Page images

while the French, notwithstanding contending armies, who occupied these the most heroic resistance, had pene- wooded eminences; and after an obtrated to the very foot of the tower stinate and most bloody contest, it was which he occupied. The first discharges decided at midnight in favour of the of artillery brought down its tottering Tyrolese. In this action, even the walls, and the Bavarians were on the wives and daughters of the peasants very point of rushing in, when the took an active share, and not only escortshouts from higher parts of the line, ed the prisoners who were made during announced the appearance of the co- the action, but resolutely attacked the lumns which had been detached to the enemy's position, and in many instanrear of the enemy. For an instant, ces fell by their husbands' side, while the firing on both sides ceased, in ex- storming the intrenchments which pectation of some intelligence of the they had thrown up for their defence. event which had occasioned this tu The broken remains of the French mult, and as the smoke cleared away, army fell back in disorder to Innthe Tyrolese beheld their countrymen spruck, which they evacuated with occupying in great force, at a vast height out resistance; and continuing their above them,

the rocky ridge on the retreat, along the course of the Inn, left hand, and the broad banner of abandoned the Tyrol territory. In Austria waving in the summit of the the course of this retreat, they exercise snowy cliffs that shut in the valley on ed the most horrid acts of cruelty upthe Western side. This joyful event on the unfortunate inhabitants of the was instantly communicated to all parts country. Every where the villages of the patriot army; and the French, were burnt; and the peasants hunted perceiving the column in their rear like wild beasts into the woods. Such decending to attack them, fell back on of them as were so unfortunate as to fall all sides, and rapidly retraced their into their hands, of whatever age or steps down the course of the stream sex, were massacred without mercy. which they had recently ascended. The soldiers even seemed to take de

Their retreat for some time was right in acts of destruction, from which conducted with considerable order and

no advantage could arise to themskill; but the numbers of the peasan- selves; and burned the houses which try increased as they advanced, and were deserted by their inhabitants, the columns of the French inevitably and in which they could discover no fell into some confusion in the narrow articles of sufficient value to reward ravines through which the road lay: the trouble of plundering. The beauThe forests on either side of the road tiful town of Schwatz on the Inn, was were filled with marksmen, who kept entirely burned by these merciless inup an incessant fire on the retreat- ' vaders; and to this day, the traveller ing columns, insomuch so, that the can mark the progress of their armies Duke of Dantzic was obliged to march by the ruined houses, and the shaton foot in the dress of a common sol- tered towns which still attest the exdier, to avoid being singled out by tent of their devastations. In many the marksmen, who hung on their places, however, they have lately been road. He collected his forces how- repaired; and the English, traveller ever, and took up a strong position in learns with delight, that it is to the the neighbourhood of the abbey of munificence of his countrymen that Wilten, which had already been the the greater part of the smiling cotscene of glorious success to the Tyro- tages that adorn the Hills round lese. His army occupied a cluster of Innspruck, have been owing; and wooded hills, which lay like the Tros- that the inhabitants acknowledge with acles at the foot of a vast ridge of the deepest thankfulness the generosity rocky mountains that formed the east- of that nation, which is happily reern boundary of the valley. Here he nowned in the Tyrol, only as healing was attacked at six o'clock in the the wounds which the ravages of war morning of the 12th August by the have occasioned. Tyrolese, headed chiefly by the parish The Tyrolese war, after the peasanpriests in the vicinity, and under the try had thus a third time, without general command of Hofer, Specke any foreign aid; delivered it from their bacher and Kemenater. The battle enemies, presented many most interconsisted chiefly of insulated struggles esting occurrences, though they are of between the different bodies of the a more melancholy description, as the

overwhelming numbers of the French, road side often bowed their heads; after the conclusion of the Austrian and withered arms were seen to stretch campaign, rendered all farther resist- themselves from the rocks in the reance altogether hopeless, and the se moter recesses of the mountains. As verity of the season obliged the pea- the time approached when the deliversants to descend from the higher Alps, ance of Europe was at hand, and the in which they had so nobly maintained march of the Russian troops was their freedom, into the vallies, where spreading joy and hope throughout their valour was unavailing against the subjugated realms of Germany, the numbers and discipline of their these omens assumed a more joyful enemies; but the limits of a sketch of character. Vast armies of visionary this nature, forbid our entering upon soldiers, marching with banners flying, their narrative.

