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Title: A Tramp Abroad — Volume 03
Author: Twain, Mark, 1835-1910
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Tramp Abroad — Volume 03" ***


By Mark Twain

(Samuel L. Clemens)

First published in 1880

Illustrations taken from an 1880 First Edition

 * * * * * *


     2.   TITIAN'S MOSES
     75.  LIFE ON A RAFT
     79.  TAIL PIECE
     81.  THE LORELEI
     82.  THE LOVER's FATE
     85.  THE EMBRACE
     89.  "IT WAS THE CAT"
     90.  TAILPIECE
     95.  THE OLD WELL
     104.  THE RIVER BATH
     106.  HENRI II. PLATE
     l07.  OLD BLUE CHINA
     108.  A REAL ANTIQUE
     109.  BRIC-A-BRAC SHOP
     110.  "PUT IT THERE"
     112.  TAIL PIECE
     116.  IN THE BATH


CHAPTER XV Down the River--German Women's Duties--Bathing as We Went--A
Handsome Picture: Girls in the Willows--We Sight a Tug--Steamers on the
Neckar--Dinner on Board--Legend "Cave of the Spectre "--Lady Gertrude
the Heiress--The Crusader--The Lady in the Cave--A Tragedy

CHAPTER XVI An Ancient Legend of the Rhine--"The Lorelei"--Count
Hermann--Falling in Love--A Sight of the Enchantress--Sad Effect
on Count Hermann--An Evening visit--A Sad Mistake--Count Hermann
Drowned--The Song and Music--Different Trans lations--Curiosities in

CHAPTER XVII Another Legend--The Unconquered Monster--The Unknown Knight
--His Queer Shaped Knapsack--The Knight Pitied and Advised--He Attacks
the Monster--Victory for the Fire Extinguisher--The Knight rewarded--His
Strange Request----Spectacles Made Popular--Danger to the Raft--Blasting
Rocks--An Inglorious Death in View--Escaped--A Storm Overtakes
us--GreatDanger--Man Overboard--Breakers Ahead--Springing a Leak--Ashore
Safe--A General Embracing--A Tramp in the Dark--The Naturalist Tavern--A
Night's Troubles--"It is the Cat"

CHAPTER XVIII Breakfast in a Garden--The Old Raven--Castle of
Hirschhorn--Attempt to Hire a Boat--High Dutch--What You Can Find out
by Enquiring--What I Found out about the Students--A good German
Custom--Harris Practices It--AnEmbarrassing Position--A Nice Party--At a
Ball--Stopped at the Door--Assistance at Hand and Rendered--Worthy to be
an Empress

CHAPTER XIX Arrive at Neckarsteinach--Castle of Dilsberg--A Walled
Town--On a Hill--Exclusiveness of the People--A Queer Old Place--An
Ancient Well--An Outlet Proved--Legend of Dilsberg Castle--The
Haunted Chamber--The Betrothed's request--The Knight's Slumbers
and Awakening--Horror of the Lover--The Wicked Jest--The Lover a
Maniac--Under the Linden--Turning Pilot--Accident to the Raft--Fearful

CHAPTER XX Good News--"Slow Freight"--Keramics--My Collection of Bric-a-
brac--My Tear Jug--Henri II. Plate--Specimen of Blue China--Indifference
to the Laugh of the World--I Discover an Antique En-route to
Baden--Baden--Meeting an Old Acquaintance--A young American--Embryo
Horse Doctor--An American, Sure--A Minister Captured

CHAPTER XXI Baden--Baden--Energetic Girls--A Comprehensive Yawn--A
Beggar's Trick--Cool Impudence--The Bath Woman--Insolence of Shop
Keepers--Taking a Bath--Early and Late Hours--Popular Belief Regarding
Indians--An Old Cemetery--A Pious Hag--Curious Table Companions


[Charming Waterside Pictures]

Men and women and cattle were at work in the dewy fields by this time.
The people often stepped aboard the raft, as we glided along the grassy
shores, and gossiped with us and with the crew for a hundred yards or
so, then stepped ashore again, refreshed by the ride.

Only the men did this; the women were too busy. The women do all kinds
of work on the continent. They dig, they hoe, they reap, they sow, they
bear monstrous burdens on their backs, they shove similar ones long
distances on wheelbarrows, they drag the cart when there is no dog or
lean cow to drag it--and when there is, they assist the dog or cow. Age
is no matter--the older the woman the stronger she is, apparently.
On the farm a woman's duties are not defined--she does a little of
everything; but in the towns it is different, there she only does
certain things, the men do the rest. For instance, a hotel chambermaid
has nothing to do but make beds and fires in fifty or sixty rooms, bring
towels and candles, and fetch several tons of water up several flights
of stairs, a hundred pounds at a time, in prodigious metal pitchers. She
does not have to work more than eighteen or twenty hours a day, and
she can always get down on her knees and scrub the floors of halls and
closets when she is tired and needs a rest.

As the morning advanced and the weather grew hot, we took off our
outside clothing and sat in a row along the edge of the raft and enjoyed
the scenery, with our sun-umbrellas over our heads and our legs dangling
in the water.

Every now and then we plunged in and had a swim. Every projecting grassy
cape had its joyous group of naked children, the boys to themselves and
the girls to themselves, the latter usually in care of some motherly
dame who sat in the shade of a tree with her knitting. The little boys
swam out to us, sometimes, but the little maids stood knee-deep in the
water and stopped their splashing and frolicking to inspect the raft
with their innocent eyes as it drifted by. Once we turned a corner
suddenly and surprised a slender girl of twelve years or upward, just
stepping into the water. She had not time to run, but she did what
answered just as well; she promptly drew a lithe young willow bough
athwart her white body with one hand, and then contemplated us with a
simple and untroubled interest. Thus she stood while we glided by. She
was a pretty creature, and she and her willow bough made a very
pretty picture, and one which could not offend the modesty of the most
fastidious spectator. Her white skin had a low bank of fresh green
willows for background and effective contrast--for she stood against
them--and above and out of them projected the eager faces and white
shoulders of two smaller girls.

Toward noon we heard the inspiriting cry,--

"Sail ho!"

"Where away?" shouted the captain.

"Three points off the weather bow!"

We ran forward to see the vessel. It proved to be a steamboat--for they
had begun to run a steamer up the Neckar, for the first time in May.
She was a tug, and one of a very peculiar build and aspect. I had often
watched her from the hotel, and wondered how she propelled herself, for
apparently she had no propeller or paddles. She came churning along,
now, making a deal of noise of one kind or another, and aggravating it
every now and then by blowing a hoarse whistle. She had nine keel-boats
hitched on behind and following after her in a long, slender rank. We
met her in a narrow place, between dikes, and there was hardly room for
us both in the cramped passage. As she went grinding and groaning by, we
perceived the secret of her moving impulse. She did not drive herself up
the river with paddles or propeller, she pulled herself by hauling on
a great chain. This chain is laid in the bed of the river and is only
fastened at the two ends. It is seventy miles long. It comes in over the
boat's bow, passes around a drum, and is payed out astern. She pulls
on that chain, and so drags herself up the river or down it. She has
neither bow or stern, strictly speaking, for she has a long-bladed
rudder on each end and she never turns around. She uses both rudders
all the time, and they are powerful enough to enable her to turn to
the right or the left and steer around curves, in spite of the strong
resistance of the chain. I would not have believed that that impossible
thing could be done; but I saw it done, and therefore I know that there
is one impossible thing which CAN be done. What miracle will man attempt

We met many big keel-boats on their way up, using sails, mule power, and
profanity--a tedious and laborious business. A wire rope led from the
foretopmast to the file of mules on the tow-path a hundred yards ahead,
and by dint of much banging and swearing and urging, the detachment of
drivers managed to get a speed of two or three miles an hour out of the
mules against the stiff current. The Neckar has always been used as a
canal, and thus has given employment to a great many men and animals;
but now that this steamboat is able, with a small crew and a bushel or
so of coal, to take nine keel-boats farther up the river in one hour
than thirty men and thirty mules can do it in two, it is believed
that the old-fashioned towing industry is on its death-bed. A second
steamboat began work in the Neckar three months after the first one was
put in service. [Figure 4]

At noon we stepped ashore and bought some bottled beer and got some
chickens cooked, while the raft waited; then we immediately put to sea
again, and had our dinner while the beer was cold and the chickens hot.
There is no pleasanter place for such a meal than a raft that is
gliding down the winding Neckar past green meadows and wooded hills, and
slumbering villages, and craggy heights graced with crumbling towers and

In one place we saw a nicely dressed German gentleman without any
spectacles. Before I could come to anchor he had got underway. It was a
great pity. I so wanted to make a sketch of him. The captain comforted
me for my loss, however, by saying that the man was without any doubt a
fraud who had spectacles, but kept them in his pocket in order to make
himself conspicuous.

Below Hassmersheim we passed Hornberg, Goetz von Berlichingen's old
castle. It stands on a bold elevation two hundred feet above the surface
of the river; it has high vine-clad walls enclosing trees, and a peaked
tower about seventy-five feet high. The steep hillside, from the castle
clear down to the water's edge, is terraced, and clothed thick with
grape vines. This is like farming a mansard roof. All the steeps along
that part of the river which furnish the proper exposure, are given
up to the grape. That region is a great producer of Rhine wines. The
Germans are exceedingly fond of Rhine wines; they are put up in tall,
slender bottles, and are considered a pleasant beverage. One tells them
from vinegar by the label.

The Hornberg hill is to be tunneled, and the new railway will pass under
the castle. THE CAVE OF THE SPECTER Two miles below Hornberg castle is
a cave in a low cliff, which the captain of the raft said had once been
occupied by a beautiful heiress of Hornberg--the Lady Gertrude--in the
old times. It was seven hundred years ago. She had a number of rich and
noble lovers and one poor and obscure one, Sir Wendel Lobenfeld. With
the native chuckleheadedness of the heroine of romance, she preferred
the poor and obscure lover.

With the native sound judgment of the father of a heroine of romance,
the von Berlichingen of that day shut his daughter up in his donjon
keep, or his oubliette, or his culverin, or some such place, and
resolved that she should stay there until she selected a husband from
among her rich and noble lovers. The latter visited her and persecuted
her with their supplications, but without effect, for her heart was
true to her poor despised Crusader, who was fighting in the Holy Land.
Finally, she resolved that she would endure the attentions of the rich
lovers no longer; so one stormy night she escaped and went down
the river and hid herself in the cave on the other side. Her father
ransacked the country for her, but found not a trace of her. As the
days went by, and still no tidings of her came, his conscience began to
torture him, and he caused proclamation to be made that if she were yet
living and would return, he would oppose her no longer, she might marry
whom she would. The months dragged on, all hope forsook the old man, he
ceased from his customary pursuits and pleasures, he devoted himself to
pious works, and longed for the deliverance of death.

Now just at midnight, every night, the lost heiress stood in the mouth
of her cave, arrayed in white robes, and sang a little love ballad which
her Crusader had made for her. She judged that if he came home alive the
superstitious peasants would tell him about the ghost that sang in the
cave, and that as soon as they described the ballad he would know that
none but he and she knew that song, therefore he would suspect that she
was alive, and would come and find her. As time went on, the people of
the region became sorely distressed about the Specter of the Haunted
Cave. It was said that ill luck of one kind or another always overtook
any one who had the misfortune to hear that song. Eventually, every
calamity that happened thereabouts was laid at the door of that music.
Consequently, no boatmen would consent to pass the cave at night; the
peasants shunned the place, even in the daytime.

