Part 3 out of 3
being by its sheer strength. Your mind has to follow it as the feet
of the little children followed the playing of the Pied Piper.
Whatever you do, you have to do in unison with the band. All
through our meal we had to keep time with the music.
We ate our soup to slow waltz time, with the result that every
spoonful was cold before we got it up to our mouth. Just as the
fish came, the band started a quick polka, and the consequence of
that was that we had not time to pick out the bones. We gulped down
white wine to the "Blacksmith's Galop," and if the tune had lasted
much longer we should both have been blind drunk. With the advent
of our steaks, the band struck up a selection from Wagner.
I know of no modern European composer so difficult to eat beefsteak
to as Wagner. That we did not choke ourselves is a miracle.
Wagner's orchestration is most trying to follow. We had to give up
all idea of mustard. B. tried to eat a bit of bread with his steak,
and got most hopelessly out of tune. I am afraid I was a little
flat myself during the "Valkyries' Ride." My steak was rather
underdone, and I could not work it quickly enough.
After getting outside hard beefsteak to Wagner, putting away potato
salad to the garden music out of Faust was comparatively simple.
Once or twice a slice of potato stuck in our throat during a very
high note, but, on the whole, our rendering was fairly artistic.
We rattled off a sweet omelette to a symphony in G--or F, or else K;
I won't be positive as to the precise letter; but it was something
in the alphabet, I know--and bolted our cheese to the ballet music
from Carmen. After which we rolled about in agonies to all the
national airs of Europe.
If ever you visit a German beer-hall or garden--to study character
or anything of that kind--be careful, when you have finished
drinking your beer, to shut the cover of the mug down tight. If you
leave it with the cover standing open, that is taken as a sign that
you want more beer, and the girl snatches it away and brings it back
B. and I very nearly had an accident one warm night, owing to our
ignorance of this custom. Each time after we had swallowed the
quart, we left the pot, standing before us with the cover up, and
each time it was, in consequence, taken away, and brought back to
us, brimming full again. After about the sixth time, we gently
"This is very kind of you, my good girl," B. said, "but really I
don't think we CAN. I don't think we ought to. You must not go on
doing this sort of thing. We will drink this one now that you have
brought it, but we really must insist on its being the last."
After about the tenth time we expostulated still more strongly.
"Now, you know what I told you four quarts ago!" remarked B.,
severely. "This can't go on for ever. Something serious will be
happening. We are not used to your German school of drinking. We
are only foreigners. In our own country we are considered rather
swagger at this elbow-raising business, and for the credit of old
England we have done our best. But now there must be an end to it.
I simply decline to drink any more. No, do not press me. Not even
"But you both sit there with both your mugs open," replies the girl
in an injured tone.
"What do you mean, 'we sit with our mugs open'?" asks B. "Can't we
have our mugs open if we like?"
"Ah, yes," she explains pathetically; "but then I think you want
more beer. Gentlemen always open their mugs when they want them
filled with beer."
We kept our mugs shut after that.
MONDAY, JUNE 9TH
A Long Chapter, but happily the Last.--The Pilgrims' Return.--A
Deserted Town.--Heidelberg.--The Common, or Bed, Sheet, Considered
as a Towel.--B. Grapples with a Continental Time Table.--An
Untractable Train.--A Quick Run.--Trains that Start from Nowhere.--
Trains that Arrive at Nowhere.--Trains that Don't Do Anything.--B.
Goes Mad.--Railway Travelling in Germany.--B. is Taken Prisoner.--
His Fortitude.--Advantages of Ignorance.--First Impressions of
Germany and of the Germans.
We are at Ostend. Our pilgrimage has ended. We sail for Dover in
three hours' time. The wind seems rather fresh, but they say that
it will drop towards the evening. I hope they are not deceiving us.
We are disappointed with Ostend. We thought that Ostend would be
gay and crowded. We thought that there would be bands and theatres
and concerts, and busy table-d'hotes, and lively sands, and thronged
parades, and pretty girls at Ostend.
I bought a stick and a new pair of boots at Brussels on purpose for
There does not seem to be a living visitor in the place besides
ourselves--nor a dead one either, that we can find. The shops are
shut up, the houses are deserted, the casino is closed. Notice-
boards are exhibited outside the hotels to the effect that the
police have strict orders to take into custody anybody found
trespassing upon or damaging the premises.
We found one restaurant which looked a little less like a morgue
than did the other restaurants in the town, and rang the bell.
