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turn home, was very general throughout Poland, and which the nobility never relinquish when they settle in foreign climes, of which the present instance was an example. The nobleman, seated at the head of the table, gave his servant part of the meat from his plate, and presented him with his own cup to drink out of. “ Do you not,” continued the Doctor, trace the origin of this custom to a very distant period ?”
EDWARD.--" It must be from the ancient custom of hav. ing a cup-bearer, who always tasted the wine before they presented it to their lord, lest the liquor should be poi. soned.”'
“ Just so," replied the Doctor, “ most of those national peculiarities may be traced to the most remote times. Even the origin of that silly custom of making April Fools has been accounted for by antiquarians, as originating in the conmemoration of Noah's disappointment when the raven returned disconsolately to him. Can you not imagine that the raven owes its title of ill-omened to this
very circumstance? Are not the olive branch and the dove emblems of peace; and the application they must owe to the return of the dove with the olive branch, a proof that the waters had subsided from off the face of the earth. This pastime, if such it may be called, is kept up to a great extent in many parts of India, where the chief men, even princes themselves, are not ashamed to send their ministers on April fool's errands, even to a considerable inconvenience. All these nations retain some idea of the flood of Noah, (who is said to be the Odin* of the Scandinavians and other ancient nations,) to whom, under different names, they pay some sort of adoration.
6. When the nations were dispersed at the confusion of tongues, they spread in every direction, and in the course of time peopled the whole earth. The Chinese affirm that Noah settled in China. The descendants of Ham peopled
Valiancy supposes the Bulha of the Indians, and the Woden, or Odin of the North are the same. He also imagines that the Tant of the Phænicians, and the Hermes of Upper Egypt, are only the varied appellation of some distinguished character, the immediate descendant of Noah. The Indian Boodah Wur, or dies Boodh, is the fourth day of the week, which answers to the Greek and Roman application of that day to Mercury, all of wliich answer to our Woden dies, by corruption called Wednesday.
Africa, who was worshipped under the title of Jupiter Ammon.
“ Japhet peopled Europe. That a resemblance should therefore be traced between some of the old fashioned customs of people so far distant as India and Britain, is not so very astonishing, since all are descended from one common stock. Our May Day festivities are also kept up in several parts of Hindostan with dances, songs and garlands of flowers. The sports begin at a certain signal given by a priest, who announces the happy approach of summer by the entrance of the sun into Aries. But this subject would lead us into a maze, through which it would require the guidance of a skilful antiquary; and they even are often obliged to content themselves with simple conjecture. The studies of an antiquary are, however, bewitching; and if I could have followed the bent of my own inclinations exactly and entirely, I should have been as earnest in collecting and inspecting mouldering statues, antique vases, and ancient and obsolete customs as any antiquary living; but, I believe, Edward, from the stillness that pervades the inn, all are retired to rest, and we will follow their example: so good night.”
On quitting Wilna they visited the celebrated town of Tilsit, where Buonaparte gave law to the emperor Alexander, and William king of Prussia. At the treaty of Tilsit, Prussia was reduced one-half, and the titles of Jerome, Joseph, and Louis Buonaparte to the kingdoms of Holland, Naples and Westphalia, were acknowledged and accepted by the two sovereigns of the North. This town is in Prussian Lithuania, and situated on the river Memel. It contains about six hundred houses, and seven thousand inhabitants ; and consists of two long streets principally, and a suburb called the liberty. "The country round it is amazingly fertile.
On the following day as they were passing through the streets, they met the nobleman they had dined with in a magnificent and princely equipage, shortly after which his wife, who was about fourteen only, drove by them in a coach
* The scite of the celebrated temple of Jupiter Ammon has been lately ascertained by Mr. Browne, and afterwards confirmed by Mr. Horneman, at Siwah; which they suppose to be the Oasis of the ancients. Siwab is the only fertile spot to be found for inany miles in the great desert west of Egypt, and it is about 252 miles from Cairo.
and six, with a number of servants. The equipages of this Pole were magnificent and princely to a great degree. She was also attended by an old gentleman usher, an old gentlewoman as her governante, and a dwarf of each sex to hold up her train; when she visited at night, her presence was announced by a profusion of flambeaux.. This is the usual style kept up by the superior Poles; but there are many of them who are very poor; these are kept as appendages in the families of those who are more wealthy than themselves, and who give them an asylum in their houses, and treat them but a little better than superior servants, although they allow them one distinction; they are occasionally permitted to sit uncovered at the same table with his benefactor, with a peasant boy behind their chair as an attendant.
EDWARD.-“ What a degrading system, and how inconsistent with the usual pride and hauteur of the Polish nobi. lity. I think the Polish dress, Sir, the most elegant I ever saw."
