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designed by Nature for a great empire ; though it was not decreed by Nature's God to continue the land-mark of his own.
Leaving Cologne, the banks on both sides are flat and uninteresting, though here and there a scene of delightful repose meets the eye. So wide and open a river, without the usual moving concomitants of one, needs little extrinsic aid to impress the mind with the idea.
The first feature of interest is the group of mountainous hills, called Siebengeberge, over against Bonn, among which the oft-sung castled crag of Drachenfels” is the most striking; and from hence to Coblenz, where our day's voyage terminated, the whole course of the river is one varying picture, assembling almost every element of the picturesque.
I shall not attempt to describe the many antique towns, pretty villages, ruined castles, glens, mountains, monasteries, and localities of a hundred different kinds, which our shifting panorama embodied during the day. It was one unbroken note of admiration from every mouth; or with such intervals only between as permitted the spectators to keep up their interjectional firing with undiminished vigour to the last. In truth, I almost tired of admiring, and longed for an intermission of beauties, to furnish an excuse for a nap below. Yet, staunch in my æsthetic duty I kept me upon deck until the last.
It was towards evening, after a day propitious as tourist could desire for this favourite voyage, that we arrived at the bridge of boats beneath the mighty fortress, that crowns the eminence over against Coblenz. Hither had my imagination been speeding ever since dawn, anticipating greatly the lazy pace of our vessel. And, despite numberless attractions, the river thus far, with all the accompaniments of its banks, had failed to produce much sensible effect upon my mind, to satisfy a fancy strung to its highest pitch, or perceptibly to elevate my feelings beyond their usual quiet tone. As the boat moved on, I admired with the rest, and turned my back in succession upon a hundred beautiful pictures, in preparation for that which was to be the next; and this glen looked lovely that cliff was bold and fine-yonder château crowned well its hill-top, and charmingly rose to view the convent whose turrets peeped, just visible, behind yon green boughs on the water's edge ; while history had consecrated this spot—a ruin here, and a crag there, were eloquent, each with its own legend of wonder; but they came and went, one and all of them; and their images, all beautiful as they were, --nay, any distinct idea of any one locality will, from mere multiplicity, (I fear) be forgotten tomorrow, as their names are, almost without exception, now. Even thy majestic steep, Broad Rock of Honour,* disclosed not its full magnificence at once! For a considerable distance had I noticed it, as I imagined, one of the numerous forts about the town; but inwardly disbelieved the assertions of a fellow-passenger, that Ehrenbreitstein was in view. My conception was wholly from prints and sketches, taken southward of the fort; while we, at the opposite end of the eminence, could see little of the grand features that, from any given point in the former direction, are asseinbled in your picture. I was convinced, however, of my error, as each succeeding moment discovered more the face of the citadel; and as I gazed across the river from the quay of Coblenz, seemed as if regarding a favourite and familiar scene.
* The literal meaning of Ehrenbreitstein.
We were quickly furnished with a ticket of admission from the Commandant, and not long in availing ourselves of it. Upon reaching the opposite bank of the Rhine, we found ourselves in the small town of Ehrenbreitstein, chiefly barracks, magazines, and offices of the military or police, but withal substantial and handsome buildings. The high embattled rock now rose almost perpendicularly above us, its sharp black prominences seeming to frown in stern and solemn pride upon the region and the many moving beings beneath. Its altitude is about one half greater than the castle of Edinburgh; and its aspect, from the immensity and completeness of the works, beyond comparison more threatening ; though, taken separately, as a mere castellated height, not nearly so picturesque. The ramparts and bastions which cross and stud its front, extending and raising their sturdy line and head in every direction, are of the simplest yet most gigantic style of workmanship; and, for once, the sublimity with which nature has invested the spot is not marred, but, on the contrary, greatly heightened by the additional handywork of man. The ascent is by a winding road, steep yet wide, and conveniently accessible for carriages; and from the platform on the top, terminating under the windows of the governor's house, a railway, frightfully precipitous, descends to the river, whereby the heaviest stores and materials are conveyed with ease and celerity into the garrison.
Outside the main portal is a broad ditch, filled from the Rhine, and crossed by a drawbridge ; and two fortified gateways guard the road within, at intervals, between the entrance to the fort and the citadel at top. The rock, although apparently designed by nature for a stronghold, has yet been considerably modified, to adapt it to the more systematic notions of the engineer ; but the vast natural slabs of stone, that present their unmortared walls as you ascend, create an idea of solid masonry, with which nothing from the tool of man can vie.
