Letter from William Henry Seward to Frances Miller Seward, August 14, 1833

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Letter from William Henry Seward to Frances Miller Seward, August 14, 1833
x

transcriber

Transcriber:spp:anb

student editor

Transcriber:spp:dxt

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1833-08-14

In the context of this project, private URIs with the prefix "psn" point to person elements in the project's persons.xml authority file. In the context of this project, private URIs with the prefix "pla" point to place elements in the project's places.xml authority file. In the context of this project, private URIs with the prefix "psn" point to person elements in the project's staff.xml authority file. In the context of this project, private URIs with the prefix "psn" point to person elements in the project's bibl.xml authority file. verical-align: super; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration: line-through; color: red;

Letter from William Henry Seward to Frances Miller Seward, August 14, 1833

action: sent

sender: William Seward
Birth: 1801-05-16  Death: 1872-10-10

location: Geneva, Switzerland

receiver: Frances Seward
Birth: 1805-09-24  Death: 1865-06-21

location: Auburn, NY

transcription: anb 

revision: tap 2017-10-13

<>
Page 1

Geneva August 14th. My dearest Frances. In the last of two letters which I have just left at the Post Office to be forwarded by way of Havre
I lamented my inability to describe in an adequate manner the scenery of the Rhine from which I had derived so much pleasure
Read again the description of our voyage up the Rhine the in connection with the following hasty sketches I the drew of the legends
which relate to the ruins that give so much interest to the Banks of that beautiful river. I gather them from a little French book
which I will take home with me to induce you to join me in studying the language. The first relates to the Rolandseck .
The brave Chevalier Roland, nephew of Charlemagne wearied with long session from the exercise of arms went to spend some
of the time he found so oppressive in the environs of Ingelhiem and descended into the beautiful country along the Rhine.
Unexpectedly overtaken by the night he demanded hospitality at the gate of a castle and was greeted with a welcome such
as the laws of Chivalry prescribed. The Lord of the Castle gave him a fraternal shake of the hand as heartily as if in his guest
he had found a friend of his youth while Hildegonda his daughter spread upon the table the viands with wine for the meal
of the Knight. She presented the glass to him with an air of diffidence which gave increased effect to her natural charms. Ro-
land accepted it and found to his surprise that his hand trembled. He was conscious that he blushed but he knew not where-
fore. What does this mean said he, that this hand shakes which never trembled when it grasped the , that this
countenance is confused which hordes of Saracens could not disconcert? He reserved once more his heroic character
and discoursed of the feats of war of great political enterprizes and of his illustrious Uncle and Master. The time came
for retiring to rest but Roland could not close his eyes. The fancy of ^fair^ Hildegonde engrossed all his thoughts. In the morn-
ing he went to take leave of his hospitable entertainers. He could hardly pronounce his name so celebrated that through
^throughout^ all the land it was sufficient to procure him all the honor he could desire. The venerable Raimond delighted
to find ^learn^ that his castle was honored by the flower of Chivalry pressed him to tarry another day. The fair Hilde-
gonde spoke not but it was easily to be seen that she was not displeased with the stranger. Roland was not un-
willing to be pressed to remain another day. His passion increased in proportion to his first embarassment. Opportunity was
not wanting to make a declaration. He walked into the grove and found Hildegonde sitting with her hands clasped as
if in prayer. The graces and beauty of the Maiden were enhanced by the flush produced by mingled feelings of piety
and pleasure. Roland approached her but knew not how to commence the conversation. Hildegonde in her embarassment picked
up a flower from the pasture. Roland prayed her to give it to him. "From this time (said he) I will wear it upon my helmet
and when other Chevaliers boast the beauty and virtues of their ladies of their love I will cast my eyes upon this flower
and my heart will turn silently to her who bestowed it.” The maiden blushed and was all confused At first she extended her
hand to give him the rose but on reflection hesitated whether it were becoming in her to do so But the eyes of Roland were
wet wet with tears and she yielded it to him saying that “that which is most beautiful lasts the shortest time.” Roland was
emboldened, he spoke of love, and Hildegonde de[ e ]
x

Supplied

Reason: 
ply affected, by her silent and confused surprise left him no cause
to doubt that his passion was reciprocated. The lovers vowed fidelity and Roland obtained a promise of the
maidens hand when he should return after another campaign against the infidels. Their parting was silent
that ^and^ melancholy. A simple Kissing of the hand was all their mutual emotion would allow. Their eyes discoursed
eloquently what they could not express in broken sentences. Hildegonde passed the time in profound seclusion
She saw nobody but every day listened for news from her lover. At last the news arrived. Of sanguinary combats
perilous deeds and traits of heroic valor, and always the name of Roland filled all mouths. his exploits
were the subject of all praise and the theme of all songs. Another month completed the year of Rolands ab-
sence and it ended with the conclusion of a glorious peace permitting the Heroes to return to their native lands. One
evening there arrived at the Castle and claimed its hospitality an armed Knight
Unknown
. He had been the companion in
arms of Roland in the campaign of Charlemagne. Distressed and agitated by sad presentiments Hildegonde ven-
tured to speak of Roland, Alas! the unknown Chevalier had seen the Hero fall by his side covered with wounds
and honored for his valor by the whole army. Hildegonde lost the all self possession and unable to weep from the excess
of grief seemed more like the marble itself than one who wept over ^the conquest of the^ the Comte. After eight days of constant grief she
became disgusted with life and with the world and obtained her fathers permission to enter the Convant and take the
vows at Frauenwerth the beautiful Island I described in my last letter. The Bishop
Unknown
was related to her family and ex
pedited ^shortened^ the period of her noviciate. After three months she took upon herself the irrevocable vows. Fatal precipi-
tancy! Roland suddenly arrived at the Castle. He had fallen undead upon the field and the lethargy produced by his
wounds had given rise to the report of his death, but as soon as he recovered he had returned to demand of his mistress
the performance of her plighted faith. As soon as ^When^ he heard that Hildegonde had taken upon herself the vows he
cast aside forever his arms and trampling upon his weapons retired to a hermitage on the Rhine where he built the
castle of Rolandseck overlooking the Convent. There he would sit whole days at the door of his apartment with his eyes
fixed upon the walls which contained the unhappy Nun. Rising with the dawn he listened to the matins in the con-
vent and often distinguished amid the choir the voice of Hildegonde, and long after midnight he would watch the light
in a cell where he doubted not she wept and prayed and resigned herself to her sad destiny In ^a^ few years of grief
and religious struggles exhausted the strength of Hildegonde. One morning when as usual he bent his eyes towards
the Convent he saw a tomb Newly prepared in the place assigned for the repose of the servants of God and a secret
voice whispered to him. “That grave is for Hildegonde”. He sent a messenger
Unknown
and received the confirmation of his fears. For
the first time he entered within the sacred walls of the Convent which he had never profaned while agitated by
human passion. He assisted to bear her to the tomb and to close the walls over the precious dust of his best beloved
joining his voice with those of the Nuns
Unknown
in prayers for the eternal rest of her se her soul. And in The same evening they ^he was^ found
him sitting dead at the door of his apartment his eyes fixed upon the [ cluster ]
x

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: cloister
. Such is the beautiful legend which has been
preserved among the Peasantry concerning the Castle of Rolandseck and the Convent of Rolandswerder. Solici-
tous to give it in its best form I have given almost a literal translation from the book into which it was transferred.
For the others I have not sufficient room I nor have I time to give them at length. I must leave to your imagination
all but the simple outlines of the stories. I shall never forget the beautiful view which presents the rivers of four
castles at once. Two of these upon adjacent mountains on the left side of the river as you ascend are called the
Liebenstein and the Sternfels. There lived ^here^ in the days of Chivalry a great Lord
Unknown
who devoted himself exclusively to the
education of his two sons
xsons
x
Unknown

