Pictures of German Life in the Xvth Xvith and Xviith Centuries Volume II
Excerpt: ... transactions with the Government. The householders of Siebleben and some other communities round Gotha, had held, from the middle ages, the right of having timber free from the wooded hills. In 1650, the government demanded from them, for the exercise of this right, a small tax upon oats: some of the communities excused themselves, as they were too poor to be able to think of rebuilding their damaged houses. Ten years after, the community of Siebleben had forty boys who paid small school fees, and the yearly offering in the church amounted to more than fourteen gulden. A portion of this offering was spent in alms to strangers, and it is perceptible, from the carefully kept accounts, what a stream of beggars of all kinds passed through the country; disbanded soldiers, cripples, the sick and aged; amongst them were lepers with certificates from their infirmaries, also exiles from Bohemia and Hungary, who had left their homes on account of their religion, banished noblemen from England, Ireland, and Poland, persons collecting money for the ransom of their relatives from Turkish imprisonment, travellers who had been plundered by highwaymen, and others, such as a blind pastor from Denmark with five children; the strangers came prepared with testimonials. The governments, however, were unwearied in their efforts against harbouring such vagrants. Much has been written concerning the devastation of the war; but the great work is still wanting, that would concentrate the statistical notices which have been preserved in all the different territories: however enormous the labour may be, it must be undertaken, for it is only from this irrefragable computation, that the full greatness of the calamity can be understood. The details hitherto known scarcely amount to a probable valuation of the loss which Germany suffered in men, beasts of burden, and productive power. The following inferences only attempt to express the views of an individual, which a few...
- 189 x 246 x 6mm | 227g
- 13 Sep 2013
- United States
- black & white illustrations