Lippincott
316 Pages
English

Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 20, August 1877

-

Downloading requires you to have access to the YouScribe library
Learn all about the services we offer

Description

Project Gutenberg's Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 20, August 1877, by VariousThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and withalmost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away orre-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.orgTitle: Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 20, August 1877Author: VariousRelease Date: August 2, 2009 [EBook #29575]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK LIPPINCOTT'S MAGAZINE ***Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Christine D. and the OnlineDistributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.netLIPPINCOTT'S MAGAZINEOFPOPULAR LITERATURE AND SCIENCE.VOL. XX.AUGUST, 1877.Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1877, by J. B. Lippincott & Co., in the Office of the Librarian ofCongress, at Washington.DOWN THE RHINE.CONCLUDING PAPER.CASTLE OF ELTZ. CASTLE OF ELTZ.Coblenz is the place which many years ago gave me my first associations with the Rhine. From a neighboring town weoften drove to Coblenz, and the wide, calm flow of the river, the low, massive bridge of boats and the commonplaceoutskirts of a busy city contributed to make up a very different picture from that of the poetic "castled" Rhine of Germansong and English ballad. The old town has, however, many beauties, though its military character looks out through mostof them, and reminds us that the Mosel city (for it originally stood only on that river, and then ...

Subjects

Informations

Published by
Published 08 December 2010
Reads 45
Language English

Exrait

Project Gutenberg's Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 20,
August 1877, by Various
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no
cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,
give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg
License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 20, August 1877
Author: Various
Release Date: August 2, 2009 [EBook #29575]
Language: English
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK
LIPPINCOTT'S MAGAZINE ***
Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Christine D. and the
Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.netLippincott's Magazine
OF
POPULAR LITERATURE AND
SCIENCE.
Vol. XX.
AUGUST, 1877.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year
1877, by J. B. Lippincott & Co., in the Office of the
Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
DOWN THE RHINE.
CONCLUDING PAPER.
CASTLE OF ELTZ. CASTLE OF ELTZ.
Coblenz is the place which many years ago gave me
my first associations with the Rhine. From a
neighboring town we often drove to Coblenz, and thewide, calm flow of the river, the low, massive bridge of
boats and the commonplace outskirts of a busy city
contributed to make up a very different picture from
that of the poetic "castled" Rhine of German song and
English ballad. The old town has, however, many
beauties, though its military character looks out
through most of them, and reminds us that the Mosel
city (for it originally stood only on that river, and then
crept up to the Rhine), though a point of union in
Nature, has been for ages, so far as mankind was
concerned, a point of defence and watching. The great
fortress, a German Gibraltar, hangs over the river and
sets its teeth in the face of the opposite shore: all the
foreign element in the town is due to the deposits
made there by troubles in other countries, revolution
and war sending their exiles, émigrés and prisoners.
The history of the town is only a long military record,
from the days of the archbishops of Trèves, to whom
it was subject, to those of the last war. It has,
however, some pleasanter points: it has long been a
favorite summer residence of the empress of
Germany, who not long before I was there had by her
tact and toleration reconciled sundry religious
differences that threatened a political storm. Such
toleration has gone out of fashion now, and the
peacemaking queen would have a harder task to
perform now that the two parties have come to an
open collision. There is the old "German house" by the
bank of the Mosel, a building little altered outwardly
since the fourteenth century, now used as a food-
magazine for the troops. The church of St. Castor
commemorates a holy hermit who lived and preached
to the heathen in the eighth century, and also covers
the grave and monument of the founder of the"Mouse" at Wellmich, the warlike Kuno of Falkenstein,
archbishop of Trèves. The Exchange, once a court of
justice, has changed less startlingly, and its
proportions are much the same as of old; and besides
