are more moderate in their flights. They ascribe the origin of some thermal springs to volcanic operations in the bowels of the earth—of other springs to the gradual solution of their component parts in subterranean reservoirs.

The third class of philosophers have boldly cut the Gordian knot, instead of untying it, and erected thermal springs and mineral waters generally into animated beings which transfuse their vitality into the bodies of the spa-drinkers, and thus cure all diseases!

“These and similar observations (says Dr. Peez, of Wisbaden,) compel us to admit the existence of a peculiar vital principle in mineral waters, communicating to the human body either an attractive faculty more consonant with the medicinal component parts of the water; or, acting by itself as a healing power upon the diseased organism.”[12]

The italics are those of Dr. Peez, and not mine. German mysticism could hardly be expected to go farther. But it has outdone itself, as the following extract will shew:—

“The partial effect of the medicinal component parts of mineral waters is pushed back, as it were, retreating under the ægis of a general power which directly excites the autocracy of the animated animal body, and compels it to act according to the particular quality of the mineral spring determined by its component parts.”—(104.)

Here we have a good specimen of German ideality, and transcendental mystification![13]

My friend, Dr. Granville, like every other man of genius, has a hankering after a theory; but he was too shrewd not to see that this monstrous German hypothesis of “vitality” would be too large even for the[52] swallow of John Bull. He has therefore substituted a much more rational and intelligible reason for the effects of thermal spas—namely, their caloricity, as differing materially from that of common water heated to the same degree of temperature. It is very easy to conceive that cauldrons that have been kept boiling in the bowels of the earth for thousands of years, will have diffused the caloric more uniformly and minutely through the waters, and dissolved more completely the mineral ingredients, than pots and kettles in the laboratory of the chemist. This, in all probability, is the solution of the mystery respecting the superior efficacy of thermal spas.

The composition of the Kochbrunnen is as follows:—Forty-four grains of common salt—five of muriate of lime—one and a half of carbonate of lime, out of fifty-nine grains in the pint. The remaining nine grains are not worth enumerating, as the salt and lime are clearly the main ingredients. There are only seven cubic inches of carbonic acid gas in the pint. The temperature is little short of 160° of Fahrenheit. Let us begin with the baths. At a temperature of 86° to 90°, the bath generally occasions a slight sensation of chilliness, which goes off in a few minutes, and is succeeded by a feeling of comfort—serenity of mind—and ultimately a degree of weariness or lassitude, inclining the bather to lie quiet and repose himself. The volume of the body rather diminishes than expands, and the skin of the hands and feet are gently corrugated—the pulse becomes slower and softer—irritability is lessened—spasmodic feelings (if they existed,) disappear under the soothing influence of the waters on the nervous system and circulation—the functions of the intestinal tube are encreased, as are those of the skin, kidneys, and various glandular organs.

At a temperature of 94° to 98°, the bather, at the moment of immersion, experiences an agreeable sense of warmth—the vital powers are exalted, and all the functions of the organs are put into a state of increased activity. The pulse expands and quickens, but is still soft—and all the secretions and excretions are augmented after leaving the bath.

As the weight of the body is increased from half-a-pound to a pound and a half, while immersed, there can be no doubt that a considerable absorption takes place. At above 98°, or blood heat, the bath excites the pulse and renders it both full and hard—embarrasses the breath—flushes the face—reddens the whole surface of the body—excites perspiration—powerfully draws the circulation to the skin—and not seldom causes[53] head-aches, vertigo—and even apoplexy. Douches and shower-baths are often ordered before the plunging or vapour-bath. Lavements of the spa-water are also employed—and it is said with good effects, relieving the stomach from the ingurgitation of so much fluid.

Preceding, and sometimes during the cure, the following phenomena occur in a majority of cases, in addition to those already described:—viz. a prostration of strength—headaches—giddiness—constriction over the eyes—drowsiness. In some cases, there will be constipation—loaded tongue—loss of appetite—oppression about the chest—feebleness of the limbs—nervous irritability—disturbed sleep—perspiration—palpitations—eruptions on the skin. These symptoms are acknowledged by the spa-practitioners themselves to indicate an inconvenient use either of the baths or the drink—or some abnormal susceptibility of the constitution—or some impropriety of regime. They soon disappear by lessening the application of the remedy, and taking some aperient medicine—an omission, however, which most of the spa-doctors are sure to make, trusting, as they do, almost entirely to the operation of the waters.

It is necessary to remark that, the rheumatic and gouty who resort to these waters, (and they are by far the most numerous classes,) must expect to suffer a considerable increase of their complaints at the commencement—amounting often to acute pain and even inflammation of the parts affected. The local medical authorities represent these as the sure precursors of great relief, if not a radical cure of the maladies in question. I would advise patients to be on their guard in this respect. The first two individuals whom I fell in with at Wisbaden, and whom I formerly attended, were in imminent danger of their lives, from the effects of drinking and bathing in the waters. One was on the verge of apoplexy—and the other in a fair way for a rheumatic fever. Both were soon relieved by aperients, colchicum, and starvation.[14]

There is another class who experience no uncomfortable symptoms during the use of the waters, which operate by the skin, the kidneys, and the bowels—and these proceed quickly and favourably to a restoration of health.

There is still a third class who experience no relief from the waters, but rather an exasperation of all their maladies. The spa doctors give them this consolation, that, long after their return to their homes, they will probably get much better—or quite well! The following passage from Dr. Peez, should awaken precaution.

“Let us now take into consideration a phenomenon we observe first after patients have for some time been drinking, or bathing in, the thermal water of Wisbaden, and which might alarm timorous minds. The reaction[54] taking place in the beginning of the patient’s making use of the water, mentioned above, returns with some individuals. I have observed this being the case particularly with females of a hysteric disposition, attended with a tendency to hemorrhoïdal complaints, who, for that reason, were very irritable. Bathing in, and drinking thermal water of this place for a fortnight, three weeks, and longer, are extremely favorable,—each day is attended with additional success: one ailment after the other disappears; a pause then ensues, the irritability of the body rises—the patient’s sleep grows restless; some complain of palpitating of the heart, oppression of the chest, and slight vertigo. In this case it is necessary to cease bathing, at least for some days, and to observe what nature means by that excitation. This, however, commonly ceases in the course of a few days, when the patient may again take the bath without hesitation, and with advantage, provided he be careful to follow the direction of his physician. Others, however, in that case have attained to the limits of bathing, prescribed by nature, and if they obstinately transgress these laws, their career on the road to recovery takes a retrograde turn. I have seen such improvident bathers, who, not knowing the nature of these phenomena, continued bathing without consulting their physician, were seized with spasms, spitting of blood, and other ailments.”

It is remarked by Dr. Richter, that as the greater number of patients at Wisbaden are afflicted with gouty or rheumatic complaints, so they must expect to experience the specific effects of the waters more sensibly than other people. It is not uncommon therefore for these to suffer, at the beginning of the course, very high states of excitement, pain, and even inflammation of the parts involved in the original malady. This may be encouragement to perseverance; but it may also prove extremely hazardous. The following case from Dr. Peez, will exemplify this remark.

“The abdomen of a lady aged 52 years, having been afflicted for a long time with plethora abdominalis, began at last to swell and to grow hard, her complexion being tinged with a greyish-yellow colour, whilst her organs of digestion were impaired at the same time. She was particularly alarmed by occasional palpitations of her heart, most commonly troubling her at night, and obliging her to quit her bed. Having bathed in, and drunk, our thermal water, the palpitations grew more violent, and rendered it necessary that a small quantity of blood should be taken from her occasionally.”

In the third week of the course, she was seized with a copious purgation of morbid secretions, when the palpitations vanished—the abdomen became soft—the complexion cleared—and she was soon well.

Now it is clear that this good lady laboured under congestion of the liver, jaundice, and loaded bowels. Nature rescued her from the heat of the Kochbrunnen, by a process which ought to have been instituted three weeks before.


I shall endeavour to shew in other places, that these crises, spa-fevers, bad-sturms, and re-actions, described by the foreign writers on the Spas, are often attributable to the want of combining some mild mercurial alterative and aperient with the use of the waters. Many cures are prevented or rendered ineffectual by the dread of mercury entertained by the German physicians.

The following auxilio-preservative (if I may so term it), will be found of essential service every night before taking the morning waters.

℞. Extr. Col. Comp.
Pil. Rhei. Comp. aa ℈ij.
Pil. Hydrarg. gr. x.
Ol. Caryoph. gt. vj.
Ft. pil. xx. capt. j. vel. ij. hora somni.

We shall now advert to the remarks of Dr. Richter, who has published a very sensible little treatise on the Wisbaden waters, in the year 1839.

Group of Disorders in which the Waters, either Internal or External, or both, are likely to be useful.

1. Complaints having their seat in the abdominal organs, and especially in the biliary apparatus.—The signs or indications of these are—acidities—eructations—furred tongue—troubled digestion—loss of appetite—sense of tightness or oppression about the stomach and bowels, after food—costiveness, or relaxed bowels—congestion about the liver, with or without enlargement of that organ—hypochondriasis and hysteria—hæmorrhoids and their consequences—irritations about the kidneys and bladder—sequences of residence in tropical climates.

2. The various forms of gout and their sequences.—Besides the regular or periodical gout, Dr. Richter enumerates the multitudinous forms which it assumes when latently preying on different organs and structures. There is no end to the proteian features of masked gout—extending as they do from the terrific lacerations of tic douloureux down to the most anomalous morbid feeling, whether internal or external. “In all these,” D. R. avers, “the waters and baths of Wisbaden are eminently beneficial.” The baths, when assisted by the internal use of the waters, bring anomalous and latent gout into its proper place and form—into the extremities, thus relieving the interior.

3. Paralysis, general or local—the sequence of apoplectic attacks, or the consequences of metastases of gout, rheumatism, or cutaneous eruptions from the surface to the brain or spine—also those paralytic affections occasioned by the poisons of lead, arsenic, mercury, &c. or contusions or[56] other injuries of the head and back. Dr. Richter cautiously observes that, during the use of the Wisbaden waters for the foregoing class of complaints, it will often be necessary to bleed, cup, or leech, as well as to take aperient medicines from time to time, under the guidance of the medical attendant.

4. Scrofulous complaints, of all kinds and degrees.

5. Rheumatism, with its various consequences. Of course it is chronic rheumatism that is here meant, with enlargements of joints, contractions, effusions into the capsular ligaments, &c. which attend on and follow that painful class of diseases.

6. The sequences of mercurial courses for various diseases, both in this country and between the tropics.

7. Several pulmonary complaints, occasioned by repressed gout, rheumatism or cutaneous eruptions.

8. The Wisbaden waters (like many other mineral springs) are lauded as efficacious in certain complaints and defects of both sexes, which it is not convenient or proper to notice in this place.


Dr. Richter dedicates a chapter to those complaints which are not benefited, but injured by the waters of Wisbaden.

1. All acute diseases—that is to say, diseases accompanied by fever or inflammation, are totally and entirely prohibited from these waters. But this is not all. Wherever there is febrile action in the constitution, or local inflammation, however subacute, or even chronic, the use of thermal springs, either as drink or baths—but especially the baths—is dangerous. “These waters, internal and external, will excite the circulation and nervous system (already too much exalted) into the most dangerous reactions, and lead to the most deplorable consequences.” P. 43.

Phthisical affections, except in the earliest stage, and before any material change has taken place in the lungs, preclude the idea of utility from these waters. Emaciation, from internal suppuration in any organ, and resembling phthisis, forbids the waters of Wisbaden. The same may be said of cachectic habits, where the blood is broken down, and the solids wasted. Dropsy of the chest, abdomen, or skin will be prejudiced by these sources—and in short, all diseases connected with, or dependent on defect of vital energy; or, in other words, debility of constitution generally. Catarrhal affections of kidneys and bladder—fluor albus—severe[57] derangement of the digestive organs, (grand derangement des organs de la digestion)—chronic diarrhœa, &c. with emaciation, will derive no benefit but injury from these waters. All tendency to spitting of blood—all enlargements of the glandular abdominal organs with debility and wasting, prohibit the use of Wisbaden waters. The same holds good with respect to stony concretions in the kidneys or bladder—biliary concretions in the gall-bladder or ducts—scirrhous formations in any of the organs of the interior, or exterior parts—all organic affections of the heart or large vessels—epilepsy—catalepsy—St. Vitus’s dance—very inveterate forms of gout, with chalk-stones, paralytic lameness, and considerable debility. In some of these last cases, Dr. R. thinks that, when directed with skill and caution, the waters may afford some relief though nothing like a cure. Sterility, with constitutional exhaustion and debility, has little to hope from Wisbaden.

The reader will here perceive a long list of maladies which the Wisbaden waters will not cure, but aggravate. It is very rare for a spa-doctor to offer any such list. Their springs are panaceas for all the ills to which flesh is heir. There is a passage in Dr. Peez’s work respecting the baths which deserves attention. He remarks that there is a point of saturation in the use of thermal waters, beyond which it is dangerous to proceed. But this point of saturation is difficult to ascertain. The following is not very consolatory.

“The temperature of the bath must be made to correspond as exactly as possible with their individuality. Baths that are but one degree too warm or too cool, will very soon produce the point of saturation. Neither is it advisable that such a person should bathe daily, nor, in the beginning, stay in the bath longer than 15-25 minutes: for his great irritability very easily provokes in the very beginning those excitations that are the forerunners of critical secretions and accelerate the appearance of the symptoms of overbathing, and if the patient be not exposed to the danger of a violent artificial fever, the success of his cure is, at least, rendered very doubtful. He is, in this case, obliged to discontinue bathing so long that the time intended to have been spent in bathing passes, or must be prolonged considerably.” 161.

In many people this critical point of saturation is announced by very restless sleep, disturbed by dreams—or somnolency by day—tenderness of the eye to light—uneasiness, despondency, and anxiety, without any adequate cause—derangement of the digestion—loaded tongue. If these symptoms be overlooked or disregarded, phenomena of more importance present themselves, such as palpitations—difficulty of breathing—profuse sweats—nausea—and finally a fever. Dr. P. is very averse to any active remedies to reduce the fever of over-bathing, and especially bleeding or purging. He advises that nothing be done but to desist from bathing, and to take some cooling acidulous waters, as those of Selters or Fackingen.


The same author assures us that the Wisbaden waters are extremely easy of digestion—that they improve the appetite—open the bowels, in a majority of cases—are eminently diuretic—but occasionally produce constipation. From all that I could observe myself, these waters have very little aperient effect.

To enumerate the diseases for which the Wisbaden waters are renowned would require a small volume—at least according to the testimony of Peez. In one word, they cure all diseases in general, and many others in particular!! On looking over the works of spa-doctors, we must come to one or other of the following conclusions, viz. there must either be a universal conspiracy among the faculty of Europe against spas, and in favour of their own monopoly of thinning the ranks of the population by physic—or the world is deaf to the entreaties of the water-doctors, and desire not to be cured—or, what is not quite impossible, the virtues of mineral waters are a little too much extolled by those who have the administration of them. It is perhaps fortunate for the world that one or other of these prejudices or infatuations prevail—otherwise there would be no bills of mortality—no doctors—no undertakers—in short, man would be immortal even in this world!

There will still be a considerable number, however, of afflicted beings who will not despise the blessings so freely and so cheaply offered by the high priests of Hygeia.

It is pretty well known that a kind of monomania prevails among all classes on the Continent respecting hæmorrhoids—a complaint almost as much dreaded by the English as it is courted by foreigners. By the people it is considered quite a god-send—the absence of it being a calamity, and its presence a talisman against every malady—by the physician, its sanative powers are represented as only inferior to the waters of Wisbaden, Kissengen, or Carlsbad. By the physiologist and pathologist hæmorrhoids are calculated to bear the same relation to the constitution that the safety-valve does to the steam-engine. Without the one, the boiler would burst—without the other the German would die. In a word, the German had rather live without his pipe, than without his piles!

To the deficiency, absence, or interruption of hæmorrhoids are attributed chiefly all those obstructions of the abdominal viscera which lead to dropsy and other fatal diseases. The waters of Wisbaden are represented as having the normal or salutary power of restraining piles, when in excess—encouraging them when languid—and reproducing them when accidentally arrested. Hypochondriasis is one of the grand forms in which suppressed hæmorrhoids harasses the patient for years, according to the continental pathology.

“How often,” says Dr. Peez, “does it, however, happen, that an abdominal disease exclusively confined to the nervous system, suddenly changes its character, preferably affecting the bloodvessels, and thus is transformed into an active hemorrhoïdal disorder!


“I have had occasion to observe the case of a husbandman, who had been suffering the torments of hypochondria for some years; he was emaciated and ill fed. His means did not allow him to attempt a radical cure, and he applied only from time to time for my assistance, when his sufferings were most painful. In spring 1821 he was suddenly seized with palpitations of the heart, and when these ceased, his pulse continued for some months to be full and hard, as in the case of fever. Discerning the character of his disorder, I made him come to Wisbaden. Here he took half-baths, drank the water in copious doses, and was cupped in his legs several times. In twelve days the hemorrhoïds declared themselves in the usual shape and delivered him from his melancholy, anxiety, and oppression of the stomach, which had tormented him so long.” 196.

Dr. Peez informs us that the sequences of tropical diseases are radically cured by the Wisbaden springs.

“Among the consequences of these endemic diseases of the Indies we must reckon: tumefactions of the liver, and the spleen, which frequently are encomous, as well as other tumors in the cavity of the abdomen: swellings and obstructions of the intestinal glands (which frequently also are the products of malignant cutaneous diseases, peculiar to the torrid zone), obstinate jaundice, spasms of the stomach, accompanied with a vomiting of food.

“The English and Dutch physicians have these many years been in the habit of sending patients of this class to Carlsbad or Wisbaden, after those of the former first had tried Cheltenham to no purpose; and these two springs produce, in the above mentioned diseases, an effect really wonderful.” 198.

Now we were told by the more cautious and candid Dr. Richter, a page or two back, that “all enlargements of the glandular abdominal organs, with debility,” were diseases not to be remedied by these waters. All these morbid growths are attended and nourished by more or less of chronic inflammation, and in these cases the Wisbaden, or any other thermal baths, are more likely to do harm than good. The aperient waters of Kissengen or Pulna are far more efficacious and safe. Dr. P. has a chapter on the efficacy of these waters in “paralysis the consequence of apoplexy.” Now every physician knows that the cause of the paralysis succeeding apoplexy is the clot of blood effused in the attack, and the damage which the brain has received in the neighbourhood of that clot. Nature, at length, absorbs the effused blood, or surrounds it with a sac, and then the adjacent brain gradually recovers its function, if within the power of nature, and the motion of the paralyzed limb is regained in proportion. How this salutary process is to be accelerated by the baths or waters of Wisbaden, I cannot imagine; but I can very easily conceive that these warm baths may readily interrupt the work of nature, and convert a paralysis into an apoplexy. Such conversions, in fact, do occur every year at[60] the German thermal spas. He says, “paralysis arising from plethora will be cured with more facility by means of the thermal waters, than that which is caused by the accumulation of lymph in the brain or the spinal marrow.” This doctrine may be true in one sense, but it is dangerous in another. Paralysis from plethora is undoubtedly more susceptible of cure than dropsy of the brain or spine; but it must be a most hazardous attempt to try the waters of Wisbaden for plethora of the brain or spinal-marrow.

Our author’s directions for using the waters appear unobjectionable, and therefore I shall cull out some of his chief rules.

1. The waters ought to be drunk fasting, and before the bath—using gentle exercise and cheerful conversation between each draught. The cup should never be emptied at once, but sipped slowly. Some people may drink four hours after dinner, but in less quantities and at a lower temperature.

In gouty affections, and where the skin is torpid, the water should be drunk as hot as possible—and even in bed, if necessary. Some find it better to drink it luke-warm, and mixed with a little milk. Half an hour after finishing the waters, breakfast, (chocolate, coffee, or egg-milk, or broth with the yolk of an egg,) may be taken. “The less nourishment that is taken between drinking and bathing the better.” Half an hour or an hour should elapse even after the lightest breakfast, before the bath. It is dangerous to bathe when heated or perspiring. “Persons taking a whole bath, should immerse themselves into the water only by slow degrees, up to the neck, having previously sponged the chest and abdomen with the bath water.” If seized with headache or vertigo in the bath, it is too hot, and ought to be left immediately. Baths in which you perspire are too hot, spoil the appetite, weaken the patient, and put him out of humour all day. “All baths, even those of common water—sometimes cause a sensible congestion of blood in the head.” The head should then be sponged with cold water. Great care should be taken to avoid sleep in the bath—or even after a hot bath—but after a tepid bath it may be allowed.

In many cases it is very beneficial to use friction, by means of a brush or sponge, whilst in the bath. The duration of the bath is a quarter of an hour to an hour and a half. People should always begin with the short period—and not too high a temperature. Where it is desirable to encourage gentle perspiration after the bath, the patient should go to bed.

As all sudden extremes are repugnant to nature, invalids, when travelling towards watering-places, should begin to adopt the regimen and hours which they must follow at the spas. A few tepid baths of plain water are useful preparations, and light cooling diet, should be employed for a week or two before arriving at the spa.

The following sketch of the motives, hopes, and prospects which lead invalids to spas—and their routine of life and enjoyments at those places,[61] is drawn by a Spa Doctor of twenty years’ standing. It is nearly free from the sins of commission—but not of omission. It is penned en couleur de rose—and, like the speech of an advocate, it slurs over all features of the case that might seem disadvantageous to the cause of the client. I shall supply some deficiencies at the end.

“It is owing, in a great measure, to the enlivening influence which a temporary residence at some watering-place exercises on the mind of the visitor, that the most successful results are obtained there, and which the best endeavours of the regular physician can seldom effect at home.

“Persons not labouring under serious disorders—such as men of business, who purpose only to repose from the fatigues with which the performance of their official duties is attended, and to partake of the amusements afforded by bathing-places—the man of letters, who takes refuge in them for relaxation from his serious studies;—the tender mother, resorting to them to obtain relief for a beloved daughter—all these have disengaged themselves, as much as possible, from the trammels of their professional and domestic occupations and relations, and enter this new world with renovated spirits. The cheerful and gay life of a bathing-establishment presents to all of them charms with which they were entirely unacquainted before. Individuals of all ranks, gathering there from neighbouring parts and the most distant countries, united there within narrow confines, mostly for one and the same purpose, meet for the first time in that motley assemblage, and also hail each other, perhaps, for the last time, for a long series of years. This variety, this contact of individuals, frequently distinguished by high rank and eminent talents and accomplishments, enhances the charms of indiscriminate social intercourse, and adds an additional value even to the patient’s solitary hours, as I have frequently experienced myself, by ushering in the dawn of a happier futurity.

“The variety of interesting objects that present themselves to his view, attracts his attention, and occupies his eyes and imagination, and kindred spirits find many opportunities at watering-places to meet and to form familiar connexions. A common purpose, the same society, the participation of the same amusements and pleasures, facilitate the formation of many interesting connexions. The opportunities of mutual intercourse are numerous: the social meetings are not hampered by the trammels of ceremony, and we readily acknowledge and enjoy mental and social talents wherever we meet with them.

“The patients meet early in the morning on the public walks and at the wells. There they interchange their wishes and hopes of recovery. Many are on the eve of returning health; and, encouraged by the improving state of convalescents whom they daily see, or by the perception of encreasing strength, feel themselves elated with the pleasing hope of experiencing in their own persons the successful results of bathing which[62] they behold in others. New hopes awake in others that are still groaning under the burden of severe and painful disorders, when they hear many of their acquaintances bless the beneficent spring that has restored to them health and the means of enjoying life.

“Here plans for the amusements of the day are discussed, appointments for shorter or longer excursions made, according to the strength and inclination of each individual; and these excursions, this enjoyment of the open air, contribute a great deal to heighten the salubrious efficacy of the wells. A cheerful mind exercises the most happy influence on the body, and who could indulge his melancholy bent and remain a cool observer amidst the charms of nature and in the society of persons that are endeavouring to enjoy them?

“Now the patient takes the bath, and is happy to remain in the congenial fluid to which earth communicates her vital warmth; he feels himself strained more closely to the bosom of our common mother, whilst he is surrounded by the salubrious liquid, issuing from her womb, and joyfully presages the tendency of her mysterious powers.

“After the bath the patient regularly indulges himself with a few hours of rest, which affords him additional enjoyment. He notes down what he has seen and heard, reads, writes, or directs his steps to the colonnade of the Cursaal, (pump-room,) where a select band of performers on wind instruments gives an additional zest to the charms of the morning hours, until the company meet in the dining-hall, where they sit down to a comfortable dinner, seasoned by the sweet sounds of excellent music.

“Happy would it be if temperance and a sensible conversation did always characterise these meals, and if all would be mindful, that the offended Naiad severely punishes all kinds of excess, by which the strict regimen she requires, is profaned!

“In the afternoon the plans formed in the morning are executed, each patient trying the strength he has regained;—and, in the evening, the lovers of dancing repair to Terpsichore’s temple; whilst others spend the evening in one of the parties that are formed in every bathing establishment. After the fatigues of the day, a balmy sleep, which is interrupted no more by restlessness, improves the encreasing strength, and the dreams that formerly were the mirrors of a melancholy reality, are superseded by cheerful sports of fancy.

“These are the general outlines of a life that may be led at a much-frequented watering-place, and by many is realized in a shape still more pleasing and refined. The great diversity of enjoyments that may be procured at these places, allots to each as much as he may want, and sometimes even more than many a one desires.”[15]


But is there no drawback on this scene of sunshine? Do all experience the invigorating influence of returning health? No. Not one half! Do the hypochondriacs who resort to Wisbaden in shoals, throw off their load of mental despondency and bodily infirmities? Let Dr. Granville, who is not inclined to depreciate spas in general—and “Spas of Germany” in particular, decide the question.

“What a dreadful picture of human wretchedness the hypochondriac at Wiesbaden presents! He is sombre, thoughtful, or absent, in the midst of a laughing world. For ever brooding over his fate, his disease absorbs the whole of his attention. He disdains even the most trifling conversation with his fellow-creatures, and flies from those ephemeral acquaintances which are so easily formed at watering-places, exactly because one cares little how soon after they are forgotten. In fact, he would feel himself alone in the world, and never concern himself about those around him, did he not envy their healthy looks, their firmer muscles, and their sounder stomachs, which can sustain an indigestion with impunity!”

There are a great many others, besides hypochondriacs, who are destined to feel the melancholy effects of blighted hopes in these last resorts of suffering—and who turn their weary steps homewards, without the cheering expectations that gilded their journey to a foreign land!

But is there no risk of receiving, in exchange for dear-bought health, a moral contagion that poisons the springs of life, and saps the foundation of every virtue? Beneath the gilded domes of that splendid mansion—that palace of Plutus—that Cursaal, or Curst Hell—the dæmons of play exhibit their piles of glittering ore—those “irritamenta malorum—

“From night till morn, from morn till dewy eve,”

familiarizing the uninitiated eye to scenes of desperate speculation—imbuing the soul with the wicked thirst of gold unjustly acquired—of plunder, without fear of punishment—of robbery, without danger of the gallows! The atmosphere of this Pandemonium—for the devils are in legions here—is too infectious to be long resisted. The open manner in which the vice is practised by day, and by night—in the presence of multitudes of all ages, nations, and both sexes—on the sabbath of the Lord, as well as on the day of work—this legalization, not merely permission of a violation of morality, religion, and social order, which, in England, must skulk in holes and corners—the kind of social heroism with which the most destructive vicissitudes of fortune are borne by some of the hardened haunters of these splendid hells—these and various other circumstances combine to mask the hideous mien of the monster, and strip the crime itself of half its horrors, till, by daily presentation, it becomes at length endurable without terror, and embraced without remorse! The neophyte has no sooner wound up his courage to the staking of his piece of gold, than the spell of security is[64] broken—the charm of serenity is dissolved—the flood-gate of the passions is thrown open—the “auri sacra fames” takes possession of the soul—and the dæmon of the night enrols one more name on the list of his victims!

The Spartan practice of exhibiting the drunken slave to disgust the rising generation with the vice of inebriety, was a doubtful experiment at best—but, in the present case, there can be no doubt at all as to its inapplicability. There is always seen a certain proportion of the fair sex round the gambling-tables—many of them playing with quite as much desperation as the men. It is melancholy to state that, we too often see delicate English females squeezing in between parded Jew and whiskered German, to stake their gold or silver on the gyrations of a ball or the colour of a card!

Here is an excellent normal school, where the wives, and daughters, and sons of our nobility and gentry can learn the rudiments—“and something more”—of heartless vice and headlong dissipation, without reference to sectarian creed, theological faith, or national religion;—while the children of the Protestant peasant and mechanic would be contaminated by the presence of Catholic or Dissenter in the same grammar-school, when acquiring the rudiments of reading and writing! If this be not “straining at gnats and swallowing camels,” I know not what is!

And here I may glance at a curious species of one-sided morality strictly enforced by the late Duke of Nassau—the prohibition of gambling in the “curst-hells,” among his own subjects; while free permission is given to all foreigners to rob and plunder each other at roulette and rouge et noir, in the open day—Sundays and Saturdays! When I said free permission, I was wrong. The license to gamble is sold to the bankers of each Cursaal (curst hell) for a large sum—which goes into the ducal treasury. I puzzled my brains, for a long time, in the attempt to discover the principle of this law, and at length found it, as far off as China. The geographers of that country represent the Celestial Empire as occupying nearly the whole of the dry land of this globe—the various other countries of Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, being located as small islands dotted in the ocean, and inhabited by barbarians. Now it is clear that the late Duke considered his Duchy of Nassau as the Celestial Empire of Europe, the other nations, as Russia, Prussia, Austria, Italy, Spain, England, America, &c. being mere barbarians, whose morals were not worth preserving—whose souls were not worth saving—and whose gold alone was worth gathering into the royal exchequer at Biberich![16]


The young sovereign of Nassau has now a good opportunity of signalizing his accession to power by abolishing the gambling tables of the Cursaals. The income derived from the licensing of “hells” cannot yield good interest here or hereafter.


It is not my custom to entertain my readers with the names of hotels, the prices of wines, or the hours of table-d’hôtes. These pieces of information I leave for others. The present anecdote is an exception to the general rule. Having arrived late at Wisbaden, we put up at the nearest hotel, which was the Adler, or Eagle, the one where Dr. Granville resided, and the locality of which is not considered the very best by him. We found it a very good hotel, and well supplied with excellent baths. Early next morning, my friend Mr. Cooper, of Brentford, and myself, took out our tickets from the “Bade-maitre” in the hall, and strolled round the establishment, without meeting with any person whatever. As several of the baths were standing open, we went into the first two that struck our fancy, and bathed. I observed an unusual quantity of the scum or cream on the surface of mine, and which I could have dispensed with. I took the opportunity, however, of examining this cream, by means of four out of the five senses, viz. by sight, touch, taste, and smell. Before I left the bath I came to a conclusion as to its nature and origin. I have not a doubt that, at the great deluge, an immense posse of white antediluvian bears, then as large as elephants, were swept from the polar regions, and hurled headlong into the great cauldron beneath Wisbaden. There they have been simmering from the days of Noah—their flesh, fat, and marrow oozing up daily, in the shape of cream or bear’s grease, as well as broth, through the Kochbrunnen, greatly to the advantage of the Wisbadenites, and the benefit of those afflicted with gout, rheumatism, and the stiff-joints of old age.[17] I am astonished that Dr. Granville and Sir Francis Head should have framed so puny an hypothesis as that of the Kochbrunnen and Chicken-broth. Why, I appeal to every one who has travelled in Germany, whether it would be possible to extract an ounce of fat from all the cocks, hens, and chickens in Nassau, even if stewed in a Papin’s digester for six months together. No, no. The cream and broth of the Kochbrunnen are the veritable essence and decoction of the antediluvian bear, spiced perhaps with a sprinkling of the “organic remains” of wolves, tigers, jackalls, hyenas, and other small gear.

While I was dressing after my dip in this delectable soup, and carrying out the details of my theory, a series of heavy blows and unintelligible[66] vociferations at the door, induced me to think that the hotel was on fire, or that the Kochbrunnen had exploded. I hastily drew the bolt, when in rushed the infuriated bath-master’s cad, with his Medusa-faced cadess, breathing forth all kinds of imprecations on my devoted head; and, from their gestures and actions, menacing me with a drowning instead of a plunging bath! I instantly threw myself into a posture of defence, determined, if I must drink the bear’s broth again, that the cad or his gentle mate should have the first gulp. On seeing this, they retreated a few feet but still kept up a roar of abuse, till I had finished dressing, when my friend Cooper joined in the affray. The assailants followed us, till I had nearly got to the bad-master’s office, where, opening one of Dr. Granville’s volumes, which I had under my arm, I pointed out the notice (not too favourable) which had been already taken of the Adler, and told him that I, too, was a spa-tourist, and would render his baths either famous or infamous, by the portrait which I should draw of them, as a warning to my countrymen. The bath-master was astonished, and not a little terrified. He immediately summoned his cad and cadess, informing them that the English gentleman was an author, and threatened to publish in England an unfavourable account of the hotel and baths. The “cream” of the jest soon came out. It appeared that a dandy of sixty—a Cupid of the grand climacteric, had occupied for the season the bath which I used, taking care that the water should be turned in over night, in order that the cream, or bear’s grease, should have time for concretion on the surface, and thus “smoothe the wrinkled brow,” as well as lubricate the unpliant joints, of this veteran Adonis. The denouement disarmed me of my wrath, especially when I recollected that, in this land of minute regulations, I ought not to have descended into a vacant bath, without the express sanction of the bad-master’s cad, in the subterranean regions. The hotel itself is a very excellent one, and its master, who speaks English, a very civil and obliging host. I recommend it to my countrymen, with this proviso, that they never go into a bath that has an unusual proportion of bear’s grease on the surface, without the cad’s permission, lest they spoil the watery mirroir of some antiquated Narcissus, who hopes—vain hope!—by means of baths and broths, to relume the lack-lustre eye—to efface the time-ploughed furrows from the faded cheek—to communicate elasticity to the indurated muscle—vital heat to the stagnant veins—activity to the body, and energy to the mind:—and all these, after the allotted hours of human existence have danced their giddy rounds[18]—after the cup of enjoyment has over-flowed, times without number, and is now drained to the dregs—after,

“The soul’s dark cottage battered and decayed,”


has begun to afford feeble shelter against the storms of moral adversity, and the stings of physical infirmity—after the discovery of Solomon, that “all is vanity,” has been amply verified! That humanity should still cling fondly to the cheerful clay, after all these warnings, is not wonderful, because it is the natural impulse and instinct of every animated being, from the gnat to the elephant. But that reasoning man, and woman too, should attempt, not merely to conceal the ravages of time, but deck them out in the false colours of youth, is a mortifying reflection and preposterous exhibition! We see it however, every day—and the Adonis of the Adler is an exquisite specimen.

I shall close this Chapter with an extract from a little work on the Spas of Nassau, published in 1839, by my friend Mr. Lee, who practised three years at Wisbaden, and made himself well acquainted with the remedial efficacy of these waters.

“It is becoming evident in England, that the high reputation which the Wisbaden springs have always enjoyed, for the cure and relief of gouty and rheumatic affections, has not been over estimated, from the numbers who annually return home in an improved state, several of whom having for years been subject to repeated attacks of gout, have escaped any recurrence after a course of the baths, during the whole winter and spring, and have returned in subsequent seasons greatly improved in appearance, more for the purpose of more effectually preserving themselves from a relapse, than from any actual necessity. In cases of long standing, of the atonic kind, with or without deposition of calcareous matter in the joints, occurring in persons beyond the middle period of life, the Wisbaden baths are calculated to render the most eminent service; indeed, according to Dr. Peez, the more inveterate the gout is, the more effectually can it be combated by these waters. Though bathing is the essential part of the treatment, it is advisable in most of these cases to combine with it the internal use of the water. Mild douching will also tend very much to the dispersion of local swellings, puffiness, stiffness of the joints, of the wrist, fingers or foot, and also of chalky concretions, although it should not be used if there be a tendency to inflammatory action, nor until a certain number of baths have been taken. During an attack, the baths will require to be suspended, till the more severe symptoms have subsided; when the patient may again begin, by previously drinking the water, while confined to his room. In general, patients who have been accustomed to free living do not bear a low regimen, and will be the better, after the inflammatory symptoms are allayed, for being allowed some solid food if an inclination be felt for it; care being taken, that the quality be plain and light, and that the quantity be small. In cases of erratic, irregular, or repelled gout, these baths will also most probably be productive of great benefit, and not unfrequently cause the morbid action to restrict itself to one spot; a more regular attack being sometimes induced, previous to an amelioration taking[68] place. Persons who have only experienced two or three attacks, but in whom the predisposition is strong, may generally expect to derive permanent benefit from the baths; provided they are subsequently cautious in their mode of living, and do not indulge too freely in the pleasures of the table; on the other hand, where there is much tendency to acute inflammation, in persons of a plethoric or highly irritable habit, I should consider Wisbaden less likely to suit than a warm alkaline spring, as Vichy or Teplitz. I should be inclined also to counsel many young persons, in whom the gout developed itself at an early age, in consequence of a strong hereditary tendence, to give the preference to a spring of this kind; though it is probable that they would equally derive advantage from Wisbaden. It cannot be expected however, that a single course of the waters would suffice to eradicate the disease; and, in order to have the chance of a permanent cure, persons afflicted with gout would do well to return, for two or three consecutive seasons, to the springs from which they derived benefit; passing the intervening months in a suitable climate, and paying attention to the regulation of their diet and mode of living.

“As the mornings are frequently chilly, and it is of importance to prevent the action of a cold atmosphere on the surface of the body, while under a course of bathing, I do not in general recommend, to English patients, the very early hours of rising and drinking the water, adopted by the Germans; six, or half-past, will be sufficiently early, even for those who take their bath before breakfast, and for those who do not, any time between that hour and half-past seven; breakfast being taken an hour after drinking, and consisting of tea or coffee, according as the one or other is found best to agree. Those who dine at one o’clock, should again drink about seven in the evening; while for those persons who prefer dining at four, or later, from two to three will be the best time for taking their second dose. The effects of the water are thus better sustained than when the whole quantity prescribed is taken in the morning, and an interval of four-and-twenty hours allowed to elapse between the periods of drinking; the water is often thus better digested, and is well borne, when the distention of the stomach by the same quantity if taken before breakfast, would disagree and give rise to unpleasant symptoms, or occasion a too active operation upon the bowels or kidneys.—It is also advisable, when a full course of these and other mineral waters is required, to recommend a temporary suspension of the course, and change of air for three or four days, after a certain period of drinking and bathing has elapsed; by this means, the system is not too early saturated, and the patient returns to resume the use of the water, in a more fit state for its absorption, and with a greater probability of more durable benefit.

“Most chronic rheumatic affections will be removed or greatly relieved by the Wisbaden baths. In the slighter cases, not of long standing, a short course, for about three weeks, will be frequently sufficient. In the[69] more intractable cases of articular and muscular rheumatism, as also in the pains of a rheumatic nature affecting the face, head, and other parts; a more prolonged course will often be required, combined with the use of the douche. In some cases the hot bath, vapour-bath, or douche, may be advantageously employed, especially in elderly persons whose skin is dry, and seldom perspirable. Where however the complaint has supervened upon, or has been continued from an acute attack, in which any symptoms of the heart or pericardium being affected, were present—which is more frequently the case than is generally supposed—it would be well to ascertain, by auscultation and percussion, that none of those symptoms remain, as they would very likely be aggravated by the employment of the water. Those rheumatic affections depending upon long exposure to wet or cold, to which military men on duty are peculiarly subject, are especially relieved by these baths. Two or three bad cases of this kind fell under my observation last year, in which the most beneficial and unexpected results followed a full course of the waters. One gentleman in particular who returned from India invalided, was scarcely able to get about with the assistance of a stick; who was sceptical of the power of mineral waters, and not over-attentive with respect to his diet, recovered the comparatively free use of his limbs before he left Wisbaden, and was completely restored when I met him about a month afterwards, in a steamer on the Mediterranean, being on his way to rejoin his regiment.”

“Those nervous pains recurring in paroxysms affecting the branches of particular nerves of the face, head, or extremities, to which the term neuralgia or tic is generally applied, and which not unfrequently originate from a rheumatic or gouty diathesis, from the suppression of habitual discharges, or of cutaneous eruptions—which causes, though perhaps somewhat exaggerated by continental practitioners, are not sufficiently attended to in England—are more likely to be relieved and cured by a properly directed course of mineral waters, than by pharmaceutical remedies or local applications. To many of these cases Wisbaden would be exceedingly applicable, especially when the functions of the skin are sluggishly performed, and there exists a congested state of the abdominal or pelvic viscera, with retardation or irregularity of the periodical secretion in females. In those cases which appear to arise from other causes, as moral influences, a high state of nervous excitability, &c., I should be more inclined to recommend waters of a different kind, of which I shall have to speak presently. Water or vapour douches may in general be advantageously combined with the baths and the internal use of the same water—or of a water of a different nature, as that of Homburg, Marienbad, &c. according as circumstances may seem to indicate their employment.

“The state of abdominal plethora, with congestion of the liver, and obstruction in the circulation of the vena portæ, termed by the Germans Unterleibsvollblütigkeit, with its consequences, as impaired digestion, deficient[70] or vitiated biliary secretion, piles, &c.—occurring for the most part in persons about or beyond the middle period of life, who have been addicted to the pleasures of the table, and marked by more or less protuberance of the abdomen, with diminished muscular and nervous energy—is one well calculated to be relieved by the use of the Wisbaden waters internally and externally employed. The baths, by exciting the activity of the nervous and vascular systems, and by determining powerfully to the surface, tend most materially to equalize the circulation and remove the internal congestion, while by the internal use of the water the secretions of the mucous membranes, of the alimentary canal, of the liver and kidneys, are improved in quality, and often perceptibly increased in quantity;—at the same time that the mesenteric glands and absorbent vessels are stimulated to increased activity, and the digestion is consequently improved. Even when, under these circumstances, the drinking of the water is not followed by immediate sensible effects, either upon the bowels or kidneys, it is frequently not the less efficient on that account, and unless some inconvenience be experienced, it should be persisted in, as after a certain time copious critical evacuations will often occur, and be followed by immediate relief; whereas were similar effects produced by artificial means, as the exhibition of drugs, the relief would only be temporary, and the frequent repetition of the same or analogous measures, would be necessary, and would tend but little to the permanent amelioration of the patient. In several of these cases, especially where there exists hardness or tension in the region of the liver, spleen, or in other parts of the abdomen, the douche will be of material assistance in the treatment.”

“In many cases of paralysis, baths of mineral waters offer the most efficient, and often the only means of arousing the nervous energy of the system, and of the paralysed parts; and few have a more beneficial influence in this way than those of Wisbaden; but here again it cannot always be determined beforehand, that baths of this kind will be more effectual than those of other springs containing but a small proportion of solid and gaseous substance, as the latter occasionally succeed after the failure of the former. In the obscurity which still envelops the mode of action of mineral baths, this cannot be satisfactorily accounted for, except upon the principle of idiosyncrasy, or by the supposition that the disturbing action of a thoroughly impregnated spring is less adapted to certain of these cases, than the more tranquilizing and sedative influence of a simple thermal, or slightly alkaline, warm spring. In most instances, however, where there does not exist a high degree of nervous excitability, or tendency to fulness in the cerebral vessels, the baths of Wisbaden may be used with great prospect of advantage; especially when the complaint is of a rheumatic origin, depending upon the impression of poisonous influences upon the nervous system, as malaria, the abuse of mercury, or the employment of this and some other metals by workmen; as also in those cases, where[71] the disease appears to be of a purely local nature, not connected with cerebral disease, but arising from deficient energy of the nerves of the part, or of the spinal marrow, consequent upon exposure to cold and wet, or other analogous causes. Even in paralysis affecting a limb or one side of the body, remaining after an apoplectic seizure, baths of this and other mineral waters may often be advantageously employed, provided there be no symptoms of cerebral congestion, or organic disease. Plethoric individuals, and those whose digestive organs are disordered, will frequently require some preparatory treatment, previous to using the baths, in paralytic, as well as in other diseases. These, then, are the principal diseases which the Wisbaden waters are more especially calculated to relieve, and in which their use in the form of baths and douches is the most essential part of the treatment. There are besides various other complaints to which the external or internal use of the water, or both combined, is extremely suitable, in common with several other mineral springs; but of which the peculiar circumstances of each case require to be investigated, in order to enable the practitioner to decide upon the springs likely to be most effectual. Of these, many scrofulous affections will be cured or greatly ameliorated by the internal and external application of these waters; particularly enlarged lymphatic glands of various parts, and of the mesentery, occurring in children or young persons of a torpid habit, with tumid upper lip and abdomen, a vitiated state of the intestinal secretions, and a harsh dry condition of the skin. Here the exciting and resolvent powers of the waters are exceedingly effectual, by improving and augmenting the secretions of the alimentary canal, and of the skin; and, by stimulating the absorbent and vascular systems, mostly cause the speedy diminution of glandular or bony swellings.

“Another case, in which the Wisbaden springs are often eminently serviceable, is, where there is a general disordered state of the health, without the existence of any actual disease, or material derangement of any particular functions, except perhaps impaired digestive powers—as is very frequently seen in Londoners, and inhabitants of other large cities, closely engaged in trading, mercantile or professional occupations; as also in those who have been resident in a tropical or unhealthy climate: such a state, though relieved and palliated for a time by medicines, not unfrequently terminates in serious functional or structural disease, if allowed to continue for a long period—and nothing would tend more effectually to its removal than temporary absence from the cares of avocation, change of air and mode of life, and the employment of a mineral spring like Wisbaden, followed by that of a chalybeate water, in those cases where it is not counterindicated.

“The same may be said of several cases of hypochondriasis, with disordered digestive powers, to which Wisbaden is applicable, both on account of its waters, tending to rectify the deranged state of the digestive[72] organs, and also from the beneficial influence which would be exerted in most instances on the patient’s morale, by the movement of the place, its cheerful appearance, the beauty of its environs, and the neighbourhood of so many objects of interest. To some patients of this class, tepid bathing with the internal use of a cold gaseous spring is most applicable. To others again, certain other mineral springs are best adapted.

“The suppression or painful performance of periodical functions peculiar to females, is frequently benefitted by the Wisbaden baths; especially, if the cause be cold, checked perspiration, or a congested state of the abdominal or pelvic viscera. Some syphilitic affections, especially where much mercury has been employed, and certain chronic cutaneous diseases, as psoriasis, impetigo, &c. where the skin is generally in a dry state; as also eruptions of the face depending upon derangement of the alimentary canal or liver, will often be removed, by baths of a warm saline water, like Wisbaden; and likewise by sulphurous or alkaline springs, either alone, or combined with the internal use of the same, or some other mineral water. In certain bronchial and laryngeal affections, with cough, and scanty or deficient expectoration, the Wisbaden baths, combined with the internal use of the water, and the inhalation of its vapour, may be expected to be of material advantage.

“On the other hand, these springs, like most others, will generally be prejudicial in organic disease of the lungs, heart, or large vessels, in disorganisation of the abdominal or pelvic viscera, with fever, profuse hemorrhagy or discharges per vaginam, either depending upon relaxation or upon the presence of hypertrophy, polypus, or other structural disease.”[19]


The extensive cook-shop and laboratory under Wisbaden have communicated no small portion of caloric to the air, as well as to the waters of that place. We no sooner begin to ascend the slopes or ridges of the Taunus than we experience a remarkable transition from languor and oppression to vigor and elasticity—not confined to the physique, but extending also to the morale. Of the two roads from Wisbaden to Schlangenbad, we preferred the mountainous, or inland route, to that along the Rhine, for the sake of a bracing air and a boundless prospect. We trotted merrily along the hills and vales of the Taunus, over a Macadamized road, till, in two hours, we found ourselves, all at once, in a romantic dell or valley, bounded on both sides, by densely wooded mountains rising nearly perpendicular, from the narrow space between. In this small compass rise[73] three or four huge buildings, white as snow, and each having more windows than there are days in the year. I set them down as manufactories of cotton or cutlery, but the absence of all clanking of machinery or hissing of steam, soon undeceived me. On driving into a little square between the two principal Hoffs, all was silent as Pompeii—and not a human being was seen in any direction. There was no competition here between the two chief hotels—both belonging to one master—and he the sovereign of the country. As it was about 12 o’clock, all true Germans were in their holes and corners, meditating on, and preparing for the grand business of the day—the onslaught of the couteau and fourçhette at the mittag table-d’hôte. To the Serpent’s Bath, the intervening hour was dedicated. The cosmetic and renovating qualities of the Schlangenbad are nearly as far-famed now as the cauldron of Medea was, in days of yore. The Old Man of the Brunnens dipped his pencil in prime copal varnish, when he embellished the baths of this sequestered valley. The description is a real bijou of its kind,—a diamond of the first water—equally profitable to the pen of the painter and the purse of the royal proprietor!

“The baths at Schlangenbad are the most harmless and delicious luxuries of the sort I have ever enjoyed; and I really quite looked forward to the morning for the pleasure with which I paid my addresses to this delightful element. The effect it produces on the skin is very singular; it is about as warm as milk, but infinitely softer: and after dipping the hand into it, if the thumb be rubbed against the fingers, it is said by many to resemble satin. Nevertheless, whatever may be its sensation, when the reader reflects that people not only come to these baths from Russia, but that the water in stone bottles, merely as a cosmetic, is sent to St. Petersburg and other distant parts of Europe, he will admit that it must be soft indeed to have gained for itself such an extraordinary degree of celebrity: for there is no town at Schlangenbad, not even a village—nothing therefore but the real or fancied charm of the water could attract people into a little sequestered valley, which in every sense of the word is out of sight of the civilised world; and yet I must say, that I never remember to have existed in a place which possessed such fascinating beauties; besides which, (to say nothing of breathing pure dry air,) it is no small pleasure to live in a skin, which puts all people in good humour—at least with themselves. But besides the cosmetic charms of this water, it is declared to possess virtues of more substantial value: it is said to tranquillize the nerves, to soothe all inflammation; and from this latter property, the cures of consumption which are reported to have been effected, among human beings and cattle, may have proceeded. Yet whatever good effect the water may have upon this insidious disorder, its first operation most certainly must be to neutralize the bad effect of the climate, which to consumptive patients must decidedly be a very severe trial, for delightful as it is to people in robust health, yet the keenness of the mountain air, together with the[74] sudden alternations of temperature to which the valley of Schlangenbad is exposed, must, I think, be anything but a remedy for weak lungs.

“The effect produced upon the skin, by lying about twenty minutes in the bath, I one day happened to overhear a short, fat Frenchman describe to his friend in the following words—‘Monsieur, dans ces bains on devient absolument amoureux de soi-même!’ I cannot exactly corroborate this Gallic statement, yet I must admit that limbs, even old ones, gradually do appear as if they were converted into white marble. The skin assumes a sort of glittering, phosphoric brightness, resembling very much white objects, which, having been thrown overboard, in calm weather within the tropics, many of my readers have probably watched sinking in the ocean, which seems to blanch and illuminate them as they descend. The effect is very extraordinary, and I know not how to account for it, unless it be produced by some prismatic refraction, caused by the peculiar particles with which the fluid is impregnated.

“The Schlangenbad water contains the muriates and carbonates of lime, soda, and magnesia, with a slight excess of carbonic acid which holds the carbonates in solution. The celebrated embellishment which it produces on the skin is, in my opinion, a sort of corrosion, which removes tan, or any other artificial covering that the surface may have attained from exposure and ill-treatment by the sun and wind. In short, the body is cleaned by it, just as a kitchen-maid scours her copper saucepan; and the effect being evident, ladies modestly approach it from the most distant parts of Europe. I am by no means certain, however, that they receive any permanent benefit; indeed, on the contrary, I should think that their skins would eventually become, if anything, coarser, from the removal of a slight veil or covering, intended by nature as a protection to the cuticle.

“But whether this water be permanently beneficial to ladies or not, the softness it gives to the whole body is quite delightful: and with two elements, air and water, in perfection, I found that I grew every hour more and more attached to the place.”

This glowing description of the Old Man has worked a greater miracle than that of changing water into wine. It has actually transmuted the spring of Schlangenbad into liquid gold—aurum potabile! If the author be accused of “exaggeration”—(now a dangerous term)—he may quote the sentiments of the Esculapius—the Apollo of the place.

“Never did bath produce such delightful sensations as the Serpent’s Bath at Schlangenbad. These salubrious waters exert on the body an agreeable and gentle pressure—voluptuously expand the limbs—and tranquillize the nerves and the blood. You rise from the waters of Schlangenbad like a Phœnix from its ashes. Youth becomes more beautiful—more brilliant—and old age is imbued with new vigour.”[20]


Well done Dr. Fenner! You have beaten the “Old Man of the Brunnens” fairly out of the field! Why the very waters themselves must have blushed when they saw the account of these their miraculous qualities—and the serpents must have waltzed merrily round the pine trees that overhang the source of the magic Brunnen.

And yet the whole is little more than an ingenious romance, closely allied to the legends of the neighbouring Rhine—as the story of the Drachenfels, for example. It is unnecessary to comment on the Phœnix of Dr. Fenner. That fabulous bird speaks for itself; but Sir F. Head’s account requires some remark. In the first place, the appearance of the limbs and body of the bather, is precisely the same as in other clear and tepid waters, as those of Wisbaden, Baden-Baden, Wildbad, &c.—or, indeed, in plain water. The “glittering phosphoric brightness,” and the blanching and illumination of sinking bodies in tropical seas, are all the offspring of a fanciful or poetical imagination. Then again, the soapy, satiny, and unctuous feel communicated by the Schlangenbad waters, is not peculiar to them. The first time I ever bathed in the Ems waters, many years ago, I remarked this, and can never forget the sense of bien-être which I then experienced. And no wonder, for the waters of Ems are infinitely more alkaline—especially in the baths—than those of Schlangenbad. The effects, however, of these last on the skin, appeared to me more marked and pleasant than those of Wildbad, Wisbaden, or Baden-Baden. The tranquillity and sedative qualities of the Serpent’s Bath are somewhat exaggerated by the “Old Man,” and outrageously so by Dr. Fenner; but nevertheless they possess these influences to a considerable extent.

And here I must say that my friend Dr. Granville appears to have viewed poor Schlangenbad with a jaundiced eye.[21] The waters of the Kochbrunnen may have stirred up the bile—for assuredly the waters of Schlangenbad are clearer, and the mountains are higher, and the trees are larger than he has represented them. The very description of Captain Head proves the transparency of the waters—and the following passage from Mr. Lee, which I can corroborate, will remove the stigma from the baths themselves.

“The bathing-cabinets, notwithstanding the depreciating terms in which Dr. Granville has spoken of them, are exceedingly convenient, more so, indeed, than at most other baths, and infinitely superior to the closets for undressing adjoining the piscinæ at Wildbad. They are for the most part lofty and well ventilated, and are divided into a dressing-room and a large and spacious marble baignoire capable of containing five or six persons; though it is only intended for a single person; bathing in common not being the practice at Schlangenbad. The bather consequently[76] is not obliged to lie down in water about two feet deep, but has ample space to play or move about, the water being admitted in large quantity, so as to rise nearly breast-high; the temperature can also be increased by the bather, at pleasure, by admitting more warm water, though some persons, in the height of summer, prefer bathing in the water at its natural temperature,—about 22° Reaumur. A bath of this water, like others of the same class, imparts softness to the skin, with a pleasurable sensation while it lasts, and a feeling of bien-être for the remainder of the day.”[22]

The waters of Schlangenbad contain only about six grains of solid substances in the pint—half of which is carbonate of soda—and very little carbonic acid gas. Small as these ingredients are, they are larger than those in the waters of Wildbad, or Pfeffers. They are, as Captain Head observes, safe waters, both for bathing and drinking. The temperature being about 86°—something higher than Buxton, they may be used by many people without any artificial increase. But, generally speaking, it will be prudent to raise them ten or twelve degrees for gouty and rheumatic patients. Every body knows—or has been told—that the medicinal virtues of Schlangenbad waters were discovered by a hide-bound heifer—and proved by a young lady under a similar state of skin. Whether this story be true or fabulous, I cannot tell; but I apprehend that its cosmetic and satinizing properties are those which draw most of its foreign customers from the shores of the Baltic, and the banks of the Thames. Captain Head justly suspects the durability of the satin skin—and there is little doubt that if half a pound of soda or potash were added to a common warm bath in England, the same softness of surface would be the result.

I do not much wonder that the “Old Man” should have become enamoured of Schlangenbad, considering the disposition which he evinced for solitude, contemplation, and reflection. The locality is well adapted for all[77] these. Society is so concentrated in this little valetudinarium, and so quiet withal, that human nature may be studied with a kind of “microscopic eye,” and all its modifications, peculiarities, and eccentricities noted without distraction or bustle. On the mountain’s romantic brow, under the shade of the sombre pine, and in the stillness and serenity of the forest, the mind has ample time to meditate on, and inwardly digest the observations made in the little miniature world below.

As one o’clock approached, the solitude of Schlangenbad began to exhibit some symptoms of change. From various points of the compass isolated individuals, bearing the marks of illness, were seen carefully picking out the softest—or, at all events, the smoothest stones of the pavé, over which to wend their way, towards what an Irishman would call “three centres” of attraction. Soon afterwards, we heard three or four bells simultaneously sounding, when immediately the solitary videttes were succeeded by whole columns marching to their appointed rendezvous. Never did veteran Roman phalanx advance with more steady pace—more death-like silence—or more inflexible resolution, to the assault of barbarian foe, than does a German corps—men, women, and children—to the work of demolition at a mittag table-d’hôte.

Falling into the ranks of the largest column, we soon found ourselves in the salle-a-manger of the New Bad Haus, where about one hundred sat down to dinner. There was a fair proportion of English—full an eighth of the whole. There is little difficulty in distinguishing the German from the Britannic guests. The sallow complexion, black and broken teeth, matted locks, extravagant mustachios—and transcendental salutations at meeting and parting—are some of the most prominent features of distinction; yet there are many others of a minor cast.[24] An inferiority in the cloth of the coat—a peculiarity in what a sailor would call “the cut of the jib”—enormous rings on the fingers, and brooches in the breast, are characteristic of our German neighbours. Independently of these, you may smoke a German in any part of the room—or scent him at a quarter of a mile’s distance in the open air, if the wind be favourable. For although he ceases to smoke when he begins to eat, yet from one pocket the reeking pipe is exhaling its odours—while from the other, a load of the “cursed weed” itself is diffusing its aroma in all directions. But I find that I have been mistaken in giving a truce to smoking during the act of eating. The fair author of “Souvenirs” has corrected me. “Yonder[78] is an old gentleman actually eating and smoking at the same time—the long pipe being pushed into one corner of his mouth, so as to leave an entrance in front for the spoon or fork.” On reading this passage, I could not help feeling certain anatomical and physiological difficulties in the way of this triple function of mastication, smoking, and swallowing, being all simultaneous. I believe I can explain the phenomenon, however, without questioning the fact of the fair writer. Every person must have seen a horse eat oats and hay, with the bit of the bridle in his mouth. It was so with the old gentleman. All Germans have numerous vacancies among their grinders, and the one in question was able to keep his pipe ready lit for service between the courses, in one corner of his mouth. But it is certain that the triple or even double function of smoking and eating simultaneously, is next to impossible.

These external peculiarities of the German are probably not more striking to John Bull, than are the singularities of the latter to the German. As to internal qualities—moral and intellectual—my conviction is, that the German has far more head and heart than nine-tenths of his continental and insular neighbours.

In fine, the more I have seen of the Germans, the more I admire their honesty, zeal, single-heartedness, quietude, order, hospitality, learning, and humanity. These solid qualities leave the little personal peculiarities which I have sketched above, as “dust in the balance.”

It is not quite so easy to discriminate between the German ladies and those of our own country, as between the gentlemen of the two nations. One reason is, that the German ladies do not smoke long pipes, and wear long mustachios. I shall not libel the sex, as Pope has done, by making the colour of the hair the characteristics of women:—

“And best distinguished by black, brown, or fair.”

There is one peculiarity in the manners of the German fair (besides a certain “je ne sçais quoi,”) which is, their bowing instead of curtseying, on meeting or parting from friends—and that quite as low as their brothers, fathers, and husbands. This was the reason of my introducing the term “bussel-rending” in the description of a German salaam.


Not being deeply versed in the science of gastronomy and its nomenclature, I shall introduce the following order and succession of dishes as drawn by a fair countrywoman (Souvenirs of a Summer in Germany,) whose fidelity of description cannot be doubted.

“First, as usual, was the soup—then the invariable boiled beef, with its accompaniments of pickled cucumber, onions, or sour krout. After the beef, is a course of cutlets, sliced raw ham, omelettes, and vegetables. Then come partridges, chickens, sausages, ducks—all which are replaced[79] by various kinds of fish—some so besauced and bedecked with garnishes, that they are hardly recognizable as belonging to the finny tribe—and pyramidical dishes of cray-fish. The puddings come next, with smoking boats of fruit and wine-sauce. Is this the finale? Not at all. The pudding is a kind of æra, whence fresh courses take their date. A more formidable array of dishes next makes its appearance. Roast joints—req, (a kind of deer,) geese, turkeys, hares, &c. &c. with innumerable satellites of preserved pears, plums, cherries, salads, &c. This substantial course is followed by sweets—cherry tarts—enormous cakes, all spices and vanille with a snowy summit of powdered sugar—custards, creams, &c. The dessert and bon-bons close the proceedings.”

Now, it is to be observed, that this was the bill of fare at Schwalbach or Schlangenbad, where nine-tenths of the guests are notoriously invalids. It would scarcely serve for a dejeuner a la fourçhette at the sumptuaries of Baden or Wisbaden. The fair authoress admits that the German partakes of every dish; but argues that he does not eat more in the aggregate than the Englishman. This statement is so decidedly contrary to all observation, that I can only account for it by supposing that the fair lady noted more accurately the compliments to “la belle Anglaise,” proceeding out of the mouths of her favourite Germans, than the provender which proceeded in a contrary direction. Is it likely that the keeper of a German hotel would dress more dishes than are generally consumed, seeing that the price of the whole dinner is under two shillings? Not he indeed. The fact is undeniable that the Germans—indeed all the continentals who can afford it, eat not only a greater variety and complication of “dishes tortured from their native taste,” but a greater quantity in the aggregate. The question naturally arises—what is the consequence? Compare the complexions of the Germans and English. No one will attempt to deny that the contrast is most striking. The tints of health predominate in the looks of the Islanders—pallor and sallowness in those of the Continental. But the lady may reply—“nimium ne crede colori”—complexion, like beauty, is only skin-deep. Be it so. We shall look deeper. Let us follow the example of the horse-dealer, and examine the teeth. If my fair countrywoman has preserved any “souvenirs” of these important actors in the drama of human life, she will not be inclined to maintain that a German is like an elephant—with a mouth full of ivory. I never saw the hearty laugh of an honest German, without thinking of a temple—whose portal consisted of broken columns of ebony. If 40 Germans, at the age of 40, were compared with the same number of English, at the same age—all taken indiscriminately from the streets of Vienna and London—what would be the comparative number of sound teeth in the heads of the two classes? I shall attempt a calculation presently; mean time, it will be admitted on all hands, that the Germans are woefully afflicted with unsound teeth. What is the reason? A pair of mill-stones[80] will grind only a certain quantity of corn—or last only a certain number of years. It is the same with the human mill-stones, or molares. They will only grind a certain quantity of food, or do a certain amount of labour, before they are worn out, like their namesakes in the mill. Now if the Germans eat one-third more than the English—and I firmly believe they do—then their teeth have one-third more of work, and ought to experience a corresponding degree of wear and tear. This, however, will not account for the premature decay of the teeth, but only for their wearing out sooner than under other circumstances. We must seek deeper for the causes. As the millstones are spoiled and rendered useless by allowing improper things to be mixed with the grain, as pebbles, &c. so the teeth are injured by the quality as well as by the quantity of our food. The oils, acids, tobacco, and other deleterious substances, for ever mixing with continental meals, must greatly injure the organs of mastication as well as of digestion.

The human frame is a congeries of organs, all in harmony, when in health, and each assisting the others. But when we deviate from simplicity and temperance, these same organs quarrel with each other, to the detriment, and sometimes to the destruction of the whole constitution. The stomach is one of those patient and willing organs that will work wonders for years and years; but at length it will rebel—and even retaliate. The teeth, which have long sent down immoderate quantities of food, too often of the most abominable composition, for the stomach to grind over again, become visited with pains and penalties by the offended organ, under the vain hope that less work will be done in the upper mill. The warning is unheeded; and then the stomach begins the process of demolition in good earnest. It is in this state of, what the geologists would call “transition,” that we see the teeth of the Germans—and, it must be confessed, of the English sometimes also—in a state disagreeable to the eye, offensive to the nose, and injurious to the health. The stomach, which has inflicted this punishment on the mouth, so far from being benefitted thereby, is still farther injured by the failure of mastication; and then the various organs and functions of the body become involved in the consequences of long-continued deviations from the paths of Nature, simplicity, and temperance!

If this penalty be still considered as imaginary, I shall adduce more cogent arguments. The bills of mortality contain very stubborn facts. Let us take the two capitals of Germany and England—Vienna and London. In the former, one twenty-fourth of the population goes to the grave annually:—in the latter (London) one-fortieth part only. In the language of the insurance-offices, “the value of life is more than one-third greater in London than in Vienna.” Now this difference will surely not be attributed to climate merely—since the continentals themselves anathematize the climate of England, and the fogs of London, as most[81] “horrid.” Here then we have some clue to the comparative number of teeth in individuals of the same age, at home and abroad. We shall probably find the proportion of 24 to 40 (the ratio of mortality) as exhibiting a fair estimate of the number of teeth in equal masses of the population in Germany and England. Thus, for example, if the Englishman, at the age of 50, have twenty teeth in his head, the German, at the same period of life, will have only twelve, and so on.

But to return to the table-d’hôte. A glance round the “salle-a-manger” brought a strong conviction on my mind, that Fame had either exaggerated the virtues of the Serpent’s Bath, or had excited hopes that would seldom be realized. A majority of the guests were females; and not a few of these were of a certain—or rather of an uncertain, age. Of the males, the greater number were evidently dandies in decay. I never remember to have seen, in the same compass, a greater variety of feature and complexion—indicating a re-union, in this sequestered spot, of individuals from various and remote regions. But however diversified in external physiognomy, there was one point in which there was a wonderful coincidence and similarity—that point was—not the point of beauty. It is with mortification, I confess, that the English portion of the guests did not form a prominent exception to the general rule. To say the truth, the whole company exhibited sorry samples of the great European and Transatlantic family;—and if appetite was any index, the majority had met here, partly for health, but principally for—re-creation. How far the transmutation from age to youth—from decrepitude to vigour—from the wrinkled skin to the polished surface, was effected by plunges in the Serpent’s Bath, I had not time to ascertain. I candidly acknowledge that I never saw a real phœnix—but if these were specimens of Dr. Fenner’s phœnixes, “rising from their ashes,” then I must say that they very much resembled a batch of old cocks and hens roosting at Schlangenbad during the molting season.

The first impression which a stranger receives, while prying through Schlangenbad, is that the waters have an uglifying rather than a beautifying effect on the human frame. This is erroneous. We do not go through the wards of an hospital to search for samples of rude health—neither ought we to go to Schlangenbad for specimens of smooth skin and delicate complexion.

We rambled through winding and umbrageous paths up the mountain behind the Old Bad-haus, to its summit—and I think there are few places in the world better adapted to profound meditation, while, at the same time, inspiring the most pure, bracing, and salubrious atmosphere. I descended in a contemplative mood, when I stumbled into a long kind of gallery or hall, which looked like an enclosed promenade. There the accursed roulette-table met my eye and excited my choler. What! In this valley of Rasselas—in this asylum of health—in this peaceful retreat[82] from the stormy passions of the city—to find the symbol of Hell, and the instrument of the devil, was more than I could bear with patience! True, it was deserted. Not a human being was seen in the place; but its presence indicated too surely the work of destruction that would go on in the evening. Julius Cæsar, I think, observed that the Germans, in his time, were so passionately addicted to gambling, that, when they had lost all their money and goods, they would stake their wives and children! It therefore seems to be impossible to eradicate this dreadful propensity from the German mind. Still the public exercise of it might be prevented. The King of Saxony prohibits and prevents smoking in Dresden! If such a miracle as this can be wrought in Germany, we need not despair, even of gambling!


The wizzard of Nassau—the knight of the “Bubbles,” has wrought a real modern miracle—the transmutation of water into wine, or rather into nectar.

“The conscious Brunnens saw their god and blushed.”

Every spring in the Duchy has danced more merrily, and bubbled more briskly to the beams of the rising sun, since the children of Albion have swarmed round the living fountains, in search of health or amusement. Well may Dr. Fenner say—“cette reputation est due surtout aux Anglais. La plume caustique de Head a puissament contribué à nous faire-faire une connaissance plus intime avec cette nation.” The pen of Sir Francis may be likened to the bath of Schlangenbad—

“Nullum tetigit quod non ornavit.”

By “ornavit” I do not mean the embellishment which is sometimes synonymous with exaggerations or distortions; but merely that charm which the pen of genius can throw round the most common subjects. Schwalbach is still as it was, in a deep narrow valley—and invisible till we are within a few hundred yards of it. The houses, though more generally painted, and greatly increased in number since the time of the “Old Man,” are still as though they had been shaken in a bag and scattered through the ravine, without the slightest regard to order or regularity. Sir Francis could find no shops in his time—now he would find a bazaar! The town is still somewhat in the form of a Y or a fork, at the end of one prong of which is the Stahl-brunnen—while the other prong, or rather prongs, boasts of two hygeian fountains—the Wein-brunnen and the Paulinen-brunnen. The Wein-brunnen is the most powerful—the Stahl-brunnen is the most palatable—and the Pauline is the most fashionable. The climate of this place, according to the testimony of Dr. Fenner, supported by that of Sir F. Head and others, is very pleasant and salubrious. On the hills we have cool breezes—in the valley shelter from cold winds—in[83] the woods, ample shade beneath umbrageous foliage, when the sun is powerful and the heat oppressive.

When the “bad humours” of the spa-going invalids have been washed away by copious libations at Aix-la-Chapelle, Ems, and Wisbaden—when the gouty and misshapen limbs have shrunk into “the lean and slippered pantaloon,” beneath the powerful influence of the Kochbrunnen, the Ragoczy, and the Sprudel—when the purple nose of the alderman has faded into the pale proboscis—when the turgid liver, the tumid spleen, and the over-fed corporation have receded within the normal boundaries of a double-reefed waistcoat—when the knotty and contracted joints of rheumatic gout have taken their departure, leaving a legacy of the crutches—when—

“Wrapp’d in his robe, white Lepra hides his stains,
Robb’d of his strength, but unsubdued his pains”—

when tottering palsy has been discharged from Wisbaden and Wildbad, as much reduced in general, as recruited in local power—when blighted ambition, wounded pride, ruined fortunes, and corroding cares, have sapped the energies of mind and body, and marked their impress on the pale and sickly countenance—when the “green and yellow melancholy” of hopeless love or severed affections wanes to the alabaster hue on the maiden’s cheek—then Schwalbach, with its ruby fountains and sparkling gases, comes to the rescue, and works as many miracles and metamorphoses as steel and carbonic acid can any where effect. The saline spas of Germany are all of the radical cast. They are qualified to break down and expel the rotten and decayed parts of the constitution—but they can seldom build up or repair the vacant spaces. The chalybeate spas, among which Schwalbach holds a distinguished rank, unite the principles of conservatism and reform. They are calculated to preserve the original constitution, and to re-form those portions that have been pulled down and extruded by the “mouvement,” or radical waters of the saline class.

In none of the three springs is there more than three-fourths of a grain of iron to the pint—and in the Pauline—the most fashionable one—there is little more than half a grain; but it contains nearly 40 cubic inches of carbonic acid gas to the pint, which, with six grains of carbonate of sodium, two grains of carbonate of lime, and nearly three grains of magnesia, makes it the most ætherial and aperient of the three sisters. The water of the Wein-brunnen is limpid, pleasant to the taste, and sparkling like champaigne. It is very easy of digestion, even when taken in considerable quantity. Almost immediately after being swallowed, it produces an agreeable warmth in the stomach, and thence diffuses a sensation of comfort, nearly amounting to pleasure, through the whole frame. It acts gently on the bowels in most cases. It is easily preserved in bottles for any length of time.


The Stahl-brunnen is the greatest favourite with the ladies. It contains about three-fourths of a grain of iron, and little more than three grains of other substances in the pint. It is sharper and rougher to the taste, and has more of the inky gout than either of the other springs. It is also much more refreshing and exhilarating. The carbonic acid is very abundant. The waters more nearly resemble Champaigne than the other sources, and quickly diffuse a powerful energy over the whole frame. Formerly these waters caused an eruption on the skin; but they do not so at present.

