Yes, what was true eight hundred years ago, is just as true today: "Few there be that can keep a hotel." Perhaps it is because the landlords and their subordinates have in too many cases taken up their trade without first learning it. In Europe the trade of hotel-keeper is taught. The apprentice begins at the bottom of the ladder and masters the several grades one after the other. Just as in our country printing-offices the apprentice first learns how to sweep out and bring water; then learns to "roll"; then to sort "pi"; then to set type; and finally rounds and completes his education with job-work and press-work; so the landlord-apprentice serves as call-boy; then as under-waiter; then as a parlor waiter; then as head waiter, in which position he often has to make out all the bills; then as clerk or cashier; then as portier. His trade is learned now, and by and by he will assume the style and dignity of landlord, and be found conducting a hotel of his own.
Now in Europe, the same as in America, when a man has kept a hotel so thoroughly well during a number of years as to give it a great reputation, he has his reward. He can live prosperously on that reputation. He can let his hotel run down to the last degree of shabbiness and yet have it full of people all the time. For instance, there is the Ho^tel de Ville, in Milan. It swarms with mice and fleas, and if the rest of the world were destroyed it could furnish dirt enough to start another one with. The food would create an insurrection in a poorhouse; and yet if you go outside to get your meals that hotel makes up its loss by overcharging you on all sorts of trifles—and without making any denials or excuses about it, either. But the Ho^tel de Ville's old excellent reputation still keeps its dreary rooms crowded with travelers who would be elsewhere if they had only some wise friend to warn them.
APPENDIX B Heidelberg Castle
Heidelberg Castle must have been very beautiful before the French battered and bruised and scorched it two hundred years ago. The stone is brown, with a pinkish tint, and does not seem to stain easily. The dainty and elaborate ornamentation upon its two chief fronts is as delicately carved as if it had been intended for the interior of a drawing-room rather than for the outside of a house. Many fruit and flower clusters, human heads and grim projecting lions' heads are still as perfect in every detail as if they were new. But the statues which are ranked between the windows have suffered. These are life-size statues of old-time emperors, electors, and similar grandees, clad in mail and bearing ponderous swords. Some have lost an arm, some a head, and one poor fellow is chopped off at the middle. There is a saying that if a stranger will pass over the drawbridge and walk across the court to the castle front without saying anything, he can made a wish and it will be fulfilled. But they say that the truth of this thing has never had a chance to be proved, for the reason that before any stranger can walk from the drawbridge to the appointed place, the beauty of the palace front will extort an exclamation of delight from him.
A ruin must be rightly situated, to be effective. This one could not have been better placed. It stands upon a commanding elevation, it is buried in green words, there is no level ground about it, but, on the contrary, there are wooded terraces upon terraces, and one looks down through shining leaves into profound chasms and abysses where twilight reigns and the sun cannot intrude. Nature knows how to garnish a ruin to get the best effect. One of these old towers is split down the middle, and one half has tumbled aside. It tumbled in such a way as to establish itself in a picturesque attitude. Then all it lacked was a fitting drapery, and Nature has furnished that; she has robed the rugged mass in flowers and verdure, and made it a charm to the eye. The standing half exposes its arched and cavernous rooms to you, like open, toothless mouths; there, too, the vines and flowers have done their work of grace. The rear portion of the tower has not been neglected, either, but is clothed with a clinging garment of polished ivy which hides the wounds and stains of time. Even the top is not left bare, but is crowned with a flourishing group of trees and shrubs. Misfortune has done for this old tower what it has done for the human character sometimes—improved it.
A gentleman remarked, one day, that it might have been fine to live in the castle in the day of its prime, but that we had one advantage which its vanished inhabitants lacked—the advantage of having a charming ruin to visit and muse over. But that was a hasty idea. Those people had the advantage of US. They had the fine castle to live in, and they could cross the Rhine valley and muse over the stately ruin of Trifels besides. The Trifels people, in their day, five hundred years ago, could go and muse over majestic ruins that have vanished, now, to the last stone. There have always been ruins, no doubt; and there have always been pensive people to sigh over them, and asses to scratch upon them their names and the important date of their visit. Within a hundred years after Adam left Eden, the guide probably gave the usual general flourish with his hand and said: "Place where the animals were named, ladies and gentlemen; place where the tree of the forbidden fruit stood; exact spot where Adam and Eve first met; and here, ladies and gentlemen, adorned and hallowed by the names and addresses of three generations of tourists, we have the crumbling remains of Cain's altar—fine old ruin!" Then, no doubt, he taxed them a shekel apiece and let them go.
An illumination of Heidelberg Castle is one of the sights of Europe. The Castle's picturesque shape; its commanding situation, midway up the steep and wooded mountainside; its vast size—these features combine to make an illumination a most effective spectacle. It is necessarily an expensive show, and consequently rather infrequent. Therefore whenever one of these exhibitions is to take place, the news goes about in the papers and Heidelberg is sure to be full of people on that night. I and my agent had one of these opportunities, and improved it.
About half past seven on the appointed evening we crossed the lower bridge, with some American students, in a pouring rain, and started up the road which borders the Neunheim side of the river. This roadway was densely packed with carriages and foot-passengers; the former of all ages, and the latter of all ages and both sexes. This black and solid mass was struggling painfully onward, through the slop, the darkness, and the deluge. We waded along for three-quarters of a mile, and finally took up a position in an unsheltered beer-garden directly opposite the Castle. We could not SEE the Castle—or anything else, for that matter—but we could dimly discern the outlines of the mountain over the way, through the pervading blackness, and knew whereabouts the Castle was located. We stood on one of the hundred benches in the garden, under our umbrellas; the other ninety-nine were occupied by standing men and women, and they also had umbrellas. All the region round about, and up and down the river-road, was a dense wilderness of humanity hidden under an unbroken pavement of carriage tops and umbrellas. Thus we stood during two drenching hours. No rain fell on my head, but the converging whalebone points of a dozen neighboring umbrellas poured little cooling steams of water down my neck, and sometimes into my ears, and thus kept me from getting hot and impatient. I had the rheumatism, too, and had heard that this was good for it. Afterward, however, I was led to believe that the water treatment is NOT good for rheumatism. There were even little girls in that dreadful place. A men held one in his arms, just in front of me, for as much as an hour, with umbrella-drippings soaking into her clothing all the time.
