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Views a-foot by J. Bayard Taylor

Part 2 out of 7

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The Cathedral with its lofty Gothic tower, was built by the emperor
Otho in the tenth century. It seems at present to be undergoing repairs,
for a large scaffold shut out the dome. The long hall was dim with
incense smoke as we entered, and the organ sounded through the high
arches with an effect that startled me. The windows glowed with the
forms of kings and saints, and the dusty and mouldering shrines which
rose around were colored with the light that came through. The music
pealed out like a triumphal march, sinking at times into a mournful
strain, as if it celebrated and lamented the heroes who slept below. In
the stone pavement nearly under my feet was a large square marble slab,
with words "CAROLO MAGNO." It was like a dream, to stand there on the
tomb of the mighty warrior, with the lofty arches of the Cathedral
above, filled with the sound of the divine anthem. I mused above his
ashes till the music ceased and then left the Cathedral, that nothing
might break the romantic spell associated with that crumbling pile and
the dead it covered. I have always revered the memory of Charlemagne. He
lived in a stern age, but he was in mind and heart a man, and like
Napoleon, who placed the iron crown which had lain with him centuries in
the tomb, upon his own brow, he had an Alpine grandeur of mind, which
the world was forced to acknowledge.

At noon we took the _chars-a-banc_, or second-class carriages, for fear
of rain, and continued our journey over a plain dotted with villages and
old chateaux. Two or three miles from Cologne we saw the spires of the
different churches, conspicuous among which were the unfinished towers
of the Cathedral, with the enormous crane standing as it did when they
left off building, two hundred years ago or more. On arriving, we drove
to the Bonn railway, where finding the last train did not leave for four
hours, we left our baggage and set out for the Cathedral. Of all Gothic
buildings, the plan of this is certainly the most stupendous; even ruin
as it is, it cannot fail to excite surprise and admiration. The King of
Prussia has undertaken to complete it according to the original plan,
which was lately found in the possession of a poor man, of whom it was
purchased for 40,000 florins, but he has not yet finished repairing what
is already built. The legend concerning this plan may not be known to
every one. It is related of the inventor of it, that in despair of
finding any sufficiently great, he was walking one day by the river,
sketching with his stick upon the sand, when he finally hit upon one
which pleased him so much that he exclaimed: "This shall be the plan!"
"I will show you a better one than that!" said a voice suddenly behind
him, and a certain black gentleman who figures in all German legends
stood by him, and pulled from his pocket a roll containing the present
plan of the Cathedral. The architect, amazed at its grandeur, asked an
explanation of every part. As he knew his soul was to be the price of
it, he occupied himself while the devil was explaining, in committing
its proportions carefully to memory. Having done this, he remarked that
it did not please him and he would not take it. The devil, seeing
through the cheat, exclaimed in his rage: "You may build your Cathedral
according to this plan, but you shall never finish it!" This prediction
seems likely to be verified, for though it was commenced in 1248, and
built for 250 years, only the choir and nave and one tower to half its
original height, are finished.

We visited the chapel of the eleven thousand virgins, the walls of which
are full of curious grated cells, containing their bones, and then
threaded the narrow streets of Cologne, which are quite dirty enough to
justify Coleridge's lines:

"The river Rhine, it is well known
Doth wash the city of Cologne;
But tell me nymphs, what power divine
Shall henceforth wash the river Rhine!"



HEIDELBERG, August 30. Here at last! and a most glorious place it is.
This is our first morning in our new rooms, and the sun streams warmly
in the eastern windows, as I write, while the old castle rises through
the blue vapor on the side of the Kaiser-stuhl. The Neckar rushes on
below; and the Odenwald, before, me, rejoices with its vineyards in the
morning light. The bells of the old chapel near us are sounding most
musically, and a confused sound of voices and the rolling of vehicles
comes up from the street. It is a place to live in!

I must go back five or six days and take up the record of our
journeyings at Bonn. We had been looking over Murray's infallible
"Handbook," and observed that he recommended the "Star" hotel in that
city, as "the most moderate in its prices of any on the Rhine;" so when
the train from Cologne arrived and we were surrounded, in the darkness
and confusion, by porters and valets, I sung out: "_Hotel de l'Etoile
d'or!_" our baggage and ourselves were transferred to a stylish omnibus,
and in five minutes we stopped under a brilliantly-lighted archway,
where Mr. Joseph Schmidt received us with the usual number of smiles and
bows bestowed upon untitled guests. We were furnished with neat rooms in
the summit of the house, and then descended to the _salle a manger_. I
found a folded note by my plate, which I opened--it contained an
engraving of the front of the hotel, a plan of the city and catalogue of
its lions, together with a list of the titled personages who have, from
time to time, honored the "Golden Star" with their custom. Among this
number were "Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge,
Prince Albert," etc. Had it not been for fatigue, I should have spent
an uneasy night, thinking of the heavy bill which was to be presented on
the morrow. We escaped, however, for seven francs apiece, three of which
were undoubtedly for the honor of breathing an aristocratic atmosphere.

I was glad when we were really in motion on the swift Rhine, the next
morning, and nearing the chain of mountains that rose up before us. We
passed Godesberg on the right, while on our left was the group of the
seven mountains which extend back from the Drachenfels to the
Wolkenberg, or Castle of the Clouds. Here we begin to enter the
enchanted land. The Rhine sweeps around the foot of the Drachenfels,
while opposite the precipitous rock of Rolandseek, crowned with the
castle of the faithful knight, looks down upon the beautiful Island of
Nonnenwerth, the white walls of the convent still gleaming through the
trees, as they did when the warrior's weary eyes looked upon them for
the last time. I shall never forget the enthusiasm with which I saw this
scene in the bright, warm sunlight, the rough crags softened in the haze
which filled the atmosphere, and the wild mountains springing up in the
midst of vineyards, and crowned with crumbling towers, filled with the
memories of a thousand years.

After passing Andernach, we saw in the distance the highlands of the
middle Rhine, which rise above Coblentz, guarding the entrance to its
wild scenery, and the mountains of the Moselle. They parted as we
approached; from the foot shot up the spires of Coblentz, and the
battlements of Ehrenbreitstein crowning the mountain opposite, grew
larger and broader. The air was slightly hazy, and the clouds seemed
laboring among the distant mountains to raise a storm. As we came
opposite the mouth of the Moselle and under the shadow of the mighty
fortress, I gazed up with awe at its massive walls. Apart from its
magnitude and almost impregnable situation on a perpendicular rock, it
is filled with the recollections of history and hallowed by the voice of
poetry. The scene went past like a panorama, the bridge of boats opened,
the city glided behind us and we entered the highlands again.

Above Coblentz almost every mountain has a ruin and a legend. One feels
everywhere the spirit of the past, and its stirring recollections come
back upon the mind with irresistible force. I sat upon the deck the
whole afternoon, as mountains, towns and castles passed by on either
side, watching them with a feeling of the most enthusiastic enjoyment.
Every place was familiar to me in memory, and they seemed like friends I
had long communed with in spirit and now met face to face. The English
tourists, with whom the deck was covered, seemed interested too, but in
a different manner. With Murray's Handbook open in their hands, they sat
and read about the very towns and towers they were passing, scarcely
lifting their eyes to the real scenes, except now and then, to observe
that it was "_very nice_."

As we passed Boppart, I sought out the Inn of the "Star," mentioned in
"Hyperion"; there was a maiden sitting on the steps who might have been
Paul Flemming's fair boat-woman. The clouds which had here gathered
among the hills, now came over the river, and the rain cleared the deck
of its crowd of admiring tourists. As we were approaching Lurlei Berg, I
did not go below, and so enjoyed some of the finest scenery on the Rhine
alone. The mountains approach each other at this point, and the Lurlei
Rock rises up for six hundred feet from the water. This is the haunt of
the water nymph, Lurlei, whose song charmed the ear of the boatman while
his barque was dashed to pieces on the rocks below. It is also
celebrated for its remarkable echo. As we passed between the rocks, a
guard, who has a little house built on the road-side, blew a flourish on
his bugle, which was instantly answered by a blast from the rocky
battlements of Lurlei. The German students have a witty trick with this
echo: they call out, "Who is the Burgomaster of Oberwesel?" a town just
above. The echo answers with the last syllable "Esel!" which is the
German for _ass_.

The sun came out of the cloud as we passed Oberwesel, with its tall
round tower, and the light shining through the ruined arches of
Schonberg castle, made broad bars of light and shade in the still misty
air. A rainbow sprang up out of the Rhine, and lay brightly on the
mountain side, coloring vineyard and crag, in the most singular beauty,
while its second reflection faintly arched like a glory above the high
summits. In the bed of the river were the seven countesses of Schonberg,
turned into seven rocks for their cruelty and hard-heartedness towards
the knights whom their beauty had made captive. In front, at a little
distance was the castle of Pfalz, in the middle of the river, and from
the heights above Caub frowned the crumbling citadel of Gutenfels.
Imagine all this, and tell me if it is not a picture whose memory should
last a life-time!

We came at last to Bingen, the southern gate of the Highlands. Here, on
an island in the middle of the stream, is the old Mouse tower where
Bishop Hatto of Mayence was eaten up by the rats for his wicked deeds.
Passing Rudesheim and Geissenheim, celebrated for their wines, at
sunset, we watched the varied shore in the growing darkness, till like a
line of stars across the water, we saw before us the bridge of Mayence.

The next morning I parted from my friends, who were going to Heidelberg
by way of Mannheim, and set out alone for Frankfort. The cars passed
through Hochheim, whose wines are celebrated all over the world; there
is little to interest the traveler till he arrives at Frankfort, whose
spires are seen rising from groves of trees as he approaches. I left the
cars, unchallenged for my passport, greatly to my surprise, as it had
cost me a long walk and five shillings in London, to get the signature
of the Frankfort Consul. I learned afterwards it was not at all
necessary. Before leaving America, N.P. Willis had kindly given me a
letter to his brother, Richard S. Willis, who is now cultivating a
naturally fine taste for music in Frankfort, and my first care was to
find the American Consul, in order to learn his residence. I discovered
at last, from a gentleman who spoke a little French, that the Consul's
office was in the street _Bellevue_, which street I not only looked for
through the city, but crossed over the bridge to the suburb of
Sachsenhausen, and traversed its narrow, dirty alleys three several
times, but in vain. I was about giving up the search, when I stumbled
upon the office accidentally. The name of the street had been given to
me in French and very naturally it was not to be found. Willis received
me very kindly and introduced me to the amiable German family with whom
he resides.

After spending a delightful evening with my newly-found friends, I left
the next morning in the omnibus for Heidelberg. We passed through
Sachsenhausen and ascended a long hill to the watch-tower, whence there
is a beautiful view of the Main valley. Four hours' driving over the
monotonous plain, brought me to Darmstadt. The city wore a gay look,
left by the recent _fetes_. The monument of the old Duke Ludwig had just
been erected in the centre of the great square, and the festival
attendant upon the unveiling of it, which lasted three days, had just
closed. The city was hung with garlands, and the square filled with the
pavilions of the royal family and the musicians, of whom there were a
thousand present, while everywhere were seen red and white flags--the
colors of Darmstadt. We met wagons decorated with garlands, full of
pleasant girls, in the odd dress which they have worn for three hundred

After leaving Darmstadt we entered upon the Bergstrasse, or
Mountain-way, leading along the foot of the mountain chain which extends
all the way to Heidelberg on the left, while on the right stretches far
away the Rhine-plain, across which we saw the dim outline of the
Donnersberg, in France. The hills are crowned with castles and their
sides loaded with vines; along the road the rich green foliage of the
walnut trees arched and nearly met above us. The sun shone warm and
bright, and every body appeared busy and contented and happy. All we met
had smiling countenances. In some places we saw whole families sitting
under the trees shelling the nuts they had beaten down, while others
were returning from the vineyards, laden with baskets of purple and
white grapes. The scene seemed to realize all I had read of the
happiness of the German peasantry, and the pastoral beauty of the German

With the passengers in the omnibus I could hold little conversation.
One, who knew about as much French as I did, asked me where I came from,
and I shall not soon forget his expression of incredulity, as I
mentioned America. "Why," said he, "you are white--the Americans are all

We passed the ruined castles of Auerback and Starkenburg, and Burg
Windeck, on the summit of a mountain near Weinheim, formerly one of the
royal residences of Charlemagne, and finally came to the Heiligenberg or
Holy Mountain, guarding the entrance into the Odenwald by the valley of
the Neckar. As we wound around its base to the river, the Kaiserstuhl
rose before us, with the mighty castle hanging upon its side and
Heidelberg at its feet. It was a most strikingly beautiful scene, and
for a moment I felt inclined to assent to the remark of my bad-French
acquaintance--"America is not beautiful--Heidelberg is beautiful!" The
sun had just set as we turned the corner of the Holy Mountain and drove
up the bank of the Neckar; all the chimes of Heidelberg began suddenly
to ring and a cannon by the riverside was fired off every minute--the
sound echoing five times distinctly from mountain back to mountain, and
finally crashing far off, along the distant hills of the Odenwald. It
was the birthday of the Grand Duke of Baden, and these rejoicings were
for the closing _fete_.



