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Title: A Tramp's Wallet - stored by an English goldsmith during his wanderings in Germany and France
Author: Duthie, William
Language: English
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                                    A
                             TRAMP’S WALLET;


                                STORED BY
                           AN ENGLISH GOLDSMITH
                                DURING HIS
                    Wanderings in Germany and France.

                                    BY
                             WILLIAM DUTHIE.

            DEDICATED, BY PERMISSION, TO CHARLES DICKENS, ESQ.

                                * * * * *

                                 LONDON:
                    DARTON AND CO., 58, HOLBORN HILL.
                               MDCCCLVIII.

                                * * * * *

         [_The right of Translation is reserved by the Author_.]

                                * * * * *

                                    TO


                          CHARLES DICKENS, ESQ.,
                               This Volume
                        IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED,
              IN GRATEFUL ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF HIS SYMPATHY AND
                           ENCOURAGEMENT DURING
         THE PUBLICATION OF THE GREATER PORTION OF ITS CONTENTS;
                  AND AS A SLIGHT TRIBUTE OF ADMIRATION
              FOR HIS UNWEARYING LABOURS AS A PUBLIC WRITER,
                 TO THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE WHOLE PEOPLE,
                         BY HIS SINCERE ADMIRER,

                                                               THE AUTHOR.



PREFACE.


During a stay of three years and a half in Germany and France, sometimes
at work, sometimes tramping through the country, the Author collected a
number of facts and stray notes, which he has endeavoured in these pages
to present to the public in a readable shape.

Of the twenty-eight chapters contained in the volume, sixteen originally
appeared in “Household Words.”  They are entitled THE GERMAN WORKMAN;
HAMBURG TO LÜBECK; LÜBECK TO BERLIN; FAIR-TIME AT LEIPSIC; DOWN IN A
SILVER MINE; A LIFT IN A CART; THE TURKS’ CELLAR; A TASTE OF AUSTRIAN
JAILS; WHAT MY LANDLORD BELIEVED; A WALK THROUGH A MOUNTAIN; CAUSE AND
EFFECT; THE FRENCH WORKMAN; LICENSED TO JUGGLE; PÈRE PANPAN; SOME GERMAN
SUNDAYS; and MORE SUNDAYS ABROAD.  Several other chapters were published
in a weekly newspaper; and the remainder, together with the Introductory
Narrative, appear in print for the first time.  For the careful and
valuable revision of that portion of his book which has appeared in
“Household Words,” the Author here begs to express his sincere thanks;
and to acknowledge, in particular, his obligation to some unknown
collaborator, who, to the paper called “The French Workman,” has added
some valuable information.

The desire of the Author in writing the Introductory Narrative was to
present to his readers a brief outline of his whole journey, and a
summary of its results; and to connect, so far as it was possible, the
somewhat fragmentary contents of the body of the work.  It was also hoped
and believed that the statistical information there given, although of so
humble a character, would be valuable as illustrative of the social
condition of workmen in the countries to which they refer, and of a
character hitherto rarely attempted.

Written, as these chapters were, at intervals of time, and separately
published, each paper must be taken as complete in itself; and, as they
are separate incidents of one narrative, occasional repetitions occur,
which could scarcely have been erased, now that they are collected
together, without injuring the sense of the passage.  For that portion of
the book which has appeared in print no apology will be expected; and,
with regard to the remainder, the Author has rather endeavoured to avoid
censure than hoped to propitiate it.

In conclusion, the Author must add, in order that he may not stand
self-accused of misleading his readers with regard to his personal
position, that good fortune has so far favoured his own exertions, that,
although still of the craft, he can no longer lay claim to the title of a
Journeyman Goldsmith.  It was while in that capacity that the greater
part of the following pages were written: he cannot but believe that they
may be of some practical utility; and if, added to this, their perusal
should afford to his readers some portion of that pleasure which their
composition yielded to him, his purpose will have been fully answered.



CONTENTS.

                        INTRODUCTORY NARRATIVE
                                                                _Page_
HAMBURG.—ON TRAMP TO BERLIN                                          i
BERLIN AND LEIPSIC.—ON TRAMP TO VIENNA                             vii
VIENNA                                                              xv
ON TRAMP TO PARIS                                                xxiii
PARIS                                                             xxix
   _Chapter_
          I.  HAMBURG                                                1
         II.  ALTONA.—A POET’S GRAVE.—A DANISH                       6
              HARVEST-HOME
        III.  “MAGNIFICENCE.”—AT CHURCH.—THE LAST HEADSMAN           9
         IV.  WORKMEN IN HAMBURG                                    15
          V.  PLAYS AND PICCADILLOES.—“HAMLET” IN GERMAN            19
         VI.  THE GERMAN WORKMAN                                    24
        VII.  HAMBURG TO LÜBECK                                     36
       VIII.  LÜBECK TO BERLIN                                      41
         IX.  BERLIN.—OUR HERBERGE                                  51
          X.  A STREET IN BERLIN                                    56
         XI.  POLICE AND PEOPLE                                     62
        XII.  THE KREUTZBERG.—A PRUSSIAN SUPPER AND                 65
              CAROUSE
       XIII.  FAIR-TIME AT LEIPSIC                                  70
        XIV.  DOWN IN A SILVER MINE                                 76
         XV.  A LIFT IN A CART                                      85
        XVI.  THE TURKS’ CELLAR                                     94
       XVII.  A TASTE OF AUSTRIAN JAILS                             99
      XVIII.  WHAT MY LANDLORD BELIEVED                            108
        XIX.  AN EXECUTION IN VIENNA                               113
         XX.  A JAIL EPISODE                                       116
        XXI.  A WALK THROUGH A MOUNTAIN                            121
       XXII.  CAUSE AND EFFECT                                     130
      XXIII.  GREECE AND HER DELIVERER                             137
       XXIV.  THE FRENCH WORKMAN                                   139
        XXV.  LICENSED TO JUGGLE                                   149
       XXVI.  PÈRE PANPAN                                          152
      XXVII.  SOME GERMAN SUNDAYS                                  162
     XXVIII.  MORE SUNDAYS ABROAD                                  173



INTRODUCTORY NARRATIVE.


HAMBURG.—ON TRAMP TO BERLIN.


There have appeared from time to time, in public print, sorrowful
recitals of journeys attempted by English workmen in foreign countries,
with no better result than the utter failure of the resources of the
adventurous traveller, and his return homeward by the aid of private
charity or the good offices of his consul.  It is precisely because the
travels about to be here narrated were financially a success, being
prosecuted throughout by means of the wages earned during their progress,
that it is thought they may be worthy of publication; not that it is
imagined many such examples may not be found, but because success in such
an undertaking has not hitherto appeared so often before the public as
failure.  This narrative is necessarily a personal one; and as it is my
especial object in this place to present these foreign rambles in a
pecuniary point of view, I trust I shall not be misunderstood in stating
minute items of receipt and expenditure, as such details, however trivial
they may appear, are of vital importance in estimating the comparative
position of the foreign and the English workman.

There was more than one cause which prompted me to seek my fortune
abroad; but it is sufficient here to state, that I had worked in the
company of Germans, and had thus become interested in their country, and,
as great depression prevailed at the time among the goldsmiths in London,
I provided myself with a letter of introduction to a working jeweller in
Hamburg, and prepared to start for this outpost of the great German
continent.  My whole capital amounted to five pounds sterling; and, armed
with a passport from the Hanseatic consul, and provided with an extra
suit of clothes, a few books, and some creature comforts, I embarked for
my destination on board the “Glory,” a trading schooner, then lying in
Shadwell basin.

I paid thirty shillings for my passage, including provisions, and could
have slept in the cabin, and fared with the captain, for two pounds, but
in the weak state of my finances, considered it only prudent to content
myself with sailor’s beef and biscuit, and a hard bulk and coil of ropes
for my bed.  After, to me, a rough sea and river passage of eight days,
marked by no greater incidents than belonged to the vicissitudes of the
weather, we crossed the sand-bar at the mouth of the Elbe, and were soon
safe at our moorings in the outer harbour of Hamburg.  It was Sunday
morning; paddled on shore in the ship’s boat, I found myself in a town
utterly strange to me, armed only with a letter addressed to a person
with whom I could not converse, and written in a language I did not
understand.  My chief comforts were three sovereigns, carefully wrapped
in a piece of cotton print, and deposited in my fob.

In the course of a ramble through the town, I discovered an English
hotel, and was there happy in making the acquaintance of a needle-maker
of Redditch, Worcestershire, who at once offered to be my interpreter and
guide in search of employment.  We began our peregrinations on the
morrow, and I was first introduced to the only English cabinet-maker
established in Hamburg, who, however, did not receive our visit
cheerfully.  He drew a rueful picture of trade generally, but more
especially of his own.  The hours of labour were long, he said; the work
was hard, and the wages contemptible.  He concluded by assuring me that I
had been very ill advised to come there, and that the best course I could
pursue was to take the first ship home again.  As I was not yet inclined
to follow this doleful piece of advice, we continued our enquiries.  In a
short time I was shaking hands with the jeweller to whom my letter of
introduction was addressed; and before another hour had elapsed, acting
under his instructions, I had the gratification of knowing that I was “in
work,” and, best of all, under an employer who spoke the English, French,
and German languages with equal facility.  Thus, in ten days from leaving
England, eight of which were spent on the passage, I had found both
friends and employment in a foreign city, and now that my greatest source
of anxiety for the future was removed, felt thoroughly independent and at
my ease.

My companions in the workshop were a quiet Dane who spoke German, and a
young Frenchman, whom I will call Alcibiade, who had been in London, and
acquired a smattering of English.  We worked twelve hours a day,
commencing at six o’clock in the morning—the whole city was up and busy
at that hour—and kept on till seven in the evening.  Thirteen hours were
thus spent in the workshop, one of which was given to meals.  The
practice of boarding the workmen is universal in Hamburg, and we
therefore fared at the table of our “principal,” and were amply and well
provided for.  During the first week of my stay in Hamburg, I lodged at
an humble English hotel, where I paid at the rate of ten marks a week for
bed and board, a sum equal to eleven shillings and eightpence.
Reasonable as this may appear, it was beyond my resources, and would
indeed have been a positive extravagance under the circumstances.
Moreover, the arrangements of the workshop forbade it.  My next lodging
was at a German hotel, where I slept in a little cupboard which hung over
a black, sluggish canal, and was without stove or fire-place.  The cost
of this chamber was five marks a month, or scarcely one shilling and
sixpence a week.  These expenses will appear paltry and insignificant,
till compared with the amount of wages received, when it will be apparent
that boarding and lodging in an English hotel at eleven shillings and odd
pence a week, was a monstrous extravagance; and that even an apartment in
a German gasthaus, at five marks a month, was more than the slender
pittance received would reasonably bear.  Alcibiade, who, besides being
an expert workman, was an excellent modeller and draughtsman, received
seven marks a week, with board and lodging, or eight shillings weekly in
positive cash.  Peterkin the Dane, who was yet a novice, was in the
receipt of four marks a week, and paid for his own lodging—weekly pay,
four shillings and eightpence.  My own wages were seven marks a week and
board, while I paid for my own lodging; and when, upon the departure of
Alcibiade for Berlin, I took possession of his bedroom—a mere box without
a window—a deduction of one mark was made as an equivalent.  I thus
received in wages six marks; lodging may be reckoned at one, and board at
five marks a week—total, twelve marks; which will yield in English money
the magnificent sum of fourteen shillings.

In order to contrast these figures more fully with the pay of our English
artisans, it will be necessary to mention some further expenses to which
the workman in England is not liable, or in which the commercial
pre-eminence of his country gives him a marked advantage.  With respect
to the former, as the employer in many cases furnishes only the ruder and
less portable machinery of the workshop, the workman has, to a certain
extent, to provide his own tools; and in regard to the latter, clothing
in general, and more especially cotton, woollen, and worsted articles of
apparel, are nearly as costly as in London.

Of the social position of the workmen, and the rules of the trade Guilds,
I have endeavoured to treat under the head of “THE GERMAN WORKMAN;” but
there are some matters there omitted which may be worthy of mention.  I
was forcibly struck, as well in Hamburg as in other towns and cities of
Germany, by the almost total want of that cheap serial literature which
is so marked a feature of popular education in England.  There was,
indeed, a penny magazine published in Leipsic, after the type of the
original periodical of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge;
but it found no purchasers among any of my acquaintances, and was only to
be seen, with a few other literary magazines, at the better sort of
eating and coffee-houses.  The workmen were gay, and fond of amusement,
but not recklessly so.  They were passionately fond of music, and formed
little clubs among themselves for the practice of choral singing.  There
was shown no want of respect for the Church and its institutions, quite
the reverse; and I well remember that we were gratified with a holiday on
a day set apart by the authorities for the public confirmation of the
youths about to be apprenticed, and the whole ceremonial of which wore an
imposing and solemn character.  The conscription was, I believe, made
also on that day.  With respect to the relation between employers and
employed, there existed a degree of amiability and consideration for
which we look too often in vain in England, while it must also be
confessed that every mark of respect was rigorously exacted by the
master, and that his affability towards the workmen sometimes assumed the
character of an affectionate condescension towards a favoured menial.  I
did not personally know any one married journeyman in Hamburg; but there
was one jeweller who had entered into the silken bonds of wedlock, and
who was pointed out to me with a shrug of the shoulder and a shake of the
head, as a doomed mortal.

It might be imagined that as the city of Hamburg claims the title of
“free,” such assumed liberty might extend to its social institutions; as
well as to its port and navigation.  Indeed, the worthy citizens are
under some such delusion themselves, and boast of immunities, and
liberalities of government, such as would place them at the head of the
German nation.  It would be hard to know in what they consist.  The
passport system is enforced with all its rigours and impertinences; an
annual conscription is taken of its inhabitants, and the more solvent of
them perform military service (this may perhaps be considered a liberty),
as a national guard, with the additional luxury of providing their own
weapons and equipments.  Moreover, they were, at the time I write of,
called upon to render certain services in case of an outbreak of fire:
one contributing a bucket, another a rope, and a third a ladder; none of
which articles, as might easily be imagined, were forthcoming when most
wanted.  The city tolls were heavy, and stringently levied, and, what
more nearly concerned the exercise of public liberty and private
convenience, the city gates were nominally closed at a certain hour in
the evening, varied according to the season of the year, and were only to
be passed after the appointed period by the payment of a toll.  It was
curious to see the people hurrying towards the Jacob Thor on a Sunday
evening as the hour of closing approached, jostling and mobbing each
other in their endeavours to escape the human poll tax.

But men are free, or in fetters, only by comparison; and although the
rule of the senate of Hamburg, when contrasted with British government,
can scarcely be called a liberal one, there is little doubt that
identical laws are in Hamburg less stringently carried out than in other
and most parts of the great German continent.

Seven months’ stay in Hamburg found me eager to commence the march into
Germany, which I had long meditated.  Five months had already elapsed
since Alcibiade, my French fellow-workman, had departed for Berlin
(paying eight dollars for the journey by post), and he had never written
to inform me of his fortunes.  I was resolved to follow him, and, if
possible, to seek him out, for we were already sworn friends; but my
finances would only allow of a journey on foot.  During twenty-eight
weeks of employment in Hamburg, I had received two hundred and three
marks banco in wages, which would yield, in round numbers, twelve pounds
sterling, or exactly an average receipt of five shillings per week.
Against this sum were to be placed: expenses for tools, five shillings
and sixpence; trade society and police, five shillings and tenpence;
clothing and washing, three pounds, one shilling and twopence; and rent
and extra board, one pound seven shillings. Seventeen visits to theatres
at prices ranging from two shillings to sevenpence amounted to sixteen
shillings and sixpence, making a total of five pounds sixteen shillings.
The surplus of six pounds four shillings had been further reduced, by
outlay in necessities or indulgences, as the reader may assume according
to his fancy, to thirty marks banco.  With this sum of thirty-five
shillings in English money, and consisting of two Dutch ducats and five
Prussian dollars, I started to tramp the two hundred miles between
Hamburg and Berlin.  As a matter of explanation it may be stated that,
during a residence of seven months in Hamburg, I had acquired enough of
the German language to trust myself alone in the country.

Under the impression that I might be required to set to work in any town
on my route, like any travelling tinker, I had packed in my knapsack my
best scoopers and an upright drillstock; and these tools, while they
added to its weight, presented so many obdurate points of resistance to
my back.  Stowed within the knapsack were an extra suit, two changes of
linen, a few books, a flute, and a pair of boots.  It weighed
twenty-eight pounds.  My remaining personal property was safely packed in
a trunk, and left in the hands of a friend, to be forwarded by waggon as
soon as my resting place should be determined.

I have only to deal in this place with the statistics of my first tramp.
The distance was lessened sixty miles by taking the _eilwagen_ from
Wusterhausen to Berlin, and nine days in all were spent upon the road.
My total expenses, including the dollar (three shillings) for coach fare,
amounted to eighteen shillings, or an average of two shillings a-day.  Of
this sum I may particularise the cost of the straw-litter and early cup
of coffee at the outset of the journey, twopence; at Lübeck, where I
lodged respectably for one night, the bill was two shillings; at
Schönefeld, twopence halfpenny; a lodging, and board for two nights and a
day at Schwerin in a “grand hotel,” but faring with the servants, cost
one shilling and ninepence; at Ludwigslust, a comfortable bed after a
grand supper with the carpenters at their house of call, was charged one
shilling and sevenpence; and at Perleberg, where I lodged superbly, the
cost was sixteen silver groschens, or a fraction over one shilling and
sixpence.

Against this I have to place the trade gift of two shillings at Lübeck,
being the whole contents of their cash box, and which was kindly forced
upon me.  At Schönefeld I was urged by the masons to demand the usual
“geschenk” from the only jeweller in the village.  “Why,” exclaimed the
landlord, enthusiastically, “if you only get a penny, it will buy you a
glass of beer!”  I overcame the temptation.



BERLIN AND LEIPSIC.—ON TRAMP TO VIENNA.


I was less fortunate in the search for work in Berlin than I had been in
Hamburg.  Having started on my travels too early in the year, I paid the
penalty of my rashness.  My guide into Berlin was a glovemaker, whose
acquaintance I had made upon the road, and through whom, curiously
enough, I succeeded in discovering my Parisian friend Alcibiade, the
first object of my search.  Alcibiade, eccentric, but frank and generous,
received me like a brother.  There was no employment to be obtained in
Berlin, or assuredly he would have ferreted it out; more especially as in
the search he had the assistance of one of those philological curiosities
met with in Germany more often than in any other country, a
school-teacher, who seemed to have any number of foreign languages glibly
at the end of his tongue.  I stayed a week in Berlin, sleeping at the
Herberge in the Schuster Gasse, described in the body of this work; and
when forced at length to depart, Alcibiade pressed four dollars upon me
as a loan, to help me on my further wanderings.  It must be remembered
that my stock was reduced to seventeen shillings on my arrival at Berlin,
and as my expenses in this capital, during a week’s vain search for
employment, amounted to nine shillings, I was but indifferently provided.
Under these circumstances I asserted my claim to the trade geschenk, and,
having fulfilled all the conditions of a tramp unable to find work,
received from the Guild twenty silver groschens, or two shillings.

Leipsic was my natural destination, and thither I proceeded by railway,
paying two dollars eight groschens for the transit in an open carriage.
This would give seven shillings in English money.  The journey occupied
about twelve hours, and although the average speed through the Prussian
territory was slow, no sooner did we come upon Saxon ground at the
frontier town of Köthen, than we spun along over the sandy waste with a
rapidity which reminded one of a trip on an English railway.  It was
already dark when the train reached Leipsic, and in the drizzling rain I
wandered round the city ditch and rampart, unknowing where to find a
lodging.  At length, directed by a stranger to a trade herberge in the
Kleine Kirche Hof, after some demur on account of my not belonging to the
proper craft, I was admitted to a sort of out-house, paved with red
bricks, and allowed a bed for the night.  On the morrow I presented a
letter of recommendation, from my good genius Alcibiade, to one of the
principal jewellers in the city, and felt inexpressibly happy on being at
once taken into employment.  I spent two delightful months in Leipsic.
My fortnight’s ramble, with its discomforts and anxieties, had given me a
desire for rest, and in the bustling town, (it was the Easter fair time),
skirted by its fringe of garden, and among its pleasant, good-natured
inhabitants, the time sped happily on.

The pay was better than in Hamburg, but the living worse.  My wages were
four dollars—twelve shillings per week—and board and lodging.  I slept in
the same room with my one fellow workman and an apprentice.  It was
light, and scrupulously clean, but had the single disadvantage of being
so low in the ceiling, that one could not stand upright in it.  Saxony
has the unenviable distinction of being the country the worst fed in
Germany.  I had no prejudice against Saxon fare upon my arrival in
Leipsic, but found, after a fortnight’s trial, that I could not possibly
endure its unvarying boiled fresh beef, excessively insipid, with no
other accompaniment than various kinds of beans stewed into a sort of
porridge.  Potato dumplings were a luxury with us.

I am afraid I seriously offended my worthy “principal,” on pleading my
inability to persist in this kind of training.  But he acquiesced in the
desire to board myself, and generously made the additional payment of one
dollar sixteen groschens, or five shillings per week, for the purpose.  I
found no difficulty in tracing out a “restauration,” the proprietor of
which readily undertook to furnish one principal meal per diem for
seventeen silver groschens, that is, one shilling and eightpence
halfpenny per week, paid in advance.  Each dinner cost, therefore, a
fraction less than threepence.  With the remainder of the allowance it
was easy to purchase a simple supper, and even some small luxuries now
and then.  The dinners, although certainly not sumptuous, were wholesome,
and infinitely more relishing than the fresh beef and beans of the
“principal’s” table; while there was a relief in quitting the workshop
for a while, to descend the steep wooden staircase leading from the
street into the cellar, which formed the dining-room of the eating-house.

The great Easter fair had just commenced as I reached Leipsic, and with
its termination came my stay in the city also to an end.  The work was
exhausted.  I had luxuriated in a few brilliants and the old Polish
rose-diamonds, and had descended to mounting a monstrous meerschaum pipe
in silver.  But now there was nothing left but the turquoises and
Bohemian garnets, set in millegriffes, and the Herr shook his head, and
decided that they would not pay; so I received notice to leave in a
fortnight.  During this period of six weeks, my receipts in wages were
six-and-twenty Prussian dollars, or three pounds eighteen shillings,
which would allow an average of eleven shillings per week with board and
lodging.  Of expenses incurred there were: for Guild and police,
eightpence; and clothing and washing, fourteen shillings.  The Leipsicers
have an ugly trick of doubling the prices of the theatre during the fair
time, so that my expenditure on that head was _nil_.  My trunk, forwarded
from Hamburg in fourteen days, and weighing seventy pounds, cost three
shillings in the transit, including sixpence for city toll.

After a vain search for further employment in Leipsic, and a
disappointment of obtaining a situation in Altenburg, there appeared
nothing before me but a toilsome march through Dresden to Vienna, with
little hope of finding occupation by the way, and scarcely more than
twenty shillings in my pocket.  At this crisis there came a welcome
letter from Alcibiade, with the tidings that certain employment, for at
least two months, awaited me in Berlin.  This was pleasant news indeed;
and the Herr entered so fully into the necessity of seizing this golden
opportunity, that he kindly released me from a day’s labor, that I might
have full time to make my preparations.  One would naturally suppose that
a few hours would suffice to pack my little stores and to depart; but
there were the Guild regulations to fulfil, the railway officials to be
waited on, and the police to satisfy.  The last-named gentlemen would not
consent to _vise_ my passport till I should produce my railway ticket, as
a proof of my intention to go; while the railway officials doubted the
propriety of issuing a ticket till I had received the authority of the
police for my departure.  Here was a case of daggers—a dead lock; but the
railway was obliged to cede the ground, and I departed in peace.  As I
was to start at six in the morning, the Herr rose earlier than was his
wont, prepared for me with his own hands a cup of hot coffee, kissed me
on both cheeks, and wished me God speed.

My stay in Berlin was limited to six weeks.  It would have been longer,
but that Alcibiade had set his heart upon tramping to Vienna at the end
of that period; and I was pledged to accompany him.  We worked together
at one of the court jewellers.  Alcibiade stood in high favour, and
received in wages thirty dollars per calendar month, or an average rate
of twenty-two shillings and sixpence a week.  My own wages were fixed at
twenty-four dollars a month to begin with, or eighteen shillings a week;
but I received ten dollars for the last ten days of my engagement, which
brought me on a level with my Parisian friend.  These were, I believe,
high wages.  We worked twelve hours a day.  The city of Berlin had
outgrown the feudal usages of Hamburg and Leipsic, and we were no longer
lodged under the same roof with the Herr, nor humbly ate at his table.
Alcibiade had an apartment in a rambling house with a princely staircase,
but the central court of which happened, unfortunately, to be a stable.
An extra bed and double rent enabled us to domicile together, and we paid
for this chamber, roomy and commodious (always overlooking the stable),
per month, together with morning coffee and a bullet of white bread, two
dollars eighteen groschens each.  This would give, in English money,
seven shillings and tenpence, being less than two shillings a week.  Our
average expenses for living were five shillings each per week; and thus,
while our whole weekly necessities were met by the sum of seven
shillings, we were in the receipt of eighteen shillings and twenty-two
shillings and sixpence respectively.  Reckoning, however, the average
wages in Berlin at sixteen shillings a week, it will be seen that the
artisan, whose necessary outlay for food and lodging need certainly not
exceed seven shillings, is at least in as good a position as his
self-vaunted brother of London upon thirty shillings.  It naturally
results that the mechanics of Berlin, unlike those of the smaller towns
of Germany, “are married and given in marriage,” although the practice is
regarded even there as indiscreet and improvident.  It is doubtless a
creditable feeling which demands of the workman that he shall have past
out of his state of servitude, and have gained the position of an
employer of labor, before he dare assume still higher responsibilities;
but the system has also great evils.

During my employment of one calendar month and ten days in Berlin, I
received thirty-four dollars in wages, or five pounds two shillings.  Of
expenses, to the trade Guild, were paid tenpence; for a silk hat, four
shillings and twopence; a visit to Potsdam cost three shillings and
tenpence, including railway fare; and the fee for viewing the King’s
Palace in Berlin was tenpence.  One shilling and twopence were lost in
_agio_, in exchanging my small remaining stock of Prussian dollars into
Austrian gold.  I may mention, that the binding of an 18mo. volume in
boards, covered in paper, cost one groschen, eight pfennige, or, as
nearly as it can be calculated, twopence in English money.

As we were upon the point of departure, there arrived in Berlin an old
friend whom we had known in Hamburg, a silversmith of Vienna, accompanied
by two other silversmiths, natives of Lübeck, all bound to the same goal.
We made common cause at once.  We started by rail for Leipsic; Alcibiade
provided with a purse of no less than eighty dollars, or twelve pounds
sterling, his savings in Berlin, while my own stock, with all my sparing
and scraping, scarcely amounted to two pounds.

The length of the railway between Berlin and Leipsic is between eighty
and a hundred miles.  From Leipsic, where we stayed only one night,
sleeping at the herberge, and supping off roasted pigeons, we had, in
round numbers, about four hundred miles before us.

Having narrated the chief incidents of this journey under other heads, I
will only mention isolated points there omitted, and sum up its general
results.  Leipsic was our real starting-point for the tramp, and our
first haven the Saxon capital Dresden.  We took the road through
Altenburg, thus diverging considerably from the common route, in order to
visit the silver mines of Freiberg, and ramble through the romantic
scenery of the Plaunischen Grund.  We passed through Saxon Altenburg,
Zwickau, Lichtenstein, Chemnitz, Oderan, Freiberg, Tharant, and Wildsruf,
and arrived in the evening of the fifth day at Dresden.  We had in
reality no business near Zwickau, but were seduced out of our direct
route by the offer of a cheap ride in an open waggon, and were thus led
to a secluded village, where our couch of rest was among the beer puddles
on the table of the village tap.  On the morrow we found we were a day’s
march out of our road.  Finding that my stock of cash was already reduced
to the half of its original bulk, that I had indeed expended one pound, I
seriously endeavoured to find employment in Dresden; but utterly failing
in that hope, I claimed the “viaticum” of the Guild, which was ten silver
groschens, or one shilling.  We lodged at the herberge during our stay,
and were cleanly and comfortably housed, and at a reasonable cost.  It is
a fact highly honourable to the Saxons, that the only trade herberges in
Germany which are in any way decent, are those of Leipsic and Dresden.
We rested in the Saxon capital during three days, visiting its principal
attractions, and then prepared once more for the road.

There were many official regulations to observe before we could quit the
city.  Alcibiade and I, who had passports, were not called upon to show
the condition of our finances, but our three companions, possessing only
wander-books, an inferior kind of pass which marks the holder as a simple
workman wholly dependent on his labor, were called upon to exhibit a sum
equal to at least ten shillings each.  Now, the collective resources of
our three companions were certainly not equal to one pound ten shillings;
but, as may be easily imagined, a little sleight-of-hand would make any
one of them appear to be possessed of the stock of the whole.  And this
was done; and thus the police were daily and hourly deceived.  In
addition to the usual official routine—the testimony of the father of the
herberge to our having paid our score, the authority of the vorsteher
that we were not indebted to the Guild, and the usual police _visa_—we
had each to obtain the signature of his own consul; that of the Saxon
minister, as a testimony of his willingness to allow us to go; and of the
Austrian consul, as a sign that the Imperial Government was not
disinclined to receive us.  This done, we departed under strict
injunctions to proceed through Pirna, a town which, as it was completely
out of our route, we never took any pains to reach.  How we escaped
punishment for this infraction of police directions I scarcely know, but
we heard no more of the matter.  When we had already passed through the
most romantic portion of Saxon Switzerland, and were slowly descending to
the plain, we met a poor, footsore wanderer, with a woe-begone visage,
who proved to be the dejected object of official vengeance.  Four days
before, he had started from Dresden full of life and hope, but on
arriving at the frontier town of Peterswald, it was discovered that he
had neglected to obtain the signature of one of the numerous gentlemen of
whose existence he was scarcely even cognizant, and so was driven back to
Dresden to seek the required attestation, with loss of time, loss of
money, and almost broken-hearted.

When we reached the Saxon frontier our little party, by the addition of
other tramps, had increased to the number of ten; and we leaped the
boundary line at word of command, and stood on Austrian territory.  We
had been warned of a rigorous search for letters and tobacco at
Peterswald, and as we had made due arrangements for the visitation, we
felt somewhat slighted at our knapsacks being passed over with little
better than contempt.  We had slept upon hay the previous night, but upon
our arrival at Töplitz, which we entered in a cabriolet, three of us
inside with five knapsacks, and other two companions hanging on behind,
we boldly took up our abode at one of the first hotels, and were, the
whole five of us, crammed into a little room on the top floor, and
charged a zwanziger (eightpence) a head for the accommodation.  We looked
upon this charge as little short of a robbery.  On the following day we
approached Prague, and I got a lift in a waggon, of about ten miles, and
then laid down by the city gates till my four friends should come up.
Upon presenting ourselves at the wicket, we were challenged by the
sentinel, our passes taken from us by the military guard, and a sort of
receipt given for them.  Our three companions having only wander-books,
were imperiously directed to their herberge for accommodation, while we
were permitted to consult our own tastes upon the matter.  Of course we
accompanied our friends.  The herberge gained, we descended by a stone
step to the common room, a vaulted chamber half under ground, very ill
lighted, and provided only with a few rude tables and benches.  We called
for beer, being weary and thirsty, (the Praguer beer is especially good)
and requested a private room for our party.  The hostess, a fat, vulgar
woman, being called by the astonished servant maid, sneered at our
presumption, and said we must content ourselves with common tramps’
lodging.  We submitted; but the Viennese, who had a visit of some
importance to pay in the city, and wished to remove some of the stains of
travel, and make himself generally presentable, having requested some
simple means of making his toilet, was, after considerable delay,
presented with water in a pint mug, and a soiled neckcloth as a towel.
This was too much for the Austrian’s proud stomach; a storm of abuse in
the richest Viennese dialect was poured forth upon the landlady, her
maid, and the whole establishment, which being liberally responded to,
there resulted an uproar of foul language, such as was seldom heard, even
in those regions.  The hostess threatened us with the vengeance of the
police, should we attempt to leave our authorised herberge, to which we
replied by tossing the beer into the kennel, buckling on our knapsacks,
and stalking into the street.  We soon found a decent hotel, with the
accommodation of a large room containing five beds, and at so reasonable
a price that my whole expenses of entertainment during the two days and
three nights of our stay in Prague, amounted only to one florin and forty
kreutzers (schein), or one shilling and sixpence.  We heard no more of
our Bohemian herberge and its landlady.  I may mention as a further proof
of the different treatment which awaits the holder of the workman’s
wander-book, as compared with the bearer of a passport, that on attending
at the police office, Alcibiade and myself were at once called into the
bureau, and our duly _viséd_ passports handed to us with great
politeness, while our companions were left to cool their heels in a stone
paved hall, till the officials could find time to attend to them.  We
soon left Prague, and were assisted on our journey towards Brünn by a
lift in a country cart, which brought us fifty English miles forward on
our road.  We did not sleep in a bed during four consecutive nights; not,
indeed, till we reached the village of Goldentraum, on the Moravian
frontier.  This was not the result of any wish of our own, but from an
apparent deficiency of beds in that part of the country.  On one occasion
a heap of hay was delicately covered with a clean white cloth, lest the
stubbly ends should trouble our slumbers—a woman’s attention you may be
sure—while on another, we slept on the bare boards, with no other pillows
than our knapsacks, in a room, the air of which was at fever heat from
recent bread-baking, and where the fierce flies made circular sweeps at
our ears, and droned about our nostrils.  But we did sleep in spite of
that, for we had tramped more than thirty miles during the day.

From Goldentraum there were still twenty English miles to Brünn, the
capital of Moravia, and thence thirty-eight German stunden, or about
eighty English miles, to Vienna.  My funds were now reduced to about four
shillings, and we had still one hundred miles before us.  One of our
Lübecker silversmiths, who had been ailing throughout the whole journey,
was unable to proceed further on foot, and we left him at Goldenstraun to
take a place in the eilwagen later in the day.  We had, however, scarcely
made half our journey, when Alcibiade and the Viennese also gave in—their
feet were fearfully blistered—and seated themselves by the road-side to
await the expected conveyance.  The remaining Lübecker, whom we had
called Hannibal, and myself tramped on to Brünn.  On the morrow we traced
out our three friends, but found them still so lame that they were
resolved to take the railway to Vienna at an expense of three guldens
(müntz), about six shillings each.  As my own resources were reduced to
less than half that sum, and those of Hannibal were in much the same
condition, there remained to us two only a choice of evils: either to
borrow the requisite amount, or to tramp the remaining distance on our
diminished finances.  We chose the latter course.  We walked the eighty
miles between Brünn and Vienna in two days and a half, subsisting chiefly
on bread and fruit—pears and plums, which were very plentiful—and long
pulls at the pumps.  We were once induced to indulge in a half seidle
(pint) of wine, which was offered at a temptingly low price, but found it
of such a muddy and sour quality, that we bitterly repented of our
bargain.

When within a few miles of Vienna, having been on the march since five in
the morning, we laid down on the road-side to sleep.  It was with
something like grief that I felt myself forced to abandon one pair of
boots, a few miles before Vienna.  I had brought them from London, and
they had done me good service; but now, with split and ragged fronts, and
scarcely a sole, they were only a torture to my feet, and a long way past
repair.  I perched them on a little hillock with their toes pointing
towards Vienna, and turned round more than once as we advanced, to give
another farewell look to such faithful and long companions.

After a refreshing sleep on the road-side, we entered Vienna early in the
afternoon.  Hannibal was no richer than I was, and my whole stock
consisted of six groschens, a sum equal to threepence.



VIENNA.


My first notes in Vienna must undoubtedly be devoted to the police.  As
Hannibal and I arrived at the guard-house of the Tabor Linie, or barrier,
we were ordered by the sentinel to halt and hand over our papers; and,
upon doing so, received a slip of very little better than sugar paper in
return, with printed directions in German, French, and Italian,
commanding our attendance at the chief police office within twenty-four
hours.  We knew better than to disobey.  On the following morning we
presented ourselves and handed in our tickets, when mine was returned to
me with the words: “Three days’ residence,” written on the back.

“And should I not obtain employment in three days?” I inquired.  “Then
you must leave Vienna.”

Hannibal was permitted greater licence, being a native of one of the
states of the Bund; but both he and his fellow-townsmen of Lübeck were
taken into fictitious employment, in order to obtain the necessary
residence-card.  Alcibiade, as a Frenchman, and, moreover, as being still
possessed of a certain amount of hard cash, was also more leniently dealt
with.  Not having found work on the fourth day I waited again upon the
police, and was at first peremptorily ordered to depart; but, upon
explaining that I had friends in the city, a further stay of fourteen
days was promised, on the production of a written recommendation.  On the
following day, through the friendship of our Viennese companion of the
road, I found work at a small shop-keeper’s in the suburb of Maria-hilf.
Mark the routine.  From my new employer I received a written attestation
of my engagement; with this I waited upon the police commissioner of the
district for his signature, and thence to the magistrate of the suburb to
obtain the authority of his name to the act.  This done, I was in a
position to face the head police authorities in the city, and they, to my
astonishment, doled out a six weeks’ permission of residence only, and
charged me a gulden, two shillings, for the document.  I pleaded my
position as a workman, but was answered that my passport was that of a
merchant.  This was disproved by every entry on its broad sheet, more
especially by a written description by the magistrate of Perleberg,
Prussia.  All remonstrances were, however, in vain: while unemployed they
had dealt with me as a workman without resources; now that I was under
engagement, they taxed me like a proprietor.  Alcibiade at once furnished
the means of meeting this new difficulty, as, indeed, of every other
connected with our finances at this period, and we consoled ourselves
with the assurance that one of us at least was in employment.  Our
disgust was only equalled by our despondency when, upon reaching home, we
were met with the news that my new Herr refused to complete his
engagement, having met with an old workman whom he preferred to a
stranger.  By law he was bound to furnish me with a fortnight’s work, and
I threatened him with an enforcement of my claim; but I knew I should
come off the worse in the struggle, and submitted to the injustice.

In the meantime two of our silversmiths were under fictitious
engagements—a common occurrence, and almost excusable under the
circumstances—and were dining upon credit.  The times were bad.  I did
not really commence work till the fourth week, and Alcibiade a week
later.  But, these first difficulties overcome, our condition improved
daily; and for myself I can say with gratitude, that nowhere in Germany
was I more happy than in Vienna.  Our position was this: Alcibiade was
engaged as a diamond jeweller at a weekly sum of six guldens, or twelve
shillings, a little more than half the sum he had earned in Berlin; but
no doubt, had he remained longer in the Austrian capital, he would have
increased his rate of pay.  Unfortunately, after three months’ stay there
came word from Paris requiring his presence by a certain day at the
military court of the department of Seine et Oise, to which, being a
native of Argenteuil, he belonged, to draw for the conscription.
Alcibiade was too good a Frenchman to hesitate about obeying this
summons, or even to murmur at the sacrifice it demanded of him.  He left
Vienna with regret, but with the utmost alacrity; and thus I lost for a
time my best companion and sincerest friend.  My first essay as a workman
in Vienna was discouraging, for I undertook, in my extremity, to execute
work to which I was unaccustomed, and made such indifferent progress at
the outset, that the Herr, a Russian from St. Petersburg, would only pay
me five guldens, or ten shillings a week.  We worked twelve hours a day,
commencing at six o’clock in the morning in summer time; but there were a
number of fête and saint days in the year, which were paid for—I think
eight in all—including St. Leopold, the patron saint of Vienna; the birth
of the Virgin; _Corpus Christi Die_, and other church holidays.  As I
improved in the practice of my new branch of business, I gained additions
to my wages, till I received nine gulden, eighteen shillings, a week; a
sum certainly much above the average pay.

Alcibiade and I lodged in a narrow slip of a room, the last of a suite of
three, on the first floor of a house, or rather conglomerate of houses,
in the Neudegger Gasse, Josephstadt.  Our landlord was a worthy Bohemian
cabinet-maker; his wife, a Viennese, who kept everything in the neatest
order.  I do not know how many families lived in this house; but it was a
huge parallelogram with a paved courtyard, in the centre of which stood a
wooden pump.  There was a common stair in each corner, all of stone, and
a common closet at the bottom of each staircase, equally of stone, seat
and all, and very common indeed.  Each lodging consisted of three
continuous rooms, with only one entrance from the common stair: first was
the kitchen, with cooking apparatus, and the oven, which warmed the whole
suite; then a larger room with two windows, at once workshop,
dining-room, and bed-room; and beyond this the narrow closet with one
window, which was our dormitory.  Thus we had to pass through our
landlord’s bed-room to get to our own.  The other portions of the
building were arranged much in the same manner, and the house must have
had, in all, at least a hundred inhabitants.  There are much larger
houses in the suburbs of Vienna, but they are all built upon the same
principle, with trifling modifications.  Here are two cards of address,
which are models of exactness in their way, and will illustrate the
nature of these barracks in the best possible manner:

                             “JOSEPH UBERLACHNER,
                                Master Tailor,

    Lives in the Wieden, in the Lumpertsgasse, next to the Suspension
    bridge, No. 831, the left hand staircase on the second floor, door
    No. 31.”

                                “MARTIN SPIES,
                                Men’s Tailor,

    Lives in Neubau, Stückgosse, No 149, in the courtyard, the right hand
    staircase, on the second floor, door on the left hand.”

The entrance to our house from the street was small and unimportant, and,
as may naturally be supposed, always open.  The law was, however, strict
upon this subject, and permitted the house to be open in summer from five
in the morning till ten o’clock at night only; in winter from seven till
nine.  There was a little room opening from the passage, where dwelt the
porter of the mansion.  It was his duty to close the door at the
appointed hours; a duty which he scrupulously fulfilled, seeing that the
law empowered him to levy a fine of six kreutzers for his own especial
benefit, upon every inhabitant or stranger seeking egress or ingress
after the authorised hour of closing.  The Viennese insist upon it that
this impost is recoverable by law; but, as the porter’s whole existence
depends upon the employment of his labour in and about the house, and
therefore upon the good-will of its inhabitants, he takes care in general
not to be too pressing for his toll.

Our dormitory, diminutive as it appeared, still managed to contain two
single bedsteads (French), a wash-hand-stand, wardrobe, used in common by
landlord and lodgers, a table, and two chairs.  We paid in rent twelve
florins a month, or barely ten shillings between us; add to this, for
washing, candles, and morning coffee (a tiny cup at six in the morning,
before starting to work), another four florins, and our united expenses
for these necessaries did not exceed thirteen shillings per month.  As in
Berlin, we dined at a “restauration,” or at the “Fress Madam’s” (Mrs.
Gobble’s), a jocose term for a private eating-house, well known to the
jewellers.  The mid-day meal of the Viennese workman is remarkable for
strength and solidity, but also for its sameness.  It always takes the
shape of fresh boiled beef and vegetables, the latter arranged in a thick
porridge of meal and fat.  It commences, of course, with soup; is
followed by the “rind-fleisch and gemuse,” as above; and, if you can
afford it, is concluded by some such sweet dish as flour puddings stewed
with prunes, a common sort of cake called zwieback, omelette, macaroni,
or a lighter kind of cake, baked and eaten with jam.  All solid,
wholesome, and of the best.  There is a choice of other more relishing
dishes, and of these we usually partook, with an occasional descent into
the regions of beef and greens.  Vienna prides itself upon its baked
chickens and Danube carps, but these were beyond our reach on ordinary
occasions; and our usual delectation was upon Augsburger sausages; bacon
and sour kraut; breaded veal cutlets; ditto lamb’s head; and roasted
liver and onions.  When we drank the ordinary white wine, we did so much
diluted.  To sup at the “restauration” would have entailed too great an
expense; we therefore contented ourselves with bread and a taste of
butter at home, moistened by a glass of a liquor resembling gin, seeing
that it was made of the juniper berry, which our landlord obtained for us
at about tenpence a quart.  It was supposed to be smuggled from Hungary,
and Vater Böhm coloured and sweetened it with molasses, and called it
Schlipowitzer.

Our weekly outlay for food during the first month of residence in Vienna,
especially while unemployed, did not exceed five florins, _i.e._ four
shillings each.  We ate bread and fruit in large quantities; indeed,
during one day my “rations” consisted of: breakfast at eight, half of a
coarse loaf and thirty plums; at twelve, one dozen pears and the other
half of the loaf; at seven a whole loaf, and forty more plums.  Cost of
the whole, nine kreutzers (schein), or scarcely three halfpence in
English money.  It was not surprising that I should fall ill upon this
diet, and this I accordingly did.  When, however, we were in constant
work, we lived as I have already described, and at an average expense of
seven florins—five shillings and tenpence each weekly—and thus the
individual outlay for lodging, food, and other necessaries, was, in round
numbers, seven shillings and sixpence a week.  A dinner on New Year’s
Day, of baked pork and fried potatoes, with bread, wine, and apple puffs,
cost ninepence.

To return to the police.  When my six weeks’ permission of residence was
expired, I attended again at the chief office in the Stadt, with the
certificate of my employer, signed and countersigned by
police-commissioner and magistrate, and was granted thereon a further
term of three months at the same fee, two shillings; to me at that time a
day’s wages.  Subsequently, however, the “Herr,” by means of a further
attestation, with vouchers from the landlord of the house, and the usual
official signatures, obtained for me a card of residence for six months,
gratis, and I experienced no more trouble on that head.  This, and the
various other certificates, were upon stamped paper of the value of six
kreutzers, or one penny.  While upon this subject I may observe, that
domestic servants must make known to the police every change of service.
They are hired by the month.  Change of residence is also a matter of
official interference: a printed sheet is handed to the new lodger, with
spaces for name, age, country, religion, condition, married or single,
where last resided, and probable length of stay in new apartments.  All
these particulars must be stated and signed, witnessed by your own
particular landlord, and attested by the landlord of the house.  The
document is then deposited in the archives of the district police.

At the termination of my first year’s stay in Germany, I found that my
receipts in wages, during the twelve months, amounted to twenty-one
pounds six shillings and fourpence, an average of eight shillings and
twopence-halfpenny per week; but it must be remembered that, during nine
months of that period, board and lodging formed part of my remuneration.
I stayed a full year in Vienna, and received in wages, in all, three
hundred and sixty-two guldens, thirty kreutzers, or thirty-six pounds
five shillings.  This would give, in round numbers, fourteen shillings
per week throughout the year.  Of this sum, as I have said, seven
shillings and sixpence were on an average spent weekly in lodging and
necessary food; there therefore remained six shillings and sixpence for
clothes, amusements, and savings.

When the period arrived at which I had determined upon starting on foot
for Paris, my savings amounted to seven pounds sterling, and with that
sum I thought myself amply provided for the journey.  In order that it
may not be supposed that I had suffered undue privations, or enforced, in
financial arrangements, anything beyond a reasonable economy, I must
state, that in addition to paying to the Guild and police, during the
year, eight florins twelve kreutzers, or six shillings and tenpence, I
had witnessed twenty-three theatrical representations, at prices varying
from fourpence to a shilling, at a total cost of eleven shillings and
fourpence; been present at eighteen concerts, at an outlay of seven
shillings and eightpence; and had visited the Brühl, Wöslau, Mödlin,
Laxenburg, Helena-Thal, Klosterneuburg, Grinzing, and Weinhaus; the
Treasure Chamber, and picture-galleries innumerable; which latter,
although supposed to be open to public inspection free of expense, were
not conveniently accessible without a fee.  Twenty-five kreutzers, or
fourpence, was the price of a seat in the gallery of the suburban
theatres of the Leopold, Joseph, and Wiener vorstädte; while tenpence and
a shilling procured a similar place in the imperial opera and play-house.
Hot sausages and beer were the luxuries vended in the former; while ices,
coffee, and delicate pastry, were the _bonnes bouches_ prepared for the
latter.

I found the workmen in Vienna industrious and submissive; gay,
thoughtless, and kind-hearted.  In some trades it was still the practice
for the workmen, if not numerous, to sleep in the workshop.  I knew a
cabinet-maker who did so, and he was very cleanly and well lodged.  I
knew one or two married journeymen, and there were no doubt very many in
so large a capital as Vienna, but marriage among artisans was generally
condemned.  The wages were on the average much less than I have stated; I
knew silversmiths who were earning only three and four florins a week—six
shillings and eight shillings; and I have no doubt that tailors,
shoemakers, carpenters, and others, were paid even less.  I visited one
family circle in the Leopoldstadt which consisted of the man, his wife
and child, and three single men lodgers, who all lived and slept in one
room.  I found the lodgers airing themselves in the court-yard, while the
beds were made and the room set in order.  But I saw very little of
squalor or filth even in the poorest quarters.  As a check upon the
assumed thoughtlessness of the Viennese artisans, the pawnbrokers are by
civil ordinance closed a week before and after every great holiday, such
as Easter, Whitsuntide, etc.

There were very many small masters, known in England as master-men, who
worked at home, and by their skill and quickness earned superior wages.
My own landlord was one of them, and called himself a “Gallanterie
Tischler.”  He was chiefly employed in ornamental woodwork for the
silversmiths, and, being tasty and expert, earned a very respectable
living.  He used to buy English knives for certain parts of his work, on
account of the superiority of the steel, but he complained bitterly of
their clumsy and awkward fashion.  He was extremely industrious during
the week, and many a pleasant Sunday visit have we paid to Weinhaus and
other suburban villages, when the “heueriger”—the young, half-made
wine—was to be tasted.  Heueriger was sold at a few pence a quart, and is
a whitish liquid of an acid but not unpleasant flavour.  It is a
treacherous drink, like most white wines, and from its apparently
innocent character tempts many into unexpected inebriation.  The Viennese
delight in an Italian sausage called “Salami,” said to be made of asses’
flesh, and a pale, but highly scented cheese, as the proper
accompaniments to the heueriger.

Domestic servants in Vienna have one very laborious duty to perform, and
that is the fetching of water from the springs.  These springs are simply
pumps in appearance, and were so formerly, but the flow of water is now
continuous, and to be obtained without effort.  It is painful to see the
poor girls bending under the weight of their water troughs, which are
carried on the back, and shaped something like a pannier with a flat
side.  They are made of wood, hooped like a barrel, and have a
close-fitting lid.  The Bohemian women perform duties even more
unsuitable.  They are bricklayers labourers; and sift sand, mix mortar,
and carry slates on their heads to the highest houses.  In these labours
they are sometimes assisted, or set aside, by the soldiery, the more
well-behaved of whom are allowed to hire themselves as labourers and
porters.  In one case, as I know, a soldier was “put in possession,” as
his Imperial Majesty’s representative, and provided daily with a sum of
money as an equivalent for food.

There is another class of labourers who make themselves particularly
conspicuous in the streets of Vienna, and that is the “holzhacker,” or
wood-chopper.  Wood is the universal fuel, and is sold in klafters, or
stacks of six cubic feet.  A klafter consists of logs, each about three
feet long, and apparently the split quarters of young trees of a uniform
size.  This wood, when delivered to the purchaser, is shot upon the
footpath in front of the house, or in the court-yard, if there be a porte
cochêre, which is not usual.  The business of the holzhacker is to chop
the logs into small pieces for the convenience of burning, and this he
does in an incredibly short space of time, but to the great inconvenience
and sometimes personal risk of the passers by.  He is, however, very
independent in his way, and is treated with astonishing forbearance by
the police.  He is, moreover, the street wit of Vienna.

The Viennese workmen are not merely uninformed of, but in general,
perfectly indifferent to political matters.  This ignorance may in a
great measure result from the unthinking and pleasure-seeking character
of the Viennese public—which levity is encouraged by the Government, as
taverns and concert rooms are open long after private houses are
closed—but is also to be traced to the uneasy position which the citizens
hold with respect to the police.  It is not alone that the restrictions
and impediments of official routine render his social existence a matter
of public legislation, but there is an unpleasant consciousness that his
landlord, his neighbour on the same flat, his barber, or his fellow
workman, may be a “vertrauter,” a spy in the pay of the police, and his
simplest actions, through their means, perverted into misdemeanours.  A
worthy cooper, with whom I occasionally dined, on reading a skeleton
report of a public meeting in England, where working men had made
speeches and moved resolutions, exclaimed, as he threw down the paper:
“But, seriously, don’t you think this very ridiculous?”



ON TRAMP TO PARIS.


We were three in number, a jeweller from Copenhagen, a Viennese
silversmith, and myself, who started from Vienna to walk to Paris.  We
were all in tolerable feather as to funds.  I was possessed of about
seventy guldens (seven pounds), and a little packet of fifty dozens of
piercing-saws, a trading speculation, which I hoped to smuggle over the
French frontier in my boots.  I was better provided in all respects than
on any of my former journeys.  We had forwarded our boxes to Strassburg,
our knapsacks were light, and we wore stout walking shoes with scarcely
any heels, and had prepared some well-boiled linen wrappers, intended,
when smeared with tallow, to serve the purpose of socks.  They
effectually prevent blisters, and can be readily washed in any running
stream.  Our first stage was by steam on the Danube to Linz, the capital
of Upper Austria; and we took our departure from Nussdorf amid the
valedictions and kisses of some thirty male friends, each of whom saluted
us thrice—on each cheek, and on the lips, for this is the true German
fashion, and may not be slighted or avoided.

A voyage on the water may seem a curious commencement of a foot journey;
but the fact is, that no one knows better than the tramp that a railway
or a steamboat is always cheaper than shoe-leather and time; and no doubt
as these new means of progress increase in number they will entirely
change the character of German trade-wanderings.  From Vienna to Linz is,
in round numbers, a distance of one hundred and fifty English miles, and
this one vessel, the “Karl,” got over in two days and a night.  The wind
was against us, and it must be remembered that it is all up stream.  The
Danube is upon the whole a melancholy river, of a sullen encroaching
character, for its whole course is marked by over-floodings and their
consequent desolation.  The passage cost ten florins, twenty-five
kreutzers, or eight shillings and fourpence, and we slept on the table
below, on deck, or not at all, as we best could.

