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threats, induced to remain. All the horses were put alternately to each carriage, whilst we proceeded on foot, and with no small difficulty at length reached the post house, where we took sledges, and continued our journey at the rate of ten miles an hour. We reached St. John at a late hour. A neat collegiate church is the only remarkable object in this little town.
February 11th. The scenery this day did not appear so grand and awful as on the preceding; whether this part of the defile be more open, or whether our eyes were more accustomed to its gloomy magnificence I know not; but I believe the former to be the case, as the road gradually ascends, and consequently the elevation of the mountains apparently diminishes; whereas, while at the bottom of the defile, we beheld the whole mass of the Alps in full elevation above us.
I need not, I suppose, caution even the untravelled reader against a mistake, into which some have fallen, that any of the passages through the Alps crosses the ridges, or even approaches the summits of these mountains. The various roads traversing the Alps are conducted through as many defiles, and were probably traced out by the paths, that have served from time immemorial as means of communication between the fertile valleys that lie interspersed up and down the windings of this immense chain. These defiles are always watered, and were perhaps formed, by streams incessantly gliding down from the eternal snows that mantle the highest regions: these streams, increasing as they descend, work their way between the rocks, and continue for ever opening and enlarging their channels. Such is the Inn that now bordered our road, and such is the Salza still nearer the plains of Bavaria. When therefore it is asked, who first crossed the Alps, or opened
such a particular passage over these mountains, the question means only, what general or what army first forced a way through this immense barrier, or made such a particular track or path practicable? Of these tracks, that which we are now pursuing seems to have been one of the most ancient and most frequented. The first people who passed it in a body were probably the Gauls; that race ever restless, wandering, and ferocious, who have so often since forced the mighty rampart, which nature raised to protect the fertile provinces of Italy from the rapacity of northern invaders. Of a tribe of this people, Livy says*, that in the consulship of Spurius Posthumius Albinus, and Quintus Marcus Philippus, that is, in the year of Rome 566, they passed the Alps by roads till then undiscovered, and entering Italy, turned towards Aquileia. Upon this occasion, contrary to their usual practice, they came in small numbers, and rather in the character of suppliants than of enemies. But the most remarkable army that ever crossed these mountains was that of the Cimbri, who in less than a century after the above mentioned period, climbed the Rhetian Alps, and rushed like a torrent down the Tridentine defile. The first successes and final destruction of this horde of savages are well known. At length Augustus, irritated by the lawless and plundering spirit of some of the Rhetian tribes, sent a Roman army into their territory under Drusus, who in a very short space of time entirely broke the spirit of the mountaineers, brought their country into perfect subjection, and opened a commodious communication through the whole range of Alps that bears their name. This expedition is celebrated by Horace, and forms the subject of one of his most spirited productionst. Ever
* L. xxxix, 22.
+ L. iv. 4.
since this event, this road has been frequented, and always considered as the best and safest passage from the Transalpine regions to Italy.
As we had set out late, darkness fell upon us before we had made any very considerable progress, and deprived us of the view of the celebrated vale of Inspruck. We travelled nearly the whole night, and entered that city about four o'clock in the morning
Inspruck is the capital of the Tyrol, a large Alpine province of the Austrian empire, and as it was once the residence of a sovereign prince, is still the seat of government, and has frequently been visited by the emperors. It possesses some noble edifices, more remarkable however, as is usual in Germany, for magnitude than for beauty. The style of architecture, therefore, both of the palace and the churches, is, as may be expected, below criticism; and, when I mention the great hall in the palace, I point out to the traveller almost the only building that deserves his notice. To this I will add another object, that has a claim upon his attention far superior to any that can be derived from mere architectural beauty. It is a little chapel, erected upon a very melancholy and interesting occasion. It is well known that the Emperor Francis the First, husband to the celebrated Maria Teresa, died suddenly at Inspruck. He was going to the Opera, and while walking through the passage from the palace to the theatre, he fell down, and instantly expired. He was conveyed to the nearest room, which happened to be that of a servant, and there laid upon a miserable bed. Attempts were made to bleed him, but to no purpose; and it is stated, that for a considerable time the body remained with the blood trickling slowly from the arm, unnoticed, and unattended by a servant of any description. The
Empress, who loved him with unusual tenderness, shortly after raised an altar on the very spot where he fell, and, clearing the space around, erected over it a chapel. Both the chapel and the altar are, though plain, extremely beautiful, and a pleasing monument both of the affection and of the taste of the illustrious widow. This princess, then in the full bloom of youth and beauty, and the first sovereign in Europe in title and in territorial possessions, continued ever after to wear mourning; and to some subsequent matrimonial overtures, is said to have replied in the animated lines of Virgil,
Ille, meos primus qui me sibi junxit amores,
The inscription runs as follows, and breathes more grief than elegance.
Germ: & Jerus, Rex
XVIII Aug: MDCCLXV
say nothing of the magnificent cenotaph of the Emperor Maximilian in the church of the Franciscans, with its sculptured pannels and bronze statues ; nor of the humble cells of the Archduke of the same name in the convent of the Capuchins, but proceed to a much nobler object than either, to the vale of Inspruck. This vale is perhaps the most extensive and most beautiful of all that lie in the Northern recesses of the Alps. It is about thirty miles in length, and, where widest, as in the neighbourhood of Inspruck, about six in breadth. It is watered by the Inn, anciently the Enus, which glides through it, intersecting it nearly in the middle, and bestowing freshness and fertility as it winds along. The fields that border it are in high cultivation, finely adorned with every species of forest-trees, enlivened with towns and villages, and occasionally graced wtih the ruins of a castle, frowning in shattered majesty from the summit of a precipice. Large woods line the skirts and clothe the sides of the neighbouring mountains, and, with the ragged misshapen rocks that swell above them, form a frame worthy of a picture so extensive and so beautiful. In the southern extremity of this vale stands Inspruck; and behind it rises a long ridge, forming part of the craggy pinnacles of the Brenner, one of the loftiest mountains of the Tyrolian Alps.
About five miles North of Inspruck is the town of Hall, famous for its salt works; and about four miles on the opposite side, on a bold eminence, stands embosomed in trees, the castle of Ambras. This edifice is of very ancient date, and its size, form, and furniture are well adapted to its antiquity. Its exterior is dignified with turrets, spires, and battlements; and its large halls are hung with spears, shields, and helmets, and lined with the forms of hostile knights mounted upon their palfreys, with visors down and spears couched, as if ready to rush forward in battle. The smaller apartments are fitted up with less attention to Gothic propriety than to utility, and contain various natural curiosities, intermingled with gems, medals, and pictures.
Though at Inspruck we had made a considerable progress in the defile, yet we had not risen in elevation so much as might be imagined; for that city is said to be no more than fifteen hundred feet above the level of the sea. But, about three miles farther,