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LEISURE HOUR SERIES



GADDING S WITH
A PRIMITIVE PEOPLE

BYW.A.BAILLIE GROHMAN



Henry Holt&Co. Publishers
New York






r




The Leisure Hour Series.



taming,



A collection of works whose character is light and enter-
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ABOUT, E

The Man with the Bro-
ken Ear.
The Notary's Nobe.

ALCESTIS. A Musical

Kovel.
'ALEXANDER, Mra.

The Wooing O't.

Which Shall It Bb ?

Ralph Wiltok's Weird.

Her Dearest Foe.

Heritage of Lanodalb.
'AUERBACH, B.

The Villa ok the
Rhine. 2 vols. to. Portr.

Black Forest Village
Stories.

The Little Barefoot.

Joseph in thb Snow.

Edelweiss.

German Tales.

On the Heights. 2 vol*.

The Convicts.

Lorley and Reinhahd.

Alots.

Poet and Merchant,

Landolin.

Waldkried.
BJORNSON, B.

The Fisher-Maidbn.
BUTT, B. M.

Miss Mollt.

Eugenie.

CADELL, Mrs. H. M.

Ida Cravf.n.
CALVERLEY, O. S.

Flt-Leaves. a volume
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CHERBULIEZ, V.
Joseph Noirel's B»-

VENGE.

Count Kobtia.
Prosper.

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Bessie Lang.

CRAVEN, Mme. A.

Fleubange.

DROZ, QUSTAVE.

Babolain.
Around a Sprikg.



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Wtncote.
FREYTAQ, Q.

INGO.

Ingraban.

OROHMAN, W. A. B.

Gaddings with a Primi-
tive People.
GIFT. THEO.

Pretty Miss Bkllbw.

Maid Ellice.
GOETHE, J. 'W. Von.

Elective Affinities.
GRIFFITHS. Arthur

Lola: A Tale of Gib-

RALTER.

•HARDY, THOMAS.

Under the Greenwood
Trek.

A Pair of Blue Eyes.

Desperate Remedies.

Fab From the Madding
Crowd. Illnstr.

Hand of Ethelberta.
HEINE, HEINRICH.

Scintillations.
JENKIN, Mrs. C.

Who Breaks— Pays.

Skirmishing.

A Psyche of To-Day.

Madame de Beaupbs.

Jupiter's Daughtkbs.

Within an Ace.
JOHNSON, Rosslter.

I»la\-Day Poems.
LAFFAN, MAY.

The Hon. Miss Febrard.
MAJENDIE,Lady M.

GlANNETTO.

Dita.
MAXTVELL, CECIL.

A Story of Thbeb

MOLESVSTORTH.Mrs

Hatheiuourt.
OLIPHANT, Mrs.

Whiteladies.
PALGRAVE, W. O.

Hermann Agha.
PARR, LOUISA.

Hero Carthew.



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My Little Lady.

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Clarissa Harlowe. ( (Joti-
aeiised.)
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Flower, Fruit, & Thorn
Pieces. 2 vols.

Campaner Thal, etc

Titan. 2 vols.

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ROBERTS, Miss.

Noblesse Oblige.

On the Edge of Stokm.

SCHMID, H.

The Hadehmeister.
SLIP ia the FENS, A.

Illiistrated.

SMITH, H. and J.

Rejected Addresses.
SPIELHAGEN, F.

What the Swallow
Sanq.
THACKERAY .-W. M.

Early and Late Papkiui.
•TURGENIEFF, I.

Fathers and Sons.

Smoke.

Liza.

On the Eve.

DiMITRI ROUDIKK,

Spring Floods; Lkak
Virgin Soil.

TYTLER, C. C. F.

Mistress Judith.
Jonathan.
VERS DE SOCIETE.

VILLARI, LINDA.

In Change Unchanobd.
■WALFORD, L. B.

Mr. Smith.
Pauline.
•WINTHROP,THEO.

Cecil Dreeme. in. Portr.
Canoe and Saddle.
John Hkent.
Edwin Brothertoft.
Life in the Open Air.



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No,



No.



tunity of reading;" and the Westminster Review, as "always
bHght and picturesque, and eminently readable." ( Jit st Read i/.)