Our real starting-point on tramp was Linz, whence we pursued our way
through Wells, Gmunden, Ebensee, and Ishl to Salzburg, in which beautiful
city we rested for a day and half.  We steamed across lake Traun from
Gmunden, and paid a fare of twenty-five kreutzers, or fourpence.  From
Salzburg we pushed on to Hallein, to visit the salt mines there, and
thence diverged still further from the beaten route for the sake of
seeing the water-fall of Golling—the stern terrors of the Œfen—and dream
away an hour upon the beautiful and romantic waters of Königsee, the
King’s Lake.  We had crossed the frontier of Bavaria near Hallein, and,
having loitered so long among the delightful scenery of its
neighbourhood, we now hurried on towards Munich, through Reichenhall,
Fraunstein, Weisham, Rosenheim, Aibling, and Peiss.  Thirsty and weary,
we overtook a timber waggon when within eight miles of the capital, and
made a bargain with the driver to carry us forward to our destination for
six kreutzers, about one penny, each; and upon the unhewn timber of the
springless log-waggon we rode into Munich.  We had been already fourteen
days upon the road, ten of which had been spent on tramp, advancing at an
average rate of twenty-five miles a day.  From Linz to Munich, by the
circuitous route we had taken, I reckon in round numbers at two hundred
and fifty miles.  My share of the expenses amounted to thirty-six
florins, forty kreutzers, say one pound nine shillings in English money,
or an average outlay of two shillings a day.  It may be added, that many
of our expenses were those of ordinary foot-tourists, rather than of
tramping workmen; that we had lived well although frugally; and that,
save in a goatherd’s hut on the Schaf-berg, we had never slept out of
bed.

We spent five happy days in Munich: wandering among picture-galleries and
museums; visiting the royal palace in the capital, and the pleasure
retreat at Nymphenburg; and the churches, with their painted windows,
beautiful architecture, and radiant frescoes.  We visited two theatres,
and roamed in the English garden, and among the wilder scenery of hills
in the environs.  Munich is the real capital of modern art, and contains
more magnificent public buildings than any city of the same extent in the
world.  Vulgar figures again: my expenses in Munich amounted to eight
guldens, forty kreutzers, Bavarian or Reich’s money, which will yield, as
nearly as the intricacies of German coinage will allow of the
calculation, fifteen shillings and fourpence.  The fare by railway from
Munich to Augsburg, our next station, was one gulden, twenty-four
kreutzers,—two shillings and fourpence,—and from the latter fine old city
we proceeded entirely on foot to Strassburg.  We took the road through
Ulm, Stutgard, Heilbron, Heidelberg, Manheim, Carlsruhe, Baden-Baden, and
Keil; wandering a little from the beaten path near Kissengan to see the
beautiful waterworks and garden there.  These cities have all been
described by innumerable travellers, and I doubt whether I could add
anything to the knowledge already possessed of them.

We had passed fifteen days upon the road, and traversed a distance,
roughly estimated, of two hundred and fifty miles.  We rested in all four
days in the towns of Augsburg, Ulm, Heidelberg, (of glorious
recollection), and Carlsruhe; and thus, during the ten days of actual
tramp, we had advanced at an average rate of twenty-five miles a day.
Since leaving Vienna, we had walked five hundred miles.  On one occasion
only did we march more than thirty miles in the day.  This was between
Stutgard and Heilbron.  As we limped wearily through the latter city, we
came upon a tavern at the sign of the Eagle, and inquiring, like cautious
travellers, the price of a bed, we found it was twelve kreutzers Reich’s
money, fourpence.  This was beyond our mark, so we tottered onward to the
Stag, where we were very indifferently lodged for half the money.  At
Heidelberg we paid twelve kreutzers for our bed, and were well
accommodated; but this was more by four kreutzers than we considered
ourselves in a position to pay.  Our average expenses per day, while on
tramp at this period, were twenty-four kreutzers, or eightpence.  My
total outlay from Munich to Strassburg was twenty-one florins, ten
kreutzers, or one pound five shillings; being at the rate of one shilling
and sixpence a day.

It may be right to mention, that a German mile is divided into two
stunden, or hours, and the natural inference would be, that it would
occupy two hours to walk a mile.  This is not the case, for a stunden can
generally be traversed in three quarters of an hour; but the German miles
are not uniform, and I well remember one terribly long one between Brünn
and Vienna, which was more than two hours walk.  As three English miles
an hour is an average walking pace, a German mile, occupying on the
average an hour and a half in the traverse, should be equal to four and a
half English miles, and this is the rate at which I have estimated it,
although I have seen it variously stated at less than four, and even at
five English miles.

While on tramp, we rose at five in the morning, and walked till eight
fasting, when we took breakfast—a simple affair of milk, or of coffee and
plain bread, with occasionally a little meat as a luxury—we then
proceeded on our march till twelve, always supposing that a town or
village was at such a distance as to render the arrangement possible,
when we dined.  This meal consisted invariably of soup—milk soup, if
possible, peppered and salted like broth—and sometimes meat, but not
always, as it was dear, and supposed to be heavy for walking.  As by this
time the sun was in its zenith, and our advance in the great heat would
be most fatiguing, and even dangerous, we laid ourselves down to rest
till three, in the open air if possible, and weather permitting; out on
the fields among the corn; stretched upon the hay in some shady nook; or,
as in Bavaria and Wurtemberg during a great part of the route, under the
apple and plum trees which lined the public way, eating of the fruit
unquestioned and without restraint.  After this welcome repose we pursued
our march with renewed animation till eight o’clock, when we sought out a
place of rest; and for our evening meal usually indulged in something
more substantial than at any other time of the day.  Our beds were not
always clean, and the lavatorial necessaries either deficient or wholly
wanting, in which latter case the pump was our only substitute.

Our brief stays in towns or cities were by no means the least fatiguing
part of our journey; for it naturally happened that in our anxiety to see
whatever was remarkable or beautiful, in museum, picture-gallery, or
public building, that our time was tasked even more severely than on the
road; always remembering also, that the police required a great deal of
attention.  My passport has fourteen distinct _visas_ during this
journey.  We found the police in Bavaria the least civil among a very
exacting class of people.  Here, for the first time, I heard a mode of
address which is, I think, peculiar to Germany.  It is customary to
address strangers in the third person plural, _Se_; or, when on very
familiar or affectionate terms, in the second person singular, _Du_; but
of all modes of speech the third person singular, _Er_, when applied to
the person addressed, is the most opprobrious.  A police official thus
interrogates a wandering workman:—

“What is he?”  “A currier.”

“Where from?”  “Siegesdorf.”

“Where to?”  “Ulm.”

“Has he got the itch?”  “No.”

“Then let him sign this book.”

At Augsburg the police were in a dilemma with respect to us.  We had come
by rail from Munich, and, to our surprise, were suffered to pass through
the gate unchallenged by the sentinel, who paced leisurely before the
guard-house.  The following morning, on presenting our papers at the
police-bureau, we were met with the accusation of having smuggled
ourselves into the city; and, as the usual official routine had been
departed from, we were ordered to proceed at once to the gates, and
humbly deliver up our passports to the sentinel in due form, that the
requirements of the law might be fulfilled.  This sage proposition was,
however, overruled in consideration of our being jewellers: the
respectability of the craft being thus acknowledged.  It was in Augsburg
also that I narrowly escaped being entered in the books of the Guild as
“Mr. Great Britain, native of London;” the slim apprentice whose duty it
was to make the entry, having mistaken the name of the country for that
of the individual in my English passport.

I may not omit to mention, although I do it with a feeling of
humiliation, that during our journey we availed ourselves of whatever
assistance was granted by the Guild to “wandering boys” unable to obtain
employment.  We had a perfect right to this aid, and had, while in work,
always contributed to the fund (in which we had, indeed, no option); but
I must confess that there was something exceedingly like asking for alms
in the whole process of obtaining it.  Our slender resources must plead
as an excuse.  The following were our individual receipts: in Linz,
twenty-four kreutzers; in Munich, thirty-six; Augsburg, eighteen; Ulm,
fifteen; Stutgard, thirty; Heilbron, twenty-four; Heidelberg, nine,
(begged from shop to shop, there being no general cash-box); and
Carlsruhe, twenty-four; making a total of one hundred and eighty
kreutzers, or the munificent sum of two shillings and sixpence in English
money.  What must be the fate of those whose dependence was upon such a
pittance!

I had passed two whole years and a few days in Germany, and during a
period of eighty-eight weeks, had been fully at work.  I had received
fifty-six pounds thirteen shillings in wages, or an average, throughout
the whole term, of eleven shillings per week.  I felt grateful for this
result in a strange country, and left Germany with a lingering step.

As we crossed over the bridge of Kiel on our way to Strassburg, the
French soldiery were quietly fishing on their side of the Rhine, and the
sentinel, from whom we had expected a harsh summons to the guard-house,
and a rigorous search into our knapsacks, eyed us with a look of half
pity, half contempt, and allowed us to pass unchallenged.  We were, to
him, only so many miserable “square-heads” (Germans) on our way to Paris.
The curiosities of Strassburg need not detain me: the cathedral, and the
wonderful clock; the theatre, which we visited; the fortifications, which
we overlooked from the lofty spire; those things are set down in every
traveller’s guidebook, and the recollection of them is probably much more
agreeable to me than their description would be to the reader.  We had
resolved not to tramp through France, and we therefore sought places in
the diligence; and by the time I had paid forty-three francs for my seat
in that respectable vehicle, and ten francs for the carriage of my box
from Vienna to Strassburg, together with two francs for a passeport
provisoire; and by the time also that I had paid some two francs more for
extra luggage, including two loaves and a string of six Strassburger
sausages, which were all included in the weight, I found that I should
arrive in Paris with less than five francs in my pocket.  And this I
accordingly did, after a very uncomfortable ride of fifty-two hours, and
within a day of six weeks from our departure from Vienna.



PARIS.


We thought ourselves very ill-used on our first night in Paris, when,
having been wiled into a grand hotel near the Bourse, we were stowed away
on the fifth floor, three in a room, and charged six francs for our beds,
one more for a candle, and one for service.  Our parsimonious Dane was so
highly irritated, that he took possession of the candle and carried it
off in his pocket.  But Alcibiade was soon by our side, to give us help
and advice with his old kindness; and under his guidance we removed
immediately to more suitable lodgings, and were set in the proper course
to obtain employment.  Although scarcely possessed of a single franc in
actual cash, I had fifty dozens of fine piercing-saws, my contraband
speculation, and for which I ultimately obtained about twenty francs.
What was of more importance, in less than a week from our arrival in
Paris I commenced work at the modest remuneration of four francs and a
half, three shillings and ninepence, a day.  My two companions were
scarcely so fortunate, but lingered on for a week or two without
employment.

I found myself in a motley company; at one time our atélier contained
three Russians, two Germans, two Englishmen, an Italian, and a Frenchman;
and sometimes a simple inquiry would have to pass through four languages
before it received its answer.  I did not remain long amid this babel,
although long enough to be offered six francs a day to remain.  I never
afterwards worked for a less rate of remuneration than six francs a day,
but never succeeded in obtaining a sous more.  I had many “Patrons” in
Paris.  In one establishment there were three workmen continually
employed in making crosses of honour, in gold and silver, to reward the
merit, or to purchase the affection and support, of the French people.  I
was variously employed: in gold work; in setting small rose-diamonds; and
upon the most costly brilliant ornaments.  Sometimes idling upon three
days a week, or totally unemployed; at other times slaving night and day,
Sunday and all, to complete some urgent order.  I have worked nineteen
days in a fortnight.

I have endeavoured to give some details with regard to the manner of
living, working, and lodging, among the labouring population of Paris,
under the head of “THE FRENCH WORKMAN;” and which details were in most
part personal, or such as I had learned from actual experience.  My
business here is with results, and I will condense them into as few words
as possible.  I stayed in all one year and five months in Paris, during
the whole of which period I was never out of a situation, although at
various times but scantily provided with employment.  I received in wages
a total of two thousand three hundred and one francs, thirteen sous, or
ninety-two pounds two shillings and twopence-halfpenny.  This would give
an average receipt, upon the seventy-one weeks of my stay, of one pound
three shillings and three-halfpence a week.  I have said that during the
greater part of this time I earned at the rate of six francs, or five
shillings a day; if I now give the current expenses per week, a
comparison may from these data be drawn as to the comparative position of
the English and French workman.  The usual outlay for food per week
amounted to twelve francs, or ten shillings, of course with fluctuations;
for I have lived a whole week upon five francs when unemployed, and have
luxuriated upon twenty when in full work.  Upon striking a balance among
my various lodgings,—I lodged in company and slept double during the
whole period of my stay in Paris—I find the result to be, that we paid
twelve francs each per month, or two shillings and sixpence per week.
This did not include extras: a German stove hired at five francs a month
for the winter season; wood at four francs the hundred pounds weight;
candles at thirteen sous the pound, and soap at a fraction less.  Nor
does it include the half franc to the concierge, an obligatory payment
upon presenting yourself at the street-door after midnight.  Summing up
these items, we arrive at this result: for food, ten shillings; rent, two
shillings and sixpence; and miscellaneous necessaries, including twelve
sous for washing, of another two shillings and sixpence; or a total of
fifteen shillings of expenditure against, in my case, of one pound three
shillings and odd pence of income.  The cost of pleasure in the French
capital must not be omitted; and I feel bound to state that twenty-seven
visits to the theatres, from the pit of the Italian Opera House at four
francs, to the same place at the Vaudeville for eighteen sous; and
thirteen public balls and concerts, from the grand masked ball to that of
the “Grande Chaumière,” were met by an outlay of sixty-eight francs
thirteen sous, or three pounds seven shillings and tenpence-halfpenny.

After an absence of nearly three years and a half, I turned my steps
towards home.  From the time that I had crossed the French frontier, and,
upon delivering my papers, had received a passeport provisoire at
Strassburg, I had never sustained cheque or molestation from the police;
but now that I was about to depart, and made the usual application for my
original passport, it was discovered that, as a workman, I should have
had a “livret” upon my first entering Paris, and a number of certificates
and attestations were required, in order to reinstate me in a legitimate
position in the eyes of the law.  Escaped from this dilemma, and
officially recognised as _ouvrier_, it was with some surprise that I
found myself dubbed gentleman at the Bureau des Affaires Etrangéres, and
charged a fee of ten franca for the signature of the foreign minister.
Too old a traveller to be entrapped into the payment of so heavy a fine
upon my vanity, I strongly repudiated any more pretentious title than
that of simple workman; and after a tough struggle succeeded in carrying
off the necessary visa at an outlay of two francs.  The journey, by
diligence, from Paris to Boulogne, cost twenty-seven francs; I lost a
clear six francs in changing my French savings into English gold—twelve
sovereigns—and, after a rough passage by the Boulogne boat to London, at
an expense of twelve francs, found myself once more in my native city.

Let those who would estimate the value of such an enterprise as mine,
consider its cost and its result.  I had passed several years in foreign
travel; I had undeniably profited in the acquisition of new experiences
in my trade; new modes of working, and additional manual skill.  I had
rubbed off some of the most valued, and therefore most absurd, prejudices
against foreigners; and made some progress in the acquisition of two
languages—a gain which must ever be a source of mental profit and
gratification.  To conclude: I had started on my journey but
indifferently clad, and with scarcely five pounds in my pocket, of which
sum two pounds had been remitted home; and I had been able not merely to
subsist by the labor of my hands, but to enjoy much that was costly, and
an infinite deal more that was pleasurable and advantageous; and to
return home, having liquidated every debt, save that of gratitude, well
provided with apparel, and with ten pounds sterling in my purse.

I would not venture to urge upon any man to follow in my footsteps.  I
should scarcely retrace them myself under the same conditions; but I
believe I have shown the practicability of such an undertaking, and its
probability of success, with no more unusual qualifications than a ready
hand, a patient will, and some perseverance.



CHAPTER I.


HAMBURG.

Hamburg at last!—after eight days’ sail from London, three of them spent
in knocking about the North Sea, where the wind always blows in your
teeth.  Never mind! we are now safely moored to these substantial
timbers; huge piles, driven in a line, which form the outer harbour of
Hamburg.  The city lies before us, but there is nothing very imposing in
it; the houses, with gable roofs and whitened walls, look rather
lath-and-plastery, in fact; but we must not express our opinions too
rashly, for first impressions are not always the most faithful after all.

“Now, Tom, is the boat ready?”

“Ay, ay, sir!”

We scramble down the sides of the British schooner, the “Glory,” and seat
ourselves along with Tom.  What a confusion of boats, long-pointed
barges, and small sailing vessels!

“Mind how you go, Tom.”

“Ay, ay, sir!” replies Tom, contemptuously shifting his quid.

These small sailing vessels we see are from the Hanoverian and Danish
coasts.  Their cargoes consist principally of wood, and whole stacks of
vegetables, the latter ridiculously small.  Those long-pointed barges are
for canal navigation, and are admirably adapted to Hamburg, threaded as
it is by canals in every direction.

Steady!  Do you see that curious, turret-looking building, old and
time-worn, guarded by a sentinel?—it is the fort to protect the
water-gate through which we are now passing.  It is also occasionally
used as a prison.  On the opposite side is a poor, dilapidated, wooden
building, erected on a barge, where permits are obtained for spirits and
tobacco—a diminutive custom-house indeed.  There being no one to question
or molest us, we pass on, and in a few moments are at our landing-place,
a short flight of stone steps leading to the Vorsetzen or quay.

Tom moors his boat with a grave celerity, leads the way up the stone
steps on to the quay, and as speedily disappears down a sort of trap
which gapes in the open street, in the immediate vicinity of the
landing-place.  Let him alone; Tom knows the way.  We follow him down an
almost perpendicular flight of stairs into a spirit kellar, and gratify
Tom’s little propensity for ardent liquors.

Tom has disappeared, and is now paddling his way back to the “Glory,” and
we stand upon the humble water-terrace, the Vorsetzen, looking out upon
the shipping.  It is a still, bright, Sunday afternoon in September.
There is no broiling sun to weary us; the sky is clear, and the air soft
and cheering, like the breath of a spring morning.  We will turn our
backs upon the river and proceed up Neuerweg.

We cannot walk upon the narrow strip of footpath, for, besides that there
is very little of it, our course would become a sort of serpentine as we
wound about the fresh young trees which skirt the edge of it at regular
intervals.  But are they not pleasant to look upon, those leafy
sentinels, standing by the stone steps of the houses, shaking their green
tops in happy contrast to the whitened walls?  So we will walk in the
road, and being good-tempered today, will not indulge in violent
invectives upon the round-topped little pebbles which form the pavement;
but, should we by chance step into a puddle which has no manner of means
of running out of our way, we will look with complacency at our dirtied
boots, and trip smilingly on.  Yes, trip is the word, for I defy the
solemnest pedestrian in Christendom to keep a measured pace upon these
upright, pointed, shining-faced pebbles.

There! we are in the Schaar-markt.  Now look around, and say, would you
not fancy yourself in some quaint old English village?  What a curious
complication of cross-beams is presented in the fronts of the houses!—a
barring and binding of huge timbers, with their angles filled in with red
bricks.  How simple and neat is everything!—the clean stone steps leading
up to the principal entrance of each house, and the humbler flight which
conducts you to the _kellar_ and kitchen.  You would imagine you had seen
the place before, or dreamt of it, or read of it in some glorious old
book when your memory was fresh and young.

See that young damsel with bare arms, no bonnet, no cap, but her hair
cleanly and neatly parted in the middle of her head, and disclosing her
round, rosy, honest German face.  She is not pretty, but how innocent and
good-tempered she looks; and see how lightly and easily she springs over
those, to us, ruthless pebbles, her short petticoats showing her clean
white stockings and bright shoes to advantage.

And here comes a male native of the place; a shortish, square-built, and
somewhat portly man, clad in a comfortable, old-fashioned way, with
nothing dashing or expensive about him.  He is not very brisk, to be
sure; and when you first look at his round face an idea of his simplicity
comes over you; but it is only for an instant, and then you read the
solid, sterling qualities quietly shining in his clear eyes.  There is
not a great amount of intellectuality, that is to say nervous
intellectuality, in his contented countenance, but a vast quantity of
unstudied common sense.

We will pass on, leaving the guard-house on our left; and winding up
Hohleweg, many simple and not a few pretty faces with roguish eyes do we
see at the open windows.

We halt only for a moment to look at the noble Michaelis Kirche which
lies to our right, and turn off on the left hand, crossing an open space
of some extent called Zeughaus Platz, and behold us before the Altonaer
Thor, or Altona-gate.

Ah, these are pleasant banks and noble trees!  How green the grass upon
those slopes—how fresh the flowers!  And what a splendid walk is this,
looking to the right down the double avenue of sturdy stems waving their
spreading tops across the path!  You did not think that quaint old town
below could boast of such a border as this; but take a tour about the
environs, and you will find them cheerful, fresh, and beautiful, from
Neuer Kaye to Deich Thor.

We will pass through the simple Altona-gate, and make towards
Hamburger-Berg.  Do not be alarmed.  Perhaps you have heard of the “Berg”
before, and virtuous people have told you that it is a godless place.
Well, so it is; but we will steer clear of its godlessness; we will avoid
the dancing-houses.  Before us lies a broad open road, neither dignified
by buildings nor ornamented by trees, but there are plenty of people, and
they are worth our notice.  There is a neat figure in a close boddice and
a hauben, or hood-like headdress; she has taken to winter attire early.
She carries no trailing skirts, nor has she ill-shapen ankles to hide.
Look at her healthy face, though the cheek-bones are rather too high; but
the mouth is ever breaking into a smile.  Her hair is drawn back tightly
from her face, tied in a knot at the back, and covered with a velvet
skull-cap, richly worked with gold and silver wire and braid.  The effect
is not bad.

There is a country girl from Bardewick—Bardewick, you know, though now a
mere village, is traditionally said to have been once a large and
flourishing city.  She has flowers to sell, and stands by the wayside.
She has neither shoes nor stockings, nor is her dark dress and white
apron of the longest.  Her tightly fitting boddice is of blue cloth, with
bullet buttons, and has but a short waist, while a coral confines her
apron and dress.  Her head-dress is only a striped coloured handkerchief,
tied under the chin, but in such a way that it presents a sort of
straight festoon just above her sparkling eyes, and completely hides her
hair.

But here comes a curiosity of the male species.  Surely this is Rip van
Winkle from the States.  He has no sugar-loaf hat, but he wears the
trunkhose, stockings, and large buckled shoes of the old Dutchman, and
even his ample jacket, with an enormous sort of frill at the bottom.  No,
my friend, let me give you to understand that this is a _Vierländer_, and
a farmer of some means.  Do you not see that he has a double row of
bullet buttons on his jacket, down the front of his ample hose, and even
along the edges of his enormous pockets?  They are solid silver, every
button of them, nor are the massive buckles on his shoes of any more
gross material.  Here come more velvet skull-caps, with gold and silver
worked into them.  How jauntily the wearers trip along!  It is a fact,
the abominable pavement of Hamburg sets the inhabitants eternally on
their toes.

Here is a Tyroler, and a tall fellow he is; straight as an arrow, and
nimble as a chamois; but yet with a steady, earnest look about him,
although a secret smile is playing round his handsome, mustachioed mouth,
that tells you of a strong and persevering character.  He is shaped like
an Adonis, and his short jacket, breeches, pale striped stockings, and
tightly laced boots; the broad leathern embroidered band about his waist,
and the steeple-crowned hat with the little coquettish feather, all help
to make up a figure that you would like to see among his native
mountains.  And yet he is but a dignified sort of pedlar, and would be
very happy to sell you a dozen or so of table napkins, Alpine
handkerchiefs, or a few pieces of tape.

Well! he is gone, and before us comes a female figure, who forms a fit
companion to the silver-buttoned _Vierländer_ we have just past.  Notice
her dress; she is a _Vierländerin_.  Her petticoats are shamefully short,
you will say, stiff and plaited too as they are, but what a gallant pair
of red stockings she wears, and what a neat, bright pair of buckled
shoes!  Her dress consists of a close boddice with long sleeves, all of
dark purple stuff, and her neat black apron does not make a bad contrast
to it.  But her head-gear!—her hair is drawn from her face under a
closely fitting caul, while an exaggerated black bow, or rather a pair of
triangular wings, project some distance from the back of the head, and
beneath them two enormous tails of hair trail down her back, each
terminating in a huge red bow.

This country girl appears to have sold all her fruit, and has placed her
basket upside down upon her head.  No such thing; that is her peculiar
head-dress; look again, and you will see that it is a small plaited straw
basket, about a foot and a half in diameter, with a very deep straight
edge.  It is fastened on her head by a caul sewn into the inside.  Well!
at any rate this is a Quakeress we see coming at such a stately pace
along the gravelled road?  Wrong again, my friend; this is a young lady
from Heligoland, the little island we passed at the mouth of the Elbe,
and a very prim and neat young lady she is, though where she got her
bonnet shape from I cannot say.

The way is lined with hawkers of every description: fruit, songs and
sausages; toys, sticks and cigars; pipes, sweetmeats and tape; every
imaginable article that was ever sold at a fair is to be found here, and
every vender in a different dress, illustrating at one view the peasant
costumes of every village in the vicinity.  As for tobacco, the air is
like a gust from some gigantic pipe.  Here is the entrance to Franconi’s
Circus, though not yet open for public entertainment.  Blasts of
obstreperous music rush upon you from every door; the shrill squealing of
a flageolet being heard above everything else.

Knife-swallowers, mesmerisers, and the eternal Punch—here called
Caspar—ballad-singers, tumblers, quacks, and incredible animals, are here
for inspection.  You would fancy it was some old English fair; for in
spite of yourself there is a quaint feeling steals over you, that you had
suddenly tumbled back into the middle of the last century.

And who pays for all this? for whose especial amusement is all this got
up?  For our old friend “Jack.”  Here are English sailors, and French
sailors; sailors in green velveteen jackets; sailors with their beards
and whiskers curled into little shining ringlets.  We meet our salt-water
friend everywhere, and, by the intense delight depicted on his features,
“Jack” is evidently in a high state of enjoyment.

Let us go on; we have promised not to visit the dancehouses to-day, and
we will quit this clamorous crowd.



CHAPTER II.
ALTONA.


THE POET’S GRAVE.—A DANISH HARVEST HOME.

We tread upon elevated ground, and far away to our left, down in a
hollow, flows the broad Elbe; placid indeed from this distance, for not a
ripple can we see upon its surface.  A few ships are lazily moving on its
waters.  Stand aside, and make way for this reverend gentleman; he is a
_prediger_, a preacher of the gospel; he is habited in a black gown,
black silk stockings and shoes, a small black velvet skull-cap on his
head, while round his neck bristles a double plaited frill, white as a
curd, and stiff as block tin.  You would take him for the Dutch nobleman
in an old panel painting.  It may appear rather grotesque to your
unaccustomed eyes, but remember there are many things very ridiculous at
home.

A blackened gate, a confused mass of houses, an open square, and the
pebbles again, and we are in Holstein, Denmark, in the public square and
market place of Altona.  Here it is that the Danish state lotteries are
drawn, and we might moralise upon that subject, but that we prefer to
press onwards to the real village of Altona.

Here through this beautiful avenue of trees; here where the sunshine is
broken into patches by the waving foliage; far away from the din of
trumpets, huxterers and showmen; here can the sweet air whisper its low
song of peace and lull our fervid imaginations into tranquillity.  This
is no solitude, though all is quiet and in repose.  Under the trees and
in the road are throngs of loiterers, but there is no rude laughter, no
coarse jests; a moving crowd is there, but a quiet and happy one.  And
now we come upon the venerable church with its low steeple, its
time-eaten stone walls, and its humble, grassy, flower-spangled graves.
We see a passer-by calling the attention of his friend to a stone tablet,
green and worn with age, and surrounded by a slight railing.  Can it be
that there is a spirit hovering over that grave whose influence is peace
and love?  May not some mighty man lie buried there, the once frail
tenement of a great mind whose noble thoughts have years ago wakened a
besotted world to truths and aspirations hitherto unknown?  There is
veneration and respect in every countenance that gazes upon that simple
stone; a solemn tread in every foot that trenches on its limits.  This is
the grave of a great poet.  A man whose works, though little read in
modern times, were once the wonder of his country; and whose very name
comes upon the German people in a gush of melody, and a halo of bright
thoughts.  It is like an old legend breathed through the chords of a
harp.  This is the grave of Klopstock, the Milton of Germany.  We will
enter the churchyard, and look for a moment on the unimposing tablet.
The inscription is scarcely legible, but the poet’s mother lies also
buried here, and some others of his family.  Could there be anything more
humble, more unobtrusive?  No; but there is something about the grave of
a great poet that serves to dignify the simplest monument, and shed a
lustre round the lowest mound.

We will cross the churchyard to yonder low brick wall which confines it.
There are clusters of rosy, happy children, clambering about its
crumbling top; little knots of men too in the road beyond—evidently
expecting something.  Even this is in keeping with the poet’s grave,
which should not be sombre and melancholy, like other graves; and what
could better embellish and enliven its aspect than young, blushing life
clustering around it?  We linger awhile among the boisterous children
playing on the churchyard wall, and then we hear a confused sound of
voices and music in the distance.

“What is this we hear, my friend?” we inquire.

“It is the harvest-home; if you wait you will see the procession.”

We turn out upon the high road, and soon come upon the first signs of
this Danish festival.  An open gravelled space of some extent stretches
out before an imposing mansion of modern appearance; a plantation of
trees on each side shapes the space into a rude semicircle.  This mansion
is the manor house, and in front, in the midst of a confused crowd, some
dozen young men in gay sylvan costumes are standing in a circle, armed
with flails, and vigorously threshing the ground.  Jolly, hearty young
fellows they are, and a merry chant they raise.  One eager thresher in
his zeal breaks his flail at the bend, and a shout from the bystanders
greets the exploit.

Now they thresh their way from the great house to a hostelry where the
remaining portion of the pageant is awaiting their arrival.  Let us stand
a little on one side and view the procession.  The threshers lead the
way, singing and plying their flails as they advance, thus effectually
clearing the road for the rest.  A merry group of other threshers, each
with his lass upon his arm, and his flail swung across his shoulder, come
tripping after, singing the harvest song and dancing to their own music.
Now a rude wooden car comes lumbering on, and within sits a grave man in
old German costume, who from a large sack before him takes handsful of
grain, and liberally casts it about him.  This is the sower, but the
grain is in this instance only chaff.  Now follow heavy instruments of
husbandry—ploughs and harrows—while rakes, scythes, and reaping-hooks
form a picturesque trophy behind them.  A shout of laughter greets the
next figure in the procession, for it is no other than the jolly god
Bacchus.  And a hearty, rubicund, big-bellied god he is, and very decent,
too, being decorously clad in a brown suit turned up with red, and cut in
the fashion of the time of Maximilian I., or thereabouts.  A perpetual
smile mantles over his broad face, and complacently he pats his huge
rotundity of stomach as he rolls from side to side on the barrel astride
which he is seated.  Is he drunk, or does he only feign?  If it be a
piece of acting it is decidedly the most natural we ever saw.

Next comes the miller; a lank rascal, with a white frock, a tall, white
tasselled nightcap, and a cadaverous, flour-besprinkled face; and he is
the reaper, too, it would seem by the scythe he bears in his hand: other
threshers close the procession.  A happy train it is.  God speed them
all!  A merry time, and many a bounteous harvest!

Let us turn now upon our steps.  Once more before the antique church, the
reverenced grave; and with a soothed and grateful mind, we will bend our
way back to Hamburg, and diving into one of the odorous cellars on the
Jungfern Stieg, will delectate ourselves with beefsteaks and fried
potatoes, our glass of Baierisches Bier, and perhaps a tiny schnapschen
to settle our repast.



CHAPTER III.


MAGNIFICENCE.—AT CHURCH.—THE LAST HEADSMAN.

“Herrlichkeit!”  Magnificence!  What a name!  Ye Paradise-rows, ye
Mount-pleasants, what is your pride of appellation to this?  In all
Belgravia there is not a terrace, place, or square that can match it.
Fancy the question, “Where do you reside?”

“In Magnificence—number forty.”

Yet it is a fact, Magnificence is a street in Hamburg.  I have lived in
Magnificence.

The Herrlichkeit, like many other places of imposing title, loses
considerably upon a close acquaintance.  You approach it from the
waterside through a rugged way, blessed with the euphonious appellation
of Stuben Huck; and having climbed over two pebbly bridges—looking down
as you do so at the busy scene in the docks below, where crowds of canal
craft lie packed and jumbled together—you turn a little to the left hand
and behold—Magnificence!

Magnificence has no footpath, but it is not singular in that respect.  It
is of rather less than the average width of the streets in Hamburg—and
they are all narrow—and the houses are lofty.  It is paved with small
pebbles, and has a gutter running down the centre; and as a short flight
of stone steps forms the approach to the chief entrance of each house,
the available roadway is small indeed.  But they are grand houses in
Magnificence, at least they have been, and still bear visible signs of
their former character.

Let us enter one house; it will serve as a type of many houses in
Hamburg.  Having mounted the stone steps, we stand before a half-glazed
folding-door, and seeing a small brass lever before us, we test its
power, and find the door yield to the pressure.  But we have set a
clamorous bell ringing, like that of a suburban huxter, for this is the
Hamburger’s substitute for a knocker.  We enter a large stone-paved hall,
lighted from the back, where a glazed balcony overlooks the teeming
canal.  You wish to wipe your shoes.  Well! do you see this pattern of a
small area-railing cut in wood?  That is our scraper and door-mat—all in
one.

To our right is a massive oaken staircase.  We ascend in gloom, for the
staircase being built in the middle of the house, only a few straggling
rays of light can reach it, and whence they proceed is a mystery.  Every
few steps we mount we are upon the point of stumbling into the door of
some cupboard or apartment; they are in all sorts of places.  At length
we reach a broad landing paved with stone.  What a complication of doors
and passages, which the vague light tends to make more obscure!  Here are
huge presses, lumbering oaken cabinets, jammed into corners.  We ascend a
second flight and arrive at another extensive landing.  Here are two
suites of apartments, besides odd little cribs in the corners which are
not occupied by other presses.  There are still two floors above, but as
they are both contained in the huge gable roof of the house, they are
more useful as store-rooms than as habitable apartments.  The quantity of
wood we see about us is frightful when associated with the idea of fire.

We will enter the suite on the right hand; the apartments are light and
agreeable, and overlook the canal, and, when the tide is up, and the
canal full, and the grassy bleaching ground on the opposite bank is
dotted with white linen, it is a pleasant scene indeed; but when the tide
is out—ugh! the River Thames at low water is a paradise to it.  The tidal
changes are carefully watched, and it is not an unusual occurrence to
hear the solemn gun booming through the air as a warning to the
inhabitants to block and barricade their cellars and kitchens against the
rush of waters.

                                * * * * *

It is Sunday morning, and the most beautiful melody of bells I ever heard
is toning through the air.  They are the bells of S. Michael’s church,
and I am told that the musician plays them by a set of pedal keys, and
works himself into a mighty heat and flurry in the operation.  But we
cannot think of the wild manner and mad motions of the player in
connection with those beautiful sounds, so clear and melodious; that half
plaintive music so sweetly measured.  They ring thus every morning,
commencing at a quarter to six, and play till the hour strikes.

We descend, and make our way through irregular streets and dingy canals
till we reach the church of St. Jacobi.  It stands in an open space, is
neither railed in, nor has it a graveyard attached to it.  It is of
stone, and has an immense gable roof, slated, and studded with eaved
windows.  A shortish square basement is at one end, from which springs a
tall octangular steeple.  Within all is quiet and decorous.  The church
is paved with stone, and there is a double row of pews down the centre.
But is this a Protestant Church?  Most assuredly; Lutheran.  You are
astonished at the crosses, the images, the altar?  True! there is
something Romish in the whole arrangement, but it is Protestant for all
that.  You cannot help feeling vexed at the pertinacity with which the
Germans whitewash everything, nor do the pale lavender-coloured curtains
of the pulpit appear in keeping with the edifice.  Everything is
scrupulously clean.

We are too late to hear the congregational singing, the devotional union
of voices, for as we enter the minister ascends into the pulpit in his
black velvet skull-cap, and bristling white frill.  Unless you are a good
German scholar you will fail to understand the discourse so earnestly, so
emphatically delivered.  The echo of the building, and the high character
of the composition, will baffle and mislead you; while, at the same time,
the incessant tingling of the little silver bells suspended from the
corners of scarlet velvet bags, which are handed along the pews (at the
end of a stick), during the whole of the sermon, will distract and
irritate you.  It is thus they collect alms for the poor.  Yet even to
one ignorant of the language, there is a fullness and vigour in the style
and manner of delivery that would almost persuade you that you had
understood, and felt convinced of the truth of what you had heard.  As we
quit the church we purchase at the door a printed copy of the sermon from
a poor widow woman, who is there to sell them at a penny each.

We will loiter home to dinner.  The streets are thronged with people,
with cheerful, contented faces, and in holiday attire.  Who are these
grave gentlemen?  This little troop in sable trappings; buskins, cloaks,
silken hose, hats and feathers, and shoes with large rosettes—all black
and sombre, like so many middle aged Hamlets?  Can they be masqueraders
on the Sabbath?  Possibly some of the senators in their official costume?
No!  Oh, human vanity!  A passer-by informs us that they are only
undertakers’ men—paid mourners.  They are to swell the funeral
procession, and are the mere mimics of woe.  The undertakers of Hamburg
vie with each other in the dressing of their men, and indeed, one
indispensable part of their “stock-in-trade” are some half-dozen
dress-suits of black, it matters not of what age or country, the stranger
the better, so that the “effect” be good.

                                * * * * *

We will take a stroll about the beautiful Alster this Sunday afternoon.
It is late autumn, and the early budding trees have already shed their
leaves.  But rich, floating masses of foliage are still there—the
deepening hues of autumn, and here and there broad patches of bright
summer green.  There are two Alsters, the “inner” and “outer,” each of
them a broad expanse of water; they are connected by flood-gates,
surrounded by verdure, and studded with pleasure-boats; while on the city
side several elegant pavilions hang on the water’s edge, where coffee and
beverages of every kind can be obtained, and the seldom omitted and
never-to-be-forgotten music of the Germans may be heard thrilling in the
evening air.

It is already growing dusk; let us enter the _Alster Halle_.  This is the
most important of these pavilions.  It is not large; there is but the
ground-floor.  It has much the appearance of a French _café_, the whole
space being filled with small, round, white marble tables, and
innumerable chairs.  Here all the lighter articles of refreshment are to
be obtained; tea, coffee, wines, spirits and pastry in numberless shapes.
There is an inner room where the more quietly disposed can read his
newspaper in comparative silence; here are German, Danish, French, and
English journals, and a little sprinkling of literary periodicals.
Another room is set apart for billiards, where silent, absorbed
individuals may be seen playing eternally at poule.  In the evening a
little band of skilled musicians, in the pay of the proprietor, perform
choice morsels of beautiful music, and all this can be enjoyed for the
price of a cup of coffee—twopence!



THE LAST HEADSMAN.


Ten years ago the ancient city of Hamburg was awakened into terror by the
commission of a fearful murder.  The cry of “Fire!” arose in the night;
the _nachtwächter_ (watchman) gave the alarm; and the few means at
command were resorted to with an energy and goodwill that sufficed soon
to extinguish the flames.  It was, however, discovered that the fire had
not done the work it had been kindled for; it would not hide murder.
Among the smouldering embers in the _kellar_ or underground kitchen,
where the fire had originated, was discovered the charred body of a poor
old woman, whose recent wounds were too certain evidences of a violent
death.  It was also ascertained that a petty robbery of some few dollars
had been committed, and the utmost vigilance was called into exercise to
discover the perpetrator.

All surmises were in vain, till suspicion fell upon the watchman who had
first given the alarm; and the first evidence of the track of guilt being
thus fallen upon, it was not difficult to trace it to its source.
Numerous little scraps of evidence came out, one upon another, till the
whole diabolical plot was stripped of its mystery, and the guilt of the
_wächter_ clearly proved.  He was convicted of the crime imputed to him,
and condemned to death by the Senate.  But on receiving sentence, the
condemned man assumed a tone totally unexpected of him, for he boldly
asserted that the punishment of death had fallen into disuse; that it was
no longer the law of Hamburg; and concluded by defying the Senators to
carry the sentence pronounced into execution.

It was indeed true that the ponderous weapon of the headsman had lain for
two-and-twenty years rusting in its scabbard; nor without reason.  At
that period a criminal stood convicted and condemned to death.  The law
gave little mercy in those days, and there was no hesitation in carrying
the sentence into effect.  But an unexpected difficulty arose; the old
headsman was but lately dead, and his son, a fine stalwart young man,
was, from inexperience, considered unequal to the task.  A crowd of eager
competitors proffered their services in this emergency, but the ancient
city of Hamburg, like some other ancient cities, was hampered with
antiquated usages.  Its profits and other advantages were tied up into
little knots of monopoly, in various shapes of privileges and hereditary
rights.  The young headsman claimed his office on the latter ground; to
the surprise of all, his mother, the wife of the old headsman, not merely
supported him in his claim, but persisted, with a spirit that might have
become a Roman matron but certainly no one else, that if her son were
incapable, she herself was responsible for the performance of her
husband’s duty, and would execute it.  The Senate was in consternation,
for this assertion of hereditary right was unanswerable; and while they
courteously declined the offer of the chivalrous mother, they felt
constrained to accept the services of her son.

The fatal morning came; the scaffold stood erected; and pressing closely
around the wooden barriers, stood the anxious crowd awaiting the
execution.  The culprit knelt with head erect, his neck and shoulders
bared for the stroke, while the young headsman stood by his side armed
with the double-handed sword, the weapon of his office.  At a sign given,
he swung the tremendous blade in the air, and aimed a fearful blow at the
neck of the condemned; but his skilless hand sloped the broad blade as it
fell, and it struck deeply into the victim’s breast.  Amid a cry of
terror he raised his sword again; again it whirled through the air, and
again it failed to do its deadly work.  The miserable wretch still lived;
and a third stroke was necessary to complete the task so dreadfully
began.  Who can wonder that that fearful weapon had for years long rested
from its service?

Influenced by this terrible scene, and, let us hope, as well by motives
of humanity as by the conviction of the utter uselessness of such a
spectacle as a moral lesson, the Senate of Hamburg had commuted the
punishment of death into that of a life imprisonment.  Yet now they were
taunted with their unreadiness to shed blood, and dared to carry the law,
as it still stood upon the statute-book, into effect.  For a while it
seemed that anger would govern the acts of the Senate, for every
preparation was made for the execution.  The headsman, whose blundering
essay has been above related, was still living, but he had long filled
the humble office of a messenger, and made no claim to repeat his effort.
Among the many competitors who offered their services, a Dane was finally
selected, and the inhabitants of Hamburg, excited to the utmost degree by
the anticipation of the forthcoming spectacle, awaited the event with a
morbid and gloating curiosity.  They were, however, disappointed;
humanity prevailed, and the guilty _wächter_ was conducted to a life
prison.

The Senate of Hamburg has not formally abolished the punishment of death;
but the last _hereditary_ headsman is now growing an old man, and the
first and only stroke of his weapon was dealt thirty-two years ago.



CHAPTER IV.


WORKMEN IN HAMBURG.

Here amid the implements of labor, in the dingy _werkstube_ in Johannis
Strasse; lighted by the single flicker of an oil lamp, with the workboard
for a writing-desk, let me endeavour to collect some few scattered
details about the German workmen in Hamburg.

German workmen! do not the very words recall to your memory old
amber-coloured engravings of sturdy men, with waving locks, grasping the
arm of the printing-press, by the side of Faust, Schœffer, and
Gottenberg?  Or, perhaps, the words of Schiller’s “Song of the Bell” may
not be unknown to you, and hum in your ears:

   Frisch, gesellen, seyd zur hand!
      Von der stirne heiss,
      Rinnen muss der schweiss.

   Briskly, comrades to your work!
      From the flushing brow
      Must the sweatdrops flow.

But your modern German workman is somewhat of a different stamp; he
points his moustaches with black wax, trims his locks _à la Française_,
and wears wide pantaloons.  He tapers his waist with a leathern strap,
and wears a blouse while at his labors.  He discards old forms and
regulations as far as he can or dare, and thus the old word “Meister” has
fallen into disrepute, and the titles “Herr” and “Principal” occupy its
place.  Schiller, like a true poet, calls his workmen “gesellen,” which
is the old German word meaning companion or comrade, but modern
politeness has changed it into “gehülfe,” assistant; and “mitglied,”
member.  In some places, however, the words “knecht” and “knappe,”
servant or attendant, are still in use to signify journeyman; as
“schusterknecht,” shoemaker; “schlächterknecht,” butcher’s man;
“muhlknappe,” miller; “bergknappe,” miner; but these terms are employed
more from habit than from any invidious distinction.

Well! we live and work on the fourth floor of a narrow slip of a house in
Johannis Strasse.  Herr Sorgenpfennig, our “principal,” occupies the
suite of four rooms, and devotes a central one (to which no light can
possibly come save at second hand through the door), to his “gesellen.”
We are three; a quiet Dane, full of sage precepts, and practical
illustrations of economy; a roystering Bavarian from Nuremberg, who never
fails to grieve over the thin beer of Hamburg, and who, as member of a
choral union near Das Johanneum, delights in vigorous and unexpected
bursts of song; and myself.

Workmen in Hamburg are still in a state of villanage; beneath the roof of
the “Herr” do they find at once a workshop, a dormitory, and a home.  We
endeavour so far to conform to the rules of propriety as to escape the
imprisonment and other penalties that await the “unruly journeyman.”  The
table of Herr Sorgenpfennig is our own, and a very liberal one it is
esteemed to be.  Let me sketch you a few of its items: delicious coffee,
“white bread and brown,” or rather black, and unlimited butter, make up
our breakfast.  Dinner always commences with a soup, usually made from
meat, sometimes from herbs, lemon, sweet fruit, or other ingredients
utterly indescribable.  Meat, to be fit for a German table, must be
carefully pared of every vestige of fat; if boiled it is underdone,
unless expressly devoted to the soup, when the juiceless shreds that
remain are served up with plums or prepared vegetables; if it be baked
(roasting is almost unknown) it is dry and tasteless.  Bacon and
sausages, with their inevitable accompaniment, sourkraut, is a favourite
dish; but not so unvaryingly so as some choose to imagine.  Acids
generally are much admired in German cookery.  In nothing, perhaps, are
the Hamburgers more to be envied, in a gastronomic view, than in their
vegetables.  Singularly small as are these products of the kitchen
garden, they are sweeter and more delicately flavoured than any I ever
tasted elsewhere.  As _entremets_, and as accompaniments to meat, they
are largely consumed.  The Hamburgers laugh at the English cooks who boil
green peas and potatoes in plain water, for here boiled potatoes are
scarcely known—that nutritious vegetable being cut into slices and fried;
while green peas are slowly stewed in butter or cream, and sweetened with
fine sugar.  But we “gesellen” have plebeian appetites, and whatever dish
may be set before us, as surely vanishes to its latest shred.  The little
patches of puff-paste, smeared with preserve, sent to us as Sunday treat,
or the curious production in imitation of our English pie, and filled
with maccaroni, are immolated at once without misgiving or remorse.  If
we sup at all, it is upon pasty, German cheese, full of holes, as if it
had been made in water, or a hot liver sausage, as an extraordinary
indulgence.

And our “Licht Braten?”  Herr Sorgenpfennig rubs his short, fat hands,
and his round eyes twinkle again, as he tells his little cluster of
“Herren Gesellen” that there will be a feast, a sumptuous _abendbrod_, to
inaugurate the commencement of candle-light.  The “Licht Braten,” as this
entertainment is called, is one of the old customs of Hamburg now falling
into disuse.  It would be doing Herr Sorgenpfennig an eternal injustice
did we pass over it in silence, more especially as he boasts of it as
real “North German fare.”  Here we have it: raw herrings to begin with.
Bah! I confess this does not sound well upon the first blush; but, then,
a raw dried herring is somewhat different to one salted in a barrel.  To
cook it would be a sacrilege, say the Germans.  And then the
accompaniments!  We have two dishes of wonderful little potatoes, baked
in an oven, freshly peeled and shining; and in the centre of the table is
a bowl of melted butter and mustard well mixed together.  You dip your
potato in the butter, and while you thus soften the deep-sea saltness of
your herring, the rough flavour of the latter relishes and overcomes the
unctuous dressing of your potato.  I swear to you it is delicious!

But where is our “braten,” the “roast,” in fact?  Oh, thou unhappy Peter!
I see thee still, reeking over the glowing forge fire, cooking savoury
sausages thou art forbidden to taste!  I see thee still, struggling in
vain to “bolt” the blazing morsel, rashly plucked (in the momentary
absence of Sorgenpfennig), from the bubbling, hissing fat, and thrust
into thy jaws.  Those burning tears! those mad distortions of limb and
feature!  God pity thee, Peter, but it was not to be!  Those savoury
sausages are our “braten,” and they smack wonderfully after the herrings.
If there is one item in our repast to be deplored, it is the Hamburger
beer, which, however, is as good as it can be, I suppose, for the
money—something under an English penny a bottle.  But here is wine; good,
sound wine, not indeed from the Rhine, nor the Moselle, but red,
sparkling, French _vin ordinaire_, at a mark—fourteen-pence the bottle.

Truly, Hamburg, thou art a painstaking, industrious, money-making city,
with more available wealth among thy pitch and slime than other towns can
boast of in their trimness and finery, but spendthrift, and debauched,
and dissolute withal art thou!

   _Punch, du edler trank der Britten_!
   Punch, thou noble drink of Britons—

the outburst of some exhilarated poet—should be inscribed upon thy
double-turreted gate, good Hamburg!  The odorous steam of rum and lemon
contends in thine open streets with the fumes of tobacco; the union of
these two perfumes make up thine atmosphere; while thy public walks are
strewn with the unsmoked ends of cigars, thick as the shrivelled leaves
in autumn.

Seriously, the Hamburger toils earnestly, and takes his pleasure with a
proportionate amount of zeal.  His enjoyments, like his labours, are of a
strong and solid description.  The workmen trundle _kegle_ balls in long,
wooden-built alleys; and down in deep beer cellars, snug and warm, do
they cluster, fondling their pipes like favoured children; taking long
gulps of well-made punch, or deeper draughts of Bairisches beer.  If they
talk, they do so vehemently, but they love better to sit and listen to
some little troop of _harfenisten_—street harp-players—as they tone the
waltzes of Lanner, or sing some chivalrous romance.  Sometimes they form
themselves into bands of choristers, and sing with open windows into the
street, or play at billiards as if it were for life, or congregate in the
dance-houses, and waltz by the hour without a pause.  In all they are
hearty, somewhat boisterous, but never wanting in good temper.

As marriage is out of the question with the workman in Hamburg, whether
stranger or native—unless indeed the latter may have passed through the
probationary course of travel and conscription, and be already on the
verge of mastership—so also is honourable courtship.  His low wages and
dependent position form an impassable barrier to wedlock, and a married
journeyman is almost unknown.  By the law of his native city he must
travel for two or three years, independently of the chances of
conscription, and thus for a period at least he becomes a restless
wanderer, without tie or home.  No prudent maiden can listen to his
addresses, and thus it is that Hamburg swarms with unfortunates; and this
it is which gives them rights and immunities unknown in any other city.



CHAPTER V.


PLAYS AND PICCADILLOES.—“HAMLET” IN GERMAN.

It is Sunday again.  Soberly and sedately do we pass our morning hours.
We waken with the sweet music of bells in our ears; bells that whisper to
us of devotion; bells that thrill us with a calm delight, and raise up in
us thoughts of gentleness and charity.

There is no lack of churches; we see their tapering steeples and deep
gable roofs rising above the general level in many places, and there is a
Little Bethel down by the water’s side on the Vorsetzen, for the sailors.
There are two or three Little Pandemoniums in its immediate vicinity, or
at least by that classical title are they designated by the Bethlemites
over the way; but salt-water Jack and fresh-river Jack give them much
simpler names, and like them a great deal better, more’s the pity.  We
have heard the little jangling bells in the church pews, and they will
not ring in tune, although they tell the deeds of charity; we have
marched staidly home, and joined in Herr Sorgenpfennig’s blessing over
the midday meal;—Herr Sorgenpfennig delivers it with the presence and
intonation of an Eastern patriarch, standing among his tribe;—and the
delicacies of German cookery having fulfilled their purpose and
disappeared, with a whispered grace and a bow of humbleness, we sidle out
of the room, and leave the “Herr Meister” to his meditations and his
punch.  And so ends the service of the day.

The blond-headed Bavarian begins to hum the last _Tafelliêd_, and our
quiet Dane smiles reservedly.  “Whither, friends, shall we bend our
steps?”  No! by the eternal spirit of modesty, we will not visit the
dance-houses to-day!  Those vile shambles by the water-side, growing out
of the slime and filth of the river, and creeping like a noxious,
unwholesome weed, up the shaded hill, and by narrow ruts and gullies into
the open country.  No!  Those half-draped, yet gaping doors, have no
attractions for us; those whining notes of soulless music find no echo in
our ears or hearts.  There, in their hideous blandishments, the shameless
sit, miserable in their tawdriness, their painted cheeks peeling in the
hot sun, which they cannot shut out if they would.  Throughout the long
day the wearied minstrels pant over their greasy tubes of brass, or
scrape their grimy instruments with horny fingers, praying for the deep
night; and there, through the long day, does the echoing floor rebound
with the beating of vigorous feet; for salt-water Jack is there, and
fresh-river Jack is there, and while there is a copper _pfennig_ in their
pockets, or a flicker of morality in their hearts, doomed are they
equally; for what can escape spoliation or wreck among such a crowd?

Yet from such commodities as these does the merchant spirit of the Senate
of Hamburg draw huge profits; indeed, it is said that the whole expense
of police and city, and what is worse, yet better, the tending of the
sick, the feeding of the poor, and the succouring of the helpless and
desolate, are alike defrayed from the produce of the city’s vice; and let
us add, the Senate’s fostering care of it.

