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outrageously powerful in that part of the

And thuswith tubular bridges, tubular
girders, tubular caissons, tubular lock-gates,
tubular cranes, sheet-iron ships, and sheet-
iron houseswith the hollowness of all sorts
of materials producing economy and strength,
the present is indeed the hollowest of hollow


THE sojourner in Leipsic, while strolling
through its quaint old streets and spacious
market-place, will be attracted, among other
peculiarities of national costume, by one
which, while startling and showy, is still
attractive and picturesque.  The wearer is most
probably a young man of small figure and
of pallid appearance.  He is dressed in a
short jacket, which is black, and is enriched
with black velvet.  The nether garments are
also black.  His head is covered with a black
brimless hat, and a small semi-circular apron
of dark cloth is tied, not before, but behind.
This is one of the Berg-leute, mountain
people; he comes from the Freiberg silver
district, and is attired in the full dress of a miner.

Doubtless, these somewhat theatrically
attired mountaineers hold a superior position
to the diggers and blasters of the earth.  The
dress is, perhaps, more properly that worn in
the mountains, than that of the miners
themselves.  Still, even their habiliments, as I
afterwards learned, are but a working-day copy of
this more costly model; and the semi-circular
apron tied on behind, is more especially an
indispensable portion of the working dress of
the labouring miner.

From Leipsic, the mines are distant about
seventy English miles.  Wewho are a
happy party of foot-wanderers bound for
Viennaspend three careless days upon the
road.  Look at this glorious old castle of
Altenburg, gravely nodding from its towering
rock upon the quaint town below.  It is the
first station we come to, and is the capital
of the ancient dukedom of Saxon- Altenburg.
Look at the people about us!  Does it not
strike you as original, that what is here
called modest attire, would elsewhere be
condemned as immoral and ridiculous?  Each
of the males, indeed, presents a true old
German portrait, with short plaited and
wadded jacket, trunk breeches, shoes and
buckles, and the low, steeple-crowned hat,
with a broad and rolled brim.  But the
women!  With petticoats no deeper than a
Highlandman's kilt, their legs guiltless of
shoes or stockings; while the bust and neck
are hideously covered by a wooden breast-
plate; which, springing from the waist, rises
at an angle of forty-five degrees as high as
the chin; on the edge of which is fastened
a handkerchief, tied tightly round the neck.
A greater disfigurement of the female form
could scarcely have been devised.  Yet, to
these good people, it is doubtless beauty and
propriety itself; for it is old, and national.

Through pretty woods and cultivated lands;
beside rugged, road-side dells, we trudge
along.  We halt in quiet villages, snug and
neat even in their poverty; or wend our way,
in the midst of sunshine, through endless
vistas of fruit-laden woods, the public road
being one rich orchard of red-dotted cherry-
trees: purchaseable for a mere fraction, but
not to be feloniously abstracted.  Through
Altenburg, Zwickau, Oederon, and Chemnitz;
up steep hill paths, and by the side of
unpronounceable villages, until, on the morning of
the fourth day, we straggle into Freiberg.

Freiberg is the walled capital of the Saxon
ore mountains, the Erzgebirge; the centre of
the Saxon mining administration.  One of
its most spacious buildings is the Mining
Academy, which dates from 1767.  Here are
rich collections of the wonderful produce of
these mountains; models of mining machines,
of philosophical and chemical apparatus; class
and lecture rooms, and books out of number.
Here Werner, the father of geology, and
Humboldt, the systematiser of physical geography,
were pupils.  The former has bequeathed an
extensive museum of mineralogy to the
Academy, which has been gratefully named
after its founder, the Wernerian Museum.

Freiberg holds up its head very high.  The
Mining Academy stands one thousand two
hundred and thirty-one feet above the sea,
although this is by no means the greatest
altitude in the long range of mountains; which
form a huge boundary line between the
kingdoms of Saxony and Bohemia.  The general
name for the whole district is the Erzgebirg-
Kreisthe circle of ore mountainsand truly
they form one vast store of silver, tin, lead,
iron, coal, copper, and cobalt ores; besides a
host of chemical compounds and other riches.
The indefatigable Saxons have worked and
burrowed in them for more than seven
hundred years.

We proceed to the Royal Saxon Mining
Office, and request permission to descend into ,
the "bowels of the land."  This is accorded us
without difficulty, and we receive a beautiful
specimen of German text, in the shape
of a lithographed Fahrschein, or permission
to descend into Abraham's Shaft and
Himmelfahrt, and to inspect all the works and
appliances thereunto belonging.  This
Fahrschein especially informs us, that no person,
unless of the Minerstand (fraternity of miners),
can be permitted to descend into the Zechen
or pits, who is not eighteen years old; nor can
more than two persons be entrusted to the care
of one guide.  We cheerfully pay on demand
the sum of ten silver groschens each (about
one shilling), for the purposeas we are
informed in a note at the bottom of the
Fahrscheinof meeting the exigencies of the
Miners' Pension and Relief Fund.

The mine we are about to inspect, which
bears the general title of Himmelsf├╝rst—

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