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Title: Rollo on the Rhine
Author: Abbott, Jacob, 1803-1879
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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ROLLO ON THE RHINE,

by

JACOB ABBOTT.



Boston:
Published By Taggard And Thompson
M DCCC LXIV.

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1855, by
Jacob Abbott,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court
of the District of Massachusetts

Stereotyped at the
Boston Stereotype Foundry

Riverside, Cambridge: Printed by H. O. Houghton



[Illustration: ROLANDSECK AND DRACHENFELS.--See chap. 5]


[Illustration]


ROLLO'S TOUR IN EUROPE.


ORDER OF THE VOLUMES

  ROLLO ON THE ATLANTIC.
  ROLLO IN PARIS.
  ROLLO IN SWITZERLAND.
  ROLLO IN LONDON.
  ROLLO ON THE RHINE.
  ROLLO IN SCOTLAND.
  ROLLO IN GENEVA.
  ROLLO IN HOLLAND.
  ROLLO IN NAPLES.
  ROLLO IN ROME.


PRINCIPAL PERSONS OF THE STORY.

  ROLLO; twelve years of age.

  MR. and MRS. HOLIDAY; Rollo's father and mother, travelling in
  Europe.

  THANNY; Rollo's younger brother.

  JANE; Rollo's cousin, adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Holiday.

  MR. GEORGE; a young gentleman, Rollo's uncle.



CONTENTS.

  CHAPTER                                            PAGE

     I.--THE APPROACH TO COLOGNE,                      13

    II.--THE UNFINISHED CATHEDRAL,                     28

   III.--THE GALLERIES,                                44

    IV.--TRAVELLING ON THE RHINE,                      60

     V.--THE SIEBEN GEBIRGEN,                          77

    VI.--ROLAND'S TOWER,                               95

   VII.--ROLLO'S LIST,                                107

  VIII.--A SABBATH ON THE RHINE,                      117

    IX.--EHRENBREITSTEIN,                             135

     X.--ROLLO'S LETTER,                              141

    XI.--THE RAFT,                                    146

   XII.--DINNER,                                      168

  XIII.--BINGEN,                                      185

  XIV.--THE RUIN IN THE GARDEN,                       194

  XV.--RHEINSTEIN,                                    202

  CONCLUSION.                                         219


ENGRAVINGS.

  PAGE

  ROLANDSECK AND DRACHENFELS.               FRONTISPIECE.

  THE RIDE,                                            12

  COLOGNE IN SIGHT,                                    19

  THE BEGGAR,                                          31

  MINNIE'S ROGUERY,                                    51

  TOWING,                                              63

  DONKEY RIDING,                                       75

  THE STUDENTS,                                       114

  THE NUN,                                            122

  THE EMIGRANTS,                                      132

  ROLLO ON THE RAFT,                                  163

  DINNER ON THE RHINE,                                173

  MINNIE,                                             190

  THE NIGHT JOURNEY,                                  218


[Illustration: RIDE.--See chap. 15.]



ROLLO ON THE RHINE.



CHAPTER I.

THE APPROACH TO COLOGNE.


If a man were to be raised in a balloon high enough above the continent
of Europe to survey the whole of it at one view, he would see the land
gradually rising from the borders of the sea on every side, towards a
portion near the centre, where he would behold a vast region of
mountainous country, with torrents of water running down the slopes and
through the valleys of it, while the summits were tipped with perpetual
snow. The central part of this mass of mountains forms what is called
Switzerland, the eastern part is the Tyrol, and the western Savoy. But
though the men who live on these mountains have thus made three
countries out of them, the whole region is in nature one. It constitutes
one mighty mass of mountainous land, which is lifted up so high into the
air that all the summits rise into the regions of intense and perpetual
cold, and so condense continually, from the atmosphere, inexhaustible
quantities of rain and snow.

The water which falls upon this mountainous region must of course find
its way to the sea. In doing so the thousands of smaller torrents unite
with each other into larger and larger streams, until at length they
make four mighty rivers--the largest and most celebrated in Europe. All
the streams of the southern slopes of the mountains form one great
river, which flows east into the Adriatic. This river is the Po. On the
western side the thousands of mountain torrents combine and form the
Rhone, which, making a great bend, turns to the southward, and flows
into the Mediterranean. On the eastern side the water can find no escape
till it has traversed the whole continent to the eastward, and reached
the Black Sea. This stream is the Danube. And finally, on the north the
immense number of cascades and torrents which come out from the
glaciers, or pour down the ravines, or meander through the valleys, or
issue from the lakes, of the northern slope of the mountains, combine at
Basle, and flow north across the whole continent, nearly six hundred
miles, to the North Sea. This river is the Rhine.

All this, which I have thus been explaining, may be seen very clearly
if you turn to any map of Europe, and find the mountainous region in the
centre, and then trace the courses of the four great rivers, as I have
described them.

It would seem that the country through which the River Rhine now flows
was at first very uneven, presenting valleys and broad depressions,
which the waters of the river filled, thus forming great shallow lakes,
that extended over very considerable tracts of country. In process of
time, however, these lakes became filled with the sediment which was
brought down by the river, and thus great flat plains of very rich and
level land were formed. At every inundation of the river, of course,
these plains, or intervals, as they are sometimes called, would be
overflowed, and fresh deposits would be laid upon them; so that in the
course of ages the surface of them would rise several feet above the
ordinary level of the river. In fact they would continue to rise in this
way until they were out of the reach of the highest inundations.

Immense plains of the most fertile land, which seem to have been formed
in this way, exist at the present time along the banks of the Rhine at
various places. These plains are all very highly cultivated, and are
rich and beautiful beyond description. To see them, however, it is
necessary to travel over them in a diligence, or post chaise, or by
railway trains; for in sailing up and down the river, along the margin
of them, in a steam-boat, you are not high enough to overlook them. You
see nothing all the way, in these places, but a low, green bank on each
side of the river, with a fringe of trees and shrubbery along the margin
of it.

For about one hundred miles of its course, however, near the central
portion of it, the river flows through a very wild and mountainous
district of country, or rather through a district which was once wild,
though now, even in the steepest slopes and declivities, it is
cultivated like a garden. The reason why these mountainous regions are
so highly cultivated is because the soil and climate are such that they
produce the best and most delicious grapes in the world. They have
consequently, from time immemorial, been inhabited by a dense
population. Every foot of ground where there is room for a vine to grow
is valuable, and where the slope was originally steep and rocky, the
peasants of former ages have gathered out the rocks and stones, and
built walls of them to terrace up the land. The villages of these
peasants, too, are seen every where nestling in the valleys, and
clinging to the sides of the hills, while the summits of almost all the
elevations are crowned with the ruins of old feudal castles built by
barons, or chiefs, or kings, or military bishops of ancient times,
famous in history. This picturesque portion of the river, which extends
from Bonn, a little above Cologne, to Mayence,--which towns you will
readily find on almost any map of Europe,--was the part which Mr. George
and Rollo particularly desired to see. When they left Switzerland they
intended to come down the river, and see the scenery in descending. But
Mr. George met some friends of his on the frontier, who persuaded him to
make a short tour with them in Germany, and so come to the Rhine at
Cologne.

"We can then," said he to Rollo, "go _up_ the river, and see it in
ascending, which I think is the best way. When we get through all the
fine scenery,--which we shall do at Mayence,-we can then go up to
Strasbourg, and take the railroad there for Paris--the same way that we
came."

"Yes," said Rollo, "I shall like that."

Rollo liked it simply because it would make the journey longer.

When at length, at the end of the tour in Germany, our travellers were
approaching Cologne on the Rhine, Rollo began to look out, some miles
before they reached it, to watch for the first appearance of the town.
He had been riding in the coupé of the diligence[1] with his uncle; but
now, in order that he might see better, he had changed his place, and
taken a seat on the banquette. The banquette is a seat on the top of the
coach, and though it is covered above, it is open in front, and so it
affords an excellent view. Mr. George remained in the coupé, being very
much interested in reading his guide book.

[Footnote 1: The stage coaches on the continent of Europe are called
_diligences_.]

At length Rollo called out to tell his uncle that the city was in view.
The windows of the coupé were open, so that by leaning over and looking
down he could speak to his uncle without any difficulty.

Mr. George was so busy reading his guide book that he paid little
attention to what Rollo said.

"Uncle George," said Rollo, calling louder, "I can see the city; and in
the midst of it is a church with a great square tower, and something
very singular on the top of it."

Mr. George still continued his reading.

"There is a spire on the top of the church," continued Rollo, "but it is
bent down on one side entirely, as if it had half blown over."

"O, no," said Mr. George, still continuing to read.

"It really is," said Rollo. "I wish you would look, uncle George. It is
something very singular indeed."

[Illustration: COLOGNE IN SIGHT.]

Mr. George yielded at length to these importunities, and looked out. The
country around in every direction was one vast plain, covered with
fields of grain, luxuriant and beautiful beyond description. It was
without any fences or other divisions except such as were produced by
different kinds of cultivation, so that the view extended interminably
in almost every direction. There were rows and copses of trees here and
there, giving variety and life to the view, and from among them were
sometimes to be seen the spires of distant villages. In the distance,
too, in the direction in which Rollo pointed, lay the town of Cologne.
The roofs of the houses extended over a very wide area, and among them
there was seen a dark square tower, very high, and crowned, as Rollo had
said, with what seemed to be a spire, only it was bent over half way;
and there it lay at an angle at which no spire could possibly stand.

"What can it mean?" asked Rollo.

"I am sure I do not know," said Mr. George.

Next to Rollo, on the banquette, was seated a young man, who had mounted
up there about an hour before, though Rollo had not yet spoken to him.
Rollo now, however, turned to him, and asked him, in English, if he
spoke English.

The young man smiled and shook his head, implying that he did not
understand.

Rollo then asked him, in French, if he spoke French.

The young man said, "_Nein_."[2]

[Footnote 2: Pronounced _nine_.]

Rollo knew that _nein_ was the German word for _no_, and he presumed
that the language of his fellow-traveller was German. So he pointed to
the steeple, and asked,--

"_Was ist das?_"

This phrase, _Was[3] ist das?_ is the German of What is that? Rollo knew
very little of German, but he had learned this question long before,
having had occasion to ask it a great many times. It is true he seldom
or never could understand the answers he got to it, but that did not
prevent him from asking it continually whenever there was occasion. He
said it was some satisfaction to find that the people could understand
his question, even if he could not understand what they said in reply to
it.

[Footnote 3: The _w_ is pronounced like _v_.]

The man immediately commenced an earnest explanation; but Rollo could
not understand one word of it, from beginning to end.

The truth of the case was, that the supposed leaning spire, which Rollo
saw, was in reality a monstrous _crane_ that was mounted on one of the
towers of the celebrated unfinished cathedral at Cologne. This cathedral
was commenced about six hundred years ago, and was meant to be the
grandest edifice of the kind in the world. They laid out the plan of it
five hundred feet long, and two hundred and fifty feet wide, and
designed to carry up the towers and spires five hundred feet high. You
can see now how long this church was to be by going out into the road,
or to any other smooth and level place, and there measuring off two
hundred and fifty paces by walking. The pace--that is, the _long
step_--of a boy of ten or twelve years old is probably about two feet.
That of a full grown man is reckoned at three feet. So that by walking
off, _by long steps_, till you have counted two hundred and fifty of
them, you can see how long this church was to be; and then by turning a
corner and measuring one hundred and twenty-five paces in a line at
right angles to the first, you will see how wide it was to be. To walk
entirely round such an area as this would be nearly a third of a mile.

The church was laid out and begun, and during the whole generation of
the workmen that began it, the building was prosecuted with all the
means and money that could be procured; and when that generation passed
away, the next continued the work, until, at length, in about a hundred
years it was so far advanced that a portion of it could have a roof put
over it, and be consecrated as a church. They still went on, for one or
two centuries more, until they had carried up the walls to a
considerable height in many parts, and had raised one of the towers to
an elevation of about a hundred and fifty feet. When the work had
advanced thus far the government of Holland, in the course of some of
the wars in which they were engaged, closed the mouth of the Rhine, so
that the ships of Cologne could no more go up and down to get out to
sea. This they could easily do, for the country of Holland is situated
at the mouth of the Rhine, and the Dutch government was at that time
extremely powerful. They had strong fleets and great fortresses at the
mouth of the river, and thus they could easily control the navigation of
it. Thus the merchants of Cologne could no more import goods from
foreign lands for other people to come there and buy, but the
inhabitants were obliged to send to Holland to purchase what they
required for themselves. The town, therefore, declined greatly in wealth
and prosperity, and no more money could be raised for carrying on the
work of the cathedral.

At the time when the work was interrupted the builders were engaged
chiefly on one of the towers, which they had carried up about one
hundred and fifty feet. The stones which were used for this tower were
very large, and in order to hoist them up the workmen used a monstrous
crane, which was reared on the summit of it. This crane was made of
timbers rising obliquely from a revolving platform in the centre, and
meeting in a point which projected beyond the wall in such a manner that
a chain from the end of it, hanging freely, would descend to the ground.
The stones which were to go up were then fastened to this chain, and
hoisted up by machinery. When they were raised high enough, that is,
just above the edge of the wall, the whole crane was turned round upon
its platform, in such a manner as to bring the stone in over the wall;
and then it was let down into the place which had been prepared to
receive it.

When the work on the cathedral was suspended on account of the want of
funds, the men left this crane on the top of the tower, because they
hoped to be able to resume the work again before long. But years and
generations passed, and the prospect did not mend; and at last the old
crane, which in its lofty position was exposed to all the storms and
tempests of the sky, of course began gradually to decay. It is true it
was protected as much as possible by a sort of casing made around it, to
shelter it from the weather; but notwithstanding this, in the course of
several centuries it became so unsound that there began to be danger
that it might fall. The authorities of the town, therefore, decided to
take it down, intending to postpone putting up a new one until the work
of finishing the cathedral should be resumed, if indeed it ever should
be resumed.

The people of the town were very sorry to see the crane taken down. It
had stood there, like a leaning spire, upon the top of the cathedral,
from their earliest childhood, and from the earliest childhood, in fact,
of their fathers and grandfathers before them. Besides, the taking down
of the crane seemed to be, in some sense, an indication that the thought
of ever finishing the cathedral was abandoned. This made them still more
uneasy, and a short time afterwards a tremendous thunder storm occurred,
and this the people considered as an expression of the displeasure of
Heaven at the impiety of forsaking such a work, and as a warning to them
to put up the crane again. So a new crane was made, and mounted on the
tower as before, and being encased and enclosed like the other, it had
at a distance the appearance of a leaning spire, and it was this which
had attracted Rollo's attention in his approach to Cologne.

Within a few years, on account of the opening again of the navigation of
the Rhine, and other causes, the city of Cologne, with all the
surrounding country, has been returning to its former prosperity, and
the plan of finishing the cathedral has been resumed. The government of
Prussia takes a great interest in the undertaking, and the kings and
princes of other countries in Germany make contributions to it. A
society has been organized, too, to collect funds for this purpose all
over Europe. More than a million of dollars have already been raised,
and the work of completing the cathedral has been resumed in good
earnest, and is now rapidly going on.

All this Rollo's fellow-traveller attempted to explain to him; but as he
spoke in German, Rollo did not understand him.

When Mr. George and Rollo reached their hotel, and had got fairly
established in their room, Mr. George took his cane and prepared to "go
exploring," as he called it.

"Well, Rollo," said he, "what shall we go to see first?"

"I want to go and see the cathedral," replied Rollo.

"The cathedral?" said Mr. George. "I am surprised at that. You don't
usually care much about churches."

"But this does not look much like a church," said Rollo. "I saw the end
of it as we came into the town. It looks like a range of cliffs rising
high into the air, with grass and bushes growing on the top of them,
and wolves and bears reaching out their heads and looking down."

Mr. George complied with Rollo's request, and went to see the cathedral
first. The adventures which the travellers met with on the excursion
will be described in the next chapter.



CHAPTER II.

THE UNFINISHED CATHEDRAL.


As soon as Mr. George and Rollo issued from the door of their hotel into
the street, which was very narrow and without sidewalks, so that they
were obliged to walk in the middle of it, a young man, plainly but
neatly dressed, came up to them from behind, and said something to them
in German. He was what is called a commissioner, and he was coming to
offer to act as their guide in seeing the town.

Nearly all the travelling on the Rhine is _pleasure_ travelling. The
strangers consequently, who arrive at any town or city by the steamboats
and by railway, come, almost all of them, for the purpose of seeing the
churches and castles, and other wonders of the place, and not to
transact business; and in every town there is a great number of persons
whose employment it is to act as guides in showing these things. These
men hover about the doors of the hotels, and gather in front of all the
celebrated churches, and in all public places where travellers are
expected to go; and as soon as they see a gentleman, or a party of
gentlemen and ladies, coming out of their hotel, or approaching any
place of public interest, they immediately come up to them, and offer
their services. Sometimes their services are valuable, and the traveller
is very ready to avail himself of them, especially when in any
particular town there is a great deal to see, and he has but little time
to see it. At other times, however, it is much pleasanter to go alone to
the remarkable places, as a map of the city will enable any one to find
them very easily, and the guide book explains them in a much more
satisfactory manner than any of these commissioners can do it.

The commissioners generally speak French, English, and German, and after
trying one of these tongues upon the strangers whom they accost, and
finding that they are not understood, they try another and another until
they succeed.

The commissioner in this case addressed Mr. George first in German. Mr.
George said, "_Nein_," meaning no, and walked on.

The commissioner followed by his side, and began to talk in French,
enumerating the various churches and other objects of interest in
Cologne, and offering to go and show them.

"No," said Mr. George, "I am acquainted with the town, and I have no
need of a guide."

Mr. George had studied the map and the guide book, until he knew the
town quite well enough for all his purposes.

"You speak English, perhaps," said the commissioner, and then proceeded
to repeat what he had said before, in broken English. He supposed that
Mr. George and Rollo were English people, and that they would be more
likely to engage him as a guide, if they found that he could explain the
wonders to them in their own language.

Mr. George said, "No, no, I do not wish for a guide."

"Dere is die churts of St. Ursula," said the commissioner, persisting,
"and die grand towers of die gross St. Martin, which is vare bu'ful."

Mr. George finding that refusals did no good, determined to take no
further notice of the commissioner, and so began to talk to Rollo,
walking on all the time. The commissioner continued for some time to
enumerate the churches and other public buildings, which he could show
the strangers if they would but put themselves under his guidance; but
when at length he found that they would not listen to him, he went away.

[Illustration: THE BEGGAR.]

Very soon an old beggar man came limping along on a crutch, with a
countenance haggard and miserable, and, advancing to them, held out his
cap for alms. Mr. George, who thought it was not best to give to beggars
in the streets, was going on without regarding him; but the man hobbled
on by the side of the strangers, and seemed about to be as pertinacious
as the commissioner. They went on so for a little distance, when at
length, just as the man was about giving up in despair, Rollo put his
hand in his pocket, and feeling among the money there, happened to bring
up a small copper coin, which he at once and instinctively dropped into
the beggar's cap. He performed the movement a little slyly, so that Mr.
George did not see him. This he was able to do from the fact that the
beggar was on _his_ side, and not on Mr. George's, and, moreover, a
little behind.

As soon as the man received the coin, he took it, put the cap on his
head, and fell back out of view.

"I am glad he is gone," said Mr. George; "I was afraid he would follow
us half through the town."

Rollo laughed.

"What is it?" said Mr. George. "What makes you laugh?"

"Why, the fact is," said Rollo, "I gave him a batz."

"Ah!" said Mr. George.

"Yes," said Rollo, "or something like a batz, that I had in my pocket."

A batz is a small Swiss coin, of the value of a fifth of a cent. Rollo
had become familiar with this money in the course of his travels in
Switzerland, but he did not yet know the names of the Prussian coins.
The money which he gave the beggar was really what they called a
_pfennige_.[4]

[Footnote 4: Pronounced _fenniger_.]

Rollo supposed that his uncle would not quite approve of his giving the
beggar this money; but as he never liked to have any secrecy or
concealment in what he did, he preferred to tell him. This is always the
best way.

As soon as the beggar had gone, another commissioner came to offer his
services. This time, however, Mr. George, after once telling the man
that he did not wish for his services, took no further notice of him;
and so he soon went away.

The streets of Cologne are exceedingly narrow, and there are no
sidewalks--or scarcely any. In one place Mr. George and Rollo passed
through a street which was so narrow, that, standing in the middle and
extending his hands, Mr. George could touch the buildings at the same
time on each side. And yet it seemed that carriages were accustomed to
pass through this street, as it was paved regularly, like the rest, and
had smooth stones laid on each side of it for wheels to run in, with
grooves, which seemed to have been worn in them by the wheels that had
passed there.

The reason why the streets are so narrow in these old towns is, that in
the ancient times, when they were laid out, there were no wheeled
carriages in use, and the streets were only intended for foot
passengers. When, at length, carriages came into use, the houses were
all built, and so the streets could not easily be widened.

Our travellers at length reached a large, open square, on the farther
side of which the immense mass of the cathedral was seen rising, like a
gray and venerable ruin. The wall which formed the front of it, and
which terminated above in the unfinished mason work of the towers, was
very irregular in its outline on the top, having remained just as it was
left when the builders stopped their work upon it, five hundred years
ago. The whole front of this wall, having been formed apparently of
clusters of Gothic columns, which had become darkened, and corroded, and
moss-covered by time, appeared very much, as Rollo had said, like a
range of cliffs--the resemblance being greatly increased by the green
fringe of foliage with which the irregular outline of the top was
adorned. It may seem strange that such a vegetation as this could arise
and be sustained at such a vast elevation. But ancient ruins are almost
always found to be thus covered with plants which grow upon them, even
at a very great height above the ground, with a luxuriance which is
very surprising to those who witness this phenomenon for the first time.
The process is this: Mosses and lichens begin to grow first on the
stones and in the mortar. The roots of these plants strike in, and
assisted by the sun and rain, they gradually disintegrate a portion of
the masonry, which, in process of time, forms a soil sufficient for the
seeds of other plants, brought by the wind, or dropped by birds, to take
root in. At first these plants do not always come to maturity; but when
they die and decay, they help to increase the soil, and to make a better
bed for the seeds that are to come afterwards. Thus, in the course of
centuries, the upper surfaces of old walls and towers become quite
fertile in grass and weeds, and sometimes in shrubbery. I once gathered
sprigs from quite a large rosebush which I found growing several hundred
feet above the ground, on one of the towers of the cathedral of
Strasbourg. It was as flourishing a rosebush as I should wish to see in
any gentleman's garden.