99. PLAYS FOR PRIVATE ACTING. Translated
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acting, recjuiring little or no scenery and from one to seven
characters, selected principally from the enormously successful
Theatre de Campagne, recently published by the Leading
French Dramatists. (Shortly.)

100. A CENTURY OF AMERICAN LITERA-
TURE. Edited by Henry A. Beers, Professor in Yale Col-
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LEISURE HOUR SERIES— No. g8



GADDINGS WITH
APRIMITIVE PEOPLE

BEING A SER/ES OF SKETCHES OF

TYROLESE LIFE AND CUSTOMS



BY



W. A. BAILLIE GROHMAN




NEW YORK

HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY

1878



Copyright 1878,

BY

Henry Holt & Co.



:p5



dzH-



TO
THE KEENEST OF ROYAL SPORTSMEN,

ERNEST II.,

REIGNING DUKE OF SAXE-COBURG-GOTHA, KNIGHT OF
THE GARTER, ETC., ETC.,

IN HUMBLE ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND GRATEFUL
REMEMBRANCE OF

THE KIND HOSPITALITY

EXPERIENCED AT HIS HANDS BY

THE AUTHOR.



PUBLISHERS' NOTE.



THE advance-sheets of Mr. Grohman's " Gaddings with
A Primitive People" contained so much of merit, that
the attention of those who were considering the advisabihty
of publishing the book in America was stimulated toward
the author's earlier work entitled "Tyrol and the Ty-
ROLESE." It was ultimately concluded that, whatever might
be the success in this country of either book alone, a
greater success would certainly attend a volume containing
the best points of both.

In attempting, however, to arrange such a volume, the
realization was soon reached, that all the points were too
good to lose ; and the result was that, with the exception of
repetitions, the substance of both books is contained in the
one here presented.

In combining the two masses of material into an organic
whole, some parts naturally fell out of the original sequence.
Moreover, as the later book could not, before publication,
have the benefit of the revision which the call for a second
edition had secured for the first one, some effort was made
during the re-arrangement to give it such a benefit, especially
in particulars where its style differed unfavorably from that
of the book which the author had revised. In addition, a
careful index has been substituted for the detailed tables of
contents given in the original works.

The place among American publications into which, after



VI PUBLTSHERS' NOTE.

some vicissitudes, the advance-slieets of " Gaddings with a
Primitive People" ultimately fell, required that the book
should be published, if at all, before it would be possible to
communicate with the author regarding the changes. While
the present book was in press, however, a strange testimonial
to the judiciousness of its preparation was received from
a notice of " Gaddings with a Primitive People " in the
London AthenJEum, where an entirely independent critic
suggested the very proceedings which had already resulted
in the preparation of this volume. It is but fair, though,
that its American sponsors should assume the blame for
any infelicities of arrangement that may attract attention,
and bespeak for the author the praise which, they feel con-
fident, the reader will often be moved to bestow.
New York, July i, 1878.



PREFACE.



" Knowing that Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her,"

I VENTURE to express the humble hope that " Gaddings
with a Primitive People " will be received by my readers
in the spirit in which it is written.

Written out as all Alpine subjects are reputed to be, I
would modestly point out that this impeachment only holds
good as regards surface matter ; for, to speak of the country
I am now describing, not one but many volumes could be
compiled, had one the wish to do full justice to all that is
strange, quaint, and out-of-the-way, in the " Land in the
Mountains."

Let this volume be accepted as a feeble attempt to do this.
If it fails, the pen assuredly has caused the failure ; if it
succeeds, the subject has wrought success.

A few years more, and the national scenes I have depicted
here will be tales of the past. High pressure civilization,
and that curse of modern creation, the traveling tourist, are
fast dismantling Tyrol of the charm of primitive seclusion
no less than of the time-hallowed customs and relics of
mediaeval life, that to me have formed its chief attraction.

One point is left, upon which I think it right to offer some
explanation, especially to those of my readers whose views
respecting the salutary influence of the Roman Catholic
Church upon a people, and especially upon the lower ranks



viii PREFACE.

of society, differ from those which they will find I betray on
one or two occasions.

