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Title: One Year Abroad
Author: Howard, Blanche Willis
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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Internet Archive/American Libraries.

                            ONE YEAR ABROAD

                      THE AUTHOR OF “ONE SUMMER.”

                         “O rare, rare Earth!”

        “Iron is essentially the same everywhere and always, but
        the sulphate of iron is never the same as the carbonate
        of iron. Truth is invariable, but the Smithate of truth
        must always differ from the Brownate of
        truth.”—_Autocrat of the Breakfast Table._

                      JAMES R. OSGOOD AND COMPANY,
            Late Ticknor & Fields, and Fields, Osgood, & Co.

                           _Copyright, 1877.
                        By JAMES R. OSGOOD & CO.
          University Press: Welch, Bigelow, & Co., Cambridge.


  · HAMBURG AT A FIRST GLANCE. .....................................   1

  · HEIDELBERG IN WINTER. ..........................................  12

  · A FLYING SHEET FROM PARIS. .....................................  24

  · BADEN-BADEN. ...................................................  32

  · RAMBLES ABOUT STUTTGART ........................................  44

  · THE SOLITUDE. ..................................................  55

  · A DAY IN THE BLACK FOREST. .....................................  63

  · THE LENNINGER THAL. ............................................  69

  · FRANCISKA VON HOHENHEIM. .......................................  77

  · “NUREMBERG THE ANCIENT.” .......................................  85

  · SOME WÜRTEMBERG TOWNS. .........................................  91

  · IN A GARDEN. ...................................................  95

  · LINDAU AND BREGENZ. ............................................ 100

  · THE VORARLBERG. ................................................ 106

  · IN THE TYROL. .................................................. 115

  · INNSBRUCK. ..................................................... 121

  · OHENSCHWANGAU AND NEU SCHWANSTEIN. ............................. 127

  · LIFE IN SCHATTWALD. ............................................ 137

  · UP THE AIRY MOUNTAIN. .......................................... 145

  · THE ENGADINE. .................................................. 154

  · RAGATZ. ........................................................ 161

  · A FLYING TRIP TO THE RHINE FALLS. .............................. 168

  · DOWN FROM THE HIGH ALPS. ....................................... 175

  · BY THE LAKE OF LUCERNE. ........................................ 182

  · UP AND ON AND DOWN THE RIGI. ................................... 187

  · A KAISER FEST. ................................................. 194

  · THE CANNSTADT VOLKSFEST. ....................................... 203

  · IN A VINEYARD. ................................................. 211

  · AMONG FREILIGRATH’S BOOKS. ..................................... 218

  · THREE FUNERALS. ................................................ 225

  · SOME CHRISTMAS PICTURES. ....................................... 232

  · HAMBURG AGAIN. ................................................. 239



“Little Classic” style. $1.25.

“A very charming story is ‘One Summer.’ Even the word ‘charming’ hardly
expresses with sufficient emphasis the pleasure we have taken in reading
it; it is simply delightful, unique in method and manner, and with a
peculiarly piquant flavor of humorous observation.”—_Appleton’s

_Publishers, Boston_.


There is a wild, fantastic poem, thronged with more phantoms, goblins,
and horrors than are the legends of the Blockberg. It narrates in
singularly vivid style the deeds of a frightful fiend, and is, believe
me, a truly remarkable work. I beg you will not scorn it because it
exists only in the brain which it entered one stormy night at sea. There
it reigned, triumphant, through long sleepless hours; but for certain
reasons—which are, by the way, perfectly satisfactory to my own mind—it
will never be committed to paper. Its title is “The Screw,”—the screw of
an ocean steamer.

Christmas is the best wishing-time in the year. One can wish and wish at
Christmas, and what harm does it do? So I will wish my poem all written
in stately, melodious measure, yet with thoughts that would make your
cheek pale, and your very soul shudder; and then—since wishing is so
easy—I will wish that I were an intimate friend of Gustave Doré, to whom
I would take my masterpiece to be illustrated; and I would beg him to
allow his genius for drawing awful things full sway, and I would implore
him not to withhold one magic touch that might suggest another horror,
so that extending from the central object—the terrible Screw—there
should be demons reaching for their prey, howling and laughing in
fiendish glee. Then I would say, “More, more, my good M. Doré!—more
hideous faces, more leering phantoms, more writhing legs and arms,
please!” For perhaps Doré never crossed the ocean in bad weather;
perhaps he never occupied a state-room directly over the Screw; perhaps
he never experienced the sensation of lying there in sleepless,
helpless, hopeless agony, clinging frantically to the side of his berth,
hearing the clank of chains, the creaking of timbers, the rattling of
the shrouds, the waves sweeping the deck over his head,—most of all, the
Evil Screw beneath, rampant and threatening. It may be Doré does not
know how it feels when that Screw rises up in wrath, takes the steamer
in his teeth and shakes it, then plunges deep, deep in the waves; while
all the demons, great and small, stretching their uncanny arms towards
the state-rooms, shriek, “We’ll get them! We’ll have them!” and the
winds and waves in hoarse chorus respond, “They’ll have them—have
them—have them!” and again uprises the Screw and shakes himself and the
trembling steamer. So through the night, and many nights, alas!

And yet, O Screw! thing of evil, thing of might, I humbly thank you that
you ceased at last your terrible thumps, your jarrings and wicked
whirls,—and silenced your chorus of attendant demons, with their
turnings and twistings and mad laughter; I thank you that you _did not_
get us! Truly, I believed you would. I thank you that you did not choose
to keep us miserable souls wandering forevermore through the shoreless
deep, or to sink us, as the phantom-ship sinks in “Der Fliegender
Holländer,” amid sulphurous fumes and discordant sounds, down to that
lurid abyss from which you came.

Do you all at home know this legend of the Flying Dutchman? At least, do
you know it as Wagner gives it to the world, in words as lovely as its
melodies? The music is worth hearing, and the story well worth a little
thought. But perhaps you know it already? Because, if you do, of course
I shall not tell it, and in that case we need not sail off in strange
crafts for the wild Norway coast, but will only steam safely up the Elbe
to Hamburg.

There are travellers from the Western World who, after months of
sight-seeing, return home weary and disappointed because they have never
once been able to “realize that they were in Europe.” Not realize! Not
know! Not feel with every fibre that one has come from the New to the
Old! Why, the very lights of Hamburg gleaming through the rain and
darkness, as we cold and wet voyagers at last drew near our haven, even
while they gave us friendly greeting, told us unmistakably that their
welcome was shining out from a strange land, from homes unlike the homes
we had left behind.

Dear people who never “realize” that it is “Europe,” who never feel what
you expected to feel, may one less experienced in travel than yourselves
venture to tell you that it is that fatal thing, the guide-book, that
weighs you down? Not total abstinence in this respect, but moderation,
would I preach. Too much guide-book makes you know far too well what to
do, where to go, how long to stay. It leaves nothing to imagination, to
enthusiasm, to the whim of the moment. Dear guide-book people, _don’t_
know so much, don’t calculate so much, don’t measure and weigh and test
everything! Don’t speak so much to what you see, and then what you see
will speak more to you. Even here in old Hamburg, the haughty free city
of commerce, the rich city boasting of her noble port filled with ships
from every land,—proud of her wealth, her strength, her merchants, and
her warehouses,—looking well after her ducats, caring much for her
dinner, plainly telling you she is of a prosaic nature, leaving tales of
love and chivalry to the more romantic South,—even here the air is full
of subtle intangible influences, that will move you deeply if you will
but receive them. A city a thousand years old must have something to say
of far-off times and of the living present, if one has ears to hear.

Stand on the heights by the river and look down on all the noble ships
at anchor there. The old windmill turns lazily before you. The flag on a
building near by moves softly in the breeze. The tender, hazy,
late-autumn day, kind to all things, beautifies even bare trees and
withered grass. A large-eyed boy, his school-books under his arm, stares
curiously at you, then longingly looks at the water and the great ships.
The picture has its meaning, which you may breathe in, drink in if you
will, but you will never find it if you are comparing your “Appleton”
with your “Baedecker,” or estimating the number of square feet in the
grass-plot where you stand, or looking hard at the ugly “Sailors’
Asylum” because you may be so directed, and refusing to see my pretty
boy with the wistful eyes because he’s not mentioned in the guide-book.

Everywhere are little stories, pictures, glimpses of other people’s
lives, waiting for you. The flower-girl at the street-corner holds out a
bunch of violets as you pass. Pale, thinly clad, she stands there
shivering in the cold November wind. On you go. The shops are large and
brilliant, the people seem for a time like those in any large city. You
think you might as well be in New York, when suddenly you see, walking
tranquilly along, a peasant-woman in the costume of her district,—short,
bright gown, bodice square and high, with full white sleeves and a red
kerchief round her shoulders, and on her head the most curious object, a
thing that looks like a skullcap, with a flaring black bow, as large as
your two hands, at the back, from which hangs her hair in two long
braids. Sometimes there is also a hat which resembles a shallow,
inverted flat basket. Why it stays in place instead of wabbling about as
it might reasonably be expected to do, and whether there is any hidden
connection between it and that extraordinary black bow, are mysteries to
me, though I peered under the edge of the basket hat of one Vierländerin
with great pertinacity.

The Hamburg maid-servants also wear a prescribed costume. A casement
high above you swings open and discloses a little figure standing in the
narrow window. A blond head, with a white bit of a cap on it, leans out.
You catch a glimpse of a great white apron, and of a neat, sensible,
dark cotton gown, made with a short puffed sleeve which leaves the arm
bare and free for work. You wonder _why_ the girl looks so long up and
down the busy street, and what she hopes to see. To be sure, it may be
only Bridget looking for Patrick, or, worse, Bridget thinking of nothing
in particular; simply idling away her time, instead of sweeping the
garret. But if her name is perhaps Hannchen, and she looks from a
window, narrow and high, and the morning sunshine touches her yellow
braids, and she stands so still, far above the hurrying feet on the
pavement, how can one help finding her more interesting, as a bit of
human nature to study and enjoy, than a beflounced and beribboned
Bridget at home? And when, in her simple dress, well suited to her
degree, she runs about the streets on her mistress’s errands, carrying
many a parcel in her strong round arms, she is a pleasant thing to see,
and, because she does not ape the fine lady, loses nothing when by
chance she walks by the side of one in silk attire.

Ah! if one has ever groaned in spirit to see the tawny daughters of the
Penobscot Indians, those dusky maidens who might, in reason, be expected
to bring into a prosaic town some wildwood grace, some suggestion of the
“curling smoke of wigwams,” of “the dew and damp of meadows,” selling
their baskets from door to door in gowns actually cut after a recent
Godey fashion-plate, much looped as to overskirt, much ruffled and
puffed and shirred,—then indeed must one rejoice in the dress of the
Hamburg maids, and in these sturdy country-women trudging along in their
picturesque but substantial costume, to sell their fruit and vegetables
in the city markets.

In the olden time the good wives of Hamburg no doubt wore such gowns.
One sees now in the street called Grosse Bleichen great buildings, banks
and shops, and all the evidences of busy modern life; but one shuts the
eyes and sees instead groups of women in blue and red, coming out from
the city walls to lay on the green grass the linen they have spun, that
it may whiten in the sunshine. They spun, and wove, and bleached. They
lived and died. The growing city built new walls, and took within its
limits those green banks once beyond its gates. The women knew not what
was to be, when their spinning was all done. Nor did the maids, whose
busy feet trod the path by the river-side, dream that the Jungfernstieg,
or Maiden’s Path, would be the name, hundreds of years after, of the
most-frequented promenade of the gay world of a great city.

Those women with the spinning-wheels, silent now so long, the young
maids with their waterjars, chatting together in the early morning by
the river, still speak to us, if we but listen. Though the voices of the
city are so loud, we can hear quite well what they tell us; but indeed,
indeed, dear friends, it is not written in the guide-book.


Stories everywhere, did I not say? Why, I even found one imbedded

Listen, children, while I tell you about marzipan. The grown people need
not hear, if they do not wish.

Marzipan (or St. Mark’s bread—_marzi panis_) is the name of a dainty
which is made into bonbons of every shape and size and color imaginable;
all, however, having the same flavor, tasting of sugar and vanilla and
rose-water and almonds, and I know not what beside. There are tiny
potatoes, dark and gray, with marvellous “eyes,” that would delight your
souls; there are grapes, and nuts, and large, red apples, all made from
the delectable marzipan. And most particularly there are little round
loaves, an inch long, perhaps, which are the original celebrated
marzipan, pure and simple, the other form being modern innovations. And
why Mark’s bread? Because, my dears, there was once a famine in Lübeck,
and tradition saith that the loaf which each poor woman took from the
baker to her starving bairns grew each day smaller and smaller, until
finally it was such a poor wee thing it was no more than an inch long;
and on St. Mark’s Day was the famine commemorated, while the shape and
size of the pitiful loaves are preserved in this sweetmeat, peculiar, I
believe, to North Germany. Hamburg children—bless them!—will tell you
the tale of famine, and swallow the tiny loaves as merrily as though
there was never a hungry child in the world.

Hamburg children! Indeed, I have reason to bless them. Shall I not
always be grateful to the fate that showed to eyes weary with gazing
upon wet decks, dense fog, and the listless faces of fellow-voyagers, a
bright and beautiful vision? Most travellers in Hamburg visit first the
Zoölogical Gardens, and then immediately after—is it to observe the
contrast or the similarity between the lower animals and noble man?—the
Exchange or Börse, where they look down from a gallery upon hundreds,
thousands of busy men, whose voices rise in one incessant, strange,
indescribable noise—hum—roar—call it what you will. Neither of these
spectacles, happily, was thrust at once before me. Did I not interpret
as a happy omen that _my_ first “sight” was twenty little German
children dancing?

Can I ever forget those delicious shy looks at the queer stranger who
has suddenly loomed up in the midst of their festivities? And the
carefully prepared speech of the small daughter of the house who with
blushes and falterings, much laughter, many promptings, and several
false starts, finally chirps like a bird, trying to speak English, “I am
va-ry happy to zee you,” and for the feat receives the felicitations of
her friends, and retires in triumph to her bonbons.

Sweetest of all was the gracious yet timid way in which each child, in
making her early adieus, gave her hand to the stranger also, as an
imperative courtesy.

Each little maid draws up her dainty dancing-boots heel to heel, extends
for an instant her small gloved hand, speaks no word except with the shy
sweet eyes, gravely inclines her head, and is gone, giving place to the
next, who goes through the same solemn form.

Dear little children at home, you are as dear and sweet as these small
German girls—dearer and sweeter, shall I not say?—but would you, _could_
you, prompted only by your own good manners, march up to a corner where
sits a great, big, entirely grown-up person from over the sea, and stand
before her, demure and quaint and stately, and make your stiff and
pretty little bows? Would you now, you tiniest ones? Really?

Yet, do you know, if you would, of your own free will, without mamma
visible in the background exhorting and encouraging, you would do a
graceful thing, a courteous and a kindly thing, in thus including the
dread stranger within your charmed circle, and in welcoming her from
your child-heart and with your child-hands. You would be telling her,
all so silently, that though her home is far away, she has her place
among you; that kindness and warmth and free-hearted hospitality one
finds the wide world over. And your pretty heads, bending seriously
before her, and your demure, absurd, sweet, pursed-up baby-mouths might
conjure up visions of curly gold locks, and soft dimpled faces far off
in her home country, and she would—why, children, children, I cannot say
what she would do! I cannot tell all that she would think and feel. But
this I know well, she would love you and your dear little, frightened,
welcoming hands, and she would say, with her whole heart, as I say now,—

“Merry, merry Christmas, and ‘God bless us every one!’”


“If you come to Heidelberg you will never want to go away,” says Mr.
Warner in his “Saunterings.” It was in summer that he said it. He had
wandered everywhere over the lovely hills. He knew this quaintest of
quaint towns by heart. He had studied the beautiful ruin in the sunshine
and by moonlight, and had listened amid the fragrance and warmth of a
midsummer night to the music of the band in the castle grounds, and to
the nightingales. I, who have only seen Heidelberg in the depth of
winter, with gray skies above and snow below, echo his words again and

“Don’t go to Heidelberg in winter. Don’t think of it. It’s so stupid.
There is nothing there now, positively nothing. O, don’t!” declared the
friends in council at Hamburg. When one’s friends shriek in a vehement
chorus, and “O, don’t!” at one, it is usually wise to listen with
scrupulous attention to everything which they say, and then to do
precisely what seems good in one’s own eyes. I listened, I came
immediately to Heidelberg in winter, and now I “never want to go away.”

And why? Indeed, it is not easy to say where the fascination of the
place lies. Everybody knows how Heidelberg looks. We all have it in our
photograph albums,—long, narrow, irregular, outstretched between the
hills and the Neckar. And all our lives we have seen the castle
imprinted upon paper-knives and upon china cups that say Friendship’s
Offering, in gilt letters, on the other side. But in some way the queer
houses,—some of solid stone, yellow and gray, some so high, with pointed
roofs, some so small, with the oddest little casements and heavy
iron-barred shutters, and the inevitable bird-cage and pot of flowers in
the window, quite like the pictures,—in some way these old houses seem
different from the photographs. And when one passes up through steep,
narrow, paved alleys lined with them, and sees bareheaded fat babies
rolling about on the rough pavement, and the mothers quite unconcerned
standing in the doorways, and small boys running and sliding on their
feet, as our boys do, laughing hilariously and jeering, as our boys also
do,—why will they?—when the smallest falls heavily and goes limping and
screaming to his home,—one is filled with amazement at the half-strange,
half-familiar aspect of things, and wonders if it be really one’s own
self walking about among the picture houses. And as to the castle, I
never want to see it again on a paper-weight or a card-receiver.

There’s nothing here in winter, they say. I suppose there is not much
that every one would care for. It is the quietest, sleepiest place in
the world. It pretends to have twenty thousand inhabitants, but,
privately, I don’t believe it, for it is impossible to imagine where all
the people keep themselves, one meets so few.

No, there’s not much here, perhaps; but certainly whatever there is has
an irresistible charm for one who is neither too elegant nor too wise to
saunter about the streets, gazing at everything with delicious
curiosity. Blessed are they who can enjoy small things.

A solemn-looking professor passes; then a Russian lady wrapped in fur
from her head to her feet. Some dark-eyed laborers stand near by talking
in their soft, sweet Italian. The shops on the Haupstrasse are
brilliantly tempting with their Christmas display. Poor little girls
with shawls over their heads press their cold noses against the broad
window-panes, and eagerly “choose” what they would like. One stands with
them listening in sympathy, and in the same harmless fashion chooses
carved ivory and frosted silver of rare and exquisite design for a score
of friends.

Dear little boy at home,—yes, it is you whom I mean!—what would you say
to an imposing phalanx of toy soldiers, headed by the emperor, the crown
prince, Bismarck, and Von Moltke all riding abreast in gorgeous
uniforms? That is what I “choose” for you, my dear. And did you know, by
the way, that here in Germany Santa Claus doesn’t come down the chimneys
and fill the children’s stockings, and bring the Christmas-tree, but
that it is the Christ-child who comes instead, riding upon a tiny
donkey, and the children put wisps of hay at their doors, that the
donkey may not get hungry while the Christ-child makes his visits.

Many women walk through the streets carrying great baskets on their
heads. This custom seems to some travellers an evil. The women look too
much, they say, like beasts of burden. But if a washerwoman has a great
basket of clothes to carry home, and prefers to balance it upon her head
instead of taking it in her hands, why may she not, provided she knows
how? And it is by no means an easy thing to do, as you would be willing
to admit if you had walked, or tried to walk, about your room with your
unabridged dictionary borne aloft in a similar manner. These women wear
little flat cushions, upon which the baskets rest. Those women I have
seen looked well and strong and cheerful, and walked with a firm, free
step, swinging their arms with great abandon. Three such women on a
street-corner engaged in a morning chat were an interesting spectacle.
One carried cabbages of various hues, heaped up artistically in the form
of a pyramid. The huge circumference of their baskets kept them at a
somewhat ceremonious distance from one another, but they exchanged the
compliments of the season in the most kindly and intimate way, and their
freedom of gesticulation and beautiful unconcern as to the mountains on
their heads were really edifying.

I have not as yet been grieved and exasperated by the sight of a woman
harnessed to a cart. One, apparently very heavily laden, I did see drawn
by a man and two stalwart sons, while the wife and mother walked behind,
pushing. As she was necessarily out of sight of her liege lord, the
amount of work she might do depended entirely upon her own volition, and
she could push or only pretend to push, as she pleased; or even, if the
wicked idea should occur to her, going up a steep hill she might quietly
_pull_ instead of push, and so ascend with ease. The whole arrangement
struck me as in every respect a truly admirable and most uncommon
division of family labor.

We meet of course everywhere groups of students with their dainty little
canes, their caps of blue or red or gold or white, and their altogether
jaunty aspect. The white-capped young men are of noble birth. Some of
them wear, in addition to their white caps, ornaments of white
court-plaster upon their cheeks and noses, as memorials of recent strife
with some plebeian foe. To republican eyes they are no better looking
than their fellows, and it may be said that few of these scholastic
young gentlemen, titled or otherwise, who in knots of three or five or
more, accompanied by great dogs, often blockade the extremely narrow
pavement, manifest their pleasing alacrity in gallantly scattering, and
in giving _place aux dames_ as might be desired.

It has been snowing persistently of late. More snow has fallen than
Heidelberg has seen in many years, and the students have indulged in
unlimited sleighing. The Heidelberg sleigh is an indescribable object.
Its profile, if one may so speak, looks like a huge, red, decapitated
swan. It has two seats, and is dragged by two ponderous horses with
measured tread and slow, while the driver clings in a marvellous way to
the back of the equipage, incessantly brandishing an enormously long
whip. Sometimes a long line of these sleighs is seen, in each of which
are four students starting out for a pleasure-trip. The young men fold
their arms and lean back in an impressive manner. Their coquettish caps
are even more expressive than usual. The curious thing is, that, apart
from the evidence of our senses, they seem to be dashing along with the
utmost rapidity. There is something in the intrepid bearing of the
students, in the vociferations and loud whip-crackings of the driver,
that suggests dangerous speed. On the contrary the elephantine steeds
jog stolidly on, quite unmoved by the constant din; the students
continue to wear their adventurous, peril-seeking air, and the undaunted
man behind valiantly cracks his whip.

The contrast between the rate at which they go and the rate at which
they seem to imagine that they are going is most comical. The heart is
moved with pity for the benighted young men who do not know what
sleighing is, and one would like to send home for a few superior
American sleighs as rewards of merit for good boys at the university.

The thing with the least warmth and Christian kindness about it in
Heidelberg is the stove. There may be stoves here that have some
conscientious appreciation of the grave responsibilities devolving upon
them in bitter cold weather, but such have not come within the range of
my observation.

My idea of a Heidelberg stove is a brown, terra-cotta, lukewarm piece of
furniture, upon which one leans,—literally with _nonchalance_,—while
listening to attacks upon American customs and manners from
representatives of the Swiss and German nations. The tall white
porcelain stoves which somebody calls “family monuments,” are at least
agreeable to the eye. But _these_ are neither ornamental nor wholly
ugly, neither tall nor short, white nor black, hot nor cold. They have
neither virtues nor vices. We feel only scorn for the hopeless
incapacity of a stove that cannot at any period of its career burn our
fingers. It is, as a stove, a total failure, and it makes but an
indifferently good elbow-rest.

However deficient in blind adoration for our fatherland we may have been
at home, it only needs a few weeks’ absence from it, during which time
we hear it constantly ridiculed and traduced, to make us fairly bristle
with patriotism.

It is marvellous how like boastful children sensible people will
sometimes talk when a chance remark has transformed a playful, friendly
comparison of the customs of different nations into a war of words.
Often one is reminded of the story of the two small boys, each of whom
was striving manfully to sustain the honor of his family.

“We’ve got a sewing-machine.”

“We’ve got a pianner.”

“My mother’s got a plaid shawl.”

“My sister’s got a new bonnet.”

“We’ve got lightning-rods on our house.”

“We’ve got a _mortgage_ on ours!”

For instance:—

“You have in America no really old stories and traditions?” said a
German lady to an American.

“We are too young for such things. But what does it matter? We enjoy
yours,” was the civil response.

“But,” the German continued, in a tone of commiseration, “no
fairy-stories like ours of the Black Forest, no legends like ours of the
Blockberg! Isn’t everything very new and prosaic?”

This superiority is not to be endured. The American feels that her
country’s honor is impeached.

“We have no such legends,” she begins slowly, when a blessed inspiration
comes to her relief, and she goes on with dignity,—“we have no such
legends, to be sure; but then, you know, we have—_the Indians_.”

“Ah, yes; that is true,” said the German, respectfully, knowing as much
of the Indians as of the inhabitants of some remote planet, while the
American, trusting the vague, mysterious term will induce a change of
subject, yet not knowing what may come, rapidly revolves in her mind
every item of Indian lore she has ever known, from Pocahontas to
Young-Man-Afraid-of-his-Horses, determined, should she be called upon to
tell a wild Indian tale, to do it in a manner that will not disgrace the
stars and stripes.

But I grieve to say that America is not always victorious. Our
table-talk, upon whatever subject it may begin, invariably ends in a
controversy, more or less earnest, about the merits of the several
nations represented.

A Swiss student with strong French sympathies charges valiantly at three
Germans, and having routed their entire army, heaped all manner of abuse
upon Kaiser Wilhelm, reduced the crown prince to beggary, and beheaded
Bismarck, suddenly turns, elated with his victory, and hurls his
missiles at the American eagle.

O, how we suffer for our country!

Some sarcasm from our student neighbor calls forth from us,—

“America is the hope of the ages.”

We think this sounds well. We remember we heard a Fourth-of-July orator
say it. Then it is not too long for us to attempt, with our small
command of the German tongue.

“A forlorn hope that has not long to live,” quickly retorts our

He continues, contemptuously,—

“America is too raw.”

“America _is_ young. She’s a child compared with your old nations, but a
promising, glorious child. Her faults are only the faults of youth,” we
respond with some difficulty as to our pronouns and adjectives.

“She’s a very bad child. She needs a whipping,” chuckles our saucy

America’s banner trails in the dust, and Helvetia triumphs over all
foes. In silence and chagrin America’s feeble champion retires to the
window, watches the birds picking up bread-crumbs on the balcony, and
meditates a grand revenge when her German vocabulary shall be equal to
her zeal. Helvetia’s son being, in this instance, a very clever, merry
boy, soon laughingly sues for reconciliation, on the ground that, “after
all, sister republics must not quarrel,” and the two, in noble alliance,
advance with renewed vigor, and speedily sweep from the face of the
earth all tyrannous monarchical governments.

Is it not, by the way, thoroughly German, that down in its last corner
the Heidelberg daily paper prints each day, “Remember the poor little
birds”? And indeed they are remembered well; and there are few casements
here that do not open every morning, that the birdies’ bread may be
thrown upon the snow.

And is there nothing else here in winter beside the innocent pastimes
mentioned? There are wonderful views to be gained by those who have the
courage to climb the winding silvery paths that lead up the Gaisberg and
Heiligenberg. And then there is—majesty comes last!—the castle.

Ah! here lies the magic of the place. This is why people love
Heidelberg. It is because that wonderful old ruin is everywhere present,
whatever one does, wherever one goes, binding one’s heart to itself. You
cannot forget that it stands there on the hill, sad and stately and
superb. Lower your curtains, turn your back to the window, read the last
novel if you will, still you will see it. I defy you to lose your
consciousness of it. It will always haunt you, until it draws you out of
the house—out into the air—through the rambling streets—up the hill past
the queer little houses—to the spot where it stands, and then it will
not let you go. It holds you there in a strange enchantment. You wander
through chapel and banquet-hall, through prison-vault and pages’
chamber, from terrace to tower, where you go as near the edge as you
dare,—_nearer_ than you dare, in fact,—and look down upon the trees
growing in the moat. Because you never, in all your life, saw anything
like a “ruin,” and because there is but one Heidelberg Castle in the
world, you take delight in simply wandering up and down long dark
stairways, with no definite end in view. You may be hungry and cold, but
you never know it. You are unconscious of time, and after hours of
dream-life you only turn from gazing when somebody forcibly drags you
away because the man is about to close the gates.

I cannot discourse with ease upon quadrangles and façades. I am doubtful
about finials, and my ideas are in confusion as to which buttresses fly
and which hang; but it is a blessed fact that one need not be very
learned to care for lovely things, and while I live I shall never forget
how the castle looked the first time I approached it.

Some people say it is loveliest seen at sunset from the “Philosopher’s
Walk,” on Heiligenberg across the Neckar, and some say it is like
fairy-land when it is illuminated (which happens once or twice in a
summer,—the last time, before the students go away in August, and leave
the old town in peace and quiet), and when one softly glides in a little
boat from far up the Neckar, down, down, in the moonlight, until
suddenly the castle, blazing with lights, is before you.

But though I should see it a thousand times with summer bloom around,
with the charm of fair skies and sunshine, soft green hills and flowing
water, or in the moonlight, with happy voices everywhere, and strains of
music sounding sweet and clear in the evening air, I can never be sorry
that, first of all, it rose in its beauty, before my eyes, out of a sea
of new-fallen snow.

O, the silence and the whiteness of that day!

We entered the grounds and passed through broad walks, among shadowy
trees whose every twig was snow-covered, and by the snow-crowned
Princess Elizabeth Arch. On we went in silence,—only once did any sound
break the stillness, when a little laughing child, in a sleigh drawn by
a large black dog, aided by a good-natured half-breathless servant,
dashed by and disappeared among the trees. Soon we stood on the terrace
overlooking the city and the Neckar.

On one side was the castle, the dark mass standing out boldly against
the whiteness,—on the other, far below, the city, its steep, high roofs
snow-white, its three church-spires rising towards cold, gray skies;
beyond, the frozen Neckar, then Heiligenberg, its white vineyards
contrasting with the dusky fir-forests, and, far away as one could see,
the great plain of the Rhine, with the line of the Haardt Mountains
barely perceptible in the distance and the dim light. All was so white
and still! Only the brave ivy, glossy and green and fresh on the old
walls and amid this frozen nature, spoke of life and hope. All else told
of sadness, and of peace it may be, but of the peace that follows

But to stand on the height—to look so far—to be in that white, holy
stillness! It was wonderful. It was too beautiful for words.


Is it in “The Parisians” that the soldier carries a bouquet on his
musket, and it is said that Paris, though starving, must have flowers?
These sweet spring days, when vast crowds of people are wandering about
amusing themselves, and children are making daisy chains in the parks,
and men pass along the streets with great branches of lilac blossoms or
masses of rosebuds, which are sold at every corner, and skies are blue,
and the lovely sunshine everywhere is falling upon happy-looking faces,
you feel like blessing not only the spring-time, but beautiful Paris and
the temperament of the French. “St. Denis caught a sunbeam flying, and
he tied it with a bright knot of ribbons, and he flashed it on the earth
as the people of France; only, alas, he made two mistakes,—he gave it no
ballast, and he dyed the ribbons blood-red.” You think of the want of
ballast and the blood-red tinge when you look at the ruined Tuileries,
and see every now and then other traces of the Commune. In our
dining-room is a great mirror with a hole in its centre and long seams
running to its corners. Madame keeps it as a memento of those terrible
times, and of her anxiety and terror when balls were coming in her doors
and windows, and she would not on any account have it removed. But,
after all, it is the flying sunbeams of the present that most impress
you. They are more vivid, being actually before your eyes, than scenes
of riot and madness, which you can only imagine. The life about you is
altogether so fascinating, so cheering. You catch the spirit that seems
to animate the people. Where all is so sunny and gay why should you
grieve? Have you little troubles? Leave them behind and go out into the
sweet sunshine, and they will grow so insignificant you will be ashamed
to remember how you were brooding over them; and then, if they are
really great, they will pass; everything passes. Only take to-day to
your heart the loveliness that is waiting for you, for indeed there is
something in it that makes you not only happy for the time, but brave
and hopeful for the future. All of which is the little sermon that Paris
preaches to us all day long. Perhaps we didn’t come to Paris for sermons
especially, but after all it is often the unexpected ones that are the

How shall I tell what we have seen and heard here? One day we visited
the Pantheon, and, having seen what there was to see below, we went up
to the dome, which affords a magnificent view of all Paris and the
surrounding country. A party of school-girls ascended the long, narrow,
winding flights at the same time, and they were entirely absorbed in
counting the stairs. The one in advance clearly proclaimed the number;
the others verified her account. The interest was intense. Occasionally
we would come to a platform where at first it would seem that there was
nothing more to conquer. Breathless, panting, flushed, the young girls
would look searchingly around, then, with a shriek of delight, would
plunge into a dark corner and open a door, from which another
crazy-looking stairway led up to other heights. Their chaperon, who
looked as if she might be the principal of a school, gave up in despair
before we were half-way up, and, seating herself to await their return,
cast amused, kindly glances after the retreating forms of the undaunted
girls. I take pleasure in stating the important and interesting fact
that the number of steps from the ground to the “Lanterne” above the
dome of the Pantheon is five hundred and twenty, and you can’t possibly
go higher unless you should choose to ascend a rope which is used when
on grand occasions they illuminate the dome and burn a brilliant light
on the very tiptop. So said a little abbé who looked like a mere boy,
and who courteously told us many interesting things as we stood there, a
group of strangers scanning one another with mild curiosity,—two
well-bred Belgian boys with the abbé, some ultra-fashionable dames, a
party of Englishmen of course, and ourselves. The school-girls
fortunately went down without seeing the rope. Had they observed it, and
known that it was possible by any means whatever to go higher than they
had gone, they would have been miserable, unless indeed their aspiring
spirit had led them in some way to ascend it.

With the paintings and sculpture at the Louvre and the Luxembourg we
have spent several happy days, only wishing the days might be months.
Don’t expect me to tell you what delighted us most, or how great
pictures seemed which we had before seen only in engravings or
photographs. They burst gloriously all at once upon our ignorant eyes,
and we wanted to sit days and days before one picture that held us
entranced, and yet our time was so limited we had to pass on and on
regretfully. Of course some one was there to whisper in our ears, “O,
this is nothing! You must go to Italy.” Certainly we must go to Italy,
but the thought of the beauty awaiting there could not detract from that
which was around us. Before some of the paintings we felt like standing
afar off and worshipping. There were Madonnas with insipid faces which
we did not appreciate. There were other pictures which we coldly
admired; they were wonderful, but we did not want to own them,—did not
love them. Among those which we longed to seize and carry away is the
“Cupid and Psyche” of Gerard, in which Psyche receiving the first kiss
of love is an exquisitely innocent, fair-haired little maiden, not so
very unlike the friend to whom we would like to send it.

There are always curious people in the galleries. Sit down and rest a
minute and something funny is sure to happen.

“See this chaw-ming thing of Murillo,” says a florid youth of nineteen
or twenty, with very tight gloves, an elaborate necktie, and, alas! an
unquestionably American air, as he marshals a timid-looking group,—his
mother and sisters, perhaps. “Quite well done, now, isn’t it?” And on he
went. If he knew a Perugino from a Vandyck his countenance did him great
injustice. Then another party comes along,—conscientious, ponderous,
English,—and halts with precision. One of them reads, in a loud voice,
from a book—“Titian—Portrait—462”—and they stare blankly at the picture
before them, which happens to be not a Titian at all, but a “Meadow
Scene, with Cows,” by Cuyp, or a great battle-piece of Salvator Rosa.
When they discover their mistake and recover from their astonishment,
they pass on in search of the missing Titian. We smiled at this, but, as
the pictures are not hung according to the order given in catalogues, we
knew very well that it was our good fortune, and not our merit or our
wisdom, that kept us from similar mistakes. What might we not have done
had we not been so beautifully guarded against all blundering by our
escort, a French gentleman of rare culture,—both an amateur painter and
sculptor,—and an intimate friend of some of the most distinguished
French artists! With him for a companion we felt superior to all
catalogues and treatises upon art. We have had the pleasure, too, of
visiting his private museum and studio, where are strange relics
collected in a life of unusual travel and adventure. He is a retired
colonel of the French army, and when in service has lived in Egypt,
Turkey, Persia, Greece, and now his little room, which we climbed six
flights of stairs to reach, is crowded with mementos of his wanderings.
I despair of conveying any idea of what he has hung upon his walls. It
would almost be easier to tell what he has not. Persian pictures, stone
emblems, fans, rosaries, swords, mosaics, pistols, queer chains and
pipes, as well as some very valuable paintings,—a Vandyck, an Andrea del
Sarto, a number of the modern French school, presented to him by the
artists. Was it not a privilege to have such a guide when we visited the
Paris lions? He took us to the Musée de Cluny, among other exceedingly
interesting places, where we saw hosts of antiquities,—beautifully
carved mantels, magnificent fireplaces, “big enough to roast a whole ox”
(and they really use them, winters, too—the noble great logs were all
ready to be lighted), rare old windows of stained glass, rich robes of
high church dignitaries, porcelain, jewelled crowns of Gothic kings, old
lace and tapestries, and carved wood that it did one’s heart good to
see. Girls with tied-back dresses, and hats fairly crushed by the weight
of the masses of flowers with which French milliners persist in loading
us this spring, did look so painfully modern in those mediæval rooms! We
began to feel as if we were walking about in one of the Waverley novels,
and fully expected to meet Ivanhoe clad in complete armor on the stone
staircase that leads down from the chapel.