Dr. WALKER.--" It is indeed peculiarly so. It is said that Charles II, had some idea of introducing the cloak and its appendages at the English court. But he met with no encouragement; and as he had sense enough to suppose that neither the cut of a coat, nor the hanging of a cloak made a gentleman, he relinquished his plan altogether.”
GENERAL VIEW OF PRUSSIA.
Upon arriving at Konigsberg, Dr. Walker enquired if they could sail from thence to Dantzic, and having received an answer in the affirmative, they made arrangements for this excursion; previous to which they visited the palace, a magnificent building, containing a hall 274 feet long and 59
broad, without any pillars to support it, as well as the town.hall and the cathedral, which are fine structures. From the top of the castle to which there is an ascent of 284 steps, there is an extensive and magnificent prospect. Konigsberg is a place of great trade, but no ships drawing more than seven feet water, can pass the bar ; so that Pillau, a town on the Baltic, is in fact the port where all vessels bound for the former place are obliged to unlade, and the merchandize destined for Konigsberg, is conveyed to that town in small craft. The principal exports of Prussia from Memel, Konigsberg, Elbing, Thorn, Dantzic, and Stettin, are a variety of naval stores, amber, linseed, hempseed, tallow, and a considerable quantity of grain. The imports of Prussia are East and West Indian produce, wine, &c.
In the neighbourhood of Pillau, on a neck of land formed by the Frisch Noeff, large quantities of amber are found at the depth of about one hundred feet, in lumps of various sizes, reposing on wad coal. It is sometimes found in pieces weighing five pounds, and it is not unfrequently picked up on the shore after a tempest. Silesia is the only part of the Prussian dominions which produces any thing like minerals, and those are copper and lead, agates, jaspers, and rock crystals are also found in this part of the country.
The general course of the Prussian rivers is northward. The Vistula passes Warsaw, Plotsk, Thorn, Culm, Neuburg, Marienburg; its eastern branch visits Elbing and Pillau, its western joins the sea at Dantzic. The Pregel meets the Vistula below Konigsburg. The Niemen joins the sea below Memel. Prussia is much varied with woods, rivers, and small lakes.
After a very pleasant sail they arrived at Dantzic, the granary of the North. “ I could almost wish,” said Edward, we were going to Thorn by water: at any rate, I hope we shall have a road that is decidedly land or water; not a mixture of both." “ True,” replied the Doctor, “I heartily second your hopes, if that would do any good; but having encountered the perils of the forest of Viasma, we have, I . think, nothing to fear, and but little to anticipate. As for jolting and jumbling about, if we meet with it, we must ev'n take it, for, to complain, as Sir John Carr says, “would but
" endanger the repining tongue to be severed by the teeth.”
Dantzic, continued Dr. Walker, was anciently a place of considerable celebrity. It was considered the
the first city in the Hanseatic league, and was besides the place of residence of many of the Teutonic knights, who greatly adorned and embellished it. It is now the grand mart for corn, which is brought thither from Poland, and the southern parts of the Russian dominions.
“ To-morrow we shall visit Thorn, the birth place of the celebrated astronomer Copernicus ; and there too, Edward, you may lay in a stock of gingerbread and soap, which form two of its principal articles of trade. You may sınile, but I assure you, that gingerbread is one of the regular exports, as the fairs many miles round can testify."
Their journey to Thorn was uninterrupted, and in the evening of the same day on which they quitted Dantzic they arrived in safety, and took up their quarters at one of theprincipal inns.
Their route from Thorn to Poynau lay through a part of Great Poland. “ How lamentable is it,” said Dr. Walker, “ that so fine a country as this, should be reduced to a mere nominal territory among the great kingdoms of Europe. The public mind was so absorbed by the terrific scenes of the French revolution, that the partition of Poland, and its annihilation as a kingdom, appear to have passed unnoticed. Russia, Prussia, and Germany, settled the matter very quietly ; and the haughty and independent Poles, overwhelmed by so formidable a coalition from without, and divided by faction and jealousy within, fell an easy prey to the rapacity of their foreign invaders. Nations and empires have their rising and their setting sun. Nought on this side the grave is stationary. And when a kingdom, nation, or people have reached the meridian of their glory, a gradual and progressive decline naturally ensues. That it has always been So, we have only to open the historic page. The Assyrian, Babylonian, Grecian,
Roman, and Western empires, all have disappeared. Italy, Spain, and Germany, no longer hold that high and conspicuous character in which they formerly stood. Poland is annihilated; while Russia, emerging from darkness, begins to hold a most important and powerful situation in the theatre of Europe. Denmark and Sweden, the seat of the ancient Scandinavians, are now but secondary States. - France, lately so triumphant and powerful, is again reduced to her former level, and your own favourite and beloved country is now in her meridian.” EDWARD." Oh! don't say so, Sir.”