[Baden-Baden—Thursday, 25 August 1859]
Thursday 25th Waked early to find Baden all that has been said of it. The river was just below our windows separating us from the promenade and the noble hills above. It was a very warm morning almost too warm to move we thought but the cool clean breakfast-room, refreshing fruit and music tempted us to drive to Das alte Schloss, neither did we in the least repent it, we wound up and up through the fragrant woods till we came to this dungeon-keep a part, it seemed, of the cliff itself being built of the same stone and roughly mortared together. A world of beauty lay below us wrapped in the perfumed mist of a summer’s day such as we know in America and all about was quietness and peace, but such a contrast to all this as we found in the castle itself! Here were frightful shafts down which prisoners we[re] lowered and shocking dungeons in which they were immersed. Over one of these shafts as deep as the one into which poor Amy Robsart was precipitated was swung an Eolian harp. I shuddered—I think the latest sighs of the last sufferers still played upon those strings. Sent the carriage down before us and ran down through the woods to the New Castle (it was built in 1500, or thereabouts). Here the Duke still resides occasionally. We were shown through the appartments which were gaudily enough furnished and gilded. There are terrible dungeons here also the remains of a Roman bath and an oubliette. Met Dr and Mrs Sharpe.