There were many things over which we found it impossible to be
enthusiastic,—the jawbone of Molière, for example, in a glass case. It
probably looks like less distinguished jawbones, but if his whole
skeleton had been there I fear we should have been no more impressed.
Chessmen of rock crystal and gold we coveted, and we liked the room in
which are the great, ponderous, gilded state coaches of some century
long ago, with their whips, harnesses, and comical postilion boots.
There is a little sleigh or sledge there, said to have been Marie
Antoinette’s,—a small gold dragon, whose wing flies open to admit the
one person whom the tiny equipage can seat. It looked as if it must have
been pushed by some one behind. Fancy a gold dragon with fiery-red eyes
and a wide-open red mouth coming towards you over the snow!

This whole building is full of interest from its age and historical
associations. It was built in the fifteenth century, has been in the
hands of comedians, of a sisterhood; Marat held his horrible meetings
here; Mary of England lived here after the death of her husband, Louis
XII., and you can still see the chamber of the “White Queen,” with its
ivory cabinets, vases, and queer old musical instruments. Visitors are
requested not to touch anything, but we couldn’t resist the temptation
of striking just one chord on a spinet. Such a cracked voice the poor
thing had! It sounded so dead and ghostlike and dreary, we hurried away
as fast as we could. Don’t be alarmed, and think I am going to write up
all the history of the place. I haven’t the least idea of doing such a
thing; only this I can tell you,—the Hôtel de Cluny affords an excellent
opportunity to test your knowledge of history; and if you ever stand
where we did, and send your thoughts wandering among past ages, may your
dates be more satisfactory than were ours!

The ruins of an old Roman palace, of which only a portion of the baths
remain, adjoin the museum. There is a great room, sixty feet long, all
of stone, and very high, which was used for the cold baths. The other
baths are all gone, but if you imagine hot and warm and tepid ones as
large as the cold, it certainly gives you a profound admiration for the
magnitude of the ancient bath system. If Julian the Apostate, who built
the palace, they say, could see us as we go peering curiously about,
asking what this and that mean, and the names of stone things that were
probably as common in his day as sewing-machines are now, wouldn’t he
laugh? We looked over the shoulder of a painter who was making a
delightful little picture of a part of the ruins, the stone pavement and
staircase, then a beautiful arch through which we could look into the
open air, and see the warm sunshine, the great lilac-bushes, and a tall
old ivy-covered wall beyond. The contrast between the cold gray interior
and the bright outer world was very effective.

Strange old place where Cæsars have lived, and through which early kings
of France and fierce Normans have swept, plundering and ruining, and
where, to-day, by the fragments of the massive ivy-covered walls and
under the trees in the pleasant park, happy little children play, and
nurses chatter, and life is strong, and fresh and warm, even while we
are thinking of the dead past!


Baden is a little paradise. It seems like a garden with the freshness of
May on every flower and leaf. The long lines of chestnut-trees are rich
with bright, pink blossoms,—solid pink, not pink-and-white like ours at
home. You walk beneath them through shady avenues, where the young grass
is like velvet, and every imaginable shade of refreshing green lies
before your eyes. There is the tender May-leaf green of the shrubs,
another of the soft lawns, that of the different trees, of the more
distant hill-slopes, and, beyond all, the deepest intensified green of
the Black Forest rising nobly everywhere around. A hideous little
bright-green cottage, prominent on one of the hills, irritates us
considerably, not harmonizing with its deep background of pines, and we
long at first to ruthlessly erase it from the picture; but finally
remembering the ugly little thing is actually somebody’s home, our
better nature triumphs, and we feel we can allow it to remain, and can
only hope the dwellers within think it prettier than we do.

There are already many visitors here, though it is as yet too early and
cool for the great throng of strangers to be expected, and the vast
numbers of people come no more who used to frequent the place before the
gaming was abolished by the emperor a few years ago, through Bismarck’s
especial exertions, it is said; from which it is to be inferred that
Baden’s pure loveliness is less attractive to the world at large than
the fascination of the gaming-tables. We hear everywhere around regrets
for the lost charm, for the gayety, excitement, brilliancy; and it is
impossible to avoid wishing, not certainly that play were not abolished,
but at least that we could have come when it was at its height to see
for ourselves the strange phases of humanity that were here exhibited,
and just how naughty it all was. Now the waiters shake their heads
mournfully, as if a glory and a grace were departed, and say, “No, it
isn’t what it used to be,—nothing like it!” and there seems to be a
“banquet-hall-deserted” atmosphere pervading the rooms in the
Conversation House. To be sure there is music there evenings, and a
fashionable assembly walking about; and there is music, too, in the
kiosk, and a goodly number of gay people chatting, eating, and drinking
at the little tables in the open air; and people gather in the early
mornings to drink the waters, as they always have done, but, after all,
the tribute of a memory and a regret seems to be universally paid to the
vanquished god of play, who is helping poor mortals cheat somewhere

The Empress of Germany is here, and, after long-continued effort, we
have seen her. How madly we have striven to accomplish this feat; how we
have questioned servants and shopkeepers; how we have haunted the
Lichtenthal Allee, that long, lovely, shady walk where her Majesty is
said to promenade regularly every day; how often we have had our
garments, but not our ardor, dampened for her sake; how she would never
come; and how finally, in desperation, we seated ourselves at a table
under a tree near her hotel, devoured eagerly with our eyes all its
windows, saw imperial dogs and imperial handmaidens in the garden, and
couriers galloping away with despatches, saw the coachmen and footmen
and retainers, but for a long time no empress,—all this shall never be
revealed, because self-respect imposes strict silence in regard to such

We must have looked somewhat like a picture in an old Harper’s Magazine
where two hungry newsboys stand by the area railing as dinner is served,
and when the different dishes are carried past the windows one regales
himself with the savory scents, while the other says something to this
effect: “I don’t mind the meats, but just tell me when the pudding comes
and I’ll take a sniff.”

“Augusta, please, dear Augusta, come out!” entreated we; but she came
not. When a carriage rolled round to the door, we were in ecstasies of
expectation, convinced she was going out to drive, but instead came a
gentleman, servants, and travelling-bags.

“Why, it’s Weimar,—_our_ Weimar!” said we with pride and ownership,
because you see the Prince of Weimar lives in Stuttgart, and so do we.
And as he drives off, out on the balcony among the plants comes her
imperial Majesty and waves her handkerchief to her brother in farewell.
She wore a black dress, a white head-dress or breakfast-cap, looked like
her photographs, and must once have been beautiful. She is an intensely
proud woman, it is said, and a rigid upholder of etiquette, and tales
are told of slight differences between her and the crown princess on
this account.

Baden is one of the enticing places of the earth,—is so lovely that
whenever, however, wherever you may look, you always spy some fresh
beauty, and the Black Forest legends are hanging all about it, investing
it with an endless charm. You can see in the frescoed panels on the
front of the new _Trinkhalle_ a picture illustrating some old story of a
place near by, and then for your next day’s amusement can go to the
identical spot where the ghost or demon or goblin used to be.

To Yburg, whose young knight met the beautiful, unearthly maiden by the
old heathen temple in the full moonshine, as he was returning from the
castle of his lady-love to his own, and who transferred his
affections—as adroitly as our young knights do the same thing
nowadays—from her to the misty figure, and met the latter, night after
night, was watched by his faithful servant, and was found dead on the
ground one bright morning.

Or to Lauf, where the ghost-wedding was, or almost was, but not quite,
because the knight who was to be married to the very attractive ghost of
a young woman grew so frightened when he saw all the glassy eyes of the
ghostly witnesses staring at him that he couldn’t say yes when the
sepulchral voice of the ghost of a bishop asked him if he would have
this woman to his wedded wife; and all the ghosts were deeply offended
and made a great uproar, and the knight fell down as if dead, and he too
was found lying on the ground in the morning; but him, I believe, they
were able to revive.

And you can go to the Convent of Lichtenthal, from which the nuns, upon
the approach of the enemy, in 1689 fled in terror, leaving their keys in
the keeping of the Virgin Mary, who came down from her picture and stood
in the doorway, so that the French soldiers shrank back aghast, and all
was left unharmed.

We went there, and saw a number of Marys in blue and red gowns, but
could not quite tell which was the one who came down from her frame to
guard the convent.

In the chapel eight or ten children mumbled their prayers in unison,
while we stood far behind, examining the old stained-glass windows, with
the peculiar blue tint in them that cannot now be reproduced, and the
queer old stone knights in effigy; and I don’t imagine the Lord heard
the children any the less because they were very absurd, and bobbed
about in every direction, and constantly turned one laughing face
quickly round to look at us, then back again, then another and another,
while all the time the praying went mechanically on. There was a little
girl, nine years old perhaps, who came to meet us by the old well here,
and stood smiling at us with great, brown, expressive eyes. Her face was
so brilliant and sweet we were charmed with her; but when we spoke she
upturned that rare little face of hers and answered not a word. I took
her hand in mine, but before she gave it she kissed it, and to each of
the party, who afterwards took her hand, she gave the same graceful
greeting. Not an airy kiss thrown at one, after the fashion of children
in general, but a quiet little one deposited upon her hand before it was
honored by the touch of the stranger. The pretty action, together with
the exquisite face, calm and clear as a cherub, and ideally childlike,
made a deep impression on us; and in some way, what we afterwards
learned—that she was completely deaf and dumb—did not occur to us. We
thought that she would not speak, not that she could not.

On a height overlooking the town stands a memorial chapel, built in
antique style, of alternate strata of red and white sandstone, by which
a very lively effect is produced. It has a gilded dome and a portico
supported by four Ionic pillars. In the interior are frescos of the
twelve apostles; and upon the high gold partition or screen, which
separates the choir from the body of the chapel, are painted scenes from
the New Testament. The floor is of marble in two colors.

We visited it fortunately during service, and saw for the first time the
Greek ritual. The singing was fine, the boys’ voices sweet and clear,
but many of the forms unintelligible to a stranger. For instance, we
could only imagine what was meant when one priest in scarlet and gold
would go behind a golden door and lock it, and another one would stand
before it intoning the strangest words in the strangest sing-song, until
at last they would open the door and let him in. The service in the
Greek churches is either in the Greek or old Sclavonic language. Here we
inferred that we were listening to the old Sclavonic, as the chapel
belongs to a Roumanian prince; but only this can we say positively,—that
two words (_Alleluia_ and _Amen_) were absolutely all that we

The robes were rich; incense was burned; there were a few worshippers,
all standing, the Greek Church allowing no seats; but in some places
crutches are used to lean upon when the service is long, as on great
festal days. There are no sermons except on special occasions, the
ordinary ritual consisting of chants between the deacons and chorister
boys, readings from certain portions of the Scripture, prayers, legends,
the creed, etc. They all turn towards the east during prayer, and
instrumental music is forbidden.

In this little chapel the morning service which we witnessed was brief,
and, of its kind, simple. We noticed particularly among the worshippers
one old gentleman who seemed to be very devout. He crossed himself
frequently,—by the way, not as Roman Catholics do,—and at certain times
knelt, and even actually prostrated himself, upon the marble pavement.
He was a fine old man, and looked like a Russian. He was earnest and
attentive, but he made us all exceedingly nervous, for his boots were
stiff and his limbs far from supple, and when he went down we feared he
never would be able to come up again without assistance; and we were
incessantly and painfully on the alert, prepared to help him recover his
equilibrium should he entirely lose it, which often seemed more than
probable. This was a Roumanian prince, Stourdza,—who lives winters in
Paris and summers in Baden,—and who erected the chapel in memory of his
son, who died at seventeen in Paris from excessive study. A statue of
the boy, bearing the name of the sculptor, Rinaldo Rinaldi, Roma,
1866,—life-size, on a high pedestal,—is on one side of the interior. He
sits by a table covered with books,—Bossuet, Greek, and Latin,—while an
angel standing beside him rests one hand on his shoulder, and with the
other beckons him away from his work. His Virgil lies open to the

    “Si qua fata aspera rumpas
    Tu Marcellus eris.”

If the boy was in reality so beautiful as the marble and as the portrait
of him which hangs at the left of the entrance, he must have looked as
lofty and tender and pure as an archangel.

Opposite him are the statues of the father and mother, who are yet
living, and between them a symbolical figure,—Faith, I presume. A
curtain conceals this group, beneath which the parents will one day lie.

Paintings of them also hang by the entrance, with a portrait of the boy
and one of the sister, “_Chère consolation de ses parents_,” as she is
called. The faces are all fine, but that of the young student the
noblest, and the statue of the lovely boy called away from his books
seemed a happy way of telling his brief story. In the vaults below where
he lies are always fresh flowers, and a light continually burning.

It is impossible to enumerate all the sights in and about Baden. If it
is any satisfaction to you, you can look at the villas of the great as
much as you please; but to know that Queen Victoria lived here, and
Clara Schumann there, and yonder is the Turgenieff Villa, with extensive
grounds, does not seem productive of any especial enjoyment. It is much
more exhilarating to leave the haunts of men and walk off briskly
through the woods to some golden milestone of the past,—the old Jäger
Haus, for instance, whose windows look upon a wide, rich prospect, and
where the holy Hubartus, the patron of the chase, is painted on the
ceiling, with the stag bearing the crucifix upon his antlers; and within
whose octagonal walls there must have been much revelry by night in the
good old times.

To the old castle where the Markgrafen of Hohenbaden—the border
lords—used to live we went one day, and anything funnier than that
particular combination of the romantic and ridiculous never was known.
Riding “in the boyhood of the year” through lovely woods, by mosses
mixed with violet, hearing the song of birds, breathing the purest,
balmiest air, who could help wondering if Launcelot and Guinevere
themselves found lovelier forest deeps; and who could help feeling very
sentimental indeed, and quoting all available poetry, and imagining long
trains of stately knights riding over the same path, and so on _ad
infinitum_! While indulging these romantic fancies we discovered that
our donkey also was often lost in similar reveries, from which he was
recalled by the donkey-boy, who by a sudden blow would cause him to
madly plunge, then to stop short and exhibit all the peculiarly pleasing
donkey tricks which we had read about, but never before experienced. And
to ride a very small and wicked donkey and to read about it are two
altogether different things, let me assure you.

Three donkeys galloping like mad up a mountain, three persons bouncing,
jolting, shrieking with laughter, a jolly boy running behind with a long
stick,—such was the experience that effectually dispelled our fine

The view at the castle is far extended and beautiful; you see something
of the Rhine in the distance, the little Oosbach, and the peaceful
valley between. Baden scenery, from whatever point you look at it, has
the same friendly, serene aspect,—little villages dotted here and there
on the soft hill-slopes, and in the background the bold, beautiful line
of the pine-covered mountains. The castle must have been once a fine,
grand place. Those clever old feudal fellows knew well where to build
their nests, and like eagles chose bold, wild heights for their rocky
eyries. “Heir liegen sie die stolzen Fürstentrümer,” quoted a German,
wandering about the ruins.

Up to the Yburg Castle we went also; and the “up” should be italicized,
for the mountain seemed as high and steep as the Hill of Science, and we
felt that the summit of one was as unattainable as that of the other.
But the woods were beautiful, and their whisperings and murmurings and
words were not in a strange language, for the tall dark pines sang the
selfsame song that they sing in the dear old New England woods, the
wildflowers and birds were a constant delight, the air fresh and cool,
and at last we reached the top, and found another castle and another

Here there was little castle and much view. Really a magnificent
prospect, but so fierce and chilling a wind that we could with
difficulty remain long enough on the old turrets to fix the landscape in
our memory, and we were glad to seek shelter in the little house, where
a man and his wife live all the year round; and frightfully cold and
lonely must it be there in winter, when even in May our teeth were
chattering gayly.

The visitors’ book there was rather amusing.

One American girl writes, with her name and the date,—

    “No moon to-night, which is of course
    The driver’s fault, not ours.”

“Mr. H. C.”—Black, we will call him—“walked up from Baden the 10th of
August, 1875”; and half the people who go to Yburg walk. As _we_ had
walked and never dreamed of being elated by our prowess, Mr. Black’s
manner of chronicling his feat seemed comical.

You look down from the mountain into the Affenthaler Valley, where the
wine of that name “grows.” It is a good, light wine, and healthful, but
a young person—we decided she must be a countrywoman, because she
expresses her opinion so freely—writes in regard to it,—

“Affenthaler. The drink sold under that honorable name at this
restaurant is the beastliest and most poisonous of drinks, not
absolutely undrinkable or immediately destructive of life. Traveller,
take care. Avoid the abominable stuff. _Beware!_”

Immediately following, in German, with the gentleman’s name and address,

“I have drunk of the Affenthaler which this unknown English person
condemns, and pronounce it a good and excellent wine.”

That Yburg by moonlight might be conducive to softness can easily be
imagined. Here is a sweet couplet:—

    “Let our eyes meet, and you will see
    That I love you and you love me.”

But best of all in its simplicity and strength was “Agnes Mary Taylor,
widow,” written clearly in ink, and some wag had underscored in pencil
the last expressive word.

Does the lady go over the hill and dale signing her name always in this
way? On the Yburg mountain-top it had the effect of a great and
memorable saying, like “Veni, vidi, vici,” or “Après nous le déluge.”
Agnes Mary Taylor, _widow_. Could anything be more terse, more
deliciously suggestive?


This letter is going to be about nothing in particular. I make this
statement with an amiable desire to please, for so much advice in regard
to subjects comes to me, and so many subjects previously chosen have
failed to produce, among intimate friends, the pleasurable emotions
which I had ingenuously designed, there remains to me now merely the
modest hope that a rambling letter about things in general may be read
with patience by at least one charitable soul. Bless our intimate
friends! What would we do without them? But aren’t they perplexing
creatures, take them all in all! “Don’t write any more about
peasant-girls and common things,” says one. “Tell us about the grand
people,—how they look, what they wear, and more about the king.” Anxious
to comply with the request, I try to recollect how the Countess von
Poppendoppenheimer’s spring suit was made in order to send home a fine
Jenkinsy letter about it, when another friend writes, “The simplest
things are always best,—the flower-girl at the corner, the ways of the
peasants, ordinary, every-day matters.” Have patience, friends. You
shall both be heard. The Countess von Poppendoppenheimer’s gown has
meagre, uncomfortable sleeves, is boned down and tied back like yours
and mine, after this present wretched fashion which some deluded writer
says “recalls the grace and easy symmetry of ancient Greece”; but if he
should try to climb a mountain in the overskirt of the period he would
express himself differently.

As to the king, one sees him every day in the streets, where he
courteously responds to the greetings of the people. He must be weary
enough of incessantly taking off his hat. The younger brother of Queen
Olga and of the Emperor of Russia, the Grand Duke Michael, came here the
other day. Seeing a long line of empty carriages and the royal coachmen
in the scarlet and gold liveries that betoken a particular
occasion,—blue being the every-day color,—we followed the illustrious
vehicles, curious to know what was going to happen, and saw a
gentlemanly-looking blond man, in a travelling suit, welcomed at the
station by different members of the court; while all those pleasing
objects, the scarlet and gold men, took off their hats. For the sake of
the friend who delights in glimpses of “high life,” I regret that I have
not the honor to know what was said on this occasion, our party having
been at a little distance, and behind a rope with the rest of the

But really the common people are better studies. You can stop peasants
in the street and ask them questions, and you can’t kings, you know.
Peasants just now can be seen to great advantage at the spring fair,
which with its numberless booths and tables extends through several
squares, and to a stranger is an interesting and curious sight. This
portion of the city, where the marketplace, the Schiller Platz, and the
Stiftskirche are, has an old, quaint effect, the Stiftskirche and the
old palace being among the few important buildings older than the
present century, while the rest of Stuttgart is fresh and modern. From
the high tower of this old church one has the best possible view of
Stuttgart, and can see how snugly the city lies in a sort of
amphitheatre, while the picturesque hills covered with woods and
vineyards surround it on every side. One sees the avenues of
chestnut-trees, the Königsbau, a fine, striking building with an Ionic
colonnade, the old palace and the new one, and the Anlagen stretching
away green and lovely towards Cannstadt. On this tower a choral is
played with wind instruments at morn and sunset, and sometimes a pious
old man passing stops to listen and takes off his hat as he waits.

In the little octagonal house up there lives a prosperous family, a man,
his wife, and ten children. The woman, a fresh, buxom, brown-eyed
goodwife, told us she descended to the lower world hardly once in three
or four weeks, but the children didn’t mind the distance at all, and
often ran up and down twelve or fifteen times a day. How terrific must
be the shoe-bill of this family! Ten pairs of feet continuously running
up and down nearly two hundred and sixty stone steps! She was kind
enough to show us all her _penates_,—even her husband asleep,—and
everything was homelike and cheery up there, boxes of green things
growing in the sunshine, clothes hanging out to dry, canary-birds

There is a small silver bell—perhaps a foot and a half in diameter at
the mouth—at one side of the tower, and it is rung every night at nine
o’clock and twelve, and has been since 1348. It has a history so long
and so full of mediæval horrors, like many other old stories in which
Würtemberg is rich, that it would be hardly fitting to relate it _in
toto_, but the main incidents are interesting and can be briefly given.

On the Bopsa Hill where now we walk in the lovely woods, and from which
the Bopsa Spring flows, bringing Stuttgart its most drinkable water,
stood, once upon a time,—in the fourteenth century, to be exact,—a
certain Schloss Weissenburg, about which many strange things are told.
The Weissenburgs conducted themselves at times in a manner which would
appear somewhat erratic to our modern ideas.

At the baptism of an infant daughter, Papa von Weissenburg was killed by
the falling of some huge stag-antlers upon his head. We are glad to read
about the baptism, for later there doesn’t seem to have been a strong
religious element in the family. Shortly afterwards Rudolph, the eldest
son, was stabbed by a friend through jealousy because young Von
Weissenburg had won the affections of the fair dame of whom both youths
were enamored. Then followed strife between the surviving brother and
the monks of St. Leonhard, who would not allow the murdered man to be
buried in holy ground, the poor boy having had no time to gasp out his
confession and partake of the sacrament, and they even refused to bury
him at all. Hans von Weissenburg swore terrible oaths by his doublet and
his beard, and cursed the monks till the air was blue, and came with his
friends and followers and buried his brother twelve feet deep directly
in front of St. Leonhard’s Chapel (there is a St. Leonhard’s Church here
now on the site of the old chapel), and forbade the monks to move or
insult the body. Later, when they wished to use the land for a
churchyard, they were in a great dilemma. Rudolph’s bones they dared not
move and would not bless; at last, what did they do but consecrate the
earth only five feet deep, so the blessing would not reach Rudolph, who
lay seven feet deeper still,—and they also insulted the grave by
building over it. Hans, on this account, slew a monk, and was in turn
killed because he had murdered a holy man, and that was the end of

There remained in the castle on the hill Mamma von Weissenburg, or
rather Von Somebodyelse, now, for she had wept her woman’s tears and
married again. When the infant daughter, Ulrike Margarethe, whose
baptism has been mentioned, had grown to be a beautiful young woman, the
mother suddenly disappeared and never was seen again. The daughter
publicly mourned, ordered a beacon-light to be kept continually burning
at the castle, gathered together all her silver chains and ornaments,
and had them melted into a bell, which was hung on the castle tower, and
which she herself always rang at nine in the evening and at midnight,
for the sorrowing Ulrike said her beloved mother might be wandering in
the dense woods, and hearing the bell might be guided by it to her home.

Ulrike was a pious person. She said her prayers regularly, went about
doing good among poor sick people, never failed to ring the bell twice
every night, and was always mourning for her mother. When at last she
died, she gave orders that the bell should always be rung, as in her
lifetime, from the castle; and in case the latter should be disturbed,
or unsafe, the bell was to be transferred to the highest tower in
Stuttgart. So Ulrike the Good bequeathed large sums of silver to pay for
the fulfilment of her wishes, and died. Accordingly the little bell was
brought, in time of public disturbance, to the small tower on the
Stiftskirche in 1377, the higher one not then existing, and in 1531 was
moved to its present position.

The next important item in the bell-story is that in 1598 the Princess
Sybilla, daughter of Duke Friedrich I. of Suabia, was lost in the woods,
and, hearing the bell ring at nine, followed the sound to the
Stiftskirche, and in her gratitude she also endowed the bell largely,
declaring it must ring at the appointed hours through all coming time.

So the little bell pealed out for many years,—just as it does this
day,—until one night, two days after Easter, 1707, and three centuries
and a half after the death of the exemplary Ulrike, it happened, in the
course of human events, that the man whose office it was to ring the
midnight bell was sleepy and five minutes late. Suddenly a woman’s
figure draped in black, with jet-black hair and face as white as paper,
appeared before him, and asked him why he did not do his duty. He rang
his bell, then conversed with the ghost, who was Ulrike von Weissenburg,
and obtained from her valuable information. She must ever watch the
bell, she said, and see that it was rung at the exact hours; and she it
was who carried the light that confused travellers and led them to
destruction near the ruins of Weissenburg Castle; and she was altogether
a most unpleasant ghost, who could never rest while one stone of the
castle remained upon another.

This was her condemnation for her evil deeds. She had murdered her
mother, for certain ugly reasons which in the old chronicle are
explicitly set forth, and she had stabbed her two young sons of whose
existence the world had never known; and her career was altogether as
wicked as wicked could be; but this Ulrike, like many another clever
sinner, never lost her saintly aspect before the world.

They granted her rest at last by pulling down the remaining stones of
the castle, and giving them to the wine-growers near by for foundations
for the vineyards; so now no ghost appears to rebuke the bellringer when
too much beer prolongs his sleep. Bones were found beneath the castle
where Ulrike said she had hidden the bodies of her mother and children,
thus clearly proving, of course, the truth of the tale. It is the most
natural thing in the world to believe in ghosts when you read old
Suabian stories. The Von Weissenburgs seem to have been, for the age in
which they lived, a very quiet, orderly, high-toned family.

Now how do I know but that somebody will at once write, “I don’t like
stories about silver bells,” which will be very mortifying indeed, as it
is evident I consider this a good story, or I should not take the
trouble to relate it.

O, come over, friends, and write the letters yourselves, and then you
will see how it is! Worst of all is it when we write of what strikes us
as comic precisely as we mention a comic thing at home, or of mighty
potentates, giving information obtained exclusively from German friends,
and other German friends are then displeased. But is it worth while to
resent the utterance of opinions that do not claim to be the infallible
truth of ages, but only the hasty record of fleeting impressions? Peace,
good people; let us have no savage criticism or shedding of blood,
though we do chatter lightly of _majestäte_, saying merely what his
subjects have told us.

We are all apt to be too sensitive about our own lands and their
customs. Yet have _we_ not learned to smile quietly when we are told
that American _gentlemen_ sit in drawing-rooms, in the presence of
ladies, with their feet on the mantels; that American wives have their
husbands “under the _pantoffel_” (would that more of them had); that
America has no schools, no colleges, no manners; that American girls
are, in general, examples of total depravity; that pickpockets and
murderers go unmolested about our streets, seeking whom they may devour;
that we have no law, no order, no morality, no art, no poetry, no past,
no anything desirable? What can one do but smile? Smile, then, in turn,
you loyal ones, when I have the bad taste to call ugly what you are
willing to swear is beautiful as a dream. Thoughts are free, and so are
pens; and both must run on as they will.

Let me, therefore, hurt no one’s feelings if I say that Stuttgart in
winter, with little sunshine, a dreary climate, and a peculiar,
disagreeable, deep mud in the streets, does not at first impress a
stranger as an especially attractive place. But now, with its long lines
of noble chestnut-trees in full blossom; with the pretty Schloss Platz
and the Anlagen, where fountains are playing and great blue masses of
forget-me-nots and purple pansies and many choice flowers delight your
eyes; with the shady walks in the park, where you meet a dreamer with
his book, or a group of young men on horseback, or pretty children by
the lake feeding the swans and ducks; with the lovely air of spring,
full of music, full of fragrance; and, best of all, with the beauty of
the surrounding country,—he would indeed be critical who would not find
in Stuttgart a fascinating spot.

There is music everywhere, there are flowers everywhere. Your landlady
hangs a wreath of laurel and ivy upon your door to welcome you home from
a little journey, and brings you back, when she goes to market, great
bunches of sweetness,—rosebuds and lilies of the valley. You climb the
hills and come home laden with forget-me-nots,—big beauties, such as we
never see at home,—violets, and anemones. It has been a cold spring here
until now, but the flowers have been brave enough to appear as usual,
and, wandering about among the distracting things with hands and baskets
as full as they will hold, a picture of days long ago darts suddenly
before me,—two school-girls, their Virgils under their arms, rubber
boots on their feet, stumbling through bleak, wet Maine pasture-lands,
bearing spring in their hearts, but searching for it in vain in the
outer world around them. The other girl will rejoice to know that here I
have found spring in its true presence.

And then there is May wine! Do you know what it is, and how to make it?
You must walk several miles by a winding path along the bank of the
Neckar. You must see the crucifixes by the wayside, and the three great
blocks of stone,—two upright and one placed across them,—making a kind
of high table, for the convenience of the peasant-women, who can stand
here, remove from their heads their heavy baskets, rest, and replace
them without assistance. You must peep into the tiniest of chapels,
resplendent with banners of red and gold and a profusion of fresh
flowers, all ready for the morning, which will be a high feast-day. You
must pass through a village where women and children are grouped round
the largest, oldest well you ever saw, with a great crossbeam and an
immense bucket swinging high in the air. And at last you must sit in a
garden on a height overlooking the Neckar. There must be a charming
village opposite, with an old, old church, and pretty trees about you
partly concealing the ruins of some old knight’s abode. Don’t you like
ruins? But just enough modestly in the background aren’t so very bad.
You hear the sound of a mill behind you, and the falling of water, and,
in the branches above your head, the joyful song of a Schwarz Kopf. And
then somebody pours a flask of white wine into a great bowl, to which he
adds bunches of Waldmeister,—a fragrant wildwood flower,—and drowns the
flowers in the wine until all their sweetness and strength are absorbed
by it, and afterwards adds sugar and soda-water and quartered
oranges,—and the decoction is ladled out and offered to the friends
assembled, while there is a golden sunset behind the hills across the
Neckar. And you walk back in the twilight through the village that is so
small and sleepy it is preparing already to put itself to bed. And the
peasants you meet say, “Grüss Gott!” “Grüss Gott!” say you, which isn’t
in the least to be translated literally, and only means “Good day,”
though the pretty, old-fashioned greeting always seems like a
benediction. You hear the vesper-bells and the organ-tones pealing out
from the chapel; you see some real gypsies with tawny babies over their
shoulders (poor things! they will steal so that they are allowed to
remain in a village but one day at a time, and then must move on). You
feel very bookish, everything is so new, so old, so charming,—and that
is “Mai Wein.”

How it would taste at dinner with roast-beef and other prosaic
surroundings,—how it actually did taste, I haven’t the faintest idea.


What the Germans call an _Ausflug_, or excursion, deserves to be
translated literally, for it is often a veritable _flight out_ of the
region of work and care into a tranquil, restful atmosphere. The ease
with which middle-aged, heavy-looking men here put on their wings, so to
speak, and soar away from toil and traffic, at the close of a long, hard
day, is always marvellous, however often we observe it. It seems a
natural and an inevitable thing for them to start off with a chosen few,
wander through lovely woods, climb a pretty hill, watch the changing
lights at sunset over a broad valley, then return home, talking of poets
and painters, of life problems, of whatever lies nearest the heart.
Their ledgers and stupid accounts and schemes and the state of the
markets do not fetter them as they do our business men. Such enjoyment
is so simple, childlike, and rational, that the old question how men
accustomed to wear the harness of commercial life will ever learn to
bear the bliss of heaven, in its conventional acceptation, seems half
solved. The Germans, at least, would be blessed in any heaven where fair
skies and hills and forests and streams would lie before their gaze.
However inadequate their other qualifications for Elysium may be, they
excel us by far in this respect. Even the coarser, lower men who gather
in gardens to drink unlimited beer are yet not quite unmindful of the
beauty of the trees whose young foliage shades them, and look out,
oftener than we would be apt to give them credit for, upon the vine-clad
hills beyond the city. A friend, a prominent banker, who is almost
invariably in his garden or some other restful spot in the free air at
evening, now goes out to Cannstadt, two miles from here, mornings at
seven, because “one must be out as much as possible in this exquisite
weather.” If bankers and lawyers and our busiest of business men at home
would only begin and end days after this fashion, their hearts and heads
would be fresh and strong far longer for it, that is, if they could find
rest and enjoyment so, and that is the question,—could they? And why is
it, if they cannot? I leave the answer to wiser heads, who will probably
reply as usual, that our whole mode of life is different, which is quite
true; but why _need_ it be, in this respect, so very different? Here is
a valuable hint to some enormously wealthy person, childless and without
relatives, of course, and about to make his will, who at this moment is
considering the comparative merits of different benevolent schemes, and
is wavering between endowing a college and founding a hospital. Do
neither, dear sir. Take my advice, because I’m far away, and don’t know
you, and am perfectly disinterested, and, moreover, the advice is sound
and good: Make gardens and parks everywhere, in as many towns as
possible. Not great, stately parks that will directly be fashionable,
but little parks that will be loved; and winding ways must lead to them
through woodlands, and seats and tables must be placed in alluring
spots, and all the paths must be so seductive they will win the most
inflexible, absorbed, care-worn man of business to tread them. Do this,
have your will printed in every newspaper in the land, and many will
rise up and call you blessed. And if you are not so very rich, make just
one small park, with pretty walks leading to it and out of it, and say
publicly why you do it,—that people may have more open air and rest; and
if they only have these, Nature will do what remains to be done, and win
their hearts and teach them to love her better than now. Of course it is
a well-worn theme, but no one can live in this German land without
longing to borrow some of its capacity for taking its ease and infuse it
into the veins of nervous, hurrying, restless America.

A pleasant _Ausflug_ from Stuttgart is to the Solitude, a palace built
more than a hundred years ago by Carl Eugen, a duke of Würtemberg, whose
early life was more brilliant than exemplary. Many roads lead to it, if
not all, as to Rome. In the fall we went through a little
village,—throbbing with the excitement of the vintage-time, resplendent
with yellow corn hanging from its small casements,—and by pretty
wood-roads, where the golden-brown and russet leaves gleamed softly, and
the hills in the distance looked hazy, and all was quietly lovely,
though the golden glories and flaming scarlet of our woods were not
there; and where now softly budding trees, spring air and spring sounds,
anemones and crocuses, and forget-me-nots and Maiglöckchen, tempt one to
long days of aimless, happy wandering. On one road, the new one by a
waterfall, is the Burgher Allee, where once the burghers came out to
welcome a prince or a duke returning from a wedding or a war, and stood
man by man where now a line of pines, planted or set out in remembrance,
commemorates the event. If exception is taken to the uncertain style of
this narration, may I add that positiveness is not desirable in a story
for the truth of which there are no vouchers? The idea of a prince
welcomed home from the wars is to me more impressive; but choice in such
matters is quite free.

You can go to the Solitude, if you please, through the Royal Game Park,
a pretty, quiet spot, where a broad carriage-road winds along among
noble oaks and beeches, and through the trees peep the great, soft eyes
of animals who are neither tame nor wild, and who seem to know that they
belong to royalty and may stare at passers-by with impunity. A superb
stag stood near the drive, gave us a lordly glance, turned slowly, and
walked with majestic composure away. We did not interest him, but it did
not occur to him to hurry in the least on our account. We felt that we
were inferior beings, and were mortified that we had no antlers, that we
might hold up our heads before him. Two little lakes, the Bärensee and
Pfaffensee,—the latter thick with great reeds and rushes, and haunted by
a peculiar stillness,—invite you to lie on the soft turf, see visions,
and dream dreams. A small hunting-pavilion stands on terraces by the
Bärensee, with guardian bears in stone before it, and antlers and other
trophies of the chase ornamenting it within and without. It was erected
in 1782, at the time of a famous hunt in honor of the Grand Duke Paul of
Russia, afterwards emperor, who married Sophie of Würtemberg, niece of
Carl Eugen. From all hunting-districts of the land a noble army of stags
was driven towards these woods, encircled night and day by peasants to
prevent the animals from breaking through. The stags were driven up a
steep ascent, then forced to plunge into the Bärensee, where they could
be shot with ease by the assembled hunters in the pavilion. Seeing the
pretty creatures now fearlessly wandering in the sweet stillness of the
park, and picturing in contrast that scene of destruction and butchery,
it seems a pity that the grand gentlemen of old had to take their
pleasure like brutes and pagans.

