Page images

get, contributed to deliver from the most insupportable oppression. We cannot refrain from extracting here, the lively hopes and picturesque expressions of our author.

North America is a second England; lineage, language, the natural partiality towards commerce and the sea; everything is English in America. The fable had two brothers who were enemies, England and the United States will realize the fable. Descended from the same ancestry, governed by the same inclinations, instead of uniting, these motives will never cease to place them in hostility towards each other. Following the same pursuit, they will constantly meet in the same path, and will fight for it. The prolongation of the contest will render them irreconcilable; but the United States enter upon it with immense advantages over their adversaries. Their territory is unbounded, their population can have no limit, England is limited in both these respects; she can gain no conquest from America; who, on the contrary, can not fail to deprive her of Canada, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Every thing which Britain possesses on the American continent, she is by the force of events destined to lose. To rid herself of Carthage, Rome had but a single town to destroy, a single point to occupy. But how could the vast extent of America be got rid of? It is impossible to say delenda America, like delenda Carthago.'

Such a work as this of Pradt's is not to be praised, it requires only to be made known. We have read the censures which have been passed on it; they appear to us to be extremely bitter and unjust. Carried away by the impetuosity of his mind, and the multitude of his ideas, Mr. de Pradt lays himself open to verbal criticism, by a thousand slight incorrectnesses and even sometimes contradice tions. He converses when he writes, and his pen flows as rapidly as his brilliant conceptions; but when a book'is full of profound and useful thoughts, when it has for its aim the good of humanity, and the prosperity of our country; when it sparkles with talent, and contains truths, a forgetfulness of which may cause the most grievous evils, it is difficult to conceive how blame can attach to the author. There is in sound criticism, a modesty and a probity which ought to defend from attacks of this sort, a work which, like a good and great action, deserves the general esteem.

Art. V.- Travels through some parts of Germany, Poland,

Moldavia, and Turkey. By Adam Neale, M. D. late Physician to the British Embassy at Constantinople, Physician to the Forces, &c. 4to. pp. 308. 1818.

[From the Monthly Review.] THE HE extensive peregrination related in this volume took place

in the years 1805 and 1806; when the occupation of the continent by the French army, though not so exclusive as it soon afterwards became, obliged those who wished to go by land to Constantinople to follow the circuitous route of Germany, Poland, and


Moldavia. Such was the predicament of Dr. Neale; who left London to repair to his station at the Turkish capital in July 1805, taking his passage from Harwich to Husum, and travelling by Hamburgh, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, and Vienna. In this last mentioned city, hearing that the road by Hungary was extremely disagreeable, he proceeded through Silesia, Galicia, and Moldavia, until he arrived near the confluence of the Pruth with the Danube; where confiding himself to one of the petty barks of the country, navigated by Greeks, he was carried by water to Constantinople.

Passing over the early part of Dr. N's route, which has been so often described by other travellers, we shall make our first halt at Brunn, a considerable town in Moravia, close to which is the famous Austrian fortress of Spielbergh. On visiting this prison, the author was surprised at its small size, considering that it is destined for the reception of the majority of criminals in the whole empire of Austria: but, he adds, it is a mortifying comparison to make, though not less true, that more crimes are committed within a single English county in twelve months, than throughout the whole extent of Austria in two years.' No documents or calculations are produced in support of this sweeping as well as mortifying' statement; and we cannot but doubt whether it be accurate, Our chief inducement, however, for taking notice of Brunn, is to remark its growing consequence as a manufacturing town; the fact being, according to Dr. N., that it is quickly becoming the Leeds of Austria.' In so commercial a country as ours, a rivalry of this nature in a foreign kingdom is a topic of interest, and we shall therefore quote the present account of Brunn:

