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EXCURSIONS ON THE RHINE.
Our ride from Coblentz to Biberic was similar to the preceding, with the same variety of scenery. Many of these places have tales and legends connected with them, to one only of which we will allude. Near Bingen we were shewn the “ Mouse Tower" on a small island.
The story is that archbishop Hatto, of Mayence, had a well-filled granary, which he kept closed in a time of famine; his people greatly coveted the grain, and on their application he invited them into a barn, locked them in, set it on fire and burnt them up, calling their cries of agony “the wbistle of mice.” Legions of these animals now infested his palace, and to protect himself he built this castle; but his pursuers followed him thither with a terrible retribution. Southey's version of the legend has been often repeated, but we quote the closing lines
“ • I'll go to my tower on the Rhine,' quoth he,
And the stream is strong, and the water deep.'” But the heartless oppressor found that he could not thus escape vengeance; his relentless foes swam the river, climbed the shores, and soon crawled up to the holes and windows in the wall.
“ Down on his knees the bishop fell,
For they were sent to do judgment on him." Biberic was the summer residence of the duke of Nassau, whose palace and gardens, with beautiful flower beds, fountains, shaded avenues, and antique castle, are very fine. An excellent road lined with chestnut trees extends three miles to Wiesbaden, a fashionable watering place, with a hot spring, and numerous establishments for bathing. All that wealth and art could do has been employed to make this place inviting. An extensive park with delightful walks, ponds, fountains, flowers, illuminations, music. But the great attraction to pleasure seekers is the
THE NIAGARA OF THE WEST.
Kursaal. . Two long colonnades near the entrance are filled with jewellery, ornaments, and curiosities, for sale; in the rear a wine and beer garden, and in the main building a luxurious concert and ball room, and also several rooms for gambling. Here day and night, Sundays and all, the fell work goes on; the strong and the weak, sick and well; plethoric old men, pale youth, eager women, crowd the tables, and stake their money ; sometimes winning, but usually, except the owners, losing sometimes by thousands to their own desperation and ruin. It is said that 17,000 are here at a time, princes, earls, dukes, lords, and so down through all the grades of Europe. Thus they use their wealth, thus spend their time, and such is the example they set. Great is the perversion of means, and fearful the account to be rendered.
The Russian chapel is a graceful edifice, well fitted up and furnished. Near by on a hill is an observatory, built origiually by the emperor whose name it bears to command a good view of the Rhine.
THE NIAGARA OF THE WEST.
THE GREAT SHOSHONE FALLS.
In the wilds of Idaho, midway between Salt Lake and Oregon, thunders a cataract as imposing as Niagara, and that will one day divide with it the admiration of the world, when the secluded region wbere its savage grandeur is concealed shall be thrown open to the curiosity of the traveller. It is called the Great Shoshone Falls, and is a few miles from the overland stage route between Salt Lake and Boise cities, and about one hundred miles from each of those places It was discovered in 1863 by parties of the first Oregon Cavalry, while in pursuit of Indians. The Salt Lake Vedette furnishes the annexed description of this reniarkable waterfall :
The river, about two hundred yards in width, coming slowly from the south-east, overtowered by perpendicular walls of basaltic rock, over eight hundred feet high, suddenly expands into a basin of twice its width, and there is divided into a half dozen streams, by dark looking rocks which raise their gloomy crests above the sparkling surf of the maddened waters. Every fall is of a different shape, seeming fanciful and fuctuating, yet physically fixed, as they have ever been while centuries like
THE NIAGARA OF THE WEST.
shadows bave flown over them. The river, resuming its course, is again divided, and takes a second tumble of sixty feet still further, but this time by only three different streams. Three falls are the result-one on each side, unbroken and falling in solid sheets; the central one being formed by seven fan-shaped steppes of rocks. From the one of these branches to the other underneath, the water falls in a smooth, transparent sheet, forming a cascade unsurpassed in the world, and contrasting strangely, by its dark, transparent colour, with the rustling, roaring, foaming streams surrounding it both above and at the sides. The river becomes once more smooth and dark in colour. Its banks suddenly jut out from both sides, narrowing the channel to four hundred feet; and through this gap the confined mass of water precipitates itself in one whole volume, without break or hindrance, into an ominous abyss over two hundred feet in depth. No pen can describe this scene. This is in reality the
Great Fall,” and is well worthy of its name, leaping as it does from the loom of nature like a colossal sheet of silver.