The Solitude is not far from here. Built first for a hunting-lodge
between 1763 and 1767, it was gradually improved, enlarged, and
beautified, grew into a pleasure palace, had its time of brilliant life
and of decay; and now, renovated by the king’s command, is a place where
people go for the walk and the view, and where in summer a few visitors
live quietly in pure air, and drink milk, it being a _Cur-Anstalt_. The
adjacent buildings were used as a hospital during the late war. The
Solitude is not in itself an interesting structure; it is in rococo
style, having a large oval hall with a high dome, adjoining pavilions,
and it looks white and gold, and bare and cold, and disappointing to
most people. There is nothing especial to see,—a little fresco, a little
old china, some immensely rich tapestry, white satin embroidered with
gold, adorning one of those pompous, impossible beds, in which it seems
as if nobody could ever have slept. But there is enough to feel, as
there must always be in places where the damp atmosphere is laden with
secrets a century old, and the walls whisper strange things. There are
narrow, triangular cabinets and boudoirs with nothing at all in them,
which, however, make you feel that you will presently stumble upon
something amazing. All of Bluebeard’s wives hanging in a row would
hardly surprise one here. The place is full, in spite of its emptiness.
It seems scarcely fitting that the many mirrors should reflect a little
band of tourists in travelling suits and with umbrellas, instead of
stately dames and cavaliers affecting French manners and French morals,
and gleaming in satin and jewels beneath the glass chandeliers. There is
a walk, always cool even in the hottest summer days, where in a double
alley of superb pines the company used to seek shade and rest, and the
fair ladies paced slowly up and down in their long trains, and fluttered
their fans and heard airy nothings whispered in their ears. Wooded
slopes rise high around, and this walk, deep down in a narrow valley,
being quite invisible from the ordinary paths, is called the Underground
Way. The breath of the old days is here especially subtle and

The map of the place, as it was, tells of orangeries, pleasure
pavilions, rose and laurel gardens, labyrinths, artificial lakes and
islands, and many things of whose magnificence few traces remain. The
common-looking buildings, formerly dwellings of the cavaliers in
attendance, stand in a row; there are a few small houses with queer
roofs; the Schloss itself stands on its height in the centre of an open
space, fine old woods around, and an unusually extended view, from its
cupola, of a broad, peaceful plain, a village or two, the Suabian Alb to
the south; a straight, white-looking road intersects the meadows and
woods, and leads to Ludwigsburg. This road was made by Carl Eugen, to
avoid passing through Stuttgart, his choleric highness having had a
grudge against the city at that time,—and indeed it has a spiteful air,
with its utter disregard of hills and valleys, going straight as an
arrow flies, never turning out for obstructions any more than the
haughty duke would have turned aside for a subject. Fabulous stories are
told of the speed with which his horse’s hoofs used to clatter over this
turnpike, and the incredibly short time in which, by frequently changing
horses, he would arrive at his destination.

The romantic story of Francisca von Hohenheim and many interesting facts
in Schiller’s early life, during his attendance at the Carlsschule, a
famous military academy, instituted by, and under the patronage of, Carl
Eugen, are inevitably interwoven in any history of the Solitude; but
both need more time than can be given at the close of so hasty a sketch.
And indeed, from almost any point that might be taken here, threads wind
off into a mass of stories and traditions far too wide-reaching to be
more than hinted at when one is only making a little _Ausflug_ and
carelessly following one’s will on a fair April day.


    “Zu Hirsau in den Trümmern
    Da wiegt ein Ulmenbaum
    Frischgrünend seine Krone
    Hoch überm Giebelsaum.”


One of the loveliest spots in all Würtemberg is Hirsau. It lies deep
down in a valley on the Nagold, over which is a pretty stone bridge.
High around rise the noble pines of the Black Forest, whose impenetrable
gloom contrasts with the tender green of spring meadows basking in the
sunshine, and makes, with the fringe of elms and birches and willows
along the banks of the stream, a most magical effect of light and shade.

Blessings on the one of us who first said, “Let us see the old cloister
at Hirsau!” An ideal spring day, a particularly well-chosen few, a trip
by rail to Alt-Hengstett, then a long, lovely tramp over the moss carpet
of the Black Forest, inhaling the sweet breath of the pines, finding
each moment a more exquisite flower, catching bewitching glimpses
between the trees of silver streams hurrying along far down below
us,—this is what it was like; but the softness, the sweetness, the
exhilaration of it all is not easy to indicate. The name itself, “Black
Forest,” sounds immensely gloomy and mysterious. Goblins and witches and
shrieks and moans and pitfalls and all uncanny weird things haunted the
Black Forest of which we used to read years ago. And what does it mean
to us now? Magnificent old woods, paths that beckon and smile, softly
whispering, swaying tree-tops, turf like velvet, sunlight playing
fitfully among the stately pines, seeking entrance where it may, and air
that must bring eternal youth in its caresses. It means forgetfulness of
trammels and all sordid, petty things, and being in tune with the
harmonies of nature. It means freedom and peace; a “temple,” indeed,
with the pines continually breathing their sweet incense and singing
their sacred chants. There were in our party a professor or two, more
than one poet,—indeed, it is said every other man in Suabia is a
poet,—and a world-renowned art scholar and critic. They shook the dust
of every-day life from their feet, and were happy as boys; one of them
lay among the daisies, smiling like a child with the pure delight of
living in such air and amid such peaceful beauty.

At the little _Gasthaus_ in Hirsau, with the sign of the swan, we
refreshed ourselves after our tramp. It is remarkable that poets, like
clergymen, must also eat. After a few merry, graceful toasts and cooling
draughts of the pleasant _Landwein_, we went to the cloister ruins. The
work of excavation is still going on, much that we saw being but
recently brought to the light. There were a few massive old walls at
wide distances apart; the pavement of the aisles quite grass-grown
between the low, broad, gray stones; fair fields of tall grass bright
with daisies and buttercups, and starry white flowers,—a fascinating
mass of variegated brightness, catching the sunshine and swaying in the
breeze; a row of fine old Gothic windows; a tower in the Romanisch style
of the twelfth century, which we, I believe, call Norman; a deep cellar
where the monks of old stored their wines. Up a flight of stairs is a
great bare room, where against the walls stand heavy wooden cases with
carved borders, and in the ceiling is the same quaint carving slightly
raised on a darker ground.

The whole effect of the ruins conveys the idea of immense size. The
church was, indeed, the largest in Germany except the cathedral at Ulm.
It is here an unusually lovely, peaceful scene. The cloister ruins would
be, anywhere, picturesque and interesting in themselves; lying as they
do above the village, framed by the beautiful Schwarzwald, they form a
picture not easily forgotten. No far-extending view, nothing grand or
imposing, only the exquisite, peaceful picture shut in by the dark-green
hills; quaint homes nestling among rosy apple-blossoms; the great gray
stone Brünnen, where for years and years maidens have come to fill their
buckets and chat in the twilight after the day’s work is done; the
Nagold, silver in the sunlight; the cloister, with its old-time
traditions,—all so very, very far from the madding crowd.

And the sweet legend of the origin of the cloister should be sung or
spoken as one sees the picture: How there was, in the year 645, a rich,
pious widow, a relative of the knight of Calb, named Helizena, who was
childless, and who had but one wish, namely, to devote herself to the
service of God. She constantly prayed that God would open to her a way
acceptable in his sight. Once in a dream she saw in the clouds a church,
and below in a lovely valley three beautiful fir-trees growing from one
stem; and from the clouds issued a voice telling her that her prayer was
heard, and that wherever she should find the plain with the three
fir-trees she was to erect a church, the counterpart of that which she
saw in the clouds. Awaking, the good Helizena, with holy joy and deep
humility, took a maid and two pages and ascended a mountain from whose
summit she could see all the surrounding country, and presently espied
the quiet plain and the three firs of her dream. Hurrying to the spot,
weeping for joy, she laid her silken raiment and jewels at the foot of
the tree, to signify that from that moment she consecrated herself and
all she possessed to the work. In three years the beautiful cloud-church
stood in stone in the fair valley, and afterwards, in 838, a cloister
was erected with the aid of Count Erlafried of Calb. Under Abbot
Wilhelm, in 1080, it was at the height of its prosperity, and was the
model of peace and goodly living among all the other Benedictine
monasteries. The abbot gathered so many monks about him that the
cloister at last grew too narrow, and he resolved to build a more
spacious one. This was indeed a labor of love, and the work was done
entirely by his own people, his monks and laity. Noble lords and ladies
helped to bring wood and stone and prepared mortar in friendly
intercourse with peasants, their wives and daughters,—such zeal and
Christian love did the abbot instil into the hearts of his flock. It is
the ruins of this cloister which we see to day.

An old German chronicle represents the place as little less than an
earthly paradise:—

    “There was here a band of two hundred and sixty, full of love
    for God and one another. No discussion could be found there, no
    discontented faces. Everything was in common. No one had the
    smallest thing for himself; indeed, no one called anything his
    own. Each went about his work in sweet content; of disobedience
    no one even knew. Not only was there no rebuke and angry word,
    but also no idle, frivolous, mirth-provoking talk. Among this
    great mass of men within the cloister walls could be heard only
    the voices of the singers and of them who knelt in prayer, and
    the sounds that came from the busy workrooms.”

These monks used to write much about music and poetry, and many learned,
strong men were gathered there. The cloister was full of pictures, and
the _Kreuzgang_ had forty richly painted windows, with biblical scenes.
A story is told of an old monk, Adelhard, who was twenty-three years
blind, and received in his latter days the gift of second-sight. He
foretold the day and hour of his death three years before it occurred,
and also the destruction of the monastery.

As Körner’s poem says:—

    “In the cells and apartments sit fifty brothers writing many
    books, spiritual, secular, in many languages,—sermons,
    histories, songs, all painted in rich colors.

    “In the last cell towards the north sits a white-haired old man,
    leans his brow upon his hand, and writes, ‘The enemy’s hordes
    will break in, in seven years, and the cloister walls will be in

Whether the old gray monk was ever there or not, at least we know that
the French, in 1692, destroyed the beautiful cloister, and its paintings
and carvings and works of art were all lost, except some of the stained
glass, a few of its painted windows being at Monrepos, near Ludwigsburg.

The famous Hirsau elm, about which half the German poets have sung, is
the most significant, touching, poetical thing imaginable. You feel its
whole life-story in an instant, as if you had watched its growth through
the long years; how the young thing found itself, it knew not why,
springing up in the damp cloister earth, surrounded by four tall, cold,
gray walls, above which indeed was a glimpse of heaven; how it shot up
and up, ever higher and higher, with the craving of all living things
for sunlight and free air, never putting forth leaf or twig until it had
attained its hope and could rest. Within the high walls is only the
strong, tall, bare trunk, and far above, free and triumphant, the noble
crown of foliage.

Brave, beautiful elm, that dared to grow, imprisoned in cruel stone;
that did not faint and die before it reached the longed-for warmth and
light and sweetness!


Pilgrims were we recently, making a day’s journey, not to gaze upon
bones, rusty relics, and mouldy garments, but to see something fresh,
fair, and altogether adorable,—the cherry-trees of the Lenninger Thal in
full blossom. From Stuttgart we went by rail to Kirchheim unter Teck, a
railway terminus, where we were shown the palace occupied by Franciska
von Hohenheim after the death of Herzog Carl, and a Denkmal erected to
Conrad Widerhold, that brave and very obstinate German hero who held the
famous Hohentwiel fortress against the enemy, when even his own duke,
Eberhard III., had ordered him to surrender it. Widerhold and his wife
stand side by side, and you must look twice before you can tell which is
the warrior. Kirchheim lies prettily in the Lauter Thal among the
mountains. From there in an open carriage we drove on into the charming
Lenninger Valley, one of the most beautiful in the Alb, with the whole
landscape smiling benignly beneath a wonderful sky, and air deliciously
pure and soft; past little brooks where the young, tender willows were
beginning to leave out, through the little village of Dettingen, on and
on over the broad _chaussée_, until we were fairly among the
cherry-orchards. Bordering the road, running far back on the
hill-slopes, shadowy, feathery, exquisite, the snowy blossoms lay before
our eyes, with the range of the Suabian Alb beyond, and many a peak and
ruin old in story. This was the fresh morning of a perfect spring day,
where the peace and loveliness of the scene—the fields of pure whiteness
reaching out on both sides of us, with now and then a dash of pink from
the rosy apple-blossoms—made us feel that a special blessing had fallen
upon us as devotees at the shrine of Ceres. At evening, returning by
another route, with the varying lights and golden bars and heavy,
piled-up purple cloud-masses in the western sky, it was lovely with yet
another loveliness. The same mountains showed us other outlines and
assumed new expressions, and bold, proud Teck rose from the foam of
blossoms at its feet, like a stern rock towering above surging waters.

One of our experiences that day was becoming acquainted with Owen. Owen
is not a man, as you may imagine, but only a very little village with
crooked streets and queer old women, and that curious aspect to all its
belongings which never grows less curious to some of us, though we ought
to have become unmindful of it long ago. Owen is picturesque and dirty.
“Ours at home aren’t half so dirty or half so nice,” we endeavor to
explain to our German friends.

At the inn where we drew up we were received by an admiring group of
children,—three yellow heads rising above three great armfuls of wood,
of the weight of which the little things seemed utterly unconscious in
the excitement of seeing us. They stood, one above the other, on the
dilapidated, crazy stone steps, while a bushy dog, whose hair looked as
yellow and sun-faded as the children’s, also made “great eyes” at us
from the lowest stone. Out came mine host, and cleared away children and
dog and woodpiles in a twinkling. This flattering reception occurred at
the Krone. A large gilt crown adorned with what small boys at home call
“chiney alleys” makes a fine appearance above these same tumble-down
steps; and directly beside them is a great barn-door, so near that you
might easily mistake one entrance for the other and wander in among the
beasties; and benign Mistress Cow was serenely chewing her cud in her
boudoir under the front stairs, we observed as we entered the house.

Let no one faint when I say we ate our dinner here. Indeed, we have
eaten in much worse places, and the dinner was far better than we
thought could be evolved from a house with so many idiosyncrasies, so
very prominent barn-door qualities, such mooings and lowings in
undreamed-of corners and at unexpected moments. However, we experienced
an immense lightening of the spirits when trout were served, for it
seemed as if we knew what this dish at least was made of. They were
pretty silvery things with red spots, and had just been gleaming in the
brook near by, beneath elms and birches and baby willows, and now they
were butchered to make our holiday.

The little restored Gothic church at Owen is more than a thousand years
old, and its walled Kirchhof recalls the times when the villagers with
their wives and children sought refuge here from the descent of robber
knights. The dukes of Teck are buried within the church, and their arms
and those of other old families, with quaint inscriptions about noble
and virtuous dames, are interesting to decipher. The prettiest thing in
the church was a spray of ivy which had crept through a hole in the high
small-paned window, completely ivy-covered without, and came seeking
something within the still stone walls, reaching out with all its
tendrils, and seemed like the little, adventurous bird that flutters in
through a church window on a hot summer afternoon, and makes a sleepy
congregation open its heavy eyes.

The altar-pictures are edifying works of art. Behind the little group in
the “Descent from the Cross” rise a range of hills that look
astonishingly like the Suabian Alb, with a genuine old German fortress
perching on a prominent peak. Saint Lucia is also an agreeable object of
contemplation, with a sword piercing her throat up to the hilt, the
blade coming through finely on the other side, while her mildly folded
hands, smirking of superior virtue and perfect complacency, make her as
winning as a saint of her kind can be.

Beyond Owen is the Wielandstein, or a Wielandstein I should perhaps say,
for Wielandsteins are as common in Germany as lovers’ leaps in America;
and the story is always how the cruel king murdered the wife and
children of Wieland the smith and took him captive, granting him his
life merely because of his skill in fashioning wonderful things from
metals, but imprisoning him and maiming his feet that he might never
escape. Wieland lived some time at court, and grew in favor with the
king on account of his deft hands and clever designs. At length the
king’s young sons were missing and could not be found, though they were
searched for many days, and the king was anxious and sorrowful. Then
Wieland presented him with two beautiful golden cups, at the sight of
which the king was so pleased that he gave a feast; and as he was
drinking from the golden bowls and feasting with his nobles, Wieland
flew away by means of two great golden wings he had for a long time been
secretly fashioning, and, poising himself in mid-air, cried to the
horrified king that he was drinking from the skulls of his sons, whom
he, Wieland, had murdered out of revenge. The people shot many arrows
after him, but he soared away unharmed, his golden wings gleaming in the
sunlight until he disappeared behind the hills.

The ruin of the old Teck castle is in this neighborhood, and the
_Sybillen Loch_, a grotto where a celebrated witch used to dwell, who
differed from her species in general, inasmuch as she was a _good_
witch. The old chronicles say she was an exemplary person, always
delighting in good deeds. Her sons, however, were bad, quarrelled, stole
from the world and one another, and even, upon one occasion, from her,
and then ran away. Sybilla in her fiery chariot went in pursuit, and to
this day a fair, bright stripe over orchard, field, and vineyard, always
fresher and greener than the surrounding country, marks her course. How
a fiery chariot could produce this beautifying effect is not to be
questioned by an humble individual whose home is in a land where ruined
castles and legend upon legend _do not_ rise from every hill-top.
Another story is that the fertile stripe was made by Sybilla’s
chariot-wheels, as she left forever the family to which she had always
belonged. The last duke of Teck lay after a battle resting under a tree,
and saw her passing with averted face, his arms lying at her feet, while
she extended a stranger’s in her hands, which signified ruin to his
house; and the prophecy was fulfilled, for the duke outlived his twelve
sons, and his arms and title were adopted by the counts of Würtemberg,
who then became dukes of Würtemberg and Teck. All these interesting
things are visible to the naked eye. The fresh green stripe is
unmistakable; and the point in the air where Wieland hovered on his
golden wings above the cliff can easily be discerned with a very little

A visit to a typical Suabian pastor, in another little village on this
road, was a pleasant episode. A hale, handsome old gentleman of seventy,
with a small black cap on his silvery locks and an inveterate habit of
quoting Greek, looking at us with a simple, childlike air, as if we too
were learned. His house has stone floors, low square rooms, severely
simple in their appointments. The arms of a bishop of some remote
century are on the inner wall by the front entrance, and a little
farther on is an aperture, through which the cow of the olden time was
wont to placidly gaze out upon hurrying retainers. The cow of that
period seems to have had comfortable apartments in the middle of the
house. The Suabian cow of the present time earns her hay by the sweat of
her brow, toiling in the fields.

The good old pastor has a love amounting to adoration for his garden,
every inch of which he has worked over and beautified, till it seems to
be the expression of all the poetry and romance which the outward
conditions of his frugal, rigid life repress. Full of nooks and arbors,
comfortable low chairs and benches, where the blue forget-me-nots look
as if they bloom indeed for happy lovers; trees whose great drooping
branches close around retreats which can only be designed for tender
_tête-à-têtes_; irregular little paths, wandering up and down and about,
always ending in something delightful, always beckoning, inviting,
smiling, amid flowers and foliage so fresh and luxuriant, you feel that
every petal and leaf is known and loved by the white-haired old man. His
favorite seat is at the end of a narrow, winding way at the foot of a
magnificent elm. There he sits and looks, over the brook that sings to
his sweet roses and pansies, upon broad meadow-lands and fields of grain
extending to the Suabian hills, with their wealth of beauty and meaning
and tradition. He sleeps and rests and thinks there after dinner, he
tells us, and perhaps that is all; but I believe, when the old man is
gone, a volume of manuscript poems will be discovered hidden away among
his sermons and Greek tomes,—a volume of love poems, sonnets, dreamings
of all that his life crowds out into his garden, and that only in his
garden he has been able to express,—all the unspoken sweetness, all the
unsung songs.


Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Paracelsus Bombastus is a personage whom
we know, it must be confessed, more through the medium of Robert
Browning than through our own historical researches; and we were
therefore filled with wonder to learn that, in addition to the modest
cognomen above, _de Hohenheim_ also belonged to his name. This same
Hohenheim we have recently visited. Paracelsus never lived there, to be
sure, and was born far away in Switzerland. Browning puts him in
Würzburg, in Alsatia, in Constantinople; and a solid German authority
declares he lived in Esslingen, where his laboratory is still exhibited,
and in proof mentions that in this neighborhood was, not many years ago,
a Weingärtner whose name was Bombastes von Hohenheim, a descendant of
Paracelsus. However, he lived nowhere, everywhere, and anywhere, I
presume, as best suited such a conjurer, alchemist, philosopher, and
adventurer, and went wandering about from land to land, remaining in one
place so long as the people would have faith in his learning, his
incantations and magic arts; but what concerns us now is simply that he
was connected with the Hohenheim family, who, in the old days, occupied
the estate which still bears its name.

To Hohenheim is a pleasant walk or drive, as you please, from Stuttgart.
A castle, adjacent buildings, lawns, and fruit-trees are what there is
to see at the first glance,—at the second, many practical things in the
museum connected with the Agricultural College, which is what Hohenheim
at present is; models, and collections of stones and birds and beasts,
bones and skeletons, and other uncanny objects, pretty woods, grain,
seeds, etc. Students from the ends of the earth come here, and from all
ranks,—sons of rich peasants and also young men of family. An Hungarian
count is here at present, and youths from Wallachia, Russia, Sweden,
America, Australia, Spain, Italy, and Greece,—China too, for all I know
to the contrary,—with of course many Germans, learning practical and
theoretical farming. We sat under the pear-trees which were showering
white blossoms around us, ate our supper to fortify us for our homeward
walk, watched the sheep come home and the students walking in from the
fields with their oxen-carts. They wore blue blouses and high boots, and
cracked their long whips with a jaunty air, more like Plunket in
“Martha” than veritable farmers. From the balcony opening from the
largest _salon_ we looked upon pretty woods, and the whole chain of the
Suabian Alb, with Lichtenstein, Achalm, and other points of interest to
be studied through a telescope.

This is, then, what Hohenheim now is,—a place where you go and look
about a little, walk through large empty halls and long corridors
affording glimpses of the simple quarters of the students, see a
pleasant landscape, and, in short, enjoy an hour of unquestionably
temperate pleasure. What it was as the seat of the Hohenheim family,
which is mentioned as early as the year 1100, we do not know; but under
Duke Carl Eugen of Würtemberg, in the last century, it was a sort of
Versailles, if all accounts be true: magnificent parks and gardens,
Roman ruins near Gothic towers and chapels, Egyptian pyramids and Swiss
châlets, catacombs, artificial waterfalls, baths, hothouses, grottos
with Corinthian pillars, a Flora temple with lovely arabesques on its
silver walls, and the palace itself, rising proud and stately at the end
of the park, furnished with every luxury, and filled with rare vases and
pictures. Four colossal statues stand now in one of the halls, arrayed
in garments which, in that freer time, they certainly could not boast.
The raiment is of cloth, dipped, stiffened so that it resembles marble,
unless you examine it too closely. No doubt it is more agreeable that
those huge figures are somewhat clothed upon, but it does seem too
absurd to think of ordering a new coat for “Apollo” when his old one
gets shabby. Making minute investigations, we discovered he had already
had several, wearing the last one outside of the others, as if to
protect himself from the inclemency of the weather.

All the old magnificence was lavished by Herzog Carl upon Franciska von
Hohenheim,—his “Franzel,” as he called her in the soft Suabisch,—whose
most romantic story is, _par excellence_, the thing of interest here,
and the Suabians must love it, they tell it so very often.

From many narratives I gather the life-story of a woman who, in spite of
the stain upon her name, is deeply revered in Würtemberg for her strong,
sweet influence upon its wild duke, for her wisdom and gentleness, and
the good that through her came upon the realm.

She was a daughter of the Freiherr von Bernardin, a noble of ancient
family and limited income. Franciska lived far removed from the gayety
of courts, of which she and her sisters in their castle near Aalen
rarely heard. When she was scarcely sixteen her father gave her hand to
a Freiherr von Leutrum, a fussy, stuffy old man, who wrapped himself in
furs even in summer, and was so conspicuously ugly the boys in the
street would mock at him when he stood at his window. His great head, on
a broad, humped back, scarcely reached the sill.

In addition, a small intellect, hot temper, and suspicious nature made
him yet more of a monster; but Franciska was poor, and it appears it was
considered then, as it would be now, a good match, as Von Leutrum was of
an old family and rich. Whether the historians paint him blacker than he
deserves in order to make Franciska white in contrast, is not easy to
say. It certainly has that effect occasionally, however. Beauty, then,
married the Beast. In 1770 Herzog Carl Eugen came to Pforzheim, where
the nobles of the neighborhood, among them Baron von Leutrum, with his
young wife, assembled to form his court.

Franciska was no famous beauty. She had, however, a tall, graceful
figure, rich blond hair, and was very winning with her fresh, joyful
ways, and a certain indescribable sweetness and gentleness of manner.
The duke, from the first, singled her out by marked attention, which
undoubtedly flattered her, coming from so famous, clever, and
fascinating a man; and it is also probable that she made no especial
effort to repulse the homage in which she could see no harm. He was then
forty-two,—a man of stately beauty, one of the most renowned European
princes of that time, with a strong and highly cultivated intellect, and
of most winning manners where he cared to please. It also appears he
could be a bear, a savage, and a tyrant when he willed.

It was, then, scarcely surprising that a girl married at sixteen to a
fossil like Leutrum, who neglected and abused her, should be bewildered
by the distinguished attention offered by her prince. Meanwhile Leutrum
waxed more and more jealous, until one day in a rage, on account of
remarks of the courtiers, he struck his wife in the face.

The duke, furious at this, insisted upon taking Franciska under his
protection. But she, though agonized with fear and abhorrence of her
husband, yet knowing too well her feeling for the duke, chose to leave
the court at once and return with Leutrum to their castle.

Carl Eugen, never scrupulous as to means when he had anything to gain,
caused a wheel of Leutrum’s coach to be put into a state of precarious
weakness, so that, going through some woods not far from Pforzheim, the
carriage broke down, when the duke appeared, rode off with the
trembling, miserable, happy Franciska, leaving Von Leutrum alone with
his broken carriage and his rage.

The duke had been married for political reasons at eighteen to a
princess of Bavaria, with whom he had lived but a year or two, their
natures being strongly incompatible. He, however, a Roman Catholic,
could not free himself from his first marriage until the death of his
wife released him in 1784, when he married Franciska.

The remarkable thing in her history is, that the voice of no
contemporary is raised against her. Noble ladies of unblemished name
visited her as “Gräfin von Hohenheim,” and all testimony unites in
praising her wisdom, sweetness, and grace, and her almost miraculous
influence for good upon the duke.

“He found in her womanly grace and devoted love, the deepest
appreciation of the beautiful and good, exquisite taste and tact, a
strong, warm interest in his career and calling, wise counsel given in
her soft, womanly words, and a heart for his people.

“In love and sorrow, in matters earnest and light, in his difficult
affairs of state, in enjoyment of the beautiful in art and nature, she
was ever by his side, filled with perfect appreciation of all that moved

She taught him gradually his duty towards his folk, which the wild,
haughty duke had sadly ignored, and she, herself, was always loved and
revered by them.

She was graceful and sparkling in society, not wearing her sorrows upon
her sleeve, but in her private life and letters are marks of lifelong

“If I could tell you my whole story,” she writes to a friend in 1783,
“if you could know the solemnity and repentance with which I look back
upon it, you would withhold from me neither your pity nor your
prayers.... Had I had in my sixteenth year, when, utterly inexperienced,
I entered society with not the slightest knowledge of the world, left
entirely to myself, surrounded by scenes whose meaning I could not
grasp,—had I then had one true friend to warn me, to advise me; had his
reason, his heart, his pureness of deed, inspired my respect and trust,
indeed—indeed—I might have been a better woman.”

Later, after a delightful evening at the Princess of Dessau’s, where
Lavater also was, she wrote:—

“I was inexpressibly moved by your assurance that you thought of me in
this circle. Could I have felt worthier of such society, the pleasure
would undoubtedly have been more unalloyed. But, as it was—Still I must
not complain.”

Such, briefly, is her story. She lived with the duke at the Solitude as
well as here, and Hohenheim he made for her as beautiful as a fairy
palace. He troubled neither her nor himself with scruples. His
conscience was, indeed, not tender, and his life with her was
unquestionably so innocent and idyllic in comparison with his mad past,
that, to him at least, it no doubt seemed blameless. He loved her
faithfully till his death, wrote to her when absent for a day or two as
his good angel, with utter reverence as well as tenderest love. The
proud respected her; the poorest and humblest came to her with their
wants and sorrows.

She died in 1811 in her small, quiet court at Kirchheim unter Teck,
where she had resided after the death of the duke; but her story and the
remembrance of her eventful life will always haunt quiet Hohenheim, and
invest it with a romance it cannot otherwise claim for itself.


The breeze of morning stole in and kissed our cheeks and whispered, “You
have a day and a half to spend in dear, delicious old Nuremberg,—be up
and doing!” Only a day and a half, and yet how infinitely better than no
day at all there! We came, we saw, and were conquered, even by the huge
knockers with bronze wreaths of Cupids and dragons’ heads, the ornate,
intricate locks, the massive doors, before we were within the portals of
those proud patrician palaces with their stately inner courts and
galleries, their frescos, painted windows and faded tapestries,
time-stained grandeur, and all their relics of mediæval magnificence.

O, we stretched our day and a half well, and filled it full of
treasures, and our hearts with lovely thoughts and pictures of the
unique old town, its high quaint gables, stone balconies, beautiful
fountains, double line of walls, and seventy sentinel towers; its castle
and wide moat, where now great trees grow and prim little gardens; its
arched bridges and streams, with shadows of the drooping foliage on the
banks; its oriel windows; its narrow, shady ways and odd corners; its
memories of Albrecht Dürer and Hans Sachs, of Kaiser and knight and
Meistersinger,—its Nurembergishness!

The St. Lorenz Church was our first halting-place. The whole world knows
that its portal and painted windows are beautiful, and that it retains
all the rich old objects of the Roman ritual; that being the condition
under which Nuremberg pranced over in a twinkling to Protestantism, and
people were ordered by the municipal authorities to believe to-day what
they had disbelieved yesterday; and most of the world, perhaps, has seen
the tabernacle for the vessels of the sacrament, but they who have not
can never know from words how it rests on the bowed forms of its
sculptor, Adam Kraft, and his two pupils and assistants, and rises like
frozen spray sixty-four feet in the choir, with the warm light from the
painted windows coloring its exquisite traceries and carvings. It looks
like a holy thought or a hymn of praise caught in stone, aspiring

We saw there heavy gold chalices from old, old times, and some Gobelin
tapestry only recently discovered hidden away; one scene represented the
weighing of the soul of St. Lawrence to see if it were too light for
heaven. The saint’s soul had a shape, in fact was an infant’s body, and
the Devil was crouching near by, and St. Lawrence, full-grown, stood
waiting, anxious to know his fate.

Then came a few hours in the German Museum, where, as usual in such
places, the weary lagged behind, the elegant looked _blasé_, the
contrary-minded saw the wrong thing first, the energetic pushed
valiantly on, striving to see all and remember all, from earliest forms
of sculpture down through the ages,—all the gold and silver and carvings
and costumes, the immense square green stoves, with the warm, cosy seat
for the old grandmother in the corner; to glance at rare old lace
without neglecting the ancient caps and combs and gewgaws; to look long
at a few of the pictures,—the great one of Dürer’s, “Otto at the Grave
of Charlemagne,” is here, you know,—and so our straggling party wandered
on through corridor and chamber and staircase, past knights in effigy,
some of whom looked like such jolly old souls, with gallons of wine
beneath their breastplates, past a memorial tablet to a baby prince who
died dim ages ago, to whom a small death-angel is offering an apple; and
then, after seeing the bear, who guards a glass case of precious things
in gold and silver, lowered down to his domain every night, and after
sprinkling beer on his nose to see if he were of German parentage, we
gathered ourselves together and wondered if we quite liked museums. You
see so much more than you can comprehend; you see so much more than you
want to see; you feel so astoundingly ignorant; you have information
thrust upon you so ruthlessly. One wilful maiden says, “I’ll go and live
on a desert island, provided no one will show me an object of interest.”
Then in the shady cloisters we drank foaming beer with our German
friends, and gathered strength for our next onslaught; and I beg no one
to be captious about the length and out-of-breath character of this
paragraph, for it is quite in keeping with our Nuremberg visit, with
worlds to see in a little day and a half.

There was the old Rath Haus with the Dürer frescos and the Dürer house
and pictures, which everybody mentions; and the rude, dark little den of
a kitchen, which nobody to my knowledge has ever deigned to mention,
where Mrs. Xantippe Dürer used to rattle her sauce-pans and scold her
_Mann_. There was the Fraumkirche and St. Sebald, rich in painted
windows and sculpture. In one room, so rich and dark with its oak
wainscoting and Gobelin tapestry, we involuntarily searched behind the
arras for Polonius, and then stared silently and felt quite flippant
before the antique candelabra and Persian rugs and hopelessly
indescribable ever-to-be-coveted furniture within those memory-laden
walls. An antique, impressive writing-table was a model of rich, quaint
beauty. Poems and romances would feel proud and pleased to simply write
themselves under its ægis, and what a delicious aroma of the past would
cling to them!

We visited the castle, of course, and streams of information about the
Hohenzollerns were poured upon us. We were wicked enough to enjoy
ourselves particularly among the instruments of torture,—exhibited by
the jolliest, fattest, most _debonair_ Mrs. Jarley in the world. She
regaled us with awful tales, that sounded worse than the “Book of
Martyrs,” and we were not disgusted, neither did we faint or scream.
There was a lamentable want of feeling, and a marked inclination to
laugh prevailed in our party. Indeed, we saw some sweet things there,—a
hideous dragon’s head, worn by women who beat their husbands; a kind of
yoke in which two quarrelsome women were harnessed; a huge collar, with
a bell attached, for gossips; and an openwork iron mask, with a great
protruding, rattling tongue, for inveterate slanderers. We made liberal
proposals to our jolly show-woman for a few of these articles, thinking
we might be able to send them where they were needed, and strongly
inclined to favor their readoption. An iron nose a foot long was worn by
thieves, and the article stolen hung on the end of it.

It is grievous to think there will come a time when people who visit
Nuremberg will see no walls and towers and moats. They are pulling down
the walls at present, for they are as inconvenient as they are
picturesque. Heavy teams and people on foot seeking egress and ingress
at one time through the narrow passages in the massive structure, the
city cramped, its growth retarded, dangerous accidents, as well as the
most reasonable grounds in a commercial point of view, lead the wise to
destroy something selfish tourists would fain preserve intact. But “if I
were king of France, or, still better, pope of Rome,” or emperor of
Germany, I’d let the commerce go elsewhere where there is room for it,
and guard old Nuremberg jealously as a precious, beautiful memorial and
heirloom from ancestors who have slept for centuries.

The Johannes Cemetery here is the only lovely one I have yet seen in
Germany. It is not beautiful in itself, as our cemeteries are; but the
solemnity, the dignity of death is here, and no gaudy colors and tinsel
wreaths jar upon your mood and pain you. Only great flat, gray stones,
tablets with the arms in bronze of the old Nuremberg patricians, tell us
wanderers who lies beneath. It was like a solemn poem to be there
deciphering the proud armorial bearings on the great blocks placed there
centuries ago, and the sweet-brier blooming all around with such an
unconscious air on its pale pink blossoms, like fair young faces. One of
Columbus’s crew lies there. So many old names and dates!

We plucked a few leaves from Dürer’s grave:—

    “_Emigravit_ is the inscription on the tombstone where he lies,
    Dead he is not, but departed, for the artist never dies;
    Fairer seems the ancient city, and the sunshine seems more fair,
    That he once has trod its pavement, that he once has breathed
    its air.”


The gardener gave it to the milkmaid and the milkmaid gave it to the
errand-boy, the errand-boy gave it to the cook, who gave it to the
head-waiter, who sold it to the individual who presented it to me. “It”
was a bunch of great, sweet, half-blown June roses, that hung glowing on
their stalks in their native garden at dawn, and before noon had
experienced this life of change and adventure. It all happened in
Wasseralfingen, a little town, where nothing else so momentous occurred
during our brief visit, because it was Sunday, but where usually the
celebrated iron-works make an immense disturbance, and interest visitors
of a practical turn of mind. Our German friends bewailed the absence of
the noise of the machinery on our account; believing that every American
is born with a passionate devotion to mechanics, which increases through
life, to the exclusion of a love of the beautiful. Recently, after
relating a romantic story about a place on the Rhine, a German gentleman
concluded his tale of love and chivalry by telling us that the Princess
Somebody had established a girls’ school there,—“which will interest you
as Americans more than the story,” he added, with perfect honesty and

“And why?” we meekly ask.

“Because Americans are practical and like useful things,” he responds
cheerfully, with as thorough a conviction as if he had said that two and
two made four.