The batteries are prodigious, and so disposed as to command every possible avenue of approach, as well as to subject the town and other adjacent forts to the tremendous sweep of their artillery. In the gateway-tower and line of wall immediately without the citadel, are embrasures for nearly fourscore cannon, besides loop-holes in the former for a heavy fire of musketry. The fortress itself is entered through a long massy archway, with outer and inner gates, trenches and battery. The barracks afford accommodation for fourteen thousand men-at present, the garrison might be five-and-twenty hundred—and the magazines are extensive, to correspond; both are bomb-proof, and constructed in the strongest and most substantial, yet in a handsome style: the stone-work of the walls being disposed archwise in various places, to obviate in some measure the effects of a breach, by leaving the parts above it self-supported. Many hundreds of the soldiery were moving dispersedly about the place of parade, or stood conversing in small knots ; the few sentinels who paced backward and forward on the ramparts alone exhibiting the present influence of discipline. The fine fellows might be compared to a huge and busy colony of bees, when, after the toilsome duties of the day are finished, those insect labourers may be seen--some sporting around the hive, others creeping loiteringly about its portal-all giving evidence, in the gentle yet general murmur, of content and tranquil enjoyment. Numbers amongst our military swarm were in like manner humming their martial songs, or joining in glees, the rough melody of which was in perfect unison with the place and season.
We had many interesting peeps of the country, by snatches, as we wound up the long ascent; but, standing upon the large open platform of the citadel, and looking down from its lofty breastwork, a scene of luxuriance and varied beauty was presented, as striking in its way as the locality I have been attempting to describe. The town of Coblenz, occupying a square area, in which each church, street, and most insignificant object was distinctly developed, lay just across the Rhine, its eastern boundary; while north-west and west it is washed by the Moselle, which falls into the other at the angle of the town opposite Ehrenbreitstein, and whose previous course might be traced for some miles, winding beautifully through the landscape, and affording, together with the more expansive and equally sinuous waters of the great river, a truly magnificent feature of the panorama. Our station appeared connected with the city by the bridge of boats before mentioned, while the Moselle is crossed just above its disemboguement by a fine stone bridge of thirteen arches. Coblenz (confluentia) has its name from the meeting of the waters.
The country beyond the rivers exhibits a rich champaign for a considerable extent, which many little towns and villages, glistening with their white dwellings and tapering spires, tend to diversify and enliven. Distant irregular ranges of high land, in the direction of France, terminate this part of the view. In the same quarter, south of Coblenz and overhanging the Rhine, stand the hill and fortress of Chartreuse ; and further up is a loftier ridge, whose thickly-wooded sides, that appeared to rise abruptly from the river, were now screened from the rays of a fine setting sun, and showed, in gradually lessening tints of blue, their imperfectly limned features; rendering the gleamy roofs and still more glowing waters additionally brilliant by the contrast. The other angle of land formed by the two rivers is slightly elevated, and furnished with some smaller forts. The gables of Ehrenbreitstein were at our feet.
While we continued gazing, mute and motionless, as if spell-bound at our several stations, a bright haze, in hue between the topaz and the amethyst, gradually overspread the whole, like a shining exhalation, giving the effect of one of those warmly-tinted media, which Claude and our Turner so especially love to portray; while the sun, arrayed in his richest solstitial mantle, was fast approaching, but had not yet begun to sink below, the horizon.
The effect was magical. I felt all the enthusiasm of the spot and moment. “ This, this,” cried I, “is the Rhine !” And, truth to say, he appeared glorious. I was overpaid by these few brief glances the whole long way I had voyaged hither. My imagination had kindled at some unknown beam from one of the many living depositaries of heaven's light around me. I was not standing on earth. Fancy had carried me aloft in fairy flights,-my station, in very deed, some castle built in air. Nor could I well persuade myself that the novel and most superb scene of which from thence I was spectator, and whereto the grand characteristics of the fortress and the inspiriting influence of a garrison off duty were no inconsiderable aids, was not altogether mere illusion ;-that such beauties, such enjoyment, could be reality!
