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of the French police, the rafts I have described carry on a considerable contraband trade in the Rhine wines and Seltzer water.
Opposite to the spot where this occurrence took place, at the bottom of a range of hills, is the delightful town and palace of Neuwied, built of white stone, at one end of the line of poplars which I have mentioned, and almost the only town I saw without walls or any sort of fortification on the Rhine. Nothing could exceed the air of happiness and prosperity which seemed to reign in this delectable little capital, which looked perfectly fresh and new, the prince of which receives, because he deserves, the affections of his subjects; every one on board, with great vivacity, spoke of the toleration, the liberal extension of the rights of citizenship to foreigners, and the public spirit of its ruler. The place is enriched by several flourishing iron works, steel, paper, and cotton manufactures (the latter, the first introduced into Germany), printing, watch, and ingenious cabinet-making. Before the last war, in the forges and founderies, and different fabrics, not less than four thousand persons were employed, and their circulation at a fair has been known to amount to forty or fifty thousand florins. There is an establishment of Moravian brethren here more numerous than that at Zeyst. The last and the present wars have of course considerably reduced the number of workmen, by forcing many of them into the army; but, notwithstanding, there is no town on the Rhine in a more enviable condition, for every thing which can impart content and felicity to man. It was a curi-, ous and highly interesting circumstance to see in Neuwied and Andernach, almost opposite to each other, the most modern and the most ancient city on the Rhine. The price of freight upon the Rhine is rather high: before the French united together so many petty sovereignties it was much higher, owing to the number of tolls which were paid to each; previous to that event there were no less than twelve tolls to discharge between Cologne and Amsterdam.
We had a very good table d'hote on board, at a moderate price, abundance of Rhine crabs, excellent grapes, and a variety of other fruits, which, as well as the most delicious bread I ever
tasted, we purchased at the different towns where we stopped. I had the comfort of being attended by an intelligent, animated fellow, who had been in the service of the immortal Nelson on board of one of the ships which he commanded, and afterwards with the English army in Egypt, who offered his services on board the boat at a very reasonable rate. The richness, novelty, and majesty of the scenery, kept me constantly on the roof of the cabin, from the early hour of starting till the hour of nine at night, when, for the reason stated, we always stopped at some town or village till morning. In these stoppages we entirely depended upon the variable velocity of the current, not to say a word of the caprice of our skipper, or the influence which the residence of any particular favourite or friend might have upon him; the consequence of which was, that we arrived at places to sup and sleep where we were not expected, and of course our patience was put to a little, but never a considerable trial. Within three or four miles of Coblentz, on our right in ascending the river, we passed a pyramidical mausoleum, erected to the memory of the French general Marceau, who distinguished himself at the battle of Mons and Savenai, and died of the wounds which he received at the battle of Altenkirchen in 1796.
At Bendorf, a romantic village on our left, upon a branch of the river, a terrible battle was fought between the French army, commanded by Gen. Hoche, and the Austrians, after the former had effected the passage I have before mentioned, from the white tower, which, after a tremendous slaughter on both sides, terminated in the retreat of the imperial troops. In this battle an extraordinary instance of prowess and enthusiasm occurred, which is said to have decided the fate of the day: the French had frequently attacked an Austrian redoubt, the possession of which was of great consequence to them, and had as often been repulsed with great carnage; at last a French general rode up to the granadiers commanded by Captain Gros, and exclaimed, "Soldiers, swear to me that you will make yourselves masters of that redoubt." "We swear," replied Gros, holding up his hand, and his soldiers doing the same: they returned to the attack with redouble fury,
and the havoc became dreadful: the French troops were upon the point of again giving way, when their leader had his right arm crushed by a grape shot, upon which, with a smile of triumph, he grasped his sabre with his left, rallied his men and carried the redoubt. As we turned a considerable meander of the river by Neuendorff, one of the grandest spectacles I almost ever contemplated opened upon me: the mighty rock of Ehrenbreitstein, formerly called the Gibraltar of the Rhine, with its dismantled batteries and ruined castles, rose with awful and unexampled majesty on the south; at its base was the palace formerly belonging to the Elector of Treves, and the town bearing the name of this wonderful fortification; and immediately opposite to it, as we advanced a little farther, the beautiful city of Coblentz appeared. Here we were obliged to be separated from our horse, on account of the Moselle, which discharges itself into the Rhine at this place, the mouth of which we crossed by the assistance of our boatmens' poles. Over this river there is a handsome stone bridge of many arches, and formerly there was a bridge of boats from this city to Ehrenbreitstein, which has been most judiciously removed, and succeeded by one of the flying bridges before described, by which a more convenient communication is kept completely open, and the navigation is not impeded. Coblentz is a very ancient city; it was the seat of the Roman emperors, and of the kings of the Franks, and a favourite residence of the archbishops and electors of Treves, who, in ancient times of broil and peril, resided in the castle which crowns the majestic rock opposite to the city. Before the revolution there were three parish churches, two colleges, a church belonging to the Jesuits, four convents of monks, dominicans, carmelites, franciscans, and capuchins, and three nunneries. At that period the population of the inhabitants, of the garrison, and the vale of Ehrenbreitstein, was calculated at 13,000 souls; at present it is not supposed to exceed nine thousand. The city has many good and some handsome buildings, and it is further recommended by its supplies of excellent mines, pit-coal, wood, and lime. Its best square is the Clemenstadt; there are several handsome hotels, of which the an
cient hotel, the vast rock which formerly protected it, and the antiquity of its buildings, cast a gloomy grandeur over the whole place, which never exhibited so much gaiety as in the winter of 1791, when the French princes and their followers were nobly entertained and protected here by the Elector, before they marched to Champagne, to experience those disasters which finally confirmed the overthrow of their devoted house.
