Infomotions, Inc.Diary of a Pilgrimage / Jerome, Jerome K. (Jerome Klapka), 1859-1927

Author: Jerome, Jerome K. (Jerome Klapka), 1859-1927
Title: Diary of a Pilgrimage
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): munich; railway; germany
Contributor(s): Keller, Arthur Ignatius, 1866-1924 [Illustrator]
Versions: original; local mirror; HTML (this file); printable
Services: find in a library; evaluate using concordance
Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 43,201 words (really short) Grade range: 9-11 (high school) Readability score: 65 (easy)
Identifier: etext2024
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Diary of a Pilgrimage

by Jerome K. Jerome

January, 2000 [Etext #2024]

Project Gutenberg Etext Diary of a Pilgrimage, by Jerome K. Jerome
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Diary of a Pilgrimage


Said a friend of mine to me some months ago:  "Well now, why don't you
write a SENSIBLE book?  I should like to see you make people think."

"Do you believe it can be done, then?" I asked.

"Well, try," he replied.

Accordingly, I have tried.  This is a sensible book.  I want you to
understand that.  This is a book to improve your mind.  In this book
I tell you all about Germany--at all events, all I know about
Germany--and the Ober-Ammergau Passion Play.  I also tell you about
other things.  I do not tell you all I know about all these other
things, because I do not want to swamp you with knowledge.  I wish
to lead you gradually.  When you have learnt this book, you can come
again, and I will tell you some more.  I should only be defeating my
own object did I, by making you think too much at first, give you a
perhaps, lasting dislike to the exercise.  I have purposely put the
matter in a light and attractive form, so that I may secure the
attention of the young and the frivolous.  I do not want them to
notice, as they go on, that they are being instructed; and I have,
therefore, endeavoured to disguise from them, so far as is
practicable, that this is either an exceptionally clever or an
exceptionally useful work.  I want to do them good without their
knowing it.  I want to do you all good--to improve your minds and to
make you think, if I can.

WHAT you will think after you have read the book, I do not want to
know; indeed, I would rather not know.  It will be sufficient reward
for me to feel that I have done my duty, and to receive a percentage
on the gross sales.

LONDON, March, 1891.



My Friend B.--Invitation to the Theatre.--A Most Unpleasant
Regulation.--Yearnings of the Embryo Traveller.--How to Make the
Most of One's Own Country.--Friday, a Lucky Day.--The Pilgrimage
Decided On.

My friend B. called on me this morning and asked me if I would go to
a theatre with him on Monday next.

"Oh, yes! certainly, old man," I replied.  "Have you got an order,

He said:

"No; they don't give orders.  We shall have to pay."

"Pay!  Pay to go into a theatre!" I answered, in astonishment.  "Oh,
nonsense!  You are joking."

"My dear fellow," he rejoined, "do you think I should suggest paying
if it were possible to get in by any other means?  But the people
who run this theatre would not even understand what was meant by a
'free list,' the uncivilised barbarians!  It is of no use pretending
to them that you are on the Press, because they don't want the
Press; they don't think anything of the Press.  It is no good
writing to the acting manager, because there is no acting manager.
It would be a waste of time offering to exhibit bills, because they
don't have any bills--not of that sort.  If you want to go in to see
the show, you've got to pay.  If you don't pay, you stop outside;
that's their brutal rule."

"Dear me," I said, "what a very unpleasant arrangement!  And
whereabouts is this extraordinary theatre?  I don't think I can ever
have been inside it."

"I don't think you have," he replied; "it is at Ober-Ammergau--first
turning on the left after you leave Ober railway-station, fifty
miles from Munich."

"Um! rather out of the way for a theatre," I said.  "I should not
have thought an outlying house like that could have afforded to give
itself airs."

"The house holds seven thousand people," answered my friend B., "and
money is turned away at each performance.  The first production is
on Monday next.  Will you come?"

I pondered for a moment, looked at my diary, and saw that Aunt Emma
was coming to spend Saturday to Wednesday next with us, calculated
that if I went I should miss her, and might not see her again for
years, and decided that I would go.

To tell the truth, it was the journey more than the play that
tempted me.  To be a great traveller has always been one of my
cherished ambitions.  I yearn to be able to write in this sort of

"I have smoked my fragrant Havana in the sunny streets of old
Madrid, and I have puffed the rude and not sweet-smelling calumet of
peace in the draughty wigwam of the Wild West; I have sipped my
evening coffee in the silent tent, while the tethered camel browsed
without upon the desert grass, and I have quaffed the fiery brandy
of the North while the reindeer munched his fodder beside me in the
hut, and the pale light of the midnight sun threw the shadows of the
pines across the snow; I have felt the stab of lustrous eyes that,
ghostlike, looked at me from out veil-covered faces in Byzantium's
narrow ways, and I have laughed back (though it was wrong of me to
do so) at the saucy, wanton glances of the black-eyed girls of Jedo;
I have wandered where 'good'--but not too good--Haroun Alraschid
crept disguised at nightfall, with his faithful Mesrour by his side;
I have stood upon the bridge where Dante watched the sainted
Beatrice pass by; I have floated on the waters that once bore the
barge of Cleopatra; I have stood where Caesar fell; I have heard the
soft rustle of rich, rare robes in the drawing-rooms of Mayfair, and
I have heard the teeth-necklaces rattle around the ebony throats of
the belles of Tongataboo; I have panted beneath the sun's fierce
rays in India, and frozen under the icy blasts of Greenland; I have
mingled with the teeming hordes of old Cathay, and, deep in the
great pine forests of the Western World, I have lain, wrapped in my
blanket, a thousand miles beyond the shores of human life."

B., to whom I explained my leaning towards this style of diction,
said that exactly the same effect could be produced by writing about
places quite handy.  He said:-

"I could go on like that without having been outside England at all.
I should say:

"I have smoked my fourpenny shag in the sanded bars of Fleet Street,
and I have puffed my twopenny Manilla in the gilded balls of the
Criterion; I have quaffed my foaming beer of Burton where
Islington's famed Angel gathers the little thirsty ones beneath her
shadowing wings, and I have sipped my tenpenny ordinaire in many a
garlic-scented salon of Soho.  On the back of the strangely-moving
ass I have urged--or, to speak more correctly, the proprietor of the
ass, or his agent, from behind has urged--my wild career across the
sandy heaths of Hampstead, and my canoe has startled the screaming
wild-fowl from their lonely haunts amid the sub-tropical regions of
Battersea.  Adown the long, steep slope of One Tree Hill have I
rolled from top to foot, while laughing maidens of the East stood
round and clapped their hands and yelled; and, in the old-world
garden of that pleasant Court, where played the fair-haired children
of the ill-starred Stuarts, have I wandered long through many paths,
my arm entwined about the waist of one of Eve's sweet daughters,
while her mother raged around indignantly on the other side of the
hedge, and never seemed to get any nearer to us.  I have chased the
lodging-house Norfolk Howard to his watery death by the pale lamp's
light; I have, shivering, followed the leaping flea o'er many a mile
of pillow and sheet, by the great Atlantic's margin.  Round and
round, till the heart--and not only the heart--grows sick, and the
mad brain whirls and reels, have I ridden the small, but extremely
hard, horse, that may, for a penny, be mounted amid the plains of
Peckham Rye; and high above the heads of the giddy throngs of Barnet
(though it is doubtful if anyone among them was half so giddy as was
I) have I swung in highly-coloured car, worked by a man with a rope.
I have trod in stately measure the floor of Kensington's Town Hall
(the tickets were a guinea each, and included refreshments--when you
could get to them through the crowd), and on the green sward of the
forest that borders eastern Anglia by the oft-sung town of Epping I
have performed quaint ceremonies in a ring; I have mingled with the
teeming hordes of Drury Lane on Boxing Night, and, during the run of
a high-class piece, I have sat in lonely grandeur in the front row
of the gallery, and wished that I had spent my shilling instead in
the Oriental halls of the Alhambra."

"There you are," said B., "that is just as good as yours; and you
can write like that without going more than a few hours' journey
from London."

"We will discuss the matter no further," I replied.  "You cannot, I
see, enter into my feelings.  The wild heart of the traveller does
not throb within your breast; you cannot understand his longings.
No matter!  Suffice it that I will come this journey with you.  I
will buy a German conversation book, and a check-suit, and a blue
veil, and a white umbrella, and suchlike necessities of the English
tourist in Germany, this very afternoon.  When do you start?"

"Well," he said, "it is a good two days' journey.  I propose to
start on Friday."

"Is not Friday rather an unlucky day to start on?" I suggested.

"Oh, good gracious!" he retorted quite sharply, "what rubbish next?
As if the affairs of Europe were going to be arranged by Providence
according to whether you and I start for an excursion on a Thursday
or a Friday!"

He said he was surprised that a man who could be so sensible,
occasionally, as myself, could have patience to even think of such
old-womanish nonsense.  He said that years ago, when he was a silly
boy, he used to pay attention to this foolish superstition himself,
and would never upon any consideration start for a trip upon a

But, one year, he was compelled to do so.  It was a case of either
starting on a Friday or not going at all, and he determined to
chance it.

He went, prepared for and expecting a series of accidents and
misfortunes.  To return home alive was the only bit of pleasure he
hoped for from that trip.

As it turned out, however, he had never had a more enjoyable holiday
in his life before.  The whole event was a tremendous success.

And after that, he had made up his mind to ALWAYS start on a Friday;
and he always did, and always had a good time.

He said that he would never, upon any consideration, start for a
trip upon any other day but a Friday now.  It was so absurd, this
superstition about Friday.

So we agreed to start on the Friday, and I am to meet him at
Victoria Station at a quarter to eight in the evening.


The Question of Luggage.--First Friend's Suggestion.--Second
Friend's Suggestion.--Third Friend's Suggestion.--Mrs. Briggs'
Advice.--Our Vicar's Advice.--His Wife's Advice.--Medical Advice.--
Literary Advice.--George's Recommendation.--My Sister-in-Law's
Help.--Young Smith's Counsel.--My Own Ideas.--B.'s Idea.

I have been a good deal worried to-day about the question of what
luggage to take with me.  I met a man this morning, and he said:

"Oh, if you are going to Ober-Ammergau, mind you take plenty of warm
clothing with you.  You'll need all your winter things up there."

He said that a friend of his had gone up there some years ago, and
had not taken enough warm things with him, and had caught a chill
there, and had come home and died.  He said:

"You be guided by me, and take plenty of warm things with you."

I met another man later on, and he said:

"I hear you are going abroad.  Now, tell me, what part of Europe are
you going to?"

I replied that I thought it was somewhere about the middle.  He

"Well, now, you take my advice, and get a calico suit and a
sunshade.  Never mind the look of the thing.  You be comfortable.
You've no idea of the heat on the Continent at this time of the
year.  English people will persist in travelling about the Continent
in the same stuffy clothes that they wear at home.  That's how so
many of them get sunstrokes, and are ruined for life."

I went into the club, and there I met a friend of mine--a newspaper
correspondent--who has travelled a good deal, and knows Europe
pretty well.  I told him what my two other friends had said, and
asked him which I was to believe.  He said:

"Well, as a matter of fact, they are both right.  You see, up in
those hilly districts, the weather changes very quickly.  In the
morning it may be blazing hot, and you will be melting, and in the
evening you may be very glad of a flannel shirt and a fur coat."

"Why, that is exactly the sort of weather we have in England!" I
exclaimed.  "If that's all these foreigners can manage in their own
country, what right have they to come over here, as they do, and
grumble about our weather?"

"Well, as a matter of fact," he replied, "they haven't any right;
but you can't stop them--they will do it.  No, you take my advice,
and be prepared for everything.  Take a cool suit and some thin
things, for if it's hot, and plenty of warm things in case it is

When I got home I found Mrs. Briggs there, she having looked in to
see how the baby was.  She said:-

"Oh! if you're going anywhere near Germany, you take a bit of soap
with you."

She said that Mr. Briggs had been called over to Germany once in a
hurry, on business, and had forgotten to take a piece of soap with
him, and didn't know enough German to ask for any when he got over
there, and didn't see any to ask for even if he had known, and was
away for three weeks, and wasn't able to wash himself all the time,
and came home so dirty that they didn't know him, and mistook him
for the man that was to come to see what was the matter with the
kitchen boiler.

Mrs. Briggs also advised me to take some towels with me, as they
give you such small towels to wipe on.

I went out after lunch, and met our Vicar.  He said:

"Take a blanket with you."

He said that not only did the German hotel-keepers never give you
sufficient bedclothes to keep you warm of a night, but they never
properly aired their sheets.  He said that a young friend of his had
gone for a tour through Germany once, and had slept in a damp bed,
and had caught rheumatic fever, and had come home and died.

His wife joined us at this point.  (He was waiting for her outside a
draper's shop when I met him.)  He explained to her that I was going
to Germany, and she said:

"Oh! take a pillow with you.  They don't give you any pillows--not
like our pillows--and it's SO wretched, you'll never get a decent
night's rest if you don't take a pillow."  She said:  "You can have
a little bag made for it, and it doesn't look anything."

I met our doctor a few yards further on.  He said:

"Don't forget to take a bottle of brandy with you.  It doesn't take
up much room, and, if you're not used to German cooking, you'll find
it handy in the night."

He added that the brandy you get at foreign hotels was mere poison,
and that it was really unsafe to travel abroad without a bottle of
brandy.  He said that a simple thing like a bottle of brandy in your
bag might often save your life.

Coming home, I ran against a literary friend of mine.  He said:

"You'll have a goodish time in the train old fellow.  Are you used
to long railway journeys?"

I said:

"Well, I've travelled down from London into the very heart of Surrey
by a South Eastern express."

"Oh! that's a mere nothing, compared with what you've got before you
now," he answered.  "Look here, I'll tell you a very good idea of
how to pass the time.  You take a chessboard with you and a set of
men.  You'll thank me for telling you that!"

George dropped in during the evening.  He said:

"I'll tell you one thing you'll have to take with you, old man, and
that's a box of cigars and some tobacco."

He said that the German cigar--the better class of German cigar--was
of the brand that is technically known over here as the "Penny
Pickwick--Spring Crop;" and he thought that I should not have time,
during the short stay I contemplated making in the country, to
acquire a taste for its flavour.

My sister-in-law came in later on in the evening (she is a
thoughtful girl), and brought a box with her about the size of a
tea-chest.  She said:

"Now, you slip that in your bag; you'll be glad of that.  There's
everything there for making yourself a cup of tea."

She said that they did not understand tea in Germany, but that with
that I should be independent of them.

She opened the case, and explained its contents to me.  It certainly
was a wonderfully complete arrangement.  It contained a little caddy
full of tea, a little bottle of milk, a box of sugar, a bottle of
methylated spirit, a box of butter, and a tin of biscuits:  also, a
stove, a kettle, a teapot, two cups, two saucers, two plates, two
knives, and two spoons.  If there had only been a bed in it, one
need not have bothered about hotels at all.

Young Smith, the Secretary of our Photographic Club, called at nine
to ask me to take him a negative of the statue of the dying
Gladiator in the Munich Sculpture Gallery.  I told him that I should
be delighted to oblige him, but that I did not intend to take my
camera with me.

"Not take your camera!" he said.  "You are going to Germany--to
Rhineland!  You are going to pass through some of the most
picturesque scenery, and stay at some of the most ancient and famous
towns of Europe, and are going to leave your photographic apparatus
behind you, and you call yourself an artist!"

He said I should never regret a thing more in my life than going
without that camera.

I think it is always right to take other people's advice in matters
where they know more than you do.  It is the experience of those who
have gone before that makes the way smooth for those who follow.
So, after supper, I got together the things I had been advised to
take with me, and arranged them on the bed, adding a few articles I
had thought of all by myself.

I put up plenty of writing paper and a bottle of ink, along with a
dictionary and a few other books of reference, in case I should feel
inclined to do any work while I was away.  I always like to be
prepared for work; one never knows when one may feel inclined for
it.  Sometimes, when I have been away, and have forgotten to bring
any paper and pens and ink with me, I have felt so inclined for
writing; and it has quite upset me that, in consequence of not
having brought any paper and pens and ink with me, I have been
unable to sit down and do a lot of work, but have been compelled,
instead, to lounge about all day with my hands in my pockets.

Accordingly, I always take plenty of paper and pens and ink with me
now, wherever I go, so that when the desire for work comes to me I
need not check it.

That this craving for work should have troubled me so often, when I
had no paper, pens, and ink by me, and that it never, by any chance,
visits me now, when I am careful to be in a position to gratify it,
is a matter over which I have often puzzled.

But when it does come I shall be ready for it.

I also put on the bed a few volumes of Goethe, because I thought it
would be so pleasant to read him in his own country.  And I decided
to take a sponge, together with a small portable bath, because a
cold bath is so refreshing the first thing in the morning.

B. came in just as I had got everything into a pile.  He stared at
the bed, and asked me what I was doing.  I told him I was packing.

"Great Heavens!" he exclaimed.  "I thought you were moving!  What do
you think we are going to do--camp out?"

"No!" I replied.  "But these are the things I have been advised to
take with me.  What is the use of people giving you advice if you
don't take it?"

He said:

"Oh! take as much advice as you like; that always comes in useful to
give away.  But, for goodness sake, don't get carrying all that
stuff about with you.  People will take us for Gipsies."

I said:

"Now, it's no use your talking nonsense.  Half the things on this
bed are life-preserving things.  If people go into Germany without
these things, they come home and die."

And I related to him what the doctor and the vicar and the other
people had told me, and explained to him how my life depended upon
my taking brandy and blankets and sunshades and plenty of warm
clothing with me.

He is a man utterly indifferent to danger and risk--incurred by
other people--is B.  He said:

"Oh, rubbish!  You're not the sort that catches a cold and dies
young.  You leave that co-operative stores of yours at home, and
pack up a tooth-brush, a comb, a pair of socks, and a shirt.  That's
all you'll want."

I have packed more than that, but not much.  At all events, I have
got everything into one small bag.  I should like to have taken that
tea arrangement--it would have done so nicely to play at shop with
in the train!--but B. would not hear of it.

I hope the weather does not change.


Early Rising.--Ballast should be Stowed Away in the Hold before
Putting to Sea.--Annoying Interference of Providence in Matters that
it Does Not Understand.--A Socialistic Society.--B. Misjudges Me.--
An Uninteresting Anecdote.--We Lay in Ballast.--A Moderate Sailor.--
A Playful Boat.

I got up very early this morning.  I do not know why I got up early.
We do not start till eight o'clock this evening.  But I don't regret
it--the getting up early I mean.  It is a change.  I got everybody
else up too, and we all had breakfast at seven.

I made a very good lunch.  One of those seafaring men said to me

"Now, if ever you are going a short passage, and are at all nervous,
you lay in a good load.  It's a good load in the hold what steadies
the ship.  It's them half-empty cruisers as goes a-rollin' and a-
pitchin' and a-heavin' all over the place, with their stern up'ards
half the time.  You lay in ballast."

It seemed very reasonable advice.

Aunt Emma came in the afternoon.  She said she was so glad she had
caught me.  Something told her to change her mind and come on Friday
instead of Saturday.  It was Providence, she said.

I wish Providence would mind its own business, and not interfere in
my affairs:  it does not understand them.

She says she shall stop till I come back, as she wants to see me
again before she goes.  I told her I might not be back for a month.
She said it didn't matter; she had plenty of time, and would wait
for me.

The family entreat me to hurry home.

I ate a very fair dinner--"laid in a good stock of ballast," as my
seafaring friend would have said; wished "Good-bye!" to everybody,
and kissed Aunt Emma; promised to take care of myself--a promise
which, please Heaven, I will faithfully keep, cost me what it may--
hailed a cab and started.

I reached Victoria some time before B.  I secured two corner seats
in a smoking-carriage, and then paced up and down the platform
waiting for him.

When men have nothing else to occupy their minds, they take to
thinking.  Having nothing better to do until B. arrived, I fell to

What a wonderful piece of Socialism modern civilisation has become!-
-not the Socialism of the so-called Socialists--a system modelled
apparently upon the methods of the convict prison--a system under
which each miserable sinner is to be compelled to labour, like a
beast of burden, for no personal benefit to himself, but only for
the good of the community--a world where there are to be no men, but
only numbers--where there is to be no ambition and no hope and no
fear,--but the Socialism of free men, working side by side in the
common workshop, each one for the wage to which his skill and energy
entitle him; the Socialism of responsible, thinking individuals, not
of State-directed automata.

Here was I, in exchange for the result of some of my labour, going
to be taken by Society for a treat, to the middle of Europe and
back.  Railway lines had been laid over the whole 700 or 800 miles
to facilitate my progress; bridges had been built, and tunnels made;
an army of engineers, and guards, and signal-men, and porters, and
clerks were waiting to take charge of me, and to see to my comfort
and safety.  All I had to do was to tell Society (here represented
by a railway booking-clerk) where I wanted to go, and to step into a
carriage; all the rest would be done for me.  Books and papers had
been written and printed; so that if I wished to beguile the journey
by reading, I could do so.  At various places on the route,
thoughtful Society had taken care to be ready for me with all kinds
of refreshment (her sandwiches might be a little fresher, but maybe
she thinks new bread injurious for me).  When I am tired of
travelling and want to rest, I find Society waiting for me with
dinner and a comfortable bed, with hot and cold water to wash in and
towels to wipe upon.  Wherever I go, whatever I need, Society, like
the enslaved genii of some Eastern tale, is ready and anxious to
help me, to serve me, to do my bidding, to give me enjoyment and
pleasure.  Society will take me to Ober-Ammergau, will provide for
all my wants on the way, and, when I am there, will show me the
Passion Play, which she has arranged and rehearsed and will play for
my instruction; will bring me back any way I like to come,
explaining, by means of her guide-books and histories, everything
upon the way that she thinks can interest me; will, while I am
absent, carry my messages to those I have left behind me in England,
and will bring me theirs in return; will look after me and take care
of me and protect me like a mother--as no mother ever could.

All that she asks in return is, that I shall do the work she has
given me to do.  As a man works, so Society deals by him.

To me Society says:  "You sit at your desk and write, that is all I
want you to do.  You are not good for much, but you can spin out
yards of what you and your friends, I suppose, call literature; and
some people seem to enjoy reading it.  Very well:  you sit there and
write this literature, or whatever it is, and keep your mind fixed
on that.  I will see to everything else for you.  I will provide you
with writing materials, and books of wit and humour, and paste and
scissors, and everything else that may be necessary to you in your
trade; and I will feed you and clothe you and lodge you, and I will
take you about to places that you wish to go to; and I will see that
you have plenty of tobacco and all other things practicable that you
may desire--provided that you work well.  The more work you do, and
the better work you do, the better I shall look after you.  You
write--that is all I want you to do."

"But," I say to Society, "I don't like work; I don't want to work.
Why should I be a slave and work?"

"All right," answers Society, "don't work.  I'm not forcing you.
All I say is, that if you don't work for me, I shall not work for
you.  No work from you, no dinner from me--no holidays, no tobacco."

And I decide to be a slave, and work.

Society has no notion of paying all men equally.  Her great object
is to encourage brain.  The man who merely works by his muscles she
regards as very little superior to the horse or the ox, and provides
for him just a little better.  But the moment he begins to use his
head, and from the labourer rises to the artisan, she begins to
raise his wages.

Of course hers is a very imperfect method of encouraging thought.
She is of the world, and takes a worldly standard of cleverness.  To
the shallow, showy writer, I fear, she generally pays far more than
to the deep and brilliant thinker; and clever roguery seems often
more to her liking than honest worth.  But her scheme is a right and
sound one; her aims and intentions are clear; her methods, on the
whole, work fairly well; and every year she grows in judgment.

One day she will arrive at perfect wisdom, and will pay each man
according to his deserts.

But do not be alarmed.  This will not happen in our time.

