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ever was seen.
their breath, but always exclaiming“ Wie schön! | contrary, that it was not the German custom, Ach, wunder-schön! Ach, Gott in Himmel! and they couldn't permit it on any account. das is sehr schön.'” Every body, in point of After this we drank a little more wine, and felt fact, joined in the chorus of “Beautiful! pret- younger still; and when the small fry dispersed ty! splendid!" until the old man sat down, quite we all adjourned to another house, and had a exhausted with his triumph. During a pause splendid dinner of fat goose stuffed with chestin the storm of delight I caught sight of a little nuts, chicken-salad, sausages, bread, cakes, and colored box with a slip of paper on top, on which coffee, and a little more wine; and then we had was written “HERR John BRAUN, aus Cali- some delightful music, over which the Professor FORNIA.” I took it up: it must be for me. presided in a masterly manner, and a glass or The Gros-Fader said that it was. What could it two of the best Durkheimer wine, which gradbe ? Now this is too bad, I thought to myself. ually inspired us to caper about the room, and I hope the old gentleman has not put himself to feel a great deal younger than ever.
Then we any expense on my account. I opened the box. smoked meerschaums and cigars, and told funny It was filled with candy—the prettiest assortnient stories, at which there were prodigious roars of of colored candy imaginable. Of course I roar- laughter. Toward evening we had a little more ed laughing. Every body laughed. The Gros- wine - light wine from Neustadt, which never Fader laughed louder and longer than all the reaches the head—and it seemed as if the whole rest: it was so funny to see Herr Brown puz- town were cracked, and our party the only sane zling his brains over a little box of candy. Well, and sober party in it. thinks I, it looks nice, at all events; I'll just Do not be surprised, reader: this is a very eat a little to show them that I appreciate it; so remarkable country, abounding in fairies and I pulled at a lozenge. What do you think? witches; and I declare what I now tell you is a The candy tried to jump out at me! I tried to positive fact. Shortly after dark it seemed as push it back-stared in amazement-pushed if things generally were bewitched. The hobagain; but out it jumped in spite of me, and by-horses kept rocking to and fro of their own with it the most frightful little monster of a wiz- accord ; the doll-babies opened their eyes and ard, with a woolly head and a big nose, that laughed in our faces; the little tea-cups and
I tumbled back in a chair- saucers rattled on the table and whispered lovecouldn't help it, I assure you, the event was so stories to each other; my own walking-stick dissudden and unexpected. The children scream- appeared, and I have reason to believe it went ed with delight and clapped their hands; the down the street in company with a lady's paraladies went into hysterics; the Gros-Fader rolled sol; my hat got too little for my head, and on the sofa in a paroxysm of triumph; the big wouldn't stay on any way I could fix it, and the brothers, cousins, and nephews set up a chorus very same thing happened to the rest of our of merry cheers, and altogether the effect was party, only a little worse, for every one of them stupendous. It was positively the most remark- saw a dozen hats where I only saw two. Mrs. able adventure of my life. Catch me opening a Brown began to look rather grave, which I susbox of colored candy again in Germany! pected arose from the fact that I had forgotten
From the Gros-Fader's we went to the big to help her to wine; so I pressed her very corbrother's-Herr George's—where pretty much dially to join me in a glass. She was evidently the same entertainment was enacted. We drank a little miffed, and positively rejected the consome good old Rhine wine, enjoyed the delight ciliątory advances, hinting, at the same time, of the children, and became as young as ever. that I seemed to be unusually polite. When I The Gros-Fader mounted a hobby-horse, and rode put on my spectacles (I assure you this is a litall the little ones about the room; small wag- eral fact) every thing began to dance in the most ons were freighted with big dolls and pulled all extraordinary manner. Little Witches came about by big men; tin horns were blown to mus- out of the firc and danced on the top of the ter regiments of