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Foreign Correspondence

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Bad Soden on tiie Taünus, ) Pkussia, July 30, 1872. E. B. Pond : Tho inoidenta of daily life at a watering place not celobrnted for its fushion, dissipation or Presidentirtl cottages, are apt to provo unintcresting to thoso at a distanco from tlio snrrouuding oircumstances. Thoro aro, howovcr, cortaia mental Bympathies which so closoly cgunoct us with scènes of natural beauty wherovcr it is to ho soen, apd awaken our Hvoliofit interest whx tho eyo falla npon ono of those grund old ciistlo ruins which crown bo ruany of the hilla of Geimañ land, that I am indaoed to givo a brief skutuh of somo of our rambles here whero therc is so much of thcso to bo secn. Following a delightful foot-path, wide enougli i'or two to walk in, leading through tho shady orchards of fruit and nuts which cover all the hillskles, in a half kour we reach Cronthal, lying in a Secluded and quiot vullt;y, with its coinmodious curhaus and convenienees for bathing, for which it was formorly quite a rosort, but showing few signs of popularity now. Anothcr half hour, continued aoross the intervcning hill and considerably highor up the slope of the Tauuus, brings us to tho moro anolent and Bubstantial vilhige of Cronborg, about threo and a half miles northeastorly from Soden. Conspicuos abare all Ktand tho still noble remains of tho old castle, which has fur over four centuries bo bravely faced the insidious attueks of time. Cronborg has no greát claims to beauty as a village. Built af ter the model of uil tho old citics and villagea of Europe, its streets are narrow and orooked, the buildings solid, and the moro contracted lanes and corners uot particularly inodorous or cleunly. The approach to the castlo onvirons, owing to the natural abrüptness of the heights upon which they are almost uniformly placed, is by a narrow paved way gradually circling about tho hillside, until it enters au arohed portal of substan tial masonry, forming purt of tho wall which surrounds tho caefré grounds, and still showing tho round cavities in tho wall, aberre and below, in which tumed the strong supports of the inassive gates or door?. At present, and proba bi y in formar times, tho sniall rooms oonstrooted in tho wall above the gateway havo uu occupant. Soon after entering, uptm tho lefthand, built adjóiniug tho outer wall, is a smalï chapel,. with its diminutive steeple and bell and very small stuined windows, calculated to accominodate about seventy-flvo worshipers. The onclosed area witliin the walls is quite uneven and fises corisiderably toward the northwestern corner, in which still stands the residenco proper, a spacious but unpretendiiig stono edifice, four stories in height including the gable, and beforo which an awkward squad of schoolboys, at tho dictation of their teacher, weru being drilled ia somo kind of light gymnastics. Near this.'unother rectangular building, intended for a storo-houso apparontly, extended tilong and formed a portion of tho exterior walls, from one of the outor door-wars in the fourth story of which a quaiut iron crane still swoog out, sustaining a large iron grooved wheel ready to aid in the elevation of either tho merchaudizo or plunder of the knightly proprietora. Clambering up tho much worn and broken stepa leading to the tower in the northeast cornor, upon a naked rock, tho igliest point within the enclosure, an at;eudant is soou at hand to unlock the barred entrance. Tho ascent is made by a series of short flights of wooden steps, VJ2 in all, leading in a zig-zag way from ono landing to another, and quito in the duik until tho last is reached nist beneath the obtuso cuiitor of the pyramidal top or roof. Tho laborious ascent is at ast well repaidby thesplendid panorama spread out before tho window openins ia euch of the four sides ol' the towtr. Al! the villages of the plain, from Frankfort to üayenco und the distant mountains beyoud tho Main, are in view. The f'arspreading orehards of the viciuity, tho post-road, even us n floor, stri telling for miles straight as an arrow, tho Itulian villa of the rich Frankforterin theneighborhood, all are taken in ut a glanos, und with tho forerft-clad mouiitaiii side and its ruined castles for a back-ground. Thoso portions of tho ancient structure ■ near the tower are uiucb dilapidated, and the posaible uses of some of tho rol'less rooms and walled archos canuot well be imaginedi Looking northwrad, up tho mountain, at a distanoe of about two miles lies tho villa of Fulkenstein, above whioh, upon the brow of an nbrupt preoipioe, stand tho picturesq'ue ïuins of its unoient cas tlo. Following tho post-road, it is soon reached, and tho walk along tho footputh through the tino forest which covers the bill is indeed veiy cool and delightful oven in July. Tho visitor emergí s suddenly from the dense wood upon thé ruins. They aro not very extensivo, as it is iuipossiblo to trace theirformercoinpass, but tho gfttoway nuar tho towor, with portions of the high wall adjoining,' rouiain quita eutiro. At'tor entering this a very broken and uneven portiou uf tho old (nclo.sure isscen.ancl itseom impossible to oonceio how this ineqaality and eonfusion could evor havo beon tho ubode f oven medieval splendor, and that this wn8 onco tho family Beat of ono of the most poworful princea of thoso tunes, Kuno, Arohbishop of Trovos. Tho towcr, which is still noarly entirc, stands ujon a point tale liko formation, so thrown up tbat tho walls of tho towor scom liko a continuation of tho natural rftck. At a height of soiuo fifty feet, upon tho cdge formed by contracüuji tho