Turning round, while still musing about Society, I ran against B.
(literally).  He thought I was a clumsy ass at first, and said so;
but, on recognising me, apologised for his mistake.  He had been
there for some time also, waiting for me.  I told him that I had
secured two corner seats in a smoking-carriage, and he replied that
he had done so too.  By a curious coincidence, we had both fixed
upon the same carriage.  I had taken the corner seats near the
platform, and he had booked the two opposite corners.  Four other
passengers sat huddled up in the middle.  We kept the seats near the
door, and gave the other two away.  One should always practise

There was a very talkative man in our carriage.  I never came across
a man with such a fund of utterly uninteresting anecdotes.  He had a
friend with him--at all events, the man was his friend when they
started--and he talked to this friend incessantly, from the moment
the train left Victoria until it arrived at Dover.  First of all he
told him a long story about a dog.  There was no point in the story
whatever.  It was simply a bald narrative of the dog's daily doings.
The dog got up in the morning and barked at the door, and when they
came down and opened the door there he was, and he stopped all day
in the garden; and when his wife (not the dog's wife, the wife of
the man who was telling the story) went out in the afternoon, he was
asleep on the grass, and they brought him into the house, and he
played with the children, and in the evening he slept in the coal-
shed, and next morning there he was again.  And so on, for about
forty minutes.

A very dear chum or near relative of the dog's might doubtless have
found the account enthralling; but what possible interest a
stranger--a man who evidently didn't even know the dog--could be
expected to take in the report, it was difficult to conceive.

The friend at first tried to feel excited, and murmured:
"Wonderful!"  "Very strange, indeed!"  "How curious!" and helped the
tale along by such ejaculations as, "No, did he though?"  "And what
did you do then?" or, "Was that on the Monday or the Tuesday, then?"
But as the story progressed, he appeared to take a positive dislike
to the dog, and only yawned each time that it was mentioned.

Indeed, towards the end, I think, though I trust I am mistaken, I
heard him mutter, "Oh, damn the dog!"

After the dog story, we thought we were going to have a little
quiet.  But we were mistaken; for, with the same breath with which
he finished the dog rigmarole, our talkative companion added:

"But I can tell you a funnier thing than that--"

We all felt we could believe that assertion.  If he had boasted that
he could tell a duller, more uninteresting story, we should have
doubted him; but the possibility of his being able to relate
something funnier, we could readily grasp.

But it was not a bit funnier, after all.  It was only longer and
more involved.  It was the history of a man who grew his own celery;
and then, later on, it turned out that his wife was the niece, by
the mother's side, of a man who had made an ottoman out of an old

The friend glanced round the carriage apologetically about the
middle of this story, with an expression that said:

"I'm awfully sorry, gentlemen; but it really is not my fault.  You
see the position I'm in.  Don't blame me.  Don't make it worse for
me to bear than it is."

And we each replied with pitying, sympathetic looks that implied:

"That's all right, my dear sir; don't you fret about that.  We see
how it is.  We only wish we could do something to help you."

The poor fellow seemed happier and more resigned after that.

B. and I hurried on board at Dover, and were just in time to secure
the last two berths in the boat; and we were glad that we had
managed to do this because our idea was that we should, after a good
supper, turn in and go comfortably to sleep.

B. said:

"What I like to do, during a sea passage, is to go to sleep, and
then wake up and find that I am there."

We made a very creditable supper.  I explained to B. the ballast
principle held by my seafaring friend, and he agreed with me that
the idea seemed reasonable; and, as there was a fixed price for
supper, and you had as much as you liked, we determined to give the
plan a fair trial.

B. left me after supper somewhat abruptly, as it appeared to me, and
I took a stroll on deck by myself.  I did not feel very comfortable.
I am what I call a moderate sailor.  I do not go to excess in either
direction.  On ordinary occasions, I can swagger about and smoke my
pipe, and lie about my Channel experiences with the best of them.
But when there is what the captain calls "a bit of a sea on," I feel
sad, and try to get away from the smell of the engines and the
proximity of people who smoke green cigars.

There was a man smoking a peculiarly mellow and unctuous cigar on
deck when I got there.  I don't believe he smoked it because he
enjoyed it.  He did not look as if he enjoyed it.  I believe he
smoked it merely to show how well he was feeling, and to irritate
people who were not feeling very well.

There is something very blatantly offensive about the man who feels
well on board a boat.

I am very objectionable myself, I know, when I am feeling all right.
It is not enough for me that I am not ill.  I want everybody to see
that I am not ill.  It seems to me that I am wasting myself if I
don't let every human being in the vessel know that I am not ill.  I
cannot sit still and be thankful, like you'd imagine a sensible man
would.  I walk about the ship--smoking, of course--and look at
people who are not well with mild but pitying surprise, as if I
wondered what it was like and how they did it.  It is very foolish
of me, I know, but I cannot help it.  I suppose it is the human
nature that exists in even the best of us that makes us act like

I could not get away from this man's cigar; or when I did, I came
within range of the perfume from the engine-room, and felt I wanted
to go back to the cigar.  There seemed to be no neutral ground
between the two.

If it had not been that I had paid for saloon, I should have gone
fore.  It was much fresher there, and I should have been much
happier there altogether.  But I was not going to pay for first-
class and then ride third--that was not business.  No, I would stick
to the swagger part of the ship, and feel aristocratic and sick.

A mate, or a boatswain, or an admiral, or one of those sort of
people--I could not be sure, in the darkness, which it was--came up
to me as I was leaning with my head against the paddle-box, and
asked me what I thought of the ship.  He said she was a new boat,
and that this was her first voyage.

I said I hoped she would get a bit steadier as she grew older.

He replied:  "Yes, she is a bit skittish to-night."

What it seemed to me was, that the ship would try to lie down and go
to sleep on her right side; and then, before she had given that
position a fair trial, would suddenly change her mind, and think she
could do it better on her left.  At the moment the man came up to me
she was trying to stand on her head; and before he had finished
speaking she had given up this attempt, in which, however, she had
very nearly succeeded, and had, apparently, decided to now play at
getting out of the water altogether.

And this is what he called being a "bit skittish!"

Seafaring people talk like this, because they are silly, and do not
know any better.  It is no use being angry with them.

I got a little sleep at last.  Not in the bunk I had been at such
pains to secure:  I would not have stopped down in that stuffy
saloon, if anybody had offered me a hundred pounds for doing so.
Not that anybody did; nor that anybody seemed to want me there at
all.  I gathered this from the fact that the first thing that met my
eye, after I had succeeded in clawing my way down, was a boot.  The
air was full of boots.  There were sixty men sleeping there--or, as
regards the majority, I should say TRYING to sleep there--some in
bunks, some on tables, and some under tables.  One man WAS asleep,
and was snoring like a hippopotamus--like a hippopotamus that had
caught a cold, and was hoarse; and the other fifty-nine were sitting
up, throwing their boots at him.  It was a snore, very difficult to
locate.  From which particular berth, in that dimly-lighted, evil-
smelling place, it proceeded nobody was quite sure.  At one moment,
it appeared to come, wailing and sobbing, from the larboard, and the
next instant it thundered forth, seemingly from the starboard.  So
every man who could reach a boot picked it up, and threw it
promiscuously, silently praying to Providence, as he did so, to
guide it aright and bring it safe to its desired haven.

I watched the weird scene for a minute or two, and then I hauled
myself on deck again, and sat down--and went to sleep on a coil of
rope; and was awakened, in the course of time, by a sailor who
wanted that coil of rope to throw at the head of a man who was
standing, doing no harm to anybody, on the quay at Ostend.


Arrival at Ostend.--Coffee and Rolls.--Difficulty of Making French
Waiters understand German.--Advantages of Possessing a Conscience
That Does Not Get Up Too Early.--Villainy Triumphant.--Virtue
Ordered Outside.--A Homely English Row.

When I say I was "awakened" at Ostend, I do not speak the strict
truth.  I was not awakened--not properly.  I was only half-awakened.
I never did get fairly awake until the afternoon.  During the
journey from Ostend to Cologne I was three-parts asleep and one-part
partially awake.

At Ostend, however, I was sufficiently aroused to grasp the idea
that we had got somewhere, and that I must find my luggage and B.,
and do something or other; in addition to which, a strange, vague
instinct, but one which I have never yet known deceive me, hovering
about my mind, and telling me that I was in the neighbourhood of
something to eat and drink, spurred me to vigour and action.

I hurried down into the saloon and there found B.  He excused
himself for having left me alone all night--he need not have
troubled himself.  I had not pined for him in the least.  If the
only woman I had ever loved had been on board, I should have sat
silent, and let any other fellow talk to her that wanted to, and
that felt equal to it--by explaining that he had met a friend and
that they had been talking.  It appeared to have been a trying

I also ran against the talkative man and his companion.  Such a
complete wreck of a once strong man as the latter looked I have
never before seen.  Mere sea-sickness, however severe, could never
have accounted for the change in his appearance since, happy and
hopeful, he entered the railway-carriage at Victoria six short hours
ago.  His friend, on the other hand, appeared fresh and cheerful,
and was relating an anecdote about a cow.

We took our bags into the Custom House and opened them, and I sat
down on mine, and immediately went to sleep.

When I awoke, somebody whom I mistook at first for a Field-Marshal,
and from force of habit--I was once a volunteer--saluted, was
standing over me, pointing melodramatically at my bag.  I assured
him in picturesque German that I had nothing to declare.  He did not
appear to comprehend me, which struck me as curious, and took the
bag away from me, which left me nothing to sit upon but the floor.
But I felt too sleepy to be indignant.

After our luggage had been examined, we went into the buffet.  My
instinct had not misled me:  there I found hot coffee, and rolls and
butter.  I ordered two coffees with milk, some bread, and some
butter.  I ordered them in the best German I knew.  As nobody
understood me, I went and got the things for myself.  It saves a
deal of argument, that method.  People seem to know what you mean in
a moment then.

B. suggested that while we were in Belgium, where everybody spoke
French, while very few indeed knew German, I should stand a better
chance of being understood if I talked less German and more French.

He said:

"It will be easier for you, and less of a strain upon the natives.
You stick to French," he continued, "as long as ever you can.  You
will get along much better with French.  You will come across people
now and then--smart, intelligent people--who will partially
understand your French, but no human being, except a thought-reader,
will ever obtain any glimmering of what you mean from your German."

"Oh, are we in Belgium," I replied sleepily; "I thought we were in
Germany.  I didn't know."  And then, in a burst of confidence, I
added, feeling that further deceit was useless, "I don't know where
I am, you know."

"No, I thought you didn't," he replied.  "That is exactly the idea
you give anybody.  I wish you'd wake up a bit."

We waited about an hour at Ostend, while our train was made up.
There was only one carriage labelled for Cologne, and four more
passengers wanted to go there than the compartment would hold.

Not being aware of this, B. and I made no haste to secure places,
and, in consequence, when, having finished our coffee, we leisurely
strolled up and opened the carriage door we saw that every seat was
already booked.  A bag was in one space and a rug in another, an
umbrella booked a third, and so on.  Nobody was there, but the seats
were gone!

It is the unwritten law among travellers that a man's luggage
deposited upon a seat, shall secure that seat to him until he comes
to sit upon it himself.  This is a good law and a just law, and one
that, in my normal state, I myself would die to uphold and maintain.

But at three o'clock on a chilly morning one's moral sensibilities
are not properly developed.  The average man's conscience does not
begin work till eight or nine o'clock--not till after breakfast, in
fact.  At three a.m. he will do things that at three in the
afternoon his soul would revolt at.

Under ordinary circumstances I should as soon have thought of
shifting a man's bag and appropriating his seat as an ancient Hebrew
squatter would have thought of removing his neighbour's landmark;
but at this time in the morning my better nature was asleep.

I have often read of a man's better nature being suddenly awakened.
The business is generally accomplished by an organ-grinder or a
little child (I would back the latter, at all events--give it a fair
chance--to awaken anything in this world that was not stone deaf, or
that had not been dead for more than twenty-four hours); and if an
organ-grinder or a little child had been around Ostend station that
morning, things might have been different.

B. and I might have been saved from crime.  Just as we were in the
middle of our villainy, the organ-grinder or the child would have
struck up, and we should have burst into tears, and have rushed from
the carriage, and have fallen upon each other's necks outside on the
platform, and have wept, and waited for the next train.

As it was, after looking carefully round to see that nobody was
watching us, we slipped quickly into the carriage, and, making room
for ourselves among the luggage there, sat down and tried to look
innocent and easy.

B. said that the best thing we could do, when the other people came,
would be to pretend to be dead asleep, and too stupid to understand

I replied that as far as I was concerned, I thought I could convey
the desired impression without stooping to deceit at all, and
prepared to make myself comfortable.

A few seconds later another man got into the carriage.  He also made
room for himself among the luggage and sat down.

"I am afraid that seat's taken, sir," said B. when he had recovered
his surprise at the man's coolness.  "In fact, all the seats in this
carriage are taken."

"I can't help that," replied the ruffian, cynically.  "I've got to
get to Cologne some time to-day, and there seems no other way of
doing it that I can see."

"Yes, but so has the gentleman whose seat you have taken got to get
there," I remonstrated; "what about him?  You are thinking only of

My sense of right and justice was beginning to assert itself, and I
felt quite indignant with the fellow.  Two minutes ago, as I have
explained, I could contemplate the taking of another man's seat with
equanimity.  Now, such an act seemed to me shameful.  The truth is
that my better nature never sleeps for long.  Leave it alone and it
wakens of its own accord.  Heaven help me! I am a sinful, worldly
man, I know; but there is good at the bottom of me.  It wants
hauling up, but it's there.

This man had aroused it.  I now saw the sinfulness of taking another
passenger's place in a railway-carriage.

But I could not make the other man see it.  I felt that some service
was due from me to Justice, in compensation of the wrong I had done
her a few moments ago, and I argued most eloquently.

My rhetoric was, however, quite thrown away.  "Oh! it's only a vice-
consul," he said; "here's his name on the bag.  There's plenty of
room for him in with the guard."

It was no use my defending the sacred cause of Right before a man
who held sentiments like that; so, having lodged a protest against
his behaviour, and thus eased my conscience, I leant back and dozed
the doze of the just.

Five minutes before the train started, the rightful owners of the
carriage came up and crowded in.  They seemed surprised at finding
only five vacant seats available between seven of them, and
commenced to quarrel vigorously among themselves.

B. and I and the unjust man in the corner tried to calm them, but
passion ran too high at first for the voice of Reason to be heard.
Each combination of five, possible among them, accused each
remaining two of endeavouring to obtain seats by fraud, and each one
more than hinted that the other six were liars.

What annoyed me was that they quarrelled in English.  They all had
languages of their own,--there were four Belgians, two Frenchmen,
and a German,--but no language was good enough for them to insult
each other in but English.

Finding that there seemed to be no chance of their ever agreeing
among themselves, they appealed to us.  We unhesitatingly decided in
favour of the five thinnest, who, thereupon, evidently regarding the
matter as finally settled, sat down, and told the other two to get

These two stout ones, however--the German and one of the Belgians--
seemed inclined to dispute the award, and called up the station-

The station-master did not wait to listen to what they had to say,
but at once began abusing them for being in the carriage at all.  He
told them they ought to be ashamed of themselves for forcing their
way into a compartment that was already more than full, and
inconveniencing the people already there.

He also used English to explain this to them, and they got out on
the platform and answered him back in English.

English seems to be the popular language for quarrelling in, among
foreigners.  I suppose they find it more expressive.

We all watched the group from the window.  We were amused and
interested.  In the middle of the argument an early gendarme arrived
on the scene.  The gendarme naturally supported the station-master.
One man in uniform always supports another man in uniform, no matter
what the row is about, or who may be in the right--that does not
trouble him.  It is a fixed tenet of belief among uniform circles
that a uniform can do no wrong.  If burglars wore uniform, the
police would be instructed to render them every assistance in their
power, and to take into custody any householder attempting to
interfere with them in the execution of their business.  The
gendarme assisted the station-master to abuse the two stout
passengers, and he also abused them in English.  It was not good
English in any sense of the word.  The man would probably have been
able to give his feelings much greater variety and play in French or
Flemish, but that was not his object.  His ambition, like every
other foreigner's, was to become an accomplished English quarreller,
and this was practice for him.

A Customs House clerk came out and joined in the babel.  He took the
part of the passengers, and abused the station-master and the
gendarme, and HE abused THEM in English.

B. said he thought it very pleasant here, far from our native
shores, in the land of the stranger, to come across a little homely
English row like this.


A Man of Family.--An Eccentric Train.--Outrage on an Englishman.--
Alone in Europe.--Difficulty of Making German Waiters Understand
Scandinavian.--Danger of Knowing Too Many Languages.--A Wearisome
Journey.--Cologne, Ahoy!

There was a very well-informed Belgian in the carriage, and he told
us something interesting about nearly every town through which we
passed.  I felt that if I could have kept awake, and have listened
to that man, and remembered what he said, and not mixed things up, I
should have learnt a good deal about the country between Ostend and

He had relations in nearly every town, had this man.  I suppose
there have been, and are, families as large and as extensive as his;
but I never heard of any other family that made such a show.  They
seemed to have been planted out with great judgment, and were now
all over the country.  Every time I awoke, I caught some such
scattered remark as:

"Bruges--you can see the belfry from this side--plays a polka by
Haydn every hour.  My aunt lives here."  "Ghent--Hotel de Ville,
some say finest specimen of Gothic architecture in Europe--where my
mother lives.  You could see the house if that church wasn't there."
"Just passed Alost--great hop centre.  My grandfather used to live
there; he's dead now."  "There's the Royal chateau--here, just on
this side.  My sister is married to a man who lives there--not in
the palace, I don't mean, but in Laeken."  "That's the dome of the
Palais de Justice--they call Brussels 'Paris in little'--I like it
better than Paris, myself--not so crowded.  I live in Brussels."
"Louvain--there's Van de Weyer's statue, the 1830 revolutionist.  My
wife's mother lives in Louvain.  She wants us to come and live
there.  She says we are too far away from her at Brussels, but I
don't think so."  "Leige--see the citadel?  Got some cousins at
Leige--only second ones.  Most of my first ones live at Maestricht";
and so on all the way to Cologne.

I do not believe we passed a single town or village that did not
possess one or more specimens of this man's relatives.  Our journey
seemed, not so much like a tour through Belgium and part of Northern
Germany, as a visit to the neighbourhood where this man's family

I was careful to take a seat facing the engine at Ostend.  I prefer
to travel that way.  But when I awoke a little later on, I found
myself going backwards.

I naturally felt indignant.  I said:

"Who's put me over here?  I was over there, you know.  You've no
right to do that!"

They assured me, however, that nobody had shifted me, but that the
train had turned round at Ghent.

I was annoyed at this.  It seemed to me a mean trick for a train to
start off in one direction, and thus lure you into taking your seat
(or somebody else's seat, as the case might be) under the impression
that you were going to travel that way, and then, afterwards, turn
round and go the other way.  I felt very doubtful, in my own mind,
as to whether the train knew where it was going at all.

At Brussels we got out and had some more coffee and rolls.  I forget
what language I talked at Brussels, but nobody understood me.  When
I next awoke, after leaving Brussels, I found myself going forwards
again.  The engine had apparently changed its mind for the second
time, and was pulling the carriages the other way now.  I began to
get thoroughly alarmed.  This train was simply doing what it liked.
There was no reliance to be placed upon it whatever.  The next thing
it would do would be to go sideways.  It seemed to me that I ought
to get up and see into this matter; but, while pondering the
business, I fell asleep again.

I was very sleepy indeed when they routed us out at Herbesthal, to
examine our luggage for Germany.  I had a vague idea that we were
travelling in Turkey, and had been stopped by brigands.  When they
told me to open my bag, I said, "Never!" and remarked that I was an
Englishman, and that they had better be careful.  I also told them
that they could dismiss any idea of ransom from their minds at once,
unless they were prepared to take I.O.U.'s, as it was against the
principles of our family to pay cash for anything--certainly not for

They took no notice of my warning, and caught hold of my Gladstone.
I resisted feebly, but was over-powered, and went to sleep again.

On awakening, I discovered myself in the buffet.  I have no
recollection of going there.  My instinct must have guided me there
during my sleep.

I ordered my usual repast of coffee and rolls.  (I must have been
full of coffee and rolls by this time.)  I had got the idea into my
head now that I was in Norway, and so I ordered them in broken
Scandinavian, a few words of which I had picked up during a trip
through the fiords last summer.

Of course, the man did not understand; but I am accustomed to
witnessing the confusion of foreigners when addressed in their
native tongue, and so forgave him--especially as, the victuals being
well within reach, language was a matter of secondary importance.

I took two cups of coffee, as usual--one for B., and one for myself-
-and, bringing them to the table, looked round for B.  I could not
see him anywhere.  What had become of him?  I had not seen him, that
I could recollect, for hours.  I did not know where I was, or what I
was doing.  I had a hazy knowledge that B. and I had started off
together--whether yesterday or six months ago, I could not have said
to save my life--with the intention, if I was not mistaken, of going
somewhere and seeing something.  We were now somewhere abroad--
somewhere in Norway was my idea; though why I had fixed on Norway is
a mystery to me to this day--and I had lost him!

How on earth were we ever to find each other again?  A horrible
picture presented itself to my mind of our both wandering
distractedly up and down Europe, perhaps for years, vainly seeking
each other.  The touching story of Evangeline recurred to me with
terrible vividness.

Something must be done, and that immediately.  Somehow or another I
must find B.  I roused myself, and summoned to my aid every word of
Scandinavian that I knew.

It was no good these people pretending that they did not understand
their own language, and putting me off that way.  They had got to
understand it this time.  This was no mere question of coffee and
rolls; this was a serious business.  I would make that waiter
understand my Scandinavian, if I had to hammer it into his head with
his own coffee-pot!

I seized him by the arm, and, in Scandinavian that must have been
quite pathetic in its tragic fervour, I asked him if he had seen my
friend--my friend B.

The man only stared.

I grew desperate.  I shook him.  I said:

"My friend--big, great, tall, large--is he where?  Have you him to
see where?  Here?"

(I had to put it that way because Scandinavian grammar is not a
strong point with me, and my knowledge of the verbs is as yet
limited to the present tense of the infinitive mood.  Besides, this
was no time to worry about grace of style.)

A crowd gathered round us, attracted by the man's terrified
expression.  I appealed to them generally.  I said:

"My friend B.--head, red--boots, yellow, brown, gold--coat, little
squares--nose, much, large!  Is he where?  Him to see--anybody--

Not a soul moved a hand to help me.  There they stood and gaped!

I repeated it all over again louder, in case anybody on the
outskirts of the mob had not heard it; and I repeated it in an
entirely new accent.  I gave them every chance I could.

They chatted excitedly among themselves, and, then a bright idea
seemed to strike one of them, a little more intelligent-looking than
the rest, and he rushed outside and began running up and down,
calling out something very loudly, in which the word "Norwegian"
kept on occurring.

He returned in a few seconds, evidently exceedingly pleased with
himself, accompanied by a kindly-looking old gentleman in a white

Way was made in the crowd, and the old gentleman pressed forward.
When he got near, he smiled at me, and then proceeded to address to
me a lengthy, but no doubt kindly meant, speech in Scandinavian.

Of course, it was all utterly unintelligible to me from beginning to
end, and my face clearly showed this.  I can grasp a word or two of
Scandinavian here and there, if pronounced slowly and distinctly;
but that is all.

The old gentleman regarded me with great surprise.  He said (in
Scandinavian, of course):

"You speak Norwegian?"

I replied, in the same tongue:

"A little, a very little--VERY."

He seemed not only disappointed, but indignant.  He explained the
matter to the crowd, and they all seemed indignant.

WHY everybody should be indignant with me I could not comprehend.
There are plenty of people who do not understand Scandinavian.  It
was absurd to be vexed with me because I did not.  I do know a
little, and that is more than some people do.

