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CHAPTER XIII.

MEDIASCH.

THE stage-coach from Hermannstadt set me down before the post-house of Mediasch, or Medvisch, at about two o'clock in the morning. After knocking up the people at the inn, I was put into a very neat, comfortable room, which was changed the next morning for a still better one. I have already spoken in praise of the landlord and his house; it is large, well kept, and there is an evident desire on the part of the master to satisfy his guests,-a feature you will not find often among Transylvanian innkeepers.

I went at once in the forenoon to pay the clergyman a visit, and on announcing my name was not a little surprised to find myself received like an old acquaintance. Extending both hands towards me, my host exclaimed, Ah, Charles Boner, I know you well ! I am most glad to see you;" and inviting me to sit down, he told me he knew what I had written, etc. The truth was, he had seen reviews and extracts of my books, and probably read criticisms which had appeared in various Continental journals. I mention this merely as a proof, and a striking use, of the interest with which the educated part of the Saxon population follow all that is going on in their mothercountry and among the nations of the West. Were I a popular or eminent writer, this circumstance would not have astonished me; but I must say I was taken by sur- prise when he told me that he knew my name.

The parsonage-house was, as usual, close to the church, and within the wall constituting the stronghold. It was roomy, and everything was neat, simple, and scrupulously clean. The simplicity accorded well with the benign, venerable look of the inmate, who in air, expression, and manner seemed to me the very ideal of a Protestant pastor. In the course of conversation we chanced to speak of books, and I found that he was quite at home in English as well as German literature. He spoke of Wilberforce with admiration, but I cannot remember what led to the theme. Besides his stay at a German university, he had been in Italy, residing for a time at Leghorn as tutor in a gentleman's family. Nor was it long since he had been at Ulm. Such facts show that, although themselves in so remote a corner as to be seldom visited by travellers, these men, impelled by an irresistible yearning, go forth in the direction of their ancient home, again to share in and enjoy the culture of Western Europe,-to them a very Mecca. Their thoughts and gaze are always turned thitherward,-a source of strength, of light, of consolation, and of hope.

The church is surrounded by three high walls, flanked with towers, and a low, pointed, arched portal leads from one to the other. In almost every Saxon village there are similar evidences of the danger in which men lived in earlier times. They went to rest at night in perfect peace, and at morning perhaps, when the streaks of dawn were just appearing above the hill-top, there, too, would be been wild and barbarous hordes, waiting in the twilight to descend upon their prey. Many an every-day arrangement, even, tells us of the fear which regulated their acts. There was a time, for example, when the early service was postponed till a later hour, it not being thought safe to open the gates of the stronghold in which the church stood in the dim light of daybreak, lest the enemy, taking them by surprise, might force his way in. In some churches I have seen the large round stones still standing on the parapet of the tower, as they were placed centuries back to hurl down upon the besiegers, when the outer walls were taken, and, all being lost, the inhabitants were attacked in this their last place of defence.

The existence of these churches is something so unique, and their construction and appearance are altogether so peculiar, that it is well worth while to enter more fully into the subject,-all relating to it being so full of interest and novelty. Director Frederick Müller, of Schassburg, has published a description of these strange buildings, of their rise, varieties, and details of arrangement and construction;*13_1 and it is partly from his account, and partly from my own observation, that the following notice of them is given.

The erection of temples, whether heathen or Christian, is generally the work of princes or of a powerful priest- hood. It is undertaken too, in most cases, when peace prevails, and when there is time as well as the necessary means for glorifying the one God or the particular divinity, by grand proportions, forms of beauty and. exquisite workmanship. Now in these we have here to do with, there was none of this. As to the princes, they were too busy in defending their land and throne to think of the like; and there was no priesthood wealthy or powerful enough to commence such works. The churches were built by citizens-mere peasants frequently, whose fathers, or who themselves had come hither to escape tyranny in another land. They are, so to say, burgher churches; and they received their peculiar impress from the character of the builders, and the circumstances amid which they were raised.