The Pauline was only discovered in 1828, at a depth of fourteen feet. The quantity it discharges is prodigious. The taste is extremely agreeable and refreshing. It is one of the mildest and purest chalybeates that is known. It is very easy of digestion, and operates very gently on the bowels. By quickly amalgamating itself with the blood, it is rapidly diffused through every organ and tissue of the body, producing favourable changes there, and proving a general restorative. The vigor which it inspires is remarkable from day to day—and the change of complexion from pale to rosy, is equally surprising.

The waters of Schwalbach, generally belong to the class of æthereal or volatile chalybeates—very agreeable to the palate, and producing a slight and temporary feeling of intoxication. Their chief ingredients are steel and carbonic acid, in such a state of combination as gives the iron a great efficacy in consequence of its minute solution in the waters.

“At the same time (says Dr. Fenner,) that this spring causes agreeable sensations in the palate and stomach, it excites the muscular fibres and the nerves of the whole alimentary canal, into a state of activity—invigorates the circulation—corrects the secretions—increases them when defective—and gives new vigor to the whole process of digestion and nutrition. In doing this it enlivens the spirits, and imparts tone to the intellectual functions.”

The indications for using the Schwalbach chalybeates, according to the same authority, are the following:—

1. In atony or debility of the stomach and bowels, whether from natural constitution, or from excesses previously committed—whether isolated from other complaints, or connected with affections of other organs, as the liver, spleen, &c. This atony eventuating in difficult, painful, or imperfect digestion, with all its consequences, is remedied by the waters. It is in these kinds of complaints that the Stahl-brunnen is chiefly employed—“the Wein-brunnen being too strong, and the Pauline too volatile.” Strict regimen, in such cases, is indispensible.

2. When the blood is in a watery or deteriorated condition—when it is deficient in red globules—and consequently not fitted to support the energies of the muscles, the tone of the nerves, or the functions of the great organs of assimilation, secretion, &c. It is in such cases that the chalybeates[85] produce their most brilliant and unequivocally good effects. Females, from the delicacy of their constitutions, the effects of civilization, and certain disorders to which their sex subjects them, are the peculiar votaries of these springs. Hence those affected with chlorosis—with hæmorrhages—with menorrhagia—hysteria—obstructions, &c. are seen flocking to Schwalbach, there to regain strength, colour, and health.

“Quels que les noms des maladies qui se developpent, ici le malade peut esperer, avec raison, d’etre gueri. Quelques semaines suffisent souvent pour regenerer ses humeurs d’une maniere sensible.”

Although this is the assurance of a Spa Doctor, yet the nature of these waters, and the reputation they have obtained, produce a considerable degree of confidence in the assertion of Dr. Fenner.

3. In great weakness of the nerves, and where their influence is not sufficient to impart energy to the various functions, particularly of chylification and sanguification, the chalybeates of Schwalbach are said to have proved eminently serviceable. Dr. Fenner asserts their efficacy in hypochondriasis, hysteria, melancholia, and in partial and complete paralysis. In sterility they have also acquired considerable reputation.


The waters of Schwalbach have limits to their medicinal agency, and are even injurious in many states of disease.

1. In plethoric states of the constitution, accompanied by irritable condition of the heart and great vessels—in sanguineous temperaments—and in all cases where there is a tendency to local inflammation or general fever—or even to congestion in any of the organs or tissues of the body. “High attacks of acute inflammation, of hæmorrhage, and of apoplexy, have followed the imprudent employment of these chalybeates.”—Fenner.

2. In those cases of indigestion, connected with, or dependent on, organic disease of stomach, liver, spleen, kidneys, or mesenteric glands, these waters would be improper and hurtful.

3. But the chalybeates of Schwalbach are not to be recommended in cases where the vital powers are greatly prostrated—the blood and humours extremely vitiated—or the nervous system too much shattered. “Those who venture on these waters, under such circumstances, and where the constitution is at so low an ebb,—‘trouvent, loin des siens et de leur patrie, une mort certaine et premature.’”—Fenner.

The waters are taken fasting. The best season is the spring and summer. From one to three glasses are prescribed, with a quarter of an hour’s exercise between each glass. After this a light breakfast, where the bath is not used.



These are prescribed in the morning, after taking a glass or two of the waters. They are generally given at a low temperature, such as 90° of Fahrenheit, unless ordered otherwise. They therefore are several degrees lower than the heat of the bather’s blood, and about the same heat as the external surface of the body. They feel neither warm nor cold; but it is asserted by Sir F. Head, who used them for some time, that they impart a feeling of invigoration soon after immersion—and “he could almost have fancied himself lying with a set of hides in a tan-pit.” The same author remarks that they are very apt to produce—“headaches, sleepiness, and other slightly apoplectic symptoms.” He thinks these effects must result from not immersing the head as well as the body. In this he is mistaken. The best way to avoid such consequences is to keep the head cool—and the atmosphere of the bath is and must be many degrees below that of the water. The bare head will therefore be cooler out of the bath than in it. But the fact is, that the symptoms above-mentioned are not seldom apt to occur in all tepid and warm baths, from the action of the waters on the nervous and vascular systems of the surface, producing an excitement and determination to the brain. They should be taken as warnings, and not be trifled with.

Upon the whole, the waters of Schwalbach, from what I could learn on the spot, and from those who have prescribed them, and used them, are very useful and mild chalybeates, which may be considered as a kind of “finish,” after the powerful alterative waters of Wisbaden, and the strong alkaline waters of Ems;—always remembering that Schlangenbad is to give a polish to the surface at the end of the process.


There are few places where a stranger can have a better coup-d’œil of German habits and manners, than at the spas; where all ranks and classes, from the prince to the peasant, are jumbled together, without ever jostling each other. They drink together, bathe together, walk together, talk together, smoke together, joke together, dine together, muse together, sup together—and, then go to bed, all with the greatest decorum, quietude, civility—and I may add, ceremony.

“The company,” says Sir F. Head, “which comes to the brunnens for health, and which daily assembles at dinner, is of a most heterogeneous description, being composed of princes, dukes, barons, counts, &c. down to the petty shop-keeper, and even the Jew of Frankfort, Mainz, and other neighbouring towns; in short, all the most jarring elements of society, at the same moment, enter the same room, to partake together, the same one shilling and eight-penny dinner—still, all those invaluable forms of[87] society which connect the guests of any private individual were most strictly observed; and, from the natural good sense and breeding in the country, this happy combination was apparently effected without any effort. No one seemed to be under any restraint, yet there was no freezing formality at one end of the table, nor rude boisterous mirth at the other. With as honest good appetites as could belong to any set of people under the sun, I particularly remarked that there was no scrambling for favourite dishes;—to be sure, here and there, an eye was seen twinkling a little brighter than usual, as it watched the progress of any approaching dish which appeared to be unusually sour or greasy, but there was no greediness, no impatience, and nothing which seemed for a single moment to interrupt the general harmony of the scene; and, though I scarcely heard a syllable of the buzz of conversation which surrounded me; although every moment I felt less and less disposed to attempt to eat what for some time had gradually been coagulating in my plate; yet, leaning back in my chair, I certainly did derive very great pleasure, and I hope a very rational enjoyment, in looking upon so pleasing a picture of civilized life.”

It must be candidly confessed that this scene, which is every where the same, exhibits a striking contrast to spa-society in England, where each class forms a clique that repels its neighbour, as one electrified ball repels another. It is therefore highly desirable that the cause of this happy concordance throughout the whole chain of society on the Continent, should be ascertained, in order, if possible, to introduce it into our own country. Sir F. Head seems to attribute it to a high degree of civilization or refinement. “I fear it cannot be denied that we islanders are very far from being as highly polished as our continental neighbours.” If civilization consist in civility, I admit the truth of this assertion. But a Gentoo is even more civil than a German—and a Chinese is more ceremonious than either—yet we do not place the Hindoo or the Hong at the very top of the tree of civilization.

But I apprehend that this harmonious amalgamation of all ranks and classes in Germany is not to be traced to one, but to several causes. I would attempt to account for the phenomenon by one, or more, or all of the following circumstances.

1. Natural disposition.—2. Education, inducing habit.—3. Comparative paucity of trade, commerce, and manufactures.—4. Government.

1. We see peculiarities in the natural dispositions of nations, as well as of men. Some evince a disposition to music, another to arms, a third to navigation, a fourth to agriculture, a fifth to commerce, &c. The Germans may have a natural disposition to order, quietude, and politeness. Of this I am by no means sure.

2. What is man, individually or collectively, but the creature of those circumstances in which he is placed?—of the elements around him—of the education impressed on him—of the religion within his breast—of the[88] examples before his eyes? In all the lauded and laudable traits of character delineated by Sir. F. Head, the German has been trained from his infancy—and from these he has neither inducement nor inclination to deviate.

3. The third circumstance I consider to be very operative. The struggles, the collisions, the jealousies—the host of evil and of exciting passions, which agitate a commercial, trading, maritime, and manufacturing country like England, have, comparatively, no field in Germany; where life is far more allied to agricultural and pastoral, than to commercial and manufacturing pursuits. There is as much difference between the Germans and the English, generally, as between the peasantry of Lincolnshire and the mechanics of Birmingham—between the chaw-bacons of Hampshire, and the black and white devils of Merthyr-Tidvill and Sheffield.

4. Government.—I attribute no small share to this class of influential causes in modifying the manners of a nation. In absolute monarchies, where the will of the sovereign is the law of the people, the latter are not likely to be so frisky, boisterous, and turbulent, as under a limited and constitutional government, inclining to democracy, where the vox populi is not seldom the vox Dei—and where—

——Imprisoned factions roar,
And rampant Treason stalks from shore to shore.

On another occasion I shall allude to the minuteness with which the German governments regulate the most trifling concerns of life, when mentioning that a passenger in a public diligence is forbidden to move from the seat allotted to him, to the next vacant one at his side, without permission from the post-master of the first town at which the conveyance stops! In such countries would the Age, the Satirist, or even the Times be long allowed to take liberties with crowned heads, courts, or ministers? No verily! Their tongues would soon be as smooth, and civil and ceremonious, as those of the crowds of spa-drinkers around the Wein-Brunnen of Schwalbach![25]

Whether the state of things on the South side of the Channel be better or worse than that on the North, I presume not to say. Davus sum, non[89] Œdipus. But I think I have proved that, while these differences exist, the manners and habits of Germany are not likely to blend or amalgamate with those of England. Nothing, I think, would produce this fusion of the two people, except some strange geographical revolution that might convert the British Isles into a small appendix to the Continent; without “ships, colonies, or commerce”—without iron mines or coal mines—without cotton or cutlery—without fisheries or factories—without steam-engines or printing-presses—but above all, without that great national or normal school of agitation—the Parliament—where deputies learn to “speak daggers,” and chartists are encouraged to make pikes—where orations are directed not to the ears of the Commons, but to the eyes of the Constituents—where the campaign is opened with a speech recommending concord; carried on with speeches full of discord; and concluded with a speech of gracious accord—finally, where multiplicity of motion in the beginning is synonymous with paucity of action in the end. When all these incentives to turbulence shall have vanished, and also when English stomachs shall prefer sour krout and rancid oil to roast beef and brown stout, then, and not till then, may Sir Francis hope to see his favourite German polish and Gallic varnish lacquering over the rough manners of his native Isle.


Many a time have I dragged my weary limbs up the series of steep terraces that lead to the old red Castle of Heidelberg. Not being able to feign ecstasies which I do not feel, I fear I shall give great offence to those sentimental tourists who discover in this town, castle, and surmounting hills, romantic views and picturesque beauties of the first order. Upon this, as upon all other occasions, I appeal to the unbiassed feelings of the traveller himself. The mouldering ruins of the Red Castle have something about them too modern for antiquity, and too antiquated for the modern. I am unable to give any architectural explanation of this impression—unless it be the following:

“I do not like thee Mr. Bell,
The reason why, I cannot tell!”

The view from the Castle, and from the Botanical Garden above it, over the alluvial plain that stretches to the Rhine, and embracing the country to the West of that river, is interesting, but neither striking nor romantic. The tiny Neckar, that meanders along its rocky bed, in the travelling season, excites our apprehensions lest it should fare the fate of the Arethusa, and disappear altogether. When heavy rains descend among the mountains of the Black Forest however, it makes up for its torpidity in the dry weather, and thunders past Heidelberg in great foam and fury.


In rambling through the streets of Heidelberg, whose University is one of the crack seminaries in Germany, we cannot help recognizing the students, although deprived of their red caps and long hair, by order of Government. They have a semi-academic, semi-barbarous,—or, perhaps, more properly speaking, a semi-ruminating, semi-fumigating appearance, not very distantly allied to the revolutionary or bandittal.

The German students of this and other Universities having ineffectually endeavoured to regenerate—id est—to revolutionize their country, were put under the ban of Austria and Prussia, a procedure which very completely secured them against doing any mischief—to the State. Thus cramped in their generous and patriotic enterprize to involve society in war, they formed societies for warring among themselves, called the verbondungs, or congresses, for regulating, arranging, and conducting duels!! The following graphic description of one of these fights, was drawn up on the scene of action, in November 1839, by an eye-witness.

“On Wednesday last, as I took my customary walk after dinner, a friend came up to me, and told me that he perceived by various circumstances that a ‘lorgehen’ was about to take place. He pointed out to me a man sauntering lazily along the bridge, with a basket slung over his shoulder, and who stopped at every minute to look down into the water, or watch a barge dragged with difficulty against the stream by its single horse. An old woman sat at the corner of a house, a short distance up the river, in a position which commanded a view of the bridge and the road from the town, and a man pushed a boat about objectless in the middle of the river. These, to the initiated eye, gave certain evidence of what was going on; these persons being all employed in watching, that an alarm may be given in case of the police gaining information of the affair. We walked for some distance up the right bank of the Neckar, till we arrived at the opening of a mountain gorge, down which a small stream rushed impetuously, and from which a girl was apparently filling her pails. We ascended this pass for a short distance till we arrived at a dirty, dilapidated house, which my companion pointed out as the scene of these disgraceful combats. We ascended to the door of the beer-shop by a flight of broken steps, and passed through a passage into a yard, where two men were grinding, to the highest pitch of sharpness, a long, thin, basket-handled rapier; the blade resembled, in shape and sharpness, two blades of a pen-knife placed back to back. In a few minutes we mounted to the first floor, and traversing a low room set out with tables and benches for refreshment, passed into a lofty and spacious saloon, without furniture of any sort, but a few forms placed against the walls, and a table with towels and a basin of water, in one corner. In the opposite corner of the room, at about four yards apart, were marked upon the floor two letters in chalk; these, the initials of the verbondungs to which the combatants belonged, marked the position of the fighters. A few students stood listlessly about,[91] smoking or talking in whispers. A man entered, and threw down near the scene of action a bundle of swords, a huge, thickly stuffed glove, reaching to the shoulder, and a piece of matting resembling a mattress, to be tied round the middle of the second, to guard against chance thrusts. Thus some minutes passed, till at length one of the gladiators themselves appeared. He was a short, but strongly and beautifully proportioned young man, having a pleasing countenance, with a thin silky moustache, and long glossy, black hair, reaching far below his cap, which was drawn closely over his eyes, and bore the colours of his club. His body, from the chest downwards, was enveloped in a thickly stuffed leather apron, impervious to every blow, but slashed and stained in a hundred places from the effects of former contests. The neck was covered also with a thick defence, above which he could hardly lift his chin. Lastly, his right arm was bandaged, and wrapped so carefully with paddings, that it was necessary to have a person to support it until the moment of fighting. The body was only covered by a ragged and dirt-soiled shirt. Thus equipped, with his sword-arm resting on the neck of a companion, the little hero began to walk up and down the room to promote circulation and to exercise the limbs. In a few minutes his antagonist entered, habited in the same manner, his cap decked with his peculiar colour, resting his arm likewise on a friend. He was a tall and handsome youth, his face was pale as death, but his step was firm as he paced the saloon for the same purpose as the other. At this minute not a sound was heard but the tramping of the two combatants and their seconds as they passed and repassed each other without the slightest regard. Neither of them spoke a word, and the seconds but seldom addressed to them in a whisper some sentence of advice or caution. Presently a movement was observed towards the approaching scene of action; the few and almost indifferent spectators drew round, and a chair was placed within, beside which the judge stood to mark the number of the rounds. The combatants were led to their respective posts, their right arms extended, holding their rapiers in hand, and resting still on the arm of a friend. The seconds planted themselves at their left side, equipped in their defensive trappings, and holding above their heads a blunted sword. ‘Silentium!’ exclaimed the judge. The quiet which reigned before became instantly doubly quiet. One second cried aloud, ‘Verbindite Kling’ (‘fasten blades’ literally), placing at the same time, the point of his mock weapon a little in advance of his principal, the other doing likewise. ‘Los’ instantly followed, and the glittering swords of the two gladiators were crossed for battle. A moment they looked at one another, then their blades flashed in the air, a blow was struck and parried, and the seconds struck their arms up with a cry of ‘Halt!’ The heavy sword arm was again rested on the attendants, and a moment’s pause ensued. ‘Silentium!’ repeated the judge, and another round began. Whenever a blow was aimed, whether it took effect or not,[92] the seconds interfered, and the round was ended. Thus they continued through twenty-two onsets without pause, except to replace a broken blade, or for a fresh cap on the head of the combatants. The latter of the two was a wary swordsman, who had fought frequently before. He watched cautiously the movement of his adversary, and, whenever his stroke failed, made a quick and well-directed blow at his head. He, though it was his first battle, guarded well: but at length the blade of his opponent passed like lightning through his cap, and inflicted an awful wound on his head. A large space was laid bare, and his whole person deluged in blood: his long thick hair hung matted and discoloured over his shoulders. In a few moments, however, he retaliated fully upon his antagonist, his face was laid open from the ear to the nose, effectually marking him for life. In all, five wounds were given, three of which the smaller of the two received, having, besides that on the head, one under the right arm and one under the ear; the other had also a gash under the ear. In about twenty minutes the number of onsets was completed; the combatants retired, their padding was taken off, and the worst part of the affair began—namely, the sewing up of the wounds. Here they are in the habit (as if to punish as much as possible the folly of these duels) of sewing up even comparatively trifling wounds, so that the mark is seen certainly for years after its infliction. The tall man in a short time was able to walk home; the other, however, was compelled to have a carriage, so weak had he become from loss of blood. This, I must tell you, was an unusually bloody combat, as in two others, which I saw immediately after, not a single wound was given. The average number of duels taking place daily is seven: the consequence is, that every third man you meet in the street has a gash across his face.”

Bad as is British pugilism, it is exceeded in atrocity by this barbarous system of German duelism. What says the government to it? Virtually and literally this:—“you are naughty boys, and deserve to be punished for thus hacking and carving each other; but, as paternal solicitude for the happiness of our loving subjects is our ruling principle, we will—pension a surgeon to sew up your wounds. There, now, be gone—but mind, young gentlemen! no political discussion in your verbondungs! If you are ever caught at that, perpetual incarceration will be your lot!” This is literally the fact. The state not only winks at this Gothic war among the students, but pays a state surgeon for attending the wounded![26]

The parents of youths going to universities of all kinds, have some reason for anxiety—if they knew all:—but the verbondungs of Germany are a disgrace to civilized Europe!



Along almost the whole way from Wisbaden to Baden-Baden, we have Belgium on our right, and Devonshire on our left. The road, which generally skirts the bases of the undulating hills to the eastward, has hardly a rise or fall, the alluvial and fertile plain stretching away to the Rhine, till the mountains of Alsace arrest the attention on the western bank of that river. The whole space between the hills and the river, was, indisputably, a lake, at some remote period, drained by the breaking down of some obstruction to the stream—probably in the vicinity of the present Lurley-rocks.

Five or six miles from Rastadt and the Rhine, embosomed in a narrow dell, and encircled by steep and wooded hills, lies the far-famed Baden-Baden. The comparative localities of Wisbaden and this place, might be imagined by supposing the former to be a saucer, and the latter an egg-cup. And yet the air of Baden, though in an egg-cup, is fresher if not purer, than that of its celebrated rival of Nassau, where there are no eminences of any altitude within some miles of the town. It is true that the thermal springs of Wisbaden are a few degrees higher in temperature than those of Baden, but this is quite insufficient to account for the difference of atmosphere.

A very few visits to the wells in the morning, the hells in the evening, and the hotels in the middle of the day, will convince any observant traveller that three-fourths of the sojourners at Baden, go there to drink wine rather than water—and to lose money, rather than regain health.

The thermal springs here are of great antiquity. They served to scour the Roman legions stationed at Baden, in the days of Aurelian, as they now do to scald the pigs and poultry of the butchers and poulterers of the same place. The far-famed Ursprung issues from the ruins of an old Roman structure on the side of a hill overlooking the town, at a temperature of 154 degrees of Fahrenheit, and in quantities sufficient to wash and drench the whole town, visitors and all. The water is translucid, and tastes much less either of the chickens or salt, than its contemporary of the Kochbrunnen at Wisbaden. It has, however, especially in the baths, a very faint odour of bear’s grease, or green fat, which I have noticed when speaking of the Kochbrunnen. The whole of the solid contents in a pint of the water, are only about 24 grains, of which common salt makes 16 grains, the other ingredients being chiefly lime, in different combinations with sulphuric, muriatic, and carbonic acids. There is just iron enough for the chemists to swear by—but not for the drinkers to distinguish by taste.

Whatever may have been the reputation of the Baden waters, taken internally, I apprehend that their fame is not very great in the present day. On several successive mornings, between five and eight o’clock, at[94] the Ursprung, I never could muster more than 130 bibbers—many of whom appeared to have been attracted to the Paleotechnicon from curiosity rather than in search of health. Except occasionally a fashionable lady’s-maid, or governess, no English were seen at the spring. The waters being led, however, into all the principal hotels, where there are baignoires in abundance, the number of bathers outstrip very considerably the number of bibbers. Although the waters of Baden are neither so potent when drunk, nor so stimulant when bathed in, as those of Wisbaden and many other places, yet they manage to do a fair proportion of the annual mischief occasioned by hot mineral springs in general. Thermal spas and quack doctors, indeed, have more good luck than usually falls to the lot of men and things. They completely reverse the order of events in the moral world. Their good actions are graven on brass—their evil deeds are written in water. Unless some illustrious character receive his quietus in a hot bath—as the Duke of Nassau did at Kissengen—

“Abstulit clarum cita mors Achillem”—

we seldom hear a word about the inferior souls who are deprived of their terrestrial tenements by the boiling Kochbrunnen, Ursprung, or Sprudel. And, when a great man actually falls a sacrifice, sufficient mischief is done before his death, by his example and recommendation. It is well known that the Duke of Nassau’s preference of the Kissengen waters to those of his own Wisbaden, drew many illustrious patients to the former springs, who would have been contented with the latter. That the hot mineral baths produce a powerful effect even in health, and still more in disease, we have ample proofs. We need only take the testimony of my friend Dr. Granville himself, who will not be suspected of any prejudice or timidity in respect to these agents. “One of the first effects of the hot water bath at Baden (and I may say the same of Toplitz, Carlsbad, Wisbaden, &c.) produced on me, was an almost irresistible inclination to fall asleep. To resist this is of the utmost consequence.” “The operation of bathing in water endowed with much power, from heat and other circumstances, is not to be viewed lightly. Much mischief has arisen—nay, fatal results have followed, from its indiscriminate adoption. A rich merchant, who, but a few hours before, had been noticed on the public promenade after dinner, on the day after our arrival, was found dead in a bath at 8 o’clock of the same evening. A lady was pointed out to me, who had lost the use of her limbs after using three hot baths.”

The injurious effects of hot baths, even of common water, are daily witnessed at home—and these agents are still more powerful abroad. Their physiological effects on the normal or healthy constitution, as mentioned above, by Dr. Granville, I certainly did not experience in my own person; but this might be from the thickness of my skull, the hardness of my brain, or the weakness of my circulation. The sensations produced by these[95] baths were always of the most pleasant kind, with far more disposition to ruminate than to sleep. In these effects, indeed, consists much of the danger. There are few diseases, however unsuited for hot bathing, that do not appear to be soothed or mitigated, at first, by this agent—and this apparent relief throws the practitioner off his guard, and leads the patient to extol the remedy, and persevere in the hazardous experiment, till the mischief actually occurs. There is, in truth, much less danger from improper drinking of mineral waters, than bathing in the same. The stomach or other organs are pretty sure to give ample notice of approaching injury from the imprudent use of mineral waters internally taken. Not so in the case of bathing. While the train of destruction is preparing—nay, at the moment when the match is applied to the train, the victim is lulled into a fatal security, not only by the absence of painful feelings, but by the positive induction of sensations the most pleasurable.

It is unnecessary to reiterate the precautions already stated in other places, as to the use of warm and hot bathing here. Rheumatic, gouty, paralytic, and cutaneous affections are those which can reap much benefit from the Ursprung—and, in these cases, all inflammatory and congestive states of the constitution, as well as of particular organs, should be carefully removed, before the waters are used, either internally or externally.

It would be easy to resuscitate ample testimonies, lay and professional, to the miraculous efficacy of the Baden springs, in all diseases, curable and incurable. An attendance among the fragments of antiquity round the Ursprung must convince the most credulous that Baden, as I said before, is not the Pool of Bethesda, as far as its healing virtues are concerned, though its waters are daily “troubled” by angels somewhat different from those that descended, for benevolent purposes, near the Holy City. Baden is, in fine, neither more nor less than a fashionable place of pleasure, dissipation, vice, and gambling—abounding in hot-baths, hells, hotels, scandal, and good scenery.

The last item in the above list has been most grossly exaggerated, as any one will acknowledge who has visited the place and compared its scenery with the following bombast.

“The surpassing grandeur of the scenery has been so constantly dwelt upon, that the hopeless task of description is unnecessary. Should you love all that is awful, sombre, wild, and grand in scenery, wander but half a mile from town, and you may be lost amid the dark valleys that wind through the pine-covered mountains.”—Mrs. Trollope.

Now I most positively deny that there is anything either grand, or awful, or sublime, in the scenery of Baden. The valley is picturesque, romantic, or even beautiful—and the view from the ruins of the old castle (rather more than half-a-mile, by the way, from the town) is extensive and very fine; but the sublime and the awful do not enter into the composition of Baden scenery. You must wander among the Alps for these.


Written at the Vieux Chateau, August, 1834.

The pine-clad mountains boldly rise
Round Baden’s hot and healing spring;
And cloudless are the azure skies,
With Health on every Zephyr’s wing.
But ah! in this romantic dell,
Where streams of life for ever flow,
The demons of destruction dwell,
With Vice, the harbinger of woe!
That horrid thirst of other’s gold—
Those hell-born passions pent within,
Corrupt alike the young and old,
For “sin doth always pluck on sin!”—
At tables piled with many a heap
Of ore from Earth’s dark entrails torn,[27]
The harpy brood their vigils keep
From dewy eve till rosy morn.
Hither the pamper’d landlords hie—
While shivering tenants pine for bread—
Transform’d to brutes in Circe’s stye,
To every Christian precept dead!
The prince, the peasant, and the peer,
The soldier, cit, and baron bold,
On equal terms assemble here—
The race is not for rank—but gold!
And whilst the whirling ball flies round,
In dread suspense the gamester stands—
It drops—and quick each shining mound
Dissolves—and shifts to other hands.
Shall Albion’s sons and daughters roam
To Baden’s fonts for “change of air,”
And bring these foreign vices home—
Abhorr’d—endured—but practis’d there![28]
Haste then, my friend, from scenes like these—
And scale the mountain’s airy height—
Inhale the morning’s balmy breeze,
And contemplate the landscape bright:—
That glorious view of hills and dales—
Of fertile plains and winding Rhine—
Of forests vast—romantic vales—
And slopes that “teem with corn and wine.”
Or hie thee to the healing wave,
By Heaven to suffering mortals sent—
The cold and palsied limbs to lave,
Or soothe the joints with torture rent.—
But ye, whom health, or pleasure calls,
To seek that prize in distant lands,
Avoid, as ye would death, those halls,
Where dwell the DÆMON-ROBBER bands!

Lest I should be suspected of taking a cynical view of Baden-Baden, I shall adduce the following quotations from Dr. Granville.

“Here men, as well as women, took their places at, or stood round, the several tables of “roulette” and “rouge-et-noir,” which were in full play. One only remark I will venture to make in reference to this subject—and that remark will be an expression of deep sorrow, at having observed the daughters of Englishmen, to all appearance highly respectable, joining the circle of such as pressed round the tables, to stake their petite pieces, and be elbowed by some rude fellow-gambler, who had probably as little character as he had money to lose.”

I am happy to say that in the interval between 1834 and 1839, when I last visited Baden, some improvement seemed to have taken place in this respect, especially among our fair countrywomen. I saw very few of them in the act of gambling, but the sight of such scenes—during the whole of the Sabbath day—is most injurious to our youth of both sexes! I cannot say so much for the balls in the evening. They are the same now as when Dr. Granville wrote.

“Away whirled the galoppe-dancers in giddy circles, until the very breathing of the fair partners became audible, and their countenances lost all traces of placid loveliness. And the rude grasp and étroite liaison, during such dances—do they become the modest nature of an Englishwoman—or of any woman? Oh, it grieved me to see the graceful—elancé—and exquisitely elegant Mrs. M——, at the slightest invitation from a booted hussar, or an embroidered attaché, or a disguised vaurien of the lowest class, plunge with them into all the attitudes, now violent, and now languishing, of a dance better suited for bacchanalian or Andalusian representation! And she bore on her alabaster and[98] shining cheek, the deep round flush of consumption, which parched her lips, and made her fly, at the termination of each performance, to the refreshment-room with her partner—there to quench, with perilous experiment, the inward fever, by an ice dissolved in freezing water; while the big drops of moisture stood on her forehead, or trickled down her face, increasing the general disorder of her appearance.”

Yes! The roulette and the waltz are the veritable “normal schools of agitation” for the sons and daughters of the nobility and gentry of the—happy, pious, and Protestant England!


The glowing description of this mineral spring, and the all but magical effects of its baths on the human frame, as given by Dr. Granville, have led hundreds of additional visitors to the sequestered valley of the Enz—some in quest of health, but many to satisfy curiosity, and test the picture which has been drawn in such flattering colours by the talented author of the “Spas of Germany.” The difficulties, however, which Dr. Granville experienced in his journey from Baden-Baden to Wildbad, must have deterred a great number of spa-tourists from visiting the Elysian fountain of the Black Forest. The journey occupied thirty hours, including one whole night on the road. We accomplished it in eight hours, by an excellent road, with the same pair of horses, and with ample leisure to lunch and rest midway. This route lies through some of the most beautiful, picturesque, and romantic scenery on the Continent. It is only thirty English miles, six or seven of which Dr. Granville pursued, when by some strange intelligence or mistake, he turned to the right, at Guernsbach, and went wrong all the rest of the way.

Sick of the frivolities and dissipations of Baden-Baden, we started at eight o’clock in the morning for Wildbad; and, wending our course up a steep acclivity, everywhere covered with pines, we passed the Mercurius Berg, with its altar dedicated to the god of thieves—

“Calidum quicquid placuit jocoso
condere furto”—

just as the Romans had left it, together with the frowning ruins of Eberstein, where thievery rose to the rank of robbery, and was christened under the high-sounding title of Feudalism! The higher we ascended, the denser became the woods, and the darker the road. There is something peculiarly sombre and solemn in the pineries of the Schwartswald, through many parts of which I had formerly journeyed. The vast extent of the forest, the great number and altitude of the hills and mountains, the gigantic growth and height of the trees, the darkness of the foliage, and the intensity of the silence, occasionally augmented rather than[99] broken by the distant and scarcely audible stroke of the woodman’s axe, all combine to form a scene of solitude well adapted for contemplation and reflection.

After an hour’s labour, we gained an open space, when the eye has an opportunity of ranging over a sea of peaks and mountains to the South and East, all clothed in the dark green livery of the pine to their utmost summits. To the North and West the prospect was nearly as unlimited as from the Alte-Schloss, from Radstad and the Rhine up the valley of the Mourg to Guernsbach, which seemed like a white speck on the river at a prodigious depth below us. Down to this little town we cautiously slid, with drags on the wheels, winding in serpentine courses, often along the brinks of dangerous ravines, but every little vale or valley cultivated till the forest forbad the plough, the spade, and the scythe. The little town of Guernsbach, built on both sides of the Mourg, with a good bridge across, contains nearly two thousand inhabitants—almost all of whom live by the produce of the mountains, and a good number of the poorer classes in the woods themselves. Here the raftlets and rafts are seen descending to the Rhine, afterwards to aggregate into flotillas carrying hundreds of rowers, steerers, and navigators,—and conveying the Black Forest into the flats of Holland. But a little farther on, I shall take more notice of this immense traffic and source of wealth. The Castle of Eberstein and the church crown the heights over the town. Here Dr. Granville, instead of crossing the bridge, turned up along the banks of the Mourg, and had to go all the way to Stuttgardt, on his way to Wildbad.

From Guernsbach we ascended another lofty mountain to the romantic village of Laffenau. The prospect of the valley of the Mourg, with Guernsbach on its banks, and a sea of pine-clad heights in every direction, is most beautiful. Near Laffenau we have the “Teufels Muhle,” or Devil’s Mill, with its legendary tale—briefly as follows:—

The Prince of Darkness took it into his head, once on a time, to turn parson, and to preach from a chair or pulpit, still called by the name of that right reverend divine. His audience became more numerous than enlightened, when an angel, from quite a different quarter, pitched his tent on a neighbouring peak, and held forth in opposition to the man in black. The eloquence of the new preacher drew away great numbers from the old. Satan, in hopes of disturbing the congregation of his rival, vented his rage in some caverns in the rock, and in growls and groans that resembled thunder. But still the audience of the new preacher multiplied. This was more than any preacher, human or divine, could bear; and the old gentleman forthwith built himself a mill, the noise of which, together with the diabolical hootings, yells, and howlings of the miller and his men, he hoped would distract the audience of the orthodox ecclesiastic. Even this would not do, and his reverence of the cloven foot and long tail betook himself from words to things. He hurled masses of rock across the valley[100] against the successful candidate for popular applause, with as much ease as a man would pitch quoits. This was “too bad;” and therefore a bolt from Heaven was directed against this teacher of impieties which demolished the mill, and prostrated the miller and his crew amongst the ruins! The disturber of the peace fell with such force among the rocks that the print of his body remains evident to the present hour.

The tale may be false, or the tale may be true,
As I heard it myself, I relate it to you.

The legend concludes with one piece of intelligence, to the truth of which most people will assent: namely, that after the above event, the arch enemy has seldom ventured to hold forth from the pulpit, in propria persona, but has employed a great number of emissaries in human shape, who disseminate among mankind, and some of them ex cathedra, too, those “false doctrines, heresies, and schisms,” which scandalize the church and cause dissensions among the people.

With the exception of a few miles, the whole route from Baden-Baden to Nuenburg, is a series of steep mountains and narrow valleys, presenting the greatest variety of scenery, from the picturesque and beautiful, up to the romantic, wild, and savage character. A thunder-storm, with heavy rain the preceding night—and now a beautiful day, with brilliant sun, gave us every advantage; while the mountain air, with active and passive exercise in alternation, produced, at once, sensations of health and hunger, so little felt in the close and deep valley of dissipation which we had left behind us at Baden.


It was on the summit of a lofty mountain between Laffenau and Herrenalb, that we fell in with one of those generals, or, I should rather say, field-marshals, (immortalized by the “Old Man of the Brunnens”) who, with three or four aid-de-camps, was marching and manœuvering a “swinish multitude” of raw recruits among these alpine heights. They were evidently less a fighting than a foraging party, levying contributions on every thing edible in these sombre pineries. It was also manifest that, whether from the morning air or the supperless night, they were by no means over nice, either in their olfactory or gustatory senses; for nothing seemed to come amiss to them, or to prove unsavoury or indigestible. But although provender turned up at almost every step, they were a grumbling and grunting, as well as an awkward squad, and so prone to predatory excursions, that the schwein-general and his staff were constantly flogging them into the regular ranks. Their long legs and lank sides shewed that their fare was not of the most fattening nature—or, that they had little else than predatory rations to live upon. They had been called out early that morning, by bugle and horn, from their various bivouacs in Laffenau,[101] with more appetite than order, for their mountain drill. The general (or field-marshal) with his aid-de-camps, and some vigilant videttes, of the canine species, had no small difficulty in compelling their guerilla corps of maurauders to keep “close order;” for they were constantly deploying to the right and to the left—shooting a-head—or straggling in the rear, despite the proclamations of the general, the stripes of the subalterns, and the biting rebuffs of the quadrupeds, who, ever and anon, lugged back into the ranks some long-faced and bleeding deserter, amid the grunts and groans of his sympathising companions, on whom, however, these summary sentences of a drum-head, or rather mountain-head, court-martial appeared to make but a transient impression.

On taking leave of General Swein, I could not help making some “odious comparisons” between him and some other generals, “melioris notæ,” in various parts, and at various epochs of this world. He did not, like too many of his order, lay villages in ashes, and massacre the inhabitants when rushing from the flames—or deliver their wives and daughters to the tender mercies of an enfuriate soldiery—he did not murder his prisoners in cool blood, by nailing them to trees, as marks for an undisciplined rabble of fanatic banditti to exercise their muskets—he did not drag citizens of a free state from their homes, and consign them to the mines and wilds of Hyperborean regions—he did not mock the forms of Heavenly justice, and slaughter the victims of his ambition or revenge in the fosse or on the glacis—he did not turn the fertile district into a frightful desert, as the effectual means of ensuring peace—(“ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem vocant”)—he did not perform these or any similar exploits, and, therefore, he has had no pious advocate to justify his crimes, or impartial historian to record his virtues!

Descending by a long and zig-zag road from the Swine-General’s camp, we arrive at Herrenalb, situated in a romantic glen, enclosed by lofty mountains. Here we lunched, and rested our horses, who certainly had better fare than their masters. Black bread, bad butter, hard eggs, and chopped hay for tea, were devoured without grumbling, in consequence of the canine appetite acquired on the alpine heights. On leaving Herrenalb, we pass on our left, one of the most singular and fantastic groups of basaltic rocks which I have anywhere seen. They appear like a gigantic fortress, with buttresses and embrasures. A traveller has remarked of these productions of subterranean fire, that—“on croirait qu’une imagination fantastique a presidé a leur formation.” They probably issued from a deep-seated volcano, in the form of molten lava, at the time when Staffa and the Giant’s Causeway rose from the bowels of the earth, and congealed in pillars on the shores of Antrim and Argyll.

“Firm on its rocky base each pillar stands—
No chissel’d shaft, no work of mortal hands.
Ere man had ceased in savage woods to dwell—
Roots for his food, his drink the crystal well;
Ere cities grew, or Parian marble shown,
Yon columns stood—and stand while they are gone.”

From these “fragments of an earlier world,” these real monuments of antiquity, compared with which, the Pyramids of Egypt are as mushrooms of yesterday, and whose rugged brows the rains and tempests of ten thousand years have not yet smoothed, we ascended to a great height, and reached a comparatively open and partially cultivated country, between Frauenalb on the left, and Rothensal on the right. This alpine plateau continued for six or seven miles—the prospect towards the North and West being of great extent, over a fine champaigne country which, from this altitude, appeared like an immense plain. The South and East presented a vast sea of mighty mountains, the insurgent billows of which were feathered with perennial forests. After doubling the North-western extremity of a high alpine ridge, we turned short round to the right—plunged into a deep wood—and descended quickly by a precipitous route to the town of Nuenburg, situated on the foaming Enz, in a narrow and gloomy valley. Here we got black bread and water for the horses, and Seltzer water with wine for ourselves. While the horses were resting, we scrambled up to the ancient chateau, now occupied by the foresters. From this there is a good view of the valley of the Enz, for a few miles above and below the town. The valley is here not more than five or six hundred yards broad at the bottom, with the river in the centre, and the pine mountains rising abruptly on both sides. We had now about eight miles to Wildbad, close along the right bank of the river, and consequently with only a gentle ascent the whole way.

The valley of Wildbad, between Nuenburg and the town of Wildbad, is about 1400 feet above the level of the sea—and the mountains on each side about 1500 above the river. It resembles a good deal the Vallée d’Enfer, well known to most travellers. There is but a narrow border of cultivated ground on each side of the Enz—in some places not exceeding two or three hundred yards—in others, creeping up the steep acclivities nearly a quarter of a mile. Hay, corn, and potatoes are the chief productions of the valley. The pine occupies every slope not cultivated; the forest, on each side, presenting a serrated border, the salient angles sometimes coming nearly down to the banks of the stream—the interspaces being occupied with potatoes or some culinary vegetable. But the Enz itself presents more bustle and activity than its banks. Small and precipitous as is the torrent, it is made to carry the mountains—or at least their forests, on its slender back. The flotteurs or rafters are a race and craft distinct from the wood-cutters, who hew the trees in the mountains, and hurl them down their steep sides to the river. The Enz falls 370 feet in the short distance of nine miles between Wildbad and Nuenburg, and[103] yet they manage to float down numerous rafts, or rather raftlets, two or three hundred feet in length, along this trajet. The method is simple but ingenious. At convenient distances, dikes or dams are run diagonally across the stream, with a sluice or flood-gate in the centre. When the gate is shut, the back-water accumulates so as to float the raft from the next dam higher up. The rafts are narrow, but very long and jointed. When one, two, or more have arrived at the dam, the head of the raft is brought close to the sluice—the gate is opened—and away darts the raft, with a loud noise and fracas—dashing against the rocks—each joint, as it passes over the dam, rising up like the dorsal fin of a huge whale rolling about in the sea. In this way they are conveyed from the mountains to the Rhine—the raftlets augmenting in breadth, or number of trees, in proportion as the stream augments and enlarges into a river. As every mountain must have a valley, so every valley must have a rivulet. However small the stream, it can be dammed so as to float one tree at a time—and when contributary streamlets from the mountains enlarge the parent stream, the raftlets increase in size also. Thus the main wealth of Wildbad is constantly floating down the Enz, consigned to distant countries, but leaving profit for the merchant, and affording employment for thousands and thousands of the industrious poor. The raftlets grown into rafts, having arrived at the Rhine, change hands, and the local boucherons, or floaters, return to their native valleys to renew their labours from spring till the approach of winter. The aggregated rafts now become flotillas, capable of bearing an army on their backs, and actually inhabited by four or five hundred—not seamen but raftmen, while they glide down the majestic stream of the Rhine.

Let us see whether this animated scene of industry, hilarity, and wealth has any back-ground to the picture—any alloy to the pure metal. Many a gaudy tissue, embroidered robe, and sparkling gem, has been produced by sordid hands, amidst penury, disease, and despair! The wood-cutter of the Black Forest mountains leads a gloomy and miserable life. His labour is eternally the same—affording no food or reflection for the mind—the workmen being secluded in dark and dreary forests for days, weeks, and months, without any communication with their families; while their children are entirely neglected, as far as education is concerned! They are, as it were, cut off from human society—become morose, taciturn, melancholic—or even misanthropic. What is worse, they are frequently brought home maimed, lamed, or stricken with some dangerous or fatal disease! They almost always die prematurely. Yet the facility of gaining a livelihood by cutting and floating wood, leaves very few inhabitants of this valley inclined to pursue any mechanical occupation. The trees, when felled and the branches lopped off, are dragged in traineaus to the edges of the declivities, from whence they descend along cleared tracks, or a kind of wooden tunnel, by their own weight, to the vicinity of the[104] river. A little field of potatoes—a wooden hut—a couple of goats to feed the children—and a pig to be killed at Christmas—constitute the whole riches of the woodman, whether of mountain or valley.

After a very pleasant drive of nine miles along the right bank of the Enz, we came suddenly upon the little town of Wildbad, now celebrated for the divine effects of its baths on the human frame. The town contains 279 inhabited houses, and 115 buildings of other kinds. It is nearly equally divided by the foaming little Enz, the backs of houses, on each side of the valley, being actually built against the feet of the mountains. As these are some 1500 feet high, an hour, at least, of the rising, and another of the setting sun, are unseen and unfelt in Wildbad—except in the curious phenomenon of the sunshine creeping down the western mountain in the morning, and up the eastern mountain in the evening.

The valley of Wildbad lies nearly North and South, and consequently the winds are felt only in those two directions. The temperature of the atmosphere necessarily varies considerably, but cold prevails over heat. Snow ordinarily lurks on the summits of the mountains from the middle of November till the middle of May. From the first of July till the middle of August, the heat is generally great. “In a hot summer (says Professor Heim) the temperature is almost insupportable about mid-day, when the breeze is scarcely perceptible in the depth of the valley.” In June, July, and August, the thermometer in Wildbad mounts occasionally to 90, in the hottest days—and falls correspondingly in the winter. In the season (months of June, July, August, and September) of 1834, there were 47 clear days—five thunder-storms—and 34 rainy days. In 1837—35 clear days—44 rainy days—and 11 thunder-storms. During the years 1834-5-6 and 7, the mean temperature of the four summer months, at mid-day, was 66° of Fahrenheit, which is very moderate. Lightning has never struck any of the houses in Wildbad—the contiguous mountains proving excellent conductors. There are no peculiar diseases at Wildbad, except those produced by scanty food and hard labour. Scarcely any goitres or cretins are seen here. The inhabitants hardly ever take any other medicines than the warm waters of the place. Doctors would inevitably starve here, were it not for the foreign visitors. The water of Wildbad is excellent, both for cooking and drinking. Pulmonary complaints are exceedingly rare in this valley, and indeed in the Black Forest generally. The same may be said of goitre and cretinism.

We took up our quarters at the Bear, exactly opposite the baths, and had no reason to complain of our accommodations in this hotel. My chamber was in the back of the house, just over the noisy little Enz; but its murmurings only lulled me to a sound sleep, after the keen mountain air, and the healthy exercise of the day.

It is only within these few years that Wildbad has become much known, through the writings of Drs. Flicker and Granville. Professor Heim has[105] now added to the means of its publicity. In 1830, the number of bathers was 470—in 1837, 1,003—in 1838, the number was 1,235. In this list, the real bathers and drinkers only are inscribed. The mere passengers of a day or two are omitted. In 1837, there were only ten English, who used the waters. In 1838, there were 130. In 1839, about the middle of August, when I was there, the number had still encreased. The accommodations hitherto have been insufficient. In this year, 1840, a new and grand edifice will be completed, capable of contributing to the comfort—would that it may not add to the gambling luxury or destruction of—a large number of visitors! The Palace, which is close to the baths, is open to the public—in fact, it is a hotel, for the refreshment of body and mind. It would be unjust, not to commemorate here the wise, salutary, and beneficent injunction against gambling, which is rigorously enforced by the government. May it continue in force, per omnia secula seculorum!

The warm baths of Wildbad issue from several sources in the granite rock; but are collected into four basins, isolated from each other, and under particular regulations. Just opposite the Bear Hotel is the place for drinking the waters, a few feet below the surface of the square or market-place. There are two spouts, and I observed for two hours the devotees of this Hygeian spring. I should have little hesitation in swearing that there was not a single malingerer (to use a military phrase for one who feigns disease,) in the whole group, amounting to about sixty or eighty. They all bore intrinsic marks of indisposition; but the maimed, the lame, the paralytic, and the rheumatic, constituted nine-tenths of the assemblage. I had an early note from Professor Heim, politely offering to shew me the baths. With him I proceeded to the Furstenbad, or Prince’s Bath, in which Dr. Granville bathed. On entering the Bad, I found it occupied by two persons—one quite naked, the other with white drawers on—while Dr. Fricker, who stood on the steps with a watch in his hand, was directing the operations. I naturally shrunk back, with an apology for intruding; but my kind and honest friend, Dr. Heim, pushed me forward, observing, that there was “no offence.” The bather was a Russian General, Comte ——, and he who sat behind him in the bath, rubbing his back, was the bad-meister. I entered into conversation with the General and his medical director, and found them agreeable, intelligent, and frank communicants. The douche having been applied, and the bathing process finished, I withdrew for a quarter of an hour, while the bath was preparing for myself. Most of my readers must have read or heard of these celebrated waters by Dr. Granville, and I must here record his account of the surprising sensations which they produce on the human frame immersed in them.

“After descending a few steps from the dressing-room into the bath-room, I walked over the warm soft sand to the farthest end of the bath,[106] and I laid myself down upon it, near the principal spring, resting my head on a clean wooden pillow. The soothing effect of the water as it came over me, up to the throat, transparent like the brightest gem or aquamarine, soft, genially warm, and gently murmuring, I shall never forget. Millions of bubbles of gas rose from the sand, and played around me, quivering through the lucid water as they ascended, and bursting at the surface to be succeeded by others. The sensation produced by these, as many of them, with their tremulous motion, just effleuraient the surface of the body, like the much vaunted effect of titillation in animal magnetism, is not to be described. It partakes of tranquillity and exhilaration; of the ecstatic state of a devotee, blended with the repose of an opium eater. The head is calm, the heart is calm, every sense is calm; yet there is neither drowsiness, stupefaction, nor numbness; for every feeling is fresher, and the memory of worldly pleasures keen and sharp. But the operations of the moral as well as physical man are under the spell of some powerfully tranquillising agent. It is the human tempest lulled into all the delicious playings of the ocean’s after-waves. From such a position I willingly would never have stirred. To prolong its delicious effects what would I not have given! but the bad-meister appeared at the top of the steps of the farther door, and warned me to eschew the danger of my situation; for there is danger even in such pleasures as these, if greatly prolonged.

“I looked at the watch and the thermometer before I quitted my station. The one told me I had passed a whole hour, in the few minutes I had spent according to my imagination; and the other marked 29½° of Reaumur, or 98¼° of Fahrenheit. But I found the temperature warmer than that, whenever, with my hand, I dug into the bed of sand, as far down as the rock, and disengaged myriads of bubbles of heated air, which imparted to the skin a satiny softness not to be observed in the effects of ordinary warm baths.

“These baths are principally used from five o’clock in the morning until seven, and even much later; and again by some people in the evening. The time allowed for remaining in the water is from half an hour to an hour; but it is held to be imprudent to continue the bath to the latter period, as experience has shown that such sensations as I felt, and have endeavoured to describe, prove ultimately too overpowering to the constitution, if prolonged to excess.”[29]

Dr. Kerner, who preceded Dr. Granville, makes use of the following expressions, quoted by the latter author.

“The use of the Wildbad waters cannot be too much commended. They serve, indeed, to make the old young again; while younger persons, who have become prematurely old, owing to exhaustion, and those who[107] are exhausted by close application and incessant fatigue, rise out of these baths with new strength and youth.”

Although I called to mind these identical expressions, as applied by Dr. Fenner to the Serpent’s Bath at Schlangenbad, and remembered also my disappointment; yet I could not divest myself of the pleasing anticipations that Wildbad would realize the effects recorded by my friend Dr. Granville, and that I should retreat from this romantic valley at least ten years younger than when I entered it. I dispensed with the attendance of the bad-meister—locked the door—descended into the bath—and creeping to the identical spot where Dr. Granville experienced the “ecstatic state of a devotee, blended with the repose of an opium-eater,” I waited, not without some impatience, the advent of this fore-taste of Paradise. But no such good fortune awaited me! I eyed the gas bubbles that rose around me, not indeed “in millions,” nor even in dozens—but so sparingly that I could have easily numbered them, eager though they had been to “quiver through the lucid water” in their ascent to greet my friend and confrere a few years previously. With every wish to be pleased, and with the most minute attention to my own sensations, I must confess that I experienced no effects from the waters of Wildbad, other than I did from baths of similar temperature and composition, as those of Schlangenbad, Baden, and Pfeffers.[30] They have the same advantage as the Pfeffers, in maintaining the same temperature, however long we may remain in them—the stream running in and out of the baths. Whether this may not sometimes tempt the bad-meisters to save the trouble and time of emptying the baths after each bather, I do not profess to know. With respect to the bed of warm sand at the bottom, I think it is more pleasant to the feelings than to the imagination. It is impossible that it can be changed; and the idea of lying down in a bed which a leper may have just left, is not the most pleasant in the world. For myself, I should prefer the clean marble, or even the wood to this substratum of sand. It is but justice to state, that there is a rule for all persons to go through the quarantine of a plain bath before commencing the medicinal. Such a rule, however, was not imposed upon me—nor I believe, on the generality of casual bathers. I stayed in the bath half an hour, and felt exceedingly refreshed by it. I have no hesitation, therefore, in giving it as my opinion that the waters of Wildbad are inferior to none, in their medicinal agency,[108] as baths of a non-stimulant and simple kind. Their improper use is not nearly so hazardous as those of Wisbaden, Kissengen, or Carlsbad, whose saline ingredients act powerfully on the sentient extremities of the nerves of the skin, and too often excite dangerous commotions in the animal economy.

In the course of the day I fell in with my bath acquaintance, Count ——, the Russian General, and had a long conversation with him. He had been in the memorable campaign of 1812, and had, for some years, laboured under a paralytic affection of the lower extremities. He assured me that in four or five weeks of these baths and douches, he had regained a good deal of power in his limbs; but his general strength had decreased, and he was about to repair to Schwalbach, in hopes that the chalybeate springs there would invigorate his constitution. We had a polite invitation to a fête at the palace that evening, from the gallant General.[31]

In respect to the “bathing in company,” I confess I have a repugnance to it on many accounts, only one of which I shall state. The pleasure of conversation, in such places, is dearly purchased by the impossibility, (for the bather must go in a light dress,) of employing friction and shampooing on the naked surface—one of the greatest luxuries and salutary processes that can possibly be practised in warm-baths of any kind. This objection alone is entirely fatal to the “community of bathing,” laying aside the indelicacy of the thing.[32]


The douches are easily and simply performed by a kind of pump and hose, by which the warm water is directed against any part of the body, and with any degree of force. A new source was discovered last year, near the Furstenbad, which will greatly extend the means of bathing singly. Already the refuse waters from the baths are sufficient to turn a mill as they run out from the baths to the Enz—the river never freezing in the town.

In chemical and physical properties, the waters of Wildbad closely resemble those of Pfeffers and Schlangenbad. They are clear and odourless; but have a mawkish taste. In a pint, Professor Sigwart found 3½ grains of saline matters, of which nearly 2 grains were common salt—half a grain of carbonate of soda—and nearly the same of sulphate of soda. The other ingredients are chips in porridge, if we except a mere trace of iron. When boiled, it disengages a very trifling quantity of carbonic acid gas. The air which bubbles up from the waters contains (according to Gaeger and Gaertner) five parts of carbonic acid—7 of oxygen—and 88 of azote. Since that analysis, it has been found that there is little or no oxygen in the air. The temperature varies in the different sources from 88° to 99° of Fahrenheit. It is quite independent of summer, winter, storms, or calms.

When waters, so simple as scarcely to differ from the purest spring used for drink, produce medicinal effects, the cause is attributed to some mysterious power, incognizable by the senses and inimitable by human art.

Arcana Dei miraculis plena.

Professor Heim takes up the same hypothesis as others before him, and Dr. Granville among the rest, that the caloric of mineral waters is of a specific kind, analogous to the vital heat of the body. “It is a heat incorporated with the water by a chemico-vital process.” “And as no external warmth can supply the body with vital heat, so no artificially created temperature can be a real substitute for the natural heat of thermal springs.”

The temperature, then, of the Wildbad waters being that of the human blood, immersion in them produces but a slight sensation of heat, the surface of our bodies being below that of our blood in temperature. The sensation is that of comfort—a word not to be more nearly translated into French than by the term “bien-être.” Here Professor Heim quotes, of course, Dr. Granville’s description of the “ecstatic” feelings which he experienced in these waters. He adds:—“But another circumstance which, more than all the rest, conduces to this favourable impression, is the dynamic combination (le lien dynamique) of the solid and gaseous elements—the spirit of the water—received from the hand of Nature, in the bowels of the earth. It is this general impression on the whole human organism, which effects the cure of divers sufferings and maladies, by awakening and[110] reviving the vital powers enfeebled or prostrated—and thus restoring activity to the circulation and to the nervous system, through which a reaction and energy is communicated to all the functions of the body.”

These effects, Prof. Heim acknowledges, cannot be accounted for by the chemical composition of the water. The cosmetic qualities of Wildbad and Schlangenbad, he thinks, may be partly owing to the soda contained in them, which forms a kind of oily soap on the surface, and gives it that feeling of lubricity and softness, so much vaunted: but he believes it to be principally owing to the peculiar power of the bath to invigorate the functions of the skin as well as of the internal organs—a power greater, he maintains, in the waters of Wildbad than of Schlangenbad.

Although these waters generally produce an exciting or exhilarating effect, yet in a certain number of instances, they cause a sense of lassitude and heaviness in the extremities, with an inclination to sleep, especially after leaving the bath. These effects are commonly attributable to improper use of the baths, or staying too long in them, in consequence of the pleasant feelings derived from them. Dr. H. recommends all persons to stay but 10 or 15 minutes in the bath at first, gradually increasing the time to half or three-quarters of an hour. In some, the head is affected with vertigo—in others, there is oppression on the chest—all which soon go off, after five or six baths.

“It is to be remembered that a majority of the bathers experience the ‘reaction fever’ (fièvre de réaction) in the course of the treatment. The period of its occurrence is uncertain, and often it is so slight as to pass almost unobserved by the patient. This, however, is the critical moment precursory of the cure. This state of irritation seldom lasts more than a few days, and generally disappears without any internal medicine. This reaction is precisely that which ought to inspire the greatest hopes in the patient, as it announces a change in his constitution, and a victory over his malady. The disagreeable sensations, however, which he feels, often puts him out of humour with the baths, especially if old pains and discomforts, that had ceased, now re-appear, which they often do. He becomes impatient and morose, when he is re-visited by rheumatic pains, neuralgia, gout, hæmorrhoids, &c. which he had thought to be extinct. Such re-action, however, is indispensable towards the victory of nature and the baths over the disease for which they were employed. The waters of Wildbad, indeed, are remarkable for this reproduction of old disorders, at the moment they are eradicating the more recent ones.”

These most important properties of the waters of Wildbad are passed entirely unnoticed by Dr. Granville, and from my own knowledge, several English have left Wildbad, at the very time they were on the point of experiencing the greatest benefits. This reaction or bath-fever, is common, as I have shewn, to most of the medicinal waters, as was seen under the head of Wisbaden, Kissengen, &c. At the former place I saw several[111] well-marked instances of it, and satisfied myself of its reality. I have not found any description of it in the accounts of the German Spas published in England. It is a subject of the greatest importance to the invalid.

The following case is related by Dr. Kaiser, formerly director of these baths. I have greatly abridged it.

“An officer, aged 26 years, fell down a flight of stone stairs, and pitched on the right haunch, or hip-bone. He was stunned to insensibility, from which he slowly recovered. When examined, the right leg and thigh were cold as ice, but no fracture or dislocation could be discovered. He was confined several weeks to his bed; and then could only hobble about on crutches with great pain. At length he was able to dispense with the crutches, but every motion of the limb caused great agony. He tried the waters and baths of Wisbaden; but experienced no benefit. Thirteen months after the accident, and when the excruciating pains had rather gained than lost force, he came to Wildbad. The first bath produced no sensible effect. The second called forth some pains in the loins, where he had felt no inconvenience previously. These augmented after the third bath till the seventh, when they became so violent, that he could not stand, and was confined to his bed. At this time he suddenly experienced a most painful sense of coldness in the right foot, which was succeeded by heat, reaction, and ultimately a profuse perspiration over the whole limb, and even in the loins. From that time he was able to move the leg without pain, and quickly regained the power of walking without a stick.”

The Wildbad baths are celebrated for the removal of those various pains and aches which not seldom attend old gunshot and other wounds. A case is related of an officer who had been wounded in the arm by a musket-ball in the late war, and who was harassed by pains in the site of the wound for many years afterwards. The use of the Wildbad baths re-opened the wound, from whence a piece of flannel was discharged, and the pains ceased.

These waters are considered to be specific in certain female complaints which are difficult of removal, and subversive of health, in too many instances.

“La proprieté de rajeunir, que les dames vantent tant dans le bain de Wildbad, il faut moins la chercher dans sa vertu cosmetique, que dans la circonstance que je viens de signaler.”

It is to be remarked that it is not in all persons that the re-action above alluded to takes place. In many there is a gradual amelioration of health, without any perturbation of the constitution, and only marked by an encreased action in the functions of the skin and kidneys—sometimes of the bowels.

“On the other hand, says Professor Heim, where the malady is obstinate, there is a greater struggle in the constitution, attended with considerable[112] fever, disorder of the secretions, irritation of the nervous system, full pulse, restless nights, distressing dreams, loss of appetite, dry hot skin, occasional hæmorrhoidal discharges, purging, gouty attacks, cutaneous eruptions, &c. which precede a restoration of health.”

These are trials which require the fortitude of the patient, and the vigilance of the physician. It is not to be wondered at that, when they occur in the stranger, and especially in the English invalid, who has little confidence in the foreign practitioner, and finds himself ill in a secluded valley like that of Wildbad, great alarm should be produced, and much prejudice raised against the baths and waters of the place. The worst of it is, that a similar train of disorders may arise from an injudicious use of the baths, and where no salutary crisis is the result.

Notre mal s’empoisonne
Du secours, qu’on lui donne!

These are circumstances which ought to be pointed out to our countrymen and women, who are too often led to distant mineral waters and baths by flowery descriptions and miraculous cures, without any warning as to the consequences that may ensue—whether salutary or dangerous. The concealment of this spa or bath fever, is any thing but beneficial either to the waters or the water-drinkers. It deceives the one, and injures the reputation of the other. The local physicians of these mineral springs never omit to point out the consequences of bathing in, and drinking the waters, as I have already shewn by several quotations; and it is highly desirable that all spa-goers should be aware of them.[33]

Cutaneous eruptions are frequent consequences of the Wildbad waters, and are considered salutary. The kidneys, next to the skin, shew the greatest sensibility to the action of these waters. In some people (especially where the waters are drunk as well as bathed in,) a most copious and clear secretion is produced; but this is seldom a critical or salutary discharge. It is when the secretion from the kidneys is deep-coloured, sedimentous, and exhaling a peculiar odour, especially in gouty subjects, that benefit may be confidently anticipated. The bowels are seldom acted on by these waters—more frequently, indeed, constipation is the result, requiring aperient medicine both before and during the course. The hæmorrhoidal and monthly periods are promoted by the waters, thus relieving plethoric fulness of the abdominal organs.

“In dispositions to rheumatism, cutaneous complaints, erysipelas, catarrhal affections, neuralgia, chlorosis (green sickness,) tubercles, scrofula,[113] difficult and premature accouchments, the waters of Wildbad are strongly recommended.”

Professor Heim warns the patient not to be discouraged, even if he leaves the waters unrelieved, or worse than when he commenced the course. The cure will often follow, when the individual has regained his home, weeks or months after leaving Wildbad.

It is only since 1836, that a source of waters for drinking has been discovered and established at Wildbad. The mineral ingredients do not materially differ from those of the baths. They are now very generally used in conjunction with the latter, and are found to be very useful auxiliaries. They sit lightly on the stomach, and prove rather aperient than otherwise. They increase the appetite, and promote materially the action of the skin, kidneys, and glandular organs generally.

Disorders for which the Waters of Wildbad are chiefly used.

Dr. Fricker has laid open to Professor Heim the records of 25 years’ observation and experience of these waters; from which, and also from his own practice, the latter physician has, in ten chapters, classified the maladies for which the baths and waters have been employed, detailing numerous cases, and superadding commentaries of his own. It will be necessary to skim lightly over the heads of these chapters, in order to shew the properties of the Wildbad spa in its direct application to practice.

I. Rheumatism, Gout, and their Consequences.—“Our baths have always maintained great reputation for the cure of these two classes of tormenting maladies, arising from different causes, but presenting many traits of character in common.” The author cautions the bather against using the baths, where there is any acute or even subacute inflammation in the joints, muscles, or internal organs. It is in the chronic and painful forms of gout and rheumatism, together with their numerous consequences, that the Wildbad waters will be found beneficial—indeed, according to the authors abovementioned, almost infallibly curative. Messrs. Fricker and Heim trace many cases of tic, vertigo, deafness, affections of the sight, asthmatic coughs, intermissions of pulse, tracheal and bronchial affections, &c. to suppressed gout and rheumatism, as they are often removed by the baths and waters. Fifteen cases in illustration are detailed with great minuteness by Dr. Heim, to which the Wildbad bather may refer on the spot.

II. Affections of the Spinal Marrow, and its Consequences, Paralysis.—Diseases of the spinal marrow are seldom recognized in their early stages,[114] not indeed till symptoms of paralysis begin to shew themselves in the limbs. This class of complaints is daily augmenting in number, as the baths of Wildbad can testify. These waters have, says M. Heim, often dissipated the symptoms which usually precede attacks of paralysis, and therefore, if used early, would be more useful than when taken after the paralysis is actually developed. But even here, it is averred that the progress of the malady is frequently arrested, and an amelioration procured.

When the paralysis of the lower extremities is complete—when the individual is no longer able to walk or stand, without assistance, the waters of Wildbad have often produced wonderful effects in restoring power—indeed it is curious that, according to the physicians aforesaid, these baths are frequently more successful in these cases than in those which are not so far advanced towards a complete paralysis. An immense number of cases are detailed by Dr. Heim under this head; and I am tempted to extract one, which is the case of a countryman of our own.

“A young English gentleman, after bathing in a river, the water of which was very cold, became completely paralytic of the lower extremities. He came to Wildbad, and, without consulting any physician, commenced the warmest of the baths. At the end of a fortnight he found himself so considerably improved, that he was able to lay aside his crutches, and walk by the aid of a cane. At this time the coronation of our youthful queen was announced, and the patient determined to assist at the ceremony. He bore the journey well—and returned to Wildbad after a few weeks, without any relapse. He took a second course of the baths, and left Wildbad ultimately in a very improved condition.”

Those paralyses which affect one side only, are almost universally the result of an apoplectic attack. “When these attacks have been occasioned by suppressed hæmorrhoidal discharges—eruptions of the skin suddenly extinguished—engorgements or obstructions of the organs of the abdomen—female obstructions at a certain period of life—metastases of gout or rheumatism—in such cases of hemiplegia, the Wildbad waters have proved serviceable, and it is delightful to see so many of these paralytics leave Wildbad every season, with firm steps, although confined for years previously to the couch, or crutches.”

Professor Heim wisely cautions those who have been of a plethoric constitution, from too free an use of the baths, till they have ascertained how they agree with their constitutions. Before any amelioration takes place, the patient generally experiences some pricking pains and tinglings in the paralyzed parts, followed by a sense of heat, perspiration, and increase of feeling. To these symptoms succeed a gradual restoration of muscular power, accompanied by a sense of electrical sparks passing along the nerves. Numerous cases of paralysis of one side are detailed by Dr. Heim.


III. and IV. These chapters are dedicated to paralysis occasioned by poisons—and also to cases of local paralyses of particular nerves—as those of the face. I must pass them over. The waters appear to have been useful in many of these instances.

The 5th Chapter relates to affections of the joints—to lumbago—sciatica—white swellings of the knee—contractions, &c., in which the baths of Wildbad are lauded. One caution, however, is invariably enjoined—not to use the waters while there is any inflammation actually existing.

The Sixth Chapter is on diseases of the bones, with numerous cases, which I shall pass over.

The Seventh Chapter treats of diseases of the skin, cured or relieved by the Wildbad baths and waters. Herpes—ringworm—prurigo—pityriasis—acne—inveterate itch—fetid perspirations, &c. &c. are said to be those which receive most advantage from these waters. Indeed I think it probable that the eulogiums are not much exaggerated as to this class of complaints.

Chap. VIII. relates to scrofula and glandular affections generally. In such complaints it is of the greatest consequence to conjoin the internal with the external use of the waters of Wildbad. These waters are much employed by people with goitre, and Drs. Fricker and Heim consider them very beneficial in enlargements of the liver, spleen, and even of the mesenteric glands.

Chap. IX. Wildbad appears to have attained some considerable reputation in female complaints. Next indeed in number to the class of lame and paralytic patients, which I saw around the baths and waters of this place, were the chlorotic females, whose countenances exhibited the “green and yellow melancholy” of Shakespeare’s “love-sick” maiden—

——“She never told her love,
But let concealment, like a worm i’th’bud,
Feed on her damask cheek.”

There are more ailments than love-sickness, however, which cause the youthful maid to “pine in thought,” and exchange all her lillies for the pallid rose—the sparkling expression for the lack-lustre eye—and the elasticity of youth for the languor of premature old age. For the irregularities and obstructions that generally lead to this chlorotic state, the baths and waters of Wildbad are strongly recommended. Dr. Heim avers that, of late years, he has only failed in one instance to bring these females to a state of regularity and health—where no organic disease existed.[116] Although this is rather a startling assertion, yet the concourse of female invalids to this place, bearing such unequivocal marks of a particular class of ailments, offers a fair presumption that many receive benefit there, else the numbers would diminish instead of increasing from year to year. I can also easily believe that a course of these baths, with the daily ingurgitation of large potions of a simple diluent water, may remove many obstructions, and, at all events, bring the constitution into that condition in which some good chalybeate, as Schwalbach, Spa, or Brockenau, might exert a powerful influence on the restoration of health.

The new spring for drinking is at a temperature of 92°, and contains four grains of saline substances in the pint, of which two are muriate of soda or common salt. It is used like other thermal waters, and is slightly aperient, but chiefly alterative.

The public walks to the southward of the town, extend nearly a mile along the noisy Enz, and are very pleasant. A contemplative philosopher might there indulge his sublime speculations—the poet his “wayward fancies”—and the devotee his celestial meditations, with little interruption.

The counter-indications, or disorders not benefited, but aggravated by the waters of Wildbad, are not materially different from those mentioned under the head of other thermal springs—as plethora, or fulness—tendency to apoplexy, to hæmorrhage of any kind, or to engorgements or inflammations of any of the internal organs. Neither are they proper in cases of considerable debility. They are not to be used in inveterate catarrhal affections of the kidneys or bladder, attended with wasting of strength, and probably with organic disease—in chronic diarrhœa—diabetes—internal suppurations—confirmed phthisis—indurations of spleen or liver in an advanced stage—dropsies—scirrhus and cancer—biliary and urinary calculi—organic diseases of the heart—varicose veins—hypochondriasis and hysteria, with debility—original or idiopathic epilepsy, chorea, catalepsy and other convulsive affections of this nature—sterility dependent on organic disease of the reproductive viscera—alienation of mind, &c. On no account should women in a state of pregnancy use the baths or waters of Wildbad.

I have now presented the reader with all the information which I could collect on the spot, from the conversations and writings of those best acquainted with the nature and properties of the waters. Most of the English spa-goers will be disappointed in the magic effects of the baths, as somewhat highly-coloured by Dr. Granville—and will consider the locality as too sombre; while the appearance of the bathers and drinkers—being veritable invalids—many of them on crutches, and many apparently on their way to the grave—will prove anything but cheering to the British hypochondriac, and the sensitive nervous female. A considerable number of English leave Wildbad in a day or two after arriving there—and[117] of the few who take the waters, the majority become alarmed at the spa-fever or irritation, abandoning the waters at the very time they are likely to prove serviceable.

To those, however, who prefer quietude to fashionable frivolity—and a secluded glen to a dashing, gambling Kursaal, the baths and waters may prove serviceable in many of the complaints above enumerated. I would advise all who sojourn at Baden-Baden, or who pass near Wildbad, to visit this place, were it only for curiosity, and the singular scenery of its neighbourhood. The journey from Baden-Baden is an easy one of a single day—but that day should be a fine one, else all the pleasures of the excursion will be lost. In fine, I can conscientiously aver that, in respect to Wildbad, I have neither exaggerated its merits—

“Nor set down aught in malice.”


Winding through the sombre solitudes of the Black Forest, we enter the Vallée d’Enfer, through the narrow and frowning pass, where Moreau stemmed the torrent of the Austrian legions, as did Leonidas the myriads of Xerxes in the Straits of Thermopylæ. Little did that able but unfortunate general dream, during his memorable retreat through the Black Forest, that, a few years afterwards, he would meet his death from the mouth of a French cannon, while combatting in the ranks of the Allies.[34]

What a curse would foreknowledge prove to man, although so ardently desired by curious and eager mortals! A single glance through the telescope of futurity would render us miserable for life! If good was in store, we would relinquish all efforts to obtain it, as being certain. Every day would seem an age till the happiness arrived—and when it came, all relish for it would be gone. On the other hand, if the glass showed misfortune, sickness, and sorrow in the distance—the prospect would soon drive the wretch insane!

Oh blindness to the future wisely given!

The Disposer of events alone can be the safe depository of prescience.


I have always experienced some degree of disappointment at the sight of waterfalls. Where the volume of water is great, the fall is, comparatively[118] trifling—and where the descent is from a great height, then the stream is insignificant. If the Niagara could be translated to the Staubach, and the mighty St. Lawrence thundered from a height of eight hundred feet into the valley of Lauterbrunnen, the scene would be awfully grand, and sufficient to startle the Jaungfrau on her icy throne.