I inquired of the old gentleman about B.  He did understand me.  I
must give him credit for that.  But beyond understanding me, he was
of no more use than the others; and why they had taken so much
trouble to fetch him, I could not imagine.

What would have happened if the difficulty had continued much longer
(for I was getting thoroughly wild with the lot of them) I cannot
say.  Fortunately, at this moment I caught sight of B. himself, who
had just entered the room.

I could not have greeted him more heartily if I had wanted to borrow
money of him.

"Well, I AM glad to see you again!" I cried.  "Well, this IS
pleasant!  I thought I had lost you!"

"Why, you are English!" cried out the old gentleman in the white
hat, in very good Saxon, on hearing me speak to B.

"Well, I know that," I replied, "and I'm proud of it.  Have you any
objection to my being English?"

"Not in the least," he answered, "if you'd only talk English instead
of Norwegian.  I'm English myself;" and he walked away, evidently
much puzzled.

B. said to me as we sat down:

"I'll tell you what's the matter with you, J.--you know too many
languages for this continent.  Your linguistic powers will be the
ruin of us if you don't hold them in a bit.  You don't know any
Sanscrit or Chaldean, do you?"

I replied that I did not.

"Any Hebrew or Chinese?"

"Not a word."


"Not so much as a full stop in any of them."

"That's a blessing," said B., much relieved.  "You would be trying
to palm off one or other of them on some simple-minded peasant for
German, if you did!"

It is a wearisome journey, through the long, hot hours of the
morning, to Cologne.  The carriage is stifling.  Railway travellers,
I have always noticed, regard fresh air as poison.  They like to
live on the refuse of each other's breath, and close up every window
and ventilator tight.  The sun pours down through glass and blind
and scorches our limbs.  Our heads and our bodies ache.  The dust
and soot drift in and settle on our clothes, and grime our hands and
face.  We all doze and wake up with a start, and fall to sleep again
upon each other.  I wake, and find my neighbour with his head upon
my shoulder.  It seems a shame to cast him off; he looks so
trustful.  But he is heavy.  I push him on to the man the other
side.  He is just as happy there.  We roll about; and when the train
jerks, we butt each other with our heads.  Things fall from the rack
upon us.  We look up surprised, and go to sleep again.  My bag
tumbles down upon the head of the unjust man in the corner.  (Is it
retribution?)  He starts up, begs my pardon, and sinks back into
oblivion.  I am too sleepy to pick up the bag.  It lies there on the
floor.  The unjust man uses it for a footstool.

We look out, through half-closed eyes, upon the parched, level,
treeless land; upon the little patchwork farms of corn and beetroot,
oats and fruit, growing undivided, side by side, each looking like a
little garden dropped down into the plain; upon the little dull
stone houses.

A steeple appears far away upon the horizon.  (The first thing that
we ask of men is their faith:  "What do you believe?"  The first
thing that they show us is their church:  "THIS we believe.")  Then
a tall chimney ranges itself alongside.  (First faith, then works.)
Then a confused jumble of roofs, out of which, at last, stand forth
individual houses, factories, streets, and we draw up in a sleeping

People open the carriage door, and look in upon us.  They do not
appear to think much of us, and close the door again quickly, with a
bang, and we sleep once more.

As we rumble on, the country slowly wakes.  Rude V-shaped carts,
drawn by yoked oxen, and even sometimes by cows, wait patiently
while we cross the long, straight roads stretching bare for many a
mile across the plain.  Peasants trudge along the fields to work.
Smoke rises from the villages and farm-houses.  Passengers are
waiting at the wayside stations.

Towards mid-day, on looking out, we see two tiny spires standing
side by side against the sky.  They seem to be twins, and grow
taller as we approach.  I describe them to B., and he says they are
the steeples of Cologne Cathedral; and we all begin to yawn and
stretch, and to collect our bags and coats and umbrellas.


Difficulty of Keeping this Diary.--A Big Wash.--The German Bed.--Its
Goings On.--Manners and Customs of the German Army.--B.'s Besetting
Sin.--Cologne Cathedral.--Thoughts Without Words.--A Curious Custom.

This diary is getting mixed.  The truth is, I am not living as a man
who keeps a diary should live.  I ought, of course, to sit down in
front of this diary at eleven o'clock at night, and write down all
that has occurred to me during the day.  But at eleven o'clock at
night, I am in the middle of a long railway journey, or have just
got up, or am just going to bed for a couple of hours.  We go to bed
at odd moments, when we happen to come across a bed, and have a few
minutes to spare.  We have been to bed this afternoon, and are now
having another breakfast; and I am not quite sure whether it is
yesterday or to-morrow, or what day it is.

I shall not attempt to write up this diary in the orthodox manner,
therefore; but shall fix in a few lines whenever I have half-an-hour
with nothing better to do.

We washed ourselves in the Rhine at Cologne (we had not had a wash
since we had left our happy home in England).  We started with the
idea of washing ourselves at the hotel; but on seeing the basin and
water and towel provided, I decided not to waste my time playing
with them.  As well might Hercules have attempted to tidy up the
Augean stables with a squirt.

We appealed to the chambermaid.  We explained to her that we wanted
to wash--to clean ourselves--not to blow bubbles.  Could we not have
bigger basins and more water and more extensive towels?  The
chambermaid (a staid old lady of about fifty) did not think that
anything better could be done for us by the hotel fraternity of
Cologne, and seemed to think that the river was more what we wanted.

I fancied that the old soul was speaking sarcastically, but B. said
"No;" she was thinking of the baths alongside the river, and
suggested that we should go there.  I agreed.  It seemed to me that
the river--the Rhine--would, if anything could, meet the case.
There ought to be plenty of water in it now, after the heavy spring

When I saw it, I felt satisfied.  I said to B.:

"That's all right, old man; that's the sort of thing we need.  That
is just the sized river I feel I can get myself clean in this

I have heard a good deal in praise of the Rhine, and I am glad to be
able to speak well of it myself.  I found it most refreshing.

I was, however, sorry that we had washed in it afterwards.  I have
heard from friends who have travelled since in Germany that we
completely spoiled that river for the rest of the season.  Not for
business purposes, I do not mean.  The barge traffic has been,
comparatively speaking, uninterfered with.  But the tourist trade
has suffered terribly.  Parties who usually go up the Rhine by
steamer have, after looking at the river, gone by train this year.
The boat agents have tried to persuade them that the Rhine is always
that colour:  that it gets like that owing to the dirt and refuse
washed down into it during its course among the mountains.

But the tourists have refused to accept this explanation.  They have

"No.  Mountains will account for a good deal, we admit, but not for
all THAT.  We are acquainted with the ordinary condition of the
Rhine, and although muddy, and at times unpleasant, it is passable.
As it is this summer, however, we would prefer not to travel upon
it.  We will wait until after next year's spring-floods."

We went to bed after our wash.  To the blase English bed-goer,
accustomed all his life to the same old hackneyed style of bed night
after night, there is something very pleasantly piquant about the
experience of trying to sleep in a German bed.  He does not know it
is a bed at first.  He thinks that someone has been going round the
room, collecting all the sacks and cushions and antimacassars and
such articles that he has happened to find about, and has piled them
up on a wooden tray ready for moving.  He rings for the chambermaid,
and explains to her that she has shown him into the wrong room.  He
wanted a bedroom.

She says:  "This IS a bedroom."

He says:  "Where's the bed?"

"There!" she says, pointing to the box on which the sacks and
antimacassars and cushions lie piled.

"That!" he cries.  "How am I going to sleep in that?"

The chambermaid does not know how he is going to sleep there, never
having seen a gentleman go to sleep anywhere, and not knowing how
they set about it; but suggests that he might try lying down flat,
and shutting his eyes.

"But it is not long enough," he says.

The chambermaid thinks he will be able to manage, if he tucks his
legs up.

He sees that he will not get anything better, and that he must put
up with it.

"Oh, very well!" he says.  "Look sharp and get it made, then."

She says:  "It is made."

He turns and regards the girl sternly.  Is she taking advantage of
his being a lonely stranger, far from home and friends, to mock him?
He goes over to what she calls the bed, and snatching off the top-
most sack from the pile and holding it up, says:

"Perhaps you'll tell me what this is, then?"

"That," says the girl, "that's the bed!"

He is somewhat nonplussed at the unexpected reply.

"Oh!" he says.  "Oh! the bed, is it?  I thought it was a pincushion!
Well, if it is the bed, then what is it doing out here, on the top
of everything else?  You think that because I'm only a man, I don't
understand a bed!"

"That's the proper place for it," responds the chambermaid.

"What! on top?"

"Yes, sir."

"Well, then where are the clothes?"

"Underneath, sir."

"Look here, my good girl," he says; "you don't understand me, or I
don't understand you, one or the other.  When I go to sleep, I lie
on a bed and pull the clothes over me.  I don't want to lie on the
clothes, and cover myself with the bed.  This isn't a comic ballet,
you know!"

The girl assures him that there is no mistake about the matter at
all.  There is the bed, made according to German notions of how a
bed should be made.  He can make the best of it and try to go to
sleep upon it, or he can be sulky and go to sleep on the floor.

He is very much surprised.  It looks to him the sort of bed that a
man would make for himself on coming home late from a party.  But it
is no use arguing the matter with the girl.

"All right," he says; "bring me a pillow, and I'll risk it!"

The chambermaid explains that there are two pillows on the bed
already, indicating, as she does so, two flat cushions, each one a
yard square, placed one on top of the other at one end of the

"These!" exclaims the weary traveller, beginning to feel that he
does not want to go to bed at all.  "These are not pillows!  I want
something to put my head on; not a thing that comes down to the
middle of my back!  Don't tell me that I've got to sleep on these

But the girl does tell him so, and also implies that she has
something else to do than to stand there all day talking bed-gossip
with him.

"Well, just show me how to start," he says, "which way you get into
it, and then I won't keep you any longer; I'll puzzle out the rest
for myself."

She explains the trick to him and leaves, and he undresses and
crawls in.

The pillows give him a good deal of worry.  He does not know whether
he is meant to sit on them or merely to lean up against them.  In
experimenting upon this point, he bumps his head against the top
board of the bedstead.  At this, he says, "Oh!" and shoots himself
down to the bottom of the bed.  Here all his ten toes simultaneously
come into sharp contact with the board at the bottom.

Nothing irritates a man more than being rapped over the toes,
especially if he feels that he has done nothing to deserve it.  He
says, "Oh, damn!" this time, and spasmodically doubles up his legs,
thus giving his knees a violent blow against the board at the side
of the bed.  (The German bedstead, be it remembered, is built in the
form of a shallow, open box, and the victim is thus completely
surrounded by solid pieces of wood with sharp edges.  I do not know
what species of wood it is that is employed.  It is extremely hard,
and gives forth a curious musical sound when struck sharply with a

After this he lies perfectly still for a while, wondering where he
is going to be hit next.  Finding that nothing happens, he begins to
regain confidence, and ventures to gently feel around with his left
leg and take stock of his position.

For clothes, he has only a very thin blanket and sheet, and beneath
these he feels decidedly chilly.  The bed is warm enough, so far as
it goes, but there is not enough of it.  He draws it up round his
chin, and then his feet begin to freeze.  He pushes it down over his
feet, and then all the top part of him shivers.

He tries to roll up into a ball, so as to get the whole of himself
underneath it, but does not succeed; there is always some of him
left outside in the cold.

He reflects that a "boneless wonder" or a "man serpent" would be
comfortable enough in this bed, and wishes that he had been brought
up as a contortionist.  If he could only tie his legs round his
neck, and tuck his head in under his arm, all would yet be well.

Never having been taught to do any really useful tricks such as
these, however, he has to be content to remain spread out, warming a
bit of himself at a time.

It is, perhaps, foolish of him, amid so many real troubles, to allow
a mere aesthetical consideration to worry him, but as he lies there
on his back, looking down at himself, the sight that he presents to
himself considerably annoys him.  The puffed-up bed, resting on the
middle of him, gives him the appearance of a man suffering from some
monstrous swelling, or else of some exceptionally well-developed
frog that has been turned up the wrong way and does not know how to
get on to its legs again.

Another vexation that he has to contend with is, that every time he
moves a limb or breathes extra hard, the bed (which is only of down)
tumbles off on to the floor.

You cannot lean out of a German bed to pick up anything off the
floor, owing to its box-like formation; so he has to scramble out
after it, and of course every time he does this he barks both his
shins twice against the sides of the bed.

When he has performed this feat for about the tenth time, he
concludes that it was madness for him, a mere raw amateur at the
business, to think that he could manage a complicated, tricky bed of
this sort, that must take even an experienced man all he knows to
sleep in it; and gets out and camps on the floor.

At least, that is what I did.  B. is accustomed to German beds, and
doubled himself up and went off to sleep without the slightest

We slept for two hours, and then got up and went back to the
railway-station, where we dined.  The railway refreshment-room in
German towns appears to be as much patronised by the inhabitants of
the town as by the travellers passing through.  It is regarded as an
ordinary restaurant, and used as such by the citizens.  We found the
dining-room at Cologne station crowded with Cologneists.

All classes of citizens were there, but especially soldiers.  There
were all sorts of soldiers--soldiers of rank, and soldiers of rank
and file; attached soldiers (very much attached, apparently) and
soldiers unattached; stout soldiers, thin soldiers; old soldiers,
young soldiers.  Four very young soldiers sat opposite us, drinking
beer.  I never saw such young soldiers out by themselves before.
They each looked about twelve years old, but may have been thirteen;
and they each looked, also, ready and willing to storm a battery, if
the order were given to them to do it.  There they sat, raising and
lowering their huge mugs of beer, discussing military matters, and
rising every now and again to gravely salute some officer as he
passed, and to receive as gravely his grave salute in return.

There seemed to be a deal of saluting to be gone through.  Officers
kept entering and passing through the room in an almost continual
stream, and every time one came in sight all the military drinkers
and eaters rose and saluted, and remained at the salute until the
officer had passed.

One young soldier, who was trying to eat a plate of soup near us, I
felt quite sorry for.  Every time he got the spoon near his mouth an
officer invariably hove in view, and down would have to go the
spoon, soup and all, and up he would have to rise.  It never seemed
to occur to the silly fellow to get under the table and finish his
dinner there.

We had half-an-hour to spare between dinner and the starting of our
train, and B. suggested that we should go into the cathedral.  That
is B.'s one weakness, churches.  I have the greatest difficulty in
getting him past a church-door.  We are walking along a street, arm
in arm, talking as rationally and even as virtuously as need be,
when all at once I find that B. has become silent and abstracted.

I know what it is; he has caught sight of a church.  I pretend not
to notice any change in him, and endeavour to hurry him on.  He lags
more and more behind, however, and at last stops altogether.

"Come, come," I say to him, encouragingly, "pull yourself together,
and be a man.  Don't think about it.  Put it behind you, and
determine that you WON'T be conquered.  Come, we shall be round the
corner in another minute, where you won't be able to see it.  Take
my hand, and let's run!"

He makes a few feeble steps forward with me, and then stops again.

"It's no good, old man," he says, with a sickly smile, so full of
pathos that it is impossible to find it in one's heart to feel
anything but pity for him.  "I can't help it.  I have given way to
this sort of thing too long.  It is too late to reform now.  You go
on and get a drink somewhere; I'll join you again in a few minutes.
Don't worry about me; it's no good."

And back he goes with tottering steps, while I sadly pass on into
the nearest cafe, and, over a glass of absinthe or cognac, thank
Providence that I learnt to control my craving for churches in early
youth, and so am not now like this poor B.

In a little while he comes in, and sits down beside me.  There is a
wild, unhealthy excitement in his eye, and, under a defiant air of
unnatural gaiety, he attempts to hide his consciousness of guilt.

"It was a lovely altar-cloth," he whispers to me, with an enthusiasm
that only makes one sorrow for him the more, so utterly impossible
does it cause all hope of cure to seem.  "And they've got a coffin
in the north crypt that is simply a poem.  I never enjoyed a
sarcophagus more in all my life."

I do not say much at the time; it would be useless.  But after the
day is done, and we are standing beside our little beds, and all
around is as silent as one can expect it to be in an hotel where
people seem to be arriving all night long with heavy luggage, and to
be all, more or less, in trouble, I argue with him, and gently
reprove him.  To avoid the appearance of sermonising as much as
possible, I put it on mere grounds of expediency.

"How are we to find time," I say, "to go to all the places that we
really ought to go to--to all the cafes and theatres and music-halls
and beer-gardens and dancing-saloons that we want to visit--if you
waste half the precious day loafing about churches and cathedrals?"

He is deeply moved, and promises to swear off.  He vows, with tears
in his voice, that he will never enter a church-door again.  But
next morning, when the temptation comes, all his good resolutions
are swept away, and again he yields.  It is no good being angry with
him, because he evidently does really try; but there is something
about the mere odour of a church that he simply cannot withstand.

Not knowing, then, that this weakness of his for churches was so
strong, I made no objection to the proposed visit to Cologne
Cathedral, and, accordingly, towards it we wended our way.  B. has
seen it before, and knows all about it.  He tells me it was begun
about the middle of the thirteenth century, and was only completed
ten years ago.  It seems to me that there must have been gross delay
on the part of the builder.  Why, a plumber would be ashamed to take
as long as that over a job!

B. also asserts that the two towers are the highest church towers in
the world.  I dispute this, and deprecate the towers generally.  B.
warmly defends them.  He says they are higher than any building in
Europe, except the Eiffel Tower.

"Oh, dear no!" I say, "there are many buildings higher than they in
Europe--to say nothing of Asia and America."

I have no authority for making this assertion.  As a matter of fact,
I know nothing whatever about the matter.  I merely say it to
irritate B.  He appears to take a sort of personal interest in the
building, and enlarges upon its beauties and advantages with as much
fervour as if he were an auctioneer trying to sell the place.

He retorts that the towers are 512 feet high.

I say:

"Nonsense!  Somebody has imposed upon you, because they see you are
a foreigner."

He becomes quite angry at this, and says he can show me the figures
in the guide-book.

"The guide-book!" I reply, scornfully.  "You'll believe a newspaper

B. asks me, indignantly, what height I should say they are, then.  I
examine them critically for a few minutes, and then give it as my
opinion that they do not exceed 510 feet at the very outside.  B.
seems annoyed with me, and we enter the church in silence.

There is little to be said about a cathedral.  Except to the
professional sightseer, one is very much like another.  Their beauty
to me lies, not in the paintings and sculpture they give houseroom
to, nor in the bones and bric-a-brac piled up in their cellars, but
in themselves--their echoing vastness, their deep silence.

Above the little homes of men, above the noisy teeming streets, they
rise like some soft strain of perfect music, cleaving its way amid
the jangle of discordant notes.  Here, where the voices of the world
sound faint; here, where the city's glamour comes not in, it is good
to rest for a while--if only the pestering guides would leave one
alone--and think.

There is much help in Silence.  From its touch we gain renewed life.
Silence is to the Soul what his Mother Earth was to Briareus.  From
contact with it we rise healed of our hurts and strengthened for the

Amid the babel of the schools we stand bewildered and affrighted.
Silence gives us peace and hope.  Silence teaches us no creed, only
that God's arms are around the universe.

How small and unimportant seem all our fretful troubles and
ambitions when we stand with them in our hand before the great calm
face of Silence!  We smile at them ourselves, and are ashamed.

Silence teaches us how little we are--how great we are.  In the
world's market-places we are tinkers, tailors, apothecaries,
thieves--respectable or otherwise, as the case may be--mere atoms of
a mighty machine--mere insects in a vast hive.

It is only in Silence that it comes home to us that we are something
much greater than this--that we are MEN, with all the universe and
all eternity before us.

It is in Silence we hear the voice of Truth.  The temples and the
marts of men echo all night and day to the clamour of lies and shams
and quackeries.  But in Silence falsehood cannot live.  You cannot
float a lie on Silence.  A lie has to be puffed aloft, and kept from
falling by men's breath.  Leave a lie on the bosom of Silence, and
it sinks.  A truth floats there fair and stately, like some stout
ship upon a deep ocean.  Silence buoys her up lovingly for all men
to see.  Not until she has grown worn-out and rotten, and is no
longer a truth, will the waters of Silence close over her.

Silence is the only real thing we can lay hold of in this world of
passing dreams.  Time is a shadow that will vanish with the twilight
of humanity; but Silence is a part of the eternal.  All things that
are true and lasting have been taught to men's hearts by Silence.

Among all nations, there should be vast temples raised where the
people might worship Silence and listen to it, for it is the voice
of God.

These fair churches and cathedrals that men have reared around them
throughout the world, have been built as homes for mere creeds--this
one for Protestantism, that one for Romanism, another for
Mahomedanism.  But God's Silence dwells in all alike, only driven
forth at times by the tinkling of bells and the mumbling of prayers;
and, in them, it is good to sit awhile and have communion with her.

We strolled round, before we came out.  Just by the entrance to the
choir an official stopped me, and asked me if I wanted to go and see
a lot of fal-lal things he had got on show--relics and bones, and
old masters, and such-like Wardour-street rubbish.

I told him, "No"; and attempted to pass on, but he said:

"No, no!  You don't pay, you don't go in there," and shut the gate.

He said this sentence in English; and the precision and fluency with
which he delivered it rather suggested the idea that it was a phrase
much in request, and one that he had had a good deal of practice in.

It is very prevalent throughout Germany, this custom of not allowing
you to go in to see a thing unless you pay.


The Rhine!--How History is Written.--Complicated Villages.--How a
Peaceful Community Was Very Much Upset.--The German Railway Guard.--
His Passion for Tickets.--We Diffuse Comfort and Joy Wherever We Go,
Gladdening the Weary, and Bringing Smiles to Them that Weep.--
"Tickets, Please."--Hunting Experiences.--A Natural Mistake.--Free
Acrobatic Performance by the Guard.--The Railway Authorities' Little
Joke.--Why We Should Think of the Sorrows of Others.

We returned to the station just in time to secure comfortable seats,
and at 5.10 steamed out upon our fifteen hours' run to Munich.  From
Bonn to Mayence the line keeps by the side of the Rhine nearly the
whole of the way, and we had a splendid view of the river, with the
old-world towns and villages that cluster round its bank, the misty
mountains that make early twilight upon its swiftly rolling waves,
the castled crags and precipices that rise up sheer and majestic
from its margin, the wooded rocks that hang with threatening frown
above its sombre depths, the ruined towers and turrets that cap each
point along its shores, the pleasant isles that stud like gems its
broad expanse of waters.

Few things in this world come up to expectation, especially those
things of which one has been led to expect much, and about which one
has heard a good deal.  With this philosophy running in my head, I
was prepared to find the Rhine a much over-rated river.

I was pleasantly disappointed.  The panorama which unfolded itself
before our eyes, as we sped along through the quiet twilight that
was deepening into starry night, was wonderfully beautiful,
entrancing and expressive.

I do not intend to describe it to you.  To do justice to the theme,
I should have to be even a more brilliant and powerful writer than I
am.  To attempt the subject, without doing it justice, would be a
waste of your time, sweet reader, and of mine--a still more
important matter.

I confess it was not my original intention to let you off so easily.
I started with the idea of giving you a rapid but glowing and
eloquent word-picture of the valley of the Rhine from Cologne to
Mayence.  For background, I thought I would sketch in the historical
and legendary events connected with the district, and against this,
for a foreground, I would draw, in vivid colours, the modern aspect
of the scene, with remarks and observations thereon.

Here are my rough notes, made for the purpose:-

Mems. for Chapter on Rhine:  "Constantine the Great used to come
here--so did Agrippa.  (N.B.--Try and find out something about
Agrippa.)  Caesar had a good deal to do with the Rhine--also Nero's

(To the reader.--The brevity of these memoranda renders their
import, at times, confusing.  For instance, this means that Caesar
and Nero's mother both had a good deal to do with the Rhine; not
that Caesar had a good deal to do with Nero's mother.  I explain
this because I should be sorry to convey any false impression
concerning either the lady or Caesar.  Scandal is a thing abhorrent
to my nature.)