13_1*All the works of this gentleman are well deserving the attention of the architect or antiquary. Not only are they characterized by a thorough knowledge of the subject treated and by profound research, but a pleasing and clear style also distinguishes them.

The object of such a building being a place of worship was connected with the intention of making it a place strength. This determined, in a great measure, its sit It was placed, if possible, at a spot not easily accessible upon a mound or the top of a hill.*13_2 Such a one is the parish church of Trapold, standing on rising ground in the middle of the village. The view to defence also was a reason why solidity was preferred to ornament ; and why, in these Saxon fortified churches, we find all broad, strong, firm, and wholly destitute of that decoration which in other lands church architecture always presents. "Nowhere was to be seen here that cheerful development of forms to be found in the mother-country; nowhere, even at a later period, on the summit of the -slender tower the open gladsome finial, but, instead, everywhere on a broad basis the heavy roof, with a massy knob as the completion." -j-13_3

The only things that received some embellishment were the fonts and bells. But if on these latter the builder bestowed care, it was because they were as much for use s ornament. Their personal safety often depended on the sonorous clang of the metal, when the alarum was sounded; for it was necessary that the din should be heard afar when the bell swung in the tower, calling in e scattered inhabitants, or summoning neighbours to the rescue.

Another reason why there is so little ornament is, the scarcity of sandstone in which to work out architectural devices. Hence, in all Transylvania is not one Gothic tower. The stone used in the church at Schassburg had to be fetched a two days' journey off. This circumstance, in addition to the necessity of defence, accounts for all the windows being as they are, wholly without the tasteful forms elsewhere given them.

It not unfrequently occurred that the builders took the hone-work, with the ready-made ornaments, of Roman remains for their Christian edifices. And this adoption of the skill and taste of another age and people in their buildings was, as Professor Frederick Muller with great sagacity remarks, one reason why the style of architecture prevailing in the land was slow to give way to influences from without. " Where the employment of antique fragments extended beyond the adoption of mere stone blocks, and especially where ornamental remains, such as columns and parts of arches, were adopted, the kindred form of the latter made the acceptance and longer retaining of the Romanesque style a necessity. The antique round arch and the Roman column could not well be introduced as parts of German architectural works."

13_2 * See the illustration to Chapter XXI.

13_3-j- t Friedrich Miller, " Die Vertheidigungs-Kirchen in Siebenbiirgen."

 CHURCH AT KAISD
" CHURCH AT KAISD"

It is characteristic of all these churches that the arches are low; the pillars not light, but massive. All the details, too, are as simple as possible. It very often happens that on the side most exposed there are no windows; and thus a broad expanse of bare unbroken wall is a feature frequently met with. The ecclesiastical character of the edifice is sacrificed to its purpose of defence; yet, notwithstanding, the fundamental form prevelent in the country-that, namely, of the nave terminating in a three-sided choir, of nearly the same breadth as the main building-is invariably retained.

The realization of what has been said above is distinctly seen in this outline of a church at Kaisd. It has, more over, a distinctive mark of a "citadel church,"-massive buttresses against a wall four feet in thickness. Such buttresses are nearly always joined together at top by arches, and, as the main wall is sloped off a little, there a space was left between it and them. Through this, from thee covered gallery beneath the roof, those within could look down, and hurl projectiles and flaming Pechlcrdnze upon the hordes below. More than forty loop-holes are in the upper part of this sturdy stronghold. Choir and nave are here of equal height.