Forming a slight horse-shoe, its central waters appear blue until they meet the spray that rises heavenward from the foot of the foaming cataract. The sides are frayed into foam, and remind one of the pictured avalanches in the Alps, Right on the edge of the fall stands a lone pillar of grey sandstone, on whose summit, undisturbed by the whiz of waters or the fear of fate last yawning on their eyrie, a pair of bald-headed eagles have built their nest, and are now rearing their young, secure in sight of the solitude surrounding. The cataract's sound-but slightly heard above—is absolutely deafening as you reach the river's base; the roar of the falls confined, as it is, by the high walls of the canyon, rushing down the chasm and increasing in volume as it rolls, so as to be heard full thirty miles south-west. Close to the cataract is a square-shaped cave of fifteen feet each side and twenty high, whose falls are supported by basaltic columns, the regularity of whose formation is unsurpassed by anything in the Isle of Staffa or the Giant's Causeway. Sliding out of this cave and falling about eight feet on to a grassy slope that leads to the water's edge, within two hundred feet of the foot of the falls, you are right in the middle of the mist, and wet through in an instant. It is here that, by looking up, the enormous altitude of the fall can be realized, and the first feeling is one of self-preservation and involuntary drawing back, for the
whole mass seems ready to drop and crush
stand. Never can the weird beauty of this scene be forgotten by beholders. Rainbows of a thousand hues seein to surround you, and their irises to arch you in the sky.
The white foaming waters for a brilliant background to the magic prisms pictured by the spray. The dark frowning rocks, relieved by the light green junipers, make a fitting frame for this magnificent sight, second to none in point of volume as it is second to none in savage grandeur. As measured by officers in the first Oregon Infantry, the main fall is 210 feet from the edge to the level of the water below. The
upper falls has not yet been measured, but the total fall of the river, on the three distinct tumbles it takes, cannot be less than 300 feet, while the river itself is over 400 feet at its narrowest width. The channel of the stream below the falls is a chasm 1500 feet in width and 1000 feet in depth, with perpendicular walls of rock enclosing it.
Beyond the calm, sweet mooi,
Soul! thou shalt venture soon.
Safe in His arms of love,
And thy fair home above.
The Sabbath mord come on,
Sweeter the labour done.
Earth's dream of anguish o'er;
On Eden's blissful shore.
Sball all forgotten be,
Beyond the waveless sea,
His darkest dealings trace;
Behold Him face to face !
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
Jnecdotes and Selections.
“I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." LET every believer grasp these words, and store them up in his heart. Keep them ready, and have them fresh in your memory; you will want them one day. The Philistines will be upon you, the hand of sickness will lay you low, the king of terrors will draw near, the valley of the shadow of death will open up before your eyes.
Then comes the bour when you will find nothing so comforting as a text like this, nothing so cheering as a realizing sense of God's companionship.
Stick to that word “never.” It is worth its weight in gold. Cling to it as a drowning man clings to a rope. Grasp it firmly, as a soldier attacked on all sides grasps his sword. God has said, and he will stand to it, “I will never leave thee."
“Never !” Though your heart be often faint, and you are sick of self, and your many failures and infirmities—even then the promise will not fail.
“Never !". Though the devil whispers, “I shall have you at last; yet a little time and your faith will fail, and you will be mine.' Even then the word of God will staud.
“ Never !" When the cold chill of death is creeping over you, and friends can do no more, and you are starting on that journey from which there is no return-even then Christ will not forsake you.
“ Never !” When the day of judgment comes, and the books are opened, and the dead are rising from their graves, and eternity is beginning-even then the promise will bear all your weight; Christ will not leave his hold on your soul.
0! believing reader, trust in the Lord for ever, for he says, “I will never leave you.". Lean back all your weight upon him, do not be afraid. Glory in his promise. Rejoice in the strength of your coneolation. You may say boldly, " The Lord is my helper, I will not fear.''
How A HYMN WAS WRITTEN.–Very few Christians have sung the bymn, “My faith looks up to Thee," without tender emotion. How it was written, and by whom, is thus related :- The hymn was written by Dr. Ray Palmer, of Albany, New York. Going into his study one morning from pastoral duty with feelings deeply wrought upon, be sat down and impromptu penned these verses. (He was accustomed thus to express his feelings.) Having written them he read them over, and without perceiving anything of special worth in them, he threw them ainong other scraps in his portfolio, and there they lay forgotten. Some time after, Lowell Mason, who was at the time making a collec