these there are other buildings worth noticing, though
not so old, and rather distinguished by the men who
lived and died there, or were born there, such as
Metternich, than by architectural beauties. Such
houses there are in every old city. They do not invite
you to go in and admire them: every tourist you meet
does not ask you how you liked them or whether you
saw them. They are homes, and sealed to you as
such, but they are the shell of the real life of the
country; and they have somehow a charm and a
fascination that no public building or show-place can
have. Goethe, who turned his life-experiences into
poetry, has told us something of one such house not
far from Coblenz, in the village of Ehrenbreitstein,
beneath the fortress, and which in familiar Coblenz
parlance goes by the name of "The Valley"—the house
of Sophie de Laroche. The village is also Clement
Brentano's birthplace.
The oldest of German cities, Trèves (or in German
Trier), is not too far to visit on our way up the Mosel
Valley, whose Celtic inhabitants of old gave the
Roman legions so much trouble. But Rome ended by
conquering, by means of her civilization as well as by
her arms, and Augusta Trevirorum, though claiming a
far higher antiquity than Rome herself, and still bearing
an inscription to that effect on the old council-house—
now called the Red House and used as a hotel—
became, as Ausonius condescendingly remarked, a
second Rome, adorned with baths, gardens, temples,theatres and all that went to make up an imperial
capital. As in Venice everything precious seems to
have come from Constantinople, so in Trier most
things worthy of note date from the days of the
Romans; though, to tell the truth, few of the actual
buildings do, no matter how classic is their look. The
style of the Empire outlived its sway, and doubtless
symbolized to the inhabitants their traditions of a
higher standard of civilization. The Porta Nigra, for
instance—called Simeon's Gate at present—dates
really from the days of the first Merovingian kings, but
it looks like a piece of the Coliseum, with its rows of
arches in massive red sandstone, the stones held
together by iron clamps, and its low, immensely strong
double gateway, reminding one of the triumphal
arches in the Forum at Rome. The history of the
transformations of this gateway is curious. First a
fortified city gate, standing in a correspondingly
fortified wall, it became a dilapidated granary and
storehouse in the Middle Ages, when one of the
archbishops gave leave to Simeon, a wandering
hermit from Syracuse in Sicily, to take up his abode
there; and another turned it into a church dedicated to
this saint, though of this change few traces remain.
Finally, it has become a national museum of
antiquities. The amphitheatre is a genuine Roman
work, wonderfully well preserved; and genuine enough
were the Roman games it has witnessed, for, if we are
to believe tradition, a thousand Frankish prisoners of
war were here given in one day to the wild beasts by
the emperor Constantine. Christian emperors
beautified the basilica that stood where the cathedral
now is, and the latter itself has some basilica-like
points about it, though, being the work of fifteencenturies, it bears the stamp of successive styles
upon its face. To the neighborhood, and also to
strangers, one of its great attractions lies in its
treasury of relics, the gift of Constantine's mother,
Saint Helena, for many hundred years objects of
pilgrimage, and even to the incredulous objects of
curiosity and interest, for the robe of a yellowish brown
—supposed to have been once purple—which is
shown as Our Lord's seamless garment, has been
pronounced by learned men to be of very high
antiquity. But what possesses the Rhine tourist to
moralize? He is a restless creature in general, more
occupied in staring than in seeing—a gregarious
creature too, who enjoys the evening table d'hôte, the
day-old Times and the British or American gossip as a
reward for his having conscientiously done whatever
Murray or Baedeker bade him. Cook has only
transformed the tourist's mental docility into a bodily
one: the guidebook had long drilled his mind before
the tour-contractor thought of drilling his body and
driving willing gangs of his species all over the world.
RUINS OF THE CASTLE OF AUERBACH. RUINS OF
THE CASTLE OF AUERBACH.
There is a funny, not over-reverent, legend afloat in
Trier to account for the queer dwarf bottles of Mosel
wine used there: it refers to a trick of Saint Peter, who
is supposed to have been travelling in these parts with
the Saviour, and when sent to bring wine to the latter
drank half of it on his way back, and then, to conceal
his act, cut the cup down to the level of the wine that
remained. These measures are still called
Miseräbelchen, or "wretched little remainders."The Mosel has but few tributary streams of
importance: its own course is as winding, as wild and
