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letter in search of me after the first had met with such an apparent ill return & be assured how heartily I appreciate your constant regard & especially your continued confidence in mine - which I trust you will have no occasion to diminish. Pray write me soon again - It is a delightful thing to hear now and then from my old home direct, & have the names of acquaintances & companions freshly brot. up to me & an image of the little world as it still goes on there with its various changes, some sad & other pleasant in all of which I feel much interest -- Some are married -- Very naturally -- You girls however continue apparently obstinate, & dont give me to understand that there is anything of the sort going on there - I am prepared however any day for another story -- Chas. Lombard & the pretty Fanny Johnson I understand have sometime since consummated matters, & are probably now in the jogging part of matrimonial life. What a distance ahead of me. When I shall come to that, is, I fancy as utterly a matter of conjecture as can possibly be, especially if I wait for such a pretty girl to fall in love with me as Chas. has got. Perhaps you imagine it an impossibility that I should at last bring home a dutch girl. Not at all. I fall back upon "Down East" in preference which according to my experience is the place for saw-logs & pretty girls of all places in the world. They would shine here like stars- You no doubt expect in this a most interesting letter, coming awa-a-y from Germany, a land of fable, poetry, & song where every mountain & every castle has its story, & the rivers flow in murmurs that seem but voices of the lingering spirits of sainted warriors, sprites, heroes & maidens with which fancy & romance & the legends of a thousand years have peopled them, but Lord bless you my dear child, [[strikethrough]] that commonplaceness [[/strikethrough]] you have not yet learned that commonplaceness is the sum & substance of what one finds, go where one will, & that to us all these fine things, the Rhine with its rocks & ruins its castles & its crags that have been seen & sung in a thousand metres, while I have found great pleasure in it. I have found alas to a greater degree than I expected if not much variety, at least in the multitude of guides beggars & other nuisances a great deal of dejection of spirit- That is as being directly & inseparably connected with the pleasantest things- One must live [[strikethrough]] awhile [[strikethrough]] amongst them for a time & learn to divest themselves of the multitudes of annoyances that are mixed up with all sight seeing in these lands before they can enjoy the fine things to a reasonable extent. I have now been here a year & a half, but my time has been most entirely spent in this quiet town from whence I date, whose interesting & distinguishing points are very few, & are now to me as hum-drum as any of the peculiarities of our down-east villages. The extent of my journeying is in having made the tour of the Rhine on the [[?]] excursion to Heidelberg & into a portion of Bavaria ending the long list of ancient ruins which are of course the cheifest & most interesting feature of this delightful trip, with the Castle of Trifels, when Richard Coeur de Lion was two years a prisoner on his return from Palestine, & where Blondell his Minstrell sung beneath his walls & thus discovered his place of long concealment- It is perched on the top of a rock projecting from the summit of a conical mountain, three sides of which rock are perpendicular & by any means of great difficulty of ascent- From a small area on this high point bides the solitary tower, the only remains of what was once a strong fortress & the prison of Englands heroic & romantic king. It [[?]] the dungeon where he was said to be confined. But the scenery which it overlooks is of extraordinary beauty. Mountains receding one beyond another, valleys & vineyards & all at the time clothed in the brown & beautiful colors of Autumn. Altho. you may not be able to acct. for it I assure you that while looking at this fine sight & enjoying the thots. which its history suggested- I was seized with the idea & the desire to make a sketch of it & address a note to you two girls- But it was already late in the season & at this elevation so frightfully cold that I was utterly unable to accomplish it, so after making but one imperfect drawing of the tower & ruin & taking a quantity of leaves from the evergreen ivy that was clinging to the rocks & twisting its branches around its ancient & crumbling walls- I was forced to decend very much benumbed & blue- [[?]] I at least send you one, thinking you may probably have a pleasure in such a memorial of this interesting spot similar to my own. They were growing upon the outside of the dungeon walls just over the entrance. I mention this chiefly to show you that altho. I give perhaps but poor proof of a proper remembrance in this way of writing letters I still think of the [[girls?]] "over the way" a thousand
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