Notes continued:  "The Ubii did something on the right bank of the
Rhine at an early period, and afterwards were found on the other
side.  (Expect the Ubii were a tribe; but make sure of this, as they
might be something in the fossil line.)  Cologne was the cradle of
German art.  Talk about art and the old masters.  Treat them in a
kindly and gentle spirit.  They are dead now.  Saint Ursula was
murdered at Cologne, with eleven thousand virgin attendants.  There
must have been quite a party of them.  Draw powerful and pathetic
imaginary picture of the slaughter.  (N.B.--Find out who murdered
them all.)  Say something about the Emperor Maximilian.  Call him
'the mighty Maximilian.'  Mention Charlemagne (a good deal should be
made out of Charlemagne) and the Franks.  (Find out all about the
Franks, and where they lived, and what has become of them.)  Sketch
the various contests between the Romans and the Goths.  (Read up
'Gibbon' for this, unless you can get enough out of Mangnall's
Questions.)  Give picturesque account--with comments--of the battles
between the citizens of Cologne and their haughty archbishops.
(N.B.--Let them fight on a bridge over the Rhine, unless it is
distinctly stated somewhere that they didn't.)  Bring in the Minne-
singers, especially Walter von Vogelweid; make him sing under a
castle-wall somewhere, and let the girl die.  Talk about Albert
Durer.  Criticise his style.  Say it's flat.  (If possible, find out
if it IS flat.)  "The rat tower on the Rhine," near Bingen.
Describe the place and tell the whole story.  Don't spin it out too
long, because everybody knows it.  "The Brothers of Bornhofen,"
story connected with the twin castles of Sterrenberg and
Liebenstein, Conrad and Heinrich--brothers--both love Hildegarde.
She was very beautiful.  Heinrich generously refuses to marry the
beautiful Hildegarde, and goes away to the Crusades, leaving her to
his brother Conrad.  Conrad considers over the matter for a year or
two, and then HE decides that he won't marry her either, but will
leave her for his brother Heinrich, and HE goes off to the Crusades,
from whence he returns, a few years later on, with a Grecian bride.
The beautiful H., muddled up between the pair of them, and the
victim of too much generosity, gets sulky (don't blame her), and
shuts herself up in a lonely part of the castle, and won't see
anybody for years.  Chivalrous Heinrich returns, and is wild that
his brother C. has not married the beautiful H.  It does not occur
to him to marry the girl even then.  The feverish yearning displayed
by each of these two brothers, that the other one should marry the
beloved Hildegarde, is very touching.  Heinrich draws his sword, and
throws himself upon his brother C. to kill him.  The beautiful
Hildegarde, however, throws herself between them and reconciliates
them, and then, convinced that neither of them means business, and
naturally disgusted with the whole affair, retires into a nunnery.
Conrad's Grecian bride subsequently throws herself away on another
man, upon which Conrad throws himself on his brother H.'s breast,
and they swear eternal friendship.  (Make it pathetic.  Pretend you
have sat amid the ruins in the moonlight, and give the scene--with
ghosts.)  "Rolandseck," near Bonn.  Tell the story of Roland and
Hildegunde (see Baedeker, p. 66).  Don't make it too long, because
it is so much like the other.  Describe the funeral?  The "Watch
Tower on the Rhine" below Audernach.  Query, isn't there a song
about this?  If so, put it in.  Coblentz and Ehrenbreitstein.  Great
fortresses.  Call them "the Frowning Sentinels of the State."  Make
reflections on the German army, also on war generally.  Chat about
Frederick the Great.  (Read Carlyle's history of him, and pick out
the interesting bits.)  The Drachenfels.  Quote Byron.  Moralise
about ruined castles generally, and describe the middle ages, with
your views and opinions on same."

There is much more of it, but that is sufficient to let you see the
scheme I had in my head.  I have not carried out my scheme, because,
when I came to reflect upon the matter, it seemed to me that the
idea would develop into something that would be more in the nature
of a history of Europe than a chapter in a tourist's diary, and I
determined not to waste my time upon it, until there arose a greater
public demand for a new History of Europe than there appears to
exist at present.

"Besides," I argued to myself, "such a work would be just the very
thing with which to beguile the tedium of a long imprisonment.  At
some future time I may be glad of a labour of this magnitude to
occupy a period of involuntary inaction."

"This is the sort of thing," I said to myself, "to save up for
Holloway or Pentonville."

It would have been a very enjoyable ride altogether, that evening's
spin along the banks of the Rhine, if I had not been haunted at the
time by the idea that I should have to write an account of it next
day in my diary.  As it was, I enjoyed it as a man enjoys a dinner
when he has got to make a speech after it, or as a critic enjoys a

We passed such odd little villages every here and there.  Little
places so crowded up between the railway and the river that there
was no room in them for any streets.  All the houses were jumbled up
together just anyhow, and how any man who lived in the middle could
get home without climbing over half the other houses in the place I
could not make out.  They were the sort of villages where a man's
mother-in-law, coming to pay him a visit, might wander around all
day, hearing him, and even now and then seeing him, yet never being
able to get at him in consequence of not knowing the way in.

A drunken man, living in one of these villages, could never hope to
get home.  He would have to sit down outside, and wait till his head
was clear.

We witnessed the opening scenes of a very amusing little comedy at
one of the towns where the train drew up.  The chief characters were
played by an active young goat, a small boy, an elderly man and a
woman, parents of the small boy and owners of the goat, and a dog.

First we heard a yell, and then, from out a cottage opposite the
station, bounded an innocent and happy goat, and gambolled around.
A long rope, one end of which was fastened to his neck, trailed
behind him.  After the goat (in the double sense of the phrase) came
a child.  The child tried to catch the goat by means of the rope,
caught itself in the rope instead, and went down with a bump and a
screech.  Whereupon a stout woman, the boy's mother apparently, ran
out from the cottage, and also made for the goat.  The goat flew
down the road, and the woman flew after it.  At the first corner,
the woman trod on the rope, and then SHE went down with a bump and a
screech.  Then the goat turned and ran up the street, and, as it
passed the cottage, the father ran out and tried to stop it.  He was
an old man, but still seemed to have plenty of vigour in him.  He
evidently guessed how his wife and child had gone down, and he
endeavoured to avoid the rope and to skip over it when it came near
him.  But the goat's movements were too erratic for him.  His turn
came, and he trod on the rope, and went down in the middle of the
road, opposite his own door, with a thud that shook us all up
against each other as we stood looking out of the carriage-window,
and sat there and cursed the goat.  Then out ran a dog, barking
furiously, and he went for the goat, and got the end of the rope in
his teeth and held on to it like grim death.  Away went the goat, at
his end of the rope, and, with him, the dog at the other end.
Between them, they kept the rope about six inches above the ground,
and with it they remorselessly mowed down every living thing they
came across in that once peaceful village.  In the course of less
than half a minute we counted fourteen persons sitting down in the
middle of the road.  Eight of them were cursing the goat, four were
cursing the dog, and two of them were cursing the old man for
keeping the goat, one of these two, and the more violent one, being
the man's own wife.

The train left at this juncture.  We entreated the railway officials
to let us stop and see the show out.  The play was becoming quite
interesting.  It was so full of movement.  But they said that we
were half-an-hour late as it was, and that they dared not.

We leaned out of the window, and watched for as long as we could;
and after the village was lost to view in the distance, we could
still, by listening carefully, hear the thuds, as one after another
of the inhabitants sat down and began to swear.

At about eleven o'clock we had some beer--you can generally obtain
such light refreshment as bottled beer and coffee and rolls from the
guard on a through long-distance train in Germany--took off our
boots, and saying "Good-night" to each other, made a great show of
going to sleep.  But we never succeeded in getting there.  They
wanted to see one's ticket too often for one to get fairly off.

Every few minutes, so it seemed to me, though in reality the
intervals may perhaps have been longer, a ghostly face would appear
at the carriage-window, and ask to see our tickets.

Whenever a German railway-guard feels lonesome, and does not know
what else to do with himself, he takes a walk round the train, and
gets the passengers to show him their tickets, after which he
returns to his box cheered and refreshed.  Some people rave about
sunsets and mountains and old masters; but to the German railway-
guard the world can show nothing more satisfying, more inspiring,
than the sight of a railway-ticket.

Nearly all the German railway officials have this same craving for
tickets.  If only they get somebody to show them a railway-ticket,
they are happy.  It seemed a harmless weakness of theirs, and B. and
I decided that it would be only kind to humour them in it during our

Accordingly, whenever we saw a German railway official standing
about, looking sad and weary, we went up to him and showed him our
tickets.  The sight was like a ray of sunshine to him; and all his
care was immediately forgotten.  If we had not a ticket with us at
the time, we went and bought one.  A mere single third to the next
station would gladden him sufficiently in most cases; but if the
poor fellow appeared very woe-begone, and as if he wanted more than
ordinary cheering up, we got him a second-class return.

For the purpose of our journey to Ober-Ammergau and back, we each
carried with us a folio containing some ten or twelve first-class
tickets between different towns, covering in all a distance of some
thousand miles; and one afternoon, at Munich, seeing a railway
official, a cloak-room keeper, who they told us had lately lost his
aunt, and who looked exceptionally dejected, I proposed to B. that
we should take this man into a quiet corner, and both of us show him
all our tickets at once--the whole twenty or twenty-four of them--
and let him take them in his hand and look at them for as long as he
liked.  I wanted to comfort him.

B., however, advised against the suggestion.  He said that even if
it did not turn the man's head (and it was more than probable that
it would), so much jealousy would be created against him among the
other railway people throughout Germany, that his life would be made
a misery to him.

So we bought and showed him a first-class return to the next station
but one; and it was quite pathetic to watch the poor fellow's face
brighten up at the sight, and to see the faint smile creep back to
the lips from which it had so long been absent.

But at times, one wishes that the German railway official would
control his passion for tickets--or, at least, keep it within due

Even the most kindly-hearted man grows tired of showing his ticket
all day and night long, and the middle of a wearisome journey is not
the proper time for a man to come to the carriage-window and clamour
to see your "billet."

You are weary and sleepy.  You do not know where your ticket is.
You are not quite sure that you have got a ticket; or if you ever
had one, somebody has taken it away from you.  You have put it by
very carefully, thinking that it would not be wanted for hours, and
have forgotten where.

There are eleven pockets in the suit you have on, and five more in
the overcoat on the rack.  Maybe, it is in one of those pockets.  If
not, it is possibly in one of the bags--somewhere, or in your
pocket-book, if you only knew where that was, or your purse.

You begin a search.  You stand up and shake yourself.  Then you have
another feel all over.  You look round in the course of the
proceedings; and the sight of the crowd of curious faces watching
you, and of the man in uniform waiting with his eye fixed severely
upon you, convey to you, in your then state of confusion, the
momentary idea that this is a police-court scene, and that if the
ticket is found upon you, you will probably get five years.

Upon this you vehemently protest your innocence.

"I tell you I haven't got it!" you exclaim;--"never seen the
gentleman's ticket.  You let me go!  I--"

Here the surprise of your fellow-passengers recalls you to yourself,
and you proceed on your exploration.  You overhaul the bags, turning
everything out on to the floor, muttering curses on the whole
railway system of Germany as you do so.  Then you feel in your
boots.  You make everybody near you stand up to see if they are
sitting upon it, and you go down on your knees and grovel for it
under the seat.

"You didn't throw it out of the window with your sandwiches, did
you?" asks your friend.

"No!  Do you think I'm a fool?" you answer, irritably.  "What should
I want to do that for?"

On going systematically over yourself for about the twentieth time,
you discover it in your waistcoat pocket, and for the next half-hour
you sit and wonder how you came to miss it on the previous nineteen

Meanwhile, during this trying scene, the conduct of the guard has
certainly not tended to allay your anxiety and nervousness.  All the
time that you have been looking for your ticket, he has been doing
silly tricks on the step outside, imperilling his life by every
means that experience and ingenuity can suggest.

The train is going at the rate of thirty miles an hour, the express
speed in Germany, and a bridge comes in sight crossing over the
line.  On seeing this bridge, the guard, holding on by the window,
leans his body as far back as ever it will go.  You look at him, and
then at the rapidly-nearing bridge, and calculate that the arch will
just take his head off without injuring any other part of him
whatever, and you wonder whether the head will be jerked into the
carriage or will fall outside.

When he is three inches off the bridge, he pulls himself up
straight, and the brickwork, as the train dashes through, kills a
fly that was trespassing on the upper part of his right ear.

Then, when the bridge is passed, and the train is skirting the very
edge of a precipice, so that a stone dropped just outside the window
would tumble straight down 300 feet, he suddenly lets go, and,
balancing himself on the foot-board without holding on to anything,
commences to dance a sort of Teutonic cellar-flap, and to warm his
body by flinging his arms about in the manner of cabmen on a cold

The first essential to comfortable railway travelling in Germany is
to make up your mind not to care a rap whether the guard gets killed
in the course of the journey or not.  Any tender feeling towards the
guard makes railway travelling in the Fatherland a simple torture.

At five a.m. (how fair and sweet and fresh the earth looks in the
early morning!  Those lazy people who lie in bed till eight or nine
miss half the beauty of the day, if they but knew it.  It is only we
who rise early that really enjoy Nature properly) I gave up trying
to get to sleep, and made my way to the dressing-room at the end of
the car, and had a wash.

It is difficult to wash in these little places, because the cars
shake so; and when you have got both your hands and half your head
in the basin, and are unable to protect yourself, the sides of the
room, and the water-tap and the soap-dish, and other cowardly
things, take a mean advantage of your helplessness to punch you as
hard as ever they can; and when you back away from these, the door
swings open and slaps you from behind.

I succeeded, however, in getting myself fairly wet all over, even if
I did nothing else, and then I looked about for a towel.  Of course,
there was no towel.  That is the trick.  The idea of the railway
authorities is to lure the passenger, by providing him with soap and
water and a basin, into getting himself thoroughly soaked, and then
to let it dawn upon him that there is no towel.  That is their
notion of fun!

I thought of the handkerchiefs in my bag, but to get to them I
should have to pass compartments containing ladies, and I was only
in early morning dress.

So I had to wipe myself with a newspaper which I happened to have in
my pocket, and a more unsatisfactory thing to dry oneself upon I
cannot conceive.

I woke up B. when I got back to the carriage, and persuaded him to
go and have a wash; and in listening to the distant sound of his
remarks when he likewise discovered that there was no towel, the
recollection of my own discomfiture passed gently away.

Ah! how true it is, as good people tell us, that in thinking of the
sorrows of others, we learn to forget our own!

For fifty miles before one reaches Munich, the land is flat, stale,
and apparently very unprofitable, and there is little to interest
the looker-out.  He sits straining his eyes towards the horizon,
eagerly longing for some sign of the city to come in sight.

It lies very low, however, and does all it can to escape
observation; and it is not until he is almost within its streets
that he discovers it.


We Seek Breakfast.--I Air My German.--The Art of Gesture.--The
Intelligence of the Premiere Danseuse.--Performance of English
Pantomime in the Pyrenees.--Sad Result Therefrom.--The "German
Conversation" Book.--Its Narrow-minded View of Human Wants and
Aspirations.--Sunday in Munich.--Hans and Gretchen.--High Life v.
Low Life.--"A Beer-Cellar."

At Munich we left our luggage at the station, and went in search of
breakfast.  Of course, at eight o'clock in the morning none of the
big cafes were open; but at length, beside some gardens, we found an
old-fashioned looking restaurant, from which came a pleasant odour
of coffee and hot onions; and walking through and seating ourselves
at one of the little tables, placed out under the trees, we took the
bill of fare in our hands, and summoned the waiter to our side.

I ordered the breakfast.  I thought it would be a good opportunity
for me to try my German.  I ordered coffee and rolls as a
groundwork.  I got over that part of my task very easily.  With the
practice I had had during the last two days, I could have ordered
coffee and rolls for forty.  Then I foraged round for luxuries, and
ordered a green salad.  I had some difficulty at first in convincing
the man that it was not a boiled cabbage that I wanted, but
succeeded eventually in getting that silly notion out of his head.

I still had a little German left, even after that.  So I ordered an
omelette also.

"Tell him a savoury one," said B., "or he will be bringing us
something full of hot jam and chocolate-creams.  You know their

"Oh, yes," I answered.  "Of course.  Yes.  Let me see.  What is the
German for savoury?"

"Savoury?" mused B.  "Oh! ah! hum!  Bothered if I know!  Confound
the thing--I can't think of it!"

I could not think of it either.  As a matter of fact, I never knew
it.  We tried the man with French.  We said:

"Une omelette aux fines herbes."

As he did not appear to understand that, we gave it him in bad
English.  We twisted and turned the unfortunate word "savoury" into
sounds so quaint, so sad, so unearthly, that you would have thought
they might have touched the heart of a savage.  This stoical Teuton,
however, remained unmoved.  Then we tried pantomime.

Pantomime is to language what marmalade, according to the label on
the pot, is to butter, "an excellent (occasional) substitute."  But
its powers as an interpreter of thought are limited.  At least, in
real life they are so.  As regards a ballet, it is difficult to say
what is not explainable by pantomime.  I have seen the bad man in a
ballet convey to the premiere danseuse by a subtle movement of the
left leg, together with some slight assistance from the drum, the
heartrending intelligence that the lady she had been brought up to
believe was her mother was in reality only her aunt by marriage.
But then it must be borne in mind that the premiere danseuse is a
lady whose quickness of perception is altogether unique.  The
premiere danseuse knows precisely what a gentleman means when he
twirls round forty-seven times on one leg, and then stands on his
head.  The average foreigner would, in all probability, completely
misunderstand the man.

A friend of mine once, during a tour in the Pyrenees, tried to
express gratitude by means of pantomime.  He arrived late one
evening at a little mountain inn, where the people made him very
welcome, and set before him their best; and he, being hungry,
appreciated their kindness, and ate a most excellent supper.

Indeed, so excellent a meal did he make, and so kind and attentive
were his hosts to him, that, after supper, he felt he wanted to
thank them, and to convey to them some idea of how pleased and
satisfied he was.

He could not explain himself in language.  He only knew enough
Spanish to just ask for what he wanted--and even to do that he had
to be careful not to want much.  He had not got as far as sentiment
and emotion at that time.  Accordingly he started to express himself
in action.  He stood up and pointed to the empty table where the
supper had been, then opened his mouth and pointed down his throat.
Then he patted that region of his anatomy where, so scientific
people tell us, supper goes to, and smiled.

He has a rather curious smile, has my friend.  He himself is under
the impression that there is something very winning in it, though,
also, as he admits, a touch of sadness.  They use it in his family
for keeping the children in order.

The people of the inn seemed rather astonished at his behaviour.
They regarded him, with troubled looks, and then gathered together
among themselves and consulted in whispers.

"I evidently have not made myself sufficiently clear to these simple
peasants," said my friend to himself.  "I must put more vigour into
this show."

Accordingly he rubbed and patted that part of himself to which I
have previously alluded--and which, being a modest and properly
brought-up young man, nothing on earth shall induce me to mention
more explicitly--with greater energy than ever, and added another
inch or two of smile; and he also made various graceful movements
indicative, as he thought, of friendly feeling and contentment.

At length a ray of intelligence burst upon the faces of his hosts,
and they rushed to a cupboard and brought out a small black bottle.

"Ah! that's done it," thought my friend.  "Now they have grasped my
meaning.  And they are pleased that I am pleased, and are going to
insist on my drinking a final friendly bumper of wine with them, the
good old souls!"

They brought the bottle over, and poured out a wineglassful, and
handed it to him, making signs that he should drink it off quickly.

"Ah!" said my friend to himself, as he took the glass and raised it
to the light, and winked at it wickedly, "this is some rare old
spirit peculiar to the district--some old heirloom kept specially
for the favoured guest."

And he held the glass aloft and made a speech, in which he wished
long life and many grand-children to the old couple, and a handsome
husband to the daughter, and prosperity to the whole village.  They
could not understand him, he knew; but he thought there might be
that in his tones and gestures from which they would gather the
sense of what he was saying, and understand how kindly he felt
towards them all.  When he had finished, he put his hand upon his
heart and smiled some more, and then tossed the liquor off at a

Three seconds later he discovered that it was a stringent and
trustworthy emetic that he had swallowed.  His audience had mistaken
his signs of gratitude for efforts on his part to explain to them
that he was poisoned, or, at all events, was suffering from acute
and agonising indigestion, and had done what they could to comfort

The drug that they had given him was not one of those common, cheap
medicines that lose their effect before they have been in the system
half-an-hour.  He felt that it would be useless to begin another
supper then, even if he could get one, and so he went to bed a good
deal hungrier and a good deal less refreshed than when he arrived at
the inn.

Gratitude is undoubtedly a thing that should not be attempted by the
amateur pantomimist.

"Savoury" is another.  B. and I very nearly did ourselves a serious
internal injury, trying to express it.  We slaved like cab-horses at
it--for about five minutes, and succeeded in conveying to the mind
of the waiter that we wanted to have a game at dominoes.

Then, like a beam of sunlight to a man lost in some dark, winding
cave, came to me the reflection that I had in my pocket a German
conversation book.

How stupid of me not to have thought of it before.  Here had we been
racking our brains and our bodies, trying to explain our wants to an
uneducated German, while, all the time, there lay to our hands a
book specially written and prepared to assist people out of the very
difficulty into which we had fallen--a book carefully compiled with
the express object of enabling English travellers who, like
ourselves, only spoke German in a dilettante fashion, to make their
modest requirements known throughout the Fatherland, and to get out
of the country alive and uninjured.

I hastily snatched the book from my pocket, and commenced to search
for dialogues dealing with the great food question.  There were

There were lengthy and passionate "Conversations with a laundress"
about articles that I blush to remember.  Some twenty pages of the
volume were devoted to silly dialogues between an extraordinarily
patient shoemaker and one of the most irritating and
constitutionally dissatisfied customers that an unfortunate shop-
keeper could possibly be cursed with; a customer who, after
twaddling for about forty minutes, and trying on, apparently, every
pair of boots in the place, calmly walks out with:

"Ah! well, I shall not purchase anything to-day.  Good-morning!"

The shopkeeper's reply, by-the-by, is not given.  It probably took
the form of a boot-jack, accompanied by phrases deemed useless for
the purposes of the Christian tourist.

There was really something remarkable about the exhaustiveness of
this "conversation at the shoemaker's."  I should think the book
must have been written by someone who suffered from corns.  I could
have gone to a German shoemaker with this book and have talked the
man's head off.

Then there were two pages of watery chatter "on meeting a friend in
the street"--"Good-morning, sir (or madam)."  "I wish you a merry
Christmas."  "How is your mother?"  As if a man who hardly knew
enough German to keep body and soul together, would want to go about
asking after the health of a foreign person's mother.

There were also "conversations in the railway carriage,"
conversations between travelling lunatics, apparently, and dialogues
"during the passage."  "How do you feel now?"  "Pretty well as yet;
but I cannot say how long it will last."  "Oh, what waves!  I now
feel very unwell and shall go below.  Ask for a basin for me."
Imagine a person who felt like that wanting to know the German for

At the end of the book were German proverbs and "Idiomatic Phrases,"
by which latter would appear to be meant in all languages, "phrases
for the use of idiots": --"A sparrow in the hand is better than a
pigeon on the roof."--"Time brings roses."--"The eagle does not
catch flies."--"One should not buy a cat in a sack,"--as if there
were a large class of consumers who habitually did purchase their
cats in that way, thus enabling unscrupulous dealers to palm off
upon them an inferior cat, and whom it was accordingly necessary to
advise against the custom.

