It was one of the old Roman strongholds built along the Rhine; and, shortly before the birth of Christ, the Roman general, Drusus, built across the river at this point a bridge of stone. Since then poor Mainz has been repeatedly the spoil of conquerors, from Attila to Bonaparte. Yet, though its annals have been often stained with blood, its greatest fame comes from a very different source. In its chief public square stands a monument made from the designs of the Danish sculptor, Thorwaldsen, and erected by subscriptions from all parts of Europe. It is the statue of the most illustrious citizen of Mainz, John Gutenberg, who here invented movable types, and whose first printing-office, occupied by him in 1443, is still preserved. Unfortunately, like many of the benefactors of his race, Gutenberg died friendless and in want. Nevertheless, among the heroes of the Rhineland, his name stands out in characters that will forevermore command the admiration of posterity; and although Caesar, Charlemagne, Napoleon, and many lesser warriors have played their roles in the historic drama of this river, - leaving behind them memories which are now inseparable from the stream itself, - the man, whose life-work revolutionized the world and helped mankind immeasurably onward in its upward path, was one who neither held a sword nor wore a crown.

The Great Wine Cask

The Great Wine-Cask.

A Choice Of Routes

A Choice Of Routes.

Along The Rhine

Along The Rhine.

A Rhenish Castle

A Rhenish Castle.

Statue Of Gutenberg At Mainz

Statue Of Gutenberg At Mainz.

Mainz From The Bridge

Mainz From The Bridge.

As the swift steamer bears the tourist down the Rhine from Mainz, a charming feature soon reveals itself in the extensive vineyards glistening in the sun. Sometimes the shores are lined with them for miles. The most renowned and valuable lie upon the slopes of the Johannisberg. This mountain was formerly the property of an Austrian statesman, Metternich. It is well known that, in addition to his love for vineyards and diplomacy, Metternich had a mania for collecting autographs, and his relations during thirty years with the sovereigns of Europe (some of whom owed to him their crowns) had naturally given him a fine array of royal signatures. Not content with these, however, he solicited those of persons distinguished in any walk of life. Among others, therefore, he requested the autograph of Jules Janin, a famous wit and journalist of Paris. On receiving the request, Janin immediately seized a pen and wrote:

"Paris, 15th May, 1838. - Received from Prince Metternich, twenty-four bottles of his best Johannisberg wine. (Signed) Jules Janin."

The wit was well appreciated and rewarded, for in a month the journalist received from Metternich the two dozen bottles of Johannisberg. It is probable, however, that Metternich kept the signature of the witty Frenchman longer than Janin kept the sparkling wine of Metternich.

Castle Of Johannisberg

Castle Of Johannisberg.

Oh, the amount of labor that has been expended on the Rhenish hillsides! Without man's ingenuity, no cultivation of the grape on their steep sides would have been possible. But human skill has changed them into hanging gardens, by means of countless terraces which hold the soil that otherwise would be washed down to the river in a dozen rainstorms. We sometimes think the building of stone walls on old New England farms remarkable, but that is nothing to what has been accomplished on the Rhine. Literally, thousands of miles of carefully constructed and cemented walls, from eight to twenty feet in height, have been built along these hillsides, dividing the whole area into little vineyards (perhaps no more than twenty-five feet wide), which in places rise in thirty or forty terraces to the very summit of the mountains. Sometimes the slope is so precipitous that the soil in which the vines are planted has to be kept in baskets to retain it, and much of the soil, and all the dressing it receives, must be carried up the hills upon the shoulders of the laborers.