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EMBARKS FOR GERMANY-VISIT TO BERLIN.
intended to combine various points in the German method, with whatever appeared more eligible in the systems pursued at home; and thus, out of the elements of British and Foregin Universities, it was resolved to construct a system of academic discipline, that should accord with the advance dstate of science and literature, and meet the actual wants and wishes of the community
To test the German system by experiment, to collect various facts and materials connected with the method, and the internal arrangements of the building itself, Campbell resolved to make a visit to Berlin; and there, by a careful inspection of the University, to ascertain how far it might be safely adopted as a model for that of London.
The almost exclusive attention he had given to this subject, had the happy effect of diverting his thoughts from domestic sorrows; but its result upon his health was very unfavorable ; and, long before the time he proposed to start for Prussia, he had the appearance of a confirmed invalid.
On the 10th of September, Campbell embarked for Germany; and on the 13th thus announces his arrival in Hamburgh: “ Tuesday Evening, 5 P.M.--I have just arrived, after a voyage of three nights and two days; the steamer more noisy and turbulent in her motions than a sailing packet; very sick, and slept but little; agreeable passengers; and if our voyage was not finished in sixty hours, as promised, it was over in eighty. I expect to sleep soundly at the house of a private friend*-a countryman, whom I have found by chance; very fatigued.
"T. C.” Of his further progress he writes :
“HAMBURGH, September 14. “... I amused myself with looking at the changes which twenty-five years had produced, particularly those occasioned by the siege, and the subsequent demolition of the walls. ... But local recollections can have no interest to those who are unacquainted with the spot. . . . The only person whom I had known there, or about whom I cared, was Anthony MacCann -the real subject of my Erin go bragh. I found my Exile of Erin as glad to see me as if we had but parted a quarter of a year, instead of a quarter of a century. I left him, in 1801, as poor and delicate a youth, as a youth with good character and
* Mr. Elliot, agent for Lloyd's, who met him on board the packet. VOL. II.--8
disposition could be. ... He won the heart of a young widow of Altona some years after I left him. He got a fortune with her, and has been long established there, as one of the wealthiest and most respectable of its inhabitants. He took me round a great part of the country in his own carriage; and I spent a day with him and Mrs. MacCann, who is a very sensible and agreeable person. ..."
“Tony and I repaired to the spot where we had often walked when the day-star was setting in the west,* over our country. It is now a Tea-garden,' on a hill that overlooks a long course of the Elbe; and the prospect from it is compared, by the natives, to the view from Richmond Hill. . . . My friend said he was as happy as a man could be, out of his own country; and should be perfectly so, if he were allowed to revisit it. I went with him to see my old friend, Baron Vocht; but, on the day he invited me to dine with him, I was obliged to set out for Berlin. . . . At Hamburgh, I could do nothing towards the express object for which I came to Germany; in truth, I foresaw a shower of invitations hanging over my head, and was glad to get away from them. I therefore took leave of Mr. Elliott, who, the moment he met me on board the packet, insisted that I should make his house my home, and was meditating a succession of dinners in his house, and out of it, on my accounta very kind proceeding on his part.
“ BERLIN, September 20. “No part in Germany is more dreary and uninterestiny, and no carriages I have ever sat in are so bone-shaking and uncomfortable, as the Prussian. The road is principally through sandy tracks, sometimes covered with stunted forests. ... The depth of the sand makes you expect to be overturned, and buried in it; and the moment you get out, you are so bumped and cudgelled on the causeway, that seems to be made with stones ejected and cooled from Etna, that you wish yourself quietly inhumed in the sandy desert!. . . This road, however,
* “The day-star attracted his eye's sad devotion,
For it rose o'er his own native isle of the ocean,
He sang the bold anthem of Erin go bragh!” + Long ere this period, Campbell had made zealous but ineffectual efforts to procure this pleasure for “the Exile.” In a letter to a friend, he says:-" Jan. 10th, 1817.—Making all the interest I am able for Anthony MacCann, but discouraged. More bigotry in the world than I thought or eould have believed." --Letter to R. Stevenson, Esq.
ÆT. 48.] BERLIN-UNIVERSITY-DR. SPIKER. is not a fair specimen of either the soil or appearance of Prussia, which has produced so many names distinguished in Arts, Science, and Literature. But I could not help wondering, that a country, containing such a line of land, divided by such miserable communications, could have to boast of ranking among the second-rate powers of the world. One cause--and one that is very honorable to the reigning family of Prussia--is the encouragement given to universities.”
“I got to Berlin last night, and fixed myself at the best hotel in the town—the St. Petersburg, which is nearly opposite the University, in the finest street in Berlin, broader, I should think, than Portland Place, and containing some noble palaces. Berlin, as you have probably heard, is half-filled with barracks; and I have seen this morning, probably, the most imposing spectacle it has to produce-namely, its parade of troops. Nine thousand, horse and foot, marched in platoons under my windows, in their review attire, and with military music that beats Astley's all to nothing."