_Sept. 30._--There is so much to be seen around this beautiful place,
that I scarcely know where to begin a description of it. I have been
wandering among the wild paths that lead up and down the mountain side,
or away into the forests and lonely meadows in the lap of the Odenwald.
My mind is filled with images of the romantic German scenery, whose real
beauty is beginning to displace the imaginary picture which I had
painted with the enthusiastic words of Howitt. I seem to stand now upon
the Kaiser-stuhl, which rises above Heidelberg, with that magnificent
landscape around me, from the Black Forest and Strasburg to Mainz, and
from the Vosges in France to the hills of Spessart in Bavaria. What a
glorious panorama! and not less rich in associations than in its natural
beauty. Below me had moved the barbarian hordes of old, the triumphant
followers of Arminius, and the Cohorts of Rome; and later, full many a
warlike host bearing the banners of the red cross to the Holy
Land,--many a knight returning with his vassals from the field, to lay
at the feet of his lady-love the scarf he had worn in a hundred battles
and claim the reward of his constancy and devotion. But brighter spirits
had also toiled below. That plain had witnessed the presence of Luther,
and a host who strove with him to free the world from the chains of a
corrupt and oppressive religion. There had also trodden the master
spirits of German song--the giant twain, with their scarcely less
harmonious brethren: they, too, had gathered inspiration from those
scenes--more fervent worship of nature and a deeper love for their
beautiful fatherland! Oh! what waves of crime and bloodshed have swept
like the waves of a deluge down the valley of the Rhine! War has laid
his mailed hand on those desolate towers and ruthlessly torn down what
time has spared, yet he could not mar the beauty of the shore, nor could
Time himself hurl down the mountains that guard it. And what if I feel a
new inspiration on beholding the scene? Now that those ages have swept
by, like the red waves of a tide of blood, we see not the darkened
earth, but the golden sands which the flood has left behind. Besides, I
have come from a new world, where the spirit of man is untrammeled by
the mouldering shackles of the past, but in its youthful and joyous
freedom, goes on to make itself a noble memory for the ages that are to

Then there is the Wolfsbrunnen, which one reaches by a beautiful walk up
the bank of the Neckar, to a quiet dell in the side of the mountain.
Through this the roads lead up by rustic mills, always in motion, and
orchards laden with ripening fruit, to the commencement of the forest,
where a quaint stone fountain stands, commemorating the abode of a
sorceress of the olden time, who was torn in pieces by a wolf. There is
a handsome rustic inn here, where every Sunday afternoon a band plays in
the portico, while hundreds of people are scattered around in the cool
shadow of the trees, or feeding the splendid trout in the basin formed
by the little stream. They generally return to the city by another walk
leading along the mountain side, to the eastern terrace of the castle,
where they have fine views of the great Rhine plain, terminated by the
Alsatian hills, stretching along the western horizon like the long
crested swells on the ocean. We can even see these from the windows of
our room on the bank of the Neckar; and I often look with interest on
one sharp peak, for on its side stands the Castle of Trifels, where
Coeur de Lion was imprisoned by the Duke of Austria, and where Blondel,
his faithful minstrel, sang the ballad which discovered the retreat of
the noble captive.

The people of Heidelberg are rich in places of pleasure and amusement.
From the Carl Platz, an open square at the upper end of the city, two
paths lead directly up to the castle. By the first walk we ascend a
flight of steps to the western gate, passing through which, we enter a
delightful garden, between the outer walls of the Castle, and the huge
moat which surrounds it. Great linden, oak and beech trees shadow the
walk, and in secluded nooks, little mountain streams spring from the
side of the wall into stone basins. There is a tower over the moat on
the south side, next the mountain, where the portcullis still hangs with
its sharp teeth as it was last drawn up; on each side stand two grim
knights guarding the entrance. In one of the wooded walks is an old tree
brought from America in the year 1618. It is of the kind called _arbor
vitae_, and uncommonly tall and slender for one of this species; yet it
does not seem to thrive well in a foreign soil. I noticed that persons
had cut many slips off the lower branches, and I would have been tempted
to do the same myself if there had been any I could reach. In the curve
of the mountain is a handsome pavilion, surrounded with beds of flowers
and fountains; here all classes meet together in the afternoon to sit
with their refreshments in the shade, while frequently a fine band of
music gives them their invariable recreation. All this, with the scenery
around them, leaves nothing unfinished to their present enjoyment. The
Germans enjoy life under all circumstances, and in this way they make
themselves much happier than we, who have far greater means of being so.

At the end of the terrace built for the princess Elizabeth, of England,
is one of the round towers, which was split in twain by the French. Half
has fallen entirely away, and the other semicircular shell which joins
the terrace and part of the Castle buildings, clings firmly together,
although part of its foundation is gone, so that its outer ends actually
hang in the air. Some idea of the strength of the castle may be obtained
when I state that the walls of this tower are twenty-two feet thick, and
that a staircase has been made through them to the top, where one can
sit under the lindens growing upon it, or look down from the end on the
city below with the pleasant consciousness that the great mass upon
which he stands is only prevented from crashing down with him by the
solidity of its masonry. On one side, joining the garden, the statue of
the Archduke Louis, in his breastplate and flowing beard, looks out from
among the ivy.

There is little to be seen about the Castle except the walls themselves.
The guide conducted us through passages, in which were heaped many of
the enormous cannon balls which it had received in sieges, to some
chambers in the foundation. This was the oldest part of the Castle,
built in the thirteenth century. We also visited the chapel, which is in
a tolerable state of preservation. A kind of narrow bridge crosses it,
over which we walked, looking down on the empty pulpit and deserted
shrines. We then went into the cellar to see the celebrated Tun. In a
large vault are kept several enormous hogsheads, one of which is three
hundred years old, but they are nothing in comparison with the tun,
which itself fills a whole vault. It is as high as a common two story
house; on the top is a platform upon which the people used to dance
after it was filled, to which one ascends by two flights of steps. I
forgot exactly how many casks it holds, but I believe eight hundred. It
has been empty for fifty years.

We are very pleasantly situated here. My friends, who arrived a day
before me, hired three rooms (with the assistance of a courier) in a
large house on the banks of the Neckar. We pay for them, with
attendance, thirty florins--about twelve dollars--a month, and Frau Dr.
Grosch, our polite and talkative landlady, gives us a student's
breakfast--coffee and biscuit--for about seven cents apiece. We are
often much amused to hear her endeavors to make us understand. As if to
convey her meaning plainer, she raises both thumbs and forefingers to
her mouth and pulls out the words like a long string; her tongue goes so
fast that it keeps my mind always on a painful stretch to comprehend an
idea here and there. Dr. S----, from whom we take lessons in German, has
kindly consented to our dining with his family for the sake of practice
in speaking. We have taken several long walks with them along the banks
of the Neckar, but I should be puzzled to repeat any of the
conversations that took place. The language, however, is fast growing
more familiar, since _women_ are the principal teachers.

Opposite my window rises the Heiligenberg, on the other side of the
Neckar. The lower part of it is rich with vineyards, and many cottages
stand embosomed in shrubbery among them. Sometimes we see groups of
maidens standing under the grape arbors, and every morning the peasant
women go toiling up the steep paths with baskets on their heads, to
labor among the vines. On the Neckar below us, the fishermen glide about
in their boats, sink their square nets fastened to a long pole, and haul
them up with the glittering fish, of which the stream is full. I often
lean out of the window late at night, when the mountains above are
wrapped in dusky obscurity, and listen to the low, musical ripple of the
river. It tells to my excited fancy a knightly legend of the old German
time. Then comes the bell, rung for closing the inns, breaking the spell
with its deep clang, which vibrates far away on the night air, till it
has roused all the echoes of the Odenwald. I then shut the window, turn
into the narrow box which the Germans call a bed, and in a few minutes
am wandering in America. Half way up the Heiligenberg runs a beautiful
walk, dividing the vineyards from the forest above. This is called the
Philosopher's Way, because it was the favorite ramble of the old
Professors of the University. It can be reached by a toilsome, winding
path among the vines, called the Snake-way, and when one has ascended to
it he is well rewarded by the lovely view. In the evening, when the sun
has got behind the mountain, it is delightful to sit on the stone steps
and watch the golden light creeping up the side of the Kaiser-stuhl,
till at last twilight begins to darken in the valley and a mantle of
mist gathers above the Neckar.

We ascended the mountain a few days ago. There is a path which leads up
through the forest, but we took the shortest way, directly up the side,
though it was at an angle of nearly fifty degrees. It was hard enough
work, scrambling through the thick broom and heather, and over stumps
and stones. In one of the stone-heaps I dislodged a large orange-colored
salamander, seven or eight inches long. They are sometimes found on
these mountains, as well as a very large kind of lizard, called the
_eidechse_, which the Germans say is perfectly harmless, and if one
whistles or plays a pipe, will come and play around him. The view from
the top reminded me of that from Catskill Mountain House, but is on a
smaller scale. The mountains stretch off sideways, confining the view to
but half the horizon, and in the middle of the picture the Hudson is
well represented by the lengthened windings of the "abounding Rhine."
Nestled at the base below us, was the little village of Handschuhheim,
one of the oldest in this part of Germany. The castle of its former
lords has nearly all fallen down, but the massive solidity of the walls
which yet stand, proves its antiquity. A few years ago, a part of the
outer walls which was remarked to have a hollow sound, was taken down,
when there fell from a deep niche built therein, a skeleton, clad in a
suit of the old German armor. We followed a road through the woods to
the peak on which stand the ruins of St. Michael's chapel, which was
built in the tenth century and inhabited for a long time by a sect of
white monks. There is now but a single tower remaining, and all around
is grown over with tall bushes and weeds. It had a wild and romantic
look, and I sat on a rock and sketched at it, till it grew dark, when we
got down the mountain the best way we could.

We lately visited the great University Library. You walk through one
hall after another, filled with books of all kinds, from the monkish
manuscript of the middle ages, to the most elegant print of the present
day. There is something to me more impressive in a library like this
than a solemn Cathedral. I think involuntarily of the hundreds of mighty
spirits who speak from these three hundred thousand volumes--of the
toils and privations with which genius has ever struggled, and of his
glorious reward. As in a church, one feels as it were, the presence of
God; not because the place has been hallowed by his worship, but because
all around stand the inspirations of his spirit, breathed through the
mind of genius, to men. And if the mortal remains of saints and heroes
do not repose within its walls, the great and good of the whole earth
are there, speaking their counsels to the searcher for truth, with
voices whose last reverberation will die away only when the globe falls
into ruin.

A few nights ago there was a wedding of peasants across the river. In
order to celebrate it particularly, the guests went to the house where
it was given, by torchlight. The night was quite dark, and the bright
red torches glowed on the surface of the Neckar, as the two couriers
galloped along the banks to the bridegroom's house. Here, after much
shouting and confusion, the procession was arranged, the two riders
started back again with their torches, and the wagons containing the
guests followed after with their flickering lights glancing on the
water, till they disappeared around the foot of the mountain. The
choosing of Conscripts also took place lately. The law requires one
person out of every hundred to become a soldier, and this, in the city
of Heidelberg, amounts to nearly 150. It was a sad spectacle. The young
men, or rather boys, who were chosen, went about the city with cockades
fastened on their hats, shouting and singing, many of them quite
intoxicated. I could not help pitying them because of the dismal,
mechanical life they are doomed to follow. Many were rough, ignorant
peasants, to whom nearly any kind of life would be agreeable; but there
were some whose countenances spoke otherwise, and I thought
involuntarily, that their drunken gaiety was only affected to conceal
their real feelings with regard to the lot which had fallen upon them.