Nor was a surrounding wall, with occasionally even a second and third, the only means adopted for keeping off the enemy. The Saxons, taught by necessity, invented for themselves in the hour of danger these church defences. There was a regular system of fortification,-walls flanked with towers, bastions, strong gate, and moat, with storehouses within the precincts, as well as dwellings for the besieged. Indeed the whole arrangement is so peculiar to these German immigrants, that elsewhere a church built on a similar plan is called " a Saxon church." The whole covered a large area, and was picturesque in the hightest degree. The very irregularity often made it so. Now a broad square tower reose out of the loop-holed wall, with a projecting open gallery at the top; and a few feet above thsi was the heavy roo, low, and strengthened with spars and cross-beams well fastened together. Here is the parapet, as on the wall of the church also, were

placed large stones, ready to let fall on the invader. Besides these still remaining from the old perilous times, I have seen rusty halberts and clumsy fire-arms, fitted only to fire from behind a wall.*13_4 Then a little further on, a round tower would bulge forward in its massive solidity, the upper part presenting a larger girdle of stone-work between which and the main body were the orifices, down which the lighted pitch was dropped. There, perhaps over a gateway projected a small circular tower for the warder, or it would be flanked by a bastion, to make it more secure. It was my great delight to examine these strange structures,-to walk round them and to find a point of view whence all the parts could be taken in at once, and grouped together in the most favourable manner. The church at Agnetheln (see chap. xxxii.) is a fine specimen of such fortified churches. Then, too, the inside of the place was equally curious. Sometimes steps still remained in the wall, to lead to a platform just below the battlement where the peasant garrison could stand to fire through the loop-holes. There was a well to provide water, and receptacles for corn; and the pastor's house was also within the fortress. Occasionally a low postern-gate lead from his courtyard to a piece of garden surrounded by a wall, where his flowers and vegetables grew. Buthis though protected, was without the pale of the strong of fortification.

13_4 * In the inventory of the effects of a deceased pastor were found, Müller relates, " besides communion cup and cassock also toga militant" -in other words, a suit of armour, and the pixida bombardica." fast and fight were then part of his pastoral duties.

One style of church is found throughout the land,-that namely, where the choir is higher than the nave, and where that is made the strongest part of the building loop-holed at the top. The tower is there placed at the western (?) extremity,-in the present instance it has been moved, because insecure, in order to defend that part ;

CHURCH AT DENNDORF
"CHURCH AT DENNDORF"
the intermediate nave made it impossible for the comts on the choir to cast projectiles in that direction.

CHURCH AT BONESDORF
CHURCH AT BONESDORF""

Such tower, and so placed, became therefore a necessary work.

In another sort of church, the architect made the choir the most salient feature, as well as the strongest part, by placing it in the tower. All the importance, both for the eye and for defence, was concentrated there. It had the buttresses joined by arches, as in the other specimens we have seen, with intervening spaces for letting objects fall. At the summit, too, it was loop-holed, like the wall of the choir.

An exception to this is a church at Baassen; the choir is in the tower, but the latter has no buttresses, gallery or loop-holes, and is in its whole appearance like an ordinary tower.

 CHURCH AT BAASSEN
" CHURCH AT BAASSEN"

In all parts of the province you find these picturesque monuments, which cannot fail to interest the stranger whether he be artist, antiquarian, or mere ordinary traveller. These are so peculiar in themselves, so distinctive of, and specially belonging to the people, who erected them, that they ought to be preserved.

I call attention to this, because part of the fortification of a most admirable specimen of such edifice was to have been destroyed to make way for a school-house, as if another building another site could not be found. It is the Church at Agnetheln I allude to. In spring the destruction was to have begun, but I have since learned it has been determined not to commit the vandalism. These citadel-churches are monuments of which the Saxons ought to be proud. They are, with their burghs, the best, indeed the only(?) ones they have. They speak better than columns or triumphal arches of the courage, devotion, and energy of their peasant ancestors,-planned and erected as they were by their own skill and perseverance, without foreign help. Verily, if a people allow such monuments to fall to ruin or be demolished, the spirit which once characterd them must sorely have decayed.