Coblentz derives its name by not a little meander of etymology, from the confluence of the Rhine and the Moselle at its base. Ausonius, one of the most celebrated of the Latin poets of the fourth century, wrote five hundred verses in commemoration of this river, which, compared with the majesty of the river into which it rolls and is lost, is scarcely worthy of such an honour: the view from its banks is also in an equal degree of comparative inferiority, and by the unceasing agitation of its confluence, it has the reputation of having alarmed the tender nerves of the riverfish, of which the inhabitants of this city are not so well supplied as the neighbouring towns.
One of the most beautiful objects in this place is the new palace, built to the south of the city, close to the Rhine, by that splendid and amiable prince, the Elector Clemont Vencelas; it is of brick stuccoed, to resemble stone, has a noble Ionic portico, and including its wings, extends one hundred and eighty yards. A further description of its exterior, as I have made a drawing of it, and more-over as it is now converted into an hospitable, were useless. Its grand stair-case, its apartments consisting of a chapel, an audience-hall, concert-room, library, cabinet, dining-room, besides an immense number of other rooms, excited the admiration of every visitor, by their magnitude, magnificence, or elegance. Its furniture, its mantle-pieces, its tapestry, and inlaid floors, all corresponded in taste and splendor with the rest of the building; now not a vestige of its consequence or original destination remains, but what its walls display. Most of the windows are broken, stuffed with hay, or further disfigured by having linen hanging out to dry from them; the area before the grand front, which was formed into an elegant promenade, is now broken, and its
graceful plantation totally destroyed. A little way further to the southward, on the opposite side, under the impending rocks of Ehrenbreitstein, is the old palace, a sombre building, which the Elector Clement quitted almost entirely on account of its gloom, and the humidity of its situation,
The Elector of Treves excited the indignation of the French against him very early in the French revolution, by encouraging the expatriated French princes to reside and hold their counterrevolutionary councils at Coblentz. In September, 1794, General Jourdan, with his accustomed energy, compelled the Austrians to retreat to Hervé, and afterwards to Aix la Chapelle, when, supported by the main body of the army, the French attacked all the enemy's posts from Ruremonde to Juliers: at this eventful period, General Clairfayt having occupied a strong position upon the Roer, resisted the French for some time, but their ardor and numbers at length compelled the Austrians to retire into Germany, leaving behind them ten thousand of their comrades, killed or taken prisoners, in the short space of three days; and soon afterwards a detachment of the French army, under the command of General Moreau, entered Coblentz as victors, Cologne being already in their possession, and Mainz, or Mayence, the only city in the possession of the allies on the left bank of the Rhine.
I was informed by some French officers who were in the boat with me, that the society in Coblentz was very elegant; that a number of families lived in splendor; and also, that Bonaparte had continued with some modifications the colleges, and most of the public institutions, which the Electors of Treves had at various times established in that city. The vast and celebrated monastery, called in German Karthaus, or La Chartreuse, situated on a high mountain, in the neighbourhood to the west of Coblentz, from which the countries of Treves, Mayence, Cologne, Darmstadt, d'Anspach, and Wied, may be seen, is converted into an observatory, and a place of very agreeable recreation.
Upon my return, in descending the Rhine, I had an opportunity of more closely seeing Ehrenbreitstein, which I was enabled to do from the following circumstance: the Rhine schuyt was