In the circumstances, two hours was a good while for us to have to wait, but when the illumination did at last come, we felt repaid. It came unexpectedly, of course—things always do, that have been long looked and longed for. With a perfectly breath-taking suddenness several mast sheaves of varicolored rockets were vomited skyward out of the black throats of the Castle towers, accompanied by a thundering crash of sound, and instantly every detail of the prodigious ruin stood revealed against the mountainside and glowing with an almost intolerable splendor of fire and color. For some little time the whole building was a blinding crimson mass, the towers continued to spout thick columns of rockets aloft, and overhead the sky was radiant with arrowy bolts which clove their way to the zenith, paused, curved gracefully downward, then burst into brilliant fountain-sprays of richly colored sparks. The red fires died slowly down, within the Castle, and presently the shell grew nearly black outside; the angry glare that shone out through the broken arches and innumerable sashless windows, now, reproduced the aspect which the Castle must have borne in the old time when the French spoilers saw the monster bonfire which they had made there fading and spoiling toward extinction.
While we still gazed and enjoyed, the ruin was suddenly enveloped in rolling and rumbling volumes of vaporous green fire; then in dazzling purple ones; then a mixture of many colors followed, then drowned the great fabric in its blended splendors. Meantime the nearest bridge had been illuminated, and from several rafts anchored in the river, meteor showers of rockets, Roman candles, bombs, serpents, and Catharine wheels were being discharged in wasteful profusion into the sky—a marvelous sight indeed to a person as little used to such spectacles as I was. For a while the whole region about us seemed as bright as day, and yet the rain was falling in torrents all the time. The evening's entertainment presently closed, and we joined the innumerable caravan of half-drowned strangers, and waded home again.
The Castle grounds are very ample and very beautiful; and as they joined the Hotel grounds, with no fences to climb, but only some nobly shaded stone stairways to descend, we spent a part of nearly every day in idling through their smooth walks and leafy groves. There was an attractive spot among the trees where were a great many wooden tables and benches; and there one could sit in the shade and pretend to sip at his foamy beaker of beer while he inspected the crowd. I say pretend, because I only pretended to sip, without really sipping. That is the polite way; but when you are ready to go, you empty the beaker at a draught. There was a brass band, and it furnished excellent music every afternoon. Sometimes so many people came that every seat was occupied, every table filled. And never a rough in the assemblage—all nicely dressed fathers and mothers, young gentlemen and ladies and children; and plenty of university students and glittering officers; with here and there a gray professor, or a peaceful old lady with her knitting; and always a sprinkling of gawky foreigners. Everybody had his glass of beer before him, or his cup of coffee, or his bottle of wine, or his hot cutlet and potatoes; young ladies chatted, or fanned themselves, or wrought at their crocheting or embroidering; the students fed sugar to their dogs, or discussed duels, or illustrated new fencing tricks with their little canes; and everywhere was comfort and enjoyment, and everywhere peace and good-will to men. The trees were jubilant with birds, and the paths with rollicking children. One could have a seat in that place and plenty of music, any afternoon, for about eight cents, or a family ticket for the season for two dollars.
For a change, when you wanted one, you could stroll to the Castle, and burrow among its dungeons, or climb about its ruined towers, or visit its interior shows—the great Heidelberg Tun, for instance. Everybody has heard of the great Heidelberg Tun, and most people have seen it, no doubt. It is a wine-cask as big as a cottage, and some traditions say it holds eighteen thousand bottles, and other traditions say it holds eighteen hundred million barrels. I think it likely that one of these statements is a mistake, and the other is a lie. However, the mere matter of capacity is a thing of no sort of consequence, since the cask is empty, and indeed has always been empty, history says. An empty cask the size of a cathedral could excite but little emotion in me. I do not see any wisdom in building a monster cask to hoard up emptiness in, when you can get a better quality, outside, any day, free of expense. What could this cask have been built for? The more one studies over that, the more uncertain and unhappy he becomes. Some historians say that thirty couples, some say thirty thousand couples, can dance on the head of this cask at the same time. Even this does not seem to me to account for the building of it. It does not even throw light on it. A profound and scholarly Englishman—a specialist—who had made the great Heidelberg Tun his sole study for fifteen years, told me he had at last satisfied himself that the ancients built it to make German cream in. He said that the average German cow yielded from one to two and half teaspoons of milk, when she was not worked in the plow or the hay-wagon more than eighteen or nineteen hours a day. This milk was very sweet and good, and a beautiful transparent bluish tint; but in order to get cream from it in the most economical way, a peculiar process was necessary. Now he believed that the habit of the ancients was to collect several milkings in a teacup, pour it into the Great Tun, fill up with water, and then skim off the cream from time to time as the needs of the German Empire demanded.
This began to look reasonable. It certainly began to account for the German cream which I had encountered and marveled over in so many hotels and restaurants. But a thought struck me—
"Why did not each ancient dairyman take his own teacup of milk and his own cask of water, and mix them, without making a government matter of it?'
"Where could he get a cask large enough to contain the right proportion of water?"
Very true. It was plain that the Englishman had studied the matter from all sides. Still I thought I might catch him on one point; so I asked him why the modern empire did not make the nation's cream in the Heidelberg Tun, instead of leaving it to rot away unused. But he answered as one prepared—
"A patient and diligent examination of the modern German cream had satisfied me that they do not use the Great Tun now, because they have got a BIGGER one hid away somewhere. Either that is the case or they empty the spring milkings into the mountain torrents and then skim the Rhine all summer."
There is a museum of antiquities in the Castle, and among its most treasured relics are ancient manuscripts connected with German history. There are hundreds of these, and their dates stretch back through many centuries. One of them is a decree signed and sealed by the hand of a successor of Charlemagne, in the year 896. A signature made by a hand which vanished out of this life near a thousand years ago, is a more impressive thing than even a ruined castle. Luther's wedding-ring was shown me; also a fork belonging to a time anterior to our era, and an early bootjack. And there was a plaster cast of the head of a man who was assassinated about sixty years ago. The stab-wounds in the face were duplicated with unpleasant fidelity. One or two real hairs still remained sticking in the eyebrows of the cast. That trifle seemed to almost change the counterfeit into a corpse.
