" They have whetted their teeth against the stones, And now they pick the bishop's bones; They gnawed the flesh from every limb; For they were sent to do judgment on him."

At the union of the Rhine and one of its smaller tributaries, lies a town which the lines of a poetess have made more widely known than almost any other on the river, - "Fair Bingen on the Rhine." Doubtless the lady's sketch was imaginary, and the village which she thus immortalized was probably chosen at random; nevertheless, it is impossible to look upon it without a pitying thought of the "soldier of the legion," who "lay dying in Algiers"; and as the boat glides by it in its course, one finds himself repeating some of the familiar lines:

" Tell her, the last night of my life (for ere the moon be risen, My body will be out of pain, my soul be out of prison), I dreamed I stood with her and saw the yellow sunlight shine On the vine-clad hills of Bingen - fair Bingen on the Rhine."

The Mouse Tower

The Mouse Tower.



Just opposite Bingen the glasses of all tourists on the steamer are eagerly turned toward the German National Monument, which stands at a height of seven hundred and forty feet above the river, on the brow of a wooded hill known as the Niederwald. It is a colossal bronze statue of Germania, designed to keep alive the fires of patriotism by commemorating the German victories in the Franco-Prussian War, which laid the foundation of the present empire. Aside from the impressive memories that it awakens, it is an imposing work of art, for the entire monument is more than one hundred feet in height, - the majestic figure of Germania, holding a crown and sword adorned with laurel wreaths, being itself thirty-three feet high. Around the pedestal are the portraits of Emperor William and the principal princes and generals of Germany, as well as fine reliefs portraying scenes in the campaign; and on the side facing the river, the sculptures represent the "Watch on the Rhine," the words of the noble song being appropriately inscribed beneath.

The Rhine, in its capricious windings, gives forth its treasures, one after the other, each awakening new delight. Among the pretty villages thus revealed is Bacharach, the most conspicuous feature of which is a ruin known as St. Werner's Chapel. The origin of this building was peculiar. Saint Werner, it appears, was a young boy, who, four centuries and a half ago, was murdered by the Jews at Ober-wesel. His body was flung into the river, but, instead of floating down the stream, it came miraculously up the current for some miles, and was finally washed ashore at Bacharach, scaring the murderers into confession. After such an aquatic exploit the young man was declared a saint, and the inhabitants of the town could do no less than build for him the pretty chapel, the ruins of which still grace the borders of the Rhine.

The National Monument

The National Monument.



The town of Bacharach has, also, an eventful history.

Some eighteen hundred years ago a Roman settlement was established here, and, very early becoming famous for the wine which it produced, it was called Ara Bacchi, of the Altar of Bacchus. Even to-day an altar to the god of wine might well be erected at Bacharach; for, on sipping the golden produce of its vineyards, we seem to taste in every drop a ray of imprisoned sunshine, and recollect the German proverb which declares:

St. Werner's Chalpel

St. Werner's Chalpel.

" At Wiirzburg on the Stein, At Hochheim on the Main, And Bacharach on the Rhine, You find the best of wine."

Not far from the town, one sees before him, in the middle of the river, a singularly shaped structure, which certainly can lay no claim to beauty. It has a most inhospitable air, since its entrance is six feet above the rock on which the building stands, and even this is reached only by a ladder. More than six hundred years ago, this structure served as a convenient toll-house, which no boats were allowed to pass without paying tribute, and that it was also used as a prison is evident from the fact that dungeons still exist beneath it, below the level of the river. It was even capable of sustaining a siege, being supplied with water from a well dug deeper than the bed of the surrounding stream. All the legends of the Rhine are by no means pathetic. Thus, it is claimed that in the castle of Schonberg there once lived seven handsome daughters, who were such incorrigible flirts, and persistently broke so many hearts, that Providence finally interfered to avenge the Ro-meos of the Rhine, and changed the sisters into seven rocks, which stand here to this day, a warning to all pretty voyagers of the consequences of such cruel actions.