What Rollo meant by the bears and wolves which he said he saw looking
down from these cliff-like towers, were great stone figures of these
animals, that projected from various angles and cornices here and there,
to serve as waterspouts.

There was an immense door of entrance to the church, at the end of a
very deep, arched recess in the middle of the wall, and Mr. George and
Rollo went up to it to go in. They were met at the door by another
commissioner, who offered his services to show them the church. Mr.
George declined this offer, and went in.

The feeling of amazement and awe which the aspect of the interior of the
cathedral first awakened in the minds of our travellers was for a moment
interrupted by a man in a quaint costume, who came up to them, holding a
large silver salver in his hand, with money in it. He said something to
Mr. George and Rollo in German. They did not understand what he said;
but his action showed that he was taking up a contribution, for
something or other, from the visitors who came to see the church. Mr.
George paid no attention to him, but walked on.

On looking above and around them, our travellers found themselves in the
midst of a sort of forest of monstrous stone columns, which towered to a
vast height above their heads, and there were lost in vaults and arches
of the most stupendous magnificence and grandeur. The floor was of
stone, being formed of square flags, all cracked and corroded by time.
Along the sides of the church were various chapels, all adorned with
great paintings, and containing altars richly furnished with silver
lamps, and glittering paraphernalia of all kinds. Parties of ladies and
gentlemen, strangers from all lands, were walking to and fro at leisure
about the floor, looking at the paintings, or gazing up into the vaulted
roofs, or studying out the inscriptions on the monuments and sculptures
which meet the eye on every hand.

All this was in the body of the church, or the _nave_, as it is called,
which is in fact only the vestibule to the more imposing magnificence of
what is beyond, in the ambulatory and in the choir. Mr. George and Rollo
advanced in this direction, and at length they came to a vast screen
made of a very lofty palisade of iron. They approached a door in the
centre of the screen, and looking through between the iron bars, they
beheld a scene of grandeur and magnificence wholly indescribable. The
carved oak stalls, the gorgeously decorated altar, the immense
candlesticks with candles twenty feet high, and the lofty ceiling with
its splendid frescoes, formed a spectacle so imposing that they both
gazed at it for some moments in silent wonder.

"I wish we could get in," said Rollo.

"I wish so too," said Mr. George; "but I suppose that this is a sort of
sacred place."

A moment after this, while Mr. George and Rollo were looking through
this grating, a sudden sound of music burst upon their ears. It was
produced evidently by an organ and a choir of singers, and it seemed to
come from far above their heads. The sound was at once deepened in
volume by the reverberation of the vaults and arches of the cathedral,
and at the same time softened in tone, so that the effect was
inconceivably solemn.

"Hark!" said Mr. George.

"Where does that music come from?" said Rollo.

"Hark!" repeated Mr. George.

So Mr. George and Rollo stood still and listened almost breathlessly to
the music, until it ceased.

"That was good music," said Rollo.

Mr. George made a sort of inarticulate exclamation, which seemed to
imply that he had no words to express the emotion which the music
awakened in his mind, and walked slowly away.

Presently they came to a place on one side, where there was a great iron
gate or door in the screen, which seemed to be ajar.

"Here's a door open," said Mr. George; "let us go in here."

Rollo shrank back a little. "I'm afraid they will not let us go in
here," said he. "It looks like a private place."

Rollo was always very particular, in all his travels, to avoid every
thing like intrusion. He would never go where it seemed to him doubtful
whether it was proper to go. By this means he saved himself from a great
many awkward predicaments that persons who act on a contrary principle
often get themselves into while travelling. Mr. George was not quite so
particular.

"It looks rather private," said Mr. George; "but if they do not wish us
to go in, they must keep the door shut."

So he pushed the great iron gate open, and walked in. Rollo followed
him, though somewhat timidly.

They passed between a row of chapels[5] on one side, and a high, carved
partition on the other, which seemed to separate them from the choir,
until, at length, they came to the end of the partition, where there was
a gate that led directly into the choir. Mr. George _turned in_,
followed by Rollo, and they found themselves standing in the midst of a
scene of gorgeous magnificence which it is utterly impossible to
describe.

[Footnote 5: These chapels are recesses or alcoves along the side of the
church, fitted up and furnished with altars, crucifixes, confessionals,
paintings, images, and other sacred emblems connected with the ritual of
the Catholic worship. They are usually raised a step or two above the
floor of the church, and are separated from it by an ornamented railing,
with a gate in the middle of it.]

"That is where the music came from that we heard," said Rollo, pointing
upward.

Mr. George looked up where Rollo had pointed, and there he saw a gallery
at a great elevation above them, with a choir of singers in front, and
an enormous organ towering to a great height towards the vaulted roof
behind. The choir was separated from the body of the church by ranges of
columns above, and by richly-carved and ornamental screens and railings
below. The ceilings were beautifully painted in fresco, and here and
there were to be seen lofty windows of stained glass, antique and
venerable in form, and indescribably rich and gorgeous in coloring.

After gazing about upon this scene for a few minutes with great
admiration and awe, Rollo called his uncle's attention to a discovery
which he suddenly made.

"See," said he; "uncle George, there is a congregation."

So saying, Rollo pointed across the choir to a sort of gateway, which
was opposite to the side on which they came in, and where, through the
spaces which opened between the great columns that intervened, a
congregation were seen assembled. They were in a chapel which was
situated in that part of the church. The chapel itself was full, and a
great many persons were seated in the various spaces rear. Mr. George
and Rollo walked across the choir, and joined this congregation by
taking a position near a pillar, where they could see what was going on.

At a corner near a little gateway in a railing, where the people
appeared to come in, there was a woman sitting with a brush in her hand.
The brush was wet with holy water. The people, as they came in,--for a
few came in after Rollo and Mr. George arrived at the place,--touched
their fingers to this brush, to wet them, and then crossed themselves
with the holy water.

At the altar was a priest dressed in splendid pontificals. He was
standing with his back to the people. There was a great number of
immensely tall candlesticks on each side of him, and a great many other
glittering emblems. The priest was dressed in garments richly
embroidered with gold. There was a boy behind him dressed also in a very
singular manner. The priest and the boy went through with a great
variety of performances before the altar, none of which Rollo could at
all understand. From time to time the boy would ring a little bell, and
the organ and the choir of singers in the lofty gallery would begin to
play and sing; and then, after a short time, the music would cease, and
the priest and the boy would go on with their performances as before.

Presently Rollo heard a sound of marching along the paved floor, and
looking into the choir whence the sounds proceeded, he saw a procession
formed of boys, with a priest, bearing some glittering sacred utensils
of silver in his hands, at the head of them. The boys were all dressed
alike. The dress consisted of a long crimson robe with a white frock
over it, which came down below the waist, and a crimson cape over the
frock, which covered the shoulders. Thus they were red above and below,
and white in the middle.

One of these boys had a censer in his hands, and another had a little
bell; and as they came along you could see the censer swinging in the
air, and the volumes of fragrant smoke rising from it, and you could
hear the tinkling of the little bell. The priest advanced to the altar
before which the audience were sitting, and there, while the censer was
waving and the smoke was ascending, he performed various ceremonies
which Rollo could not at all understand, but which seemed to interest
the congregation very much, for they bowed continually, and crossed
themselves, and seemed impressed with a very deep solemnity.

Presently, when the ceremony was completed, the procession returned into
the choir, the priest at the head of it, just as it came.

When the procession had passed away, Mr. George made a sign for Rollo to
follow him, and then walked along out through the gate where the woman
was sitting with the holy water. She held out the brush to Mr. George
and Rollo as they passed, but they did not take it.

"What ridiculous mummeries!" said Rollo, in a low tone, as soon as they
had got out of the hearing of the congregation.

"Yes," said Mr. George, "they seem so to us; but I have a certain
respect for all those ceremonies, since they are meant to be the worship
of God."

"I thought it was the worship of images," said Rollo. "Did not you see
the images?"

"Yes," said Mr. George, "I saw them; and perhaps we can make it out that
those rites are, in reality, the worship of images; but they are not
_meant_ for that. They are _meant_ for the worship of God."



CHAPTER III.

THE GALLERIES.


"I want to get up upon the towers," said Rollo, "if we can."

"Yes," said Mr. George, "but I want first to go and see the tomb of the
three kings."

"What is that?" asked Rollo.

"I will show you," said Mr. George. So saying, Mr. George led the way,
and Rollo followed, along what is called the _ambulatory_, which is a
broad space that extends all around the head of the cross in the
cathedral churches of Europe, between the screen of the choir on one
side and the ranges of chapels on the other. The ambulatory is usually
very grand and imposing in the effect which it produces on the mind of
the visitor, on account of the immense columns which border it, the
loftiness of the vaulted roof, which forms a sort of sky over it above,
and by the elaborate carvings and sculptures of the screen on one side,
and the gorgeous decorations of the chapels on the other. Then all along
the floor there are sculptured monuments of ancient warriors armed to
the teeth in marble representations of iron and steel, while the walls
are adorned with rich paintings of immense magnitude, representing
scenes in the life of the Savior. There seemed to Mr. George some
incongruity between the reverence evinced for the teachings and example
of Jesus, in the pictures above, and the honor paid to the barbarous
valor of the fighting old barons, in the monuments and effigies which
occupied the pavement below.

At length, at the head of the cross, exactly opposite to the centre of
the high altar, which faced the choir, in the place which seemed to be
the special place of honor, Mr. George pointed to a small, square
enclosure, or sort of projecting closet, which was richly carved and
gilded, and adorned with a variety of ancient inscriptions.

"There," said Mr. George, "that must be the tomb of the three kings.
That is the sepulchre which contains, as they pretend, the skulls of the
three wise men of the east, who came to Bethlehem to worship Jesus the
night on which he was born."

"How came they here?" asked Rollo.

"They were at Milan about six or eight hundred years ago," said Mr.
George, "and they were plundered from the church there by a great
general, and given to the Archbishop of Cologne, and he put them in this
church. They have been here ever since, and they are prized very highly
indeed. They are set round with gold and precious stones, and have the
names of the men marked on them in letters formed of rubies."

"Can we see them?" asked Rollo. As he said this he climbed up upon a
little step, and attempted to look through a gilded grating in the front
of the coffer which contained the rubies.

"Yes," said Mr. George, "but we must pay the sacristan for showing them
to us. We can ask him about them when we come down from the galleries."

"And besides," continued Mr. George, "the guide book says that under the
floor of the church, just in front of the tomb of the three kings, the
heart of Mary de Medicis is buried. That must be the place."

So saying, Mr. George pointed to a large, square flagstone, which looked
somewhat different from the others around it. Rollo gazed a moment at
the stone, and then said,--

"I suppose so; but I don't care much about these things, uncle George.
Let us go up into the towers."

"Very well," said Mr. George, "we will go and see if we can find the
way."

So our travellers went on along the ambulatory, and thence into the
aisles and nave of the church, stopping, however, every few minutes to
gaze at some gorgeously decorated altar, or large and beautiful
painting, or quaint old effigy, or at some monument, or inscription, or
antique and time-worn sculpture. There were a great many other parties
of visitors, consisting of ladies and gentlemen, and sometimes children,
rambling about the church at the same time. Rollo observed, as he passed
these groups, that some were talking French, some German, and some
English. Here and there, too, Rollo passed plain-looking people, dressed
like peasants, who were kneeling before some altar or crucifix, saying
their prayers or counting their beads, and wearing a very devout and
solemn air. Some of these persons took no notice of Mr. George and Rollo
as they passed them; but others would follow them with their eyes,
scrutinizing their dress and appearance very closely until they got by,
though they continued all the time to move their lips and utter
inarticulate murmurings.

"I don't think those girls are attending much to their prayers," said
Rollo.

"I'm afraid the girls in the Protestant churches in America do not
attend to them much better," said Mr. George. "There is a great deal of
time spent in seeing how people are dressed by worshippers in other
churches than the Roman Catholic."

At length Rollo caught a view of the man who had held the plate for a
contribution, at the time when he and Mr. George came in at the church
door. He was walking to and fro, with his plate in his hand, in a
distant portion of the church. Rollo immediately offered to go to him,
and ask how he and Mr. George were to get to the towers. So he left Mr.
George looking at a great painting, and walked off in that direction.

Just before Rollo came to the man, his attention was attracted by a girl
of about twelve or thirteen years of age, who was strolling about the
church at a little distance before him, swinging her bonnet in her hand.
She was very pretty, and her dark eyes shone with a very brilliant, but
somewhat roguish expression. She stopped when she saw Rollo coming, and
eyed him with a mingled look of curiosity and pleasure.

Rollo, observing that this young lady appeared not to be particularly
afraid of him, thought he would accost her.

"Do you speak French?" said he in French, as he was walking slowly by
her. He supposed from her appearance that she was a French girl, and so
he spoke to her in that language.

The girl replied, not in French, but in English,--

"Yes, and English too."

"How did you know that I spoke English?" said Rollo, speaking now in
English himself.

"By your looks," said the girl.

"What is your name?" asked Rollo.

"Tell me your name first," said the girl.

"My name is Rollo," said Rollo.

"And mine," replied the stranger, "is Minnie."

"Do you see that man out there," said Minnie, immediately after telling
her name, "who is gathering the donations? Come and see what a play I
will play him."

Minnie was a French girl, and so, though she had learned English, she
did not speak it quite according to the established usage.

So she walked along towards the contribution man, wearing a very grave
and demure expression of countenance as she went. Rollo kept by her
side. As soon as they came near, the man held out his plate, hoping to
receive a contribution from them. But as the plate already contained
money which had been put in by former contributors, the action was
precisely as if the man were offering money to the children, instead of
asking it of them. So Minnie put forth her hand, and making a courtesy,
took one of the pieces of money that were in the plate, pretending to
suppose that the man meant to give it to her, and said at the same time,
in French,--

"I am very much obliged to you, sir. It is just what I wanted."

The man immediately exclaimed, "_Nein nein!_" which is the German for
No! no! and then went on saying something in a very earnest tone, and
holding out his hand for Minnie to give him back the money. Minnie did
so, and then, looking up at Rollo with a very arch and roguish
expression of countenance, she turned round and skipped away over the
stone pavement, until she was lost from view behind an enormous column.
Rollo saw her afterwards walking about with a gentleman and lady, the
party to which she belonged.

Rollo then asked the man who held the plate what he should do to get up
into the towers. He asked this question in French, and the man replied
in French that he must go "to the Swiss, and the Swiss would give him a
ticket.

"Where shall I find the Swiss?" asked Rollo.

The man pointed to a distant part of the church, where a number of
people were going in through a great iron gateway.

"You will find him there somewhere," said the man, "and you will know
him by his red dress."

[Illustration: MINNIE'S ROGUERY.]

So Rollo went and reported to his uncle George, and they together went
in pursuit of the Swiss. They soon came to the great gate; and just
inside of it they saw a man dressed in a long red gown which came down
to his ankles. This proved to be what they called the Swiss. On making
known to him what they wanted, this man gave them a ticket,--they paying
him the usual fee for it,--and then went and found a guide who was to
show them up into the galleries.

The guide, taking them under his charge, led them outside the church,
and then conducted them to a door leading into a small round tower,
which was built at an angle of the wall. This tower, though small in
size, was as high as the church, and it contained a spiral staircase of
stone, which conducted up into the upper parts of the edifice. Mr.
George and Rollo, however, found that they could not go up to the towers
but only to what were called the galleries. But it proved in the end
that they had quite enough of climbing and of walking along upon dizzy
heights, in visiting these galleries, and Rollo was very willing to come
down again when he had walked round the upper one of them, without
ascending to the towers.

There were three of these galleries. The first was an inner one; that
is, it was inside the church. The two others were outside. The party was
obliged to ascend to a vast height before they reached the first
gallery. This gallery was a very narrow passage, barely wide enough for
one person to walk in, which extended all around the choir, with a solid
wall on one side, and arches through which they could look down into the
church below on the other. After walking along for several hundred feet,
listening to the swelling sounds of the music, which, coming from the
organ and choir below, echoed grandly and solemnly among the vaults and
arches above them, until they reached the centre of the curve at the
head of the cross, Mr. George and Rollo stopped, and leaned over the
stone parapet, and looked down. The parapet was very high and very
thick, and Rollo had to climb up a little upon it before he could see
over.

They gazed for a few minutes in silence, completely overwhelmed with the
dizzy grandeur of the view. It is always impossible to convey by words
any idea of the impression produced upon the mind by looking down from
any great height upon scenes of magnificence or of beauty; but it would
be doubly impossible in such a case as this. Far below them in front,
they could see the choir of singers in the singing gallery, with the
organ behind them. The distance was, however, so great that they could
not distinguish the faces of the singers, or even their persons. Then at
a vast distance, lower still, was the floor of the choir, paved
beautifully in mosaic, and with little dots of men and women, slowly
creeping, like insects, over the surface of it. At a distance, through
the spaces between the columns, a part of the congregation could be
seen, with the women and children at the margin of it, kneeling on the
praying chairs, and a little red spot near a gate, which Rollo thought
must be the Swiss. The whole of the interior of the choir, which they
looked down into as you would look down into a valley from the summit of
a mountain, was so magnificently decorated with paintings, mosaics, and
frescoes, and enriched with columns, monuments, sculptures, and
carvings, and there were, moreover, so many railings, and screens, and
stalls, and canopies, and altars, to serve as furnishing for the vast
interior, that the whole view presented the appearance of a scene of
enchantment.

Mr. George said it was the most imposing spectacle that he ever saw.

After this, the guide led our two travellers up about a hundred feet
higher still, till they came to the first outer gallery; and the scene
which presented itself to view here would be still more difficult to
describe than the other. The gallery was very narrow, like the one
within, and it led through a perfect maze of columns, pinnacles,
arches, turrets, flying buttresses, and other constructions pertaining
to the exterior architecture of the church. It was like walking on a
mountain in the midst of a forest of stone. The analogy was increased by
the monstrous forms of bears, lions, tigers, boars, and other wild and
ferocious beasts, which projected from the eaves every where to convey
the water that came down from rains, out to a distance from the walls of
the building. These images had deep grooves cut along their backs for
the water to flow in. These grooves led to the mouths of the animals,
and they were invisible to persons looking up from below, so that to
observers on the ground each animal appeared perfect in his form, and
was seen stretching out the whole length of his body from the cornices
of the building, and pouring out the water from his mouth.

From these outer galleries Rollo could not only see the pinnacles, and
turrets, and flying buttresses, of the part of the church which was
finished, but he could also observe the immense works of scaffolding and
machinery erected around the part which was now in progress. Men were at
work hoisting up immense stones, and moving them along by a railway to
the places on the walls where they were destined to go. The yard, too,
on one side, far, far down, was covered with blocks, some rough, and
others already carved and sculptured, and ready to go up. The towers
were in view too, with the monstrous crane leaning over from the summit
of one of them; but there seemed to be no way of getting to them but by
crossing long scaffoldings where the masons were now at work. This Rollo
would have had no wish to do, even if the guide had proposed to conduct
him.

So, after spending half an hour in surveying the magnificent prospect
which opened every where around them over the surrounding country, and
in scrutinizing the details of the architecture near, the sculptures,
the masonry, the painted windows, the massive piers, and the buttresses
hanging by magic, as it were, in the air, and all the other wonders of
the maze of architectural constructions which surrounded them, the party
began their descent.

"I am glad they are going to finish it," said Rollo to Mr. George, as
they were walking round and round, and round and round, in the little
turret, going down the stairs. "The next time we come here, perhaps, it
will be done."

"They expect it will take twenty years to finish it," said Mr. George.

"Twenty years!" repeated Rollo, surprised.

"Yes," said Mr. George, "and about four millions of dollars. Why, when
they first determined that they would attempt to finish it, it took
fifteen years to make the repairs which were necessary in the old work,
before they could begin any of the new. And now, at the rate that they
are going on, it will take twenty years to finish it. For my part, I do
not know whether we ought to be glad to have it finished or not, on
account of the immense cost. It seems as if that money could be better
expended."

"Perhaps it could," said Rollo. "But every body that comes here to see
it gets a great deal of pleasure; and as an immense number of people
will come, I think the amount of the pleasure will be very great in
all."

"That is true," said Mr. George, "and that is the right way to consider
it; but let us make the calculation in the same way that we made the
calculation about the gold chain that you were going to buy in London.
If we suppose that the church was half done when they left off the work,
and that it will now cost four millions of dollars to finish it, that
will make eight millions of dollars in all. Now, what is the interest of
eight millions of dollars, say at three per cent.?"

Rollo began to calculate it in his mind; but before he had got through,
Mr. George said that it was two hundred and forty thousand dollars a
year.

"That," said Mr. George, "is equal, with a proper allowance for repairs,
to, say a thousand dollars per day. Now, do you think that the people
who will come here to see it will get pleasure enough from it to amount
in all to a thousand dollars a day?"

"I don't know," said Rollo, doubtfully. "I'd give one dollar, I know, to
see it."

"Yes," said Mr. George, "so would I; and I do not know but that there
would be three hundred thousand to come in a year, including all the
great occasions that would bring out immense assemblages from all the
surrounding country."

"At any rate, I hope they will finish it," said Rollo.

"So do I," said Mr. George.

"And I mean to put a little in the man's plate when I go down," said
Rollo, "and then I shall have a share in it."

"I will too," said Mr. George.

Accordingly, as they passed by the man when they were leaving the
church, Mr. George put a franc into his plate, and Rollo half a franc.
Just at the time that they put their money in, the party that Minnie
belonged to came by, and the gentleman put in a silver coin called a
thaler, which is worth about seventy-five cents; so that Rollo had the
satisfaction of seeing that one of the four millions of dollars was
raised on the spot.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER IV.

TRAVELLING ON THE RHINE.


The steamboats and hotels, and all the arrangements made for the
accommodation of travellers on the Rhine, are entirely different from
those of any American river, partly for the reason that so very large a
portion of the travelling there is pleasure travelling. The boats are
smaller, and they go more frequently. The company is more select. They
sit upon the deck, under the awnings, all the day, looking at their
guide books, and maps, and panoramas of the river, and studying out the
names and history of the villages, and castles, and ruined towers, which
they pass on the way. The hotels are large and very elegant. They are
built on the banks of the river, or wherever there is the finest view,
and the dining room is always placed in the best part of the house, the
windows from it commanding views of the mountains, or overlooking the
water, so that in sitting at table to eat your breakfast, or your
dinner, you have before you all the time some charming view. Then there
is usually connected with the dining room, and opening from it, some
garden or terrace, raised above the road and the river, with seats and
little tables there, shaded by trees, or sheltered by bowers, where
ladies and gentlemen can sit, when the weather is pleasant, and read, or
drink their tea or coffee, or explore, with an opera glass, or a spy
glass, the scenery around. They can see the towers and castles across
the river, and follow the little paths leading in zigzag lines up among
the vineyards to the watchtowers, and pavilions, and belvideres, that
are built on the pinnacles of the rocks, or on the summits of the lower
mountains.