tin soldiers together; drums stove; a small angel on each side of the grate were beaten to march the contending forces into began to flap its wings and crow; glasses of battle; small kitchens with gorgeous arrays of lager - beer seemed to be flying about in the cooking utensils were opened for the little girls ; smoke in search of somebody to empty them; new shawls were cast over the shoulders of lov- the cat jumped up on the table and sang, “Oh, ing spouses; lamp-mats and embroidered caps the leathery, leathery Rhine! and the leathery, were cast over the bald heads of old fogies, to leathery wine!" and a little wooden dog, belongmake them look like pretty young ladies; every ing to some infant prodigy, set up a terrific barkbody laughed till every side ached, and all cried ing and wagged its tail incessantly. out lustily that it was “ Sehr schön! Wunder- But the most remarkable event of the evenschön! Ach, wie schön!”-very beautiful, woning was when a crowd of young ones burst into derfully beautiful, oh, how beautiful! I must the room, and announced that the servants reconfess that I did not kiss any of my own sex, spectfully presented their compliments and wishbut I offered to compromise the matter by kiss- ed for the honor of our company in the kitchen. ing any pretty girl within reach from the age We adjourned accordingly. In the kitchen, on of ten years to thirty; at which there was a the wash-table, were all the odds and ends of general giggling and blushing, and none of the candles that could be raked together for the ocgirls said they wanted to be kissed, but, on the casion; some stuck in potatoes, others in old bottles, for want of better candlesticks. Here the Professor. We put up at the “Ladder of were the Mädchen from all parts of the house, Heaven," a cozy little inn, kept by one Schmidt, the cooks, the chamber-maids, the nurses—all a staid, sober man; a man with an impassive in high glee. Each one had a present for the countenance and a philosophical eye. There is other. It was a pitifully beautiful sight, this no foolery about Schmidt; no bowing and scrapaffectionate interchange of little presents. Alling; no sidelong glances at your pocket or style the trivial bickerings of the household were for- of costume. You are just the same to Schmidt gotten; and these poor girls were bound to as any other man of your size and weight. Be gether in smiles, and tears, and expressions of you from London, Paris, New York, or San love. There were the tokens of affection taste- Francisco, what the deuce does Schmidt care, so fully ranged on the table--little needle-boxes, long as you behave yourself like a decent man, scarfs, belts, gloves, and nick-nacks—from Ka- and pay your reckoning like an honest one? trina to Löchin, and from Löchin to Bobbit, The Grand Duke of Baden, or the Emperor Joand from Bobbit to Marie, and from Marie to seph, is no more to Schmidt than any other man. Kerchin; and from all the servants to all the They don't patronize the Ladder of Heaven, to children: little horses, dogs, cats, pigeons, sol- be sure, but that is their misfortune. If they diers — two or three for every youngster in like the Red Horse better, they can go to it and the family. And the laughing and clapping be-accommodated. of hands that followed every gift, and the The face of Schmidt's inn is a little clouded cries of “Wie schön! Ach, wie schön!" I by the grime of ages; but this need not discan not possibly describe. It was really an af- courage you. All German ions are somewhat fecting scene. When I called the attention of picturesque and peculiar in that respect. The Mrs. Brown to the fact that here were these passage through which you enter is absolutely poor creatures, with their hard-earned twelve or artistic. Here you find old boxes, bags, broomtwenty dollars a year, spending their little earn- sticks, shovels, and empty beer-barrels, tossed ings as freely upon each other and upon our about in charming confusion. A boy with slim own dear children as if they had thousands—legs is scrubbing the flags with soap and water, that there was something quite pathetic in their apparently to keep the dirt on them, for they algenial simplicity and kindness of heart-she re- ways look more sloppy and muddy after the marked, in a whisper : “Yes, John, but I am scrubbing than before. On the right is a range afraid the wine is getting into your eyes. You of windows with very small panes of glass, had better go to bed.”
