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Title: Views a-foot
Author: Taylor, Bayard, 1825-1878
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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Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF/Gallica) at http://gallica.bnf.fr. 



                            VIEWS A-FOOT;


                 EUROPE SEEN WITH KNAPSACK AND STAFF.

                                  BY

                          J. BAYARD TAYLOR.

                    WITH A PREFACE BY N.P. WILLIS.


                 "Jog on, jog on, the foot-path way,
                    And merrily hent the stile-a;
                   A merry heart goes all the day,
                     Your sad tires in a mile-a."

                                      _Winter's Tale_.



                            IN TWO PARTS.

                               PART I.



      Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1846, by

                          WILEY AND PUTNAM,

 in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for
                  the Southern District of New York.



PREFACE.

BY N.P. WILLIS.


The book which follows, requires little or no introduction. It tells its
own story, and tells it well. The interest in it, which induces the
writer of this preface to be its usher to the public, is simply that of
his having chanced to be among the first appreciators of the author's
talent--an appreciation that has since been so more than justified, that
the writer is proud to call the author of this book his friend, and
bespeak attention to the peculiar energies he has displayed in travel
and authorship. Mr. Taylor's poetical productions while he was still a
printer's apprentice, made a strong impression on the writer's mind, and
he gave them their due of praise accordingly in the newspaper of which
he was then Editor. Some correspondence ensued, and other fine pieces of
writing strengthened the admiration thus awakened, and when the young
poet-mechanic came to the city, and modestly announced the bold
determination of visiting foreign lands--with means, if they could be
got, but with reliance on manual labor if they could not--the writer,
understanding the man, and seeing how capable he was of carrying out his
manly and enthusiastic scheme, and that it would work uncorruptingly for
the improvement of his mind and character, counselled him to go. He
went--his book tells how successfully for all his purposes. He has
returned, after two years' absence, with large knowledge of the world,
of men and of manners, with a pure, invigorated and healthy mind, having
passed all this time abroad, and seen and accomplished more than most
travelers, _at the cost of only $500, and this sum earned on the road_.
This, in the writer's opinion, is a fine instance of character and
energy. The book, which records the difficulties and struggles of a
printer's apprentice achieving this, must be interesting to Americans.
The pride of the country is in its self-made men.

What Mr. Taylor is, or what he is yet to become, cannot well be touched
upon here, but that it will yet be written, and on a bright page, is, of
course, his own confident hope and the writer's confident expectation.
The book, which is the record of his progress thus far, is now cordially
commended to the public, and it will be read, perhaps, more
understandingly after a perusal of the following outline sketch of the
difficulties the author had to contend with--a letter written in reply
to a note from the writer asking for some of the particulars of his
start and progress:

  _To. Mr. Willis_,--

  MY DEAR SIR:--

  Nearly three years ago (in the beginning of 1844) the time for
  accomplishing my long cherished desire of visiting Europe, seemed to
  arrive. A cousin, who had long intended going abroad, was to leave
  in a few months, and although I was then surrounded by the most
  unfavorable circumstances, I determined to accompany him, at
  whatever hazard. I had still two years of my apprenticeship to serve
  out; I was entirely without means, and my project was strongly
  opposed by my friends, as something too visionary to be
  practicable. A short time before, Mr.  Griswold advised me to
  publish a small volume of youthful effusions, a few of which had
  appeared in Graham's Magazine, which he then edited; the idea struck
  me, that by so doing, I might, if they should be favorably noticed,
  obtain a newspaper correspondence which would enable me to make the
  start.

  The volume was published; a sufficient number was sold among my
  friends to defray all expenses, and it was charitably noticed by the
  Philadelphia press. Some literary friends, to whom I confided my
  design, promised to aid me with their influence. Trusting to this, I
  made arrangements for leaving the printing-office, which I succeeded
  in doing, by making a certain compensation for the remainder of my
  time. I was now fully confident of success, feeling satisfied, that
  a strong will would always make itself a way. After many
  applications to different editors and as many disappointments, I
  finally succeeded, about two weeks before our departure, in making a
  partial engagement.  Mr. Chandler of the United States Gazette and
  Mr. Patterson of the Saturday Evening Post, paid me fifty dollars,
  each, in advance for twelve letters, to be sent from Europe, with
  the probability of accepting more, if these should be
  satisfactory. This, with a sum which I received from Mr. Graham for
  poems published in his Magazine, put me in possession of about a
  hundred and forty dollars, with which I determined to start,
  trusting to future remuneration for letters, or if that should fail,
  to my skill as a compositor, for I supposed I could at the worst,
  work my way through Europe, like the German hand werker.  Thus, with
  another companion, we left home, an enthusiastic and hopeful trio.

  I need not trace our wanderings at length. After eight months of
  suspense, during which time my small means were entirely exhausted,
  I received a letter from Mr. Patterson, continuing the engagement
  for the remainder of my stay, with a remittance of one hundred
  dollars from himself and Mr. Graham. Other remittances, received
  from time to time, enabled me to stay abroad two years, during which
  I traveled on foot upwards of three thousand miles in Germany,
  Switzerland, Italy and France. I was obliged, however, to use the
  strictest economy--to live on pilgrim fare, and do penance in rain
  and cold. My means several times entirely failed; but I was always
  relieved from serious difficulty through unlooked-for friends, or
  some unexpected turn of fortune. At Rome, owing to the expenses and
  embarrassments of traveling in Italy, I was obliged to give up my
  original design of proceeding on foot to Naples and across the
  peninsula to Otranto, sailing thence to Corfu and making a
  pedestrian journey through Albania and Greece. But the main object
  of my pilgrimage is accomplished; I visited the principal places of
  interest in Europe, enjoyed her grandest scenery and the marvels of
  ancient and modern art, became familiar with other languages, other
  customs and other institutions, and returned home, after two years'
  absence, willing now, with satisfied curiosity, to resume life in
  America.

  Yours, most sincerely,

  J. BAYARD TAYLOR.



CONTENTS.

I.--The Voyage

II.--A Day in Ireland

III.--Ben Lomond and the Highland Lakes

IV.--The Burns' Festival

V.--Walk from Edinburgh over the Border and arrival at London

VI.--Some of the "Sights" of London

VII.--Flight through Belgium

VIII.--The Rhine to Heidelberg

IX.--Scenes in and around Heidelberg

X.--A Walk through the Odenwald

XI.--Scenes in Frankfort--An American Composer--The Poet Freiligrath

XII.--A week among the Students

XIII.--Christmas and New Year in Germany

XIV.--Winter in Frankfort--A Fair, an Inundation and a Fire

XV.--The Dead and the Deaf--Mendelssohn the Composer

XVI.--Journey on Foot from Frankfort to Cassel

XVII.--Adventures among the Hartz

XVIII.--Notes in Leipsic and Dresden

XIX.--Rambles in the Saxon Switzerland

XX.--Scenes in Prague

XXI.--Journey through Eastern Bohemia and Moravia to the Danube

XXII.--Vienna

XXIII.--Up the Danube

XXIV.--The Unknown Student

XXV.--The Austrian Alps

XXVI.--Munich

XXVII.--Through Wurtemberg to Heidelberg

XXVIII.--Freiburg and the Black Forest

XXIX.--People and Places in Eastern Switzerland

XXX.--Passage of the St Gothard and descent into Italy

XXXI.--Milan

XXXII.--Walk from Milan to Genoa

XXXIII.--Scenes in Genoa, Leghorn and Pisa

XXXIV.--Florence and its Galleries

XXXV.--A Pilgrimage to Vallombrosa

XXXVI.--Walk to Siena and Pratolino--Incidents in Florence

XXXVII.--American Art in Florence

XXXVIII.--An Adventure on the Great St. Bernard--Walks around Florence

XXXIX.--Winter Traveling among the Appenines

XL.--Rome

XLI.--Tivoli and the Roman Campagna

XLII.--Tivoli and the Roman Campagna (_continued_)

XLIII.--Pilgrimage to Vaucluse and Journey up the Rhone

XLIV.--Traveling in Burgundy--The Miseries of a Country Diligence

XLV.--Poetical Scenes in Paris

XLVI.--A Glimpse of Normandy

XLVII.--Lockhart, Bernard Barton and Croly--London Chimes and Greenwich
Fair

XLVIII.--Homeward Bound--Conclusion



TO

FRANK TAYLOR,

THESE RECORDS OF THE PILGRIMAGE,

WHOSE TOILS AND ENJOYMENTS WE HAVE SHARED TOGETHER,

ARE

AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED,

BY

HIS RELATIVE AND FRIEND.



VIEWS A-FOOT.



CHAPTER I.


THE VOYAGE.

An enthusiastic desire of visiting the Old World haunted me from early
childhood. I cherished a presentiment, amounting almost to belief, that
I should one day behold the scenes, among which my fancy had so long
wandered. The want of means was for a time a serious check to my
anticipations; but I could not content myself to wait until I had slowly
accumulated so large a sum as tourists usually spend on their travels.
It seemed to me that a more humble method of seeing the world would
place within the power of almost every one, what has hitherto been
deemed the privilege of the wealthy few. Such a journey, too, offered
advantages for becoming acquainted with people as well as places--for
observing more intimately, the effect of government and education, and
more than all, for the study of human nature, in every condition of
life. At length I became possessed of a small sum, to be earned by
letters descriptive of things abroad, and on the 1st of July, 1844, set
sail for Liverpool, with a relative and friend, whose circumstances were
somewhat similar to mine. How far the success of the experiment and the
object of our long pilgrimage were attained, these pages will show.

       *       *       *       *       *

    LAND AND SEA.

    There are springs that rise in the greenwood's heart,
      Where its leafy glooms are cast,
    And the branches droop in the solemn air,
      Unstirred by the sweeping blast.
    There are hills that lie in the noontide calm,
      On the lap of the quiet earth;
    And, crown'd with gold by the ripened grain,
      Surround my place of birth.

    Dearer are these to my pining heart,
      Than the beauty of the deep,
    When the moonlight falls in a bolt of gold
      On the waves that heave in sleep.
    The rustling talk of the clustered leaves
      That shade a well-known door,
    Is sweeter far than the booming sound
      Of the breaking wave before.

    When night on the ocean sinks calmly down,
      I climb the vessel's prow,
    Where the foam-wreath glows with its phosphor light,
      Like a crown on a sea-nymph's brow.
    Above, through the lattice of rope and spar,
      The stars in their beauty burn;
    And the spirit longs to ride their beams,
      And back to the loved return.

    They say that the sunset is brighter far
      When it sinks behind the sea;
    That the stars shine out with a softer fire--
      Not thus they seem to me.
    Dearer the flush of the crimson west
      Through trees that my childhood knew.
    When the star of love with its silver lamp,
      Lights the homes of the tried and true!

Could one live on the sense of beauty alone, exempt from the necessity
of "creature comforts," a sea-voyage would be delightful. To the
landsman there is sublimity in the wild and ever-varied forms of the
ocean; they fill his mind with living images of a glory he had only
dreamed of before. But we would have been willing to forego all this and
get back the comforts of the shore. At New York we took passage in the
second cabin of the Oxford, which, as usual in the Liverpool packets,
consisted of a small space amid-ships, fitted up with rough, temporary
berths. The communication with the deck is by an open hatchway, which in
storms is closed down. As the passengers in this cabin furnish their
own provisions, we made ourselves acquainted with the contents of
certain storehouses on Pine St. wharf, and purchased a large box of
provisions, which was stowed away under our narrow berth. The cook, for
a small compensation, took on himself the charge of preparing them, and
we made ourselves as comfortable as the close, dark dwelling would
admit.

As we approached the Banks of Newfoundland, a gale arose, which for two
days and nights carried us on, careering Mazeppa-like, up hill and down.
The sea looked truly magnificent, although the sailors told us it was
nothing at all in comparison with the storms of winter. But we were not
permitted to pass the Banks, without experiencing one of the calms, for
which that neighborhood is noted. For three days we lay almost
motionless on the glassy water, sometimes surrounded by large flocks of
sea-gulls. The weed brought by the gulf stream, floated around--some
branches we fished up, were full of beautiful little shells. Once a
large school of black-fish came around the vessel, and the carpenter
climbed down on the fore-chains, with a harpoon to strike one. Scarcely
had he taken his position, when they all darted off in a straight line,
through the water, and were soon out of sight. He said they smelt the
harpoon.

We congratulated ourselves on having reached the Banks in seven days, as
it is considered the longest third-part of the passage. But the hopes of
reaching Liverpool in twenty days, were soon overthrown. A succession of
southerly winds drove the vessel as far north as lat. 55 deg., without
bringing us much nearer our destination. It was extremely cold, for we
were but five degrees south of the latitude of Greenland, and the long
northern twilights came on. The last glow of the evening twilight had
scarcely faded, before the first glimmering of dawn appeared. I found it
extremely easy to read, at 10 P.M., on the deck.

We had much diversion on board from a company of Iowa Indians, under the
celebrated chief "White Cloud," who are on a visit to England. They are
truly a wild enough looking company, and helped not a little to relieve
the tedium of the passage. The chief was a very grave and dignified
person, but some of the braves were merry enough. One day we had a
war-dance on deck, which was a most ludicrous scene. The chief and two
braves sat upon the deck, beating violently a small drum and howling
forth their war-song, while the others in full dress, painted in a
grotesque style, leaped about, brandishing tomahawks and spears, and
terminating each dance with a terrific yell. Some of the men are very
fine-looking, but the squaws are all ugly. They occupied part of the
second cabin, separated only by a board partition from our room. This
proximity was any thing but agreeable. They kept us awake more than half
the night, by singing and howling in the most dolorous manner, with the
accompaniment of slapping their hands violently on their bare breasts.
We tried an opposition, and a young German student, who was returning
home after two years' travel in America, made our room ring with the
chorus from Der Freischütz--but in vain. They _would_ howl and beat
their breasts, and the pappoose _would_ squall. Any loss of temper is
therefore not to be wondered at, when I state that I could scarcely turn
in my berth, much less stretch myself out; my cramped limbs alone drove
off half the night's slumber.

It was a pleasure, at least, to gaze on their strong athletic frames.
Their massive chests and powerful limbs put to shame our dwindled
proportions. One old man, in particular, who seemed the patriarch of the
band, used to stand for hours on the quarter deck, sublime and
motionless as a statue of Jupiter. An interesting incident occurred
during the calm of which I spoke. They began to be fearful we were
doomed to remain there forever, unless the spirits were invoked for a
favorable wind. Accordingly the prophet lit his pipe and smoked with
great deliberation, muttering all the while in a low voice. Then, having
obtained a bottle of beer from the captain, he poured it solemnly over
the stern of the vessel into the sea. There were some indications of
wind at the time, and accordingly the next morning we had a fine breeze,
which the Iowas attributed solely to the Prophet's incantation and
Eolus' love of beer.

After a succession of calms and adverse winds, on the 25th we were off
the Hebrides, and though not within sight of land, the southern winds
came to us strongly freighted with the "meadow freshness" of the Irish
bogs, so we could at least _smell_ it. That day the wind became more
favorable, and the next morning we were all roused out of our berths by
sunrise, at the long wished-for cry of "land!" Just under the golden
flood of light that streamed through the morning clouds, lay afar-off
and indistinct the crags of an island, with the top of a light-house
visible at one extremity. To the south of it, and barely
distinguishable, so completely was it blended in hue with the veiling
cloud, loomed up a lofty mountain. I shall never forget the sight! As we
drew nearer, the dim and soft outline it first wore, was broken into a
range of crags, with lofty precipices jutting out to the sea, and
sloping off inland. The white wall of the light-house shone in the
morning's light, and the foam of the breakers dashed up at the foot of
the airy cliffs. It was worth all the troubles of a long voyage, to feel
the glorious excitement which this herald of new scenes and new
adventures created. The light-house was on Tory Island, on the
north-western coast of Ireland. The Captain decided on taking the North
Channel, for, although rarely done, it was in our case nearer, and is
certainly more interesting than the usual route.

We passed the Island of Ennistrahul, near the entrance of Londonderry
harbor, and at sunset saw in the distance the islands of Islay and Jura,
off the Scottish coast. Next morning we were close to the promontory of
Fairhead, a bold, precipitous headland, like some of the Palisades on
the Hudson; the highlands of the Mull of Cantire were on the opposite
side of the Channel, and the wind being ahead, we tacked from shore to
shore, running so near the Irish coast, that we could see the little
thatched huts, stacks of peat, and even rows of potatoes in the fields.
It was a panorama: the view extended for miles inland, and the fields of
different colored grain were spread out before us, a brilliant mosaic.
Towards evening we passed Ailsa Crag, the sea-bird's home, within sight,
though about twenty miles distant.

On Sunday, the 28th, we passed the lofty headland of the Mull of
Galloway and entered the Irish Sea. Here there was an occurrence of an
impressive nature. A woman, belonging to the steerage, who had been ill
the whole passage, died the morning before. She appeared to be of a very
avaricious disposition, though this might indeed have been the result of
self-denial, practised through filial affection. In the morning she was
speechless, and while they were endeavoring to persuade her to give up
her keys to the captain, died. In her pocket were found two parcels,
containing forty sovereigns, sewed up with the most miserly care. It was
ascertained she had a widowed mother in the north of Ireland, and
judging her money could be better applied than to paying for a funeral
on shore, the captain gave orders for committing the body to the waves.
It rained drearily as her corpse, covered with starred bunting, was held
at the gangway while the captain read the funeral service; then one
plunge was heard, and a white object, flashed up through the dark
waters, as the ship passed on.

In the afternoon we passed the Isle of Man, having a beautiful view of
the Calf, with a white stream tumbling down the rocks into the sea; and
at night saw the sun set behind the mountains of Wales. About midnight,
the pilot came on board, and soon after sunrise I saw the distant spires
of Liverpool. The Welsh coast was studded with windmills, all in motion,
and the harbor spotted with buoys, bells and floating lights. How
delightful it was to behold the green trees on the banks of the Mersey,
and to know that in a few hours we should be on land! About 11 o'clock
we came to anchor in the channel of the Mersey, near the docks, and
after much noise, bustle and confusion, were transferred, with our
baggage, to a small steamboat, giving a parting cheer to the Iowas, who
remained on board. On landing, I stood a moment to observe the scene.
The baggage-wagons, drawn by horses, mules and donkeys, were
extraordinary; men were going about crying "_the celebrated Tralorum
gingerbread!_" which they carried in baskets; and a boy in the
University dress, with long blue gown and yellow knee-breeches, was
running to the wharf to look at the Indians.

At last the carts were all loaded, the word was given to start, and
then, what a scene ensued! Away went the mules, the horses and the
donkeys; away ran men and women and children, carrying chairs and
trunks, and boxes and bedding. The wind was blowing, and the dust
whirled up as they dashed helter-skelter through the gate and started
off on a hot race, down the dock to the depot. Two wagons came together,
one of which was overturned, scattering the broken boxes of a Scotch
family over the pavement; but while the poor woman was crying over her
loss, the tide swept on, scarcely taking time to glance at the mishap.

Our luggage was "passed" with little trouble; the officer merely opening
the trunks and pressing his hands on the top. Even some American
reprints of English works which my companion carried, and feared would
be taken from him, were passed over without a word. I was agreeably
surprised at this, as from the accounts of some travellers, I had been
led to fear horrible things of custom-houses. This over, we took a
stroll about the city. I was first struck by seeing so many people
walking in the middle of the streets, and so many gentlemen going about
with pinks stuck in their button-holes. Then, the houses being all built
of brown granite or dark brick, gives the town a sombre appearance,
which the sunshine (when there is any) cannot dispel. Of Liverpool we
saw little. Before the twilight had wholly faded, we were again tossing
on the rough waves of the Irish Sea.



CHAPTER II.

A DAY IN IRELAND.


On calling at the steamboat office in Liverpool, to take passage to Port
Rush, we found that the fare in the fore cabin was but two shillings and
a half, while in the chief cabin it was six times as much. As I had
started to make the tour of all Europe with a sum little higher than is
sometimes given for the mere passage to and fro, there was no
alternative--the twenty-four hours' discomfort could be more easily
endured than the expense, and as I expected to encounter many hardships,
it was best to make a beginning. I had crossed the ocean with tolerable
comfort for twenty-four dollars, and was determined to try whether
England, where I had been told it was almost impossible to breathe
without expense, might not also be seen by one of limited means.

The fore _cabin_ was merely a bare room, with a bench along one side,
which was occupied by half a dozen Irishmen in knee-breeches and heavy
brogans. As we passed out of the Clarence Dock at 10 P.M., I went below
and managed to get a seat on one end of the bench, where I spent the
night in sleepless misery. The Irish bestowed themselves about the floor
as they best could, for there was no light, and very soon the Morphean
deepness of their breathing gave token of blissful unconsciousness.

The next morning was misty and rainy, but I preferred walking the deck
and drying myself occasionally beside the chimney, to sitting in the
dismal room below. We passed the Isle of Man, and through the whole
forenoon were tossed about very disagreeably in the North Channel. In
the afternoon we stopped at Larne, a little antiquated village, not far
from Belfast, at the head of a crooked arm of the sea. There is an old
ivy-grown tower near, and high green mountains rise up around. After
leaving it, we had a beautiful panoramic view of the northern coast.
Many of the precipices are of the same formation as the Causeway;
Fairhead, a promontory of this kind, is grand in the extreme. The
perpendicular face of fluted rock is about three hundred feet in height,
and towering up sublimely from the water, seemed almost to overhang our
heads.

My companion compared it to Niagara Falls petrified; and I think the
simile very striking. It is like a cataract falling in huge waves, in
some places leaping out from a projecting rock, in others descending in
an unbroken sheet.

We passed the Giant's Causeway after dark, and about eleven o'clock
reached the harbor of Port Rush, where, after stumbling up a strange old
street, in the dark, we found a little inn, and soon forgot the Irish
Coast and everything else.

In the morning when we arose it was raining, with little prospect of
fair weather, but having expected nothing better, we set out on foot for
the Causeway. The rain, however, soon came down in torrents, and we were
obliged to take shelter in a cabin by the road-side. The whole house
consisted of one room, with bare walls and roof, and earthen floor,
while a window of three or four panes supplied the light. A fire of peat
was burning on the hearth, and their breakfast, of potatoes alone, stood
on the table. The occupants received us with rude but genuine
hospitality, giving us the only seats in the room to sit upon; except a
rickety bedstead that stood in one corner and a small table, there was
no other furniture in the house. The man appeared rather intelligent,
and although he complained of the hardness of their lot, had no sympathy
with O'Connell or the Repeal movement.

We left this miserable hut, as soon as it ceased raining--and, though
there were many cabins along the road, few were better than this. At
length, after passing the walls of an old church, in the midst of older
tombs, we saw the roofless towers of Dunluce Castle, on the sea-shore.
It stands on an isolated rook, rising perpendicularly two hundred feet
above the sea, and connected with the cliffs of the mainland by a narrow
arch of masonry. On the summit of the cliffs were the remains of the
buildings where the ancient lords kept their vassals. An old man, who
takes care of it for Lord Antrim, on whose property it is situated,
showed us the way down to the castle. We walked across the narrow arch,
entered the ruined hall, and looked down on the roaring sea below. It
still rained, the wind swept furiously through the decaying arches of
the banqueting hall and waved the long grass on the desolate
battlements. Far below, the sea foamed white on the breakers and sent up
an unceasing boom. It was the most mournful and desolate picture I ever
beheld. There were some low dungeons yet entire, and rude stairways,
where, by stooping down, I could ascend nearly to the top of one of the
towers, and look out on the wild scenery of the coast.

Going back, I found a way down the cliff, to the mouth of a cavern in
the rock, which extends under the whole castle to the sea. Sliding down
a heap of sand and stones, I stood under an arch eighty feet high; in
front the breakers dashed into the entrance, flinging the spray half-way
to the roof, while the sound rang up through the arches like thunder. It
seemed to me the haunt of the old Norsemen's sea-gods!

We left the road near Dunluce and walked along the smooth beach to the
cliffs that surround the Causeway. Here we obtained a guide, and
descended to one of the caves which can be entered from the shore.
Opposite the entrance a bare rock called Sea Gull Isle, rises out of the
sea like a church steeple. The roof at first was low, but we shortly
came to a branch that opened on the sea, where the arch was forty-six
feet in height. The breakers dashed far into the cave, and flocks of
sea-birds circled round its mouth. The sound of a gun was like a
deafening peal of thunder, crashing from arch to arch till it rolled out
of the cavern.

On the top of the hill a splendid hotel is erected for visitors to the
Causeway; after passing this we descended to the base of the cliffs,
which are here upwards of four hundred feet high, and soon began to
find, in the columnar formation of the rocks, indications of our
approach. The guide pointed out some columns which appeared to have been
melted and run together, from which Sir Humphrey Davy attributed the
formation of the Causeway to the action of fire. Near this is the
Giant's Well, a spring of the purest water, the bottom formed by three
perfect hexagons, and the sides of regular columns. One of us observing
that no giant had ever drunk from it, the old man answered--"Perhaps
not: but it was made by a giant--God Almighty!"

From the well, the Causeway commences--a mass of columns, from
triangular to octagonal, lying in compact forms, and extending into the
sea. I was somewhat disappointed at first, having supposed the Causeway
to be of great height, but I found the Giant's Loom, which is the
highest part of it, to be but about fifty feet from the water. The
singular appearance of the columns and the many strange forms which they
assume, render it nevertheless, an object of the greatest interest.
Walking out on the rocks we came to the Ladies' Chair, the seat, back,
sides and footstool, being all regularly formed by the broken columns.
The guide said that any lady who would take three drinks from the
Giant's Well, then sit in this chair and think of any gentleman for whom
she had a preference, would be married before a twelvemonth. I asked him
if it would answer as well for gentlemen, for by a wonderful coincidence
we had each drank three times at the well! He said it would, and thought
he was confirming his statement.

A cluster of columns about half-way up the cliff is called the Giant's
Organ--from its very striking resemblance to that instrument, and a
single rock, worn by the waves into the shape of a rude seat, is his
chair. A mile or two further along the coast, two cliffs project from
the range, leaving a vast semicircular space between, which, from its
resemblance to the old Roman theatres, was appropriated for that purpose
by the Giant. Halfway down the crags are two or three pinnacles of rock,
called the Chimneys, and the stumps of several others can be seen,
which, it is said, were shot off by a vessel belonging to the Spanish
Armada, in mistake for the towers of Dunluce Castle. The vessel was
afterwards wrecked in the bay below, which has ever since been called
Spanish Bay, and in calm weather the wreck may be still seen. Many of
the columns of the Causeway have been carried off and sold as pillars
for mantels--and though a notice is put up threatening any one with the
rigor of the law, depredations are occasionally made.

Returning, we left the road at Dunluce, and took a path which led along
the summit of the cliffs. The twilight was gathering, and the wind blew
with perfect fury, which, combined with the black and stormy sky, gave
the coast an air of extreme wildness. All at once, as we followed the
winding path, the crags appeared to open before us, disclosing a yawning
chasm, down which a large stream, falling in an unbroken sheet, was lost
in the gloom below. Witnessed in a calm day, there may perhaps be
nothing striking about it, but coming upon us at once, through the gloom
of twilight, with the sea thundering below and a scowling sky above, it
was absolutely startling.

The path at last wound, with many a steep and slippery bend, down the
almost perpendicular crags, to the shore, at the foot of a giant
isolated rock, having a natural arch through it, eighty feet in height.
We followed the narrow strip of beach, having the bare crags on one side
and a line of foaming breakers on the other. It soon grew dark; a
furious storm came up and swept like a hurricane along the shore. I then
understood what Horne means by "the lengthening javelins of the blast,"
for every drop seemed to strike with the force of an arrow, and our
clothes were soon pierced in every part.

Then we went up among the sand hills, and lost each other in the
darkness, when, after stumbling about among the gullies for half an
hour, shouting for my companions, I found the road and heard my call
answered; but it happened to be two Irishmen, who came up and said--"And
is it another gintleman ye're callin' for? we heard some one cryin', and
didn't know but somebody might be kilt."

Finally, about eleven o'clock we all arrived at the inn, dripping with
rain, and before a warm fire concluded the adventures of our day in
Ireland.



CHAPTER III.

BEN LOMOND AND THE HIGHLAND LAKES.


The steamboat Londonderry called the next day at Port Rush, and we left
in her for Greenock. We ran down the Irish coast, past Dunluce Castle
and the Causeway; the Giant's organ was very plainly visible, and the
winds were strong enough to have sounded a storm-song upon it. Farther
on we had a distant view of Carrick-a-Rede, a precipitous rock,
separated by a yawning chasm from the shore, frequented by the catchers
of sea-birds. A narrow swinging bridge, which is only passable in calm
weather, crosses this chasm, 200 feet above the water.

The deck of the steamer was crowded with Irish, and certainly gave no
very favorable impression of the condition of the peasantry of Ireland.
On many of their countenances there was scarcely a mark of
intelligence--they were a most brutalized and degraded company of
beings. Many of them were in a beastly state of intoxication, which,
from the contents of some of their pockets, was not likely to decrease.
As evening drew on, two or three began singing and the others collected
in groups around them. One of them who sang with great spirit, was
loudly applauded, and poured forth song after song, of the most rude and
unrefined character.

We took a deck passage for three shillings, in preference to paying
twenty for the cabin, and having secured a vacant place near the
chimney, kept it during the whole passage. The waves were as rough in
the Channel as I ever saw them in the Atlantic, and our boat was tossed
about like a plaything. By keeping still we escaped sickness, but we
could not avoid the sight of the miserable beings who filled the deck.
Many of them spoke in the Irish tongue, and our German friend (the
student whom I have already mentioned) noticed in many of the words a
resemblance to his mother tongue. I procured a bowl of soup from the
steward, but as I was not able to eat it, I gave it to an old man whose
hungry look and wistful eyes convinced me it would not be lost on him.
He swallowed it with ravenous avidity, together with a crust of bread,
which was all I had to give him, and seemed for the time as happy and
cheerful as if all his earthly wants were satisfied.

We passed by the foot of Goat Fell, a lofty mountain on the island of
Arran, and sped on through the darkness past the hills of Bute, till we
entered the Clyde. We arrived at Greenock at one o'clock at night, and
walking at random through its silent streets, met a policeman, whom we
asked to show us where we might find lodgings. He took my cousin and
myself to the house of a poor widow, who had a spare bed which she let
to strangers, and then conducted our comrade and the German to another
lodging-place.

An Irish strolling musician, who was on board the Dumbarton boat,
commenced playing soon after we left Greenock, and, to my surprise,
struck at once into "Hail Columbia." Then he gave "the Exile of Erin,"
with the most touching sweetness; and I noticed that always after
playing any air that was desired of him, he would invariably return to
the sad lament, which I never heard executed with more feeling. It might
have been the mild, soft air of the morning, or some peculiar mood of
mind that influenced me, but I have been far less affected by music
which would be considered immeasurably superior to his. I had been
thinking of America, and going up to the old man, I quietly bade him
play "Home." It thrilled with a painful delight that almost brought
tears to my eyes. My companion started as the sweet melody arose, and
turned towards me, his face kindling with emotion.

Dumbarton Rock rose higher and higher as we went up the Clyde, and
before we arrived at the town I hailed the dim outline of Ben Lomond,
rising far off among the highlands. The town is at the head of a small
inlet, a short distance from the rock, which was once surrounded by
water. We went immediately to the Castle. The rock is nearly 500 feet
high, and from its position and great strength as a fortress, has been
called the Gibraltar of Scotland. The top is surrounded with
battlements, and the armory and barracks stand in a cleft between the
two peaks. We passed down a green lane, around the rock, and entered the
castle on the south side. A soldier conducted us through a narrow cleft,
overhung with crags, to the summit. Here, from the remains of a round
building, called Wallace's Tower, from its having been used as a
look-out station by that chieftain, we had a beautiful view of the whole
of Leven Vale to Loch Lomond, Ben Lomond and the Highlands, and on the
other hand, the Clyde and the Isle of Bute. In the soft and still
balminess of the morning, it was a lovely picture. In the armory, I
lifted the sword of Wallace, a two-handed weapon, five feet in length.
We were also shown a Lochaber battle-axe, from Bannockburn, and several
ancient claymores.

We lingered long upon the summit before we forsook the stern fortress
for the sweet vale spread out before us. It was indeed a glorious walk,
from Dumbarton to Loch Lomond, through this enchanting valley. The air
was mild and clear; a few light clouds occasionally crossing the sun,
chequered the hills with sun and shade. I have as yet seen nothing that
in pastoral beauty can compare with its glassy winding stream, its mossy
old woods, and guarding hills--and the ivy-grown, castellated towers
embosomed in its forests, or standing on the banks of the Leven--the
purest of rivers. At a little village called Renton, is a monument to
Smollett, but the inhabitants seem to neglect his memory, as one of the
tablets on the pedestal is broken and half fallen away. Further up the
vale a farmer showed us an old mansion in the midst of a group of trees
on the bank of the Leven, which he said belonged to Smollett--or
Roderick Random, as he called him. Two or three old pear trees were
still standing where the garden had formerly been, under which he was
accustomed to play in his childhood.

At the head of Leven Vale, we set off in the steamer "Water Witch" over
the crystal waters of Loch Lomond, passing Inch Murrin, the deer-park of
the Duke of Montrose, and Inch Caillach,

    ----"where gray pines wave
    Their shadows o'er Clan Alpine's grave."

Under the clear sky and golden light of the declining sun, we entered
the Highlands, and heard on every side names we had learned long ago in
the lays of Scott. Here were Glen Fruin and Bannochar, Ross Dhu and the
pass of Beal-ma-na. Further still, we passed Rob Roy's rock, where the
lake is locked in by lofty mountains. The cone-like peak of Ben Lomond
rises far above on the right, Ben Voirlich stands in front, and the
jagged crest of Ben Arthur looks over the shoulders of the western
hills. A Scotchman on board pointed out to us the remarkable places, and
related many interesting legends. Above Inversnaid, where there is a
beautiful waterfall, leaping over the rock and glancing out from the
overhanging birches, we passed McFarland's Island, concerning the origin
of which name, he gave a history. A nephew of one of the old Earls of
Lennox, the ruins of whose castle we saw on Inch Murrin, having murdered
his uncle's cook in a quarrel, was obliged to flee for his life.
Returning after many years, he built a castle upon this island, which
was always after named, on account of his exile, _Far-land_. On a
precipitous point above Inversnaid, are two caves in the rock; one near
the water is called Rob Roy's, though the guides generally call it
Bruce's also, to avoid trouble, as the real Bruce's Cave is high up the
hill. It is so called, because Bruce hid there one night, from the
pursuit of his enemies. It is related that a mountain goat, who used
this probably for a sleeping place, entered, trod on his mantle, and
aroused him. Thinking his enemies were upon him, he sprang up, and saw
the silly animal before him. In token of gratitude for this agreeable
surprise, when he became king, a law was passed, declaring goats free
throughout all Scotland--unpunishable for whatever trespass they might
commit, and the legend further says, that not having been repealed, it
continues in force at the present day.

On the opposite shore of the lake is a large rock, called "Bull's Rock,"
having a door in the side, with a stairway cut through the interior to a
pulpit on the top, from which the pastor at Arroquhar preaches a monthly
discourse. The Gaelic legend of the rock is, that it once stood near the
summit of the mountain above, and was very nearly balanced on the edge
of a precipice. Two wild bulls, fighting violently, dashed with great
force against the rock, which, being thrown from its balance, was
tumbled down the side of the mountain, till it reached its present
position. The Scot was speaking with great bitterness of the betrayal of
Wallace, when I asked him if it was still considered an insult to turn a
loaf of bread bottom upwards in the presence of a Montieth. "Indeed it
is, sir," said he, "I have often done it myself."

Until last May, travellers were taken no higher up the lake than Rob
Roy's Cave, but another boat having commenced running, they can now go
beyond Loch Lomond, two miles up Glen Falloch, to the Inn of Inverarnan,
thereby visiting some of the finest scenery in that part of the
Highlands. It was ludicrous, however, to see the steamboat on a river
scarcely wider than herself, in a little valley, hemmed in completely
with lofty mountains. She went on, however, pushing aside the thickets
which lined both banks, and I almost began to think she was going to
take the shore for it, when we came to a place widened out for her to be
turned around in; here we jumped ashore in a green meadow, on which the
cool mist was beginning to descend.

When we arose in the morning, at 4 o'clock, to return with the boat, the
sun was already shining upon the westward hills, scarcely a cloud was in
the sky, and the air was pure and cool. To our great delight Ben Lomond
was unshrouded, and we were told that a more favorable day for the
ascent had not occurred for two months. We left the boat at Rowardennan,
an inn at the southern base of Ben Lomond. After breakfasting on Loch
Lomond trout, I stole out to the shore while my companions were
preparing for the ascent, and made a hasty sketch of the lake.

We purposed descending on the northern side and crossing the Highlands
to Loch Katrine; though it was represented as difficult and dangerous by
the guide who wished to accompany us, we determined to run the risk of
being enveloped in a cloud on the summit, and so set out alone, the path
appearing plain before us. We had no difficulty in following it up the
lesser heights, around the base. It wound on, over rock and bog, among
the heather and broom with which the mountain is covered, sometimes
running up a steep acclivity, and then winding zigzag round a rocky
ascent. The rains two days before, had made the bogs damp and muddy, but
with this exception, we had little trouble for some time. Ben Lomond is
a doubly formed mountain. For about three-fourths of the way there is a
continued ascent, when it is suddenly terminated by a large barren
plain, from one end of which the summit shoots up abruptly, forming at
the north side, a precipice 500 feet high. As we approached the summit
of the first part of the mountain, the way became very steep and
toilsome; but the prospect, which had before been only on the south
side, began to open on the east, and we saw suddenly spread out below
us, the vale of Menteith, with "far Loch Ard and Aberfoil" in the
centre, and the huge front of Benvenue filling up the picture. Taking
courage from this, we hurried on. The heather had become stunted and
dwarfish, and the ground was covered with short brown grass. The
mountain sheep, which we saw looking at us from the rock above, had worn
so many paths along the side, that we could not tell which to take, but
pushed on in the direction of the summit, till thinking it must be near
at hand, we found a mile and a half of plain before us, with the top of
Ben Lomond at the farther end. The plain was full of wet moss, crossed
in all directions by deep ravines or gullies worn in it by the mountain
rains, and the wind swept across with a tempest-like force.

I met, near the base, a young gentleman from Edinburgh, who had left
Rowardennan before us, and we commenced ascending together. It was hard
work, but neither liked to stop, so we climbed up to the first resting
place, and found the path leading along the brink of a precipice. We
soon attained the summit, and climbing up a little mound of earth and
stones, I saw the half of Scotland at a glance. The clouds hung just
above the mountain tops, which rose all around like the waves of a
mighty sea. On every side--near and far--stood their misty summits, but
Ben Lomond was the monarch of them all. Loch Lomond lay unrolled under
my feet like a beautiful map, and just opposite, Loch Long thrust its
head from between the feet of the crowded hills, to catch a glimpse of
the giant. We could see from Ben Nevis to Ayr--from Edinburgh to Staffa.
Stirling and Edinburgh Castles would have been visible, but that the
clouds hung low in the valley of the Forth and hid them from our sight.

The view from Ben Lomond is nearly twice as extensive as that from
Catskill, being uninterrupted on every side, but it wants the glorious
forest scenery, clear, blue sky, and active, rejoicing character of the
latter. We stayed about two hours upon the summit, taking refuge behind
the cairn, when the wind blew strong. I found the smallest of flowers
under a rock, and brought it away as a memento. In the middle of the
precipice there is a narrow ravine or rather cleft in the rock, to the
bottom, from whence the mountain slopes regularly but steeply down to
the valley. At the bottom we stopped to awake the echoes, which were
repeated four times; our German companion sang the Hunter's Chorus,
which resounded magnificently through this Highland hall. We drank from
the river Forth, which starts from a spring at the foot of the rock, and
then commenced descending. This was also toilsome enough. The mountain
was quite wet and covered with loose stones, which, dislodged by our
feet, went rattling down the side, oftentimes to the danger of the
foremost ones; and when we had run or rather slid down the three miles,
to the bottom, our knees trembled so as scarcely to support us.

Here, at a cottage on the farm of Coman, we procured some oat cakes and
milk for dinner, from an old Scotch woman, who pointed out the direction
of Loch Katrine, six miles distant; there was no road, nor indeed a
solitary dwelling between. The hills were bare of trees, covered with
scraggy bushes and rough heath, which in some places was so thick we
could scarcely drag our feet through. Added to this, the ground was
covered with a kind of moss that retained the moisture like a sponge, so
that our boots ere long became thoroughly soaked. Several considerable
streams were rushing down the side, and many of the wild breed of black
Highland cattle were grazing around. After climbing up and down one or
two heights, occasionally startling the moorcock and ptarmigan from
their heathery coverts, we saw the valley of Loch Con; while in the
middle of the plain on the top of the mountain we had ascended, was a
sheet of water which we took to be Loch Ackill. Two or three wild fowl
swimming on its surface were the only living things in sight. The peaks
around shut it out from all view of the world; a single decayed tree
leaned over it from a mossy rock, which gave the whole scene an air of
the most desolate wildness. I forget the name of the lake; but we
learned afterwards that the Highlanders consider it the abode of the
fairies, or "men of peace," and that it is still superstitiously shunned
by them after nightfall.

From the next mountain we saw Loch Ackill and Loch Katrine below, but a
wet and weary descent had yet to be made. I was about throwing off my
knapsack on a rock, to take a sketch of Loch Katrine, which appeared
very beautiful from this point, when we discerned a cavalcade of ponies
winding along the path from Inversnaid, to the head of the lake, and
hastened down to take the boat when they should arrive. Our haste turned
out to be unnecessary, however, for they had to wait for their luggage,
which was long in coming. Two boatmen then offered to take us for two
shillings and sixpence each, with the privilege of stopping at Ellen's
Isle; the regular fare being two shillings. We got in, when, after
exchanging a few words in Gaelic, one of them called to the travellers,
of whom there were a number, to come and take passage at two
shillings--then at one and sixpence, and finally concluded by requesting
them all to step on board the shilling boat! At length, having secured
nine at this reduced price, we pushed off; one of the passengers took
the helm, and the boat glided merrily over the clear water.

It appears there is some opposition among the boatmen this summer, which
is all the better for travelers. They are a bold race, and still
preserve many of the characteristics of the clan from which they sprung.
One of ours, who had a chieftain-like look, was a MacGregor, related to
Rob Roy. The fourth descendant in a direct line, now inhabits the Rob
Roy mansion, at Glengyle, a valley at the head of the lake. A small
steamboat was put upon Loch Katrine a short time ago, but the boatmen,
jealous of this new invasion of their privilege, one night towed her out
to the middle of the lake and there sunk her.

Near the point of Brianchoil is a very small island with a few trees
upon it, of which the boatman related a story that was new to me. He
said an eccentric individual, many years ago, built his house upon
it--but it was soon beaten down by the winds and waves. Having built it
up with like fortune several times, he at last desisted, saying, "bought
wisdom was the best;" since when it has been called the Island of
Wisdom. On the shore below, the boatman showed us his cottage. The whole
family were out at the door to witness our progress; he hoisted a flag,
and when we came opposite, they exchanged shouts in Gaelic. As our men
resumed their oars again, we assisted in giving three cheers, which made
the echoes of Benvenue ring again. Some one observed his dog, looking
after us from a projecting rock, when he called out to him, "go home,
you brute!" We asked him why he did not speak Gaelic also to his dog.

"Very few dogs, indeed," said he, "understand Gaelic, but they all
understand English. And we therefore all use English when speaking to
our dogs; indeed, I know some persons, who know nothing of English, that
speak it to their dogs!"

They then sang, in a rude manner, a Gaelic song. The only word I could
distinguish was Inch Caillach, the burying place of Clan Alpine. They
told us it was the answer of a Highland girl to a foreign lord, who
wished to make her his bride. Perhaps, like the American Indian, she
would not leave the graves of her fathers. As we drew near the eastern
end of the lake, the scenery became far more beautiful. The Trosachs
opened before us. Ben Ledi looked down over the "forehead bare" of Ben
An, and, as we turned a rocky point, Ellen's Isle rose up in front. It
is a beautiful little turquoise in the silver setting of Loch Katrine.
The northern side alone is accessible, all the others being rocky and
perpendicular, and thickly grown with trees. We rounded the island to
the little bay, bordered by the silver strand, above which is the rock
from which Fitz-James wound his horn, and shot under an ancient oak
which flung its long grey arms over the water; we here found a flight of
rocky steps, leading to the top, where stood the bower erected by Lady
Willoughby D'Eresby, to correspond with Scott's description. Two or
three blackened beams are all that remain of it, having been burned down
some years ago, by the carelessness of a traveler.

The mountains stand all around, like giants, to "sentinel this enchanted
land." On leaving the island, we saw the Goblin's Cave, in the side of
Benvenue, called by the Gaels, "Coirnan-Uriskin." Near it is
Beal-nam-bo, the pass of cattle, overhung with grey weeping birch trees.
Here the boatmen stopped to let us hear the fine echo, and the names of
"Rob Roy," and "Roderick Dhu," were sent back to us apparently as loud
as they were given. The description of Scott is wonderfully exact,
though the forest that feathered o'er the sides of Benvenue, has since
been cut down and sold by the Duke of Montrose. When we reached the end
of the lake it commenced raining, and we hastened on through the pass of
Beal-an-Duine, scarcely taking time to glance at the scenery, till Loch
Achray appeared through the trees, and on its banks the ivy-grown front
of the inn of Ardcheancrochan, with its unpronounceable name.



CHAPTER IV.

THE BURNS FESTIVAL.


We passed a glorious summer morning on the banks of Loch Katrine. The
air was pure, fresh and balmy, and the warm sunshine glowed upon forest
and lake, upon dark crag and purple mountain-top. The lake was a scene
in fairy-land. Returning over the rugged battle-plain in the jaws of the
Trosachs, we passed the wild, lonely valley of Glenfinlas and Lanric
Mead, at the head of Loch Vennachar, rounding the foot of Ben Ledi to
Coilantogle Ford. We saw the desolate hills of Uam-var over which the
stag fled from his lair in Glenartney, and keeping on through Callander,
stopped for the night at a little inn on the banks of the Teith. The
next day we walked through Doune, over the lowlands to Stirling.
Crossing Allan Water and the Forth, we climbed Stirling Castle and
looked on the purple peaks of the Ochill Mountains, the far Grampians,
and the battle-fields of Bannockburn and Sheriff Muir. Our German
comrade, feeling little interest in the memory of the poet-ploughman,
left in the steamboat for Edinburg; we mounted an English coach and rode
to Falkirk, where we took the cars for Glasgow in order to attend the
Burns Festival, on the 6th of August.

This was a great day for Scotland--the assembling of all classes to do
honor to the memory of her peasant-bard. And right fitting was it, too,
that such a meeting should be hold on the banks of the Doon, the stream
of which he has sung so sweetly, within sight of the cot where he was
born, the beautiful monument erected by his countrymen, and more than
all, beside "Alloway's witch-haunted wall!" One would think old Albyn
would rise up at the call, and that from the wild hunters of the
northern hills to the shepherds of the Cheviots, half her honest
yeomanry would be there, to render gratitude to the memory of the sweet
bard who was one of them, and who gave their wants and their woes such
eloquent utterance.

For months before had the proposition been made to hold a meeting on the
Doon, similar to the Shakspeare Festival on the Avon, and the 10th of
July was first appointed for the day, but owing to the necessity of
further time for preparation, it was postponed until the 6th of August.
The Earl of Eglintoun was chosen Chairman, and Professor Wilson
Vice-Chairman; in addition to this, all the most eminent British authors
were invited to attend. A pavilion, capable of containing two thousand
persons, had been erected near the monument, in a large field, which was
thrown open to the public. Other preparations were made and the meeting
was expected to be of the most interesting character.

When we arose it was raining, and I feared that the weather might dampen
somewhat the pleasures of the day, as it had done to the celebrated
tournament at Eglintoun Castle. We reached the station in time for the
first train, and sped in the face of the wind over the plains of
Ayrshire, which, under such a gloomy sky, looked most desolate. We ran
some distance along the coast, having a view of the Hills of Arran, and
reached Ayr about nine o'clock. We came first to the New Bridge, which
had a triumphal arch in the middle, and the lines, from the "Twa Brigs
of Ayr:"

    "Will your poor narrow foot-path of a street,
    Where twa wheel-barrows tremble when they meet,
    Your ruin'd, formless bulk o' stane and lime,
    Compare wi' bonnie brigs o' modern time?"

While on the arch of the 'old brig' was the reply:

    "I'll be a brig when ye're a shapeless stane."

As we advanced into the town, the decorations became more frequent. The
streets were crowded with people carrying banners and wreaths, many of
the houses were adorned with green boughs and the vessels in the harbor
hung out all their flags. We saw the Wallace Tower, a high Gothic
building, having in front a statue of Wallace leaning on his sword, by
Thom, a native of Ayr, and on our way to the green, where the procession
was to assemble, passed under the triumphal arch thrown across the
street opposite the inn where Tarn O'Shanter caroused so long with
Souter Johnny. Leaving the companies to form on the long meadow
bordering the shore, we set out for the Doon, three miles distant.
Beggars were seated at regular distances along the road, uttering the
most dolorous whinings. Both bridges were decorated in the same manner,
with miserable looking objects, keeping up, during the whole day, a
continual lamentation. Persons are prohibited from begging in England
and Scotland, but I suppose, this being an extraordinary day, license
was given them as a favor, to beg free. I noticed that the women, with
their usual kindness of heart, bestowed nearly all the alms which these
unfortunate objects received. The night before, as I was walking through
the streets of Glasgow, a young man of the poorer class, very scantily
dressed, stepped up to me and begged me to listen to him for a moment.
He spoke hurriedly, and agitatedly, begging me, in God's name, to give
him something, however little. I gave him what few pence I had with me,
when he grasped my hand with a quick motion, saying: "Sir, you little
think how much you have done for me." I was about to inquire more
particularly into his situation, but he had disappeared among the crowd.

We passed the "cairn where hunters found the murdered bairn," along a
pleasant road to the Burns cottage, where it was spanned by a
magnificent triumphal arch of evergreens and flowers. To the disgrace of
Scotland, this neat little thatched cot, where Burns passed the first
seven years of his life, is now occupied by somebody, who has stuck up a
sign over the door, "_licensed to retail spirits, to be drunk on the
premises_;" and accordingly the rooms were crowded full of people, all
drinking. There was a fine original portrait of Burns in one room, and
in the old fashioned kitchen we saw the recess where he was born. The
hostess looked towards us as if to inquire what we would drink, and I
hastened away--there was profanity in the thought. But by this time, the
bell of Old Alloway, which still hangs in its accustomed place, though
the walls only are left, began tolling, and we obeyed the call. The
attachment of the people for this bell, is so great, that a short time
ago, when it was ordered to be removed, the inhabitants rose en masse,
and prevented it. The ruin, which is close by the road, stands in the
middle of the church-yard, and the first thing I saw, on going in the
gate, was the tomb of the father of Burns. I looked in the old window,
but the interior was filled with rank weeds, and overshadowed by a young
tree, which had grown nearly to the eaves.

The crowd was now fast gathering in the large field, in the midst of
which the pavilion was situated. We went down by the beautiful monument
to Burns, to the "Auld Brig o' Doon," which was spanned by an arch of
evergreens, containing a representation of Tam O'Shanter and his grey
mare, pursued by the witches. It had been arranged that the procession
was to pass over the old and new bridges, and from thence by a temporary
bridge over the hedge into the field. At this latter place a stand was
erected for the sons of Burns, the officers of the day, and
distinguished guests. Here was a beautiful specimen of English
exclusiveness. The space adjoining the pavilion was fenced around, and
admittance denied at first to any, except those who had tickets for the
dinner, which, the price being fifteen shillings, entirely prevented the
humble laborers, who, more than all, should participate on the occasion,
from witnessing the review of the procession by the sons of Burns, and
hearing the eloquent speeches of Professor Wilson and Lord Eglintoun.
Thus, of the many thousands who were in the field, but a few hundred who
were crowded between the bridge and the railing around the pavilion,
enjoyed the interesting spectacle. By good fortune, I obtained a stand,
where I had an excellent view of the scene. The sons of Burns were in
the middle of the platform, with Eglintoun on the right, and Wilson on
their left. Mrs. Begg, sister of the Poet, with her daughters, stood by
the Countess of Eglintoun. She was a plain, benevolent looking woman,
dressed in black, and appearing still active and vigorous, though she is
upwards of eighty years old. She bears some likeness, especially in the
expression of her eye, to the Poet. Robert Burns, the oldest son,
appeared to me to have a strong resemblance of his father, and it is
said he is the only one who remembers his face. He has for a long time
had an office under Government, in London. The others have but lately
returned from a residence of twenty years in India. Professor Wilson
appeared to enter into the spirit of the scene better than any of them.
He shouted and waved his hat, and, with his fine, broad forehead, his
long brown locks already mixed with gray, streaming over his shoulders,
and that eagle eye glancing over the vast assemblage, seemed a real
Christopher North, yet full of the fire and vigor of youth--"a
gray-haired, happy boy!"

About half of the procession consisted of lodges of masons, all of whom
turned out on the occasion, as Burns was one of the fraternity. I was
most interested in several companies of shepherds, from the hills, with
their crooks and plaids; a body of archers in Lincoln green, with a
handsome chief at their head, and some Highlanders in their most
picturesque of costumes. As one of the companies, which carried a
mammoth thistle in a box, came near the platform, Wilson snatched a
branch, regardless of its pricks, and placed it on his coat. After this
pageant, which could not have been much less than three miles long, had
passed, a band was stationed on the platform in the centre of the field,
around which it formed in a circle, and the whole company sang, "Ye
Banks and Braes o' Bonnie Doon." Just at this time, a person dressed to
represent Tam O'Shanter, mounted on a gray mare, issued from a field
near the Burns Monument and rode along towards Alloway Kirk, from which,
when he approached it, a whole legion of witches sallied out and
commenced a hot pursuit. They turned back, however, at the keystone of
the bridge, the witch with the "cutty sark" holding up in triumph the
abstracted tail of Maggie. Soon after this the company entered the
pavilion, and the thousands outside were entertained, as an especial
favor, by the band of the 87th Regiment, while from the many liquor
booths around the field, they could enjoy themselves in another way.

We went up to the Monument, which was of more particular interest to us,
from the relics within, but admission was denied to all. Many persons
were collected around the gate, some of whom, having come from a great
distance, were anxious to see it; but the keeper only said, such were
the orders and he could not disobey them. Among the crowd, a grandson of
the original Tam O'Shanter was shown to us. He was a raw-looking boy of
nineteen or twenty, wearing a shepherd's cap and jacket, and muttered
his disapprobation very decidedly, at not being able to visit the
Monument.

There were one or two showers during the day, and the sky, all the time,
was dark and lowering, which was unfavorable for the celebration; but
all were glad enough that the rain kept aloof till the ceremonies were
nearly over. The speeches delivered at the dinner, which appeared in the
papers next morning, are undoubtedly very eloquent. I noticed in the
remarks of Robert Burns, in reply to Professor Wilson, an acknowledgment
which the other speakers forgot. He said, "The Sons of Burns have
grateful hearts, and to the last hour of their existence, they will
remember the honor that has been paid them this day, by the noble, the
lovely and the talented, of their native land--by men of genius and
kindred spirit from our sister land--and lastly, they owe their thanks
to the inhabitants of the far distant west, a country of a great, free,
and kindred people! (loud cheers.)" In connexion with this subject, I
saw an anecdote of the Poet, yesterday, which is not generally known.
During his connexion with the Excise, he was one day at a party, where
the health of Pitt, then minister, was proposed, as "his master and
theirs." He immediately turned down his glass and said, "I will give you
the health of a far greater and better man--GEORGE WASHINGTON!"

We left the field early and went back through the muddy streets of Ayr.
The street before the railway office was crowded, and there was so dense
a mass of people on the steps, that it seemed almost impossible to get
near. Seeing no other chance, I managed to take my stand on the lowest
steps, where the pressure of the crowd behind and the working of the
throng on the steps, raised me off my feet, and in about a quarter of an
hour carried me, compressed into the smallest possible space, up the
steps to the door, where the crowd burst in by fits, like water rushing
out of a bottle. We esteemed ouvselves fortunate in getting room to
stand in an open car, where, after a two hours' ride through the wind
and pelting rain, we arrived at Glasgow.



CHAPTER V.

WALK FROM EDINBURG OVER THE BORDER AND ARRIVAL AT LONDON.


We left Glasgow on the morning after returning from the Burns Festival,
taking passage in the open cars for Edinburg, for six shillings. On
leaving the depot, we plunged into the heart of the hill on which
Glasgow Cathedral stands and were whisked through darkness and sulphury
smoke to daylight again. The cars bore us past a spur of the Highlands,
through a beautiful country where women were at work in the fields, to
Linlithgow, the birth-place of Queen Mary. The majestic ruins of its
once-proud palace, stand on a green meadow behind the town. In another
hour we were walking through Edinburg, admiring its palace-like
edifices, and stopping every few minutes to gaze up at some lofty
monument. Really, thought I, we call Baltimore the "Monumental City" for
its two marble columns, and here is Edinburg with one at every
street-corner! These, too, not in the midst of glaring red buildings,
where they seem to have been accidentally dropped, but framed in by
lofty granite mansions, whose long vistas make an appropriate background
to the picture.

We looked from Calton Hill on Salisbury Crags and over the Firth of
Forth, then descended to dark old Holyrood, where the memory of lovely
Mary lingers like a stray sunbeam in her cold halls, and the fair,
boyish face of Rizzio looks down from the canvass on the armor of his
murderer. We threaded the Canongate and climbed to the Castle; and
finally, after a day and a half's sojourn, buckled on our knapsacks and
marched out of the Northern Athens. In a short time the tall spire of
Dalkeith appeared above the green wood, and we saw to the right, perched
on the steep banks of the Esk, the picturesque cottage of Hawthornden,
where Drummond once lived in poetic solitude. We made haste to cross the
dreary waste of the Muirfoot Hills before nightfall, from the highest
summit of which we took a last view of Edinburg Castle and the Salisbury
Crags, then blue in the distance. Far to the east were the hills of
Lammermuir and the country of Mid-Lothian lay before us. It was all
_Scott_-land. The inn of Torsonce, beside the Gala Water, was our
resting-place for the night. As we approached Galashiels the next
morning, where the bed of the silver Gala is nearly emptied by a number
of dingy manufactories, the hills opened, disclosing the sweet vale of
the Tweed, guarded by the triple peak of the Eildon, at whose base lay
nestled the village of Melrose.

I stopped at a bookstore to purchase a view of the Abbey; to my surprise
nearly half the works were by American authors. There wore Bryant,
Longfellow, Channing, Emerson, Dana, Ware and many others. The
bookseller told me he had sold more of Ware's Letters than any other
book in his store, "and also," to use his own words, "an immense number
of the great Dr. Channing." I have seen English editions of Percival,
Willis, Whittier and Mrs. Sigourney, but Bancroft and Prescott are
classed among the "standard _British_ historians."

Crossing the Gala we ascended a hill on the road to Selkirk, and behold!
the Tweed ran below, and opposite, in the midst of embowering trees
planted by the hand of Scott, rose the grey halls of Abbotsford. We went
down a lane to the banks of the swift stream, but finding no ferry,
B---- and I, as it looked very shallow, thought we might save a long
walk by wading across. F---- preferred hunting for a boat; we two set
out together, with our knapsacks on our backs, and our boots in our
hands. The current was ice-cold and very swift, and as the bed was
covered with loose stones, it required the greatest care to stand
upright. Looking at the bottom, through the rapid water, made my head so
giddy, I was forced to stop and shut my eyes; my friend, who had firmer
nerves, went plunging on to a deeper and swifter part, where the
strength of the current made him stagger very unpleasantly. I called to
him to return; the next thing I saw, he gave a plunge and went down to
the shoulder in the cold flood. While he was struggling with a
frightened expression of face to recover his footing, I leaned on my
staff and laughed till I was on the point of falling also. To crown our
mortification, F---- had found a ferry a few yards higher up and was on
the opposite shore, watching us wade back again, my friend with dripping
clothes and boots full of water. I could not forgive the pretty Scotch
damsel who rowed us across, the mischievous lurking smile which told
that she too had witnessed the adventure.

We found a foot-path on the other side, which led through a young forest
to Abbotsford. Rude pieces of sculpture, taken from Melrose Abbey, were
scattered around the gate, some half buried in the earth and overgrown
with weeds. The niches in the walls were filled with pieces of
sculpture, and an antique marble greyhound reposed in the middle of the
court yard. We rang the bell in an outer vestibule, ornamented with
several pairs of antlers, when a lady appeared, who, from her
appearance, I have no doubt was Mrs. Ormand, the "Duenna of Abbotsford,"
so humorously described by D'Arlincourt, in his "Three Kingdoms." She
ushered us into the entrance hall, which has a magnificent ceiling of
carved oak and is lighted by lofty stained windows. An effigy of a
knight in armor stood at either end, one holding a huge two-handed sword
found on Bosworth Field; the walls were covered with helmets and
breastplates of the olden time.

Among the curiosities in the Armory are Napoleon's pistols, the
blunderbuss of Hofer, Rob Roy's purse and gun, and the offering box of
Queen Mary. Through the folding doors between the dining-room,
drawing-room and library, is a fine vista, terminated by a niche, in
which stands Chantrey's bust of Scott. The ceilings are of carved
Scottish oak and the doors of American cedar. Adjoining the library is
his study, the walls of which are covered with books; the doors and
windows are double, to render it quiet and undisturbed. His books and
inkstand are on the table and his writing-chair stands before it, as if
he had left them but a moment before. In a little closet adjoining,
where he kept his private manuscripts, are the clothes he last wore, his
cane and belt, to which a hammer and small axe are attached, and his
sword. A narrow staircase led from the study to his sleeping room above,
by which he could come down at night and work while his family slept.
The silence about the place is solemn and breathless, as if it waited to
be broken by his returning footstep. I felt an awe in treading these
lonely halls, like that which impressed me before the grave of
Washington--a feeling that hallowed the spot, as if there yet lingered a
low vibration of the lyre, though the minstrel had departed forever!

Plucking a wild rose that grew near the walls, I left Abbotsford,
embosomed among the trees, and turned into a green lane that led down to
Melrose. We went immediately to the Abbey, in the lower part of the
village, near the Tweed. As I approached the gate, the porteress came
out, and having scrutinized me rather sharply, asked my name. I told
her;--"well," she added, "there is a _prospect_ here for you." Thinking
she alluded to the ruin, I replied: "Yes, the view is certainly very
fine." "Oh! I don't mean that," she replied, "a young gentleman left a
prospect here for you!"--whereupon she brought out a spy-glass, which I
recognized us one that our German comrade had given to me. He had gone
on, and hoped to meet us at Jedburgh.

Melrose is the finest remaining specimen of Gothic architecture in
Scotland. Some of the sculptured flowers in the cloister arches are
remarkably beautiful and delicate, and the two windows--the south and
east oriels--are of a lightness and grace of execution really
surprising. We saw the tomb of Michael Scott, of King Alexander II, and
that of the Douglas, marked with a sword. The heart of Bruce is supposed
to have been buried beneath the high altar. The chancel is all open to
the sky, and rooks build their nests among the wild ivy that climbs over
the crumbling arches. One of these came tamely down and perched upon the
hand of our fair guide. By a winding stair in one of the towers we
mounted to the top of the arch and looked down on the grassy floor. I
sat on the broken pillar, which Scott always used for a seat when he
visited the Abbey, and read the disinterring of the magic book, in the
"Lay of the Last Minstrel." I never comprehended its full beauty till
then: the memory of Melrose will give it a thrilling interest, in the
future. When we left, I was willing to say, with the Minstrel:

    "Was never scene so sad and fair!"

After seeing the home and favorite haunt of Scott, we felt a wish to
stand by his grave, but we had Ancrum Moor to pass before night, and the
Tweed was between us and Dryburgh Abbey. We did not wish to try another
watery adventure, and therefore walked on to the village of Ancrum,
where a gate-keeper on the road gave us lodging and good fare, for a
moderate price. Many of this class practise this double employment, and
the economical traveller, who looks more to comfort than luxury, will
not fail to patronize them.

Next morning we took a foot-path over the hills to Jedburgh. From the
summit there was a lovely view of the valley of the Teviot, with the
blue Cheviots in the distance. I thought of Pringle's beautiful
farewell:

    "Our native land, our native vale,
       A long, a last adieu,
     farewell to bonny Teviot-dale,
       And Cheviot's mountains blue!"

The poet was born in the valley below, and one that looks upon its
beauty cannot wonder how his heart clung to the scenes he was leaving.
We saw Jedburgh and its majestic old Abbey, and ascended the valley of
the Jed towards the Cheviots. The hills, covered with woods of a
richness and even gorgeous beauty of foliage, shut out this lovely glen
completely from the world. I found myself continually coveting the
lonely dwellings that were perched on the rocky heights, or nestled,
like a fairy pavilion, in the lap of a grove. These forests formerly
furnished the wood for the celebrated Jedwood axe, used in the Border
forays.

As we continued ascending, the prospect behind us widened, till we
reached the summit of the Carter Fell, whence there is a view of great
extent and beauty. The Eildon Hills, though twenty-five miles distant,
seemed in the foreground of the picture. With a glass, Edinburgh Castle
might be seen over the dim outline of the Muirfoot Hills. After crossing
the border, we passed the scene of the encounter between Percy and
Douglass, celebrated in "Chevy Chase," and at the lonely inn of
Whitelee, in the valley below, took up our quarters for the night.

Travellers have described the Cheviots as being bleak and uninteresting.
Although they are bare and brown, to me the scenery was of a character
of beauty entirely original. They are not rugged and broken like the
Highlands, but lift their round backs gracefully from the plain, while
the more distant ranges are clad in many an airy hue. Willis quaintly
and truly remarks, that travellers only tell you the picture produced in
their own brain by what they see, otherwise the world would be like a
pawnbroker's shop, where each traveller wears the cast-off clothes of
others. Therefore let no one, of a gloomy temperament, journeying over
the Cheviots in dull November, arraign me for having falsely praised
their beauty.

I was somewhat amused with seeing a splendid carriage with footmen and
outriders, crossing the mountain, the glorious landscape full in view,
containing a richly dressed lady, _fast asleep!_ It is no uncommon thing
to meet carriages in the Highlands, in which the occupants are
comfortably reading, while being whirled through the finest scenery. And
_apropos_ of this subject, my German friend related to me an incident.
His brother was travelling on the Rhine, and when in the midst of the
grandest scenes, met a carriage containing an English gentleman and
lady, both asleep, while on the seat behind was stationed an artist,
sketching away with all his might. He asked the latter the reason of his
industry, when he answered, "Oh! my lord wishes to see every night what
he has passed during the day, and so I sketch as we go along!"

The hills, particularly on the English side, are covered with flocks of
sheep, and lazy shepherds lay basking in the sun, among the purple
heather, with their shaggy black dogs beside them. On many of the hills
are landmarks, by which, when the snow has covered all the trucks, they
can direct their way. After walking many miles through green valleys,
down which flowed the Red Water, its very name telling of the conflicts
which had crimsoned its tide, we came to the moors, and ten miles of
blacker, drearier waste I never saw. Before entering them we passed the
pretty little village of Otterburn, near the scene of the battle. I
brought away a wild flower that grew on soil enriched by the blood of
the Percys. On the village inn, is their ancient coat of arms, a lion
rampant, on a field of gold, with the motto, "_Esperance en Dieu_."
Scarcely a house or a tree enlivened the black waste, and even the road
was marked on each side by high poles, to direct the traveller in
winter. We were glad when at length the green fields came again in
sight, and the little village of Whelpington Knowes, with its old
ivy-grown church tower, welcomed us after the lonely walk.

As one specimen of the intelligence of this part of England, we saw a
board conspicuously posted at the commencement of a private road,
declaring that "all persons travelling this way will be _persecuted_."
As it led to a _church_, however, there may have been a design in the
expression.

On the fifth day after leaving Edinburgh, we reached a hill, overlooking
the valley of the Tyne and the German Ocean, as sunset was reddening in
the west. A cloud of coal-smoke made us aware of the vicinity of
Newcastle. On the summit of the hill a large cattle fair was being held,
and crowds of people were gathered in and around a camp of gaudily
decorated tents. Fires were kindled here and there, and drinking,
carousing and horse-racing were flourishing in full vigor.

We set out one morning to hunt the Roman Wall. Passing the fine
buildings in the centre of the city and the lofty monument to Earl Grey,
we went towards the western gate and soon came to the ruins of a
building, about whose origin there could be no doubt. It stood there,
blackened by the rust of ages, a remnant of power passed away. There was
no mistaking the massive round tower, with its projecting ornaments,
such as are often seen in the ruder works of the Romans. On each side a
fragment of wall remained standing, and there appeared to be a chamber
in the interior, which was choked up with rubbish. There is another
tower, much higher, in a public square in another part of the city, a
portion of which is fitted up as a dwelling for the family which takes
care of it; but there was such a ridiculous contrast between the
ivy-grown top, and the handsome modern windows and doors of the lower
story, that it did not impress me half as much as the other, with all
its neglect. These are the farthest limits of that power whose mighty
works I hope hereafter to view at the seat of her grandeur and glory.

I witnessed a scene at Newcastle that cannot soon be forgotten; as it
showed more plainly than I had before an opportunity of observing, the
state to which the laboring classes of England are reduced. Hearing
singing in the street, under my window, one morning, I looked out and
saw a body of men, apparently of the lower class, but decent and sober
looking, who were singing in a rude and plaintive strain some ballad,
the purport of which I could not understand. On making inquiry, I
discovered it was part of a body of miners, who, about eighteen weeks
before, in consequence of not being able to support their families with
the small pittance allowed them, had "struck" for higher wages. This
their employers refused to give them, and sent to Wales, where they
obtained workmen at the former price. The houses these laborers had
occupied were all taken from them, and for eighteen weeks they had no
other means of subsistence than the casual charity given them for
singing the story of their wrongs. It made my blood boil to bear those
tones, wrung from the heart of poverty by the hand of tyranny. The
ignorance, permitted by the government, causes an unheard amount of
misery and degradation. We heard afterwards in the streets, another
company who played on musical instruments. Beneath the proud swell of
England's martial airs, there sounded to my ears a tone whose gathering
murmur will make itself heard ere long by the dull cars of Power.

At last at the appointed time, we found ourselves on board the "London
Merchant," in the muddy Tyne, waiting for the tide to rise high enough
to permit us to descend the river. There is great competition among the
steamboats this summer, and the price of passage to London is reduced to
five and ten shillings. The second cabin, however, is a place of
tolerable comfort, and as the steward had promised to keep berths for
us, we engaged passage. Following the windings of the narrow river, we
passed Sunderland and Tynemouth, where it expands into the German Ocean.
The water was barely stirred by a gentle wind, and little resembled the
stormy sea I expected to find it. We glided over the smooth surface,
watching the blue line of the distant shore till dark, when I went below
expecting to enjoy a few hours' oblivion. But the faithless steward had
given up the promised berth to another, and it was only with difficulty
that I secured a seat by the cabin table, where I dozed half the night
with my head on my arms. It grew at last too close and wearisome; I
went up on deck and lay down on the windlass, taking care to balance
myself well before going to sleep. The earliest light of dawn awoke me
to a consciousness of damp clothes and bruised limbs. We were in sight
of the low shore the whole day, sometimes seeing the dim outline of a
church, or group of trees over the downs or flat beds of sand, which
border the eastern coast of England. About dark, the red light of the
Nore was seen, and we hoped before many hours to be in London. The
lights of Gravesend were passed, but about ten o'clock, as we entered
the narrow channel of the Thames, we struck another steamboat in the
darkness, and were obliged to cast anchor for some time. When I went on
deck in the gray light of morning again, we were gliding up a narrow,
muddy river, between rows of gloomy buildings, with many vessels lying
at anchor. It grew lighter, till, as we turned a point, right before, me
lay a vast crowd of vessels, and in the distance, above the wilderness
of buildings, stood a dim, gigantic dome in the sky; what a bound my
heart gave at the sight! And the tall pillar that stood near it--I did
not need a second glance to recognize the Monument. I knew the majestic
bridge that spanned the river above; but on the right bank stood a
cluster of massive buildings, crowned with many a turret, that attracted
my eye. A crowd of old associations pressed bewilderingly upon the mind,
to see standing there, grim and dark with many a bloody page of
England's history--the Tower of London! The morning sky was as yet but
faintly obscured by the coal-smoke, and in the misty light of coming
sunrise, all objects seemed grander than their wont. In spite of the
thrilling interest of the scene, I could not help thinking of Byron's
ludicrous but most expressive description:

    "A mighty mass of brick and smoke and shipping,
    Dirty and dusky, but as wide as eye
    Can reach; with here and there a sail just skipping
    In sight, then lost amidst the forestry
    Of masts; a wilderness of steeples peeping
    On tiptoe through their sea-coal canopy;
    A huge dun cupola, like a fool's-cap crown
    On a fool's head,--and there is London town."



CHAPTER VI.

SOME OF THE "SIGHTS" OF LONDON.