And if we wandered out beyond the walls to the right or to the left, what
do we find?  On the one hand, “Peter Hund’s;” on the other “Unkraut’s
Pavilion;” mere dance-houses, after all, though for “the better sort.”
“Peter” has a tawdry hall, smeared with the escutcheons of all nations,
where music and waltzing whirl through the dense air, hour after hour;
and what is at least of equal consequence to him, Peter holds a tavern in
the next room, where spirits, beer, or coffee are equally at the command
of the drouthy or the luxuriant.  And so also if we followed the road
which passes through Stein Thor, away across the leafy fringing of trees
and shrubs which ornament the city’s outline; and still on through the
shady avenues of youthful stems, when we come upon a great house with
deep overhanging eaves, square-topped chimneys, and altogether with a
Swiss air about it.  There are idlers hanging about the door, for this is
“Unkraut’s,” and the brisk air of musical instruments streams out of the
open portal.  Within all is motion and uproar.  A large _salle de danse_
occupies the greater part of the ground floor, the central portion of
which is appropriated to the waltzers, while a broad slip on each side,
beneath an overhanging gallery, running round the whole of the apartment,
remains for those who drink, or take a temporary repose.  Sometimes,
however, the flood of waltzers pours in upon the side-tables, amid the
clatter of chairs, the ringing of glass and china, and the laughter of
the spectators.  Gentlemen are not allowed to dance with their hats on;
(where else, in Heaven’s name, can they place them?) and must lay their
heavy pipes and cigars aside, as smoking is permitted only in the gallery
above.  The company is of the “better sort” in the _salle_ below; that is
to say, that vice, shameless and unveiled, is not allowed to flaunt
without a check; but there is taint and gangrene among all; feeble wills
and failing hearts to bear up against the intoxicating stream of music,
and giddy heads for thought or reason amid the whirl and swimming of the
dance.

“Unkraut’s” has, however, attractions apart from the ball-room.  By a
quiet stair at the end of the gallery, through muffled doors that close
upon you as you enter, and shut out like walls the hum and hubbub below,
we come upon an ill-shapen apartment, where hushed, absorbed men are
seated at desks, as at a school, each with a huge frame dotted with
numbers before him.  A strange contrast to the scene without.  There is a
heavy quiet in the place, disturbed only by an occasional cough, a
shuffling of feet, and the silvery ringing of little plates of glass.  A
monstrous game of Lotto is this.  A mere child’s play of gambling,
requiring neither tact, wit, nor reasoning; a simple lottery, in fact,
dependent for success upon the accidental marking (each player upon his
own board or table) of the first five numbers that may be drawn.  Now we
hear a strange rattling of wooden pieces, shaken in a bag, and as each
piece is drawn, a bustling man with an obstreperous voice, calls out the
number; not in full, sonorous German, but in broad, uncouth Platt
Deutsche (low German), and eager tongues respond from distant corners
claiming the prize.  A dull-headed game is this, fitted only for the most
inveterate gamblers; but it yields money to the Stadt, and that is its
recommendation.

As the day wears on, its attractions increase.  The Elb Pavilion offers a
rare treat; exquisite music, executed with vigour, delicacy, and
precision.  Moreover, its frequenters are decidedly of a respectable
class.  But we will not be moved; we have set our hearts upon witnessing
a play of Shakespeare’s, announced for this night at the Stadt Theatre,
and that no less a one than “Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.”

The Stadt Theatre in Hamburg enjoys a strange monopoly; for by the
Senate’s will it is declared that no other theatre shall exist within the
city walls.  Yet, curiously enough, a wonderful old woman, by some
unaccountable freak, has the privilege, or hereditary right, of licensing
or directing a theatrical establishment within the boundaries, and thus a
second theatre contends for the favours of the public; and in order to
define its position and state of existence, it is entitled simply Das
Zweite Theatre (The Second Theatre).  It is an especially favourite place
of amusement with the Hamburgers, although they play an incomprehensible
jumble of unconnected scenes, called “possen,” adapted solely to display
the peculiar talents of certain actors.  One odd fellow there reaps
showers of applause for no other exhibition of ability than that of
looking intensely stupid, for he seldom utters a word; but assumes an
appearance of unfathomable vacuity that is inimitable.  There are still
two theatres outside the city walls: the one, the Tivoli, devoted to
farces and vaudevilles; the other consecrated to the portrayal of the
deeply sentimental, and the fearfully tragic—with poison, dagger-blades,
convulsions and heavy-stamping ever at command.

But our play!  Here we are in the gallery of a splendid edifice, equal in
extent to our Covent Garden Theatre at home, having come to this part of
the house in anticipation of a feeble audience in preference to the
parterre or pit.  Note also, that here we pay eight _schillinge_ only,
while a place below would cost us twenty.  But the house is crammed, for
Shakespeare draws as well in Germany as in England, perhaps for the
simple reason that in no other country are his works so well translated.
We find ourselves in the midst of a dense cluster of earnest Danes, who
say the most impressive things in the quietest way in the world.  They
are strongly interested in the coming performance, for “Hamlet the Dane”
has taken deep hold upon the Danish affections; and in Elsinore, so great
is the consideration entertained for this all but fabulous prince, that
they will point you out the garden wherein his royal father suffered
murder

    —most foul, strange, and unnatural,

and the grave where the “gentle prince” himself lies buried.  The play
begins; with the deepest earnestness the audience listen, and, crowded as
they are, preserve the utmost quiet.  The glorious drama scene by scene
unfolds itself, and passage by passage we recognise the beauties of our
great poet.  Herr Carr, starring it from Vienna, is no unworthy
representative of the noble-hearted Dane, although unequal, we think, to
the finer traits, and more delicate emotions of the character.  The
dresses are admirable, sometimes gorgeous, and the groupings most
effective.  The scenery alone is unsatisfactory; indecisive and
colourless as it is, without depth or tone, it strikes you as the first
effort in perspective of a feeble-handed amateur.  As the play proceeds,
the action grows upon us, and the rapt spectators resent with anger the
least outcry or disturbance.  The first scene with the players is
omitted, but the concluding portion is a triumph; for as _Hamlet_,
arriving at the climax of his sarcasm, and bursting for a moment into
rage, flings the flute away, with the exclamation: “S’blood, do you think
I am easier to be played on than a pipe?” the whole theatre rings with
the applause.

Presently, however, we are aware of a gap, a huge hiatus in the
performance; a grave, and yet no grave, for the whole churchyard scene,
with its quaint and exquisite philosophy, the rude wit of the
gravediggers, and the pointed moralising of the prince, are all
wanting—all swept away by the ruthless hand of the critic; skulls and
bones, picks and mattocks, wit and drollery, diggers, waistcoats and all!
Not even _Yorick_, with his “gibes” and “flashes of merriment”—not even
he is spared.  On the other hand, a portion of a scene is represented
which, until lately, was always omitted on the English stage.  It is that
in which the guilty king, overcome by remorse, thus soliloquises:—

    O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven!

_Hamlet_, coming upon his murderous uncle in his prayers, exclaims:—

    Now might I do it, pat, while he is praying;
    And now I’ll do ’t—and so he goes to heaven:
    And so am I revenged?

The omission or retention of this scene might well be a matter of
dispute, for while it represents the guilty Claudius miserable and
contrite, even in the height of his success, it also portrays the
anticipated revenge of _Hamlet_ in so fearful a light, that he stands
there, not the human instrument of divine retribution, but with all the
diabolical cravings of Satan himself.  I leave this question to abler
critics, and, in the meantime, our play is finished, amid shouts of
delight and calls before the curtain.  It is but half-past nine, yet this
is a late hour for a German theatre, where they rarely perform more than
one piece, and that seldom exceeding two hours in duration.  Descending
to the street, wrapped in the recollections of the gorgeous poem whose
beauties still echo in our ears, we are vulgar enough to relish hot
sausages and Bavarian beer.

An hour later we pace our half-lighted Johannis Strasse, seeking the
portal of our house amid the gloom.  Suddenly we are startled by the
tramp of a heavy foot, and the clang and rattle of a steel weapon as it
strikes upon the ground.  A burly voice assails us: “Whither are you
going?”

Is this Bernardo, wandered from the ramparts in search of the ghost of
Hamlet’s father?

Not so: it is but one of the night-watch, armed with an enormous halbert
which might have done good service in the thirty years’ war.  The
faithful _nachtwächter_ strikes it upon the ground with the butt-end at
regular intervals, so that sinful depredators may have timely notice of
his approach.  As it has a large hook at the back it is said to be
admirably adapted for catching thieves by the leg, if its opportune
clattering does not keep them out of its reach.

We render a good account of ourselves, and are duly escorted to our home.



CHAPTER VI.


THE GERMAN WORKMAN.

That workmen in England may have some clear knowledge of the ways and
customs of a large number of their brethren on the Continent, I here
intend to put down for their use a part of my own knowledge and
experience.

The majority of trades in Germany are formed into guilds, or companies.
At the head of each guild stands an officer chosen by the government,
whatever it may be—for you may find a government of any sort in Germany,
between an emperor and a senate—this officer being always a master, and a
member of the guild.  His title differs in almost every German state, but
he is generally called Trade-master, or Deputy.  Associated with him are
two or three of the oldest employers; or, in some cases, workmen in the
trade, under the titles of Eldermen, or Masters’ Representatives.  These
three or four men govern the guild, and have under them, for the proper
transaction of business, a secretary and a messenger.  Such officers,
however, do not represent their trade in the whole state or kingdom, but
are chosen, in every large town, to conduct the multifarious business
that may require attention within its limits.

Although all these guilds are, in their original constitution, formed on
the same model, they differ materially in their internal arrangements.
Much depends upon the ruling government of the state in which they are
situated; for, while in despotic Prussia, what is there called Freedom of
Trade is declared for all, in the “free” town of Hamburg everything is
bound and locked up in small monopolies.

In some parts of Germany there are “close trades,” which means to say
that the number of masters in each is definitely fixed.  This is so in
Hamburg.  For instance, among the goldsmiths, the number of new masters
annually to be elected is three, being about sufficient to fill up the
deficiencies occurring from death and other causes.  I have heard of as
many as five being elected in one year, and I have also heard it asserted
that this was to be accounted for on the supposition that the aldermen
had been “smeared in the hand,” that is to say, bribed.

There are other trades locked up in a different way.  There exist several
of this kind in Nuremberg and thereabouts; as, the awl and punch-makers,
lead-pencil makers, hand-bell makers, gold and silver wire-drawers, and
others.  They occupy a particular town or district, and they say, “Here
we are.  We possess these trades, and we mean to keep them to ourselves.
We will teach no strangers our craft; we will confine it among our
relatives and townsmen; and in order to prevent the knowledge of it from
spreading any farther, we will allow our workmen to travel only within
the limits of our town or land;” and so they keep their secrets close.

In other trades, the workmen are allowed to engage themselves only to a
privileged employer.  That is to say, they dare not execute a private
order, but can receive employment from a master of the craft only.  In
Prussia, and some few other lands, each workman can work on his own
account, and can offer his goods for sale in the public market
unhindered, so long as they are the production of his own hands alone;
but should he employ a journeyman, then he pays a tax to Government of
about ten shillings annually, the tax increasing in proportion to the
number of men he may employ.

There are also “endowed” and “unendowed” trades.  An endowed guild is one
the members of which pay a certain small sum monthly while in work, and
thus form a fund for the relief of the sick and the assistance of the
travelling members of the trade.  There are few trades of the unendowed
kind, for the workmen of such trades have to depend upon the generosity
of their companions in the craft in the hour of need; and it is generally
found more economical to pay a regular sum than to be called on at
uncertain intervals for a donation; moreover, the respectability of the
craft is better maintained.

While we talk of respectability, we may add that it was formerly the
especial care of the heads of each guild, to see that no disreputable
persons became members of the trade; and illegitimate children, and even
the lawful offspring of shepherds, bailiffs, and town servants were
carefully excluded.  This practice exists no longer, except in some few
insignificant places; but the law is still very general which says that
no workman can become a master who has not fulfilled every regulation
imposed by his guild; that is to say, he must have been apprenticed at
the proper age to a properly-constituted master; must have regularly
completed his period of apprenticeship, and have passed the appointed
time in travel.  The worst part of all these regulations is, that, as
they vary in almost every state, the unfortunate wanderer has to conform
to a new set of laws in every new land he enters.

One other regulation is almost universal.  Each guild must have a place
of meeting; not a sumptuous hall, but mere accommodation in a
public-house.  It is called the “Herberge,” and answers, in many
respects, to our “House of Call.”  This is the weary traveller’s place of
rest—he can claim a shelter here; indeed, in most cases, he dares sleep
nowhere else.  Here also the guild holds its quarterly meetings.  By way
of illustration, let us take the Goldsmith’s Herberge in Hamburg; the
“Stadt Bremen” is the sign of the house.  In it, the goldsmiths use a
large, rectangular apartment, furnished with a few rough tables and
chairs, and a wooden bench running round its four walls.  On the tables
are arranged long clay pipes, and in the centre of each table is a small
dish of what the uninitiated might take to be dried tea leaves.  This is
uncut tobacco, which the host, the father of the House of Call, is bound
to provide.  The secretary and messenger of the guild of goldsmiths are
there, together with one or two of the “Altgesellen” (elder journeymen),
who perform the active part of the duties of the guild.  The minutes of
the last meeting, and the incidents of the quarter—possibly, also, an
abstract of the rules—having been read, and new officers, to supersede
those who retire, having been balloted for, the business of the evening
closes.  Then commences a confusion of tongues; for here are congregated
Russians, Hungarians, Danes, Hamburgers, Prussians, Austrians; possibly
there may be found here a member of every state in the German Union.
None are silent, and the dialect of each is distinct.  Assiduously, in
the pauses of his private conversation, every man smokes his long pipe,
and drinks his beer or punch.  Presently two female harp-players
enter—sources of refreshment quite as popular in Hamburg as the punch.
They strike up an infatuating waltz.  The effect is wonderful.  Two or
three couples (men waltzing with men, of course) are immediately on their
feet, scrambling, kicking, and scraping round the room; hugging each
other in the most awkward manner.  Chairs and tables are huddled into
corners; for the mania has seized upon two-thirds of the company.  The
rest cannot forsake their beer, but congregate in the corners, and yell,
and scream toasts and “Lebe-hoch!” till they are hoarse.

Two girls enter, with trifling articles of male attire for sale; stocks,
pomatum, brushes, and beard-wax; but the said damsels are immediately
pounced upon for partners.  In the intervals of the music a grand
tournament takes place; the weapons being clay-pipes, which are speedily
shattered into a thousand pieces, and strewn about the room to facilitate
dancing.  Such a scene of shuffling, whirling, shouting, and
pipe-crunching could scarcely be seen elsewhere.

We will take a German youth destined to become an artisan, and endeavour
to follow him through the complication of conflicting usages of which he
stands the ordeal.  Hans is fourteen years of age, and has just left
school with a decent education.  Hans has his trade and master chosen for
him; is taken before the heads of the guild, and his indenture duly
signed and sealed in their presence, they themselves witnessing the
document.  His term of apprenticeship is probably four years, perhaps
six; a premium is seldom given, and when it is, it shortens the period of
apprenticeship.  The indenture, together with a certificate of baptism,
in some cases that of confirmation (which ceremony serves as an important
epoch in Germany), and even a documentary proof of vaccination, are
deposited in the coffers of the guild, and kept at the Herberge for
future reference.

Obedience to elders and superiors is the one great duty inculcated in the
minds of all Germans, and Hans is taught to look upon his master as a
second father; to consider short commons as a regulation for his especial
good, and to bear cuffing—if he should fall in the way of it—patiently.
If he be an apprentice in Vienna, he may possibly breakfast upon a hunch
of brown bread, and an unlimited supply of water; dine upon a thin soup
and a block of tasteless, fresh-boiled beef; and sup upon a cold crust.
He may fare better or worse; but, as a general rule, he will sleep in a
vile hole, will look upon coffee and butter as undeniable luxuries, and
know the weight of his master’s hand.

Hans has one great source of pleasure.  There is a state school, which he
attends on Sundays, and where he is instructed in drawing and modelling.
In his future travels he will find the advantage he has acquired over
less educated mechanics in this necessary knowledge; and should he come
to England, he will discover that his skill as a draughtsman will place
him at once in a position superior to that of the chance-taught workmen
about him.  He completes his apprenticeship without attempting to run
away.  That is practically impossible; but he yearns, with all the ardour
of a young heart, for the happy day when he may tramp out of his native
town with his knapsack on his back, and the wide world before him.

We will suppose Hans out of his time, and declared a free journeyman by
the guild.  The law of his country now has it that he must
travel—generally for three years, perhaps four or six—before he can take
up the position of a master.  He may work for a short period in his
native town as a journeyman, but forth he must; nor is he in any way
loth.  One only contingency there is, which may serve to arrest him in
his course,—he may be drawn as a conscript—and, possibly, forget in the
next two or three years, as a soldier, all he has previously learned in
four as a mechanic.  But we suppose Hans to have escaped this peril, and
to be on the eve of his departure.

When an English gentleman, or mechanic, or beggar, in these isles, has
resolved upon making a journey, he has but to pack up his traps, whether
it be in his portmanteau, his deal-box, or his pocket-handkerchief; to
purchase his ticket at the railway or steam-packet station; and without
asking or consulting with anybody about the matter, to take his seat in
the vehicle, and off he goes.  Not so Hans.  He gives his master fourteen
days’ notice of his intention to wander; applies to the aldermen of his
guild for copies of the various documents concerning himself in their
possession; and obtains from his employer a written attestation of his
past services.  This document is called a “Kundschaft;” is written in set
form, acknowledges his probity and industry, and is countersigned by the
two aldermen.  He is now in a condition to wait upon the
“Herberges-Vater” (the landlord of the House of Call), and request his
signature also.  The Vater, seeing that Hans owes nothing to him or to
any other townsman—and all creditors know that they have only to report
their claims at the Herberge to obtain for them a strict attention—signs
his paper, “all quit.”  Surely he may start forth now!  Not so; the most
important document is still wanting.  He has, as yet, no passport or
wander-book.

Hans goes to the police-bureau, and, as he is poor, has to wait a long
while.  If Hans were rich, or an artist, or a master’s son, it is highly
probable that ho would be able to obtain a passport—and the possession of
a passport guarantees many advantages—but as Hans is simply a workman, a
“wander-book” only is granted to him.  This does indeed cost him less
money, but it thrusts him into an unwelcome position, from which it is
not easy to escape.  He is placed under stricter rule, and, among other
things, is forced, during his wandering, to sleep at his trade Herberge,
which, from the very monopoly it thus enjoys, is about the worst place he
could go to for a lodging.

The good magistrate of Perleberg—the frontier town of Prussia, as you
enter from Mecklenburg—had the kindness to affix to my passport a
document entitled, “Ordinance concerning the Wandering of Working-men.”
I will briefly translate its contents.  The “Verordnung” commences with a
preamble, to the effect that, notwithstanding the various things that
have been done and undone with respect to the aforesaid journeymen, it
still happens that numbers of them wander purposeless about the land, to
the great burden of their particular trades and the public in general,
and to the imminent danger of the common safety.  Therefore, be it
enacted, that “passports,” that is to say, “passes,” in which the
distinct purpose of the journey is stated, such as a search for
employment; or “wander-books,” in which occupation by manual labour is
the especial object, are to be granted to those natives of Prussia only
who pursue a trade or art for the perfection of which travelling may be
considered useful or necessary.  To those only who are irreproachable in
character, and perfectly healthy in body; this latter to be attested by a
medical certificate.  To those only who have not passed their thirtieth
year, nor have travelled for the five previous years without
intermission.  To those only who possess a proper amount of clothing,
including linen, as well as a sum of money not less than five dollars
(about sixteen shillings) for travelling expenses.  So much for natives.
Foreigners must possess all the above-named requisites; must be provided
with proper credentials from their home authorities, and may not have
been more than four weeks without employment on their arrival at the
frontier.  Again, every wanderer must distinctly state in what particular
town or city he intends to seek employment, and by what route he purposes
to get there; and any deviation from the chosen road (which will be
marked in the wander-book) will be visited by the punishment of expulsion
from the country.  A fixed number of days will be allotted to the
wanderer in which to reach his destination, but should he overstep that
period, a similar punishment awaits him; expulsion from the country
always meaning that the offender shall retrace his steps, and quit the
land by the way he had entered it.  This is the substance of the
“ordinance.”

Hans is ready for the road.  He has only now to take his farewell.  A
farewell among workmen is simply a drinking-bout, a parting glass taken
overnight.  Hans has many friends; these appoint a place of assemblage,
and invite him thither.  It is a point of honour among them that the
“wandering boy” shall pay nothing.  Imagine a large, half-lighted room; a
crowded board of bearded faces.  On the table steams a huge bowl of
punch, which the chosen head of the party, perhaps Johann’s late master,
ladles into the tiny glasses.  He proclaims the toast, “The Health of the
Wanderer!”  The little crowd are on their feet, and amid a pretty
tinkling of glasses, an irregular shout arises, a small hurricane of
voices, wishing him good speed.

What songs are sung, what healths are drunk, what heartfelt wishes are
expressed!  The German workmen are good friends to one another—men who
are already away from friends and home, and whose tenderest recollections
are awakened in the farewell expressed to a departing companion.  Many
tears are shed, many hearty presses of the hand are given, and not a few
kisses impressed upon the cheek.  Little tokens of affection are
interchanged, and promises to write are made, but seldom kept.  With this
mingling and outpouring of full hearts, the stream of punch still flows
through tiny glasses: but, since “Many a little makes a mickle,” the
farewell thus taken ends sometimes as a debauch.

Hans, in the morning, is perhaps a little the worse for last night’s
punch.  He is attired in a clean white blouse, strapped round the waist;
a neat travelling-cap; low, stout shoes; and, possibly, linen wrappers,
instead of socks.  The knapsack, strapped to his back, contains a
sufficient change of linen, a coat artistically packed, which is to be
worn in cities, and a few necessary tools; the whole stock weighing,
perhaps, twenty or thirty pounds.  On the sides of the knapsack are
little pouches, containing brushes, blacking, and soap; and in his
breast-pocket is stowed away a little flask of brandy-schnaps, to revive
his drooping spirits on the road.  A stout stick completes his equipment.
A last adieu from the one friend of his heart, who will walk a few miles
with him on the way—and so he is launched fairly on his journey.

Hans finds the road much harder, and his knapsack heavier than he had
expected.  Now he is drenched with rain, and can get no shelter; and,
when he does, he will find straw an inconvenient substitute for a bed.
At last he arrives at Berlin.  He has picked up a companion on the road;
and, as it frequently happens that several trades hold their meetings in
the same house, they both are bound to the same Herberge.  Through
strange, half-lighted streets, along narrow edges of pavement, they
proceed till they enter a court, or wynd, with no footpath at all, and
they are in the Schuster Gasse, before the door of the Herberge.  The
comrade of Hans announces them as they pass the bar, and the next moment
they are in the travellers’ room, amid as motley a group as ever met
within four walls.

Tumult and hubbub.  An indescribable odour of tobacco, cummin (carraway),
and potato-salad.  A variety of hustled blouses.  Sunburnt and haggard
faces.  Ragged beards and unkempt locks.  A strong pipe hanging from
every lip; beer, or kümmil (a spirit prepared with cummin) at every hand.
Wild snatches of song, and hurried bursts of dialogue.  Some are all
violence and uproar; some are half dead with sleep and fatigue, their
arms sprawling about the tables.  Such is the inside of a German trade
traveller’s room.

Hans and his companion hand over their papers to the “father” as a
security, and their knapsacks to a sluttish-looking girl, who deposits
them in a cupboard in the corner of the room, and locks the door upon
them.  Our travellers order a measure of Berliner Weiss Bier, to be in
keeping with the rest, and long for the hour of sleep.  At length, a
stout young man enters, carrying a lighted lantern, and in a loud voice
of authority summonses all to bed.  And there is a scrambling and
hustling among some of the travellers, a hasty guzzling of beer and
spirits, and a few low murmurs at being disturbed, but none dare disobey.

A shambling troop of sixteen or eighteen, they quit the room, and enter a
small paved yard, preceded by the young man with the lantern.  There is a
rough building resembling a stable, at the other end of the yard; and, in
one corner, a steep ladder, with a handrail, which leads to a chamber
above.  They ascend, and enter a long, low loft, so completely crowded
with rough bedsteads that there remains but a narrow alley between them,
just sufficient to allow a single person to pass.  Eight double beds, and
the ceiling so low that the companion of Hans can scarcely stand upright
with his hat on.

“New-comers this way,” shouts the conductor.

“What’s the matter, now?” inquires Hans of his comrade.

“Take off your coat,” is the answer in a whisper; “undo the wristbands,
and throw open the collar of your shirt.”

“What for?”

“To be examined.”

So they are examined; and, being pronounced sound, are allowed to sleep
with the rest of the flock.  In this loft, each bed with at least two
occupants, and the door locked—without consideration for fire, accident,
or sudden indisposition,—Hans passes the first night in Berlin.

But there is no work in Berlin, and Hans must pursue his journey.  He
waits for hours at the police-office, as play-goers wait at the door of a
London theatre.  By and by, he gets into the small bureau with a
desperate rush.  That business is settled, and he is off again.  Time
runs on; and, after a further tramp of good two hundred miles, Hans gets
settled at last in the free city of Hamburg.

With the exception of a few factories, such as the silk-works at
Chemnitz, in Saxony, and the colony of goldsmiths at Pfortzheim, in
Wurtemburg, there are few extensive manufactories in Germany.  Trade is
split up into little masterships of from one to five or six men.  This
circumstance materially affects the relation between the employer and
employed.

The master under whom Hans serves at Hamburg is a pleasant, affable
gentleman; his apprentice Peter may be of a different opinion, but that
is of no consequence.  The master has spent the best years of his life in
England and France; has learned to speak the languages of both countries
with perfect facility, and is one of the lucky monopolists of his trade.
He employs three workmen; one of them, who is possessed of that peculiar
cast of countenance generally attributed to the children of Israel, has
been demurred to by the Guild,—and why?  Because a Jew is legally
incapable of working in Hamburg.  He is, however, allowed the usual
privileges on attesting that he is not an Israelite.

Our master accommodates under his own roof one workman and his apprentice
Peter.  The others, whom he cannot lodge, are allowed each one mark-banco
(fourteen pence) per week, to enable them to find a bed-chamber
elsewhere.  They suffer a pecuniary loss by the arrangement.  Hans sleeps
in a narrow box, built on the landing, into which no ray of heaven’s
light had ever penetrated.  His bedding is a very simple affair.  He is
troubled with neither blankets nor sheets.  An “under” and an “over” bed,
the latter rather lighter than the former, and both supposed to be of
feathers, form his bed and bedding.  Hans is as well off as others, so he
does not complain.  As for the apprentice, Peter, it was known that he
disappeared at a certain hour every evening; and from his appearance when
he turned out in the morning, Hans was under the impression that he
wildly shot himself into some deep and narrow hole, and slept the night
through on his head.

And how does Hans fare under his master’s roof?  Considering the
reminiscences of his apprenticeship, he relishes his cup of coffee in the
morning; his tiny round roll of white bread; the heavy black rye-loaf,
into which he is allowed to hew his way unchecked; and the beautiful
Holstein butter.  Not being accustomed to better food, it is possible
that he enjoys the tasteless, fresh boiled beef, and the sodden baked
meat, with no atom of fat, which form the staple food at dinner.  Whether
he can comprehend the soups which are sometimes placed before him,—now
made of shredded lemons, now of strained apples, and occasionally of
plain water, with a sprinkling of rice, is another matter; but the
sourkraut and bacon, the boiled beef and raisins, and the baked veal and
prunes, are certain to be looked upon by him as unusual luxuries.

The master presides at the table, and blesses the meat with the air of a
father of his people.  Although workmen in Germany are little better than
old apprentices, this daily and familiar intercourse has the effect of
breaking down the formal barriers which in England effectually divide the
capitalist and the labourer.  It creates a respectful familiarity, which
raises the workman without lowering the master.  The manners of both are
thereby decidedly improved.

Hans gradually learns other trade customs.  His comrade falls sick, and
is taken to the free hospital, a little way out of the city.  This
hospital is clean and well kept, but fearfully crowded.  The elder
journeymen of the Guild are there too, and they comfort the sick man, and
hand him the weekly stipend, half-a-crown, allowed out of the sick-fund.
Hans contributes to this sick-fund two marks—two shillings and
fourpence—a quarter.  He does it willingly, but the master has power to
deduct it from his wages in the name of the Guild.  His poor sick friend
dies; away from home and friends—a desolate being among strangers.  But
he is not, therefore, to be neglected.  Every workman in the trade is
called upon to contribute his share—about sevenpence—towards the expenses
of the funeral; and the two senior, assisted by four other journeymen, in
full evening dress, attend his funeral.  His effects are then carefully
packed up, and sent—a melancholy memorial of the dead—to his relations.

From the same fund which relieves the sick, are the “wandering boys” also
assisted.  But the “Geschenk” (gift), as it is called, is a mere trifle;
sometimes but a few pence, and in a large city like Berlin it amounts to
but twenty silver groschen—little more than two shillings.  It is not
considered disgraceful to accept this donation; as all, when in work,
contribute towards the fund from which it is supplied.

And what is the amount of wages that German workmen receive?  In Hamburg
wages vary from five to eight marks per week, that is, from seven
shillings to ten and sixpence, paid monthly.  In Leipsic they are paid
fortnightly, and average about ten shillings per week.  In Berlin wages
are paid by the calendar month, and average twenty-four dollars (a dollar
is rather more than three shillings), for that period; so that a workman
may be said to earn about eighteen shillings a week, but is dependent on
his own resources for food and lodging.  In Vienna the same regulation
exists, and wages range from five to eight guldens—ten to sixteen
shillings per week—paid weekly, as in England.  But a workman in Vienna
may be respectably lodged, lighted, and washed for at the rate of
half-a-crown a week.  In Berlin and Vienna married journeymen are to be
met with, but not in great numbers, and in smaller towns they may almost
be said to be unknown.  Dr. Korth, in his address to his young friends,
the “travelling boys,” on this subject, emphatically says—“Avoid, in
God’s name, all attachments to womankind, more especially to those of
whom your hearts would say, ‘These could I love.’”  And then the quaint
old gentleman proceeds to say a number of ungallant things, which are not
worth translating.

No! the German workman is taught to hold himself free, that he may carry
out the law of his land to the letter; that he may return from his
travels at the appointed time “a wiser and a better man;” that he may
show proofs of his acquired skill in his trade, and thereupon claim the
master’s right and position.  He is then free to marry, and is looked
upon as an “eligible party.”  But how seldom does all this come to pass,
may the thousands who swarm in London and Paris; may the German colonies
which dot the American States, sufficiently tell.  Many linger in large
cities till they feel that to return to the little native village, and
its old, poor, plodding ways, would be little better than burial alive;
and some return, wasted with foreign vice and purchased adversity,
premature old men, to die upon the threshold of their early homes.

One more question—what are their amusements?  It would be a long story to
tell, but certainly home-reading is not a prominent enjoyment among them.
German governments, as a rule, take care that the people’s amusements
shall not be interfered with.  The workmen throng in dance-houses,
beer-cellars, cafés, and theatres, which are all liveliest and most
attractive on a Sunday; and, as they are tolerably cheap, they are
generally a successful lure from deep thinking or study.  Besides, the
German workman has no home.  If he stay there at all in holiday hours, it
is to draw, or model, or sing romances to the strumming of his guitar.



CHAPTER VII.


HAMBURG TO LÜBECK.

The bleak, icy winter of North Germany is past.  We have trodden its
accumulated snows as they lay in crisp heaps in the streets of Hamburg;
and have watched the muffled crowd upon the frozen Alster, darting and
reeling, skating, sliding, and sleighing upon its opaque and motionless
surface.  We have alternately loved and execrated the massive German
oven, which warmed us indeed, but never showed us a cheerful face.  We
have sipped our coffee or our punch in the beautiful winter garden of
Tivoli, under the shade of lemon-trees, with fragrant flowers and shrubs
around us; and finally, have looked upon the ice-bound Elbe with its
black vessels, slippery masts, and rigid cordage, and seen the Hanoverian
milk lasses skimming its dun expanse laden with their precious burdens.
We have got over the slop and drizzle, and half-thawed slush, too; and
the boisterous March wind dashes among the houses; and what is better
than all, the fresh mornings are growing brighter and longer with every
returning sun.

Away, then, out of the old city, alone on the flat, sandy road that lies
between Hamburg and Berlin.  Here we are, with hope before us, resolution
spurring us on, and a twenty-eight pound knapsack on our backs.  Tighten
the straps, my friend, and you will walk easier with your load.

My journey as a workman on the tramp from Hamburg to Berlin I propose to
tell, as simply as I can.  I have no great adventures to describe, but I
desire to illustrate some part of what has already been said about the
workmen in Germany, and I can do this best by relating, just as it was, a
small part of my own road experience, neither more nor less wonderful
than the experience which is every day common to thousands of Germans.

I was very poor when I set out from Hamburg in the month of March, with
my knapsack strapped to my back, my stick in my hand, and my bottle of
strong comfort slung about my neck after the manner of a locket.  I was
not poor in my own conceit, for I had in my fob—the safest pocket for so
large a sum of money—two gold ducats and some Prussian dollars: English
money, thirty-five shillings.  I thought I was a proper fellow with that
quantity of ready cash upon my person, and a six weeks’ beard on my chin.

Many adieus had been spoken in Hamburg at our last night’s revel, but a
Danish friend was up betimes to see me out of town.  At length he also
bade the wanderer farewell, and for the comfort of us both my locket
having passed from hand to hand, he left me to tramp on alone, over the
dull, flat, sandy road.  There was scarcely a tree to be seen, and the
sky looked like a heavy sheet of lead, but I stepped out boldly and made
steady progress.  The road got to be worse; I came among deep ruts and
treacherous sloughs, and the fields on each side of the road were
flooded.  In some parts the road was a sand swamp, and the walk became
converted into a gymnastic exercise; a leaping about towards what seemed
the hard and knobby places that appeared among the mud.  This exercise
soon made me conscious of the knapsack, to which I was then not
thoroughly accustomed.  It was not so much the weight that I felt, but
the tightness of the belt across the chest, which caused pain and
impediment of breathing.  Custom, however, caused the knapsack to become
even an aid to me in walking.

A sturdy young fellow who did not object to mud was pushing his way
recklessly behind me.  I was soon overtaken, we exchanged kind greetings,
and jogged on together, shoulder to shoulder.  He had been upon his
travels; had been in Denmark for two years, and had left Copenhagen to
return to his native village, that lay then only eight or ten miles
before us.  What was his reason for returning?  He was required to
perform military service, and for the next two years at least—or for a
longer time, should war break out—was doomed to be a soldier.  He did not
think the doom particularly hard, and we jogged on together in a cheerful
mood until his knowledge of the ground became distressingly familiar, and
he illustrated portions of the scenery with tales of robbery and murder.
The scenery of the road became at every turn more picturesque.  Instead
of passing between swampy fields, it ran along a hollow, and the ground
was on each side broken into deep holes with rugged edges; black leafless
bushes stood out from the grey and yellow sand, while farther away in the
background, against the leaden sky, there was a sombre fringe of thickly
planted fir-trees.  The daylight, dim at noon, had become dimmer as
evening drew near; the grey sky darkened, and the tales of robbery and
murder made my thoughts anything but cheerful.  As the hills grew higher
on each side of us, it occurred to us both that here was a fine place for
a murder, and I let my companion go before, handling my stick at the same
time as one ready to strike instantly if any injury were offered.  I was
just demonstrative enough to frighten my companion.  We were a mere
couple of rabbits.  Each of us in his innocence feared that the other
might be a guilty monster, and so we were both glad enough to get out of
the narrow pass.  On the other side of the glen the road widened, and my
companion paused at the head of a little path that led down to a deeper
corner of the hollow, and across the fields.  That was his way home.  He
had but a mile to go, and was already anticipating all the kisses of his
household.  He wished me a prosperous journey; I wished him a happy
welcome in his village; and we shook hands like two young men who owed
amends to one another.

He had told me before we parted that there were two houses of
entertainment not far in advance.  Already I saw the red-tiled roof of
one, that looked like a respectable farm-house.  From the door of that
house, however, I was turned away; and as the darkness of the evening was
changing into night, I ran as fast as I was able to the next place of
shelter.  By the pump, the horse-trough, and the dirty pool I knew that
there was entertainment there for man and horse.  I therefore raised the
wooden latch, and in a modest tone made my request for a bed.  A vixenish
landlady from the midst of a group of screaming children cried to me,
“You can’t have a bed, you can have straw.”  That would do quite as well,
I said.

I sat down at a table in a corner of the large room, called for a glass
of beer, produced some bread and sausage that I had brought with me from
Hamburg, and made a comfortable supper.  There was a large wood fire
blazing on the ample hearth, but the landlord and his family engrossed
its whole vicinity.  The house contained no other sitting-room and no
other sleeping accommodation than the one family bedroom and the barn.

While I was at supper there came in other wandering boys like myself.  I
had escaped the rain, but they had not; they came in dripping: a stout
man, and a tall, lank stripling.  The youth wore a white blouse and hat
covered with oil-skin; his trousers were tucked halfway up his legs, and
he had mud up to his ankles.  We soon exchanged our scraps of information
about one another.  The stout man was a baker from Lübeck on the way to
Hamburg; the stripling, probably not yet out of his teens, was part
brazier, part coppersmith, part tinman; had been three weeks on his
travels, and had come, like myself, from Hamburg since morning.  He was
very poor.  He did not tell us that; but he ordered nothing to eat or
drink, and except the draught of comfort that he got out of my bottle,
the poor fellow went supperless to bed.  Not altogether supperless
though, for he had some smoke.  We made a snug little party in the
corner, and talked, smoked, and comforted ourselves, after the children
had been put to bed, and while the landlord, landlady, and an old
grandfather told stories to each other in Low German by the fire.  At
nine o’clock the landlord lighted his lantern, and told us bluffly that
we might go to bed.  We therefore, having handed him our papers—passports
and wander-books—for his security and for our own, followed into the
barn.  That was a place large enough to hold straw for a regiment of
soldiers.  It was a continuation of the dwelling-house, sheltered under
the same roof.  We mounted three rude ladders, and so got from floor to
floor into the loft.  Having guided us safely thither, he quitted us at
once with a “good night;” taking his lantern with him, and leaving us to
make our beds in the thick darkness as we could.  The straw was not
straw: it was short-cut hay, old enough to have lost all scent of hay,
and to have acquired some other scents less pleasing to the nose; hay,
trodden, pressed, and matted down, without a vestige in it of its ancient
elasticity.  There was nothing in it to remind us of a summer tumble on
the hay-cock.  The barn roof was open, and the March night wind whistled
over us.  I took off my boots to ease my swollen feet; took my coat off
that I might spread it over my chest as a counterpane; and struggled in
vain to work a hole for my feet into the hard knotted bank of hay.  So I
spent the night, just so much not asleep that I was always conscious,
dimly, of the snoring of the baker, and awoke sometimes to wonder what
the landlord’s cock had supped upon, for it was continually crowing in
its sleep, on the barn-floor below.  When morning broke we rose and had a
brisk wash at the pump, scraped the mud from our boots, and breakfasted.
The baker and I had plain dry bread and hot coffee.  The tinman
breakfasted on milk.  He said it was better—poor fellow! he knew it was
cheaper.  By seven o’clock we were all afoot again, the baker journeying
to Hamburg, the tinman and I road-companions to Lübeck.

At noon, after a five hours’ walk, a pleasant roadside inn with a deep
gable roof and snug curtains behind its lattice windows, tempted me to
rest and dine.  “We shall get a good dinner here,” I said; “let us go
in.”  The tinman would hear of no such thing.  “We must get on to
Lübeck,” he replied.  “Two more hours of steady walking and we shall be
there.”  Poor youth!  At Lübeck he could demand a dinner at his herberge,
and he had no chance of any other.  So we trudged on till the tall
turrets and steeples of Lübeck rose on the horizon.  The tinman desired
to know what my intentions were.  Was I going straight on to Berlin
without working?  Should I seek work at Lübeck?  If not, of course I
would take the _viaticum_.  “I thought not,” I told him.  “Ah, then,” he
said, “you have some money.”  The viaticum is the tramp-money that may be
claimed from his guild by the travelling workman.  Germans, like other
people, like to take pills gilded, and so they cloak the awkward incident
of poverty under a Latin name.

Lübeck being in sight we sat down upon a grassy bank to make our toilet.
A tramp’s knapsack always has little pouches at the side for soap,
brushes, and blacking.  We were not so near to the tall steeples as we
thought, and it took us a good hour and a half before we reached the city
gates.  The approaches are through pretty avenues of young trees and
ornamental flower-plots.  The town entrance at which we arrived was
simply a double iron gate, like a park gate in England.  As we were about
to pass in, the sentinel beckoned and pointed us towards a little
whitened watchbox, at which we stopped to hand our papers through a
pigeon-hole.  In a few minutes the police officer came out, handed to me
my passport with great politeness, and in a sharp voice bade the tinman
follow him.  Such is the difference between a passport and a wander-book.
I, owner of a passport, might go whither I would: tinman, carrying a
wander-book, was marched off by the police to his appointed house of
call.  I took full advantage of my liberty, and, as became a weary young
man with two gold ducats in his fob, went to recruit my strength with the
best dinner I could get.  Having taken off my knapsack and my blouse, I
soon, therefore, was indulging in a lounge upon the sofa of one of the
best hotels in the sleepy and old-fashioned free city of Lübeck.



CHAPTER VIII.


LÜBECK TO BERLIN.

By right of churches full of relics, antique buildings, and places
curiously named, Lübeck is, no doubt, a jewel of a town to antiquarians.
Its streets are badly paved, but infinitely cleaner than the streets of
Hamburg.  I did not much wonder at that, for I saw no people out of doors
to make them dirty, when I exposed myself to notice from within doors as
a solitary pedestrian, upon my way to take a letter to a goldsmith in the
market place.  The market place is a kind of exchange; a square building
with an open court in the centre, around which there is a covered way
roofed quaintly with carved timbers.  In this building the mechanical
trades of Lübeck are collected, each trade occupying a space exclusively
its own under the colonnade.  Here, all the tradesmen are compelled to
work, but are not permitted to reside.  Each master has his tiny
shop-front with a trifling show of goods exposed in it, and his small
workshop behind, in which, at most, two or three men can be employed.  In
some odd little nooks the doors of these boxes are so arranged, that two
masters cannot go out of adjoining premises at the same time without
collision.

Though my friend in Lübeck was a stranger, as a brother jeweller he gave
me friendly welcome.  Having inquired into my resources, he said, “You
must take the _viaticum_.”—“It is like begging,” I answered.—“Nonsense,”
he replied; “you pay for it when you are in work, and have a right to it
when travelling.”—“But I might find employment, on inquiry.”—“Do not be
alarmed, my friend; there is not a job to be done in the whole city.”  I
was forced, therefore, by my friend’s good-natured earnestness, to make
the usual demand throughout the little group of goldsmiths, and having
thus satisfied the form, I was conducted to our Guild alderman and
treasurer.  A little quiet conversation passed between them, and the
cash-box was then emptied out into my hand; it contained twenty-eight
Hamburg shillings, equal to two shillings in English money.

I returned to my hotel and slept in a good bed that night.  The morning
broke heavily, and promised a day’s rain.  Through the lowering weather
and the dismal streets I went to the police office to get my passport
_viséd_ for Schwerin in Mecklenburg.  Most dismal streets!  The Lübeckers
were complaining of loss of trade, and yearned for a railway from Lübeck
to Hamburg.  But the line would run through a corner of Holstein, and no
such thing would be tolerated by the Duke.  The Lübeckers wanted the
Russian traffic to come through their town and on to Hamburg by rail.
The Duke of Holstein wished to bring it through his little port of Kiel
upon the Baltic.

Too poor to loiter on the road, having got my passport _viséd_, I again
strapped the knapsack to my back, and set out through the long avenues of
trees over the long, wet road, through bitter wind and driving rain.
Soaked with rain, and shivering with cold, I entered the village of
Schöneberg at two o’clock, just after the rain had ceased, as deplorable
a figure as a man commonly presents when all the vigour has been washed
out of his face, and his clothes hang limp and damp about his body.
Wearied to death, I halted at the door of an inn, but was told
inhospitably—miserable tramp as I seemed, and was—that “I could go to the
next house.”  At the next house they again refused me, already humbled,
and advised me to go to The Tall Grenadier.  That is a house of call for
masons.  I went to it, and was received there hospitably.  My knapsack
being waterproof, I could put on dry clothes, and hang my wet garments
round the stove, while the uproarious masons—terrible men for beer and
music—comforted me with unending joviality.  They got into their hands a
book of German songs that dropped out of my knapsack, and having
appointed a reader, set him upon the table to declaim them.  Presently,
another jolly mason cried out over a drinking song—declaimed among the
others in a loud monotonous bawl—“I know that song;” and having hemmed
and tuned his voice a little, broke out into music with tremendous power.
The example warmed the others; they began to look out songs with
choruses, and so continued singing to the praise of wine and beauty out
of my book, until they were warned home by the host.  I climbed a ladder
to my bedroom, and slept well.  The Grenadier was not an expensive hotel,
for in the morning when I paid my bill for bed and breakfast, I found
that the accommodation cost me fourpence-halfpenny.

Since it is my desire not to fatigue the reader of this uneventful
narrative, but simply to illustrate by a few notes drawn from my own
experience the life of a German workman on the tramp, I shall now pass
over a portion of the road between Hamburg and Berlin in silence.  My way
lay through Schwerin; from Schöneberg to Schwerin is twenty-six English
miles, and we find it a long way.  In reckoning distances, the Germans
count by “stunden”—_i.e._ hours—and two “stunden” make one German mile.
From experience, I should say that five miles English were about equal to
one mile German; but they vary considerably.  Having spent a night in the
exceedingly neat city of Schwerin beside its pleasant waters, and under
the protection of the cannon in the antiquated castle overhead, I set out
for a walk of twenty miles onward to Ludwigslust.  The road was a
pleasant one, firm and dry, with trim grass edgings and sylvan seats on
either side.  The country itself was flat and dull, enlivened only now
and then by a fir plantation or a pretty village.  Brother tramps passed
me from time to time with a cheerful salutation, and at three o’clock I
passed within the new brick walls of Ludwigslust; a town dignified as a
pleasure seat with a military garrison, a ducal palace, and an English
park.

The inn to which I went in Ludwigslust, was the house of call for
carpenters.  The carpenters were there assembled in great force,
laughing, smoking, and enjoying their red wine, which may have come from
France, for Mecklenburg is no wine country.  It was the quarter-day and
pay-day of the carpenters, who were about to celebrate the date as usual
with a supper.  I went to sit down in the small travellers’ room, and was
assailed instantly by the whole army of joiners, some with bleared eyes;
with flushed faces under caps of every shape and colour; and a flexible
pipe hanging from every mouth—Who was I?—What was I?—Whence did I
come?—Where was I born? and whither was I going? etc., etc.  When they
had found out all about me and confirmed their knowledge by examination
of my passport, which one dull dog persisted in regarding as a book of
ballads, out of which he sang, I began to ask concerning food.  “Nothing
warm in the house,” said the housefather, a carpenter himself.  “There
will be a grand supper at six o’clock, and everything and everybody is
wanted in the preparation of it.  Make yourself easy for the present with
brown bread and dripping, and a glass of beer, and then you can make your
dinner with us when we sup.”  That suited me well enough.

The carpenters flowed out into the street, to take a stroll and get their
appetites, leaving behind them one besotted man, who propped himself
against the oven, and there gave himself a lecture on the blessings of
equanimity under all circumstances of distress.

“Do you sleep here to-night?” inquired the host.  Certainly, I desired to
do so.  “Then you must go to the police bureau for a permission.”—“But
you have my passport; is not that sufficient?”—“Not in Ludwigslust; your
passport must be held by the police, and they will give you in exchange
for it a ticket, which I must hold, or else I dare not let you have a
lodging.”  I went to the police office at once; through the ill-paved
street into the middle of the town.  I went by a large gravelled square,
which serves as a riding ground for the cavalry in the adjoining
barracks; and a long broad street of no great beauty, ending in a flight
of steps, led me then to the police office, and would have led me also,
had that been my destination, to the ducal palace.  The palace fronts to
a paved square; it is a massive, noble edifice of stone, having before it
a fine cascade with a treble fall.  To the left, across a green meadow, I
observed the church—the only church—a simple whitewashed building with a
colonnaded front.  At the foot of the low flight of steps was the police
office, in which I found one man, who civilly copied my passport into a
book, put it aside, and gave me a ticket of permission to remain one
night in Ludwigslust.  I was desired to call for my passport before
leaving in the morning.

At seven o’clock there was no sign of supper.  At eight o’clock the cloth
was spread in a long, low lumber-room at the back of the inn, and the
assembled carpenters took their seats before the board, or rather boards
supported upon tressels.  I took my place and waited hungrily.  Very soon
there was a great steam over the whole table sent up from huge tureens of
boiled potatoes; smaller dishes of preserved prunes, boiled also,
occupied the intervals.  A bottle of red wine was placed for every two
men.  We then began our meal with soup; thin, sorry stuff.  Then came the
chief dishes, baked veal and baked pig’s head.  The prunes were to be
eaten with the veal, which meat, having been first boiled to make the
soup, and then baked in a deep dish in a close oven to bring out some of
the faded flavour, was a sodden mass, and the whole meal was removed a
very long way from the roast fillet of veal and pickled pork known to an
Englishman.  Our pig’s head was, however, capital,—no soup had been made
out of that.  The carpenters, with assiduous kindness, heaped choice bits
upon my plate, and as I had not dined, I supped with energy.  The drunken
man who had fallen asleep by the stove sat by my side with greedy looks,
eating nothing, for he had not paid his share; he was a man who drank
away his gains, and he received no pity.

Then after supper there came toasts.  The president was on his legs, all
glasses were filled; men ready.  “Long live the Guild of carpenters!
Vivat h—o!” The ho! was a howl; the glasses clashed.  “Long live all
carpenters!  Vivat ho—o!”  At ten o’clock there was a bustle and
confusion at the door, and a long string of lads marched, two and two,
cap in hand, into the room.  These were all the carpenters’ apprentices
in Ludwigslust.  Every quarterly night the hospitable carpenters have
them in after supper to be regaled with beer and cordials, and initiated
into the mysteries of jollity that are connected with the existence of a
master carpenter.  “Long live all carpenters’ apprentices!  Vivat
ho—o—o!”  The apprentices having revelled in as much beer and spirits as
could be got through, shouting included, in a quarter of an hour, formed
double line again, and marched out under a fire of lusty cheers into the
street.  Some jolly carpenters still lingered in the supper room, smoking
or singing choruses, or making partners of each other for mad waltzes
round the table to the music of their tongues.

Longing for bed, I was obliged to wait until the landlord was at leisure
to attend to me.  After I rose next morning, I waited for three hours
impatiently enough until the sleepy host had risen; for until I had
received my ticket back from him I was unable to get my passport and go
on.  At length, however, I got out of the brick walls of Ludwigslust, and
marched forward under a clear sky on the way to Perleberg, my next stage,
distant about fifteen English miles.

Having passed through two dirty, ill-paved towns, and being in some
uncertainty about the road, I asked my way of a short, red-faced man who,
being himself bound for the frontier station, favoured me so far with his
company.  He was a post-boy whose vocation was destroyed, but who was
nevertheless blessed with philosophy enough to recognise the merits of
the railway system, and to point out the posts marking the line between
Berlin and Hamburg, with the comment that “the world must move.”  It
seemed to be enough for him that he lived in the recollection of the
people on his old road-side, and that he could stop with me outside a
toll-gate, the first I had seen in Germany, sure of the production of a
bottle for a social dram, in which I cordially joined.  Then presently we
came to a small newly-built village, the Prussian military station.  A
sentinel standing silent and alone by his sentry box striped with the
Prussian colours, black and white, marked where the road crossed the
Prussian frontier.  We passed unchallenged, and found dinner upon the
territory of the Black Eagle, in a very modest house of entertainment.

Travelling alone onward to Perleberg, I stopped once more for refreshment
at a melancholy, dirty place, having one common room, of which the chairs
and tables contained as much heavy timber as would build a house.  I
wanted an hour’s rest, for my knapsack had become a burden to me, and the
handles of the few tools I was obliged to carry dug themselves
relentlessly into my back.  “White or brown beer?” asked the attendant.
Dolt that I was to answer Brown!  They brought me a vile treacley
compound that I could not drink; whereas the Berlin white beer is a
famous effervescing liquor; so good, says a Berliner, that you cannot
distinguish it from champagne if you drink it rapidly with closed eyes,
and at the same time press your nose between your fingers.  In the
evening I got to Perleberg, and walking wearily up the old, irregular
High Street, established myself at the Londoner Schenke—the London
Tavern.  I found the parlour pleasant and almost private, the hostess
quiet and lady-like.  While she was getting coffee ready for me, I paid
my call of duty upon the police; for though my passport had been _viséd_
to Berlin in half a dozen places, the law required that I should not
sleep in a new kingdom without first announcing my arrival.

At the upper end of the market place I found a red brick building with a
gloomy door, opening upon a broad stone staircase, by which I mounted to
the magistrate’s room.  That was a lofty hall, badly lighted by two
little windows, and scantily furnished with a few seats.  Behind a
railing sat the magistrate in a velvet skull-cap and black robe; a short
fat man with a satisfied face, but unsatisfied and restless eyes.  Two
armed soldiers shared with him the space beyond the rail.  Two townsmen,
hat in hand, were patiently waiting for their passes.  Having mentioned
my business, I was told that I might wait; standing, of course.  The
heavy quiet of the room was broken presently by the entrance of two young
workmen in clean blouses, bound upon an errand like my own, who hovered
in a tremulous condition near the doorway.

The magistrate of Perleberg, after awhile, looked at my passport, and
asked “Have you the requisite amount of travelling money to show?”  I had
not expected such a question, but the two gold ducats were still in my
fob, and I produced them with the air of a fine gentleman.  One of the
soldiers took them in his hand, examined them and passed them to his
comrade, who passed them to the townspeople.  “They are good,” said the
soldier, as he put them back into my hand.—“Is that enough?” I asked, as
though there had been thousands of such things about other parts of my
person, for I saw that I had made an impression.  “That will do,” said
the magistrate, “you may sit down.”  O miserable homage before wealth!
They would not keep me standing.

