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some villages perhaps they drink more. Say a village where there will be a hundred grown-up men, they will drink their beer after four o'clock Sunday evening-two, perhaps, or three will drink too much. Is it not so in England?"
I preferred to leave the question unanswered, and passed on to another subject. Be it said, however, that perhaps so far as the actual quantity of liquor consumed goes, the thirsty German will pour down his throat as much as, or perhaps more than, the thirsty Englishman. But there is a wide difference both in quality and the surroundings. A very light and pure beer, drunk for the most part in the open air, is more likely to round the toper's figure than to befuddle his intellect.
To return to my students. Thriftiness, to some extent at all events, goes by custom, and by virtue of belonging to a comparatively unathletic nation, one form of temptation to spend money is lacking to the German student as compared with the English undergraduate. Outdoor games, which form a part and parcel of our university life, are practically non-existent in Germany. That in our own country a truly ridiculous amount of attention is bestowed upon successful game - playing and successful game-players no one can feel more strongly than myself: that so much valuable time is wasted on the frivolities of life is in a fair way of becoming nothing short of a
national misfortune. But there must be a half-way house somewhere, and I am truly sorry for the German student when I see him on a fine summer afternoon maundering about in a dark suit, or at any rate in his ordinary costume, instead of plunging into flannels and improving his hours of relaxation by taking some form of really active exercise. Put side by side with our Oxford undergraduate, he would probably fill his clothes as well, if not better, but the stuff underneath the clothes is of a very inferior and flabby quality. We English, taking us all in all, may claim to be ranked as a heavy nation. We are proud of our national physique, and that not without some reason. Yet I am inclined to think that the Germans as they walk are even heavier than we are,— heavier, but neither so wiry, so active, or gifted with so much power of endurance, for the simple reason that they carry more solid flesh than the framework of the human body is calculated to support. The foreign crews which occasionally appear at the Henley Regatta will generally be found to average throughout the boat almost a full stone lighter than a good English crew, say the Leander. But out of training and in ordinary trim, the difference of weight between a German or Belgian and an English oarsman would disappear, even if the former were not found to be the heavier. Pick out an untrained but philathletic young Englishman, and put him into
of life. We two started for a four-mile walk into the country. As it happened, time was precious, because he had an appointment in the Pension for a certain hour.
training for the University Boat Race. At the end of six weeks the twelve-stone man will probably have lost not more than four or five pounds at the outside. Try the same system of strict training on a German student, and your twelve-stone man will be found on the day of the race to scale considerably under eleven stone -in other words, he has been in the habit of carrying a full stone or more of superfluous flesh about him. To my own untutored eye I will confess that the weight of the twelvestone 'Varsity oarsman, when I met him in his ordinary attire, was often a mystery.
"Wait till you see him in the boat!" I have had said to me over and over again. waited, and the mystery was a mystery no longer.
That the German student's comparative inactivity and tendency to weigh more than he ought to weigh tells on him in after-life may be gathered from this painfully egotistic story. Though I happen to have been more or less philathletic from my youth onwards, I could never claim to be anything more than a moderately fast walker. Staying at our Pension was a very charming and intelligent German, whom at first sight I should without hesitation have described as an unusually powerful man, well built, well set up, with far better physique and in every way stronger than myself, to say nothing of his having considerable pull over me in years, for he is indeed in the very prime
"We shall have time," he said, looking at his watch, “if you do not mind walking rather fast."
I stepped out accordingly, but without in any way exerting myself. At the end of the first mile he called a halt, and then for the first time I noticed that he was very much out of breath and perspiring freely,— in fact, showing every trace of being fairly walked off his legs.
"You English," he sighed, as he mopped his forehead, "do make such great paces!"
A remark that the same good fellow let drop one day tended to prove two thingsviz., that the student is thrifty by choice as well as more or less of necessity; and that the Church in Germany, as well as in England, is a poorly paid profession. I had asked him whether a certain coarsely-cut tobacco, which I saw in nearly every tobacconist's shop, was really smokable.
"Oh! that," he said, "is very cheap tobacco; it is what the students smoke, and the vicars."
Certainly a maximum income of £200 a-year, and later on, at a certain age or after so many years' service, £300, does not suggest the smoking of a very costly type of tobacco. This modest income seems to be about all that the Lutheran vicar has to look forward to, and the house provided for his
use is something very far removed from our idea of a country parsonage. For this reason the class of men who are encouraged to take orders is rather that of the Welsh than of the English parson. It did not indeed fall to my lot to hold more than a passing conversation with a vicar, but I had a better opportunity of gauging the status of a vicar's son, who was, I believe, himself reading for Holy Orders. In my own mind I had put the young gentleman down for a grocer's assistant, who had forgotten to use his razor for a week or so; and it came upon me in the light of a shock to discover that he was the son of the clergyman of the parish. The Roman Catholic priests, on the other hand, struck me as being a distinctly superior body of men. How the rival establishments get on together I had no curiosity to inquire, but a trivial circumstance pointed to the conclusion that the differences between the two are not very strongly accentuated. "We will go to church together to-morrow, Mr said my German friend.
"I should like to," I responded; "but what Church shall we go to?"
