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and sweet thoughts—of pride, pomp, vanity, the frenzy of gambling, and all the hotter passions of human nature ?” As for health, if there ever was such a goddess resident at Ems, she must have long since been scared away by the infraction of the sanitary rules. For instance, you are not to eat fruit; which, by the practice at the Speisesaals, seems interpreted into a gluttonous license to eat everything else, in any possible quantity. You are to keep your mind calm and unruffled, – towards which, you are supplied with public and private gaming-tables; you are not to worry yourself with business, – but invited to make a business of pleasure at everlasting assemblies and balls. The whole thing is a profitable hoax on pretended temperance principles. The very preparation for taking the waters (vide Schreiber) ought to prevent your having any occasion for them,-namely, exercise, plain diet, abstinence from hot wines, or stimulative drinks,— early rising and bedding, and command of your passions; in short, when you are fit to go to Ems, you need not leave Piccadilly. The rules pompously given out for your regimen at any of the great German watering-places are, in the main, quite as applicable to Norton Folgate or Bullock Smithy. If, - “there is much virtue in that if.” –if a man could dismiss all thoughts of business that are bothering, all ideas of pleasure but what are innocent, — if he could forget that he has a head except for pleasant thoughts, or a stomach for wholesome things, – if he would not over-walk, over-ride, over-watch, over-sleep, over-eat, over-drink, over-work, or over-play himself, to my fancy he would be a fool to leave the blessed spot, wherever he might be, for any watering-place but Paradise and the River of Life. On quitting the Lahn, the beauty of the scenery dwindles like a flower for want of watering, and you enter on a lumpybumpy-humpy country, which is the more uninteresting as, in getting over this “ground-swell,” you do it at a walk. German horses object to go up hill at any other pace; and German postilions prevent their trotting or galloping down, – by which hearse-like progress we at last looked down on the slated roofs of Langen Schwalbach or “Swallow's Brook.” Whereby hangs, an’t please you, a swallow tale.
THE FLOWER AND THE WEED.
A LEGEND OF SCHWALBACH.
“Yes,” said Mr. Samuel Brown, gently closing the book he had just been reading, and looking up cheerfully at the ceiling, — “yes, I will go to Germany l’” e Mr. Samuel Brown was an Englishman, middle-aged, and a bachelor; not that the last was his own fault, for he had tried as often to change his state, and had made as many offers, as any man of his years. But he was unlucky. His rejected addresses had gone through nearly as numerous editions as the pleasant work under the same title; his heart and hand had been declined so frequently, that, like the eels under another painful operation, he had become quite used to it. It was even whispered amongst his friends, that he had advertised in the Herald for a matrimonial partner, but without success. As he was well to do in the world, the obstacle, most probably, was his person; which, to tell the truth, was as plain and commonplace as his name. Be that as it may, he was beginning in despair to make up his mind to a housekeeper and a life of celibacy, when all at once his hopes were revived by the perusal of certain book of travels. “Yes,” said Mr. Samuel Brown, again opening the volume wherein he had kept the place with his forefinger, “I will certainly go to Germany l’” and once more he read aloud the delightful paragraph, which seemed to him better than the best passage in the Pleasures of Hope. It ran thus : — “It is this, said one of the ladies, which makes the society of foreigners so much too agreeable to us. A mouth uncontaminated by a pipe may win with words, which, if scented with tobacco, would be listened to with very different emotions.” " “So much Too agreeable,” repeated Mr. Samuel Brown, briskly rubbing his hands with satisfaction, — “an uncontaminated mouth ; why, I never smoked a pipe in my life, not even a cigar ! Yes, I will go to Germany l’” A single man, without encumbrance, is moved as easily as an empty hand-barrow. On the Saturday, Mr. Samuel Brown
* Mrs. Trollope's Western Germany.