In the course of time we came to anchor in the stream; skiffs from the
shore pulled alongside, and after some little quarrelling, we were
safely deposited in one, with a party who desired to be landed at the
Tower Stairs. The dark walls frowned above us as we mounted from the
water and passed into an open square on the outside of the moat. The
laborers were about commencing work, the fashionable _day_ having just
closed, but there was still noise and bustle enough in the streets,
particularly when we reached Whitechapel, part of the great
thoroughfare, extending through the heart of London to Westminster Abbey
and the Parliament buildings. Further on, through Leadenhall street and
Fleet street--what a world! Here come the ever-thronging, ever-rolling
waves of life, pressing and whirling on in their tumultuous career. Here
day and night pours the stream of human beings, seeming amid the roar
and din and clatter of the passing vehicles, like the tide of some great
combat. How lonely it makes one to stand still and feel that of all the
mighty throng which divides itself around him, not a being knows or
cares for him! What knows he too of the thousands who pass him by? How
many who bear the impress of godlike virtue, or hide beneath a goodly
countenance a heart black with crime? How many fiery spirits, all
glowing with hope for the yet unclouded future, or brooding over a
darkened and desolate past in the agony of despair? There is a sublimity
in this human Niagara that makes one look on his own race with something
of awe.

We walked down the Thames, through the narrow streets of Wapping, Over
the mouth of the Tunnel is a large circular building, with a dome to
light the entrance below. Paying the fee of a penny, we descended by a
winding staircase to the bottom, which is seventy-three feet below the
surface. The carriage-way, still unfinished, will extend further into
the city. From the bottom the view of the two arches of the Tunnel,
brilliantly lighted with gas, is very fine; it has a much less heavy and
gloomy appearance than I expected. As we walked along under the bed of
the river, two or three girls at one end began playing on the French
horn and bugle, and the echoes, when not too deep to confuse the melody,
were remarkably beautiful. Between the arches of the division separating
the two passages, are shops, occupied by venders of fancy articles,
views of the Tunnel, engravings, &c. In the middle is a small printing
press, where, a sheet containing a description of the whole work is
printed for those who desire it. As I was no stranger to this art, I
requested the boy to let me print one myself, but he had such a bad
roller I did not succeed in getting a good impression. The air within is
somewhat damp, but fresh and agreeably cool, and one can scarcely
realize in walking along the light passage, that a river is rolling
above his head. The immense solidity and compactness of the structure
precludes the danger of accident, each of the sides being arched
outwards, so that the heaviest pressure only strengthens the whole. It
will long remain a noble monument of human daring and ingenuity.

St. Paul's is on a scale of grandeur excelling every thing I have yet
seen. The dome seems to stand in the sky, as you look up to it; the
distance from which you view it, combined with the atmosphere of London,
give it a dim, shadowy appearance, that perfectly startles one with its
immensity. The roof from which the dome springs is itself as high as the
spires of most other churches--blackened for two hundred years with the
coal-smoke of London, it stands like a relic of the giant architecture
of the early world. The interior is what one would expect to behold,
after viewing the outside. A maze of grand arches on every side,
encompasses the dome, which you gaze up at, as at the sky; and from
every pillar and wall look down the marble forms of the dead. There is
scarcely a vacant niche left in all this mighty hall, so many are the
statues that meet one on every side. With the exceptions of John Howard,
Sir Astley Cooper and Wren, whose monument is the church itself, they
are all to military men. I thought if they had all been removed except
Howard's, it would better have suited such a temple, and the great soul
it commemorated.

I never was more impressed with the grandeur of human invention, than
when ascending the dome. I could with difficulty conceive the means by
which such a mighty edifice had been lifted into the air. That small
frame of Sir Christopher Wren must have contained a mind capable of vast
conceptions. The dome is like the summit of a mountain; so wide is the
prospect, and so great the pile upon which you stand. London lay beneath
us, like an ant-hill, with the black insects swarming to and fro in
their long avenues, the sound of their employments coming up like the
roar of the sea. A cloud of coal-smoke hung over it, through which many
a pointed spire was thrust up; sometimes the wind would blow it aside
for a moment, and the thousands of red roofs would shine out clearer.
The bridged Thames, covered with craft of all sizes, wound beneath us
like a ringed and spotted serpent. The scene was like an immense
circular picture in the blue frame of the hills around.

Continuing our way up Fleet street, which, notwithstanding the gaiety of
its shops and its constant bustle, has an antique appearance, we came to
the Temple Bar, the western boundary of the ancient city. In the inside
of the middle arch, the old gates are still standing. From this point we
entered the new portion of the city, which wore an air of increasing
splendor as we advanced. The appearance of the Strand and Trafalgar
Square is truly magnificent. Fancy every house in Broadway a store, all
built of light granite, the Park stripped of all its trees and paved
with granite, and a lofty column in the centre, double the crowd and the
tumult of business, and you will have some idea of the view.

It was a relief to get into St. James's Park, among the trees and
flowers again. Here, beautiful winding walks led around little lakes, in
which were hundreds of water-fowl, swimming. Groups of merry children
were sporting on the green lawn, enjoying their privilege of roaming
every where at will, while the older bipeds were confined to the regular
walks. At the western end stood Buckingham Palace, looking over the
trees towards St. Paul's; through the grove on the eminence above, the
towers of St. James's could be seen. But there was a dim building, with
two lofty square towers, decorated with a profusion of pointed Gothic
pinnacles, that I looked at with more interest than these appendages of
royalty. I could not linger long in its vicinity, but going back again
by the Horse Guards, took the road to _Westminster Abbey_.

We approached by the general entrance, Poet's Corner. I hardly stopped
to look at the elaborate exterior of Henry VIIth's Chapel, but passed on
to the door. On entering, the first thing that met my eyes were the
words, "OH RARE BEN JONSON," under his bust. Near by stood the monuments
of Spenser and Gay, and a few paces further looked down the sublime
countenance of Milton. Never was a spot so full of intense interest. The
light was just dim enough to give it a solemn, religious appearance,
making the marble forms of poets and philosophers so shadowy and
impressive, that I felt as if standing in their living presence. Every
step called up some mind linked with the associations of my childhood.
There was the gentle feminine countenance of Thompson, and the majestic
head of Dryden; Addison with his classic features, and Gray, full of the
fire of lofty thought. In another chamber, I paused long before the
ashes of Shakspeare; and while looking at the monument of Garrick,
started to find that I stood upon his grave. What a glorious galaxy of
genius is here collected--what a constellation of stars whose light is
immortal! The mind is completely fettered by their spirit. Everything is
forgotten but the mighty dead, who still "rule us from their urns."

The Chapel of Henry VII., which we next entered, is one of the most
elaborate specimens of Gothic workmanship in the world. If the first
idea of the Gothic arch sprung from observing the forms of trees, this
chapel must resemble the first conceptions of that order, for the fluted
columns rise up like tall trees, branching out at the top into spreading
capitals covered with leaves, and supporting arches of the ceiling
resembling a leafy roof.

The side-chapels are filled with tombs of knightly families, the husband
and wife lying on their backs on the tombs, with their hands clasped,
while their children, about the size of dolls, are kneeling around.
Numberless are the Barons and Earls and Dukes, whose grim effigies stare
from their tombs. In opposite chapels are the tombs of Mary and
Elizabeth, and near the former that of Darnley. After having visited
many of the scenes of her life, it was with no ordinary emotion that I
stood by the sepulchre of Mary. How differently one looks upon it and
upon that of the proud Elizabeth!

We descended to the Chapel of Edward the Confessor, within the splendid
shrine of which repose his ashes. Here we were shown the chair on which
the English monarchs have been crowned for several hundred years, Under
the seat is the stone, brought from the Abbey of Scone, whereon the
Kings of Scotland were crowned. The chair is of oak, carved and hacked
over with names, and on the bottom some one has recorded his name with
the fact that, he once slept in it. We sat down and rested in it without
ceremony. Passing along an aisle leading to the grand hall, we saw the
tomb of Aymer de Valence, a knight of the Crusades. Near here is the
hall where the Knights of the order of Bath met. Over each seat their
dusty banners are still hanging, each with its crest, and their armor is
rusting upon the wall. It seemed like a banqueting hall of the olden
time, where the knights had left their seats for a moment vacant.
Entering the nave, we were lost in the wilderness of sculpture. Here
stood the forms of Pitt, Fox, Burke, Sheridan and Watts, from the
chisels of Chantry, Bacon and Westmacott. Further down were Sir Isaac
Newton and Sir Godfrey Kneller--opposite Andre, and Paoli, the Italian,
who died here in exile. How can I convey an idea of the scene?
Notwithstanding all the descriptions I had read, I was totally
unprepared for the reality, nor could I have anticipated the hushed and
breathless interest with which I paced the dim aisles, gazing, at every
step, on the last resting place of some great and familiar name. A place
so sacred to all who inherit the English tongue, is worthy of a special
pilgrimage across the deep. To those who are unable to visit it, a
description may be interesting; but so far does it fall short of the
scene itself, that if I thought it would induce a few of our wealthy
idlers, or even those who, like myself, must travel with toil and
privation to come hither, I would write till the pen dropped from my
hand.

More than twenty grand halls of the British Museum are devoted to
antiquities, and include the Elgin Marbles--the spoils of the
Parthenon--the Fellows Marbles, brought from the ancient city of
Xanthus, and Sir William Hamilton's collection of Italian antiquities.
It was painful to see the friezes of the Parthenon, broken and defaced
as they are, in such a place. Rather let them moulder to dust on the
ruin from which they were torn, shining through the blue veil of the
Grecian atmosphere, from the summit of the Acropolis!

The National Gallery, on Trafalgar Square, is open four days in the
week, to the public. The "Raising of Lazarus," by Sebastian del Piombo,
is considered the gem of the collection, but my unschooled eyes could
not view it as such. It is also remarkable for having been transferred
from wood to canvass, without injury. This delicate operation was
accomplished by gluing the panel on which it was painted, flat on a
smooth table, and planing the wood gradually away till the coat of
hardened paint alone remained. A proper canvass was then prepared,
covered with a strong cement, and laid on the back of the picture, which
adhered firmly to it. The owner's nerves must have had a severe trial,
if he had courage to watch the operation. I was enraptured with
Murillo's pictures of St. John and the Holy Family. St. John is
represented as a boy in the woods, fondling a lamb. It is a glorious
head. The dark curls cluster around his fair brow, and his eyes seem
already glowing with the fire of future inspiration. There is an
innocence, a childish sweetness of expression in the countenance, which
makes one love to gaze upon it. Both of these paintings wore constantly
surrounded by ladies, and they certainly deserved the preference. In the
rooms devoted to English artists, there are many of the finest works of
West, Reynolds, Hogarth and Wilkie.

We spent a day in visiting the _lungs of London_, as the two grand parks
have been called. From the Strand through the Regent Circus, the centre
of the fashionable part of the city, we passed to Piccadilly, culling on
our way to see our old friends, the Iowas. They were at the Egyptian
Hall, in connexion with Catlin's Indian collection. The old braves knew
us at once, particularly Blister Feet, who used often to walk a linweon
deck with me, at sea. Further along Piccadilly is Wellington's mansion
of Apsley House, and nearly opposite it, in the corner of Hyde Park,
stands the colossal statue of Achilles, cast from cannon taken at
Salamanca and Vittoria. The Park resembles an open common, with here and
there a grove of trees, intersected by carriage roads, it is like
getting into the country again to be out on its broad, green field, with
the city seen dimly around through the smoky atmosphere. We walked for a
mile or two along the shady avenues and over the lawns, having a view of
the princely terraces and gardens on one hand, and the gentle outline of
Primrose Hill on the other. Regent's Park itself covers a space of
nearly four hundred acres!

But if London is unsurpassed in splendor, it has also its corresponding
share of crime. Notwithstanding the large and efficient body of police,
who do much towards the control of vice, one sees enough of degradation
and brutality in a short time, to make his heart sick. Even the public
thorough fares are thronged at night with characters of the lowest
description, and it is not expedient to go through many of the narrow
bye-haunts of the old city in the day-time. The police, who are ever on
the watch, immediately seize and carry off any offender, but from the
statements of persons who have had an opportunity of observing, as well
as from my own slight experience, I am convinced that there is an untold
amount of misery and crime. London is one of the wonders of the world,
but there is reason to believe it is one of the curses of the world
also; though, in fact, nothing but an active and unceasing philanthropy
can prevent any city from becoming so.

_Aug. 22._--I have now been six days in London, and by making good use
of my feet and eyes, have managed to become familiar with almost every
object of interest within its precincts. Having a plan mapped out for
the day, I started from my humble lodgings at the Aldgate Coffee House,
where I slept off fatigue for a shilling a night, and walked up
Cheapside or down Whitechapel, as the case might be, hunting out my way
to churches, halls and theatres. In this way, at a trifling expense, I
have perhaps seen as much as many who spend here double the time and
ten times the money. Our whole tour from Liverpool hither, by way of
Ireland and Scotland, cost us but twenty-five dollars each! although,
except in one or two cases, we denied ourselves no necessary comfort.
This shows that the glorious privilege of looking on the scenes of the
old world need not be confined to people of wealth and leisure. It may
be enjoyed by all who can occasionally forego a little bodily comfort
for the sake of mental and spiritual gain. We leave this afternoon for
Dover. Tomorrow I shall dine in Belgium!



CHAPTER VII.

FLIGHT THROUGH BELGIUM.


_Bruges._--On the Continent at last! How strangely look the century-old
towers, antique monuments, and quaint, narrow streets of the Flemish
cities! It is an agreeable and yet a painful sense of novelty to stand
for the first time in the midst of a people whose language and manners
are different from one's own. The old buildings around, linked with many
a stirring association of past history, gratify the glowing
anticipations with which one has looked forward to seeing them, and the
fancy is busy at work reconciling the _real_ scene with the _ideal_; but
the want of a communication with the living world about, walls one up
with a sense of loneliness he could not before have conceived. I envy
the children in the streets of Bruges their childish language.

Yesterday afternoon we came from London through the green wooded lawns
and vales of England, to Dover, which we reached at sunset, passing by a
long tunnel through the lofty Shakspeare Cliff. We had barely time
before it grew dark to ascend the cliff. The glorious coast view looked
still wilder in the gathering twilight, which soon hid from our sight
the dim hills of France. On the cliff opposite frowned the massive
battlements of the Castle, guarding the town, which lay in a nook of the
rocks below. As the Ostend boat was to leave at four in the morning, my
cousin aroused us at three, and we felt our way down stairs in the dark.
But the landlord was reluctant to part with us; we stamped and shouted
and rang bells, till the whole house was in an uproar, for the door was
double-locked, and the steamboat bell began to sound. At last he could
stand it no longer; we gave a quick utterance to our overflowing wrath,
and rushed down to the boat but a second or two before it left.

The water of the Channel was smooth as glass and as the sun rose, the
far chalky cliffs gleamed along the horizon, a belt of fire. I waved a
good-bye to Old England and then turned to see the spires of Dunkirk,
which were visible in the distance before us. On the low Belgian coast
we could see trees and steeples, resembling a mirage over the level
surface of the sea; at length, about ten o'clock, the square tower of
Ostend came in sight. The boat passed into a long muddy basin, in which
many unwieldy, red-sailed Dutch craft were lying, and stopped beside a
high pier. Here amid the confusion of three languages, an officer came
on board and took charge of our passports and luggage. As we could not
get the former for two or three hours, we did not hurry the passing of
the latter, and went on shore quite unincumbered, for a stroll about the
city, disregarding the cries of the hackney-coachmen on the pier,
"_Hotel d'Angleterre_," "_Hotel des Bains!_" and another who called out
in English, "I recommend you to the Royal Hotel, sir!"

There is little to be seen in Ostend. We wandered through long rows of
plain yellow houses, trying to read the French and low Dutch signs, and
at last came out on the wall near the sea. A soldier motioned us back as
we attempted to ascend it, and muttering some unintelligible words,
pointed to a narrow street near. Following this out of curiosity, we
crossed the moat and found ourselves on the great bathing beach. To get
out of the hands of the servants who immediately surrounded us, we
jumped into one of the little wagons and were driven out into the surf.

To be certain of fulfilling the railroad regulations, we took our seats
quarter of an hour before the time. The dark walls of Ostend soon
vanished and we were whirled rapidly over a country perfectly level, but
highly fertile and well cultivated. Occasionally there was a ditch or
row of trees, but otherwise there was no division between the fields,
and the plain stretched unbroken away into the distance. The twenty
miles to Bruges we made in forty minutes. The streets of this antique
city are narrow and crooked, and the pointed, ornamented gables of the
houses, produce a novel impression on one who has been accustomed to the
green American forests. Then there was the endless sound of wooden shoes
clattering over the rough pavements, and people talking in that most
unmusical of all languages, low Dutch. Walking at random through the
streets, we came by chance upon the Cathedral of Notre Dame. I shall
long remember my first impression of the scene within. The lofty gothic
ceiling arched far above my head and through the stained windows the
light came but dimly--it was all still, solemn and religious. A few
worshippers were kneeling in silence before some of the shrines and the
echo of my tread seemed like a profaning sound. On every side were
pictures, saints gilded shrines. A few steps removed one from the bustle
and din of the crowd to the stillness and solemnity of the holy retreat.

We learned from the guide, whom we had engaged because he spoke a few
words of English, that there was still a _treckshuyt_ line on the
canals, and that one boat leaves to-night at ten o'clock for Ghent.
Wishing to try this old Dutch method of travelling, he took us about
half a mile along the Ghent road to the canal, where a moderate sized
boat was lying. Our baggage deposited in the plainly furnished cabin, I
ran back to Bruges, although it was beginning to grow dark, to get a
sight of the belfry; for Longfellow's lines had been running through my
head all day:

"In the market place of Bruges, stands the belfry old and brown,
Thrice consumed and thrice rebuilded, still it watches o'er the town."

And having found the square, brown tower in one corner of the open
market square, we waited to hear the chimes, which are said to be the
finest in Europe. They rang out at last with a clear silvery tone, most
beautifully musical indeed. We then returned to the boat in the
twilight. We were to leave in about an hour, according to the
arrangement, but as yet there was no sound to be heard, and we were the
only tenants. However, trusting to Dutch regularity, we went to sleep in
the full confidence of awakening in Ghent.

I awoke once in the night and saw the dark branches of trees passing
before the window, but there was no perceptible sound nor motion; the
boat glided along like a dream, and we were awakened next morning by its
striking against the pier at Ghent. After paying three francs for the
whole night journey, the captain gave us a guide to the railroad
station, and as we had nearly an hour before the train left, I went to
see the Cathedral of St. Bavon. After leaving Ghent, the road passes
through a beautiful country, cultivated like a garden. The Dutch passion
for flowers is displayed in the gardens around the cottages; even every
vacant foot of ground along the railway is planted with roses and
dahlias. At Ghent, the morning being fair, we took seats in the open
cars. About noon it commenced raining and our situation was soon
anything but comfortable. My cousin had fortunately a water-proof Indian
blanket with him, which he had purchased in the "Far West," and by
wrapping this around all three of us, we kept partly dry. I was much
amused at the plight of a party of young Englishmen, who were in the
same car; one of them held a little parasol which just covered his hat,
and sent the water in streams down on his back and shoulders.

We had a misty view of Liege, through the torrents of rain, and then
dashed away into the wild, mountain scenery of the Meuse. Steep, rocky
hills, covered with pine and crowned with ruined towers, hemmed in the
winding and swollen river, and the wet, cloudy sky seemed to rest like a
canopy on their summits. Instead of threading their mazy defiles, we
plunged directly into the mountain's heart, flew over the narrow valley
on lofty and light-sprung arches, and went again into the darkness. At
Verviers, our baggage was weighed, examined and transferred, with
ourselves, to a Prussian train. There was a great deal of disputing on
the occasion. A lady, who had a dog in a large willow basket, was not
allowed to retain it, nor would they take it as baggage. The matter was
finally compromised by their sending the basket, obliging her to carry
the dog, which was none of the smallest, in her arms! The next station
bore the sign of the black eagle, and here our passports were obliged to
be given up. Advancing through long ranges of wooded hills, we saw at
length, in the dull twilight of a rainy day, the old kingly city of Aix
la Chapelle on a plain below us. After a scene at the custom-house,
where our baggage was reclaimed with tickets given at Verviers, we drove
to the _Hotel du Rhin_, and while warming our shivering limbs and drying
our damp garments, felt tempted to exclaim with the old Italian author:
"O! holy and miraculous tavern!"

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

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

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

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



CHAPTER VIII.

THE RHINE TO HEIDELBERG.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



CHAPTER IX.

SCENES IN AND AROUND HEIDELBERG.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



CHAPTER X.

A WALK THROUGH THE ODENWALD.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



CHAPTER XI.

SCENES IN FRANKFORT--AN AMERICAN COMPOSER--THE POET FREILIGRATH.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    FREEDOM AND RIGHT.

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

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

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

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

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

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



CHAPTER XII.

A WEEK AMONG THE STUDENTS.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



CHAPTER XIII.

CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR IN GERMANY.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



CHAPTER XIV.

WINTER IN FRANKFORT--A FAIR, AN INUNDATION AND A FIRE.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



CHAPTER XV.

THE DEAD AND THE DEAF--MENDELSSOHN THE COMPOSER.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



CHAPTER XVI.

JOURNEY ON FOOT FROM FRANKFORT TO CASSEL.


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

We had determined on making the complete tour of Germany on foot, and in
order to vary it somewhat, my friend and I proposed taking different
routes from Frankfort to Leipsic. He choose a circuitous course, by way
of Nuremberg and the Thuringian forests; while I, whose fancy had been
running wild with Goethe's witches, preferred looking on the gloom and
grandeur of the rugged Hartz. We both left Frankfort on the 23d of
April, each bearing a letter of introduction to the same person in
Leipsic, where we agreed to meet in fourteen days. As we were obliged to
travel as cheaply as possible, I started with but seventynine florins,
(a florin is forty cents American) well knowing that if I took more, I
should, in all probability, spend proportionally more also. Thus, armed
with my passport, properly _visèd_, a knapsack weighing fifteen pounds
and a cane from the Kentucky Mammoth Cave, I began my lonely walk
through Northern Germany. The warm weather of the week before had
brought out the foliage of the willows and other early trees--violets
and cowslips were springing up in the meadows. Keeping along the foot of
the Taunus, I passed over great, broad hills, which were brown with the
spring ploughing, and by sunset reached Friedberg--a, largo city, on the
summit of a hill. The next morning, after sketching its old, baronial
castle, I crossed the meadows to Nauheim, to see the salt springs there.
They are fifteen in number; the water, which is very warm, rushes up
with such force as to leap several feet above the earth. The buildings
made for evaporation are nearly two miles in length; a walk along the
top gives a delightful view of the surrounding valleys. After reaching
the _chaussée_ again, I was hailed by a wandering journeyman, or
_handwerker_, as they are called, who wanted company. As I had concluded
to accept all offers of this kind, we trudged along together very
pleasantly, He was from Holstein, on the borders of Denmark and was just
returning home, after an absence of six years, having escaped from
Switzerland after the late battle of Luzerne, which he had witnessed. He
had his knapsack and tools fastened on two wheels, which he drew after
him quite conveniently. I could not help laughing at the adroit manner
in which he begged his way along, through every village. He would ask me
to go on and wait for him at the other end; after a few minutes he
followed, with a handful of small copper money, which he said he had
_fought for_,--the handworker's term for _begged._

We passed over long ranges of hills, with an occasional view of the
Vogelsgebirge, or Bird's Mountains, far to the cast. I knew at length,
by the pointed summits of the hills, that we were approaching Giessen
and the valley of the Lahn. Finally, two sharp peaks appeared in the
distance, each crowned with a picturesque fortress, while the spires of
Giessen rose from the valley below. Parting from my companion, I passed
through the city without stopping, for it was the time of the university
vacation, and Dr. Liebeg, the world-renowned chemist, whom I desired to
see, was absent.

Crossing a hill or two, I came down into the valley of the Lahn, which
flows through meadows of the brightest green, with redroofed cottages
nestled among gardens and orchards upon its banks. The women here wear
a remarkable costume, consisting of a red boddice with white sleeves,
and a dozen skirts, one above another, reaching only to the knees. I
slept again at a little village among the hills, and started early for
Marburg. The meadows were of the purest emerald, through which the
stream wound its way, with even borders, covered to the water's edge
with grass so smooth and velvety, that a fairy might have danced along
on it for miles without stumbling over an uneven tuft. This valley is
one of the finest districts in Germany. I thought, as I saw the peaceful
inhabitants at work in their fields, I had most probably, on the
battle-field of Brandywine, walked over the bones of some of their
ancestors, whom a despotic prince had torn from their happy homes, to
die in a distant land, fighting against the cause of freedom.

I now entered directly into the heart of Hesse Cassel. The country
resembled a collection of hills thrown together in confusion--sometimes
a wide plain left between them, sometimes a clustre of wooded peaks, and
here and there a single pointed summit rising above the rest. The
vallies were green as ever, the hill-sides freshly ploughed and the
forests beginning to be colored by the tender foliage of the larch and
birch. I walked two or three hours at a "stretch," and then, when I
could find a dry, shady bank, I would rest for half an hour and finish
some hastily sketched landscape, or lay at full length, with my head on
my knapsack, and peruse the countenances of those passing by. The
observation which every traveller excites, soon ceases to be
embarrassing. It was at first extremely unpleasant; but I am now so
hardened, that the strange, magnetic influence of the human eye, which
we cannot avoid feeling, passes by me as harmlessly as if turned aside
by invisible mail.

During the day several showers came by, but as none of them penetrated
further than my blouse, I kept on, and reached about sunset a little
village in the valley. I chose a small inn, which had an air of neatness
about it, and on going in, the tidy landlady's "be you welcome," as she
brought a pair of slippers for my swollen feet, made me feel quite at
home. After being furnished with eggs, milk, butter and bread, for
supper, which I ate while listening to an animated discussion between
the village schoolmaster and some farmers, I was ushered into a clean,
sanded bedroom, and soon forgot all fatigue. For this, with breakfast in
the morning, the bill was six and a half groschen--about sixteen cents!
Tin air was freshened by the rain and I journeyed over the hills at a
rapid rate. Stopping for dinner at the large village of Wabern, a boy at
the inn asked me if I was going to America? I said no, I came from
there. He then asked me many silly questions, after which he ran out and
told the people of the village. When I set out again, the children
pointed at me and cried: "see there! he is from America!" and the men
took off their hats and bowed!

The sky was stormy, which added to the gloom of the hills around, though
some of the distant ranges lay in mingled light and shade--the softest
alternation of purple and brown. There were many isolated, rocky hills,
two of which interested me, through their attendant legends. One is said
to have been the scene of a battle between the Romans and Germans,
where, after a long conflict the rock opened and swallowed up the
former. The other, which is crowned with a rocky wall, so like a ruined
fortress, as at a distance to be universally mistaken for one, tradition
says is the death-place of Charlemagne, who still walks around its
summit every night, clad in complete armor. On ascending a hill late in
the afternoon, I saw at a great distance the statue of Hercules, which
stands on the Wilhelmshöhe, near Cassel. Night set in with a dreary
rain, and I stopped at an inn about five miles short of the city. While
tea was preparing a company of students came in and asked for a separate
room. Seeing I was alone, they invited me up with them. They seemed much
interested in America, and leaving the table gradually, formed a ring
around me, where I had enough to do to talk with them all at once. When
the omnibus came along, the most of them went with it to Cassel; but
five remained and persuaded me to set out with them on foot. They
insisted on carrying my knapsack the whole way, through the rain and
darkness, and when I had passed the city gate with them, unchallenged,
conducted me to the comfortable hotel, "_Zur Krone_."

It is a pleasant thing to wake up in the morning in a strange city.
Every thing is new; you walk around it for the first time in the full
enjoyment of the novelty, or the not less agreeable feeling of surprise,
if it is different from your anticipations. Two of my friends of the
previous night called for me in the morning, to show me around the city,
and the first impression, made in such agreeable company, prepossessed
me very favorably. I shall not, however, take up time in describing its
many sights, particularly the Frederick's Platz, where the statue of
Frederick the Second, who sold ten thousand of his subjects to England,
has been re-erected, after having lain for years in a stable where it
was thrown by the French.

I was much interested in young Carl K----, one of my new acquaintances.
His generous and unceasing kindness first won my esteem, and I found on
nearer acquaintance, the qualities of his mind equal those of his heart.
I saw many beautiful poems of his which were of remarkable merit,
considering his youth, and thought I could read in his dark, dreamy eye,
the unconscious presentiment of a power he does not yet possess. He
seemed as one I had known for years.

He, with a brother student, accompanied me in the afternoon, to
Wilhelmshöhe, the summer residence of the Prince, on the side of a range
of mountains three miles west of the city. The road leads in a direct
line to the summit of the mountain, which is thirteen hundred feet in
height, surmounted by a great structure, called the Giant's Castle, on
the summit of which is a pyramid ninety-six feet high, supporting a
statue of Hercules, copied after the Farnese, and thirty-one feet in
height. By a gradual ascent through beautiful woods, we reached the
princely residence, a magnificent mansion standing on a natural terrace
of the mountain. Near it is a little theatre built by Jerome Buonaparte,
in which he himself used to play. We looked into the green house in
passing, where the floral splendor of every zone was combined. There
were lofty halls, with glass roofs, where the orange grew to a great
tree, and one could sit in myrtle bowers, with the brilliant bloom of
the tropics around him. It was the only thing there I was guilty of
coveting.

The greatest curiosity is the water-works, which are perhaps unequalled
in the world. The Giant's Castle on the summit contains an immense tank
in which water is kept for the purpose; but unfortunately, at the time
I was there, the pipes, which had been frozen through the winter, were
not in condition to play. From the summit an inclined plane of masonry
descends the mountain nine hundred feet, broken every one hundred and
fifty feet by perpendicular descents. These are the Cascades, down which
the water first rushes from the tank. After being again collected in a
great basin at the bottom, it passes into an aqueduct, built like a
Roman ruin, and goes over beautiful arches through the forest, where it
falls in one sheet down a deep precipice. When it has descended several
other beautiful falls, made in exact imitation of nature, it is finally
collected and forms the great fountain, which rises twelve inches in
diameter from the middle of a lake to the height of one hundred and
ninety feet! We descended by lovely walks through the forest to the
Löwenburg, built as the ruin of a knightly castle, and fitted out in
every respect to correspond with descriptions of a fortress in the olden
time, with moat, drawbridge, chapel and garden of pyramidal trees.
Farther below, are a few small houses, inhabited by the descendants of
the Hessians who fell in America, supported here at the Prince's
expense!



CHAPTER XVII.

ADVENTURES AMONG THE HARTZ.


On taking leave of Carl at the gate over the Göttingen road, I felt
tempted to bestow a malediction upon traveling, from its merciless
breaking of all links, as soon as formed. It was painful to think we
should meet no more. The tears started into his eyes, and feeling a mist
gathering over mine, I gave his hand a parting pressure, turned my back
upon Cassel and started up the long mountain, at a desperate rate. On
the summit I passed out of Hesse into Hanover, and began to descend the
remaining six miles. The road went down by many windings, but I
shortened the way considerably by a foot-path through a mossy old
forest. The hills bordering the Weser are covered with wood, through
which I saw the little red-roofed city of Münden, at the bottom. I
stopped there for the night, and next morning walked around the place.
It is one of the old German cities that have not yet felt the effect of
the changing spirit of the age. It is still walled, though the towers
are falling to ruin. The streets are narrow, crooked, and full of ugly
old houses, and to stand in the little square before the public
buildings, one would think himself born in the sixteenth century. Just
below the city the Werra and Fulda unito and form the Weser. The
triangular point has been made into a public walk, and the little
steamboat was lying at anchor near, waiting to start for Bremen.

In the afternoon I got into the omnibus for Göttingen. The ride over the
wild, dreary, monotonous hills was not at all interesting. There were
two other passengers inside, one of whom, a grave, elderly man, took a
great interest in America, but the conversation was principally on his
side, for I had been taken with a fever in Münden. I lay crouched up in
the corner of the vehicle, trying to keep off the chills which
constantly came over me, and wishing only for Göttingen, that I might
obtain medicine and a bed. We reached it at last, and I got out with my
knapsack and walked wearily through half a dozen streets till I saw an
inn. But on entering, I found it so dark and dirty and unfriendly, that
I immediately went out again and hired the first pleasant looking boy I
met, to take me to a good hotel. He conducted me to the first one in the
city. I felt a trepidation of pocket, but my throbbing head plead more
powerfully, so I ordered a comfortable room and a physician. The host,
Herr Wilhelm, sent for Professor Trefurt, of the University, who told me
I had over-exerted myself in walking. He made a second call the next
day, when, as he was retiring, I inquired the amount of his fee. He
begged to be excused and politely bowed himself out. I inquired the
meaning of this of Herr Wilhelm, who said it was customary for
travellers to leave what they chose for the physician, as there was no
regular fee. He added, moreover, that twenty groschen, or about sixty
cents, was sufficient for the two visits!

I stayed in Göttingen two dull, dreary, miserable days, without getting
much better. I took but one short walk through the city, in which I saw
the outsides of a few old churches and got a hard fall on the pavement.
Thinking that the _cause_ of my illness might perhaps become its _cure_,
I resolved to go on rather than remain in the melancholy--in spite of
its black-eyed maidens, melancholy--Göttingen. On the afternoon of the
second day, I took the post to Nordheim, about twelve miles distant. The
Göttingen valley, down which we drove, is green and beautiful, and the
trees seem to have come out all at once. we were not within sight of the
Hartz, but the mountains along the Weser were visible on the left. The
roads were extremely muddy from the late rains, so that I proceeded but
slowly.

A blue range along the horizon told me of the Hartz, as I passed;
although there were some fine side-glimpses through the hills, I did not
see much of them till I reached Osterode, about twelve miles further.
Here the country begins to assume a different aspect. The city lies in a
narrow valley, and as the road goes down a steep hill towards it, one
sees on each side many quarries of gypsum, and in front the gloomy pine
mountains are piled one above another in real Alpine style. But alas!
the city, though it looks exceedingly romantic from above, is one of
the dirtiest I ever saw. I stopped at Herzberg, six miles farther, for
the night. The scenery was very striking; and its effect was much
heightened by a sky full of black clouds, which sent down a hail-storm
as they passed over. The hills are covered with pine, fir and larch. The
latter tree, in its first foliage, is most delicate and beautiful. Every
bough is like a long ostrich plume, and when one of them stands among
the dark pines, it seems so light and airy that the wind might carry it
away. Just opposite Herzberg, the Hartz stands in its gloomy and
mysterious grandeur, and I went to sleep with the pleasant thought that
an hour's walk on the morrow would shut me up in its deep recesses.

The next morning I entered them. The road led up a narrow mountain
valley, down which a stream was rushing--on all sides were magnificent
forests of pine. It was glorious to look down their long aisles, dim and
silent, with a floor of thick green moss. There was just room enough for
the road and the wild stream which wound its way zigzag between the
hills, affording the most beautiful mountain-view along the whole route.
As I ascended, the mountains became rougher and wilder, and in the shady
hollows were still drifts of snow. Enjoying every thing very much, I
walked on without taking notice of the road, and on reaching a wild,
rocky chasm called the "Schlucht," was obliged to turn aside and take a
footpath over a high mountain to Andreasberg, a town built on a summit
two thousand feet above the sea. It is inhabited almost entirely by the
workmen in the mines.

The way from Andreasberg to the Brocken leads along the Rehberger
Graben, which carry water about six miles for the oreworks. After going
through a thick pine wood, I came out on the mountain-side, where rough
crags overhung the way above, and through the tops of the trees I had
glimpses into the gorge below. It was scenery of the wildest character.
Directly opposite rose a mountain wall, dark and stern through the
gloomy sky; far below the little stream of the Oder foamed over the
rocks with a continual roar, and one or two white cloud-wreaths were
curling up from the forests.

I followed the water-ditch around every projection of the mountain,
still ascending higher amid the same wild scenery, till at length I
reached the Oderteich, a great dam, in a kind of valley formed by some
mountain peaks on the side of the Brocken. It has a breastwork of
granite, very firm, and furnishes a continual supply of water for the
works. It began to rain soon, and I took a foot-path which went winding
up through the pine wood. The storm still increased, till everything was
cloud and rain, so I was obliged to stop about five o'clock at
Oderbruch, a toll-house and tavern on the side of the Brocken, on the
boundary between Brunswick and Hanover--the second highest inhabited
house in the Hartz. The Brocken was invisible through the storm and the
weather forboded a difficult ascent. The night was cold, but by a warm
fire I let the winds howl and the rain beat. When I awoke the next
morning, we were in clouds. They were thick on every side, hiding what
little view there was through the openings of the forest. After
breakfast, however, they were somewhat thinner, and I concluded to start
for the Brocken. It is not the usual way for travellers who ascend,
being not only a bad road but difficult to find, as I soon discovered.
The clouds gathered around again after I set out, and I was obliged to
walk in a storm of mingled rain and snow. The snow lay several feet deep
in the forests, and the path was, in many places, quite drifted over.
The white cloud-masses were whirled past by the wind, continually
enveloping me and shutting out every view. During the winter the path
had become, in ninny places, the bed of a mountain torrent, so that I
was obliged sometimes to wade kneedeep in snow, and sometimes to walk
over the wet, spongy moss, crawling under the long, dripping branches of
the stunted pines. After a long time of such dreary travelling, I came
to two rocks called the Stag Horns, standing on a little peak. The
storm, now all snow, blew more violently than ever, and the path became
lost under the deep drifts.

Comforting myself with the assurance that if I could not find it, I
could at least make my way back, I began searching, and after some time,
came upon it again. Here the forest ceased; the way led on large stones
over a marshy ascending plain, but what was above, or on either side, I
could not see. It was solitude of the most awful kind. There was nothing
but the storm, which had already wet me through, and the bleak gray
waste of rocks. It grew sleeper and steeper; I could barely trace the
path by the rocks which were worn, and the snow threatened soon to cover
these. Added to this, although the walking and fresh mountain air had
removed my illness, I was still weak from the effects of it, and the
consequences of a much longer exposure to the storm were greatly to be
feared. I was wondering if the wind increased at the same rate, how much
longer it would be before I should be carried off, when suddenly
something loomed up above me through the storm. A few steps more and I
stood beside the Brocken House, on the very summit of the mountain! The
mariner, who has been floating for days on a wreck at sea, could
scarcely be more rejoiced at a friendly sail, than I was on entering the
low building. Two large Alpine dogs in the passage, as I walked in,
dripping with wet, gave notice to the inmates, and I was soon ushered
into a warm room, where I changed my soaked garments for dry ones, and
sat down by the fire with feelings of comfort not easily imagined. The
old landlord was quite surprised, on hearing the path by which I came,
that I found the way at all. The summit was wrapped in the thickest
cloud, and he gave me no hope for several hours of any prospect at all,
so I sat down and looked over the Stranger's Album.

I saw but two names from the United States--B.F. Atkins, of Boston, and
C.A. Hay, from York, Pa. There were a great many long-winded German
poems--among them, one by Schelling, the philosopher. Some of them spoke
of having seen the "Spectre of the Brocken." I inquired of the landlord
about the phenomenon; he says in winter it is frequently seen, in summer
more seldom. The cause is very simple. It is always seen at sunrise,
when the eastern side of the Brocken is free from clouds, and at the
same time, the mist rises from the valley on the opposite side. The
shadow of every thing on the Brocken is then thrown in grand proportions
upon the mist, and is seen surrounded with a luminous halo. It is
somewhat singular that such a spectacle can be seen upon the Brocken
alone, but this is probably accounted for by the formation of the
mountain, which collects the mist at just such a distance from the
summit as to render the shadow visible.

Soon after dinner the storm subsided and the clouds separated a little.
I could see down through the rifts on the plains of Brunswick, and
sometimes, when they opened a little more, the mountains below us to the
east and the adjoining plains, as far as Magdeburg. It was like looking
on the earth from another planet, or from some point in the air which
had no connection, with it; our station was completely surrounded by
clouds, rolling in great masses around us, now and then giving glimpses
through their openings of the blue plains, dotted with cities and
villages, far below. At one time when they were tolerably well
separated, I ascended the tower, fifty feet high, standing near the
Brocken House. The view on three sides was quite clear, and I can easily
imagine what a magnificent prospect it must be in fine weather. The
Brocken is only about four thousand feet high, nearly the same as the
loftiest peak of the Catskill, but being the highest mountain in
Northern Germany, it commands a more extensive prospect. Imagine a
circle described with a radius of a hundred miles, comprising thirty
cities, two or three hundred villages and one whole mountain district!
We could see Brunswick and Magdeburg, and beyond them the great plain
which extends to the North Sea in one direction and to Berlin in the
other, while directly below us lay the dark mountains of the Hartz, with
little villages in their sequestered valleys. It was but a few moments I
could look on this scene--in an instant the clouds swept together again
and completely hid it. In accordance with a custom of the mountain, one
of the girls made me a "Brocken nosegay," of heather, lichens and moss.
I gave her a few pfennings and stowed it away carefully in a corner of
my knapsack.

I now began descending the east side, by a good road over fields of bare
rock and through large forests of pine. Two or three bare brown peaks
rose opposite with an air of the wildest sublimity, and in many places
through the forest towered lofty crags. This is the way by which Goethe
brings Faust up the Brocken, and the scenery is graphically described in
that part of the poem. At the foot of the mountain is the little village
of Schiercke, the highest in the Hartz. Here I took a narrow path
through the woods, and after following a tediously long road over the
hills, reached Elbingerode, where I spent the night, and left the next
morning for Blankenburg. I happened to take the wrong road, however, and
went through Rubeland, a little village in the valley of the Bode. There
are many iron works here, and two celebrated caves, called "Baumann's
Höhle," and "Biel's Höhle." I kept on through the gray, rocky hills to
Huttenrode, where I inquired the way to the Rosstrappe, but was directed
wrong, and after walking nearly two hours in a heavy rain, arrived at
Ludwigshütte, on the Bode, in one of the wildest and loneliest corners
of the Hartz. I dried my wet clothes at a little inn, ate a dinner of
bread and milk, and learning that I was just as far from the Rosstrappe
as ever, and that the way was impossible to find alone, I hunted up a
guide.

We went over the mountains through a fine old forest, for about two
hours, and came out on the brow of a hill near the end of the Hartz,
with a beautiful view of the country below and around. Passing the
little inn, the path led through thick bushes along the summit, over a
narrow ledge of rocks that seemed to stretch out into the air, for on
either side the foot of the precipice vanished in the depth below.

Arrived at last at the end, I looked around me. What a spectacle! I was
standing on the end of a line of precipice which ran out from the
mountain like a wall for several hundred feet--the hills around rising
up perpendicularly from the gorge below, where the Bode pressed into a
narrow channel foamed its way through. Sharp masses of gray rock rose up
in many places from the main body like pillars, with trees clinging to
the clefts, and although the defile was near seven hundred feet deep,
the summits, in one place, were very near to one another. Near the point
at which I stood, which was secured by a railing, was an impression in
the rock like the hoof of a giant horse, from which the place takes its
name. It is very distinct and perfect, and nearly two feet in length.

I went back to the little inn and sat down to rest and chat awhile with
the talkative landlady. Notwithstanding her horrible Prussian dialect, I
was much amused with the budget of wonders, which she keeps for the
information of travelers. Among other things, she related to me the
legend of the Rosstrappe, which I give in her own words: "A great many
hundred years ago, when there were plenty of giants through the world,
there was a certain beautiful princess, who was very much loved by one
of them. Now, although the parents of this princess were afraid of the
giant, and wanted her to marry him, she herself hated him, because she
was in love with a brave knight. But, you see, the brave knight could do
nothing against the great giant, and so a day was appointed for the
wedding of the princess. When they were married, the giant had a great
feast and he and all his servants got drunk. So the princess mounted his
black horse and rode away over the mountains, till she reached this
valley. She stood on that square rock which you see there opposite to
us, and when she saw her knight on this side, where we are, she danced
for joy, and the rock is called the _Tanzplatz_, to this very day. But
when the giant found she had gone, he followed her as fast as he might;
then a holy bishop, who saw the princess, blessed the feet of her horse,
and she jumped on it across to this side, where his fore feet made two
marks in the rock, though there is only one left now. You should not
laugh at this, for if there were giants then, there must have been very
big horses too, as one can see from the hoofmark, and the valley was
narrower then than it is now. My dear man, who is very old now, (you see
him through the bushes, there, digging,) says it was so when he was a
child, and that the old people living then, told him there were once
four just such hoof-tracks, on the _Tanzplatz_, where the horse stood
before he jumped over. And we cannot doubt the words of the good old
people, for there were many strange things then, we all know, which the
dear Lord does not let happen now. But I must tell you, lieber Herr,
that the giant tried to jump after her and fell away down into the
valley, where they say he lives yet in the shape of a big black dog,
guarding the crown of the princess, which fell off as she was going
over. But this part of the story is perhaps not true, as nobody, that I
ever heard of, has seen either the black dog or the crown!"

After listening to similar gossip for a while, I descended the
mountain-side, a short distance to the Bülowshöhe. This is a rocky shaft
that shoots, upward from the mountain, having from its top a glorious
view through the door which the Bode makes in passing out of the Hartz.
I could see at a great distance the towers of Magdeburg, and further,
the vast plain stretching away like a sea towards Berlin. From Thale,
the village below, where the air was warmer than in the Hartz and the
fruit-trees already in blossom, it was four hours' walk to Halberstadt,
by a most tiresome road over long ranges of hills, all ploughed and
planted, and extending as far as the eye could reach, without a single
fence or hedge. It is pleasant to look over scenes where nature is so
free and unshackled; but the _people_, alas! wear the fetters. The
setting sun, which lighted up the old Brocken and his snowy top, showed
me also Halberstadt, the end of my Hartz journey; but its deceitful
towers fled as I approached, and I was half dead with fatigue on
arriving there.

The ghostly, dark and echoing castle of an inn (the Black Eagle) where I
stopped, was enough to inspire a lonely traveller, like myself, with
unpleasant fancies. It looked heavy and massive enough to have been a
stout baron's stronghold in some former century; the taciturn landlord
and his wife, who, with a solemn servant girl, were the only tenants,
had grown into perfect keeping with its gloomy character. When I groped
my way under the heavy, arched portal into the guests' room--a large,
lofty, cheerless hall--all was dark, and I could barely perceive, by the
little light which came through two deep-set windows, the inmates of the
house, sitting on opposite sides of the room. After some delay, the
hostess brought a light. I entreated her to bring me something
_instantly_ for supper, and in half an hour she placed a mixture on the
table, the like of which I never wish to taste again. She called it
_beer-soup_! I found, on examination, it was _beer_, boiled with meat,
and seasoned strongly with pepper and salt! My hunger disappeared, and
pleading fatigue as an excuse for want of appetite, I left the table.
When I was ready to retire, the landlady, who had been sitting silently
in a dark corner, called the solemn servant girl, who took up a dim
lamp, and bade me follow her to the "sleeping chamber." Taking up my
knapsack and staff, I stumbled down the steps into the arched gateway;
before me was a long, damp, deserted court-yard, across which the girl
took her way. I followed her with some astonishment, imagining where the
sleeping chamber could be, when she stopped at a small, one-story
building, standing alone in the yard. Opening the door with a rusty key,
she led me into a bare room, a few feet square, opening into another,
equally bare, with the exception of a rough bed. "Certainly," said I, "I
am not to sleep here!" "Yes," she answered, "this is the sleeping
chamber," at the same time setting down the light and disappearing. I
examined the place--it smelt mouldy, and the walls were cold and damp;
there had been a window at the head of the bed, but it was walled up,
and that at the foot was also closed to within a few inches of the top.
The bed was course and dirty; and on turning down the ragged covers, I
saw with horror, a dark brown stain near the pillow, like that of blood!
For a moment I hesitated whether to steal out of the inn, and seek
another lodging, late as it was; at last, overcoming my fears, I threw
my clothes into a heap, and lay down, placing my heavy staff at the head
of the bed. Persons passed up and down the courtyard several times, the
light of their lamps streaming through the narrow aperture up against
the ceiling, and I distinctly heard voices, which seemed to be near the
door. Twice did I sit up in bed, breathless, with my hand on the cane,
in the most intense anxiety; but fatigue finally overcame suspicion, and
I sank into a deep sleep, from which I was gladly awakened by daylight.
In reality, there may have been no cause for my fears--I may have
wronged the lonely innkeepers by them; but certainly no place or
circumstances ever seemed to me more appropriate to a deed of robbery or
crime. I left immediately, and when a turn in the street hid the
ill-omened front of the inn, I began to breathe with my usual freedom.



CHAPTER XVIII.

NOTES IN LEIPSIC AND DRESDEN.


_Leipsic, May 8._--I have now been nearly two days in this wide-famed
city, and the more I see of it the better I like it. It is a pleasant,
friendly town, old enough to be interesting, and new enough to be
comfortable. There in much active business life, through which it is
fast increasing in size and beauty. Its publishing establishments are
the largest in the world, and its annual fairs attended by people from
all parts of Europe. This is much for a city to accomplish, situated
alone in the middle of a great plain, with no natural charms of scenery
or treasures of art to attract strangers. The energy and enterprise of
its merchants have accomplished all this, and it now stands, in
importance, among the first cities of Europe.

The bad weather obliged me to take the railroad at Halberstadt, to keep
the appointment with my friend, in this city. I left at six for
Magdeburg, and after two hours' ride over a dull, tiresome plain, rode
along under the mounds and fortifications by the side of the Elbe, and
entered the old town. It was very cold, and the streets were muddy, so I
contented myself with looking at the Broadway, (_der breite Weg_,) the
Cathedral and one or two curious old churches, and in walking along the
parapet leading to the fortress, which has a view of the winding Elbe.
The Citadel was interesting from having been the prison in which Baron
Trenck was confined, whose narrative I read years ago, when quite a
child.

We were soon on the road to Leipsic. The way was over one great,
uninterrupted plain--a more monotonous country, even, than Belgium. Two
of the passengers in the car with me were much annoyed at being taken by
the railway agents for Poles. Their movements were strictly watched by
the gens d'arme at every station we passed, and they were not even
allowed to sit together! At Kothen a branch track went off to Berlin. We
passed by Halle without being able to see anything of it or its
University, and arrived here in four hours after leaving Magdeburg.

On my first walk around the city, yesterday morning, I passed the
_Augustus Platz_--a broad green lawn, on which front the University and
several other public buildings. A chain of beautiful promenades
encircles the city, on the site of its old fortifications. Following
their course through walks shaded by large trees and bordered with
flowering shrubs, I passed a small but chaste monument to Sebastian
Bach, the composer, which was erected almost entirely at the private
cost of Mendelssohn, and stands opposite the building in which Bach once
directed the choirs. As I was standing beside it, a glorious choral,
swelled by a hundred voices, came through the open windows, like a
tribute to the genius of the great master.

Having found my friend we went together to the _Stern Warte_, or
Observatory, which gives a fine view of the country around the city, and
in particular the battle field. The Castellan who is stationed there, is
well acquainted with the localities, and pointed out the position of the
hostile armies. It was one of the most bloody and hard-fought battles
which history records. The army of Napoleon stretched like a semicircle
around the southern and eastern sides of the city, and the plain beyond
was occupied by the allies, whose forces met together here.
Schwarzenberg, with his Austrians, came from Dresden; Blucher, from
Halle, with the Emperor Alexander. Their forces amounted to three
hundred thousand, while those of Napoleon ranked at one hundred and
ninety-two thousand men. It must have been a terrific scene. Four days
raged the battle, and the meeting of half a million of men in deadly
conflict was accompanied by the thunder of sixteen hundred cannon. The
small rivers which flow through Leipsic were swollen with blood, and the
vast plain was strewed with more than fifty thousand dead. It is
difficult to conceive of such slaughter, while looking at the quiet and
tranquil landscape below. It seemed more like a legend of past ages,
when ignorance and passion led men to murder and destroy, than an event
which the last half century witnessed. For the sake of humanity it is
to be hoped that the world will never see such another.

There are some lovely walks around Leipsic. We went yesterday afternoon
with a few friends to the Rosenthal, a beautiful meadow, bordered by
forests of the German oak, very few of whose Druid trunks have been left
standing. There are Swiss cottages embowered in the foliage, where every
afternoon the social citizens assemble to drink their coffee enjoy a few
hours' escape from the noisy and dusty streets, One can walk for miles
along these lovely paths by the side of the velvet meadows, or the banks
of some shaded stream. We visited the little village of Golis, a short
distance off, where, in the second story of a little white house, hangs
the sign: "Schiller's Room." Some of the Leipsic literati have built a
stone arch over the entrance, with the inscription above: "Here dwelt
Schiller in 1795, and wrote his Hymn to Joy." Every where through
Germany the remembrances of Schiller are sacred. In every city where he
lived, they show his dwelling. They know and reverence the mighty spirit
who has been among them. The little room where he conceived that sublime
poem is hallowed as if by the presence of unseen spirits.

I was anxious to see the spot where Poniatowsky fell. We returned over
the plain to the city and passed in at the gate by which the Cossacks
entered, pursuing the flying French. Crossing the lower part, we came to
the little river Elster, in whose waves the gallant prince sank. The
stone bridge by which we crossed was blown up by the French, to cut off
pursuit. Napoleon had given orders that it should not be blown up till
the Poles had all passed over, as the river, though narrow, is quite
deep, and the banks are steep. Nevertheless, his officers did not wait,
and the Poles, thus exposed to the fire of the enemy, were obliged to
plunge into the stream to join the French army, which had begun the
retreat towards Frankfort. Poniatowsky, severely wounded, made his way
through a garden near and escaped on horseback into the water. He became
entangled among the fugitives and sank. By walking a little distance
along the road towards Frankfort, we could see the spot where his body
was taken out of the river; it is now marked by a square stone, covered
with the names of his countrymen who have visited it. We returned
through the narrow arched way, by which Napoleon fled when the battle
was lost.

Another interesting place in Leipsic is Auerback's Cellar, which, it is
said, contains an old manuscript history of Faust, from which Goethe
derived the first idea of his poem. He used to frequent this cellar, and
one of his scenes in "Faust" is laid in it. We looked down the arched
passage; not wishing to purchase any wine, we could find no pretence for
entering. The streets are full of book stores and one half the business
of the inhabitants appears to consist in printing, paper-making and
binding. The publishers have a handsome Exchange of their own, and
during the Fairs, the amount of business transacted is enormous. The
establishment of Brockhaus is contained in an immense building,
adjoining which stands his dwelling, in the midst of magnificent
gardens. That of Tauchnitz is not less celebrated. His edition of the
classics, in particular, are the best that have ever been made; and he
has lately commenced publishing a number of English works, in a cheap
form. Otto Wigand, who has also a large establishment, has begun to
issue translations of American works. He has already published Prescott
and Bancroft, and I believe intends giving out shortly, translations
from some of our poets and novelists. I became acquainted at the Museum,
with a young German author who had been some time in America, and was
well versed in our literature. He is now engaged in translating American
works, one of which--Hoffman's "Wild Scenes of the Forest and
Prairie"--will soon appear. In no place in Germany have I found more
knowledge of our country, her men and her institutions, than in Leipsic,
and as yet I have seen few that would be preferable as a place of
residence. Its attractions lie not in its scenery, but in the social and
intellectual character of its inhabitants.

_May 11._--At last in this "Florence of the Elbe," as the Saxons have
christened it. Exclusive of its glorious galleries of art, which are
scarcely surpassed by any in Europe, Dresden charms one by the natural
beauty of its environs. It stands in a curve of the Elbe, in the midst
of green meadows, gardens and fine old woods, with the hills of Saxony
sweeping around like an amphitheatre, and the craggy peaks of the
Highlands looking at it from afar. The domes and spires at a distance
give it a rich Italian look, which is heightened by the white villas,
embowered in trees, gleaming on the hills around. In the streets there
is no bustle of business--nothing of the din and confusion of traffic
which mark most cities; it seems like a place for study and quiet
enjoyment.

The railroad brought us in three hours from Leipsic, over the eighty
miles of plain that intervene. We came from the station through the
_Neustadt_, passing the Japanese Palace and the equestrian statue of
Augustus the Strong, The magnificent bridge over the Elbe was so much
injured by the late inundation as to be impassable; we worn obliged to
go some distance up the river bank and cross on a bridge of boats. Next
morning my first search was for the picture gallery. We set off at
random, and after passing the Church of Our Lady, with its lofty dome of
solid stone, which withstood the heaviest bombs during the war with
Frederick the Great, came to an open square, one side of which was
occupied by an old, brown, red-roofed building, which I at once
recognized, from pictures, as the object of our search.

I have just taken a last look at the gallery this morning, and left it
with real regret; for, during the two visits, Raphael's heavenly picture
of the Madonna and child had so grown into my love and admiration, that
it was painful to think I should never see it again. There are many more
which clung so strongly to my imagination, gratifying in the highest
degree the love for the Beautiful, that I left them with sadness, and
the thought that I would now only have the memory. I can see the
inspired eye and god-like brow of the Jesus-child, as if I were still
standing before the picture, and the sweet, holy countenance of the
Madonna still looks upon me. Yet, though this picture is a miracle of
art, the first glance filled me with disappointment. It has somewhat
faded, during the three hundred years that have rolled away since the
hand of Raphael worked on the canvass, and the glass with which it is
covered for better preservation, injures the effect. After I had gazed
on it awhile, every thought of this vanished. The figure of the virgin
seemed to soar in the air, and it was difficult to think the clouds were
not in motion. An aerial lightness clothes her form, and it is
perfectly natural for such a figure to stand among the clouds. Two
divine cherubs look up from below, and in her arms sits the sacred
child. Those two faces beam from the picture like those of angels. The
wild, prophetic eye and lofty brow of the young Jesus chains one like a
spell. There is something more than mortal in its expression--something
in the infant face which indicates a power mightier than the proudest
manhood. There is no glory around the head; but the spirit which shines
from those features, marks his divinity. In the sweet face of the mother
there speaks a sorrowful foreboding mixed with its tenderness, as if she
knew the world into which the Saviour was born, and foresaw the path in
which he was to tread. It is a picture which one can scarce look upon
without tears.

There are in the same room six pictures by Correggio, which are said to
be among his best works; one of them his celebrated Magdalen. There is
also Correggio's "Holy Night," or the virgin with the shepherds in the
manger, in which all the light comes from the body of the child. The
surprise of the shepherds is most beautifully expressed. In one of the
halls there is a picture by Van der Werff, in which the touching story
of Hagar is told more feelingly than words could do it. The young
Ishmael is represented full of grief at parting with Isaac, who, in
childish unconsciousness of what has taken place, draws in sport the
corner of his mother's mantle around him, and smiles at the tears of his
lost playmate. Nothing can come nearer real flesh and blood than the two
portraits of Raphael Mengs, painted by himself when quite young. You
almost think the artist has in sport crept behind the frame, and wishes
to make you believe he is a picture. It would be impossible to speak of
half the gems of art contained in this unrivalled collection. There are
twelve large halls, containing in all nearly two thousand pictures.

The plain, south of Dresden, was the scene of the hard-fought battle
between Napoleon and the allied armies, in 1813. On the heights above
the little village of Räcknitz, Moreau was shot on the second day of the
battle. We took a foot-path through the meadows, shaded by cherry trees
in bloom, and reached the spot after an hour's walk. The monument is
simple--a square block of granite, surmounted by a helmet and sword,
with the inscription: "_The hero Moreau fell here by the side of
Alexander, August 17th, 1813_." I gathered, as a memorial, a few leaves
of the oak which shades it.

By applying an hour before the appointed time, we obtained admission to
the Royal Library. It contains three hundred thousand volumes--among
them the most complete collection of historical works in existence. Each
hall is devoted to a history of a separate country, and one large room
is filled with that of Saxony alone. There is a large number of rare and
curious manuscripts, among which are old Greek works of the seventh and
eighth centuries; a Koran which once belonged to the Sultan Bajazet; the
handwriting of Luther and Melancthon; a manuscript volume with pen and
ink sketches, by Albert Durer, and the earliest works after the
invention of printing. Among these latter was a book published by Faust
and Schaeffer, at Mayence, in 1457. There were also Mexican manuscripts,
written on the Aloe leaf, and many illuminated monkish volumes of the
middle ages.

We were fortunate in seeing the _Grüne Gewölbe_, or Green Gallery, a
collection of jewels and costly articles, unsurpassed in Europe. The
entrance is only granted to six persons at a time, who pay a fee of two
thalers. The customary way is to employ a _Lohnbedienter_, who goes
around from one hotel to another, till he has collected the number, when
he brings them together and conducts them to the person in the palace,
who has charge of the treasures. As our visit happened to be during the
Pentecost holidays, when every body in Dresden goes to the mountains,
there was some difficulty in effecting this, but after two mornings
spent in hunting up curious travelers, the servant finally conducted us
in triumph to the palace. The first hall into which we were ushered,
contained works in bronze. They were all small, and chosen with regard
to their artistical value. Some by John of Bologna were exceedingly
fine, as was also a group in iron, _cut_ out of a single block; perhaps
the only successful attempt in this branch. The next room contained
statues, and vases covered with reliefs, in ivory. The most remarkable
work was the fall of Lucifer and his angels, containing ninety-two
figures in all, carved out of a single piece of ivory sixteen inches
high! It was the work of an Italian monk, and cost him many years of
hard labor. There were two tables of mosaic-work, that would not be out
of place in the fabled halls of the eastern genii, so much did they
exceed my former ideas of human skill. The tops were of jasper, and each
had a border of fruit and flowers, in which every color was represented
by some precious stone, all with the utmost delicacy and truth to
nature! It is impossible to conceive the splendid effect it produced.
Besides some fine pictures on gold by Raphael Mengs, there was a
Madonna, the largest specimen of enamel painting in existence.

However costly the contents of these halls, they were only an
introduction to those which followed. Each one exceeded the other in
splendor and costliness. The walls were covered to the ceiling with rows
of goblets, vases, &c., of polished jasper, agate and lapiz lazuli.
Splendid mosaic tables stood around, with caskets of the most exquisite
silver and gold work upon them, and vessels of solid silver, some of
them weighing six hundred pounds were placed at the foot of the columns.
We were shown two goblets, each prized at six thousand thalers, made of
gold and precious stones; also the great pearl called the Spanish Dwarf,
nearly as large as a pullet's egg; globes and vases cut entirely out of
the mountain crystal; magnificent Nuremberg watches and clocks, and a
great number of figures, made ingeniously of rough pearls and diamonds.
The officer showed us a hen's egg of silver. There was apparently
nothing remarkable about it, but by unscrewing, it came apart, and
disclosed the yelk of gold. This again opened and a golden chicken was
seen; by touching a spring, a little diamond crown came from the inside,
and the crown being again taken apart, out dropped a valuable diamond
ring! The seventh hall contains the coronation robes of Augustus II., of
Poland, and many costly specimens of carving in wood, A cherry stone is
shown in a glass case, which has one hundred and twenty-five faces, all
perfectly finished, carved upon it! The next room we entered sent back a
glare of splendor that perfectly dazzled us. It was all gold, diamond,
ruby and sapphire! Every case sent out such a glow and glitter that it
seemed like a cage of imprisoned lightnings. Wherever the eye turned it
was met by a blaze of broken rainbows. They were there by hundreds, and
every gem was a fortune. Whole cases of swords, with hilts and scabbards
of solid gold, studded with gems; the great two-handed coronation sword
of the German emperors; daggers covered with brilliants and rubies;
diamond buttons, chains and orders, necklaces and bracelets of pearl and
emerald, and the order of the Golden Fleece made in gems of every kind.
We were also shown the largest known onyx, nearly seven inches long and
four inches broad! One of the most remarkable works is the throne and
court of Aurungzebe, the Indian king, by Dinglinger, a celebrated
goldsmith of the last century. It contains one hundred and thirty-two
figures, all of enamelled gold, and each one most perfectly and
elaborately finished. It was purchased by Prince Augustus for
fifty-eight thousand thalers,[**] which was not a high sum, considering
that the making of it occupied Dinglinger and thirteen workmen for seven
years!

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

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



CHAPTER XIX.

RAMBLES IN THE SAXON SWITZERLAND.


After four days' sojourn in Dresden we shouldered our knapsacks, not to
be laid down again till we reached Prague. We were elated with the
prospect of getting among the hills again, and we heeded not the
frequent showers which had dampened the enjoyment of the Pentecost
holidays, to the good citizens of Dresden, and might spoil our own. So
we trudged gaily along the road to Pillnitz and waved an adieu to the
domes behind us as the forest shut them out from view. After two hours'
walk the road led down to the Elbe, where we crossed in a ferry-boat to
Pillnitz, the seat of a handsome palace and gardens, belonging to the
King of Saxony. He happened to be there at the time, on an afternoon
excursion from Dresden; as we had seen him before, in the latter place,
we passed directly on, only pausing to admire the flower-beds in the
palace court. The King is a tall, benevolent looking man, and is
apparently much liked by his people. As far as I have yet seen, Saxony
is a prosperous and happy country. The people are noted all over Germany
for their honest, social character, which is written on their cheerful,
open countenances. On our entrance into the Saxon Switzerland, at
Pillnitz, we were delighted with the neatness and home-like appearance
of every thing. Every body greeted us; if we asked for information, they
gave it cheerfully. The villages were all pleasant and clean and the
meadows fresh and blooming. I felt half tempted to say, in the words of
an old ballad, which I believe Longfellow has translated:

    "The fairest kingdom on this earth,
    It is the Saxon land!"

Going along the left bank of the Elbe, we passed over meadows purple
with the tri-colored violet, which we have at home in gardens, and every
little bank was bright with cowslips. At length the path led down into a
cleft or ravine filled with trees, whose tops were on a level with the
country around. This is a peculiar feature of Saxon scenery. The country
contains many of these clefts, some of which are several hundred feet
deep, having walls of perpendicular rock, in whose crevices the mountain
pine roots itself and grows to a tolerable height without any apparent
soil to keep it alive. We descended by a foot-path into this ravine,
called the Liebethaler Grund. It is wider than many of the others,
having room enough for a considerable stream and several mills. The
sides are of sandstone rock, quite perpendicular. As we proceeded, it
grew narrower and deeper, while the trees covering its sides and edges
nearly shut out the sky. An hour's walk brought us to the end, where we
ascended gradually to the upper level again.

After passing the night at the little village of Uttewalde, a short
distance further, we set out early in the morning for the Bastei, a
lofty precipice on the Elbe. The way led us directly through the
Uttewalder Grund, the most remarkable of all these chasms. We went down
by steps into its depths, which in the early morning were very cold.
Water dripped from the rocks, which but a few feet apart, rose far above
us, and a little rill made its way along the bottom, into which the sun
has never shone. Heavy masses of rock, which had tumbled down from the
sides lay in the way, and tall pine trees sprung from every cleft. In
one place the defile is only four feet wide, and a large mass of rock,
fallen from above, has lodged near the bottom, making an arch across,
under which the traveller has to creep. After going under two or three
arches of this kind, the defile widened and an arrow cut upon a rock
directed us to a side path, which branched off from this into a
mountain. Here the stone masses immediately assumed another form. They
projected out like shelves sometimes as much as twenty feet from the
straight side, and hung over the way, looking as if they might break off
every moment. I felt glad when we had passed under them. Then as we
ascended higher, we saw pillars of rock separated entirely from the side
and rising a hundred feet in height, with trees growing on their
summits. They stood there gray and limeworn, like the ruins of a Titan
temple.

The path finally led us out into the forest and through the clustering
pine trees, to the summit of the Bastei. An inn has been erected in the
woods and an iron balustrade placed around the rock. Protected by this,
we advanced to the end of the precipice and looked down to the swift
Elbe, more than seven hundred feet below! Opposite through the blue
mists of morning, rose Königstein, crowned with an impregnable fortress,
and the crags of Lilienstein, with a fine forest around their base,
frowned from the left bank. On both sides were horrible precipices of
gray rock, with rugged trees hanging from the crevices. A hill rising up
from one side of the Bastei, terminates suddenly a short distance from
it, in on abrupt precipice. In the intervening space stand three or four
of those rock-columns, several hundred feet high, with their tops nearly
on a level with the Bastei. A wooden bridge has been made across from
one to the other, over which the traveller passes, looking on the trees
and rocks far below him, to the mountain, where a steep zigzag path
takes him to the Elbe below.

We crossed the Elbe for the fourth time at the foot of the Bastei, and
walked along its right bank towards Königstein. The injury caused by the
inundation was everywhere apparent. The receding flood had left a
deposit of sand, in many places several feet deep on the rich meadows,
so that the labor of years will be requisite to remove it and restore
the land to an arable condition. Even the farm-houses on the hillside,
some distance from the river, had been reached, and the long grass hung
in the highest branches of the fruit trees. The people wore at work
trying to repair their injuries, but it will fall heavily upon the
poorer classes.

The mountain of Königstein is twelve hundred feet high. A precipice,
varying from one to three hundred feet in height, runs entirely around
the summit, which is flat, and a mile and a half in circumference. This
has been turned into a fortress, whose natural advantages make it
entirely impregnable. During the Thirty Years' War and the late war with
Napoleon, it was the only place in Saxony unoccupied by the enemy. Hence
is it used as a depository for the archives and royal treasures, in
times of danger. By giving up our passports at the door, we received
permission to enter; the officer called a guide to take us around the
battlements. There is quite a little village on the summit, with
gardens, fields, and a wood of considerable size. The only entrance is
by a road cut through the rock, which is strongly guarded. A well seven
hundred feet deep supplies the fortress with water, and there are
storehouses sufficient to hold supplies for many years. The view from
the ramparts is glorious--it takes in the whole of the Saxon Highlands,
as far as the lofty Schneeberg in Bohemia. On the other side the eye
follows the windings of the Elbe, as far as the spires of Dresden.
Lilienstein, a mountain of exactly similar formation, but somewhat
higher, stands directly opposite. On walking around, the guide pointed
out a little square tower standing on the brink of a precipice, with a
ledge, about two feet wide, running around it, just below the windows.
He said during the reign of Augustus the Strong, a baron attached to his
court, rose in his sleep after a night of revelry, and stepping out the
window, stretched himself at full length along the ledge. A guard
fortunately observed his situation and informed Augustus of it, who had
him bound and secured with cords, and then awakened by music. It was a
good lesson, and one which no doubt sobered him for the future.

Passing through the little city of Königstein, we walked on to Schandau,
the capital of the Saxon Switzerland, situated on the left bank. It had
sustained great damage from the flood, the whole place having been
literally under water. Here we turned up a narrow valley which led to
the Kuhstall, some eight miles distant. The sides, as usual, were of
steep gray rock, but wide enough apart to give room to some lovely
meadows, with here and there a rustic cottage. The mountain maidens, in
their bright red dresses, with a fanciful scarf bound around the head,
made a romantic addition to the scene. There were some quiet secluded
nooks, where the light of day stole in dimly through the thick foliage
above and the wild stream rushed less boisterously over the rocks. We
sat down to rest in one of these cool retreats, and made the glen ring
with a cheer for America. The echoes repeated the name as if they had
heard it for the first time, and I gave them a strict injunction to
give it back to the next countryman who should pass by.

As we advanced further into the hills the way became darker and wilder.
We heard the sound of falling water in a little dell on one side, and
going nearer, saw a picturesque fall of about fifteen feet. Great masses
of black rock were piled together, over which the mountain-stream fell
in a snowy sheet. The pines above and around grew so thick and close,
that not a sunbeam could enter, and a kind of mysterious twilight
pervaded the spot. In Greece it would have been chosen for an oracle. I
have seen, somewhere, a picture of the Spirit of Poetry, sitting beside
just such a cataract, and truly the nymph could choose no more
appropriate dwelling. But alas for sentiment! while we were admiring its
picturesque beauty, we did not notice a man who came from a hut near by
and went up behind the rocks. All at once there was a roar of water, and
a real torrent came pouring down. I looked up, and lo! there he stood,
with a gate in his hand which had held the water imprisoned, looking
down at us to observe the effect, I motioned him to shut it up again,
and he ran down to us, lest he should lose his fee for the "sight!"

Our road now left the valley and ascended through a forest to the
Kuhstall, which we came upon at once. It is a remarkable natural arch,
through a rocky wall or rampart, one hundred and fifty feet thick. Going
through, we came at the other end to the edge of a very deep precipice,
while the rock towered precipitously far above. Below lay a deep
circular valley, two miles in diameter, and surrounded on every side by
ranges of crags, such as we saw on the Bastei. It was entirely covered
with a pine forest, and there only appeared to be two or three narrow
defiles which gave it a communication with the world. The top of the
Kuhstall can be reached by a path which runs up through a split in the
rock, directly to the summit. It is just wide enough for one person to
squeeze himself through; pieces of wood have been fastened in as steps,
and the rocks in many places close completely above. The place derives
its name from having been used by the mountaineers as a hiding-place for
their cattle in time of war.

Next morning we descended by another crevice in the rock to the lonely
valley, which we crossed, and climbed the Little Winterberg on the
opposite side. There is a wide and rugged view from a little tower on a
precipitous rock near the summit, erected to commemorate the escape of
Prince Augustus of Saxony, who, being pursued by a mad stag, rescued
himself on the very brink, by a lucky blow. Among the many wild valleys
that lay between the hills, we saw scarcely one without the peculiar
rocky formation which gives to Saxon scenery its most interesting
character. They resemble the remains of some mighty work of art, rather
than one of the thousand varied forms in which Nature delights to clothe
herself.

