Imágenes de páginas

like thin mud than water, through which we heavily moved by the assistance of punting poles, I waded through the tedium of the time by contemplating my companions, most of whom, with myself, were covered over below with the hatches to avoid a heavy shower of rain. They were all in their holiday dresses; the men in blue or brown druggets, and large round hats, and the women in coarse striped camlet gowns, in which red was the prevailing colour, with those vast shining bonnets before described, and slippers with high heels without any quarters: we were crowded together almost to suffocation. Our company was more augmented than improved by pigs and poultry, and the various produce of the farm, amongst which I noticed some delicious butter. In the party was a fine blooming young Scotswoman, who had married a Helogolander; her expressive dark eyes flashed with delight, to find herself seated near an Englishman : in her look was legibly written the inextinguishable love of our country.

Upon our landing, we were immediately addressed by a Danish centinel who was upon duty at the quay, and whose dress and appearance were very shabby; he dispatched one of his brother sol. diers with us to the burgomaster, to notify our arrival and produce passports, thence to the secretary to procure others to-proceed.

A little money here had the same virtue which it possesses in almost every other part of the globe, by producing unusual energy in these subordinate ministers of government, and enabled us to sit down to an early dinner at an English hotel, during which, I was a little surprised at hearing one of our fellow-passengers, who was immediately proceeding to Hamburgh, frequently vociferate, “ Is my waggon ready? What a country, thought I, must this be, where a waggon is required to convey a man,

and one too who was little bigger than his portmanteau! Observing my surprise, he informed me, that the carriage of the country was called a Stuhlwaggon; upon its driving up, I found that its body was very long and light, being formed of wicker work, and fixed to thin ribs of wood ; the bottom was half filled with hay, a cross seat or stool was fastened by straps to the sides, and the whole mounted

upon four high slender wheels ; it runs very lightly, and is admirably adapted to the heaviness of the roads, which are very deep and sandy.


Soon after dinner I strolled through the fair, which was filled with peasantry, from various parts of Holstein and Slesvig. The women, in their rude finery, reversed the ambition of their fair şisters on the other side of the water; they were strongly buckram, ed to the top of the neck, and exhibited no traces of the bosom ; but, to soften the severity of this rigid decorum in front, they pre. sented such a projecting rotundity behind, thật, to eyes which had been accustomed to gaze upon the symmetry of English fair-ones, appeared truly grotesque, and awakened many a smile.

The church, which is large and ancient, was upon this occasion disrobed of the sanctity of its character, and in its fretted aisles booths were erected, in which books and haberdashery were exposed to sale, and where I found some coarse copies of engraving from some of the pictures, of Westall. In several places upon the continent, I witnessed, with no little degree of pride, a striking predilection for the works of this distinguished artist. Almost every article which was exposed for sale was called English, although I am satisfied that many of them were never fashioned by, English hands, but the charm of the name has an influence every, where ; its sound is attractive, and the very pedlar of the fair finds his account in its forgery.

A custom-house officer waited upon us at the inn to inspect our luggage, but the dexterous introduction of a dollar into his hand convinced him in a moment, from the mere physiognomy of our trunks, that they contained nothing contraband. Let him not be blamed; for his penetration was admirably correct.

Before the river of Husum was choaked up with mud, the town was a place of considerable commerce. It is now principally filled with tradesmen and farmers; and the removal of the packets to this place from Tonningen has circulated a considerable quantity of money amongst the inhabitants, It is rather a large town; lime trees grow before the houses, the roofs of which run very high, and present the appearance of steps; these vast attics are never used but as, lumber-rooms, and have a very disagreeable effect. There is a palace with gardens belonging to the duke of Holstein; but they are unworthy of further notice.

The gaiety of the day terminated with great sobriety. There were many light hearts, but I believe not one aching head. In the evening, a crazy violin and drum allured me into a public room,

in which the merry peasants were dancing waltzes. Heavens! what movements! A Frenchman, who resolves every thing into operatic effect, would have felt each particular hair stand erect, had he contemplated the heavy solemnity of the performers. The females looked like so many tubs turning round, and their gallant partners never moved their pipes from their mouths.

