stretched out in that limpid bath. You remain in it ten minutes, the first time, and afterwards increase the duration from day to day, till you reach twenty-five or thirty minutes. There you stop. The appointments of the place are so luxurious, the benefit so marked, the price so moderate, and the insults so sure, that you very soon find yourself adoring the Friēderichsbad and infesting it.
We had a plain, simple, unpretending, good hotel, in Baden-Baden,—the Hotel de France,—and alongside my room I had a giggling, cackling, chattering family who always went to bed just two hours after me and always got up just two hours ahead of me. But that is common in German hotels; the people generally go to bed long after eleven and get up long before eight. The partitions convey sound like a drum-head, and everybody knows it; but no matter, a German family who are all kindness and consideration in the daytime make apparently no effort to moderate their noises for your benefit at night. They will sing, laugh and talk loudly, and bang furniture around in the most pitiless way. If you knock on your wall appealingly, they will quiet down and discuss the matter softly amongst themselves for a moment,—then, like the mice, they fall to persecuting you again, and as vigorously as before. They keep cruelly late and early hours, for such noisy folk.
Of course when one begins to find fault with foreign people's ways, he is very likely to get a reminder to look nearer home, before he gets far with it. I open my note book to see if I can find some more information of a valuable nature about Baden-Baden, and the first thing I fall upon is this:
Baden-Baden, (no date.) Lot of vociferous Americans at breakfast this morning. Talking at everybody, while pretending to talk among themselves. On their first travels, manifestly. Showing off. The usual signs,—airy, easygoing references to grand distances and foreign places. "Well, good-bye, old fellow,—if I don't run across you in Italy, you hunt me up in London before you sail."