BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


The Secret Doctrine, Volume I Cosmogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky


Through the Looking Glass

Lewis Carroll


Shakti and Shakta

John Woodroffe


Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment

Rudolf Steiner


Austria as it is: or, Sketches of continental courts, by an eye-witness [C. Sealsfield].

by Charles Sealsfield

Excerpt:

We passed over the same road from Peterswold to Hollendorf. A "Halt!" interrupted my conversation with my companion, and reminded us where we were. A black and yellow-painted beam, which crossed the whole road, was in the act of being lowered so as to preclude our passage. A customofficer, with a serjeant and two soldiers, stepped out of a door surmounted with the double eagle. My friend had thought proper to place my books and writings under his immediate protection; but this precaution was almost superfluous. The custom-officer, with many bows to my companion, asked only who the other gentleman was. Being satisfied upon this point, cap in hand,

send down to E for a haunch of venison

and a barrel of beer." The officer expressed his satisfaction by respectfully kissing the hand of my gracious C—, the soldiers by a grim smile; and we rolled down the defiles of Hollendorf, famous for the resistance which 3000 Prussians under their general, Kleist, surnamed Count de Hollendorf, offered here to the pursuing Vandamme, till a sufficient force was collected in the rear. The road descends into a deep ravine, surrounded on three sides with huge mountains, whose forest-clad cliffs witnessed fourteen years ago the bloody and desperate contest, known under the name of the battle of Maria Culm. The valley opens here towards the South. The principal conflict was on an eminence, defended by the Russian guards under Ostermann. The Prussians were on the right, the Austrians on the left side. The French fought with an assurance not yet dismayed by disasters, the Allies with despair.

The battle was decided in favour of the latter, by the arrival of the Austrian general, Colloredo, and 9000 Frenchmen surrendered; 4000 escaped; the rest of the army, 40,000 strong, were killed, wounded, or dispersed. Two monuments, the one erected by the King of Prussia to the memory of the fallen Prussians, the other by the Bohemian nobility to their countryman, Count Coloredo Mannsfield, who died in 1824, commemorate the names of the leaders.

St. Maria Culm is the first nobleman's seat which, on entering from this side, offers itself to our view,—an elegant mansion in modern style, surrounded with parks, gardens, and a number of dwellings for the household officers, at a short distance from the borough of St. Maria Culm. The noble proprietor is a Count Thun. We thence rode in one hour and a half to Toplitz, the celebrated Temple of Hygaeia for all those numerous disorders produced by a too free indulgence in the gifts of Ceres, Bacchus, and Venus.

The town is just built in that accommodating style, which leaves it entirely at your choice whether you will spend with the King of Prussia £5 a day, or one shilling. Your appearance and resources are the standard of the behaviour of the dreaded police, when you have to send or to deliver your passports.

A foreigner who comes to Austria from a distant country, and hears the truth of his statement in his appearance and resources, will have less reason to complain of the police than in France or Prussia. Its dead weight lies chiefly on the people. The higher classes, even among foreigners, are allowed more liberty, and, if they are not stigmatized as revolutionaires, they are here more at their ease than any where else: certainly much more than in Prussia. There are, however, two things which I advise John Bull not to overlook. When an absentee from his country, he is inclined to adopt the saving principle: now, for my part, I have not the least objection to his retrieving his circumstances by a voluntary exile; but then it becomes him, even for his own good, not, to show contempt or disrespect towards that nation, be it what it may, where he is going to retrieve his fortune; the more so, as this very principle of saving in a foreign country, in order to be enabled to spend more at home, is in itself an affront to the country he visits. A second thing is to guard his tongue. Freedom is a diamond which sparkles in England, and ought to be the more prized for its rarity. Show your diamond to robbers or- paupers, and they will either rob you, or despise the possession of what they cannot duly appreciate:—show your freedom to slaves and their task-masters, and you may incur still more serious consequences.


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