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dainties these good housewives loved equally I beg your grace will wear this shirt for my to bestow and to accept. The Duchess sake, considering rather the good will of the Dorothea treats Count Christian of Holstein maker than the fineness of the work, which, to a new year's gift of preserved cherries, in truth, is not so perfect as I could have apples, and gingerbread; at the same time desired.” The beautiful Sidonia, of Brunsshe receives from Duke Frederick of Leignitz wick, makes him a similar present, but, some fine melons, almost the first specimens apparently, from interested motives, for she of this fruit which had ever found their way begs at the same time “sufficient ermine to Prussia; not to be outdone, she returns à for the lining of a large mantle.” Finally, magnificent salmon by the duke's messen- to close this list of princely presents, in ger. A good brewing of beer was a very 1538 the Duchess Dorothea sends one of acceptable love-token, especially when it these indispensable garments as a token of came from Mecklenburg or Hamburg, both sisterly affection to the King of Denmark; places famed far and wide for the beverage " also,” she says, we beg your kingly of John Barleycorn. The Duchess Anna dignity will accept this drinking-cup, both Sophia of Mecklenburg bestows good beer because we know that you will not often with great generosity on her friends; she let it go unfilled, and also that you may see sends off ten barrels as a new year's gift to how deep we drink who can empty such the Duke of Prussia, and writes “We have cups. Likewise we send a foot from a had this strong beer brewed for your grace Prussian ox, that you may judge if your with especial care, and hope it will be your Danish cattle go on such large feet as pleasure to receive it as a sign of our good ours." will and friendliness.” Duke Albert about We know that astrologers and alchemists the same time receives from the Count Von flourished abundantly in Germany during Henneberg an appropriate pendant to the this century, and it is not surprising that lady's offering, -"A fair drinking-cup, cu- they found both dupes and pupils among riously wrought by Master Peter Zinck, the ladies, many of whom dabbled in the from Thuringian wood;" the count gal- black arts. Catherine of Brandenburg, and lantly adds a present for the duchess, of her beautiful sister Elizabeth, wife of the • slippers, embroidered with much art and Margrave George Frederick, had each her subtlety.” The duchess sends, as new laboratory, and studied under Thurneisser, year's presents, salmon, dried fish, beavers the famous magician of Thurri, who, it was tails, and a set of chessmen made of amber; believed, could assume any shape he thought she writes a grateful letter of thanks to the proper, fly through the air, and make silver Duke of Mecklenburg, on account of three and gold at will. We can easily credit the pairs of sweet-scented gloves, which he pro- power of this accomplished quack with recured for her from France. Duke Albert spect to the prodigy last mentioned, when might count himself a lucky man on the 1st we read the fabulous prices at which he of January, 1564; besides his Mecklenburg dispensed to his fair dupes aqua d'oro, tincbeer and the Thuringian drinking-cup, he tures of pearl, amethyst, and emerald; all received from Sabina, wife of the Elector of specifics against disease, or, still more preBrandenburg, a shirt-not of mail, bear in cious, potent to restore to age all the beauty mind, but the ordinary and familiar gar- and graces of youth. Hardly less famous ment-made by her own fair hands. Mr. than Thurneisser was Dr. John Meckabach, Thackeray, as we all remember, allows us a “Megabachus,” as he delighted to Laglimpse of pretty little Theo at work on a tinise his name. Meckabach was so forshirt for one of her brothers, and lets us see tunate as to discover in 1545 a preventive how our English ladies were not ashamed and panacea for every ailment, the counterof making shirts a century ago. In those agent of poisons; in one word, the great more primitive times, and among, as our remedy of the age, in the shape of an oil readers will observe, a more primitive people, distilled from amber. a high-born lady could bestow no gift more To the reader of history it must have ochonourable than a shirt of her own making. curred to observe, that when some great The active Duchess of Prussia stitches away wonder, like the Reformation, has been at one destined as a new year's gift to her wrought in any age, he will often find the brother John of Schleswick Holstein, and at veriest trifle start up by its side, and lay an another for the Archbishop of Riga. The almost equal hold upon the minds of men. Duchess Anna Maria of Wurtemburg ex- The lapse of time brings all things to their presses, in an autograph letter to Duke true proportion—the colossus stands, the Albert, her thanks for a present of elks' hoofs mushroom is forgotten in the dust: but and amber, and goes on to say, "In return pore with us over these yellow letters, these