through which one may get a glimpse of the This is a very queer country, take it alto- dining-room; a long, low, dingy room, filled gether, especially of nights. When I went to with the smoke of scores of meerschaums, with a bed, in accordance with the advice of my excel-long board table, destitute of covering, stretched lent partner, sundry little wizards were running down the middle, and small tables scattered all through the pillow, poking their wands into about in the nooks and corners. Forty or fifty my ears; and something kept pulling the cover tradesmen and burghers are devouring their off every time I fixed it. The bedstead seemed dinner; but not as we do in the United States. to be turning all round on a pivot; the basin It never makes a German angry to be obliged to and pitcher laughed in their sleeves at the chairs eat dinner, as it does an American. I knew a and tables, which danced to the music down be- man in Kentucky who killed another for looklow; and a number of grotesque figures stepped ing at him while eating; and I believe there are from the printed paper on the walls and entered cases on record where plates, bottles, and chairs into the general frolic. Every time I dozed off a have been thrown at the heads of waiters for thousand little doll-babies came buzzing around some trifling delay in attendance. The Greeks, my head, with gauze dresses, whispering, “Wie in old times, were to be feared when they prof. schön! Ach, wie schön!"-how beautiful! Oh, fered gifts. An American is to be feared when how beautiful !-having reference, no doubt, to he is eating dinner. There is something in the my personal appearance under the influence of smell of meat that makes him savage and blood. sleep. On the whole, it is my deliberate con- thirsty. After dinner, when he goes out on the viction that this is a remarkable country. I front porch to pick his teeth, and smoke his think it must be on account of the old castles. cigar, he is the blandest and most amiable of I believe a great many fairies roost in them by men. Address him by his proper title at that day, and come out of nights to play pranks upon point of his daily career, and he will think nothe human species. We have the authority of thing of joining you in a "smile.” But you all the great German poets for it; and who ever had better stir up a Bengal tiger, while tearing knew a poet to tell an untruth? Even the most the ribs from a fat ox, or undertake to tickle a distinguished of the prose-writers unite upon this grizzly with the ramrod of your rifle, than interone fact—that the country is infested with fairies fere with a free-born citizen of the United States and wonderful spirits invisible to man. So ban- in the act of mastication. Not so the jolly ish all injurious suspicions, if you entertain any, burgher. He absolutely enjoys eating and drinkrelative to our merry Christmas, and depending. His face begins to shine after the soup; a upon it the spirits had a hand in it.
schoppen or two of beer suffuses it with roseate I have a very pleasant recollection of a visit tints; the first course of savory stew brings the to Nuremberg in company with my kinsman, I inner juices to the surface; as wit and beer besoul for every thing worth living for in this world—beer, braten, sausages, pretty girls, music, and good-fellowship
The sunshine of his presence always draws around him a congenial circle of friends; and thus he lives, enjoying life in his social way, free from the cares of ambition, and happy if the beer is good and the season for hops comparatively prosperous.
I have attempted to describe our Christmas 'amusements in Frankfort with a view of presenting to the reader something of the festivities which occupy so prominent a part in the domestic life of the Germans. A Christmas festival, however, is only one of the many that take place at stated intervals throughout the year. Since our arrival in Frankfort we have had fairs without number (known to me chiefly by the
amount of meze-geld DEB GEMÜTHLICH.
demanded by the sery
ants and children), gin to flow together, he throws back the collar and Schiller-fests, and Schützen-fests, and Bloomof his coat, loosens the buttons of his vest, er-fests, and Fool's-fests, and May-fests, and laughs a fat, oleaginous laugh from the pit of Pentecost-fests, and I don't know how many his stomach, closes the corners of his eyes, and others, which I can only describe in general snuffs enjoyment in the clouds of steam and terms by saying that wooden booths in the smoke that hover around his head. Oh, what a streets filled with every conceivable variety of luxury it is to see him eat! What a balm for small- wares, and bands of wandering musithe sickness of care it is to see him blow the cians playing around the houses from morning froth from his beer; hold the glass up between till night, and flags of various flaming colors him and the light; gloat over its liquid beauties, hung out of the windows and from the tops of and then raise it to his mouth, and slowly ele- the towers, and countless throngs of people, who vate the bottom, till the colored paper on the never seem to have any thing to do but enjoy ceiling glimmers through it! And then he themselves, and a general conglomeration of draws such a deep, wholesome, capacious, and music and human voices and lager-beer, afford appreciative breath of satisfaction. Oh, how in- but a very inadequate idea of the marvelous spiring it is to see him enjoy the good things of things to be seen and heard on these festive oclife! He is such a genial, hearty, self-satisfied, casions. comfortable sort of an animal!