The Great Winterberg, which is reached by another hour's walk along an
elevated ridge, is the highest of the mountains, celebrated for the
grand view from its summit. We found the handsome Swiss hotel recently
built there, full of tourists who had come to enjoy the scone, but the
morning clouds hid every thing. We ascended the tower, and looking
between them as they rolled by, caught glimpses of the broad landscape
below. The Giant's Mountains in Silesia were hidden by the mist, but
sometimes when the wind freshened, we could see beyond the Elbe into
Bohemian Switzerland, where the long Schneeberg rose conspicuous above
the smaller mountains. Leaving the other travellers to wait at their
leisure for clearer weather, we set off for the Prebisehthor, in company
with two or three students from the Polytechnic School in Dresden. An
hour's walk over high hills, whose forest clothing had been swept off by
fire a few years before, brought us to it.

The Prebisehthor is a natural arch, ninety feet high, in a wall of rock
which projects at right angles from the precipitous side of the
mountain. A narrow path leads over the top of the arch to the end of the
rock, where, protected by a railing, the traveller seems to hang in the
air. The valley is far below him--mountains rise up on either side--and
only the narrow bridge connects him with the earth. We descended by a
wooden staircase to the bottom of the arch, near which a rustic inn is
built against the rock, and thence into the valley below, which we
followed through rude lonely scenery, to Hirnischkretschen (!) on the
Elbe.

Crossing the river again for the sixth and last time, we followed the
right bank to Neidergrund, the first Austrian village. Here our
passports were visèd for Prague, and we were allowed to proceed without
any examination of baggage. I noticed a manifest change in our fellow
travelers the moment we crossed the border. They appeared anxious and
careful; if we happened to speak of the state of the country, they
always looked around to see if anybody was near, and if we even passed a
workman on the road, quickly changed to some other subject. They spoke
much of the jealous strictness of the government, and from what I heard
from Austrians themselves, there may have been ground for their
cautiousness.

We walked seven or eight miles along the bank of the Elbe, to Tetschen,
there left our companions and took the road to Teplitz. The scenery was
very picturesque; it must be delightful to float down the swift current
in a boat, as we saw several merry companies do. The river is just small
enough and the banks near enough together, to render such a mode of
travelling delightful, and the strength of the current would carry one
to Dresden in a day.

I was pleasantly disappointed on entering Bohemia. Instead of a dull,
uninteresting country, as I expected, it is a land full of the most
lovely scenery. There is every thing which can gratify the eye--high
blue mountains, valleys of the sweetest pastoral look and romantic old
ruins. The very name of Bohemia is associated with wild and wonderful
legends, of the rude barbaric ages. Even the chivalric tales of the
feudal times of Germany grow tame beside these earlier and darker
histories. The fallen fortresses of the Rhine, or the robber-castles of
the Odenwald had not for me so exciting an interest as the shapeless
ruins cumbering these lonely mountains. The civilized Saxon race was
left behind; I saw around me the features and heard the language of one
of those rude Sclavonic tribes, whose original home was on the vast
steppes of Central Asia. I have rarely enjoyed traveling more than our
first two days' journey towards Prague. The range of the Erzgebirge ran
along on our right; the snow still lay in patches upon it, but the
valleys between, with their little clusters of white cottages, were
green and beautiful. About six miles before reaching Teplitz, we passed
Kulm, the great battle-field, which in a measure decided the fate of
Napoleon. He sent Vandamme with 40,000 men to attack the allies before
they could unite their forces, and thus effect their complete
destruction. Only the almost despairing bravery of the Russian guards
under Ostermann, who held him in check till the allied troops united,
prevented Napoleon's design. At the junction of the roads, where the
fighting was hottest, the Austrians have erected a monument to one of
their generals. Not far from it is that of Prussia, simple and tasteful.
A woody hill near, with the little village of Kulm at its foot, was the
station occupied by Vandamme at the commencement of the battle. There is
now a beautiful chapel on its summit, which can be seen far and wide. A
little distance further, the Emperor of Russia has erected a third
monument to the memory of the Russians who fell. Four lions rest on the
base of the pedestal, and on the top of the shaft, forty-five feet high,
Victory is represented as engraving the date, "Aug. 30, 1813," on a
shield. The dark, pine-covered mountains on the right, overlook the
whole field and the valley of Teplitz; Napoleon rode along their crests
several days after the battle, to witness the scene of his defeat.

Teplitz lies in a lovely valley, several miles wide, bounded by the
Bohemian mountains on one side, and the Erzgebirge on the other. One
straggling peak near is crowned with a picturesque ruin, at whose foot
the spacious bath-buildings lie half hidden in foliage. As we went down
the principal street, I noticed nearly every house was a hotel; we
learned afterwards that in summer the usual average of visitors is five
thousand. The waters resemble those of the celebrated Carlsbad; they are
warm and particularly efficacious in rheumatism and diseases of like
character. After leaving Teplitz, the road turned to the east, towards a
lofty mountain, which we had seen the morning before. The peasants as
they passed by, saluted us with "Christ greet you!"

We stopped for the night at the foot of the peak called the
Milleschauer, and must have ascended nearly 2,000 feet, for we had a
wide view the next morning, although the mists and clouds hid the half
of it. The weather being so unfavorable, we concluded not to ascend,
and taking leave of the Jena student who came there for that purpose,
descended through green fields and orchards snowy with blossoms, to
Lobositz, on the Elbe. Here we reached the plains again, where every
thing wore the luxuriance of summer; it was a pleasant change from the
dark and rough scenery we left. The road passed through Theresienstadt,
the fortress of Northern Bohemia. The little city is surrounded by a
double wall and moat, which can be filled with water, rendering it
almost impossible to be taken. In the morning we were ferried over the
Moldau, and after journeying nearly all day across barren, elevated
plains, saw late in the afternoon the sixty-seven spires of Prague below
us! The dark clouds which hung over the hills, gave us little time to
look upon the singular scene; and we were soon comfortably settled in
the half-barbaric, half-Asiatic city, with a pleasant prospect of seeing
its wonders on the morrow.



CHAPTER XX.

SCENES IN PRAGUE.


_Prague._--I feel as if out of the world, in this strange, fantastic,
yet beautiful old city. We have been rambling all morning through its
winding streets, stopping sometimes at a church to see the dusty tombs
and shrines, or to hear the fine music which accompanies the morning
mass. I have seen no city yet that so forcibly reminds one of the past,
and makes him forget everything but the associations connected with the
scenes around him. The language adds to the illusion. Three-fourths of
the people in the streets speak Bohemian and many of the signs are
written in the same tongue, which is not at all like German. The palace
of the Bohemian kings still looks down on the city from the western
heights, and their tombs stand in the Cathedral of the holy Johannes.
When one has climbed up the stone steps lending to the fortress, there
is a glorious prospect before him. Prague, with its spires and towers,
lies in the valley below, through which curves the Moldau with its green
islands, disappearing among the hills which enclose the city on every
side. The fantastic Byzantine architecture of many of the churches and
towers, gives the city a peculiar oriental appearance; it seems to have
been transported from the hills of Syria. Its streets are full of
palaces, fallen and dwelt in now by the poorer classes. Its famous
University, which once boasted forty thousand students, has long since
ceased to exist. In a word, it is, like Venice, a fallen city; though as
in Venice, the improving spirit of the age is beginning to give it a
little life, and to send a quicker stream through its narrow and winding
arteries. The railroad, which, joining that to Brünn, shall bring it in
connection with Vienna, will be finished this year; in anticipation of
the increased business which will arise from this, speculators are
building enormous hotels in the suburbs and tearing down the old
buildings to give place to more splendid edifices. These operations, and
the chain bridge which spans the Moldau towards the southern end of the
city, are the only things which look modern--every thing else is old,
strange and solemn.

Having found out first a few of the locations, we hunted our way with
difficulty through its labyrinths, seeking out every place of note or
interest. Reaching the bridge at last, we concluded to cross over and
ascend to the Hradschin--the palace of the Bohemian kings. The bridge
was commenced in 1357, and was one hundred and fifty years in building.
That was the way the old Germans did their work, and they made a
structure which will last a thousand years longer. Every pier is
surmounted with groups of saints and martyrs, all so worn and
time-beaten, that there is little left of their beauty, if they ever had
any. The most important of them, at least to Bohemians, is that of the
holy "Johannes of Nepomuck," now considered as the patron-saint of the
land. He was a priest many centuries ago, whom one of the kings threw
from the bridge into the Moldau, because he refused to reveal to him
what the queen confessed. The legend says the body swam for some time on
the river, with five stars around its head. The 16th of May, the day
before we arrived, was that set apart for his particular honor; the
statue on the bridge was covered with an arch of green boughs and
flowers, and the shrine lighted with burning tapers. A railing was
erected around it, near which numbers of the believers were kneeling,
and a priest stood in the inside. The bridge was covered with
passers-by, who all took their hats off till they had passed. Had it
been a place of public worship, the act would have been natural and
appropriate, but to uncover before a statue seemed to us too much like
idolatry, and we ventured over without doing it. A few years ago it
might have been dangerous, but now we only met with scowling looks.
There are many such shrines and statues through the city, and I noticed
that the people always took off their hats and crossed themselves in
passing. On the hill above the western end of the city, stands a chapel
on the spot where the Bavarians put an end to Protestantism in Bohemia
_by the sword_, and the deluded peasantry of the land make pilgrimages
to this spot, as if it were rendered holy by an act over which Religion
weeps!

Ascending the broad flight of steps to the Hradschin, I paused a moment
to look at the scene below. A slight blue haze hung over the clustering
towers, and the city looked dim through it, like a city seen in a dream.
It was well that it should so appear, for not less dim and misty are the
memories that haunt its walls. There was no need of a magician's wand to
bid that light cloud shadow forth the forms of other times. They came
uncalled for, even by fancy. Far, far back in the past, I saw the
warrior-princess who founded the kingly city--the renowned Libussa,
whose prowess and talent inspired the women of Bohemia to rise at her
death and storm the land that their sex might rule where it obeyed
before. On the mountain opposite once stood the palace of the bloody
Wlaska, who reigned with her Amazon band for seven years over half
Bohemia. Those streets below had echoed with the fiery words of Huss,
and the castle of his follower--the blind Ziska, who met and defeated
the armies of the German Empire--moulders on the mountain above. Many a
year of war and tempest has passed over the scene. The hills around have
borne the armies of Wallenstein and Frederic the Great; the war-cry of
Bavaria, Sweden and Poland has echoed in the valley, and the red glare
of the midnight cannon or the flames of burning palaces have often
gleamed along the "blood-dyed waters" of the Moldau!

But this was a day-dream. The throng of people coming up the steps waked
me out of it. We turned and followed them through several spacious
courts, till we arrived at the Cathedral, which is magnificent in the
extreme. The dark Gothic pillars, whose arches unite high above, are
surrounded with gilded monuments and shrines, and the side chapels are
rich in elaborate decorations. A priest was speaking from a pulpit in
the centre, in the Bohemian language, which not being the most
intelligible, I went to the other end to see the shrine of the holy
Johannes of Nepomuck. It stands at the end of one of the side aisles and
is composed of a mass of gorgeous silver ornaments. At a little
distance, on each side, hang four massive lamps of silver, constantly
burning. The pyramid of statues, of the same precious metal, has at
each corner a richly carved urn, three feet high, with a crimson lamp
burning at the top. Above, four silver angels, the size of life, are
suspended in the air, holding up the corners of a splendid drapery of
crimson and gold. If these figures were melted down and distributed
among the poor and miserable people who inhabit Bohemia, they would then
be angels indeed, bringing happiness and blessing to many a ruined home-
altar. In the same chapel is the splendid burial-place of the Bohemian
kings, of gilded marble and alabaster. Numberless tombs, covered with
elaborate ornamental work, fill the edifice. It gives one a singular
feeling to stand at one end and look down the lofty hall, dim with
incense smoke and dark with the weight of many centuries.

On the way down again, we stepped into the St. Nicholas Church, which
was built by the Jesuits. The interior has a rich effect, being all of
brown and gold. The massive pillars are made to resemble reddish-brown
marble, with gilded capitals, and the statues at the base are profusely
ornamented in the same style. The music chained me there a long time.
There was a grand organ, assisted by a full orchestra and large choir of
singers. It was placed above, and at every sound of the priest's bell,
the flourish of trumpets and deep roll of the drums filled the dome with
a burst of quivering sound, while the giant pipes of the organ breathed
out their full harmony and the very air shook under the peal. It was
like a triumphal strain; the soul became filled with thoughts of power
and glory--every sense was changed into one dim, indistinct emotion of
rapture, which held the spirit as if spell-bound. I could almost forgive
the Jesuits the superstition and bigotry they have planted in the minds
of men, for the indescribable enjoyment that music gave. When it ceased,
we went out to the world again, and the recollection of it seems now
like a dream--but a dream whose influence will last longer than many a
more palpable reality.

Not far from this place is the palace of Wallenstein, in the same
condition as when he inhabited it, and still in the possession of his
descendants. It is a plain, large building, having beautiful gardens
attached to it, which are open to the public. We went through the
courtyard, threaded a passage with a roof of rough stalactitic rock, and
entered the garden where a revolving fountain was casting up its
glittering arches. Among the flowers at the other end of the garden
there is a remarkable fountain. It is but a single jet of water which
rises from the middle of a broad basin of woven wire, but by some means
it sustains a hollow gilded ball, sometimes for many minutes at a time.
When the ball drops, the sloping sides of the basin convey it directly
to the fountain again, and it is carried up to dance a while longer on
the top of the jet. I watched it once, thus supported on the water, for
full fifteen minutes.

There is another part of Prague which is not less interesting, though
much less poetical--the Jews' City. In our rambles we got into it before
we were aware, but hurried immediately out of it again, perfectly
satisfied with one visit. We came first into a dark, narrow street,
whose sides were lined with booths of old clothes and second-hand
articles. A sharp featured old woman thrust a coat before my face,
exclaiming, "Herr, buy a fine coat!" Instantly a man assailed me on the
other side, "Here are vests! pantaloons! shirts!" I broke loose from
them and ran on, but it only became worse. One seized me by the arm,
crying, "_Lieber_ Herr, buy some stockings!" and another grasped my
coat: "Hats, Herr! hats! _buy something, or sell me something!_" I
rushed desperately on, shouting "no! no!" with all my might, and finally
got safe through. My friend having escaped their clutches also, we
hunted the way to the old Jewish cemetery. This stands in the middle of
the city, and has not been used for a hundred years. We could find no
entrance, but by climbing upon the ruins of an old house near, I could
look over the wall. A cold shudder crept over me, to think that warm,
joyous Life, as I then felt it, should grow chill and pass back to clay
in such a foul charnel-house. Large mounds of earth, covered with black,
decaying grave-stones, which were almost hidden under the weeds and rank
grass, filled the inclosure. A few dark, crooked alder-trees grew among
the crumbling tombs, and gave the scene an air of gloom and desolation,
almost fearful. The dust of many a generation lies under these
mouldering stones; they now scarcely occupy a thought in the minds of
the living; and yet the present race toils and seeks for wealth alone,
that it may pass away and leave nothing behind--not even a memory for
that which will follow it!



CHAPTER XXI.

JOURNEY THROUGH EASTERN BOHEMIA AND MORAVIA TO THE DANUBE.


Our road the first two days after leaving Prague led across broad,
elevated plains, across which a cold wind came direct from the summits
of the Riesengebirge, far to our left. Were it not for the pleasant view
we had of the rich valley of the Upper Elbe, which afforded a delightful
relief to the monotony of the hills around us, the journey would have
been exceedingly tiresome. The snow still glistened on the distant
mountains; but when the sun shone out, the broad valley below, clad in
the luxuriance of summer, and extending for at least fifty miles with
its woods, meadows and white villages, looked like a real Paradise. The
long ridges over which we travelled extend for nearly a hundred and
fifty miles--from the Elbe almost to the Danube. The soil is not
fertile, the inhabitants are exceedingly poor, and from our own
experience, the climate must be unhealthy. In winter the country is
exposed to the full sweep of the northern winds, and in summer the sun
shines down on it with unbroken force. There are few streams running
through it, and the highest part, which divides the waters of the Baltic
from those of the Black Sea is filled for a long distance with marshes
and standing pools, whose exhalations must inevitably subject the
inhabitants to disease. This was perceptible in their sallow, sickly
countenances; many of the women are afflicted with the _goitre_, or
swelling of the throat; I noticed that towards evening they always
carefully muffled up their faces. According to their own statements, the
people suffer much from the cold in winter, as the few forests the
country affords are in possession of the noblemen to whom the land
belongs, and they are not willing to let them be cut down. The dominions
of these petty despots are marked along the road with as much precision
as the boundaries of an empire; we saw sometimes their stalely castles
at a distance, forming quite a contrast to the poor scattering villages
of the peasants.

At Kollin, the road, which had been running eastward in the direction of
Olmutz, turned to the south, and we took leave of the Elbe, after
tracing back his course from Magdeburg nearly to his home in the
mountains of Silesia. The country was barren and monotonous, but a
bright sunshine made it look somewhat cheerful. We passed, every few
paces, some shrine or statue by the roadside. This had struck me,
immediately on crossing the border, in the Saxon Switzerland--it seemed
as if the boundary of Saxony was that of Protestantism. But here in the
heart of Bohemia, the extent to which this image worship is carried,
exceeds anything I had imagined. There is something pleasing as well as
poetical in the idea of a shrine by the wayside, where the weary
traveller can rest, and raise his heart in thankfulness to the Power
that protects him; it was no doubt a pious spirit that placed them
there; but the people appear to pay the reverence to the picture which
they should give to its spiritual image, and the pictures themselves are
so shocking and ghastly, they seem better calculated to excite horror
than reverence. It was really repulsive to look on images of the Saviour
covered with blood, and generally with swords sticking in different
parts of the body. The Almighty is represented as an old man, wearing a
Bishop's mitre, and the image of the Virgin is always drest in a gay
silk robe, with beads and other ornaments. From the miserable painting,
the faces often had an expression that would have been exceedingly
ludicrous, if the shock given to our feelings of reverence were not
predominant. The poor, degraded peasants always uncovered or crossed
themselves when passing by these shrines, but it appeared to be rather
the effect of habit than any good impulse, for the Bohemians are noted
all over Germany for their dishonesty; we learned by experience they
deserve it. It is not to be wondered at either; for a people so poor and
miserable and oppressed will soon learn to take advantage of all who
appear better off than themselves. They had one custom which was
touching and beautiful. At the sound of the church bell, as it rung the
morning, noon and evening chimes, every one uncovered, and repeated to
himself a prayer. Often, as we rested at noon on a bank by the roadside,
that voice spoke out from the house of worship and every one heeded its
tone. Would that to this innate spirit of reverence were added the light
of Knowledge, which a tyrannical government denies them!

The third night of our journey we stopped at the little village of
Stecken, and the next morning, after three hours' walk over the ridgy
heights, reached the old Moravian city of Iglau, built on a hill. It
happened to be _Corpus Christi_ day, and the peasants of the
neighborhood were hastening there in their gayest dresses. The young
women wore a crimson scarf around the head, with long fringed and
embroidered ends hanging over the shoulders, or falling in one smooth
fold from the back of the head. They were attired in black velvet vests,
with full white sleeves and skirts of some gay color, which were short
enough to show to advantage their red stockings and polished
shoe-buckles. Many of them were not deficient in personal beauty--there
was a gipsy-like wildness in their eyes, that combined with their rich
hair and graceful costume, reminded me of the Italian maidens. The towns
too, with their open squares and arched passages, have quite a southern
look; but the damp, gloomy weather was enough to dispel any illusion of
this kind.

In the neighborhood of Iglau, and, in fact, through the whole of
Bohemia, we saw some of the strangest teams that could well be imagined.
I thought the Frankfort milkwomen with their donkeys and hearse-like
carts, were comical objects enough, but they bear no comparison with
these Bohemian turn-outs. Dogs--for economy's sake, perhaps--generally
supply the place of oxen or horses, and it is no uncommon thing to see
three large mastiffs abreast, harnessed to a country-cart. A donkey and
a cow together, are sometimes met with, and one man, going to the
festival at Iglau, had his wife and children in a little wagon, drawn by
a dog and a donkey. These two, however, did not work well together; the
dog would bite his lazy companion, and the man's time was constantly
employed in whipping him off the donkey, and in whipping the donkey away
from the side of the road. Once I saw a wagon drawn by a dog, with a
woman pushing behind, while a man, doubtless her lord and master, sat
comfortably within, smoking his pipe with the greatest complacency! The
very climax of all was a woman and a dog harnessed _together_, taking a
load of country produce to market! I hope, for the honor of the country,
it was not emblematic of woman's condition there. But as we saw hundreds
of them breaking stone along the road, and occupied at other laborious
and not less menial labor, there is too much reason to fear that it is
so.

As we approached Iglau, we heard cannon firing; the crowd increased, and
following the road, we came to an open square, where a large number were
already assembled; shrines were erected around it, hung with pictures
and pine boughs, and a long procession of children was passing down the
side as we entered. We went towards the middle, where Neptune and his
Tritons poured the water from their urns into two fountains, and stopped
to observe the scene. The procession came on, headed by a large body of
priests, in white robes, with banners and crosses. They stopped before
the principal shrine, in front of the Rathhaus, and began a solemn
religious ceremony. The whole crowd of not less than ten thousand
persons, stood silent and uncovered, and the deep voice of the
officiating priest was heard over the whole square. At times the
multitude sang responses, and I could mark the sound, swelling and
rolling up like a mighty wave, till it broke and slowly sank down again
to the deepest stillness. The effect was marred by the rough voice of
the officers commanding the soldiery, and the volleys of musquetry which
were occasionally discharged. It degraded the solemnity of the pageant
to the level of a military parade.

In the afternoon we were overtaken by a travelling _handwerker_, on his
way to Vienna, who joined company with us. We walked several miles
together, talking on various matters, without his having the least
suspicion we were not Germans. He had been at Trieste, and at length
began speaking of the great beauty of the American vessels there. "Yes,"
said I, "_our_ vessels are admired all over the world." He stared at me
without comprehending;--"_your_ vessels?" "Our country's," I replied;
"we are Americans!" I can see still his look of incredulous astonishment
and hear the amazed tone with which he cried: "_You_ Americans--it is
impossible!" We convinced him nevertheless, to his great joy, for all
through Germany there is a curiosity to see our countrymen and a kindly
feeling towards them. "I shall write down in my book," said he, "so that
I shall never forget it, that I once travelled with two Americans!" We
stopped together for the night at the only inn in a large, beggarly
village, where we obtained a frugal supper with difficulty, for a
regiment of Polish lancers was quartered there for the night, and the
pretty _Kellnerin_ was so busy in waiting on the officers that she had
no eye for wandering journeymen, as she took us to be. She even told us
the beds were all occupied and we must sleep on the floor. Just then the
landlord came by. "Is it possible, Herr Landlord," asked our new
companion, "that there is no bed here for us? Have the goodness to look
again, for we are not in the habit of sleeping on the floor, like dogs!"
This speech had its effect, for the _Kellnerin_ was commanded to find us
beds. She came back unwillingly after a time and reported that _two_,
only, were vacant. As a German bed is only a yard wide, we pushed these
two together, but they were still too small for three persons, and I had
a severe cold in the morning, from sleeping crouched up against the damp
wall.

The next day we passed the dividing ridge which separates the waters of
the Elbe from the Danube, and in the evening arrived at Znaim, the
capital of Moravia. It is built on a steep hill looking down on the
valley of the Thaya, whose waters mingle with the Danube near Pressburg.
The old castle on the height near, was formerly the residence of the
Moravian monarchs, and traces of the ancient walls and battlements of
the city are still to be seen. The handwerker took us to the inn
frequented by his craft--the leather-curriers--and we conversed together
till bed-time. While telling me of the oppressive laws of Austria, the
degrading vassalage of the peasants and the horrors of the conscription
system, he paused as in deep thought, and looking at me with a
suppressed sigh, said: "Is it not true, America is free?" I told him of
our country and her institutions, adding that though we were not yet as
free as we hoped and wished to be, we enjoyed far more liberty than any
country in the world. "Ah!" said he, "it is hard to leave one's
fatherland oppressed as it is, but I wish I could go to America!"

We left next morning at eight o'clock, after having done full justice
to the beds of the "Golden Stag," and taken leave of Florian Francke,
the honest and hearty old landlord. Znaim appears to great advantage
from the Vienna road; the wind which blew with fury against our backs,
would not permit us to look long at it, but pushed us on towards the
Austrian border. In the course of three hours we were obliged to stop at
a little village; it blew a perfect hurricane and the rain began to soak
through our garments. Here we stayed three hours among the wagoners who
stopped on account of the weather. One miserable, drunken wretch, whom
one would not wish to look at more than once, distinguished himself by
insulting those around him, and devouring like a beast, large quantities
of food. When the reckoning was given him, he declared he had already
paid, and the waiter denying it, he said, "Stop, I will show you
something!" pulled out his passport and pointed to the name--"Baron von
Reitzenstein." It availed nothing; he had fallen so low that his title
inspired no respect, and when we left the inn they were still
endeavoring to get their money and threatening him with a summary
proceeding if the demand was not complied with.

Next morning the sky was clear and a glorious day opened before us. The
country became more beautiful as we approached the Danube; the hills
were covered with vineyards, just in the tender green of their first
leaves, and the rich valleys lay in Sabbath stillness in the warm
sunshine. Sometimes from an eminence we could see far and wide over the
garden-like slopes, where little white villages shone among the
blossoming fruit-trees. A chain of blue hills rose in front, which I
knew almost instinctively stood by the Danube; when we climbed to the
last height and began to descend to the valley, where the river was
still hidden by luxuriant groves, I saw far to the southwest, a range of
faint, silvery summits, rising through the dim ether like an airy
vision. There was no mistaking those snowy mountains. My heart bounded
with a sudden thrill of rapturous excitement at this first view of _the
Alps!_ They were at a great distance, and their outline was almost
blended with the blue drapery of air which clothed them. I gazed till my
vision became dim and I could no longer trace their airy lines. They
called up images blended with the grandest events in the world's
history. I thought of the glorious spirits who have looked upon them and
trodden their rugged sides--of the storms in which they veil their
countenances, and the avalanches they hurl thundering to the valleys--of
the voices of great deeds, which have echoed from their crags over the
wide earth--and of the ages which have broken, like the waves of a
mighty sea, upon their everlasting summits!

As we descended, the hills and forests shut out this sublime vision, and
I looked to the wood-clothed mountains opposite and tried to catch a
glimpse of the current that rolled at their feet. We here entered upon a
rich plain, about ten miles in diameter, which lay between a backward
sweep of the hills and a curve of the Danube. It was covered with the
richest grain; every thing wore the luxuriance of summer, and we seemed
to have changed seasons since leaving the dreary hills of Bohemia.
Continuing over the plain, we had on our left the fields of Wagram and
Essling, the scene of two of Napoleon's blood-bought victories. The
outposts of the Carpathians skirted the horizon--that great mountain
range which stretches through Hungary to the borders of Russia.

At length the road came to the river's side, and we crossed on wooden
bridges over two or three arms of the Danube, all of which together were
little wider than the Schuylkill at Philadelphia. When we crossed the
last bridge, we came to a kind of island covered with groves of the
silver ash. Crowds of people filled the cool walks; booths of
refreshment stood by the roadside, and music was everywhere heard. The
road finally terminated in a circle, where beautiful alleys radiated
into the groves; from the opposite side a broad street lined with
stately buildings extended into the heart of the city, and through this
avenue, filled with crowds of carriages and people on their way to those
delightful walks, we entered Vienna!



CHAPTER XXII.

VIENNA.


_May 31._--I have at last seen the thousand wonders of this great
capital--this German Paris--this connecting link between the
civilization of Europe and the barbaric magnificence of the East. It
looks familiar to be in a city again, whose streets are thronged with
people, and resound with the din and bustle of business. It reminds me
of the never-ending crowds of London, or the life and tumult of our
scarcely less active New York. Although the end may be sordid for which
so many are laboring, yet the very sight of so much activity is
gratifying. It is peculiarly so to an American. After residing in a
foreign land for some time, the peculiarities of our nation are more
easily noticed; I find in my countrymen abroad a vein of restless
energy--a love for exciting action--which to many of our good German
friends is perfectly incomprehensible. It might have been this which
gave at once a favorable impression of Vienna.

The morning of our arrival we sallied out from our lodgings in the
Leopoldstadt, to explore the world before us. Entering the broad
Praterstrasse, we passed down to the little arm of the Danube, which
separates this part of the new city from the old. A row of magnificent
coffee-houses occupy the bank, and numbers of persons were taking their
breakfasts in the shady porticoes. The Ferdinand's Bridge, which crosses
the stream, was filled with people; in the motley crowd we saw the
dark-eyed Greek, and Turks in their turbans and flowing robes. Little
brown Hungarian boys were going around, selling bunches of lilies, and
Italians with baskets of oranges stood by the side-walk. The throng
became greater as we penetrated into the old city. The streets were
filled with carts and carriages, and as there are no side-pavements, it
required constant attention to keep out of their way. Splendid shops,
fitted up with great taste, occupied the whole of the lower stories, and
goods of all kinds hung beneath the canvass awnings in front of them.
Almost every store or shop was dedicated to some particular person or
place, which was represented on a large panel by the door. The number of
these paintings added much to the splendor of the scene; I was gratified
to find, among the images of kings and dukes, one dedicated "_to the
American_," with an Indian chief in full costume.

The _Altstadt_, or old city, which contains about sixty thousand
inhabitants, is completely separated from the suburbs, whose population,
taking the whole extent within the outer barrier, numbers nearly half a
million. It is situated on a small arm of the Danube, and encompassed by
a series of public promenades, gardens and walks, varying from a quarter
to half a mile in length, called the Glacis. This formerly belonged to
the fortifications of the city, but as the suburbs grew up so rapidly on
all sides, it was changed appropriately to a public walk. The city is
still surrounded with a massive wall and a deep wide moat; but since it
was taken by Napoleon in 1809, the moat has been changed into a garden,
with a beautiful carriage road along the bottom, around the whole city.
It is a beautiful sight, to stand on the summit of the wall and look
over the broad Glacis, with its shady roads branching in every
direction, and filled with inexhaustible streams of people. The
Vorstaedte, or new cities, stretch in a circle around, beyond this; all
the finest buildings front on the Glacis, among which the splendid
Vienna Theatre and the church of San Carlo Borromeo are conspicuous. The
mountains of the Vienna Forest bound the view, with here and there a
stately castle on their woody summits. I was reminded of London as seen
from Regent's Park, and truly this part of Vienna can well compare with
it. On penetrating into the suburbs, the resemblance is at an end. Many
of the public thoroughfares are still unpaved, and in dry weather one is
almost choked by the clouds of fine dust. A furious wind blows from the
mountains, sweeping the streets almost constantly and filling the eyes
and ears with it, making the city an unhealthy residence for strangers.

There is no lack of places for pleasure or amusement. Beside the
numberless walks of the Glacis, there are the Imperial Gardens, with
their cool shades and flowers and fountains; the Augarten, laid out and
opened to the public by the Emperor Joseph: and the Prater, the largest
and most beautiful of all. It lies on an island formed by the arms of
the Danube, and is between two and three miles square. From the circle
at the end of the Praterstrasse, broad carriage-ways extend through its
forests of oak and silver ash, and over its verdant lawns to the
principal stream, which bounds it on the north. These roads are lined
with stately horse chesnuts, whose branches unite and form a dense
canopy, completely shutting out the sun. Every afternoon the beauty and
nobility of Vienna whirl through the cool groves in their gay equipages,
while the sidewalks are thronged with pedestrians, and the numberless
tables and seats with which every house of refreshment is surrounded,
are filled with merry guests. Here, on Sundays and holidays, the people
repair in thousands. The woods are full of tame deer, which run
perfectly free over the whole Prater. I saw several in one of the lawns,
lying down in the grass, with a number of children playing around or
sitting beside them. It is delightful to walk there in the cool of the
evening, when the paths are crowded, and everybody is enjoying the
release from the dusty city. It is this free, social life which renders
Vienna so attractive to foreigners and draws yearly thousands of
visitors from all parts of Europe.

St. Stephen's Cathedral, in the centre of the old city, is one of the
finest specimens of Gothic architecture in Germany. Its unrivalled
tower, which rises to the height of four hundred and twenty-eight feet,
is visible from every part of Vienna. It is entirely of stone, most
elaborately ornamented, and is supposed to be the strongest in Europe.
If the tower was finished, it might rival any church in Europe in
richness and brilliancy of appearance. The inside is solemn and grand;
but the effect is injured by the number of small chapels and shrines. In
one of these rests, the remains of Prince Eugene of Savoy, "_der edle
Ritter_," known in a ballad to every man, woman and child in Germany.

The Belvidere Gallery fills thirty-five halls, and contains three
thousand pictures! It is absolutely bewildering to walk through such
vast collections; you can do no more than glance at each painting, and
hurry by face after face, and figure after figure, on which you would
willingly gaze for hours and inhale the atmosphere of beauty that
surrounds them. Then after you leave, the brain is filled with their
forms--radiant spirit-faces look upon you, and you see constantly, in
fancy, the calm brow of a Madonna, the sweet young face of a child, or
the blending of divine with mortal beauty in an angel's countenance. I
endeavor, if possible, always to make several visits--to study those
pictures which cling _first_ to the memory, and pass over those which
make little or no impression. It is better to have a few images fresh
and enduring, than a confused and indistinct memory of many.

From the number of Madonnas in every European gallery, it would almost
seem that the old artists painted nothing else. The subject is one which
requires the highest genius to do it justice, and it is therefore
unpleasant to see so many still, inexpressive faces of the virgin and
child, particularly by the Dutch artists, who clothe their figures
sometimes in the stiff costume of their own time. Raphael and Murillo
appear to me to be almost the only painters who have expressed what,
perhaps, was above the power of other masters--the combined love and
reverence of the mother, and the divine expression in the face of the
child, prophetic of his mission and godlike power.

There were many glorious old paintings in the second story, which is
entirely taken up with pictures; two or three of the halls were devoted
to selected works from modern artists. Two of these I would give every
thing I have to possess. One of them is a winter scene, representing the
portico of an old Gothic church. At the base of one of the pillars a
woman is seated in the snow, half-benumbed, clasping an infant to her
breast, while immediately in front stands a boy of perhaps seven or
eight years, his little hands folded in prayer, while the chill wind
tosses the long curls from his forehead. There is something so pure and
holy in the expression of his childish countenance, so much feeling in
the lip and sorrowful eye, that it moves one almost to tears to look
upon it. I turned back half a dozen times from the other pictures to
view it again, and blessed the artist in my heart for the lesson he
gave. The other is by a young Italian painter, whose name I have
forgotten, but who, if he never painted anything else, is worthy a high
place among the artists of his country. It represents some scene from
the history of Venice. On an open piazza, a noble prisoner, wasted and
pale from long confinement, has just had an interview with his children.
He reaches his arm toward them as if for the last time, while a savage
keeper drags him away. A lovely little girl kneels at the feet of the
Doge, but there is no compassion in his stern features, and it is easy
to see that her father is doomed.

The Lower Belvidere, separated from the Upper by a large garden, laid
out in the style of that at Versailles, contains the celebrated
_Ambraser Sammlung_, a collection of armor. In the first hall I noticed
the complete armor of the Emperor Maximilian, for man and horse--the
armor of Charles V., and Prince Moritz of Saxony, while the walls were
filled with figures of German nobles and knights, in the suits they wore
in life. There is also the armor of the great "Baver of Trient," trabant
of the Archduke Ferdinand. He was nearly nine feet in stature, and his
spear, though not equal to Satan's, in Paradise Lost, would still make a
tree of tolerable dimensions.

In the second hall we saw weapons taken from the Turkish army who
besieged Vienna, with the horse-tail standards of the Grand Vizier, Kara
Mustapha. The most interesting article was the battle-axe of the
unfortunate Montezuma, which was probably given to the Emperor Charles
V., by Cortez. It is a plain instrument of dark colored stone, about
three feet long.

We also visited the _Bürgerliche Zeughaus_, a collection of arms and
weapons, belonging to the citizens of Vienna. It contains sixteen
thousand weapons and suits of armor, including those plundered from the
Turks, when John Sobieski conquered them and relieved Vienna from the
siege. Besides a great number of sabres, lances and horsetails, there is
the blood-red banner of the Grand Vizier, as well as his skull and
shroud, which is covered with sentences from the Koran. On his return to
Belgrade, after the defeat at Vienna, the Sultan sent him a bow-string,
and he was accordingly strangled. The Austrians having taken Belgrade
some time after, they opened his grave and carried off his skull and
shroud, as well as the bow-string, as relics. Another large and richly
embroidered banner, which hung in a broad sheet from the ceiling, was
far more interesting to me. It had once waved from the vessels of the
Knights of Malta, and had, perhaps, on the prow of the Grand Master's
ship, led that romantic band to battle against the Infidel.

A large number of peasants and common soldiers were admitted to view the
armory at the same time. The grave _custode_ who showed us the
curiosities, explaining every thing in phrases known by heart for years
and making the same starts of admiration whenever he came to any thing
peculiarly remarkable, singled us out as the two persons most worthy of
attention. Accordingly his remarks were directed entirely to us, and his
humble countrymen might as well have been invisible, for the notice he
took of them. On passing out, we gave him a coin worth about fifteen
cents, which happened to be so much more than the others gave him, that,
bowing graciously, he invited us to write our names in the album for
strangers. While we were doing this, a poor handwerker lingered behind,
apparently for the same object, whom he scornfully dismissed, shaking
the fifteen cent piece in his hand, and saying: "The album is not for
such as you--it is for noble gentlemen!"

On our way through the city, we often noticed a house on the southern
side of St. Stephen's Platz, dedicated to "the Iron Stick." In a niche
by the window, stood what appeared to be the limb of a tree, completely
filled with nails, which were driven in so thick that no part of the
original wood is visible. We learned afterwards the legend concerning
it. The Vienna Forest is said to have extended, several hundred years
ago, to this place. A locksmith's apprentice was enabled, by the devil's
help, to make the iron bars and padlock which confine the limb in its
place; every locksmith's apprentice who came to Vienna after that, drove
a nail into it, till finally there was room for no more. It is a
singular legend, and whoever may have placed the limb there originally,
there it has remained for two or three hundred years at least.

We spent two or three hours delightfully one evening in listening to
Strauss's band. We went about sunset to the Odeon, a new building in the
Leopoldstadt. It has a refreshment hall nearly five hundred feet long,
with a handsome fresco ceiling and glass doors opening into a garden
walk of the same length. Both the hall and garden were filled with
tables, where the people seated themselves as they came, and conversed
sociably over their coffee and wine. The orchestra was placed in a
little ornamental temple in the garden, in front of which I stationed
myself, for I was anxious to see the world's waltz-king, whose magic
tones can set the heels of half Christendom in motion. After the band
had finished tuning their instruments, a middle-sized, handsome man
stepped forward with long strides, with a violin in one hand and bow in
the other, and began waving the latter up and down, like a magician
summoning his spirits. As if he had waved the sound out of his bow, the
tones leaped forth from the instruments, and guided by his eye and hand,
fell into a merry measure. The accuracy with which every instrument
performed its part, was truly marvellous. He could not have struck the
measure or the harmony more certainly from the keys of his own piano,
than from that large band. The sounds struggled forth, so perfect and
distinct, that one almost expected to see them embodied, whirling in
wild dance around him. Sometimes the air was so exquisitely light and
bounding, the feet could scarcely keep on the earth; then it sank into a
mournful lament, with a sobbing tremulousness, and died away in a
long-breathed sigh. Strauss seemed to feel the music in every limb. He
would wave his fiddle-bow awhile, then commence playing with desperate
energy, moving his whole body to the measure, till the sweat rolled from
his brow. A book was lying on the stand before him, but he made no use
of it. He often glanced around with a kind of half-triumphant smile at
the restless crowd, whose feet could scarcely be restrained from
bounding to the magic measure. It was the horn of Oberon realized. The
composition of the music displayed great talent, but its charm consisted
more in the exquisite combination of the different instruments, and the
perfect, the wonderful exactness with which each performed its part--a
piece of art of the most elaborate and refined character.

The company, which consisted of several hundred, appeared to be full of
enjoyment. They sat under the trees in the calm, cool twilight, with the
stars twinkling above, and talked and laughed sociably together between
the pauses of the music, or strolled up and down the lighted alleys. We
walked up and down with them, and thought how much we should enjoy such
a scene at home, where the faces around us would be those of friends,
and the language our mother tongue!

We went a long way through the suburbs one bright afternoon, to a little
cemetery about a mile from the city, to find the grave of Beethoven. On
ringing at the gate a girl admitted us into the grounds, in which are
many monuments of noble families who have vaults there. I passed up the
narrow walk, reading the inscriptions, till I came to the tomb of Franz
Clement, a young composer, who died two or three years ago. On turning
again, my eye fell instantly on the word "BEETHOVEN," in golden letters,
on a tombstone of gray marble. A simple gilded lyre decorated the
pedestal, above which was a serpent encircling a butterfly--the emblem
of resurrection to eternal life. Here then, mouldered the remains of
that restless spirit, who seemed to have strayed to earth from another
clime, from such a height did he draw his glorious conceptions. The
perfection he sought for here in vain, he has now attained in a world
where the soul is freed from the bars which bind it in this. There were
no flowers planted around the tomb by those who revered his genius; only
one wreath, withered and dead, lay among the grass, as if left long ago
by some solitary pilgrim, and a few wild buttercups hung with their
bright blossoms over the slab. It might have been wrong, but I could not
resist the temptation to steal one or two, while the old grave-digger
was busy preparing a new tenement. I thought that other buds would open
in a few days, but those I took would be treasured many a year as sacred
relics. A few paces off is the grave of Schubert, the composer, whose
beautiful songs are heard all over Germany.

It would employ one a week to visit all the rich collections of art in
Vienna. They are all open to the public on certain days of the week, and
we have been kept constantly in motion, running from one part of the
city to another, in order to arrive at some gallery at the appointed
time. Tickets, which have to be procured often in quite different parts
of the city, are necessary for admittance to many; on applying after
much trouble and search, we frequently found we came at the wrong hour,
and must leave without effecting our object. We employed no guide, but
preferred finding every thing ourselves. We made a list every morning,
of the collections open during the day, and employed the rest of the
time in visiting the churches and public gardens, or rambling through
the suburbs.

We visited the Imperial Library a day or two ago. The hall is 245 feet
long, with a magnificent dome in the centre, under which stands the
statue of Charles V., of Carrara marble, surrounded by twelve other
monarchs of the house of Hapsburg. The walls are of variegated marble,
richly ornamented with gold, and the ceiling and dome are covered with
brilliant fresco paintings. The library numbers 300,000 volumes, and
16,000 manuscripts, which are kept in walnut cases, gilded and adorned
with medallions. The rich and harmonious effect of the whole cannot
easily be imagined. It is exceedingly appropriate that a hall of such
splendor, should be used to hold a library. The pomp of a palace may
seem hollow and vain, for it is but the dwelling of a man; but no
building can be too magnificent for the hundreds of great and immortal
spirits to dwell in, who have visited earth during thirty centuries.

Among other curiosities preserved in the collection, we were shown a
brass plate, containing one of the records of the Roman Senate, made 180
years before Christ, Greek manuscripts of the fifth and sixth centuries,
and a volume of Psalms, printed on parchment, in the year 1457, by Faust
and Schaeffer, the inventors of printing. There were also Mexican
manuscripts, presented by Cortez; the prayer-book of Hildegard, wife of
Charlemagne, in letters of gold; the signature of San Carlo Borromeo,
and a Greek testament of the thirteenth century, which had been used by
Erasmus in making his translation and contains notes in his own hand.
The most interesting article was the "Jerusalem Delivered" of Tasso, in
the poet's own hand, with his erasions and corrections.

We also visited the Cabinet of Natural History, which is open twice a
week "to all _respectably dressed_ persons," as the notice at the door
says. But Heaven forbid that I should attempt to describe what we saw
there. The Mineral Cabinet had a greater interest to me, inasmuch as it
called up the recollections of many a school-boy ramble over the hills
and into all kinds of quarries, far and near. It is said to be the most
perfect collection in existence. I was pleased to find many old
acquaintances there, from the mines of Pennsylvania; Massachusetts and
New York were also very well represented. I had no idea before, that the
mineral wealth of Austria was so great. Besides the iron and lead mines
among the hills of Styria and the quicksilver of Idria, there is no
small amount of gold and silver found, and the Carpathian mountains are
rich in jasper, opal and lapiz lazuli. The largest opal ever found, was
in this collection. It weighs thirty-four ounces and looks like a
condensed rainbow.

In passing the palace, we saw several persons entering the basement
story under the Library, and had the curiosity to follow them. By so
doing, we saw the splendid equipages of the house of Austria. There must
have been near a hundred carriages and sleds, of every shape and style,
from the heavy, square vehicle of the last century to the most light and
elegant conveyance of the present day. One clumsy, but magnificent
machine, of crimson and gold, was pointed out as being a hundred and
fifty years old. The misery we witnessed in starving Bohemia, formed a
striking contrast to all this splendor.

Beside the Imperial Picture Gallery, there are several belonging to
princes and noblemen in Vienna, which are scarcely less valuable. The
most important of these is that of Prince Liechtenstein, which we
visited yesterday. We applied to the porter's lodge for admittance to
the gallery, but he refused to open it for two persons; as we did not
wish a long walk for nothing, we concluded to wait for other visitors.
Presently a gentleman and lady came and inquired if the gallery was
open. We told him it would probably be opened now, although the porter
required a larger number, and he went to ask. After a short time he
returned, saying: "He will come immediately; I thought best to put the
number a little higher, and so I told him there were _six_ of us!"
Having little artistic knowledge of paintings, I judge of them according
to the effect they produce upon me--in proportion as they gratify the
innate love for the beautiful and the true. I have been therefore
disappointed in some painters whose names are widely known, and
surprised again to find works of great beauty by others of smaller fame.
Judging by such a standard, I should say that "Cupid sleeping in the
lap of Venus," by Correggio, is the glory of this collection. The
beautiful limbs of the boy-god droop in the repose of slumber, as his
head rests on his mother's knee, and there is a smile lingering around
his half-parted lips, as if he was dreaming new triumphs. The face is
not that of the wicked, mischief-loving child, but rather a sweet
cherub, bringing a blessing to all he visits. The figure of the goddess
is exquisite. Her countenance, unearthly in its loveliness, expresses
the tenderness of a young mother, as she sits with one finger pressed on
her rosy lip, watching his slumber. It is a picture which "stings the
brain with beauty."

The chapel of St. Augustine contains one of the best works of
Canova--the monument of the Grand Duchess, Maria Christina, of
Sachsen-Teschen. It is a pyramid of gray marble, twenty-eight feet high,
with an opening in the side, representing the entrance to a sepulchre. A
female figure personating Virtue bears in an urn to the grave, the ashes
of the departed, attended by two children with torches. The figure of
Compassion follows, leading an aged beggar to the tomb of his
benefactor, and a little child with its hands folded. On the lower step
rests a mourning Genius beside a sleeping lion, and a bas-relief on the
pyramid above represents an angel carrying Christina's image, surrounded
with the emblem of eternity, to Heaven. A spirit of deep sorrow, which
is touchingly portrayed in the countenance of the old man, pervades the
whole group. While we looked at it, the organ breathed out a slow,
mournful strain, which harmonized so fully with the expression of the
figures, that we seemed to be listening to the requiem of the one they
mourned. The combined effect of music and sculpture, thus united in
their deep pathos, was such, that I could have sat down and wept. It was
not from sadness at the death of a benevolent though unknown
individual,--but the feeling of grief, of perfect, unmingled sorrow, so
powerfully represented, came to the heart like an echo of its own
emotion, and carried it away with irresistible influence. Travellers
have described the same feeling while listening to the Miserere in the
Sistine Chapel, at Rome. Canova could not have chiseled the monument
without tears.

One of the most interesting objects in Vienna, is the Imperial Armory.
We were admitted through tickets previously procured from the Armory
Direction; as there was already one large company within, we were told
to wait in the court till our turn came. Around the wall on the inside,
is suspended the enormous chain which the Turks stretched across the
Danube at Buda, in the year 1529, to obstruct the navigation. It has
eight thousand links and is nearly a mile in length. The court is filled
with cannon of all shapes and sizes, many of which were conquered from
other nations. I saw a great many which were cast during the French
Revolution, with the words "_Liberté! Egalité!_" upon them, and a number
of others bearing the simple letter "N."

Finally the first company came down and the forty or fifty persons who
had collected during the interval, were admitted. The Armory runs around
a hollow square, and must be at least a quarter of a mile in length. We
were all taken into a circular hall, made entirely of weapons, to
represent the four quarters of the globe. Here the crusty old guide who
admitted us, rapped with his stick on the shield of an old knight who
stood near, to keep silence, and then addressed us: "When I speak every
one must be silent. No one can write or draw anything. No one shall
touch anything, or go to look at anything else, before I have done
speaking. Otherwise, they shall be taken immediately into the street
again!" Thus in every hall he rapped and scolded, driving the women to
one side with his stick and the men to the other, till we were nearly
through, when the thought of the coming fee made him a little more
polite. He had a regular set of descriptions by heart, which he went
through with a great flourish, pointing particularly to the common
military caps of the late Emperors of Prussia and Austria, as "treasures
beyond all price to the nation!" Whereupon, the crowd of common people
gazed reverently on the shabby beavers, and I verily believe, would have
devoutly kissed them, had the glass covering been removed. I happened to
be next to a tall, dignified young man, who looked on all this with a
displeasure almost amounting to contempt. Seeing I was a foreigner, he
spoke, in a low tone, bitterly of the Austrian government. "You are not
then an Austrian?" I asked. "No, thank God!" was the reply: "but I have
seen enough of Austrian tyranny. I am a Pole!"

The first wing contains banners used in the French Revolution, and
liberty trees with the red cap; the armor of Rudolph of Hapsburg,
Maximilian I., the Emperor Charles V., and the hat, sword and order of
Marshal Schwarzenberg. Some of the halls represent a fortification, with
walls, ditches and embankments, made of muskets and swords. A long room
in the second wing contains an encampment, in which twelve or fifteen
large tents are formed in like manner. Along the sides are grouped old
Austrian banners, standards taken from the French, and horsetails and
flags captured from the Turks. "They make a great boast," said the Pole,
"of a half dozen French colors, but let them go to the Hospital des
Invalides, in Paris, and they will find _hundreds_ of the best banners
of Austria!" They also exhibited the armor of a dwarf king of Bohemia
and Hungary, who died, a gray-headed old man, in his twentieth year; the
sword of Marlborough; the coat of Gustavus Adolphus, pierced in the
breast and back with the bullet which killed him at Lützen; the armor of
the old Bohemian princess Libussa, and that of the amazon Wlaska, with a
steel visor made to fit the features of her face. The last wing was the
most remarkable. Here we saw the helm and breastplate of Attila, king of
the Huns, which once glanced at the head of his myriads of wild hordes,
before the walls of Rome; the armor of Count Stahremberg, who commanded
Vienna during the Turkish siege in 1529, and the holy banner of Mahomet,
taken at that time from the Grand Vizier, together with the steel
harness of John Sobieski of Poland, who rescued Vienna from the Turkish
troops under Kara Mustapha; the hat, sword and breastplate of Godfrey of
Bouillon, the Crusader-king of Jerusalem, with the banners of the cross
the Crusaders had borne to Palestine, and the standard they captured
from the Turks on the walls of the Holy City! I felt all my boyish
enthusiasm for the romantic age of the Crusaders revive, as I looked on
the torn and mouldering banners which once waved on the hills of Judea,
or perhaps followed the sword of the Lion Heart through the fight on the
field of Ascalon! What tales could they not tell, those old standards,
cut and shivered by spear and lance! What brave hands have carried them
through the storm of battle, what dying eyes have looked upwards to the
cross on their folds, as the last prayer was breathed for the rescue of
the Holy Sepulchre!

I must now close the catalogue. This morning we shall look upon Vienna
for the last time. Our knapsacks are repacked, and the passports
(precious documents!) visèd for Munich. The getting of this visè,
however, caused a comical scene at the Police Office, yesterday. We
entered the Inspector's Hall and took our stand quietly among the crowd
of persons who were gathered around a railing which separated them from
the main office. One of the clerks came up, scowling at us, and asked in
a rough tone, "What do you want here?" We handed him our tickets of
sojourn (for when a traveler spends more than twenty-four hours in a
German city, he must take out a permission and pay for it) with the
request that he would give us our passports. He glanced over the
tickets, came back and with constrained politeness asked us to step
within the railing. Here we were introduced to the Chief Inspector.
"Desire Herr---- to come here," said he to a servant; then turning to
us, "I am happy to see the gentlemen in Vienna." An officer immediately
came up, who addressed us in fluent English. "You may speak in your
native tongue," said the Inspector:--"excuse our neglect; from the
facility with which you speak German, we supposed you were natives of
Austria!" Our passports were signed at once and given us with a gracious
bow, accompanied by the hope that we would visit Vienna again before
long. All this, of course, was perfectly unintelligible to the wondering
crowd outside the railing. Seeing however, the honors we were receiving,
they crowded back and respectfully made room for us to pass out. I kept
a grave face till we reached the bottom of the stairs, when I gave way
to restrained laughter in a manner that shocked the dignity of the
guard, who looked savagely at me over his forest of moustache. I would
nevertheless have felt grateful for the attention we received as
Americans, were it not for our uncourteous reception as suspected
Austrians.

We have just been exercising the risible muscles again, though from a
very different cause, and one which, according to common custom, ought
to draw forth symptoms of a lachrymose nature. This morning B----
suggested an examination of our funds, for we had neglected keeping a
strict account, and what with being cheated in Bohemia and tempted by
the amusements of Vienna, there was an apparent dwindling away. So we
emptied our pockets and purses, counted up the contents, and found we
had just ten florins, or four dollars apiece. The thought of our
situation, away in the heart of Austria, five hundred miles from our
Frankfort home, seems irresistibly laughable. By allowing twenty days
for the journey, we shall have half a florin a day, to travel on. This
is a homoeopathic allowance, indeed, but we have concluded to try it. So
now adieu, Vienna! In two hours we shall be among the hills again.



CHAPTER XXIII.

UP THE DANUBE.


We passed out of Vienna in the face of one of the strongest winds it was
ever my lot to encounter. It swept across the plain with such force that
it was almost impossible to advance till we got under the lee of a range
of hills. About two miles from the barrier we passed Schoenbrunn, the
Austrian Versailles. It was built by the Empress Maria Theresa, and was
the residence of Napoleon in 1809, when Vienna was in the hands of the
French. Later, in 1832, the Duke of Reichstadt died in the same room
which his father once occupied. Behind the palace is a magnificent
garden, at the foot of a hill covered with rich forests and crowned with
an open pillared hall, 300 feet long, called the _Gloriette_. The
colossal eagle which surmounts it, can be seen a great distance.

The lovely valley in which Schoenbrunn lies, follows the course of the
little river Vienna into the heart of that mountain region lying between
the Styrian Alps and the Danube, and called the Vienna Forest. Into this
our road led, between hills covered with wood, with here and there a
lovely green meadow, where herds of cattle were grazing. The third day
we came to the Danube again at Melk, a little city built under the edge
of a steep hill, on whose summit stands the palace-like abbey of the
Benedictine Monks. The old friars must have had a merry life of it, for
the wine-cellar of the abbey furnished the French army 50,000 measures
for several days in succession. The shores of the Danube here are
extremely beautiful. The valley where it spreads out, is filled with
groves, but where the hills approach the stream, its banks are rocky and
precipitous, like the Rhine. Although not so picturesque as the latter
river, the scenery of the Danube is on a grander scale. On the south
side the mountains bend down to it with a majestic sweep, and there
must be delightful glances into the valleys that lie between, in passing
down the current.

But we soon left the river, and journeyed on through the enchanting
inland vales. To give an idea of the glorious enjoyment of traveling
through such scenes, let me copy a leaf out of my journal, written as we
rested at noon on the top of a lofty hill:--"Here, while the delightful
mountain breeze that comes fresh from the Alps cools my forehead, and
the pines around are sighing their eternal anthem, I seize a few moments
to tell what a paradise is around me. I have felt an elevation of mind
and spirit, a perfect rapture from morning till night, since we left
Vienna. It is the brightest and balmiest June weather; an ever fresh
breeze sings through the trees and waves the ripening grain on the
verdant meadows and hill-slopes. The air is filled with bird-music. The
larks sing above us out of sight, the bullfinch wakes his notes in the
grove, and at eve the nightingale pours forth her thrilling strain. The
meadows are literally covered with flowers--beautiful purple salvias,
pinks such as we have at home in our gardens and glowing buttercups,
color the banks of every stream. I never saw richer or more luxuriant
foliage. Magnificent forests clothe the hills, and the villages are
imbedded in fruit trees, shrubbery and flowers. Sometimes we go for
miles through some enchanting valley, lying like a paradise between the
mountains, while the distant, white Alps look on it from afar; sometimes
over swelling ranges of hills, where we can see to the right the valley
of the Danube, threaded by his silver current and dotted with white
cottages and glittering spires, and farther beyond, the blue mountains
of the Bohemian Forest. To the left, the range of the Styrian Alps
stretches along the sky, summit above summit, the farther ones robed in
perpetual snow. I could never tire gazing on those glorious hills. They
fill the soul with a conception of sublimity, such as one feels when
listening to triumphal music. They seem like the marble domes of a
mighty range of temples, where earth worships her Maker with an
organ-anthem of storms!

"There is a _luxury_ in traveling here. We walk all day through such
scenes, resting often in the shade of the fruit trees which line the
road, or on a mossy bank by the side of some cool forest. Sometimes for
enjoyment as well as variety, we make our dining-place by a clear spring
instead of within a smoky tavern; and our simple meals have a relish an
epicure could never attain. Away with your railroads and steamboats and
mail-coaches, or keep them for those who have no eye but for the sordid
interests of life! With my knapsack and pilgrim-staff, I ask not their
aid. If a mind and soul full of rapture with beauty, a frame in glowing
and vigorous health, and slumbers unbroken even by dreams, are blessings
any one would attain, let him pedestrianize it through Lower Austria!"

I have never been so strongly and constantly reminded of America, as
during this journey. Perhaps the balmy season, the same in which I last
looked upon the dear scenes of home, may have its effect; but there is
besides a richness in the forests and waving fields of grain, a wild
luxuriance over every landscape, which I have seen nowhere else in
Europe. The large farm houses, buried in orchards, scattered over the
valleys, add to the effect. Everything seems to speak of happiness and
prosperity.

We were met one morning by a band of wandering Bohemian gipsies--the
first of the kind I ever saw. A young woman with a small child in her
arms came directly up to me, and looking full in my face with her wild
black eyes, said, without any preface: "Yes, he too has met with sorrow
and trouble already, and will still have more. But he is not false--he
is true and sincere, and will also meet with good luck!" She said she
could tell me three numbers with which I should buy a lottery ticket and
win a great prize. I told her I would have nothing to do with the
lottery, and would buy no ticket, but she persisted, saying: "Has he a
twenty kreutzer piece?--will he give it? Lay it in his hand and make a
cross over it, and I will reveal the numbers!" On my refusal, she became
angry, and left me, saying: "Let him take care--the third day something
will happen to him!" An old, wrinkled hag made the same proposition to
my companion with no better success. They reminded me strikingly of our
Indians; their complexion is a dark brown, and their eyes and hair are
black as night. These belonged to a small tribe who wander through the
forests of Bohemia, and support themselves by cheating and stealing.

We stopped the fourth night at Enns, a small city on the river of the
same name, which divides Upper from Lower Austria. After leaving the
beautiful little village where we passed the night before, the road
ascended one of those long ranges of hills, which stretch off from the
Danube towards the Alps. We walked for miles over the broad and uneven
summit, enjoying the enchanting view which opened on both sides. If we
looked to the right, we could trace the windings of the Danube for
twenty miles, his current filled with green, wooded islands; white
cities lie at the foot of the hills, which, covered to the summit with
grain fields and vineyards, extended back one behind another, till the
farthest were lost in the distance. I was glad we had taken the way from
Vienna to Linz by land, for from the heights we had a view of the whole
course of the Danube, enjoying besides, the beauty of the inland vales
and the far-off Styrian Alps. From the hills we passed over we could see
the snowy range as far as the Alps of Salzburg--some of them seemed
robed to the very base in their white mantles. In the morning the
glaciers on their summit glittered like stars; it was the first time I
saw the sun reflected at a hundred miles' distance!

On descending we came into a garden-like plain, over which rose the
towers of Enns, built by the ransom money paid to Austria for the
deliverance of the Lion-hearted Richard. The country legends say that
St. Florian was thrown into the river by the Romans in the third
century, with a millstone around his neck, which, however, held him
above the water like cork, until he had finished preaching them a
sermon. In the villages we often saw his imago painted on the houses, in
the act of pouring a pail of water on a burning building, with the
inscription beneath--"Oh, holy Florian, pray for us!" This was supposed
to be a charm against fire. In Upper Austria, it is customary to erect a
shrine on the road, wherever an accident has happened, with a painting
and description of it, and an admonition to all passers-by to pray for
the soul of the unfortunate person. On one of them, for instance, was a
cart with a wild ox, which a man was holding by the horns; a woman
kneeling by the wheels appeared to be drawing a little girl by the feet
from under it, and the inscription stated: "By calling on Jesus, Mary
and Joseph, the girl was happily rescued." Many of the shrines had
images which the people no doubt, in their ignorance and simplicity,
considered holy, but they were to us impious and almost blasphemous.

From Enns a morning's walk brought us to Linz. The peasant girls in
their broad straw hats were weeding the young wheat, looking as cheerful
and contented as the larks that sung above them. A mile or two from Linz
we passed one or two of the round towers belonging to the new
fortifications of the city. As walls have grown out of fashion, Duke
Maximilian substituted an invention of his own. The city is surrounded
by thirty two towers, one to three miles distant from it, and so placed
that they form a complete line of communication and defence. They are
sunk in the earth, surrounded with a ditch and embankments, and each is
capable of containing ten cannon and three hundred men. The pointed
roofs of these towers are seen on all the hills around. We were obliged
to give up our passports at the barrier, the officer telling us to call
for them in three hours at the City Police Office; we spent the
intervening time very agreeably in rambling through this gay,
cheerful-looking town. With its gilded spires and ornamented houses,
with their green lattice blinds, it reminds one strongly of Italy, or at
least, of what Italy is said to be. It has now quite an active and
business-like aspect, occasioned by the steamboat and railroad lines
which connect it with Vienna, Prague, Ratisbon and Salzburg. Although we
had not exceeded our daily allowance by more than a few kreutzers, we
found that twenty days would be hardly sufficient to accomplish the
journey, and our funds must therefore be replenished. Accordingly I
wrote from Linz to Frankfort, directing a small sum to be forwarded to
Munich, which city we hoped to reach in eight days.

We took the horse cars at Linz for Lambach, seventeen miles on the way
towards Gmunden. The mountains were covered with clouds as we approached
them, and the storms they had been brewing for two or three days began
to march down on the plain. They had nearly reached us, when we crossed
the Traun and arrived at Lambach, a small city built upon a hill. We
left the next day at noon, and on ascending the hill after crossing the
Traun, had an opportunity of seeing the portrait on the Traunstein, of
which the old landlord told us. I saw it at the first glance--certainly
it is a most remarkable freak of nature. The rough back of the mountain
forms the exact profile of the human countenance, as if regularly hewn
out of the rock. What is still more singular, it is said to be a correct
portrait of the unfortunate Louis XVI. The landlord said it was
immediately recognized by all Frenchmen. The road followed the course of
the Traun, whose green waters roared at the bottom of the glen below us;
we walked for several miles through a fine forest, through whose
openings we caught glimpses of the mountains we longed to reach.

The river roared at last somewhat louder, and on looking down the bank,
I saw rocks and rapids, and a few houses built on the edge of the
stream. Thinking it must be near the fall, we went down the path, and
lo! on crossing a little wooden bridge, the whole affair burst in sight!
Judge of our surprise at finding a fall of fifteen feet, after we had
been led to expect a tremendous leap of forty or fifty, with all the
accompaniment of rocks and precipices. Of course the whole descent of
the river at the place was much greater, and there were some romantic
cascades over the rocks which blocked its course. Its greatest beauty
consisted in the color of the water--the brilliant green of the waves
being broken into foam of the most dazzling white--and the great force
with which it is thrown below.

The Traunstein grew higher as we approached, presenting the same profile
till we had nearly reached Gmunden. From the green upland meadows above
the town, the view of the mountain range was glorious, and I could
easily conceive the effect of the Unknown Student's appeal to the people
to fight for those free hills. I think it is Howitt who relates the
incident--one of the most romantic in German history. Count Pappenheim
led his forces here in the year 1626, to suppress a revolution of the
people of the whole Salzburg region, who had risen against an invasion
of their rights by the Austrian government. The battle which took place
on these meadows was about being decided in favor of the oppressors,
when a young man, clad as a student, suddenly appeared and addressed the
people, pointing to the Alps above them and the sweet lake below, and
asking if that land should not be free. The effect was electrical; they
returned to the charge and drove back the troops of Pappenheim, who were
about taking to flight, when the unknown leader fell, mortally wounded.
This struck a sudden panic through his followers, and the Austrians
turning again, gained a complete victory. But the name of the brave
student is unknown, his deed unsung by his country's bards, and almost
forgotten.



CHAPTER XXIV.

THE UNKNOWN STUDENT.


    Ha! spears on Gmunden's meadows green,
      And banners on the wood-crowned height!
    Rank after rank, their helmets' sheen
      Sends back the morning light!
    Where late the mountain maiden sang,
    The battle-trumpet's brazen clang
      Vibrates along the air;
    And wild dragoons wheel o'er the plain.
    Trampling to earth the yellow grain,
    From which no more the merry swain
      His harvest sheaves shall bear.

    The eagle, in his sweep at morn,
      To meet the monarch-sun on high,
    Heard the unwonted warrior's horn
      Peal faintly up the sky!
    He saw the foemen, moving slow
    In serried legions, far below,
      Against that peasant-band,
    Who dared to break the tyrant's thrall
    And by the sword of Austria fall,
    Or keep the ancient Right of all,
      Held by their mountain-land;

    They came to meet that mail-clad host
      From glen and wood and ripening field;
    A brave, stout arm, each man could boast--
      A soul, unused to yield!
    They met: a shout, prolonged and loud,
    Went hovering upward with the cloud
      That closed around them dun;
    Blade upon blade unceasing clashed,
    Spears in the onset shivering crashed,
    And the red glare of cannon flashed
      Athwart the smoky sun!

    The mountain warriors wavered back,
      Borne down by myriads of the foe,
    Like pines before the torrent's track
      When spring has warmed the snow.
    Shall Faith and Freedom vainly call,
    And Gmunden's warrior-herdsmen fall
      On the red field in vain?
    No! from the throng that back retired,
    A student boy sprang forth inspired,
    And while his words their bosoms fired,
      Led on the charge again!

    "And thus your free arms would ye give
      So tamely to a tyrant's band,
    And with the hearts of vassals live
      In this, your chainless land?
    The emerald lake is spread below,
    And tower above, the hills of snow--
      Here, field and forest lie;
    This land, so glorious and so free--
    Say, shall it crushed and trodden be?
    Say, would ye rather bend the knee
      Than for its freedom die?

    "Look! yonder stand in mid-day's glare
      The everlasting Alps of snow,
    And from their peaks a purer air
      Breathes o'er the vales below!
    The Traun his brow is bent in pride--
    He brooks no craven on his side--
      Would ye be fettered then?
    There lifts the Sonnenstein his head,
    There chafes the Traun his rocky bed
    And Aurach's lovely vale is spread--
      Look on them and be men!

    "Let, like a trumpet's sound of fire,
      _These_ stir your souls to manhood's part--
    The glory of the Alps inspire
      Each yet unconquered heart!
    For, through their unpolluted air
    Soars fresher up the grateful prayer
      From freemen, unto God;--
    A blessing on those mountains old!
    On to the combat, brethren bold!
    Strike, that ye free the valleys hold,
      Where free your fathers trod!"

    And like a mighty storm that tears
      The icy avalanche from its bed,
    They rushed against th' opposing spears--
      The student at their head!
    The bands of Austria fought in vain;
    A bloodier harvest heaped the plain
      At every charge they made;
    Each herdsman was a hero then--
    The mountain hunters stood like men,
    And echoed from the farthest glen
      The clash of blade on blade!

    The banner in the student's hand
      Waved triumph from the fight before;
    What terror seized the conq'ring band?--
      It fell, to rise no more!
    And with it died the lofty flame,
    That from his lips in lightning came
      And burned upon their own;
    Dread Pappenheim led back the foe,
    The mountain peasants yielded slow,
    And plain above and lake below
      Were red when evening shone!

    Now many a year has passed away
      Since battle's blast rolled o'er the plain,
    The Alps are bright in morning's ray--
      The Traunstein smiles again.
    But underneath the flowery sod,
    By happy peasant children trod,
      A hero's ashes lay.
    O'er him no grateful nation wept,
    Fame, of his deed no record kept,
    And dull Forgetfulness hath swept
      His very name away!

    In many a grave, by poets sung,
      There falls to dust a lofty brow,
    But he alone, the brave and young,
      Sleeps there forgotten now.
    The Alps upon that field look down,
    Which won his bright and brief renown,
       Beside the lake's green shore;
    Still wears the land a tyrant's chain--
    Still bondmen tread the battle-plain,
    Culled by his glorious soul in vain
      To win their rights of yore.



CHAPTER XXV.

THE AUSTRIAN ALPS.


It was nearly dark when we came to the end of the plain and looked on
the city at our feet and the lovely lake that lost itself in the
mountains before us. We were early on board the steamboat next morning,
with a cloudless sky above us and a snow-crested Alp beckoning on from
the end of the lake. The water was of the most beautiful green hue, the
morning light colored the peaks around with purple, and a misty veil
rolled up the rocks of the Traunstein. We stood on the prow and enjoyed
to the fullest extent the enchanting scenery. The white houses of
Gmunden sank down to the water's edge like a flock of ducks; halfway we
passed castle Ort, on a rock in the lake, whose summit is covered with
trees.

As we neared the other extremity, the mountains became steeper and
loftier; there was no path along their wild sides, nor even a fisher's
hut nestled at their feet, and the snow filled the ravines more than
half-way from the summit. An hour and a quarter brought us to Ebensee,
at the head of the lake, where we landed and plodded on towards Ischl,
following the Traun up a narrow valley, whose mountain walls shut out
more than half the sky. They are covered with forests, and the country
is inhabited entirely by the woodmen who fell the mountain pines and
float the timber rafts down to the Danube. The steeps are marked with
white lines, where the trees have been rolled, or rather _thrown_ from
the summit. Often they descend several miles over rooks and precipices,
where the least deviation from the track would dash them in a thousand
pieces. This generally takes place in the winter when the sides are
covered with snow and ice. It must be a dangerous business, for there
are many crosses by the way-side where the pictures represent persons
accidentally killed by the trees; an additional painting represents
them as burning in the flames of purgatory, and the pious traveler is
requested to pray an Ave or a Paternoster for the repose of their souls.

On we went, up the valley of the Traun, between mountains five and six
thousand feet high, through scenes constantly changing and constantly
grand, for three or four hours. Finally the hills opened, disclosing a
little triangular valley, whose base was formed by a mighty mountain
covered with clouds. Through the two side angles came the Traun and his
tributary the Ischl, while the little town of Ischl lay in the centre.
Within a few years this has become a very fashionable bathing place, and
the influx of rich visitors, which in the summer sometimes amounts to
two thousand, has entirely destroyed the primitive simplicity the
inhabitants originally possessed. From Ischl we took a road through the
forests to St. Wolfgang, on the lake of the same name. The last part of
the way led along the banks of the lake, disclosing some delicious
views. These Alpine lakes surpass any scenery I have yet seen. The water
is of the most beautiful green, like a sheet of molten beryl, and the
cloud-piercing mountains that encompass them shut out the sun for nearly
half the day. St. Wolfgang is a lovely village in a cool and quiet nook
at the foot of the Schafberg. The houses tire built in the picturesque
Swiss style, with flat, projecting roofs and ornamented balconies, and
the people are the very picture of neatness and cheerfulness.