faithful witnesses of what men thought and physicians that she has but revived an anfelt in the sixteenth century, and you shall cient precedent, and only added the knowsee how throughout the courts of Germany ledge requisite for modern times to an art Dr. Meckabach and his wonderful disco- which was in those dars considered one of veries excited very nearly as much eager the highest accomplishments a woman could interest as Dr. Martin Luther and his new possess. We find the Duchess of Leignitz doctrines. Of course we do not speak of the making lozenges against apoplexy, and her bulk of the people, on whose head not one husband believing himself perfectly cured drop of that precious oil would ever fall; through them; one lady is famous for healour remark applies only within the narrow ing-ointment, the recipe for which she will limits of the world which could write let- not give; another prepares eye-water, and ters and afford to pay physicians. In one powders for different ailments. The Duchess important point Meckabach had a decided of Prussia gives medicine, prepared by heradvantage over the Reformer; for him opi- self, against the plague, to her brother ; nion was undivided- not one adverse voice another time she writes, “We send you lifted itself against the marvellous virtues herewith a powder and electuary we have of amber water, amber oil, and “manus inade for the head and breast; we tasted it christi,” another preparation from the same in the presence of the messenger, and the substance. Catholic and Lutheran alike are directions we have given in our letter teach anxious to possess these sovereign remedies, the method of using the same.” ladies willingly sacrifice their much valued We must not suppose, however, that a ornaments to the doctor's crucible, and re- lady's pharmacopæia was confined to herbs, ceive-or believe they receive, which an- roots, and amber. Foremost on the list of swers the same purpose-them back, melted remedies stand powdered elk's hoof, beaver's into a few drops of the wonder-working oil. fat, and horn of unicorn! Amber or uniAmber is fortunately found in Prussia, and corn rings and necklaces were worn as Duke Albert loses no time in despatching charms against the plague, and also those large quantities to Megabachus, who duly made of elk's hoof, only it was absolutely returns him amber oil, water, and manus necessary that the latter should have been christi. Therewith ihe doctor writes a procured“ between the two summer fespompous letter, in which he proves himself tivals of the Virgin, otherwise,” it is comwell worthy a place in Molière's famous plained, " they have little virtue.” As for “Consultation." “ Ars longa,” he says, the unicorn, his horn was just as valuable or he would certainly have made more of in one season as another, the sole condition the oil, but he is, as all the world knows, necessary to make such a prize available overwhelmed with affairs, and must pre- would be precisely that on which Mrs. sently ride off to Munich to meet Duke Glass's recipe for dressing a hare depends. Ludwig. He gives a catalogue of the potent In 1529, Princess Catherine of Schwarzburg virtues of his drugs which would put to writes to Duke Albert, thanking him for shame the invention displayed by the mo- “a whole elk's hoof, seven white amber dern advertiser of patent medicines. “The paternosters, and seven elk-hoof paternosvery smell of the oil,” he says, can per- ters,” which, she says, both she and her form wonders; and only a few drops taken youngest daughter, Anna Maria, received in wine or distilled cordials have power to with great gratitude. "But," "continues drive away all manner of pain whatsoever. the importunate princess, “ will your grace I send likewise a small box of manus christi, remember me with a paternoster or a ring prepared from the oil aforesaid, and which sometimes, for I have a bad memory, and has never been invented or imagined be- ) lose everything. Above all things, if you fore; it is sovereign against apoplexy, mad- could bestow upon me an English ring, for ness, and in short every disease of the brain. it prevents a heavy sickness. I had one A small piece dissolved in the mouth suf- formerly which belonged to my mother, but ficeth to cure an epilepsy or-a headache" 1 have worn it completely in two.” Finally