The Rhine, at Schaffhause, falls about seventy or eighty feet, and is by no means impressive, even when viewed from the camera obscura directly opposite the cataract. We drove from the town on a beautiful moonlight night, and descending the stairs on the left bank of the river, we came close to the water’s edge, and also to that of the fall itself. Here is the spot to see and hear the deluge of water, all sparkling with foam, in the mild light of the moon, come thundering from aloft, and threatening every instant to overwhelm the spectator in the boiling flood. If terror be a source of the sublime, there certainly is some degree of this emotion, mixed with the contemplation of a vast mass of water rolling down from a great height, apparently in a direct course towards us. The roar of the cataract, too, is unlike that of any other sound, and adds considerably to the effect produced on the sense of sight.

I do not know how the association of ideas first commenced, but I never see a great waterfall, or a rapid river, without their suggesting themselves as emblems of time or eternity. The torrent rolling along in the same course through countless ages—

“In omne volubilis ævum”—

without change or rest, is calculated to excite reflections on the great stream of time itself—and that inconceivable abyss—eternity—to which it leads. But all things move in circles. The water that runs in the river, must first fall from the clouds—and the rains that descend from the air, must first rise from the earth. And so, perhaps, time and eternity may be but parts of one vast, immeasurable, and incomprehensible cycle, without beginning, middle, or end!

It is probable that, ere many centuries roll away, the falls of the Rhine will become merely a rapid. The stream has worn down four or five channels in the rocky barrier, leaving three or four fragments, resembling the broken arches or piers of a natural bridge, standing up many feet above the surface of the water where it begins to curl over the precipice. The centre fragment is much higher than its brethren, and it is surmounted by a wooden shield, (how they managed to place it there is not easily imagined,) with the arms and motto of Schaffhause.

“Deus spes
Nostra es.”

The torrent, thus split into four or five divisions, has given rise to some[119] extravagant comparisons, one of which is their similitude to five foaming white steeds, that have broke away from their keepers.

Hark! ’tis the voice of the falling flood!
And see where the torrents come—
Thundering down through rock and wood,
Till the roar makes Echo dumb!
Like giant steeds from a distant waste,
That have madly broke away,
Leaping the crags in their headlong haste,
And trampling the waves to spray.
Five abreast! as their own foam white—
Their wild manes streaming far—
A worthy gift from a water-sprite
To his Ocean-monarch’s car![35]

The next best place to that which I have mentioned, for viewing the falls, is in a boat, brought as close as prudence will permit to the boiling eddies. In a camera obscura opposite the falls, is a reflected picture of the cataract—but I cannot imagine why it should be preferable to the real object before our eyes.

There is a “German Switzerland” on the banks of the Elbe—and so is there a “Swiss Germany” on the banks of the Rhine. From Schaffhause to Constance, Zurich, Berne, and even Geneva, the country is pretty and well cultivated; but it is not Switzerland till we get past the above points, and penetrate among the mountains. For the same reason that we should ascend the Rhine from Holland, we ought to enter Switzerland from the North, so that the grandeur and majesty of the scenery may be always on the increase till we ascend the Splugen, the St. Gothard, the Simplon, the St. Bernard, or the Mount Cenis.

Pursuing our route to the next Spa on the list of this tour, we come to Zurich.

Zurich, like Geneva, is situated between a placid lake and a crystal river. Lake Leman, having filtered its waters, discharges them through the “blue and arrowy Rhone,” into the tideless Mediterranean, not to pass on to the vast Atlantic, but again to rise in exhalations to the clouds, and fall—Heaven knows where. The lake of Zurich has a different taste. It sends its purified waters through the Limmatt, to mingle with the Rhine, (also freed from impurities in the lake of Constance,) and thence to find its way to the great Northern Ocean—probably to visit the Thames, the Ohio, or even the Ganges, before it makes another aerial voyage to the skies.


The scenery about Zurich is tame and insipid, compared with that about Geneva, where the Jura and the high Alps in the distance, contrast with the lovely Pais de Vaud in the vicinity of the lake.


This lake, which is only a good day’s journey from Zurich, presents, in my opinion, the finest lake-scenery in Switzerland. The mountains, on the northern shore, rise almost perpendicularly to the height of five or six thousand feet, sprinkled with ledges of rock, on which are perched the shepherd’s chalet, and giving footing and scanty nutriment to the pine and alpine shrubs and flowers. The mountains on the southern side are equally high, but not so perpendicular in their descent to the lake; but the whole circle of scenery is most magnificent. The transit of the lake is east and west, a distance of some twelve or thirteen miles, and the passage is usually favoured by a kind of trade wind, which blows from the westward during one part of the day, and from the eastward during the other. The little village of Wesen, is the point of embarkation from the Zurich side, and is situated most romantically under stupendous mountains. We started at two o’clock, with carriage, horses, and live lumber, in the passage-boat, which did not convey much idea of safety, being low, flat, and rigged with a tall frail mast and square sail. The dangers of the Wallenstadt navigation are, no doubt exaggerated; but it is evident that, along the whole of the northern board of the lake there is but one small spot where a boat could put in for safety in a storm. Along this shore we sailed with a fine breeze, and enjoyed the prospect of one of the finest scenes in Switzerland. The mountains on the northern board are so high and precipitous, that I think it is physically impossible for a gale of wind to blow direct on the shore, when a boat comes close to the rocks. It could only be by the impulse of the waves that a boat might be forced amongst the breakers. Accidents, however, very seldom happen. The afternoon was clear sunshine—the boatmen abandoned the oars, being wafted along by a fine breeze—the song was commenced—and the Ranz de Vache was returned from the ledges of rock, and patches of vegetation among the cliffs, by many a blithsome shepherd, tending his flocks, or collecting his little autumnal harvest—the long and slender cataracts poured in sheets of gauze along many a craggy precipice—and the whole scene was kept as a moving panorama by the steady progression of the boat.

In the enjoyment of Swiss or Alpine scenery, everything depends on the state of the atmosphere, and on that of our health and spirits at the time. Hence it is that one person is delighted with a prospect, which another passes without pleasure or surprize at all. Of this I am certain, that a good view of this lake’s scenery can never be erased from the memory.


We landed at the little town of Wallenstadt, situated near the lake, in a marshy and malarious locality, often inundated by the floods, and very insalubrious. No traveller should sleep here, as the distance to Sargans is only eight or nine miles.

We slept at this rook’s nest, perched on an eminence above malarious and alluvial marshes, and at the foot of a high and craggy mount, from the summit of which there is a superb prospect of the Rhine on its way to Constance, and of a sea of Alps, of all altitudes—many of them shining with snow and glaciers. Those who do not like to mount the Scholberg, may still enjoy a magnificent panorama from the ruins of an old chateau just above Sargans, and which is of very easy access. The town itself presents better air than fare—the two inns being little better than cabarets, but health and appetite compensate well for coarse viands and hard beds.


Among the strange places into which man has penetrated in search of treasure or health, there is probably not one on this earth, or under it, more wonderful than the Baths of Pfeffers, situated in the country of the Grisons, a few miles distant from the Splugen road, as it leads from Wallenstadt to Coire. They are little known to, and still less frequented by the English; for we could not learn that any of our countrymen had visited them during the summer of 1834.

Having procured five small and steady horses accustomed to the locality, a party of three ladies and two gentlemen[36] started from the little town of Ragatz on a beautiful morning in August, and commenced a steep and zig-zag ascent up the mountain, through a forest of majestic pines and other trees. In a quarter of an hour, we heard the roar of a torrent, but could see nothing of itself or even its bed. The path, however, soon approached the verge of a dark and tremendous ravine, the sides of which were composed of perpendicular rocks several hundred feet high, and at the bottom of which the Tamina, a rapid mountain torrent, foamed along in its course to the valley of Sargans, there to fall into the upper Rhine. The stream itself, however, was far beyond our view, and was only known by its hollow and distant murmurs. The ascent, for the first three miles, is extremely fatiguing, so that the horses were obliged to take breath every ten minutes. The narrow path, (for it is only a kind of mule-track,) often winded along the very brink of the precipice, on our left, yet the eye could not penetrate to the bottom of the abyss. After more than an hour of toilsome climbing, we emerged from the wood, and found ourselves in one of the most picturesque and romantic spots that can well be imagined. The road now meanders horizontally through a high, but cultivated region,[122] towards, the village of Valentz, through fields, gardens, vineyards, and meadows, studded with chaumiers and chalets, perched fantastically on projecting ledges of rock, or sheltered from the winds by tall and verdant pines. The prospect from Valentz, or rather from above the village, is one of the most beautiful and splendid I have anywhere seen in Switzerland. We are there at a sufficient distance from the horrid ravine, to contemplate it without terror, and listen to the roaring torrent, thundering unseen, along its rugged and precipitous bed. Beyond the ravine we see the monastery and village of Pfeffers, perched on a high and apparently inaccessible promontory, over which rise alpine mountains, their sides covered with woods, their summits with snow, and their gorges glittering with glaciers. But it is towards the East that the prospect is most magnificent and varied. The eye ranges, with equal pleasure and astonishment, over the valley of Sargans, through which rolls the infant Rhine, and beyond which the majestic ranges of the Rhetian Alps, ten thousand feet high, rise one over the other, till their summits mingle with the clouds. Among these ranges the Scesa-plana, the Angstenberg, the Flesch, (like a gigantic pyramid,) and in the distance the Alps that tower round Feldkirck are the most prominent features. During our journey to the baths, the morning sun played on the snowy summits of the distant mountains, and marked their forms on the blue expanse behind them, in the most distinct outlines. But, on our return, in the afternoon, when the fleecy clouds had assembled, in fantastic groups, along the lofty barrier, the reflexions and refractions of the solar beams threw a splendid crown of glory round the icy heads of the Rhetian Alps—changing that “cold sublimity” with which the morning atmosphere had invested them, into a glow of illumination which no pen or pencil could portray. To enjoy the widest possible range of this matchless prospect, the tourist must climb the peaks that overhang the village, when his eye may wander over the whole of the Grison Alps and valleys, even to the lake of Constance.

From Valentz we turned abruptly down towards the ravine, at the very bottom of which are the Baths of Pfeffers. The descent is by a series of acute and precipitous tourniquets, requiring great caution, as the horses themselves could hardly keep on their legs, even when eased of their riders. At length we found ourselves in the area of a vast edifice, resembling an overgrown factory, with a thousand windows, and six or seven stories high. It is built on a ledge of rock that lies on the left bank of the Tamina torrent, which chafes along its foundation. The precipice on the opposite side of the Tamina, and distant about fifty paces from the mansion or rather hospital, rises five or six hundred feet, as perpendicular as a wall, keeping the edifice in perpetual shade, except for a few hours in the middle of the day. The left bank of the ravine, on which the hospital stands, is less precipitous, as it admits of a zig-zag path to and from the Baths. The locale, altogether, of such an establishment, at the very[123] bottom of a frightful ravine, and for ever chafed by a roaring torrent, is the most singularly wild and picturesque I had ever beheld; but the wonders of Pfeffers are not yet even glanced at.[37]

From the western extremity of this vast asylum of invalids, a narrow wooden bridge spans the Tamina, and by it we gain footing on a small platform of a rock on the opposite side. Here a remarkable phenomenon presents itself. The deep ravine, which had hitherto preserved a width of some 150 feet, contracts, all at once, into a narrow cleft or crevasse, of less than 20 feet, whose marble sides shoot up from the bed of the torrent, to a height of four or five hundred feet, not merely perpendicular, but actually inclining towards each other, so that, at their summits, they almost touch, thus leaving a narrow fissure through which a faint glimmering of light descends, and just serves to render objects visible within this gloomy cavern. Out of this recess the Tamina darts in a sheet of foam, and with a deafening noise reverberated from the rocks within and without the crevasse. On approaching the entrance, the eye penetrates along a majestic vista of marble walls in close approximation, and terminating in obscurity, with a narrow waving line of sky above, and a roaring torrent below! Along the southern wall of this sombre gorge, a fragile scaffold, of only two planks in breadth, is seen to run, suspended—as it were—in air, fifty feet above the torrent, and three or four hundred feet beneath the crevice that admits air and light from Heaven into the profound abyss. This frail and frightful foot-path is continued (will it be believed?) nearly half a mile into the marble womb of the mountain! Its construction must have been a work of great difficulty and peril; for its transit cannot be made even by the most curious and adventurous travellers, without fear and trembling, amounting often to a sense of shuddering and horror. Along these two planks we crept or crawled, with faltering steps and palpitating hearts. It has been my fortune to visit most of the wonderful localities of this globe, but an equal to this I never beheld.

“Imagination, (says an intelligent traveller,) the most vivid, could not portray the portals of Tartarus under forms more hideous than those which Nature has displayed in this place. We enter this gorge on a bridge of planks (pont de planches) sustained by wedges driven into the rocks. It takes a quarter of an hour or more to traverse this bridge, and it requires the utmost precaution. It is suspended over the Tamina, which is heard rolling furiously at a great depth beneath. The walls of[124] this cavern, twisted, torn, and split (les parois laterales contournées, fendues, et dechirées) in various ways, rise perpendicular, and even incline towards each other, in the form of a dome; whilst the faint light that enters from the portal at the end, and the crevice above, diminishes as we proceed;—the cold and humidity augmenting the horror produced by the scene. The fragments of rock sometimes overhang this gangway in such a manner, that the passenger cannot walk upright:—at others, the marble wall recedes so much, that he is unable to lean against it for support. The scaffold is narrow, often slippery; and sometimes there is but a single plank, separating us from the black abyss of the Tamina.[38] He who has cool courage, a steady eye, and a firm step, ought to attempt this formidable excursion (épouvantable excursion) in clear and dry weather, lest he should find the planks wet and slippery. He should start in the middle of the day, with a slow and measured step, and without a stick. The safest plan is to have two guides supporting a pole, on the inside of which the stranger is to walk.”

We neglected this precaution, and four out of the five pushed on, even without a guide at all. At forty or fifty paces from the entrance the gloom increases, while the roar of the torrent beneath, reverberated from the sides of the cavern, augments the sense of danger and the horror of the scene. The meridian sun penetrated sufficiently through the narrow line of fissure at the summit of the dome, to throw a variety of lights and of shadows over the vast masses of variegated marble composing the walls of this stupendous cavern, compared with which, those of Salsette, Elephanta, and even Staffa, shrink into insignificance. A wooden pipe, which conveys the hot waters from their source to the baths, runs along in the angle between the scaffold and the rocks, and proves very serviceable, both as a support for one hand while pacing the plank, and as a seat, when the passenger wishes to rest, and contemplate the wonders of the cavern. At about one-third of the distance inward, I would advise the tourist to halt, and survey the singular locality in which he is placed. The inequality of breadth in the long chink that divides the dome above, admits the light in very different proportions, and presents objects in a variety of aspects. The first impression which occupies the mind is caused by the cavern itself, with reflection on the portentous convulsion of Nature which split the marble rock in twain, and opened a gigantic aqueduct for the mountain torrent.[39] After a few minutes’ rumination on the[125] action of subterranean fire, our attention is attracted to the slow but powerful operation of water on the solid parietes of this infernal grotto. We plainly perceive that the boisterous torrent has, in the course of time, and especially when swelled by rains, caused wonderful changes both in its bed and its banks. I would direct the attention of the traveller to a remarkable excavation formed by the waters on the opposite side of the chasm, and in a part more sombre than usual, in consequence of a bridge that spans the crevice above, and leads to the Convent of Pfeffers. This natural grotto is hollowed out of the marble rock to the depth of 30 feet, being nearly 40 feet in width, by 26 feet in height. It is difficult not to attribute it to art; and, as the whole cavern constantly reminds us of the Tartarean Regions, this beautifully vaulted grotto seems to be fitted for the throne of Pluto and Proserpine—or, perhaps, for the tribunal of Rhadamanthus and his brothers of the Bench, while passing sentence on the ghosts that glide down this Acheron or Cocytus—for had the Tamina been known to the ancient poets, it would assuredly have been ranked as one of the rivers of Hell.

One of the most startling phenomena, however, results from a perspective view into the cavern, when about midway, or rather less, from its portal. The rocky vista ends in obscurity; but gleams and columns of light burst down, in many places, from the meridian sun, through this “palpable obscure,” so as to produce a wonderful variety of light and shade, as well as of bas-relief, along the fractured walls. While sitting on the rude wooden conduit before alluded to, and meditating on the infernal region upon which I had entered, I was surprised to behold, at a great distance, the figures of human beings, or thin shadows (for I could not tell which), advancing slowly towards me—suspended between Heaven and earth—or, at least, between the vault of the cavern and the torrent of the Tamina, without any apparent pathway to sustain their steps, but seemingly treading in air, like disembodied spirits! While my attention was rivetted on these figures, they suddenly disappeared; and the first impression on my mind was, that they had fallen and perished in the horrible abyss beneath. The painful sensation was soon relieved by the reappearance of the personages in more distinct shapes, and evidently composed of flesh and blood. Again they vanished from my sight; and, to my no small astonishment, I beheld their ghosts or their shadows advancing along the opposite side of the cavern! These, and many other optical illusions, were caused, of course, by the peculiar nature of the locality, and the unequal manner in which the light penetrated from above into this sombre chasm.


Surprise was frequently turned into a sense of danger, when the parties, advancing and retreating, met on this narrow scaffold. The “laws of the road” being different on the Continent from those in Old England, my plan was to screw myself up into the smallest compass, close to the rock, and thus allow passengers to steal by without opposition. We found that comparatively few penetrated to the extremity of the cavern and the source of the Thermæ—the majority being frightened, or finding themselves incapable of bearing the sight of the rapid torrent under their feet, without any solid security against precipitation into the infernal gulf. To the honour of the English ladies, I must say that they explored the source of the waters with the most undaunted courage, and without entertaining a thought of returning from a half-finished tour to the regions below.[40]

Advancing still farther into the cavern, another phenomenon presented itself, for which we were unable to account at first. Every now and then we observed a gush of vapour or smoke (we could not tell which) issue from the further extremity of the rock on the left, spreading itself over the walls of the cavern, and ascending towards the crevice in the dome. It looked like an explosion of steam; but the roar of the torrent would have prevented us from hearing any noise, if such had occurred. We soon found, however, that it was occasioned by the rush of vapour from the cavern in which the thermal source is situated, every time the door was opened for the ingress or egress of visitors to and from this natural vapour-bath. At such moments the whole scene is so truly Tartarean, that had Virgil and Dante been acquainted with it, they need not have strained their imaginations in portraying the ideal abodes of fallen angels, infernal gods, and departed spirits, but painted a Hades from Nature, with all the advantage of truth and reality in its favour.

Our ingress occupied nearly half an hour, when we found ourselves at the extremity of the parapet, on a jutting ledge of rock, and where the cavern assumed an unusually sombre complexion, in consequence of the cliffs actually uniting, or nearly so, at the summit of the dome. Here, too, the Tamina struggled, roared, and foamed through the narrow, dark, and rugged gorge with tremendous impetuosity and deafening noise, the sounds being echoed and reverberated a thousand times by the fractured angles and projections of the cavern. We were now at the source of the Thermæ. Ascending some steps cut out of the rock, we came to a door, which opened, and instantly enveloped us in tepid steam. We entered a grotto in the solid marble, but of what dimensions we could form no estimate, since it was dark as midnight, and full of dense and fervid vapour.[127] We were quickly in an universal perspiration. The guides hurried us forward into another grotto, still deeper in the rock, where the steam was suffocating, and where we exuded at every pore. It was as dark as pitch. An owl would not have been able to see an eagle within a foot of its saucer eyes. We were told to stoop and stretch out our hands. We did so, and immersed them in the boiling—or, at least, the gurgling, source of the Pfeffers. We even quaffed at this fountain of Hygeia.

Often had we slept in damp linen, while travelling through Holland, Germany, and Switzerland. We had now, by way of variety, a waking set of integuments saturated with moisture ab interno, as well as ab externo, to such an extent, that I believe each of us would have weighed at least half a stone more at our exit than on our entrance into this stew-pan of the Grison Alps.

On emerging into the damp, gelid, and gloomy atmosphere of the cavern, every thing appeared of a dazzling brightness after our short immersion in the Cimmerian darkness of the grotto. The transition of temperature was equally as abrupt as that of light. The vicissitude could have been little less than 50 or 60 degrees of Fahrenheit in one instant, with all the disadvantage of dripping garments! It was like shifting the scene, with more than theatrical celerity, from the Black Hole of Calcutta to Fury Beach, or the snows of Nova Zembla. Some of the party, less experienced in the effects of travelling than myself, considered themselves destined to illustrate the well-known allegory of the discontented—and that they would inevitably carry away with them a large cargo of that which thousands come here annually to get rid of—rheumatism. I confess that I was not without some misgivings myself on this point, seeing that we had neither the means of changing our clothes nor of drying them—except by the heat of our bodies in the mountain breeze. The Goddess of Health, however, who is nearly related to the Genius of Travelling, preserved us from all the bad consequences, thermometrical and hygrometrical, of these abrupt vicissitudes.[41]

We retrograded along the narrow plank that suspended us over the profound abyss with caution, fear, and astonishment. The Tamina seemed to roar more loud and savage beneath us, as if incensed at our safe retreat. The sun had passed the meridian, and the gorge had assumed a far more lugubrious aspect than it wore on our entrance. The shivered rocks and splintered pinnacles that rose on each side of the torrent, in gothic arches of altitude sublime, seemed to frown on our retreating footsteps—while[128] the human figures that moved at a distance along the crazy plank, before and behind us, frequently lost their just proportions, and assumed the most grotesque and extraordinary shapes and dimensions, according to the degree of light admitted by the narrow fissure above, and the scarcely discernible aperture at the extremity of this wonderful gorge. The Tamina, meanwhile, did not fail to play its part in the gorgeous scene—astonishing the eye by the rapidity of its movements, and astounding the ear by the vibrations of its echoes. It seemed to growl more furiously as we receded from the depths of the crevasse.

At length we gained the portal, and, as the sun was still darting his bright rays into the deepest recesses of the ravine, glancing from the marble rocks, and glittering on the boiling torrent, the sudden transition from Cimmerian gloom to dazzling day-light, appeared like enchantment. While crossing the trembling bridge, I looked back on a scene which can never be eradicated from my memory. It is the most singular and impressive I have ever beheld on this globe, and compared with which, the Brunnens are “bubbles” indeed![42]


While examining the waters, the baths, and the internal economy of the vast valetudinarium that stands in this savage locality, the bell announced the approach of the second, or superior dinner, which happened that day to be rather later than usual. The Salon, overlooking the torrent of the Tamina, was soon replenished with guests of the better order; the canaille, or swarm of inferior invalids having dined two hours or more previously, in the common Salle a Manger. It needed but little professional discrimination to class and specify them. The majority proclaimed the causes of their visits to the Pfeffers. Rheumatism, scrofula, and cutaneous diseases, formed the prominent features in this motley assemblage. Invalids, with chronic complaints, real or imaginary, such as abound at all watering places, foreign and domestic, were mingled in the group; while a small portion, including our own party, evinced anything but corporeal ailments—unless a “canine appetite” at a genuine German table-d’hôte may be ranked among the evils to which English flesh is heir. Some monks, from the neighbouring monastery, (to which the Baths belong,) took rank, and indeed precedence, in this small division. The mountain breeze and fervid sun of the Convent of Pfeffers had bronzed them with much of that nut-brown complexion, which travelling exercise in the open air had conferred on their British visitors; while their sleek cheeks and portly corporations proved, almost to a demonstration, that the holy fathers descended into the profound ravine of the Tamina to give their benediction to the waters, rather than to drink them—and to add a sacred zest to the viands of the Refectory, by the alacrity with which they swallowed them. Their appearance illustrated the truth of the adage—“What will not poison will fatten.”

Waters of Pfeffers.

The Waters of Pfeffers have neither taste, smell, nor colour. They will keep for ten years, without depositing a sediment, or losing their transparency. But we are not to infer that they are destitute of medicinal powers, because they possess no sensible properties. In their chemical composition, they have hitherto shewn but few ingredients; and those of the simpler saline substances, common to most mineral springs.[43] It does[130] not follow, however, that they contain no active materials because chemistry is not able to detect them. Powerful agents may be diffused in waters, and which are incapable of analysis, or destructible by the process employed for that purpose. The only sure test is experience of their effects on the human body. It is not probable that the Baths of Pfeffers would have attracted such multitudes of invalids, annually, from Switzerland, Germany, and Italy; and that for six centuries, if their remedial agency had been null or imaginary.[44] Their visitors are not of that fashionable class, who run to watering-places for pleasure rather than for health—or, to dispel the vapours of the town by the pure air of the coast or the country. Yet, as human nature is essentially the same in all ranks of society, I have no doubt that much of the fame acquired by the Baths of Pfeffers, has been owing to the auxiliary influence of air, locality, change of scene, moral impressions, and the peculiar mode of using the waters. Their temperature—100° of Fahren.—certain physical phenomena which they evince, and the nature of the diseases which they are reported to cure, leave little doubt in my mind that their merits, though overrated, like those of all other mineral springs, are very considerable.

The disorders for which they are most celebrated, are rheumatic and neuralgic pains, glandular swellings, and cutaneous eruptions. But they are also resorted to by a host of invalids afflicted with those anomalous and chronic affections, to which nosology has assigned no name, and for which the Pharmacopœia affords very few remedies. As the Baths belong to the neighbouring Convent of Pfeffers, and, as the holy fathers afford not only spiritual consolation to the patients, but medical assistance in directing the means of cure, there is every reason to believe, or, at least, to hope, that the moral, or rather divine influence of Religion co-operates with mere physical agency, in removing disease and restoring health.

The Waters of Pfeffers are led from their sombre source in the cavern, along the narrow scaffold before described, into a series of baths scooped out of the rocky foundation of this vast hospital, each bath capable of accommodating a considerable number of people at the same time. The[131] thermal waters are constantly running into and out of the baths—or rather through them, so that the temperature is preserved uniform, and the waters themselves in a state of comparative purity, notwithstanding the numbers immersed in them. The baths are arched with stone—the window to each is small, admitting little light, and less air:—and, as the doors are kept shut, except when the bathers are entering or retiring, the whole space not occupied by water, is full of a dense vapour, as hot as the Thermæ themselves. The very walls of the baths are warm, and always dripping with moisture. Such are the Sudatoria in which the German, Swiss, and Italian invalids indulge more luxuriously than ever did the Romans in the Baths of Caracalla. In these they lie daily, from two, to six, eight, ten—and sometimes sixteen hours![45] The whole exterior of the body is thus soaked, softened—parboiled; while the interior is drenched by large quantities swallowed by the mouth—the patient, all this while, breathing the dense vapour that hovers over the baths. The Waters of Pfeffers, therefore, inhaled and imbibed, exhaled and absorbed, for so many hours daily, must permeate every vessel, penetrate every gland, and percolate through every pore of the body. So singular a process of human maceration in one of Nature’s cauldrons, conducted with German patience and German enthusiasm, must, I think, relax many a rigid muscle—unbend many a contracted joint—soothe many an aching nerve—clear many an unsightly surface—resolve many an indurated gland—open many an obstructed passage—and restore many a suspended function. The fervid and detergent streams of the Pfeffers, in fact, are actually turned, daily and hourly, through the Augean stable of the human constitution, and made to rout out a host of maladies indomitable by the prescriptions of the most sage physicians. The fable of Medea’s revival of youthful vigour in wasted limbs is very nearly realized in the mountains of the Grisons, and in the savage ravine of the Tamina. Lepers are here purified—the lame commit their crutches to the flames—the tumid throat and scrofulous neck are reduced to symmetrical dimensions—and sleep revisits the victim of rheumatic pains and neuralgic tortures.

Hydropathy, Hydro-sudo-pathy—or Hydrotherapeia.

These are the titles given to a system of healing human maladies by means of perspiration and cold water. It is making rapid progress in Germany, that land of ideality—and the tribe of other pathys.[132] Homœopathy—allopathy—and even spa-pathy are in danger. Although it is no new system, being practised for a long time by the Russians, yet it is only about fifteen years since Priestnitz, a Silesian peasant, introduced it amongst his native mountains, and in a shape and manner differing somewhat from the Russian practice.

There can be no doubt that the application of cold water to the surface of the body, whether generally or locally, is a powerful agent, when skilfully managed. The chill that is painfully felt on the first plunge—the recoil of the circulation from the surface to the great central organs and vessels—the shrinking of all external parts—the rapid abstraction of animal heat—the hurried respiration—and last and most important of all—the reaction which follows the bath—are all important phenomena, that may work much good or evil in the animal economy, according as they are watched and regulated. The reaction after the cold bath is not less curious than the recoil. The heart and great internal organs seem overwhelmed and stunned, for a time, by the first shock. But soon after emerging from the bath, they begin to recover energy, and to free themselves from the volume of congested blood, under which they laboured. They then drive the circulation to the surface with increasing force, filling and distending the vessels of the skin beyond the normal or medium condition. With this distension comes a glow of heat all over the body, and a feeling of elasticity, or bien-être, which it is difficult to describe. A third series of phenomena now commence. All the glandular organs of the body now take on an augmented degree of activity, and their secretions become more copious than before the bath. Contemporary with this increase of secretion internally, the skin itself acts more vigorously, and not only the insensible, but the sensible perspiration becomes more copious. In fact, the cold bath gives rise to a series, or rather three series of phenomena, very closely resembling a paroxysm of ague—viz. the cold, hot, and sweating stages. After a few hours all the functions return to their normal or usual routine of duty.

But things do not always run thus smoothly. If any particular internal organ be much disordered in function, or at all changed in structure, it is very apt to be so overpowered by the recoil or first shock of the cold bath, that when reaction comes on, it is only partial and imperfect, in consequence of the weak organ or organs remaining in a state of congestion, and incapable of freeing themselves from the overplus of blood determined upon them by the retreat of the circulation from the surface. Then we have headache, lassitude, drowsiness, general malaise, or local uneasiness, imperfect reaction, scanty or disordered secretions, with many other uncomfortable feelings, instead of that elasticity and buoyancy which have been already noticed.

Before proceeding further on the cold bath, let us glance at the peculiar manner in which it is employed by the hydro-therapeutic doctors[133] of Germany, who have now establishments in many of the principal towns.

About four or five o’clock in the morning, the patient is wrapped up to the chin (while in bed) in a thick woollen shirt. Outside of this is placed another covering of down, fur, or any warm and impermeable material. In a short time the disengagement of animal heat from the body thus enveloped, forms a fervid atmosphere around him, which soon induces a copious perspiration, in the greater number of individuals. It has been observed that, in diseased parts, as for instance, in the joints of gouty people, the perspiration was longest in breaking out. When the skin is obstinate, friction and other means are used to accelerate the cutaneous discharge. When the physician judges that the perspiration has been sufficient, the patient is quickly disrobed and plunged into a cold bath, which is kept ready at the side of his bed. The first shock is very unpleasant; but that over, the invalid feels very comfortable, and when the process is likely to prove favourable, there is frequently observed on the surface of the water a kind of viscid scum, the supposed morbid matter thrown off from the body. The period of immersion in the cold bath is carefully watched, for if protracted too long it proves hurtful, or even dangerous. Some people will not bear the cold immersion above a minute—others are allowed to remain till the approach of a second shiver. Where the patient is very delicate or weak, the temperature of the bath is raised a little. In other cases, the bath is artificially depressed below the natural temperature of the water.

On emerging from the bath, the patient is quickly dressed, and immediately commences exercise, and drinks abundantly of cold water. The limit to this ingurgitation is sense of pain or weight in the stomach. The patient, although rather averse to the cold drink at first, soon becomes fond of it, and will swallow fifteen or twenty goblets with a keen relish. After the promenade and cold drink is over, a nourishing breakfast is taken. All stimulating or exciting beverages are entirely prohibited. The appetite generally becomes keen, and the digestion, even of dyspeptics, strong and effective during this course. Between breakfast and dinner is variously employed, according to the strength of the patients or the nature of the disease. Some take riding or pedestrian exercise—others gymnastics—and a few have more cold water, as a plunging or shower bath.

The dinner is to be light, and soon after mid-day. It is generally taken with a keen appetite. During the three or four hours after dinner, all exercise of mind or body is forbidden, but sleep is not to be indulged in. Towards evening, some of the stronger patients repeat the same process which they underwent in the morning; but those who are weak, or in whom the crisis is approaching, only take cold water to drink in moderation.[134] After a slight supper the patient retires to sleep, in order that he may early resume the routine of the water-cure.

The professors of this system vary the mode of application almost infinitely—especially the external application of the cold water, according to the general or local seat of the complaint. They act very much on the doctrine of revulsion or derivation. Thus when there are symptoms of fulness or congestion about the head or the chest, a half-bath or hip-bath of cold water is employed, disregarding the first impression of cold on the lower parts of the body, but looking to the reaction which is to take place there, and to the consequent derivation of blood from the head and chest. Foot-baths, cold lotions, fomentations, and poultices are variously used, according to the nature or seat of the malady.

Like the spa waters, this hydrotherapeia produces, in a great many instances, a crisis. For some days the patients feel themselves much more energetic and comfortable than before the course was begun; but after a time “a veritable state of fever is produced, the result of this general effervescence.”[46] Then the symptoms of the complaint, whatever it may be, are all exasperated and acquire an increase of intensity—even old diseases, that were forgotten, will sometimes re-appear—but all this commotion is the precursor of a salutary crisis and a return to health. A kind of prickly heat, with itching of the skin, is a common occurrence in the course of the cure. “The effects produced even on organic diseases by this hydro-therapeutic treatment would convince the most sceptical of its wonderful efficacy.”—Engel.

The diseases to which this remedy is now applied in Germany are numerous and very different. Fevers, even of the most inflammatory kind, are said to yield to it. Pure inflammations of vital organs are fearlessly submitted to it. The first case related by Dr. Engel, is one of pneumonia, well marked, in a young girl who had been exposed to a current of cold air after violent exercise in the heat of the day. Dr. Weiss ordered her to be enveloped in a blanket, wet with cold water, and then other blankets over the wet one, with plenty of cold water to drink. Some amelioration of the symptoms followed; but in two hours they were again intense. Two foreign physicians accompanied Dr. E. to the bed-side of the patient, and prognosticated a fatal termination unless she were bled, and the cold water treatment declined. Dr. E. with the greatest confidence, ordered the blanket to be again wetted with cold water. This second application was followed by increase of the burning heat, and also by delirium. Notwithstanding the remonstrances of the foreigners, Dr. E. was still firm in his purpose—and ordered the wet blankets to be applied every half-hour.[135] No change took place till after the sixth application, when the kidneys acted copiously. The seventh application was followed by diminution of the thirst and heat—the patient became more tranquil—began to perspire—and fell into a short sleep. The perspiration continued copious for twenty-two hours, and was kept up by the drinking of large quantities of cold water. The perspiration having ceased, the patient was put into a cold half-bath (slipper) where the respiration became more free. On being taken out and covered over she perspired copiously. The wet blankets were now applied only twice a day, with an occasional half-bath. On the fifth day she was well. (Weiss.)

Before proceeding farther, it will be proper to explain that the transition from a hot bath to a cold one, even in a state of perspiration, is not half so dangerous as most people imagine. It is well known that if we jump out of hot water into cold, we resist the shock, and bear the effects of the latter better than if we took the plunge without any preparation. But then there is a strong prejudice that perspiration is an insuperable bar to the application of cold water to the surface. If the individual has come into a state of perspiration from bodily exercise, and especially if he be fatigued or exhausted—then the cold water would be dangerous. But this is not the case, to any extent, when he is warmed either by the hot bath, or by the accumulation of heat generated in his own body. This is proved by authentic facts which have come under my own observation. Forty years ago, when the Russian troops were encamped in the islands of Guernsey and Jersey, the soldiers constructed rude stone huts or ovens along the beech, for vapour baths. Into these they put stones, and heated them by fire, when they poured water over them, and thus filled the hut with a dense vapour. When the men had continued in this rude vapour-bath till they were in a state of perspiration, they leaped into the sea, and swam about till they were tired. All this was done, partly for health, partly for pleasure. It is well-known to all northern travellers that the Russians are in the habit of steaming themselves in the vapour-baths, and then directly rolling themselves in the snow. Every one, too, must have observed postillions dashing their foaming and perspiring horses into any convenient water at the end of their journey, without the least fear of their animals being injured by the dip.

Here then is a complete counter-part, or rather prototype of the hydro-sudo-pathy, as already described. But there is one process which will appear incredible to most people—that of procuring perspiration by means of blankets wetted with cold water. Let us see whether an illustration of this may not be found. Every one who has read the Waverly Novels must have been struck with the singular practice pursued by some Highlanders (outlaws I think) who were obliged to pass many winter nights unsheltered on the freezing mountains. When they were desirous of sleeping, they dipped their plaids in the freezing water of the nearest pool or stream,[136] and, wrapping themselves in this dripping and gelid mantle, went quietly to sleep! So long as the plaid kept wet, the Highlander kept warm, and slept soundly; but the moment it got dry, the man was awoke by the cold, and proceeded to the brook or stream to saturate his bed-clothes again with cold water. Here we have the prototype of the German process described in the case of the girl with inflamed lungs. By what process of reasoning the Silesian peasant and the Celtic mountaineer, arrived at the knowledge of these curious facts, would be difficult to imagine. There was probably no reasoning in either case, but chance, observation, and experience.

It is sometimes more easy to explain a phenomenon when discovered, than to arrive at it by any process of reasoning previously. The wet plaid by confining the animal heat of the Highlander, soon occasioned a warm atmosphere around his body, which kept him comfortable. But as soon as the plaid got dry and its texture pervious, then the animal heat rapidly escaped, and the feeling of cold dispelled sleep. In the case of pneumonia related by Dr. Weiss, the wet blanket was surmounted by several other blankets, which effectually prevented the escape of animal heat, which would soon accumulate and eventuate in perspiration. In such cases there would be a chill at first, succeeded by reaction, heat, and transpiration. We see this exemplified every day, where cold lotions are applied to an inflamed part. If the clothes are defended from the external air, they soon become warm, and form a fomentation—whereas, if exposed to a current of air, they will almost freeze the part by evaporation. Dr. Weiss’s patient would never have perspired, if the wet blanket had not been covered by dry ones.

We are now prepared to glance at some other cases recorded by the professors of hydropathy.

Dr. Engin relates the following cases of catarrhal and rheumatic fever. A delicate female, aged 30 years, was taken ill on the 27th of April 1837, with the abovementioned complaint, but was under an allopathic doctor till the 30th, when Dr. E. found her labouring under acute pains in the joints—inflamed throat—difficulty of swallowing—joints swelled and red—inability to move—pulse 100. The patient was enveloped in a cold wet blanket, over which several dry ones were placed, twice a day, for three days consecutively. She soon began to perspire copiously each time of application. On the fourth day she was plunged into a cold bath while deluged with sweat. This was repeated twelve days in succession, the inflamed joints being kept, in the intervals, covered with cold wetted cloths. During all this time she was ordered to drink plenty of cold water. The fever and all the other symptoms gradually diminished, and finally disappeared. Towards the end of the treatment a critical eruption appeared on the skin.

This was certainly as unfavourable a case for the hydropathic treatment[137] as could well be imagined; and the fact of its being put in practice, even with impunity, may afford matter for reflection.

Cases are detailed by Dr. Engin and others, where scarlatina, erysipelas, herpes, and other cutaneous eruptions, were treated on hydropathic principles, and seemingly with success. Hæmorrhages of various kinds, from nose, lungs, bowels, &c. are subjected to this treatment, as well as a host of chronic maladies, including constipation, hæmorrhoids, amenorrhœa, chlorosis, liver complaints, jaundice, gout, rheumatism, melancholia, hypochondriasis, hysteria, epilepsy, tic douloureux, gastrodynia, scrofula, rickets, &c.

Now, although I should be far from recommending this practice in many of the complaints where it has been employed, yet, as the institutions for the hydropathic treatment are now spread all over Germany, and open to the inspection of all medical men, (unlike the hocus-pocus fraud, mystery, and deception of homœopathy,) it would be unwise not to examine into a system which shocks our prejudices rather than runs counter to historical facts and philosophical reasoning.

At all events, this system corroborates a practice which I have now followed and publicly recommended for many years; namely, the “Calido-frigid Sponging, or Lavation.” This consists in sponging the face, throat, and upper part of the chest, night and morning, with hot water, and then immediately with cold water. I have also recommended that children should be habituated to this sponging all over the body, as the means of inuring them to, and securing them from, the injuries produced by atmospheric vicissitudes. It is the best preservative which I know against face-aches, tooth-aches, (hot and cold water being alternately used to rinse the mouth,) ear-aches, catarrhs, &c. so frequent and distressing in this country. But its paramount virtue is that of preserving many a constitution from pulmonary consumption, the causes of which are often laid in repeated colds, and in the susceptibility to atmospheric impressions.[47]




(Second Pilgrimage.)


A short run of fourteen hours from the Tower, on a road as smooth as that of the Great Western Railway, deposited us safely at Ostende—a kind of flat and fortified Gravesend, where John Bull, as far as tongue and table are concerned, is as much at home as if he were in Deptford or Greenwich. At six in the morning, every thing is bustle among the baggage, and it requires half a dozen omnibuses to convey travellers, trunks, clothes-bags and band-boxes from the hotels to the station. And here I would advise every passenger to mark the destination on every package, and take care of the receipt ticket, otherwise he may find, on his arrival at Brussels, Liege, or Antwerp, that his luggage has travelled to quite a different quarter, requiring a “reclamation” to be sent along the lines, and perhaps two or three days’ delay! One of my trunks, and that too, the one containing the “sinews of war,” was “absent without leave,” when I reached Brussels, and was afterwards found lying in the office at Ghent!

Short as was our passage to the Station by the omnibus, it gave rise to a warm discussion respecting this very convenient and economical vehicle, which was considered by one of the party as a great recent improvement on hackneys, cabs, and stage-coaches. An Irish Tutor, however, who was one of the company, maintained that the omnibus was in common use more than two thousand years ago, in every country between the banks of the Ganges and the pillars of Hercules. This was so startling an assertion that the gentleman was called on for proof. “That I will give,” said he, “from the tenth Satire of Juvenal, which commences thus:”—


“OMNIBUS in terris quæ sunt à gadibus usque
Auroram et gangem.”——

The cockneys stared at each other, and one or two gentlemen laughed most immoderately. The Domine proceeded to translate the passage for the benefit of the ladies, and others who might not possess a knowledge of the dead languages.

Omnibus in terris” there are OMNIBUSES in all countries, “quæ sunt,” that lie, “a gadibus,” between Cadiz, “auroram et gangem” and the banks of the Ganges.

This ingenious distortion of the celebrated passage in Juvenal, was delivered with such assumed gravity and apparent honesty, that it carried conviction to nine-tenths of the passengers, and those few who detected the sophistry, were so much pleased with the joke, that they applauded the learning of the Theban. Nor would it have been very easy to prove that he was literally wrong. “Omnibus” was in use wherever the latin language prevailed; and though not specifically designed as a vehicle for passengers and luggage, it was employed to carry all kinds of things—hence the application of it to the modern and very useful Noah’s Ark on four wheels.

A good deal of scepticism has been expressed respecting the “flying Dutchman” of the novelist and others. But I do not see why we should not have a “flying Dutchman,” seeing that we have “flying Belgians.” If, in the good old times of Marlbro’, Napoleon, and Wellington, a train of artillery moving at the rate of ten or twelve miles an hour, was called a “flying” train, surely a train going at the rate of twenty-five or thirty miles an hour, and carrying a small army with its baggage on its back, deserves the epithet of a “flying train.” Never was country better calculated for rail-roads than a great portion of Holland and Belgium. You have only to lay down sleepers and rails in any direction, and all is ready for the engine. Nor is there any extra expence required for guarding man or beast against accidents. The train brushes along the sides or gable of a cottage—dashes through the centre of a village—plunges through the suburbs of a city—skips over a public road without disturbing a stone of the pavé—darts over a canal—and all with scarcely a rail or fence to prevent intrusion on the lines. The Belgians are either very cautious, or very reckless of life. You will see men, women, and children standing or sitting within six feet of the trains; but no accident seems ever to occur. As for cattle straying on the rail-roads, there is little danger of that; for you may travel from Ostende to Liege, without seeing ox or ass, cow or calf, sheep or goat—or anything with four legs—except in the towns. All is corn, hay, potatoes, and clover—or clover, potatoes, hay and corn—or some combination of these four staple articles.

But neither rail-roads nor love are found to run always smooth. As we[141] approach Liege the ground becomes so rugged, and the hills so steep, that tunnels of prodigious length and depth are necessary to complete the line to Liege, Aix, and Cologne. It is said the Americans contemplate a perforation of the Allighany Mountains, in order that rail-roads may be extended to Kentucky. The task will not be much less difficult to connect Ostende with the Rhine. But the persevering industry of Germans—the “improbus labor”—will conquer all obstructions.


While the train is flying along between Brussels and Liege, let us glance at the Antwerp route. It is generally preferred to that of Ostende—though for what good reason I am ignorant. The land is surely more natural to man than the water. True the difference between the two routes consists chiefly in the length of the river voyage; but, of all the navigations which I have ever experienced round this globe, the “Navigation of the Scheldt,” is amongst the most insipid and monotonous. To me, too, it recalled scenes the most triste, and reminiscences the most dolorous. The very lapse of time itself (31 years) since I first anathematized its malodorous and malarious banks, is not a very pleasing retrospect. But the recollection of what passed there in 1809, can never be called up without pain and mortification!

While the steamer was ploughing her weary way between Flushing and Cadsand, Memory, that mysterious power, quickly reproduced the drama, on which the curtain had fallen for more than thirty years! The hundred pendants floating in the air—the masses of troops, whose polished arms gleamed in the sun—the frowning and hostile ramparts and batteries on each side of the pass covered with thousands of soldiers and citizens—the daring rush of three men-of-war (in one of which, the Valiant of seventy-four guns, I then was,) into the Scheldt, while shells were bursting over us, and the heavy shot whistling through our rigging—the debarkation of the British troops—the bombarding and battering of Flushing—the conflagration of the town—the sorties of the garrison, repulsed, scattered, and driven back by British bayonets, as quickly and certainly as the Ocean’s surge is shivered into foam by the perpendicular rocks—the devastation of the ramparts by the showers of shot and shells for ever thundering against them—the awful preparation for storm—the capitulation of the garrison;—all these and many other scenes rose on the intellectual mirror, and flitted round the mental diorama, as fresh as when they were first spread before the material eye.

Then came the still darker side of the drama, on which Memory, even yet shudders to dwell! Our hopes and expectations scattered on the winds—the great object of the Expedition (French fleet) secured beyond our[142] reach, though before our eyes—while our luxurious commander was employed in eating turtle and throwing the shells at the enemy.

The stimulus of action, the expectation of booty, and the prospect of battle being withdrawn, vexation and disappointment prepared the way for the deadly poison of malaria. Now came the “foul fiend of the fens” in a hundred horrid forms; and, like a destroying angel, mowed down the ranks of our legions, lingering on these pestiferous plains in disgust or despair! Happy were they who fell victims, at once, to the destructive agent. Many of those who survived the endemic, were harassed to their dying days by repeated attacks of the Walcheren malady.

Yet, on both sides of the river, the country is a luxurious garden,—teeming, equally, with the necessaries of life and the seeds of death.

The city of Antwerp itself is worthy of a visit, there being numerous paintings by the Flemish masters of the art, while the citadel calls forth exciting recollections of valiant assaults, and equally gallant defences.


Liege is quite metamorphosed—revolutionised—or, more properly speaking, Cockrellized—within the last twenty years. In times of war, it presented a picture of peace—and now, in times of peace, it exhibits the bustle of war. It is no longer the quiet abode of burghers, as in the days of Quentin Durward! In every direction you observe tall chimnies belching forth volumes of dense smoke—forges roaring—steam-engines sobbing hammers clattering—and files grating—all in the preparation and construction of various kinds of destructive weapons, from a 42-pounder to a pitchfork! Liege, in fact, is now the Brumagem of Belgium, and can rival the great British manufactory of metals in no small degree. Musket-barrels can be procured at Liege for three shillings each! Let England look to her corn-laws! The “factory system” has not greatly improved the manners, habits, or morals of Liege. Those who have not visited this place for ten or fifteen years are astonished at the difference among the lower order of the people.

The country around Liege, and between that city and Aix and Spa, is magnificent—equal in beauty, cultivation, and fertility, to the finest parts of Devonshire—or indeed of any other shire in England. Unlike France and many parts of the Continent, the country here is spangled with handsome villas and neat cottages in every direction.


About six miles from Liege, on the road to Spa, most beautifully situate,[143] lies the little warm spring of the above name. The waters are limpid, inodorous, and tasteless. The temperature is 90½° of Fahrenheit. The specific gravity is that of common water. It contains small quantities of carbonic, sulphuric, and muriatic acid, and also some lime. One hundred pints of this spring yielded 240 grains of saline matters—of which 88 were common salt—91 carbonate of lime—14 sulphate of lime—15 muriate of magnesia—12 alumine—and 15 silice. They are, therefore, very analogous to the waters of Pfeffers, Wildbad, and Schlangenbad—and may be used for the same purposes as their more celebrated contemporaries. They may be reached in nine or ten hours from Ostende, by the rail-road. A young lady from England, who bathed in these waters once, and sometimes twice a day, remarked that she always “felt like eel” after leaving them, and throughout the same day. I do not exactly know what the “eel-feel” is, but I can easily believe that it is not precisely that which the eel itself experiences when it changes its mud-bath for the hands of the cook.


“Heureux qui s’ecartant des sentiers d’ici bas,
A l’ombre du desert allant cacher ses pas.”

Thirty miles South of Aix-la-Chapelle, and twenty-four South-east of Liege, embosomed in a sombre but rather romantic valley of the Ardennes, lies Spa, formerly one of the most aristocratic and celebrated chalybeates of Europe.

We proceed from Liege to Spa along the valley of the Vesdre, and a more beautiful drive can hardly be met with. I do not think it inferior to the banks of the Meuse, and it certainly is much more beautiful than many parts of the Rhine. The sides of the valley are clothed with wood, or cultivated carefully, from their very summits, and studded with beautiful villas, cottages, and hamlets, in all directions. At every winding, we see hundreds of men at work, carrying the new rail-road over rivers and through the solid rock.

“Cette route charmante decouvre à chaque detour de ravissants vallons qui laissant aperçevoir au loin des maisons de plaisance, de vieux chateaux, et de riants villages. Les cotes escarpées des montagnes qui en dessinent les sinuositées parsemées d’arbres, de rochers, et de precipices.”

At the village of Pepinsterre, about sixteen miles from Liege, we quit the Aix-la-Chapelle road, and turn up to the right. The whole way from this to Spa is a constant ascent, the air becoming more bracing, and the scenery more wild, or of the Ardennes-forest character, till we approach the town through a triple avenue, the centre one a pavé, and the side[144] ones for walking or riding. Spa itself lies in a very picturesque dell, the eastern side of which is very abrupt, and covered with wood. The houses are all white and clean, and the locale, altogether, pleased me more than almost any spa I had previously visited.

Yet the place is comparatively abandoned! We saw very few English there, and up to the 23d July, 1840, only about a thousand names were entered on the books, many, perhaps most, of whom were casual visitors, or merely passengers to other spas! I fear the good citizens of Spa will not erect a statue to Sir Francis Head.

A catalogue of the emperors, kings, queens, princes, and nobility of all grades (laying aside the gentry and bureaucracy) who have lined their ribs with steel, and tanned their slender chylopoietics in the Pouhon or Geronsterre, would fill a volume. Our countrymen bear a conspicuous part in this roll of worthies. Henry the Third, of France, visited Spa in the sixteenth century—in the same, Charles Stuart, having lost his kingdom, repaired to Spa to regain his health. In 1717, Peter the Great drank the waters of the Pouhon and Geronsterre—in one single year, (1783,) the list of princes, dukes, and princesses, alone, amounted to 33, besides the hosts of inferior gentry.

The following history of one of our countrymen, recorded by Henry de Steers, the Sydenham of Spa, is not a little curious:—“In 1620, arrived here a Milord Anglais, accompanied by his medical attendant. The College of Physicians in London, who had been consulted in this case, instead of putting Milord into a strait-waistcoat—or, at all events, under surveillance, recommended him to the care of De Steers, at Spa. This unfortunate gentleman laboured under monomania of three distinct forms, which attacked him periodically, and in succession. During the first ten days of every month, he neither ate, nor drank, nor spoke. He kept to his room all the time. On the eleventh morning he would rise from his bed early, go out a hunting, and come home hungry, eating and drinking enormously. This was his occupation during the second decade of the month. In the third decade, the scene entirely changed. He became passionately fond of music, and squandered hundreds upon the squallini’s of that day. At the end of the month the taciturnity and fasting, &c. returned.”

It is hardly necessary to say that De Steers, being unable to prevail on the monomaniac to drink the Spa waters, the patient returned to England, and became a furious and confirmed maniac.

“As soon,” says Dr. Dordonville, “as the roads to Spa were rendered passable, the English, travellers by disposition, and great admirers of the picturesque, thronged to the fountains, and filled the town by their magnificence. They loved to expend their riches; and those, whose energetic passions threw them into dissipation, introduced a fatal and ruinous luxury.”


Although the caprice of fashion, and the attractions of other watering-places have damaged Spa, it is still resorted to by many people of this country, and great numbers from France, Belgium, and Germany.


This is the most ancient of the springs. It is situated in the middle of the town, surrounded by a marble basin, whence is bottled immense quantities of the waters for France, England, Holland, and Germany. Steers, who practised here for twenty-five years, is not behind his brethren of the spas, in his eulogies of the Pouhon waters. “They have an agreeable tartness, and have worked many miracles. Their effects are all but supernatural, and have excited the curiosity and admiration of physicians and philosophers who have come here from various countries.”

It is very clear when received into a glass, which becomes covered on the sides with bubbles of air, that also rise on the surface. The acidulous and piquant taste is succeeded by a smack of steel. On standing for some time there is a deposition of iron at the bottom of the glass, in consequence of the disengagement of carbonic acid. Peter the Great, who came here exhausted, and menaced with dropsy, completely recovered—and his statue stands over the Pouhon as no mean certificate of the medicinal powers of the spring.

The second source, Sauveniere, is half a league out of the town, and situated in a romantic spot. This spa contains less iron than the Pouhon, and used to precede the others in drinking.

The Geronsterre was known to De Steers. It is to the south of the town, but now of easy access by a beautiful road. This spring disengages some sulphuretted hydrogen gas, which distinguishes it from the others.

The Tonnelet is situated between the Pouhon and Sauveniere, and has three springs, all of the same quality.

Constituents of One Gallon (231 Cubic Inches).

SOURCES. Carb.-Acide Gas.
Cub. Inch.
Solid Matters.
Muriate of Soda.
Carbonate of Soda.
Carbonate of Lime.
Oxide of Iron.
Pouhon 262 27 1 9 50°F.
Geronsterre 168 12½ ½ 1 49°
Sauveniere 241 ¼ ½ 49°
Tonnelet 280 .. .. 49°

From the above it will be seen that iron and large quantity of carbonic acid gas are the main ingredients in the spa waters—and consequently that they are simple chalybeates—without aperient qualities.


Superb baths have been erected near the Pouhon, for the accommodation of visitors.


M. Dordonville is the most recent author on the Spa waters, as he has resided there for many years, on account of his own health. According to him, the first perceptible effect of drinking the Spa waters, especially if taken on an empty stomach, is a slight affection of the head resembling that which results from taking champaign. Four or five glasses suffice to produce this phenomenon, especially at first. As this arises from the carbonic acid gas, it is very transitory. This abundance of gas renders these waters very pleasant to drink, but they are far from agreeable when the gas has escaped—and they are then less easy of digestion. Hence the bottled waters are far less efficacious than at the sources. Since the mania of Broussais, it has not been uncommon for French visitors to take the waters mixed with gum Arabic, by which precious mess the springs were rendered nauseous and indigestible. We may agree with Dr. Dordonville that the action of Spa waters is not confined to the stomach, but extends to various organs with which the stomach is bound in sympathy. This applies to debility of the digestive organs and its consequences; but we must be cautious how we employ this chalybeate where there are any obstructions or engorgements of other viscera, merely because they are diuretic, and promote absorption. Both De Steers of old, and Monsr. Dordonville, of the present day, assure us that these waters require to be taken in large doses, and for a considerable time, otherwise they will do harm instead of good. “Those who cannot take them in this manner ought to desist from taking them at all.” Mons. D. has seen many people who have taken from 300 to 350 ounces of the waters daily. Peter the Great generally took twenty-one glasses (three ounces each) every morning. Dr. D. however, wisely leaves it to the feelings of the patient, how many goblets he daily takes.

These waters have been found very beneficial in chronic diarrhœa, as might indeed be expected; but large quantities of any liquid taken in such cases, are detrimental, especially when conjoined with the pedestrian exercises that are recommended. We can hardly subscribe to the doctrine that these chalybeates are beneficial in obstructions of the liver, and enlargments of the spleen—especially the former, considering that they have no aperient quality. The same observation applies to enlargement of the mesenteric glands.

On the kidneys they have an evident action, and De Steers, the Sydenham of his day, calls them vesical.

“The waters of Spa remove heat of the kidneys and bladder, and expel gravel more effectually than any other remedy.”


One of the most general effects of these waters is an increase of appetite, and most patients acquire flesh as well as strength under their use.

It is, however, to people of pallid complexions—leucophlegmatic constitutions—and general debility, without organic disease, that these waters may be very useful. The pallid female, affected with complaints peculiar to the sex, may expect to acquire a healthy complexion, and general strength from the waters of Spa, assisted by mountain air and daily exercise. Sterility is one of the many maladies for which they are loudly praised by the resident physicians.

The sulphuretted chalybeate of the Geronsterre is recommended by Dr. D. in tuberculous affections of the lungs—a recommendation which needs confirmation, as the Americans say.


M. Dordonville remarks that no small portion of those who come to Spa, do so for pleasure, and not for health. These may eat and drink and exercise as they would at home. But the invalid must pursue a systematic regimen. The ancients always recommended aperient medicine previously to taking mineral waters—and even De Steers made a point of giving a gentle purgative to his patients every eight or ten days. The horror of opening medicine entertained by people on the continent, medical men and all, is productive of infinite mischief, when chalybeate waters, and all those not aperient, are used. M. Dordonville cautions the drinkers of Spa very strongly against exposure to cold—a necessary advice in a mountainous region, where vicissitudes of temperature are frequent. The waters are best taken early in the morning fasting; or before meals. Some people drink them at their meals, without injury. Most of the inhabitants of Spa have no other beverage. In affections of the chest they may be mixed with milk—especially those of the Geronsterre. M. Dordonville considers the Spring as the best season for the waters of Spa, and regrets that tyrant fashion prevents invalids from coming to these waters till the middle of Summer, or even till Autumn. From five to fifteen minutes’ interval between the glasses is to be observed, with exercise during that time. He recommends a light breakfast to be taken at the fountains, after the waters, where delicious milk, fresh eggs, good butter, and bread can always be had. From twenty to forty, or even sixty days are necessary for a complete course of the waters. The same physician cautions us against compound dishes or the least approach to repletion while taking the Spa. “The great rock on which patients split is the pleasures of the table.”

The environs of Spa are very picturesque, and even romantic—the rides and promenades being extensive and varied in this mountainous region. The railway from Ostende or Antwerp takes the invalid or visitor to within twenty-four miles of the Spa, and will soon take him within six miles of[148] the town: and therefore the place may be reached on the third day from London.

Springing from my couch at five o’clock, in the morning after my arrival, I first drank a large tumbler of the Pouhon, and started up the mountain for the Geronsterre. The ascent is constant and rather steep; but the mountain air gave me fresh vigour, and I reached the fountain (three miles) without the slightest fatigue. It is prettily situated in a kind of pleasure-ground, with shaded walks and pleasant benches for promenade or repose, while taking the waters. The water itself did not convey to my olfactory nerves that decided odour of sulphuretted hydrogen which Dr. Dordonville maintains it does. It certainly tastes somewhat different from the Pouhon, and they urge you to swallow it quickly, lest the malodorous gas should escape. It was in vain that I told the Nymph of the Spring that I was not sick, but only drinking the waters from curiosity. Still she urged, and so did some of the drinkers, that the most precious ingredient would vanish into air, if I did not gulp it down in an instant: I now took an eastern road over the brow of the mountain, through a wild forest, but along a good road, and reached the Sauveniere, after a long walk of nearly three miles. Here I quaffed at the source whence the Duchess of —— imbibed new life, or at least renovated health, and hung up her votive tablet, in the shape of a dome and colonnade, in gratitude to the fountain and its tutelar saint, Apollo. It tasted to my palate much more inky than its neighbour the Geronsterre, as, indeed, it ought to do, having more than double the quantity of iron, and nearly half as much as the Pouhon.

From thence I turned down a narrow road to the Tonnelet, about a mile distant from the Sauveniere. It was the briskest of them all, to my palate, containing more carbonic acid gas than even the Pouhon. The chalybeate taste was very marked, and the water, upon the whole, very pleasant. By this time I had swallowed four large tumblers of mineral water, and walked seven miles before breakfast, which was very well for the first morning. I experienced no sensation whatever about my head, nor any other than a sense of fulness in the stomach, and very little appetite. Another walk of more than a mile to the town, dissipated the sense of fulness and brought me an excellent appetite, which was again removed by eggs, coutelets, potatoes, and coffee, at the hotel de Pays Bas. After breakfast, the pedestrian exercise was again resumed, and the heights to the eastward of the town, with all their devious and intricate paths, were carefully explored. The views from these heights are various and beautiful—the air delicate and exhilarating. Descending to the town, and resting half an hour, I repaired to the bathing establishment, close to the Pouhon, and ordered a mineral water bath, at a temperature of 98°. I found that the bath-master trusted entirely to his hand, for the regulation of temperature, and on testing this “rule of thumb” by the thermometer,[149] he had only made a mistake of six degrees, the instrument exhibiting 104°, instead of 98°. This, however, is very common at all bathing places. The chalybeate bath produced in me no other sensations than those arising from saline or plain baths elsewhere. The carbonic acid was all gone, and the water tasted merely mawkish. It has very little of the stimulating effects of the Wisbaden or other potent waters. Although I did not rise from the bath “rajeuné comme un Phœnix,” I experienced great refreshment after twelve miles’ walking-exercise, and repaired to the three o’clock table-d’hôte in the Pays Bas, with more natural appetite than I had felt since leaving Modern Babylon. A siesta of an hour after dinner was equally pleasant and salubrious. After some ramblings about the town, a visit to the Redout finished the day’s work.

The magnificent “grande salle” in this splendid edifice, was occupied with the ball, while the “Dæmon-robber bands” were plying their vocation at the end of the room. The play, however, seemed to go on languidly; and the waltz appeared to have more attractions for the company than the roulette. The dancers and spectators were by no means distinguée. There was not one fine woman in the room. We did not distinguish more than half a dozen English in the whole assembly. They were almost all French, Flemish, and a few Germans.

Thus ended a Spa-day in the Ardennes. I do not recommend an imitation of it to all those who go to Spa for health. But if the pedestrian exercise were superseded by equestrian or carriage exercise, I think a more effectual plan for the recovery of health could hardly be devised. To those who are very delicate, the paths that are cut along the face of the wooded precipices overhanging the town, afford most beautiful walks, sheltered from the winds, and commanding pleasing prospects of Ardennes scenery. The air there is bracing and elastic.

It is not likely that such a “Haven of Health” as this is, should be without its Cursaal, or gambling-table. The two grand hells are the Redout and the Vauxhall. A few years before the Revolution the Church sustained some damage in slander by these mansions of morality. It appears that the Bishop of Liege, who united a temporal with an eternal concern for the souls of the good citizens, had granted a monopoly of fifty years gambling to the proprietors of the Redout—of course without any other consideration than the advancement of religion and the good of the people. But a rival establishment (Vauxhall) having been started, the Bishop issued an ordonnance against the new tables, as not being orthodox. An appeal was made to the legislature, and the holy canon was reversed, on the principle that, as in a free state like that of Liege, “every man had a right to do as he liked with his own”—and as gambling was not contrary to law, so the Bishop had no right to grant a monopoly to gamblers. This was an awkward affair; but an amicable arrangement was soon made between the Bishop and the proprietors of the two hells, by which the[150] man of God modestly declined a tenth of the spoil, and only accepted a third of the profits of the tables at the end of each season! “Le Prince Eveque recevra le tiers des Benefices que se feront dans ces deux maisons sur les jeux, apres la saison des Eaux.”

In this way things went on smoothly for a while; when lo! a third Cursaal raised its lofty head to share the spoils of hazard with the noble firm of “Bishop, Redout, and Vauxhall.” This was too much for the conscience of M. L’Eveque. He justly considered that two royal roads to the regions of his “friend in black” were amply sufficient—and that to open a third would only be adding another facility to the already “faciles descensus Averni.” He therefore sent a file of “gens-d’armes” to turn the tables on these scoffers at the holy command of their Bishop, which led to wars and bloodshed. The Bishop, finding his palace of Liege rather warm for him, appealed to the Emperor of Germany—or rather to Prince Metternich, then at Coblentz. Metternich decided in favour of the original hells, as being under the benediction of the Bishop, or perhaps of the Pope—and therefore incapable of doing any thing inconsistent with the orthodox religion! Soon after this, Metternich and his master had more important games to play in the French Revolution, and how Mons. Levoz, the unfortunate proprietor of the new Cursaal fared, this deponent knoweth not.

Spas are under the dominion of more influences than fashion. Who could have supposed that the medicinal virtues of mineral waters should be deteriorated or even destroyed by politics. Yet such is the case. While Holland and Belgium were under one crown, the Dutch dolls flocked annually in great numbers to paint their cheeks in the Pouhon or Geronsterre, returning to their dykes with a cargo of steel that secured them, for ten months, against the damps and debilities of their vapoury atmosphere. But no sooner had the “Braves Belges” revolted, than the chalybeates of Spa lost all their efficacy, and grass is now likely to grow, and water to run in the streets of this celebrated place! The Dutch and most of the English at present resort to the Brunnens of Nassau—the chalybeates of Brucknau—or the boiling Sprudel, for that health and renovation which they used to seek and obtain in the forest of the Ardennes!

It would be equally useless and impertinent in me to attempt a revulsion in the tide of spa-goers; yet, when I reflect on the locality of Spa—its facility of access (forty-eight hours from London)—the efficacy of its waters—the salubrity of its air—the variety of its promenades and drives—the excellence of its hotels—the cheapness of living—and the seclusion which is attainable by all—I cannot help regretting that fashion, caprice, or some inexplicable spell should turn the tide of British invalids so completely from Spa, and impel it with irresistible impetus towards the Brunnens of Germany.



Antiquity is to a city what noble blood is to an individual. The former may fall into decay, and the latter into poverty; but the pride of ancestry supports them both in their fallen greatness. The Romans had excellent olfactories, and a keen scent for steam or sulphuretted hydrogen gas, wherever these issued through cracks or fissures of the earth, in their wide domains. They were very fond of warm baths—and very wisely made frequent use of them with no small advantage, considering that these Lords of the Creation had no linen shirts, and wore thick woollen, and probably somewhat greasy garments next the skin. The boiling cauldron under Aix poured forth its nauseous and malodorous broth as freely when Cæsar was mustering his legions on the banks of the Rhine, or when Charlemagne, many a century afterwards, was uniting his Franco-German subjects in the same place, as now, when the “Dampschippe” and “Chemin de Fer” are daily bringing hundreds of customers and guests from the distant shores of Albion and Erin. Innumerable Roman relics are here found—and actual baths were discovered, where the brother of Nero probably bathed.

Aix is situated in latitude 50° in the midst of a gentle valley, environed, at some distance, by well-wooded hills. The substratum is calcareous, but there are unequivocal marks of volcanic agency in the neighbourhood. The town, like London, presents an old city environed by a new one—especially towards the Borcette. The old town, in which almost all the hotels, and indeed the baths are situated, is very irregular, and cedes to few continental cities in the roughness of its pavements.

The Fontaine Elisée, the chief or only place for drinking the waters, is situated exactly between the old and new towns, close to the theatre, and is one of the handsomest places of the kind amongst the spas of Germany—forming a remarkable contrast with the Hygeian fonts of Ems, Wisbaden, and Baden-Baden. In the midst of the façade, 270 feet in length, rises the rotunda (resembling the Temple of Vesta at Rome) nearly fifty feet in height, supported by columns, flanked by two open colonnades ending in cafées, and fronted by a promenade among trees. The fountain, from which issue two streams, is situated ten or twelve feet below the colonnade, at the bottom of two flights of marble steps—one for descending to the font, and the other for ascending from it. There is ample space in front of the fountain for slowly bibbing the fervid spring. The whole is surmounted by a marble bust of Hygeia—taken from a German Princess—and certainly exhibiting more benignity of mein than beauty of feature. The two High Priests who fill the glasses from the two streams, have no sinecure of it from six till eight o’clock every morning. I counted 300 drinkers the first morning—and then, being tired, I counted no more.[152] It must be the reputation, and not the taste or flavour of these waters, that draws such multitudes of invalids to them every year. The odour of sulphur is exceedingly strong—the temperature 129° Fahrenheit—the taste most nauseous—exactly resembling the washings of a gun-barrel, with a dash of rotten eggs. It is astonishing how soon the palate and olfactories get reconciled to these and other malodorous waters. On the second morning I felt little or no repugnance to them. They are clear as crystal.

The best baths are at the Hotel de l’Empereur (where the superior and hottest source is found), and which is also a very good hotel. The maitre (Mr. Nuellens) is a pleasant fellow, who speaks English, and is very attentive to his guests.

As Aix-la-Chapelle is not a place of resort for those who seek pleasure only, the great body of the real visitors are really invalids, or think themselves such. The few attendants on sick friends are seldom seen taking either the waters or baths.

At such a place the experienced eye of the physician can detect, with a tolerable approach to accuracy, the prevailing maladies for the removal of which these waters are employed. The drinkers can readily be divided into three, if not four classes. 1st. I observed a certain proportion, chiefly females—perhaps a twentieth or thirtieth part of the whole,—who were clearly “malades imaginaires”—and whose complexions, features, gait, voices, and condition of body, evinced the absence of all organic disease, or even functional disorder, of any consequence. They appeared, however, to be full as anxious to imbibe the prescribed quantity of this terrible compound of sulphuretted hydrogen gas, muriate of soda and a few other salts, as any of their neighbours, who shewed too evident marks of corporeal sufferings.

The second class—and by far the most numerous—were those whose countenances and tout-ensemble indicated the presence of various functional disorders—more especially stomach complaints, biliary obstructions, cutaneous affections, and uterine derangements. A large proportion of these were likely to benefit from the sulphur salines of Aix. The third class could not be mistaken. The melancholy sequences of apoplectic attacks (paralysis)—swelled limbs—dropsical effusions of the body—jaundice,—enlarged livers and spleens—diseases of the heart—last stages of indigestion—kidney diseases—panting asthma—hectic cough—in short, the long black catalogue of organic diseases, which no waters but those of oblivion could ever wash away.

Yet hope, which clings to the human heart, had collected this unfortunate class—and not in very small numbers—round the fountain and the baths—to return to their homes with blighted expectations, there to linger out a wretched existence!

The German physicians appear to be convinced that mineral springs[153] are not merely waters impregnated with various mineral and gaseous matters, with or without increase of temperature; but that they are possessed of vitality—living beings, in fact, whose life is transfused into the human organism, thereby communicating energy to the solids and purity to the fluids of our bodies—in other words, correcting and expelling disease and restoring health! Even the venerable Alibert was smitten with this German transcendentalism, and he observes of the Aix waters—“these springs, under the empire of Nature, most undoubtedly enjoy a species of vitality (une sorte de vitalité) in common with other living bodies on this globe. They are animated by a multitude of principles, which will long, perhaps for ever, elude the most laborious researches of chemistry. The waters of Aix-la-Chapelle, whether used internally or in baths, act as potent restorers of vital energies. Their constituents are powerfully aided in efficacy by the high temperature and the impregnation of divers gases. Taken internally they excite the action of the abdominal viscera—detach mucosities and other morbid secretions, and evacuate them by the bowels, kidneys, and skin. The inhalation of the vapour rising from these waters has been very serviceable in many cases of pulmonary affections.”

This vitality hypothesis did not escape the notice of my friend Dr. Granville, who appears, however, to have thought it rather too large for John Bull to swallow, without some qualification. He therefore substituted “caloricity” for “vitality,” in order that so good an idea might not be lost—and that some mysterious agency might aid the natural operation of the German spas. This mode of explaining the ignotum by the ignotius is, no doubt, very ingenious; but, for my own part, I shall at once acknowledge my ignorance, not only of the manner in which mineral waters are formed in the bowels of the earth, but of their specific action (if any) on the human frame.