Turning our back on this splendid prospect, the height affords a beautiful view inland, commanding for some distance the road that winds through the fertile valley at its base to Ems, and towards which every opening for the artillery is directed with studious and deadly consistency. Over this, the long shadow of the rock threw its deepening folds. I sought again the glowing Rhine. I adore a fine sunset. Here would I have lingered while a spark of day remained, and wishfully anticipated the wondrous scene under the more soothing influence of moonlight. But, alas ! I was one only of a party. Besides, the rigid discipline of the place would have forbidden my stay.
We descended. Every mouth was full of the beautiful vision. All expressed themselves highly gratified; but I verily believe none felt half so much so as myself. Adieu, magnificent eyrie of the aigle noir ! When henceforth appears the badge of black and white on gateway, staff, or palisade,* I shall renew, however faintly, the enjoyments of this delicious evening, and Ehrenbreitstein shall again be present to the eye, so affectionately retentive, of memory.
Resuming our voyage on the morrow, we had a repetition of the features noticed yesterday; the hills, perhaps, a trifle bolder; the vineyards more continuous, and the turreted ruins generally, some one at least, in prominent view. It must be confessed, the very abundance of the treat operates something like a surfeit; and I felt no disinclination to-day to bury myself for a long hour in the cabin, at the very middling one o'clock table d'hôte : far different were our wines from the produce of the Johannisberg and Steinberg estates we were passing. A little below Mayence, is a palace of the Duke of Nassau. Here the river, which had for some time appeared confined and turbulent, forming several dangerous eddies or whirlpools, expands to thrice its former breadth, while the hills recede on both sides, giving place to a landscapery more like that of home, whose hardly inferior beauties are those of fertility and repose.
I had, by this time, become extremely sociable with most of my Eng
* It is usual all over the Continent, to denote any post of the government, especially military ones, by some slight wooden outwork, striped or ringed with the national colours. The Black Eagle is the enblem of Prussia, and these pickets are painted in white and black.
lish fellow-travellers; had broken the ice of first acquaintance with more than one of the foreign ones; and it was with very altered sentiments that I parted from some of my companions, whom, in the outset of my journey, I had set down as disagreeable and empty or arrogant persons. Make thy note here, reader, to eschew these personal prepossessions as much as possible, especially if their tenor be unfavourable. Experience generally proves them more or less unjust; and whatever the event, they will be admitted, at the least, to be premature.
Mayence, or Mentz, the birth-place of printing, is a great garrison.* The city is better built, and its streets more spacious and cleanly than at Cologne. Of its ancient cathedral, which is scarred and mutilated by besiegers' cannon, the chief ornaments are a series of monuments of the electoral bishops.
SULPHUR, sometimes called brimstone, is a non-metallic body which has been known from remote antiquity; for, according to Pliny (lib. 35, c. 15), the ancients used it as a medicine, and the fumes of it to bleach wool. It occurs pure, as well as in various states of combination with metals, forming sulphuret of iron, copper, lead, antimony, &c.; it combines with oxygen in various proportions, one of which is sulphuric acid, and this acid combines with lime, as sulphate of lime or gypsum; with barytes as sulphate of barytes ; it is also in combination with various other earthy substances; it is found in combination with hydrogen, forming sulphuretted hydrogen gas, which is contained in the Harrowgate and Cheltenham waters. It enters the organic kingdom in albumen and hạir.
The most considerable deposite of sulphur is that of Solfatara, near Naples; it is exhaled in large quantities from volcanoes, sometimes in combination with hydrogen, sometimes it condenses in the fissures of mountains, where it is exhaled in combination with hydrogen. The sulphuretted hydrogen is decomposed by the atmosphere, the oxygen of which combines with the hydrogen, forming water. The sulphur is precipitated and forms a deposite on the surface of the earth. Sulphur may be obtained in abundance by distilling bisulphuret of iron, or iron pyrites.
Sulphur may be casily crystallized by melting roll sulphur in a stoneware crucible. Having placed it to cool, as soon as the surface begins to harden, break it and pour out the liquid sulphur from beneath ; when quite cold, if the crucible be broken, beautiful needle-shaped crystals will appear. The most liquid state of sulphur is at about 270° or 280o; at a higher temperature it becomes thicker, and at about 480° it will scarcely flow from an inverted vessel ; after this to its boiling point,
* For particulars of the place, see “ The Rhine, Italy, and Greece." By the Rev. G. N. Wright, M.A., &c.