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In this Pofture, in which her naked Limbs were expos'd to the Eyes of the Populace, for several Minutes (which, by the by, is not fo very confonant with their pretended Decency and Modefty) the poor Wretch received near 20 Lafhes with each of the three Rods, from the Hands of the Hang-man, which were laid on with fo good a Will, that her whole Back and Sides feemed to be one continued Piece of raw Flefh. This done, she was branded with a red hot Iron, about the Circumference of a Crown-Piece, which, as I was inform'd, left the Mark of the City-Arms on her Back; at leaft it took fo faft hold of her, that a Smoke arose upon the Application it. Amidft this Severity, it was look'd upon as a Favour, that her Hair was fuffered to hang down her Back, which might perhaps take off the Edge of fome Blows from her Shoul-ders. The poor Wench fwooned away under the Operation, and, when loofen'd from the Poft, fell into the Arms of that ugly Wretch who ufher'd her in, and now carried her down the Stairs fhe came up. She no fooner came to herfelf, than they obliged her to huddle on her Cloaths, and, in that mangled Condition, fhe was led without one of the Gates of the Town, where having taken a folemn Oath never to return within the Territories of that Republic, fhe was turn'd loofe upon the World, with a fix Groot-piece in her Pocket. What think you, Sir, of this fevere Punishment, for a fingle flip of frail Nature? May not this, probably, be the Cause of fuch an unfortunate Creature's running headlong into Ruin and Deftruction, both of Body and Soul? whereas with a more mild, or lefs public Suffering, the might have been reclaimed to Virtue, and become a ufeful Member of human Society. I must confefs, the whole Scene was extremely fhocking to me; but one Circumftance more fo than all the Reft: I was fhewn, at
an adjacent Window, an ancient Gentlewoman, of a forbiding Countenance, at whofe Suit, it feems, the unhappy Creature who fuffer'd, had been profecuted, and who fatiated her Swinge of Revenge, with fuch an Air of Satisfaction, as almoft prompted me to think the Husband had not used her much worse than fhe deferved.
BUT to divert this melancholy Subject, I went down into the Coffee-room, where I was not much more edified. I found the Place pretty full of Company, chiefly Merchants and Lawyers: Several of them, in a very civil Manner, endeavoured to oblige me with their Conversation; but, to my great Surprize, tho', in my last Journy to Vienna, and Refidence there, I had made myself a tolerable Mafter of the High German Tongue, I could hardly comprehend any Thing that was faid to me. I had not been long enough in Holland to learn the Language of that Country: However, fo much I had obferved of it, to be fenfible it was not that Tongue neither. Upon Enquiry, I was inform'd it was the Dialect of the Place, and of a very large Part of the lower Circles of Germany, diftinguished by the Name of Low German or Lower Saxon, which is neither Dutch nor High-German, but, in fome Meafure, partakes of both, or rather is the Ground or Root of both; for, upon comparing it afterwards, with Junius's Anglo-Saxon Gofpels and fome other AngloSaxon Books, I had in my Trunk, I found it had retained more of that ancient Tongue, than either the Dutch or High German had. The Coffee-room was not divided into Boxes, or by Tables, but being a fquare and not a very capacious Room, there was only one large oval Table in the Middle of it, and Seats all round it. In the Middle of the Table was a large Coffee-Pot, of feveral Quarts, with three Cocks, out of which, there being Dishes and-Sugar placed about it, every one help'd himself: But I obferved, that hardly any one went out of the Room
without calling for a Liquor, which being drank in pretty large Glaffes, and of different Colours, 1 took to be Gills of Wine, of feveral Sorts: However, making a Sign to the Waiter, to have a Glass myself, I found it a diftil'd Water; and I was the more furprised to find it drank in fuch large Glaffes, as almost every one fmoked at the fame Time: But Confuetudo altera Natura *.
BEING retired to my Chamber, I fent for my Landlord, and defired him to procure me a Bible, and three or four other Books, on familiar Subjects, in the Language of the Country; But how was I aftonish'd, when he told me, that tho' Martin Luther had tranflated the Bible, and caused it to be printed in that Tongue, it was very rare to be found; and that tho' they ftill retain'd the Language of their Forefathers, in common Difcourfe, every one understood High German, and their Modern Books were all printed, their Sermons preach'd, and their Divine Service perform'd, nay even their Letters written, in that Tongue.
