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further interruption to within a short stage of Dusseldorf, where we slept.
The appearance of Dusseldorf at a little distance is very handsome, particularly from the Grand ducal road, as it was styled. Upon my driving up to the principal inn, the maitre d'hotel with great pomp came out, and informed me in bad French that his house was then nearly full; that the grand Dutchess from Paris was expected every day; that his bed-rooms would be wanted for those belonging to the court who could not be accommodated at the palace, and, finally, that he could not receive me. As I immediately guessed his object, I told him that I intended to stay some days at Dusseldorf. “ Oh, very well,” said he, archly adding, "you are an Englishman I perceive." “ No, sir, an American." " Oh," replied, he, “ never mind, it is the same thing: walk in, sir, and we will See what we can do for you.” This inn, the only eminent one in town, is spacious and handsome, and the table d'hote excellently supplied with a great variety of dishes, both at dinner and supper, perfectly well dressed. During my stay I was known by no other name than that of Monsieur Anglois, an appellation not very gratifying to me, upon reflecting that I was a sojourner in the territory of a brother-in-law of Napoleon, who, knowing that he is no favourite with the English, dislikes England and every thing that can remind him of it, to such a degree, that an English gentleman and lady, whom I knew, who had been detained prisoners of war in France, but were afterwards liberated, upon their route from Verdun to Holland to embark for their country, were one day overtaken by a gen-d'arme dispatched express from the last post town, to order them to turn out of the high road on which they were travelling, and to take another route which he pointed out, by which they were compelled to make a deviation of seventy miles. In consequence of the French Emperor being expected to pass that road in the course of the day, this messenger bad been despatched to overtake and order them out of the way as fast as possible.
DUSSELDORF DESCRIBED .....ITS INHABITANTS..... THE GRAND DU
CAL COURT...... ANECDOTE OF MURAT..... A DOUBLE ENTENDRE
......THE FLYING BRIDGE......COLOGNE......A CONTRABAND PEEP
......THE CATHEDRAL......A COLLECTION OF GODS..... A BON MOT
DUSSELDORF, so called from the little river Dussel that waters its southern side, and Dhorpf which means village, is now the capital of the imperial dutchy of Berg, under the new dynasty of the Bonaparte family : it formerly belonged to the German empire, and afterwards to the elector Palatine, who at one period made it his residence; this city owed the prosperity which it long enjoyed, to the sagacity and liberality of the elector Joseph William, who enlarged it in 1709, by nobly offering its freedom, and an exemption from all taxes for thirty years, to every one who would build a house within its walls, and took every judicious advantage of its local adaptation to trade, and established universal toleration in religion; the benefit of measures so worthy of the Christian and the ruler was speedily felt, and Dusseldorf, from a petty village, soon became a flourishing city, and contained a population of 18,000 inhabitants.
Few towns have suffered more from the calamities of war than this: its streets, squares, and houses, denote its former consequence; it now resembles a mausolem half in ruins. Early in the year 1795, the army of the Sambre and the Meuse suddenly crossed the Rhine, and summoned the city to surrender, which it refused to do; in consequence of which the French bombarded it, and set fire to one of its most beautiful churches, which was burnt to the ground; and the city palace, which contained many noble apartments, very nearly experienced the same fate; naked walls blackened with smoke, are all that remain of this splendid pile, except that part of it which contained the celebrated gallery of paintings, which were removed to Munich under a Prussian escort. The French at length took the city by assault, the Austrians who were garrisoned within it having previously retired. I was surprised to find that the French had spared the statue erected as a mark of public gratitude, in the centre of the court of the gallery, to the honour of the elector John William, who was its founder. He commenced it in the year 1710; but dying in 1716, the completion of this princely and public-spirited design was totally neglected by his successor Charles Phillip, who employed part of his treasure, and the whole of his taste, in improving the city of Manheim. Charles Theodore, his successor, finished this institution, established an academy of drawing and painting in Dusseldorf, and also erected a public gallery of paintings at Manheim, which were open to every one, and every artist had permission to study and copy them.