Let the reader remember throughout this volume, that it
is not intolerance or a spirit of antagonism, based on pre-
judice, that leads me to speak as I do of the disastrous
results of the Roman Catholic rule in Tyrol. Nor is it in
mere caviling at the ordinances of a creed, when, moved by
the sight of an intelhgent race chained down by an over-
bearing and intolerant Church, I perhaps lose sight of the
fact that I am myself but an intruder who, to begin with, is
bound to respect the ordinances of the people among whom
he has chosen to reside. But it is just my long residence
that urges me to forget that circumstance ; for not only have
I been taught to respect the people for their upright and
manly qualities of character, but my sympathy has been
enlisted by their unhappy thralldom in the ever-dark dungeon
of ignorance. Only a very intimate acquaintance with them
will show one to what an extent the two chief blemishes
upon the national character — bigotry, and laxity of morals
— must be ascribed to the policy pursued by the Roman
Curia in this her chief stronghold.

ScHLOSS Matzen, Brixlegg, Tyroi.>
April, 1878.



PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION OF
TYROL AND THE TYROLESE,

WHICH BOOK IS INCORPORATED IN THE PRESENT VOLUME.



IN laying the second edition of " Tyrol and the Tyrolese "
before the public, it becomes my duty — one of the most
pleasant that fall to the lot of an author — to express my
sense of gratitude for the kind praise bestowed on my book.

In preparing the second edition, I have taken pains to
remedy the errors and misprints that had crept in ; and noth-
ing would be left for me to say, were it not my wish to touch
upon a charge brought by my reviewers, not against me, but,
what is tantamount to it in my eyes, against the people of
" the Land in the Mountains."

This race, my critics sa}-, are, according to the account I
give of them, a treacherously cruel people. It is naturally
difficult to refute a charge of this kind in the face of the
ample evidence of the rough and shaggy coat that hides the
finer points of the Tyrolese character from the gaze of the
stranger. I must beg them, however, to remember that in
bringing out the national character as fully as I did, I was
mainly prompted by the wish to convey a perfectly truthful
picture to my reader's mind. This desire led me, I am
afraid, to dwell too long upon the dark sides of the ques-
tion : roughness and a certain freedom of morals.



X PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.

Eye-gouging and biting off one's opponent's fingers, rarely
as these casualties occur now-a-days in Tyrol, are undoubt-
edly cruel and reprehensible expedients in a free fight ; but
let me ask my critics, would they call the English a treacher-
ous and cruel people because in England kicking a wife to
death, or brutally ill-treating a defenseless man, are daily
occurrences ?

The amount of respect shown to the female sex is gener-
ally considered to be a true criterion for the nobleness of
man's character ; and if this rule is allowed to hold good for
nations at large, I have to own. Englishman as I am, that
the Tyrolese need not dread a comparison. Whatever be
the faults of the stanch old race dwelling in the recesses of
the Tyrolese Alps, treacherous or cowardly cruelty certainly
does not rank amongst them.

London, July, 1877.



PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION OF
TYROL AND THE TYROLESE,

WHICH BOOK IS INCORPOR-VrED IN THE PRESENl' VOLUME.



A CERTAIN value may, I hope, be imparted to this vol-
ume by the fact that I have Hved for many years in the
Tyrol, and being by parentage half an Austrian, and as well
acquainted witli the German language as with my mother
tongue, am therefore more likely to gain a true insight into
the lives and characters of the Tyrolese than most writers
on the same subject, who have not this advantage.

My love for sport and a sound bodily constitution have
gone hand in hand in enabling me to acquire an accurate
acquaintance with the rougli fashions of this picturesque
country ; and as they have brought me across many an odd
character lost to the world in some out-of-lhe-way nook
among these little-known mountains and valleys, I have had
many adventures, some of which I have endeavored to relate
in the following pages.

It seems that some question lias been raised relative to
the spelling of the word Tyrol. Without wishing to enter
more fully into the merits of the controversy, 1 may mention
that Tyrol was up to the beginning of this century, with
hardly any exception, spelled with a "y." It is only within
tlie last fifty or sixty years tiiat the letter " 1 " has supplanted

xi



XU PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.

it ; and at present we find that the word is generally spelled
Tirol. The fact that a nvunber of geographical names have
undergone in this half-century precisely the same change as
the word Tyrol, and that the "foreign" letter "y" is hardly
ever used by Germans, does not render the spelling of the
word Tirol less incorrect; for we must remember through-
out this whole question that the derivation of Tyrol is not,
as many suppose, from " Terioles," but from " Tyr," a "for-
tress in the mountains," in which sense we find it in use as
early as the ninth centuiy.