"I will find the times," was the answer, and in a few minutes he returned to say that the service in the Roman Catholic Church was at 10 o'clock, in the Lutheran at 10.30. "Therefore," he concluded, "we will go to the Lutheran."
service seemed likely to be as edifying as another, I assented. But it struck me as curious at the time that to my friend Herr G, who I fully believe to be a good churchman, as well as in all other respects an excellent fellow, the hour rather than the creed should have been taken into account. There was something still more strange about the sequel. For on going to the Lutheran Church we found indeed the semblance of a congregation hanging about the door, but the door was closed and there was no sign of the parson. After some waiting, the congregation gradually dispersed, two English ladies in addition to ourselves remaining on till eleven o'clock on the chance that for some reason other the hour for service might have been altered. But when the clock struck and there was still no sign of the parson, we gave it up in despair and took a stroll round the large and shady churchyard. There, presently, we encountered no less a person than the vicar himself, walking quietly round the churchyard and reading a book.
"Why," inquired my companion, "is there no service?"
The answer, so far as I could make out, was that a good many people were away, the congregation on the preceding Sunday had been very small, the weather was very hot, and so the service had been postponed till the next Sunday! After that, I was inclined to think that the Lutheran vicars
As to a man who cannot understand the language one are not so badly paid as I
had imagined. The interior of a Lutheran church, I may say, entirely recalls that of the Salem Chapel at Cheltenham, where I was once an involuntary worshipper. It has always been my habit, if I find myself in a strange town on Sunday morning, to sally out into the street at 10.45 and follow the first well-dressed person I see carrying a prayerbook. Strangely unfamiliar was the appearance of the church to which I was in this way guided at Cheltenham. But once there, I elected to stay, and for the one and only time in my life listened to the hymn that commences "Before Jehovah's awful throne." Until I actually heard it, I say it to my shame, I had always imagined that the hymn, like the names Tabitha Tagrag, Tittlebat Titmouse, &c., was the exclusive property of Samuel Warren.
To return, however, to that superfluous amount of avoirdupois which our well-to-do Teutonic cousin is by way of carrying. The working-classes, for whom manual labour supplies the missing amount of exercise, keep their figures far better. The German labourer really seems to know what work actually means. I passed five road-menders one day, and was struck by the fact that every man-jack of them was hard at it. The road-mender as I see him in my part of the world is an independent gentleman, who sits on his barrow and smokes a pipe at the expense of the ratepayers. The peasant woman in Germany
has no time to get fat. She gets hard instead. At least a half of the field work is apparently done here by the women. Small wonder, then, that they so early in life lose all trace of womanly comeliness. But is it ungallant to suggest that in higher circles the German Frau follows the example set by her better half? In her teens and early twenties the German girl is active enough,—indeed, judging from the frequency with which I either meet her carrying a lawn-tennis racket or see her rowing on the river, she is more active than her brother. But from the day that she is married and begins to take life more quietly, she puts on flesh rapidly, and before she has struck thirty has commonly attained to what we are apt to call "a comfortable figure." Nor is this term an unmeaning phrase. Objectively there is something very restful and comfortable about these substantial housewives. The restless man or woman who wears a "lean and hungry look" seldom suggests comfort. I find that our Rest-Cure Pension is a haven of refuge for many hungry looking Americans. The occasional plump visitor is merely hypochondriacal.
A walk is the German's fixed idea of exercise,-not a fast, blood-stirring walk, but a slow and sedate progress, the kind of walk we sometimes take en famille in England, when the weather is either too hot or too wet for more violent exercise, and we feel called upon by a sense of duty to give our children and our dogs an airing. Is
it, I sometimes ask myself, the German master who takes out the German dog, or the German dog that performs that service for his master? For a German gentleman out for a walk without his dog is an almost unknown quantity.
If, on the one hand, the exceeding tameness of so-called wild birds, sparrows, chaffinches, blackbirds, &c., coupled with the friendliness shown by dogs and horses to an unknown stranger, tends to the belief that the Germans as a nation are habitually kind to animals, the cat is strangely conspicuous by its absence. At the time that I pen these lines I have been for more than two months in Germany, and in all this time I have seen only one cat and one kitten. There are times when an unworthy-I hope, by the way, that it really is unworthy-suspicion haunts my mind, and I picture the cat as a treasured and pampered animal kept in some odd corner of the house and fed on the fat of the land with a view to future reappearance in the form of the everlasting German sausage. Did I read it in a book during my infancy or was it a tale that my dear father, so rich in anecdotes, told me long years ago? The latter, I fancy, so here goes the tale. My father, then, or an acquaintance, watching a mill at work in a country village, was astonished by the large number of cats of all sizes and ages which, in pursuit of an honest livelihood, ran ceaselessly to and fro amidst the clumsy machinery.
VOL. CLXXVIII.—NO. MLXXXII.
"I say, my man," at last observed the watcher to one of the miller's men, "don't any of those cats ever get killed?"
The man scratched his head doubtfully, as if considering his
"T'owd uns," he exclaimed at last, "well, I reckon as they can take care of theirselves, but us grimbles a kitling now and again."
That hideously suggestive answer came back like a flash to my memory as I gazed with wonder rather than admiration on the noble proportions of a German sausage some eight feet long, and as thick as my fore-arm, that was hung up by way of advertisement in a "flesher's" shop. "flesher's" shop. And with the vision of grimbled kitlings haunting my imagination, I then and there made up my mind to eschew my usual practice of so far conforming to the custom of the country as to eat a thin slice of sausage at the evening meal. I will not deny that those thin slices tasted no way amiss, but "ignotum omne pro horribili” will henceforth be my motto in respect of the German sausage.
Dogs, on the other hand, I meet galore-in fact, I never recollect having seen so many dogs in one small town. Collies, quite good-looking collies, abound. But terriers are in a decided minority. Of mongrel terriers, to be sure, there is a fair sprinkling; but in the course of my wanderings I have only encountered one good fox-terrier and two or three respectable bull terriers, the latter, whether by