After we had waited for about a quarter of an hour, an old woman
answered the door, and asked us what we wanted. We said a steak and
chipped potatoes for two, and a couple of lagers. She said would we
call again in about a fortnight's time, when the family would be at
home? She did not herself know where the things were kept.
We went down on to the sands this morning. We had not been walking
up and down for more than half an hour before we came across the
distinct imprint of a human foot. Someone must have been there this
very day! We were a good deal alarmed. We could not imagine how he
came there. The weather is too fine for shipwrecks, and it was not
a part of the coast where any passing trader would be likely to
land. Besides, if anyone has landed, where is he? We have been
able to find no trace of him whatever. To this hour, we have never
discovered who our strange visitant was.
It is a very mysterious affair, and I am glad we are going away.
We have been travelling about a good deal since we left Munich. We
went first to Heidelberg. We arrived early in the morning at
Heidelberg, after an all-night journey, and the first thing that the
proprietor of the Royal suggested, on seeing us, was that we should
have a bath. We consented to the operation, and were each shown
into a little marble bath-room, in which I felt like a bit out of a
picture by Alma Tadema.
The bath was very refreshing; but I should have enjoyed the whole
thing much better if they had provided me with something more
suitable to wipe upon than a thin linen sheet. The Germans hold
very curious notions as to the needs and requirements of a wet man.
I wish they would occasionally wash and bath themselves, and then
they would, perhaps, obtain more practical ideas upon the subject.
I have wiped upon a sheet in cases of emergency, and so I have upon
a pair of socks; but there is no doubt that the proper thing is a
towel. To dry oneself upon a sheet needs special training and
unusual agility. A Nautch Girl or a Dancing Dervish would, no
doubt, get through the performance with credit. They would twirl
the sheet gracefully round their head, draw it lightly across their
back, twist it in waving folds round their legs, wrap themselves for
a moment in its whirling maze, and then lightly skip away from it,
dry and smiling.
But that is not the manner in which the dripping, untaught Briton
attempts to wipe himself upon a sheet. The method he adopts is, to
clutch the sheet with both hands, lean up against the wall, and rub
himself with it. In trying to get the thing round to the back of
him, he drops half of it into the water, and from that moment the
bathroom is not big enough to enable him to get away for an instant
from that wet half. When he is wiping the front of himself with the
dry half, the wet half climbs round behind, and, in a spirit of
offensive familiarity, slaps him on the back. While he is stooping
down rubbing his feet, it throws itself with delirious joy around
his head, and he is black in the face before he can struggle away
from its embrace. When he is least expecting anything of the kind,
it flies round and gives him a playful flick upon some particularly
tender part of his body that sends him springing with a yell ten
feet up into the air. The great delight of the sheet, as a whole,
is to trip him up whenever he attempts to move, so as to hear what
he says when he sits down suddenly on the stone floor; and if it can
throw him into the bath again just as he has finished wiping
himself, it feels that life is worth living after all.
We spent two days at Heidelberg, climbing the wooded mountains that
surround that pleasant little town, and that afford, from their
restaurant or ruin-crowned summits, enchanting, far-stretching
views, through which, with many a turn and twist, the distant Rhine
and nearer Neckar wind; or strolling among the crumbling walls and
arches of the grand, history-logged wreck that was once the noblest
castle in all Germany.
We stood in awed admiration before the "Great Tun," which is the
chief object of interest in Heidelberg. What there is of interest
in the sight of a big beer-barrel it is difficult, in one's calmer
moments, to understand; but the guide book says that it is a thing
to be seen, and so all we tourists go and stand in a row and gape at
it. We are a sheep-headed lot. If, by a printer's error, no
mention were made in the guide book of the Colosseum, we should
spend a month in Rome, and not think it worth going across the road
to look at. If the guide book says we must by no means omit to pay
a visit to some famous pincushion that contains eleven million pins,
we travel five hundred miles on purpose to see it!
From Heidelberg we went to Darmstadt. We spent half-an-hour at
Darmstadt. Why we ever thought of stopping longer there, I do not
know. It is a pleasant enough town to live in, I should say; but
utterly uninteresting to the stranger. After one walk round it, we
made inquiries as to the next train out of it, and being informed
that one was then on the point of starting, we tumbled into it and
went to Bonn.
From Bonn (whence we made one or two Rhine excursions, and where we
ascended twenty-eight "blessed steps" on our knees--the chapel
people called them "blessed steps;" WE didn't, after the first
fourteen) we returned to Cologne. From Cologne we went to Brussels;
from Brussels to Ghent (where we saw more famous pictures, and heard
the mighty "Roland" ring "o'er lagoon and lake of sand"). From
Ghent we went to Bruges (where I had the satisfaction of throwing a
stone at the statue of Simon Stevin, who added to the miseries of my
school-days, by inventing decimals), and from Bruges we came on
Finding out and arranging our trains has been a fearful work. I
have left the whole business with B., and he has lost two stone over
it. I used to think at one time that my own dear native Bradshaw
was a sufficiently hard nut for the human intellect to crack; or, to
transpose the simile, that Bradshaw was sufficient to crack an
ordinary human nut. But dear old Bradshaw is an axiom in Euclid for
stone-wall obviousness, compared with a through Continental time-
table. Every morning B. has sat down with the book before him, and,
grasping his head between his hands, has tried to understand it
without going mad.
"Here we are," he has said. "This is the train that will do for us.
Leaves Munich at 1.45; gets to Heidelberg at 4--just in time for a
cup of tea."
"Gets to Heidelberg at 4?" I exclaim. "Does the whole distance in
two and a quarter hours? Why, we were all night coming down!"
"Well, there you are," he says, pointing to the time-table.
"Munich, depart 1.45; Heidelberg, arrive 4."
"Yes," I say, looking over his shoulder; "but don't you see the 4 is
in thick type? That means 4 in the morning."
"Oh, ah, yes," he replies. "I never noticed that. Yes, of course.
No! it can't be that either. Why, that would make the journey
fourteen hours. It can't take fourteen hours. No, of course not.
That's not meant for thick type, that 4. That's thin type got a
little thick, that's all."
"Well, it can't be 4 this afternoon," I argue. "It must be 4 to-
morrow afternoon! That's just what a German express train would
like to do--take a whole day over a six hours' job!"
He puzzles for a while, and then breaks out with:
"Oh! I see it now. How stupid of me! That train that gets to
Heidelberg at 4 comes from Berlin."
He seemed quite delighted with this discovery.
"What's the good of it to us, then?" I ask.
That depresses him.
"No, it is not much good, I'm afraid," he agrees. "It seems to go
straight from Berlin to Heidelberg without stopping at Munich at
all. Well then, where does the 1.45 go to? It must go somewhere."
Five minutes more elapse, and then he exclaims:
"Drat this 1.45! It doesn't seem to go anywhere. Munich depart
1.45, and that's all. It must go somewhere!"
Apparently, however, it does not. It seems to be a train that
starts out from Munich at 1.45, and goes off on the loose.
Possibly, it is a young, romantic train, fond of mystery. It won't
say where it's going to. It probably does not even know itself. It
goes off in search of adventure.
"I shall start off," it says to itself, "at 1.45 punctually, and
just go on anyhow, without thinking about it, and see where I get
Or maybe it is a conceited, headstrong young train. It will not be
guided or advised. The traffic superintendent wants it to go to St.
Petersburg or to Paris. The old grey-headed station-master argues
with it, and tries to persuade it to go to Constantinople, or even
to Jerusalem if it likes that better--urges it to, at all events,
make up its mind where it IS going--warns it of the danger to young
trains of having no fixed aim or object in life. Other people,
asked to use their influence with it, have talked to it like a
father, and have begged it, for their sakes, to go to Kamskatka, or
Timbuctoo, or Jericho, according as they have thought best for it;
and then, finding that it takes no notice of them, have got wild
with it, and have told it to go to still more distant places.
But to all counsel and entreaty it has turned a deaf ear.
"You leave me alone," it has replied; "I know where I'm going to.
Don't you worry yourself about me. You mind your own business, all
of you. I don't want a lot of old fools telling me what to do. I
know what I'm about."
What can be expected from such a train? The chances are that it
comes to a bad end. I expect it is recognised afterwards, a broken-
down, unloved, friendless, old train, wandering aimless and despised
in some far-off country, musing with bitter regret upon the day
when, full of foolish pride and ambition, it started from Munich,
with its boiler nicely oiled, at 1.45.
B. abandons this 1.45 as hopeless and incorrigible, and continues
"Hulloa! what's this?" he exclaims. "How will this do us? Leaves
Munich at 4, gets to Heidelberg 4.15. That's quick work. Something
wrong there. That won't do. You can't get from Munich to
Heidelberg in a quarter of an hour. Oh! I see it. That 4 o'clock
goes to Brussels, and then on to Heidelberg afterwards. Gets in
there at 4.15 to-morrow, I suppose. I wonder why it goes round by
Brussels, though? Then it seems to stop at Prague for ever so long.
Oh, damn this timetable!"
Then he finds another train that starts at 2.15, and seems to be an
ideal train. He gets quite enthusiastic over this train.
"This is the train for us, old man," he says. "This is a splendid
train, really. It doesn't stop anywhere."
"Does it GET anywhere?" I ask.
"Of course it gets somewhere," he replies indignantly. "It's an
express! Munich," he murmurs, tracing its course through the
timetable, "depart 2.15. First and second class only. Nuremberg?
No; it doesn't stop at Nuremberg. Wurtzburg? No. Frankfort for
Strasburg? No. Cologne, Antwerp, Calais? Well, where does it
stop? Confound it! it must stop somewhere. Berlin, Paris,
Brussels, Copenhagen? No. Upon my soul, this is another train that
does not go anywhere! It starts from Munich at 2.15, and that's
all. It doesn't do anything else."
It seems to be a habit of Munich trains to start off in this
purposeless way. Apparently, their sole object is to get away from
the town. They don't care where they go to; they don't care what
becomes of them, so long as they escape from Munich.
"For heaven's sake," they say to themselves, "let us get away from
this place. Don't let us bother about where we shall go; we can
decide that when we are once fairly outside. Let's get out of
Munich; that's the great thing."
B. begins to grow quite frightened. He says:
"We shall never be able to leave this city. There are no trains out
of Munich at all. It's a plot to keep us here, that's what it is.
We shall never be able to get away. We shall never see dear old
I try to cheer him up by suggesting that perhaps it is the custom in
Bavaria to leave the destination of the train to the taste and fancy
of the passengers. The railway authorities provide a train, and
start it off at 2.15. It is immaterial to them where it goes to.
That is a question for the passengers to decide among themselves.
The passengers hire the train and take it away, and there is an end
of the matter, so far as the railway people are concerned. If there
is any difference of opinion between the passengers, owing to some
of them wishing to go to Spain, while others want to get home to
Russia, they, no doubt, settle the matter by tossing up.
B., however, refuses to entertain this theory, and says he wishes I
would not talk so much when I see how harassed he is. That's all
the thanks I get for trying to help him.
He worries along for another five minutes, and then he discovers a
train that gets to Heidelberg all right, and appears to be in most
respects a model train, the only thing that can be urged against it
being that it does not start from anywhere.
It seems to drop into Heidelberg casually and then to stop there.
One expects its sudden advent alarms the people at Heidelberg
station. They do not know what to make of it. The porter goes up
to the station-master, and says:
"Beg pardon, sir, but there's a strange train in the station."
"Oh!" answers the station-master, surprised, "where did it come
"Don't know," replies the man; "it doesn't seem to know itself."
"Dear me," says the station-master, "how very extraordinary! What
does it want?"
"Doesn't seem to want anything particular," replies the other.
"It's a curious sort of train. Seems to be a bit dotty, if you ask
"Um," muses the station-master, "it's a rum go. Well, I suppose we
must let it stop here a bit now. We can hardly turn it out a night
like this. Oh, let it make itself comfortable in the wood-shed till
the morning, and then we will see if we can find its friends."
At last B. makes the discovery that to get to Heidelberg we must go
to Darmstadt and take another train from there. This knowledge
gives him renewed hope and strength, and he sets to work afresh--
this time, to find trains from Munich to Darmstadt, and from
Darmstadt to Heidelberg.
"Here we are," he cries, after a few minutes' hunting. "I've got
it!" (He is of a buoyant disposition.) "This will be it. Leaves
Munich 10, gets to Darmstadt 5.25. Leaves Darmstadt for Heidelberg
5.20, gets to--"
"That doesn't allow us much time for changing, does it?" I remark.
"No," he replies, growing thoughtful again. "No, that's awkward.
If it were only the other way round, it would be all right, or it
would do if our train got there five minutes before its time, and
the other one was a little late in starting."
"Hardly safe to reckon on that," I suggest; and he agrees with me,
and proceeds to look for some more fitable trains.
It would appear, however, that all the trains from Darmstadt to
Heidelberg start just a few minutes before the trains from Munich
arrive. It looks quite pointed, as though they tried to avoid us.
B.'s intellect generally gives way about this point, and he becomes
simply drivelling. He discovers trains that run from Munich to
Heidelberg in fourteen minutes, by way of Venice and Geneva, with
half-an-hour's interval for breakfast at Rome. He rushes up and
down the book in pursuit of demon expresses that arrive at their
destinations forty-seven minutes before they start, and leave again
before they get there. He finds out, all by himself, that the only
way to get from South Germany to Paris is to go to Calais, and then
take the boat to Moscow. Before he has done with the timetable, he
doesn't know whether he is in Europe, Asia, Africa, or America, nor
where he wants to get to, nor why he wants to go there.
Then I quietly, but firmly, take the book away from him, and dress
him for going out; and we take our bags and walk to the station, and
tell a porter that, "Please, we want to go to Heidelberg." And the
porter takes us one by each hand, and leads us to a seat and tells
us to sit there and be good, and that, when it is time, he will come
and fetch us and put us in the train; and this he does.
That is my method of finding out how to get from one place to
another. It is not as dignified, perhaps, as B.'s, but it is
simpler and more efficacious.
It is slow work travelling in Germany. The German train does not
hurry or excite itself over its work, and when it stops it likes to
take a rest. When a German train draws up at a station, everybody
gets out and has a walk. The engine-driver and the stoker cross
over and knock at the station-master's door. The station-master
comes out and greets them effusively, and then runs back into the
house to tell his wife that they have come, and she bustles out and
also welcomes them effusively, and the four stand chatting about old
times and friends and the state of the crops. After a while, the
engine-driver, during a pause in the conversation, looks at his
watch, and says he is afraid he must be going, but the station-
master's wife won't hear of it.
"Oh, you must stop and see the children," she says. "They will be
home from school soon, and they'll be so disappointed if they hear
you have been here and gone away again. Lizzie will never forgive
The engine-driver and the stoker laugh, and say that under those
circumstances they suppose they must stop; and they do so.
Meanwhile the booking-clerk has introduced the guard to his sister,
and such a very promising flirtation has been taking place behind
the ticket-office door that it would not be surprising if wedding-
bells were heard in the neighbourhood before long.
The second guard has gone down into the town to try and sell a dog,
and the passengers stroll about the platform and smoke, or partake
of a light meal in the refreshment-room--the poorer classes regaling
themselves upon hot sausage, and the more dainty upon soup. When
everybody appears to be sufficiently rested, a move onward is
suggested by the engine-driver or the guard, and if all are
agreeable to the proposal the train starts.
Tremendous excitement was caused during our journey between
Heidelberg and Darmstadt by the discovery that we were travelling in
an express train (they called it an "express:" it jogged along at
the rate of twenty miles an hour when it could be got to move at
all; most of its time it seemed to be half asleep) with slow-train
tickets. The train was stopped at the next station and B. was
marched off between two stern-looking gold-laced officials to
explain the matter to a stern-looking gold-laced station-master,
surrounded by three stern-looking gold-laced followers. The scene
suggested a drum-head court-martial, and I could see that B. was
nervous, though outwardly calm and brave. He shouted back a light-
hearted adieu to me as he passed down the platform, and asked me, if
the worst happened, to break it gently to his mother.
However, no harm came of it, and he returned to the carriage without
a stain upon his character, he having made it clear to the
satisfaction of the court--firstly, That he did not know that our
tickets were only slow-train tickets; secondly, That he was not
aware that we were not travelling by a slow train; and thirdly, That
he was ready to pay the difference in the fares.
He blamed himself for having done this last, however, afterwards.
He seemed to think that he could have avoided this expense by
assuming ignorance of the German language. He said that two years
ago, when he was travelling in Germany with three other men, the
authorities came down upon them in much the same way for travelling
first-class with second-class tickets.
Why they were doing this B. did not seem able to explain very
clearly. He said that, if he recollected rightly, the guard had
told them to get into a first-class, or else they had not had time
to get into a second-class, or else they did not know they were not
in a second-class. I must confess his explanation appeared to me to
be somewhat lame.
Anyhow, there they were in a first-class carriage; and there was the
collector at the door, looking indignantly at their second-class
tickets, and waiting to hear what they had to say for themselves.
One of their party did not know much German, but what little he did
know he was very proud of and liked to air; and this one argued the
matter with the collector, and expressed himself in German so well
that the collector understood and disbelieved every word he said.