I may finally remark that two of the chapters in this vol-
ume have appeared in the shape of sketches in " The Alpine
Journal."

ScHLOSs Matzen, Brixlegg, Tyrol.
December, 1875.



CONTENTS.



PAGE

I. The Schloss, the Landscape, and the People, i

II. The Paradise Play 29

III. The Chamois and the Chamois-Stalker. . . 55

IV. An Encounter with Tyrolese Poachers . . 72
V. The Blackcock 86

VI. Priesthood and Superstition 98

VII. Alpine Characters: the Village Priest . . in
VIII. Alpine Characters: the Village Schoolmas-
ter 131

IX. Alpine Characters: the Antiquarian in

Tyrol iS3

X. Alpine Characters: the Woodcutter . . . 171

XI. Alpine Characters: the Smuggler 190

XII. Alpine Characters : the Mountain Belle . . 20S

XIII. A Peasant's Wedding 230

XIV. More about Weddings in the Alps .... 250
XV. A Tyrolese "Kirchtag" and Rifle-Match . 273

XVI. A Visit to a Tyrolese Peasant Watkring-

Place 2S9

XVII. The Golden Eagle and its ^rie 316

XVIII. An Alpine Walk 333

XIX. A Winter Ascent of the Gross Glockner . 361

APPENDIX.

Additional Details of Marriage Customs . • ■ • 377



GADDINGS WITH A PRIMITIVE
PEOPLE.



CHAPTER I.

THE SCIILOSS, THE LANDSCAPE, AND THE PEOPLE.

THE table I am uTiting on is a worm-eaten structure
of unwieldy shape, adorned with Renaissance carving,
and provided with numberless drawers and strange out-of-
the-way secret springs. The chair I occupy is of com-
fortable but highly anticjuated build; its dingy leather
cover, studded at the sides with massive embossed nails,
once formed part of the primitive furniture in one of the
favorite castle shooting-boxes of that enthusiastic royal
sportsman of the later Middle Ages, — the Emperor Maxi-
milian I. The very air I breathe is that of bygone cen-
turies. The grim time-worn tower of huge proportions,
looming into the room through the broad low window
glazed with diamond-shaped panes, was the work of
Roman stonemasons. It marked the strong and histori-
cally well-known " station " Masciacum, on the high road
from barbaric Germany to civilized Italy. In the clois-
tered courtyard once pranced the barbed steeds of the
powerful knights, — von Frundsberg, the martial fore-
father of a warlike descendant ; the great Condotticri, of
the sixtccntli century ; and burly Georg von Frundsberg,



2 CADDINGS WITH A PRIMITIVE PEOPLE.

whose " children," as he loved to term his savage, un-
ruly troopers, the famed and dreaded " Landsknechte,"
played such a conspicuo\is role at the sack of Rome. In
the deep rock-hewn cellars of amazing depth and size
were stored the rich vintages of Italy and the East, with
which the Rothschilds of the Middle Ages, the Fugger
and Fiegers of Augsburg and Niirnberg, the successors
of the Frundsbergs, entertained their princely guests.
The vaulted hall rang with the voices of half a dozen gen-
erations of the richest and most notable families of the
country. And now what is left of all the glory of by-
gone centuries, of all the sumptuous fittings-up of this
abode of feudal wealth ? Nothing ! The shell of the old
caslle, it is true, still stands, and the Roman tower, stained
with the antique tint of some sixteen or seventeen centu-
ries, has withstood time, no less than the two old bells
hanging in a miniature belfry, open on all sides to the
keen blast of furious winter gales which at weird hours of
the night set them ringing in a dismal fashion, and have
served in no little measure to transform the ruin into the
reputed haunt of hobgoblins and specters, — a reputa-
tion which the paneless windows, the battered roof, and
general aspect of utter decay did not tend to remove.
Alas ! Time, fierce wars, and a destructive fire have
united to convert the once noble castle into a shapeless,
burnt-out shell. So have been reduced hundreds of its
kindred that were once the mighty strongholds of power-
ful Tyrolese nobles more famous than the notorious Rhen-
ish knights for their warlike spirit, and for their daring
deeds of highwaymanry.