The spa doctors candidly allow that the waters of Aix, “if taken too hot and in quantities too large, may produce irritation, and even purgation. But the latter is not a very common effect of these waters. In small doses they are favourable to digestion; and, taken in moderation, they are not calculated to weaken.” As baths, these waters act on the surface, and, by sympathy, on the internal organs, exciting the nervous, secreting, and circulating organs. The temperature of the blood (98°) is considered the best for the bath. “If taken at a higher degree, or too often, they are dangerous.”

Let us now advert to the bill of fare which Alibert, Monheim, Zillerland, Dordonville, Reumont, and others, have spread before the invalids resorting to Aix-la-Chapelle. I shall endeavour, here and elsewhere, to form some scale or estimate of the probable, doubtful, and dangerous agency of the waters and baths.


1. Probable.—2. Doubtful.—3. Dangerous.

Difficult digestion, without organic disease (1)—Acidities in the stomach and bowels (1)—Cramps in the stomach (1)—Coliques (1)—Worms (1)—Constipation (2)—Mesenteric obstruction (1)—Obstruction of liver (1)—Of Spleen (1)—Of Kidneys (2)—Hypochondriasis (2)—Hysteria (1)—Hæmorrhoids (1)—Want of sleep (2)—Jaundice (1)—Dropsy (2)—Derangement of monthly health (1)—Sterility (2)—Diarrhœa (2)—Chronic dysentery (2)—Chronic catarrh (2)—Renal and vesical calculi (2)—Glandular enlargements (1)—Scrofula (1)—Tubercles of the liver (2)—Rheumatism, fixed or wandering (1)—Gout, if perfectly chronic (1)—Cutaneous eruptions, chronic and not inflammatory (1)—Morbid effects of mercury (1)—Effects of mineral poisons, as of lead (1)—Deafness (2)—Loss of voice (2)—Weak vision (2).—These waters are contra-indicated in hæmorrhages—tendency to apoplexy—(though they are said to be sometimes useful in the paralysis following apoplexy.)

The foregoing is a tolerably copious list of maladies which may be benefitted by the waters of Aix-la-Chapelle—and from their sensible qualities and long-established reputation, there is little doubt but that fashion has drawn away from them to other more favoured places, many who would have derived great advantage from their use. The remarks on drinking, bathing, and preparatory measures, will be found under the head of Ems, to prevent repetition.


About a mile and a half from the “Fontaine Elisée,” in a romantic little dell, over which the rail-road will soon pass, lies Borcette. The waters resemble those of Aix-la-Chapelle, but they are (one of the sources) entirely devoid of the sulphuretted hydrogen gas. The temperature is about 150° Fahr. The water is clear, and has an acidulous taste. There is one source where the waters are sulphurous. Latterly a chalybeate spring has been discovered here. Borcette is more quiet, and the air fresher than in the town, and the baths are a good deal frequented. The new town, from the Fontaine Elisée to Borcette, is very handsome, and the theatre is a most beautiful building.


Presents more Lions than the “Vitalised Waters” of Alibert. Within its cathedral are preserved some of the most venerable relics that ever pious Catholic bowed to in adoration—relics—

“Which Jews might kiss and Infidels adore”—

trophies over time, which might make St. Januarius blush, and give the[155] head of the church a fit of the jaundice! A tithe of these cannot be noticed. 1. The robe of the Virgin Mary which she wore at the nativity. It is made of cotton, and is five feet and a half in length.—2. A nail from the holy cross.—3. The head of St. Anastasius.—4. One link of the chain which bound St. Peter in prison.—5. Some of the oil which flows from the tomb of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai, and which is possessed of miraculous powers in curing various diseases!—6. Several fragments of the rod of Aaron.

Who would believe that this rod of Aaron has never once scourged the Demon of Play and his disciples, who carry on their diabolical works in the depth of night, under the very nose of Charlemagne, surrounded as he is by such stupendous relics, and aided by the prohibition of the Prussian government?[48]


No German spa is better known to the English than Ems, lying in a narrow valley of the Lahn river, only six miles from Coblentz, in the Duchy of Nassau. The town is built on the right bank of the little river, and the slate hills rise almost perpendicularly behind it. The sun’s beams are collected into a focus there, during a great part of the day, and the air is hot and sultry. These hills, on both sides, are covered with vines, trees, or cultivation. The walks about Ems are not so well shaded as at Wisbaden and some other watering-places in Nassau; but there are plenty of donkeys and guides to take the invalids up to the higher grounds for pure air. The environs are very pretty, especially the road to Nassau, about five miles from Ems.[49]

These waters did not escape the notice of the Romans, whose coins and other vestiges have been found there. The waters issue from the foot of the eastern slate mountain (Mont de Bains) and their sources are hidden from human eye and investigations.[50] They are clear and transparent as[156] crystal, when first drawn in a clean glass. The chief fountains are the Kesselbrunnen and the Krachenchen—the first has a temperature of 115° of Fahrenheit—the latter, only 83°. These are the drinking springs. There are several others, varying in temperature from 80° to 124°, and used as baths. Some of them are about the temperature of the blood, and fit for general bathing, without increase or reduction. They have the taste of chicken-broth, with a slight smack of iron. They preserve their physical qualities (excepting temperature) for forty-eight hours, uncorked—when corked and sealed, they are said to keep good for several months. They are light and easy of digestion.

The Ems waters are eminently alkaline. A pint (of the Kesselbrunnen) contains 20 grains of bicarbonate of soda—two of carbonate of the same—two of carbonate of magnesia—one of sulphate of soda—one of common salt (muriate of soda)—and a very minute trace of iron. All the springs contain nearly the same ingredients—but the Krachenchen shews much more carbonic acid gas than the Kesselbrunnen, on account of its lower temperature.

Thilenius (the elder and younger) the Nestors of Ems, make the following observations on the waters.

“They operate on the human constitution mildly but efficiently, with little disturbance to the functions of the body. On this account they agree well with delicate persons, whose nerves are morbidly sensitive,—the sad effects of mental emotions, civilized life, and other debilitating causes. They are, therefore, peculiarly suited to the female constitution.—They may be employed, too, in advanced stages of disease, where other mineral waters of more exciting qualities, would be inadmissible. Their alkaline properties enable them to resolve obstructions, and free the functions of the kidneys, skin, liver, and various other secreting organs—especially the uterine vessels. They correct tenacious and morbid bile, as well as acidities—and thus prove aperient in a mild degree. Their intimate connexion with carbonic and sulphuretted hydrogen gas enables them to give activity to the secreting vessels, and evacuate unhealthy humours, while they give vigour to the whole organism, oppressed by chronic diseases. They have, at the same time, a soothing and tranquillizing effect on the nervous system. No waters, with the exception of Schlangenbad, produce such a pleasing and salutary operation on the skin, which they cleanse, soften, and leave in a sattiny state, thus improving the complexion,[157] and clearing the pores. They are potent in discussing glandular swellings, and promoting absorption of abnormal deposits.”

The foregoing exposition of the general effects of the Ems waters is more rational, modest, and just, than we shall usually find in the eloges of most other spa doctors. We shall now give a catalogue of the particular maladies for which these waters are specially recommended—marking, as usual, the probable, the doubtful, and the dangerous, with the numbers 1, 2, and 3.

[1. Probable. 2. Doubtful. 3. Dangerous.]

They are represented as prompt and efficacious in all complaints dependent on acidities (1)—Glairy accumulations in the bowels (1)—Foul humours in the blood (1)—Spasms of the stomach (2)—Colics and vomitings (2)—Indigestion (1)—Irregularity of bowels (1)—Flatulence (2)—Loss of appetite (1)—Sense of distention and malaise after food (1)—Embarrassments of the chest (2)—Neglected catarrhs (1)—Inveterate coughs (1)—Asthma (2)—Hæmorrhage from the lungs (2)—Hooping-cough (1)—Loss of voice (1)—Obstinate jaundice (1)—Gall-stones (1)—Gravel (1)—Hypochondriasis (1)—Rheumatism and gout (1)—Spleen (2)—Hysteria (2)—Chorea (2)—Epilepsy (2)—Chlorosis or green sickness (1)—Uterine obstructions and irregularities (1)—Painful periods (1)—Leucorrhœa (1)—Swellings of the limbs (1)—Induration and enlargement of glands (1)—Sterility (2)—Paralysis (1)—Nervous and intermittent fevers of long standing (2)—Lameness (1)—Commotions of the brain or spinal marrow (2)—(the baths in such cases might be dangerous)—Neglected syphilitic affections (1)—Morbid effects of mercury injudiciously administered (1)—Ascites otherwise incurable (2)—Diseases of the skin (1)—Fistulæ (2)—Goitre (1)—Dropsy (2)—Inveterate inflammation of the Eyes (2)—Rickets of children (2)—Curvature of spine (2)—Scald-head (1).

From this ample carte des maladies (and I have omitted several which will not bear publication in this country) the valetudinarian will be able to select the dish that suits his taste—or rather the evil which he wishes to discharge. I have endeavoured to estimate the value of the remedy. Thilenius, indeed, expresses an apprehension that readers may be sceptical as to the power of one remedy curing so many and such different diseases. But he says—“let the sceptic come and see.” Who can combat the following argument?—“The result of our most profound researches is the firm persuasion that mineral waters are the gifts of Divine mercy to suffering humanity.” The same might be said of every medicine; but medicines often do harm, and so do mineral waters, unless administered with prudence. It will be seen that the stigma of No. 3 (dangerous) has been affixed in no instance to the Ems waters; but this applies to drinking them and not to bathing. I cannot too often repeat my conviction that there is far more mischief produced by spa-bathing than by spa-bibbing—especially[158] in the case of the Ems waters, which are by no means of such an exciting nature as those of Wisbaden and several other warm springs. In every case where there is either local inflammation or constitutional excitement, these and other thermal waters are dangerous as baths. Thilenius himself remarks as follows:

“The condition of the body, when these waters are used, may be compared to that in which a kind of fever exists. It includes a period of four or six weeks, or even longer, in inveterate maladies. In this period, the waters exert their influence for the removal of the disease. This influence is felt, sooner or later. It is more or less distinctly perceptible, according to the nature of the complaint. It manifests itself, generally, by a kind of languor, in which the patient expresses himself as being ‘affected by the waters.’”

The waters of Ems have had greater reputation in affections of the chest than most other mineral springs, in consequence of the strong recommendation of Hufeland, who observes:—“We know how few mineral springs there are that can be used with safety in diseases of the lungs. Patients with such affections are commonly prohibited from visiting a mineral spring. Here the reverse is the case; and, in my opinion, Ems stands alone, with Selters, in this respect.”

It is quite evident, however, that it is in the more incipient cases of pulmonary diseases only, that Ems could be of any service—namely, where the tubercles are few in number, and in an unexcited condition—where the cough is slight, and the expectoration merely mucous, without fever or emaciation. In affections of the trachea, however, dependent on chronic inflammation of the mucous membrane, the waters and locality of Ems have been found highly beneficial, as the crowds of people from all parts of Germany can testify. It really would be well worth trying Ems, in such cases, before undertaking a long journey to Pisa or Rome.

Since the above was written, and while staying at Ems, in July, 1840, I met with a recent work by Dr. Doring, bath physician at Ems, from which I think it proper to make some extracts.

“Among all the maladies which are alleviated or cured by the waters of Ems, the affections of the chest are of the first consideration.

1. Pulmonary Complaints having their origin in other parts of the body.—Where these result from congestion or engorgement of the viscera of the abdomen, connected with gout.

2. Loss of voice, hoarseness, &c.

3. Chronic inflammation of the mucous membrane of the larynx, trachea, and bronchia.—When this affection has attained the name and nature of pituitary phthisis, the waters of Ems work wonders, especially where this[159] state depends on latent gout, rheumatism, or repelled cutaneous complaints. The Kesselbrunnen is very efficacious in such conditions of the mucous membrane. If the malady has not advanced beyond the limits of curability, the warm baths prove auxiliary to the internal use of the water.

4. Chronic inflammation of the substance of the lungs themselves.

5. Debility of the chest.—However vague and inexact this term, there is a disposition to pulmonary disease to which it may be applied, and which it is of great importance to recognize. One of the chief symptoms is a susceptibility to colds, or irritability of the mucous membrane of the chest, accompanied by oppression, weight, and hacking cough. If this be neglected, it may lead to serious disease. A protracted course of the Kesselbrunnen, repeated for several seasons, has been found very efficacious in such states of the respiratory apparatus.

6. Tubercles of the lungs; or pulmonary consumption.—This dreadful malady, which cuts off such prodigious numbers of the human race, is more frequently arrested in its progress by the Kesselbrunnen, than by any other remedy. At the same time it is proper to remark that neither this nor any other remedy will prove efficacious, if the disease be confirmed. It is where the tubercles are in a nascent or latent state, that the Ems waters tend to purify the blood, and prevent further deposition of tuberculous matter in the air-cells. Perhaps, too, they may cause absorption of those already deposited. It need hardly be urged that the earlier the waters are used the better.

7. In obstinate and neglected catarrhs of the mucous membrane of the trachea and larynx, the Kesselbrunnen has produced the most beneficial effects.

8. Spitting of blood.—If this proceeds from irritability of the lungs themselves—from active congestion—or general plethora, the Ems waters will be absolutely injurious. But if the hæmorrhage be symptomatic of disordered conditions of the liver and other abdominal organs, then, the Ems waters taken internally, but not as baths, may prove serviceable. The same reasoning will apply to asthma.

9. Scrofula.—Daily experience has proved the efficacy of the alkaline waters of Ems in scrofulous affections generally.

10. Nervous disorders.—The waters of this spa have a singularly soothing and tranquillizing effect on the nervous system, as great numbers[160] of patients can annually testify. Hence they are much used in hypochondriasis, neuralgia, tic douloureux, periodical head-aches, chorea, &c.

11. Congestions of the liver and abdominal organs generally—hæmorrhoids—jaundice—engorgements and indurations of the uterus, ovaries, &c.—colics, cramps, and epigastric pains—heart-burns—vomitings, &c. These are all ameliorated or cured by the waters of Ems.

12. Gout.—The action of the Ems waters on the constitution is to throw out the morbid matter from the blood—the cause of this painful malady in all the normal and irregular forms. At the same time, if the malady be of long standing, and the individual of weakly constitution, the waters of Wisbaden or Carlsbad will be more efficacious than those of Ems.

13. Rheumatism.—The same observations will apply to this as to gout.

14. Chronic eruptions and ulcerations of the skin are greatly benefitted by this spa.

15. Disorders of the urinary organs.—In no class of disorders have the Ems waters gained more reputation than in this, including catarrh of the bladder, gravel, stone, diabetes, &c.

16. Catamenial irregularities.—Females from all parts of Europe resort to the waters of Ems for the cure of these troublesome complaints, including sterility, chlorosis, &c.”[51]

I have introduced this quotation from one of the most recent writers on the waters of Ems, and himself a practitioner there, of considerable repute; but do not, and cannot vouch for the strict accuracy of all the observations contained in it. As in most of the writings of spa doctors, it must be taken “cum grano salis.”


According to Dr. Doring, these are as follow:—

1. The Ems waters are hurtful in all acute or subacute inflammations of any organ or structure whatever.

2. In people of florid complexions or plethoric constitutions, especially if there be any disposition to hæmorrhages, or determination to the head.

3. In dropsical effusions of chest, abdomen, or cellular membrane.

4. In organic diseases of heart or great vessels.

5. In confirmed consumption, and in marasmus from whatever cause.



The Crises produced by the waters of Ems are not so distinct and frequent as those resulting from some of the more potent spas. They act more gently and more slowly than the generality of mineral waters. Nevertheless, the following observations of Dr. Doring are to be carefully attended to.

“There are certain cases, constitutions, and forms of disease, in which it would be unsafe to continue the Ems waters up to the point of saturation. Thus if, after two or three weeks’ course, there occur little indispositions or discomforts—feelings of debility—a sense of prostration—a change of usual temper—an increase of sensibility; or even an irritability or moroseness—an unusual propensity to sleep, with agitating dreams—a loss of appetite—or, on the contrary, a thirsty white tongue, bitter taste in the mouth, oppression and distention of stomach, derangement of bowels and kidneys, and acceleration of pulse—it is then time to lessen the quantity of the waters, or entirely to stop them for some days. The foregoing are indications of over-drinking, or over-bathing, to which the term ueberbaden is given, and should never be neglected.”

As at Wisbaden, there is occasionally an eruption on the skin, after a few baths, and this is considered to be critical.

Thilenius, contrary to the custom of most of the spa doctors, admits that, although the waters alone cure many disorders, yet, in a great many cases, appropriate medicines are absolutely necessary. He contends, however, and I believe with justice, that many diseases give way to the combination of the waters and medicine, which resist the latter, if unaided by the former.

The preparation for the waters of Ems, as of all other mineral springs, is of the greatest importance, and is but too little attended to. Many patients repair to these sources, either exhausted by long-continued illness and the fatigues of the journey, or in a state of excitability from tonics and other medicines. In the one case some restorative remedies are to be exhibited, and in the other, quietude and saline aperients are necessary before the waters are used, internally or externally. Temperance is indispensible both before and during the use of the waters.


The best season is between the beginning of May and the end of September. The waters are taken early in the morning. Weakly persons should begin with small portions, till they are accustomed to the springs. The morning is also considered the best time for bathing. The patient should immerse himself slowly—first to the knees—and afterwards the whole body, having first sponged the face and neck. Those who are subject to determinations of blood to the head should keep a handkerchief[162] moistened with cold water to the head during the bath. A bladder of cold water is still better. The individual should not lie quiet in the bath, and much less should he go to sleep. He should keep constantly rubbing or sponging the body or limbs—and if not able to do this, a servant should do it for him. He should not remain more than ten minutes in the water, at first—and he should gradually increase the time to half an hour or more. Those whose skins are very sensitive ought to bathe in a flannel dress. The temperature should be from 94° to 98° of Fahrenheit. On leaving the bath, the individual ought to wrap himself up in a warm sheet, and when dry to dress himself. It is recommended then to retire to his bed-room and remain lying on the bed for a quarter or half an hour, but without sleeping. Those who are aged, weakly, or nervous, may take a glass of milk or a cup of coffee, after the bath. Most people can take a glass of milk and Ems waters mixed. The latest time for bathing is two hours before dinner. One bath in the day is quite sufficient.[52]

The waters are drunk, sometimes before, sometimes after bathing. They should be sipped warm at the source, otherwise some of their volatile qualities are lost. The quantity taken, like that of food, must be regulated by the power of digestion. Too much water, like too much food, will produce the same distention and discomfort of stomach. The same temperance and frugality is necessary in both cases. From two to three wine-glassfuls of the waters taken twice, thrice, or four times, at intervals of a quarter of an hour, will in general be sufficient. Some cow’s or goat’s milk may be mixed with the waters. Gentle exercise, between the doses of water, is essentially necessary. In some cases it may be proper to take a few glasses of the waters two or three hours after dinner—not sooner.

Asthmatic people, and those labouring under serious maladies of vital organs, are recommended to take a few glasses of the waters in their beds, early in the morning—but never to exceed a pint in this way.

A light breakfast may be allowed in half an hour or an hour after the last tumbler of water at the springs. It is fortunate that near this, as near most alterative waters, there is a chalybeate—viz. Schwalbach—where the patient may be very conveniently sent, when no farther progress is likely to be made at Ems; or where a tonic is necessary after the debilitating effects of the latter have taken place. Those who cannot visit Ems may take the bottled waters at a distance, with very little loss of virtue. They will keep for several months. They are used with considerable benefit en lavement. Of the douches or local application of the waters to the ailing region, I need not speak.

The regimen, while taking these and other waters, is of some consequence.[163] Coffee or chocolate half an hour after the last glass, with bread but no butter, is the rule of the day at Ems. Tea is prohibited, as too much favouring perspiration—a rather unnecessary precaution I imagine. A liquid preparation of rice (called content) with some spice, is recommended to those of very nervous temperaments for breakfast. Between breakfast and dinner, some light avocation, conversation, or reading—after which a promenade. Temperance is essentially necessary at these waters, as they generally excite the appetite. The dinner hour of one o’clock at the table-d’hôtes is a great bore to all who are not downright ill—and these had better dine at home. The siesta is condemned in strong terms by Thilenius, if there be any fulness about the head, or if the individual be plethoric; but to the weakly this indulgence is allowed. The early dinner draws after it, as a necessary consequence, some supper—so that, upon the whole, the four o’clock dinner, without supper, will be found the most convenient and salutary.

Of the gambling-tables I shall take another opportunity to speak: mean time the following remark of Thilenius will not be inappropriate here.

“He who cannot gamble without losing his temper, should avoid the hazard-tables.” This is easy morality! The physical effects of passion and all the horrible emotions of mind at roulette, are merely considered as hurtful to the body of the bather; but no idea appears to be entertained that these are detrimental to the soul as well as to the body. The fact is, however, that none but gamblers by profession, and not all of them, can win or lose money without passion, although they may contrive not to shew it strongly in their countenances. In every point of view, therefore, moral and physical, these hells on earth ought to be shunned as eagerly as those of the nether regions.

I may now make a few cautionary remarks on the dangers of bathing and drinking the waters of Ems, and indeed of mineral waters (thermal) in general—a subject little touched upon by writers at the spas themselves. I cannot too often or too strongly warn every one against warm baths, who has the slightest degree of local chronic inflammation going on in any of the organs of the body, as evinced by white tongue, dryness of skin, accelerated pulse, evening thirst, or scanty action of the kidneys. The exciting mineral waters, taken internally or externally, will be almost certain to raise the chronic into a subacute, or even acute, inflammation, with a corresponding grade of constitutional irritation. Of this I have seen many instances, both at home and abroad. The existence of such conditions should be carefully ascertained before the spa is introduced: and proper means taken to remove all traces of inflammation. But even where there is no proof of any inflammatory action, the state of plethora or general fulness of the vessels renders warm bathing hazardous. In all, or almost all organic diseases of internal parts, especially of the heart, brain,[164] or lungs, the warm bath is to be eschewed. The tide of the circulation carried to the surface by the hot bath, must have a subsequent recoil, and then the weakened organ may suffer. Besides, the warm and, still more, the hot bath excites the heart and great vessels into increased activity for the time, and the blood is carried with greater force towards the brain, endangering congestion there. But what are the admonitory symptoms or phenomena by which the patient may judge, when danger is approaching? The spa doctor is not always at hand, in these emergencies. He is often too much employed at such times. When giddiness, sleepiness, chilliness, confusion of thought, weariness, head-ache, pains in the limbs, unusual sounds in the ears, sparks before the eyes, loss of appetite, oppression after food, feverishness, thirst, languor, depression of spirits, inability to sleep at the usual hour, malaise or, in fact, any uncomfortable feeling, not previously felt, occurs soon after drinking the waters, and especially after bathing, and if these, or any of these recur after the second or third day, let the waters be suspended till advice is taken. I am well aware that the spa-doctors will say—“oh these are critical, or even favourable symptoms, demonstrating the efficiency of the spring.” All I say is—Beware! you are standing on a precipice!

We must now take leave of Ems. It is a very hot place in warm weather, and I must say that the exterior and interior of the houses are not in the most perfect accordance. The fogs are frequent in the mornings, and the heat oppressive in the middle of the day. Few people can sleep without some of the windows being kept open, and the danger of catching colds is not inconsiderable. The reputation of the waters is very extended. The Empress of Russia and her daughter were swallowing them freely while we were there (1840), and seemed to require them or some other restoratives, as they exhibited any thing but hyperborean complexions. Several physicians have recommended a residence at this spa during the Winter; and I am inclined to think that it would not be a bad sejour for people with tracheal affections, or irritable conditions of the mucous membrane of the lungs.


This celebrated city has changed its nature, but not its name—the latter being now more appropriate than ever. It is a free-fort, that is, it is free from fort or citadel—rampart or fosse—glacis or sallyport—cannon or mortar—shot or shells! All these have been converted into much better things—gardens, shrubberies, and promenades. Frankfort, I apprehend, has more of nominal freedom than real liberty. The protection of the German potentates is stronger, no doubt, than her ancient walls; but she is as much under the surveillance and control of these “high mightinesses,” as ever she was under that of her military commandants,[165] when a first rate fortress. Be that as it may, Frankfort is now a great emporium or re-union of commerce and carriages—of Jews and of Gentiles—of bankers and of brokers—of lenders and of venders—of consuls and of caléches—of voitures and of retours—of envoyés and employés—in fine, it is a large “normal school” for studying the first lines of diplomacy, trickery, traffic, and stock-jobbery.

The old and the new portions of the city present a curious contrast—youth and beauty united to age and ugliness!

One of the great lions of Frankfort is the cemetery, a few miles out of town. It is a huge “painted sepulchre,” marble without, and mummy within. This “city of the dead,” is not much smaller than its neighbour of the living. True, the mansions are on a smaller scale, and the chambers are low, dark, and unventilated; yet their inhabitants—

“Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,”

shew no symptoms of discontent, feuds, or family quarrels. They sleep without dreams, unagitated by the habitual passions which invade the bosoms of those whom they have left in the busy city on the banks of the Main. If the rage for cemetrical building goes on at the present rate of impulse, a time must come, when the cities of the dead will equal, both in number and extent, those of the living—and necessity will then compel the latter to have recourse to the ancient mode of sepulture—incineration. A small urn, instead of a costly tomb, will then hold the ashes of our friends and ourselves, without any encroachment on the soil that supplies us with food, fuel, and raiment. And, after all, this seems a less revolting process of preserving some frail memorial of those we loved and honoured, than that of committing them to the earth, there to “lie in cold obstruction, and to rot,” the prey of worms, and all crawling things!

I believe there are few people, of reflective minds, who can wander round the splendid cemetery or lonely churchyard, perusing the brief memoirs of the silent inhabitants below, without feeling some of those sentiments and emotions, which Hervey cloathed in language. These records of the dead, short as they are, will be found, each, to contain at least two facts or truths—the birth and death of the individual. I wish as much could be always said for the lengthy biographies of the living! These authentic documents—these “bills of mortality”—teach us one important truth, viz.—that life is a loan, and not a gift, granted to a piece of clay, without interest indeed, but with the power of resumption at the pleasure of the lender, with or without notice. Death, again, is nothing more than the payment of a debt—the surrender of a policy. Has man any just cause to murmur at the shortness or uncertainty of life, because the vital spark animates, without solicitation, his atom of earth—sparkles for a few moments—is extinguished by the same invisible hand—and is reduced again to dust? If this be all, if the brief existence of man be “rounded by a[166] sleep,” he has little cause to be proud of the intelligence which distinguishes him from the inferior animals. He alone, of all created beings, knows that he must die—a bitter thought at all times—and cruelly bestowed, if death be annihilation! As we see no proofs of injustice in the other works of the Creator, it is fair to presume that there is none here, and that the fore-knowledge of death in this world is indicative of life in another.

If an inhabitant of another planet were to visit our cemeteries, graveyards and churches, perusing the necrological literature of those localities, he would soon come to the conclusion that this our little Globe was a perfect Paradise, inhabited by the most amiable of all God’s finite creatures. Every stone would present him authentic proofs that the whole community consisted of affectionate fathers, loving husbands, virtuous wives, indulgent parents, dutiful children, and sincere friends! What would be his astonishment when, on mixing in the busy haunts of men, he found them everywhere engaged in public wars or private quarrels—in litigations, persecutions, robberies, and assassinations—torn with all the vile passions of envy, hatred, malice, jealousy, and malevolence—distorting the good actions of their neighbours, and exaggerating their failings—violating the laws of Nature, and evading the laws of man—in fine, exhibiting a picture the very reverse of that which he found delineated on the tablets of the departed!

In this perplexity, he would fly back to his native planet, and report that the inhabitants of Terra were a race of beings inexplicable in their character—the dead all angels—the living all devils! And yet nothing would be more erroneous than such a report. The haunts of the living and the habitats of the dead—the city and the cemetery—the cheerful village and the country church-yard, being found to contain the same relative proportion of good and evil spirits. The reason of the discrepancy above alluded to, has been appreciated in all ages—“de mortuis nil nisi bonum.” The shroud is our last and kindest mantle. Its texture is so close as to conceal all our vices—but at the same time so transparent as to reveal all our virtues. It is not then on tombstones that we are to seek for truth!


This is comparatively a young cub amongst the great spa-lions of the Continent; but it is one that is likely to attain an immense size. Dr. Balling, resident physician at this spa, and, still later, Dr. Welsch, son-in-law of Dr. Maas, have published on these waters.

Kissengen is situated almost in the heart of Germany, in the kingdom of Bavaria, and can be reached in two or three days from Frankfort. The waters issue from the earth in a valley stretching from north to south—the[167] surrounding heights, covered with woods, and not averaging more than 600 feet in altitude. The valley itself is fertile in corn, wine, and fruits. The little river Saale runs through the centre of it. Kissengen is nearly equidistant from Wurtsburg, Bamberg, Meiningen, and Fulda. Its latitude is 49° 50´, north—and it is not more than 600 feet above the level of the sea.[53] The temperature, from April till October, is moderately warm. In consequence of the great evaporation of saline water at the salt springs, the atmosphere is a good deal impregnated with saline principles, and is similar to sea-air. It is considered beneficial in all scrofulous affections.

There are a great many mineral springs here, but it will only be necessary to notice the Maxbrunnen—Ragotzy—Pandur—Soolensprudel—and Theresienbrunnen.

1. Maxbrunnen.—This rises near the Cursaal and Conversation-house, with a bubbling or boiling noise—clear as crystal, and exhaling its gaseous pearls with great rapidity. The carbonic acid gas adheres to the sides of a glass and gives the water a milky appearance. All the springs of Kissengen abound in this gas. The temperature is 52° Summer and Winter. The taste is acidulous and refreshing. According to Kastner (1833) a pint of this spring contains nearly 30½ grains of solid matters, and 31 inches of carbonic acid gas. The principal ingredients are 18½ grains of muriate of soda—1 grain ditto of potash—3 grains muriate of magnesia—2½ grains of carbonate of lime—1½ grains of sulphate of soda—1 grain sulphate of lime. This spring contains no trace of iron.

2. Ragoczy, or Ragotzy.—At the southern extremity of the colonnade is seen this spring, together with that of the Pandur. The Ragoczy rises with considerable noise, discharging air-bubbles freely. The water is not so clear as that of the Maxbrunnen—having a blueish cast. The temperature is nearly the same as the other. The taste is salt and bitter, with a degree of astringency. But the taste varies very much from day to day—at one time the salt, at another the bitter, predominates, with, occasionally, a ferruginous savour. It requires four large pumps to exhaust the spring.

The pint contains 85 grains of solid matters, and 26 cubic inches of carbonic acid gas. Of these 85 grains, 62 are common salt—6 muriate of magnesia—3 carbonate of lime—2 carb. magnesia—2 sulphate of soda—2[168] sulphate of lime—2 silex. The other six grains are immaterial, except the subcarbonate of iron, of which there are three-quarters of a grain in each pint.

3. The Pandur.—Only 34 feet distant from the Ragoczy, the Pandur springs to light, with great noise and bubbling. Its taste is more salt, bitter, pure, and piquant than that of the Ragoczy—“and is much more relished by the ladies.” It is so plentiful that it can furnish from eight hundred to a thousand baths daily. The pint contains 76 grains of solids—of which, 57 are muriate of soda—5 muriate of magnesia—5 carbonate of lime—2 carb. of magnesia—about half a grain of subcarbonate of iron—1¾ grs. of sulphate of soda—28 cubic inches of carbonic acid gas.

4. Soolensprudel.—About a mile from the foregoing springs, and in the middle of the valley, near the bank of the river, this remarkable spring was discovered by boring 311 feet through the earth. It does not flow in an even uninterrupted stream, but rises and falls at irregular periods—often with a noise resembling cannon. It generally ebbs and flows eight or nine times in the twenty-four hours. When the water is at its greatest height, it boils, and roars, and foams at a great rate. This spring rises through a salt-water mine, if the expression can be used. Its solid contents are enormous, namely 172 grains in the pint! Of these, common salt alone amounts to 107½ grains—muriate of magnesia 24½ grains—muriate of lime 4 grains—sulphate of soda 25 grains—carbonate of magnesia 6½ grains—carbonate of lime 1½ grains—subcarbonate of iron not quite half a grain—carbonic acid gas 30½ cubic inches. From this it will be seen that, in solid ingredients, the Soolensprudel outstrips all the other springs. In temperature too, it differs from the others, being 66°, or as nearly as possible that of the sea.

5. Theresienbrunnen.—This springs from a depth of 140 feet, and discharges itself with a bubbling noise like the others. The water is clear as crystal, and whitens the sides of the glass with the carbonic acid gas. The temperature is 52 or 3°. The taste is tart, saltish, agreeably pleasant and refreshing. The quantity furnished is abundant. There are 29½ grains of saline matters in the pint, with 28½ cubic inches of carbonic acid gas. Of these, 18½ grains are muriate of soda—2¾ muriate of magnesia—2½ carb. magnesia—2 carb. lime—1½ sulphate of soda, with some slight quantities of minor ingredients.

Between this spring and the Maxbrunnen there is a considerable affinity; but the Theresienbrunnen has the advantage, in possessing a greater proportion of carbonic acid gas, by which the saline matters are held in more complete solution.



The various springs, in their physical and chemical properties, have one common and characteristic physiognomy. They rise from mountains of the same formation, and with more or less identity of force. They all contain abundance of muriate of soda and carbonic acid gas. “Mineral waters, however, cannot be estimated merely by their physical and chemical qualities. Each spring is an organic whole (ensemble organique), and possesses its peculiar mode of existence—‘et a sa propre maniere d’etre.’”[54] “In general, the springs of Kissengen, when taken internally, excite the nutritive functions of the body—alter them—promote the various secretions and excretions—and thus resolve, purify, and re-organise the animal machine.”[55] In addition to these effects (which an ordinary mortal might be content with), the springs of Ragoczy and Pandur possess a strengthening and tonic quality, in consequence of the iron which they contain. The Soolensprudel, whether taken alone, or mixed with the Ragoczy, acts briskly as an aperient. “In this combination of tonic with alterative properties, the Kissengen waters (Ragoczy and Pandur), have no equals in the spas of Germany.” “In all the other spas it is the solvent principle (principe resolutif) which predominates—in these, the various principles are united harmoniously.” The efficacy of these waters is greatly increased by a series of baths of the same. The order of these baths is ranged as follows:—the Maxbrunnen is gently exciting, and at the same time tranquillizing—the Pandur is solvent and promotes the secretions—the Ragoczy, alterative and tonic—the Soolensprudel profoundly penetrating and strongly solvent. The sensible effects of these baths are of a refreshing, animating nature—altering and bringing the functions of the skin into a normal or healthy condition, and establishing the harmony between the cutaneous surface, and the various organs and membranes of the interior—thereby dispersing disorders of those parts. To these effects Dr. Balling adds those which result from the absorption of the finer and more soluble ingredients of the waters, which pervade all the organs and tissues through the medium of the circulation. The doctor asks, where are to be found such baths as these, containing such various minerals, and so easy of combination, as to meet every variety of malady?

“These mineral waters (internally and externally) applied to the surface—taken into the circulation—or digested in the stomach or duodenum, oppose themselves, in the living organism, to morbific matters—afterwards exciting and assisting nature to expel these morbid principles from the body. In this case an irritation, a re-action is established throughout the whole constitution, converting chronic diseases into those of a greater or less degree of acuteness, accompanied by febrile symptoms. This fever assumes a septenary[170] type, lasting, sometimes one week, sometimes two. In this stage it requires the greatest care on the part of the patient, and the greatest vigilance and skill on the part of the physician, to manage this febrile period, so as not to let it run too high, nor yet to fall short of the salutary range. It is only in this stage, that the diseased organism perceives its malady—and it is absolutely necessary that the patient should feel ill, if he hopes to recover his health.”[56]

Dr. Balling is perfectly right when he says that this febrile re-action requires the greatest skill and care. But is it not evident that among the shoals of patients who take the waters of Kissengen, or any other waters of the kind, several must experience danger, and some even fatal effects, from this re-action? We may be sure that the late Duke of Nassau had the best advice at Kissengen, and yet he lost his life by the warm bath there!

The waters of Kissengen are recommended by our author with dietetic and prophylactic intentions, to prevent diseases and correct a disposition to them, as well as to remove them when fully developed.

The waters of Maxbrunnen are excellent means for preserving the constitution from dispositions, or, as they are termed, predispositions to diseases, arising from original taint, or following attacks of acute inflammatory complaints.

The waters of the Maxbrunnen internally, and of the Pandur in baths, have been used for many years dietetically as preventive of scrofula, in those whose parents had been strumous, or who themselves shewed a tendency to it—and also of affections of the mucous membrane of the chest, and also of the abdomen. They are used habitually against disposition to venous congestion of the abdominal viscera, the prolific source of gout, hypochondriasis, hæmorrhoids, cutaneous eruptions. Among the chief symptoms of the abdominal plethora, Dr. B. adduces acidity, disagreeable taste in the mouth, uneasy digestion, tension and fulness of the hypochondria, sense of oppression at the chest, turbid urine, irregular bowels, constipation, dry skin, or malodorous perspirations, eruptions on the surface, &c. For these symptoms the Ragoczy and Pandur are reckoned heroic remedies.

Among the maladies actually developed, or developing themselves, Dr. B. has arranged the following, with short remarks on each, as being peculiarly under the influence of the waters of Kissengen.

1. Catarrhal affections of the mucous membrane of the chest, so far advanced as to be threatening phthisis, have been cured or greatly benefitted by the waters of this spa. They are said to be equally efficacious in affections of the mucous membrane of the kidneys, bladder, and uterine system, as well as of the alimentary canal.


2. Rheumatic complaints.—Great numbers of patients afflicted with the large tribe of rheumatic affections, resort annually to Kissengen for relief, and, as is asserted, with remarkable success.

3. Scrofula, developed, as well as brooding in the constitution—now so universally diffused among society—has, in the waters of Kissengen, a powerful remedy—more especially enlargement of the mesenteric glands, tubercles of the lungs, &c. Many unmarried females present a complication of scrofulous and nervous symptoms, indicated by enlargement of the mesenteric glands, pains and tenderness of the abdomen, hysteria, irregular menstruation, and numerous symptoms of disordered digestion. These are much benefitted, if not cured, by the Kissengen waters.

4. Hæmorrhoidal affections.—The Ragoczy and Pandur are famous in these complaints, so prevalent on the Continent, and regarded with so much importance there. It will be a sufficient specimen of German pathology on this point, to remark that the very enlightened physician whose work I am quoting, looks upon latent piles as indicated by the following symptoms: viz.—head-aches—perspirations—pain in the spleen—cutaneous eruptions—vertigo—diarrhœa—asthma—blennorhagia—ovarian tumors—weakness of sight—spectral images before the eyes—vomiting of blood—swellings of the liver, uterus, &c.—discharges of blood from the kidneys, bowels, &c. “In all these masked forms of hæmorrhoids, the waters of Kissengen are more or less beneficial.” p. 49.

5. Gouty affections.—Where gout wanders about, and annoys the internal organs, the waters of this spa are asserted to be of great efficacy.

6. Cutaneous eruptions.—These are looked upon as only external signs of internal affections—especially of disorder in the abdominal viscera, for which the Kissengen spas are almost specific.

7. Hypochondriasis.—The vast number of hypochondriacs who annually resort to Kissengen, are, Dr. B. thinks, incontestible proofs of the good effects of the waters. Considering that hypochondriacs run every where, and seldom get cured, this proof is rather equivocal.

8. Hysteria, in all its various forms.—9. Melancholia.—10. Asthma—when dependent on abdominal affections.

11. Stomach complaints.—12. Affections of the bowels.—13. Ovarian and uterine diseases.—14. Neuralgic affections, tic douloureux, &c.—15. Debility.—16. Various complaints following acute diseases, as fevers, inflammations, &c.



1. Maxbrunnen.—This water, when taken early in the morning, causes a certain degree of irritation in the fauces and nose, that leads to slight cough or sneezing, succeeded by a sensation of heat in the stomach, and not unfrequently by some confusion or giddiness in the head, as if from wine. These phenomena are speedily followed by a comfortable feeling, refreshment, and agility. After a few glasses of the water are drunk, the secretion from the kidneys is augmented considerably, followed by perspiration—and ultimately by some action on the bowels. This last effect, however, does not generally take place till after the waters have been used for a few days. The mucous secretion, however, both from the bowels and air-tubes is always increased—especially if there had been previously any tracheal or bronchial affection. This spring is found to be most beneficial to people of bilious, phlegmatic, and plethoric temperaments. People who shew a decided disposition to catarrhal affections, or inflammation of the mucous membrane of the lungs, will do well to mix the Maxbrunnen water with an equal quantity of whey. Scrofula, chronic bronchitis, indigestion, and other affections, are benefitted by these waters.

2. Ragoczy.—A glass of this water taken fasting, causes a refreshing warmth in the stomach, followed by some degree of distention, with slight eructations of gas. The head next becomes affected, with a sense of pressure in the front, and even some degree of giddiness. If sufficient exercise be taken between each glass, a gentle perspiration occurs—the kidneys act more freely—and phlegm is expectorated from the mucous membrane of the air-passages. All these symptoms are generally followed by two or three actions on the bowels. This cycle of phenomena occupies from two to four hours, when the symptoms all subside, and the patient feels comfortable during the remainder of the day. These phenomena continue for some days—and as the appetite augments, it is too often indulged freely, with inconvenience. At the end of a few days, all the functions of the body, but especially the mucous secretions, take on a considerable degree of activity—and the secretions themselves become changed in quality as well as quantity. From the end of the first week till the end of the second, the general state of health is much altered, in consequence of the excited condition of the whole organism, which is now roused into action against the malady. “The patient becomes irascible, capricious, discontented;—the waters no longer render him comfortable, brisk, or increase his appetite:—on the contrary, the tongue begins to be furred, the appetite to fail, the secretions to become irregular and morbid, not only from the bowels, but from the other mucous membranes, and even the skin, which often exhales a peculiar acidulous[173] odour.” The urinary secretion gets thick and sedimentary, with a predominance of acid or alkali, and a scum over its surface. If the liver or spleen were affected, they now become softer, and the abdomen is sensible to pressure. The same is observed in the other abdominal and pelvic organs when previously affected. In short, when the patient begins to think that the waters are disagreeing with him, and making him ill, the Doctor is of a very different opinion, viewing this re-action as a salutary effort of Nature, assisted by the waters, to expel the morbific matter or cause of disease from the system.[57]

3. The Pandur.—The physical effects of this spring are nearly the same as those of the Ragoczy. It acts a little more strongly on the kidneys, skin, and bowels. On this last account it is a most useful spring in all abdominal congestions, torpid bowels, and sluggish liver. On the same account also (its aperient qualities) it causes less of the re-action described above, affects the head much less than the Ragoczy, and also the chest. The effects of the Pandur, when taken in the evening, are worthy of notice. If two or three glasses are taken in the evening, it has a calming, tranquillizing effect on the whole system—promotes sleep—or produces it if the individual were previously wakeful. At the same time it promotes perspiration, and secretion from the kidneys; but does not act on the bowels—unless a large quantity be taken. About eight or nine in the morning, however, it opens the bowels comfortably, especially if assisted by a few morning glasses of the same water. In this respect it differs greatly from the Ragoczy—which cannot be taken in the evening. It is also an important auxiliary to the Ragoczy. The Pandur is preferable to the Ragoczy in all cases where an alterative, solvent, and aperient effect is more desirable than a tonic. It is fitter for young females affected with abdominal and uterine plethora—or indeed plethora of any part, than the neighbouring spring. It is also more profitable in nervous, irritable habits than the other. Where constipation obtains, it is peculiarly useful.

4. Soolensprudel.—It is only about two years (before March 1839) that this water has been used internally. It is strongly purgative and solvent. Two or three glasses taken fasting, are sure to produce one, or even several[174] evacuations from the bowels, without griping or inconvenience. Although there is a very small quantity of iron in the Soolensprudel, yet, in combination with the carbonic acid gas, it does not weaken the digestive organs, so much as some other waters of the saline kind. It may be given, as an aperient, in all cases where the Ragoczy and Pandur are proper.


The effects of all the Kissengen waters, when used as baths, have a considerable resemblance to each other. The plus or minus of carbonic acid gas, and of iron, make the chief differences. As the baths have hardly ever been employed without the internal use of the waters, their effects cannot be positively ascertained as under other circumstances. The general phenomena, however, may be stated as follows:—

The patient feels soothed, refreshed, and even strengthened, by the first few baths; but about the seventh day, the symptoms of re-action commence, and then the pleasing sensations of the bath disappear—and he feels enfeebled and uncomfortable after leaving the water. These phenomena increase. The skin becomes relaxed—slightly reddened, and copious perspirations break out—or if not, the kidneys act vigorously. If there be any cutaneous eruptions, they increase, become inflamed, and discharge freely. Rheumatic and gouty pains are exasperated, and sometimes carried into a state of acute inflammation, with fever, which lasts three or four days, and then disappears. In such cases, the baths must be discontinued for a short time. In general, most of the diseases which are ultimately cured by the baths and waters, are, for a certain period, rendered worse. In the course, or rather towards the end of this re-action, certain critical evacuations take place, more especially from the skin, accompanied by a peculiar odour—or boils or other eruptions break forth—or depositions take place in the urine, sometimes even of blood—or by the bowels. This crisis past, a state of amelioration takes place, and now the baths should be discontinued, not at once, but gradually.

The morbid conditions which require the baths more than the drinking of the waters are—chronic affections of the skin—rheumatic and gouty complaints, whether external or internal—neuralgic affections—complaints driven from the surface to the interior.

We need not dwell on the slight differences which take place in the use of the baths of the Maxbrunnen, Pandur, and Ragoczy. The baths of the Soolensprudel deserve a remark or two. The baths of this source are more powerful than those of the others, often producing considerable heat and irritation of the skin, accompanied by corresponding re-action of the system generally—even to fever, which requires marked and vigilant attention, otherwise very serious consequences may result. At the same time, it may be observed that the baths of the Soolensprudel are less disposed to affect the head and the chest, than other baths of weaker powers, if used[175] with caution. They have hitherto been chiefly employed in cases of confirmed scrofula, both external and internal—in uterine and ovarian affections—in inveterate rheumatic and gouty complaints.

In the after-cure, the waters of Bocklet and Bruckenau, chalybeates both, are almost essential, to restore the strength, after the alterative and aperient waters of Kissengen, and after the struggle which the constitution has had with the malady.

1. Season.—Dr. Balling conceives that different complaints require different periods of the season for their removal by the waters of Kissengen. In general, however, the time is from the middle of Spring till the end of Autumn.

2. Preparation.—Dr. B. gives us some advice on this point, which we can seldom follow—namely, to dismiss all care, before we visit Kissengen!—to bring with us a statement of our case from the physician in ordinary—to bring warm clothing, adapted to Winter as well as Summer—not to bring unnecessary family and servants—to travel leisurely from home to Kissengen—to rest a few days after the journey, before the waters or baths are taken, and consult with the physician of the place.

3. Mode of taking the waters.—The time is from six till eight o’clock in the morning. The quantity of the waters taken must depend on the capability of the stomach to digest them. As there is much carbonic acid gas in the waters, they ought to be drunk quickly, each portion. The Ragoczy and Pandur are generally taken cold; but, in particular cases, the chill may be taken off them. Ten or twelve minutes should intervene between each goblet of the waters. The first glasses are more easily digested than the later ones. Easy walking between the glasses is beneficial. All persons disposed to congestions about the head or chest, as evinced by giddiness, or oppression in the act of breathing, should be very cautious and moderate in the use of these waters. In the period of re-action, the symptoms should be marked by the patient and communicated to the physician. Breakfast may be taken in half an hour after the last goblet of water. If the waters are taken in the evening, it should be four or five hours after dinner. These regulations apply chiefly to the Ragoczy and Pandur. The Maxbrunnen spring is generally drunk with a moderate proportion of whey or milk.


The waters of the Maxbrunnen remain clear when heated. The others become a little turbid by the heat. Patients are recommended not to bathe in any of these waters for three or four days after their arrival. They should be taken for some days internally, before the baths are used, in[176] order that the bowels may be free, and the secretions improved. They ought to be employed to the point of saturation—which generally takes place in a shorter time than by the drinking of the waters. The baths are taken before noon, and after drinking the waters, before breakfast—or in the evening. The baths, however, may be taken two hours after a light breakfast—and are more agreeable to most people at this time than before the repast. Once a day is often enough. They are generally raised to 96° or 98° of Fahrenheit—and half an hour is the usual period of immersion. It is prudent not to stay in more than ten or fifteen minutes at first, and to gradually increase the period, till it comes to thirty or forty minutes.

“Patients who are disposed to convulsions, vertigo, faintings, or fulness about the head, should not use these baths but with extreme caution. Such people ought to keep the head covered with cloths wet with cold water during immersion.”[58] These baths are absolutely prejudicial, if the patient goes in when heated, perspiring, or excited by passions of the mind. The bather ought not to plunge at once into the bath, but first to sponge the chest and stomach with the warm water. It is hurtful to read in the bath, and more so, to go to sleep. On the contrary, the bather should keep in constant motion, to use friction with his own hands over the chest and abdomen. “If, during immersion, the patient be seized with feverish heat, chilliness, shivering, head-ache, oppression on the chest—or any kind of malaise, he should immediately quit the bath, and examine whether or not the temperature has been too high or too low. He should dress himself quickly on leaving the bath, and take some turns in the dressing-room before going into the open air. Gentle exercise after the bath is very beneficial.”

The point of saturation from the baths is considered by Dr. Balling as a matter of great importance. This point is not attained till the morbific matters are expelled from the constitution, and all the secretions have become healthy and natural—especially those from the intestinal canal. The time necessary for attaining this desirable condition will be different in different constitutions—and in different diseases. Generally speaking, it requires two weeks of the bath. After this period the patient and physician should be on their guard, and watch well the phenomena as they occur.

The effects of these waters on the human organism do not cease when the drinking and bathing are left off. They often continue for a long time, and complete the cure which was left incomplete at the spa. It but too frequently happens that, when patients experience no relief at medicinal spas, they are told to hope for a cure from the consecutive effects of[177] the waters. They are often disappointed. In respect to the Kissengen springs, we are informed by Dr. Balling, that unless they produce the reaction already described, during the time the patient is using them, no consecutive effects are to be expected. But, on the other hand, if the reaction clearly shews itself at the springs, considerable consecutive effects, of a salutary nature, may be confidently looked for—and the remainder of the cure may be safely trusted to nature at the patient’s own home. The system of diet enjoined by the Kissengen physicians, and Dr. Balling in particular, is nearly as rigid as at most of the other spas, where certain doctors have hobbies which they ride to death beyond the Rhine as well as in this country.


At six o’clock in the morning the band marches and plays through the middle of the town to the garden, summoning the sick to their morning potations. “It is here,” says Dr. B. “that a most curious scene presents itself to the musing eye. Eight hundred or a thousand invalids (for comparatively few others go to Kissengen) are quickly assembled in the walks of the “Jardin de cure,” of all conditions and ages—the prince by the side of the tradesman—the queen by that of the peasant girl—all having but one object in view, the recovery of health. Nothing can be more interesting than the general physiognomy which characterises the whole moving mass of human beings.

The great spas present a morbid physiognomy each peculiar to itself. Carlsbad exhibits the yellow and earthy—Ems the pallid and hectic—Pyrmont, the pale chlorosis—the “green and yellow melancholy” of the love-sick maiden. Kissengen has its peculiar physiognomy—but it is a deceitful one—a countenance of morbid fulness and floridness, little indicative of the grave maladies which lie concealed.”

This garden is of considerable extent, and contains numerous walks. Those who like to be in the crowd may find their wishes satisfied in the middle alleys—those who are fond of solitude, may indulge their meditations in the remote paths. Those who are fond of comparing notes with their brother and sister sufferers, have ample means of doing so, in this asylum of valetudinarians.

At eight o’clock all disperse to their breakfasts; after which they either repose for an hour or two, or take some walking exercise. At eleven o’clock, the bathing process commences, after which another promenade or repose—and then the one o’clock dinner. After dinner, and perhaps a cup of coffee, the promenades in the garden, and the excursions into the country are made. In the evening, the garden, the conversation-halls, theatre, and gambling-tables, are the great places of resort.[59]


I shall conclude with the following remark of Dr. Balling.

“In speaking of the gaming-tables of the Kurhaus, which are open from three till ten o’clock every afternoon, it is to assert, in the most positive manner, that all such games are eminently injurious to invalids, and greatly obstruct the cure of their complaints. This is the case whether the individual wins or loses money. In the state of excitement, almost febrile, produced by the waters themselves and the re-action of the constitution, the valetudinarian runs the risk of some dangerous perturbation in the animal organism, which may cost him his life, and, at all events, must interrupt the salutary operation of the springs.”

P.S.—On visiting these waters in August, 1840, I found that the number of English invalids had somewhat decreased during that season. The reputation of the waters, however, is evidently on the increase. I saw several English who had experienced considerable benefit in stomach complaints; whilst others complained much of the bad effects of the waters on the head and nervous system. They are powerful waters, and require attention. The spa doctors of Kissengen now enjoin a most rigid system of diet, which greatly aids the medicinal effects of the waters. No wine is allowed. The food is confined to soup and a little meat, without any pudding, fruit, vegetables, or made dishes of any description! This dietary, with early hours and plenty of water, must go a good way to insure restoration of health, independently of the medicinal ingredients in the springs.


When the waters of Carlsbad or Kissengen have washed away the superfluous green fat and ill-assimilated roast-beef from the body of John Bull—the sour krout and rancid sausages from the German—and the caviare and train oil from the Russ—then these worthy personages repair to Bocklet or Bruckenau, to undergo a very different process from that of depuration—namely, to have their ribs lined with steel, and their stomachs converted into gizzards. According to my information, those who come to these acidulous chalybeate springs with digestive organs in a state analogous to that of blotting-paper, go away from them, with the same organs in a condition very closely resembling well tanned sole-leather!

The visitors of Carlsbad and Kissengen, are all radical reformers, tearing[179] up by the roots the numerous vices and abuses that have crept into their constitutions;—but at Bocklet and Bruckenau, they become eminently conservative—carefully rebuilding the various dilapidated portions of the body corporate in the firmest manner, and on the most durable foundations.

Bocklet is only half-a-dozen miles from Kissengen, and the waters contain little more than two-thirds of a grain of iron to the pint; but then there are 31 cubic inches of free carbonic acid gas, which confer on the iron the greatest possible state of solution, and consequently the greatest degree of energetic action on the human frame. In the pint of this water, also, there are 27 grains of muriate of soda—six grains of sulphate of soda—seven grains of carbonate of lime—nearly two grains of carbonate of magnesia, with some slight saline impregnations, of no great importance. The whole of the solid contents are between 40 and 50 grains in the pint. These ingredients, however, gently modify the action of the iron, and render the water much safer, in many complaints and constitutions, than the purer chalybeates (as for instance Bruckenau) where the astringency and stimulation of the steel are unmitigated by saline counter-poises. Dr. Hans, the Apollo of Bocklet, is loud in the praises of these waters, taken internally and used as baths—and indeed, from their composition and their physiological action, I think it probable that they are of greater utility, and applicable to a wider range of diseases than any other chalybeate in Germany, or perhaps in Europe.

At no spa do the applicants live more completely en famille than here—all dining, drinking, and promenading together, sans ceremonie.

The cuisine at Bocklet appears to be under the superintendence of the doctor. We dined at the one o’clock table-d’hôte, and had nothing but soup—some bouilli—and roast chicken, instead of the endless courses at other table-d’hôtes. The whole, with a pint bottle of wine, cost about eighteen-pence for each person! Bocklet, however, seems but little frequented, compared with Bruckenau, though its waters are of an excellent quality. The drive from Kissengen along the side of the Saal, is very pleasant, and passes the Soolensprudel and salt works, which we stopped to examine. The Soolensprudel was in high feather, foaming and boiling over into conduits that conveyed it to the baths. It is well worth seeing.

There are some pleasant excursions in the neighbourhood, where time may be killed, and health promoted by the same process.

The air for a mile or two around the salines strongly resembles sea air, where there is much sea-weed on the shore. It is very grateful and refreshing.



At the distance of sixteen miles from Kissengen, a route requiring five hours and a half, with strong horses, over a road which is by no means abundant in good scenery, but exuberant of steep hills and rough causeways, lies Bruckenau, between two lofty and wooded hills, in the pretty but certainly not romantic valley of the Sinn—a chalybeate much frequented, even by royalty—the King of Bavaria having a residence there for taking the waters in the spa-season. There are three or four springs—two, the Sinnberger and Wernarzer, close together, on the left bank of the river—resembling tolerable, and only tolerable, soda-water, in taste, having scarcely any savour of steel—and containing not more than a grain of solid matters in the pint. The former of these is much used in calculous complaints—scrofula—and chronic affections of the mucous membrane of the lungs. Dr. Schipper affirms that the water of the Sinnberger possesses a peculiar, or rather specific influence on the skin, in the promotion of perspiration.

The Wernarzer is nearly the same in taste and composition; but is more used in dyspeptic complaints, or morbid sensibility of the gastric and intestinal nerves.

It is on crossing the little river Sinn, that we come to the lion of the place—the Bruckenauer, springing up under a large red pavilion, and discharging its contents through four tiny wooden tubes, into a circular basin, encrusted with the red oxide of iron. I saw none of the commotion which Dr. Granville describes; on the contrary, the Bruckenauer is one of the most quiet and placid wells which I have ever seen, considering that the water contains 36 cubic inches of carbonic acid gas to the pint, which ought to make it as frisky as Champagne. It is pleasant to the taste; but not more so than the Weinbrunnen at Schwalbach—the Pouhon at Spa—or the Pandur at Kissengen. In fact, I was greatly disappointed, as far as taste is concerned, in the waters of Bruckenau, so exaggerated are the accounts which have been published respecting their ethereal, sparkling, exhilarating, piquant qualities.

The chalybeate nature of the Bruckenauer is unequivocally evinced by the great deposition of iron on all parts of the basin in which it is contained—and by the strong iron gout which it leaves in the mouth after being swallowed. Although there is only a quarter of a grain of steel in the pint, yet this mineral is at its maximum of oxidation, in consequence of the great proportion of carbonic acid gas, and the Bruckenauer is therefore held to be the clearest and most pure chalybeate in the world. The physiological effects of this spa are considered to be highly stimulating, tonic, and astringent—augmenting the velocity of the circulation, and the volume of the pulse—oxygenating the blood—giving tone to the[181] body, and colour to the lips and cheeks of the blanched female. In addition to these valuable qualities, the Bruckenau waters are said to possess the opposite ones—of tranquillizing (“arresting every symptom of irregular mobility,”) of the nervous system. Now, if all the spa-doctors, between Carlsbad in the East, and Saratoga in the West, combined to certify this fact, I would remain sceptical. I will not maintain that such conflicting qualities are incompatible with each other; but it would require very weighty facts to induce me to believe that they co-exist in this pure chalybeate spring.

Bruckenau is to Germany what Tonbridge Wells is to England. Although the latter spa contains much more iron than the Continental one, Bruckenau has greatly the advantage in the large proportion of carbonic acid gas, rendering the German chalybeate infinitely more tonic than the English.

The water of Bruckenau, then, like all pure tonics, is a powerful engine in skilful hands; but a dangerous weapon when wielded without judgment. Debility, or at least a feeling of debility, attends almost every disease, whether acute or chronic. To remove this symptom is the constant prayer of the patient, and the great embarrassment of the practitioner, who knows that those remedies which augment the general strength, too often increase the activity and danger of the local disorder. It must be owned that in medicine, as well as in other professions, there are individuals who, for the sake of ill-got fame and sordid pelf, will pander to the appetites, prejudices, and ignorance of the public, and, through the agency of food and physic, force, as it were, the general strength beyond the level at which the local malady can be safely remedied. The fire is smouldered but not extinguished, and is sure to break out, sooner or later, with redoubled violence. But the object of the doctor is attained—the fees are secure, and his skill is already attested by the deluded victim, who is ashamed afterwards to recall the testimony. The attempt to restore general health or strength by tonics or chalybeates, where there exists a local disorder of any organ or structure, is not merely illusory, but prejudicial or even dangerous. Hence the necessity of an accurate examination of all the organs, before a course of tonics is entered on at home, or a journey to a chalybeate spa abroad. Much expense, fatigue, and disappointment would be saved by such a preliminary investigation. It is in cases where the general health and strength are breaking down under functional disorder, and where this disorder is corrected by other spas or proper medicines, that the chalybeates of Spa, Schwalbach, Bruckenau, or Bocklet, act like a charm in restoring energy to the constitution, taken internally and used externally.

The chalybeate bath requires caution and attention, as well as the drinking of the waters. Although much of the iron is lost by the escape of the carbonic acid gas, still the corrugation, redness, and roughness of[182] the skin produced by immersion in the chalybeate bath indicate a powerful agency, and when lassitude, drowsiness, head-ache, or sense of exhaustion follow the bath, the patient should be on his guard, and either desist, or report to the bath physician.

There must be an especial freedom from all organic disease, and even from functional disorder—especially disordered function of the liver or digestive apparatus, attended with morbid secretions, where such a pure and powerful chalybeate as Bruckenau can be safely employed.

The King of Bavaria has erected here a Cursaal apparently intended to rival, or rather to eclipse its celebrated namesake of Wisbaden. It is a structure of great height, dimensions, and decorations, surrounded on all sides by a fine open colonnade, and presenting a noble portico. At the table-d’hôte, of one o’clock, there sate down about eighty or a hundred guests; but many of them were, no doubt, visitors from Kissengen. They seemed to defy the rigid injunctions of the Kissengen doctors, and probably considered that during the “Nach-Kur” or after-cure, and while they were lining their ribs with steel, they ought to have a commensurate latitude in the enjoyments of the table.


At the distance of three short miles from the town of Eger or Egra, in Bohemia, lies Franzensbad, a spa of considerable reputation. The situation is not very pleasant, being rather bare of wood and shade, and the surrounding country by no means picturesque. The town, or village, in fact, is in the midst of a great bog, and the houses, like those of Amsterdam and Venice, are built on piles driven into the ground. Franzensbad is a colony from Egra, and dates only from 1795. It took its name from the principal source—Franzensquelle. The houses are modern, clean, and cheerful—the walks, though not yet sufficiently numerous or shaded, are in progress—and the bazaars furnish all kinds of necessaries, and even luxuries, to the spa-goers.


This is the lion of the place, and is the first spring on which we stumble on our way from Eger. Its name was formerly the Egra, and its waters, which are now exported to every corner of the earth, still go by the name of Eger water. It is supposed to have been known for eight hundred years past. The spring is placed under a circular temple, from which the bazaar colonnade stretches round two sides of a square. It sends forth 275 cubic inches of water per minute, at an invariable temperature of about 49°. The water of this well is clear as crystal, and discharges great numbers of bubbles of gas, which coat the sides of the glass. It is a long[183] time before it becomes turbid in the vessel. In the course of several days it begins to be decomposed, and lets fall some particles of oxide of iron. This spring is in continual agitation, emitting with some noise its carbonic acid gas. It has no odour of any kind, and the taste is very pleasant, piquant, and refreshing. The après-gout, or after taste is decidedly chalybeate. Mixed with a fourth part of white wine and some sugar, the Franzensquelle forms a remarkably agreeable beverage. If the sugar be in fine powder, and briskly stirred about in the glass, the whole foams up like Champagne.

Physiological properties.—The Franzensquelle is considered by all the best medical authorities on the subject, as at one and the same time, solvent, strengthening, and stimulant. Its chief contents are as follows: in a pint or pound of the water, there are 34 grains of solid matters, and 30½ cubic inches of carbonic acid gas. The chief ingredients are ¾ grain of silex—6⅓ grs. bicarbonate of soda—one third of a grain of oxide of iron—1¼ grain of carbonate of lime—19 grains sulphate of soda—7 grains of muriate of soda—in all 34 grains.[60]

Although it contains one-third of a grain of steel, and that minutely dissolved by means of the carbonic acid, yet the Franzensquelle may be administered to people who are both irritable and debilitated, without any danger of proving too heating or exciting.

Its internal use produces the following effects. 1. It acts on the nervous system, which it strengthens, tranquillizes, and diminishes irritability. 2. On the muscular system it exerts a tonic effect. 3. On the vascular system it produces an increase of activity—accelerates the circulation—augments the red colour of the blood, as well as the animal heat of the body. It also increases the functions of digestion, assimilation, and nutrition. 4. It dissolves mucus in the bowels, expels worms, and rarely produces constipation. On the venous circulation of the liver it is believed to act in a very salutary manner—dissipating congestions in that quarter. 5. On the uterine system it acts vigorously, proving both tonic and stimulant. Hence it is much used by females of pale complexions, watery blood, and various derangements peculiar to the sex. 6. The water of this spring is diuretic, and beneficial to the kidneys, when their function is disturbed. 7. It is asserted that the Franzensquelle is useful in relaxed states of the mucous membrane of the trachea and bronchia. The union of a solvent and tonic property is attributed not so much to the[184] combination of saline and chalybeate ingredients, as to their antagonism, thus producing a new agent of specific powers. And here I consider it better to take the opinion of the venerable Hufeland, on these waters, than the assertions of the spa-doctors themselves. The following sentiments were published by the celebrated Prussian physician in 1822.

“When I speak of the waters of Franzensbad, it is as of an old and valued friend. The renown of these waters has continued ever since the days of Hoffman, and I myself have witnessed many remarkable cures effected by them. In 1820, I drew a parallel between the waters of Franzensbad and those of the Kreutzbrunn, at Marienbad—all from personal observation. It was long the custom in Berlin and other large towns, for the merchants, men of letters, politicians, and, in fact, the greater part of the bureaucracy, to tear themselves from their various occupations, and take the waters of Franzensbad for a month. They almost all laboured under a complication of functional disorders, as difficult and painful digestion, constipation, deranged secretions, or gouty affections. While taking the waters, they were separated from their offices—kept early hours—lived temperately—and enjoyed exercise in the open air. The effects were remarkable. They laid in a stock of health for the remainder of the year—and thus prevented functional disorders from advancing into changes of structure. Frederick the Great was one of those who profited by the waters of Franzensbad. This illustrious monarch often became a prey to the most miserable feelings and gloomy sentiments. In 1748, this state amounted to a high degree, aggravated by a tertian fever and various gouty affections. At this period the king considered that his days were numbered, and that his last ones were at hand. His physician prevailed on him to try the waters of Egra (Franzensbad), where he completely recovered his health, and lived to an advanced old age.”

“Although the waters of Franzensbad belong to the chalybeate class, their properties are quite peculiar. They are very ethereal, and combine so much saline matters with the iron, that they are penetrating, easy of digestion, tonic, exciting, animating without heating, solvent of obstructions, aperient, and favourable to the promotion of healthy secretions and excretions. These waters are incomparable when the object is to purge without debilitating—to increase the activity of the blood-vessels without heating or producing congestion—to strengthen without constipating. It follows from this, that there are few chronic maladies for which these waters are not an effectual remedy—and few persons who will not bear their operation well.

“I shall now briefly allude to the principal complaints to which the waters of Franzensbad are particularly applicable.

“In the first rank stands Hypochondriasis, especially if accompanied by atony of the bowels, congestion of the abdominal vessels, constipation, hæmorrhoidal tendency, or determination of blood to any of the vital[185] organs. In such cases pure chalybeates would only augment the evil; whereas the saline chalybeates are of the greatest benefit. Chronic nervous affections, with or without cramps or spasms of stomach and bowels, are a class that derive great advantage from these waters. The same may be said of all chronic disorders, the sequel of long-continued indigestion, with flatulence, acidities, and eructations. Hæmorrhoids, whether fluent or dry, are ameliorated or removed by the waters of Franzensbad. They are almost specific in biliary derangements, from torpid liver up to actual jaundice. Finally, in reverting to the case of Frederick the Great, I can aver that, for the long catalogue of human afflictions, the consequences of sedentary lives, full living, anxieties of mind, and crowded cities, the waters of Franzensbad are inimitable—even if only taken for a month each season. I have frequently ordered them, and with great advantage, in affections of the mucous membranes of the chest—and even where there were strong indications of tubercles in the lungs. In these last cases, however, it will be prudent to exhibit them in combination with warm milk—especially asses milk. In chronic affections of the kidneys and bladder—in gravel and calculus, I have given the waters with benefit. These waters are not injured by time or carriage.”

Such are the sentiments of the celebrated Hufeland, and I have preferred them to the statements of the spa doctors themselves, for very obvious reasons.


This spring is situated in a turfy meadow a few hundred yards to the eastward of the Franzensbrunn, at the end of a long colonnade. It is defended from the rain by a circular dome. It throws up 133 cubic inches of water per minute. It is perfectly clear, and disengages much carbonic acid gas. It takes a good while to become decomposed, when it throws down some whitish flakes, but no oxide of iron. It has no odour, and the taste is brisk and refreshing, rather alkaline, but not in the least chalybeate.

Contents.-¼ grain of silex—7 grs. of bicarbonate of soda—a mere trace of iron—1½ gr. carbonate of lime—13½ grs. sulphate of soda—7 grs. of muriate of soda—total about 30 grains, with 20 cubic inches of carbonic acid gas in the pint.

From the above analysis it is evident that the Salzquelle differs not essentially from the Franzensbrunn, except in the iron, which is infinitely greater in quantity in the latter than in the former. The Salzquelle bears considerable analogy to the waters of Carlsbad and Marienbad. It is equally penetrating, solvent, and easy of digestion as the Franzensquelle, but less irritating, and more refreshing. Weak people, and those who are[186] disposed to congestions of blood, bear this spring better than its chalybeate neighbour. Hufeland, in 1823, published the following opinion.

“Franzensbad has gained much by the discovery of the saline (Salzquelle) spring. I am acquainted with all the German spas, and have no hesitation in stating that this source is quite peculiar in its nature, and hitherto inscrutable. The physiological action of this spring is equally mild and penetrating, promoting the secretions rather than the evacuations. The waters of this source are more easily borne than those of the chalybeate.”


This is a small circular well, close to another very large and oval one, both of which are at a short distance behind the bazaar colonnade. This water is in continual motion, like its more celebrated namesake at Carlsbad; but does not leap so high, and is quite cold. It furnishes 3648 cubic inches of water per minute. When poured into a glass it is clear and effervescent. The taste is agreeable, refreshing, and slightly chalybeate. It has no flavour; the quantity of carbonic acid gas which it disengages while drinking, often causes sneezing.

Contents.—6⅓ grs. bicarb, soda—⅒ gr. of oxide of iron—1¼ gr. carb. lime—20 grs. sulphate of soda—6½ muriate of soda—total 33½ grs. in the pint, with about 30 cubic inches of carbonic acid gas.

From the above analysis it appears that the Cold Sprudel holds a place, both chemically and medicinally, intermediate between the Franzensquelle and the Salzquelle. It is more solvent and aperient than the former—but more exciting and irritating than the latter. It is unnecessary to go into details as to the cases in which the one source is preferable to the other. A combination or alternation of the two will often be more beneficial than an exclusive use of either.


Close to the Sprudel, and under the same canopy, boils up in prodigious quantities, the Louisenquelle. The basin is of a large oval form, and contains several springs within itself. It disgorges 27,056 cubic inches of water per minute! It is in perpetual agitation, like its neighbour the Sprudel, and serves exclusively for bathing. The carbonic acid gas boils up in large and innumerable bubbles, with considerable noise. It appears turbid in the basin, but is perfectly clear in a glass. The taste is quite as pleasant as that of the Franzensquelle, but without the after-taste of ink produced by the latter source.

Contents.—⅑th of a grain of silex—4 grs. of bicarbonate of soda-¼ of a gr. of carbonate of iron—1¼ gr. carb. lime—16 grs. sulphate of soda—5[187] grs. muriate of soda—total 27 grains, with 24½ cubic inches of carbonic acid gas in the pint. It may be stated that the waters of Franzensbad are used externally as baths—cold, tepid, or warm, in all the diseases and disorders for which the same waters are used internally.

P. S.—Since the above was written I have received the following information from a most talented pupil of St. George’s Hospital (Mr. Spitta), respecting a new source which had not been quite in operation when I visited Franzensbad.

“One source yet remains to be noticed, of recent date truly, but still by no means to be overlooked—the Weisenquelle, or Source de la Prairie. It is situated still further eastward of the Franzensquelle than the Salzquelle; and is principally remarkable for containing a small quantity of sulphur in the form of sulphuretted hydrogen gas.

Drs. Kœstler and Palliardi have each published a small paper on its virtues.

It contains the most salt of any of the wells at Franzensbad. In sixteen ounces there are 25.6554 grains of sulphate of soda—9.3254 of chloride of sodium—8.9787 of bicarbonate of soda—besides carbonates of lime, magnesia, iron, (.1780 gr.) magnesia, stronthian and lithion, phosphate of lime, subphosphate of alumina, and silica, each in small quantities; together with .0588 of a peculiar salt termed by Zembsch the analyst, “quellsaures eisenoxydul,” or oxide of iron in combination with an acid peculiar to this well—making in all 46.6903 grains of saline matter.

