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neat farm house on it, It seemed made for retirement without solitude-a place that would allure one's friends while it precluded the impertinent calls of mere visitors. The shores of the Elbe now became more beautiful, with rich meadows and trees running like a low wall along the river's edge; and peering over them, neat houses and (especially on the right bank) a profusion of steeple-spires, white, black, or red. An instinctive taste teaches men to build their churches in flat countries with spire-steeples, which as they cannot be referred to any other object, point as with silent finger to the sky and stars, and sometimes when they reflect the brazen light of a rich though rainy sun-set, appear like a pyramid of flame burning heavenward. I remember once, and once only, to have seen a spire in a narrow valley of a mountainous country. The effect was not only mean but ļudicrous, and reminded me against iny will of an extinguisher ; the close neighbourhood of the high mountain, at the foot of which it stood, had so completely dwarfed it, and deprived it of all connection with the sky or clouds. Forty six English miles from Cuxhaven, and sixteen from Hamburg, the Danish village Veder orna ments the left bank with its black steeple, and close by it the wild and pastoral hamlet of Schulau. Hitherto both the right and left bank, green to the very brink, and level with the
river, resembled the shores of a park canal, The trees and houses were alike low, sometimes the low trees overtopping the yet lower houses; sometimes the low houses rising above the yet lower trees. But at Schulau the left bank rises at once forty or fifty feet, and stares on the river with its perpendicular fassade of sand, thinly patched with tufts of green. The Elbe continued to present a more and more lively spectacle from the multitude of fishing boats and the flocks of sea gulls wheeling round them, the clamorous rivals and companions of the fishermen ; till we came to Blankaness, a most interesting village scattered amid scattered trees, over three hills in three divisions. Each of the three hills stares upon the river, with faces of bare sand, with which the boats with their bare poles, standing in files along the banks, made a sort of fantastic harmony. Between each fassade lies a green and woody dell, each deeper than the other. In short it is a large village made up of individual cottages, each cottage in the centre of its own little wood or orchard, and each with its own separate path: a village with a labyrinth of paths, or rather a neighbourhood of houses! It is inhabited by fishermen and boat-makers, the Blankanese boats being in great request through the whole navigation of the Elbe. Here first we saw the spires of Hamburg, and from hence as far as Altona the left
bank of the Elbe is uncommonly pleasing, considered as the vicinity of an industrious and republican city--in that style of beauty, or rather prettiness, that might tempt the citizen into the country, and yet gratify the taste which he had acquired in the town. Summer houses and Chinese show-work are every where scattered along the high and green banks; the boards of the farm-houses left unplaistered and gaily painted with green and yellow; and scarcely a tree not cut into shapes and made to remind the human being of his own power and intelligence instead of the wisdom of nature. Still, however, these are links of connection between town and country, and far better than the affectation of tastes and enjoyments for which mens' habits have disqualified them. Pass them by on Saturdays and Sundays with the burgers of Hamburg smoking their pipes, the women and children feasting in the alcoves of box and yew, and it becomes a nature of its
On Wednesday, four o'clock, we left the vessel, and passing with trouble through the huge masses of shipping that seemed to choke the wide Elbe from Altona upward, we were at length landed at the Boom House, Hamburg.
LETTER II. (To a Lady.)
RATZEBORG. Meine liebe Freundin,
See how natural the German comes from me, though I have not yet been six week in the country!-almost as fluently as English from my neighbour the Amptschreiber (or public secretary) who as often as we meet, though it should be half a dozen times in the same day, never fails to greet me with—“** ddam your ploot unt eyes, my dearest Englander! thee goes it!”—which is certainly a proof of great generosity on his part, these words being his whole stock of English. I had, however, a better reason than the desire of displaying my proficiency: for I wished to put you in good humour with a language, from the acquirement of which I have promised myself much edification and the means too of communicating a new pleasure to you and your sister, during our winter readings.
And how can I do this better than by pointing out its gallant attention to the ladies ? Our English affix, ess, is, I believe, confined either to words drived from the Latin, as actress, directress, &c. or from the French, as mistress, duchess, and the like. But the German, in, enables us to designate the sex
in every possible relation of life. Thus the Amptman's lady is the Frau Amptmanin—the secretary's wife (by the bye the handsomest woman I have yet. seen in Germany) is Die allerliebste Frau Amptschreiberin—the colonel's lady, Die Frau Obristin or colonellin—and even the parson's wife, die frau pastorin. But I am especially pleased with their freundin, which, unlike the amica of the Romans, is seldom used but in its best and purest sense. Now, I know, it will be said, that a friend is already something more than a friend, when a man feels an anxiety to express to himself that this friend is a female; but this I deny-in that sense at least in which the objection will be made. I would hazard the impeachment of heresy, rather than abandon my belief that there is a sex in our souls as well as in their perishable garments; and he who does not feel it, never truly loved a sister-nay, is not capable even of loving a wife as she deserves to be loved, if she indeed be worthy of that holy name.
Now I know, my gentle friend, what you are murmuring to yourself—“ This is so like him ! running away after the first bubble, that chance has blown off from the surface of his fancy; when one is anxious to learn where he is and what he has seen.” Well then! that I am settled at Ratzeburg, with my motives and the particulars of my journey hither,