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the natives from her shewy and handsome companion. Some English travellers, who followed and at length overtook us, became acquainted with all our movements from the impression which the moving wonder had excited. The post-drivers in Livonia, Courland, and throughout Germany, are called by every person Schwagers, or brothers-in-law. In the last stage to Riga we overtook a long line of little carts, about as high as a wheel-barrow, filled with hay or poultry, attended by peasants dressed in great slouched hats and blue jackets, going to market: the suburbs are very extensive. The town is fortified, and is a place of great antiquity; it is remarkable only for one thing, that there is nothing in it worthy of observation. The necessity of setting the washerwoman to work detained us here two days.
It is necessary at this place to take a fresh coin: accordingly we went to a money-changer's shop, of which there are several, where the man of money sat behind his counter, upon which were rouleaus of various coins, with whom we settled the matter, premising that one ducat was worth three rubles and sixty copecs, in the following
Four ortens, or Courland guldens, make
one feinfer, one marc, one ferdinger, one rix dollar, one ducat.
As we quitted the last gate at Riga, where we underwent a tedious examination of passports, we crossed the Duna,
river which penetrates a great way into Poland, and supplies all these parts with the natural treasure of that country; part of the bridge, which is built of fir, floats upon the water, and part rests upon sand in the shallows; the whole is level and very long. A peasant driving by us with improper velocity, an officer ordered him to stop, and flogged him with a large thick whip.
The country to Mittau, which is twenty-eight miles from Riga, is very luxuriant and gratifying. As this road is much travelled, we bargained with a man, who let out horses at Riga, to furnish us with six, which were excellent, and two skilful drivers, to carry us throughout to Memel. Although this part of ancient Poland, and the pro
vince of Livonia, constitute the granary of the north, we frequently found the bread intolerable; it seemed as if to two pounds of rye,. one pound of sand had been added. We reached Mittau, the capital of Courland, in the evening; the first object that announced the town was the vast, inelegant, neglected palace of the late sovereigns of Courland, built of brick, stuccoed white, standing upon a bleak eminence, ungraced by a single shrub or tree. A great part of this ponderous pile was some years since burned down; a Dutch officer obtained a contract for rebuilding it; and having got drunk every day upon the profits of his coarse and clumsy ignorance, died, leaving behind him the whole of the southern side of this building as his appropriate monument. Courland has been for some years incorporated with Russia, a junction which was managed by force and finesse. The late empress insidiously excited a dispute between the Courlanders and Livonians, respecting
canal which was to transport the merchandize of Courland into Livonia; at which the Courlanders revolted, and sought the protection of Catherine: upon which she sent for the reigning duke, to consult with him at Petersburg; scarcely had he passed the bridge of Mittau before the nobility held a meeting, and determined to put the country under the care of Catherine. At this assembly some disputes arose, and swords were drawn, but the presence of the Russian general, Pahlen, instantly decided the matter: the poor duke heard of the revolution at Petersburg. Mittau is a long, straggling, ill-built town, and most wretchedly paved. On the evening of our arrival there was a great fair, and at night, about a mile from the town, some excellent fire-works took place, which to enable them more distinctly to see, two old ladies, who stood next to me on the bridge, brought out their lanthorns. At several of the inns we saw people regaling themselves with beer *soup, a great dainty in this country and in many parts of Germany; it is composed of beer, yolks of eggs, wheat and sugar, boiled together. We departed from Mittau the next morning, and passed through the most enchanting forest scenery, composed of pines, aspins, oak, nut-trees, and larch; at some distance we saw a wolf cross the road. Upon quitting the luxuriant fields, and rich and cheerful peasantry, of the ci-devant duchy of Courland, a number of wooden cottages with high sloping roofs, and rows of crosses, about fifteen feet high, with large wooden crucifixes affixed to them, raised on the road side, and peasants with fur caps and short pelisses, announced
that we were in that part of Poland which fell to the Russians in the last partition; a mere slip of land, not broader than ten English miles. As we did not penetrate into that interesting country, I had not a personal opportunity of ascertaining whether the Poles, now that the first shock of separation and national extinction is over, are more happy than they were before their final dismemberment. However, I was assured by a very intelligent friend, who had recently returned from a tour through the heart of Poland, that the condition of the people, most unjustifiable as the means employed were, is considerably ameliorated: an assurance which may the more readily be believed, when it is considered that, as a nation, their constitution was radically mischievous, and that their political atmosphere was never free from storm and convulsion. It has been said, that the great patriot, and last defender of Poland, has declared, since her fate has been decided, that it was better for his country to be thus severed, and placed under the various protections of other powerful governments, than to remain an eternal prey to all the horrors of an elective monarchy, baronial tyranny, and intestine dissension. At Polangen, celebrated for the amber found in its neighbourhood, we reached the barrier of the Russian empire; a Cossac of the Don, who stood at a circular sentry-box, by the side of a stand of perpendicular spears, let slip the chain, the bar arose, and we dropped into a deep road of neutral sand, and at the distance of about an English mile and a half stopped to contemplate two old weather-beaten posts of demarkation, surmounted with the eagles of Prussia and Russia, badly painted, where, after we had, in mirth, indulged ourselves in standing at the same time in both countries, we placed oui elves under the wing of the Prussian eagle, and arrived to a late dinner at Memel.