I am, as ever, &c.
What our Author here observes is very juft. I never was is any Place in my Life, where ftrong Waters are drank in fo large Quantities by People of Fashion, and even by the Ladies, as here. I had once Occafion to pay an early Vifit to the prefiding Burgomafter, with whom I had fupp'd the Night before. His Magnificence (which is the Title given them) having probably, in Complaifance to me, drank more Old Hock the Evening before than ufual, was not firing; but Madam was fo good as to favour me with her Company, in the mean Time. We were hardly fet down, before two Salvers were placed before us, one with Biscuits and dried Fruits, the other with two large Glaffes, at leaft Gills, of a distill'd Liquor. Her Ladyship made no Difficulty to empty hers, at three or four Sips, and, to induce me to do the fame, told me it was her own Manufacture, and fo wholfome, that the drank of it every Day of her Life. I could not in Decency after this refufe it; and had not the coming of her Husband, who thought a Cup of Tea might now do better, relieved me, I believe I must have stood the other Glass.
Y travelling Companion having told me he fhould be oblig'd to leave me alone, and spend the first three or four Days of his being in Bremen, among his Correfpondents; I refolved, having no Acquaintance, to confine myfelf during that Time to my Lodgings: But I foon met with an agreable Motive to alter my Refolution. I dined at an Ordinary in the Houfe, where I was tolerably well entertain'd: But what was moft acceptable to me was the Converfation of a Gentleman, whom I had the good Fortune to be placed next to, who perceiving me to be an Englishman directed his Difcourfe to me in my Mother-tongue, which he poffefs'd to a tolerable Degree. I found, by the Difcourfe at Table, that his Name was K--ch, that he was Major of the Artillery of that Republic, and that he had formerly been employ'd as their Agent, to tranfact certain Affairs at the Court of Great-Britain. After I have told you, that he poffeffes all the valuable Qualities of a Soldier, a Gentleman, and a Scholar, you will eafily conceive, how happy I thought my felf in the Acquifition of fo agreable an Acquaintance, and began now not to regret the Abfence of my travelling Companion.
UPON my complaining of the Badnefs, or at leaft Difagreablenefs to me, of the Wine we drank at Table, which was French White Wine, of 10 or more Years old, the worthy Major propofed my going with him, that Evening, to a felect Company of Friends, where he could affure me I
fhould drink as fine a Glafs of Rhenifh or Old Hock, as Germany could afford; and, to make the Offer more acceptable, obferv'd, that the Company would confit chiefly of Gentlemen, who had spent fome Years in England, and met to enjoy one another's Company, with that agreable Freedom of Converfation they had been used to there, which most of the Inhabitants of this Place were intirely Strangers to. To this he added, that they would be most or all of them of the Lutheran Religion; and, upon perceiving, I was furprized, he mentioned a Diftinction of Religion, as an Inducement to accept of his Propofal; he told me, that the Religion of the State, and of much the greater Part of the Inhabitants, was Reformed or Calvinist; and that the Lutherans not only enjoyed the free Exercise of their Religion, but were in Poffeffion of the Cathedral, and confifted of fome Thousands of Families; that there was a great Difference between the Lutherans and the Calvinists, in their Manners and Behaviour, as well to others, as among themselves, that the former indulged themselves in all innocent Freedoms and Diverfions; but that the latter were fo horridly Prieft-ridden, and had, by Degrees, fuffer'd the Clergy to get fo much the Afcendant over them, and their Families, that even those who had travell'd, and knew better, were cbliged to put on fuch an affected, ftiff Rigidity of Behaviour, as made their Converfation very trouble fome even to one another: And that the leaft Deviation from the Rules prefcrib'd them, by their fpiritual Guides, render'd them liable to be cenfured and expofed from every Pulpit, of which he promised to give me fome ludicrous Inftances, which may chance to be the Subject of another Letter. I hugg'd myself with the Thoughts of falling into fo good Hands, and began to hope I should spend the Time of my Stay in Bremen more agreably than I at first imagined.