Page:Letters from Abroad to Kindred at Home (Volume 1).djvu/157

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
154
BONN.

highest pleasure we had counted on—Madame M.'s society. She stayed with us to the last moment, and then, when saying farewell, a land impulse seized her; she sent her footman back for her cloak, and came with us as far as Andernech, where she has one of her many villas. This was just what L. M. would have done on a similar occasion; but how many of these incidental opportunities of giving pleasure, these chance-boons in the not too happy way of life, are foregone and—irretrievable?

At Bonn the romantic beauty of the Rhine begins. I have often heard our Hudson compared to the Rhine; they are both rivers, and both have beautiful scenery; but I see no other resemblance except so far as the Highlands extend, and there only in some of the natural features. Both rivers have a very winding course, and precipitous and rocky shores. But remember, these are shores that bear the vine, and so winding for forty miles that you might fancy yourself passing through a series of small lakes. I have seen no spot on the Rhine more beautiful by Nature than the Hudson from West Point; but here is

"A blending of all beauties, streams and dells,
Fruit, foliage, crag, wood, cornfield, mountain, vine,
And chiefless castles breathing stern farewells,
From gray but leafy walls, where Ruin greenly dwells."

Read Byron's whole description in his third canto of Childe Harold, of this "abounding and exulting river," and you will get more of the sensation it is fitted to produce than most persons do from actually