I skimmed through all this nonsense, but not a word could I discover
anywhere about a savoury omelette.  Under the head of "Eating and
Drinking," I found a short vocabulary; but it was mainly concerned
with "raspberries" and "figs" and "medlars" (whatever they may be; I
never heard of them myself), and "chestnuts," and such like things
that a man hardly ever wants, even when he is in his own country.
There was plenty of oil and vinegar, and pepper and salt and mustard
in the list, but nothing to put them on.  I could have had a hard-
boiled egg, or a slice of ham; but I did not want a hard-boiled egg,
or a slice of ham.  I wanted a savoury omelette; and that was an
article of diet that the authors of this "Handy Little Guide," as
they termed it in their preface, had evidently never heard of.

Since my return home, I have, out of curiosity, obtained three or
four "English-German Dialogues" and "Conversation Books," intended
to assist the English traveller in his efforts to make himself
understood by the German people, and I have come to the conclusion
that the work I took out with me was the most sensible and practical
of the lot.

Finding it utterly hopeless to explain ourselves to the waiter, we
let the thing go, and trusted to Providence; and in about ten
minutes the man brought us a steaming omelette, with about a pound
of strawberry jam inside, and powdered sugar all over the outside.
We put a deal of pepper and salt on it to try and counteract the
flavour of the sweets, but we did not really enjoy it even then.

After breakfast we got a time-table, and looked out for a train to
Ober-Ammergau.  I found one which started at 3.10.  It seemed a very
nice train indeed; it did not stop anywhere.  The railway
authorities themselves were evidently very proud of it, and had
printed particulars of it in extra thick type.  We decided to
patronise it.

To pass away the time, we strolled about the city.  Munich is a
fine, handsome, open town, full of noble streets and splendid
buildings; but in spite of this and of its hundred and seventy
thousand inhabitants, an atmosphere of quiet and provincialism
hovers over it.  There is but little traffic on ordinary occasions
along its broad ways, and customers in its well-stocked shops are
few and far between.  This day being Sunday, it was busier than
usual, and its promenades were thronged with citizens and country
folk in holiday attire, among whom the Southern peasants, wearing
their quaint, centuries-old costume, stood out in picturesque
relief.  Fashion, in its world-wide crusade against variety and its
bitter contest with form and colour, has recoiled, defeated for the
present from the mountain fastnesses of Bavaria.  Still, as Sunday
or gala-day comes round, the broad-shouldered, sunburnt shepherd of
the Oberland dons his gay green-embroidered jacket over his snowy
shirt, fastens his short knee-breeches with a girdle round his
waist, claps his high, feather-crowned hat upon his waving curls,
and with bare legs, shod in mighty boots, strides over the hill-
sides to his Gretchen's door.

She is waiting for him, you may be sure, ready dressed; and a very
sweet, old-world picture she makes, standing beneath the great
overhanging gables of the wooden chalet.  She, too, favours the
national green; but, as relief, there is no lack of bonny red
ribbons, to flutter in the wind, and, underneath the ornamented
skirt, peeps out a bright-hued petticoat.  Around her ample breast
she wears a dark tight-fitting bodice, laced down the front.  (I
think this garment is called a stomacher, but I am not sure, as I
have never liked to ask.)  Her square shoulders are covered with the
whitest of white linen.  Her sleeves are also white; and being very
full, and of some soft lawnlike material, suggest the idea of folded
wings.  Upon her flaxen hair is perched a saucy round green hat.
The buckles of her dainty shoes, the big eyes in her pretty face,
are all four very bright.  One feels one would like much to change
places for the day with Hans.

Arm-in-arm, looking like some china, but exceedingly substantial
china, shepherd and shepherdess, they descend upon the town.  One
rubs one's eyes and stares after them as they pass.  They seem to
have stepped from the pictured pages of one of those old story-books
that we learnt to love, sitting beside the high brass guard that
kept ourselves and the nursery-fire from doing each other any
serious injury, in the days when the world was much bigger than it
is now, and much more real and interesting.

Munich and the country round about it make a great exchange of
peoples every Sunday.  In the morning, trainload after trainload of
villagers and mountaineers pour into the town, and trainload after
trainload of good and other citizens steam out to spend the day in
wood and valley, and upon lake and mountain-side.

We went into one or two of the beer-halls--not into the swell cafes,
crowded with tourists and Munich masherdom, but into the low-
ceilinged, smoke-grimed cellars where the life of the people is to
be seen.

The ungenteel people in a country are so much more interesting than
the gentlefolks.  One lady or gentleman is painfully like every
other lady or gentleman.  There is so little individuality, so
little character, among the upper circles of the world.  They talk
like each other, they think and act like each other, they dress like
each other, and look very much like each other.  We gentlefolks only
play at living.  We have our rules and regulations for the game,
which must not be infringed.  Our unwritten guide-books direct us
what to do and what to say at each turn of the meaningless sport.

To those at the bottom of the social pyramid, however, who stand
with their feet upon the earth, Nature is not a curious phenomenon
to be looked down at and studied, but a living force to be obeyed.
They front grim, naked Life, face to face, and wrestle with it
through the darkness; and, as did the angel that strove with Jacob,
it leaves its stamp upon them.

There is only one type of a gentleman.  There are five hundred types
of men and women.  That is why I always seek out and frequent the
places where the common people congregate, in preference to the
haunts of respectability.  I have to be continually explaining all
this to my friends, to account to them for what they call my love of
low life.

With a mug of beer before me, and a pipe in my mouth, I could sit
for hours contentedly, and watch the life that ebbs and flows into
and out of these old ale-kitchens.

The brawny peasant lads bring in their lasses to treat them to the
beloved nectar of Munich, together with a huge onion.  How they
enjoy themselves!  What splendid jokes they have!  How they laugh
and roar and sing!  At one table sit four old fellows, playing
cards.  How full of character is each gnarled face.  One is eager,
quick, vehement.  How his eyes dance!  You can read his every
thought upon his face.  You know when he is going to dash down the
king with a shout of triumph on the queen.  His neighbour looks
calm, slow, and dogged, but wears a confident expression.  The game
proceeds, and you watch and wait for him to play the winning cards
that you feel sure he holds.  He must intend to win.  Victory is
written in his face.  No! he loses.  A seven was the highest card in
his hand.  Everyone turns to him, surprised.  He laughs--A difficult
man to deal with, that, in other matters besides cards.  A man whose
thoughts lie a good deal below his skin.

Opposite, a cross-looking old woman clamours for sausages, gets
them, and seems crosser than ever.  She scowls round on everyone,
with a malignant expression that is quite terrifying.  A small dog
comes and sits down in front of her, and grins at her.  Still, with
the same savage expression of hatred towards all living things, she
feeds him with sausage at the end of a fork, regarding him all the
while with an aspect of such concentrated dislike, that one wonders
it does not interfere with his digestion.  In a corner, a stout old
woman talks incessantly to a solemn-looking man, who sits silent and
drinks steadily.  It is evident that he can stand her conversation
just so long as he has a mug of beer in front of him.  He has
brought her in here to give her a treat.  He will let her have her
talk out while he drinks.  Heavens! how she does talk!  She talks
without movement, without expression; her voice never varies, it
flows on, and on, and on, like a great resistless river.  Four young
artisans come clamping along in their hob-nailed boots, and seating
themselves at one of the rude wooden tables, call for beer.  With
their arms round the waist of the utterly indifferent Fraulein, they
shout and laugh and sing.  Nearly all the young folks here are
laughing--looking forward to life.  All the old folks are talking,
remembering it.

What grand pictures some of these old, seared faces round us would
make, if a man could only paint them--paint all that is in them, all
the tragedy--and comedy that the great playwright, Life, has written
upon the withered skins!  Joys and sorrows, sordid hopes and fears,
child-like strivings to be good, mean selfishness and grand
unselfishness, have helped to fashion these old wrinkled faces.  The
curves of cunning and kindliness lurk round these fading eyes.  The
lines of greed hover about these bloodless lips, that have so often
been tight-pressed in patient heroism.


We Dine.--A Curious Dish.--"A Feeling of Sadness Comes O'er Me."--
The German Cigar.--The Handsomest Match in Europe.--"How Easy 'tis
for Friends to Drift Apart," especially in a place like Munich
Railway Station.--The Victim of Fate.--A Faithful Bradshaw.--Among
the Mountains.--Prince and Pauper.--A Modern Romance.--Arrival at
Oberau.--Wise and Foolish Pilgrims.--An Interesting Drive.--Ettal
and its Monastery.--We Reach the Goal of our Pilgrimage.

At one o'clock we turned into a restaurant for dinner.  The Germans
themselves always dine in the middle of the day, and a very
substantial meal they make of it.  At the hotels frequented by
tourists table d'hote is, during the season, fixed for about six or
seven, but this is only done to meet the views of foreign customers.

I mention that we had dinner, not because I think that the
information will prove exciting to the reader, but because I wish to
warn my countrymen, travelling in Germany, against undue indulgence
in Liptauer cheese.

I am fond of cheese, and of trying new varieties of cheese; so that
when I looked down the cheese department of the bill of fare, and
came across "liptauer garnit," an article of diet I had never before
heard of, I determined to sample it.

It was not a tempting-looking cheese.  It was an unhealthy, sad-
looking cheese.  It looked like a cheese that had seen trouble.  In
appearance it resembled putty more than anything else.  It even
tasted like putty--at least, like I should imagine putty would
taste.  To this hour I am not positive that it was not putty.  The
garnishing was even more remarkable than the cheese.  All the way
round the plate were piled articles that I had never before seen at
a dinner, and that I do not ever want to see there again.  There was
a little heap of split-peas, three or four remarkably small
potatoes--at least, I suppose they were potatoes; if not, they were
pea-nuts boiled soft,--some caraway-seeds, a very young-looking
fish, apparently of the stickleback breed, and some red paint.  It
was quite a little dinner all to itself.

What the red paint was for, I could not understand.  B. thought that
it was put there for suicidal purposes.  His idea was that the
customer, after eating all the other things in the plate, would wish
he were dead, and that the restaurant people, knowing this, had
thoughtfully provided him with red paint for one, so that he could
poison himself off and get out of his misery.

I thought, after swallowing the first mouthful, that I would not eat
any more of this cheese.  Then it occurred to me that it was a pity
to waste it after having ordered it, and, besides, I might get to
like it before I had finished.  The taste for most of the good
things of this world has to be acquired.  I can remember the time
when I did not like beer.

So I mixed up everything on the plate all together--made a sort of
salad of it, in fact--and ate it with a spoon.  A more disagreeable
dish I have never tasted since the days when I used to do Willie
Evans's "dags," by walking twice through a sewer, and was
subsequently, on returning home, promptly put to bed, and made to
eat brimstone and treacle.

I felt very sad after dinner.  All the things I have done in my life
that I should not have done recurred to me with painful vividness.
(There seemed to be a goodish number of them, too.)  I thought of
all the disappointments and reverses I had experienced during my
career; of all the injustice that I had suffered, and of all the
unkind things that had been said and done to me.  I thought of all
the people I had known who were now dead, and whom I should never
see again, of all the girls that I had loved, who were now married
to other fellows, while I did not even know their present addresses.
I pondered upon our earthly existence, upon how hollow, false, and
transient it is, and how full of sorrow.  I mused upon the
wickedness of the world and of everybody in it, and the general
cussedness of all things.

I thought how foolish it was for B. and myself to be wasting our
time, gadding about Europe in this silly way.  What earthly
enjoyment was there in travelling--being jolted about in stuffy
trains, and overcharged at uncomfortable hotels?

B. was cheerful and frivolously inclined at the beginning of our
walk (we were strolling down the Maximilian Strasse, after dinner);
but as I talked to him, I was glad to notice that he gradually grew
more serious and subdued.  He is not really bad, you know, only

B. bought some cigars and offered me one.  I did not want to smoke.
Smoking seemed to me, just then, a foolish waste of time and money.
As I said to B.:

"In a few more years, perhaps before this very month is gone, we
shall be lying in the silent tomb, with the worms feeding on us.  Of
what advantage will it be to us then that we smoked these cigars to-

B. said:

"Well, the advantage it will be to me now is, that if you have a
cigar in your mouth I shan't get quite so much of your chatty
conversation.  Take one, for my sake."

To humour him, I lit up.

I do not admire the German cigar.  B. says that when you consider
they only cost a penny, you cannot grumble.  But what I say is, that
when you consider they are dear at six a half-penny, you can
grumble.  Well boiled, they might serve for greens; but as smoking
material they are not worth the match with which you light them,
especially not if the match be a German one.  The German match is
quite a high art work.  It has a yellow head and a magenta or green
stem, and can certainly lay claim to being the handsomest match in

We smoked a good many penny cigars during our stay in Germany, and
that we were none the worse for doing so I consider as proof of our
splendid physique and constitution.  I think the German cigar test
might, with reason, be adopted by life insurance offices.--Question:
"Are you at present, and have you always been, of robust health?"
Answer:  "I have smoked a German cigar, and still live."  Life

Towards three o'clock we worked our way round to the station, and
began looking for our train.  We hunted all over the place, but
could not find it anywhere.  The central station at Munich is an
enormous building, and a perfect maze of passages and halls and
corridors.  It is much easier to lose oneself in it, than to find
anything in it one may happen to want.  Together and separately B.
and I lost ourselves and each other some twenty-four times.  For
about half an hour we seemed to be doing nothing else but rushing up
and down the station looking for each other, suddenly finding each
other, and saying, "Why, where the dickens have you been?  I have
been hunting for you everywhere.  Don't go away like that," and then
immediately losing each other again.

And what was so extraordinary about the matter was that every time,
after losing each other, we invariably met again--when we did meet--
outside the door of the third-class refreshment room.

We came at length to regard the door of the third-class refreshment
room as "home," and to feel a thrill of joy when, in the course of
our weary wanderings through far-off waiting-rooms and lost-luggage
bureaus and lamp depots, we saw its old familiar handle shining in
the distance, and knew that there, beside it, we should find our
loved and lost one.

When any very long time elapsed without our coming across it, we
would go up to one of the officials, and ask to be directed to it.

"Please can you tell me," we would say, "the nearest way to the door
of the third-class refreshment room?"

When three o'clock came, and still we had not found the 3.10 train,
we became quite anxious about the poor thing, and made inquiries
concerning it.

"The 3.10 train to Ober-Ammergau," they said.  "Oh, we've not
thought about that yet."

"Haven't thought about it!" we exclaimed indignantly.  "Well, do for
heaven's sake wake up a bit.  It is 3.5 now!"

"Yes," they answered, "3.5 in the afternoon; the 3.10 is a night
train.  Don't you see it's printed in thick type?  All the trains
between six in the evening and six in the morning are printed in fat
figures, and the day trains in thin.  You have got plenty of time.
Look around after supper."

I do believe I am the most unfortunate man at a time-table that ever
was born.  I do not think it can be stupidity; for if it were mere
stupidity, I should occasionally, now and then when I was feeling
well, not make a mistake.  It must be fate.

If there is one train out of forty that goes on "Saturdays only" to
some place I want to get to, that is the train I select to travel by
on a Friday.  On Saturday morning I get up at six, swallow a hasty
breakfast, and rush off to catch a return train that goes on every
day in the week "except Saturdays."

I go to London, Brighton and South Coast Railway-stations and
clamour for South-Eastern trains.  On Bank Holidays I forget it is
Bank Holiday, and go and sit on draughty platforms for hours,
waiting for trains that do not run on Bank Holidays.

To add to my misfortunes, I am the miserable possessor of a demon
time-table that I cannot get rid of, a Bradshaw for August, 1887.
Regularly, on the first of each month, I buy and bring home with me
a new Bradshaw and a new A.B.C.  What becomes of them after the
second of the month, I do not know.  After the second of the month,
I never see either of them again.  What their fate is, I can only
guess.  In their place is left, to mislead me, this wretched old
1887 corpse.

For three years I have been trying to escape from it, but it will
not leave me.

I have thrown it out of the window, and it has fallen on people's
heads, and those people have picked it up and smoothed it out, and
brought it back to the house, and members of my family--"friends"
they call themselves--people of my own flesh and blood--have thanked
them and taken it in again!

I have kicked it into a dozen pieces, and kicked the pieces all the
way downstairs and out into the garden, and persons--persons, mind
you, who will not sew a button on the back of my shirt to save me
from madness--have collected the pieces and stitched them carefully
together, and made the book look as good as new, and put it back in
my study!

It has acquired the secret of perpetual youth, has this time-table.
Other time-tables that I buy become dissipated-looking wrecks in
about a week.  This book looks as fresh and new and clean as it did
on the day when it first lured me into purchasing it.  There is
nothing about its appearance to suggest to the casual observer that
it is not this month's Bradshaw.  Its evident aim and object in life
is to deceive people into the idea that it is this month's Bradshaw.

It is undermining my moral character, this book is.  It is
responsible for at least ten per cent. of the bad language that I
use every year.  It leads me into drink and gambling.  I am
continually finding myself with some three or four hours to wait at
dismal provincial railway stations.  I read all the advertisements
on both platforms, and then I get wild and reckless, and plunge into
the railway hotel and play billiards with the landlord for threes of

I intend to have that Bradshaw put into my coffin with me when I am
buried, so that I can show it to the recording angel and explain
matters.  I expect to obtain a discount of at least five-and-twenty
per cent. off my bill of crimes for that Bradshaw.

The 3.10 train in the morning was, of course, too late for us.  It
would not get us to Ober-Ammergau until about 9 a.m.  There was a
train leaving at 7.30 (I let B. find out this) by which we might
reach the village some time during the night, if only we could get a
conveyance from Oberau, the nearest railway-station.  Accordingly,
we telegraphed to Cook's agent, who was at Ober-Ammergau (we all of
us sneer at Mr. Cook and Mr. Gaze, and such-like gentlemen, who
kindly conduct travellers that cannot conduct themselves properly,
when we are at home; but I notice most of us appeal, on the quiet,
to one or the other of them the moment we want to move abroad), to
try and send a carriage to meet us by that train; and then went to
an hotel, and turned into bed until it was time to start.

We had another grand railway-ride from Munich to Oberau.  We passed
by the beautiful lake of Starnberg just as the sun was setting and
gilding with gold the little villages and pleasant villas that lie
around its shores.  It was in the lake of Starnberg, near the lordly
pleasure-house that he had built for himself in that fair vale, that
poor mad Ludwig, the late King of Bavaria, drowned himself.  Poor
King!  Fate gave him everything calculated to make a man happy,
excepting one thing, and that was the power of being happy.  Fate
has a mania for striking balances.  I knew a little shoeblack once
who used to follow his profession at the corner of Westminster
Bridge.  Fate gave him an average of sixpence a day to live upon and
provide himself with luxuries; but she also gave him a power of
enjoying that kept him jolly all day long.  He could buy as much
enjoyment for a penny as the average man could for a ten-pound note-
-more, I almost think.  He did not know he was badly off, any more
than King Ludwig knew he was well off; and all day long he laughed
and played, and worked a little--not more than he could help--and
ate and drank, and gambled.  The last time I saw him was in St.
Thomas's Hospital, into which he had got himself owing to his fatal
passion for walking along outside the stone coping of Westminster
Bridge.  He thought it was "prime," being in the hospital, and told
me that he was living like a fighting-cock, and that he did not mean
to go out sooner than he could help.  I asked him if he were not in
pain, and he said "Yes," when he "thought about it."

Poor little chap! he only managed to live like a "fighting-cock" for
three days more.  Then he died, cheerful up to the last, so they
told me, like the plucky little English game-cock he was.  He could
not have been more than twelve years old when he crowed his last.
It had been a short life for him, but a very merry one.

Now, if only this little beggar and poor old Ludwig could have gone
into partnership, and so have shared between them the shoeblack's
power of enjoying and the king's stock of enjoyments, what a good
thing it would have been for both of them--especially for King
Ludwig.  He would never have thought of drowning himself then--life
would have been too delightful.

But that would not have suited Fate.  She loves to laugh at men, and
to make of life a paradox.  To the one, she played ravishing
strains, having first taken the precaution to make him stone-deaf.
To the other, she piped a few poor notes on a cracked tin-whistle,
and he thought it was music, and danced!

A few years later on, at the very same spot where King Ludwig threw
back to the gods their gift of life, a pair of somewhat foolish
young lovers ended their disappointments, and, finding they could
not be wedded together in life, wedded themselves together in death.
The story, duly reported in the newspapers as an item of foreign
intelligence, read more like some old Rhine-legend than the record
of a real occurrence in this prosaic nineteenth century.

He was a German Count, if I remember rightly, and, like most German
Counts, had not much money; and her father, as fathers will when
proposed to by impecunious would-be sons-in-law, refused his
consent.  The Count then went abroad to try and make, or at all
events improve, his fortune.  He went to America, and there he
prospered.  In a year or two he came back, tolerably rich--to find,
however, that he was too late.  His lady, persuaded of his death,
had been urged into a marriage with a rich somebody else.  In
ordinary life, of course, the man would have contented himself with
continuing to make love to the lady, leaving the rich somebody else
to pay for her keep.  This young couple, however, a little lighter
headed, or a little deeper hearted than the most of us, whichever it
may have been, and angry at the mocking laughter with which the air
around them seemed filled, went down one stormy night together to
the lake, and sobered droll Fate for an instant by turning her grim
comedy into a somewhat grimmer tragedy.

Soon after losing sight of Starnberg's placid waters, we plunged
into the gloom of the mountains, and began a long, winding climb
among their hidden recesses.  At times, shrieking as if in terror,
we passed some ghostly hamlet, standing out white and silent in the
moonlight against the shadowy hills; and, now and then, a dark,
still lake, or mountain torrent whose foaming waters fell in a long
white streak across the blackness of the night.

We passed by Murnau in the valley of the Dragon, a little town which
possessed a Passion Play of its own in the olden times, and which,
until a few years ago, when the railway-line was pushed forward to
Partenkirchen, was the nearest station to Ober-Ammergau.  It was a
tolerably steep climb up the road from Murnau, over Mount Ettal, to
Ammergau--so steep, indeed, that one stout pilgrim not many years
ago, died from the exertion while walking up.  Sturdy-legged
mountaineer and pulpy citizen both had to clamber up side by side,
for no horses could do more than drag behind them the empty vehicle.

Every season, however, sees the European tourist more and more
pampered, and the difficulties and consequent pleasure and interest
of his journey more and more curtailed and spoilt.  In a few years'
time, he will be packed in cotton-wool in his own back-parlour,
labelled for the place he wants to go to, and unpacked and taken out
when he gets there.  The railway now carries him round Mount Ettal
to Oberau, from which little village a tolerably easy road, as
mountain roadways go, of about four or five English miles takes him
up to the valley of the Ammer.

It was midnight when our train landed us at Oberau station; but the
place was far more busy and stirring than on ordinary occasions it
is at mid-day.  Crowds of tourists and pilgrims thronged the little
hotel, wondering, as also did the landlord, where they were all
going to sleep; and wondering still more, though this latter
consideration evidently did not trouble their host, how they were
going to get up to Ober-Ammergau in the morning in time for the
play, which always begins at 8 a.m.

Some were engaging carriages at fabulous prices to call for them at
five; and others, who could not secure carriages, and who had
determined to walk, were instructing worried waiters to wake them at
2.30, and ordering breakfast for a quarter-past three sharp.  (I had
no idea there were such times in the morning!)

We were fortunate enough to find our land-lord, a worthy farmer,
waiting for us with a tumble-down conveyance, in appearance
something between a circus-chariot and a bath-chair, drawn by a
couple of powerful-looking horses; and in this, after a spirited
skirmish between our driver and a mob of twenty or so tourists, who
pretended to mistake the affair for an omnibus, and who would have
clambered into it and swamped it, we drove away.

Higher and higher we climbed, and grander and grander towered the
frowning moon-bathed mountains round us, and chillier and chillier
grew the air.  For most of the way we crawled along, the horses
tugging us from side to side of the steep road; but, wherever our
coachman could vary the monotony of the pace by a stretch-gallop--
as, for instance, down the precipitous descents that occasionally
followed upon some extra long and toilsome ascent--he thoughtfully
did so.  At such times the drive became really quite exciting, and
all our weariness was forgotten.