But the faithful girl sang on, night after night, month after month, and
patiently waited; her reward must come at last. Five years dragged by,
and still, every night at midnight, the plaintive tones floated out over
the silent land, while the distant boatmen and peasants thrust their
fingers into their ears and shuddered out a prayer.

And now came the Crusader home, bronzed and battle-scarred, but bringing
a great and splendid fame to lay at the feet of his bride. The old lord
of Hornberg received him as his son, and wanted him to stay by him
and be the comfort and blessing of his age; but the tale of that young
girl's devotion to him and its pathetic consequences made a changed
man of the knight. He could not enjoy his well-earned rest. He said his
heart was broken, he would give the remnant of his life to high deeds in
the cause of humanity, and so find a worthy death and a blessed reunion
with the brave true heart whose love had more honored him than all his
victories in war.

When the people heard this resolve of his, they came and told him there
was a pitiless dragon in human disguise in the Haunted Cave, a dread
creature which no knight had yet been bold enough to face, and begged
him to rid the land of its desolating presence. He said he would do it.
They told him about the song, and when he asked what song it was, they
said the memory of it was gone, for nobody had been hardy enough to
listen to it for the past four years and more.

Toward midnight the Crusader came floating down the river in a boat,
with his trusty cross-bow in his hands. He drifted silently through the
dim reflections of the crags and trees, with his intent eyes fixed upon
the low cliff which he was approaching. As he drew nearer, he discerned
the black mouth of the cave. Now--is that a white figure? Yes. The
plaintive song begins to well forth and float away over meadow and
river--the cross-bow is slowly raised to position, a steady aim is
taken, the bolt flies straight to the mark--the figure sinks down, still
singing, the knight takes the wool out of his ears, and recognizes the
old ballad--too late! Ah, if he had only not put the wool in his ears!

The Crusader went away to the wars again, and presently fell in battle,
fighting for the Cross. Tradition says that during several centuries the
spirit of the unfortunate girl sang nightly from the cave at midnight,
but the music carried no curse with it; and although many listened for
the mysterious sounds, few were favored, since only those could hear
them who had never failed in a trust. It is believed that the singing
still continues, but it is known that nobody has heard it during the
present century.


An Ancient Legend of the Rhine [The Lorelei]

The last legend reminds one of the "Lorelei"--a legend of the Rhine.
There is a song called "The Lorelei."

Germany is rich in folk-songs, and the words and airs of several of them
are peculiarly beautiful--but "The Lorelei" is the people's favorite. I
could not endure it at first, but by and by it began to take hold of me,
and now there is no tune which I like so well.

It is not possible that it is much known in America, else I should have
heard it there. The fact that I never heard it there, is evidence that
there are others in my country who have fared likewise; therefore, for
the sake of these, I mean to print the words and music in this chapter.
And I will refresh the reader's memory by printing the legend of the
Lorelei, too. I have it by me in the LEGENDS OF THE RHINE, done into
English by the wildly gifted Garnham, Bachelor of Arts. I print the
legend partly to refresh my own memory, too, for I have never read it
before. THE LEGEND Lore (two syllables) was a water nymph who used to
sit on a high rock called the Ley or Lei (pronounced like our word LIE)
in the Rhine, and lure boatmen to destruction in a furious rapid
which marred the channel at that spot. She so bewitched them with her
plaintive songs and her wonderful beauty that they forgot everything
else to gaze up at her, and so they presently drifted among the broken
reefs and were lost.

In those old, old times, the Count Bruno lived in a great castle near
there with his son, the Count Hermann, a youth of twenty. Hermann had
heard a great deal about the beautiful Lore, and had finally fallen very
deeply in love with her without having seen her. So he used to wander to
the neighborhood of the Lei, evenings, with his Zither and "Express his
Longing in low Singing," as Garnham says. On one of these occasions,
"suddenly there hovered around the top of the rock a brightness of
unequaled clearness and color, which, in increasingly smaller circles
thickened, was the enchanting figure of the beautiful Lore.

"An unintentional cry of Joy escaped the Youth, he let his Zither fall,
and with extended arms he called out the name of the enigmatical Being,
who seemed to stoop lovingly to him and beckon to him in a friendly
manner; indeed, if his ear did not deceive him, she called his name with
unutterable sweet Whispers, proper to love. Beside himself with delight
the youth lost his Senses and sank senseless to the earth."

After that he was a changed person. He went dreaming about, thinking
only of his fairy and caring for naught else in the world. "The old
count saw with affliction this changement in his son," whose cause he
could not divine, and tried to divert his mind into cheerful channels,
but to no purpose. Then the old count used authority. He commanded the
youth to betake himself to the camp. Obedience was promised. Garnham

"It was on the evening before his departure, as he wished still once to
visit the Lei and offer to the Nymph of the Rhine his Sighs, the
tones of his Zither, and his Songs. He went, in his boat, this time
accompanied by a faithful squire, down the stream. The moon shed her
silvery light over the whole country; the steep bank mountains appeared
in the most fantastical shapes, and the high oaks on either side bowed
their Branches on Hermann's passing. As soon as he approached the
Lei, and was aware of the surf-waves, his attendant was seized with an
inexpressible Anxiety and he begged permission to land; but the Knight
swept the strings of his Guitar and sang:

     "Once I saw thee in dark night,
     In supernatural Beauty bright;
     Of Light-rays, was the Figure wove,
     To share its light, locked-hair strove.

     "Thy Garment color wave-dove
     By thy hand the sign of love,
     Thy eyes sweet enchantment,
     Raying to me, oh! enchantment.

     "O, wert thou but my sweetheart,
     How willingly thy love to part!
     With delight I should be bound
     To thy rocky house in deep ground."

That Hermann should have gone to that place at all, was not wise; that
he should have gone with such a song as that in his mouth was a most
serious mistake. The Lorelei did not "call his name in unutterable
sweet Whispers" this time. No, that song naturally worked an instant
and thorough "changement" in her; and not only that, but it stirred the
bowels of the whole afflicted region around about there--for--

"Scarcely had these tones sounded, everywhere there began tumult and
sound, as if voices above and below the water. On the Lei rose flames,
the Fairy stood above, at that time, and beckoned with her right hand
clearly and urgently to the infatuated Knight, while with a staff in
her left hand she called the waves to her service. They began to mount
heavenward; the boat was upset, mocking every exertion; the waves rose
to the gunwale, and splitting on the hard stones, the Boat broke into
Pieces. The youth sank into the depths, but the squire was thrown on
shore by a powerful wave."

The bitterest things have been said about the Lorelei during many
centuries, but surely her conduct upon this occasion entitles her to our
respect. One feels drawn tenderly toward her and is moved to forget her
many crimes and remember only the good deed that crowned and closed her

"The Fairy was never more seen; but her enchanting tones have often been
heard. In the beautiful, refreshing, still nights of spring, when the
moon pours her silver light over the Country, the listening shipper
hears from the rushing of the waves, the echoing Clang of a wonderfully
charming voice, which sings a song from the crystal castle, and with
sorrow and fear he thinks on the young Count Hermann, seduced by the

Here is the music, and the German words by Heinrich Heine. This song has
been a favorite in Germany for forty years, and will remain a favorite
always, maybe. [Figure 5]

I have a prejudice against people who print things in a foreign language
and add no translation. When I am the reader, and the author considers
me able to do the translating myself, he pays me quite a nice
compliment--but if he would do the translating for me I would try to get
along without the compliment.

If I were at home, no doubt I could get a translation of this poem, but
I am abroad and can't; therefore I will make a translation myself. It
may not be a good one, for poetry is out of my line, but it will serve
my purpose--which is, to give the unGerman young girl a jingle of words
to hang the tune on until she can get hold of a good version, made by
some one who is a poet and knows how to convey a poetical thought from
one language to another.


     I cannot divine what it meaneth,
     This haunting nameless pain:
     A tale of the bygone ages
     Keeps brooding through my brain:

     The faint air cools in the glooming,
     And peaceful flows the Rhine,
     The thirsty summits are drinking
     The sunset's flooding wine;

     The loveliest maiden is sitting
     High-throned in yon blue air,
     Her golden jewels are shining,
     She combs her golden hair;

     She combs with a comb that is golden,
     And sings a weird refrain
     That steeps in a deadly enchantment
     The list'ner's ravished brain:

     The doomed in his drifting shallop,
     Is tranced with the sad sweet tone,
     He sees not the yawning breakers,
     He sees but the maid alone:

     The pitiless billows engulf him!--
     So perish sailor and bark;
     And this, with her baleful singing,
     Is the Lorelei's gruesome work.

I have a translation by Garnham, Bachelor of Arts, in the LEGENDS OF THE
RHINE, but it would not answer the purpose I mentioned above, because
the measure is too nobly irregular; it don't fit the tune snugly enough;
in places it hangs over at the ends too far, and in other places one
runs out of words before he gets to the end of a bar. Still, Garnham's
translation has high merits, and I am not dreaming of leaving it out of
my book. I believe this poet is wholly unknown in America and England; I
take peculiar pleasure in bringing him forward because I consider that I
discovered him:


     Translated by L. W. Garnham, B.A.

     I do not know what it signifies.
     That I am so sorrowful?
     A fable of old Times so terrifies,
     Leaves my heart so thoughtful.

     The air is cool and it darkens,
     And calmly flows the Rhine;
     The summit of the mountain hearkens
     In evening sunshine line.

     The most beautiful Maiden entrances
     Above wonderfully there,
     Her beautiful golden attire glances,
     She combs her golden hair.

     With golden comb so lustrous,
     And thereby a song sings,
     It has a tone so wondrous,
     That powerful melody rings.

     The shipper in the little ship
     It effects with woe sad might;
     He does not see the rocky slip,
     He only regards dreaded height.

     I believe the turbulent waves
     Swallow the last shipper and boat;
     She with her singing craves
     All to visit hermagic moat.

No translation could be closer. He has got in all the facts; and in
their regular order, too. There is not a statistic wanting. It is as
succinct as an invoice. That is what a translation ought to be; it
should exactly reflect the thought of the original. You can't SING
"Above wonderfully there," because it simply won't go to the tune,
without damaging the singer; but it is a most clingingly exact
translation of DORT OBEN WUNDERBAR--fits it like a blister. Mr.
Garnham's reproduction has other merits--a hundred of them--but it is
not necessary to point them out. They will be detected.

No one with a specialty can hope to have a monopoly of it. Even Garnham
has a rival. Mr. X had a small pamphlet with him which he had bought
while on a visit to Munich. It was entitled A CATALOGUE OF PICTURES IN
THE OLD PINACOTEK, and was written in a peculiar kind of English. Here
are a few extracts:

"It is not permitted to make use of the work in question to a
publication of the same contents as well as to the pirated edition of

"An evening landscape. In the foreground near a pond and a group of
white beeches is leading a footpath animated by travelers."