The hotels and inns, even in the smallest villages, are very nice and
elegant in all their interior arrangements. These small villages consist
usually of a crowded collection of the most quaint and queer-looking
houses, or rather huts, of stone, with an antique and venerable-looking
church in the midst of them, looking still more quaint and queer than
the houses. The hotels, however, in these villages, or rather on the
borders of them,--for the hotels are often built on the open ground
beyond the town, where there is room for gardens and walks, and raised
terraces around them,--are palaces in comparison with the dwellings of
the inhabitants. And well they may be, for the villagers are almost all
laborers of a very humble class--boatmen, who get their living by plying
boats up and down the river; vinedressers, who cultivate the vineyards
of the neighboring hills; or hostlers and coachmen, who take care of the
carriages and of the horses employed in the traffic of the river. A
great number of horses are employed; for not only are the carriages of
such persons as choose to travel on the Rhine by land, or to make
excursions on the banks of the river, drawn by them, but almost all the
boats, except the steamboats that go up the river, are _towed_ up by
these animals. To enable them to do this, a regular tow path has been
formed all the way up the river, on the left bank, and boats of all
shapes and sizes are continually to be seen going up, drawn, like canal
boats in America, by horses--and sometimes even by men. Once I saw some
boys drawing up a small boat in this way. It seems they had been going
down the stream to take a sail, or perhaps to convey a traveller down;
and now they were coming up again, drawing their boat by walking along
the bank, the current being so rapid that it is much easier to draw a
boat up than it is to row it. The boys had a long line attached to the
mast of their boat, and both of them were drawing upon this line by
means of broad bands, forming a sort of harness, which were passed
over their shoulders.

[Illustration]

Now, the small villages that I was speaking of are formed almost
exclusively of the dwellings of the various classes which I have
described, while the hotels or inns that are built on the margins of
them are intended, not as they would be in America, for the
accommodation of the people of the same class, but for travellers of
wealth, and rank, and distinction, who come from all quarters of the
world to explore the beauties and study the antiquities of the Rhine.
Thus the inns, however small and secluded they may be, and however
retired and solitary the places in which they stand, are always very
nice, and even elegant, in their interior arrangements. The chambers are
furnished and arranged in the prettiest possible manner. Handsome open
carriages and pretty boats are ready to convey visitors on any excursion
which they may desire to make in the neighborhood, and the table is
provided with almost as many delicacies and niceties as you can have in
Paris.

The roads along the banks of the Rhine, too, are absolutely perfect.
Well they may be so in fact, for workmen have been constantly employed
in making and perfecting them for nearly two thousand years. Julius
Cæsar worked upon them. Charlemagne worked upon them. Frederic the
Great worked upon them. Napoleon worked upon them. They are walled up
wherever necessary on the side towards the river; the rock is cut away
on the side towards the land; valleys have been filled up; hill sides
have been terraced, and ravines bridged over; until the road, though
passing along the margin of a very mountainous region, is almost as
level as a railway throughout the whole of its course. And as it is
macadamized throughout, and is kept in the most perfect condition, it is
always, in wet weather as well as dry, as firm, and hard, and smooth as
a floor.

With such roads and such carriages on the land, and such pretty
steamboats as they have upon the water, it would be very pleasant going
up through the highlands of the Rhine, if there were nothing but the
natural scenery to attract the eye of the traveller. But besides the
quaint and ancient villages, and the curious old churches which adorn
them,--villages which sometimes line the margin of the water, and
sometimes cling to the slopes of the hills, or nestle in the higher
valleys,--there are other still stronger attractions, in the castles,
towers, and palaces, which are seen scattered every where on the river
banks, adorning every prominent and commanding position along the
shores, and crowning, in many cases, the summits of the hills. Many of
these castles and towers, though built originally hundreds of years ago,
are still kept in repair and inhabited, some being used as the summer
residences of princes, or of private men of fortune, and others, being
armed with cannon and garrisoned with soldiers, are held as strongholds
by the kings, or dukes, or electors, in whose dominions they lie. There
are a great many of them, however, that have been allowed to go to
decay; and the ruins of these still stand, presenting to the eye of the
traveller who gazes up to them from the deck of the steamer, or from his
seat in his carriage, or who climbs up to visit them more closely, by
means of the zigzag paths which lead to them, very interesting relics
and memorials of ancient times. The ruins are generally on very lofty
summits, and they usually occupy the most commanding positions, so that
the view from them up and down the river is almost always very grand.
The castles were built by the dukes, and barons, and other feudal
chieftains of the middle ages, and they are placed in these commanding
positions in order that the chieftains who lived in them might watch the
river, and the roads leading along the banks of it, and come down with a
troop of their followers to exact what they called tribute, but what
those who had to pay it called plunder, from the merchants or travellers
whom they saw from the windows of their watchtowers, passing up and
down.

In fact these men were really robbers; being just like any other
robbers, excepting that they restricted themselves to some rule and
system in their plunderings, such as an enlightened regard for their own
interest required. If, when they found a vessel laden with merchandise,
or a company of travellers coming down the river, they had robbed them
of every thing they possessed, the river and the roads would soon have
been entirely abandoned, and their occupation would have been gone. In
order to avoid this result, they were accustomed to content themselves
with a certain portion of the value which the traveller was carrying;
and they called the money which they exacted a tribute, or tax, paid for
the privilege of passing through their dominions. They kept continual
watch in their lofty castles, both up and down the river, to see who
came by, and then, descending with a sufficient force to render
resistance useless, they would take what they pretended to consider
their due, and retreat with it to their almost inaccessible fastnesses,
where they were safe from all pursuers.

They often had wars with one another; and in the progress of these wars
the weaker chieftains became, in the course of time, subjected to the
stronger, and thus two or more small dominions would often become united
into one. These amalgamations went on continually; and as they advanced,
the condition of the cultivator of the ground, and of the peaceful
merchant or traveller, was improved, for the rules and regulations for
the collection of the tribute became more fixed and settled, and men
knew more and more what they could calculate upon, and could regulate
their business accordingly. Arrangements were made, too, to collect a
regular tax from the cultivators of the ground; and just so far as these
arrangements were matured, and the produce of the plunder, or the
tribute, or the tax, or whatever we call it, increased, just so far it
became for the interest of the chieftains that the cultivation of the
land and the traffic on the river should be increased, and should be
protected from all depredations but their own. Thus a system of law grew
up, and arrangements for preserving public order, for promoting the
general industry, and rules and regulations for the collection of the
tribute, until at length, when all these arrangements were matured, and
the multitude of petty chieftains became combined under one great
chieftain ruling over the whole, and collecting the revenue for his
subordinates, we find a great kingdom as the result, in which the
descendants of the ancient marauders that lived in castles on the hills,
under the name of princes and nobles, collect the means of enabling
themselves to live in idleness and luxury out of the avails of the labor
of the agriculturists, the merchants, and the manufacturers, by a
combined and concerted arrangement, and a regular system of rents,
taxes, and tolls, instead of by irregular forrays and depredations, as
in former years.

When any one of these nobles is questioned as to the nature of his claim
to the enjoyment of so large a portion of the produce of the land,
without doing any thing to earn or deserve it, he says that it is a
_vested right_; that is, that he has a right to claim and take a certain
portion of the proceeds of the toil of the _present_ generation of
laborers, because his forefathers claimed and took a similar portion
from theirs. And the one monarch, whose ancestors succeeded in
overpowering or crowding out the others, claims his right to rule on the
same ground. Thus, in the progress of ages, by a strange commutation,
robbery and plunder, when systematized, and extended, and established on
a permanent basis, become legitimacy, and the divine right of kings.

In America there is no such division of the fruits of industry between
those who do the work and a class of idle nobles, and soldiers, and
priests, who do nothing but consume the proceeds of it. There every man
possesses the full fruit of his labor, except so far as he himself joins
with his fellow-citizens in setting apart a portion for the purposes of
public and general utility. This is the reason why such immense numbers
of laboring men are every year leaving Germany and emigrating to
America.

But to return to the Rhine. Of course, just so fast and so far as the
smaller chieftains were conquered and dispossessed, and the country came
into the hands of a smaller number of greater princes, the old castles
became useless. Besides, when rules and laws, instead of surprises and
violence, became the means by which contributions were levied, it was no
longer necessary to have strongholds on high hills to come down from,
when a vessel or a traveller was coming by, and to retreat to with the
booty when the plunder had been taken. A great number of these old
castles have, therefore, gone to decay; for they were generally built
too high on the hills and rocks to be convenient as dwellings for
peaceable men. A few of the largest and strongest of them were retained
as fortresses; and those that were retained have been greatly enlarged
and strengthened in their defences in modern times, so that some of them
are now the greatest and strongest fortresses in the world. Others, that
were built in tolerably accessible situations, or which commanded an
unusually beautiful view, were retained and kept in repair, and are used
now as the summer residences of wealthy men. The rest were suffered
gradually to go to decay, and the ruins and remains of them are seen
crowning almost every remarkable height all along the river. Some of
these ruins are still in a very good state of preservation, so that in
going up to explore them you can make out very easily the whole original
plan of the edifice. You can find the turret, with the remains of the
stairs which led up to the watchtower, and the kitchen, and the hall,
and the armory, and the stables. In others, there is nothing to be seen
but a confused mass of unintelligible ruins; and in others still, every
thing is gone, except, perhaps, some single arch or gateway, which
stands among a mass of shapeless mounds, the last remaining relic of the
edifice it once adorned, and itself tottering, perhaps, on the brink of
its precipitous foundation, as if just ready to fall.

[Illustration: DONKEY RIDING.]

These old ruins are visited every year by thousands of persons who come
from every part of the world to see them. These visitors arrive every
year in such numbers that the steamboats, both going up and coming down,
and all the hotels, and thousands of carriages, which are perpetually
plying to and fro along the shores on both sides of the river, are
constantly filled with them. A great many people merely pass up or down
the river in a steamer, in a day and a night, and only see the ruins and
the other scenery by gazing at them from the deck of the vessel. But in
this case they get no idea whatever of the Rhine. It is necessary to
travel slowly, to stop frequently at the towns on the bank, to make
excursions along the shores and into the interior, and to ascend to the
sites of the ruins, and to other elevated points, so as to view the
valley and the stream meandering through it from above, or you obtain no
correct idea whatever of travelling on the Rhine.

The work of ascending to the old ruins would be a very arduous and
difficult one for all but the young and robust, were it not for the
assistance that is afforded by the donkeys that are kept at the foot of
every remarkable hill that travellers might be supposed desirous to
ascend. These donkeys have a sort of chair fitted upon them, that is, a
saddle, flat upon the top, and guarded all around one side by a sort of
back, like the back of a chair. The trappings are covered with some
kind of scarlet cloth, so that the troop of donkeys standing together
under the shade of the trees, at the foot of the hill which they are to
ascend, make a very gay appearance. The donkeys look very small to bear
so heavy a load as a full grown person; but they are very strong, and
they carry their burden quite easily, especially as the distance is not
very great. For these mountains of the Rhine, celebrated as they are for
the romantic grandeur which they impart to the scenery, are, after all,
seldom more than a few hundred feet high. There is also, almost always,
an excellent path leading up to them. It winds usually by zigzags
through the groves of trees, or between gardens and vineyards, in a very
delightful manner, so that the ascent in going up any of these hills
would make a very pleasant excursion even without the ruins on the top.

Such, in its general features, is the mountainous region of the Rhine,
as it appears to the travellers who go to visit it at the present day;
and it was this region that Rollo and Mr. George were now going to
explore.



CHAPTER V.

THE SIEBEN GEBIRGEN.


The word _Sieben_ means _seven_, and _Gebirgen_ means _mountains_.[6]
Thus the _Sieben Gebirgen_ is the Seven Mountains. It is the name given
to a mountainous mass of land which rises into seven or more principal
peaks, just at the entrance of the romantic part of the Rhine. The
highest of these mountains is the celebrated Drachenfels, which has a
ruined castle on the top of it, and an inn for the accommodation of
travellers just below. The Seven Mountains and Drachenfels are on the
east bank of the river. Opposite to them on the left bank are some other
remarkable mountains, crowned also with celebrated ruins. The river
flows between these highlands as through a gateway. They form, in fact,
the commencement of the mountainous region of the Rhine, in ascending
the river from Cologne.[7]

[Footnote 6: The words are pronounced as they are spelled, except that
the _g_ in _Gebirgen_ is hard.]

[Footnote 7: The reader must be very careful to get the idea right in
his mind in respect to which way is _up_ on the Rhine. The river flows
north. Of course, in looking on the map, what is _down_ on the page is
_up_ in respect to the flow of the river.]

The large town next below where these mountains commence is Bonn, which
is, perhaps, thirty or forty miles above Cologne. The country up as far
as Bonn from Cologne is pretty level, and a railroad has been made
there. At Bonn the mountains begin, and the railroad has accordingly not
been yet carried any farther. Mr. George and Rollo went up to Bonn by
the railroad.

Mr. George wished to stop at Bonn for half a day to visit a celebrated
university that is there. The buildings of this university were formerly
a palace; but they were afterwards given up to the use of the
university, which subsequently became one of the most distinguished
seminaries of learning in Europe. Mr. George wished to visit this
university. He had letters of introduction to some of the professors. He
wished also to see the library and the cabinets of natural history that
were there. He invited Rollo to go with him, but Rollo concluded not to
go. He would have liked to have seen the library very well, and the
cabinets, but he was rather afraid of the professors.

So, while Mr. George went to visit the literary institution, Rollo
amused himself by rambling about the town, and looking at the quaint
old churches, and the houses, and the fortifications, and in strolling
along the quay, by the shore of the river, to see the steamers and tow
boats go up and down.

At length he went to the hotel. The hotel was just without the gates,
near the river. There was a garden between the hotel and the river, with
a terrace at the margin of it, overlooking the water, where there were
tables and chairs ready for any person who might choose to take coffee
or any other refreshments there. Mr. George's room was on this side of
the hotel, and being pretty high it overlooked the gardens, and the
terrace, and the river, and afforded a charming view. Up the river, on
the other side, about three or four miles off, the Sieben Gebirgen were
plainly to be seen, the summits of them tipped with ancient ruins.

After Rollo had been sitting there about half an hour, Mr. George came
home. It was then about one o'clock.

"Well, Rollo," said he, "we are going up the river. I have engaged the
landlord to send us up in a carriage to some pleasant place on the bank
of the river among the mountains, where we can spend the Sabbath."

"Why, what day is it?" asked Rollo.

"It is Saturday," replied Mr. George.

Rollo was quite surprised to find that it was Saturday. In fact, in
travelling on the Rhine, as there is so little to mark or distinguish
one day from another, we almost always soon lose our reckoning.

"What is the name of the place where we are going?" asked Rollo.

"I don't know," replied Mr. George. "I cannot understand very well. He
is going to send us somewhere. How it will turn out I cannot tell. We
must trust to the fortune of war."

Mr. George often called the luck that befell him in travelling the
fortune of war. "If we were contented," he would say, "to travel over
and over again in places that we know, then we could make some
calculations, and could know beforehand, in most cases, where we were
going and how we should come out. But in travelling in new and strange
places we cannot tell at all, especially when there is no language that
we can communicate well with the people in. So we have to trust to the
fortune of war."

Mr. George, however, determined to make one more effort to find out
where he was going; and so, when the carriage came to the door, and he
and Rollo were about to get into it, he asked the porter of the
house--who was the man that "spoke English"--what the name of the place
was where they were going to stop.

"Yes, sare," replied the man. "You will stop. You will go to Poppensdorf
and to Kreitzberg, and then you will go to Gottesberg, and then you will
go to Rolandseck, where there is a boat that will take you to
Drachenfels, or to Koenigswinter."

He said all this with so strong a German accent, and pronounced the
barbarous words with so foreign an intonation, that no trace or
impression whatever was left by them on Mr. George's ear.

"But which is the place," asked Mr. George, speaking very deliberately
and plainly,--"which is the place where we are to be left by the
carriage to stay on Sunday? Is it Rolandseck or Koenigswinter?"

"Yes, sare," said the porter, making a very polite bow. "Yes, sare, you
will go to Rolandseck, and to Kreitzberg, and to Gottesberg, and if you
please you can stop at Poppensdorf."

"Very well," said Mr. George. "Tell him to drive on."

This is a tolerably fair specimen of the success to which travellers,
and the porters, and waiters, who "speak English," attain to, in their
attempts to understand one another. In fact, the attempts of these
domestic linguists to _speak_ English are sometimes still more
unfortunate than their attempts to understand it. One of them, in
talking to Mr. George, said "No, yes," for no, sir. Another told Rollo
that the dinner would be ready in _fiveteen_ minutes, and a very worthy
landlord, in commenting on the pleasant weather, said that the time was
very _agregable_. So a waiter said one day that the _bifstek_ was just
coming up out of the _kriken_. He meant kitchen.

The place where the porter, who engaged the carriage for Mr. George,
intended to leave him, was really Rolandseck. Rolandseck is the name of
a ruined arch, the remains of an ancient tower which may be seen in the
engraving a little farther on, upon the height of land on the left side
of the view. The lofty ruin on the right, farther in the distance, is
Drachenfels. At the foot of Drachenfels, a little farther down the
river,--and we are looking down the river in the engraving,--is a town
called Koenigswinter, which is the place that people usually set out
from to ascend the mountain, a great number of donkeys being kept there
for that purpose. Beneath the tower of Rolandseck, near the margin of
the water, is a row of three or four houses, two of which are hotels.
The land rises so suddenly from the river here, that there is barely
room for the road and the houses between the water and the hill. In
fact, the road itself is terraced up with a wall ten or fifteen feet
high towards the water, and the houses in the same manner from the road.
You enter them, indeed, from the level of the road; but you are
immediately obliged to ascend a staircase to reach the principal floor
of the house, which is ten or fifteen feet above the road, and the
gardens of the house are on terraces raised to that height by a wall.
Thus from the gardens and terraces you look down fifteen feet over a
wall to the road, and from the road you look down fifteen feet over a
wall to the water. Along the outer margin of the road is a broad stone
wall or parapet, flat at the top and about three feet high. All this you
can see represented in the engraving.

In the middle of the river, opposite to the hotels, is a very beautiful
island with a nunnery upon it. This island is called Nonnenwerth. Now,
in regard to all these castles and churches, and other sacred edifices
on the Rhine, there is almost always some old legend or romantic tale,
which has come down through succeeding generations from ancient times,
and which adds very much to the interest of the locality where the
incidents occurred. The tale in respect to Rolandseck and Nonnenwerth is
this: Roland was the nephew of the great monarch and conqueror,
Charlemagne. He became engaged to the daughter of the chieftain who
lived in Drachenfels, the ruins of which you see in the engraving
crowning the hill on the right bank of the river, some little distance
down the stream. In a battle in which he was engaged, he killed his
intended father-in-law by accident, being deceived by the darkness of
the night, and thinking that he was striking an enemy instead of a
friend. After this, he could not be married to his intended bride, the
etiquette of those days forbidding that a warrior should marry one whose
father he had slain. The maiden, in her grief and despair, betook
herself to the nunnery on the island near her father's castle, and
Roland, since he could not be permitted to visit her there, built a
tower on the nearest pinnacle of the opposite shore, in order that he
might live there, and at least comfort himself with a sight of the
building where his beloved was confined. The story is, however, that the
unhappy nun lived but a short time. Roland himself, however, continued
to live in his tower, a lonely hermit, for many years.

Another version of this legend is, that the maiden was led to go to the
convent and consecrate herself as a nun, on account of a false report
which she had heard, that Roland himself was killed in the battle, and
that when she learned that he was still alive, it was too late for her
to be released from her vows. However this may be, Roland retired to
this lofty tower, in order to be as near her as possible, and to be able
to look down upon the dwelling where she lived. How well he could do
this you can easily see by observing how finely the ruined tower on the
top of the hill commands a view of the river and of the island, as well
as of the nunnery itself, imbosomed in the trees.

A little below the ruin of Roland's Tower you see a pavilion on a point
of the rock, which, though somewhat lower in respect to elevation,
projects farther towards the stream, and consequently commands a finer
view. This pavilion has been erected very lately by a gentleman who
lives in one of the houses at the margin of the road, and who owns the
vineyards that cover the slope of the hill. The road to it leads up
among these vineyards through the gentleman's grounds, but he leaves it
open in order that visitors who ascend up to Roland's Tower may go to
the pavilion on the way, and enjoy the view.

It was to one of these hotels at Rolandseck that the porter at Bonn had
arranged to send Mr. George, as the pleasantest place that was near to
spend the Sabbath in. He could not have made a better selection.

The ride, too, in the carriage from Bonn up to Rolandseck, was
delightful. Nothing could be more enchanting than the scenery which was
presented to view on every hand. The carriage, like all the other
private carriages used for travellers on the Rhine, was an open
barouche, and when the top was down it afforded an entirely unobstructed
view. The day was pleasant, and yet the sun was so obscured with clouds
that it was not warm, and Rollo stood up in the carriage nearly all the
way, supporting himself there by taking hold of the back of the driver's
seat, and looking about him on every side, uttering continual
exclamations of wonder and delight. He attempted once or twice to talk
with the driver, trying him in French and English; but the driver
understood nothing but German, and so the conversation soon settled down
to an occasional _Was ist das?_ from Rollo, and a long reply to the
question from the driver, not a word of which Rollo was able to
understand.

They passed out of Bonn by means of a most singular avenue. It was
formed of a very broad space in the centre, which seemed, by its place,
to have been intended for the road way; but instead of being a road way,
it was covered with a rich growth of grass, like a mowing field. On
each side of this green were two rows of trees, which bordered a sort of
wide sidewalk, of which there were two, one on each side of the road.
These side passages were the carriage ways.

"See, uncle George," said Rollo. "The road has all grown up to grass,
and we are riding on the sidewalk."

The carriage passed on, and when it reached the end of the avenue, it
came to a beautiful and extensive edifice, standing in the midst of
groves and gardens, which was formerly a chateau, but is now used for a
museum of natural history. Here were arranged the cabinets which Mr.
George had been to see that morning. Passing this place, the carriage
gradually ascended a long hill, on the summit of which, half concealed
by groves of trees, was an ancient-looking church. Mr. George had seen
this hill before from the windows of the hotel, and knew it must be the
Kreitzberg.