We started next morning to ascend the Schafberg, which is called the
Righi of the Austrian Switzerland. It is somewhat higher than its Swiss
namesake, and commands a prospect scarcely less extensive or grand. We
followed a footpath through the thick forest by the side of a roaring
torrent. The morning mist still covered the lake, but the white summits
of the Salzburg and Noric Alps opposite us, rose above it and stood pure
and bright in the upper air. We passed a little mill and one or two
cottages, and then wound round one of the lesser heights into a deep
ravine, down in whose dark shadow we sometimes heard the axe and saw of
the mountain woodmen. Finally the path disappeared altogether under a
mass of logs and rocks, which appeared to have been whirled together by
a sudden flood. We deliberated what to do; the summit rose several
thousand feet above us, almost precipitously steep, but we did not like
to turn back, and there was still a hope of meeting with the path again.
Clambering over the ruins and rubbish we pulled ourselves by the limbs
of trees up a steep ascent and descended again to the stream. We here
saw the ravine was closed by a wall of rock and our only chance was to
cross to the west side of the mountain, where the ascent seemed somewhat
easier. A couple of mountain maidens whom we fortunately met, carrying
home grass for their goats, told us the mountain could be ascended on
that side, by one who could climb _well_--laying a strong emphasis on
the word. The very doubt implied in this expression was enough to decide
us; so we began the work. And work it was, too! The side was very steep,
the trees all leaned downwards, and we slipped at every step on the dry
leaves and grass. After making a short distance this way with the
greatest labor, we came to the track of an avalanche, which had swept
away the trees and earth. Here the rock had been worn rough by torrents,
but by using both hands and feet, we clomb directly up the side of the
mountain, sometimes dragging ourselves up by the branches of trees where
the rocks were smooth. After half an hour of such work we came above the
forests, on the bare side of the mountain. The summit was far above us
and so steep that our limbs involuntarily shrunk from the task of
climbing. The side ran up at an angle of nearly sixty degrees, and the
least slip threw us flat on our faces. We had to use both hand and foot,
and were obliged to rest every few minutes to recover breath.
Crimson-flowered moss and bright blue gentians covered the rocks, and I
filled my books with blossoms for friends at home.

Up and up, for what seemed an age, we clambered. So steep was it, that
the least rocky projection hid my friend from sight, as he was coming up
below me. I let stones roll sometimes, which went down, down, almost
like a cannonball, till I could see them no more. At length we reached
the region of dwarf pines, which was even more difficult to pass
through. Although the mountain was not so steep, this forest, centuries
old, reached no higher than our breasts, and the trees leaned downwards,
so that we were obliged to take hold of the tops of those above us, and
drag ourselves up through the others. Here and there lay large patches
of snow; we sat down in the glowing June sun, and bathed our hands and
faces in it. Finally the sky became bluer and broader, the clouds seemed
nearer, and a few more steps through the bushes brought us to the summit
of the mountain, on the edge of a precipice a thousand feet deep, whose
bottom stood in a vast field of snow!

We lay down on the heather, exhausted by five hours' incessant toil, and
drank in like a refreshing draught, the sublimity of the scene, The
green lakes of the Salzburg Alps lay far below us, and the whole
southern horizon was filled with the mighty range of the Styrian and
Noric Alps, their summits of never-melting snow mingling and blending
with the clouds. On the other side the mountains of Salzburg lifted
their ridgy backs from the plains of Bavaria and the Chiem lake lay
spread out in the blue distance. A line of mist far to the north
betrayed the path of the Danube, and beyond it we could barely trace the
outline of the Bohemian mountains. With a glass the spires of Munich,
one hundred and twenty miles distant, can be seen. It was a view whose
grandeur I can never forget. In that dome of the cloud we seemed to
breathe a purer air than that of earth.

After an hour or two, we began to think of descending, as the path was
yet to be found. The summit, which was a mile or more in length,
extended farther westward, and by climbing over the dwarf pines for some
time, we saw a little wooden house above us. It stood near the highest
part of the peak, and two or three men were engaged in repairing it, as
a shelter for travelers. They pointed out the path which went down on
the side toward St. Gilgen, and we began descending. The mountain on
this side is much less steep, but the descent is fatiguing enough. The
path led along the side of a glen where mountain goats were grazing, and
further down we saw cattle feeding on the little spots of verdure which
lay in the forest. My knees became so weak from this continued descent,
that they would scarcely support me; but we were three hours, partly
walking and partly running down, before we reached the bottom. Half an
hour's walk around the head of the St. Wolfgang See, brought us to the
little village of St. Gilgen.

The valley of St. Gilgen lies like a little paradise between the
mountains. Lovely green fields and woods slope gradually from the
mountain behind, to the still greener lake spread out before it, in
whose bosom the white Alps are mirrored. Its picturesque cottages
cluster around the neat church with its lofty spire, and the simple
inhabitants have countenances as bright and cheerful as the blue sky
above them. We breathed an air of poetry. The Arcadian simplicity of the
people, the pastoral beauty of the fields around and the grandeur of the
mountains which shut it out from the world, realized my ideas of a
dwelling place, where, with a few kindred spirits, the bliss of Eden
might almost be restored.

We stopped there two or three hours to relieve our hunger and fatigue.
My boots had suffered severely in our mountain adventure, and I called
at a shoemaker's cottage to get them repaired. I sat down and talked for
half an hour with the family. The man and his wife spoke of the
delightful scenery around them, and expressed themselves with
correctness and even elegance. They were much pleased that I admired
their village so greatly, and related every thing which they supposed
could interest me. As I rose to go, my head nearly touched the ceiling,
which was very low. The man exclaimed: "Ach Gott! how tall!" I told him
the people were all tall in our country; he then asked where I came
from, and I had no sooner said America, than he threw up his hands and
uttered an ejaculation of the greatest surprise. His wife observed that
"it was wonderful how far man was permitted to travel." They wished me a
prosperous journey and a safe return home.

St. Gilgen was also interesting to me from that beautiful chapter in
"Hyperion"--"Footsteps of Angels,"--and on passing the church on my way
back to the inn, I entered the graveyard mentioned in it. The green turf
grows thickly over the rows of mounds, with here and there a rose
planted by the hand of affection, and the white crosses were hung with
wreaths, some of which had been freshly laid on. Behind the church,
under the shade of a tree, stood a small chapel,--I opened the
unfastened door, and entered. The afternoon sun shone through the side
window, and all was still around. A little shrine, adorned with flowers,
stood at the other end, and there were two tablets on the wall, to
persons who slumbered beneath, I approached these and read on one of
them with feelings not easily described: "Look not mournfully into the
past--it comes not again; wisely improve the present--it is thine; and
go forward to meet the shadowy future, without fear, and with a manly
heart!" This then was the spot where Paul Flemming came in loneliness
and sorrow to muse over what he had lost, and these were the words whose
truth and eloquence strengthened and consoled him, "as if the unknown
tenant of the grave had opened his lips of dust and spoken those words
of consolation his soul needed." I sat down and mused a long time, for
there was something in the silent holiness of the spot, that impressed
me more than I could well describe.

We reached a little village on the Fuschel See, the same evening, and
set off the next morning for Salzburg. The day was hot and we walked
slowly, so that it was not till two o'clock that we saw the castellated
rocks on the side of the Gaissberg, guarding the entrance to the valley
of Salzburg. A short distance further, the whole glorious panorama was
spread out below us. From the height on which we stood, we looked
directly on the summit of the Capuchin Mountain, which hid part of the
city from sight; the double peak of the Staufen rose opposite, and a
heavy storm was raging along the Alpine heights around it, while the
lovely valley lay in sunshine below, threaded by the bright current of
the Salza. As we descended and passed around the foot of the hill, the
Untersberg came in sight, whose broad summits lift themselves seven
thousand feet above the plain. The legend says that Charlemagne and his
warriors sit in its subterraneous caverns in complete armor, and that
they will arise and come forth again, when Germany recovers her former
power and glory.

I wish I could convey in words some idea of the elevation of spirit
experienced while looking on these eternal mountains. They fill the soul
with a sensation of power and grandeur which frees it awhile from the
cramps and fetters of common life. It rises and expands to the level of
their sublimity, till its thoughts stand solemnly aloft, like their
summits, piercing the free heaven. Their dazzling and imperishable
beauty is to the mind an image of its own enduring existence. When I
stand upon some snowy summit--the invisible apex of that mighty
pyramid--there seems a majesty in my weak will which might defy the
elements. This sense of power, inspired by a silent sympathy with the
forms of nature, is beautifully described--as shown in the free,
unconscious instincts of childhood--by the poet Uhland, in his ballad of
the "Mountain Boy." I have attempted a translation.

    THE MOUNTAIN BOY.

    A herd-boy on the mountain's brow,
    I see the castles all below.
    The sunbeam here is earliest cast
    And by my side it lingers last--
       I am the boy of the mountain!

    The mother-house of streams is here--
    I drink them in their cradles clear;
    From out the rock they foam below,
    I spring to catch them as they go!
       I am the boy of the mountain!

    To me belongs the mountain's bound,
    Where gathering tempests march around;
    But though from north and south they shout,
    Above them still my song rings out--
       "I am the boy of the mountain!"

    Below me clouds and thunders move;
    I stand amid the blue above.
    I shout to them with fearless breast:
    "Go, leave my father's house in rest!"
       I am the boy of the mountain!

    And when the loud bell shakes the spires
    And flame aloft the signal-fires,
    I go below and join the throng
    And swing my sword and sing my song:
       "I am the boy of the mountain!"

Salzburg lies on both sides of the Salza, hemmed in on either hand by
precipitous mountains. A large fortress overlooks it on the south, from
the summit of a perpendicular rock, against which the houses in that
part of the city arc built. The streets are narrow and crooked, but the
newer part contains many open squares, adorned with handsome fountains.
The variety of costume among the people, is very interesting. The
inhabitants of the salt district have a peculiar dress; the women wear
round fur caps, with little wings of gauze at the side. I saw other
women with headdresses of gold or silver filagree, something in shape
like a Roman helmet, with a projection at the back of the head, a foot
long. The most interesting objects in Salzburg to us, were the house of
Mozart, in which the composer was born, and the monument lately erected
to him. The St. Peter's Church, near by, contains the tomb of Haydn, the
great composer, and the Church of St. Sebastian, that of the renowned
Paracelsus, who was also a native of Salzburg.

Two or three hours sufficed to see every thing of interest in the city.
We had intended lo go further through the Alps, to the beautiful vales
of the Tyrol, but our time was getting short, our boots, which are the
pedestrian's _sole_ dependence, began to show symptoms of wearing out,
and our expenses among the lakes and mountains of Upper Austria, left us
but two florins apiece, so we reluctantly turned our backs upon the
snowy hills and set out for Munich, ninety miles distant. After passing
the night at Saalbruck, on the banks of the stream which separates the
two kingdoms, we entered Bavaria next morning. I could not help feeling
glad to leave Austria, although within her bounds I had passed scones
whose beauty will long haunt me, and met with many honest friendly
hearts among her people. We noticed a change as soon as we had crossed
the border. The roads were neater and handsomer, and the country people
greeted us in going by, with a friendly cheerfulness that made us feel
half at home. The houses are built in the picturesque Swiss fashion,
their balconies often ornamented with curious figures, carved in wood.
Many of them, where they are situated remote from a church, have a
little bell on the roof which they ring for morning and evening prayers;
we often heard these simple monitors sounding from the cottages as we
passed by.

The next night we stopped at the little village of Stein, famous in
former times for its robber-knight, Hans von Stein. The ruins of his
castle stand on the rock above, and the caverns hewn in the sides of the
precipice, where he used to confine his prisoners, are still visible.
Walking on through a pleasant, well-cultivated country, we came to
Wasserburg, on the Inn. The situation of the city is peculiar. The Inn
has gradually worn his channel deeper in the sandy soil, so that he now
flows at the bottom of a glen, a hundred feet below the plains around.
Wasserburg lies in a basin, formed by the change of the current, which
flows around it like a horseshoe, leaving only a narrow neck of land
which connects it with the country above.

We left the little village where we were quartered for the night and
took a foot path which led across the country to the field of
Hohenlinden, about six miles distant. The name had been familiar to me
from childhood, and my love for Campbell, with the recollection of the
school-exhibitions where "On Linden when the sun was low" had been so
often declaimed, induced me to make the excursion to it. We traversed a
large forest, belonging to the King of Bavaria, and came out on a plain
covered with grain fields and bounded on the right by a semi-circle of
low hills. Over the fields, about two miles distant, a tall,
minaret-like spire rose from a small cluster of houses, and this was
Hohenlinden! To tell the truth, I had been expecting something more. The
"hills of blood-stained snow" are very small hills indeed, and the
"Isar, rolling rapidly," is several miles off; it was the spot, however,
and we recited Campbell's poem, of course, and brought away a few wild
flowers as memorials. There is no monument or any other token of the
battle, and the people seem to endeavor to forget the scene of Moreau's
victory and their defeat.

From a hill twelve miles off we had our first view of the spires of
Munich, looking like distant ships over the sea-like plain. They kept in
sight till we arrived at eight o'clock in the evening, after a walk of
more than thirty miles. We crossed the rapid Isar on three bridges,
entered the magnificent Isar Gate, and were soon comfortably quartered
in the heart of Munich.

Entering the city without knowing a single soul within it, we made
within a few minutes an agreeable acquaintance. After we passed the
Isar Gate, we began looking for a decent inn, for the day's walk was
very fatiguing. Presently a young man, who had been watching us for some
time, came up and said, if we would allow him, he would conduct us to a
good lodging-place. Finding we were strangers, he expressed the greatest
regret that he had not time to go with us every day around the city. Our
surprise and delight at the splendor of Munich, he said, would more than
repay him for the trouble. In his anxiety to show us something, he took
us some distance out of the way, (although it was growing dark and we
were very tired,) to see the Palace and the Theatre, with its front of
rich frescoes.

END OF PART I.



        VIEWS A-FOOT; OR EUROPE SEEN WITH KNAPSACK AND STAFF.

                         BY J. BAYARD TAYLOR.

                    WITH A PREFACE BY N.P. WILLIS.



                 "Jog on, jog on, the foot-path way,
                    And merrily hent the stile-a;
                   A merry heart goes all the day,
                     Your sad tires in a mile-a."

                                      _Winter's Tale._



                            IN TWO PARTS.

                               PART II.



CHAPTER XXVI.

MUNICH.


_June 14._--I thought I had seen every thing in Vienna that could excite
admiration or gratify fancy; here I have my former sensations to live
over again, in an augmented degree. It is well I was at first somewhat
prepared by our previous travel, otherwise the glare and splendor of
wealth and art in this German Athens might blind me to the beauties of
the cities we shall yet visit. I have been walking in a dream where the
fairy tales of boyhood were realized, and the golden and jeweled halls
of the Eastern genii rose glittering around me--"a vision of the brain
no more." All I had conceived of oriental magnificence, all descriptions
of the splendor of kingly halls and palaces, fall far short of what I
here see. Where shall I begin to describe the crowd of splendid edifices
that line its streets, or how give an idea of the profusion of paintings
and statues--of marble, jasper and gold?

Art has done every thing for Munich. It lies on a large, flat plain,
sixteen hundred feet above the sea, and continually exposed to the cold
winds from the Alps. At the beginning of the present century it was but
a third-rate city, and was rarely visited by foreigners. Since that time
its population and limits have been doubled, and magnificent edifices in
every style of architecture erected, rendering it scarcely secondary in
this respect to any capital in Europe. Every art that wealth or taste
could devise, seems to have been spent in its decoration. Broad,
spacious streets and squares have been laid out, churches, halls and
colleges erected, and schools of painting and sculpture established,
which draw artists from all parts of the world. All this was principally
brought about by the taste of the present king, Ludwig I., who began
twenty or thirty years ago, when he was Crown Prince, to collect the
best German artists around him and form plans for the execution of his
grand design. He can boast of having done more for the arts than any
other living monarch, and if he had accomplished it all without
oppressing his people, he would deserve an immortality of fame.

Now, if you have nothing else to do, let us take a stroll down the
Ludwigstrasse. As we pass the Theatiner Church, with its dome and
towers, the broad street opens before us, stretching away to the north,
between rows of magnificent buildings. Just at this southern end, is the
_Schlusshalle_, an open temple of white marble terminating the avenue.
To the right of us extend the arcades, with the trees of the Royal
Garden peeping above them; on the left is the spacious concert building
of the Odeon, and the palace of the Duke of Leuchtenberg, son of Eugene
Beauharnois. Passing through a row of palace-like private buildings, we
come to the Army Department, on the right--a neat and tasteful building
of white sandstone. Beside it stands the Library, which possesses the
first special claim on our admiration. With its splendid front of five
hundred and eighteen feet, the yellowish brown cement with which the
body is covered, making an agreeable contrast with the dark red
window-arches and cornices, and the statues of Homer, Hippocrates,
Thucydides and Aristotle guarding the portal, is it not a worthy
receptacle for the treasures of ancient and modern lore which its halls
contain?

Nearly opposite stands the Institute for the Blind, a plain but large
building of dark red brick, covered with cement, and further, the
Ludwig's Kirche, or Church of St. Louis. How lightly the two square
towers of gray marble lift their network of sculpture! And what a novel
and beautiful effect is produced by uniting the Byzantine style of
architecture to the form of the Latin cross! Over the arched portal
stand marble statues by Schwanthaler, and the roof of brilliant tiles
worked into mosaic, looks like a rich Turkey carpet covering the whole.
We must enter to get an idea of the splendor of this church. Instead of
the pointed arch which one would expect to see meeting above his head,
the lofty pillars on each side bear an unbroken semicircular vault,
which is painted a brilliant blue, and spangled with silver stars. These
pillars, and the little arches above, which spring from them, are
painted in an arabesque style with gold and brilliant colors, and each
side-chapel is a perfect casket of richness and elegance. The windows
are of silvered glass, through which the light glimmers softly on the
splendor within. The whole end of the church behind the high altar, is
taken up with Cornelius's celebrated fresco painting of the "Last
Judgment,"--the largest painting in the world--and the circular dome in
the centre of the cross contains groups of martyrs, prophets, saints and
kings, painted in fresco on a ground of gold. The work of Cornelius has
been greatly praised for sublimity of design and beauty of execution, by
many acknowledged judges; I was disappointed in it, but the fault lay
most probably in me and not in the painting. The richness and elegance
of the church took me all "aback;" it was so entirely different from
anything I had seen, that it was difficult to decide whether I was most
charmed by its novelty or its beauty. Still, as a building designed to
excite feelings of worship, it seems to me inappropriate. A vast, dim
Cathedral would be far preferable; the devout, humble heart cannot feel
at home amid such glare and brightness.

As we leave the church and walk further on, the street expands suddenly
into a broad square. One side is formed by the new University building
and the other by the Royal Seminary, both displaying in their
architecture new forms of the graceful Byzantine school, which the
architects of Munich have adapted in a striking manner to so many varied
purposes. On each side stands a splendid colossal fountain of bronze,
throwing up a great mass of water, which falls in a triple cataract to
the marble basin below. A short distance beyond this square the
Ludwigstrasse terminates. It is said the end will be closed by a
magnificent gate, on a style to correspond with the unequalled avenue to
which it will give entrance. To one standing at the southern end, it
would form a proper termination to the grand vista. Before we leave,
turn around and glance back, down this street, which extends for half a
mile between such buildings as we have just viewed, and tell me if it is
not something of which a city and a king may boast, to have created all
this within less than twenty years!

We went one morning to see the collection of paintings formerly
belonging to Eugene Beauharnois, who was brother-in-law to the present
king of Bavaria, in the palace of his son, the Duke of Leuchtenberg. The
first hall contains works principally by French artists, among which are
two by Gerard--a beautiful portrait of Josephine, and the blind
Belisarius carrying his dead companion. The boy's head lies on the old
man's shoulder; but for the livid paleness of his limbs, he would seem
to be only asleep, while a deep and settled sorrow marks the venerable
features of the unfortunate Emperor. In the middle of the room are six
pieces of statuary, among which Canova's world-renowned group of the
Graces at once attracts the eye. There is also a kneeling Magdalen,
lovely in her woe, by the same sculptor, and a very touching work of
Schadow, representing a shepherd boy tenderly binding his sash around a
lamb which he has accidentally wounded with his arrow.

We have since seen in the St. Michael's Church, the monument to Eugene
Beauharnois, from the chisel of Thorwaldsen. The noble, manly figure of
the son of Josephine is represented in the Roman mantle, with his helmet
and sword lying on the ground by him. On one side sits History, writing
on a tablet; on the other, stand the two brother-angels, Death and
Immortality. They lean lovingly together, with arms around each other,
but the sweet countenance of Death has a cast of sorrow, as he stands
with inverted torch and a wreath of poppies among his clustering locks.
Immortality, crowned with never-fading flowers, looks upwards with a
smile of triumph, and holds in one hand his blazing torch. It is a
beautiful idea, and Thorwaldsen has made the marble eloquent with
feeling.

The inside of the square formed by the Arcades and the New Residence, is
filled with noble old trees, which in summer make a leafy roof over the
pleasant walks. In the middle, stands a grotto, ornamented with rough
pebbles and shells, and only needing a fountain to make it a perfect
hall of Neptune. Passing through the northern Arcade, one comes into the
magnificent park, called the English Garden, which extends more than
four miles along the bank of the Isar, several branches of whose milky
current wander through it, and form one or two pretty cascades. It is a
beautiful alternation of forest and meadow, and has all the richness and
garden-like luxuriance of English scenery. Winding walks lead along the
Isar, or through the wood of venerable oaks, and sometimes a lawn of
half a mile in length, with a picturesque temple at its further end,
comes in sight through the trees. I was better pleased with this park
than with the Prater in Vienna. Its paths are always filled with persons
enjoying the change from the dusty streets to its quiet and cool
retirement.

The New Residence is not only one of the wonders of Munich, but of the
world. Although commenced in 1826 and carried on constantly since that
time by a number of architects, sculptors and painters, it is not yet
finished; if art were not inexhaustible it would be difficult to imagine
what more could be added. The north side of the Max Joseph Platz is
taken up by its front of four hundred and thirty feet, which was nine
years in building, under the direction of the architect Klenze. The
exterior is copied after the Palazzo Pitti, in Florence. The building is
of light brown sandstone, and combines an elegance and even splendor,
with the most chaste and classic style. The northern front, which faces
on the Royal Garden, is now nearly finished. It has the enormous length
of eight hundred feet; in the middle is a portico of ten Ionic columns;
instead of supporting a triangular facade, each pillar stands separate
and bears a marble statue from the chisel of Schwanthaler.

The interior of the building does not disappoint the promise of the
outside. It is open every afternoon in the absence of the king, for the
inspection of visitors; fortunately for us, his majesty is at present on
a journey through his provinces on the Rhine. We went early to the
waiting hall, where several travelers were already assembled, and at
four o'clock, were admitted into the newer part of the palace,
containing the throne hall, ballroom, etc. On entering the first hall,
designed for the lackeys and royal servants, we were all obliged to
thrust our feet into cloth slippers to walk over the polished mosaic
floor. The walls are of scagliola marble and the ceilings ornamented
brilliantly in fresco. The second hall, also for servants, gives tokens
of increasing splendor in the richer decorations of the walls and the
more elaborate mosaic of the floor. We next entered the receiving
saloon, in which the Court Marshal receives the guests. The ceiling is
of arabesque sculpture, profusely painted and gilded. Passing through a
little cabinet, we entered the great dancing saloon. Its floor is the
richest mosaic of wood of different colors, the sides are of polished
scagliola marble, and the ceiling a dazzling mixture of sculpture,
painting and gold. At one end is a gallery for the orchestra, supported
by six columns of variegated marble, above which are six dancing nymphs,
painted so beautifully that they appear like living creatures. Every
decoration which could be devised has been used to heighten its
splendor, and the artists appear to have made free use of the Arabian
Nights in forming the plan.

We entered next two smaller rooms containing the portraits of beautiful
women, principally from the German nobility. I gave the preference to
the daughter of Marco Bozzaris, now maid of honor to the Queen of
Greece. She had a wild dark eye, a beautiful proud lip, and her rich
black hair rolled in glossy waves down her neck from under the red
Grecian cap stuck jauntily on the side of her head. She wore a scarf and
close-fitting vest embroidered with gold, and there was a free, lofty
spirit in her countenance worthy the name she bore. These pictures form
a gallery of beauty, whose equal cannot easily be found.

Returning to the dancing hall, we entered the dining saloon, also called
the Hall of Charlemagne. Each wall has two magnificent fresco paintings
of very large size, representing some event in the life of the great
emperor, beginning with his anointing at St. Deny's as a boy of twelve
years, and ending with his coronation by Leo III. A second dining
saloon, the Hall of Barbarossa, adjoins the first. It has also eight
frescoes as the former, representing the principal events in the life of
Frederic Barbarossa. Then comes a _third_, called the Hapsburg Hall,
with four grand paintings from the life of Rudolph of Hapsburg, and a
triumphal procession along the frieze, showing the improvement in the
arts and sciences which was accomplished under his reign. The drawing,
composition and rich tone of coloring of these glorious frescoes, are
scarcely excelled by any in existence.

Finally we entered the Hall of the Throne. Here the encaustic
decoration, so plentifully employed in the other rooms, is dropped, and
an effect even more brilliant obtained by the united use of marble and
gold. Picture a long hall with a floor of polished marble, on each side
twelve columns of white marble with gilded capitals, between which stand
colossal statues of gold. At the other end is the throne of gold and
crimson, with gorgeous hangings of crimson velvet. The twelve statues in
the hall are called the "Wittlesbach Ancestors," and represent renowned
members of the house of Wittlesbach from which the present family of
Bavaria is descended. They were cast in bronze by Stiglmaier, after the
models of Schwanthaler, and then completely covered with a coating of
gold, so that they resemble solid golden statues. The value of the
precious metal on each one is about $3,000, as they arc nine feet in
height! What would the politicians who made such an outcry about the new
papering of the President's House, say to such a palace as this?

Going back to the starting point, we went to the other wing of the
edifice and joined the party who came to visit the apartments of the
king. Here we were led through two or three rooms, appropriated to the
servants, with all the splendor of marble doors, floors of mosaic, and
frescoed ceilings. From these we entered the king's dwelling. The
entrance halls are decorated with paintings of the Argonauts and
illustrations of the Hymns of Hesiod, after drawings by Schwanthaler.
Then came the Service Hall, containing frescoes illustrating Homer, by
Schnorr, and the Throne Hall, with Schwanthaler's bas-reliefs of the
songs of Pindar, on a ground of gold. The throne stands under a splendid
crimson canopy. The Dining Room with its floor of polished wood is
filled with illustrations of the songs of Anacreon. To these follow the
Dressing Room, with twenty-seven illustrations of the Comedies of
Aristophanes, and the sleeping chamber with frescoes after the poems of
Theocritus, and two beautiful bas-reliefs representing angels bearing
children to Heaven. It is no wonder the King writes poetry, when he
breathes, eats, and even sleeps in an atmosphere of it.

We were shown the rooms for the private parties of the Court, the
school-room, with scenes from the life of the Ancient Greeks, and then
conducted down the marble staircases to the lower story, which is to
contain Schnorr's magnificent frescoes of the Nibelungen Lied--the old
German Iliad. Two halls are at present finished; the first has the
figure of the author, Heinrich von Ofterdingen, and those of
Chriemhilde, Brunhilde, Siegfried and the other personages of the poem;
and the second, called the Marriage Hall, contains the marriage of
Chriemhilde and Siegfried, and the triumphal entry of Siegfried into
Worms.

Adjoining the new residence on the east, is the Royal Chapel, lately
finished in the Byzantine style, under the direction of Klenze. To enter
it, is like stepping into a casket of jewels. The sides are formed by a
double range of arches, the windows being so far back as to be almost
out of sight, so that the eye falls on nothing but painting and gold.
The lower row of arches is of alternate green and purple marble,
beautifully polished; but the upper, as well as the small chancel behind
the high altar, is entirely covered with fresco paintings on a ground of
gold! The richness and splendor of the whole church is absolutely
incredible. Even after one has seen the Ludwig's Kirche and the
Residence itself, it excites astonishment. I was surprised, however, to
find at this age, a painting on the wall behind the altar, representing
the Almighty. It seems as if man's presumption has no end. The simple
altar of Athens, with its inscription "_to the Unknown God_," was more
truly reverent than this. As I sat down awhile under one of the arches,
a poor woman came in, carrying a heavy basket, and going to the steps
which led up to the altar, knelt down and prayed, spreading her arms out
in the form of a cross. Then, after stooping and kissing the first step,
she dragged herself with her knees upon it, and commenced praying again
with outspread arms. This she continued till she had climbed them all,
which occupied some time; then, as if she had fulfilled a vow she turned
and departed. She was undoubtedly sincere in her piety, but it made me
sad to look upon such deluded superstition.

We visited yesterday morning the Glyptothek, the finest collection of
ancient sculpture except that in the British Museum, I have yet seen,
and perhaps elsewhere unsurpassed, north of the Alps. The building which
was finished by Klenze, in 1830, has an Ionic portico of white marble,
with a group of allegorical figures, representing Sculpture and the
kindred arts. On each side of the portico, there are three niches in the
front, containing on one side, Pericles, Phidias and Vulcan; on the
other, Hadrian, Prometheus and Dædalus. The whole building forms a
hollow square, and is lighted entirely from the inner side. There are in
all twelve halls, each containing the remains of a particular era in the
art, and arranged according to time, so that, beginning with the clumsy
productions of the ancient Egyptians, one passes through the different
stages of Grecian art, afterwards that of Rome, and finally ends with
the works of our own times--the almost Grecian perfection of Thorwaldsen
and Canova. These halls are worthy to hold such treasures, and what more
could be said of them? The floors are of marble mosaic, the sides of
green or purple scagliola, and the vaulted ceilings covered with raised
ornaments on a ground of gold. No two are alike in color and decoration,
and yet there is a unity of taste and design in the whole, which renders
the variety delightful.

From the Egyptian Hall, we enter one containing the oldest remains of
Grecian sculpture, before the artists won power to _mould_ the marble to
their conceptions. Then follow the celebrated Egina marbles, from the
temple of Jupiter Panhellenius, on the island of Egina. They formerly
stood in the two porticoes, the one group representing the fight for the
body of Laomedon, the other the struggle for the dead Patroclus. The
parts wanting have been admirably restored by Thorwaldsen. They form
almost the only existing specimens of the Eginetan school. Passing
through the Apollo Hall, we enter the large hall of Bacchus, in which
the progress of the art is distinctly apparent. A satyr, lying asleep on
a goat-skin which he has thrown over a rock, is believed to be the work
of Praxiteles. The relaxation of the figure and perfect repose of every
limb, is wonderful. The countenance has traits of individuality which
led me to think it might have been a portrait, perhaps of some rude
country swain.

In the Hall of Niobe, which follows, is one of the most perfect works
that ever grew into life under a sculptor's chisel. Mutilated as it is,
without head and arms, I never saw a more expressive figure. Ilioneus,
the son of Niobe, is represented as kneeling, apparently in the moment
in which Apollo raises his arrow, and there is an imploring supplication
in his attitude which is touching in the highest degree. His beautiful
young limbs seem to shrink involuntarily from the deadly shaft; there is
an expression of prayer, almost of agony, in the position of his body.
It should be left untouched. No head could be added, which would equal
that one pictures to himself, while gazing upon it.

The Pinacothek is a magnificent building of yellow sandstone, five
hundred and thirty feet long, containing thirteen hundred pictures,
selected with great care from the whole private collection of the king,
which amounts to nine thousand. Above the cornice on the southern side,
stand twenty-five colossal statues of celebrated painters, by
Schwanthaler. As we approached, the tall bronze door was opened by a
servant in the Bavarian livery, whose size harmonized so well with the
giant proportions of the building, that, until I stood beside him and
could mark the contrast, I did not notice his enormous frame. I saw then
that he must be near eight feet high, and stout in proportion. He
reminded me of the great "Baver of Trient," in Vienna. The Pinacothek
contains the most complete collection of works by old German artists,
anywhere to be found. There are in the hall of the Spanish masters, half
a dozen of Murillo's inimitable beggar groups. It was a relief, after
looking upon the distressingly stiff figures of the old German school,
to view these fresh, natural countenances. One little black-eyed boy has
just cut a slice out of a melon and turns with a full mouth to his
companion, who is busy eating a bunch of grapes. The simple, contented
expression on the faces of the beggars is admirable. I thought I
detected in a beautiful child, with dark curly locks, the original of
his celebrated Infant St. John. I was much interested in two small
juvenile works of Raphael and his own portrait. The latter was taken
most probably after he became known as a painter. The calm, serious
smile which we see on his portrait as a boy, had vanished, and the thin
features and sunken eye told of intense mental labor.

One of the most remarkable buildings now in the course of erection is
the Basilica, or Church of St. Bonifacius. It represents another form of
the Byzantine style, a kind of double edifice, a little like a North
River steamboat, with a two story cabin on deck. The inside is not yet
finished, although the artists have been at work on it for six years,
but we heard many accounts of its splendor, which is said to exceed
anything that has been yet done in Munich. We visited to-day the
atelier of Sohwanthaler, which is always open to strangers. The sculptor
himself was not there, but five or six of his scholars were at work in
the rooms, building up clay statues after his models and working out
bas-reliefs in frames. We saw here the original models of the statues on
the Pinacothek, and the "Wittelsbach Ancestors" in the Throne Hall of
the palace. I was glad also to find a miniature copy in plaster, of the
Herrmannsschlacht, or combat of the old German hero, Herrmann, with the
Romans, from the frieze of the Walhalla, at Ratisbon. It is one of
Schwanthaler's best works. Herrmann, as the middle figure, is
represented in fight with the Roman general; behind him the warriors are
rushing on, and an old bard is striking the chords of his harp to
inspire them, while women bind up the wounds of the fallen. The Roman
soldiers on the other side are about turning in confusion to fly. It is
a lofty and appropriate subject for the portico of a building containing
the figures of the men who have labored for the glory and elevation of
their Fatherland.

Our new-found friend came to visit us last evening and learn our
impressions of Munich. In the course of conversation we surprised him by
revealing the name of our country. His countenance brightened up and he
asked us many questions about the state of society in America. In
return, he told us something more about himself--his story was simple,
hut it interested me. His father was a merchant, who, having been ruined
by unlucky transactions, died, leaving a numerous family without the
means of support. His children were obliged to commence life alone and
unaided, which, in a country where labor is so cheap, is difficult and
disheartening. Our friend chose the profession of a machinist, which,
after encountering great obstacles, he succeeded in learning, and now
supports himself as a common laborer. But his position in this respect
prevents him from occupying that station in society for which he is
intellectually fitted. His own words, uttered with a simple pathos which
I can never forget, will best describe how painful this must be to a
sensitive spirit. "I tell you thus frankly my feelings," said he,
"because I know you will understand me. I could not say this to any of
my associates, for they would not comprehend it, and they would say I
am proud, because I cannot bring my soul down to their level. I am poor
and have but little to subsist upon; but the spirit has needs as well as
the body, and I feel it a duty and a desire to satisfy them also. When I
am with any of my common fellow-laborers, what do I gain from them?
Their leisure hours are spent in drinking and idle amusement, and I
cannot join them, for I have no sympathy with such things. To mingle
with those above me, would be impossible. Therefore I am alone--I have
no associate!"

I have gone into minute, and it may be, tiresome detail, in describing
some of the edifices of Munich, because it seemed the only way in which
I could give an idea of their wonderful beauty. It is true that in
copying after the manner of the daguerreotype, there is danger of
imitating its _dullness_ also, but I trust to the glitter of gold and
rich paintings, for a little brightness in the picture. We leave
to-morrow morning, having received the sum written for, which, to our
surprise, will be barely sufficient to enable us to reach Heidelberg.



CHAPTER XXVII.

THROUGH WURTEMBERG TO HEIDELBERG.


We left Munich in the morning train for Augsburg. Between the two cities
extends a vast unbroken plain, exceedingly barren and monotonous. Here
and there is a little scrubby woodland, and sometimes we passed over a
muddy stream which came down from the Alps. The land is not more than
half-cultivated, and the villages are small and poor. We saw many of the
peasants at their stations, in their gay Sunday dresses; the women wore
short gowns with laced boddices, of gay colors, and little caps on the
top of their heads, with streamers of ribbons three feet long. After two
hours' ride, we saw the tall towers of Augsburg, and alighted on the
outside of the wall. The deep moat which surrounds the city, is all
grown over with velvet turf, the towers and bastions are empty and
desolate, and we passed unchallenged under the gloomy archway.
Immediately on entering the city, signs of its ancient splendor are
apparent. The houses are old, many of them with quaint, elaborately
carved ornaments, and often covered with fresco paintings. These
generally represent some scene from the Bible history, encircled with
arabesque borders, and pious maxims in illuminated scrolls. We went into
the old _Rathhaus_, whose golden hall still speaks of the days of
Augsburg's pride. I saw in the basement a bronze eagle, weighing sixteen
tons, with an inscription on the pedestal stating that it was cast in
1606, and formerly stood on the top of an old public building, since
torn down. In front of the Rathhaus is a fine bronze fountain, with a
number of figures of angels and tritons.

The same afternoon, we left Augsburg for Ulm. Long, low ranges of hills,
running from the Danube, stretched far across the country, and between
them lay many rich, green valleys. We passed, occasionally, large
villages, perhaps as old as the times of the crusaders, and looking
quite pastoral and romantic from the outside; but we were always glad
when we had gone through them and into the _clean_ country again. The
afternoon of the second day we came in sight of the fertile plain of the
Danube; far, far to the right lay the field of Blenheim, where
Marlborough and the Prince Eugene conquered the united French and
Bavarian forces and decided the war of the Spanish succession.

We determined to reach Ulm the same evening, although a heavy storm was
raging along the distant hills of Wurtemberg. The dark mass of the
mighty Cathedral rose in the distance through the twilight, a perfect
mountain in comparison with the little houses clustered around its base.
We reached New Ulm, finally, and passed over the heavy wooden bridge
into Wurtemberg, unchallenged for passport or baggage. I thought I could
feel a difference in the atmosphere when I reached the other side--it
breathed of the freer spirit that ruled through the land. The Danube is
here a little muddy stream, hardly as large as my native Brandywine, and
a traveler who sees it at Ulm for the first time would most probably be
disappointed. It is not until below Vienna, where it receives the Drave
and Save, that it becomes a river of more than ordinary magnitude.

We entered Ulm, as I have already said. It was after nine o'clock,
nearly dark, and beginning to rain; we had walked thirty-three miles,
and being of course tired, we entered the first inn we saw. But, to our
consternation, it was impossible to get a place--the fair had just
commenced, and the inn was full to the roof. We must needs hunt another,
and then another, and yet another, with like fate at each. It grew quite
dark, the rain increased, and we were unacquainted with the city. I grew
desperate, and at last, when we had stopped at the _eighth_ inn in vain,
I told the people we _must_ have lodgings, for it was impossible we
should walk around in the rain all night. Some of the guests interfering
in our favor, the hostess finally sent a servant with us to the first
hotel in the city. I told him on the way we were Americans, strangers in
Ulm, and not accustomed to sleeping in the streets. "Well," said he, "I
will go before, and recommend you to the landlord of the Golden Wheel."
I knew not what magic he used, but in half an hour our weary limbs were
stretched in delightful repose and we thanked Heaven more gratefully
than ever before, for the blessing of a good bed.

Next morning we ran about through the booths of the fair, and gazed up
from all sides at the vast Cathedral. The style is the simplest and
grandest Gothic; but the tower, which, to harmonize, with the body of
the church, should be 520 feet high, was left unfinished at the height
of 234 feet. I could not enough admire the grandeur of proportion in the
great building. It seemed singular that the little race of animals who
swarmed around its base, should have the power to conceive or execute
such a gigantic work.

There is an immense fortification now in progress of erection behind
Ulm. It leans on the side of the hill which rises from the Danube, and
must be nearly a mile in length. Hundreds of laborers are at work, and
from the appearance of the foundations, many years will be required to
finish it. The lofty mountain-plain which we afterwards passed over, for
eight or ten miles, divides the waters of the Danube from the Rhine.
From the heights above Ulm, we bade adieu to the far, misty Alps, till
we shall see them again in Switzerland. Late in the afternoon, we came
to a lovely green valley, sunk as it were in the earth. Around us, on
all sides, stretched the bare, lofty plains; but the valley lay below,
its steep sides covered with the richest forest. At the bottom flowed
the Fils. Our road led directly down the side; the glen spread out
broader as we advanced, and smiling villages stood beside the stream. A
short distance before reaching Esslingen, we came upon the banks of the
Neckar, whom we hailed as an old acquaintance, although much smaller
here in his mountain home than when he sweeps the walls of Heidelberg.

Delightful Wurtemberg! Shall I ever forget thy lovely green vales,
watered by the classic current of the Neckar, or thy lofty hills covered
with vineyards and waving forests, and crowned with heavy ruins, that
tell many a tale of Barbarossa and Duke Ulric and Goetz with the Iron
Hand! No--were even the Suabian hills less beautiful--were the Suabian
people less faithful and kind and true, still I would love the land for
the great spirits it has produced; still would the birth-place of
Frederick Schiller, of Uhland and Hauff, be sacred. I do not wonder
Wurtemberg can boast such glorious poets. Its lovely landscapes seem to
have been made expressly for the cradle of genius; amid no other scenes
could his infant mind catch a more benign inspiration. Even the common
people are deeply imbued with a poetic feeling. We saw it in their
friendly greetings and open, expressive countenances; it is shown in
their love for their beautiful homes and the rapture and reverence with
which they speak of their country's bards. No river in the world, equal
to the Neckar in size, flows for its whole course through more
delightful scenery, or among kinder and happier people.

After leaving Esslingen, we followed its banks for some time, at the
foot of an amphitheatre of hills, covered to the very summit, as far as
the eye could reach, with vineyards. The morning was cloudy, and white
mist-wreaths hung along the sides. We took a road that led over the top
of a range, and on arriving at the summit, saw all at once the city of
Stuttgard, lying beneath our feet. It lay in a basin encircled by
mountains, with a narrow valley opening to the south-east, and running
off between the hills to the Neckar. The situation of the city is one of
wonderful beauty, and even after seeing Salzburg, I could not but be
charmed with it.

We descended the mountain and entered it. I inquired immediately for the
monument of Schiller, for there was little else in the city I cared to
see. We had become tired of running about cities, hunting this or that
old church or palace, which perhaps was nothing when found. Stuttgard
has neither galleries, ruins, nor splendid buildings, to interest the
traveler; but it has Thorwaldsen's statue of Schiller, calling up at the
same time its shame and its glory. For the poet in his youth was obliged
to fly from this very same city--from home and friends, to escape the
persecution of the government on account of the free sentiments
expressed in his early works. We found the statue, without much
difficulty. It stands in the Schloss Platz, at the southern end of the
city, in an unfavorable situation, surrounded by dark old buildings. It
should rather be placed aloft on a mountain summit, in the pure, free
air of heaven, braving the storm and the tempest. The figure is fourteen
feet high and stands on a pedestal of bronze, with bas reliefs on the
four sides. The head, crowned with a laurel wreath, is inclined as if in
deep thought, and all the earnest soul is seen in the countenance.
Thorwaldsen has copied so truly the expression of poetic reverie, that I
waited, half-expecting he would raise his head and look around him.

As we passed out the eastern gate, the workmen were busy near the city,
making an embankment for the new railroad to Heilbroun, and we were
obliged to wade through half a mile of mud. Finally the road turned to
the left over a mountain, and we walked on in the rain, regardless of
the touching entreaties of an omnibus-driver, who felt a great concern
for our health, especially as he had two empty seats. There is a
peculiarly agreeable sensation in walking in a storm, when the winds
sweep by and the rain-drops rattle through the trees, and the dark
clouds roll past just above one's head. It gives a dash of sublimity to
the most common scene. If the rain did not finally soak through the
boots, and if one did not lose every romantic feeling in wet garments, I
would prefer storm to sunshine, for visiting some kinds of scenery. You
remember, we saw the North Coast of Ireland and the Giant's Causeway in
stormy weather, at the expense of being completely drenched, it is true;
but our recollections of that wild day's journey are as vivid as any
event of our lives--and the name of the Giant's Causeway calls up a
series of pictures as terribly sublime as any we would wish to behold.

The rain at last did come down a little too hard for comfort, and we
were quite willing to take shelter when we reached Ludwigsburg. This is
here called a new city, having been laid out with broad streets and
spacious squares, about a century ago, and is now about the size of our
five-year old city of Milwaukie! It is the chief military station of
Wurtemberg, and has a splendid castle and gardens, belonging to the
king. A few miles to the eastward is the little village where Schiller
was born. It is said the house where his parents lived is still
standing.

It was not the weather _alone_, which prevented our making a pilgrimage
to it, nor was it _alone_ a peculiar fondness for rain which induced us
to persist in walking in the storm. Our feeble pockets, if they could
have raised an audible jingle, would have told another tale. Our scanty
allowance was dwindling rapidly away, in spite of a desperate system of
economy. We left Ulm with a florin and a half apiece--about sixty
cents--to walk to Heidelberg, a distance of 110 miles. It was the
evening of the third day, and this was almost exhausted. As soon
therefore as the rain slackened a little, we started again, although the
roads were very bad. At Betigheim, where we passed the night, the people
told us of a much nearer and more beautiful road, passing through the
Zabergau, a region fumed for its fertility and pastoral beauty. At the
inn we were charged higher than usual for a bed, so that we had but
thirteen kreutzers to start with in the morning. Our fare that day was a
little bread and water; we walked steadily on, but owing to the wet
roads, made only thirty miles.

A more delightful region than the Zabergau I have seldom passed through.
The fields were full of rich, heavy grain, and the trees had a
luxuriance of foliage that reminded me of the vale of the Jed, in
Scotland. Without a single hedge or fence, stood the long sweep of
hills, covered with waving fields of grain, except where they were steep
and rocky, and the vineyard terraces rose one above another. Sometimes a
fine old forest grew along the summit, like a mane waving back from the
curved neck of a steed, and white villages lay coiled in the valleys
between. A line of blue mountains always closed the vista, on looking
down one of these long valleys; occasionally a ruined castle with donjon
tower, was seen on a mountain at the side, making the picture complete.
As we lay sometimes on the hillside and looked on one of those sweet
vales, we were astonished at its Arcadian beauty. The meadows were as
smooth as a mirror, and there seemed to be scarcely a grass-blade out of
place. The streams wound through ("_snaked_ themselves through," is the
German expression,) with a subdued ripple, as if they feared to displace
a pebble, and the great ash trees which stood here and there, had lined
each of their leaves as carefully with silver and turned them as
gracefully to the wind, us if they were making their toilettes for the
gala-day of nature.

That evening brought us into the dominions of Baden, within five hours'
walk of Heidelberg. At the humblest inn in an humble village, we found
a bed which we could barely pay for, leaving a kreutzer or two for
breakfast. Soon after starting the next morning, the distant Kaiserstuhl
suddenly emerged from the mist, with the high tower on its summit, where
nearly ten months before, we sat and looked at the summits of the Vosges
in France, with all the excitement one feels on entering a foreign land.
_Now_, the scenery around that same Kaiserstuhl was nearly as familiar
to us as that of our own homes. Entering the hills again, we knew by the
blue mountains of the Odenwald, that we were approaching the Neckar. At
length we reached the last height. The town of Neckargemünd lay before
us on the steep hillside, and the mountains on either side were scarred
with quarries of the rich red sandstone, so much used in building. The
blocks are hewn out, high up on the mountain side, and then sent rolling
and sliding down to the river, where they are laden in boats and floated
down with the current to the distant cities of the Rhine.

We were rejoiced on turning around the corner of a mountain, to see on
the opposite side of the river, the road winding up through the forests,
where last fall our Heidelberg friends accompanied us, as we set out to
walk to Frankfort, through the Odenwald. Many causes combined to render
it a glad scene to us. We were going to meet our comrade again, after a
separation of months; we were bringing an eventful journey to its close;
and finally, we were weak and worn out from fasting and the labor of
walking in the rain. A little further we saw Kloster Neuburg, formerly
an old convent, and remembered how we used to look at it every day from
the windows of our room on the Neckar; but we shouted aloud, when we saw
at last the well-known bridge spanning the river, and the glorious old
castle lifting its shattered towers from the side of the mountain above
us. I always felt a strong attachment to this matchless ruin, and as I
beheld it again, with the warm sunshine falling through each broken
arch, the wild ivy draping its desolate chambers, it seemed to smile on
me like the face of a friend, and I confessed I had seen many a grander
scene, but few that would cling to the memory so familiarly.

While we were in Heidelberg, a student was buried by torch-light. This
is done when particular honor is shown to the memory of the departed
brother. They assembled at dark in the University Square, each with a
blazing pine torch three feet long, and formed into a double line.
Between the files walked at short distances an officer, who, with his
sword, broad lace collar, and the black and white plumes in his cap,
looked like a cavalier of the olden time. Persons with torches walked on
each side of the hearse, and the band played a lament so deeply
mournful, that the scene, notwithstanding its singularity, was very sad
and touching. The thick smoke from the torches filled the air, and a
lurid, red light was cast over the hushed crowds in the streets and
streamed into the dark alleys. The Hauptstrasse was filled with two
lines of flame, as the procession passed down it; when they reached the
extremity of the city, the hearse went on, attended with torch-bearers,
to the Cemetery, some distance further, and the students turned back,
running and whirling their torches in mingled confusion. The music
struck up a merry march, and in the smoke and red glare, they looked
like a company of mad demons. The presence of death awed them to silence
for awhile, but as soon as it had left them, they turned relieved to
revel again and thought no more of the lesson. It gave me a painful
feeling to see them rushing so wildly and disorderly back. They
assembled again in the square, and tossing their torches up into the air
cast them blazing into a pile; while the flame and black smoke rose in a
column into the air, they sang in solemn chorus, the song "_Gaudeamus
igitur_," with which they close all public assemblies.

I shall neglect telling how we left Heidelberg, and walked along the
Bergstrasse again, for the sixth time; how we passed the old Melibochus
and through the quiet city of Darmstadt; how we watched the blue summits
of the Taunus rising higher and higher over the plain, as a new land
rises from the sea, and finally, how we reached at last the old
watch-tower and looked down on the valley of the Main, clothed in the
bloom and verdure of summer, with the houses and spires of Frankfort in
the middle of the well-known panorama. We again took possession of our
old rooms, and having to wait for a remittance from America, as well as
a more suitable season for visiting Italy, we sat down to a month's rest
and study.



CHAPTER XXVIII.

FREIBURG AND THE BLACK FOREST.


_Frankfort, July 29, 1845._--It would be ingratitude towards the old
city in which I have passed so many pleasant and profitable hours, to
leave it, perhaps forever, without a few words of farewell. How often
will the old bridge, with its view up the Main, over the houses of
Oberrad to the far mountains of the Odenwald, rise freshly and
distinctly in memory, when I shall have been long absent from them! How
often will I hear in fancy as I now do in reality, the heavy tread of
passers-by on the rough pavement below, and the deep bell of the
Cathedral, chiming the swift hours, with a hollow tone that seems to
warn me, rightly to employ them! Even this old room, with its bare
walls, little table and chairs, which I have thought and studied in so
long, that it seems difficult to think and study anywhere else, will
crowd out of memory images of many a loftier scene. May I but preserve
for the future the hope and trust which have cheered and sustained me
here, through the sorrow of absence and the anxiety of uncertain toil!
It is growing towards midnight and I think of many a night when I sat
here at this hour, answering the spirit-greeting which friends sent me
at sunset over the sea. All this has now an end. I must begin a new
wandering, and perhaps in ten days more I shall have a better place for
thought, among the mountain-chambers of the everlasting Alps. I look
forward to the journey with romantic, enthusiastic anticipation, for
afar in the silvery distance, stand the Coliseum and St. Peter's,
Vesuvius and the lovely Naples. Farewell, friends who have so long given
us a home!

_Aug. 9._--The airy, basket-work tower of the Freiburg Minster rises
before me over the black roofs of the houses, and behind stand the
gloomy, pine-covered mountains of the Black Forest. Of our walk to
Heidelberg over the oft-trodden Bergstrasse, I shall say nothing, nor
how we climbed the Kaiserstuhl again, and danced around on the top of
the tower for one hour, amid cloud and mist, while there was sunshine
below in the valley of the Neckar. I left Heidelberg yesterday morning
in the _stehwagen_ for Carlsruhe. The engine whistled, the train
started, and although I kept my eyes steadily fixed on the spire of the
Hauptkirche, three minutes hid it, and all the rest of the city from
sight. Carlsruhe, the capital of Baden, which we reached in an hour and
a half, is unanimously pronounced by travelers to be a most dull and
tiresome city. From a glance I had through one of the gates, I should
think its reputation was not undeserved. Even its name, in German,
signifies a place of repose.

I stopped at Kork, on the branch road leading to Strasbourg, to meet a
German-American about to return to my home in Pennsylvania, where he had
lived for some time. I inquired according to the direction he had sent
me to Frankfort, but he was not there; however, an old man, finding who
I was, said Herr Otto had directed him to go with me to Hesselhurst, a
village four or five miles off, where he would meet me. So we set off
immediately over the plain, and reached the village at dusk.

At the little inn, were several of the farmers of the neighborhood, who
seemed to consider it as something extraordinary to see a real, live,
native-born American. They overwhelmed me with questions about the state
of our country, its government, etc. The hostess brought me a supper of
fried eggs and _wurst_, while they gathered around the table and began a
real category in the dialect of the country, which is difficult to
understand. I gave them the best information I could about our mode of
farming, the different kinds of produce raised, and the prices paid to
laborers; one honest old man cried out, on my saying I had worked on a
farm, "Ah! little brother, give me your hand!" which he shook most
heartily. I told them also something about our government, and the
militia system, so different from the conscription of Europe, when a
farmer becoming quite warm in our favor, said to the others with an air
of the greatest decision: "One American is better than twenty Germans!"
What particularly amused me, was, that although I spoke German with
them, they seemed to think I did not understand what they said among
one another, and therefore commented very freely over my appearance. I
suppose they had the idea that we were a rude, savage race, for I
overheard one say: "One sees, nevertheless, that he has been educated!"
Their honest, unsophisticated mode of expression was very interesting to
me, and we talked together till a late hour.

My friend arrived at three o'clock the next morning, and after two or
three hours' talk about _home_, and the friends whom he expected to see
so much sooner than I, a young farmer drove me in his wagon to
Offenburg, a small city at the foot of the Black Forest, where I took
the cars for Freiburg. The scenery between the two places is grand. The
broad mountains of the Black Forest rear their fronts on the east, and
the blue lines of the French Vosges meet the clouds on the west. The
night before, in walking over the plain, I saw distinctly the whole of
the Strasbourg Minster, whose spire is the highest in Europe, being four
hundred and ninety feet, or but twenty-five feet lower than the Pyramid
of Cheops.

I visited the Minster of Freiburg yesterday morning. It is a grand,
gloomy old pile, dating from the eleventh century--one of the few Gothic
churches in Germany that have ever been completed. The tower of
beautiful fretwork, rises to the height of three hundred and ninety-five
feet, and the body of the church including the choir, is of the same
length. The interior is solemn and majestic. Windows stained in colors
that burn, let in a "dim, religious light" which accords very well with
the dark old pillars and antique shrines. In two of the chapels there
are some fine altar-pieces by Holbein and one of his scholars; and a
very large crucifix of silver and ebony, which is kept with great care,
is said to have been carried with the Crusaders to the Holy Land. This
morning was the great market-day, and the peasantry of the Black Forest
came down from the mountains to dispose of their produce. The square
around the Minster was filled with them, and the singular costume of the
women gave the scene quite a strange appearance. Many of them wore
bright red head-dresses and shawls, others had high-crowned hats of
yellow oil-cloth; the young girls wore their hair in long plaits,
reaching nearly to their feet. They brought grain, butter and cheese
and a great deal of fine fruit to sell--I bought some of the wild,
aromatic plums of the country, at the rate of thirty for a cent.

The railroad has only been open to Freiburg within a few days, and is
consequently an object of great curiosity to the peasants, many of whom
never saw the like before. They throng around the station at the
departure of the train and watch with great interest the operations of
getting up the steam and starting. One of the scenes that grated most
harshly on my feelings, was seeing yesterday a company of women employed
on the unfinished part of the road. They were digging and shoveling away
in the rain, nearly up to their knees in mud and clay!

I called at the Institute for the Blind, under the direction of Mr.
Müller. He showed me some beautiful basket and woven work by his pupils;
the accuracy and skill with which everything was made astonished me.
They read with amazing facility from the raised type, and by means of
frames are taught to write with ease and distinctness. In music, that
great solace of the blind, they most excelled. They sang with an
expression so true and touching, that it was a delight to listen. The
system of instruction adopted appears to be most excellent, and gives to
the blind nearly every advantage which their more fortunate brethren
enjoy.

I am indebted to Mr. Müller, to whom I was introduced by an acquaintance
with his friend, Dr. Rivinus, of West Chester, Pa., for many kind
attentions. He went with us this afternoon to the Jägerhaus, on a
mountain near, where we had a very fine view of the city and its great
black Minster, with the plain of the Briesgau, broken only by the
Kaiserstuhl, a long mountain near the Rhine, whose golden stream
glittered in the distance. On climbing the Schlossberg, an eminence near
the city, we met the Grand Duchess Stephanie, a natural daughter of
Napoleon, as I have heard, and now generally believed to be the mother
of Caspar Hauser. Through a work lately published, which has since been
suppressed, the whole history has come to light. Caspar Hauser was the
lineal descendant of the house of Baden, and heir to the throne. The
guilt of his imprisonment and murder rests, therefore, upon the present
reigning family.

A chapel on the Schönberg, the mountain opposite, was pointed out as
the spot where Louis XV., if I mistake not, usually stood while his army
besieged Freiburg. A German officer having sent a ball to this chapel
which struck the wall just above the king's head, the latter sent word
that if they did not cease firing he would point his cannons at the
Minster. The citizens thought it best to spare the monarch and save the
cathedral.

We attended a meeting of the _Walhalla_, or society of the students who
visit the Freiburg University. They pleased me better than the
enthusiastic but somewhat unrestrained Burschenschaft of Heidelberg.
Here, they have abolished duelling; the greatest friendship prevails
among the students, and they have not that contempt for every thing
_philister_, or unconnected with their studies, which prevails in other
universities. Many respectable citizens attend their meetings; to-night
there was a member of the Chamber of Deputies at Carlsruhe present, who
delivered two speeches, in which every third word was "freedom!" An
address was delivered also by a merchant of the city, in which he made a
play upon the word _spear_, which signifies also in a cant sense,
_citizen_, find seemed to indicate that both would do their work in the
good cause. He was loudly applauded. Their song of union was by Charles
Follen, and the students were much pleased when I told them how he was
honored and esteemed in America.

After two days, delightfully spent, we shouldered our knapsacks and left
Freiburg. The beautiful valley, at the mouth of which the city lies,
runs like an avenue for seven miles directly into the mountains, and
presents in its loveliness such a contrast to the horrid defile which
follows, that it almost deserves the name which has been given to a
little inn at its head--the "Kingdom of Heaven." The mountains of the
Black Forest enclose it on each side like walls, covered to the summit
with luxuriant woods, and in some places with those forests of gloomy
pine which give this region its name. After traversing its whole length,
just before plunging into the mountain-depths, the traveler rarely meets
with a finer picture than that which, on looking back, he sees framed
between the hills at the other end. Freiburg looks around the foot of
one of the heights, with the spire of her cathedral peeping above the
top, while the French Vosges grew dim in the far perspective.

The road now enters a wild, narrow valley, which grows smaller as we
proceed. From Himmelreich, a large rude inn by the side of the green
meadows, we enter the Höllenthal--that is, from the "Kingdom of Heaven"
to the "Valley of Hell!" The latter place better deserves its
appellation than the former. The road winds between precipices of black
rock, above which the thick foliage shuts out the brightness of day and
gives a sombre hue to the scene. A torrent foams down the chasm, and in
one place two mighty pillars interpose to prevent all passage. The
stream, however, has worn its way through, and the road is hewn in the
rock by its side. This cleft is the only entrance to a valley three or
four miles long, which lies in the very heart of the mountains. It is
inhabited by a few woodmen and their families, and but for the road
which passes through, would be as perfect a solitude as the Happy Valley
of Rasselas. At the farther end, a winding road called "The Ascent,"
leads up the steep mountain to an elevated region of country, thinly
settled and covered with herds of cattle. The cherries which, in the
Rhine-plain below, had long gone, were just ripe here. The people spoke
a most barbarous dialect; they were social and friendly, for everybody
greeted us, and sometimes, as we sat on a bank by the roadside, those
who passed by would say "Rest thee!" or "Thrice rest!"

Passing by the Titi Lake, a small body of water which was spread out
among the hills like a sheet of ink, so deep was its Stygian hue, we
commenced ascending a mountain. The highest peak of the Schwarzwald, the
Feldberg, rose not far off, and on arriving at the top of this mountain,
we saw that a half hour's walk would bring us to its summit. This was
too great a temptation for my love of climbing heights; so with a look
at the descending sun to calculate how much time we could spare, we set
out. There was no path, but we pressed directly up the steep side,
through bushes and long grass, and in a short time reached the top,
breathless from such exertion in the thin atmosphere. The pine woods
shut out the view to the north and east, which is said to be
magnificent, as the mountain is about five thousand feet high. The
wild, black peaks of the Black Forest were spread below us, and the sun
sank through golden mist towards the Alsatian hills. Afar to the south,
through cloud and storm, we could just trace the white outline of the
Swiss Alps. The wind swept through the pines around, and bent the long
yellow grass among which we sat, with a strange, mournful sound, well
suiting the gloomy and mysterious region. It soon grew cold, the golden
clouds settled down towards us, and we made haste to descend to the
village of Lenzkirch before dark.

Next morning we set out early, without waiting to see the trial of
archery which was to take place among the mountain youths. Their booths
and targets, gay with banners, stood on a green meadow beside the town.
We walked through the Black Forest the whole forenoon. It might be owing
to the many wild stories whose scenes are laid among these hills, but
with me there was a peculiar feeling of solemnity pervading the whole
region. The great pine woods are of the very darkest hue of green, and
down their hoary, moss-floored aisles, daylight seems never to have
shone. The air was pure and clear, and the sunshine bright, but it
imparted no gaiety to the scenery: except the little meadows of living
emerald which lay occasionally in the lap of a dell, the landscape wore
a solemn and serious air. In a storm, it must be sublime.

About noon, from the top of the last range of hills, we had a glorious
view. The line of the distant Alps could be faintly traced high in the
clouds, and all the heights between were plainly visible, from the Lake
of Constance to the misty Jura, which flanked the Vosges of the west.
From our lofty station we overlooked half Switzerland, and had the air
been a little clearer, we could have seen Mont Blanc and the mountains
of Savoy. I could not help envying the feelings of the Swiss, who, after
long absence from their native land, first see the Alps from this road.
If to the emotions with which I then looked on them were added the
passionate love of home and country which a long absence creates, such
excess of rapture would be almost too great to be borne.

In the afternoon we crossed the border, and took leave of Germany with
regret, after near a year's residence within its bounds. Still it was
pleasant to know we were in a republic once more: the first step we took
made us aware of the change. There was no policeman to call for our
passports or search our baggage. It was just dark when we reached the
hill overlooking the Rhine, on whose steep banks is perched the antique
town of Schaffhausen. It is still walled in, with towers at regular
intervals; the streets are wide and spacious, and the houses rendered
extremely picturesque by the quaint projecting windows. The buildings
are nearly all old, as we learned by the dates above the doors. At the
inn, I met with one of the free troopers who marched against Luzerne. He
was full of spirit, and ready to undertake another such journey. Indeed
it is the universal opinion that the present condition of things cannot
last much longer.

We took a walk before breakfast to the Falls of the Rhine, about a mile
and a half from Schaffhausen. I confess I was somewhat disappointed in
them, after the glowing descriptions of travelers. The river at this
place is little more than thirty yards wide, and the body of water,
although issuing from the Lake of Constance, is not remarkably strong.
For some distance above, the fall of the water is very rapid, and as it
finally reaches the spot where, narrowed between rocks, it makes the
grand plunge, it has acquired a great velocity. Three rocks stand in the
middle of the current, which thunders against and around their bases,
but cannot shake them down. These and the rocks in the bed of the
stream, break the force of the fall, so that it descends to the bottom,
about fifty feet below, not in one sheet, but shivered into a hundred
leaps of snowy foam. The precipitous shores, and the tasteful little
castle which is perched upon the steep just over the boiling spray, add
much to its beauty, taken as a picture. As a specimen of the
picturesque, the whole scene is perfect. I should think Trenton Falls,
in New York, must excel these in wild, startling effect; but there is
such a scarcity of waterfalls in this land, that the Germans go into
raptures about them, and will hardly believe that Niagara itself
possesses more sublimity.



CHAPTER XXIX.

PEOPLE AND PLACES IN EASTERN SWITZERLAND.


We left Schaffhausen for Zurich, in mist and rain, and walked for some
time along the north bank of the Rhine. We could have enjoyed the
scenery much better, had it not been for the rain, which not only hid
the mountains from sight, but kept us constantly half soaked. We crossed
the rapid Rhine at Eglisau, a curious antique village, and then
continued our way through the forests of Canton Zurich, to Bülach, with
its groves of lindens--"those tall and stately trees, with velvet down
upon their shining leaves, and rustic benches placed beneath their
overhanging eaves."

When we left the little village where the rain obliged us to stop for
the night, it was clear and delightful. The farmers were out, busy at
work, their long, straight scythes glancing through the wet grass, while
the thick pines sparkled with thousands of dewy diamonds. The country
was so beautiful and cheerful, that we half felt like being in America.
The farm-houses were scattered over the country in real American style,
and the glorious valley of the Limmat, bordered on the west by a range
of woody hills, reminded me of some scenes in my native Pennsylvania.
The houses were neatly and tastefully built, with little gardens around
them--and the countenances of the people spoke of intelligence and
independence. There was the same air of peace and prosperity which
delighted us in the valleys of Upper Austria, with a look of freedom
which those had not. The faces of a people are the best index to their
condition. I could read on their brows a lofty self-respect, a
consciousness of the liberties they enjoy, which the Germans of the
laboring class never show. It could not be imagination, for the recent
occurrences in Switzerland, with the many statements I heard in Germany,
had prejudiced me somewhat against the land; and these marks of
prosperity and freedom were as surprising as they were delightful.

As we approached Zurich, the noise of employment from mills, furnaces
and factories, came to us like familiar sounds, reminding us of the
bustle of our home cities. The situation of the city is lovely. It lies
at the head of the lake, and on both sides of the little river Limmat,
whose clear green waters carry the collected meltings of the Alps to the
Rhine. Around the lake rise lofty green hills, which, sloping gently
back, bear on their sides hundreds of pleasant country-houses and farms,
and the snowy Alpine range extends along the southern sky. The Limmat is
spanned by a number of bridges, and its swift waters turn many mills
which are built above them. From these bridges one can look out over the
blue lake and down the thronged streets of the city on each side, whose
bright, cheerful houses remind him of Italy.

Zurich can boast of finer promenades than any other city in Switzerland.
The old battlements are planted with trees and transformed into pleasant
walks, which being elevated above the city, command views of its
beautiful environs. A favorite place of resort is the Lindenhof, an
elevated court-yard, shaded by immense trees. The fountains of water
under them are always surrounded by washerwomen, and in the morning
groups of merry school children may be seen tumbling over the grass. The
teachers take them there in a body for exercise and recreation. The
Swiss children are beautiful, bright-eyed creatures; there is scarcely
one who does not exhibit the dawning of an active, energetic spirit. It
may be partly attributed to the fresh, healthy climate of Switzerland,
but I am partial enough to republics to believe that the influence of
the Government under which they live, has also its share in producing
the effect.

There is a handsome promenade on an elevated bastion which overlooks the
city and lakes. While enjoying the cool morning breeze and listening to
the stir of the streets below us, we were also made aware of the social
and friendly politeness of the people. Those who passed by, on their
walk around the rampart, greeted us, almost with the familiarity of an
acquaintance. Simple as was the act, we felt grateful, for it had at
least the seeming of a friendly interest and a sympathy with the
loneliness which the stranger sometimes feels. A school-teacher leading
her troop of merry children on their morning walk around the bastion,
nodded to us pleasantly and forthwith the whole company of
chubby-cheeked rogues, looking up at us with a pleasant archness, lisped
a "_guten morgen_" that made the hearts glad within us. I know of
nothing that has given me a more sweet and tender delight than the
greeting of a little child, who, leaving his noisy playmates, ran across
the street to me, and taking my hand, which he could barely clasp in
both his soft little ones, looked up in my face with an expression so
winning and affectionate, that I loved him at once. The happy, honest
farmers, too, spoke to us cheerfully everywhere. We learned a lesson
from all this--we felt that not a word of kindness is ever wasted, that
a simple friendly glance may cheer the spirit and warm the lonely heart,
and that the slightest deed, prompted by generous sympathy, becomes a
living joy in the memory of the receiver, which blesses unceasingly him
who bestowed it.

We left Zurich the same afternoon, to walk to Stafa, where we were told
the poet Freiligrath resided. The road led along the bank of the lake,
whose shores sloped gently up from the water, covered with gardens and
farm-houses, which, with the bolder mountains that rose behind them,
made a combination of the lovely and grand, on which the eye rested with
rapture and delight. The sweetest cottages were embowered among the
orchards, and the whole country bloomed like a garden. The waters of the
lake are of a pale, transparent green, and so clear that we could see
its bottom of white pebbles, for some distance. Here and there floated a
quiet boat on its surface. The opposite hills were covered with a soft
blue haze, and white villages sat along the shore, "like swans among the
reeds." Behind, we saw the woody range of the Brunig Alp. The people
bade us a pleasant good evening; there was a universal air of
cheerfulness and content on their countenances.

Towards evening, the clouds which hung in the south the whole day,
dispersed a little and we could see the Dodiberg and the Alps of Glarus.
As sunset drew on, the broad summits of snow and the clouds which were
rolled around them, assumed a soft rosy hue, which increased in
brilliancy as the light of day faded. The rough, icy crags and snowy
steeps were fused in the warm light and half blended with the bright
clouds. This blaze, as it were, of the mountains at sunset, is called
the _Alp-glow_, and exceeds all one's highest conceptions of Alpine
grandeur. We watched the fading glory till it quite died away, and the
summits wore a livid, ashy hue, like the mountains of a world wherein
there was no life. In a few minutes more the dusk of twilight spread
over the scene, the boatmen glided home over the still lake and the
herdsmen drove their cattle back from pasture on the slopes and meadows.

On inquiring for Freiligrath at Stafa, we found he had removed to
Rapperschwyl, some distance further. As it was already late, we waited
for the steamboat which leaves Zurich every evening. It came along about
eight o'clock, and a little boat carried us out through rain and
darkness to meet it, as it came like a fiery-eyed monster over the
water. We stepped on board the "Republican," and in half an hour were
brought to the wharf at Rapperschwyl.

There are two small islands in the lake, one of which, with a little
chapel rising from among its green trees, is Ufnau, the grave of Ulrich
von Hutten, one of the fathers of the German Reformation. His fiery
poems have been the source from which many a German bard has derived his
inspiration, and Freiligrath who now lives in sight of his tomb, has
published an indignant poem, because an inn with gaming tables has been
established in the ruins of the castle near Creuznach, where Hutten
found refuge from his enemies with Franz von Sickingen, brother-in-law
of "Goetz with the iron Hand." The monks of Einsiedeln, to whom Ufnau
belongs, have carefully obliterated all traces of his grave, so that the
exact spot is not known, in order that even a tombstone might be denied
him who once strove to overturn their order. It matters little to that
bold spirit whose motto was: "_The die is cast--I have dared it!_"--the
whole island is his monument, if he need one.

I spent the whole of the morning with Freiligrath, the poet, who was
lately banished from Germany on account of the liberal principles his
last volume contains. He lives in a pleasant country-house on the
Meyerberg, an eminence near Rapperschwyl, overlooking a glorious
prospect. On leaving Frankfort, R.S. Willis gave me a letter to him, and
I was glad to meet with a man personally whom I admired so much through
his writings, and whose boldness in speaking out against the tyranny
which his country suffers, forms such a noble contrast to the cautious
slowness of his countrymen. He received me kindly and conversed much
upon American literature. He is a warm admirer of Bryant and Longfellow,
and has translated many of their poems into German. He said he had
received a warm invitation from a colony of Germans in Wisconsin, to
join them and enjoy that freedom which his native land denies, but that
his circumstances would not allow it at present. He is perhaps
thirty-five years of age. His brow is high and noble, and his eyes,
which are large and of a clear gray, beam with serious, saddened
thought. His long chesnut hair, uniting with a handsome beard and
moustache, gives a lion-like dignity to his energetic countenance. His
talented wife, Ida Freiligrath, who shares his literary labors, and an
amiable sister, are with him in exile, and he is happier in their
faithfulness than when he enjoyed the favors of a corrupt king.

We crossed the long bridge from Rapperschwyl, and took the road over the
mountain opposite, ascending for nearly two hours along the side, with
glorious views of the Lake of Zurich and the mountains which enclose it.
The upper and lower ends of the lake were completely hid by the storms,
which, to our regret, veiled the Alps, but the part below lay spread out
dim and grand, like a vast picture. It rained almost constantly, and we
were obliged occasionally to take shelter in the pine forests, whenever
a heavier cloud passed over. The road was lined with beggars, who
dropped on their knees in the rain before us, or placed bars across the
way, and then took them down again, for which they demanded money.

At length we reached the top of the pass. Many pilgrims to Einsiedeln
had stopped at a little inn there, some of whom came a long distance to
pay their vows, especially as the next day was the Ascension day of the
Virgin, whose image there is noted for performing many miracles. Passing
on, we crossed a wild torrent by an arch called the "Devil's Bridge."
The lofty, elevated plains were covered with scanty patches of grain
and potatoes, and the boys tended their goats on the grassy slopes,
sometimes trilling or _yodling_ an Alpine melody. An hour's walk brought
us to Einsiedeln, a small town, whose only attraction is the
Abbey--after Loretto, in Italy, the most celebrated resort for pilgrims
in Europe.