It had grown dark, and a lighted candle had been placed upon the desk of
the chief magistrate, a most diligent man in his office, who, seeing no
description of my person in the passport, set to work with the zest of an
artist upon the depiction of my features.  Examining each feature
minutely with a candle, he put down the results of his researches, and
then finally read off his work to me with this note at the bottom—“The
little finger of his left hand is crooked.”

The hostess of the London Tavern, when I got back to my quarters, must
have heard about my wealth.  That pleasant little maiden lady told me all
about her house, and how it had been named afresh after the King of
Prussia slept there on his way to London, where he was to act as sponsor
to the Prince of Wales.  I, who had been turned away from the doors of
the humblest inns, was flattered and courted by a landlady who had
entertained His Majesty of Prussia.  The neatest of chambermaids
conducted me to an elegant bedchamber—“her own room,” the little old maid
had said as I left her—and there I slept upon the couch sacred to her
maiden meditations, among hangings white as snow.

The next morning I went out into Perleberg,—a ricketty old place, full of
rats and legends.  There is a colossal figure in the market-place of an
armed knight, eighteen or twenty feet high, gazing eternally into the
fruit baskets below.  He has his head uncovered, his hand upon his sword,
and is made of stone; but who he is nobody seemed to know; I was only
told that the statue would turn any one to stone who fixed his eyes upon
it in intense gaze for a sufficiently long time.  I visited the chief
jeweller, a wonderful man, who was said to have visited nearly all parts
of the known world except London and Paris.  I found him with one
workman, very busy, but not doing much; and he was very civil, although
manifestly labouring under the fear that I had come to ask for a
“_viaticum_.”  I did not.  I went back to eat a hearty breakfast at the
London Tavern, where I found the mistress gracious, and the handmaid very
chatty and coquettish.  From her talk I half concluded that I was
believed to be an Englishman who travelled like a journeyman for the
humour of the thing: the English are so odd, and at the London Tavern
they had not been without experience of English ways.  My display of the
gold pieces must have been communicated to them overnight, by one of the
townspeople who heard me tell the magistrate at what inn I was staying.

From Perleberg to Keritz was eighteen miles.  Upon the road I came up
with a poor fellow limping pitiably.  He had a flat wooden box upon his
back, being a tramping glazier; and he made snail’s progress, having his
left thigh swollen by much walking.  I loitered with him as long as my
time allowed, and then dashed on to recover the lost ground.  Passing at
a great pace a neat road-side inn, singing the while, a jolly red face
blazed out upon me from the lattice window.  “Ei da!  You are merry.
Whither so fast?”—“To Berlin.”—“Wait an instant and I’m with you.”  Two
odd figures tumbled almost at the end of the instant out of the house
door.  One a burly man with a red face and a large moustache, the other a
chalky young man with a pair of Wellington boots slung round his neck.
They were both native Prussians on the way from Hamburg to Berlin, having
come through Magdeburg, travelling, they declared, at the rate of about
six-and-twenty English miles a day.  These Prussians will talk; but at
whatever rate my friends might have travelled, they were nearly dead
beat.  They had sent on their knapsacks by the waggon, finding them
unmercifully heavy.  The stout traveller had a white sack over his
shoulders, his trousers tucked up to his knees, and his Wellington boots
cut down into ankle-jacks to ease his chafed shins, that were already
dotted with hectic red spots from over-exertion.  His young friend
carried his best Wellingtons about his neck, and wore a pair of cracked
boots, through which I could see the colour, in some places, of his dark
blue socks, in other places of his dark red flesh.  Both were lamed by
the same cause, inflammation of the front of the leg, in which part I
also had begun to feel some smartings.

We got on merrily, in spite of our legs, and overtook two very young
travellers, whom I recognised as the flutterers before the presence of
the magistrate at Perleberg.  One proved to be a bookbinder, the other a
wood-turner.  They were fresh upon their travels, and their clean white
blouses, the arrangements of their knapsacks, and the little neatnesses
and comforts here and there about them, showed that they had not yet
travelled many days’ march from a mother’s care.  Then we toiled on,
until our elder friend grew worse and worse about his feet, laughing and
joking himself out of pain as he was able.  Finally, he could go no
farther, and we waited until we could send him forward in a passing cart.

He being dispatched, we travelled on, I and my friend with the
boot-necklace, till we met a little crowd of men in blouses, little queer
caps, knapsacks, and ragged beards, all carrying sticks.  They were
travelling boys like ourselves, bound from Berlin to Hamburg.  “Halloo!”
they cried.  “Halloo!” we answered, shouting in unison as we approached
each other.  When we met, a little friendly skirmish with our sticks was
the first act of greeting.  A storm of questions and replies then
followed.  We all knew each other in a few minutes; carpenters, turners,
glovers were there,—not a jeweller among them but myself.  We parted
soon, for time was precious.  “Love to Berlin,” cried one of them back to
us.  “My compliments to Hamburg,” I replied; and then we all struck up an
amatory chorus of the “Fare thee well, love” species, that fitted
properly with our position.

Continuing upon our way we found our lame companion smoking a pipe
comfortably outside the village inn at Warnow.  His cart was resting
there for bait to man and horse.  We baited also and discussed black
bread-and-butter, and Berlin white beer, till the cart carried away our
moustachioed friend, never again, perhaps, to meet us in this world, and
not likely to be recognised by his moustachios in the other.

My chalky comrade, who was also very lame, lay on the ground in a
desperate condition before the day was over, and it was with some
difficulty that I brought him safe by nightfall into Wusterhausen.  He
had become also mysterious, and evidently inquisitive as to the state of
my finances, exhibiting on his own part hasty glimpses of a brass medal
wrapped up in fine wool, which he wished me to look upon as a double
ducat.  When we got to the inn-door, my friend made a hurried proposition
very nervously, which made his purpose clear.  There were sixty English
miles of road between us and Berlin; he was knocked up, and a fast coach,
or rumbling omnibus, accommodating six insides, would start for Berlin in
the morning.  He thought he could bargain with the coachman to take us to
Berlin for a dollar—three shillings—a piece, if I did not mind advancing
his fare, because he did not want to change the double ducat until he got
home.  I put no difficulty in his way, for he was a good fellow, and
moreover would be well able to help me in return, by telling me the
addresses of some people I depended upon finding in Berlin.  He
proceeded, therefore, into the agonies of bargaining, and was not
disappointed in his expectation.  At the price of a dollar a-piece we
were packed next morning in a frowsy vehicle, tainted with much
tobacco-smoke, to which he came with his swollen feet pressed only
half-way down into the legs of his best Wellingtons.  The ride was long
and dull, for there was little prospect to be caught through the small,
dirty window; and the air tasted of German tinder.  From a cottage villa
on the roadside, a German student added himself to the three passengers
that started from Wusterhausen.  He came to us with a pipe in his mouth,
unwashed, and hurriedly swaddled in a morning gown, carelessly tied with
a cord about the middle.  After a few miles travelling the vehicle was
full, and remained full—until we at last reached Berlin.

There I found no work, and wandered listlessly through the museums and
picture-galleries; for a troubled mind is a poor critic in works of art.
So I squeezed myself into the Police Court, meaning to leave Berlin, and
had the distinction of being beckoned, before my turn out of the reeking
mass of applicants for passports, because my clothes had a respectable
appearance, and I wore a showy pin in my cravat.



CHAPTER IX.


BERLIN.—OUR HERBERGE.

Fairly in Prussia!  We have passed the frontier town of Perleberg, and
press onward in company with a glovemaker of Berlin, last from
Copenhagen, whom we have overtaken on the road towards Wusterhausen.

“Thou wouldst know, good friend, the nature of my prospects in Berlin
when I arrive there?  Have I letters of recommendation—am I provided in
case of the worst?  Brother, not so!  I am provided for nothing.  I dare
the vicissitudes of fortune.  I had a friend in Hamburg, a Frenchman, who
departed thence five months ago for Berlin, under a promise to write to
me at the lapse of a month.  He has never written, and he is my hope.
That is all.  Let us go on.”

“I have a cousin,” says the glovemaker, “who is a jeweller in Berlin.  I
will recommend you to him.  His name is Kupferkram.”

“Strange!  I knew a Kupferkram in Hamburg; a short, sallow man, with no
beard.”

“A Prussian?”

“Yes.”

“It cannot be that my cousin was in Hamburg and I not know it.  I was
there twelve months.”

“Why not?  A German will be anywhere in the course of twelve months
except where you expect to find him.”

“His name is Gottlob—Gottlob Kupferkram.”

“The very man!  Does he not lisp like a child, and his father sell
sausages in the stadt?”

“Donnerwetter!  Ja!”

This may not appear to be of much importance, but to me it is everything;
for upon the discovery of this vender of sausages depends my meeting with
my best and only friend in Berlin, Alcibiade Tourniquet, of Argenteuil,
the Frenchman before mentioned.  It is at least a strange coincidence.

We came into the capital of Prussia in the eil-wagen from Wusterhausen.
We had tramped the previous day a distance of good two-and-thirty English
miles, through a flat, uninteresting country, and being dead beat, had
made an anxious bargain with the driver of the “Fast-coach,” to carry us
to Berlin for a dollar a-head.  It was late in the evening as we rumbled
heavily along the dusty road, and through the long vista of thick
plantations which skirt the public way as you enter the city from
Spandau.  We dismounted, cramped and weary, from our vehicle, and my
companion, a native of Berlin, unwilling to disturb his friends at that
late hour, and in his then travel-worn guise; and I myself being unknown
and unknowing in the huge capital, led the way at once to “Our Herberge.”

The English term “House of Call” is but an inadequate translation of the
German “Herberge.”  It must be remembered that the German artisan is
ruled in everything by the state; for while English workmen, by their own
collective will, raise up their trade or other societies, in whatever
form or to whatever purpose their intelligence or their caprices may
dictate to them, the German, on the contrary, discovers among his very
first perceptions that his position and treatment in the world is already
fixed and irrevocable.  He becomes numbered and labelled from the hour of
his birth, and the gathering items of his existence are duly recorded—not
in the annals of history—but in the registry of the police.  Thus he
finds that the State, in the shape of his Zunft or Guild, is his Sick
Benefit Club and his Burial Society, his Travellers’ Fund and his Trade
Roll-Call; aspires indeed to be everything he ought to desire, and
certainly succeeds in being a great deal that he does not want.

I have a little paper at my hand presented to me by the police of
Dresden, which may help to elucidate the question of associations of
workmen in Germany.  It is an “Ordinance” by which “We, Frederick
Augustus, by God’s grace King of Saxony, &c., &c., make known to all
working journeymen the penalties to which they are liable should they
take part in any disallowed ‘workmen’s unions, tribunals, or
declarations;’” the said penalties having been determined on by the
various governments of the German Union.  “Independently,” says the
Ordinance, “of the punishment” (not named) “which may be inflicted for
the offence, the delinquent shall be deprived of his papers, which shall
be sealed up and sent to his home Government.  On his release from
prison(!) he shall receive a restricted pass for his immediate and direct
return home; and on his arrival there he shall be strictly confined
within its limits, nor ever be permitted to travel into the other states
of the German Union, until by a long course of repentance and good
behaviour his home government may think him worthy of such a favour.”  It
will easily be understood from this that mechanics’ or other
institutions, independent of the government, are unknown.

The German Herberge is the home of the travelling workman.  It should be
clean and wholesome; there should he be provided, together with simple
and nutritious food, every necessary information connected with his
trade, and such aid and reasonable solace as his often wearisome
pilgrimage requires.  All this is to be rendered at a just and
remunerative price, and it is usually supposed that the fulfilment of
these requisites is guaranteed by the care and surveillance of the
police.  But this is a fiction.

Our Herberge is in the Schuster-gasse; and a vile, ill-conditioned,
uncleanly den it is; nor, I am sorry to say, are its occupants, in
appearance at least, unworthy of their abode.  But we must not be
uncharitable; it is a hard task this tramping through the length and
breadth of the land; and he is a smart fellow who can keep his toilet in
anything like decent condition amid the dust, the wind, the pelting rain
or the weltering sunshine that beset and envelope him on the implacable
high road.  As there is no help, we take our places among the little herd
of weary mortals without a murmur; among the ragged beards and uncombed
locks; the soiled blouses and travel-worn shoe-leather; the horny hands
and embrowned visages of our motley companions.  We are duly marshalled
to bed at eight o’clock with the rest; huddled into our loft where nine
beds await some sixteen occupants; and having undergone the customary
examination as to our freedom from disease and vermin, are safely locked
in our dormitory, to be released only at the good will of the “Vater” in
the morning.

Your German is truly a patient animal; the laws of his Guild compel him
to wander for a period of years, but the laws of his country do not
provide him with even the decencies of life upon the road.  With his
humble pack, and his few hoarded dollars, he sets forth upon the road of
life; he is bullied and hustled by the police upon every step of his
journey; burdened with vexatious regulations at every halting-place; and
while the law forbids him to seek any other shelter than that of his
Herberge, it leaves it to the mercy of his host to yield him the worst
fare, spread for him the vilest litter, and to filch him of his scanty
savings in the bargain.  What, in Heaven’s name! are the accommodations
for which we in the Schuster-gasse are called upon to pay?  There is the
common room with its rude benches and tables; a stone-paved court-yard
with offices, doubtless at one period appropriated as stabling, but the
ground floor of which is now penned off for some few choice biped
occupants; while the story above, reached by a railed ladder, and, in
fact, no more than a stable loft, is nightly crammed to the door with
sweltering humanity.  For the purpose of cleanliness there is no other
toilette apparatus than the iron pump in the yard; and for the claims of
nature and decency, no better resource than is afforded by the sheltering
arch of the nearest bridge over the Spree.

The goldsmiths and jewellers in Berlin are too inconsiderable a body to
have a Herberge of their own, and therefore we crowd in with the turners,
the carpenters, and the smiths; the glove-makers, bookbinders, and others
who claim the hospitalities of the asylum in the Schuster-gasse.  Let us
take a sketch or two among them that may serve as a sample of the whole.

We have a sturdy young carpenter from Darmstadt, bound to Vienna, or
wherever else he may find a resting-place, who makes his morning and
almost only meal of _Kümmel_—corn spirit prepared with caraways—and brown
bread; and whose great exploit and daily exercise is that of lifting the
great table in the common room with his teeth.  An iron-jawed fellow he
is, with every muscle in his well-knit body to match.  Fortunately,
though a Goliath in strength, he is as simple-minded and joyous as a
child.

Then comes a restless pigmy of a Hungarian, a jeweller, last from
Dresden, full of life and song, but who complains ruefully that the
potatoes of Berlin are violently anti-dyspeptic.  This suffering wanderer
from the banks of the Theiss is also vehemently expressive in his opinion
that the indiscriminate use of soap is injurious to the skin, and, as a
matter of principle, never uses any.

Near him stands a lank native of Lübeck, a fringe-maker, whose whole
pride and happiness is concentrated in his ponderous staff of pilgrimage;
a patriarchal wand, indeed! rightly bequeathed as an heirloom from father
to son, and in its state and appearance not unworthy of the reverence
with which it is regarded.  It is no flimsy cane to startle flies with,
but a stout stem some six feet long, duly peeled, scraped and polished,
and mounted with a chased head of massive silver.

Close by his side an effeminate leather-dresser from Carlsruhe sits
stroking his yellow goat’s beard.  Instead of strapping his knapsack to
his back like a stalwart youth, after the manly fashion of his
forefathers when on the tramp, he trundles behind him as he goes, a
little iron chaise loaded with his pack and worldly equipage.

There broods a sombre cordwainer from Bremen, gloating over his enormous
pipe, in form and size like a small barrel, raising an atmosphere for
himself of the fumes of coarse uncut _knaster_.  He has doffed his white
kittel (blouse), and has wriggled himself into a short-waisted,
long-skirted, German frock-coat, which, having been badly packed in his
knapsack, exhibits every crease and wrinkle it has acquired during a
three weeks’ march.  Know, friend, that the skilful folding of apparel,
to be worn on his arrival in every important town, is one of the
necessary acquirements of the German wanderer.

Add to these a rollicking saddler from Heldesheim, who figures in a full
beard, a rich cluster of crisp, brown curls, his own especial pride, and
the object of deep envy to his less hirsute companions; and who, far too
fond of corn brandy-wine, goes about singing continually the song of the
German tramp, “_Ich Liebe das liederliche Leben_!”—This vagabond life I
delight in!—an earnest, quiet student, who, for reasons of economy, has
made the Schuster-gasse his place of refuge; and a dishevelled
button-maker, last from Hamburg, who has just received his geschenck, or
trade-gift, amounting to fifteen silver groschens, about eighteenpence in
English money; and who ponders drearily over it as it lies in the palm of
his hand, wondering how far this slender sum will carry him on the road
to Breslau, his native place, still some two hundred miles away.

We have among us the wily and the simple, the boisterous and the patient,
the taciturn and the unruly; but though they will sing songs before they
go to sleep, and swagger enormously among themselves, they become as
still and meek as doves at the voice of the Herberges-Vater (the father
of the Herberge), and quake like timid mice beneath the eye of the
police.



CHAPTER X.


A STREET IN BERLIN.

Berlin is a fine city, let the wise Germans of the East say what they
will.  It may be deficient in those monumental records of “the good old
times,” the crumbling church, the thick-walled tower, the halls and
dungeons of feudal barbarism, but it abounds with evidences of the vigour
and life of modern taste and skill; and instead of daily sinking into
rotten significance, like some of its elder brethren, is hourly growing
in beauty and strength.  It has all the attributes of a great
city—spacious “places,” handsome edifices, broad and well-paved streets.
Its monuments, while they are evidences of great cultivation in the arts,
tell of times and events just old enough to be beyond the ken of our own
experiences, yet possess all the truth and vividness of recent history.
“Der Alter Fritz,” Blucher, Zieten, Seyditz, Winterfeldt, Keith, and “Der
Alter Dessauer”—what names are these in Prussian story!

The entrance into Berlin, on the western side, from Spandau, by the
Brandenburger Gate, is the finest that the capital of Prussia has to
present.  A thickly-planted wood skirts the road for a mile or two before
you reach the city.  The trees are dwarfed and twisted, for they cannot
grow freely in the dense, eternal sands of this part of North Germany,
but they form a rough fringing to the white road; while the noble gate
itself, built of massive stone in the Doric order of architecture, and
surmounted by an effective group of a four-horse chariot, within which
stands the figure of Victory raising the Roman eagle above the almost
winged steeds, might grace the entrance to the city of the Cæsars.

This Brandenburger Thor, as it is called, is a copy of the Propylæa of
the Acropolis of Athens, but built on a much grander scale.  The central
gate is of iron, eighteen feet high; of the fourteen land gates of Berlin
it is immeasurably the finest, and it acquires a still deeper interest
when some enthusiastic Berliner, pointing to the prancing steeds upon the
summit of the arch, tells you how Napoleon in his admiration had ordered
this self-same group to be transported to Paris in 1807, to ornament a
French “_arch de triomphe_,” and how “We, the Prussians,” had torn the
spoil from the eagle’s very nest in 1814, to replant it on its original
site.  A glow of military ardour flushes over your heart at the recital,
and the echoes of a hundred battles thunder in your ears.

Through this gate, which is in the Dorotheen Stadt, after crossing the
Square of Paris, we enter upon one of the handsomest streets in the
world, and one bearing the most poetical of titles:
“Unter-den-Linden,”—“Under the Lime Trees!”—there is something at once
charming and imposing in the very sound.  Nor is this appellation an
empty fiction, for there stand the lime trees themselves, in two double
rows with their delicate green leaves rustling in the breeze, forming a
two-fold verdant allée, vigorous and fragrant, down the centre of the
street, and into the very heart of the city.  Unter-den-Linden itself is
two thousand seven hundred and fifty-four feet in length, and one hundred
and seventy-four in width; but it extends, under another title, for a
much greater distance.  This is the summer evening’s ramble of your true
Berliner, and not a little proud and pompous he is as he parades himself
and family beneath the leafy canopy; and here, in the snowy winters, when
the city lies half buried in the snowdrift, the gaily dressed sleighs go
skimming under the leafless branches, filling the bright cold air with
the music of their bells.

As we proceed deeper into the city, we find gay shops and stately houses.
A noble range of buildings appropriated to the foreign embassies rises
upon the left hand, and is succeeded by the Royal Academy; while some
distance beyond stands the University, an edifice of a rather sombre
appearance, although graced with columns and pilasters of the Corinthian
order.  To enter it you traverse a spacious court-yard, and it may be
that the nature of its contents impart a melancholy character to the
building itself; for, on ascending its stone staircase, and wandering for
a brief period among its bottles and cases, its wax models and human
preserves, we find them of so unsightly and disgusting a character that
we are happy to regain the echoing corridor which had led us into this
huge, systematised charnel-house.

As we cross to the opposite side of the broad street, the Royal Library
faces us; a massive temple of stored knowledge, polyglot and universal;
while to the right of it, in the centre of a paved space of considerable
extent, stands the Catholic church of St. Hedwig, at once a model of
Roman architecture, and the emblem of the liberty of faith.

Close at hand is the Opera-house, once already purified by fire, like so
many of its companion edifices, and only lately rebuilt.  Some idea may
be formed of the extent of its interior from the fact that it affords
accommodation for three thousand spectators.  Our way lies onward still.
What noble figure is this?  Simple but commanding in character and
attitude, it fixes your attention at once.  Look at the superscription.
Upon a scroll on its pedestal are the words “Frederick William III. to
Field Marshal Prince Blucher of Wahlstatt, in the year 1826.”  Yes! the
impetuous soldier, figured in eternal bronze by the first sculptor of
Prussia, Rauch himself, here claims and receives the admiration of his
countrymen.  Bare-headed stands the old warrior, but is duly crowned with
laurels on every returning anniversary of the well remembered day, the
18th of June.

Leaving the sanctuary of the Christian Deity, the heathen temple of
Terpsichore, and the effigy of the renowned soldier, thus grouped
together, we traverse the fine road, and pause for a moment to look at a
severe but elegant structure, erected, we are told, in exact imitation of
a Roman _castrum_, or fortress, and therefore eminently in character with
the purpose for which it is intended.  The smart Prussian infantry are
grouped about its pillared entrance, which is graced also by two statues
of military celebrities—for this is the royal guard-house.

“Der Alter Fritz.”  “Old Fred!”  This is the familiar title bestowed upon
a great monarch; and there is something in this nickname a thousand times
more telling to the ear and heart of a Prussian than the stately
appellation of “Frederick the Great.”  The former is for their own hearts
and homes, the latter for the world.  And for the world also is the noble
equestrian statue upon which we now gaze.  It is a question whether a
work of sterling genius does not speak as effectively to the eye of the
uninitiated as to that of the most inveterate stickler for antecedents of
grace and technicalities of beauty.  This statue of Frederick of Prussia
tells upon the sense at once, because it is true to art as established by
ancient critics, but more so, because it is imitated nature, which art
too often only presumes to be, reckoning too much upon fixed rules and
time-honoured dogmas.  It is noble and impressive, because it is _like_;
no antiquated Roman figure in _toga_ and _calcei_, but the representation
of the living man.

Das Zeughaus, or arsenal, which we now approach, is a massive
quadrangular building, and the warlike character of its architectural
decorations strikingly indicate the nature of its contents.  We pass
through the open gate into an inner court, and looking round upon the
sombre walls which inclose us, see the fearful faces of dead and dying
men, cut in stone, which the taste or caprice of the architect has
considered their fittest ornament.  There is something strangely original
and attractive in the grotesque hideousness of these heads, agonised with
pain, scowling in anger, or frightful with their upturned eyes in the
rigidity of death, all bleached and shadowed as they are by the
vicissitudes of the weather.

Within the arsenal we find walls of glistening steel, columns of lances,
architectural and other devices worked out in dagger blades and pistol
handles; while battered armour and faded draperies, in the shape of
pennons and standards, storm and battle-tattered, help to make up
trophies, and swing duskily in every corner.

After a rapid survey, we are about to leave this magazine of Bellona,
when we are struck by the sight of an object which reminds us so
completely of one of those “gorgeous processions” in Eastern “spectacles”
at home, that we wonder for a moment whether it be “part of the play,” or
tangible, sober reality.  Yes! placed upon a scarlet cushion lies an
enormous gilt key (such a one as clown in the pantomime might open his
writing-desk with, or such as hangs over a locksmith’s door), and above
it glistens a golden legend to the effect that the treasure beneath was
presented to “William of Prussia by his loving cousin, Nicolas, Emperor
of all the Russias,” and is no less a prize than the identical key of the
captured city of Adrianople!  Has, then, the Russian Emperor so many such
trophies of Eastern spoliation that his own museums at Petersburg are
insufficient to contain them?

Up the steep way towards the residence of the Prince of Prussia, guarded
by its zealous sentries, we pursue our course, and reach the first bridge
we have yet seen, being one of the very many which span the Spree as it
meanders through the city.  This river does not present an imposing
appearance in any part of Berlin.  The Berliners may shake their heads,
and talk of the “Lange Brücke,” but let them remember that in no part
does the Spree exceed two hundred feet in width.  Moreover, the manner in
which it is jammed up between locks, like a mere canal—one is puzzled
sometimes to know which is canal and which river—does not improve its
appearance, while the use to which some of its bridges are appropriated
does not increase its purity.  Passing onwards we come upon the Schloss
Platz, which is itself half a garden, and find ourselves in the midst of
an assemblage of public wonders—the Museum, the Protestant Cathedral, a
handsome basin and fountain (the pride of the true Berliner), the
Exchange, and the Old Palace.

The Museum stands on the left-hand, gracefully shaded by young trees.
Traversing this miniature grove, which guards its entrance, and passing
by the lofty fountain scattering its spray upon the leaves, we come upon
an elegant vase of gigantic proportions, sculptured from a solid mass of
native granite.  Ascending into the body of the building by a sombre
stone staircase, we reach the Gallery of Antiquities and the Museum of
Paintings.  The latter, though no doubt very valuable, appeals
unsatisfactorily to me (not presuming to be a critic), and is of a
peculiarly rigid, ecclesiastical character, of the early school;
certainly one of its chief features is a crowd of martyred St.
Sebastians.

The portion of the Museum appropriated to painting, unlike the National
Gallery of London, and the Pinakothek at Munich, receives a lateral
light.  Imagine a long gallery divided into small cabinets by partitions,
which advance only so far from the outer wall as to leave a commodious
passage along its entire extent; imagine also that each of these cabinets
has a lofty window, and that on its side walls (the partitions) are
suspended the paintings for exhibition,—and you will form something like
a notion of the general arrangement.  An effective _ensemble_ is out of
the question; but, on the other hand, every painting is well lighted, and
a better opportunity is afforded for quiet observation and study.

We descend into the “Platz,” and proceed towards the palace, a huge
rectangular building, striped with columns, dotted with windows, and
blackened as few continental edifices are.

The palace of the kings of Prussia—few as they have been—has surely its
thrilling historical records.  Doubtless; and through them all the spirit
of the _one_ king, “Der Alter Fritz,” shines, all but visible.  Here did
he hold his councils, here sit in private study; this was his favourite
promenade, here did he take his rest.  These details light up the
imagination; but when we have traversed the echoing galleries, admired
the gilt mouldings and the costly hangings, the quaint furniture and
beautiful pictures: when we have, in short, become wrought into
enthusiasm by the clustering memories of a great monarch, by traits and
traditions which fill the very air, what do we see next?  We are ushered
into a private chamber, and called upon to express our especial reverence
for a miserable figure, dressed up in the Great Frederick’s “own
clothes;” seated in his own chair, stuck into his identical boots; his
own redoubtable stick dangling from its splayed fingers, and the whole
contemptible effigy crowned by the very three-cornered hat and crisp wig
he last wore!  The spirit of mountebankism overshadows the spirit of the
mighty man, and his very relics are rendered ridiculous.

We turn from this puppet-show to contemplate with a melancholy wonder the
truly iron records of the almost life-imprisonment of Baron von Trenck.
For here, a silent memorial of at least one bad act of the Prussian
monarch, are iron cups and utensils engraved with scrolls and legends;
the work, not of the skilled artisan with tempered and well-prepared
gravers, but of the patient hands of a state prisoner with a mere nail
sharpened on the stony walls of his dungeon, and the painful result of
long and weary years.  A strange contrast! the waxen image of the jailer,
tricked out in his last garments; the solitary labours of his captive.

Thinking more of the soldier and less of the king, we quit the palace and
turn on the left hand once more towards the waters of the Spree.  Here is
one other monument we must not forget in our hasty ramble through the
main artery of the Prussian capital.  In the centre of the Lange Brücke
(the Long Bridge) stands the bronze figure of the last Elector and Duke
of Brandenburg, Frederick William, the grandfather of Frederick the
Great.  It is a well-executed equestrian statue, but to my mind the four
figures clustered round the pediment, on whose hands still hang the
broken chains of slavery, are better works of art, as well as admirable
emblems of the energetic materials—the oppressed but spirited inhabitants
of a few small states—of which the now powerful kingdom of Prussia was
originally formed.

We might follow the course of the wandering river over whose waters we
now stand, and thus penetrate into the heart of the old city, but we
should find little that was picturesque, and a great deal that was very
unclean.  Indeed, in spite of its general beauty, Berlin is lamentably
deficient in the modern and common-place article, sewerage.  But even
this will come; and in the meantime we may well ponder over the rapid
growth of the city, since the brief space of time that has elapsed since
it was the little town of Cologne upon the Spree, to distinguish it from
the then greater one of Cologne upon the Rhine.



CHAPTER XI.


BERLIN.—POLICE AND PEOPLE.

It may not appear correct to an English reader to couple the people and
the police thus cavalierly together, but in Prussia, as in the rest of
Germany, the police are so completely bound up in, and their services so
entirely devoted to, the every-day existence, as well as any more
prominent acts of the people, that it is impossible to proceed far with
the one without falling into the company of the other.  A few facts may
serve to illustrate this point.

We (Alcibiade and I) are here duly received into the employment of Herr
Stickl, Jeweller to the Court.  This may appear a matter of no importance
to any but ourselves; nevertheless the “Herr” is bound duly to notify the
circumstance to the police, with date and certification, and must also
instruct the Forsteher, or chief of the Guild of goldsmiths and
jewellers, of the matter, that we may be properly registered by
corporation and police.  This is item number one.  But I am still
unhoused, and here my good friend and fellow-workman, Alcibiade
Tourniquet, native of Argenteuil, stands me in good stead.  Tourniquet
claims to be a Parisian, and has lofty notions about style and
appearances.  He lives in Jerusalem Strasse in a grand house, with a
_porte cochère_, and a wide, scrambling staircase.  He offers me a share
in his apartment, which is light and commodious; and as his landlady
generously consents to provide an additional bed for my accommodation, on
condition of doubling the rent, that matter is satisfactorily arranged.
Alcibiade has experiences to relate, and this is one of them:

“Pense donc!” cries he.  “I arrive in Berlin a perfect stranger.  Without
work and without friends, I find living at an hotel too expensive: Bon!—I
look about me for some quiet little chambre garni, and finding one to my
liking, up a great many stairs, genteelly furnished, and not too dear, I
move myself and my little baggage into it without further inquiry.  Bon!
Imagine me on the first night of residence, snugly coiled up between my
two feather beds in true German fashion, dreaming of la belle France, and
of the grapes at Argenteuil, when rap, rap, rap! comes a tantamarre at
the chamber door, and I start up wide awake all at once, and hear a
shuffling noise outside, and a rough voice which calls to be admitted.
‘Diable! qu’est que tu veux, donc?’ I inquire.  But before I can make up
my mind whether to admit them or not, crack! goes the door, and half a
dozen Prussian police take my citadel by storm, and surround me in a
moment.  I complain indignantly, but it is of no use.  I hurl at them—not
my boots—but all the hard words I know of in their own abominable
language, together with a considerable quantity of good French, but all
of no avail; for they make me dress myself and carry me off bodily with
bag and baggage to the police-bureau.  And what was it all about, pense
tu?  Just this: they said I had got into a suspected house, and that it
was for my own protection I was made a prisoner of!  Nom de Dieu! that
might be all very well, but there was no necessity to pull me out of bed
to take care of me; and it was not till I had shown that my papers were
all _en regle_, and threatened an appeal to the French Ambassador, that
they gave me these soft words, and expressed their regret at my
discomfiture.  Du reste, what can you expect? they are only Prussians.”
This is item number two.

I too have a little experience of the Prussian Police; let me relate it.
Being regularly domiciled, it was necessary that I should inform them of
my residence.  I stand within the dingy little bureau, and hand over a
certificate from my landlord in proof of my place of habitation.  The
liveried functionary casts it back to me, with the curt remark, “It is
imperfect, the year is omitted.”  And so it is; and I trudge back to my
landlord to have this rather important omission rectified.  Returning, in
haste, I re-present my document, corrected and revised, for inspection.
“This won’t do,” exclaims the irate registrar of apartments; “the day of
the week should be mentioned.”  Dull-headed landlord! unlucky lodger!—it
should have been written, “_Wednesday_, the 19th of,” etc.  This looks
something like quibbling, however, and no doubt I express as much by my
countenance as I leave the bureau, and race back to Jerusalem Strasse
once more.  For the third time I offer my credentials.  “This will do,”
observes the official, with a ferocious calmness, “but I must have a
duplicate of this, for the convenience of entry and reference.”  Now, by
all the gilded buttons on the best coat of the British Ambassador, this
is too bad! and I say as much.  “You have nothing of this sort in
England, I suppose?” sneers the clerk-policeman.  “No, thank Heaven!” I
exclaim, as I rush home once more to obtain the copy of my certificate.
This is item the third.  To a Prussian, all this is a mere matter of
course, yet to such a degree does this home interference extend, that the
_porte cochère_ of our grand house, and the door of every other house in
Jerusalem Strasse, is officially closed at nine o’clock in the evening;
and no man can enter his own residence after that hour without first
applying to the police-watchman, who retains in his keeping, literally
and in fact, the “key of the street.”

While on my way to Berlin, I had been frequently warned by Germans,
natives of other states, of the boastful and deceptive character of the
Prussians.  Such was the general opinion expressed; and although I never
found them deceptive, the epithet of boastful seemed only too truthfully
bestowed.  A Prussian is naturally a swaggerer; but then, unfortunately
for other Germans, who are swaggerers too, the Prussian has something to
boast of.  He feels and thinks differently to those around him; for, by
the very impetus of his nature, he stands on a higher position.  It is
because Prussia has progressed like a giant, while the rest of Germany
has been lagging behind, or actually losing ground, that every individual
in her now large area seems personally to have aided in the work, and
acts and speaks as if the whole ultimate result depended upon his own
exertions.  This naturally leads to exaggeration, both in words and
actions, and your true Berliner figures as a sort of Ancient Pistol, with
more words than he knows properly what to do with, and more pretensions
than he is able to maintain.  One striking characteristic of the people
of Berlin is the Franco-mania, which prevails among all classes.  This
may be the result of the decided leaning towards France and its
literature, which was evinced by their almost idolised king, Frederick
the Great; but one would think that the events of the last war with
Napoleon must have effectually obliterated that.  But, no; in their
language, their literature, their places of public amusement, their
shops, and promenades, French words sound in your ears, or meet your eye
at every turn; while the sometimes ridiculous mimicry of French habits
forces itself upon your attention.  There would be nothing so very
remarkable in this, if the opinion generally expressed of the French
people were consonant with it; but while the Berliner apes the Parisian
in language and manners, he never fails to express his derision, and even
contempt, for the whole French nation on every convenient opportunity.  I
suspect, however, that these remarks might not inaptly apply to the
inhabitants of the British capital, as well as those of Berlin.



CHAPTER XII.


KREUTZBERG.—A PRUSSIAN SUPPER AND CAROUSE.

Herr Kupferkram the elder, I have done thee wrong.  I have set thee down
as a mere vender of sausages, and lo! thou holdest tavern and
eating-house; dispensing prandial portions of savoury delicacies in flesh
and vegetable, at the charge of six silver groschens the meal.  I beg a
thousand pardons; and as a sincere mark of contrition, will consent to
swallow thy dinners for a while.

“Will the Herrn Tourniquet and Tuci,” said the Frau Kupferkram one
morning, with a duck and a smirk, “do us the honour of supping with us
this evening?  There will be a few friends, for this is the ‘nahmenstag’
of our dear Gottlob, now in England.”

“Liebe Frau Kupferkram, we shall be delighted!”

I ought, perhaps, to observe, that in Prussia, although a Protestant
country, the Catholic custom of commemorating the “saint” rather than the
“birth-day,” is almost universal.  The former is called the “nahmenstag,”
or name-day.

But the day is yet “so young,” that nothing short of the most inveterate
gluttony could bend the mind at present upon the evening’s festivity; and
moreover, the Berlin races have called us from the workshop and the cares
of labour, and our very souls are in the stirrups, eagerly panting for
the sport.  My dear reader, how can I describe what I never saw?  Did we
not expend two silver groschens in a programme of the races, and gloat
over the spirited engraving of a “flying” something, which was its
appropriate heading, and which you would swear was executed somewhere in
the neighbourhood of Holywell Street, Strand?  Did we not grow hotter
than even the hot sun could make us, in ploughing through the sand, and
commit some careless uncivilities in struggling among the crowd that
hemmed the course as with a wall?  See?  Of course not!  Nobody at the
Berlin races ever does see anything but the mounted police and the dust.
Yes, sir, lay out two dollars in a “card” for the grand stand, and fix it
in your hat-band like a turnpike ticket, and you may saunter through the
whole police-military cordon; but be one of the crowd, and trust to no
other aid than is afforded by your own eyes, and the said cordon will be
the extent of your vision.

A fig for the races! we will go and see the Kreutzberg instead.  Our way
lies through the Halle gate—Halle, a town that belonged to the Saxons
before the French invasion, but lost through their adherence to Napoleon,
is now the seat of a Prussian university—and by the Place of the Belle
Alliance.  What “alliance?”  The alliance of sovereigns against
destruction, or of people against tyranny?  One and both; but while the
union of the former has triumphed over the common leveller, the latter,
by whose aid it was effected, still drag their unrelenting chains.  The
Kreutzberg is consecrated to the same magniloquent union, and bears upon
its head a military monument illustrative of the triumph of a roused and
indignant people against a great oppression; but alas! it does not record
the emancipation of that same people from intestine slavery.  But that is
their business and not ours.

The Kreutzberg stands about a mile and a half from the city gates, and
rears its grey height like a mountain amid the general level, commanding
a prospect of thirty miles around.  Berlin, half garden, half palace,
lies at your feet, rising majestically from the sandy plain, and
irregularly divided by the winding Spree.  The surrounding country, by
its luxuriance, gives evidence of the energy of an industrious race
struggling against a naturally barren soil.  Turning our eyes upwards
upon the military monument which graces the summit of the hill, we cannot
repress our gratification at its beauty.  A terrace eighty feet in
diameter rises from the bare ground, and in its centre, upon a
substructure of stone, towers an iron temple or shrine in the turreted
Gothic style, divided into twelve chapels or niches.  In each recess
stands a figure, life size, emblematical of the principal battles
(defeats included) fought in the campaigns of 1813, 1814, and 1815.  A
noble cluster of idealised military heroism they stand; some in the
stubborn attitude of resistance, others in the eager impetuosity of
attack, all wonderfully spirited.  When you have warmed your imagination
into a glow by the sight of these effigies of war, read and ponder over
this inscription:—

“The Sovereign to his People, who at his summons magnanimously poured
forth their Blood and Treasure for the Country.  In Memory of the Fallen,
in Gratitude to the Living, as an Incitement to every future Generation.”

One is tempted to add, “and of sacred promises still unfulfilled.”  There
is a beautiful garden and saloon called the Tivoli, close at hand, and
from our heroics we soon slide into the peaceful enjoyment of a “baisser”
and a cup of coffee; lounging luxuriantly among the flowers till the hour
approaches for our departure.

We are a snug little party of a dozen, not including Herr Kupferkram and
the Frau, who will insist upon waiting on us.  There is the smug
master-butcher from round the corner, who has a very becoming sense of
his own position in society; two mild-spoken bookseller’s clerks, who
scarcely find their voices till the evening is far advanced; my friend
and fellow-tramp the glovemaker; a spruce little model of a man, with the
crispest hair, and the fullest and best trimmed moustache in the world,
and who is no doubt a great man somewhere; a tremendous fellow of a
student, who talks of cannon-boots, rapiers, and Berliner Weiss Bier; and
an individual whose only distinguishing feature is his nose, and that is
an insult to polite society.  The rest have no characteristics at all.

But ah! shall I forget thee, the beautiful Louise!—the affianced of
Gottlob, the blonde, the coquettish, and the gay!  Have you not asked me,
in half confidence (Alcibiade being present), whether the German
“_geliebte_,” is not changed in English into “_süsses herz_,”
“sweet-heart,” as Gottlob had told you in his last letter from London?
And you think the sentiment “so pretty and poetical!”  And so it is; but
we dunderheads in England have used the word so often that we have half
forgotten its meaning.

Down we sit to supper; commencing with a delicate gravy soup and liver
fritters; following up with breaded pork-chops and red saurkraut;
continuing upon baked veal and prunes; not forgetting the _entremets_ of
green pease and finely-sliced carrots stewed in butter together; going on
with a well-made sallad; and winding up with a syllabub and preserves.
Hah!  Bread unlimited, and beer without discretion.  How can we sing
after all that and yet we do, and talk unceasingly.  The tables are
cleared; and, accompanied by a beautiful tinkling of tiny bell-shaped
glasses, the china punch-bowl, odorous with its steaming orange fluid, is
placed at the head of the table.  How the meek bookseller’s clerks shine
out!  They are all voice now.  And we drink a “Lebe hoch!” to Gottlob far
away; and to Gottlob’s mother, and to Gottlob’s father, chinking our
glasses merrily every time, and draining them after each draught on our
thumb nails, to show how faithfully we have honoured the toasts.  We
shout “Vivat h-o-o-o;” till the old German oven quakes again.

“Sing, fair Louise, I prithee sing!”  Louise is troubled with a cold, of
course; and, after due persuasion, lisps and murmurs some incoherent
tremblings; exceedingly pretty, no doubt, if we could only make out what
they meant.  Then the student, who, although diminutive, has the voice of
a giant, shouts a university song with the Latin chorus:—

   “Edite, bebite, collegiales,
   Post multa sæcula procula nulla!”

   “Eat ye then, drink ye then, social companions,
   Centuries hence and your cups are no more!”

The mildest of the clerks comes out well with Kotzebue’s philosophical
song:—

   “Es kann ja nicht immer so bleiben,
   Hier unter den wechselnden Mond;
   Es blüht eine Zeit und verwelket,
   Was mit uns die Erde bewhont.”

   “It cannot remain thus for ever,
      Here under the changeable moon;
   For earthly things bloom but a season,
      And wither away all too soon.”

The spruce gentleman with the crisp hair throws back his head, and with
closed eyes warbles melodiously:—

    “Einsich bin ich nicht allein.”

    “Alone I’m not in solitude.”

The butcher has forgotten his dignity, and joins vigorously in every
chorus.  At this crisis Louise gracefully retires, leaving us to our
replenished bowl.

“My friends!” shouts the student, mounting on a chair, “listen to me for
a moment.”  And then he plunges into an eloquent discourse upon the
beauties of fraternity, and the union of nations, concluding his harangue
by proposing a “Lebe hoch” to Alcibiade and myself.  Alcibiade is
decidedly the lion of the evening, and bears his honours gracefully, like
a well-tamed creature.  “Se sollen leben!  Vivat ho—o!” it roars in our
ears, and amid its echoes we duly acknowledge the compliment.

“That’s beautiful!” exclaims the student, whose name, by the bye, is
Pimblebeck.  “And now grant me one other favour.  Thou Briton, and thou
son of France, let us drink brotherhood together.  What say ye?  Let it
be no longer ‘you’ and ‘yours’ between us, but ‘thou’ and ‘thine.’”
Having reached the affectionate stage of exhilaration, we enter at once
into the spirit of the proposal, and each in his turn, glass in hand,
locking his arm in that of the enthusiastic Pimblebeck, drinks eternal
friendship: to love truly; to defend valiantly; and to address each other
by no other title than that of “thou” and “thee” for the rest of our
lives.

I confess to a certain obliviousness here; a mental haze, amid which the
mingled airs of “Rule Britannia” and the “Marsellaise” float
indistinctly.  But above all, and through all, with terrible
distinctness, tones the voice of Pimblebeck; his boyish form dilated into
the dimensions of a Goliath, as he pours forth the words of a Prussian
revolutionary song, some few of which stand out in letters of fire in my
memory still, thus:—

   “Prinzen vom Land hinaus,
   Denn kommt der Bürger Schmaus;
         Aristokraten
         Werden gebraten;
   Fürsten and Pfaffen die werden gehangt!”

   “Drive out the prince and priest,
   Then comes the burger’s feast;
         Each aristocrat
         Shall broil in his fat,
   And nobles and bigoted bishops be hanged.”



CHAPTER XIII.


FAIR TIME AT LEIPSIC.

From Berlin to Leipsic by rail, in an open carriage, is not the most
interesting journey in the world.  Whirr, whizz, burr! away we hum
through the keen Spring air, between pleasant banks and dark fir-woods,
not very rapidly indeed, for we travel under government regulations, but
pleasantly enough if it were not for the sparks and the dust.  There are
few objects of interest on our route, till we perceive the towers of
Wittenberg rising out of the hollow on the left, and we are at once
buried in a dream about the simple monk of Eisleben, who, in his struggle
against the papal authority, grew into the gigantic proportions of a
Luther.

At Köthen we change carriages, for we are on the Saxon frontier.  With a
snort and a roar, we start upon our journey over the dull waste, which
can be described in no better way than by the single word repeated: sand,
sand, sand.  And now it comes on to rain, and my thin blouse is but a
sorry shred to withstand the cold, dead drizzle.  By degrees the heavy
night clouds wrap themselves round us, fold by fold, till we see the
engine fire reflected on the ground like a flying meteor; and the forms
of lonely trees on the roadside come upon us suddenly, like spectres out
of the darkness.

“Have you a lodging for the night, friend?” inquires a kind voice near
me, speaking to my very thoughts.

“No.  I am a stranger in Leipsic.”

“And your herberge?”

“I know nothing of it.”

The inquirer is a little man with a thin face, and a voice which might be
disagreeable, were it not mellowed by good nature.  He tells me, then,
that he is a jewel-case maker, and has no doubt that I shall find a ready
shelter in the herberge of his trade till the morning, if I am willing to
accept of it.  It is in the Little Churchyard.  In spite of this ominous
direction I shake the good man heartily by the hand, and, although I lose
him in the darkness and confusion of the railway-station, cling mentally
to the Little Churchyard as a passport to peace and rest.  I don’t know
how it is that I escape interrogation by the police, but once out of the
turmoil of the crowd, I find myself wandering by a deep ditch and the
shadowy outline of a high wall, seeking in vain amid the drizzling mist
for one of the gates of the city.  When almost hopeless of success, a
welcome voice inquires my destination; and, under the guidance of a
worthy Saxon, I find myself in Kleine Kirche Hof at last.  There is the
herberge in question, but with no light—welcoming sign!—for it is already
ten o’clock, and its guests are all in bed.  Dripping with rain, and with
a rueful aspect, I prefer my request for a lodging.  The “vater” looks
dubiously at me out of the corner of one eye, till, having inspected my
passport, he brightens up a little, and thinks he can find me a bed, but
cannot break through the rules of his house so far as to give me any
supper.  It is too late.

Lighting a small lantern he leads the way across a stone-paved yard, and,
opening one leaf of the folding-doors of a stable at its upper end,
inducts me at once into the interior.  It also is paved with stones, is
small, and is nearly choked up with five or six bedsteads.  The vater
points to one which happily is as yet untenanted, and says, “Now, make
haste, will you?  I can’t stop here all night.”  Before I have time to
scramble into bed we are already in darkness, and no sooner is the door
closed than my bed-fellows, who seemed all fast asleep a moment before,
open a rattling fire of inquiries as to my parentage, birthplace, trade,
and general condition; and having satisfied all this amiable questioning
we fall asleep.

We turn our waking eyes upon a miserable glimmering which finds its way
through the wooden bars of our stable-door; but it tells us of morning,
of life, and of hope, and we rise with a bound, and are as brisk as bees
in our summary toilet.  With a dry crust of bread and a cup of coffee, we
are fortified for our morning’s work.  I have a letter of introduction
upon Herr Herzlich of the Brühl, at the sign of the Golden Horn, between
the White Lamb and the Brass Candlestick.  Every house in Leipsic has its
sign, and the numbers run uninterruptedly through the whole city, as in
most German towns; so that the clown’s old joke of “Number One, London,”
if applied to them, would be no joke at all.

I leave the gloomy precincts of Little Churchyard, and descending a
slight incline over a pebbly, irregular pavement, with scarcely a sign of
footpath, arrive at the lower end of the Brühl.  There is a murmur of
business about the place, for this is the first week of the Easter Fair,
but there are none of those common sounds usually associated with the
name to English ears.  No braying of trumpets, clashing of cymbals, or
hoarse groaning of gongs; no roaring through broad-mouthed horns,
smacking of canvass, or pattering of incompetent rifles.  All these
vulgar noises belonging to a fair, are banished out of the gates of the
city: which is itself deeply occupied with sober, earnest trading.

Leipsic has the privilege of holding three markets in the year.  The
first, because the most important, is called the Ostermesse, or Easter
Fair, and commences on Jubilee Sunday after Easter.  It continues for
three weeks, and is the great cloth market of the year.  The second
begins on the Sunday after St. Michael, and is called Michialismesse.  It
is the great Book Fair, is also of three weeks’ duration, and dates, as
does the Easter Fair, from the end of the twelfth century.  The New
Year’s Fair commences on the First of January, and was established in
fourteen hundred and fifty-eight.  Curiously enough, the real business of
the Fair is negotiated in the week preceding its actual proclamation; it
is then that the great sales between manufacturers and merchants, and
their busy agents from all parts of the continent, are effected, while
the three weeks of the actual Fair are taken up in minor transactions.
No sooner is the freedom of the Fair proclaimed than the hubbub begins;
the booths, already planted in their allotted spaces—every inch of which
must be paid for—are found to be choked up with stock of every
description, from very distant countries: while every town and village,
within a wide radius, finds itself represented by both wares and
customers.

It is not, however, all freedom even at fair time.  The guild laws of the
different trades, exclusive and jealous as they are, are enforced with
the utmost severity.  Jews, in general, and certain trades in
particular,—shoemakers, for example,—are not allowed the same privileges
as the rest; for their liberty to sell is restricted to a shorter period,
and woe to the ambitious or unhappy journeyman who shall manufacture, or
expose for sale, any article of his trade, either on his own account or
for others, if they be not acknowledged as masters by the Guild.  Every
such article will be seized by the public officers, deposited in the
Rathhaus, and severe punishment—in the shape of fines—inflicted on the
offender.  The last week of the Fair is called the pay-week; the Thursday
and Friday in this week being severally pay and assignation days.  The
traffic at the Easter Fair, before the establishment of railways, was
estimated at forty millions of dollars, but since, by their means,
increased facilities of transit between Leipsic and the two capitals,
Berlin and Dresden, have been afforded, it has risen to seventy millions
of dollars, or ten millions five hundred thousand pounds sterling.

In the meantime, here we are in the Brühl, a street important enough, no
doubt, so far as its inhabitants and traffic are concerned, but neither
beautiful nor picturesque.  The houses are high and flat, and, from a
peculiarity of build about their tops, seem to leer at you with one eye.
Softly over the pebbles! and mind you don’t tread on the pigeons.  They
are the only creatures in Leipsic that enjoy uncontrolled freedom.  They
wriggle about the streets without fear of molestation; they sit in rows
upon the tops of houses; they whirl in little clouds above our heads;
they outnumber, at a moderate estimate, the whole human population of the
city, and are as sacred as the Apis or the Brahmin bull.  As we proceed
along the Brühl, the evidences of the traffic become more perceptible.
Square sheds of a dingy black hue line one side of the way, and are made
in such a manner, that from being more closed boxes at night, they
readily become converted into shops in the daytime, by a falling flap in
front, which in some cases is adjusted so as to perform the part of a
counter.  These booths form the outer depositories of the merchandise of
the fair, and are generally filled with small and inexpensive articles.
The real riches accumulated in Leipsic during these periods, are stowed
in the massive old houses: floor above floor being filled with them, till
they jam up the very roof, and their plenitude flow out into the street.
The booths, where not private property, are articles of profitable
speculation with the master builders of the city.  They are of planed
deal painted, and are neatly enough made.  They are easily stowed away in
ordinary times, and, when required, are readily erected, being simply
clammed together with huge hooks and eyes.

We have not proceeded half-way down the Brühl, when we are accosted by a
veritable child of Israel, who in tolerably good English requests our
custom.  Will we buy some of those unexceptionable slippers?  In spite of
my cap and blouse, it is evident that I bear some national peculiarity
about me, at once readable to the keen eyes of the Jew; and upon this
point, I remember that my friend Alcibiade, of Argenteuil, jeweller, once
expressed himself to me thus: “You may always distinguish an Englishman,”
said he, “by two things: his trousers and his gait.  The first never fit
him, and he always walks as if he was an hour behind time.”

We are at the sign of the Golden Horn.  Its very door-way is blocked up
for the moment by an enormous bale of goods, puffy, and covered with
cabalistic characters.  When we at length enter the outer gate of the
house, we find ourselves in a small court-yard paved with stone and open
to the sky, but now choked with boxes and packages, piled one upon the
other in such confusion, that they appear to have been rained from above,
rather than brought by vulgar trucks and human hands.  Herr Herzlich,
whose house this is, resides on the third floor.  As we ascend the
winding stair to his apartments, we perceive that the building occupies
the four sides of the courtyard, and that on the third floor a wooden
gallery is suspended along one side, and serves as a means of connection
between the upper portions of the house.  Queerly-shaped bundles, and
even loose goods, occupy every available corner; and as we look down from
the gallery into a deep window on the opposite side, we perceive a
portly, moustachioed gentleman busily counting and arranging piles of
Prussian bank-notes, while heaps of golden coin, apparently Dutch ducats,
or French louis d’or, are built up in a golden barricade before him.  We
pause before the door of Herr Herzlich, master goldsmith and house-owner,
and prepare to deliver our letter of introduction.  They are trying
moments, these first self-presentations; but Herr Herzlich is a
true-hearted old Saxon, who raises his black velvet skullcap with one
hand, as I announce myself, while with the other he lowers his silver
spectacles from his forehead on to his nose.  Then, with all sorts of
comforting words, as to my future prospects in Leipsic, he sends me forth
rejoicing.