The steeper the descent, the faster, of course, we could go.  The
rougher the road, the more anxious the horses seemed to be to get
over it quickly.  During the gallop, B. and I enjoyed, in a
condensed form, all the advantages usually derived from crossing the
Channel on a stormy day, riding on a switchback railway, and being
tossed in a blanket--a hard, nobbly blanket, full of nasty corners
and sharp edges.  I should never have thought that so many different
sensations could have been obtained from one machine!

About half-way up we passed Ettal, at the entrance to the Valley of
the Ammer.  The great white temple, standing, surrounded by its
little village, high up amid the mountain solitudes, is a famous
place of pilgrimage among devout Catholics.  Many hundreds of years
ago, one of the early Bavarian kings built here a monastery as a
shrine for a miraculous image of the Virgin that had been sent down
to him from Heaven to help him when, in a foreign land, he had stood
sore in need, encompassed by his enemies.  Maybe the stout arms and
hearts of his Bavarian friends were of some service in the crisis
also; but the living helpers were forgotten.  The old church and
monastery, which latter was a sort of ancient Chelsea Hospital for
decayed knights, was destroyed one terrible night some hundred and
fifty years ago by a flash of lightning; but the wonder-working
image was rescued unhurt, and may still be seen and worshipped
beneath the dome of the present much less imposing church which has
been reared upon the ruins of its ancestor.

The monastery, which was also rebuilt at the same time, now serves
the more useful purpose of a brewery.

From Ettal the road is comparatively level, and, jolting swiftly
over it, we soon reached Ober-Ammergau.  Lights were passing to and
fro behind the many windows of the square stone houses, and dark,
strange-looking figures were moving about the streets, busy with
preparations for the great business that would commence with the

We rattled noisily through the village, our driver roaring out "Good
Night!" to everyone he passed in a voice sufficient to wake up
everybody who might be sleeping within a mile, charged light-
heartedly round half-a-dozen corners, trotted down the centre path
of somebody's front garden, squeezed our way through a gate, and
drew up at an open door, through which the streaming light poured
out upon two tall, comely lasses, our host's daughters, who were
standing waiting for us in the porch.  They led us into a large,
comfortably furnished room, where a tempting supper of hot veal-
chops (they seem to live on veal in Germany) and white wine was
standing ready.  Under ordinary circumstances I should have been
afraid that such a supper would cause me to be more eager for change
and movement during the ensuing six hours than for sleep; but I felt
that to-night it would take a dozen half-baked firebricks to keep me
awake five seconds after I had got my head on the pillow--or what
they call a pillow in Germany; and so, without hesitation, I made a
very satisfactory meal.

After supper our host escorted us to our bedroom, an airy apartment
adorned with various highly-coloured wood-carvings of a pious but
somewhat ghastly character, calculated, I should say, to exercise a
disturbing influence upon the night's rest of a nervous or sensitive

"Mind that we are called at proper time in the morning," said B. to
the man.  "We don't want to wake up at four o'clock in the afternoon
and find that we have missed the play, after coming all this way to
see it."

"Oh! that will be all right," answered the old fellow.  "You won't
get much chance of oversleeping yourself.  We shall all be up and
about, and the whole village stirring, before five; and besides, the
band will be playing at six just beneath the window here, and the
cannon on the Kofel goes off at--"

"Look here," I interrupted, "that won't do for me, you know.  Don't
you think that I am going to be woke up by mere riots outside the
window, and brass-band contests, and earthquakes, and explosions,
and those sort of things, because it can't be done that way.
Somebody's got to come into this room and haul me out of bed, and
sit down on the bed and see that I don't get into it again, and that
I don't go to sleep on the floor.  That will be the way to get me up
to-morrow morning.  Don't let's have any nonsense about stirring
villages and guns and German bands.  I know what all that will end
in, my going back to England without seeing the show.  I want to be
roused in the morning, not lulled off to sleep again."

B. translated the essential portions of this speech to the man, and
he laughed and promised upon his sacred word of honour that he would
come up himself and have us both out; and as he was a stalwart and
determined-looking man, I felt satisfied, and wished him "Good-
night," and made haste to get off my boots before I fell asleep.


A Pleasant Morning.--What can one Say about the Passion Play?--B.
Lectures.--Unreliable Description of Ober-Ammergau.--Exaggerated
Description of its Weather.--Possibly Untruthful Account of how the
Passion Play came to be Played.--A Good Face.--The Cultured
Schoolboy and his Ignorant Relations.

I am lying in bed, or, to speak more truthfully, I am sitting up on
a green satin, lace-covered pillow, writing these notes.  A green
satin, lace-covered bed is on the floor beside me.  It is about
eleven o'clock in the morning.  B. is sitting up in his bed a few
feet off, smoking a pipe.  We have just finished a light repast of--
what do you think? you will never guess--coffee and rolls.  We
intend to put the week straight by stopping in bed all day, at all
events until the evening.  Two English ladies occupy the bedroom
next to ours.  They seem to have made up their minds to also stay
upstairs all day.  We can hear them walking about their room,
muttering.  They have been doing this for the last three-quarters of
an hour.  They seem troubled about something.

It is very pleasant here.  An overflow performance is being given in
the theatre to-day for the benefit of those people who could not
gain admittance yesterday, and, through the open windows, we can
hear the rhythmic chant of the chorus.  Mellowed by the distance,
the wailing cadence of the plaintive songs, mingled with the shrill
Haydnistic strains of the orchestra, falls with a mournful sweetness
on our ears.

We ourselves saw the play yesterday, and we are now discussing it.
I am explaining to B. the difficulty I experience in writing an
account of it for my diary.  I tell him that I really do not know
what to say about it.

He smokes for a while in silence, and then, taking the pipe from his
lips, he says:

"Does it matter very much what you say about it?"

I find much relief in that thought.  It at once lifts from my
shoulders the oppressive feeling of responsibility that was weighing
me down.  After all, what does it matter what I say?  What does it
matter what any of us says about anything?  Nobody takes much notice
of it, luckily for everybody.  This reflection must be of great
comfort to editors and critics.  A conscientious man who really felt
that his words would carry weight and influence with them would be
almost afraid to speak at all.  It is the man who knows that it will
not make an ounce of difference to anyone what he says, that can
grow eloquent and vehement and positive.  It will not make any
difference to anybody or anything what I say about the Ober-Ammergau
Passion Play.  So I shall just say what I want to.

But what do I want to say?  What can I say that has not been said,
and said much better, already?  (An author must always pretend to
think that every other author writes better than he himself does.
He does not really think so, you know, but it looks well to talk as
though he did.)  What can I say that the reader does not know, or
that, not knowing, he cares to know?  It is easy enough to talk
about nothing, like I have been doing in this diary hitherto.  It is
when one is confronted with the task of writing about SOMEthing,
that one wishes one were a respectable well-to-do sweep--a sweep
with a comfortable business of his own, and a pony--instead of an

B. says:

"Well, why not begin by describing Ober-Ammergau."

I say it has been described so often.

He says:

"So has the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race and the Derby Day, but
people go on describing them all the same, and apparently find other
people to read their descriptions.  Say that the little village,
clustered round its mosque-domed church, nestles in the centre of a
valley, surrounded by great fir-robed hills, which stand, with the
cross-crowned Kofel for their chief, like stern, strong sentinels
guarding its old-world peace from the din and clamour of the outer
world.  Describe how the square, whitewashed houses are sheltered
beneath great overhanging gables, and are encircled by carved wooden
balconies and verandahs, where, in the cool of the evening, peasant
wood-carver and peasant farmer sit to smoke the long Bavarian pipe,
and chat about the cattle and the Passion Play and village politics;
and how, in gaudy colours above the porch, are painted glowing
figures of saints and virgins and such-like good folk, which the
rains have sadly mutilated, so that a legless angel on one side of
the road looks dejectedly across at a headless Madonna on the other,
while at an exposed corner some unfortunate saint, more cruelly
dealt with by the weather than he ever was even by the heathen, has
been deprived of everything that he could call his own, with the
exception of half a head and a pair of extra-sized feet.

"Explain how all the houses are numbered according to the date they
were built, so that number sixteen comes next to number forty-seven,
and there is no number one because it has been pulled down.  Tell
how unsophisticated visitors, informed that their lodgings are at
number fifty-three, go wandering for days and days round fifty-two,
under the not unreasonable impression that their house must be next
door, though, as a matter of fact, it is half a mile off at the
other end of the village, and are discovered one sunny morning,
sitting on the doorstep of number eighteen, singing pathetic
snatches of nursery rhymes, and trying to plat their toes into door-
mats, and are taken up and carried away screaming, to end their
lives in the madhouse at Munich.

"Talk about the weather.  People who have stayed here for any length
of time tell me that it rains at Ober-Ammergau three days out of
every four, the reason that it does not rain on the fourth day being
that every fourth day is set apart for a deluge.  They tell me,
also, that while it will be pouring with rain just in the village
the sun will be shining brightly all round about, and that the
villagers, when the water begins to come in through their roofs,
snatch up their children and hurry off to the nearest field, where
they sit and wait until the storm is over."

"Do you believe them--the persons that you say tell you these
tales?" I ask.

"Personally I do not," he replies.  "I think people exaggerate to me
because I look young and innocent, but no doubt there is a ground-
work of truth in their statements.  I have myself left Ober-Ammergau
under a steady drenching rain, and found a cloudless sky the other
side of the Kofel.

"Then," he continues, "you can comment upon the hardihood of the
Bavarian peasant.  How he or she walks about bare-headed and bare-
footed through the fiercest showers, and seems to find the rain only
pleasantly cooling.  How, during the performance of the Passion
Play, they act and sing and stand about upon the uncovered stage
without taking the slightest notice of the downpour of water that is
soaking their robes and running from their streaming hair, to make
great pools upon the boards; and how the audience, in the cheaper,
unroofed portion of the theatre, sit with equal stoicism, watching
them, no one ever dreaming even of putting up an umbrella--or, if he
does dream of doing so, experiencing a very rude awakening from the
sticks of those behind."

B. stops to relight his pipe at this point, and I hear the two
ladies in the next room fidgeting about and muttering worse than
ever.  It seems to me they are listening at the door (our room and
theirs are connected by a door); I do wish that they would either
get into bed again or else go downstairs.  They worry me.

"And what shall I say after I have said all that?" I ask B. when at
last he has started his pipe again.

"Oh! well, after that," he replies, "you can give the history of the
Passion Play; how it came to be played."

"Oh, but so many people have done that already," I say again.

"So much the better for you," is his reply.  Having previously heard
precisely the same story from half a dozen other sources, the public
will be tempted to believe you when you repeat the account.  Tell
them that during the thirty year's war a terrible plague (as if half
a dozen different armies, marching up and down their country,
fighting each other about the Lord only knows what, and living on
them while doing it, was not plague enough) swept over Bavaria,
devastating each town and hamlet.  Of all the highland villages,
Ober-Ammergau by means of a strictly enforced quarantine alone kept,
for a while, the black foe at bay.  No soul was allowed to leave the
village; no living thing to enter it.

"But one dark night Caspar Schuchler, an inhabitant of Ober-
Ammergau, who had been working in the plague-stricken neighbouring
village of Eschenlohe, creeping low on his belly, passed the drowsy
sentinels, and gained his home, and saw what for many a day he had
been hungering for--a sight of his wife and bairns.  It was a
selfish act to do, and he and his fellow-villagers paid dearly for
it.  Three days after he had entered his house he and all his family
lay dead, and the plague was raging through the valley, and nothing
seemed able to stay its course.

"When human means fail, we feel it is only fair to give Heaven a
chance.  The good people who dwelt by the side of the Ammer vowed
that, if the plague left them, they would, every ten years, perform
a Passion Play.  The celestial powers seem to have at once closed
with this offer.  The plague disappeared as if by magic, and every
recurring tenth year since, the Ober-Ammergauites have kept their
promise and played their Passion Play.  They act it to this day as a
pious observance.  Before each performance all the characters gather
together on the stage around their pastor, and, kneeling, pray for a
blessing upon the work then about to commence.  The profits that are
made, after paying the performers a wage that just compensates them
for their loss of time--wood-carver Maier, who plays the Christ,
only receives about fifty pounds for the whole of the thirty or so
performances given during the season, to say nothing of the winter's
rehearsals--is put aside, part for the temporal benefit of the
community, and the rest for the benefit of the Church.  From
burgomaster down to shepherd lad, from the Mary and the Jesus down
to the meanest super, all work for the love of their religion, not
for money.  Each one feels that he is helping forward the cause of

"And I could also speak," I add, "of grand old Daisenberger, the
gentle, simple old priest, 'the father of the valley,' who now lies
in silence among his children that he loved so well.  It was he, you
know, that shaped the rude burlesque of a coarser age into the
impressive reverential drama that we saw yesterday.  That is a
portrait of him over the bed.  What a plain, homely, good face it
is!  How pleasant, how helpful it is to come across a good face now
and then!  I do not mean a sainted face, suggestive of stained glass
and marble tombs, but a rugged human face that has had the grit, and
rain, and sunshine of life rubbed into it, and that has gained its
expression, not by looking up with longing at the stars, but by
looking down with eyes full of laughter and love at the human things
around it."

"Yes," assented B.  "You can put in that if you like.  There is no
harm in it.  And then you can go on to speak of the play itself, and
give your impressions concerning it.  Never mind their being silly.
They will be all the better for that.  Silly remarks are generally
more interesting than sensible ones."

"But what is the use of saying anything about it at all?" I urge.
"The merest school-boy must know all about the Ober-Ammergau Passion
Play by this time."

"What has that to do with you?" answers B.  "You are not writing for
cultured school-boys.  You are writing for mere simple men and
women.  They will be glad of a little information on the subject,
and then when the schoolboy comes home for his holiday they will be
able, so far as this topic, at all events, is concerned, to converse
with him on his own level and not appear stupid.

"Come," he says, kindly, trying to lead me on, "what did you think
about it?"

"Well," I reply, after musing for a while, "I think that a play of
eighteen acts and some forty scenes, which commences at eight
o'clock in the morning, and continues, with an interval of an hour
and a half for dinner, until six o'clock in the evening, is too
long.  I think the piece wants cutting.  About a third of it is
impressive and moving, and what the earnest student of the drama at
home is for ever demanding that a play should be--namely, elevating;
but I consider that the other two-thirds are tiresome."

"Quite so," answers B.  "But then we must remember that the
performance is not intended as an entertainment, but as a religious
service.  To criticise any part of it as uninteresting, is like
saying that half the Bible might very well have been omitted, and
that the whole story could have been told in a third of the space."


We talk on.--An Argument.--The Story that Transformed the World.

"And now, as to the right or wrong of the performance as a whole.
Do you see any objection to the play from a religious point of

"No," I reply, "I do not; nor do I understand how anybody else, and
least of all a really believing Christian, can either.  To argue as
some do, that Christianity should be treated as a sacred mystery, is
to argue against the whole scheme of Christianity.  It was Christ
himself that rent the veil of the Temple, and brought religion down
into the streets and market-places of the world.  Christ was a
common man.  He lived a common life, among common men and women.  He
died a common death.  His own methods of teaching were what a
Saturday reviewer, had he to deal with the case, would undoubtedly
term vulgar.  The roots of Christianity are planted deep down in the
very soil of life, amid all that is commonplace, and mean, and
petty, and everyday.  Its strength lies in its simplicity, its
homely humanness.  It has spread itself through the world by
speaking to the hearts, rather than to the heads of men.  If it is
still to live and grow, it must be helped along by such methods as
these peasant players of Ober-Ammergau employ, not by high-class
essays and the learned discussions of the cultured.

"The crowded audience that sat beside us in the theatre yesterday
saw Christ of Nazareth nearer than any book, however inspired, could
bring him to them; clearer than any words, however eloquent, could
show him.  They saw the sorrow of his patient face.  They heard his
deep tones calling to them.  They saw him in the hour of his so-
called triumph, wending his way through the narrow streets of
Jerusalem, the multitude that thronged round him waving their
branches of green palms and shouting loud hosannas.

"What a poor scene of triumph!--a poor-clad, pale-faced man, mounted
upon the back of a shuffling, unwilling little grey donkey, passing
slowly through the byways of a city, busy upon other things.  Beside
him, a little band of worn, anxious men, clad in thread-bare
garments--fishermen, petty clerks, and the like; and, following, a
noisy rabble, shouting, as crowds in all lands and in all times
shout, and as dogs bark, they know not why--because others are
shouting, or barking.  And that scene marks the highest triumph won
while he lived on earth by the village carpenter of Galilee, about
whom the world has been fighting and thinking and talking so hard
for the last eighteen hundred years.

"They saw him, angry and indignant, driving out the desecrators from
the temple.  They saw the rabble, who a few brief moments before had
followed him, shouting 'Hosanna,' slinking away from him to shout
with his foes.

"They saw the high priests in their robes of white, with the rabbis
and doctors, all the great and learned in the land, sitting late
into the night beneath the vaulted roof of the Sanhedrin's council-
hall, plotting his death.

"They saw him supping with his disciples in the house of Simon.
They saw poor, loving Mary Magdalen wash his feet with costly
ointment, that might have been sold for three hundred pence, and the
money given to the poor--'and us.'  Judas was so thoughtful for the
poor, so eager that other people should sell all they had, and give
the money to the poor--'and us.'  Methinks that, even in this
nineteenth century, one can still hear from many a tub and platform
the voice of Judas, complaining of all waste, and pleading for the
poor--'and us.'

"They were present at the parting of Mary and Jesus by Bethany, and
it will be many a day before the memory of that scene ceases to
vibrate in their hearts.  It is the scene that brings the humanness
of the great tragedy most closely home to us.  Jesus is going to
face sorrow and death at Jerusalem.  Mary's instinct tells her that
this is so, and she pleads to him to stay.

"Poor Mary!  To others he is the Christ, the Saviour of mankind,
setting forth upon his mighty mission to redeem the world.  To
loving Mary Mother, he is her son:  the baby she has suckled at her
breast, the little one she has crooned to sleep upon her lap, whose
little cheek has lain against her heart, whose little feet have made
sweet music through the poor home at Bethany:  he is her boy, her
child; she would wrap her mother's arms around him and hold him safe
against all the world, against even heaven itself.

"Never, in any human drama, have I witnessed a more moving scene
than this.  Never has the voice of any actress (and I have seen some
of the greatest, if any great ones are living) stirred my heart as
did the voice of Rosa Lang, the Burgomaster's daughter.  It was not
the voice of one woman, it was the voice of Motherdom, gathered
together from all the world over.

"Oliver Wendell Holmes, in The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, I
think, confesses to having been bewitched at different times by two
women's voices, and adds that both these voices belonged to German
women.  I am not surprised at either statement of the good doctor's.
I am sure if a man did fall in love with a voice, he would find, on
tracing it to its source, that it was the voice of some homely-
looking German woman.  I have never heard such exquisite soul-
drawing music in my life, as I have more than once heard float from
the lips of some sweet-faced German Fraulein when she opened her
mouth to speak.  The voice has been so pure, so clear, so deep, so
full of soft caressing tenderness, so strong to comfort, so gentle
to soothe, it has seemed like one of those harmonies musicians tell
us that they dream of, but can never chain to earth.

"As I sat in the theatre, listening to the wondrous tones of this
mountain peasant-woman, rising and falling like the murmur of a sea,
filling the vast sky-covered building with their yearning notes,
stirring like a great wind stirs Aeolian strings, the thousands of
trembling hearts around her, it seemed to me that I was indeed
listening to the voice of the 'mother of the world,' of mother
Nature herself.

"They saw him, as they had often seen him in pictures, sitting for
the last time with his disciples at supper.  But yesterday they saw
him, not a mute, moveless figure, posed in conventional, meaningless
attitude, but a living, loving man, sitting in fellowship with the
dear friends that against all the world had believed in him, and had
followed his poor fortunes, talking with them for the last sweet
time, comforting them.

"They heard him bless the bread and wine that they themselves to
this day take in remembrance of him.

"They saw his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, the human shrinking
from the cup of pain.  They saw the false friend, Judas, betray him
with a kiss.  (Alas! poor Judas!  He loved Jesus, in a way, like the
rest did.  It was only his fear of poverty that made him betray his
Master.  He was so poor--he wanted the money so badly!  We cry out
in horror against Judas.  Let us pray rather that we are never
tempted to do a shameful action for a few pieces of silver.  The
fear of poverty ever did, and ever will, make scamps of men.  We
would like to be faithful, and noble, and just, only really times
are so bad that we cannot afford it!  As Becky Sharp says, it is so
easy to be good and noble on five thousand a year, so very hard to
be it on the mere five.  If Judas had only been a well-to-do man, he
might have been Saint Judas this day, instead of cursed Judas.  He
was not bad.  He had only one failing--the failing that makes the
difference between a saint and a villain, all the world over--he was
a coward; he was afraid of being poor.)

"They saw him, pale and silent, dragged now before the priests of
his own countrymen, and now before the Roman Governor, while the
voice of the people--the people who had cried 'Hosanna' to him--
shouted 'Crucify him! crucify him!'  They saw him bleeding from the
crown of thorns.  They saw him, still followed by the barking mob,
sink beneath the burden of his cross.  They saw the woman wipe the
bloody sweat from off his face.  They saw the last, long, silent
look between the mother and the son, as, journeying upward to his
death, he passed her in the narrow way through which he once had
ridden in brief-lived triumph.  They heard her low sob as she turned
away, leaning on Mary Magdalen.  They saw him nailed upon the cross
between the thieves.  They saw the blood start from his side.  They
heard his last cry to his God.  They saw him rise victorious over

"Few believing Christians among the vast audience but must have
passed out from that strange playhouse with their belief and love
strengthened.  The God of the Christian, for his sake, became a man,
and lived and suffered and died as a man; and, as a man, living,
suffering, dying among other men, he had that day seen him.

"The man of powerful imagination needs no aid from mimicry, however
excellent, however reverent, to unroll before him in its simple
grandeur the great tragedy on which the curtain fell at Calvary some
eighteen and a half centuries ago.

"A cultivated mind needs no story of human suffering to win or hold
it to a faith.

"But the imaginative and cultured are few and far between, and the
peasants of Ober-Ammergau can plead, as their Master himself once
pleaded, that they seek not to help the learned but the lowly.

"The unbeliever, also, passes out into the village street full of
food for thought.  The rude sermon preached in this hillside temple
has shown to him, clearer than he could have seen before, the secret
wherein lies the strength of Christianity; the reason why, of all
the faiths that Nature has taught to her children to help them in
their need, to satisfy the hunger of their souls, this faith, born
by the Sea of Galilee, has spread the farthest over the world, and
struck its note the deepest into human life.  Not by his doctrines,
not even by his promises, has Christ laid hold upon the hearts of
men, but by the story of his life."


We Discuss the Performance.--A Marvellous Piece of Workmanship.--
The Adam Family.--Some Living Groups.--The Chief Performers.--A Good
Man, but a Bad Judas.--Where the Histrionic Artist Grows Wild.--An

"And what do you think of the performance AS a performance?" asks B.

"Oh, as to that," I reply, "I think what everyone who has seen the
play must think, that it is a marvellous piece of workmanship.

"Experienced professional stage-managers, with all the tricks and
methods of the theatre at their fingers' ends, find it impossible,
out of a body of men and women born and bred in the atmosphere of
the playhouse, to construct a crowd that looks like anything else
except a nervous group of broken-down paupers waiting for soup.

"At Ober-Ammergau a few village priests and representative
householders, who have probably never, any one of them, been inside
the walls of a theatre in their lives, dealing with peasants who
have walked straight upon the stage from their carving benches and
milking-stools, produce swaying multitudes and clamouring mobs and
dignified assemblages, so natural and truthful, so realistic of the
originals they represent, that you feel you want to leap upon the
stage and strangle them.

