« 上一页继续 »
Japanese, South American, and Turkish curiosities, and a model of the mines of Freiburg.
The historical collection is more interesting. It contains the model of a windmill, made by Peter the Great, with his own hands, while working as a ship carpenter in Holland. Also the scarlet dress of a Doctor of Civil Law, given to the present King of Prussia by the University of Oxford, who have styled the king, on it, Frederick William II., instead of III. There are also two cannon balls, each with one side flattened, said to have been fired by opposite parties in the siege of Magdeburg, and to have met together in the air like loving brothers.
Some of the relics here preserved are truly national. There is a cast, taken after death, from the face of Frederick the Great; the bullet which wounded him at the Battle of Rossbuch; a wax figure of him, clothed in the very uniform he wore on the day of his death; the coat is rusty and tarnished; the scabbard of the sword is mended with sealing-wax, by his own hand; his books, and his walking cane, and favourite flute; with his pocket handkerchief, a dirty rag, very tattered, and patched in many places. There is also this great king's whole wardrobe, consisting of two coats, as many waistcoats, and three pairs of breeches.
In the same apartment is a glass case, containing the stars, orders, and decorations presented to Napoleon I. by the different sovereigns of Europe. England, however, did not humble herself by thus contributing to his vanity. They were taken by the Prussians after the Battle of Waterloo, in his carriage, from which he escaped so narrowly, that he left his hat behind him, which is also preserved here; and as from the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step, in another case we have a collection of tobacco pipes, made by the father of Frederick the Great. They are most of them such as a Billingsgate fishwoman would disdain to use.
The king's favourite residence is a very modest mansion, not far from the royal palace. In its interior decorations all is plain, and in keeping with good taste. The furniture, pictures, &c., are the productions of native artists or manufacturers. The bed-room of the king is fitted up in the plainest manner. He sleeps on a little narrow bed of painted wood, without curtains. Adjoining is the bed-room of the queen. I saw it with her toilette spread out, and her bible upon it. All this appeared to me better and more fitting for the perishable creature—man-than the most imposing splendours of the palace.
One of the handsomest edifices in Berlin is the new Museum, which was finished in 1830. Before its entrance is a gigantic basin of polished granite, 22 feet in diameter. The block out of which it is formed was a vast isolated boulder, known as the great Markgrafenstern or land-mark, nearly 30 miles from Berlin. It was conveyed from thence in a flat-bottomed boat, along the river Spree, to Berlin, and there polished by means of a steam-engine.
The Museum consists of vases, bronzes, sculptures, paintings, and curiosities. Among the bronzes is an extensive series of Roman penates, or household gods, and added to these are great quantities of Roman arms, armour, spears, back and breast-plates, greaves for the legs, and sacrificial axes. The vases are in number nearly 2,000, and are exceedingly well classified, according to their country and shape. In the sculpture gallery are some fine groups or single figures, Among the latter is that of the Boy Praying, said to be one of the finest antique bronzes in existence. It was found in the bed of the Tiber. There is also a bust of Julius Cæsar, like one which was once in our British Museum, but which has vanished like many other things, and Peter Parley would like to know where it is gone to. In the side apartments, leading out of the sculpture gallery, are the collections of china, with works in baked clay. Among them is a beautiful altar-piece, and a high relief in clay, representing the Trinity.
The picture gallery is not equal to those of Munich and Dresden, but it has very good specimens of all the celebrated masters, especially of the German and Italian schools. There are many pictures of sacred subjects by Raphael ; “Leda and the Swan ;” “Io and the Cloud," by Correggio. Of the Flemish and Dutch schools are the twelve paintings which formed the side wings or shutters of the famous altar-piece, known as the “Star of the Spotless Lamp," and are decidedly some of the finest paintings in the gallery. By Rubens, is a picture of the “Resurrection of Lazarns ; " by Van Dyke, a portrait of a “Daughter of Charles I.” Among those of Teniers is the celebrated one of the “Temptations of St. Anthony," a very strange picture; under the figure of the Saint, Teniers has pourtrayed himself, and his wife; an old woman with horns and claws was the face of the painter's mother-in-law. A fine painting of Rembrandt, representing Adolph of Guelderes shaking his clenched fist at his father, a powerful representation of uncurbed passion. Two divisions of the gallery are occupied with works in the earliest period of art, which may be regarded as the antiquities of painting, and these are very interesting.
The Royal Library has many curiosities, and among them are Luther's Hebrew Bible, the copy from which he made his translation, with marginal notes in his own hand; the MS. of his translation of the Psalms: the Bible and Prayer-book which Charles I. carried to the scaffold, and gave to Bishop Juxon just before his execution ; Guttenberg's Bible, the first book upon which movable types were used in Europe ; a MS. of the Four Gospels, given by Charlemagne to Wittekind. There are also the two Hemispheres of metal, with which Otto Gueriche made his experiments on the air, and led to the invention of the air-pump.
The University was established in 1809, and ranks very high, particularly as a medical school. There are nearly 2,000 students. The Museum of Natural History is within its walls, and the Zoological department is one of the richest and most extensive in Europe. The minerals are also very fine; among them is a piece of amber, weighing 13lbs., said to be the largest known, and worth 10,000 dollars; it was found in a field, at a place called Schlappacken, twenty German miles from the Baltic. There is also a splendid fiery opal, brought from South America by Humboldt. The anatomical museum is very excellent, particularly in compa
The Egyptian Museum contains many Egyptian antiquities, such as mummies, scarabæi, and, in addition, a collection of arms, implements, and utensils of all sorts, highly illustrative of the whole economy of the Egyptians, as it existed three or four thousand years ago; and these are in such perfect preservation as to give a wonderful insight into the state of arts and habits, condition and civilization of the Egyptians of that remote period. Speci.
mens of a great many trades are to be seen; garments nearly as fine as muslin ; a pair of braces, said to have belonged to an Egyptian monarch; and other domestic matters, with writing materials and musical instruments; but, perhaps, the most interesting of the whole is the contents of the tomb of an Egyptian high-priest, discovered and opened in the Necropolis of Thebes. The body was enclosed in a triple coffin ; by the side of it were the sacred wand, or priest's rod; the scull and leg-bones of an ox, branches of sycamore, and two models of Egyptian vessels, such as navigated the Nile, 3,000 years ago, neatly finished and completely rigged, having on board a dead body, and a party of mourners accompanying it to the tomb.
I will leave the arsenal to those who are fond of wars and fighting, and speak of the iron foundry, which is so celebrated for its black iron trinkets, usually called “Berlin Ware." Here are large foundries for casting, and a great variety of articles are produced, as busts, statues, bas reliefs, copies of pictures, monumental slabs, joists, beams, and rafters for houses, and iron balls. In short, the castings are of all kinds, from a colossal figure to the most miuute filigree ornament of a lady's toilet, which cannot be equalled by any European factory. At the time when the final struggle commenced between Prussia and Napoleon, the patriotism of the Prussian ladies was particularly conspicuous. With the noblest generosity they sent their jewels and trinkets to the royal treasury, to assist in furnishing funds for the expense of the campaign. Rings, crosses, and other ornaments of cast iron, made in this manufactory, were given in return to all those who had made this sacrifice. They bore the inscription,