The space round the church of Mediasch enclosed by walls is large, showing that even in early times the population that would seek shelter there in case of need was considerable. The town now contains 5337 inhabitants. The school is also within this church-fortress; indeed it is invariably the case that the two are close to each other. "They belong together, and must go hand-in- hand," is r the emark always made on pointing them out to you. Some strong places were here employed as prisons, much to the dislike of the clergyman, who thought it unfitting that the precincts of a church should be used for such purpose. Arrangements, however, are being made for removing the inmates elsewhere. Several men were in one room, well lighted by a large window with iron bars. One or two, who had succeeded in breaking prison, had fetters on their feet. The poor wretches looked all very crest-fallen ; they seemed moped and wearied to death for want of blessed liberty. For the rest, they were well taken care of.

Having occasion for medical advice, I called on the physician. In the neat drawing-room there stood a grand pianoforte, and to my surprise scenes from Derbyshire and Falmouth were hanging in frames on the walls. And a portrait of Bulwer also; he, indeed, is the most popular English author here.

It was now the time of the vintage, and every cart and every horse and yoke of oxen were in requisition for carrying vats and casks to the small buildings on the hillsides, where the wine-presses stood. Every one, too, was out there, busily preparing and picking or eating grapes. On reaching my inn, I found a young Saxon girl with a basket of grapes from the clergyman, and a couple of bottles of precious wine. What a splendid pile of luscious fruit was that on my table ! It was quite a picture and quite a pleasure to gaze on those clusters, almost bursting with ripeness, all covered with bloom, giving a most delicate tint to the light green bunches, and softening the shade of the darker purple. I wondered if those from the promised land of Canaan were more beautiful. They might have been, for the following morning another basket arrived from the same friendly hand, with a still finer sort ; they were the very choicest that grew in the land, of exquisite flavour, and so thin-skinned that no residue hardly was left in the mouth. It was like the virgin honeycomb I had eaten near Hermannstadt, the cells of which were so fine that a mouthful of the sweet food yielded but a morsel of wax, not larger than a bee's wing.

In a land abounding in wine, you might naturally expect to get a good bottle at the inns ; but this is not the case. It is invariably of the most mediocre description and if you wish to know what the country produces and to taste the best sorts, this is only to be done by going to private houses. In all the towns are wine-shops with a public room more or less well-fitted up, where various wines, or those only belonging to one grower, are on sale. At such places good vintages are sometimes to be obtained. At the " Count Szechenyi" hotel at Broos, I did, it is true, get a most excellent and palatable cheap wine.

The festival of the vintage, for it is a festival every where, takes place generally towards the end of October. Many large proprietors prefer delaying it a few days ; for by doing so they not only get workmen for less wages, but the grapes, by remaining even a short time longer on the vine, gain considerably in the amount of sugar they contain. The difference is so great as to have very considerable influence on the value of the produce.

When the grape-gathering has once begun, there is mirth, and music, and rejoicing. From far and near, friends and acquaintances come to share in the merry making and enjoy the delicious fruit. All are welcome. The richer the harvest and the fairer the promise, the more animated is the scene, and the gladness which prevails is then unbounded. I had been invited to go to the vineyard, and gladly accepted the offer. On these occasions chairs, tables, barrels of wine, plates, and various necessaries are laden on waggons and sent out to the vineyard. All is in motion, and a stranger might suppose that a general emigration was taking place. In a summmer-house, or if still warm, under the blue sky, a table is spread with all sorts of refreshments, and cotinnually replenished to supply the numerous visitors. Gypsies, with their violins and wind-instruments, play lustily to amuse the labourers, and prevent them from engaging at their work; and the picking and carrying goes at at good rate.*13_5 Here the grapes are not stamped with the feet, but pressed with a lever. As usual, they are not assorted, but the son of the clergyman, who has studied the vine and its cultivation, is beginning to introduce new sorts, and to plant them separately. The Riessling, he told me, did not do in Mediasch, owing to the excess of sugar it contained. Its wine was almost like brandy. We tasted a vintage which we had brought with us, and I thought it excellent. It was strong, ardent, but most refreshing. This, a superior sort, was tenpence a bottle,-it was worth five shillings. Another, not so superior, but very good, cost only fourpence.*13_6 Both left the exhilarating prickling on the tongue which I have before alluded to. There was such an abundance of wine that they literally did not know what to do with it. They had neither casks nor room for storing it away. For the loan of a cask, an equal quantity would willingly be given to the lender.