"It shows that earnestness and effort can very easily overtake and
pass mere training and technical skill.  The object of the Ober-
Ammergau 'super' is, not to get outside and have a drink, but to
help forward the success of the drama.

"The groupings, both in the scenes of the play itself and in the
various tableaux that precede each act, are such as I doubt if any
artist could improve upon.  The tableau showing the life of Adam and
Eve after their expulsion from Eden makes a beautiful picture.
Father Adam, stalwart and sunbrowned, clad in sheepskins, rests for
a moment from his delving, to wipe the sweat from his brow.  Eve,
still looking fair and happy--though I suppose she ought not to,--
sits spinning and watching the children playing at 'helping father.'
The chorus from each side of the stage explained to us that this
represented a scene of woe, the result of sin; but it seemed to me
that the Adam family were very contented, and I found myself
wondering, in my common, earthly way, whether, with a little trouble
to draw them closer together, and some honest work to keep them from
getting into mischief, Adam and Eve were not almost better off than
they would have been mooning about Paradise with nothing to do but

"In the tableau representing the return of the spies from Canaan,
some four or five hundred men, women and children are most
effectively massed.  The feature of the foreground is the sample
bunch of grapes, borne on the shoulders of two men, which the spies
have brought back with them from the promised land.  The sight of
this bunch of grapes, we are told, astonished the children of
Israel.  I can quite understand its doing so.  The picture of it
used to astonish me, too, when I was a child.

"The scene of Christ's entry into Jerusalem surrounded by the
welcoming multitude, is a wonderful reproduction of life and
movement, and so also is the scene, towards the end, showing his
last journey up to Calvary.  All Jerusalem seems to have turned out
to see him pass and to follow him, the many laughing, the few sad.
The people fill the narrow streets to overflowing, and press round
the spears of the Roman Guard.

"They throng the steps and balconies of every house, they strain to
catch a sight of Christ above each other's heads.  They leap up on
each other's backs to gain a better vantage-ground from which to
hurl their jeers at him.  They jostle irreverently against their
priests.  Each individual man, woman, and child on the stage acts,
and acts in perfect harmony with all the rest.

"Of the chief members of the cast--Maier, the gentle and yet kingly
Christ; Burgomaster Lang, the stern, revengeful High Priest; his
daughter Rosa, the sweet-faced, sweet-voiced Virgin; Rendl, the
dignified, statesman-like Pilate; Peter Rendl, the beloved John,
with the purest and most beautiful face I have ever seen upon a man;
old Peter Hett, the rugged, loving, weak friend, Peter; Rutz, the
leader of the chorus (no sinecure, his post); and Amalie Deschler,
the Magdalen--it would be difficult to speak in terms of too high
praise.  Themselves mere peasants--There are those two women again,
spying round our door; I am sure of it!" I exclaim, breaking off,
and listening to the sounds that come from the next room.  "I wish
they would go downstairs; I am beginning to get quite nervous."

"Oh, I don't think we need worry," answers B.  "They are quite old
ladies, both of them.  I met them on the stairs yesterday.  I am
sure they look harmless enough."

"Well, I don't know," I reply.  "We are all by ourselves, you know.
Nearly everyone in the village is at the theatre, I wish we had got
a dog."

B. reassures me, however, and I continue:

"Themselves mere peasants," I repeat, "they represent some of the
greatest figures in the world's history with as simple a dignity and
as grand a bearing as could ever have been expected from the
originals themselves.  There must be a natural inborn nobility in
the character of these highlanders.  They could never assume or act
that manner au grand seigneur with which they imbue their parts.

"The only character poorly played was that of Judas.  The part of
Judas is really THE part of the piece, so far as acting is
concerned; but the exemplary householder who essayed it seemed to
have no knowledge or experience of the ways and methods of bad men.
There seemed to be no side of his character sufficiently in sympathy
with wickedness to enable him to understand and portray it.  His
amateur attempts at scoundrelism quite irritated me.  It sounds
conceited to say so, but I am convinced I could have given a much
more truthful picture of the blackguard myself.

"'Dear, dear me,' I kept on saying under my breath, 'he is doing it
all wrong.  A downright unmitigated villain would never go on like
that; he would do so and so, he would look like this, and speak like
that, and act like the other.  I know he would.  My instinct tells
me so.'

"This actor was evidently not acquainted with even the rudiments of
knavery.  I wanted to get up and instruct him in them.  I felt that
there were little subtleties of rascaldom, little touches of
criminality, that I could have put that man up to, which would have
transformed his Judas from woodenness into breathing life.  As it
was, with no one in the village apparently who was worth his salt as
a felon to teach him, his performance was unconvincing, and Judas
became a figure to laugh rather than to shudder at.

"With that exception, the whole company, from Maier down to the
donkey, seemed to be fitted to their places like notes into a
master's melody.  It would appear as though, on the banks of the
Ammer, the histrionic artist grew wild."

"They are real actors, all of them," murmurs B. enthusiastically,
"the whole village full; and they all live happily together in one
small valley, and never try to kill each other.  It is marvellous!"

At this point, we hear a sharp knock at the door that separates the
before-mentioned ladies' room from our own.  We both start and turn
pale, and then look at each other.  B. is the first to recover his
presence of mind.  Eliminating, by a strong effort, all traces of
nervousness from his voice, he calls out in a tone of wonderful

"Yes, what is it?"

"Are you in bed?" comes a voice from the other side of the door.

"Yes," answers B.  "Why?"

"Oh!  Sorry to disturb you, but we shall be so glad when you get up.
We can't go downstairs without coming through your room.  This is
the only door.  We have been waiting here for two hours, and our
train goes at three."

Great Scott!  So that is why the poor old souls have been hanging
round the door, terrifying us out of our lives.

"All right, we'll be out in five minutes.  So sorry.  Why didn't you
call out before?"


Troubles of a Tourist Agent.--His Views on Tourists.--The English
Woman Abroad.--And at Home.--The Ugliest Cathedral in Europe.--Old
Masters and New.--Victual-and-Drink-Scapes.--The German Band.--A
"Beer Garden."--Not the Women to Turn a Man's Head.--Difficulty of
Dining to Music.--Why one should Keep one's Mug Shut.

I think myself it is Saturday.  B. says it is only Friday; but I am
positive I have had three cold baths since we left Ober-Ammergau,
which we did on Wednesday morning.  If it is only Friday, then I
have had two morning baths in one day.  Anyhow, we shall know to-
morrow by the shops being open or shut.

We travelled from Oberau with a tourist agent, and he told us all
his troubles.  It seems that a tourist agent is an ordinary human
man, and has feelings just like we have.  This had never occurred to
me before.  I told him so.

"No," he replied, "it never does occur to you tourists.  You treat
us as if we were mere Providence, or even the Government itself.  If
all goes well, you say, what is the good of us, contemptuously; and
if things go wrong, you say, what is the good of us, indignantly.  I
work sixteen hours a day to fix things comfortably for you, and you
cannot even look satisfied; while if a train is late, or a hotel
proprietor overcharges, you come and bully ME about it.  If I see
after you, you mutter that I am officious; and if I leave you alone,
you grumble that I am neglectful.  You swoop down in your hundreds
upon a tiny village like Ober-Ammergau without ever letting us know
even that you are coming, and then threaten to write to the Times
because there is not a suite of apartments and a hot dinner waiting
ready for each of you.

"You want the best lodgings in the place, and then, when at a
tremendous cost of trouble, they have been obtained for you, you
object to pay the price asked for them.  You all try and palm
yourselves off for dukes and duchesses, travelling in disguise.  You
have none of you ever heard of a second-class railway carriage--
didn't know that such things were made.  You want a first-class
Pullman car reserved for each two of you.  Some of you have seen an
omnibus in the distance, and have wondered what it was used for.  To
suggest that you should travel in such a plebeian conveyance, is to
give you a shock that takes you two days to recover from.  You
expect a private carriage, with a footman in livery, to take you
through the mountains.  You, all of you, must have the most
expensive places in the theatre.  The eight-mark and six-mark places
are every bit as good as the ten-mark seats, of which there are only
a very limited number; but you are grossly insulted if it is hinted
that you should sit in anything but the dearest chairs.  If the
villagers would only be sensible and charge you ten marks for the
eight-mark places you would be happy; but they won't."

I must candidly confess that the English-speaking people one meets
with on the Continent are, taken as a whole, a most disagreeable
contingent.  One hardly ever hears the English language spoken on
the Continent, without hearing grumbling and sneering.

The women are the most objectionable.  Foreigners undoubtedly see
the very poorest specimens of the female kind we Anglo-Saxons have
to show.  The average female English or American tourist is rude and
self-assertive, while, at the same time, ridiculously helpless and
awkward.  She is intensely selfish, and utterly inconsiderate of
others; everlastingly complaining, and, in herself, drearily
uninteresting.  We travelled down in the omnibus from Ober-Ammergau
with three perfect specimens of the species, accompanied by the
usual miserable-looking man, who has had all the life talked out of
him.  They were grumbling the whole of the way at having been put to
ride in an omnibus.  It seemed that they had never been so insulted
in their lives before, and they took care to let everybody in the
vehicle know that they had paid for first-class, and that at home
they kept their own carriage.  They were also very indignant because
the people at the house where they had lodged had offered to shake
hands with them at parting.  They did not come to Ober-Ammergau to
be treated on terms of familiarity by German peasants, they said.

There are many women in the world who are in every way much better
than angels.  They are gentle and gracious, and generous and kind,
and unselfish and good, in spite of temptations and trials to which
mere angels are never subjected.  And there are also many women in
the world who, under the clothes, and not unfrequently under the
title of a lady, wear the heart of an underbred snob.  Having no
natural dignity, they think to supply its place with arrogance.
They mistake noisy bounce for self-possession, and supercilious
rudeness as the sign of superiority.  They encourage themselves in
sleepy stupidity under the impression that they are acquiring
aristocratic "repose."  They would appear to have studied "attitude"
from the pages of the London Journal, coquetry from barmaids--the
commoner class of barmaids, I mean--wit from three-act farces, and
manners from the servants'-hall.  To be gushingly fawning to those
above them, and vulgarly insolent to everyone they consider below
them, is their idea of the way to hold and improve their position,
whatever it may be, in society; and to be brutally indifferent to
the rights and feelings of everybody else in the world is, in their
opinion, the hall-mark of gentle birth.

They are the women you see at private views, pushing themselves in
front of everybody else, standing before the picture so that no one
can get near it, and shouting out their silly opinions, which they
evidently imagine to be brilliantly satirical remarks, in strident
tones:  the women who, in the stalls of the theatre, talk loudly all
through the performance; and who, having arrived in the middle of
the first act, and made as much disturbance as they know how, before
settling down in their seats, ostentatiously get up and walk out
before the piece is finished:  the women who, at dinner-party and
"At Home"--that cheapest and most deadly uninteresting of all deadly
uninteresting social functions--(You know the receipt for a
fashionable "At Home," don't you?  Take five hundred people, two-
thirds of whom do not know each other, and the other third of whom
cordially dislike each other, pack them, on a hot day, into a room
capable of accommodating forty, leave them there to bore one another
to death for a couple of hours with drawing-room philosophy and
second-hand scandal; then give them a cup of weak tea, and a piece
of crumbly cake, without any plate to eat it on; or, if it is an
evening affair, a glass of champagne of the you-don't-forget-you've-
had-it-for-a-week brand, and a ham-sandwich, and put them out into
the street again)--can do nothing but make spiteful remarks about
everybody whose name and address they happen to know:  the women
who, in the penny 'bus (for, in her own country, the lady of the new
school is wonderfully economical and business-like), spreads herself
out over the seat, and, looking indignant when a tired little
milliner gets in, would leave the poor girl standing with her bundle
for an hour, rather than make room for her--the women who write to
the papers to complain that chivalry is dead!

B., who has been looking over my shoulder while I have been writing
the foregoing, after the manner of a Family Herald story-teller's
wife in the last chapter (fancy a man having to write the story of
his early life and adventures with his wife looking over his
shoulder all the time! no wonder the tales lack incident), says that
I have been living too much on sauerkraut and white wine; but I
reply that if anything has tended to interfere for a space with the
deep-seated love and admiration that, as a rule, I entertain for all
man and woman-kind, it is his churches and picture-galleries.

We have seen enough churches and pictures since our return to Munich
to last me for a very long while.  I shall not go to church, when I
get home again, more than twice a Sunday, for months to come.

The inhabitants of Munich boast that their Cathedral is the ugliest
in Europe; and, judging from appearances, I am inclined to think
that the claim must be admitted.  Anyhow, if there be an uglier one,
I hope I am feeling well and strong when I first catch sight of it.

As for pictures and sculptures, I am thoroughly tired of them.  The
greatest art critic living could not dislike pictures and sculptures
more than I do at this moment.  We began by spending a whole morning
in each gallery.  We examined each picture critically, and argued
with each other about its "form" and "colour" and "treatment" and
"perspective" and "texture" and "atmosphere."  I generally said it
was flat, and B. that it was out of drawing.  A stranger overhearing
our discussions would have imagined that we knew something about
painting.  We would stand in front of a canvas for ten minutes,
drinking it in.  We would walk round it, so as to get the proper
light upon it and to better realise the artist's aim.  We would back
away from it on to the toes of the people behind, until we reached
the correct "distance," and then sit down and shade our eyes, and
criticise it from there; and then we would go up and put our noses
against it, and examine the workmanship in detail.

This is how we used to look at pictures in the early stages of our
Munich art studies.  Now we use picture galleries to practise spurts

I did a hundred yards this morning through the old Pantechnicon in
twenty-two and a half seconds, which, for fair heel-and-toe walking,
I consider very creditable.  B. took five-eighths of a second longer
for the same distance; but then he dawdled to look at a Raphael.

The "Pantechnicon," I should explain, is the name we have, for our
own purposes, given to what the Munichers prefer to call the
Pinakothek.  We could never pronounce Pinakothek properly.  We
called it "Pynniosec," "Pintactec," and the "Happy Tack."  B. one
day after dinner called it the "Penny Cock," and then we both got
frightened, and agreed to fix up some sensible, practical name for
it before any mischief was done.  We finally decided on
"Pantechnicon," which begins with a "P," and is a dignified, old-
established name, and one that we can both pronounce.  It is quite
as long, and nearly as difficult to spell, before you know how, as
the other, added to which it has a homely sound.  It seemed to be
the very word.

The old Pantechnicon is devoted to the works of the old masters; I
shall not say anything about these, as I do not wish to disturb in
any way the critical opinion that Europe has already formed
concerning them.  I prefer that the art schools of the world should
judge for themselves in the matter.  I will merely remark here, for
purposes of reference, that I thought some of the pictures very
beautiful, and that others I did not care for.

What struck me as most curious about the exhibition was the number
of canvases dealing with food stuffs.  Twenty-five per cent. of the
pictures in the place seem to have been painted as advertisements
for somebody's home-grown seeds, or as coloured supplements to be
given away with the summer number of the leading gardening journal
of the period.

"What could have induced these old fellows," I said to B., "to
choose such very uninteresting subjects?  Who on earth cares to look
at the life-sized portrait of a cabbage and a peck of peas, or at
these no doubt masterly representations of a cut from the joint with
bread and vegetables?  Look at that 'View in a ham-and-beef shop,'
No. 7063, size sixty feet by forty.  It must have taken the artist a
couple of years to paint.  Who did he expect was going to buy it?
And that Christmas-hamper scene over in the corner; was it painted,
do you think, by some poor, half-starved devil, who thought he would
have something to eat in the house, if it were only a picture of

B. said he thought that the explanation was that the ancient patrons
of art were gentry with a very strong idea of the fitness of things.
For "their churches and cathedrals," said B., "they had painted all
those virgins and martyrs and over-fed angels that you see
everywhere about Europe.  For their bedrooms, they ordered those--
well, those bedroom sort of pictures, that you may have noticed here
and there; and then I expect they used these victual-and-drink-
scapes for their banqueting halls.  It must have been like a gin-
and-bitters to them, the sight of all that food."

In the new Pantechnicon is exhibited the modern art of Germany.
This appeared to me to be exceedingly poor stuff.  It seemed to
belong to the illustrated Christmas number school of art.  It was
good, sound, respectable work enough.  There was plenty of colour
about it, and you could tell what everything was meant for.  But
there seemed no imagination, no individuality, no thought, anywhere.
Each picture looked as though it could have been produced by anyone
who had studied and practised art for the requisite number of years,
and who was not a born fool.  At all events, this is my opinion;
and, as I know nothing whatever about art, I speak without

One thing I have enjoyed at Munich very much, and that has been the
music.  The German band that you hear in the square in London while
you are trying to compose an essay on the civilising influence of
music, is not the sort of band that you hear in Germany.  The German
bands that come to London are bands that have fled from Germany, in
order to save their lives.  In Germany, these bands would be
slaughtered at the public expense and their bodies given to the poor
for sausages.  The bands that the Germans keep for themselves are
magnificent bands.

Munich of all places in the now united Fatherland, has, I suppose,
the greatest reputation for its military bands, and the citizens are
allowed, not only to pay for them, but to hear them.  Two or three
times a day in different parts of the city one or another of them
will be playing pro bono publico, and, in the evening, they are
loaned out by the authorities to the proprietors of the big beer-

"Go" and dash are the chief characteristics of their method; but,
when needed, they can produce from the battered, time-worn trumpets,
which have been handed down from player to player since the regiment
was first formed, notes as soft and full and clear as any that could
start from the strings of some old violin.

The German band in Germany has to know its business to be listened
to by a German audience.  The Bavarian artisan or shopkeeper
understands and appreciates good music, as he understands and
appreciates good beer.  You cannot impose upon him with an inferior
article.  A music-hall audience in Munich are very particular as to
how their beloved Wagner is rendered, and the trifles from Mozart
and Haydn that they love to take in with their sausages and salad,
and which, when performed to their satisfaction, they will
thunderously applaud, must not be taken liberties with, or they will
know the reason why.

The German beer-garden should be visited by everyone who would see
the German people as well as their churches and castles.  It is here
that the workers of all kinds congregate in the evening.  Here,
after the labours of the day, come the tradesman with his wife and
family, the young clerk with his betrothed and--also her mother,
alack and well-a-day!--the soldier with his sweetheart, the students
in twos and threes, the little grisette with her cousin, the shop-
boy and the workman.

Here come grey-haired Darby and Joan, and, over the mug of beer they
share between them, they sit thinking of the children--of little
Lisa, married to clever Karl, who is pushing his way in the far-off
land that lies across the great sea; of laughing Elsie, settled in
Hamburg, who has grandchildren of her own now; of fair-haired Franz,
his mother's pet, who fell in sunny France, fighting for the
fatherland.  At the next table sits a blushing, happy little maid,
full of haughty airs and graces, such as may be excused to a little
maid who has just saved a no doubt promising, but at present
somewhat awkward-looking, youth from lifelong misery, if not madness
and suicide (depend upon it, that is the alternative he put before
her), by at last condescending to give him the plump little hand,
that he, thinking nobody sees him, holds so tightly beneath the
table-cloth.  Opposite, a family group sit discussing omelettes and
a bottle of white wine.  The father contented, good-humoured, and
laughing; the small child grave and solemn, eating and drinking in
business-like fashion; the mother smiling at both, yet not
forgetting to eat.

I think one would learn to love these German women if one lived
among them for long.  There is something so sweet, so womanly, so
genuine about them.  They seem to shed around them, from their
bright, good-tempered faces, a healthy atmosphere of all that is
homely, and simple, and good.  Looking into their quiet, steadfast
eyes, one dreams of white household linen, folded in great presses;
of sweet-smelling herbs; of savoury, appetising things being cooked
for supper; of bright-polished furniture; of the patter of tiny
feet; of little high-pitched voices, asking silly questions; of
quiet talks in the lamp-lit parlour after the children are in bed,
upon important questions of house management and home politics,
while long stockings are being darned.

They are not the sort of women to turn a man's head, but they are
the sort of women to lay hold of a man's heart--very gently at
first, so that he hardly knows that they have touched it, and then,
with soft, clinging tendrils that wrap themselves tighter and
tighter year by year around it, and draw him closer and closer--
till, as, one by one, the false visions and hot passions of his
youth fade away, the plain homely figure fills more and more his
days--till it grows to mean for him all the better, more lasting,
true part of life--till he feels that the strong, gentle mother-
nature that has stood so long beside him has been welded firmly into
his own, and that they twain are now at last one finished whole.

We had our dinner at a beer-garden the day before yesterday.  We
thought it would be pleasant to eat and drink to the accompaniment
of music, but we found that in practice this was not so.  To dine
successfully to music needs a very strong digestion--especially in

The band that performs at a Munich beer-garden is not the sort of
band that can be ignored.  The members of a Munich military band are
big, broad-chested fellows, and they are not afraid of work.  They
do not talk much, and they never whistle.  They keep all their
breath to do their duty with.  They do not blow their very hardest,
for fear of bursting their instruments; but whatever pressure to the
square inch the trumpet, cornet, or trombone, as the case may be, is
calculated to be capable of sustaining without permanent injury (and
they are tolerably sound and well-seasoned utensils), that pressure
the conscientious German bandsman puts upon each square inch of the
trumpet, cornet, or trombone, as the case may be.

If you are within a mile of a Munich military band, and are not
stone deaf, you listen to it, and do not think of much else.  It
compels your attention by its mere noise; it dominates your whole
being by its sheer strength.  Your mind has to follow it as the feet
of the little children followed the playing of the Pied Piper.
Whatever you do, you have to do in unison with the band.  All
through our meal we had to keep time with the music.

We ate our soup to slow waltz time, with the result that every
spoonful was cold before we got it up to our mouth.  Just as the
fish came, the band started a quick polka, and the consequence of
that was that we had not time to pick out the bones.  We gulped down
white wine to the "Blacksmith's Galop," and if the tune had lasted
much longer we should both have been blind drunk.  With the advent
of our steaks, the band struck up a selection from Wagner.

I know of no modern European composer so difficult to eat beefsteak
to as Wagner.  That we did not choke ourselves is a miracle.
Wagner's orchestration is most trying to follow.  We had to give up
all idea of mustard.  B. tried to eat a bit of bread with his steak,
and got most hopelessly out of tune.  I am afraid I was a little
flat myself during the "Valkyries' Ride."  My steak was rather
underdone, and I could not work it quickly enough.

After getting outside hard beefsteak to Wagner, putting away potato
salad to the garden music out of Faust was comparatively simple.
Once or twice a slice of potato stuck in our throat during a very
high note, but, on the whole, our rendering was fairly artistic.

We rattled off a sweet omelette to a symphony in G--or F, or else K;
I won't be positive as to the precise letter; but it was something
in the alphabet, I know--and bolted our cheese to the ballet music
from Carmen.  After which we rolled about in agonies to all the
national airs of Europe.

If ever you visit a German beer-hall or garden--to study character
or anything of that kind--be careful, when you have finished
drinking your beer, to shut the cover of the mug down tight.  If you
leave it with the cover standing open, that is taken as a sign that
you want more beer, and the girl snatches it away and brings it back

B. and I very nearly had an accident one warm night, owing to our
ignorance of this custom.  Each time after we had swallowed the
quart, we left the pot, standing before us with the cover up, and
each time it was, in consequence, taken away, and brought back to
us, brimming full again.  After about the sixth time, we gently

"This is very kind of you, my good girl," B. said, "but really I
don't think we CAN.  I don't think we ought to.  You must not go on
doing this sort of thing.  We will drink this one now that you have
brought it, but we really must insist on its being the last."

After about the tenth time we expostulated still more strongly.

