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MISCELLANEOUS ESSAYS. i8x

of getting to Berlin before midnight. The weather was now extremely disagreeable; rain was coming on, with a cold and furious north wind full in my face. The wagwon with which I had been furnished, at the lall poll-house, was the worst and molt defenceless that I had hitherto mounted; before nine o'clock, it rained vio-r lently, and became so dark, that the postillion lost his way, and descended from his place, in the front. of the waggon, in order to feel for it with his hands; but being unable to distinguish any track of a fcarriage, he mounted again, and, in driving on, at a venture, got into a bog, on a bleak and barren heath, where we were stuck fast, and obliged to remain from eleven o'clock at night, till near six the next morning; when day-light en^abled us to disentangle the horses an J carriage, and discover the road to {he capital of Brandenburg. It had never ceased raining and blowing the whole night; the cold was intense: and nothing could be more forlorn than my condition.

When I arrived at the gates of this city, about nine o'clock, in the morning, Sept. 28th, I had hopes that I should have been suffered to pass peaceably to an inn, having received a passport at Trauenbrhzen, the first Prusiian town on the Saxony side, where I had submitted to a thorough rummage of my baggage, at the persuasion of the custom-house officers, who had assured me that it would prevent all future trouble upon euteiing Berlin. But this was merely to levy fees upon me; for notwithstanding my passport, I was stop

ped three quarters of an hour at the barrier, before I was taken into the custody1, of a centinel; who, mounting my post waggon, wi'h his musleet on his moulder, jni bayonet fixed, conduced.me, like a prisoner, through the principal streets of the city, to the customhouse, Here I was detained in the yard more than two hours, shiver^, ing with cold, in all my wet garments, while every thing was taken,! out of my trunk and writing-boxy and examined as curiously as if I had just arrived at Dover from the capital of Francs.

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P O T- S'.D A M.

The road from Berlin hither,. is through a deep running sand, like the worst parts of Norfolk aud • Suffolk, (where there are no turnpikes) till within a few miles of the • town: and then it is through awild forest of fir-trees, with lakes frequently in light.- Upon a nearer approach there is.a fine openingen the left hand, to a very large, pirce of water, and a beautiful view of the town, in which three towers, of the fame size and ih.ipc»r only appear, but these are elegants The lest of the way is throughjkwood, cut into walks and ridei^ } which intersect each other, arid ■ lead to different towns and vil- las.

The examination at the gates of this city is the most minute and "curious, both in going in and out,' which I have ever experienced in my travels; it could not be more rigorous at the postern of a town be-" sieged. Name, character, whence, where, when, to whom recommended, business,-flay, ani sieve-'

N 3 ral

ral other particulars were demanded, to which the answers were all written down.

However, a stranger, upon his entrance into this city, is made some amends, by- the variety and splendor of new objects, for the bad road, and difficulty of admission, which be ha« previously encountered.

The streets are the most regularly beautiful which I ever remember to have seen; the houses all seem to be built os white stone, though they are Only of brick, stuccoed over, in imitation of stone. A ca. ral, supplied by the river Havel, tuns through tier middle of the town, which is situated on an island, called the If er J/r. as Potsdam, which implies an ijlanj in a river. This island is four German miles in circumference; the approach to Potsdam is over a very wide piece of water, by a stonebridge.

The number of houses in this city has been very much encreased during the reign of his present Majesty, and that of his father. At the beginning of this century, there were only two hundred houses, and at present there are ac least two thousand, and seventeen thousand inhabitants, exclusive of the military, which amount to about eight thousand men.

The squares, public buildings, and houses of individuals, in this city, are elegant and noble. The architecture of Palladia, in the Venetian tiate, is herejfery frequently and successfully copied. His Ma.

jelly's present passion is for architecture, in which he is said to expend 200,000 1. ilerl. a year. Potsdam is almost entirely new built, from his own designs, besides his new palace near Sans.Souci, and innumerable houses and palaces in Berlin, constructed since the last war, Whenever a citizen is about building a house, either in his capital or at Potsdam, his Majesty furnishes the design, and is at the expence of building the front.

in visiting the principal streets and squares of this beautiful city, which is well-built, well-paved, magnificent, and new, I could not help observing, that foot passengers were here, as well as in every other city of Europe, except London, exposed to accidents from being mixed with horses and carriages, a-s well as from the insolence and brutality of their riders and drivers, for want of a foot-path*.