13_5* Among the guests assembled here, I found a young man who had been in Wales; one of the ladies, too, spoke English well. No writers are more liked here, or more thorooughly appreciated, than our English authors. Their works are read and studied with an almost enthusiastic admiration.

I feasted to my heart's content on the delicate food Of the many sorts, the small sugary maiden grape and the larger aromatic muscat are among the choicest. The air is here so mild that wheat and maize and wine thrive in perfection. The hillsides are steep and toilsome fo the husbandman ; but for the culture of the vine-being exposed the whole day to the sun-they are admirably adapted. Indeed, nowhere in the district does the like sized vineyard yield so much as in the neighbourho of Mediasch. The plants are manured every three years.

We took a pleasant walk in the evening, and returning along one of the many ridges which run through this part of the country, forming numerous quiet valleys, looked down on the colony at our feet. It stands beside the river, backed by vineyards, and above and beyond these are woods. A ridge of mountains shut in the distance. The houses were prettily mixed up with foliage, willows dotted the river-banks, old square towers rose at intervals along the wall, and as a setting to the whole, broad pastures spread around the town. In the most exposed spots, I was told, it was too hot for wheat : it shrinks and shrivels together.

13_6 *The soil of the vineyards here is sand and marl.

Among a people who preserve so scrupulously their old customs, we may not be surprised at still finding many practice relating to the guild system. It flourished long this country, and has not yet sunk into total abeyance. Even now, the different corporations sit together their particular places in church. Above the seats of the tailors were painted the arms of their guild ; Oriental carpets were hung upon a great number of the pews as a sort of arras, and the same with the breastwork of the gallery over which they were thrown. Later, I saw them in almost every church in the province. They dated from another period, when trade with Constantinople and Persia flourished; and which, passing through here instead of by the Cape, brought hither many a produce of the East. Occasionally one was spread over the altar, communion-table as we should call it; and the name of the giver, with the date, was worked by hand into the web.

Along the banks of the Marosch and the Samosch are many places with German names, where now the preponderating number of the inhabitants belong to another nationality. These vales were the places the settlers first came to, being the most fertile; but the constant forays of Turk and Tartar, as well as attacks of the plague, contributed to their gradual depopulation.

While at Mediasch I first heard of certain customs peculiar to the Saxon population, and as I shall hardly find a fitter place, I will give an account of them here.

There can be no doubt that the peasantry is the most truly conservative part of the German nation. Riehl, who is an authority, asserts it; and indeed whoever has mixed with them, and made himself acquainted with their feelings, habits, and mode of thought, must himself have arrived at a like conclusion. In Transylvania it is the same. Here the Saxon, surrounded by foreign and often inimical influences, clung on that account all the more tenaciously to his native customs, and was more thoroughly German than he was at home. Observances are still to be found among these immigrants which they carried with them on their long wandering seven hundred years ago, but which in the land of their origin have long become extinct. They are themselves a bit of living history-a stray page from an old chronicle, calling to mind past centuries of which the present busy generation knows nothing.

A study of Saxon character and customs is therefore not the least interesting to which the traveller in Transylvania can give his attention. In doing so, he will discover a fund of sound common-sense, of practical ability, a talent for self-government, and a healthy moral sense leavening the whole system of social and political life, which will assuredly take him by surprise, and to which he cannot refuse his admiration. I allow that all is not as it once was. Institutions are flourishing with us in the West-institutions that we Englishmen are proud of-which, centuries ago, were here looked on as a birthright when we had them not. And now those same have here passed away. Such are the mutations in this world's history.

