The Garden At Arenenberg

The Garden At Arenenberg.

The Rhine Above Schaffhausen

The Rhine Above Schaffhausen.

The Falls Of Schaffhausen

The Falls Of Schaffhausen.

The Freedom Seeking Rhine

"The Freedom-Seeking Rhine."

"As I stood just now by the Falls of the Rhine, I was suddenly seized with a fancy divine; And I thought to myself - if these Falls of the Rhine Instead of water, were only wine, I should certainly choose them for falls of mine."

A few hours after leaving Schaffhausen, the traveler in Rhineland reaches, by a trifling detour, the former paradise of gamblers, and the still charming health resort, - Baden-Baden.

It were folly- to pass this unnoticed. I have been sometimes asked, by persons planning a European tour, "What would you recommend as the best halting-place within the limits of southwestern Germany, if you were pressed for time, and could select but one place on the way to Switzerland?" To such a question I always answer, "Baden-Baden." It is true, to do so is selecting from a great embarrassment of riches, but I am sure the choice of Baden-Baden will not be regretted. Nevertheless, in judging of a place, how much depends upon the accidents of health and weather! A rainy day, a sleepless night, an insolent waiter, or an attempt at extortion, - any one or all of these may tinge the fairest place with gloom; and, even under favorable circumstances, how many lovely scenes are spoiled for us through some mistake which, if we had been warned of it, might just as well have been avoided! The warning to be given in respect to Baden-Baden is this: Do not select for your abode a hotel far from the music, gaiety, and beauty of its famous park ; for that is the centre of its festivities, the spot where the pulse of Baden-Baden beats most rapidly. To be remote from this, to hear its music merely at a distance, to see the promenaders only when you walk from your hotel to do so, is quite as undesirable as a poor seat in a theatre, where you discern only a portion of the stage, and lose the language of the actors. But how is one to find a home within this charming neighborhood? This was the question which we asked ourselves on the first morning after our arrival ; as, discontented with our rooms, we had approached the park, half tempted to abandon Baden, if we could not secure some situation nearer to this field of merriment. At length we saw an attractive building, just across the street from it, which did not somehow have the air of a hotel, although two gentlemen were taking breakfast in the garden, and a sleek waiter (the inevitable napkin on his arm) was standing on the steps. Upon the wall, however, was the inscription, "Maison Messmer." "Could we but find rooms here," whispered a member of the party, "we would remain two months, at least." Approaching the waiter, therefore, he inquired, "Pardon me, is this a hotel ?" "Ja wo hl, mem Herr." He glanced at us triumphantly, but we discreetly turned away our heads. "Are there any rooms to let at present ?" he continued in a voice which trembled from excitement. "Das glaube ich ganz wohl. Kommen Sie herein, meine Herr-schaften. I will speak to Herr Messmer." A moment more and the proprietor appeared. Best and kindest of all landlords, we little thought that morning, now so long ago, of the warm friendship which would soon arise between us, strengthened by every annual visit, and undiminished by the lapse of years. Too modest to proclaim the fact himself, we subsequently learned that he was highly esteemed by old Kaiser William and the Empress, had been the recipient of several presents from them, and was among the guests invited to their golden wedding in Berlin. In fact, it was in this very hotel that both the Kaiser and his wife invariably passed a few weeks every year. Informed of this by the waiter, while Herr Messmer himself had for a moment disappeared, we held a hurried consultation. Could we, by any possibility, remain in this occasional at ode of royalty ? Would not the prices also be "royal" ? They did not prove to be so. Indeed, we soon discovered that, when not occupied by the imperial family, the Maison Messmer was no more expensive than any other hostelry. Accordingly, we hired rooms at once, and stepping out upon our balconies surveyed the scene before us. It was enchanting. On all sides were graceful hills, dark with the splendid foliage of the Black Forest, from which, at frequent intervals, in striking contrast to their sombre background, emerged, to glitter in the sun, the white walls of some pretty villa. One was the residence of a Russian prince, who, long before the frozen arms of the river Neva release St. Petersburg from their prolonged embrace, forgets here, amid opening flowers and the songs of birds, the chill and gloom of Russia's capital.