[Bingen—Friday, 19 August 1859]
Friday August 19th We were so sorry as we awaked at Bingen to hear the winds furiously whistling up and down the galleries. We felt sure it was not the day for a charming excursion over the vine-covered hills to the castle of Rheinstein which we had planned. So they told us also at the hotel. We walked through Bingen therefore and saw the curious old market and took the boat directly for Biberich at 11 o’ck. The Duke of Nassau’s palace is at this place. A grand building with a very large garden. Took carriage for Wiesbaden which we reached at 2 o’clk. Quaint interesting and thoroughly German. Stopped at “the Rose.” There is a pretty garden behind the house and from my windows we can hear the music in the morning. We had a dinner at 5 at the table d’hote of indefinite length until I began to think changing plates was the German solution of the enigma of perpetual motion. Soup, boiled fresh beef, fish, mutton & vegetables, chicken and salads, puddings, macaroni, whipped cream, fruits &c. follow each other in the strange succession I have recorded and all for a marvellously cheap price. In the evening we walked about the gay little place enjoying the pretty union of fountains and lights. Later, we strolled into the Kursaul, and saw the gamblers. A dreadful sight young men and old and women of all descriptions playing till the perspiration flows from them and they tremble visibly with excitement. Fortunes are daily swallowed by the all-devouring “bank” and yet they play on. The government advertises to have made last year nearly 4,000,000 pounds sterling but it makes no diminution in the foolish and wicked around who still think they may win.