"Now, you know what I told you four quarts ago!" remarked B.,
severely.  "This can't go on for ever.  Something serious will be
happening.  We are not used to your German school of drinking.  We
are only foreigners.  In our own country we are considered rather
swagger at this elbow-raising business, and for the credit of old
England we have done our best.  But now there must be an end to it.
I simply decline to drink any more.  No, do not press me.  Not even
another gallon!"

"But you both sit there with both your mugs open," replies the girl
in an injured tone.

"What do you mean, 'we sit with our mugs open'?" asks B.  "Can't we
have our mugs open if we like?"

"Ah, yes," she explains pathetically; "but then I think you want
more beer.  Gentlemen always open their mugs when they want them
filled with beer."

We kept our mugs shut after that.


A Long Chapter, but happily the Last.--The Pilgrims' Return.--A
Deserted Town.--Heidelberg.--The Common, or Bed, Sheet, Considered
as a Towel.--B. Grapples with a Continental Time Table.--An
Untractable Train.--A Quick Run.--Trains that Start from Nowhere.--
Trains that Arrive at Nowhere.--Trains that Don't Do Anything.--B.
Goes Mad.--Railway Travelling in Germany.--B. is Taken Prisoner.--
His Fortitude.--Advantages of Ignorance.--First Impressions of
Germany and of the Germans.

We are at Ostend.  Our pilgrimage has ended.  We sail for Dover in
three hours' time.  The wind seems rather fresh, but they say that
it will drop towards the evening.  I hope they are not deceiving us.

We are disappointed with Ostend.  We thought that Ostend would be
gay and crowded.  We thought that there would be bands and theatres
and concerts, and busy table-d'hotes, and lively sands, and thronged
parades, and pretty girls at Ostend.

I bought a stick and a new pair of boots at Brussels on purpose for

There does not seem to be a living visitor in the place besides
ourselves--nor a dead one either, that we can find.  The shops are
shut up, the houses are deserted, the casino is closed.  Notice-
boards are exhibited outside the hotels to the effect that the
police have strict orders to take into custody anybody found
trespassing upon or damaging the premises.

We found one restaurant which looked a little less like a morgue
than did the other restaurants in the town, and rang the bell.
After we had waited for about a quarter of an hour, an old woman
answered the door, and asked us what we wanted.  We said a steak and
chipped potatoes for two, and a couple of lagers.  She said would we
call again in about a fortnight's time, when the family would be at
home?  She did not herself know where the things were kept.

We went down on to the sands this morning.  We had not been walking
up and down for more than half an hour before we came across the
distinct imprint of a human foot.  Someone must have been there this
very day!  We were a good deal alarmed.  We could not imagine how he
came there.  The weather is too fine for shipwrecks, and it was not
a part of the coast where any passing trader would be likely to
land.  Besides, if anyone has landed, where is he?  We have been
able to find no trace of him whatever.  To this hour, we have never
discovered who our strange visitant was.

It is a very mysterious affair, and I am glad we are going away.

We have been travelling about a good deal since we left Munich.  We
went first to Heidelberg.  We arrived early in the morning at
Heidelberg, after an all-night journey, and the first thing that the
proprietor of the Royal suggested, on seeing us, was that we should
have a bath.  We consented to the operation, and were each shown
into a little marble bath-room, in which I felt like a bit out of a
picture by Alma Tadema.

The bath was very refreshing; but I should have enjoyed the whole
thing much better if they had provided me with something more
suitable to wipe upon than a thin linen sheet.  The Germans hold
very curious notions as to the needs and requirements of a wet man.
I wish they would occasionally wash and bath themselves, and then
they would, perhaps, obtain more practical ideas upon the subject.
I have wiped upon a sheet in cases of emergency, and so I have upon
a pair of socks; but there is no doubt that the proper thing is a
towel.  To dry oneself upon a sheet needs special training and
unusual agility.  A Nautch Girl or a Dancing Dervish would, no
doubt, get through the performance with credit.  They would twirl
the sheet gracefully round their head, draw it lightly across their
back, twist it in waving folds round their legs, wrap themselves for
a moment in its whirling maze, and then lightly skip away from it,
dry and smiling.

But that is not the manner in which the dripping, untaught Briton
attempts to wipe himself upon a sheet.  The method he adopts is, to
clutch the sheet with both hands, lean up against the wall, and rub
himself with it.  In trying to get the thing round to the back of
him, he drops half of it into the water, and from that moment the
bathroom is not big enough to enable him to get away for an instant
from that wet half.  When he is wiping the front of himself with the
dry half, the wet half climbs round behind, and, in a spirit of
offensive familiarity, slaps him on the back.  While he is stooping
down rubbing his feet, it throws itself with delirious joy around
his head, and he is black in the face before he can struggle away
from its embrace.  When he is least expecting anything of the kind,
it flies round and gives him a playful flick upon some particularly
tender part of his body that sends him springing with a yell ten
feet up into the air.  The great delight of the sheet, as a whole,
is to trip him up whenever he attempts to move, so as to hear what
he says when he sits down suddenly on the stone floor; and if it can
throw him into the bath again just as he has finished wiping
himself, it feels that life is worth living after all.

We spent two days at Heidelberg, climbing the wooded mountains that
surround that pleasant little town, and that afford, from their
restaurant or ruin-crowned summits, enchanting, far-stretching
views, through which, with many a turn and twist, the distant Rhine
and nearer Neckar wind; or strolling among the crumbling walls and
arches of the grand, history-logged wreck that was once the noblest
castle in all Germany.

We stood in awed admiration before the "Great Tun," which is the
chief object of interest in Heidelberg.  What there is of interest
in the sight of a big beer-barrel it is difficult, in one's calmer
moments, to understand; but the guide book says that it is a thing
to be seen, and so all we tourists go and stand in a row and gape at
it.  We are a sheep-headed lot.  If, by a printer's error, no
mention were made in the guide book of the Colosseum, we should
spend a month in Rome, and not think it worth going across the road
to look at.  If the guide book says we must by no means omit to pay
a visit to some famous pincushion that contains eleven million pins,
we travel five hundred miles on purpose to see it!

From Heidelberg we went to Darmstadt.  We spent half-an-hour at
Darmstadt.  Why we ever thought of stopping longer there, I do not
know.  It is a pleasant enough town to live in, I should say; but
utterly uninteresting to the stranger.  After one walk round it, we
made inquiries as to the next train out of it, and being informed
that one was then on the point of starting, we tumbled into it and
went to Bonn.

From Bonn (whence we made one or two Rhine excursions, and where we
ascended twenty-eight "blessed steps" on our knees--the chapel
people called them "blessed steps;" WE didn't, after the first
fourteen) we returned to Cologne.  From Cologne we went to Brussels;
from Brussels to Ghent (where we saw more famous pictures, and heard
the mighty "Roland" ring "o'er lagoon and lake of sand").  From
Ghent we went to Bruges (where I had the satisfaction of throwing a
stone at the statue of Simon Stevin, who added to the miseries of my
school-days, by inventing decimals), and from Bruges we came on

Finding out and arranging our trains has been a fearful work.  I
have left the whole business with B., and he has lost two stone over
it.  I used to think at one time that my own dear native Bradshaw
was a sufficiently hard nut for the human intellect to crack; or, to
transpose the simile, that Bradshaw was sufficient to crack an
ordinary human nut.  But dear old Bradshaw is an axiom in Euclid for
stone-wall obviousness, compared with a through Continental time-
table.  Every morning B. has sat down with the book before him, and,
grasping his head between his hands, has tried to understand it
without going mad.

"Here we are," he has said.  "This is the train that will do for us.
Leaves Munich at 1.45; gets to Heidelberg at 4--just in time for a
cup of tea."

"Gets to Heidelberg at 4?" I exclaim.  "Does the whole distance in
two and a quarter hours?  Why, we were all night coming down!"

"Well, there you are," he says, pointing to the time-table.
"Munich, depart 1.45; Heidelberg, arrive 4."

"Yes," I say, looking over his shoulder; "but don't you see the 4 is
in thick type?  That means 4 in the morning."

"Oh, ah, yes," he replies.  "I never noticed that.  Yes, of course.
No! it can't be that either.  Why, that would make the journey
fourteen hours.  It can't take fourteen hours.  No, of course not.
That's not meant for thick type, that 4.  That's thin type got a
little thick, that's all."

"Well, it can't be 4 this afternoon," I argue.  "It must be 4 to-
morrow afternoon!  That's just what a German express train would
like to do--take a whole day over a six hours' job!"

He puzzles for a while, and then breaks out with:

"Oh!  I see it now.  How stupid of me!  That train that gets to
Heidelberg at 4 comes from Berlin."

He seemed quite delighted with this discovery.

"What's the good of it to us, then?" I ask.

That depresses him.

"No, it is not much good, I'm afraid," he agrees.  "It seems to go
straight from Berlin to Heidelberg without stopping at Munich at
all.  Well then, where does the 1.45 go to?  It must go somewhere."

Five minutes more elapse, and then he exclaims:

"Drat this 1.45!  It doesn't seem to go anywhere.  Munich depart
1.45, and that's all.  It must go somewhere!"

Apparently, however, it does not.  It seems to be a train that
starts out from Munich at 1.45, and goes off on the loose.
Possibly, it is a young, romantic train, fond of mystery.  It won't
say where it's going to.  It probably does not even know itself.  It
goes off in search of adventure.

"I shall start off," it says to itself, "at 1.45 punctually, and
just go on anyhow, without thinking about it, and see where I get

Or maybe it is a conceited, headstrong young train.  It will not be
guided or advised.  The traffic superintendent wants it to go to St.
Petersburg or to Paris.  The old grey-headed station-master argues
with it, and tries to persuade it to go to Constantinople, or even
to Jerusalem if it likes that better--urges it to, at all events,
make up its mind where it IS going--warns it of the danger to young
trains of having no fixed aim or object in life.  Other people,
asked to use their influence with it, have talked to it like a
father, and have begged it, for their sakes, to go to Kamskatka, or
Timbuctoo, or Jericho, according as they have thought best for it;
and then, finding that it takes no notice of them, have got wild
with it, and have told it to go to still more distant places.

But to all counsel and entreaty it has turned a deaf ear.

"You leave me alone," it has replied; "I know where I'm going to.
Don't you worry yourself about me.  You mind your own business, all
of you.  I don't want a lot of old fools telling me what to do.  I
know what I'm about."

What can be expected from such a train?  The chances are that it
comes to a bad end.  I expect it is recognised afterwards, a broken-
down, unloved, friendless, old train, wandering aimless and despised
in some far-off country, musing with bitter regret upon the day
when, full of foolish pride and ambition, it started from Munich,
with its boiler nicely oiled, at 1.45.

B. abandons this 1.45 as hopeless and incorrigible, and continues
his search.

"Hulloa! what's this?" he exclaims.  "How will this do us?  Leaves
Munich at 4, gets to Heidelberg 4.15.  That's quick work.  Something
wrong there.  That won't do.  You can't get from Munich to
Heidelberg in a quarter of an hour.  Oh! I see it.  That 4 o'clock
goes to Brussels, and then on to Heidelberg afterwards.  Gets in
there at 4.15 to-morrow, I suppose.  I wonder why it goes round by
Brussels, though?  Then it seems to stop at Prague for ever so long.
Oh, damn this timetable!"

Then he finds another train that starts at 2.15, and seems to be an
ideal train.  He gets quite enthusiastic over this train.

"This is the train for us, old man," he says.  "This is a splendid
train, really.  It doesn't stop anywhere."

"Does it GET anywhere?" I ask.

"Of course it gets somewhere," he replies indignantly.  "It's an
express!  Munich," he murmurs, tracing its course through the
timetable, "depart 2.15.  First and second class only.  Nuremberg?
No; it doesn't stop at Nuremberg.  Wurtzburg?  No.  Frankfort for
Strasburg?  No.  Cologne, Antwerp, Calais?  Well, where does it
stop?  Confound it! it must stop somewhere.  Berlin, Paris,
Brussels, Copenhagen?  No.  Upon my soul, this is another train that
does not go anywhere!  It starts from Munich at 2.15, and that's
all.  It doesn't do anything else."

It seems to be a habit of Munich trains to start off in this
purposeless way.  Apparently, their sole object is to get away from
the town.  They don't care where they go to; they don't care what
becomes of them, so long as they escape from Munich.

"For heaven's sake," they say to themselves, "let us get away from
this place.  Don't let us bother about where we shall go; we can
decide that when we are once fairly outside.  Let's get out of
Munich; that's the great thing."

B. begins to grow quite frightened.  He says:

"We shall never be able to leave this city.  There are no trains out
of Munich at all.  It's a plot to keep us here, that's what it is.
We shall never be able to get away.  We shall never see dear old
England again!"

I try to cheer him up by suggesting that perhaps it is the custom in
Bavaria to leave the destination of the train to the taste and fancy
of the passengers.  The railway authorities provide a train, and
start it off at 2.15.  It is immaterial to them where it goes to.
That is a question for the passengers to decide among themselves.
The passengers hire the train and take it away, and there is an end
of the matter, so far as the railway people are concerned.  If there
is any difference of opinion between the passengers, owing to some
of them wishing to go to Spain, while others want to get home to
Russia, they, no doubt, settle the matter by tossing up.

B., however, refuses to entertain this theory, and says he wishes I
would not talk so much when I see how harassed he is.  That's all
the thanks I get for trying to help him.

He worries along for another five minutes, and then he discovers a
train that gets to Heidelberg all right, and appears to be in most
respects a model train, the only thing that can be urged against it
being that it does not start from anywhere.

It seems to drop into Heidelberg casually and then to stop there.
One expects its sudden advent alarms the people at Heidelberg
station.  They do not know what to make of it.  The porter goes up
to the station-master, and says:

"Beg pardon, sir, but there's a strange train in the station."

"Oh!" answers the station-master, surprised, "where did it come

"Don't know," replies the man; "it doesn't seem to know itself."

"Dear me," says the station-master, "how very extraordinary!  What
does it want?"

"Doesn't seem to want anything particular," replies the other.
"It's a curious sort of train.  Seems to be a bit dotty, if you ask

"Um," muses the station-master, "it's a rum go.  Well, I suppose we
must let it stop here a bit now.  We can hardly turn it out a night
like this.  Oh, let it make itself comfortable in the wood-shed till
the morning, and then we will see if we can find its friends."

At last B. makes the discovery that to get to Heidelberg we must go
to Darmstadt and take another train from there.  This knowledge
gives him renewed hope and strength, and he sets to work afresh--
this time, to find trains from Munich to Darmstadt, and from
Darmstadt to Heidelberg.

"Here we are," he cries, after a few minutes' hunting.  "I've got
it!"  (He is of a buoyant disposition.)  "This will be it.  Leaves
Munich 10, gets to Darmstadt 5.25.  Leaves Darmstadt for Heidelberg
5.20, gets to--"

"That doesn't allow us much time for changing, does it?" I remark.

"No," he replies, growing thoughtful again.  "No, that's awkward.
If it were only the other way round, it would be all right, or it
would do if our train got there five minutes before its time, and
the other one was a little late in starting."

"Hardly safe to reckon on that," I suggest; and he agrees with me,
and proceeds to look for some more fitable trains.

It would appear, however, that all the trains from Darmstadt to
Heidelberg start just a few minutes before the trains from Munich
arrive.  It looks quite pointed, as though they tried to avoid us.

B.'s intellect generally gives way about this point, and he becomes
simply drivelling.  He discovers trains that run from Munich to
Heidelberg in fourteen minutes, by way of Venice and Geneva, with
half-an-hour's interval for breakfast at Rome.  He rushes up and
down the book in pursuit of demon expresses that arrive at their
destinations forty-seven minutes before they start, and leave again
before they get there.  He finds out, all by himself, that the only
way to get from South Germany to Paris is to go to Calais, and then
take the boat to Moscow.  Before he has done with the timetable, he
doesn't know whether he is in Europe, Asia, Africa, or America, nor
where he wants to get to, nor why he wants to go there.

Then I quietly, but firmly, take the book away from him, and dress
him for going out; and we take our bags and walk to the station, and
tell a porter that, "Please, we want to go to Heidelberg."  And the
porter takes us one by each hand, and leads us to a seat and tells
us to sit there and be good, and that, when it is time, he will come
and fetch us and put us in the train; and this he does.

That is my method of finding out how to get from one place to
another.  It is not as dignified, perhaps, as B.'s, but it is
simpler and more efficacious.

It is slow work travelling in Germany.  The German train does not
hurry or excite itself over its work, and when it stops it likes to
take a rest.  When a German train draws up at a station, everybody
gets out and has a walk.  The engine-driver and the stoker cross
over and knock at the station-master's door.  The station-master
comes out and greets them effusively, and then runs back into the
house to tell his wife that they have come, and she bustles out and
also welcomes them effusively, and the four stand chatting about old
times and friends and the state of the crops.  After a while, the
engine-driver, during a pause in the conversation, looks at his
watch, and says he is afraid he must be going, but the station-
master's wife won't hear of it.

"Oh, you must stop and see the children," she says.  "They will be
home from school soon, and they'll be so disappointed if they hear
you have been here and gone away again.  Lizzie will never forgive

The engine-driver and the stoker laugh, and say that under those
circumstances they suppose they must stop; and they do so.

Meanwhile the booking-clerk has introduced the guard to his sister,
and such a very promising flirtation has been taking place behind
the ticket-office door that it would not be surprising if wedding-
bells were heard in the neighbourhood before long.

The second guard has gone down into the town to try and sell a dog,
and the passengers stroll about the platform and smoke, or partake
of a light meal in the refreshment-room--the poorer classes regaling
themselves upon hot sausage, and the more dainty upon soup.  When
everybody appears to be sufficiently rested, a move onward is
suggested by the engine-driver or the guard, and if all are
agreeable to the proposal the train starts.

Tremendous excitement was caused during our journey between
Heidelberg and Darmstadt by the discovery that we were travelling in
an express train (they called it an "express:" it jogged along at
the rate of twenty miles an hour when it could be got to move at
all; most of its time it seemed to be half asleep) with slow-train
tickets.  The train was stopped at the next station and B. was
marched off between two stern-looking gold-laced officials to
explain the matter to a stern-looking gold-laced station-master,
surrounded by three stern-looking gold-laced followers.  The scene
suggested a drum-head court-martial, and I could see that B. was
nervous, though outwardly calm and brave.  He shouted back a light-
hearted adieu to me as he passed down the platform, and asked me, if
the worst happened, to break it gently to his mother.

However, no harm came of it, and he returned to the carriage without
a stain upon his character, he having made it clear to the
satisfaction of the court--firstly, That he did not know that our
tickets were only slow-train tickets; secondly, That he was not
aware that we were not travelling by a slow train; and thirdly, That
he was ready to pay the difference in the fares.

He blamed himself for having done this last, however, afterwards.
He seemed to think that he could have avoided this expense by
assuming ignorance of the German language.  He said that two years
ago, when he was travelling in Germany with three other men, the
authorities came down upon them in much the same way for travelling
first-class with second-class tickets.

Why they were doing this B. did not seem able to explain very
clearly.  He said that, if he recollected rightly, the guard had
told them to get into a first-class, or else they had not had time
to get into a second-class, or else they did not know they were not
in a second-class.  I must confess his explanation appeared to me to
be somewhat lame.

Anyhow, there they were in a first-class carriage; and there was the
collector at the door, looking indignantly at their second-class
tickets, and waiting to hear what they had to say for themselves.

One of their party did not know much German, but what little he did
know he was very proud of and liked to air; and this one argued the
matter with the collector, and expressed himself in German so well
that the collector understood and disbelieved every word he said.

He was also, on his part, able, with a little trouble, to understand
what the collector said, which was that he must pay eighteen marks.
And he had to.

As for the other three, two at all events of whom were excellent
German scholars, they did not understand anything, and nobody could
make them understand anything.  The collector roared at them for
about ten minutes, and they smiled pleasantly and said they wanted
to go to Hanover.  He went and fetched the station-master, and the
station-master explained to them for another ten minutes that, if
they did not pay eighteen shillings each, he should do the German
equivalent for summonsing them; and they smiled and nodded, and told
him that they wanted to go to Hanover.  Then a very important-
looking personage in a cocked-hat came up, and was very angry; and
he and the station-master and the collector took it in turns to
explain to B. and his two friends the state of the law on the

They stormed and raged, and threatened and pleaded for a quarter of
an hour or so, and then they got sick, and slammed the door, and
went off, leaving the Government to lose the fifty-four marks.

We passed the German frontier on Wednesday, and have been in Belgium

I like the Germans.  B. says I ought not to let them know this,
because it will make them conceited; but I have no fear of such a
result.  I am sure they possess too much common-sense for their
heads to be turned by praise, no matter from whom.

B. also says that I am displaying more energy than prudence in
forming an opinion of a people merely from a few weeks' travel
amongst them.  But my experience is that first impressions are the
most reliable.

At all events, in my case they are.  I often arrive at quite
sensible ideas and judgments, on the spur of the moment.  It is when
I stop to think that I become foolish.

Our first thoughts are the thoughts that are given to us; our second
thoughts are the thoughts that we make for ourselves.  I prefer to
trust to the former.

The Germans are a big, square-shouldered, deep-chested race.  They
do not talk much, but look as though they thought.  Like all big
things, they are easy-going and good-tempered.

Anti-tobacconists, teetotallers, and such-like faddists, would fare
badly in Germany.  A German has no anti-nature notions as to its
being wicked for him to enjoy his life, and still more criminal for
him to let anybody else enjoy theirs.  He likes his huge pipe, and
he likes his mug of beer, and as these become empty he likes to have
them filled again; and he likes to see other people like THEIR pipe
and THEIR mug of beer.  If you were to go dancing round a German,
shrieking out entreaties to him to sign a pledge that he would never
drink another drop of beer again as long as he lived, he would ask
you to remember that you were talking to a man, not to a child or an
imbecile, and he would probably impress the request upon you by
boxing your ears for your impertinence.  He can conduct himself
sensibly without making an ass of himself.  He can be "temperate"
without tying bits of coloured ribbon all about himself to advertise
the fact, and without rushing up and down the street waving a banner
and yelling about it.

The German women are not beautiful, but they are lovable and sweet;
and they are broad-breasted and broad-hipped, like the mothers of
big sons should be.  They do not seem to trouble themselves about
their "rights," but appear to be very contented and happy even
without votes.  The men treat them with courtesy and tenderness, but
with none of that exaggerated deference that one sees among more
petticoat-ridden nations.  The Germans are women lovers, not women
worshippers; and they are not worried by any doubts as to which sex
shall rule the State, and which stop at home and mind the children.
The German women are not politicians and mayors and county
councillors; they are housewives.

All classes of Germans are scrupulously polite to one another; but
this is the result of mutual respect, not of snobbery.  The tramcar
conductor expects to be treated with precisely the same courtesy
that he tenders.  The Count raises his hat to the shopkeeper, and
expects the shopkeeper to raise his hat to him.

The Germans are hearty eaters; but they are not, like the French,
fussy and finicky over their food.  Their stomach is not their God;
and the cook, with his sauces and pates and ragouts, is not their
High Priest.  So long as the dish is wholesome, and there is
sufficient of it, they are satisfied.

In the mere sensuous arts of painting and sculpture the Germans are
poor, in the ennobling arts of literature and music they are great;
and this fact provides a key to their character.

They are a simple, earnest, homely, genuine people.  They do not
laugh much; but when they do, they laugh deep down.  They are slow,
but so is a deep river.  A placid look generally rests upon their
heavy features; but sometimes they frown, and then they look
somewhat grim.

A visit to Germany is a tonic to an Englishman.  We English are
always sneering at ourselves, and patriotism in England is regarded
as a stamp of vulgarity.  The Germans, on the other hand, believe in
themselves, and respect themselves.  The world for them is not
played out.  Their country to them is still the "Fatherland."  They
look straight before them like a people who see a great future in
front of them, and are not afraid to go forward to fulfil it.


End of Project Gutenberg Etext Diary of a Pilgrimage, by Jerome K. Jerome


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