"He is taking us to the Kreitzberg," said Mr. George.

"What is that famous for?" asked Rollo.

"It is an ancient church, on the top of a high hill," said Mr. George,
"where there is a flight of stairs made to imitate those that Jesus
ascended at Jerusalem, when he went to Pilate's judgment hall. Nobody
is allowed to go up or down these stairs except on their knees.

"Then, besides," continued Mr. George, looking along the page of his
guide book as he spoke, "the air is so dry up at the top of this high
hill, that the bodies of the old monks, who were buried there hundreds
of years ago, did not corrupt, but they dried up and turned into a sort
of natural mummies; and there they lie now under the church, in open
coffins, in full view."

"Let us go down and see them," said Rollo.

What Mr. George said was true; and these things are but a specimen of
the strange and curious legends and tales that are told to the
traveller, and of the extraordinary relics and wonders that are
exhibited to his view, in the old churches and monasteries, which are
almost as numerous as the castles, on the Rhine. The carriage, after
ascending a long time, stopped at a gate by the way side, whence a long,
straight road led up to the church, which stood on the very summit of
the hill. Mr. George and Rollo got out and walked up. When they drew
near to the church, they turned round to admire the splendor of the
landscape, and to see if the carriage was still waiting for them below.
They saw that the carriage still stood there, and that there was another
one there too, and that a party of ladies and gentlemen were descending
from it to come up and see the church. There was a little girl in this
party.

"I should not wonder if that was Minnie," said Rollo.

In a short time this party, with a commissioner at the head of them,
came up the walk. The girl proved to be really Minnie. She seemed very
glad to see Rollo, and she stopped to speak with him while the rest of
the party went on.

Rollo and Minnie followed closely behind. The commissioner led the way
round to the side of the church, where there were some other ancient
buildings, which were formerly a nunnery. Here they found a man who had
the care of the place. He was a sacristan.[8] He brought a great key,
and unlocked the church door, and let the party in.

[Footnote 8: A sacristan is an officer who has charge of the sacred
utensils and other property of the church, and who shows them to
visitors.]

The interior of the church was very quaint and queer,--as in truth the
interiors of all the old churches are on the banks of the Rhine,--and
was adorned with a great many curious old effigies and paintings. After
waiting a few minutes for the company to look at these, the sacristan
went to a place in the middle of the church before the altar, and
lifted up a great trap door in the floor. When the door was lifted up, a
flight of steps was seen leading down under ground.

"Where are they going now?" said Minnie.

"I suppose they are going down to see the monks," said Rollo.

The party went down the stairs, Rollo and Minnie following them. The
sacristan had two candles in his hands. As soon as he got to the bottom
of the stairs, he passed along a narrow passage way between two rows of
open coffins, placed close together side by side, and in each coffin was
a dead man, his flesh dried to a mummy, his clothes all in tatters, and
his face, though shrivelled and dried up, still preserving enough of the
human expression to make the spectacle perfectly horrid. When Rollo and
Minnie reached the place near enough to see what was there, the
sacristan was moving his candles about over the coffins, one in each
hand, so as to show the bodies plainly. At the first glance which Minnie
obtained of this shocking sight, she uttered a scream, and ran up the
stairs again as fast as she could go.

Rollo followed her, but somewhat more slowly. When he came out into the
church, he caught a glimpse of Minnie's dress, as she was just making
her escape from the door. Rollo would have followed her, but he was
afraid of losing his uncle George.

When the party, at length, came up from their visit to the dead monks,
they went to see the sacred staircase. Rollo went with them. The
staircase seemed to be at the main entrance to the church: the party had
gone round to a door in the side where they came in.

The sacred stairs occupied the centre of the hall in which they were
placed. There were on the sides two plain and common flights of stairs,
for people to go up and down in the usual way. The sacred stairs in the
centre could only be ascended and descended on the knees.

The side stairs were separated from the central flight by a solid
balustrade or wall, not very high, so that people who came to see the
sacred steps could stand on the side steps and look over. The flight of
sacred steps was very wide, and was built of a richly variegated marble,
of brown, red, and yellow colors, intermingled together in the stone;
and some of the stains were said to have been produced by the blood of
Christ. Here and there, too, on the different steps of the staircase,
were to be seen little brass plates let into the stone, beneath which
were small caskets containing sacred relics of various kinds, such as
small pieces of wood of the true cross, and fragments of the bones of
saints and apostles. Neither Mr. George nor Rollo took much interest in
this exhibition; and so, giving the sacristan a small piece of money,
they went back to their carriage. As Rollo got into the carriage that he
had come in, he saw that Minnie was seated in hers, and she nodded her
head when Rollo's carriage moved away, to bid him good by.

Mr. George and Rollo passed one or two other very picturesque and
venerable looking ruins on the way up the river, but they did not stop
to go and explore any of them. In one place, too, they rode along a sort
of terrace, where the view over the river, and over the fields and
vineyards beyond, was perfectly enchanting. Mr. George said he had never
before seen so beautiful a view. It was at a place where the road had
been walled up high along the side of a hill, at some distance from the
river, so that the view from the carriage, as it moved rapidly along,
extended over the whole valley. The fields and vineyards, the groves and
orchards, the broad river, the zigzag paths leading up the mountain
sides, the steamers and canal boats gliding up and down over the surface
of the water, and the mountains beyond, with the rocky summit of
Drachenfels, crowned with its castle, towering among them, combined to
make the whole picture appear like a scene of enchantment.

The poet Byron described this view in three stanzas, which have been
read and admired wherever the English language is spoken, and have made
the name of Drachenfels more familiar to English and American ears than
the name of almost any other castle on the Rhine.


DRACHENFELS.

    The castled crag of Drachenfels
      Frowns o'er the wide and winding Rhine,
    Whose breast of waters broadly swells
      Between the banks which bear the vine;
    And hills all rich with blossomed trees,
      And fields which promise corn and wine,
    And scattered cities crowning these,
      Whose far white walls along them shine,
    Have strewed a scene which I should see
    With double joy wert _thou_ with me.

    And peasant girls with deep blue eyes,
      And hands which offer early flowers,
    Walk smiling o'er this paradise;
      Above, the frequent feudal towers
    Through green fields lift their walls of gray;
      And many a rock which steeply lowers,
    And noble arch in proud decay,
      Look o'er this vale of vintage bowers;
    But one thing want these banks of Rhine--
    Thy gentle hand to clasp in mine!

    The river nobly foams and flows,
      The charm of this enchanted ground,
    And all its thousand turns disclose
      Some fresher beauty varying round:
    The haughtiest breast its wish might bound
      Through life to dwell delighted here;
    Nor could on earth a spot be found
      To nature and to me so dear,
    Could thy dear eyes in following mine
    Still sweeten more these banks of Rhine.

In due time, Mr. George and Rollo arrived at Rolandseck, where they were
received very politely by the landlord of the inn, and introduced to a
very pleasant room, the windows of which commanded a fine view both of
Drachenfels and of the river.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER VI.

ROLAND'S TOWER.


"And now," said Mr. George, as soon as the porter had put down his trunk
and gone out of the room, "the first thing to be thought of is dinner."

Rollo was also ready for a dinner, especially for such excellent little
dinners of beefsteaks, fried potatoes, nice bread and butter, and
coffee, as his uncle usually ordered. So, after refreshing themselves a
few minutes in their room, Mr. George and Rollo went down stairs in
order to go into the dining room to call for a dinner. As they passed
through the hall, they saw a door there which opened out upon
beautifully ornamented grounds behind the house. The land ascended very
suddenly, it is true, but there were broad gravel paths of easy grade to
go up by; and there were groves, and copses of shrubbery, and blooming
flowers, in great abundance, on every hand. On looking up, too, Rollo
saw several seats, at different elevations, where he supposed there must
be good views.

While they were standing at this door, looking out upon the grounds, a
waiter came by, and they told him what they wished to have for dinner.

"Very well," said the waiter; "and where will you have it? You can have
it in your room, or in the dining room, or in the garden, just as you
please."

"Let us have it in the garden," said Rollo.

"Well," said Mr. George, "in the garden."

So the young gentlemen went out into the garden to choose a table and a
place, while the waiter went to make arrangements for their dinner.

The part of the garden where the seats and the tables were placed was a
level terrace, not behind the house, but in a line with it, at the end,
so that it fronted the road, and commanded a very fine view both of the
road and of the river, as well as of all the people, and carriages, and
boats that were passing up and down. This terrace was high up above the
road, being walled up on that side, as I have already described; and
there was a parapet in front, to prevent people from falling down. This
parapet was, however, not so high but that Rollo could look over it very
conveniently, and see all that was passing in the road and on the river
below. There was a sort of roof, like an awning, over this place, to
shelter it from the sun and the rain; and there were trees and trellises
behind, and at the ends, to enclose it, and give it an air of seclusion.
The trellises were covered with grapevines, on which many clusters of
grapes were seen, that had already grown quite large. Numerous flower
pots, containing a great many brilliant flowers all in bloom, were
placed in various positions, to enliven and adorn the scene. Some were
on the tables, some on benches behind them, and there were six of the
finest of them placed at regular intervals upon the parapet, on the side
towards the street. These last gave the gardens a very attractive
appearance as seen outside, by people going by in carriages along the
road, or in boats on the river.

Rollo and Mr. George chose a table that stood near the parapet, in the
middle of the space between two of the flower pots, and sitting down
they amused themselves by looking over the wall until the waiter brought
them their dinner.[9] The dinner came at length, and the travellers
immediately, with excellent appetites, commenced eating it.

[Footnote 9: For a view of this part of the river see frontispiece.]

"Uncle George," said Rollo, in the middle of the dinner, "my feet are
getting pretty lame."

"Are they?" said Mr. George.

"Yes," said Rollo, "I have walked a great deal lately."

"Then," said Mr. George, "you must let them rest. You must go down to
the river and bathe them in the cool water after dinner, and not walk
any more to-night."

"But I want to go up to Roland's Tower," said Rollo.

"Well," said Mr. George, "perhaps you might do that. You can ride up on
one of the donkeys."

This plan was accordingly agreed to, and as soon as the dinner was ended
it was put in execution.

The donkeys that were used for the ascent of the hill to Roland's Tower
were kept standing, all caparisoned, at the foot of the hill, at the
entrance to a little lane where the pathway commenced. Mr. George and
Rollo had seen them standing there when they came along the road. The
place was very near where they were sitting; so that, after finishing
their dinner, they had only to walk a few steps through the garden, and
thence out through a back gate, when they found themselves in the lane,
and the donkeys and the donkey boys all before them.

Mr. George thought that he should prefer to _walk_ up the mountain; but
Rollo chose a donkey, and with a little assistance from Mr. George he
mounted into the seat. At first he was afraid that he might fall; for
the seat, though there was a sort of back to it, as has already been
described, to keep persons in, seemed rather unsteady, especially when
the donkey began to move.

"It will not do much harm if I do fall," said Rollo, "for the donkey is
not much bigger than a calf."

Mr. George, who was accustomed to leave Rollo a great deal to himself on
all occasions, did not stop in this instance to see him set off, but as
soon as he had got him installed in his seat, began to walk himself up
the pathway, with long strides, and was soon hid from view among the
grapevines, at a turn of the road, leaving Rollo to his own resources
with the donkey and the donkey boy. At first the donkey would not go;
but the boy soon compelled him to set out, by whipping him with the
stick, and away they then went, all three together, scrambling up the
steep path with a rapidity that made it quite difficult for Rollo to
keep his seat.

The paths leading up these hill sides on the banks of the Rhine are
entirely different from any mountain paths, or any country roads, of
any sort, to be seen in America. In the first place, there is no waste
land at the margin of them. Just width enough is allowed for two donkeys
or mules to pass each other, and then the walls which keep up the
vineyard terrace on the upper side, and enclose the vine plantings on
the other, come close to the margin of it, on both sides, leaving not a
foot to spare. The path is made and finished in the most perfect manner.
It is gravelled hard, so that the rains may not wash it; and it mounts
by regular zigzags, with seats or resting-places at the turnings, where
the traveller can stop and enjoy the view. In fact, the paths are as
complete and perfect as in the nature of the case it is possible for
them to be made; and well they may be so, for it is perhaps fifteen
hundred years since they were laid out; and during this long interval,
fifty generations of vinedressers have worked upon them to improve them
and to keep them in order. In fact, it is probable that the roads and
the mountain paths, both in Switzerland and on the Rhine, are more
ancient than any thing else we see there, except the brooks and
cascades, or the hills and mountains themselves.

When Rollo had got up about two thirds the height of the hill, he came
to the pavilion, which you see in the engraving standing on a
projecting pinnacle of the rock, a little below the ruin. There was a
gateway which led to the pavilion, by a sort of private path; but the
gate was set open, that people might go in. Rollo dismounted from his
donkey, and went in. His uncle was already there.

It is wholly impossible to describe the view which presented itself from
this commanding point, both up and down the river, or to give any idea
of the impression produced upon the minds of our travellers when they
stood leaning over the balcony, and gazed down to the water below from
the dizzy height. The pavilion is built of stone, and is secured in the
most solid and substantial manner, being very far more perfect in its
construction than the old towers and castles were, whose remains have
stood upon these mountains so long. It will probably last, therefore,
longer than they have, and perhaps to the very end of time.

It stands on a pinnacle of basaltic rock, which here projects so as
actually to overhang its foundations.

The view both up and down the river is inconceivably beautiful and
grand.

There was no seat in the pavilion, but there was one against the rocks,
and under the shades of the trees just behind it; and here Mr. George
and Rollo sat down to rest a while, after they had looked out from the
pavilion itself as long as they desired.

"I believe I'll walk up the rest of the way," said Rollo, "and let the
donkey stay where he is."

"Why, don't you like riding on the donkey?" asked Mr. George.

"Yes," said Rollo, "I like to ride, but he don't seem to like to carry
me very well. Besides, it is not far now to the top."

The path immediately above the pavilion passed out of the region of the
vineyards, and entered a little thicket of evergreen trees, through
which it ascended by short zigzags, very steep, until at length it came
out upon a smooth, grassy mound, which crowned the summit of the
elevation; and here suddenly the ruin came into view. It was a single
ruined arch, standing alone on the brink of the hill. The arch was
evidently, when first built, of the plainest and rudest construction.
The stones were of basalt, which is a volcanic rock, very permanent and
durable in character, and as hard almost as iron. The mortar between the
stones had crumbled away a good deal, but the stones themselves seemed
unchanged. Mr. George struck his cane against them, and they returned a
ringing sound, as if they had been made of metal.

Around this arch were the remains of the ancient wall of the building,
by means of which it was easy to see that the whole edifice must have
been of very small dimensions, and that it must have been originally
constructed in a very rude manner. The arch seems to have been intended
for a door or a window. Probably they took more pains with the
construction of the arch than they did with the rest of the edifice,
using larger and better stones for it, and stronger mortar; and this may
be the reason why this part has stood so long, while the rest has fallen
down and gone to decay. In fact, it is generally found that the arches
of ancient edifices are the parts of the masonry which are the last to
fall.

The opening in the arch looked down the river. Mr. George took his stand
upon the line of the wall opposite the Island of Nonnenwerth, and said
that he supposed there must have been another window there.

"Here is where the old knight must have stood," said he, "to look down
on the island, and the convent where his lost lady was imprisoned."

"Yes," said Rollo, "he could look right down upon it from here. I wonder
whether the nun knew that he was up here."

"Yes," said Mr. George, "there is not the least doubt that she did.
They found out some way to have an understanding together, you may
depend."

After lingering about the old ruin as long as they wished, our
travellers came down the hill again as they went up, except that Rollo
walked all the way. He was afraid to ride on the donkey going down, for
fear that he should fall.

Rollo went down to the river side, and taking off his stockings and
shoes, bathed his feet in the stream. While he was there a great boat
came by, towed by two horses that walked along the bank. The rope,
however, by which the horses drew the boat was fastened, not to the side
of the boat, as is common with us on canals, but to the top of the mast,
so that it was carried high in the air, and it passed over Rollo's head
without disturbing him at all. They always have the tow ropes fastened
to the top of the mast on the Rhine, because the banks are in some
places so high that a rope lying low would not draw.

Rollo remained on the bank of the river some time, and then he put on
his shoes and stockings and went up into his room. He found that his
uncle George was seated at the table, with pen, ink, and paper out, and
was busy writing letters.

"Uncle George," said Rollo, "what shall I do now?"

"Let me think," said Mr. George. Then after a moment's reflection, he
added, "I should like to have you take a sheet of paper, and draw this
little table up to the window, and take your seat there, and look out,
and whenever you see any thing remarkable, write down what it is on the
paper."

"What shall you do with it when I have got it done?" said Rollo.

"I'll tell you that when it _is_ done," replied Mr. George.

"But perhaps I shall not see any thing remarkable," said Rollo.

"Then," said Mr. George, "you will not have any thing to write. You will
in that case only sit and look out of the window."

"Very well," said Rollo, "I will do it. But will it do just as well for
me to go down to the terrace, and do it there?"

"Yes," said Mr. George, "just as well."

So Rollo took out his portfolio and his pocket pen and inkstand, and
went down to the terrace, and there he sat for nearly two hours watching
what was going by, and making out his catalogue of the remarkable
things. At the end of about two hours, Mr. George, having finished his
letters came down to see how Rollo was getting along. Rollo showed him
his list, and Mr. George was quite pleased with it. In the course of the
evening Rollo made several additions to it; and when at length it was
completed, it read as follows.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER VII.

ROLLO'S LIST.


_Remarkable Things seen from the Terrace of the Hotel at Rolandseck, by
Rollo H., Saturday Evening, August 29._

1. An elegant steamer, painted green. Her name is the _Schiller_. She is
going up the river.

2. Another steamer, the _Koenig_. Ladies and gentlemen on the deck,
under an awning.

3. I can see the ruins of Drachenfels with my spy glass, and the inn
near the top of the mountain, painted white. I have been trying to find
the path, to see if I could see any donkeys going up; but I cannot find
it.

4. A boat with some men and women in it putting off from the landing
just above here. They are going down the stream. The current carries
them down very fast. I think they are going over to the island.

No, they are going away down the river.

5. A great steamer coming _down_, with flags and banners flying.

Now she has gone by, only I can see the smoke from her smoke pipe behind
the point of land.

6. The nuns are taking a walk under the trees on the island. Some of the
girls of the school are going with them. The nuns are dressed in black,
with bonnets partly black and partly white. The girls are dressed in
pink, all alike. They are laughing and frolicking on the grass, as they
go along. The nuns walk along quietly. The girls are having an excellent
good time.

They are walking away down to the end of the island. The walk that they
are going in is bordered by a row of poplar trees.

7. A procession of pilgrims going up to Remagen. At least, the waiter
says they are pilgrims. They are in two rows, one on each side of the
road, so that there is room for the carriages to pass along between
them. They are dressed very queerly, like peasants. The girls and women
go first, and the men come afterwards. The women have baskets, with
something to eat in them, I suppose. The men have nothing. There is one
man at the head, who carries a crucifix, with a wreath of flowers over
it, on the top of the pole. They sing as they go along, and keep step to
the music. First, the women sing a few words, and then the men sing in
response. It is a very strange sight.

8. A very swift steamer, with a great many gentlemen and ladies on
board. It has gone down on the other side of the island.

9. I hear guns firing down the river.

10. A man is going by with a very long and queer-shaped wheelbarrow, and
there is a dog harnessed to it before to draw, while he pushes it
behind.

11. More guns firing down the river. A steamer is coming into view, with
a great many flags and banners flying. The guns that I heard are on
board that steamer.

The waiter says it is a company of students, from the university at
Bonn, coming up on a frolic.

12. The steamer with the students is going by. There is a band of music
on board, playing beautifully.

13. The steamer has stopped just above here, and all the students are
going on shore.

14. The students have formed into a company on the beach, and they are
marching up, with banners flying and music playing, to the terrace of a
hotel, just above here.

15. The steamer has gone away up the river, and left them. There are
five or six small boats on the shore at the landing, with boatmen
standing by them, waiting to be hired. I mean to ask uncle George to let
me go and take a sail in one of them on Monday.

16. I can see the students by leaning over the parapet and looking
through my spy glass. They are sitting at the tables under the trees on
the terrace, smoking pipes and drinking something. They have very funny
looking caps on.

17. A tow boat coming up the river. It is drawn by two horses, that walk
along the road. The boat has a roof over it instead of a deck, and it
looks like a floating house with a family in it.

18. A steamer coming up--the _Wilhelm_. She came up the other side of
the island.

19. A small boat going away from the landing. It is rowed by one man,
with one oar, which he works near the bow on the starboard side. He has
set the helm hard a-port, and tied it there, and that keeps his boat
from being pulled round. I never thought of that way before.

There is a woman and a child in the stern of the boat.

20. There is a man eating his supper on the parapet below me, in front
of the road. A girl has brought it to him in a basket. The man seems to
be a boatman, and I think the girl is his daughter. She has a tin tea
kettle with something to drink in it, and she pours it out into a mug as
fast as the man wants it to drink. There is also some bread, which she
breaks and gives him as fast as he wants it. There is a little child
standing by, and the man stops now and then to play with her.

Now there is another man that has come and sat down by the side of him;
and a woman has brought him his supper in a basket. I think it is his
wife.

21. A long raft is coming down the river. It is very long indeed. It is
made of logs and boards. There are twenty-two men on it, thirteen at the
front end, and nine at the back end. They have got two monstrous great
oars out; one of these oars runs out at the front end of the raft, and
the other at the back end, and the men are rowing. There are six men
taking hold of each of these oars and working them, trying to row the
raft more into the middle of the river.

There is a small house on the middle of the raft, and a fire in a large
flat box near the door of it. I should think it would set the raft on
fire. This fire is for cooking, I suppose, for there is a kettle hanging
over it.

22. Now the students are singing a song.

23. There is a great fleet of large boats coming up the river, with a
steamboat at the head of them. They come very slowly.

24. The students have finished their drinking and smoking, and are
beginning to come out into the road. They are walking about there and
frolicking.

25. The great fleet of boats have come up so that I can see them. They
are great canal boats, towed by a steamer. There are seven of them in
all. The steamer has hard work to get them along against the current. It
is just as much as she can do.

26. Four of the students are getting into a small boat. One of them has
a flag. Now they are putting off from the shore. They are going out to
take a sail.