and all the splendour of military triAfter the country had finally sube umph, were seen at sunrise reflected mitted to the French yoke, a deep.and in the lakes which bordered on the settled melancholy pervaded the minds Austrian empire. The Emperor's of the peasantry; and the idea uni- tower in the castle of Kuffstein was versally prevailed, that their subjuga- often seen surrounded with lambent tion was the punishment of some sins fire, and the Austrian banner, wrapt which they had committed. Among in flames, was seen to wave at night a people excessively prone to religious over the towers of Sterzing. In the enthusiasm, and with minds strongly gloom of the evening endless files of tinctured with a belief in spiritual in- soldiers, cavalry, infantry, and artilterposition, this melancholy feeling lery, clad in the Austrian uniform, produced an universal disposition to were seen to traverse the inaccessible superstition. Innumerable instances ranges of rocks which lie on the Salzof miracles and supernatural appear- burgh frontier. The shepherds who ances are told by the people in all parts had ascended farthest into these desoof the country during the years when late regions heard the creaking of the they were subjected to the Bavarian wheels, the tramp of the horses, the yoke. The imaginations of the pea- measured tread of the foot-soldiers, sants, roused by the animating come intermingled with loud bursts of laughmencement and melancholy termina- ter, and shouts of triumph, amidst tion of the war, wandered without rocks on which no human foot had control ; but their superstitions were ever trode. And when the widows elevated by the contemplation of the and orphans of the fallen warriors sublime natural scenery with which knelt before the Virgin, the flowers they were surrounded, and partook of and garlands placed round the image, the pure and spiritual character of the according to the amiable custom of feelings with which they were im Catholic countries, and which bad pressed. On many occasions the remained there till they were witherimages of their patron saints were seen ed, burst forth in renovated foliage to shed tears, as if bewailing the sub- and beauty, and spread their fragrance jugation of their country. The tra- around the altar, as if to mark the joy vellers who had been out after sunset of the dead for the approaching denarrated, that the crucifixes on the liverance of their country.

(To be continued.)



I LEFT the town of Nancy at day- deed, for some miles from Nancy we break, in a small coach or diligence, met many men and women journey. open in front, with two rows of seats ing to market with the produce of their in the interior. As we passed the outer farms. gate of the town, we found a num The morning bore a promising asber of peasants waiting for entrance, pect, being calm and dewy--extensive which it seems is denied them until low lying ridges of grey fleecy clouds a certain hour. The barriers were skirted the north and south-their withdrawn on our approach, and they eastern extremities being tinged with pressed rapidly in with their clean base crimson by the rising sun, while kets filled with butter and eggs. lus from the orient itself long coloured

rays of light were seen diverging in lightful. Towards evening we apevery direction from a distant forest proached those lofty mountains which of pines which skirted the horizon. in the morning we had indistinctly We travelled for some time over a seen skirting the horizon, and mingpicturesque and well cultivated coun- led with clouds and vapour. They try, with considerable variety in the are very beautiful in their forms, and prospect. The vallies were frequently covered in many places with luxurich, with groups of cottages and groves riant wood. They are known under of trees-the higher grounds occa the name of the Vosges, and are in sionally presenting the spectre of some fact a continuation of that great chain ancient castle, while in the back of mountains called the Jura Alps, ground there were lines of distant which separate the south-eastern parts mountains scarcely discernible among of France from the territory of Gethe wreaths of vapour with which neva, and the Pays-de-vaud. I shall they were surrounded. There is not soon forget the sensations of desomething very delightful to my mind light and awe with which I approachin contemplating the remains of the ed them. Having been for nearly old magnificence of France. The eighteen months unaccustomed to the sound of a trumpet among the ruins sight of any hill higher than Montof a French castle is sufficient to martre, and bearing still in mind the awaken all the majestic forms of de- flat luxuriance of Holland, there apparted chivalry, even though that peared to me something of a supertrumpet should be blown by a liveried natural grandeur in these hoary cliffs, lacquey, and the soldiers to whom it with their superb clothing of anspeaks commanded by a coward lord. cient pine-trees-while as far as the

About ten in the morning we ar eye could reach through the deep rived at Luneville, where we took glens, blue ridges of mountains arose breakfast. Nothing attracted my at- with their grey and misty tops altention in this town, except an old most lost in the heavens. On turning palace of great extent. It is built again to the westward, the contrast upon rising ground, nearly opposite was singularly striking. the Auberge, where our vehicle stop- country over which we had passed ped; and from this mount there is an lay, extended like an immense plain, extensive view of a fine open coun- while here and there try on every side. I am ignorant of its history, but was informed that it

“ The spire whose silent finger points to

heaven," has lately undergone some repairs for the accommodation of a German prince and the tall groves of the poplar tree, in the service of the French king. marked the scite of the different towns

After leaving Luneville we entered and villages which we had left bea romantic country. The day was de- hind. The broad yellow light of the lightful in the extreme, though ra sun threw a splendid colouring on the ther hot, and the horizon which we landscape, and the winding river, were approaching was bounded by spreading as it receded, was seen rollfine hills which form the French ing its burnished waters in the disboundary to the rich valley of Ale tance.

