We had agreed to descend the Rhine in a boat from Strasburgh to
Rotterdam, whence we might take shipping for London. During this
voyage, we passed many willowy islands, and saw several
beautiful towns. We staid a day at Manheim, and, on the fifth
from our departure from Strasburgh, arrived at Mayence. The
course of the Rhine below Mayence becomes much more picturesque.
The river descends rapidly, and winds between hills, not high,
but steep, and of beautiful forms. We saw many ruined castles
standing on the edges of precipices, surrounded by black woods,
high and inaccessible. This part of the Rhine, indeed, presents
a singularly variegated landscape. In one spot you view rugged
hills, ruined castles overlooking tremendous precipices, with
the dark Rhine rushing beneath; and, on the sudden turn of a
promontory, flourishing vineyards, with green sloping banks, and
a meandering river, and populous towns, occupy the scene.