The Dresden Literary American Club 79
hippopotamus, it does not inconvenience me very much. We are
now studying hard and everything is systematized. Excuse
my writing, the asthma has made my hand tremble awfully."
The asthma of which he makes so light became unbearable, and
the next letter, on June 30 from the Bastei in Saxon Switzer
land, says: "You will doubtless be surprised at the heading of
this letter, but as the asthma did not get any better, I concluded
to come out here. Elliott and Corinne and Fraulein Anna and
Fraulein Emma came with me for the excursion. We started in the train and then got out at a place some distance below
these rocks where we children took horses and came up here, the two ladies following on foot. The scenery on the way and all about here was exceedingly bold and beautiful. All the mountains, if they deserve the name of mountains, have scarcely any gradual decline. They descend abruptly and precipitously to the plain. In fact, the sides of the mountains in most parts are bare while the tops are covered with pine forests with here and there jagged conical peaks rising from the foliage. There are no long ranges, simply a number of sharp high hills rising from a green fertile plain through which the river Elbe wanders. You can judge from this that the scenery is really magnificent. I have been walking in the forests collecting butterflies. I could not but be struck with the difference between the animal life of these forests and the palm groves of Egypt, (auld lang sync now). Although this is in one of the wildest parts of Saxony and South Germany, yet I do not think the proportion is as much as one here for twenty there or around Jericho, and the difference in proportion of species is even greater,-still the woods are by no means totally devoid of inhabitants. Most of these I had become acquainted with in Syria, and a few in Egypt. The only birds I had not seen before were a jay and a bullfinch."
The above letter shows how true the boy was to his marked tastes and his close observation of nature and natural history !
After his return from the Bastei my brother's asthma was somewhat less troublesome, and, to show the vital quality which