There was a beautiful river By degrees the river became narflowing along close to the road the rower, and more abrupt and rapid, whole way. It is called the Meurthe- till at length it assumed the aspect of the same indeed which runs in the an Alpine stream. We were now in neighbourhood of Nancy-but there the immediate neighbourhood of the it is broad and deep, with low regu- mountain chain, which no longer aplar banks, and its waters are much peared like one solid mass, but disdiscoloured by the nature of the soil; closed through various defiles many whereas, from above Luneville on beautiful little vales, clothed with rich wards, the banks are broken and ir- pasture, and enlivened by groups of regular-in some places richly wood- peasants' houses. By this time, howed with oak and birch ; the river it ever, twilight gray” had began to self assumes a variety of windings, spread her sober mantle ; and aland its waters are beautifully clear, though some of the highest cliffs still with a fine rocky or gravel bed. The reflected the ruddy glow of the setting whole of this day's ride was truly de- sun, the vallies were becoming rapid

The open


[ocr errors]

ly dark and obscure. Ere long we were visible on the opposite side of the found ourselves in the town of St Die, valley, near the outskirts of a thick, where we halted for the night. wood, which extended upwards to the

Here there was for a time a slight base of a long range of irregular and interruption of that calm and placid broken cliffs. These terminated the state of things which to me is so in- view; and above their highest peak, separable from enjoyment. A French there was one brilliant star, which, officer, who was now pretty far ad- though lovely as any among the invanced in intoxication, had, it seems, numerable constellations which surengaged a chaise to carry him from St rounded it, appeared to belong more Die, at a certain hour, to a certain to earth than to heaven ; and but for place. When that hour arrived, the its clear and constant ray, it might vehicle came to the door as was meet; have been deemed a beacon light a. but the officer, who had indulged mong the mountain tops. pretty freely during supper, felt him I was much delighted at the prosself so comfortable in his situation, pect of so soon breathing the mounthat he determined to remain where tain air. I retired to bed when the he was, and accordingly ordered the moon had sunk behind the cliffs, an-, postilion to return in the morning. ticipating much pleasure from crossNow, by the laws of posting in this ing the mountain-chain on the ensucountry, it is ordained, that he who ing morn. Indeed my passion for asorders a chaise to his door for the pur- cending to the tops of hills would alpose of undertaking any journey, must most induce me to believe in the transeither adhere to his intention, or de- migration of the human soul; and fray one half of the charges which that, having been at some former pewould have been incurred in the e- riod a chamois-hunter, or shepherd vent of the proposed journey being among the Alps, I still retain, in the completed. But the gentleman in debased spirit of a Hamburgh merquestion refused to do either, and chant, a fellowship with those subswore by his sabre that he should pass lime impressions which, in another the night at St Die. This, of course, led state, probably constituted the very estomuch altercation on both sides, which, sence of my existence. while it lasted, was quite sufficient to 11th. With this day's journey. I interrupt all comfort. The maitre-des was not disappointed, though, from the postes was at length sent for, and con accounts of a fellow-traveller, my exfirmed the position maintained by the pectations had been much excited. postilion, that a payment of one half Leaving St Die at four in the mornmust be made before he could take ing, we, ere long, entered a narrow his departure. In the meantime, the valley between two high and preciknight of the sabre became sober, and pitous mountains, at the base of which the interposition of magisterial autho- were many romantic cottages. The rity being talked of, he thought it sides of these mountains were well better to decamp; so, yielding to the clothed with pines, and the summits importunities of mine host, who feare composed of grey and castellated rocks, ed the disgust which his conduct tenanted by the eagle alone. On armight occasion to the other guests, he riving at the head of the valley all suffered himself to be half conducted, exit seems impossible. Rocks on rocks half dragged, into the chaise, and was arise, as if to bid defiance to the power soon whirled out of sight by the tri- and ingenuity of man. The mists of umphant postilion, amid the shouts of the morning were still resting on the a dozen or two of idle people, whom bosom of the valley, and mid-way upon his noisy protestations had assembled the hills, but higher up, and


with at the door.