Once more in the open street, we pass up the crowded way into the
market-place.  A succession of wooden booths lines the road; and many of
the houses have an overhanging floor resting on sturdy posts, which makes
the footpath a rude colonnade.  Here are piled rolls and bales of cloth,
while the booths are crammed with a heterogeneous collection of articles
of use and ornament diversified beyond description.  A strange knot of
gentlemen arrests our attention for a moment.  They are clad in long
gowns of black serge, and wear highly-polished boots reaching to the
knee.  Some have low-crowned hats, others a kind of semi-furred turban,
but they all have jet black hair arranged in innumerable wiry ringlets,
even to their beards.  They are Polish Jews, and trade chiefly in pearls,
garnets, turquoises, and a peculiar sort of ill-cut and discoloured
rose-diamonds.

The market-place is scarcely passable for the crowd, and the wooden
booths are so thickly studded over its whole space, as to allow of only a
narrow footway between them.  Here we see pipes and walking-sticks,
enough not only for the present, but for generations unborn.  Traversing
the ground by slow degrees, we bend towards the Dresden gate, and come
upon the country people, all handkerchief and waistcoat, who line the
path with their little stores of toys, of eggs, butter, and little pats
of goats’-milk cheese.  Here is a farmer who has straggled all the way
from Altenburg.  He wears a queer round-crowned hat, with the rim turned
up at the back; a jacket with large pockets outside, a sort of trunk
hose, and black boots reaching to the knee.  A little beyond him is a
band of musicians with wind instruments, in the full costume of the
Berg-leute, or mountaineers of Freiberg.  With their jackets of black
stuff, trimmed with velvet of the same hue, and edged at the bottom with
little square lappets; their dark leggings and brimless hats, they look
like a party of Grindoff the miller’s men in mourning.

As we approach the gates, the stalls and wares dwindle into
insignificance, until they disappear altogether; and so we pass out of
the city to the picturesque promenades which surround it.  Afar off we
hear the booming and occasional squeal of the real Fair.  It is not
without its drollery, and, if not equal to “Old Bartlemy” in noise and
rude humour, has a word to say for itself on the point of decency.  It
is, however, but child’s play after all, and abounds with toys and games,
from a half-penny whistle to an electric machine.  Leipsic is now in its
waking hours; but a short time hence her fitful three weeks’ fever will
have passed away, and, weary with excitement, or as some say, plethoric
with her gorge of profits, she will sink into a soulless lethargy.  Her
streets will become deserted, and echo to solitary footsteps; and whole
rows of houses, with their lately teeming shops, will be black and
tenantless, and barred and locked in grim security.  The students will
shine among the quiet citizens; the pigeons will flap their wings in
idleness, and coo in melancholy tones as they totter about the streets;
and the last itinerant player (on the flageolet, of course) will have
sounded his farewell note to the slumbering city.



CHAPTER XIV.


DOWN IN A SILVER MINE.

The sojourner in Leipsic, while strolling through its quaint old streets
and spacious market-place, will be attracted, among other peculiarities
of national costume, by one which, while startling and showy, is still
attractive and picturesque.  The wearer is most probably a young man of
small figure and of pallid appearance.  He is dressed in a short jacket,
which is black, and is enriched with black velvet.  The nether garments
are also black.  His head is covered with a black brimless hat, and a
small semicircular apron of dark cloth is tied, not before, but behind.
This is one of the Berg-leute, mountain people; he comes from the
Freiberg silver district, and is attired in the full dress of a miner.

Doubtless, these somewhat theatrically attired mountaineers hold a
superior position to the diggers and blasters of the earth.  The dress
is, perhaps, more properly that worn in the mountains, than that of the
miners themselves.  Still, even their habiliments, as I afterwards
learned, are but a working-day copy of this more costly model; and the
semicircular apron tied on behind, is more especially an indispensable
portion of the working dress of the labouring miner.

From Leipsic, the mines are distant about seventy English miles.  We—who
are a happy party of foot-wanderers bound for Vienna—spend three careless
days upon the road.  Look at this glorious old castle of Altenburg,
gravely nodding from its towering rock upon the quaint town below.  It is
the first station we come to, and is the capital of the ancient dukedom
of Saxon-Altenburg.  Look at the people about us!  Does it not strike you
as original, that what is here called modest attire, would elsewhere be
condemned as immoral and ridiculous?  Each of the males, indeed, presents
an old German portrait, with short plaited and wadded jacket, trunk
breeches, and low hat, with a rolled brim.  But the women!  With
petticoats no deeper than a Highlandman’s kilt, and their legs thus
guiltless of shoes or stockings, the bust and neck are hideously covered
by a wooden breastplate, which, springing from the waist, rises at an
angle of forty-five degrees as high as the chin; and on the edge of it is
fastened a handkerchief, tied tightly round the neck.  A greater
disfigurement of the female form could scarcely have been devised.  Yet,
to these good people, it is doubtless beauty and propriety itself; for it
is old, and national.

Through pretty woods and cultivated lands; beside rugged, roadside dells,
we trudge along.  We halt in quiet villages, snug and neat even in their
poverty; or wend our way, in the midst of sunshine, through endless
vistas of fruit-laden woods, the public road being one rich orchard of
red-dotted cherry-trees: purchasable for a mere fraction, but not to be
feloniously abstracted.  Through Altenburg, Zwickau, Oederon, and
Chemnitz; up steep hill paths, and by the side of unpronounceable
villages, until, on the morning of the fourth day, we straggle into
Freiberg.

Freiberg is the walled capital of the Saxon ore mountains, the
Erzgebirge; the centre of the Saxon mining administration.  One of its
most spacious buildings is the Mining Academy, which dates from 1767.
Here are rich collections of the wonderful produce of these mountains;
models of mining machines, of philosophical and chemical apparatus; class
and lecture rooms, and books out of number.  Here Werner, the father of
geology, and Humboldt, the systematiser of physical geography, were
pupils.  The former has bequeathed an extensive museum of mineralogy to
the Academy, which has been gratefully named after its founder, the
Wernerian Museum.

Freiberg holds up its head very high.  The Mining Academy stands one
thousand two hundred and thirty-one feet above the sea, although this is
by no means the greatest altitude in the long range of mountains, which
form a huge boundary line between the kingdoms of Saxony and Bohemia.
The general name for the whole district is the Erzgebirg-Kreis—the circle
of ore mountains—and truly they form one vast store of silver, tin, lead,
iron, coal, copper, and cobalt ores; besides a host of chemical compounds
and other riches.  The indefatigable Saxons have worked and burrowed in
them for more than seven hundred years.

We proceed to the Royal Saxon Mining Office, and request permission to
descend into the “bowels of the land.”  This is accorded us without
difficulty, and we receive a beautiful specimen of German text, in the
shape of a lithographed Fahrschein, or permission to descend into
Abraham’s Shaft and Himmelfahrt, and to inspect all the works and
appliances thereunto belonging.  This Fahrschein especially informs us,
that no person, unless of the Minerstand (fraternity of miners), can be
permitted to descend into the Zechen or pits, who is not eighteen years
old; nor can more than two persons be intrusted to the care of one guide.
We cheerfully pay on demand the sum of ten silver groschens each (about
one shilling), for the purpose—as we are informed in a note at the bottom
of the Fahrschein—of meeting the exigencies of the Miners’ Pension and
Relief Fund.

The mine we are about to inspect, which bears the general title of
Himmelsfurst—Prince of Heaven—is situated near to the village of Brand.
How fond these old miners were of Biblical designations! and what an
earnest spirit of religion glowed within them!  There is another mine in
the vicinity, at Voightberg, called the Old Hope of God; but we must
recollect that Freiberg was one of the strongholds of early
Protestantism, and that the first and sternest of the reformers clustered
about its mountains.  They have a cold, desolate look; and we think of
the gardens we have left at their bases, and of the forests of fir-trees
which wave upon some of the loftier pinnacles of these same Erzgebirge.
Nor are the few men we meet of more promising appearance: not dwarfed nor
stunted, but naturally diminutive, with sallow skins and oppressed
demeanour.  How different are the firm, lithe, sun-tanned mountaineers,
who breathe the free air on the summits of their hills!

We are near the entrance of the mine; and, entering the neat, wooden
office of the Schachtmeister, or mine-controller, we produce our
credentials.  Having signed our names in a huge book (in which we
decipher more than one English name), we are passed to the care of an
intelligent-looking guide; who, although still in early manhood, is of
the same small and delicate growth observable in the miners generally.

Our guide, providing himself with small lanterns and an ominous-looking
bundle, leads the way out of the Schachtmeister’s office to another
portion of the same building.  Here are heaps of dark grey “macadamised”
stones;—silver and lead ores just raised from the pit; over whose very
mouth we are unknowingly standing.  A windlass is in the centre of the
chasm; and it is by means of this windlass that the metalliferous
substance is raised to the surface in square wooden boxes.  Here the
dressing of the ores commences; boys cluster in all directions, under the
wooden shed, and in oilier sheds beyond that.  Here the ores are picked
and sorted, washed and sieved, and, we believe, crushed or pulverised,
according to the amount of metal contained in them, till they are in a
fit state for the smelting furnace.  We are not admitted to a minute
inspection of these processes; but, under the direction of our guide,
turn towards the mouth of the pit which we are to descend.  Ere we leave
the shed, we pick out a small block of ore as a memorial of the visit,
and are astonished at its weight; bright yellow, and dull lead-coloured
crystals gleam over its surface; and a portion of the gneiss, from which
it has been broken, still adheres to it.

We follow our guide across a dusty space towards a wooden building with a
conical roof; and, as we approach it, we become conscious of, rather than
hear, the sweet, melancholy sound of a bell, which, at minute intervals,
tones dreamily through the air.  Whence comes that sad sound?  In the
centre of the shed is a square box, open at the top; and immediately
above hangs the small bell; thence comes the silvery voice.

“For what purpose is this bell?” we inquire of our guide.

“It is the bell of safety.”

“Does it sound a warning?”

“No, the reverse; its silence gives the warning.  The bell is tolled by a
large water-wheel, immediately below the surface.  By means of this
wheel, and others at greater depths, the whole drainage of this mine is
effected.  If, by any means, these waterwheels should cease to act, the
bell would cease to sound, and the miners would hasten to the day, for no
man could tell how soon his working might be flooded.”

“And can it be heard throughout the mine?”

“Through this portion of it.  Probably the water acts as a conductor of
the sound; but the miners listen earnestly for its minute tolling.”

Toll on, thou messenger of comfort!  May thy voice ever tell of safety to
the haggard toiler, deep in the earth!

Our guide now directs us to attire ourselves in the garments disgorged
from the portentous-looking bundle.  They consist of a pair of black
calico trousers, a dark, lapelled coat, a leathern semicircular apron,
buckled on behind—the strap of which serves to hook a small lantern on in
front—and a terrible brimless felt hat, which we feel to be a curse the
moment we put it on, and which we never cease to anathematise, up to the
instant when we take it off.  These habiliments being drawn over our
ordinary clothing, do not facilitate our motions, or help to keep us in
so cool a state as might be desirable.

Over the edge of the square box, and down a stone staircase cut through
the solid granite, we follow our guide.  We pause on the first few steps,
and are just able to distinguish the huge, broad water-wheel, slowly
revolving in its stony chamber: its spokes, like giant arms, sweep
through the wet darkness with scarcely a sound, but a low dripping and
gurgling of water.  That terrible staircase! dark and steep and slimy!
Water drips from its roof and oozes from its walls.  It is so low, that
instead of bending forward as the body naturally does when in the act of
descent, we are compelled to throw our heads back at the risk of
dislocating our necks, in order that the detestable hat may not be driven
over our eyes by coming in contact with the roof.  Down, down the
slippery steps; feeling our way along slimy walls: through the dense
gloom, and heavy, moist air!  The way seems to wave and bend we scarcely
know how; sometimes we traverse level galleries, but they only lead us
again to the steep, clammy steps, cut through the tough rock, always at
the same acute angle.  Down, down, six hundred feet! and our guide
whispers to us to be careful how we go, for we are in a dangerous place:
he has brought us to this portion of the mine to show us how the water
accumulates when undisturbed.

The vein of ore has, in this part, ceased to yield a profit for the
necessary labour, and the works have been abandoned.  We creep
breathlessly down until our guide bids us halt; and, holding out his
lantern at arm’s length, but half reveals, in the pitchy darkness, a
low-roofed cavern, floored by an inky lake of still, dead water; in which
we see the light of the lantern reflected as in a mirror.  It is fearful
to look on—so black and motionless: a sluggish pool, thick and
treacherous, which seemingly would engulf us without so much as a wave or
a bubble; and we are within a foot of its surface!  We draw involuntarily
back, and creep up the steep stair to the first level above us.

Along a narrow gallery we proceed for a short space, and then down again;
still down the interminable steps, till our knees crack with the ever
uniform motion, and the hot perspiration streams from every pore.  The
air is so thick and heavy, that we occasionally draw breath with a half
gasp; and still we descend, till we hear the muffled ring of steel,—tink,
tink, tink,—immediately near us, and are suddenly arrested in our
downward course by the level ground.

We are in a narrow gallery, considerably loftier than any we have yet
seen; for we can walk about in it without stooping.  At the further end
are two miners, just distinguishable by the tiny glow of their lanterns.
From these proceed the ring of steel—the muffled tinkling in the thick
air we had heard—and we see that they are preparing for a “blast.”  With
a long steel rod, or chisel, they are driving a way into the hard rock
(geologists say there is little else in the Erzebirge than the primitive
gneiss and granite), and thus prepare a deep, narrow chamber, within
which a charge of gunpowder is placed and exploded.  The hard material is
rent into a thousand pieces, bringing with it the ore so indefatigably
sought.

With every limb strained and distorted, the miners pursue their cramping
labours, grovelling on the earth.  The drilling or boring they are
engaged in is a slow process, and the choice of a spot, so that the
explosion may loosen as much of the lode and as little of the rock as
possible, is of considerable importance.  They cease their labours as we
enter, and turn to look at us.  The curse of wealth-digging is upon them.
They, in their stained and disordered costume, seated on the ground on
their semicircular leather aprons (for that is the obvious use of this
portion of the dress, in these moist regions); we, in our borrowed
garments and brimless beavers, with flushed features and dripping hair.
The miners do not wear the abominable hats, at least “beneath the day,”
that is, in the mines.

“Is this the bottom of the mine?” we inquire anxiously.

The guide smiles grimly as he answers, “We are little more than half-way
to the bottom; but we can descend no deeper in this direction.”

Heaven knows we have no desire!

“This is the first working,” he continues.  “The rest of the mine is much
the same as you have already seen.  We have no other means of reaching
the workings than by the stone staircases you have partly descended.”

“What are the miners’ hours of work?”

“Eight hours a day for five days in the week at this depth,” is the
answer.  “In the deeper workings the hours are fewer.”

“What is the extent of the mine?” we demand.

“I cannot tell.  There is no miner living who has traversed them all.
The greater portion is out of work, and spreads for miles under ground.”

“And the depth?”

“About two hundred fathoms—twelve hundred feet—the sea level.  The ‘Old
Hope of God’ is sixty feet below the level of the sea.”

“Are there many mines like this?”

“There are about two hundred mines in all, with five hundred and forty
pits: in all the mines together there are some four thousand eight
hundred hands, men and boys.  This mine occupies nine hundred of them.”

“And your pay?”

“One dollar a week is a good wage with us.”

One dollar is about three shillings of English money!  This seems small
pay, even in cheap Saxony.

“But,” we pursue our inquiries, “you have no short time, and are
pensioned?—at least, so says our Fahrschein.”

“We are paid our wages during sickness, and are never out of work.  When
we can no longer use the pick, nor climb these staircases, we can retire
upon our pension of eight silver groschens a week.”

Tenpence!  Magnificent independence!  This is digging for silver with a
vengeance.

But we are faint with fatigue; and, bidding adieu to the two miners, we
gladly agree to our guide’s suggestion of ascending to the happy
daylight.  Our way is still the same; although we mount by another shaft,
most appropriately named Himmelfahrt—the path of heaven; but we clamber
up the same steep steps; feel our way along the same slimy walls, and
occasionally drive our hats over our eyes against the same low, dripping
roof.  With scarcely a dry thread about us; our hair matted and dripping;
beads of perspiration streaming down our faces, we reach the top at last;
and thank Heaven, that after two hours’ absence deep down among those
terrible “diggins,” we are permitted once more to feel the bracing air,
and to look upon the glorious light of day.

Our labours, however are not over.  Distant rather more than an English
mile from Himmelsfürst are the extensive amalgamation works, the smelting
furnaces and refining ovens.  Painfully fatigued as we are, we cannot
resist the temptation of paying them a brief visit.  The road is dusty
and desolate; nor are the works themselves either striking or attractive.
An irregular mass of sheds, brick buildings, and tall chimneys, present
themselves.  As we approach them we come upon a “sludge hole”—the bed of
a stream running from the dredging and jigging works; where, by the
agency of water, the ore is relieved of its earthy and other waste
matter, and the stream of water—allowed to run off in separate
channels—deposits, as it flows, the smaller particles washed away in the
first process.  These are all carefully collected, and the veriest atom
of silver or lead extracted.  It is only the coarser ores that undergo
this process; the richer deposits being pulverised and smelted with white
or charred wood and fluxes, without the application of water, and refined
by amalgamation with quicksilver.  The two metals are afterwards
separated by distilling off the latter.

Here are heaps of scoria—stacks of piglead, wood, coke, limestone and
waste earth, everything, indeed, but silver; although we are emphatically
in a silver mining district, silver is by no means the material which
presents itself in the greatest bulk.  Having placed ourselves under the
direction of one of the workmen, we are led into some newly built brick
buildings, where force-pumps and other water appliances, erected at great
cost by the Saxon government, are gratefully pointed out to us.  These
water-works are equally applicable to the extinction of fire, as to the
preparation of ores.

Into what an incomprehensible maze of words should we be betrayed, were
we to attempt a description of the multifarious operations for the
extraction and refining of metals!  Every description of ore, or
metalliferous deposit, requires a different treatment: each suggested and
verified by laborious experience and vigilant attention.  In some cases
the pure silver is separated by mechanical means; in others the ore is
roasted, in order to throw off the sulphur, arsenic, and other volatile
matters, which are separately collected and form no inconsiderable
portion of the valuable produce of the mine.  These roastings again are
smelted with a variety of fluxes, and in different states of
purification, until they are ready for refining.

Here are roasting furnaces, dull and black; huge brick tubes with swollen
ends; others built in, and ready for ignition.  Everywhere, we see pigs
of lead, sometimes lying about in reckless confusion, at others, neatly
packed in square stacks.  Now, they bring us to a huge circular oven,
with at least half-a-dozen firmly closed iron doors, and as many glowing
caves; and a swarthy man, armed with an iron rake, swinging open one of
the iron doors with a ring and a clatter, we look in upon a small lake of
molten silver, fuming, and steaming, and bubbling.  The iron rake is
thrust in, and scrapes off the crumbling crust—the oxide of lead, which
has formed upon its surface.  The silver fumes and flashes, and a white
vapour swims in the air.  The swarthy man swings the iron door to with a
clang, takes us by the arm, and bids us look through into a dark cavity,
and watch the white drops which fall at intervals like tiny stars from
above.  This is the quicksilver evaporated from the heated silver in the
furnace, which passes through the chimney into a kind of still, and is
restored to its original condition.

And what is the result of all this skill and labour?  We find that the
average produce of the Saxon mines is from three to four ounces of silver
to the hundred pounds’ weight of ore; and that the mines about Freiberg
yield annually nearly four hundred and fifty thousand ounces of silver.
We find further that the total mines of the Erzgebirge-Kreis—“circle of
ore mountains”—of which those of Freiberg form a portion, produce a total
of seven hundred and twenty thousand ounces of silver every year; besides
from four hundred to five hundred tons of lead, one hundred and forty
tons of tin, about thirty tons of copper, from three thousand five
hundred to four thousand tons of iron, and six hundred tons of cobalt.
They are rich also in arsenic, brimstone, and vitriol, and contain, in no
inconsiderable quantities, quicksilver, antimony, calamites, bismuth, and
manganese.  Even precious stones are not wanting; garnets, topazes,
tourmalines, amethysts, beryls, jaspers, and chalcedonies having been
found.

A shrewd old workman tells us, with a proud satisfaction, that when
Napoleon’s power was crushed, and Saxony had to pay the penalty of her
adhesion to the French conqueror, in the shape of various parings and
loppings of her already narrow territories—that Prussia gloated with
greedy eyes, and half stretched out an eager hand to grasp the Erzgebirge
and their mineral riches.  “_Aber_,” exclaims he with a chuckle, “_die
sind noch Sächische_, _Gott sey dank_!”  “But they are still Saxon,
thanks be to God!”

All things considered (the Australian diggins included), we came to the
conclusion, from our small experience of Saxon mines, that there are more
profitable, and even more agreeable occupations in the world than
mining—pleasanter ways, in short, of getting a living, than digging for
silver in Saxony, or even for gold in Australia.



CHAPTER XV.


A LIFT IN A CART.

We left Dresden in the middle of July, a motley group of five: a
Frenchman, an Austrian, two natives of Lübeck, and myself; silversmiths
and jewellers together; all of us duly _viséd_ by our several ambassadors
through Saxon Switzerland, by way of Pirna, on to Peterswald.  The latter
is the frontier town of Bohemia, and forms, therefore, the entrance from
Saxony into the Austrian empire.

At dusk we were on the banks of the Elbe, at the ferry station near
Pillnitz, the summer dwelling of the King of Saxony.  Having crossed the
broad stream, we leapt joyously up the steep path that led into a mimic
Switzerland; a country of peaks, valleys, and pine trees, wanting only
snow and glaciers.  For three days we wandered among those wild regions;
now scaling the bleak face of a rock; now stretched luxuriously on the
purple moss, or gathering wild raspberries by the road side.  From the
abrupt edge of the overhanging Bastei we looked down some six hundred
feet upon the wandering Elbe, threading its way by broad slopes, rich
with the growth of the vine; or by bleached walls of stone, upon which
even the lichens seemed to have been unable to make good their footing.
From the narrow wooden bridge of Neu Rathen, we looked down upon the
waving tops of fir trees, hundreds of feet beneath us.  Then down we
ourselves went by a wild and jagged path into a luxuriant valley called
by no unfit name, Liebethal—the Valley of Love!

Then there was Königstein, seen far away, a square-topped mountain,
greyish white with time and weather, soaring above the river’s level some
fourteen hundred feet.  And we clambered on, never wearying; by mountain
fall and sombre cavern, and round the base of an old rock up to a
fortress, till we reached the iron gates; and, amid the echo of repeated
passwords and the clatter of military arms, entered its gloomy portal.
We entered only to pass through; and having admired from the summit a
glorious summer prospect, we journeyed on again into the plains beyond,
and so entered the Austrian territory at Peterswald.

Then there was a great change from fertility to barrenness.  From the
moment we entered Bohemia we were oppressed by a sense of poverty, of
sloth, or some worse curse resulting from Austrian domination, which
seemed to have been enough to cripple even Nature herself as she stood
about us.  It was evident that we had got among another race of people,
or else into contact with a quite different state of things.  At the
first inn we found upon the road, although it was a mighty rambling
place, with stone staircases and spacious chambers, there was not bedding
enough in the whole establishment for our party of five, and yet we were
the only guests.  We were reduced to the expedient of spreading the two
mattresses at our disposal close together upon the bare boards, and so
sleeping five men in one double bed.  A miserable night we had of it.  We
fared better at Prague, which town we entered the next day.  That is a
fine old city.  From the first glimpse we caught of it from an adjoining
hill, bathing its feet, as it were, in the Moldan, we were charmed.
There was a wonderful cluster of minarets and conical towers, half
Eastern, half German, piled up to the summit of the castle hill.  There
was the beautifully barbarous chapel of Johann von Nepomuk, with its
silver tomb.  It was all one mass of picturesque details, beautiful in
their outline and impressive in their very age,—and, I may add, dirt.  A
rare picture of middle-age romance is Prague—a fragment of the past,
uninjured and unchanged.  The new suspension bridge across the Moldan
looks ridiculous; it is incongruous; what has old Prague to do with
modern engineering?  It is a noble structure, to be sure, of which the
inhabitants are proud; but it was designed and executed for them by an
Englishman.

From Prague we tramped with all the diligence of needy travellers to
Brünn, the capital of Moravia.  Our march was straggling.  Foremost
strode Alcibiade Tourniquet, jeweller and native of Argenteuil, the best
fellow in the world: but one who would persist in marching in a pair of
Parisian boots with high, tapering heels, bearing the pain they gave with
little wincing.  For him the ground we trod was classical, for we were in
the neighbourhood of Austerlitz.  Immediately in his rear swaggered the
Austrian, with swarthy features and black straggling locks, swaddled and
dirty; he was called “bandit” by general consent.  The other three men of
our party tramped abreast under the guidance of a Lübecker, a smart
upright fellow, who, on the strength of having served two years in an
infantry regiment, naturally took the position of drill-sergeant, and was
dignified with the name of Hannibal on that account.

We halted to rest in the village of Bischowitz, where the few straggling
houses, and the dreary, almost tenantless hostelry, told their own
sorrows.  But we got good soup, with an unlimited supply of bread, which
formed a dinner of the best description; for, besides that the adopted
doctrine in Germany is that soup is the best meat for the legs, we found
that it also agreed well with our pockets.  While in the full enjoyment
of our rest, we observed that an earnest conversation had sprung up
between the landlord and a ruddy-featured fellow in a green half-livery.

“Whither are you going, friends?” inquired the landlord at length,
advancing towards us.

“We were going to Brünn by the high-road,” we answered.

“This man will carry you beyond Chradim for a _zwanziger_ a head,” said
the landlord, pointing to the half-liveried fellow, who began
gesticulating violently, and marking us off with his fingers as if we
were so many sheep.  This was a tempting offer for foot travellers, each
burthened with a heavy knapsack.  Chradim was eleven German miles on our
road—a good fifty miles in English measurement—and we were all to be
transported this distance for a total of about three shillings and
sixpence.  We therefore inspected the _furwerk_, which did not promise
much; but as it was drawn by a neat sturdy little horse, who rattled his
harness with a sort of brisk independence that spoke well for a rapid
journey, we readily decided upon the acceptance of the offer made by the
Bohemian driver.  That worthy shook his head when we addressed him, and
grunted out “_Kein Deutsch_,”—“No German.”  Indeed we found that,
excepting people in official situations, innkeepers, and the like, the
German language was either unknown to, or unacknowledged by the natives.
In less than half an hour we had tumbled our knapsacks into the
cart—which was a country dray, of course without either springs or
seats—and disposing ourselves as conveniently as we could on its rough
edges, were rattling and jolting off over the uneven road towards Collin,
our station for the night.

The country through which we passed was uncultivated and uninteresting;
but, like the rest that we had seen, it spoke of a poverty rather induced
than natural.  With the exception of the two villages of Planinam and
Böhmishbrod we scarcely saw a house, and human creatures were extremely
scarce.  As we approached Collin we halted for a moment to look at a
column of black marble erected on the roadside to commemorate the
devotion of a handful of Russian troops, who had at this spot checked the
progress of the whole French army for many hours.  A little later, and we
were lodged at our inn in the market-town of Collin, where we supped on
bread and cheese and good Prague beer.  A wild chorus of loud voices, and
an overwhelming odour of tobacco and onions, were the accompaniments of
our meal.  The morrow being market-day in Collin, the whole population of
the district had flocked to the town, and the houses of accommodation
were all full.  Our common room was quite choked up with sturdy forms in
white loose coats; broad country faces, flushed with good humour, or
beer, shone upon us from all sides.  Our driver, who had been very sedate
and reserved during the whole of the day, soon joined a cluster of
congenial spirits in one corner, and was the thirstiest and most
uproarious of mortals.  As for ourselves, we seemed to be made doubly
strangers, for there was not a word of German spoken in our hearing.
Hours wore on, and the country folks seemed to enjoy their town excursion
so extremely well, that there were no signs of breaking up, till mine
host made his appearance and insisted upon the lights being put out, and
upon the departure of his guests to bed.  But, beds; where were they?
Our military Lübecker laughed at the idea.

“There are never more than two beds in a Bohemian house of
entertainment,” said he, “and the landlord by law claims the best of the
two for himself.  The other is for the first comer who pays for it.
Perhaps we shall get some straw, perhaps not.  At the worst there are the
boards.”

But we did get some straw, after considerable trouble, and the whole
crowd of boozers (with the exception of our driver, who went to bed with
his horses) set about preparing couches for themselves, with a tact that
plainly showed how well they were accustomed to it.  The straw was spread
equally over the whole chamber, and each man turned over his heavy oaken
chair, so that its back became a pillow.  Divested of boots and coats, we
were soon stretched upon our litters, thirty in a room.

Our morning duty was to shake the loose straw out of our hair and ears,
and then to clear away every vestige of our night accommodation, in order
that a delicious breakfast of rich, black, thick coffee, and plain bread,
might be spread before us in the same room.  The country folks were all
at market, and, as far as we could see, so was our driver.  He was
nowhere to be found.  We had vague notions of his having decamped; but
considering that we had only paid him two zwanzigers out of the five
bargained for, the supposition seemed hardly a reasonable one.  After
seeking him in vain through every room in the house, in the crowded
market place, and in the neat little town, full of low, square-built
houses and whitened colonnades, we thought of the stable, and there we
found our friend, stretched on his back among the hoofs of his horse,
who, careful creature, loving him too well to disturb him, never stirred
a limb.

We saw our guide in a new light that day.  In spite of all our urging, it
was nine o’clock before we fairly quitted Collin, and he was then already
in an exhilarated state, having taken several strong draughts to cool his
inward fever.  We would have given much to have been able to converse
with him; for, as we were about to start, he grinned and gesticulated in
such a violent way—having, evidently, something to communicate which he
was unable to express—that we called the host to our assistance.

“You must not be alarmed,” said the landlord in explanation, “if he
should swerve from the high-road, for he thinks of taking you cross
country, and it may be a little rough.”

We started at last, and the brave little horse rattled along at a gallant
pace.  “Hi, hi, hi!” shouted the Bohemian, and away we went along the
well-beaten high-road, jolted unmercifully; our knapsacks dancing about
our feet like living creatures.  We were too much occupied in the task of
keeping our seats, to be able to devote much attention to the country,
until, having passed Czaslau, we turned suddenly out of the high-road,
and came upon a scene of cultivation and refinement that was very
charming.  A rapid cooling down of our driver’s extravagance of manner
was the immediate result of our entering upon the well-kept paths, and
between smooth lawns; we went at a decent trot, following a semicircular
road, by which we were brought immediately in front of a noble mansion.
At the door of an inn, which pressed upon the pathway, our Bohemian
halted and addressed to us a voluble and enthusiastic harangue in his own
language (one that has a soft and pleasant sound): evidently he meant to
impress us with the beauty of the scene.

We soon learned all about it from the landlord of the inn.  Our driver
was a liveried servant of the Prince before whose mansion we had stopped,
and he was probably running much risk of dismissal in letting his grace’s
country cart for hire.  He was a sad dog, for, in the course of a quarter
of an hour he ran up a score upon the strength of an alleged promise on
our parts to pay all expenses, and succeeded in wheedling another
zwanziger in advance out of our cashier, the military Lübecker.  This
piece of money, however, on being proffered in payment of a last
half-pint of beer, was instantly confiscated by the landlord for previous
arrears.

Amid a hurricane of abuse, exchanged between landlord and driver, we
clattered out of private ground to the main road again.  Our charioteer
had risen into a state of exaltation that defied all curb, and in a short
time we were again firmly planted before the sign-post of a public-house.
But here there was no credit, and our good-natured Lübecker having doled
out a fourth zwanziger on account, was scarcely surprised to see it
pounced upon and totally appropriated by the host in liquidation of some
ancient score.  With a shout of rage, or rather a howl, from our Bohemian
whip, we again set forward.  “Hi, hi, hi!” and helter-skelter we went,
through bush and bramble, where indeed there was no trace or shadow of a
beaten track.  The Bohemian was lost to control; he shouted, he sang, he
yelled, savagely flogging his willing beast all the while, until we began
to have serious fears for the safety of our necks.  Presently we were
skimming along the edge of the steep bank of a broad and rapid stream,
wondering internally what might possibly come next, when, to our terror,
the Bohemian, pointing with his whip to the opposite bank, suddenly
wheeled the horse and rude vehicle round, and before we could expostulate
with or arrest him in his course, plunged down a long slope and dashed
into the river, with a hissing and splashing that completely blinded us
for a few seconds, and drenched us to the skin.  We held on with the
desperation of fear; but before we could well know whether we swam or
rode we had passed the stream, and our unconquered little horse was
tugging us might and main up the opposite bank.  That once obtained, we
saw before us a wide expanse of heath, rugged and broken, and no trace of
any road.

But horse and driver seemed to be alike careless about beaten tracks.
The Bohemian grew wilder at every step, urging on his horse with mad
gestures and unearthly cries.  His driving was miraculous; along narrow
strips of road, scarcely wide enough to contain the wheels, he passed in
safety; sometimes skimming the outer ridge of a steep bank, and when,
seemingly about to plunge into an abyss, suddenly wheeling both horse and
cart round at an acute angle, and darting on with a reckless speed to new
dangers and new escapes.  We had been told that he was an admirable hand
at the rein when sober; but, when drunk, he certainly surpassed himself.
As for ourselves, we were in constant fear of our lives; and, being
utterly unacquainted with the country and the language, and unable to
control the extravagances of our driver, we calmly awaited, and almost
invoked, the “spill” that seemed inevitable.

But the paroxysm of the Bohemian had reached its height; from an
incarnate devil, in demeanour and language, he rapidly dropped into
childish helplessness, and finally into a deep uncontrollable slumber.
This was a state of things which, at first, threatened more danger than
his open madness; but then it was the horse’s turn to show _his_ quality.
He saw that a responsibility devolved upon him, and he was quite equal to
the occasion.  He seemed to know his way as well without as with his
master.  We guessed this; and, taking the reins from the hands of the
quite helpless Bohemian, we left the gallant animal to take whatever
course he thought most prudent.  The good beast brought us well out of
the tangled heath, and once more to a level, open road.

Soon, a neat village was before us, and we came to the resolution that we
would dismount there at all hazards.  But then our sleepy driver suddenly
started into life, and, with a terrible outburst of wrath, gave us, by
motions, to understand that we had gone beyond his destination.  We paid
very little heed to him; but, leaping from the cart, felt grateful for
the blessing of whole bones.  There remained still one zwanziger unpaid;
but, to our astonishment, the Bohemian relapsed into his old rage when
this was tendered to him, and, by a complication of finger reckoning,
explained to us that he had never received more than two.  In fact, he
ignored all that had passed during his drunken fit.  Argument being on
each side useless, we also betook ourselves to abuse, and a terrible
conflict of strong language, in which neither party understood the other,
was the result.  We entered the chief inn of the village, followed by the
implacable Bohemian, who, though ejected several times, never failed to
re-appear, repeating his finger calculations every time, and concluding
each assault with the mystical words, “_Sacramentum hallaluyah_!”  The
landlord came at length to our assistance; and, by a few emphatic words
in his own language, exorcised this evil spirit.

We pursued our way by Hohenmauth, and having missed somehow the larger
village of Chradim, lodged for the night in a lonely hamlet.  We walked
fully thirty-two miles the next day, through a wild, neglected country,
and hobbled into Loitomischl as the night was setting in.

We were now upon the borders of Bohemia, and saw glaring on the wall of a
frontier hostelry, “Willkommen zu Mähren”—“Welcome to Moravia.”  We
sealed the welcome by a sumptuous breakfast of sausages and beer in the
frontier town of Zwittau—a pleasant place, with a spacious colonnaded
market-square—and finished our meal on a green bank on the outskirts of
the town, with a heap of sweet blackberries, of which we had purchased a
capful for six kreutzers shein.  It was a quiet, beautiful Sunday
morning, and the country folks were streaming towards the church.  They
were all in holiday trim, with a strong tendency to Orientalism in the
fashion of their garments.  The women’s head-dresses were arranged with
much taste, consisting generally of a large handkerchief, or shawl,
folded turban-wise, with hanging ends; but the heads of the men were
surmounted by an atrocious machine, in the shape of a hat, which, with
its broad, rolled brim, its expanded top, and numerous braidings and
pendants, could be nothing less than an heirloom in a family.  We marched
some twenty-five miles that day, and as the even darkened, entered the
village of Goldentraum—Golden dream—happy name! for here, after four
nights of straw-litter, we slept in beds.

Seated in the travellers’ room was a group which at once arrested our
attention.  A swarthy man, with scattered, raven locks, and a handsome
countenance, was filling a glass with red wine from a round-bellied
flask.  His companion, a black, shaggy-bearded fellow, ragged and filthy,
sat opposite to him; while close by the wall, squatted on the ground, was
a squalid, olive-skinned woman, with black, matted hair, who was vainly
endeavouring to still the cries of a child, swaddled at her back.  The
men wore slouched Spanish hats, and wide cloaks, which, partly thrown
aside, revealed the rags and dirt beneath.  Bohemian gipseys—real
Bohemians were they—filchers and beggars, whose ample cloaks were
intended as much for a convenient means of concealing stolen property, as
articles of dress.  Our military Lübecker thought they would be very
useful as a foraging party.  They sat laughing and sipping their wine,
now and then handing a glass of the liquor, in an ungracious way, to the
woman squatted on the ground; and who received it with a real or assumed
humility which was, perhaps, the most curious part of the picture.  Here
three of our companions, Alcibiade, the Viennese silversmith, and one of
the Lübeckers, were unable to proceed further on foot, and took places in
the “fast coach;” while “Hannibal” and myself tramped the remaining
twenty miles which lay between us and Brünn, the capital of Moravia.

It was again Sunday, our usual rest day, and I stood in the open square
before the huge church at Brünn, watching the motley, shifting, and
clamorous crowd which had converted its very steps into a market-place.
There was something strikingly Eastern in the character of the women’s
attire: intensely gaudy and highly contrasted; and their head-dresses the
very next thing to a turban with double-frilled ends.  There was also
something peculiarly Catholic in the nature of the articles exposed for
sale; beads, crosses, coloured pictures of saints, and tiny images of
suffering Saviours; but more especially in the manner in which the Sunday
had been turned into a market-day.  Above all, and through all, the
impressive tones of the solemn chant, mingled with bursts of inspiring
music, pealed out of the open doorway, round which clustered the kneeling
devotees.

Our lame companions started on the following day by rail for the Austrian
capital, while we took the high road.  The country through which we
passed was beautifully undulated; hill and dale following each other in
regular succession, and in a far different state of order and cultivation
to the neglected plains of Bohemia.  We were now in Austria proper, and
everything spoke of prosperity and comfort.  Neat, populous villages,
hung upon every hill-side—the southern side invariably—and there were no
shortcomings in the accommodation for man or horse.  But our finances
were in a miserable plight; and our sustenance during the two and a half
days occupied in tramping the more than eighty miles between Brünn and
Vienna, consisted for the most part of fruit, bread, and water.  We
crossed the Danube at a place called “Am Spitz,” where there is an
interminable bridge across the broad flood, and entered Vienna almost
penniless.



CHAPTER XVI.


THE TURKS’ CELLAR.

You enter the old town of Vienna from Leopoldstadt by the Ferdinand
Bridge; and, walking for a few minutes parallel with the river, come into
a hollow called the Tiefer Grund; passing next under a broad arch which
itself supports a street spanning the gulley, you find on the left hand a
rising ground which must be climbed in order to reach a certain open
space of a triangular form, walled in by lofty houses, called “Die
Freiung,”—the Deliverance.  In it there is an old wine-house, the Turks’
Cellar, and there belongs to this spot one of the legends of Vienna.

In the autumn of the year sixteen hundred and twenty-seven, when the city
was so closely invested by the Turks, that the people were half famished,
there stood in the place now called “Freiung,” or thereabouts, the
military bakery for that portion of the garrison which had its quarters
in the neighbourhood.  The bakery had to supply not only the soldiers,
but bread was made in it to be doled out to destitute civilians by the
municipal authorities; and, as the number of the destitute was great, the
bakers there employed had little rest.  Once in the dead of the night,
while some of the apprentices were getting their dough ready for the
early morning batch, they were alarmed by a hollow ghostly sound as of
spirits knocking in the earth.  The blows were regular and quite
distinct, and without cessation until cockcrow.  The next night these
awful sounds were again heard, and seemed to become louder and more
urgent as the day drew near; but, with the first scent of morning air,
they suddenly ceased.  The apprentices gave information to the town
authorities; a military watch was set, and the cause of the strange
noises in the earth was very soon discovered.  The enemy was under
ground; the Turks, from their camp on the Leopoldiberg, were carrying a
mine under the city; and, not knowing the levels, had approached so
nearly to the surface that there was but a mere crust between them and
the bakehouse floor.

What was to be done?  The danger was imminent—the remedy must be prompt
and decisive.  A narrow arm of the Danube ran within a hundred yards of
the place: pick and spade were vigorously plied, and in a short time a
canal was cut between the river and the bakery.  Little knew the Turks of
the cold water that could then at any time be thrown upon their
undertaking.  All was still.  The Viennese say that the hostile troops
already filled the mine, armed to the teeth, and awaiting only a
concerted signal to tell them that a proposed midnight attack on the
walls had diverted the attention of the citizens.  Then they were to rush
up out of the earth and surprise the town.  But the besieged, forewarned
and forearmed, suddenly threw the flood-gates open and broke a way for
the water through the new canal under the bakehouse floor; down it went
bubbling, hissing, and gurgling into the dark cavern, where it swept the
Mussulmans before it, and destroyed them to a man.

This was the origin of the Turks’ Cellar; and although the title is
perhaps unjustly appropriated by the winehouse I have mentioned, yet
there is no doubt that the tale is true, and that the house at any rate
is near the spot from which its name is taken.  Grave citizens even
believe that the underground passage still exists, walled and roofed over
with stone, and that it leads directly to the Turks’ camp, at the foot of
the Leopoldiberg.  They even know the size of it, namely, that it is of
such dimensions as to admit the marching through it of six men abreast.
Of this I know nothing; but I know from the testimony of a venerable old
lady—who is not the oldest in Vienna—that the bakers’ apprentices were
formerly allowed special privileges in consideration of the service once
rendered by some of their body to the state.  Indeed, the procession of
the bakers, on every returning anniversary of the swamp-in of the Turks,
when they marched horse and foot from the Freiung, with banners, emblems,
and music, through the heart of the city to the grass-grown camp outside
the city walls, was one of the spectacles that made the deepest
impression on this chatty old lady in her childhood.

The Turks’ Cellar is still famous.  It is noted now, not for its bread or
its canal-water, but for its white wine, its baked veal, and its savoury
chickens.  Descend into its depths (for it is truly a cellar and nothing
else) late in the evening, when citizens have time and money at their
disposal, and you find it full of jolly company.  As well as the
tobacco-smoke will permit you to see what the place resembles, you would
say that it is like nothing so much as the after cabin of a Gravesend
steamer on a summer Sunday afternoon.  There is just such a row of tables
on each side; just such a low roof; just such a thick palpable air,
uncertain light, and noisy steamy crowd of occupants.  The place is
intolerable in itself, but fall-to upon the steaming block of baked veal
which is set before you; clear your throat of the tobacco-smoke by mighty
draughts of the pale yellow wine which is its proper accompaniment;
finally, fill a deep-bowled meerschaum with Three Kings tobacco, creating
for yourself your own private and exclusive atmosphere, and you begin to
feel the situation.  The temperature of mine host’s cellar aids
imagination greatly in recalling the idea of the old bakehouse, and there
comes over you, after a while, a sense of stifling that mixes with the
nightmare, usually constituting in this place an after-supper nap.  In
the waking lethargy that succeeds, you feel as if jostled in dark vaults
by a mob of frantic Turks, labouring heavily to get breath, and sucking
in foul water for air.

Possibly when fully awakened you begin to consider that the Turks’ Cellar
is not the most healthful place of recreation to be in; and, cleaving the
dense smoke, you ascend into sunlight.  Perhaps you stroll to some place
where the air is better, but which may still have a story quite as
exciting as the catastrophe of the imperial bakehouse: perhaps to
Bertholdsdorf; a pretty little market-town with a tall-steepled church,
and a half ruined battlement, situated on the hill slope about six miles
to the south of Vienna.  It forms a pretty summer day’s ramble.  Its
chronicler is the worthy Markt-richter, or Town-justice, Jacob
Trinksgeld; and his unvarnished story, freely translated, runs thus:—

“When the Turkish army, two hundred thousand strong without their allies,
raised the siege of Raab, the retreating host of rebels and Tartars were
sent to overrun the whole of Austria below the Enns on this side of the
Danube, and to waste it with fire and sword.  This was done.  On the
ninth of July, detached troops of Spahis and Tartars appeared before the
walls of Bertholdsdorf, but were beaten back by our armed citizens.
Those attacks were repeated on the tenth and twelfth, and also repulsed;
but as at this time the enemy met with a determined resistance from the
city of Vienna, which they had invested, they gathered in increased force
about our devoted town, and on the fifteenth of July attacked us with
such fury on every side that, seeing it was no longer possible to hold
out against them, partly from their great numbers, and partly from our
failing of powder; and, moreover, seeing that they had already set fire
to the town in several places, we were compelled to seek shelter with our
goods and chattels in the church and fortress, neither of which were as
yet touched by the flames.

“On the sixteenth, the town itself being then in ashes, there came a
soldier dressed in the Turkish costume, save that he wore the leather
jerkin of a German horseman, into the high street, and waving a white
cloth, he called out in the Hungarian language, to those of us who were
in the fortress, that if we would ask for grace, both we and ours should
be protected, and a safe conduct (salva quartier) given to us, that
should be our future defence.  Thereupon we held honest counsel together,
citizens and neighbours then present, and in the meantime gave reply,
translated also into Hungarian, that if we should agree thereto, we would
set up a white flag upon the tower as a sign of our submission.  Early on
the morning of the nineteenth of July there came a Pasha from the camp at
Vienna, at the head of a great army, and with him the same Turk who had
on the previous day made the proposal to us.  And the Pasha sat himself
down upon a red carpet spread on the bare ground, close by the house of
Herr Streninger, till we should agree to his terms.  It was five o’clock
in the morning before we could make up our minds.

“Then, when we were all willing to surrender, our enemies demanded, in
the first place, that two of our men should march out of the fortress as
hostages, and that two Turks should take their places with us; and that a
maiden, with loose streaming hair, and a wreath upon her forehead, should
bring forth the key of the town, seeing that this place had never till
then been taken by an enemy.  Further, they demanded six thousand florins
ransom from us, which, however, we abated to four thousand, handing to
them two thousand florins at once, upon three dishes, with the request
that the remainder should be allowed to stand over till the forthcoming
day of John the Baptist.  As soon as this money had been paid over to
them, the Pasha called such of our faithful garrison as were in the
church to come out and arrange themselves in the square, that he might
see how many safe-conducts were required; but, as each armed man came to
the door, his musket was torn out of his hand, and such as resisted were
dragged by the hair of the head into the square by the Turks, and told
that they would need no weapons, seeing that to those who sought for
mercy, the passes would be sufficient protection.  And thus were our arms
carried away from us.

“As soon as the whole garrison, thus utterly defenceless, were collected
in the public square, there sprang fifty Turks from their horses, and
with great rudeness began searching every one of them for money or other
valuables; and the citizens began already to see that they were betrayed
into a surrender, and some of them tried to make their escape—among
others, Herr Streninger, the town-justice; but he was struck down
immediately, and he was the first man murdered.  Upon this, the Pasha
stood up, and began to call out with a loud, clear voice to his troops,
and as they heard his words, they fell upon the unarmed men in the
market-place, and hewed them down with their scimitars without pity or
remorse—sparing none in their eagerness for the butchery, and which, in
spite of their haste, was not ended till between one and two o’clock in
the afternoon.  Of all our citizens, only two escaped the slaughter, and
they contrived to hide themselves in the tower; but those who fled out of
the town were captured by the Tartars, and instantly dispatched.  Then,
having committed this cruel barbarism, they seized the women and children
who had been left for safety in the church, and carried them away into
slavery, taking care to burn and utterly destroy the fortress ere they
departed.  And when Vienna was relieved, and the good people there came
among the ruins of Bertholdsdorf, they gathered together the headless and
mangled remains of our murdered citizens to the number of three thousand
five hundred, and buried them all in one grave.”

In “eternal remembrance” of this catastrophe, the worthy town-justice,
Trinksgeld, in seventeen hundred ordered a painting to be executed,
representing the fearful scene described.  It occupies the whole of one
side of the Town-hall, and in its quaint minuteness of detail, and
defiance of perspective—depicting, not merely the slaughter of the
betrayed Bertholdsdorfers, but the concealment of the two who were
fortunate enough to escape, and who are helplessly apparent behind some
loose timber—would be ludicrous, were it not for the sacred gravity of
the subject.

As it is, we quit the romantic little town with a sigh, and turning our
faces towards Vienna, wonder what the young Turks of eighteen hundred and
fifty-four may possibly think of the Old Turks of one hundred and thirty
years ago.



CHAPTER XVII.


A TASTE OF AUSTRIAN JAILS.

At the “Fete de Dieu,” in Vienna (the _Frohnleichnamsfest_), religious
rites are not confined to the places of worship—the whole city becomes a
church.  Altars rise in every street, and high mass is performed in the
open air, amid clouds of incense and showers of holy water.  The Emperor
himself and his family swell the procession.

I had taken a cheering glass of Kronewetter with the worthy landlord of
my lodgings, and sauntered forth to observe the day’s proceedings.  I
crossed the Platz of St. Ulrick, and thence proceeded to the high street
of Mariahilf—an important suburb of Vienna.  I passed two stately altars
on my way, and duly raised my hat, in obedience to the custom of the
country.  A little crowd was collected round the parish church of
Mariahilf; and, anticipating that a procession would pass, I took my
stand among the rest of the expectant populace.  A few assistant police,
in light blue-grey uniforms with green facings, kept the road.

A bustle about the church-door, and a band of priests, attendants,
and—what pleased me most—a troop of pretty little girls came, two and
two, down the steps, and into the road.  I remember nothing of the
procession but those beautiful and innocent children, adorned with
wreaths and ribbons for the occasion.  I was thinking of the rosy faces I
had left at home, when my reflections were interrupted by a peremptory
voice, exclaiming, “Take off your hat!”  I should have obeyed with
alacrity at any other moment; but there was something in the manner and
tone of the “Polizeidiener’s” address which touched my pride, and made me
obstinate.  I drew back a little.  The order was repeated; the crowd
murmured.  I half turned to go; but, the next moment, my hat was struck
off my head by the police-assistant.

What followed was mere confusion.  I struck the “Polizeidiener;” and, in
return, received several blows on the head from behind with a heavy
stick.  In less than ten minutes I was lodged in the police-office of the
district; my hat broken and my clothes bespattered with the blood which
had dropped, and was still dropping, from the wounds in my head.

I had full time to reflect upon the obstinate folly which had produced
this result; nor were my reflections enlivened by the manners of the
police-agents attached to the office.  They threatened me with heavy
pains and punishments; and the Polizeidiener whom I had struck, assured
me, while stanching his still-bleeding nose, that I should have at least
“three months for this.”

After several hours’ waiting in the dreary office, I was abruptly called
into the commissioner’s room.  The commissioner was seated at a table
with writing materials before him, and commenced immediately, in a sharp
offensive tone, a species of examination.  After my name and country had
been demanded, he asked:

“Of what religion are you?”

“I am a Protestant.”

“So!  Leave the room.”

I had made no complaint of my bruises, because I did not think this the
proper place to do so; although the man who dealt them was present.  He
had assisted, stick in hand, in taking me to the police-office.  He was
in earnest conversation with the Polizeidiener, but soon left the office.
From that instant I never saw him again; nor, in spite of repeated
demands, could I ever obtain redress for, or even recognition of, the
violence I had suffered.

Another weary hour, and I was consigned to the care of a police-soldier;
who, armed with sabre and stick, conducted me through the crowded city to
prison.  It was then two o’clock.

The prison, situated in the Spengler Gasse, is called the
“Polizei-Haupt-Direction.”  We descended a narrow gut, which had no
outlet, except through the prison gates.  They were slowly opened at the
summons of my conductor.  I was beckoned into a long gloomy apartment,
lighted from one side only, and having a long counter running down its
centre; chains and handcuffs hung upon the walls.

An official was standing behind the counter.  He asked me abruptly:

“Whence come you?”

“From England,” I answered.

“Where’s that?”

“In Great Britain; close to France.”

The questioner behind the counter cast an inquiring look at my escort:—

“Is it so?” he asked.

The subordinate answered him in a pleasant way, that I had spoken the
truth.  Happily an Englishman, it seems, is a rarity within those prison
walls.

I was passed into an adjoining room, which reminded me of the back
parlour of a Holywell Street clothes shop, only that it was rather
lighter.  Its sides consisted entirely of sets of great pigeon-holes,
each occupied by the habiliments or effects of some prisoner.

“Have you any valuables?”

“Few enough.”  My purse, watch, and pin were rendered up, ticketed, and,
deposited in one of the compartments.  I was then beckoned into a long
paved passage or corridor down some twenty stone steps, into the densest
gloom.  Presently I discerned before me a massive door studded with
bosses, and crossed with bars and bolts.  A police-soldier, armed with a
drawn sabre, guarded the entrance to Punishment Room No. 1.  The bolts
gave way; and, in a few moments, I was a prisoner within.

Punishment Room No. 1, is a chamber some fifteen paces long by six broad,
with a tolerably high ceiling and whitened walls.  It has but two
windows, and they are placed at each end of one side of the chamber.
They are of good height, and look out upon an inclosed gravelled space,
variegated with a few patches of verdure.  The room is tolerably light.
On each side are shelves, as in barracks, for sleeping.  In one corner,
by the window, is a stone sink; in another, a good supply of water.

