Views a-foot eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 434 pages of information about Views a-foot.
even ruin as it is, it cannot fail to excite surprise and admiration.  The King of Prussia has undertaken to complete it according to the original plan, which was lately found in the possession of a poor man, of whom it was purchased for 40,000 florins, but he has not yet finished repairing what is already built.  The legend concerning this plan may not be known to every one.  It is related of the inventor of it, that in despair of finding any sufficiently great, he was walking one day by the river, sketching with his stick upon the sand, when he finally hit upon one which pleased him so much that he exclaimed:  “This shall be the plan!” “I will show you a better one than that!” said a voice suddenly behind him, and a certain black gentleman who figures in all German legends stood by him, and pulled from his pocket a roll containing the present plan of the Cathedral.  The architect, amazed at its grandeur, asked an explanation of every part.  As he knew his soul was to be the price of it, he occupied himself while the devil was explaining, in committing its proportions carefully to memory.  Having done this, he remarked that it did not please him and he would not take it.  The devil, seeing through the cheat, exclaimed in his rage:  “You may build your Cathedral according to this plan, but you shall never finish it!” This prediction seems likely to be verified, for though it was commenced in 1248, and built for 250 years, only the choir and nave and one tower to half its original height, are finished.

We visited the chapel of the eleven thousand virgins, the walls of which are full of curious grated cells, containing their bones, and then threaded the narrow streets of Cologne, which are quite dirty enough to justify Coleridge’s lines: 

    “The river Rhine, it is well known
    Doth wash the city of Cologne;
    But tell me nymphs, what power divine
    Shall henceforth wash the river Rhine!”

CHAPTER VIII.

THE RHINE TO HEIDELBERG.

HEIDELBERG, August 30.  Here at last! and a most glorious place it is.  This is our first morning in our new rooms, and the sun streams warmly in the eastern windows, as I write, while the old castle rises through the blue vapor on the side of the Kaiser-stuhl.  The Neckar rushes on below; and the Odenwald, before, me, rejoices with its vineyards in the morning light.  The bells of the old chapel near us are sounding most musically, and a confused sound of voices and the rolling of vehicles comes up from the street.  It is a place to live in!

I must go back five or six days and take up the record of our journeyings at Bonn.  We had been looking over Murray’s infallible “Handbook,” and observed that he recommended the “Star” hotel in that city, as “the most moderate in its prices of any on the Rhine;” so when the train from Cologne arrived and we were surrounded, in the darkness and confusion, by porters and valets,

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