We made no useless effort to induce him to believe that the thought of
sixty or eighty bread-and-butter misses does not enhance for us the
charm of a tradition-haunted spot, nor did we struggle to impress our
friends’ minds in Wasseralfingen that its Sabbath stillness was more
agreeable to us than the stir and rush of the works. There are some
fixed ideas in the mind of the average German which a potent hand ought
to seize and shake out. “Why don’t you write letters to Germans about
America, instead of to Americans about Germany?” suggests a clever
German friend. “They seem to be more needed.” It might really be worth
while if Teutonic tenacity of opinion were not too huge a thing for a
feeble weapon to slay.

To return to our Wasseralfingen,—most curious name!—it was pretty enough
to look upon, as indeed most places in Würtemberg are. It has its
nicely-laid-out little park or _Anlagen_, with a statue in the middle of
it; and this is what small manufacturing towns at home are not apt to
waste much time upon, unfortunately for their children and their
children’s children. An inn nestled among the trees, with irregular
wings and low, broad roofs, and a very broad landlord, who looked like a
beer-mug, gave us comfortable shelter for a night, and supper and
breakfast in its garden,—supper with lights and pipes and beer-bottles,
and cheerful conversation all around.

A short trip by rail brought us to Heidenheim, past fields of waving
grain and pretty hills, shadows of great trees falling on velvety
meadows, oats rising and falling like billows in the morning breeze, and
scarlet seas of poppies. Never anywhere have I seen such a glory of
poppies! Miles of them on both sides of the road, gleaming and glowing
as the sunlight kissed them.

And then Heidenheim, a pretty town given to manufactures, to factories
and mills, with the ruins of its castle Hellenstein on the height, and
its memories reaching far back to Roman times. Here lived knights who
were princes of profligacy, and gloried in their extravagance; who shod
their steeds with silver and gold, and flung jewels away like water. One
of them longed to have his whole estate transformed into a strawberry,
that he could swallow it all in one instant. Of course this family came
to a bad end. It spent all its money, and its castles got out of repair;
the last of its armor was sold for old iron, and the last of the race
died a pauper.

The ruins retain traces of Roman architecture in the earliest walls,
with various additions in later times, and are not especially
interesting upon close acquaintance. The old well sunk deep in the
foundation of natural rock, where you pay ten cents and see a woman drop
a stone three hundred and eighty-five feet, and wait breathlessly until
you hear the dull plash deep down in the darkness, is their most
exciting feature. The woman offered to give us some water, but it
requires a whole hour to get it up, and we felt suspicious of what might
be lying in those uncanny depths.

On the shady side of the castle, with broad reaches of fertile field and
belts of wood lying before our contented gaze, we listened to
Volkslieder, so old and sweet they carried our hearts back into dim
ages, and we strongly felt the tie that binds us to the race where such
strains have their birth. Suddenly, as our singers ceased, a group of
village children sitting on a block of stone at a short distance took up
the refrain,—an irregular row of flaxen heads against the light, their
forms prominent against the deep, peaceful background, singing away with
such zest we could only be silent and listen. Song after song, in praise
of their loved land, they sang; all sweet, whether the smallest ones
could always keep in tune or not. They told how Eberhard im Bart could
lay his head on the knee of his poorest peasant and sleep in peace till
morning broke, and many another sweet, old story; and, keeping time with
their heads and making daisy-chains with their hands, they shouted,—

    “Beautiful Suabia is our _Heimath Land_!”

Truly you can forgive the Germans for a multitude of sins when you hear
how and what their common people sing.


A Garden by the water’s edge,—a garden where clematis and woodbine and
grape-vines run all over their trellises and up the graceful young
locust-trees and down over the stone-wall to meet the water plashing
pleasantly below, and reach out everywhere that vine-audacity can
suggest in an utter abandonment of luxuriance!—a garden where superb
blood-red roses are weighed down by a sense of their own sweetness, and
pure white ones look tall and stately and cool and abstracted by their
side. At the right a point of land extends into the lake, so thickly
covered with trees that from here it looks like a little forest, and the
houses are almost concealed in the fresh green; and the trees look
taller than anything except a funny old building that was once a
cloister, and is now the royal castle, and has two queer, tall towers
that rise far above the tree-tops at the extremity of the point. At the
left, faint and shadowy in the distance, rise the Alps, and the
mountains of Tyrol. There are bath-houses along the shore. Small boys
who think they “would be mermen bold” are prancing about gayly in the
water. On a rocky beach, peasant-women in bright-colored dresses are
standing by tubs, dipping garments in the lake and wringing them dry.
Some of them are kneeling. The sun is warm, and beats down on their
uncovered heads, and the work is hard, and I don’t suppose they have any
idea they are making a picture of themselves, on the rocky shore with
the background of trees. But everybody is a picture this morning. There
is a young man standing in a row-boat, which an old fisherman lazily
propels here and there before my eyes. The youth is really statuesque,
balancing himself easily in the dancing boat, strong, supple, graceful,
his arm extending the long fishing-rod. A rosebud of a girl in a white
morning-suit and jaunty sailor-hat leans over the railing of a pavilion
built out into the lake from the garden, and also patiently holds a
fishing-rod, looking like a “London Society” illustration, as she gazes
intently with drooping eyelashes into the water.

There are people reading, sketching, studying their Baedeckers, drinking
their coffee or beer, in comfortable nooks through the pretty garden.
All is quiet and restful, with only the rippling of the water and the
shouts of the merry mermen to break the stillness. Now doesn’t it seem
as if one ought to write an exceptionally pleasant letter from so
pleasant a spot? But, alas! there is not much to say about it when once
you have tried to tell how it looks,—that it is a calm, peaceful, pretty
place, where you could stay a whole summer and lose all feverish desires
to explore and climb and see sights. To sit here in the garden, leaning
on the wall among the vines, is happiness enough. In the morning early,
the lake smiles at you and talks to you, and you see far away great
masses of rose-color and pearl-gray, with snowy summits gleaming in the
sunshine, and your eyes are blessed with their first view of the Alps.
The outline of the opposite shore is misty and many-colored, and has
also its noble heights. At sunset, too, is the garden a dreamy, blissful
spot, as the little boats float about in the golden lights, and the
water and the mountains assume all possible lovely hues, then sink away
in a deep violet, and the stars come out and German love-songs go up to
meet them.

Yes, it is a satisfying spot. If there’s a serpent here, he keeps
himself wonderfully well concealed. We haven’t caught a glimpse of him,
and we are wise enough not to search for him. It’s an admirable place to
be lazy, but it isn’t very good for letters. Things hinder so, you know.
You listen to the water, and your pencil forgets to go. You get lost in
contemplation of the flapping of the ducks’ feet, and make profound
studies of their mechanism, and enviously wish you had something of the
sort at your command, so that you could sail about in the cool, clear
water as unconcerned as they, and with no more effort. Funniest of ducks
that they are!—so pampered by the attention and bread-crumbs of summer
guests that their complacency exceeds even ordinary duck
self-satisfaction, and they act as if they thought they were all swans.

It occurs to me somebody may feel a faint curiosity to know where it all
is. On the Lake of Constance, or the Bodensee, which, if you want useful
information, is forty-two miles long, eight miles wide, is fed
principally by the Rhine, and whose banks belong to five different
States,—Bavaria, Würtemberg, Baden, Switzerland, and Austria; a sheet of
water whose shores are green and thickly wooded, where gay little
steamers run, constantly displaying the flags of their several
countries, between the principal places on the lake, and wherever you go
you have beautiful mountain scenery. You see the Alps, the mountains of
Bavaria, the Baden hills, the Tyrol, and you don’t always know which is
which; but they pile themselves up grandly among the clouds, one range
behind the other, in a way that to the unaccustomed vision does not
exactly admit of labelling, and you don’t care what their names are. You
are content to feel their beauty, to wonder and be silent.

This particular place on the lake is Friedrichshafen. It is really a new
place and a commercial place,—and these adjectives are certainly not
attractive,—but then the newness is not conspicuous, and the commerce,
so far as we summer birds of passage are concerned, almost invisible.

The king and queen of Würtemberg come here every summer, and are here at
present. The Emperor of Germany and the Grand Duke of Baden are on the
Island of Mainau.

It may be a busy place, but it does not seem so. Content and rest
pervade the atmosphere. Serenity is written on every face. It may be
many people would weary of its roses and the ripple of the water; of its
gardens, that look as if they were growing directly out of the lake; of
the blue, hazy, changing mountains far away; of its perfect quiet: but
there are others who would love it well, and who would not tire of it in
many a long summer day.


Auf wiederschen, and not Lebewohl, we said to pleasant Friedrichshafen,
as the little steamer left those kindly green shores and we sailed away,
not for a year and a day, like the owl and the pussy cat in the
beautiful pea-green boat, but for an hour or so only. There were many
curious people to watch on board, but the most monopolizing sight was
two Catholic priests devouring a chicken, or rather devouring
_chickens_. They had, on the seat between them, a basket large enough
for a flock of Hühnchen—boiled, dissected, and only too tempting to the
priestly appetite—to repose in. And they had the lake as a receptacle
for the bones. What more could they desire? If we could have suggested
anything it would have been—napkins, because it was requiring too much
work of their fingers to use them as knives and forks, and then to wipe
their mouths on them. The zeal with which the holy men tore the tender
meat from the bones and showered the remnants in the water, and
particularly the endurance they exhibited, made us hope they evinced as
much fervor and devotion in caring for their human flocks.

To Lindau then we came, having, as we approached, charming mountain
scenery. The town is on an island, connected with the mainland by an
embankment and railway bridge. It is a little place, but very striking
as you look at it from the water, having a lofty monument (a statue in
bronze of Maximilian II.), a picturesque old Roman tower, and, at the
entrance of the harbor, a fine lighthouse, and a great marble lion on a
high pedestal, guarding the little haven and his Bavarian land. We
remained part of a day here, having before our eyes a beautiful
picture,—the mountains of Switzerland directly across the lake, narrow
at this point, with the lighthouse and the proud, ever-watchful Bavarian
lion rising, bold and sentinel-like, in the foreground. You look between
these two over the placid water to the heights beyond.

From Lindau we sailed to Bregenz, where the lake and mountains have
quite another expression. It would be difficult to say which is the most
attractive place on the Bodensee. You feel “How happy could I be with
either, were t’other dear charmer away,” and it is of course a question
of individual taste. One person prefers the mountains near, another
watches them lovingly from a distance. One likes to live on low land by
the water’s edge, and look up to the mountain-tops; another perches
himself high, and finds his happiness in looking down upon the lake and
off to other heights. But the shores are lovely everywhere, much
frequented yet quiet, crowded with villas, private cottages, hotels, yet
secluded and restful if one chooses.

Bregenz is a quiet place, a real country-place, with mountain views and
mountain excursions without end. The common people have intelligent,
happy faces, pleasant, cheerful ways, quickness of repartee, and
civility. The women give you a smiling “Grüss Gott.” The commonest man
takes off his hat as you pass, and if you go by a group of rollicking
school-boys every hat comes off courteously.

Gebhardsberg is the first place to which people usually go from Bregenz.
We went, as in duty bound. It is a mountain—a castle—a pilgrimage
church—a view; and to say that one commands a view of the entire lake,
the valley of the Bregenzer Ach and the Rhine, the Alps, the snow
mountains of Appenzel and Glarus, with mountains covered with pine
forests in the foreground, conveys a very faint idea of the beauty
before our eyes. In the visitors’ book in the tower were some German
rhymes, which, roughly translated, go somewhat in this way:—

    “Charming prospect, best of wine,
    Be joyful, then, O heart of mine;
    Farewell, thou lovely Gebhard’s hill,
    Thou Bodensee, so fair, so still.”

And more still about wine, for this is not the land of the Woman’s
Crusade, it appears:—

    “It makes you glad to drink good wine,
    And praying makes life more divine.
    If you would be both good and gay,
    Pray well and drink well every day.”

Some one remarks,—

    “What below was far from clear,
    Is no less dark when we stand here.”

And a very enthusiastic person writes,—

    “Here flies from us sorrow, here vanishes pain,
    Here bloom in our hearts joy and freshness again.
    Who can assure us, and how can we know,
    That heaven is fairer than this scene below?”

In pages of such doggerel one finds comical enough things; but exported,
they may lose their native flavor, so I will not give too many of them.

By making rather a long excursion from here you can visit the birthplace
of Angelica Kauffman. We didn’t go, but we felt very proud to think we
could if we wished, having lately read “Miss Angel.”

There is a place in this neighborhood the name of which I refuse to
divulge, because, if I should tell it and disclose its attractions, the
next steamer from America would certainly bring over too many people to
occupy it, and so ruin it. I shall keep it for myself. But I will
describe it, and awaken as much longing and unrest and dissatisfaction
with American prices as I can. It isn’t exactly a village, but it is
near a village. It has shady lanes that wind about between hedges;
houses that are placed as if with the express purpose of talking with
one another,—only three or four houses, with superb old trees hanging
over them. There is the nicest, brightest of _Fraus_,—who owns this bit
of land, the houses and the hedges and trees close by the water’s edge,
a boat, a bath-house, and a great dog,—a happy, prosperous widow, with a
daughter to help in household matters, and to go briskly to market to
the neighboring town. So happy is she, one thinks involuntarily her
_Mann_ was perhaps aggressive, and that to be free from his presence may
be to her a blessing from Heaven. She lives in a house where the ceiling
is so low one must stoop going through the doors. The windows and doors
are all open. The tables and chairs are scoured snowy white. She brings
you milk in tall glasses,—it is cream, pure and simple. And then she
takes you into the house close by, with great airy chambers, and broad
low casements, under which the water ripples softly, and she tells you,
without apparently knowing herself, one of the wonders of the age,—that
she will rent her four rooms in this detached house for forty guldens a
month, and serve four persons from her own dwelling with fruit, meat,
cream, the best the land affords; and forty guldens are about twenty
dollars, gold. (This must not mislead the unwary. There are places
enough here where you can spend quite as much as you do at home.) We did
not quite faint, but we were very deeply moved. We did not even tell the
good woman that her terms were not exorbitant, crafty, worldly creatures
that we were. Here was one spot unspoiled by the madding crowd. We were
not the ones to bring pomps, and vanities, and high prices to it. So we
choked down our amazement, and hypocritically remarked it was all very
pleasant, and we thought perhaps we might return. Return! Of course we
shall return! When all things else fail, and ducats are painfully few,
then will we flee to this friendly abode, and live in a big room on the
lovely lake, so near, indeed, that we can almost fish from our windows;
have a boat to row, a bath-house at our service; quarts, gallons of
cream; and the Swiss mountains before our eyes morning, noon, and night;
and all for five dollars a month. I am telling the truth, but I do not
expect to be believed. I am tempted to write its name,—its pretty,
friendly, suggestive little name,—but I will not. It ends in LE, it
sounds like a caress, so much will I say; perhaps so much is indiscreet.
Don’t waste your time looking for it. You will never find it. We only
happened to drift there. It really is not worth your while to search for
it. It is quite secluded, quite out of the way, a sleepy-hollow that I
am sure _you_ would find dull.

There are many green, sweet nooks, many pretty villages, many cleanly
little cottages, many smiling, broad-browed, clear-eyed women, on the
shores of the Lake of Constance; but our woman, our cottage, our cream,
our mountains, our _treasure_, you will never, never find.


I feel a deep and ever-increasing sympathy with explorers of strange
lands whose narratives a harsh world pronounces exaggerations. What if
they do say that the unknown animal which darts across their path has
five heads and seventeen legs? There is a glamour over everything in an
utterly new place,—the very atmosphere is deceptive. After a while,
things assume their natural proportions, but at first it seems as if one
really did see with one’s own eyes all these redundant members. Even
here in the beaten track of travel, writing as honestly as possible from
my own point of view, I feel like begging my friends to put no faith in
anything I say. The mountains in themselves are intoxicating enough to
turn one’s head; but then of course much depends upon the kind of head
one possesses. Recently, at sunset by a lake, we were looking over the
water at a mountain view,—soft, wooded slopes near us, huge rocky masses
beyond, height upon height rising in hazy blue, the snowy summits just
touched by the Alpine glow,—when some strangers approached. Berlin has
the honor of being their dwelling-place, we ascertained afterwards.

“_Lieber Mann_,” said the lady, “just look at all that snow!”

“Snow!” replied the _lieber Mann_, “snow in summer! But that is

“I think it must be snow,” said the wife, doubtfully. Then, “But only
see the beautiful mountains.”

“Hm, hm,” remarks the _lieber Mann_, regarding them superciliously
through his eye-glass; “I can’t say that they are particularly
well-formed!” Here, at least, is a head that is secure; no jocund day on
the misty mountain-tops, no broad, magnificent ranges at high noon, and
no twilight with “mountains in shadow, forests asleep,” have power to
move that astute _Kopf_ a fraction of an inch. “They have better
mountains in Berlin,” remarked a German friend in an undertone.

Bludenz is a little town in the Vorarlberg, which means, you know,—or
you don’t know,—the country lying before the Adler or Arlberg, and the
Arlberg is the watershed between the Rhine and Danube, and the boundary
between the Vorarlberg and the Tyrol. This sounds guide-bookish,—and
very naturally, as I have copied it word for word from Baedecker,—but
one must say something of praiseworthy solidity once in a while. Bludenz
is a railway terminus, which fact may not interest the world at large,
but it did us hugely. We rejoiced in the thought of the great
post-wagon, the cracking of whips and blowing of horns, and long,
delightful, breezy rides over the hills and far away. Our
after-experience of this lively whip-cracking and horn-blowing has led
us to the conclusion that it is decidedly at its best in the opera,
where the Postilion of Lonjoumeau sings his pretty song and cracks his
whip for a gay refrain; and that it is all very well, when you yourself
are going off early in the morning amid the prodigious noise and the
excitement of stowing away passengers and packages, while a crowd of
village loafers stand gazing and gaping at you,—in short, when you are
“in it,” you know; but when it is only other people who are going, only
they for whom all the noise is made and you are roused from your gentle
slumbers at half past four perhaps, you do not regard the postilion and
his accomplishments with unqualified admiration.

You wish you had gone to the “Eagle,” or the “Ox,” or the “Lamb,” or the
“Swan,” or the “Lion,” or to any other beast or bird, rather than to the
“Post,” where the “Post” omnibus and its relations make your mornings
miserable. These are always the names of the inns in these little towns.
There is usually a “Crown” too, and often an “Iron Cross.” But people
with nerves mustn’t go to the “Post.” Our party left its nerves in the
city before starting off on a rough tour, yet even we have suffered at
various inns which bear the names of “Post,” but which should properly
be called “Pandemonium.”

Our first postilion wore the regulation long-boots, a postilion hat, and
silver pansies in his ears. He cracked his whip nobly,—as well as we
have heard Sontheim in the theatre at Stuttgart, and that is no faint
praise. He was the jolliest of men, on the best of terms with all the
dwellers among the mountains. He stopped at every inn and house where a
glass of wine was to be had, and I think I may say invariably drank it.
All the goodwives joked with him and smiled at him; all the men had a
friendly word for him, and all the peasant-girls who had lovers in
distant villages were continually stopping our great ark to send
packages, letters, or messages to the absent swain. He seemed to be for
the whole region a friend, patron, and adviser, a tutelary deity in
fact, and grand receptacle for confidences. He had a shrewd, kind face,
large clear eyes, and had driven among these mountains twenty-six years.
It really did not seem a bad way of spending one’s days, always going
over the mountain-passes, knowing everybody and loved by everybody in
the country round. I admired him extremely, and felt very much elated at
the honor of sitting up on the box with so important a personage.

He told us a story of an Englishman who was inquiring how much it would
cost to be driven to a certain point.

The driver replied so many gulden.

“Impossible,” said the Englishman; “Baedecker says half as many.”

“I’ll tell you what,” answered the postilion; “let Baedecker take you,

Having laughed at the poor stranger, it is only fair that we now laugh
at the natives.

“I spiks English,” an innkeeper said to me. “Ein joli hearse,” he
remarked further, to my great bewilderment, until it gradually dawned
upon me that this was English for “a pretty horse.” There is a house in
this region whose proprietor wished to receive English lodgers, and
signified his desire to the world by hanging out this sign: “English
boards here.”

After all, there are no more ludicrous verbal blunders in the world than
we English-speaking people continually make during our first year’s
struggles with this mighty German tongue; and nowhere do a foreigner’s
queer idioms and laughable choice of words meet with more kindness,
charity, courtesy, and helpfulness than in Germany. It is astonishing
how kind the Germans in general are in this respect. It is all very well
to say politeness demands such kindness; but where things sound so
irresistibly droll, I think sometimes we might shriek with laughter
where the Germans kindly correct, and do not even smile.

But we are neglecting Bludenz, for which little town we mean to say a
friendly word. It is usually considered only a stepping-stone to
something higher and better, but we liked it. The mountains rise on both
sides of the village and its one long road, where we walked at sunset,
crossing the bridge which spans the foaming, tumbling, rushing Ill.
Beyond the ravine of the Brandnerthal, the Scesaplana, the highest
mountain of the Raeticon range, rises from fields of snow. We strolled
along, breathing the sweet, pure air, meeting groups of peasant-girls,
all of whom carried their shoes in their hands. It was a fête day, and
they had been to vespers, putting their shoes on at the church door and
removing them when they came out. This most practical and admirable
method of saving shoe-leather, I venture to recommend to the fathers of
large families. It must be superior to “copper-toes.” When we came back
to take our supper in a garden, somebody was playing Strauss waltzes,
with a touch so loving, spirited, and magnetic, it seemed as if the
mountains themselves must whirl off presently in response. In this land
a garden where people drink beer and wine, eat, smoke, rest, think,
enjoy, all in the open air, is sometimes made up of most delightful
surroundings; but on the other hand it sometimes means two emaciated,
dyspeptic trees, a gravel floor, and half a dozen wooden tables with
wretchedly uncomfortable chairs. But if it is an enclosure in the open
air with one table large enough to hold a beer-mug, it is still a

Our Bludenz garden was pleasant enough, however, and we sat there till
the mountains sank deeper and deeper into the gloom; and the _Mädchen_
who waited upon us told us about her native village, where her brother
was schoolmaster; our landlady came, too, and talked with us, quietly,
and somewhat with the manner of a hostess entertaining guests. It was
all very pretty and simple and kindly, and seemed the most natural thing
in the world, as it happened. The people here had intelligent faces,
clear eyes like children, and pleasant, courteous ways. The trouble
about all these little places is, we don’t like to leave them. It seems
as if the new place could not be so pretty, the new people so kindly and
simple and honest, and we go about weakly, leaving fragments of our
hearts everywhere.

Then the mountain tramps we had, climbing high for a view, and then
glorying in it! A little maid was once our guide, who chattered to us
prettily all the way, and told us the chief events of her life,—how her
father and mother were dead, and her uncle beat her, and made her work
too hard; how there was a great, great, great bird who sat up on the
barren cliffs so high that never a _Jäger_ could climb near enough to
shoot him; how he had eyes as big as a cow’s, and when he sat on the
right cliff the weather was always fair, but when he sat on the left
there was storm among the mountains. This must be true, for we saw the
cliffs. Then she solemnly assured us, if we would go early to the chapel
in a neighboring village the following morning, we could get absolution
for all our sins, because, as it appeared, the priest there was going
far away, as missionary to America, and in farewell was washing the
souls of his flock with extra thoroughness. We told the child it was
very fortunate the good priest was going to America. From what we had
heard of that ungodly land, we thought it must be in sad need of
missionary work.

The scenery from Bludenz to Landeck is a series of picturesque, varied
views. The road ascends with many windings to the pass of the Arlberg,
when you are at last in the Tyrol; and the green, richly wooded
mountains, the jagged, rocky ones, the lofty peaks where the snow
gleams, together with the pure, invigorating air, and the swing of our
mountain chariot with its five horses,—which, if not very rapid, were at
least strong and fresh,—made altogether a thoroughly enjoyable

On the Arlberg we gathered our first Alpine roses. They are not so very
pretty, except as they grow often in masses so luxuriant as to give a
rosy effect to a broad slope. That is, they are pretty, but their
graceful cups droop so quickly when you take them from their native air
and native heights, that they are disappointing.

At St. Christoph, which is almost at the top of the Arlberg, we stopped
long enough to refresh ourselves with a glass of _Tiroler_ wine, and
were taken into a little chapel behind the inn to see a wooden statue of
St. Christopher, who seems to be held in peculiar veneration in this
region, being painted or carved in many churches and even on the walls
of houses. This was a great creature of eight or nine feet, standing in
the corner of the chapel, with glaring, beady eyes, glossy black painted
hair, and a huge staff, to represent the pine-tree of the sweet old
legend, in his hand; while on his shoulder was perched the child Jesus,
with a face like a small doll. He was as funny and grotesque a saint as
the world can boast, yet our hearts went strongly out to him when we
learned what a very little peasant-boy it was who had made him with his
pocket-knife out of a block of wood, and particularly when we observed
his saintship’s legs, never too symmetrical, but now hacked and chipped
into utter deformity, and were told the reason. Every child in this
neighborhood who must leave his mountain home takes a bit of St.
Christopher with him as a talisman against homesickness. Poor little
souls! Imagine them coming to say, “Lebewohl zu dem heiligen Christoph,”
and tearfully hacking away in the region of his patellas and tibias and
fibulas, because long ago they have removed the exterior of his stalwart
members, and he will soon be dangerously undermined. His shoulders are
sufficiently developed to bear considerable cutting down without
perceptibly diminishing them; but I presume the little ones attack the
region which they can most conveniently reach.

Lovely air and lovely hills! No wonder the children fear Heimweh will
come to their hearts when they can no longer see the little village
houses all huddled together round the church with the tall spire, while
the green hills rise on every side, and the morning mists roll from
them, and the evening glow warms and glorifies their cold, white
summits, and the impetuous mountain torrent goes foaming by.

We felt premonitory symptoms of homesickness ourselves for those fair
and noble heights, and we wanted very much to beg for a bit of St.
Christopher’s knee-pan. But they would not have given us an atom of the
dear old, hideous, overgrown giant-saint, worthless heretics that we


They said Landeck would not please us, but it did. They said it was not
pretty, but it was. They said we would not stay there, but that is all
they knew about it or us. In itself, so far as its houses are concerned,
it is not attractive, it is true; but it lies in a very picturesque way
on both banks of the Inn, which rushes and roars constantly at this
point, and the hills around are bold and beautiful. It has its ancient
castle, on the heights directly above the town; but the castle now is a
failure, whatever proud tales its walls might tell us could they
speak,—a failure even as a “ruin,” I mean. It is not very high, but the
path is steep; and when you get to the top you wish you had remained
below, for there is nothing to reward you. The view is no finer than you
can have from almost any point here; and the castle is simply nothing to
see, being only a few gray walls without form or comeliness, in the
shade of which, the day we visited it, sat a few poor old women, who now
occupy it, with snails and bats and wind and storm, rent free.

To Zams, the next village, you walk along the river road past fields of
grain, where cornflowers and poppies are gayly growing, and the water
hurrying from the mountains sings its loud, bold song, and everywhere
around are the varied hues and heights of the Tyrolean Alps. At Zams
there is a beautiful waterfall, which you must seek if you would see,
for it hides itself from the world. Over a bridge, along the river road,
then through lanes where there were more of the pretty cornflowers and
gay poppies, past a group of cottages, a mill, a noisy brook, a mass of
rugged cliffs, we strolled, the voice of the falling water calling us
ever nearer and nearer, until suddenly at the last it was before us. The
rocks conceal it on every side up to the last moment when you are
directly at the foot of it,—one of the fine dramatic effects in which
Mother Nature likes sometimes to indulge.

It falls with great force a hundred and fifty feet, perhaps,—this is a
wild feminine guess, yet somewhere near the truth, I hope,—in a narrow,
immensely swift stream, which, as it issues from the rock, runs a little
diagonally. It has forced a passage through the rock, and when we saw it
was sweeping through this aperture; but in stormy weather it hurls
itself over the summit of the ledge, increasing its height many feet,
and is magnificent in its fury. An experienced mountain-climber told us
that there are a succession of these falls, of which this is the seventh
and last, and the only one that can be seen without painful and
dangerous climbing, they are so singularly concealed. The stream springs
from the glaciers far away, and leaps from rock to rock in wild, unseen
beauty. It seemed to speak to us of the lonely, frozen heights and
solitude of its birthplace.

From Landeck to Innsbruck the scenery, taken all in all, though
pleasing, is less bold and more monotonous than are many other parts of
the Tyrol. There are many historical points of interest here, and
reminders of the bravery of the mountaineers in different wars. You see
where they stood high on their native hills hurling down trunks of trees
and huge masses of rock on the invading Bavarians; and what this work of
destruction failed to do, the sure aim of the Tyrolese riflemen
effectually accomplished.

In one village they exhibit the room where Frederic Augustus, king of
Saxony, died suddenly from the kick of a horse. Having no inordinate
interest in his deceased majesty, we were quite content to gaze placidly
at the outside of the house from the post-wagon, as we informed the man
who tried to induce us to march in, pay our fees, and so increase the
revenues of the inn. He was deeply disgusted, and evidently considered
us persons of inferior taste.

You are shown, off at the right of the road on a wooded height, the
ruins of Schloss Petersburg, the birthplace of Margaret, daughter of the
count of the Tyrol through whom Tyrol came into the possession of the
emperors of Austria.

We have seen so many little villages more or less alike, all having
saints painted on their houses in brilliant hues, and mottoes over their
doorways,—some religious, some quite secular and merry, and all, too,
having names of one syllable, composed chiefly of consonants, such as
Imst, Silz, Zams, Mils, Telfs, Zirl,—we cannot hope to remember them
with that clearness which characterizes the well-regulated mind on its
travels. (No one in our party _has_ a well-regulated mind.) But we have
a way among ourselves of designating places, which is quite satisfactory
and intelligible to us. For instance, we say, “That was where we drank
the cream”; “That was where the innkeeper was a barrel, with head and
feet protruding”; “That was where that interesting body, the fire
department, were feasting at long tables and singing Tyrolean songs”;
“The village where we met the procession, old men and maidens, young men
and children, singing, chanting, telling their beads, bearing candles,
and, most of all, staring at the strangers.”—And what were the strangers
doing? Staring at the people, to be sure. We always stare. We are here
for that purpose.—“The village where the girl put a flower in her
sweetheart’s hat.” And how pretty it was! The post-wagon had hardly
stopped before a good-looking youth dashed down from its top, and at the
same instant a rosy waiter-girl dashed out from the inn, bearing a tall
mug of foaming beer. She had eyes but for him. He had eyes but for
her—and the beer. Entranced they met! They stood a little apart from us
by a garden, and beamed and smiled at each other and whispered their
secrets, and didn’t care a straw whether we stupid “other people” saw
them or not. They had but a few moments of bliss, for the boy had to go
on with the post; but while he was drinking the very last of that
reviving fluid, she took his hat from his head, and, stooping to the
flowers beside her, chose a great flaming carnation pink, which she
fastened in his hat-band. He looked pleased, which of course made her
look pleased; but what a wise little village-Hebe it was to give him the
beer first! What would he have cared for the flower when his throat was
dusty and thirsty! It is such a pity some women always persist in
offering their flowers and graces too soon,—forgetting the nature of the
creature they adore.

In an inn at one village was a table which we coveted strongly. It was,
they said, a hundred and fifty years old, octagonal, four or five feet
in diameter, made of inlaid woods in the natural colors, now darkened
with age. Broad, solid, firm, it looked as if it might last a hundred
and fifty years longer and then retain its vigor of constitution. It had
a wise, knowing air, as of having seen a great deal of the world; and
the landlord told us tales of drinking and fighting and scenes of rough
soldier-life, which were enough to make it tremble for its existence.
Bavarian soldiers once, when they were occupying the village, used it
rather roughly, and left as many sword-cuts and dents in it as they
could make in its brave, firm wood. Its centre was a slate or
blackboard, on which beer accounts are conveniently reckoned.

Just beyond Zirl, the Martinswand rises sixteen hundred feet
perpendicularly above the road. It has its story, to which everybody who
comes here must listen.

The Emperor Maximilian, in 1493, was chasing a chamois above the
Martinswand, and, having lost his way, made a misstep, fell down to the
edge of a precipice, and hung there, unable to recover his footing. The
priest of Zirl came with some of his people, and, it being impossible to
reach him, stood at the bottom of the cliff, elevated the host, granting
him absolution; and then, in horror, awaited the end. But “an angel in
the garb of a chamois-hunter” appeared at this crisis, and bore the
exhausted monarch to a place of safety. The perilous spot, nine hundred
feet above the river, is now marked by a cross, and the paten used by
the priest is a blessed relic in a church.

The story seems to be quite generally believed in this neighborhood. We
sceptical strangers do not find it so enormous a morsel to swallow as is
sometimes presented to us. I presume if any of us were dangling between
heaven and earth, with the immediate prospect of falling nine hundred
feet, we would be very apt to call whatever should rescue us an “angel.”


Innsbruck impressed us, at first, as being far too citified for us to
delight in. Entering its streets about sunset, the time when we have of
late been accustomed to see the cows come home in great herds from the
mountain pastures, we, our bags and shawl-straps, were deposited upon
the sidewalk; for when the post stops, you stop without ceremony, and
are never taken to the particular hotel where you wish to go. We stared
blankly at the broad streets and ruefully at one another. Our eyes,
instead of seeing lowing herds, fell upon gallant young officers in
brilliant uniforms. We became painfully aware of certain defects in our
personal appearance, of which we had been beautifully unconscious in the
rural mountain districts. We observed for the first time that there were
chasms in our gloves, indented peaks in our hats, alluvial deposits on
our gowns; while our boots suggested dangerous ravines, bridged across
by one button, instead of boasting that goodly, decorous row without
which no civilized woman can be truly respectable. We revenged ourselves
by calling Innsbruck “tame,” and declaring that we would at once flee to
our mountain. But it is surprising how quickly we have become accustomed
to the luxuries of life in an excellent hotel, how bravely we bear the
infliction of well-cooked dinners, with what fortitude we recline in
luxurious chairs, and allow well-trained servants to wait upon us.
Already we have remained longer than we intended, there is so much here
that interests us; but soon we start off again to commune with Nature
and get sunburned.

Then, the truth is, Innsbruck, which looked so enormous, so grand, to
our eyes, used as they were to Tyrolean villages,—we know now how the
typical country cousin feels when he comes “to town” for the first
time,—is only a little place most charmingly situated on the Inn, in a
great broad valley, with mountains ten thousand feet high on one side,
and on the other heights that look almost as bold. It has, including its
large garrison, eighteen or twenty thousand inhabitants, and with its
pleasant atmosphere, extended views, charming mountain excursions,
peasants in a variety of costumes, soldiers in a variety of uniforms,
excellent music, and many things of historical interest to see, is a
very enjoyable place.

The Museum is thoroughly interesting; a visit to Schloss Amras, where
Archduke Ferdinand II. and his wife Philippina Welser used to live, is
an inevitable but agreeable excursion; you are shown buildings erected
by celebrated personages,—among them a “golden roof” over a balcony of a
palace which Count Frederic of the Tyrol built to prove that he did not
deserve the nickname, “with the empty pockets.” But the chief thing to
see, the glory of Innsbruck, is the Maximilian monument in the
Franciscan church. Maximilian, in bronze, kneels on a marble pedestal in
the centre of the nave, and eight-and-twenty great bronze figures of
kings and queens and heroes surround him. Some are stately and grand;
some—dare I say?—are comical. The feet of these mailed heroes are so
broad and big and their ankles so attenuated, you are reminded of the
marine armor worn by divers; and the waists of the women, in the heavy
folds of ancient times, are so enormously dumpy and their heads so
curious, you smile in their august faces, though the whole effect of all
these dark, still figures in the dim church is imposing in the extreme.

They are all celebrated people, whose histories we know; or, if we do
not, we ought to. There is Clovis of France, who looks very important
indeed, and Philip of Spain. There is Johanna, Philip’s queen;
Cunigunde, sister of Maximilian; Eleanora of Portugal, his mother; and
there are many more “dear, dead women,” with stately, beautiful names,
and they themselves, no doubt, were stately and beautiful too, but they
are not handed down to posterity in a very flattering guise. There is
Godfrey de Bouillon, “king of Jerusalem,” with a crown of thorns on his
head. But the two that are really lovely to see are Theodoric, king of
the Ostrogoths, and Arthur of England. Susceptible, romantic girls of
eighteen should not be allowed to gaze too long at these ideal young
men. It will make them discontented with the realities of life, and they
will spend their days dreaming of knightly figures in bronze.

Theodoric is considered the finest as a work of art. So says all
established authority; but to me Arthur is hardly less interesting.
Perhaps, in some absurd way, it gratified us of Anglo-Saxon blood to
see, in the midst of these Rudolphs and Sigismunds, these counts of
Hapsburg and dukes of Burgundy, a hero who seemed to belong to us; but,
whatever was the cause, the blameless king won our loving admiration.

