SPIRIT OF THE ANNUALS FOR 1833. ST. GOAR, (on the Rhine). THE PICTURESQUE ANNUAL.
This is certainly one of the most splendid works of the kind ever produced in this or any other country. This is high but not unmerited praise; as the reader will believe when we tell him, that it contains twenty-six large plates, from drawings by Stanfield, engraved by first-rate artists, and superintended by Mr. Charles Heath. They are all, strictly speaking, PICTURESQUE scenes, chosen with great skill, and with right understanding of the Picturesque. The literary portion consists of Travelling Sketches on the Rhine, and in Belgium, and in Holland, by Mr. Leitch Ritchie. The plates are, of course, intended as illustrations to the letter-press; but it is too evident, that the latter has been written to the plates. However, that matters not, for the twenty-six engravings are amply worth twenty-one shillings, the cost of the volume. The author's share is lively and jaunty, and of the most here-and-there description. We only intend to quote the portion accompanying the Engraving on the annexed page.ST. GOAR, (on the Rhine).
"We now arrived at St. Goar, and the ruins of the castle of Rheinfels: but here the pen gives willing place to the pencil. In the view, the town and river are seen through an arch, in such a way as to convey a complete idea of what we call the Lakes of the Rhine. In entering St. Goar by the gate of the Rhine, a stranger of these every-day times thinks of nothing but being bothered about his passport. It was once very different. A traveller of any consideration, who visited the town for the first time, was asked by the functionary, 'Sir, My Lord, or Sir Knight'—as it happened—'with what do you please to be baptized, wine or water?'—'With wine,' of course was the answer, if the respondent happened to be a man of any kind of good sense or virtuous habits; and, after being commanded to prepare himself for the ceremony, by giving alms to the poor, he was straightway led by his sponsors to the Fleur de Lys. In this ancient hostelrie, the neophyte was seated amidst the assembled brethren, a brazen crown placed on his head, and the rules of the Order of the Collar read to him. A huge goblet of silver was then presented to him, filled to the lip with wine, and this he was commanded to drain to the health of the Emperor; a second was emptied to the honour of the Landgrave of Hesse; and a third gurgled salutation to the company. The same ceremony was gone through by the sponsors; and the name of the baptized being duly entered in the register of the Order, a second collection was made for the poor, and he was permitted to continue his way into the town. If, instead of wine, the misguided individual desired baptism with water, he was justly punished for the immorality, by a bucket of the insipid element being tumbled over his head. This Order, it is said, had its origin in the reconciliation at St. Goar of the two sons of Charlemagne; which was doubtless accompanied by much out-pouring of wine, and in memory whereof they hung up at the gates a brazen collar."
This is the second volume of the Picturesque Annual....