Such is the prison; but the prisoners!  There were
forty-eight—grey-haired men and puny boys—all ragged, and stalking with
slippered feet from end to end with listless eyes.  Some, all eagerness;
some, crushed and motionless; some, scared and stupid; now singing, now
swearing, now rushing about playing at some mad game; now hushed or
whispering, as the loud voice of the Vater (or father of the ward) is
heard above the uproar, calling out “Ruhe!” (“Order!”)

On my entrance I was instantly surrounded by a dozen of the younger
jail-birds, amid a shout of “Ein Zuwachs!  Ein Zuwachs!” which I was not
long in understanding to be the name given to the last comer.  “Was haben
sie?” (What have you done?) was the next eager cry.  “Struck a
Polizeidiener!”  “Ei! das ist gut!” was the hearty exclamation; and I was
a favourite immediately.  One dirty villanous-looking fellow, with but
one eye, and very little light in that, took to handling my clothes; then
inquired if I had any money “up above?”  Upon my answering in the
affirmative my popularity immediately increased.  They soon made me
understand that I could “draw” upon the pigeon-hole bank to indulge in
any such luxuries as beer or tobacco.

People breakfast early in Vienna; and, as I had tasted nothing since that
meal, I was very hungry; but I was not to starve; for soon we heard the
groaning of bolts and locks, and the police-soldier who guarded the door
appeared, bearing in his hand a red earthen pot, surmounted by a round
flat loaf of bread “for the Englishman.”  I took my portion with thanks,
and found that the pipkin contained a thick porridge made of lentils,
prepared with meal and fat; in the midst of which was a piece of fresh
boiled beef.  The cake was of a darkish colour; but good wholesome bread.
Altogether, the meal was not unsavoury.  Many a greedy eye watched me as
I sat on the end of the hard couch, eating my dinner.  One wretched man
seeing that I did not eat all, whispered a proposal to barter his dirty
neckerchief—which he took off in my presence—for half of my loaf.  I
satisfied his desires, but declined the recompense.  My half-emptied
pipkin was thankfully taken by another man, under the pretence of
“cleaning it.”

One of my fellow-prisoners approached me.

“It is getting late,” said he; “do you know what you have got to do?”

“No.”

“You are the Zuwachs (latest accession), and it is your business to empty
and clean out the ‘Kiefel’” (the sink, etc.)

“The devil!”

“But I dare say,” he added, carelessly, “if you pay the Vater a
‘mass-bier,’” (something less than a quart of beer), “he will make some
of the boys do it for you.”

“With all my heart.”

“Have you a rug?”

“No.”

“You must ask the Corporal, at seven o’clock; but I dare say the Vater
will find you one—for a ‘mass-bier’—if you ask him.”

I saw that a mass-bier would do a great deal in an Austrian prison.

The Vater, who was a prisoner like the rest, was appealed to.  He was a
tall, burly-looking young man, with a frank countenance.  He had quitted
his honest calling of butcher, and had taken to smuggling tobacco into
the city.  This is a heavy crime; for the growth, manufacture, and sale
of tobacco is a strict Imperial monopoly.  Accordingly, his punishment
had been proportionately severe—two years’ imprisonment.  The sentence
was now approaching completion; and, on account of good conduct, he had
received the appointment of Vater to Punishment Room No. 1.  The benefits
were enumerated to me with open eyes by one of the prisoners—“Double
rations, two rugs, and a mass-bier a day!”

The result of my application to the Vater was the instant calling out of
several young lads, who crouched all day in the darkest end of the room—a
condemned corner, abounding in vermin; and I heard no more of the sink
and so forth.  The next day a newcomer occupied my position.

At about seven o’clock the bolts were again withdrawn, the ponderous door
opened, and the Corporal—who seemed to fill the office of
ward-inspector—marched into the chamber.  He was provided with a small
note-book and a pencil, and made a general inquiry into the wants and
complaints of the prisoners.  Several of them asked for little
indulgences.  All these were duly noted down to be complied with the next
day—always supposing that the prisoner possessed a small capital “up
above.”  I stepped forward, and humbly made my request for a rug.  “You!”
exclaimed the Corporal, eyeing me sharply.  “Oh! you are the
Englishman?—No!”

I heard some one near me mutter: “So; struck a policeman!  No mercy for
him from the other policemen—any of them.”

The Vater dared not help me; but two of his most intimate friends made me
lie down between them; and, swaddled in their rugs, I passed the night
miserably.  The hard boards, and the vermin, effectually broke my
slumbers.

The morning came.  The rules of the prison required that we should all
rise at six, roll up the rugs, lay them at the heads of our beds, and
sweep out the room.  Weary and sore, I paced the prison while these
things were done.  Even the morning ablution was comfortless and
distressing; a pocket-handkerchief serving but indifferently for a towel.

Restless activity now took full possession of the prisoners.  There was
not the combined shouting or singing of the previous day; but there was
independent action, which broke out in various ways.  Hunger had roused
them; the prison allowance is one meal a day: and although, by husbanding
the supply, some few might eke it out into several repasts, the majority
had no such control over their appetite.  Tall, gaunt lads, just starting
into men, went roaming about with wild eyes, purposeless, pipkin in hand,
although hours must elapse before the meal would come.  Caged beasts pace
their narrow prisons with the same uniform and unvarying motion.

At last eleven o’clock came.  The barred door opened, and swiftly, yet
with a terrible restraint—knowing that the least disorder would cost them
a day’s dinner—the prisoners mounted the stone steps, and passed slowly,
in single file, before two enormous caldrons.  A cook, provided with a
long ladle, stood by the side of each; and, with a dexterous plunge and a
twist, a portion of porridge and a small block of beef were fished up and
dashed into the pipkin extended by each prisoner.  Another official stood
ready with the flat loaves.  In a very short time, the whole of the
prisoners were served.

Hunger seasoned the mess; and I was sitting on the bedstead-end enjoying
it, when the police-soldier appeared on the threshold, calling me by
name.

“You must leave—instantly.”

“I am ready,” I said, starting up.

“Have you a rug?”

“No.”

I hurried out into the dark passage.  I was conducted to the left;
another heavy door was loosened, and I was thrust into a gloomy cell,
bewildered, and almost speechless with alarm.  I was not alone.  Some
half-dozen melancholy wretches, crouching in one corner, were disturbed
by my entrance; but half-an-hour had scarcely elapsed, when the
police-soldier again appeared, and I was hurried out.  We proceeded
through the passage by which I had first entered.  In my way past the
nest of pigeon-holes “up above,” my valuables were restored to me.
Presently a single police-soldier led me into the open street.

The beautiful air and sunshine! how I enjoyed them as we passed through
the heart of the city.  “Bei’m Magistrat,” at the corner of the Kohlmarkt
was our destination.  We entered its porticoed door, ascended the stone
stairs, and went into a small office, where the most repulsive-looking
official I have anywhere seen, noted my arrival in a book.  Thence we
passed into another pigeon-holed chamber, where I delivered up my little
property, as before, “for its security.”  A few minutes more, and I was
safely locked in a small chamber, having one window darkened by a wooden
blind.  My companions were a few boys, a courier—who, to my surprise,
addressed me in English—and a man with blazing red hair.

In this place I passed four days, occupied by what I suppose I may
designate “my trial.”  The first day was enlivened by a violent attack
which the jailer made upon the red-haired man for looking out of window.
He seized the fiery locks, and beat their owner’s head against the wall.
I had to submit that day to a degrading medical examination.

On the second day I was called to appear before the “_Rath_,” or counsel.
The process of examination is curious.  It is considered necessary to the
complete elucidation of a case, that the whole life and parentage of the
accused should be made known; and I was thus exposed to a series of
questions which I had never anticipated:—The names and countries of both
of my parents; their station; the ages, names, and birthplaces of my
brothers and sisters; my own babyhood, education, subsequent behaviour,
and adventures; my own account, with the minutest details of the offence
I had committed.  It was more like a private conference than an
examination.  The Rath was alone—with the exception of his secretary, who
diligently recorded my answers.  While being thus perseveringly
catechised, the Rath sauntered up and down; putting his interminable
questions in a friendly chatty way, as though he were taking a kindly
interest in my history, rather than pursuing a judicial investigation.
When the examination was concluded, the secretary read over every word to
me, and I confirmed the report with my signature.

The Rath promised to do what he could for me; and I was then surprised
and pleased by the entrance of my employer.  The Rath recommended him to
write to the English Embassy in my behalf, and allowed him to send me
outer clothing better suited to the interior of a prison than the best
clothes I had donned to spend the holiday in.

I went back to my cell with a lightened heart.  I was, however, a little
disconcerted on my return by the courier, who related an anecdote of a
groom, of his acquaintance, who had persisted in smoking a cigar while
passing a sentinel; and who, in punishment therefor, had been beaten by a
number of soldiers, with willow rods; and whose yells of pain had been
heard far beyond the prison walls.  What an anticipation!  Was I to be
similarly served?  I thought it rather a suspicious circumstance that my
new friend appeared to be thoroughly conversant with all the details (I
suspect from personal experience) of the police and prison system of
Vienna.  He told me (but I had no means of testing the correctness of his
information) that there were twenty Rathsherrn, or Counsellors; that each
had his private chamber, and was assisted by a confidential secretary;
that every offender underwent a private examination by the Rath appointed
to investigate his case—the Rath having the power to call all witnesses,
and to examine them, singly, or otherwise, as he thought proper; that on
every Thursday the “Rathsherrn” met in conclave; that each Rath brought
forward the particular cases which he had investigated, explained all
their bearings, attested his report by documentary evidence prepared by
his secretary, and pronounced his opinion as to the amount of punishment
to be inflicted.  The question was then decided by a majority.

On the third day, I was suddenly summoned before the Rath, and found
myself side by side with my accuser.  He was in private clothes.

“Herr Tuci,” exclaimed the Rath, trying to pronounce my name, but utterly
disguising it, “you have misinformed me.  The constable says he did not
_knock_ your hat off—he only _pulled_ it off.”

I adhered to my statement.  The Polizeidiener nudged my elbow, and
whispered, “Don’t be alarmed—it will not go hard with you.”

“Now, constable,” said the Rath; “what harm have you suffered in this
affair?”

“My uniform is stained with blood.”

“From _my_ head!” I exclaimed.

“From _my_ nose,” interposed the Polizeidiener.

“In any case it will wash out,” said the Rath.

“And you,” he added, turning to me,—“are you willing to indemnify this
man for damage done?”

I assented; and was then removed.

On the following morning I was again summoned to the Rath’s chamber.  His
secretary, who was alone, met me with smiles and congratulations: he
announced to me the sentence—four days’ imprisonment.  I am afraid I did
not evince that degree of pleasure which was expected from me; but I
thanked him, was removed, and, in another hour, was reconducted to
Punishment Room No. 1.

The four days of sentence formed the lightest part of the adventure.  My
mind was at ease: I knew the worst.  Additions to my old companions had
arrived in the interval.  We had an artist among us, who was allowed, in
consideration of his talents, to retain a sharp cutting implement
fashioned by himself from a flat piece of steel—knives and books being,
as the most dangerous objects in prison, rigidly abstracted from us.  He
manufactured landscapes in straw, gummed upon pieces of blackened wood.
Straw was obtained, in a natural state, of green, yellow, and brown; and
these, when required, were converted into differently-tinted reds, by a
few hours’ immersion in the Kiefel.  He also kneaded bread in the hand,
until it became as plastic as clay.  This he modelled into snuffboxes
(with strips of rag for hinges, and a piece of whalebone for a spring),
draughts, chess-men, pipe-bowls, and other articles.  When dry, they
became hard and serviceable; and he sold them among the prisoners and the
prison officials.  He obtained thus a number of comforts not afforded by
the prison regulations.

On Sunday, I attended the Catholic chapel attached to the prison—a damp
unwholesome cell.  I stood among a knot of prisoners, enveloped in a
nauseous vapour; for there arose musty, mouldy, effluvia which gradually
overpowered my senses.  I felt them leaving me, and tottered towards the
door.  I was promptly met by a man who seemed provided for emergencies of
the kind; for he held a vessel of cold water, poured some of it into my
hands, and directed me to bathe my temples.  I partly recovered; and,
faint and dispirited, staggered back to the prison.  I had not, however,
lain long upon my bed (polished and slippery from constant use), when the
prison guard came to my side, holding in his hand a smoking basin of egg
soup “for the Englishman.”  It was sent by the mistress of the kitchen.
I received the offering of a kind heart to a foreigner in trouble, with a
blessing on the donor.

On the following Tuesday, after an imprisonment of, in all, nine days,
during which I had never slept without my clothes, I was discharged from
the prison.  In remembrance of the place, I brought away with me a straw
landscape and a bread snuff-box, the works of the prison artist.

On reaching my lodging I looked into my box.  It was empty.

“Where are my books and papers?” I asked my landlord.

The police had taken them on the day after my arrest.

“And my bank-notes?”

“Here they are!” exclaimed my landlord, triumphantly.  “I expected the
police; I knew you had money somewhere, so I took the liberty of
searching until I found it.  The police made particular inquiries about
your cash, and went away disappointed, taking the other things with
them.”

“Would they have appropriated it?”

“Hem!  Very likely—under pretence of paying your expenses.”

On application to the police of the district, I received the whole of my
effects back.  One of my books was detained for about a week; a member of
the police having taken it home to read, and being, as I apprehend, a
slow reader.

It was matter of great astonishment, both to my friends and to the
police, that I escaped with so slight a punishment.



CHAPTER XVIII.


WHAT MY LANDLORD BELIEVED.

My Bohemian landlord in Vienna told me a story of an English nobleman.
It may be worth relating, as showing what my landlord, quite in good
faith and earnest, believed.

You know, Lieber Herr, said Vater Böhm, there is nothing in the whole
Kaiserstadt so astonishing to strangers as our signboards.  Those
beautiful paintings that you see—Am Graben and Hohe Markt,—real works of
art, with which the sign-boards of other countries are no more to be
compared, than your hum-drum English music is to the delicious waltzes of
Lanner, or the magic polkas of Strauss.  Imagine an Englishman, who knows
nothing of painting, finding himself all at once in front of one of those
charming compositions—pictures that they would make a gallery of in
London, but which we can afford to put out of doors; he is fixed, he is
dumb with astonishment and delight—he goes mad.  Well, Lieber Herr, this
is exactly what happened to one of your English nobility.  Milor arrived
in Vienna; and as he had made a wager that he would see every notability
in the city and its environs in the course of three days, which was all
the time he could spare, he hired a fiaker at the Tabor-Linie, and drove
as fast as the police would let him from church to theatre; from museum
to wine-cellar; till chance and the fiaker brought him into the Graben.
Milor got out to stretch himself, and to see the wonderful shops, and
after a few turns came suddenly upon the house at the sign of the Joan of
Arc.

“Goddam!” exclaimed Milor, as his eye met the sign-board.

There he stood, this English nobleman, in his drab coat with pearl
buttons, his red neckcloth, blue pantaloons and white hat, transfixed for
at least five minutes.  Then, swearing some hard oaths—a thing the
English always do when they are particularly pleased—Milor exclaimed, “It
is exquisite!  Holy Lord Mayor, it is unbelievable!”

Mein Lieber, you have seen that painting of course, I mean Joan of Arc,
life-size, clad in steel, sword in hand, and with a wonderful serenity
expressed in her countenance, as she leads her flagging troops once more
to the attack upon the walls.  It has all the softness of a Coreggio, and
the vigour of a Rubens.  Milor gave three bounds, and was in the middle
of the shop in a moment.

“That picture!” he exclaimed.

“What picture—Eurer Gnaden?” inquired the shopkeeper, bowing in the most
elegant manner.

“It hangs at your door—Joan of Arc, I wish to buy it.”

“It is not for sale, Eurer Gnaden.”

“Bah!” ejaculated Milor, “I must have it.  I will cover it with guineas.”

“It is impossible.”

“How impossible?” cried Milor, diving into the capacious pocket of the
drab coat with the pearl buttons, and drawing forth a heavy roll of
English bank-notes, “I’ll bet you anything you like that it is possible.”

You know, mein Lieber, that the English settle everything by a wager;
indeed, betting and swearing is about all their language is fit for.  For
a fact, there were once two English noblemen, from Manchester or some
such ancient place, who journeyed down the Rhine on the steam-boat.  They
looked neither to the right nor to the left; neither at the vine-fields
nor the old castles; but sat at a table, silent and occupied with nothing
before them but two lumps of sugar, and two heaps of guineas.  A little
crowd gathered round them wondering what it might mean.  Suddenly one of
them cried out, “Goddam, it’s mine!”  “What is yours?” inquired one who
stood by, gaping with curiosity.  “Don’t you see,” replied the other, “I
bet twenty guineas level, that the first fly would alight upon my lump of
sugar, and by God, I’ve won it!”

To return to Milor.  “I’ll bet you anything you like that it is
possible,” said he.

“Your grace,” replied the shopkeeper, “my Joan of Arc is beyond price to
me.  It draws all the town to my shop; not forgetting the foreigners.”

“I will buy your shop,” said the Englishman.

“Milor!  Graf Schweinekopf von Pimplestein called only yesterday to see
it, and Le Comte de Barbebiche.”

“A Frenchman!” shouted Milor.

“From Paris, your grace.”

“Will you sell me your Joan of Arc?” was the furious demand.  “I will
cover it with pounds sterling twice over.”

“Le Comte de Barbebiche—”

“You have promised it to him?”

“Yes!” gasped Herr Wechsel, catching at the idea.

“Enough!” cried the English nobleman; and he strode into the street.
With one impassioned glance at the figure of La Pucelle, he threw himself
into his fiaker, and drove rapidly out of sight.

On reaching his hotel, he chose two pairs of boxing gloves, a set of
rapiers, and a case of duelling pistols; and, thus loaded, descended to
his fiaker, tossed them in, and started off in the direction of the
nearest hotel.  “Le Comte de Barbebiche”—that was the pass-word; but
everywhere it failed to elicit the desired reply.  He passed from street
to street—from gasthaus to gasthaus—everywhere the same dreary negative;
and the day waned, and his search was still unsuccessful.  But he never
relaxed; the morning found him still pursuing his inquiries; and midday
saw him at the porte cochére of the Hotel of the Holy Ghost, in the
Rothenthurm Strasse, with his case of duelling pistols in his hand, his
set of rapiers under his arm, and his two pairs of boxing-gloves slung
round his neck.

“Deliver my card immediately to the Comte,” said he to the attendant;
“and tell him I am waiting.”  He had found him out.  Luckily, the Comte
de Barbebiche happened to be in the best possible humour when this
message was conveyed to him, having just succeeded in dyeing his
moustache to his entire satisfaction.  He glanced at the card—smiled at
himself complacently in the mirror before him, and answered in a gracious
voice, “Let Milor Mountpleasant come up.”

Milor was soon heard upon the stairs; and, as he strode into the room, he
flung his set of rapiers with a clatter on the floor, dashed his case of
duelling pistols on the table, and with a dexterous twist sent one pair
of boxing-gloves rolling at the feet of the Comte, while, pulling on the
other, he stood in an attitude of defence before the astonished
Frenchman.

“What is this?” inquired the Comte de Barbebiche.

“This is the alternative,” cried the Englishman.  “Here are weapons; take
your choice—pistols, rapiers, or the gloves.  Fight with one of them you
must and shall, or abandon your claim to Joan of Arc.”

“Mon Dieu!  What Joan of Arc?  I do not have the felicity of knowing the
lady.”

“You may see her, Am Graben,” gravely replied Milor, “outside a shop
door, done in oil.”

“Heh!” exclaimed the astonished Comte, “in oil—an Esquimaux, or a Tartar,
pray?”

“Monsieur le Comte, I want no trifling.  Do you persist in the purchase
of this picture?  I have set my heart upon it; I love it; I have sworn to
possess it.  Make it a matter of money, and I will give you a thousand
pounds for your bargain; make it a matter of dispute, and I will fight
you for it to the death; make it a matter of friendship, and yield up
your right, and I will embrace you as a brother, and be your debtor for
the rest of my life.”

The Comte de Barbebiche—seeing that he had to do with an Englishman a
degree, at least, more crazed than the rest of his countrymen—entered
into the spirit of the matter at once, and chose the easiest means of
extricating himself from a difficulty.

“Milor,” he exclaimed, advancing towards him, “I am charmed with your
sentiments, your courage, and your integrity.  Take her, Milor—take your
Joan of Arc; I would not attempt to deprive you of her if she were a real
flesh and blood Pucelle, and my own sister.”

The Englishman, with a grand oath, seized the Comte’s hand in both his
own, and shook it heartily; then scrambling up his paraphernalia of war,
spoke a hurried farewell, and disappeared down the stairs.

The grey of the morning saw Milor in full evening costume, pacing the
Graben with hurried steps, watching with anxious eyes the shop front
where his beloved was wont to hang.  He saw her carried out like a
shutter from the house, and duly suspended on the appointed hook.  She
had lost none of her charms, and he stood with arms folded upon his
breast, entranced for awhile before the figure of the valiant maiden.

“Herr Wechsel,” said he abruptly, as he entered the shop; “Le Comte de
Barbebiche has ceded his claim to me.  I repeat my offer for your Joan of
Arc—decide at once, for I am in a hurry.”

It certainly does appear surprising that Herr Wechsel did not close in
with the offer at once; perhaps he really had an affection for his
picture; perhaps he thought to improve the bargain; or, more probably,
looking upon his strange customer as so undoubtedly mad, as to entertain
serious fears as to his ever receiving the money.  Certain it is, that he
respectfully declined to sell.

“You refuse!” shouted Milor, striking his clenched fist upon the counter;
“then, by Jove! I’ll—but never mind!” and he strode into the street.

The dusk of the evening saw Milor in the dress of a porter, pacing the
Graben with a steady step.  He halted in front of his cherished Joan;
with the utmost coolness and deliberation unhooked the painting from its
nail, and placing it carefully, and with the air of a workman, upon his
shoulder, stalked away with his precious burden.

Imagine the consternation of Herr Wechsel upon the discovery of his loss.
His pride, his delight, the chief ornament of his shop was gone; and,
moreover, he had lost his money.  But his sorrow was changed into
surprise, and his half-tearful eyes twinkled with satisfaction as he read
the following epistle, delivered into his hands within an hour after the
occurrence:—

    “Sir,—You will find placed to your credit in the Imperial Bank of
    Vienna the sum of five thousand pounds, the amount proffered for your
    Joan of Arc.  Your obstinacy has driven me into the commission of a
    misdemeanour.  God forgive you.  But I have kept my word.

    “I am already beyond your reach, and you will search in vain for my
    trace.  In consideration for your feelings, and to cause you as
    little annoyance as possible, I have placed _my_ Joan of Arc into the
    hands of a skilful artist; and I trust to forward you as accurate a
    copy as can be made.

                                                   “Yours, MOUNTPLEASANT.”

And Milor kept his word, mein Lieber, and the copy hangs Am Graben to
this day in the place of the original.  The original shines among the
paintings in the splendid collection of Milor at Mountpleasant Castle.

I will not pretend to say, concluded Vater Böhm, reloading his pipe, that
the English have any taste, but they certainly have a strange passion for
pictures; and, let them once get an idea into their heads, they are the
most obstinate people in the world in the pursuit of it.



CHAPTER XIX.


AN EXECUTION AT VIENNA.

Carl Fickte, a native of Vienna, stood condemned for execution.  His
crime was murder.  He was convicted of having enveigled his nephew, of
eight years old, to the Mölker bastion of the city fortification, and of
having thrown him over the parapet into the dry ditch below.  The depth
of the fall was between thirty and forty feet, and the shattered body of
the boy explained his miserable death.  His nephew’s cloak became
loosened in the struggle, and remained in the hands of Fickte, who sold
it, and spent the produce in a night’s debauch.  This cloak led to the
discovery of the murderer, and after a lapse of eight months to his
conviction and execution.

I had resolved to witness the last act of the law, and started from home
at six o’clock on the appointed morning.  A white mist filled the air,
and gradually thickened into rain; and by the time I had reached the
spot—a distance of about two miles—a smart shower was falling.  The place
of execution is a field in the outskirts of the city, bounded on one side
by the main road, and close to the “Spinnerinn am Kreuz,” an ancient
stone cross, standing on the edge of the highway.  From this spot a
beautiful view of the city is obtained.

The crowd was already gathering, and carts, benches, and platforms were
in course of arrangement by enterprising speculators, for the
accommodation of the people.  A low bank which skirted the field was soon
occupied, and every swell of the ground was taken advantage of.  Soon the
rain fell in torrents, and the earth became sodden and yielding; but no
pelting shower, no sinking clay, could drive the anxious crowd from the
attractive spectacle.  Still on they came, men and women together;
laughing and joking; their clothes tucked about them, and umbrella-laden.
Over the field; on to the slippery bank, whence, every now and again,
arose a burst of uproar and laughter, as some part of the mound gave way,
and precipitated a snugly-packed crowd into the swamp below.

Venders of fruit, sausages, bread, and spirits, occupied every eligible
situation, and from the early hour, and the unprepared state of the
spectators, found abundant patronage.

A clatter was heard from the city side, and a body of mounted police
galloped along the high road, halted at the gallows, and formed
themselves into a hollow square around it.  The gibbet was unlike our
own, it had no platform, and no steps; but was a simple frame formed by
two strong upright, and one horizontal beam.  There was a little
entanglement of pulleys and ropes, which I learned to understand at a
later hour.

Still the rain came pouring down, in one uninterrupted flood, that
nothing but the excitement of a public execution could withstand.  And
still the people clustered together in a dense crowd, under the open air
and pelting rain, shifting and reeling, splashing and staggering, till
the field became trodden into a heavy, clinging paste of a full foot
deep.  But no one left the spot; they had come for the sight, and see it
they would.  Over the whole field and bank, and rising ground, a perfect
sea of umbrellas waved and swayed with the crowd, as they vainly sought a
firmer resting place among the clogging clay.  An hour went by, but there
was no change, except a continued accession to the crowd.  It was
wonderful how patiently they stood under the watery hurricane; helplessly
embedded in a slimy swamp; feverish and anxious; with no thought but the
looming gallows, towards which all eyes were turned, and the miserable
culprit, whose sudden end they were awaiting to see.

Fagged, at length, and soaked with rain, I left the slough, and gaining
the highroad, pressed towards the city to meet the cavalcade.  A rushing
of people, and a confused cry, told me of its approach.  “There he is!”
Yes, there! in that open cart, surrounded by mounted police, and pressed
on all sides by a hurrying crowd.  On either side of him sit the prison
officials; while in front, an energetic priest, with all the vehemence
and gesticulation of the wildest religious fervour, is evidently urging
him to repentance.

It is the law of Austria, that no criminal, however distinctly his crime
may have been proved by circumstantial evidence, can suffer death, till
he has himself confirmed the evidence by confession.  But any artifice
can be lawfully employed to entrap him into an acknowledgment of his
guilt; therefore, although the sentence of the law may often be deferred,
it is rare indeed that its completion is averted.  Fickte had of course
confessed.  A flush was on his face; but there was no life or
intellectual spirit there.

Another battle with the crowd, and I stood in the rear of the gibbet.
After a weary interval, the scharfrichter—executioner—mounted, by means
of a ladder, to the cross beam of the gallows.  By the action of a wheel
the culprit slowly rose into the air, but still unhurt.  Three broad
leathern straps confined his arms; and perfectly motionless, held in a
perpendicular position by cordage fixed to the ground, and to the beam
above, he awaited his death.  No cap covered his face.  A looped cord
passing through another pulley, was placed under his chin, the cord
running along the cross-beam, and the end fixed to a wheel at the side of
the gibbet.

The culprit kissed the crucifix; a single turn of the wheel; a hoarse cry
of “Down with the umbrellas!” and his life had passed away; though no
cry, no struggle, announced its departure.  The scharfrichter laid his
hand upon the heart of the criminal, then, assured of his death,
descended.  And still, amid the incessant rain, with eager eyes bent upon
the dead, the crowd waited, gloating on the sight.  According to the
sentence of the law, the corpse, with nothing to hide its discoloured and
distorted features, remained hanging till the setting of the sun.

Ashamed, wearied, and horrified, I hurried home; only halting on my way
to purchase the “Todesurtheil,” or “Death-sentence,” which was being
cried about the streets.  This is an official document, and indeed the
only one with which the people of Vienna are gratified on such a subject.
Trials are not public, nor can they be reported; and although the whole
of the details invariably ooze out through the police, no authentic
account appears before the public till the sentence is carried out.

The “Todesurtheil” appears, like our “Last Dying Speech,” at the time of
the execution, but contains no verses; being a simple, and very brief
narrative of the life and crime of the condemned.  He is designated by
his initials only, out of delicacy to his relatives, although his real
name is, somehow or other, already well known.

Six months later there occurred another execution, but I had no curiosity
to witness it.  The condemned was a soldier, who, in a fit of jealousy,
had fired upon his mistress; but killed a bystander instead.  There was
no mystery about the affair, and he was condemned to death.

On the day previous to his execution, he was allowed to receive the
visits of his friends and the public.  Only a single person was admitted
at a time.  He awaited his visitor (in this instance, an acquaintance of
my own), with calmness and resolution; advanced with outstretched hand to
meet him; greeting him with a hearty salutation.  The visitor, totally
unprepared for this, trembled with a cold shudder, as he received the
pressure of the murderer’s hand; murmured a blessing; dropped a few coin
into the box for the especial benefit of his soul, and hurriedly
withdrew.

On the following morning the condemned quitted his prison for the gibbet.
But the soldier, unlike the civilian—the soldier who has forfeited his
right to a military execution—must walk to his death.  The civilian rides
in the felon’s cart; the soldier, in undress, must pace the weary way on
foot.  Imagine a death-condemned criminal walking from the Old Bailey to
Copenhagen Fields to the gallows, and you have a parallel case.



CHAPTER XX.


A JAIL EPISODE.

While in the full enjoyment of that luxury, “A Taste of Austrian Jails,”
already related in these pages, I met with a man whose whole life would
seem to signify perversion; a “dirty, villanous-looking fellow, with but
one eye, and very little light in that.”  A first glance at this fellow
would call up the reflection, “Here is the result of bad education, and
bad example, induced perhaps by natural misfortunes, but the inevitable
growth of filth and wretchedness in a large city.”

With thin, straggling wisps of hair thrown, as it were, on his head, a
dull glimmer only in his one eye, and his whole features of a crafty,
selfish character—such he was; clad in a long, threadbare, snuff-coloured
great-coat, reaching almost to his heels, and which served to hide the
trowsers, the frayed ends of which explained their condition; on his bare
feet he wore a pair of trodden-down slippers, with upper leathers gaping
in front with open mouths; a despicable rascal to look at, and yet this
was a brother of one of the magistrates of Vienna.

It was soon evident to me that this individual was held in great respect
by the rest of the prisoners; such an influence has education,—for he was
an educated man,—even in such a place as a common jail.

I was soon informed of the peculiar talent which gave him a prominent
position.  He was an inexhaustible teller of stories; and, added my
informant, “he can drink as much beer as any three men in Vienna.”

This was saying a great deal.

On the second night of my incarceration in Punishment Room No. 1, I had
an opportunity of judging of his powers; for, on our retiring to our
boards and rugs, which, according to prison regulations, we were bound to
do at the ringing of the eight o’clock bell, I heard his peculiar voice
announce from the other side of the room, where he lay, propped up
against the wall by the especial indulgence of his comrades, that he was
about to tell a story.  I could not sleep, but lay upon the hard planks
listening, as he recounted with a wonderful power of language, and no
mean amount of elocutionary dignity, some principal incidents in the life
of Napoleon.  His companions lay entranced; they did not sleep, for I
could hear their whispers, and, now and then, their uneasy shiftings on
the relentless wood.  And so he went on, and I fell off to sleep before
he had come to a conclusion.

This was repeated each night of my confinement, for which he received his
due payment in beer from his fellow prisoners.

He professed to have a great affection for me; would take my arm, and
walk with me up and down the ward, telling me of his acquirements, little
scraps of his history, and invariably making a request for a little beer.

On one occasion it was suggested by the “Vater” that he should tell us
his own story.

“My story!” chuckled the unashamed rascal.  “Why, all Vienna knows my
story.  I am the brother of Rathherr Lech, of the
Imperial-royal-city-police-bureau of Vienna.  My brother is a great man;
I am a vagabond.  _He_ deserves it, and _I_ deserve it; but he is my
brother for all that, and I put him in mind of it now and then.

“My brother, by his zeal and talent, has acquired great learning, and
raised himself to a position of honour and independence.  And why have I
not done the same?  Because I am lazy, have got weak eyes, and am fond of
beer.  I do not care for your wine; good Liesinger beer is the drink for
me.

“My brother wished me to attain a lofty position in the world.  I am the
younger.  He paid teachers to instruct me, and I learned a great deal;
but it was dry work, and I sought change, after days of study, in
beer-cellars, among a few choice boosers.  And my eyes were weak, and
close study made them worse; and many a day I stole from my lessons on
the plea of failing sight.  My brother, who is a good fellow, only that
he does not sufficiently consider my weakness, employed physicians and
oculists out of number; and among them I lost the sight of one eye.  It
was of no use; I did not like the labour of learning, and I made my weak
eyes an excuse for doing less than I could have done.

“At last I gave it up altogether, and my brother got me into the
‘Institute for the Blind.’  _That_ would not do for me at all; I was not
blind enough for _that_.  So, one day, when the door was open, and the
weather fine, I strolled home again to my brother.  This vexed him
greatly; but he got over it, and then he placed me in the ‘Imperial
Bounty.’  A stylish place, I can tell you, where few but nobles were
allowed.

“But how could I, a lusty young fellow, be happy among that moping,
musty, crampt-up lot of old respectables?  Not I! so, as I could not
easily get out in the day-time, I ran away one night, and went back to my
old quarters.  At first my brother would not see me; but that passed
over, for he could not let me starve.  He then obtained for me a post in
the ‘Refuge for the Aged;’ about the dullest place in all Vienna.  I was
too young to be one of the members, so they gave me a birth, where I did
nothing.  But what was the use of that?  I could not live among that
company of mumbling, bible-backed old people; and if I could, it was all
the same, for they kicked me out at the end of a month for impropriety.

“It was lucky for me that I tumbled into a legacy about this time, of
eighty gulden münz.  I enjoyed myself while it lasted, and never troubled
my brother with my presence.

“It did not last long; for, what with drinking beer, and wearing fine
clothes, and taking a dashing lodging on the Glacis, I found my eighty
guldens gone, just as I was in a position to enjoy them most.  But I was
never very proud; so, seeing that there was nothing to be done, but to go
without beer, or to humble myself to my brother, the rath, I chose the
latter course as the most reasonable, and made my peace with him at once.

“And what do you suppose he did for me?  He said I had disgraced myself
and him at all the other places, so he could do nothing but send me to
the ‘Asylum for the Indigent.’  But I did not stay there long.  There was
no beer there; nothing but thin soup and rind-fleish (fresh boiled beef)
all the year round.  And a pretty lot of ill-bred, miserable ignoramuses
they were—the indigent!  Not a spark of life or jollity in the place.

“One day I coolly walked out of the ‘Asylum,’ made off to a house I well
knew, and ran up a credit account in my brother’s name of good eight
guldens for beer and tobacco.  A glorious day! for I forgot all about the
‘asylum,’ and the ‘indigent,’ and every mortal pain and trouble in this
inconvenient world.

“I was awakened from a deep dream by a heavy hand on my shoulder, and a
loud voice in my ear.

“‘Holloa! friend Lech.’

“‘What’s the matter?’ inquired I, gaping.

“‘Get up, and I’ll tell you.’

“‘Who are you?’

“‘You’ll know that soon enough; I am a police officer.’

“‘And where am I, in God’s name?’

“‘Why, lying on your back, on the open Glacis.’

“That was pleasant, was it not?  So they took me to the police-bureau, in
the first case, for lying out in the open air; and when they found that I
had used my brother’s name to incur a debt, without his permission, they
gave me two months for fraudulent intentions.

“‘Why did you not stay at the “Bounty?”’ expostulated my friend, the
police-assistant, as we were talking the matter over.

“‘Because it was too aristocratic and uncomfortable,’ answered I.

“‘Perhaps the Rathherr, your brother, will be able to get you into the
“Refuge,”’ said he, in a consoling way.

“‘God bless you! they have kicked me out of there long ago.’

“‘Then I know of nothing but the “Indigent” left for you.’

“‘My worthy friend,’ said I, ‘that is the very last place I came from.’

“But I was determined to be revenged.  When my time was expired, I
sallied forth with my mind fully made up as to what I was to do.  I knew
the hour when my brother, in pursuance of his duties, usually entered the
magistrate’s office, and, attired as I was—look at me! just as I am
now—in this old coat, the souvenir of the ‘Indigent,’ and these
free-and-easy slippers, I waited at the great entrance of the Magistracy,
to pay my respects to my brother, the Rath.

“I saw him coming; and, as soon as he reached the foot of the flight of
stone steps, I marched forward, gave him a mock salute, and exclaimed, in
a loud voice,

“‘Good morning, brother!’

“‘What is the meaning of this?’ demanded he.

“‘Look here, brother!’ said I, ‘look at this coat, and these shoes.’

“‘Remove this fellow!’ exclaimed he to the police, who were standing at
his heels.

“I knew what would be the result, but had determined to have the play
out.  So I drew off my slipper, and, thrusting my hand right through the
hole at the toe, I made a bit of play with my fingers, and shouted in his
ear:

“‘Look at this, brother.  Are you not ashamed to see me?  Look here!
Look at this kripple-gespiel (puppet show)!  Look!’

“Of course I was laid hold of; and here I am for another two months, for
insulting a city functionary.”

This story was received with a glee only equalled by the gusto with which
it was related.  The last expression, “kripple-gespiel,” was peculiarly
his own.

Before leaving Vienna, about a month after my release, I had determined
to see the Brühl, a wild, wooded, and mountainous district, at a short
distance from the city.  We had spent a delightful day among its thick
pine woods, and on its towering heights, and in the evening made our way
to the small town of Mödling, where we intended to take the railway to
Vienna.  But there was a grand fête in the pleasure grounds close to the
town, accompanied by a magnificent display of fireworks.  This whiled
away the time, and it was already dark, as we at length bent our steps
towards the railway station.

Suddenly a voice that I knew too well, struck upon my ear.

“Pity the poor blind!” it exclaimed.

I turned, and behold! there was my one-eyed jail acquaintance, planted
against a brick wall, a stout staff, at least six feet long, in his hand,
and his apparently sightless eyes turned up to the sky.

“Pity the poor blind!”

In the greatest fear lest, even in his present blind condition, he might
recognise, and claim me as an acquaintance, I hurried from the spot with
all the speed of which I was capable, and, thank Heaven, never set eyes
upon him again.



CHAPTER XXI.


A WALK THROUGH A MOUNTAIN.

I lately took a walk through the substance of a mountain, entering at the
top, and coming out at the bottom, after a two or three mile journey
underground.  Perhaps the story of this trip is worth narrating.  The
mountain was part of an extensive property belonging to the Emperor of
Austria, in his character of salt merchant, and contained the famous salt
mine of Hallein.

The whole salt district of Upper Austria, called the Salzkammergut, forms
part of a range of rocks that extends from Halle in the Tyrol, passes
through Reichenthal in Bavaria, and continues by way of Hallein in
Salzburg, to end at Ausse in Styria.  The Austrian part of the range is
now included in what is called the district of Salzburg, and that
district abounds, as might be expected, in salt springs, hot and cold,
which form in fact the baths of Gastein, Ischl, and some other places.
The names of Salzburg (Saltborough), the capital, and of the Salzack
(Saltbrook), on the left bank of which that pleasant city stands,
indicate clearly enough the character of the surrounding country.
Hallein is a small town eight miles to the south-east of Salzburg, and it
was to the mine of Hallein, as before said, that I paid my visit.

On the way thither, we, a party of three foot-travellers, passed through
much delightful rock and water scenery.  From Linz, the capital of Upper
Austria, we got through Wells and Laimbach to the river Traun, and
trudged afoot beside its winding waters till we reached the point of its
junction with the Traunsee, or Lake of Traun.  At Gmunden, we stopped to
look over the Imperial Salt Warehouses.  The Emperor of Austria, as most
people know, is the only dealer in salt and tobacco with whom his
subjects are allowed to trade.  His salt warehouses, therefore, must
needs be extensive.  They are situated at Gmunden to the left of the
landing-place, from which a little steamer plies across the lake; and
they are so built as to afford every facility for the unloading of boats
that bring salt barrels from the mine by the highway of the Traun.  The
warehouses consisted simply of a large number of sheds piled with the
salt in barrels, a few offices, and a low but spacious hall, filled, in a
confused way, with dusty models.  There were models of river-boats and
salt moulds, mining tools, and tram ways, hydraulic models of all kinds,
miniature furnaces, wooden troughs, and seething pans.  We looked through
these until the bell from the adjacent pier warned us, at five o’clock in
the evening, to go on board the steamer that was quite ready to puff and
splash its way across the beautiful green lake.  We went under the shadow
of the black and lofty Traunstien, and among pine-covered rocks, of which
the reflections were mingled in the water with a ruddy glow, that
streamed across a low shore from some fires towards which we were
steering.

The glow proceeded from the fires of the Imperial Saltern, erected at
Ebensee.  We paid a short visit to the works, which have been erected at
great cost; and display all the most recent improvements in the art of
getting the best marketable salt from saline water.  We found that the
water, heavily impregnated, is conducted from the distant mines by wooden
troughs into the drying pan.  The pan is a large shallow vessel of metal,
supported by small piles of brick, and a low brick wall about three feet
high, extending round two-thirds of its circumference; leaving one-third,
as the mouth of the furnace, open to the air.  Among the brick columns,
and within the wall, the fire flashed and curled under the seething pan.
Ascending next into the house over the great pan, and looking down upon
the surface and its contents through sliding doors upon the floors, we
saw the white salt crusting like a coat of snow over the boiling water,
and being raked, as it is formed, by workmen stationed at each of the
trap doors.  As the water evaporated, the salt was stirred and turned
from rake to rake; and finally, when quite dry, raked into the
neighbourhood of a long-handled spade, with which one workman was
shovelling among the dried salt, and filling a long row of wooden moulds,
placed ready to his hand.  These moulds are sugar-loaf shaped, and
perforated at the bottom like a sugar mould, in order that any remaining
moisture may drain out of them.  The moulds will be placed finally in a
heated room before the salt will be considered dry enough for storeage as
a manufactured article.

The brine that pours with an equable flow into the seething pan at
Ebensee, is brought by wooden troughs from the salt mine at Hallein, a
distance of thirty miles in a direct line.  It comes by way of mountains
and along a portion of the valley of the Traun, through which we
continued our journey the same evening from Ebensee, until the darkness
compelled us to rest for the night at a small inn on a hill side.  The
next day we went through Ischl and Wolfgang, and spent three hours of
afternoon in climbing up the Scharfberg, which is more than a thousand
feet higher than Snowdon, to see the sunset and the sunrise.  There was
sleeping accommodation on the top: so there is on the top of Snowdon.  On
the Scharfberg we had a hay-litter in a wooden shed, and ate goat’s
cheese and bread and butter.  We saw neither sunset nor sunrise, but had
a night of wind and rain, and came down in the morning through white mist
within a rugged gully ploughed up by the rain, to get a wholesome
breakfast at St. Gilgen on the lake.  More I need not say about the
journey than that, on the fifth day after leaving Ebensee, having rested
a little in the very beautiful city of Salzburg, we marched into the town
of Hallein, at the foot of the Dürrnberg, the famous salt mountain,
called Tumal by old chroniclers, and known for a salt mountain seven
hundred and thirty years ago.

After a night’s rest in the town, we were astir by five o’clock in the
morning, and went forward on our visit to the mines.  In the case of the
Dürrnberg salt mine, as I have already said, the miner enters at the top
and comes out at the bottom.  Our first business, therefore, was to walk
up the mountain, the approach to which is by a long slope of about four
English miles.

We met few miners by the way, and noticed in them few peculiarities of
manners or costume.  The national dress about these regions is a sort of
cross between the Swiss Alpine costume and a common peasant dress of the
lowlands.  We saw indications of the sugar-loafed hat; jackets were worn
almost by all, with knee-breeches and coloured leggings.  The clothing
was always neat and sound, and the clothed bodies looked reasonably
healthy, except that they had all remarkably pale faces.  The miners did
not seem bodily to suffer from their occupation.

As we approached the summit of the Dürrnberg, the dry brownish limestone
showed its bare front to the morning sun.  We entered the offices, partly
contained in the rock, and applied for admission into the dominion of the
gnomes.  Our arrival was quite in the nick of time, for we had not to be
kept waiting, as we happened to complete the party of twelve, without
which the guides do not start.  It was a Tower of London business; and,
as at the Tower, the demand upon our purses was not very heavy.  One
gulden-schein—about tenpence—is the regulated fee.  Our full titles
having been duly put down in the register, each of us was furnished with
a miner’s costume, and, so habited, off we set.

We started from a point that is called the Obersteinberghauptstollen; our
guides only having candles, one in advance, the other in the rear.

We were sensible of a pleasant coldness in the air when we had gone a
little way into the sloping tunnel.  The tunnel was lofty, wide, and dry.
Having walked downwards on a gentle decline for a distance of nearly
three thousand feet through the half gloom and among the echoes, we
arrived at the mouth of the first shaft, named Freudenberg.  The method
of descent is called the “Rolle.”  It is both simple and efficacious.
Down the steep slope of the shaft, and at an angle, in this case, of
forty-one and a half degrees, runs a smooth railway consisting of two
pieces of timber, each of about the thickness of a scaffold pole; they
are twelve inches apart, and run together down the shaft like two sides
of a thick ladder without the intervening rounds.  Following the
directions and example of the foremost guide, we sat astride, one behind
the other, on this wooden tramway, and slid very comfortably to the
bottom.  The shaft itself was only of the width necessary to allow room
for our passage.  In this way we descended to the next chamber in the
mountain, at a depth of a hundred and forty feet (perpendicular) from the
top of the long slide.

We then stood in a low-roofed chamber, small enough to be lighted
throughout by the dusky glare of our two candles.  The walls and roof
sparkled with brown and purple colours, showing the unworked stratum of
rock-salt.  We stood then at the head of the Untersteinberghauptstulm,
and after a glance back at the narrow slit in the solid limestone through
which we had just descended, we pursued our way along a narrow gallery of
irregular level for a further distance of six hundred and sixty feet.  A
second shaft there opened us a passage into the deeper regions of the
mine.  With a boyish pleasure we all seated ourselves again upon a
“Rolle”—this time upon the Johann-Jacob-berg-rolle, which is laid at an
angle of forty-five and a half degrees—and away we slipped to the next
level, which is at the perpendicular depth of another couple of hundred
feet.

We alighted in another chamber where our candles made the same half
gloom, with their ruddy glare into the darkness, and where there was the
same sombre glittering upon the walls and ceiling.  We pursued our track
along a devious cutting, haunted by confused and giant shadows, suddenly
passing black cavernous sideways that startled us as we came upon them,
and I began to expect mummies, for I thought myself for one minute within
an old Egyptian catacomb.  After traversing a further distance of two
thousand seven hundred feet we halted at the top of the third slide, the
Königsrolle.  That shot us fifty-four feet deeper into the heart of the
mountain.  We had become quite expert at our exercise, and had left off
considering, amid all these descents and traverses, what might be our
real position in the bowels of the earth.  Perhaps we might get down to
Aladdin’s garden and find trees loaded with emerald and ruby fruits.  It
was quite possible, for there was something very cabalistic, very strong
of enchantment in the word Konhauserankehrschachtricht, the name given to
the portion of the mine which we were then descending.
Konhauser-return-shaft is, I think, however, about the meaning of that
compound word.

So far we had felt nothing like real cold, although I had been promised a
wintry atmosphere.  Possibly with a miner’s dress over my ordinary
clothing, and with plenty of exercise, there was enough to counteract the
effects of the chill air.  But our eyes began to ache at the uncertain
light, and we all straggled irregularly along the smooth cut shaft level
for another sixty feet, and so reached the Konhauser-rolle, the fourth
slide we had encountered in our progress.

That cheered us up a little, as it shot us down another one hundred and
eight feet perpendicular depth to the
Soolererzeugungswerk-Konhauser—surely a place nearer than ever to the
magic regions of Abracadabra.  If not Aladdin’s garden, something
wonderful ought surely by this time to have been reached.  I was alive to
any sight or sound, and was excited by the earnest whispering of my
fellow adventurers, and the careful directions as to our progress given
by the guides and light-bearers.

With eager rapidity we flitted among the black shadows of the cavern,
till we reached a winding flight of giant steps.  We mounted them with
desperate excitement, and at the summit halted, for we felt that there
was space before our faces, and had been told that those stairs led to a
mid mountain lake, nine hundred and sixty feet below the mountain’s top;
two hundred and forty feet above its base.  Presently, through the
darkness, we perceived at an apparently interminable distance a few dots
of light, that shed no lustre, and could help us in no way to pierce the
pitchy gloom of the great cavern.  The lights were not interminably
distant, for they were upon the other shore, and this gnome lake is but a
mere drop of water in the mountain mass, its length being three hundred
and thirty, and its breadth one hundred and sixty feet.

Our guides lighted more candles, and we began to see their rays reflected
from the water; we could hear too the dull splashing of the boat, which
we could not see, as old Charon slowly ferried to our shore.  More lights
were used; they flashed and flickered from the opposite ferry station,
and we began to have an indistinct sense of a spangled dome, and of an
undulating surface of thick, black water, through which the coming boat
loomed darkly.  More candles were lighted on both sides of the Konhauser
lake, a very Styx, defying all the illuminating force of candles; dead
and dark in its dim cave, even the limits of which all our lights did not
serve to define.  The boat reached the place of embarcation, and we,
wandering ghosts, half walked and were half carried into its broad clumsy
hulk, and took each his allotted seat in ghostly silence.  There was
something really terrible in it all; in the slow funereal pace at which
we floated across the subterranean lake; in the dead quiet among us, only
interrupted by the slow plunge of the oar into the sickly waters.  In
spite of all the lights that had been kindled we were still in a thick
vapour of darkness, and could form but a dreamy notion of the beauty and
the grandeur of the crystal dome within which we men from the upper earth
were hidden from our fellows.  The lights were flared aloft as we crept
sluggishly across the lake, and now and then were flashed back from a
hanging stalactite, but that was all.  The misty darkness about us
brought to the fancy at the same time fearful images, and none of us were
sorry when we reached the other shore in safety.  There a rich glow of
light awaited us, and there we were told a famous tale about the last
Arch-ducal visit to these salt mines, where some thousands of lighted
tapers glittered and flashed about him, and exhibited the vaulted roof
and spangled lake in all their beauty.  As we were not Archdukes, we had
our Hades lighted only by a pound of short sixteens.

We left the lake behind us, and then, traversing a further distance of
seventy feet along the Wehrschachtricht, arrived at the mouth of the
Konhauser Stiege.  Another rapid descent of forty-five feet at an angle
of fifty degrees, and we reached Rupertschachtricht, a long cavern of the
extent of five hundred and sixty feet, through which we toiled with a
growing sense of weariness.  We had now come to the top of the last and
longest “slide” in the whole Dürrnberg.  It is called the
Wolfdietrichberg-rolle, and is four hundred and sixty-eight feet long,
carrying us two hundred and forty feet lower down into the mountain.  We
went down this “slide” with the alacrity of school-boys, one after
another keeping the pot boiling, and all regulating our movements with
great circumspection, for we knew that we had far to go and we could
never see more than a few yards before us.

Having gained the ground beneath in safety, our attention was drawn to a
fresh water well or spring, sunk in this spot at great cost by order of
the Archduke, and blessed among miners.  Amid all the stone and salt and
brine, a gush of pure fresh water at our feet was very welcome to us all.
The well was sunk, however, to get water that was necessary for the
mining operations.  We did not see any of those operations underground,
for they are not exhibited; the show-trip underground is only among the
ventilating shafts and galleries.  Through the dark openings by which we
had passed, we should have found our way (had we been permitted) to the
miners.  I have seen them working in the Tyrol, and their labours are
extremely simple.  Some of the rock-salt is quarried in transparent
crystals, which undergo only the process of crushing before they are sent
into the market as an article of commerce.  Very little of this grain
salt is seen in England, but on the continent it may be found in some of
the first hotels, and on the table of most families.  It is cheaper than
the loaf salt, and is known in Germany under the title of _salzkorn_, and
in France, as _selle de cuisine_.  In order to obtain a finer grained and
better salt, it is necessary that the original salt-crystals should be
dissolved, and for this purpose parallel galleries are run into the rock,
and there is dug in each of them a dyke or cistern.  These dykes are then
flushed with water, which is allowed to remain in them undisturbed for
the space of from five to twelve months, according to the richness of the
soil; and, being then thoroughly saturated with the salt that it has
taken up, the brine is drawn off through wooden pipes from Hallein over
hill and dale into the evaporating pans.

We had traversed the last level, and had reached what is generally called
the end of the salt-mine; but we were still a long way distant from the
pure air and the sunshine.  We had travelled through seven galleries of
an aggregate length of nearly two miles; we had floated across an earthy
piece of water; had followed one another down six slides, and had
penetrated to the depth of twelve hundred feet into the substance of the
mountain limestone, gypsum, and marl.  Having done all this, there we
were, in the very heart of the Dürrnberg, left by our guides, and
intrusted to the care of two lank lads with haggard faces.  We stood
together in a spacious cavern, poorly lighted by our candles; there was a
line of tram-rail running through the middle of it, and we soon saw the
carriage that was to take us out of the mountain emerging from a dark
nook in the distance.  It was a truck with seats upon it, economically
arranged after the fashion of an Irish jaunting car.  The two lads were
to be our horses, and our way lay through a black hollow in one side of
the cavern, into which the tram-rail ran.

We took our seats, instructed to sit perfectly still, and to restrain our
legs and arms from any straggling.  There was no room to spare in the
shaft we were about to traverse.  Our car was run on to the tram-line,
and the two lads, with a sickly smile, and a broad hint at their expected
gratuity, began to pull, and promised us a rapid journey.  In another
minute we were whirring down an incline with a rush and a rattle, through
the subterranean passage tunnelled into the solid limestone which runs to
the outer edge of the Dürrnberg.  The length of this tunnel is
considerably more than an English mile.