The ruins of the palace have a melancholy appearance from the water, on which I made a sketch of the city, when I saw for the first time one of the Rhenish flying-bridges, the description of which I shall reserve for a few pages following, as I did not go on board of it. That famous gallery, which attracted men of taste from distant parts of Europe, occupied that part of the palace which stood close to the junction of the Rhine and the Dussel, and was divided into five very large and spacious apartments, one of which was wholly devoted to one picture of Gerard Douw, esteemed inestimable, and one of the finest he ever painted; the subject of it is uncommonly complicated, yet every figure in it is so exquisitly finished, that it will bear the closest inspection. Des. criptions of paintings are seldom very interesting; but the subject of this renowned picture deserves to be recorded. It represented a quack-doctor at a fair, upon his stage covered with a Turkey carpet, set out with vials and gallipots, a shaving bason, an umbrella, and a monkey: the doctor, in the most whimsical dress, is baranguing with uncommon humour and cunning in his counte
nance, the motley crowd below; amongst whom, a gardener wheeling a barrow filled with vegetables, a countryman with a hare hanging over his shoulders, a woman with a child at the breast, baking little cakes for the fair; another woman listening with ardent credulity, whilst a sharper is picking her pocket, are penciled in a wonderful manner. Douw has represented himself looking out of the window of a public house, and drawing the several objects. The second chamber contained the productions of the Italian school; a third those of the Flemish: a fourth was dedicated to Vanderwerff; and the fifth to Rubens.
The only part of the city which presented any appearance of animation was the market-place, which abounded with fine vegetables, and exquisite fruit. The market-women, and the female peasants, wear a large handkerchief depending from the top of the head, which has a picturesque effect. Fruit is so abundant that for the value of 3d. I purchased a pound and a half of the most luscious grapes. In this square, part of the scaffolding used for illuminating the hotel de ville, on the grand duke making his first entry into the city, remained. About a mile from the town is a country palace of the prince, separated from a garden, in front of it, by the great road to Cologne. The palace is large, and very elegantly furnished; the gardens are spacious, well kept, and open to welldressed persons. The view of the city from these walks is very beautiful. The ramparts, which are levelling as fast as the pickaxe and spade can lay them low, in many places present a very agreeable walk.
All religions are tolerated, but that most followed is Roman Catholic, for the celebration of which there are three large churches; before one of them, raised and railed off, is a group as large as life, in wood, painted white, representing our Saviour crucified between the two thieves, and Mary Magdalen, kneeling; several persons were praying very devoutly before those images. The dead are wisely buried out of the city. In one of the streets at the extremity of the town, is a prodigious pile of buildings for barracks. The soldiers of the grand duke, principally Gerinans, and a few French, had a very military appearance. The manufactures are at a pause; the population is reduced to about eight thousand persons, the greater portion of whom are in very abject circumstances. How different must this place be to its former period of prosperity, before the last war, when a gay old Prussian officer who resided there, told me, that it was enlivened with clubs, cassinos, and balls, when every family of common respectability could regale its friends with the choicest Johannis-Berg Hockein-Rheideshein wine. The princes of Germany differ very much from those of our own country, in the plain and unostentatious manner in which they move about. One morning, when I was crossing the court of my inn to go to breakfast, I saw a little boy fencing with a stick with one of the ostlers: as I was pleased with his appearance, I asked him if he was the son of the maitre d'hotel, to which he replied, «No sir, I am the hereditary prince Von Salm." The prince and princess, his father and aunt, were at the same hotel, having come to Dusseldorf to pay their respects to Prince Murat. The grand ducal court was, as I was informed, kept up with considerable splendor, in the circle of which the grand dutchess, one of the sisters of Napoleon, had not yet made her appearance. It was generally believed, notwithstanding the use my worthy host made of her approaching entry, that no great attachment existed between the grand ducal pair; and that the gaiety of the imperial court of Paris possessed more prevailing attractions to the grand Dutchess than her own. Murat, grand Duke of Berg, is an instance of the astonishing results of great ability and good fortune. His origin was so very obscure, that very little of it is known. The following anecdote will, however, throw some light upon the extreme humility of his early condition in life. After his elevation to the rank of a prince of the French empire, he halted, in the close of the last war, at a small town in Germany, where he stayed for two or three days; and on finding the bread prepared for his table of an inferior kind, he despatched one of his suite to order the best baker in the town to attend him, to receive from him his directions respecting this precious article of life. A baker who had been long established in the place was selected for this purpose; and upon the aide-de-camp ordering him to wait upon the