This source gives off a great quantity of carbonic acid, and when you approach it the well-known odour of sulphuretted hydrogen is immediately recognised.

According to the same chemist, Zembsch, 16 ounces contain 30.691 grs. of free carbonic acid, and .162 gr. of sulphuretted hydrogen. Its medicinal properties are like the other springs, aperient and antacid, but from its containing so much salt, and so little iron, it forms a sort of intermediate spring between the Salzquelle, which has the merest trace, and the Franzensquelle, which contains about one third of a grain of that metal in the pint.

It is not so much employed as the other springs; so that its specific effects dependent on the sulphur it contains have not as yet been very distinctly observed.”


These and the Mud-baths to be presently described, are becoming very fashionable in Germany. From every inch of surface in the peat bog around Franzensbad, carbonic acid gas is constantly issuing forth in such quantities that its extrication is audible and visible, wherever there is water[188] on the ground. To have a reservoir of this gas, it is only necessary to build a house, and prevent the carbonic acid from being dispersed in the air. It is there collected, and baths and douches are constructed for its ready application to the body generally, or to any particular part thereof. The Gas-bath or building at Franzensbad, stands within thirty or forty yards of the Franzensquelle, and from the ground of this house, which is of very moderate extent, there issues 5760 cubic feet of gas every twenty-four hours!! There is little doubt that the extrication of carbonic acid is equally plentiful in any and every part of the bog in which the town is situated. I should think that to go to sleep on the ground, in a calm Summer’s night, would be inevitable death. As it is, the good people of Franzensbad, inhabitants and visitors, must be perpetually inhaling an atmosphere well impregnated with this gas. I do not suppose, however, that this is productive of any injurious effects.

The gas is conveyed into the bath through a cock at the bottom, and the patient, being either dressed or undressed, sits down on a little stool, while a wooden lid or cover, with a hole that fits tolerably close to the neck, is placed over the body, the head being in the open air. They have small tubes through which they can apply the gas to the eyes, ears, or any part of the body, in a stream, the velocity of which can be augmented or diminished at pleasure. They can also diminish the intensity of the gas by applying a piece of muslin or taffeta over the pipe, or over the eyes or ears that are subjected to the stream. I did not try the gas baths here, but at Marienbad I used them generally and locally, accompanied by my kind friend Dr. Herzig of that place. Standing in the bath, the cock was turned without my being aware of it, and, in a few seconds, I felt a sense of heat ascending quickly along my legs towards the body. Without thinking of the gas I stooped, and put my head down towards the aperture of the tube, by which I inhaled as much of the carbonic acid as caused a sudden faintness. Dr. H. and the bathman quickly extricated me from my perilous situation, and I went on with the bath, while my head was in the open air. I found that the following representation of the sensible, and physiological effects of the bath, as given by Baron Aimé, is sufficiently correct. 1. The gas excites and even irritates the skin, producing a pricking, and soon afterwards a strong itching on the surface, accompanied by heat, and ultimately perspiration. 2. The gas stimulates the nerves of all parts to which it is applied. I had a stream directed on my eyes, which caused a most profuse flow of tears, with strong sense of heat. When it was applied to my ears, a sense of heat, and a considerable noise were the effects produced.[61] 3. It is asserted by physicians of the Continent[189] that this gas is extremely useful when applied to old, ill-conditioned, and irritable ulcers, as soothing and promotive of healthy discharge, and ultimately of cicatrisation. 4. Although the breathing of this gas is as mortal as that of the Grotto de Cane, yet if diluted with plenty of atmospheric air, it is thought that it might prove serviceable in some states or stages of phthisis, asthma, &c. 5. The action of this gas on the eyes and ears I have already mentioned. Its remedial agency is much extolled in certain disorders or diseases of those organs, attended with atony or morbid irritability of their nerves and structures. 6. These baths are chiefly employed in cases of paralysis attended with stiffness, feebleness, or spasmodic movements. 7. In chronic, inveterate affections of a gouty or rheumatic nature—chronic sores—glandular swellings—and various cutaneous complaints, the gas baths are applied, and, as is affirmed, with success. 8. In uterine affections, irregularities, &c. attended with torpor, debility, and irritability.

Upon the whole I am disposed to think that the gas baths are active agents, and that they may be made useful ones, when carefully applied.


Among the novelties—transcendentalisms, or, as some would call them, extravaganzas, of Germany, the Mud Baths deserve the “passing tribute” of a short notice. But alas! there is “nothing new under the sun”—or under the earth. To the mud of the Nile and the Ganges, virtues almost miraculous—even the creative power of life—have been attributed, time immemorial. Who does not know that the life of Marius was preserved by a mud-bath in the Minturnian marshes?—The instincts of animals, too, are not to be overlooked: We all know the extreme tenacity of life possessed by eels—owing perhaps to their frequent use of mud-baths. Swine are proverbially subject to cutaneous complaints, especially measles; to prevent or cure which, Nature seems to prompt the daily employment of mud-baths, in the Summer season. A remarkable instance of the force of instinct is afforded by the Indian buffalo. That animal immerses himself daily, during the hot season, in mud, up to the very nose; by which means, we may conclude that he avoids the jungle fever, or cures himself of liver-complaints. The alligator offers another example. When he has swallowed a buffalo or a tiger, he buries himself up to the nose in mud, on the oozy shores of the Ganges, no doubt for the promotion of digestion.

It is unnecessary to multiply the virtues of mud-baths. Those who desire ocular proofs must repair to Franzensbad in Bohemia, where they will see—not mud but bog-baths in perfection; though they are now also got up very well in Marienbad, Carlsbad, Teplitz, and other fashionable spas.

I have alluded to the plentiful supply of bog which the immediate vicinity of Franzensbad offers to the mud-bathers. This earth contains[190] the following materials:—viz: The fibres of plants not decomposed, and whose organization is recognizable—matters soluble in water, such as vegetable substances rich in carbon, and of a yellow colour;—sulphate of lime—sulphate of magnesia—sulphate of iron—alum—bituminous extractive matter—oxide of iron—fine sand.

Thus we see that the mere boggy material of the mud-bath contains many substances that may and do exercise a considerable physiological action on the body; and medicinal agency on the constitution.

The peat bog is carried to the neighbourhood of the baths, and there allowed to dry to some extent. It is then sifted and separated from the woody fibres and coarser materials, when it is mixed with the mineral water of the Louisenquelle into the consistence of a very soft poultice. In this state it is heated by steam to a temperature varying from 80° to 100° of Fahrenheit, when it is ready for the bather, being worked up by means of wooden instruments and the hands into a complete black amalgam. I took the mud-bath here, at Marienbad, and Carlsbad, and do not regret the experiments. I confess that, at first, I felt some repugnance, not fear, in plunging into the black peat poultice; but when up to the chin (temperature 97°) I felt more comfortable than I had ever done, even in the baths of Schlangenbad, Wildbad, or Pfeffers. The material is so dense, that you are some time in sinking to the bottom of the bath—and I could not help fancying myself in Mahomet’s tomb, suspended between Heaven and Earth, but possessing consciousness, which I fear the prophet did not enjoy. There was one drawback on the mud-bath, or peat-poultice. We cannot roll about, like a porpoise or whale, as in the water-bath, without considerable effort, so dense is the medium in which we lie; but I found that I could use friction to all parts of the body, with great ease, in consequence of the unctuous and lubricating quality of the bath. After twenty minutes’ immersion, I felt an excitement of the surface, quite different from that of the common mineral warm baths—even of those of Wisbaden, Kissengen, or Schwalbach—attended, as I fancied, by elevation of spirits.

Whilst I was thus philosophizing, like Diogenes in my tub, the thought came across my mind that I would have a dive in the sable mixture. I knew that the sun and winds had so tanned my complexion, that it would not suffer by immersion; and if my hair should get dyed black, the change would certainly be for the better. I therefore disappeared like an eel in the mud; but, on emerging from the bog, I thought I should have been suffocated before I cleared my face from the tenacious cataplasm. I had now been nearly half an hour in the Schlammbad, and prepared to quit, as the mixture was fast cooling down, and the heat could not be kept up, as in the water-bath. On raising myself slowly and perpendicularly, with at least twenty pounds of mud on my surface, I caught a full length portrait of myself in the glass, and I think the view would have sickened[191] Narcissus of self-contemplation for ever!! I was really shocked at my sudden metamorphosis into the Œthiopian, and began to doubt whether I should ever “change my hue” again. The warm water-bath was close at hand, but I had the presence of mind not to jump into it at once, as I should, in that case, render it a black wash-tub; but by clearing away with both hands, some sixteen or eighteen pounds of peat varnish from my body, I rolled into the clear fluid, where it required half an hour’s rubbing and scrubbing to purify myself from the “Bain de Boue.” Both on this, and on subsequent occasions, at Marienbad, Carlsbad, and Teplitz, I experienced a degree of exhilaration, strength, and elasticity from the mud-bath, which I had never done from any other. The iron in these baths, instead of corrugating the skin, as I expected, imparts to it a glossy or sattiny feel and softness quite peculiar—and much more in degree than the waters of Schlangenbad.

The bog-earth is well picked, and in some places sifted, so as to remove all the fibrous and woody parts, leaving the fat unctuous substance to be mixed with the mineral water of the place. In general these baths produce a pricking sensation, and sometimes an eruption on the skin, an effect which I did not experience.[62] They are therefore much used in old and obstinate cutaneous complaints, as well as in glandular swellings, sequences of gout, rheumatism, &c. They are very exciting to the nervous system, and should not be used where there are any local inflammations, or much general excitability of the constitution. They do not lose their heat so rapidly as the water-baths, and consequently they maintain the volatile and penetrating principles longer than the latter. They are much employed in paralysis, chronic ulcers, and cutaneous affections.

Here and at other spas where mud-baths are employed, I met with several veteran warriors, whose aching wounds reminded them too often of battlefields and bloody campaigns. They almost all agreed in attributing more efficacy to these than to the common baths—and I think, from what I have seen, heard, and felt, that there is much truth in these statements. The Schlammbads have one advantage over the others, which is more prized on the Continent than in England—the facilities which they afford the bathers, both male and female, of receiving morning visits from their friends while in the mud, and that without any violation of delicacy, propriety, or decorum; for there, persons are more completely veiled than in any dress, even of the most dense and sable furs of Russia. An English lady of rank, at Teplitz, was visited by her physician and friends while immersed to the chin in peat-bog. They read to her, and conversed with her till the signal[192] was given for exchanging the black varnish for the limpid and purifying wave, when they retired.

The rules for taking the Franzensbad waters and baths do not vary materially from those of other spas. The following concise direction is from the pen of Dr. Clarus.

“A complete course of these waters requires at least four weeks. When it is thought desirable to take of more than one source, the change from one well to another should not be abrupt, but gradual. We may commence with one glass of the Salzquelle, and each day increase by the glass, till, in a week, we come to six or seven glasses, taken at intervals of a quarter of an hour. After this period, the Salzquelle is to be decreased, glass by glass, and replaced by the Cold Sprudel. This change is to go on during the second week. At the end of a fortnight, the Cold Sprudel is to be changed, in the same gradual manner, for the Franzensquelle, which is to be continued till the end of the course, unless some circumstances arise to alter the arrangement. Those who are of very weakly constitutions, and especially if they labour under any pulmonary complaint, will do well to add some warm milk or whey to the mineral water.”

The baths are generally taken about two hours after breakfast. They ought not to be taken unless the bowels are daily opened, either by the waters or by aperient medicine. The temperature of the baths should be about 98° of Fahrenheit, or that of the blood.

Baron Aimé has collected from various sources a host of cases, of all kinds of maladies, cured or relieved by the waters of Franzensbad; but into these it is unnecessary to go. Here the tyrant fashion has caused a comparative desertion for the more attractive localities, if not more sanative springs, of Marienbad, Carlsbad, and Teplitz. The qualities of the mud, and the profusion of the gas, at Franzensbad, however, may probably turn the current by and bye in its favour.

Extract of a Letter from Mr. Spitta to Dr. Johnson.

My Dear Sir,—I cannot quit the subject of Franzensbad without entering into some detail on the celebrated Mud-baths. One hears much of mud-baths at different spas of Germany: but a genuine Schlammbad is seen only in Bohemia, and especially at Franzensbad.

The mud is obtained, as you are undoubtedly aware, from a large bog or moor, situated at the back of the Louisen and Caltsprudel wells, which, according to Dr. Kœstler, who accompanied me to examine it, is nine miles by three in extent; and he tells me also that the same schlamm extends to a depth of 20 feet. Indeed the whole village may be said to be resting on this peat-earth; for you cannot dig up the soil to any depth without discovering it. The surface of the moor looked singularly black and barren; here and there, however, I discerned some yellow and white[193] efflorescences. The yellow was by far the most abundant; and, wishing to know its composition, I collected a considerable quantity and brought it to England. It is a highly acid salt, permanently reddening litmus paper, and extremely styptic and acid to the taste. I dried some carefully; and found that 100 grains which had been completely desiccated, yielded 97.6 grains soluble in distilled water. The solution was dark brown, of the colour of beer, and contained an acid per-sulphate of iron. The remaining 2.4 grains consisted principally of iron in combination with some vegetable acid, or extractive matter.

I was sorry I could not collect sufficient quantity of the white efflorescence for examination. I merely remember its taste to have been equally styptic and disagreeable as the yellow.

There are several minerals found in this moor. I am indebted to Dr. Palliardi (one of the resident medical men) for a good specimen of blue phosphate of iron; of the hydrated red oxyd of iron; and for one of great interest discovered there by himself, termed Kieselguhr. This substance was first described by Professor Ehrenberg, of Berlin, to be an aggregation, or to speak more accurately, the shells of a collection of different species of infusoriæ. It is said to be pure silica—it is white; extremely light and friable, and forms one of the most beautiful objects for the microscope I have seen. I have a great quantity; and shall be happy to furnish yourself, or any friend that may desire it, with a specimen.

I do not know whether you visited Dr. Palliardi’s study; it would have been well worth the trouble. He is at once a mineralogist, a botanist, an ornithologist, entymologist, chemist, and physician. I was pleased at the simplicity with which they made a mud-bath—they merely picked and sifted the mud (the sun having previously, to a certain extent, dried it) and digested it in the water of the Louisenquelle warmed by steam. The appearance of a bath when ready is anything but prepossessing; I must confess, however, on making the trial, I was agreeably disappointed.

Notwithstanding my qualms, Dr. Kœstler insisted on my taking one, and making myself acquainted with his darling Schlammbads from personal experience; and I must say, when quietly seated in the mire, the sensations were by no means disagreeable. In other hot mineral baths I almost invariably experienced an oppression and anxiety at the chest; but here, I know not why, the breathing was quite natural, and not at all hurried. The black mess was extremely acid, violently and instantaneously reddening litmus paper; and it exhaled a peculiar odour which I can compare to nothing but to blacking. Its taste was styptic and saline—styptic evidently from some salt of iron, and more saline than the water of any other mineral bath. This is no more than would be expected when the quantity of salt it contains is considered. I am informed by Dr. Kœstler that every bath requires 250lbs. of schlamm, in which are contained 33lbs. of salts. And this statement I should imagine to be tolerably correct, for I find that[194] 120 grs. of this mud yield 15.5 grains of matter soluble in water. The solution is light brown, very acid, and contains the following substances: 1. A volatile acid, which was separated by distillation at temp. 230 circ. and which had many of the leading characters of acetic acid, and on which the peculiar odour of the bath depends.—2. Some fixed extractive matter in combination with iron.—3. A large quantity of the persulphate of iron; and 4. some sulphate of soda.

In examining this specimen, I was mostly struck with the very large quantity of iron, and the comparative small quantity of other saline matter. For a wonder it contained no chloride. There is a salt kept by the chemists at Franzensbad, purporting to be the salt contained in the mud. Had they said—made from the mud, they would have been correct. It is perfectly neutral and efflorescent, and is nothing else but sulphate of soda, with just sufficient persulphate of iron left unremoved, to tinge its solution. The fact is—it is prepared by neutralising the acid solution of the mud by carb. soda, and thus precipitating the iron, and retaining the salt of Glauber in solution—one or two crystallisations furnish it tolerably pure. The opinion that it contained the phosphate of soda and phosphate of iron, is unfounded.

In many respects, the mud-bath is unique in its action on the human body. From the quantity of saline matter it holds in solution, it acts as a powerful stimulus to the skin, exciting the capillaries to renewed exertions; hence its great use in gouty and rheumatic paralysis. The chalky and fibrinous depositions which form this disease are absorbed under its influence; and so effectual is it, that Dr. Kœstler, the oracle of Franzensbad, will prophecy the recovery of a patient from this disheartening complaint, after the far-famed hot springs of Teplitz have been tried in vain.

It is to this same property perhaps that its influence in chronic painful affections of single nerves is to be attributed. The point whether salt is actually absorbed from a bath is not, I believe, absolutely decided; but certainly, if the fact be true, as is my firm belief, it is worthy of remark to those patients who look for the tonic effect of the absorption of iron into the blood, that it is in the mud-baths only that this metal is contained in a soluble state. In the baths of Schwalbach, so famous for chlorosis, there is plenty of iron; but it is in the form of an insoluble carbonate: yet it is stated to be absorbed by the skin, and to produce its well-known effect on the coloring matter of the blood; it has always appeared to me that, provided chlorotic patients could bear the stimulation applied to the surface, the mud-baths of Franzensbad would be pre-eminently serviceable. This remark applies equally to some forms of hysteria; and to those irregular muscular contractions of the limbs termed chorea. Indeed it is to the absorption of this iron, I deem that the exhilarating effect universally experienced after their use is to be attributed. Dr. Kœstler quoted to me two cases of diabetes, in which these baths were extremely useful; he[195] could not however say were actually effectual. In conclusion, cutaneous affections of a chronic character, unattended by fever, will be most effectually benefitted; and I believe that these very obstinate complaints, which baffle in so determined a manner the skill of the medical man, will derive more benefit from the mud-baths of Franzensbad than from any other mineral baths, with one exception—those of Kreuznach. I have entered more fully than I had originally purposed into this subject; but I trust that its very great interest, both in a scientific and medical point of view, will be deemed a sufficient apology for trespassing so long on your patience.

I am, dear Sir,

Your’s very sincerely,

Robert J. Spitta.


At the distance of sixteen or eighteen English miles from Eger, lies the now celebrated spa of Marienbad, though a place of yesterday, comparatively speaking. It is situated in a gorge or small valley between cheerful and pine-clad hills; and the houses being all modern, look extremely well. Numerous shady walks are constructed in every direction; and two murmuring and crystal streams run rapidly down the valley. Three of the springs are within a few hundred yards of each other—viz. The Kreuzbrunn, the Carolinenbrunn, and the Ambrosiusbrunn. The Ferdinandsbrunn, lies about a mile out of the village. There is another spring still farther in the woods, which contains only 7/10ths of a grain of solid matter in the pint of water. It is called the Marienbrunnen.


This is the lion of the place. It is the strongest of them all—its predominant qualities being solvent, with an ulterior stimulant and tonic property. It boils up under a beautiful building resembling a small Grecian temple, from the entrance of which a fine shaded promenade, with a bazaar on one side, and a dell on the other, extends to the Carolinenbrunnen. In a pint of this spa there are 28½ grains of sulphate of soda—10 grains of muriate of soda—7½ ditto of carbonate of soda—3 grains of carbonate of lime—2 of carbonate of magnesia—⅒th of a grain of iron—some vegetable extract, &c. making 52 grains in the whole. The cubic inch of water contains about a cubic inch of carb. acid gas.

Physiological Effects.—This water sits easy on the stomach. Five or six glasses are generally taken in the morning, without inconvenience, and even with pleasure. When impurities, however, exist in the stomach or bowels, the Kreuzbrunnen often causes sickness or disagreeable eructations,[196] and then some opening medicine should be taken. If this water causes a sense of distention, weight, or oppression at the stomach—or diarrhœa, or loss of appetite, it is a sign that the water is taken in too large quantity—or taken too fast—or taken too long—or, in fine, that it is not agreeing with the individual. Very often, however, it is more owing to errors of diet than to the nature of the waters that these phenomena occur.

In general the appetite is increased by the Kreuzbrunn, after the third or fourth day. It augments considerably the action of the kidneys, the water becoming more pale and copious—and this effect generally continues during the period of the cure. It acts on the bowels also—five or six glasses usually operating two or three times. The exported water is more aperient than that taken at the source. The evacuations are often of a green, black, or brown colour—or glairy, and gelatinous. Sometimes dark coagulated blood is passed. When the motions become watery, the Kreuzbrunn is not answering the purpose. The discharges above-mentioned afford indescribable relief to the sufferer.

Things do not always, however, proceed so quietly. Occasionally the abdomen becomes distended—the pulse accelerated—the bowels get confined—and the fears of the hypochondriac are then greatly augmented. According to Dr. Heidler, Dr. Herzig, and others, these symptoms are critical, and soon disappear, when Nature has accomplished her object by a discharge of vitiated excretions. It is quite a mistaken notion that the dark or green colour of the motions is owing to the minute proportion of steel contained in the water.

The circulation is sometimes disturbed. The head becomes giddy, the chest oppressed, the pulse hard and frequent—with a sense of prostration, or, on the contrary, of excitement. These are considered by the authorities above-mentioned, as precursors of the critical discharges, and return of health. In many cases such stormy crises do not take place, and the cure is effected gradually and imperceptibly. In people of plethoric habits and irritable temperaments, when any of the foregoing symptoms occur, it is safest to mix the water with some warm milk, or allow the carbonic acid gas to escape before it is taken. The Kreuzbrunnen, however, is one of those solvent, and, at the same time, tonic waters (according to Dr. Heidler) that may be taken by almost every one, whatever the age, sex, or constitution, with little or no danger, even where there are complications of organic diseases of the heart, lungs, or great vessels. In such cases, the dilution with warm milk and the extrication of the gas, will be proper. Dr. Heidler cites the case of a young lady who came to Marienbad labouring under sympathetic hectic fever, and who had had hæmoptysis. The stomach would retain no food—especially the dinner. Constipation was obstinate, and nocturnal perspirations were profuse. The Kreuzbrunn waters were taken, and, after eight days, the fever ceased. In four weeks more the stomach became retentive. Next Summer, however,[197] she returned to Marienbad, with the evening vomitings as before. Eight days’ course of the waters dispelled the sickness, and she recovered her health. The physicians of Marienbad exhibit the Kreuzbrunn to people who have had apoplectic attacks, provided all symptoms of congestion be removed before the waters are begun. In hæmorrhoidal and other sanguineous fluxes, the same source may be used; but in moderate quantities.

The effects of the Kreuzbrunn on the nervous system are much dwelt on by Dr. Heidler and the other practitioners. They are considered to be antispasmodic, and are highly praised in the numerous and Proteian forms of hysteria, hypochondriasis, weakness of stomach, &c. Many patients of this kind recover at the Kreuzbrunn, after vainly trying more tonic and chalybeate springs elsewhere.

In cases of pure debility, both of body and mind, the more tonic waters of the Carolinenbrunn (to be presently noticed) are prescribed, together with baths of the same. This water is much used in tremors of the limbs, paralysis from mere weakness, or from losses of blood, excesses, severe illnesses, distresses of mind, &c. It is to be remembered, however, that mere debility is but seldom the cause of these nervous sufferings; and that the feelings of lassitude and exhaustion, the small pulse, cold extremities, cramps and spasms, so frequent among hypochondriacs, are generally symptoms or effects of congestion in the vessels of the liver and abdominal organs, giving rise to irritation in the nervous system, constipation, and morbid secretions. The classes of people who become hypochondriacal are those who have lived well, both in food and drink, and who have led an idle life, mental and bodily. In such, the pathological condition above-mentioned is likely to occur. The action of the Kreuzbrunn is eminently calculated to clear away viscid and unhealthy secretions, and rouse the circulation of the liver and glandular organs of the abdomen. The Marienbad physicians employ the Kreuzbrunn in gravelly complaints, but in small quantities, and with good effects apparently.

The physiological action of this water on the lymphatic or absorbent system, is very striking, as might be expected. Tumours of the glands, especially if not of long-standing, disappear or greatly diminish during a course of the Kreuzbrunn. Cutaneous complaints are generally cured or ameliorated by the same waters assisted by baths.

But it is chiefly in chronic complaints of the abdominal, and especially of the digestive organs, that the Kreuzbrunn is famous. The symptoms which indicate the use of these waters, according to Dr. Heidler and the other physicians of Marienbad, are the following:—yellow, pale, or cachectic complexion—loss of appetite—distaste of food—sickness—furred tongue with bitter taste in the morning—acid or rancid eructations—oppression or cramps about the stomach—distention and tenderness of the abdomen, local or general—colics—kidney-affections—constipation—diarrhœa—dysury—deposits[198] in the water—irregularities of females—sterility—leucorrhœa—hypochondriasis—hysteria—epilepsy—various and anomalous nervous affections—headaches of all kinds—giddinesses and vertigo—noise in the ears—sleeplessness—asthma—anxiety about the chest—palpitation of the heart—languor of the muscles—cold extremities—feeble circulation—atrophy, &c.


This spring lies about a mile out of the town, and has a greater affinity to the Kreuzbrunn than any of the other wells of Marienbad. Its constituents are as follow:—In the pint there are 17 grains of sulphate of soda—7 grains of muriate of soda—6½ carbonate of soda—3 of carbonate of lime—2 of carb. magnesia—⅓rd of a grain of carbonate of iron—traces of carbonates of strontia, manganese, and lithian—in all 36½ grains—with 146 inches of carbonic acid gas to 100 cubic inches of the water.

From the above analysis it will be seen that the Ferdinandsbrunn contains nearly three times as much steel as the Kreuzbrunn, with considerably more of carbonic acid gas; but it contains much less of the sulphates and muriates of soda. Hence it is more tonic, and less aperient than the master-spring, the Kreuzbrunn. The water is clear and transparent in the glass—sparkles like champagne—and has a most agreeable refreshing taste. It leaves a slight smack of ink on the palate. It may be administered in the same class of maladies as the Kreuzbrunn is applied to—and that either simultaneously, alternately, or successively. Thus, where the solvent powers of the former spring are still wanted, but the debility of the patient requiring a more tonic source, the Ferdinandsbrunn may be advantageously conjoined with the Kreuzbrunn, or substituted for it during a period. It may be as well to cite a case or two here from my friend Dr. Heidler.

“A gentleman, 60 years of age, who had led a sedentary life, and experienced much trouble of mind, became extremely hypochondriac. When he arrived at Marienbad, his complexion was cachectic—eyes dull and sunk—tongue furred—appetite gone—abdomen distended, but not tender—hæmorrhoids—bowels inactive—discharge of bloody mucus occasionally with the motions—some eruption on the skin—slight wandering gouty pains—skin dry—pulse small and slow. The Kreuzbrunn was first tried, but produced watery evacuations, and distention of the stomach. The Ferdinandsbrunn was therefore substituted at the end of ten days. This water, in conjunction with mud-baths, produced, in the course of five weeks, the most salutary effects, clearing the patient of his hypochondriasis, and nearly the whole of the other symptoms.”

Case the second.—“A gentleman, 50 years of age, who had lived well,[199] became weak and cachectic after some considerable hæmorrhoidal discharges—one of them amounting to several pints of blood in one day. He had derived considerable advantage from the waters of Carlsbad the preceding year, but it increased the intestinal hæmorrhage. On his arrival at Marienbad, he presented the following symptoms:—complexion pale, and inclining to a yellow tint—lips bloodless, as was the tongue, and even the palate—swelling of the eye-lids—small appetite—sleeplessness—rose from bed more fatigued than when he lay down—great difficulty of breathing, but without any symptoms of water in the chest, on ascending stairs—abdomen distended, but soft, and without tenderness—constipation and diarrhœa alternately—the pulse feeble and 85 to 95—skin rough and dry.

“The Kreuzbrunn was tried, but caused oppression at the stomach—diminution of appetite, and watery evacuations. The Ferdinandsbrunn was then employed, and agreed better, and produced more consistent motions, but very unhealthy—some blood was passed each time from the hæmorrhoidal vessels. The appetite soon increased—the digestion improved—and sleep became more refreshing. Towards the end of the course, which lasted five weeks, he was able to go up stairs without difficulty. He returned two years afterwards to Marienbad, with the same symptoms, and was again relieved.”

The Kreuzbrunn is preferable to the Ferdinandsbrunn, where the invalid is of sanguine temperament, robust, inclined to apoplexy, or hæmorrhages. Also for females who are subject to miscarriages—and, in general, for all those who shew a tendency to fulness or congestion in any of the vital organs—diseases of the chest—derangements of the circulation—inflammatory complaints—and diseases of children.


These two springs are near each other, and only a few hundred yards distant from the Kreuzbrunn. They come under the head of “acidulous chalybeates,” and only differ from each other in strength—the Carolinenbrunn being rather more potent than the Ambrosiusbrunn, as the following analysis will show. The Carolinenbrunn contains in the pint of water, 2½ grains of sulphate of soda-½ grain muriate of soda—⅔rds of a grain of carbonate of soda—nearly a grain of carbonate of lime—3 grains of magnesia—⅓rd of a grain of carbonate of iron—in all amounting to about 9 grains—and 123 cubic inches of carbonic acid gas in 100 cubic inches of the water.

The Ambrosiusbrunn contains only six grains of solid matters in the pint—the iron being only ¼ of a grain. The other ingredients are the same in kind as in the Carolinenbrunn, but one-third smaller in quantity. The carbonic acid gas is also rather smaller in quantity.

Dr. Heidler considers the Ambrosiusbrunn as bearing considerable analogy to Bruckenau, Bocklet, and the Stahlbrunn at Swalbach; but as[200] far as the chemical composition is concerned, there is much difference, as may be perceived by reference to those springs. Dr. H. prefers the Ambrosiusbrunn for children, and also for adults of very weak and delicate constitutions, as preparatory to the water of the Carolinenbrunn. It is easy of digestion, and may be taken for a long time, without inconvenience. It is very useful in gravelly complaints.

The Carolinenbrunn is of more extensive application than the Ambrosiusbrunn; but much less so than the Kreuzbrunn, or even the Ferdinandsbrunn. Experience has shewn that the “acidulous chalybeates,” whose properties are exciting and tonic, are much less useful in chronic diseases than those which are solvent, and which produce crises in the course of their operation—especially through the medium of the bowels and the kidneys.

The first impression of the Carolinenbrunn on the stomach is excitant and refreshing, like all other acidulous springs. It has been generally used by the inhabitants as common drink; and yet it does not digest so easy, among the invalids, as the other springs of Marienbad—many of them experiencing weight and oppression at the epigastrium, particularly if they are weak and irritable constitutions, or labouring under any congestion or engorgement of the abdominal organs. It is much less aperient than the Kreuzbrunn and the Ferdinandsbrunn—indeed it often confines the bowels, and then the patient must take some of the other waters with the Carolinenbrunn or aperient medicine. This spring is the strongest in iron of all the others. It bears the greatest affinity to Schwalbach and Spa; but is a stronger chalybeate, and contains more carbonic acid gas than they do. It leaves an après-gout of steel on the palate, as also of sulphur.[63]

The Carolinenbrunn may be classed amongst the exciting and tonic waters. It moderately excites the circulation and the nervous system, by a transient stimulation, which does not leave a debility behind. Although it is not aperient, it rarely produces astringent effects, like bark, steel and other tonics. It augments the action of the kidneys—and may be said to gently increase the activity of the whole organism, without checking any of the secretions. It is therefore prescribed, with much advantage, in all cases of pure debility, and unattended with any fever or local inflammation. Care ought always to be taken that the bowels are cleared of all impurities before this water is used, and that constipation is guarded against during the course. It is used in baths. The rules for using the waters are not materially different from those enforced at other spas. The season lasts from the beginning of May till the end of September.



The baths of Marienbad are on a splendid scale—including the mineral water—the gas—and the mud baths. The grand source of the waters for bathing is the Marienbrunn, which furnishes 5280 cubic feet of water in 24 hours. The basin is large and capacious—entirely covered over—and the carbonic acid gas boils up in all directions, and in globes and globules of all sizes, with astonishing vehemence and agitation. The disengagement of gas here is, in my opinion, much more striking and wonderful than at the Cold Sprudel and its neighbour at Franzensbad. There is always a thick stratum of this deadly gas incumbent on the surface of the water. There is an admixture of sulphuretted hydrogen gas with the carbonic. All the experiments that are made on animals at the famous Grotto del Cane, near Naples, may be repeated here with perfect success. The Marienbrunn is more elevated than the bathing-establishments, so that the water is conveyed fresh from the source, through pipes that prevent all decomposition.


1. Soon after entering the bath—say at blood heat—innumerable globules of carbonic acid gas are seen on the surface of the body. 2. Many people perceive a redness of the skin, soon after immersion, accompanied by a sense of heat, even when the bath is not above 88° or 90° of Fahrenheit. 3. Some people of irritable and sensitive constitutions, on the contrary, experience a slight shiver, even when the temperature of the water is above that of the blood. This phenomenon is, however, rare. 4. The bath occasions a prompt and copious secretion from the kidneys. 5. Many people who have had old wounds, fractures, or ulcers, feel pains in the parts, while immersed in the water. 6. The same may be said of gout and rheumatism; and this renewal of pains is considered a favourable omen. 7. Old and ill-conditioned ulcers soon assume a more healthy appearance under the use of the baths, and take on a more active, or even inflammatory condition. Ulcers ought to be covered with oil-silk or other defence while the patient is in the bath. 8. In the course of the bathing—generally after ten or fourteen days, any eruptions that previously existed become more developed—and very often new cutaneous eruptions come out. These are considered to be more or less salutary.

The Marienbrunn water is much weaker than the Kreuzbrunn and other drinking springs, and is soon decomposed by exposure to the atmosphere. These baths are contra-indicated, or even prejudicial in cases of dropsy, phthisis, aneurysms, irritations or inflammations of any important organ, especially if accompanied by fever or suppuration—disposition to hæmorrhages, or vomitings of blood—disposition to miscarriage—paralyses the result of apoplexy. With these exceptions there are few chronic diseases[202] which may not be benefitted by the Marienbad baths in conjunction with the internal use of the waters.

It is chiefly, however, in gout, rheumatism, tic-douloureux, paralytic debility without preceding apoplexy or affection of the head, scrofula, cutaneous eruptions, stiffness and contractions of joints, and old sores, that the baths of Marienbad are recommended as essential auxiliaries to the waters internally. The baths are generally used at a temperature of 94° to 98°, and at any time of the day except when digestion is going on after dinner.


These are in great requisition at Marienbad. The peat bog is found near the spa. It is of a very dark brown colour—friable when dried, and unctuous to the feel when wetted. It is here, as elsewhere, the product of vegetable matters decomposed by water, and highly impregnated with carbonic acid gas and sulphuretted hydrogen, which gases are disengaged in prodigious quantities. Much sulphur is found in this earth, together with various mineral salts, as hydro-chlorate of soda, sulphate of soda—sulphates of lime and magnesia—carbonate of iron—silex—alum—bitumen, &c.

Besides the general effects of hot, warm, and tepid baths of mineral water, the mud-baths exhibit effects peculiar to themselves. They may be taken at a higher temperature than water-baths, without inconvenience. They are never employed cold. They excite the skin much more than the liquid baths,—cause a greater degree of redness—bring out more eruptions—and stimulate the nerves of the surface, as well as the vessels. They are employed by the Marienbad physicians in all those cases where the mineral-water baths are used. They are preferred, however, to the latter, in all those maladies where the natural and salutary crisis takes place chiefly through the excretories of the surface, and by determination to the joints, as in gout; and in those cases where the disease is attributed to checked perspiration. The mud-baths are much employed by Dr. Heidler, Dr. Herzig, and others, as local applications in various local maladies, as, for example, in swellings and stiffness of the joints—old wounds—ulcers—neuralgic affections, &c.

As the stratum of mud in contact with the body soon loses some of its caloric, it is proper and even necessary, to keep moving about in the bath, and using friction with the hands as well as motion with the limbs. The fluid bath, which is placed at the side of the mud-bath, loses temperature also, while the bather is in the latter, and as it is often a moveable tub, warm water cannot be always added to it—therefore it should be two or three degrees higher than usual when operations are commencing. No time should be spent in the washing-bath longer than is necessary for cleaning the surface of the body.


Having used the mud-baths both at Franzensbad and Marienbad, and accurately watched their effects on my own person, I can aver that I perceived no difference, either in sensible properties or physiological results, between the mud-baths of the two places. I always felt more exhilarated through the day, when I used the mud, than when I took the common mineral-water bath.


At Marienbad, as at Franzensbad, the carbonic acid gas rises from the earth in such abundance, that it is only necessary to inclose a piece of ground and form a reservoir, when the deadly mephitic gas collects in such quantities as would destroy the whole population of those spas in a few minutes! But as the most potent poisons have been converted into the most efficient remedies, so has this deleterious emanation from the bowels of the earth, been made an instrument for restoring various lost powers in the human frame. The application of this gas is only of modern date. The first notice I have seen is in the Dict. des Sciences Medicales, 1812. Since then Dr. Heidler, Dr. De Carro, and others have published on this subject. The gas-bath was first used at Marienbad about twenty years ago, on the following occasion. Dr. Struve, of Dresden, had been using the waters and baths of Marienbad for a painful affection of the left thigh and leg, which prevented him from walking without crutches, and, on any little exertion, caused the most excruciating pain. A number of lymphatic glands were swelled in the course of the vessels of that limb, and the vessels themselves were enlarged and inflamed, though the limb was emaciated. He had a gorged liver and hæmorrhoids. He exposed the afflicted member daily to the action of the carbonic acid gas, which always floats on the surface of the Marienbrunn; and the following were his words:—“I soon felt an agreeable warmth creep up the limb exposed to the gas, which went on increasing, accompanied by a sense of formication (creeping of ants) over the skin. After half an hour’s application, on the first trial, I removed from the Marienbrunn, by the aid of my servant and crutches; but my astonishment was great, when I found that I could put my foot to the ground with increased power, and that the painful titillation soon subsided. In the course of a few days the power of the limb was so far augmented that I was able to walk without crutches or even a stick. I continued, however, the Kreuzbrunn water internally—the mud-poultices to the limb—and the gas-bath for three weeks, when the cure was complete and permanent.”[64]

This almost miraculous cure attracted Dr. Heidler’s attention to the subject, and, from that period, he has made numerous experiments on other patients, with this new remedy, as well as on himself personally, and[204] published the results in the year 1819, at Vienna. The succeeding year six gas-bathing chambers were constructed, and now, (August 1840) this gas-bathing establishment is on the completest scale of perfection. The Count St. Leu, and Marshal Schwarzenberg, were among the first patients who used the gas-baths after their establishment in 1819. The physicians of Marienbad have, ever since the last-mentioned period, employed this remedy in a great number of cases and diseases, and, they informed me, with great advantage.

The sensible effects are chiefly as follows:

1. A sensation of heat (sometimes preceded by a slight coldness) very soon is felt after entering the gas-bath, beginning at the feet and mounting upwards over the whole body, in the majority of cases, but, in others, it is most sensibly experienced in those parts of the body or limbs which are or were the seats of diseases. In the abdomen, and especially in the lower parts of the pelvis, this pleasant sensation of heat is more felt than in the chest—a fact which led to the application of gas to certain complaints in both sexes attended with torpor and debility of particular functions.

2. A sensation of twitching, formication, and even pain, is often the result of the gas-bath, especially in parts which have formerly been the seat of fractures, sprains, wounds, or severe gout or rheumatism. These pains are so acute as sometimes to force the patient to quit the bath before the usual time has expired. On the other hand, most excruciating pains of rheumatism, tic, &c. unaccompanied by inflammation, have been instantaneously relieved by the application of the gas. 3. Perspiration is generally produced or augmented by the bath, either at the time of immersion, a few hours afterwards, or in the following night. 4. The gas-bath sometimes brings on, at others regulates, periodical discharges, hæmorrhoidal or otherwise. 5. The gas-bath is exciting or even irritating to the organs of respiration, and should not be used where there is any inflammatory action or congestion in the chest. 6. If a certain proportion of the gas gets mixed with the common air, and is thus breathed, it produces giddiness, vertigo, anguish at the pit of the stomach, and oppression about the lungs. If the pure gas is breathed, instant death is the result. A few years ago the life of a female peasant was lost by the stupidity of her husband, who put the cover of the bath over her head, instead of being round her throat. No one is now allowed to take a gas-bath without the medical or some experienced attendant.[65]


The carbonic acid gas is generally employed here in commixture with a small proportion of sulphuretted hydrogen gas.

The mode of action of the gas-bath being decidedly stimulant, it should never be employed where stimulants are improper. The disorders in which it is most employed by Dr. Heidler, Dr. Herzig, and other physicians at Marienbad, are the following:—1. Suppressed or scanty menstruation—especially after the waters and common baths have been used without effect. 2. Suppressed hæmorrhoidal discharges, in which the mineral waters may also be employed. 3. In scrofulous ulcers and swellings, aided by the mud-baths and mineral water. 4. Various derangements of digestion, where there is no plethora of any of the abdominal organs. 5. In gouty affections of a painful kind, without actual inflammation, and where the other baths and waters have proved ineffectual. In such cases, the gas-baths often bring out an acid and fætid perspiration on the pained part. 6. In some chronic affections of the sight, as amaurosis, not accompanied by inflammatory symptoms, the local application of the gas has been found useful: also in deafness dependent on torpor of the nerves and membranes of the ear, or where the natural secretion is defective or nul. Great caution, however, is necessary in the local application of streams of this gas to the eyes or ears, where there is any tendency to vertigo, or fulness about the head.

The gas-baths are taken locally or generally. In the general bath the patient should be lightly cloathed, as the gas generally induces perspiration. When it is used locally, by way of douche, it may often be applied to the naked part, or with a gauze covering over the surface, especially if to the eyes. Care should always be taken to prevent the introduction of gas into the lungs—or even into the mouth or nose, lest disagreeable consequences should ensue.

This new remedy has attracted individuals of both sexes to Franzensbad and Marienbad, from the wilds of Russia, and from various parts of the South and centre of Europe. Those who come with the greatest anxiety, and with the most ardent hopes, or at least expectations, to the gas-baths, are such as have long sighed, but sighed in vain, to become—

“The tenth transmitters of some foolish face,”

placing, apparently, more faith in the physical operation of the waters, baths, and gases of the spas, than in the intercession of saints or even the prayers which they had offered up at the shrine of the Madonna herself! How far and how often the gas-baths have wrought the happy revolution, I cannot say. The doctors have firmly asserted, and the patients have willingly believed the “flattering tale.” As the gas-baths are seldom trusted to alone, it is impossible to say with accuracy, what share they have in the general restoration of health, and the consequent invigoration of the constitution. Upon the whole, I left Marienbad with the strong[206] conviction on my mind, that its waters and baths were among the most efficient in the list of the German spas.

The valley of Marienbad is well sheltered, and surrounded by pines in the immediate neighbourhood of the spa; but we have only to mount a couple of miles on the Carlsbad road, when we get into a high open country, with a bracing air and a boundless prospect. Some parts of this route are extremely picturesque—I would almost say romantic, especially a few miles from Marienbad, where the road winds down a precipice in numerous tourniquets, into a valley surrounded on all sides by steep acclivities, some bare and rugged, others crowned with woods. A rivulet roars through the valley, and a village, a convent, and some factories, give cheerfulness and animation to the scene.

P.S.—Before quitting the subject of the Marienbad waters, I must dedicate a few lines to a small brochure on these waters, published by my friend Dr. Herzig, in the Summer of 1840.

Die Heilung der Krankheiten, mit hulfe des Kreuzbrunnen zu Marienbad. Von Dr. L. Herzig.—The Cure of Diseases by the help of the Marienbad Waters.

The water of the Marienbad springs has a soothing effect on the nervous system, and checks vomiting and pain in the stomach and bowels, in consequence partly of the carbonic acid contained in the water, and partly of its property of increasing all the secretions.

In plethoric persons it often proves stimulating, and causes headache, redness of face, and feelings of cerebral congestion—owing probably to the carbonic acid and the iron contained in it.

Its most marked effect is to increase all the secretions, especially those of the bowels, liver, kidneys and skin—large quantities of mucus are discharged with the stools. The mucous secretions of the bladder, and also of the vagina, are usually much increased at first, but subsequently greatly diminished, when these organs are in a state of weakness. Various forms of cutaneous eruption often make their appearance, and rheumatic and gouty pains are usually increased at first, but subsequently disappear during the use of the waters.

The digestive and nutritive functions are quickened and invigorated, and the patients acquire strength and liveliness, in consequence of the improved state of the intestinal secretions. The Kreuzbrunn waters at Marienbad produce similar effects to those of the Carlsbad and the Kissengen waters; but the former are more purging and evacuant, and act less upon the vascular system, and more upon the digestive functions than they do.

The diseases in which the Marienbad waters are most useful, are—

1. All congested states of the portal system of veins, indicated by torpid bowels, loss of appetite, hæmorrhoids, and gouty complaints; and the[207] various diseases connected with inactivity of the abdominal circulation, such as hypochondriasis, dyspepsia, morbid sensibility, headaches, &c. Numerous cases of chronic rheumatism and gout, which are so frequently associated with congestion of the vena portæ, are relieved by the use of the Marienbad waters.

2. Diseased state of the mucous membranes, such as some obstinate catarrhs, affections of the mucous coat of the bladder, uterus, &c.

3. Plethora, sanguineous congestions, crampy pains of the limbs, absent or difficult menstruation, and the numerous morbid symptoms dependent upon this state.

4. Torpor of the bowels, and its host of attendant evils.

“By means of its property of increasing all the secretions and excretions of the body, and of bringing out cutaneous eruptions and gouty affections to the limbs, the Kreuzbrunn waters at Marienbad are an excellent remedy in numerous diseases which depend either upon a plethoric state of the abdominal circulation, or upon the accumulation of impurities in the bowels, or upon an unhealthy condition of the mucous membranes. At the same time, they subdue the morbid irritability of the whole system, or of individual parts; they remove congestions, plethora, and various evils dependent upon these. They are especially useful in all cases where Nature herself seems to be striving to induce either an increase of the secretions, or a flow of blood from certain parts, as the nose, anus, &c.”

When the Marienbad waters do not prove sufficiently aperient, a small portion of Glauber or Epsom salts may be added to it. In some cases, the waters will agree better, if previously heated; and in others, they are usefully combined with a little warm milk, or with a small portion of wine.

Dr. Herzig is an attentive physician, who speaks English, and may be usefully consulted by my countrymen. I have also to express my grateful thanks to Dr. Heidler, the spa physician of Marienbad, for his kindness and attention.



——fælix per secula mana,
Fons sacer, humano generique salutifer esto,
Redde seni validas vires. Pavidæque Puellæ,
Formosam confer faciem, morbisque medere
Omnibus, et patrias accedat lætior oras,
Quisquis in hæc lympha fragiles immerserit artes.[66]
Sacred Font! flow on for ever,
Health on mankind still bestow—
If a virgin woo thee—give her
Rosy cheeks and beauty’s glow:—
If an old man—make him stronger—
Suffering mortals soothe and save—
Happier, send them home, and younger,
All who quaff thy fervid wave!

This is denominated the King of the Spas, whilst Baden-Baden is the Queen. I wish his majesty of the “Warm Wassers” had condescended to hold his noisy court a little nearer to that of his royal consort. Two hundred and thirty miles from Frankfort, through a country that is not always very smooth, or very interesting—with dust in some places half a foot deep on the roads—the thermometer at 80°—and the rate of progression five miles an hour, is a tolerable sacrifice to the hygeian goddess of the Sprudel! It is not improbable that many of those who travel to Bohemia, in search of health, might find it in various other directions, and much nearer their own doors. The journey itself requires some good stamina, as well as resolution, and, if borne well, gives promise of success at the Sprudel.[67]

I suppose Carlsbad claims the prerogative of curing by the “Royal touch,” all those maladies that resist the powers of his subject spas—and even of the Queen’s own at Baden.

I think I have discovered one cause of the great efficacy of the Carlsbad waters, which has escaped the notice of the spa doctors, including my friend Dr. Granville. In travelling to Bohemia, the invalid must, on a moderate calculation, swallow full a pound of sand and dust on the road. This being mixed with an indefinite quantity of grease, oil, and vinegar, at the hotels, forms a kind of amalgam, resembling “fuller’s earth,” the[209] clearing away of which, by the hot and alkaline waters of Carlsbad, must leave the stomach, liver, kidneys, and other internal organs, as bright and shining as a newly-scoured copper kettle.

It is ascertained that Carlsbad is built on a thin crust of limestone, forming a dome over several immense cauldrons of boiling mineral water. At present the chief crater of this aqueous volcano offers a safety-valve for all the superfluous soda-water unconsumed by the subterranean spa-goers; but it has often been feared that the whole dome may one day fall in, when the bibbers and bathers, the ramblers and gamblers, the sick and the sound, will all have a dip in the Sprudel at its natural temperature, and without the expense of 48 kreutzers for the bath!

On some occasions the usual vent of the Sprudel has become obstructed, and then the ground in the neighbourhood has trembled and vibrated, as if from an earthquake. At one time the pent up water burst out in the bed of the river: and here they have formed a large shield of wood and stones, clasped with iron, with a plug or safety-valve in the centre, along the sides of which the steam and water now oozes out, and the aperture can be enlarged at any moment by removing the plug, when another Sprudel rises in the middle of the Teple.

Be this as it may, Carlsbad may now be considered as the grand “Maison de Santé” of Europe, where the patients support themselves, on the principle of the Sanataria in general, and where Mr. Owen might find his social system almost perfect. Thus we have at Carlsbad (and indeed at most of the great German spas,) our food in common—our physic in common—and even our physician in common. The air we breathe, the water we drink, and gardens and walks where we exercise, are all in common. The socialists might even find little reason to complain of that “accursed thing,” matrimony, for although matches are occasionally projected at Carlsbad, I believe that marriage is seldom perpetrated there.[68]


This great valetudinarium then presents four or five wards or hygeian fountains, of which the Sprudel stands most conspicuous. I was completely disappointed at the first sight of this lion of the Spas. The descriptions and drawings of the spring are most outrageously exaggerated. One would expect to see a fountain of boiling fluid rising to a height of six or eight feet, and falling down in fervid and foaming showers. No such thing. During half the time, it does not rise above the level of the kettle in which it boils; and is often below that mark. Then it mounts a foot or so, and every now and then spirts a small irregular and ragged pillar or column of foaming water to a height of two, three, or perhaps four feet above the reservoir. More frequently, however, it squirts a jet of water to one or the other side of the kettle, which splashes into the conduits that carry it off. The whole of the kettle, reservoir, and exits are coated with calcareous deposits, and, in many parts covered with green matter, the bodies or receptacles of animalculæ. Still the Sprudel is a stupendous ebullition of hot medicinal water from some infernal laboratory, amply sufficient for the expurgation of a whole nation! The temperature of the water is 168° of Fahrenheit, each pint containing about 44 grains of solid matters, of which the sulphates, carbonates, and muriates of soda form 37 grains. A trace, and merely a trace, of iron is found in the water. Some very recent analyses have also detected traces of iodine, and of an animal substance, together with some sulphuretted hydrogen gas. Its taste is certainly not very agreeable and rather mawkish—and though clear at the fountain, it is turbid when cold. It very much resembles the Cockbrunnen in savour.

The second spring is the Muhlbrunn, whose temperature is nearly 30° below that of the Sprudel; but whose constituent salts are the same. Nevertheless this difference of temperature is supposed to produce a difference in the taste of the water, and renders it more acceptable to the stomachs, or at least to the palates, of many of the drinkers at Carlsbad.[69]

The Neubrunn is separated from the former source only by a covered walk, and marks 144° of heat. It did not appear to me to be so much in vogue at this fashionable watering-place, as the Muhlbrunnen.


Behind the Neubrunn there is a hill, cut into terraces and gravelled walks, where rises the Theresienbrunn—a spring much frequented by the ladies, and indeed by both sexes. The temperature is only 134° of Fahrenheit, and the water is almost tasteless. These three (with the Hygienequelle, close to the Sprudel) are the chief springs, which are much frequented by the great mass of bibbers at Carlsbad.[70]

The waters of all the springs deposit abundance of calcareous matters, which crystallize in stalactites of all shapes and hues, called Sprudelstein, and give employment to numerous hands in the formation of snuff-boxes and various kinds of bijoux.[71] As incrustations form on the surfaces of any woody, mineral, or vegetable substance immersed in these waters, a fear is sometimes engendered in timid minds that similar incrustations might form in the stomach, bowels, or kidneys of those who drink them! It has been proved by Dr. De Carro and others, that the stalactitious deposits will not take place on any animal substance, with the exception of the teeth. Even here, the quantity of stony matter is so small in a dozen beakers of the Sprudel, that nothing is to be apprehended to the teeth on this score. It would, perhaps, be a happy circumstance for Germany, if the Sprudel had the faculty of encrusting the teeth with a calcareous enamel! If such were the case, the whole of the five springs at Carlsbad would be insufficient to supply dentrifice varnish enough!


A serio-comic anecdote is related of a hypochondriac, who had drunk of these waters for some weeks before the petrifying thought flashed across his mind, (in consequence of some uneasy sensations in his stomach) that incrustations were forming in his interior. From that moment he became firmly convinced that snuff-boxes, heads of canes, Madonnas, and even crucifixes, were torturing his entrails! He drenched himself daily with drastic purgatives—but, unfortunately, no stalactites came forth: on the contrary, his inward pains and miseries were increased by the very means that were employed to expel the enemy! Whether he ever recovered from his imaginary sufferings is not known.

Another source of terror to the timid and nervous drinkers at Carlsbad has lately arisen. A learned German philosopher has discovered living fossil animalculæ in the waters of Carlsbad. Now if these little salamanders can “live and move, and have their being,” in the Sprudel at a temperature of 167°—or rather in the bowels of the earth, where the water is at the boiling point, or even in the form of steam, it may well be supposed that they would thrive luxuriously in the temperate climate of the human stomach, where the heat does not exceed 98° of Fahrenheit. However, the drinkers of the Thames water need have no fears respecting the Infusoria of Carlsbad, which would soon be devoured by the proteiform monsters which are daily ingurgitated by the citizens of London.

I have already stated that some of the philosophic spa doctors have broached the doctrine, that mineral waters are merely secretions from one great watery being residing deep in the bowels of the earth! As the secretions from the human body are very various, so the secretions from the mother Spa are almost innumerable, and thus the infinite variety of mineral waters is readily explained and accounted for. Q. E. D.[72]

The situation of Carlsbad is very picturesque—I might say romantic. It might be pretty well characterised by a single line, descriptive of a very different locality—the valley of the Upas tree:

“Rocks rise on rocks and fountains gush between.”


The town is built partly in the valley, partly on the ledges of granite rocks that rise abruptly behind it, to a height of 1500 feet, while the lazy Teple

“Slow as Lethe’s stream,”

creeps at a snail’s space through the vale, contrasting remarkably with the boisterous, foaming, upheaving, and boiling Sprudel, that gushes from unknown and unfathomable depths in the bowels of the earth, carrying health and life to its unnumbered votaries.

Carlsbad cures, as a matter of course, nine-tenths of human maladies; but as King of the Spas, it has a royal prerogative of a curious and important nature—namely, the power of curing those diseases which resist the virtues of all other spas and all other remedies! In answer to a question, “why Carlsbad sustained its reputation undiminished?” Hufeland replied—“C’est qu’il guérit des maux rebelles a tout autre moyen curatif.” It is true that, if we take the testimonies of the other spas, none of which admit their fallibility in any case, this prerogative of Carlsbad would be little more than a sinecure; but the promises of spa doctors, like the waters which they prescribe, must be taken cum grano salis; and we may safely conclude that some maladies present themselves at the Sprudel which have resisted the Cockbrunnen, as well as many other brunnens between the Rhine and the Danube.[73]

The attestations to the power of the Carlsbad prerogative would fill a volume. One just before me, as recorded by Dr. Granville, on the authority of a British nobleman, well known in the world of wit, is worthy of notice. Lord A——, it appears, through the efficacy of the Carlsbad waters, “had lost a pleuritic adhesion under the sternum (or breast bone) the consequence of neglected inflammation in the chest, which had annoyed him for a long time, and resisted all curative means. The complaint made him short-breathed in ascending hills, and gave him a dragging sensation whenever he sneezed—all which symptoms have since disappeared.”


Whether his lordship’s breathing, and consequently his years, have been lengthened by the dissolution of substernal adhesions, or by certain corporate reforms effected by the Sprudel, may admit of some doubt; but the narrative shews on what sort of evidence the miracles of the spas sometimes rest! Not that this evidence is worse than we have often at home—witness the attestation on oath by a nobleman, that he saw St. John Long extract quicksilver from the brain of a man who had taken mercury—and the solemn assertions of grave and learned doctors, that an Irish girl could see through her navel, and hear with the points of her fingers!!

If we estimate the number of cures by the number of candidates, this spa must be “a sovereign remedy” for many of our ills. But this criterion is not always correct. It is not always the physician who sees most patients that cures most diseases. But Carlsbad, like other bads, has a very convenient postern to retreat through, when hard pressed for testimonials. Thus, if the first season fails, the most confident hopes are held out that the second will succeed. If the second turn out a miscarriage, then the third will prove infallible! It requires no ghost to prophesy that, if the pilgrim of the spas goes two successive years to Bohemia, without relief, the third pilgrimage will, in all human probability, be to that “undiscovered country,” whence no invalids return to tell their tale of disappointment! If a patient die at home, it is because he did not visit Carlsbad—if at Carlsbad, because he came too late.

The waters of Carlsbad were formerly used almost entirely as baths—but now it is just the reverse—they are chiefly taken internally. In former times the bathers passed eight or ten hours in the baths, as they now do at Leuk, Baden, and Pfeffers. My friend De Carro thinks that, formerly, cutaneous complaints were more rife—and now, that liver and stomach affections are the prevailing maladies—hence the change from bathing to drinking at this celebrated spa. There may be some truth in this. The taste of these waters very much resembles that of weak chicken-broth, with a flat and alkaline savour. It has been seen that soda, combined with sulphuric, muriatic, and carbonic acids, is the chief agent in the Carlsbad waters. Soda uncombined with acids, either out of or in the body, has rather a deleterious effect on the organs of circulation and digestion. “But the Carlsbad water (says Chev. De Carro) though used for a long time, reanimates, vivifies, excites the appetite, and promotes digestion—thus with proper regimen, restoring the patient to health.” Doubtless the efficacy of the waters is augmented by the admixture, however small in quantity, of other elements, as the oxide of iron, the carbonic acid, the iodine, and materials yet unknown, diffused in extreme solution, through a fluid of a very high temperature, which enables the component parts of the spring to permeate the minutest vessels of the body. The Carlsbad salts are found in the renal secretion, as well as in the cutaneous transpiration, after being taken internally. These waters act by exciting the stomach, bowels,[215] kidneys, liver, and abdominal organs generally, augmenting the secretions and excretions—especially those of the intestines, sometimes it is said even to purgation, when they are taken in considerable quantity. This effect, however, must be rather unfrequent, for I found no one, including myself, who experienced it. “They excite the circulation, so as frequently to produce palpitation of the heart, and determination of blood to the head. This water augments the activity of the absorbents; but it is not till after its other operations, that it acts as a direct tonic.” Purgation is not considered by the Carlsbad doctors as essential to its beneficial agency, which is often produced without any action on the bowels, but only on the various secretions already mentioned. In all cases, however, it is necessary to guard against constipation, by adding some Carlsbad salts to the water, or exhibiting some other aperient. Although these waters contain no sulphuretted hydrogen gas, or extremely little, they produce fætid eructations from the stomach when drunk—but they have not a corresponding effect on the alvine evacuations. “The operation of the Carlsbad waters, in fact, is what is called ‘alterative,’ or ‘deobstruent;’ and as such they are applicable to a long list of maladies arising from congestion or obstruction in the abdominal organs, particularly the liver, spleen, mesentery and other glandular viscera, attended by debility of the stomach, heart-burn, acidity, distention, eructations, constipation, jaundice, biliary concretions, hypochondriasis, hæmorrhoids, head-aches, giddiness, gouty feelings, cutaneous eruptions, scrofula, and urinary obstructions.”[74]

This is an encouraging picture, but I have no reason to consider it as overcharged. Dr. De Carro observes, that it is impossible to explain the modus operandi of such simple and minute ingredients on the human organism. “Whoever, he remarks, has experienced a crisis (called also the spa fever—the bad-sturm, &c.) in his own person, will never doubt the power of the Carlsbad waters.”

Dr. De C. compares the action of the Carlsbad waters on the human frame to a good filter that separates all impurities from the constitution.

“Hypochondriacal affections appear nowhere under more various forms than at Carlsbad; and the misanthropic and pusillanimous feelings of those unfortunate beings, passing, without known motives, from hope to despondency, from moroseness to exaltation, deserve the greatest indulgence and sympathy. When we see so many hepatic and splenetic patients whose temper depends entirely on the state of their abdominal functions, we feel disposed to forgive the materialism of the ancients, who placed the seat of so many passions in the liver; we remember unwillingly the Fervens difficili bile tumet jecur, the jecur ulcerosum of Horace, as synonymous of jealousy and violent love, and we understand how they could say that men splene rident, felle irascunt, jecore amant, pulmone jactantur, corde sapiunt.”


The worthy Doctor deplores the disappointments and mortifications which many invalids from far distant lands annually experience here, when they learn, to their grief and dismay, that the mineral waters are totally inapplicable to their maladies! They have then only the alternative of laying their bones in Bohemian soil, or undertaking another long, fatiguing, and expensive journey towards their native land. Dr. De Carro blames the ignorance which prevails among the faculty generally, respecting the medicinal properties of the Carlsbad and other spas. But the spa doctors themselves, and spa tourists, are not entirely blameless. The exaggerated accounts that are published respecting the miraculous powers of almost every spa in Germany, are quite sufficient to mislead practitioners and patients who have no personal knowledge of these vaunted springs. One great object of the present volume is the attempt to sift the grain from the chaff, or to filter these waters and depurate them of their gross crudities and absurdities.

“The Carlsbad waters (says Dr. De C.) are detrimental when there are any symptoms of inflammation, congestion, or vertigo present. If these exist on the arrival of the invalid, they must be removed before he takes the waters; if they occur during the use of the waters, these last must be immediately discontinued.”

Dr. De C. observes, that these springs are detrimental in phthisis or any grade of pulmonary complaint—and that, in general, they aggravate organic diseases of all kinds, and hasten their march. Here then is a rule which applies to many of the spas besides Carlsbad—namely, that the constitution should be free from inflammation, congestion, and structural changes in any organ, before the waters can be safely taken. Dropsical affections, even where no organic disease can be detected as their cause, are aggravated by the Carlsbad waters. Dr. De C. relates a melancholy instance of a nobleman who was sent there from a great distance—only to die of dropsy.

In chlorotic and amenorrhœal disorders, Carlsbad waters are beneficial; not so much from the minute quantity of iron they contain, as from their stimulant and deobstruent qualities. Females ought not to use these waters at all times.

A painful complaint which often presents itself at Carlsbad is biliary calculi. Dr. De C. thinks that the waters are almost specific in such cases. He lately attended an invalid who had come from a great distance to Carlsbad. On the third day of using the waters a prodigious number of gall-stones, of all sizes, were expelled. He has often found gravel to be expelled from the kidneys and bladder during the use of these waters; but he does not vouch for their lithontriptic powers—that is, their power of dissolving urinary calculi, although this quality has been attributed to them by some physicians.

It is in chronic gout, especially of the wandering and misplaced kind,[217] that the Carlsbad waters have acquired considerable renown, disputing the palm with Wisbaden itself. It is in general necessary to take some chalybeate waters, in such cases, after the course at Carlsbad is completed. It is acknowledged by Sir John De Carro, that more than one visitation to Carlsbad will be necessary in gouty affections of any standing.

In the nervous tremors occasioned by quicksilver, these waters have been found very beneficial, both internally and externally.


From the age of 35 years, Dr. De Carro was subject to severe attacks of gout, each attack generally lasting ten or fifteen days, followed by much debility, with great tenderness of the feet. The intervals were of various duration—sometimes months—sometimes years. The complaint is hereditary in his family for four generations. About fifteen years ago (1825) one of the paroxysms ceased suddenly on the third day, followed by alarming symptoms—difficulty of breathing—irritation about the throat—total loss of sleep—copious muco-purulent expectoration, of an acrid and acid taste—rapid emaciation—cadaverous expression of countenance—and all the symptoms of approaching laryngeal phthisis. From these, however, he gradually emerged; but a sense of constriction in the trachea remained, occasioning loss of voice and many uncomfortable feelings. In April 1826, many of the symptoms above-mentioned returned, with considerable violence, and the Dr. removed from Vienna to Carlsbad. The waters of this spa are not beneficial in pulmonic complaints generally, but Dr. De C. considered his own malady as misplaced gout, and he commenced the waters on the 17th of May, at the Neubrunn. “During the first three days he felt no effect whatever. He had been unable to get higher than seven goblets daily; but, on the fourth day, he felt as if he were drunk—lost his appetite—staggered on his legs—had indistinct vision—burning cheeks—excited and agitated circulation—overwhelming drowsiness, and total inability to read or write. These violent symptoms continued for three days, and were much mitigated by copious evacuations, (tres soulagé par des evacuations copieuses) and, the storm having subsided, he continued the course of waters for six weeks, without further inconvenience. The bowels became regular, and there was a copious but fætid secretion from the kidneys during the whole time. All the symptoms of misplaced gout disappeared.”[75]

Dr. De C. observes that, had he not been a physician, he would have looked upon the above symptoms as forerunners of apoplexy. I am quite confident that they were so, and that the apoplexy was warded off by the “copious evacuations” that were procured, whether by nature or art. I have seen several instances of this “bad-sturm,” and have no doubt of their[218] being owing to some inflammatory action going on in some part of the body (as was clearly the case in the present instance), or to the neglect of aperient medicine taken in conjunction with the waters. The misplaced gout, such as Dr. De C. presented, is readily relieved by saline aperients, with small doses of colchicum and counter-irritation, without the risk of the “bad-sturm,” which is a violent conflict between the constitution and the remedy. It is when the complaint is quiescent, and all inflammatory symptoms removed, that the Carlsbad and other mineral waters are beneficial.

Dr. De Carro has a short chapter on the East and West Indian invalids who resort to Carlsbad annually, for the relief of broken-down constitutions, and especially for affections of the liver, the spleen, and for the consequences of intermittent and remittent fevers contracted within the tropics. The worthy doctor, who has the usual dread of mercury, so widely infecting the Continental faculty, seems to hint pretty broadly that many of the Anglo-Oriental and Occidental diseases, are as much owing to the remedies as to the climate. Be this as it may, he gives the pagoda-complexioned gentry great hopes of benefit from the waters of the Sprudel.

The regime laid down by Dr. De Carro, is rather more liberal than by some of his confreres at the German Spas. Breakfast should not be taken till an hour after finishing the last goblet. Besides the exercise which is taken while drinking the waters, he recommends half an hour’s promenade after leaving the spring, if the patient be not too fatigued. The breakfast itself may be coffee, tea, or chocolate, according to the habits or inclinations of the invalid. Coffee is rather hazardous where there is any tendency to inflammatory action in the constitution. The bread and the cream are excellent at Carlsbad. Dejeuners a la fourçhette are inadmissible here. The dinners at Carlsbad are very abstemious, as the Traiteurs are obliged to regulate them by the orders of the faculty. They present no temptation to commit excesses. A very temperate use of plain and well-boiled vegetables is permitted. Salads, cheese, herrings, anchovies, and all raw fruit are strictly forbidden. The supper should be a little soup—and the time of going to bed is ten o’clock at the latest. Gambling is forbidden. The beer of the place, and light wines are permitted. The Bohemian, Hungarian, and Austrian wines are wholesome; but those of the Rhine, the Rhone, and Moselle may be used. It is recommended to keep the mind tranquil and contented! Alas! the prescription is easily written, but what pharmacy can supply the drug?

The season at Carlsbad extends from the first of May till the 30th of September. It is divided into three epochs. From the 1st of May till the 15th June, those who love quietude, economy, and health, will go to the spa. From the latter period till the middle of August, when the air is nearly as hot as the waters, Carlsbad swarms, like a bee-hive, with legions of invalids and their friends, who lead, as Dr. De Carro says, “une[219] vie bruyante,” and pay handsomely for their accommodations. The last six weeks, like the first, are more quiet, cool, and reasonable in expense. Those, too, who are anxious to have long interviews with their doctors, and pour out all their complaints into his attentive ear, will avoid the hot and fashionable season, and prefer the beginning or end.

It is remarked by Dr. De C. that a considerable number of people annually resort to Carlsbad without any other complaint than constipation of the bowels, obliging them to be constantly taking aperient medicine. “The waters of Carlsbad generally establish the regularity of the bowels, and during their use no aperient medicine whatever should be taken.” As the causes of constipation are chiefly sedentary avocations, there is little doubt but that a journey to Bohemia, and the waters of the Sprudel, will generally obviate this troublesome complaint or inconvenience; but I greatly doubt whether the Carlsbad waters will prevent its return, when the causes come again into operation.

Here our worthy author enters his protest against the codes of minute instructions which are often issued by far distant practitioners, who have no personal knowledge of the spas, for the guidance of the patients, and by which they are often led into great errors or even dangers, by neglecting to consult some physician on the spot, respecting the proper waters to drink and the best mode of taking them. All indeed that the distant physician ought to do is, to investigate well the complaint, and recommend such spa as he deems proper, leaving the details of application to the discretion of the medical practitioner on the spot.[76]

Since the publication of Dr. De Carro, many monographs on the Carlsbad waters have appeared by different authors, some of which have been noticed in the annual Almanack of Carlsbad, composed and published by Dr. De Carro himself. This little annual is of a miscellaneous nature, combining amusement with information, and never omitting one particular item—a list of all the visitors, with their titles, avocations, rank, and celebrity—where there is any fame. It may be as well to glance at some of these monographs, so as to pick out as much information from them as we can.

Dr. Bamberg, of Berlin, published a paper on the modern practice of Carlsbad, in the year 1835, from which I shall collect a few facts or opinions. Dr. B. was astonished to find at least ten drinkers at the Neubrunn or Muhlbrunn for one at the “Old Man of the Valley,” the splendid Sprudel. The Theresebrunn too, was not less frequented than her sister Naiads. It appears that a spa-doctor, now dead, had denounced the Sprudel as a most dangerous water on account of its high temperature, and prejudicing the visitors against it, by alleging, when other arguments failed, that it mounted up to the head with the same force and velocity with which it springs[220] from its hidden source! The prejudice was erroneous. All the waters are from the same source, and the temperature of the Sprudel is generally as low as that of the others before it reaches the stomach. The Carlsbad doctors, however, are often greatly teazed by the directions brought by visitors from their own physicians, respecting the particular springs which they are to use. Some prejudice still hangs over the Sprudel, and that it is generally looked upon as of superior power to the others, is proved by the character of the drinkers there. The sick are more seriously ill—their aspects more sinister—and their figures more demonstrative of organic diseases at the Sprudel than elsewhere. But fashion comes in to the aid of prejudice. The Archipelago formed by the Neubrunn, Muhlbrunn, and Theresebrunn, is decorated so elegantly, and the temperature so drinkable, as the water rises from its source, that we need not wonder at the multitudes that crowd around them, especially when the physicians assure their patients that the waters of these fountains are precisely the same as the Sprudel.

The Sprudel possesses two very curious and clashing properties—that of creating stony concretions where they did not previously exist, and of dissolving them when already formed—like the famous sword of antiquity, whose rust healed the wound inflicted by its edge. The Carlsbad waters have the power of dissolving calculi in the human bladder, and are much resorted to for that purpose. Dr. Bigel, of Warsaw, has published his own case, in a letter to Dr. De Carro, some particulars of which may here be stated.

Dr. B. became affected with calculus after the age of 60 years, having previously passed several renal calculi, and was operated on by the lithotritic apparatus. The stone was smashed, but several of the fragments could not be discharged afterwards. He was then conveyed in a kind of litter many hundreds of miles to Carlsbad, where he took the waters under the direction of Dr. De Carro. On the third day of taking the Theresebrunn, and that in small quantities, Dr. B. became affected with fever, such as he experienced after the operation of lithotrity. This was relieved by copious perspirations. Returning to the waters, a similar attack of fever was kindled up on the fifth day—but with it the expulsion of several fragments of stone, and much solace in the organ. The fragments, which had hitherto been of a dark brown colour, were now white, and their surfaces smooth and polished. The white colour was found to penetrate to some depth from the surface. Dr. B. changed from one spring to another of higher temperature, till he finished with the Sprudel. At each of the sources he passed pieces of stone, and after their disappearance for a fortnight, the bladder was explored, and no more calculi were discoverable. All uneasiness in the bladder ceased from this time.