We are gradually becoming accustomed to the German style of living,
which is very different from our own. Their cookery is new to us, but
is, nevertheless, good. We have every day a different kind of soup, so I
have supposed they keep a regular list of three hundred and sixty-five,
one for every day in the year! Then we have potatoes "done up" in oil
and vinegar, veal flavored with orange peel, barley pudding, and all
sorts of pancakes, boiled artichokes, and always rye bread, in loaves a
yard long! Nevertheless, we thrive on such diet, and I have rarely
enjoyed more sound and refreshing sleep than in their narrow and
coffin-like beds, uncomfortable as they seem. Many of the German customs
are amusing. We never see oxen working here, but always cows, sometimes
a single one in a cart, and sometimes two fastened together by a yoke
across their horns. The women labor constantly in the fields; from our
window we can hear the nut-brown maidens singing their cheerful songs
among the vineyards on the mountain side. Their costume, too, is odd
enough. Below the light-fitting vest they wear such a number of short
skirts, one above another, that it reminds one of an animated hogshead,
with a head and shoulders starting out from the top. I have heard it
gravely asserted that the wealth of a German damsel may be known by
counting the number of her "kirtles." An acquaintance of mine remarked,
that it would be an excellent costume for falling down a precipice!

We have just returned from a second visit to Frankfort, where the great
annual fair filled the streets with noise and bustle. On our way back,
we stopped at the village of Zwingenberg, which lies at the foot of the
Melibochus, for the purpose of visiting some of the scenery of the
Odenwald. Passing the night at the inn there, we slept with one bed
under and two above, and started early in the morning to climb up the
side of the Melibochus. After a long walk through the forests, which
were beginning to change their summer foliage for a brighter garment, we
reached the summit and ascended the stone tower which stands upon it.
This view gives one a better idea of the Odenwald, than that from the
Kaiser-stuhl at Heidelberg. In the soft autumn atmosphere it looked even
more beautiful. After an hour in that heaven of uplifted thought, into
which we step from the mountain-top, our minds went with the path
downward to earth, and we descended the eastern side into the wild
region which contains the _Felsenmeer_, or Sea of Rocks.

We met on the way a student from Fulda--a fine specimen of that
free-spirited class, and a man whose smothered aspiration was betrayed
in the flashing of his eye, as he spoke of the present painful and
oppressed condition of Germany. We talked so busily together that
without noticing the path, which had been bringing us on, up hill and
down, through forest and over rock, we came at last to a halt in a
valley among the mountains. Making inquiries there, we found we had gone
wrong, and must ascend by a different path the mountain we had just come
down. Near the summit of this, in a wild pine wood, was the
Felsenmeer--a great collection of rocks heaped together like pebbles on
the sea shore, and worn and rounded as if by the action of water: so
much do they resemble waves, that one standing at the bottom and looking
up, cannot resist the idea, that they will flow down upon him. It must
have been a mighty tide whose receding waves left these masses piled up
together! The same formation continues at intervals, to the foot, of the
mountains. It reminded me of a _glacier_ of rocks instead of ice. A
little higher up, lies a massive block of granite called the "Giant's
Column." It is thirty-two feet long and three to four feet in diameter,
and still bears the mark of the chisel. When or by whom it was made,
remains a mystery. Some have supposed it was intended to be erected for
the worship of the Sun, by the wild Teutonic tribes who inhabited this
forest; it is more probably the work of the Romans. A project was once
started, to erect it as a monument on the battle-field of Leipsic, but
it was found too difficult to carry into execution.

After dining at the little village of Reichelsdorf in the valley below,
where the merry landlord charged my friend two kreutzers less than
myself because he was not so tall, we visited the Castle of Schonberg,
and joined the Bergstrasse again. We walked the rest of the way here;
long before we arrived, the moon shone down on us over the mountains,
and when we turned around the foot of the Heiligenberg, the mist
descending in the valley of the Neckar, rested like a light cloud on the
church spires.



B---- and I are now comfortably settled in Frankfort, having, with Mr.
Willis's kind assistance, obtained lodgings with the amiable family,
with whom he has resided for more than two years. My cousin remains in
Heidelberg to attend the winter course of lectures at the University.

Having forwarded our baggage by the omnibus, we came hither on foot,
through the heart of the Odenwald, a region full of interest, yet little
visited by travellers. Dr. S---- and his family walked with us three or
four miles of the way, and on a hill above Ziegelhausen, with a splendid
view behind us, through the mountain-door, out of which the Neckar
enters on the Rhine-plain, we parted. This was a first, and I must
confess, a somewhat embarrassing experience in German leave-taking.
After bidding adieu three or four times, we started to go up the
mountain and they down it, but at every second step we had to turn
around to acknowledge the waving of hands and handkerchiefs, which
continued so long that I was glad when we were out of sight of each
other. We descended on the other side into a wild and romantic valley,
whose meadows were of the brightest green; a little brook which wound
through them, put now and then its "silvery shoulder" to the wheel of a
rustic mill. By the road-side two or three wild-looking gipsies sat
around a fire, with some goats feeding near them.

Passing through this valley and the little village of Schonau, we
commenced ascending one of the loftiest ranges of the Odenwald. The side
of the mountain was covered with a thick pine forest. There was no wind
to wake its solemn anthem; all was calm and majestic, and even awful.
The trees rose all around like the pillars of a vast Cathedral, whose
long arched aisles vanished far below in the deepening gloom.

"Nature with folded hands seemed there,
Kneeling at her evening prayer,"

for twilight had already begun to gather. We went on and up and ever
higher, like the youth in "Excelsior;" the beech and dwarf oak took the
place of the pine, and at last we arrived at a cleared summit whose long
brown grass waved desolately in the dim light of evening. A faint glow
still lingered over the forest-hills, but down in the valley the dusky
shades hid every vestige of life, though its sounds came up softened
through the long space. When we reached the top a bright planet stood
like a diamond over the brow of the eastern hill, and the sound of a
twilight bell came up clearly and sonorously on the cool damp air. The
white veil of mist slowly descended down the mountain side, but the
peaks rose above it like the wrecks of a world, floating in space. We
made our way in the dusk down the long path, to the rude little dorf of
Elsbach. I asked at the first inn for lodging, where we were ushered
into a great room, in which a number of girls who had been at work in
the fields, were assembled. They were all dressed in men's jackets, and
short gowns, and some had their hair streaming down their back. The
landlord's daughter, however, was a beautiful girl, whose modest,
delicate features contrasted greatly with the coarse faces of the
others. I thought of Uhland's beautiful little poem of "The Landlady's
Daughter," as I looked on her. In the room hung two or three pair of
antlers, and they told us deer were still plenty in the forests.

When we left the village the next morning, we again commenced ascending.
Over the whole valley and halfway up the mountain, lay a thick white
frost, almost like snow, which contrasted with the green trees and
bushes scattered over the meadows, produced the most singular effect. We
plucked blackberries ready iced from the bushes by the road-side, and
went on in the cold, for the sun shone only on the top of the opposite
mountain, into another valley, down which rushed the rapid Ulver. At a
little village which bears the beautiful name _Anteschonmattenwag_, we
took a foot-path directly over a steep mountain to the village of
Finkenbach. Near the top I found two wild-looking children, cutting
grass with knives, both of whom I prevailed upon for a few kreutzers to
stand and let me sketch them. From the summit the view on the other side
was very striking. The hills were nearly every one covered with wood,
and not a dwelling in sight. It reminded me of our forest scenery at
home. The principal difference is, that our trees are two or three times
the size of theirs.

At length, after scaling another mountain, we reached a wide, elevated
plain, in the middle of which stood the old dorf of Beerfelden. It was
then crowded with people, on account of a great cattle-fair being held
there. All the farmers of the neighborhood were assembled, clad in the
ancient country costume--broad cocked hats and blue frocks. An orchard
near the town was filled with cattle and horses, and near by, in the
shade, a number of pedlars had arranged their wares. The cheerful
looking country people touched their hats to us as we passed. This
custom of greeting travellers, universal in Germany, is very expressive
of their social, friendly manners. Among the mountains, we frequently
met groups of children, who sang together their simple ballads as we
passed by.

From Beerfelden we passed down the valley of the Mimling to Erbach, the
principal city in the Odenwald, and there stopped a short time to view
the Rittersaal in the old family castle of the Counts of Erbach. An
officer, who stood at the gates, conducted us to the door, where we were
received by a noble-looking, gray-headed steward. He took us into the
Rittersaal at once, which was like stepping back three hundred years.
The stained windows of the lofty Gothic hall, let in a subdued light
which fell on the forms of kings and knights, clad in the armor they
wore during life. On the left as we entered, were mail-covered figures
of John and Cosmo do Medici; further on stood the Emperor Maximilian,
and by his side the celebrated dwarf who was served up in a pie at one
of the imperial feasts. His armor was most delicate and beautiful, but
small as it was, General Thumb would have had room in it. Gustavus
Adolphus and Wallenstein looked down from the neighboring pedestals,
while at the other end stood Goetz von Berlichingen and Albert of
Brunswick. Guarding the door were Hans, the robber-knight of Nuremberg,
and another from the Thuringian forest. The steward told me that the
iron hand of Goetz was in possession of the family, but not shown to
strangers; he pointed out, however, the buckles on the armor, by which
it was fastened. Adjoining the hall is an antique chapel, filled with
rude old tombs, and containing the sarcophagus of Count Eginhard of
Denmark, who lived about the tenth century. There were also monkish
garments five hundred years old hanging up in it.

The collection of antiquities is large and interesting; but it is said
that the old Count obtained some of them in rather a questionable
manner. Among other incidents, they say that when in Rome he visited the
Pope, taking with him an old servant who accompanied him in all his
travels, and was the accomplice in most of his antiquarian thefts. In
one of the outer halls, among the curiosities, was an antique shield of
great value. The servant was left in this hall while the Count had his
audience, and in a short time this shield was missed. The servant who
wore a long cloak, was missed also; orders were given to close the gates
and search every body, but it was too late--the thief was gone.

Leaving Erbach we found out the direction of Snellert, the Castle of the
Wild Huntsman, and took a road that led us for two or three hours along
the top of a mountain ridge. Through the openings in the pine and larch
forests, we had glimpses of the hills of Spessart, beyond the Main. When
we finally left the by-road we had chosen it was quite dark, and we
missed the way altogether among the lanes and meadows. We came at last
to a full stop at the house of a farmer, who guided us by a foot path
over the fields to a small village. On entering the only inn, kept by
the Burgomaster, the people finding we were Americans, regarded us with
a curiosity quite uncomfortable. They crowded around the door, watching
every motion, and gazed in through the windows. The wild huntsman
himself could scarcely have made a greater sensation. The news of our
arrival seemed to have spread very fast, for the next morning when we
stopped at a prune orchard some distance from the village to buy some
fruit, the farmer cried out from a tree, "they are the Americans; give
them as many as they want for nothing!"

With the Burgomaster's little son for a guide, we went back a mile or
two of our route to Snellert, which we had passed the night before, and
after losing ourselves two or three times in the woods, arrived at last
at the top of the mountain, where the ruins of the castle stand. The
walls are nearly level with the ground. The interest of a visit rests
entirely on the romantic legend, and the wild view over the hills
around, particularly that in front, where on the opposite mountain are
the ruins of Rodenstein, to which the wild Huntsman was wont to ride at
midnight--where he now rides no more. The echoes of Rodenstein are no
longer awakened by the sound of his bugle, and the hoofs of his demon
steed clanging on the battlements. But the hills around are wild enough,
and the roar of the pine forests deep enough to have inspired the simple
peasants with the romantic tradition.