27. The fleet of boats is now just opposite to the window.

28. A large open carriage, with a family in it, is riding by. There is a
trunk on behind; so I suppose they are travellers, going to see the
Rhine.

29. Three of the students are walking by here. One of them--the middle
one--is so tipsy that he cannot walk straight, and the others are taking
hold of his arms and holding him up. I suppose they are going to see if
they cannot walk him sober.

They have gone off away down the road.

30. Here comes an elegant carriage and two outriders. The outriders are
dressed in a sort of uniform, and they are riding on horseback a little
way before the carriage. They go very fast. There is a gentleman and a
lady in the carriage.

Now they have gone by.

31. Several parties of students have gone by, to take a walk down the
road. Some of them are walking along very steadily, but there are
several that look pretty tipsy.

Here are three or four of them coming back, riding the donkeys. They are
singing and laughing, and making a great deal of fun.

32. Here is a family of poor peasants coming down the river. They look
very poor. The woman has a very queer cap on. She has one child strapped
across her back, and she is leading another. There is a man and a large
boy. They have packs on their backs. I wonder if they are not emigrants
going to America.

33. One of the students has got hurt. I can see him down the road
limping. There are two other students with him, helping him.

They are going to bring him home. They have taken a cane, and are
holding it across between them, and he is sitting on it and putting his
arms about their necks. Each student holds one end of the cane, and so
they are bringing him along.

[Illustration: THE STUDENTS.]

The cane has broken, and let the lame student fall down.

They have got another cane, stronger, and now they are carrying him
again.

Now they are stopping to rest right opposite to this house. They have
changed hands, and are now carrying him again.

34. Here is a woman coming along up the river drawing a small boat. She
has a band over her shoulders, and a long line attached to it, and the
other end of the line is fastened to the mast of the small boat. There
is a man in the boat steering. I think the man ought to come to the
shore and draw, and let the woman stay in the boat and steer, for it
seems very hard work to pull the boat along.

35. A boat with two women in it, and a man to row, is going across the
river to the Nuns' Island. Now they are landing. The women are walking
up towards the nunnery, under the trees, and the man is fastening his
boat.

36. The students are gathering on the landing. I think that, perhaps,
they are going back to Bonn in small boats. It is beginning to be dark,
and time for them to go home.[10] Yes, they are crowding into two or
three boats. The boats are getting very full. If they are not careful
they will upset.

[Footnote 10: This Rollo wrote in the latter part of the evening, in his
room.]

The boats are pushing off from the shore. There are three boats, with
two flags flying in each. They are drifting out into the current. The
students have got one or two oars out, but they are not rowing much. The
current carries them down fast enough without rowing.

37. I can hear the bells ringing or tolling, away down the river, the
air is so still. I think it must be the bells of Bonn.

38. The students' boats are all drifting down just opposite our windows.
They are going sidewise, and backwards, and every way, and are all
entangled together. The students on board are calling out to one
another, and laughing, and having a great time. Some of them are trying
to sing, but the rest will not listen. If they are not very careful they
will upset some of those boats before they get to Bonn.

39. Here comes a carriage driving slowly down the road, with four
students in it. Two of them are hanging down their heads and holding
them with their hands, as if they had dreadful headaches. They look very
sick. The other two students seem pretty well. I suppose they are going
in the carriage with the sick ones to take care of them.

It is getting too dark for me to see any more



CHAPTER VIII.

A SABBATH ON THE RHINE.


About eight o'clock the next morning, Mr. George and Rollo went up among
the gardens behind the hotel, and after ascending for some time, they
came at length to a seat in a bower which commanded a very fine view,
and here they sat down.

Mr. George took a small Bible out of his pocket, and opened it at the
book of the Acts, and began to read. He continued to read for half an
hour or more, and to explain to Rollo what he read about. Rollo was very
much interested in the stories of what the apostles did in their first
efforts for planting Christianity, and of the toils and dangers which
they encountered, and the sufferings which they endured.

At length, after finishing the reading, Mr. George proposed that they
should go down to breakfast.

So they went down the winding walks again which led to the inn. There
they found, on the front side of the house, a very pleasant dining
room, with tables set in it, some large and some small. Mr. George and
Rollo took their seats at a small front table near a window, where they
could look out over the water. Here a waiter came to them, and they told
him what they would have for breakfast.

"I will have a beefsteak," said Mr. George, "and my nephew will have an
omelet. We should like some fried potatoes too, and some coffee."

"_Ja_,[11] monsieur," said the waiter. "Let us see. You will have one
bifstek, one omelet, two fried potatoes, and two caffys."

[Footnote 11: Pronounced _yah_.]

"Yes," said Mr. George.

"Varry well," said the waiter. "It shall be ready in fiveteen minutes."

So the waiter went away.

"We shall want more than two fried potatoes," said Rollo, looking very
serious.

"O, he means two portions," replied Mr. George; "that is to say, enough
for two people. He will bring us plenty, you may depend."

Rollo and Mr. George sat by the window in the dining room until the
breakfast was brought in. Besides the things which they had called for,
the waiter brought them some rolls of very nice and tender bread, and
some delicious butter. He also brought a large plate full of fried
potatoes, and the beefsteak which came for Mr. George was very juicy and
rich. The omelet which Rollo had chosen for his principal dish was
excellent too. He made an exchange with Mr. George, giving him a piece
of his omelet, and taking a part of the steak. Thus they ate their
breakfast very happily together, looking out the window from time to
time to see the steamboats and the carriages go by, and to view the
magnificent scenery of the opposite shores.

"I'll tell you what it is, Rollo," said Mr. George; "people may say what
they please about the castles and the ruins on the Rhine--I think that
the inns and breakfasts on the Rhine are by no means to be despised."

"I think so too," said Rollo.

When they had nearly finished their breakfast, Mr. George asked the
waiter what churches there were in the neighborhood. The waiter said
there was a church on the Island of Nonnenwerth, belonging to the
convent, and that there was another up the river a few miles, at the
village of Remagen.

"We might go over to the island this morning, and up to Remagen this
afternoon," said Mr. George, "only you are too lame to walk so far."

"No, sir," said Rollo, decidedly; "my feet are well to-day. I can walk
as well as not."

A few minutes after this, the waiter came to tell Mr. George that the
master of the hotel was himself going over to the convent to attend
church, and that he and Rollo could go in the same boat if they pleased.
The boat would go at about a quarter before ten.

Mr. George said that he should like this arrangement very much; and
accordingly, at the appointed time, he and Rollo set out from the inn in
company with the landlord. They walked along the road a short distance,
and then went down a flight of steps that led to the landing. Here there
was a number of boats drawn up upon the beach. One of them had a boatman
in attendance upon it, waiting for the company that he was to take over
to the island.

Besides the landlord and his two guests, there were two or three girls
waiting on the beach, who seemed to be going over too. All these people
got into the boat, and then the boatman, after embarking himself, pushed
it off from the shore.

It was a very pleasant summer morning, and Rollo had a delightful sail
in going over to the island. Mr. George and the landlord talked together
nearly all the way; but Rollo did not listen much to their
conversation, as he could not understand the landlord very well,
notwithstanding that the language which he used was English. He was
seated next to the girls; but he did not speak to them, as he felt sure
that they did not know any language but German. So he amused himself
with looking at the hills on the shore, and at the gardens and vineyards
which adorned them, and in tracing out the zigzag paths which led up to
the arbors and summer houses, and to the ancient ruins. He attempted at
one time to look down into the water by the side of the boat, to see if
he could see any fishes; but the water of the Rhine is very turbid, and
he could not see down into it at all.

At length the boat came to the land in a little cove on the side of the
island, where there was a sandy beach, under the shade of some ancient
trees. There was a path leading from this place up towards the convent.
The party in the boat landed, and began to walk up this path. Mr. George
and the landlord were first, and Rollo came next.

[Illustration: THE NUN.]

The little path that they were walking in came out into another which
led along among the fields that extended down the island. There was a
nun coming up this path, leading one of the schoolgirls. It seems they
had been to take a walk. The nun had her face shaded by a large cap, or
bonnet, with, a veil over it; and though she looked pale, her
countenance had a very gentle expression, and was very beautiful. She
bowed to the party that was coming up from the boat, and went on before
them to the church.

"I wonder whether she is happy," thought Rollo to himself, "in living on
this island, a nun. I wish I knew where her father and mother live, and
how she came to be here, such a beautiful young lady."

This nun was indeed very beautiful, though she was an exception to the
general rule, for nuns are often very plain.

The church formed a part of the convent building. It was, in fact, only
a small chapel, built in a wing of the convent, with a little cupola and
a bell over it. The bell was ringing when the party from the boat went
up towards the edifice. On entering Rollo found that the room was very
small. At the upper end was a platform, with an altar and a crucifix at
the farther end of it. The altar had very tall candles upon it, and
several bouquets of flowers. The candles were lighted.

Below the platform, in the place where the congregation would usually
be, there were two rows of seats, like pews, with small benches before
each seat to kneel upon, and also a support to lean upon in time of
prayer. These seats were very few, and there were but few people sitting
on them. The people that were there seemed to be the servants of the
convent. Mr. George and Rollo, and the people that came with them, were
the only strangers. Rollo looked around for the nuns and for the girls
of the school, but they were nowhere to be seen.

As soon as Rollo had taken his seat, he observed that, though there was
no minister or priest at the altar, the service was going on. He could
hear a female voice, which appeared to issue from some place in a
gallery behind him, out of view, reading what seemed to be verses from
the Bible, in a very sweet and plaintive tone, and at the close of each
verse all the people in the congregation below would say something in a
responding voice together.

"Do you suppose that that is one of the nuns?" whispered Rollo to his
uncle.

"Yes," said Mr. George, "probably it is."

"This is a Catholic church, is it not?" asked Rollo.

"Yes," said Mr. George, "almost all the churches on the Rhine are
Catholic churches; and nunneries are _always_ Catholic."

Rollo said no more, but attended to the service.

There was nothing that was said or done that Rollo could at all
understand; and yet the scene itself was invested with a certain
solemnity which produced a strong and quite salutary impression on his
mind. By and by a priest, dressed in his pontifical robes, came in by a
side door, and taking his place before the altar, with an attendant
kneeling behind him, or by his side, went through a great number of
ceremonies, of which Rollo understood nothing from beginning to end. Mr.
George, however, explained the general nature of the performance to him
that afternoon when they were walking up the river to Remagen, in a
conversation which I shall relate in due time.

The service was concluded in about an hour, and then the congregation
was dismissed. All but the party that came in the boat went out by a
side door which led into the other apartments of the convent. The boat
party went down to the shore, and getting into the boat were rowed back
across the water.

After dinner, Mr. George and Rollo set out to walk up the river to
Remagen, in order to attend church there. It was during this walk that
they had the conversation I have referred to on the subject of the
service which they had witnessed in the little chapel at the nunnery.

"You must understand," said Mr. George, "that the nature and design of
the ceremonies of public worship in a Protestant and in a Catholic
church are essentially and totally distinct. The Protestants meet to
offer up their common prayers and supplications to God, and to listen to
the instructions which the minister gives them in respect to their
duties. The Catholics, on the other hand, meet to have a sacrifice
performed, as an atonement for their sins. The Protestants think that
all the atonement which is necessary for the sins of the whole world has
already been made by the sufferings and death of Christ. The Catholics
think that a new sacrifice must be made for them from time to time by
the priest; and they come together to kneel before the altar while he
makes it, in order that they may have a share in the benefits of it.
Thus the Protestant comes to church to hear something said; the Catholic
to witness something done. This is one reason, in fact, why the Catholic
churches may very properly be enormously large. The people who assemble
in them do not come to hear, so much as to see, or rather to be present
and know what is going on, and to take part in it in heart.

"The great thing that is done," continued Mr. George, "is the receiving
of the communion, that is, of the bread and wine of the Lord's supper,
which they suppose is renewing the sacrifice of Christ, for the benefit
of those who are present at the ceremony. Did you see the man who was
kneeling at the foot of the steps of the altar while the priest was
performing, and who brought two little silver vessels, out of which he
poured something into the priest's cup?"

"Yes," said Rollo. "The silver vessels were on a little shelf at first,
at the side of the altar, and he went at the proper time and kneeled
with them by the side of the priest, until the priest was ready to take
them."

"One of these vessels," continued Mr. George, "contained wine, the other
water. When the priest held his large silver cup out to him, the man
poured some of the wine into it."

"Yes," said Rollo. "And I saw the priest wiping out the cup very
carefully, with a large white napkin, before he held it out for the
wine."

"True," said Mr. George. "When he took the wine in his cup, it was
common wine, in its natural state; but afterwards, by being consecrated
to the service of the mass, it was changed, they all believe, into the
blood of Christ. It looked, they knew, just as it did before; but though
it thus still retained all the appearance of wine, they believe that it
became really and truly the blood of Christ, and that the priest in
drinking it would make a sacrifice of Christ anew for the salvation of
the souls of those who should witness and join in the ceremony.

"In the same manner a small round piece of bread, shaped like a large
wafer, when consecrated by the priest's prayers, becomes, they think,
really and truly the body of Christ; and the priest by eating it
performs a sacrifice, just as he does by drinking the wine. When he has
consecrated this wafer, he holds it up for a moment, that the people may
look upon it; and they, in looking upon it, think they see a portion of
the true body of Christ, which is about to be offered up by the priest
as a sacrifice for their sins."

"Yes," said Rollo, "I remember when he held up the wafer. I did not know
what it was."

"Did you not see that all the people bowed their heads just then,"
rejoined Mr. George, "and said something to themselves in a very
reverent manner."

"Yes," said Rollo, "but I did not understand what it meant."

"Thus you see," continued Mr. George, "that the essential thing at a
Catholic service like this, as they regard it, is the eating of the body
and the drinking of the blood of Jesus Christ, as a new sacrifice for
the sins of the people who are present and consenting in heart to the
ceremony. There are a great many subordinate operations and rites. The
assistant goes back and forth a great many times from one side of the
altar to the other, stopping to bow and kneel every time he passes the
crucifix. The priest makes a great deal of ceremony of wiping out the
cup before he receives the wine. Then there is a long service, which he
reads in a low voice, and there are many prayers which he offers, and he
turns to various passages of the Scriptures, and reads portions here and
there. The people do not hear any thing that he says and does, nor is it
necessary, according to their ideas of the service, that they should do
so; for they know very well that the priest is consecrating the bread or
the wine, and changing it into the body and the blood of Christ, in
order that it may be ready for the sacrifice. Then, when the wine is
changed, the priest drinks it in a very solemn manner, raising it to his
lips three several times, so as to take it in three portions. Then he
holds the cup out to his assistant again, who pours a little water into
it from his other vessel; and the priest then, after moving the cup
round and round, to be sure that the water mixes itself well with the
wine which was left on the inner service of the cup, drinks that too. He
does this in order to make sure that no portion of the precious blood
remains in the cup. He then wipes it out carefully with his napkin, and
puts it away."

"Yes," said Rollo, "I saw all those things. And after he had got
through, he covered the cup with a cloth, embroidered with gold, and
carried it away."

"And after that," continued Rollo, "the assistant, with an extinguisher
on the top of a tall pole, put out the candles, and then _he_ went
away."

"Yes," said Mr. George, and so the service was concluded.

"Thus you see," continued Mr. George, "that for all that the people come
for, to such a service as that, it was not necessary that they should
hear at all. There was not any thing to be _said to_ them. There was
only something to be _done for_ them; and so long as it was done, and
done properly, they standing by and consenting, it was not of much
consequence whether they could see and hear or not. So the priest turned
his face away from them towards the altar; and when he had any thing to
say, he spoke the words in a very low and inaudible voice."

"It is impossible," said Rollo, after a short pause, "that the wine
should become blood, and the wafer flesh, while they yet look just as
they did before."

[Illustration: THE EMIGRANTS.]

"True," said Mr. George, "it seems impossible to us, who hear of it for
the first time, after we have grown up to years of discretion; but that
does not prevent its being honestly believed by people that have been
taught to consider it true from their earliest infancy."

"Do you suppose the priests themselves believe it?" asked Rollo.

"Yes," said Mr. George, "a great many of them undoubtedly do. We find,
it is true, every where, that the most intelligent and well educated men
will continue, all their lives, to believe very strange things, provided
they were taught to believe them when they were very young; and
provided, also, that their worldly interests are in any way concerned in
their continuing to believe them."

Just at this time, Rollo's attention was attracted to what seemed to be
an encampment on the roadside at a little distance before them. It was a
family of emigrants that were going down the river, and had stopped to
rest. The horses had been unharnessed, and were eating, and the wagon
was surrounded with a family consisting of men, women, and children, who
were sitting on the bank taking their suppers. Rollo wished very much
that he understood German, so as to go and talk with them. But he did
not, and so he contented himself with wishing them _guten abend_, which
means good evening, as he went by.

He went on after this, without any farther adventure, to the village,
and after attending church there, he returned with his uncle down along
the bank of the river to the hotel.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER IX.

EHRENBREITSTEIN.


The people of the Rhine have not allowed all the old castles to go to
ruin. Some have been carefully preserved from age to age, and never
allowed to go out of repair. Others that had gone to decay, or had been
destroyed in the wars, have been repaired and rebuilt in modern times,
and are now in better condition than ever.

Some of the strongholds that have thus been restored are now great
fortresses, held by the governors of the states and kingdoms that border
on the river; others of them are fitted up as summer residences for the
persons, whether princes or private people, that happen to own them.
About midway between the beginning and the end of the mountainous region
of the Rhine is a place where there are two very important works of this
kind. One of them is far the largest and most important of all on the
river. This is the Castle of Ehrenbreitstein. Ehrenbreitstein is not
only a very strong and important fortification, but it guards a very
important point.

This point is the place where the River Moselle, one of the principal
branches of the Rhine, comes in. The valley of the Moselle is a very
rich and fertile one, and in proportion to its extent is almost as
valuable as that of the Rhine. The junction of the two rivers is the
place for defending both of these valleys, and has consequently, in all
ages of the world, been a very important post. The Romans built a town
here, in the days of Julius Cæsar, and the town has continued to the
present day. It is called Coblenz. The Romans named it originally
_Confluentes_, which means the _confluence_; and this name, in the
course of ages, has gradually become changed to Coblenz.

Coblenz is built on a three-cornered piece of flat land, exactly on the
point where the two rivers come together. There is a bridge over the
mouth of the Moselle where it comes into the Rhine, and another over the
Rhine itself. The bridge over the Moselle is of stone, and was built a
great many hundred years ago. That over the Rhine is what is called a
bridge of boats.

A row of large and solid boats is anchored in the river, side by side,
with their heads up the stream, and then the bridge is made by a
platform which extends across from boat to boat, across the whole
breadth of the stream.

Near the Coblenz side of the bridge there are two or three lengths of it
which can be taken out when necessary, in order to let the steamers, or
rafts, or tow boats, that may be coming up or down the river, pass
through. Rollo was very much interested, while he remained at Coblenz,
in looking out from the windows of his hotel, which faced the river, and
seeing them open this bridge, to let the steamers and vessels pass
through. A length of the bridge, consisting sometimes of _two_ boats
with the platform over it, and sometimes of _three_, would separate from
the others, and float down the stream until it cleared itself from the
rest of the bridge, and then would move by some mysterious means to one
side, and so make an opening. Then, when the steamer, or whatever else
it was, had passed through, the detached portion of the bridge would
come back again slowly and carefully to its place.

Of course all the travel on the bridge would be interrupted during this
operation; but as soon as the connection was again restored, the streams
of people would immediately begin to move again over the bridge, as
before.

Across the bridge, on the heights upon the other side, Rollo could see
the great Castle of Ehrenbreitstein, together with an innumerable
multitude of walls, parapets, bastions, towers, battlements, and other
constructions pertaining to such a work.

One day Mr. George and Rollo went over to see this fortress. They were
stopped a few minutes at the bridge, by a steamer going through. There
was a large company of soldiers stopped too, part of the garrison of
Ehrenbreitstein that had been over to attend a parade on the public
square at Coblenz, and were now going home, so that Rollo was not sorry
for the detention, as it gave him a fine opportunity to see the
soldiers, and to examine the Prussian uniform. It consisted of a blue
frock coat and white trousers, with an elegant brass-mounted helmet for
a cap.

The way up to the castle was by a long and winding road, built up
artificially on arches of solid masonry. This road was every where
overlooked by walls, with portholes and embrasures for cannon, and all
along it, at short distances, were immense gateways exceedingly massive
and strong, which could all be shut in time of siege. When Mr. George
and Rollo reached the top of the castle, they found a great esplanade
there, surrounded with buildings for barracks, and for the storing of
arms and provisions. The view from this esplanade was magnificent
beyond description. You could see far up and down the River Rhine, and
far _up_ the Moselle, while all Coblenz, and the two bridges, and the
town below the castle, and three other immense forts that stood on the
other side of the river, were directly beneath.

Rollo went into some of the barracks, and also up to the top of the
buildings. The buildings were all arched over above, and covered with
earth ten feet deep, with grass growing on the top. The men were mowing
this grass when Mr. George and Rollo were there. The object of this
earth on the roofs of the buildings is to prevent the bombshells of the
enemy from breaking down through the roofs and killing the men.

On the afternoon of the same day that Mr. George and Rollo visited
Ehrenbreitstein, they went up the river a few miles in a boat to see a
smaller castle, which has been repaired and changed into a private
residence. The name of it is Stoltzenfels. They rode up the mountain
that this castle was built upon on donkeys. The road was very good, but
the place was so steep that it was necessary to make it twist and turn,
in winding its way up, in the most extraordinary manner. In one place it
actually went over itself by an arched bridge thrown across the ravine.
In fact, this path was just like a corkscrew.

Rollo was exceedingly delighted with the castle of Stoltzenfels. A man
who was there conducted him and his uncle, together with a small company
of other visitors who arrived at the same time, all over it. It would be
impossible to describe it, there were so many curious courts, and
towers, and winding passage ways, and little gardens, and terraces, all
built in a sort of nest among the rocks, of the most irregular and
wildest character.

The rooms were all beautifully finished and furnished, and they were
full of old relics of feudal times. The floors were of polished oak, and
the visitors, when walking over them, wore over their boots and shoes
great slippers made of felt, which were provided there for the purpose.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER X.

ROLLO'S LETTER.