One of the most peculiar customs, and one, too, which exercised an important influence on Saxon life, was the formation of societies called "Brotherhoods" (Bruderschaften). Their origin dates from a remote age; from a time probably when the law was corrupt and had little power, and moral law was equally without influence.

Their aim was to ensure civic and social order, to promote sober and discreet living, and to render mutual assistance in all cases of need. The members made laws for their guidance, and chose officers to see them carried out. The punishments for non-observance of an imposed duty were clearly defined, and as they were inflicted on the offender by a jury of his peers, he could hardly com plain. As in the guild it was exactly stated what the apprentice was to do and to leave undone, so here, only on a far more extended scale, his various duties as subject, citizen, son, and brother were dwelt on, and the punctual execution of them demanded from him. Such " Bruderschaft" was a union of patriarchal family discipline, and of strict communal superintendence. The tendency was what I imagine the original aim of the freemasons to have been. The moral conduct of each member was watched over, as in the " Tugendbund " of later times ; but the Germans in those days seem to have been endowed with a more practical sense than a later generation, and not to have been so apt to fall into fanciful and vague imaginings, leading nowhere, except, perhaps, to e clouds, and wholly inapplicable for the purposes of ual life. They gave their notions a tangible form e scheme was clearly defined and put into good working order; and work it did, long and well.

What may be called the "administration" of the Ciety was managed by seven persons, elected by the tubers. There was a president (Altknecht), elected yearly, and a vice-president (,elassem Altkuecht), as well as others who had their several special spheres of action, to superintend the behaviour of the members out of, or in church ; to keep peace among the community ; to adjust differences; to keep the accounts, etc. etc.

The duties of each were minutely given, as well as the method of performance. Every formula to be observed was noted and rigidly enjoined. There was hardly anything that did not come under the notice of the " Bruder- schaft." The "neighbours," or council of seven, punished negligence, preserved order, saw that mutual aid was rendered whenever needed in life and death, smoothed dissensions, especially conjugal quarrels, and, in many places they made a point of receiving the Sacrament together. The whole system was a self-imposed mutual control. Whoever omitted going to church, especially on " Sunday or other holyday," paid a small fine; he, likewise, who on falling asleep in church and being waked by his neighbour should grumble at being disturbed, had to pay eight farthings. Whoever induced a servitor to leave his master was fined one florin. When a neighbour built a house, or barn, or well, the members were to help him ; and he, in return, gave them an " Ehrentrunk," or draught of wine. A neighbour "who came slowly" to lend his aid had to pay a measure of wine; he "who came not at all " forfeited two. Another law shows not only how much care was taken for seemly manners, but indicates also how their co-dwellers in the land were viewed by these immigrant settlers. "Any neighbour who in Wallack wise shall loll with his elbows on the table, instead of sitting upright, is to be fined six farthings."

Obedience and subordination were rigidly enforced. " If the youngest neighbours do not obey the elders, but with open mouth and jarring voice resist their commands, uch shall pay fourteen farthings."

Precedence was strictly observed, and at a funeral or in a procession a young person was not allowed to go before an elder one ; or to sit at an upper table when his place was at a lower.

Becoming behaviour at church was enjoined, and whoever came there was to be careful that his dress was neat and seemly. Untidiness, such as strings hanging out, buttons being off, etc., was punished.

Whoever did not appear, paid a small sum to the public purse. At weddings, funerals, on occasions of joy, on the occurrence of a misfortune, the "neighbours" were expected to participate. No service of love was to be refused; moreover, it was to be rendered lovingly. He who in a passion dashed his fist on the table was mulcted eight farthings; he also who failed to render the last honour to a "neighbour," and accompany him to his grave.