Stopping for dinner at the town of Rheinheim, we met an old man, who, on
learning we were Americans, walked with us as far as the next village.
He had a daughter in America and was highly gratified to meet any one
from the country of her adoption. He made me promise to visit her, if I
ever should go to St. Louis, and say that I had walked with her father
from Rheinheim to Zwangenburg. To satisfy his fears that I might forget
it, I took down his name and that of his daughter. He shook me warmly by
the hand at parting, and was evidently made happier for that day.

We reached Darmstadt just in time to take a seat in the omnibus for
Frankfort. Among the passengers were a Bavarian family, on their way to
Bremen, to ship from thence to Texas. I endeavored to discourage the man
from choosing such a country as his home, by telling him of its heats
and pestilences, but he was too full of hope to be shaken in his
purpose. I would have added that it was a slave-land, but I thought on
our own country's curse, and was silent. The wife was not so sanguine;
she seemed to mourn in secret at leaving her beautiful fatherland. It
was saddening to think how lonely they would feel in that far home, and
how they would long, with true German devotion, to look again on the
green vintage-hills of their forsaken country. As night drew on, the
little girl crept over to her father for his accustomed evening kiss,
and then sank back to sleep in a corner of the wagon. The boy, in the
artless confidence of childhood, laid his head on my breast, weary with
the day's travel, and soon slept also. Thus we drove on in the dark,
till at length the lights of Frankfort glimmered on the breast of the
rapid Main, as we passed over the bridge, and when we stopped near the
Cathedral, I delivered up my little charge and sent my sympathy with the
wanderers on their lonely way.



_Dec. 4._--This is a genuine old German city. Founded by Charlemagne,
afterwards a rallying point of the Crusaders, and for a long time the
capital of the German empire, it has no lack of interesting historical
recollections, and notwithstanding it is fast becoming modernized, one
is every where reminded of the Past. The Cathedral, old as the days of
Peter the Hermit, the grotesque street of the Jews, the many quaint,
antiquated dwellings and the mouldering watch-towers on the hills
around, give it a more interesting character than any German city I have
yet seen. The house we dwell in, on the Markt Platz, is more than two
hundred years old; directly opposite is a great castellated building,
gloomy with the weight of six centuries, and a few steps to the left
brings me to the square of the Roemerberg, where the Emperors were
crowned, in a corner of which is a curiously ornamented house, formerly
the residence of Luther. There are legends innumerable connected with
all these buildings, and even yet discoveries are frequently made in old
houses, of secret chambers and staircases. When you add to all this, the
German love of ghost stories, and, indeed, their general belief in
spirits, the lover of romance could not desire a more agreeable

I often look out on the singular scene below my window. On both sides of
the street, leaving barely room to enter the houses, sit the market
women, with their baskets of vegetables and fruit. The middle of the
street is filled with women buying, and every cart or carriage that
comes along, has to force its way through the crowd, sometimes rolling
against and overturning the baskets on the side, when for a few minutes
there is a Babel of unintelligible sounds. The country women in their
jackets and short gowns go backwards and forwards with great loads on
their heads, sometimes nearly as high as themselves. It is a most
singular scene, and so varied that one never tires of looking upon it.
These women sit here from sunrise till sunset, day after day, for years.
They have little furnaces for cooking and for warmth in winter, and when
it rains they sit in large wooden boxes. One or two policemen are
generally on the ground in the morning to prevent disputing about their
places, which often gives rise to interesting scenes. Perhaps this kind
of life in the open air is conducive to longevity; for certainly there
is no country on earth that has as many old women. Many of them look
like walking machines made of leather; and to judge from what I see in
the streets here, I should think they work till they die.

On the 21st of October a most interesting fete took place. The
magnificent monument of Goethe, modelled by the sculptor Schwanthaler,
at Munich, and cast in bronze, was unveiled. It arrived a few days
before, and was received with much ceremony and erected in the destined
spot, an open square in the western part of the city, planted with
acacia trees. I went there at ten o'clock, and found the square already
full of people. Seats had been erected around the monument for ladies,
the singers and musicians. A company of soldiers was stationed to keep
an entrance for the procession, which at length arrived with music and
banners, and entered the enclosure. A song for the occasion was sung by
the choir; it swelled up gradually, and with such perfect harmony and
unity, that it seemed like some glorious instrument touched by a single
hand. Then a poetical address was delivered; after which four young men
took their stand at the corners of the monument; the drums and trumpets
gave a flourish, and the mantle fell. The noble figure seemed to rise
out of the earth, and thus amid shoutings and the triumphal peal of the
band, the form of Goethe greeted the city of his birth. He is
represented as leaning on the trunk of a tree, holding in his right hand
a roll of parchment, and in his left a wreath. The pedestal, which is
also of bronze, contains bas reliefs, representing scenes from Faust,
Wilhelm Meister and Egmont. In the evening Goethe's house, in a street
near, was illuminated by arches of lamps between the windows, and hung
with wreaths of flowers. Four pillars of colored lamps lighted the
statue. At nine o'clock the choir of singers came again in a procession,
with colored lanterns, on poles, and after singing two or three songs,
the statue was exhibited in the red glare of the Bengal light. The trees
and houses around the square were covered with the glow, which streamed
in broad sheets up against the dark sky.

Within the walls the greater part of Frankfort is built in the old
German style--the houses six or seven stones high, and every story
projecting out over the other, so that those living in the upper part
can nearly shake hands out of the windows. At the corners figures of men
are often seen, holding up the story above on their shoulders and making
horrible faces at the weight. When I state that in all these narrow
streets which constitute the greater part of the city, there are no
sidewalks, the windows of the lower stories with an iron grating
extending a foot or so into the street, which is only wide enough for
one cart to pass along, you can have some idea of the facility of
walking through them, to say nothing of the piles of wood, and
market-women with baskets of vegetables which one is continually
stumbling over. Even in the wider streets, I have always to look before
and behind to keep out of the way of the fiacres; the people here get so
accustomed to it, that they leave barely room for them to pass, and the
carriages go dashing by at a nearness which sometimes makes me shudder.

As I walked across the Main, and looked down at the swift stream on its
way from the distant Thuringian forest to join the Rhine, I thought of
the time when Schiller stood there in the days of his early struggles,
an exile from his native land, and looking over the bridge, said in the
loneliness of his heart, "That water flows not so deep as my
sufferings!" In the middle, on an iron ornament, stands the golden cock
at which Goethe used to marvel when a boy. Perhaps you have not heard
the legend connected with this. The bridge was built several hundred
years ago, with such strength and solidity that it will stand many
hundred yet. The architect had contracted to build it within a certain
time, but as it drew near, without any prospect of fulfilment, the devil
appeared to him and promised to finish it, on condition of having the
first soul that passed over it. This was agreed upon end the devil
performed his part of the bargain. The artist, however, on the day
appointed, drove a cook across before he suffered any one to pass over
it. His majesty stationed himself under the middle arch of the bridge,
awaiting his prey; but enraged at the cheat, he tore the unfortunate
fowl in pieces and broke two holes in the arch, saying they should never
be built up again. The golden cock was erected on the bridge as a token
of the event, but the devil has perhaps lost some of his power in these
latter days, for the holes were filled up about thirty years ago.

From the hills on the Darmstadt road, I had a view of the country
around--the fields were white and bare, and the dark Tannus, with the
broad patches of snow on his sides, looked grim and shadowy through the
dim atmosphere. It was like the landscape of a dream--dark, strange and
silent. The whole of last month we saw the sun but two or three days,
the sky being almost continually covered with a gloomy fog. England and
Germany seem to have exchanged climates this year, for in the former
country we had delightfully clear weather.

I have seen the banker Rothschild several times driving about the city.
This one--Anselmo, the most celebrated of the brothers--holds a mortgage
on the city of Jerusalem. He rides about in style, with officers
attending his carriage. He is a little bald-headed man, with marked
Jewish features, and is said not to deceive his looks. At any rate, his
reputation is none of the best, either with Jews or Christians. A
caricature was published some time ago, in which he is represented as
giving a beggar woman by the way-side, a kreutzer--the smallest German
coin. She is made to exclaim, "God reward you, a thousand fold!" He
immediately replies, after reckoning up in his head: "How much have I
then?--sixteen florins and forty kreutzers!"

I have lately heard one of the most perfectly beautiful creations that
ever emanated from the soul of genius--the opera of Fidelio. I have
caught faint glimpses of that rich world of fancy and feeling, to which
music is the golden door. Surrendering myself to the grasp of
Beethoven's powerful conception, I read in sounds far more expressive
than words, the almost despairing agony of the strong-hearted, but
still tender and womanly Fidelio--the ecstatic joy of the wasted
prisoner, when he rose from his hard couch in the dungeon, seeming to
fuel, in his maniac brain, the presentiment of a bright being who would
come to unbind his chains--and. the sobbing and wailing, almost-human,
which came from the orchestra, when they dug his grave, by the dim
lantern's light. When it was done, the murderer stole into the dungeon,
to gloat on the agonies of his victim, ere he gave the death-blow. Then,
while the prisoner is waked to reason by that sight, and Fidelio throws
herself before the uplifted dagger, rescuing her husband with the
courage which love gives to a woman's heart, the storm of feeling which
has been gathering in the music, swells to a height beyond which it
seemed impossible for the soul to pass. My nerves were thrilled till I
could bear no more. A mist seemed to come before my eyes and I scarcely
knew what followed, till the rescued kneeled together and poured forth
in the closing hymn the painful fullness of their joy. I dreaded the
sound of voices after the close, and the walk home amid the harsh
rattling of vehicles on the rough streets. For days afterwards my brain
was filled with a mingled and confused sense of melody, like the
half-remembered music of a dream.

Why should such magnificent creations of art be denied the new world?
There is certainly enthusiasm and refinement of feeling enough at home
to appreciate them, were the proper direction given to the popular
taste. What country possesses more advantages to foster the growth of
such an art, than ours? Why should not the composer gain mighty
conceptions from the grandeur of our mountain scenery, from the howling
of the storm through our giant forests, from the eternal thunder of
Niagara? All these collateral influences, which more or less tend to the
development and expansion of genius, are characteristics of our country;
and a taste for musical compositions of a refined and lofty character,
would soon give birth to creators.

Fortunately for our country, this missing star in the crown of her
growing glory, will probably soon be replaced. Richard S. Willis, with
whom we have lived in delightful companionship, since coming here, has
been for more than two years studying and preparing himself for the
higher branches of composition. The musical talent he displayed while
at college, and the success following the publication of a set of
beautiful waltzes he there composed, led him to choose this most
difficult but lofty path; the result justifies his early promise and
gives the most sanguine anticipations for the future. He studied the
first two years here under Schnyder von Wartensee, a distinguished Swiss
composer; and his exercises have met with the warmest approval from
Mendelsohn, at present the first German composer, and Rinck, the
celebrated organist. The enormous labor and application required to go
through the preparatory studies alone, would make it seem almost
impossible for one with the restless energy of the American character,
to undertake it; but as this very energy gives genius its greatest
power, we may now trust with confidence that Willis, since he has nearly
completed his studies, will win himself and his country honor in the
difficult path he has chosen.

One evening, after sunset, we took a stroll around the promenades. The
swans were still floating on the little lake, and the American poplar
beside it, was in its full autumn livery. As we made the circuit of the
walks, guns were firing far and near, celebrating the opening of the
vintage the next day, and rockets went glittering and sparkling up into
the dark air. Notwithstanding the late hour and lowering sky, the walks
were full of people and we strolled about with them till it grew quite
dark, watching the fire-works which arose from the gardens around.

The next day, we went into the Frankfort wood. Willis and his
brother-in-law, Charles F. Dennett, of Boston, Dr. Dix and another young
gentleman from the same city, formed the party--six Americans in all; we
walked over the Main and through the dirty suburbs of Sachsenhausen,
where we met many peasants laden with the first day's vintage, and
crowds of people coming down from the vineyards. As we ascended the
hill, the sound of firing was heard in every direction, and from many
vineyards arose the smoke of fires where groups of merry children were
collecting and burning the rubbish. We became lost among the winding
paths of the pine forest, so that by the time we came out upon the
eminence overlooking the valley of the Main, it was quite dark. From
every side, far and near, rockets of all sizes and colors darted high
up into the sky. Sometimes a flight of the most brilliant crimson and
gold lights rushed up together, then again by some farm-house in the
meadow, the vintagers would burn a Roman candle, throwing its powerful
white light on the gardens and fields around. We stopped under a garden
wall, by which a laughing company were assembled in the smoke and red
blaze, and watched several comets go hissing and glancing far above us.
The cracking of ammunition still continued, and when we came again upon
the bridge, the city opposite was lighted as if illuminated. The full
moon had just risen, softening and mellowing the beautiful scene, while
beyond, over the tower of Frankfort, rose and fell the meteors that
heralded the vintage.

