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             PICTURE THE FIRST.

THE winter of 1844 was a severe one in
Germany. Both sides of the Rhine, for many
miles between Coblenz and Cologne, were
frozen hard enough to bear a horse and
cart; and even the centre, save and except
a thin stream where the current persisted
in displaying its urgent vitality, was covered
over with thin ice, or a broken film that was
constantly endeavouring to unite and
consolidate its quivering flakes and particles.
We were staying in Bonn at this time. All
the Englishmen in the town, who were
skaters, issued forth in pilot-coats or
dreadnought pea-jackets, and red worsted
comforters, with their skates dangling over their
shoulders. Holding their aching noses in
their left hands, they ran and hobbled through
the slippery streets, and made their way out
at the town-gates near the University. They
were on the way to Popplesdorf–––a little
village about a mile distant from Bonn. We
were among them;–––red comforter round
neck–––skates over shoulder.

The one great object in this little village is
a somewhat capacious and not unpicturesque
edifice called the Schloss, or Castle, of
Popplesdorf. The outer works of its fortifications
are a long avenue of trees, some pretty fir
groves and wooded hills, numerous vineyards,
and a trim series of botanic gardens. The
embrasures of its walls are armed with
batteries of learned tomes; its soldiers are
erudite professors and doctors who have
chambers there; students discourse on
philosophy and art, and swords and beer, and
smoke for ever on its peaceful drawbridge;
and, on the wide moat which surrounds it,
Englishmen in red comforters–––at the time
whereof we now speak–––are vigorously skating
with their accustomed gravity. This scene
was repeated daily for several weeks, in the
winter of 1844.

One morning, issuing forth on the same
serious business of life, we perceived that the
peasantry of Popplesdorf, who have occasion to
come to Bonn every market-day, had contrived
to enliven the way and facilitate the journey
by the gradual construction of a series of
capital long slides. We stood and contemplated
these lengthy curves, and sweeps, and strange
twisting stripes of silver, all gleaming in the
morning sun, and soon arrived at the
conviction that it was no doubt the pleasantest
market-pathway we had ever seen. No one
was coming or going at this moment; for
Popples is but a little dorf, and the traffic is
far from numerous, even at the busiest hours.
Now, there was a peculiar charm in the clear
shining solitude of the scene, which gave us,
at once, an impression of loneliness combined
with the brightest paths of life and activity.

And yet we gradually began to feel we
should like to see somebody–––student or
peasant–––come sliding his way from Popplesdorf.
It was evidently the best, and indeed
the correct mode for our own course to the
frozen moat of the castle. But before we
had reached the beginning of the first slide
(for they are not allowed to be made quite up
to the town gates), we descried a figure in the
distance, which, from the course it was taking,
had manifestly issued from the walls of the
castle. It was not a peasant–––it was not one
of our countrymen; be it whom it might, he
at least took the slides in first-rate style. As
he advanced, we discerned the figure of a tall
man, dressed in a dark, long-skirted frock
coat, buttoned up to the throat, with a
low-crowned hat, from beneath the broad brim of
which a great mass of thick black hair fell
heavily over his shoulders. Under one arm
he held a great book and two smaller ones
closely pressed to his side, while the other hand
held a roll of paper, which he waved now and
then in the air, to balance himself in his
sliding. Some of the slides required a good
deal of skill; they had awkward twirls half
round a stone, with here and there a sudden
downward sweep. Onward he came, and we
presently recognised him. It was Dr.
Gottfried Kinkel, lecturer on Archaeology; one of
the most able and estimable of the learned
men in Bonn.

Gottfried Kinkel was born in a village
near Bonn, where his father was a clergyman.
He was educated at the Gymnasium of
Bonn, and during the whole of that period,
he was especially remarkable, among
companions by no means famous for staid and
orderly habits, as a very quiet, industrious,
young man, of a sincerely religious bent of
mind, which gained for him the notice and