I know not whether it has been remarked by writers of travel?, that on the Via Appia, and other ancient roads in Italy, a place was set apart, on each side, for the convenience of pedestrians; and in visiting Pompeia, where an entire antique Roman street, his been dug out, I observed the fame thing. A Roman citizen, whether patrician, or plebeian, was a respectable character; and, perhaps, England is • the only country, at present, where the common people are sufficiently respected, for their lives and limbs ■ to be thought worth preserving.

The^present rage for architecture, in his Prussian Majesty, is carried on with such excess, that, in Potfdam, buildings which have all the external grandeur and elegance of palaces, are made the habitations of common soldiers, who rather exiit than live in them, upon five ertuxtrs, two-pence-halspenny a day. However, this passion is hereditary, for the late king of Prussia made it a condition, in bestowing offices and employments about his court and person, that each incumbent should build a house; reserving tohimself the pleasure osplaning and constructing the front.

• In Paris, a great number of.citiaetH ar* annually killed and maimed fay want at this mi ut,

dam,

Sans-souci.

There were innumerable things in and about this palace, which merited a minute examination; but I was obliged to hasten away, in order to be present at his majesty's evening concert at Safls-Souci. I was carried thither between rive and six o'clock in the evening, by an officer of the houshold, a privileged person, otherwise it would have been impossible for a stranger, like myself, to gain admission into a palace where the king resides; and even with my well-known guide I underwent a severe examination, not only at going out of the gates at Potsdam, but at every door of the palace. When we arrived at the vestibule, we wer£ met by M. deCatt, lecturer to his Majesty, and member of the royal academy, to .', whom I had been furnished with a letter, who very politely attended my conductor and me the whole evening.

Some instances of the inordinate PasJtonfor Mujick -which prevails in the German Courts j from the

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tame.

IN summer the Elector Palatine resides at Schwetzingen, three leagues from Manheim ; and during that time a strolling company is allowed to entertain the citizens. The performance was in a temporary booth, erected in the square of the great market-place.Yet, though nothing better than deal boards appear without, the stage was well decorated, and the scenes and dresses were not without taste or elegance.

I was curious to hear a German, play, but still more curious to hear German singing, and I must own, that I was astonished to find, that the German language, in spite of all its clashing consonants, and. gutturals, is better calculated for music than the French. lam sorry to return again to the charge; but I must fay, that the great number of nasal sounds and mute syllables in the f rench language, seem tp corrupt and vitiate the voice, in. its passage, more than the deftSt of any other language, of which I have the least knowledge.

A list only of the performers in the service of his electoral highness, would convey a very favourable idea of the excellence of his band; it consists of neara hundred hands and voices.

Many of the performers on the court list, are either superannuated or supernumeraries; but of the former, after having served the elector for a number of years, if by sickness or accident they happen to lose their voice or talents, they have a handsome pension, which they enjoy as long as they

,N 4 live live at Manheim ; and even ff they chuse to retire into their own country or elsewhere, they are still allowed half their pension.

I was informed that the mere illuminations of the Manheim theatre, with wax lights, cost (he elector upwards of forty pounds, at each representation j and that the whole expence of bringing a new opera on this stage, amounted to near four thousand pounds. The great theater, the ensuing winter, was to be opened with an opera composed by Mr. J: Each, who was daily expected here from London, when I was at Manheim.

I cannot quit this article, without doinj; justice to the orchestra of his electoral highness, so deservedly celebrated throughout Europe. I sound it to be indeed all that- its fame had made me expect: J)ower will naturally arise from a great number of hands; but the judicious use of this power', on all occasions, mid be the consequence of good discipline; indeed there are more solo players, and good composers in this, thsn perhaps in any other orchestra in Europe ; it is an army of generals, equally sit to flan a battle, as to fight it.