We entered immediately into the great church. The gorgeous vaulted roof
and long aisles were dim with the early evening; hundreds of worshippers
sat around the sides, or kneeled in groups on the broad stone pavements,
chanting over their Paternosters and Ave Marias in a shrill, monotonous
tone, while the holy image near the entrance was surrounded by persons,
many of whom came in the hope of being healed of some disorder under
which they suffered. I could not distinctly make out the image, for it
was placed back within the grating, and a strong crimson lamp behind it
was made to throw the light around, in the form of a glory. Many of the
pilgrims came a long distance. I saw some in the costume of the Black
Forest, and others who appeared to be natives of the Italian Cantons;
and a group of young women wearing conical fur caps, from the forests of
Bregenz, on the Lake of Constance.

I was astonished at the splendor of this church, situated in a lonely
and unproductive Alpine valley. The lofty arches of the ceiling, which
are covered with superb fresco paintings, rest on enormous pillars of
granite, and every image and shrine is richly ornamented with gold. Some
of the chapels were filled with the remains of martyrs, and these were
always surrounded with throngs of believers. The choir was closed by a
tall iron grating; a single lamp, which swung from the roof, enabled me
to see through the darkness, that though much more rich in ornaments
than the body of the church, it was less grand and impressive. The
frescoes which cover the ceiling, are said to be the finest paintings of
the kind in Switzerland.

In the morning our starting was delayed by the rain, and we took
advantage of it to hear mass in the Abbey and enjoy the heavenly music.
The latter was of the loftiest kind; there was one voice among the
singers I shall not soon forget. It was like the warble of a bird who
sings out of very wantonness. On and on it sounded, making its clear,
radiant sweetness heard above the chant of the choir and the thunder of
the orchestra. Such a rich, varied and untiring strain of melody I have
rarely listened to.

When the service ceased, we took a small road leading to Schwytz. We had
now fairly entered the Alpine region, and our first task was to cross a
mountain. This having been done, we kept along the back of the ridge
which bounds the lake of Zug on the south, terminating in the well known
Rossberg. The scenery became wilder with every step. The luxuriant
fields of herbage on the mountains were spotted with the picturesque
_chalets_ of the hunters and Alp-herds; cattle and goats were browsing
along the declivities, their bells tinkling most musically, and the
little streams fell in foam down the steeps. We here began to realize
our anticipations of Swiss scenery. Just on the other side of the range,
along which we traveled, lay the little lake of Egeri and valley of
Morgarten, where Tell and his followers overcame the army of the German
Emperor; near the lake of Lowertz, we found a chapel by the roadside,
built on the spot where the house of Werner Stauffacher, one of the
"three men of Grütli," formerly stood. It bears a poetical inscription
in old German, and a rude painting of the Battle of Morgarten.

As we wound around the lake of Lowertz, we saw the valley lying between
the Rossberg and the Righi, which latter mountain stood full in view. To
our regret, and that of all other travelers, the clouds hung low upon
it, as they had done for a week at least, and there was no prospect of a
change. The Rossberg, from which we descended, is about four thousand
feet in height; a dark brown stripe from its very summit to the valley
below, shows the track of the avalanche which, in 1806, overwhelmed
Goldau, and laid waste the beautiful vale of Lowertz. We could trace the
masses of rock and earth as far as the foot of the Righi. Four hundred
and fifty persons perished by this catastrophe, which was so sudden that
in five minutes the whole lovely valley was transformed into a desolate
wilderness. The shock was so great that the lake of Lowertz overflowed
its banks, and part of the village of Steinen at the upper end was
destroyed by the waters.

An hour's walk through a blooming Alpine vale brought us to the little
town of Schwytz, the capital of the Canton. It stands at the foot of a
rock-mountain, in shape not unlike Gibraltar, but double its height. The
bare and rugged summits seem to hang directly over the town, but the
people dwell below without fear, although the warning ruins of Goldau
are full in sight. A narrow blue line at the end of the valley which
stretches westward, marks the lake of the Four Cantons. Down this valley
we hurried, that we might not miss the boat which plies daily, from
Luzerne to Fluelen. I regretted not being able to visit Luzerne, as I
had a letter to the distinguished Swiss composer, Schnyder von
Wartensee, who resides there at present. The place is said to present a
most desolate appearance, being avoided by travelers, and even by
artisans, so that business of all kinds has almost entirely ceased.

At the little town of Brunnen, on the lake, we awaited the coming of the
steamboat. The scenery around it is exceedingly grand. Looking down
towards Luzerne, we could see the dark mass of Mount Pilatus on one
side, and on the other the graceful outline of the Righi, still wearing
his hood of clouds. We put off in a skiff to meet the boat, with two
Capuchin friars in long brown mantles and cowls, carrying rosaries at
their girdles.

Nearly opposite Brunnen is the meadow of Grütli, where the union of the
Swiss patriots took place, and the bond was sealed that enabled them to
cast off their chains. It is a little green slope on the side of the
mountain, between the two Cantons of Uri and Unterwalden, surrounded on
all sides by precipices. A little crystal spring in the centre is
believed by the common people to have gushed up on the spot where the
three "linked the hands that made them free." It is also a popular
belief that they slumber in a rocky cavern near the spot, and that they
will arise and come forth when the liberties of Switzerland are in
danger. She stands at present greatly in need of a new triad to restore
the ancient harmony.

We passed this glorious scene, almost the only green spot on the bleak
mountain-side, and swept around the base of the Axenberg, at whose foot,
in a rocky cave, stands the chapel of William Tell. This is built on the
spot where he leaped from Gessler's boat during the storm. It sits at
the base of the rock, on the water's edge, and can be seen far over the
waves. The Alps, whose eternal snows are lifted dazzling to the sky,
complete the grandeur of a scene so hallowed by the footsteps of
freedom. The grand and lonely solemnity of the landscape impressed me
with an awe, like that one feels when standing in a mighty cathedral,
when the aisles are dim with twilight. And how full of interest to a
citizen of young and free America is a shrine where the votaries of
Liberty have turned to gather strength and courage, through the storms
and convulsions of five hundred years!

We stopped at the village of Fluelen, at the head of the lake, and
walked on to Altorf, a distance of half a league. Here, in the
market-place, is a tower said to be built on the spot where the linden
tree stood, under which the child of Tell was placed, while, about a
hundred yards distant, is a fountain with Tell's statue, on the spot
from whence he shot the apple. If these localities are correct, he must
indeed have been master of the cross-bow. The tower is covered with rude
paintings of the principal events in the history of Swiss liberty. I
viewed these scenes with double interest from having read Schiller's
"Wilhelm Tell," one of the most splendid tragedies ever written. The
beautiful reply of his boy, when he described to him the condition of
the "land where there are no mountains," was sounding in my ears during
the whole day's journey:

    "Father, I'd feel oppressed in that broad land,
    I'd rather dwell beneath the avalanche!"

The little village of Burglen, whose spire we saw above the forest, in a
glen near by, was the birth-place of Tell, and the place where his
dwelling stood, is now marked by a small chapel. In the Schachen, a
noisy mountain stream that comes down to join the Reuss, he was drowned,
when an old man, in attempting to rescue a child who had fallen in--a
death worthy of the hero! We bestowed a blessing on his memory in
passing, and then followed the banks of the rapid Reuss. Twilight was
gathering in the deep Alpine glen, and the mountains on each side,
half-seen through the mist, looked like vast, awful phantoms. Soon they
darkened to black, indistinct masses; all was silent except the
deepened roar of the falling floods; dark clouds brooded above us like
the outspread wings of night, and we were glad, when the little village
of Amstegg was reached, and the parlor of the inn opened to us a more
cheerful, if not so romantic scene.



CHAPTER XXX.

PASSAGE OF THE ST. GOTHARD AND DESCENT INTO ITALY.


Leaving Amstegg, I passed the whole day among snowy, sky-piercing Alps,
torrents, chasms and clouds! The clouds appeared to be breaking up as we
set out, and the white top of the Reassberg was now and then visible in
the sky. Just above the village are the remains of Zwing Uri, the castle
begun by the tyrant Gessler, for the complete subjugation of the canton.
Following the Reuss up through a narrow valley, we passed the
Bristenstock, which lifts its jagged crags nine thousand feet in the
air, while on the other side stand the snowy summits which lean towards
the Rhone Glacier and St. Gothard. From the deep glen where the Reuss
foamed down towards the Lake of the Forest Cantons, the mountains rose
with a majestic sweep so far into the sky that the brain grew almost
dizzy in following their outlines. Woods, chalets and slopes of herbage
covered their bases, where the mountain cattle and goats were browsing,
while the herd-boys sang their native melodies or woke the ringing
echoes with the loud, sweet sounds of their wooden horns; higher up, the
sides were broken into crags and covered with stunted pines; then
succeeded a belt of bare rock with a little snow lying in the crevices,
and the summits of dazzling white looked out from the clouds nearly
three-fourths the height of the zenith. Sometimes when the vale was
filled with clouds, it was startling to see them parting around a
solitary summit, apparently isolated in the air at an immense height,
for the mountain to which it belonged was hidden to the very base!

The road passed from one side of the valley to the other, crossing the
Reuss on bridges sometimes ninety feet high. After three or four hours
walking, we reached a frightful pass called the Schollenen. So narrow is
the defile that before reaching it, the road seemed to enter directly
into the mountain. Precipices a thousand feet high tower above, and the
stream roars and boils in the black depth below. The road is a wonder of
art; it winds around the edge of horrible chasms or is carried on lofty
arches across, with sometimes a hold apparently so frail that one
involuntarily shudders. At a place called the Devil's Bridge, the Reuss
leaps about seventy feet in three or four cascades, sending up
continually a cloud of spray, while a wind created by the fall, blows
and whirls around, with a force that nearly lifts one from his feet.
Wordsworth has described the scene in the following lines:

    "Plunge with the Reuss embrowned by terror's breath,
    Where danger roofs the narrow walks of Death;
    By floods that, thundering from their dizzy height,
    Swell more gigantic on the steadfast sight,
    Black, drizzling crags, that, beaten by the din,
    Vibrate, us if a voice complained within,
    Loose hanging rocks, the Day's blessed eye that hide,
    And crosses reared to Death on every side!"

Beyond the Devil's Bridge, the mountains which nearly touched before,
interlock into each other, and a tunnel three hundred and seventy-five
feet long leads through the rock into the vale of Urseren, surrounded by
the Upper Alps. The little town of Andermatt lies in the middle of this
valley, which with the peaks around is covered with short,
yellowish-brown grass. We met near Amstegg a little Italian boy walking
home, from Germany, quite alone and without money, for we saw him give
his last kreutzer to a blind beggar along the road. We therefore took
him with us, as he was afraid to cross the St. Gothard alone.

After refreshing ourselves at Andermatt, we started, five in number,
including a German student, for the St. Gothard. Behind the village of
Hospiz, which stands at the bottom of the valley leading to Realp and
the Furca pass, the way commences, winding backwards and forwards,
higher and higher, through a valley covered with rocks, with the mighty
summits of the Alps around, untenanted save by the chamois and mountain
eagle. Not a tree was to be seen. The sides of the mountains were
covered with loose rocks waiting for the next torrent to wash them down,
and the tops were robed in eternal snow. A thick cloud rolled down over
us as we went on, following the diminishing brooks to their snowy source
in the peak of St. Gothard. We cut off the bends of the road by
footpaths up the rocks, which we ascended in single file, one of the
Americans _going ahead_ and little Pietro with his staff and bundle
bringing up the rear. The rarefied air we breathed, seven thousand feet
above the sea, was like exhilarating gas. We felt no fatigue, but ran
and shouted and threw snowballs, in the middle of August!

After three hours' walk we reached the two clear and silent lakes which
send their waters to the Adriatic and the North Sea. Here, as we looked
down the Italian side, the sky became clear; we saw the top of St.
Gothard many thousand feet above, and stretching to the south, the
summits of the mountains which guard the vales of the Ticino and the
Adda. The former monastery has been turned into an inn; there is,
however, a kind of church attached, attended by a single monk. It was so
cold that although late, we determined to descend to the first village.
The Italian side is very steep, and the road, called the Via Trimola, is
like a thread dropped down and constantly doubling back upon itself. The
deep chasms were filled with snow, although exposed to the full force of
the sun, and for a long distance there was scarcely a sign of
vegetation.

We thought as we went down, that every step was bringing us nearer to a
sunnier land--that the glories of Italy, which had so long lain in the
airy background of the future, would soon spread themselves before us in
their real or imagined beauty. Reaching at dusk the last height above
the vale of the Ticino, we saw the little village of Airolo with its
musical name, lying in a hollow of the mountains. A few minutes of
leaping, sliding and rolling, took us down the grassy declivity, and we
found we had descended from the top in an hour and a half, although the
distance by the road is nine miles! I need not say how glad we were to
relieve our trembling knees and exhausted limbs.

I have endeavored several times to give some idea of the sublimity of
the Alps, but words seem almost powerless to measure these mighty
mountains. No effort of the imagination could possibly equal their real
grandeur. I wish also to describe the _feelings_ inspired by being
among them,--feelings which can best be expressed through the warmer
medium of poetry.

    SONG OF THE ALP.
    I.

    I sit aloft on my thunder throne,
    And my voice of dread the nations own
       As I speak in storm below!
    The valleys quake with a breathless fear,
    When I hurl in wrath my icy spear
       And shake my locks of snow!
    When the avalanche forth like a tiger leaps,
      How the vassal-mountains quiver!
    And the storm that sweeps through the airy deeps
      Makes the hoary pine-wood shiver!
    Above them all, in a brighter air,
    I lift my forehead proud and bare,
    And the lengthened sweep of my forest-robe
    Trails down to the low and captured globe,
    Till its borders touch the dark green wave
    In whose soundless depths my feet I lave.
    The winds, unprisoned, around me blow,
    And terrible tempests whirl the snow;
    Rocks from their caverned beds are torn,
    And the blasted forest to heaven is borne;
    High through the din of the stormy band,
    Like misty giants the mountains stand,
    And their thunder-revel o'er-sounds the woe,
    That cries from the desolate vales below!
    I part the clouds with my lifted crown,
    Till the sun-ray slants on the glaciers down,
    And trembling men, in the valleys pale,
    Rejoice at the gleam of my icy mail!

    II.

    I wear a crown of the sunbeam's gold,
    With glacier-gems en my forehead old--
       A monarch crowned by God!
    What son of the servile earth may dare
    Such signs of a regal power to wear,
       While chained to her darkened sod?
    I know of a nobler and grander lore
      Than Time records on his crumbling pages,
    And the soul of my solitude teaches more
      Than the gathered deeds of perished ages!
    For I have ruled since Time began
    And wear no fetter made by man.
    I scorn the coward and craven race
    Who dwell around my mighty base,
    For they leave the lessons I grandly gave
    And bend to the yoke of the crouching slave.
    I shout aloud to the chainless skies;
    The stream through its falling foam replies,
    And my voice, like the sound of the surging sea,
    To the nations thunders: "_I am free!_"
    I spoke to Tell when a tyrant's hand
    Lay heavy and hard on his native land,
    And the spirit whose glory from mine he won
    Blessed the Alpine dwellers with Freedom's sun!
    The student-boy on the Gmunden-plain
    Heard my solemn voice, but he fought in vain;
    I called from the crags of the Passeir-glen,
    When the despot stood in my realm again,
    And Hofer sprang at the proud command
    And roused the men of the Tyrol land!

    III.

    I struggle up to the dim blue heaven,
    From the world, far down in whose breast are driven
        The props of my pillared throne;
    And the rosy fires of morning glow
    Like a glorious thought, on my brow of snow,
        While the vales are dark and lone!
    Ere twilight summons the first faint star,
    I seem to the nations who dwell afar
    Like a shadowy cloud, whose every fold
    The sunset dyes with its purest gold,
    And the soul mounts up through that gateway fair
    To try its wings in a loftier air!
    The finger of God on my brow is pressed--
    His spirit beats in my giant breast,
    And I breathe, as the endless ages roll,
    His silent words to the eager soul!
    I prompt the thoughts of the mighty mind,
    Who leaves his century far behind
    And speaks from the Future's sun-lit snow
    To the Present, that sleeps in its gloom below!
    I stand, unchanged, in creation's youth--
    A glorious type of Eternal Truth,
    That, free and pure, from its native skies
    Shines through Oppression's veil of lies,
    And lights the world's long-fettered sod
    With thoughts of Freedom and of God!

When, at night, I looked out of my chamber-window, the silver moon of
Italy, (for we fancied that her light was softer and that the skies were
already bluer) hung trembling above the fields of snow that stretched in
their wintry brilliance along the mountains around. I heard the roar of
the Ticino and the deepened sound of falling cascades, and thought, if I
were to take those waters for my guide, to what glorious places they
would lead me!

We left Airolo early the next morning, to continue our journey down the
valley of the Ticino. The mists and clouds of Switzerland were exchanged
for a sky of the purest blue, and we felt, for the first time in ten
days, uncomfortably warm. The mountains which flank the Alps on this
side, are still giants--lofty and bare, and covered with snow in many
places. The limit of the German dialect is on the summit of St. Gothard,
and the peasants saluted us with a "_buon giorno_" as they passed. This,
with the clearness of the skies and the warmth of the air, made us feel
that Italy was growing nearer.

The mountains are covered with forests of dark pine, and many beautiful
cascades come tumbling over the rocks in their haste to join the Ticino.
One of these was so strangely beautiful, that I cannot pass it without a
particular description. We saw it soon after leaving Airolo, on the
opposite side of the valley. A stream of considerable size comes down
the mountain, leaping from crag to crag till within forty or fifty feet
of the bottom, where it is caught in a hollow rock, and flung upwards
into the air, forming a beautiful arch as it falls out into the valley.
As it is whirled up thus, feathery curls of spray are constantly driven
off and seem to wave round it like the fibres on an ostrich plume. The
sun shining through, gave it a sparry brilliance which was perfectly
magnificent. If I were an artist, I would give much for such a new form
of beauty.

On our first day's journey we passed through two terrific mountain
gorges, almost equalling in grandeur the defile of the "Devil's Bridge."
The Ticino, in its course to Lago Maggiore has to make a descent of
nearly three thousand feet, passing through three valleys, which lie
like terraces, one below the other. In its course from one to the other,
it has to force its way down in twenty cataracts through a cleft in the
mountains. The road, constructed with the utmost labor, threads these
dark chasms, sometimes carried in a tunnel through the rock, sometimes
passing on arches above the boiling flood. The precipices of bare rock
rise far above and render the way difficult and dangerous. I here
noticed another very beautiful effect of the water, perhaps attributable
to some mineral substance it contained. The spray and foam thrown up in
the dashing of the vexed current, was of a light, delicate pink,
although the stream itself was a soft blue; and the contrast of these
two colors was very remarkable.

As we kept on, however, there was a very perceptible change in the
scenery. The gloomy pines disappeared and the mountains were covered, in
their stead, with picturesque chesnut trees, with leaves of a shining
green. The grass and vegetation was much more luxuriant than on the
other side of the Alps, and fields of maize and mulberry orchards
covered the valley. We saw the people busy at work reeling silk in the
villages. Every mile we advanced made a sensible change in the
vegetation. The chesnuts were larger, the maize higher, the few
straggling grape-vines increased into bowers and vineyards, while the
gardens were filled with plum, pear and fig-trees, and the stands of
delicious fruit which we saw in the villages, gave us promise of the
luxuriance that was to come.

The vineyards are much more beautiful than the German fields of stakes.
The vines are not trimmed, but grow from year to year over a frame
higher than the head, supported through the whole field on stone
pillars. They interlace and form a complete leafy screen, while the
clusters hang below. The light came dimly through the green, transparent
leaves, and nothing was wanting to make them real bowers of Arcadia.
Although we were still in Switzerland, the people began to have that
lazy, indolent look which characterizes the Italians; most of the
occupations were carried on in the open air, and brown-robed, sandalled
friars were going about from house to house, collecting money and
provisions for their support.

We passed Faidò and Giornico, near which last village are the remains of
an old castle, supposed to have been built by the ancient Gauls, and
stopped for the night at Cresciano, which being entirely Italian, we had
an opportunity to put in practice the few words we had picked up from
Pietro. The little fellow parted from us with regret a few hours before,
at Biasco, where he had relations. The rustic landlord at Cresciano was
an honest young fellow, who tried to serve us as well as he could, but
we made some ludicrous mistakes through our ignorance of the language.

Three hours' walk brought us to Bellinzona, the capital of the canton.
Before reaching it, our road joined that of the Splügen which comes down
through the valley of Bernardino. From the bridge where the junction
takes place we had a triple view, whose grandeur took me by surprise,
even after coming from Switzerland. We stood at the union of three
valleys--that leading to St. Gothard, terminated by the glaciers of the
Bernese Oberland, that running off obliquely to the Splügen, and finally
the broad vale of the Ticino, extending to Lago Maggiore, whose purple
mountains closed the vista. Each valley was perhaps two miles broad and
from twenty to thirty long, and the mountains that enclosed them from
five to seven thousand feet in height, so you may perhaps form some idea
what a view down three such avenues in this Alpine temple would be.
Bellinzona is romantically situated, on a slight eminence, with three
castles to defend it, with those square turreted towers and battlements,
which remind one involuntarily of the days of the Goths and Vandals.

We left Bellinzona at noon, and saw, soon after, from an eminence, the
blue line of Lago Maggiore stretched across the bottom of the valley. We
saw sunset fade away over the lake, but it was clouded, and did not
realize my ideal of such a scene in Italy. A band of wild Italians
paraded up and down the village, drawing one of their number in a
hand-cart. They made a great noise with a drum and trumpet, and were
received everywhere with shouts of laughter. A great jug of wine was not
wanting, and the whole seemed to me a very characteristic scene.

We were early awakened at Magadino, at the head of Lago Maggiore, and
after swallowing a hasty breakfast, went on board the steamboat "San
Carlo," for Sesto Calende. We got under way at six o'clock, and were
soon in motion over the crystal mirror. The water is of the most lovely
green hue, and so transparent that we seemed to bo floating in mid-air.
Another heaven arched far below us; other chains of mountains joined
their bases to those which surrounded the lake, and the mirrored
cascades leaped upward to meet their originals at the surface. It may be
because I have seen it more recently, that the water of Lago Maggiore
appears to be the most beautiful in the world. I was delighted with the
Scotch lakes, and enraptured with the Traunsee and "Zurich's waters,"
but this last exceeds them both. I am now incapable of any stronger
feeling, until I see the Egean from the Grecian Isles.

The morning was cloudy, and the white wreaths hung low on the mountains,
whose rocky sides were covered every where with the rank and luxuriant
growth of this climate. As we advanced further over this glorious
mirror, the houses became more Italian-like; the lower stories rested on
arched passages, and the windows were open, without glass, while in the
gardens stood the solemn, graceful cypress, and vines, heavy with
ripening grapes, hung from bough to bough through the mulberry orchards.
Half-way down, in a broad bay, which receives the waters of a stream
that comes down with the Simplon, are the celebrated Borromean Islands.
They are four in number, and seem to float like fairy creations on the
water, while the lofty hills form a background whose grandeur enhances
by contrast their exquisite beauty. There was something in the scene
that reminded me of Claude Melnotte's description of his home, by
Bulwer, and like the lady of Lyons, I answer readily, "I like the
picture."

On passing by Isola Madre, we could see the roses in its terraced
gardens and the broad-leaved aloes clinging to the rocks. Isola Bella,
the loveliest of them all, as its name denotes, was farther off; it rose
like a pyramid from the water, terrace above terrace to the summit, and
its gardens of never fading foliage, with the glorious panorama around,
might make it a paradise, if life were to be dreamed away. On the
northern side of the bay lies a large town (I forget its name,) with a
lofty Romanesque tower, and noble mountains sweep around as if to shut
out the world from such a scene. The sea was perfectly calm, and groves
and gardens slept mirrored in the dark green wave, while the Alps rose
afar through the dim, cloudy air. Towards the other end the hills sink
lower, and slope off into the plains of Lombardy. Near Arona, on the
western side, is a large monastery, overlooking the lower part of the
lake. Beside it, on a hill, is a colossal statue of San Carlo Borromeo,
who gave his name to the lovely islands above.

After a seven hours' passage, we ran into Sesto Calende, at the foot of
the lake. Here, passengers and baggage were tumbled promiscuously on
shore, the latter gathered into the office to be examined, and the
former left at liberty to ramble about an hour until their passports
could be signed. We employed the time in trying the flavor of the grapes
and peaches of Lombardy, and looking at the groups of travelers who had
come down from the Alps with the annual avalanche at this season. The
custom house officers were extremely civil and obliging, as they did not
think necessary to examine our knapsacks, and our passports being soon
signed, we were at liberty to enter again into the dominions of His
Majesty of Austria. Our companion, the German, whose feet could carry
him no further, took a seat on the top of a diligence for Milan; _we_
left Sesto Calende on foot, and plunged into the cloud of dust which was
whirling towards the capital of Northern Italy.

Being now really in the "sunny land," we looked on the scenery with a
deep interest. The first thing that struck me was a resemblance to
America in the fields of Indian corn, and the rank growth of weeds by
the roadside. The mulberry trees and hedges, too, looked quite familiar,
coming as we did, from fenceless and hedgeless Germany. But here the
resemblance ceased. The people were coarse, ignorant and savage-looking,
the villages remarkable for nothing except the contrast between splendid
churches and miserable, dirty houses, while the luxurious palaces and
grounds of the rich noblemen formed a still greater contrast to the
poverty of the people. I noticed also that if the latter are as lazy as
they are said to be, they make their horses work for them, as in a walk
of a few hours yesterday after noon, we saw two horses drawing heavy
loads, drop down apparently dead, and several others seemed nearly ready
to do the same.

We spent the night at the little village of Casina, about sixteen miles
from Milan, and here made our first experience in the honesty of Italian
inns. We had taken the precaution to inquire beforehand the price of a
bed; but it seemed unnecessary and unpleasant, as well as evincing a
mistrustful spirit, to do the same with every article we asked for, so
we concluded to leave it to the host's conscience not to overcharge us.
Imagine our astonishment, however, when at starting, a bill was
presented to us, in which the smallest articles were set down at three
or four times their value. We remonstrated, hut to little purpose; the
fellow knew scarcely any French, and we as little Italian, so rather
than lose time or temper, we paid what he demanded and went on, leaving
him to laugh at the successful imposition. The experience was of value
to us, however, and it may serve as a warning to some future traveler.

About noon, the road turned into a broad and beautiful avenue of
poplars, down which we saw, at a distance, the triumphal arch
terminating the Simplon road, which we had followed from Sesto Calende.
Beyond it rose the slight and airy pinnacle of the Duomo. We passed by
the exquisite structure, gave up our passports at the gates, traversed
the broad Piazza d'Armi, and found ourselves at liberty to choose one of
the dozen streets that led into the heart of the city.



CHAPTER XXXI.

MILAN.


_Aug. 21._--While finding our way at random to the "Pension Suisse,"
whither we had been directed by a German gentleman, we were agreeably
impressed with the gaiety and bustle of Milan. The shops and stores are
all open to the street, so that the city resembles a great bazaar. It
has an odd look to see blacksmiths, tailors and shoemakers working
unconcernedly in the open air, with crowds continually passing before
them. The streets are filled with venders of fruit, who call out the
names with a long, distressing cry, like that of a person in great
agony. Organ-grinders parade constantly about and snatches of songs are
heard among the gay crowd, on every side.

In this lively, noisy Italian city, nearly all there is to see may be
comprised in four things: the Duomo, the triumphal arch over the
Simplon, La Scala and the Picture Gallery. The first alone is more
interesting than many an entire city. We went there yesterday afternoon
soon after reaching here. It stands in an irregular open place, closely
hemmed in by houses on two sides, so that it can be seen to advantage
from only one point. It is a mixture of the Gothic and Romanesque
styles; the body of the structure is entirely covered with statues and
richly wrought sculpture, with needle-like spires of white marble rising
up from every corner. But of the exquisite, airy look of the whole mass,
although so solid and vast, it is impossible to convey an idea. It
appears like some fabric of frost-work which winter traces on the
window-panes. There is a unity of beauty about the whole, which the eye
takes in with a feeling of perfect and satisfied delight.

Ascending the marble steps which lead to the front, I lifted the folds
of the heavy curtain and entered. What a glorious aisle! The mighty
pillars support a magnificent arched ceiling, painted to resemble
fretwork, and the little light that falls through the small windows
above, enters tinged with a dim golden hue. A feeling of solemn awe
comes over one as he steps with a hushed tread along the colored marble
floor, and measures the massive columns till they blend with the
gorgeous arches above. There are four rows of these, nearly fifty in
all, and when I state that they are eight feet in diameter, and sixty or
seventy in height, some idea may be formed of the grandeur of the
building. Imagine the Girard College, at Philadelphia, turned into one
great hall, with four rows of pillars, equal in size to those around it,
reaching to its roof, and you will have a rough sketch of the interior
of the Duomo.

In the centre of the cross is a light and beautiful dome; he who will
stand under this, and look down the broad middle aisle to the entrance,
has one of the sublimest vistas to be found in the world. The choir has
three enormous windows, covered with dazzling paintings, and the ceiling
is of marble and silver. There are gratings under the high altar, by
looking into which, I could see a dark, lonely chamber below, where one
or two feeble lamps showed a circle of praying-places. It was probably a
funeral vault, which persons visited to pray for the repose of their
friends' souls. The Duomo is not yet entirely finished, the workmen
being still employed in various parts, but it is said, that when
completed there will be four thousand statues on the different parts of
it.

The design of the Duomo is said to be taken from Monte Rosa, one of the
loftiest peaks of the Alps. Its hundreds of sculptured pinnacles, rising
from every part of the body of the church, certainly bear a striking
resemblance to the splintered ice-crags of Savoy. Thus we see how Art,
mighty and endless in her forms though she be, is in every thing but the
child of Nature. Her most divine conceptions are but copies of objects
which we behold every day. The faultless beauty of the Corinthian
capital--the springing and intermingling arches of the Gothic aisle--the
pillared portico or the massive and sky-piercing pyramid--are but
attempts at reproducing, by the studied regularity of Art, the
ever-varied and ever-beautiful forms of mountain, rock and forest. But
there is oftentimes a more thrilling sensation of enjoyment produced by
the creations of man's hand and intellect than the grander effects of
Nature, existing constantly before our eyes. It would seem as if man
marvelled more at his own work than at the work of the Power which
created him.

The streets of Milan abound with priests in their cocked hats and long
black robes. They all have the same solemn air, and seem to go about
like beings shut out from all communion with pleasure. No sight lately
has saddened me so much as to see a bright, beautiful boy, of twelve or
thirteen years, in those gloomy garments. Poor child! he little knows
now what he may have to endure. A lonely, cheerless life, where every
affection must be crushed as unholy, and every pleasure denied as a
crime! And I knew by his fair brow and tender lip, that he had a warm
and loving heart. I could not help regarding this class as victims to a
mistaken idea of religious duty, and if I am not mistaken, I read on
more than one countenance the traces of passions that burned within. It
is mournful to see a people oppressed in the name of religion. The
holiest aspirations of man's nature, instead of lifting him up to a
nearer view of Christian perfection, are changed into clouds and shut
out the light of heaven. Immense treasures, wrung drop by drop from the
credulity of the poor and ignorant, are made use of to pamper the luxury
of those who profess to be mediators between man and the Deity. The poor
wretch may perish of starvation on a floor of precious mosaic, which
perhaps his own pittance has helped to form, while ceilings and shrines
of inlaid gold mock his dying eye with their useless splendor. Such a
system of oppression, disguised under the holiest name, can only be
sustained by the continuance of ignorance and blind superstition.
Knowledge--Truth--Reason--these are the ramparts which Liberty throws up
to guard her dominions from the usurpations of oppression and wrong.

We were last night in La Scala. Rossini's opera of William Tell was
advertised, and as we had visited so lately the scene where that
glorious historical drama was enacted, we went to see it represented in
sound. It is a grand subject, which in the hands of a powerful composer,
might be made very effective, but I must confess I was disappointed in
the present case. The overture is, however, very beautiful. It begins
low and mournful, like the lament of the Swiss over their fallen
liberties. Occasionally a low drum is heard, as if to rouse them to
action, and meanwhile the lament swells to a cry of despair. The drums
now wake the land; the horn of Uri is heard pealing forth its summoning
strain, and the echoes seem to come back from the distant Alps. The
sound then changes for the roar of battle--the clang of trumpets, drums
and cymbals. The whole orchestra did their best to represent this combat
in music, which after lasting a short time, changed into the loud,
victorious march of the conquerors. But the body of the opera, although
it had several fine passages, was to me devoid of interest; in fact,
unworthy the reputation of Rossini.

The theatre is perhaps the largest in the world. The singers are all
good; in Italy it could not be otherwise, where everybody sings. As I
write, a party of Italians in the house opposite have been amusing
themselves with going through the whole opera of "_La fille du
Regiment_," with the accompaniment of the piano, and they show the
greatest readiness and correctness in their performance. They have now
become somewhat boisterous, and appear to be improvising. One young
gentleman executes trills with amazing skill, and another appears to
have taken the part of a despairing lover, but the lady has a very
pretty voice, and warbles on and on, like a nightingale. Occasionally a
group of listeners in the street below clap them applause, for as the
windows are always open, the whole neighborhood can enjoy the
performance.

This forenoon I was in the Picture Gallery. It occupies a part of the
Library Building, in the Palazzo Cabrera. It is not large, and many of
the pictures are of no value to anybody but antiquarians; still there
are some excellent paintings, which render it well worthy a visit. Among
these, a marriage, by Raphael, is still in a very good state of
preservation, and there are some fine pictures by Paul Veronese and the
Caracci. The most admired painting, is "Abraham sending away Hagar," by
Guercino. I never saw a more touching expression of grief than in the
face of Hagar. Her eyes are red with weeping, and as she listens in an
agony of tears to the patriarch's command, she still seems doubting the
reality of her doom. The countenance of Abraham is venerable and calm,
and expresses little emotion; but one can read in that of Sarah, as she
turns away, a feeling of pity for her unfortunate rival.

Next to the Duomo, the most beautiful specimen of architecture in Milan
is the ARCH OF PEACE, on the north side of the city, at the commencement
of the Simplon Road. It was the intention of Napoleon to carry the road
under this arch, across the Piazza d'Armi, and to cut a way for it
directly into the heart of the city, but the fall of his dynasty
prevented the execution of this magnificent design, as well as the
completion of the arch itself. This has been done by the Austrian
government, according to the original plan; they have inscribed upon it
the name of Francis I., and changed the bas-reliefs of Lodi and Marengo
into those of a few fields where their forces had gained the victory. It
is even said that in many parts which were already finished, they
altered the splendid Roman profile of Napoleon into the haggard and
repulsive features of Francis of Austria.

The bronze statues on the top were made by an artist of Bologna, by
Napoleon's order, and are said to be the finest works of modern times.
In the centre is the goddess of Peace, in a triumphal car, drawn by six
horses, while on the corners four angels, mounted, are starting off to
convey the tidings to the four quarters of the globe. The artist has
caught the spirit of motion and chained it in these moveless figures.
One would hardly feel surprised if the goddess, chariot, horses and all,
were to start off and roll away through the air.

With the rapidity usual to Americans we have already finished seeing
Milan, and shall start to-morrow morning on a walk to Genoa.



CHAPTER XXXII.

WALK FROM MILAN TO GENOA.


It was finally decided we should leave Milan, so the next morning we
arose at five o'clock for the first time since leaving Frankfort. The
Italians had commenced operations at this early hour, but we made our
way through the streets without attracting quite so much attention as on
our arrival. Near the gate on the road to Pavia, we passed a long
colonnade which was certainly as old as the times of the Romans. The
pillars of marble were quite brown with age, and bound together with
iron to keep them from falling to pieces. It was a striking contrast to
see this relic of the past standing in the middle of a crowded
thoroughfare and surrounded by all the brilliance and display of modern
trade.

Once fairly out of the city we took the road to Pavia, along the banks
of the canal, just as the rising sun gilded the marble spire of the
Duomo. The country was a perfect level, and the canal, which was in many
places higher than the land through which it passed, served also as a
means of irrigation for the many rice-fields. The sky grew cloudy and
dark, and before we reached Pavia gathered to a heavy storm. Torrents of
rain poured down, accompanied with heavy thunder; we crept under an old
gateway for shelter, as no house was near. Finally, as it cleared away,
the square brown towers of the old city rose above the trees, and we
entered the gate through a fine shaded avenue. Our passports were of
course demanded, but we were only detained a minute or two. The only
thing of interest is the University, formerly so celebrated; it has at
present about eight hundred students.

We have reason to remember the city from another circumstance--the
singular attention we excited. I doubt if Columbus was an object of
greater curiosity to the simple natives of the new world, than we three
Americans were to the good people of Pavia. I know not what part of our
dress or appearance could have caused it, but we were watched like wild
animals. If we happened to pause and look at anything in the street,
there was soon a crowd of attentive observers, and as we passed on,
every door and window was full of heads. We stopped in the marketplace
to purchase some bread and fruit for dinner, which increased, if
possible, the sensation. We saw eyes staring and fingers pointing at us
from every door and alley. I am generally willing to contribute as much
as possible to the amusement or entertainment of others, but such
attention was absolutely embarrassing. There was nothing to do but to
appear unconscious of it, and we went along with as much nonchalance as
if the whole town belonged to us.

We crossed the Ticino, on whose banks near Pavia, was fought the first
great battle between Hannibal and the Romans. On the other side our
passports were demanded at the Sardinian frontier and our knapsacks
searched, which having proved satisfactory, we were allowed to enter the
kingdom. Late in the afternoon we reached the Po, which in winter must
be quarter of a mile wide, but the summer heats had dried it up to a
small stream, so that the bridge of boats rested nearly its whole length
in sand. We sat on the bank in the shade, and looked at the chain of
hills which rose in the south, following the course of the Po, crowned
with castles and villages and shining towers. It was here that I first
began to realize Italian scenery. Although the hills were bare, they lay
so warm and glowing in the sunshine, and the deep blue sky spread so
calmly above, that it recalled all my dreams of the fair clime we had
entered.

We stopped for the night at the little village of Casteggio, which lies
at the foot of the hills, and next morning resumed our pilgrimage. Here
a new delight awaited us. The sky was of a heavenly blue, without even
the shadow of a cloud, and full and fair in the morning sunshine we
could see the whole range of the Alps, from the blue hills of Friuli,
which sweep down to Venice and the Adriatic, to the lofty peaks which
stretch away to Nice and Marseilles! Like a summer cloud, except that
they were far more dazzling and glorious, lay to the north of us the
glaciers and untrodden snow-fields of the Bernese Oberland; a little to
the right we saw the double peak of St. Gothard, where six days before
we shivered in the region of eternal winter, while far to the north-west
rose the giant dome of Mount Blanc. Monte Rosa stood near him, not far
from the Great St. Bernard, and further to the south Mont Cenis guarded
the entrance from Piedmont into France. I leave you to conceive the
majesty of such a scene, and you may perhaps imagine, for I cannot
describe the feelings with which I gazed upon it.

At Tortona, the next post, a great market was being held; the town was
filled with country people selling their produce, and with venders of
wares of all kinds. Fruit was very abundant--grapes, ripe figs, peaches
and melons were abundant, and for a trifle one could purchase a
sumptuous banquet. On inquiring the road to Novi, the people made us
understand, after much difficulty, that there was a nearer way across
the country, which came into the post-road again, and we concluded to
take it. After two or three hours' walking in a burning sun, where our
only relief was the sight of the Alps and a view of the battle-field of
Marengo, which lay just on our right, we came to a stand--the road
terminated at a large stream, where workmen were busily engaged in
making a bridge across. We pulled off our boots and waded through, took
a refreshing bath in the clear waters, and walked on through by-lanes.
The sides were lined with luxuriant vines, bending under the ripening
vintage, and we often cooled our thirst with some of the rich bunches.

The large branch of the Po we crossed, came down from the mountains,
which we were approaching. As we reached the post-road again, they were
glowing in the last rays of the sun, and the evening vapors that settled
over the plain concealed the distant Alps, although the snowy top of the
Jungfrau and her companions the Wetterhorn and Schreckhorn, rose above
it like the hills of another world. A castle or church of brilliant
white marble glittered on the summit of one of the mountains near us,
and as the sun went down without a cloud, the distant summits changed in
hue to a glowing purple, amounting almost to crimson, which afterwards
darkened into a deep violet. The western half of the sky was of a pale
orange, and the eastern a dark red, which blended together in the blue
of the zenith, that deepened as twilight came on. I know not if it was a
fair specimen of an Italian sunset, but I must say, without wishing to
be partial, that though certainly very soft and beautiful, there is no
comparison with the splendor of such a scene in America. The day-sky of
Italy better deserves its reputation. Although no clearer than our own,
it is of a far brighter blue, arching above us like a dome of sapphire
and seeming to sparkle all over with a kind of crystal transparency.

We stopped the second night at Arquato, a little village among the
mountains, and after having bargained with the merry landlord for our
lodgings, in broken Italian, took a last look at the plains of Piedmont
and the Swiss Alps, in the growing twilight. We gazed out on the
darkening scene till the sky was studded with stars, and went to rest
with the exciting thought of seeing Genoa and the Mediterranean on the
morrow. Next morning we started early, and after walking some distance
made our breakfast in a grove of chesnuts, on the cool mountain side,
beside a fresh stream of water. The sky shone like a polished gem, and
the glossy leaves of the chesnuts gleamed in the morning sun. Here and
there, on a rocky height, stood the remains of some knightly castle,
telling of the Goths and Normans who descended through these mountain
passes to plunder Rome.

As the sun grew high, the heat and dust became intolerable, and this, in
connection with the attention we raised everywhere, made us somewhat
tired of foot-traveling in Italy. I verily believe the people took us
for pilgrims on account of our long white blouses, and had I a scallop
shell I would certainly have stuck it into my hat to complete the
appearance. We stopped once to ask a priest the road; when he had told
us, he shook hands with us and gave us a parting benediction. At the
common inns, where we stopped, we always met with civil treatment,
though, indeed, as we only slept in them, there was little chance of
practising imposition. We bought our simple meals at the baker's and
grocer's, and ate them in the shade of the grape-bowers, whose rich
clusters added to the repast. In this manner, we enjoyed Italy at the
expense of a franc, daily. About noon, after winding about through the
narrow defiles, the road began ascending. The reflected heat from the
hills on each side made it like an oven; there was not a breath of air
stirring; but we all felt, although no one said it, that from the summit
we could see the Mediterranean, and we pushed on as if life or death
depended on it. Finally, the highest point came in sight--we redoubled
our exertions, and a few minutes more brought us to the top, breathless
with fatigue and expectation. I glanced down the other side--there lay a
real sea of mountains, all around; the farthest peaks rose up afar and
dim, crowned with white towers, and between two of them which stood
apart like the pillars of a gateway, we saw the broad expanse of water
stretching away to the horizon--

To where the blue of heaven on bluer waves shut down!"

It would have been a thrilling sight to see any ocean, when one has
rambled thousands of miles among the mountains and vales of the inland,
but to behold this sea, of all others, was glorious indeed! This sea,
whose waves wash the feet of Naples, Constantinople and Alexandria, and
break on the hoary shores where Troy and Tyre and Carthage have
mouldered away!--whose breast has been furrowed by the keels of a
hundred nations through more than forty centuries--from the first rude
voyage of Jason and his Argonauts, to the thunders of Navarino that
heralded the second birth of Greece! You cannot wonder we grew romantic;
but short space was left for sentiment in the burning sun, with Genoa to
be reached before night. The mountain we crossed is called the Bochetta,
one of the loftiest of the sea-Alps (or Apennines)--the road winds
steeply down towards the sea, following a broad mountain rivulet, now
perfectly dried up, as nearly every stream among the mountains is. It
was a long way to us; the mountains seemed as if they would never unfold
and let us out on the shore, and our weary limbs did penance enough for
a multitude of sins. The dusk was beginning to deepen over the bay and
the purple hues of sunset were dying away from its amphitheatre of
hills, as we came in sight of the gorgeous city. Half the population
were out to celebrate a festival, and we made our entry in the triumphal
procession of some saint.



CHAPTER XXXIII.

SCENES IN GENOA, LEGHORN AND PISA.


Have you ever seen some grand painting of a city, rising with its domes
and towers and palaces from the edge of a glorious bay, shut in by
mountains--the whole scene clad in those deep, delicious, sunny hues
which you admire so much in the picture, although they appear unrealized
in Nature? If so, you can figure to yourself Genoa, as she looked to us
at sunset, from the battlements west of the city. When we had passed
through the gloomy gate of the fortress that guards the western
promontory, the whole scene opened at once on us in all its majesty. It
looked to me less like a real landscape than a mighty panoramic
painting. The battlements where we were standing, and the blue mirror of
the Mediterranean just below, with a few vessels moored near the shore,
made up the foreground; just in front lay the queenly city, stretching
out to the eastern point of the bay, like a great meteor---this point,
crowned with the towers and dome of a cathedral representing the
nucleus, while the tail gradually widened out and was lost among the
numberless villas that reached to the top of the mountains behind. A
mole runs nearly across the mouth of the harbor, with a tall light-house
at its extremity, leaving only a narrow passage for vessels. As we
gazed, a purple glow lay on the bosom of the sea, while far beyond the
city, the eastern half of the mountain crescent around the gulf was
tinted with the loveliest hue of orange. The impressions which one
derives from looking on remarkable scenery, depend, for much of their
effect, on the time and weather. I have been very fortunate in this
respect in two instances, and shall carry with me through life, two
glorious pictures of a very different character--the wild sublimity of
the Brocken in cloud and storm, and the splendor of Genoa in an Italian
sunset.

Genoa has been called the "city of palaces." and it well deserves the
appellation. Row above row of magnificent structures rise amid gardens
along the side of the hills, and many of the streets, though narrow and
crooked, are lined entirely with the splendid dwellings of the Genoese
nobles. All these speak of the republic in its days of wealth and power,
when it could cope successfully with Venice, and Doria could threaten to
bridle the horses of St. Mark. At present its condition is far
different; although not so fallen as its rival, it is but a shadow of
its former self--the life and energy it possessed as a republic, has
withered away under the grasp of tyranny.

We entered Genoa, as I have already said, in a religious procession. On
passing the gate we saw from the concourse of people and the many
banners hanging from the windows or floating across the streets, that it
was the day of a festa. Before entering the city we reached the
procession itself, which was one of unusual solemnity. As it was
impossible in the dense crowd, to pass it, we struggled through till we
reached a good point for seeing the whole, and slowly moved on with it
through the city. First went a company of boys in white robes; then
followed a body of friars, dressed in long black cassocks, and with
shaven crowns; then a company of soldiers with a band of music; then a
body of nuns, wrapped from head to foot in blue robes, leaving only a
small place to see out of--in the dusk they looked very solemn and
ghost-like, and their low chant had to me something awful and sepulchral
in it; then followed another company of friars, and after that a great
number of priests in white and black robes, bearing the statue of the
saint, with a pyramid of flowers, crosses and blazing wax tapers, while
companies of soldiery, monks and music brought up the rear. Armed guards
walked at intervals on each side of the procession, to keep the way
clear and prevent disturbance; two or three bands played solemn airs,
alternating with the deep monotonous chanting of the friars. The whole
scene, dimly lighted by the wax tapers, produced in me a feeling nearly
akin to fear, as if I were witnessing some ghostly, unearthly spectacle.
To rites like these, however, which occur every few weeks, the people
must be well accustomed.

Among the most interesting objects in Genoa, is the Doria palace, fit
in its splendor for a monarch's residence. It stands in the _Strada
Nova_, one of the three principal streets, and I believe is still in the
possession of the family. There are many others through the city,
scarcely less magnificent, among which that of the Durazzo family may be
pointed out. The American consulate is in one of these old edifices,
with a fine court-yard and ceilings covered with frescoes. Mr. Moro, the
Vice Consul, did us a great kindness, which I feel bound to acknowledge,
although it will require the disclosure of some private, and perhaps
uninteresting circumstances. On leaving Frankfort, we converted--for the
sake of convenience--the greater part of our funds into a draft on a
Saxon merchant in Leghorn, reserving just enough, as we supposed, to
take us thither. As in our former case, in Germany, the sum was too
small, which we found to our dismay on reaching Milan. Notwithstanding
we had traveled the whole ninety miles from that city to Genoa for three
francs each, in the hope of having enough, left to enable _one_ at least
to visit Leghorn, the expenses for a passport in Genoa (more than twenty
francs) prevented this plan. I went therefore to the Vice Consul to
ascertain whether the merchant on whom the draft was drawn, had any
correspondents there, who might advance a portion of it. His secretary
made many inquiries, but without effect; Mr. Moro then generously
offered to furnish me with means to reach Leghorn, whence I could easily
remit a sufficient sum to my two comrades. This put an end to our
anxiety, (for I must confess we could not help feeling some), and I
therefore prepared to leave that evening in the "Virgilio."

The feelings with which I look on this lovely land, are fast changing.
What with the dust and heat, and cheating landlords, and the dull plains
of Lombardy, my first experience was not very prepossessing. But the
joyous and romantic anticipation with which I looked forward to
realizing the dream of my earliest boyhood, is now beginning to be
surpassed by the exciting reality. Every breath I drew in the city of
Columbus and Doria, was deeply tinctured with the magic of history and
romance. It was like entering on a new existence, to look on scenes so
lovely by nature and so filled with the inspiring memories of old.

    "Italia too, Italia! looking on thee,
    Full flashes on the soul the light of ages,
    Since the fierce Carthagenian almost won thee,
    To the last halo of the chiefs and sages
    Who glorify thy consecrated pages!
    Thou wert the throne and grave of empires."

The _Virgilio_ was advertised to leave at six o'clock, and I accordingly
went out to her in a little boat half an hour beforehand; but we were
delayed much longer, and I saw sunset again fade over the glorious
amphitheatre of palaces and mountains, with the same orange glow--the
same purple and crimson flush, deepening into twilight--as before. An
old blind man in a skiff, floated around under the bows of the boat on
the glassy water, singing to the violin a plaintive air that appeared to
be an evening hymn to the virgin. There was something very touching in
his venerable countenance, with the sightless eyes turned upward to the
sunset heaven whose glory he could never more behold.

The lamps were lit on the tower at the end of the mole as we glided out
on the open sea; I stood on deck and watched the receding lights of the
city, till they and the mountains above them, were blended with the
darkened sky. The sea-breeze was fresh and cool, and the stars glittered
with a frosty clearness, which would have made the night delicious had
not a slight rolling of the waves obliged me to go below. Here, besides
being half seasick, I was placed at the mercy of many voracious fleas,
who obstinately stayed, persisting in keeping me company. This was the
first time I had suffered from these cannibals, and such were my
torments, I almost wished some blood-thirsty Italian would come and put
an end to them with his stiletto.

The first ray of dawn that stole into the cabin sent me on deck. The
hills of Tuscany lay in front, sharply outlined on the reddening sky;
near us was the steep and rocky isle of Gorgona; and far to the
south-west, like a low mist along the water, ran the shores of
Corsica--the birth place of Columbus and Napoleon![***] As the dawn
brightened we saw on the southern horizon a cloud-like island, also
imperishably connected with the name of the latter--the prison-kingdom
of Elba! North of us extended the rugged mountains of Carrarra--that
renowned range whence has sprung many a form of almost breathing beauty,
and where yet slumber, perhaps, in the unhewn marble, the god-like
shapes of an age of art, more glorious than any the world has ever yet
beheld!

[Footnote ***: By recent registers found in Corsica, it has been
determined that this island also gave birth to the discoverer of the new
world.]


The sun rose from behind the Apennines and masts and towers became
visible through the golden haze, as we approached the shore. On a flat
space between the sea and the hills, not far from the foot of Montenero,
stands Leghorn. The harbor is protected by a mole, leaving a narrow
passage, through which we entered, and after waiting two hours for the
visit of the health and police officers, we were permitted to go on
shore. The first thing that struck me, was the fine broad streets; the
second, the motley character of the population. People were hurrying
about noisy and bustling--Greeks in their red caps and capotes; grave
turbaned and bearded Turks; dark Moors; the Corsair-looking natives of
Tripoli and Tunis, and seamen of nearly every nation. At the hotel where
I stayed, we had a singular mixture of nations at dinner:--two French,
two Swiss, one Genoese, one Roman, one American and one Turk--and we
were waited on by a Tuscan and an Arab! We conversed together in four
languages, all at once.

To the merchant, Leghorn is of more importance than to the traveler. Its
extensive trade, not only in the manufactures of Tuscany, but also in
the productions of the Levant, makes it important to the former, while
the latter seeks in vain for fine buildings, galleries of art, or in
interesting historical reminiscences. Through the kind attention of the
Saxon Consul, to whom I had letters, two or three days went by
delightfully.

The only place of amusement here in summer is a drive along the sea
shore, called the Ardenza, which is frequented every evening by all who
can raise a vehicle. I visited it twice with a German friend. We met one
evening the Princess Corsini, wife of the Governor of Leghorn, on
horseback--a young, but not pretty woman. The road leads out along the
Mediterranean, past an old fortress, to a large establishment for the
sea bathers, where it ends in a large ring, around which the carriages
pass and re-pass, until sunset has gone out over the sea, when they
return to the city in a mad gallop, or as fast as the lean horses can
draw them.

In driving around, we met two or three carriages of Turks, in one of
which I saw a woman of Tunis, with a curious gilded head-dress, eighteen
inches in height.

I saw one night a Turkish funeral. It passed me in one of the outer
streets, on its way to the Turkish burying ground. Those following the
coffin, which was covered with a heavy black pall, wore white turbans
and long white robes--the mourning color of the Turks. Torches were
borne by attendants, and the whole company passed on at a quick pace.
Seen thus by night, it had a strange and spectral appearance.

There is another spectacle here which was exceedingly revolting to me.
The condemned criminals, chained two and two, are kept at work through
the city, cleaning the streets. They are dressed in coarse garments of a
dirty red color, with the name of the crime for which they were
convicted, painted on the back. I shuddered to see so many marked with
the words--"_omicidio premeditato_." All day they are thus engaged,
exposed to the scorn and contumely of the crowd, and at night dragged
away to be incarcerated in damp, unwholesome dungeons, excavated under
the public thoroughfares.

The employment of criminals in this way is common in Italy. Two days
after crossing St. Gothard, we saw a company of abject-looking
creatures, eating their dinner by the road-side, near Bellinzona. One of
them had a small basket of articles of cotton and linen, and as he rose
up to offer them to us, I was startled by the clank of fetters. They
were all employed to labor on the road.

On going down to the wharf in Leghorn, in the morning, two or three days
ago, I found F---- and B---- just stepping on shore from the steamboat,
tired enough of the discomforts of the voyage, yet anxious to set out
for Florence as soon as possible. After we had shaken off the crowd of
porters, pedlars and vetturini, and taken a hasty breakfast at the _Cafe
Americano_, we went to the Police Office to get our passports, and had
the satisfaction of paying two francs for permission to proceed to
Florence. The weather had changed since the preceding day, and the
sirocco-wind which blows over from the coast of Africa, filled the
streets with clouds of dust, which made walking very unpleasant. The
clear blue sky had vanished, and a leaden cloud hung low on the
Mediterranean, hiding the shores of Corsica and the rooky isles of
Gorgona and Capraja.

The country between Leghorn and Pisa, is a flat marsh, intersected in
several places by canals to carry off the stagnant water which renders
this district so unhealthy. It is said that the entire plain between the
mountains of Carrarra and the hills back of Leghorn has been gradually
formed by the deposits of the Arno and the receding of the
Mediterranean, which is so shallow along the whole coast, that large
vessels have to anchor several miles out. As we approached Pisa over the
level marsh, I could see the dome of the Cathedral and the Leaning Tower
rising above the gardens and groves which surround it.

Our baggage underwent another examination at the gate, where we were
again assailed by the vetturini, one of whom hung on us like a leech
till we reached a hotel, and there was finally no way of shaking him off
except by engaging him to take us to Florence. The bargain having been
concluded, we had still a few hours left and set off to hunt the
Cathedral. We found it on an open square near the outer wall, and quite
remote from the main part of the town. Emerging from the narrow and
winding street, one takes in et a glance the Baptistery, the Campo
Santo, the noble Cathedral and the Leaning Tower--forming altogether a
view rarely surpassed in Europe for architectural effect. But the square
is melancholy and deserted, and rank, untrampled grass fills the
crevices of its marble pavement.

I was surprised at the beauty of the Leaning Tower. Instead of all old,
black, crumbling fabric, as I always supposed, it is a light, airy,
elegant structure, of white marble, and its declension, which is
interesting as a work of art (or accident,) is at the same time pleasing
from its novelty. There have been many conjectures as to the cause of
this deviation, which is upwards of fourteen feet from the
perpendicular; it is now generally believed that the earth having sunk
when the building was half finished, it was continued by the architects
in the same angle. The upper gallery, which is smaller than the others,
shows a very perceptible inclination back towards the perpendicular, as
if in some degree to counterbalance the deviation of the other part.
There are eight galleries in all, supported by marble pillars, but the
inside of the Tower is hollow to the very top.

We ascended by the same stairs which were trodden so often by Galileo in
going up to make his astronomical observations; in climbing spirally
around the hollow cylinder in the dark, it was easy to tell on which
side of the Tower we were, from the proportionate steepness of the
staircase. There is a fine view from the top, embracing the whole plain
as far as Leghorn on one side, with its gardens and grain fields spread
out like a vast map. In a valley of the Carrarrese Mountains to the
north, we could see the little town of Lucca, much frequented at this
season on account of its baths; the blue summits of the Appenines shut
in the view to the east. In walking through the city I noticed two other
towers, which had nearly as great a deviation from the perpendicular. We
met a person who had the key of the Baptistery, which he opened for us.
Two ancient columns covered with rich sculpture form the doorway, and
the dome is supported by massive pillars of the red marble of Elba. The
baptismal font is of the purest Parian marble. The most remarkable thing
was the celebrated musical echo. Our cicerone stationed himself at the
side of the font and sang a few notes. After a moment's pause they were
repeated aloft in the dome, but with a sound of divine sweetness--as
clear and pure as the clang of a crystal bell. Another pause--and we
heard them again, higher, fainter and sweeter, followed by a dying note,
as if they were fading far away into heaven. It seemed as if an angel
lingered in the temple, echoing with his melodious lips the common
harmonies of earth. Even thus does the music of good deeds, hardly noted
in our grosser atmosphere, awake a divine echo in the far world of
spirit.

The Campo Santo, on the north side of the Cathedral, was, until lately,
the cemetery of the city; the space enclosed within its marble galleries
is filled to the depth of eight or ten feet, with earth from the Holy
Land. The vessels which carried the knights of Tuscany to Palestine were
filled at Joppa, on returning, with this earth as ballast, and on
arriving at Pisa it was deposited in the Cemetery. It has the peculiar
property of decomposing all human bodies, in the space of two days. A
colonnade of marble encloses it, with windows of the most exquisite
sculpture opening on the inside. They reminded me of the beautiful
Gothic oriels of Melrose. At each end are two fine, green cypresses,
which thrive remarkably in the soil of Palestine. The dust of a German
emperor, among others, rests in this consecrated ground. There are other
fine churches in Pisa, but the four buildings I have mentioned, are the
principal objects of interest. The tower where Count Ugolino and his
sons were starved to death by the citizens of Pisa, who locked them up
and threw the keys into the Arno, has lately been destroyed.

An Italian gentleman having made a bargain in the meantime with our
vetturino, we found every thing ready on returning to the hotel. On the
outside of the town we mounted into the vehicle, a rickety-looking
concern, and as it commenced raining, I was afraid we would have a bad
night of it. After a great deal of bargaining, the vetturino agreed to
take us to Florence that night for five francs a piece, provided one
person would sit on the outside with the driver. I accordingly mounted
on front, protected by a blouse and umbrella, for it was beginning to
rain dismally. The miserable, bare-boned horses were fastened with
rope-traces, and the vetturino having taken the rope-lines in his hand,
gave a flourish with his whip; one old horse tumbled nearly to the
ground, but he jerked him up again and we rattled off.

After riding ten miles in this way, it became so wet and dreary, that I
was fain to give the driver two francs extra, for the privilege of an
inside seat. Our Italian companion was agreeable and talkative, but as
we were still ignorant of the language, I managed to hold a scanty
conversation with him in French. He seemed delighted to learn that we
were from America; his polite reserve gave place to a friendly
familiarity and he was loud in his praises of the Americans. I asked him
why it was that he and the Italians generally, were so friendly towards
us. "I hardly know," he answered; "you are so different from any other
nation; and then, too, you have so much sincerity!"

The Appenines were wreathed and hidden in thick mist, and the prospect
over the flat cornfields bordering the road was not particularly
interesting. We had made about one-third of the way as night set in,
when on ascending a hill soon after dark, F---- happened to look out,
and saw one of the axles bent and nearly broken off. we were obliged to
get out and walk through the mud to the next village, when after two
hours' delay, the vetturino came along with another carriage. Of the
rest of the way to Florence, I cannot say much. Cramped up in the narrow
vehicle, we jolted along in the dark, rumbling now and then through some
silent village, where lamps were burning before the solitary shrines.
Sometimes a blinding light crossed the road, where we saw the
tile-makers sitting in the red glare of their kilns, and often the black
boughs of trees were painted momentarily on the cloudy sky. If the
jolting carriage had even permitted sleep, the horrid cries of the
vetturino, urging on his horses, would have prevented it; and I decided,
while trying to relieve my aching limbs, that three days' walking in sun
and sand was preferable to one night of such travel.

Finally about four o'clock in the morning the carriage stopped; my
Italian friend awoke and demanded the cause. "Signor," said the
vetturino, "we are in Florence!" I blessed the man, and the city too.
The good-humored officer looked at our passports and passed our baggage
without examination; we gave the gatekeeper a paul and he admitted us.
The carriage rolled through the dark, silent streets--passed a public
square--came out on the Arno--crossed and entered the city again--and
finally stopped at a hotel. The master of the "Lione Bianco" came down
in an undress to receive us, and we shut the growing dawn out of our
rooms to steal that repose from the day which the night had not given.



CHAPTER XXXIV.

FLORENCE AND ITS GALLERIES.


_Sept. 11._--Our situation here is as agreeable as we could well desire.
We have three large and handsomely furnished rooms, in the centre of the
city, for which we pay Signor Lazzeri, a wealthy goldsmith, ten scudo
per month--a scudo being a trifle more than an American dollar. We live
at the _Cafès_ and _Trattone_ very conveniently for twenty-five cents a
day, enjoying moreover, at our dinner in the Trattoria del Cacciatore,
the company of several American artists with whom we have become
acquainted. The day after our arrival we met at the table d'hote of the
"Lione Bianco," Dr. Boardman of New York, through whose assistance we
obtained our present lodgings. There are at present ten or twelve
American artists in Florence, and we promise ourselves much pleasure and
profit from their acquaintance. B---- and I are so charmed with the
place and the beautiful Tuscan dialect, that we shall endeavor to spend
three or four months here. F---- returns to Germany in two weeks, to
attend the winter term of the University at his favorite Heidelberg.

Our first walk in Florence was to the Royal Gallery--we wished to see
the "goddess living in stone" without delay. Crossing the neighboring
_Piazza del Granduca_, we passed Michael Angelo's colossal statue of
David, and an open gallery containing, besides some antiques, the
master-piece of John of Bologna. The palace of the _Uffizii_, fronting
on the Arno, extends along both sides of an avenue running back to the
Palazzo Vecchio. We entered the portico which passes around under the
great building, and after ascending three or four flights of steps, came
into a long hall, filled with paintings and ancient statuary. Towards
the end of this, a door opened into the Tribune--that celebrated room,
unsurpassed by any in the world for the number and value of the gems it
contains. I pushed aside a crimson curtain and stood in the presence of
the Venus.

It may be considered heresy, but I confess I did not at first go into
raptures, nor perceive any traces of superhuman beauty. The predominant
feeling, if I may so express it, was satisfaction; the eye dwells on its
faultless outline with a gratified sense, that nothing is wanting to
render it perfect. It is the ideal of a woman's form--a faultless
standard by which all beauty may be measured, but without striking
expression, except in the modest and graceful position of the limbs. The
face, though regular, is not handsome, and the body appears small, being
but five feet in height, which, I think, is a little below the average
stature of women. On each side, as if to heighten its elegance by
contrast with rude and unrefined nature, are the statues of the
Wrestlers, and the slave listening to the conspiracy of Catiline, called
also The Whetter.

As if to correspond with the value of the works it holds, the Tribune is
paved with precious marbles and the ceiling studded with polished
mother-of-pearl. A dim and subdued light fills the hall, which throws
over the mind that half-dreamy tone necessary to the full enjoyment of
such objects. On each side of the Venus de Medici hangs a Venus by
Titian, the size of life, and painted in that rich and gorgeous style of
coloring which has been so often and vainly attempted since his time.

Here are six of Raphael's best preserved paintings. I prefer the "St.
John in the Desert" to any other picture in the Tribune. His glorious
form, in the fair proportions of ripening boyhood--the grace of his
attitude, with the arm lifted eloquently on high--the divine inspiration
which illumines his young features--chain the step irresistibly before
it. It is one of those triumphs of the pencil which few but Raphael have
accomplished--the painting of _spirit_ in its loftiest and purest form.
Near it hangs the Fornarina, which he seems to have painted in as deep a
love as he entertained for the original. The face is modest and
beautiful, and filled with an expression of ardent and tender
attachment. I never tire looking upon either of these two.

Let me not forget, while we are in this peerless hall, to point out
Guercino's Samian Sybil. It is a glorious work. With her hands clasped
over her volume, she is looking up with a face full of deep and
expressive sadness. A picturesque turban is twined around her head, and
bands of pearls gleam amidst her rich, dark brown tresses. Her face
bears the softness of dawning womanhood, and nearly answers my ideal of
female beauty. The same artist has another fine picture here--a sleeping
Endymion. The mantle has fallen from his shoulders, as he reclines
asleep, with his head on his hand, and his crook beside him. The silver
crescent of Dian looks over his shoulder from the sky behind, and no
wonder if she should become enamored, for a lovelier shepherd has not
been seen since that of King Admetus went back to drive his chariot in
the heavens.

The "Drunken Bacchus" of Michael Angelo is greatly admired, and indeed
it might pass for a relic of the palmiest times of Grecian art. The
face, amidst its half-vacant, sensual expression, shows traces of its
immortal origin, and there is still an air of dignity preserved in the
swagger of his beautiful form. It is, in a word, the ancient idea of _a
drunken god_. It may be doubted whether the artist's talents might not
have been employed better than in ennobling intoxication. If he had
represented Bacchus as he really is--degraded even below the level of
humanity--it might be more beneficial to the mind, though less beautiful
to the eye. However, this is a question on which artists and moralists
cannot agree. Perhaps, too, the rich blood of the Falernian grape
produced a more godlike delirium than the vulgar brandy which oversets
the moderns!

At one end of the gallery is a fine copy in marble of the Laocoon, by
Bandinelli, one of the rivals of Michael Angelo. When it was finished,
the former boasted it was better than the original, to which Michael
made the apt reply: "It is foolish for those who walk in the footsteps
of others, to say they go before them!"

Let us enter the hall of Niobe. One starts back on seeing the many
figures in the attitude of flight, for they seem at first about to
spring from their pedestals. At the head of the room stands the
afflicted mother, bending over the youngest daughter who clings to her
knees, with an upturned countenance of deep and imploring agony. In
vain! the shafts of Apollo fall thick, and she will soon be childless.
No wonder the strength of that woe depicted on her countenance should
change her into stone. One of her sons--a beautiful, boyish form,--is
lying on his back, just expiring, with the chill langour of death
creeping over his limbs. We seem to hear the quick whistling of the
arrows, and look involuntarily into the air to see the hovering figure
of the avenging god. In a chamber near is kept the head of a faun, made
by Michael Angelo, at the age of fourteen, in the garden of Lorenzo de
Medici, from a piece of marble given him by the workmen.

The portraits of the painters are more than usually interesting. Every
countenance is full of character. There is the pale, enthusiastic face
of Raphael, the stern vigor of Titian, the majesty and dignity of
Leonardo da Vinci, and the fresh beauty of Angelica Kauffmann. I liked
best the romantic head of Raphael Mengs. In one of the rooms there is a
portrait of Alfieri, with an autograph sonnet of his own on the back of
it. The house in which he lived and died, is on the north bank of the
Arno, near the Ponte Caraja, and his ashes rest in Santa Croce.

Italy still remains the home of art, and it is but just she should keep
these treasures, though the age that brought them forth has passed away.
They are her only support now; her people are dependent for their
subsistence on the glory of the past. The spirits of the old painters,
living still on their canvass, earn from year to year the bread of an
indigent and oppressed people. This ought to silence those utilitarians
at home, who oppose the cultivation of the fine arts, on the ground of
their being useless luxuries. Let them look to Italy, where a picture by
Raphael or Correggio is a rich legacy for a whole city. Nothing is
useless that gratifies that perception of beauty, which is at once the
most delicate and the most intense of our mental sensations, binding us
by an unconscious link nearer to nature and to Him, whose every thought
is born of Beauty, Truth and Love. I envy not the one who looks with a
cold and indifferent spirit on these immortal creations of the old
masters--these poems written in marble and on the canvass. They who
oppose every thing which can refine and spiritualize the nature of man,
by binding him down to the cares of the work-day world alone, cheat life
of half its glory.

The eighth of this month was the anniversary of the birth of the Virgin,
and the celebration, if such it might be called, commenced the evening
before, It is the custom, and Heaven only knows how it originated, for
the people of the lower class to go through the streets in a company,
blowing little penny whistles. We were walking that night in the
direction of the Duomo, when we met a band of these men, blowing with
all their might on the shrill whistles, so that the whole neighborhood
resounded with one continual, piercing, ear-splitting shriek. They
marched in a kind of quick trot through the streets, followed by a crowd
of boys, and varying the noise occasionally by shouts and howls of the
most horrible character. They paraded through all the principal streets
of the city, which for an hour sent up such an agonizing scream that you
might have fancied it an enormous monster, expiring in great torment.
The people seemed to take the whole thing as a matter of course, but it
was to us a novel manner of ushering in a religious festival.

The sky was clear and blue, as it always is in this Italian paradise,
when we left Florence a few days ago for Fiesole. In spite of many
virtuous efforts to rise early, it was nine o'clock before we left the
Porta San Gallo, with its triumphal arch to the Emperor Francis,
striding the road to Bologna. We passed through the public walk at this
end of the city, and followed the road to Fiesole along the dried-up bed
of a mountain torrent. The dwellings of the Florentine nobility occupy
the whole slope, surrounded with rich and lovely gardens. The mountain
and plain are both covered with luxuriant olive orchards, whose foliage
of silver gray gives the scene the look of a moonlight landscape.

At the base of the mountain of Fiesole we passed one of the summer
palaces of Lorenzo the Magnificent, and a little distance beyond, took a
foot-path overshadowed by magnificent cypresses, between whose dark
trunks we looked down on the lovely Val d'Arno. But I will reserve all
description of the view till we arrive at the summit.

The modern village of Fiesole occupies the site of an ancient city,
generally supposed to be of Etrurian origin. Just above, on one of the
peaks of the mountain, stands the Acropolis, formerly used as a
fortress, but now untenanted save by a few monks. From the side of its
walls, beneath the shade of a few cypresses, there is a magnificent view
of the whole of Val d'Arno, with Florence--the gem of Italy--in the
centre. Stand with me a moment on the height, and let us gaze on this
grand panorama, around which the Apennines stretch with a majestic
sweep, wrapped in a robe of purple air, through which shimmer the villas
and villages on their sides! The lovely vale lies below us in its garb
of olive groves, among which beautiful villas are sprinkled as
plentifully as white anemones in the woods of May. Florence lies in
front of us, the magnificent cupola of the Duomo crowning its clustered
palaces. We see the airy tower of the Palazzo Vecchio--the new spire of
Santa Croce--and the long front of the Palazzo Pitti, with the dark
foliage of the Boboli Gardens behind. Beyond, far to the south, are the
summits of the mountains near Siena. We can trace the sandy bed of the
Arno down the valley till it disappears at the foot of the Lower
Apennines, which mingle in the distance with the mountains of Carrara.

Galileo was wont to make observations "at evening from the top of
Fiesole," and the square tower of the old church is still pointed out as
the spot. Many a night did he ascend to its projecting terrace, and
watch the stars as they rolled around through the clearest heaven to
which a philosopher ever looked up.

We passed through an orchard of fig trees, and vines laden with
beautiful purple and golden clusters, and in a few minutes reached the
remains of an amphitheatre, in a little nook on the mountain side. This
was a work of Roman construction, as its form indicates. Three or four
ranges of seats alone, are laid bare, and these have only been
discovered within a few years. A few steps further we came to a sort of
cavern, overhung with wild fig-trees. After creeping in at the entrance,
we found ourselves in an oval chamber, tall enough to admit of our
standing upright, and rudely but very strongly built. This was one of
the dens in which the wild beasts were kept; they were fed by a hole in
the top, now closed up. This cell communicates with four or five others,
by apertures broken in the walls. I stepped into one, and could see in
the dim light, that it was exactly similar to the first, and opened into
another beyond.