There are many aged portraits—some valuable, some worthless; some of great interest, some of none at all. I bought a couple—one a gorgeous duke of the olden time, and the other a comely blue-eyed damsel, a princess, maybe. I bought them to start a portrait-gallery of my ancestors with. I paid a dollar and a half for the duke and a half for the princess. One can lay in ancestors at even cheaper rates than these, in Europe, if he will mouse among old picture shops and look out for chances.
APPENDIX C The College Prison
It seems that the student may break a good many of the public laws without having to answer to the public authorities. His case must come before the University for trial and punishment. If a policeman catches him in an unlawful act and proceeds to arrest him, the offender proclaims that he is a student, and perhaps shows his matriculation card, whereupon the officer asks for his address, then goes his way, and reports the matter at headquarters. If the offense is one over which the city has no jurisdiction, the authorities report the case officially to the University, and give themselves no further concern about it. The University court send for the student, listen to the evidence, and pronounce judgment. The punishment usually inflicted is imprisonment in the University prison. As I understand it, a student's case is often tried without his being present at all. Then something like this happens: A constable in the service of the University visits the lodgings of the said student, knocks, is invited to come in, does so, and says politely—
"If you please, I am here to conduct you to prison."
"Ah," says the student, "I was not expecting it. What have I been doing?"
"Two weeks ago the public peace had the honor to be disturbed by you."
"It is true; I had forgotten it. Very well: I have been complained of, tried, and found guilty—is that it?"
"Exactly. You are sentenced to two days' solitary confinement in the College prison, and I am sent to fetch you."
STUDENT. "O, I can't go today."
OFFICER. "If you please—why?"
STUDENT. "Because I've got an engagement."
OFFICER. "Tomorrow, then, perhaps?"
STUDENT. "No, I am going to the opera, tomorrow."
OFFICER. "Could you come Friday?"
STUDENT. (Reflectively.) "Let me see—Friday—Friday. I don't seem to have anything on hand Friday."
OFFICER. "Then, if you please, I will expect you on Friday."
STUDENT. "All right, I'll come around Friday."
OFFICER. "Thank you. Good day, sir."
STUDENT. "Good day."
So on Friday the student goes to the prison of his own accord, and is admitted.
It is questionable if the world's criminal history can show a custom more odd than this. Nobody knows, now, how it originated. There have always been many noblemen among the students, and it is presumed that all students are gentlemen; in the old times it was usual to mar the convenience of such folk as little as possible; perhaps this indulgent custom owes its origin to this.
One day I was listening to some conversation upon this subject when an American student said that for some time he had been under sentence for a slight breach of the peace and had promised the constable that he would presently find an unoccupied day and betake himself to prison. I asked the young gentleman to do me the kindness to go to jail as soon as he conveniently could, so that I might try to get in there and visit him, and see what college captivity was like. He said he would appoint the very first day he could spare.
His confinement was to endure twenty-four hours. He shortly chose his day, and sent me word. I started immediately. When I reached the University Place, I saw two gentlemen talking together, and, as they had portfolios under their arms, I judged they were tutors or elderly students; so I asked them in English to show me the college jail. I had learned to take it for granted that anybody in Germany who knows anything, knows English, so I had stopped afflicting people with my German. These gentlemen seemed a trifle amused—and a trifle confused, too—but one of them said he would walk around the corner with me and show me the place. He asked me why I wanted to get in there, and I said to see a friend—and for curiosity. He doubted if I would be admitted, but volunteered to put in a word or two for me with the custodian.
He rang the bell, a door opened, and we stepped into a paved way and then up into a small living-room, where we were received by a hearty and good-natured German woman of fifty. She threw up her hands with a surprised "ACH GOTT, HERR PROFESSOR!" and exhibited a mighty deference for my new acquaintance. By the sparkle in her eye I judged she was a good deal amused, too. The "Herr Professor" talked to her in German, and I understood enough of it to know that he was bringing very plausible reasons to bear for admitting me. They were successful. So the Herr Professor received my earnest thanks and departed. The old dame got her keys, took me up two or three flights of stairs, unlocked a door, and we stood in the presence of the criminal. Then she went into a jolly and eager description of all that had occurred downstairs, and what the Herr Professor had said, and so forth and so on. Plainly, she regarded it as quite a superior joke that I had waylaid a Professor and employed him in so odd a service. But I wouldn't have done it if I had known he was a Professor; therefore my conscience was not disturbed.
Now the dame left us to ourselves. The cell was not a roomy one; still it was a little larger than an ordinary prison cell. It had a window of good size, iron-grated; a small stove; two wooden chairs; two oaken tables, very old and most elaborately carved with names, mottoes, faces, armorial bearings, etc.—the work of several generations of imprisoned students; and a narrow wooden bedstead with a villainous straw mattress, but no sheets, pillows, blankets, or coverlets—for these the student must furnish at his own cost if he wants them. There was no carpet, of course.
The ceiling was completely covered with names, dates, and monograms, done with candle-smoke. The walls were thickly covered with pictures and portraits (in profile), some done with ink, some with soot, some with a pencil, and some with red, blue, and green chalks; and whenever an inch or two of space had remained between the pictures, the captives had written plaintive verses, or names and dates. I do not think I was ever in a more elaborately frescoed apartment.
Against the wall hung a placard containing the prison laws. I made a note of one or two of these. For instance: The prisoner must pay, for the "privilege" of entering, a sum equivalent to 20 cents of our money; for the privilege of leaving, when his term had expired, 20 cents; for every day spent in the prison, 12 cents; for fire and light, 12 cents a day. The jailer furnishes coffee, mornings, for a small sum; dinners and suppers may be ordered from outside if the prisoner chooses—and he is allowed to pay for them, too.
Here and there, on the walls, appeared the names of American students, and in one place the American arms and motto were displayed in colored chalks.
With the help of my friend I translated many of the inscriptions.
Some of them were cheerful, others the reverse. I will give the reader a few specimens:
"In my tenth semester (my best one), I am cast here through the complaints of others. Let those who follow me take warning."
"III TAGE OHNE GRUND ANGEBLICH AUS NEUGIERDE." Which is to say, he had a curiosity to know what prison life was like; so he made a breach in some law and got three days for it. It is more than likely that he never had the same curiosity again.
(TRANSLATION.) "E. Glinicke, four days for being too eager a spectator of a row."
"F. Graf Bismarck—27-29, II, '74." Which means that Count Bismarck, son of the great statesman, was a prisoner two days in 1874.