"A learned man in a cynical and torn dress holding an open book in his

"St. Bartholomew and the Executioner with the knife to fulfil the

"Portrait of a young man. A long while this picture was thought to be
Bindi Altoviti's portrait; now somebody will again have it to be the
self-portrait of Raphael."

"Susan bathing, surprised by the two old man. In the background the
lapidation of the condemned."

("Lapidation" is good; it is much more elegant than "stoning.")

"St. Rochus sitting in a landscape with an angel who looks at his
plague-sore, whilst the dog the bread in his mouth attents him."

"Spring. The Goddess Flora, sitting. Behind her a fertile valley
perfused by a river."

"A beautiful bouquet animated by May-bugs, etc."

"A warrior in armor with a gypseous pipe in his hand leans against a
table and blows the smoke far away of himself."

"A Dutch landscape along a navigable river which perfuses it till to the

"Some peasants singing in a cottage. A woman lets drink a child out of a

"St. John's head as a boy--painted in fresco on a brick." (Meaning a

"A young man of the Riccio family, his hair cut off right at the end,
dressed in black with the same cap. Attributed to Raphael, but the
signation is false."

"The Virgin holding the Infant. It is very painted in the manner of

"A Larder with greens and dead game animated by a cook-maid and two

However, the English of this catalogue is at least as happy as that
which distinguishes an inscription upon a certain picture in Rome--to

"Revelations-View. St. John in Patterson's Island."

But meanwhile the raft is moving on.


[Why Germans Wear Spectacles]

A mile or two above Eberbach we saw a peculiar ruin projecting above the
foliage which clothed the peak of a high and very steep hill. This ruin
consisted of merely a couple of crumbling masses of masonry which bore
a rude resemblance to human faces; they leaned forward and touched
foreheads, and had the look of being absorbed in conversation. This
ruin had nothing very imposing or picturesque about it, and there was no
great deal of it, yet it was called the "Spectacular Ruin."

LEGEND OF THE "SPECTACULAR RUIN" The captain of the raft, who was as
full of history as he could stick, said that in the Middle Ages a most
prodigious fire-breathing dragon used to live in that region, and made
more trouble than a tax-collector. He was as long as a railway-train,
and had the customary impenetrable green scales all over him. His breath
bred pestilence and conflagration, and his appetite bred famine. He ate
men and cattle impartially, and was exceedingly unpopular. The German
emperor of that day made the usual offer: he would grant to the
destroyer of the dragon, any one solitary thing he might ask for; for he
had a surplusage of daughters, and it was customary for dragon-killers
to take a daughter for pay.

So the most renowned knights came from the four corners of the earth and
retired down the dragon's throat one after the other. A panic arose and
spread. Heroes grew cautious. The procession ceased. The dragon became
more destructive than ever. The people lost all hope of succor, and fled
to the mountains for refuge.

At last Sir Wissenschaft, a poor and obscure knight, out of a far
country, arrived to do battle with the monster. A pitiable object he
was, with his armor hanging in rags about him, and his strange-shaped
knapsack strapped upon his back. Everybody turned up their noses at him,
and some openly jeered him. But he was calm. He simply inquired if
the emperor's offer was still in force. The emperor said it was--but
charitably advised him to go and hunt hares and not endanger so precious
a life as his in an attempt which had brought death to so many of the
world's most illustrious heroes.

But this tramp only asked--"Were any of these heroes men of science?"
This raised a laugh, of course, for science was despised in those days.
But the tramp was not in the least ruffled. He said he might be a little
in advance of his age, but no matter--science would come to be honored,
some time or other. He said he would march against the dragon in the
morning. Out of compassion, then, a decent spear was offered him, but
he declined, and said, "spears were useless to men of science." They
allowed him to sup in the servants' hall, and gave him a bed in the

When he started forth in the morning, thousands were gathered to see.
The emperor said:

"Do not be rash, take a spear, and leave off your knapsack."

But the tramp said:

"It is not a knapsack," and moved straight on.

The dragon was waiting and ready. He was breathing forth vast volumes
of sulphurous smoke and lurid blasts of flame. The ragged knight
stole warily to a good position, then he unslung his cylindrical
knapsack--which was simply the common fire-extinguisher known to modern
times--and the first chance he got he turned on his hose and shot the
dragon square in the center of his cavernous mouth. Out went the fires
in an instant, and the dragon curled up and died.

This man had brought brains to his aid. He had reared dragons from the
egg, in his laboratory, he had watched over them like a mother, and
patiently studied them and experimented upon them while they grew. Thus
he had found out that fire was the life principle of a dragon; put out
the dragon's fires and it could make steam no longer, and must die.
He could not put out a fire with a spear, therefore he invented the
extinguisher. The dragon being dead, the emperor fell on the hero's neck
and said:

"Deliverer, name your request," at the same time beckoning out behind
with his heel for a detachment of his daughters to form and advance. But
the tramp gave them no observance. He simply said:

"My request is, that upon me be conferred the monopoly of the
manufacture and sale of spectacles in Germany."

The emperor sprang aside and exclaimed:

"This transcends all the impudence I ever heard! A modest demand, by my
halidome! Why didn't you ask for the imperial revenues at once, and be
done with it?"

But the monarch had given his word, and he kept it. To everybody's
surprise, the unselfish monopolist immediately reduced the price of
spectacles to such a degree that a great and crushing burden was removed
from the nation. The emperor, to commemorate this generous act, and to
testify his appreciation of it, issued a decree commanding everybody to
buy this benefactor's spectacles and wear them, whether they needed them
or not.

So originated the wide-spread custom of wearing spectacles in Germany;
and as a custom once established in these old lands is imperishable,
this one remains universal in the empire to this day. Such is the legend
of the monopolist's once stately and sumptuous castle, now called the
"Spectacular Ruin."

On the right bank, two or three miles below the Spectacular Ruin, we
passed by a noble pile of castellated buildings overlooking the water
from the crest of a lofty elevation. A stretch of two hundred yards of
the high front wall was heavily draped with ivy, and out of the mass
of buildings within rose three picturesque old towers. The place was in
fine order, and was inhabited by a family of princely rank. This castle
had its legend, too, but I should not feel justified in repeating it
because I doubted the truth of some of its minor details.

Along in this region a multitude of Italian laborers were blasting away
the frontage of the hills to make room for the new railway. They were
fifty or a hundred feet above the river. As we turned a sharp corner
they began to wave signals and shout warnings to us to look out for the
explosions. It was all very well to warn us, but what could WE do? You
can't back a raft upstream, you can't hurry it downstream, you can't
scatter out to one side when you haven't any room to speak of, you won't
take to the perpendicular cliffs on the other shore when they appear to
be blasting there, too. Your resources are limited, you see. There is
simply nothing for it but to watch and pray.

For some hours we had been making three and a half or four miles an hour
and we were still making that. We had been dancing right along until
those men began to shout; then for the next ten minutes it seemed to me
that I had never seen a raft go so slowly. When the first blast went
off we raised our sun-umbrellas and waited for the result. No harm
done; none of the stones fell in the water. Another blast followed, and
another and another. Some of the rubbish fell in the water just astern
of us.

We ran that whole battery of nine blasts in a row, and it was certainly
one of the most exciting and uncomfortable weeks I ever spent, either
aship or ashore. Of course we frequently manned the poles and shoved
earnestly for a second or so, but every time one of those spurts of dust
and debris shot aloft every man dropped his pole and looked up to get
the bearings of his share of it. It was very busy times along there for
a while. It appeared certain that we must perish, but even that was
not the bitterest thought; no, the abjectly unheroic nature of the
death--that was the sting--that and the bizarre wording of the resulting
obituary: "SHOT WITH A ROCK, ON A RAFT." There would be no poetry
written about it. None COULD be written about it. Example:

NOT by war's shock, or war's shaft,--SHOT, with a rock, on a raft.

No poet who valued his reputation would touch such a theme as that. I
should be distinguished as the only "distinguished dead" who went down
to the grave unsonneted, in 1878.

But we escaped, and I have never regretted it. The last blast was a
peculiarly strong one, and after the small rubbish was done raining
around us and we were just going to shake hands over our deliverance, a
later and larger stone came down amongst our little group of pedestrians
and wrecked an umbrella. It did no other harm, but we took to the water
just the same.

It seems that the heavy work in the quarries and the new railway
gradings is done mainly by Italians. That was a revelation. We have
the notion in our country that Italians never do heavy work at all, but
confine themselves to the lighter arts, like organ-grinding, operatic
singing, and assassination. We have blundered, that is plain.

All along the river, near every village, we saw little station-houses
for the future railway. They were finished and waiting for the rails and
business. They were as trim and snug and pretty as they could be. They
were always of brick or stone; they were of graceful shape, they had
vines and flowers about them already, and around them the grass was
bright and green, and showed that it was carefully looked after. They
were a decoration to the beautiful landscape, not an offense. Wherever
one saw a pile of gravel or a pile of broken stone, it was always heaped
as trimly and exactly as a new grave or a stack of cannon-balls; nothing
about those stations or along the railroad or the wagon-road was
allowed to look shabby or be unornamental. The keeping a country in such
beautiful order as Germany exhibits, has a wise practical side to
it, too, for it keeps thousands of people in work and bread who would
otherwise be idle and mischievous.

As the night shut down, the captain wanted to tie up, but I thought
maybe we might make Hirschhorn, so we went on. Presently the sky became
overcast, and the captain came aft looking uneasy. He cast his eye
aloft, then shook his head, and said it was coming on to blow. My party
wanted to land at once--therefore I wanted to go on. The captain said we
ought to shorten sail anyway, out of common prudence. Consequently, the
larboard watch was ordered to lay in his pole. It grew quite dark, now,
and the wind began to rise. It wailed through the swaying branches of
the trees, and swept our decks in fitful gusts. Things were taking on an
ugly look. The captain shouted to the steersman on the forward log:

"How's she landing?"

The answer came faint and hoarse from far forward:

"Nor'-east-and-by-nor'--east-by-east, half-east, sir."

"Let her go off a point!"

"Aye-aye, sir!"

"What water have you got?"

"Shoal, sir. Two foot large, on the stabboard, two and a half scant on
the labboard!"

"Let her go off another point!"

"Aye-aye, sir!"

"Forward, men, all of you! Lively, now! Stand by to crowd her round the
weather corner!"

"Aye-aye, sir!"

Then followed a wild running and trampling and hoarse shouting, but the
forms of the men were lost in the darkness and the sounds were distorted
and confused by the roaring of the wind through the shingle-bundles. By
this time the sea was running inches high, and threatening every moment
to engulf the frail bark. Now came the mate, hurrying aft, and said,
close to the captain's ear, in a low, agitated voice:

"Prepare for the worst, sir--we have sprung a leak!"

"Heavens! where?"

"Right aft the second row of logs."

"Nothing but a miracle can save us! Don't let the men know, or there
will be a panic and mutiny! Lay her in shore and stand by to jump with
the stern-line the moment she touches. Gentlemen, I must look to you to
second my endeavors in this hour of peril. You have hats--go forward and
bail for your lives!"