“21st.--I have just been through the University. I have taken the dimensions of its rooms, and got some books which give an account of its institutions. I have also given my letter of introduction to the Librarian (Dr. Spiker), who has given me the liberty of getting out any books I may wish for. ... I told you in my letter from Hamburgh that I should go to Leipsic; but I was soon after informed that Berlin is a place much preferable for my object, and superadds other agrêmens.
“T. C.” “ BERLIN, November (October] 5, 1825. “I have spent a week at Berlin, my dear M., in excellent health and spirits. At my first arrival, I had a slight fever for some days—brought on by the fatigue of the journey; but of late, I have enjoyed myself much more. I have got every piece of information respecting the University, and every book that I wished for. I have done my business, and have taken out my place for next Sunday, in the coach for Hamburgh. How long or how short I shall delay there, will depend on circumstances. It is in contemplation among some of the English there, to give me a public dinner; and I have received a letter from one of the projectors of the plan, to consult my inclination on the subject. I thanked the people very kindly, who set on foot the proposal, and promised to accept of the hospitality of my countrymen, whether it may be shown me by a small or a great number. There are, already, about thirty individuals who will certainly meet to pay me the compliment of drinking my health ; but my friends are ambitious to make it a more public matter, and to wait for the arrival of some persons, now absent from Hamburgh, whose presence would give importance to the entertainment. I am not sure, however, whether I shall be able to wait for this latter distinction—nor shall I know of what nature the entertainment will be, till I get to Hamburgh."
“Berlin is now as empty as London—the King at Parisand none but Vulgarians in town. I have a vulgar taste, however, and have been very glad to find that some of the Hof-raths and well born Herren—to whom I had introductions-are in the country. Among the few professors whom I have found, I have met with great civility. The librarian of the University, in particular, Dr. Spiker, has sent me every book to my lodgings that I wanted to consult. I begin to speak German-so as to be able to support conversation ; but still there are many inconveniences that a stranger feels, from incomplete acquaintance with the language of a place. These I should have felt in many instances, had I not fortunately met with a couple of my countrymen, who are studying medicine here, although they have actually entered the London College of Surgeons. These young men make me feel very old, for they pay me such attention that I think I must appear in their eyes as venerable as Nestor! They regulate their business for the day, so as to keep themselves at my service—as they phrase it-whenever they can be useful; so that I have no trouble but to eat and drink, and go about to see sights! From anybody, such attention would excite a kindly feeling ; but from young men of most respectable attainments, and gentlemanlike manners, it is even flattering. I am not suffered to carry my own cloak or umbrella, nor to bring anything for myself that I want; and they offered even to write out a translation of some difficult German, which I have had to get through, to the amount of sixty very largesized and small-printed quarto pages. As they are in very good circumstances, the offer was perfectly gratuitous—but I thought it would be unfair to allow them to sacrifice so much time from their own proper studies. Finally, my devoted friends have taken out their places for Hamburgh, in order to be present at the dinner to be given me, whether it shall prove public or private. This is more zeal than I would show for Tom Campbell myself !—for, unless I were obliged to return by way of Hamburgh, I would not undergo the thumping of a German coach
ÆT. 48.] BERLIN-UNIVERSITY-SONNTAG-WACH. 173 four hundred miles—to hear Tom Campbell's health drunk, for the whole city of Hamburgh.
“Berlin is a handsome town, on the whole; and the University is just such a building as I would wish for the London one. It was the Palace of Prince Henry--the brother of Frederick the Great-and was the private property of the present King, when he gave it to the noble Institution which he had endowed. The sight of it made me, for the first time in my life, envy a king. By the way, the more that I see of Prussia, and hear of the King's character, I am inclined the more to respect him, and to regret that he belongs to the ‘Holy Alliance. He has become an alarmist about reformation of late, as well as his minister, Hardenberg; but the good which Hardenberg did, whilst he was himself a state reformer, ought to cover all his faults, and make posterity his debtor. At one blow he emancipated the whole peasantry and feudal holders of Prussia-an event, I think, parallel in importance with the Magna Charter in England. -..
* “Berlin is, like all the world, uncomfortable if you compare it with London. The unpaved streets make you hobble along most wretchedly; and the furniture, carriages, and all productions of manufactures, are miserable, in comparison with ours. But, in one respect, it is a glorious place—at least to my taste, and that is for cookery! It is a positive fact, my dear M., that the Berlin carbonado, or veal-cutlet-yea, start not-even the beefsteak is better than our own; and the carp, the eels, and the wild pork are delicious, and scientifically cooked! In London, it is impossible to get a tolerable dinner at a coffee-house under half-a-guinea. Here, I go to the royal restaurateur's, and get soup, stewed eel, carbonado, and half-a-pint of Barsac, for three shillings.
* “I have been at the Opera, and been greatly delighted with Madlle. Sonntag's singing. A Mrs. Stück, also, who is at the head of their tragic actresses, appeared to me very lively and interesting in Schiller’s ‘Marie Stuart '-but the piece itself is so dull, that I could scarcely sit it out. The best painter here -a Mr. Wach-gets two thousand dollars, i. e., 300l., for his portraits. I was introduced to him yesterday, and saw one which he had just finished of the Crown-princess, who is a beautiful woman, and makes, to my taste, an admirable picture