Of late years several manufactories of fine woollen cloths and kersevmeres have been established here, and are now in a very flourishing condition, government having granted to them many important privileges, and being occupied in devising measures for their benefit; so that from the local advantages of the city, the command of running streams, fuel, &c., there is every reason for supposing, that the manufactures of Brunn will both extend and rapidly acquire great repute throughout Germany and Italy. The three principal establishments are those of the baron de Mund, Mr. Biegmann, and Mr. Offermann. The first named gives employment to upwards of five thousand workmen, and sells cloths annually to the amount of one million of forins, or about one hundred thousand pounds sterling. Mr. Biegmann keeps in pay two thousand two hundred workmen. In the works under the management of Mr. Offermann, the scissors for sheering the broad cloths are set in motion by water wheels: one wheel driving ten pairs of shears. The articles fabricated, consist of swan-skins, rattines, and kersey meres. In the work-shops belonging to M. Seitter are also made Turkish bonnets or Calpacs, which are sent to Constantinople, Salonica, and Smyrna. Dyeing is likewise carried on to a great extent at Brunn: and the colours there produced, are celebrated throughout Germany for their brilliancy and durability. The principal dyer is named Schoelli, and he has amongst his workmen several Englishmen. In his vats they principally dye scarlets. All the broad cloths and kerseymeres woven throughout Moravia, are sent to Brunn to be dyed, coming even from Bochtiltz in the vicinity of Znaim, which place alone produces woollen cloths to the amount of several millions annually. The finest of the Moravian kerseymeres are produced at Teltsh, where there are upwards of thirty looms for superfine cloths, ten for kerseymeres, and twenty for coarser woollens. Latterly the English machinery both for spinning and shearing has been introduced there, which has thrown two-thirds of the workmen out of employment, their numbers being reduced from eighteen to six hundred. But the largest woollen factory in Moravia is situated at Machrishneustadt, near Olmutz, where one hundred and eighty looms produce annually cloths to the amount of one hundred and forty thousand florins, or about twelve thousand eight hundred and eighty-three pounds sterling. This factory maintains large warehouses both at Vienna and Brunn, and sends goods into Galitzia, Poland, Russia, Hungary, and Transylvania. The Moravian fleeces produce the finest wool known in Austria, but the supply being inadequate, the deficiency is furnished from Russia and Poland, which, in return, carry back large quantities of manufactured goods. The establishments for spinning cotton thread are also extending themselves throughout Moravia, where there are upwards of ten mills, besides some in the immediate neighbourhood of Vienna. At Lettowitz, near Brunn, is a manufactory employing two thousand persons, and producing threads to the amount of thirty thousand florins annually, or nearly two thousand pounds sterling. In aid, too, of these infant manufactories of cotton, the dyers of Moravia practise the dyeing of Turkey or madder-red, and the government has extended to this branch also every possible encouragement. Here is likewise a silk-mill, but its size is very small. Thus, within a few years, Moravia has become as industrious as Silesia and Bohemia, and its factories are equal in extent and utility; while its situation is so very cen. trical, that it can, with equal facility, send its goods, by means of excellent roads, to the sea-ports of Trieste and Venice, on the Adriatic, or to the fairs of Poland and Russia. Brunn is the centre and emporium of this commerce, which is chiefly transacted by means of four annual fairs, occurring every three months, and continuing four weeks at a time. The goods are carried away on small light wagons, and the roads are kept in good repair. There are no canals, and only one navigable river in Moravia, namely, the Morava or river Murch.

• The city of Brunn owes its name as well as its importance to the springs of excellent water with which it is surrounded, and which supply its factories and dyeing vats, Brunn or Briun (Sclav.) signifying a source or spring of water. Two small rivers called the Schwartz-a (black water) and the Swita-a(white water)

arise from these springs, and flow round the town. Its population is about eighteen thousand souls.'

We now proceed to notice the author's observations on the south of Poland. Nothing can be more wretched than the condition of the Polish peasantry, even in the provinces that have been subject for the last forty years to Prussia and Austria. In short, though Dr. N., a native of the sister island, is no stranger to ardent feelings in the cause of national independence, he considers the partition of Poland, and its transfer to more civilized powers, as the most effectual means of redeeming it from barbarism. In Galicia, the administration of justice, the state of the public roads, and other departments managed by the Austrians, have experienced a very visible improvement; while the condition of the natives, as far as it regards their personal exertions or antient habits, is miserable in the extreme.

