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Pruffia's Dominions. Their Pay is not full Two Pence a Day (and a Pound of Bread); and with this mean Allowance, they are obliged to keep them felves cleanly and neat; you will, therefore, eafily conceive what a Life the poor Inhabitants lead among them. Every private Soldier expects to be treated like a Gentleman, and every Officer will imitate his Superiours, and ftretch his Power to the utmoft, to play the Tyrant. The former must be wink'd at, because their Pay is fmall, and the latter be allowed great Liberties, to make them, in fome Measure, amends, for having perhaps facrificed their Fortunes, in raifing the Number of Men, of a limited Height, enjoin'd them, in Order to entitle them to a Commiffion. They have most of them been taken, as Cadets, into the Army, while very young, before they have had any Education, or have feen any thing of the World; fo that, in the moft, it is hard to fay whether Ignorance or Infolence is moft predominant; and baiting a little of the Theory of their Profeffion (for very few of them have ever been in the Field) their Knowledge is not far fetch'd: And if with this, you deprive them of their two favourite Topics, Wing and Dr---nking, you may as well talk Hebrew to them, as difcourfe on any other Subject. After this long Tour, my next will probably advife you of my Arrival at I am, &c.
E left Minden (which is but two Stages, of five German, or twenty English Miles, each from this Place) on Easter-Eve, and travelling all Night, arrived before one of the Gates of this City, the next Day, about two in the Afternoon; but were obliged to wait near two Hours, it being customary, in the Garrifon-Towns of Germany, to keep their Gates shut during the Time of Divine Service.
WE no fooner enter'd the City, than I was apprehensive some epidemical Disease had lately raged there, and thought the whole Town was in Mourning: For almoft all the Men we met were in long black Cloaks, many of them with monftrous large Bands, and all the Women in black Veils, and black Petticoats, which together fo entirely cover'd them, that no more of them appear'd to View, than of a Mute attending a Corpfe lying in State. My Companion, obferving my Surprize, freed me from it, by telling me it was the common Mode of the Place, and that the Burghers, of any Reputation, went thus drefs'd out of Decency, as they call'd it, as the Women did for Modefty: And as it happened to be a great Festival, foon after Evening Service, hardly any one appeared but in this decent Dress.
AFTER Our Chaife had travers'd a good Part of the City, we stopp'd in a small Square, which, by the Shambles, I found to be a Market-Place;
and it proved to be the principal, or indeed the only one of the whole Place. On one Side of this Square, is an ancient Gothic Building, which, upon Enquiry, 1 found to be the Rabt (or Council) Houfe, where the Senat affemble, and where all jufticiary Matters are tranfacted. The first remarkable Thing which attracted my Eye was a monftruous large Statue, of 18 or 20 Foot high, in Imperial Robes, which they call the Great Roland, being defign'd to reprefent an Emperor of that Name, who was famous as well for his enormous Stature, as his Strength and Valour; and, if you will believe the Vulgar, was of the Size you there fee him reprefented: But, it feems, this is a common Statue, in many of the ancient Cities of Germany, and tho' the Size of it has been generally proportioned to the Length of their Pockets, they tell you the fame Story every where: On the oppofite Side of the Square, is another ancient Building, where we alighted, and where I was told I was to lodge. This Building is call'd the Schuting, and is a Sort of common Hall, where the feveral Colleges or Affemblies of Burghers, and particularly the Altermänner (Elders) or College of Commerce, hold their Meetings: But is, at the fame Time, a public Houle of Entertainment.
AFTER having refreshed myfeli fome Time in my Chamber, it being too foon to go to Reft, I enquired of my Landlord; if there was not a Coffee-houfe in the Neighbourhood, where I might divert myfelf an Hour or two, with Company, and reading the News? He anfwer'd me, with a feeming Surprize at the Queftion, that he himfelf kept a Coffee-Room, in that House: But GOD forbid he should prophane the Sabbath so far, as to open it on that Holy Day. However, he kindly offer'd me whatever Liquor I pleas'd in my Chamber, and, to beguile the tedious Time
(my Companion being gone to vifit a Friend) his Company to partake of it. I accepted of his Offer, and left it to him to chufe his Liquor: He told me, as I might probably be fatigued with my Journy, he thought a Glafs of 24 Groot Beer * would best compofe me to Reft. I was refolved, tho' you know I am no great Admirer of Malt-Liquor, to humour my Hoft; and in a Moment, with an Alacrity, beyond what I could have expected from his demure Afpect, the Table was cover'd with Pipes, Tobacco, a fpitting Pot, and Glaffes, and his Servant foon after brought up a large Bottle, containing at least two Quarts, of the excellent Beer he promis'd me. My Landlord, who I foon found was a Man that abhor'd Ceremonies, fat down and fill'd his Pipe, which to oblige him I did likewife. I found his Liquor very good of its Kind, but too heady to drink any Quantity of However, my Hoft, who was very loquacious in Praife of its Excellencies, after having emptied the Bottle, with a very little of my Affiftance, thought a Dram would not be amifs to correct, as he term'd it, the Sournefs the Beer might otherwife leave upon the Stomach. In this I likewise humour'd him, and had the Satisfaction, or rather Mortification, before we parted, to find, notwithstanding his great Pretenfions to Sanctity, which made up the beft Part of his Difcourfe, he could be as cordially drunk, on the Lord's Day, as a Piper at a Country Wedding; tho' he could not prevail upon his Confcience to open his Coffee-Room, and allow of innocent Converfation among Neighbours and Acquaintance, left he should prophane that Holy-Day.
*A Groot (or four Pfenning, or Pennies, from whence our Groat is probably derived) is fomething above a Halfpenny, in Value. The Beer our Author here mentions is a Sort of Mum gr Spruce Beer; but, I think, better than either.
WHAT with the Fatigue of my Journy, and the Liquor I had drunk the Night before, I flept the next Morning, 'till the Sun was approaching its Meridian; and was firft awak'd by a tumultuous Noife, as of a mix'd Multitude, under my Chamber-window. Upon looking out, I found the Market fill'd with a great Concourfe of People, and near my Window a round Edifice of Stone, of about 12 or 15 Foot diameter, and near 20 Foot high, in the Center of which was erected a Poft ten or twelve Foot high, and from an Iron Ring, near the Top of it, hung three large Birchen Rods. Upon Enquiry, I found, that a young Woman, who had been a Chambermaid in one of the principal Families of the Town, and having been too free in difpenfing her Favours to her Mafter, was difcovered, by the watchful Eyes of a jealous Mistress (who happen'd to be a Sifter of the Judge pro tem pore) and condemn'd to be feverely fuftigated, branded, and then banished the Town; which fevere Punishment fhe was juft going to fuffer.
IT was not long, before a beautiful young Creature, of about 18, with her Hair hanging difheveld over her Shoulders, and ftark naked to her Waist, with her two Wrifts tied together, was led up a pair of Stairs in the Body of the Edifice, upon the Stage, by a Fellow more ugly, than the poor un happy Girl appear'd agreable, tho' under the greatest Diftrefs and Ignominy, which could befal a youthful Female; who, notwithstanding the Crime the fuffer'd for, plainly fhew'd fhe was not abandon'd to Vice, and had a Modefty, which pointed out a true Senfe of her Guilt, apparently visible in her Countenance. Being thus led to the Poft, her Ancles were lock'd, with two Iron-Rings, to the Foot of it, and the Rods being taken down, the Noofe of the fame Rope, on which they hung, being put over her Hands, round her Wrifts, her Arms were hoisted up to their utmost Extent.