Down swept another mighty blast of wind, clothed in spray and thick
darkness. At such a moment as this, came from away forward that most
appalling of all cries that are ever heard at sea:


The captain shouted:

"Hard a-port! Never mind the man! Let him climb aboard or wade ashore!"

Another cry came down the wind:

"Breakers ahead!"

"Where away?"

"Not a log's length off her port fore-foot!"

We had groped our slippery way forward, and were now bailing with the
frenzy of despair, when we heard the mate's terrified cry, from far aft:

"Stop that dashed bailing, or we shall be aground!"

But this was immediately followed by the glad shout:

"Land aboard the starboard transom!"

"Saved!" cried the captain. "Jump ashore and take a turn around a tree
and pass the bight aboard!"

The next moment we were all on shore weeping and embracing for joy,
while the rain poured down in torrents. The captain said he had been a
mariner for forty years on the Neckar, and in that time had seen storms
to make a man's cheek blanch and his pulses stop, but he had never,
never seen a storm that even approached this one. How familiar that
sounded! For I have been at sea a good deal and have heard that remark
from captains with a frequency accordingly.

We framed in our minds the usual resolution of thanks and admiration
and gratitude, and took the first opportunity to vote it, and put it
in writing and present it to the captain, with the customary speech. We
tramped through the darkness and the drenching summer rain full three
miles, and reached "The Naturalist Tavern" in the village of Hirschhorn
just an hour before midnight, almost exhausted from hardship, fatigue,
and terror. I can never forget that night.

The landlord was rich, and therefore could afford to be crusty and
disobliging; he did not at all like being turned out of his warm bed to
open his house for us. But no matter, his household got up and cooked
a quick supper for us, and we brewed a hot punch for ourselves, to keep
off consumption. After supper and punch we had an hour's soothing smoke
while we fought the naval battle over again and voted the resolutions;
then we retired to exceedingly neat and pretty chambers upstairs that
had clean, comfortable beds in them with heirloom pillowcases most
elaborately and tastefully embroidered by hand.

Such rooms and beds and embroidered linen are as frequent in German
village inns as they are rare in ours. Our villages are superior
to German villages in more merits, excellences, conveniences, and
privileges than I can enumerate, but the hotels do not belong in the

"The Naturalist Tavern" was not a meaningless name; for all the halls
and all the rooms were lined with large glass cases which were filled
with all sorts of birds and animals, glass-eyed, ably stuffed, and set
up in the most natural eloquent and dramatic attitudes. The moment we
were abed, the rain cleared away and the moon came out. I dozed off to
sleep while contemplating a great white stuffed owl which was looking
intently down on me from a high perch with the air of a person who
thought he had met me before, but could not make out for certain.

But young Z did not get off so easily. He said that as he was sinking
deliciously to sleep, the moon lifted away the shadows and developed
a huge cat, on a bracket, dead and stuffed, but crouching, with every
muscle tense, for a spring, and with its glittering glass eyes aimed
straight at him. It made Z uncomfortable. He tried closing his own eyes,
but that did not answer, for a natural instinct kept making him open
them again to see if the cat was still getting ready to launch at
him--which she always was. He tried turning his back, but that was a
failure; he knew the sinister eyes were on him still. So at last he had
to get up, after an hour or two of worry and experiment, and set the cat
out in the hall. So he won, that time.


[The Kindly Courtesy of Germans]

In the morning we took breakfast in the garden, under the trees, in the
delightful German summer fashion. The air was filled with the fragrance
of flowers and wild animals; the living portion of the menagerie of the
"Naturalist Tavern" was all about us. There were great cages populous
with fluttering and chattering foreign birds, and other great cages and
greater wire pens, populous with quadrupeds, both native and foreign.
There were some free creatures, too, and quite sociable ones they were.
White rabbits went loping about the place, and occasionally came and
sniffed at our shoes and shins; a fawn, with a red ribbon on its neck,
walked up and examined us fearlessly; rare breeds of chickens and doves
begged for crumbs, and a poor old tailless raven hopped about with
a humble, shamefaced mein which said, "Please do not notice my
exposure--think how you would feel in my circumstances, and be
charitable." If he was observed too much, he would retire behind
something and stay there until he judged the party's interest had found
another object. I never have seen another dumb creature that was
so morbidly sensitive. Bayard Taylor, who could interpret the dim
reasonings of animals, and understood their moral natures better than
most men, would have found some way to make this poor old chap forget
his troubles for a while, but we have not his kindly art, and so had to
leave the raven to his griefs.

After breakfast we climbed the hill and visited the ancient castle of
Hirschhorn, and the ruined church near it. There were some curious old
bas-reliefs leaning against the inner walls of the church--sculptured
lords of Hirschhorn in complete armor, and ladies of Hirschhorn in
the picturesque court costumes of the Middle Ages. These things are
suffering damage and passing to decay, for the last Hirschhorn has been
dead two hundred years, and there is nobody now who cares to preserve
the family relics. In the chancel was a twisted stone column, and the
captain told us a legend about it, of course, for in the matter of
legends he could not seem to restrain himself; but I do not repeat his
tale because there was nothing plausible about it except that the Hero
wrenched this column into its present screw-shape with his hands --just
one single wrench. All the rest of the legend was doubtful.

But Hirschhorn is best seen from a distance, down the river. Then
the clustered brown towers perched on the green hilltop, and the old
battlemented stone wall, stretching up and over the grassy ridge and
disappearing in the leafy sea beyond, make a picture whose grace and
beauty entirely satisfy the eye.

We descended from the church by steep stone stairways which curved this
way and that down narrow alleys between the packed and dirty tenements
of the village. It was a quarter well stocked with deformed, leering,
unkempt and uncombed idiots, who held out hands or caps and begged
piteously. The people of the quarter were not all idiots, of course, but
all that begged seemed to be, and were said to be.

I was thinking of going by skiff to the next town, Necharsteinach; so I
ran to the riverside in advance of the party and asked a man there if
he had a boat to hire. I suppose I must have spoken High German--Court
German--I intended it for that, anyway--so he did not understand me. I
turned and twisted my question around and about, trying to strike that
man's average, but failed. He could not make out what I wanted. Now Mr.
X arrived, faced this same man, looked him in the eye, and emptied this
sentence on him, in the most glib and confident way: "Can man boat get

The mariner promptly understood and promptly answered. I can comprehend
why he was able to understand that particular sentence, because by mere
accident all the words in it except "get" have the same sound and the
same meaning in German that they have in English; but how he managed to
understand Mr. X's next remark puzzled me. I will insert it, presently.
X turned away a moment, and I asked the mariner if he could not find
a board, and so construct an additional seat. I spoke in the purest
German, but I might as well have spoken in the purest Choctaw for all
the good it did. The man tried his best to understand me; he tried, and
kept on trying, harder and harder, until I saw it was really of no use,
and said:

"There, don't strain yourself--it is of no consequence."

Then X turned to him and crisply said:

"MACHEN SIE a flat board."

I wish my epitaph may tell the truth about me if the man did not answer
up at once, and say he would go and borrow a board as soon as he had lit
the pipe which he was filling.

We changed our mind about taking a boat, so we did not have to go. I
have given Mr. X's two remarks just as he made them. Four of the five
words in the first one were English, and that they were also German was
only accidental, not intentional; three out of the five words in the
second remark were English, and English only, and the two German ones
did not mean anything in particular, in such a connection.

X always spoke English to Germans, but his plan was to turn the sentence
wrong end first and upside down, according to German construction, and
sprinkle in a German word without any essential meaning to it, here and
there, by way of flavor. Yet he always made himself understood. He could
make those dialect-speaking raftsmen understand him, sometimes, when
even young Z had failed with them; and young Z was a pretty good German
scholar. For one thing, X always spoke with such confidence--perhaps
that helped. And possibly the raftsmen's dialect was what is called
PLATT-DEUTSCH, and so they found his English more familiar to their ears
than another man's German. Quite indifferent students of German can read
Fritz Reuter's charming platt-Deutch tales with some little facility
because many of the words are English. I suppose this is the tongue
which our Saxon ancestors carried to England with them. By and by I will
inquire of some other philologist.

However, in the mean time it had transpired that the men employed to
calk the raft had found that the leak was not a leak at all, but only
a crack between the logs--a crack that belonged there, and was not
dangerous, but had been magnified into a leak by the disordered
imagination of the mate. Therefore we went aboard again with a good
degree of confidence, and presently got to sea without accident. As we
swam smoothly along between the enchanting shores, we fell to swapping
notes about manners and customs in Germany and elsewhere.

As I write, now, many months later, I perceive that each of us, by
observing and noting and inquiring, diligently and day by day, had
managed to lay in a most varied and opulent stock of misinformation. But
this is not surprising; it is very difficult to get accurate details in
any country. For example, I had the idea once, in Heidelberg, to find
out all about those five student-corps. I started with the White Cap
corps. I began to inquire of this and that and the other citizen, and
here is what I found out:

1. It is called the Prussian Corps, because none but Prussians are
admitted to it.

2. It is called the Prussian Corps for no particular reason. It has
simply pleased each corps to name itself after some German state.

3. It is not named the Prussian Corps at all, but only the White Cap

4. Any student can belong to it who is a German by birth.

5. Any student can belong to it who is European by birth.

6. Any European-born student can belong to it, except he be a Frenchman.

7. Any student can belong to it, no matter where he was born.

8. No student can belong to it who is not of noble blood.

9. No student can belong to it who cannot show three full generations of
noble descent.

10. Nobility is not a necessary qualification.

11. No moneyless student can belong to it.

12. Money qualification is nonsense--such a thing has never been thought

I got some of this information from students themselves--students who
did not belong to the corps.

I finally went to headquarters--to the White Caps--where I would
have gone in the first place if I had been acquainted. But even at
headquarters I found difficulties; I perceived that there were things
about the White Cap Corps which one member knew and another one didn't.
It was natural; for very few members of any organization know ALL that
can be known about it. I doubt there is a man or a woman in Heidelberg
who would not answer promptly and confidently three out of every five
questions about the White Cap Corps which a stranger might ask; yet
it is a very safe bet that two of the three answers would be incorrect
every time.

There is one German custom which is universal--the bowing courteously
to strangers when sitting down at table or rising up from it. This
bow startles a stranger out of his self-possession, the first time
it occurs, and he is likely to fall over a chair or something, in his
embarrassment, but it pleases him, nevertheless. One soon learns to
expect this bow and be on the lookout and ready to return it; but to
learn to lead off and make the initial bow one's self is a difficult
matter for a diffident man. One thinks, "If I rise to go, and tender my
bow, and these ladies and gentlemen take it into their heads to ignore
the custom of their nation, and not return it, how shall I feel, in case
I survive to feel anything." Therefore he is afraid to venture. He sits
out the dinner, and makes the strangers rise first and originate the
bowing. A table d'hôte dinner is a tedious affair for a man who seldom
touches anything after the three first courses; therefore I used to do
some pretty dreary waiting because of my fears. It took me months to
assure myself that those fears were groundless, but I did assure myself
at last by experimenting diligently through my agent. I made Harris get
up and bow and leave; invariably his bow was returned, then I got up and
bowed myself and retired.

Thus my education proceeded easily and comfortably for me, but not for
Harris. Three courses of a table d'hôte dinner were enough for me, but
Harris preferred thirteen.