Since I have been in Frankfort, an event has occurred, which shows very
distinctly the principles at work in Germany, and gives us some
foreboding of the future. Ferdinand Freiligrath, the first living poet
with the exception of Uhland, has within a few weeks published a volume
of poems entitled, "My Confession of Faith, or Poems for the Times." It
contains some thrilling appeals to the free spirit of the German people,
setting forth the injustice under which they labor, in simple but
powerful language, and with the most forcible illustrations, adapted to
the comprehension of everyone. Viewed as a work of genius alone, it is
strikingly powerful and original: but when we consider the effect it is
producing among the people--the strength it will add to the rising tide
of opposition to every form of tyranny, it has a still higher interest.
Freiligrath had three or four years before, received a pension of three
hundred thalers from the King of Prussia, soon after his accession to
the throne: he ceased to draw this about a year ago, stating in the
preface to his volume that it was accepted in the belief the King would
adhere to his promise of giving the people a new constitution, but that
now since free spirit which characterises these men, who come from
among the people, shows plainly the tendency of the times; and it is
only the great strength with which tyranny here has environed himself,
and the almost lethargic _slowness_ of the Germans, which has prevented
a change ere this.

In this volume of Freiligrath's, among other things, is a translation of
Bryant's magnificent poem "The Winds," and Burns's "A man's a man for a'
that;" and I have translated one of his, as a specimen of the spirit in
which they are written:


Oh! think not she rests in the grave's chilly slumber
Nor sheds o'er the present her glorious light,
Since Tyranny's shackles the free soul incumber
And traitors accusing, deny to us Right!
No: whether to exile the sworn ones are wending,
Or weary of power that crushed them unending,
In dungeons have perished, their veins madly rending,[*]
Yet Freedom still liveth, and with her, the Right!
Freedom and Right!

A single defeat can confuse us no longer:
It adds to the combat's last gathering might,
It bids us but doubly to struggle, and stronger
To raise up our battle-cry--"Freedom and Right!"
For the Twain know a union forever abiding,
Together in Truth and in majesty striding;
Where Right is, already the free are residing
And ever, where dwell the free, governeth Right!
Freedom and Right!

And this is a trust: never made, us at present,
The glad pair from battle to battle their flight;
Never breathed through the soul of the down-trodden peasant,
Their spirit so deeply its promptings of light!
They sweep o'er the earth with a tempest-like token;
From strand unto strand words of thunder are spoken:
Already the serf finds his manacles broken,
And those of the negro are falling from sight
Freedom and Right!

Yes, every where wide is their war-banner waving.
On the armies of Wrong their revenge to requite;
The strength of Oppression they boldly are braving
And at last they will conquer, resistless in might!
Oh, God! what a glorious wreath then appearing
Will blend every leaf in the banner they're bearing--The
olive of Greece and the shamrock of Erin,
And the oak-bough of Germany, greenest in light!
Freedom and Right!

And many who suffered, are now calmly sleeping,
The slumber of freemen, borne down by the fight;
While the Twain o'er their graves still a bright watch are keeping,
Whom we bless for their memories--Freedom and Right!
Meanwhile lift your glasses! to those who have striven!
And striving with bold hearts, to misery were driven!
Who fought for the Right and but Wrong then were given!
To Right, the immortal--to Freedom through Right!
Freedom through Right!

[Footnote *: This allusion is to Weidig, who, imprisoned for years at
Darmstadt on account of his political principles, finally committed
suicide by cutting his throat with the glass of his prison-window.]



Receiving a letter from my cousin one bright December morning, the idea
of visiting him struck me, and so, within an hour, B---- and I were on
our way to Heidelberg. It was delightful weather; the air was mild as
the early days of spring, the pine forests around wore a softer green,
and though the sun was but a hand's breadth high, even at noon, it was
quite warm on the open road. We stopped for the night at Bensheim; the
next morning was as dark as a cloudy day in the north can be, wearing a
heavy gloom I never saw elsewhere. The wind blew the snow down from the
summits upon us, but being warm from walking, we did not heed it. The
mountains looked higher than in summer, and the old castles more grim
and frowning. From the hard roads and freezing wind, my feet became very
sore, and after limping along in excruciating pain for a league or two,
I filled my boots with brandy, which deadened the wounds so much, that I
was enabled to go on in a kind of trot, which I kept up, only stopping
ten minutes to dinner, till we reached Heidelberg.

The same evening there was to be a general _commers_, or meeting of the
societies among the students, and I determined not to omit witnessing
one of the most interesting and characteristic features of student-life.
So borrowing a cap and coat, I looked the student well enough to pass
for one of them, though the former article was somewhat of the
_Philister_ form. Baader, a young poet of some note, and president of
the "Palatia" Society, having promised to take us there, we met at
eight o'clock at an inn frequented by the students, and went to the
rendezvous, near the Markt Platz.

A confused sound of voices came from the inn, as we drew near; groups of
students were standing around the door. In the entry we saw the Red
Fisherman, one of the most conspicuous characters about the University.
He is a small, stout man, with bare neck and breast, red hair, whence
his name, and a strange mixture of roughness and benevolence in his
countenance. He has saved many persons at the risk of his own life, from
drowning in the Neckar, and on that account is leniently dealt with by
the faculty whenever he is arrested for assisting the students in any of
their unlawful proceedings. Entering the room I could scarcely see at
first, on account of the smoke that ascended from a hundred pipes. All
was noise and confusion. Near the door sat some half dozen musicians who
were getting their instruments ready for action, and the long room was
filled with tables, all of which seemed to be full and the students were
still pressing in. The tables were covered with great stone jugs and
long beer glasses; the students were talking and shouting and
drinking.--One who appeared to have the arrangement of the meeting,
found seats for us together, and having made a slight acquaintance with
those sitting next us, we felt more at liberty to witness their
proceedings. They were all talking in a sociable, friendly way, and I
saw no one who appeared to be intoxicated. The beer was a weak mixture,
which I should think would make one fall over from its _weight_ before
it would intoxicate him. Those sitting near me drank but little, and
that principally to make or return compliments. One or two at the other
end of the table were more boisterous, and more than one glass was
overturned on the legs below it. Leaves containing the songs for the
evening lay at each seat, and at the head, where the President sat, were
two swords crossed, with which he occasionally struck upon the table to
preserve order. Our President was a fine, romantic-looking young man,
dressed in the old German costume, which is far handsomer than the
modern. I never saw in any company of young men, so many handsome, manly
countenances. If their faces were any index of their characters, there
were many noble, free souls among them. Nearly opposite to me sat a
young poet, whose dark eyes flashed with feeling as he spoke to those
near him. After some time passed in talking and drinking together,
varied by an occasional air from the musicians, the President beat order
with the sword, and the whole company joined in one of their glorious
songs, to a melody at the same time joyous and solemn. Swelled by so
many manly voices it rose up like a hymn of triumph--all other sounds
were stilled. Three times during the singing all rose up, clashed their
glasses together around the tables and drank to their Fatherland, a
health and blessing to the patriot, and honor to those who struggle in
the cause of freedom, at the close thundering out their motto:

"Fearless in strife, to the banner still true!"

After this song the same order as before was continued, except that
students from the different societies made short speeches, accompanied
by some toast or sentiment. One spoke of Germany--predicting that all
her dissensions would be overcome, and she would rise up at last, like a
phoenix among the nations of Europe; and at the close gave 'strong,
united, regenerated Germany!' Instantly all sprang to their feet, and
clashing the glasses together, gave a thundering "_hoch!_" This
enthusiasm for their country is one of the strongest characteristics of
the German students; they have ever been first in the field for her
freedom, and on them mainly depends her future redemption.

Cloths were passed around, the tables wiped off, and preparations made
to sing the "_Landsfather_" or consecration song. This is one of the
most important and solemn of their ceremonies, since by performing it
the new students are made _burschen_, and the bands of brotherhood
continually kept fresh and sacred. All became still a moment, then they
commenced the lofty song:

"Silent bending, each one lending
To the solemn tones his ear,
Hark, the song of songs is sounding--
Back from joyful choir resounding,
Hear it, German brothers, hear!

"German proudly, raise it loudly,
Singing of your fatherland--
Fatherland! thou land of story,
To the altars of thy glory
Consecrate us, sword in hand!

"Take the beaker, pleasure seeker,
With thy country's drink brimmed o'er!
In thy left the sword is blinking.
Pierce it through the cap, while drinking
To thy Fatherland once more!"

With the first line of the last stanza, the Presidents sitting at the
head of the table, take their glasses in their right hands, and at the
third line, the sword in their left, at the end striking their glasses
together and drinking.

"In left hand gleaming, thou art beaming,
Sword from all dishonour free!
Thus I pierce the cap, while swearing,
It in honor ever wearing,
I a valiant Bursch will be!"

They clash their swords together till the third line is sung, when each
takes his cap, and piercing the point of the sword through the crown,
draws it down to the guard. Leaving their caps on the swords, the
Presidents stand behind the two next students, who go through the same
ceremony, receiving the swords at the appropriate time, and giving it
back loaded with their caps also. This ceremony is going on at every
table at the same time. These two stanzas are repeated for every pair of
students, till all have gone through with it, and the Presidents have
arrived at the bottom of the table, with their swords strung full of
caps. Here they exchange swords, while all sing:

"Come thou bright sword, now made holy,
Of free men the weapon free;
Bring it solemnly and slowly,
Heavy with pierced caps, to me!
From its burden now divest it;
Brothers be ye covered all,
And till our next festival,
Hallowed and unspotted rest it!

"Up, ye feast companions! ever
Honor ye our holy band!
And with heart and soul endeavor
E'er as high-souled men to stand!
Up to feast, ye men united!
Worthy be your fathers' fame,
And the sword may no one claim,
Who to honor is not plighted!"

Then each President, taking a cap of his sword, reached it to the
student opposite, and they crossed their swords, the ends resting on the
two students' heads, while they sang the next stanza:

"So take it back; thy head I now will cover
And stretch the bright sword over.
Live also then this Bursche, hoch!
Wherever we may meet him,
Will we, as Brother greet him--
Live also this, our Brother, hoch!"

This ceremony was repeated till all the caps were given back, and they
then concluded with the following:

"Rest, the Bursehen-feast is over,
Hallowed sword and thou art free!
Each one strive a valiant lover
Of his fatherland to be!
Hail to him, who, glory-haunted,
Follows still his fathers bold;
And the sword may no one hold
But the noble and undaunted!"

The Landsfather being over, the students were less orderly; the smoking
and drinking began again and we left, as it was already eleven o'clock,
glad to breathe the pure cold air.

In the University I heard Gervinus, who was formerly professor in
Gottingen, but was obliged to leave on account of his liberal
principles. He is much liked by the students and his lectures are very
well attended. They had this winter a torchlight procession in honor of
him. He is a stout, round-faced man, speaks very fast, and makes them
laugh continually with his witty remarks. In the room I saw a son of
Ruckert, the poet, with a face strikingly like his father's. The next
evening I went to hear Schlosser, the great historian. Among his pupils
are the two princes of Baden, who are now at the University. He came
hurriedly in, threw down his portfolio and began instantly to speak. He
is an old, gray-headed man, but still active and full of energy. The
Germans find him exceedingly difficult to understand, as he is said to
use the English construction almost entirely; for this reason, perhaps,
I understood him quite easily. He lectures on the French Revolution, but
is engaged in writing a Universal History, the first numbers of which
are published.

