in the world; and I am sorry to read that Professor
Owen has thought proper to see and say that many of
them are the bones of lower orders of animals.
They are built into the walls of the church, arranged
about the choir, interred in stone coffins, laid under
the pavements; and their skulls grin at you everywhere.
In the chapel the bones are tastefully built into
the wall and overhead, like rustic wood-work; and
the skulls stand in rows, some with silver masks, like
the jars on the shelves of an apothecary’s shop.
It is a cheerful place. On the little altar is
the very skull of the saint herself, and that of Conan,
her lover, who made the holy pilgrimage to Rome with
her and her virgins, and also was slain by the Huns
at Cologne. There is a picture of the eleven
thousand disembarking from one boat on the Rhine,
which is as wonderful as the trooping of hundreds of
spirits out of a conjurer’s bottle. The
right arm of St. Ursula is preserved here: the
left is at Bruges. I am gradually getting the
hang of this excellent but somewhat scattered woman,
and bringing her together in my mind. Her body,
I believe, lies behind the altar in this same church.
She must have been a lovely character, if Hans Memling’s
portrait of her is a faithful one. I was glad
to see here one of the jars from the marriage-supper
in Cana. We can identify it by a piece which
is broken out; and the piece is in Notre Dame in Paris.
It has been in this church five hundred years.
The sacristan, a very intelligent person, with a shaven
crown and his hair cut straight across his forehead,
who showed us the church, gave us much useful information
about bones, teeth, and the remains of the garments
that the virgins wore; and I could not tell from his
face how much he expected us to believe. I asked
the little fussy old guide of an English party who
had joined us, how much he believed of the story.
He was a Protestant, and replied, still anxious to
keep up the credit of his city, “Tousands is
too many; some hundreds maybe; tousands is too many.”
You have seen the Rhine in pictures; you have read
its legends. You know, in imagination at least,
how it winds among craggy hills of splendid form,
turning so abruptly as to leave you often shut in with
no visible outlet from the wall of rock and forest;
how the castles, some in ruins so as to be as unsightly
as any old pile of rubbish, others with feudal towers
and battlements, still perfect, hang on the crags,
or stand sharp against the sky, or nestle by the stream
or on some lonely island. You know that the Rhine
has been to Germans what the Nile was to the Egyptians,—a
delight, and the theme of song and story. Here
the Roman eagles were planted; here were the camps
of Drusus; here Caesar bridged and crossed the Rhine;
here, at every turn, a feudal baron, from his high
castle, levied toll on the passers; and here the French
found a momentary halt to their invasion of Germany