At one place where Mr. George and Rollo stopped to spend a night, Rollo
wrote a letter to Jenny. It was as follows:--

                                           ST. GOAR ON THE RHINE.}
                                                _Friday Evening._}

DEAR JENNY: We have got into a very lonely place. I did not know there
was such a lonely place on the Rhine. The name of it is St. Goar; but
they pronounce it St. _Gwar_. The river is shut in closely by the
mountains on both sides, and also above and below; so that it seems as
if we were in a very deep valley, with a pond of water in the bottom of
it.

Away across the river is a long row of white houses, crowded in between
the edge of the water and the mountain. On the mountain above is an old
ruined castle, called the Cat. There is another old ruin a few miles
below, called the Mouse. I can see both of these ruins from my windows.

There is a little town on this side of the village too. We went out this
morning to see it. It is very small, and the streets are very narrow. We
came to the queerest old church you ever saw. It was all entangled up
with other buildings, and there were so many arches, and flights of
steps, and various courts all around it, that it was a long time before
we could find out where the door was.

While we were looking about, a little girl came up and asked us
something. We supposed she asked us whether we wished to see the church;
so we said _Ja_, and then she ran away. Presently we saw a boy coming
along, and he asked us something, and we said _Ja_; and then _he_ ran
away. We did not know what they meant by going away; but the fact was,
they went to find some men who kept the keys. It seems there are two men
who keep keys, and the girl went for one and the boy for the other; and
so, after we had waited about five minutes under an arch which led to an
old door, _two_ men came with keys to let us in. Uncle George paid them
both, because he said the second man that came looked disappointed. He
paid the girl and the boy too; so he had four persons to pay; and when
we got in, we found that it was nothing but a Protestant church, after
all. I like the Catholic churches the best. They are a great deal the
funniest.

We went to see the Catholic church afterwards. There was a monstrous old
gallery all on one side of the church, and none on the other. Then there
was an organ away up in a loft, and all sorts of old images and statues.
I never saw such an old looking place.

As we walked along the streets, or rather the pathways between the
houses, we could see the rocks and mountains away up over our heads,
almost hanging over the town. They are very pretty rocks, being all
green, with grapevines and bushes.

Close by the town too, up a long and very steep path, is a monstrous old
ruin. The name of it is Rheinfels. I can see it from the balcony of my
windows. Besides, uncle George and I went up to it this afternoon. It is
nothing but old walls, and arches, and dark dungeons, all tumbling down.
There was a little fence and a gate across the entrance, and the gate
was locked. But there was a man who asked us something in German; but we
could see it all just as well without going in; so we said _Nein_, which
means no.

They say that a great many years ago the French took this castle, and
then, to prevent its doing the enemy any good forever afterwards, they
put a great deal of gunpowder into the cellars, and blew it up. I did
not care much about the old ruins, but I should have liked very well to
have seen them blow it up.

The waiter has just come to call us to go out and hear the echo, and so
I must go. I will tell you about it afterwards.

The man played on a trumpet down on the bank of the river, and we could
hear the echo from the rocks and mountains on the other side. He also
fired a gun two or three times. After the gun was fired, for a few
minutes all was still; but then there came back a sharp crack from the
other shore, and then a long, rumbling sound from up the river and down
the river, like a peal of distant thunder.

It is a gloomy place here after all, and I shall be glad when I get out
of it; for the river is down in the bottom of such a deep gorge, that we
cannot see out any where. There are some old castles about on the hills,
and they look pretty enough at a distance; but when you get near them
they are nothing but old walls all tumbling down. The vineyards are not
pretty either. They are all on terraces kept up by long stone walls; and
when you are down on the river, and look up to them, you cannot see any
thing but the walls, with the edge of the vineyards, like a little
green fringe, along on the top. But there is no great loss in this, for
the vineyards are not pretty when you can see them. They look just like
fields full of beans growing on short poles.

I shall be glad when we get out of this place; but uncle George says he
is going to stay here all day to-morrow, to write letters and to bring
up his journal. But never mind; I can have a pretty good time sitting on
the steps that go down to the water, and seeing the vessels, and
steamboats, and rafts go by.

                           Your affectionate cousin,
                                                 ROLLO.

P.S. The Cat and the Mouse used to fight each other in old times, and
the Mouse used to beat. Was not that funny?

[Illustration]



CHAPTER XI.

THE RAFT.


The morning after Rollo had finished the letter to Jenny, as recorded in
the last chapter, his uncle George told him at breakfast time that he
might amuse himself that day in any way he pleased.

"I shall be busy writing," said Mr. George, "nearly all the morning. It
is such a still and quiet place here that I think I had better stay and
finish up my writing. Besides, it must be an economical place, I think,
and we can stay here a day cheaper than we can farther up the river, at
the large towns."

"Shall we come to the large towns soon?" asked Rollo.

"Yes," replied his uncle. "This deep gorge only continues fifteen or
twenty miles farther, and then we come out into open country, and to the
region of large towns. You see there is no occasion for any other towns
in this part of the Rhine than villages of vinedressers, except here
and there a little city where a branch river comes in."

"Well," said Rollo, "I shall be glad when we get out. But I will go down
to the shore, and play about there for a while."

Accordingly, as soon as Rollo had finished his breakfast, he went down
to the shore.

The hotel faced the river, though there was a road outside of it,
between it and the water. From the outer edge of the road there was a
steep slope, leading down to the water's edge. This slope was paved with
stones, to prevent the earth from being washed away by the water in
times of flood. Here and there along this slope were steps leading down
to the water. At the foot of these steps were boats, and opposite to
them, in the road, there were boatmen standing in groups here and there,
ready to take any body across the river that wished to go.

Rollo went down to the shore, and took his seat on the upper step of one
of the stairways, and began to look about him over the water. There were
two other boys sitting near by; but Rollo could not talk to them, for
they knew only German.

Presently one of the boatmen came up to him, and pointing to a boat,
asked him a question. Rollo did not understand what the man said, but
he supposed that he was asking him if he did not wish for a boat. So
Rollo said _Nein_, and the man went away.

There was a village across the river, in full view from where Rollo sat.
This village consisted of a row of white stone houses facing the river,
and extending along the margin of it, at the foot of the mountains.
There seemed to be just room for them between the mountains and the
shore. Among the houses was to be seen, here and there, the spire of an
antique church, or an old tower, or a ruined wall. After sitting quietly
on the steps until he had seen two steamers go down, and a fleet of
canal boats from Holland towed up, Rollo took it into his head that it
might be a good plan for him to go across the river. So he went in to
ask his uncle George if he thought it would be safe for him to go.

"You will take a boatman?" said Mr. George.

"Yes," said Rollo.

"And how long shall you wish to be gone?"

"About an hour," said Rollo.

"Very well," said Mr. George, "you may go."

So Rollo went down to the shore again, and as he now began to look at
the boats as if he wished to get into one of them, a man came to him
again, and asked him the same question. Rollo said _Ja_. So the man went
down to his boat, and drew it up to the lowest step of the stairs where
Rollo was standing. Rollo got in, and taking his seat, pointed over to
the other side of the river. The man then pushed off. The current was,
however, very swift, and so the boatman poled the boat far up the stream
before he would venture to put out into it; and then he was carried down
a great way in going across.

When they reached the landing on the opposite shore, Rollo asked the
man, "How much?" He knew what the German was for how much. The man said,
"Two groschen." So Rollo took the two groschen from his pocket and paid
him. Two groschen are about five cents.

Rollo walked about in the village where he had landed for nearly half an
hour; and then, taking another boat on that side, he returned as he had
come. On his way back he saw a great raft coming down. He immediately
conceived the idea of taking a little sail on that raft, down the river.
He wanted to see "how it would seem" to be on such an immense raft, and
how the men managed it. So he went in to propose the plan to his uncle
George. He said that he should like to go down the river a little way on
the raft, and then walk back.

"Yes," said Mr. George, "or you might come up in the next steamer."

"So I might," said Rollo.

"I have no objection," said Mr. George.

"How far down may I go?" said Rollo.

"Why, you had better not go more than ten or fifteen miles," said Mr.
George, "for the raft goes slowly,--probably not more than two or three
miles an hour,--and it would take you four or five hours, perhaps, to go
down ten miles. You would, however, come back quick in the steamer. Go
down stairs and consider the subject carefully, and form your plan
complete. Consider how you will manage to get on board the raft, and to
get off again; and where you will stop to take the steamer, and when you
will get home; and when you have planned it all completely, come to me
again."

So Rollo went down, and after making various inquiries and calculations,
he returned in about ten minutes to Mr. George, with the following plan.

"The waiter tells me," said he, "that the captain of the raft will take
me down as far as I want to go, and set me ashore any where, in his
boat, for two or three groschen, and that one of the boatmen here will
take me out to the raft, when she comes by, for two groschen. A good
place for me to stop would be Boppard, which is about ten or twelve
miles below here. The raft will get there about two o'clock. Then there
will be a steamer coming along by there at three, which will bring up
here at four, just about dinner time. The waiter says that he will go
out with me to the raft, and explain it all to the captain, because the
captain would not understand me, as he only knows German."

"Very well," said Mr. George. "That's a very good plan. Only I advise
you to make a bargain with the captain to put you ashore any where you
like. Because you know you may get tired before you have gone so far as
ten miles.

"In fact," continued Mr. George, "I would not say any thing about the
distance that you wish to go to the captain. Just make a bargain with
him to let you go aboard his raft for a little while, and to send you
ashore whenever you wish to go."

"Yes," said Rollo, "I will; that will be the best plan. But I am sure
that I shall want to go as far as ten miles."

So Rollo went to his trunk, and began to unlock it in a hurried manner;
and when he had opened it, he put his hand down into it at the left hand
corner, on the front side, which was the place where he always kept his
fishing line.

"What are you looking for?" said Mr. George.

"My fishing line," replied Rollo; "is not that a good plan?"

"Yes," said Mr. George, "an excellent plan."

Rollo had no very definite idea of being able to fish while on the raft,
but there was a sort of instinct which prompted him always to take his
fishing line whenever he went on any excursion whatever that was
connected with the water. Mr. George had a pretty definite idea that he
would _not_ be able to fish; but still he thought it a good plan for
Rollo to take the line, for he observed that to have a fishing line in
his pocket, on such occasions, was always a source of pleasure to a boy,
even if he did not use it at all.

Rollo, having found his fishing line, shut and locked his trunk, and ran
down stairs.

As soon as he had gone, Mr. George rose and rang the bell.

Very soon the waiter came to the door.

"This young gentleman who is with me," said Mr. George, "wishes to go on
board this raft, and sail down the river a little way."

"Yes, sir," said the waiter. "Rudolf is arranging it for him."

"Very well," said Mr. George. "And now I wish to have you send a
commissioner secretly to accompany him. The commissioner is to remain on
the raft as long as Rollo does, and leave it when he leaves it, and
keep in sight of him all the time till he gets home, so as to see that
he does not get into any difficulty."

"Yes, sir," said the waiter.

"But let the commissioner understand that he is not to let Rollo know
any thing about his having any charge over him, nor to communicate with
him in any way, unless some emergency should arise requiring him to
interpose."

"Yes, sir," said the waiter, "I will explain it to him."

"And choose a good-natured and careful man to send," continued Mr.
George; "one that speaks French."

"Yes, sir," replied the waiter; and so saying, he disappeared, leaving
Mr. George to go on with his writing.

In the mean time Rollo had gone down to the shore with the waiter
Rudolf, and was standing there near a boat which was drawn up at the
foot of the landing stairs, watching the raft, which was now getting
pretty near. There was a great company of men at each end of the raft.
Rollo could see those at the lowest end the plainest. They were standing
in rows near the end of the raft, and every six of them had an oar.
There were eight or ten of these oars, all projecting forward, from the
front end of the raft, and the raftsmen, by working them, seemed to be
endeavoring to row that end of the raft out farther into the stream. It
was the same at the farther end of the raft. There was a similar number
of oarsmen there, and of oars, only those projected behind, just as the
others did before. There were no oars at all along the sides of the
raft.

The fact is, that these monstrous rafts are always allowed to float down
by the current, the men not attempting to hasten them on their way by
rowing. All that they attempt to do by their labor is to keep the
immense and unwieldy mass in the middle of the stream. Thus they only
need oars at the two ends, and the working of them only tends to row the
raft sidewise, as it were. Sometimes they have to row the ends from left
to right, and sometimes from right to left, according as the current
tends to drift the raft towards the left or the right bank of the river.

Rollo did not understand this at first, and accordingly, when he first
saw these rafts coming with a dense crowd of men at each end, rowing
vigorously, while there was not a single oar to be seen, nor even any
place for an oar along the sides, he was very much surprised at the
spectacle. He thought that the men at the back end of the raft were
sculling; but what those at the forward end were doing he could not
imagine. When, however, he came to consider the case, he saw what the
explanation must be, and so he understood the subject perfectly.

At length, when Rollo saw that the forward end of the raft, in its
progress down the river, had come nearly opposite to the place where he
was standing, he got into the boat, and the boatman rowed him out to the
raft. As soon as they reached the raft Rollo stepped out upon the boards
and logs. The top of the raft made a very good and smooth floor, being
covered with boards, and it was high and dry above the water. Rollo
looked down into the interstices, and saw that that part of the raft
which was under water was formed of logs and timbers of very large size,
placed close together side by side, with a layer above crossing the
layer below. The whole was then covered with a flooring of boards, so
close and continuous that Rollo had to look for some time before he
could find any openings where he could look down and see how the raft
was constructed.

In the middle of the raft were several houses. The houses were made of
boards, and were of the plainest and simplest construction. Around the
doors of these houses several women were sitting wherever they could
find shady places. Some were knitting and some were sewing. There were
several children there too, amusing themselves in various ways. One was
skipping a rope. Rudolf conducted Rollo up to one of these families, and
told the women that he was an American boy, who was travelling with his
uncle on the Rhine, and seeing this raft going by, had a curiosity to
come on board of it. The women looked very much pleased when they heard
this. Some of them had friends in America, and others were thinking of
going themselves with their husbands; and they immediately began to talk
very volubly to Rollo, and to ask him questions. But as they spoke
German, Rollo could not understand what they said.

In the mean time the waiter had gone away to speak to the captain of the
raft, and to make arrangements for having Rollo put ashore when he had
sailed long enough upon it. The captain was walking to and fro, upon a
raised platform, near the middle of the raft. This platform I will
describe presently. In a few minutes the man returned.

"The captain gives you a good welcome," said he, "and says he wishes he
could talk English, for he wants to ask you a great many questions about
America. He says you may stay on the raft as long as you please, and
when you wish to go ashore, you have only to go and get on board one of
the boats, and that will be a signal. He will soon see you there, and
will send a man to row you to the shore."

Rollo liked this plan very much. So Rudolf, having arranged every thing,
wished Rollo a "good voyage," and went off in the boat as he came.

Thus Rollo was left alone, as it were, upon the raft; and for a moment
he felt a little appalled at the idea of going down through such a dark
and gloomy gorge as the bed of the river here presented to view, on such
a strange conveyance, and surrounded with so wild and savage a horde of
men as the raftsmen were,--especially since, as he supposed, there was
not a human being on board with whom he could exchange a word of
conversation. It is true the commissioner whom his uncle George had sent
was on the raft. He had come out in the same boat with Rollo, and had
remained when the boat went back to the shore. But Rollo had not noticed
him particularly. He observed, it is true, that two men came with him to
the raft, and that only one returned; but he thought it probable that
the other might be going down the river a little way, or perhaps that he
belonged to the raft. He had not the least idea that the man had come to
take charge of _him_, and so he felt as if he were entirely alone in
the new and strange scene to which he found himself so suddenly
transferred.

There were, however, so many things to attract his attention that at
first he had no time to think much of his loneliness. There was a fire
burning at a certain part of the raft, not far from the door of one of
the houses, and he went to see it. As soon as he reached it, the mystery
in respect to the means of having a fire on such a structure, without
setting the boards and timbers on fire, was at once solved. Rollo found
that the fire was built upon a hearth of _sand_. There was a large box,
about four feet square and a foot deep, which box was filled with sand,
and the fire was built in the middle of it. It seemed to Rollo that this
was a very easy way to make a fireplace, especially as the sand seemed
to be of a very common kind, such as the raftsmen had probably shovelled
up somewhere on the shore of the river.

"The very next time I build a raft," said Rollo, "I will have a fire on
it in exactly that way."

There was a sort of barricade or screen built up on two sides of this
fire, to keep the wind from blowing the flame and the heat away from the
kettle that was hung over it. This screen was made of short boards,
nailed to three posts, that were placed in such a manner as to make,
when the boards were nailed to them, two short fences, at right angles
to each other, or like two sides of a high box. The corner of this
screen was turned towards the wind, and thus the fire was sheltered. A
pole passed across from one of the posts to the other, and the kettle
was hung upon the pole.

After examining this fireplace Rollo went to look at the platform where
the captain had his station. This platform was about six feet high and
ten feet long; and it was just wide enough for the captain to walk to
and fro upon it. There was a flight of steps leading up to this platform
from the floor of the raft, and a little railing on each side of it, to
keep the captain from falling off while he was walking there.

The object of having this platform raised in this way, was to give the
captain a more commanding position, so as not only to enable him to
survey the whole of the raft, and observe how every thing was going on
upon it, but also to give him a good view of the river below, so that he
might watch the currents, and see how the raft was drifting, and give
the necessary orders for working it one way or the other, as might be
required in order to keep it in the middle of the stream.

Then Rollo went to the forward end of the raft to see the raftsmen row.
The oars were of monstrous size, as you might well suppose to be the
case from the fact that each of them required six men to work it. These
six men all stood in a row along the handle of the oar, which seemed to
be as large as a small mast. They all pressed down upon the handle of
the oar so as to raise the blade out of the water, and then walked along
over the floor of the raft quite a considerable distance. At last they
stopped, and lifting up their hands, they allowed the blade of the oar
to go down into the water. Then they turned, and began to push the oar
with their hands the other way. The outside men had to reach up very
high, for as the oar was very long, and the blade was now necessarily in
the water, the end of the handle was raised quite high in the air. The
men, accordingly, that were nearest the end of the oar, were obliged to
hold their hands up high, in order to reach it; and they all walked
along very deliberately, like a platoon of soldiers, pushing the oar
before them as they advanced. And as each of the other six oars had a
similar platoon marching with it to and fro, and as all acted in
concert, and kept time with each other in their motions, the whole
operation had quite the appearance of a military manoeuvre. Rollo
watched it for some time with great satisfaction.

After this Rollo walked up and down the raft two or three times, and
then his attention was attracted by a steamer going by. The steamer cut
her way through the water with great speed, and the waves made by her
paddle wheels dashed up against the margin of the raft as if it had been
along shore.

There was a great number of tourists on board the steamer. Rollo could
see them very distinctly sitting under the awning on the deck. Some were
standing by the railing and examining the raft by means of their spy
glasses or opera glasses. Others were seated at tables, eating late
breakfasts, in little parties by themselves. The boat glided by very
swiftly, however, and soon Rollo could see nothing of her but the stern,
and the foaming wake which her paddle wheels left behind them in the
water.

As soon as the steamboat had gone by, Rollo began to feel a slight sense
of loneliness on the raft, which feeling was increased by the sombre
aspect of the scenery around him. The river was closely shut in by
mountains on both sides, and between them the raft seemed to be drifting
slowly down into a dark and gloomy gorge, which, though it might have
seemed simply sublime to a pleasant party viewing it together from the
cheerful deck of a steamer, or from a comfortable carriage on the banks,
was well fitted to awaken an emotion of awe and terror in the mind of a
boy like Rollo, floating down into it helplessly on an enormous raft,
with a hundred men, looking more like brigands than any thing else,
marching solemnly to and fro at either end of it, working prodigious
oars, with incessant toil, to prevent its being carried upon the rocks
and dashed to pieces. In fact, Rollo began soon to wish that he was safe
on shore again.

"I am very thankful," said he to himself, "that I made a bargain with
the captain to put me ashore whenever I wished to go. I don't believe
that I shall wish to go more than half way to Boppard."

So saying, Rollo looked anxiously down the river. The mountains looked
more and more dark and gloomy, and they appeared to shut in before him
in such a manner that he could not see how it could be possible for such
an immense raft to twist its way through between them.

"I don't believe I shall wish to go more than a quarter of the way to
Boppard," said he.

Two or three minutes afterwards, on looking back, he saw the town of St.
Goar, where he had embarked, gradually disappearing behind a wooded
promontory which was slowly coming in the way, and cutting it off from
view.

[Illustration: ROLLO ON THE RAFT.]

"In fact," said Rollo to himself, "since I am not going all the way to
Boppard, I had better not go much farther; for I shall have to walk
back, as the steamer does not stop this side of Boppard. Besides, I have
seen all that there is on the raft already, and there is no use in
staying on it any longer."

So he concluded to go at once to the boat, according to the arrangement
which he had made with the captain. He was afraid that he might have to
wait some time before the captain would see him; but he did not. The
captain saw him immediately, and sent a man to row him ashore. _Two_ men
came, in fact, the commissioner being one of them. But Rollo did not pay
any particular attention to this circumstance. He did not even observe
that it was the same man that had come on board with him. Rollo could
not talk to the oarsman on the way, but on landing he gave him a little
money,--about what he thought was proper,--and then went up into the
road with a view to go home. The commissioner, in order not to awaken
any suspicions in Rollo's mind that he was following him, turned away as
soon as he landed, and walked along the tow path down the stream.

Rollo went slowly home. He had not been more than half an hour on the
raft, and had not gone down the stream more than a mile; so that in
three quarters of an hour after he had left his uncle at the hotel he
found himself drawing near to it again, on his return.

He felt a little ashamed to get back so soon. So he thought that he
would not go in at once and report himself to his uncle, but would go
down on the bank of the river, and see if he could find a place to fish
a little while, until some little time should have elapsed, so as to
give to the period of his absence a tolerably respectable duration.
"Uncle George will laugh at me," said he to himself, "if he sees me come
home so soon."

So Rollo went down to the quay, and taking out his fishing line, he
began to make arrangements for fishing. He did not, however, feel quite
at his ease. There seemed to be something a little like artifice in thus
prolonging his absence in order to make his uncle think that he had gone
farther down the river than he had been. It was not being quite honest,
he thought.

"After all," said he to himself, "I'll go and tell uncle George now. I
shall have a better time fishing if I do. If he chooses to laugh at me,
he may. If he is going to do it, I should like to have it over."

So he went into the hotel, and advanced somewhat timidly to the door of
the room where he had left his uncle writing. He opened the door, and
looking in, said,--

"Uncle George! I've got back."

Mr. George did not seem at all surprised, but looking up a moment from
his writing, he smiled, and said,--

"Ah! I'm glad to see you safe back again. It is rather lonesome here
without you. Did you have a pleasant voyage?"