Further down the mountain we found the ancient wall of the city, without
doubt of Etrurian origin. It is of immense blocks of stone, and extends
more or less dilapidated around the whole brow of the mountain. In one
place there stands a solitary gateway, of large stones, which looks as
if it might have been one of the first attempts at using the principle
of the arch. These ruins are all gray and ivied, and it startles one to
think what a history Earth has lived through since their foundations
were laid!

We sat all the afternoon under the cypress trees and looked down on the
lovely valley, practising Italian sometimes with two young Florentines
who came up to enjoy the "_bell'aria_" of Fiesole. Descending as sunset
drew on, we reached the Porta San Gallo, as the people of Florence were
issuing forth to their evening promenade.

One of my first visits was to the church of Santa Croce. This is one of
the oldest in Florence, venerated alike by foreigners and citizens, for
the illustrious dead whose remains it holds. It is a plain, gloomy pile,
the front of which is still unfinished, though at the base, one sees
that it was originally designed to be covered with black marble. On
entering the door we first saw the tomb of Michael Angelo. Around the
marble sarcophagus which contains his ashes are three mourning figures,
representing Sculpture, Painting and Architecture, and his bust stands
above--a rough, stern countenance, like a man of vast but unrefined
mind. Further on are the tombs of Alfieri and Machiavelli and the
colossal cenotaph lately erected to Dante. Opposite reposes Galileo.
What a world of renown in these few names! It makes one venerate the
majesty of his race, to stand beside the dust of such lofty spirits.

Dante's monument may be said to be only erected to his memory; he sleeps
at the place of his exile,

    "Like Scipio, buried by the upbraiding shore!"

It is the work of Ricci, a Florentine artist, and has been placed there
within a few years. The colossal figure of Poetry weeping over the empty
urn, might better express the regret of Florence in being deprived of
his ashes. The figure of Dante himself, seated above, is grand and
majestic; his head is inclined as if in meditation, and his features
bear the expression of sublime thought. Were this figure placed there
alone, on a simple and massive pedestal, it would be more in keeping
with his fame than the lumbering heaviness of the present monument.

Machiavelli's tomb is adorned with a female figure representing History,
bearing his portrait. The inscription, which seems to be somewhat
exaggerated, is: _tanto nomini nullum par elogium_. Near lies Alfieri,
the "prince of tragedy," as he is called by the Italians. In his life he
was fond of wandering among the tombs of Santa Croce, and it is said
that there the first desire and presentiment of his future glory stirred
within his breast. Now he slumbers among them, not the least honored
name of that immortal company.

Galileo's tomb is adorned with his bust. His face is calm and dignified,
and he holds appropriately in his hands, a globe and telescope. Aretino,
the historian, lies on his tomb with a copy of his works clasped to his
breast; above that of Lanzi, the historian of painting, there is a
beautiful fresco of the angel of fame; and opposite to him is the
scholar Lamio. The most beautiful monument in the church is that of a
Polish princess, in the transept. She is lying on the bier, her features
settled in the repose of death, and her thin, pale hands clasped across
her breast. The countenance wears that half-smile, "so coldly sweet and
sadly fair," which so often throws a beauty over the face of the dead,
and the light pall reveals the fixed yet graceful outline of the form.

In that part of the city, which lies on the south bank of the Arno, is
the palace of the Grand Duke, known by the name of the Palazzo Pitti,
from a Florentine noble of that name, by whom it was first built. It is
a very large, imposing pile, preserving an air of lightness in spite of
the rough, heavy stones of which it is built. It is another example of a
magnificent failure. The Marquis Strozzi, having built a palace which
was universally admired for its beauty, (which stands yet, a model of
chaste and massive elegance,) his rival, the Marquis Pitti, made the
proud boast that he would build a palace, in the court-yard of which
could bo placed that of Strozzi. These are actually the dimensions of
the court-yard; but in building the palace, although he was liberally
assisted by the Florentine people, he ruined himself, and his
magnificent residence passed into other hands, while that of Strozzi is
inhabited by his descendants to this very day.

The gallery of the Palazzo Pitti is one of the finest in Europe. It
contains six or seven hundred paintings, selected from the best works of
the Italian masters. By the praiseworthy liberality of the Duke, they
are open to the public, six hours every day, and the rooms are thronged
with artists of all nations.

Among Titian's works, there is his celebrated "Bella," a half-length
figure of a young woman. It is a masterpiece of warm and brilliant
coloring, without any decided expression. The countenance is that of
vague, undefined thought, as of one who knew as yet nothing of the
realities of life. In another room is his Magdalen, a large, voluptuous
form, with her brown hair falling like a veil over her shoulders and
breast, but in her upturned countenance one can sooner read a prayer for
an absent lover than repentance for sins she has committed.

What could excel in beauty the _Madonna della Sedia_ of Raphael? It is
another of those works of that divine artist, on which we gaze and gaze
with a never-tiring enjoyment of its angelic beauty. To my eye it is
faultless; I could not wish a single outline of form, a single shade of
color changed. Like his unrivalled Madonna in the Dresden Gallery, its
beauty is spiritual as well as earthly; and while gazing on the glorious
countenance of the Jesus-child, I feel an impulse I can scarcely
explain--a longing to tear it from the canvas as if it were a breathing
form, and clasp it to my heart in a glow of passionate love. What a
sublime inspiration Raphael must have felt when he painted it! Judging
from its effect on the beholder, I can conceive of no higher mental
excitement than that required to create it.

Here are also some of the finest and best preserved pictures of Salvator
Rosa, and his portrait--a wild head, full of spirit and genius. Besides
several landscapes in his savage and stormy style, there are two large
sea-views, in which the atmosphere is of a deep and exquisite softness,
without impairing the strength and boldness of the composition. "A
Battle Scene," is terrible. Hundreds of combatants are met in the shock
and struggle of conflict. Horses, mailed knights, vassals are mixed
together in wild confusion; banners are waving and lances flashing amid
the dust and smoke, while the wounded and dying are trodden under foot
in darkness and blood. I now first begin to comprehend the power and
sublimity of his genius. From the wildness and gloom of his pictures, he
might almost be called the Byron of painters.

There is a small group of the "Fates," by Michael Angelo, which is one
of the best of the few pictures which remain of him. As is well known,
he disliked the art, saying it was only fit for women. This picture
shows, however, how much higher he might have gone, had he been so
inclined. The three weird sisters are ghostly and awful--the one who
stands behind, holding the distaff, almost frightful. She who stands
ready to cut the thread as it is spun out, has a slight trace of pity on
her fixed and unearthly lineaments. It is a faithful embodiment of the
old Greek idea of the Fates. I have wondered why some artist has not
attempted the subject in a different way. In the Northern Mythology they
are represented as wild maidens, armed with swords and mounted on fiery
coursers. Why might they not also be pictured as angels, with
countenances of a sublime and mysterious beauty--one all radiant with
hope and promise of glory, and one with the token of a better future
mingled with the sadness with which it severs the links of life?

There are many, many other splendid works in this collection, but it is
unnecessary to mention them. I have only endeavored, by taking a few of
the best known, to give some idea of them as they appear to me. There
are hundreds of pictures here, which, though gems in themselves, are by
masters who are rarely heard of in America, and it would be of little
interest to go through the Gallery, describing it in guide-book fashion.
Indeed, to describe galleries, however rich and renowned they may be, is
in general a work of so much difficulty, that I know not whether the
writer or the reader is made most tired thereby.

This collection possesses also the celebrated statue of Venus, by
Canova. She stands in the centre of a little apartment, filled with the
most delicate and graceful works of painting. Although undoubtedly a
figure of great beauty, it by no means struck me as possessing that
exquisite and classic perfection which has been ascribed to it. The
Venus de Medici far surpasses it. The head is larger in proportion to
the size of the body, than that of the latter, but has not the same
modest, virgin expression. The arm wrapped in the robe which she is
pressing to her breast, is finely executed, but the fingers of the other
hand are bad--looking, as my friend said, as if the ends were _whittled_
off! The body is, however, of fine proportions, though, taken as a
whole, the statue is inferior to many other of Canova's works.

Occupying all the hill back of the Pitti Palace, are the Boboli Gardens,
three times a week the great resort of the Florentines. They are said to
be the most beautiful gardens in Italy. Numberless paths, diverging from
a magnificent amphitheatre in the old Roman style, opposite the
court-yard, lend either in long flights of steps and terraces, or gentle
windings among beds sweet with roses, to the summit. Long avenues,
entirely arched and interwoven with the thick foliage of the laurel,
which here grows to a tree, stretch along the slopes or wind in the
woods through thickets of the fragrant bay. Parterres, rich with flowers
and shrubbery, alternate with delightful groves of the Italian pine,
acacia and laurel-leaved oak, and along the hillside, gleaming among the
foliage, are placed statues of marble, some of which are from the
chisels of Michael Angelo and Bandinelli. In one part there is a little
sheet of water, with an island of orange-trees in the centre, from which
a broad avenue of cypresses and statues leads to the very summit of the
hill.

We often go there to watch the sun set over Florence and the vale of the
Arno. The palace lies directly below, and a clump of pine-trees on the
hillside, that stand out in bold relief on the glowing sky, makes the
foreground to one of the loveliest pictures this side of the Atlantic. I
saw one afternoon the Grand Duke and his family get into their carriage
to drive out. One of the little dukes, who seemed a mischievous imp, ran
out on a projection of the portico, where considerable persuasion had to
be used to induce him to jump into the arms of his royal papa. I turned
from these titled infants to watch a group of beautiful American
children playing, for my attention was drawn to them by the sound of
familiar words, and I learned afterwards they were the children of the
sculptor Powers. I contrasted involuntarily the destinies of each;--one
to the enjoyment and proud energy of freedom, and one to the confining
and vitiating atmosphere of a court. The merry voices of the latter, as
they played on the grass, came to my ears most gratefully. There is
nothing so sweet as to hear one's native tongue in a foreign land from
the lips of children!



CHAPTER XXXV.

A PILGRIMAGE TO VALLOMBROSA.


A pilgrimage to Vallombrosa!--in sooth it has a romantic sound. The
phrase calls up images of rosaries, and crosses, and shaven-headed
friars. Had we lived in the olden days, such things might verily have
accompanied our journey to that holy monastery. We might then have gone
barefoot, saying prayers as we toiled along the banks of the Arno and up
the steep Appenines, as did Benevenuto Cellini, before he poured the
melted bronze into the mould of his immortal Perseus. But we are
pilgrims to the shrines of Art and Genius; the dwelling-places of great
minds are our sanctuaries. The mean dwelling, in which a poet has
battled down poverty with the ecstacy of his mighty conceptions, and the
dungeon in which a persecuted philosopher has languished, are to us
sacred; we turn aside from the palaces of kings and the battle-fields of
conquerors, to visit them. The famed miracles of San Giovanni Gualberto
added little, in our eyes, to the interest of Vallombrosa, but there
were reverence and inspiration in the names of Dante, Milton, and
Ariosto.

We left Florence early, taking the way that leads from the Porta della
Croce, up the north bank of the Arno. It was a bright morning, but there
was a shade of vapor on the hills, which a practised eye might have
taken as a prognostic of the rain that too soon came on. Fiesole, with
its tower and Acropolis, stood out brightly from the blue background,
and the hill of San Miniato lay with its cypress groves in the softest
morning light. The _Contadini_ were driving into the city in their
basket wagons, and there were some fair young faces among them, that
made us think Italian beauty was not altogether in the imagination.

After walking three or four miles, we entered the Appenines, keeping
along the side of the Arno, whose bed is more than half dried up from
the long summer heats. The mountain sides were covered with vineyards,
glowing with their wealth of white and purple grapes, but the summits
were naked and barren. We passed through the little town of Ponte Sieve,
at the entrance of a romantic valley, where our view of the Arno was
made more interesting by the lofty range of the Appenines, amid whose
forests we could see the white front of the monastery of Vallombrosa.
But the clouds sank low and hid it from sight, and the rain came on so
hard that we were obliged to take shelter occasionally in the cottages
by the wayside. In one of these we made a dinner of the hard, black
bread of the country, rendered palatable by the addition of mountain
cheese and some chips of an antique Bologna sausage. We were much amused
in conversing with the simple hosts and their shy, gipsy-like children,
one of whom, a dark-eyed, curly-haired boy, bore the name of Raphael. We
also became acquainted with a shoemaker and his family, who owned a
little olive orchard and vineyard, which they said produced enough to
support them. Wishing to know much a family of six consumed in a year,
we inquired the yield of their property. They answered, twenty small
barrels of wine, and ten of oil. It was nearly sunset when we reached
Pellago, and the wet walk and coarse fare we were obliged to take on the
road, well qualified us to enjoy the excellent supper the pleasant
landlady gave us.

This little town is among the Appenines, at the foot of the magnificent
mountain of Vallombrosa. What a blessing it was for Milton, that he saw
its loveliness before his eyes closed on this beautiful earth, and
gained from it another hue in which to dip his pencil, when he painted
the bliss of Eden! I watched the hills all day as we approached them,
and thought how often his eyes had rested on their outlines, and how he
had carried their forms in his memory for many a sunless year. The
banished Dante, too, had trodden them, flying from his ungrateful
country; and many another, whose genius has made him a beacon in the
dark sea of the world's history. It is one of those places where the
enjoyment is all romance, and the blood thrills as we gaze upon it.

We started early next morning, crossed the ravine, and took the
well-paved way to the monastery along the mountain side. The stones are
worn smooth by the sleds in which ladies and provisions are conveyed up,
drawn by the beautiful white Tuscan oxen. The hills are covered with
luxuriant chesnut and oak trees, of those picturesque forms which they
only wear in Italy: one wild dell in particular is much resorted to by
painters for the ready-made foregrounds it supplies. Further on, we
passed the _Paterno_, a rich farm belonging to the Monks. The vines
which hung from tree to tree, were almost breaking beneath clusters as
heavy and rich as those which the children of Israel bore on staves from
the Promised Land. Of their flavor, we can say, from experience, they
were worthy to have grown in Paradise. We then entered a deep dell of
the mountain, where little shepherd girls were sitting on the rocks
tending their sheep and spinning with their fingers from a distaff, in
the same manner, doubtless, as the Roman shepherdesses two thousand
years ago. Gnarled, gray olive trees, centuries old, grew upon the bare
soil, and a little rill fell in many a tiny cataract down the glen. By a
mill, in one of the coolest and wildest nooks I ever saw, two of us
acted the part of water-spirits under one of these, to the great
astonishment of four peasants, who watched us from a distance.

Beyond, our road led through forests of chesnut and oak, and a broad
view of mountain and vale lay below us. We asked a peasant boy we met,
how much land the Monks of Vallombrosa possessed. "_All that you see_!"
was the reply. The dominion of the good fathers reached once even to the
gates of Florence. At length, about noon, we emerged from the woods into
a broad avenue leading across a lawn, at whose extremity stood the
massivs buildings of the monastery. On a rock that towered above it, was
the _Paradisino_, beyond which rose the mountain, covered with forests--

    "Shade above shade, a woody theatre.
    Of stateliest view"--

as Milton describes it. We were met at the entrance by a young monk in
cowl and cassock, to whom we applied for permission to stay till the
next day, which was immediately given. Brother Placido (for that was his
name) then asked us if we would not have dinner. We replied that our
appetites were none the worse for climbing the mountain; and in half an
hour sat down to a dinner, the like of which we had not seen for a long
time. Verily, thought I, it must be a pleasant thing to be a monk, after
all!--that is, a monk of Vallombrosa.

In the afternoon we walked through a grand pine forest to the western
brow of the mountain, where a view opened which it would require a
wonderful power of the imagination for you to see in fancy, as I did in
reality. From the height where we stood, the view was uninterrupted to
the Mediterranean, a distance of more than seventy miles; a valley
watered by a brunch of the Arno swept far to the east, to the mountains
near the Luke of Thrasymene; northwestwards the hills of Carrara
bordered the horizon; the space between these wide points was filled
with mountains and valleys, all steeped in that soft blue mist which
makes Italian landscapes more like heavenly visions than realities.
Florence was visible afar off, and the current of the Arno flashed in
the sun. A cool and almost chilling wind blew constantly over the
mountain, although the country below basked in summer heat. We lay on
the rocks, and let our souls luxuriate in the lovely scene till near
sunset. Brother Placido brought us supper in the evening, with his
ever-smiling countenance, and we soon after went to our beds in the
neat, plain chambers, to get rid of the unpleasant coldness.

Next morning it was damp and misty, and thick clouds rolled down the
forests towards the convent. I set out for the "Little Paradise," taking
in my way the pretty cascade which falls some fifty feet down the rocks.
The building is not now as it was when Milton lived here, having been
rebuilt within a short time. I found no one there, and satisfied my
curiosity by climbing over the wall and looking in at the windows. A
little chapel stands in a cleft of the rock below, to mark the
miraculous escape of St. John Gualberto, founder of the monastery. Being
one day very closely pursued by the Devil, he took shelter under the
rock, which immediately became soft and admitted him into it, while the
fiend, unable to stop, was precipitated over the steep. All this is
related in a Latin inscription, and we saw a large hollow in the rock
near, which must have been intended for the imprint left by his sacred
person.

One of the monks told us another legend, concerning a little chapel
which stands alone on a wild part of the mountain, above a rough pile of
crags, called the "Peak of the Devil." "In the time of San Giovanni
Gualberto, the holy founder of our order," said he, "there was a young
man, of a noble family in Florence, who was so moved by the words of the
saintly father, that he forsook the world, wherein he had lived with
great luxury and dissipation, and became monk. But, after a time, being
young and tempted again by the pleasures he had renounced, he put off
the sacred garments. The holy San Giovanni warned him of the terrible
danger in which he stood, and at length the wicked young man returned.
It was not a great while, however, before he became dissatisfied, and in
spite all holy counsel, did the same thing again. But behold what
happened! As he was walking along the peak where the chapel stands,
thinking nothing of his great crime, the devil sprang suddenly from
behind a rock, and catching the young man in his arms, before he could
escape, carried him with a dreadful noise and a great red flame and
smoke over the precipice, so that he was never afterwards seen."

The church attached to the monastery is small, but very solemn and
venerable. I went several times to muse in its still, gloomy aisle, and
hear the murmuring chant of the Monks, who went through their exercises
in some of the chapels. At one time I saw them all, in long black
cassocks, march in solemn order to the chapel of St. John Gualberto,
where they sang a deep chant, which to me had something awful and
sepulchral in it. Behind the high altar I saw their black, carved chairs
of polished oak, with ponderous gilded foliants lying on the rails
before them. The attendant opened one of these, that we might see the
manuscript notes, three or four centuries old, from which they sung.

We were much amused in looking through two or three Italian books, which
were lying in the traveler's room. One of these which our friend Mr.
Tandy, of Kentucky, read, described the miracles of the patron saint
with an air of the most ridiculous solemnity. The other was a
description of the Monastery, its foundation, history, etc. In
mentioning its great and far-spread renown, the author stated then even
an English poet, by the name of Milton, had mentioned it in the
following lines, which I copied verbatim from the book:

    "Thick as autumnal scaves that strow she brooks
    In vallombrosa, whereth Etruian Jades
    Stigh over orch d'embrover!"

In looking over the stranger's book, I found among the names of my
countrymen, that of S. V. Clevenger, the talented and lamented sculptor
who died at sea on his passage home. There were also the names of Mrs.
Shelley and the Princess Potemkin, and I saw written on the wall, the
autograph of Jean Reboul, the celebrated modern French poet. We were so
delighted with the place we would have stayed another day, but for fear
of trepassing too much on the lavish and unceasing hospitality of the
good fathers.

So in the afternoon we shook hands with Brother Placido, and turned our
backs regretfully upon one of the loneliest and loveliest spots of which
earth can boast. The sky became gradually clear as we descended, and the
mist raised itself from the distant mountains. We ran down through the
same chesnut groves, diverging a little to go through the village of
Tosi, which is very picturesque when seen from a distance, but extremely
dirty to one passing through. I stopped in the ravine below to take a
sketch of the mill and bridge, and as we sat, the line of golden
sunlight rose higher on the mountains above. On walking down the shady
side of this glen, we were enraptured with the scenery. A brilliant yet
mellow glow lay over the whole opposing height, lighting up the houses
of Tosi and the white cottages half seen among the olives, while the
mountain of Vallombrosa stretched far heavenward like a sunny painting,
with only a misty wreath floating and waving around its summit. The
glossy foliage of the chesnuts was made still brighter by the warm
light, and the old olives softened down into a silvery gray, whose
contrast gave the landscape a character of the mellowest beauty. As we
wound out of the deep glen, the broad valleys and ranges of the
Appenines lay before us, forests, castles and villages steeped in the
soft, vapory blue of the Italian atmosphere, and the current of the Arno
flashing like a golden belt through the middle of the picture.

The sun was nearly down, and the mountains just below him were of a
deep purple hue, while those that ran out to the eastward wore the most
aerial shade of blue. A few scattered clouds, floating above, soon put
on the sunset robe of orange and a band of the same soft color encircled
the western horizon. It did not reach half way to the zenith, however;
the sky above was blue, of such a depth and transparency, that to gaze
upward was like looking into eternity. Then how softly and soothingly
the twilight came on! How deep a hush sank on the chesnut glades, broken
only by the song of the cicada, chirping its "good-night carol!" The
mountains, too, how majestic they stood in their deep purple outlines!
Sweet, sweet Italy! I can feel now how the soul may cling to thee, since
thou canst thus gratify its insatiable thirst for the Beautiful. Even
thy plainest scene is clothed in hues that seem borrowed of heaven! In
the twilight, more radiant than light, and the stillness, more eloquent
than music, which sink down over the sunny beauty of thy shores, there
is a silent, intense poetry that stirs the soul through all its
impassioned depths. With warm, blissful tears filling the eyes and a
heart overflowing with its own bright fancies, I wander in the solitude
and calm of such a time, and love thee as if I were a child of thy soil!



CHAPTER XXXVI.

WALK TO SIENA AND PRATOLINO--INCIDENTS IN FLORENCE.


_October 16._--My cousin, being anxious to visit Rome, and reach
Heidelberg before the commencement of the winter semestre, set out
towards the end of September, on foot. We accompanied him as far as
Siena, forty miles distant. As I shall most probably take another road
to the Eternal City, the present is a good opportunity to say something
of that romantic old town, so famous throughout Italy for the honesty of
its inhabitants.

We dined the first day, seventeen miles from Florence, at Tavenella,
where, for a meagre dinner the hostess had the assurance to ask us seven
pauls. We told her we would give but four and a half, and by assuming a
decided manner, with a plentiful use of the word "Signora" she was
persuaded to be fully satisfied with the latter sum. From a height near,
we could see the mountains coasting the Mediterranean, and shortly
after, on descending a long hill, the little town of Poggibonsi lay in
the warm afternoon light, on an eminence before us. It was soon passed
with its dusky towers, then Stagia looking desolate in its ruined and
ivied walls, and following the advice of a peasant, we stopped for the
night at the inn of Querciola. As we knew something of Italian by this
time, we thought it best to inquire the price of lodging, before
entering. The _padrone_ asked if we meant to take supper also. We
answered in the affirmative; "then," said he, "you will pay half a paul
(about five emits) apiece for a bed." We passed under the swinging bunch
of boughs, which in Italy is the universal sign of an inn for the common
people, and entered the bare, smoky room appropriated to travelers. A
long table, with well-worn benches, were the only furniture; we threw
our knapsacks on one end of it and sat down, amusing ourselves while
supper was preparing, in looking at a number of grotesque charcoal
drawings on the wall, which the flaring light of our tall iron lamp
revealed to us. At length the hostess, a kindly-looking woman, with a
white handkerchief folded gracefully around her head, brought us a dish
of fried eggs, which, with the coarse black bread of the peasants and a
basket full of rich grapes, made us an excellent supper. We slept on
mattresses stuffed with corn husks, placed on square iron frames, which
are the bedsteads most used in Italy. A brightly-painted caricature of
some saint or a rough crucifix, trimmed with bay leaves, hung at the
head of each bed, and under their devout protection we enjoyed a safe
and unbroken slumber.

Next morning we set out early to complete the remaining ten miles to
Siena. The only thing of interest on the road, is the ruined wall and
battlements of Castiglione, circling a high hill and looking as old as
the days of Etruria. The towers of Siena are seen at some distance, but
approaching it from this side, the traveler does not perceive its
romantic situation until he arrives. It stands on a double hill, which
is very steep on some sides; the hollow between the two peaks is
occupied by the great public square, ten or fifteen feet lower than the
rest of the city. We left our knapsacks at a _cafè_ and sought the
celebrated Cathedral, which stands in the highest part of the town,
forming with its flat dome and lofty marble tower, an apex to the
pyramidal mass of buildings.

The interior is rich and elegantly perfect. Every part is of black and
white marble, in what I should call the _striped_ style, which has a
singular but agreeable effect. The inside of the dome and the vaulted
ceilings of the chapels, are of blue, with golden stars; the pavement in
the centre is so precious a work that it is kept covered with boards and
only shown once a year. There are some pictures of great value in this
Cathedral; one of "The Descent of the Dove," is worthy of the best days
of Italian art. In an adjoining chamber, with frescoed walls, and a
beautiful tesselated pavement, is the library, consisting of a few huge
old volumes, which with their brown covers and brazen clasps, look as
much like a collection of flat leather trunks as any thing else. In the
centre of the room stands the mutilated group of the Grecian Graces,
found in digging the foundation of the Cathedral. The figures are still
beautiful and graceful, with that exquisite curve of outline which is
such a charm in the antique statues. Canova has only perfected the idea
in his celebrated group, which is nearly a copy of this.

We strolled through the square and then accompanied our friend to the
Roman gate, where we took leave of him for six months at least. He felt
lonely at the thought of walking in Italy without a companion, but was
cheered by the anticipation of soon reaching Rome. We watched him
awhile, walking rapidly over the hot plain towards Radicofani, and then,
turning our faces with much pleasure towards Florence, we commenced the
return walk. I must not forget to mention the delicious grapes which we
bought, begged and stole on the way. The whole country is like one
vineyard--and the people live, in a great measure, on the fruit, during
this part of the year. Would you not think it highly romantic and
agreeable to sit in the shade of a cypress grove, beside some old
weather-beaten statues, looking out over the vales of the Appenines,
with a pile of white and purple grapes beside you, the like of which can
scarcely be had in America for love or money, and which had been given
you by a dark-eyed peasant girl? If so, you may envy us, for such was
exactly our situation on the morning before reaching Florence.

Being in the Duomo, two or three days ago, I met a German traveler, who
has walked through Italy thus far, and intends continuing his journey to
Rome and Naples. His name is Von Raumer. He was well acquainted with the
present state of America, and I derived much pleasure from his
intelligent conversation. We concluded to ascend the cupola in company.
Two black-robed boys led the way; after climbing an infinite number of
steps, we reached the gallery around the foot of the dome. The glorious
view of that paradise, the vale of the Arno, shut in on all sides by
mountains, some bare and desolate, some covered with villas, gardens,
and groves, lay in soft, hazy light, with the shadows of a few light
clouds moving slowly across it. They next took us to a gallery on the
inside of the dome, where we first saw the immensity of its structure.
Only from a distant view, or in ascending it, can one really measure its
grandeur. The frescoes, which from below appear the size of life, are
found to be rough and monstrous daubs; each figure being nearly as many
fathoms in length as a man is feet. Continuing our ascent, we mounted
between the inside and outside shells of the dome. It was indeed a bold
idea for Brunelleschi to raise such a mass in air. The dome of Saint
Peter's, which is scarcely as large, was not made until a century after,
and this was, therefore, the first attempt at raising one on so grand a
scale. It seems still as solid as if just built.

There was a small door in one of the projections of the lantern, which
the sacristan told us to enter and ascend still higher. Supposing there
was a fine view to be gained, two priests, who had just come up, entered
it; the German followed, and I after him. After crawling in at the low
door, we found ourselves in a hollow pillar, little wider than our
bodies. Looking up, I saw the German's legs just above my head, while
the other two were above him, ascending by means of little iron bars
fastened in the marble. The priests were very much amused, and the
German said:--"This is the first time I ever learned chimney-sweeping!"
We emerged at length into a hollow cone, hot and dark, with a rickety
ladder going up somewhere; we could not see where. The old priest, not
wishing to trust himself to it, sent his younger brother up, and we
shouted after him:--"What kind of a view have you?" He climbed up till
the cone got so narrow he could go no further, and answered back in the
darkness:--"I see nothing at all!" Shortly after he came down, covered
with dust and cobwebs, and we all descended the chimney quicker than we
went up. The old priest considered it a good joke, and laughed till his
fat sides shook. We asked the sacristan why he sent us up, and he
answered:--"To see _the construction of the Church_!"

I attended service in the Cathedral one dark, rainy morning, and was
never before so deeply impressed with the majesty and grandeur of the
mighty edifice. The thick, cloudy atmosphere darkened still more the
light which came through the stained windows, and a solemn twilight
reigned in the long aisles. The mighty dome sprang far aloft, as if it
enclosed a part of heaven, for the light that struggled through the
windows around its base, lay in broad bars on the blue, hazy air. I
would not have been surprised at seeing a cloud float along within it.
The lofty burst of the organ, that seemed like the pantings of a
monster, boomed echoing away through dome and nave, with a chiming,
metallic vibration, that shook the massive pillars which it would defy
an earthquake to rend. All was wrapped in dusky obscurity, except where,
in the side-chapels, crowns of tapers were burning around the images.
One knows not which most to admire, the genius which could conceive, or
the perseverance which could accomplish such a work, On one side of the
square, the colossal statue of the architect, glorious old Brunelleschi,
is most appropriately placed, looking up with pride at his performance.

The sunshine and genial airs of Italy have gone, leaving instead a cold,
gloomy sky and chilling winds. The autumnal season has fairly commenced,
and I suppose I must bid adieu to the brightness which made me in love
with the land. The change has been no less sudden than unpleasant, and
if, as they say, it will continue all winter with little variation, I
shall have to seek a clearer climate. In the cold of these European
winters, there is, as I observed last year in Germany, a dull, damp
chill, quite different from the bracing, exhilarating frosts of America.
It stagnates the vital principle and leaves the limbs dull and heavy,
with a lifeless feeling which can scarcely be overcome by vigorous
action. At least, such has been my experience.

We lately made an excursion to Pratolino, on the Appenines, to see the
vintage and the celebrated colossus, by John of Bologna. Leaving
Florence in the morning, with a cool, fresh wind blowing down from the
mountains, we began ascending by the road to Bologna. We passed Fiesole
with its tower and acropolis on the right, ascending slowly, with the
bold peak of one of the loftiest Appenines on our left. The abundant
fruit of the olive was beginning to turn brown, and the grapes were all
gathered in from the vineyards, but we learned from a peasant boy that
the vintage was not finished at Pratolino.

We finally arrived at an avenue shaded with sycamores, leading to the
royal park. The vintagers were busy in the fields around, unloading the
vines of their purple tribute, and many a laugh and jest among the merry
peasants enlivened the toil. We assisted them in disposing of some fine
clusters, and then sought the "Colossus of the Appenines." He stands
above a little lake, at the head of a long mountain-slope, broken with
clumps of magnificent trees. This remarkable figure, the work of John of
Bologna, impresses one like a relic of the Titans. He is represented as
half-kneeling, supporting himself with one hand, while the other is
pressed upon the head of a dolphin, from which a little stream falls
into the lake. The height of the figure when erect, would amount to more
than sixty feet! We measured one of the feet, which is a single piece of
rock, about eight feet long; from the ground to the top of one knee is
nearly twenty feet. The limbs are formed of pieces of stone, joined
together, and the body of stone and brick. His rough hair and eyebrows,
and the beard, which reached nearly to the ground, are formed of
stalactites, taken from caves, and fastened together in a dripping and
crusted mass. These hung also from his limbs and body, and gave him the
appearance of Winter in his mail of icicles. By climbing up the rocks at
his back, we entered his body, which contains a small-sized room; it was
even possible to ascend through his neck and look out at his ear! The
face is in keeping with the figure--stern and grand, and the architect
(one can hardly say sculptor) has given to it the majestic air and
sublimity of the Appenines. But who can build up _an image of the Alp_?

We visited the factory on the estate, where wine and oil are made. The
men had just brought in a cart load of large wooden vessels, filled with
grapes, which they were mashing with heavy wooden pestles. When the
grapes were pretty well reduced to pulp and juice, they emptied them
into an enormous tub, which they told us would be covered air-tight, and
left for three or four weeks, after which the wine would be drawn off at
the bottom. They showed us also a great stone mill for grinding olives;
this estate of the Grand Duke produces five hundred barrels of wine and
a hundred and fifty of oil, every year. The former article is the
universal beverage of the laboring classes in Italy, or I might say of
all classes; it is, however, the pure blood of the grape, and although
used in such quantities, one sees little drunkenness--far less than in
our own land.

Tuscany enjoys at present a more liberal government than any other part
of Italy, and the people are, in many respects, prosperous and happy.
The Grand Duke, although enjoying almost absolute privileges, is
disposed to encourage every measure which may promote the welfare of his
subjects. The people are, indeed, very heavily taxed, but this is less
severely felt by them, than it would be by the inhabitants of colder
climes. The soil produces with little labor all that is necessary for
their support; though kept constantly in a state of comparative poverty,
they appear satisfied with their lot, and rarely look further than the
necessities of the present. In love with the delightful climate, they
cherish their country, fallen as she is, and are rarely induced to leave
her. Even the wealthier classes of the Italians travel very little; they
can learn the manners and habits of foreigners nearly as well in their
own country as elsewhere, and they prefer their own hills of olive and
vine to the icy grandeur of the Alps or the rich and garden-like beauty
of England.

But, although this sweet climate, with its wealth of sunlight and balmy
airs, may enchant the traveler for awhile and make him wish at times
that his whole life might be spent amid such scenes, it exercises a most
enervating influence on those who are born to its enjoyment. It relaxes
mental and physical energy, and disposes body and mind to dreamy
inactivity. The Italians, as a race, are indolent and effeminate. Of the
moral dignity of man they have little conception. Those classes who are
engaged in active occupation seem even destitute of common honesty,
practising all kinds of deceits in the most open manner and apparently
without the least shame. The state of morals is lower than in any other
country of Europe; what little virtue exists is found among the
peasants. Many of the most sacred obligations of society are universally
violated, and as a natural consequence, the people are almost entire
strangers to that domestic happiness, which constitutes the true
enjoyment of life.

This dark shadow in the moral atmosphere of Italy hangs like a curse on
her beautiful soil, weakening the sympathies of citizens of freer lands
with her fallen condition. I often feel vividly the sentiment which
Percival puts into the mouth of a Greek in slavery:

    "The spring may here with autumn twine
    And both combined may rule the year,
    And fresh-blown flowers and racy wine
    In frosted clusters still be near--
    Dearer the wild and snowy hills
    Where hale and ruddy Freedom smiles."

No people can ever become truly great or free, who are not virtuous. If
the soul aspires for liberty--pure and perfect liberty--it also aspires
for everything that is noble in Truth, everything that is holy in
Virtue. It is greatly to be feared that all those nervous and impatient
efforts which have been made and are still being made by the Italian
people to better their condition, will be of little avail, until they
set up a better standard of principle and make their private actions
more conformable with their ideas of political independence.

_Oct. 22._--I attended to-day the fall races at the _Cascine_. This is a
dairy farm of the Grand Duke on the Arno, below the city; part of it,
shaded with magnificent trees, has been made into a public promenade and
drive, which extends for three miles down the river. Towards the lower
end, on a smooth green lawn, is the race-course. To-day was the last of
the season, for which the best trials had been reserved; on passing out
the gate at noon, we found a number of carriages and pedestrians going
the same way. It was the very perfection of autumn temperature, and I do
not remember to have ever seen so blue hills, so green meadows, so fresh
air and so bright sunshine combined in one scene before. All that gloom
and coldness of which I lately complained has vanished.

Traveling increases very much one's capacity for admiration. Every
beautiful scene appears as beautiful as if it had been the first; and
although I may have seen a hundred times as lovely a combination of sky
and landscape, the pleasure which it awakens is never diminished. This
is one of the greatest blessings we enjoy--the freshness and glory which
Nature wears to our eyes forever. It shows that the soul never grows
old--that the eye of age can take in the impression of beauty with the
same enthusiastic joy that leaped through the heart of childhood.

We found the crowd around the race-course but thin; half the people
there, and _all_ the horses, appeared to be English. It was a good place
to observe the beauty of Florence, which however, may be done in a
short time, as there is not much of it. There is beauty in Italy,
undoubtedly, but it is either among the peasants or the higher class of
nobility. I will tell our American women confidentially, for I know they
have too much sense to be vain of it, that they surpass the rest of the
world as much in beauty as they do in intelligence and virtue. I saw in
one of the carriages the wife of Alexander Dumas, the French author. She
is a large, fair complexioned woman, and is now, from what cause I know
not, living apart from her husband.

The jockeys paced up and down the fields, preparing their beautiful
animals for the approaching heat, and as the hour drew nigh the mounted
dragoons busied themselves in clearing the space. It was a one-mile
course, to the end of the lawn and back. At last the bugle sounded, and
off went three steeds like arrows let fly. They passed us, their light
limbs bounding over the turf, a beautiful dark-brown taking the lead. We
leaned over the railing and watched them eagerly. The bell rang--they
reached the other end--we saw them turn and come dashing back, nearer,
nearer; the crowd began to shout, and in a few seconds the brown one had
won it by four or five lengths. The fortunate horse was led around in
triumph, and I saw an English lady, remarkable for her betting
propensities, come out from the crowd and kiss it in apparent delight.

After an interval, three others took the field--all graceful, spirited
creatures. This was a more exciting race than the first; they flew past
us nearly abreast, and the crowd looked after them in anxiety. They
cleared the course like wild deer, and in a minute or two came back, the
racer of an English nobleman a short distance ahead. The jockey threw up
his hand in token of triumph as he approached the goal, and the people
cheered him. It was a beautiful sight to see those noble animals
stretching to the utmost of their speed, as they dashed down the grassy
lawn. The lucky one always showed by his proud and erect carriage, his
consciousness of success.

Florence is fast becoming modernized. The introduction of gas, and the
construction of the railroad to Pisa, which is nearly completed, will
make sad havoc with the air of poetry which still lingers in its silent
streets. There is scarcely a bridge, a tower, or a street, which is not
connected with some stirring association. In the Via San Felice, Raphael
used to paint when a boy; near the Ponte Santa Trinita stands Michael
Angelo's house, with his pictures, clothes, and painting implements,
just as he left it three centuries ago; on the south side of the Arno is
the house of Galileo, and that of Machiavelli stands in an avenue near
the Ducal Palace. While threading my way through some dark, crooked
streets in an unfrequented part of the city, I noticed an old,
untenanted house, bearing a marble tablet above the door. I drew near
and read:--"In this house of the Alighieri was born the Divine Poet!" It
was the birth-place of Dante!

_Nov. 1._--Yesterday morning we were apprised of the safe arrival of a
new scion of the royal family in the world by the ringing of the city
bells. To-day, to celebrate the event, the shops were closed, and the
people made a holiday of it. Merry chimes pealed out from every tower,
and discharges of cannon thundered up from the fortress. In the evening
the dome of the Cathedral was illuminated, and the lines of cupola,
lantern, and cross were traced in flame on the dark sky, like a crown of
burning stars dropped from Heaven on the holy pile. I went in and walked
down the aisle, listening for awhile to the grand choral, while the
clustered tapers under the dome quivered and trembled, as if shaken by
the waves of music which burst continually within its lofty concave.

A few days ago Prince Corsini, Prime Minister of Tuscany, died at an
advanced age. I saw his body brought in solemn procession by night, with
torches and tapers, to the church of Santa Trinita. Soldiers followed
with reversed arms and muffled drums, the band playing a funeral march.
I forced myself through the crowd into the church, which was hung with
black and gold, and listened to the long drawn chanting of the priests
around the bier.

We lately visited the Florentine Museum. Besides the usual collection of
objects of natural history, there is an anatomical cabinet, very
celebrated for its preparations in wax. All parts of the human frame are
represented so wonderfully exact, that students of medicine pursue their
studies here in summer with the same facility as from real "subjects."
Every bone, muscle, and nerve in the body is perfectly counterfeited,
the whole forming a collection as curious as it is useful. One chamber
is occupied with representations of the plague of Rome, Milan, and
Florence. They are executed with horrible truth to nature, but I
regretted afterwards having seen them. There are enough forms of beauty
and delight in the world on which to employ the eye, without making it
familiar with scenes which can only be remembered with a shudder.

We derive much pleasure from the society of the American artists who are
now residing in Florence. At the houses of Powers, and Brown, the
painter, we spend many delightful evenings in the company of our gifted
countrymen. They are drawn together by a kindred, social feeling as well
as by their mutual aims, and form among themselves a society so
unrestrained, American-like, that the traveler who meets them forgets
his absence for a time. These noble representatives of our country, all
of whom possess the true, inborn spirit of republicanism, have made the
American name known and respected in Florence. Powers, especially, who
is intimate with many of the principal Italian families, is universally
esteemed. The Grand Duke has more than once visited his studio and
expressed the highest admiration of his talents.



CHAPTER XXXVII.

AMERICAN ART IN FLORENCE.


I have seen Ibrahim Pacha, the son of old Mehemet Ali, driving in his
carriage through the streets. He is hero on a visit from Lucca, where he
has been spending some time on account of his health. He is a man of
apparently fifty years of age; his countenance wears a stern and almost
savage look, very consistent with the character he bears and the
political part he has played. He is rather portly in person, the pale
olive of his complexion contrasting strongly with a beard perfectly
white. In common with all his attendants, he wears the high red cap,
picturesque blue tunic and narrow trowsers of the Egyptians. There is
scarcely a man of them whose face with its wild, oriental beauty, does
not show to advantage among us civilized and prosaic Christians.

In Florence, and indeed through all Italy, there is much reason for our
country to be proud of the high stand her artists are taking. The sons
of our rude western clime, brought up without other resources than their
own genius and energy, now fairly rival those, who from their cradle
upwards have drawn inspiration and ambition from the glorious
masterpieces of the old painters and sculptors. Wherever our artists are
known, they never fail to create a respect for American talent, and to
dissipate the false notions respecting our cultivation and refinement,
which prevail in Europe. There are now eight or ten of our painters and
sculptors in Florence, some of whom, I do not hesitate to say, take the
very first rank among living artists.

I have been highly gratified in visiting the studio of Mr. G.L. Brown,
who, as a landscape painter, is destined to take a stand second to few,
since the days of Claude Lorraine. He is now without a rival in
Florence, or perhaps in Italy, and has youth, genius and a plentiful
stock of the true poetic enthusiasm for his art, to work for him far
greater triumphs. His Italian landscapes have that golden mellowness and
transparency of atmosphere which give such a charm to the real scenes,
and one would think he used on his pallette, in addition to the more
substantial colors, condensed air and sunlight and the liquid crystal of
streams. He has wooed Nature like a lover, and she has not withheld her
sympathy. She has taught him how to raise and curve her trees, load
their boughs with foliage, and spread underneath them the broad, cool
shadows--to pile up the shattered crag, and steep the long mountain
range in the haze of alluring distance.

He has now nearly finished, a large painting of "Christ Preaching in the
Wilderness," which is of surprising beauty. You look upon one of the
fairest scenes of Judea. In front, the rude multitude are grouped on one
side, in the edge of a magnificent forest; on the other side, towers up
a rough wall of rock and foliage that stretches back into the distance,
where some grand blue mountains are piled against the sky, and a
beautiful stream, winding through the middle of the picture, slides away
out of the foreground. Just emerging from the shade of one of the
cliffs, is the benign figure of the Saviour, with the warm light which
breaks from behind the trees, falling around him as he advances. There
is a smaller picture of the "Shipwreck of St. Paul," in which he shows
equal skill in painting a troubled sea and breaking storm. He is one of
the young artists from whom we have most to hope.

I have been extremely interested in looking over a great number of
sketches made by Mr. Kellogg, of Cincinnati, during a tour through
Egypt, Arabia Petræa and Palestine. He visited many places out of the
general route of travelers, and beside the great number of landscape
views, brought away many sketches of the characters and costumes of the
Orient. From some of these he has commenced paintings, which, as his
genius is equal to his practice, will be of no ordinary value. Indeed,
some of these must give him at once an established reputation in
America. In Constantinople, where he resided several months, he enjoyed
peculiar advantges for the exercise of his art, through the favor and
influence of Mr. Carr, the American, and Sir Stratford Canning, the
British Minister. I saw a splendid diamond cup, presented to him by
Riza Pacha, the late Grand Vizier. The sketches he brought from thence
and from the valleys of Phrygia and the mountain solitudes of old
Olympus, are of great interest and value. Among his later paintings, I
might mention an angel, whose countenance beams with a rapt and glorious
beauty. A divine light shines through all the features and heightens the
glow of adoration to an expression all spiritual and immortal. If Mr.
Kellogg will give us a few more of these heavenly conceptions, we will
place him on a pedestal, little lower than that of Guido.

Greenough, who has been sometime in Germany, returned lately to
Florence, where he has a colossal group in progress for the portico of
the Capitol. I have seen part of it, which is nearly finished in the
marble. It shows a backwoodsman just triumphing in the struggle with an
Indian; another group to be added, will represent the wife and child of
the former. The colossal size of the statues gives a grandeur to the
action, as if it were a combat of Titans; there is a consciousness of
power, an expression of lofty disdain in the expansion of the hunter's
nostril and the proud curve of his lip, that might become a god. The
spirit of action, of breathing, life-like exertion, so much more
difficult to infuse into the marble than that of repose, is perfectly
attained. I will not enter into a more particular description, as it
will probably be sent to the United States in a year or two. It is a
magnificent work; the best, unquestionably, that Greenough has yet made.
The subject, and the grandeur he has given it in the execution, will
ensure it a much more favorable reception than a false taste gave to his
Washington.

Mr. C.B. Ives, a young sculptor from Connecticut, has not disappointed
the high promise he gave before leaving home. I was struck with some of
his busts in Philadelphia, particularly those of Mrs. Sigourney and
Joseph R. Chandler, and it has been no common pleasure to visit his
studio here in Florence, and look on some of his ideal works. He has
lately made two models, which, when finished in marble, will be works of
great beauty. They will contribute greatly to his reputation here and in
America. One of these represents a child of four or five years of age,
holding in his hand a dead bird, on which he is gazing, with childish
grief and wonder, that it is so still and drooping. It is a beautiful
thought; the boy is leaning forward as he sits, holding the lifeless
playmate close in his hands, his sadness touched with a vague
expression, as if he could not yet comprehend the idea of death.

The other is of equal excellence, in a different style; it is a bust of
"Jephthah's daughter," when the consciousness of her doom first flashes
upon her. The face and bust are beautiful with the bloom of perfect
girlhood. A simple robe covers her breast, and her rich hair is gathered
up behind, and bound with a slender fillet. Her head, of the pure
classical mould, is bent forward, as if weighed down by the shock, and
there is a heavy drooping in the mouth and eyelids, that denotes a
sudden and sickening agony. It is not a violent, passionate grief, but a
deep and almost paralyzing emotion--a shock from which the soul will
finally rebound, strengthened to make the sacrifice.

Would it not be better for some scores of our rich merchants to lay out
their money on statues and pictures, instead of balls and spendthrift
sons? A few such expenditures, properly directed, would do much for the
advancement of the fine arts. An occasional golden blessing, bestowed on
genius, might be returned on the giver, in the fame he had assisted in
creating. There seems, however, to be at present a rapid increase in
refined taste, and a better appreciation of artistic talent, in our
country. And as an American, nothing has made me feel prouder than this,
and the steadily increasing reputation of our artists.

Of these, no one has done more within the last few years, than Powers.
With a tireless and persevering energy, such as could have belonged to
few but Americans, he has already gained a name in his art, that
posterity will pronounce in the same breath with Phidias, Michael Angelo
and Thorwaldsen. I cannot describe the enjoyment I have derived from
looking at his matchless works. I should hesitate in giving my own
imperfect judgment of their excellence, if I had not found it to
coincide with that of many others who are better versed in the rules of
art. The sensation which his "Greek Slave" produced in England, has
doubtless ere this been breezed across the Atlantic, and I see by the
late American papers that they are growing familiar with his fame. When
I read a notice seven or eight years ago, of the young sculptor of
Cincinnati, whose busts exhibited so much evidence of genius, I little
dreamed I should meet him in Florence, with the experience of years of
toil added to his early enthusiasm, and every day increasing his renown.

You would like to hear of his statue of Eve, which men of taste
pronounce one of the finest works of modern times. A more perfect figure
never filled my eye. I have seen the masterpieces of Thorwaldsen,
Dannecker and Canova, and the Venus de Medici, but I have seen nothing
yet that can exceed the beauty of this glorious statue. So completely
did the first view excite my surprise and delight, and thrill every
feeling that awakes at the sight of the Beautiful, that my mind dwelt
intensely on it for days afterwards. This is the Eve of Scripture--the
Eve of Milton--mother of mankind and fairest of all her race. With the
full and majestic beauty of ripened womanhood, she wears the purity of a
world as yet unknown to sin. With the hearing of a queen, there is in
her countenance the softness and grace of a tender, loving woman;

    "God-like erect, with native honor clad
    In naked majesty."

She holds the fatal fruit extended in her hand, and her face expresses
the struggle between conscience, dread and desire. The serpent, whose
coiled length under the leaves and flowers entirely surrounds her, thus
forming a beautiful allegorical symbol, is watching her decision from an
ivied trunk at her side. Her form is said to be fully as perfect as the
Venus de Medici, and from its greater size, has an air of conscious and
ennobling dignity. The head is far superior in beauty, and soul speaks
from every feature of the countenance. I add a few stanzas which the
contemplation of this statue called forth. Though unworthy the subject,
they may perhaps faintly shadow the _sentiment_ which Powers has so
eloquently embodied in marble:

    THE "EVE" OF POWERS.

    A faultless being from the marble sprung,
         She stands in beauty there!
    As when the grace of Eden 'round her clung--
         Fairest, where all was fair!

    Pure, as when first from God's creating hand
         She came, on man to shine;
    So seems she now, in living stone to stand--
         A mortal, yet divine!

    The spark the Grecian from Olympus caught,
         Left not a loftier trace;
    The daring of the sculptor's hand has wrought
         A soul in that sweet face!
    He won as well the sacred fire from heaven.
         God-sent, not stolen down,
    And no Promethean doom for him is given,
         But ages of renown!

    The soul of beauty breathes around that form
         A more enchanting spell;
    There blooms each virgin grace, ere yet the storm
         On blighted Eden fell!
    The first desire upon her lovely brow,
         Raised by an evil power;
    Doubt, longing, dread, are in her features now--
         It is the trial-hour!

    How every thought that strives within her breast,
         In that one glance is shown!
    Say, can that heart of marble be at rest,
         Since spirit warms the stone?
    Will not those limbs, of so divine a mould,
         Move, when her thought is o'er--
    When she has yielded to the tempter's hold
         And Eden blooms no more?

    Art, like a Phoenix, springs from dust again--
         She cannot pass away!
    Bound down in gloom, she breaks apart the chain
         And struggles up today!
    The flame, first kindled in the ages gone,
         Has never ceased to burn,
    And _westward_ now, appears the kindling dawn,
         Which marks the day's return!

The "Greek Slave" is now in the possession of Mr. Grant, of London, and
I only saw the clay model. Like the Eve, it is a form that one's eye
tells him is perfect, unsurpassed; but it is the budding loveliness of a
girl, instead of the perfected beauty of a woman. In England it has been
pronounced superior to Canova's works, and indeed _I_ have seen nothing
of his, that could be placed beside it.

Powers has now nearly finished a most exquisite figure of a fisher-boy,
standing on the shore, with his net and rudder in one hand, while with
the other he holds a shell to his ear and listens if it murmur to him of
a gathering storm. His slight, boyish limbs are full of grace and
delicacy--you feel that the youthful frame could grow up into nothing
less than an Apollo. Then the head--how beautiful! Slightly bent on one
side, with the rim of the shell thrust under his locks, lips gently
parted, and the face wrought up to the most hushed and breathless
expression, he listens whether the sound be deeper than its wont. It
makes you hold your breath and listen, to look at it. Mrs. Jameson
somewhere remarks that repose or suspended motion, should be always
chosen for a statue that shall present a perfect, unbroken impression to
the mind. If this be true, the enjoyment must be much more complete
where not only the motion, but almost breath and thought are suspended,
and all the faculties wrought into one hushed and intense sensation. In
gazing on this exquisite conception, I feel my admiration filled to the
utmost, without that painful, aching impression, so often left by
beautiful works. It glides into my vision like a form long missed from
the gallery of beauty I am forming in my mind, and I gaze on it with an
ever new and increasing delight.

Now I come to the last and fairest of all--the divine Proserpine. Not
the form, for it is but a bust rising from a capital of acanthus leaves,
which curve around the breast and arms and turn gracefully outward, but
the face, whose modest maiden beauty can find no peer among goddesses or
mortals. So looked she on the field of Ennæ--that "fairer flower," so
soon to be gathered by "gloomy Dis." A slender crown of green
wheatblades, showing alike her descent from Ceres and her virgin years,
circles her head. Truly, if Pygmalion stole his fire to warm such a form
as this, Jove should have pardoned him. Of Powers' busts it is
unnecessary for me to speak. He has lately finished a very beautiful one
of the Princess Demidoff, daughter of Jerome Bonaparte.

We will soon, I hope, have the "Eve" in America. Powers has generously
refused many advantageous offers for it, that he might finally send it
home; and his country, therefore, will possess this statue, his first
ideal work. She may well be proud of the genius and native energy of her
young artist, and she should repay them by a just and liberal
encouragement.



CHAPTER XXXVIII.

AN ADVENTURE ON THE GREAT ST. BERNARD--WALKS AROUND FLORENCE.


_Nov. 9._--A few days ago I received a letter from my cousin at
Heidelberg, describing his solitary walk from Genoa over the Alps, and
through the western part of Switzerland. The news of his safe arrival
dissipated the anxiety we were beginning to feel, on account of his long
silence, while it proved that our fears concerning the danger of such a
journey were not altogether groundless. He met with a startling
adventure on the Great St. Bernard, which will be best described by an
extract from his own letter:

       *       *       *       *       *

"Such were my impressions of Rome. But leaving the 'Eternal City,' I
must hasten on to give you a description of an adventure I met with in
crossing the Alps, omitting for the present an account of the trip from
Rome to Genoa, and my lonely walk through Sardinia. When I had crossed
the mountain range north of Genoa, the plains of Piedmont stretched out
before me. I could see the snowy sides and summits of the Alps more than
one hundred miles distant, looking like white, fleecy clouds on a summer
day. It was a magnificent prospect, and I wonder not that the heart of
the Swiss soldier, after years of absence in foreign service, beats with
joy when he again looks on his native mountains.

"As I approached nearer, the weather changed, and dark, gloomy clouds
enveloped them, so that they seemed to present an impassible barrier to
the lands beyond them. At Ivrea, I entered the interesting valley of
Aosta. The whole valley, fifty miles in length, is inhabited by
miserable looking people, nearly one half of them being afflicted with
goitre and cretinism. They looked more idiotic and disgusting than any I
have ever seen, and it was really painful to behold such miserable
specimens of humanity dwelling amid the grandest scenes of nature.
Immediately after arriving in the town of Aosta, situated at the upper
end of the valley, I began, alone, the ascent of the Great St. Bernard.
It was just noon, and the clouds on the mountains indicated rain. The
distance from Aosta to the monastery or hospice of St. Bernard, is about
twenty English miles.

"At one o'clock it commenced raining vary hard, and to gain shelter I
went into a rude hut; but it was filled with so many of those idiotic
cretins, lying down on the earthy floor with the dogs and other animals,
that I was glad to leave them as soon as the storm had abated in some
degree. I walked rapidly for three hours, when I met a traveler and his
guide descending the mountain. I asked him in Italian the distance to
the hospice, and he undertook to answer me in French, but the words did
not seem to flow very fluently, so I said quickly, observing then that
he was an Englishman: 'Try some other language, if you please, sir!' He
replied instantly in his vernacular: 'You have a d--d long walk before
you, and you'll have to hurry to get to the top before night!' Thanking
him, we shook hands and hurried on, he downward and I upward. About
eight miles from the summit, I was directed into the wrong path by an
ignorant boy who was tending sheep, and went a mile out of the course,
towards Mont Blanc, before I discovered my mistake. I hurried back into
the right path again, and soon overtook another boy ascending the
mountain, who asked me if he might accompany me as he was alone, to
which I of course answered, yes; but when we began to enter the thick
clouds that covered the mountains, he became alarmed, and said he would
go no farther. I tried to encourage him by saying we had only five miles
more to climb, but, turning quickly, he ran down the path and was soon
out of sight.

"After a long and most toilsome ascent, spurred on as I was by the storm
and the approach of night, I saw at last through the clouds a little
house, which I supposed might be a part of the monastery, but it turned
out to be only a house of refuge, erected by the monks to take in
travelers in extreme cases or extraordinary danger. The man who was
staying there, told me the monastery was a mile and a half further, and
thinking therefore that I could soon reach it, I started out again,
although darkness was approaching. In a short time the storm began in
good earnest, and the cold winds blew with the greatest fury. It grew
dark very suddenly and I lost sight of the poles which are placed along
the path to guide the traveler. I then ran on still higher, hoping to
find them again, but without success. The rain and snow fell thick, and
although I think I am tolerably courageous, I began to be alarmed, for
it was impossible to know in what direction I was going. I could hear
the waterfalls dashing and roaring down the mountain hollows on each
side of me; in the gloom, the foam and leaping waters resembled
streaming fires. I thought of turning back to find the little house of
refuge again, but it seemed quite as dangerous and uncertain as to go
forward. After the fatigue I had undergone since noon, it would have
been dangerous to be obliged to stay, out all night in the driving
storm, which was every minute increasing in coldness and intensity.

"I stopped and shouted aloud, hoping I might be somewhere near the
monastery, but no answer came--no noise except the storm and the roar of
the waterfalls. I climbed up the rocks nearly a quarter of a mile
higher, and shouted again. I listened with anxiety for two or three
minutes, but hearing no response, I concluded to find a shelter for the
night under a ledge of rocks. While looking around me, I fancied I heard
in the distance a noise like the trampling of hoofs over the rocks, and
thinking travelers might be near, I called aloud for the third time.
After wailing a moment, a voice came ringing on my ears through the
clouds, like one from Heaven in response to my own. My heart beat
quickly; I hurried in the direction from which the sound came, and to my
joy found two men--servants of the monastery--who were driving their
mules into shelter. Never in my whole life was I more glad to hear the
voice of man. These men conducted me to the monastery, one-fourth of a
mile higher, built by the side of a lake at the summit of the pass,
while on each side, the mountains, forever covered with snow, tower some
thousands of feet higher.

"Two or three of the noble St. Bernard dogs barked a welcome as we
approached, which brought a young monk to the door. I addressed him in
German, but to my surprise he answered in broken English. He took me
into a warm room and gave me a suit of clothes, such as are worn by the
monks, for my dress, as well as my package of papers, were completely
saturated with rain. I sat down to supper in company with till the monks
of the Hospice, I in my monkish robe looking like one of the holy order.
You would have laughed to have seen me in their costume. Indeed, I felt
almost satisfied to turn monk, as everything seemed so comfortable in
the warm supper room, with its blazing wood fire, while outside raged
the storm still more violently. But when I thought of their voluntary
banishment from the world, up in that high pass of the Alps, and that
the affection of woman never gladdened their hearts, I was ready to
renounce my monkish dress next morning, without reluctance.

"In the address book of the monastery, I found Longfellow's 'Excelsior'
written on a piece of paper and signed 'America.' You remember the
stanza:

    At break of clay, as heavenward,
    The pious monks of St. Bernard
    Uttered the oft-repeated prayer,
    A voice cried through the startled air:
                                     Excelsior!

It seemed to add a tenfold interest to the poem, to read it on old St.
Bernard. In the morning I visited the house where are kept the bodies of
the travelers, who perish in crossing the mountain. It is filled with
corpses, ranged in rows, and looking like mummies, for the cold is so
intense that they will keep for years without decaying, and are often
recognized and removed by their friends.

"Of my descent to Martigny, my walk down the Rhone, and along the shores
of Lake Leman, my visit to the prison of Chilian and other wanderings
across Switzerland, my pleasure in seeing the old river Rhine again, and
my return to Heidelberg at night, with the bright moon shining on the
Neckar and the old ruined castle, I can now say no more, nor is it
necessary, for are not all these things 'written in my book of
Chronicles,' to be seen by you when we meet again in Paris?

Ever yours, FRANK."

_Dec. 16._--I took a walk lately to the tower of Galileo. In company
with three friends, I left Florence by the _Porta Romana_, and ascended
the _Poggie Imperiale_. This beautiful avenue, a mile and a quarter in
length, leading up a gradual ascent to a villa of the Grand Duke, is
bordered with splendid cypresses and evergreen oaks, and the grass banks
are always fresh and green, so that even in winter it calls up a
remembrance of summer. In fact, winter does not wear the scowl here that
he has at home; he is robed rather in a threadbare garment of autumn,
and it is only high up on the mountain tops, out of the reach of his
enemy, the sun, that he dares to throw it off, and bluster about with
his storms and scatter down his snow-flakes. The roses still bud and
bloom in the hedges, the emerald of the meadows is not a whit paler, the
sun looks down lovingly as yet, and there are only the white helmets of
some of the Appenines, with the leafless mulberries and vines, to tell
us that we have changed seasons.

A quarter of an hour's walk, part of it by a path through an olive
orchard, brought us to the top of a hill, which was surmounted by a
square, broken, ivied tower, forming part of a storehouse for the
produce of the estate. We entered, saluted by a dog, and passing through
a court-yard, in which stood two or three carts full of brown olives,
found our way to the rickety staircase. I spared my sentiment in going
up, thinking the steps might have been renewed since Galileo's time, but
the glorious landscape which opened around us when we reached the top,
time could not change, and I gazed upon it with interest and emotion, as
my eye took in those forms which had once been mirrored in the
philosopher's. Let me endeavor to describe the features of the scene.

Fancy yourself lifted to the summit of a high hill, whose base slopes
down to the valley of the Arno, and looking northward. Behind you is a
confusion of hill and valley, growing gradually dimmer away to the
horizon. Before and below you is a vale, with Florence and her great
domes and towers in its lap, and across its breadth of five miles the
mountain of Fiesole. To the west it stretches away unbroken for twenty
miles, covered thickly with white villas--like a meadow of daisies,
magnified. A few miles to the east the plain is rounded with mountains,
between whose interlocking bases we can see the brown current of the
Arno. Some of their peaks, as well as the mountain of Vallombrosa,
along the eastern sky, are tipped with snow. Imagine the air filled
with a thick blue mist, like a semi-transparent veil, which softens
every thing into dreamy indistinctness, the sunshine falling slantingly
through this in spots, touching the landscape here and there as with a
sudden blaze of fire, and you will complete the picture. Does it not
repay your mental flight across the Atlantic.

One evening, on coming out of the cafè, the moon was shining so brightly
and clearly, that I involuntarily bent my steps towards the river; I
walked along the _Lung'Arno_, enjoying the heavenly moonlight--"the
night of cloudless climes and starry skies!" A purer silver light never
kissed the brow of Endymion. The brown Arno took into his breast "the
redundant glory," and rolled down his pebbly bed with a more musical
ripple; opposite stretched the long mass of buildings--the deep arches
that rose from the water were filled with black shadow, and the
irregular fronts of the houses touched with a mellow glow. The arches of
the upper bridge were in shadow, cutting their dark outline on the
silvery sweep of the Appenines, far up the stream. A veil of luminous
gray covered the hill of San Miniato, with its towers and cypress
groves, and there was a crystal depth in the atmosphere, as if it shone
with its own light. The whole scene affected me as something too
glorious to be real--painful from the very intensity of its beauty.
Three moons ago, at the foot of Vallombrosa, I saw the Appenines flooded
with the same silvery gush, and thought also, then, that I had seen the
same moon amid far dearer scenes, but never before the same dreamy and
sublime glory showered down from her pale orb. Some solitary lights were
burning along the river, and occasionally a few Italians passed by,
wrapped in their mantles. I went home to the Piazza del Granduca as the
light, pouring into the square from behind the old palace, fell over the
fountain of Neptune and sheathed in silver the back of the colossal god.

Whoever looks on the valley of the Arno from San Miniato, and observes
the Appenine range, of which Fiesole is one, bounding it on the north,
will immediately notice to the northwest a double peak rising high above
all the others. The bare, brown forehead of this, known by the name of
_Monte Morello_, seemed so provokingly to challenge an ascent, that we
determined to try it. So we started early, the day before yesterday,
from the Porta San Gallo, with nothing but the frosty grass and fresh
air to remind us of the middle of December. Leaving the Prato road, at
the base of the mountain, we passed Careggi, a favorite farm of Lorenzo
the Magnificent, and entered a narrow glen where a little brook was
brawling down its rocky channel. Here and there stood a rustic mill,
near which women were busy spreading their washed clothes on the grass.
Following the footpath, we ascended a long eminence to a chapel where
some boys were amusing themselves with a common country game. They have
a small wheel, around which they wind a rope, and, running a little
distance to increase the velocity, let it off with a sudden jerk. On a
level road it can be thrown upwards of a quarter of a mile.

From the chapel, a gradual ascent along the ridge of a hill brought us
to the foot of the peak, which rose high before us, covered with bare
rocks and stunted oaks. The wind blew coldly from a snowy range to the
north, as we commenced ascending with a good will. A few shepherds were
leading their flocks along the sides, to browse on the grass and
withered bushes, and we started up a large hare occasionally from his
leafy covert. The ascent was very toilsome; I was obliged to stop
frequently on account of the painful throbbing of my heart, which made
it difficult to breathe. When the summit was gained, we lay down awhile
on the leeward side to recover ourselves.

We looked on the great valley of the Arno, perhaps twenty-five miles
long, and five or six broad, lying like a long elliptical basin sunk
among the hills. I can liken it to nothing but a vast sea; for a dense,
blue mist covered the level surface, through which the domes of Florence
rose up like a craggy island, while the thousands of scattered villas
resembled ships, with spread sails, afloat on its surface. The sharp,
cutting wind soon drove us down, with a few hundred bounds, to the path
again. Three more hungry mortals did not dine at the _Cacciatore_ that
day.

The chapel of the Medici, which we visited, is of wonderful beauty. The
walls are entirely encrusted with _pietra dura_ and the most precious
kinds of marble. The ceiling is covered with gorgeous frescoes by
Benevenuto, a modern painter. Around the sides, in magnificent
sarcophagi of marble and jasper, repose the ashes of a few Cosmos and
Ferdinands. I asked the sacristan for the tomb of Lorenzo the
Magnificent. "Oh!" said he, "he lived during the republic--he has no
tomb; these are only for Dukes!" I could not repress a sigh at the
lavish waste of labor and treasure on this one princely chapel. They
might have slumbered unnoted, like Lorenzo, if they had done as much for
their country and Italy.

_December 19._--It is with a heavy heart, that I sit down tonight to
make my closing note in this lovely city and in the journal which has
recorded my thoughts and impressions since leaving America. I should
find it difficult to analyze my emotions, but I know that they oppress
me painfully. So much rushes at once over the mind and heart--memories
of what has passed through both, since I made the first note in its
pages--alternations of hope and anxiety and aspiration, but _never_
despondency--that it resembles in a manner, the closing of a life. I
seem almost to have lived through the common term of a life in this
short period. Much spiritual and mental experience has crowded into a
short time the sensations of years. Painful though some of it has been,
it was still welcome. Difficulty and toil give the soul strength to
crush, in a loftier region, the passions which draw strength only from
the earth. So long as we listen to the purer promptings within us, there
is a Power invisible, though not unfelt, who protects us--amid the toil
and tumult and soiling struggle, there is ever an eye that watches, ever
a heart that overflows with Infinite and Almighty Love! Let us trust
then in that Eternal Spirit, who pours out on us his warm and boundless
blessings, through the channels of so many kindred human hearts!



CHAPTER XXXIX.

WINTER TRAVELING AMONG THE APPENINES.


_Valley of the Arno, Dec 22._--It is a glorious morning after our two
days' walk, through rain and mud, among these stormy Appenines. The
range of high peaks, among which is the celebrated monastery of
Camaldoli, lie just before us, their summits dazzling with the new
fallen snow. The clouds are breaking away, and a few rosy flushes
announce the approach of the sun. It has rained during the night, and
the fields are as green and fresh as on a morning in spring.

We left Florence on the 20th, while citizens and strangers were vainly
striving to catch a glimpse of the Emperor of Russia. He is, from some
cause, very shy of being seen, in his journeys from place to place,
using the greatest art and diligence to prevent the time of his
departure and arrival from being known. On taking leave of Powers, I
found him expecting the Autocrat, as he had signified his intention of
visiting his studio; it was a cause of patriotic pride to find that
crowned heads know and appreciate the genius of our sculptor. The sky
did not promise much, as we set out; when we had entered the Appenines
and taken a last look of the lovely valley behind us, and the great dome
of the city where we had spent four delightful months, it began to rain
heavily. Determined to conquer the weather at the beginning, we kept on,
although before many miles were passed, it became too penetrating to be
agreeable. The mountains grew nearly black under the shadow of the
clouds, and the storms swept drearily down their passes and defiles,
till the scenery looked more like the Hartz than Italy. We were obliged
to stop at Ponte Sieve and dry our saturated garments: when, as the rain
slackened somewhat, we rounded the foot of the mountain of Vallombrosa,
above the swollen and noisy Arno, to the little village of Cucina.

We entered the only inn in the place, followed by a crowd of wondering
boys, for two such travelers had probably never been seen there. They
made a blazing fire for us in the broad chimney, and after the police of
the place satisfied themselves that we were not dangerous characters,
they asked many questions about our country. I excited the sympathy of
the women greatly in our behalf by telling them we had three thousand
miles of sea between us and our homes. They exclaimed in the most
sympathising tones: "_Poverini!_ so far to go!--three thousand miles of
water!"

The next morning we followed the right bank of the Arno. At Incisa, a
large town on the river, the narrow pass broadens into a large and
fertile plain, bordered on the north by the mountains. The snow storms
were sweeping around their summits the whole day, and I thought of the
desolate situation of the good monks who had so hospitably entertained
us three months before. It was weary traveling; but at Levane our
fatigues were soon forgotten. Two or three peasants were sitting last
night beside the blazing fire, and we were amused to hear them talking
about us. I overheard one asking another to converse with us awhile.
"Why should I speak to them?" said he; "they are not of our
profession--we are swineherds, and they do not care to talk with us."
However, his curiosity prevailed at last, and we had a long conversation
together. It seemed difficult for them to comprehend how there could be
so much water to cross, without any land, before reaching our country.
Finding we were going to Rome, I overheard one remark we were pilgrims,
which seemed to be the general supposition, as there are few
foot-travelers in Italy. The people said to one another as we passed
along the road:--"They are making a journey of penance!" Those peasants
expressed themselves very well for persons of their station, but they
were remarkably ignorant of everything beyond their own olive orchards
and vine fields.

_Perugia, Dec. 24._--On leaving Levane, the morning gave a promise, and
the sun winked at us once or twice through the broken clouds, with a
watery eye; but our cup was not yet full. After crossing one or two
shoulders of the range of hills, we descended to the great upland plain
of Central Italy, watered by the sources of the Arno and the Tiber. The
scenery is of a remarkable character. The hills appear to have been
washed and swept by some mighty flood. They are worn into every
shape--pyramids, castles, towers--standing desolate and brown, in long
ranges, like the ruins of mountains. The plain is scarred with deep
gulleys, adding to the look of decay which accords so well with the
Cyclopean relics of the country.

A storm of hail which rolled away before us, disclosed the city of
Arezzo, on a hill at the other end of the plain, its heavy cathedral
crowning the pyramidal mass of buildings. Our first care was to find a
good trattoria, for hunger spoke louder than sentiment, and then we
sought the house where Petrarch was born. A young priest showed it to us
on the summit of the hill. It has not been changed since he lived in it.

On leaving Florence, we determined to pursue the same plan as in
Germany, of stopping at the inns frequented by the common people. They
treated us here, as elsewhere, with great kindness and sympathy, and we
were freed from the outrageous impositions practised at the greater
hotels. They always built a large fire to dry us, after our day's walk
in the rain, and placing chairs in the hearth, which was raised several
feet above the floor, stationed us there, like the giants Gog and Magog,
while the children, assembled below, gazed up in open-mouthed wonder at
our elevated greatness. They even invited us to share their simple meals
with them, and it was amusing to hear their goodhearted exclamations of
pity at finding we were so far from home. We slept in the great beds
(for the most of the Italian beds are calculated for a man, wife, and
four children!) without fear of being assassinated, and only met with
banditti in dreams.