Even after I had acquired full confidence, and no longer needed the
agent's help, I sometimes encountered difficulties. Once at Baden-Baden
I nearly lost a train because I could not be sure that three young
ladies opposite me at table were Germans, since I had not heard them
speak; they might be American, they might be English, it was not safe
to venture a bow; but just as I had got that far with my thought, one of
them began a German remark, to my great relief and gratitude; and before
she got out her third word, our bows had been delivered and graciously
returned, and we were off.

There is a friendly something about the German character which is very
winning. When Harris and I were making a pedestrian tour through the
Black Forest, we stopped at a little country inn for dinner one day;
two young ladies and a young gentleman entered and sat down opposite us.
They were pedestrians, too. Our knapsacks were strapped upon our backs,
but they had a sturdy youth along to carry theirs for them. All parties
were hungry, so there was no talking. By and by the usual bows were
exchanged, and we separated.

As we sat at a late breakfast in the hotel at Allerheiligen, next
morning, these young people entered and took places near us without
observing us; but presently they saw us and at once bowed and smiled;
not ceremoniously, but with the gratified look of people who have found
acquaintances where they were expecting strangers. Then they spoke of
the weather and the roads. We also spoke of the weather and the roads.
Next, they said they had had an enjoyable walk, notwithstanding the
weather. We said that that had been our case, too. Then they said they
had walked thirty English miles the day before, and asked how many we
had walked. I could not lie, so I told Harris to do it. Harris told
them we had made thirty English miles, too. That was true; we had "made"
them, though we had had a little assistance here and there.

After breakfast they found us trying to blast some information out
of the dumb hotel clerk about routes, and observing that we were not
succeeding pretty well, they went and got their maps and things, and
pointed out and explained our course so clearly that even a New York
detective could have followed it. And when we started they spoke out a
hearty good-by and wished us a pleasant journey. Perhaps they were more
generous with us than they might have been with native wayfarers because
we were a forlorn lot and in a strange land; I don't know; I only know
it was lovely to be treated so.

Very well, I took an American young lady to one of the fine balls in
Baden-Baden, one night, and at the entrance-door upstairs we were halted
by an official--something about Miss Jones's dress was not according to
rule; I don't remember what it was, now; something was wanting--her back
hair, or a shawl, or a fan, or a shovel, or something. The official was
ever so polite, and ever so sorry, but the rule was strict, and he could
not let us in. It was very embarrassing, for many eyes were on us. But
now a richly dressed girl stepped out of the ballroom, inquired into the
trouble, and said she could fix it in a moment. She took Miss Jones to
the robing-room, and soon brought her back in regulation trim, and then
we entered the ballroom with this benefactress unchallenged.

Being safe, now, I began to puzzle through my sincere but ungrammatical
thanks, when there was a sudden mutual recognition --the benefactress
and I had met at Allerheiligen. Two weeks had not altered her good face,
and plainly her heart was in the right place yet, but there was such
a difference between these clothes and the clothes I had seen her in
before, when she was walking thirty miles a day in the Black Forest,
that it was quite natural that I had failed to recognize her sooner. I
had on MY other suit, too, but my German would betray me to a person who
had heard it once, anyway. She brought her brother and sister, and they
made our way smooth for that evening.

Well--months afterward, I was driving through the streets of Munich in a
cab with a German lady, one day, when she said:

"There, that is Prince Ludwig and his wife, walking along there."

Everybody was bowing to them--cabmen, little children, and everybody
else--and they were returning all the bows and overlooking nobody, when
a young lady met them and made a deep courtesy.

"That is probably one of the ladies of the court," said my German

I said:

"She is an honor to it, then. I know her. I don't know her name, but I
know HER. I have known her at Allerheiligen and Baden-Baden. She ought
to be an Empress, but she may be only a Duchess; it is the way things go
in this way."

If one asks a German a civil question, he will be quite sure to get a
civil answer. If you stop a German in the street and ask him to direct
you to a certain place, he shows no sign of feeling offended. If the
place be difficult to find, ten to one the man will drop his own matters
and go with you and show you.

In London, too, many a time, strangers have walked several blocks with
me to show me my way.

There is something very real about this sort of politeness. Quite often,
in Germany, shopkeepers who could not furnish me the article I wanted
have sent one of their employees with me to show me a place where it
could be had.


[The Deadly Jest of Dilsberg]

However, I wander from the raft. We made the port of Necharsteinach in
good season, and went to the hotel and ordered a trout dinner, the same
to be ready against our return from a two-hour pedestrian excursion to
the village and castle of Dilsberg, a mile distant, on the other side
of the river. I do not mean that we proposed to be two hours making two
miles--no, we meant to employ most of the time in inspecting Dilsberg.

For Dilsberg is a quaint place. It is most quaintly and picturesquely
situated, too. Imagine the beautiful river before you; then a few rods
of brilliant green sward on its opposite shore; then a sudden hill--no
preparatory gently rising slopes, but a sort of instantaneous hill--a
hill two hundred and fifty or three hundred feet high, as round as a
bowl, with the same taper upward that an inverted bowl has, and with
about the same relation of height to diameter that distinguishes a
bowl of good honest depth--a hill which is thickly clothed with green
bushes--a comely, shapely hill, rising abruptly out of the dead level
of the surrounding green plains, visible from a great distance down the
bends of the river, and with just exactly room on the top of its head
for its steepled and turreted and roof-clustered cap of architecture,
which same is tightly jammed and compacted within the perfectly round
hoop of the ancient village wall.

There is no house outside the wall on the whole hill, or any vestige of
a former house; all the houses are inside the wall, but there isn't room
for another one. It is really a finished town, and has been finished a
very long time. There is no space between the wall and the first circle
of buildings; no, the village wall is itself the rear wall of the first
circle of buildings, and the roofs jut a little over the wall and
thus furnish it with eaves. The general level of the massed roofs is
gracefully broken and relieved by the dominating towers of the ruined
castle and the tall spires of a couple of churches; so, from a distance
Dilsberg has rather more the look of a king's crown than a cap. That
lofty green eminence and its quaint coronet form quite a striking
picture, you may be sure, in the flush of the evening sun.

We crossed over in a boat and began the ascent by a narrow, steep path
which plunged us at once into the leafy deeps of the bushes. But they
were not cool deeps by any means, for the sun's rays were weltering hot
and there was little or no breeze to temper them. As we panted up the
sharp ascent, we met brown, bareheaded and barefooted boys and girls,
occasionally, and sometimes men; they came upon us without warning, they
gave us good day, flashed out of sight in the bushes, and were gone
as suddenly and mysteriously as they had come. They were bound for the
other side of the river to work. This path had been traveled by many
generations of these people. They have always gone down to the valley to
earn their bread, but they have always climbed their hill again to eat
it, and to sleep in their snug town.

It is said that the Dilsbergers do not emigrate much; they find that
living up there above the world, in their peaceful nest, is pleasanter
than living down in the troublous world. The seven hundred inhabitants
are all blood-kin to each other, too; they have always been blood-kin to
each other for fifteen hundred years; they are simply one large family,
and they like the home folks better than they like strangers, hence they
persistently stay at home. It has been said that for ages Dilsberg
has been merely a thriving and diligent idiot-factory. I saw no idiots
there, but the captain said, "Because of late years the government has
taken to lugging them off to asylums and otherwheres; and government
wants to cripple the factory, too, and is trying to get these
Dilsbergers to marry out of the family, but they don't like to."

The captain probably imagined all this, as modern science denies that
the intermarrying of relatives deteriorates the stock.

Arrived within the wall, we found the usual village sights and life. We
moved along a narrow, crooked lane which had been paved in the Middle
Ages. A strapping, ruddy girl was beating flax or some such stuff in
a little bit of a good-box of a barn, and she swung her flail with a
will--if it was a flail; I was not farmer enough to know what she was
at; a frowsy, barelegged girl was herding half a dozen geese with
a stick--driving them along the lane and keeping them out of the
dwellings; a cooper was at work in a shop which I know he did not make
so large a thing as a hogshead in, for there was not room. In the front
rooms of dwellings girls and women were cooking or spinning, and ducks
and chickens were waddling in and out, over the threshold, picking up
chance crumbs and holding pleasant converse; a very old and wrinkled
man sat asleep before his door, with his chin upon his breast and his
extinguished pipe in his lap; soiled children were playing in the dirt
everywhere along the lane, unmindful of the sun.

Except the sleeping old man, everybody was at work, but the place was
very still and peaceful, nevertheless; so still that the distant
cackle of the successful hen smote upon the ear but little dulled
by intervening sounds. That commonest of village sights was lacking
here--the public pump, with its great stone tank or trough of limpid
water, and its group of gossiping pitcher-bearers; for there is no well
or fountain or spring on this tall hill; cisterns of rain-water are

Our alpenstocks and muslin tails compelled attention, and as we moved
through the village we gathered a considerable procession of little boys
and girls, and so went in some state to the castle. It proved to be an
extensive pile of crumbling walls, arches, and towers, massive, properly
grouped for picturesque effect, weedy, grass-grown, and satisfactory.
The children acted as guides; they walked us along the top of the
highest walls, then took us up into a high tower and showed us a wide
and beautiful landscape, made up of wavy distances of woody hills, and
a nearer prospect of undulating expanses of green lowlands, on the one
hand, and castle-graced crags and ridges on the other, with the shining
curves of the Neckar flowing between. But the principal show, the chief
pride of the children, was the ancient and empty well in the grass-grown
court of the castle. Its massive stone curb stands up three or four feet
above-ground, and is whole and uninjured. The children said that in the
Middle Ages this well was four hundred feet deep, and furnished all the
village with an abundant supply of water, in war and peace. They said
that in the old day its bottom was below the level of the Neckar, hence
the water-supply was inexhaustible.

But there were some who believed it had never been a well at all, and
was never deeper than it is now--eighty feet; that at that depth a
subterranean passage branched from it and descended gradually to a
remote place in the valley, where it opened into somebody's cellar or
other hidden recess, and that the secret of this locality is now lost.
Those who hold this belief say that herein lies the explanation that
Dilsberg, besieged by Tilly and many a soldier before him, was
never taken: after the longest and closest sieges the besiegers were
astonished to perceive that the besieged were as fat and hearty as ever,
and were well furnished with munitions of war--therefore it must be
that the Dilsbergers had been bringing these things in through the
subterranean passage all the time.

The children said that there was in truth a subterranean outlet down
there, and they would prove it. So they set a great truss of straw on
fire and threw it down the well, while we leaned on the curb and watched
the glowing mass descend. It struck bottom and gradually burned out. No
smoke came up. The children clapped their hands and said:

"You see! Nothing makes so much smoke as burning straw--now where did
the smoke go to, if there is no subterranean outlet?"

So it seemed quite evident that the subterranean outlet indeed existed.
But the finest thing within the ruin's limits was a noble linden, which
the children said was four hundred years old, and no doubt it was. It
had a mighty trunk and a mighty spread of limb and foliage. The limbs
near the ground were nearly the thickness of a barrel.