Unknown
and an orphan girl who was a rich heiress and increased in beauty as she grew in years
She unfortunately became the object of the ardent passion of both brothers. Elise having arrived at the age of mar-
riage the father desired her to choose between the two brothers. She was not ignorant of the passion of both and feared
to render the one unhappy by bestowing her preference upon the other but the elder brother believed ^was conscious that^ the younger was pre-
ferred and prayed her to decide according to her wishes. The old Knight blessed the children but postponed the
nuptials for a certain time. The elder brother appeared to look upon the happiness of the younger without envy
but in truth his heart was ill at ease and after the ceremony of affiancing between the lovers Elise seemed more lovely
to him than ever. He resolved to depart from the Country and went to Rense to view the Emperor who had
graciously received him into his suite. At this time St Bernard was preaching there the crusade of the Rhine. The
nobles of all the castles rushed to Francfort where Conrad presented the pious monk to the People and they assu-
med the cross. Immediately all standards were seen surmounted by the sign of the Holy and religion and tEvery
day the roads and the river were crowded with troops departing for the Holy Land. These exciting events inspired
with love of glory and religion the younger son who resolved to join the faithful and not to lead Elise to the altar
until his return from Palestine . The father did not approve this design and the betrothed maiden endeavored in vain to conceal
her fears while her youthful lover assembled the troops with which he went to join the army of the Emperor at Frank
furt. Soon afterwards the father died and the elder brother returned from Rense to his paternal estate. His passion returned
with renewed force but he subdued it and demeaned himself towards Elise as towards a sister. About two years
afterwards the news ^a messenger^ came ^to announce^ that the younger brother had returned ^was returning^ from Palestine with a young Greek lady
Unknown
whom
he had married. Elise fell into a profound melancholy and took the resolution to shut herself up in the
Convent. The elder brother. The elder brother excited by a noble indignation threw his gauntlet at the feet of the
messenger saying There is my answer. Immediately he prepared for a fatal combat with the dishonorable
youth. The latter arrived with his Greek wife who was indeed very beautiful and took up his abode at
the Sternfels a castle which the father had built for him and Elise adjacent to the paternal Halls. They
were coming to a deadly fight when Elise interfered and found means to save the effusion of blood by reconciling
the two brothers to each other. Having completed this work of peace she quitted forever the retirement in which she
had waited the return of her faithless lover and took the veil. From this moment the castle of Liebenstein
was the abode of sadness and melancholy while that of Sternfels was a scene of uninterupted mirth and pleas-
ure: The beauty of the young Grecian and the charms of her conversation attracted all the youths of the Canton
to the castle and she unfortunately was not insensible to their homage. The elder brother first discovered the infi-
delity of the young Grecian and having found opportunity convinced the younger of the disgrace inflicted upon him.
Page 2

The latter would immediately have plunged his dagger to the heart of his faithless wife but the elder brother disarmed
him of his rage and saved the wretched woman from his just vengeance ^who therefore fled the country. Then the elder brother^ then embracing the unhappy husband
he said Let us now my dear brother live free from the restraints of matrimony lamenting the past, loving each
other and honoring the sorrow which is consuming the youth of Elise in the convent. They joined hands and from that
time until their deaths remained without wives and ^died^ without posterity. Thus ended the race and the two ruined
castles still continue upon the heights of Liebenstein and Old Sternenfels the monuments of the unhappy youths and are
known in all Germany by the appellation of the des deux freres the two brothers.
The following is the legend of the Drachenfels. In old times says the tradition the cavern which is seen in this mountain
was the retreat of a monstrous dragon to which the inhabitants paid divine honors and offered the sacrifice of
human victims. For this purpose they selected ^victims from^ the prisoners of war and bound them in chains. One day their fero-
cious God found among there was found among the Captives a young woman
Unknown
of one of the best families in her country.
She possessed exquisite beauty and a dispute immediately arose between two chiefs
xtwo chiefs
x
Unknown

Unknown
to which she should belong.
The Council decided that she should be offered to the dragon to the end that her beauty might no longer serve as
an apple of discord among their People. Robed in white & crowned with flowers the beautiful captive was con-
ducted to the top of the mountain where the monster dwelt. Then she was ^bound^ fastened to a tree before which a stone
served for an altar. A multitude of People were assembled to witness the horrid spectacle of immolation but among
them all was not one whose heart indulged compassion for the unhappy maiden who stood erect and calm
with her eyes raised to Heaven. Early in the evening the monster extended his wings with which he was accustomed
to gather the food to satiate his voracious appetite. The maiden shrunk not. She drew from her bosom the
image of the Savior, the sole object of her confidence. This she opposed to the approach of the horrible arrival.
The dragon fled precipitously and plunged into the abyss of the forest from whence he never returned. The
Pe Multitude ^was^ astonished by this miraculous deliverance of the young Christian and looked with astonishment
upon the crucifix which had wrought so great a blessing for its possessor. The Captive instructed them as to
the form and history of the cross and taught them how to appreciate the power and goodness of the God
she adored. They prostrated themselves before her and granted her deliverance prayed her to send them
a missionary with which prayer she complied. a missionary in due time came. a Chapel was erected
upon the Mountain and the altar of human sacrifice to the savage monster was converted into the altar
of the temple of the Living God. So the Drachenfels was the spot honored by the conversion of the People
in that canton to Christianity. If the two first legends I have transcribed are calcu
lated to interest you by their simple and beautiful and affecting incidents, the latter is not less instructive as a
relic of the superstition which marked the transition of the Heathen Germans in a season of great ignorance
to the light and knowledge of the Gospel. It is one of a thousand evidences that the Catholic Church knew
too well the love of the human mind for the marvellous to trust the work of conversion to the new history
of the miracles of scripture.
You will recollect that in my last letter I mentioned the beautiful little Chapel of Strom-
berg
. At the hazard that your taste will not differ from my own in respect to these stories I give you the legend of this
Chapel. Didier of Schwarzeneck was a Chavalier of the older time who dwelt not far from the Seven mountains
He set out in the crusade to the Holy Land and went as far as Spire where was St Bernard. He stopt as he
passed at the Castle of Argenfels and was well received by the Lord
Unknown
an old Knight who had two daughters
x Birth:   Death:  
Unknown
.
Bertha the youngest soon made a conquest of the heart of Didier by her beauty her grace accomplishments and the goodness ^excellence^
of her disposition. Nor did the fair Bertha appear insensible to the personal merits of Didier, for she appeared ^was^ very melan-
choly when he departed. The heart of Didier was no longer as light as when he entered the Argenfels. He carried deeply
impressed upon his memory the graces of his beloved and beneath the palm trees of Asia thought of nothing but the
banks of the Rhine and the lovely Bertha of Argenfels. At length being wounded and taken prisoner he made a
vow to build a church if ever he should regain his liberty and have it in his power to return to his native land.
The Saracen City was at last carried by assault by the Christians after a long siege and Didier was delivered
from the hands of his enemies. Now he desired nothing more than to perform his vow and return to his fair Bertha.
He embarked at Venice and with great joy made his course upon the banks of the Rhine towards the castle
of Argenfels. But he discovered at a distance nothing but ruins in the place of the high towers and walls
of the Castle ^Argenfels^ . His heart beat with painful apprehension and directing his course towards the melancholy
waste he perceived not ^one^ human form. The grass had grown upon the ashes and the birds had built their
nests in the crumbling walls. At length an old man
Unknown
emerged from the neighboring forest. He recounted to
him how the enemies of the Lord of Argenfels had surprised its inmates and burned the Castle. That the Old Lord
had bravely fallen in defending the ramparts, but he could not tell whether the fair Bertha escaped for no one
knew her fate. After hearing this melancholy recital Didier returned to his own castle which now seemed to
him even more sad and solitary than the news of Argenfels. He now spent his time in vain regrets that he
had not found death in arms in the Holy Land. At length he resolved to search out the most desert
spot in the whole country to build there the little church which he had made a vow to erect and then to
build a small cell in the vicinity wherein he might end his days in entire solitude. Agitated by these thoughts
he traversed immediately the whole Country and came at length to the deep shades of the Strombergh where
the dark foliage of the trees forever excluded the blaze of the sun. In the thickest of these shades he perceived
the entrance to a narrow cell, near it was a cross of stone before which a female was kneeling and saying
her orisons. This was Bertha. Didier was so confused by the discovery of his long lost fair one that he could not give
utterance to his joy. The unfortunate heiresses had with their whole heart obeyed the directions of her father given in
the hottest of the battle at Argenfels and under the conduct of an old servant
Unknown
and following a subterranean road
unknown to the enemy ^they^ had found an asylum in the hut of a collier. Leearning the death of their father and the
devastation of the castle they bade adieu to all hopes of pleasure and had built this cell and planted a garden
to devote the remainder of their lives to hermitage. Didier succeeded by his eloquence in persuading Bertha in a short
time to throw aside the hermits staff and cap becoming his wife she accompanied him to his castle. But her
sister refused to return to the World which had been to her but a spear piercing her heart with many wounds. Didier
built for her a more convenient habitation in her solitude and erected the little chapel of Stromberg in which
yet rest the ashes of the pious recluse.
Shall I give you the legend of the Treuenfels? There lived in the neighbourhood of the Seven Mountains an old Knight whose
name was Balther and his only daughter who was called Liba. She was both beautiful and good and many Chevaliers
came to demand her hand in marriage an honor which the parent ^determined at length to^ confer red at lenght upon the brave Schott de Grunstein
an arrangement not unsatisfactory to Liba for the young Knight was handsome, brave, honorable and intelligent,
and accomplished. The springtime of their love passed happily on and neither the Knight nor the fair lady remark-
ed the cloud which was gathering over their heads. For a long time the aged Balthar had cherished an ancient hatred
against the pious but severe Englebert Archbishop of Cologne (he whose ashes you may recollect are enclosed
in a silver coffin in the Cathedral at Cologne) whose papal he (the old knight) was. One day the neighbours of
of the Knight also ill disposed towards the Archbishop complained violently to Balthar against the
Prelate. Balthar frowning with indignation replied; If I could wield my sword as once I could I would not suffer
with impunity the indignities of this contemptible Priest, he treats us as if we were his serfs we whose blood and
rank are as good as his own
What shall we do replied they. Balthar exclaimed with violence Death to our Chief Enemy who is here that understands
me? I cried one and I cried another and forthwith a solemn oath was taken to bring down to the ground the
proud Prelate. While on their way to accomplish their purpose they were seized by order of the Emperor and brought
to the gibbet. Many of them declared with their dying breath that it was Balthar who had brought them into the plot.
Page 3