(TRANSLATION.) "R. Diergandt—for Love—4 days." Many people in this world have caught it heavier than for the same indiscretion.
This one is terse. I translate:
"Four weeks for MISINTERPRETED GALLANTRY." I wish the sufferer had explained a little more fully. A four-week term is a rather serious matter.
There were many uncomplimentary references, on the walls, to a certain unpopular dignitary. One sufferer had got three days for not saluting him. Another had "here two days slept and three nights lain awake," on account of this same "Dr. K." In one place was a picture of Dr. K. hanging on a gallows.
Here and there, lonesome prisoners had eased the heavy time by altering the records left by predecessors. Leaving the name standing, and the date and length of the captivity, they had erased the description of the misdemeanor, and written in its place, in staring capitals, "FOR THEFT!" or "FOR MURDER!" or some other gaudy crime. In one place, all by itself, stood this blood-curdling word:
There was no name signed, and no date. It was an inscription well calculated to pique curiosity. One would greatly like to know the nature of the wrong that had been done, and what sort of vengeance was wanted, and whether the prisoner ever achieved it or not. But there was no way of finding out these things.
Occasionally, a name was followed simply by the remark, "II days, for disturbing the peace," and without comment upon the justice or injustice of the sentence.
In one place was a hilarious picture of a student of the green cap corps with a bottle of champagne in each hand; and below was the legend: "These make an evil fate endurable."
There were two prison cells, and neither had space left on walls or ceiling for another name or portrait or picture. The inside surfaces of the two doors were completely covered with CARTES DE VISITE of former prisoners, ingeniously let into the wood and protected from dirt and injury by glass.
I very much wanted one of the sorry old tables which the prisoners had spent so many years in ornamenting with their pocket-knives, but red tape was in the way. The custodian could not sell one without an order from a superior; and that superior would have to get it from HIS superior; and this one would have to get it from a higher one—and so on up and up until the faculty should sit on the matter and deliver final judgment. The system was right, and nobody could find fault with it; but it did not seem justifiable to bother so many people, so I proceeded no further. It might have cost me more than I could afford, anyway; for one of those prison tables, which was at the time in a private museum in Heidelberg, was afterward sold at auction for two hundred and fifty dollars. It was not worth more than a dollar, or possibly a dollar and half, before the captive students began their work on it. Persons who saw it at the auction said it was so curiously and wonderfully carved that it was worth the money that was paid for it.
Among them many who have tasted the college prison's dreary hospitality was a lively young fellow from one of the Southern states of America, whose first year's experience of German university life was rather peculiar. The day he arrived in Heidelberg he enrolled his name on the college books, and was so elated with the fact that his dearest hope had found fruition and he was actually a student of the old and renowned university, that he set to work that very night to celebrate the event by a grand lark in company with some other students. In the course of his lark he managed to make a wide breach in one of the university's most stringent laws. Sequel: before noon, next day, he was in the college prison—booked for three months. The twelve long weeks dragged slowly by, and the day of deliverance came at last. A great crowd of sympathizing fellow-students received him with a rousing demonstration as he came forth, and of course there was another grand lark—in the course of which he managed to make a wide breach of the CITY'S most stringent laws. Sequel: before noon, next day, he was safe in the city lockup—booked for three months. This second tedious captivity drew to an end in the course of time, and again a great crowd of sympathizing fellow students gave him a rousing reception as he came forth; but his delight in his freedom was so boundless that he could not proceed soberly and calmly, but must go hopping and skipping and jumping down the sleety street from sheer excess of joy. Sequel: he slipped and broke his leg, and actually lay in the hospital during the next three months!
When he at last became a free man again, he said he believed he would hunt up a brisker seat of learning; the Heidelberg lectures might be good, but the opportunities of attending them were too rare, the educational process too slow; he said he had come to Europe with the idea that the acquirement of an education was only a matter of time, but if he had averaged the Heidelberg system correctly, it was rather a matter of eternity.
APPENDIX D The Awful German Language
A little learning makes the whole world kin. —Proverbs xxxii, 7.
I went often to look at the collection of curiosities in Heidelberg Castle, and one day I surprised the keeper of it with my German. I spoke entirely in that language. He was greatly interested; and after I had talked a while he said my German was very rare, possibly a "unique"; and wanted to add it to his museum.
If he had known what it had cost me to acquire my art, he would also have known that it would break any collector to buy it. Harris and I had been hard at work on our German during several weeks at that time, and although we had made good progress, it had been accomplished under great difficulty and annoyance, for three of our teachers had died in the mean time. A person who has not studied German can form no idea of what a perplexing language it is.
Surely there is not another language that is so slipshod and systemless, and so slippery and elusive to the grasp. One is washed about in it, hither and thither, in the most helpless way; and when at last he thinks he has captured a rule which offers firm ground to take a rest on amid the general rage and turmoil of the ten parts of speech, he turns over the page and reads, "Let the pupil make careful note of the following EXCEPTIONS." He runs his eye down and finds that there are more exceptions to the rule than instances of it. So overboard he goes again, to hunt for another Ararat and find another quicksand. Such has been, and continues to be, my experience. Every time I think I have got one of these four confusing "cases" where I am master of it, a seemingly insignificant preposition intrudes itself into my sentence, clothed with an awful and unsuspected power, and crumbles the ground from under me. For instance, my book inquires after a certain bird—(it is always inquiring after things which are of no sort of no consequence to anybody): "Where is the bird?" Now the answer to this question—according to the book—is that the bird is waiting in the blacksmith shop on account of the rain. Of course no bird would do that, but then you must stick to the book. Very well, I begin to cipher out the German for that answer. I begin at the wrong end, necessarily, for that is the German idea. I say to myself, "REGEN (rain) is masculine—or maybe it is feminine—or possibly neuter—it is too much trouble to look now. Therefore, it is either DER (the) Regen, or DIE (the) Regen, or DAS (the) Regen, according to which gender it may turn out to be when I look. In the interest of science, I will cipher it out on the hypothesis that it is masculine. Very well—then THE rain is DER Regen, if it is simply in the quiescent state of being MENTIONED, without enlargement or discussion—Nominative case; but if this rain is lying around, in a kind of a general way on the ground, it is then definitely located, it is DOING SOMETHING—that is, RESTING (which is one of the German grammar's ideas of doing something), and this throws the rain into the Dative case, and makes it DEM Regen. However, this rain is not resting, but is doing something ACTIVELY,—it is falling—to interfere with the bird, likely—and this indicates MOVEMENT, which has the effect of sliding it into the Accusative case and changing DEM Regen into DEN Regen." Having completed the grammatical horoscope of this matter, I answer up confidently and state in German that the bird is staying in the blacksmith shop "wegen (on account of) DEN Regen." Then the teacher lets me softly down with the remark that whenever the word "wegen" drops into a sentence, it ALWAYS throws that subject into the GENITIVE case, regardless of consequences—and therefore this bird stayed in the blacksmith shop "wegen DES Regens."
