Page images

time to six o'clock he has been in- Germany how difficult it was to cessantly occupied with affairs- obtain à morsel of food in the some of them complex and difficult midst of the journey.

The correc-some of them mere matters of tion of this deficiency, however, easy routine. He has been able to was a feat to which the national snatch five minutes for luncheon, genius was quite equal, and it was and that has sufficed. Meanwhile speedily remedied. The feedingHerman, besides absorbing a gal- places on the German lines are, in lon, or perhaps two, of beer, and better etymology than either ours exhaling half a pound of tobacco, or the French, called Restaurations. has consumed no end of soup, sodden As an estimate or guess, which may beef, roast veal, cutlets, ham, poultry, be taken at its own value, I would prawns, fermented cabbage, potato- say that on any ordinary hundred salad, asparagus, stewed prunes, miles of German railway the eating apple-tart, and every other kind of and drinking facilities are five eatable he could get at. He has eaten times those offered on an English out from one to two hours of the line. Here and there is an immid-day in which the Englishman mense bouffet, where all the elehas been at his hardest work. And ments of an abundant and varied if we follow our countryman home meal exist, and ample time is given from his business, much as we hear for their consumption. Then there of English luxury and high living, are numerous stoppages for tén we shall probably find that he has minutes or so, where there is a made his dinner on a chop and a counter well filled with slices of potato or two. In great houses ham and cold veal, sausages, fruit, there are several courses, more as and liquors of all kinds. When matter of state than because the the stoppages are short, men and partakers indulge in long and varied women are in prompt attendance meals. With those whose house with sandwiches and glasses of beer; hold establishment is not on a

and I have noted it as an exceppompous model, but who can easily tion to the slovenly lazy way in afford themselves luxuries, I am which all business is transacted in disposed to think that in England Germany, that these ministers to

more than two are the the need or greed of the wayfarer exception rather than the rule. are prompt, active, and remarkably There are, no doubt, here and there intelligent; the exigency of their full feeders and foul feeders ; but duty, which is to provide that they are the exception, and rather their fellow-countrymen shall not under discountenance, even should be subject to the horror of remainthey only reach the ordinary ave- ing one half-hour without food and rage of gluttony which one sees drink, having awakened within every day in the German gast- them a promptitude and efficiency hauses.

which the less momentous funcBy the


I have an idea that tions of the rest of their countrytravellers in Germany have been men have been insufficient to stiminclined to be charitable to Ger- ulate. man gluttony, on account of the It is wonderful to contemplate convenience they have felt from it. the laborious accuracy with which Where food is thrown everywhere every demand for needful sustentabroadcast, the traveller, who may tion is met by the necessary supply. be ignorant of the language and What a contrast with wanderings the customs of the people he is in Kerry, or even in the Highlands among, gets some portions of it, and of Scotland! There is no going to is tolerant, or perhaps laudatory, an eminent waterfall—to a mounto the customs which have thrown tain-pass—to a distingushed scene

I remember when of any kind—without finding an railways were in their infancy in abundantly stocked tavern spread


it in his way.

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

realise of an i

[ocr errors]

ing its hospitable board for you. a sort of blasphemy to hint that 2. Nay, if you take to one of those any evil can come of eating, since = 2: mountains which have an establish- it is a solace largely indulged in by s denier ed repute in German scenery, you many of the professors of abstinw thma shall find a comfortable tavern on

I admit that turtle sausage the top. The castle of the Wart- and roast-pig will not rouse a man cotid i burg, celebrated as Luther's hiding to knock down a policeman or stab e bemere place, is not half-an-hour's walk his wife; but neither will muchListha from Eisenach, full of taverns, and abused tobacco, for that matter. , cildik the railway station with an abun- For influence, however, on the gen

dant restauration; yet at the great eral condition, I am prepared to por tu gate your eye is caught by an in- hold that there is more of health day code scription informing you where the and life destroyed by over-eating

nearest Gasthaus is, so important than by stimulants and narcotics.

is it to the German mind to pro- Even in our own country one meets Remdai vide that no son of Fatherland shall with too many members of the

run the risk of being half-an-hour comfortable classes whose consti-
without eating and drinking, and tutions are palpably damaged by

how little is it supposed that the good living, and the mark of the od pie scenery or the historical and eccle- internal enemy is visible in the

siastical associations of the place countenance of the whole German
can compensate for so long a sus- family. I remember once impart-
pension of the great functions of ing a terrible shock to the nerves

of a lady belonging to the exceed-
With us even the professed epi- ingly comfortable classes. She had
cure or high liver-a person by no been denouncing that filthy and
means treated with social defer- abominable practice of smoking,
ence-exercises a certain amount of and boasted that she had just got
restraint. He is generally a late the parent of a large family dis-
diner, reserving his powers for missed from his employment be-
the great occasion. He has tradi- cause she had caught him indulg-
tions of the fastings and trainings ing in a furtive pipe. I asked her
which people with his propensities if she had ever herself committed
will endure for the purpose of the act of eating turbot with lobster
bringing a sufficient appetite to bear

The imputation was not to upon a sumptuous meal. We are be denied, since the empty platter

much laughed at for the solemnity which had contained that attractive is to with which we invest great dinners. but pernicious mixture was just

If we want to celebrate a success giving place to another laden with
or a calamity; if we have to inau- well-seasoned haunch; nor, to do her
gurate the majority of an illustrious justice, did she seem desirous to
person, or proclaim the distress of evade any conclusions that might
the manufacturing districts, or the be drawn from such an act; when I
failure of the potato crop, the cere- amazed her by saying that, accord-
mony must assume the aspect of a ing to my experience, she might
great feast. But even in this there is indulge herself with a cigar or a
a testimony to abstinence or modera- pipe of latakia with much less pre-
tion, at all events as the rule of judice to the digestive functions.
life. The German cannot come out But while naturally enough in-
in the same manner. Every day disposed to quarrel with Herman
and all day long he eats as much about his good table, it surprises
rich food as he can, and therefore one that those who rave so against
to him a special feast is a special drinking in this country should
practical absurdity.

never have a word to throw at him,-
I am aware that in the midst of nay, should sometimes adduce him as
the wild outcry against stimulants an example to be followed. What
and narcotics, it will be considered is set up as the master-vice among


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]



ir eten his 2 or his

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

de ca

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ourselves is in him a sort of ami- kind prevailed, it is impossible to able weakness. He is like the hus- bring punishment up to so afflictive band who was pronounced "a good a height, consistent with the prekind of a drunken body, with no servation of the criminal's health, harm in him.' “He does not take as the stopping a Bavarian's beer; raw spirits like our wretched work- while, for the purposes of prison ing classes,” you say; but even that discipline, the power on some occais not strictly true. The Schnaps sions slightly to relax the prohibiis a considerable institution in Ger- tion was a bribe to good conduct, 7 MOD many, and if you are an early riser, so potent as to leave far behind you will often see a glass of brandt- anything we can accomplish through wine, or kirschen-wasser, or bitters inferior social institutions. taken, to fortify the stomach for How much beer the inhabitants of the heavy beer-drinking of the day. this or any other part of Germany But let us look at fermented liquors habitually consume, can only be alone. It will shock no German to matter of guess-work; but any one impute to him the consumption of a who knows the country will not decouple of bottles of wine in any given nounce from one to two gallons per

One day—not though you should makeit day as extravagant. Now, on the out to be three or four. Now the supposition of the 4 per cent, a sages in chemistry tell us that the gallon of beer is equivalent to half stilthi mildest wine made has 8 per cent a bottle of spirits. In the novel by Nereath of alcohol in it—that without that Freytag called 'Debit and Credit,' sead the it cannot be wine at all. Strong supposed to be so accurate a picture fa abstin ports and sherries have 24 or 25 of German manners, we are told that uz to the per cent. Take the average Ger- the average allowance of beer to a man vintage at half of this—12} packer—the allowance which it is per cent.

Well, in proof spirit, not creditable to him to exceed—is S and which is a good deal above the forty pints a-day-more than three average of the gin - palace, the gallons, and certainly endowed with there amount of alcohol is 50 per cent. more alcohol than a bottle and a It follows that in a couple of bottles half of ordinary spirituous liquor. of this very harmless stuff there is Oh, but for all that, the Ger- that

, in as much spirit as in half a bottle man does not get drunk in the eviteten of good gin or brandy. Then we degraded manner of our working are told that the strength of the classes, nor expose himself as some strongest malt liquors just comes up even of our better classes do after of The to 8 per cent—that of the weakest dinner.” Suppose that there is sutionwines. If we suppose that excel- more justice in this statement than lent liquor, Bavarian beer, to be there really is, I am prepared to try balf as strong as this, there is room conclusions between the absolute for it to communicate a good deal perniciousness of a vice which is of fire when consumed on the enor- limited in its extent and operation mous native scale. In any place of on the one hand, and a received naentertainment in Bavaria, if a Kel- tional practice which is prevalent ter 11 ner sees your beer-flagon empty, he and counted creditable on the other and immediately fills it for you without With us the taking stimulants of any request or hint. Bavarian nature kind has become exceptional. A lente abhors such a vacuum, and the large number of our gentry take no nerves of a kindly Kelner will not wine, and a still greater proportionale, ch permit him to behold such a type take nothing but the one glass of solar of misery as an empty beer-flagon. wine or the one tumbler of beer at I was told in this region that the dinner. The great bulk of our universal passion for beer was made working men can only afford thema highly available instrument in the selves a glass of gin or of porter on suppression of crime-seeing that rare occasions. Even if

ther ha

[ocr errors]


mest 4. The

taithel mifican

the im tavert


you in countries where nothing of the a jolly fellow or two who takes his concret

a but




[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

pint or even his bottle of port after did, night after night, the same i dinner, or his night-cap before set of cronies, to pursue with them sistemit going to bed, he has got through the same orgies. What they have bring the business of the day first—he got into the way of enjoying, or 131 kr has not been indulging from morn- rather requiring, is the shifting

pe: ing to night. Nor is he prepared, scene that passes before them in the eveex perhaps, absolutely to justify his comers and the goers—it makes up i mare practice — it is a weakness, and to them in some measure for ac

every man has some weakness. tive life and family ties. With a v let's Indeed the great feature distin- very few such exceptions, the tavern

guishing us in this matter from the now exists wholly for the purpose
Germans is, that the use of stimu- of the wayfarer, whether in business
lants in all forms is looked askance or pleasure.
at, and connected more or less with In almost every age, and among
disrepute. It is carried at once almost every people, the tavern, or
into the category of defects, if it do the institution substituted for it,
not go so far as to be an absolute has held an influence and character
vice. One man in a couple of hun- amply deserving commemoration.
dred or so, it is tr takes to stimu- It received, ho er, little beyond
lants all day, and is a lost being; what local antiquaries supplied about

but with this exception, fortunately the places of entertainment in - is el

rare, even the hardest livers among their own favourite districts, or the us spend the greater part of the day mere casual notices of authors with in an abstinence and restraint un- wider names, until two Frenchmen known to the German.

lately took up the institution as Persons have been known to itself worthy of a history, and come home from their tour in Ger- wrote it in a very commendable many, and tell teetotal meetings manner. From the names of the that they have seen considerable authors, we may infer that one of towns there which did not contain them supplied the archæological a single shop for the retailing of investigations, and the other did

spirits. But they have omitted to the brilliancy and French polish.* y spizie state that, in each of them, there Between them they have produced

are some ten or twenty huge taverns a very curious book. It runs nefull of guests from dawn to mid- cessarily through deep and odious night. The greatness and import- strata of vice; but that could not

ance of The Tavern as a national well be avoided, nor was it desirter climei institution--the persistency with able that it should be avoided, if we

which it has retained the predomi wished to know what the human nance it held in the middle ages—is race has been doing here and there a significant type of the German from time to time. Necessarily in social condition. With us the hotel such an inquiry there is brought out and the inn have ceased to be what a great deal of the wickedness, tragic the tavern was in the days of and comic, that is the staple mateWalter Mapes, in those of Shakes- rial of the low popular romance.

peare, and even in those of Hogarth. But the world ought to know all itableia * It is but scantily and occasionally about such matters when they are

frequented for purposes of pure dis- realities that have existed, howsipation. There are, indeed, a few ever valueless or worse may be their people, chiefly ancient bachelors of reflection in the pages of the sensapeculiar habits, to whom the stir tional novelist. And since it should and excitement of the tavern are a be uttered, it is better to have such necessity. They don't, however, matter committed to costly typomeet there as their grandfathers graphy and paper, and clothed in

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ser tra

[ocr errors]

prose this

I am prea

tween of a niya

Tlent am

1, and entert which 17

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

Histoire des Hotelleries, Cabarets, Courtillés, et des anciennes Communautés et Confrériés, &c.' Par Francisque Michel et Edouard Fournier. 2 vols. 8vo. 1859. such tooled Russia as will make you erns of the middle ages what we grudge lending it too amply, than find them. to behold it in the common and un- In them the vices seem to have clean condition of circulating library been amply ministered to—drinkliterature, or hawked in halfpennying, gambling, “the social evil,” numbers. Anatomyis a noble study, and all. It seems to have been a but it is fitly pursued within the practice to wander from place to solemn precincts of universities, place for the

purpose of variegating and under the direction of scho- a dissipated life by taking advanlastic dignitaries. We have not tage of the varieties in the method yet got dissecting-rooms for the of administering to luxury and vice million.

in different places. The social anIt is easy to point to the speci- cestor whence your bully and alties in the condition of the blackleg of the present day has middle ages that made the Euro- degenerated, since he is not up to pean tavern. There were the Cru- the same class of sanguinary tricks, sades, to begin with, the pouring in was much given to change of of students to the universities, the tavern; but not as an admirer of pilgrimages to shrines, and the scenery, an investigator of archæpassing to and fro of merchants. ology, or an inquirer into the social This last was something more ex- condition of different regions of the tensive than we can easily con- earth. This last, indeed, he knew ceive, especially along the Rhine with exceeding accuracy up to a and the Danube, before the dis- certain point, but he pursued his covery of the passage to Asia by investigations no further than what the Cape of Good Hope. It gave served his own immediate practical an amount of vitality to the visits purposes. of travellers utterly disproportion- In places established for promotate to what the same amount of ing the practice of the vices, the commerce would supply in the pre- crimes naturally follow. Robbery sent day to the chamber dedicated and murder were rife in the tav"to commercial gentlemen only,” erns of old. The traveller of good since the merchant generally ac- repute had before him the unpleascompanied his wares as they passed ant alternative, whether his throat from Germany to distant Cathay, ran more risk of being cut through or in the opposite direction. The connivance with the landlord, or hospitality of the religious houses the unsupported enterprise of some supplied to the well-behaved tra- of the unknown guests around him. vellers of the time much of what The laws were severe enough, but the present inn supplies; but a they seem to have been futile. The large proportion of the travellers of old Roman imperial edict, known the period were not of a kind to to all tyros in the Justinian law by subject themselves to the restraints the title nautæ caupones, seemed at of these establishments, and thus once made to conquer the difficulty. the taverns had room to flourish. It made the keeper of a place of One must suppose that when vir- entertainment not merely liable for tuous women travelled, they must his own fraud or carelessness,-it have always sought shelter in reli- counted him an insurer, bound to gious houses, since it is not easy to indemnify the guest for all losses see how they could be safely lodged within his house. The edict obin such nests of ruffianism as the tained a practical vitality in the hostels were, without a special middle ages which probably the guard placed over them. This is philosophical jurist who prepared a condition that would, of course, it did not contemplate; but nothing act and react, and the absence of availed to mitigate the viciousness all feminine respectability from and criminality of the tavern of them would help to make the tav- that time. In some of the German



« PreviousContinue »