The Emperor greatly exasperated directed that the castle of the old Knight should be burned down with all it contained.
A detachment of troops proceeded immediately to put this order into execution. They surrounded the Chateau on all sides
before Balthar had the slightest suspicion of their danger. It was a dark and stormy night. And the old Knight
was in a profound sleep. Liba half dressed rushed into his chamber and awaked him by her cries and shrieks.
Balthar leaped from his bed in perfect horror for the flames approached his apartment and rendered all retreat
impossible. He seized with a trembling hand his sword and would in an instant have delivered himself by a prompt
application of his weapon from the ignominious fate of being burned in his castle. but Liba threw herself into his
arms. Escape said she by the subterranean passage and drew him after her to the bottom of the stairs. The flames
approached them so closely as they advanced that the hair and eyebrows of Balthar were burned Liba however passed
unharmed by the flames, an invisible hand seemed to protect her. The vault led them out ^the dry course of^ a torrent at the foot of
which ^to^ was a deep shady grove. Our two fugitives exhausted by fatigue ^fell into a profound sleep^ from which they were not aroused
until they heard the singing of the birds at the dawn of day. Liba cut ^picked^ some berries to refresh their strength and
Balthar sough in vain whose blistered face and burned eyebrows gave him great harm sought in vain for water
to quench his thirst and relieve his suffering. Liba glided through the forest and presently discovered a little
brook. She made a cup of oak leaves and filled it to relieve the pain of her aged father. They rested in this place until
the deep shades of night favored their further flight when they made their way to a cavern at the foot of a rock
where are yet seen the ruins of a chapel. Rest ^up^ there (said Liba) where some human beings may come to our relief. What
shall we do exclaimed the aged Knight. Let us submit to the will of God said Liba in the most entire confidence
taking the hands of her father and smiling complacently as she looked up towards that Deity in whose goodness she trusted
They passed several weeks in this cavern, wild grapes and other fruits served to allay their hunger. The eyes of Balthar
becoming inflamed he at length became totally blind. But he supported himself without a murmur under his
sufferings. God is just said he It is the punishment for my sins. At length the scarity supply of fruits upon which they
had depended began to gradually to fail and Liba hadving to extend her walks very far to gather the few grapes
^with^ which she hadwas tooso feeble she could hardly return to the cavern she ^occassionally^ brought in a few raspberries
One day she discovered in one of her fatiguing excursions a hunter at the distance of a few hundred paces leaning ^his head^ upon
his hand and apparently in deep sorrow, a javelin and two faithful greyhounds were by his side. When the
Knight raised his head the dogs rushed upon him with caresses. Liba recognized her lover the Chevalier Schott
de Grunstein. She extended her arms and endeavored to call his name but the words expired on her lips. How
said she shall it be safe for him to share our sufferings! He will press us to take refuge in his castle and when he
shall be proscribed for his hospitality, self reproach will aggravate my sufferings. No let us suffer the just punish-
ment which my father has drawn down upon us. I will suffer with him to the end that the just measure of punishment
may sooner be completed. The generous Liba found her courage fortified by this resolution and with renewed strength
she returned to the cavern. The old man taking her hand said I know not how it is that I have found to day pass
so lightly on. Oh if I could but see the sky Is it serene? Serene! said Liba, there is but one black cloud and that
will pass speedily away. Can you not lead me to the light of the sun said the old man that I may be warmed
by his rays? Liba looked on every side. The sun's rays nowhere penetrated the thick forest but said she I have
discovered a path by which we may goascend the rock. Shall I lead you thither? She conducted him to the
summit. The rock was covered with green moss. the old man sat down upon the trunk of a dry ash. Liba
said he I see I see the sky. I see the sun. Do you see? my father? cried she. No said he not with these dead eyes
They are extinguished forever. But the light is within me I see the Heavens and the bright see of Righteousness.
Liba prostrated herself she prayed with uplifted hands, Judge Supreme of the celestial regions Grant us now
thy pardon. Balthar also joined his hands and cried Amen! Immediately the thunder was heard, the lightning flashed ^bolt descended^
and the aged Balthar and his daughter were no more. The element consumed to ashes the body of Balthar but
the person of Liba was seemed unharmed nothing visible upon her countenance told of the violent death she had suffered
Her repose face retained the glow of life. her rest was like sleep, the sleep of peace and innocence. Schott
had heard the thunder and had seen the bolt descend. His curiosity led him to trace the effects of
the phenomenon. He climbed the rock. Alas he saw before him the inanimate body of his adored and
the ashes of Balthar. What language can express his grief. The Chapel is the monument of his unavailing
sorrows. It was consecrated to Mary the Mother and Queen of Saints but the rock received and yet bears
the name of the Treuenfels (the rock of fidelity) in memory of that beautiful trait of filial affection
as displayed by the lovely Liba. This legend I have transcribed because with all its beauty and its fine
moral is connected most insidiously the lesson always enforced by the Priests of the Romish Church that
to offend the Representations of God on earth is to draw down his vengeance. The Rock of Treuenfels is distant
about a mile and an half from the Rhine. I h
This my dear Frances is loitering along my way to tell stories. I have filled almost three pages of this large
sheet and have not advanced a step in the journal of our travels. Nevertheless accept it with the assurance
that time passes rapidly on however we may neglect to improve it and that when you receive this letter
I shall be on the eve of embarking to join you and our dear friends once more. From all the legends which
now I have no time to tell will form the theme of a winters night by the fireside.
Let me see, my last letter brought us as far as Coblentz. Coblentz has a population of about 12,000
inhabitants has many very pleasant walks and some ancient Roman ruins but is more especially
remarkable for its strong fortifications, the principal of which Ehrenbreistein I described in my last
letter. Besides these there is a fortification or castle upon every hill one of the forts is called Alex-
anders. It was erected by the Emperor of Russia
Birth: 1777-12-23 Death: 1825-12-01
. Ehrenbrestein and the other fortifications on the
Rhine were demolished by Bonaparte
Birth: 1769-08-15 Death: 1821-05-05
when he became master of Germany. His policy as easily
understood. He was unwilling to leave in a conquered country castles so easily improved for the
purpose of subverting his authority. Coblentz as you might well imagine from its numerous fortifi-
cations was the scene of many grand military operations in the recent wars. Near the town is a sarco-
phagus erected in honor of General Marceau
Birth: 1769-03-01 Death: 1796-09-21
who fell in attempting to defend the place against Jourdan
Birth: 1762-04-29 Death: 1833-11-23

