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uncommonly crowded, and late in the evening we arrived at a hamlet on the right bank of the river to sleep: the house in which
pass the night was not able to furnish beds more than barely sufficient for the ladies on board, which at once determined a French officer, one of the party, who had not placed his head upon a pillow for three preceding nights, and who was a wretched invalid, apparently in the last stage of a decline, to hunt amongst the cottagers for a fidler, to whose miserable sounds this epitome of his nation, with several other officers and petty German merchants, danced till the dawn of day, pour passer le tems, and the boat was ready to proceed. Having found by moon-light a nook in a peasant's nest, in the most romantic situation under heaven, I lay down, and never awoke till an hour after the boat had departed, in which dilemma I was obliged to hire a punt with two paddles, and by the assistance of a couple of sturdy peasants overtook the passageboat, which lay off Coblentz, during which I visited Ehrenbreitstein. At its base there is a pretty town and an excellent hotel; opposite to the palace is a walk of limes, close to which was moored the electoral state yacht, or barge, in shape and size resembling our Lord Mayor's, but not quite so gaudy. The ascent to this stupendous rock, which is eight hundred feet in a perpendicular line above the level of the river, is by a very narrow, steep, and winding path: the noble fortification on its sides, and the castles, arsenals, barracks, and batteries upon its summit, from whence the eye can behold the mountains of Lorraine, the meanders of the Rhine; and the countries through which it flows to a vast distance, and from which the beholder might almost think he could step into the clouds, are all roofless and dismantled. The citadel was erected by the order of the Prince Bishop Herman Hillinus, in the 12th century, upon the ruins of an ancient Roman building
In the centre of the square, or parade upon the top, was formerly mounted the celebrated cannon, called “the Griffon,” as well known to the Germans as that called “ Queen Anne's pocketpiece" is to the English. The former merits the national pride which it has excited. It was cast at Francfort by the order of the Elector, Richard Greifenklau, weighed thirty thousand pounds, and was capable of projecting a ball of one hundred and eighty pounds, to a distance of sixteen miles. Close to the touchhole there was the following inscription: “ Vogel Grief heis ich, meinem gnädigen herrn von Trier dien ich, wo er mich heist gewanten, da will ich Thoren und mauren Zerspalten. Simon gos mich, 1528.” In English—“Griffon is my name, I serve my gracious master of Treves, I shatter gates and walls, whenever he commands me to exert my force. Simon cast me, 1528.” This rock was supplied with water from a well 280 feet deep, which occupied three years in digging, in the year 1481, and has a subterranean communication with Coblentz, dug out of the solid rock: the fortress was justly deemed, when properly garrisoned, impregnable. In the time of the Swedish war, the attacks of eighty thousand French troops on the southren side of it, and of forty thousand on the northren, could make no impression upon it; however, still maintaining its invulnerable character, it was destined to bend to a foe, before which all local advantage is useless, and all enterprize unavailing: after bravely sustaining a blockade for a whole year, by the troops of the French republic, the garrison having endured with the greatest fortitude almost every description of privation and misery, were obliged to surrender to famine, and capitulated on the 28th January, 1799; soon after which the French covered this mighty rock with the ruins of those wonderful fortifications, which had employed the skill of the ablest engineer to complete, and which, but for the want of food, would have defied the force of her assailing enemy to the end of time. The thal, or valley below, is justly celebrated for its fertility and romantic beauty.
Soon after our departure from Coblentz, we passed the island of Obewerth; and a little further on, on our left, the disemboguement of the river Lahn, which flows between two ancient and picturesque towns, called the Upper and Lower Lahnsteins, where the Rhine forms a considerable curve, and expands into the resemblance of a placid lake, adorned with two vast mountains, one crowned with a hoary watch tower, and the base of the other half encircled by a village, and the whole adorned by the captivating combinations of forest scenery, rich meadows, and hanging vineyards and orchards, amidst which, half embosomed in their foliage, the peasant’s peaceful dwelling every now and then gladdened the eye. This lovely view was soon exchanged for one of gloomy magnificence; before we reached Boppart, we entered a melancholy defile of barren and rugged rocks, rising perpendicularly from the river to an immense height, and throwing a shade and horror over the whole scene; here all was silent, and no traces of man were to be found but in a few dispersed fishermen's huts, and crucifixes. Fear and superstition, “ when the day has gone down, and the stars are few," have long filled every cave with banditti, and every solitary recess with apparitions.
In the course of my passage I frequently, when the boat came very near the land, sprung on shore with two or three other passengers, and varied the scene by walking along the banks for a mile or two, and during these excursions had frequently an opportunity of admiring the astonishing activity and genius of the French, who have, since they became masters of the left bank of the Rhine, nearly finished one of the finest roads in the world, extending from Mayence to Cologne, in the course of which they have cut through many rocks impending over the river, and triumphed over some of the most formidable obstacles Nature could present to the achievement of so wonderful a design. This magnificent undertaking, worthy of Rome in the most shining periods of her history, was executed by the French troops, who, under the direction of able engineers, preferred leaving these monuments of indefatigable toil and elevated enterprize, to passing their time, during the cessation of arms, in towns and barracks, in a state of indolence and inutility.
The sombre spires of Boppart, surrounded by its black wall and towers, presented a melancholy appearance to the eye, relieved by the rich foliage of the trees in its vicinity, and the mountains behind it irregularly intersected with terraces covered with vines to their very summits. The antiquity of this city is very great; it was one of the fifty places of defence erected on the banks of the Rhine by Drusus Germanicus, and in the middle ages was an imperial city.
Not far from Boppart we saw, on the right bank of the river, a procession of nuns and friars returning to a convent, the belfry of which just peeped above a noble avenue of walnut-trees; they were singing, and their voices increased the solemn effect of the surrounding scenery. We put up for the night at a little village, amid mountains half covered with vineyards, tufted with forests, and chequered with convents and ruined castles. The evening was stormy, and a full moon occasionally brightened the scene: frequently we were enveloped in solemn gloom,
When the broken arches are as black as night,
Lay of the last Minstrel.
THE YOUNG CONSCRIPT......SINGULAR FRENCH ANECDOTE......ST.
GOAR......İTS HISTORY......OBERWESEL......THE PALATINATE...... A CELEBRATED VINEYARD.......A REGALE......BACHARACH....... BACCHUS.......THE RHYNGAU SONG......RÜDESHEIM.. ..ROMAX DERIVATIONS.....THE PRIORY OF JOHANNESBERG.....VINEYARDS
I HAVE before mentioned the excellent accommodations which I have every where experienced at the different towns we stopped at. Although at the last place where we slept there were not above three or four houses, and we were not expected, we had an excellent supper, and clean comfortable beds. After our repast, as we were drinking some excellent hock, many of the company present communicated the object of their voyage, and amongst the rest an elegant young Frenchman, about nineteen, who had charmed us all the way by his politeness and inexhaustible flow of spirits, told us, to my no little surprise, that the object of his excursion would not admit of his returning when he pleased, for he was on his way to join part of the French army at Maynz, or Mayence, as a conscript; for which he had been drawn; and as his father who was a man of fortune at Aix-la-Chapelle, but was very fond of his money, would not put himself to the expense of paying the substitution money for him, " par conséquence," said he with a smile of good humour, « il me faut aller en personne.” He told us that he had no hopes of raising himself from the ranks but by good conduct and equally good fortune, although his uncle was a general in the sera vice, and commanded that part of the army into which he was soon to be incorporated. Whenever we stopped, he bestowed his