That tree had witnessed the assaults of men in mail--how remote such a
time seems, and how ungraspable is the fact that real men ever did fight
in real armor!--and it had seen the time when these broken arches and
crumbling battlements were a trim and strong and stately fortress,
fluttering its gay banners in the sun, and peopled with vigorous
humanity--how impossibly long ago that seems!--and here it stands yet,
and possibly may still be standing here, sunning itself and dreaming its
historical dreams, when today shall have been joined to the days called

Well, we sat down under the tree to smoke, and the captain delivered
himself of his legend: THE LEGEND OF DILSBERG CASTLE It was to this
effect. In the old times there was once a great company assembled at the
castle, and festivity ran high. Of course there was a haunted chamber
in the castle, and one day the talk fell upon that. It was said that
whoever slept in it would not wake again for fifty years. Now when a
young knight named Conrad von Geisberg heard this, he said that if the
castle were his he would destroy that chamber, so that no foolish person
might have the chance to bring so dreadful a misfortune upon himself
and afflict such as loved him with the memory of it. Straightway, the
company privately laid their heads together to contrive some way to get
this superstitious young man to sleep in that chamber.

And they succeeded--in this way. They persuaded his betrothed, a lovely
mischievous young creature, niece of the lord of the castle, to help
them in their plot. She presently took him aside and had speech with
him. She used all her persuasions, but could not shake him; he said his
belief was firm, that if he should sleep there he would wake no more for
fifty years, and it made him shudder to think of it. Catharina began to
weep. This was a better argument; Conrad could not hold out against it.
He yielded and said she should have her wish if she would only smile and
be happy again. She flung her arms about his neck, and the kisses she
gave him showed that her thankfulness and her pleasure were very real.
Then she flew to tell the company her success, and the applause she
received made her glad and proud she had undertaken her mission, since
all alone she had accomplished what the multitude had failed in.

At midnight, that night, after the usual feasting, Conrad was taken to
the haunted chamber and left there. He fell asleep, by and by.

When he awoke again and looked about him, his heart stood still with
horror! The whole aspect of the chamber was changed. The walls were
moldy and hung with ancient cobwebs; the curtains and beddings were
rotten; the furniture was rickety and ready to fall to pieces. He sprang
out of bed, but his quaking knees sunk under him and he fell to the

"This is the weakness of age," he said.

He rose and sought his clothing. It was clothing no longer. The colors
were gone, the garments gave way in many places while he was putting
them on. He fled, shuddering, into the corridor, and along it to
the great hall. Here he was met by a middle-aged stranger of a kind
countenance, who stopped and gazed at him with surprise. Conrad said:

"Good sir, will you send hither the lord Ulrich?"

The stranger looked puzzled a moment, then said:

"The lord Ulrich?"

"Yes--if you will be so good."

The stranger called--"Wilhelm!" A young serving-man came, and the
stranger said to him:

"Is there a lord Ulrich among the guests?"

"I know none of the name, so please your honor."

Conrad said, hesitatingly:

"I did not mean a guest, but the lord of the castle, sir."

The stranger and the servant exchanged wondering glances. Then the
former said:

"I am the lord of the castle."

"Since when, sir?"

"Since the death of my father, the good lord Ulrich more than forty
years ago."

Conrad sank upon a bench and covered his face with his hands while he
rocked his body to and fro and moaned. The stranger said in a low voice
to the servant:

"I fear me this poor old creature is mad. Call some one."

In a moment several people came, and grouped themselves about, talking
in whispers. Conrad looked up and scanned the faces about him wistfully.

Then he shook his head and said, in a grieved voice:

"No, there is none among ye that I know. I am old and alone in the
world. They are dead and gone these many years that cared for me. But
sure, some of these aged ones I see about me can tell me some little
word or two concerning them."

Several bent and tottering men and women came nearer and answered his
questions about each former friend as he mentioned the names. This one
they said had been dead ten years, that one twenty, another thirty. Each
succeeding blow struck heavier and heavier. At last the sufferer said:

"There is one more, but I have not the courage to--O my lost Catharina!"

One of the old dames said:

"Ah, I knew her well, poor soul. A misfortune overtook her lover, and
she died of sorrow nearly fifty years ago. She lieth under the linden
tree without the court."

Conrad bowed his head and said:

"Ah, why did I ever wake! And so she died of grief for me, poor child.
So young, so sweet, so good! She never wittingly did a hurtful thing in
all the little summer of her life. Her loving debt shall be repaid--for
I will die of grief for her."

His head drooped upon his breast. In the moment there was a wild burst
of joyous laughter, a pair of round young arms were flung about Conrad's
neck and a sweet voice cried:

"There, Conrad mine, thy kind words kill me--the farce shall go no
further! Look up, and laugh with us--'twas all a jest!"

And he did look up, and gazed, in a dazed wonderment--for the disguises
were stripped away, and the aged men and women were bright and young and
gay again. Catharina's happy tongue ran on:

"'Twas a marvelous jest, and bravely carried out. They gave you a heavy
sleeping-draught before you went to bed, and in the night they bore you
to a ruined chamber where all had fallen to decay, and placed these rags
of clothing by you. And when your sleep was spent and you came forth,
two strangers, well instructed in their parts, were here to meet you;
and all we, your friends, in our disguises, were close at hand, to see
and hear, you may be sure. Ah, 'twas a gallant jest! Come, now, and make
thee ready for the pleasures of the day. How real was thy misery for the
moment, thou poor lad! Look up and have thy laugh, now!"

He looked up, searched the merry faces about him in a dreamy way, then
sighed and said:

"I am aweary, good strangers, I pray you lead me to her grave."

All the smile vanished away, every cheek blanched, Catharina sunk to the
ground in a swoon.

All day the people went about the castle with troubled faces, and
communed together in undertones. A painful hush pervaded the place which
had lately been so full of cheery life. Each in his turn tried to arouse
Conrad out of his hallucination and bring him to himself; but all the
answer any got was a meek, bewildered stare, and then the words:

"Good stranger, I have no friends, all are at rest these many years;
ye speak me fair, ye mean me well, but I know ye not; I am alone and
forlorn in the world--prithee lead me to her grave."

During two years Conrad spent his days, from the early morning till the
night, under the linden tree, mourning over the imaginary grave of his
Catharina. Catharina was the only company of the harmless madman. He was
very friendly toward her because, as he said, in some ways she reminded
him of his Catharina whom he had lost "fifty years ago." He often said:

"She was so gay, so happy-hearted--but you never smile; and always when
you think I am not looking, you cry."

When Conrad died, they buried him under the linden, according to his
directions, so that he might rest "near his poor Catharina." Then
Catharina sat under the linden alone, every day and all day long, a
great many years, speaking to no one, and never smiling; and at last her
long repentance was rewarded with death, and she was buried by Conrad's

Harris pleased the captain by saying it was good legend; and pleased him
further by adding:

"Now that I have seen this mighty tree, vigorous with its four hundred
years, I feel a desire to believe the legend for ITS sake; so I will
humor the desire, and consider that the tree really watches over those
poor hearts and feels a sort of human tenderness for them."

We returned to Necharsteinach, plunged our hot heads into the trough at
the town pump, and then went to the hotel and ate our trout dinner in
leisurely comfort, in the garden, with the beautiful Neckar flowing at
our feet, the quaint Dilsberg looming beyond, and the graceful towers
and battlements of a couple of medieval castles (called the "Swallow's
Nest" [1] and "The Brothers.") assisting the rugged scenery of a bend
of the river down to our right. We got to sea in season to make the
eight-mile run to Heidelberg before the night shut down. We sailed by
the hotel in the mellow glow of sunset, and came slashing down with
the mad current into the narrow passage between the dikes. I believed I
could shoot the bridge myself, and I went to the forward triplet of logs
and relieved the pilot of his pole and his responsibility.

   1. The seeker after information is referred to Appendix E
  for our captain's legend of the "Swallow's Nest" and
  "The Brothers."

We went tearing along in a most exhilarating way, and I performed the
delicate duties of my office very well indeed for a first attempt;
but perceiving, presently, that I really was going to shoot the bridge
itself instead of the archway under it, I judiciously stepped ashore.
The next moment I had my long-coveted desire: I saw a raft wrecked. It
hit the pier in the center and went all to smash and scatteration like a
box of matches struck by lightning.

I was the only one of our party who saw this grand sight; the others
were attitudinizing, for the benefit of the long rank of young ladies
who were promenading on the bank, and so they lost it. But I helped to
fish them out of the river, down below the bridge, and then described it
to them as well as I could.

They were not interested, though. They said they were wet and felt
ridiculous and did not care anything for descriptions of scenery. The
young ladies, and other people, crowded around and showed a great deal
of sympathy, but that did not help matters; for my friends said they did
not want sympathy, they wanted a back alley and solitude.


[My Precious, Priceless Tear-Jug]

Next morning brought good news--our trunks had arrived from Hamburg
at last. Let this be a warning to the reader. The Germans are very
conscientious, and this trait makes them very particular. Therefore if
you tell a German you want a thing done immediately, he takes you
at your word; he thinks you mean what you say; so he does that thing
immediately--according to his idea of immediately--which is about a
week; that is, it is a week if it refers to the building of a garment,
or it is an hour and a half if it refers to the cooking of a trout. Very
well; if you tell a German to send your trunk to you by "slow freight,"
he takes you at your word; he sends it by "slow freight," and you
cannot imagine how long you will go on enlarging your admiration of the
expressiveness of that phrase in the German tongue, before you get that
trunk. The hair on my trunk was soft and thick and youthful, when I
got it ready for shipment in Hamburg; it was baldheaded when it reached
Heidelberg. However, it was still sound, that was a comfort, it was
not battered in the least; the baggagemen seemed to be conscientiously
careful, in Germany, of the baggage entrusted to their hands. There
was nothing now in the way of our departure, therefore we set about our

Naturally my chief solicitude was about my collection of Ceramics. Of
course I could not take it with me, that would be inconvenient, and
dangerous besides. I took advice, but the best brick-a-brackers were
divided as to the wisest course to pursue; some said pack the collection
and warehouse it; others said try to get it into the Grand Ducal Museum
at Mannheim for safe keeping. So I divided the collection, and followed
the advice of both parties. I set aside, for the Museum, those articles
which were the most frail and precious.

Among these was my Etruscan tear-jug. I have made a little sketch of
it here; that thing creeping up the side is not a bug, it is a hole.
I bought this tear-jug of a dealer in antiquities for four hundred and
fifty dollars. It is very rare. The man said the Etruscans used to keep
tears or something in these things, and that it was very hard to get
hold of a broken one, now.

I also set aside my Henri II. plate. See sketch from my pencil; it is
in the main correct, though I think I have foreshortened one end of it
a little too much, perhaps. This is very fine and rare; the shape is
exceedingly beautiful and unusual. It has wonderful decorations on it,
but I am not able to reproduce them. It cost more than the tear-jug, as
the dealer said there was not another plate just like it in the
world. He said there was much false Henri II ware around, but that the
genuineness of this piece was unquestionable.