"Yes," said Rollo, "very pleasant. Only I did not go very far. I got
them to put me ashore about a mile below here."

"That was right," said Mr. George. "You did exactly as I should have
done myself. In fact you can see all you wish to see on such a raft in
half an hour."

"Yes," said Rollo, "I found that I could."

"And I am very glad that you came to tell me," said Mr. George, "as soon
as you came home."

So Rollo, quite relieved in mind, went down stairs again, and returning
to the quay, he resumed his fishing.



CHAPTER XII.

DINNER.


About half past three o'clock Rollo went up to his uncle's room.

"Uncle George," said he, "have not you got almost through with your
writing?"

"Why," said Mr. George, "are you tired of staying here?"

"Yes," said Rollo, "I am tired of being down in the bottom of such a
deep valley. I wish you would put away your writing and go on up the
river till we get out where we can see, and then you may write as much
as you please."

"Do you wish to go up the river to-night?" asked Mr. George.

"Yes," said Rollo, "very much."

Mr. George took out his watch.

"Go down and ask the waiter when the next steamer comes along."

Rollo went down, and presently returned with the report that the next
steamer came by at five o'clock.

"There is a place up the river about two hours' sail, called Bingen,"
said Mr. George, "where the mountains end. Above that the country is
open and level, and the river wide. We might go up there, I suppose; but
what should we do for dinner?"

"We might have dinner on board the steamer," said Rollo.

"Very well," said Mr. George; "that's what we will do. You may go and
tell the waiter to bring me the bill, and then be ready at half past
four. That will give me an hour more to write."

At half past four Rollo came to tell Mr. George that the steamer was
coming. The trunk had been previously carried down and put on board a
small boat, for this was one of the places where the steamers were not
accustomed to come up to a pier, but received and landed passengers by
means of small boats that went out to meet them in the middle of the
river. Such a boat was now ready at the foot of the landing stairs, and
Mr. George and Rollo got into it.

The boatman waited until the steamer came pretty near, and then he rowed
out to meet it. He stopped rowing when the boat was opposite to the
paddle wheel of the steamer, and the steamer stopped her engine at the
same time. A man who stood on the paddle box threw a rope to the boat,
and the boatman made this rope fast to a belaying pin that was set for
the purpose near the bow of the boat. By means of this rope the boat was
then drawn rapidly up alongside the steamer, at a place directly aft the
paddle wheel, where there was a little stairway above, and a small
platform below, both of which, when not in use, were drawn up out of the
way, but which were always let down when passengers were to come on
board. As soon as the boat came alongside this apparatus, Rollo and Mr.
George stepped out upon the platform, and went up the little stairway,
the hands on board the steamer standing there to help them. In a moment
more the trunk was passed up, the boat was pushed off, and the paddle
wheels of the steamer were put in motion; and thus, almost before Rollo
had time to think what was going on, he found himself comfortably seated
on a camp stool under the awning, by the side of Mr. George, on the
quarter deck of the steamer, and sailing swiftly along on his voyage up
the river.

"What sudden transitions we pass through," said, Mr. George, "in
travelling on the Rhine!"

"Yes," said Rollo, "it seems scarcely five minutes ago that I was
sitting, all by myself, on the bank of a lonesome river, fishing; and
now I am on board a steamer, with all this company, and dashing away
through the water at a great rate."

"True," said Mr. George; "and how quickly we came on board! One minute
we are creeping along slowly over the water in a little boat, and the
next, as if by some sort of magic, we find ourselves on the deck of the
steamer, with the boat drifting away astern."

"How high the mountains are," said Rollo, "along the shores here! Do the
mountains end at Bingen?"

"Yes," said Mr. George, "at Bingen, or soon after that. There the
country opens, and the banks of the river become level and flat. The
river widens, and there are a great many islands in it. There we come to
railroads again too, for where the land is level they can make railroads
very easily. It would be very difficult to make a railroad here, though
I believe they are going to do it."

"I should think it would be difficult," said Rollo. "But now, uncle
George, about our dinner."

"Very well," said Mr. George, "about the dinner." So the two travellers
held a consultation on this subject, and concluded what to have. A few
minutes afterwards a waiter came by, carrying a large salver, with some
coffee and bread and butter upon it, for a gentleman on the deck. Mr.
George beckoned to this waiter, and when he came to him, he ordered the
dinner that he and Rollo had agreed upon. It consisted of sausages for
Rollo, a beefsteak for Mr. George, and fried potatoes for both. After
that they were to have an omelet and some coffee. The coffee on board
the Rhine steamers, being made with very rich and pure milk, is
delicious.

The waiter brought up a small square table to the part of the deck where
Mr. George and Rollo were sitting, which was under the shady side of the
awning, and set it for their dinner. In about twenty minutes the dinner
was ready. The table itself was as neat and nice as possible, and the
dishes which had been ordered were prepared in the most perfect manner.
I need not add, I suppose, that Mr. George and Rollo--it being now so
late--were provided with excellent appetites. So they had a very good
time eating their dinner. While they were eating it they could watch the
changes in the scenery of the banks, as they glided swiftly along, and
observe the steamers, tow boats, and other river craft, that passed them
from time to time.

While they were at dinner, Rollo asked Mr. George about the rafts, and
where the timber that they were made of came from.

[Illustration: DINNER ON THE RHINE.]

"Why, you see," said Mr. George, "the River Rhine, in the upper portions
of it, has a great many branches which come down from among the
mountains, where nothing will grow well but timber. So they reserve
these places for forests, and as fast as the timber gets grown, they cut
it down, and slide it down the slopes to the nearest stream, and then
float it along till they come to great streams; and there they form it
into rafts, and send it down the river to Holland and Belgium, where
timber does not grow."

"Would not timber grow in Belgium and Holland?" asked Rollo.

"Yes," said Mr. George, "it would grow very well, but the land is too
valuable to appropriate it to such a purpose. The whole country below
Cologne, where we came to the river, is smooth and level, and free from
stones, so that it is easily ploughed and tilled; and thus grain, and
flax, and other very valuable crops can be raised upon it. They raise a
few trees in that part of the country, but not many."

"I never heard of raising trees before," said Rollo, "except apple
trees, or something like that."

"True," said Mr. George, "because in America, as that is a new country,
there is an abundance of native forests, where the trees grow wild. But
you must remember that every foot of land in Europe has been in the
possession of man, and occupied by him, for two thousand years. There
is not a field or a hill, or even a rocky steep on the mountain side,
which has not had sixty or seventy generations of owners, who have all
been watching it, and taking care of it, and improving it more or less
all that time; each one carefully considering what his land can produce
most profitably, and taking care of it and managing it especially with
reference to that production. If his land is smooth and level, he
ploughs it, and cultivates it for grass, or grain, or other plants
requiring special tillage. If it is in steep slopes, with a warm
exposure, he terraces it up, and makes vineyards of it. If it is in
steep slopes, with a cold exposure, then it will do for timber, provided
there are streams near it, so that he can float the timber away. If
there are no streams near it, he can use it as pasture ground for sheep
or cattle; for the wool, or the butter and cheese, which he obtains from
this kind of farming, can be transported without streams; or, at least,
such commodities will bear transporting farther before coming to a
stream than wood or timber. Thus, you see, whatever the land is fit for,
it has been appropriated to for a great many centuries; and it has all
been cropped over and over again, even where the crop is a forest of
trees. If we allow the trees even a hundred years to grow, before they
are large enough to cut, that would give, in two thousand years, time
to cut them off and let them grow up again twenty times."

"Here comes a steamer," said Rollo.

Just then the bow of a steamer came shooting into view, down the river.
On the forward part of the deck were several soldiers and laborers, with
women and children that looked like emigrants, and also a huge pile of
trunks and merchandise covered with a tarpauling. Then came the paddle
wheels, and then the quarter deck, with a large company of tourists,
most of whom were looking about very eagerly at the scenery, with guide
books and glasses in their hands. These were tourists that had been
travelling in Switzerland, and were coming home by way of the Rhine; and
as they were now just entering the part of the river where the grand and
imposing scenery was to be seen,--though Mr. George and Rollo were just
leaving it,--they were full of wonder and admiration at the various
objects which appeared around them on every side. Rollo had but a very
brief opportunity to look at these strangers, for the steamer which
conveyed them passed by very swiftly, and in a moment they were gone.

"How swift!" said Rollo.

"Yes," said Mr. George, "they go down the stream much faster than they
go up; for in going down they have the current to help them, but we have
it to hinder us in going up."

"And does it help just as much as it hinders?" asked Rollo.

"Yes," said Mr. George, "for any given time. If the current flows two
miles an hour, it will carry forward a boat that is going _with_ it just
two miles faster than it would go in still water. And if the boat is
going _against_ it, it will go just two miles an hour slower.

"Thus, you see," continued Mr. George, "if a steamer had an engine
capable of driving her twelve miles an hour through the water, in
navigating a stream that flows _two_ miles an hour, she would go
_fourteen_ miles an hour in going down, and _ten_ miles an hour in going
up."

"Then," said Rollo, "it seems that the _help_ of a current is just as
much as the _hinderance_ of it, and that a river running fast is just as
good for navigation as if the water were still. Because, you see," he
added, "that though they lose some headway in going up, they gain it
just the same in coming down."

"That reasoning seems plausible," replied Mr. George, "but it is not
sound."

"What do you mean by _plausible_?" asked Rollo.

"Why, it _appears_ to be good, when it really is not so. Reasoning very
often appears to be good, while there is all the time some latent flaw
in it which makes the conclusion wrong. Very often something is left out
of the account which ought to be taken in and calculated for, and that
is the case here. The truth is, that the current helps the steamer in
going down just as much as it retards her in coming up _for any given
time_; as for instance, for an hour, or for six hours. But we are to
consider that in accomplishing any given _distance_, the steamer is
longer in coming up than she is in going down, and so is exposed to the
retarding effect of the current longer than she has the benefit of its
coöperation.

"For example," continued Mr. George, "suppose the distance from one
place to another, on a river flowing two miles an hour, is such that it
takes a steamer three hours to go down and four hours to come up. In
going down she would be aided how much?"

"Two miles an hour," said Rollo.

"And that makes how much for the whole time going down?" asked Mr.
George.

"Six miles," said Rollo.

"Now, it takes her _four_ hours to go up," said Mr. George. "How much
would she be kept back then by the current?"

"Why, two miles an hour for _four_ hours," said Rollo, "which would make
eight miles."

"Thus in the double voyage," said Mr. George, "the boat would be helped
_six_ miles and hindered _eight_, so that the current would on the whole
be a serious disadvantage. For a steamer, therefore, which is to be
navigated equally both ways, the current is an evil.

"But for that sort of navigation which goes only one way, it is a great
advantage. For instance, the rafts have to come down, but they never
have to go back again; and so they have the whole advantage of the
current in bringing them down, without any disadvantage to balance it.

"On the whole," said Mr. George, "I do not see but that the currents of
great rivers are an advantage, for there is always a much greater
quantity to come down than to go up. The heavy products that grow on the
borders of the rivers are to come down, while comparatively little in
quantity goes up. So the benefit, on the whole, which is produced by the
flow of the water, may be greater than the injury."

"What do they do with the rafts," said Rollo, "when they get them down
the river?"

"They break them up," said Mr. George, "and sell the timber in the
countries near the mouth of the river, where but little timber grows."

By this time, Mr. George and Rollo had finished eating the meats which
they had ordered for their dinner, and so the waiter came and took away
the plates, and brought the omelet and the coffee. With the coffee the
waiter brought two small plates and knives, and some very nice rolls and
butter. He also brought a plate containing several slices of a kind of
cake, _toasted_. This cake was very nice.

While Rollo was eating it he asked his uncle George whether, in case he
had gone down the river to Boppard, and had not got back until dark, he
should not have been anxious about him.

"No," said Mr. George, "not much. I took precautions against that."

"What precautions?" asked Rollo.

"Why, I sent a man with you to take care of you," said Mr. George.

"You sent a man with me?" repeated Rollo, very much surprised.

"Yes," said Mr. George, quietly. "As soon as you had gone out of my
room, to go on board the raft, I called the waiter, and asked him to
send a commissioner with you, to see that you did not get into any
difficulty, and to take care of you in case there should be any
occasion."

"Now, uncle George," said Rollo, in a mournful and complaining tone,
"that was not fair."

"Why not?" asked Mr. George.

"Because," said Rollo, "I wanted to take care of myself."

"Well," said Mr. George, "you _did_ take care of yourself--didn't you?
My plan did not interfere with yours at all--did it?"

Rollo did not answer, but he looked as if he were not convinced.

"I gave the man special charge," said Mr. George, "not to interfere with
you in any way, and not even to let you know that I had said any thing
about you to him, so that you should be left entirely to your own
resources. And you _were_ so left. You acted in the whole affair just as
you thought proper, and took care of yourself admirably well. I think
especially that you were very wise in leaving the raft when you did,
instead of remaining on board three or four hours longer. But however
this may be, you acted for yourself throughout. I did not interfere with
you at all."

"Well," said Rollo, after a moment's pause, "what you say is very true.
But it seems to me it was a little artful in you to do that; and you
always tell me that I must not be artful, but must be perfectly honest
and open in all that I do. Don't you think you deceived me a little?"

"I do not see that I did," said Mr. George. "When we deceive a person,
we do it by saying or doing something to give him a false impression, or
to make him suppose that something is true which is not true. Now, what
did I do or say to give you any false impression?"

"Why, nothing, I suppose," said Rollo, "except sending that man to take
care of me without letting me know it."

"That was _concealing_ something from you," said Mr. George, "not
deceiving you. There are a thousand occasions when it is right to
conceal things from the people around us. That is very different from
deceiving them. This was a case in which I thought it best to conceal
what I did, for a time, though I intended to tell you in the end. You
see, I should not have done my duty, as a guardian intrusted with the
care of a boy by his father, if I had allowed you to go away from me on
such a doubtful expedition without some precautions. So I thought it
best to send the commissioner; but I knew you wished to take care of
yourself, and so I charged the commissioner to allow you to do so, and
on no account to interpose, unless some accident, or unforeseen
emergency, should occur. I told him not even to let you know that he
was there, so that you might not be embarrassed or restricted at all by
his presence, or even relieved of any portion of your solicitude. But I
determined to tell you all about it as soon as it was over, and I was
fondly imagining that you would praise me for my sagacity in managing
the business as I did, and also especially for my openness and honesty
in explaining all to you at last. But instead of that, it seems you
think I did wrong; so that where I expected compliments and praise, I
get only censure and condemnation; and I do not know what I shall do."

Mr. George said this with a perfectly grave face, and with such a tone
of mock meekness and despondency, that Rollo burst into a loud laugh.

"If you could think of any suitable punishment for me," continued Mr.
George, in the same penitent tone, "I would submit to it very
contentedly; though I do not see myself any suitable way by which I can
be punished, except perhaps by a fine."

"Yes," said Rollo, "a fine; you shall be fined, uncle George. There is a
woman out here that has got some raspberries, in little paper baskets.
You shall be fined a paper of raspberries."

Mr. George acceded to this proposal. The raspberries were two groschen a
basket. Mr. George gave Rollo the money, and Rollo, going forward with
it, bought the raspberries, and he and Mr. George ate them up together.
They served the double purpose of a punishment for the offence, and of a
dessert for the dinner.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER XIII.

BINGEN.


At some places on the Rhine the passengers go on board the steamers and
land from them in a small boat, as Mr. George and Rollo did at St. Goar.
At others there is a regular pier for a landing. At all the large towns
there is a pier,--in some there are two or three,--which belong
severally to the different companies which own the lines of steamers.
These piers are constructed in a very peculiar manner. They are made by
means of a large and heavy boat, which is anchored at a short distance
from the shore, and then a massive platform is built, extending from the
quay to this boat. The boat, being afloat, rises and falls with the
river; and thus the end of the platform which rests upon it is kept
always at the proper level for the landing of the passengers, so that,
whatever may be the state of the water, they go over on a level plank.
This is a very convenient arrangement for such a river as the Rhine,
which rises and falls considerably at different seasons, on account of
the variation in the quantity of rain, and in the melting of the snows,
on the mountains in Switzerland.

Bingen is one of the towns where there is a floating pier of this kind,
and Mr. George and Rollo were safely landed upon it about eight o'clock.
It was a very pleasant evening. As they approached the town, before they
landed, they both walked forward towards the bows of the vessel, to see
what sort of a place it was where they were going to spend the night.

"It is just like Coblenz," said Mr. George, "only on a small scale."

It was indeed very much like Coblenz in its situation, for it was built
on a point of land formed between the Rhine and the Nahe, a branch which
came in here from the westward, just as Coblenz was at the junction of
the Rhine and the Moselle. There was a bridge across the Moselle, you
recollect, just at the mouth of it, on the lower side of the town, which
bridge was made to accommodate the travellers going up and down the
Rhine on that side. There was just such a bridge across the mouth of the
Nahe. So that the situation of the town was in all respects very similar
to that of Coblenz.

Just below the town there was a small green island covered with
shrubbery, and on the upper end of the island was a high, square tower,
standing alone.

"That's must be Bishop Hatto's Tower," said Mr. George.

"Who was he?" asked Rollo.

"He was a man that was eaten up by the rats," said Mr. George, "because
he called the poor people rats, and burned up a great many of them in
his barn. The story is in the guide book. I will read it to you when we
get to the hotel."

By this time the boat had glided by the island, and the tower was out of
view; and very soon afterwards Mr. George and Rollo were landed on the
floating pier, as I have already said. There were very few people to
land, and the boat seemed merely to touch the pier and then to glide
away again.

There were several porters standing by, and they immediately took up the
passengers' baggage, and carried it away to the hotels, which were all
very near the river. Rollo and Mr. George were soon comfortably
established in a room with two beds in it, one in each corner, and a
large round table near one of the windows. Outside of the other window
was a balcony, and Rollo immediately went out there, to look at the
view.

"We have not got quite _out_ yet, uncle George," said he.

Rollo was right, for the bank of the river opposite Bingen was very
steep and high, and was terraced from top to bottom for vineyards. In
fact, this part of the river is more celebrated, perhaps, than any other
for the excellent quality of the grapes which it produces. It is here
that are situated the famous vineyards of Rudesheim and Johannisberg. In
fact, the whole country, for miles in extent, is one vast vineyard. The
separate fields are divided from one another by the terrace walls, which
run parallel to the river, and by paths formed sometimes by steps, and
sometimes by zigzags, which ascend and descend from the crest of the
hills above to the line of the shore. The only buildings to be seen
among all this vast expanse of walls and terraces are the little
watchtowers that are erected here and there at commanding points to
enable the vinegrowers to watch the fruit, when it comes to the time
of ripening. The laborers who till the fields, and dress the vines, and
gather the grapes in the season, live all of them in compact villages,
built at intervals along the shore.

While Rollo was looking at this scene, and wondering how such an immense
number of walls and terraces could ever have been built, his attention
was suddenly arrested by hearing a sweet and silvery voice, like that of
a girl, calling out,--

"Rollo."

Rollo turned in the direction of the sound, and found that it was Minnie
speaking to him. She was standing on another balcony, one which opened
from the chamber next to his. Rollo was very much pleased to see her. He
thought it very remarkable that he should meet her thus so many times;
but it was not. Travellers on the Rhine going in the same direction, and
stopping to see the same things, often meet each other in this way again
and again.

After talking with Minnie some little time from the balcony, Rollo asked
her if her mother was there.

"Yes," said Minnie.

"Ask her then," said Rollo, "if you may come down and take a walk with
me in the garden."

Minnie went in from the balcony, and in a moment returning, she said,
"Yes," and immediately disappeared again. So Rollo went down, and Minnie
presently came and met him in the garden.

[Illustration: MINNIE.]

The garden was a small piece of ground in front of the hotel, between
the hotel and the river. There was a large gate opening from it towards
the hotel, and another towards the river. The garden was full of shade
trees, with pleasant walks winding about among them, and here and there
a border, or a bed of flowers. There were several carved images placed
here and there, one of which amused Rollo and Minnie very much, for it
represented a monkey sitting on a pole and looking at himself in a hand
looking glass which he held before his face. In the other hand he had a
parasol.

In the front part of the garden, towards the river, were several tables
under the trees, where people might take coffee or ices, or they might
take their dinner there if they chose. In the front of the garden too,
at the corners, were two summer houses, with tables and chairs in them.
The sides of these houses that were turned towards the river, and also
those that were towards the gardens, were open. The other two sides of
each summer house had walls, on which were painted views of castles and
other scenery of the Rhine. Over one of the summer houses was a little
room for a lookout, where there was a very fine prospect up and down the
river.

Rollo and Minnie rambled about here for some time, examining every thing
with great attention. They chose one of the pleasantest tables, and sat
down before it.

"This is a nice place," said Minnie. "I propose that you and I come out
here to-morrow morning and have breakfast, all by ourselves."

"O, we can't do that very well," said Rollo.

"Yes we can," replied Minnie, "just as well as not. I'll plan it all."

Minnie then jumped up and led the way, Rollo following, through the open
gate towards the river. There was a sort of street outside, and Rollo
and Minnie stood here for a few minutes to see a steamer go by. Minnie
then proposed that they should get into a boat that was lying there, and
take a sail.

"You can row--can't you?" said she to Rollo.

"No," said Rollo, "not on such a river as this. See how swift the
current flows."

"Never mind," said Minnie, "I can. Let us jump into this boat, and have
a sail."

"No," said Rollo, "not for the world. We should be carried off down the
stream in spite of every thing."

"Never mind," said Minnie; "we should land somewhere, and they would
send down for us. We should have a great deal of fun."

How far Minnie would have persevered in urging her plan for a venture in
the boat on the river I do not know; but the conversation was here
interrupted by the appearance of Mr. George, who had come down through
the garden, and just at this instant joined the children on the quay.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER XIV.

THE RUIN IN THE GARDEN.


Mr. George said that he had come to ask Rollo to go and take a walk to
see an old ruin in the town, and he told Minnie that he should be very
glad to have her go too, if her mother would be willing.

"O, yes," said Minnie, "she will be willing. I'll go."

"You must go and ask her first," said Mr. George.

So, while Mr. George and Rollo walked slowly up towards the hotel,
Minnie ran before them to ask her mother.

Mr. George explained to Rollo in walking through the garden, that there
were two ruins that he wished to see while he was at Bingen. One was the
famous castle of Rheinstein, which stood on the bank of the river, a few
miles below the town.