square tower tb sniuller propoitious, a youug forest tree, some threo inches in diameter, has taken root and apparently undisturbed possussion, and its oxpunding top excites curiouB spoculation whon soen (as it may bo) from grcat distanco. Various fino lookouts from tho hill us well as from tho tower are reached by broad foot-paths which load in overy direction. Following ono of these paths through tiie forest and meadow westward, in lesa thaa an hour tho very pleasant little villago of Kcunigstein is roochcd, and lieio we find, in vory good prcseivation, tho high torrooes, towers and walls of tho moro extensivo fovtrosa oastle, crected hero about tho thiTteenth century. lts valuó as a fortress was suchthat tlio French ordered its demolition in 1796, and oside frora the walls and towers littlo to show its fonuer strengfh and comfort remains. lts subterranean passages and luaguzino are broken in and inaooessiblo, yet a view of the works from tho towor showa their onco great magnitudo. Tho tower lias an easy oscent by winding stono tep3, and being tèrmiriated by a 6quare, level top, surrounded by a substantiaï stono balustrade, attbrds a splendid lookout. The attcndunt èaid óue hundred villages could be seen in a clear day, and tho tbree ni'ighboring castles at Cronberg, Kppstcin, and Palkenstein wero iri pluin view. Such a landscapo in Ainerica would bo world-renowned. Tlio portal beara tho anus of tho Electora of Maycnoe, who f rom 1581 wcre proprietors of tho castlo. Much care is now taken to preveut furthcr dflapidation. The lawns upen the tenaces, as well as tho grounds inside the walls, are kopt in good order, and it is a plensuro to stroll about tho ampio área. Tho prosenco of about fifty young lady pupila and their teachers f roui Weiabaden, roving about the ruins, gave it a singular charin of ocouxancy as eeea froin tho top of tho tower. Looking westward, along the Lorsbacher Thai, at a distance of about fivo miles the fine ruins of the Eppstein castlo are visible. This was oncu the seat of a faraily whioh furnished sevoral archbishops and Electora of Mayenco from the eleventh to the fourteenth century, but which iinally br.camo extinel in 1535, leaving tho castlo tb perpqtuafe their history to our own times. The ruins are thouglit by many to be tho most intercsting in tho vicinity of Soden, but thcro is something oxtrernely attractive about them all, especially when the destruction ha.; uot boon too complete. ILippily, the tisto of the present ago 6eems suited to tho botter preservution of these too niuch neglected remains of vaaished agts, and about many au old cathedral tho sound of long needed repairs is indicating their ultímate completiou, whilo the groiuids and surroundings of these ruined custk-s and fortresses of feudal and niodieval times are being so carod for that the work of decay, if not suspended is at least retarded, and tho hand of tasto inakes the seeno less disagrooablo as well as moro accessible to the observer. To the naturally romant ie Srfès and surroundinga of these old castles there is quite often the association of somoquaint or fanciful tradition or logend to impart additionitl charme. Of the castle of Eppstoin the following legend is pruservod : Tlio Knight Eppo (after whoiu tho castlo was namod) was one day lo: t in t!io forest while hunting, and Bounded his bugle in vain for help. Suddonly he heard a sweof song,' sung with much taste, and going iu the diroction whenoe it proceoded he saw a maiden who, with oyes raised to Heaven, was singing a sacred melody. Eppo stopped to hsten, vhen she, perceiving hira, bigged for his assistancf, saying that a riant had stolen her and brought her here that the giant waa now i' asleep, but ihat sho was herself chained to a rock. The knight was directed to go to tho lady's oastlo and bring her a consecrated net, with which sho would en trap tho giant in tho name of thu Holy Trinity, mul that ho would then havo río power to move. The net was procured, and as the giant awoko and went out of the grotto to cut a pipe, the maidon ran out and spread a bed of mossos and sweot horbs and tolil the giant to lio down and soü if ho would bo comfortable. A's eoon as hu did so, sho threw over him tho net, iu tho name of tlio Holy Trinity, and though ho howled with rago ho was quite unable to freo hïm'sélf. Tho maidon desired tho knight to tiy with hor at once, but he requusted her to wait a little, when ho ran to the giant and rolled him off the stoop precipice, and he waa dosh'sd to pieoes. Theu tho knight and tho inaiden wore manied, and in vemen. - branco of the incident ho built for her the Castlo of líppstein. Of the caatlu at Falkenstein tho legend ia told that Kudolph of Ilapsburg, tho Emperor, proclaimod that auy' robber knight taken vith aïm'a in his hauda should bo executed. The kuight Kurt and his seven sons livc-il then at FalkenStoiu, and becomirig tho terror of the fountry tho caatla was invested and they woro all taken and led out to exocution. But in order to give soino little luniency to the sad spectaolo, the emperor said that that sou taward nrhom tho father ehould ad vanee at'tor execution should bo spared. A lig'ht beauied on the fuco of Kuit, and as Boon as his head rolled on the ground his body moved tmvanl thia Mist, then the next, and so on toward eaoh, and feil at last at tlie fttet of the youngest. Hor ror and amazeinent filled the hearts of all who beheld the strange spectacle, bufc the Eiuporor gave the -idas jla:cs in his army and a chanoe to effabe tliu diagrace of their foïmer career. But I will close this long account of some oí tl'c singulur attructious of this Germán land. Ever yours.


Old News
Michigan Argus