Visit to Prague 1852

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Visit to Prague 1852 - I j i i ; j I I I j I ' : j j ! j I j '...
I j i i ; j I I I j I ' : j j ! j I j ' BOHEMIA. YUitto PTai.e Avrt mf the City Ita Hlstori-ral Hlstori-ral Hlstori-ral AMciatinsj 1'aaalatiaH Cwstam Houses Habits. aVc-, aVc-, aVc-, c. Csrresyoavdewce mf tme firm- firm- York Dailm Tan l. Pa AO t,K, Tuesday, July 20, 1S52. After evenheTn hpura of cramped confinement Tti the jolting Kil-wageti, Kil-wageti, Kil-wageti, we came in eight of Prague, jut as the first njopertlgaun was lighting up the quaint spires of itful gate towers, churches end the terraced tiideof the palace-crowned palace-crowned palace-crowned Hrad-schin. Hrad-schin. Hrad-schin. Spread oyr an area of twelve miles in circumference, filing the valley of ihe Mo'.dau, and LuUt upon the eiicpmpassing hills, Prague offers a panorama unequalwl by any other German city. Nor is any other German city richer in associations, according with its peculiar situation and the ancient style of its architecture, than this old Bohemian capital, " hundred-towered, hundred-towered, hundred-towered, imperial Prague, the Sclavonic Jerusalem and Rome." At every step on our way, from the Rcishsthor to the Custom House, we passed monuments reminding us of its legendary wealth, or recalling incidents of its crowded history. The enormous pile of building extending along the brow of Hradschin, over-hang over-hang over-hang ing us on theieft, begun by heathen dukes, perhaps perhaps by the half-fbulous half-fbulous half-fbulous prophete and monarch Sixupa, first Duke of Bohemia, more than ten centuries ao, was completed in its present form by Makia Tkkksa, that other general and king. Jlere dwelt Holy King Wknzkl, whose honored name is borne by half of the male Czech population population of modern Prague ; here learned Kaiser Kit. noLi'H held his Court, illustrious by the presence of Kkpler, Tvcho Brahe, Johjh of Achen, and others, the philosophers nnd artists of the time ; from one of its upper windows were thrown out two Imperial Councillors in ; the year 1G19. This was the commencing signal of the Thirty Years' War. We were gain reminded of this Bohemian custom of tieating opponents, so often practiced by the alternately ascendant parties during the religious troubles that long distracted the country, as we passed the Rath-haus. Rath-haus. Rath-haus. It was taken by a mob of raging Hussites in 1422, who tossed out all the City Councillors on to the pikes of their companions assembled under the wiudtrw. Sixty years later, a similar violence was committed by another mob. When crossing the bridge over the Moldau, we saw the image of St. John Ne-roitt'K, Ne-roitt'K, Ne-roitt'K, ai;d the very-spot very-spot very-spot from whence he was cast into the stream by trie order of wicked Emperor We x el. This was Wenzel the Fourth, the most low-lived low-lived low-lived of German Emperors, much addicted addicted to drink and other bad habits. The story goes that he as the son of a peasant woman, a nurse, who substituted him for the princely infant intrusted to her care. He had St. John thrown into the river, because the holy priest would not reveal what the Queen had confessed to hir.i. As mortal, the good man strangled incontinently, but as saint, refused to sink ; aiid live stars shone round his head as it floated down the Moldau. Although the patron saint of Bohemia was not formally canonized canonized until 1729, he has for centuries been held in the highest veneration by the people, thousands of whom yearly make thtir pilgrimage to this bridge, "in honor of his memory and for their souls' gooit His remains now lie in the Cathedral, under a monument of silver, weighing 3,X0 pounds. In the year 1)!9, when the Prince Palatine, Fred-f. Fred-f. Fred-f. kick, called the Winter-King, Winter-King, Winter-King, because he reigned only one year, held his Court at Prague, one of his chief courtiers, a zealous Calvinist, resolved to cleanse the Cathedral from all -superstitious -superstitious memorials. He hired men to break down and carry ofi an earlier monument of the saint ; but no sooner had the first locksmith but touched the iron grating that surrounded the tomb, than he saiik iileless to the ground, as if struck by lightning, lightning, which so horrified his companions that they al! ran out of the Church. The major domo of the Prince would not desist from his sacrilegious purpose purpose for this, and hired other men to do the work of destruction. But these having meditated upon the sudden death of the locksmith, showed such a distaste for the task, that at last the courtier falling falling into a rage, himself seized a hammer and began began striking upon the grave-stone. grave-stone. grave-stone. Then suddenly suddenly he was hurled over the grating, as if by aa invisible hand, and fell upon the lloor in fearful convulsions, howling out that his body was burning with a consuming lire. The frightened assistants immediately fled, and no one dared enter the church again, except eome bold soldiers of the King's body-guard, body-guard, body-guard, who carried the miijor domo