He showed me its pedigree, or its history, if you please; it was a
document which traced this plate's movements all the way down from its
birth--showed who bought it, from whom, and what he paid for it--from
the first buyer down to me, whereby I saw that it had gone steadily up
from thirty-five cents to seven hundred dollars. He said that the whole
Ceramic world would be informed that it was now in my possession and
would make a note of it, with the price paid. [Figure 8]

There were Masters in those days, but, alas--it is not so now. Of course
the main preciousness of this piece lies in its color; it is that old
sensuous, pervading, ramifying, interpolating, transboreal blue which is
the despair of modern art. The little sketch which I have made of this
gem cannot and does not do it justice, since I have been obliged to
leave out the color. But I've got the expression, though.

However, I must not be frittering away the reader's time with these
details. I did not intend to go into any detail at all, at first, but
it is the failing of the true ceramiker, or the true devotee in any
department of brick-a-brackery, that once he gets his tongue or his pen
started on his darling theme, he cannot well stop until he drops from
exhaustion. He has no more sense of the flight of time than has any
other lover when talking of his sweetheart. The very "marks" on the
bottom of a piece of rare crockery are able to throw me into a gibbering
ecstasy; and I could forsake a drowning relative to help dispute about
whether the stopple of a departed Buon Retiro scent-bottle was genuine
or spurious.

Many people say that for a male person, bric-a-brac hunting is about as
robust a business as making doll-clothes, or decorating Japanese pots
with decalcomania butterflies would be, and these people fling mud at
the elegant Englishman, Byng, who wrote a book called THE BRIC-A-BRAC
HUNTER, and make fun of him for chasing around after what they choose to
call "his despicable trifles"; and for "gushing" over these trifles;
and for exhibiting his "deep infantile delight" in what they call his
"tuppenny collection of beggarly trivialities"; and for beginning his
book with a picture of himself seated, in a "sappy, self-complacent
attitude, in the midst of his poor little ridiculous bric-a-brac junk

It is easy to say these things; it is easy to revile us, easy to despise
us; therefore, let these people rail on; they cannot feel as Byng and
I feel--it is their loss, not ours. For my part I am content to be a
brick-a-bracker and a ceramiker--more, I am proud to be so named. I am
proud to know that I lose my reason as immediately in the presence of a
rare jug with an illustrious mark on the bottom of it, as if I had
just emptied that jug. Very well; I packed and stored a part of my
collection, and the rest of it I placed in the care of the Grand Ducal
Museum in Mannheim, by permission. My Old Blue China Cat remains there
yet. I presented it to that excellent institution.

I had but one misfortune with my things. An egg which I had kept back
from breakfast that morning, was broken in packing. It was a great pity.
I had shown it to the best connoisseurs in Heidelberg, and they all said
it was an antique. We spent a day or two in farewell visits, and then
left for Baden-Baden. We had a pleasant trip to it, for the Rhine valley
is always lovely. The only trouble was that the trip was too short. If
I remember rightly it only occupied a couple of hours, therefore I judge
that the distance was very little, if any, over fifty miles. We
quitted the train at Oos, and walked the entire remaining distance to
Baden-Baden, with the exception of a lift of less than an hour which
we got on a passing wagon, the weather being exhaustingly warm. We came
into town on foot.

One of the first persons we encountered, as we walked up the street,
was the Rev. Mr. ------, an old friend from America--a lucky encounter,
indeed, for his is a most gentle, refined, and sensitive nature, and his
company and companionship are a genuine refreshment. We knew he had been
in Europe some time, but were not at all expecting to run across him.
Both parties burst forth into loving enthusiasms, and Rev. Mr. ------

"I have got a brimful reservoir of talk to pour out on you, and an empty
one ready and thirsting to receive what you have got; we will sit up
till midnight and have a good satisfying interchange, for I leave here
early in the morning." We agreed to that, of course.

I had been vaguely conscious, for a while, of a person who was walking
in the street abreast of us; I had glanced furtively at him once or
twice, and noticed that he was a fine, large, vigorous young fellow,
with an open, independent countenance, faintly shaded with a pale and
even almost imperceptible crop of early down, and that he was clothed
from head to heel in cool and enviable snow-white linen. I thought I had
also noticed that his head had a sort of listening tilt to it. Now about
this time the Rev. Mr. ------ said:

"The sidewalk is hardly wide enough for three, so I will walk behind;
but keep the talk going, keep the talk going, there's no time to lose,
and you may be sure I will do my share." He ranged himself behind us,
and straightway that stately snow-white young fellow closed up to the
sidewalk alongside him, fetched him a cordial slap on the shoulder with
his broad palm, and sung out with a hearty cheeriness:

"AMERICANS for two-and-a-half and the money up! HEY?"

The Reverend winced, but said mildly:

"Yes--we are Americans."

"Lord love you, you can just bet that's what _I_ am, every time! Put it

He held out his Sahara of his palm, and the Reverend laid his diminutive
hand in it, and got so cordial a shake that we heard his glove burst
under it.

"Say, didn't I put you up right?"

"Oh, yes."

"Sho! I spotted you for MY kind the minute I heard your clack. You been
over here long?"

"About four months. Have you been over long?"

"LONG? Well, I should say so! Going on two YEARS, by geeminy! Say, are
you homesick?"

"No, I can't say that I am. Are you?"

"Oh, HELL, yes!" This with immense enthusiasm.

The Reverend shrunk a little, in his clothes, and we were aware, rather
by instinct than otherwise, that he was throwing out signals of distress
to us; but we did not interfere or try to succor him, for we were quite

The young fellow hooked his arm into the Reverend's, now, with the
confiding and grateful air of a waif who has been longing for a friend,
and a sympathetic ear, and a chance to lisp once more the sweet accents
of the mother-tongue--and then he limbered up the muscles of his mouth
and turned himself loose--and with such a relish! Some of his words were
not Sunday-school words, so I am obliged to put blanks where they occur.

"Yes indeedy! If _I_ ain't an American there AIN'T any Americans, that's
all. And when I heard you fellows gassing away in the good old American
language, I'm ------ if it wasn't all I could do to keep from hugging
you! My tongue's all warped with trying to curl it around these ------
forsaken wind-galled nine-jointed German words here; now I TELL you it's
awful good to lay it over a Christian word once more and kind of let the
old taste soak it. I'm from western New York. My name is Cholley Adams.
I'm a student, you know. Been here going on two years. I'm learning to
be a horse-doctor! I LIKE that part of it, you know, but ------these
people, they won't learn a fellow in his own language, they make him
learn in German; so before I could tackle the horse-doctoring I had to
tackle this miserable language.

"First off, I thought it would certainly give me the botts, but I don't
mind now. I've got it where the hair's short, I think; and dontchuknow,
they made me learn Latin, too. Now between you and me, I wouldn't give a
------for all the Latin that was ever jabbered; and the first thing _I_
calculate to do when I get through, is to just sit down and forget it.
'Twon't take me long, and I don't mind the time, anyway. And I tell
you what! the difference between school-teaching over yonder and
school-teaching over here--sho! WE don't know anything about it! Here
you've got to peg and peg and peg and there just ain't any let-up--and
what you learn here, you've got to KNOW, dontchuknow --or else you'll
have one of these ------ spavined, spectacles, ring-boned, knock-kneed
old professors in your hair. I've been here long ENOUGH, and I'm getting
blessed tired of it, mind I TELL you. The old man wrote me that he was
coming over in June, and said he'd take me home in August, whether I was
done with my education or not, but durn him, he didn't come; never said
why; just sent me a hamper of Sunday-school books, and told me to
be good, and hold on a while. I don't take to Sunday-school books,
dontchuknow--I don't hanker after them when I can get pie--but I READ
them, anyway, because whatever the old man tells me to do, that's the
thing that I'm a-going to DO, or tear something, you know. I buckled
in and read all those books, because he wanted me to; but that kind of
thing don't excite ME, I like something HEARTY. But I'm awful homesick.
I'm homesick from ear-socket to crupper, and from crupper to hock-joint;
but it ain't any use, I've got to stay here, till the old man drops the
rag and give the word--yes, SIR, right here in this ------ country
I've got to linger till the old man says COME!--and you bet your bottom
dollar, Johnny, it AIN'T just as easy as it is for a cat to have twins!"

At the end of this profane and cordial explosion he fetched a prodigious
"WHOOSH!" to relieve his lungs and make recognition of the heat, and
then he straightway dived into his narrative again for "Johnny's"
benefit, beginning, "Well, ------it ain't any use talking, some of those
old American words DO have a kind of a bully swing to them; a man
can EXPRESS himself with 'em--a man can get at what he wants to SAY,

When we reached our hotel and it seemed that he was about to lose the
Reverend, he showed so much sorrow, and begged so hard and so earnestly
that the Reverend's heart was not hard enough to hold out against the
pleadings--so he went away with the parent-honoring student, like a
right Christian, and took supper with him in his lodgings, and sat in
the surf-beat of his slang and profanity till near midnight, and then
left him--left him pretty well talked out, but grateful "clear down
to his frogs," as he expressed it. The Reverend said it had transpired
during the interview that "Cholley" Adams's father was an extensive
dealer in horses in western New York; this accounted for Cholley's
choice of a profession. The Reverend brought away a pretty high opinion
of Cholley as a manly young fellow, with stuff in him for a useful
citizen; he considered him rather a rough gem, but a gem, nevertheless.


[Insolent Shopkeepers and Gabbling Americans]

Baden-Baden sits in the lap of the hills, and the natural and artificial
beauties of the surroundings are combined effectively and charmingly.
The level strip of ground which stretches through and beyond the town is
laid out in handsome pleasure grounds, shaded by noble trees and adorned
at intervals with lofty and sparkling fountain-jets. Thrice a day a fine
band makes music in the public promenade before the Conversation
House, and in the afternoon and evening that locality is populous with
fashionably dressed people of both sexes, who march back and forth past
the great music-stand and look very much bored, though they make a
show of feeling otherwise. It seems like a rather aimless and stupid
existence. A good many of these people are there for a real purpose,
however; they are racked with rheumatism, and they are there to stew it
out in the hot baths. These invalids looked melancholy enough, limping
about on their canes and crutches, and apparently brooding over all
sorts of cheerless things. People say that Germany, with her damp stone
houses, is the home of rheumatism. If that is so, Providence must have
foreseen that it would be so, and therefore filled the land with the
healing baths. Perhaps no other country is so generously supplied with
medicinal springs as Germany. Some of these baths are good for one
ailment, some for another; and again, peculiar ailments are conquered
by combining the individual virtues of several different baths. For
instance, for some forms of disease, the patient drinks the native hot
water of Baden-Baden, with a spoonful of salt from the Carlsbad springs
dissolved in it. That is not a dose to be forgotten right away.

They don't SELL this hot water; no, you go into the great Trinkhalle,
and stand around, first on one foot and then on the other, while two or
three young girls sit pottering at some sort of ladylike sewing-work
in your neighborhood and can't seem to see you --polite as three-dollar
clerks in government offices.

By and by one of these rises painfully, and "stretches"--stretches fists
and body heavenward till she raises her heels from the floor, at the
same time refreshing herself with a yawn of such comprehensiveness that
the bulk of her face disappears behind her upper lip and one is able to
see how she is constructed inside--then she slowly closes her
cavern, brings down her fists and her heels, comes languidly forward,
contemplates you contemptuously, draws you a glass of hot water and sets
it down where you can get it by reaching for it. You take it and say:

"How much?"--and she returns you, with elaborate indifference, a
beggar's answer:

"NACH BELIEBE" (what you please.)