In addition to the city festivals there are the Not all animal either, for there is a certain village-fests, which I believe are traditionally quality of slow wit and native humor in his con- supposed to occur in the season of harvest; but versation by no means indicative of a lack of so far as my observation extends they are not brains; the mingling of strong carnal appetites confined to any particular season of the year. with considerable powers of intellect. This is It has been my constant practice to walk out the Gemüthlich, the good fellow, the bon vivant, every afternoon to some of the neighboring vilthe cozy, genial, companionable man, who has a lages - to Bockenheim, Housen, Braunheim,
Bornheim, Bergen, Vilbel, or some other of most favored classes are in America. To be as the thousand and one interesting places of re- light-hearted and happy as they can be seems sort around Frankfort—and I must be permitted the chief aim of their lives. For my own part, to say, even at the expense of accuracy, that I I look upon it as their salvation from utter descarcely know of a single afternoon's walk in spair. The poverty which exists throughout the which I did not encounter some festive throng rural districts in Germany, and which the peasadorned with flags and flowers, and joyously ants bear so lightly, so patiently, and so cheerwending their way through some of the villages fully, would result in madness and suicide in in obedience to some time-honored custom. our country. On these gala occasions the houses are literal- I must now tell you something of our outly flaming with flags and banners; the air re- door winter amusements. sounds to the varied strains of vocal and instru. A heavy business is done in the way of sleighmental music; pavilions with whirling horses, ing. The hack-drivers take the bodies of their cake stalls, beer-saloons, gardens; streets and fiacres off the wheels and put them on runners, windows seem absolutely to swarm with the so that you may be sleighed wherever you please brightest, happiest faces ever gathered together for a small amount of ready cash. There are in any country upon earth; and the most fantastic private sleighs too, but not as with us, where tricks that ever were played before high Heaven buffalo-robes are deemed necessary to be held become the great business of life. The eager, around the shoulders of blooming girls by gay enterprising American, ever earnest, ever racked and gallant young gentlemen. It is a very sober with care, may sneer at these manifestations of and solemn business, and young gentlemen are levity under so many serious burdens of life, but neither expected nor permitted to take these enis it not the best practical philosophy after all ? dearing little liberties. “Hands off!" is a reguThe commonest people are far happier, more lation rigidly enforced all over the continent of cheerful, and more healthy in Germany, under Europe, which, I suppose, accounts for the recircumstances of peculiar hardship, than the markable severity of morals in these countries. It is certainly rather a dull pastime for the sav- | and laughing merrily at the sport. Old appleage races of mankind who inhabit the States of women were selling apples, cakes, and nuts; America. If a gentleman calls twice upon a old men were sweeping the ice, or shoveling off young lady in Germany, or manifests an affec- the snow; grand officers in the military line of tionate solicitude for her comfort, he is expected life were standing on the quays, looking on to pop the question, or be off about his business. with remarkable condescension ; policemen werc Even I, who am past the meridian of life, and watching about generally to preserve order, burdened by many responsibilities, am compelled which nobody had the least idea of breaking; to wear an unnaturally cautious and severe ex- a buffoon, dressed in an absurd costume, was pression of coantenance in the presence of the navigating a whirling ship that flew round in a fair sex, lest the motives of my simplest act of circle, while he called aloud upon all classes to gallantry might be misconstrued.
take passage in the same for the regions of joy ; This brings to mind a misfortune that befell strangers in motley groups were smoking their me during the first year of my residence in two-cent cigars or blowing their fingers to keep Frankfort.
themselves warm; and, in short, every body was The River Main was blocked up with ice, and doing something very amusing to an American. skating was the popular amusement of the season. I saw a gentleman capsize a lady whom he By paying a few kreutzers—for what I don't was sliding in a chair before him. The lady know, unless it might be to support the corpora- tạrned all over on the ice, making convulsive tion—any body that pleased could enjoy the efforts to keep down her hoops. What did the privilege of the river. I went down one day to merry crowd of skaters do? Pick her up? By take a look at the skaters, and certainly it was a no means. About fifty rushed in to compliment very lively and amusing scene. Boys and girls, the unfortunate hero of the disaster upon his big and little, young men and old men, were fly- skill, and laugh at the unfortunate lady. ing over the crystal element in full glee. Smart I saw a stout gentleman pitch over and get buckish gentlemen were pushing before them the breath knocked completely out of his body. ponderous old ladies who were seated in sledges It was a capital joke; the crowd roared and or sliding-chairs. Pretty blooming damsels of cheered. It was such glorious fun to see a felvigorous form were flying hither and thither, low's breath knocked short off. laughing and joking with amazing zest. Whole In fine, the whole scene was so inspiring that schools of students were turned out to enjoy the it unconsciously brought me back to the days of exercise, with their teachers leading the way. boyhood, when I used to go a-skating on the The fathers of families were disporting them- Ohio River. Thinks I: By Jove, old boy, if selves before their admiring vrows, while their you had a pair of skates couldn't you show these little responsibilities were clapping their handschaps how to cut the pigeon wing? Couldn't