Dr. Creutzburg made some experiments on urinary calculi subjected to the action of the Carlsbad waters, and the results appear to be favourable[221] to the idea that these waters are beneficial in calculous complaints. And now, when lithotrity is so frequently employed, instead of lithotomy, these waters may prove eminently useful in polishing and softening the fragments left after the operation.

But the waters of Carlsbad do not limit their powers to the solution or expulsion of vesical calculi; they have done wonders in people afflicted with biliary concretions. Dr. De Carro had a patient, aged 40 years, who evacuated daily, by means of the waters, not only large quantities of gravel, but numbers of gall-stones, of various shapes and sizes. Liver-complaints occupy a considerable figure among the maladies which are treated at Carlsbad—and biliary calculi are very frequently observed there. Dr. De Carro has related numerous instances where the baths and the waters of Carlsbad have appeared to dislodge the gall-stones, and carry them off by the bowels.

The Carlsbad baths, which are now much more used than formerly, often bring forward masked gout, rheumatism, or neuralgic pains that had lain more or less dormant in the constitution for months or years.

Before quitting these celebrated waters, I must take a short notice of a little work just published by a rising young physician of Carlsbad, whose acquaintance I had the pleasure of making there.

(From the Medico-Chirurgical Review.)

Geschichte von Karlsbad. Von Dr. Hlawaczek.—History of Carlsbad.

The learned author gives a most elaborate account of almost every work that has been published on these famous waters, since their discovery by the Emperor Charles IV. in the sixteenth century. His book is, in short, a catalogue raisonnée of the writings of his predecessors. The few practical observations contained in it may be thus stated:

The medicinal powers of the Carlsbad waters are the following:

1. They invigorate the primæ viæ, and dislodge from them all impurities and accumulations. Hence in various forms of dyspepsia, arising from a sedentary life, from torpor of the bowels, &c. they are especially useful; also in chronic jaundice, obstinate head-aches accompanied with constipation, &c.

With such patients the use of the Carlsbad waters often act as an emetic for the first day or two.—Corpulent indolent persons, who feed too much and take little exercise, are always benefitted.

In all obstructed and infarcted states of the abdominal viscera, the use of the Carlsbad waters may be recommended. Hence, in many cases of hypochondriasis and hæmorrhoids, they are beneficial: also in enlargements of the liver, spleen, and mesenteric glands.

In addition to these maladies, we may enumerate many cases of amenorrhœa and dysmenorrhœa—diseases which are so often dependent upon[222] accumulations in the bowels and general torpor and plethora of the system.

2. The Carlsbad waters have the effect of freeing the blood of acrimonious particles, either by neutralising and discharging them out of the body, or by causing a metastasis and derivation of them to the joints or to the skin. Hence in various forms of internal gout and rheumatism, they are singularly useful; the disease being often drawn from the internal viscus which may happen to be affected to some outward part.

3. The Carlsbad waters cleanse the urinary passages of calculous deposits.

And lastly, they often effect a cure in a number of anomalous diseases, whose causes are not known, and to which indeed, a name cannot be given; as, for example, loss of power and feeling in the limbs, a tendency to syncope followed by cramps, some cases of epilepsy and asthma; also in certain disturbances of the mental functions. In all these cases, the Carlsbad waters seem to act as an alterative.

The venerable Hufeland published in 1815, a treatise on the chief medicinal springs in Germany. He recommends the use of the Carlsbad waters in cases of constipation, tympanites, incipient disorganisation of the stomach and bowels and other abdominal viscera, more especially of the liver, of chronic jaundice, of congestion of the mesenteric and portal veins; also in nervous ailments, as amaurosis, hypochondriasis, and in various forms of calculous disease. He also strongly recommends them in most of the forms of gout. The Carlsbad waters, in addition to their purgative qualities, are possessed of remarkable alterative powers, so that often they effect quite a change in the state of the blood and other fluids of the body, depriving them of all acrimonious and hurtful particles, and restoring them to a condition of health. Hence their striking utility in numerous cases of cachexia, which are irremediable by ordinary medical treatment.—Hlawaczek.


It is often more easy to ascertain the internal condition of the body through the medium of external phenomena, than that of the mind through the physiognomy of the countenance. To the experienced observer, the complexion, the expression, the eye, the gait, the tone of voice, the figure, the proportion of the different parts of the body, and many other indications incapable of description, convey very authentic information respecting the condition of organs and structures that are far removed from sight. It is in a great sanitarium like this, where invalids are gathered from all quarters of the world, that a young physician, under the guidance of an old one, might beneficially study the physiognomy of diseases. For, although the greater number of spas have much that is common, both as respects the waters and the maladies for which they are taken, yet each[223] spa, or at least, each class of spas, exhibits some characteristic features among the mass of visitors, indicative of the maladies which led them to the Hygeian fountains of the place. Thus it is impossible to stand long at the Fontaine Elisée of Aix-la-Chapelle, without discerning a large sprinkling of cutaneous complaints, however carefully they may be concealed by the wearers of them. It is in vain that—

“Wrapp’d in his robe white Lepra hides his stains,”

the features of the leper disclose the worm that torments him by day and by night. The French and Germans are universally imbued with the doctrine that the repression of a certain malady, which has got the musical soubriquet of “Scotch-fiddle,” is the cause of half the evils to which flesh is heir. On this account, the continental folks have a great longing, or rather a violent itching for sulphureous waters. The slightest odour of sulphuretted hydrogen gas in a newly-discovered spring, is a real treasure—and in the old ones, it is sure to preserve reputation to endless ages!

The neighbouring mineral source—Spa—together with Schwalbach, Brockenau, Bocklet, and other chalybeate springs, attract a different class of votaries—namely, the pallid, the debilitated, the leucophlegmatic—those, in fact, who have been sucked, and left bloodless by vampyre diseases.

The emblem of Wisbaden might be a swelled and gouty foot—that of Wildbad a crutch, or a hobbling paralytic invalid—Kissengen, the tumid liver and green fat—Marienbad, the paunch of Falstaff, and the jaundiced eye.

But Carlsbad presents a greater medley than any of the other spas that I have visited. When we contemplate, even for a single morning, the crowds that surround the Sprudel alone, presenting specimens of almost every human infirmity, not in solitary cases, but often in trains of twenties or thirties in succession—when we consider that, in these various specimens, there are many that are of a diametrically opposite nature to each other—yet all cured or relieved by an upheaving fountain that never varies in temperature, taste, or composition—doubts may well arise whether there is not some truth in the sarcastic remark of an eminent philosopher,—that “there are more false facts than false theories in physic.”—But there is something to be said per contra. 1st. Many complaints which are thought and believed to be cured by mineral waters, are only relieved pro tempore—and the contradiction seldom or never appears. 2d. Many different diseases are produced by the same causes acting on different constitutions. Thus luxurious living and idleness will, in one person, induce gout—in a second, hæmorrhoids—in a third, liver complaint—in a fourth, rupture of a bloodvessel in the lungs—in a fifth, congestion in the brain—in a sixth, paralysis—in a seventh, stone in the kidney or bladder,—and the list might be far extended. Now, if the same cause or class of causes[224] produce such a number of different maladies; there is nothing unreasonable in the supposition that the same remedy, or class of remedies, may be useful in abating or even removing those varied disorders.

3d. With the exception of a few specific remedies, such as mercury, sulphur, colchicum, and ergot, with the real nature of whose physiological operation on the human frame little is known, almost all the other medicinal agents act through the medium of the digestive organs, the liver, the kidneys, and the skin. Now, the mineral waters of such spas as Wisbaden, Kissengen, Marienbad, Carlsbad, &c. act through these organs also, and contain the elements of many of our most efficient remedies. They have, besides, great advantages over ordinary medicines at home, in consequence of the exercise of travelling, the change of air, and the alteration of habits that precede the course of the waters.

4. Through what channels do the noxious physical agents enter the constitution and produce disease? Through the digestive organs and skin, without doubt,—to which may be added the lungs, which may imbibe the principles of disorder with the oxygen from the air we breathe.

5. But there is a great class of moral causes of diseases, acting on the body through the medium of the mind—a class so extensive that Plato considered it to be the origin of all corporeal maladies!

6. Against these moral agents the great spas possess powerful auxiliary counter-agents, as preventives, in the form of amusements on the spot and abstraction from cares. They also present the means of removing (if removeable) the effects which these moral causes have already inflicted on the bodily frame.

7. The far greater number of physical remedies act by altering and improving disordered functions and secretions—by evacuation—and by imparting tone to debilitated organs or the whole constitution.

8. It must be allowed that mineral waters contain, to a very considerable extent, the requisite ingredients for fulfilling one or all of the foregoing indications.

9. It is often found to be beneficial to combine tonics, alteratives, and aperients in the same formula or prescription, in order that the three indications alluded to, may be simultaneously accomplished.[77] It is undeniable that some of the spas contain within themselves this combination of chalybeates, aperients, and alteratives, either of which ingredients can be increased at pleasure on the spot.


10. The medicinal agents in the mineral waters, though in much smaller quantities than when given in prescriptions, have a much better chance of success, in consequence of their being so largely diluted by the hand of Nature, and the temperature of the diluent being so very high, in most of the springs.

11. The early hours, and the exercise taken while drinking mineral waters, have powerful influence in promoting their salutary operation. How many invalids, in England, would start from their beds at five o’clock in the morning, to drink salt and water till seven or eight o’clock, using their limbs all the time in locomotion? very few!

12. The warm bathing, which generally precedes or accompanies the drinking of the waters, has also great effect in augmenting the medicinal agency of the waters taken internally. The circulation is drawn to the surface—the insensible perspiration augmented—and various internal organs sympathise with the skin and are relieved from habitual congestion.

13. The habit of early rising, which is unavoidable at the great spas, leads to many other good habits. Early meals and early bed-going follow of course, and of consequence. The excursions in the middle of the day, undertaken while devoid of care, and free from business, contribute not a little to the efficacy of the spas, and to soundness of repose at night.

14. When I observed that many of the German spas combined tonic, with aperient, and alterative qualities, I by no means averred that these qualities were always well proportioned for all complaints and various constitutions. On the contrary, they are often very deficient in one or other of these qualities—and it is by overlooking this defect, and trusting solely to the remedial agency of the waters, that continental physicians commit a grand mistake—especially in the treatment of British patients.

15. The digestive organs of our continental neighbours are habitually in a far more tender and excitable condition than those of our countrymen,[226] in consequence of their greasy and sloppy food, and the poverty and acidity of their wines and other drink. They cannot, therefore, bear medicines of any strength, without great suffering. Relying on identity of constitution, the mineral waters are often administered ineffectually by foreign physicians to the people of these islands. These last are washed and drenched, from day to day, and from week to week, while the glandular organs (the liver in particular) not directly affected by the waters, become torpid in function, and vitiated in their secretions. Hence it is that, after a week or a fortnight, much derangement takes place in the digestive organs—febrile irritation is set up—the nervous system is impaired—and then, when the patient declares that the waters are disagreeing with him, the spa doctor consoles him with the information that the spa-fever or crisis has come, and, if he lives through it, he will be much better than before it commenced! All this, in nine cases out of ten, might be prevented by taking a small dose of blue pill—a couple of grains, for instance—over night. In this case, a much smaller quantity of the waters would be sufficient in the morning, and the liver and other glands would be roused to simultaneous action with the bowels. The physicians of Cheltenham and Leamington act on this plan, and render the course of waters far more beneficial than they otherwise would be. The crisis or spa-fever appears to me an act of salutary rebellion, on the part of Nature, against the injudicious employment of the waters, and an effort to restore the equilibrium of function among the great organs, which equilibrium has been disturbed by the waters themselves.

16. It is a well-known fact that soldiers, sailors, and even civilians, will recover from illness much sooner in a public hospital than in their own homes—although attended by the same physician or surgeon. The same applies to infirmities of mind as well as of body. The individual who becomes insane, has infinitely less chance of recovery at home amongst his friends, than among strangers in an asylum. A great valetudinarium, like the spas, comes under the same rule. How is this to be accounted for? I have heard the aphorism of Rochefaucault quoted in explanation, viz. “that we derive pleasure from the sight of misery and suffering in others, even when they are our dearest friends.” From long acquaintance with human nature, I venture to say that, in this celebrated aphorism—or rather sophism—the author of it only stated half a fact, and drew from that half fact a false inference. The emotion which we involuntarily experience at the sight or the intelligence of misfortune or affliction in others, whether strangers or friends, is not unmixed—but a compound of commiseration for the afflicted, and a feeling of secret satisfaction (magnified by Rochefaucault into pleasure) at our own immunity from the evil. Two sailors are on the lee yard-arm furling the mainsail in a tempest. The ship lurches—the yard-arm is swept by a wave—and one of the sailors is torn from his hold, and plunged into the deep. Will the French philosopher[227] persuade us that the seaman, who clings to the yard and escapes death, feels pleasure, unmixed with sorrow, at the sight of his drowning mess-mate? The poet, who saw and described a catastrophe identical with the above, but on a larger scale, was far from entertaining the sentiment of the philosopher.

“Bereft of power to help, their comrades see
Their late companions die beneath their lee,
With fruitless sorrow their lost state bemoan.”

17. But there are other and adequate causes assignable for the more rapid recovery of health in public places of resort for invalids, than in private life. Man is the creature of habit; and habit results chiefly from imitation. In a great watering-place, we acquire, or at least comply with, habits which we would not attempt at home. How many delicate and fashionable invalids would start from their couches at sun-rise every morning, in London, and drink repeated draughts of nauseous compounds before breakfast? How many would dine at one, instead of seven o’clock? How many would retire to bed at nine o’clock, instead of midnight or later? How many gourmands and Bacchanalians, in England, would comply with the rigid rules of abstemiousness enjoined by the spa doctors, and which they dare not infringe, lest the disobedience might render the waters useless, or even injurious?

The revolution in social, but insalutary habits alone, would cure half the disorders for which the aristocratic valetudinarian flies to the spas. If the maxim of Rochefaucault, too, have any foundation in truth, what a prodigious source of pleasure must the spa-goer find in the different watering-places, where he daily contemplates almost the whole of the moving mass of mortals around him labouring under more or less of bodily suffering! But, admitting the less humiliating explanation which I have attempted of the philosophical maxim, the result will not be materially different. Every one affected by disorders at all curable, will see many around him who are evidently afflicted by diseases beyond the reach of remedy. While commiserating the fate of their neighbours, they have a pleasing consciousness and assurance that they themselves are not in such a hopeless condition. As for the victims doomed to an early grave, they never despair. They see daily recoveries going on around them—and hope, “that comes to all,” does not withhold its balmy influence even from them! The resounding Sprudel is pouring forth its healing waters for the incurable as well as for the curable, whilst the veil of mystery that hangs over its origin and source, exaggerates, on the well-known principle, “omne ignotum pro magnifico,” the virtues of its miraculous qualities! The season of the year in which the journey is made and the waters taken, is not a little favourable to the recovery of health, and, combined with the sanguine expectations of recruited vigour and emancipation from sufferings, gives wonderful efficacy to the spa.



Gastein, Pfeffers, and Teplitz are triplet sisters of the same qualities, physical and medicinal. They are so pure that they may be, and are used as spring water for drinking and culinary purposes. The locality of Gastein is only inferior in romantic scenery to that of Pfeffers. It is much superior to that of Wildbad. It is situated on the frontiers of the Duchy of Salzburg and Carinthia, in the midst of mountains ten thousand feet in height, and its fervid springs, several in number, rise on the borders, and in the very middle of a cataract that foams and flies over a precipice, with a noise like thunder, into an abyss of nearly 300 feet in depth. It is the little river Ache that descends from the mountains, and forms the striking feature of the landscape at Gastein, which was once a place of wealth and consequence, by reason of the neighbouring mines; but is now only a valetudinarium for the recovery of health. The people of this neighbourhood are of remarkably robust and vigorous constitutions, well made, and handsome in appearance—pastoral in their habits, and simple in their manners.

There are six available springs, besides those which rise in the bed of the torrent. The highest is the Prince’s Well, near the Chateau, and which is a very abundant source—furnishing 13,680 cubic feet of water in the 24 hours—the temperature being always 37° of Reamur, or 115° Fahrenheit. It is used conjointly with the water of an adjoining spring, called the “Doctor’s Well,” which is one or two degrees higher in temperature. This last furnishes 3,600 cubic feet of water in the 24 hours. These two sources supply, by means of a pump, the new baths near the Chateau. Another is named after the Emperor Francis—and another still, that of the Hospital, at the foot of the Richeuibein, throwing up the astonishing quantity of 72,720 cubic feet of hot water in the day and night! All these springs are on the right bank of the Ache; but there are other sources on the left bank also—the aggregate of all being upwards of one hundred thousand cubic feet of mineral water in the 24 hours.

There are ten or a dozen establishments for bathing at Gastein—some of them not the most splendid or convenient in the world. The practice of bathing in common is not very unusual here, and consequently upwards of 150 people may bathe at the same time. The complaint of Dr. Granville, that the baths are seldom completely emptied during the day, is not without foundation in truth. Gastein is now probably the only place where men and women bathe together.

“The common bath (says Dr. Streinz) in which gentlemen and ladies assemble together, contains 365 cubic feet of water, and requires nearly four hours to fill it. It will accommodate fifteen or sixteen persons, who can walk about in the water, or rest upon seats which are fixed there for[229] the purpose. At each side of the bath there is a large dressing-room, one for the men, the other for the women. Around the bath runs a gallery, where the friends or acquaintances of the bathers can assemble, and enter into conversation with them.”[78]

It is quite useless to go into minute topographical details. Those who repair to Gastein will not need them—and those who stay at home will not read them. We shall therefore proceed to the properties of the waters themselves. It has been already observed that they are purer than any spring water, and so clear that you can discern particles of gravel at a depth of some feet. They spring from the earth without noise or bubbling. In certain damp states of the atmosphere, and preceding rains, some people have perceived a slight odour of sulphuretted hydrogen gas in these springs; but it is so questionable that they may be used as common beverage. They suffer no change, when exposed to the air, nor deposit any matter. Their temperature has been stated. When polished silver is immersed for four or five hours in these springs it becomes tinged of a brownish yellow colour, not easily effaced. The water leaves incrustations on wood or other articles exposed to its action, which incrustations are soft, astringent, and bitter to the taste. These waters have a remarkably vivifying effect on flowers, fruits, and vegetables exposed to their influence. In a pint of the water there is about 2⅔ grs. of solid matters, chiefly sulphate and muriate of soda, with a minute trace of iron. When brought near the magnetic needle it draws the loadstone sensibly towards it, which quality diminishes as the water cools. It has been ascertained that the Gastein water is composed of three, instead of two atoms of hydrogen to one atom of oxygen.

These waters are used as common baths—vapour-baths—and taken internally. The douches are also much employed. Their remedial powers, seeing that they have no chemical properties worth notice, have called forth much speculation—the conclusion, however, being, that the cause of this medicinal agency is veiled from human ken. This being the case, our object is to investigate the actual effects of waters so pure on the human frame. This, which is mere matter of observation, is far from being an easy matter. Spa doctors become unintentionally prejudiced—and spa tourists are often credulous—while patients themselves are often deceived—attributing virtues to the waters which sprang from various other causes that received no credit at the time. It is affirmed by Dr. Streinz and others, that the waters of Gastein, whether used internally, or externally, or both, produce a certain degree of excitation in the human constitution, evinced by some increase of temperature in the body—of power in the muscles—of animation in the eye and countenance—of clearness in the complexion—of acceleration in the circulation—of activity in the nervous[230] system—of exhilaration of spirits. Those who bathe in them experience (as they say) unusual pleasurable sensations. The surface of the body becomes soft and smooth, with a slight but pleasant pricking, and sometimes a minute vesicular eruption. Dr. Granville’s description of the effects of the Gastein baths, however, is directly the reverse of Dr. Streinz, who observed them so long in others, and experienced them in his own person.

“The effect (says Dr. G.) produced by the water on the skin of the hands during the first ten minutes of immersion in it was curious. The bath corrugated and crisped it as if the hands had been held in very hot water for a considerable time; and on passing my hand all over the body, previously to the skin of the fingers becoming crisp—in fact almost immediately after going into the bath—instead of gliding smoothly and oilily down it, as at Wildbad, it felt ruvid, and the two surfaces seemed to meet with resistance, as if a third body, slightly rough, like the finest sand, lay between them.”

Here then we have two physicians giving diametrically opposite accounts of the physical phenomena produced by the same waters—shewing how little dependence can be placed on individual descriptions—the said phenomena varying according to the temperament, state of health, or even temper of mind of the personal observer!

It is stated by the German physicians that, after the third or fourth bath, some indisposition is usually felt—some giddiness about the head, and a relaxation, or sense of weakness in the limbs. These symptoms disappear in a day or two by repose and abstinence. The use of these waters renders people more susceptible of atmospheric impressions, of the electric kind, especially before or during a storm, accompanied by a sense of prostration or exhaustion, and heaviness about the head, with depression of spirits. The internal exhibition of these waters promotes the action of the bowels, and still more of the kidneys, attended by increase of appetite. The deposits of this water are extolled as applications to old wounds and inveterate ulcers.

“Long and multiplied experience (says Dr. Streinz) has proved that the bathe of Gastein re-animate the vital powers that were almost extinct—comfort and give tone to the flabby limbs—communicate new and vivifying heat to the blood—vigor to the nerves—and, through the medium of the magnetico-galvanic principle, re-establish the activity of the whole animal organism. Those who labour under direct debility, are those who have experienced most benefit from these waters—as those who have lost their strength from excessive efforts of the mind, large discharges of blood, or too copious and violent evacuations of any kind—those who have never perfectly recovered from severe acute diseases—who labour under disorders of the digestive organs—tremors—hypochondriasis—hysteria—neuralgic pains—inveterate gout and rheumatism—paralysis—contractions—affections[231] of the spine—scrofula—mercurial diseases, &c. Their exciting qualities, however, render it necessary that both patient and physician should watch their physiological action on the body, and observe a very mild and abstemious regimen.”

Dr. Granville appears to be quite as confident in the efficacy of the Gastein waters as Dr. Streinz, Dr. Storch, or any of the most sanguine of his German brethren.

“I have no more doubt of the power which this mineral spring possesses, in the diseases for which it has been recommended, than I have of the effect of bleeding in subduing inflammation.”

My friend’s “grain of faith” is not like that of a mustard-seed—it is as large as a cocoa-nut! At all events, I cannot swallow it; and entertain very strong doubts indeed of the efficacy of Gastein water in such a multiplicity of serious diseases as are comprehended in Dr. Granville’s or Dr. Streinz’s catalogue. I can easily conceive that these waters, assisted by the mountain air, the romantic scenery, and the journey to the place, may produce all the effects which can be expected from such waters as Pfeffers, Wildbad, and Schlangenbad; but that they can work like magic I entirely disbelieve.


Whether we view this ancient capital of Bohemia from the bridge below, or the monastery above, we must acknowledge that, next to Constantinople, Prague is the most picturesque city in Europe. It is, however, from the central arch of the longest bridge in Germany, and certainly the most sainted one, that we have the finest view of a vast amphitheatre rising tier above tier, from the broad stream of the Moldau, till the highest ridges of the precipices seem groaning under the massive piles of buildings that crown their brows. The huge structure, called the Hradschin, the palace of the Bohemian kings—frowns over endless domes, spires, turrets, minarets, churches, convents, and cathedrals. The eye comes down at length to a bridge more holy, though not more handsome, than the Santa Trinita over the Arno. There are nearly as many saints standing on the parapets here as there are sinners traversing the body of the bridge! The master saint (St. John Nepomuck) was a priest, who, refusing to disclose the secrets of the confessional, was pitched into the Moldau by King Winceslaus for his contempt of court. But murder will not sleep; and a flickering flame hovered over the spot where the priest lay in his watery shroud, till he was discovered, and his body encased in a gorgeous silver shrine, which may be still seen in the cathedral (enclosed within the Hradschin) and is, perhaps, the most costly tomb in the world. The silver alone weighs thirty-seven hundred weight! The body of the sainted priest lies in a crystal coffin of great value! The lions of Prague would require a volume for[232] description, and as Murray has dedicated twenty-seven columns to short notices of the chief objects of curiosity, I shall not say a word on this head. Three or four days, or a week, may be well occupied here, and the environs are very pretty. But it is worthy of notice that, in this beautiful and picturesque capital of Bohemia, the average duration of life, is one-third less than in London! The annual mortality in Prague, is one in twenty-two. In London it is not more than one in thirty-two. The Jews, who are here, as at Rome, crowded into a low and dirty quarter on the banks of the river, are longer lived than their tyrannical Christian oppressors. They are also more prolific.

We spent a few days very pleasantly at Prague; but when preparing to start for Teplitz, I was horrified at finding that I had lost the receipt for my passport—and that too, in Austria! The Commissionaire at the “Drei Linden,” seemed even more terrified than myself, and thinking he would contrive to make a job of the business, I marched off to the Bureau, and candidly stated the loss I had sustained. The officer, having cast a scrutinizing glance at me, took down a huge pile of passports, and soon singled mine out. “Voila, Monsieur, votre passport,” was all he said, and he never made the least difficulty, or seemed to consider it the slightest favour, to deliver me the precious document, without producing a receipt! I say again, and again, the Austrian police is grossly slandered. They are the most civil and polite on the Continent.


A long journey of sixty odd miles from Prague, through a country varied, and often interesting, brings us to the fertile valley of Teplitz studded with chateaux and villas, and well cultivated. The hills and mountains, for many miles before we reach Teplitz, are all conical and volcanic. This is the great wash-tub of Germany. What prodigious masses of exuviæ, suds, and sordes, must annually float down the Elbe to fertilize its shores! Three great public baths (and now a fourth, at Schoneau) for men, women, and children, respectively, display an immense number of human beings—all Adams and Eves without fig-leaves—immersed in water at a temperature sometimes of 114° of Fahrenheit, inhaling a dense steam, through which you could formerly have scarcely distinguished them—panting, perspiring, and streaming blood from scarifications on their backs to prevent their brains from being torn up by the excited circulation! Such was a picture from which Dante might have drawn some of his scenes in the inferno—except that here, it was not the “purgatory” of guilty souls, but the “expurgatorium,” of unclean bodies.[80]


The natural temperature of these waters is from 120° to 84°—and the chief ingredient is carbonate of soda—about two or three grains in the pint.[81] The private baths are upwards of eighty in number, in the town, besides the long range of most elegant new baths in the village of Schonau—decidedly the most superb bathing-places in Europe, and are in full request from morn till dewy eve. The water is limpid, and soon after immersion in a blood-heat temperature, or even lower, the surface of the body (according to Dr. Granville) becomes rough, rigid, and even wrinkled—a condition that obtains for some time after leaving the bath.[82] Perspiration also is visible on the skin, in big round drops, while the individual is proceeding to dry and dress. At a higher temperature than that of the blood—say from 108° to 112° or 114°, the action of the bath on the circulation and excitability is emphatic, and must often be extremely dangerous. The excitation first induced, is, and must be followed by a corresponding degree of depression or exhaustion. The reputation of the Teplitz baths is probably as much founded on the high temperature at which they are used, as on the composition of the waters themselves. There ought to be a mart at Teplitz for the sale of cast-off or second-hand crutches! “I may state (says Dr. Granville) that the specific virtue of these baths lies in the power they possess of restoring a cripple—it matters little from what cause—to perfect motion and elasticity.” Among the list of maladies that may be perfectly cured here, we have—“all cases of suppressed gout, chronic rheumatism, diseases of the articulations, paralytic affections, contracted limbs, old wounds, night pains in the bones, and many other diseases.”—Granville. Again, Dr. G. avers that—“with proper management I should not despair of recovering from all his ailments, the most pitiable object of gouty tyranny.” These are strong assurances. But I would strenuously caution the victim of suppressed gout respecting the baths of Teplitz, where the temperature is much higher, though the ingredients are not much stronger than in the waters of Wildbad or Pfeffers.

A physician, though young in years, yet of good promise, at Teplitz,[234] (Dr. Richter) has written an interesting little work on these waters, and as it is in French, I would recommend it to the perusal of those who go to Teplitz for the purpose of bathing. During my stay at this celebrated spa, I had the advantage of Dr. Richter’s company and experience through the whole of the bathing establishments, and, through his influence, was permitted (being only a doctor) to visit the public baths—even those in which the women were bathing, with the greatest facility. It was at Schonau that I first saw the female bath in full operation. There might be about twenty women in the basin, when Dr. R. and myself entered. There was a slight commotion among the bathers on my first appearance, which quickly subsided, when my profession was announced and my privilege explained. Dr. R. published his work in 1840, and it is the most authentic guide and authority on the subject. I shall here give a condensed analysis of the small volume.

The various sources of the waters here differ but little in their chemical, physical, or even thermal properties. The water is limpid, and does not become turbid by standing, nor does it disengage bubbles of gas or air, with the exception of the Gartenquelle. The temperature varies from 120° Fahrenheit (the Hauptquelle), to 80° (the Gartenquelle). The tunnels and reservoirs over which the waters pass become coated with a brownish-yellow substance, composed chiefly of silex and acidulated oxide of iron. There are other depositions and incrustations into which the carbonates of lime and magnesia, as well as manganese and strontia, enter. In the wells of Steinbad, Stadtbad, and Gartenquelle, there have been observed various thermal oscillatoria. These waters do not present the same slowness in boiling and cooling that some other hot spas have evinced.

The great disproportion between the physiological action and the chemical composition of the Teplitz waters, has given rise to numerous speculations, and support the grand argument that there is an occult quality in mineral waters which defies our minutest chemistry. One thing is obvious, that these waters are alkaline, saline, and chalybeate—and consequently that they possess, at one and the same time, solvent and tonic qualities, which are greatly augmented by their temperature. Dr. R. very properly investigates their physical and physiological action, according as they are applied hot, warm, tepid, or cold to the body. They may be termed hot, when above 100°—very hot when approaching to 120°—warm at blood-heat (98°)—tepid, when under 90°—and cold at the temperature of the earth or air.

The very hot bath (110° to 115°) produces quickly a general excitation of the circulation and sensibility, like all other hot waters. It augments the secretions, ending in considerable perspiration—and followed ultimately by relaxation in the muscular and fibrous systems, and a general softening of all the solid parts. When the bath is very warm, we have often, in addition to the foregoing phenomena, oppression at the[235] chest—anxiety—palpitation—vertigo—dimness of sight—heaviness about the head—syncope—and even apoplexy. It need hardly be added, that baths at such a temperature as to induce the foregoing train of symptoms, are very dangerous, and hardly ever necessary.

But even at a moderate temperature—96° or 98°—these baths produce, after a few days, sleeplessness, constipation, great disposition to perspiration, emaciation, susceptibility to cold or damp, aggravation of gouty or rheumatic pains, the aching of old wounds, prostration of strength, &c. These occur about the eighth day, and, after more or less duration, gradually disappear. After this period, there generally appears an eruption on the skin, of a whitish yellow or red colour, accompanied by considerable itching, discharging a watery humour, and finally desquamating, with occasionally some fever.

If the baths be continued longer, the prostration and lassitude increase, accompanied by great irritability and moroseness, loss of appetite, furred tongue, nausea, fætid eructations, repugnance to the bath, wandering pains in the limbs—in fine, fever is kindled up, with inflammation of the mucous membrane of the stomach and bowels. This is what the Germans call “das ueberbaden,” or over-bathing—and occurs after eighteen or twenty baths—sometimes not till after forty or sixty.

Dr. Richter conceives that, in all cases where it is deemed proper to stimulate the circulation and the lymphatics—to rouse the energy of the nervous system when paralyzed—to excite strongly the functions of the skin—to depurate bad humours—to expel a morbid principle from the constitution or the internal organs—to relax contracted tendons or muscles—to reduce abnormal or morbid growths—it will be necessary to have recourse to the hot baths of Teplitz, watching their effects, and moderating their action from time to time, according to circumstances.

The warm baths (95° to 100°) re-animate the human organism—cause a sense of comfort (bien-être)—gently excite the circulation—equalize the excitability of the nervous system—and impart elasticity to the muscles. They do not cause perspiration: but rather absorption of fluids, internal as well as external—resolve enlargements of glands or other parts—correct acidity—prove diuretic—and excite the healthy action of the uterine system. The symptoms of “over-bathing,” described under the head of hot baths, less frequently occur, with the warm bath—are more moderate in degree, when they do occur—and are longer in making their appearance. It is needless to observe that these are much safer than the hot baths.

The tepid baths of Teplitz (84° to 94°) diminish nervous irritability—dispose to sleep—render the respiration slower—soften and abate the action of the heart and arteries—diminish the size of external parts—increase the action of the kidneys and internal glands—promote absorption. With this temperature of the waters, the symptoms of “over-bathing” seldom[236] appear. It may be remarked, that they have here, as at Wildbad, baths where the waters rise through the sand at the bottom of the basin. As the spring is constantly rising and running away, the temperature cannot be regulated, and those springs are selected for the sand-baths, where the temperature is about blood-heat. The same advantages are attached to the sand-baths here, as at Wildbad—namely, that the waters are always running in and out of the bath, which is kept at the same degree of heat always. The same advantage attaches to the stone-baths at Pfeffers, and the latter are, I think, more cleanly—at least to the imagination.

The internal use of the Teplitz waters is considered favourable to the physiological or remedial action of the baths. They have some aperient properties—promote mucous and other secretions—but their chief action is on the absorbents, and therefore they are most used in those cases where there are tumours to be dispersed, or abnormal growths to be removed. There can be little danger in drinking such pure waters as those of Teplitz.

The special or particular maladies for which the waters and baths of this place have long been renowned, were already stated in the extract from Dr. Granville. Dr. Richter has dedicated a chapter to the modus operandi of the Teplitz baths on gout, both local and in its complications with affections of the digestive organs, lungs, heart, &c.—on chronic rheumatism, in its various seats, and with its painful consequences, as swellings of the joints, ankylosis, muscular contractions, loss of power, &c.—paralysis, numbers of patients affected with which, come annually to Teplitz, to throw away their crutches, and—“retourner gaiement dans leurs foyers.” The noise, however, of a brilliant cure too often brings to Teplitz paralytic sufferers, with organic diseases of the brain or spine, and therefore beyond the reach of all remedy. Rickets, disease of the hip-joint, and spinal distortion, are said to be eminently relieved, and often cured by the Teplitz waters. The same may be said of various cutaneous diseases, especially in their chronic forms—suppression of the natural or habitual evacuations—ulcers—disposition to gravel and stone—old and painful wounds, healed or open—diseases resulting from metallic fumes—swellings and engorgements of the liver, spleen, and other abdominal organs—hæmorrhoids—nervous asthma—chronic sickness—colics—hysteria—hypochondriasis—derangements peculiar to females—sterility—in short, three fourths of human affections, in their chronic or tedious conditions!

The counter-indications are here much the same as at the other thermal springs—namely, states of plethora, local or general—and all dispositions to inflammatory or feverish affections. The cautions and precautions need not be repeated in this place.

Mud-baths have been established at Teplitz since 1835—one establishment is at the Stadtbad—the other at the Schlangenbad. The peat-bog it found to the north of the town, and contains, according to the analysis[237] of Messrs. Wolf and Pleische, the sulphates, muriates, carbonates, and humates of soda—lime—magnesia—iron—and much ulmine and other organic remains. They are prepared in the same manner as at Franzensbad and other places, and are much used in cutaneous complaints—rheumatism and gout of obstinate character—deformities and nodosities, the sequences of these maladies—neuralgic and paralytic affections—metallic diseases—tumours and indurations of glandular structures, as of the liver, spleen, mesentery, ovaries, &c. They are wisely forbidden in organic diseases of the heart and other vital viscera, in high grades of nervous irritability, and in all predispositions to hæmorrhages, on account of their high powers of stimulation. An English lady of rank was using them here, and spoke in high terms of their salutary effects.


The town of Teplitz is not very interesting. The street that leads from the Market-place to the Place du Chateaux, is chiefly composed of hotels—none of them of first-rate character. From the Prince de Clairy’s palace (which looks like a cotton-factory in Manchester) we turn down an abrupt little street to the great bathing-places—including the Herrenhaus, and the gardens behind, where the waters are drunk by a very few persons. The gardens behind the Prince de Clairy’s residence are umbrageous and pleasant; but the masses of stagnant, or almost stagnant, green water, amongst them, are neither agreeable to the eye nor healthy to the constitution.

The neighbourhood of Teplitz is very beautiful and picturesque. A walk of fifteen minutes up a steep ascent from the Herrenhaus takes us to the Spitalberg, from the summit of which, where there is an imitation of a ruin, a fine view may be taken of Teplitz and the surrounding country for twenty miles in every direction. A still finer and more extensive view is had from the Schlossberg, two miles distant from Teplitz, and mounted without much difficulty. The mountain is crowned with the old ruin of a strong castle, from which a magnificent panorama is seen. To the South-East we contemplate Boreslau, and the numerous conical heads of the Mittlegebirge mountains, as far as Aussig, where the silver Elbe is seen flowing along.—To the North-East is the long line of the Erzgeberg (Metalliferous) mountains, the frontiers of Saxony—while directly North, the battle-field of Culm, with its three brazen monuments, lies stretched before us, with all its historical associations and recollections of the brave but bloody deeds which were there enacted, even in our own days!

The history of the Schlossberg is veiled in obscurity. It was a rebel’s or perhaps a robber’s citadel, some eight hundred years ago; but has been a mass of ruins since the time of the Hussites. It was partially rebuilt,[238] in the fifteenth century, by John de Wresowec, and its praises were chanted by the poet Mitis.

——Cujusdam refulgent
Mænia vixque non attingentia nubes,
Quæ Wresowichia jecit de stirpe Joannes.

The walls which then “all but reached the clouds,” have now, all but crumbled into dust, like Wresowec and all his ancestors and descendants! It was from this ruin that the Emperor of Russia, the Emperor of Austria and King of Prussia surveyed, with no small anxiety—perhaps fear—the great events that passed underneath them on the field of Culm.

Upon the whole, Teplitz may be considered as the most fashionable bathing-place in all Germany—scarcely a season passing, without crowned heads and flocks of nobility coming here to rid themselves of bodily infirmities or cares of the mind.

Translation of a Note received from Dr. Richter, of Teplitz, (by Mr. Spitta) dated 18th Sept. 1840.

My Dear Sir,—In my little work on the waters of this place, I find I have entirely omitted to mention the subject of paralysis, occasioned by mechanical injuries, and especially those which sometimes follow difficult accouchements. On this topic, Dr. Siebold, one of the most eminent obstetrical practitioners in Germany, has published his opinions, and strongly recommends the baths of Teplitz, as more efficacious than any other remedy.

I omitted also, in my “Environs of Teplitz,” to allude to the mineral waters of Püllna, Sedlitz, and Saidschitz, so celebrated all over Europe, and which are situated at four leagues from Teplitz, on the Carlsbad road. The village of Püllna lies in a beautiful plain, two or three hundred yards from the Chaussee, on the right; and the mineral springs themselves are close to the road. I refer you to Mr. Spitta for further particulars.

P.S.—A rail-road is forming between Dresden and Prague, to run by Teplitz. This will render the communication between London, Teplitz, and Carlsbad, extremely easy and quick.

I am, dear Sir,

Your’s truly,

Theodore L. Richter, M.D.

Teplitz, 18th Sept. 1840.

Extract of a Paper of Mr. Spitta’s on the Waters of Püllna, &c.

Within a morning’s drive from Teplitz, are situated three mineral springs, little known, yet in many respects extremely interesting—Püllna, Saidschitz, and Sedlitz. They all yield a water of a similar nature, rich in the sulphates of magnesia and soda; and which is so peculiarly bitter, as to have acquired the title of “Bitterwasser.”


Having heard so much of this bitterwasser in Germany, and of the powders of Sedlitz at home, I was anxious to ascertain the true nature of the springs; and see if they really afforded a mineral water so agreeable and salutary as we get in England by dissolving our “genuine Sedlitz powders.” I proposed an excursion, and Dr. Richter, of Teplitz, with his usual urbanity, kindly accompanied me.

So near as Teplitz is to these springs, it will doubtless appear strange to others as it did to me, that, no one, not even the people at the post-office, where we ordered the carriage, could tell us their exact position. So great a traffic! so much Sedlitz salt prepared! one hardly knew how to account for such ignorance. Püllna, indeed, they had heard of; for, being on the road from Carlsbad to Teplitz, it could not well have been overlooked; Saidschitz was conceived, by possibility, to exist; but, as to poor Sedlitz, where all our powders come from, its very existence was denied; nor was it, till we were within a mile, that we learnt its situation from a few wandering peasants.

I may mention a few of the general characters of these bitterwasser springs before noticing each separately. Their method of formation is peculiar. Large circular holes are dug into a stratum of earth, which contains the saline ingredients; in these the rain-water is allowed to collect: it dissolves the salts, and yields the bitterwasser. It is really very remarkable, that a stratum of soil should be found containing so large an amount of saline ingredient; and not the less singular, that it is of so limited an extent; thus, at Saidschitz, it has a diameter of about a quarter to half a mile; and a well dug beyond this area will yield no bittersalz. The soil is easily recognized by its yellow-white colour, and by the fact that nothing grows upon it. The plautago indeed, and some species of hieracea (hawk’s weed) exist there; and I had the curiosity to bring home a specimen of the former plant, because the man who had been some years in charge of the wells at Saidschitz, knew the character of the soil, and judged of the propriety of sinking another well in any given spot, by its presence or absence.

In a geological point of view, these springs are not without interest. They are, if I may be allowed so botanical a comparison, a completely different genus of the great class “mineral spring.” It has been asserted, that mineral springs in general are formed by solution of the salts in the neighbouring mountains, by the rain-water which passes through them. This opinion, for many reasons, has seemed to me erroneous; but these springs furnish a proof by analogy, of great weight. For here are springs really formed by such an artificial method; and what happens? The soil furnishes (which is not the case with the soil in the neighbourhood of any other springs) the same water by artificial digestion. The late Dr. Struve succeeded in this manner in forming a very capital Püllna.[240] Again, these springs formed so artificially are uninfluenced, like others, by volcanic shocks, and earthquakes. The Hauptquelle, at Teplitz, stopped for a moment, during the earthquake at Lisbon, and then rushed forth with redoubled violence. Many other sources also have been similarly affected. Indeed, from Lyall’s account, it seems to be no uncommon circumstance: and new ones have even risen into existence, at such awful crises. On they go, however, the bitter springs, from year to year, totally regardless. They have no fixed temperature; because, as I presume, they are not in connexion with the centre of the earth. They have no fixed level of water, from the same cause. They vary, on the contrary, like all other common springs at the surface, with the temperature of the atmosphere, and the quantity of water which percolates the earth to supply them.


The first we visited was Saidschitz, about three hours drive from Teplitz: and I would advise none but those anxiously desirous of medical observation, to venture there. The road is shocking; at one part I was walking, whilst my friend Dr. Richter was reclining in the carriage. Suddenly a large rut appeared, and I feel convinced, that, had not the coachman and myself propped up the side of the carriage, which was falling towards us, it would, with all its professional contents, have been quietly precipitated.

Arrived at length, and eager to taste the water, of which so much had been said, I swallowed some of the most nauseous physic it is possible to prescribe. Instead of the nice saline draught which our Sedlitz powder makes, of tartrate of soda and potash, rendered even effervescent by the succeeding additions of carbonated soda and tartaric acid, the bitterwasser of Saidschitz consists of a strong solution of Epsom and Glauber’s salts; and I need not say that the term “bitterwasser” is most appropriately applied. There are twenty-two wells at Saidschitz, all capable of furnishing a large quantity of water, though few only are in actual use. They are included, as I previously said, within an area of about a quarter of a mile; and each well is covered with a small wooden shed, like a hay-cock. When drawn, the water is quite clear, and without any bubbles of carbonic acid. It has no smell, but a slightly brown color, depending on the presence of a peculiar acid, termed by Berzelius the “chrenic” (χρηνη, source). It undergoes no alteration by standing.

Most of these properties would have been anticipated from an inspection of the following analysis[83] published by Professor Berzelius.


Sixteen ounces contain,

Sulphate of soda 46.8019
Sulphate of potash 4.0965
Sulphate of magnesia 84.1666
Sulphate of lime 10.0776
Chloride of magnesium 2.1696
Iodide of magnesium .0368
Nitrate of magnesia 25.1715
Carbonate of magnesia 3.9858
Chrenate of magnesia 1.0667
Oxyde of iron and manganese .0192
Oxyde of tin with traces of oxyde of copper .0307
Silica .0360
Bromine and fluorine traces
Ammonia traces

The water is not allowed to be bottled at Saidschitz, but is sent to Bilin, a little town about two hours drive from Teplitz, for that purpose.

Saidschitz salt however is prepared there in considerable quantities. The water is evaporated to a proper degree of concentration, when the three sulphates of soda, potash, and magnesia, crystallize. They present crystals of large size. Again dissolved and concentrated, the latter salt is separated from the two former by its greater solubility; and the new solution, when crystallized, furnishes the Saidschitz salt—a tolerably pure sulphate of magnesia. The popular term in Germany for sulphate of magnesia corresponding to our “Epsom salt” is “bittersalz;” but it is known also as Saidschitz and Püllna salz; so that, if you enter a chemist’s, and demand a salt with either of the above titles, he will supply you from a certain bottle, labelled sal-amarum. If you ask for Sedlitz-salt, he will smile at your ignorance, and quietly tell you he does not keep it; and for this, we shall presently see, there is the very best of reasons. The prince is said to get about 1200 florins of good Austrian money annually by his salt making.


It is but a quarter of an hour’s drive from Saidschitz to Sedlitz; a name better known, perhaps, in England, than that of any other spa in Germany. For who has not had a Sedlitz? a genuine Sedlitz? or who has not bought a box of these powders, with the acid in the blue and the alkali in the white paper? as though the wondrous spring could produce a salt, acid or alkaline, at the pleasure of the chemist who dispensed it?

Large manufactories indeed must be there! and how thriving a village[242] Sedlitz must be!! A few miserable hovels, however, soon undeceive you, tenanted by the poorest of the poor. There are nine springs, not separate from the village of the same name, as at Saidschitz, but interspersed among the houses; and really it requires no small discernment to distinguish which are dwelling-houses, and which represent the wooden sheds covering the wells. Spring, No. 2, is the only one in use; and well, No. 2, the only one supplied with a bucket. The bucket was lowered by a rope and windlass (just conceive how civilized a bath-place); and brought up, full of water, for our inspection. I was not caught twice; I did not venture to taste this Bitterwasser with so much rashness. Its taste, color, and other physical properties, are exactly similar to those of Saidschitz-water, except that they are rather less marked, from its containing a smaller quantity of mineral ingredients. The following analysis by Professor Steinmann will be interesting.

Sixteen ounces contain,

Sulphate of soda 17.446
Sulphate of potash 4.414
Sulphate of magnesia 79.555
Sulphate of lime 4.144
Chloride of magnesium 1.061
Carbonate of magnesia 0.201
Carbonate of lime 5.297
Carbonate of stronthian .009
Carbonate of protoxyde of iron and manganese, alumina, silica and extractive .050
112.177 grs.
Carbonic acid gas 3.461 grs.

But where is the salt-manufactory, asked Dr. Richter? The woman was astonished—she knew not, nor had she ever heard of such a thing, although she had been in charge of the wells for thirty years. Her aged mother solved the difficulty. About thirty-three years ago. Prince Lobkowitz rented Sedlitz of the “ordre des chevaliers de l’etoile rouge,” and then a salt apparatus was in action. Finding, I presume, that Saidschitz was a more prolific source of bittersalz, he stopped the process at Sedlitz; so that absolutely, for the thirty-three long years that we have been drinking and enjoying our genuine Sedlitz powders, not a single atom of salt has been prepared.

But it is said, Saidschitz salt has been prepared, it imports little, that the mere name should have been mis-spelt. I answer—truly; a mere verbal error is of no moment; but when it is found, that the salt of Saidschitz and Sedlitz waters is sulphate of magnesia or Epsom salts; and when further it is observed, that the renowned Sedlitz powders are composed, for the most[243] part, of Rochelle salt, or the triple tartrate of potash and soda, I confess, it seems that more than a verbal error is committed.

Like Saidschitz, the waters of Sedlitz are bottled at the establishment of Prince Lobkowitz, at Bilin. Some is sent into Germany; by far the greater part goes to Paris; none to England. The bottles are known by the peculiar manner in which they are stopped; they have metal collars round the necks, on which metal caps are screwed. It is a singular circumstance, that, at Teplitz, not a single bottle of Sedlitz water could be obtained.

Before quitting Prince Lobkowitz and his springs, I may notice another ingenious application of the Saidschitz water. At Bilin there is a mineral spring, containing the carbonate of soda, about 23 grains in the pint. The result is anticipated. It is concentrated considerably by evaporation, and mixed with the Saidschitz water, also much concentrated; a double decomposition of the proximate elements of the carbonate of soda in the one, and the sulphate of magnesia in the other water, ensues: and a very capital carbonate magnesia is precipitated. The prince is said to add 500 more florins of good Austrian money to his income by this preparation.


The last of the three bitter springs, lying on the road from Carlsbad to Teplitz, is the property of the village of that name, close by, but is rented at present, by a private individual. Compared with the two former, it is quite an elegant spot. There is even a small white hotel opposite the wells; where, if fortune smiles, and you are in time for Table-d’hôte, you may get a dinner; but if not, you must fare, as we did, on “butter-brod.” It contains, moreover, a few baths, supplied with water from the springs; and one patient, Baron Christophe de Campenhausen, with his medical attendant, was resident there for the cure. An attempt at a registry of the visitors is also made. About thirty people, perhaps, may have seen Püllna, certainly not more than half a dozen English. Of the three bittersprings, the waters of Püllna have been by far the most drank—it is said that 300,000 of the Püllna dumpty bottles are annually circulated. Bittersalz is also made here in considerable quantity.

The wells are scattered over a larger area than either at Saidschitz or Sedlitz; but have the same odd appearance. The physical characters of a bitterwasser, its yellow tint, oily consistence, and horribly bitter taste, are here most strongly marked. The last analysis (which I obtained at Püllna) is by Dr. Ticinus, professor of chemistry at Dresden; and it will be seen how extremely concentrated a water it is.

Sixteen ounces contain—


Sulphate of soda 10.125
Sulphate of potash 82.720
Sulphate of magnesia 96.975
Sulphate of lime .800
Chloride magnesium 19.120
Bromide magnesium .588
Carbonate of magnesia 2.280
Carbonate of lime .760
Carbonate of iron traces
Nitrate of magnesia 4.602
Crenate of magnesia 4.640
Phosphate of soda .290
Carbonic acid gas .49 cubic inches.

I shall add but one word on the medical properties of the bitterwassers. As a glance at the analyses would anticipate, they are solvent and diuretic. They are aperient, however, without being at the same time stimulating; as is the case with the Salzbrunn at Franzensbad, from its abundance of carbonic acid, and with the Carlsbad water, from its heat. They, especially the Püllna, which is employed the most frequently, are too strong to be taken pure. One-third to the half of a dumpty bottle, with an equal quantity of luke-warm water, will be found an efficient and tolerably palatable dose. A medicine of this kind, repeated regularly every morning, is of the greatest advantage to persons habitually costive from sluggishness of action in the muscular fibre of the intestine, brought on by sedentary lives, much study at late hours, &c. If this state be accompanied with hæmorrhoids, the remedy, from its gentle effect, is still more valuable. In congested states of the liver and spleen, they are efficient; blood is determined to the intestine, to the relief of the portal vessels. In actual jaundice, they are even prescribed with advantage.

In mentioning the leading properties of these bittersprings, I do not think I should be inclined (were he willing) to send a patient there; for I should expect to hear, either that he had been upset in his journey, or starved on his arrival. But I have another motive. From the very nature of the water, containing so little carbonic acid, and so little iron, it can be imitated with great success. I saw Struve’s process at Dresden; and I have taken that made at the Brighton spa, with all the effect of the original and genuine Püllna. It seemed to me a remedy worthy of more patronage than it had hitherto received.

Finally, I would not wish, from what I have said, to depreciate the character of our very old and tried friend, the “Sedlitz.” On the contrary—I[245] hold him in much veneration. One word only I would add to his title—I would call him the “Genuine (London) Sedlitz Powder.”

Robert J. Spitta.

P.S.—I may as well state here, for the information of travellers, and especially of invalids, the ready means of communication that now exist, independent of the rail-road abovementioned.

From Teplitz to Tetchen 4 hours.
From Tetchen (through the heart of Saxon Switzerland by steamer) to Dresden 12
From Dresden to Magdeburg (passing through Leipzig—rail-road) 8
Magdeburg to Hamburg (steam) 14
Hamburg to London 48
Total 86 hours.

The whole run may be done in six days; the traveller sleeping every night in his bed, and undergoing no fatigue whatever in the day. The opposite course will require an additional day, on account of the stream of the Elbe, but may be performed with great ease by all, to whom economy of time, money, and bodily exertion is of any moment. It is only an easy day’s journey from Teplitz to Carlsbad, and 24 miles from thence to Marienbad. The route through Saxon Switzerland alone, will well repay the journey, which is almost all by water, and the far greater part by river steaming, where there is no chance of sea-sickness. In fine, the line of the Elbe offers, as it were, an invalid carriage, by which the most frail valetudinarian, or the most crippled victim of gout or rheumatism, may repair to the great fountains of health in Bohemia, with almost as much ease as if reposing in an arm-chair. J. J.



On leaving Teplitz, we pass through a highly picturesque country, full of mountain scenery, but not of that Alpine grandeur which excludes fertility, cultivation, and beauty, till we come to the Thermopylæ of Bohemia—the battle-field of Culm—whose history, though “Ære perennius,” is yet commemorated by three monuments—the Russian and Prussian dedicated to the memory of those heroes who fell in the combat—the Austrian, to the general who turned the fortune of the day—and changed a doubtful and sanguinary battle into a splendid and decided victory.[84] The three[246] monuments are of very different stature and dimensions. The first we come to is the Russian, a Gothic pyramid of cast iron, of great height, bearing on its summit the figure of Fame. The portrait of the hero Osterman, who, with 8000 Russians, checked Vandamme and 40,000 Frenchmen, is sculptured on one side. This monument is like Russia itself, infinitely more colossal than either of the others. The Prussian, like its kingdom, is the smallest of all—while the Austrian, is next in dimensions to the Russian, and dedicated, as was observed, to the hero who conquered, and not to those who fell in the battle. After all, this was perhaps the wisest plan. The living hero would feel pride and pleasure in contemplating the monuments; but, alas!

“Can storied urn or animated bust
Back to its mansion draw the fleeting breath?
Can honour’s voice provoke the silent dust,
Or flattery soothe the dull cold ear of death?”

No! the blood of the brave has, no doubt, fertilized the soil of this beautiful valley, while the bodies of heroes, who drew their natal breath on the banks of the Gneiper and the Vistula—the Elbe and the Danube—the Rhine and the Rhone—the Seine and the Tiber, have served to fatten the birds and beasts of prey, as well as the mould of mother-earth—migrating into myriads of new existences, and completing the mysterious circle of the Samian Sage!

When we glance at this infinitessimal speck of human consciousness and identity, surrounded and swallowed up by the countless cycles of other and ephemeral modes of existence, we may well marvel that man—reasoning man—should be the only creature on this globe who wages eternal war—against his own species! One would think that the span of human life was narrow enough, without abridging or annihilating it by fire, famine, and the sword! War indeed is a game which—

——were their subjects wise,
Kings could not play at.

It is rather singular that, in our days, at least, though monarchs occasionally lose their crowns in these games of hazard, they rarely part with their heads at the same time.

Three Emperors and a King played one of those fearful games of hazard in the valley of Culm. From the summit of the Schlossberg the royal Eagles of Austria, Russia, and Prussia beheld, with astonishment, if not dismay, the sudden and unexpected descent through a gorge in the Erzebirge[247] mountains, the fierce, the rapacious, and the ferocious Vandamme, at the head of forty thousand Frenchmen, flushed with the victory of Dresden (27th August, 1813) and pouncing on the scattered troops of the allies in the valley, quite unprepared for such an unexpected onslaught! The “Cock of the North,” and he of the Danube, “immediately retired.” Not so the regal bird, with two heads, from the Elbe and the Oder. He clapped his sable wings, as he snuffed the sulphurous fumes from the roaring cannon—directed several movements of the allies below—and presented a wall of steel, to a cloud of cossacks, flying before the enemy—thus compelling them to face their foes.

Meanwhile, Osterman and his eight thousand Russians slowly and doggedly retreated (fighting) before Vandamme and his forty thousand French, till within two miles of Teplitz, when the Gallic general considered the crowned heads as inevitably within his grasp! Here the Muscovites stopped short—wheeled round—and crossed the narrow valley, like an avenue of knotted oaks that might be borne down or torn up by the furious storm or lightning’s flash, but never would bend. It was in vain that the “ferocious” Vandamme brought up line after line of his men against the northern phalanx. They were repulsed, one after the other, as the basaltic columns of Staffa repel the onsets of the Atlantic surge! As individuals fell in the Russian ranks, the lines instantly closed again, as if by a vital and instinctive movement of the whole body! When the last column of Vandamme had failed to break the Russian phalanx, the furious and disconcerted Frank retreated in his turn, and encamped on the field of Culm for the night. This gave time for the panic-stricken and disordered allies to collect, combine, and arrange for the grand struggle of the coming day. The dawn (30th August) had not yet unveiled the peaks of the surrounding mountains, when all were ready and panting for the sanguinary conflict.

By torch and trumpet soon array’d,
Each horseman drew his battle-blade,
And furious every charger neigh’d,
To join the dreadful revelry.
Then flew the steed, to battle driv’n—
Then shook the hills, with thunder riven—
And louder than the bolts of heaven,
Far flash’d the red artillery!

The allies under Schwartzenburg may now have outnumbered the French under Vandamme, but their morale was depressed by the recent disasters at Dresden, and their physique exhausted by their almost superhuman exertions in dragging their cannon, baggage, and ammunition over the rugged summits of the Bohemian mountains. On the other hand, the French were elated beyond measure by the recent and successive victories of Lutzen, Botzen, and Dresden—but still more by the star of Napoleon, which[248] was now rising, like a Phœnix from the ashes of Moscow, and approaching its second zenith on the banks of the Elbe. Daylight, however, had scarcely enabled the armies to distinguish friend from foe, when they rushed simultaneously into mortal conflict. Vandamme lay between a great crescent of the allies on the West, and the towery ridge of Erzeberg in his rear, and from which he had descended the preceding morning. The “fiery Frank” fought like a tiger encompassed and goaded by hunters—while the “furious hun” successfully repelled his repeated efforts to break the line of the allies, and even drove him nearer and nearer to the mountain behind. The pass of the Erzeberg, through which Vandamme descended into the valley, now presented the only opening by which he could effect his egress out of it. The order for retreat was given; but what was the surprize of the French on entering the defile from below, when they beheld a body of Prussians enter it from above! The surprize and consternation, however, were mutual. Kleist, who, with five or six thousand Prussians, had been wandering among the mountains since the disaster of Dresden, and who was now hurrying to Teplitz to join the allies, was thunderstruck to see the French scrambling up the defile to meet him, and considered his retreat as cut off. Vandamme looked upon himself as in precisely the same predicament. Kleist knew that the French columns were pressing onward in his rear—Vandamme knew full well that the Austro-Prusso-Russian army was close at his heels. The object of each corps in the defile was therefore to cut through its opponent, and escape in the direction of its friends. Under these impressions, they rushed into tumultuous combat, and were soon mingled in inextricable confusion. The officers of one corps were sometimes in the midst of the soldiery of the other, and vice versa—all fighting pell-mell like two hostile mobs, without order or command—individually rather than collectively—often wresting the arms from their opponents, and fighting with the weapons of their enemies! So desperate a struggle on such a precipitous pass, was never, perhaps, witnessed since the days of Leonidas in the Straits of Thermopylæ! The Prussians had the vantage ground, inasmuch as their own weight gave them an increased momentum in rushing down the declivity—the French had greatly the advantage in numbers, both in horse and foot; but Kleist prevailed, and Vandamme and his army were hurled back into the valley below, when the allies closed round them and the Gallic Eagles surrendered!

On the field of Culm the sable wing of destiny threw a shade over the star of Napoleon, which never afterwards regained its splendour, or stayed its downward course, till it sunk in the far Atlantic. On the plains of Marne and Waterloo, indeed,[85] that star emitted some vivid corruscations; but they only tended to exhaust its fire and accelerate its fall!



Full of ruminations on the vicissitudes of human life—the vanity of man’s hopes—and the nothingness of his works—we drove through a highly picturesque valley, at the foot of the last range of the Bohemian mountains, till we suddenly debouched on the silvery Elbe, at the bustling and boating little town of Tetchen. The first object which arrested our attention was a huge pile of white buildings standing on a bold and jutting promontory some seven or eight hundred feet above the right bank of the river, with thrice as many windows in its walls as there were eyes in the head of Argus. Various were our conjectures as to whether the edifice before us was an immense barrack, an overgrown convent, where half the daughters of Bohemia might prepare for another world, or a great factory? Even the oracular authority of the “red-book” could not persuade us that it was a palace. The river at this place is always crowded with boats of all shapes and sizes laden with merchandize—chiefly hewn stone from the rocky banks, and timber from the pine-clad mountains. We had some difficulty in getting the carriage along between a precipice on the left, and the stream on our right, but at length got safely housed in the Josephsbad Hotel—“in one of the most romantic situations which the banks of the river Elbe afford.”—Murray. Here we learnt that the great pile of building was actually the palace or castle of Count Thun, and crossing the ferry we scrambled up through a straggling town to the rear of the castle, and then climbed up a road of rock that led to the chateau, and which was steep enough for goats, though the tracks of wheels, worn in the smooth and precipitous stone, shewed that less agile animals than the ibex had dragged their weary way to the summit. The view from the castle is remarkably picturesque, though rather hemmed in by hills, rocks, and mountains—the winding Elbe soon disappearing in the dark ravines of Saxon Switzerland. Count Thun’s library is, I believe, the great lion of the castle; but as I never could derive much amusement or information from a survey of the backs of books, we returned to our eagle’s nest, the Josephsbad, and slept sound over the murmuring Elbe. There is a chalybeate spring here of some local reputation, and certainly an invalid could not easily select a more romantic spot for the restoration of health than Tetchen.

We embarked in a gondola early in the morning, and immediately entered “Saxon Switzerland,” a tract of country extending from Tetchen to the neighbourhood of Dresden, and perfectly unique in character, bearing little or no resemblance to Switzerland, or to any other country in the world through which I have passed. It has none of the snowy solitudes, the sparkling glaciers, or the majestic altitude of the Alps; but it has a geographical and geological physiognomy, of which there is “nil simile aut secundum” on this globe. The river runs through a gorge, which is, in fact, a gigantic excavation—a huge crevasse—a profound chasm, in the[250] rocky bed of an antediluvian ocean, disclosing glimpses of “the world before the flood,” and letting out some of the “secrets of the prison-house.” Whether this ocean-bed was raised from its dark abyss by the agency of subterranean fire, or was left uncovered by the subsidence of the superincumbent sea, may admit of question; but no doubt can be entertained as to the formation of those rocky walls that now rise a thousand feet high on each side of the stream. They are piled, layer over layer, in strata of different thickness and different density—but all as horizontal as the ocean under which they once lay. They were all, therefore, depositions from the sea, and considering that most of these strata are hard enough to form millstones, imagination is lost in the vain attempt to estimate the countless ages that must have rolled away during the deposition and consolidation of even a single stratum—how many millions of years, then, must it have required to form layer over layer, of this immense crust, at the bottom of the ocean, leaving aside the unknown intervals that must have elapsed between the various deposits!! Again, the elevation of the earth, or the subsidence of the waters, so as to produce the complete denudation of this rocky district, could not but occupy ages of ages. In whatever way this long chain of stratifications took place, it is quite evident that it was long subjected to powerful currents. The layers are all grooved and furrowed horizontally, in the line of the river, and not perpendicularly, as by rains descending along their sides. It is true they are often split perpendicularly and irregularly; but this is quite the work of time and decay—not at all like the horizontal smoothing, the consequence of long-continued watery friction. Some travellers have supposed that the river Elbe has hewn its way through these rocks and formed the huge ravine on the principle—

“Gutta cavat lapidem non vi sed sæpe cadendo.”

But as the very summits of the rock (800 feet high) shew the same proofs of horizontal “wear and tear” as the lowest strata, what must have been the state of the surrounding country, when the Elbe was 800 feet above its present level? It was covered with water, and the grooves in the rocks were the effects of currents, not rivers—in other words, they are diluvial and not fluvial phenomena. But the banks of this stream are not the only places here which exhibit proofs and records of a deluge. The neighbouring country, especially on the right bank, and where no rivers exist, is studded with “fragments of an earlier world,” all bearing the same marks of watery attrition, from their highest to their lowest strata. Although many of these “splinter’d pinnacles,” are columnar in shape, they are tabular in construction—all shewing horizontal strata (where they have not tumbled down), and all evincing a greater wear and tear of the interstitial materials between the layers, than of the layers themselves—another[251] proof of the lateral and not perpendicular action of the waters by which they were worn smooth.

We descended slowly in our gondola, the day being splendidly clear, and the wind blowing fresh against us, which retarded our progress, but favoured our examination of the infinitely varied scenery in this romantic gorge. At Neidergrund, on the left bank, we were stopped by the last Austrian Douane, for examination of passports; and then continued our descent. At this place, however, there is a huge fragment of rock which must have rolled from the adjacent cliff, at some remote period, but which is now perfectly smooth in every part of its surface, from the friction of the floods. In this stone, there is also a polished excavation, with a narrow door, in which, it is said, a pious hermit once resided. Hence its name—“Monchenstein.” It is worth examining while the tardy Douanier is poring over your passport, and filling unmeaning columns in his musty journals.

A league farther on, where the right bank rises like a wall to a stupendous height, and demonstrating the stratifications with peculiar distinctness, we come to a huge pile of buildings, overhung by massive crags of rocks, and forming a douane, police-station, and hotel. Here we encounter the Saxon Custom-house, where our trunks were opened and examined—an operation which was never once performed by Prussian, Bavarian, or Austrian, during our whole journey. And here I must do the Austrians, who are represented as so very austere in their police and douanes, the justice to say that, in no part of their dominions did we ever experience the slightest interruption or inconvenience in respect to passports; nor did they ever ask us for the key of a trunk on entering, travelling through, or quitting their territories.

From this place (Herrnskretchen), excursions are often made, by people who have plenty of time on their hands, to the summit of the “Winterberg,” where a very extensive prospect of Saxon Switzerland and the Bohemian ranges is obtained. The mountain prospect is hardly worth the toil of the mountain journey. Better prospects are obtained from two points to be presently noticed, where the view, though not quite so wide, is infinitely more distinct and striking, and where the points themselves possess the highest degree of interest, which the summit of the Winterberg does not. The Preberchthor, however, a league and a half from Herrnskretchen, is worth seeing. It is a gigantic natural arch of rock, exhibiting well the stratified formation, and looking like the portal of some enchanted castle, being 60 ells (French) in height, the same in breadth, and 30 in depth. The arch itself is 1400 feet and more above the level of the sea. The summit, or key-stone of the arch forms a kind of narrow slanting platform, 30 or 40 feet in length, from which a romantic prospect opens on the view.

The Kuhstall (or cow-house) is another natural arch, where the strata[252] of rock appear to be somewhat bent as they stride over the aperture below. Various other “disjecta membra” of an antediluvian world are scattered about between the Winterberg and Schandau.

We remained but a short time at Schandau; and, after dinner, hired a gondola, where a female rowed manfully against the breeze, assisted by her husband and brother, and in a couple of hours we reached


This is one of the lions of Saxon Switzerland—a kind of jung-frau fortress that has never yielded to shot, shell, or escalade. It is situated on the left bank of the river, near the town of Kœnigstein, from whence we ascended by a long and steep road that required full an hour before we arrived at the gate of this impregnable fortress. The Saxon war minister being governor of Kœnigstein, our passports procured us admission, with an orderly to shew us round. One of the most prominent features of this country is, the projection from its surface of numerous truncated cones of the same kind of stratified rock which compose the banks of the Elbe. They rise almost perpendicularly from plain or hill, to various heights of one hundred to seven or eight hundred feet, with a flat surface on the top, like a sugar-loaf with its upper third cut off. Kœnigstein is one of the largest of these natural forts, and the strongest. It springs from an elevated ground, and is at least fifteen hundred feet above the level of the Elbe that flows at its base. The walls are not columnar, but masses of horizontal strata piled upon one another, precisely like those composing the banks of the river, the highest as well as lowest layers presenting the same horizontal “wear and tear,” produced by the action of long-continued currents of water. The plateau on the summit of this antediluvian citadel occupies a space of two or three acres, which, considering the locality, supports a good deal of vegetation, trees, and fruit. Excavations in the rock serve as bomb-proofs for provisions, ammunition, and military barracks, if assailed. The plateau is encircled by a coronet of cannon and mortars, and in the spaces between the embrasures, immense heaps of stones are piled up, to be hurled on the heads of those who ventured to approach the rocky ramparts of this aerial fortress. Down through the centre of the rock a well is bored to the depth of 1800 feet, and from this source an abundant supply of excellent water is drawn up by a wheel, like a tread-mill, worked, or rather walked, by half a dozen soldiers. In the centre of the plateau there is a circus, where the governor with one of his aide-de-camps was galloping round, for air and exercise.

We made the entire circuit of the ramparts, and from these the most extensive views are taken in every direction, embracing scenery so strange, romantic, and beautiful, that no language can do it justice—nor pencil neither! At its eastern base flows the winding Elbe, and directly opposite,[253] on the other side of the stream, rises Lilienstein, about three miles distant from Kœnigstein, and of a precisely similar shape and composition. A German prince, who was also a Polish king, had the courage and dexterity to scale the Lilienstein, and was so proud of the exploit, that he commemorated it by an inscription near the place of ascent. Napoleon, in one of his German forays, succeeded, with incredible labour and difficulty, to elevate some guns to the summit of this gigantic rock, in order to batter Kœnigstein, but his labour was lost, for the shot fell short of the sister fortress. But Kœnigstein might have laughed at Bonaparte even if his cannon could have swept the houses from the plateau of the Saxon strong-hold. It would have remained as impregnable as ever. The view from this spot takes in the whole or nearly the whole of Saxon Switzerland, and extends to thirty or forty miles in every direction—from the Winterberg to Dresden, the towers of which are plainly visible. All the peculiar rocks in the shape of truncated cones, as well as those masses of pillars and cliffs about the Bastei, are distinctly seen from Kœnigstein. Mr. Russell has the following passage in his work on Germany.

“The striking feature is, that in the bosom of this amphitheatre, a plain of the most varied beauty, huge columnar hills start up at once from the ground, at great distances from each other, overlooking in lonely and solemn grandeur, each its own portion of the domain. They are monuments which the Elbe has left standing to commemorate his triumph over their less hardy kindred. The most remarkable among them are the Lilienstein and Kœnigstein, which tower, nearly in the centre of the plain, to a height of above 1200 feet above the Elbe.”

I have marked a sentence, in italics, because it conveys an erroneous idea. It may be poetical; but it is not philosophical. If the Elbe was the Deluge, or the Deluge was the Elbe, all well. But I think Mr. Russell would hardly contend for this identity. The fact is, that the Deluge wore away the softer parts from around Kœnigstein, Lilienstein, and all the other Steins, ten thousand, or, more likely, ten million of years before the Elbe was born! The diminutive stream of the river merely conducted its rills from the mountains through the bottom of the chasm hollowed out by the mighty currents of an antediluvian ocean.

It required two hours to visit the cloud-capt towers and frowning battlements of this impregnable citadel, whose walls were not built by human hands, but constructed beneath the waters of some mighty deep. The magnificent and singular scenery which everywhere bursts on the astonished eye from the cannon-crown’d crest of Kœnigstein, can never be erased from the memory.