Theodoric is the more graceful. He stands in an easy, leaning attitude.
He is lost in thought. He is in full armor, but he may be dreaming of
something far removed from war. Arthur is firm and proud and strong,
looking every inch a king and a true knight. Both are knightly. Both are
kingly. Their figures are slight and strong, and they stand like _young_
heroes amid these mighty old potentates, some of whom look as if gout
might have been a greater source of trouble to them than their enemies.

If your affections are divided, as were ours, between the two, the best
thing to do, perhaps, is to repair immediately to the store where the
wood-carving and Tyrol souvenirs make you feel quite miserable,—you want
so much more than you can possibly have,—and carefully select a
Theodoric and an Arthur from the many representations of them, in wood
of different colors and in various sizes, that you will there see. If
you march off with them, you will feel sublime enough not to be beguiled
into yielding to the temptation of the paper-knives and boxes and
innumerable fascinating knick-knacks made by the Tyrolean wood-carvers.
But do have them well packed, for it is very sad to see Arthur without
his visor and Theodoric with several fractured fingers.

On the sarcophagus, below the kneeling Maximilian, are marble reliefs
representing the chief events in the emperor’s life. Thorwaldsen
pronounced the first nineteen the most perfect work of its kind in the
world. These are by Colin, and the others,—there are twenty-four in
all,—by Bernhard and Albert Abel, are less remarkable in their
perspective, and far less clear. Colin’s are very interesting to study
carefully. In battle scenes, in grand wedding feasts, with hundreds of
spectators, in triumphant entries into conquered cities, every face,
every weapon, every feature, and all the most minute details are
executed with wonderful clearness.

Three or four of the oldest women in the world were saying their prayers
in the church as we wandered about, or sat quietly looking at these men
and woman of the past, while queer snatches of history, poetry, and
romance came and went confusedly in our minds.

You see here, too, a little “Silver Chapel,” so called from a silver
statue of the Virgin over the altar. The tomb of the Archduke Ferdinand
II., by Colin, is here, and that of Philippina Welser; and near the
entrance, in the main church, is a fine statue, in Tyrolese marble, of
Andreas Hofer, and memorial tablets in honor of all the Tyrolese who
have died for their country since 1796.

We have been refreshing our memories in regard to Andreas Hofer, and are
extremely interested in his career; but, having just suffered a grievous
disappointment with which he is connected, we are going to try to banish
every thought of him from our minds. A play representing his whole life
was to have been enacted to-day in a neighboring village; but to-day it
rains, and as the village histrionic talent was going to display itself
in the open air, “Andreas Hofer” is postponed till to-morrow, when,
unfortunately, we shall be riding over hill and dale in a post-wagon. We
have tried to prevail upon the post-wagon powers to allow us to wait a
day, but they are obdurate. We can wait if we care to pay our passage
twice, not otherwise. This cross may be well for a party that usually
sails along on the full tide of prosperity, having always the rooms it
wants, front seats in post-wagons, the good-will of drivers and guides,
and that hasn’t lost or broken anything since it started.

It is possible that we are too successful and need this discipline. But
only think what we lose!—a village drama in the open air, given by
village amateurs in the _patois_ of the district. According to the
announcement, the tailor—the Herr Schneider—was to be director-in-chief;
and the audience would audibly express its praise and blame, while the
actors would have the liberty of retiring. This, added to heroics in
dialect, certainly promised an entertaining scene. The costumes, too,
were to be like those worn in Andreas Hofer’s time, and the tailor’s
daughter was to be leading lady. Was, do I say? Is—is yet to be, but not
for us, alas!


It pains me to think that the king of Bavaria, or any other fine-looking
young gentleman, would deliberately scowl at an inoffensive party of
ladies who were, one and all, only too pleased to have the opportunity
of gazing smilingly at him. But the truth is, he did. The way it
happened is this. We and the king of Bavaria are at present travelling
in the North Tyrol. But he cannot have wanted so much as we to go to the
South Tyrol, which is bolder and grander, or he would have gone there,
not being bound by petty considerations of convenience and expense like
ordinary tourists. At a little inn, “Auf der Ferne,” between Innsbruck
and Reutte, in a place called Fernstein, by a lake named Fernsee (and
also “The Three Lakes,” because the land juts out on one side in two
long points, making three pretty coves where the tranquil water meets
the soft green shores), the post-wagon halted, that our postilion might
drink his glass of native wine. There were numerous servants in
blue-and-silver livery at the door, and we were told King Louis was
driving in the neighborhood, and that we would certainly meet him. While
we were waiting, the people regaled us with tales of the young king’s
eccentricities. Some of his extravagant fancies remind one of the
Arabian Nights, or old fairy-tales, more than of anything in these
latter days. He usually travels by night, for instance, and sleeps, the
little that he ever sleeps, mornings. He drives fast through the
darkness, servants with torches galloping in advance, stopping here and
there only long enough for a change of horses, his own horses and
servants being in readiness for him at the different inns along the
route. Often his carriage dashes up to this inn, “Auf der Ferne,” at
twelve o’clock at night, and then this deliciously eccentric being is
rowed across the little Fernsee to a tiny island, where he partakes, by
the romantic gleam of torches, of a feast prepared by French cooks.
Rowed back to the shore, he starts again with fresh horses and goes
swiftly on, through the night, to some other inn, where the noise of his
arrival awakens all the sleepers.

We heard him later ourselves at two in the morning at an inn on the road
where we were staying, and in fact were told by the landlord that he was
expected; were shown the sacred apartment set apart for his majesty, who
now and then sits an hour in it at some unearthly time of night, and we
were advised to peep through our curtains at him, his suite, and his
horses, torches, etc.; but such was the sleepiness created by a ride of
sixteen hours in mountain air, that, though we were dimly conscious
something of interest was happening, I do not think we would have been
able to stir, to see even Solomon in all his glory. This was the true
reason, but the one that we pretended actuated us is quite different. We
remark with dignity that no young woman of proper spirit will condescend
to peep through a curtain at a man who has scowled at her, king or no

But I must tell you how, when, and where the royal scowl took place. We
had left the little inn by the lake, and were riding along in an
expectant mood, when there came a great clatter of hoofs, and two
blue-and-silver men dashed by followed by an open carriage, where King
Louis sat alone. A kind fate ordained that the road should be narrow at
this point, with a steep bank on one side, over which it would not be
pleasant to be precipitated; so the royal coachman, as well as our
driver, moderated the speed of his horses, and we therefore had an
admirable opportunity to see this “_idealisch_” young man—as the Germans
call him—distinctly. The ceremonies performed were few. Our postilion
took off his hat; so did the king. Then it seemed good in his sight to
deliberately throw back his head, look full in our amiable, smiling,
interested countenances, and indulge in a haughty and an unmistakable
scowl. He must have slept even less than usual that morning. We were not
accustomed to have young men scowl at us, and really felt quite hurt. If
he had looked grand and unseeing, had gazed off abstractedly upon the
mountain-tops, we would have been delighted with him. As it is, we
cannot honestly say that we consider his manner to strangers
ingratiating. Still, as the melancholy fact is that he hates women, his
scowl probably meant no especial aversion to our humble selves, but was
merely the expression of the immense scorn and disgust he feels towards
the sex at large.

In revenge, I hasten to say that, though he certainly has a
distinguished air, and a fine head, and the great eyes that look so
dreamy and poetical in the photographs of him at eighteen or twenty, he
is not nearly so handsome as those early pictures. Perhaps he can look
dreamy still; but of this he granted us no opportunity to judge, and he
has grown stout, and has lost the delicate refinement of his youth.

This road to Reutte is one of the finest of the mountain-passes between
the Tyrol and Bavaria. The deep, wooded ravines, lovely, dark-green
lakes, and noble heights make the landscape very beautiful and
inspiring. Near Lennos, you see on the east great bald limestone
precipices, the snowy Zugspitze, 9,761 feet high, the Schneefernerkopf,
9,462 feet, and other peaks of 8,000 feet and more; while you spy
picturesque ruins, old hunting-seats, and fortresses here and there high
on the proud cliffs.

Reutte has large, broad, pretty houses. It is said laughingly that there
is not a house in the place which a king or some other exalted being has
not selected to die in, or in some way to make memorable.

From this place we have pursued still farther our studies of royalty,
having met with so much encouragement at the outset. We have visited the
Schloss Hohenschwangau, where the king of Bavaria and his mother, the
queen, spend some time every summer; and also Schloss Schwanstein, which
is yet building, but where the young king often stays, unfinished as it

The way to Hohenschwangau leads through a charming park. The castle was
once a Roman fort, they say, then a baronial estate, then almost
destroyed by the Tyrolese, then bought by King Max of Bavaria, who had
it remodelled and ornamented with fine frescos by Munich artists.

In the vestibule is an inscription in gold letters on blue, which says
something like this:—

    “Welcome, wanderer,—welcome, fair and gracious women!
    Leave all care behind!
    Yield your souls to the sweet influences of poetry.”

Isn’t that a pretty greeting? It’s all very well, however, to have such
things written on your walls, and then to go about the world scowling at
people; but it doesn’t look consistent. From the vestibule you pass into
a long hall, where are two rows of columns, old suits of armor standing
like men on guard on both sides, shields, spears, halberds, and
cross-bows on the walls, and a little chapel at the end.

The frescos throughout the castle are very interesting. From the
billiard-room, with a pretty balcony, you go into the Schwanrittersaal,
where the pictures on the walls represent the legend of the Knight of
the Swan, and remind you of the opera of “Lohengrin.” The painted glass
of the doors opening from this room upon a balcony is of the seventeenth

There is an Oriental room, with reminiscences of King Max’s Eastern
travels. Here you see Smyrna, Troja, the Dardanelles, Constantinople, in
fresco; rich presents from the Sultan, a table-cover embroidered by the
wives of the Sultan, jewelled fans, etc.

There is an Autharis room, with frescos by Schwind, telling the story of
the wooing of the Princess Theudelinda by the Lombard king, Autharis. Do
you feel perfectly familiar with the history of Autharis and
Theudelinda? Because, if you do not, I don’t really know of any one just
at this moment who feels competent to give you the slightest information
upon the subject.

There is a room of the knights, the frescos illustrating mediæval
chivalry,—a Charlemagne room. There are, in fact, more rooms than you
care to read about or I care to describe, and many rich objects to see.
In the queen’s apartments was a casket of gold studded with turquoises
and rubies; elegant toilet-tables rosy with silk linings, soft with
falling lace; and there is one dear little balcony-room, cosy and full
of familiar pictures,—Raphael’s cherubs, a little painting of Edelweiss
and Alpine roses; and actually two real spinning-wheels: one is the
queen’s, and the other belonged to a young court lady whose recent death
was a deep grief to the queen, it is said.

But the most striking, and in the end fascinating, thing in the castle
is the number of swans you see. It would be difficult to convey any idea
of the swan-atmosphere of this place. Swans support baskets for flowers
and vases. There are swans in china, in marble, in alabaster, in gold
and silver, on the tables, on the mantels and brackets, painted,
embroidered on cushions and footstools,—everywhere you find them. A
half-dozen of different sizes stand together on a small table, some of
them large, some as tiny as the toy swan a child sails in his glass
preserve-dish for a pond. There is a swan-fountain in the garden; a
great swan on the stove in a reception-room.

King Louis can bathe every day in a gold bath-tub if he wishes. Our eyes
have seen it, though the guide said he had never shown it before. I have
no means of knowing whether the man told the truth. There is another and
yet more enticing bath-room hewn out of the solid rock. We entered it
from the garden. From without, its walls look like dark thick glass,
through which one sees absolutely nothing. From within, the effect is
enchanting. You see the highest tower of the castle on one side rising
directly above you, the lovely garden with its choice flowers and superb
trees, the grand mountains beyond,—and all bathed in a deep rosy light
from the hue of the glass. It is an enchanted grotto, and very Arabian
Nights-ish. A marble nymph stands on each side of the bath, which is cut
in the centre of the stone floor, and one of them turns on a pivot,
disclosing a concealed niche, into which you step and slowly swing round
until you are in a subterranean passage, from which a mysterious
stairway leads to the dressing-room above.

We went everywhere, even into the king’s little study, up in the tower,
where we were explicitly told not to go. It was a simply furnished room,
with an ordinary writing-table, upon which papers and writing-materials
were strewn about, and important-looking envelopes directed to the king.
And it commanded a lovely view of mountains, broad plains, and four
lakes, the Alpsee, Schwansee, Hopfensee, and Bannwaldsee.

Our little tour of inspection was just in time, for at twelve that
night, the castle servants told us, the king would come dashing up to
his own door, after which there can be of course no admittance to

Hohenschwangau is most beautifully situated, but the Neu Schwanstein is
still more striking. It is founded upon a rock. You climb to reach it,
and you can climb far higher on the mountains that tower behind it. It
stands directly by a deep ravine, and the view from it is magnificent.
The young king here by his own hearthstone has wild and abrupt mountain
scenery,—a rocky gorge, crossed by a delicate wire bridge, an impetuous
waterfall; and looking far, far off from the battlements he sees
villages, many lakes, dense woods, winding streams, Hohenschwangau
looking proudly towards its royal neighbor, and the glorious mountains
circling and guarding the valley. Living here, one would feel like a god
on high Olympus looking down upon humanity toiling on the plains below.

The king likes this place, and it is said wishes to remain here when the
queen, his mother, comes to Hohenschwangau. But this is an unwarrantable
intrusion upon their little family differences, which they should enjoy
unmolested, like you and me. Schwanstein in its exterior form and
character resembles a mediæval castle, and the appointments in the
servants’ wing, the only part of the interior as yet finished, are
strictly in keeping. There are solid oaken benches and tables, carved
cases and chests, oaken bedsteads as simply made as possible, and
windows with tiny oval or diamond panes.

The room occupied temporarily by the king is very small and simple,—has
a plain oak bedstead and dressing-table. Across the bed were thrown
blankets, on which were blue swans and blue lions, and in the
dining-room adjoining the carpet was blue, with golden Bavarian lions,
and the all-pervading swans. This was a pretty room, the frescos
illustrating the story of a life in mediæval times,—the life of a
warrior from the moment when he starts forth from his father’s door, a
fair-haired boy, to seek his fortunes in the great world. Mountain
scenery, village life, his first service to a knight, battle, gallant
deeds, receiving knighthood, betrayal, imprisonment, escape,
victory,—all the eventful story until he sits with men old like himself,
and over their wine they tell of the doughty deeds of the past; and
then, older still, and frail and feeble and alone, he leans upon his
staff as he rests under a tree where careless children play around him.

A charming road, through the woods belonging to the Schwanstein park,
leads to the castle, past the lovely Alpsee, which looks deep and calm,
and lies lovingly nestled among the beautiful woods that surround it and
that rise high above it, as if striving to conceal its loveliness from
profane eyes.

We saw forty of the royal horses—pretty creatures they were too—each
with the name painted over the stall. We were reading them aloud, they
were so odd and fanciful, when, as one of us said Fenella, the little
horse that claimed that name turned her pretty head and tried to come to
us. However gently we would call her, she always heard and looked at us.
Encouraged by this gracious condescension on the part of a royal animal,
we ventured to make friends with her; and if ever a horse smiled with
good-will and delight it was Fenella when we gave her sugar.

His majesty’s carriages were also shown to us, and received our
approval. They are plain and elegant, but do not differ from high-toned
equipages in general. A narrow little phaeton, low, and large enough to
hold but one person, we were told was a favorite of the king. In it,
with a man at each side of the horse’s head leading him, and bearing a
torch, the king amuses himself by ascending dangerous mountain-roads at
night. They say it is astonishing where he will go in this manner. Fancy
meeting that scowling but interesting young man, his torches and his
funny little vehicle, on a lonely peak at midnight!


We have been in the Tyrol many days, in villages among the mountains,
living in simplicity, content, and charity to all mankind. We have
believed that our condition was as thoroughly rural as anything that
could possibly be attained by people who only want to be rural
temporarily as an experiment. But our present experience so far
transcends all that we have known in the past, that the other villages
seem like bustling, important towns, unpleasantly copying city ways,
compared with this funny little quiet Schattwald.

We came here from Reutte in an open carriage, passed through a
wonderfully beautiful ravine, saw the lovely dark-green lakes that
delight the soul in this part of the world, little hamlets scattered
about picturesquely among pine-clad hills, bold peaks towering to the
clouds in the distance, and drove slowly through soft, broad meadows,
where the whole population was out making hay. We saw many Tyrolean Maud
Müllers in bright gowns that looked pretty in the sunshine. A German
friend told us a certain small object was “an American hay-cart, and
very practical, like all American inventions.” He was so positive in his
convictions, and, at the same time, so gracious towards the inventive
genius of America, that we saw it would be useless and unwise to pretend
to know anything about the hay-cart of our native heath. But if an
American hay-cart should see its Tyrolean prototype, it would shatter
itself into atoms with laughter.

So in the serene, perfect midsummer weather, through this charming
country, we came to Schattwald, the highest village in the Thanheimer

I feel now that it is my duty to give a friendly caution to people whose
nerves are easily shocked, and to advise them to drop this letter at
this very point, for it is shortly going to treat of exceedingly
realistic and inelegant things.

We drove to the village inn. There were hens and children on the broken
stone doorstep, and men drinking beer in a little pavilion close by. A
broad and jocund landlady told us there was absolutely no place for us.
We are, therefore, ensconced in a veritable peasant’s cottage over the
way, going across to the inn when we are hungry, which is tolerably
often in this mountain air.

Our rooms are broad and very low, with wide casements having tiny panes.
A stout wooden bench against the wall serves as sofa and chairs. A bare
wooden table in front of it is graced by a great dish filled with Alpine
roses, Edelweiss, and Wildemänner, which is an appropriate name for the
little flower with its brown unkempt head and shaggy elf-locks blowing
in the wind. A six-inch looking-glass is hung exactly where the wall
joins the ceiling, and exactly where we cannot possibly see ourselves in
it without standing on something, when we invariably bump our heads.
This pointedly tells us that vanity is a plant that does not flourish in
these lofty altitudes. There are crucifixes on the walls, and
extraordinary religious pictures; and in the corner of the front door
there is a saint somebody made of wood, life-size, with a reddish gown,
and tinsel stars on a wire encircling her head. I think she must be
Mary, though it did not occur to me at first, she is such a corpulent
young woman, with a thick, short waist, and solid feet, which,
nevertheless, by their position, express the idea that she is floating.
An old woman often sits by her, knitting, as we go in and out.

“Is it clean?” I know some one is asking. That depends upon what you
call clean; and when travelling one must modify one’s opinion about
cleanliness and order. For a dressing-room it would be shockingly
unclean; for peasant life up in the Alps it is—if the expression is
permissible—_clean enough_.

The floors are clean, and the bedding and towels. The water is pure and
fresh, the dishes and food perfectly clean. And these, after all, are
the essentials. But things are very much mixed, to say the least; and
the animal kingdom lives in close proximity to its superiors. In fact,
up here it seems to have no superiors.

You sit in the open air eating a roast chicken, with a bit of salad; and
the brother and sister chickens, that will some day be sacrificed to the
appetite of another traveller, are running about unconscious of their
doom at your feet. A little colt walks up to you and insists upon
putting his nose in your plate,—insists, too, upon being petted,—and
hasn’t the least delicacy or comprehension when you tell him you are
busy and wish he would go away. He stays calmly, and presently a goat or
two and a big dog join the group. Such imperturbable good-nature and
complacency, such naïveté, I have never before known animals to possess.
They have been treated since their birth with so much consideration,
they never imagine that their society may not always be desired. In
fact, the animals and the people have innocent, friendly ways; and as it
never occurs to them you can be displeased with anything they may do,
the result is you never are. And as to the question of cleanliness,
perhaps the simplest way to settle it is to say that there is indeed
dirt enough here, but it is all, as the children say, “clean dirt,” and
at all events, with glorious air and lovely mountain views, brightness
and goodness and kindness meeting you on every side from the peasants,
one must be very sickly either in body or mind, or in both, to be too
critical about trifles.

One whole morning we spent in a Sennhütte,—a cowherd’s hut,—high above
the village. (Did I not warn you that ungenteel things were coming?) And
it was one of the most interesting and amusing half-days we have ever
known. There were fifty cows there, as carefully tended as if they were
Arabian horses, and noble specimens of their kind of beauty. The
prettiest ones were cream-colored, with great soft eyes. They expected
to be talked to and petted like all the other animals in Schattwald.
There were different rooms, the mountain breezes blowing straight
through them all, where five or six workmen were making butter and
enormous cheeses. If we do not know how to make superior cheese and
butter, it is not the fault of our hosts in the Sennhütte, for they left
nothing unexplained.

Dare I, or dare I not, tell what should now come in a faithful chronicle
of that morning? I dare. Towards twelve, the chief workman—a man who had
been devoting himself to our entertainment, even sending his little son
far out on the hills for Alpine flowers for us—prepared the simple soup
which serves as dinner for these hard-working men, who eat no meat
during the entire summer, and work nearly eighteen hours a day. We were
interested in that soup, as in everything that was made, done, or said
in that novel place. It was only cream, and salt, and butter, and flour,
but it was made by a dark-eyed man with his sleeves rolled up and a
white cap on his head, and it simmered in a kettle large enough to be a
witch’s caldron.

When quite cooked it was poured into a great wooden dish that was almost
flat, and each workman drew near with his spoon in his hand. We were
thinking what a pleasant scene this was going to be, and were about to
regard it from afar like something on the stage, when to our utter
amazement our friend the soup-maker, as simply, as naturally, with as
much courtesy and kindness as ever a gentleman at his own table offered
delicate viands to an honored guest, gave me a spoon and assigned me my
place at the table.

Dear Mrs. Grundy, what would you have done? I know very well. You would
have drawn yourself up in a superior way, and you would have looked as
proper as the mother of the Gracchi, and you would have remarked,—

“Really, my dear Mr. Cowherd-cheese-maker, _I_ have been educated
according to the separate-plate theory.”

But then Mrs. Grundy would never have placed herself quite in our
position, for she would not have been demeaning herself by peering into
churns and kettles, tasting fresh butter, drinking cream from wooden
ladles, and asking questions about cows, and indeed it is improbable
that she would have allowed herself to even enter such a place; we will
therefore leave Mrs. Grundy completely out of the question,—which is
always a huge satisfaction,—and tell how we conducted ourselves under
these unforeseen circumstances.

With outward calmness, with certain possible misgivings and inward
shrinkings, we smilingly took the seat assigned in the circle of
friendly young workmen, and dipped our spoon in the wooden soup-dish
with all the other spoons. That we ate, really _ate_, much, I cannot
say. Not only was suppressed amusement a hindrance to appetite, but the
five young men with their rolled-up sleeves, their _patois_, their five
spoons dipping together in unison and brotherly love, though interesting
as a picture, with the cows lazily lying in the background, and the
Tyrolean Alps seen through the open doors and windows, presented
nevertheless certain obstacles to a thorough enjoyment of the rustic
meal. To taste, according to our code, was obligatory; to eat was
impossible. We tried to spur on that languid spoon to do its duty; we
philosophized about human equality, but all in vain; and we ate not in a
proper, true spirit, but like a hypocrite, or an actress, so strong are
these silly prejudices that govern us.

But the men were quite satisfied, since their soup was pronounced
excellent; and, having once accepted their hospitality, we had no
difficulty in excusing ourselves when a second soup—_cheese_ being its
principal ingredient—was offered us. Our one regret in the whole
experience was, that we could not summon the primest woman of our
acquaintance to suddenly stand in the doorway and gaze in, aghast, upon
this convivial scene. That, had it been possible, would have been a joy
forever in our remembrance.

This Schattwald certainly has great fascinations to offer the wanderer
who seeks shelter here. Rough scrambles for Alpine flowers are followed
by a long afternoon of novel enjoyment, listening to a chorus of hunters
singing Tyrolean songs,—_real_ hunters, and we never saw their like
before except on the stage! The one who played the zither was adorned
with trophies of the chase,—a chamois beard on his dark-green hat, and,
on his coat, buttons made from stag-antlers. He was rather a
noble-looking man, with a straightforward, kindly expression in his
eyes, and he sang the mountain songs with great spirit. They all sang
with enjoyment, and there seemed to be an immense “swing” to the music.
The songs expressed joy and pride in the freedom of the mountain life,
and alluded in poetical language to their mountain maids. In several of
them the singers gave the “Jodel,” which we also heard repeatedly
echoing among the mountains, and responded to from height to height.

On the prettiest cottage in the place is this inscription in verse. I
give the literal translation:—

    “I once came into a strange land;
    On the wall was written,
    ‘Be pious, and also reserved:
    Let everything alone that is not thine.’”

The hunters sang with special delight one song which frequently asserted
that “_Auf der Alm_ there is no sin.” This impressed us as a delightful
idea, though somewhat at variance with the theological doctrines in
vogue in a less rarefied atmosphere. We did not presume to doubt
anything they told us, however. We are rapidly becoming as credulous, as
simple, as bucolic, as they. But, reclining one evening at sunset on a
soft slope above the village, with the breath of the pines around us,
and listening, in a lotus-eating mood, to the “drowsy tinklings” of the
bells of the herds on the opposite heights, this problem occurred to us:
How long will it be, at our present rapid rate of assimilation with
things pastoral, and with the slight line of demarcation that exists in
Schattwald between man and bird and beast, before we also contentedly
eat grass, and go about with bells on our necks?


“Will you walk into my parlor?” said every innkeeper from Chur to St.
Moritz, and our minds were half absorbed in contemplation of the scenery
and half in resisting the allurements of these Swiss spiders, all of
whom declared with many grimaces and shrugs that we could not accomplish
the distance between the two places in one day.

“Does not the regular post go through in one day?” we inquire. “Then why
not we by extra post?”

“You are too late, madame.”

“We are not so heavy as the _diligence_. We can go faster.”

“Impossible, madame.”

“_Why_ impossible?”

“Not precisely impossible; but it would be better, ah, yes, madame, far
better, to remain here,”—with the sweetest of smiles,—“and go on to St.
Moritz to-morrow.”

They knew this was nonsense. We knew it was nonsense. They knew that we
knew that it was nonsense. We had borne all that it was fitting we
should bear.

“But _why_?” we sternly demand.

“You will be more comfortable, madame.”

“We do not wish to be comfortable.”

“You will arrive at midnight.”

“We like to arrive at midnight.”

What then could the spiders do with flies who retorted in this
unheard-of-way, who resisted advice, would telegraph for horses, cheer
the postilions with absurdly frequent _Trink Geld_, and push steadily on
to St. Moritz high in the upper Engadine?

The truly remarkable feature of the expedition was, that when we left
Chur in the morning it was only with a lazy consciousness that up among
the mountains somewhere was a St. Moritz, which we at some indefinite
time would reach.

Innkeeper No. 1 made us think we would like to go through in one day.

Innkeeper No. 2 strengthened the wish.

No. 3, by his efforts at discouragement, gave us, in place of the wish,
a determination to go on.

No. 4 created in us a frantic resolve to reach St. Moritz that night, or
perish in the attempt.

No banner with a strange device did we bear, yet as the shades of night
were falling fast, and we stopped to change horses at a little inn in an
Alpine village, and queer-looking men with lanterns walked about the
wild place speaking in an unknown tongue (it was Romanisch, but then we
did not know), and the road was steep before us, we gloried in
resembling the immortal “youth” of the poem. We always have admired him
from the time we learned him by heart, and repeated him in our first
infant sing-song; but never before did we have the remotest idea _why_
his brow was sad, why his eye flashed like a falchion from its sheath,
why he persisted in his eccentric career. Now it is clear as light
before us. He was goaded on, as we were, by the Swiss innkeepers.

“O, stay!” said they.

“Excelsior!” cried we. And on we went, feeling that a mighty fate was
impelling us, alluding grandly to “Sheridan’s Ride,” “How they brought
the Good News,” and all similar subjects that we could remember where
people pushed on with high resolve, and being in the end grateful to the
petty souls who had roused our obstinacy, ignorant that even the Alps
are no obstacle to woman’s will; for the latter part of the journey was
by perfect moonlight, and therefore do we bless the innkeepers. Our
obstinacy, do I say? Let the sneering world use that unpleasant term. We
will say heroism, for who shall always tell where the line between the
two is to be drawn?

Never shall we forget that wonderful white night, the gleams and glooms
on the mountains, the silver radiance of the lakes, the vast glaciers
outstretched before us, the mighty peaks towering to the skies, the
impressive stillness broken only by the bells on our horses’ necks, the
sound of their hoofs on the hard road, the rumbling of our carriage, and
the cracking of the whip. We, with our miserable jarring noises, were
the only discordant element, and we well knew we ought to be suppressed.
It seemed profane to intrude upon such grandeur, such majestic

In the full sunlight since, all is quite different; yet we close our
eyes, and that glorious white, still night comes vividly before us, and
always there will be to us a glamour about the Engadine on account of

The village of St. Moritz lies picturesquely on the hillside above a
pretty lake of the same name. The St. Moritz baths are a mile farther
on, where numerous hotels and _pensions_ stand on a grassy plateau
between high mountains, whose sharp contour is wonderfully defined in
this clear atmosphere against the peculiar deep-blue of the sky.

In a very interesting article about the Upper Engadine in the
Fortnightly Review for March, the writer speaks with undisguised
contempt of “the Germanized Kurhaus,” “the damp Kurhaus,” “the huge and
hideous Kurhaus,” even telling people to beware of it. Now, if it were
not a shockingly audacious thing to dare to have any opinion at all in
the presence of the Fortnightly Review, I would venture most humbly to
state that I am at present staying at that object of British scorn, the
Kurhaus, and like it.

It is ugly. It is immensely long and awkward. If your room is in one end
and you have a friend in the other, you feel, walking through the
interminable corridors, that the introduction of horse-cars and
carriages would promote economy of time and strength. The Kurhaus
certainly has its unamiable qualities. It is tyrannical. It puts out its
lights at ten o’clock “sharp,” leaving you in Egyptian darkness and not
saying so much as “by your leave.” [I have observed that men, whom I
have believed to be faultlessly amiable, under these circumstances lose
their composure and utter improper ejaculations, as they find
themselves, in the midst of an interesting game of whist, unable to see
the color of a card.] But after all, unless you are in the village
proper, where we—again differing from the awful Fortnightly—would not
prefer to be, it seems to be the best abiding-place, because everything
centres in it. The people from the other hotels must all come here to
drink the mineral waters and take the baths, to dance twice a week if
they wish, to hear the music three times a day, to attend various
entertainments given by marvellous prestidigitateurs from Paris and
singers from Vienna; and though these things are very ignoble to talk
about when one is among the grand mountains, yet there come nights and
days when it rains in torrents, and when the most enthusiastic
mountain-climber must condescend to be amused or bored under a
sheltering roof. Then, the Kurhaus, being the largest hotel, the place
where things of interest most do congregate, seems to us the most
desirable abode. The Victoria, which the English frequent, has fresher
paint and newer carpets and finer rooms. But we are true to the Kurhaus,
notwithstanding. We are grateful to it for a few charming weeks, and in
some way we don’t like to see Albion’s proud foot crushing it.

It is “Germanized.” That is enough, to be sure, in the opinion of many
English and Americans, to condemn it; they often like a hotel
exclusively for themselves, and dislike the foreign element even in a
foreign land. But to many of us it is infinitely more amusing to live in
exactly such a place, where we meet Italians and Spaniards, French,
Germans, Swiss, Dutch, Russians, people from South America and islands
in the far seas,—in fact, from every land and nation,—than to establish
a little English or American corner somewhere, wrap ourselves in our
national prejudices, and neither for love nor money abandon one or the

To the Paracelsus Spring at the Kurhaus come all the people every
morning to drink the mineral water, and walk up and down while the band
plays in the pavilion, but very few have an invalid air. Some drink
because the water is prescribed by their physicians; some, because it is
the fashion; some, because it is not unpleasant, and drinking gives them
an opportunity to inspect the other drinkers. The mighty names written
over the glasses fill us with amazement. You may be plain Miss Smith
from Jonesville, U. S. A., and beside your humble name is written that
of the Countess Alfieri di Sostegno, and the name of a marquis, and even
that of a princess; but when they all come to the spring and glance at
you over their glasses, just as you glance at them over yours, and you
see them face to face, you don’t much care if you are only Miss Smith.
It is astonishing what an ordinary appearance people often have whose
great-great-grandfathers were doges of Venice.

It seems positive stupidity here not to speak at least five languages
fluently. To hear small children talking with ease in a variety of
tongues is something that, after the first astonishment, can be borne;
but it never ceases to be exasperating and humiliating when common
servants pass without the least difficulty from one language to another
and another. Yet we Americans should perhaps have patience with
ourselves in this respect, and remember that the ability to speak half a
dozen languages well, which at first seems like pure genius, is often
more a matter of opportunity or necessity than actual talent, though it
certainly is a great convenience, and gives its possessor a superior
air. “It’s nonsense to learn languages, or to try to speak anything but
good, honest English,” says a young gentleman here,—an American recently
graduated from one of the colleges. “You can make your way round with
it, and everything that’s worth two straws is translated.” So he
brandishes his mother-tongue proudly in people’s faces, and is always
immensely disgusted and incensed at their stupidity when he is not

An Englishwoman the other day bought a picture of Alpine flowers, and
tried to make a man understand that she also wished a stick upon which
the cardboard could be rolled and safely carried in her trunk. He knew
no English; she, no German. First she spoke very loud, with emphatic
distinctness, as if he were deaf. Whereupon he made a remark in German,
which, though an excellent remark, in itself a highly reasonable
statement, had not the least relation to her request. She then spoke
slowly, gently, in an endearing manner, as if coaxing a child, or
endeavoring to influence a person whose understanding was feeble and who
must not be frightened. He responded in German,—again sensible, but
widely inappropriate. So they went on, each continuing his own line of
thought, as much at cross-purposes as if they were insane, until a
bystander, taking pity on them, came to the rescue. The lady was,
however, not indignant that her “good, honest English” was not
understood; she was simply despairing. It is singular that it never
occurs to some minds that other languages, and even the people who speak
them, may also be good and honest.

Here in the Engadine the dialect is Romanisch, but the people also speak
German, French, Italian, and often tolerable English. The houses are
solidly built, with very thick walls, curious iron knockers, deep-sunken
windows, with massive iron gratings over them. The object of the
gratings is doubtful. Some say they are to guard against robbers; some
say they are an invention of jealous husbands; some, that they are so
constructed in order to allow a maiden and her lover to converse without
danger of an elopement. Arched, wide doors on the ground-floor, directly
in the front of the house, are large enough to admit carts and horses
into the basements, which serve as carriage-houses and stables.

Is it really summer? Is it possible that in our beloved America people
are suffering from heat, that Philadelphia is suffocating? Here ladies
wear furs and velvet mornings and nights, and men wrap themselves in
ulsters and shawls. The air is the most bracing,—the coolest, dryest,
purest imaginable. It is considered admirable for nervous disorders, and
this one can readily believe. But though it is the fashion to order
consumptives here, many eminent physicians say more invalids with lung
complaints are sent to the Engadine than should properly come. It
certainly seems as if this immensely bracing air would speedily kill if
it did not cure. “Nine months winter and three months cold” is the
popular saying here about the climate. Delicate persons are often so
enervated at first by the peculiar atmosphere that they cannot eat or
sleep or rest in any way.—Indeed, with certain constitutions this air
never agrees.—This condition, however, usually passes off in a few days;
they feel able to move mountains, and accomplish wonders in the way of
climbing; while people who are well in ordinary climates come here and
forget that they are mortal. There is something in the air that gives
one giant strength and endurance,—something inexpressibly delightful,
buoyant, and inspiring,—something that clears away all cobwebs from the


They say that Auerbach has thought and written much in the beautiful
Engadine,—that many of his mountain descriptions are from this grand
country. Somewhere here a seat is shown where he sits and plans and
dreams. Whether it is due to “ozone,” or whatever it may be, the heart
and lungs do unusual work here, and the brain too. It would seem that
here, if anywhere, would come inspiration. And yet, when we remember
that Schiller wrote his “Wilhelm Tell” without ever seeing Switzerland,
it teaches us that wide, free genius can soar in a narrow room, and only
petty, mediocre talent is really dependent upon its surroundings.

They who view the Alps with a critic’s eye say that the contours in the
Engadine are too sharply defined, the rocks too bold and rugged, the
snow too glaring white, the air too clear, the whole effect too hard and
unmanageable,—all lacking the slight haze that is necessary to a perfect
mountain view. This makes me feel very ignorant and small, for I have
not yet learned to speak with condescending approval of one landscape,
and with dignified, discriminating censure of another. And yet I don’t
believe these lofty critics could have made a grander, nobler Engadine
if they had had the fashioning of it; and if Nature is lovely in her
soft, smiling scenes, in her hazes and mists and tender lights, so is
she also magnificent in her strength and rugged grandeur, sublime in her
stillness, her frozen heights, as in the Engadine. Most unutterably
impressive is she here.