Two or three days after, we heard that a duel was to take place at
Neuenheim, on the opposite side of the Neckur, where the students have a
house hired for that purpose. In order to witness the spectacle, we
started immediately with two or three students. Along the road were
stationed old women, at intervals, as guards, to give notice of the
approach of the police, and from these we learned that one duel had
already been fought, and they were preparing for the other. The Red
Fisherman was busy in an outer room grinding the swords, which are made
as sharp as razors. In the large room some forty or fifty students were
walking about, while the parties were preparing. This was done by taking
off the coat and vest and binding a great thick leather garment on,
which reached from the breast to the knees, completely protecting the
body. They then put on a leather glove reaching nearly to the shoulder,
tied a thick cravat around the throat, and drew on a cap with a large
vizor. This done, they were walked about the room a short time, the
seconds holding out their arms to strengthen them; their faces all this
time betrayed considerable anxiety.

All being ready, the seconds took their stations immediately behind
them, each armed with a sword, and gave the words: "_ready--bind your
weapons--loose!_" They instantly sprang at each other, exchanged two or
three blows, when the seconds cried "halt!" and struck their swords up.
Twenty-four rounds of this kind ended the duel, without either being
hurt, though the cap of one of them was cut through and his forehead
grazed. All their duels do not end so fortunately, however, as the
frightful scars on the faces of many of those present, testified. It is
a gratification to know that but a small portion of the students keep up
this barbarous custom. The great body is opposed to it; in Heidelberg,
four societies, comprising more than one half the students, have been
formed against it. A strong desire for such a reform seems to prevail,
and the custom will probably be totally discontinued in a short time.

This view of the student-life was very interesting to me; it appeared in
a much better light than I had been accustomed to view it. Their
peculiar customs, except duelling and drinking, of course, may be the
better tolerated when we consider their effect on the liberty of
Germany. It is principally through them that a free spirit is kept
alive; they have ever been foremost to rise up for their Fatherland, and
bravest in its defence. And though many of their customs have so often
been held up to ridicule, among no other class can one find warmer,
truer or braver hearts.



_Jan. 2, 1845._--I have lately been computing how much my travels have
cost me up to the present time, and how long I can remain abroad to
continue the pilgrimage, with my present expectations. The result has
been most encouraging to my plan. Before leaving home, I wrote to
several gentlemen who had visited Europe, requesting the probable
expense of travel and residence abroad. They sent different accounts; E.
Joy Morris said I must calculate to spend at least $1500 a year; another
suggested $1000, and the most moderate of all, said that it was
_impossible_ to live in Europe a year on less than $500. Now, six months
have elapsed since I left home--six months of greater pleasure and
profit than any _year_ of my former life--and my expenses, in full,
amount to $130! This, however, nearly exhausts the limited sum with
which I started, but through the kindness of the editorial friends who
have been publishing my sketches of travel, I trust to receive a
remittance shortly. Printing is a business attended with so little
profit here, as there are already so many workmen, that it is almost
useless for a stranger to apply. Besides, after a tough grapple, I am
just beginning to master the language, and it seems so necessary to
devote every minute to study, that I would rather undergo some
privation, than neglect turning these fleeting hours into gold, for the
miser Memory to stow away in the treasure-vaults of the mind.

We have lately witnessed the most beautiful and interesting of all
German festivals--Christmas. This is here peculiarly celebrated. About
the commencement of December, the Christmarkt or fair, was opened in the
Roemerberg, and has continued to the present time. The booths, decorated
with green boughs, were filled with toys of various kinds, among which
during the first days the figure of St. Nicholas was conspicuous. There
were bunches of wax candles to illuminate the Christmas tree,
gingerbread with printed mottos in poetry, beautiful little earthenware,
basket-work, and a wilderness of playthings. The 5th of December, being
Nicholas evening, the booths were lighted up, and the square was filled
with boys, running from one stand to another, all shouting and talking
together in the most joyous confusion. Nurses were going around,
carrying the smaller children in their arms, and parents bought presents
decorated with sprigs of pine and carried them away. Some of the shops
had beautiful toys, as for instance, a whole grocery store in miniature,
with barrels, boxes and drawers, all filled with sweetmeats, a kitchen
with a stove and all suitable utensils, which could really be used, and
sets of dishes of the most diminutive patterns. All was a scene of
activity and joyous feeling.

Many of the tables had bundles of rods with gilded bands, which were to
be used that evening by the persons who represented St. Nicholas. In the
family with whom we reside, one of our German friends dressed himself
very comically, with a mask, fur robe and long tapering cap. He came in
with a bunch of rods and a sack, and a broom for a sceptre. After we all
had received our share of the beating, he threw the contents of his bag
on the table, and while we were scrambling for the nuts and apples, gave
us many smart raps over the fingers. In many families the children are
made to say, "I thank you, Herr Nicolaus," and the rods are hung up in
the room till Christmas to keep them in good behavior. This was only a
forerunner of the Christ-kindchen's coming. The Nicolaus is the
punishing spirit, the Christ-kindchen the rewarding one.

When this time was over, we all began preparing secretly our presents
for Christmas. Every day there were consultations about the things which
should be obtained. It was so arranged that all should interchange
presents, but nobody must know beforehand what he would receive. What
pleasure there was in all these secret purchases and preparations!
Scarcely anything was thought or spoken of but Christmas, and every day
the consultations became more numerous and secret. The trees were bought
sometime beforehand, but as we were to witness the festival for the
first time, we were not allowed to see them prepared, in order that the
effect might be as great as possible. The market in the Roeinerberg
Square grew constantly larger and more brilliant. Every night it was lit
up with lamps and thronged with people. Quite a forest sprang up in the
street before our door. The old stone house opposite, with the traces of
so many centuries on its dark face, seemed to stand in the midst of a
garden. It was a pleasure to go out every evening and see the children
rushing to and fro, shouting and seeking out toys from the booths, and
talking all the time of the Christmas that was so near. The poor people
went by with their little presents hid under their cloaks, lest their
children might see them; every heart was glad and every countenance wore
a smile of secret pleasure.

Finally the day before Christmas arrived. The streets were so full I
could scarce make my way through, and the sale of trees went on more
rapidly than ever. These wore commonly branches of pine or fir, set
upright in a little miniature garden of moss. When the lamps were
lighted at night, our street had the appearance of an illuminated
garden. We were prohibited from entering the rooms up stairs in which
the grand ceremony was to take place, being obliged to take our seats in
those arranged for the guests, and wait with impatience the hour when
Christ-kindchen should call. Several relations of the family came, and
what was more agreeable, they brought with them five or six children. I
was anxious to see how they would view the ceremony. Finally, in the
middle of an interesting conversation, we heard the bell ringing up
stairs. We all started up, and made for the door. I ran up the steps
with the children at my heels, and at the top met a blaze of light
coming from the open door, that dazzled me. In each room stood a great
table, on which the presents were arranged, amid flowers and wreaths.
From the centre, rose the beautiful Christmas tree covered with wax
tapers to the very top, which made it nearly as light as day, while
every bough was hung with sweetmeats and gilded nuts. The children ran
shouting around the table, hunting their presents, while the older
persons had theirs pointed out to them. I had qui'e a little library of
German authors as my share; and many of the others received quite
valuable gifts.

But how beautiful was the heart-felt joy that shone on every
countenance! As each one discovered he embraced the givers, and all was
a scene of the purest feelings. It is a glorious feast, this Christmas
time! What a chorus from happy hearts went up on that evening to Heaven!
Full of poetry and feeling and glad associations, it is here anticipated
with joy, and leaves a pleasant memory behind it. We may laugh at such
simple festivals at home, and prefer to shake ourselves loose from every
shackle that bears the rust of the Past, but we would certainly be
happier if some of these beautiful old customs were better honored. They
renew the bond of feeling between families and friends, and strengthen
their kindly sympathy; even life-long friends require occasions of this
kind to freshen the wreath that binds them together.

New Year's Eve is also favored with a peculiar celebration in Germany.
Every body remains up and makes himself merry till midnight. The
Christmas trees are again lighted, and while the tapers are burning
down, the family play for articles which they have purchased and hung on
the boughs. It is so arranged that each one shall win as much as he
gives, which change of articles makes much amusement. One of the ladies
rejoiced in the possession of a red silk handkerchief and a cake of
soap, while a cup and saucer and a pair of scissors fell to my lot! As
midnight drew near, it was louder in the streets, and companies of
people, some of them singing in chorus, passed by on their way to the
Zeil. Finally three-quarters struck, the windows were opened and every
one waited anxiously for the clock to strike. At the first sound, such a
cry arose as one may imagine, when thirty or forty thousand persons all
set their lungs going at once. Every body in the house, in the street,
over the whole city, shouted, _"Prosst Neu Jahr?"_ In families, all the
members embrace each other, with wishes of happiness for the new year.
Then the windows are thrown open, and they cry to their neighbors or
those passing by.

After we had exchanged congratulations, Dennett, B---- and I set out for
the Zeil. The streets were full of people, shouting to one another and
to those standing at the open windows. We failed not to cry, _"Prosst
Neu Jahr!"_ wherever we saw a damsel at the window, and the words came
back to us more musically than we sent them. Along the Zeil the
spectacle was most singular. The great wide street was filled with
companies of men, marching up and down, while from the mass rang up one
deafening, unending shout, that seemed to pierce the black sky above.
The whole scene looked stranger and wilder from the flickering light of
the swinging lamps, and I could not help thinking it must resemble a
night in Paris during the French Revolution. We joined the crowd and
used our lungs as well as any of them. For some time after we returned
home, companies passed by, singing "with us 'tis ever so!" but at three
o'clock all was again silent.



After New Year, the Main, just above the city, and the lakes in the
promenades, were frozen over. The ice was tried by the police, and
having been found of sufficient thickness, to the great joy of the
schoolboys, permission was given to skate. The lakes were soon covered
with merry skaters, and every afternoon the banks were crowded with
spectators. It was a lively sight to see two or three hundred persons
darting about, turning and crossing like a flock of crows, while, by
means of arm-chairs mounted on runners, the ladies were enabled to join
in the sport, and whirl around among them. Some of the broad meadows
near the city, which were covered with water, were the resort of the
schools. I went there often in my walks, and always found two or three
schools, with the teachers, all skating together, and playing their
winter games on the ice. I have often seen them on the meadows along the
Main; the teachers generally made quite as much noise as the scholars in
their sports.

In the Art Institute I saw the picture of "Huss before the Council of
Constance," by the painter Lessing. It contains upwards of twenty
figures. The artist has shown the greatest skill in the expression and
grouping of these. Bishops and Cardinals in their splendid robes are
seated around a table, covered with parchment folios, and before them
stands Huss alone. His face, pale and thin with long imprisonment, he
has lain one hand on his breast, while with the other he has grasped one
of the volumes on the table; there is an air of majesty, of heavenly
serenity on his lofty forehead and calm eye. One feels instinctively
that he has truth on his side. There can be no deception, no falsehood
in those noble features. The three Italian cardinals before him appear
to be full of passionate rage; the bishop in front, who holds the
imperial pass given to Huss, looks on with an expression of scorn, and
the priests around have an air of mingled curiosity and hatred. There is
one, however, in whose mild features and tearful eye is expressed
sympathy and pity for the prisoner. It is said this picture has had a
great effect upon Catholics who have seen it, in softening the bigotry
with which they regarded the early reformers; and if so, it is a
triumphant proof how much art can effect in the cause of truth and
humanity. I was much interested in a cast of the statue of St. George,
by the old Italian sculptor Donatello. It is a figure full of youth and
energy, with a countenance that seems to breathe. Donatello was the
teacher of Michael Angelo, and when the young sculptor was about setting
off for Rome, he showed him the statue, his favorite work. Michael gazed
at it long and intensely, and at length, on parting, said to Donatello,
"It wants but one thing." The artist pondered long over this expression,
for he could not imagine in what could fail the matchless figure. At
length, after many years, Michael Angelo, in the noon of his renown,
visited the death-bed of his old master. Donatello begged to know,
before he died, what was wanting to his St. George. Angelo answered,
"_the gift of speech!_" and a smile of triumph lighted the old man's
face, as he closed his eyes forever.