This is a very unfavorable time of the year for foot-traveling. We were
obliged to wait three or four weeks in Florence for a remittance from
America, which not only prevented our leaving as soon as was desirable,
but, by the additional expense of living, left us much smaller means
than we required. However, through the kindness of a generous
countryman, who unhesitatingly loaned us a considerable sum, we were
enabled to start with thirty dollars each, which, with care and
economy, will be quite sufficient to take us to Paris, by way of Rome
and Naples, if these storms do not prevent us from walking. Greece and
the Orient, which I so ardently hoped to visit, are now out of the
question. We walked till noon to-day, over the Val di Chiana to
Camuscia, the last post-station in the Tuscan dominions. On a mountain
near it is the city of Cortona, still enclosed within its Cyclopean
walls, built long before the foundation of Rome. Here our patience gave
way, melted down by the unremitting rains, and while eating dinner we
made a bargain for a vehicle to bring us to this city. We gave a little
more than half of what the vetturino demanded, which was still an
exorbitant price--two scudi each for a ride of thirty miles.

In a short time we were called to take our seats; I beheld with
consternation a rickety, uncovered, two-wheeled vehicle, to which a
single lean horse was attached. "What!" said I; "is that the carriage
you promised?" "You bargained for a _calesino_," said he, "and there it
is!" adding, moreover, that there was nothing else in the place. So we
clambered up, thrust our feet among the hay, and the machine rolled off
with a kind of saw-mill motion, at the rate of five miles an hour.

Soon after, in ascending the mountain of the Spelunca, a sheet of blue
water was revealed below us--the Lake of Thrasymene! From the eminence
around which we drove, we looked on the whole of its broad surface and
the mountains which encompass it. It is a magnificent sheet of water, in
size and shape somewhat like New York Bay, but the heights around it are
far higher than the hills of Jersey or Staten Island. Three beautiful
islands lie in it, near the eastern shore.

While our _calesino_ was stopped at the papal custom-house, I gazed on
the memorable field below us. A crescent plain, between the mountain and
the lake, was the arena where two mighty empires met in combat. The
place seems marked by nature for the scene of some great event. I
experienced a thrilling emotion, such as no battle plain has excited,
since, when a schoolboy, I rambled over the field of Brandywine. I
looked through the long arcades of patriarchal olives, and tried to
cover the field with the shadows of the Roman and Carthaginian myriads.
I recalled the shock of meeting legions, the clash of swords and
bucklers, and the waving standards amid the dust of battle, while stood
on the mountain amphitheatre, trembling and invisible, the protecting
deities of Rome.

    "Far other scene is Thrasymene now!"

We rode over the plain, passed through the dark old town of Passignano,
built on a rocky point by the lake, and dashed along the shore. A dark,
stormy sky bent over us, and the roused waves broke in foam on the
rocks. The winds whistled among the bare oak boughs, and shook the
olives till they twinkled all over. The vetturino whipped our old horse
into a gallop, and we were borne on in unison with the scene, which
would have answered for one of Hoffman's wildest stories.

Ascending a long hill, we took a last look in the dusk at Thrasymene,
and continued our journey among the Appenines. The vetturino was to have
changed horses at Magione, thirteen miles from Perugia, but there were
none to be had, and our poor beast was obliged to perform the whole
journey without rest or food. It grew very dark, and a storm, with
thunder and lightning, swept among the hills. The clouds were of pitchy
darkness, and we could see nothing beyond the road, except the lights of
peasant-cottages trembling through the gloom. Now and then a flash of
lightning revealed the black masses of the mountains, on which the solid
sky seemed to rest. The wind and cold rain swept wailing past us, as if
an evil spirit were abroad on the darkness. Three hours of such
nocturnal travel brought us here, wet and chilly, as well as our driver,
but I pitied the poor horse more than him.

When we looked out the window, on awaking, the clustered house-tops of
the city, and the summits of the mountains near were covered with snow.
But on walking to the battlements we saw that the valleys below were
green and untouched. Perugia, for its "pride of place," must endure the
storms, while the humbler villages below escape them. As the rain
continues, we have taken seats in a country diligence for Foligno and
shall depart in a few minutes.

_Dec. 28._--We left Perugia in a close but covered vehicle, and
descending the mountain, crossed the muddy and rapid Tiber in the
valley below. All day we rode slowly among the hills; where the ascent
was steep, two or four large oxen were hitched before the horses. I saw
little of the scenery, for our Italian companions would not bear the
windows open. Once, when we stopped, I got out and found we were in the
region of snow, at the foot of a stormy peak, which towered sublimely
above. At dusk, we entered Foligno, and were driven to the "Croce
Bianca"--glad to be thirty miles further on our way to Rome.

After some discussion with a vetturino, who was to leave next morning,
we made a contract with him for the remainder of the journey, for the
rain, which fell in torrents, forbade all thought of pedestrianism. At
five o'clock we rattled out of the gate, and drove by the waning moon
and morning starlight, down the vale of the Clitumnus. As the dawn stole
on, I watched eagerly the features of the scene. Instead of a narrow
glen, as my fancy had pictured, we were in a valley, several miles
broad, covered with rich orchards and fertile fields. A glorious range
of mountains bordered it on the north, looking like Alps in their winter
garments. A rosy flush stole over the snow, which kindled with the
growing morn, till they shone like clouds that float in the sunrise. The
Clitumnus, beside us, was the purest of streams. The heavy rains which
had fallen, had not soiled in the least its limpid crystal.

When it grew light enough, I looked at our companions for the three
days' journey. The two other inside seats were occupied by a tradesman
of Trieste, with his wife and child; an old soldier, and a young dragoon
going to visit his parents after seven years' absence, occupied the
front part. Persons traveling together in a carriage are not long in
becoming acquainted--close companionship soon breeds familiarity. Before
night, I had made a fast friend of the young soldier, learned to bear
the perverse humor of the child with as much patience as its father, and
even drawn looks of grim kindness from the crusty old vetturino.

Our mid-day resting place was Spoleto. As there were two hours given us,
we took a ramble through the city, visited the ruins of its Roman
theatre and saw the gate erected to commemorate the victory gained here
over Hannibal, which stopped his triumphal march towards Rome. A great
part of the afternoon was spent in ascending among the defiles of Monte
Somma, the highest pass on the road between Ancona and Rome. Assisted by
two yoke of oxen we slowly toiled up through the snow, the mountains on
both sides covered with thickets of box and evergreen oaks, among whose
leafy screens the banditti hide themselves. It is not considered
dangerous at present, but as the dragoons who used to patrol this pass
have been sent off to Bologna, to keep down the rebellion, the robbers
will probably return to their old haunts again. We saw many suspicious
looking coverts, where they might have hidden.

We slept at Terni and did not see the falls--not exactly on Wordsworth's
principle of leaving Yarrow "unvisited," but because under the
circumstances, it was impossible. The vetturino did not arrive there
till after dark; he was to leave before dawn; the distance was five
miles, and the roads very bad. Besides, we had seen falls quite as
grand, which needed only a Byron to make them as renowned--we had been
told that those of Tivoli, which we shall see, were equally fine. The
Velino, which we crossed near Terni, was not a large stream--in short,
we hunted as many reasons as we could find, why the falls need not be
seen.

Leaving Terni before day, we drove up the long vale towards Narni. The
roads were frozen hard; the ascent becoming more difficult, the
vetturino was obliged to stop at a farm-house and get another pair of
horses, with which, and a handsome young contadino as postillion, we
reached Narni in a short time. In climbing the hill, we had a view of
the whole valley of Terni, shut in on all sides by snow-crested
Appenines, and threaded by the Nar, whose waters flow "with many
windings, through the vale!"

At Otricoli, while dinner was preparing, I walked around the crumbling
battlements to look down into the valley and trace the far windings of
the Tiber. In rambling through the crooked streets, we saw everywhere
the remains of the splendor which this place boasted in the days of
Rome. Fragments of fluted pillars stood here and there in the streets;
large blocks of marble covered with sculpture and inscriptions were
built into the houses, defaced statues used as door-ornaments, and the
steppingstone to our rude inn, worn every day by the feet of grooms and
vetturini, contained some letters of an inscription which may have
recorded the glory of on emperor.

Traveling with a vetturino, is unquestionably the pleasantest way of
seeing Italy. The easy rate of the journey allows time for becoming well
acquainted with the country, and the tourist is freed from the annoyance
of quarrelling with cheating landlords. A translation of our written
contract, will best explain this mode of traveling:

  "CARRIAGE" FOR ROME.

  "Our contract is, to be conducted to Rome for the sum of twenty
  francs each, say 20f. and the _buona mano_, if we are well
  served. We must have from the vetturino, Giuseppe Nerpiti, supper
  each night, a free chamber with two beds, and fire, until we shall
  arrive at Rome.

  "I, Geronymo Sartarelli, steward of the Inn of the White Cross, at
  Foligno, in testimony of the above contract."

Beyond Otricoli, we passed through some relics of an age anterior to
Rome. A few soiled masses of masonry, black with age, stood along the
brow of the mountain, on whose extremity were the ruins of a castle of
the middle ages. We crossed the Tiber on a bridge built by Augustus
Cæsar, and reached Borghetto as the sun was gilding with its last rays
the ruined citadel above. As the carriage with its four horses was
toiling slowly up the hill, we got out and walked before, to gaze on the
green meadows of the Tiber.

On descending from Narni, I noticed a high, prominent mountain, whose
ridgy back, somewhat like the profile of a face, reminded me of the
Traunstein, in Upper Austria. As we approached, its form gradually
changed, until it stood on the Campagna

    "Like a long-swept wave about to break,
    That on the curl hangs pausing"--

and by that token of a great bard, I recognized Monte Soracte. The
dragoon took us by the arms, and away we scampered over the Campagna,
with one of the loveliest sunsets before us, that ever painted itself on
my retina. I cannot portray in words the glory that flooded the whole
western heaven. It was like a sea of melted ruby, amethyst and
topaz--deep, dazzling and of crystal transparency. The color changed in
tone every few minutes, till in half an hour it sank away before the
twilight to a belt of deep orange along the west.

We left Civita Castellana before daylight. The sky was red with dawn as
we approached Nepi, and we got out to walk, in the clear, frosty air. A
magnificent Roman aqueduct, part of it a double row of arches, still
supplies the town with water. There is a deep ravine, appearing as if
rent in the ground by some convulsion, on the eastern side of the city.
A clear stream that steals through the arches of the aqueduct, falls in
a cascade of sixty feet down into the chasm, sending up constant wreaths
of spray through the evergreen foliage that clothes the rocks. In
walking over the desolate Campagna, we saw many deep chambers dug in the
earth, used by the charcoal burners; the air was filled with sulphureous
exhalations, very offensive to the smell, which rose from the ground in
many places.

Miles and miles of the dreary waste, covered only with flocks of grazing
sheep, were passed,--and about noon we reached Baccano, a small post
station, twenty miles from Rome. A long hill rose before us, and we
sprang out of the carriage and ran ahead, to see Rome from its summit.
As we approached the top, the Campagna spread far before and around us,
level and blue as an ocean. I climbed up a high bank by the roadside,
and the whole scene came in view. Perhaps eighteen miles distant rose
the dome of St. Peter's, near the horizon--a small spot on the vast
plain. Beyond it and further east, were the mountains of Albano--on our
left Soracte and the Appenines, and a blue line along the west betrayed
the Mediterranean. There was nothing peculiarly beautiful or sublime in
the landscape, but few other scenes on earth combine in one glance such
a myriad of mighty associations, or bewilder the mind with such a crowd
of confused emotions.

As we approached Rome, the dragoon, with whom we had been walking all
day, became anxious and impatient. He had not heard from his parents
for a long time, and knew not if they were living. His desire to be at
the end of his journey finally became so great, that he hailed a peasant
who was driving by in a light vehicle, left our slow carriage and went
out of sight in a gallop.

As we descended to the Tiber in the dusk of evening, the domes and
spires of Rome came gradually into view, St. Peter's standing like a
mountain in the midst of them. Crossing the yellow river by the Ponte
Molle, two miles of road, straight as an arrow, lay before us, with the
light of the _Porta del Popolo_ at the end. I felt strangely excited as
the old vehicle rumbled through the arch, and we entered a square with
fountains and an obelisk of Egyptian granite in the centre. Delivering
up our passports, we waited until the necessary examinations were made,
and then went forward. Three streets branch out from the square, the
middle one of which, leading directly to the Capitol, is the Corso, the
Roman Broadway. Our vetturino chose that to the left, the Via della
Scrofa, leading off towards the bridge of St. Angelo. I looked out the
windows as we drove along, but saw nothing except butcher-shops,
grocer-stores, etc.--horrible objects for a sentimental traveler!

Being emptied out on the pavement at last, our first care was to find
rooms; after searching through many streets, with a coarse old Italian
who spoke like an angel, we arrived at a square where the music of a
fountain was heard through the dusk and an obelisk cut out some of the
starlight. At the other end I saw a portico through the darkness, and my
heart gave a breathless bound on recognizing the _Pantheon_--the
matchless temple of Ancient Rome! And now while I am writing, I hear the
gush of the fountain--and if I step to the window, I see the time-worn
but still glorious edifice.

On returning for our baggage, we met the funeral procession of the
Princess Altieri. Priests in white and gold carried flaming torches, and
the coffin, covered with a magnificent golden pall, was borne in a
splendid hearse, guarded by four priests. As we were settling our
account with the vetturino, who demanded much more _buona mano_ than we
were willing to give, the young dragoon returned. He was greatly
agitated. "I have been at home!" said he, in a voice trembling with
emotion. I was about to ask him further concerning his family, but he
kissed and embraced us warmly and hurriedly, saying he had only come to
say "addio!" and to leave us. I stop writing to ramble through Rome.
This city of all cities to me--this dream of my boyhood--giant,
god-like, fallen Rome--is around me, and I revel in a glow of
anticipation and exciting thought that seems to change my whole state of
being.



CHAPTER XL.

ROME.


_Dec. 29._--One day's walk through Rome--how shall I describe it? The
Capitol, the Forum, St. Peter's, the Coliseum--what few hours' ramble
ever took in places so hallowed by poetry, history and art? It was a
golden leaf in my calendar of life. In thinking over it now, and drawing
out the threads of recollection from the varied woof of thought I have
woven to-day, I almost wonder how I dared so much at once; but within
reach of them all, how was it possible to wait? Let me give a sketch of
our day's ramble.

Hearing that it was better to visit the ruins by evening or moonlight,
(alas! there is no moon now) we started out to hunt St. Peter's. Going
in the direction of the Corso, we passed the ruined front of the
magnificent Temple of Antoninus, now used as the Papal Custom House. We
turned to the right on entering the Corso, expecting to have a view of
the city from the hill at its southern end. It is a magnificent street,
lined with palaces and splendid edifices of every kind, and always
filled with crowds of carriages and people. On leaving it, however, we
became bewildered among the narrow streets--passed through a market of
vegetables, crowded with beggars and contadini--threaded many by-ways
between dark old buildings--saw one or two antique fountains and many
modern churches, and finally arrived at a hill.

We ascended many steps, and then descending a little towards the other
side, saw suddenly below us the _Roman Forum_! I knew it at once--and
those three Corinthian columns that stood near us--what could they be
but the remains of the temple of Jupiter Stator? We stood on the
Capitoline Hill; at the foot was the Arch of Septimus Severus, brown
with age and shattered; near it stood the majestic front of the Temple
of Fortune, its pillars of polished granite glistening in the sun, as if
they had been erected yesterday, while on the left the rank grass was
waving from the arches and mighty walls of the Palace of the Cæsars! In
front, ruin upon ruin lined the way for half a mile, where the Coliseum
towered grandly through the blue morning mist, at the base of the
Esquiline Hill!

Good heavens, what a scene! Grandeur, such as the world never saw, once
rose through that blue atmosphere; splendor inconceivable, the spoils of
a world, the triumphs of a thousand armies had passed over that earth;
minds which for ages moved the ancient world had thought there, and
words of power and glory, from the lips of immortal men, had been
syllabled on that hallowed air. To call back all this on the very spot,
while the wreck of what once was, rose mouldering and desolate around,
aroused a sublimity of thought and feeling too powerful for words.

Returning at hazard through the streets, we came suddenly upon the
column of Trajan, standing in an excavated square below the level of the
city, amid a number of broken granite columns, which formed part of the
Forum dedicated to him by Rome, after the conquest of Dacia. The column
is one hundred and thirty-two feet high, entirely covered with
bas-reliefs representing his victories, winding about it in a spiral
line to the top. The number of figures is computed at two thousand five
hundred, and they were of such excellence that Raphael used many of them
for his models. They are now much defaced, and the column is surmounted
by a statue of some saint. The inscription on the pedestal has been
erased, and the name of Sixtus V. substituted. Nothing can exceed the
ridiculous vanity of the old popes in thus mutilating the finest
monuments of ancient art. You cannot look upon any relic of antiquity in
Rome, but your eyes are assailed by the words "PONTIFEX MAXIMUS," in
staring modern letters. Even the magnificent bronzes of the Pantheon
were stripped to make the baldachin under the dome of St. Peter's.

Finding our way back again, we took a fresh start, happily in the right
direction, and after walking some time, came out on the Tiber, at the
Bridge of St. Angelo. The river rolled below in his muddy glory, and in
front, on the opposite bank, stood "the pile which Hadrian retired on
high"--_now_, the Castle of St. Angelo. Knowing that St. Peter's was to
he seen from this bridge, I looked about in search of it. There was only
one dome in sight, large and of beautiful proportions. I said at once,
"surely _that_ cannot be St. Peter's!" On looking again, however, I saw
the top of a massive range of building near it, which corresponded so
nearly with the pictures of the Vatican, that I was unwillingly forced
to believe the mighty dome was really before me. I recognized it as one
of those we saw from the Capitol, but it appeared so much smaller when
viewed from a greater distance, that I was quite deceived. On
considering we were still three-fourths of a mile from it, and that we
could see its minutest parts distinctly, the illusion was explained.

Going directly down the _Borgo Vecchio_, towards it, it seemed a long
time before we arrived at the square of St. Peter's; when at length we
stood in front with the majestic colonnade sweeping around--the
fountains on each side sending up their showers of silvery spray--the
mighty obelisk of Egyptian granite piercing the sky--and beyond, the
great front and dome of the Cathedral, I confessed my unmingled
admiration. It recalled to my mind the grandeur of ancient Rome, and
mighty as her edifices must have been, I doubt if there were many views
more overpowering than this. The façade of St. Peter's seemed close to
us, but it was a third of a mile distant, and the people ascending the
steps dwindled to pigmies.

I passed the obelisk, went up the long ascent, crossed the portico,
pushed aside the heavy leathern curtain at the entrance, and stood in
the great nave. I need not describe my feelings at the sight, but I will
tell the dimensions, and you may then fancy what they were. Before me
was a marble plain six hundred feet long, and under the cross four
hundred and seventeen feet wide! One hundred and fifty feet above,
sprang a glorious arch, dazzling with inlaid gold, and in the centre of
the cross there were four hundred feet of air between me and the top of
the dome! The sunbeam, stealing through the lofty window at one end of
the transept, made a bar of light on the blue air, hazy with incense,
one-tenth of a mile long, before it fell on the mosaics and gilded
shrines of the other extremity. The grand cupola alone, including
lantern and cross, is two hundred and eighty-five feet high, or sixty
feet higher than the Bunker Hill Monument, and the four immense pillars
on which it rests are each one hundred and thirty-seven feet in
circumference! It seems as if human art had outdone itself in producing
this temple--the grandest which the world ever erected for the worship
of the Living God! The awe felt in looking up at the giant arch of
marble and gold, did not humble me; on the contrary, I felt exalted,
ennobled--beings in the form I wore planned the glorious edifice, and it
seemed that in godlike power perseverance, they were indeed but "a
little lower than the angels!" I felt that, if fallen, my race was still
mighty and immortal.

The Vatican is only open twice a week, on days which are not _festas_;
most fortunately, to-day happened to be one of these, and we took a
_run_ through its endless halls. The extent and magnificence of the
gallery of sculpture is perfectly amazing. The halls, which are filled
to overflowing with the finest works of ancient art, would, if placed
side by side, make a row more than two miles in length! You enter at
once into a hall of marble, with a magnificent arched ceiling, a third
of a mile long; the sides are covered for a great distance with
inscriptions of every kind, divided into compartments according to the
era of the empire to which they refer. One which I examined, appeared to
be a kind of index of the roads in Italy, with the towns on them; and we
could decipher on that time-worn block, the very route I had followed
from Florence hither.

Then came the statues, and here I am bewildered, how to describe them.
Hundreds upon hundreds of figures--statues of citizens, generals,
emperors and gods--fauns, satyrs and nymphs--children, cupids and
tritons--in fact, it seemed inexhaustible. Many of them, too, were forms
of matchless beauty; there were Venuses and nymphs, born of the loftiest
dreams of grace; fauns on whose faces shone the very soul of humor, and
heroes and divinities with an air of majesty worthy the "land of lost
gods and godlike men!"

I am lost in astonishment at the perfection of art attained by the
Greeks and Romans. There is scarcely a form of beauty, that has ever met
my eye, which is not to be found in this gallery. I should almost
despair of such another blaze of glory on the world, were it not my
devout belief that what has been done may be done again, and had I not
faith that the dawn in which we live will bring another day equally
glorious. And why should not America, with the experience and added
wisdom which three thousand years have slowly yielded to the old world,
joined to the giant energy of her youth and freedom, re-bestow on the
world the divine creations of art? Let Powers answer!

But let us step on to the hemicycle of the Belvidere, and view some
works greater than any we have yet seen, or even imagined. The adjoining
gallery is filled with masterpieces of sculpture, but we will keep our
eyes unwearied and merely glance along the rows. At length we reach a
circular court with a fountain flinging up its waters in the centre.
Before us is an open cabinet; there is a beautiful, manly form within,
but you would not for an instant take it for the Apollo. By the Gorgon
head it holds aloft, we recognize Canova's Perseus--he has copied the
form and attitude of the Apollo, but he could not breathe into it the
same warming fire. It seemed to me particularly lifeless, and I greatly
preferred his Boxers, who stand on either side of it. One, who has drawn
back in the attitude of striking, looks as if he could fell an ox with a
single blow of his powerful arm. The other is a more lithe and agile
figure, and there is a quick fire in his countenance which might
overbalance the massive strength of his opponent.

Another cabinet--this is the far-famed Antinous. A countenance of
perfect Grecian beauty, with a form such as we would imagine for one of
Homer's heroes. His features are in repose, and there is something in
their calm, settled expression, strikingly like life.

Now we look on a scene of the deepest physical agony. Mark how every
muscle of old Laocoon's body is distended to the utmost in the mighty
struggle! What intensity of pain in the quivering, distorted, features!
Every nerve, which despair can call into action, is excited in one giant
effort, and a scream of anguish seems just to have quivered on those
marble lips. The serpents have rolled their strangling coils around
father and sons, but terror has taken away the strength of the latter,
and they make but feeble resistance. After looking with indifference on
the many casts of this group, I was the more moved by the magnificent
original. It deserves all the admiration that has been heaped upon it.

I absolutely trembled on approaching the cabinet of the Apollo, I had
built up in fancy a glorious ideal, drawn from all that bards have sung
or artists have rhapsodized about its divine beauty. I feared
disappointment--I dreaded to have my ideal displaced and my faith in the
power of human genius overthrown by a form less than perfect. However,
with a feeling of desperate excitement, I entered and looked upon it.

Now what shall I say of it? How make you comprehend its immortal beauty?
To what shall I liken its glorious perfection of form, or the fire that
imbues the cold marble with the soul of a god? Not with sculpture, for
it stands alone and above all other works of art--nor with men, for it
has a majesty more than human. I gazed on it, lost in wonder and
joy--joy that I could, at last, take into my mind a faultless ideal of
godlike, exalted manhood. The figure appears actually to possess a
spirit, and I looked on it, not as on a piece of marble, but a being of
loftier mould, and half expected to see him step forward when the arrow
had reached its mark. I would give worlds to feel one moment the
sculptor's mental triumph when his work was completed; that one exulting
thrill must have repaid him for every ill he might have suffered on
earth! With what divine inspiration has he wrought its faultless lines!
There is a spirit in every limb which mere toil could not have given. It
must have been caught in those lofty moments.

    "When each conception was a heavenly guest--a
    ray of immortality--and stood
    star-like, around, until they gathered to a god?"

We ran through a series of halls, roofed with golden stars on a deep
blue, midnight sky, and filled with porphyry vases, black marble gods,
and mummies. Some of the statues shone with the matchless polish they
had received from a Theban artisan before Athens was founded, and are,
apparently, as fresh and perfect as when looked upon by the vassals of
Sesostris. Notwithstanding their stiff, rough-hewn limbs, there were
some figures of great beauty, and they gave me a much higher idea of
Egyptian sculpture. In an adjoining hall, containing colossal busts of
the gods, is a vase forty-one feet in circumference, of one solid block
of red porphyry.

The "Transfiguration" is truly called the first picture in the world.
The same glow of inspiration which created the Belvidere, must have been
required to paint the Saviour's aerial form. The three figures hover
above the earth in a blaze of glory, seemingly independent of all
material laws. The terrified Apostles on the mount, and the wondering
group below, correspond in the grandeur of their expression to the awe
and majesty of the scene. The only blemish in the sublime perfection of
the picture is the introduction of the two small figures on the left
hand; who, by-the-bye, were Cardinals, inserted there by command. Some
travelers say the color is all lost, but I was agreeably surprised to
find it well preserved. It is, undoubtedly, somewhat imperfect in this
respect, as Raphael died before it was entirely finished; but "take it
all in all," you may search the world in vain to find its equal.

_January 1, 1846._--New Year's Day in the Eternal City! It will be
something to say in after years, that I have seen one year open in
_Rome_--that, while my distant friends were making up for the winter
without, with good cheer around the merry board, I have walked in
sunshine by the ruins of the Coliseum, watched the orange groves
gleaming with golden fruitage in the Farnese gardens, trodden the
daisied meadow around the sepulchre of Caius Cestius, and mused by the
graves of Shelley, Keats and Salvator Rosa! The Palace of the Cassars
looked even more mournful in the pale, slant sunshine, and the yellow
Tiber, as he flowed through the "marble wilderness," seemed sullenly
counting up the long centuries during which degenerate slaves have
trodden his banks. A leaden-colored haze clothed the seven hills, and
heavy silence reigned among the ruins, for all work was prohibited, and
the people were gathered in their churches. Rome never appeared so
desolate and melancholy as to-day.

In the morning I climbed the Quirinal Hill, now called Monte Cavallo,
from the colossal statues of Castor and Pollux, with their steeds,
supposed to be the work of Phidias and Praxiteles. They stand on each
side of an obelisk of Egyptian granite, beside which a strong stream of
water gushes up into a magnificent bronze basin, found in the old Forum.
The statues, entirely browned by age, are considered masterpieces of
Grecian art, and whether or not from the great masters, show in all
their proportions, the conceptions of lofty genius.

We kept on our way between gardens filled with orange groves, whose
glowing fruit reminded me of Mignon's beautiful reminiscence--"Im
dunkeln Laub die Gold Orangen glühn!" Rome, although subject to cold
winds from the Appenines, enjoys so mild a climate that oranges and palm
trees grow in the open air, without protection. Daisies and violets
bloom the whole winter, in the meadows of never-fading green. The
basilic of the Lateran equals St. Peter's in splendor, though its size
is much smaller. The walls are covered with gorgeous hangings of velvet
embroidered with gold, and before the high altar, which glitters with
precious stones, are four pillars of gilt bronze, said to be those which
Augustus made of the spars of Egyptian vessels captured at the battle of
Actium.

We descended the hill to the Coliseum, and passing under the Arch of
Constantine, walked along the ancient triumphal way, at the foot of the
Palatine Hill, which is entirely covered with the ruins of the Cæsars'
Palace. A road, rounding its southern base towards the Tiber, brought us
to the Temple of Vesta--a beautiful little relic which has been
singularly spared by the devastations that have overthrown so many
mightier fabrics. It is of circular form, surrounded by nineteen
Corinthian columns, thirty-six feet in height; a clumsy tiled roof now
takes the place of the elegant cornice which once gave the crowning
charm to its perfect proportions. Close at hand are the remains of the
temple of Fortuna Virilis, of which some Ionic pillars alone are left,
and the house of Cola di Rienzi--the last Tribune of Rome.

As we approached the walls, the sepulchre of Caius Cestius came in
sight--a single solid pyramid, one hundred feet in height. The walls are
built against it, and the light apex rises far above the massive gate
beside it, which was erected by Belisarius. But there were other tombs
at hand, for which we had more sympathy than that of the forgotten
Roman, and we turned away to look for the graves of Shelley and Keats.

They lie in the Protestant burying ground, on the side of a mound that
slopes gently up to the old wall of Rome, beside the pyramid of Cestius.
The meadow around is still verdant and sown thick with daisies, and the
soft green of the Italian pine mingles with the dark cypress above the
slumberers. Huge aloes grow in the shade, and the sweet bay and bushes
of rosemary make the air fresh and fragrant. There is a solemn, mournful
beauty about the place, green and lonely as it is, beside the tottering
walls of ancient Rome, that takes away the gloomy associations of death,
and makes one wish to lie there, too, when his thread shall be spun to
the end.

We found first the simple head-stone of Keats, alone, in the grassy
meadow. Its inscription states that on his death-bed, in the bitterness
of his heart, at the malice of his enemies, be desired these words to be
written on his tombstone: "_Here lies one whose name was written in
water_." Not far from him reposes the son of Shelley.

Shelley himself lies at the top of the shaded slope, in a lonely spot by
the wall, surrounded by tall cypresses. A little hedge of rose and bay
surrounds his grave, which bears the simple inscription--

    "PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY; _Cor Cordium_."

      "Nothing of him that doth fade,
      But doth suffer a sea-change
      Into something rich and strange."

Glorious, but misguided Shelley! He sleeps calmly now in that silent
nook, and the air around his grave is filled with sighs from those who
mourn that the bright, erratic star should have been blotted out ere it
reached the zenith of its mounting fame. I plucked a leaf from the
fragrant bay, as a token of his fame, and a sprig of cypress from the
bough that bent lowest over his grave; and passing between tombs shaded
with blooming roses or covered with unwithered garlands, left the lovely
spot.

Amid the excitement of continually changing scenes, I have forgotten to
mention our first visit to the Coliseum. The day after our arrival we
set out with two English friends, to see it by sunset. Passing by the
glorious fountain of Trevi, we made our way to the Forum, and from
thence took the road to the Coliseum, lined on both sides with the
remains of splendid edifices. The grass-grown ruins of the Palace of the
Cæsars stretched along on our right; on our left we passed in succession
the granite front of the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, the three
grand arches of the Temple of Peace and the ruins of the Temple of Venus
and Rome. We went under the ruined triumphal arch of Titus, with broken
friezes representing the taking of Jerusalem, and the mighty walls of
the Coliseum gradually rose before us. They grew in grandeur as we
approached them, and when at length we stood in the centre, with the
shattered arches and grassy walls rising above and beyond one another,
far around us, the red light of sunset giving them a soft and melancholy
beauty, I was fain to confess that another form of grandeur had entered
my mind, of which I before knew not.

A majesty like that of nature clothes this wonderful edifice. Walls rise
above walls, and arches above arches, from every side of the grand
arena, like a sweep of craggy, pinnacled mountains around an oval lake.
The two outer circles have almost entirely disappeared, torn away by the
rapacious nobles of Rome, during the middle ages, to build their
palaces. When entire, and filled with its hundred thousand spectators,
it must have exceeded any pageant which the world can now produce. No
wonder it was said--

    "While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall stand;
    When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall;
    And when Rome falls, the world!"

--a prediction, which time has not verified. The world is now going
forward, prouder than ever, and though we thank Rome for the legacy she
has left us, we would not wish the dust of her ruin to cumber our path.

While standing in the arena, impressed with the spirit of the scene
around me, which grew more spectral and melancholy as the dusk of
evening began to fill up the broken arches, my eye was assailed by the
shrines ranged around the space, doubtless to remove the pollution of
paganism. In the middle stands also a cross, with an inscription,
granting an absolution of forty days to all who kiss it. Now, although a
simple cross in the centre might be very appropriate, both as a token of
the heroic devotion of the martyr Telemachus and the triumph of a true
religion over the barbarities of the Past, this congregation of shrines
and bloody pictures mars very much the unity of association so necessary
to the perfect enjoyment of any such scene.

We saw the flush of sunset fade behind the Capitoline Hill, and passed
homeward by the Forum, as its shattered pillars were growing solemn and
spectral through the twilight. I intend to visit them often again, and
"meditate amongst decay." I begin already to grow attached to their
lonely grandeur. A spirit, almost human, speaks from the desolation, and
there is something in the voiceless oracles it utters, that strikes an
answering chord in my own breast.

In the _Via de' Pontefici_, not far distant from the Borghese Palace, we
saw the Mausoleum of Augustus. It is a large circular structure somewhat
after the plan of that of Hadrian, but on a much smaller scale. The
interior has been cleared out, seats erected around the walls, and the
whole is now a summer theatre, for the amusement of the peasantry and
tradesmen. What a commentary on greatness! Harlequin playing his pranks
in the tomb of an Emperor, and the spot which nations approached with
reverence, resounding with the mirth of beggars and degraded vassals!

I visited lately the studio of a young Philadelphian, Mr. W. B.
Chambers, who has been here two or three years. In studying the legacies
of art which the old masters left to their country, he has caught some
of the genuine poetic inspiration which warmed them. But he is modest as
talented, and appears to undervalue his works, so long as they do not
reach his own mental ideal. He chooses principally subjects from the
Italian peasant-life, which abounds with picturesque and classic beauty.
His pictures of the shepherd boy of the Albruzzi, and the brown maidens
of the Campagna are fine illustrations of this class, and the fidelity
with which he copies nature, is an earnest of his future success.

I was in the studio of Crawford, the sculptor; he has at present
nothing finished in the marble. There were many casts of his former
works, which, judging from their appearance in plaster, must be of no
common excellence--for the sculptor can only be justly judged _in
marble_. I saw some fine bas-reliefs of classical subjects, and an
exquisite group of Mercury and Psyche, but his masterpiece is
undoubtedly the Orpheus. There is a spirit in this figure which
astonished me. The face is full of the inspiration of the poet, softened
by the lover's tenderness, and the whole fervor of his soul is expressed
in the eagerness with which he gazes forward, on stepping past the
sleeping Cerberus. Crawford is now engaged on the statue of an Indian
girl, pierced by an arrow, and dying. It is a simple and touching
figure, and will, I think, be one of his best works.

We are often amused with the groups in the square of the Pantheon, which
we can see from our chamber-window. Shoemakers and tinkers carry on
their business along the sunny side, while the venders of oranges and
roasted chesnuts form a circle around the Egyptian obelisk and fountain.
Across the end of an opposite street we get a glimpse of the
vegetable-market, and now and then the shrill voice of a pedlar makes
its nasal solo audible above the confused chorus. As the beggars choose
the Corso, St. Peter's, and the ruins for their principal haunts, we are
now spared the hearing of their lamentations. Every time we go out we
are assailed with them. "_Maladetta sia la vostra testa_!"--"Curses be
upon your head!"--said one whom I passed without notice. The priests
are, however, the greatest beggars. In every church are kept offering
boxes, for the support of the church or some unknown institution; they
even go from house to house, imploring support and assistance in the
name of the Virgin and all the saints, while their bloated, sensual
countenances and capacious frames tell of anything but fasts and
privations. Once, as I was sitting among the ruins, I was suddenly
startled by a loud, rattling sound; turning my head, I saw a figure
clothed in white from head to foot, with only two small holes for the
eyes. He held in his hand a money-box, on which was a figure of the
Virgin, which he held close to my lips, that I might kiss it. This I
declined doing, but dropped a baiocco into his box, when, making the
sign of the cross, he silently disappeared.

Our present lodging (Trattoria del Sole) is a good specimen of an
Italian inn for mechanics and common tradesmen. Passing through the
front room, which is an eating-place for the common people--with a
barrel of wine in the corner, and bladders of lard hanging among orange
boughs in the window--we enter a dark court-yard filled with heavy
carts, and noisy with the neighing of horses and singing of grooms, for
the stables occupy part of the house. An open staircase, running all
around this hollow square, leads to the second, third, and fourth
stories,

On the second story is the dining-room for the better class of
travelers, who receive the same provisions as those below for double the
price, and the additional privilege of giving the waiter two baiocchi.
The sleeping apartments are in the fourth story, and are named according
to the fancy of a former landlord, in mottos above each door. Thus, on
arriving here, the Triester, with his wife and child, more fortunate
than our first parents, took refuge in "Paradise," while we Americans
were ushered into the "Chamber of Jove." We have occupied it ever since,
and find a paul (ten cents) apiece cheap enough for a good bed and a
window opening on the Pantheon.

Next to the Coliseum, the baths of Caracalla are the grandest remains of
Rome. The building is a thousand feet square, and its massive walls look
as if built by a race of giants. These Titan remains are covered with
green shrubbery, and long, trailing vines sweep over the cornice, and
wave down like tresses from architrave and arch. In some of its grand
halls the mosaic pavement is yet entire. The excavations are still
carried on; from the number of statues already found, this would seem to
have been one of the most gorgeous edifices of the olden time.

I have been now several days loitering and sketching among the ruins,
and I feel as if I could willingly wander for months beside these
mournful relics, and draw inspiration from the lofty yet melancholy lore
they teach. There is a spirit haunting them, real and undoubted. Every
shattered column, every broken arch and mouldering wall, but calls up
more vividly to mind the glory that has passed away. Each lonely pillar
stands as proudly as if it still helped to bear up the front of a
glorious temple, and the air seems scarcely to have ceased vibrating
with the clarions that heralded a conqueror's triumph.

    "--the old majestic trees
    Stand ghost-like in the Cæsar's home,
      As if their conscious roots were set
    In the old graves of giant Rome,
      And drew their sap all kingly yet!"

           *       *       *       *       *

    "There every mouldering stone beneath
      Is broken from some mighty thought,
    And sculptures in the dust still breathe
      The fire with which their lines were wrought,
    And sunder'd arch and plundered tomb
    Still thunder back the echo--'_Rome!_'"

In Rome there is no need that the imagination be excited to call up
thrilling emotion or poetic reverie--they are forced on the mind by the
sublime spirit of the scene. The roused bard might here pour forth his
thoughts in the wildest climaces, and I could believe he felt it all.
This is like the Italy of my dreams--that golden realm whose image has
been nearly chased away by the earthly reality. I expected to find a
land of light and beauty, where every step crushed a flower or displaced
a sunbeam--whose very air was poetic inspiration, and whose every scene
filled the soul with romantic feelings. Nothing is left of my picture
but the far-off mountains, robed in the sapphire veil of the Ausonian
air, and these ruins, amid whose fallen glory sits triumphant the spirit
of ancient song.

I have seen the flush of morn and eve rest on the Coliseum; I have seen
the noon-day sky framed in its broken loopholes, like plates of polished
sapphire; and last night, as the moon has grown into the zenith, I went
to view it with her. Around the Forum all was silent and spectral--a
sentinel challenged us at the Arch of Titus, under which we passed and
along the Cæsar's wall, which lay in black shadow. Dead stillness
brooded around the Coliseum; the pale, silvery lustre streamed through
its arches, and over the grassy walls, giving them a look of shadowy
grandeur which day could not bestow. The scene will remain fresh in my
memory forever.



CHAPTER XLI.

TIVOLI AND THE ROMAN CAMPAGNA.


_Jan. 9._--A few days ago we returned from an excursion to Tivoli, one
of the loveliest spots in Italy. We left the Eternal City by the Gate of
San Lorenzo, and twenty minutes walk brought us to the bare and bleak
Campagna, which was spread around us for leagues in every direction.
Here and there a shepherd-boy in his woolly coat, with his flock of
browsing sheep, were the only objects that broke its desert-like
monotony.

At the fourth mile we crossed the rapid Anio, the ancient Teverone,
formerly the boundary between Latium and the Sabine dominions, and at
the tenth, came upon some fragments of the old Tibertine way, formed of
large irregular blocks of basaltic lava. A short distance further, we
saw across the plain the ruins of the bath of Agrippa, built by the side
of the Tartarean Lake. The wind, blowing from it, bore us an
overpowering smell of sulphur; the waters of the little river Solfatara,
which crosses the road, are of a milky blue color, and carry those of
the lake into the Anio. A fragment of the old bridge over it still
remains.

Finding the water quite warm, we determined to have a bath. So we ran
down the plain, which was covered with a thick coat of sulphur, and
sounded hollow to our tread, till we reached a convenient place, where
we threw off our clothes, and plunged in. The warm wave was delightful
to the skin, but extremely offensive to the smell, and when we came out,
our mouths and throats were filled with the stifling gas.

It was growing dark as we mounted through the narrow streets of Tivoli,
but we endeavored to gain some sight of the renowned beauties of the
spot, before going to rest. From a platform on a brow of the hill, we
looked down into the defile, at whose bottom the Anio was roaring, and
caught a sideward glance of the Cascatelles, sending up their spray
amid the evergreen bushes that fringe the rocks. Above the deep glen
that curves into the mountain, stands the beautiful temple of the
Sybil--a building of the most perfect and graceful proportion. It crests
the "rocky brow" like a fairy dwelling, and looks all the lovelier for
the wild caverns below. Gazing downward from the bridge, one sees the
waters of the Anio tumbling into the picturesque grotto of the Sirens;
around a rugged corner, a cloud of white spray whirls up continually,
while the boom of a cataract rumbles down the glen. All these we marked
in the deepening dusk, and then hunted an albergo.

The shrill-voiced hostess gave us a good supper and clean beds; in
return we diverted the people very much by the relation of our sulphur
bath. We were awakened in the night by the wind shaking the very soul
out of our loose casement. I fancied I heard torrents of rain dashing
against the panes, and groaned in bitterness of spirit on thinking of a
walk back to Rome in such weather. When morning came, we found it was
only a hurricane of wind which was strong enough to tear off pieces of
the old roofs. I saw some capuchins nearly overturned in crossing the
square, by the wind seizing their white robes.

I had my fingers frozen and my eyes filled with sand, in trying to draw
the Sybil's temple, and therefore left it to join my companions, who had
gone down into the glen to see the great cascade. The Anio bursts out of
a cavern in the mountain-side, and like a prisoner giddy with recovered
liberty, reels over the edge of a precipice more than two hundred feet
deep. The bottom is hid in a cloud of boiling spray, that shifts from
side to side, and driven by the wind, sweeps whistling down the narrow
pass. It stuns the ear with a perpetual boom, giving a dash of grandeur
to the enrapturing beauty of the scene. I tried a footpath that appeared
to lead down to the Cascatelles, but after advancing some distance along
the side of an almost perpendicular precipice, I came to a corner that
looked so dangerous, especially as the wind was nearly strong enough to
carry me off, that it seemed safest to return. We made another vain
attempt to get down, by creeping along the bed of a torrent, filled with
briars. The Cascatelles are formed by that part of the Anio, which is
used in the iron works, made out of the ruins of Mecænas' villa. They
gush out from under the ancient arches, and tumble more than a hundred
feet down the precipice, their white waters gleaming out from the dark
and feathery foliage. Not far distant are the remains of the villa of
Horace.

We took the road to Frascati, and walked for miles among cane-swamps and
over plains covered with sheep. The people we saw, were most degraded
and ferocious-looking, and there were many I would not willingly meet
alone after nightfall. Indeed it is still considered quite unsafe to
venture without the walls of Rome, after dark. The women, with their
yellow complexions, and the bright red blankets they wear folded around
the head and shoulders, resemble Indian Squaws.

I lately spent three hours in the Museum of the Capitol, on the summit
of the sacred hill. In the hall of the Gladiator I noticed an exquisite
statue of Diana. There is a pure, virgin grace in the classic outlines
of the figure that keeps the eye long upon it. The face is full of cold,
majestic dignity, but it is the ideal of a being to be worshipped,
rather than loved. The Faun of Praxiteles, in the same room, is a
glorious work; it is the perfect embodiment of that wild, merry race the
Grecian poets dreamed of. One looks on the Gladiator with a hushed
breath and an awed spirit. He is dying; the blood flows more slowly from
the deep wound in his side; his head is sinking downwards, and the arm
that supports his body becomes more and more nerveless. You feel that a
dull mist is coming over his vision, and almost wait to see his relaxing
limbs sink suddenly on his shield. That the rude, barbarian form has a
soul, may be read in his touchingly expressive countenance. It warms the
sympathies like reality to look upon it. Yet how many Romans may have
gazed on this work, moved nearly to tears, who have seen hundreds perish
in the arena without a pitying emotion! Why is it that Art has a voice
frequently more powerful than Nature?

How cold it is here! I was forced to run home to-night, nearly at full
speed, from the Café delle _Belle Arti_ through the Corso and the Piazza
Colonna, to keep warm. The clear, frosty moon threw the shadow of the
column of Antoninus over me as I passed, and it made me shiver to look
at the thin, falling sheet of the fountain. Winter is winter
everywhere, and even the sun of Italy cannot always scorch his icy
wings.

Two days ago we took a ramble outside the walls. Passing the Coliseum
and Caracalla's Baths, we reached the tomb of Scipio, a small sepulchral
vault, near the roadside. The ashes of the warrior were scattered to the
winds long ago, and his mausoleum is fast falling to decay. The old arch
over the Appian way is still standing, near the modern _Porta San
Sebastiano_ through which we entered on the far-famed road. Here and
there it is quite entire, and we walked over the stones once worn by the
feet of Virgil and Horace and Cicero. After passing the temple of
Romulus--a shapeless and ivy-grown ruin--and walking a mile or more
beyond the walls, we reached the Circus of Caracalla, whose long and
shattered walls fill the hollow of one of the little dells of the
Campagna. The original structure must have been of great size and
splendor, but those twin Vandals--Time and Avarice--have stripped away
everything but the lofty brick masses, whose nakedness the pitying ivy
strives to cover.

Further, on a gentle slope, is the tomb of "the wealthiest Roman's
wife," familiar to every one through Childe Harold's musings. It is a
round, massive tower, faced with large blocks of marble, and still
bearing the name of Cecilia Metella. One side is much ruined, and the
top is overgrown with grass and wild bushes. The wall is about thirty
feet thick, so that but a small round space is left in the interior,
which is open to the rain and filled will rubbish. The echoes pronounced
hollowly after us the name of the dead for whom it was built, but they
could tell us nothing of her life's history--

    "How lived, how loved, how died she?"

I made a hurried drawing of it, and we then turned to the left, across
the Campagna, to seek the grotto of Egeria. Before us, across the brown
plain, extended the Sabine Mountains; in the clear air the houses of
Tivoli, twenty miles distant, were plainly visible. The giant aqueduct
stretched in a long line across the Campagna to the mountain of Albano,
its broken and disjointed arches resembling the vertebræ of some mighty
monster. With the ruins of temples and tombs strewing the plain for
miles around it, it might be called the _spine_ to the skeleton of Rome.

We passed many ruins, made beautiful by the clinging ivy, and reached a
solemn grove of ever-green oak, overlooking a secluded valley. I was
soon in the meadow, leaping ditches, rustling through cane-brakes, and
climbing up to mossy arches to find out the fountain of Numa's nymph;
while my companion, who had less taste for the romantic, looked on
complacently from the leeward side of the hill. At length we found an
arched vault in the hill-side, overhung with wild vines, and shaded in
summer by umbrageous trees that grow on the soil above. At the further
end a stream of water gushed out from beneath a broken statue, and an
aperture in the wall revealed a dark cavern behind. This, then, was
"Egeria's grot." The ground was trampled by the feet of cattle, and the
taste of the water was anything but pleasant. But it was not for Numa
and his nymph alone, that I sought it so ardently. The sunbeam of
another mind lingers on the spot. See how it gilds the ruined and
neglected fount!

    "The mosses of thy fountain still are sprinkled
      With thine Elysian water-drops; the face
    Of thy cave-guarded spring, with years unwrinkled,
      Reflects the meek-eyed genius of the place,
    Whose wild, green margin, now no more erase
      Art's works; no more its sparkling waters sleep,
    Prisoned in marble; bubbling from the base
      Of the cleft statue, with a gentle leap,
    The rill runs o'er, and 'round, fern, flowers and ivy creep,
      Fantastically tangled."

I tried to creep into the grotto, but it was unpleasantly dark, and no
nymph appeared to chase away the shadow with her lustrous eyes. The
whole hill is pierced by subterranean chambers and passages.

I spent another Sunday morning in St. Peter's. High mass was being
celebrated in one of the side Chapels, and a great number of the
priesthood were present. The music was simple, solemn, and very
impressive, and a fine effect was produced by the combination of the
full, sonorous voices of the priests, and the divine sweetness of that
band of mutilated unfortunates, who sing here. They sang with a full,
clear tone, sweet as the first lispings of a child, but it was painful
to hear that melody, purchased at the expense of manhood.

Near the dome is a bronze statue of St. Peter, which seems to have a
peculiar atmosphere of sanctity. People say their prayers before it by
hundreds, and then kiss its toe, which is nearly worn away by the
application of so many thousand lips. I saw a crowd struggle most
irreverently to pay their devotion to it. There was a great deal of
jostling and confusion; some went so far as to thrust the faces of
others against the toe as they were about to kiss it. What is more
remarkable, it is an antique statue of Jupiter, taken, I believe, from
the Pantheon. An English artist, showing it to a friend, just arrived in
Rome, remarked very wittily that it was the statue of _Jew-Peter_.

I went afterwards to the Villa Borghese, outside the Porta del Popolo.
The gardens occupy thirty or forty acres, and are always thronged in the
afternoon with the carriages of the Roman and foreign nobility. In
summer, it must be a heavenly place; even now, with its musical
fountains, long avenues, and grassy slopes, crowned with the fan-like
branches of the Italian pine, it reminds one of the fairy landscapes of
Boccaccio. We threaded our way through the press of carriages on the
Pincian hill, and saw the enormous bulk of St. Peter's loom up against
the sunset sky. I counted forty domes and spires in that part of Rome
that lay below us--but on what a marble glory looked that sun eighteen
centuries ago! Modern Rome--it is in comparison, a den of filth, cheats
and beggars!

Yesterday, while taking a random stroll through the city, I visited the
church of St. Onofrio, where Tasso is buried. It is not far from St.
Peter's, on the summit of a lonely hill. The building was closed, but an
old monk admitted us on application. The interior is quite small, but
very old, and the floor is covered with the tombs of princes and
prelates of a past century. Near the end I found a small slab with the
inscription:

        "TORQUATI TASSI
             OSSA
          HIC JACENT."

That was all--but what more was needed? Who knows not the name and fame
and sufferings of the glorious bard? The pomp of gold and marble are not
needed to deck the slumber of genius. On the wall, above, hangs an old
and authentic portrait of him, very similar to the engravings in
circulation. A crown of laurel encircles the lofty brow, and the eye has
that wild, mournful expression, which accords so well with the
mysterious tale of his love and madness.

Owing to the mountain storms, which imposed on us the expense of a
carriage-journey to Rome, we shall be prevented from going further. One
great cause of this is the heavy fee required for passports in Italy. In
most of the Italian cities, the cost of the different visès amounts to
$4 or $5; a few such visits as these reduce our funds very materially.
The American Consul's fee is $2, owing to the illiberal course of our
government, in withholding all salary from her Consuls in Europe. Mr.
Brown, however, in whose family we spent last evening very pleasantly,
on our requesting that he would deduct something from the usual fee,
kindly declined accepting anything. We felt this kindness the more, as
from the character which some of our late Consuls bear in Italy, we had
not anticipated it. We shall remember him with deeper gratitude than
many would suppose, who have never known what it was to be a
_foreigner_.

To-morrow, therefore, we leave Rome--here is, at last, the limit of our
wanderings. We have spent much toil and privation to reach here, and
now, after two weeks' rambling and musing among the mighty relics of
past glory, we turn our faces homeward. The thrilling hope I cherished
during the whole pilgrimage--to climb Parnassus and drink from Castaly,
under the blue heaven of Greece (both far easier than the steep hill and
hidden fount of poesy, I worship afar off)--to sigh for fallen art,
beneath the broken friezes of the Parthenon, and look with a pilgrim's
eye on the isles of Homer and of Sappho--must be given up, unwillingly
and sorrowfully though it be. These glorious anticipations--among the
brightest that blessed my boyhood--are slowly wrung from me by stern
necessity. Even Naples, the lovely Parthenope, where the Mantuan bard
sleeps on the sunny shore, by the bluest of summer seas, with the
disinterred Pompeii beyond, and Pæstum amid its roses on the lonely
Calabrian plain--even this, almost within sight of the cross of St.
Peter's, is barred from me. Farewell then, clime of "fame and eld,"
since it must be! A pilgrim's blessing for the lore ye have taught him!



CHAPTER XLII.


_Palo._--The sea is breaking in long swells below the window, and a
glorious planet shines in the place of the sunset that has died away.
This is our first resting-place since leaving Rome. We have been walking
all day over the bare and dreary Campagna, and it is a relief to look at
last on the broad, blue expanse of the Tyrrhene Sea.

When we emerged from the cool alleys of Rome, and began to climb up and
down the long, barren swells, the sun beat down on us with an almost
summer heat. On crossing a ridge near Castel Guido, we took our last
look of Rome, and saw from the other side the sunshine lying like a
dazzling belt on the far Mediterranean. The country is one of the most
wretched that can be imagined. Miles and miles of uncultivated land,
with scarcely a single habitation, extend on either side of the road,
and the few shepherds who watch their flocks in the marshy hollows, look
wild and savage enough for any kind of crime. It made me shudder to see
every face bearing such a villainous stamp.

_Civita Vecchia, Jan. 1._--We left Palo just after sunrise, and walked
in the cool of the morning beside the blue Mediterranean. On the right,
the low outposts of the Appenines rose, bleak and brown, the narrow
plain between them and the shore resembling a desert, so destitute was
it of the signs of civilized life. A low, white cloud that hung over the
sea, afar off, showed us the locality of Sardinia, though the land was
not visible. The sun shone down warmly, and with the blue sky and bluer
sea we could easily have imagined a milder season. The barren scenery
took a new interest in my eyes, when I remembered that I was spending
amidst it that birth-day which removes me, in the eyes of the world,
from dependant youth to responsible manhood.

In the afternoon we found a beautiful cove in a curve of the shore, and
went to bathe in the cold surf. It was very refreshing, but not quite
equal to the sulphur-bath on the road to Tivoli. The mountains now ran
closer to the sea, and the road was bordered with thickets of myrtle. I
stopped often to beat my staff into the bushes, and inhale the fragrance
that arose from their crushed leaves. The hills were covered with this
poetical shrub, and any acre of the ground would make the fortune of a
florist at home.

The sun was sinking in a sky of orange and rose, as Civita Vecchia came
in sight on a long headland before us. Beyond the sea stretched the dim
hills of Corsica. We walked nearly an hour in the clear moonlight, by
the sounding shore, before the gate of the city was reached. We have
found a tolerable inn, and are now enjoying the pleasures of supper and
rest.

_Marseilles, Jan. 16._--At length we tread the shore of France--of sunny
Provence--the last unvisited realm we have to roam through before
returning home. It is with a feeling of more than common relief that we
see around us the lively faces and hear the glib tongues of the French.
It is like an earnest that the "roughing" we have undergone among
Bohemian boors and Italian savages is well nigh finished, and that,
henceforth, we shall find civilized sympathy and politeness, if nothing
more, to make the way smoother. Perhaps the three woful days which
terminated at half-past two yesterday afternoon, as we passed through
the narrow strait into the beautiful harbor which Marseilles encloses in
her sheltering heart, make it still pleasanter. Now, while there is
time, I must describe those three days, for who could write on the wet
deck of a steamboat, amid all the sights and smells which a sea voyage
creates? Description does not flourish when the bones are sore with
lying on planks, and the body shivering like an aspen leaf with cold.

About the old town of Civita Vecchia there is not much to be said,
except that it has the same little harbor which Trajan dug for it, and
is as dirty and disagreeable as a town can well be. We saw nothing
except a little church, and the prison-yard, full of criminals, where
the celebrated bandit, Gasparoni, has been now confined for eight years.

The Neapolitan Company's boat, _Mongibello_, was advertised to leave the
12th, so, after procuring our passports, we went to the office to take
passage. The official, however, refused to give us tickets for the third
place, because, forsooth, we were not servants or common laborers! and
words were wasted in trying to convince him that it would make no
difference. As the second cabin fare was nearly three times as high, and
entirely too dear for us, we went to the office of the Tuscan Company,
whose boat was to leave in two days. Through the influence of an Italian
gentleman, secretary to Bartolini, the American Consul, whom we met,
they agreed to take us for forty-five francs, on deck, the price of the
Neapolitan boat being thirty.

Rather than stay two days longer in the dull town, we went again to the
latter Company's office and offered them forty-five francs to go that
day in _their_ boat. This removed the former scruples, and tickets were
immediately made out. After a plentiful dinner at the albergo, to
prepare ourselves for the exposure, we filled our pockets with a supply
of bread, cheese, and figs, for the voyage. We then engaged a boatman,
who agreed to row us out to the steamer for two pauls, but after he had
us on board and an oar's length from the quay, he said two pauls
_apiece_ was his bargain. I instantly refused, and, summoning the best
Italian I could command, explained our agreement; but he still persisted
in demanding double price. The dispute soon drew a number of persons to
the quay, some of whom, being boatmen, sided with him. Finding he had us
safe in his boat, his manner was exceedingly calm and polite. He
contradicted me with a "pardon, Signore!" accompanying the words with a
low bow and a graceful lift of his scarlet cap, and replied to my
indignant accusations in the softest and most silvery-modulated Roman
sentences. I found, at last, that if I was in the right, I cut the worse
figure of the two, and, therefore, put an end to the dispute by desiring
him to row on at his own price.

The hour of starting was two, but the boat lay quietly in the harbor
till four, when we glided out on the open sea, and went northward, with
the blue hills of Corsica far on our left. A gorgeous sunset faded away
over the water, and the moon rose behind the low mountains of the
Italian coast. Having found a warm and sheltered place near the chimney,
I drew my beaver further over my eyes, to keep out the moonlight, and
lay down on the deck with my knapsack under my head. It was a hard bed,
indeed; and the first time I attempted to rise, I found myself glued to
the floor by the pitch which was smeared along the seams of the boards!
Our fellow-sufferers were a company of Swiss soldiers going home after a
four years' service under the King of Naples, but they took to their
situation more easily than we.

Sleep was next to impossible, so I paced the deck occasionally, looking
out on the moonlit sea and the dim shores on either side. A little after
midnight we passed between Elba and Corsica. The dark crags of Elba rose
on our right, and the bold headlands of Napoleon's isle stood opposite,
at perhaps twenty miles' distance. There was something dreary and
mysterious in the whole scene, viewed at such a time--the grandeur of
his career, who was born on one and exiled to the other, gave it a
strange and thrilling interest.

We made the light-house before the harbor of Leghorn at dawn, and by
sunrise were anchored within the mole. I sat on the deck the whole day,
watching the picturesque vessels that skimmed about with their lateen
sails, and wondering how soon the sailors, on the deck of a Boston brig
anchored near us, would see my distant country. Leaving at four o'clock,
we dashed away, along the mountain coast of Carrara, at a rapid rate.
The wind was strong and cold, but I lay down behind the boiler, and
though the boards were as hard as ever, slept two or three hours. When I
awoke at half-past two in the morning, after a short rest, Genoa was
close at hand. We glided between the two revolving lights on the mole,
into the harbor, with the amphitheatre on which the superb city sits,
dark and silent around us. It began raining soon, the engine-fire sank
down, and as there was no place of shelter, we were shortly wet to the
skin.

How long those dreary hours seemed, till the dawn came! All was cold and
rainy and dark, and we waited in a kind of torpid misery for daylight.
The entire day, I passed sitting in a coil of rope under the stern of
the cabin, and even the beauties of the glorious city scarce affected
me. We lay opposite the Doria palace, and the constellation of villas
and towers still glittered along the hills; but who, with his teeth
chattering and limbs numb and damp, could feel pleasure in looking on
Elysium itself?

We got under way again at three o'clock. The rain very soon hid the
coast from view, and the waves pitched our boat about in a manner not at
all pleasant. I soon experienced sea-sickness in all its horrors. We had
accidentally made the acquaintance of one of the Neapolitan sailors, who
had been in America. He was one of those rough, honest natures I like to
meet with--their blunt kindness, is better than refined and oily-tongued
suavity. As we were standing by the chimney, reflecting dolefully how we
should pass the coming night, he came up and said; "I am in trouble
about you, poor fellows! I don't think I shall sleep three hours
to-night, to think of you. I shall tell all the cabin they shall give
you beds, because they shall see you are gentlemen!" Whether he did so
or the officers were moved by spontaneous commiseration, we knew not,
but in half an hour a servant beckoned us into the cabin, and berths
were given us.

I turned in with a feeling of relief not easily imagined, and forgave
the fleas willingly, in the comfort of a shelter from the storm. When I
awoke, it was broad day. A fresh breeze was drying the deck, and the sun
was half-visible among breaking clouds. We had just passed the Isle of
the Titan, one of the _Isles des Hyères_, and the bay of Toulon opened
on our right. It was a rugged, rocky coast, but the hills of sunny
Provence rose beyond. The sailor came up with a smile of satisfaction on
his rough countenance, and said: "You did sleep better, I think; I did
tell them all!" coupling his assertion with a round curse on the
officers.

We ran along, beside the brown, bare crags till nearly noon, when we
reached the eastern point of the Bay of Marseilles. A group of small
islands, formed of bare rocks, rising in precipices three or four
hundred feet high, guards the point; on turning into the Gulf, we saw on
the left the rocky islands of Pomegues, and If, with the castle crowning
the latter, in which Mirabeau was confined. The ranges of hills which
rose around the great bay, were spotted and sprinkled over with
thousands of the country cottages of the Marseilles merchants, called
_Bastides_; the city itself was hidden from view. We saw apparently the
whole bay, but there was no crowd of vessels, such as would befit a
great sea-port; a few spires peeping over a hill, with some
fortifications, were all that was visible. At length we turned suddenly
aside and entered a narrow strait, between two forts. Immediately a
broad harbor opened before us, locked in the very heart of the hills on
which the city stands. It was covered with vessels of all nations; on
leaving the boat, we rowed past the "Aristides," bearing the blue cross
of Greece, and I searched eagerly and found, among the crowded masts,
the starry banner of America.

I have rambled through all the principal parts of Marseilles, and am
very favorably impressed with its appearance. Its cleanliness and the
air of life and business which marks the streets, are the more pleasant
after coming from the dirty and depopulated Italian cities. The broad
avenues, lined with trees, which traverse its whole length, must be
delightful in summer. I am often reminded, by its spacious and crowded
thoroughfares, of our American cities. Although founded by the Phoceans,
three thousand years ago, it has scarcely an edifice of greater
antiquity than three or four centuries, and the tourist must content
himself with wandering through the narrow streets of the old town,
observing the Provençal costumes, or strolling among Turks and Moors on
the _Quai d'Orléans_.

We have been detained here a day longer than was necessary, owing to
some misunderstanding about the passports. This has not been favorable
to our reduced circumstances, for we have, now but twenty francs each,
left, to take us to Paris. Our boots, too, after serving us so long,
begin to show signs of failing in this hour of adversity. Although we
are somewhat accustomed to such circumstances, I cannot help shrinking
when I think of the solitary napoleon and the five hundred miles to be
passed. Perhaps, however, the coin will do as much as its great
namesake, and achieve for us a Marengo in the war with fate.



CHAPTER XLIII.

PILGRIMAGE TO VAUCLUSE AND JOURNEY UP THE RHONE.


We left Marseilles about nine o'clock, on a dull, rainy morning, for
Avignon and the Rhone, intending to take in our way the glen of
Vaucluse. The dirty _faubourgs_ stretch out along the road for a great
distance, and we trudged through them, past foundries, furnaces and
manufactories, considerably disheartened with the prospect. We wound
among the bleak stony hills, continually ascending, for nearly three
hours. Great numbers of cabarets, frequented by the common people, lined
the roads, and we met continually trains of heavy laden wagons, drawn by
large mules. The country is very wild and barren, and would have been
tiresome, except for the pine groves with their beautiful green foliage.
We got something to eat with difficulty at an inn, for the people spoke
nothing but the Provençal dialect, and the place was so cold and
cheerless we were glad to go out again into the storm. It mattered
little to us, that we heard the language in which the gay troubadours of
king René sung their songs of love. We thought more of our dripping
clothes and numb, cold limbs, and would have been glad to hear instead,
the strong, hearty German tongue, full of warmth and kindly sympathy for
the stranger. The wind swept drearily among the hills; black, gusty
clouds covered the sky, and the incessant rain filled the road with
muddy pools. We looked at the country chateaux, so comfortable in the
midst of their sheltering poplars, with a sigh, and thought of homes
afar off, whose doors were never closed to _us_.

This was all forgotten, when we reached Aix, and the hostess of the Café
d'Afrique filled her little stove with fresh coal, and hung our wet
garments around it, while her daughter, a pale-faced, crippled child,
smiled kindly on us and tried to talk with us in French. Putting on our
damp, heavy coats again, B---- and I rambled through the streets, while
our frugal supper was preparing. We saw the statue of the _Bon Roi
René_, who held at Aix his court of shepherds and troubadours--the dark
Cathedral of St. Saveur--the ancient walls and battlements, and gazed
down the valley at the dark, precipitous mass of Mont St. Victor, at
whose base Marius obtained a splendid victory over the barbarians.

After leaving next morning, we saw at some distance to the south, the
enormous aqueduct now being erected for the canal from the Rhone to
Marseilles. The shallow, elevated valleys we passed in the forenoon's
walk were stony and barren, but covered with large orchards of almond
trees, the fruit of which forms a considerable article of export. This
district borders on the desert of the Crau, a vast plain of stones,
reaching to the mouth of the Rhone and almost entirely uninhabited. We
caught occasional glimpses of its sea-like waste, between the summits of
the hills. At length, after threading a high ascent, we saw the valley
of the Durance suddenly below us. The sun, breaking through the clouds,
shone on the mountain wall, which stood on the opposite side, touching
with his glow the bare and rocky precipices that frowned far above the
stream. Descending to the valley, we followed its course towards the
Rhone, with the ruins of feudal bourgs crowning the crags above us.

It was dusk, when we reached the village of Senas, tired with the day's
march. A landlord, standing in his door, on the lookout for customers,
invited us to enter, in a manner so polite and pressing, we could not
choose but do so. This is a universal custom with the country
innkeepers. In a little village which we passed towards evening, there
was a tavern, with the sign: "_The Mother of Soldiers_." A portly woman,
whose face beamed with kindness and cheerfulness, stood in the door and
invited us to stop there for the night. "No, mother!" I answered; "we
must go much further to-day." "Go, then," said she, "with good luck, my
children! a pleasant journey!" On entering the inn at Senas, two or
three bronzed soldiers were sitting by the table. My French vocabulary
happening to give out in the middle of a consultation about eggs and
onion-soup, one of them came to my assistance and addressed me in
German. He was from Fulda, in Hesse Cassel, and had served fifteen years
in Africa. Two other young soldiers, from the western border of Germany,
came during the evening, and one of them being partly intoxicated,
created such a tumult, that a quarrel arose, which ended in his being
beaten and turned out of the house.

We met, every day, large numbers of recruits in companies of one or two
hundred, on their way to Marseilles to embark for Algiers. They were
mostly youths, from sixteen to twenty years of age, and seemed little to
forebode their probable fate. In looking on their fresh, healthy faces
and bounding forms, I saw also a dim and ghastly vision of bones
whitening on the desert, of men perishing with heat and fever, or
stricken down by the aim of the savage Bedouin.

Leaving next morning at day-break, we walked on before breakfast to
Orgon, a little village in a corner of the cliffs which border the
Durance, and crossed the muddy river by a suspension bridge a short
distance below, to Cavaillon, where the country people were holding a
great market. From this place a road led across the meadow-land to
L'Isle, six miles distant. This little town is so named, because it is
situated on an island formed by the crystal Sorgues, which flows from
the fountains of Vaucluse. It is a very picturesque and pretty place.
Great mill-wheels, turning slowly and constantly, stand at intervals in
the stream, whose grassy banks are now as green as in spring-time. We
walked along the Sorgues, which is quite as beautiful and worthy to be
sung as the Clitumnus, to the end of the village, to take the road to
Vaucluse. Beside its banks stands a dirty, modern "Hotel de Petrarque et
Laure." Alas, that the names of the most romantic and impassioned lovers
of all history should be desecrated to a sign-post to allure
gormandizing tourists!

The bare mountain in whose heart lies the poet's solitude, now rose
before us, at the foot of the lofty Mont Ventoux, whose summit of snows
extended beyond. We left the river, and walked over a barren plain,
across which the wind blew most drearily. The sky was rainy and dark,
and completed the desolateness of the scene, which in no wise heightened
our anticipations of the renowned glen. At length we rejoined the
Sorgues and entered a little green valley running up into the mountain.
The narrowness of the entrance entirely shut out the wind, and except
the rolling of the waters over their pebbly bed, all was still and
lonely and beautiful. The sides of the dell were covered with olive
trees, and a narrow strip of emerald meadow lay at the bottom. It grew
more hidden and sequestered as we approached the little village of
Vaucluse. Here, the mountain towers far above, and precipices of grey
rock, many hundred feet high, hang over the narrowing glen. On a crag
over the village are the remains of a castle; the slope below this, now
rugged and stony, was once graced by the cottage and garden of Petrarch.
All traces of them have long since vanished, but a simple column,
bearing the inscription; "À PETRARQUE," stands beside the Sorgues.

We ascended into the defile by a path among the rocks, overshadowed by
olive and wild fig trees, to the celebrated fountains of Vaucluse. The
glen seems as if struck into the mountain's depths by one blow of an
enchanter's wand; and just at the end, where the rod might have rested
in its downward sweep, is the fathomless well whose overbrimming fulness
gives birth to the Sorgues. We climbed up over the mossy rocks and sat
down in the grot, beside the dark, still pool. It was the most absolute
solitude. The rocks towered above and over us, to the height of six
hundred feet, and the gray walls of the wild glen below shut out all
appearance of life. I leaned over the rock and drank of the blue crystal
that grew gradually darker towards the centre, till it became a mirror,
and gave back a perfect reflection of the crags above it. There was no
bubbling--no gushing up from its deep bosom--but the wealth of sparkling
waters continually welled over, as from a too-full goblet.

It was with actual sorrow that I turned away from the silent spot. I
never visited a place to which the fancy clung more suddenly and fondly.
There is something holy in its solitude, making one envy Petrarch the
years of calm and unsullied enjoyment which blessed him there. As some
persons, whom we pass as strangers, strike a hidden chord in our
spirits, compelling a silent sympathy with them, so some landscapes have
a character of beauty which harmonizes thrillingly with the mood in
which we look upon them, till we forget admiration in the glow of
spontaneous attachment. They seem like abodes of the Beautiful, which
the soul in its wanderings long ago visited, and now recognizes and
loves as the home of a forgotten dream. It was thus I felt by the
fountains of Vaucluse; sadly and with weary steps I turned away, leaving
its loneliness unbroken as before.

We returned over the plain in the wind, under the gloomy sky, passed
L'Isle at dusk, and after walking an hour with a rain following close
behind us, stopped at an _auberge_ in Le Thor, where we rested our tired
frames and broke our long day's fasting. We were greeted in the morning
with a dismal rain and wet roads, as we began the march. After a time,
however, it poured down in such torrents, that we were obliged to take
shelter in a _remise_ by the road, side, where a good woman, who
addressed us in the unintelligible Provençal, kindled up a blazing fire.
On climbing a long hill, when the storm had abated, we experienced a
delightful surprise. Below us lay the broad valley of the Rhone, with
its meadows looking fresh and spring-like after the rain. The clouds
were breaking away; clear blue sky was visible over Avignon, and a belt
of sunlight lay warmly along the mountains of Languedoc. Many villages,
with their tall, picturesque towers, dotted the landscape, and the
groves of green olive enlivened the barrenness of winter. Two or three
hours' walk over the plain, by a road fringed with willows, brought us
to the gates of Avignon.

We walked around its picturesque turreted wall, and rambled through its
narrow streets, washed here and there by streams which turn the old
mill-wheels lazily around. We climbed up to the massive palace, which
overlooks the city from its craggy seat, attesting the splendor it
enjoyed, when for thirty years the Papal Court was held there, and the
gray, weather-beaten, irregular building, resembling a pile of
precipitous rocks, echoed with the revels of licentious prelates. We
could not enter to learn the terrible secrets of the Inquisition, here
unveiled, but we looked up at the tower, from which the captive Rienzi
was liberated at the intercession of Petrarch.