And who shall say that here she does not also show us loveliness? The
Maloja Pass, for instance, that leads, in its remarkable steep, zigzag
down, down through fragrant woods, where vines and moss droop over the
rocks, till it reaches a milder temperature, and the warm breath of
Italy seems to touch your cheek. You stand high on the cliff and look
down into the valley, following every curious winding of the road till
it meets the plain, and goes off towards Chiavenna far away. When we saw
the Maloja, a group of men who looked like bandits were gathered round a
fire and a kettle where _polenta_ was cooking. The people here live on
_polenta_. It isn’t at all bad. We know, because we’ve tasted it. We
taste everything. There is a pretty lake and a pretty waterfall here,
concealed, and well worth finding; but the particular “sight,” the
especial thing you must do, is to stand on the cliff opposite the inn,
and watch the _diligence_ as it descends a thousand feet in twenty

Behind the Kurhaus is a hill with shady seats among the trees, where you
can sit by one of those impatient, impetuous little mountain brooks that
come rushing down from the glaciers, and that act so young and excited
about everything; and while it talks to you and tells you its wild
stories and eager hopes, you say to it, “Wait till you’ve seen a little
more of the world, my dear, and you’ll take things more quietly.” And
the water tumbles and foams over the rocks, and sings strange things in
your ears, and you look off upon three peaks with their heads close
together like Michael Angelo’s “Three Fates.” You learn to love them
very much, and to watch their different expressions. One is greener,
softer, milder than the others. One is sharp, cruel, inflexible rock. On
one, great snow-masses forever lie in stillness, solemnity, and peace.

A little winding path by the water’s edge leads to Crestalta. Here
surely it is not grand, but lovely, every inch of the way. The Inn,
which seems like an old friend now, so often has it met us in the Tyrol
days, we visit here at its birthplace, and hear its baby name, the
_Sela_, for it is not the Inn till it leaves the Lake of St. Moritz. A
coquettish, wayward, merry stream it is in its youth,—bubbling and
laughing in little falls,—stopping to rest in clear enchanted lakes,
whose depths reflect the skies and clouds and soft green banks and
Alpine cedars, then rushing on, frolicking and singing boldly as it

These are small things to do. They are for the first day, before one is
accustomed to the air here. They are for invalids who must not work for
their enjoyment. But for the strong, for the blessed ones with clear
heads and tireless feet, what is there _not_ to see that is grand and

O, these mountains, these magical, giant mountains! How their silence,
their vastness, their terrible beauty, speak to our restless hearts! I
can well believe that mountain races are, as it is said, deeply
superstitious, for there are times when the effect of the mighty, stern
heights is simply crushing. Old heathenish fancies, without comfort,
without hope, come to us in spite of ourselves. What are we, our poor
little life-stories, our hopes, and our heart-breakings, our wild
storms, and short, sweet, sunny days, before these cold, eternal hills?
Above their purple sublimity are cruel pagan gods, who do not hear
though we cry to them in agony. Our feet bleed. Our hearts are faint.
The chasms swallow us. Rocks crush us. Nature is a cruel, mighty tyrant,
and our enemy.

But not only thus do the mountains speak. So many voices have they! So
many songs and poems and mysteries and tragedies and glories do they
tell you! So many strong, sweet chords do they strike in your soul! Did
they crush you yesterday? Ah, how they lift you up to-day, and heal the
wounds they themselves have made, and comfort you with a sweet and noble
comfort! They tell you how little you are, but they give you a great
patience with your own littleness. They bid you look up, as they do, to
the heavens above; to stand firm, as they stand firm; to take to
yourself the beauty and the grace of passing sunshine, of bird and
flower and tree, and song of brook; to take it and rejoice and be glad
in it, though the gray, sad cliffs are not concealed, and the sorrowful
wind moans in the pines. They whisper unutterable things to you of this
mystery we call life,—things which you never, never felt before. They
fill you with infinite patience and tenderness, and send you forth to
meet your fate with the heart of a hero. Ah, what a pity it is that we
must ever leave the mountains; and what a pity it is that, if we should
remain, the mountains might leave us,—might speak less to us, sustain
and elevate us less! And yet it does not seem as if a heart that had a
spark of reverence in it could ever grow too familiar with such majesty.

From St. Moritz it is not easy to say what excursion or mountain tramp
is the most enjoyable, but, if I were positively obliged to give my
opinion, I think it would be in favor of the Bernina Pass and Palü
Glacier. You go first to Pontresiná,—a place, by the way, especially
liked and frequented by the English. With the mountains crowding round
it, and its glimpse of the Roseg Glacier, it is certainly very
beautiful. Samaden, Pontresiná, and St. Moritz have rival claims and
rival champions. St. Moritz is, however, to us indisputably superior.
Not that we love Pontresiná less, but that we love St. Moritz more.

On this road the superb Morteratsch Glacier greets you, imbedded between
Piz Chalchang and Mont Pers, and you see the whole Bernina group. The
Morteratsch Glacier has beautiful blue ice-caves, real ones, not
artificial as in Interlaken.

From Pontresiná you go higher and higher to the Bernina hospice, two
thousand feet above St. Moritz. Here, side by side, are two small lakes,
the Lago Nero and the Lago Bianco. The “white” lake, coming from the
glaciers, is the lightest possible grayish-green, and the dark one is
spring water, and looks purplish-blue beside it. It is strange to think
how far apart the waters of the sister lakes flow,—the Lago Nero into
the Inn, so to the Danube and Black Sea, while the Lago Bianco, through
the Adda, finds its way to the Adriatic.

To the hospice you can ride, but after that you must walk over rough
rocks and snow, and past pools where feathery white flowers stand up
straight on tall, slight, stiff stalks, like proud, shy girls, and at
last you are at the Alp Grüm, where wonderful things lie before your
eyes. The magnificent Palü Glacier is separated from you only by a
narrow valley. You stand before it as the sun pours down on its vast
whiteness, and on the mountain range in which it lies. Far below in the
ravine the road goes winding away to Italy, past the villages of
Poschiavo and Le Prese: above, the eternal snows; below, the soft,
blooming valley, lovely as a smile of Spring, and in the distance even a
hint of sunny Italy, for you gaze afar off upon its mountains wistfully,
and feel like Moses looking into the Promised Land.

Everywhere are the brave little Alpine flowers. They are very dear, and
one learns to feel a peculiar tenderness towards them, as well as to be
astonished at their variety and abundance. There are many tiny ones
whose names I do not know, but their little star-faces smile at you from
amazingly rough, high places.

About the Edelweiss much fiction has been written. It is true that it
often grows in rather inaccessible spots, but it is not at all necessary
to peril one’s life in order to pluck it; and we must regretfully
abandon the pretty, old legend that the bold mountaineer, when he brings
the flower to his sweetheart, gives her also the proof of his valor and
devotion, and his willingness to risk all for her dear sake. It is
interesting and exciting to find these flowers,—they do grow at a noble
height,—and here in the Engadine, at this season, and in this vicinity,
they are rare. But, sweethearts, of all ages, sexes, and conditions, who
will shortly receive from me Edelweiss in letters, do not be
disappointed to hear that, though my hands were full to overflowing, I
plucked them in gay security, with my feet on firm ground; and there was
only one single place where it wasn’t pleasant to look down, or, to be
more impressive, where a yawning abyss threatened to ingulf me.

The Edelweiss is certainly very good to find and send home in a letter,
it is so suggestive of dangerous cliffs, horrible ravines, and immense
daring, as well as telling very sweetly its little story of blooming in
lonely beauty on the high Alps; but that any especial valor is required
to obtain it, is, if the truth be told, a mere fable.

And the last grain of romance vanishes when we hear that shrewd guides
bring the flowers down from their own heights, and set them in the path
of enthusiastic but not high-climbing ladies, who in their delight are
wildly lavish of fees. The Devil can quote Scripture for his purpose,
and the pure, precious little flower can be used as a trap by mercenary


Over the Albula Pass we came from St. Moritz to Chur, and when we went,
it was by the Julia. How grand we feel going over these great
mountain-passes, where Roman and German emperors, with all their vast
armies, their high hopes and ambitions, have trod, it is quite
impossible to express. The emperors are dead and gone, and we, an
insignificant but merry little party, ride demurely over the selfsame
route. Blessed thought that the mountains are meant for us as much as
they were for the emperors; that the beauty and grandeur and loveliness
of nature, everywhere, is our own to enjoy; that it has been waiting
through the ages, even for us, to this day! It is our own. No king or
conqueror has a larger claim.

This was one of the tranquil, joyous days that have so much in them,—a
day of clear thoughts, unwearying feet, unspeakable appreciation of
nature, and good-will towards humanity. There was a long, bright flood
of sunshine, with beautiful flakes of clouds floating before a fresh
mountain wind. The great mountains looked solemnly at us, and the happy
laugh of a little child-friend echoed through the sombre ravines.

We passed queer old villages; small dun cattle with antelope eyes and
fragrant breath; wise-looking goats; pastures that stretched out their
vivid green carpets on the mountain-side; and, above all, the great

We got some supper in a very grave little village. The woman who waited
upon us looked as if she had never smiled. This made us want somebody to
be funny. The other travellers were matter-of-fact Englishmen, some
heavy Jews, and particularly _eagle_-looking Americans. The little woman
gave us good coffee, sweet black-bread and sweeter butter, and eggs so
rich and fresh we felt that they would instantly transform our famishing
selves into Samsons. These eggs had chocolate-colored shells. The
Englishmen, the Eagles, and the Jews ate solemnly, as if they had eaten
brown eggs from their cradles. But we, with that curiosity which,
whatever it may be to others, is in our opinion our most invaluable
travelling companion,—of more profit and importance than all the
guide-books and maps, often more really helpful than friends who have
made what they call “the tour of Europe” three times,—inquired:—

“_Why_, do Swiss hens lay brown eggs?”

To this innocent inquiry the little woman with sombre mien replied that
she had boiled the eggs in our coffee. “Water was scarce, and she always
did it.”

Not discouraged, we remarked we would like to buy the hen that could lay
such rich, delicate eggs, and take her away in our travelling-bag. The
fire and the coffee-pot we might be able to establish elsewhere, but
that hen was a _rara avis_. This small pleasantry caused a little cold
ghost of a smile to flit over her lips, but it was gone in an instant,
and she was counting francs in her coffee-colored palm.

A night in Chur, then the next morning a short ride by rail, and we are
in Ragatz. Do you know what Ragatz is? It is, in the first place, to us
at least, a surprise; its name is so harsh and ugly, and the place is so
soft, pretty, and alluring. And coming from that wonderful, electrifying
St. Moritz air directly here, is like dropping from the North Pole to
the heart of the tropics. It is said the change should not be made too
suddenly, that one should stay a day or two on the route, which seems
reasonable. Happily our strength is not impaired by the new atmosphere,
but we feel very much amazed. We cannot at once recover ourselves.
There, it was, as somebody says, “always early morning.” Here, it is
“always afternoon.” There, we had broad outlooks, stern, rough lines,
and vast snow-fields. Here, we are in a lovely garden, luxuriant with
flowers. Grapes hang, rich and heavy, on the trellises. Shade-trees
droop over enticing walks and rustic seats. Oleanders and
pomegranate-trees, with their flame-colored tropical blossoms, stand in
long rows by the lawns. Children paddle about in tiny boats on little
lakes. Rustic bridges cross the stream here and there. A young English
girl, with golden hair so long and luxuriant that it rather unpleasantly
suggests Magdalen as it falls in great waves to the ground, sits
sketching, and wears a thin blue jaconet gown,—wonderful sight is that
blue jaconet! Only yesterday we left the region of sealskin sacques,
breakfast-shawls, and shivers.

The hotel is most charmingly situated. Did I ever recommend a hotel in
my life? It is a rash thing to do, but I feel impelled to advise people
to come here to the Quellenhof. _We_ live, not in the hotel proper, but
in one of the “dependencies,” the Hermitage, a kind of châlet. It is
delightful to live in a Hermitage, let me tell you. Fuchsias and asters
and scarlet geraniums make a glory about our door. Our windows and
balconies look on the lake just below. Great trees bend over us, and
green mountain slopes come down to meet us on the other side. Our
Hermitage is a quiet, restful nest. The people occupying the different
rooms go softly in and out. We never meet them. Marie, with her white
cap and white apron, opens the door for us as we stand under the
fuchsia-covered porch. We hear no hurrying steps, no waiters and bells,
or any hotel noises. Every moment we like our Hermitage better, and we
really think we own it. It is all very sweet and soft and lotus-eating
here, with balmy odors, and drowsy hum of bees, and mellow, golden
lights on the mountains. We feel as if a magician had touched us with
his wand, and whirled us off into another planet. No one can say that we
as a party have not a goodly share of the wisdom that takes things as
they come,—but Ragatz after St. Moritz!

That which drew us here is what draws everybody to Ragatz,—that is,
everybody who is not sent by a physician to drink the water and take the
baths,—the celebrated Pfaffer’s Gorge. It is well worth a long journey
and much fatigue and trouble. From Ragatz you walk through the little
village, then along a narrow road between immense limestone cliffs,
where the Tamina, that most audacious of mountain streams, hurls itself
angrily by you. The cliffs are in some places eight hundred feet high,
and the Gorge is often extremely narrow. You pass beneath the vast
overhanging rocks, the two sides leaning so far towards each other that
they almost meet in a natural bridge. It is cold, damp, and in gloom
where you are. You look up and see the trees and sunlight far, far above
you,—the rocks, at times, shut out the sky,—and the Tamina acts like a
mad thing that has broken loose, as it sweeps through the sombre Gorge.

After the walk,—I had no ideas of time or distance in regard to it;
everything else was so impressive these trifles were banished from my
mind,—we reached the hot springs, did what other people did, and were
greatly astonished.

A man had insisted upon putting shawls upon all the ladies of the party.
Another man now insists upon removing them. There is a cavern before you
which looks very black and Mephistophelian. Everybody slowly walks
in,—you too. It is dark where your feet tread. There are one or two men
with uncertain, wavering lights that seem designed to deceive the very
elect. You begin to dread snares and pitfalls. The atmosphere grows
hotter, more oppressive, and more suggestive every instant. You are
certain that you smell brimstone, and expect to see cloven hoofs. You go
but two or three steps, and remain but a few seconds, the temperature of
the cavern is so high, but you feel as if you were in the bowels of the
earth. A man with a light passes you a glass, and you fancy you are
going to drink molten lead or lava, or something appropriate to the
scene, and are rather disappointed to find it tastes uncommonly like hot
water, pure and simple.

Then you turn and go into the light of day, and everybody has a boiled
look, every face is covered with moisture; and the outer air sends such
a chill to your very soul, you bless the man whom a few moments before
you had scorned when he hung the ugly brown shawl on your shoulders. You
seize it with thankfulness, and back again you go between the massive
rocky walls with the Tamina shouting boisterously in your ears.

There is a bath-house near the Gorge for people who wish to take the
waters near their source. The sunlight touches it in the height of
summer only between ten and four. People go there and stay, why, I
cannot imagine, unless they have lost, or wish to lose, their senses.
The guide-books speak respectfully of its accommodations, but it is the
dreariest house I ever saw, with a monastic, or rather, prison look,
that is appalling; and the girl who brings you bread-and-butter and wine
looks at you with a reproving gloom in her eyes, as if all days _must_
be “dark and dreary.” We felt quite frivolous and out of place, lost our
appetite, grew somewhat frightened, and ran away as soon as possible.

The baths at the Quellenhof are pleasant, and the water, though conveyed
through a conduit two miles and a half long, loses very little of its
heat. It is perfectly clear, free from taste or smell, and resembles,
they say, the waters of Wildbad and Gastein. An eminent German physician
told us something the other day in regard to the efficacy of these
crowded baths here, there, and elsewhere in this part of the
world,—something that was both funny and unpleasant to believe. Although
it is not my theory but his plainly expressed opinion, I shall only
venture to whisper it for fear of offending somebody. He says it is not
by the peculiar efficacy of any particular kind of water that the
bathers in general are benefited, but by the simple virtue of pure water
freely used; that many people at home do not bathe habitually; and when
a daily bath for five or six weeks, in a place where they live simply
and breathe pure air, has invigorated them, they gratefully ascribe
their improvement to sulphur or iron or carbonic acid or some other
agent, which is really quite innocent of special interposition in their

Beside the baths and the Gorge and its ways of pleasantness in general,
Ragatz has many pretty walks along the hills between houses and gardens,
and up steep, zigzag forest-paths to the ruins of Freudenberg and
Wartenstein. A broad, sunny landscape lies before you,—the valley of the
Rhine, Falknis in the background, green pastures and still waters.
Blessed are the eyes that see what we see.


There was the rock upon which the Lorelei used to sit and comb her
golden hair, and sing her wondrous melodies, and lure men to
destruction? Near St. Graz, there have been and are, I suppose, Loreleis
enough in the world besides the famous maiden of the poem. We found an
admirable place for one, yesterday, on the top of the great rock that
stands quivering in the Falls of the Rhine. We had sent our heavy
luggage on to Zurich, with that wisdom which often characterizes us,
and, free as air except for hand-bags, went to see the Rhine Falls.

And first we saw Schaffhausen, which has a pretty, picturesque, mediæval
air, as it lies among the hills and vineyards on the banks of the Rhine.
It has its old cathedral, with the celebrated bell cast in 1486, which
bears the inscription that suggested to Schiller—as everybody knows—his
“Song of the Bell,”—“Vivas voco, mortuos plango, fulgura frango”; but
besides this there is not much to see except the tranquil landscape, and
that, fortunately, one does not lose by going farther.

Most people are, I presume, disappointed in the Falls of the Rhine. At
least, I know that many of my own countrymen pronounce them not worth
seeing “after Niagara.” But—dare I make this mortifying confession?—what
if it is not, “after Niagara”? What if Niagara is still to you in the
indefinite distance? It ought not to be, of course. (We all know very
well “nobody should go to Europe who has not seen Niagara.”) But what if
it _is_? Under such circumstances may not one find beauty here?

And even with the remembrance of Niagara clear in your mind, I do not
know why the Rhine Falls, so utterly different in character, may not
still be lovely.

Their height is estimated, including the rapids and whirlpools and all,
at about one hundred feet, which must be very generous measurement, and
they are three hundred and eighty feet broad. It may have been in part
owing to the exquisite atmosphere of the day we visited them, it may be
we expected too little on account of the tales our friends had told us,
but certainly we found them very lovely, and Nature seems to have given
their surroundings a peculiar grace. The shores are so extremely
pretty,—the high, bold cliff on one side, the soft green slopes on the
other; the row of tall, stiff poplars, that look as prim as the typical
New England housekeeper, and give the landscape that curiously neat
appearance, as if everything were swept and dusted. Then the rocks,
clothed with vines and moss and shrubs and little trees, rise with so
fine an effect in the midst of the white foaming waters.

We saw the falls from every point,—from above on the cliff; [what a pity
there isn’t a fine old, tumble-down, “ivy-mantled tower” there, instead
of the painted, restaurant-looking Schloss Laufen!] from the little
pavilion and platform at the side, where the foam dashes all over you,
and you are deafened by the roar; from the top of the central rock in
the falls; and from the Neuhausen side.

To go from shore to shore, just below the falls, is really quite an
adventure. Your funny flat-boat careens about in the most eccentric and
inconsequent manner; the spray envelops you; it all looks very
dangerous, and is not in the least. Still more eventful is a voyage to
the central rock, after which our boatman fastens his skiff—which is a
broad-bottomed scow, to be exact, but skiff sounds more
poetical—securely. You alight on the wet stones, ascend the rough steps
cut in the rock, and feel that you are doing a novel and interesting
thing. On the top, amid the shrubs and vines, where the Lorelei ought to
be, is only an upright iron rod. From here we thought the falls were
seen to the best advantage, and it was a delightful experience to be so
near and yet so far,—to stand so securely amid the foaming, seething
mass, to be actually in the deafening roar. Mother Nature was in a
complacent mood when she placed those rocks in the midst of the mighty
waters. But no,—she placed the rocks there long ago, and merely brought
Father Rhine towards them in later days. So say the wise.

There were myriads of rainbows in the spray. On one side was brilliant
sunshine flashing on soft fields and vine-covered hills; on the other,
as a most effective background, against which the whiteness of the foam
shone out, low black thunderclouds. It was a singular picture, with its
strongly contrasting hues. We could not help being glad that we had
never seen Niagara, we found so much here to delight in.

But, friends, a word of advice that comes from depths of sad experience.
See Niagara before you come here. At least, read up Niagara. Be
perfectly able to answer all questions as to Niagara’s height, breadth,
and volume, and the character of the emotions created in an appreciative
soul by seeing Niagara. If you cannot, you will suffer. Somebody will
ask you a Niagara question suddenly at a dinner-party, and you will
either reply with shame that you do not know, or with the courage of
despair you will make an utterly wild guess, and say something that
cannot possibly be true. There are a great many people in
Germany—extremely intelligent, and to whom it is a delight to listen—who
are wonders of information and appreciation when they talk about German
literature and German art; are also on easy terms with the ancient
Greeks, and possibly with Sanscrit; but when they approach America it is
as if that beloved land were an undiscovered country,—an “unsuspected
isle in far-off seas.” The one thing they positively know is that it has
a Niagara. Therefore arm yourselves with formidable statistics, and pass
unscathed and victorious through the inevitable volley of questions.
Personally, I feel that I owe Niagara a never-dying grudge; for, since
the harrowing examinations of school committees in my youthful days,
never have I been subjected to catechisms so pertinacious and
embarrassing as this pride of our land has caused me. I have succeeded
at last in fixing the main figures in my memory, but am always more or
less nervous when the examination threatens to embrace the adjacent
country. If it advances like heavy battalions, I can calmly meet it. But
when it comes like light cavalry, is brilliant and inclined to skirmish,
I tremble.

It is also well—may I add, for the benefit of young women contemplating
a sojourn in Europe?—to know the population of your native town, its
area, its distance from the coast, the length of the river upon which it
is situated,—above all, its latitude and longitude. This last is of
incalculable importance. It is safe to assume that the elderly German
who doesn’t instantly embark upon Niagara will eagerly plunge into
latitude and longitude. Perhaps you think you know all these things;
others equally confident have been rudely torn from their false
security. Of course it is what we all learned in the primary schools,
and we are expected to know it still; but it is astonishing what clouds
of uncertainty envelop the understanding when you are suddenly asked in
a foreign tongue, before eight or ten strangers, for the very simplest
facts. Men are so stupid about such things, you know! They never ask
where the May-flowers grow, where the prettiest walks are, where you
like to drive at sunset, from what point the light and shade on the
hills over the river is loveliest,—in fact, anything of real importance;
but always they demand these dreary statistics. Was there never a great
man who hated arithmetic?

At the Falls of the Rhine people, I regret to say, make money too
palpably. You buy a ticket of a young woman in a pavilion, and she says
it will take you over the foaming billows and back again. A man rows you
across,—or, rather, propels the boat in a remarkable manner to the
opposite shore,—when another man demands some more francs for allowing
you to stand on his platform, get very wet and very enthusiastic. You
ascend to Schloss Laufen, and pay a franc for looking at the Falls from
that point of view. Eager to see them from every possible place, you
come down and tell your ferryman to take you to the great rock, that
looks so tempting, so hazardous, so altogether enticing, with the foam
dashing against it. The boat, as it makes this passage, is the most
agitated object imaginable. You survey the Falls from the rock, and at
last are content. You gather a few leaves and some of the common flowers
that grow upon it, and you almost, from force of habit, give it also a
franc. Then the boat, with convulsive lurches and dippings and bobbings,
plunges through the rough waters, and finally you reach your original
point of embarkation. The ferryman, an innocent-looking blond,—your
innocent-looking blonds are invariably the worst kind of people to deal
with,—smilingly demands a fabulous number of francs, not alone because
he has taken you to the rock, which you knew was an extra, but for the
whole trip, for which you have already paid. You are afraid of losing
your train. Your friends are high on the bank, wildly beckoning, and
waving frantic handkerchiefs from afar. There is no time for
expostulation, and already fresh victims are filling the boat. You

    “Take, O boatman, thrice thy fee,”

which would be a greater comfort if he understood English as well as he
does extortion, and then you climb the steep bank and hurry after the
retreating figures. You depart impressed with the magnitude of the Falls
of the Rhine, and quite conscious of a not insignificant fall of francs
in your purse.


It is not wise to visit what are called the High Alps first and then
make the tour of the Swiss cities. This order should be reversed. From
loveliness we should ascend to grandeur, and not come down from Engadine
heights, and space and air, to cities, pretty lakes, purplish hills, and
white peaks in the background. If we were to see Switzerland again for
the first time—isn’t this a tolerably good Irishism?—and knew as much
about it as we do now,—which doesn’t by any means imply that we couldn’t
easily know more,—we would certainly not do as we have done, especially
if, as at present, we were expected to chronicle our emotions. The fact
is, when you come down from the heights there is a palpable ebb in your
impressions. How can it be otherwise? You glide in well-oiled grooves
over the regular routes of travel. You see what you have seen in
pictures and read of in books all your life. It is perfectly familiar,
and how can you have the audacity to be very diffuse about it?
Experiences in well-conducted hotels are not so suggestive as in the
rougher mountain life. It is all very comfortable, very lovely.
Strange—is it not?—that there come moments when one tires of the comfort
and is impatient with the loveliness, and longs for something
different,—for grand heights, even if the rocks towering to the skies
are fierce and cruel looking; for the depth of the gloomy ravines; for
the loneliness and cold of the gray, barren peaks; for the sense of
space, immensity, even when harshness goes with it!

We have, then, left the High Alps. We are now in the region of fine
hotels, brilliantly lighted rooms, flirtations on the piazza, and long
trains. We go where all the world goes, see what all the world sees,
fare sumptuously every day, and, whether we are arrayed in purple and
fine linen or not, at least we see other people so clothed upon.

Zurich, the busy, flourishing, learned Swiss town on its pretty lake, we
have just left, with its two rivers running up through the heart of it;
with its bridges and its pleasure-boats; the villages and orchards and
vineyards on the fertile banks of the lake as far as the eye can reach;
the lovely views of the Alps,—the perpendicular Reisettstock; the
Drusberg, “like a winding staircase”; the Kammlisstock; great horns in
the Rorstock chain; the pyramidal Bristenstock, which is on the St.
Gothard route; and many, many others, if the day be clear. Beautiful
views of land and lake you can get from different points here. It
certainly could have been nothing less than lack of amiability or lack
of taste that made us dissatisfied. Had we seen it first, we might have
been beside ourselves with delight. “Yes, it is very beautiful,” we say,
quite calmly, and it is; but—

Zurich was in short, to us, agreeable, but not fascinating. We liked it,
but left it without a regret. Our emotions were not largely called into
play by anything. Perhaps our liveliest sensation was occasioned by the
discovery that at that excellent hotel, the Baur au Lac, we were
formally requested to fee no one, a reasonable amount for service being
charged daily in the bill. This was a relief indeed. Often one would
gladly pay double the sum he gives in fees merely to escape the hungry
eyes and ever-ready palms. Another sensation was seeing Count Arnim. He
is quite gray, and looks delicate.

The people in the hotels are often a source of amusement to us. We
consider them fair game, when they are very comical, because—who
knows?—perhaps we also are amusing to them. Some faces, however, look
too bored and miserable to be amused by anything. It is very inelegant
never to be bored,—to like so many different people, ways, thoughts,
things. We often feel mortified that we are so much amused, but the
fault is ineradicable.

There is an Englishwoman of rank, whom we have met recently in our
wanderings,—exactly where I dare not tell. She comes every day to _table
d’hôte_ with a new bonnet, and each bonnet is more marvellously
self-assertive than its predecessor. She bears a well-known name. She is
my Lady E——ton; but if she were only Mrs. Stubbs from Vermont, I should
say she had more bonnets, more impudence, and more vulgar curiosity than
any woman I had ever seen. She seized the small boy of our party in her
clutches at dinner, where an unlucky chance placed him by her side, and
questioned him minutely and mercilessly during the six courses. Who was
his father? Who was his mother? Had he a sister? Had he a brother? What
did his father _do_? Where did he live, and how? Where did we come from?
Where were we going? How long were we going to stay? And what were all
our names? Was the young lady engaged to be married to the young man?
How old was the child’s mamma? How old were we all? And so on _ad
infinitum_. The boy, though old enough to feel indignant, was not old
enough to know how to escape, and so helplessly, with painful accuracy,
answered her questions; but on the very delicate point of age we were
providentially protected by a childish, honest “I don’t know.” Some of
us who are more worldly-wise and wicked than the little victim heartily
regretted fate had not given us instead of him to our lady of the
bonnets. It would have been so delicious to make her ribbons flutter
with amazement at the astonishing tales told by us in reply! Certainly,
under such circumstances, it is legitimate to call in a little
imagination to one’s aid.

Our cousins, the English, whom we meet on the Continent, are very much
like the little girl of the nursery-rhyme,—when they are good they are
“awfully good,” and when they are bad they are “horrid.” (No one is more
truly kind, refined, and charming than an agreeable Englishman or
Englishwoman; no one more utterly absurd than a disagreeable one.)
Possibly this impresses us the more strongly on account of the
cousinship. Aren’t our own unpleasant relatives invariably a thousand
times more odious to us than other people’s?

I saw a pantomime the other day which, though brief, was full of
meaning. A German lady and gentleman, quiet-looking, well-bred people,
were walking through a long hotel corridor. The gentleman stepped
forward in order to open the door of the _salon_ for the lady. From
another door emerges an Englishman with an unattractive face and dull,
pompous manner. He is also _en route_ for the _salon_, and, not noticing
the lady, steps between the two. The German throws open the door and
waits. The burly Englishman, solemn but gratified, accepting the
supposed courtesy as a perfectly fitting tribute from that inferior
being, a foreigner, to himself and the great English nation, pauses and
makes in acknowledgment a profound bow, which, being utterly superfluous
and unexpected, strikes the lady coming along rapidly to pass through
the doorway, and, naturally imagining the second gentleman, too, was
waiting for her, literally and with force _strikes_ her and nearly
annihilates her. The Englishman turns in utter wonder and gazes at the
lady. The three gaze at one another. Everybody says, “I beg your
pardon.” The Englishman, as the facts dawn upon his comprehension, has
the grace to turn very red, but has not the grace to laugh, which would
be the only sensible thing to do,—too sensible, apparently, for a man
who goes about thinking strange gentlemen will delight in smoothing his
path and opening doors for him. Of course, he ought to have known
instinctively, there was a lady in the case, as there always is. The two
Germans were too polite to laugh unless he would. But he did not even
smile, which proclaimed his stupidity more clearly than all which had
gone before; and presently three very constrained faces—one red and
sullen, two with dancing eyes and lips half bitten through—appeared in
the _salon_, which, this time, the lady entered first. It isn’t so very
funny to tell, but the scene was so funny to witness, it really seemed a
privilege to be the solitary spectator.

From Zurich on to Lucerne, with pretty pictures all the way from the car
windows. We anticipated feeling romantic here, but so far all we know is
that Lucerne looks very drab. It rains in torrents, a hopeless, heavy
flood. The lake does not smile at us, or dimple or ripple, as we have
read it is in the habit of doing. The mountains we ought to be seeing
don’t appear. The streets are shockingly muddy. We cannot go to see the
Lion; and as to the Rigi, upon which our hopes are set, there is small
chance that it will at present emerge from its clouds, and allow us to
behold from the Kulm the wonderful sunrise and sunset which many go out
for to see, but most, alas! in vain.

Great Pilatus tells us to hope for nothing. He is the barometer of the
region. He is very big and rugged and inspiring, and stands haughtily
apart from the other heights:—

    Shaking his cloudy tresses loose in air,
    Rises Pilatus with his windy pines.”

A popular rhyme runs to the effect that when Pilatus wears his cap only,
the day will be fair; when he puts on his collar, you may yet venture;
but if he wears his sword, you’d better stay at home. To-day he wears
cap, collar, sword,—in fact, is clothed with clouds, except for a moment
now and then, to his very feet. There are many old legends about Pilatus
and its caverns. One of the oldest is, that Pontius Pilate, banished
from Galilee, fled here, and in anguish and remorse threw himself into
the lake; hence the name of which the more matter-of-fact explanation is
_Mons Pileatus_, or “capped mountain.” If there were sunshine, we would
believe the latter simple and reasonable definition. Now, in this dreary
rain, we take a gloomy satisfaction in the dark tale of remorse,—the
darker, more desperate and tragic it is made, the better we like it.

Pilatus and the skies and wind and barometer, and fate itself,
apparently, are against us. But the Rigi is still there. Behind the
cloud is the sun still shining,—patience is genius, and—we wait.


Who was so wicked as to call Lucerne “drab”? If it were I, I don’t
remember it, and I never will acknowledge it, though the printed word
stare me in the face. After the rain it shone out in radiant colors,—the
pretty city with its quaint bridges, and the Venice-look of some of the
stone houses that rise directly from the lake; the water plashing softly
against their foundations, the little boats moored by their sides.
People who have seen Venice are at liberty to smile in a superior way if
they wish. We, who have not, will cherish our little fancies until
reality verifies them or proves them false.

And the lake,—

    “The Lake of the Four Forest Cantons, apparelled
    In light, and lingering like a village maiden
    Hid in the bosom of her native mountains,
    Then pouring all her life into another’s,
    Changing her name and being,”—

how lovely it is! Roaming there at sunset was an ever-memorable
delight:—the happy-looking people under the chestnut-trees on the shore,
the little boats dancing lightly about everywhere, the pleasant dip of
the oars, the chiming of evening bells; on one side, the city, with its
old watchtowers and slender spires; over the water, the piled-up purple
mountains, with the warm opaline sunset lights playing about them;
behind, the long range of pure-white peaks, catching the last rays of
the sun, glistening and gleaming gloriously, while the lower world sinks
into gloom, and even they at last grow dim and vague, and still we float
on in drowsy indolence.

The narrow covered bridges, the one where the faded old paintings
represent scenes from Swiss history, and the Mühlenbrücke with the
“Dance of Death” picture described in the “Golden Legend,” were both
interesting. Prince Henry and Elsie seemed to go by with all the stream
of life,—the soldiers, and peasant-girls, and monks, and workingmen in
blouses, and children with baskets on their backs; and queer old women
we met as we stood by the little shrine in the middle of the bridge,
peered in and saw the candles and flowers and crucifixes, or looked out
through the small windows upon the swift waters beneath. So faint and
obscure are many of the paintings, yet we found the ones we sought, and
saw the

      “Young man singing to a nun
    Who kneels at her devotions, but in kneeling
    Turns round to look at him; and Death, meanwhile,
    Is putting out the candles on the altar.”

The old church with the celebrated organ, which may be heard every
afternoon, has some carved wood and stained glass that people go to see.
Its churchyard, so little, so old, so pitifully crowded, is a sad place,
like all the cemeteries I have yet seen here. With their colored
ornaments and tinsel, their graves crowding one against another, and the
multitude of sad, black, attenuated little crosses that have such a
skeleton air, they are positively heartbreaking: they seem infinitely
more mournful and oppressive than ours at home, with their broad alleys,
stately trees, and the peace and beauty of their surroundings. There are
two new-made graves in the pavement here. You can’t help feeling sorry
they are so very crowded. They are covered with exquisite fresh flowers,
which the passer-by sprinkles from a font that stands near, thus giving
a blessing to the dead. We have had ample opportunity to observe all the
old monuments and epitaphs without voluntarily making a study of the
churchyard, for the way to and from our châlet led through it. To one
very ancient stone we felt positively grateful because its inscription
was funny:—

    “Here lies in Christ Jesus
      Josepha Dub
        Aged 91.”

We were glad to have Miss Dub’s somewhat prolonged life of
single-blessedness to smile over, so heavy otherwise was the atmosphere
of that little churchyard.

The celebrated Lion of Lucerne we found even more beautiful than we had
anticipated. It was larger and grander, and the photographs fail to
convey a true idea of it, and of the exact effect of the mass of rock
above it. It all comes before you suddenly,—the high perpendicular
sandstone rock, the grotto in which the dying Lion lies, pierced through
by a broken lance, his paw sheltering the Bourbon lily; the trees and
creeping plants on the very top of the cliff, at its base the deep dark
pool surrounded by trees and shrubs. The Lion is cut out of the natural
rock, a simple and impressive memorial in honor of the officers and
soldiers of the Swiss Guard who fell in defence of the Tuileries in
1792. They exhibit Thorwaldsen’s model in the little shop there, which
is one of the beguiling carved wood-ivory-amethyst places where, I
suppose, strong-souled people are never tempted, but we, invariably.
There are lovely heads of Thorwaldsen here, by the way, the most
satisfactory I have seen.

