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List Of Contents | Contents of Saunterings, by Charles Dudley Warner
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memories, keeping its old walls and moat entire, and nearly fourscore
wall-towers, in stern array.  But grass grows in the moat, fruit
trees thrive there, and vines clamber on the walls.  One wanders
about in the queer streets with the feeling of being transported back
to the Middle Ages; but it is difficult to reproduce the impression
on paper.  Who can describe the narrow and intricate ways; the odd
houses with many little gables; great roofs breaking out from eaves
to ridgepole, with dozens of dormer-windows; hanging balconies of
stone, carved and figure-beset, ornamented and frescoed fronts; the
archways, leading into queer courts and alleys, and out again into
broad streets; the towers and fantastic steeples; and the many old
bridges, with obelisks and memorials of triumphal entries of
conquerors and princes?

The city, as I said, lives upon the memory of what it has been, and
trades upon relics of its former fame.  What it would have been
without Albrecht Durer, and Adam Kraft the stone-mason, and Peter
Vischer the bronze-worker, and Viet Stoss who carved in wood, and
Hans Sachs the shoemaker and poet-minstrel, it is difficult to say.
Their statues are set up in the streets; their works still live in
the churches and city buildings,--pictures, and groups in stone and
wood; and their statues, in all sorts of carving, are reproduced, big
and little, in all the shop-windows, for sale.  So, literally, the
city is full of the memory of them; and the business of the city,
aside from its manufactory of endless, curious toys, seems to consist
in reproducing them and their immortal works to sell to strangers.

Other cities project new things, and grow with a modern impetus:
Nuremberg lives in the past, and traffics on its ancient reputation.
Of course, we went to see the houses where these old worthies lived,
and the works of art they have left behind them,--things seen and
described by everybody.  The stone carving about the church portals
and on side buttresses is inexpressibly quaint and naive.  The
subjects are sacred; and with the sacred is mingled the comic, here
as at Augsburg, where over one portal of the cathedral, with saints
and angels, monkeys climb and gibber.  A favorite subject is that of
our Lord praying in the Garden, while the apostles, who could not
watch one hour, are sleeping in various attitudes of stony
comicality.  All the stone-cutters seem to have tried their chisels
on this group, and there are dozens of them.  The wise and foolish
virgins also stand at the church doors in time-stained stone,--the
one with a perked-up air of conscious virtue, and the other with a
penitent dejection that seems to merit better treatment.  Over the
great portal of St. Lawrence--a magnificent structure, with lofty
twin spires and glorious rosewindow is carved "The Last Judgment."
Underneath, the dead are climbing out of their stone coffins; above
sits the Judge, with the attending angels.  On the right hand go away
the stiff, prim saints, in flowing robes, and with palms and harps,
up steps into heaven, through a narrow door which St. Peter opens for
them; while on the left depart the wicked, with wry faces and
distorted forms, down into the stone flames, towards which the Devil
is dragging them by their stony hair.

The interior of the Church of St. Lawrence is richer than any other I
remember, with its magnificent pillars of dark red stone, rising and
foliating out to form the roof; its splendid windows of stained
glass, glowing with sacred story; a high gallery of stone entirely
round the choir, and beautiful statuary on every column.  Here, too,
is the famous Sacrament House of honest old Adam Kraft, the most
exquisite thing I ever saw in stone.  The color is light gray; and it
rises beside one of the dark, massive pillars, sixty-four feet,
growing to a point, which then strikes the arch of the roof, and
there curls up like a vine to avoid it.  The base is supported by the
kneeling figures of Adam Kraft and two fellow-workmen, who labored on
it for four years.  Above is the Last Supper, Christ blessing little
children, and other beautiful tableaux in stone.  The Gothic spire
grows up and around these, now and then throwing out graceful
tendrils, like a vine, and seeming to be rather a living plant than
inanimate stone.  The faithful artist evidently had this feeling for
it; for, as it grew under his hands, he found that it would strike
the roof, or he must sacrifice something of its graceful proportion.
So his loving and daring genius suggested the happy design of letting
it grow to its curving, graceful completeness.