Here we found an excellent inn. To our landlady one of the gen. tleman said, “ I wish to change some money, and should like to
speak to your husband.” “ If you do, you had better go to the “church-yard,” said his relict, who was herself apparently dying of a dropsy. Memel is a large commercial town, lying on the shores of the Baltic, most wretchedly paved, and for ever covered with mud; yet the ladies figured away in nankeen shoes and silk stockings, and displayed many a well-turned angle. In the citadel, which commands an agreeable view of the town, we saw the prisons, which appeared to be very wretched. The men, and shocking to tell, the women also, were secured by irons fastened between the knee and
calf of either leg. Upon my remonstrating with the gaoler, who spoke a little English, against the unnecessary cruelty, and even indecency, of treating his female prisoners in this manner, he morosely observed, “ that he had more to apprehend from the women than “ the men; that the former were at the bottom of all mischief, and " therefore ought to be ever more guarded against.”
We waited at Memel two days, in hourly expectation of the wind changing, that we might proceed to Koningberg by water, instead of wading over a tract of mountainous sand, eighty English miles long, and not more than three in breadth in its broadest part, called the Curiche Haff, that runs up within half a mile of Memel, and divides the Baltic from an immense space of water which flows within one stage of Koningberg. During this period, I every day attended the parade and drills, and was shocked at the inhuman blows which, upon every petty occasion, assailed the backs of the soldiers, not from a light supple cane, but a heavy stick, making every blow resound. My blood boiled in my veins, to see a little deformed bantam officer, covered with, almost extinguished by, a huge cocked hat, inflicting these disgraceful strokes, that, savagely as they were administered, cut deeper into the spirit than the flesh, upon a portly respectable soldier, for some trivial mistake. I saw no such severity in Russia, where some of the finest troops in the world may be seen. I observed, not only here but in other parts of Prussia, that every soldier is provided with a sword. The river, which runs up to the town from the Baltic, was crowded with vessels; the market-boats vere filled with butter, pumkins, red onions, and Baltic fish in wells.
DESOLATE SCENE-ENGLISH SAILOR WRECKED-KONINGBURG-BEAU
TY IN BOOTS-PRUSSIAN ROADS-THE CELEBRATED RUINS OF MARI
ENBURG-DANTZIG-COQUETRY IN A BOX-INHOSPITALITY-A GERMAN JEW-THE LITTLE GROCER-DUTCH VICAR OF BRAY-VERSES
TO A PRETTY DANTZICKER.
As the wind shewed no disposition to change in our favour, we embarked, with our horses and carriages, in the ferry-boats, and proceed on the Curiche Haff: by keeping the right wheels as much as we could in the Baltic, which frequently surrounded us, we arrived at the first post-house, which lay in the centre of mountains of sand. Here we learned that some preceding travellers had carried away
all the horses, and accordingly our hostess recommended us to embark with our vehicles in a boat which is kept for such emergences, and proceed by the lake to the next stage; which advice we accepted, and were indebted to a ponderous fat young lady belonging to the post-house, who waded into the water, and, turning her back towards us, shoved us off from the beech. We set sail with a favourable light breeze, which died away after we had proceeded about seven English miles, when we put into a creek before a few little wretched fishing huts, under the roof of which, with cocks, hens, ducks, pigs, and dogs, we passed an uncomfortable night: just as we were lying down, an English sailor entered the room, with a face a little grave, but not dejected, to see, as he said, some of his countrymen,“ hoping
no offence:” the poor fellow, we found, had been wrecked a few nights before, on the Baltic side of this inhospitable region. After hearing his tale, and making a little collection for him, we resigned ourselves to as much sleep as is allotted to those who are destined to be attacked by battalions of fleas. In the morning we could obtain no post-horses, the wind was against us, and at least eight English miles lay between us and the post-house. Hoping for some fortunate change, I resolved to look about me, and after considerable fatigue, ascended one of those vast sandy summits, which characterize this cheerless part of the globe: from the top, on one side, lay the Baltica