We live in a _pension_, a châlet on the banks of the lake. It has, like
most things, its advantages and disadvantages. From our balcony we look
out over shrubs and little trees upon the lovely lake and the mountains.
The establishment boasts numerous retainers, mostly maids of all work;
but our attention is drawn exclusively to a small, pale girl, whom we
call the “Marchioness,” and a small, pale boy, whom we call “Buttons.”
Why need such mites work so hard? Buttons is only fourteen, and he drags
heavy trunks about and moves furniture and does the work of two men,
besides running on all the errands, and blacking all the boots, and
waiting at the table.

If you ask him if things are not too heavy he smiles brightly and says,
“No, indeed!” with the air of a Hercules, so brave a heart has the
little man. So he goes about lifting and pulling and staggering under
heavy loads, and breathing hard, and he has a hollow cough that it makes
the heart ache to hear from such a child; and it does not require much
wisdom to know what is going to happen to _him_ before long,—poor little


Truth is mighty. We have been up the Rigi Railway, and in spite of the
beauty before our eyes, instead of experiencing grand and elevated
emotions, instead of remembering the words of some noble poet, instead
of doing anything we ought to have done, we could only, prompted by a
perverse spirit, say over and over to ourselves,—

    “General Gage was very brave,
      Very brave, particular;
    He galloped up a precipice,
      And down a perpendicular.”

Our Rigi experience, taken all in all, was an agreeable and a very
amusing outing. We had waited long till skies were fair enough for us to
venture, but at last Pilatus looked benign, and we had the loveliest of
sails across that lovely lake, Lucerne; happy sunlight falling on blue
water and exquisite shores, shadows of floating clouds reflected in the
depths; and all the noble army of mountains thronging before us, and
beside us, and behind us; bold barren hills rising sharply against rich
and varied foliage; superb white heights afar off. At Vitznau we waited
a short time for our train, and employed ourselves happily in watching a
great group of fruit-sellers, who stood with huge baskets of fine
grapes, and poor peaches, and figs, before the bench where we were
sitting. After the fashion of idle travellers, we audibly made our
comments upon the pretty scene:—

“If I had not already bought this fruit, I should buy it of that little
boy; I _always_ like to buy my fruit of little boys.”

“And if I had not already bought mine, I should buy it of the man with
the long tassel on his cap: I dote on buying fruit of good-looking young
men with tassels on their caps.”

Who could dream that this utterly inane conversation would be
understood? But the face of the youth with the tassel—he looked Italian,
although he was speaking German—suddenly gleamed and sparkled
mischievously, and showed a row of white teeth, as he pointed at his
head and touched his tassel and said, “Cap! cap!” with huge satisfaction
and pride. Not another English word could he say, but the similarity
between this and the German _Kappe_, and his quick intuition, told him
that we were alluding, and not unpleasantly, to him.

Traveller, beware! Don’t buy fresh figs at Vitznau. We each pursued one
to the bitter end; then politely presented what remained in our paper to
a small fruit-seller, to devour if she liked, or to sell over again to
the next guileless person who has never eaten fresh figs, and wants to
be Oriental. This civility on our part was received with laughter by the
whole group of men, women, and children, who all seemed to perfectly
appreciate the point of the joke. It at least was consoling. Being
cheated in buying fruit is an evil that can be borne, but it is an
utterly crushing sensation when people won’t smile at your jokes.

The carriage which was to take us up the precipice we surveyed with
curiosity and pleasure,—one broad car with open sides, affording perfect
command of the views, the seats running quite across it and turned
towards the locomotive, which, going up, runs behind. Between the
ordinary rails are two rails with teeth, upon which a cog-wheel in the
locomotive works. The train runs very slowly, only about three miles an
hour, which is both safe and favorable to enjoyment of the scenery, and
in case of accident the car can be instantly detached from the
locomotive and stopped. No one need think that I am giving these few
facts as information, the very last thing one wants to find in a letter
from Europe. I would not presume,—and of course almost everybody knows
how the Rigi Railway works; only, it happens, _I_ did not know, and I
mention these things merely to refresh my own memory.

So far as views are concerned, it is of course preferable to make the
ascent on foot. But where one is bewildered by the affluence of beauty
in Switzerland, one feels willing to sacrifice something of it to the
new experience of this curious ride. Some people, it is true, like to
_say_ they walked up the Rigi. But why shall we indulge in so small a
vanity, when we can easily indulge in a greater one,—several thousand
feet greater, in fact? When any one boasts, “I walked up the Rigi,” we
shall return quietly, “We ascended Piz Languard in the Engadine.” For
all the world knows the Rigi is only 5,905 feet high, and Piz Languard
is 10,715 feet. We felt that we could afford to ride up the Rigi, then.

It was all extremely spirited and enjoyable, and we could never forget
how strongly we resembled General Gage. The views were beautiful and
ever varying. The atmosphere was slightly hazy, so that the dark
Bürgenstock beyond the lake, which lay in loveliness before us, became
more and more shadowy as we ascended; and the Stanserhorn and Pilatus,
and all the Alps of the Uri, Engelberg, and Bernese Oberland, though
distinct, had yet the thinnest possible veil before their faces; and the
precipice above us was amazing to see, and the perpendicular reached
down, down into deep ravines, where the narrow waterfalls looked like
silver threads among the trees and bushes and gray, jagged rocks.

Reaching the hotels that stand on the tip-top of the Kulm, we went to
the one that had stoves, which is the Schreiber, for “bitter chill it
was.” We had barely time to see the whole magnificent prospect, before
the clouds closed in upon us, enveloping us in such a thoroughgoing way
that we could only allude to the sunset with shrieks of laughter. And up
to the time of the arrival of the latest train came pilgrims from every
quarter, also bent on seeing the sunset from the Rigi Kulm. Group after
group came up through the mist from the little station to the hotel,
everybody very merry over his own blighted hopes. Towards evening it
rained heavily, and there was nothing to do but amuse one’s self within
doors. This is not difficult at the Schreiber, an unusually large and
well arranged hotel. To find such spacious, brilliant _salons_ up here
is a surprise; and when you look about in them and see persons from many
different grades of society, many nations, and hear almost every
language of Europe, and realize that you are all here together on a
mountain-top and fairly in the clouds, it is quite entertaining enough
without the books and papers which are at your service. There were even
two Egyptian princes there. The small boy of our party, whom every one
notices and pets, and who, though speaking absolutely nothing but
English, has a miraculous way of being understood and of conversing
intimately with Russians, Poles, Greeks, etc., was on friendly terms
with the Egyptians at once, and, after five minutes’ acquaintance, had
made his usual demand for postage-stamps. By the grace of childhood much
is possible.

Truly this Rigi Kulm is a curious place. It is said the spectacle of
sunrise rarely deigns to appear before the expectant mortals who throng
there to see it. Half an hour before sunrise, in fair weather, an Alpine
horn rouses the sleepers, and people rush out, often in fantastic garb,
with blankets round them and a generally wild-Indian aspect. There is
actually a notice on every bed-room door in the Rigi Kulm House,
requesting guests to be good enough not to take the coverings from the
beds when they go to see the sunrise.

A strange, wild place was the Kulm as the night advanced. The wind
howled, and shrieked, and moaned, and witches on broomsticks flew round
and round the house and tapped noisily on our window-panes. If you don’t
believe it, stay there one night in a storm, and then you will believe
anything. But though storm and night and cloud encircled us, we saw
vividly, as we sank into our dreams, the whole superb
landscape,—forests, lakes, hills, towns, villages, plains, the waves of
mist in the valleys, the ever-changing light and shade, the little
fleecy clouds wreathing the glistening snowy peaks, the sunshine and the
glorious sky. The wide, calm picture was before us still.

It was a night of witchy noises, of starts and fears that we should
oversleep and so lose the sunrise, which, in spite of the storm, the
predictions of the weather-wise, and the promptings of common-sense, it
was impossible for our party not to confidently expect, so strong an
element in it was the sanguine temperament. From midnight on, one figure
or another might have been seen standing by the window, two excited,
staring eyes peering wildly through the shutters, anxious to discern the
first glimmerings of dawn; and from every restless nap we would awake
with a start, thinking we surely heard that “horn.” If the other people
were as absurd as we, they were quite absurd enough. That Rigi sunrise,
whether it comes or is only anticipated, is enough to shake a
constitution of iron.

But no horn sounded, and the lazy sun only struggled through the clouds
as late as eight o’clock, when the view once more opened before us,
grand and beautiful in the sudden gleam of morning sunshine. The Bernese
Alps magnificently white,—the Jungfrau, Finster-Aarhorn, many well-known
peaks in raiment of many colors; the lakes of Lucerne and Zug directly
below, and seven or eight more lakes visible,—in all, a beautiful
prospect, and remarkable from the fact that the gaze sweeps over an
expanse of three hundred miles.

Very soon the clouds rolled in again. Not a vestige of view remained,
and a persistent drizzle sent several car-loads of disappointed but
amused beings down the mountain. We all began to be sceptical about that
Rigi Kulm sunrise which we had heard described in glowing words. We were
inclined to doubt whether any one, even the oldest inhabitant, had ever
seen it.

Some writer says it is dismal on the Kulm in wet weather. I think if
there were only one poor, drenched, frozen mortal up there aspiring to
gaze upon the glory that is denied him, it would be dismal in the
extreme; but when so many, scores, hundreds, go, and so few attain their
object,—for the summit of the Rigi is often surrounded with clouds, even
in fairest weather,—it is not in the least dismal; on the contrary,
highly enlivening, and the trip well worth taking, though it end in

In the language of a young Russian gentleman who is learning English, “I
have made a little tripe, and enjoyed my little tripe delicious.”


We have been having in Stuttgart what an intensely loyal newspaper-pen
calls “Kaiser days.” That is, days in which the city has been glorified
by the imperial presence. We have been having, too, “Kaiser weather,”
for they say the hale old man whenever he comes brings with him sunshine
and clear skies. Before his arrival all was flutter and expectation.
Festoons and wreaths and inscriptions, waving banners, bright ribbons
and flowers, were everywhere displayed, giving the whole place a happy,
welcoming air. The decorations were extremely effective and graceful.
Königstrasse, the chief business street, looked like a bower. Lovely
great arches were thrown across it, and every building was gay with
garlands, flowers, and flags. The variety of the designs was as
noticeable as their beauty. Sometimes the colors of the Empire and those
of Würtemberg—the black, white, and red, and black and red—floated
together. Sometimes to these was added the Stuttgart city colors, black
and yellow. Many buildings displayed, with these three, the Prussian
black and white, while other great blocks had large flags of Prussia and
Würtemberg and the Empire as a centre ornament, and myriads of little
ones, representing all the German States, fluttering from every window.
One saw often the yellow and red of Baden, the green and white of
Saxony, the white and red of Hesse-Darmstadt, and the pretty, light-blue
and white of Bavaria, that always looks so innocent and girlish, amid so
much warlike red and bold yellow, as if it were meant for dainty
neckties and ribbons, and not for the colors of a nation. Many good
souls mourn that even now, after its consolidation, the German
Fatherland is so very much divided into little sections. Let them take
comfort where it may be found. Were not the rainbow hues of banners and
ribbons a goodly sight in the pleasant September sunshine? Ribbons, too,
have their uses, and these, of many colors, were a thousand times more
effective than any one flag duplicated again and again, even the stars
and stripes. Pretty and joyous were they, floating on the breeze: they
told tales of the different lands they represented, and it was no light
task at first to understand their languages, there were so very many of
them, such multitudes of brave little banners of brilliant hues, and all
to welcome the Kaiser.

“Hail to our Kaiser!” said one inscription,—“Welcome to Suabia!” Poems,
too, in golden letters fitly framed, were here and there waiting to meet
him and do him honor. But the prettiest greeting was the simplest: “To
the German Kaiser a _Schwäbisch Grüss Gott_,” which was over an
evergreen arch in the Königstrasse, and looked so very sturdy and honest
in the midst of all the pomp and the grand inscriptions that called him
Barbablanca, Imperator, and Triumphator. The house of General von
Schwarzkoppen, commander of the Würtemberg troops, and the house of the
Minister of War also, displayed, with the national colors, stacks of
arms of every description, from those of ancient times down to the
present day, at regular intervals between the windows, under long green
festoons. At the American Consul’s the flags of Germany hung with the
stars and stripes. Ears of corn and cornflowers, which are the Kaiser’s
_Lieblingsblumen_, were woven into the wreaths on one house. Everywhere
were evidences of busy fingers and happy ideas. At 4 P. M. of the 22d,
while a salute was thundering from the Schutzenhaus, the imperial extra
train entered the city. Even the locomotive looked conscious of
sustaining unwonted honors, proudly wearing a garland of oak-leaves
round the smokestack, and a circle of little fluttering flags.

At the moment the train came into the station the band accompanying the
guard of honor gave a brilliant greeting, to which was added the “Hoch”
of welcome. His imperial majesty the Kaiser descended from the car and
embraced his majesty the king, who was waiting on the platform to
receive him. While the crown prince, the grand dukes of Baden and
Mecklenbürg-Schwerin, Prince Karl of Prussia, Prince August of
Würtemberg, and other distinguished persons were coming out of the
train, the Kaiser stepped in front of the soldiers and greeted the
generals, ministers, and all the gentlemen of the court who were there,

Then the _Oberbürgermeister_, with committees in black coats and white
rosettes behind him, in behalf of the city, made his little speech,
which I will not quote because we all know what mayors have to say on
such occasions, and this was quite the proper thing, as mayors’
addresses always are. Indeed, if I only venture to give the first
half-dozen words, I fear that people who are not used to the German form
of expression will be alarmed, and will say gently, “Not any more at
present, thank you.”

“Allerdurchlauchtigster grossnädigster Kaiser and Konig allerguädigster
Herr!” This is the glorious way it began. Isn’t it fine? Can any one
look at that “allerdurchlauchtigster” without involuntarily making an
obeisance? Aren’t these words entirely appropriate to head a huge
procession of aldermen, and other pompous municipal boards, and do
credit to a great city? And wouldn’t you or I be a little intimidated if
any one should say them to us?

The Kaiser is, however, accustomed to having such epithets hurled at
him. He was therefore not dismayed, and replied somewhat as follows:—

    “This is the first time since the glorious war of the German
    nation that I have visited your city. I accept with pleasure the
    friendly reception which you have prepared for me, and heartily
    unite with you in the good wishes for our German Fatherland
    which you in your greeting have expressed. Until now we have
    only sowed, but the seed will spring up. In this I rely upon
    your king, who has ever loyally stood by my side. [Here he
    turned and extended his hand to the king. This as a dramatic
    ‘point’ was very good indeed.] Assure the city that I rejoice to
    be within its walls.”

After which were more and more “Hochs,” and then the _illustrissimi_
seated themselves in the carriages which were waiting to convey them
slowly through the crowded streets. Along the whole route where the
procession passed were fire-companies with glittering helmets, different
clubs and vereins, school-children,—the girls in white, with wreaths of
flowers to cast before the emperor,—and soldiers, all stationed in two
long lines. Through the alley so formed the carriages passed, and,
behind, the dense crowd reached to the houses.

The people seemed very eager to see the Kaiser, but their curiosity was
more strongly manifested than their enthusiasm, this first day of his
visit, at least so it appeared to us. The loyal Tagblatt, however, says
that the cries of the multitude rose to the skies in a deafening clamor,
or something equally strong. But our eyes and ears told us that while
the people continuously cheered, they were very temperate in their
demonstrations. There was more warmth and volume in the voices when they
greeted the crown prince. But Moltke alone kindled the real fire of
enthusiasm. They cheered him in a perfect abandonment of delight.
Hundreds of his old soldiers gave the great field-marshal far more
homage than they accorded the Kaiser. As soon as he came in sight there
was instantly something in the voices that one had missed before.

In the procession, first, were some of the city authorities, police and
city guard, mounted, preceding the carriage in which the Kaiser and king
rode. This was drawn by six white horses, with outriders in
scarlet-and-gold livery. The two sovereigns chatted together, and the
Kaiser looked in a friendly way upon the people, often acknowledging
their greetings by a military salute.

Next came the crown prince,—“the stately, thoroughly German hero, with
his dark-blond full beard,” says the German reporter,—and with him were
the grand duke of Baden and Adjutant Baldinger. Many carriages followed,
full of celebrities. Prince Karl of Prussia was there, Prince August von
Würtemberg, Prince of Hohenzollern, Princes Wilhelm and Hermann of
Saxe-Weimar. In the sixth carriage sat the great, silent Moltke, with
his calm face, received with storms of cheering, and he would put up his
hand with a deprecating gesture, as if to appease the tumult his
presence created. There were, besides, magnates and dignitaries of all
descriptions in the long train. Generals and majors and hofraths, counts
and dukes, men with well-known names, men recognized as brave and
brilliant soldiers; but it is scarcely expedient to tell who they all
are. My pen has so accustomed itself to-day to writing the names of
sovereigns, and to linger lovingly over the beautiful six-syllable words
that cluster round a throne, it has imbibed from these august sources a
lofty exclusiveness. It says it really can’t be expected to waste many
strokes on mere dukes. “Everybody of course cannot be born in the
purple,” it admits,—this it writes slowly with long, liberal sweeps,—“no
doubt counts and dukes are often very estimable people, but really, you
know, my dear, one must draw the line somewhere”; and it does not deny
that it feels “a certain antipathy towards discussing persons lower than
princes,”—which impressive word it makes very black and strong,—“except
in the mass.” And then it waves its aristocratic gold point in a way
that completely settles the matter. I am very sorry if anybody would
like to know the names, but it is such a tyrant I never know what it
will do next; and I really don’t dare say anything more about those poor
dukes, except to mention briefly that there were seventeen carriages
full of manly grace and chivalry, uniforms and decorations, scarlet, and
blue, and crimson, and gold, and white, blond mustaches, plumes, swords,
and titles.

When the line of carriages had passed over the appointed route, and all
the people had gazed and gazed to their heart’s content, the procession
approached the Residenz where Queen Olga received her imperial relative
and guest. He gave her his arm, and they vanished from the eyes of the
_ignobile vulgus_. This was an impressive and elevating moment; but it
is not curious to remember that after all, if the truth be told,
_allerdurchlauchtigster_ though he be, he is only her—Uncle William.

In the evening was a brilliant and large torch-light procession, and all
the world was out in merry mood. The illuminated fountains, the statues
and flowers in the pretty Schloss Platz, shone out in the gleam of
Bengal lights, which also revealed the sea of heads in the square in
front of the palace. A stalwart young workman stood near us with his
little fair-haired daughter perched on his shoulder. They did not know
how statuesque they looked in the rosy light, but we did. Much music,
many _Hochs_, and the edifying spectacle of all their majesties and
royal highnesses in a distinguished row on the balcony, for the
delectation of the masses, completed the joys of the evening.

If any one imagines for an instant that all this very valuable
information was obtained without much effort, and heroic endurance of
many evils, he is entirely mistaken. At such times, if you wish to see
anything, you must either be in and of the multitude, or you must look
from a window, which affords you only one point of view and curbs your
freedom, and doesn’t allow you to run from place to place in time to see
everything there is to be seen. At these dramas enacted by high-born
artists for the purpose of touching the hearts and awakening the zeal of
the lowly, there are no private boxes and reserved seats. We scorned the
trammelling window, and chose to mingle with our fellow-men, with our
fellow-butcher-and-baker boys, as well as with little knots of intrepid,
amused women, like ourselves. Upon the whole, we enjoyed it. We made
studies of human nature, and of policeman nature, which is often not by
any means human, but, as Sam Weller says, “on the contrary quite the

Policemen everywhere are glorious, awe-inspiring creatures. German
policemen are particularly magnificent. They wear such gay coats, and
are often such imposing, big blond men, it is impossible to look at them
without admiration. The way they thrust and push when they want to keep
a crowd within certain bounds is as ruthless as if they were huge
automata, with great far-reaching limbs that strike out and hew down
when the machinery is wound up. Practically they are successful; the
only trouble is, it is the innocent ones in front, pushed by the
pressure of the crowd behind, who are thrust back savagely, with a stern
“Zurück!” by the mighty men, and who are treated like dumb, driven
cattle. A friend who is always dauntless and always humorous, feeling
the weight of a heavy hand on her shoulder, and hearing a tempestuous
ejaculation in her ear, calmly looked the autocrat in the face, and with
gentle gravity said, “_Don’t_ be so cross!” at which the great being
actually smiled.

After that we thought perhaps these petty officials dressed in a little
brief authority only put on their crossness with their uniforms. Perhaps
at home with their wives and blue-eyed babies they may be quite docile.
They may even, here and there,—delicious idea!—be henpecked!

This was the sentiment expressed by a loyal German at the close of the
day: “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for I have
seen my Kaiser.”


It rained, in the first place, which was very inconsiderate of it;
rained on the race-course, on the school-girls in white muslin with
wreaths of flowers on their heads, on the peasants in their distinctive
dresses, making their full, white sleeves limp and shapeless, spotting
the scarlet-and-blue bodices of the maidens from the Steinlach Thal and
Black Forest; rained on the monkey-shows and negro minstrels, the Punch
and Judys, the beer-shops, booths, and benches, on the country people in
their best clothes, the city people in their worst, upon all that goes
to make up the Cannstadt Volksfest,—in short, upon the just and the

It was a beautiful experience to sit there in a waterproof, holding an
umbrella and seeing thousands of other people in waterproofs holding
umbrellas, on the raised circular seats that extended round the whole
great race-course, while, occupying the entire space, within the track
was a mass of men standing, also with umbrellas; but on account of our
elevated position we could see very little of the men, while the
umbrella effect was gigantic. It was like innumerable giant black
mushrooms growing in a bog.

And all the time the band opposite the empty royal pavilion played away
with great energy, while without this enclosure for the races, among the
surrounding booths and “shows,” country people were plunging ankle-deep
in the mud, and the violins that call the world to see the Fat Woman,
the accordion which the trained-dog man plays, the turbulent orchestras
of the small circuses, and the siren tones of the girl who sings for the
snake-charmer, united to make an ineffable Pandemonium.

This Volksfest was founded fifty years ago by Wilhelm, father of the
present king of Würtemberg, who did much to promote the agricultural
interests of his people, taking great personal interest in everything
appertaining to farming, stock, etc., giving prizes with his own hand
for the best vegetables and fruits, the largest, finest cattle,—for
excellence, in fact, in any department. Since then, it is an established
national event, that happens every year as regularly as September comes;
always attracting many foreigners, to whom it is amusing and
interesting, in the rare opportunities it affords of seeing many
distinctive features of Suabian peasant-life. It should be visited with
thick boots and no nerves, for the ground is as if the cattle upon a
thousand hills had come down in a great rage and trampled it into pits
and quagmires, and the noise is—utterly indescribable. To say that the
Volksfest combines the peculiar attractions of the Fourth of July, St.
Patrick’s Day, a State Fair, and Barnum, gives, perhaps, as correct a
notion of the powwow that reigns supreme, as any elaborate description
that might be made.

Yes, it is like entertainments of a similar grade with us,—like, yet
unlike. The elephant goes round, the band begins to play, the men in
front of the different tents roar and gesticulate and try to out-Herod
one another, the jolly little children go swinging round hilariously on
the great whirligigs, the man with the blacked face is the same
cheerful, merry, witty personage who charms the crowd at home. Indeed,
they are all quite the same, only they talk German, they are jollier and
fatter, they take their pleasure with more abandon, and there is one
vast expansive grin over the whole throng. Instead of the tall, thin
girl in book-muslin, who comes in from the country to see the circus,
clinging tight to her raw-boned lover’s hand, both looking painfully
conscious and not so happy as they ought, we have here, too, the country
sweethearts, but of another type. The peasant-girl and her _Schatz_,
broad, blissful, rosy, the most delicious personifications of
unconsciousness imaginable, go wandering about among the clanging and
clashing from the tents, the beer-drinking, the shouts and rollicking
laughter, and find it all a very elysium. Their happiness is as solid as
they themselves; and if there are other eyes and ears in the world than
those with which they drink in huge draughts of pleasure as palpably as
they take their beer from tall foaming tankards, they, at least, are
oblivious of them.

But we left it raining heavily, cruelly blighting our hopes. A Volksfest
with rain is a heartless mockery of fate, and a rainy Volksfest, when
there is a Kaiser to see, unspeakably aggravating. But the obnoxious
clouds being in German atmosphere naturally knew what etiquette demanded
of them, and respectively withdrew just as the pealing of the Cannstadt
bells announced his majesty’s approach; and as he and his suite rode
into the grounds, the sun, who had made up his mind to have a day of
retirement and was in consequence a little sulky about appearing, had
the courtier-like grace to try to assume a tolerably genial expression,
since he had burst unwillingly into the imperial presence.

The pavilion for the people of the court was filled with ladies in
brilliant toilets, with their attendant cavaliers, as the glittering
train rode towards it; the city guard in front, according to an old
custom, then the Kaiser and king side by side, and, after them, all the
princes and grand dukes, etc., whom we have had the honor of mentioning
more than once of late, and of seeing them often enough to look at them
critically and search for our individual favorites as they gallantly
gallop by. The enthusiasm of the multitude was immense, and the shouting
proved that peasants’ lungs are powerful organs.

After the horsemen came a line of open carriages, in the first of which
was the empress and her majesty Queen Olga; the latter looking, as
usual, pale, stately, gracious, and truly a queen. Princess Vera, the
Grand Duchess of Baden, and other ladies followed, and they all went
into the pavilion, while the Kaiser and king rode about among the
people, looking at models, machinery, animals,—and being scrutinized
themselves from the top of their helmets to their spurs, it is needless
to say.

Upon joining the ladies the crown prince took off his helmet, kissed the
queen’s hand, then his mother’s, which amiable gallantry we viewed with
deep appreciation and interest. The next thing to see was the prize
animals, which were led over the course past the pavilion, wearing
wreaths of flowers. Some vicious-looking bulls, their horns and feet
tied with strong ropes, and led by six men, regarded the scarlet of the
officers’ uniforms very doubtfully, as if they had half a mind to make a
rush at it, ropes or no ropes. There were pretty, white cows, who wore
their floral honors with a mild, bovine grace: and sheep with ribbons
floating from their tails, and a coquettish rose or two over their
brows, were attractive objects; but _pig_ perversity and ugliness so
adorned was too absurd.

The event of the day was the “gentlemen’s races,” as they are called,
being under the direction of a club, of which the Prince of Weimar is
president, and Prince Wilhelm a member. They were interesting, and the
whole picture gay and pleasing,—the flying horses, with their jockeys in
scarlet, yellow, and blue silk blouses; the pavilion full of bright
colors, the hundreds of banners waving in the breeze; beyond the
grounds, pretty groves, and the little Gothic church at Berg, well up on
the hill: but, as the Shah of Persia said when they wanted to have some
races in his honor at Berlin, “Really, it isn’t necessary. I already
know that one horse runs faster than another.”

There were two structures there which deserve special notice. When I
tell you that they were composed of ears of corn, apples, onions, etc.,
you will never imagine how artistic was the result, and I quite despair
of conveying an idea of their beauty. One was the music-stand, having on
the first floor an exhibition of prize fruits; above, the military bands
from the Uhlan and dragoon regiments; yet higher, a platform with tall
sheaves of wheat in the corners, and in the centre, upon a large base, a
column sixty feet high, perhaps, bearing on its summit a statue of
Concordia. But the walls of this little temple, and the lofty column
too, were all of vegetables, arranged with consummate skill on a firm
background of wood covered with evergreen. Imagine, if you can, a kind
of mosaic, with arabesques in bright colors; sometimes a solid white
background of onions, with intricate scrolls and waving lines of
deep-red apples, seemingly exactly of a size, ingeniously designed and
perfectly executed. It was quite wonderful to observe how firm and
compact and precise this vegetable architecture was; and surprising
enough to discover old friends of the kitchen-garden looking at us
proudly from this thing of beauty. Golden traceries of corn, elaborate
figures in cranberries, æsthetic turnips and idealized beets,—all the
products of Würtemberg soil, in fact,—utilized in a masterly way, and
all as firm and sharp in outline as if carved out of stone. A broad
triumphal arch fashioned in the same way was quite as much of a marvel,
and most effective as one of the gates of entrance.

After the races the Kaiser rode away in an open carriage with the king,
and that was the last we saw of this attractive old gentleman, with his
genial, kindly, honest face, and simple, soldierly ways,—in his
freshness and strength certainly a wonderful old man, whatever
newspapers and political writers may say of him. They say his private
life is simple in the extreme; that his library is only a collection of
military works; that he carefully keeps everything that is ever given
him, even sugar rabbits that the children in the family give him at
Easter. It is said that once, in Alsace, in the midst of the excitement
over him and the celebration, he noticed a little boy all alone in the
streets crying bitterly, and called to him. “What’s the matter, little
man?” said the Kaiser.

“Matter enough,” replies the exasperated child. “This confounded emperor
is the matter. They’re making such a fuss about him, my ma’s gone and
forgotten my birthday.” The next day the boy received a portrait of the
Kaiser, richly framed, with the inscription,—

“From the Emperor of Germany to the little boy who lost his birthday.”

After the line of carriages drove off, the cavalcade formed again, led
this time by the crown prince and the Grand Duke of Baden; and they
galloped over the course and out of the west gate in a very spirited
way, to the great delight of the people, who shouted and cheered most
frantically. Is anybody weary of hearing about these distinguished
riders? We are a little tired of them ourselves, it must be confessed,
goodly sights though they be. But now they are quite gone, and the last
remembrance we have of them is the fall of their horses’ hoofs, the
glittering of metal, and the waving of plumes as they swept through the
pretty arched gateway, stately and effective to the last.

The rollicking spirit of the Volksfest at evening, stimulated by
unlimited beer, was a wonderful thing to observe. We stayed to see it by
lantern-light, in order to be intimately acquainted with its merriest
phases, and the noise of it rings in our ears yet, though now the _Fest_
is quite over, the _Volks_ are gone to their homes, the hurly-burly’s


Our milkwoman is a person of importance in her village. This we did not
know till recently, though we were quite aware of our good fortune in
getting excellent milk and rich cream daily; and we had had occasion to
admire her rosy cheeks and broad, solid row of white teeth,—in fact, had
already laid a foundation of respect for her, upon which a recent event
has induced us to build largely. A very comely, honest woman we always
thought her; but when she came smilingly one morning, and invited us,
one and all, out to her vineyards, to eat as many grapes as we could, to
help gather them if we wished, to see her _Mann_ and all her family, and
to investigate the subject of wine-making, we were unanimously convinced
her equal was not to be found in any village in Würtemberg, and the
invitation was accepted with enthusiastic acclamations.

We were much edified to learn that the condition of things demanded a
certain etiquette. We were to visit people of inferior station, we were
told, and, in return for their hospitality, must take unto them gifts.
The idea struck us, of course, as highly commendable, and we declared
ourselves ready to do the correct thing. But we were quite aghast to
learn that a large sausage should be offered to our hostess,—in fact,
that this object would be expected by her; that it actually was lurking
behind the pretty invitation to come to see her under her own vine and
fig-tree. A sudden silence fell upon our little party at the
breakfast-table. It really did seem as if something else might more
fitly express our grateful appreciation and kind wishes.

One little lady spoke:—

“A horrid sausage! Why can’t we take something nice,—cold tongue, and
chocolate-cakes with cream in them, for instance?”

“O, yes, _do_,” says our German friend, with a sardonic expression. “By
all means give our Suabian peasants chocolate-cakes; but then what will
they have to _eat_?” she demands, grimly.

“Why, chocolate-cakes, to be sure,” says Miss Innocence. With a
withering air of half-concealed contempt, the very clever German girl
endeavors to present to the mind of the little lady from New York—who
lives chiefly on sweets—the reasons why chocolate-cake and the Suabian
peasant are, so to speak, incompatible. Among other things, she remarked
that he could devour a dozen cakes and be quite unaware that he had
eaten anything; that his hard-working day must be sustained by something
solid; that the sausage was a support, a solace, a true and tried
friend; and, last and strongest argument, he _liked_ sausage better than
anything else in the world.

We felt disturbed. There was a great disappointing discrepancy
somewhere. Going out to the vineyards, even in anticipation, had a ring
of poetry in it, while sausage—is sausage the world over. Nevertheless,
to the sausage we succumbed, and a hideous one, as long as your arm and
as big, was a carefully guarded member of our party to the vineyard the
next day. Fireworks, too, we carried,—why, you will see later; and so,
_dona ferentes_, we went out to Untertürkheim by rail, a ride of fifteen
minutes from Stuttgart.

The smile, teeth, and cheeks of our hostess were visible from afar as we
drew near the station. She beamed on us warmly, and led us in triumph
through the village, which was everywhere a busy, pretty scene; long
yellow strings of ears of corn hanging out to dry on nearly every house,
and the narrow streets full of the unwonted bustle incident to the

Great vats of grape-juice; wine-presses in active operation, some of
which were sensible, improved, modern-looking things, some primitive as
can be imagined; the well-to-do people using the modern improvements,
while their humbler neighbors employed small boys, who danced a
perpetual jig in broad, low tubs placed above the large vats that
received the juice. We ascended the little ladders at the side of the
vats, to satisfy ourselves as to the kind of feet with which the grapes
were being pressed, “the bare white feet of laughing girls” being, of
course, the picture before our mind’s eye. What we actually saw was, in
some cases, a special kind of wooden shoe, and in others ordinary,
well-worn leather boots! These solemn small boys in tubs, their heads
and shoulders bobbing up and down before our eyes as they energetically
stamped and jumped and crushed the yielding mass, filled us with such
utter amazement at the time that we forgot to laugh, but they are now an
irresistibly comical remembrance. Their intense gravity was remarkable.
It would seem as if the ordinary small boy, who can legitimately jump
upon _anything_ until all the life is crushed out of it, ought to be
happy. Perhaps these were, with a happiness too deep for smiles. And
perhaps—which is more likely—it was hard work, and they realized it
meant business for their papas, and they must spring and jump with zeal,
and there was no play in the matter. One child of ten or so had such a
dignified, important air, as he stood at the side of his tub, into which
his father was pouring grapes! He looked like an artist conscious of
power waiting for his time, knowing that immense results would depend
upon his antics. Let me mention with pride that our milkwoman’s _Mann_
owns the largest press in the place, and her stalwart, pinky brother
works it. So pink a mortal never was seen. He exhibited the mechanism of
the press with tolerable clearness, though seriously incommoded by
blushes. We thought he would vanish in a flame before our eyes. But,
observing he grew pinker each time we addressed him, we wickedly
prolonged the interview as long as possible.

Then up the hill we went, through narrow, steep paths, with vineyards on
every side of us, in which men, women, and children were working busily.
We met constantly long files of young men and maidens, carrying great
baskets of grapes down to the village, all of whom gave us a cheery
Grüss Gott.

We found the whole family in the vineyard working away busily, filling
the huge, long, narrow baskets, which the men carry on their backs by a
strap over the shoulders. They welcomed us cordially, and bade us eat as
many grapes as we could, which we all with one accord, with great
earnestness and simplicity, _did_. If you have never eaten grapes in a
vineyard, perhaps you don’t know how fastidious and dainty you become,
how you take one grape here, one there, select the finest from a
cluster, then toss the remainder into the basket. Deliciously cool and
fresh, with a wonderful bloom on them, were they, and, together with the
crisp autumn air, the busy bare-headed peasants working in all the
vineyards as far as we could see, Untertürkheim lying under the hill,
and the little bridge across the narrow Neckar, they filled us with an
innocent sort of intoxication. The brilliant Malagas with a touch of
flame on them in the sunlight, white ones beyond, and rich black-purple
clusters, lured us on. If the amount consumed by the foreign invaders
during the first half-hour could be computed, it would seem a fabulous
quantity to mention. We would indeed prefer to let it remain in
uncertainty, one of those interesting unsolved historical problems about
which great minds differ. But it was not in the least matter-of-fact
eating; on the contrary, a most refined and elevated feasting upon
fruits fit for the gods.

And then we worked, with an energy that won for us the goodman’s
wondering admiration, until every grape was gathered. Never before had
the vines been cleared so fast, said our grateful host. From above and
below and everywhere around came the sound of pistols and fireworks,
each demonstration indicating that some one had gathered all his grapes.
Now was the fitting moment for the presentation of the sausage, which
was gracefully transferred from the nook where it was blushing unseen to
the hands of our host, and was graciously, even tenderly, received.
After which we devoted ourselves to pyrotechnic pursuits, and, this
being a novel experience, we all burned our fingers, and nearly
destroyed our friend the pinky man by directing, unwittingly, a fiery
serpent quite in his face.