Many ladies of this period practised more the lady winds up her letter by hinting, useful, if less pretending, arts than alchemy that, if Duke Albert feels disposed to "show and astrology. They prepared a great her the greatest possible grace and kindvariety of simple medicines from different ness," he may send off at once " a little herbs and roots, and some, the Princess piece of the real horn of unicorn.” Anna of Saxony for example, acquired a We have thus obtained a glimpse into wide reputation through their skill. In- what we may consider the more serious deed, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell may argue business of a lady's life at the period; her with those who protest against woman- I amusements were scanty and unvaried. On extremely rare occasions, grand festivals will use his utmost endeavour to persuade took place, where princes and princesses Christina's heir to part with such a treagazed together on the tourney, mimic sure. Dwarfs were also articles of luxury; battles, gay masks, and bonfires, in which a pair, dwarf and dwarfess, was considered sometimes, as at the wedding of the Elector a great prize. The Landgravine Barbara John of Brandenburg, the Pope, the Sultan, of Leuchtenberg possessed a she-dwarf, and, the Khan of Tartary, and the Emperor of to find a mate for her, she addresses herself Russia, were all burnt together. Then to different princes, with the assurance that grim theatricals appeared to the sound of any dwarf they may bestow shall be treated the trumpet; the old story of Queen as if he were one of her own children. Tomyris, how she cut off the head of Cyrus, Not every princess and duchess of this and swam it in a bowl of blood; that of period could write her own name, but among an unjust judge, flayed alive by order of those who did possess this accomplishment Cambyses ; or the history of Queen Esther, an active correspondence was evidently with Haman and his gallows for the drop- maintained. Very little, it must be con
A few ladies followed the chase fessed, of anything like l'éloquence du with as much eagerness as their lords, and billet is to be found in these letters, which rivalled them in establishing menageries, are dull in the extreme, and full of the peopled with wild horses, buffaloes, stags, most formal phrases and titles. In short, and elks, from the woods of Prussia and any person who has ever had the ill fortune Austria. Above all, they delighted to see to be present at the reading of a particutheir castle walls ornamented with repre- larly long will always supposing him not sentations of these animals as large as life; a legatee--can form a pretty accurate idea on these figures, which were generally stiff of the style and tediousness in which these and unnatural in the extreme, the horns fair letter-writers indulge. Unlike the and hoofs of the real animal were fastened. correspondence of contemporary princes, One lady writes that she amuses herself where the historian finds much light thrown daily with a spaniel which has been sent on the important events of the century her from Copenhagen; another is teaching through free discussion and expression of a gay parrot to talk, but the creature is so opinion, the topics of these letters seem all perverse, its mistress complains that she furnished by that narrow domestic world in often loses all patience. The grand play- which the writers lived. No token do we thing at a German court, the one possession find here that their eyes were ever opened through which ennui might fairly be set at to that great outer world so near them, with defiance, was a fool. Happy the queen or its deep interests and marvellous changes, duchess who could find a well-trained she- its mighty hopes, its struggles, and its fool: this was a prize most eagerly coveted, agonies. Even a raging pestilence only and earnestly sought. Duke Albert spares seems to furnish occasion for more active no pains to procure his wife this innocent preparations of amber, and elk-horn powgratification, and we find him engaged in ders; the frequent wars are named as active correspondence with a nobleman in terrible hinderances to the safe convoy of Bohemia on this matter. A certain noble furs and velvets. Indeed, to the public lady of that country named Christina history of the age itself, no more 'striking Kurzbachin, possessed a good she-fool, says contrast can be offered than this corresponthe duke; this fool “the high-born prin- dence of the age, in which every great cess, our friendly and well-beloved consort,” | event is completely ignored; these letters had' begged some years before from her so tranquil, so trivial, so cold. Cold! nay, mistress, and received for answer to her in reference to one subject we may well rerequest, that Christina Kurzbachin could claim that word; only let the topic of the not possibly part with such a favourite during letter be, as not unfrequently it was, the her life-time, but she would promise the hope of women, then the dust and ashes of Duchess the reversion of her fool, to be three centuries do not suffice to quench claimed on her (Christina's) decease. Duke those words of passionate desire, that outAlbert has received certain intelligence of break of maternal joy. Almost with methe old lady's death, and that the Bohe- lancholy we note the eager hope of offspring, mian is her heir, and entreats with much the matron's pride when a son is born, for earnestness that he will behave honourably, the historian is at hand to show us all the by sending off the fool to Prussia with as disasters which the new life so fondly wellittle delay as possible; at the same time comed was doomed to experience. One inboth he and the duchess write to beg the stance among many will suffice; we choose intervention of a friend, beseeching that he' it from the history of Duke Albert, as he
