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O, the pride of the German heart in this noble river! And right it is, for of all the rivers of this beautiful earth, there is none so beautiful as this. There is hardly a league of its whole course, from its cradle in the snowy Alps to its grave in the sands of Holland, which boasts not its peculiar charms. By heavens! if I were a German, I would be proud of it too; and of the clustering grapes that hang about its temples, as it reels onward through vineyards, in a triumphal march, like Bacchus, crowned and drunken.

But I will not attempt to describe the Rhine; it would make this chapter much too long. And to do it well one should write like a god; and his language flow onward royally, with breaks and dashes, like the waters of that royal river, and antique, quaint, and Gothic times be reflected in it. Alas! this evening mine flows not at all.

Flow, then, into this smoke-coloured goblet, thou blood of the Rhine! out of thy prisonhouse-out of thy long-necked, tapering flask, in shape not unlike a church spire among thy native hills; and from the crystal belfry loud ring the merry tinkling bells, while I drink a health to my hero, in whose heart is sadness, and in whose ears the bells of Andernach are ringing


He is threading his way alone through a narrow alley, and now up a flight of stone steps, and along the city wall, towards that old round tower built by the Archbishop Frederic of Cologne, in the twelfth century. It has a romantic interest in his eyes, for he has still in his mind and heart that beautiful sketch of Carové, in which is described a day on the tower of Andernach. He finds the old keeper and his wife still there; and the old keeper closes the door behind him slowly, as of yore, lest he should jam too hard the poor

souls in purgatory, whose fate it is to suffer in the cracks of doors and hinges. But, alas! alas ! the daughter, the maiden with long, dark eyelashes, she is asleep in her little grave under the linden trees of Feldkirche, with rosemary in her folded hands!

Flemming returned to the hotel disappointed. As he passed along the narrow streets he was dreaming of many things, but mostly of the keeper's daughter asleep in the churchyard of Feldkirche. Suddenly, on turning the corner of an ancient, gloomy church, his attention was arrested by a little chapel in an angle of the wall. It was only a small thatched roof, like a bird's nest, under which stood a rude wooden image of the Saviour, on the cross. A real crown of thorns was upon his head, which was bowed downward, as if in the death agony, and drops of blood were falling down his cheeks, and from his hands, and feet, and side. The face was haggard and ghastly beyond expression, and wore a look of unutterable bodily anguish. The rude sculptor had given it this, but his art could go no farther. The sublimity of death in a dying Saviour, the expiring God-likeness of Jesus of Nazareth, was not there. The artist had caught no heavenly inspiration from his theme. All was coarse, harsh, and revolting to a sensitive mind; and Flemming turned away with a shudder as he saw this fearful image gazing at him, with its fixed and half-shut eyes.

He soon reached the hotel, but that face of agony still haunted him. He could not refrain from speaking of it to a very old woman, who sat knitting by the window of the dining-room, in a high-backed, old-fashioned arm-chair. I believe she was the innkeeper's grandmother. At all events, she was old enough to be so. She took off her owl-eyed spectacles, and as she wiped the esses with her handkerchief, said:

"Thou dear Heaven! Is it possible? Did you never hear of the Christ of Andernach ?" Flemming answered in the negative.

"Thou dear Heaven," continued the old woman. "It is a very wonderful story, and a true one, as every good Christian in Andernach will tell you. And it all happened before the death of blessed man, my four years ago; let me see -yes, four years ago come Christmas."

Here the old woman stopped speaking, but went on with her knitting. Other thoughts seemed to occupy her mind. She was thinking, no doubt, of her blessed man, as German widows call their dead husbands. But Flemming having expressed an ardent wish to hear the wonderful story, she told it in nearly the following words:

"There was once a poor old woman in Andernach whose name was Frau Martha, and she lived all alone in a house by herself, and loved all the Saints and the blessed Virgin, and was as good as an angel, and sold tarts down the RheinKrahn. But her house was very old, and the roof-tiles were broken, and she was too poor to get new ones, and the rain kept coming in, and no Christian soul in Andernach would help her. But the Frau Martha was a good woman, and never did anybody any harm, but went to mass every morning, and sold tarts by the Rheinkrahn. Now one dark, windy night, when all the good Christians in Andernach were asleep in the feathers, Frau Martha, who lay under the roof, heard a great noise over her head, and in her chamber, drip! drip! drip! as if the rain were dropping down through the broken tiles. Dear soul! and sure enough it was. And then there was a pounding and hammering overhead, as if somebody were at work on the roof; and she thought it was Pelz-Nickel tearing the tiles off,

because she had not been to confession often enough. So she began to pray; and the faster she said her Paternoster and her Ave Maria, the faster Pelz-Nickel pounded and pulled and drip! drip! drip! it went all round her in the dark chamber, till the poor woman was frightened out of her wits, and ran to the window to call for help. Then in a moment all was still-death still. But she saw a light streaming through the mist and rain, and a great shadow on the house opposite. And then somebody came down from the top of her house by a ladder, and had a lantern in his hand, and he took the ladder on his shoulder and passed down the street. But she could not see clearly, because the window was streaked with rain. And in the morning the old broken tiles were found scattered about the street, and there were new ones on the roof, and the old house has never leaked to this blessed day.


As soon as mass was over, Frau Martha told the priest what had happened, and he said it was not Pelz-Nickel, but, without doubt, St. Castor or St. Florian. Then she went to the market, and told Frau Bridget all about it; and Frau Bridget said, that, two nights before, Hans Claus, the cooper, had heard a great pounding in his shop, and in the morning found new hoops on all his hogsheads; and that a man with a lantern and a ladder had been seen riding out of town at midnight on a donkey; and that the same night the old wind-mill at Kloster St. Thomas had been mended, and the old gate of the churchyard at Feldkirche made as good as new, though nobody knew how the man got across the river. Then Frau Martha went down to the Rheinkrahn and told all these stories over again; and the old ferryman of Fahr said he

could tell something about it, for, the very night the churchyard gate was mended, he was lying awake in his bed, because he could not sleep, and he heard a loud knocking at the door, and somebody calling to him to get up and set him over the river. And when he got up, he saw a man down by the river with a lantern and a ladder; but as he was going down to him, the man blew out the light, and it was so dark he could not see who he was; and his boat was old and leaky, and he was afraid to set him over in the dark: but the man said he must be in Andernach that night, and so he set him over. And after they had crossed the river, he watched the man, till he came to an image of the Holy Virgin, and saw him put the ladder against the wall, and light his lamp, and then walk along the street. And in the morning he found his old boat all caulked, and tight, and painted red, and he could not for his blessed life tell who did it, unless it were the man with the lantern. Dear soul! how strange it was!

"And so it went on for some time: and whenever the man with the lantern had been seen walking through the street at night, so sure as the morning came some work had been done for the sake of some good soul; and everybody knew he did it, and yet nobody could find out who he was, nor where he lived; for whenever any body came near him he blew out his light, and turned down another street, and suddenly disappeared-nobody could tell how. And some said it was Rübezahl, and some Pelz-Nickel, and some St. Anthony-on-the-Heath.


Now one stormy night, a poor sinful creature was wandering about the streets with her babe in her arms, and she was hungry and cold, and no soul in Andernach would take her in.

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