« PreviousContinue »
roads being such that our carriage was not suitable for them; even the post-chaise could not answer the pure pose of our travels beyond that place, and, for the remainder of our excursion to the Giant Mountains, we could use no other carriage than a common open peasant's cart, without springs or seats; instead of which, however, we had a couple of boards fixed across the cart, and covered with straw, which, upon the whole, was really, or at least was thought, better than sitting on the bottom of the cart itself.
Thus equipped, we left Schreibershau between five and six in the morning of the 31st of July, and rode until noon over some of the worst roads which it has ever been my lot to pass, to see the glass-houses on the borders of Bohemia. There are two, one on the Silesian, the other on the Bohemian side of the boundaries, and about two English miles distant from each other; we saw them both. The mere 'glass-house is much the same on both sides, excepting that the Bohe. mian is larger, and makes a greater variety of articles. The principal things we saw made were vials, bottles, tumblers, wine-glasses, coffee-pots, and a sort of glasswire used upon lustres. I believe the proprietors of these works are not fond of having strangers come to inspect them*.
veral miles square, and the houses are all strewed about in spots at a hundred rods or more from each other. "
* The principal reason for this aversion is, that the workman, when looked at, fails often in the article which he is making; whether because his attention is involuntarily drawn away from his work to the spectators, or because the consciousness of being looked at, excites in him the ambition of appearing
.... The Bohemian work is much superior in quafity, and about fifty per cent. cheaper than that of their neighbours. They have likewise in the same village, and belonging to the same manufactory, glass-cutters, grinders, and gilders; so that the whole process is complete on the spot. At the Silesian works they barely blow the glass. Much of the Bohemian glass is handsome, and if they would, as they easily might, consult the English work, in the same article, to improve the elegance of their forms, it would be difficult to distinguish between them: as it is, the immense difference between the prices of Bohemian and English glass, even making every allowance for the necessary difference in the price of transportation, convinces me that an advantageous trade in this article might be carried on between the United States of America and Bohemia.
After spending about four hours in looking over all these works, we returned to Schreibershau by the same road we had travelled in the morning, and reached that place at about ten at night. I suppose the distance not more than ten English miles; but th
oad is so mountainous and rocky, that the cart could scarcely, for a quarter of a mile on the way, proceed on a quicker pace than a walk. The hills were partly covered with, and have been partly stripped of their woods, chiefly birch and pine, used as well at the glass-works as at the manufactories of vitriol: much of the wood is heaped in
to do the work with perfect ease, and thus occasions failure from carelessness, or, by a contrary effect, raises that unusual anxiety to do well, which defeats its own purpose.
piles, ready cut and split, along by the sides of the road, and much of it lies in the beds where all the streams run, to he floated down, when the season shall swel} their current sufficiently for the purpose.
Both in going and returning we stopped at a pea: sant's hut, where we found excellent brown bread, wa, ter, milk and butter, and tolerable cheese: these ar. ticles are met with in their utmost perfection in every part of the mountains, even where you can get nothing eise......
- August 1st, Friday — To make an easy day's work, we determined to content ourselves this day with visiting the Zacher le fall. At noon we left our inn, and, after riding two hours in the cart, and walking an hour more, we reached the spot. As we rode along, about twenty women and children gathered round us to beg, and followed us all the rest of the way to the fall, and a great part of it back. The situation of this fall is as wild and as romantic as that of the Rochel*, and it is three times as high, that is nearly one hundred and fifty feet. It seems here, as in many other places in this neighbourhood, as if some violent convulsion of nature had riven the rocks, and made these formidable chasms, which yawn from so many of the elevations, At this place you stand upon one side of the cleft, and see the water dash down from the other, upon a level with yourself: between and the stream is an abrupt precipice, which seems the more profound, for being so narrow, perhaps, about a hundred yards. With the help of a ladder I descended to the bottom, and walked partly over the rocks, and partly over the billets of wood lying in the bed of the stream, to the spot upon which the water falls. We likewise went round, by a winding foot-path on the top, to the spot from which the stream branches itself: from these three several positions the views are altogether different: and neither of them should be omitted. We returned as we went, and reached our inn about six in the evening.
* 'The walk to the Rochel fall in Silesia, near Schreibershau, is in the highest degree romantic, full of the scenes of wild and sublime nature. The rocks, on both sides of the stream, resemble, in a great degree, those of the Elbe at Konigstein; they are covered with large and lofty trees, which apparently start up from the bosoin of the very granite, and of which one can scarcely conceive where they have thrust their roois. The fall of the water is perpendicular, upwards of fifty English feet, and affords a delightful view to the eye.
It is the fashion among the German travellers who perform this tour, to make long and laboured descriptions of these two water-falls; and at our inn at Schreibershau, a book, like that of the Kynast *, is kept, in which all those who visit them may insert their names. This book we found full of bombastic declamations on the grandeur of the two cataracts; but the extreme scantiness of the sheet, or rather wire of water, that falls, makes them utterly unworthy of that name, and fully justifies the lines written by some Frenchman, who appears to havea mused himself at the
* The commandant of the Old Castle, situated on the top of the delightful Mountain of Kynast, keeps a book, in which, all who wish to record their ascension hither, inscribe their names; and those who feel or think themselves inspired poetically, by the keen air of the mountain, add lines adapted to the occasion, or to their feelings. The modest prose-men con. tent themselves with noting down some moral maxim. The humblest aspirants to this species of immortality merely put down their names, which, at least, remain here, when they are forgotten every where else.
of all the fustian exclaimers at the sublimity of these spectacles. His lines are the only good ones we found in the book :
“Oh! qu'il est joli! qu'il est beau!
Pour un cæur tendre et sincere,
D'un rocher, dans la rivière."
August 2d, 1800.-At seven in the morning we took to the cart, with our guide; and, after jolting over the rocks up-hill for two hours, came to the place beyond which no carriage can proceed. From the time when we left the cart, we ascended, for about one hour, a steep of which you can form an idea, when I tell you that it was the Oughout, about equal to the steepest part of Beacon-hill, in Boston *. We then came to a peasant's hut, here called a baudet, of which there
* Except the English officers who have served in America, most of our readers will be unable to form to themselves any idca of that hill; but, writing to one of his American friends, Mr. Quincy Adams reminded him of a place familiar to him.
+ These log huts are of a single story and a hay-loft; the floor below is divided into four apartments, one of which is a stable for the cattle, another the dairy; the third is the common dwelling-place of all the family, and the fourth a very small room for the reception of strangers: the fainily.room serves at once as kitchen, eating-room, and bed-room, and is