Saunterings eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 306 pages of information about Saunterings.
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

Project Gutenberg
Saunterings from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook