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A Tramp Abroad, Part 7 by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

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we imagine we are growing tautological, and so we are weak
enough to exchange it for some other word which only
approximates exactness, to escape what we wrongly fancy
is a greater blemish. Repetition may be bad, but surely
inexactness is worse.


There are people in the world who will take a great
deal of trouble to point out the faults in a religion
or a language, and then go blandly about their business
without suggesting any remedy. I am not that kind
of person. I have shown that the German language
needs reforming. Very well, I am ready to reform it.
At least I am ready to make the proper suggestions.
Such a course as this might be immodest in another; but I
have devoted upward of nine full weeks, first and last,
to a careful and critical study of this tongue, and thus
have acquired a confidence in my ability to reform it
which no mere superficial culture could have conferred
upon me.

In the first place, I would leave out the Dative case.
It confuses the plurals; and, besides, nobody ever knows
when he is in the Dative case, except he discover it
by accident--and then he does not know when or where it
was that he got into it, or how long he has been in it,
or how he is going to get out of it again. The Dative case
is but an ornamental folly--it is better to discard it.

In the next place, I would move the Verb further up
to the front. You may load up with ever so good a Verb,
but I notice that you never really bring down a subject
with it at the present German range--you only cripple it.
So I insist that this important part of speech should be
brought forward to a position where it may be easily seen
with the naked eye.

Thirdly, I would import some strong words from the English
tongue--to swear with, and also to use in describing
all sorts of vigorous things in a vigorous ways. [4]

4. "Verdammt," and its variations and enlargements,
are words which have plenty of meaning, but the SOUNDS
are so mild and ineffectual that German ladies can use
them without sin. German ladies who could not be induced
to commit a sin by any persuasion or compulsion, promptly rip
out one of these harmless little words when they tear their
dresses or don't like the soup. It sounds about as wicked
as our "My gracious." German ladies are constantly saying,
"Ach! Gott!" "Mein Gott!" "Gott in Himmel!" "Herr Gott"
"Der Herr Jesus!" etc. They think our ladies have the
same custom, perhaps; for I once heard a gentle and lovely
old German lady say to a sweet young American girl:
"The two languages are so alike--how pleasant that is;
we say 'Ach! Gott!' you say 'Goddamn.'"

Fourthly, I would reorganizes the sexes, and distribute
them accordingly to the will of the creator. This as
a tribute of respect, if nothing else.

Fifthly, I would do away with those great long
compounded words; or require the speaker to deliver
them in sections, with intermissions for refreshments.
To wholly do away with them would be best, for ideas are
more easily received and digested when they come one at
a time than when they come in bulk. Intellectual food
is like any other; it is pleasanter and more beneficial
to take it with a spoon than with a shovel.

Sixthly, I would require a speaker to stop when he is done,
and not hang a string of those useless "haven sind gewesen
gehabt haben geworden seins" to the end of his oration.
This sort of gewgaws undignify a speech, instead of adding
a grace. They are, therefore, an offense, and should
be discarded.

Seventhly, I would discard the Parenthesis. Also the reparenthesis,
the re-reparenthesis, and the re-re-re-re-re-reparentheses,
and likewise the final wide-reaching all-enclosing
king-parenthesis. I would require every individual,
be he high or low, to unfold a plain straightforward tale,
or else coil it and sit on it and hold his peace.
Infractions of this law should be punishable with death.

And eighthly, and last, I would retain ZUG and SCHLAG,
with their pendants, and discard the rest of the vocabulary.
This would simplify the language.

I have now named what I regard as the most necessary
and important changes. These are perhaps all I could
be expected to name for nothing; but there are other
suggestions which I can and will make in case my proposed
application shall result in my being formally employed
by the government in the work of reforming the language.

My philological studies have satisfied me that a gifted person
ought to learn English (barring spelling and pronouncing)
in thirty hours, French in thirty days, and German
in thirty years. It seems manifest, then, that the
latter tongue ought to be trimmed down and repaired.
If it is to remain as it is, it ought to be gently
and reverently set aside among the dead languages,
for only the dead have time to learn it.


Gentlemen: Since I arrived, a month ago, in this
old wonderland, this vast garden of Germany, my English
tongue has so often proved a useless piece of baggage
to me, and so troublesome to carry around, in a country
where they haven't the checking system for luggage, that I
finally set to work, and learned the German language.
Also! Es freut mich dass dies so ist, denn es muss,
in ein hauptsaechlich degree, hoeflich sein, dass man
auf ein occasion like this, sein Rede in die Sprache des
Landes worin he boards, aussprechen soll. Dafuer habe ich,
aus reinische Verlegenheit--no, Vergangenheit--no, I
mean Hoflichkeit--aus reinishe Hoflichkeit habe ich
resolved to tackle this business in the German language,
um Gottes willen! Also! Sie muessen so freundlich sein,
und verzeih mich die interlarding von ein oder zwei
Englischer Worte, hie und da, denn ich finde dass die
deutsche is not a very copious language, and so when
you've really got anything to say, you've got to draw
on a language that can stand the strain.

Wenn haber man kann nicht meinem Rede Verstehen, so werde
ich ihm spaeter dasselbe uebersetz, wenn er solche Dienst
verlangen wollen haben werden sollen sein haette. (I don't
know what wollen haben werden sollen sein haette means,
but I notice they always put it at the end of a German
sentence--merely for general literary gorgeousness,
I suppose.)

This is a great and justly honored day--a day which is
worthy of the veneration in which it is held by the true
patriots of all climes and nationalities--a day which
offers a fruitful theme for thought and speech; und meinem
Freunde--no, meinEN FreundEN--meinES FreundES--well,
take your choice, they're all the same price; I don't
know which one is right--also! ich habe gehabt haben
worden gewesen sein, as Goethe says in his Paradise
Lost--ich--ich--that is to say--ich--but let us change cars.

Also! Die Anblich so viele Grossbrittanischer und Amerikanischer
hier zusammengetroffen in Bruderliche concord, ist zwar
a welcome and inspiriting spectacle. And what has moved you
to it? Can the terse German tongue rise to the expression of
this impulse? Is it Freundschaftsbezeigungenstadtverordneten-
versammlungenfamilieneigenthuemlichkeiten? Nein,
o nein! This is a crisp and noble word, but it fails
to pierce the marrow of the impulse which has gathered
this friendly meeting and produced diese Anblick--eine
Anblich welche ist gut zu sehen--gut fuer die Augen
in a foreign land and a far country--eine Anblick solche
als in die gewoehnliche Heidelberger phrase nennt man ein
"schoenes Aussicht!" Ja, freilich natuerlich wahrscheinlich
ebensowohl! Also! Die Aussicht auf dem Koenigsstuhl
mehr groesser ist, aber geistlische sprechend nicht so
schoen, lob' Gott! Because sie sind hier zusammengetroffen,
in Bruderlichem concord, ein grossen Tag zu feirn,
whose high benefits were not for one land and one locality,
but have conferred a measure of good upon all lands
that know liberty today, and love it. Hundert Jahre
vorueber, waren die Englaender und die Amerikaner Feinde;
aber heut sind sie herzlichen Freunde, Gott sei Dank!
May this good-fellowship endure; may these banners here
blended in amity so remain; may they never any more wave
over opposing hosts, or be stained with blood which
was kindred, is kindred, and always will be kindred,
until a line drawn upon a map shall be able to say:
"THIS bars the ancestral blood from flowing in the veins
of the descendant!"

Legend of the Castles

Called the "Swallow's Nest" and "The Brothers,"
as Condensed from the Captain's Tale

In the neighborhood of three hundred years ago the Swallow's
Nest and the larger castle between it and Neckarsteinach
were owned and occupied by two old knights who were
twin brothers, and bachelors. They had no relatives.
They were very rich. They had fought through the wars
and retired to private life--covered with honorable scars.
They were honest, honorable men in their dealings,
but the people had given them a couple of nicknames which
were very suggestive--Herr Givenaught and Herr Heartless.
The old knights were so proud of these names that if
a burgher called them by their right ones they would
correct them.

The most renowned scholar in Europe, at the time, was the
Herr Doctor Franz Reikmann, who lived in Heidelberg.
All Germany was proud of the venerable scholar, who lived
in the simplest way, for great scholars are always poor.
He was poor, as to money, but very rich in his sweet
young daughter Hildegarde and his library. He had been
all his life collecting his library, book and book,
and he lived it as a miser loves his hoarded gold.
He said the two strings of his heart were rooted,
the one in his daughter, the other in his books; and that
if either were severed he must die. Now in an evil hour,
hoping to win a marriage portion for his child, this simple
old man had entrusted his small savings to a sharper to be
ventured in a glittering speculation. But that was not
the worst of it: he signed a paper--without reading it.
That is the way with poets and scholars; they always sign
without reading. This cunning paper made him responsible
for heaps of things. The rest was that one night he
found himself in debt to the sharper eight thousand
pieces of gold!--an amount so prodigious that it simply
stupefied him to think of it. It was a night of woe in
that house.

"I must part with my library--I have nothing else.
So perishes one heartstring," said the old man.

"What will it bring, father?" asked the girl.

"Nothing! It is worth seven hundred pieces of gold;
but by auction it will go for little or nothing."

"Then you will have parted with the half of your heart
and the joy of your life to no purpose, since so mighty
of burden of debt will remain behind."

"There is no help for it, my child. Our darlings must
pass under the hammer. We must pay what we can."

"My father, I have a feeling that the dear Virgin will
come to our help. Let us not lose heart."

"She cannot devise a miracle that will turn NOTHING into
eight thousand gold pieces, and lesser help will bring
us little peace."

"She can do even greater things, my father. She will
save us, I know she will."

Toward morning, while the old man sat exhausted and asleep
in his chair where he had been sitting before his books
as one who watches by his beloved dead and prints the
features on his memory for a solace in the aftertime
of empty desolation, his daughter sprang into the room
and gently woke him, saying--

"My presentiment was true! She will save us.
Three times has she appeared to me in my dreams, and said,
'Go to the Herr Givenaught, go to the Herr Heartless,
ask them to come and bid.' There, did I not tell you she
would save us, the thrice blessed Virgin!"

Sad as the old man was, he was obliged to laugh.

"Thou mightest as well appeal to the rocks their
castles stand upon as to the harder ones that lie
in those men's breasts, my child. THEY bid on books
writ in the learned tongues!--they can scarce read their own."

But Hildegarde's faith was in no wise shaken.
Bright and early she was on her way up the Neckar road,
as joyous as a bird.

Meantime Herr Givenaught and Herr Heartless were having
an early breakfast in the former's castle--the Sparrow's
Nest--and flavoring it with a quarrel; for although
these twins bore a love for each other which almost
amounted to worship, there was one subject upon which they
could not touch without calling each other hard names
--and yet it was the subject which they oftenest touched upon.

"I tell you," said Givenaught, "you will beggar yourself
yet with your insane squanderings of money upon
what you choose to consider poor and worthy objects.
All these years I have implored you to stop this foolish
custom and husband your means, but all in vain.
You are always lying to me about these secret benevolences,
but you never have managed to deceive me yet. Every time
a poor devil has been set upon his feet I have detected
your hand in it--incorrigible ass!"

"Every time you didn't set him on his feet yourself,
you mean. Where I give one unfortunate a little private lift,
you do the same for a dozen. The idea of YOUR swelling
around the country and petting yourself with the nickname
of Givenaught--intolerable humbug! Before I would be
such a fraud as that, I would cut my right hand off.
Your life is a continual lie. But go on, I have tried MY
best to save you from beggaring yourself by your riotous
charities--now for the thousandth time I wash my hands
of the consequences. A maundering old fool! that's
what you are."

"And you a blethering old idiot!" roared Givenaught,
springing up.

"I won't stay in the presence of a man who has no more
delicacy than to call me such names. Mannerless swine!"

So saying, Herr Heartless sprang up in a passion.
But some lucky accident intervened, as usual, to change
the subject, and the daily quarrel ended in the customary
daily living reconciliation. The gray-headed old
eccentrics parted, and Herr Heartless walked off to his
own castle.

Half an hour later, Hildegarde was standing in the presence
of Herr Givenaught. He heard her story, and said--

"I am sorry for you, my child, but I am very poor,
I care nothing for bookish rubbish, I shall not be there."

He said the hard words kindly, but they nearly broke poor
Hildegarde's heart, nevertheless. When she was gone
the old heartbreaker muttered, rubbing his hands--

"It was a good stroke. I have saved my brother's pocket
this time, in spite of him. Nothing else would have
prevented his rushing off to rescue the old scholar,
the pride of Germany, from his trouble. The poor child
won't venture near HIM after the rebuff she has received
from his brother the Givenaught."

But he was mistaken. The Virgin had commanded,
and Hildegarde would obey. She went to Herr Heartless
and told her story. But he said coldly--

"I am very poor, my child, and books are nothing to me.
I wish you well, but I shall not come."

When Hildegarde was gone, he chuckled and said--

"How my fool of a soft-headed soft-hearted brother would
rage if he knew how cunningly I have saved his pocket.
How he would have flown to the old man's rescue! But the
girl won't venture near him now."

When Hildegarde reached home, her father asked her how she
had prospered. She said--

"The Virgin has promised, and she will keep her word;
but not in the way I thought. She knows her own ways,
and they are best."

The old man patted her on the head, and smiled a doubting
smile, but he honored her for her brave faith, nevertheless.


Next day the people assembled in the great hall
of the Ritter tavern, to witness the auction--for
the proprietor had said the treasure of Germany's most
honored son should be bartered away in no meaner place.
Hildegarde and her father sat close to the books,
silent and sorrowful, and holding each other's hands.
There was a great crowd of people present. The bidding began--

"How much for this precious library, just as it stands,
all complete?" called the auctioneer.

"Fifty pieces of gold!"

"A hundred!"

"Two hundred."



"Five hundred!"

"Five twenty-five."

A brief pause.

"Five forty!"

A longer pause, while the auctioneer redoubled his persuasions.


A heavy drag--the auctioneer persuaded, pleaded,
implored--it was useless, everybody remained silent--

"Well, then--going, going--one--two--"

"Five hundred and fifty!"

This in a shrill voice, from a bent old man, all hung
with rags, and with a green patch over his left eye.
Everybody in his vicinity turned and gazed at him.
It was Givenaught in disguise. He was using a disguised
voice, too.

"Good!" cried the auctioneer. "Going, going--one--two--"

"Five hundred and sixty!"

This, in a deep, harsh voice, from the midst of the
crowd at the other end of the room. The people near
by turned, and saw an old man, in a strange costume,
supporting himself on crutches. He wore a long white beard,
and blue spectacles. It was Herr Heartless, in disguise,
and using a disguised voice.

"Good again! Going, going--one--"

"Six hundred!"

Sensation. The crowd raised a cheer, and some one
cried out, "Go it, Green-patch!" This tickled the audience
and a score of voices shouted, "Go it, Green-patch!"

"Going--going--going--third and last call--one--two--"

"Seven hundred!"

"Huzzah!--well done, Crutches!" cried a voice. The crowd
took it up, and shouted altogether, "Well done, Crutches!"

"Splendid, gentlemen! you are doing magnificently.
Going, going--"

"A thousand!"

"Three cheers for Green-patch! Up and at him, Crutches!"


"Two thousand!"

And while the people cheered and shouted, "Crutches" muttered,
"Who can this devil be that is fighting so to get these
useless books?--But no matter, he sha'n't have them.
The pride of Germany shall have his books if it beggars
me to buy them for him."

"Going, going, going--"

"Three thousand!"

"Come, everybody--give a rouser for Green-patch!"

And while they did it, "Green-patch" muttered, "This cripple
is plainly a lunatic; but the old scholar shall have
his books, nevertheless, though my pocket sweat for it."


"Four thousand!"


"Five thousand!"


"Six thousand!"


"Seven thousand!"


"EIGHT thousand!"

"We are saved, father! I told you the Holy Virgin
would keep her word!" "Blessed be her sacred name!"
said the old scholar, with emotion. The crowd roared,
"Huzza, huzza, huzza--at him again, Green-patch!"


"TEN thousand!" As Givenaught shouted this, his excitement
was so great that he forgot himself and used his
natural voice. He brother recognized it, and muttered,
under cover of the storm of cheers--

"Aha, you are there, are you, besotted old fool? Take
the books, I know what you'll do with them!"

So saying, he slipped out of the place and the auction was
at an end. Givenaught shouldered his way to Hildegarde,
whispered a word in her ear, and then he also vanished.
The old scholar and his daughter embraced, and the former said,
"Truly the Holy Mother has done more than she promised,
child, for she has give you a splendid marriage portion
--think of it, two thousand pieces of gold!"

"And more still," cried Hildegarde, "for she has give
you back your books; the stranger whispered me that he
would none of them--'the honored son of Germany must
keep them,' so he said. I would I might have asked
his name and kissed his hand and begged his blessing;
but he was Our Lady's angel, and it is not meet that we
of earth should venture speech with them that dwell above."

German Journals

The daily journals of Hamburg, Frankfort, Baden, Munich,
and Augsburg are all constructed on the same general plan.
I speak of these because I am more familiar with them
than with any other German papers. They contain no
"editorials" whatever; no "personals"--and this is rather
a merit than a demerit, perhaps; no funny-paragraph column;
no police-court reports; no reports of proceedings
of higher courts; no information about prize-fights
or other dog-fights, horse-races, walking-machines,
yachting-contents, rifle-matches, or other sporting
matters of any sort; no reports of banquet speeches;
no department of curious odds and ends of floating fact
and gossip; no "rumors" about anything or anybody;
no prognostications or prophecies about anything or anybody;
no lists of patents granted or sought, or any reference
to such things; no abuse of public officials, big or little,
or complaints against them, or praises of them; no religious
columns Saturdays, no rehash of cold sermons Mondays;
no "weather indications"; no "local item" unveiling of
what is happening in town--nothing of a local nature,
indeed, is mentioned, beyond the movements of some prince,
or the proposed meeting of some deliberative body.

After so formidable a list of what one can't find
in a German daily, the question may well be asked,
What CAN be found in it? It is easily answered: A child's
handful of telegrams, mainly about European national and
international political movements; letter-correspondence about
the same things; market reports. There you have it.
That is what a German daily is made of. A German
daily is the slowest and saddest and dreariest of the
inventions of man. Our own dailies infuriate the reader,
pretty often; the German daily only stupefies him.
Once a week the German daily of the highest class lightens
up its heavy columns--that is, it thinks it lightens
them up--with a profound, an abysmal, book criticism;
a criticism which carries you down, down, down into
the scientific bowels of the subject--for the German
critic is nothing if not scientific--and when you come
up at last and scent the fresh air and see the bonny
daylight once more, you resolve without a dissenting voice
that a book criticism is a mistaken way to lighten up
a German daily. Sometimes, in place of the criticism,
the first-class daily gives you what it thinks is a gay
and chipper essay--about ancient Grecian funeral customs,
or the ancient Egyptian method of tarring a mummy,
or the reasons for believing that some of the peoples
who existed before the flood did not approve of cats.
These are not unpleasant subjects; they are not
uninteresting subjects; they are even exciting subjects
--until one of these massive scientists gets hold of them.
He soon convinces you that even these matters can
be handled in such a way as to make a person low-spirited.

As I have said, the average German daily is made up
solely of correspondences--a trifle of it by telegraph,
the rest of it by mail. Every paragraph has the side-head,
"London," "Vienna," or some other town, and a date.
And always, before the name of the town, is placed a letter
or a sign, to indicate who the correspondent is, so that
the authorities can find him when they want to hang him.
Stars, crosses, triangles, squares, half-moons, suns
--such are some of the signs used by correspondents.

Some of the dailies move too fast, others too slowly.
For instance, my Heidelberg daily was always twenty-four
hours old when it arrived at the hotel; but one of my
Munich evening papers used to come a full twenty-four hours
before it was due.

Some of the less important dailies give one a tablespoonful
of a continued story every day; it is strung across
the bottom of the page, in the French fashion.
By subscribing for the paper for five years I judge that
a man might succeed in getting pretty much all of the story.

If you ask a citizen of Munich which is the best Munich
daily journal, he will always tell you that there is
only one good Munich daily, and that it is published
in Augsburg, forty or fifty miles away. It is like saying
that the best daily paper in New York is published out
in New Jersey somewhere. Yes, the Augsburg ALLGEMEINE
ZEITUNG is "the best Munich paper," and it is the one I
had in my mind when I was describing a "first-class
German daily" above. The entire paper, opened out, is not
quite as large as a single page of the New York HERALD.
It is printed on both sides, of course; but in such large
type that its entire contents could be put, in HERALD type,
upon a single page of the HERALD--and there would still
be room enough on the page for the ZEITUNG's "supplement"
and some portion of the ZEITUNG's next day's contents.

Such is the first-class daily. The dailies actually printed
in Munich are all called second-class by the public.
If you ask which is the best of these second-class
papers they say there is no difference; one is as good
as another. I have preserved a copy of one of them;
it is called the MUENCHENER TAGES-ANZEIGER, and bears
date January 25, 1879. Comparisons are odious,
but they need not be malicious; and without any malice
I wish to compare this journals of other countries.
I know of no other way to enable the reader to "size"
the thing.

A column of an average daily paper in America contains
from 1,800 to 2,500 words; the reading-matter in a
single issue consists of from 25,000 to 50,000 words.
The reading-matter in my copy of the Munich journal
consists of a total of 1,654 words --for I counted them.
That would be nearly a column of one of our dailies.
A single issue of the bulkiest daily newspaper in the
world--the London TIMES--often contains 100,000 words
of reading-matter. Considering that the DAILY ANZEIGER
issues the usual twenty-six numbers per month, the reading
matter in a single number of the London TIMES would keep it
in "copy" two months and a half.

The ANZEIGER is an eight-page paper; its page is one
inch wider and one inch longer than a foolscap page;
that is to say, the dimensions of its page are somewhere
between those of a schoolboy's slate and a lady's
pocket handkerchief. One-fourth of the first page is
taken up with the heading of the journal; this gives it
a rather top-heavy appearance; the rest of the first page
is reading-matter; all of the second page is reading-matter;
the other six pages are devoted to advertisements.

The reading-matter is compressed into two hundred
and five small-pica lines, and is lighted up with eight
pica headlines. The bill of fare is as follows: First,
under a pica headline, to enforce attention and respect,
is a four-line sermon urging mankind to remember that,
although they are pilgrims here below, they are yet heirs
of heaven; and that "When they depart from earth they soar
to heaven." Perhaps a four-line sermon in a Saturday paper
is the sufficient German equivalent of the eight or ten
columns of sermons which the New-Yorkers get in their
Monday morning papers. The latest news (two days old)
follows the four-line sermon, under the pica headline
"Telegrams"--these are "telegraphed" with a pair of
scissors out of the AUGSBURGER ZEITUNG of the day before.
These telegrams consist of fourteen and two-thirds lines
from Berlin, fifteen lines from Vienna, and two and five-eights
lines from Calcutta. Thirty-three small-pica lines news
in a daily journal in a King's Capital of one hundred and
seventy thousand inhabitants is surely not an overdose.
Next we have the pica heading, "News of the Day,"
under which the following facts are set forth: Prince
Leopold is going on a visit to Vienna, six lines;
Prince Arnulph is coming back from Russia, two lines;
the Landtag will meet at ten o'clock in the morning and
consider an election law, three lines and one word over;
a city government item, five and one-half lines;
prices of tickets to the proposed grand Charity Ball,
twenty-three lines--for this one item occupies almost
one-fourth of the entire first page; there is to be
a wonderful Wagner concert in Frankfurt-on-the-Main,
with an orchestra of one hundred and eight instruments,
seven and one-half lines. That concludes the first page.
Eighty-five lines, altogether, on that page,
including three headlines. About fifty of those lines,
as one perceives, deal with local matters; so the reporters
are not overworked.

Exactly one-half of the second page is occupied with
an opera criticism, fifty-three lines (three of them
being headlines), and "Death Notices," ten lines.

The other half of the second page is made up of two
paragraphs under the head of "Miscellaneous News."
One of these paragraphs tells about a quarrel between the Czar
of Russia and his eldest son, twenty-one and a half lines;
and the other tells about the atrocious destruction of a
peasant child by its parents, forty lines, or one-fifth
of the total of the reading-matter contained in the paper.

Consider what a fifth part of the reading-matter of an American
daily paper issued in a city of one hundred and seventy
thousand inhabitants amounts to! Think what a mass it is.
Would any one suppose I could so snugly tuck away such a
mass in a chapter of this book that it would be difficult
to find it again in the reader lost his place? Surely not.
I will translate that child-murder word for word,
to give the reader a realizing sense of what a fifth
part of the reading-matter of a Munich daily actually
is when it comes under measurement of the eye:

"From Oberkreuzberg, January 21st, the DONAU ZEITUNG
receives a long account of a crime, which we shortened
as follows: In Rametuach, a village near Eppenschlag,
lived a young married couple with two children, one of which,
a boy aged five, was born three years before the marriage.
For this reason, and also because a relative at Iggensbach
had bequeathed M400 ($100) to the boy, the heartless
father considered him in the way; so the unnatural
parents determined to sacrifice him in the cruelest
possible manner. They proceeded to starve him slowly
to death, meantime frightfully maltreating him--as the
village people now make known, when it is too late.
The boy was shut in a hole, and when people passed
by he cried, and implored them to give him bread.
His long-continued tortures and deprivations destroyed
him at last, on the third of January. The sudden (sic)
death of the child created suspicion, the more so as the
body was immediately clothed and laid upon the bier.
Therefore the coroner gave notice, and an inquest was held
on the 6th. What a pitiful spectacle was disclosed then!
The body was a complete skeleton. The stomach and intestines
were utterly empty; they contained nothing whatsoever.
The flesh on the corpse was not as thick as the back of
a knife, and incisions in it brought not one drop of blood.
There was not a piece of sound skin the size of a dollar
on the whole body; wounds, scars, bruises, discolored
extravasated blood, everywhere--even on the soles of
the feet there were wounds. The cruel parents asserted
that the boy had been so bad that they had been obliged
to use severe punishments, and that he finally fell over
a bench and broke his neck. However, they were arrested
two weeks after the inquest and put in the prison at Deggendorf."

Yes, they were arrested "two weeks after the inquest."
What a home sound that has. That kind of police briskness
rather more reminds me of my native land than German
journalism does.

I think a German daily journal doesn't do any good to
speak of, but at the same time it doesn't do any harm.
That is a very large merit, and should not be lightly
weighted nor lightly thought of.

The German humorous papers are beautifully printed upon
fine paper, and the illustrations are finely drawn,
finely engraved, and are not vapidly funny, but deliciously so.
So also, generally speaking, are the two or three terse
sentences which accompany the pictures. I remember one
of these pictures: A most dilapidated tramp is ruefully
contemplating some coins which lie in his open palm.
He says: "Well, begging is getting played out. Only about
five marks ($1.25) for the whole day; many an official
makes more!" And I call to mind a picture of a commercial
traveler who is about to unroll his samples:

MERCHANT (pettishly).--NO, don't. I don't want to buy anything!

DRUMMER.--If you please, I was only going to show you--

MERCHANT.--But I don't wish to see them!

DRUMMER (after a pause, pleadingly).--But do you you mind
letting ME look at them! I haven't seen them for three weeks!

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