to, his dwelling, where he died the same night m unspeakable torments. And this is one oi the 'many wonders of St. Nepomoh's grave. At the end of the bridge we passed through the ancient gate-tower, gate-tower, gate-tower, v hich formerly served for its delence, and in 10 IS protected all that part of the city lying on the eastern bank of the Moldau front the Swedish troops. They had taken possession of the other side of the city almost without a blow, anil were pressing rapidly toward the unguarded bridge-gate. bridge-gate. bridge-gate. A Jesui. priest, who saw their approach from the Cohere near bv. hastened to let d.iA'ri i i? portcullis; and so, with the help of thre soldiers, 'maintained the post til! the inhabitants generally came to his asistance. The -Swedes -Swedes now Lj-t-ieged Lj-t-ieged Lj-t-ieged Lj-t-ieged Lj-t-ieged the gate .for foffteta weeks, but without success. In the Seven Years Wpr; the hridce was the scer.e of a bloody tight between th rnre:i'inj: Prussians and the Itiipena! troops. Finally, in the of Jur.c, 11?, tho students of the U niversity Unit their mam barricades bv the gate-tower gate-tower gate-tower just mentioned: Ami so, over this way, thick strown with suggestions of san.ts and sinners, facts and fables, we came at last to the post-house. post-house. post-house. 1 had heard so much complaint of the regulations of the' Austriaii Custom-Houses, Custom-Houses, Custom-Houses, that, before crossing crossing the frontier, 1 had -calculated -calculated as a part of my traveling expenses the small Bribery it would bo necessary to pay the Custom oiTirers in onler to escape vexatious examinations aud delays. 1 have been exposed to the application of these regulations regulations four dillereSil tunes. Once only has my trunk been opened, but no injunction followed; the examining officer then, as in the other cases, taking my word for it, that it contained nothing but traveling conveniences. My fellow-travelers fellow-travelers fellow-travelers were treated with equal indulgence. No bribes were expected or given, unless a few kreuzers handed to the superserviceable subordinate wiio took the baggage out of the wagon, can come under under that title. Betore entering the City my passport passport was taken by an officer at the gate, who gave a check in exchange. To-day To-day To-day it is returned to me with a permit to go on to Liiiz. Besides this, 1 have, at the. request of my host, presented the Police with the loliowing list ot biographical items: Name and surname, character, (professional, (professional, not moral,) country, birth-place birth-place birth-place and domicile, domicile, age, unmarried condition, last place I catne from, and the interesting fact that I travel alone. All this, however, dot-s dot-s dot-s not take live minutes of time, and all the trouble of passports, if th-re th-re th-re is any, is undertaken for a mere trilie by the people in the hotel. Speaking from aa experience of more than thiity instances, I can say that the officers officers of the Customs aud of the Police in France and Germany, are unexcepttonably civil and friendly friendly to strangers with small trunks. The inconveniences inconveniences oi the Austrian currency have also been somew hat overrated. A miserable, confused currency currency of Munz-money, Munz-money, Munz-money, and Schem-money, Schem-money, Schem-money, and paper-moiiey, paper-moiiey, paper-moiiey, ar.d metallic money, indeed u is for the names. A foreigner, selling his gold at a handsome premium, need notcouiplain of it. Although more than one-half one-half one-half of the inhabitants here are of the Sciawc race, the general appearance appearance of the modern parts of Prague is not matv nedly different from that of other German ciUes. The strong feeling of nationality which does exist among the Czechish population is rot indicated to a passing observer. They speak the German language language as. tho Germans speak it; bo;h parties suit ke inordinately have equal capacities for beer, and live peacefully together. I have thought that the Sclavic Bohemians are leas courteous to a stranger less inclined to meet or make advances t-an t-an t-an the German. There is still another nation here, whose history is older and more interesting than that of Czech or Teuton. Ia a -quarter -quarter of the city called J&cp-ttadl, J&cp-ttadl, J&cp-ttadl, made up of narrow streets aud high tiiugy houses, is a croardeet population of seven thousand thousand Jews, p referring, it ia said, w::h pecu liar strictness, the manners and customs of their forefathers. No authentic record fixes the time - of their first settlement in Prague. -The -The oldest of their nine synagogues dates from a remote period, . built, says the Spanish legend, by the first fugitives, fugitives, after the destruction of the Holy City. Christian Antiquaries point to its narrow Gothic, or rather Gothicish, windows, in proof of a much later origin say in the thirteenth century. Having Having no prejudice in the matter, I preferred to take my dates lrom the sexton, who showed me over the building, and would have winked at his adding a few hundred years to its age. If it looks old from without, it looks ante-diluvian ante-diluvian ante-diluvian within. Such venerable dirt and dinginess I have never seen elsewhere. The walls are crusted over with a black deposit of dust and lamp-smoke; lamp-smoke; lamp-smoke; the very light seems old and worn by its struggle through the dim little w indows. The most modern object which it reveals is a large l!ag hanging from the ceiling. This was given to the Jews by the Emperor Emperor Ferdinand, as a cheap reward for their bravery when Prague was beseiged by the Swedes, m 1C4.''