For the adjustment of differences, as for the punishment of offenders, it was necessary to hold a court of justice. This (" Der Zugang ") took place every second or third Sunday. As soon as the sermon was over, the chief, or "father," announced that a meeting was that day to be .held, and called on the members to attend. Having dined, they assembled before the church and went to the "Zugang." Here all was proceeded with according to certain forms. "Good brothers," said the president, "if any one is present who deems himself culpable, let him accuse himself; he will escape with half his punishment. Should any brother have to complain of another, let him do so, and afterwards hold his peace."

The case, whatever it might be, was then submitted to the assembly, and the punishment fixed. If the offender demurred, the fine was doubled. As last court of appeal the clergyman was applied to, and if he found the judg- ment a fair one, he who appealed had the fine trebled, and lost l2kr., which he had to deposit before going up to the parsonage. Any of the officers found guilty of partiality in the performance of his office was fined, and occasionally dismissed.

For the promotion of kindly feeling towards each other, and the avoidance of any rancour or illwill on account of strict censorship, a meeting was held on the Friday evening preceding the Sunday on which the Sacrament was administered. There, with certain formula, assurances were given of mutual friendly feeling, and pardon asked for any real or supposed unkindness. But previous to this, the " Altknecht," or " Nachbar Vater," as he was also called, had been to the clergyman of the parish to reconcile himself with him, in the name of the brotherhood, in case, wittingly or unknowingly, any offence should have been given. On the Sunday following, they received the Sacrament together.

Care was even taken that there should be no lack of fitting amusement, and that, with mirth and jollity, order and decency should prevail. When Bath was in its glory, and the master of the ceremonies potentate supreme in the fashionable "Rooms," not stricter order was observed, or more attention given to usage, and the true politeness that comes of gentle breeding, than was to be found at the dances held by the "Bruderschaft" at Christmas, Easter, Whitsuntide, and on the Feast of St. John. As a proof of this, it may be stated that one of the duties of the " stewards," as we should say, was to see that no girl sat looking on for want of a partner,-a state of positive torture for these village maidens ; and any youth who should reject the dancer brought him was to be fined three farthings, and was not to dance himself for five tours. (" Verachtet einer die angefuhrte Magd, and will mit ihr nicht tanzen, er soll zahlen Denar 3 and 5 Reihen gar nicht tanzen diirfen, zum andermal dop pelt.") There is in this bye-law a kindly forethought and a delicacy of feeling evinced which one would hardly expect to find.

It was a prevailing custom in Germany, existing still in many villages, that the young peasants went, in cor- pore, of a Sunday, after vespers, to pay a visit to the daughters of their neighbours. In one room were assembled the elder, in another the younger maidens. They sang, and played, and laughed; and many a lad here chose the girl, whom in time he led home to be the mistress of his household. In autumn and winter there was the " Spinnstube," where they met and chatted with the lasses, while the humming spinning-wheel flew busily round. On all these occasions one of the elders of the "brotherhood" was invariably present, so that no word or action could be ventured on that was in any way not comely. Whatever might lead to scandal was forbidden. The least breach of good manners towards, or in presence of, any of the young girls was heavily punished. Thus if a youth presumed to touch or take out the brooch from the bodice of a girl, he was fined thirty farthings. The dress of the youths even, on such visits, was prescribed; they were not to wear their coarse work-day clothes. At eight o'clock all were to leave, and no young man was allowed to escort a maiden home. She went alone, or with her own companions. At such meetings, the lads were forbidden to sit beside the girls at their spinning-wheels, still less with one before the $re, and with back to the company ; but all of them were to sit at table and join, if they chose, in a song with the girls, while their wheels went humming round. Should a quarrel arise between the lads and lasses, and unfitting, abusive words be used, a fine might be imposed as high as ninety-nine farthings.

Thus on all occasions the members of the brotherhood were expected to watch over themselves. A sharp eye was also kept over them by others, to whom they had delegated the authority to do so. As we have seen, not merely neglect of duties incumbent on a good citizen occasioned reprimand, but even the absence of Christian love and charity in performing a friendly service was taken notice of, and followed by an admonition.