'In a country like Poland, where wood is plentiful, and stone, particularly free-stone, very scarce, it may be presumed that log huts are the general dwellings of the peasantry, and that architec. ture is still in its infancy. In fact every peasant is his own mason. Armed with a hatchet he enters the nearest wood, and having felled such trees as he chooses to select, he carries them to the area of his future dwelling, and splits each trunk into two beams. Four large stones mark out the corners of an oblong square, and constitute the basis upon which the hut is raised, by placing the beams in horizontal layers, with the flat sides inwards; a sort of mortice being cut in each about half a foot from the end to receive the connecting beams. A sort of cage is thus formed of small dimensions, generally about twelve feet by six, and moss is thrust in between the logs to exclude the wind and rain. Two openings, however, are left, one of which serves for a door, and the other, with the addition of a few panes of glass or a couple of sheets of oiled paper, forms a window. At one of the corners within, are placed four upright posts, round which are entwined some twigs covered with mud and clay, to form a square area into which is built an oven or furnace of the same materials; this, when hard and dry, serves the peasant for kitchen, chimney, stove, and bed. The roof is closed in with rafters and twigs, bedaubed with a thick coating of clay, and covered over with a close warm thatch, extending over both gable ends. To finish this rude hut, the walls are sometimes extended a few additional feet in a still rougher style, to form a sort of vestibule, which also answers for a cart-house or stable; and occasionally a second is added to serve as a barn. Perhaps in the whole building, there is hardly a bolt, lock, or hinge, or any article of metal. Yet this is the retreat for a Polish serf, and contains himself and family and all his goods and chattels. If the proprietor happens to be a little more affluent, his hut may contain an oven of glazed earthenware, and two bed-rooms with boarded floors, the walls of which are whitewashed, and the doors secured with locks. If he be a Jew, the house is still larger, the roof bet.

ter, and covered with shingles instead of thatch. The windows are a degree wider, and if he be an innkeeper, there is a long stable with a coach entrance at each end, which serves, as in Holstein, for barn, stable, cow-house, and a " lodging and entertainment both for man and beast,” as the old sign-posts of our country express it. The gentry give to their wooden houses a great extent, and a form a little more symmetrical. The walls within may be stuccoed and washed with distemper colours, and the walls externally plastered and whitewashed. The door of entrance occupies the centre, and is covered with a rude porch raised on four posts, and the front may, perhaps, boast three or four windows. Such are the elemental parts composing a Polish village, and nothing under heaven can be more miserable, dirty, or wretched, than the whole assemblage, externally as well as internally. In travelling through Galitzia, all the inns being kept by Jews, we were generally obliged to halt in the Jewish villages. Both inns and post-houses are always situated in the public squares, which occupy the centre of every miasta or town. These squares are also the market places for horned cattle, and have never been cleansed out since their first formation: they are perfect quagmires of filth, the putrid effluvia arising from which are almost insufferable.'

The floors of the Polish cottages, consisting of clay, or earth, are always damp, and exhale a perpetual vapour from the heat of the stove: the diet of the working classes consists in a small degree of vegetables, with more of bad bread, and of animal food approaching to putrescence, and an undue quantity of spirituous liquors: the latter are distilled by Jews, and the great land proprietors deem it their interest to promote the consumption of this baleful stimulant as much as they can. It is in general taken raw, not mixed with water. The bad consequences of such a diet, and of a state of habitual filth, are beyond calculation: not only engendering a number of loathsome and dangerous diseases, but aggravating, in a surprising degree, the ravages of any contagious malady, such as that which has, during the last two years, been productive of so much mortality in Ireland. A striking though a less melancholy exemplification of the pernicious effects of narrow streets and confined houses is apparent in the number of rickety children found in Hamburgh, and in the curious epithet of Englische krankheit (English illness) given to the rickets by the Germans; an appellation which, however inapplicable in the present age, was (we believe) but too well merited previously to the great fire of 1666, when the population of London was crowded into narrow and unwholesome lanes.

It is with much regret that we observe the unfavourable judgment of a medical man, with regard to the position of Constantinople; Dr. N. being of opinion that the maladies frequently occurring in that city, and the extensive ravage caused in it by the plague, are owing not more to the carelessness of the Turks than to the swamps which, for many miles around, infect the atmosphere.

« PreviousContinue »