. On a suspicion of treacherous communication communication with the Prussians, in the Seven Years' War, Maria Thikksa banished all the Jews from the city. A few years alter they were permitted to return. ' The reforming Emperor, Jo-eph Jo-eph Jo-eph II., granted them the enjoyment of many of the rights of Christian citizens, and theirentire emancipation from Christian oppression was proclaimed by the Constitution of IS 19. After the late unlawful abrogation abrogation of that Constitution, there was a project in the Imperial Councils for restricting Jews in the purchase of landed property, on the ground that they would become the holders of two many " F)n-cvmbered F)n-cvmbered F)n-cvmbered Estates ! " Of the chiefest bloody violences practiced on the Jews by Christians, we have some notion from the reading of ordinary historical books ; but one needs to visit the cramped " Jews' quarter" of an European city to get a more complete idea oi the constant cruelty ,the life-lotlg life-lotlg life-lotlg martyrdom which, bntil the end of the last century, and in a less degree degree even tip to our time, this noble race suffered at the hards of Christianity. Then seeing how, in spite of all this, they held fast to their faith, and did even attain a qualified worldly prosperity, one cannot sufficiently admire their heroic endurance, and the active rigor of their economical virtues. The ancient Jewish burial ground is situated near the old synagogue, and is in its kind equally curious. No interments have taken place there in the last hundred years. At first entrance one might take it for an extensive magazine of secondhand secondhand grave-stones. grave-stones. grave-stones. Thousands of these stones lie piled against each other in utter confusion, and the sexton told us there were as many more sunk under the ground. Over all is a thicket of ragged trees and bushes. A portion of the monuments, especially those oi learned Rabbis, are preserved in their places. Many of them bear the sign of the tribe to which the deceased belonged ; as the hands to denote the tribe of Aaron, a cluster oi grapes that of Israel. A lion marks the gravestone gravestone of the Rabbi Low, a wonderfully learned man in his time ; his pupils are buried by his sile. The sexton, who was a stickler for the . antiquity of the Israelite settlement in Prague, translated rather lieely, L. thought, the inscription on the Rabbi monument. According to his version, the Rabbi had been lying there more than twelve hundred hundred years ; and then he read another, compared with which this was modern. As it was in Hebrew, Hebrew, and reafl backwards! let the sexton have if all his own way. Buncle. NEW-YORK NEW-YORK NEW-YORK CiTx" The Ihsobdeely Delegates.! The General Committee of the Democratic Party met last evening at Tanimaoy Hall, to consider the resolutions sent them by the El Dorado, in which the Committee were informed that they must back down or prepare for thunder squalls. The Committee did not assemble al the call of tne regular sfticers, but came together at the request of thirty-three thirty-three thirty-three members, who publisncd an invitation to their associates to meet with them. Upon calling the Committee to order, the usuel business business was passed over, and the grievance: complained of by the Kl Dorados, brought at onea to tka i attention of the meeting. A special Committee ot six wan appointed to retire and take testimony, listen to complaints and make a report. This Committee soon reported to the full body, and then the war commenced in earnest. The old feuds were all recounted, and Hunker and Barnburner Barnburner in turn told their tales of woe, and made their threats. Six or seven hours were thus passed, when it wan finally finally decided to allow the Wards to choose their own Inspectorsthus Inspectorsthus rescinding the former action of the Committee. Committee. The Sachems of the Tammany Society were in session session during the evening, but they did not do anytmnj. Finding the General Committee were not likely to get through before midnight, they adjourned nil tais afternoon. While these proceedings were taking place in the upper upper regions, the upper ten portion' ol" the refractory held caucuses in the bar-room, bar-room, bar-room, where the merits of the question question were ably discussed by a dozen different speakers at the same time, as well as a large amount of the ardent. In fact the gathering appeared to be for the purpose of testing the capacity of Charley .Brown's liquor depositions. The latter held out up to a late hour, and the supply seemed