as romantic as that of the Rhine itself. The most
interesting part of the very varied scenery of this river
is not the castles, the antique towns, the dense woods
or the teeming vineyards lining rocks where a chamois
could hardly stand—all this it has in common with the
Rhine—but the volcanic region of the Eifel, the lakes in
ancient craters, the tossed masses of lava and tufa,
the great wastes strewn with dark boulders, the rifts
that are called valleys and are like the Iceland gorges,
the poor, starved villages and the extraordinary
rusticity, not to say coarseness, of the inhabitants.
This grotesque, interesting country—unique, I believe,
on the continent of Europe—lies in a small triangle
between the Mosel, the Belgian frontier and the
Schiefer hills of the Lower Rhine: it goes by the names
of the High Eifel, with the High Acht, the Kellberg and
the Nürburg; the Upper (Vorder) Eifel, with Gerolstein,
a ruined castle, and Daun, a pretty village; and the
Snow-Eifel (Schnee Eifel), contracted by the speech of
the country into Schneifel. The last is the most
curious, the most dreary, the least visited. Walls of
sharp rock rise up over eight hundred feet high round
some of its sunken lakes—one is called the Powder
Lake—and the level above this abyss stretches out in
moors and desolate downs, peopled with herds of lean
sheep, and marked here and there by sepulchral,
gibbet-looking signposts, shaped like a rough T and
set in a heap of loose stones. It is a great contrast to
turn aside from this landscape and look on the smiling
villages and pretty wooded scenery of the valley of the
Mosel proper; the long lines of handsome, healthywomen washing their linen on the banks; the old
ferryboats crossing by the help of antique chain-and-
rope contrivances; the groves of old trees, with broken
walls and rude shrines, reminding one of Southern
Italy and her olives and ilexes; and the picturesque
houses in Kochem, in Daun, in Trarbach, in
Bernkastel, which, however untiring one may be as a
sightseer, hardly warrant one as a writer to describe
and re-describe their beauties. Klüsserath, however,
we must mention, because its straggling figure has
given rise to a local proverb—"As long as Klüsserath;"
and Neumagen, because of the legend of Constantine,
who is said to have seen the cross of victory in the
heavens at this place, as well as at Sinzig on the
Rhine, and, as the more famous legend tells us, at the
Pons Milvium over the Tiber.
The Mosel wine-industry has much the same features
as that of the Rhine, but there is a great difference
between the French wines, which are mostly red, and
the German, which are mostly white. Among the latter
hundreds of spurious, horrible concoctions for the
foreign market usurp the name of Mosel wine. It is
hardly necessary even to mention the pretty names by
which the real wines are known, and which may be
found on any wine-card at the good, unpretending inns
that make Mosel travelling a special delight. The Saar
wines are included among the Mosel, and the
difference is not very perceptible.
The last glance we take at the beauties of this
neighborhood is from the mouth of the torrent-river
Eltz as it dashes into the Eifel, washing the rock on
which stands the castle of Eltz. The building and thefamily are an exception in the history of these lands:
both exist to this day, and are prosperous and
undaunted, notwithstanding all the efforts of enemies,
time and circumstances to the contrary. The strongly-
turreted wall runs from the castle till it loses itself in
the rock, and the building has a home-like, inhabited,
complete look; which, in virtue of the quaint irregularity
and magnificent natural position of the castle, standing
guard over the foaming Eltz, does not take from its
romantic appearance, as preservation or restoration
too often does.
VIEW OF COBLENZ FROM PFAFFENDORF. VIEW
OF COBLENZ FROM PFAFFENDORF.
Not far from Coblenz, and past the island of
Nonnenwerth, is the old tenth-century castle of Sayn,
which stood until the Thirty Years' War, and below it,
quiet, comfortable, large, but unpretending, lies the
new house of the family of Sayn-Wittgenstein, built in
1848, where, during a stay at Ems, we paid a visit of
two days. The family were great Italian travellers, and
we had met in Rome more than twenty years before,
when the writer and the boys, whom I met again—the
one as an officer of the Prussian army, and the other
as a Bonn student—were children together. At dinner
one evening at this new Sayn house, as we were
tasting some Russian dish of soured milk (the mother
was a Russian), we reminded each other of our ball on
Twelfth Night at Rome, when the youngest of these
boys happened to become king "by the grace of the
bean," and spent some hours seated in state with gilt-
paper crown and red-velvet mantle till he was too
sleepy to oversee his subjects' revels any longer; of a