Viewing page 6 of 9

Page 2.

They would shine here like stars.

You no doubt expect in this a most in this a most interesting letter, coming awa-a-y from Germany, a land of fable, poetry, and song where every mountain and every castle has its story, and the rivers flow in murmurs that seem but voices of the lingering spirit of sainted, warriors, sprites, heroes, and maidens with which fancy and romance and the legends of a thousand years have peopled them, but Lord bless you my dear child, you have not yet learned that commonplaceness is the sum and substance of what one finds, go where one will, and that to see all these fine things, the Rhine with its rocks and ruins, its castles and its crags that have been sung and sung in a thousand metres, while I have found great pleasure in it I have found also to a greater degree than I expected if not much variety, at least in the multitude of guides beggars and other nuisances a great deal of vexations of spirit - That is as being directly and inseparably connected with the pleasantest things -

One must live amongst them for a time and learn to divest themselves of the multitude of annoyances that are mixed up with all sightseeing in these lands before they can enjoy the fine things to a reasonable extent - I have now been here a year and a half, but my time has been most entirely spent in this quiet town from whence I date, whose interesting and distinguishing points are very few, and are now to me as hum-drum as any of the peculiarities of our down-east villages.

The extent of my journying is in having made the tour of the Rhine with an additional excursion to Heidelberg and into a portion of Bavaria ending the long list of ancient ruins, which are of course the chiefest and most interesting feature of this delightful trip, with the Castle of Trifels, where Richard Coeur de Leon was two years a prisoner on his return from Palestine, and where Blondell his minstrell sung beneath his walls and then 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 and by any means of great difficulty of ascent - From a small area on this high point rises the solitary tower, the only remains of what was once a strong fortress and the prison of England's heroic and romantic king. It contains however the dungeon where he was said to be confined - But the scenery which it overlooks is of extraordinary beauty, mountains receding one beyond another vallies and vineyards & all at this time clothed in the brown and beautiful colours of autumn - Altho you may not be able to acct for it, I assure you that while looking at this fine sight end enjoying the thots. which its history suggested I was seized with the idea and the desire to make a sketch of the whole and address it with a note to you two girls - But it was already late in the season and at this elevation so frightfully cold that I was utterly unable to accomplish it, so after making but an imperfect drawing of the town and ruin and plucking a quantity of leaves from the evergreen ivy that was clinging to the rocks and twisting its branches around its ancient and crumbling walls I was forced to decend very much benumbed and blue - Of those, I at least send you one, thinking you may probably have pleasure in such a memorial of this interesting spot similar to my own. They were growing upon the outside of the dungeon wall just over the entrance. I mention this chiefly to show you that altho. I give you perhaps but poor proof a proper remembrance in the way of writing letters I still think of the girls (over the way) a thousand times when they do not think of me-

And by the way, I will here thank you for the yellow leaf enclosed in your letter - It came to me safely its long way across the ocean and in its bright colour spoke to me of the glowing autumn forrest of America, of those rich landscapes whose million hues blent in such matchless beauty I have loved to gaze upon in my own
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact transcribe@si.edu.