The going out from the opera at Schwetzitigen, during summer, into the electoral garde'ns, which, in the French style, are extremely beautiful, affords one of the gayest and most splendid sights imaginable; the country here is flat, and naVed, and therefore would be less favourable to the free and open manner of laying out grounds in •English horticulture, than to that which has been adopted. The orangery is larger than thatat Vet

failles, and perhaps than any other in Europe.

His electoral highness'* suite at Schwetzingen, during summer, amounts to fifteen hundred persons, who are all lodged in this little village, at his expence.

To any one walking through the streets of Schwetzingen, during summer, this place must seem to be inhabited only by a colony of musicians, who are constantly exercising their profession: at one house a fine player on the violin is heard; at another,a German flute; here an excellent hautbois; there, a bassoon, aclarinet, a violoncello, or a concert of several instruments together. Music seems to be the chief and most constant of his elector;..! highnefs's amusements; and the operas and concerts, to which all his (objects have admission, forms the judgment and establishes a taste for rnuiic, ihroughout the electorate.

WuRTKMBEIkC.

It is no uncommon thing, in Germany, for a sovereign prince, upon a difference with his subjects, to abandon the ancient capital of his dominions, and to erect another at a small distance from it, which, in process of time, not only ruins the trade, but greatly diminishes the number of its inhabitants, by attracting them to his new residence: among the princes who come under this predicament, are the elector of Cologn, removed to Bonn; the Elector Palatine, removed from Heidelberg, to Manheim; and the duke of Wurtemberg, from Stutgard to Ludgwigsturg.

The ground upon which this town is built, is irregular and wifd, yet it contains many fine streets,

walks, walks, and houses, The country about it is not pleasant, but very ferule, especially in vines, producing a great quantity of what is called Neckar wine.

Though Stutgard is nominally the capital of thedutchy of Wurtemburg, it has not, for ten years past, been the residence of its sovereign; and though the operas and musical establishments of this prince used, during the seven years direction of Jomelli, to be the belt and most splendid in Germany, they are now but the shadow of what they were: indeed the essence so far exceeded the abilities of his subjects to support, that the Germans fay the dukeof Wurtemberg's passion for music was car? ried to such excess as to ruin both his country and people, and to oblige his subjects .to remonstrate against his prodigality at the diet of the empire. — —r

At present his highness seems œconomising, having reformed his operas and orchestra, and reduced ;igreat number of old performers to half pay: but, as most musicians have too great fouls to live upon their whole pay, be it what it will, this reduction of their pensions is regarded, by the principal of those in the service of this court, as a dismission; so that those who have vendible talents demand permission to retire, as fast as opportunities offer, for engaging themselves elsewhere. — —

This prince had two new serious operas last winter, the one composed by Jomelli, and the other by Sacchini. The theatre is immense, and is open at the back of the stage, where there is an amphitheatre, in she open air, which is sometimes; filed with people, to produce ef

fects in perspective; it is built, as are all the theatres which I had yet seen in Germany, upon the Italian model.

The duke of Wurtemberg, who" is so expensive in the music of hir court and theatre, has no other iirstruments among his troops, that I heard, than trumpets, drums, and fifes. The most Ihining parts of a German court are usually its military, its mufic, and its hunt. la this I'll article the expence is generally enormous; immense forests. and parks, set apart for a prince's amusement, at the expence of agriculture, commerce, and indeed the necessaries of life, keep vast tracts of land uncultivated, and his subjects in beegary.

The soldiery of this prince's present capital are so numerous, consisting never of less than six thousand in time of peace, that nothing like a gentleman can be seen' in the streets, except officers. The soldiers seem disciplined into clockwork. I never law such mechanical exactness in animated beings. One would suppose that the author of '* Man a Machine" had taken his ideas from these men : their appearance, however, is very formidable: black whiskers, white peruques, with curls at the sides sis deep; blue coats, patched and mended with geeat ingenuity and diligence. There are two spacious courts, one before, and one within the palace, full of military.

This prince, who is himself a good player on the harpsichord, had at one time in his service three of the greatest performers on the violin in Europe, Ferari, Nardini, andLoili; on the hautbois, the two Plas; a famous bassoon, Schwartz, who is still here: and Wal

ther,

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