If you come to Heidelberg, you will never want to go away. To arrive here is to come into a peaceful state of rest and content. The great hills out of which the Neckar flows, infold the town in a sweet security; and yet there is no sense of imprisonment, for the view is always wide open to the great plains where the Neckar goes to join the Rhine, and where the Rhine runs for many a league through a rich and smiling land. One could settle down here to study, without a desire to go farther, nor any wish to change the dingy, shabby old buildings of the university for anything newer and smarter. What the students can find to fight their little duels about I cannot see; but fight they do, as many a scarred cheek attests. The students give life to the town. They go about in little caps of red, green, and blue, many of them embroidered in gold, and stuck so far on the forehead that they require an elastic, like that worn by ladies, under the back hair, to keep them on; and they are also distinguished by colored ribbons across the breast. The majority of them are well-behaved young gentlemen, who carry switch-canes, and try to keep near the fashions, like students at home. Some like to swagger about in their little skull-caps, and now and then one is attended by a bull-dog.
I write in a room which opens out upon a balcony. Below it is a garden, below that foliage, and farther down the town with its old speckled roofs, spires, and queer little squares. Beyond is the Neckar, with the bridge, and white statues on it, and an old city gate at this end, with pointed towers. Beyond that is a white road with a wall on one side, along which I see peasant women walking with large baskets balanced on their heads. The road runs down the river to Neuenheim. Above it on the steep hillside are vineyards; and a winding path goes up to the Philosopher’s Walk, which runs along for a mile or more, giving delightful views of the castle and the glorious woods and hills back of it. Above it is the mountain of Heiligenberg, from the other side of which one looks off toward Darmstadt and the famous road, the Bergstrasse. If I look down the stream, I see the narrow town, and the Neckar flowing out of it into the vast level plain, rich with grain and trees and grass, with many spires and villages; Mannheim to the northward, shining when the sun is low; the Rhine