The Eschernheim Tower, at the entrance of one of the city gates, is
universally admired by strangers, on account of its picturesque
appearance, overgrown with ivy and terminated by the little pointed
turrets, which one sees so often in Germany, on buildings three or four
centuries old. There are five other watch towers of similar form, which
stand on different sides of the city, at the distance of a mile or two,
and generally upon an eminence overlooking the country. They were
erected several centuries ago, to discern from afar the approach of an
enemy, and protect the caravans of merchants, which at that time
travelled from city to city, from the attacks of robbers. The
Eschernheim Tower is interesting from another circumstance, which,
whether true or not, is universally believed. When Frankfort was under
the sway of a prince, a Swiss hunter, for some civil offence, was
condemned to die. He begged his life from the prince, who granted it
only on condition that he should fire the figure 9 with his rifle
through the vane of this tower. He agreed, and did it; and at the
present lime, one can distinguish a rude 9 on the vane, as if cut with
bullets, while two or three marks at the side appear to be from shots
that failed.

The promise of spring which lately visited us, was not destined for
fulfilment. Shortly afterwards it grew cold again, with a succession of
snows and sharp northerly winds. Such weather at the commencement of
spring is not uncommon at home; but here they say there has not been
such a winter known for 150 years. In the north of Prussia many persons
have been starved to death on account of provisions becoming scarce.
Among the Hartz also, the suffering is very great. We saw something of
the misery even here. It was painful to walk through the streets and see
so many faces bearing plainly the marks of want, so many pale,
hollow-eyed creatures, with suffering written on every feature. We were
assailed with petitions for help which could not be relieved, though it
pained and saddened the heart to deny. The women, too, labor like
brutes, day after day. Many of them appear cheerful and contented, and
are no doubt, tolerably happy, for the Germans have all true, warm
hearts, and are faithful to one another, as far as poverty will permit;
but one cannot see old, gray-headed women, carrying loads on their heads
as heavy as themselves, exposed to all kinds of weather and working from
morning till night, without pity and indignation.

So unusually severe has been the weather, that the deer and hares in the
mountains near, came nearly starved and tamed down by hunger, into the
villages to hunt food. The people fed them everyday, and also carried
grain into the fields for the partridges and pheasants, who flew up to
them like domestic fowls. The poor ravens made me really sorry; some lay
dead in the fields and many came into the city perfectly tame, flying
along the Main with wings hardly strong enough to boar up their skeleton
bodies. The storks came at the usual time, but went back again. I hope
the year's blessing has not departed with them, according to the old
German superstition.

_March 26._--We have hopes of spring at last. Three days ago the rain
began and has continued with little intermission till now. The air is
warm, the snow goes fast, and every thing seems to announce that the
long winter is breaking up. The Main rises fast, and goes by the city
like an arrow, whirling large masses of ice upon the banks. The hills
around are coming out from under the snow, and the lilac-buds in the
promenades begin to expand for the second time.

The Fair has now commenced in earnest, and it is a most singular and
interesting sight. The open squares are filled with booths, leaving
narrow streets between them, across which canvas is spread. Every booth
is open and filled with a dazzling display of wares of all kinds.
Merchants assemble from all parts of Europe. The Bohemians come with
their gorgeous crystal ware; the Nuremborgers with their toys, quaint
and fanciful as the old city itself; men from the Thuringian forest,
with minerals and canes, and traders from Berlin, Vienna, Paris and
Switzerland, with dry goods and wares of all kinds. Near the Exchange
are two or three companies of Tyrolese, who attract much of my
attention. Their costume is exceedingly picturesque. The men have all
splendid manly figures, and honor and bravery are written on their
countenances. One of the girls is a really handsome mountain maiden, and
with her pointed, broad-brimmed black hat, as romantic looking as one
could desire. The musicians have arrived, and we are entertained the
whole day long by wandering bands, some of whom play finely. The best,
which is also the favorite company, is from Saxony, called "The Mountain
Boys." They are now playing in our street, and while I write, one of the
beautiful choruses from Norma comes up through the din of the crowd. In
fact, music is heard over the whole city, and the throngs that fill
every street with all sorts of faces and dresses, somewhat relieve the
monotony that was beginning to make Frankfort tiresome.

We have an ever-varied and interesting scene from our window. Besides
the motley crowd of passers-by, there are booths and tables stationed
thick below. One man in particular is busily engaged in selling his
store of blacking in the auction style, in a manner that would do credit
to a real Down-caster. He has flaming certificates exhibited, and
prefaces his calls to buy with a high-sounding description of his
wonderful qualities. He has a bench in front, where he tests on the
shoes of his customers, or if none of those are disposed to try it, he
rubs it on his own, which shine like mirrors. So he rattles on with
amazing fluency in French, German and Italian, and this, with his black
beard and moustache and his polite, graceful manner, keeps a crowd of
customers around him, so that the wonderful blacking goes off as fast as
he can supply it.

_April 6._--Old Winter's gales are shut close behind us, and the sun
looks down with his summer countenance. The air, after the long cold
rain, is like that of Paradise. All things are gay and bright, and
everybody is in motion. Spring commenced with yesterday in earnest, and
lo! before night the roads were all dry and fine as if there had been no
rain for a month; and the gardeners dug and planted in ground which,
eight days before, was covered with snow!

After having lived through the longest winter here, for one hundred and
fifty years, we were destined to witness the greatest flood for sixty,
and little lower than any within the last three hundred years. On the
28th of March, the river overflooded the high pier along the Main, and
rising higher and higher, began to come into the gates and alleys.
Before night the whole bank was covered and the water intruded into some
of the booths in the Romerberg. When I went there the next morning, it
was a sorrowful sight. Persons were inside the gate with boats; so
rapidly had it risen, that many of the merchants had no time to move
their wares, and must suffer great damage. They were busy rescuing what
property could bo seized in the haste, and constructing passages into
the houses which were surrounded. No one seemed to think of buying or
selling, but only on the best method to escape the danger. Along the
Main it was still worse. From the measure, it had risen seventeen feet
above its usual level, and the arches of the bridge were filled nearly
to the top. At the Upper-Main gate, every thing was flooded--houses,
gardens, workshops, &c.; the water had even overrun the meadows above
and attacked the city from behind, so that a part of the beautiful
promenades lay deep under water. On the other side, we could see houses
standing in it up to the roof. It came up through the sewers into the
middle of Frankfort; a large body of men were kept at work constructing
slight bridges to walk on, and transporting boats to places where they
were needed. This was all done at the expense of the city; the greatest
readiness was everywhere manifested to render all possible assistance.
In the Fischergasse, I saw them taking provisions to the people in
boats; one man even fastened a loaf of bread to the end of a broomstick
and reached it across the narrow street from an upper story window, to
the neighbor opposite. News came that Hausen, a village towards the
Taunus, about two miles distant, was quite under water, and that the
people clung to the roofs and cried for help; but it was fortunately
false. About noon, cannon shots were heard, and twenty boats were sent
out from the city.

In the afternoon I ascended the tower of the Cathedral, which commands a
wide view of the valley, up and down. Just above the city the whole
plain was like a small lake--between two and three miles wide. A row of
new-built houses stretched into it like a long promontory, and in the
middle, like an island, stood a country-seat with large out-buildings.
The river sent a long arm out below, that reached up through the meadows
behind the city, as if to clasp it all and bear it away together. A
heavy storm was raging along the whole extent of the Taunus; but a
rainbow stood in the eastern sky. I thought of its promise, and hoped,
for the sake of the hundreds of poor people who were suffering by the
waters, that it might herald their fall.

We afterwards went over to Sachsenhausen, which was, if possible, in a
still more unfortunate condition. The water had penetrated the passages
and sewers, and from these leaped and rushed up into the streets, as out
of a fountain. The houses next to the Main, which were first filled,
poured torrents out of the doors and windows into the street below.
These people were nearly all poor, and could ill afford the loss of time
and damage of property it occasioned them. The stream was filled with
wood and boards, and even whole roofs, with the tiles on, went floating
down. The bridge was crowded with people; one saw everywhere mournful
countenances, and heard lamentations over the catastrophe. After sunset,
a great cloud, filling half the sky, hung above; the reflection of its
glowing crimson tint, joined to the brown hue of the water, made it seem
like a river of fire.

What a difference a little sunshine makes! I could have forgotten the
season the next day, but for the bare trees and swelling Main, as I
threaded my way through the hundreds of people who thronged its banks.
It was that soft warmth that comes with the first spring days, relaxing
the body and casting a dreamy hue over the mind. I leaned over the
bridge in the full enjoyment of it, and listening to the roaring of the
water under the arches, forgot every thing else for a time. It was
amusing to walk up and down the pier and look at the countenances
passing by, while the phantasy was ever ready, weaving a tale for all.
My favorite Tyrolese were there, and I saw a Greek leaning over the
stone balustrade, wearing the red cap and white frock, and with the long
dark hair and fiery eye of the Orient. I could not but wonder, as he
looked at the dim hills of the Odenwald, along the eastern horizon,
whether they called up in his mind the purple isles of his native

The general character of a nation is plainly stamped on the countenances
of its people. One who notices the faces in the streets, can soon
distinguish, by the glance he gives in going by, the Englishman or the
Frenchman from the German, and the Christian from the Jew. Not less
striking is the difference of expression between the Germans themselves;
and in places where all classes of people are drawn together, it is
interesting to observe how accurately these distinctions are drawn. The
boys have generally handsome, intelligent faces, and like all boys, they
are full of life and spirit, for they know nothing of the laws by which
their country is chained down, and would not care for them, if they did.
But with the exception of the students, who _talk_, at least, of Liberty
and Right, the young men lose this spirit and at last settle down into
the calm, cautious, _lethargic_ citizen. One distinguishes an Englishman
and I should think an American, also, in this respect, very easily; the
former, moreover, by a certain cold stateliness and reserve. There is
something, however, about a Jew, whether English or German, which marks
him from all others. However different their faces, there is a family
character which runs through the whole of them. It lays principally in
their high cheek-bones, prominent nose and thin, compressed lips; which,
especially in elderly men, gives a peculiar miserly expression that is
unmistakeable. I regret to say, one looks almost in vain, in Germany,
for a handsome female countenance. Here and there, perhaps, is a woman
with regular features, but that intellectual expression, which gives
such a charm to the most common face, is wanting. I have seen more
beautiful women in one night, in a public assembly in America, than
during the seven months I have been on the Continent. Some of the young
Jewesses, in Frankfort, are considered handsome, but their features soon
become too strongly marked. In a public walk the number of positively
ugly faces is really astonishing.

About ten o'clock that night, I heard a noise of persons running in the
street, and going to the Romerberg, found the water had risen, all at
once, much higher, and was still rapidly increasing. People were setting
up torches and lengthening the rafts, which had been already formed. The
lower part of the city was a real Venice--the streets were full of boats
and people could even row about in their own houses; though it was not
quite so bad as the flood in Georgia, where they went _up stairs to bed_
in boats! I went to the bridge. Persons were calling around--"The water!
the water! it rises continually!" The river rushed through the arches,
foaming and dashing with a noise like thunder, and the red light of the
torches along the shore cost a flickering glare on the troubled waves.
It was then twenty-one feet above its usual level. Men were busy all
around, carrying boats and ladders to the places most threatened, or
emptying cellars into which it was penetrating. The sudden swelling was
occasioned by the coming down of the floods from the mountains of

Part of the upper quay cracked next morning and threatened to fall in,
and one of the projecting piers of the bridge sunk away from the main
body three or four inches. In Sachsenhausen the desolation occasioned by
the flood is absolutely frightful; several houses have fallen into total
ruin. All business was stopped for the day; the Exchange was even shut
up. As the city depends almost entirely on pumps for its supply of
water, and these were filled with the flood, we have been drinking the
muddy current of the Main ever since. The damage to goods is very great.
The fair was stopped at once, and the loss in this respect alone, must
be several millions of florins. The water began to fall on the 1st, and
has now sunk about ten feet, so that most of the houses are again
released, though in a bad condition.

Yesterday afternoon, as I was sitting in my room, writing, I heard all
at once an explosion like a cannon in the street, followed by loud and
continued screams. Looking out the window, I saw the people rushing by
with goods in their arms, some wringing their hands and crying, others
running in all directions. Imagining that it was nothing less than the
tumbling down of one of the old houses, we ran down and saw a store a
few doors distant in flames. The windows were bursting and flying out,
and the mingled mass of smoke and red flame reached half way across the
street. We learned afterwards it was occasioned by the explosion of a
jar of naphtha, which instantly enveloped the whole room in fire, the
people barely escaping in time. The persons who had booths near were
standing still in despair, while the flames were beginning to touch
their property. A few butchers who first came up, did almost everything.
A fire engine arrived soon, but it was ten minutes before it began to
play, and by that time the flames were coming out of the upper stories.
Then the supply of water soon failed, and though another engine came up
shortly after, it was sometime before it could be put in order, so that
by the time they got fairly to work, the fire had made its way nearly
through the house. The water was first brought in barrels drawn by
horses, till some officer came and opened the fire plug. The police were
busy at work seizing those who came by and setting them to work; and as
the alarm had drawn a great many together, they at last began to effect
something. All the military are obliged to bo out, and the officers
appeared eager to use their authority while they could, for every one
was ordering and commanding, till all was a scene of perfect confusion
and uproar. I could not help laughing heartily, so ludicrous did the
scene appear. There were little, miserable engines, not much bigger than
a hand-cart, and looking as if they had not been used for half a
century, the horses running backwards and forwards, dragging barrels
which were emptied into tubs, after which the water was finally dipped
up in buckets, and emptied into the engines! These machines can only
play into the second or third story, after which the hose was taken up
in the houses on the opposite side of the street, and made to play
across. After four hours the fire was overcome, the house being
thoroughly burnt out; it happened to have double fire walls, which
prevented those adjoining from catching easily.



It is now a luxury to breathe. These spring days are the perfection of
delightful weather. Imagine the delicious temperature of our Indian
summer joined to the life and freshness of spring, add to this a sky of
the purest azure, and a breeze filled with the odor of violets,--the
most exquisite of all perfumes--and you have some idea of it. The
meadows are beginning to bloom, and I have already heard the larks
singing high up in the sky. Those sacred birds, the storks, have
returned and taken possession of their old nests on the chimney-tops;
they are sometimes seen walking about in the fields, with a very grave
and serious air, as if conscious of the estimation in which they are
held. Everybody is out in the open air; the woods, although they still
look wintry, are filled with people, and the boatmen on the Main are
busy ferrying gay parties across. The spring has been so long in coming,
that all are determined to enjoy it well, while it lasts.

We visited the cemetery a few days ago. The dead-house, where corpses
are placed in the hope of resuscitation, is an appendage to cemeteries
found only in Germany. We were shown into a narrow chamber, on each side
of which were six cells, into which one could distinctly see, by means
of a large plate of glass. In each of these is a bier for the body,
directly above which hangs a cord, having on the end ten thimbles, which
are put upon the fingers of the corpse, so that the slightest motion
strikes a bell in the watchman's room. Lamps are lighted at night, and
in winter the rooms are warmed. In the watchman's chamber stands a clock
with a dial-plate of twenty-four hours, and opposite every hour is a
little plate, which can only be moved two minutes before it strikes. If
then the watchman has slept or neglected his duty at that time, he
cannot move it afterwards, and his neglect, is seen by the
superintendent. In such a case, he is severely lined, and for the second
or third offence, dismissed. There are other rooms adjoining, containing
beds, baths, galvanic battery, &c. Nevertheless, they say there has been
no resuscitation during the fifteen years it has been established.

We afterwards went to the end of the cemetery to see the bas-reliefs of
Thorwaldsen, in the vault of the Bethmann family. They are three in
number, representing the death of a son of the present banker, Moritz
von Bethmann, who was drowned in the Arno about fourteen years ago. The
middle one represents the young man drooping in his chair, the beautiful
Greek Angel of Death standing at his back, with one arm over his
shoulder, while his younger brother is sustaining him, and receiving the
wreath that drops from his sinking hand. The young woman who showed us
these, told us of Thorwaldsen's visit to Frankfort, about three years
ugo. She described him as a beautiful and venerable old man, with long
white locks hanging over his shoulders, still vigorous and active for
his years. There seems to have been much resemblance between him and
Dannecker--not only in personal appearance and character, but, in the
simple and classical beauty of their works.

The cemetery contains many other monuments; with the exception of one or
two by Launitz, and an exquisite Death Angel in sandstone, from a young
Frankfort sculptor, they are not remarkable. The common tomb-stone is a
white wooden cross; opposite the entrance is a perfect forest of them,
involuntarily reminding one of a company of ghosts, with outstretched
arms. These contain the names of the deceased with mottoes, some of
which are beautiful and touching, as for instance: "_Through darkness
unto light_;" "_Weep not for her; she is not dead, but sleepeth_"
"_Slumber sweet!_" etc. The graves are neatly bordered with grass, and
planted with flowers, and many of the crosses have withered wreathes
hanging upon them. In summer it is a beautiful place; in fact, the very
name of cemetery in German--_Friedhuf_ or Court of Peace--takes away the
idea of death; the beautiful figure of the youth, with his inverted
torch, makes one think of the grave only us a place of repose.

On our way back we stopped at the Institute for the Deaf; for by the
new method of teaching they are no longer dumb. It is a handsome
building in the gardens skirting the city. We applied, and on learning
we were strangers, they gave us permission to enter. On finding we were
Americans, the instructress immediately spoke of Dr. Howe, who had
visited the Institute a year or two before, and was much pleased to find
that Mr. Dennett was acquainted with him. She took us into a room where
about fifteen small children were assembled, and addressing one of the
girls, said in a distinct tone: "These gentlemen are from America; the
deaf children there speak with their fingers--canst thou speak so?" To
which the child answered distinctly, but with some effort: "No, we speak
with our mouths." She then spoke to several others with the same
success; one of the boys in particular, articulated with astonishing
success. It was interesting to watch their countenances, which were
alive with eager attention, and to see the apparent efforts they made to
utter the words. They spoke in a monotonous tone, slowly and
deliberately, but their voices had a strange, sepulchral sound, which
was at first unpleasant to the ear. I put one or two questions to a
little boy, which he answered quite readily; as I was a foreigner, this
was the best test that could be given of the success of the method. We
conversed afterwards with the director, who received us kindly, and
appointed a day for us to come and witness the system more fully. He
spoke of Dr. Howe and Horace Mann, of Boston, and seemed to take a great
interest in the introduction of his system in America.

We went again at the appointed time, and as their drawing teacher was
there, we had an opportunity of looking over their sketches, which were
excellent. The director showed us the manner of teaching them, with a
looking-glass, in which they were shown the different positions of the
organs of the mouth, and afterwards made to feel the vibrations of the
throat and breast, produced by the sound. He took one of the youngest
scholars, covered her eyes, and placing her hand upon his throat,
articulated the second sound of A. She followed him, making the sound
softer or louder as he did. All the consonants were made distinctly, by
placing her hand before his mouth. Their exercises in reading, speaking
with one another, and writing from dictation, succeeded perfectly. He
treated them all like his own children, and sought by jesting and
playing, to make the exercise appear as sport. They call him father and
appear to be much attached to him.

One of the pupils, about fourteen years old, interested me through his
history. lie and his sister were found in Sachsenhausen, by a Frankfort
merchant, in a horrible condition. Their mother had died about two years
and a half before, and during all that time their father had neglected
them till they were near dead through privation and filth. The boy was
placed in this Institute, and the girl in that of the Orphans. He soon
began to show a talent for modelling figures, and for some time he has
been taking lessons of the sculptor Launitz. I saw a beautiful copy of a
bas-relief of Thorwaldsen which he made, as well as an original, very
interesting, from its illustration of his history. It was in two parts;
the first represented himself and his sister, kneeling in misery before
a ruined family altar, by which an angel was standing, who took him by
one hand, while with the other he pointed to his benefactor, standing
near. The other represented the two kneeling in gratitude before a
restored altar, on which was the anchor of Hope. From above streamed
down a light, where two angels were rejoicing over their happiness. For
a boy of fourteen, deprived of one of the most valuable senses, and
taken from such a horrible condition of life, it is a surprising work
and gives brilliant hopes for his future.

We went lately into the Roemerberg, to see the Kaisersaal and the other
rooms formerly used by the old Emperors of Germany, and their Senates.
The former is now in the process of restoration. The ceiling is in the
gorgeous illuminated style of the middle ages; along each side arc rows
of niches for the portraits of the Emperors, which have been painted by
the best artists in Berlin, Dresden, Vienna and Munich. It is remarkable
that the number of the old niches in the hall should exactly correspond
with the number of the German Emperors, so that the portrait of the
Emperor Francis of Austria, who was the last, will close the long rank
coming down from Charlemagne. The pictures, or at least such of them as
are already finished, are kept in another room; they give one a good
idea of the changing styles of royal costumes, from the steel shirt and
helmet to the jewelled diadem and velvet robe. I looked with interest on
a painting of Frederic Barbarossa, by Leasing, and mused over the
popular tradition that he sits with his paladins in a mountain cave
under the Castle of Kyffhauser, ready to come forth and assist his
Fatherland in the hour of need. There was the sturdy form of Maximilian;
the martial Conrad; and Ottos, Siegfrieds and Sigismunds in plenty--many
of whom moved a nation in their day, but are now dust and forgotten.

I yesterday visited Mendelssohn, the celebrated composer. Having heard
rame of his music this winter, particularly that magnificent creation,
the "Walpurgisnacht," I wished to obtain his autograph before leaving,
and sent a note for that purpose. He sent a kind note in answer, adding
a chorus out of the Walpurgisnacht from his own hand. After this, I
could not repress the desire of speaking with him. lie received me with
true German cordiality, and on learning I was an American, spoke of
having been invited to attend a musical festival in New York. He invited
me to call on him if he happened to bo in Leipsic or Dresden when we
should pass through, and spoke particularly of the fine music there. I
have rarely seen a man whose countenance bears so plainly the stamp of
genius. He has a glorious dark eye, and Byron's expression of a "dome of
thought," could never be more appropriately applied than to his lofty
and intellectual forehead, the marble whiteness and polish of which arc
heightened by the raven hue of his hair. He is about forty years of age,
in the noon of his fame and the full maturity of his genius. Already as
a boy of fourteen he composed an opera, which was played with much
success at Berlin; he is now the first living composer of Germany. Moses
Mendelssohn, the celebrated Jewish philosopher, was his grandfather; and
his father, now living, is accustomed to say that in his youth he was
spoken of as the son of the great Mendelssohn; now he is known as the
father of the great Mendelssohn!



The day for leaving Frankfort came at last, and I bade adieu to the
gloomy, antique, but still quaint and pleasant city. I felt like leaving
a second home, so much had the memories of many delightful hours spent
there attached me to it: I shall long retain the recollection of its
dark old streets, its massive, devil-haunted bridge and the ponderous
cathedral, telling of the times of the Crusaders. I toiled up the long
hill on the road to Friedberg, and from the tower at the top took a last
look at the distant city, with a heart heavier than the knapsack whose
unaccustomed weight rested uneasily on my shoulders. Being
alone--starting out into the wide world, where us yet I know no one,--I
felt much deeper what it was to find friends in a strange land. But such
is the wanderer's lot.

We had determined on making the complete tour of Germany on foot, and in
order to vary it somewhat, my friend and I proposed taking different
routes from Frankfort to Leipsic. He choose a circuitous course, by way
of Nuremberg and the Thuringian forests; while I, whose fancy had been
running wild with Goethe's witches, preferred looking on the gloom and
grandeur of the rugged Hartz. We both left Frankfort on the 23d of
April, each bearing a letter of introduction to the same person in
Leipsic, where we agreed to meet in fourteen days. As we were obliged to
travel as cheaply as possible, I started with but seventynine florins,
(a florin is forty cents American) well knowing that if I took more, I
should, in all probability, spend proportionally more also. Thus, armed
with my passport, properly _vised_, a knapsack weighing fifteen pounds
and a cane from the Kentucky Mammoth Cave, I began my lonely walk
through Northern Germany. The warm weather of the week before had
brought out the foliage of the willows and other early trees--violets
and cowslips were springing up in the meadows. Keeping along the foot of
the Taunus, I passed over great, broad hills, which were brown with the
spring ploughing, and by sunset reached Friedberg--a, largo city, on the
summit of a hill. The next morning, after sketching its old, baronial
castle, I crossed the meadows to Nauheim, to see the salt springs there.
They are fifteen in number; the water, which is very warm, rushes up
with such force as to leap several feet above the earth. The buildings

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