The influence such control must have exercised is selfevident. Besides its moral consequences, it was important, inasmuch as it gave the Saxon population a feeling of unity which constituted their strength. They held together on all occasions, and were bound to do so. And there is no doubt that the constancy with which they invariably met every attempt to infringe their rights, had its roots in this well-devised plan and its excellent organization.

These brotherhoods were in reality the foundation of the municipal institutions. From among their members were chosen the common-councilmen ; and these elected the " Richter," or officers whose functions were an ad-mixture of magistrate and burgomaster.

Every Saxon youth was obliged, after confirmation, to enter the "brotherhood." He left it on marriage, or earlier, if so disposed.

That the Government throws no difficulties in the way of marriage*13_7 is doubtless one reason why the number of

13_7* Bavaria shows what is the result of a contrary system. Here the Government opposes so many impediments to marriage that they amour frequently to a prohibition. The inquisitorial proceedings, too, which must be gone through before parties may dare to marry, are as vexatious as they ridiculous And the consequence is, "in Munich, in one year, there were 1762 legitimate and 1702 illegitimate births ; nor is it rare for the illegitimate births in one month to exceed the legitimate. In Lower Bavaria, illegitimate births are one in four ; in the Palatinate where freedom from vexatious laws produces a less proportion of crime, more contentment, and greater prosperity, they are one in nine ; and in Saxony and Prussia one in thirteen" (Wilberforce's ` Social Life in Munich'.)

illegitimate births is so small in Transylvania, when compared with other lands or other parts of the monarchy. Among the German population it was, in 1851, only four per cent. of the whole number of births, while in Carinthia more than one-third, in Styria, Trieste, and Lower Austria nearly one-fourth of the newly born children were illegitimate. Since then it has no doubt increased, as the tables of the preceding years showed a regular annual augmentation of such births. The brotherhoods, we may be sure, by their watchfulness and coercion, were greatly instrumental in causing the above favourable results.

There is no proletarian class in the country, nor any fear of one arising,-a happy thing assuredly, which may serve as a set-off to the general scarcity of money, and want of means for turning the produce of the soil to account.

In Mediasch there are eleven such "Bruderschaften." :,Each one has its own oven in common for baking bread; d every "Nachbar" is obliged, under penalty, to bake there,-a custom peculiar to this town only.

The further one travels in the country, the more clearly is perceived how much its conformation had to do with the direction the inhabitants took in seeking out other people. I have already said that they-the German po- pulation especially-kept up continual intercourse with the nations of the West. Besides the circumstance of origin and a thirst for culture, there was another reason Why they turned their steps thitherward. The mountainohains for the most part slope in that direction and to the south-west, while on the east and south they form huge barriers, at once giving protection from invasion on those sides, and interdicting, seemingly, all communication with the people beyond. The rivers, too, flow westward, and the valleys through which they pass afforded opportunity for making roads that should reach the dwellers in lands lying towards the setting sun.

NOTE.

The fortified Saxon church was a sort, of Kremlin in miniature, where were accumulated all the most important possessions. The following extract from Madame Swetchine's `Sa Vie et ses IEuvres' is interesting, inasmuch as it shows that still further eastward similar constructions arose, for a like purpose, and owing to the same natural impulse of guarding what was held most dear.

"Nous croyons d'ordinaire en France que le Kremlin est une citadelle, et qu'il n'existe de Kremlin qu'à Moscou ; ce sent deux erreurs. Touts ville russe, antique et considerable, a, entoure d'une enceinte fortifiee, une eglise particulierement reveree, souvent plusieurs, un convent, nn depot d'artillerie, des munitions de guerre ; et c'est cet ensemble qui regoit le nom de Kremlin, et qui pourrait en effet porter Ie nom de forteresse, puisque le peuple concentre la ce qui fait sa force, c'est-a-dire sa religion, ses archives et ses armes."

Every city in Spain had also its Alcazar, which was the Kremlin of the north.




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