upon the monument is this inscription (among others) in French
“Here rest the ashes of Marceau born at Chartres in the department of the Eure and Loire, He
was a Soldier at the age of 16 years, a General at the age of 22. He died in defending his Country
on the last day of the 4th year of the Republic of France. Reader whoever thou art friend or
enemy of this young Hero respect his ashes”.
We left Coblentz at 1 O’Clock in the morning (Saturday the 27th of July, ascending the Rhine by the Steam boat
bound to Mayence. My notes of this excursion speak only of Castles and Churches and delightful villa-
ges upon the banks of the River. We arrived at Mayence at an early hour in the afternoon having
completed the voyage usually performed for the purpose of seeing the beauty of the scenery upon the banks
of the River. I find nothing in my notes which can tempt me to undertake a description of this days pleas-
ure. You must be content with a few of the legends appertaining to the numerous views which give so much
interest to the voyage. Near Bingen a town upon the Westside of the Rhine is An ancient solemn looking
town called the tower of the Rats. concerning which there is the following tradition. Hattow the Abbe de
Fuld who built this tower was an avaricious and oppressive man who opened his hands to bless
People but not to give. In his days there came a great famine upon the whole country bordering upon
the Rhine and many persons died of hunger. A number of these unhappy people assembled around
the castle of Mayence where the Archbishop held his [hole] and demanded bread. The Archbishop insensible
Page 4

to pity turned a deaf ear to their petitions although at the same time his graneries were full. The poor peasants became
more urgent in their cries and Hattow sent his archers to take all they should find men and women
old and young and to shut them up in a barn there to perish of thirst and hunger. This was a spectacle at which
the stones aught have wept. But Heaven reserved a punishment for the avaricious wretch. They mocked
him saying Hear you the approach of the Rats. Immediately enormous swarms of rats appeared in the cas-
tle and swept every thing before them. The more there were destroyed the more their numbers increased.
They seemed to come out of the Earth. Hattow fled to Bingen and there erected this tower as a refuge
but the rats pursued him thither, they swam the rivers and climed the rocks and when they had
devoured every living thing and every fruit and grain they gnawed in pieces the carpets and tapestry.
The Ghost of the miser yet appears at times in the old tower carrying an old account book. Now whether
this be the veritable history of this venerable tower certain it is that it has no other name but the tower
of Rats and that History has preserved no other memorial of it.
In passing a little village called Lorch we saw the ruins of an old castle called the House of the Devil.
This castle the legend relates was the last residence of ^the last^ Sibo de Lorch a brave but eccentric and unsociable
man. One ^stormy^ night a great rapping was heard at the gate and the person
Unknown
who demanded hospitality was
found to be a little old man. The knight brutally refused admittance to the singular stranger. You
shall pay me for this said the little man stroking his beard and went about his business. The father of
Sibo forgot very soon this unimposing visit but the next day when the bell rang for dinner his
daughter who was just growing to womanhood blest with beauty and adorned with accomplishments and
who was moreover his only child had disappeared. He caused search to be made every where
and exhausted himself in unavailing endeavors to find his child. At length he met a young shepherd
Unknown

who told him that early in the morning he had seen the young lady who was gathering flowers at the foot
of the sharp and inaccessible mountain of Kedrich when from every side there rushed a number of little
old men who took the girl into their arms and ascended carrying her with them the summit of the
mountain which they climbed with as great ease as one would run over a meadow. Oh my God exclaimed
the father these are the terrible hobgoblins who hold their Sunday upon the height of Kedrich and
whose pleasure it is to do evil. The Knight looked with affright towards the mountain and saw his
daughter Garlinde upon its summit. She seemed to extend her arms towards him. He assembled all his
People hoping to find one who had courage to climb the mountain but all in vain. He made them bring
tools to make a road. He caused them to labor but hardly had they commenced the work when
an enormous rock rolled from the top putting them all to flight while a terrible voice pronounced
“This is the punishment for the refusal of hospitality.” The unhappy old man neglected no means to recover
his daughter from the hands of the mischievous spirits. He made vows, he filled his hands full of alms
which he bestowed upon the poor. He gave until the Convents knew not how to take anymore. Days weeks
and months rolled away. his only consolation was that he knew his daughter was yet alive, for morning
and night his first and latest care was to fix his eyes upon Kedrich and always he saw his daughter looking
down upon her unhappy parent in the valley. In fact the spirits spared no pains to preserve her health and
beauty. They made for her a beautiful little pavillion and covered its walls with shells crystals brilliant
stones. They made dresses for her, beads of coral and all sorts of things which could please the child. Their songs
their marvellous tales their table covered with preparations of milk and fruits were always wa[ i ]
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ting for her
and they neglected nothing which could render pleasant the days of the captive. An old gnome
Unknown
especially took
it always upon himself to Amuse her and would often say to her in her ear Courage my daughter I prepare
for you a bridal such as no queen could give to her daughter. Four years passed away during which time the poor
Garlinde grew to the stature of womanhood and her father had renounced all hope of her being restored to him when Ru-
thelm
a young and brave Chevalier returning from Hungary where he had acquired much glory in the wars a-
gainst the Infidels. His castle was not more than half a league distant from Lorch and When he heard the
unfortunate condition of Garlinde ^he^ conceived the design of delivering her. He went to her disconsolate father and
made known to him his project. Sibo gave him his hand. I am rich said he. I have but this one child
if you restore her she shall be yours. Ruthelm immediately went to examine the appearance of the rock and to en-
deavour to find means to climb the mountain but there [ was ]
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neither wall nor plank which provided access

