“Though every tile on every roof were a devil, yet will I enter Worms.” These words of Luther, my dear Pierce, are not to be forgotten; they have brought me a pilgrim here. I knew well the architectural importance of the venerable cathedral, and also the literary associations which cluster in this home of the Minnesingers and the old Nibelunglenlied but that lesson of fortitude has inspired my homage. In itself it is a perpetual fountain of encouragement. Wandering about these decayed streets, I have been re-Minded of that remarkable letter of Cicero where he pictures the ruined cities which he passed on his way up the Mediterranean as so many corpses; “Cadavera” was his word. But the cathedral is truly interesting. It belongs to the Romanesque in architecture, and proclaims to the curious observer an antiquity beyond that of the pointed Gothic. Much as I have studied the cathedrals of Europe, I think that none has touched me more on artistic as well as historic grounds. Pardon these allusions, which surely are not unnatural in writing from this place. I trust you will not think me indifferent to your friendship because I have been so silent to you in my exile. While undergoing the torments of my summer I had no heart to write, and since I have become comfortable I have deferred writing that I might at last announce my perfect restoration. This seems to be a will-oa — the-wisp, which I have chased through fire and water, over seas and mountains. I cannot say that I have yet grasped it. When I do, be sure that I shall hold it tight. But the last three or four weeks have shown a palpable improvement. My rambles of to-day in these streets only a short time ago would have excited the most menacing symptoms. I feel now certain of my ultimate restoration, but know not whether it will be in
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