the moss of years, with here and there I took a ramble for an hour or two a solitary pine, endeavouring to main. after supper. It was a heavenly night tain the empire of vegetation, the sum-the moon just appearing from the mits lifted their venerable tops clear side of a dark and steep mountain. and unobscured to heaven. Ere long She threw her pale light over a beau- these snowy vapours “ into their airy tiful valley, in the centre of which elements resolved, were gone,” and we there flowed a rapid stream, the rushe beheld a road tortuously winding up ing sound of which was distinctly au- the sides of a mountain among crags dible. One or two white cottages and torrents, by which we were to

ascend to the head of an adjoining ful region on foot. The village of St valley. We here left the carriage, Marie lay at the mouth of the valley, and pursuing a nearer and more direct at the distance of three miles, and route, after a pretty arduous ascent, there we were to remain for some time gained the summit of the mountain. to breakfast, and refresh the horses. What a glorious view was now before The road continues pretty high up the our eyes? never shall I forget the val- northern boundary of the vale, and the ley of St Marie.

view, from the commencement of my The mountain air usually acts upon walk, till I found myself in the little me like the famous elixir. I feel as if village, was as beautiful as I could have I were inhaling life, and strength, and wished, and delighted me the more, immortality at every breath. The having so lately passed through the higher I ascend the happier I become; unvaried scenery of Champagne. In and when I reach the topmost sum the centre of the valley there flows a mit, a singular feeling prompts me to beautiful stream, as clear as crystal; the spring upwards and leave the earth. fields on either side are of the brightIt was this which made me enquire so est and most verdant green; there are anxiously when in Paris concerning the numerous flocks of cattle quietly, grazpossibility of ascending with some of the ing on its banks, and here and there a Æronauts, and I greatly deplored the shepherds hut, with its little plot of disappointment, when I learned that orchard ground; higher up is the remy hopes were frustrated. In the gion of the Pines, with many glades present case the change in my state of and green terraces, formed by the hand mind was sudden and remarkable, and of Nature, on which are built the cota when I contrasted my feelings while tages of the woodmen, and of those breathing with pain and difficulty the who tend the goats, while numerous tainted air of a corrupted city, with troops of these picturesque animals are those which I experienced as a joyful seen with their serried horns above the mountaineer, I could scarcely credit highest rocks, or reclining beneath the my personal identity. A few days ago cool shade of some fantastic tree, and I was groping my way by the pale adding life and spirit to the scene, by light of a trembling taper, through the the sweet sound of their tinkling bells damp catacombs of Paris, surrounded and higher still is heard the shrill cry by millions of grim grinning skulls, of the eagle, or the osprey returning placed cross-ways, and in circles, as if from the banks of the Rhine, or the in derision of human life ; and now I wilds of Suabia, with the firstling of was breathing the natural and balmy some German flock to appease the clabreath of heaven, and standing on the mour of their callow young. After a verge of a valley so beautiful, that sudden and rugged descent I entered peace and happiness must surely dwell the village of St Marie, which lies on in it for ever.

the border of the plains of Alsace, the At the mouth of the valley the fer-' last limits of the French kingdom. tile plain of Alsace, covered with the The inhabitants of this plain are most luxuriant vineyards, extended its still very German in their language, green surface for many miles, and manners, and intellectual character. along its distant border the course of I felt rather gratified in seeing the the majestic Rhine might be traced by greater frequency of flaxen hair, and the long wreaths of mist which gather- mild blue eyes, features rarely observed on the surface of its waters. The able in France, while the “ mien more spires of churches, and the gleaming grave," almost reminded me of my own walls of white, villages, presented respectable countrymen. The dress of themselves in every direction, and at the women is particularly becominga great distance the beautiful prospect there is something about their head was terminated by the blue mountains dress, which I do not understand, and of Germany, which shewed their high cannot describe, though it is very summits among vast ranges of broken graceful, and their broad white straw clouds of the purest white.

hats throw a soft and beautiful light As our carriage had not get arrived on their rosy countenances. from the other side of the hill, and as The whole of this delightful day the road was steep and tortuous, I de- was occupied in journeying through termined to descend

into this delight. Alsace. It is completely covered with

« PreviousContinue »