[right Margin]
Pensive and disappointed he turned ^turned^ away and as night was coming on he
returned to ^towards^ his castle where he met a little dwarf who said to him, “Is it
not so my good sir you wish to speak have heard of the beautiful Gar-
linde who is upon the top of this rock? She is my pupil, if you wish
her for your wife I will grant your visit.” Agreed” said the Knight giving
the dwarf his hand. "I am only a dwarf” in your eyes said the little old
man but I will keep my word as well as if I were a giant. The maid
is yours but take care and look well to your road the path you
have to travel is very difficult. But in truth the prize is worth the labour
for upon the faith of a Gnome there is not a maiden in the Rhinegau which
can dispute with her for beauty spirit gentleness and discretion. The
little old man smiled and rushed into the woods which caused Ruthelm
to think that the old man mocked at him. He again directed his eyes
towards the rock murmuring in a suppressed voice. If one only had wings
to mount the top of the mountain. “One can accomplish it without wings”
said a voice near him. The Chevalier in astonishment turned about and
met an old Dwarf who slapped him familiarly on the shoulder. “It
was my brother who came to speak to you. I have heard all you have said
Garlindas father has offended but he has been well punished for four years
past & the poor maiden has committed no wrong. She is a beautiful and
gentle child and is compassionate and would deny no person hospitality
I love her as my own child and I would wish nothing more than some
brave Chevalier to be her husband. My brother has given you his word and
we Gnomes never fail to keep our promise. Take this little bell and
descend to Wisperthal. You will find there the entrance into a beautiful
shade of oaks and fir trees growing upon the same trunk. Enter without
apprehension and sound this little bell three times. My younger brother
waits there and will understand the signal. Make known the him that
it was I who sent you. Pray him to make you a ladder as high as Ke-
drich and with that you will ascend without danger to the summit.
Ruthelm scrupulously followed this advice. He ran to Wisperthal
He sounded his bell three times when a little old grey headed man
appeared with a lamp in his hand appeared and demanded what he
wanted. The Knight explained the object of his visit and received directions
to repair at the dawn of the day to the foot of the mountain and the gnome
drawing a whistle from his bag blew three times when behold the
valley swarmed with gnomes armed with axes hatchets and hammers
The knight now heard in the distance the sound of falling trees, and of
hatches which cut and smoothed the timber and of hammers employed in
putting them together. His heart beat with hope and joy. He returned at
day dawn to Kedrick and found the ladder in readiness. He ascends
and is at the mountains top at the moment of sunrise and finds
Garlinda sleeping upon a bed of moss and wild flowers. The Knight has
no power to move while he looks upon this rapturous vision. She
awakes and her bright eyes beam upon him. He falls down before and
declares that he has come to conduct her to her father. Garlinde aston-
ished blushes agitated by her doubts and fears. Then appeared the old gnome
who had educated Garlinde and the dame ^ old ^ little old dame who had
acted as her mother. The old man frowned a little at the sight of the
Chevalier but he saw the ladder, divined the whole intrigue and laugh-
ing said “Surely those old hearts are softened which made this plot. Take
her whom you have sought and be more hospitable than her father. But
perils ^attend your descent^ are necessary for the ransom Go you the way you came – we will find
a way to convey her by a less difficult path. Ruthelm essayed to speak but in
vain – as for Garlinda they conducted her by a subterranean passage to the foot of the
rock whence she departed in safety. The old man at parting gave her a box of
Page 5

5 precious stones, saidying Take my child these trea[ sures ]
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which I have amassed for you. Garlindas gratitude was
expressed by tears. Ruthelm blessed with the acquisition of his beloved dwelt in his castle. Who can express the
happiness of the father whose heart had thus learned the value of the virtue of Hospitality. From that time every stran-
ger who presented himself at Lorch was received with welcome and enjoyed the hospitality of the house
for eight days. Ruthelm obtained the hand of Garlinda and the happy couple Lovers lived long in uninterrupted
happiness. For each of their children the old Gnome brought a rich present. The stairs remained a long time
upon the declivity of the mountain. The peasants considered them the work of the devil and hence the
rock and the castle received the name of the “Devils rock and the Devils castle." Of course my dear Frances
I cannot vouch that this legend is in all respects true,some circumstances go to corroborate it, the Keditch
is now known only by the name of the Devils mountain and the castle is called the Devils House, but I
confess I saw no vestige of the magic ladder. Nevertheless if the story be not true it is worth telling because
in the first place the moral is good and in the next place its similarity to the German tales which we have
read may serve to show some of the traits of that profound superstition which rested upon this part of Europe
for so long a period concerning the interference of good and evil spirits in human affairs.
While I am in the way of telling stories I cannot deny myself the pleasure of transcribing one for my dear Aunt Clara
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
.
It relates to the Schonberg. The Castle of Schoenberg reigns in sombre silence over the valley of Oberwesel one of the beau-
tiful plains bordering upon the Rhine. This Castle was in the older time the residence of seven sisters
Unknown
whose irre-
sistible attractions procured for them the name of the seven beautiful countesses. The fame of their beauty extended
into distant countries and the banks of the Rhine as well as more distant regions were traversed by troops of
Chevaliers attracted to the Schoenberg to see these beautiful ladies. But no one had come on this errand
without being smitten with passion for one or other of the sisters and new lovers continued to arrive as at a
Court of some magnificent queen. The road was covered by the crowds of knights who thought it honor to wear
their chains. The seven sisters were delighted with this homage of knights of such high degree. In so brilliant
and flattering a homage to their beauty they could not wish a happier life. They spent whole nights in
relating to each other the compliments they had received by day from their respective admirers and the
acts they had practised upon them for each of the maidens tyrannised over her love and in this particular they
all agreed. In this manner they passed many years, always the same beautiful admired and yet unyiel-
ding for their hearts were insensible to love and if a lover pretending to be wearied with the mockery of his
passion retired in disgust he returned again with a thousand others flattered like himself to resume the chains
which he could not throw from him. At length however the sisters were obliged to capitulate for the
Knights
Unknown
wearied with their never ending tyranny agreed and pledged to each other their honor forever to de-
part never to depart from the castle so fatal to their repose unless the maidens in one month should choose
from amongst their number seven to be honored with their hands in marriage and they swore also to
each other to repulse with a strong hand every new candidate who should so much as even raise
his eyes towards the dwelling of these dangerous and cruel beauties. It was not without the greatest
concern that the Coquettes learned this fatal resolution of their admirers. They held a council and de-
termined to avenge themselves by a bold stroke for the injury which they affected to have received. They
dispatched one of their prettiest chambermaids
Unknown
to the Knights to announce that they had at length con-
cluded to come to a decision and were already engaged in serious consultation. Next they announced
that they had concluded to decide by lot the choice of their husbands. The day and the hour was im-
mediately fixed and the young People were already assembled in the Hall to honor with their presence
the solemnity of the sevenfold marriages. Alas Then the Chambermaid appeared holding in her hands a
vessel in which were twenty billets, fo[ r th ]
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at was the number of the Candidates. Their billets were made of
parchment in rolls and upon each was the arms of the Chevaliers. Upon seven were written the names
of the seven sisters. Each of the Chevaliers took a billet and the most charming ladies of the age of Chivalry fell
to the lot of the seven most deformed of the assembled Knights. This done, the Chambermaid came to an-
nounce to the successful Chevaliers that their mistresses waited for them in the garden. They ran eagerly
to the garden to seize the blessings which fortune had awarded, but to their surprise they found in the
Hall nothing but the portraits of the sisters. They returned in confusion amid the laughter of the assembled
multitude from whom they had parted but a minute before amid congratulations upon their good
fortune. A gondola covered with beautiful flowers now appeared upon the river bearing the objects
of their desires to their other Castle which the sisters owned upon the banks of the Lahn a branch of the
Rhine. Sometime afterwards there appeared for the first time in the memory of man the seven rocks
which are yet seen above the Wesel and in memory of this event the boatmen to this day call them
the seven sisters.
One more legend which is for yourself because you may discover some similtude between your own present
condition and the Heroine of the Schwanenbourgh. Beatrice the young and beautiful Countess of Cleves sat alone at her bal-
cony looking sadly down upon the Rhine. A long time ago her father
Unknown
had gone with the crrusaders to the Holy Land.
Death had relieved the sorrow of her mother
Unknown
. This loss banished from the heart of Beatrice every feeling of pleasure.
It was one calm summer evening and upon the whole length of the Rhine within her view there was not
a single boat nor was a traveller seen upon its banks. The young Countess felt herself all alone in the
world and her oppressed heart found relief in tears. All at once a bark advanced at full sail It approach-
ed nearer and nearer and soon Beatrice discovered it passing under the bridge. The mast was surmounted
by a golden swan and lower down was suspended an escutcheon bearing the same arms. A young Chevalier of
noble mien was now seen standing upon the bridge his eyes immoveably fixed upon Beatrice and his boat was
lashed at the foot of the castle whose base was washed by the waves of the River. The young Countess experien-
ced a degree of agitation for which she could not account to herself. She left the balcony as soon as she
saw the boatmen ascending the bank, and sought a retreat in her chamber. The Chevalier was announced.
Never had she seen a nobler person than now stood before her. She saw him and her heart acknowledged
for the first time the power of love. It was Erlin of Schwanenbourgh. He came from Antioch, he had seen
her father and came to tell her that he yet lived but was bound by a vow to continue in the wars of the
Christians against the Infidels. This unexpected intelligence filled Beatrice with mixed feelings of joy and
sorrow. but her grief prevailed when she reflected that she might no longer hope for the return of her
father. Erlin for three days enjoyed the delightful hospitality of the castle and employed many hours
in relating all he had seen and known of the venerable Knight her father. On the third evening he presented
her a letter "Read it Countess and tell me said he whether I shall take my leave tomorrow or whether”–
It was a letter from her father “If the Chevalier de Swanenbourgh can make upon your heart
the impression which he ought I give him to you for a husband.” The heart of Beatrice was already given to the
Knight, he obtained her hand and they lived happily together. Three sons
x Birth:   Death:   Birth:   Death:   Birth:   Death:  
Didier Geoffroi and Conrade ad-
ded to their happiness. When the three boys arrived at the age to be knighted the father gave to the eldest
his escutcheon his sword and the name already honored for its valor. To the second the horn he had worn at
his belt in assembling his troops in Germany with the County of Leven. To the third his bow and the County of
Hesse. He disappeared immediately afterwards leaving these lines in a billet for his wife.
“A vow binds me to return to your father. Take precious care of the three boys you have given me. I carry
with me your portrait and your love.” Beatrice was overwhelmed in sadness. Every day she appeared at the balcony
with her eyes fixed upon the Rhine demanding whether her Lord had yet returned. The boatmen knew nothing concerning
him Grief at last brought a close of her sorrow. These incidents caused the castle (over)
Page 6