This thing of using the common beggar's trick and the common beggar's
shibboleth to put you on your liberality when you were expecting a
simple straightforward commercial transaction, adds a little to your
prospering sense of irritation. You ignore her reply, and ask again:

"How much?"

--and she calmly, indifferently, repeats:


You are getting angry, but you are trying not to show it; you resolve
to keep on asking your question till she changes her answer, or at least
her annoyingly indifferent manner. Therefore, if your case be like mine,
you two fools stand there, and without perceptible emotion of any kind,
or any emphasis on any syllable, you look blandly into each other's
eyes, and hold the following idiotic conversation:

"How much?"


"How much?"


"How much?"


"How much?"


"How much?"


"How much?"


I do not know what another person would have done, but at this point I
gave up; that cast-iron indifference, that tranquil contemptuousness,
conquered me, and I struck my colors. Now I knew she was used to
receiving about a penny from manly people who care nothing about the
opinions of scullery-maids, and about tuppence from moral cowards; but
I laid a silver twenty-five cent piece within her reach and tried to
shrivel her up with this sarcastic speech:

"If it isn't enough, will you stoop sufficiently from your official
dignity to say so?"

She did not shrivel. Without deigning to look at me at all, she
languidly lifted the coin and bit it!--to see if it was good. Then she
turned her back and placidly waddled to her former roost again, tossing
the money into an open till as she went along. She was victor to the
last, you see.

I have enlarged upon the ways of this girl because they are typical;
her manners are the manners of a goodly number of the Baden-Baden
shopkeepers. The shopkeeper there swindles you if he can, and insults
you whether he succeeds in swindling you or not. The keepers of baths
also take great and patient pains to insult you. The frowsy woman who
sat at the desk in the lobby of the great Friederichsbad and sold bath
tickets, not only insulted me twice every day, with rigid fidelity
to her great trust, but she took trouble enough to cheat me out of a
shilling, one day, to have fairly entitled her to ten. Baden-Baden's
splendid gamblers are gone, only her microscopic knaves remain.

An English gentleman who had been living there several years, said:

"If you could disguise your nationality, you would not find any
insolence here. These shopkeepers detest the English and despise the
Americans; they are rude to both, more especially to ladies of your
nationality and mine. If these go shopping without a gentleman or
a man-servant, they are tolerably sure to be subjected to petty
insolences--insolences of manner and tone, rather than word, though
words that are hard to bear are not always wanting. I know of an
instance where a shopkeeper tossed a coin back to an American lady with
the remark, snappishly uttered, 'We don't take French money here.' And
I know of a case where an English lady said to one of these shopkeepers,
'Don't you think you ask too much for this article?' and he replied with
the question, 'Do you think you are obliged to buy it?' However, these
people are not impolite to Russians or Germans. And as to rank, they
worship that, for they have long been used to generals and nobles. If
you wish to see what abysses servility can descend, present yourself
before a Baden-Baden shopkeeper in the character of a Russian prince."

It is an inane town, filled with sham, and petty fraud, and snobbery,
but the baths are good. I spoke with many people, and they were all
agreed in that. I had the twinges of rheumatism unceasingly during three
years, but the last one departed after a fortnight's bathing there,
and I have never had one since. I fully believe I left my rheumatism in
Baden-Baden. Baden-Baden is welcome to it. It was little, but it was
all I had to give. I would have preferred to leave something that was
catching, but it was not in my power.

There are several hot springs there, and during two thousand years they
have poured forth a never-diminishing abundance of the healing water.
This water is conducted in pipe to the numerous bath-houses, and is
reduced to an endurable temperature by the addition of cold water. The
new Friederichsbad is a very large and beautiful building, and in it one
may have any sort of bath that has ever been invented, and with all
the additions of herbs and drugs that his ailment may need or that the
physician of the establishment may consider a useful thing to put into
the water. You go there, enter the great door, get a bow graduated to
your style and clothes from the gorgeous portier, and a bath ticket and
an insult from the frowsy woman for a quarter; she strikes a bell and
a serving-man conducts you down a long hall and shuts you into a
commodious room which has a washstand, a mirror, a bootjack, and a sofa
in it, and there you undress at your leisure.

The room is divided by a great curtain; you draw this curtain aside, and
find a large white marble bathtub, with its rim sunk to the level of the
floor, and with three white marble steps leading down to it. This tub
is full of water which is as clear as crystal, and is tempered to 28
degrees Re'aumur (about 95 degrees Fahrenheit). Sunk into the floor, by
the tub, is a covered copper box which contains some warm towels and a
sheet. You look fully as white as an angel when you are stretched out
in that limpid bath. You remain in it ten minutes, the first time,
and afterward increase the duration from day to day, till you reach
twenty-five or thirty minutes. There you stop. The appointments of the
place are so luxurious, the benefit so marked, the price so moderate,
and the insults so sure, that you very soon find yourself adoring the
Friederichsbad and infesting it.

We had a plain, simple, unpretending, good hotel, in Baden-Baden--the
Hôtel de France--and alongside my room I had a giggling, cackling,
chattering family who always went to bed just two hours after me and
always got up two hours ahead of me. But this is common in German
hotels; the people generally go to bed long after eleven and get up
long before eight. The partitions convey sound like a drum-head, and
everybody knows it; but no matter, a German family who are all kindness
and consideration in the daytime make apparently no effort to moderate
their noises for your benefit at night. They will sing, laugh, and talk
loudly, and bang furniture around in a most pitiless way. If you knock
on your wall appealingly, they will quiet down and discuss the matter
softly among themselves for a moment--then, like the mice, they fall to
persecuting you again, and as vigorously as before. They keep cruelly
late and early hours, for such noisy folk.

Of course, when one begins to find fault with foreign people's ways, he
is very likely to get a reminder to look nearer home, before he gets far
with it. I open my note-book to see if I can find some more information
of a valuable nature about Baden-Baden, and the first thing I fall upon
is this:

"BADEN-BADEN (no date). Lot of vociferous Americans at breakfast
this morning. Talking AT everybody, while pretending to talk among
themselves. On their first travels, manifestly. Showing off. The usual
signs--airy, easy-going references to grand distances and foreign
places. 'Well GOOD-by, old fellow--if I don't run across you in Italy,
you hunt me up in London before you sail.'"

The next item which I find in my note-book is this one:

"The fact that a band of 6,000 Indians are now murdering our
frontiersmen at their impudent leisure, and that we are only able
to send 1,200 soldiers against them, is utilized here to discourage
emigration to America. The common people think the Indians are in New

This is a new and peculiar argument against keeping our army down to a
ridiculous figure in the matter of numbers. It is rather a striking
one, too. I have not distorted the truth in saying that the facts in
the above item, about the army and the Indians, are made use of to
discourage emigration to America. That the common people should be
rather foggy in their geography, and foggy as to the location of the
Indians, is a matter for amusement, maybe, but not of surprise.

There is an interesting old cemetery in Baden-Baden, and we spent
several pleasant hours in wandering through it and spelling out the
inscriptions on the aged tombstones. Apparently after a man has laid
there a century or two, and has had a good many people buried on top
of him, it is considered that his tombstone is not needed by him any
longer. I judge so from the fact that hundreds of old gravestones have
been removed from the graves and placed against the inner walls of the
cemetery. What artists they had in the old times! They chiseled angels
and cherubs and devils and skeletons on the tombstones in the most
lavish and generous way--as to supply--but curiously grotesque and
outlandish as to form. It is not always easy to tell which of the
figures belong among the blest and which of them among the opposite
party. But there was an inscription, in French, on one of those old
stones, which was quaint and pretty, and was plainly not the work of any
other than a poet. It was to this effect:

Here Reposes in God, Caroline de Clery, a Religieuse of St. Denis aged
83 years--and blind. The light was restored to her in Baden the 5th of
January, 1839

We made several excursions on foot to the neighboring villages, over
winding and beautiful roads and through enchanting woodland scenery.
The woods and roads were similar to those at Heidelberg, but not
so bewitching. I suppose that roads and woods which are up to the
Heidelberg mark are rare in the world.

Once we wandered clear away to La Favorita Palace, which is several
miles from Baden-Baden. The grounds about the palace were fine; the
palace was a curiosity. It was built by a Margravine in 1725, and
remains as she left it at her death. We wandered through a great many
of its rooms, and they all had striking peculiarities of decoration.
For instance, the walls of one room were pretty completely covered
with small pictures of the Margravine in all conceivable varieties of
fanciful costumes, some of them male.

The walls of another room were covered with grotesquely and elaborately
figured hand-wrought tapestry. The musty ancient beds remained in the
chambers, and their quilts and curtains and canopies were decorated with
curious handwork, and the walls and ceilings frescoed with historical
and mythological scenes in glaring colors. There was enough crazy and
rotten rubbish in the building to make a true brick-a-bracker green with
envy. A painting in the dining-hall verged upon the indelicate--but then
the Margravine was herself a trifle indelicate.

It is in every way a wildly and picturesquely decorated house, and
brimful of interest as a reflection of the character and tastes of that
rude bygone time.

In the grounds, a few rods from the palace, stands the Margravine's
chapel, just as she left it--a coarse wooden structure, wholly barren
of ornament. It is said that the Margravine would give herself up to
debauchery and exceedingly fast living for several months at a time,
and then retire to this miserable wooden den and spend a few months in
repenting and getting ready for another good time. She was a devoted
Catholic, and was perhaps quite a model sort of a Christian as
Christians went then, in high life.

Tradition says she spent the last two years of her life in the strange
den I have been speaking of, after having indulged herself in one final,
triumphant, and satisfying spree. She shut herself up there, without
company, and without even a servant, and so abjured and forsook the
world. In her little bit of a kitchen she did her own cooking; she wore
a hair shirt next the skin, and castigated herself with whips--these
aids to grace are exhibited there yet. She prayed and told her beads,
in another little room, before a waxen Virgin niched in a little box
against the wall; she bedded herself like a slave.

In another small room is an unpainted wooden table, and behind it sit
half-life-size waxen figures of the Holy Family, made by the very worst
artist that ever lived, perhaps, and clothed in gaudy, flimsy drapery.
[1] The margravine used to bring her meals to this table and DINE WITH
THE HOLY FAMILY. What an idea that was! What a grisly spectacle it must
have been! Imagine it: Those rigid, shock-headed figures, with corpsy
complexions and fish glass eyes, occupying one side of the table in the
constrained attitudes and dead fixedness that distinguish all men that
are born of wax, and this wrinkled, smoldering old fire-eater occupying
the other side, mumbling her prayers and munching her sausages in the
ghostly stillness and shadowy indistinctness of a winter twilight. It
makes one feel crawly even to think of it.

  [1] The Savior was represented as a lad of about fifteen
  years of age. This figure had lost one eye.

In this sordid place, and clothed, bedded, and fed like a pauper, this
strange princess lived and worshiped during two years, and in it she
died. Two or three hundred years ago, this would have made the poor den
holy ground; and the church would have set up a miracle-factory there
and made plenty of money out of it. The den could be moved into some
portions of France and made a good property even now.

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