N.B.—I was informed, later, by a higher authority, that there was an "exception" which permits one to say "wegen DEN Regen" in certain peculiar and complex circumstances, but that this exception is not extended to anything BUT rain.
There are ten parts of speech, and they are all troublesome. An average sentence, in a German newspaper, is a sublime and impressive curiosity; it occupies a quarter of a column; it contains all the ten parts of speech—not in regular order, but mixed; it is built mainly of compound words constructed by the writer on the spot, and not to be found in any dictionary—six or seven words compacted into one, without joint or seam—that is, without hyphens; it treats of fourteen or fifteen different subjects, each enclosed in a parenthesis of its own, with here and there extra parentheses, making pens with pens: finally, all the parentheses and reparentheses are massed together between a couple of king-parentheses, one of which is placed in the first line of the majestic sentence and the other in the middle of the last line of it—AFTER WHICH COMES THE VERB, and you find out for the first time what the man has been talking about; and after the verb—merely by way of ornament, as far as I can make out—the writer shovels in "HABEN SIND GEWESEN GEHABT HAVEN GEWORDEN SEIN," or words to that effect, and the monument is finished. I suppose that this closing hurrah is in the nature of the flourish to a man's signature—not necessary, but pretty. German books are easy enough to read when you hold them before the looking-glass or stand on your head—so as to reverse the construction—but I think that to learn to read and understand a German newspaper is a thing which must always remain an impossibility to a foreigner.
Yet even the German books are not entirely free from attacks of the Parenthesis distemper—though they are usually so mild as to cover only a few lines, and therefore when you at last get down to the verb it carries some meaning to your mind because you are able to remember a good deal of what has gone before. Now here is a sentence from a popular and excellent German novel—which a slight parenthesis in it. I will make a perfectly literal translation, and throw in the parenthesis-marks and some hyphens for the assistance of the reader—though in the original there are no parenthesis-marks or hyphens, and the reader is left to flounder through to the remote verb the best way he can:
"But when he, upon the street, the (in-satin-and-silk-covered- now-very-unconstrained-after-the-newest-fashioned-dressed) government counselor's wife MET," etc., etc. 
1. Wenn er aber auf der Strasse der in Sammt und Seide gehuellten jetz sehr ungenirt nach der neusten mode gekleideten Regierungsrathin begegnet.
That is from THE OLD MAMSELLE'S SECRET, by Mrs. Marlitt. And that sentence is constructed upon the most approved German model. You observe how far that verb is from the reader's base of operations; well, in a German newspaper they put their verb away over on the next page; and I have heard that sometimes after stringing along the exciting preliminaries and parentheses for a column or two, they get in a hurry and have to go to press without getting to the verb at all. Of course, then, the reader is left in a very exhausted and ignorant state.
We have the Parenthesis disease in our literature, too; and one may see cases of it every day in our books and newspapers: but with us it is the mark and sign of an unpracticed writer or a cloudy intellect, whereas with the Germans it is doubtless the mark and sign of a practiced pen and of the presence of that sort of luminous intellectual fog which stands for clearness among these people. For surely it is NOT clearness—it necessarily can't be clearness. Even a jury would have penetration enough to discover that. A writer's ideas must be a good deal confused, a good deal out of line and sequence, when he starts out to say that a man met a counselor's wife in the street, and then right in the midst of this so simple undertaking halts these approaching people and makes them stand still until he jots down an inventory of the woman's dress. That is manifestly absurd. It reminds a person of those dentists who secure your instant and breathless interest in a tooth by taking a grip on it with the forceps, and then stand there and drawl through a tedious anecdote before they give the dreaded jerk. Parentheses in literature and dentistry are in bad taste.
The Germans have another kind of parenthesis, which they make by splitting a verb in two and putting half of it at the beginning of an exciting chapter and the OTHER HALF at the end of it. Can any one conceive of anything more confusing than that? These things are called "separable verbs." The German grammar is blistered all over with separable verbs; and the wider the two portions of one of them are spread apart, the better the author of the crime is pleased with his performance. A favorite one is REISTE AB—which means departed. Here is an example which I culled from a novel and reduced to English:
"The trunks being now ready, he DE- after kissing his mother and sisters, and once more pressing to his bosom his adored Gretchen, who, dressed in simple white muslin, with a single tuberose in the ample folds of her rich brown hair, had tottered feebly down the stairs, still pale from the terror and excitement of the past evening, but longing to lay her poor aching head yet once again upon the breast of him whom she loved more dearly than life itself, PARTED."
However, it is not well to dwell too much on the separable verbs. One is sure to lose his temper early; and if he sticks to the subject, and will not be warned, it will at last either soften his brain or petrify it. Personal pronouns and adjectives are a fruitful nuisance in this language, and should have been left out. For instance, the same sound, SIE, means YOU, and it means SHE, and it means HER, and it means IT, and it means THEY, and it means THEM. Think of the ragged poverty of a language which has to make one word do the work of six—and a poor little weak thing of only three letters at that. But mainly, think of the exasperation of never knowing which of these meanings the speaker is trying to convey. This explains why, whenever a person says SIE to me, I generally try to kill him, if a stranger.
Now observe the Adjective. Here was a case where simplicity would have been an advantage; therefore, for no other reason, the inventor of this language complicated it all he could. When we wish to speak of our "good friend or friends," in our enlightened tongue, we stick to the one form and have no trouble or hard feeling about it; but with the German tongue it is different. When a German gets his hands on an adjective, he declines it, and keeps on declining it until the common sense is all declined out of it. It is as bad as Latin. He says, for instance:
Nominative—Mein gutER Freund, my good friend. Genitives—MeinES GutEN FreundES, of my good friend. Dative—MeinEM gutEN Freund, to my good friend. Accusative—MeinEN gutEN Freund, my good friend.
N.—MeinE gutEN FreundE, my good friends. G.—MeinER gutEN FreundE, of my good friends. D.—MeinEN gutEN FreundEN, to my good friends. A.—MeinE gutEN FreundE, my good friends.
Now let the candidate for the asylum try to memorize those variations, and see how soon he will be elected. One might better go without friends in Germany than take all this trouble about them. I have shown what a bother it is to decline a good (male) friend; well this is only a third of the work, for there is a variety of new distortions of the adjective to be learned when the object is feminine, and still another when the object is neuter. Now there are more adjectives in this language than there are black cats in Switzerland, and they must all be as elaborately declined as the examples above suggested. Difficult?—troublesome?—these words cannot describe it. I heard a Californian student in Heidelberg say, in one of his calmest moods, that he would rather decline two drinks than one German adjective.
The inventor of the language seems to have taken pleasure in complicating it in every way he could think of. For instance, if one is casually referring to a house, HAUS, or a horse, PFERD, or a dog, HUND, he spells these words as I have indicated; but if he is referring to them in the Dative case, he sticks on a foolish and unnecessary E and spells them HAUSE, PFERDE, HUNDE. So, as an added E often signifies the plural, as the S does with us, the new student is likely to go on for a month making twins out of a Dative dog before he discovers his mistake; and on the other hand, many a new student who could ill afford loss, has bought and paid for two dogs and only got one of them, because he ignorantly bought that dog in the Dative singular when he really supposed he was talking plural—which left the law on the seller's side, of course, by the strict rules of grammar, and therefore a suit for recovery could not lie.
In German, all the Nouns begin with a capital letter. Now that is a good idea; and a good idea, in this language, is necessarily conspicuous from its lonesomeness. I consider this capitalizing of nouns a good idea, because by reason of it you are almost always able to tell a noun the minute you see it. You fall into error occasionally, because you mistake the name of a person for the name of a thing, and waste a good deal of time trying to dig a meaning out of it. German names almost always do mean something, and this helps to deceive the student. I translated a passage one day, which said that "the infuriated tigress broke loose and utterly ate up the unfortunate fir forest" (Tannenwald). When I was girding up my loins to doubt this, I found out that Tannenwald in this instance was a man's name.
Every noun has a gender, and there is no sense or system in the distribution; so the gender of each must be learned separately and by heart. There is no other way. To do this one has to have a memory like a memorandum-book. In German, a young lady has no sex, while a turnip has. Think what overwrought reverence that shows for the turnip, and what callous disrespect for the girl. See how it looks in print—I translate this from a conversation in one of the best of the German Sunday-school books:
"Gretchen. Wilhelm, where is the turnip?
"Wilhelm. She has gone to the kitchen.
"Gretchen. Where is the accomplished and beautiful English maiden?
"Wilhelm. It has gone to the opera."
To continue with the German genders: a tree is male, its buds are female, its leaves are neuter; horses are sexless, dogs are male, cats are female—tomcats included, of course; a person's mouth, neck, bosom, elbows, fingers, nails, feet, and body are of the male sex, and his head is male or neuter according to the word selected to signify it, and NOT according to the sex of the individual who wears it—for in Germany all the women either male heads or sexless ones; a person's nose, lips, shoulders, breast, hands, and toes are of the female sex; and his hair, ears, eyes, chin, legs, knees, heart, and conscience haven't any sex at all. The inventor of the language probably got what he knew about a conscience from hearsay.
Now, by the above dissection, the reader will see that in Germany a man may THINK he is a man, but when he comes to look into the matter closely, he is bound to have his doubts; he finds that in sober truth he is a most ridiculous mixture; and if he ends by trying to comfort himself with the thought that he can at least depend on a third of this mess as being manly and masculine, the humiliating second thought will quickly remind him that in this respect he is no better off than any woman or cow in the land.
In the German it is true that by some oversight of the inventor of the language, a Woman is a female; but a Wife (Weib) is not—which is unfortunate. A Wife, here, has no sex; she is neuter; so, according to the grammar, a fish is HE, his scales are SHE, but a fishwife is neither. To describe a wife as sexless may be called under-description; that is bad enough, but over-description is surely worse. A German speaks of an Englishman as the ENGLAENDER; to change the sex, he adds INN, and that stands for Englishwoman —ENGLAENDERINN. That seems descriptive enough, but still it is not exact enough for a German; so he precedes the word with that article which indicates that the creature to follow is feminine, and writes it down thus: "die Englaenderinn,"—which means "the she-Englishwoman." I consider that that person is over-described.
Well, after the student has learned the sex of a great number of nouns, he is still in a difficulty, because he finds it impossible to persuade his tongue to refer to things as "he" and "she," and "him" and "her," which it has been always accustomed to refer to it as "it." When he even frames a German sentence in his mind, with the hims and hers in the right places, and then works up his courage to the utterance-point, it is no use —the moment he begins to speak his tongue files the track and all those labored males and females come out as "its." And even when he is reading German to himself, he always calls those things "it," where as he ought to read in this way:
TALE OF THE FISHWIFE AND ITS SAD FATE 
2. I capitalize the nouns, in the German (and ancient English) fashion.
It is a bleak Day. Hear the Rain, how he pours, and the Hail, how he rattles; and see the Snow, how he drifts along, and of the Mud, how deep he is! Ah the poor Fishwife, it is stuck fast in the Mire; it has dropped its Basket of Fishes; and its Hands have been cut by the Scales as it seized some of the falling Creatures; and one Scale has even got into its Eye. and it cannot get her out. It opens its Mouth to cry for Help; but if any Sound comes out of him, alas he is drowned by the raging of the Storm. And now a Tomcat has got one of the Fishes and she will surely escape with him. No, she bites off a Fin, she holds her in her Mouth—will she swallow her? No, the Fishwife's brave Mother-dog deserts his Puppies and rescues the Fin—which he eats, himself, as his Reward. O, horror, the Lightning has struck the Fish-basket; he sets him on Fire; see the Flame, how she licks the doomed Utensil with her red and angry Tongue; now she attacks the helpless Fishwife's Foot—she burns him up, all but the big Toe, and even SHE is partly consumed; and still she spreads, still she waves her fiery Tongues; she attacks the Fishwife's Leg and destroys IT; she attacks its Hand and destroys HER also; she attacks the Fishwife's Leg and destroys HER also; she attacks its Body and consumes HIM; she wreathes herself about its Heart and IT is consumed; next about its Breast, and in a Moment SHE is a Cinder; now she reaches its Neck—He goes; now its Chin —IT goes; now its Nose—SHE goes. In another Moment, except Help come, the Fishwife will be no more. Time presses—is there none to succor and save? Yes! Joy, joy, with flying Feet the she-Englishwoman comes! But alas, the generous she-Female is too late: where now is the fated Fishwife? It has ceased from its Sufferings, it has gone to a better Land; all that is left of it for its loved Ones to lament over, is this poor smoldering Ash-heap. Ah, woeful, woeful Ash-heap! Let us take him up tenderly, reverently, upon the lowly Shovel, and bear him to his long Rest, with the Prayer that when he rises again it will be a Realm where he will have one good square responsible Sex, and have it all to himself, instead of having a mangy lot of assorted Sexes scattered all over him in Spots.
