Views a-foot eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 434 pages of information about Views a-foot.
and the crown being again taken apart, out dropped a valuable diamond ring!  The seventh hall contains the coronation robes of Augustus II., of Poland, and many costly specimens of carving in wood, A cherry stone is shown in a glass case, which has one hundred and twenty-five faces, all perfectly finished, carved upon it!  The next room we entered sent back a glare of splendor that perfectly dazzled us.  It was all gold, diamond, ruby and sapphire!  Every case sent out such a glow and glitter that it seemed like a cage of imprisoned lightnings.  Wherever the eye turned it was met by a blaze of broken rainbows.  They were there by hundreds, and every gem was a fortune.  Whole cases of swords, with hilts and scabbards of solid gold, studded with gems; the great two-handed coronation sword of the German emperors; daggers covered with brilliants and rubies; diamond buttons, chains and orders, necklaces and bracelets of pearl and emerald, and the order of the Golden Fleece made in gems of every kind.  We were also shown the largest known onyx, nearly seven inches long and four inches broad!  One of the most remarkable works is the throne and court of Aurungzebe, the Indian king, by Dinglinger, a celebrated goldsmith of the last century.  It contains one hundred and thirty-two figures, all of enamelled gold, and each one most perfectly and elaborately finished.  It was purchased by Prince Augustus for fifty-eight thousand thalers,[**] which was not a high sum, considering that the making of it occupied Dinglinger and thirteen workmen for seven years!

It is almost impossible to estimate the value of the treasures these halls contain.  That of the gold and jewels alone must bo many millions of dollars, and the amount of labor expended on these toys of royalty is incredible.  As monuments of patient and untiring toil, they are interesting:  but it is sad to think how much labor and skill and energy have been wasted, in producing things which are useless to the world, and only of secondary importance as works of art.  Perhaps, however, if men could be diverted by such play-things from more dangerous games, it would be all the better.

[Footnote **:  A Prussian or Saxon thaler is about 70 cts.]

CHAPTER XIX.

RAMBLES IN THE SAXON SWITZERLAND.

After four days’ sojourn in Dresden we shouldered our knapsacks, not to be laid down again till we reached Prague.  We were elated with the prospect of getting among the hills again, and we heeded not the frequent showers which had dampened the enjoyment of the Pentecost holidays, to the good citizens of Dresden, and might spoil our own.  So we trudged gaily along the road to Pillnitz and waved an adieu to the domes behind us as the forest shut them out from view.  After two hours’ walk the road led down to the Elbe, where we crossed in a ferry-boat to Pillnitz, the seat of a handsome palace and gardens, belonging to

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Views a-foot from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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