We descended from the fortress to the town, tired, hunger’d, but highly gratified by the excursion. Fickle Fortune is not always profuse of her gifts. The feast of the eye this day was purchased by a fast of the stomach. Notwithstanding the care we had taken to order the “huhn[254] gebraten,” the “schinken,” the “kartoflen,” and other little matters for dinner, all of which were civilly promised, with a hearty “ja wohl mynheer,” into the bargain; yet, to our mortification, up came the infernal or at least the eternal dish—mutton-chops, composed of old meat pounded into a paste, squeezed into a mould, fried with butter, covered with flour, and pierced with the ribs of some “schaf” that might have been slaughtered the preceding year! Remonstrance was vain, and complaint was unavailing. Dish after dish was returned untouched—and dish after dish of the same materials, came back again, in other forms! With a sorrowful heart and an empty stomach, I called to mind the first line of Ovid’s Metamorphoses—

“In nova, fert animus, mutatas dicere formas,

As a forlorn hope, we requested some cheese; when, lo, after a quarter of an hour’s expectation, in came a wedge exhaling such a complication of all horrible and unutterable odours, that we were glad to launch it out of the window among the pigs—and even they scampered off in all directions at the sight, sound, and smell of this unexpected and apparently unwelcome visitor! Good comes out of evil. This last consummation of our miseries fortunately obliterated our appetites as effectually as a fit of sea-sickness in a gale of wind. The beds were as bad as the board, and the smell of the cheese seemed to have called forth myriads of the most minute, agile, and animated beings, who appeared to leap and skip with joy, over our beds and round our dormitory—but whether in search of the savoury “kase,” or bent on more sanguinary depredations, I will not pretend to decide. This I know, that the frolicksome gambols of these black and saltant imps conduced but very little to sleep, notwithstanding the lightness of our supper. Mr. Murray says that the Inn at Kœnigstein is “tolerable.” It may be so, but the inmates are intolerable! I do not think that Horace spent a worse night in the Pontine fens, when he was assailed, on one side by the “mali culices,” and on the other, by the “ranæ palustres.” We had not the “mali culices,” it is true—but we had far worse customers, the mali pulices!! In fine, it was the “frogs and flies” of Treponti in Italy, versus the “fleas and cheese” of Kœnigstein in Germany. I would pit the latter against the former any Summer’s night of the year!


We left Kœnigstein early on a beautiful morning in our gondola, and in two hours we were housed in New Raden, at the foot of the Bastei. Having procured a guide, we commenced a laborious and steep zig-zag ascent towards the summit of the arch-lion of Saxon Switzerland. It required an hour or nearly so, to accomplish this task—each tourniquet of[255] the ascent opening out more and more extended and splendid prospects. At length we got into the “regio petrea,” or stony region—sometimes winding round the bases of huge cliffs—sometimes squeezing through narrow fissures of the rock—and at others, crossing profound chasms over slender wooden bridges, or rather foot-paths. When almost despairing of gaining the summit before our strength was exhausted, we suddenly found ourselves on a small but level platform, on the highest pinnacle of the Bastei, and commanding a complete view, not only of the immense mass of splintered rocks around us, but of the whole country in every direction. In all my peregrinations round this globe, I never met with any locality or prospect similar to the one which burst on my astonished sight at this place!

I’ve travers’d many a mountain strand,
Abroad and in my native land;—
And it has been my fate to tread,
Where safety more than pleasure led—
But by my Halidome—
A scene so rude, so wild as this—
Or so sublime in barrenness,
Ne’er did my wandering footsteps press,
Where’er I chanc’d to roam!

We stood on the verge of a tremendous precipice, eight hundred feet in height, and overhanging the Elbe below. Though its brow is fringed with an iron ballustrade, I observed that very few ventured to look over the frightful bourne,

“Lest the brain turn and the deficient sight
Topple down headlong.”

In the opposite direction, rises one of the most singular scenes that ever opened on the human eye. The billows of an angry ocean suddenly converted into stone, while agitated by a furious hurricane, might convey some, but a very imperfect, idea of this astonishing locality. The fractured rocks, though all presenting the stratifications so often mentioned, and most of them still horizontal, assume almost every shape and form that imagination bodies forth in the autumnal clouds that range themselves along the western horizon, as the cortege of a setting sun, on a beautiful evening. Pyramids, cliffs, spires, columns, ruins, cupolas, turrets, battlements, castles, colossal statues and fantastic figures—of everything, in short, which a fertile fancy can conjure up in the animate or inanimate world.[86]


After the first emotions of surprize and astonishment have subsided, we begin to ask ourselves what convulsion of Nature could have produced this scene of devastation, destruction, and dislocation? Was it an earthquake?—a volcano?—or a deluge? Coupling this last idea with the acknowledged fact that all these fractured rocks were once a series of level and solid strata at the bottom of the ocean, the remarkable expression in Holy Writ rushed on the mind—“And the fountains of the great deep were broken up.” Whether this indescribable scene of disruption and dilapidation was produced by any one of those three causes, or by all in succession, must for ever remain a secret sealed from human ken,—but it is abundantly evident, from the vast masses of debris along the banks of the river, that the winds and rains are constantly disintegrating the softer materials of this “Mer de Pierres,” and carrying them down towards the stream of the Elbe, which acts its part in conveying them to the bed of the great Northern Ocean, there to form new deposits, preparatory to some other revolution in our planet, which may once more raise the bed of the sea into terra firma—and overwhelm our mountains and plains in unfathomable depths of the vast watery element!

Various paths are formed among the intricacies of the rocks here, and seats formed for contemplating

“Craggs, knolls, and mounds confusedly hurl’d,
The fragments of an earlier world.”

And few minds can dwell on such a scene without profound reflections on that Almighty Power whose operations are displayed here on such a stupendous scale.

The external or distant views from the Bastei are still more striking than those from the fortress of Kœnigstein—more varied in their character, and having Kœnigstein itself, and also Lilienstein, as most prominent features in the landscape. The rocky mounds in the same shape as the Lilienstein, which stand up in every direction, are all seats of legendary tales, nearly as numerous as those of the Rhine.

We were not a little surprized to find in this eyrie a very comfortable hotel—the romantic situation of which has no equal in Europe, or in the world. But we were still more astonished to find horses and carriages in the court-yard of the inn! We were, at first, inclined to disbelieve the evidence of our own senses: but soon discovered that the northern approach to the Bastei admits of a good carriage road, so that invalids or weakly tourists may ascend to the very edge of the plateau on the summit of the highest rock, without the slightest fatigue. Near the hotel, there is seen a gigantic excavation in the rock, five times the size of the Coliseum in Rome, and very much in the form of a huge natural amphitheatre, surrounded by a towering rocky wall, of immense height, which wall is crowned by a great variety of grotesque and colossal figures, bearing more[257] or less resemblance to animals and artificial constructions. Here is a very loud and distinct echo, which adds to the interest of a scene quite unique on the face of this globe.

We descended by the same path by which we ascended, enjoying the prospects from various points, and bidding adieu to the most interesting spot we had ever visited.


Our little gondola floated down the silver Elbe towards Dresden on a beautiful day, the right bank of the river still preserving its superiority of scenery over the left. Indeed I think the former bank little, if at all, inferior to even the best parts of the Rhine—besides the advantage of innumerable white villas, vineyards, gardens, and orchards, scattered from the summit of the hills down to the water’s edge.


Passing the fortified town of Pirna a on the left, we arrived at the summer residence of the royal family at Pillnitz; but too late to avail ourselves of the permission given to foreigners to see, from a contiguous gallery, the regal banquet at dinner-hour. The lions had not only fed, but fled—perhaps to realize our nursery estimate of the felicity attendant on crowns and sceptres—

“The King was in his cabinet, counting out his money:
The Queen was in the drawing-room, eating bread and honey.”

I certainly feared that the faithful adhesion of Saxony to the fortunes of Napoleon, though it saved the “galleries” and “green vaults” of Dresden, had not tended to an overflow of the royal treasury—and I was quite sure that the battle of Leipsic and the Congress of Vienna had by no means enlarged the territories of the Saxon Monarch. As to the Queen, Boney’s inordinate love of bees must have greatly thinned the ranks of her majesty’s hives on the sunny banks of the Elbe, and diminished the supply of honey for the use of herself and maids of honour.[87] Be that as it may, I sincerely hope that no Saxon queen will ever be reduced from bread and honey to bread and cheese—for in that event, her majesty’s case would be hopeless.

We greatly regretted that we had not a glimpse at that magnificent lioness of Pillnitz, the Princess Amelia, sister to the monarch, and Playwriter to Germany in general. How she, as a Saxon princess, contrived to depict on the stage, “the domestic manners of the Germans,” as Mrs.[258] Jameson very artfully terms her dramas, is beyond my comprehension, unless she imitated the Eastern Princes of former days, who went incog. among their subjects. Be this as it may, I confess I do not see any delineation of character in these plays that might not be picked up in the library, theatre, and drawing-room, by any clever girl of Princess Amelia’s calibre and talents. There is a clearer insight into domestic manners in one of Horace’s Odes or Satires (vide Sat. VIII.,) than in the whole of the Princess’s plays put together.


We approached this city on a beautiful evening—its numerous spires and domes, its raised terraces, shaded promenades, broad river, and handsome bridge, making a favourable impression on the stranger’s mind. The bridge, though said to be the finest in Germany, would make a sorry figure alongside of our Waterloo—and it bears on its centre arch a memorial that is not likely ever to appear on any bridge that crosses the Thames—the marks of a blow-up by a French General. The memorial, however, is not very complimentary to the Gallic soldiers, who performed the exploit to prevent the allies from running—after them! I wish the bridge regulation over the Elbe was enforced on all bridges, and even streets—viz. that of compelling passengers to take the right-hand side, by which they avoid jostlings or collisions. The new town, on the right bank, is the unfashionable one—the old one, the reverse—though the streets of the latter are narrow, the houses high, and very dull as well as unadorned.

You have scarcely descended from the bridge on the left bank, when you find yourself entangled between a palace, a church, a theatre, and a minister’s huge hotel, or rather bureau. Here I observed what I had hitherto scouted—an “iter ad astra”—a royal road to heaven. From the windows of the palace a royal arch strides across the street, and enters the Catholic church, high up, near the regal box or pew over the altar!—On the opposite side rises the theatre. Thus Religion sits calmly, but proudly, between Comedy and Carousel; and the same musical corps which “swell the notes of praise” in the solemn anthem of morning mass, fill the air with the dulcet notes of Terpsichore, in the evening Opera. Such easy transitions would excite some remark in holy England—though there is nothing, after all, in these double duties of the vocal train—“vox et pretærea nihil.” But the sight of an English king going every Sunday to mass would astonish his Protestant subjects. Not so in Dresden. The Saxons are just as much Protestants as the British are; yet they take no umbrage at their monarch preferring the Romish to the reformed ritual!! Would that such peaceable and charitable sentiments were universal in the world!

The palace itself is the most strange, straggling, and sombre mass or rather[259] chaos of state prisons that ever monarch inhabited—unless it is he of the Tartarian regions. It runs up the side of one street—down that of another—cuts a third in two—swallows up a fourth in toto—and then scatters itself into squares, courts, platzes, galleries, museums, &c. from which a stranger would find no small difficulty in extricating himself, except by the aid of Ariadne’s clue, or a rope-yarn longer than any that was ever spun by a Greenwich pensioner. No wonder that their majesties take their annual departure from this gloomy abode most punctually on the first day of May, to enjoy the pure air and romantic prospects of Pillnitz and the Bastei.

The picture-galleries here have procured for Dresden the title of “the Florence of Germany.” I think the “Green Vaults,” and “Porcelain Manufactories,” entitle it to the additional appellations of “Royal Toy-shop of Saxony,” and “China-Warehouse of Europe.”

As good Protestants we first went to the cathedral—but as service was over we climbed to the summit of the dome, and there we had a most complete panoramic view of Dresden and the surrounding country, renewing our acquaintance with our old friends Kœnigstein and Lilienstein, which stand proudly forth as gigantic guardians of an enchanted land. The dome of the cathedral is the first spot which a stranger should visit, as it is the only place which spreads everything before him, as on a map, and all in their just proportions and distances. The city of Dresden is by no means extensive, even when including the old and new town; but the surrounding and distant country presents scenery of great variety and beauty. The southern views take in Saxon Switzerland—the northern, the fertile plains and vales that stretch away towards Leipzig and Berlin. It is from this elevated position that the great field of battle between Napoleon and the allies (26th and 27th of August 1814) now smiles in peace and cultivation, instead of being bristled with cannon, and strewed with human sacrifices at the altar of Mars. The fortifications are now levelled to the ground, or converted into beautiful shaded walks, gardens, and groves, that lead out to meet a laughing landscape in every direction. One, and only one, melancholy object arrests the wandering eye of the delighted observer—the monument of Moreau, on the spot where he fell by the side of the Emperor Alexander. A plain free-stone block commemorates at once, the death of the “hero Moreau,” and the last victory of Napoleon! From that moment, the star of this “child of destiny” began to fade in lustre, and descend from its meridian. The battle of Culm and the disastrous defeat at Leipzig completed the liberation of Germany; whilst the struggles in France and Belgium afterwards, were only the pangs of a dying giant!

It appeared that Fortune had, in Napoleon’s case, determined to wipe the stain of fickleness from her character; but that she became exhausted by, or, almost ashamed of, pouring incessant favours on a man, whose[260] talents were as brilliant as his ambition was boundless; and whose philanthropy was so weak that the blood of the whole human race would scarcely have satiated his thirst of power, while the faintest hope of attaining or retaining it remained!—a man without moderation in prosperity, magnanimity in adversity, fidelity in matrimony, philosophy in exile, or religion in death.[88] He expired in the crater of an extinct volcano—a suitable sepulchre for one who had grown up amid revolution, storms, political earthquakes, and the thunders of war. His ashes, which reposed in peace during twenty years, have been exhumed from the grave, and cast like a fire-brand upon a huge pile of the most inflammable and destructive combustibles that were ever amassed for the explosion of another moral volcano!

Paci funesta dies! en tristia erynnis—
Atlantiaca pulsa resurgit humo!
Ecce alias tœdas Helenæ, atque incendia Trojæ
Oceani, oceani prodita claustra vomunt!

It was for a nation like France, to demolish the altar of the living God (to use the words of Montalivert) to make room for the ashes of a Deist dead!

While memory retraces the page of history, written in blood on the smiling landscape beneath us, the eye rests once more on the pyramidal block which marks the fall of one of the ablest and best children of the revolution. Some dastard, under the cover of night, nearly effaced the word “hero,” and substituted for it that of “traitor.” Man is judged in this world by his actions—in the next world by his motives. If Moreau warred against his country, he was a traitor—if he warred against a tyrant, who usurped the sceptre and destroyed the liberties of his country, he was a patriot.

Taking a last circumspective view of the splendid prospect around us, we descended from the dome of the cathedral, and bent our steps to the Catholic church, where high mass was about to be celebrated. Here we found a sacred precept at once completely violated. “Whom God has joined let no man separate.” But the wife is here severed from her husband, and the sister from the brother—for what good purpose I am unable[261] to divine. If the two sexes are not allowed to pray together, lest the scandal of assignations should result, the priesthood of Saxony are as little acquainted with human nature as they are with the Aborigines of New Holland.

But what becomes of this regulation, when we see that it only extends to the pit, while in the galleries of this holy opera (for high mass is neither more nor less than a sacred drama), the ladies and gentlemen are allowed to listen and laugh—or peradventure to pray, during the service?

The music here is said to be the best in Germany—and I suppose it must be so. If the object of sacred music be the elevation of the soul to the highest pitch of religious fervor and devotional enthusiasm, the accomplishment of that object may be doubted where a multiplicity of violins and other instruments drown rather than accompany the choir and the organ. There is, however, one exception to this doubt. When, in the performance of the solemn requiem, and at the words—

Tuba, mirum spargens sonum
Per sepulchra regionum,
Coget omnes ante thronum—

the trumpet pours its loud notes along the vaulted roof of some lofty cathedral, which reverberates them on the crowd below, in imitation of the “last trump,” whose awful sounds shall penetrate every grave on this globe—burst the marble cerements of the tomb—and summon their shivering tenants to the foot-stool of their God—the effect is almost magical! And well it may be so. The very idea of such a stupendous and miraculous event, involving the hopes and fears, the rewards and punishments, the eternal peace or endless misery of the whole human race, is sufficiently astounding and overwhelming in itself; but when heightened by the most artful and gorgeous imitation that human ingenuity could invent or effect, the impression is beyond description or even conception!

The picture-galleries are the master-lion of Dresden, and as a mere catalogue of the paintings—not a “catalogue raisonnée”—fills a goodly octavo volume, the reader may be assured that I will not, even if I could, inflict on him a critical notice of this celebrated collection, reiterated ad nauseam, by so many connoisseurs in the art and mystery of the craft. Would that the pictorial critics would keep their unintelligible jargon and puzzling lingo to themselves! How many hundreds and thousands of the visitors of galleries have the cup of enjoyment dashed from their lips, while admiring paintings, by hearing some pert hypercritic condemn them as deficient in “depth of shade,” “breadth of colour,” “truth of tint”—or some arbitrary quality which his brain has engendered to bewilder the uninitiated, and display his own refinement of taste and judgment! Then the host of pseudo-critics, who prick up their ears and catch the fiats of the connoisseur, become actual pests in the galleries, retailing the dicta of[262] their superiors, and scattering doubts and dissentions among the confiding crowd—

——Spargere voces
In vulgum ambiguas.——

In such a prodigious collection the great majority of pictures must be of inferior note, and unworthy of attention. There are, however, a vast number of gems and chef-d’œuvres, and on these, the traveller will, almost always, find artists (male and female) constantly employed in copying—many of them for their daily bread—not a few, as amateurs, even of the highest rank in life. Here, then, are a series of guides, more practical than all the critics which commit their lucubrations to the press.

Although Saxony is a Protestant state, it is a Catholic kingdom, and therefore there is a good sprinkling of sacred subjects in the Dresden galleries. The intentions of delineating the mysteries of our holy religion on canvas, may be pious, but the attempt to do so is little less than impious. What required the miraculous power of a Deity to effect, is not likely to be imitated in oil and colours by the hands of man. The great truths of religion are addressed to the heart rather than to the eye—to the internal feelings rather than to the external senses—to faith rather than to demonstration. Let the painter beware how he tries to reduce these to sensible and visible representations!

Be this as it may, the stranger will always find artists and artistes busy in copying Bellini’s “Christ”—Titian’s “Tribute Money”—the same painter’s “Mistress”—Veccio’s “Virgin and Infant”—P. Veronese’s “Adoration of the Virgin and Child”—“The Finding of Moses”—Giorgione’s “Meeting of Jacob and Rachael”—“The Marriage of the Doges of Venice with the Sea”—the “Four Doctors of the Church,” by Dosso Dossi—Raphael’s “Madonna de san Sisto,” the jewel of the gallery, which was bought for £8000—Corregio’s “Virgin and Child”—the “Virgin and Infant in the Manger,” the second gem of Dresden paintings,—the “Recumbent Magdalene”—“the Sacrifice of Isaac,”—“Venus and Bacchus”—Rubens’ “Descent of the Fallen Angels”—Van Dyk’s “Charles I. and Family”—Rembrandt’s “Own Self and Wife”—Poussin’s “Discovery of Moses in the Bullrushes”—Claud’s “Acis and Galatea,” &c. These and scores of others are in perpetual transition from the walls of the galleries to the easels of the copyists—hence a common complaint that such collections as these give the highest encouragement to imitators, and almost annihilate originality.


This royal toy-shop—this magnificent museum of costly curiosities, might satiate the eyes and appetites of all the Arabian princes and princesses—of all the Persian shaws and Peruvian monarchs, that ever lived—nay, it[263] might leave the Grand Mogul himself (could his court be re-established in Hindostan) nothing to wish for or want!

“Whoever,” says an intelligent traveller, “takes pleasure in the glitter of precious stones—in gold and silver, wrought into all sorts of royal ornaments, into every form, however grotesque, that art can give them, without any aim at either utility or beauty, will stroll with satisfaction through the apartments of this gorgeous toy-shop. They are crowded with crowns and jewels, and regal attire of a long line of Saxon princes;[89]—vases and other utensils seem to have been made merely as a means of expending gold and silver—the shelves glitter with caricatured urchins, whose bodies are often formed of huge pearls, or of egg-shells, to which are attached limbs of enamelled gold. One is dazzled by the quantity of gems and precious metals that glare around him:—he must even admire the ingenuity which has fashioned them into so many ornaments and unmeaning nick-nacks. But there is nothing that he forgets more easily, or that deserves less to be remembered.”

Mr. Russell’s opinion has been cavilled at, as not giving sufficient praise to the merit of patience labour and skill that have been expended on this royal collection. If these had resulted in things that were either useful or ornamental, the merit might have been granted; but neither the one nor the other has been the consequence of an expense equal to that of the national debt. The best exception to this general censure is—“the Court of the Great Mogul,” representing the Emperor Aurengzebe upon his throne, surrounded by his guards and courtiers, in appropriate costumes, according to the description of Tavernier. There are 132 figures, all of pure enamelled gold, which cost Dinlinger eight years’ labour, and the Saxon treasury eighty-five thousand dollars! This is decidedly the most elaborate and meritorious work in the Green Vaults; but is it more so than that which was proposed by Dinocrates—the carving of Mount Athos into a statue representing Alexander? I think the latter was the more noble of the two. The Macedonian project would have given occupation and subsistence to tens of thousands of labourers for half a century—the materials being barren rock. The Saxon enterprize occupied only one man for eight years—the material being pure gold, and precious jewels. But as men, women and children will run after pretty baubles, glittering gewgaws, and rare curiosities—and as a tax of one shilling a head is levied in the Green Vaults, a tolerable revenue is derived from this royal shew-shop, independent of the constant influx of wealth from the legions of travellers that ascend and descend the Elbe. It is but justice to acknowledge that the curators who attend visitors around these costly treasures, are polite and accomplished gentlemen, who speak various languages, and are ever ready to afford the fullest information on every subject. These[264] vaults, the picture-galleries, and armoury, &c. are open every day in the week to the public.


If a tour through the Green Vaults excites reflections on the ingenuity which man has evinced in carving inanimate materials into the shapes and forms of various living things, an inspection of the immense armoury here, is calculated to call forth emotions of a very different description! Here we find the ingenuity of man exerted and tortured in the invention of innumerable deadly weapons by which his fellow man may be carved into fragments, pierced with wounds, or battered into mummies![90] The Rustkammer certainly leaves the Tower of London at immeasurable distance in the rear, not only for the variety of instruments used in general warfare, but for those which were employed in tilts, tournaments, and the chase. Here we see not merely the arms of the feudal ages, but the horses, the knights themselves, and all the trappings and accoutrements thereunto belonging.

The prodigious labour and wealth expended on man, horse, armour, and trappings, excite our astonishment rather than our admiration. The great variety of drinking vessels, horns, goblets and cups of all dimensions, and adapted for all depths of potation, would have charmed the heart of the Baron of Bradwardine, and, well nigh eclipsed the “Blessed Bear” of that hospitable old Highlander! But what shall we say to the armour of those days—for instance, that of Augustus the Second, surnamed the Strong? The French giant, who displayed his powers some years ago, at the Adelphi theatre, would hardly strut under it, weighing, as it does, more than two hundred pounds!

It has been observed that—“were Europe thrown back, by the word of an enchanter, into the middle-ages, Saxony could take the field, with a duly equipped army, sooner than any other power. We cannot easily form any idea of the long practice which have been necessary to enable a man to wear such habiliments with comfort, much more to wield such arms with agility and dexterity. But the young officers of those days wore armour almost as soon as they could walk, and transmigrated regularly from one iron shell into another, more unwieldy than its predecessor, till they reached the full stature of knighthood, and played at broad-sword, with the weight of a twelve-pounder on their backs, as lightly as a lady bears a chaplet of silken flowers on her head in a quadrille.”

The “twelve-pounder” on the back is a pretty considerable bounce, far outstripping Jonathan’s sea-serpent, since a “twelve-pounder” would weigh at least fifteen hundred pounds! But let that pass. No discipline or early tuition would enable a person of the present day to fight in the[265] armour of the middle-ages. It would require a series of generations trained in the habits, diet, and manners of those times, to produce a progeny capable of enduring such coats of mail, or wielding such Herculean weapons as were in use seven hundred years ago. The present age does not yield to that of any former period, in heroic deeds or personal courage; but science now supersedes brute force, and the energies of the brain amply compensate for diminution of muscular strength.[91]

As there is but one step from the sublime to the ridiculous—from solemn tragedy to laughing farce—so are there only a few paces between the great magazine of toys in the green vaults, and the great magazine of manslaughter in the Rustkammer. From these depôts we turn away, more in pity than in admiration, to repositories of a very different kind—those of the peaceful arts, that mingle with, and contribute to, our domestic comforts and social enjoyments, and which combine elegance with ornament, and utility with beauty. Need I allude to the Saxon porcelaine, celebrated over Europe and the world.

I own that I entertained a secret hope that the number of other lions in this city would drive this particular one out of the memory of my better-half. I had three reasons for this hope or wish:—1st, the saving of expense—2d, of carriage and breakage—3d, of—smuggling! But I had calculated without my host. Just when we had come to the conclusion, that we had now seen all the sights, it was suddenly recollected that the best of all was happily yet in reserve—the porcelaine manufactory! No. You may as well attempt to drag a lady from Geneva without purchasing trinkets, as from Dresden without buying China. A compact, however, was signed, that we were only to enjoy the luxury of viewing the repository, without encumbering our luggage with any of its precious but brittle wares. Nevertheless, it happened that some of the articles were found to be so “dog cheap,” and so pretty withall, that, to leave the Elbe without taking away some specimens of its renowned manufactures, was considered to be a kind of travelling solecism, if not a porcelaine suicide! It was urged, moreover, that the ad valorem duty, at an English Custom-house, would be—next to nothing. I strongly suspect that this prophecy, like many others, tended to fulfill itself, and that the duty was, as predicted, next to nothing!

We had been bored, for some days, by the Laquais de Place, to make an excursion to a place called Tharand, about ten miles from Dresden, a locality which was represented as the ne plus ultra of all that is sublime and beautiful[266] in natural scenery—and moreover, that it was visited by every traveller who passed through Dresden. So we posted off one fine morning, and arrived at this valley of Rasselas. We found it situated where three narrow and steep defiles meet at one point, and where the ruins of an old castle, perched on a sharp promontory, overlook a small village on one side, a watering-place on the other, and the road to Dresden in front. The locality has nothing of the sublime, little of the beautiful, and less of the romantic in its composition. It is a picturesque spot, but not worth the trouble of going three miles to see it. The lacquais de place will always endeavour to eke out an additional day’s boar hunting, when lionizing is at an end.

Of the Dresdenese themselves, it is “not my hint to speak.” They are like most other people under similar latitudes, institutions, and governments. Like most continental folks, they are fond of sitting in the open air, smoking their pipes and sipping their coffee. And no wonder. The air of the Bruhl Terrace, raised above the Elbe, and commanding a fine view of the opposite bank, as it stretches away towards Saxon Switzerland, contrasts wonderfully with the stagnant atmosphere and gloomy apartments of their own houses. The demolition of the fortifications round Dresden has given such lungs to the Saxon metropolis as must greatly increase the longevity of its inhabitants—contrary to what is likely to occur to the “heroes of the barricades,” who will now be barricaded, with a vengeance!

Saxony being a favourite pupil of the “Grande Nation,” the “glorious days of July” were rehearsed on the banks of the Elbe, and a representative constitution was extorted, without much force, from the king. The conversion of one archon (mon-arch) into three hundred archons elected by the people, and forming the “tiers etat,” or house of representatives, did not realize the golden dreams of the country. On the contrary, as the odious task of levying taxes was shifted from the shoulders of the king, who was always economical, to be divided among 300 representatives, the latter body nearly doubled the taxes, being now mere tools of the court!

However, the Saxons have obtained important privileges, and great extension of the franchise. Among other valuable rights acquired, by the people, is that of electing their executioner! This interesting functionary is considered a kind of gentleman—at least he is an officer of state, which is next thing to it—and has a house, land, and several perquisites attached to the office. Among these last is a claim to the bodies of all horses and cattle that die a natural death. This revenue from hoofs, horns, and hides, is said to be very considerable. It would be equally amusing and edifying to hear the professions and promises of the candidate for headsman[92] delivered from the hustings, during the canvass. One of the promises or temptations held out by this “limb of the law”—this “sharp practitioner”—this[267] member of the executive—would, doubtless, be that, should any of his constituents honour him with their custom, he would be happy to serve them, on the shortest notice, on the most liberal terms, and with the utmost dispatch!


Swift as Camilla scours along the plain—
So darts on iron wings the thundering train.

The steam-engine possesses the all but miraculous power of contracting space and expanding time. Thus, it compresses the sixty-two miles between Dresden and Leipzig into fifteen miles—while it enables a three hours’ run by rail to throw off an expansion of ten spare hours to see the great emporium of books on the banks of the Estler, which hours would otherwise be spent in traversing the most monotonous road that ever man or beast drew their weary limbs along! Corn, corn, nothing but corn, or the bare stubble from which it was cut, meets the tired eye between the city of the pallet and the city of the pen. We become as sick, indeed, of wheat and oats, as the unwashed artisan of Birmingham is of the laws that confine these oceans of grain to the banks of the Elbe and the Vistula, instead of being diffused through the factories and work-shops of England—to appease the hunger and invigorate the limbs of a dense and manufacturing population. The rapidity of the train, the clanking of the machinery, the belching of steam, the evolution of smoke, and the scattering of burning cinders, render the three hours’ journey bearable enough. There is but one long tunnel, (between Dresden and Magdeburg) through which the train runs and roars and spits its fires—while at another place, it leaps clean over the river Elbe! A rail-road in the North of Germany is quite an oasis in the desert. One hundred and forty miles from Dresden to Magdeburg, with Leipzig in the centre, occupy only seven or eight hours, instead of three or four toilsome days by the snail-post.


Having had a good deal—perhaps too much—to do with books, I had some curiosity to see this great mart of buckhandlungs—at once the cradle and the grave of literature! The first thing that strikes the stranger is the eternal “buckhandlung” over every second door in the city. The next, is the paucity of carriages—a drowsky or a private vehicle being rarely visible. The third object is perpetually reminding us, not without sighs and groans, of the smooth trottoirs over which we were wont to[268] glide in modern Babylon. Of all the towns through which I have limped and hobbled in my journey of life, Leipzig bears the palm for maiming and laming the unfortunate visitor, by means of its sharp stones and uneven pavée. I wonder that the seven-leagued and iron-shod boots of the students, together with the innumerable tomes of heavy literature that are biennially carted through the streets of Leipzig, have not ground off the angles from the said stones. Yet they have not.

As I was unwilling to do the penance of Peter Pindar’s pilgrim, I directed my steps to the observatory, and mounted its highest balcony, when Leipzig and its contiguous battle-field lay stretched beneath me. The astronomer kindly pointed out the topography of the city and its vicinity, with minute details of the great combat which he himself had witnessed. Leipzig is a curious compound of the modern and the antique—one side being new and the other old. But in every street, bustle and business went on, while on every countenance thought and reflection were so visibly painted that one would suppose the whole of the books that came to the two fairs were studied by the inhabitants. The demolition of the fortifications has secured the Leipzigers two things—the presence of healthful walks, and the absence of bloody sieges—blessings and curses which the Parisians seem neither to desire nor dread. Cities should never be converted into fortresses. The extent of the works and the number of the people are causes of weakness and not strength. A fortress should only contain soldiers, who can lay in provisions against long investment, and on whom, not on citizens, the horrors of war should fall.

I have said that this city is the cradle of literature. No biblio-parturient author in Germany would think of being confined, and delivered of his bantling of the brain, without the aid of a Leipzig accoucheur. Whether his cerebro-gestation may have lasted nine months, or, as Horace directs—as many years—

“Nonum prematur in annum,”

Mr. Brockhaus, or some of his obstetrical brethren in Leipzig, must usher the “nouveau né” into light.

But I have also said that Leipzig is the grave as well as the cradle of literature, or rather of its authors. At every fair there is a number of fairies on the look out for every promising birth, which is immediately kidnapped—wrested from its lawful parents—and sold in distant markets! In other words:—whenever a work of merit, or apparent merit, appears in the Leipzig fair, it is pounced upon by literary sharks and vultures from Frankfort, Wirtemburg, and other places, and instantly reprinted for the benefit of those who have gone to no outlay in brains or money! It is in vain that authors and publishers complain. The former are told that, although they have pocketed nothing by their long literary toil, they have earned reputation, which is greatly superior to sordid gold; while the[269] publishers are laughed at for their foolish speculations! Hence it is, that authors of the most splendid talents and universal renown, are often forced to publish by subscription—a mode that would damn, or at least, degrade them in the eyes of a British public. It may be said that—

“All partial ill is universal good,”

and that, though authors and booksellers are defrauded, the public are gainers. But private industry is as deserving of protection as private property—and there can be no doubt that many men of great talent and learning are discouraged by these piracies, and deterred from embarking in literary labours. This uncertainty too prevents all liberal outlay on paper and type, both of which are disgracefully bad in Germany.

Leipzig is not without interesting associations and reminiscences. But some of the historical are too remote—some too recent—to be dwelt on here. The poetical are too extravagant—and the literary too mystified for much notice in this place. Yet we cannot bid adieu to this cradle and grave of literature, without a passing thought on two of its magnates—Gottsched and Klopstock—the former, the father of modern German learning—the latter, the Goliath of the same. Gottsched was born to be a great man—for his stature was such that he abandoned, through pure modesty, his native land, and took refuge in Leipzig, lest he should be promoted to the rank of a grenadier in the army of Frederick the Great. There he claimed the character of an universal genius, acting, at once, the philosopher, grammarian, critic and poet. But his body was bigger than his brains, and he is now consigned to oblivion—perhaps unjustly so. His language then (1740-60) was just emerging from barbarism. It was a period of transition, and shewed no signs of vigorous life. “He introduced a more cultivated style—attacked pedantic extremes—and excited useful controversy.”

Passing over Schlegel, Gellert, and other literary lions of Leipzig, we must bear in mind that it was from this mart of learning that the great Klopstock, like a huge gymnatus electricus, caused Europe to vibrate by the birth of his Messiah. “It roused all Germany from Leipzig to its circumference; and Bodmer, from the valleys of Switzerland, hailed its author as the morning-star of a new æra.”


He must be a stoic, or something more, who can stand on this time-worn tower, without recalling to mind those stupendous events which occurred a quarter of a century ago, around the base of the building. No event, ancient or modern, can at all compare with the battles around Leipzig, in Oct. 1814: whether we look to the magnitude of the armies—the discipline, valour, and enthusiasm of the men—the talents and skill of the commanders—or the momentous object for which they fought. Six crowned heads—three[270] Emperors and three Kings—were present at these terrific conflicts, and witnessed the carnage and havoc among five hundred thousand soldiers engaged for several days and nights in mortal combat!! This was not the undisciplined rabble, or the effeminate retinue of an Oriental despot, crossing the Hellespont in pride and ignorance; but veterans from every country between the mountains of Norway and the mouths of the Danube—between the Atlantic on the West and Siberia in the East. These battles were not for mere victory, or to decide some political quarrel between two or more states. No. It was for the very existence of sceptres—for the independence or subjugation of every empire and kingdom in Continental Europe. The struggle was between the oppressor and the oppressed—between Napoleon the aggressor, and the allied Sovereigns, as defenders of their crowns, hearths, and altars. The one army had the disgrace of a hundred defeats to obliterate and avenge—the other the laurels of a hundred victories to preserve and sustain. The French fought for the glory of their country, or rather of their Emperor, and the conquest of Europe—the Allies, for the liberation of their soil from thraldom, and the repulsion, if not the deposition, of a tyrant invader.

Such a prodigious accumulation and concentration of martial hosts,—excited, agitated, and impelled by the fiercer passions of our nature—by ambition, hatred, and revenge—portended the approach of some great crisis in the affairs of the world. The feeling on both sides was, evidently, “aut Cæsar aut nullus.” The grand crisis was indeed at hand. The benignant Star of Peace and Justice was about to rise, in splendour, from the East;—while the malignant Meteor of War, that had scattered, for twenty years, plague, pestilence and famine over a groaning world, was about to descend from its bad eminence, and be extinguished for ever in the Atlantic surge.

Napoleon, with all his strength of mind, was superstitious; having some peculiar notions about fate, and destiny, and stars and fortune—as though these imaginary beings had any power to control the laws of Nature, or interfere between cause and effect, whether in the moral or physical world.

It is not improbable that, when, in the night of the 15th October, Napoleon saw three “death-rockets” rise from the southern horizon, streaming their pale but brilliant light high through the Heavens—and, when, immediately afterwards, he beheld four blood-red meteors springing up far far to the northward, indicating too plainly that the signal from the grand Austro-Russian army in the South was answered by the Swedo-Prussian in the North, his moral courage may have experienced a momentary depression, and his superstition an alarm! There was little time, however, for reflection. Action, action was soon required. At the dawn of day the Austro-Russian army attacked the whole southern front of the French position with great fury but no success. Six desperate attempts[271] were reiterated, one after the other—but all failed! This was discouraging enough—worse remained behind. The moment of exhaustion among the allied troops was seized upon by Napoleon, who, by one gigantic effort, pierced and penetrated the very centre of the allied line, while Murat, Maubourg, and Kellerman, dashed through the gap with the whole of the cavalry! At this moment of frightful peril, when the torrent of French troops was pouring through the fatal breach with irresistible impetuosity, shouting and exulting in the successful exploit, Alexander called to his faithful Cossack guards, and pointing to the column of French cavalry that was thundering forward in the rear of the allies, addressed a few, and but a few words to them—probably not dissimilar from those of our own poet, at another terrific combat—

——on ye brave,
Who rush to glory or the grave—
Wave, Cossacks! all your banners wave!
And charge with all your chivalry!

The valorous Pulk right well fulfilled the emperor’s order. The “furious Huns” sprang, like tigers, on the “fiery Franks,” and not only charged and checked the headlong torrent, but rolled back the dense mass of cavalry at the point of their spears, with destructive carnage, through the opening by which it had penetrated the Austro-Russian line. Thus, at the moment when all appeared lost for the allies, a handful of semi-savages from the banks of the Don overwhelmed the finest body of French horse that ever paraded on the banks of the Seine—and that with the King of Naples at its head!

After this rebuff, the fickle goddess forsook her favourite child! The assailing armies hemmed in, closer and closer, the contracting circles of Napoleon’s troops, and after days of ineffectual struggles to revive a sinking cause, the hero of a hundred victories was obliged to sue for an armistice! No answer being returned, the mortified emperor prepared for retreat. But even here Fortune turned her back on him. The Saxon troops threw off their allegiance, and even fired on their former companions in arms, while endeavouring to extricate themselves from the western gate of Leipzig! The only bridge, too, by which they could escape, was blown up by mistake, while twenty-five thousand Frenchmen were left prisoners on the other side! Napoleon with difficulty reached the western bank of the Estler—Poniatouski was drowned in that muddy ditch—and a mere wreck of the Gallic army reached the Rhine. From that day, the star of Napoleon descended till its light was quenched for ever in the western wave! Of all the auxiliaries and mercenaries which various passions, propensities, necessities, or interests had attracted round the standard of the victorious emperor, one only remained true to its trust in the memorable retreat from Leipzig! Italians, Bavarians, Saxons, Swedes—


“All, all forsook the friendless guilty mind,
But faithful Poland lingered still behind.”

It may not require any great fortitude to meet the scowl or scorn of our enemy, whether conqueror or conquered; but he must have nerves of iron who can look in the face of friend betrayed. The sight of the gallant and deceived Poles, bearing nobly the hardships and miseries of a disastrous flight, might have wrung tears of remorse from Napoleon’s eyes. But he had no heart. Egotism was the nutriment on which even his ambition fed. What said he, when viewing the wretched remains of his army when it halted at Erfurt, on the 23d of October? “They are a set of scoundrels, who are going to the devil.” Retributive justice ordained that he himself should not be far behind them!

The Tower of the Observatory stands close to the Estler and the scene of the dreadful evacuation of the town, the death of Poniatouski, and the blowing up of the bridge. It also commands a view of most of the theatres of operations during the successive battles, besides an excellent bird’s-eye view of the town itself. No one should fail to visit this spot, and recall the mighty events which occurred around it.


A good railroad whisks us along, through monotonous corn-fields, from Leipzig to Magdeburg, in three or four hours. This is the strongest fortification (always excepting Kœnigstein) on the Elbe—and contains more than fifty-thousand people, garrison and all. It is, or rather was, in Saxony; but, thanks to the auspices of Napoleon, in favour of his pet of Dresden, it is now Prussian, and likely to be long so. It is of immense extent, and would require thirty or forty thousand men to defend it—consequently double that number to invest it. As all great virtues are assailed by virulent abuse, so all strong cities are honoured with long sieges. The history of Magdeburg should be printed and posted on the gates of Paris. It has had its ups and downs in its day. It was besieged many a time, and sometimes taken. Although it repulsed the famous Count Wallenstein, in the thirty years’ war, it fell, after two years’ siege, before the magnanimous Tilley (1631), who sacked the city; but in his humanity, spared the whole of the inhabitants—except thirty thousand, whom he massacred, without distinction of age or sex!! These are among the “splendid miseries” to which fortified towns and cities have been entitled, time immemorial—from the days of Alexander and Titus, to those of Napoleon and Wellington—from the sacred heights of Solyma, to the sandy plains of Haerlem! This doubtful glory—this dangerous pre-eminence, appears to be the height of a great people’s ambition—though it is probable that a nation’s strength has more in its moral courage and physical energies, than in dead walls and deep ditches.


A steamer starts at five o’clock every morning from Magdeburg to Hamburg, and when the Elbe is not very low, the passage may be performed in one day. But fortunately, or unfortunately, we had not had a wet day, or hardly a cloud in the sky, from the day we left London, till our return to that metropolis, and therefore the river was so shallow, that we were forty-eight hours on the voyage. There never was a vessel that had a greater partiality for the ground than ours—and when once her keel and the sand came in contact, it was as difficult to separate them as to disengage two furious mastiffs joined in mortal combat. Our captain, too, had a singular method of loosening his vessel from her hold on the shoal. Instead of carrying out an anchor astern, and dragging her off in that direction, as we drag dogs from one another by their tails, he invariably took the anchor out a-head, and after prizing the vessel as far forward on the bank as possible, he then tried the retrogressive plan, and, of course, succeeded, though sometimes after two or three hours’ delay. At length we came to a dead stop—for there was not three feet water in any part of the river; so we were obliged to shift into another steamer, “below bar” and jogged along, as above the barrier, but more of our time passed aground than afloat. However, we had a very pleasant society on board—people from various countries—very good table-d’hôte—but, as the weather was fine, and the berths close and crowded, I picked out the softest plank I could find on deck, and slept in the open air, during our descent of the Elbe. There is little or no improvement of the scenery between Dresden and the mouth of the river. The Elbe pays a heavy fine in the shape of monotony for its short but romantic route through Saxon Switzerland!


From the muddy wharves and quays, we scramble up through steep streets, every second house having an inscription, or rather an advertisement in English on its walls or over the door Of the Babel tongues that salute the ear in every part of this city, the English seems to hold the next rank to German and Dutch. Whether it was from the lowness of the Elbe, and the long drought, I know not, but the canals that penetrate far up several of the streets, appeared abominably filthy and malodorous. Three-fourths indeed of their bottoms were bare of water, and only exhibited reeking mud, well impregnated with all kinds of animal and vegetable debris, and admirably calculated to spread pestilential disorders through the city.

At length we got to what might be termed “the West End,” though it is here the North or North-East quarter, and the scene is entirely changed. We find ourselves, all at once, on the borders of a spacious lake, which is narrowed in the middle, and spanned there by a bridge, exhibiting on its surface numerous pleasure-boats, and on its banks a succession of handsome[274] buildings. Shaded walks and terraces are constructed along the shores, so that these lakes (for they may be considered as two formed by a bridge) really present a most refreshing picture to the eye in Summer, and furnish a magnificent skating-plain in Winter. The levelled fortifications are now converted into superb and extensive promenades, gardens, and shrubberies, exhibiting a pleasing contrast to the endless batteries, fosses, and bastions of Magdeburg and other fortified towns. No city or town on the Continent, that I have seen, presents anything like the bustle of business that is going forward in every street of Hamburg. Leipzig is nothing to it, since it wants all the elements and materiel of maritime commerce. The great hotels face the lake (which, by the bye, is a monstrous dam formed by a dribbling stream, the Alster) and the Salles-a-Manger there, shew us that we are almost clean out of Germany, and nearly in the heart of old England. The table-d’hôte is at four o’clock, where good substantial joints and dishes dance merrily round the table, and are eagerly demolished by stomachs sharply whetted on the exchange, the bureaus, warehouses, and shops of this most singular entrepôt of European merchandize; The Hamburghers and Leipzigers appear to belong to the class of ruminating animals, who flock to the table-d’hôte for the purpose of swallowing, or rather bolting their dinners, dispensing entirely with the process of mastication, and leaving the triple functions of rumination, digestion, and calculation to go on simultaneously, not successively, by which many hours of valuable time are daily gained for the dispatch of business. I will not maintain that this bolting system, followed by the hard labour of two important organs, the head and the stomach, at one and the same time, is equally as well calculated for the preservation of health as for the accumulation of wealth; but probably it is not more insalubrious than the ennui, the inertion, the eternal pipe, and the poisonous dishes of the noncommercial Germans in general.

It is upon the same principle of economy of time, and division of labour, that the Hamburghers hire professed mourners to weep and wail over their deceased relatives. By this ingenious procedure the business of the living is not interrupted by the departure of the dead—perhaps not even on—

The first dull day of nothingness—
The last of suffering and distress!

When the Hamburghers levelled their fortifications to the ground, they took care to leave certain portals or barriers standing, by which they might be enabled to levy contributions on—“the stranger within their gates,” as well as on those who are outside. The nocturnal tax on ingress and egress increases with every hour after sunset, and the bustle and confusion occasioned by the embarkations and debarkations of steam-travellers with their luggage, baffle all description. The drowskies and their cads, the porters and their wads, the janitors, the police, and the watermen—all[275] jumbled in the darkness of the night about the water-gate of the city—all vociferating in the most discordant jargon; but all united in the strictest harmony of action, as to one operation—the patriotic endeavour to empty the passengers’ purses of every stray mark that might be encumbering their pockets—such a scene is not easily delineated, nor will it be forgotten!

A good steamer, fair weather, and a pleasant company, rendered a forty-eight hours’ run to modern Babylon an agreeable variety in the chequered scenes of a long tour.



Having now brought my various perambulations (at various times) through Germany to a close, it might be thought possible that a traveller could form some definite idea—or draw some distinctive character of the people themselves. This is more easy in theory than in practice. If an intelligent Japanese were conveyed through the air to Connaught or Kerry, and dropped there for a month, to observe the manners, habits, and character of the inhabitants:—if he were thence deposited in Yorkshire, for an equal time—then among the mountains of Wales—and finally in the Highlands of Scotland: and if, after all this, “he returned to the place from whence he came,” and was asked for some characteristic sketch of the British nation, he would be not a little puzzled. In the first place, he would assert that he had visited four nations, differing as much from each other as the shamrock differs from the rose, or the thistle from the leek. They differed in appearance, language, dress, manners, diet, drink, avocations—soil—climate—and, for aught he knew, in religious creeds. If pressed for some one characteristic common to all, he might be tempted to reply that the only one thing in which they all agreed was—to eat potatoes. However varied were the other component parts of their food, they all ate potatoes. Now if, within the narrow boundary of the British Isles, we find such diversity among their inhabitants, what may we expect in that huge democracy of autocracies that stretches from the Baltic to the Adriatic—from the banks of the Rhine to the confines of the Russ—which extends over a surface of fifty thousand square miles—bears a population of 38 millions of souls—and, what is still more remarkable, sustains a weight of 38 sovereignties, of all shapes and sizes, from Imperial Austria, of 12,000 square miles, down to the principality of Lichtenstein, covering the enormous area of[277] ten or eleven! Throughout these vast and varied territories, there is diffused all the varieties of physical organization, moral temperament, and intellectual capacity, characteristic of the great European family. And yet there is a certain degree of family likeness in these 38 sovereignties, that can hardly be mistaken.

——Facies non omnibus una,
Nec diversa tamen.——

1. Physiognomy.—The large head, the square face, the blue eyes, the honest countenance, the solemn gait, the modest mein, and the punctilious manners of the German, are everywhere conspicuous.

2. The Language.—This, it must be confessed, is grating enough to the ear; but it is far more disagreeable to the eye! When will Germany discard that barbarous, or at least Gothic system of hieroglyphics, by which bad paper is disfigured by worse type! There is something so singular, not to say startling, in the German language, that if a mummy who had slept in one of the Pyramids since the days of Sesostris were to awake among a mixed company of antiquarian unrollers, the German tongue would surely be the first to tickle its withered ears.

3. Ideology.—The Germans are great dreamers—magnificent dreamers. The Italian may imagine, the Frenchmen invent, the Spaniard may ruminate, and the Dutchman may calculate; but it is the German who can dream while wide awake. A German will dream you a dream, as long (to use a nautical phrase) as the main-top-bow-line; or rather as an epic poem, and as full of reality as the latter.

4. If the four British races were unanimous only in one thing—the eating of potatoes;—the 38 sovereignties beat them in this respect. All ranks and classes smoke tobacco—and both sexes devour sour-krout, grease, and vinegar.

5. The Patience of the German is proverbial. He is patient in politics, affliction, adversity—and, what is still more commendable, in prosperity. Hence he wins and loses at the gaming-table with more equanimity than any other man.

6. In Religion, Germany presents nearly as many creeds as principalities. These, however, shoot forth from the Reformed Church. Popery is too poor a soil for the growth of “heresies and schisms.” It will not bear a plurality of faiths. If Catholicism be not the true belief, we must admit that Catholics are the true believers. Of all the deviations from the Protestant Church in Germany, Rationalism and Scepticism are the most[278] prominent and dangerous. Speaking of the latter, Dr. Hawkins observes:—“We must anticipate, however reluctantly, that, not only in Germany, but in some other parts of Europe, the heaviest calamity impending over the whole fabric of society is the lengthening stride of bold Scepticism.” And, after describing the tenets of the Rationists, the same authority remarks:—“They consequently disclose to us the frightful fact, that all the essential doctrines of Christianity are unreservedly rejected.” A question might here be asked: is this widespreading state of no belief—of no religion—preferable to Catholicism, mixed up with a few superstitions and errors?

We hear constant complaints that Popery is on the increase. How can it be otherwise? Where and when was union not a source of strength, and division of weakness? The Protestant High Church is like a brilliant meteor shooting through the air in splendour and brightness; but constantly detaching from its own body some vital elements of its own existence. The Catholic Church, on the other hand, is like a snow-ball rolling along the ground, with apparent humility, a dense and cohesive mass, alike tenacious of that which it possesses, and attractive of that which falls in its way.[93]

7. Affability.—I have before remarked, and it is remarked by all travellers, that, in no part of Europe or the world, are affability, amenity, and suavity of manners, in social intercourse, more conspicuous among all classes, orders, genera, and species of society, than in Germany; or a more complete absence of all prominent or repulsive distinction of ranks. I endeavoured to account for this by education, habit, and example. But there is one other cause adduced by Dr. Hawkins, which I overlooked—the numerous sovereignties and states into which Germany is divided, the very inter-collisions of which tend to preserve a smoother surface, and a greater equilibrium of urbanity, than under one great monarchy, or even republic. I shall attempt to illustrate this moral phenomenon by a physical one. Let us take two small and tranquil lakes, one to represent England, and the other Germany. Let a large stone be dropped into the centre of the former, and we shall quickly observe a series of waves or undulations, rolling in excentric circles to the remotest edges of the water, in every direction—all parallel, all close to each other, but never touching or mingling. This exactly represents the gradations of rank, classes, professions, and[279] avocations in England. They diverge from the central monarchy in parallel lines down to the peasant—always in close approximation; but never touching or amalgamating.

Into the other lake, let 38 stones, of various shapes and sizes (corresponding with the 38 sovereignties) be precipitated in as many different parts of the glassy mirror. What shall we see? Not the series of distinct waves rolling from centre to circumference—but a chequered surface where one undulation is broken, crossed, or neutralized by another, and where large or definite circles of waves are nowhere perceptible. The application of this simile to German society requires no explanation.

8. Education.—It is acknowledged that, in no other country is education so cheaply and amply provided as in Germany. It is remarked by Dr. Hawkins, that the results of education in Germany and in England, are very different. In the former, the student is almost entirely engrossed by the physical and practical sciences—whilst the English one is very much occupied with theology, morality, classics, poetry, and rhetoric. “Yet in the end, the Englishman becomes most practical, and the German the most theoretical and sentimental.” With all due deference to Dr. Hawkins, I doubt or rather deny the fact, that the practical education of the German renders him theoretical: or that the theoretical education of the Englishman makes him practical. Will Dr. H. maintain that a good education in the physical and practical sciences would convert an Englishman into a theorist or sentimentalist? No, it would not. It is not the education, but the different circumstances in which the two people are placed, after leaving the schools, that produce the contrast noticed by Dr. Hawkins. A complaint is made that this facility of education leads to surplus candidates for professional honours; and the German governments endeavour to divert the aspirants into other channels than the learned professions. But where is there not this surplus? In England, where education is expensive enough, the ranks of the church, bar, and medicine, are crowded to suffocation. Two causes of this operate in Germany. The cheapness of education—and the cheapness of living afterwards.—Two or three in England—the redundancy of population, and the choaking up of the war-channels, those waste-pipes and safety-valves of society. To these may be added the restless ambition of the shopocracy to push some of their sons into the carriage from behind the counter.

A considerable portion of the English consider that education (among the lower classes) without a particular creed, is worse than no education at all. The real, though not the acknowledged meaning of this is, that education, or knowledge, is, in the abstract, or per se, an evil rather than a good. It would be much better to openly and candidly maintain this doctrine at once, than mystify it under the term “religious instruction,” that is, instruction combined with a particular creed. An ingenious casuist[280] might easily shew—perhaps prove—the truth of the anti-education doctrine. Beginning with the Garden of Eden, he might quote Scripture that knowledge first

“Brought death into this world, and all our woe.”

And descending along the stream of time, he might adduce proofs that, in exact proportion as nations advanced in knowledge, they became discontented, refractory, immoral, and irreligious. But though it is maintained by the High Church party in England, that a particular creed, without knowledge, is preferable to knowledge without a particular creed; yet it is confessed that the latter is not always an infallible corrector of the evil inherent in learning. We too often find sin and science in those academic bowers where the thirty-nine Articles are regularly inculcated, and implicitly believed.

Be this as it may, in Germany, reading, writing, and arithmetic—Greek, Latin, and mathematics—astronomy, geography, and navigation—anatomy, physic, and surgery, &c. &c. are taught in public seminaries without reference to any other creed than that of the general truth of Christianity as contained in the New Testament.

Some few particulars of the system of education in Prussia, may not be uninteresting.

Every department has a board of education, which employs school-inspectors, residing in the chief towns. Every circle and parish has also its school-board—and every school its proper inspectors. The clergyman of the parish is, ex officio, one of the inspectors. The whole system is under the cognizance and control of the Minister of Public Instruction, assisted by a Council. The seminaries are divided into—1. Elementary or Primary Schools—2, Burgher, or Middle Schools—3, Universities.

Parents unable to prove that they can give their children a competent education at home, are compelled to send them to school at the age of five years. Masters are obliged to give their servants and apprentices a suitable education between the seventh and fourteenth year. No child can be removed from the school till examined by the inspectors. Poor parents are furnished with the means of sending their children to school. The schools are supported by endowments—tax upon property—and contributions from the affluent. The schools are built in healthy places, with playgrounds, gymnasiums, &c. “The first law of every school is to train up the young so as to implant in their minds a knowledge of the relation of man to God—and to excite them to govern their lives according to the spirit and precepts of Christianity.” The daily occupations begin and end with a short prayer and some pious reflections. The New Testament shall be given to those who can read. The more advanced scholars shall have the Bible. “This book shall also be used for the religious instruction in all the classes of gymnasiums (or middle schools.)” “Clergymen are to[281] seize every opportunity, whether at church or on visits of inspection, of reminding teachers of their high and holy mission, and the scholars of their duty towards the public instructors.” There are numerous “normal schools” for training up schoolmasters. Of all the children in Prussia, between the age of seven and fourteen years, it is calculated that thirteen out of every fifteen, are educated in the national schools.

9. Learning.—That depth of erudition should be a necessary sequence of cheap education may admit of question, or, at least of cavil; but one thing is certain, that, whether as a post hoc, or a propter hoc, this article is more abundant in Germany than in any other country. Germany is, in fact, the great European granary of learning—a granary sadly infested with rats and mice from poorer soils—whole shoals of these vermin being seen crossing the Rhine annually, with all the voracity evinced by their forefathers, when in pursuit of the Bishop of Maintz!

But Germany is also a vast minery, where thousands are digging in the dark, during the best years of their lives, extracting the most precious literary lore from the masses of rubbish in which it lies concealed. Around the mouths of these mines are always hovering certain birds of prey, of passage, and of furtive propensities, which, under cover of the night, commit depredations on the shining ore that is rescued from its grave by the laborious miner. Among these are the literary cormorant, the gull, the daw, and the magpie, who no sooner get crammed with the German spoils, than they fly off to their roosts and nests to exhibit them as the legitimate produce of their own industry. I have known more than one, two, or three of these daws who, having plumed themselves in German feathers, strutted as proudly as if their habiliments had been of genuine indigenous growth!

The German seems to court, and to cultivate learning for the sake of itself, rather than of its attendant advantages. He climbs the rugged steeps of science—wanders over the flowery fields of literature—or explores the dark and mysterious labyrinths of metaphysics—with little hope, and less prospect of reaping more than empty fame,—and that too often posthumous! Yet the German is as modest in the profession, as he is industrious in the pursuit of knowledge. In his patient researches, he is hardly ever led aside to the right or to the left, by ambition, vanity, or avarice. Truth is his object—accuracy, impartiality, and laborious research, are the channels through which he reaches it. Not that he is insensible to honours of all kinds. On the contrary, like the whole of his countrymen, a ribbon, a cross, or a star, is to him not only a symbol of distinction but an object of worship.

The German illuminati, whether literary, philosophic, or scientific, immersed in their libraries and laboratories, far removed from the excitement of politics, commerce, arts, or manufactures, not seldom lean to the speculative,[282] rather than to the practical—to the mysterious, rather than to the obvious.—Hence the transcendental dreams and extravagant experiments, which daily rise, like meteors, from this land of ideality and metaphysics, soon to dissolve in air—thin air. Yet these eccentricities are not attributable to peculiarity of education, or idiosyncrasy of constitution; but to those extrinsic circumstances in which the German is placed.

10. The Press.—The freedom with which this powerful engine is wielded in the different states of Germany, varies very much. Between Vienna and Leipzig-liberty of the press, there is nearly as much difference as between Negro freedom in Virginia and London. But the censorship exists everywhere. The manuscript of volume, magazine, or newspaper must first undergo the revisal of the phlegmatic and inexorable Censor, who strikes out or alters every passage or paragraph which has any tendency to exercise the imagination, excite the feelings, or appeal to the passions. This at least, is the policy of Austria. Now it would require but little ingenuity to prove—or at least, persuade, that this is the very ne plus ultra of good government. What engines are so potent in the origination and propagation of evil as imagination, feeling, passion? How praiseworthy is it in the Austrian Emperor to stifle and suppress all combustible materials of this kind!—How beneficial would the Censorship prove in England! Take, for instance, the subject of libel—so well calculated to introduce all kinds of hatred and ill-will amongst Britons. The Age or the Satirist might, without the possibility of prevention, assert that “the Queen was—anything but a gentlewoman:”—and that “the Chancellor of the Exchequer was lately detected in picking the pocket of one of his neighbours on the treasury bench!!” Now if such paragraphs came before an Austrian Censor, that redoubtable official would either erase them entirely and cite the audacious editor before one of the tribunals, or substitute something like the following:—“From all parts of the country congratulatory addresses are pouring in upon her Majesty, in consequence of the recent happy event.” And in respect to the alleged pick-pocket, it would probably run thus:—“The recent financial measure of the Chancellor of the Exchequer (the imposition of a tax on rent-gatherers), has given universal satisfaction to all classes of the community—with the exception, perhaps, of Daniel O’Connel, M.P., who opposed the measure so stoutly in parliament.”

But the prevention of all sources of excitement and irritation amongst the community, so much preferable to the punishment of them afterwards, would not be the only advantage of a shackled, that is, a censored press. The great majority of writers, who, being defective in imagination, feeling, and passion—in other words, of genius—are now consigned to oblivion, would, under the paternal Austrian system, spring up in myriads, and greatly tend to render the Plumbean rule of authority a veritable wand of[283] Mercury, soothing the great mass of society into soporific torpor, and silencing effectually those turbulent spirits of the age, who stir up men’s minds to mischief! Away then with those hot-headed enthusiasts who prefer a “libertas periculosa” to the Austro-patriarchal system of “servitudo quieta,” where the fiat of the sovereign is the fate of the subject!!

Then think of the incalculable benefit that would accrue to society from the suppression of those myriads of critical and political reviewers, trimestral, mestral, hebdomadal, and diurnal, who batten and fatten on the vitals of authors, scattering their quivering members to the winds, or flinging them about, like firebrands, to inflame the passions of the community! In fine, till princes muzzle the press, there will be no millennium between them and their people.

11. Domestic Manners.—A treatise on the domestic manners of the French and Germans, is like an essay on the rail-roads of the Alps in the days of Hannibal—or steam-navigation in the voyage of Nearchus—or the mariner’s compass in the Periplus of Hanno. Let us hear the testimony of one who resided long in Germany, and was intimate with their habits and language.

“The Germans are not so domestic as the English, yet perhaps more so than the French. The taste of the middle and lower classes carries them necessarily to public gardens, coffee-houses, the table-d’hôte, and the theatre. A large portion of the male population dine daily at the table-d’hôte, and here a considerable portion of their time is dissipated. The higher orders, in addition to the theatre, derive one of their chief gratifications from a Summer visit to some of the mineral springs; and here they live all together in a family manner—entire families at these bathe dine and sup, and even breakfast in public.”—Bisset Hawkins.

It is really no paradox, therefore, to say that an insight into domestic manners in Germany, will be best acquired in public—where all classes, high, middle, and lower orders “live and move and have their being!”

12. Women.—Perhaps in no country of Europe (as indeed the preceding section would indicate) are the barriers around female honour more feebly raised, or less vigilantly guarded;—yet in no country is female virtue more free from stain. “Here the temperament of woman is cast in a happy mould. Gentle, kind, unambitious, unaffected, she is less intent upon adorning herself, than in administering to the happiness of those around her. She is fenced round with few artificial restraints; and, in society, she often meets with too much laxity of opinion and usage. Her full and confiding heart requires a helpmate on whom to lean through life. This support granted to her, she generally exhibits all the domestic virtues in their vernal bloom.”


To this it has been objected that, the number of children born out of wedlock in Germany, is infinitely greater than in England. Thus, in the great city of Prague, more than a third of the children born annually are illegitimate. But mistresses may be virtuous without being married—and they may be married without being virtuous. In many countries marriage is only a civil, and not a religious rite. The neglect of that ceremony, therefore, in such countries, involves neither sin, nor crime, nor disgrace. The slender liaison of affection is often stronger and more durable than the massive chains of matrimony. The frequency of these liaisons, therefore, is to be attributed to the influence of public sentiment, rather than to depravity of the female heart. The facilities, indeed, of effecting divorce in many Protestant States of Germany render the tie of marriage little more than a nominal bond that can be conveniently cancelled, when passions cool, tempers clash, or interests predominate!

13. Morality.—Although there can scarcely be genuine religion without morality; yet there may be great display of morality without religion. Germany affords a proof and illustration. In no other country is there less of religion—in none is there less of crime. The apparent paradox is easily solved. Crime is punishable by the laws of man, in this world;—irreligion is punishable by the laws of God, in another. In a country where little or no religion prevails, and consequently where there is little or no belief in future rewards and punishments, it may readily be supposed that the fear of the magistrate is much more efficient than the fear of the Lord.

14. Socialism.—Smoking is not so sociable an affair in Faderland as in some other countries. In this respect, indulgence in tobacco presents a great contrast to that in tea. If you visit a cigar divan in London, or an estaminet in Paris, you will find “the flow of soul,” if not the “feast of reason,” in conjunction with the fumes of the “cursed weed.” Not so beyond the Rhine. The German shrinks within the cloudy atmosphere of his pipe, like a snail within its shell, and there remains imperturbable, immoveable, and insensible to the external world. Meanwhile the soul retires to some remote nook or corner of the brain—probably the pineal gland—and there taking its metaphysical siesta, dreams of all imaginable and unimaginable things! This appears to be the real explanation of the idealism, mysticism, and transcendentalism of the German character.

15. Time.—By half the world or more—by all who have much to do, whether by the head, the hands, or the feet—time is regarded next to health, as the most valuable article: by the other half—or a large portion of it—time is looked upon as little better than a drug, and readily bartered away for the merest trifles!—Nay, it is often voted to be a great bore, and[285] a thousand ways and means are invented to kill the bore. In Germany time is not over-rated, on the one hand, nor despised or hated, on the other. All Germans have something to do (for who is without his pipe), and few have very much work on hand. The German, therefore, takes everything leisurely and coolly—never permitting himself to be hurried or flurried—even by the sound of the dinner-bell, or the march to the table-d’hôte. It is seldom of any use to bribe the waiter or the postillion to increased velocity. The cook and the horses not being participators of the douceur, are not at all inclined to assist in the completion of the implied contract between the other parties. The German never attempts to “kill time,” well knowing that in such a conflict the enemy must be ultimately victorious. But he daily and hourly offers him a narcotic, by which his scythe may be blunted, and his ravages obscured.

Of all the mythological divinities, Time is most familiar to us, through the medium of his works:—for he himself is invisible, inaudible, intangible. Time is cloathed, on one side, with flesh and blood:—the other is a naked skeleton. In his right hand he holds a wand, by which he calls into existence, every instant, countless myriads of beings throughout the animal and vegetable world—leading them forward to maturity and age. His skeleton hand is clenched on a crooked falchion, with which he smites, destroys, and annihilates everything which he had previously created—thus realizing the fabled monster that eternally devours its own progeny![94] It is a melancholy spectacle—but it could not have been otherwise! It is possible that the Almighty could have created a single pair immortal—but the power of multiplying could not have been conferred without the penalty of death!

Tyrannical, inexorable, and pitiless, as he is, yet Time is not without some redeeming qualities. 1mo. He is strictly impartial. He slackens not his pace at the command of the monarch—he hurries not his steps at the prayer of the slave. 2do. Time mitigates every moral ill that is unattended with culpability or remorse: and although he too often aggravates physical maladies, yet he invariably diminishes our sensibility to pain, and thus tends to reconcile us to our lot of suffering. 3tio. He is sure to remove from the sphere of their operations all tyrants, oppressors, and evil-doers; thus giving the world a chance of better successors. 4to. Time is a great enemy to personal beauty, of feature or form—apparently deeming such qualities to be dangerous accompaniments to length of years. On the other hand, he is more favourable to virtue, honour, morality, and religion, of which time alone never deprives the individual till the curtain falls.

On time past, hallowed in memory and mellowed by distance, we look[286] back as on an old and valued friend, whom we did not sufficiently appreciate while living, but who is now lost to us for ever.

Time present we too often contemplate through the haze of prejudice, passion, or impatience; underrating his value, overlooking his flight, and neglecting the advantages which he offers, till, all at once, we find that time present has changed into time past, and vanished from our grasp!

Time to come—is that fairy-land of promise—of air-built castles—of hopes that are seldom to be realized, of fears that are generally exaggerated—of phantoms, good and evil, conjured up by imagination on the dim horizon of our mental vision, which dissolve as we approach, or fly as we follow!! Yet these phantoms of futurity form the solace and the misery of half the world!

16. Titles, Decorations, &c.—From the savage, with the ring in his nose—the serjeant, with the tassel on his shoulder—the prince, with the star on his breast—up to the monarch, with the diadem on his brow—all and every of the human race, are nearly insatiable in the pursuit of honours, titles, distinctions, or decorations. I do not presume to determine what nation or people most desire these pomps and vanities; but I think it will be allowed that the Germans are not behind their neighbours in the display of them. The French may dispute the palm on this point; but I doubt whether they will gain the victory. John Bull appears to be the least ostentatious of the European family, often pocketing his stars and garters, when travelling, by which he saves in money what he loses in eclat.

After all, this weakness of the German and Frenchman is very pardonable. Those who have fairly earned honours are under no obligation to conceal them; and those who have not done so, are not called upon to proclaim the secret—especially as so many of their friends and neighbours are always ready to kindly perform that office gratuitously.

17. Aerophobia.—From one end of Germany to the other, among all ages, ranks, and professions, an AEROPHOBIA, or dread of fresh air, universally prevails! If you take a seat in the diligence or eilwagen, your German neighbour in the corner closes the windows immediately, lest a breath of pure air should enter the vehicle. On arriving at the hotel, half poisoned by the disoxygenated atmosphere of the coach, and enter your chamber, you find all the windows securely fastened, and the air of the apartment a mass of heavy mephitic vapour, like that which issues from a long unopened tomb. If you descend to the spies-saal, where the air is still farther vitiated by the fumes of tobacco, and throw open a window, you are stared at by the ober-kellner, the under-kellner, and every “gast” in the “haus,” as a person deranged. I had long puzzled my brains to account for this aerophobic phenomenon, and, at last, traced its cause to[287] the German stove—that black brewery of mephitism, which, bearing a mortal antipathy to the fresh air of Heaven, imbues every one who sits near it with the same prejudice. In fine, the German exhibits as great a horror of oxygen, as he does a mania for azote!

And what is the consequence of this?—Why, that the Germans are ten times more susceptible of colds, rheumatism, face-aches, and tooth-aches, than the English, who live in a far more variable, wet, and ungenial climate. This aerophobia is one of the causes too, of that sallow, unhealthy aspect which all Germans, who are not forced to be much in the open air, exhibit. It is no wonder that they swarm like locusts round their numberless spas, in the Summer, to wash away some of those peccant humours engendered by their diet, and fermented by their stoves.

18. Female Peasantry.—Among a barbarous people, we always find that the weaker sex have the harder work. It is not very flattering nor yet creditable to the pride of civilization, that in many parts of Europe, and even in Germany, the female peasant is little more than a beast of burthen, with worse food and more care than the ox or the horse. Wherever we see three persons employed in agricultural labour, two of them are sure to be women. They cut the corn, and thrash out the grain—dig the potatoes, and carry them home—whilst the large baskets on their backs are filled with everything that requires transportation from the fields to the house, or from the house to the fields. One of the most revolting instances of this female slavery which I have seen, was in Belgium, where, on the line of the railway, we observed women sitting with large panniers on their backs, into which the men were shovelling the earth, gravel, and stones, to be carried away by the females—many of them young women! Every time that the earth or gravel was thrown into the pannier, the shock caused a violent vibration of the whole female frame, from head to foot! The sight was really disgusting.

In travelling through many parts of Germany we are often surprised at the paucity of men, and cannot help wondering where they are, or what they are doing! Women are the universal drudges here!

19. Status quo.—Among all ranks and classes of Society in Germany, from the prince to the peasant, there is, or there appears to be, a complete amalgamation, approximation—in fine, an equalization in one thing—politeness. But the approximation goes no farther than the hat, the cap, and the bow. It would be almost as easy for a Pariar in India, or a Ladrone in China to break the boundaries of his cast, and rise through the ranks above him, as for a German of low grade to mount into the circles of the nobility. Each ascending series is all but hermetically sealed against the inferior one! What is impossible to be done, is not therefore attempted—perhaps it is scarcely desired. All this is reversed in England.[288] Here we have but very little reciprocity of external and formal civility among the different ranks; but the barriers between them are to easily—or at least so frequently overleaped, that almost every individual has an ardent wish, and is engaged in a constant struggle to rise above the grade in which Nature or accident placed him at birth. It is evident that this contrasted state of things, quite independent of politics, must produce tranquillity, if not content, in the one country—commotion and even strife in the other. At the same time it generates industry, energy, and enterprize in England.

20. Locomotion.—It is passing strange that the mercurial brains of our French neighbours should never have infused any quicksilver into the heels of their horses! No. There they go at the old jog-trot of five miles an hour, over the “long rough road,” which seems as if it had been stretched out over hill and dale, by some invisible and gigantic apparatus, into a straight and narrow line, which is as tiresome to the eye of the traveller as it is to the limbs of the horses. In plodding Germany, however, we do not expect velocity in man or beast—or that the schnell-post should go at any other rate than the snail’s pace. In that country time and space seem to be confounded or amalgamated;—a league signifying an hour, and an hour a league, the word “stunde” (derived no doubt from “stand”) being applicable to either or both.

There are several reasons, indeed, for the tardiprogression of a German vehicle, independently of the breed and the build of those animals that draw it along. First. The German never does anything in a hurry. He has more time on his hands than any other man. His days are longer—his nights are longer (though his beds are shorter) than those of an Englishman. Why then should he hurry over the pleasant journey, or curtail the salutary range of travelling exercise?—Secondly. A German’s luggage is twice the size and weight of an Englishman’s, besides the huge crate in which it is stowed above or behind the carriage. Thirdly. There is an outlay of time, labour, and expense in frequently cleaning the harness of the horses—the body, the wheels, or the leather of a carriage. This outlay is prudently avoided by the German, who trusts to the winds and rains for disencumbering his harness and eilwagen of some layers of those weighty and numerous incrustations that have slowly formed on their surface. Fourthly. There are no Collinge’s patent axletrees in Germany, which will hold oil for a month; and although the post-master charges some kreutzers for “grease” at every station, small is the portion of that lubricating article which reaches the hot and creaking gudgeons of the ponderous locomotive!