There, now, the reader can see for himself that this pronoun business is a very awkward thing for the unaccustomed tongue. I suppose that in all languages the similarities of look and sound between words which have no similarity in meaning are a fruitful source of perplexity to the foreigner. It is so in our tongue, and it is notably the case in the German. Now there is that troublesome word VERMAEHLT: to me it has so close a resemblance—either real or fancied—to three or four other words, that I never know whether it means despised, painted, suspected, or married; until I look in the dictionary, and then I find it means the latter. There are lots of such words and they are a great torment. To increase the difficulty there are words which SEEM to resemble each other, and yet do not; but they make just as much trouble as if they did. For instance, there is the word VERMIETHEN (to let, to lease, to hire); and the word VERHEIRATHEN (another way of saying to marry). I heard of an Englishman who knocked at a man's door in Heidelberg and proposed, in the best German he could command, to "verheirathen" that house. Then there are some words which mean one thing when you emphasize the first syllable, but mean something very different if you throw the emphasis on the last syllable. For instance, there is a word which means a runaway, or the act of glancing through a book, according to the placing of the emphasis; and another word which signifies to ASSOCIATE with a man, or to AVOID him, according to where you put the emphasis—and you can generally depend on putting it in the wrong place and getting into trouble.
There are some exceedingly useful words in this language. SCHLAG, for example; and ZUG. There are three-quarters of a column of SCHLAGS in the dictionary, and a column and a half of ZUGS. The word SCHLAG means Blow, Stroke, Dash, Hit, Shock, Clap, Slap, Time, Bar, Coin, Stamp, Kind, Sort, Manner, Way, Apoplexy, Wood-cutting, Enclosure, Field, Forest-clearing. This is its simple and EXACT meaning—that is to say, its restricted, its fettered meaning; but there are ways by which you can set it free, so that it can soar away, as on the wings of the morning, and never be at rest. You can hang any word you please to its tail, and make it mean anything you want to. You can begin with SCHLAG-ADER, which means artery, and you can hang on the whole dictionary, word by word, clear through the alphabet to SCHLAG-WASSER, which means bilge-water—and including SCHLAG-MUTTER, which means mother-in-law.
Just the same with ZUG. Strictly speaking, ZUG means Pull, Tug, Draught, Procession, March, Progress, Flight, Direction, Expedition, Train, Caravan, Passage, Stroke, Touch, Line, Flourish, Trait of Character, Feature, Lineament, Chess-move, Organ-stop, Team, Whiff, Bias, Drawer, Propensity, Inhalation, Disposition: but that thing which it does NOT mean—when all its legitimate pennants have been hung on, has not been discovered yet.
One cannot overestimate the usefulness of SCHLAG and ZUG. Armed just with these two, and the word ALSO, what cannot the foreigner on German soil accomplish? The German word ALSO is the equivalent of the English phrase "You know," and does not mean anything at all—in TALK, though it sometimes does in print. Every time a German opens his mouth an ALSO falls out; and every time he shuts it he bites one in two that was trying to GET out.
Now, the foreigner, equipped with these three noble words, is master of the situation. Let him talk right along, fearlessly; let him pour his indifferent German forth, and when he lacks for a word, let him heave a SCHLAG into the vacuum; all the chances are that it fits it like a plug, but if it doesn't let him promptly heave a ZUG after it; the two together can hardly fail to bung the hole; but if, by a miracle, they SHOULD fail, let him simply say ALSO! and this will give him a moment's chance to think of the needful word. In Germany, when you load your conversational gun it is always best to throw in a SCHLAG or two and a ZUG or two, because it doesn't make any difference how much the rest of the charge may scatter, you are bound to bag something with THEM. Then you blandly say ALSO, and load up again. Nothing gives such an air of grace and elegance and unconstraint to a German or an English conversation as to scatter it full of "Also's" or "You knows."
In my note-book I find this entry:
July 1.—In the hospital yesterday, a word of thirteen syllables was successfully removed from a patient—a North German from near Hamburg; but as most unfortunately the surgeons had opened him in the wrong place, under the impression that he contained a panorama, he died. The sad event has cast a gloom over the whole community.
That paragraph furnishes a text for a few remarks about one of the most curious and notable features of my subject—the length of German words. Some German words are so long that they have a perspective. Observe these examples:
These things are not words, they are alphabetical processions. And they are not rare; one can open a German newspaper at any time and see them marching majestically across the page—and if he has any imagination he can see the banners and hear the music, too. They impart a martial thrill to the meekest subject. I take a great interest in these curiosities. Whenever I come across a good one, I stuff it and put it in my museum. In this way I have made quite a valuable collection. When I get duplicates, I exchange with other collectors, and thus increase the variety of my stock. Here rare some specimens which I lately bought at an auction sale of the effects of a bankrupt bric-a-brac hunter:
Of course when one of these grand mountain ranges goes stretching across the printed page, it adorns and ennobles that literary landscape—but at the same time it is a great distress to the new student, for it blocks up his way; he cannot crawl under it, or climb over it, or tunnel through it. So he resorts to the dictionary for help, but there is no help there. The dictionary must draw the line somewhere—so it leaves this sort of words out. And it is right, because these long things are hardly legitimate words, but are rather combinations of words, and the inventor of them ought to have been killed. They are compound words with the hyphens left out. The various words used in building them are in the dictionary, but in a very scattered condition; so you can hunt the materials out, one by one, and get at the meaning at last, but it is a tedious and harassing business. I have tried this process upon some of the above examples. "Freundshaftsbezeigungen" seems to be "Friendship demonstrations," which is only a foolish and clumsy way of saying "demonstrations of friendship." "Unabhaengigkeitserklaerungen" seems to be "Independencedeclarations," which is no improvement upon "Declarations of Independence," so far as I can see. "Generalstaatsverordnetenversammlungen" seems to be "General-statesrepresentativesmeetings," as nearly as I can get at it—a mere rhythmical, gushy euphemism for "meetings of the legislature," I judge. We used to have a good deal of this sort of crime in our literature, but it has gone out now. We used to speak of a things as a "never-to-be-forgotten" circumstance, instead of cramping it into the simple and sufficient word "memorable" and then going calmly about our business as if nothing had happened. In those days we were not content to embalm the thing and bury it decently, we wanted to build a monument over it.