ever afterwards to be called the Schwanenbourgh (the Castle of the Swan) and for a long time afterwards
a golden swan was perched upon its highest tower. My return I trust will save your balcony from gaining a similar appellation
It is my particular request that my dear little Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
be informed that the Legend of the Devils Moun-
tain is transcribed for him. And here I end the stories which perhaps have been protracted to too great a
length already begging you to consider how interesting must be the banks of the Rhine crowned with the
ruins of Castles which are the subjects of twenty more such legends than I have related.
We arrived at the Hotel of the Trois Couronnes (the three Crowns) in Mayence at ½ past 6 O. Clock in the
afternoon, and immediately set out to walk about the town. Mayence called in English Mentz is
a town of about 25,000 inhabitants. It was formerly the residence of the first Electors of Germany and
during the occupation of the Country by the French was the ^chief^ place of a Department of France. It is situated
opposite the Mouth of the River Maine partly on the declivity of a hill and partly on the bank of a river
It is first known in history as the place where Martius Agrippa one of the Generals of Augustus Cesar
built a fort to resist the Germans. Drusus Germanicus built another fort there and the town continued
a long time to be a Roman Garrison. The Christian religion was preached here in the 70th year being the
era of its introduction upon the banks of the Rhine. Many Roman monuments yet remain and we visited
a mound which by the sepulchral stones found there is proved to have been a Roman Cemetery.
Mayence after having suffered much in the final struggle between the Romans and the Germans was entirely
devastated and remained in ruins until Charlemagne built there a Convent and School, the town was
revived and became a metropolitan See. It was at Mayence that the celebrated Hanseatic
League was festablished. This league so important in the subsequent history of Germany was ori-
ginally formed for the purpose of mutual protection against the Banditti who infested the banks
of the Rhine. It was formed in 1355 and was composed of more than 100 towns situated upon the
shores of the river. In the 15th Century Mayence had the honor to give to the world the act of Printing.
but this merit is disputed with the Germans by the town of Haarlem as I mentioned in ^a^ former letter.
Strasburgh also lays claim to the same honor but I believe History decides in favor of Mayence
In the year 1797 ^the town^ was taken by the French and remained an important place in the affairs of France
until the year 1814 when with all the beautiful country of the middle and Lower Rhine it
was restored by the Allies to Germany. We visited the Cathedral which was built in the 12th Century where
I in vain endeavoured to transcribe the Latin inscription upon the monument of Fastrade wife of
Charlemagne. We walked around the Citadel where we found 15000 Austrian troops kindly sent there
to protect the People against themselves. With some of them I conversed and found them not uninformed.
The house which Faust occupied is still shown
A dinner at the 3 Crowns closed the labours and
pleasures of this day, and on the morning of Sunday (July 28th) at six o.clock we set out by the
Diligence for Frankfort. Of all the singular conveyances we have yet found that of the German
Diligence is the most singular ^ludicrous.^ It carries eight passengers six of whom are inside and two in what
they call the cabriole in front. This vehicle is of immense size, almost large enough for the dwel-
ling of a small family. It is drawn by four horses, not driven from the box, but by a postillion
Unknown

who dressed in a uniform somewhat like a horseman rides upon ^one of^ the wheel horse – this person
wears a black leather hat with a ^broad^ white band, a yellow coat with red facing, buckskin breeches
with long black boots coming above his knees, a trumpet is s[ usp ]
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ended at his side by a red
sash around his shoulders having two large tassels which han[ g ]
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at his back. The Conducteur
Unknown