The reverberation and the want of light were nothing, but we were
disagreeably sensible of a cloud of fine stone dust, and knew well that
we should come out not only stone deaf, but as white as millers.
Clinging to our seats with a cowardly instinct, down we went through a
hurricane of sound and dust.  At length we were sensible of a diminution
in our speed, and the confusion of noises so far ceased, that we could
hear the panting of our biped cattle.  Then, straight before us, shining
in the centre of the pitchy darkness, there was a bright blue star
suddenly apparent.  One of the poor lads in the whisper of exhaustion,
and between his broken pantings for breath, told us that they always know
when they have got half way by the blue star, for that is the daylight
shining in.

A little necessary rest, and we were off again, the blue star before us
growing gradually paler, and expanding and still growing whiter, till
with an uncontrollable dash, and a concussion, we are thrown within a few
feet of the broad incomparable daylight.  With how much contempt of
candles did I look up at the noonday sun!  The two lads, streaming with
perspiration, who had dragged us down the long incline, were made happy
by the payment we all gladly offered for their services.  Then, as we
passed out of the mouth of the shaft, by a rude chamber cut out of the
rock, we were induced to pause and purchase from a family of miners who
reside there a little box of salt crystals, as a memento of our visit.
Truly we must have been among the gnomes, for when I had reached the inn
I spread the brilliant crystals I had brought home with me on my bedroom
window sill, and there they sparkled in the sun and twinkled rainbows,
changing and shifting their bright colours as though there were a living
imp at work within.  But when I got up next morning and looked for my
crystals, in the place where each had stood, I found only a little slop
of brine.  That fact may, I have no doubt, be accounted for by the
philosophers; but I prefer to think that it was something wondrous
strange, and that I fared marvellously like people of whom I had read in
German tales, how they received gifts from the good people who live in
the bowels of the earth, and what became of them.  I have had my
experiences, and I do not choose to be sure whether those tales are
altogether founded upon fancy.



CHAPTER XXII.


CAUSE AND EFFECT.

One September evening we rode into Carlsruhe.  We made our entry in a
crazy hackney cab behind a lazy horse that had been dragging us for a
long time with cheerless industry between a double file of trees, along a
road without a bend in it; a long, lanky, Quaker road, heavily
drab-coated with dust; a tight-rope of a road that comes from Manheim,
and is hooked on to the capital of Baden.  Out of that _allée_ we were
dragged into the square-cut capital itself, which had evidently been
planned by the genius of a ruler—not a prince, but the wooden measure.
The horse stopped at the City of Pfortzheim, and as his decision on the
subject of our halting-place appeared to be irrevocable, we got out.

At the capital of a grand dukedom, except Weimar, it is better to sleep
(it is the only thing to be done there) and pass on; but it so happened
that on that particular evening Carlsruhe was in a ferment: there was
something brewing.  I heard talk of a procession and of certain names,
particularly the names Kugelblitz and Thalermacher.  Never having heard
those names before, and caring therefore nothing in the world about them,
I tumbled into bed.  To my delight, when I got up in the morning, I found
the little town turned upside down.  Landlord, boots, and chambermaid,
overwhelmed me with exclamations, surmises, and incoherent summaries of
the night’s news.  There had been an outbreak.  _Lieber Herr_, a
revolution!  One entire house razed to the ground.  “Hep! hep!” that is
the old cry, “Down with the Jews!”  All their bones would be made powder
of.  Tremendous funeral of Kugelblitz.  Students on their way in a body
from Heidelberg.  Thalermacher the rich Jew, soldiers, the entire court,
Meinheer, all in despair; a regular sack.  Not only Kugelblitz, but
Demboffsky, the Russian officer, killed.  O hep! hep! a lamentable
tragedy.  “For they were two such fine-looking young men,” mourned the
chambermaid, “especially Demboffsky.”  “You had better,” said the
landlord, “stay in Carlsruhe till to-morrow.”

Roused by the incoherent tidings, I hurried to the centre of the tumult.
The house of the firm of Thalermacher and Company was situated in the
High Street; and though, certainly, it had a doleful look, it was there
situated still: it held its ground.  Not a brick was displaced; but—gaunt
and windowless, disfigured with great blotches of ink and dirt, its
little shop rent from the wall and split up into faggots—it looked like a
house out of which all life had been knocked; but there was the carcase.
In the street before the house, there were by that time a few splinters
of furniture remaining; the rest had been broken up or hidden by kind and
cunning neighbours.  The shop had been cobbled together with the broken
shutters; and half-a-dozen soldiers, quite at their ease, were lounging
pleasantly about the broken door.

The outbreak, I was told by the bystanders, was quite unpremeditated.  A
few stragglers had halted before the house at about eight o’clock on the
preceding evening, and had been discussing there the dreadful tale
connected with its owner.  One gossip, in a sudden burst of anger, hurled
a bottle of ink—then by chance in his hand—at the Jew’s house.  The idea
was taken up with such good will that a hard rain of stones, bottles, and
other missiles was soon pelting against Thalermacher’s walls.  Where all
are unanimous it is not difficult to come to a conclusion.  An hour’s
labour, lightened by yells and shouts of “Hep, hep!” was enough; and, the
zeal of the people burning like a fire, soon left of the house nothing
but its shell.

The authorities in Germany, usually so watchful and so prompt to
interfere, were either taken completely off their guard, or tacitly
permitted the rude work of vengeance; for, although there was a
guard-post in the immediate vicinity, the whole efforts of the military
were confined to conducting Thalermacher and his family into a place of
safety.  The protection Thalermacher received was of a peculiar kind.
Under the plea of insuring him against public attack, he was conducted
under escort, to the fortress of Rastadt, and there held a close
prisoner, until the whole affair could be investigated.

The funeral procession of Lieutenant Kugelblitz was not a thing to be
missed.  I went, therefore, to the other end of the city, whence the
procession was to start.  The scene was impressive.  Not merely his
brothers-in-arms of the artillery, but the general-staff—all the officers
of distinction in the Baden army, whose duties allowed them to be
present—and even the Russian companions of his antagonist Demboffsky,
acted as mourners.

As the procession came before the house of Thalermacher, I observed that
a strong guard had been posted there for its protection.  The funeral
passed by without any demonstration whatever.  Presently we turned up a
narrow passage, leading from the high street towards the cemetery, and
our progress became tediously slow as we moved with the close mass of
people.  At the burial-place every mound and stone was occupied.  Flowers
were trampled under foot, shrubs broken or uprooted, and the grass all
stamped into the mould.  The whole crowd listened to the impressive
tone—only a few could hear the words—of the funeral harangue, and to the
solemn hymn which followed.  The service closed with the military honour
of musketry fired over the soldier’s grave.  That over, I was sucked back
by the retreating tide of citizens into the main street of Carlsruhe.

The crowd instantly dispersed; and, as I wandered through the side
streets, I soon saw that the authorities had come to life.  My attention
was first called to an official announcement freshly posted, which warned
all persons from assembling in the public street in knots or clusters,
even of three or four, on pain of being instantly dispersed by the
military.  Another placard fulminated an injunction to parents, masters,
and burghers to restrain and confine all persons under their charge—such
as workmen, servants, and children—within their respective houses;
because, for any offence committed by them against the public peace, such
masters or parents would be held responsible.  I began to fancy myself in
a state of siege.  Wandering again into the main street I was met by a
strong division of dusty dragoons, in full equipment of war, which came
sweeping and clashing along from adjacent parts of the country, evidently
under urgent orders.  Another and another followed.  Troops of infantry
tramped hastily along the side streets.  The very few civilians I met in
the streets seemed to be hurrying to shelter from a coming storm.  Was
there really any social tempest in the wind?  Or were all these
precautions but a locking of the stable door after the steed was stolen?

Having roamed by chance into a sequestered beer-house, I was surprised to
find myself in the midst of a large party of students; probably from
Heidelberg.  They were well-grown youths, with silken blond beards; and
in their behaviour, half-swaggerers, half-gentlemen.  These were,
perhaps, the enemies of order against whom the tremendous military
preparations had been made.

As the day wore on it became evident that the authorities were ready to
brave the most overwhelming revolution that ever burst forth.  Troop
after troop of cavalry galloped in; every soldier, indeed, of whatever
arm stationed within an available distance of Carlsruhe, was brought
within its walls.  By eight o’clock in the evening the military
preparations were completed: a picket of infantry was stationed at every
street corner; and, from that hour to the break of day, parties of
dragoons swept the main thoroughfares, clashing and clattering over the
paved road with a din that kept me awake all night.  Intercourse between
one street and another, except on urgent business, was interdicted; and
the humblest pedestrian found abroad without an urgent errand was
conducted home with drums beating, colours flying, and all the honours of
war.  The display of force answered its purpose in preventing a second
attack of Christians on Jews.  The pale ghost of insubordination was laid
and dared not walk abroad—especially at night.

I must say I felt a little relieved when it was ascertained for certain
that the city was safe.  I am no friend to despotism nor to political
thraldom of any kind; but really it is impossible not to feel for the
solemn aristocracies of German Grand-Duchies (who, if they be despots,
are extremely amiable) when, poor people, they are in the least put out
of their way: they are so dreadfully fussy, so fearfully piteous, so
distraught, so inconsolable.  I was glad therefore that, the revolution
being put down, they could retire in peace to their coffee, their
picquet, and their metaphysics.  Doubtless Thalermacher (some Hebrew
millionaire, perhaps) and Kugelblitz (a fire-eater, for certain) had
headed a frightful band of anarchists; who, but for the indomitable
energy of the authorities, would peradventure have changed the destiny of
the entire Duchy, of Germany, of Europe itself!  Nothing but so
illimitable an apprehension could have been the cause of such a
siege-like effect.  What else could have occasioned the entire blockade
of Carlsruhe?

I had, however, exaggerated the cause as well as the danger; and I will
now relate the real circumstances which had led to all these awful
results; for the facts were afterwards made known in the Carlsruhe and
Baden-Baden public journals of the day.

Early in the month of August, eighteen hundred and forty-three, the
inhabitants of Baden-Baden gave a ball in honour of the Grand-Princess
Helene of Baden, and the Duchess of Nassau.  Among the names on the
subscription-list stood that of Herr Heller von Thalermacher.  Some
unexplained animosity existed between this gentleman and Lieutenant
Kugelblitz, who was also one of the subscribers.

Baron Donner von Kugelblitz, chief lieutenant of the Baden artillery,
although only in his twenty-ninth year, had already spent fourteen years
in military service, and was highly esteemed for his soldierly qualities
and straightforward bearing.  He was tall, remarkably handsome, of an
impetuous temperament, and his natural strength had been well developed
by constant practice in manly and athletic exercises.  Herr Heller von
Thalermacher, or rather the firm of which he was the prominent member,
was distinguished for qualities far different, but equally deserving of
goodwill.  The banking-house of Thalermacher was one of the most
responsible in South Germany; and, at great expense and sacrifice, had
introduced into the grand, but by no means affluent, duchy of Baden
several branches of industry, which had enriched the ducal treasury, and
furnished employment for thousands of industrious subjects.  It had
revived the almost extinguished mining interest; had introduced extensive
spinning machinery; and had established a factory for the manufacture of
beetroot sugar.

Lieutenant Kugelblitz, to whose opinion deference was due, expressed
himself in such offensive terms with respect to Herr von Thalermacher, in
relation to the ball, that the gentlemen who had prepared the
subscription-list at once erased the objectionable name: Herr von
Thalermacher at once demanded satisfaction from his accuser, but this
Lieutenant Kugelblitz refused, on the ground that the banker was not
respectable enough for powder and shot.  Hereupon two courts of honour
were formed, one composed of gentlemen civilians in Baden-Baden, and the
other of the officers in Carlsruhe.  Both appeared to have been called
together at the wish of Lieutenant Kugelblitz, to inquire into and
pronounce upon the point at issue.  The civilians came to no decision.
The military court of honour put the result of its deliberations in the
_Carlsruhe Zeitung_, as a public advertisement, couched in these terms:
“The Herr von Kugelblitz may not fight with the Herr von Thalermacher.”
Thus posted as a scamp, Thalermacher advertised back his own defence;
and, by public circulars and bills, declared the accusation of Kugelblitz
to be false and malicious, and his behaviour dishonourable and cowardly.
At the same time, a Russian officer of good family,—Demboffsky—who had
acted throughout as negotiator and friend on the part of Thalermacher,
and who felt himself deeply compromised by the imputations put forth
against his principal, declared publicly that the military court which
had condemned the Herr von Thalermacher, after hearing only his accuser,
was a one-sided and absurd tribunal, and that it was not competent to
give any decision.

The result of this declaration was a challenge from Lieutenant
Kugelblitz.  Demboffsky said that he was quite willing to give his
challenger the satisfaction he demanded, on condition that he should
first arrange his quarrel with Herr Thalermacher, as became a gentleman.

On the night of the first of September (at the beginning of our English
shooting season), the Russian being on a visit to his friend
Thalermacher, in his apartments, assured him in the most positive terms
that he would keep promise, and would make no hostile arrangement with
Lieutenant Kugelblitz.  Prince Trubetzkoi and other friends then present
completely coincided in this mode of action.  At half-past eleven at
night, Demboffsky quitted his friend, and hastened homewards.  Be had
advanced only a few steps on the road, when suddenly two figures strode
up to him, and stayed his progress.  He at once recognised Kugelblitz,
and a Spaniard named Manillo, who had lived for many years in Germany.

“Will you fight with me?” shouted Kugelblitz in a passion.

The Russian, although taken completely by surprise, replied that he would
do as he had already said.  He would fight with Senor Manillo at once if
it were thought desirable; but he would engage in no hostilities with
Kugelblitz, until the quarrel with Thalermacher was adjusted.  Great was
the wrath of Kugelblitz.  He clenched his fist, shook it in the face of
Demboffsky, and demanded furiously that he should give his word of honour
to fight him in the morning.  The Russian, who expected bodily violence,
then said that since the insult had been pushed so far, there remained no
other course open to him, than to accept the challenge; which he
accordingly did, pledging himself to meet Kugelblitz on the morrow.  He
then hastened back to his friend Thalermacher, and related the occurrence
to him.

On the following day the duel took place.  It happened that Lieutenant
Kugelblitz was under orders to mark out the artillery practice-ground at
Hardwald, near Rastadt, and as he could not leave his post, the meeting
took place in its neighbourhood.  The two officers stood forward in
deadly opposition with a measured distance of ten paces only.

Nevertheless, the first fire was without result; but, at the second fire,
Kugelblitz was struck in the breast; yet he still held his weapon
undischarged.  He pressed his left hand on the wound as he pulled the
trigger with his right.  The pistol missed fire.  Another cap was placed
upon the nipple, but it also failed.  The second of Demboffsky then
handed another weapon to the dying man; who, with quiet resolution, still
closing his wound with his fingers, drew for the third time upon his
opponent, and with such effect, that, uttering a wild cry, and the words
“_Je suis mort_!” “I am dead!” the Russian leapt up into the air, and
then rolled upon the ground a corpse.  Kugelblitz, exhausted by the
efforts he had made to die like a gentleman, sank into the arms of his
second, Manillo, and was carried insensible to Carlsruhe.  He died at
noon on the second day after the duel.

Thereupon the discerning and indignant public, a little biassed—as it too
often has been in Germany—against the Jews in general, gutted the house
of Herr von Thalermacher.

The state also fell in with the common notion; and, under the plea of
sheltering an injured man, lodged him in prison for eleven days.  Seals
were also placed upon his papers and apartments.  The State then set
about ascertaining privately in how far the victim of mob law had been
guilty of the mischief which by general acclamation was imputed to him.

After a hunt through the banker’s desk, and an inspection of his drawers,
the decision of the court tribunal of Rastadt was delivered.  It was
ordered that the Herr Heller von Thalermacher be forthwith liberated from
the fortress of Rastadt, free and untainted.  Further: that the seals be
removed from his apartments and papers, seeing that nothing among them
had been found which could cast the faintest shadow upon his reputation.

We had all been yelling at the wrong man.  Kugelblitz was, after all, the
author of the tragedy.



CHAPTER XXIII.


GREECE AND HER DELIVERER.

Four happy tramps in company, we passed the frontiers of Austria and
Bavaria, near Berchtesgaden, in the hazy shimmering of an autumn morning
sun.  We came from the lakes and mountain regions of Upper Austria, and
already yearned towards Munich, the Bavarian capital, as our next station
and brief resting place.  The sun seemed to have melted into the air, for
we walked through it rather than beneath it, and sought in vain for
coolness and shelter among the plum trees which lined the public road.
Halting as the night closed in at the frontier town, Reichenhall, with
its quaint old streets, and its distant fortress, casting a lengthened
protective shadow over the place, we felt the indescribable luxury of the
foot-traveller’s rest; as readily enjoyed at such times on a litter of
straw in the common room of an alehouse as between the cumbersome
comforts of two German feather beds.  Both the ale and the feather beds
were at our service at Reichenhall, and we did not neglect them.

In the morning our road lay by sombre, romantic Traunstein, and what was
better still, by the glistening waters of the lake of Chiem, whose broad
surface was so unruffled, that the wide expanse seemed to lie in a
hollow, and a delicious coolness whispered rather than blew across its
tranquil waves.  The day was waning as we made a half circuit round the
edge of the lake, and the deepening night only stayed our steps and drove
us to rest, after a march of twenty-four miles, in the village of
Seebruck.  At Rosenheim we were challenged by the Bavarian sentinel, who
held post on a stone bridge leading to the town, but it was rather in
kindliness than suspicion; and with some useful information as to our
route, and a cheering valediction, we pursued our way.  The villages of
Weisham and Aibling lay before us, and must be passed before night; and
it was in the immediate neighbourhood of these places, although I confess
to some indistinctness as to the precise locality, that we came upon an
object which at once surprised and delighted us.

By the side of the road, on a slight elevation, stood a beautiful stone
monument, of the purest Grecian architecture, and of the most delicate
workmanship.  It was fresh and sharp from the chisel of the sculptor, and
looked so stately and graceful in the midst of the level landscape and
simple village scenery that we halted spontaneously to examine it.  “Can
it be the memorial of some battle?” exclaimed one.  “Or a devotional
shrine?”  “Or a tomb?”  Not any one of these.  Its purpose was as
singular as the sentiment it expressed would have been beautiful and
touching, but for its presumption.  Graven deeply into the stone were
words in the German language to this effect: “This monument is raised in
remembrance of the parting of Louis, King of Bavaria, with his second son
Otho, who here left his bereaved father to become the Deliverer of
Greece.”  As we stood and read these words the vision of the fond father
and proud king, taking his last farewell of the son whom he fondly
believed destined to fulfil so great a mission, floated before us, to be
replaced the next instant by the no less eloquent picture of the court of
the then King Otho, a German colony in the midst of the Greek people,
living upon its blood, and wantoning with its treasure; and of this same
Greek people, driven at length into fury by the rapacity of the hated
Tudesca, who filled every position of authority and grasped at every
office of emolument, and hunting them like a routed army out of the land.
Still there was a depth of paternal affection in the words upon the
monument, which impressed us with respect, as the miniature temple, with
its delicate columns and classical proportions, had inspired us with
admiration.

We pursued our way along the dull road, now halting a moment to cool our
fevered feet, now restlessly shifting our knapsacks in the vain hope of
lightening the burden, when, being in the immediate neighbourhood of the
village of Aibling, we came upon a second monument equally classical in
form, though of less pretensions than the first.  A twice-told tale,
uttered this time in a woman’s accents; for the block of stone repeated
the same story in almost identical words.

“Here the Queen of Bavaria parted with her beloved second son Otho, only
comforted in her affliction by the knowledge that he has left her to
become the Deliverer of Greece.”

The hopes of the King and Queen of Bavaria, thus unluckily commemorated
by these monuments, were no less at that time the hopes and the belief of
all Europe—with what little of prophetic spirit full twenty years of
experience has shown.  Greece, swarming with Bavarian adventurers, till
goaded to the utmost she drove them from her bosom; Greece, bankrupt,
apathetic, and ungrateful; a Greek port blockaded by the ships of her
first defender, and her vessels held in pawn for the payment of a
miserable debt; Greece, piratical, dissembling, and rebellious, aiding in
her weak and greedy ambition the worst enemy of Europe—so runs the
story—but Greek deliverance not yet.  Her joint occupation by French and
English forces, and the possible imposition of a provisional government,
may indeed lead to the unprophesied consummation—her deliverance—from
King Otho.

No doubt, those monuments of mingled weakness and arrogance still whiten
in the air; as for us, we continued our march towards the Bavarian
capital, slept at a pilgrimage church that night, and on the following
morning made a bargain with the driver of a country cart who had
overtaken us, and seated on the rough timber which formed his load,
jolted into Munich.

King Louis then reigned in Bavaria, but being so indifferent a prophet
could not foresee his own speedy abdication.



CHAPTER XXIV.


THE FRENCH WORKMAN.

The original stuff out of which a French workman is made, is a street boy
of fourteen years old, or, perhaps, twelve.  That young _gamin de Paris_
can sing as many love ditties and drinking songs as there are hairs upon
his head, before he knows how much is nine times seven.  He prefers
always the agreeable to the useful: he knows how to dance all the
quadrilles: he knows how to make grimaces of ten thousand sorts one after
the other without stopping, and at the rate of twenty in a minute.  Of
his other attainments, I say little.  It is possible that he may have
been to one of the elementary schools set up by the Government; or, it
may be that he knows not how to read; although, by Article 10 of a law
passed in eighteen hundred and thirty-three, it was determined that no
chief town of a department, or chief place of a commune, containing more
than six thousand inhabitants, should be without at least one elementary
school for public instruction.

Such as the boy may be, he is made an apprentice.  He needs no act, or,
as you say in England, indenture.  His contract has to be attested at the
Prefecture of Police, Bureau of Passports, Section of Livrets.  Formerly,
it was the custom in France for the apprentice to be both fed and lodged
by his master; but, as the patron seldom received money with him, he was
mainly fed on cuffs.  Apprenticeship in Paris, which is France, begins at
ages differing according to the nature of the trade.  If strength be
wanted, the youth is apprenticed at eighteen, but otherwise, perhaps, at
fourteen.  There are in Paris nineteen thousand apprentices dispersed
among two hundred and seventy branches of trade.

Of all the apprentices whose number has been just named, only one in five
is bound by a written agreement with his master.  The rest have a verbal
understanding.  The youths commonly are restless; and, since they are apt
to change their minds, the business of the master is not so much to teach
them as to obtain value for himself as soon as he can out of their
labour.  It is the apprentice who is sent out to take orders in the town,
and to play the part of messenger.  In consequence of the looseness of
the tie, it often happens that a thoughtless parent, when his son is able
to earn wages, tells the youth that his master is sucking him and
fattening upon his unpaid labour; that he might earn money for the house
at home.  The youth is glad to earn, and throws up his apprenticeship for
independent work.  It soon occurs to him that his parents are sucking
him, and that his earnings ought to be for himself, and not for them.  He
then throws up his home dependence, as he had thrown up dependence on his
master, takes a lodging, falls into careless company, and works on, a
half-skilled labourer, receiving all his life a less income than he could
have assured to himself by a few years of early perseverance.

When I was apprentice, eight years ago, I found that to be a good
workman, it was needful to design and model.  “Come with me,” said my
comrade Gredinot, “I will show you a good school.”  It was a winter
evening; our work was over; and, with leave of the patron, we left our
shop in the Rue Saint Martin, and went by Saint Saviour to the Rue
Montorgueil.  We bought as we went about twelve pounds of modelling clay.
At the upper end of the street, my friend Gredinot turned up a dark
passage.  I followed him.  A single lamp glimmered in the court to which
it led us.  We went up a few steps to the schoolroom.  “Here we are,”
said Gredinot, in opening the door.  We entered, carrying our caps.
There was a low room lighted by flaring oil lamps; but in it were busts
and statues of such beauty that it seemed to me to be the most delightful
chamber in the world.  Boys and youths and a few men, all in blouses like
ourselves, laboured there.  We threw our clay upon a public heap in a
wooden trough near the door.  There was only that mud to pay, and there
were our own tools to take.  Everything else was free.  Gredinot
introduced me to the master, and I learnt to model from that night.
There are other schools—the school of Arts and Trades in the Rue St.
Martin, and the Special and Gratuitous School of Design in the Rue du
Tourraine, in connection, as I think, with the School of Fine Arts.  I
might number the museums and the libraries, and I may make mention also
of the prizes of the Academy of Industry and of the Society for the
Encouragement of National Industry.

The apprentice when out of his time goes to the prefecture of police.
There he must obtain a livret, which must have on the face of it the seal
of the prefecture, the full name of the admitted workman, his age, his
place of birth, and a description of his person, his trade, and the name
of the master who employs him.  The French workman is taboo, until he is
registered by the police and can produce his livret.  The book costs him
twopence halfpenny.  Its first entry is a record of the completion of his
apprenticeship.  Afterwards every fresh engagement must be set down in
it, with the dates of its beginning and its end, each stamped by the
prefecture.  The employer of a workman holds his livret as a pledge.
When he receives money in advance, the sum is written in his book, and it
is a debt there chargeable as a deduction of not more than one fifth upon
all future employment, until it is paid.  The workman when travelling
must have his livret _viséd_; for, without that, says the law, “he is a
vagabond, and can be arrested and punished as such.”

The workman registered and livreted, how does he live, work, and sleep?
He is not a great traveller; for, unless forced into exile, the utmost
notion of travel that a French workman has, is the removal—if he be a
provincial—from his native province to Paris.  We pass over the workman’s
chance of falling victim to the conscription, if he has no friends rich
enough to buy for him a substitute, or if he cannot subscribe for the
same object to a Conscription Mutual Assurance Company.  When Louis Blanc
had his own way in France the workmen did but ten hours’ labour in the
day.  Now, however, as before, twelve or thirteen hours are regarded as a
fair day’s work.  I and Friponnet, who are diamond jewellers, work ten
hours only.  My friend Cornichon, who is a goldsmith, works as long as a
painter or a smith.  Sunday labour used to be very general in France, but
extended seldom beyond the half day; which was paid for at a higher rate.
In Paris seven in eight of us used to earn money on the Sunday morning.
That necessity could not be pleaded for the act, is proved by the fact,
that often we did no work on Monday, but on that day spent the Sunday’s
earnings.  As for wages, calculated on an average of several years, they
are about as follows:—The average pay for a day’s labour is three
shillings and twopence.  The lowest day’s pay known is five pence, and
the highest thirty shillings.  About thirty thousand of us receive
half-a-crown a day; five or six times as many (the majority) receive some
sum between half-a-crown and four and twopence.  About ten thousand
receive higher wages.  The best wages are earned by men whose work is
connected with print, paper, and engraving.  The workers in jewels and
gold are the next best provided for; next to them workers in metal and in
fancy ware.  Workers on spun and woven fabrics get low wages; the lowest
is earned, as in London, by slop-workers and all workers with the needle.
The average receipts of Paris needlewomen have not, however, fallen below
fourteenpence a day; those of them who work with fashionable dressmakers
earn about one and eightpence.  While speaking of the ill-paid class of
women, I must mention that the most sentimental of our occupations earns
the least bread.  Those who make crowns of _immortelles_ to hang upon the
tombs, only earn about sevenpence-halfpenny a day.  That trade is, in
very truth, funereal.  To come back to ourselves, it should be said that
our wages, as a whole, have risen rather than declined during the last
quarter of a century.  It is a curious fact, however, that the pay for
job-work has decreased very decidedly.

And how do we live? it is asked.  Well enough.  All of us eat two meals a
day; but what we eat depends upon our money.  We three, who draw up this
account, work in one room.  We begin fasting, and maintain our fast until
eleven o’clock.  Then we send the apprentice out to fetch our breakfasts.
When he comes back with his stores, he disposes them neatly on a centre
table in little groups.  I generally have a pennyworth of ham, which
certainly is tough, but very full of flavour; bread to the same value; a
half share with Friponnet in two-pennyworth of wine, and a
half-pennyworth of fried potatoes; thus spending in all
threepence-halfpenny.  Cornichon spends the same sum generally in another
way.  He has a pennyworth of cold boiled (unsalted) beef, a pennyworth of
bread, a halfpennyworth of cheese and a pennyworth of currant jam.
Friponnet is more extravagant.  A common breakfast bill of fare with him
is two penny sausages, twopennyworth of bread, a pennyworth of wine, a
halfpenny _paquet de couenne_ (which is a little parcel of crisply fried
strips of bacon rind), and a baked pear.  All this is sumptuous; for we
are of the aristocracy of workmen.  The labourers of Paris do not live so
well.  They go to the _gargottes_, where they get threepence
halfpennyworth of bouilli—soup, beef and vegetable—which includes the
title to a liberal supply of bread.  Reeking, dingy dens are those
_gargottes_, where all the poorer classes of Parisian workmen save the
beef out of their breakfast bouilli, and carry it away to eat later in
the day at the wine-shop; where it will make a dinner with more bread and
a pennyworth of wine.  Of bread they eat a great deal; and, reckoning
that at fourpence and the wine at a penny, we find eightpence to be the
daily cost of living to the great body of Parisian workmen.

We aristos among workpeople dine famously.  My own practice is to dine in
the street du Petit Carré upon dinners for ninepence; or, by taking
dinner-tickets for fourteen days in advance, I get one dinner a fortnight
given me gratuitously.  I dine upon soup, a choice of three plates of
meat, about half-a-pint of wine, a dessert and bread at discretion.  Our
dinner hour is four o’clock, and we are not likely to eat anything more
before bedtime; although one of us may win a cup of coffee or a dram of
brandy at billiards or dominoes in the evening.  Cornichon and Friponnet
dine in the street Chabannais; have soup at a penny a portion, small
plates of meat at twopence each, dessert at a penny, and halfpenny slips
of bread.  Each of us when he has dined rolls up a cigarette, and lounges
perhaps round the Palais Royal for half an hour.

As for our lodging the poorest of us live by tens in one room, and sleep
by fours and fives upon one mattress; paying from twopence to tenpence a
night.  The ordinary cost of such lodging as the workman in Paris
occupies is, for a whole room for one person, nine or ten shillings a
month; for more than one, six or seven shillings each; and for half a
bed, four shillings.  Cornichon lives in room number thirty-six on the
third floor of a furnished lodging house in the street du Petit Lion.
You must ring for the porter if you would go in to Cornichon; and the
porter must, by a jerk at a string, unlatch the street door if Cornichon
wishes to come out to you.  In a little court at the back are two flights
of dirty stairs of red tile edged with wood.  They lead to distinct
portions of the house.  Cornichon’s room is paved with red tiles,
polished now and then with beeswax.  It is furnished with the bed and a
few inches of bedside carpet, forming a small island on the floor, with
two chairs, a commode with a black marble top, a washing-basin and a
water-bottle.  Cornichon has also a cupboard there in which he stores his
wood for winter, paying twenty-pence per hundred pounds for logs; and as
the room contains no grate, he rents a German stove from his landlord,
paying four-and-two-pence for his use of it during the season.

Friponnet rents two unfurnished rooms up four pair of stairs, at the back
of a house in the street d’Argenteuil.  He pays ten shillings a month.
They are furnished in mahogany and black marble bought of a broker, and I
think not paid for yet.  Fidette visits him there.  She is a gold and
silver polisher, his _bonne amie_.  She has her own lodging; but she and
Friponnet divide their earnings.  They belong to one another: although no
priest has blessed their voluntary contract.  It is so, I am pained to
say, with very many of us.

I have a half-bed in a little street, with a man who is a good fellow,
considering he is a square-head—a German.  The red tiles of my staircase
are very clean, and slippery with beeswax.  My landlord rents a portion
of the third floor of the house, and under-lets it fearfully.  One
apartment has been penned off into four, and mine is the fourth section
at the end.  To reach me one must pass through the first pen, which is
occupied by Monsieur and Madame.  There they work, eat, and sleep; as for
Madame, she never leaves it.  Monsieur only goes away to wait upon the
_griffe_, his master, when he wants more work; his _griffe_ is a slop
tailor.  Monsieur and Madame sleep in a recess, which looks like a
sarcophagus.  A little Italian tailor also sleeps in the same pen; but
whereabouts I know not—his bed is a mystery.  The next pen is occupied by
two carpenters, seldom at home.  When they come home, all of us know it;
for they are extremely musical.  In the third pen live three more
tailors, through whose territory I must pass to my own cabinet.  But how
snug that is!  Although only eight feet by ten, it has two corner
windows; and, if there is little furniture and but a scanty bed, there is
a looking-glass fit for a baron, and some remains of violet-coloured
hangings and long muslin curtains; either white or brown, I am not sure.
I and the German pay for this apartment fifteen shillings monthly.

There is a kind of lodgers worth especial mention.  The men working in
the yards of masons, carpenters, and others—masons especially—frequently
come from the provinces.  They are not part of the fixed population; but
are men who have left their wives and families to come up to the town and
earn a sum of money.  For this they work most energetically; living in
the most abstemious manner, in order that they may not break into their
hoard.  They occupy furnished lodgings, flocking very much together.
Thus the masons from the departments of la Creuse and la Haute Vienne
occupy houses let out in furnished rooms exclusively to themselves, in
the quarters of the Hotel de Ville, the Arsenal, Saint Marcel, and in
other parts of Paris.  The rigid parsimony of these men is disappointed
terribly when any crisis happens.  They are forced to eat their savings,
to turn their clothing and their tools into food, and, by the revolution
of eighteen hundred and forty-eight, were reduced to such great
destitution, that in some of the houses occupied by them one dress was
all that remained to all the lodgers.  They wore it in turn, one going
out in it to seek for work while all the rest remained at home in bed.
The poor fellows thanked the want of exercise for helping them to want of
appetite—the only kind of want that poverty desires.

These men, however, working in the great yards, eating their meals near
them in an irregular and restless way, form clubs and associations which
lead not seldom to strikes—blunders which we call placing ourselves _en
Grève_.  They take the name _en Grève_ from the place in which one class
of builders’ workmen assemble when waiting to be hired.  Various places
are chosen by sundry workmen and workwomen for this practice of waiting
to be hired.  Laundresses, for example, are to be found near the church
of our Lady of Lorette, where they endure, and too often enjoy, coarse
words from passers-by.

Except in the case of the masons and labourers from the departments, it
is to be regarded as no good sign when a workman makes a residence of
furnished lodgings.  The orderly workman marries, and acquires the
property of furniture.  The mason from the departments lives cheaply, and
saves, to go home with money to his family, and acquire in his own
village the property of land.  The workman bound to Paris, who dwells
only in furnished lodgings, and has bought no furniture, has rarely
saved, and has rarely made an honest marriage.  In most cases he is a
lover of pleasure, frequents the theatre and the wine shop.  From wine he
runs on to the stronger stimulus of brandy; but these leave to him some
gleams of his national vivacity.  The most degraded does not get so
lumpish as the English workman, whose brains have become sodden in the
public-houses by long trains of pots of beer.  By far the largest portion
of the Paris workmen possess furniture: only twenty-one in a hundred—and
that includes, of course, the mobile population, the masons, etc.—live in
furnished lodgings.

For clothing we spend, according to our means, from four to fourteen
pounds a year.  Half of us have no coat in addition to the blouse.
Before the crisis of eighteen hundred and forty-eight, one sixth of us
had money in savings’ banks, and one man in every two was a member of
some benefit society.  The benefit societies were numerous, each
generally containing some two or three hundred members; but even our
singing clubs are now suppressed, and we must not meet even to transact
the business of a benefit society without giving notice of our design to
the police, and receiving into our party at least two of its agents as
lookers-on.  The result has been the decay of all such societies, and the
extinction of most of them.  Where they remain, the average monthly
subscription is fifteen-pence, which insures the payment of twenty-pence
a day during sickness, with gratuitous advice and medicine from the
doctor.  The funds of such societies are lodged either in savings’ banks,
or in the _Mont de Pieté_; which, though properly a pawnbroking
establishment, has also its uses as a bank.  The imperial fist presses
everywhere down upon us.  It has forced us out of sick clubs, because we
sometimes talked in them about the state of the nation: it would build us
huge barracks to live in, so that we may be had continually under watch
and ward; and it has lately thrust in upon us a president of its own at
the head of our _Conseil de Prud’hommes_, the only tribunal we possess
for the adjustment of our internal trade disputes.

Of our pleasures on a Sunday afternoon the world has heard.  We devote
that to our families, if we have any; Monday, too often, to our friends.
There are on Sundays our feats of gymnastics at open-air balls beyond the
barriers, and our dancing saloons in the city; such as the Prado, the Bal
Montesquieu, and the Dogs’ Ball.  There are our pleasant country rambles,
and our pleasant little dinners in the fields.  There are our games at
poule, and dominoes, and piquet; and our pipes with dexterously blackened
bowls.  There are our theatres, the Funambule and the Porte St. Martin.
Gamblers among us play at bowls in the Elysian fields, or they stay at
home losing and winning more than they can properly afford to risk at
_écarté_.

Then there are our holidays.  The best used to be “the three days of
July,” but they were lost in the last scramble.  Yet we still have no
lack of holiday amusement; our puppets to admire, and greasy poles to
climb for prizes by men who have been prudently required first to declare
and register their ambition at the Bureau of Police.  Government so gets
something like a list of the men who aspire; who wish to mount.  It must
be very useful.  There are our water tournaments at St. Cloud and at
Boulogne-sur-Seine; where they who have informed the police of their
combative propensities, may thrust at each other with long-padded poles
from boats which are being rowed forcibly into collision.  We are not
much of water-birds, but when we do undertake boating, we engage in the
work like Algerine pirates.  We must have a red sash round the waist or
not a man of us will pull a stroke.

To go back to our homes and to our wives.  When we do marry, we prefer a
wife who can support herself by her own labour.  If we have children, it
is in our power to apply—and very many of us do apply—to the Bureau of
Nurses; and, soon after an infant’s birth, it can be sent down into the
country at the monthly cost of about ten shillings and two pounds of lump
sugar.  That prevents the child from hindering our work or pleasure; and,
as it is the interest of the nurse to protect the child for which she
receives payment, why should we disturb our consciences with qualm or
fear?

In Paris there are few factories; some that have existed were removed
into the provinces for the sole purpose of avoiding the dictation of the
workmen in the town.  The Parisian fancy work employs a large number of
people who can work at their own homes.  In this, and in the whole
industry of Paris, the division of labour is very great; but the fancy
work offers a good deal of scope for originality and taste, and the
workman of Paris is glad to furnish both.  He will delight himself by
working night and day to execute a sudden order, to be equal to some
great occasion; but he cannot so well be depended upon when the work
falls again into its even, humdrum pace.  On the whole, however, they who
receive good wages, and are trusted—as the men working for jewellers are
trusted—become raised by the responsibility of their position, shun the
wine-shop, live contented with the pleasures of their homes, dress with
neatness, and would die rather than betray the confidence reposed in
them.  With all his faults and oddities, the workman of Paris is
essentially a thoroughly good fellow.  The solitary work of tailors and
of shoemakers causes them of course to brood and think, and to turn out
of their body a great number of men who take a foremost place in all
political discussions.  But the French workman always is a loser by
political disturbance.  The crisis of eighteen hundred and forty-eight—a
workman’s triumph—reduced the value of industry in Paris from sixty to
twenty-eight millions of pounds.  Fifty-four men in every hundred were at
the same time thrown out of employ, or nearly two hundred thousand people
in all.

But there are some callings, indeed, wholly untouched by a crisis.  The
manufacture of street gas goes on, for example, without any change.
There are others that are even benefited by a revolution.  After the last
revolution, while other trades were turning away men to whom there was no
longer work to give, the trades concerned in providing military equipment
were taking on fresh hands.  To that class in Paris, and to that only,
there was an increase of business in eighteen hundred and forty-eight to
the extent of twenty-nine per cent.  The decrease of business among the
printers, although few books were printed, did not amount to more than
twenty-seven per cent., in consequence of the increased demand for
proclamations, handbills, and manifestoes.

Without any extra crisis, men working in all trades have trouble enough
to get over the mere natural checks upon industry, which come to most
tradesmen twice a year in the shape of the dead seasons.  Every month is
a dead season to some trade; but the dead seasons which prevail over the
largest number of workmen in Paris are the two months, July and August,
in summer, and the two months, January and February, in winter.  The dead
season of summer is the more decided of the two.  The periods of greatest
activity, on the other hand, are the two months, April and May, and next
to those the months, October and November.  Printers are busiest in
winter, builders are busiest in summer—so there are exceptions to the
rule; but, except those who provide certain requisites for eating and
drinking which are in continual demand, there are few workmen in Paris or
elsewhere in France, who have not every year quite enough slack time to
perplex them.  They can ill afford the interference of any small crisis
in the shape of a strike, or large crisis in the shape of a national
tumult.

Finally, let me say that the French workman, take him all in all, is
certainly a clever fellow.  He is fond of Saint Monday, “solidarity,” and
shows; but is quickwitted at his work, and furiously energetic when there
is any strong call made upon his industry.  In the most debased form he
has much more vigour and vivacity than the most debased of English
operatives.  He may be more immoral; but he is less brutish.  If we are a
little vain, and very fond of gaiety; and if we are improvident, we are
not idle; and, with all our street fighting, we are not a discontented
race.  Except an Arab, who can be so happy as we know how to make
ourselves, upon the smallest possible resources?



CHAPTER XXV.


LICENSED TO JUGGLE.

Some years ago a short iron-built man used to balance a scaffold pole
upon his chin; to whizz a slop-basin round upon the end of it; and to
imitate fire-works with golden balls and gleaming knives, in the public
streets of London.  I am afraid his genius was not rewarded in his own
country; for not long ago I saw him starring it in Paris.  As I stood by
to watch his evolutions, in the Champs Elysées, I felt a patriotic glow
when they were rewarded with the enthusiastic applause of a very wide and
thick ring of French spectators.

There was one peculiarity in his performance which distinguished him from
French open-air artistes—he never spoke.  Possibly he was diffident of
his French accent.  He simply uttered a grunt when he wished to call
attention to any extraordinary perfection in his performance; in
imitation, perhaps, of the “La!—la!” of the prince of French acrobats,
Auriol.  Whatever he attempted he did well; that is to say, in a solid,
deliberate, thorough manner.  His style of chin-balancing,
knife-catching, ball-throwing, and ground and lofty tumbling, was not so
agile or flippant as that of his French competitors, but he never failed.
On the circulation of his hat, the French halfpence were dropped in with
great liberality.

As the fall of the curtain denotes the close of a play, so the raising of
the square of carpet signifies the end of a juggler’s performance; and,
when my old acquaintance had rolled up his little bit of tapestry, and
had pocketed his sous, I accosted him—“You are,” I said, “an Englishman?”

“That’s right!” he observed, familiarly.

“What say you to a glass of something, and a chat?”

“Say?” he repeated, with a very broad grin, “why, yes, to be sure!”

The tumbler, with his tools done up in a carpet-bag closed at the mouth
with a bit of rope, and your humble servant were speedily seated in a
neighbouring wine-shop.

“What do you prefer to drink?” I inquired.

“Cure-a-sore,” he modestly answered.

The epicure!  Quality and not quantity was evidently his taste; a sign
of, at least, a sober fellow.

“You find yourself tolerably well off in Paris?”

“I should think I did,” he answered, smacking his lips, “for I wos a
wagabon in London; but here I am an artiste!”

“A distinction only in name, I suspect.”

“P’raps it is; but there’s a good deal of difference, mind you.  In
England (I have been a’most all over it) a feller in my line is a
wagabon.  He don’t take no standing in society.  He may be quiet, never
get into no trouble, and never give nobody else none; but that don’t help
him.  ‘He gits his livin’ in the streets,’ they say, and that’s enough.
Well, ’spose he does? he ’as to work tremenjus hard for it.”

“His certainly cannot be an idle life.”

“It just ain’t, if they’d only let us alone; but they won’t—them blessed
Peelers I mean.  How would you like it?” he continued, appealing to me
with as hard a look in the face as if I had been his most implacable
enemy, “how would you like it, if you had looked up a jolly good pitch,
and a reg’lar good comp’ny was a looking on—at the west end, in a slap up
street, where there ain’t no thoroughfare—and jist as you’re a doin’ the
basin, and the browns is a droppin’ into the ’at, up comes a Peeler.
Then it’s ‘Move on!’  You must go;” he stared harder than ever, and
thumped his hand on the table; “I say you _must_ go, and lose p’raps a
pick up as ’u’d keep you for a week.  How would you like that?”

“I should expostulate.”

“Spostallate!—would you?” a slight curl of the lip, expressive of
contempt at my ignorance of the general behaviour of policemen.  “Ah! if
you say ’bo!’ to a Peeler he pulls you, and what’s the consequence?  Why,
a month at the Steel!”—which hard name I understood to be given to the
House of Correction.

“But the police are not unreasonable,” I suggested.

“Well, p’raps some of ’em ain’t,” he remarked, “but you can’t pick out
your policemen, that’s where it is.”

“Do the police never interfere with you here?” I asked.

“They used to it; and I’ve had to beg back my traps more than once from
the borough of the Police Correctionell, as they call it; but then that
was ’cause I was hignorant of the law.  When they see that I could git a
’onest living, an old cove in a cocked hat ses he to me, ses he, ‘You’re
a saltimbanc, you are.  Wery good.  You go to the borough of police for
public morals, and the minister (not a parson, mind you, but the ’ed
hinspector), if he’s satisfied with your character he’ll give you a
ticket.”

“And did he?”

“Course he did; and I’m now one of the reg’lar perfession.  I aint to be
hinterfered with; leastways, without I’m donkey enough to go on the cross
and be took up.  _That’s_ the ticket,” he exclaimed triumphantly, pulling
out a bronze badge, “I’m number thirty-five, I am.”

“And can you perform anywhere?”

“No; the police picked out thirteen good places—‘pitches,’ we calls
’em—where we can play.  Ther’s the list—thirteen on ’em all of a
row—beginning on the Boulevards at the Place de la Colonne de Juilliet,
and ending in the Champs Elysées.”  He unfolded a neatly written document
that plainly defined the limits of Paris within which he, in common with
his co-professors, was allowed to display his abilities.

With a small gratuity for the new light thrown upon the subject of street
performances, I parted from my enterprising countryman, wishing him every
success.

I have sometimes wondered whether—considering that we have all sorts of
licensed people about us; people who are licensed to cram us upon
steam-boats; to crowd us into omnibuses; to jolt us in ramshackle cabs;
to supply us with bad brandy and other adulterated drinks; licentiates
for practising physic; licentiates for carrying parcels; licentiates for
taking money at their own doors for the diversions of singing and
dancing; licentiates for killing game with gunpowder, which other people
have been licensed to make—whether, I say, it would not be wise to
license in England out-of-door as well as in-door amusements.



CHAPTER XXVI.


PÈRE PANPAN.

“Monsieur Panpan lives in the Place Valois,” said my friend, newly
arrived from London on a visit to Paris, “and as I am under a promise to
his brother Victor to deliver a message on his behalf, I must keep my
word even if I go alone, and execute my mission in pantomime.  Will you
be my interpreter?”

The Place Valois is a dreamy little square formed by tall houses: graced
by an elegant fountain in its centre; guarded by a red-legged sentinel;
and is chiefly remarkable in Parisian annals as the scene of the
assassination of the Duc de Berri.  There is a quiet, melancholy air
about the place which accords well with its traditions; and even the
little children who make it their playground on account of the absence of
both vehicles and equestrians, pursue their sports in a subdued, tranquil
way, hanging about the fountain’s edge, and dabbling in the water with
their little fingers.  Monsieur Panpan’s residence was not difficult to
find.  We entered by a handsome porte-cochère into a paved court-yard,
and, having duly accounted for our presence to the watchful concierge who
sat sedulously peering out of a green sentry-box, commenced our ascent to
the upper regions.  Seeing that Monsieur lived on the fourth floor, and
that the steps of the spacious staircase were of that shallow description
which disappoint the tread by falling short of its expectations, it was
no wonder that we were rather out of breath when we reached the necessary
elevation; and that we paused a moment to collect our thoughts, and calm
our respiration, before knocking at the little backroom door, which we
knew to be that of Monsieur Panpan.

Madame Panpan received us most graciously, setting chairs for us, and
apologising for her husband, who, poor man, was sitting up in his bed,
with a wan countenance, and hollow glistening eyes.  We were in the close
heavy air of a sick chamber.  The room was very small, and the bedstead
occupied a large portion of its space.  It was lighted by one little
window only, and that looked down a sort of square shaft which served as
a ventilator to the house.  A pale child, with large wandering eyes,
watched us intently from behind the end of the little French bedstead,
while the few toys he had been playing with lay scattered upon the floor.
The room was very neat, although its furniture was poor and scanty; and
by the brown saucepan perched upon the top of the diminutive German
stove, which had strayed, as it were, from its chimney corner into the
middle of the room, we knew that the pot-au-feu was in preparation.
Madame, before whom was a small table covered with the unfinished
portions of a corset, was very agreeable—rather coquettish, indeed, we
should have said in England.  Her eyes were bright and cheerful, and her
hair drawn back from her forehead à la Chinoise.  In a graceful, but
decided way, she apologised for continuing her labours, which were
evidently works of necessity rather than of choice.

“And Victor, that good boy,” she exclaimed, when we had further explained
the object of our visit, “was quite well!  I am charmed!  And he had
found work, and succeeding so well in his affairs?  I am enchanted!  It
is so amiable of him to send me this little cadeau!”

Monsieur Panpan, with his strange lustrous eyes, if not enchanted, rubbed
his thin bony hands together as he sat up in the bed, and chuckled in an
unearthly way at the good news.  Having executed our commission, we felt
it would be intrusive to prolong our stay, and therefore rose to depart,
but received so pressing an invitation to repeat the visit, that, on the
part of myself and friend, who was to leave Paris in a few days, I could
not refuse to comply with a wish so cordially expressed, and evidently
sincere.  And thus commenced my acquaintance with the Panpans.

I cannot trace the course of our acquaintance, or tell how, from an
occasional call, my visits became those of a bosom friend; but certain it
is, that soon each returning Sunday saw me a guest at the table of
Monsieur Panpan, where my couvert and serviette became sacred to my use;
and, after the meal, were carefully cleaned and laid apart for the next
occasion.  This, I afterwards learned, was a customary mark of
consideration towards an esteemed friend among the poorer class of
Parisians.  I soon learned their history.  Their every-day existence was
a simple, easily read story, and not the less simple and touching because
it is the every-day story of thousands of poor French families.  Madame
was a stay-maker; and the whole care and responsibility of providing for
the wants and comforts of a sick husband; for her little Victor, her
eldest born; and the monthly stipend of her infant Henri, out at nurse
some hundred leagues from Paris, hung upon the unaided exertions of her
single hands, and the scrupulous and wonderful economy of her management.

One day I found Madame in tears.  Panpan himself lay with rigid features,
and his wiry hands spread out upon the counterpane.  Madame was at first
inconsolable and inexplicable, but at length, amid sobs, half suppressed,
related the nature of their new misfortune.  Would Monsieur believe that
those miserable nurse-people, insulting as they were, had sent from the
country to say, that unless the three months nursing of little Henri,
together with the six pounds of lump sugar, which formed part of the
original bargain, were immediately paid, cette pauvre bête (Henri that
was), would be instantly dispatched to Paris, and proceedings taken for
the recovery of the debt?  Ces miserables!

Here poor Madame Panpan could not contain herself, but gave way to her
affliction in a violent outburst of tears.  And yet the poor child, the
cause of all this sorrow, was almost as great stranger to his mother as
he was to me, who had never seen him in my life.  With scarcely a week’s
existence to boast of, he had been swaddled up in strange clothes;
intrusted to strange hands; and hurried away some hundred leagues from
the capital, to scramble about the clay floor of an unwholesome cottage,
in company perhaps with some half-dozen atomies like himself, as strange
to each other as they were to their own parents, to pass those famous
mois de nourrice which form so important and momentous a period in the
lives of most French people.  Madame Panpan was however in no way
responsible for this state of things; the system was there, not only
recognised, but encouraged; become indeed a part of the social habits of
the people, and it was no wonder if her poverty should have driven her to
so popular and ready a means of meeting a great difficulty.  How she
extricated herself from this dilemma, it is not necessary to state;
suffice it to say, that a few weeks saw cette petite bête Henri, happily
domiciled in the Place Valois; and, if not overburdened with apparel, at
least released from the terrible debt of six and thirty francs, and six
pounds of lump-sugar.

It naturally happened, that on the pleasant Sunday afternoons, when we
had disposed of our small, but often sumptuous dinner; perhaps a gigot de
mouton with a clove of garlic in the knuckle; a fricassée de lapins with
onions, or a fricandeau, Panpan himself would tell me part of his
history; and in the course of our salad; of our little dessert of fresh
fruit, or currant jelly; or perhaps, stimulated by the tiniest glass of
brandy, would grow warm in the recital of his early experiences, and the
unhappy chance which had brought him into his present condition.

“Ah, Monsieur!” he said one day, “little would you think, to see me
cribbed up in this miserable bed, that I had been a soldier, or that the
happiest days of my life had been passed in the woods of Fontainebleau,
following the chase in the retinue of King Charles the Tenth of France.
I was a wild young fellow in my boyhood; and, when at the age of eighteen
I drew for the conscription and found it was my fate to serve, I believe
I never was so happy in my life.  I entered the cavalry; and, in spite of
the heavy duties and strict discipline, it was a glorious time.  It makes
me mad, Monsieur, when I think of the happy days I have spent on the
road, in barracks, and in snug country quarters, where there was cider or
wine for the asking; to find myself in a solitary corner of great,
thoughtless Paris, sick and helpless.  It would be something to die out
in the open fields like a worn-out horse, or to be shot like a wounded
one.  But this is terrible!—and I am but thirty-eight.”

We comforted him in the best way we could with sage axioms of antique
date, or more lively stories of passing events; but I saw a solitary tear
creeping down the cheek of Madame Panpan, even in the midst of a quaint
sally; and, under pretence of arranging his pillow, she bent over his
head and kissed him gently on the forehead.

Père Panpan—I had come by degrees to call him “Père,” although he was
still young; for it sounded natural and kindly—continued his narrative in
his rambling, gossiping way.  He had been chosen, he said, to serve in
the Garde Royale, of whom fifteen thousand sabres were stationed in and
about the capital at this period; and in the royal forest of
Fontainebleau, in the enjoyment of a sort of indolent activity, he passed
his happiest days; now employed in the chase, now in the palace
immediately about the person of the king, in a succession of active
pleasures, or easy, varied duties.  Panpan was no republican.  Indeed, I
question whether any very deep political principles governed his
sentiments; which naturally allied themselves with those things that
yielded the greatest amount of pleasure.