abundant, though one man did intimate, about midnight, that tile brandy was " (Kiwerful weak," and had a smell of Croton. The I'nterrified had long and loud disputes at a three-cen three-cen three-cen establishment adjacent to Tammany, and during the evening evening a very small procession with a very large banner and an immense drum marched down from the Sixth Ward. No attempt was made to give the perambulating patriots a reception, and so they " moved on," to the dismal waitings waitings of a cracked fife and the thunder of the big drum- drum- nly ten torches, filled from the corporation oil-cans, oil-cans, oil-cans, were necessary to light the melancholy cortege through the l'ark. During the evening many litdc scraps of the persmal bietory ot distinguished democrats were given by Tper-foD Tper-foD Tper-foD w ho appeared to be well posted up, arid one mnn su!feKttd the propriety of making a sortie upon the de" ht.tratins Commiiiee, remarking that the concern might' as well be broken up ' O.i the Rouh as on the Slv." When the action of the Committee, and tho doinss cf the became known to the crowd in waitine. there were cheers from many from many curses. We left, unab.'e to tell which predominated ; but we have a strong impre-ision impre-ision impre-ision that the Hunkers consider ttieai-s ttieai-s ttieai-s Ives thrashed out. 1'. Atler the main question had b-en b-en b-en decided we left, but returning at a liter period, we found that wtiil t lie Committee were cousiderinz a resolution to puMish the procc-diiii, procc-diiii, procc-diiii, the crow'd broke in the door of the room, iiid a large number of (he members of the Coininit'.ee brine out of, the Windows, among theiii Hon. Daniel E. Sickles. One old man was knockeo down, and there were symptoms of a decided tune, when the Committee informally adjourned, and the lights grew dim. FojkoEEV .op Prussian GovKRNMtNT Trea-Mir.v Trea-Mir.v Trea-Mir.v Notes Abrest ok the Col s teehitehs For several weeks past, the Police authorities of oar City, end . the Prussian Consul-General, Consul-General, Consul-General, fcsve been . secretly secretly at work tor the purpose of ferreting ont a gang of coutitt rleiters. who have long been engaged in issuing fi.iyed Ctriifirares, or Treasury .Notes, issue! by the Prussian-Government, Prussian-Government, Prussian-Government, utider the authority of a law, passed by Mat Govrrtiment on the 15th April, 1148, creating creating a loan of f.vt miliitns of d.iliars. Within the past twelve months, the money exchange brokers in Wall-street Wall-street Wall-street have been suspicious of certain persons, who, at times, were dealing largely in the Treasury Notes alluded to, which were beautifully executed with a copper-plate copper-plate copper-plate engraving, struck ofT upon stout, salmon-colored salmon-colored salmon-colored paper, representing the genuine issues so nearly that it was almost impossible for the Consul to delect them Each certificate represents the amount of ' One Thaler,' (forty-one (forty-one (forty-one cents V. S. money, with interest,) bearing the coat of arms of the Government in the centre, La a circle. Over the top of this, are the words, in German Text : ONE THALER CO UR A ST. Ob each side of the coat cf arms, are, 1 Thlr., beneath this is the date, Berlin den., 15th April, Is-lS. Is-lS. Is-lS. Trten follows toe signatures of tne authorities of that dominion-The dominion-The dominion-The forgeries were executed in the most skillful manner, and well calculated to deceive the most skeptical. Indeed Indeed they have passed current amo-if amo-if amo-if the bankers and brokers for months, without being detected. The Prussian Prussian Consul took the marttr in hand with a detennina-Jien detennina-Jien detennina-Jien of tracing out the forgers, and, through the instrumental instrumental ty ot oflierrs Reed, Clark aad Radford, of tne Chief s "Snadowa," the important work has been successful. successful. Ths vigilant " Stars" finally got oa the track f two Prussians, named Ut. Theodore Penman aud Anioine Uawacci. whom they watched closely, day aud night, and becoming convinced they were toe real forgers of the certificates ia question, laey, yesterday, made the arrest oi both parlies, while at their residences, and broczt-.t broczt-.t broczt-.t them before Justice Sidney H. Smart, at the Seconal District Police Court, where the alldavlt of the Coasnl Geaeral was lakes- lakes- by Mr. Davidson, the Police Clerk, astiMlows: Jokn HiUiowt SckmidZ residing at No. 63 CliaMB-piaee, CliaMB-piaee, CliaMB-piaee, being duly sworn, aavs : I am Consul-General Consul-General Consul-General of the PrttMiaa Government for the Putted States, ao1 that at the City of New-V New-V New-V art , Dr. Theod ire Paitaaaa and Actoine Gawacci fclozuoasly procure! and.c--rw and.c--rw and.c--rw and.c--rw so so muUt hy thtir erder, given te iharies Wise, aa engraver

Clipped from The New York Times21 Aug 1852, SatPage 1

The New York Times (New York, New York)21 Aug 1852, SatPage 1
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  • Visit to Prague 1852

    haloupek – 07 Dec 2014

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