But the primary and fundamental cause of tardiprogression in Germany may be traced to the roads themselves, which, though much improved in many places, are still villainously bad, and require the hardest and heaviest[289] wood and iron to withstand the tremendous succussions which the vehicle is destined to experience at every step. Besides, as the German chaussée marches straight forward over hill and dale, without deigning to wind round the one, in order to evade the other, so the schnell-post must necessarily go at a snail’s pace to the end of the chapter—or, at all events, to the end of the journey.

21. The Burschen.—Perhaps no country, except Germany, could generate, or would tolerate a large class of the rising generation—students by profession, but demi-ruffians by habit—who are organized in clubs, and banded in clans, for no other purpose but the violation of all law, order, decency, and morality! The supreme felicity of the Burschen is to swill beer, smoke tobacco, and fight duels. If they submit one hour in the twenty-four to the rule of the professor, they rule him, and tyrannize over others during the remainder of the day. Most of the hours that can be spared from duelling, fencing, and dancing, are dedicated to what they term “renowning”—that is, of working all kinds of mischief—enacting all sorts of absurdities—attracting everybody’s attention—and earning every one’s contempt and detestation. The evening and much of the night are spent in the ale-house, where the summit of the Burschen’s ambition is, who can drink most beer, smoke most tobacco—and vociferate with the loudest voice—

“Though wine, it is true, be a rarity here.
We’ll be jolly as gods with tobacco and beer.

While bellowing about liberty, justice, honour, and truth, the Burschen will tyrannize over others with the most despotic sway—break the sword of justice over the victim’s head—trample on the laws of honour—and violate the sacred truth!

“Full of lofty unintelligible notions of his own importance—misled by ludicrously erroneous ideas of honour—the true Bursche swaggers and renowns, choleric raw and overbearing. He measures his own honour by the number of scandals (duels) he has fought; but never wastes a thought on what they have been fought for. He does not fight to resent insolence; but he insults, or takes offence, that he may have a pretext for fighting. The lecture-rooms are but secondary to the fencing-school. That is his temple—the rapier is his god—and the “comment” (the Burschen laws) is the Gospel by which he swears.”[95]

Such is the Burschen, or collegiate youth of Germany. The fraternity itself is called the “Landsmannschaften”—a confederation of various clans for the double purpose of fighting among themselves, and defending[290] the corps against the Philistines, as the rest of the world is called! Fortunately for society, this odious freemasonry which is forced on the student at first, is dropped with the cap, long hair, uncouth coat, and Jack-boots, the moment he bids adieu to Alma Mater—and he settles down among his brethren the Philistines, discharged from the Landsmannschaften, like an old soldier from the army, with nothing but honorable(?) scars to remind him of the days of “renowning” and “scandalizing,” in Gottingen, Jena, Leipzig, or Heidelburg. It is said, but I doubt the assertion, that this three years’ training in habits the most objectionable, seldom, if ever, exerts any influence on the citizen in after-life—and that he becomes as peaceable, civil, and obedient to the laws, as those who had never set foot within the walls of a university.

Be this as it may, it becomes a serious question whether initiation into the Eleusinian mysteries and eccentric, not to say barbarous, habits of the Burschen, be conducive to the welfare of British youth? The effects of English universities are not always thrown off with the cap and gown! Let parents ponder on the Landsmannschaften.

22. German Cookery.—I am not going into a disquisition on continental cookery in general, nor on German in particular. Man has been characterized as a “cooking animal,” and if refinement in this noble art and science be a proof of civilization, our Gallic and Saxon neighbours must stand unrivalled. The New Zealander, who roasts his hog, his dog, and his prisoner in the same oven, sinks very low on the gastronomic scale—not on account of his canine or cannibal predilections, but because he cannot so mystify and transform the original materials of his laboratory—the genera and species of his animal and vegetable stock—as to defy Orfila himself to ascertain whether they had been inhabitants of the air, the earth, or the “waters under the earth.” As I think I have made a small discovery that may prove of some importance in the cuisine of my native land, I shall here communicate it, pro bono publico.

In almost all the cities, towns, and even villages of Germany, we find on the bill of fare certain dishes that are great favourites with John Bull—namely, beef-steaks—mutton-chops—veal cutlets—pork-chops—lamb-chops, &c. To be sure the titles are not very easily pronounced; but the kind host is always ready to furnish you with rind-fleisch, schwein-fleisch, lamms-fleisch, kalbfleisch, or hammelfleisch, without doubt or delay. When these come on the table, they are so nicely browned, and crusted over with bread-crumbs, flower, butter and other mysterious compounds, that, except by the external figure, and the protuberant rib, no discrimination between the different dishes could possibly be made. Nor will the taste detect schweins-fleisch from any of the other fleshes. All agree, however, in the tenderness, flavour, and delicacy of the steaks, chops, and cutlets. Then, again, they remark, how well the fat is taken off, leaving nothing but the[291] meat; while the bone comes out as easy and as clean as if it had been boiled and scraped in a separate vessel! These eulogies attracted my attention, and I began to examine the chops and steaks accurately. A very slight dissection demonstrated, beyond a doubt, that all was a composition. A few further intrusions into the cuisines explained the whole matter, without difficulty. The cold meat, of every description, is pounded in a mortar, with pepper, salt, and spices. When wanted, it is pressed into moulds (like butter) according to the shape required—an old rib or bone is thrust into one end of the chop—the whole is well covered with crumbs of bread, flour, or other habiliments—made smoking hot in the oven—and brought to table as most delicious mutton-chops, veal cutlets, pork-chops, beef-steaks—or—anything you please to demand.

Do I blame or criticise this ingenious manufacture? Far from it. The pounded and compounded chops and steaks are better than original ones—are easy of digestion—require little or no mastication—are savoury to the taste, and warm to the stomach—and, what is of some consequence, they are economical, and always ready for dressing at any hour of the day or night. The only part of the compound to which I object, is the bony-part. These bones remain in the kitchen, like heir-looms, serving from generation to generation, as far as I know, and if the cook takes the trouble to wash them daily, with the spoons’ and forks, my objection vanishes at once. The above discovery explained an enigma which often puzzled me when travelling on the Continent—namely, the impossibility of getting cold meat at a hotel—even a few hours after the most splendid table-d’hôte.

I can have no reason—or at all events no right, to question the taste of our continental neighbours in the preparation of their food. To German cookery, German spas, German baths, and German waggons, I owe the loss of fifteen pounds in weight, and that in a late tour of two months. But then the lost flesh was London fed—and I gained in strength far more in proportion than I lost in weight. This may prove a valuable hint to the race of aldermen, and many others besides.

23. Gallic and German Patriotism compared.—The temperature of a Frenchman’s patriotism seldom reaches the boiling, or even the fever point, unless he is, in act or imagination, the aggressor or agitator. It requires the fuel of pride, ambition, glory, revolution, or conquest, present or prospective, to keep up the steam of national enthusiasm among our Gallic neighbours. Not so beyond the Rhine. A German’s patriotism rises in proportion as “Faderland” is borne down by misfortunes, or trode upon by the foot of the haughty foreigner. The flame of devotion to country never burns with greater intensity in a German’s breast, than when it is apparently extinguished by the pressure of the victorious enemy. Both these propositions are proved by history. Every one knows the sacrifices which the people of France made in the late war, while Napoleon[292] was trampling on the liberties of Europe. Yet, when the tide of his glory ebbed, and the energies of Germany and other countries carried forward the contest into the heart of France—the French nation sunk into apathy, stupor, or indifference. So, on a recent occasion, when the thunder of British cannon demolished the ramparts of a Syrian despot—a vice-regal slave-driver—and reverberated from the pyramids to Montmartre, the flame of patriotism glowed in every Frenchman’s breast, from the Mediterranean to the Moselle—and already the Marsellaise hymn depicted the Eagles, as pluming their wings and wafting their flight over the Alps and the Rhine—over the Tyber and the Thames! For, although the word “patriotism” means, in all other languages, the love of natal soil, yet in the French vocabulary, it signifies the love of revolution at home, or of conquest and spoliation beyond the limits of France.[96] The wanton and threatening insult, though only prospective and intentional, which she lately held out to Europe, called forth a “German Marsellaise,” tuned to true patriotic principles, and containing no menace—no allusion to former invasions of France, and capture of her capital. The whole burthen of the song, and conclusion of each verse, breathed only the firm resolution to resist aggression, and preserve their “Faderland” independent.

“No, never shall they have it, our free-born German Rhine,
Till deep beneath its surges, our last man’s bones recline!”

German patriotism, in the long run, will prove superior to Gallic ambition. The love of country is a nobler and safer passion than the love of conquest.[97]

The French tell us that the English are detested on the Continent—but to adduce any reason for this, would be quite unlike a Frenchman—whose assertion needs not the vulgar auxiliary of proof. The only plausible cause which he might urge for this anti-Britannic hatred, is the fact that the English assisted the continental nations to drive the French back over the Rhine, and up to the Boulevards—hence the detestation of Germany, Russia, Spain, &c. against England! This is quite the Gallic style of ratiocination.

24. Prisons.—There would seem to be two, if not more, kinds of liberty—political and personal; or national and individual. They do not always run parallel. When our Gallic neighbours placed the Cap of Liberty on the head of a Courtezan, and worshipped her as a Goddess, the prisons were overflowing, and most of the inmates lost their caps—in[293] which their heads happened to be at the time! No one will contend that Germany is overburthened with political liberty—but I believe that the proportion of out-door to in-door prisoners there, is as great as in this country. To say the truth there are not many temptations to take up free quarters within the walls of a German prison—for although Howard, that great practical reformer of “proved,” that is to say, approved abuses, was there; yet the hard labour, low fare, bastinado for men, and whip for women, afford little encouragement to transgression of the laws. To the honour of Austria be it said, that the functionaries are strictly enjoined to apply the whip and bastinado, with all due regard to the moral feelings of the prisoners, and with the most scrupulous attention to the forms and ceremonies prescribed for those occasions!

In respect to food, the following is the Austrian dietary. “The prisoner has one pound and a half of bread per diem—a farinaceous dish with milk thrice a week—and on Sundays a soup, with a quarter of a pound of meat, and the farinaceous dish again.” Hawkins. This, it must be confessed, is meagre fare; but half of what the prisoner can earn, beyond his daily task, is given to him for the purchase of additional comforts.

Instruction, both religious and lay, is provided by the state—consisting of reading and sometimes of arithmetic—but not writing, as that might lead to correspondence not entirely composed of love-letters or letters of love! It is clear, indeed, that the Emperor of Austria (though himself a Papist) has no great faith in the dogma of a Pope

Heaven first taught letters for some wretch’s aid.
Some banished lover, or some captive maid.”

At all events, Prince Metternich has not recommended his master to follow the example of Heaven in teaching his subjects to write letters; nor is it likely that the veteran and wily minister will introduce a penny postage, to enable the subjects of the whip and bastinado to—

“Waft a sigh from Indus to the Pole.”

Nevertheless there are many good points about German prison-discipline. The classification of the prisoners—the separation of the juvenile from the hardened offenders—the law of rendering labour the only means of procuring anything like comfortable diet—the regularity of religious instruction and duties—the laudable exertion of Government to reinstate the liberated and punished prisoner in the social position previously occupied—not forgetting the humane injunction never to hurt the feelings of the flogged—are all worthy of praise and imitation.

25. Beds and Bed-rooms.—A German sleeping-room presents a real paradox—beds that are at once plural and singular—plural in number, but singular in office. One would suppose that all the men in that country were monks, and all the women nuns. You look in vain for the large and[294] comfortable bed, on which John Bull and his spouse are accustomed to repose when at home. Nothing of the kind will you see here! From the moment that a married couple set foot on the Continent, the wife is divorced, if not “a mensa” at least “a thoro.” I have said that the German beds are singular. They are so in every sense of the word! In other countries, they are designed to promote rest and sleep. In this they act like strong coffee or green tea taken at ten o’clock. In a German bed, the two extremities of the victim are “perched up aloft,” while the body is “under hatches.” The only personage who can attain anything like horizontality in these cribs, is the corporation gourmand after a good eight o’clock table-d’hôte. If he turn in, or rather turn over on his face, with his feet on the taffrail, and his stomach stowed in midships, he will be able to bring his head, his spine, and his heels into something approaching a right line. In this position he will have the great advantage of sleeping on his supper, and thus evading the pressure of the night-mare. When the woolsack is laid over the traveller’s body, the whole resembles the old moon in the lap of the new.

It is very fortunate for John and Jane Bull that before they sojourn long in Germany their travelling constitutions will have begun, like new clothes, to suit them—and, which is of greater consequence, they will have got rid of the most inconvenient article, by far, of their luggage—(and that is saying a good deal, when a lady’s baggage is in transit)—namely the—idea of comfort—an article which even the douanier never searches for, as being not only out of his beat, but out of his mother tongue!

Many circumstances had, long ago, impressed me with a high sense of the value of a travelling constitution, as a kind of Mackintosh against “skiey influences;” but none more so than an occasional glimpse at the mysteries of the laundry. If a traveller happens to forget some valuable article at his hotel, and hastens back to his chamber about mid-day, he will be rather surprized to find the bed-linen on the floor, nicely sprinkled with water, preparatory to a squeeze under a high-pressure engine, which renders it of a glossy smoothness, and diffuses the watery element so equally, that it feels delightfully cool to the next—and even to the tenth tenant of the caravansera! I fear that this is often the case nearer home, and where there is no “travelling constitution” to resist the vapour-bath of exhalent sheets in our foggy and cold atmosphere! The contracts between masters and chamber-maids for the supply of damp linen to hotels, are too often contracts for the supply of coughs, consumptions, and rheumatisms to travellers—greatly to the advantage of doctors, druggists, and undertakers afterwards!

Tourists who can afford space for leather sheets among their luggage, should take these useful articles with them, as there are more maladies than colds and rheumatisms contracted in caravanseras, and for which there is no provision made in the contract between host and passenger.


It must be acknowledged, however, that, of late years considerable improvements have taken place in the bedding line. In several parts of Germany, in the Autumn of 1840, we found very comfortable mattresses, blankets, coverlets, and sheets, to our no small joy and surprize.

26. German Stove versus English Chimney.—That a room heated by invisible caloric—with an atmosphere stagnant as the dead sea, humid as a Scotch mist, and odoriferous as a slaughter-house—should prove more congenial to the lungs of persons in the first or last stage of consumption, than an apartment with a blazing fire at one end, a large column of hot air rushing up the chimney, and a thousand tiny streams of cold air stealing in through the chinks and crevices of doors and windows, I do not, for a moment, deny. But, that the general balance of salubrity is on the side of the German stove, and against the English fire-place, I very much doubt. I admit that the air of an English room, heated by fire, is frequently changing the degree of its temperature, not only as a whole, but in different parts of the same chamber. This is the alpha and omega of Continental objections to the English plan—and it would not be difficult to show that this variability of heat, so much complained of, is a powerful preservative against atmospheric disorders in general. Nothing is more certain than that the most effectual way of counteracting the effects of sudden changes in the temperature of the air around us, is to habituate ourselves to these vicissitudes. It is in this way, that daily sponging of the face, throat, and other exposed parts of the body, first with hot, and then immediately with cold water, generally prevents face-aches, ear-aches, tooth-aches, and catarrhs, by habituating those parts to changes of temperature. And it is on this principle, that a person who has been for some time in an English room, where variations prevail, goes out into the open air afterwards, with far less risk than he who has been for an equal time in an actual sudatorium, at a high and unvarying range of temperature. But let us look a little more closely into the affair. In the room heated by a German stove and consequently where there cannot be a free ventilation, every individual is breathing the identical air that has circulated through the lungs of every other individual in the same place—through the air-cells of the scrofulous, the scorbutic, the asthmatic, the consumptive, &c.—air that is not only deprived of its oxygen, but loaded with animal effluvia of a very questionable character! Add to these the malodorous essence of tobacco, much of which must drip down the throat, as well as into the receptacle below the bowl of the pipe, during the day, to be exhaled in poisonous gases through the rooms at night! All must have experienced the debilitating effects of disoxygenated air in crowded rooms, even where there were various facilities of ingress and egress for the breath of Heaven. But where these facilities are wanting, the depression of the vital energies is indescribable. In short, I am of opinion that nothing can compensate for[296] the ventilation produced by the English chimney. Those who stand or sit near a partially opened door, or a broken pane of glass, may catch cold, or face-ache, or rheumatism, it is true; but if I am to die or to suffer from atmospheric influence, let me do so in pure, rather than in mephitic air!

I have grounded these reasonings on salubrity alone—leaving comfort out of the question—as indeed it must be round the German stove! Why, the very sight of a cheerful fire in a Winter evening, is worth a German stove with the table-d’hôte thrown into the bargain! In a good fire we have company, conversation, and even meditation. I do not wonder that the Persees adore fire, as an emanation from the sun itself. I much doubt whether the Egyptians would have worshipped a German stove, even when they were so over-godly as to deify cats and crocodiles! But, to give the devil his due, the German stove is not without some good qualities. It is cheap—it does not set fire to ladies’ dresses—nor cause chilblains by scorching the fingers and toes in frosty weather. But as a drawback upon these negative good qualities, it renders the Germans a race of hot-house plants, who shiver in the blast whenever they issue from their vapour-baths, and are infinitely more liable to take cold than if they had come from an English room.

The introduction into this country of the Anglo-Germanic stove—that unsightly and unsocial laboratory of sulphur and suffocation—will not, I think, succeed. It is bad enough in Germany, where the Dutch tiles with which it is covered, emit no bad smell, and have a comparatively light and cheerful appearance; but here the hybrid iron mass—that dark lantern, “cui lumen ademptum”—is positively a nuisance. It may be borne, and even prove useful, in large halls, where there are constant currents of cool air. In a sitting-room or other chamber, it is very offensive—at least to my senses, from its metallic and sulphurous emanations. I had rather pitch my tent in the crater of Vesuvius, the valley of Solfatera, or the hut of a charbonnier in the Maremma, than in the vicinity of that sable distillery of “Northumberland diamonds,” from which every ray of light has been previously extracted by the gasometer.

27. Verlobung, or betrothing.—The German system of affiance appears to me to be a long courtship, and “something more.” It is a kind of “little-go,” or ante-marriage contract, attended with form, ceremony, and sequences. The affianced pair send out their cards bound together in the silken bonds of Hymen, in perspective—are waited on and congratulated by their friends,—are always invited together to parties, where they sit next each other at table, engross each other’s conversation, and appear like—or rather unlike, man and wife. At page 24 of this volume, I ventured some observations on the danger and the miseries that often attend on affiances, or long-promised marriages. Notwithstanding the approval of Mrs. Jameson, I still hold my opinion. That lady indeed, is not blind to[297] some of the consequences of the verlobung. One of them will be sufficient. “As the bridegroom is expected to devote every leisure moment to the society of his betrothed—as he attends her to all public places—as they are invariably seated next each other,—they have time to become tolerably tired of each others’ society before marriage, and have nothing left to say.” This is a charming prospect for matrimony! The soft looks, the fine speeches, the glowing sentiments, nay even the pretty riens, are all expended during the protracted affiance, and when, at last, the knot is tied indissolubly, the gallant gay lothario is, as Rosalind says—“gravelled for lack of matter.”

But Mrs. Jameson says that this long state of probation enables the parties to study well their respective characters, and detect failings and faults which a short courtship would be apt to over-look. Now the affiance is either binding or not binding. If the latter, of what use is it? If the former, it is small consolation to the bride or bridegroom to ascertain the causes of future misery before even Hymen lights his torch! But who is unaware that courtship is a kind of warfare, in which the belligerents take good care to mask their weak points and magnify their strong positions. The Germans themselves, indeed, have an adage that runs in little accordance with the tedious verlobung.

“Early woo’d and early won,
Was never repented under the sun.”

28. March of Population.—Nothing exhibits a greater contrast between England and the Continent than the progress of population. I believe it goes on at least three times as fast in the British Isles as in France and Germany. Many causes may be assigned for this disproportion. The immense outlet for redundant population in our colonies—the prodigious extent of our commerce and manufactures—the early period of marriage, especially in Ireland—these are among the chief causes of the rail-road speed at which the multiplication of mankind goes on in this country. On the Continent, it is just the reverse. The pace of population there is quite “a la schnell-post.” But lest this degree of velocity should endanger the state waggon, government (in many parts of Germany) has affixed a drag to the wheels, in the shape of a law prohibiting matrimony, unless the high contracting parties can produce proof of their possessing ways and means for supporting themselves and families. If this regulation obtained in Great Britain, it would stop one half of the marriages in Scotland, two-thirds of those in England, and nine-tenths of those in Ireland. Here is a hint for the Poor Law Commissioners, that may induce them to bring a Bill into Parliament for the prevention of imprudent marriages, which would be more effectual in checking pauperism than the terrors of the workhouse.


But, when we consider that colonization and commerce carry off an immense redundancy of British population, how are we to account for the permanent or domiciliated population of these islands increasing so much more rapidly than that of the Continent, where the safety-valves are of such narrow dimensions? There are some causes of these different rates of progression, which are little known in this country; but the chief cause must be the greater degree of prudence exercised by the people of France and Germany than by the people of Great Britain.

29. Poetry.—The transition from population to poetry is not so abrupt as might at first appear; for although we may have population without poetry, we shall rarely have poetry without population. Looking at the words of the German language, a stranger to that language would be apt to conclude that it must be as difficult to mould them into music or poetry, as to convert hob-nails into ivory teeth—the bristles of a boar into the ermine of a judge—or the rocks of Iona into columns of crystal. Yet nothing would be a more erroneous prejudice than this conclusion. The German, like the English language, is so rich in synonimes, as to afford every facility for the intonations of the musician, and variety of expression of the poet. The poverty of the French language in this respect, presents a remarkable contrast to the German and English. French poetry must have the jingle of rhyme to make it bearable by the ear. A French poem in blank verse, would be like a monkey striding along on huge stilts, exciting roars of laughter from the spectators. But this poverty in synonims, renders the French language more precise, and the individual words less equivocal than in any other. Hence its universal advantages in diplomatic communications, where the synonims of other tongues would give rise to perpetual ambiguity and quibble.

A curious, not to say ludicrous, attempt has lately been made by an American author to transplant the poetry of Goethe and Schiller into English by literal translation, the said author maintaining that poetry will be poetry still; and that the more close and servile the traduction, the better will the spirit of the original poetry be preserved! The following rather favourable specimen of this attempt to clothe German ideas in English words, is quite a “curiosity of literature,” and worth preserving.


“‘What Nature hides within’—
O thou Philistine!—
No finite mind can know.
My friend, of this thing
We think thou needest not
So oft remind us:
We fancy: Spot for spot
Within we find us.
Happy who her doth win
The outmost shell to show!
Now that these sixty years I’ve heard repeated,
And, oft as heard, with silent curses greeted.
I whisper o’er and o’er this truth eternal:—
Freely doth nature all things tell;
Nature hath neither shell
Nor kernel;
Whole every where, at each point thou canst learn all.
Only examine thine own heart.
Whether thou shell or kernel art.”[98]

Now if any Transatlantic Philistine can crack the shell of this German nut, and extract an eatable kernel, he must possess a manducator pretty considerably stronger than that with which Sampson cracked the skulls of the ancient Philistines in the Holy Land—the jaw-bone of an ass.


[1] The following is a rough attempt at a free translation of the above celebrated passage in Horace.

Behind the gilded coach pale Care ascends,
And haunts his victim wheresoe’er he wends,
On foreign shores the exile tries, in vain,
To banish thought, and fly from mental pain.

[2] A gentleman, to whom I was remarking on the universal desire for change, evinced by passengers of every kind of politics and religion, observed that he, at least, was an exception. “I am going (said he) to cross the Pontine Marshes by the ancient road—the Via Romana. Now it must be admitted that, in so doing, I am holding to the grand principle of the conservatives and Chinese—‘STARE SUPER VIAS ANTIQUAS.’” I acknowledged the ingenuity of the argument; but questioned the policy of the measure. I counselled him not to “stare” it too long on the “Vias Antiquas” of the Pontine fens, but rather to keep moving there, lest his own constitution should shortly afterwords come in need of reform.

[3] Mr. Chambers alludes to a curious custom in Holland—that of the females sitting on chafing-dishes or, in fact, warming-pans. This custom is prevalent in many parts of Germany, and is universal among the better classes of women in Italy. It is not on account of the dampness of the climate that it is adopted; but because there are no fire-places, where a female can have the luxury of putting her feet on the fender, by a cheerful fire, while conversing with her friend or reading a novel. The atmosphere of a continental apartment, already vitiated by the vile German stove, is rendered still farther malodorous as well as malarious by the fumes from the foot-stool or warming-pan.

[4] With another painting I was more at home—Rembrandt’s “Dissection.” It has been said by a connoisseur that—“the corpse is less an image of death than a vehicle of colour. It adjusts the equilibrium of warmth and coolness, and supplies a focus of brilliancy which irradiates the whole scene.” I doubt whether this picture was painted from life (I see I am infected by the neighbouring bull), for such a corpse has never come before me in the various dissecting-rooms which I have visited.

[5] The Mer de Glace, for instance, is perpetually bearing on its surface enormous blocks of rock detached from the sides of Mont Blanc, and travelling onward, however slowly, to the Rhone, and to the Sea.

[6] “Its ample volume (Rhine) of water from bank to bank, bearing a greater resemblance to the Thames at Westminster, than any river with which I am acquainted.”—Chambers, p. 49.

[7] Leigh’s Rhenish Album, 1840.

[8] I have attempted a liberal rather than a literal translation of this remarkable passage in Horace.

At palace gate and cottage door
Death knocks alike, nor long nor loud—
The shuddering tenant, rich or poor,
Next morn lies folded in the shroud.

[9] Although the blue-eyed Maid of the Moselle, and the yellow-haired Lord of the Rhine do not appear, at first, to relish the marriage that has been suddenly and unceremoniously forced upon them; yet they soon get reconciled, and afterwards set a good example to married folks on land. They jog on harmoniously through rough and smooth, to the end of the matrimonial journey, without altercations or recriminations—and without application to Doctors’ Commons for divorce, alimony, or pin-money!

[10] Planché.

[11] Of these lines I shall attempt a rude translation.

Grand-mamma was a Mag, who laid eggs by the score;
And had she not died, might have laid many more.

[12] The Mineral Waters of Wisbaden. By Dr. Peez, p. 103.

[13] In a Note to page 127 of Dr. Peez’s work, we have the following words:—“There are some chemists, as for example, the Aulic Councillor Struve, (evidently actuated by mercantile motives) who charge us with purposely attempting to involve the origin and efficacy of mineral springs in a magic gloom.” This is not a very liberal insinuation!

Mercantile motives!” What motives led the doctor to study, and now to practise physick?—Answer. Merely to heal the sick without fee or reward. What are the motives which lead the lawyer to waste his time and health by the midnight lamp, studying Coke upon Littleton?—Answer. The prospective pleasure of pleading the causes of those who come into court “in forma pauperis”! But then there is the parson. He spends years of his life and thousands of his money at Oxford and Cambridge, studying theology and mythology—with the view of going forth to preach the word to Jew and Gentile, and without the most remote prospect of worldly advantage! Mercantile motives, indeed! Dr. Struve with great labour, expense, and skill, has imitated the Wisbaden waters, so that those who are unable to ascend the Rhine, may yet drink at the Kochbrunnen, without feeing the Spa Doctor.

[14] The fatal effects of hot-bathing in the case of the late Duke of Nassau, have been alluded to, when speaking of the Ems waters.

[15] Mineral Wells of Wisbaden, p. 360-6.

[16] If Æachus, Minos, and Rhadamanthus still retain their seats on a certain bench beyond the Styx, I opine that many of the petty sovereigns of Germany may be taken to task about the revenue which they gained in the upper regions by selling licenses to gambling-houses.

[17] It is not long since an antediluvian elephant was discovered on the shores of Siberia, and whose flesh was eatable by the dogs and wolves of that country.

[18] The average duration of human life in London is 40 years, in the country, from 40 to 60, according to the salubrity of the place.

[19] Lee on the Mineral Waters of Nassau, 1839.

[20] “Vous sortez des eaux de Schlangenbad rajeuni cum un Phœnix—la jeunesse y devient plus belle, plus brillante, et l’age y trouve une nouvelle vigeur.”—Fenner, p. 16.

[21] “The people of England have flocked within the last few years to Schlangenbad, to bathe in its foul water, drawn from tanks and used in tubs.”—Granville, vol. 1, p. 132.

[22] I would advise Dr. Granville not to revisit the “Brunnens,” as a very considerable prejudice exists against him there—especially at Schlangenbad, where I understood, they were training a band of serpents to hiss him out of the valley, should he ever re-enter it. Be this as it may, I think he stands little chance of receiving an “Order” from the Duke of Nassau—unless it be such a one as two of his brethren (Drs. Downey and Lee,) received in the Summer of 1839—an “Order” to quit the duchy in forty-eight hours.[23] This was neither a civil nor a military order, but through the police: it was one which my friend, Theodore Hook, would be very apt to call an “Order off the Bath.” I suspect, indeed, that this would be my own fate, as well as that of Dr. Granville—but for very different reasons—not for depreciating the virtues of the waters, but for stigmatizing the licenses of the hells.

[23] This was, upon the whole, a liberal “notice to quit;” since it would be difficult, I imagine, to point out any spot in the dukedom, whence an “exeat regno” might not be practicable in forty-eight minutes, on a good horse.

[24] One would suppose from the number, profundity, and duration of these salaams, that Germans, of all ages and both sexes, had studied in the “Imperial Academy of Ceremonies” at Pekin. Such outrageous bowing, cap-doffing, pipe-squaring, spine-wriggling, and bussel-rending, I never beheld in any other country, except the Celestial Empire. The German, indeed, is taught civility or politeness from infancy, and far am I from censuring this overplus of amenity.

[25] It must, at the same time, be confessed that, in Germany, all this quietude, order, and decorum, appear to be the result of a spontaneous disposition of the people. There is no visible governing or directing power—no policemen at the corner of every street, or gens-d’armes watching their movements! All is seemingly automatic. Yet there must be some strong arm behind the scene—much careful pre-arrangement and organization to effect this tranquillity and regularity. We see a steam-carriage fly along a rail-road, without any outward or visible impelling power; but what complicated machinery is stowed inside? What vast labour was expended before the automaton started on the road! So it may be with Germany.

[26] See a verification of these facts in the Morning Chronicle, of Saturday, December 14th, 1839.

[27] Effodiuntur opes irritamenta malorum.


“Vice is a monster of such horrid mein,
That to be hated, needs but to be seen—
But seen too oft—familiar with his face,
We first endure—then pity—then embrace.”

[29] Granville, vol. 1, p. 110.

[30] I do not, for one moment, doubt the fidelity of Dr. Granville’s description; but I am convinced that the effects which he describes were more owing to some happy mood in which he was at the time, than to any peculiar properties of the waters. Let us remember the expression of the Frenchman in the Serpent’s Bath at Schlangenbad—“dans ces bains on devient absoluement amoreux de soi-même.” Now, I do not see why Dr. G. might not have “fallen in love with self,” in the baths of Wildbad, as well as Monsieur in those of Schlangenbad.

[31] “Chargé par son Excellence Mons. le Comte De Witt, General au service de la Russie, j’ai l’honneur d’avertir Mons. le Docteur Johnson, qu’il est prié de se trouver a la fête que Mons. le Comte donnera ce soir au Palais Royal.

“Wildbad, Aug. 18, 1839. Heim.

Circumstances did not permit me to accept the kind invitation, and I can only thus return my thanks to Count De Witt for his politeness to a casual bath-acquaintance.

[32] The public and promiscuous bathing of both sexes, so common on the Continent, is more easily condemned by prejudice than convicted by argument. I confess that I was fairly beaten out of the field by a German philosopher, while discussing the point. First, he urged the antiquity of the practice—the Romans having public baths for both sexes indiscriminately, on a most magnificent scale. The larger the bath, however, the less the objection, and vice versa, which he acknowledged. Secondly, he asked me what there was in the element water, to render promiscuous assemblages of the sexes more indelicate than in the element air? I answered that in the latter element the people were dressed. Dressed! he exclaimed. Why in the bath they are closely clothed from the chin to the soles of the feet; while in the ball-room the ladies exclude dress from every spot which they dare expose without outraging decency! There was no denying this. He added that, it was surely as unobjectionable for invalids of both sexes to walk and wade about in the bath, during the open day, as for people in high health to waltz about in crowded assemblies, during the middle of the night. On observing that the English were shocked at the practice of bathing promiscuously, because their eyes were unaccustomed to the sight; he replied, “exactly so—and the Germans, who are accustomed to it, feel nothing at all on the occasion.” The only objection on which I was obliged to fall back, was the loss of friction and shampooing in the bath—a drawback which the German admitted as unavoidable in public baths, but which, he maintained, was, in some degree, compensated for by the pleasure of conversation and society.

[33] The “Auxiliary” which I have recommended to be taken over night, while using the waters of Wisbaden, would prevent or mitigate the spa-fever, or “bad-sturm” of Wildbad, without any abatement of the medicinal effects of the waters.

J. J.

[34] This child of the Revolution, and of fickle fortune, fell at the battle of Dresden, and his body lies interred on the frozen banks of the Neva!

[35] Planché.

[36] Mr. and Miss Hayward, Mrs. and Miss Johnson (now Mrs. Jackson) and myself.

[37] Since the foregoing account was drawn up—now nearly six years ago—great improvements have taken place in the Baths of Pfeffers. A good road for char-a-bancs and light cars is constructed from Ragatz to the Baths, and the whole establishment has been taken out of the hands of the monks of the neighbouring monastery, and put into lay hands. The Bad-haus is improved, and better accommodations are provided for strangers. I should not be surprized if this place becomes fashionable one day, and eclipses Wildbad and Toeplitz!

[38] “Le pont est etroit, souvent glissant, et quelquefois on n’est separé que par une seule planche du noir abîme de la Tamina.”

[39] It is surprising that the author of the “Voyage Pittoresque en Suisse,” and even Dr. Ebell, should have been led into the monstrous error of imagining that the torrent of the Tamina had, in the course of ages, hollowed out of the marble rock this profound bed for itself. We might just as well suppose, that the bed of the Mediterranean had been scooped out by the waters of the Hellespont, in their way from the Black Sea to the Atlantic. The mountain was rent by some convulsion of Nature, and apparently from below upwards, as the breadth, at the bed of the Tamina, is far broader than the external crevice above.

[40] This has not always been the case. The talented authoress of “Reminiscences of the Rhine,” &c. appears to have lacked courage for this enterprise, though her beautiful daughters advanced to the further extremity of the gorge.

[41] This circumstance illustrates, in a very remarkable manner, the effects of passing from a hot, or vapour-bath, into cold air or water. The immunity is nearly certain. The hotter the medium from which we start into the cold, the less danger there is of suffering any inconvenience. This principle in Hygiene is more understood than practised. It will be adverted to farther on.

[42] Lest I should be suspected of exaggeration, in this account of the Baths of Pfeffers, I shall here introduce a short extract from “Reminiscences of the Rhine,” &c. by Mrs. Boddington—a work eulogised to the skies in the Edinburgh Review, and its author represented (and, I understand, deservedly) as a lady of very superior talents and strict veracity. After some slight notice of the Bath-house, Mrs. B. proceeds thus:—

“Behind rolls the stormy Tamina, hemmed in at one side by the dark Bath-house and the impending cliffs, while, on the other, a giant wall of perpendicular rock, starting up daringly, and shutting out the world—almost the light of Heaven—closes up the scene. Our guide proposed that we should visit the mineral springs that boil up from the depth of an awful cavern, several hundred paces from the Bath-house. A bridge, thrown from rock to rock, crosses the flood, and a narrow ledge of planks, fixed, I know not how, against the side of the rock, and suspended over the fierce torrent, leads through a long dark chasm to the source. I ventured but a little way; for, when I found myself on the terrifying shelf, without the slightest ballustrade, and felt it slippery, from the continual spray, and saw nothing between us and the yawning gulf, to which darkness, thickening at every step, gave increased horror, I made a few rapid reflections on foolhardiness, and retreated.”

The following lines were found in an Album at an Inn in the Canton of Glarus, in the Summer of 1825, written by an anonymous English tourist, immediately after visiting the Baths of Pfeffers.

[Communicated by C. Raine, Esq.]

Oft hast thou marvell’d much, I trow.
At him who twirl’d with well pois’d toe
On Strasburg’s pointed spire:—
Or him who, on the quivering slope
Of the tight-brac’d elastic rope,
Could bound in air much higher:—
But had they quaffed the fervid wave
In Pfeffers’ dark and vapoury cave—
(Those half adventurous people)—
And paced the dizzy, fragile plank
Along the chasm’s terrific flank,
They then had scorned the paltry prank
Of dancing on a steeple.

[43] In an old account of the baths we find the following passage:—“The water of these baths is extremely clear, without taste or smell. It bears with it the most subtle spirits of sulphur, nitre, vitriol, and divers metals—amongst others, gold.”

[44] In many people they produce slight vertigo—in more, they act freely on the bowels. They were discovered in the 12th century, by two chasseurs from the neighbouring monastery, who were seeking birds’ nests in the ravine of the Tamina. For a long time they could only descend to these baths by means of ropes; but at length human ingenuity formed zig-zags along the rocks. As if every thing relating to these waters should partake of the wonderful, it may be mentioned that they begin to flow in May, when the Summer is approaching—are at their acmé when the skies are fervid and the land parched with thirst, yielding 1500 pints of water every minute—and cease entirely in September, when the rains begin to fall, and the mountain streams to pour freely along every declivity!

[45] A German writer informs us that the country people stay in these baths from Saturday night till Monday morning. “Tous les Samedis on voit accourir à Pfeffers une multitude de gens des campagne voisines, et ils restent dans le bains jusqu’au Lundi matin pour provoquer la sueur.”

[46] Dr. Engel, of Vienna.

[47] For further particulars, see the Third Edition of my “Economy of Health,” or Stream of Human Life, &c.

[48] Unfortunately I find that gambling is permitted in Aix by the Prussian government to all non-residents!

[49] In the interval between 1834 and 1840, when I last visited this place, Ems has been completely metamorphosed. I could scarcely recognize it, so much has it been embellished and improved. It is now one of the prettiest spas in Germany. A line of handsome buildings, a mile in length, with a magnificent Cursaal in the centre, stretches along the Lahn, while new edifices are fast rising on the other side of the river. Beautiful promenades are formed all along this line, between the houses and the Lahn, while two bands of music play several hours in the day. The view from the highest point of the Morshutte, is very picturesque.

[50] A short time ago Ems had nearly shaken the foundation of Carlsbad. On cutting down, with incredible labour, through a bed of schistus and other rock, on the opposite side of the Lahn, a spring boiled up with a force equal to that of the Sprudel, and at a temperature of 168° of Fahrenheit! The inundation, by infiltration, from the Lahn, overpowered the efforts of the workmen, and the enterprize was abandoned. Various fragments of masonry and wood were found in this place, rendering it probable that, at some remote period—perhaps in the time of the Romans, there was a thermal fountain in this place. The water is still seen boiling up from the bed of the river at this place, and, on immersing my thermometer in the water of the Lahn there, the mercury stood at 104°.

[51] Ems, Les Eaux Thermales. Par M. Doring, 1839.

[52] Dr. Doring affirms that bathing in the Ems waters is quite as salutary in Winter as in Summer.

[53] By far the pleasantest way to Kissengen is the cross-road, leaving Wurtzburg far to the right. It will occupy about two and a half days’ posting from Frankfort, through a highly picturesque and beautiful country. Aschaffenburgh is the first night’s resting-place. The second days’ journey leads through a portion of the ancient Hercynian forest, and presents very fine scenery.

[54] Balling, p. 33.

[55] Ibidem.

[56] Balling, p. 38-9.

[57] It is a little remarkable that Dr. Granville scarcely makes any allusion to this reactive process so conspicuous in the Kissengen waters—and which is dwelt upon by the writers on all the energetic spas of Germany. It is by far the most important phenomenon which medicinal waters present, and requires the most vigilant attention. I have not the least doubt that it is owing to the want of light aperient alteratives taken over night, by which the biliary and other glandular secretions are kept in a state of activity, corresponding with the action kept up on the bowels by the waters.—See the Section on Carlsbad.

[58] It would have been well if the late Duke of Nassau had observed this rule—or rather if he had avoided these baths entirely.—J.J.

[59] By the way, those visitors, who merely pass a day or two at Kissengen, without any intention of taking the waters, have reason to complain of the tax imposed on them by the King of Bavaria. When the “reckoning” comes in, they find two florins for each person in the party charged by the master of the hotel. I believe, however, that this is an imposition of the hotels, and that four or five days’ residence are allowed, before the tax is due.

[60] It may be proper to state that, in a more recent analysis by Professor Frommsdorff, some other ingredients were discovered, although the aggregate quantity of saline matters was 34 grains, as above. The new matters were very minute quantities of oxide of manganese—carbonate of lithion—carbonate of strontian—and phosphate of magnesia.

[61] The Baron suggests the more frequent application of this gas to certain complaints of both sexes which are regarded with no small anxiety by both parties. Verbum sat.

[62] Dr. Clarus, Dr. Granville, and others state that the skin exhales an acid odour, and even feels salt to the tongue for several hours after leaving the bath. This I did not perceive in my own case at all.

[63] There is another source in the forest, ten minutes walk from the Kreuzbrunn, which contains double the quantity of solid materials found in the Carolinenbrunn, termed Waldbrunnen.

[64] Heidler, p. 334.

[65] The apparatus at Marienbad are admirably constructed, both for safety and efficacy. The hole in the lid of the bath embraces, by the aid of a handkerchief, so well the throat, that no gas escapes, while the patient suffers no difficulty of breathing. The gas enters by a tube at the bottom of the bath, and the superfluity is carried off by several others that enter near the top. Some covering is proper over the part exposed to the current of the gas from the pipe, to prevent taking cold—as the clothes do not, in the slightest degree, diminish the action of the gas on the body or members, provided they are light and thin.

[66] Lobkowitz. Ode to the Sprudel—nearly 300 years ago.

[67] The route by the Elbe, from Hamburg, through Dresden and Saxon Switzerland, will now render the journey from London easy.

[68] Note from Mr. Spitta to Dr. Johnson.

The ancient history of Carlsbad is interesting: it shews the powers of mendacious tradition. There is a certain mountain on the left bank of the Teple, termed Hirschensprung [Spring of the stag], which carries in its very name a wondrous tale.

As early as the middle of the fourteenth century, Charles IV. Emperor of Germany, and King of Bohemia, was pursuing a stag, and the animal, pressed closely by the hounds, ascended that lofty mountain. The huntsmen, unable to follow, on account of the steepness of the ascent, were returning by the bank of the river, supposing they had lost their game, when—imagine their surprise—they heard the cries of the scalded animal on the opposite side. The cause was easily explained. In the last despairing hope of escape, the animal had made a leap, from the top of the Hirschensprung, over the Teple; and had fallen, quite accidentally, into the boiling, bubbling Sprudel. The distance, as the crow flies, may be a mile, perhaps a mile and a half (more or less), a difference in tradition’s eye, of no importance. Thus the stag was found, and the Sprudel discovered, simultaneously. Tradition’s stories are always complete. King Charles happened to have a bad leg, for which (of course) the exercise of hunting was beneficial; he happened to try the waters, and happened to get well. The place henceforth assumed his name, Carlsbad (Charles’ bath), and rose by degrees to the importance it now possesses.

[69] Although the proportion of iodine and other materials, appears small to the Allopath, it is reckoned prodigious by the Homœopath, who indeed, considers that the surplus waters which flow from the Sprudel into the Teple, are quite sufficient to impregnate the stream of the Elbe at Hamburgh abundantly for all medicinal purposes. M. Creutzburg calculates that, in the course of a season at Carlsbad, during which he drank 404 goblets of the waters, there were 3¼ grains of hydriodate of soda, in that quantity. The quantity of carbonic acid gas in the pint is about 12 cubic inches.

[70] There is another spring, the Bernard’s Brunnen, near the New Brunnen, which has a temperature as high as that of the Sprudel; but I believe it is seldom used. The Schlossbrunnen, much higher up the hill, is the least hot of all—and the Marktbrunnen, near the Muhlbrunn, is next to it in temperature. It exhales some odour of sulphur.

[71] Note from Mr. Spitta.

I brought home one of the pretty stamps, made of Sprudelstein; and had the cruelty to break it up for chemical examination. I found it to be composed, as stalactites in all parts of the world are, of the earthy carbonates; which, originally held in solution by carbonic acid gas, are precipitated on its escape. The Sprudel contains a very small quantity of carbonic acid, only sufficient, as Beecher has observed, to keep its earthy carbonates in solution. As the water approaches the exit of the cauldron, and the gas ceases to be under pressure, it resumes its wonted elasticity, passes quietly off with the vapour which issues from the boiler, and leaves its irony carbonates, sticking to the edge of the reservoir. Carbonate of lime is the main ingredient of the Sprudelstein—it contains besides, carbonate of magnesia and iron; to the latter, its reddish-brown colour is to be attributed. There is a portion of iron also, as peroxyde; and minute traces of one or two other substances. With regard to the incrustations: they are nothing more nor less than petrifactions (as they are called), made exactly in the same manner as other petrifactions, by the deposition of the earthy carbonates. The difference in colour from other petrifactions arises from the difference in the composition of the Sprudel water and the water in other parts, where the white incrustations are formed. The Sprudel contains a small quantity of the carbonate of iron. This is deposited with the carbonates of lime and magnesia; and hence the brown colour.

[72] “Le celebre Carus a publié une tres-interessant Memoire sur les Eaux Minerales, sur leur vitalité, sur leur formation dans le sein de la terre, qu’il considere comme un organism animé, dont ces eaux sont les secretions, aussi differentes entre elles que les fluides elaborés par les divers organs secretoires du corps humain.”—De Carro.

It must be confessed that the idea of daily ingurgitating such lots of secretions from some “great unknown” animal in the bowels of the earth, is not a very comfortable one, and requires a stouter stomach than that which is necessary for the digestion of the bear’s broth at Wisbaden. There is one consolation, that the whole is a dream; since there is just as much proof or probability of the Spas of Germany being a secretion from a living animal, as that the German Ocean is a secretion from Neptune or Amphitrite.

[73] The remarkable influence of mind over matter, and hope over both, was exemplified in 1839, in the person of Surgeon Fraser, of the Bombay establishment. Being reduced almost to a skeleton by a disease, the nature of which could not be ascertained, he happened to see my review of Dr. Granville’s book, and immediately determined to travel over-land to Carlsbad. He embarked in a steamer for Suez—thence was carried in a litter between two camels across the Desert—embarked again at Alexandria for Constantinople—thence through the Black Sea up the Danube, and on to Carlsbad, all this journey being sustained by hope, aided by “change of air.” At Carlsbad the waters were eagerly taken; but alas! were found to do no good! He lost confidence in them, and proceeded to Marienbad in a litter. He died two days after his arrival there, and left his bones in Bohemia! There is little doubt that had he travelled on, instead of stopping at Carlsbad, he might have reached his native mountains in the Highlands.

On dissection the disease was found to be in the mesenteric glands.

[74] Carlsbad; ses Eaux Minerales. Par De Carro.

[75] Sur les Eaux, p. 167.

[76] It is a curious fact that the waters of Carlsbad often cause a swelling of the ankles, especially in females. Hoffman was the first who noticed this phenomenon.

[77] An English physician has realized a fortune by prescribing on this plan, and enforcing a strict system of diet. The combination used is very nearly the following:—

℞. Infus. rosæ c. ℥viss.
Acidi sulph. dil. ʒiss.
Magnes sulphat. ℥j.
Tinct. gent. c. ℥ss.
Sulphatis ferri gr. vij.
Misce ft. mistura, capt. coch. ij. mag. primo mane et meridie.

I prefer the following formula.

℞. Extr. col. comp.
Pil. rhei. comp. aa ℈j.
—— hydrargyri gr. vj.
Ol. cassiæ, gtt. iv.
Misce ft. pil. xij. capt. i. vel. ij. hora somni omni nocte.
℞. Infus. gent. c. ℥vjss.
Magnes. sulph. ℥j.
Acidi. sulph. aromat. ʒiss.
Sulph. ferri. grs. vij.
Tinct. aurantii comp. ℥ss.
Misce ft. mistura, capt. coch. ij. vel. iij. mag. primo mane,
et rept. dosis intra horas duas, si alvus non respondeat.

In this formula there is the alterative, the aperient, and the tonic combined, so that no risk is run from any one of the ingredients. In both forms, there is some chemical decomposition, but the physiological effects are good.—J. J.

[78] Les Bains de Gastein, p. 34.

[79] Erroneously spelled Toeplitz by most travellers.

[80] This was the picture which presented itself to Dr. Granville four or five years ago; but all is now changed. A dispute arose between the doctors and the town council of Teplitz, as to the necessity or propriety of having the process of bleeding and bathing simultaneously carried on—the doctors being pro, and the authorities con. Some of the doctors, however, ratted, and declared that the practice of cupping was seldom necessary; and that, where it was deemed prudent, the operation might be performed out of the bath, and without any flow of blood into the water. The practice is now, therefore, almost entirely discontinued.

[81] The whole of the solid contents of the various springs amounts to about five grains in the pint, with a little iron.

[82] This effect did not take place in my own person, nor in that of any other with whom I conversed on the subject. Dr. Richter, the latest writer on the waters, does not mention it in his work, and he told me he had very seldom observed it in the persons of bathers.

[83] This analysis, as well as that of Sedlitz, I obtained at Bilin, at the establishment of Prince Lobkowitz; and they are interesting as being the most recent yet published. This appeared in 1840.

[84] In the “Handbuck,” Mr. Murray has committed a mistake in killing Prince Colleredo here, instead of making him the fortunate soldier—“qui decida la journée.”—Commend me to the Austrian policy. No man knew better than Prince Metternich that one good living General was worth the full of a church-yard of dead ones. Colleredo fought hard, and distinguished himself at the battle of Leipzig after the battle of Culm.

[85] February 1814, and July 1815.

[86] Many of the rocks have acquired distinct and permanent appellations from their rude, but often striking similitudes to animals and other objects. More than one or two royal personages have here their profiles en gigantesque, encompased by other figures of more ignoble character, as “La grande Oie”—“La petite Oie”—“La Pierre de Merles”—“La Pierre de Miel”—“Pierres des Ours,”—“Pierre d’Agneau”—“Pierre de Fourterelle,” &c.

[87] Did Napoleon adopt the Bee as his emblem, because that animal is equally expert in extracting the honey and implanting the sting?

[88] His own words, as reported by Las Casas, were—“I was a Mahomedan in Egypt—a Catholic in France. I do not believe in forms of religion; but in the existence of a Deity.” There is not an infidel or sceptic from the North to the South Pole, who doubts the existence of a God—provided he has sense or reason enough to be able to distinguish his right hand from his left. It was fortunate, perhaps, for Napoleon’s mental sufferings that he believed not in a future state of existence, otherwise the ghost of D’Enghien would have stood by his death-bed, and rendered his last moments most horrible! I need not allude to his divorce of Josephine, for his character in matrimony!

[89] These regalia are now removed to some other place. 1840.

[90] A dagger is here preserved which, on entering the body, separates into three parts, rendering extraction more dangerous than the primary wound!

[91] By the way, the extreme care which the heroes of antiquity, as well as those of the middle-ages, took to cover every part of their bodies with brass and iron plates, does not exhibit any very striking proof of their courage. Why should they not have fought without armour, trusting to activity, bravery, and strength, rather than to coats of mail? In the best days of the Roman legions, they fought without armour.

[92] In Saxony, the punishment of death is by decapitation.

[93] From the researches of the Rev. Mr. Gleig, Scepticism has invaded the Catholic camp!

“But, even in Catholic countries, the cloven-foot of Scepticism is for ever thrusting itself from beneath the priest’s robe; while amongst the Protestants, to believe God’s word, as it is written, forms the exception to the general rule which Rationalism has established.”—Vol. I. preface.

[94] He might be represented as a person with two shadows. The shade behind (time past) is tolerably distinct—that which is before (time to come) is dim in the extreme, and ill-defined.

[95] Russell’s Germany, Vol. I. pp. 123.

[96] This trait in Gallic character has never been more clearly discerned, or more cleverly met than by Viscount Palmerston. Palmam qui meruit ferat.

[97] Among the perversions of language we may notice the following in the vocabulary of the French fire-eaters. “Offended pride” means detected fraud.

[98] Translations from Goethe and Schiller. By J. S. Dwight. Boston, 1839.



I. CHANGE OF AIR; or the Pursuit of Health and Recreation; illustrating the Beneficial Influence of Bodily Exercise, Change of Scene, Pure Air, and Temporary Relaxation, as Antidotes to the Wear and Tear of Education and Avocation. 8vo. Fourth Edition, price 9s. extra boards.

II. AN ESSAY ON INDIGESTION; or Morbid Sensibility of the Stomach and Bowels, as the proximate cause or characteristic condition of Dyspepsia, Nervous Irritability, Mental Despondency, Hypochondriasis, and many other Ailments of Body and Mind, &c. Tenth Edition, price 6s. 6d.

III. THE ECONOMY OF HEALTH, or the Stream of Human Life from the Cradle to the Grave; with Reflections, Moral, Physical, and Metaphysical, on the Septennial Phases of Human Existence. Third Edition, price 7s. 6d.

In the Press,

The Sixth Edition of the INFLUENCE OF TROPICAL CLIMATES ON EUROPEAN CONSTITUTIONS, &c. Under the Superintendence of Dr. Johnson, and J. R. Martin, Esq. late Presidency Surgeon of Calcutta.

Printed by F. Hayden, Little College Street, Westminster.




A Treatise intended for the use of the Student, and Junior Practitioner.

By George Augustus Rees, Surgeon to the General Dispensary for Children; late Demonstrator of Anatomy at the Aldersgate Street School of Medicine, 12mo, Price 5s.



With Cases illustrative of its beneficial effects in certain Forms of Gout, Rheumatism, and Scrofula.

By John Hughes Bennett, M.D., late President of the Parisian Medical Society; of the Royal Medical, and Royal Physical Societies of Edinburgh, &c., 8vo.



By C. A. Harris, M.D., one of the Editors of the “American Journal of Dental Science.” 8vo, plates, Price 18s. bound.—Baltimore.


Sixth Edition, 1841.


By James Johnson, M.D., with additions by James R. Martin, Esq., late Presidency Surgeon, and Surgeon to the Native Hospital, Calcutta, 8vo, Price 18s.



By George Pilcher, Lecturer on Anatomy and Surgery at the Webb-street School of Medicine.


In which an entirely new set of Plates is given, with additional Illustrations, 8vo, Cloth lettered.



Comprising their Functional and Organic affections. Illustrated by Cases derived from Hospital and private practice.

By Samuel Ashwell, M.D., Obstetric Physician and Lecturer to Guy’s Hospital.





By G. T. Morgan, A.M., Formerly Lecturer on Surgery in Aberdeen. Price 18s.



Designed as a Guide to Students. 8vo. Price 1s.



By E. O. Hocken. 8vo, Price 10s. 6d.





Considered especially in relation to the particular Tissues affected, Illustrating the different kinds of Cough.

By G. H. Weatherhead, M.D., Consulting Physician to the Metropolitan Free Hospital, &c. 8vo, Price 7s. 6d.



Their various Causes, Prevention and Cure. 2nd Edition, 12mo, Price 4s.

“The Dyspeptic or Sick Headach is described with great truth and clearness, more faithfully indeed than by any Author that we are acquainted with. We hope Dr. Weatherhead will pursue his investigations.”—Johnson’s Medico-Chirurg. Rev.


THE HISTORY OF THE EARLY AND PRESENT STATE OF THE VENEREAL DISEASE EXAMINED, wherein is shewn that Mercury never was necessary for its cure, as well as the injurious consequences that result from its employment, &c.

By G. H. Weatherhead, M.D. 12mo, Price 6s.



By W. O. Markham, M.D. 8vo., Price 5s.

“We have read this work with considerable interest. The Author gives in a short space a comprehensive, and we believe accurate sketch of the present state of Surgical Practice in Paris. He mentions the names of most of the eminent surgeons in that city, whose cliniques he has attended, and whose opinions and treatment of many important surgical diseases he has given detailed accounts of. We strongly recommend its perusal.”—Dublin Medical Journal, Jan. 1841.




By John Morgan, F.L.S. 8vo. Price 18s. Cloth lettered.


A LECTURE ON TETANUS, Delivered at Guy’s Hospital. 8vo, Price 2s.



By Thomas Bell, F.R.S., F.L.S., F.G.S.,

Lecturer on Diseases of the Teeth at Guy’s Hospital, and Professor of Zoology in King’s College. Second Edition. 8vo. Price 14s. Cloth lettered. Containing upwards of 100 Figures, illustrative of the Structure, Growth, Diseases, &c., of the Teeth.




Anatomico-Chirurgical Views of the Nose, Mouth, Larynx, and Fauces, with explanations and references, and an Anatomical Description of the parts.

By W. Lawrence, F.R.S., Surgeon to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital.

Folio. Price 10s. 6d. plain.—£1 1s. coloured.



⁂ The Subjects were selected by Mr. Lawrence, who superintended the dissections, most of which he executed himself, and furnished the Descriptions and Explanatory References.

Folio, Price 10s. 6d. plain—£1 1s. coloured.



With some New Views of the Anatomy and Physiology of the Muscles of the Human Eye.

By P. B. Lucas, Surgeon to the Metropolitan Free Hospital, &c. 8vo, Price 6s.

Illustrated by Plates.

“We would strongly recommend every surgeon who may have to treat for the first time a patient with Strabismus, to study the Treatise attentively from beginning to end. Mr. Lucas seems to possess the rare quality of conveying a great deal of knowledge in a few words.”—Provincial Medical and Surgical Journal.

“Mr. Lucas’ book gives a plain, unpretending, and trustworthy account of the matter.”—Dublin Medical Press.

“Mr. Lucas’ work is in our opinion the most comprehensive and indeed the best on the subject which has yet appeared.”—Edinburgh Monthly Medical Journal, March, 1841.

“This is a sensible and useful treatise.”—Medical Gazette.

“The plan of Mr. Lucas’s Treatise is well conceived, and the execution of it at once scientific and practical.”—British and Foreign Medical Review, April, 1841.

“The most complete account hitherto published of the pathological theory of Squinting, and its different varieties and causes; and of the circumstances requiring or contra-indicating the performance of the operation.”—Edinburgh Medical Journal.



By James Johnson, M.D., Physician Extraordinary to the late King.

8vo. Price 9s.



Or, The Stream of Human Life from the Cradle to the Grave; with Reflections, Moral and Physical, on the successive Phases of Human Existence.

Third Edition, enlarged and improved. 8vo. With portrait. Price 7s. 6d.



Or the Pursuit of Health and Recreation, illustrating the beneficial influence of Bodily Exercise, Change of Scene, Pure Air and Temporary Relaxation.

Fourth Edition, enlarged. Price 9s.





Or, Morbid Sensibility of the Stomach and Bowels as the proximate cause of Dyspepsy, Nervous Irritability, Mental Despondency, Hypochondriasis, &c., with

Observations on the Diseases and Regimen of Invalids on their return from Hot and Unhealthy Climates. Tenth Edition. Price 6s. 6d.


Engraved by Phillips, from a Painting by Wood, Price 10s. 6d.



Edited by James Johnson, M.D., Physician Extraordinary to the late King; and Henry James Johnson, Esq. Lecturer on Anatomy in the School of St. George’s Hospital in Kinnerton Street.

Published Quarterly on the 1st of January, April, July and October, Price 6s. Containing Reviews and Bibliographic Notices, Selections from Foreign and British Journals, Chemical Reviews and Hospital Reports, Miscellanies, &c.


Edited by Dr. Harris, Baltimore, and Dr. Parmly, New York.

Vol. I,—1840-41, 8vo, Price 15s.


A New and Improved Edition in One Volume, Folio, Price £6 6s. coloured, Half-bound in Russia or Morocco.



Professor of Surgery to the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh; Corresponding Member of the Medical Society of Emulation of Paris; and Lecturer on Anatomy and Surgery, Edinburgh.

The Parts may be had Separately, 7s. 6d. plain, or 10s. 6d. coloured.


In this Edition the letter-press hitherto forming a separate 8vo Volume, is printed in Folio the Size of the Plates.



Illustrated by 250 Figures engraved on copper, explanatory of the Operations, &c. of Surgery. By John Lizars, Professor of Surgery to the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh. 8vo. Cloth Lettered. Price £1 1s.

An Appendix to ditto, containing the Operation for the Cure of Squinting, with Plates, Price 1s.



By Alexander J. Lizars, M.D., Lecturer on Anatomy and Examiner to the University of St. Andrews. 12mo, Part I. Price 6s.



Translated from the French of M. Lugol, by Dr. O’Shaughnessy. 8vo. Price 8s.


By Sir Alexander Morison, M.D.

Royal 8vo, Price £3 10s. With upwards of 100 Plates.



And the various Branches of Natural Philosophy connected with Medicine;

7th Edition, revised and enlarged by Dr. Klein Grant.

Octavo. Price £1 10s., Containing 1400 closely printed pages.


A DICTIONARY OF PRACTICAL SURGERY; Comprehending all the most interesting Improvements from the earliest times to the present period; an Account of the Instruments and Remedies employed in Surgery; the Etymology and Signification of terms, &c. &c.

By Samuel Cooper, Professor of Surgery in University College.

8vo, 7th Edition, revised and enlarged, containing above 1500 pages. Price £1 10s.



Explaining and Illustrating the Doctrines relative to the Principles, Practice, and Operations of Surgery.

6th Edition corrected and enlarged, 8vo. Price 18s.



New Edition, enlarged and improved by Dr. Ryan, Fcap. Price 7s. 6d.



By Drs. T. R. Beck, and John B. Beck.

Sixth Edition, including the Notes of Doctors Dunlop and Darwall. 8vo, Price 21s., 1000 pages.



Translated from the French of Cloquet. With Explanatory Notes, by A.M. McWhinnie, Teacher of Practical Anatomy at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital.

Royal 8vo., with Plates. Price 5s.


A Translation of the Pharmacopœia Collegii Regalis Medicorum Londinensis, MDCCCXXXVI, with copious Notes and Illustrations; also a Table of Chemical Equivalents.

By Richard Phillips, F.R.S., L. and E. Fourth Edition, Corrected and Improved. 8vo. Price 10s. 6d. Cloth lettered.


A Manual of Percussion and Auscultation, composed from the French of Meriedec Laennec.

By J. B. Sharpe. 18mo. Second Edition, Improved and Enlarged. Price 3s.

“You will find it of great use to have this book, when you are at the patient’s bedside. Laennec’s work is too large to be studied during the winter, when you are attending hospital practice, and have so many other engagements; but this little book will be extremely useful, while you are learning how to use the ear, and may be carried in the pocket.” Dr. Elliotson’s Lectures, (Lancet).


Exhibiting, in a Series of Engravings, the Process of Delivery, with and without the Use of Instruments, accompanied by Anatomical Descriptions and Practical Instructions and forming


and other Treatises requiring Plates.

Price 5s. in cloth boards; or, with Burns’s Midwifery in One Volume, cloth lettered, £1 1s.

“Judiciously selected, and ably executed.”—Medico-Chirurgical Review.


A Toxicological Chart, exhibiting at one view the Symptoms, Treatment, and Mode of Detecting the various Poisons, Mineral, Vegetable, and Animal; to which are added, Concise Directions for the Treatment of Suspended Animation.

By William Stowe, Member of the Royal College of Surgeons.

Ninth Edition. 2s. Varnished and mounted on cloth with roller, 6s.

“We have placed the Chart in our own Library, and we think that no medical practitioner should be without it. It should be hung up in the shops of all chemists and druggists, as well as in the dispensaries and surgeries of all general practitioners.”—Medico-Chirurgical Review.


Considered in relation to Mental Organization. By M. B. Sampson, Royal 8vo, Price 6d.

Reprinted from the Spectator Newspaper, by the Trustees of the Hendersonian Fund.


Comprising Accounts of the Lives of persons remarkable in some mental respect, whether of intellect or feeling. Together with accurate Delineations of their Heads, by G. R Lewis, and a Statement of the Measurement and Development of the Individual organs.

No. I.—Courvoisier (Executed for the Murder of Lord W. Russell), Royal 8vo, Price 2s. 6d.

The Text by Dr. Elliotson.




By John Ramsbotham, M.D. 2 vols. 8vo. Price £1 2s. 6d.

“It is refreshing to turn from the pompous puerilities with which the press has recently teemed in the shape of “Outlines” and “Manuals” of Midwifery, to the “Observations” of Dr. Ramsbotham. We have here some of the most important subjects connected with parturition fully discussed by one who speaks not only of what he has read, but of what he himself has seen done, and the result is correspondingly satisfactory, in that the Observations are really practical.”—Medical Gazette.


Edidit F. F. Quin, M.D. 8vo. Price 7s.



By Samuel Fox. 8vo. Price 6s.


With Anatomical Descriptions.

The Views are as follows:—

By G. D. Dermott, Lecturer on Anatomy and Surgery. Price 4s. 6d.



12mo., with Plates. Price 6s.


Or System of Dissection practised in the Hospitals and Lecture Rooms of the Metropolis.


By James Scratchley. Eighth Edition, Revised 12mo. Price 5s.



By Richard Rowland, M.D., Physician to the City Dispensary. 8vo. Price 6s.

“Dr. Rowland’s Work on Neuralgia does him great credit, and will be readily consulted by every one who has to treat an obstinate case of this Malady.”—Medical Gazette.

“Dr. Rowland’s Book is a very useful one.”—Johnson’s Medico-Chirurgical Review.

“The Volume before us is a creditable monument of its author’s industry.”—British and Foreign Medical Review.


Edited by George H. Barlow, M.A. and M.D., and James P. Babington, M.A.

Vols. 1 to 6 for the respective years 1836 to 1841, Price 13s. each, In boards, with Numerous Plates.

A half Volume is published in April and October of each Year.

CONTENTS OF No. XIII:—for October, 1841; With Plates.


Beginning the Volume for that Year.


Researches on the Pathology and Treatment of some of the most important Diseases of Women.

By Robert Lee, M.D., F.R.S. 8vo. Plates. Price 7s. 6d.

“In taking leave of Dr. Lee’s work, we feel it to be alike our pleasure and duty once more to record our opinion of its high and sterling merits: it ought to have a place on the shelves of every physician in the kingdom.”—Johnson’s Medico-Chirurgical Review.



By Henry Clutterbuck, M.D.



As Illustrative of the Nature of Fever in general. 8vo. Price 5s.


Completing the Work according to


With some Remarks on Various Criticisms upon the London Pharmacopœia, 8vo, 2s. 6d. or bound with the Pharmacologia in One Volume, cloth lettered, Price £1 6s. 6d.



Or, Companion to the Lying-in-Room.

By Charles Waller, Lecturer on Midwifery. Second Edition with Plates. 18mo.

Price 4s. 6d.



Containing Lists of the Terms, Abbreviations, &c., used in Prescriptions, with Examples of Prescriptions grammatically explained and construed, and a Series of Prescriptions illustrating the use of the preceding Terms. Intended for the use of Medical Students.

Eighth Edition, with Key. 32mo. cloth. Price 5s.




By James Boyle, Colonial Surgeon to Sierra Leone. 8vo. Price 12s.

“To all Army and Navy Surgeons who may have to visit Tropical Climates generally, and the African Coast in particular, Mr. Boyle’s volume is indispensable, and indeed we strongly recommend it to the perusal of our brethren in all countries.”—Johnson’s “Influence of Tropical Climates on European Constitutions.”—Page 359.

“Mr. Boyle’s Volume is evidently the work of an experienced Tropical Practitioner.”

“His descriptions of the Diseases of Africa, particularly of the Fevers, are excellent, and his practical suggestions bear all the stamp of observation and experience.”

“We can conscientiously recommend his book as a safe Tropical Guide.”—British and Foreign Medical Review, April, 1841.



Translated from the German, By Joseph Travers, Late House-Surgeon to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, 8vo, with Plates, Price 3s.


Surgical Observations on the Restoration of the Nose, and on the Removal of Polypi and other Tumours from the Nostrils. Translated from the German of Dieffenbach. With the History and Physiology of Rhinoplastic Operations. Notes, &c. By J. S. Bushnan, M.D., 8vo. With 26 Plates. Price 12s.



By John Macfarlane, M.D., Senior Surgeon to the Royal Infirmary. 8vo. Price 7s.


THE MODERN PRACTICE OF PHYSIC: Exhibiting the Character, Causes, Symptoms Prognostics, Morbid Appearances, and Improved Method of Treating the Diseases of all Climates By R. Thomas, M.D. 10th Edition, Revised and considerably Enlarged. One thick Volume 8vo. Price 18s. boards.


Being an attempt to illustrate the First Principles of Natural Philosophy by the aid of Popular Toys and Sports. Foolscap 8vo. 4th Edition. Price 10s. 6d. With numerous Illustrations.



A Lecture on the Management of Lunatic Asylums and the Treatment of the Insane; with Statistical Tables, showing the complete Practicability of the System advocated.

By R. G. Hill, late House-Surgeon of the Lincoln Lunatic Asylum. Royal 8vo. Price 6s.



With Directions for the Management of Infants.

Ninth Edition. With Additions, by Dr. Marshall Hall. 8vo. Price 15s.



THE OUTLINES OF THE VETERINARY ART; or, a Treatise on the Anatomy, Physiology, and Curative Treatment of the Diseases of the Horse, and subordinately, of those of Neat Cattle and Sheep.

By D. P. Blaine, Fourth Edition. With Surgical and Anatomical Plates. 8vo. Price £1 4s.


By Thomas Wormald and A. M. McWhinnie, Teachers of Practical Anatomy at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. 4to. Price 4s. each Part.

The Four Parts now published are intended to illustrate the greater part of the course and distribution of the whole of the Cerebral Nerves, the various important regions of the front of the Neck, the course of relations of the Thoracic Duct in the Neck, the distribution of the Laryngeal Nerves, the regions of the Axilla and bend of the elbow-joint, in the order most convenient for their examination. The Series will be completed in about Six Parts, embracing the more intricate parts of Anatomy.


Illustrated by many Wood-cuts and Plate.

THE SURGICAL ANATOMY OF THE ARTERIES minutely given, and especially arranged for the Dissecting Room, together with the Descriptive Anatomy of the Heart, and the Physiology of the Circulation in Man and Inferior Animals.

By Valentine Flood, A.M., M.D.,

Lecturer on Anatomy and Operative Surgery in the North London School of Medicine. 12mo. Cloth lettered. Price 7s.


A Series of Engravings descriptive of the Anatomy of the Human Body. Engraved by Edward Mitchell.

The Bones. From Sue and Albinus. 4to. cloth, 19s.
The Ligaments. From the Caldanis. 4to. cloth, 12s.
The Muscles. From Cloquet. 4to. cloth, 1l. 5s.
The Arteries. From Tiedemann. 4to. cloth, 2l.
The Nerves. From Scarpa. 4to. cloth, 1l. 12s.

“We have examined the illustrative plates which have accompanied these publications; and we have in consequence arrived at the conclusion, that Dr. Knox and Mr. Mitchell have effected that which the student of Anatomy has so long desired. We have now a work which every tyro in the science may study with advantage, and every practitioner derive improvement from.”—Johnson’s Medico-Chirurgical Review.



Containing an Outline of the Organization of the Human Body.

By R. D. Grainger, Lecturer on Anatomy and Physiology. 8vo. Price 14s.

“Of this Junction of Anatomy and Physiology we highly approve; it renders both sciences more interesting to the student, and fixes the principles more firmly in his memory.

“We may state, without hesitation, that Mr. Grainger has displayed great ability in the execution of his task, and that his ‘ELEMENTS OF GENERAL ANATOMY,’ will long maintain the first rank among works of a similar description.”—Lancet.

“Mr. Grainger is well known to the profession as one of the most distinguished anatomical teachers of the day, and therefore eminently qualified as a writer on that branch of science to which he has devoted himself.”—“Mr. Grainger has produced the most complete British system of Physiology: his style is good, his language clear and concise, and his information the most extensive hitherto published in this country.”—London Medical and Surgical Journal.



By R. D. Grainger. 8vo. Price 7s.


Engraved by Lupton, from a Painting by Wageman. Price 10s. 6d.



By James Anton, late Quartermaster-Sergeant of the 42nd, or Royal Highlanders, 2nd