He was also, on his part, able, with a little trouble, to understand
what the collector said, which was that he must pay eighteen marks.
And he had to.
As for the other three, two at all events of whom were excellent
German scholars, they did not understand anything, and nobody could
make them understand anything. The collector roared at them for
about ten minutes, and they smiled pleasantly and said they wanted
to go to Hanover. He went and fetched the station-master, and the
station-master explained to them for another ten minutes that, if
they did not pay eighteen shillings each, he should do the German
equivalent for summonsing them; and they smiled and nodded, and told
him that they wanted to go to Hanover. Then a very important-
looking personage in a cocked-hat came up, and was very angry; and
he and the station-master and the collector took it in turns to
explain to B. and his two friends the state of the law on the
They stormed and raged, and threatened and pleaded for a quarter of
an hour or so, and then they got sick, and slammed the door, and
went off, leaving the Government to lose the fifty-four marks.
We passed the German frontier on Wednesday, and have been in Belgium
I like the Germans. B. says I ought not to let them know this,
because it will make them conceited; but I have no fear of such a
result. I am sure they possess too much common-sense for their
heads to be turned by praise, no matter from whom.
B. also says that I am displaying more energy than prudence in
forming an opinion of a people merely from a few weeks' travel
amongst them. But my experience is that first impressions are the
At all events, in my case they are. I often arrive at quite
sensible ideas and judgments, on the spur of the moment. It is when
I stop to think that I become foolish.
Our first thoughts are the thoughts that are given to us; our second
thoughts are the thoughts that we make for ourselves. I prefer to
trust to the former.
The Germans are a big, square-shouldered, deep-chested race. They
do not talk much, but look as though they thought. Like all big
things, they are easy-going and good-tempered.
Anti-tobacconists, teetotallers, and such-like faddists, would fare
badly in Germany. A German has no anti-nature notions as to its
being wicked for him to enjoy his life, and still more criminal for
him to let anybody else enjoy theirs. He likes his huge pipe, and
he likes his mug of beer, and as these become empty he likes to have
them filled again; and he likes to see other people like THEIR pipe
and THEIR mug of beer. If you were to go dancing round a German,
shrieking out entreaties to him to sign a pledge that he would never
drink another drop of beer again as long as he lived, he would ask
you to remember that you were talking to a man, not to a child or an
imbecile, and he would probably impress the request upon you by
boxing your ears for your impertinence. He can conduct himself
sensibly without making an ass of himself. He can be "temperate"
without tying bits of coloured ribbon all about himself to advertise
the fact, and without rushing up and down the street waving a banner
and yelling about it.
The German women are not beautiful, but they are lovable and sweet;
and they are broad-breasted and broad-hipped, like the mothers of
big sons should be. They do not seem to trouble themselves about
their "rights," but appear to be very contented and happy even
without votes. The men treat them with courtesy and tenderness, but
with none of that exaggerated deference that one sees among more
petticoat-ridden nations. The Germans are women lovers, not women
worshippers; and they are not worried by any doubts as to which sex
shall rule the State, and which stop at home and mind the children.
The German women are not politicians and mayors and county
councillors; they are housewives.
All classes of Germans are scrupulously polite to one another; but
this is the result of mutual respect, not of snobbery. The tramcar
conductor expects to be treated with precisely the same courtesy
that he tenders. The Count raises his hat to the shopkeeper, and
expects the shopkeeper to raise his hat to him.
The Germans are hearty eaters; but they are not, like the French,
fussy and finicky over their food. Their stomach is not their God;
and the cook, with his sauces and pates and ragouts, is not their
High Priest. So long as the dish is wholesome, and there is
sufficient of it, they are satisfied.
In the mere sensuous arts of painting and sculpture the Germans are
poor, in the ennobling arts of literature and music they are great;
and this fact provides a key to their character.
They are a simple, earnest, homely, genuine people. They do not
laugh much; but when they do, they laugh deep down. They are slow,
but so is a deep river. A placid look generally rests upon their
heavy features; but sometimes they frown, and then they look
A visit to Germany is a tonic to an Englishman. We English are
always sneering at ourselves, and patriotism in England is regarded
as a stamp of vulgarity. The Germans, on the other hand, believe in
themselves, and respect themselves. The world for them is not
played out. Their country to them is still the "Fatherland." They
look straight before them like a people who see a great future in
front of them, and are not afraid to go forward to fulfil it.
GOOD-BYE, SIR (OR MADAM).