He who travels by a German railway needs patience and a full
haversack.  Time is of no value.  The rate of speed of the trains is
so slow, that one sometimes has a desire to get out and walk, and the
stoppages at the stations seem eternal; but then we must remember
that it is a long distance to the bottom of a great mug of beer.  We
left Lindau on one of the usual trains at half-past five in the
morning, and reached Augsburg at one o'clock in the afternoon: the
distance cannot be more than a hundred miles.  That is quicker than
by diligence, and one has leisure to see the country as he jogs
along.  There is nothing more sedate than a German train in motion;
nothing can stand so dead still as a German train at a station.  But
there are express trains.

We were on one from Augsburg to Nuremberg, and I think must have run
twenty miles an hour.  The fare on the express trains is one fifth
higher than on the others.  The cars are all comfortable; and the
officials, who wear a good deal of uniform, are much more civil and
obliging than officials in a country where they do not wear uniforms.
So, not swiftly, but safely and in good-humor, we rode to the capital
of Bavaria.




OUTSIDE ASPECTS OF MUNICH

I saw yesterday, on the 31st of August, in the English Garden, dead
leaves whirling down to the ground, a too evident sign that the
summer weather is going.  Indeed, it has been sour, chilly weather
for a week now, raining a little every day, and with a very autumn
feeling in the air.  The nightly concerts in the beer-gardens must
have shivering listeners, if the bands do not, as many of them do,
play within doors.  The line of droschke drivers, in front of the
post-office colonnade, hide the red facings of their coats under long
overcoats, and stand in cold expectancy beside their blanketed
horses, which must need twice the quantity of black-bread in this
chilly air; for the horses here eat bread, like people.  I see the
drivers every day slicing up the black loaves, and feeding them,
taking now and then a mouthful themselves, wetting it down with a
pull from the mug of beer that stands within reach.  And lastly (I am
still speaking of the weather), the gay military officers come abroad
in long cloaks, to some extent concealing their manly forms and smart
uniforms, which I am sure they would not do, except under the
pressure of necessity.

Yet I think this raw weather is not to continue.  It is only a rough
visit from the Tyrol, which will give place to kinder influences.  We
came up here from hot Switzerland at the end of July, expecting to
find Munich a furnace.  It will be dreadful in Munich everybody said.
So we left Luzerne, where it was warm, not daring to stay till the
expected rival sun, Victoria of England, should make the heat
overpowering.  But the first week of August in Munich it was
delicious weather,--clear, sparkling, bracing air, with no chill in
it and no languor in it, just as you would say it ought to be on a
high, gravelly plain, seventeen hundred feet above the sea.  Then
came a week of what the Muncheners call hot weather, with the
thermometer up to eighty degrees Fahrenheit, and the white wide
streets and gray buildings in a glare of light; since then, weather
of the most uncertain sort.

Munich needs the sunlight.  Not that it cannot better spare it than
grimy London; for its prevailing color is light gray, and its
many-tinted and frescoed fronts go far to relieve the most cheerless
day.  Yet Munich attempts to be an architectural reproduction of
classic times; and, in order to achieve any success in this
direction, it is necessary to have the blue heavens and golden
sunshine of Greece.  The old portion of the city has some remains of
the Gothic, and abounds in archways and rambling alleys, that
suddenly become broad streets and then again contract to the width of
an alderman, and portions of the old wall and city gates; old feudal
towers stand in the market-place, and faded frescoes on old
clock-faces and over archways speak of other days of splendor.

But the Munich of to-day is as if built to order,--raised in a day by
the command of one man.  It was the old King Ludwig I., whose
flower-wreathed bust stands in these days in the vestibule of the
Glyptothek, in token of his recent death, who gave the impulse for
all this, though some of the best buildings and streets in the city
have been completed by his successors.  The new city is laid out on a
magnificent scale of distances, with wide streets, fine, open
squares, plenty of room for gardens, both public and private; and the
art buildings and art monuments are well distributed; in fact, many a
stately building stands in such isolation that it seems to ask every
passer what it was put there for.  Then, again, some of the new
adornments lack fitness of location or purpose.  At the end of the
broad, monotonous Ludwig Strasse, and yet not at the end, for the
road runs straight on into the flat country between rows of slender
trees, stands the Siegesthor, or Gate of Victory, an imitation of the
Constantine arch at Rome.  It is surmounted by a splendid group in
bronze, by Schwanthaler, Bavaria in her war-chariot, drawn by four
lions; and it is in itself, both in its proportions and its numerous
sculptural figures and bas-reliefs, a fine recognition of the valor
"of the Bavarian army," to whom it is erected.  Yet it is so dwarfed
by its situation, that it seems to have been placed in the middle of

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