Upon quitting this scene of phlegmatic festivity, I strolled to the quay, where the skippers were landing the carriage, which a fine sprightly powerful fellow of an English sailor, with scarce any assistance from the smoking crowd who had assembled to view it, put together in little more than an hour. The alertness and activity of the British tar afforded a striking contrast to the sluggishness of the Danish seamen who surrounded him. As soon as the carriage reached the inn, we proceeded to the post-house, and ordered four horses, being one more than we were compellable to take by the Danish post-law, but no more than the weight to be drawn and the depth of the roads rendered necessary. The post was to Flensborg, distant five Danish or twenty-five English miles, ånd for which we paid eight dollars, one marc. Of the coin and post regulations I shall speak in the next chapter.

Thus having prepared every thing for our departure the next morning, we returned to the inn; where in one of the front rooms we had not been seated long, before a pretty pale and interesting girl, whose age could not have exceeded thirteen, entered with a trembling step, and presented one of the gentlemen present with a note-the contents of it unfolded such a secret as must have shocked the soul of the most depraved libertine it was written by her mother. We detained her miserable and devoted child until we had raised a little subscription for her, and dismissed her with an involuntary exclamation of abhorrence against the parent.

In the first step which an Englishman makes out of his own country, he is sure to meet with something to satisfy him that he cannot find a better.




THERE is scarcely a duller thing which an ardent traveller or reader can encounter, than the little detail of money matters which occur on the road ; and I shall therefore, with all due dispatch, dispose of it upon the present occasion.

In Slesvig and Holstein, the only Danish money received is. the Danish specie dollar, and the notes of the banks of Slesvig and Holstein, as also those of the bank of Norway. The specie dollar contains sixty skillings, or so many English pence, of the currency of Slesvig and Holstein, and at par is equal to five shillings. English. The rix dollar of the currency of Slesvig and Holstein contains only forty-eight skillings; of course four specie dollars. are equal to five rix dollars current money. The money is divided. into skillings, marks, and dollars :

16 skillings make 1 mark.
3 marks

1 rix dol. Slesvig and Holstein cur. 3 marks 12 skil. 1 specie dollar. It will be advisable not to take up more money than will be sufficient to last as far as the island of Fynen or Funen ; as the only money there received, and so on to the capital, is the currency of Denmark Proper. It will be most convenient to take rix dollar notes instead of coin. It may be as well here to state the post regulations. If the number of travellers exceeds three, they are compellable to take four horses.

In Holstein and Slesvig, as far as Hadersleb, a horse is twenty skillings of that currency, per mile Danish, which is equal to five miles English ; the other charges are per station or post: thus,

4 skillings Slesvig cur. for shrivepenge.
4 ditto

for fetching horses from the field.

4 skillings Slesvig cur. to the ostler.
4 ditto

to postillion. It is usual, however, to encrease this latter charge to one rix-dollar per station. With respect to this charge two drivers are only considered as one.

Having procured all this essential information, the carriage appeared at the door, surrounded by a crowd of gaping peasants, who gazed upon it as if they expected to see us mount in the air with it. As soon as we had passed the town-gate, we instantly dropped into a deep sand, through which we ploughed our way at the rate of two miles and an half in an hour, and beheld on each side of us nothing but a dreary waste. Had not the cheering beams of the sun refreshed and supported us all the way, we must have suffered pretty severely under the pressure of a distemper which foreigners confine, and very justly, to Englishmen. Our driver was mounted on the near shaft-horse, drove four-in-hand in rope harness, and carried, more for show than service, a prodigious long lash whip. He was dressed in scarlet, with yellow facings, and wore a brass plate on his hat, on which was stamped « Christo 7:” From a string, which was suspended over his right shoulder, depended his french-horn, somewhat battered by long exercise, which he applied to his mouth with the most frightful consequences whenever we met a traveller, and with which, whenever we ascended a hill, he never failed to serenade our ears and those of his cattle, who, deafened by long use, or having no taste for the concord of sweet sounds, seldom turned their auricular organs towards this hoarse croaking tube. Thus did we move in all the majesty of a menagerie upon the point of entering a town on a fair-day.

Two or three times in the course of each post, our driver begged to have a little snap money." Snaps is one of the earliest and most frequent words which a traveller will pick up in Denmark. In plain English it signifies a refreshing glass of spirits. We always found our account in granting this request.

The Danish driver is merciful to his horses. To equalize their labour, in the course of the station, he changes the situation of each of them. A whimsical fellow of this condition amused us not a little, by every now and then peeping into the carriage, or as he called it the waggon, to see that we and the luggage were all safe; these men, whenever they stop to refresh themselves,

« AnteriorContinuar »