and his duchess have been perhaps our
SPICES. principal figures. For the head of the house of Hohenzollern an heir had long been desired in vain, and when a prince DURING the memorable period when was born at last he was ushered into the Rome entered on the slope of her long de world with quite as much, if not more bon- cline, certain merchants of Arabia brought fires and rejoicings of every kind than re- to the great port of Egypt some packages of cently welcomed our Queen's first grandson à curious fruit, found, they said, in the into life, that small descendant of this little Indies, but in what particular place they prince born in the sixteenth century. Upon knew not. They were delivered to them that joy no shadow fell from the dark hour by traders of the Red Sea, who received to come, which was to see Duke Albert de- them from others on the borders of the serted by his friends, forced to disband his East; and as they passed from hand to troops, and so completely in the power of a hand, the countries which produced them lawless faction, that when Hurst, his faith- remained entirely unknown. To supply ful adherent, clinging to his master's knees, the void in their knowledge, the ancients besought protection, the duke, we are told, invented many fables; but it was not for had nothing for him but his tears, and saw several ages that Europe discovered the real him led off' to be beheaded.
sources of the new luxury that ministered The duke and duchess did not survive the to her appetite. The fragrant nut, the red indignities they had to suffer; they died of clove, and the perfumed cinnamon were grief on the same day, leaving their un- mingled in the delicate ragouts that regaled happy son Albert Frederick in the hands of the Roman epicures, but the place of their his enemies, and he was finally driven into growth was hidden in mystery: insanity through the treatment he received. Such continued long to be the case.
We cannot help thinking that in spite of Spices were brought from Ceylon and from active household ways, embroidery, shirt the Indian Archipelago, chiefly overland, and mantua making-in spite of dog and by one caravan after another, until the parrot, dwarfs and fools, these German trader, entering the gates of the Eternal dames must have led a somewhat dull and City, was ignorant whence his burden was monotonous existence in those grim-looking derived. Long, indeed, after the comcastles by which flowed the Rhine, the mencement of the Christian era, during the Danube, or the Elbe, planted in a desert flourishing period of Venetian commerce, part of the country, girt with frowning the islands of the East were known only woods, or overlooking, from some rock, a through rumours swelled into romance, or wide expanse of sterile soil. To the world the reports of merchants disposed to exof resources opened for their descendants aggerate in fanciful language the wealth by book, pencil, and music, they were utter and the wonders of a region concerning strangers. Rarely did any twice-blessed which there were none to contradict them. work of mercy awake their sympathies for Marco Polo, in the fourteenth century, and the peasants whom their lords oppressed. John Batuta wrote various accounts of the Very scanty was the culture afforded these Oriental islands; yet it was not until 1506 ladies for the taste and intellect; only so that Portugal gained a direct intercourse, much for the affections as Nature herself discovered Sumatra, conquered Malacca or bestows on all who bear the names of wife the Malay Peninsula, and then explored the and mother. It is noteworthy that the Spice Islands lying in that vast sea which highest type to be traced in all these faded rolls between Borneo and New Guinea. letters is that of the careful, frugal German The Spice Islands, properly so called, housewife; we search in vain for some consist of Amboyna, the Bandas, Zernate
, touch of the high-souled and high-hearted Tidor, Batchian, with many others too small English lady, whose portrait Ben Jonson to be noticed in detail. They are of great has drawn from life ; for any token of the beauty, rising in the form of irregular cones learning Elizabeth and Mary of England from the sea, green and verdant, and disdisplay in their autograph Latin letters to playing landscapes among the most picDuke Albert, still preserved at Konigsberg; turesque in the world. None of them are or the deeper study, which, when the hunt larger than Jersey; but in the costliness of was up, and the hounds swept past, kept their products they excel every other region. their gentle cousin in her solitude, delight. The spices they produce were at one time ing more " to unsphere the spirit of Plato” so highly prized in Europe that merchants than to join the throng of knights and gained three thousand per cent on their ladies in the chase.
