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Nuremburg (Classic Reprint)

Nuremburg (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Nuremburg

Paris, there is still remaining an almost unchanged picture of the German towns of the Middle Age.

Over a wide moat, through feudal walls, guarded still by a hundred towers, we enter the gates of Nuremberg. The steep, narrow streets, the houses with high-pitched, red - tiled roofs, broken by long rows of little windows, through which one fancies the tiny house gnomes may be peeping, the rich Gothic and Renaissance decorations lavished on lofty gables and oriel windows, street fountains and church portals, bring to mind the admiring words of that traveller Pope, Eneas Sylvius, that a simple burgher of Nuremberg was better lodged than the King of Scotland.

From the great storehouses filled with hops, comes a drowsy fragranee, that fills the air and wraps one in a dream of the long ago. In fancy, hand-in - hand with the three great sculptors, we pace the quiet streets. Here, enriched with carvings of electors and heroes, stands the Beautiful Fountain, still, as of old, the centre of the business life of the town, and, in the kindly belief of a simplehearted people, the dispenser of all good gifts. Es ist ein Geschenk von dem Schone Brunnen, says the house-mother, when the children 'stand in admiring circle round the new baby. Passing beneath the Virgin train that keep watch over the Bride's Door, we pause to study the great bronze sarcophagus and canopy, which made Peter Vischer no unworthy rival of Ghiberti and Donatello. Like twin castles, on either side the Pegnitz, stand the lofty churches of St. Sebald and St. Lawrence. From Sebald's side we cross the quaint old bridge to the heights St. Lawrence guards, and from his exquisite shrine the strong, earnest face of Adam Krafit looks up to us, as if we had surprised him in the midst of his work; while Veit Stoss bids us look above, where hangs his curious carving of the Annunciation. But though the sacrament-house is now empty, and no clouds of incense dim the painted air, the statues and relics of the saints remain uninjured in their ancient shrines and niches. Witha blush of shame for the iconoclastic fury of our Puritan ancestors, we admire the noble toleration of an art-loving people, which, though their city stood out the first of the free imperial towns as a champion of Protestantism, preserves with jealous care the works of her great artists of another faith. The grand chorales of Luther are echoing to-day through the high arches, and the simple forms of worship are carried on without distraction, amid the altars and pictures of the Church of Rome. Can we wonder that the greatest of her sons should declare that he chose to live in a moderate manner in Nuremberg rather than to'be great and rich elsewhere. The name of Albrecht Durer will be linked to all time with the brightest pages of the history of his beloved city. When we climb the steep street to his house, still standing close to the walls of the ancient castle, we are at no loss to tell where he obtained the rich architectural efiects he delighted to introduce into the landscapes of his pictures.

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