rides in the Cabriole. The two forward horses are placed six or eight feet in advance
of the wheel horses, the bridles have no blinds and the traces are made of ropes.
The road after leaving Mayence follows for some distance the banks of the River Maine, the country is
rich and highly cultivated but low and level like that which borders the Mohawk. The sides of
the hills which bound the valley are covered with grape vines. After riding about an hour we reached
the vineyards of Hochheim celebrated all the world over for the excellence of the wine to which it has given
the name of Hochheim, often called Hock or Old Hock. These vineyards are very extensive and beautiful
The village of Hochheim stands upon a hill overlooking the valley of the Maine. The progress of
improvement in Germany may be imagined when I describe to you the manner in which we
ascended this eminence. At the foot of the hill, the postillion dismounted on one side of the road
the Conducteur on the other. the horses were put to their utmost exertion to draw the heavy clumsy dil-
igence, sometimes encouraged by the Postillion and sometimes urged by the application of his long
whip while the Conducteur upon the other side of the road would occasionally pelt them with
small stones by way of spurring them on. Of course long before we reached the hill top I contributed
all in my power to the enterprise by walking up the ascent. This hill is about as difficult as
that in front of Mr Garrows
Birth: 1780-04-25 Death: 1841-03-03Certainty: Possible
house beyond Auburn. Hochheim is a town one half as large as Auburn
and presents nothing of interest but its vineyards. Soon after leaving the town vineyards are less frequent, the fields
however are highly cultivated bearing great crops of wheat oats potatoes indian corn, garden vegetables and
what we had not before seen great quantities of poppies. Throughout all the part of Germany which
we afterwards traversed we found immense fields of poppies which are cultivated for the oil which
is made for them and used as a salad oil. Upon the declivities of the hills having a good expo-
sure to the Sun the vineyards are very luxuriant. After arriving at Hochheim the road traversed a
high country giving us at a great distance fine views extending beyond Francfort to Darmstadt, and
on the right into the Grand Dutchy of Wisbaden, while in our rear we had a fine view of the hills
beyond Mayence on the West side of the Rhine. Within the prospect and near us on our left was the
celebrated town of Johannisberg dear to the bon vivant for its inexhaustible supplies of the wine
to which it has given its name. Our ride this morning gave us a fine opportunity to see the Peasantry
arrayed in the best and cleanest of their singular costume, on their way to and from Church – the women
wear black silk caps adjusted close to their heads, black or other colored dresses with white hand-
kerchiefs made into stomachers fixed close to the chest. Every cross of the road, every bridge, and
every grave is marked by the erection of a Cross with some inscription, and often in the upright
part is a small recess arched and protected by iron wires within which are effigies of the savior
or the Madonna and Holy Child or of the Holy party at the Supper. In the suburbs of Frankfort we passed
a palace built by Fredrick the Great
Birth: 1712-01-24 Death: 1786-08-17
. It was ½ past 10 in the morning when passing through a long
promenade thronged with people in their Sunday attire and ornamented with a fountain which
supplied a small artificial Lake we entered the gates of the free city of Francfort upon the Rhine.
We took our abode in a most magnificent Hotel called the Hotel de Ruse (The Hotel of Russia.)
Frankfort (the free town) for many years a free and independent City and subsequently subjected to Prussia has recd the general
peace of Europe was restored to its former liberty but holds that invaluable possession at the mercy of the Monarchs
of adjacent territories. It contains about 50,000 inhabitants and in the neatness of its streets, the elegance of its
Page 7

dwellings and the extent and beauty of its pleasure g[ ro ]
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unds, parks and promenades presents the strongest contrast
to the filthy antiquated and contracted towns which we visited upon the Rhine. The streets have a modern
appearance and with the exception of the want of magnificent public buildings many of them are e-
qual to those in the new parts of London. But it is by its promenades and fountains and gardens
that Frankfort obtains the admiration of all travellers upon the Continent. Its public squares are
numerous and each of them is adorned with a fountain. It being Sunday morning when we arrived we set out
to attend Church and for that purpose followed the crowd which was entering the new Lutheran Church.
This beautiful edifice is built of freestone in an oval form. The exterior is imposing but the interior is one of
the most beautiful specimens of Architecture we have seen. The pulpit is placed in the center of one of the longest
sides of the building. The lofty gallery is supported by 11 beautiful marble pillars, the roof is arched so as to
correspond in design with the shape of the edifice, the architecture is of the Ionic order. Although in
lieu of the immense Gothic Cathedrals of the Catholic Church we were now in an edifice having
some resemblance to those of our own Country and where the doctrines and worship were of the protestant
persuasion we found little to invite us to remain long in the Congregation. The service was performed and the
sermon delivered in the German language of which we understood not one word. The preacher was ani-
mated and we doubted not when we regarded the attention of the auditors that he was eloquent
but the rough unseemly termination of the German words banished from my mind all idea of religion
or eloquence. I have often amused myself in the ball room by shutting from my mind the music and looking
at the ludicrous motions and gestures of the dancers. In like manner the appearance of this preacher
and Congregation  waswere rather calculated to excite wonder than devotion. From this Church we went to the
Catholic Cathedral an ancient and venerable edifice but presenting nothing deserving particular mention
Our guide book directed us to the Romer for which we searched in vain until we described it as the
“Maison de Ville” (the Town House) when we were taught to call it the Raemer and soon found it with-
out difficulty. This edifice which is a curious relic of Antiquity contains an ancient Hall in which
were held the assemblies of the Electors of Germany. It is decorated with portraits of all the Emperors
of Germany and these as well as many other paintings of the old German school are particularly
worthy of admiration. We visited also the ancient palace of the Thurn and Taxis and the Salhof formerly
the residence of the [ Carlovignian ]
x

Alternate Text

Alternate Text: Carolingian
Kings. Of all these buildings and the paintings and other curiosities which
they contained I took notes but on perusing them I do not think they furnish any thing which would in-
terest you. We dined at the table de hote (the public dinner table) seldom found except in the largest
hotels on the Continent. I am sure it would amuse you could I recollect sufficiently the particulars
to describe one of these dinners which are the praise of all travellers because of the freedom of ^from^ restraint
which is enjoyed there. I will try to recollect some of the outlines. In the first place they demand of you
whether in the morning whether you will dine in your own room or at the table dhote. If the latter a Cover
is prepared for you. At four o clock you are called to dinner. A table is set and with as much precision
as if you were an invited guest you are shown to the place you are to occupy. A plate of soup is placed
before you. It is made principally of vegetables and you can hardly discover that it contains any me[ at ]
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When this is removed, the waiter br[ ings a d ]
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ish of fish from which you may help yourself bu[ t the ]
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scanty provision for the table enables you at once to understand that you are not to take a large q[ uantity ]
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After the fish ^boiled meat is handed you upon a plate then^ a stewed chicken or rago[ ut ]
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is presented. A leg or or wing is all of this dish that you are expe[ cted ]
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to take. Then you have potatoes baked, then when you expect the dinner will be forthcoming two or three roast
dishes are placed upon the table. Having given you an opportunity to look at them they are immediately
removed by the waiters who cut them up into small pieces and serve them to you upon a plate.
These giveare followed by a roast chicken and a roast duck, placed upon the table, removed
cut up and served to you in pieces as before, then comes an omelet, which is followed by a
fine dessert of custards and fruit. Thus to make a dinner you must eat of at least half a dozen
different dishes. A bottle of wine called “wine ordinaine” is placed with each cover – you pay
the same whether you drink it or not, if you wish better wine it is brought. All this dinner costs a
little more than a dinner without wine at Noyes
Birth: 1786 Death: 1860
Hotel in Auburn but almost one half less than a single
dinner of one or two dishes only in England. At the Dinner table in Frankfort a father
Unknown
called to see his
son
Unknown
and daughter in law
Unknown
wThe father happening to arrive in town at the same time with his children
Unknown