L. F. P. original cost. The Portuguese first, and
the Dutch next, occupied the islands, estab- practised in Amboyna, where it is a foreign lishing a system of monopoly which has plant; but in its native islands, where it been their curse. In order to enhance the has been all but extirpated, whole forests value of the cloves and nutmegs, they grow without culture, producing a rich rooted all the trees except those in three or fruit, and flourishing for a hundred years four islands, forbidding the people to sell untended by the care of man. Much deto any other nation, and punishing with pends on the quality of the soil, the abunthe utmost cruelty any infraction of this dance of moisture, and the absence of a worm law. History has to record no more re- which occasionally, heads in a plantation, volting horrors than occurred in the Molucca destroying thousands of trees in a season. group. In some of the islands all the people Where it is cultivated, the tree is propawere slaughtered, and not a vestige of the gated either directly from the “mother original population allowed to remain. cloves,” or by transplanting the young Some sketches of this system may be intro- shrubs that spring up spontaneously from duced in a later portion of this article. Let seeds scattered by the wind. This plan is us now describe the precious commodities preferred, the plants raised by the other which tempted the Dutch to heap such method being observed to yield more leaves odium on their name as a colonizing nation. than fruit, and, growing very straight, are
The clove-tree, though introduced by na- difficult to climb in the gathering or harvest turalists into other parts of the world, is season. The planter cannot reckon on sucpeculiar to the Indian Archipelago. Of all cess until his trees have reached a height of useful plants, it has, perhaps, the most five or six feet, as in the early stages of limited geographical distribution. It was their progress they are delicate, requiring originally confined to five islands, but is to be shaded from the sun and sheltered now allowed to be grown only in Amboyna, from the wind. Gradually they are exposed where it is not indigenous, and produces far to the open sky, with a few palms scattered less than in the parent soil. Such is the among them. Care must be taken to prune blindness of monopoly. It has been described the branches, to weed the ground, and keep as the most beautiful, the most elegant, and the plantation sufficiently open to the heat the most precious of all known trees. In and light, or the hopes of the proprietor form it resembles the laurel, with the height may be blasted by a crop of wild cloves. of a common cherry-tree. A straight Åbout October the aspect of Amboyna, trunk rises about five feet, before throwing which is crowded with clove-plantations, is out branches. The bark is smooth, thin, singularly picturesque. The whole island, and firmly laid on; the wood is hard and with its central hill, and bold volcanic peak, close-grained, but of an ugly colour, which its mountains traced by the tracks of scorchprevents its employment in cabinet-work. ing lava-streams, its shores belted by graceAbout May-which, in the native country ful woods of palms, its plains diversified by of the clove, leads in the rainy season—the piles of verdant hillocks, appears at intertree sprouts abundantly; and the young vals painted with tints of crimson, glowing leaves multiplying, all the plantation dis- amid masses of rich green foliage, and abplays a mass of foliage of the most tender solutely dazzling under the splendour of a tints of green. The blossoms then begin to sun never clouded, all that season, in an form, followed by the fruit; at first of a oriental sky. Then commences the harvest. beryl colour, changing to primrose, deepen- The natives, divided into gangs, and ating into blood-red, and varying thence to tended by Dutch overseers, crowd the plancrimson, when it is fit for gathering, though tations, and the ground is swept clean as scarcely ripe, Indeed, the mature clove the floor of an English granary. There is loses much of its flavour and fragrance. no wind to shake down more leaves, and Five varieties are distinguished: the com- the whole remains exquisitely neat. The mon, the female, the long, the royal, which picking is next begun. The nearest clusis very rare, and the wild, which is worth- ters are taken by the hand, the more disless. From the first three a rich essential tant by the aid of crooked sticks-men oil is extracted, valuable to the chemist. climbing among the branches and showerThe cloves called by the Chinese “odori- ing down the fragrant harvest to the ferous nails” are most abundant where ground. Particular care is taken not to dark loam prevails, resting on a stratum of injure the trees; as when roughly handled dusky yellow earth, intermixed with stones. they sometimes' cease bearing for years. The best situations are at a moderate dis- When gathered, the cloves are piled on tance from the sea, under the shelter of hurdles, and submitted for several days to hills. An uniform method of cultivation is the action of smoke from a slow wood fire.