The misfortunes of Père Panpan dated from the revolution of eighteen
hundred and thirty.  Then the glittering pageantry in the palace of
Fontainebleau vanished like a dream.  The wild clatter of military
preparation; the rattling of steel and the trampling of horses; and away
swept troop after troop, with sword-belt braced and carabine in hand, to
plunge into the mad uproar of the streets of Paris, risen, stones and
all, in revolution.  The Garde Royale did their duty in those three
terrible days, and if their gallant charges through the encumbered
streets, or their patient endurance amid the merciless showers of
indescribable missiles, were all in vain, it was because their foe was
animated by an enthusiasm of which they knew nothing, save in the
endurance of its effects.  Panpan’s individual fate, amid all this
turmoil, was lamentable enough.

A few hours amid the dust; the sweltering heat; the yellings of the
excited populace; the roaring of cannon and the pattering of musketry;
saw the troop in which he served, broken and scattered, and Panpan
himself rolling in the dust, with a thousand lights flashing in his eyes,
and a brass button lodged in his side!

“Those villains of Parisians!” he exclaimed, “not content with showering
their whole garde meuble upon our heads, fired upon us a diabolical
collection of missiles, such as no mortal ever thought of before:—bits of
broken brass; little plates of tin and iron rolled into sugar-loaves;
crushed brace-buckles; crooked nails and wads of metal wire;—anything,
indeed, that in their extremity they could lay their hands on, and ram
into the muzzle of a gun!  These things inflicted fearful gashes, and, in
many cases, a mere flesh-wound turned out a death-stroke.  Few that got
hurt in our own troop lived to tell the tale.”

A few more days and the whole royal cavalcade was scattered like chaff
before the wind, and Charles the Tenth a fugitive on his way to England;
a few more days and the wily Louis Philippe was taking the oath to a new
constitution, and our friend, Panpan, lay carefully packed, brass button
and all, in the Hôtel-Dieu.  The brass button was difficult to find, and
when found the ugly fissure it had made grew gangrened, and would not
heal; and thus it happened that many a bed became vacant, and got filled,
and was vacant again, as their occupants either walked out, or were borne
out, of the hospital gates, before Panpan was declared convalescent, and
finally dismissed from the Hôtel-Dieu as “cured.”

The proud trooper was, however, an altered man; his health and spirits
were gone; the whole corps of which he had so often boasted was broken up
and dispersed; his means of livelihood were at an end, and, what was
worse, he knew of no other in the exercise of which he could gain his
daily bread.  There were very many such helpless, tradeless men pacing
the streets of Paris, when the fever of the revolution was cooled down,
and ordinary business ways began to take their course.  Nor was it those
alone who were uninstructed in any useful occupation, but there were also
the turbulent, dissatisfied spirits; builders of barricades, and leaders
of club-sections, whom the late excitement, and their temporary elevation
above their fellow workmen, had left restless and ambitious, and whose
awakened energies, if not directed to some useful and congenial
employment, would infallibly lead to mischief.

Panpan chuckled over the fate which awaited some of these ardent youths:
“Ces gaillards là!” he said, “had become too proud and troublesome to be
left long in the streets of Paris; they would have fomented another
revolution; so Louis Philippe, under pretence of rewarding his brave
‘soldats laboureurs,’ whom he was ready to shake by the hand in the
public streets in the first flush of success, enrolled them in the army,
and sent them to the commanding officers with medals of honour round
their necks, and special recommendations to promotion in their hands.
They hoped to become Marshals of France in no time.  Pauvres diables!
they were soon glad to hide their decorations, and cease bragging about
street-fighting and barricades, for the regulars relished neither their
swaggering stories nor the notion of being set aside by such parvenus;
and they got so quizzed, snubbed, and tormented, that they were happy at
last to slide into their places as simple soldats, and trust to the
ordinary course for promotion.”

                                * * * * *

As for Panpan, his street wanderings terminated in his finding employment
in a lace manufactory, and it soon became evident that his natural talent
here found a congenial occupation.  He came by degrees to be happy in his
new position of a workman.  Then occurred the serious love passage of his
life—his meeting with Louise, now Madame Panpan.  It was the simplest
matter in the world: Panpan, to whom life was nothing without the Sunday
quadrille at the barrière, having resolved to figure on the next occasion
in a pair of bottes vernis, waited upon his bootmaker—every Parisian has
his bootmaker—to issue his mandates concerning their length, shape, and
general construction.  He entered the boutique of Mons. Cuire, when, lo!
he beheld in the little back parlour, the most delicate little foot that
ever graced a shoe, or tripped to measure on the grass.  He would say
nothing of the owner of this miracle; of her face—which was full of
intelligence; of her figure—which was gentille toute à fait—but for that
dear, chaste, ravishing model of a foot! so modestly posé upon the
cushion.  Heaven!—and Panpan unconsciously heaved a long sigh, and
brought with it from the very bottom of his heart a vow to become its
possessor.  There was no necessity for anything very rash or very
desperate in the case, as it happened, for the evident admiration of
Panpan had inspired Louise with an impromptu interest in his favour, and
he being besides gentil garçon, their chance rencontre was but the
commencement of a friendship which ripened into love,—and so the old
story over again, with marriage at the end of it.

Well! said M. Panpan, time rolled on, and little Louis was born.  This
might have been a blessing, but while family cares and expenses were
growing upon them, Panpan’s strength and energies were withering away.
He suffered little pain, but what there was seemed to spring from the old
wound; and there were whole days when he lay a mere wreck, without the
power or will to move; and when his feeble breath seemed passing away for
ever.  Happily, these relapses occurred only at intervals, but by slow
degrees they became more frequent and more overwhelming.  Madame Panpan’s
skill and untiring perseverance grew to be, as other resources failed,
the main, and for many, many months, the whole support of the family.
Then came a time when the winter had passed away, and the spring was
already in its full, and still Panpan lay helpless in bed with shrunken
limbs and hollow, pallid cheeks,—and then little Henri was born.

Père Panpan having arrived at this crisis in his history, drew a long
breath, and stretched himself back in his bed.  I knew the rest.  It was
soon after the event last named that I made his acquaintance, and the
remainder of his simple story, therefore, devolves upon me.

The debility of the once dashing soldier increased daily, and as it could
be traced to no definite cause, he gradually became a physiological
enigma; and thence naturally a pet of the medical profession.  Not that
he was a profitable patient, for the necessities of the family were too
great to allow of so expensive a luxury as a doctor’s bill; but urged,
partly by commiseration, and partly by professional curiosity, both
ardent students and methodical practitioners would crowd round his simple
bed, probing him with instruments, poking him with their fingers, and
punching him with their fists; each with a new theory to propound and
establish; and the more they were baffled and contradicted in their
preconceived notions, the more obstinate they became in their
enforcement.  Panpan’s own thoughts upon the subject always reverted to
the brass button, although he found few to listen to or encourage him in
his idea.  His medical patrons were a constant source of suffering to
him, but he bore with them patiently; sometimes reviving from his
prostration as if inspired, then lapsing as suddenly into his old state
of semi-pain and total feebleness.  As a last hope, he was removed from
his fourth floor in the Place Valois, to become an inmate of the Bicêtre,
and a domiciled subject of contention and experiment to its medical
staff.

The Bicêtre is a large, melancholy-looking building, half hospital half
madhouse, situated a few leagues from Paris.  I took a distaste to it on
my very first visit.  It always struck me as a sort of menagerie, I
suppose from the circumstance of there having been pointed out to me,
immediately on my entrance, a railed and fenced portion of the building,
where the fiercer sort of inhabitants were imprisoned.  Moreover, I met
with such strange looks and grimaces; such bewildering side-glances or
moping stares, as I traversed the open court-yards, with their open
corridors, or the long arched passages of the interior, that the whole of
the inmates came before me as creatures in human shape indeed, but as
possessed by the cunning or the ferocity of the mere animal.  Yet it was
a public hospital, and in the performance of its duties there was an
infinite deal of kindly attention, consummate skill, and unwearying
labour.  Its associations were certainly unhappy, and had, I am sure, a
depressing effect upon at least the physically disordered patients.  It
may be that as the Bicêtre is a sort of forlorn hope of hospitals, where
the more desperate or inexplicable cases only are admitted, it naturally
acquires a sombre and ominous character; but in no establishment of a
similar kind (and I have seen many) did I meet with such depressing
influences.

Panpan was at first in high spirits at the change.  He was to be restored
to health in a brief period, and he really did in the first few weeks
make rapid progress towards convalescence.  Already a sort of gymnasium
had been arranged over his bed, so that he might, by simple muscular
exercises, regain his lost strength; and more than once I have guided his
tottering steps along the arched corridors, as, clad in the gray uniform
of the hospital, and supported by a stick, he took a brief mid-day
promenade.

We made him cheering Sunday visits, Madame Panpan, Louis, the little
Henri, and I, and infringed many a rule of the hospital in regard to his
regimen.  There was a charcutier living close to the outer walks, and
when nothing else could be had, we purchased some of his curiously
prepared delicacies, and smuggled them in under various guises.  To him
they were delicious morsels amid the uniform soup and bouillon of the
hospital, and I dare say did him neither good nor harm.

Poor Madame Panpan! apart from the unceasing exertions which her
difficult position demanded of her; apart from the harassing days, the
sleepless nights, and pecuniary deficiencies which somehow never were
made up; apart from the shadow of death which hovered ever near her; and
the unvarying labours which pulled at her fingers, and strained at her
eyes, so that her efforts seemed still devoted to one ever unfinished
corset,—there arose another trouble where it was least expected; and
alas! I was the unconscious cause of a new embarrassment.  I was accused
of being her lover.  Numberless accusations rose up against us.  Had I
not played at pat-ball with Madame in the Bois de Boulogne?  Yes, pardi!
while Panpan lay stretched upon the grass a laughing spectator of the
game; and which was brought to an untimely conclusion by my breaking my
head against the branch of a tree.  But had I not accompanied Madame
alone to the Champs Elysées to witness the jeu-de-feu on the last fête of
July?  My good woman, did I not carry Louis pick-a-back the whole way?
and was not the crowd so dense and fearful, that our progress to the
Champs Elysées was barred at its very mouth by the fierce tornado of the
multitude, and the trampling to death of three unhappy mortals, whose
shrieks and groans still echo in my ear? and was it not at the risk of
life or limb that I fought my way along the Rue de la Madeleine, with
little Louis clinging round my neck, and Madame hanging on to my
coat-tail?  Amid the swaying and eddying of the crowd, the mounted Garde
Municipale came dashing into the thickest of the press, to snatch little
children, and even women, from impending death, and bear them to a place
of safety.  And if we did take a bottle of Strassburger beer on the
Boulevards, when at length we found a freer place to breathe in, faint
and reeling as we were, pray where was the harm, and who would not have
done as much?  Ah, Madame! if you had seen, as I did, that when we
reached home the first thing poor Madame Panpan came to do, was to fall
upon her husband’s neck, and in a voice broken with sobs, and as though
her heart would break, to thank that merciful God who had spared her in
her trouble, that she might still work for him and his children! you
would not be so ready with your blame.

But there was a heavier accusation still.  Did you not, sir, entertain
Madame to supper in the Rue de Roule? with the utmost extravagance too,
not to mention the omelette soufflée with which you must needs tickle
your appetites, and expressly order for the occasion?  And more than
that: did you not then take coffee in the Rue St. Honoré, and play at
dominoes with Madame in the salon?  Alas, yes! all this is true, and the
cause still more true and more sad; for it was under the terrible
impression that Madame Panpan and her two children—for they were both
with us, you will remember, even little Henri—had not eaten of one
tolerable meal throughout a whole week, that these unpardonable acts were
committed on the Sunday.  An omelette soufflée, you know, must he
ordered; but as for the dominoes, I admit that that was an indiscretion.

Père Panpan drooped and drooped.  The cord of his gymnasium swung
uselessly above his head; he tottered no more along the corridors of the
hospital.  He had ceased to be the pet of the medical profession.  His
malady was obstinate and impertinent; it could neither be explained nor
driven away; and as all the deep theories propounded respecting it, or
carried into practical operation for its removal, proved to be mere
elaborate fancies, or useless experiments, the medical profession—happily
for Panpan—retired from the field in disgust.

“I do believe it was the button!” exclaimed Panpan, one Sunday afternoon,
with a strange light gleaming in his eyes.  Madame replied only with a
sob.  “You have seen many of them?” he abruptly demanded of me.

“Of what?”

“Buttons.”

“There are a great many of them made in England,” I replied.  Where were
we wandering?

Panpan took my hand in his, and, with a gentle pressure that went to my
very heart, exclaimed: “I do believe it was the brass button after all.
I hope to God it was not an English button!”

I can’t say whether it was or not.  But, as to poor Père Panpan, we
buried him at Bicêtre.



CHAPTER XXVII.


SOME GERMAN SUNDAYS.

Of how Sunday is really spent by the labouring classes in some towns in
Germany, I claim, as an English workman who has worked and played on
German ground, some right to speak.  It is possible that I may relate
matters which some do not suspect, and concerning which others have
already made up their minds; but, as I shall tell nothing but truths, I
trust I may not very much disconcert the former, nor put the latter
completely out of patience; nor offend anybody.

To begin with Hamburg.  I spent seven months in this free, commercial
port.  I came into Hamburg on a Sunday morning; and, although everything
was new and strange to me, and a number of things passed before my eyes
which could never be seen in decorous London, yet there were unmistakable
signs of Sunday in them all—only it was not the Sunday to which I had
been born and bred.  The shops were closed, and there was stillness in
the houses, if not in the streets.  I passed by the fore-courted entrance
to a theatre, and its doors were shut; but one could easily guess by the
bills at the door-posts that it offered histrionic entertainment for the
evening.  Wandering through some beautifully-wooded walks which encircle
the city, I met many promenaders, trim, well-dressed, and chatty; and
when I turned back into the city, was once or twice absorbed in the
streams of people which flowed from the church doors.  One thing was
certain; the people were not at work.  It struck me at once; for I met
them at every turn in their clean faces and spruce clothes—the veritable
mechanic may be known in every country—and there was the happy look and
the lounging gait in all, which told that they had laid down their
implements of trade for that day, and were thoroughly at leisure.  When I
came to be domiciled and fairly at work, I learned to discriminate more
clearly between many apparently irreconcilable things; and will here
roughly set down what we did, or did not, on Sundays, in the emporium and
outlet of Northern Germany; which, it will be well to remember, is
thoroughly Lutheran-Protestant in its faith.

There was a church not far from our workshop—I think the
Jacobi-Kirche—which had the sweetest set of Dutch bells that ever rung to
measure, and these played at six o’clock in the morning on every day in
the week; but, to our minds, they never played so beautiful a melody as
when they woke us on the Sunday morning, to the delightful consciousness
of being able to listen to them awhile, through the drowsy medium of our
upper feather bed.  Once fairly roused, properly attired, and breakfasted
with the Herr, what did we next?  Sometimes we worked till mid-day, but
that was a rarity; for our ordinary day’s labour was thirteen hours, with
scarcely a blink of rest at meal-times, and often we had not stirred from
the house during the whole week, but had worn out the monotonous hours
between bed and workboard.  When, however, orders pressed, we did work;
but this again was no new thing to me, for I had done the same thing in
London; had toiled deep into the Saturday night, and had been up again to
work on the Sunday morning, because some gentleman or lady who was
engaged, I dare say, in their morning devotions, could not bide the
ordinary time for their trinkets.  If we did work, which as I have said
was a rarity, our ordinary pay of two schillinge, scarcely twopence per
hour, was increased to three.

Sometimes we went to church; and we always found a goodly congregation
there.  The service was in good honest German; and the preacher—quaintly
conspicuous to an English eye by his velvet skull-cap, and a wonderfully
plaited frill which bristled round his neck—was always earnest and
impressive, and often eloquent.  Among other religious services, I well
remember that of the Busse and Bet-Tag (day of Repentance and Prayer);
the anniversary of the battle of Leipsic; and a remarkable sermon
preached on St. Michael’s Day, and of which I bought a copy after the
service of a poor widow who stood at the church door.  If the weather
were fine, we strolled along the banks of the beautiful Alster, or made
short excursions into the country; and here again all was repose, for I
recollect having once had pointed out to me as a matter of wonder a woman
who was toiling in the field.  Or, if the weather were stormy and wet, we
stayed in the workshop and read, or made drawings, or worked in the
manufacture of some favourite tool.  Often, again, we had especial duties
to perform on that day in the shape of visiting some sick craftsman in
the hospital, to pay him his weekly allowance, or convey him a book, or
some little creature comforts.  The Sunday morning was an authorised
visiting time, and the hospital was usually crowded—too crowded with
patients, as we thought—and each had his cluster of cheering friends.  Or
we paid friendly visits to fellow workmen; smoked quiet pipes, and told
travellers’ stories; or listened to the uncertain essays of our brethren
of the Männergesangverein as they practised their part music.  There was
one piece of business transacted on the Sunday morning which may have
been sinful, although we did not view it in that light.  We paid our
tailors’ bills on the Sunday morning if we had the money, or ordered new
garments if we had credit; and I believe it is a practice more generally
prevalent even in England than gentlefolks are apt to imagine.

We dined with the Herr at noon, and at one o’clock were at liberty for
the day.  I have seen a Danish harvest-home on a Sunday afternoon in the
pretty village of Altona; watching its merry mummers as they passed by
the old church-yard wall, where Klopstock lies buried.  I have attended a
funeral as a real mourner, followed by the mourning professionals in the
theatrical trappings with which the custom of Hamburg usually adorns
them.  If we bent our steps, as we sometimes did, through the Altona gate
to Hamburger Berg, we came upon a scene of hubbub and animation which was
something between Clare Market on Saturday night, and High Street,
Greenwich, at fair time.  Stalls, booths, and baskets lined the way;
flowers, fruit, and pastry disputed possession of the side-paths with
sugar-plums, sticks and tobacco-pipes; and, although Franconi’s Circus
was not open yet, it gave every promise of being so; and the air already
rang with voices of showmen, and the clangour of instruments.  In the
Summer there were gay boats on the Alster, and nautical holiday-makers
were busy with oar and sail; while, in the Winter months, if the ice held
well, there was no end of skating and sledging; and then we had a
pleasant winter-garden near the Tivoli, with orange-trees in tubs, the
mould so covered over as to form extemporary tables, and the green leaves
and pale fruit shining above our heads.  At the upper end was a
conservatory of choice plants, which was more particularly appropriated
to the ladies and children.  The café pavilions on the Alster steamed
odoriferously; punch and hot coffee were in the ascendant; and there were
more cigars smoked in an afternoon on the Jungfern Stieg (the Maiden’s
Walk) than would have stored the cases of a London suburban tobacconist.

These may, perhaps, be reckoned mere idlings, but there were occasionally
official doings on the Sunday, which might have been national, if Hamburg
had been a nation, and which no doubt were eminently popular.  Two such,
I remember; one a grand review of the Bürger Militär; the other the
public confirmation of the apprentices and others, and the conscription
of the youth of the city.  The former was a trying affair.  Some twelve
thousand citizen-soldiers had to turn out, fully rigged and equipped, by
early dawn, ready for any amount of drill and evolution.  Many were the
stories—more witty than generous—of the whereabout of their uniforms and
accoutrements; as to their being deposited in Lombardian hands, or wholly
used up since the last grand field-day some three years before.  Such
furbishing as there was of brass ornaments and metal-buttons; such an
oiling and sand-papering of brown muskets, and such a rearrangement of
blue tunics which, after all, did not match in colour, length, nor
appointments!  Fortunately our warriors did not burn powder; and there
was enough of military ardour among them to carry them through the
fatigue of the day.  It required a great deal; for, like other military
bodies of a late day, the commissariat department totally broke down, and
citizens were kept hungering and thirsting upon the blank, dusty plain,
within half-a-mile of stored-up abundance.  The confirmation of the
apprentices and the conscription of the young men was a more serious
matter.  It took place in the great square, where a stage and pavilion
were erected; all the authority of the senate, and the services of the
church were united to render it solemn and impressive.  It was a source
of deep interest to many of my own acquaintances, more especially to the
young cooper who worked underground at our house, and who, just released
from his apprenticeship, had the good or ill fortune to be drawn for the
next year’s levy.

There was one institution, not precisely of Hamburg, but at the very
doors of it, which exercised considerable influence upon its habits and
morals, and that of no beneficial kind.  This was the Danish State
Lottery, the office of which was at Altona, where the prizes were
periodically drawn upon Sunday.  The Hamburgers were supposed to receive
certain pecuniary advantages from this lottery in the shape of benefits
bestowed upon the Waisenkinder of the town, who, like our own blue-coat
boys of the old time, were the drawers of the numbers; but the advantages
were very questionable, seeing that the bulk of speculators were the
Hamburgers themselves, and the great prizes of the undertaking went to
swell the Danish Royal Treasury.  Portions of shares could be purchased
for as low a sum as fourpence, and the Hamburg Senate, in self-defence,
and with a great show of propriety, prohibited the traffic of them among
servants and apprentices: which prohibition passed, of course, for next
to nothing, seeing that the temptation was very strong, and the
injunction very weak.  It was a curious sight to witness the crowd upon
the occasion of a public drawing in the quaint old square of Altona; a
pebble-dotted space with a dark box in the centre, not unlike the
basement of a gallows.  On this stood the wheel, bright in colours and
gold, and by its side two orphan boys in school-costume, who officiated
at the ceremony.  One boy turned the wheel, the other drew the numbers,
and called them aloud as he held them before the spectators; while the
blast of a trumpet heralded the announcement.  What feverish anxiety,
what restless cupidity might be fostering among that crowd no man could
calculate, and certainly, to my mind, there was no worse thing done on
the Sunday in all Hamburg than this exhibition of legalised gambling.

Of course the theatres were open, and we of the working people were not
unfrequent visitors there.  But let us thoroughly understand the nature
of a German theatrical entertainment.  There is rarely more than one
piece, and the whole performance is usually included in the period of two
hours—from seven till nine.  The parterre, or pit, is a mere promenade or
standing place, in which the few seats are let at a higher price than the
rest of the space.  The whole of the arrangements are conducted with the
utmost decorum: so much so, that they would probably disappoint some
people who look upon the shouting, drovers’ whistling, and “hooroar” and
hissing of some of our theatres as part of the legitimate drama.  On the
Christmas day, when I had the option of getting gloriously fuddled with a
select party of English friends, or of entertaining myself in some less
orthodox way, I preferred to witness the opera of “Norma” at the Stadt
Theatre, and think I was the better for the choice.  “Hamlet” was the
source of another Sunday evening’s gratification (an anniversary play of
the Hamburgers, and intensely popular with the Danes), although with
unpardonable barbarity the German censors entirely blotted out the
gravediggers, and never buried the hapless, “sweet Ophelia.”  In the
gallery of the Imperial Opera House at Vienna, liveried servants hand
sweetmeats, ices, and coffee about between the acts; and although the
Hamburger theatricals have not yet reached this stage of refinement,
there is much in the shape of social convenience in their arrangement,
which even we might copy.

Sometimes, we workmen spent a pleasant hour or two in the concert-rooms,
of which there were several admirably conducted; or pored hours long over
the papers, chiefly literary, in the Alster Halle; sipping our coffee,
and listening in the pauses of our reading to the band of choice
musicians, who played occasionally through the evening.  Sometimes we
dived into snug cellars, where they sold good beer, or mixed odoriferous
punch; and here again music would come, though in a more questionable
shape, her attendant priestesses being the wandering harp-players, who
sang sentimental ditties to the twanging of their instruments.  Other
places there were, some in the city, and some outside the walls, where an
abominable medley of waltz, smoke, wine, and lotto made up the evening’s
entertainment.  The larger of these establishments had some pretensions
to gentility, seeing that they did not allow gentlemen to dance with
their hats on; but whatever other claims they set up to the respect of
the community may be briefly set down as worth very little.  It will not
unnaturally follow that where there is much liberty there will be some
licence, and with respect to Hamburg, it is in her dance-houses that this
excess is to be found.  But where is the wonder?  The Hamburger
authorities in this, and some other cases, set up a sort of excise
officer, and grant permits for this frivolity, and that vice, at a
regular scale of charges.

In spite of these half-incentives and whole encouragements to laxity of
behaviour, what is the general character of the Hamburger population?  I
venture to call them provident, temperate, and industrious.  Let it be
remembered that we speak of a mercantile port, in some parts a little
like Wapping, and into and out of which there is a perpetual ebb and flow
of seamen of all nations, full of boisterous humour, of strong life, and
wilful in their recent escape from ship restraint.  The worst of the
dance-houses are situated near the water’s edge, and are almost wholly
frequented by sailors; while the other resorts which are open to the
charge of licentiousness, have also a strong proportion of maritime
frequenters, and the rest is mostly made up of the wandering workmen of
Germany, to many of whom Hamburg is a culminating point, and who are, as
it were, out on leave.  But, after all, these cancer spots are few
indeed, when compared with the great proportion of the means of amusement
thrown open, or, rather never closed to the people.  Wander on the Sunday
when and where you will; in theatre, concert-room, or coffee-house; in
public garden or beer-cellar; you will find them joyous indeed, sometimes
loud in song or conversation, and taking generally a sort of pride in a
dash of rudeness, calling it independence, but you will never find them
sottish; nowhere cumbering the footway with their prostrate carcases;
nowhere reeling zigzag, blear-eyed and stupid, to a miserable home.

On tramp towards the South, we rested on the Sunday in Schwerin, the
capital of Mecklenburg; but there was public mourning in the city for a
death in the ducal family, and the usual Sunday festivities were
forbidden.  On attending church in the evening I found a large
congregation, and the service similar to that of Hamburg.  In the
afternoon, as there was no military parade or music, over the absence of
which the chambermaids of Der Gross-Herzog moaned dolorously, we rambled
through the ducal garden, admiring the quaintly-shaped basin in its
centre, its numerous statues, and fresh grass.  The town was dull and
methodical enough, but would have been rejoicing, if it had not been
respectfully mournful.

Our next resting-place was Berlin, where we stayed two months; and here,
according to our experience, the Sunday afternoon recreations differed
only in tone from those of Hamburg, being less boisterous in their gaiety
than in the former seaman’s paradise.  We never worked on Sunday in
Berlin, nor did any of our artizan friends, although there were very
pressing orders in the shape of those unvarying German court douceurs,
diamond-circled snuff boxes, and insignia of the Red and Black Eagle.
Once, we accompanied our principal, by special invitation, to the
Hasenheide, to witness the rifle practice, civil and military, among its
heather and sandy hollows.  Officers and rank and file alike were there;
the officer practising with the private’s heavy gewehr, and the private
in his turn with the light weapon of his superior in grade.  There were
some capital shots among them.  Thence, on the same day, we waded through
the sand to Tegel, to visit the residence and private grounds of Baron
Humboldt; and from a mound in his garden beheld the beautifully
picturesque view of Lake Tegel, and the distant towers of Spandau.  I
have been present on the Sunday at a review of the Royal Guard in their
striking uniform of black and dazzling white.

Once, we made a river voyage in a huge tub of a boat along the weedy
banks of the Spree, under the command of a female captain—a jolly matron,
weighing I am afraid to guess how many stone.  I am told it was a very
plebeian piece of business, but we were very happy notwithstanding.  We
had a Tafel-lieder party on board, with a due proportion of guitars, and
they played and sang all the way to Treptow and back again.  Once arrived
at our destination, we sat upon the grass, and watched the merry groups
around, or sauntered along the margin of the stream, sipping occasionally
very inconsiderable quantities of feeble cordials; and when the evening
drew near, we re-embarked, and, under the safe conduct of our female
commodore—who was skilled in the difficult navigation of the shallow
river—returned soberly home.  The environs of Berlin are of no great
beauty, the city being built on a sandy plain, with the single eminence
of the Kreutzberg, from which it can be viewed with advantage; but in and
about the city there are beautiful gardens, private and of royal
foundation, and these are invariably open to the public.  One happy
Sunday afternoon we spent in Charlottenburg, the pleasure-palace of the
king; and one other in the noble botanical gardens in the city; while on
a fine day the avenue of lime trees, Unter-den-Linden, in its crowd of
promenaders, and social groups at the refreshment tables, presented an
animated, and, to my mind, a recreative and humanising spectacle.  Music
was everywhere; and in the theatres, in the display of pyrotechnic
eccentricities, or perhaps in ballooning—but that was English—the evening
was variously spent.  There may be dance-houses and other abominations in
Berlin, as in Hamburg, but I never heard of them, and if they existed,
more was the pity.  For my own part, I was happy in enjoying the moderate
pleasures of life in company with the majority of my fellow-workmen, who,
I must again say, and insist upon, were not at work, but at rest, on the
Sunday.  It is true that here, as elsewhere, tailors and boot-makers
(master-men) were content to take measures, and receive orders from the
workmen, for very little other opportunity presented itself for such
necessary service.

A few hours’ whirl on the railway on a Sunday saw us in Leipsic.  This
was at the Easter festival; and we stayed two months in this Saxon market
of the world, embracing in their course the most important of the three
great markets in the year.  If ever there was a fair opportunity of
judging the question of Sunday labour and Sunday rest, it was in Leipsic,
at this period.  If Sunday work be a necessary consequence of Sunday
recreation—an absurd paradox, surely—it would have been exhibited in a
commercial town, at a period when all the elements of frivolity, as
gathered together at a fair; and all the wants of commerce compressed
into a few brief weeks, were brought into co-existence.  Yet in no town
in Germany did I witness so complete a cessation from labour on the
Sunday.  There was no question of working.  Early in the morning there
was, it is true, a domestic market in the great square, highly
interesting to a stranger from the number of curious costumes collected
together; the ringletted Polish Jew, old Germans from Altenburg, seeming
masqueraders from the mining districts of the Erzgeberge, and country
folks from every neighbouring village, who flocked to Leipsic with their
wares and edibles.  But all this was at an end long before the church
service commenced.  I have been in the Nicolai-Kirche (remarkable for its
lofty roof, upheld by columns in the form of palm trees), and the
congregation thronged the whole edifice.  And at a smaller church, I was
completely wedged in by the standing crowd of unmistakable working
people, whose congregational singing was particularly effective.  The
German Protestant church service is not so long as our own.  There are
only a few pews in the body of the building; and the major part of the
audience stand during the service.  I was not so well pleased with one
sermon I heard in the English church, for it happened to be the effort of
a German preacher; a student in our tongue, whose discourse was indeed
intrinsically good, and would have been solemn, if the pauses and
emphases had only been in the right places.

I never worked on Sunday in Leipsic, nor was I acquainted with any one
who did.  The warehouses were strictly closed; and a few booths, with
trifling gewgaws, were alone to be seen.  The city was at rest.  Leipsic
has but one theatre, and to this the prices of admission are doubled in
fair-time, which placed it out of our reach.  Thus we were forced to be
content with humbler sources of amusement, and to find recreation, which
we readily did, in the beautiful promenades round the city, laid out by
Dr. Müller; in country rambles to Breitenfeld, and other old
battle-fields; in tracing the winding paths of a thin wood, near the
town, wonderful to us from the flakes of wool (baumwolle) which whitened
the ground.  Or again, among the bands of music and happy crowds which
dotted the Rosenthal—a title, by the bye, more fanciful than just, seeing
that the vale in question is only a grassy undulating plain.  Here we
sometimes met the “Herr,” with wife on arm, and exchanged due
salutations.

The fair, such as we understand by the name, commenced in the afternoon,
and was a scene of much noise and some drollery.  The whole town teemed
with itinerant musicians, whose violent strains would sometimes burst
from the very ground under your feet, as it appeared, issuing as they did
from the open mouths of beer and wine-cellars.  Quiet coffee-houses there
were, in which grave citizens smoked and read; and admirable concerts in
saloons, and in the open air.  To one of these latter I was seduced by
the mendacious announcement of a certain Wagner of Berlin, that a whole
troop of real Moors would perform fantastic tricks before high heaven;
and on paying the price of admission, I had to run the gauntlet through a
score of black-headed Teutons, who salaamed and grinned as they ushered
me into the blank space beyond, containing nothing more interesting than
a few tables and chairs, a dumb brass band, and a swarm of hungry
waiters.  I saw no dance-houses, such as there were in Hamburg; and by
nine o’clock the festivities of the day were at an end.  The Easter fair
lasted some five or six weeks, and at its termination its merriment
disappeared.  The wandering minstrels wailed their last notes as they
departed, and the quiet city was left to its students and the pigeons.

So much for my experiences of Protestant Germany as regards Sunday
occupation.  I have, however, said nothing of museums or picture
galleries.  I should be sorry to misrepresent the kindred commercial
cities of Hamburg and Leipsic; but I think they may shake hands on this
question, seeing that, at the period of my visit, they possessed neither
the one nor the other.  I do not say that there were no stored-up
curiosities, dignified with the title of museums.  But, as far as the
public instruction was concerned, they were nearly useless, being little
known and less visited, and certainly not accessible on the Sunday.
Schwerin, in Mecklenburg, possesses a noble ducal museum of arts and
sciences, but this also was closed on the weekly holiday; and in Berlin,
where the museum, par excellence, may vie with any in Europe, and which
city is otherwise rich in natural and art collections, the doors of all
such places were, on the Sunday, strictly closed against the people.  Of
the good taste which authorises the display of stage scenery and
decorations (and that not of the best), and yet forbids the inspection of
the masterpieces of painting; of the judgment which patronises beer and
tobacco, yet virtually condemns as unholy the sight of the best evidences
of nature’s grandeur, and the beautiful results of human efforts in art,
it is not necessary to treat here.



CHAPTER XXVIII.


MORE SUNDAYS ABROAD.

Still on tramp toward the south, we came to Dresden, and there rested
five days; but as they were week-days their experiences gave us no
insight into the Sunday usages of the place, and I only allude to them
because it would seem unbecoming to pass the capital of Saxony without a
word; and because I feel morally convinced that of all the art-wonders
collected in the Zwinger, Das Grüne Gewölbe, and in the picture gallery,
all of which we visited, not any of them are visible to the public on
Sunday. {173}  On a sultry day in August we struggled, dusty and athirst,
into Vienna.  It is said that the first impressions of a traveller are
the most faithful, and I therefore transcribe from a diary of that time
some of my recollections of the first Sunday spent in the capital of
Austria.  It is not flattering.

“Yesterday (Sunday), we rambled through a part of the city known as
Lerchenfeld, in the suburb of St. Joseph, where the low life of Vienna is
exhibited.  It was a kind of fair.  The way was lined with petty booths
and stalls, furnished with fruit, pipes, and common pastry.  Here were
sold live rabbits and birds; there, paper clock-faces, engravings, songs,
and figures of saints.  In one part was a succession of places of public
resort, like our tea-gardens in appearance, but devoted to the sale of
other beverages; tea being here almost unknown, except as a medicine.
From each of them there streamed the mingled sounds of obstreperous music
and human voices, while in several there appeared to be a sort of
conjuring exhibition in course of performance.  Further on, there came
from the opposite side of the way the screaming of a flageolet, heard far
above its accompaniment of a violin and a couple of horns, to all of
which the shuffling and scraping of many feet formed a sort of dull bass,
as the dancers whirled round in their interminable waltz.  Looking into
the window of the building thus outrageously conspicuous, we saw a motley
crowd of persons of both sexes, and in such a variety of costumes as
scarcely any other city but Vienna could furnish; some of them careering
round in the excitement of the dance; others impatiently awaiting their
turn, or quizzing the dancers; while a third party sat gravely at the
side-tables, smoking their pipes, playing at cards, and sipping their
wine and beer.  Passing onward, we came upon a diminutive merryman,
screaming from the platform of his mountebank theatre, the nature of the
entertainment and the lowness of the price of admission—‘Only four
kreutzers for the first place!’

“Continuing our course, we were attracted into a side-street by a crowd,
among whom stood conspicuous a brass musical band, and an old man in a
semi-religious costume of black and white, bearing a large wooden
crucifix in his hand.  In anticipation of some religious ceremony, we
waited awhile to watch its development.  It was a funeral, and the whole
procession soon formed itself in the following order:—First came the
large crucifix, then a boy bearing a banner on which was painted the
figure of the Virgin; then came six other boys, followed by the same
number of girls, all neatly and cleanly dressed; and then the coffin,
hung with scarlet drapery, adorned with flowers, and having a small
silver crucifix at its head.  We were told it was the funeral of a girl
of thirteen.  Close upon the coffin came the minister, or priest, clad in
a black, loosish gown, and wearing a curiously crown-shaped cap, also
black.  Every head was uncovered as he and the coffin passed.  Then came,
as we imagined, the real mourners of the dead, followed by six
exceedingly old women, mourners by profession, and immediately behind
them the brass band which had first attracted our attention.  The latter,
as soon as the procession was fairly in motion, burst forth into a noisy,
and by no means melancholy strain, and continued to play for some time;
they suddenly ceased, and there was heard from some one at the head of
the procession a Latin prayer, which was immediately echoed by the old
women in the rear, in the same drowsy, monotonous tone in which the
church responses are usually made.  The scene was altogether curious and
striking; the progress of the procession was everywhere marked by
uncovered heads and signs of sympathy and respect; but in spite of its
attempted solemnity, there was a holiday appearance about it which jarred
sadly with its real character of grief and death.”

I have given this description a front place because it is the worst thing
I can say of Vienna, and in no other part of the city did I ever see its
like.  During a stay of twelve months, I lost no opportunity of enjoying
all that the Viennese enjoyed, or of witnessing whatever was part of the
national customs in festival, holiday, or religious ceremonial.  In
addition to the Sundays, which were all, to a certain extent, days of
rejoicing—there were nine distinct festivals in the year enjoined by the
church, and on which, if they fell on week-days, the working people
rested from their labours.  Of course each of these days had its special
religious reference and obligations, and these were in general faithfully
observed; but, apart from this, they were essentially holidays, and, as
no deduction of wages was made by the employers on their account, they
did not fall as a burden upon the working classes.  These days were: New
Year’s Day, the Annunciation, Good Friday, Easter and Whit Sunday, Corpus
Christi Day, All Saints’ Day, the Birth of the Virgin, Christmas Day, and
the festival of St. Leopold, the patron saint of Vienna.  On the strictly
church festivals, with the exception of All Saints’ Day, theatrical
performances, and public amusements generally, were interdicted, but rest
and quiet recreation, in addition to the religious observances, were
their great characteristics.  Easter and Whit Monday were among the Volks
Feste (people’s feasts), as well as one known as that of the Brigittenau,
from the place in which it is held; and another on the first of May, when
the laüfer (running footmen) have their races in the Prater, and the
emperor permits himself to be mobbed—at least the Emperor Francis did—as
he strolls for a half-hour or so among his people in their own park.
Then the Bohemians have a special religious festival, when one is
astonished to see, in out-of-the-way niches and corners, a perhaps
hitherto-unobserved figure of an amiable-looking priest, with a star on
his forehead, now hung about and conspicuous with wreaths and festoons of
flowers, and bright with the glittering of tiny lamps.  This is the Holy
St. John of Nepomuk.  I have, however, nothing to do with the religious
ceremonies of the Catholic Church.  It is sufficient for my purpose to
know that I watched the solemn and splendid procession of mingled
royalty, priest, and people, on Corpus Christi Day, from the open door of
a coffee and wine-house in the Kohl-market; and that, at the Easter
festival, after ascending and descending the Mount Calvary, near Vienna,
or rather having been borne up and down its semicircular flight of steps,
and past the modelled groups of painted figures to represent the life of
Christ, from the birth to the crowning act of the crucifixion on the
summit, I then sauntered away with my landlord (a cabinet-maker) and his
family to Weinhaus, to drink of the new wine called heueriger.  It is
enough that, on All Saints’ Day, after wandering awhile about a swampy
churchyard in the suburb of Maria Hilf, to see the melancholy spot of
light which glimmered at each grave-head, I went to the Burg Theatre, and
witnessed Shakespeare’s play of “King Lear” (and the best actor in Vienna
played the Fool); and further, that I spent the evening of Christmas Day
in Daum’s coffee-house in reading _Galignani’s Messenger_, in order to
bring myself, in imagination at least, as near home as possible.

The jewellers in Vienna are not such elderly apprentices as they are in
Hamburg, Leipsic, and the majority of small towns in Germany.  They dine
at gast haüse, and sleep in the independence of a separate lodging.  They
have, therefore, more liberty; but there are many trades in Vienna among
whom the old usages still exist, by which they become a kind of vassals,
living and sleeping under the patriarchal roof.  All worked twelve hours
a-day alike, from six till seven, including one hour for dinner.  Various
licences were, however, allowed; quarter-of-day or half-hour deductions
were scarcely known; and I have myself spent the morning at a public
execution, without suffering any loss in wages.  This brings me to the
Sunday work; and I say, unhesitatingly that, as a system, it does not
exist.  I never worked on the Sunday myself during my whole twelve
months’ stay.  I do not know that there was any law against it; but rest
was felt to be a necessity after a week of seventy-two hours’ labour.  It
is not unusual, both in Germany and France, to engage new hands on the
Sunday morning, because it is a leisure time, convenient to both master
and workman; and I have sought for work at this time, and found the Herr
in a silk dressing-gown, and white satin slippers with pink bows.  I
recollect visiting a working cabinet-maker’s on one Sunday morning, whose
men slept on the premises, and found the workshop a perfect model of
cleanliness and order: every tool in its place, and the whole swept and
polished up; and was once invited, under the impression that, as an
Englishman, I ought to know something of newspaper presses, to inspect
those of the Imperial Printing Office, with the last number of the Wiener
Zeitung in type; and this was on a Sunday morning—a time especially
chosen on account of the absence of the workmen.  My landlord, a
master-man, would sometimes work in the Sunday morning when hard pressed;
but, if he did, he took his revenge in the week.

As we did not work, at what did we play?  Perhaps there was a sick
comrade to visit in the great hospital; and we paced the long corridors,
and stepped lightly through the lofty wards to his bedside.  Or, if he
were convalescent, we sought him out, among many others, in the open
square, with its broad grass-plots and young trees, where, in his grey
loose gown, he smoked a morning pipe.  Or we went to church, I, with
others, to the Evangelical Chapel near the Augustine Platz.  There, among
a closely-pressed throng, we heard admirable discourses (and not too
long, the whole service being concluded in an hour), and heard much
beautiful music; but, to my mind, there were too many tawdry ornaments in
this place of worship—too many lamps about the altar; and the altar-piece
itself—a gigantic figure of the Saviour on the Cross, said to be by
Albert Dürer—seemed to be out of place.

It was lawful in Vienna to bathe on Sunday; and this we did, with great
delight, in the public baths upon the Danube.  Or we strolled about the
Glacis; attended the miniature review in the Hof-Burg; wandered out as
far as Am-Spitz, by the long wooden bridge over the broad and melancholy
river; or, what was better, sauntered in some one of the beautiful
gardens of the Austrian nobility,—those of Schwargenberg, Lichtenstein,
or in the Belvidere—thrown open to the public, not only on Sunday, but on
every day in the week.

As the day waned, music burst forth in many strains at once.  There was a
knot of artisans in our back room, who were learning the entire “Czar and
Zimmerman,” and who were very vigorous about this hour.  At seven, the
theatres opened their doors, with something of our own rush and press,
although there was a guard-house, and a whole company of grenadiers in
the ante-room; but, once in the interior, all was order and decorum.
There was, of course, a difference in tone and character between the city
and the suburban theatres, inasmuch as the ices and coffee of the court
playhouses found their parallel in the beer and hot sausages of the
Joseph Stadt and An-der-Wieden; but the performances of all rarely
occupied more than two, and never exceeded three hours; and there was an
amount of quiet and propriety manifested during the entertainment, which
said something for the authorities, but more for the people.

As the night deepened, the ball-rooms and dancing-booths of Vienna,—the
Sperl’s, Das Tanz Salon beim Schaf, and so downward to the dens of
Lerchenfeld—grew furious in music, and hysterical in waltz.  It was
something fearful.  It made your eyes twinkle, and your head dizzy, to
see that eternal whirling of so many human teetotums.  They seemed to see
nothing, to feel nothing, to know nothing; there was no animation in
their looks; no speculation in their eyes; nothing but a dead stare, as
if the dancers were under a spell, only to be released when the music was
at an end.  Generally speaking, I think the ball-rooms of continental
cities are the curses and abominations of the Sunday.  My landlord, who
was no moralist, but played faro, draughts, and billiards on the Sunday
evening, would not hear of his daughter attending a public ballroom.
There is a curious anomaly in connection with places of public
entertainment which strikes a stranger at once, and which is equally true
of Berlin as of Vienna; it is this: that, while private houses are closed
at nine and ten o’clock, according to the season of the year,
coffee-houses, taverns, dancing and concert-rooms, are open till
midnight.  Up to the former hours you may gain admission to your own
house by feeing the porter to the extent of twopence; but, later than
this, it is dangerous to try the experiment.

To return to out-of-door amusements.  A visit to Schœnbrun was business
for a whole afternoon; for we must perforce each time unravel the
windings to the pure spring in the maze, with vague and mysterious ideas
of some time or other falling upon the grave of the Duc de Reichstadt,
there secretly buried, according to popular tradition.  On rare occasions
we spent the whole of Sunday in some more distant palatial domain, or
suburban retreat.  In Klosterneuburgh, with its good wine: in the Brühl,
with its rugged steeps, its military memorials, and ruined castles; at
the village of Bertholdsdorf, with its Turkish traditions; among the viny
slopes of the Leopoldiberg, or the more distant and wilder tract of
mingled rock and forest which encircle the Vale of Helen.  Above all,
there was Laxenberg,—an imperial pleasure-palace and garden, and a whole
fairy-land in itself, peopled by the spirits of ancient knights and
courtly dames.  Some one of the Hapsburgs had built, many years ago, a
knightly castle on a lake, and in it were stored dim suits of armour of
Maximilian; a cabinet of Wallenstein; grim portraits of kings and
warriors; swords, halbards, jewelled daggers, and antique curiosities
innumerable; only rather prosaically completed by the exhibition of the
every-day suit of the last Emperor of Austria, which, however affecting a
spectacle for a simple-hearted Viennese—and they are mere babies in
matters of royalty—irresistibly reminded one of Holywell Street, London,
and cast-off regimentals.  Laxenberg is distant less than a shilling
ride, and about two hours’ walk from Vienna; and, like our Hampton Court
Palace, is thrown unreservedly open to the public.  There were no end to
its wonders: fishing-grounds, and boats upon the lake; waterfalls, and
rustic bridges were there; and one little elegant pavilion, perched on
the water, dedicated to the beauties of Windsor, illustrating its scenery
in transparent porcelain.  There was a list for knightly riders; a dais
for the Queen of Beauty; and places for belted nobles, saintly abbots,
and Wambas in motley; an Ashby-de-la-Zouch in miniature, which a little
imagination could people.  Then, for the plebeians, there were
leaping-bars and turning-posts, skittle-alleys, and the quintain; and,
for all alike, clusters of noble trees, broad grassy meads, and flowers
unnumbered.  There was even a farm-house, homely and substantial, with a
dairy and poultry-yard, sheep in the paddocks, and cattle in the stalls.

We started from Vienna on a Sunday morning on board the steamboat Karl
for Linz; and trudging thence on foot came on the following Saturday
night into Salzburg, the queen of the Salzack.  We rested here one happy
Sunday: not so much in the town, which had its abundant curiosities, as
in the pleasure gardens of the old Archbishops of Salzburg, at an easy
stroll from it.  This garden is pleasant enough in itself, but there are
besides a number of water eccentricities in it such as I should think
were in their peculiar fashion unequalled.  Here blooms a cluster of
beautiful flowers, covered as it were by a glass shade, but which turns
out to be only water.  There a miniature palace is in course of erection,
with crowds of workmen in its different storeys, each man at his
avocation with hammer and chisel, pulley and wheel, and the grave
architect himself directing their labour.  All this is set in motion by
water, and is not a mere doll’s house, but a symmetrical model.  Then we
enter a subterranean grotto, with a roof of pendant stalactites, where
the pleasant sound of falling waters and the melodious piping of birds
fill all the air.  There is a sly drollery too in some of the water
performances, invented years ago by the grave Archbishops of Salzburg;
for suddenly the stalactites are set dripping like a modern shower bath:
and the gigantic stags at its entrance spout water from the very tips of
their horns.  The garden is not a Versailles, for there is nothing grand
in any of its hydraulic arrangements; but in the beauty with which are
clothed such trifles, the artistic spirit which has suggested its
objects, and the humour which spirts up tiny jets of water by seats where
lovers sit, and in unsuspected places where the public congregate, even
in the middle of a walk, it is a wonderful and delightful exhibition.
This garden was thronged by the holiday folks of Salzburg.  There was an
official to explain the curious display, and nothing but innocent gaiety
was to be seen.

The Sunday we spent in Munich was passed in the Kirche Unserer Lieben
Frauen, with its self-supporting roof; in the English Garden; and at a
lovely spot on a hill-side, in the environs of the city.  During the week
we were escorted by a friend to a sort of tea-gardens of some notoriety,
but found it silent and deserted.  Our friend apologised for its dulness,
but exclaimed, in part explanation, “You should see it on Sunday!”  It
was evident that Sunday was a day of rest and enjoyment, and not a
working day in Munich.  My own impression of the Munichers was, that they
drank too much beer every day in the week.

Still tramping towards France, we passed one Sunday in Heidelberg, among
all its romantic wonders; but as everybody knows, or ought to know, all
about Heidelberg, I will not allow my enthusiasm to lead me into a
description which would not be novel, and might probably be tedious.
This was the last Sunday we spent on German ground.  So far as Germany is
concerned, you may look upon everything but museums, picture galleries,
and the like, on Sunday; you may, as Luther says you ought, “dance on it,
ride on it, play on it,—do anything”—but see that which is most likely to
instruct you.  You may visit tawdry shows, and inspect badly painted
scenery; you may let off fireworks; gamble to your ruin; smoke the eyes
out of your head, and dance the head off your shoulders; but you shall
not, with few exceptions, look upon works of art, or the results of
science in museums and picture galleries.  Let it be said, however, that
the general opportunities for acquiring correct and elevated taste are,
on the whole, greater in Germany than in England; and that in many cities
there is a profusion of exterior ornament, more especially in Munich, in
the shape of the fresco paintings of the Palace Garden, on Isar Thor, and
in the Basilica and churches generally, so that the eye is better
educated in artistic combinations; and the same necessity does not exist
for special art instruction with them as with us.  Then, let us never
forget that their public and other gardens are as free to them as the air
they breathe, and that music is almost as universal.

The remembrances I have of Paris Sundays decidedly possess a character of
rest and recreation; of waking in the morning to a grateful sense of
repose; of clean shirts and trimmed beards; and of delicious breakfasts
at our Café aux Quatres Mendiants, of coffee and white bread, instead of
the bouillon and confiture of the atelier.  Did we not work, then?
Assuredly we did sometimes, when hard pressed; but the recollection of
those few occasions is drowned in that of a flood of happy, tranquil
Sundays.  When we did work it was from eight till twelve, which made half
a day, and this was the rate at which all overtime was reckoned.  One
hard taskmaster I remember, who, instead of paying us our dues, as is the
custom on Saturday night, at the end of quinze jours, cajoled us to come
and work under the promise of their payment on the Sunday morning.  He
failed us like a rogue; and we drudged on for another quinzaine, Sunday
mornings included, in hopeful anticipation of the receipt of our wages.
When we found that he slunk out of the way, without paying us a sou, we
rebelled, sang the Marseillaise, demanded our wages, and never worked
another Sunday.

I am lost in my endeavours to define the mingled recollections of Sunday
tranquillity, enjoyment, and frivolity during a stay of eighteen months
in Paris.  My thoughts run from the Madelaine to Minu-montant; from
Versailles to the Funambule; from Diogenes’ lantern at St. Cloud to the
blind man’s concert in the Palais Royal.  Sometimes I wander over the
plains of Auteuil and Passy; then suddenly find myself examining a
paper-making machine in the Museum of Arts and Trades.  Or I look over
the vine fields from the heights of Montmorency at one moment, and the
next am pacing the long galleries of the Louvre, or the classic chambers
of the Palais des Beaux Arts.  I have passed a Whitsunday morning at
Versailles among the paintings; the afternoon at Sèvres among glass and
porcelain; have won a game at dominoes after dinner in Paris; and have
heard the last polka at the Salle Vivienne in the evening.  Paris is a
city of extremes; the young Théophile who works by my side, and is an
ingenious fellow and a clever workman, you will meet next Sunday in the
Louvre discoursing energetically on the comparative merits of the French
and Italian schools of painting; yet this same Théophile shall be the
Titi of the gallery of the Porte St. Martin in the evening, who yells
slang at his friend on the opposite side; and the Pierrot or Débardeur of
the next opera masquerade.

With the vivid impressions of many Sundays abroad upon my mind, I have
been wondering whether, after all, the practices of the continental
Sunday have anything to do with the opening of a museum or
picture-gallery in London; and, after profound study, in the laborious
course of which I have several times fallen asleep, I have come to the
deliberate conclusion that there is no connection between the two things.
In the first case, as regards Germany, seeing that they there almost
sedulously close all that relates to art or science, and give full
licence only to beer and tobacco, to music and dancing on the
Sunday—where is the parallel?  In the second, as regards France or Paris,
although it must be admitted that there is unfortunately no comparison
between the Louvre and the National Gallery, it can at least be claimed
that there is no resemblance between the British Museum and the Bal des
Chiens in the Rue St. Honoré.  I take it that to preserve the English
Sunday as a day of greater rest than French or German Sundays ever were,
and to add to it such rational and instructive recreation, as a Museum or
a Picture-Gallery, or a place of innocent recreation could supply, might
be a good thing in the eyes of religious men; and I have not yet heard of
any society or association in any part of the United Kingdom, which
proposes to open a Sunday evening ball at the Pig and Tinderbox, or to
grant licences to the theatrical performances at the Penny Gaff in the
New Cut.



NOTE.


{173}  This is incorrect; the Picture Gallery is open during the mid-day
hours on Sunday.





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