Views a-foot eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 522 pages of information about Views a-foot.

Not far from this place is the palace of Wallenstein, in the same condition as when he inhabited it, and still in the possession of his descendants.  It is a plain, large building, having beautiful gardens attached to it, which are open to the public.  We went through the courtyard, threaded a passage with a roof of rough stalactitic rock, and entered the garden where a revolving fountain was casting up its glittering arches.  Among the flowers at the other end of the garden there is a remarkable fountain.  It is but a single jet of water which rises from the middle of a broad basin of woven wire, but by some means it sustains a hollow gilded ball, sometimes for many minutes at a time.  When the ball drops, the sloping sides of the basin convey it directly to the fountain again, and it is carried up to dance a while longer on the top of the jet.  I watched it once, thus supported on the water, for full fifteen minutes.

There is another part of Prague which is not less interesting, though much less poetical—­the Jews’ City.  In our rambles we got into it before we were aware, but hurried immediately out of it again, perfectly satisfied with one visit.  We came first into a dark, narrow street, whose sides were lined with booths of old clothes and second-hand articles.  A sharp featured old woman thrust a coat before my face, exclaiming, “Herr, buy a fine coat!” Instantly a man assailed me on the other side, “Here are vests! pantaloons! shirts!” I broke loose from them and ran on, but it only became worse.  One seized me by the arm, crying, “Lieber Herr, buy some stockings!” and another grasped my coat:  “Hats, Herr! hats! buy something, or sell me something!” I rushed desperately on, shouting “no! no!” with all my might, and finally got safe through.  My friend having escaped their clutches also, we hunted the way to the old Jewish cemetery.  This stands in the middle of the city, and has not been used for a hundred years.  We could find no entrance, but by climbing upon the ruins of an old house near, I could look over the wall.  A cold shudder crept over me, to think that warm, joyous Life, as I then felt it, should grow chill and pass back to clay in such a foul charnel-house.  Large mounds of earth, covered with black, decaying grave-stones, which were almost hidden under the weeds and rank grass, filled the inclosure.  A few dark, crooked alder-trees grew among the crumbling tombs, and gave the scene an air of gloom and desolation, almost fearful.  The dust of many a generation lies under these mouldering stones; they now scarcely occupy a thought in the minds of the living; and yet the present race toils and seeks for wealth alone, that it may pass away and leave nothing behind—­not even a memory for that which will follow it!



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Views a-foot from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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