But in our newspapers the compounding-disease lingers a little to the present day, but with the hyphens left out, in the German fashion. This is the shape it takes: instead of saying "Mr. Simmons, clerk of the county and district courts, was in town yesterday," the new form put it thus: "Clerk of the County and District Courts Simmons was in town yesterday." This saves neither time nor ink, and has an awkward sound besides. One often sees a remark like this in our papers: "MRS. Assistant District Attorney Johnson returned to her city residence yesterday for the season." That is a case of really unjustifiable compounding; because it not only saves no time or trouble, but confers a title on Mrs. Johnson which she has no right to. But these little instances are trifles indeed, contrasted with the ponderous and dismal German system of piling jumbled compounds together. I wish to submit the following local item, from a Mannheim journal, by way of illustration:
"In the daybeforeyesterdayshortlyaftereleveno'clock Night, the inthistownstandingtavern called 'The Wagoner' was downburnt. When the fire to the onthedownburninghouseresting Stork's Nest reached, flew the parent Storks away. But when the bytheraging, firesurrounded Nest ITSELF caught Fire, straightway plunged the quickreturning Mother-Stork into the Flames and died, her Wings over her young ones outspread."
Even the cumbersome German construction is not able to take the pathos out of that picture—indeed, it somehow seems to strengthen it. This item is dated away back yonder months ago. I could have used it sooner, but I was waiting to hear from the Father-stork. I am still waiting.
"ALSO!" If I had not shown that the German is a difficult language, I have at least intended to do so. I have heard of an American student who was asked how he was getting along with his German, and who answered promptly: "I am not getting along at all. I have worked at it hard for three level months, and all I have got to show for it is one solitary German phrase—'ZWEI GLAS'" (two glasses of beer). He paused for a moment, reflectively; then added with feeling: "But I've got that SOLID!"
And if I have not also shown that German is a harassing and infuriating study, my execution has been at fault, and not my intent. I heard lately of a worn and sorely tried American student who used to fly to a certain German word for relief when he could bear up under his aggravations no longer—the only word whose sound was sweet and precious to his ear and healing to his lacerated spirit. This was the word DAMIT. It was only the SOUND that helped him, not the meaning;  and so, at last, when he learned that the emphasis was not on the first syllable, his only stay and support was gone, and he faded away and died.
3. It merely means, in its general sense, "herewith."
I think that a description of any loud, stirring, tumultuous episode must be tamer in German than in English. Our descriptive words of this character have such a deep, strong, resonant sound, while their German equivalents do seem so thin and mild and energyless. Boom, burst, crash, roar, storm, bellow, blow, thunder, explosion; howl, cry, shout, yell, groan; battle, hell. These are magnificent words; the have a force and magnitude of sound befitting the things which they describe. But their German equivalents would be ever so nice to sing the children to sleep with, or else my awe-inspiring ears were made for display and not for superior usefulness in analyzing sounds. Would any man want to die in a battle which was called by so tame a term as a SCHLACHT? Or would not a consumptive feel too much bundled up, who was about to go out, in a shirt-collar and a seal-ring, into a storm which the bird-song word GEWITTER was employed to describe? And observe the strongest of the several German equivalents for explosion—AUSBRUCH. Our word Toothbrush is more powerful than that. It seems to me that the Germans could do worse than import it into their language to describe particularly tremendous explosions with. The German word for hell—Hoelle—sounds more like HELLY than anything else; therefore, how necessary chipper, frivolous, and unimpressive it is. If a man were told in German to go there, could he really rise to thee dignity of feeling insulted?
Having pointed out, in detail, the several vices of this language, I now come to the brief and pleasant task of pointing out its virtues. The capitalizing of the nouns I have already mentioned. But far before this virtue stands another—that of spelling a word according to the sound of it. After one short lesson in the alphabet, the student can tell how any German word is pronounced without having to ask; whereas in our language if a student should inquire of us, "What does B, O, W, spell?" we should be obliged to reply, "Nobody can tell what it spells when you set if off by itself; you can only tell by referring to the context and finding out what it signifies—whether it is a thing to shoot arrows with, or a nod of one's head, or the forward end of a boat."
There are some German words which are singularly and powerfully effective. For instance, those which describe lowly, peaceful, and affectionate home life; those which deal with love, in any and all forms, from mere kindly feeling and honest good will toward the passing stranger, clear up to courtship; those which deal with outdoor Nature, in its softest and loveliest aspects—with meadows and forests, and birds and flowers, the fragrance and sunshine of summer, and the moonlight of peaceful winter nights; in a word, those which deal with any and all forms of rest, repose, and peace; those also which deal with the creatures and marvels of fairyland; and lastly and chiefly, in those words which express pathos, is the language surpassingly rich and affective. There are German songs which can make a stranger to the language cry. That shows that the SOUND of the words is correct—it interprets the meanings with truth and with exactness; and so the ear is informed, and through the ear, the heart.
The Germans do not seem to be afraid to repeat a word when it is the right one. They repeat it several times, if they choose. That is wise. But in English, when we have used a word a couple of times in a paragraph, 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. "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.
A FOURTH OF JULY ORATION IN THE GERMAN TONGUE, DELIVERED AT A BANQUET OF THE ANGLO-AMERICAN CLUB OF STUDENTS BY THE AUTHOR OF THIS BOOK
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!"
APPENDIX E 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 brief pause.
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—"
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—"
"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—"
"Three cheers for Green-patch! Up and at him, Crutches!"
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—"
"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."
"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."
APPENDIX F 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!