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ON THE EDGE OF THE ROCK FOREST LOOKING
THE VALLEY TO A LIMESTONE RIDGE
ONE OF THE SINGLE ROCKS FIFTY TO SEVENTY-F
In one cluster there are nearly two hundred like th
even days would be required to retrace date the Montaro River was many times one's steps to the object sought.
its present volume. The shrunken river Narrow, irregular lanes, like streets has left long stretches of bare rock that walled in by skyscrapers, lead back from was in past ages the bed of the river. Here the vertical walls that often face the sides the interest centers in the great number of of the valleys. These lanes join others pot-holes bored into the rock by the rotajust as irregular, and continue their course tion and grinding of small flint-like boulup the sides of the hills to the backbone of ders. In shape, the holes resemble the the ridges. Standing on the summit of old-fashioned stone churn of a generation one of these ridges, the visitor may look ago. In size they have a wide range, some down over the edge of a perpendicular being only a few inches in depth, while cliff into an open court often a full hun- others are more than twelve feet deep. dred feet below. This court will be al- The larger holes are fully five feet in most completely surrounded with stones diameter near the top, and gradually taper of every shape and size. Possibly, a break down to less than a foot in diameter at in the wall will permit the visitor to work the bottom. In all the larger holes there his way down into the open space. If so, are crevices in the rock, which permitted he will find it a wet, boggy piece of the escape of the water at the bottom as champa, from which a hundred tiny the grinding process went on. What little springs of water bubble up, cold and as is left of the boulder that started this work clear as crystal, and highly impregnated of drilling by rolling round and round in with lime. The small stream of water a small cavity of the bed-rock is interestfinds its way to a larger stream in a ing, owing to its shape and regularity. All broader valley. Out in this open valley, are spheroidal and greatly elongated. as level as a floor, and possibly a quarter The topography of this region would be of a mile wide, stand single columns of an interesting study, and to the geologist, rock, like sentinels on the outposts of a almost a complete laboratory; and if he sleeping army. Not one valley alone, but were skilled in reading the fragmentary hundreds, cut this remarkable region into records, he would have spread out before a thousand irregular plots, each vying him torn leaves from many a volume. with its neighbor in the wild beauty of There would be a fragmentary volume confused and grotesque rock formation. telling of the quartz that forms the oddThe "Garden of the Gods” in Colorado shaped stones in the forest; chapters dealboasts of a few spectacular rocks; but they ing with the limestone strata that have are few in number, and the area which been pushed up, twisted, and bent; parathey cover is not large. The Andean graphs telling the history of the sandstone "Garden” covers nearly a hundred times ledges and granite walls that are thrown the ground, and in beauty and interest together in utter confusion. A singular surpasses its Northern counterpart in the geological feature is to be seen in one of same ratio.
the level valleys, and close to a group of In many places extensive remains of columns and spire-like stones. A limestone a past civilization are to be found along stratum has been pushed up, and bent into the lower reaches of these valleys. At the a circle. The long chord of the arc, which southern end of the forest, through which is the surface of the ground, is nearly five the Montaro River flows, there is still hundred feet, while the middle ordinate is standing the abutments of what was prob- approximately fifty feet. The stratificaably a suspension-bridge. This bridge was tion is almost vertical, and is the only incrossed by a paved road, which led back dication of lime-rock in the valley. Other to a solid mountain of rock salt, less than interesting features multiply as the geoloa league away. The historic highway gist wanders through this labyrinth of from Cuzco to Quito is only a short ride stone figures. Sea-shells are found here from this bridge.
at an elevation of 14,000 feet. It almost There is still another interesting fea- seems as if Nature had purposely hidden ture, though not new, to be found in the away on top of the highest Andes a library lower end of the forest. At some remote of world history, telling of its making. 1 The Indian name given to the turf, peculiar to the high Andes, in which the roots of
the grass are thickly woven and matted together.
far from the banks of the Katharine and her
Mulde, just above the town of parently happy an Grimma, stand the ruins of the wealthy influence of Luther Cistercian convent of Nimbschen. In 1523 be felt. The conve one of its inmates was Katharine von
ing town of Gri Bora, daughter of a nobleman, Hans von borders of Elector: Bora, whose modest estates lay only a few permeated with the miles to the west. She was born on
as 1522, the pric January 29, 1499, probably in the little monastery at Grin village of Lippendorf, where her father of the Nimbschen had a residence. Her mother died and ticism with a nun her father married again when Katharine was perhaps the cor was but a small child, and after spending that led some of th some time away at school, she was set apart
convent to wish f for the religious life, and put into the con- their relatives refu vent at Nimbschen when only nine or ten them, they appeal years old.