locked up his chambers in the Adelphi, procured a passport from Mr. May, got it countersigned by Baron Bülow, engaged a berth in the Batavier, sailed on Sunday, and in thirty hours landed at Rotterdam. The very next morning he started up the Rhine for Nimeguen, thence to Cologne; and, again, by the first boat to Coblentz. To most persons the greater part of this water progress is somewhat wearisome ; but to our hero it was very delightful, and chiefly so from a circumstance that is apt to disgust other travellers, – the perpetual smoking. But Mr. Brown enjoyed it; and with expanded nostrils greedily inhaled the reeky vapor, as a hungry beggar snuffs up the fumes of roast meat. If anything vexed him, it was to see a pipe standing idle in a corner of the cabin; but he had not
often tha annoyance. If anything pleased him, it was to see a jolly German, with an ample tobacco-bag gayly embroidered, hung at his buttonhole, puffing away lustily at his meerschaum. But his ecstacy was at its height when, on entering at night the Speisesaal of the Grand Hôtel de Belle Vue, he found above a score of cloud-compelling Prussians smoking themselves and each other, till they could scarcely see or be seen. The seventh day found Mr. Samuel Brown established at Schwalbach, – a selection he had prudently made to avoid any rivalship from his countrymen. In fact, he was the only Englishman in the place. It was the height of the season, and the hotels and lodging-houses were full of guests, old and young, sick and well, gay and sober, gentle and simple. What was more to the point, there were shoals of single females, beautiful Fräuleins, German houris, all ready of course to listen to a foreigner so much too agreeable, and with lips never contaminated by a pipe. The only difficulty was, amongst so many, to make a choice. But our Samuel resolved not to be rash. To ask was to have, and he might as well have the best. Accordingly, he frequented the promenades and the rooms, regularly haunted the Weinbrunnen, the Stahlbrunnen, and the Pauline; and dined, in succession, at all the public tables. In the mean time, he could not help noticing, with inward triumph, how little chance the natives had of gaining the hearts of their fair countrywomen. A few, indeed, merely whiffed at a cigar, but nine tenths of them sucked, unweaned, at that “instrument of torture,” a pipe. He saw officers, tall, handsome men, with mustaches to drive any civilian to despair, – but they had all served at the battle of Rauchen, – and in the Allée often verified the description by Mr. Brown's favorite authoress : — - 4. “The ladies throw their bonnets aside, leaving their faces no other protection but their beautiful and abundant hair. The gentlemen, many of them military, sit near, if a chair can be found; or if not, stand behind them like courteous cavaliers as they are ; excepting (O horror of horrors /) they turn aside from the lovely group, and smoke /* “Yes, yes,” said Mr. Samuel Brown, quoting to himself, “to expose these delicate sweet-looking females to the real suffertng which the vicinity of breath infected by tobacco occasions, ts positive cruelty!” It was his topmost pleasure to watch such offenders; and when the operation was over, — when the tobacco-bag was bulging out one coat-pocket, and the end of the tube was projecting like a tail from the other, with what gusto used he to walk round and round the unconscious German, sniffing the stale abomination in his clothes, in his person, in his hair Better to him was that vapid odor than all the spicy scents of Araby the Blest: eau de Cologne, otto of roses, jasmin, millefleurs, verbena, nothing came near it. As a baffled fox-hunter once cursed the sweetest of Flora's gifts as “those stinking vi'lets,” so did our wife-hunter choose to consider one of the nastiest smells in nature as the very daintiest of perfumes | At length Mr. Samuel Brown made his election. The Fräulein Von Nasenbeck was of good family, young and pretty (a blonde), with a neat figure, and some twenty thousands of dollars at her own disposal. Why, with such advantages, she had never married, would have been a mystery, if Samuel's favorite book, which he always carried in his pocket, had not hinted a sufficient reason. “In the same country, where the enthusiasm of sentiment is carried to the highest pitch, and cherished with the fondest reverence, the young men scruple not to approach the woman they love with sighs, which make her turn her head aside, not to hide the blush of happiness, but the loathing of involuntary disgust.” “Of course that’s it,” soliloquized the exulting Samuel, “but my lips have not been sophisticated with tobacco, and she will listen to volumes from me, when she would not hear a single syllable from one of your smoke-jacks | " The difficulty was to get introduced; but even this was accomplished by dint of perseverance; and, fortune still favoring him, one day he found himself tete-à-tête with his Love-Elect. Such an opportunity was not to be lost; so, thrusting one hand in his pocket, as if to derive inspiration from his book, and gently laying the other on his bosom, he heaved a deep sigh, and then began, partly quoting from memory, in the following words: “It’s a pity, my dear miss, it’s really a pity to witness so glaring a defect in a people so admirable in other respects.” “It is how P” said the puzzled Fräulein. “I allude,” said Samuel, pointing to a group of Germans, “to your young countrymen. To behold their youthful faces one moment beaming with the finest expression, and the next stultified by that look of ineffable stupidity produced by smoking, is really too weacatious ! ” “Ach!” ejaculated the fair Fräulein, with a slight shrug of her beautiful shoulders.