"But it is too late to go there to-night," said Mr. George. "We will
take that for to-morrow. But there is an old ruin back here in the
village, which I think we can see to-night."

When they reached the door of the hotel, Minnie met them, and said that
she could go; and so they walked along together.

Mr. George groped about a long time among the narrow streets and passage
ways of the town, to find some way of access to the ruin, but in vain.
He obtained frequent views of it, and of the rocky hill that it stood
upon, which was seen here and there, by chance glimpses, rising in
massive grandeur above the houses of the town; but he could not find any
way to get to it.

"It is in a private garden," said Mr. George, "I know; but how to find
the way to it I cannot imagine."

"Perhaps it is here," said Minnie.

So saying, Minnie ran up to a gate by the side of the street, which led
into a very pretty yard, all shaded with trees and shrubbery, and having
a large and handsome house by the side of it. The gate was shut and
fastened, but Minnie could look through the bars.

There was a woman standing near one of the doors of the house, and
Minnie beckoned to her. The woman came immediately down towards the
gate. Minnie pointed in towards a walk which seemed to lead back among
the trees, and said to the woman,--

"_Schloss?_"

_Schloss_ is the German word for _castle_. Minnie could not speak
German; but she knew some words of that language, and the words that she
did know she was always perfectly ready to use, whenever an occasion
presented.

"_Ja_, _Ja_," said the woman; and immediately she opened the gate. By
this time Minnie had beckoned Mr. George and Rollo to come up from the
road, and they all three went in through the gate.

The woman called to a man who was then just coming down out of the
garden, and said something to him in German. None of our party could
understand what she said; but they knew from the circumstances of the
case, and from her actions, that she was saying to him that the
strangers wished to see the ruins. So, the man leading the way, and the
three visitors following him, they all went on along a broad gravel walk
which led up into the garden.

Mr. George asked the guide if he could speak English, and he said,
"_Nein._" Then he asked him if he could speak French, and he said,
"_Nein._" He said he could only speak German.

"He can't explain any thing to us, children," said Mr. George; "we
shall have to judge for ourselves."

The walk was very shady that led along the garden, and as it was now
long past eight o'clock, it was nearly dark walking there, though it was
still pretty light under the open sky. The walk gradually ascended, and
it soon brought the party to a place where they could see, rising up
among the trees, fragments of ancient walls of stupendous height. Rollo
looked up to them with wonder. He even felt a degree of awe, as well as
wonder, for the strange and uncouth forms of windows and doors, which
were seen here and there; the embrasures, and the yawning arches which
appeared below, leading apparently to subterranean dungeons, being all
dimly seen in the obscurity of the night, suggested to his mind ideas of
prisoners confined there in ancient times, and wearing out their lives
in a dreadful and hopeless captivity, or being put to death by horrid
tortures.

Minnie was still more afraid of these gloomy remains than Rollo. She was
afraid to look up at them.

"Look up there, Minnie," said Rollo. "See that old broken window with
iron gratings in the walls."

"No," replied Minnie, "I do not want to see it at all."

So saying she looked straight down upon the path before her, and walked
on as fast as possible.

"If I should look up there, I should see some dreadful thing mowing and
chowing at me," she added.

Rollo laughed, and they all walked on.

Presently the path began to ascend more rapidly, and soon it brought the
whole party out into the light, on the slope of an elevation which was
covered with the main body of the ruined castle. The man led the way up
a steep path, and then up a flight of ancient stone steps built against
a wall, until he came to an iron gateway. This he unlocked, and the
whole party went in, or rather went through, for as the roofs were gone
from the ruins, they were almost as much out of doors after passing
through the gateway as they were before.

Mr. George and the children gazed around upon the confused mass of
ruined bastions, towers, battlements, and archways, that lay before
them, with a feeling of awe which it is impossible to describe. The
grass waved and flowers bloomed on the tops of the walls, on the sills
of the windows, and on every projecting cornice, or angle, where a seed
could have lodged. In many places thick clusters of herbage were seen
growing luxuriantly from crumbling interstices of the stones in the
perpendicular face of the masonry, fifty feet from the ground. Large
trees were growing on what had formerly been the floors of the halls, or
of the chambers, and tall grass waved there, ready for the scythe.

There was one tower which still had a roof upon it. A steep flight of
stone steps led up to a door in this tower. The door was under a deep
archway. The guide led the way up this stairway, and unlocking the door,
admitted his party into the tower.

They found themselves, when they had entered, in a small, square room.
It occupied the whole extent of the tower on that story, and yet it was
very small. This room was in good condition, having been carefully
preserved, and was now the only remaining room of the whole castle which
was not dismantled and in ruins. But this room, though still shut in
from the weather, and protected in a measure from further decay,
presented an appearance of age wholly indescribable. The door where the
party had come in was on one side of it, and there was a window on the
opposite side, leading out to a little stone balcony. On the other two
sides were two antique cabinets of carved oak, most aged and venerable
in appearance, and of the most quaint construction. The walls and the
floor were of stone. In the middle of the floor, however, was a heavy
trap door. The guide lifted up this door by means of a ponderous ring of
rusty iron, and let Mr. George and the children look down. It was a dark
and dismal dungeon.

"_Prison,_" said the guide.

This, it seemed, was the only English word that he could speak.

"Yes," said Mr. George, speaking to Rollo and Minnie. "He means that
this was the prison of the castle."

The guide shut down the trap door, and the children, after gazing around
upon the room a few minutes longer, were glad to go away.

Just before reaching the hotel on their way home, Rollo told Minnie that
he and Mr. George were going down the next day to see Rheinstein, a
beautiful castle down the river, and he asked her if she would not like
to go too.

Mr. George was walking on before them at this time, and he did not hear
this conversation.

"No," said Minnie, "I believe not. It makes me afraid to go and see
these old ruins."

"But this one that we are going to see is not an old ruin," said Rollo.
"It has been all made over again as good as new, and is full of
beautiful rooms and beautiful furniture. Besides, it stands out in a
good clear place on the bank of the river, and you will not be afraid at
all. I mean to ask uncle George if I may ask you to go."

That evening, in reflecting on the adventures of the day, Rollo wondered
that Minnie, who seemed to have so much courage about going out in a
boat on the water, and in clambering about into all sorts of dangerous
places, should be so afraid of old ruins; but the fact is, that people
are in nothing more inconsistent than in their fears.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER XV.

RHEINSTEIN.


Rollo determined to ask his uncle George at breakfast if he might invite
Minnie to accompany them on their visit to the castle of Rheinstein. He
was sorry, however, when he came to reflect a little, that he had not
first asked his uncle George, before mentioning the subject to Minnie at
all.

"For," said he to himself, "if there _should_ be any difficulty or
objection to prevent her going with us, then I shall have to go and tell
her that I can't invite her, after all; and that would be worse than not
to have said any thing about it."

When, at length, Rollo and Mr. George were seated at table at breakfast,
Rollo asked his uncle if he was willing that Minnie should go with them
to the castle.

"I told her," said he, "last night, that we were going, and I said I
intended to ask you if she might go with us. But I thought afterwards
that it would have been better to have spoken about it to you first."

"Yes," said Mr. George, "that would be much the best mode generally,
though in this case it makes no difference, for I shall be very glad to
have Minnie go."

So Rollo immediately after breakfast went to renew his invitation to
Minnie, and about an hour afterwards the party set out on their
excursion. They went in a fine open barouche with two horses, which Mr.
George selected from several that were standing near the hotel, waiting
to be hired. Mr. George took the back seat, and Rollo and Minnie sat
together on the front seat. Thus they rode through the streets of the
town, and over the old stone bridge which led across the Nahe near its
junction with the Rhine.

From the bridge Rollo could see the little green island on which stood
Bishop Hatto's Tower.

"There is Bishop Hatto's Tower," said Rollo, "and you promised, uncle
George, to tell me the story of it."

"Well," said Mr. George, "I will tell it to you now."

So Mr. George began to relate the story as follows:--

"There was a famine coming on at one time during Bishop Hatto's life,
and the people were becoming very destitute, though the bishop's
granaries were well supplied with corn. The poor flocked and crowded
around his door. At last the bishop appointed a time when, he told them,
they should have food for the winter, if they would repair to his great
barn. Young and old, from far and near, did so, and when the barn could
hold no more, he made fast the door, and set fire to it, and burned them
all. He then returned to his palace, congratulating himself that the
country was rid of the 'rats,' as he called them. He ate a good supper,
went to bed, and slept like an innocent man; but he never slept again.
In the morning, when he entered a room where hung his picture, he found
it entirely eaten by rats. Presently a man came and told him that the
rats had entirely consumed his corn; and while the man was telling him
this, another man came running, pale as death, to tell him that ten
thousand rats were coming. 'I'll go to my tower on the Rhine,' said the
bishop; ''tis the safest place in Germany.' He immediately hastened to
the shore, and crossed to his tower, and very carefully barred all the
doors and windows. After he had retired for the night, he had hardly
closed his eyes, when he heard a fearful scream. He started up, and saw
the cat sitting by his pillow, screaming with fear of the army of rats
that were approaching. They had swum over the river, climbed the shore,
and were scaling the walls of his tower by thousands. The bishop, half
dead with fright, fell on his knees, and began counting his beads. The
rats soon gained the room, fell upon the bishop, and in a short time
nothing was left of him but his bones.

"There is an account of it in poetry too, in my book," said Mr. George.

"Read it to us," said Minnie.

So Mr. George opened his book, and read the account in poetry, as
follows:--

BISHOP HATTO.

    The summer and autumn had been so wet,
    That in winter the corn was growing yet;
    'Twas a piteous sight to see all around
    The grain lie rotting on the ground.

    Every day the starving poor
    Crowded around Bishop Hatto's door,
    For he had a plentiful last year's store;
    And all the neighborhood could tell
    His granaries were furnished well.

    At last Bishop Hatto appointed a day
    To quiet the poor without delay:
    He bade them to his great barn repair,
    And they should have food for the winter there.

    Rejoiced at such tidings good to hear,
    The poor folk flocked from far and near;
    The great barn was full as it could hold
    Of women and children, and young and old.

    Then, when they saw it could hold no more,
    Bishop Hatto he made fast the door;
    And while for mercy on Christ they call,
    He set fire to the barn, and burned them all.

    "I' faith 'tis an excellent bonfire!" quoth he,
    "And the country is greatly obliged to me
    For ridding it, in these times forlorn,
    Of rats that only consume the corn."

    So then to his palace returned he,
    And he sat down to supper merrily,
    And he slept that night like an innocent man;
    But Bishop Hatto never slept again.

    In the morning, as he entered the hall
    Where his picture hung against the wall,
    A sweat like death all o'er him came,
    For the rats had eaten it out of the frame.

    As he looked there came a man from his farm;
    He had a countenance white with alarm.
    "My lord, I opened your granaries this morn,
    And the rats had eaten all your corn."

    Another came running presently,
    And he was pale as pale could be:
    "Fly, my lord bishop, fly," quoth he;
    "Ten thousand rats are coming this way;
    The Lord forgive you for yesterday."

    "I'll go to my tower on the Rhine," replied he,
    "'Tis the safest place in Germany;
    The walls are high, and the shores are steep,
    And the stream is strong, and the water deep."

    Bishop Hatto fearfully hastened away,
    And he crossed the Rhine without delay,
    And reached his tower, and barred with care
    All the windows, doors, and loopholes there.

    He laid him down and closed his eyes;
    But soon a scream made him arise.
    He started, and saw two eyes of flame
    On his pillow, from whence the screaming came.

    He listened and looked: it was only the cat:
    But the bishop he grew more fearful for that;
    For she sat screaming, mad with fear
    At the army of rats that were drawing near.

    For they have swum over the river so deep,
    And they have climbed the shores so steep,
    And now by thousands up they crawl
    To the holes and windows in the wall.

    Down on his knees the bishop fell,
    And faster and faster his beads did he tell,
    As louder and louder, drawing near,
    The saw of their teeth without he could hear.

    And in at the windows, and in at the door,
    And through the walls by thousands they pour,
    And down through the ceiling and up through the floor,
    From the right and the left, from behind and before,
    From within and without, from above and below;
    And all at once at the bishop they go.

    They have whetted their teeth against the stones,
    And now they pick the bishop's bones;
    They gnawed the flesh from every limb,
    For they were sent to do judgment on him.

"I'm glad they ate him up," said Minnie, as soon as Mr. George had
finished reading the poetry. "I am very glad indeed."

"Yes," said Rollo, "so am I."

"What a pleasant ride this is!" said Rollo, after a little pause. It
was, indeed, a delightful ride. The road was carried along the bank of
the river a short distance above the level of the water. It was very
hard, and smooth, and level; and on the side of it opposite to the
water, the land rose abruptly in a steep ascent, which was covered with
forest trees. At the distance of about a mile before them, down the
river, they could see the towers and battlements of the castle which
they were going to visit, rising among the tops of the trees, on a
projecting promontory.

"I like the ride very much," said Rollo; "but I don't care much about
the castle. I'm tired of castles."

"So am I," said Mr. George; "but this is different from the rest. This
is a castle restored."

"What do you mean by that?" said Rollo.

"Why, nearly all the old castles on the Rhine," replied Mr. George,
"have been abandoned, and have gone to decay; or else, if they have been
repaired or rebuilt, they have been finished and furnished in the
fashion of modern times. But this castle of Rheinstein, which we are now
going to see, has been restored, as nearly as possible, to its ancient
condition. The rooms, and the courts, and the towers, and battlements
are all arranged as they used to be in former ages; and the furniture
contained within is of the ancient fashion. The chairs, and tables, and
cabinets, and all the other articles, are such as the barons used when
the castles on the Rhine were inhabited."

"Where do they get such things nowadays?" asked Rollo.

"Some of the furniture which they have in this castle," said Mr. George,
"originally belonged there, and has been kept there all the time, for
hundreds of years. When they repaired and rebuilt the castle, they
repaired this furniture too, and put it in perfect order. Some other
furniture they bought from other old castles which the owners did not
intend to repair, and some they had made new, after the ancient
patterns. But here we are, close under the castle."

A few minutes after this, the carriage stopped in the road at the
entrance to a broad, gravelled pathway, which diverged from the road
directly under the castle walls, and began to ascend at once through the
woods in zigzags. Mr. George and his party got out, and began to go up.
The carriage, in the mean time, went on a few steps farther, to a smooth
and level place by the roadside, under the shade of some trees, there to
await the return of the party from their visit to the castle above.

"Now, children," said Mr. George, "we will see how you can stand hard
climbing."

Rollo and Minnie looked up, and they could see the walls and battlements
of the castle, resting upon and crowning the crags and precipices of the
rock, far above their heads.

The road, or rather the pathway,--for it was not wide enough for a
carriage, and was besides too steep, and turned too many sharp corners
for wheels,--was very smooth and hard, and the children ascended it
without any difficulty. They stopped frequently to look up, for at every
turn there was some new view of the walls or battlements, or towers
above, or of the crags and precipices of the rock on which the various
constructions of masonry rested. The cliffs and precipices in many
places overhung the path, and seemed ready to fall. In fact, in one
place, an immense mass had cracked off, and was all ready to come down,
but was retained in its place by a heavy iron chain, which passed around
it, and was secured by clamps and staples to the more solid portion of
the rock behind it. Rollo and Minnie looked up to this cliff, as they
passed beneath it, with something like a feeling of terror.

"I should not like to have that rock come down upon our heads," said
Minnie.

"No," said Rollo, "nor I; but I should like to see it come down if we
were out of the way."

At length the road, after many winding zigzags and convolutions, came
out upon a gravelled area in front of a great iron gate at an angle
between two towers.

A man came from a courtyard within, and opened a small gate, which
formed a part of the great one. He seemed to be a servant. Mr. George
asked him in French if they could come in and see the castle. The man
smiled and shook his head, but at the same time opened the door wide,
and stood on one side, as if to make way for them to come in.

"He says no," whispered Rollo.

"No," replied Mr. George, "his _no_ means that he does not understand
us; but he wishes us to come in."

As Mr. George said these words, he passed through the gate, leading
Minnie by the hand, and followed by Rollo.

The man shut the gate after them, and then began to say something to
them, very fluently and earnestly, pointing at the same time to a door
which opened upon a gallery that extended along the wall of a tower near
by. As soon as he had finished what seemed to be some sort of
explanation, he left the party standing in the court, and returned to
his work.

"He says," remarked Mr. George, "that there is a man coming to show us
the castle."

"How do you know?" asked Rollo.

"I know by the signs that he made," replied Mr. George. "Besides, I
heard him say _schloss-vogt_."

"What is _schloss-vogt_?" asked Rollo.

"That was the ancient name for the officer who kept the keys of a
castle," replied Mr. George, "and in restoring this castle they thought
they would reëstablish the old office. So they call the man who keeps
the keys the _schloss-vogt_."

In a few minutes the _schloss-vogt_ came. He was dressed in the ancient
costume. He wore a black velvet frock coat, and green velvet cap, both
made in a very antique and curious fashion, after the pattern of those
worn, in ancient days, by the officers who had the custody of the keys
in the baronial castles.

The _schloss-vogt_ conducted his visitors all over the edifice that was
under his charge. It would be impossible to describe the variety of
halls, corridors, courts, towers, ramparts, and battlements which Rollo
and Minnie were led to see. They went from one to another, until they
were at length completely bewildered with the intricacy, as well as
dazzled by the magnificence, of the place. There were suites of most
beautiful apartments, with polished floors, and painted walls, and
furniture of the most curious and antique description. The chairs, the
tables, the cabinets, and the beds of these rooms were all of the
strangest forms; and though they were of very elaborate and splendid
workmanship, being richly carved and inlaid with mosaic work, and often
ornamented with mountings of silver, they all wore a very antique and
venerable air, which was extremely imposing. The rooms were of all
shapes and sizes, and were arranged and connected with each other in the
most odd and singular fashion, as the external walls which enclosed them
were extremely irregular in plan, being conformed in a great measure to
the shape of the rocks on which the castle was founded. The
_schloss-vogt_ was continually leading his party, as he guided them
through the rooms, into some unexpected and curious place--a little
cabinet, built on an angle of the wall; a winding staircase, opening
suddenly in a corner, and leading up to a watchtower, or down to a
court; a balcony overhanging a precipice, and commanding a most
magnificent view up and down the river; or some other curious nook or
corner, which in the snugness and coziness of its seclusion, and the
beauty of its adornments, filled the hearts of Rollo and Minnie with
delight.

There were a great many specimens of ancient arms and armor, hung up in
various halls in the castle, all of the most quaint and curious forms,
but yet of the most elaborate and beautiful workmanship. There were
swords, and daggers, and bows and arrows, and spurs, and shields, and
coats of mail, and every other species of weapons, offensive and
defensive, that the warriors of the middle ages were accustomed to use.
Rollo was most interested in the bows and arrows. They were of great
size, and were made in a style of workmanship, and ornamented with
mountings and decorations, which Rollo had never dreamed of seeing in
bows and arrows. Among the other articles of armor, the _schloss-vogt_
showed the party a _gauntlet_, as it is called; that is, an iron glove,
which was worn in ancient times to defend the hand from the cuts of
swords and sabres. The inside of the glove--I mean the part which
covered the inside of the hand--was of leather; but the back was formed
of iron scales made to slide over each other, so as to allow the hand to
open and shut freely, without making any opening in the iron. Mr. George
tried this glove on, and so, in fact, did Rollo and Minnie. They were
all surprised to find how well it fitted to the hand, and how freely
the fingers could be moved while it was on. The _schloss-vogt_ said that
a man could write with it; and Mr. George placed his hand, with the
glove upon it, in the proper position for writing, and then moved his
fingers to and fro, as if there had been a pen between them.

"Yes," said he, "I think I could write with it very well."

All the furniture of the rooms was of a very quaint and curious
description, while yet it was very rich and magnificent. There were
elegant bedsteads of carved ebony surmounted with silken curtains and
canopies of the most gorgeous description. There were cabinets inlaid
with silver and pearl, and elegant cameos and mosaics, and a profusion
of other such articles, all of which Rollo had very little time to
examine, as the _schloss-vogt_ led the party forward from one room to
another without much delay.

The rooms themselves, in respect to form and arrangement, were almost as
curious as the articles which they contained. Every one seemed different
from the rest. You were constantly coming into the strangest and most
unexpected places. There were cabinets, and wide halls, and intricate
winding corridors, and open courts, and vaulted passages, and balconies,
paved below and arched over above. At one place there was a light iron
staircase built on the outside of a round tower, and as the tower itself
was built on the pinnacle of an overhanging rock, you seemed, in
ascending the staircase, to be poised in the air, with the rocks that
lined the shore of the river beneath your feet, hundreds of feet below.

After rambling about the castle for half an hour, the party returned to
the gate where they had come in, and the _schloss-vogt_ bade them good
by. He gave Minnie a little bouquet of flowers as she came away. They
were flowers which he had gathered for her, one by one, from the plants
growing in the various balconies, and in little parterres in the
courtyards, which they passed in going about the castle. Minnie was very
much pleased with this bouquet.

"I mean to press some of the flowers," said she, "and keep them for a
souvenir."

"Yes," said Rollo, "I'll help you press them. I've got a pressing
apparatus at home."

"Well," said Minnie, in a tone of great satisfaction. "And then, when
they are pressed, I'll give you one of them."

So the party went down the zigzag path till they came to the main road
at the bank of the river, and there getting into their carriage again,
they rode home to the hotel.



CONCLUSION.


Our travellers had now passed through all that portion of the Rhine
which contains the castles and the romantic scenery. Above Bingen the
valley of the Rhine widens; that is, the mountains, instead of crowding
in close to the river, recede from it many miles, enclosing a broad and
level, but very fertile plain, through the midst of which the river
flows between low banks, and with endless meanderings. The level country
through which the river thus flows is inexpressibly beautiful, being
divided into magnificent fields, and cultivated every where like a
garden. It presents to the view a broad expanse of the richest verdure
and beauty, but it cannot be seen from the steamboats on the river.
Travellers are, accordingly, accustomed to leave the river at Mayence, a
short distance above Bingen, and to go on up to Strasbourg by the
railway. This was the plan which Mr. George and Rollo pursued.

From Strasbourg, Mr. George took passage for Paris by a railway train
which left Strasbourg in the afternoon, so that they travelled all
night. This was Rollo's plan. He wished to see how "it would seem," he
said, to be travelling in the cars at midnight.

[Illustration: THE NIGHT JOURNEY.]

He, however, fell asleep soon after dark, and slept soundly all the
way.



       *       *       *       *       *



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29 CORNHILL, BOSTON.





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