After leaving Avignon, we took the road up the Rhone for Lyons, turning
our backs upon the _rainy_ south. We reached the village of Sorgues by
dusk, and accepted the invitation of an old dame to lodge at her _inn_,
which proved to be a _blacksmith's shop_! It was nevertheless clean and
comfortable, and we sat down in one corner, out of the reach of the
showers of sparks, which flew hissing from a red-hot horseshoe, that the
smith and his apprentice were hammering. A Piedmontese pedlar, who
carried the "Song of the Holy St. Philomène" to sell among the peasants,
came in directly, and bargained for a sleep on some hay, for two sous.
For a bed in the loft over the shop, we were charged five sous each,
which, with seven sous for supper, made our expenses for the night about
eleven cents! Our circumstances demanded the greatest economy, and we
began to fear whether even this spare allowance would enable us to reach
Lyons. Owing to a day's delay in Marseilles, we had left that city with
but fifteen francs each; the incessant storms of winter and the worn-out
state of our shoes, which were no longer proof against water or mud,
prolonged our journey considerably, so that by starting before dawn and
walking till dark, we were only able to make thirty miles a day. We
could always procure beds for five sous, and as in the country inns one
is only charged for what he chooses to order, our frugal suppers cost us
but little. We purchased bread and cheese in the villages, and made our
breakfasts and dinners on a bank by the roadside, or climbed the rocks
and sat down by the source of some trickling rill. This simple fare had
an excellent relish, and although we walked in wet clothes from morning
till night, often laying down on the damp, cold earth to rest, our
health was never affected.

It is worth all the toil and privation we have as yet undergone, to
gain, from actual experience, the blessed knowledge that man always
retains a kindness and brotherly sympathy towards his fellow--that under
all the weight of vice and misery which a grinding oppression of soul
and body brings on the laborers of earth, there still remain many bright
tokens of a better nature. Among the starving mountaineers of the
Hartz--the degraded peasantry of Bohemia--the savage _contadini_ of
Central Italy, or the dwellers on the hills of Provence and beside the
swift Rhone, we almost invariably found kind, honest hearts, and an
aspiration for something better, betokening the consciousness that such
brute-like, obedient existence was not their proper destiny. We found
few so hardened as to be insensible to a kind look or a friendly word,
and nothing made us forget we were among strangers so much as the many
tokens of sympathy which met us when least looked for. A young
Englishman, who had traveled on foot from Geneva to Rome, enduring many
privations on account of his reduced circumstances, said to me, while
speaking on this subject: "A single word of kindness from a stranger
would make my heart warm and my spirits cheerful, for days afterwards."
There is not so much evil in man as men would have us believe; and it is
a happy comfort to know and feel this.

Leaving our little inn before day break next morning, we crossed the
Sorgues, grown muddy since its infancy at Vaucluse, like many a young
soul, whose mountain purity goes out into the soiling world and becomes
sullied forever. The road passed over broad, barren ranges of hills, and
the landscape was destitute of all interest, till we approached Orange.
This city is built at the foot of a rocky height, a great square
projection of which seemed to stand in its midst. As we approached
nearer, however, arches and lines of cornice could be discerned, and we
recognized it as the celebrated amphitheatre, one of the grandest Roman
relics in the south of France.

I stood at the foot of this great fabric, and gazed up at it in
astonishment. The exterior wall, three hundred and thirty-four feet in
length, and rising to the height of one hundred and twenty-one feet, is
still in excellent, preservation, and through its rows of solid arches
one looks on the broken ranges of seats within. On the crag above, and
looking as if about to topple down on it, is a massive fragment of the
fortress of the Princes of Orange, razed by Louis XIV. Passing through
the city, we came to the beautiful Roman triumphal arch, which to my eye
is a finer structure than that of Constantino at Rome. It is built of a
rich yellow marble and highly ornamented with sculptured trophies. From
the barbaric shields and the letters MARIO, still remaining, it has been
supposed to commemorate the victory of Marius over the barbarians, near
Aix. A frieze, running along the top, on each side, shows, although
broken and much defaced by the weather, the life and action which once
marked the struggling figures. These Roman ruins, scattered through
Provence and Languedoc, though inferior in historical interest, equal
in architectural beauty the greater part of those in the Eternal City
itself.

The rest of the day the road was monotonous, though varied somewhat by
the tall crags of Mornas and Mont-dragon, towering over the villages of
the same name. Night came on as the rock of Pierrelatte, at whose foot
we were to sleep, appeared in the distance, rising like a Gibraltar from
the plain, and we only reached it in time to escape the rain that came
down the valley of the Rhone.

Next day we passed several companies of soldiers on their way to Africa.
One of them was accompanied by a young girl, apparently the wife of the
recruit by whose side she was marching. She wore the tight blue jacket
of the troop, and a red skirt, reaching to the knees, over her soldier
pantaloons; while her pretty face showed to advantage beneath a small
military cap. It was a "Fille du Regiment" in real life. Near
Montelimart, we lost sight of Mont Ventoux, whose gleaming white crest
had been visible all the way from Vaucluse, and passed along the base of
a range of hills running near to the river. So went our march, without
particular incident, till we bivouacked for the night among a company of
soldiers in the little village of Loriol.

Leaving at six o'clock, wakened by the trumpets which called up the
soldiery to their day's march, we reached the river Drome at dawn, and
from the bridge over its rapid current, gazed at the dim, ash-colored
masses of the Alps of Dauphiné, piled along the sky, far up the valley.
The coming of morn threw a yellow glow along their snowy sides, and
lighted up, here and there, a flashing glacier. The peasantry were
already up and at work, and caravans of pack-wagons rumbled along in the
morning twilight We trudged on with them, and by breakfast-time had made
some distance of the way to Valence. The road, which does not approach
the Rhone, is devoid of interest and tiresome, though under a summer
sky, when the bare vine-hills are latticed over with green, and the
fruit-trees covered with blossoms and foliage, it might be a scene of
great beauty.

Valence, which we reached towards noon, is a commonplace city on the
Rhone; and my only reasons for traversing its dirty streets in
preference to taking the road, which passes without the walls, were--to
get something for dinner, and because it _might_ have been the
birth-place of Aymer de Valence, the valorous Crusader, chronicled in
"Ivanhoe," whose tomb I had seen in Westminster Abbey. One of the
streets which was marked "_Rue Bayard_," shows that my valiant
namesake--the knight without fear and reproach--is still remembered in
his native province. The ruins of his chateau are still standing among
the Alps near Grenoble.

In the afternoon we crossed the Isère, a swift, muddy river, which rises
among the Alps of Dauphiné, We saw their icy range, among which is the
desert solitude of the Grand Chartreuse, far up the valley; but the
thick atmosphere hid the mighty Mont Blanc, whose cloudy outline, eighty
miles distant in a "bee line," is visible in fair weather. At Tain, we
came upon the Rhone again, and walked along the base of the hills which
contract its current. Here, I should call it beautiful. The scenery has
a wildness that approaches to that of the Rhine. Rocky, castellated
heights frown over the rushing waters, which have something of the
majesty of their "exulting and abounding" rival. Winding around the
curving hills, the scene is constantly varied, and the little willowed
islets clasped in the embrace of the stream, mingle a trait of softened
beauty with its sterner character.

After passing the night at a village on its banks, we left it again at
St. Vallier, the next morning. At sunset, the spires of Vienne were
visible, and the lofty Mont Pilas, the snows of whose riven summits feed
the springs of the Loire on its western side, stretched majestically
along the opposite bank of the Rhone. In a meadow, near Vienne, stands a
curious Roman obelisk, seventy-six feet in height. The base is composed
of four pillars, connected by arches, and the whole structure has a
barbaric air, compared with the more elegant monuments of Orange and
Nismes. Vienne, which is mentioned by several of the Roman historians
under its present name, was the capital of the Allobroges, and I looked
upon it with a new and strange interest, on calling to mind my
school-boy days, when I had become familiar with that war-like race, in
toiling over the pages of Cæsar. We walked in the mud and darkness for
what seemed a great distance, and finally took shelter in a little inn
at the northern end of the city. Two Belgian soldiers, coming from
Africa, were already quartered there, and we listened to their tales of
the Arab and the desert, while supper was preparing.

The morning of the 25th was dull and rainy; the road, very muddy and
unpleasant, led over the hills, avoiding the westward curve of the
Rhone, directly towards Lyons. About noon, we came in sight of the broad
valley in which the Rhone first clasps his Burgundian bride--the Saone,
and a cloud of impenetrable coal-smoke showed us the location of Lyons.
A nearer approach revealed a large flat dome, and some ranges of tall
buildings near the river. We soon entered the suburb of La Guillotière,
which has sprung up on the eastern bank of the Rhone. Notwithstanding
our clothes were like sponges, our boots entirely worn out, and our
bodies somewhat thin with nine days exposure to the wintry storms in
walking two hundred and forty miles, we entered Lyons with suspense and
anxiety. But one franc apiece remained out of the fifteen with which we
left Marseilles. B---- wrote home some time ago, directing a remittance
to be forwarded to a merchant at Paris, to whom he had a letter of
introduction, and in the hope that this had arrived, he determined to
enclose the letter in a note, stating our circumstances, and requesting
him to forward a part of the remittance to Lyons. We had then to wait at
least four days; people are suspicious and mistrustful in cities, and if
no relief should come, what was to be done?

After wading through the mud of the suburbs, we chose a common-looking
inn near the river, as the comfort of our stay depended wholly on the
kindness of our hosts, and we hoped to find more sympathy among the
laboring classes. We engaged lodgings for four or five days; after
dinner the letter was dispatched, and we wandered about through the
dark, dirty city until night. Our landlord, Monsieur Ferrand, was a
rough, vigorous man, with a gloomy, discontented expression; his words
were few and blunt; but a certain restlessness of manner, and a secret
flashing of his cold, forbidding eye betrayed to me some strong hidden
excitement. Madame Ferrand was kind and talkative, though passionate;
but the appearance of the place gave me an unfavorable impression, which
was heightened by the thought that it was now impossible to change our
lodgings until relief should arrive. When bed-time came, a ladder was
placed against a sort of high platform along one side of the kitchen; we
mounted and found a bed, concealed from the view of those below by a
dusty muslin curtain. We lay there, between heaven and earth--the dirty
earth of the brick floor and the sooty heaven of the ceiling--listening
until midnight to the boisterous songs, and loud, angry disputes in the
room adjoining. Thus ended our first day in Lyons.

Five weary days, each of them containing a month of torturing suspense,
have since passed. Our lodging-place grew so unpleasant that we
preferred wandering all day through the misty, muddy, smoky streets,
taking refuge in the covered bazaars when it rained heavily. The gloom
of every thing around us, entirely smothered down the lightness of heart
which made us laugh over our embarrassments at Vienna. When at evening,
the dull, leaden hue of the clouds seemed to make the air dark and cold
and heavy, we walked beside the swollen and turbid Rhone, under an
avenue of leafless trees, the damp soil chilling our feet and striking a
numbness through our frames, and _then_ I knew what those must feel who
have _no_ hope in their destitution, and not a friend in all the great
world, who is not wretched as themselves. I prize the lesson, though the
price of it is hard.

"This morning," I said to B----, "will terminate our suspense." I felt
cheerful in spite of myself; and this was like a presentiment of coming
good luck. To pass the time till the mail arrived we climbed to the
chapel of _Fourvières_, whose walls are covered with votive offerings to
a miraculous picture of the Virgin. But at the precise hour we were at
the Post Office. What an intensity of suspense can be felt in that
minute, while the clerk is looking over the letters! And what a
lightning-like shock of joy when it _did_ come, and was opened with
eager, trembling hands, revealing the relief we had almost despaired of!
The city did not seem less gloomy, for that was impossible, but the
faces of the crowd which had appeared cold and suspicious, were now kind
and cheerful. we came home to our lodgings with changed feelings, and
Madame Ferrand must have seen the joy in our faces, for she greeted us
with an unusual smile.

We leave to-morrow morning for Chalons. I do not feel disposed to
describe Lyons particularly, although I have become intimately
acquainted with every part of it, from _Presqu' isle Perrache to Croix
Rousse_. I know the contents of every shop in the Bazaar, and the
passage of the Hotel Dieu--the title of every volume in the bookstores
in the Place Belcour--and the countenance of every boot-block and
apple-woman on the Quais on both sides of the river. I have walked up
the Saone to _Pierre Seise_--down the Rhone to his muddy
marriage--climbed the Heights of _Fourvières_, and promenaded in the
_Cours Napoleon_! Why, men have been presented with the freedom of
cities, when they have had far less cause for such an honor than this!



CHAPTER XLIV.

TRAVELING IN BURGUNDY--THE MISERIES OF A COUNTRY DILIGENCE.


_Paris, Feb. 6, 1840._--Every letter of the date is traced with an
emotion of joy, for our dreary journey is over. There was a magic in the
name that revived us during a long journey, and now the thought that it
is all over--that these walls which enclose us, stand in the heart of
the gay city--seems almost too joyful to be true. Yesterday I marked
with the whitest chalk, on the blackest of all tablets to make the
contrast greater, for I got out of the cramped diligence at the Barrière
de Charenton, and saw before me in the morning twilight, the immense
groy mass of Paris. I forgot my numbed and stiffened frame, and every
other of the thousand disagreeable feelings of diligence traveling, in
the pleasure which that sight afforded.

We arose in the dark at Lyons, and after bidding adieu to morose
Monsieur Ferrand, traversed the silent city and found our way in the
mist and gloom to the steamboat landing on the Saone. The waters were
swollen much above their usual level, which was favorable for the boat,
as long as there was room enough left to pass under the bridges. After a
great deal of bustle we got under way, and were dashing out of Lyons,
against the swift current, before day-break. We passed _L'Isle Barbe_,
once a favorite residence of Charlemagne, and now the haunt of the
Lyonnaise on summer holidays, and going under the suspension bridges
with levelled chimneys, entered the picturesque hills above, which are
covered with vineyards nearly to the top; the villages scattered over
them have those square, pointed towers, which give such a quaintness to
French country scenery.

The stream being very high, the meadows on both sides were deeply
overflowed. To avoid the strong current in the centre, our boat ran
along the banks, pushing aside the alder thickets and poplar shoots; in
passing the bridges, the pipes were always brought down flat on the
deck. A little after noon, we passed the large town of Macon, the
birth-place of the poet Lamartine. The valley of the Saone, no longer
enclosed among the hills, spread out to several miles in width. Along
the west lay in sunshine the vine-mountains of Côte d'Or, and among the
dark clouds in the eastern sky, we could barely distinguish the outline
of the Jura. The waters were so much swollen as to cover the plain for
two or three miles. We seemed to be sailing down a lake, with rows of
trees springing up out of the water, and houses and villages lying like
islands on its surface. A sunset that promised better weather tinged the
broad brown flood, as Chalons came in sight, looking like a city built
along the shore of a lake. We squeezed through the crowd of porters and
diligence men, declining their kind offers, and hunted quarters to suit
ourselves.

We left Chalons on the morning of the 1st, in high spirits at the
thought that there were but little more than two hundred miles between
us and Paris. In walking over the cold, muddy plain, we passed a family
of strolling musicians, who were sitting on a heap of stones by the
roadside. An ill-dressed, ill-natured man and woman, each carrying a
violin, and a thin, squalid girl, with a tamborine, composed the group.
Their faces bore that unfeeling stamp, which springs from depravity and
degradation. When we had walked somewhat more than a mile, we overtook a
little girl, who was crying bitterly. By her features, from which the
fresh beauty of childhood had not been worn, and the steel triangle
which was tied to her belt, we knew she belonged to the family we had
passed. Her dress was thin and ragged and a pair of wooden shoes but ill
protected her feet from the sharp cold. I stopped and asked her why she
cried, but she did not at first answer. However, by questioning, I found
her unfeeling parents had sent her on without food; she was sobbing with
hunger and cold. Our pockets were full of bread and cheese which we had
bought for breakfast, and we gave her half a loaf, which stopped her
tears at once. She looked up and thanked us, smiling; and sitting down
on a bank, began to eat as if half famished.

The physiognomy of this region is very singular. It appears as if the
country had been originally a vast elevated plain, and some great power
had _scooped_ out, as with a hand, deep circular valleys all over its
surface. In winding along the high ridges, we often looked down, on
either side, into such hollows, several miles in diameter, and sometimes
entirely covered with vineyards. At La Rochepot, a quaint, antique
village, lying in the bottom of one of these dells, we saw the finest
ruin of the middle ages that I have met with in France. An American lady
had spoken to me of it in Rome, and I believe Willis mentions it in his
"Pencillings," but it is not described in the guide books, nor could we
learn what feudal lord had ever dwelt in its halls. It covers the summit
of a stately rock, at whose foot the village is crouched, and the green
ivy climbs up to the very top of its gray towers.

As the road makes a wide curve around the side of the hill, we descended
to the village by the nearer foot-path, and passed among its low, old
houses, with their pointed gables and mossy roofs. The path led close
along the foot of the rock, and we climbed up to the ruin, and stood in
its grass-grown courtyard. Only the outer walls and the round towers at
each corner are left remaining; the inner part has been razed to the
ground, and where proud barons once marshalled their vassals, the
villagers now play their holiday games. On one side, several Gothic
windows are left standing, perfect, though of simple construction, and
in the towers we saw many fire-places and door-ways of richly cut stone,
which looked as fresh as if just erected.

We passed the night at Ivry (not the Ivry which gained Henri Quatre his
kingdom) and then continued our march over roads which I can only
compare to our country roads in America during the spring thaw. In
addition to this, the rain commenced early in the morning and continued
all day, so that we were completely wet the whole time. The plains, too
high and cold to produce wine, were varied by forests of beech and oak,
and the population was thinly scattered over them in small villages.
Travelers generally complain very much of the monotony of this part of
France, and, with such dreary weather, we could not disagree with them.

As the day wore on, the rain increased, and the sky put on that dull,
gray cast, which denotes a lengthened storm. We were fain to stop at
nightfall, but there was no inn near at hand--not even a hovel of a
_cabaret_ in which to shelter ourselves, and, on enquiring of the
wagoners, we received the comforting assurance that there was yet a
league and a half to the nearest stopping place. On, then, we went, with
the pitiless storm beating in our faces and on our breasts, till there
was not a dry spot left, except what our knapsacks covered. We could not
have been more completely saturated if we had been dipped in the Yonne.
At length, after two hours of slipping and sliding along in the mud and
wet and darkness, we reached Saulieu, and, by the warm fire, thanked our
stars that the day's dismal tramp was over.

By good or bad luck (I have not yet decided which) a vehicle was to
start the next morning for Auxerre, distant sixty miles, and the fare
being but five francs, we thought it wisest to take places. It was
always with reluctance that we departed from our usual mode of
traveling, but, in the present instance, the circumstances absolutely
compelled it.

Next morning, at sunrise, we took our seats in a large, square vehicle
on two wheels, calculated for six persons and a driver, with a single
horse. But, as he was fat and round as an elephant, and started off at a
brisk pace, and we were well protected from the rain, it was not so bad
after all, barring the jolts and jarred vertebræ. We drove on, over the
same dreary expanse of plain and forest, passing through two or three
towns in the course of the day, and by evening had made somewhat more
than half our journey. Owing to the slowness of our fresh horse, we were
jolted about the whole night, and did not arrive at Auxerre until six
o'clock in the morning. After waiting an hour in a hotel beside the
rushing Yonne, a lumbering diligence was got ready, and we were given
places to Paris for seven francs. As the distance is one hundred and ten
miles, this would be considered cheap, but I should not want to travel
it again and be paid for doing so. Twelve persons were packed into a box
not large enough for a cow, and no cabinet-maker ever dove-tailed the
corners of his bureaus tighter than we did our knees and nether
extremities. It is my lot to be blessed with abundance of stature, and
none but tall persons can appreciate the misery of sitting for hours
with their joints in an immovable vice. The closeness of the
atmosphere--for the passengers would not permit the windows to be opened
for fear of taking cold--combined with loss of sleep, made me so drowsy
that my head was continually falling on my next neighbor, who, being a
heavy country lady, thrust it indignantly away. I would then try my best
to keep it up awhile, but it would droop gradually, till the crash of a
bonnet or a smart bump against some other head would recall me, for a
moment, to consciousness.

We passed Joigny, on the Yonne, Sens, with its glorious old cathedral,
and at dusk reached Montercau, on the Seine. This was the scene of one
of Napoleon's best victories, on his return from Elba. In driving over
the bridge, I looked down on the swift and swollen current, and hoped
that its hue might never be darkened again so fearfully as the last
sixty years have witnessed. No river in Europe has such an association
connected with it. We think of the Danube, for its majesty, of the
Rhine, for its wild beauty, but of the Seine--for its blood!

In coming thus to the last famed stream I shall visit in Europe, I might
say, with Barry Cornwall:

    "We've sailed through banks of green,
      Where the wild waves fret and quiver;
    And we've down the Danube been--
      The dark, deep, thundering river!
    We've thridded the Elbe and Rhone,
      The Tiber and blood dyed Seine,
    And we've been where the blue Garonne
      Goes laughing to meet the main!"

All that night did we endure squeezing and suffocation, and no morn was
ever more welcome than that which revealed to us Paris. With matted
hair, wild, glaring eyes, and dusty and dishevelled habiliments, we
entered the gay capital, and blessed every stone upon which we placed
our feet, in the fulness of our joy.

In paying our fare at Auxerre, I was obliged to use a draft on the
banker, Rougemont de Lowenberg. The ignorant conductor hesitated to
change this, but permitted us to go, on condition of keeping it until we
should arrive. Therefore, on getting out of the diligence, after
forty-eight hours of sleepless and fasting misery, the _facteur_ of the
office went with me to get it paid, leaving B---- to wait for us. I knew
nothing of Paris, and this merciless man kept me for three hours at his
heels, following him on all _his_ errands, before he did mine, in that
time traversing the whole length of the city, in order to leave a
_chèvre-feuille_ at an aristocratic residence in the Faubourg St.
Germain. Yet even combined weariness and hunger could not prevent me
from looking with vivid interest down a long avenue, at the Column of
the place Vendôme, in passing, and gazing up in wonder at the splendid
portico of the Madeleine. But of anything else I have a very faint
remembrance. "You can eat breakfast, now, I think," said he, when we
returned, "we have walked more than four leagues!"

I know we will be excused, that, instead of hurrying away to Notre Dame
or the Louvre, we sat down quietly to a most complete breakfast. Even
the most romantic must be forced to confess that admiration does not sit
well on an empty stomach. Our first walk was to a bath, and then, with
complexions several shades lighter, and limbs that felt us if lifted by
invisible wings, we hurried away to the Post Office. I seized the
welcome missives from my far home, with a beating heart, and hastening
back, read till the words became indistinct in the twilight.



CHAPTER XLV.

POETICAL SCENES IN PARIS.


What a gay little world in miniature this is! I wonder not that the
French, with their exuberant gaiety of spirit, should revel in its
ceaseless tides of pleasure, as if it were an earthly Elysium. I feel
already the influence of its cheerful atmosphere, and have rarely
threaded the crowds of a stranger city, with so light a heart as I do
now daily, on the thronged banks of the Seine. And yet it would be
difficult to describe wherein consists this agreeable peculiarity. You
can find streets as dark and crooked and dirty anywhere in Germany, and
squares and gardens as gay and sunny beyond the Alps, and yet they would
affect you far differently. You could not, as here, divest yourself of
every particle of sad or serious thought and be content to gaze for
hours on the showy scene, without an idea beyond the present moment. It
must be that the spirit of the croud is _magnetically_ contagious.

The evening of our arrival we walked out past the massive and stately
_Hotel de Ville_, and took a promenade along the Quais. The shops facing
the river presented a scene of great splendor. Several of the Quais on
the north bank of the Seine are occupied almost entirely by jewellers,
the windows of whose shops, arranged in a style of the greatest taste,
make a dazzling display. Rows of gold watches and chains are arranged
across the crystal panes, and heaped in pyramids on long glass slabs;
cylindrical wheels of wire, hung with jewelled breastpins and earrings,
turn slowly around by some invisible agency, displaying row after row of
their glittering treasures.

From the centre of the Pont Neuf, we could see for a long distance up
and down the river. The different bridges traced on either side a dozen
starry lines through the dark air, and a continued blaze lighted the
two shores in their whole length, revealing the outline of the Isle da
la Cité. I recognized the Palaces of the Louvre and the Tuileries in the
dusky mass beyond. Eastward, looming against the dark sky, I could
faintly trace the black towers of Notre Dame, The rushing of the swift
waters below mingled with the rattling of a thousand carts and
carriages, and the confusion of a thousand voices, till it seemed like
some grand nightly festival.

I first saw Notre Dame by moonlight. The shadow of its stupendous front
was thrown directly towards me, hiding the innumerable lines of the
ornamental sculpture which cover its tall, square towers. I walked
forward until the interlacing, Moorish arches between them stood full
against the moon, and the light, struggling through the quaint openings
of the tracery, streamed in silver lines down into the shadow. The
square before it was quite deserted, for it stands on a lonely part of
the Isle de la Cité, and it looked thus far more majestic and solemn
than in the glaring daylight.

The great quadrangle of the Tuileries encloses the Place du Carrousel,
in the centre of which stands a triumphal arch, erected by Napoleon
after his Italian victories. Standing in the middle of this arch, you
look through the open passage in the central building of the palace,
into the Gardens beyond. Further on, in a direct line, the middle avenue
of the Gardens extends away to the _Place de la Concorde_, where the
Obelisk of Luxor makes a perpendicular line through your vista; still
further goes the broad avenue through the Elysian Fields, until afar
off, the Arc de l'Etoile, _two miles distant_, closes this view through
the palace doorway.

Let us go through it, and on, to the Place de la Concorde, reserving the
Gardens for another time. What is there in Europe--nay, in the
world,--equal to this? In the centre, the mighty obelisk of red granite
pierces the sky,--on either hand showers of silver spray are thrown up
from splendid bronze fountains--statues and pillars of gilded bronze
sweep in a grand circle around the square, and on each side magnificent
vistas lead the eye off, and combine the distant with the near, to
complete this unparalleled view! Eastward, beyond the tall trees in the
garden of the Tuileries, rises the long front of the Palace, with the
tri-color floating above; westward, in front of us, is the Forest of the
Elysian Fields, with the arch of triumph nearly a mile and a half
distant, looking down from the end of the avenue, at the Barriere de
Neuilly. To the right and left are the marble fronts of the Church of
the Madeleine and the Chamber of Deputies, the latter on the other side
of the Seine. Thus the groves and gardens of Paris--the palace of her
kings--the proud monument of her sons' glory--and the masterpieces of
modern French architecture are all embraced in this one splendid _coup
d'oeil_.

Following the motley multitude to the bridge, I crossed and made my way
to the Hotel des Invalides. Along the esplanade, playful companies of
children were running and tumbling in their sports over the green turf,
which was as fresh as a meadow; while, not the least interesting feature
of the scene, numbers of scarred and disabled veterans, in the livery of
the Hospital, basked in the sunshine, watching with quiet satisfaction
the gambols of the second generation they have seen arise. What tales
could they not tell, those wrinkled and feeble old men! What visions of
Marengo and Austerlitz and Borodino shift still with a fiery vividness
through their fading memories! Some may have left a limb on the Lybian
desert; and the sabre of the Cossack may have scarred the brows of
others. They witnessed the rising and setting of that great meteor,
which intoxicated France with such a blaze of power and glory, and now,
when the recollection of that wonderful period seems almost like a
stormy dream, they are left to guard the ashes of their ancient General,
brought back from his exile to rest in the bosom of his own French
people. It was to me a touching and exciting thing, to look on those
whose eyes had witnessed the filling up of such a fated leaf in the
world's history.

Entrance is denied to the tomb of Napoleon until it is finished, which
will not be for three or four yours yet. I went, however, into the
"Church of the Banners"--a large chapel, hung with two or three hundred
flags taken by the armies of the Empire. The greater part of them were
Austrian and Russian. It appeared to be empty when I entered, but on
looking around, I saw an old gray-headed soldier kneeling at one side.
His head was bowed over his hands, and he seemed perfectly absorbed in
his thoughts. Perhaps the very tattered banners which hung down
motionless above his head, he might have assisted in conquering. I
looked a moment on those eloquent trophies, and then noiselessly
withdrew.

There is at least one solemn spot near Paris; the laughing winds that
come up from the merry city sink into sighs under the cypress boughs of
Pere Lachaise. And yet it is not a gloomy place, but full of a serious
beauty, fitting for a city of the dead. I shall never forget the sunny
afternoon when I first entered its gate and walked slowly up the hill,
between rows of tombs, gleaming white amid the heavy foliage, while the
green turf around them was just beginning to be starred by the opening
daisies, From the little chapel on its summit I looked back at the blue
spires of the city, whose roar of life dwindled to a low murmur.
Countless pyramids, obelisks and urns, rising far and wide above the
cedars and cypresses, showed the extent of the splendid necropolis,
which is inhabited by pale, shrouded emigrants from its living sister
below. The only sad part of the view, was the slope of the hill alloted
to the poor, where legions of plain black crosses are drawn up into
solid squares on its side and stand alone gloomy--the advanced guard of
the army of Death! I mused over the tombs of Molière and La Fontaine;
Massena, Mortier and Lefebre; General Foy and Casimir Perier; and
finally descended to the shrine where Abelard reposes by the side of his
Heloise. The old sculptured tomb, brought away from the Paraclete, still
covers their remains, and pious hands (of lovers, perhaps,) keep fresh
the wreaths of _immortelles_ above their marble effigies.

In the Theatre Français, I saw Rachel, the actress. She appeared in the
character of "Virginia," in a tragedy of that name, by the poet Latour.
Her appearance as she came upon the stage alone, convinced me she would
not belie her renown. She is rather small in stature, with dark,
piercing eyes and rich black hair; her lips are full, but delicately
formed, and her features have a marked yet flexible outline, which
conveys the minutest shades of expression. Her voice is clear, deep and
thrilling, and like sonic grand strain of music, there is power and
meaning in its slightest modulations. Her gestures embody the very
spirit of the character; she has so perfectly attained that rare harmony
of thought, sound and action, or rather, that unity of feeling which
renders them harmonious, that her acting seems the unstudied,
irrepressible impulse of her soul. With the first sentence she uttered,
I forgot Rachel. I only saw the innocent Roman girl; I awaited in
suspense and with a powerful sympathy, the developement of the oft-told
tragedy. My blood grew warm with indignation when the words of Appius
roused her to anger, and I could scarcely keep back my tears, when, with
a voice broken by sobs, she bade farewell to the protecting gods of her
father's hearth.

Among the bewildering variety of ancient ornaments and implements in the
Egyptian Gallery of the Louvre, I saw an object of startling interest. A
fragment of the Iliad, written nearly three thousand years ago! One may
even dare to conjecture that the torn and half-mouldered slip of
papyrus, upon which he gazes, may have been taken down from the lips of
the immortal Chiun. The eyes look on those faded characters, and across
the great gulf of Time, the soul leaps into the Past, brought into
shadowy nearness by a mirage of the mind. There, as in the desert,
images start up, vivid, yet of a vague and dreamy beauty. We see the
olive groves of Greece--white-robed youths and maidens sit in the shade
of swaying boughs--and one of them reads aloud, in words that sound like
the clashing of shields, the deeds of Achilles.

As we step out the western portal of the Tuileries, a beautiful scene
greets us. We look on the palace garden, fragrant with flowers and
classic with bronze copies of ancient sculpture. Beyond this, broad
gravel walks divide the flower-bordered lawns and ranks of marble
demigods and heroes look down on the joyous crowd. Children troll their
hoops along the avenues or skip the rope under the clipped lindens,
whose boughs are now tinged a pale yellow by the bursting buds. The
swans glide about on a pond in the centre, begging bread of the
bystanders, who watch a miniature ship which the soft breeze carries
steadily across. Paris is unseen, but _heard_, on every side; only the
Column of Luxor and the Arc de Triomphe rise blue and grand above the
top of the forest. What with the sound of voices, the merry laughter of
the children and a host of smiling faces, the scene touches a happy
chord in one's heart, and he mingles with it, lost in pleasant reverie,
till the sounds fade away with the fading light.

Just below the Baths of the Louvre, there are several floating barges
belonging to the washer-women, anchored at the foot of the great stone
staircase leading down to the water. They stand there day after day,
beating their clothes upon flat boards and rinsing them in the Seine.
One day there seemed to have been a wedding or some other cause of
rejoicing among them, for a large number of the youngest were talking in
great glee on one of the platforms of the staircase, while a handsome,
German-looking youth stood near, with a guitar slung around his neck. He
struck up a lively air, and the girls fell into a droll sort of a dance.
They went at it heavily and roughly enough, but made up in good humor
what they lacked in grace; the older members of the craft looked up from
their work with satisfaction and many shouts of applause wore sent down
to them from the spectators on the Quai and the Pont Neuf. Not content
with this, they seized on some luckless men who were descending the
steps, and clasping them with their powerful right arms, spun them
around like so many tops and sent them whizzing off at a tangent. Loud
bursts of laughter greeted this performance, and the stout river maidens
returned to their dance with redoubled spirit.

Yesterday, the famous procession of the "_boeuf gras_" took place for
the second time, with great splendor. The order of march had been duly
announced beforehand, and by noon all the streets and squares through
which it was to pass, were crowded with waiting spectators. Mounted gens
d'armes rode constantly to and fro, to direct the passage of vehicles
and keep an open thoroughfare. Thousands of country peasants poured into
the city, the boys of whom were seen in all directions, blowing
distressingly through hollow ox-horns. Altogether, the spirit of
nonsense which animated the crowd, displayed itself very amusingly.

A few mounted guards led the procession, followed by a band of music.
Then appeared Roman lictors and officers of sacrifice, leading
Dagobert, the famous bull of Normandy, destined to the honor of being
slaughtered as the Carnival beef. He trod rather tenderly, finding, no
doubt, a difference between the meadows of Caen and the pavements of
Paris, and I thought he would have been willing to forego his gilded
horns and flowery crown, to get back there again. His weight was said to
be four thousand pounds, and the bills pompously declared that he had no
rival in France, except the elephant in the _Jardin des Plantes_.

After him came the farmer by whom he was raised, and M. Roland, the
butcher of the carnival, followed by a hundred of the same craft,
dressed as cavaliers of the different ages of France. They made a very
showy appearance, although the faded velvet and soiled tinsel of their
mantles were rather too apparent by daylight.

After all these had gone by, came an enormous triumphal car, very
profusely covered with gilding and ornamental flowers. A fellow with
long woollen hair and beard, intended to represent Time, acted as
driver. In the car, under a gilded canopy, reposed a number of persons,
in blue silk smocks and yellow "fleshtights," said to be Venus, Apollo,
the Graces, &c. but I endeavored in vain to distinguish one divinity
from another. However, three children on the back seat, dressed in the
same style, with the addition of long flaxy ringlets, made very passable
Cupids. This closed the march; which passed onward towards the Place de
la Concorde, accompanied by the sounds of music and the shouts of the
mob. The broad, splendid line of Boulevards, which describe a
semi-circle around the heart of the city, were crowded, and for the
whole distance of three miles, it required no slight labor to make one's
way. People in masks and fancy costumes were continually passing and
re-passing, and I detected in more than one of the carriages, checks
rather too fair to suit the slouched hunter's hats which shaded them. It
seemed as if all Paris was taking a holiday, and resolved to make the
most of it.



CHAPTER XLVI.

A GLIMPSE OF NORMANDY.


After a residence of five weeks, which, in spite of some few troubles,
passed away quickly and delightfully, I turned my back on Paris. It was
not regret I experienced on taking my seat in the cars for Versailles,
but that feeling of reluctance with which we leave places whose
brightness and gaiety force the mind away from serious toil. Steam,
however, cuts short all sentiment, and in much less time than it takes
to bid farewell to a German, we had whizzed past the Place d'Europe,
through the barrier, and were watching the spires start up from the
receding city, on the way to St. Cloud.

At Versailles I spent three hours in a hasty walk through the palace,
which allowed but a bare glance at the gorgeous paintings of Horace
Vernet. His "Taking of Constantine" has the vivid look of reality. The
white houses shine in the sun, and from the bleached earth to the blue
and dazzling sky, there seems to hang a heavy, scorching atmosphere. The
white smoke of the artillery curls almost visibly off the canvass, and
the cracked and half-sprung walls look as if about to topple down on the
besiegers. One series of halls is devoted to the illustration of the
knightly chronicles of France, from the days of Charlemagne to those of
Bayard and Gaston de Foix. Among these pictured legends, I looked with
the deepest interest on that of the noble girl of Orleans. Her
countenance--the same in all these pictures and in a beautiful statue of
her, which stands in one of the corridors--is said to be copied from an
old and well-authenticated portrait. United to the sweetness and purity
of peasant beauty, she has the lofty brow and inspired expression of a
prophetess. There is a soft light in her full blue eye that does not
belong to earth. I wonder not the soldiery deemed her chosen by God to
lead them to successful battle; had I lived in those times I could have
followed her consecrated banner to the ends of the earth. In the statue,
she stands musing, with her head drooping forward, as if the weight of
the breastplate oppressed her woman's heart; the melancholy soul which
shines through the marble seems to forebode the fearful winding-up of
her eventful destiny.

The afternoon was somewhat advanced, by the time I had seen the palace
and gardens. After a hurried dinner at a restaurant, I shouldered my
knapsack and took the road to St. Germain. The day was gloomy and
cheerless, and I should have felt very lonely but for the thought of
soon reaching England. There is no time of the year more melancholy than
a cold, cloudy day in March; whatever may be the beauties of pedestrian
traveling in fairer seasons, my experience dictates that during winter
storms and March glooms, it had better be dispensed with. However, I
pushed on to St. Germain, threaded its long streets, looked down from
the height over its magnificent tract of forest and turned westward down
the Seine. Owing to the scantiness of villages, I was obliged to walk an
hour and a half in the wind and darkness, before I reached a solitary
inn. As I opened the door and asked for lodging, the landlady inquired
if I had the necessary papers. I answered in the affirmative and was
admitted. While I was eating supper, they prepared their meal on the
other end of the small table and sat down together. They fell into the
error, so common to ignorant persons, of thinking a foreigner could not
understand them, and began talking quite unconcernedly about me. "Why
don't he take the railroad?" said the old man: "he must have very little
money--it would be bad for us if he had none." "Oh!" remarked his son,
"if he had none, he would not be sitting there so quiet and
unconcerned." I thought there was some knowledge of human nature in this
remark. "And besides," added the landlady, "there is no danger for us,
for we have his passport." Of course I enjoyed this in secret, and
mentally pardoned their suspicions, when I reflected that the high roads
between Paris and London are frequented by many imposters, which makes
the people naturally mistrustful. I walked all the next day through a
beautiful and richly cultivated country. The early fruit trees were
bursting into bloom, and the farmers led out their cattle to pasturage
in the fresh meadows. The scenery must be delightful in summer--worthy
of all that has been said or sung about lovely Normandy. On the morning
of the third day, before reaching Rouen, I saw at a distance the remains
of Chateau Galliard, the favorite castle of Richard Coeur de Lion. Rouen
breathes everywhere of the ancient times of Normandy. Nothing can be
more picturesque than its quaint, irregular wooden houses, and the low,
mossy mills, spanning the clear streams which rush through its streets.
The Cathedral, with its four towers, rises from among the clustered
cottages like a giant rook, split by the lightning and worn by the rains
of centuries is into a thousand fantastic shapes.

Resuming my walk in the afternoon, I climbed the heights west of the
city, and after passing through a suburb four or five miles in length,
entered the vale of the Cailly. This is one of the sweetest scenes in
France. It lies among the woody hills like a Paradise, with its velvet
meadows and villas and breathing gardens. The grass was starred with
daisies and if I took a step into the oak and chesnut woods, I trampled
on thousands of anemones and fragrant daffodils. The upland plain,
stretching inward from the coast, wears a different character. As I
ascended, towards evening, and walked over its monotonous swells, I felt
almost homesick beneath its saddening influence. The sun, hazed over
with dull clouds, gave out that cold and lifeless light which is more
lonely than complete darkness. The wind, sweeping dismally over the
fields, sent clouds of blinding dust down the road, and as it passed
through the forests, the myriads of fine twigs sent up a sound as deep
and grand as the roar of a roused ocean. Every chink of the Norman
cottage where I slept, whistled most drearily, and as I looked out the
little window of my room, the trees were swaying in the gloom, and long,
black clouds scudded across the sky. Though my bed was poor and hard, it
was a sublime sound that cradled me into slumber. Homer might have used
it as the lullaby of Jove.

My last day on the continent came. I rose early and walked over the
hills towards Dieppe. The scenery grew more bleak as I approached the
sea, but the low and sheltered valleys preserved the pastoral look of
the interior. In the afternoon, as I climbed a long, elevated ridge,
over which a strong northwester was blowing, I was struck with a
beautiful rustic church, in one of the dells below me. While admiring
its neat tower I had gained unconsciously the summit of the hill, and on
turning suddenly around, lo! there was the glorious old Atlantic
stretching far before and around me! A shower was sweeping mistily along
the horizon and I could trace the white line of the breakers that foamed
at the foot of the cliffs. The scene came over me like a vivid electric
shock, and I gave an involuntary shout, which might have been heard in
all the valleys around. After a year and a half of wandering over the
continent, that gray ocean was something to be revered and loved, for it
clasped the shores of my native America.

I entered Dieppe in a heavy shower, and after finding an inn suited to
my means and obtaining a _permis d'embarquement_ from the police office,
I went out to the battlements and looked again on the sea. The landlord
promised to call me in time for the boat, but my anxiety waked me
sooner, and mistaking the strokes of the cathedral bell, I shouldered my
knapsack and went down to the wharf at one o'clock. No one was stirring
on board the boat, and I was obliged to pace the silent, gloomy streets
of the town for two hours. I watched the steamer glide out on the rainy
channel, and turning into the topmost berth, drew the sliding curtain
and strove to keep out cold and sea-sickness. But it was unavailing; a
heavy storm of snow and rain rendered our passage so dreary that I did
not stir until we were approaching the chain pier of Brighton.

I looked out on the foggy shores of England with a feeling of relief; my
tongue would now be freed from the difficult bondage of foreign
languages, and my ears be rejoiced with the music of my own. After two
hours' delay at the Custom House, I took my seat in an open car for
London. The day was dull and cold; the sun resembled a milky blotch in
the midst of a leaden sky. I sat and shivered, as we flew onward, amid
the rich, cultivated English scenery. At last the fog grew thicker; the
road was carried over the tops of houses; the familiar dome of St.
Paul's stood out above the spires; and I was again in London!



CHAPTER XLVII.

LOCKHART, BERNARD BARTON AND CROLY--LONDON CHIMES AND GREENWICH FAIR.


My circumstances, on arriving at London, were again very reduced. A
franc and a half constituted the whole of my funds. This, joined to the
knowledge of London expenses, rendered instant exertion necessary, to
prevent still greater embarrassment. I called on a printer the next
morning, hoping to procure work, but found, as I had no documents with
me to show I had served a regular apprenticeship, this would be
extremely difficult, although workmen were in great demand. Mr. Putnam,
however, on whom I had previously called, gave me employment for a time
in his publishing establishment, and thus I was fortunately enabled to
await the arrival of a remittance from home.

Mrs. Trollope, whom I met in Florence, kindly gave me a letter to
Murray, the publisher, and I visited him soon after my arrival. In his
library I saw the original portraits of Byron, Moore, Campbell and the
other authors who were intimate with him and his father. A day or two
afterwards I had the good fortune to breakfast with Lockhart and Bernard
Barton, at the house of the former. Mr. Murray, through whom the
invitation was given, accompanied me there. As it was late when we
arrived at Regent's Park, we found them waiting, and sat down
immediately to breakfast.

I was much pleased with Lockhart's appearance and manners. He has a
noble, manly countenance--in fact, the handsomest English face I ever
saw--a quick, dark eye and an ample forehead, shaded by locks which
show, as yet, but few threads of gray. There is a peculiar charm in his
rich, soft voice; especially when reciting poetry, it has a clear,
organ-like vibration, which thrills deliciously on the ear. His
daughter, who sat at the head of the table, is a most lovely and amiable
girl.

Bernard Burton, who is now quite an old man, is a very lively and
sociable Friend. His head is gray and almost bald, but there is still
plenty of fire in his eyes and life in his limbs. His many kind and
amiable qualities endear him to a large circle of literary friends. He
still continues writing, and within the last year has brought out a
volume of simple, touching "Household Verses." A picture of cheerful and
contented old age has never been more briefly and beautifully drawn,
than in the following lines, which he sent me, in answer to my desire to
possess one of his poems in his own hand:

    STANZAS.

    I feel that I am growing old,
       Nor wish to hide that truth;
    Conscious my heart is not more cold
       Than in my by-gone youth.

    I cannot roam the country round,
       As I was wont to do;
    My feet a scantier circle bound,
       My eyes a narrower view.

    But on my mental vision rise
       Bright scenes of beauty still:
    Morn's splendor, evening's glowing skies,
       Valley, and grove, and hill.

    Nor can infirmities o'erwhelm
       The purer pleasures brought
    From the immortal spirit's realm
       Of feeling and of Thought!

    My heart! let not dismay or doubt
       In thee an entrance win!
    Thou _hast_ enjoyed thyself _without_--
       _Now seek thy joy within_!

During breakfast he related to us a pleasant anecdote of Scott. He once
wrote to the poet in behalf of a young lady, who wished to have the
description of Melrose, in the "Lay of the last Minstrel," in the poet's
own writing. Scott sent it, but added these lines to the conclusion:

    "Then go, and muse with deepest awe
    On what the writer never saw;
    Who would not wander 'neath the moon
    To see what he could see at noon!"

We went afterwards into Lockhart's library, which was full of
interesting objects. I saw the private diary of Scott, kept until within
a short time of his death. It was melancholy to trace the gradual
failing of all his energies in the very wavering of the autograph. In a
large volume of his correspondence, containing letters from Campbell,
Wordsworth, Byron, and all the distinguished characters of the age, I
saw Campbell's "Battle of the Baltic" in his own hand. I was highly
interested and gratified with the whole visit; the more so, as Mr.
Lockhart had invited me voluntarily, without previous acquaintance. I
have since heard him spoken of in the highest terms of esteem.

I went one Sunday to the Church of St. Stephen, to hear Croly, the poet.
The service, read by a drowsy clerk, was long and monotonous; I sat in a
side-aisle, looking up at the dome, and listening to the rain which
dashed in torrents against the windowpanes. At last, a tall, gray-haired
man came down the passage. He bowed with a sad smile, so full of
benevolence and resignation, that it went into my heart at once, and I
gave him an involuntary tribute of sympathy. He has a heavy affliction
to bear--the death of his gallant son, one of the officers who were
slain in the late battle of Ferozeshaw. His whole manner betrays the
tokens of subdued but constant grief.

His sermon was peculiarly finished and appropriate; the language was
clear and forcible, without that splendor of thought and dazzling
vividness of imagery which mark "Salathiel." Yet I could not help
noticing that he delighted to dwell on the spiritualities of religion,
rather than its outward observances, which he seemed inclined to hurry
over as lightly as possible. His mild, gray eye and lofty forehead are
more like the benevolent divine than the poet. I thought of Salathiel,
and looked at the dignified, sorrowful man before me. The picture of the
accursed Judean vanished, and his own solemn lines rang on my ear:

             "The mighty grave
              Wraps lord and slave,
    Nor pride, nor poverty dares come
    Within that prison-house, that tomb!"

Whenever I hear them, or think of them again, I shall see, in memory,
Croly's calm, pale countenance.

    "The chimes, the chimes of Mother-land,
       Of England, green and old;
    That out from thane and ivied tower
       A thousand years have tolled!"

I often thought of Coxe's beautiful ballad, when, after a day spent in
Waterloo Place, I have listened, on my way homeward, to the chimes of
Mary-le-bone Chapel, sounding sweetly and clearly above all the din of
the Strand. There is something in their silvery vibration, which is far
more expressive than the ordinary tones of a bell. The ear becomes weary
of a continued toll--the sound of some bells seems to have nothing more
in it than the ordinary clang of metal--but these simple notes,
following one another so melodiously, fall on the ear, stunned by the
ceaseless roar of carriages or the mingled cries of the mob, as gently
and gratefully as drops of dew. Whether it be morning, and they ring out
louder and deeper through the mist, or midnight, when the vast ocean of
being beneath them surges less noisily than its wont, they are alike
full of melody and poetry. I have often paused, deep in the night, to
hear those clear tones, dropping down from the darkness, thrilling, with
their full, tremulous sweetness, the still air of the lighted Strand,
and winding away through dark, silent lanes and solitary courts, till
the ear of the care-worn watcher is scarcely stirred with their dying
vibrations. They seemed like those spirit-voices, which, at such times,
speak almost audibly to the heart. How delicious it must be, to those
who dwell within the limits of their sound, to wake from some happy
dream and hear those chimes blending in with their midnight fancies,
like the musical echo of the promised bliss. I love these eloquent
bells, and I think there must be many, living out a life of misery and
suffering, to whom their tones come with an almost human consolation.
The natures of the very cockneys, who never go without the horizon of
their vibrations, is, to my mind, invested with _one_ hue of poetry!

A few days ago, an American friend invited me to accompany him to
Greenwich Fair. We took a penny steamer from Hungerford Market to London
Bridge, and jumped into the cars, which go every live minutes. Twelve
minutes' ride above the chimneys of London and the vegetable-fields of
Rotherhithe and Deptford brought us to Greenwich, we followed the stream
of people which was flowing from all parts of the city into the Park.

Here began the merriment. We heard on every side the noise of the
"scratchers," or, as the venders of these articles denominated
them--"the fun of the fair." By this is meant a little notched wheel,
with a piece of wood fastened on it, like a miniature watchman's rattle.
The "fun" consists in drawing them down the back of any one you pass,
when they make a sound precisely like that of ripping cloth. The women
take great delight in this, and as it is only deemed politeness to
return the compliment, we soon had enough to do. Nobody seemed to take
the diversion amiss, but it was so irresistibly droll to see a large
crowd engaged in this singular amusement, that we both burst into hearty
laughter.

As we began ascending Greenwich Hill, we were assailed with another kind
of game. The ground was covered with smashed oranges, with which the
people above and below were stoutly pelting each other. Half a dozen
heavy ones whizzed uncomfortably near my head as I went up, and I saw
several persons get the full benefit of a shot on their backs and
breasts. The young country lads and lasses amused themselves by running
at full spend down the steep side of a hill. This was, however, a feat
attended with some risk; for I saw one luckless girl describe an arc of
a circle, of which her feet was the centre and her body the radius. All
was noise and nonsense. They ran to and fro under the long, hoary bough
of the venerable oaks that crest the summit, and clattered down the
magnificent forest-avenues, whose budding foliage gave them little
shelter from the passing April showers.

The view from the top is splendid. The stately Thames curves through the
plain below, which loses itself afar off in the mist; Greenwich, with
its massive hospital, lies just at one's feet, and in a clear day the
domes of London skirt the horizon. The wood of the Park is entirely
oak--the majestic, dignified, English oak--which covers, in picturesque
clumps, the sides and summits of the two billowy hills. It must be a
sweet place in summer, when the dark, massive foliage is heavy on every
mossy arm, and the smooth and curving sward shines with thousands of
field-flowers.

Owing to the showers, the streets were coated with mud, of a consistence
as soft and yielding as the most fleecy Persian carpet. Near the gate,
boys were holding scores of donkeys, which they offered us at threepence
for a ride of two miles. We walked down towards the river, and came at
last to a group of tumblers, who with muddy hands and feet were throwing
somersets in the open street. I recognized them as old acquaintances of
the Rue St. Antoine and the Champs Elysées; but the little boy who cried
before, because he did not want to bend his head and foot into a ring,
like a hoop-snake, had learned his part better by this time, so that he
went through it all without whimpering and came off with only a fiery
red face. The exercises of the young gentlemen were of course very
graceful and classic, and the effect of their _poses_ of strength was
very much heightened by the muddy foot-marks which they left on each
other's orange-colored skins.

The avenue of booths was still more diverting. Here under sheets of
leaky awning, were exposed for sale rows of gilded gingerbread kings and
queens, and I cannot remember how many men and women held me fast by the
arms, determined to force me into buying a pound of them. We paused at
the sign: "SIGNOR URBANI'S GRAND MAGICAL DISPLAY." The title was
attractive, so we paid the penny admission, and walked behind the dark,
mysterious curtain. Two bare brick walls, three benches and a little boy
appeared to us. A sheet hung before us upon which quivered the shadow of
some terrible head. At my friend's command, the boy (also a spectator)
put out the light, when the awful and grinning face of a black woman
became visible. While we were admiring this striking production, thus
mysteriously revealed, Signor Urbani came in, and seeing no hope of any
more spectators, went behind the curtain and startled our sensitive
nerves with six or seven skeleton and devil apparitions, winding up the
wonderful entertainment with the same black head. We signified our
entire approbation by due applause and then went out to seek further
novelties.

The centre of the square was occupied by swings, where some eight or ten
boat-loads of persons were flying topsy-turvy into the air, making one
giddy to look at them, and constant fearful shrieks arose from the lady
swingers, at finding themselves in a horizontal or inverted position,
high above the ground. One of the machines was like a great wheel, with
four cars attached, which mounted and descended with their motley
freight. We got into the boat by way of experiment. The starting motion
was pleasant, but very soon it flew with a swiftness and to a height
rather alarming. I began to repent having chosen such a mode of
amusement, but held on as well as I could, in my uneasy place. Presently
we mounted till the long beam of our boat was horizontal; at one
instant, I saw three young ladies below me, with their heads downward,
like a shadow in the water--the next I was turned heels up, looking at
thorn as a shadow does at its original. I was fast becoming sea-sick,
when, after a few minutes of such giddy soaring, the ropes were
slackened and we all got out, looking somewhat pale, and feeling
nervous, if nothing else.

There were also many great tents, hung with boughs and lighted with
innumerable colored lamps, where the people danced their country dances
in a choking cloud of dry saw-dust. Conjurors and gymnastic performers
were showing off on conspicuous platforms, and a continual sound of
drums, cymbals and shrill trumpets called the attention of the crowd to
some "Wonderful Exhibition"--some infant phenomenon, giant, or
three-headed pig. A great part of the crowd belonged evidently to the
very worst part of society, but the watchfulness of the police prevented
any open disorder. We came away early and in a quarter of an hour were
in busy London, leaving far behind us the revel and debauch, which was
prolonged through the whole night.

London has the advantage of one of the most gloomy atmospheres in the
world. During this opening spring weather, no light and scarcely any
warmth can penetrate the dull, yellowish-gray mist, which incessantly
hangs over the city. Sometimes at noon we have for an hour or two a
sickly gleam of sunshine, but it is soon swallowed up by the smoke and
drizzling fog. The people carry umbrellas at all times, for the rain
seems to drop spontaneously out of the very air, without wailing for the
usual preparation of a gathering cloud. Professor Espy's rules would be
of little avail here.

A few days ago we had a real fog--a specimen of November weather, as the
people said. If November wears such a mantle, London, during that sober
month, must furnish a good idea of the gloom of Hades. The streets wore
wrapped in a veil of dense mist, of a dirty yellow color, as if the air
had suddenly grown thick and mouldy. The houses on the opposite sides of
the street were invisible, and the gas lamps, lighted in the shops,
burned with a white and ghastly flame. Carriages ran together in the
streets, and I was kept constantly on the look-out, lest some one should
come suddenly out of the cloud around me, and we should meet with a
shock like that of two knights at a tournament. As I stood in the centre
of Trafalgar Square, with every object invisible around me, it reminded
me, (hoping the comparison will not be accepted in every particular) of
Satan resting in the middle of Chaos. The weather sometimes continues
thus for whole days together.

_April 26._--An hour and a half of land are still allowed us, and then
we shall set foot on the back of the oak-ribbed leviathan, which will be
our home until a thousand leagues of blue ocean are crossed. I shall
hear the old Aldgate clock strike for the last time--I shall take a last
walk through the Minories and past the Tower yard, and as we glide down
the Thames, St. Pauls, half-hidden in mist and coal-smoke, will probably
be my last glimpse of London.



CHAPTER XLVIII.

HOMEWARD BOUND----CONCLUSION.


We slid out of St. Katharine's Dock at noon on the appointed day, and
with a pair of sooty steamboats hitched to our vessel, moved slowly down
the Thames in mist and drizzling rain. I stayed on the wet deck all
afternoon, that I might more forcibly and joyously feel we were again in
motion on the waters and homeward bound! My attention was divided
between the dreary views of Blackwall, Greenwich and Woolwich, and the
motley throng of passengers who were to form our ocean society. An
English family, going out to settle in Canada, were gathered together in
great distress and anxiety, for the father had gone ashore in London at
a late hour, and was left behind. When we anchored for the night at
Gravesend, their fears were quieted by his arrival in a skiff from the
shore, as he had immediately followed us by railroad.

My cousin and B---- had hastened on from Paris to join me, and a day
before the sailing of the "Victoria," we took berths in the second
cabin, for twelve pounds ten shillings each, which in the London line of
packets, includes coarse but substantial fare for the whole voyage. Our
funds were insufficient to pay even this; but Captain Morgan, less
mistrustful than my Norman landlord, generously agreed that the
remainder of the fare should be paid in America. B---- and I, with two
young Englishmen, took possession of a State-room of rough boards,
lighted by a bull's-eye, which in stormy weather leaked so much that our
trunks swam in water. A narrow mattrass and blanket, with a knapsack for
a pillow, formed a passable bed. A long entry between the rooms, lighted
by a feeble swinging lamp, was filled with a board table, around which
the thirty-two second cabin passengers met to discuss politics and salt
pork, favorable winds and hard sea-biscuit.

We lay becalmed opposite Sheerness the whole of the second day. At dusk
a sudden squall came up, which drove us foaming towards the North
Foreland. When I went on deck in the morning, we had passed Dover and
Brighton, and the Isle of Wight was rising dim ahead of us. The low
English coast on our right was bordered by long reaches of dazzling
chalky sand, which glittered along the calm blue water.

Gliding into the Bay of Portsmouth, we dropped anchor opposite the
romantic town of Ryde, built on the sloping shore of the green Isle of
Wight. Eight or nine vessels of the Experimental Squadron were anchored
near us, and over the houses of Portsmouth, I saw the masts of the
Victory--the flag-ship in the battle of Trafalgar, on board of which
Nelson was killed. The wind was not strong enough to permit the passage
of the Needles, so at midnight we succeeded in wearing back again into
the channel, around the Isle of Wight. A head wind forced us to tack
away towards the shore of France. We were twice in sight of the rocky
coast of Brittany, near Cherbourg, but the misty promontory of Land's
End was our last glimpse of the old world.

On one of our first days at sea, I caught a curlew, which came flying on
weary wings towards us, and alighted on one of the boats. Two of his
brethren, too much exhausted or too timid to do likewise, dropped flat
on the waves and resigned themselves to their fate without a struggle. I
slipped up and caught his long, lank legs, while he was resting with
flagging wings and half-shut eyes. We fed him, though it was difficult
to get anything down his reed-shaped bill; but he took kindly to our
force-work, and when we let him loose on the deck, walked about with an
air quite tame and familiar. He died, however, two days afterwards. A
French pigeon, which was caught in the rigging, lived and throve during
the whole of the passage.

A few days afterwards, a heavy storm came on, and we were all sleepless
and sea-sick, as long as it lasted. Thanks, however, to a beautiful law
of memory, the recollection of that dismal period soon lost its
unpleasantness, while the grand forms of beauty the vexed ocean
presented, will remain forever, as distinct and abiding images. I kept
on deck as long as I could stand, watching the giant waves over which
our vessel took her course. They rolled up towards us, thirty or forty
feet in height--dark gray masses, changing to a beautiful vitriol tint,
wherever the light struck through their countless and changing crests.
It was a glorious thing to see our good ship mount slowly up the side of
one of these watery lulls, till her prow was lifted high in air, then,
rocking over its brow, plunge with a slight quiver downward, and plough
up a briny cataract, as she struck the vale. I never before realized the
terrible sublimity of the sea. And yet it was a pride to see how
man--strong in his godlike will--could bid defiance to those whelming
surges, and bravo their wrath unharmed.

We swung up and down on the billows, till we scarcely knew which way to
stand. The most grave and sober personages suddenly found themselves
reeling in a very undignified manner, and not a few measured their
lengths on the slippery decks. Boxes and barrels were affected in like
manner; everything danced around us. Trunks ran out from under the
berths; packages leaped down from the shelves; chairs skipped across the
rooms, and at table, knives, forks and mugs engaged in a general waltz
and _break down_. One incident of this kind was rather laughable. One
night, about midnight, the gale, which had been blowing violently,
suddenly lulled, "as if," to use a sailor's phrase, "it had been chopped
off!" Instantly the ship gave a tremendous lurch, which was the signal
for a general breaking loose. Two or three others followed, so violent,
that for a moment I imagined the vessel had been thrown on her beam
ends. Trunks, crockery and barrels went banging down from one end of the
ship to the other. The women in the steerage set up an awful scream, and
the German emigrants, thinking we were in terrible danger, commenced
praying with might and main. In the passage near our room stood several
barrels, filled with broken dishes, which at every lurch went banging
from side to side, jarring the board partition and making a horrible
din. I shall not soon forget the Babel which kept our eyes open that
night.

The 19th of May a calm came on. Our white wings flapped idly on the
mast, and only the top-gallant sails were bent enough occasionally to
lug us along at a mile an hour. A barque from Ceylon, making the most of
the wind, with every rag of canvass set, passed us slowly on the way
eastward. The sun went down unclouded, and a glorious starry night
brooded over us. Its clearness and brightness were to me indications of
America. I longed to be on shore. The forests about home were then
clothed in the delicate green of their first leaves, and that bland
weather embraced the sweet earth like a blessing of heaven. The gentle
breath from out the west seemed made for the odor of violets, and as it
came to me over the slightly-ruflled deep, I thought how much sweeter it
were to feel it, while "wasting in wood-paths the voluptuous hours."

Soon afterwards a fresh wind sprung up, which increased rapidly, till
every sail was bent to the full. Our vessel parted the brine with an
arrowy glide, the ease and grace of which it is impossible to describe.
The breeze held on steadily for two or three days, which brought us to
the southern extremity of the Banks. Here the air felt so sharp and
chilling, that I was afraid we might be under the lee of an iceberg, but
in the evening the dull gray mass of clouds lifted themselves from the
horizon, and the sun set in clear, American beauty away beyond Labrador.
The next morning we were enveloped in a dense fog, and the wind which
bore us onward was of a piercing coldness. A sharp look-out was kept on
the bow, but as we could see but a short distance, it might have been
dangerous had we met one of the Arctic squadron. At noon it cleared away
again, and the bank of fog was visible a long time astern, piled along
the horizon, reminding me of the Alps, as seen from the plains of
Piedmont.

On the 31st, the fortunate wind which carried us from the Banks, failed
us about thirty-five miles from Sandy Hook. We lay in the midst of the
mackerel fishery, with small schooners anchored all around us. Fog,
dense and impenetrable, weighed on the moveless ocean, like an
atmosphere of wool. The only incident to break the horrid monotony of
the day, was the arrival of a pilot, with one or two newspapers,
detailing the account of the Mexican War. We heard in the afternoon the
booming of the surf along the low beach of Long Island--hollow and
faint, like the murmur of a shell. When the mist lifted a little, we
saw the faint line of breakers along the shore. The Germans gathered on
deck to sing their old, familiar songs, and their voices blended
beautifully together in the stillness.

Next morning at sunrise we saw Sandy Hook; at nine o'clock we were
telegraphed in New York by the station at Coney Island; at eleven the
steamer "Hercules" met us outside the Hook; and at noon we were gliding
up the Narrows, with the whole ship's company of four hundred persons on
deck, gazing on the beautiful shores of Staten Island and agreeing
almost universally, that it was the most delightful scene they had ever
looked upon.

And now I close the story of my long wandering, as I began it--with a
lay written on the deep.

    HOMEWARD BOUND.


    Farewell to Europe! Days have come and gone
    Since misty England set behind the sea.
    Our ship climbs onward o'er the lifted waves,
    That gather up in ridges, mountain-high,
    And like a sea-god, conscious in his power,
    Buffets the surges. Storm-arousing winds
    That sweep, unchecked, from frozen Labrador,
    Make wintry music through the creaking shrouds.
    Th' horizon's ring, that clasps the dreary view,
    Lays mistily upon the gray Atlantic's breast.
    Shut out, at times, by bulk of sparry blue,
    That, rolling near us, heaves the swaying prow
    High on its shoulders, to descend again
    Ploughing a thousand cascades, and around
    Spreading the frothy foam. These watery gulfs,
    With storm, and winds far-sweeping, hem us in,
    Alone upon the waters!

                               Days must pass--
    Many and weary--between sea and sky.
    Our eyes, that long e'en now for the fresh green
    Of sprouting forests, and the far blue stretch
    Of regal mountains piled along the sky,
    Must see, for many an eve, the level sun
    Sheathe, with his latest gold, the heaving brine,
    By thousand ripples shivered, or Night's pomp
    Brooding in silence, ebon and profound,
    Upon the murmuring darkness of the deep,
    Broken by flashings, that the parted wave
    Sends white and star-like throujch its bursting foam.
    Yet not more dear the opening dawn of heaven
    Poured on the earth in an Italian May,
    When souls take wings upon the scented air
    Of starry meadows, and the yearning heart
    Pains with deep sweetness in the balmy time,
    Than these gray morns, and days of misty blue,
    And surges, never-ceasing;--for our prow
    Points to the sunset like a morning ray,
    And o'er the waves, and through the sweeping storms,
    Through day and darkness, rushes ever on,
    Westward and westward still! What joy can send
    The spirit thrilling onward with the wind,
    In untamed exultation, like the thought
    That fills the Homeward Bound?

                              Country and home!
    Ah! not the charm of silver-tongued romance,
    Born of the feudal time, nor whatsoe'er
    Of dying glory fills the golden realms
    Of perished song, where heaven-descended Art
    Still boasts her later triumphs, can compare
    With that one thought of liberty inherited--
    Of free life giv'n by fathers who were free,
    And to be left to children freer still!
    That pride and consciousness of manhood, caught
    From boyish musings on the holy graves
    Of hero-martyrs, and from every form
    Which virgin Nature, mighty and unchained,
    Takes in an empire not less proudly so--
    Inspired in mountain airs, untainted yet
    By thousand generations' breathing--felt
    Like a near presence in the awful depths
    Of unhewn forests, and upon the steep
    Where giant rivers take their maddening plunge--
    Has grown impatient of the stifling damps
    Which hover close on Europe's shackled soil.
    Content to tread awhile the holy steps
    Of Art and Genius, sacred through all time,
    The spirit breathed that dull, oppressive air--
    Which, freighted with its tyrant-clouds, o'erweighs
    The upward throb of many a nation's soul--
    Amid those olden memories, felt the thrall.
    But kept the birth-right of its freer home,
    Here, on the world's blue highway, comes again
    The voice of Freedom, heard amid the roar
    Of sundered billows, while above the wave
    Rise visions of the forest and the stream.
    Like trailing robes the morning mists uproll,
    Torn by the mountain pines; the flashing rills
    Shout downward through the hollows of the vales;
    Down the great river's bosom shining sails
    Glide with a gradual motion, while from all--
    Hamlet, and bowered homestead, and proud town--
    Voices of joy ring up into heaven!

    Yet louder, winds! Urge on our keel, ye waves,
    Swift as the spirit's yearnings! We would ride
    With a loud stormy motion o'er your crests,
    With tempests shouting like a sudden joy--
    Interpreting our triumph! 'Tis your voice,
    Ye unchained elements, alone can speak
    The sympathetic feeling of the free--
    The arrowy impulse of the Homeward Bound!

       *       *       *       *       *

Although the narrative of my journey, "with knapsack and staff," is now
strictly finished, a few more words of explanation seem necessary, to
describe more fully the method of traveling which we adopted. I add them
the more willingly, as it is my belief that many, whose circumstances
are similar to mine, desire to undertake the same romantic journey. Some
matter-of-fact statements may be to them useful as well as interesting.

We found the pedestrian style not only by far the best way to become
acquainted with the people and sceneryof a country, but the pleasantest
mode of traveling. To be sure, the knapsack was, at first, rather heavy,
our feet were often sore and our limbs weary, but a few days walking
made a great difference, and after we had traveled two weeks, this
disappeared altogether. Every morning we rose as fresh and strong as if
it had been the first day--even after a walk of thirty miles, we felt
but little fatigue. We enjoyed slumber in its fullest luxury, and our
spirits were always light and joyous. We made it a rule to pay no regard
to the weather, unless it was so bad as to render walking unhealthy.
Often, during the day, we rested for half an hour on the grassy bank,
or sometimes, if it was warm weather, lay at full length in the shade
with our knapsacks under our heads. This is a pleasure which none but
the pedestrian can comprehend.

We always accepted a companion, of whatever kind, while walking--from
chimney-sweeps to barons. In a strange country one can learn something
from every peasant, and we neglected no opportunity, not only to obtain
information, but impart it. We found everywhere great curiosity
respecting America, and we were always glad to tell them all they wished
to know. In Germany, we were generally taken for Germans from some part
of the country where the dialect was a little different, or, if they
remarked our foreign peculiarities, they supposed we were either Poles,
Russians, or Swiss. The greatest ignorance in relation to America,
prevails among the common people. They imagine we are a savage race,
without intelligence and almost without law. Persons of education, who
had some slight knowledge of our history, showed a curiosity to know
something of our political condition. They are taught by the German
newspapers (which are under a strict censorship in this respect) to look
only at the evil in our country, and they almost invariably began by
adverting to Slavery and Repudiation. While we admitted, often with
shame and mortification, the existence of things so inconsistent with
true republicanism, we endeavored to make them comprehend the advantages
enjoyed by the free citizen--the complete equality of birth--which
places America, despite her sins, far above any other nation on earth. I
could plainly see, by the kindling eye and half-suppressed sigh, that
they appreciated a freedom so immeasurably greater than that which they
enjoyed.

In large cities we always preferred to take the second or third-rate
hotels, which are generally visited by merchants and persons who travel
on business; for, with the same comforts as the first rank, they are
nearly twice as cheap. A traveler, with a guide-book and a good pair of
eyes, can also dispense with the services of a _courier_, whose duty it
is to conduct strangers about the city, from one lion to another. We
chose rather to find out and view the "sights" at our leisure. In small
villages, where we were often obliged to stop, we chose the best hotels,
which, particularly in Northern Germany and in Italy, are none too
good. But if it was a _post_, that is, a town where the post-chaise
stops to change horses, we usually avoided the post-hotel, where one
must pay high for having curtains before his windows and a more elegant
cover on his bed. In the less splendid country inns, we always found
neat, comfortable lodging, and a pleasant, friendly reception from the
people. They saluted us on entering, with "Be you welcome," and on
leaving, wished us a pleasant journey and good fortune. The host, when
he brought us supper or breakfast, lifted his cap, and wished us a good
appetite--and when he lighted us to our chambers, left us with "May you
sleep well!" We generally found honest, friendly people; they delighted
in telling us about the country around; what ruins there were in the
neighborhood--and what strange legends were connected with them. The
only part of Europe where it is unpleasant to travel in this manner, is
Bohemia. We could rarely find a comfortable inn; the people all spoke an
unknown language, and were not particularly celebrated for their
honesty. Beside this, travelers rarely go on foot in those regions; we
were frequently taken for traveling handworker, and subjected to
imposition.

With regard to passports, although they were vexatious and often
expensive, we found little difficulty when we had acquainted ourselves
with the regulations concerning them. In France and Germany they are
comparatively little trouble; in Italy they are the traveler's greatest
annoyance. Americans are treated with less strictness, in this respect,
than citizens of other nations, and, owing to the absence of rank among
us, we also enjoy greater advantages of acquaintance and intercourse.

The expenses of traveling in England, although much greater than in our
own country, may, as we learned by experience, be brought, through
economy, within the same compass. Indeed, it is my belief, from
observation, that, with few exceptions, throughout Europe, where a
traveler enjoys the same comfort and abundance as in America, he must
pay the same prices. The principal difference is, that he only pays for
what he gets, so that, if he be content with the necessities of life,
without its luxuries, the expense is in proportion. I have given, at
times, through the foregoing chapters, the cost of travel and residence
in Europe, yet a connected estimate will better show the _minimum_
expense of a two years' pilgrimage:

    Voyage to Liverpool, in the second cabin . . . . . . . . . . .  $24.00
    Three weeks' travel in Ireland and Scotland  . . . . . . . . .   25.00
    A week in London, at three shillings a day . . . . . . . . . .    4.50
    From London to Heidelberg  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   15.00
    A month at Heidelberg, and trip to Frankfort . . . . . . . . .   20.00
    Seven months in Frankfort, at $10 per month  . . . . . . . . .   70.00
    Fuel, passports, excursions and other expenses . . . . . . . .   30.00
    Tour through Cassel, the Hartz, Saxony, Austria, Bavaria, etc.   40.00
    A month in Frankfort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   10.00
    From Frankfort through Switzerland, and over the Alps
       to Milan  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   15.00
    From Milan to Genoa  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      60
    Expenses from Genoa to Florence  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   14.00
    Four months in Florence  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   50.00
    Eight day's journey from Florence to Rome, two weeks in
       Rome, voyage to Marseilles and journey to Paris . . . . . .   40.00
    Five weeks in Paris  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   15.00
    From Paris to London . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    8.00
    Six weeks in London, at three shillings a day  . . . . . . . .   31.00
    Passage home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   60.00
                                                                    ------
                                                                   $472.00

The cost for places of amusement, guides' fees, and other small
expenses, not included in this list, increase the sum total to $500, for
which the tour may be made. Now, having, I hope, established this to the
reader's satisfaction, I respectfully take leave of him.

THE END.





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