Part Two deals with events two years later—1842–43. And Mary is not feeling well. She notes that she has always suffered from seasickness (she was famously ill during her elopement with Bysshe when they crossed the Channel in 1814). I hate and dread the sea, she writes, having suffered—oh, what suffering it is!—how absorbing!—how degrading!—how without remedy!
But it’s not just the sea voyage. Her overall health has weakened—and she is only in her forties. She says she can no longer apply to my ordinary employments. But she trusts renewed health will be the result of change of place.
She writes about her ignorance of the German language as they travel through the country and visit important sites. But she resolves she will try to learn the language this time. She has little luck. I make no progress in German, she confesses; my eyes and health have both held me back, and our master does not lead me on.
She is also “taking the waters”—enjoying the many public baths they visit. Undergoing water treatments for her various maladies, she has different views of and experiences with them. Of the waters in Brocklet [sic; she means Bad Bocklet, in Bavaria, still noted for its spa], she writes, They [the waters] taste like ink, but I liked them much, and drank several glasses, with a great sense of deriving benefit from them.
That’s quite an image, isn’t it? A writer loving water that tastes like ink!
They continue on through Germany, tasting the waters in each key spot, and she comments wryly about seeing enormously fat men trying to thin down ….
After a visit to Berlin, they move on to Dresden, where she revels in the loveliness of the city, the museums, the works of art. And then … on to Prague …