Since they claimed Like many another, this particular con- enlightened by the vent drew its inmates chiefly from the them to remain lo daughters of the local nobility. At the felt in duty boun time of Katharine's entrance, one of her sistance.
A Ta relatives was abbess, and her father's sister Koppe, who had was among the nuns. The residents num- the convent, was bered more than forty, and included many the escape. On Ea young girls like herself in training for the of nuns, including religious life. The life was not of her a sister of Luth own choosing, but she grew into it natu- Katharine von E rally, as her companions did, and was cretly, and made quite ready to take the veil when she Wittenberg, wher reached the age of sixteen. The discipline day of Easter wee of the convent was not over-strict, and · A month later
wrote his old teacher Beatus Rhenanus: Within a short time six of the nuns were “I have no other news to write except that taken in charge by relatives or friends, a few days ago a wagon landed here full while three of them remained in Wittenand loaded down with vestal virgins, asberg, two sisters finding a home with the they call them, who desire as much to Cranachs, and Katharine von Bora with marry as to live. May God provide them the family of a prominent lawyer, Philip husbands, that they may not in course of Reichenbach. Katharine was
a girl of time fall into worse evils !"
considerable spirit, and apparently held As Luther had helped the nuns to her head high. When she reached Witescape, he felt responsible for their wel- tenberg a former student, Walter Baumfare, and put them up temporarily in the gärtner, son of a patrician family of Wittenberg cloister, already emptied of Nuremberg, was visiting Melanchthon. most of its monks.
He and Katharine Immediately after
speedily fell in love, their arrival, he
and it was hoped wrote Spalatin of
a match could be his plans for them,
arranged between expressing the hope
them; but he rethat he could find
turned home in homes for some of
June, and perhaps them and husbands
because of the obfor others. At the
jections of his family same time he asked
to his marriage with for money to sup
an escaped nun, the port them until they
affair was broken off. were properly dis
Nearly a year and posed of, for he was
a half later Luther too poor to help them
still hoped they himself. Luther's
might yet marry and colleague Amsdorf
wrote Baumgärtner: also wrote Spalatin:
“If you wish to keep
von Not nine, but twelve,
Bora, make haste benuns escaped. Nine
fore she is given to of them have come to
another who is at us. They are beautiKATHARINE VON BORA, THE WIFE OF
hand. She has not ful and ladylike, and
yet conquered her all are of noble birth From a medallion made in 1540 and now in the
love for you, and I and under fifty years
church at Kieritzsch.
should certainly reof age. The oldest of
joice to see you joined them, the sister of my gracious lord and to each other." Whether Baumgärtner reuncle, Dr. Staupitz, I have selected, my dear plied to this letter, we do not know. At any brother, as your wife, that you may boastrate, nothing came of it, though Luther, of your brother-in-law, as I boast of my and Katharine, too, for that matter, reuncle. But if you wish a younger one, you mained his friends as long as they lived. may have your choice among the most beau- The new suitor referred by Luther tiful of them. If you desire to give something was the theologian Casper Glatz, rector to the poor, give it to them, for they are of the Wittenberg University. Not finddestitute, and deserted by their friends. I ing him to her liking, Katharine refused pity the creatures. They have neither shoes him, and in March, 1525, when the nor clothes. My dearest brother, I beg, if wealthy bachelor Amsdorf, then pastor of you can get something for them from the the city church in Magdeburg, was visitcourt, you will supply them with food and ing Luther, she begged him to urge the clothing. You must make haste, for they are latter not to force her into a marriage in great poverty and anxiety, but very patient. which was distasteful to her. At the same I wonder indeed how they can be so brave time she naïvely assured him that while and merry when in such distress and want. she was unwilling to marry Glatz, she