It must be acknowledged, however, that, since the Franco-Prussian War, the gay and fashionable life of Baden has largely disappeared. The place still remains delightful, but it no longer effervesces like champagne. Parisians do not visit it as formerly, and write sarcastically of the change from French to German customs. One witty writer, for example, says that now, instead of snowy shoulders, sparkling eyes, and charming costumes, one sees here gouty Germans limping along the promenade, supported by their patient fraus, or gathered in the "Conversation House," like cabbages raised under glass; and that, instead of the gay rivalry of spendthrifts, who bought all kinds of trinkets at the shops, the wretched salesmen are once or twice a day aroused from sleep, by some huge-waisted Hollander, who bargains with them half an hour for a pair of stockings! All this, of course, is caricature, yet Baden must have had in former times a charm of which we see few traces now. The loveliest summer toilettes were then inaugurated here. It was the accepted ball-room of all Europe, - the garden of Paris, - the promenade of England. Then, in the balmy summer evenings, these music-haunted paths became the rendezvous of friends who had last met at Nice or on the Paris boulevards, and in these winding avenues Love reigned supreme and held his court unchallenged, and here, if anywhere, "at lovers' vows of constancy Jove laughed."

The River Oos

The River Oos.

The Promenade Of The Drinking Hall

The Promenade Of The Drinking Hall.

Not far from the "Conversation House" is the Drinking Hall, a handsome structure, nearly three hundred feet in length, whose noble portico, adorned with frescos representing the legends of the Black Forest, make it a most agreeable promenade for those who come here for the cure. In the rotunda of the edifice rises the celebrated spring of Baden-Baden, the virtues of which have been sung for centuries. As its waters have a temperature of about one hundred and fifty degrees Fahrenheit, it is not surprising that such a covered gallery has been provided, where invalids can walk, and wait with patience till the liquid cools. It may perhaps console them to remember that, nearly two thousand years ago, people were doing here precisely the same thing. For when the building was in process of construction, extensive relics of Roman baths were discovered, proving that those old conquerors of the world had learned the efficacy of this spring, and had erected their votive tablets to the gods.

The Drinking Hall

The Drinking Hall.

Das Alte Schloss

Das Alte Schloss.

Whenever I was seated at my window in the Hotel Messmer, if I looked off beyond the town, I saw, three miles away, a ruin of enormous size, crowning the summit of a wooded mountain.

It is known as Das alte Schloss, or the Old Castle, and was the residence of the lords of Baden, who in the Middle Ages ruled this region with a rod of iron. Two hundred years ago the French dismantled it, and then, for half a century at least, it lay neglected in the forest solitude. But now a visit to the Old Castle is the favorite excursion to be made from Baden, and every pleasant afternoon, a score of tourists, who have approached it by long walks or drives completely shaded by gigan tic trees, may be seen standing or its ruined walls gazing with de light upon the scene below. The entrance to this castle is a narrow portal beyond which one car see a winding passage, resem bling a street in an old Oriental town. The outer gate was only the first of many similar portals which followed one another, like successive doors in a safe-deposit vault. A hand ful of determined men could easily, therefore, have resisted here an army of invaders; for, in addition to the ponderous gates, the wails were pierced with narrow loop-holes, through which the garrison could with safety fire upon the enemy. Today, how great the transformation! The massive walls are roofless now, and visitors may enter fearlessly a corridor, which, no doubt, in the period of the castle's glory, frequently echoed to the clang of arms and tramp of horses' feet. Where mailed watchmen stood guard, a peasant woman keeps a booth of trinkets; and, on an ancient tower, the traveler, wearied by his mountain climb, beholds the touching legend, "Restaurant." It is appropriate that beneath this word there should, also, be inscribed an arrow; for swiftly as a feathered barb does every German, at least, glide through the adjoining doorway to order beer, coffee, butter-brod, and sausage, without which no excursion seems to him completer - nor even an afternoon endurable. Many warlike deeds are said to have been performed in ancient times in and about the Old Castle, but it is not necessary to go into antiquity for thrilling scenes connectcd with its history. One day, as we were climbing to the highest portion of the building by some rock-hewn steps, Herr Messmer told us of a tragic incident of which he had been personally cognizant. When gambling prevailed at Baden, almost as many suicides took place in the Black Forest as now occur at Monaco. Among the visitors here, in 1863, were a young Russian officer and the lady of his love. They had eloped from Moscow. Their funds had become exhausted. The money on which the young man counted was refused him, save on condition that he left his friend and came back to his family alone. Unwilling to do this, in his despair the officer tempted fortune at the gaming-table. In vain ! In one brief hour he had lost the little money that remained to him. Leaving the brilliant hall, he plunged directly into the Black Forest, and made his way to this castle. It was a glorious night, and moonlight lent enchantment to the place; but its beauty offered him no consolation. Meanwhile, alarmed at his delay, suspecting his design, and acting upon the information given her by a servant, the lady followed breathless in his footsteps. Again and again, in the darkness of the wood, she called his name, but met with no response. At last, when she had dragged her trembling limbs almost to the entrance of the castle, a pistol-shot rang out upon the air. H alf-frenzied, with recovered strength, she bounded up the ruined battlements, to find her lover dead beside the wall. She did not hesitate a moment. Pressing a farewell kiss upon his lips, still moist and warm, she took the pistol from his hand and in an instant more fell lifeless by his side.