Lost in a deep revery, a stranger once stood, one balmy
Sei:)tember evening some four years ago, at a window on the
top floor of this building. It evidently had been once an
oriel window of noble proportions, and provided in front
with a small balcony standing out over a giddy height
and overlooking the whole country near. Ruthless hands
had wrecked it for the sake of its marble, and had
wrenched the solid fluted framework of the same material
from the massive masonry. The jagged, irregular orifice



THE SCHLOSS, LANDSCAPE, AND PEOPLE. 3

which remained in the thick wall served as a frame in
picturesque liarmony with the lovely landscape rolled oul
at his feet : in the foreground the silver streak of the
swift " Inn ; " at both sides the lofty mountains whose
wooded offshoots sweep down to it in undulating lines of
rare beauty, each one diffused and rendered distinct by a
different autumnal tint, such as one can only see in the
High Alps. In the background, a chain of glacier peaks
bounds the picture.

The broad Innvalley lying in calm loveliness at his feet
conjures up visions of bygone times, when through this
very valley, and in two or three others of Tyrol's chief
vales, ran the most noted high roads of commerce, con-
necting the civilized world of Italy with the barbaric north.

This very road, winding along the fertile expanse in
pleasing curves, was made nigh upon eighteen hundred
years ago for the Roman legions advancing northward
slowly but surely. Along it sprang up the strongly forti-
fied stations so well known to the historian as the mile-
stones of civilization. The grim old tower lording over
this castle is one of them ; and in the distance are two
more, both marking the site of feudal strongholds that
centuries later were erected round their base by the serfed
villains of the Middle Ages. Following the early caravans
of armed traders, came the motley array of Crusaders,
and at their heels trooped the turbulent armies of the
great Hohenstauffen Emperors, one and all pressing south-
wards ; the one having for its visionary goal the Holy
Shrine, the other, the vast Roman Empire.

Tyrol's grand history aids the imagination, and gives
birth to visions as romantic as they are profuse. Its posi-
tion close to the old Bavarian frontier made it in olden
times the constant scene of strife and warfare. Sieges as
sanguinary as they were j)rotracted tried the mettle of
the warlike old race of Frundsbergers. We hear of one
of them, valiant Ulrich, defending Castle Matzin for
seven long weeks against a large Bavarian army intent
upon reducing the stronghold that barred the way to the
rich and fertile Unter Innlhal, their favorite resort foi



4 GADDINGS WITH A PRIMITIVE PEOPLE.

plunder. We see the last of that mighty race, the ill-
starred Hohenstauff Conradin, in whom were centered
his partisan's most ambitious i^injects, pass under our
window, the youthful but proudly dominant commander
of that huge army of thousands of chainmailed knights,
the noblest that mighty Germany possessed, and all as
eager as their juvenile king to wrench the crown of Naples
from his traitor uncle. We watch the vast train wind-
ing serpent fashion through the sunny vale at our feet,
and our eyes rest upon the slim boyish figure of the royal
youth, and on that of his former playmate, now friend
and banneret knight, Frederic of Frundsberg, the no less
youthful owner of our old ruin, then a proud feudal cas-
tle. From the very window we now occupy, his doting
mother, the noble Lady Elizabeth, probably waved him
her last adieu. Alas ! weary were the hours and days she
stood here watching for the return of her much-loved
son ; and many more were the suns that rose and set ere
she learnt that her boy, like most of his companions in
arms, fell for the cause of his royal friend Conradin,
whose lamentable end imder the executioner's axe, on
the market-place at Naples, forms the most tragic episode
in the tragic history of his mighty race.

The last rays of the setting sun were tingeing the far-off
glaciers a roseate hue, and the evening bells of two dis-



Online LibraryWilliam A. (William Adolph) Baillie-GrohmanGaddings with a primitive people: → online text (page 1 of 34)