The young man wore mustachios but notwithstanding this masculine ornament they kissed each
other half a dozen times. At the dinner table the play bill was handed to us and we could read German
well enough to gather from it that the same evening (Sunday) would be performed Shakespeares
Birth: 1564-04-26 Death: 1616-04-23

comedy of the Merchant of Venice, and that the performance would commence precisely at 6 O.Clock and conclude
at nine o.clock. After writing an hour to you I walked into the public promenades. they were thronged
by men and women all apparently happy. The walks conducted me through groves, and pastures
of flowers and bowers to a little lake supplied by a fountain surrounded by artificial rocks covered
with moss. Ladies and Gentlemen were seen in parties walking or sitting upon the seats prepared in
the shade. and one would have thought if happiness dwells any where on earth her Court is held in Francfort.
My curiosity prevailed over devotional feelings and I entered the theatre demanding a ticket for the “premiere
place” (the boxes). The charge was about the same as in New York. Although the sun was not yet gone down
the theatre was illuminated by lamps only. and of these none were in the area. The only lights were upon
the stage and in the orchestra. The boxes were filled with persons of respectable and genteel appearance
And the pit with neatly dressed people of the lower class of both sexes. As soon as I had taken my seat
a girl
Unknown
brought me an ice. The whole affair seemed rather like private theatricals than a public
exhibition. There was so much quiet order and sociability. The Gentleman
Unknown
next me admired beyond meas-
ure the play and endeavored to interest me as to the merit of the Actors. Although I well remembered
the Drama in English and saw that the plot and the Dialogue were unaltered except by the translation
into German I could not realize Shakespeare in the harsh dialect spoken by the actors
Unknown
. The female char-
acters especially the sweet Jessica were but wretchedly personated but that of Shylock I thought was im-
proved. At the time I hardly knew as much French as can be taught to a parrot so that I could not con-
verse with the sociable German who sat nearest to me. And if my visit to the theatre had been for amuse-
ment instead of the gratification of my curiosity which was really the case I should there was nothing to
interest me – so having seen a German theatre on Sunday evening I left the playhouse at the end of the second
act and emerged again to the glorious light of the sun. I again traversed promenades and witnessed
the closing scene of Sunday afternoon in a Catholic town - the return of ^the^ People from the public walks on
foot and on horseback and in carriages continued until nine o.clock when for aught that I could see or hear
universal quiet and harmony prevailed in the City.
I closed the letter which I dispatched to you from Frankfort
and thus ended the first day in that beautiful city.
Page 8

The two Englishmen
xEnglishmen
x
Unknown

Unknown
whom I have before mentioned so often rejoined us in [ morn ]
x

Supplied

Reason: hole
ing. Our first case the next morning was to
secure places in the Diligence which was to set out at four o.clock fin the afternoon for Darmstadt. The En-
glishmen having yet to see the objects which we had visited on Sunday went one way about the town while we
took another. We had determined not to employ A Commissionaire (so the person is called who acts as your
interpreter and guide to the of the town. In our walks which were directed by chance we came to a
monument erected by Frederick William 2d
Birth: 1744-09-25 Death: 1797-11-16
. to the memory of the Hessians who fell in an attack made by him
upon the town in 1792. we traversed promenades which we had not before seen and admired fountains of every
different design which could be imagined. At length ^making^ in our inquiries we stumbled upon a German
Unknown
who
had spent much time in England. he was a singular but interesting man – cordially hated the Kings of
Europe and admired the Institutions of America of which he possessed much information and despised the
subserviency with which the Government of the City demeaned themselves to the King of Prussia and the Em-
peror of Austria. He conducted us to Von Bethmanns
Birth: 1768-10-31 Death: 1826-12-28
garden where for a full hour I admired the most
beautiful piece of sculpture I had ever seen. It was a figure of Ariadne the chef doeuvre of an artist
named Dannecker
Birth: 1758-10-15 Death: 1841-12-08
and was beautiful beyond the power of pen or pencil to illustrate. Other statues and many fine
casts were shown us in the same collection but none which could at all be compared with that most
finished work. With our new friend we traversed the street of the Jews. The Jews here like those of Am-
sterdam
are still congregated in one mean street although they have recently been raised to the rights of
Citizenship. A little short woman
Unknown
of no extraordinary appearance passed us in the street and I would
not have addressed her had ^not^ our German friend told me that is the sister of Rothschild
Birth: 1744-02-23 Death: 1812-09-19
. Thence we visited
the celebrated museum which is contained in a very handsome modern building upon the bank of
the Maine. The Maine is covered with small boats which carry on the commerce of the
town with the Rhine where At Mayence where the wine the principal article of trade is put into
large boats. Our German friend took our address, and amid his protestations that he would one
day demand at our hands in our Country similar kindness to that for which we returned him our thanks we
took our leave of him in the same manner and probably with as little probability of ever meeting him again
as the many other hospitable persons we have known and parted with in our rapid journeying in Europe.
At four o.clock in company with the two young Englishmen we presented ourselves at the Diligence Office with
our two large leather trunks, our small trunk, our bandboxes and our bag. Instantly the confusion of Ba-
bel was about our ears. One thing however we were made to understand. Our baggage was thrown into
the scales, weighed thrown upon the ground and in order to have it accompany us we were required to
pay for all it weighed over 60 pounds that being the greatest amount which in Germany it is thought
any Gentleman ought to carry. Of a certainty the Germans had the advantage of us, having already
received our money for our places. We of course paid the amount demanded and having seen our
trunks and other affairs safely loaded upon the “Eilwagen” as the Diligence is called we were soon
on the high road to Darmstadt. The latter town is distant from Francfort 16 miles. the Diligence
for Switzerland was to arrive at Darmstadt three hours after the arrival of our carriage and it
was our intention to go on the same night after having had an opportunity which our stay for
a few hours would afford to see the town. But as soon as we entered the coach a conversation took place
concerning the novel demand for the transportation of our baggage, having traversed England a part of
Ireland Scotland and Holland and a considerable part of Germany without being required to pay
Extra extra for our baggage our whole party came to the conclusion that the exaction was un-
usual and oppressive. We therefore determined to endeavor to avoid it for the future. For this pur-
pose it was determined that on arriving at Darmstadt I should propose to the Diligence Depart-
ment to carry us without that extra charge and in case of their refusal should for the present
postpone taking our seats. One of the Englishmen spoke French with tolerable care and after our long
voyaging I certainly expected his aid in this new effort at negotiation. But no sooner had we arrived
than securing places for himself and his companion he set off to see the Lions of Darmstadt. I presented
myself at the Diligence officers
Unknown
showing them the pile of luggage which seemed so to German eyes

[right Margin]
and having found in the Dictionary the words which I thought would ex-
press any meaning in French I proposed to them to pay them for two
seats to Basle provided they would carry our baggage without
extra charge. But my French was heathen Greek to the Germans
I wrote down my proposition, they conversed with each other
to ascertain my meaning but still it was all in the dark.
At length when I supposed they understood me they answered
Yah Yah Oui Oui and went about making out the receipt (they
always give receipts) I began to congratulate myself upon the
success of my effort at bargaining, but when the receipt was presented
lo it contained the obnoxious charge. I refused to take the seats and
a consultation being had with my father
Birth: 1768-12-05 Death: 1849-08-24
ordered the trunks to be
carried to a chamber in the Hotel thus expecting to bring them to terms
Having done this I again returned to them after a little time but found
no change in their views. We at length concluded to submit but lo the
seats were all taken and both we and our luggage had no other alternative
but to rest in Darmstadt that night. Adieu my love –
B.J S.
Birth: 1793-08-23 Death: 1841-02-24
will read & forward

Benjamin J. Seward Esq.
146 Nassau Street.
New York.
America
Two sheets only & par Havre
P.P.
x

Stamp

Type: postmark

DIJON (20)
12
x

Stamp

Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

Benjamin Seward

Birth: 1793-08-23 Death: 1841-02-24Certainty: Probable
Mrs Wm H Seward
Auburn
NEW YORKOCT 18
x

Stamp

Type: postmark

Hand Shiftx

Frances Seward

Birth: 1805-09-24 Death: 1865-06-21
1833
From the Rhine