Then down, down over the hill through the thread-like paths between the
vineyards, through the village in the twilight, where every one is still
busy and the small boys still dancing away for dear life,
suggesting—like Ichabod Crane, was it not?—“that blessed patron of the
dance, St. Vitus,” and past the great fountain, with the statue of the
Turk grimly rising above half a dozen girls, slowly filling their
buckets (you will never know what wise remarks on the “situation” that
Turk occasioned), we sauntered along to the station, and presently the
train whisked us away from the village and the gloaming and the pretty
autumn scene, so real, so merry, so innocent, so healthy, and
picturesque. Night and the city lights succeeded the twilight in the
village. Our hearts bore pleasant memories and our hands baskets of
grapes, given us at the last moment by that excellent and most sagacious
person, our milkwoman.

We hope we were not straying from the true fold, but certainly our views
on the temperance, or rather the total-abstinence, question were quite
lax as we returned to Stuttgart that evening. The water in Germany is
often so unpleasant and impure one learns to regard it as an
undesirable, not to say noxious and immoral beverage, while the light
native wines in contrast seem as innocent as water ought to be. And what
is the strictest teetotaler to do when positively ordered by the best
physicians not to drink the water here, under penalty of serious
consequences in the shape of a variety of disorders? American
school-girls, who persist in taking water because the home habit is too
strong to be at once broken off, have an amusing way of examining their
pretty throats from time to time to see if they are beginning to
enlarge, for the _goitre_ is hinted at (whether with reason or not I do
not know) as one of the possible evil effects of continued
water-drinking in South Germany. It would seem that even the Crusaders
would here yield to the stern facts, and at least color the water with
the juice of the grapes that grow in their beauty on the hillsides
everywhere around. And certainly _we_ may be pardoned for taking an
extraordinary interest in this year’s vintage; for have we not toiled
with our own hands in the vineyards on the Neckar’s banks, did we not
see with our own eyes _those boots_, and is it not now the fitting time
for the spirit of ’76 to make our hearts glad?


A poet’s study, when he has lain in his grave but one short year, and
the character and peculiarities which his presence gave to his
surroundings are yet undisturbed, is a sacred spot. In light mood, ready
to be agreeably entertained, we went out to pleasant Cannstadt to see
Freiligrath’s books, and even in crossing the threshold of his library
the careless words died on our lips, so strong a personality has the
room, so heavy was the atmosphere with associations and memories of a
man who had lived and loved and toiled and suffered.

How much rooms have to say for themselves, indeed! How they catch tricks
and ways from their occupants! How faultily faultless and repellent are
some, how strangely some charm us and appeal to us! This room of
Freiligrath’s speaks in touching little ways of the man who lived there
and loved it, as plainly as a young girl’s room tells a sweet, innocent
story while the breeze moves its snowy curtains, beneath which in his
golden cage a canary trills, and the sunshine steals in on the low
chair, the bit of unfinished work, the handful of violets in a glass,
the book opened at a favorite poem. The girl is gone, but the room is as
warm from her presence as the glove that has just been drawn from her
hand. Freiligrath sleeps in the Cannstadt _Friedhof_, where for a
thousand years the sturdy little church, with its red roof and square
tower, has watched by the silent ones; but his chair is drawn up by the
great study-table, the familiar things he loved are as he left them, and
his presence is missed even by them who knew him not. It is, perhaps,
this air of having been touched by a _loving_ hand, that impresses one
especially in the arrangements here,—a corner room, looking north and
east, having two windows, through which air and sunshine freely come,
and from which the poet used to gaze upon a landscape lovely as a dream;
far extended, tranquil, idyllic, in the distance, the Suabian Alps,
rising against the horizon beyond long, soft slopes of fertile lands
crowned by vineyards, and broad, sunny meadows intersected by lines of
the martial poplar; a glimpse of the lovely, wooded heights of the park
of the “Wilhelma,” that “stately pleasure dome,” which King Wilhelm of
Würtemberg decreed, and the Neckar close by, rushing over its dam, and
sweeping beneath the picturesque stone bridge with its fine arches, and
flowing on past the old mill and quaint gables of Cannstadt to meet the
distant Rhine. How Freiligrath must have loved the sound of the water
that sang to him ever, night and day, not loud but continuously,
soothing him as a cradle-song soothes a weary child, in these latter
years at quiet Cannstadt after his life-struggles, and fever, and pain!
They say he loved it well, and that he would often rise from his work
and stand long by the window, looking out on the singing water and the
peaceful landscape, watching it as we watch a loved face that has for us
a new, tender grace with every moment.

The room does not look like the abode of a solitary man. The easy-chairs
seem accustomed to be drawn near one another for a cosy chat between
friends, and the expression of all things is genial, _gemüthlich_. Not a
bookworm, not simply a great intellect lost in his own pursuits,
forgetting the world outside, but a strong, warm heart throbbing for
humanity, must have been the genius of a room like this.

Under his table lies a deerskin rug, a trophy of his son Wolfgang’s
prowess in the chase. On the walls are pictures of different sizes,
irregularly hung in irregular places, and each one seems to say, “I was
selected from all others of my kind because Freiligrath loved me.” They
are mostly heads of his favorite authors and poets, small pictures as a
rule,—the one of Schiller sitting by the open vine-clad window,—Goethe,
Heine, Uhland, and many more of the chief poets of Germany; Byron,
several of Longfellow and the Howitts (dear friends of Freiligrath),
Burns, Burns’s sons and the Burns Cottage, Goldsmith, Carlyle, Jean
Paul; a small colored picture of Walter Scott bending his gentle face
over his writing in front of a great stained-glass window in the armory
at Abbotsford; a cast of the Shakespeare mask; a few scenes from Soest,
a picturesque old town, where Freiligrath was, when a boy, apprenticed
to a merchant; a lock of Schiller’s hair,—quite red,—with an autograph
letter; a lock of Goethe’s hair, which is dusky brown, with letters, and
an unpublished verse written for a lottery at a fair in Weimar:—

    “Manches herrliche der Welt
    Ist in Krieg and Streit zerronnen;
    Wer beschützet and erhält
    Hat das schönste Loos gewonnen.”


    _Weimar_, d. 3 Sept. 1826.

Madame Freiligrath was Ida Melos, daughter of Professor Melos of Weimar,
and when a child was an especial pet of Goethe. She and her sister tell
many pleasant anecdotes of their life there, and of their playfellows,
Goethe’s grandchildren, with whom they have always been on terms of
close intimacy; and of Goethe as a beautiful old man, smiling and
throwing bonbons from his window to the group of children at play in the
garden below. Mrs. Freiligrath told us she was a tall, mature girl, with
a wise, grave look far beyond her years, and they always made her enact
Mignon in the _tableaux vivants_. She was so young she did not know what
it was all about, but she “remembers she liked wearing the wings.” Two
gentlewomen, speaking with a tender sadness of their long, eventful
lives, telling us of associations with some of the leading spirits of
the age, charming in their stories of the past, appreciative of all that
is best in the latest literature, they harmonize well with the quiet old
house where they graciously dispense their hospitality.

Gently and gravely they showed us the treasures of the library, which
probably during the spring will come under the auctioneer’s hammer, and
be scattered through the world. Seeing it in its completeness,—seven or
eight thousand volumes amassed through the skill and patience of a true
book-lover, who allowed himself in his frugal life the one luxury of a
rich binding now and then, and who had a perfect genius for discovering
rare old books hidden away in dusty odd corners in London bookshops,
being, in this respect, as his friend Wallesrode says, in a recent
article in “Ueber Land and Meer,” a real “Sunday child,”—one must regret
it cannot be preserved intact, and given as a Freiligrath memorial to
some college.

There are first editions here, which on account of their rareness could
command from connoisseurs their weight in gold: Schiller’s “Robbers,”
Frankfort and Leipsic, 1781, first edition; the second edition, 1782,
and many other early editions of Schiller’s works, small, rough,
curious-looking, precious books: also, first edition Goethe’s “Gotz von
Berlichingen,” 1773; “Werther,” Leipsic, 1774. The German and English
classics stand in noble, stately rows, with much of value in Italian,
French, and Spanish. The English collection is especially rich, however.
There is a “Hudibras,” first edition, 1662; “Rasselas,” first edition; a
“Don Quixote” with Thackeray’s autograph on the fly-leaf, written in
Trinity College; and there are “Elzevirs” of 1640-47. The ballads,
legends, Eastern fairy-tales, and imaginative lore are very attractive.
There is a fine selection of works on German, French, English, Scotch,
and Irish dialects, in all of which Freiligrath was extremely
proficient. How many “Miltons” there are I do not dare say, and the
number is not important, since this does not pretend to be an inventory;
but there was a whole shelf of them, from the first edition on.

On the library-table lay superb volumes, bound in richest calf,—Beaumont
and Fletcher, London, 1679, in folio; Ben Jonson, 1631, folio; Spenser,
1611; Shakespeare, the rare folio of 1685, and many other valuable
Shakespeares. If only some one who knows how to love them will buy these
books! It seems like sacrilege to imagine them in the hands of the
unworthy or careless.

One could spend days, years, in that quiet room, with its subtle
influences and suggestions, surrounded by old friends on the shelves,
and by books that look as if they would deign to open their hearts to us
and become our friends also. And there must one ponder long upon the
varied life of the poet and patriot,—how Fate was always putting fetters
on his Pegasus, binding him as an apprentice as a boy in Soest, later
making him a clerk in a banking-house in Amsterdam, and forcing him
again to write at a clerk’s desk in London; and how, nevertheless, he
sang himself, as some one says of him, into the hearts of the German
people. They say he was so loved, and his face so well known through his
photographs, that often, upon going through a town where he personally
was unknown, the school-children in the streets would recognize him, and
instantly begin to sing poems of his that were set to music and sung
everywhere throughout Germany, particularly the well-known

    _O, lieb, so lang du lieben kannst!_
    “O, love, while love is left to thee!”

It is said, too, that once on a steamer, during the Franco-Prussian war,
a woman came up to him and suddenly put her arms round his neck and
kissed him. “That’s for Wolfgang in the field,” said she, having a son
herself at the front.

And after his struggles for freedom, the persecution he endured because
of his political principles and his immense influence upon the people,
after his flight into England and long exile, he came back finally,
honored and revered, to his native land, and spent his last years in
this peaceful abode. He breathed his last, like Goethe, sitting in his
chair. The Neckar still sang on, outside the vine-clad window. Within,
the poet’s voice was hushed forever.


Three funeral processions which have lately moved through Stuttgart
streets have awakened, on account of peculiar associations connected
with each, more attention and interest, more feeling I might perhaps
say, than we selfish beings usually accord to these mournful black
trains that mean _other_ people’s sorrows.

Of these three, the first was the train that bore the Herzog Eugen of
Würtemberg to his last resting-place. Young, popular, after Prinz
Wilhelm presumptive heir to the throne; the husband of the Princess
Vera,—who is the niece and adopted daughter of the queen, and according
to report a very lovable person,—he had apparently enough to make life
sweet at the moment he was called from it. Recently he went to
Düsseldorf to take command of a regiment there. The Princess Vera
remained at the Residenz in Stuttgart, but was intending to join him
immediately. A slight cold neglected,—a rich banquet followed by
night-air,—and suddenly all was over. He died after an illness of a day
or two, while the princess, summoned by a telegram, was on the train
half-way between Stuttgart and Düsseldorf.

The air is full of fables, and the common people “make great eyes” when
they speak of the poor duke, and dark hints of foul play, poison,
enemies, cabals, perfidy, delight all good souls with a taste for the
sensational. They, however, who have the slightest ground for _knowing_
anything about the matter, and, indeed, all rational people, declare it
was simply a cold, inflammation, congestion, such as makes havoc among
frail mortal flesh, and never draws any distinction in favor of blood

After the ceremonies at Düsseldorf came the solemn reception of the
remains here. Early in the evening the streets were thronged with an
immense but quiet, patiently waiting crowd, and, along the line where
the procession was to pass, burning tar cast a fitful light over the
mass of people: and the flickering flames, fanned by the night breeze,
now would illumine the Residenz and Schloss Platz and the fine outline
of the “Old Palace,” in the chapel of which the duke was to lie; now,
subsiding, would leave the scene in half gloom. The slow, sad voice of
the dirge announced the approach of the procession, the whole effect of
which was intensely solemn and impressive. Outriders with flickering
torches, the escort of cavalry, Uhlans of the Würtemberg regiment in
which he had served, floating streamers of black and white, the hearse
drawn by coal-black horses, slowly passing, with the loud ringing of all
the bells, made one hold one’s breath as the black figures went by in
the lurid light. The inevitable hour had, indeed, awaited him, and
snatched him from his worldly honors and family affection, and “der edle
Ritter,” in spite of all the “boast of heraldry and pomp of power” that
so lately had surrounded him, lay silent and cold, while the flames
burned strong and warm and the loud bells clanged, and he rode slowly on
to the chapel in the old castle, beneath which he now rests with others
of his race.

This is not the first sad, stately night-procession that has occurred
here. Wilhelm, father of the present king, was a strong, original
nature, averse to form, and gave strict orders concerning his own
burial. They were to bury him on a hill, some miles from the city,
between midnight and dawn, and simply fire one gun over him, he had
said. His son, however, while observing his wishes as to time and place
of burial, took care that the state and dignity of the procession should
befit royalty dethroned by death. At midnight the train left the palace,
and, with its long line of nobles, cavaliers, and soldiers, swept slowly
out of the city amid the constant ringing of bells and booming of
cannon, and wound through the soft summer night along the Neckar’s
banks, over the bridge at Cannstadt, while great fires blazed on every
hill-top, and the old king, in the majesty of death, was borne on, past
the fair vineyards and soft fertile slopes of the land he had loved so
well, to the Rothenberg, on the summit of which they laid him to rest
and fired one gun just as the morning star dropped below the horizon.

    “And had he not high honor?
    The hillside for his pall,
    To lie in state while angels wait
    With stars for tapers tall,
    And the dark rock-pines, like tossing plumes,
    Over his bier to wave—.”

Certainly, nothing less than the “Burial of Moses” can have been so
grand as this last dark ride of the strong old king! We behold the train
in its magnificent gloom winding along the Neckar and up the vine-clad
hillside, so often as we see its route, after nightfall. Dusky, stately
forms ride by, and the wail of the dirge sounds on the evening breeze.
Why may we not all be laid at rest at night? Sunlight is cruel to eyes
blinded by tears, and glaring day hurts grieved hearts. The Night is so
solemn and tender, why may she not help us bury our dead?

The next procession that we saw with earnest eyes, after the Duke
Eugen’s, was that of a student of the Polytechnic School, who died from
the effects of a sword-wound. There was no anger, no provocation,
nothing which according to the student code might perhaps soften the
memory of the deed. It was simply a trial of skill with the _Degen_, a
slender, murderous-looking sword. Both were expert fencers. The presence
of friends incited them to do their best. Their pride was roused;
neither would yield, and in the excitement one received a cut in the
head, from the effects of which he died in a few days. He was a
promising scholar and a favorite with the students, and the affair seems
very shocking in the cruel uselessness of such a death, though the more
bitter fate of course is his who unwittingly did the deed and must live
with the memory of it in his heart.

These student funerals occur now and then. We have had three or four
this winter. Our countrymen, not sympathizing with student ways and
student traditions, are sometimes apt to call such spectacles
“comedies,” but to us the comic element has never been apparent. First
come the musicians, playing a dirge,—on this last occasion a funeral
march from Beethoven. Near the hearse walk the students of the corps of
which the deceased had been a member. They wear their most elegant
uniform,—black velvet blouses or jackets, buff knee-breeches, high
boots, the cap and sash of the color which distinguishes the corps, long
buff gauntlets, and swords,—altogether quite striking. On the draped
coffin are the dead student’s cap, sash, and sword. The other corps walk
behind, the professors also, and friends.

The last funeral of the three was hardly grand enough to be called a
procession. It was only a few carriages winding slowly out to the new
_Friedhof_. A touching little story preceded it, perhaps not uncommon,
yet, to those who watched its close, invested with a peculiar pathos. A
young American girl came here last fall, with high hopes and unbounded
energy and courage. She was in the art-school, and it may be her eager
spirit forgot that bodies too must be cared for, and it may be that her
naturally frail constitution had been weakened by overwork before she
came; but at all events a cold, which she ignored in her zeal and
devotion to her studies, led to an illness from which she never
recovered. She was entirely alone and unknown, and at first no one
except the people in her _pension_ knew of her sickness. Patient,
uncomplaining, and reserved, she bore whatever came, and was finally
taken, as she grew worse, to a hospital, where she could command better
and more exclusive care. As the facts became known in the American
colony, she was ministered to most tenderly, and flowers and delicacies
of every description were sent daily to her little room at the _Olga
Heil Anstalt_. Indeed, the good sister who nursed her there found it
difficult to guard her from the visits and kindly proffered
administrations of newly made friends, who came full of tender sympathy
for the lonely girl. Of her loneliness she never made complaint. When
asked by our consul why she had not at once sent for him when she was
first ill, she replied, smilingly, “Because I knew you had quite enough
to do without taking care of me.” In fact, she sent for no one, and only
through accident did the English clergyman and the consul hear of her
case. And, lying in her bare room in a foreign hospital, hearing only
the foreign tongue of which she was not yet mistress, and at best, when
her countrywomen came to cheer her, seeing only new faces, instead of
her own home-people, her brave, bright smile was always ready to greet
the visitor, even when she was too languid to utter a word. Her one
confessed regret was that her illness took her from her art-studies; and
her eyes would beam with delight when a fellow-student in the art-school
would speak of it, of the professors, and the work there. Her whole
enthusiastic soul was absorbed in this theme, so that her suffering
seemed, to her, of no account in comparison with her high aims and
ideal. Utterly single-hearted, she lay there, brave and uncomplaining to
the last, and seemed the only one unconscious of the pathos of her
position. Her thoughts were so given to the beautiful pictures she
longed to make, and to the beautiful pictures others had made, she had
none at all left for the poor girl dying alone in a strange land, who
was filling so many eyes with tears and so many hearts with pain. She
faded away very gently, and, for a long time before her death, suffered
more from extreme languor than from acute distress. After it was all
over, there was a little, solemn service in the hospital chapel,
attended by the many who had interested themselves for her, and some of
the professors and pupils of the Kunst Schule, who added their exquisite
wreaths to the lovely flowers about her. And then she was taken to the
new _Friedhof_ and laid beneath the pavement of the Arcade, while a
little band of wanderers stood by—united, many of them, only through
their sympathy with her who was gone—and listened to the solemn words of
the English service, and looked thoughtfully out through the arches upon
a tender gray sky, a wide expanse of land—now almost an unbroken
surface, but one day to be filled with graves—and off upon the hills
rising softly beyond; and the last violets and tuberoses were strewn
upon her resting-place, and the little band separated, each going his
way, but in many hearts was a tender memory for the young girl whose
brief story was just ended,—a sad thought for her who never seemed sad
for herself.


A few days before Christmas the three kings from the Orient came
stealing up our stairs in the gloaming. They wore cheap white cotton
raiment over their ordinary work-a-day clothes, and gilt-paper crowns on
their heads. They were small, thin kings. Melchior’s crown was awry,
Kaspar felt very timid, and was continually stumbling over his train;
but Balthazar was brave as a lion, and nudged his royal brothers,—one of
whom was a girl, by the way,—putting courage into them with his elbows;
and the dear little souls sang their songs and got their pennies, and
their white robes vanished in the twilight as their majesties trudged on
towards the next house. There they would again stand in an uncertain,
tremulous row, and sing more or sing less, according to the reception
they met with, and put more or less pennies—generally less, poor
dears!—into their pockets. Poor, dear, shabby little wise men,—including
the one who was a girl,—you were potentates whom it was a pleasure to
see, and we trust you earned such an affluence of Christmas pennies that
you were in a state of ineffable bliss when, at last, freed from the
restraint of crowns and royal robes, you stood in your poor home before
your Christmas-tree. It may have been a barren thing, but to your happy
child-eyes no doubt it shone as the morning star and blossomed as the

Other apparitions foretelling the approach of Christmas visited us. One
was an old woman with cakes. Her prominent characteristic is staying
where she is put, or rather where she puts herself, which is usually
where she is not wanted. Buy a cake of this amiable old person, whose
breath (with all the respect due to age let it be said) smells
unquestionably of _schnapps_, and she will bless you with astounding
volubility. Her tongue whirls like a mill-wheel as she tearfully assures
us, “God will reward us,”—and _how_ she stays! Men may come and men may
go, but the old woman is still there, blessing away indefatigably. She
must possess, to a remarkable degree, those clinging qualities men
praise in woman. Indeed, her tendrils twine all over the house; and
when, through deep plots against a dear friend, we manage to lead her
out of our own apartment, it is not long before, through our dear
friend’s counter-plots, the old woman stands again in our doorway with
her great basket on her head, smiling and weeping and bobbing and
blessing as she offers her wares. Queer old woman, rare old
plant!—though you cannot be said to beautify, yet, twining and clinging
and staying forever like the ivy-green, you were not so attractive as
the little shadowy kings, but you, too, heralded Christmas; and may you
have had a comfortable time somewhere with sausage and whatever is
nearest your heart in these your latter days! That she is not a poetical
figure in the Christmas picture is neither her fault nor mine. She may,
ages ago, have had a thrilling story, now completely drowned in
_schnapps_, but that she exists, and sells cakes according to the manner
described, is all we ever shall know of her.

Then the cakes themselves—“genuine Nurembergers,” she called them—were
strange things to behold. Solid and brown, of manifold shapes and sizes,
wrapped in silver-paper, they looked impenetrable and mysterious. The
friends in council each seized a huge round one with an air as of
sailing off on a voyage of discovery, or of storming a fortress, and
nibbled away at it. As a massive whole it was strange and foreign, but
familiar things were gradually evolved. There was now and then a trace
of honey, a bit of an almond, a slice of citron, a flavor of vanilla, a
soupçon of orange.

Gazing out from behind her cake, one young woman remarks,

“It’s gingerbread with things in it.”

Another stops in her investigations with,—

“It is as hard as a brownstone front.”

“It’s delightful not to know in the least what’s coming next,” says
another. “I’ve just reached a stratum of jelly and am going deeper.

“Echt Nürnberger, echt Nürnberger!” croaked the old dame, still nodding,
still blessing; and so, meditatively eating her cakes, we gazed at her
and wondered if any one could possibly be as old as she looked, and if
she too were a product of “Nuremberg the ancient,” to which “quaint old
town of toil and traffic” we wandered off through the medium of
Longfellow’s poem, as every conscientious American in Europe is in duty
bound to do. It is always a comfort to go where he has led the way. We
are sure of experiencing the proper emotions. They are gently and
quietly instilled into us, and we never know they do not come of
themselves, until we happen to realize that some verse of his, familiar
to our childhood, has been haunting us all the time. What a pity he
never has written a poetical guide-book!

These unusual objects penetrating our quiet study hours told us
Christmas was coming, and the aspect of the Stuttgart streets also
proclaimed the glad tidings. They were a charming, merry sight. The
Christmas fair extended its huge length of booths and tables through the
narrow, quaint streets by the old _Stiftskirche_, reaching even up to
the _Königstrasse_, where great piles of furniture rose by the
pavements, threatening destruction to the passer-by. Thronging about the
tables, where everything in the world was for sale and all the world was
buying, could be seen many a dainty little lady in a costume fresh from
Paris; many a ruddy peasant-girl with braids and bodice, short gown and
bright stockings; many types of feature, and much confusion of tongues;
and you are crowded and jostled: but you like it all, for every face
wears the happy Christmas look that says so much.

These fairs are curious places, and have a benumbing effect upon the
brain. People come home with the most unheard-of purchases, which they
never seriously intended to buy. Perhaps a similar impulse to that which
makes one grasp a common inkstand in a burning house, and run and
deposit it far away in a place of safety, leads ladies to come from the
“Messe” with a wooden comb and a string of yellow-glass beads. In both
cases the intellect is temporarily absent, it would seem. Buy you must,
of course. What you buy, whether it be a white wooden chair, or a
child’s toy, or a broom, or a lace barbe, or a blue-glass breastpin,
seems to be pure chance. The country people, who come into the city
especially to buy, know what they want, and no doubt make judicious
purchases. But we, who go to gaze, to wonder, and to be amused, never
know why we buy anything, and, when we come home and recover our senses,
look at one another in amazement over our motley collections.

At this last fair a kind fate led us to a photograph table, where old
French beauties smiled at us, and all of Henry the VIII.’s hapless wives
gazed at us from their ruffs, and the old Greek philosophers looked as
if they could tell us a thing or two if they only would. The discovery
of this haven in the sea of incongruous things around us was a fortunate
accident. The photograph-man was henceforth our magnet. To him our
little family, individually and collectively, drifted, and day by day
the stock of Louise de la Vallieres, and Maintenons, and Heloises, and
Anne Boleyns, and Pompadours, and Sapphos, and Socrates, and Diogenes,
etc.,—(perfect likenesses of all of them, I am sure!)—increased in our
_pension_, where we compared purchases between the courses at dinner,
and made Archimedes and the duchess of Lamballe stand amicably side by
side against the soup-tureen. Halcyon, but, alas! fleeting days, when we
could buy these desirable works of art for ten _pfennig_, which, I
mention with satisfaction, is two and one half cents!

But, of all the Christmas sights, the Christmas-trees and the dolls were
the most striking. The trees marched about like Birnam Wood coming to
Dunsinane. There were solid family men going off with solid, respectable
trees, and servants in livery condescending to stalk away with trees of
the most lofty and aristocratic stature; and many a poor woman dragging
along a sickly, stunted child with one hand and a sickly, stunted tree
with the other.

As to the doll-world into which I have recently been permitted to
penetrate, all language, even aided by a generous use of
exclamation-points, fails to express its wondrous charm. A doll
kindergarten, with desks and models and blackboards, had a competent,
amiable, and elderly doll-instructress with spectacles. The younger
members were occupied with toys and diversions that would not fatigue
their infant minds, while the older ones pored over their books. They
had white pinafores, flaxen hair, plump cheeks. I think they were all

Then there were dolls who looked as if they lay on the sofa all day and
read French novels, and dolls that looked as if they were up with the
birds, hard-working, merry, and wise,—elegant, aristocratic countess
dolls, with trunks of fine raiment; and jolly little peasant dolls, with
long yellow braids hanging down their backs, and stout shoes, and a
general look of having trudged in from the Black Forest to see the great
city-world at Christmas. Such variety of expression, so many phases of
doll-nature,—for nature they have in Germany! And in front of two
especially alluring windows, where bright lights streamed upon fanciful
decorations, toys, and a wonderful world of dolls, was always a great
group of children. Once, in the early evening, they fairly blockaded the
pavement and reached far into the street, wide-eyed, open-mouthed, not
talking much, merely devouring those enchanted windows with their eager
eyes; some wishing, some not daring to wish, but worshipping only, like
pale, rapt devotees. And we others, who labor under the disadvantage of
being “grown up,” looked at the pretty doll-world within the windows and
the lovely child-world without, and wished that old Christmas might
bring to each of us the doll we want, and never, never let us know that
it is stuffed with sawdust.


It seems almost like having been in two places at once to be able to
tell from observation a Christmas Tale of Two Cities. First there was
Stuttgart, where the sun was pouring down warm and summerish on the
hills around the city, and where we were borne away on the glad tide
that went sweeping along towards Christmas under the fairest skies that
ever smiled on saint or sinner in mid-winter, until it grew so near the
time we almost heard the Christmas bells. And then there was Hamburg, to
which place—having consigned ourselves to the tender mercies of a
sleeping coupé—we went rushing off through the night, and found the
dear, glad Christmas just going to happen there, too, and the great
Northern city seemed very noisy and bold and out-in-the-world after
Stuttgart, nestled so snugly among its hills.

Hamburg has, however, its quiet spots, if you seek them under the great
elms in the suburbs, or among the quaint streets in the oldest portions
of the city. One of the very stillest places is a paved court by St.
George’s Church, where the little, old houses of one story all look
towards three great crosses in an octagonal enclosure, on which Christ
and the two thieves hang, and Mary and John stand weeping below. It has
always been still there when we have passed through, though close to the
busy streets. It is a place with a history, I am sure. Indeed, what
place is not? But it is reticent and knows how to keep its secrets.
Perhaps Dickens might have made something out of the grave, small houses
that have been staring at the crosses so many long years.

A very good place for moralizing, too, is down by the Elbe, where the
great ships from all quarters of the earth lie, and you hear Dutch and
Danish sailors talking, and don’t understand a word. There commerce
seems a mighty thing, and the world grows appallingly great, and you
feel of as much importance in it as the small cat who sits meditatively
licking her paws down on the tug-boat just below you.

But this was to be more or less about Christmas. Christmas in general is
something about which there is nothing to say, because it sings its own
songs without words in all our hearts; but a story of one particular
Christmas may not be amiss here, since it tells of a pretty and graceful
welcome which Germans knew how to give to a wanderer,—a welcome in which
tones of tenderness were underlying the merriment, and delicate
consideration shaped the whole plan.

In a room radiant, not with one Christmas-tree, but with five,—a whole
one for each person being the generous allowance,—stood a lordly fir,
glistening with long icicles of glass, resplendent with ornaments of
scarlet and gold and white. The stars and stripes floated proudly from
its top; unmistakable cherries of that delectable substance, Marzipan,
hung in profusion from its branches; and at its base stood the Father of
his Country. George, on this occasion, was a doll of inexpressibly
fascinating mien, arrayed in a violet velvet coat, white satin waistcoat
and knee-breeches, lace ruffles, silver buckles, white wig, and
three-cornered hat, and wearing that dignified, imperturbable
Washingtonian expression of countenance which one would not have
believed could be produced on a foreign shore. He held no hatchet in his
hand, but graciously extended a document heavily sealed and tied with
red, white, and blue ribbons.

This document was written in elegant and impressive English. A very big
and fierce-looking American eagle hovered over the page, which was also
adorned by the arms of the German Empire and of Hamburg. The purport of
the document was that George Washington, first President of the United
States, did herewith present his compliments to a certain wandering
daughter of America, wishing her, on the part of her country, family,
and friends,

    “A merry Christmas and happy New Year,”

and “all foreign authorities, corporations, and private individuals were
enjoined to promote, by all legal means of hospitality and good-will,
the loyal execution of the above-mentioned wishes.” It displayed the
names of several highly honorable witnesses, and concluded:—

    “Given under my hand and seal at my permanent White House
    residence, Elysium, 24th December, 1876.

                                         ———— “_George Washington._”

And the seal bore the initials of the mighty man.

The tree yielded gifts many and charming, but the sweetest gift was the
kindly thought that prompted the pretty device. Though one had to smile
where all were smiling, yet was it not, all in all, quite enough to make
one a little “teary roun’ the lashes,” especially when one is very much
“grown up,” and so has not the remotest claim upon the happy things
that, “by the grace of God,” belong to the children? Such scenes make
one feel the world is surely not so black as it is painted.

There was during the festivities, later, a bit of mistletoe over the
door, which, in an indirect, roundabout way, through our ancestral
England, was also meant as a tribute to America, and which caused much
merriment during the holidays in a family unusually blessed with cousins
in assorted sizes. When certain flaxen-haired maidens felt that their
age and dignity did not permit them to indulge in such sports, and so
resisted all allurements to stand an instant under the mistletoe-bough,
what did the bold young student cousins? Each seized a twig of green and
stood it up suggestively in a cousin’s fair braided locks, when she was
at last “under the mistletoe,” and

    “I wad na hae thought a lassie
    Wad sae o’ a kiss complain!”

None but the brave deserve the fair, and then—lest any one should be
shocked—they were positively all cousins, and when they were more than
five times removed I can solemnly affirm I _think_ it was the hand only
that was gallantly lifted to the lips of Cousin Hugo, or Cousin Rudolph,
or Cousin Siegfried; and, if I am mistaken after all, Christmas comes
but once a year, and youth but once in a lifetime.

At the theatre, Christmas pieces were given especially for the children.
The Stadt Theatre one evening was crowded with pretty little heads, the
private boxes full to overflowing; and across the body of the house a
great, solid row of orphan girls in a uniform of black, with short
sleeves and a large white kerchief pinned soberly across the shoulders.
They wear no hats in winter, nor do common housemaids here. A friend in
Stuttgart remarked innocently to a servant who was walking with her to
the theatre one bitter cold night, “Why, Luise, you’ll freeze; you ought
to wear a hat or hood.” “No, indeed!” said the girl, quite repudiating
the idea, “I am no _fraülein_.” They do not seem to suffer any evil
consequences, never having known anything different, and perhaps the
little orphans, too, are not so cold as they look. It may be they are
made to go bareheaded, to teach them their station and humility, but it
seems a miracle that it does not teach them influenza. The little things
were in the seventh heaven of delight, and the play a bit of pure,
delicious nonsense,—a fairy-tale with an old, familiar theme,—the three
golden apples and the three princesses who pluck them, and in
consequence are plunged into the depths of the earth, where a
fire-breathing dragon is their keeper; the despair of their royal
father, who is a portly old gentleman with a very big crown, and his
proclamation that whoever, high or low, shall rescue them may wed them;
then the procession that sets out in search of the missing maidens, with
the tailor, the gardener, and the hunter in advance, and the adventures
of the three, until the hunter, who is the beautiful, good young man who
always succeeds,—in fairy-tales,—finally rescues the princesses, and
marries the youngest and loveliest, while the tailor and gardener, who
have conducted themselves in a treacherous and unseemly manner, are
punished according to the swift retribution that always overtakes
offenders—in fairy-tales.

The action was extremely rapid, the scenery very effective; there were
perfect armies of children on the stage, some of whom danced a kind of
Chinese mandarin ballet, and some of whom represented apes, and also
danced in the suite of the Prince of Monkeyland, one of the rejected
suitors of the princesses. In actual life the Prince of Monkeyland is,
unfortunately, not always rejected. There was a pretty scene when the
sunlight streamed through the Gothic windows of an old castle, and
red-capped dwarfs hopped about the stone floor, and played all sorts of
pranks by the old well. And then there was the man in the moon, with his
lantern; and all the women in the moon, who were blue, filmy, misty
creatures, bowing and swaying in a way that made the children through
the house scream with laughter; and these moony maidens were so very
ethereal they could only speak in a whisper, and almost fainted when the
hunter, who happened to be up that way, addressed them.

“Speak softly, softly, noble stranger,” they implored, in a whispering
chorus, shrinking from him in affright, with their hands on their ears.
“Thy voice is like a thunder-clap.”

It was certainly one of the prettiest spectacular dramas imaginable,
with its innocent, droll plot; and to see a good old-fashioned
fairy-tale put on the stage so well, and to see it with hundreds of
blissful, ecstatic children, was thoroughly enjoyable.

Through the holidays social life here seems to resolve itself chiefly
into great family gatherings, and the custom of watching the old year
out is very general. One party of between thirty and forty persons,
being only brothers and sisters with their children, was a charming
affair. The dignified played whist, and the frivolous sang and were
merry in other rooms. Tea and light cakes were served frequently during
the evening, from the arrival of the guests until the supper at eleven,
when the long table was brilliant with choice glass and silver and
flowers; and fresh young faces and sweet, benign elderly ones were
gathered around. A family party can be a dismal, dreary assembling of
incongruous elements that make one soul-sick and weary of the world, or
it can be a tender, cheery, blessed thing. There are, indeed, many
varieties of family parties. Most of the large ones are perhaps no
better than they ought to be; but _this_ gathering of a clan happened to
possess the intangible something that cheers and charms.

There were jests and toasts and laughter and blushes, and there was a
wonderful punch, brewed by the eldest son of the house in an enormous
crimson glass punch-bowl,—which, like the “Luck of Edenhall,” “made a
purple light shine over all,”—and dipped out with a gold ladle; and its
remarkably intoxicating ingredients, particularly the number of bottles
of champagne poured in at the last, I shall never divulge.

The host rose just before midnight, and alluded briefly to certain
losses, and causes for sadness experienced by the family during the
year; yet they were still, he said very simply, united, loving, and
hopeful; he then gave the toast to the New Year, and they all drank it
heartily, standing, as the clock was striking twelve, after which was a
general movement through the room, warm greetings, hand-pressures and
kisses, and suspicious moisture about many eyes, though lips were
smiling bravely.

Then came a walk home through the great city, whose streets were crowded
full at two o’clock in the morning. “Prosit Neujahr! Prosit Neujahr!”
sounded everywhere, far and near. A band of workmen, arm in arm, tramp
along in great jollity, pushing their way and greeting the whole world.
“Prosit Neujahr!” they cry to the young aristocrat; “Prosit Neujahr!” is
the hearty response. For an hour all men are brothers, and everybody
turns away from the sad old year, and gives an eager welcome to the new
young thing, whom we trust, though we know him not. Above the surging
multitude, and the hoarse, loud voices and impetuous hearts, and wild
welcoming of the unknown, the starlit night seems strangely still, and
the quiet moon shines down on the great frozen Alster basin, around
which reaches the twinkling line of city lights. Beyond are the city
spires. “Round our restlessness His rest,” says some one softly; and so

    _Prosit Neujahr_!

      Cambridge: Electrotyped and Printed by Welch, Bigelow, & Co.


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