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of butchers' assistants in this country. He is a very serious sort of dog, and has the reputation of being pious and moral. His saluta tion of Gluck auf in the evening, as he homeward winds his weary way, is touching. It is an expression of thankfulness for being safe out of the pit in which he has pursued his dreary labour. The whole class are unmistakably stamped with the marks of disease and premature decay, generated by alternation from the poisonous fumes of their work to the passive poison of their stifling homes. Throughout the vast works in which they labour, the old clumsy machinery moved by water-power is universal. They have no hutch moved by steam to convey them up and down between their subterranean workshop and the open air; but go down and come up thousands of feet by ladders, as our mining population used to do a century ago.
Now, no doubt, in many points these poor fellows stand in favourable contrast with the workers in our iron districts, and especially with those who receive the highest pay. The iron-puddler, for instance, can make as much in a day of hard work as the German refiner gets in a week; but he is a wilful dissipated dog, taking his intervals of idleness and vice, and plotting all kinds of mischief to his employer and to himself. And yet I have more hope of him than of the other. He is of a higher calibre and capable of a better development. He has thorough stuff in him. He may be cured of his drunkenness and other vices, as his neighbour the squire has abandoned his four bottles, with the many other evil propensities that afflicted him in Fielding's day.
From another class of our own workmen - fortunately now only known in tradition-some parallels may be drawn to exemplify the condition of labour-life in Germany. I allude to the hand-loom weavers, who presented in their day the
vexed problem of a set of men ever working harder and harder, yet ever becoming poorer and poorer. The problem which the economic science of our grandfathers found so puzzling is very simple to us. These poor fellows were competing with machinery-putting mere human physical force against human wit and ingenuity. The battle was utterly hopeless. The productive power of the one increased by a geometrical, while that of the other increased by a lessening arithmetical process. The addition of a new element to the machinery, doubling its power, was a triumphant exercise of the human mental faculties. The addition of an hour to his already excessive work-day added but a small percentage to the produce returned, but was a burden almost insupportable to the poor workman.
The hard experience of this struggle has taught our workpeople a wholesome lesson, which we may hope will teach the folly of any contest of mere muscle against invention. The lesson is probably not yet sufficiently beaten into the English agricultural mind as it is into that of Scotland, but it must be ere long. Germany probably feels comfortable in not having had so hard a trial as we had before the lesson was taught, but for the same reason the lesson seems unlikely ever to be there acquired. The hand-loom weaver conditions pervade all labour there. The workman is not reduced to starvation because he has no active rival to take the bread from him; but he is poor, and will remain poor even though he be laborious. Though one sees on the map the great network of railways spread over the country, yet in going through it, one also cannot fail to see the enormous extent to which the conveyance of goods is effected on the backs of human beings. The keepe is a distinctive German institution. It is a large basket or pannier, approaching the shape of a truncated cone, slung on the back, with the base, which is also the mouth, up
permost. So systematically is the German back doomed to bear this burden, that children of four or five years of age are invested with small keepes, which grow as it were with the increasing age and strength of their bearers, until they become those capacious receptacles which will hold some half-dozen or so pecks of provisions. This burden is laid chiefly on the female sex, and in some districts the women seem never free of it. The weight of goods they can carry, and the long distances they can go with it, are both astounding; they are the result of long training, but it must be a training exceedingly deleterious to the female frame.
By the way, some of the vehement advocates of the right of women to participate in the functions of men, might find in Germany a significant hint of the share likely to be theirs when work is going. The condition of women among them is one of the unpleasant features in the social life of the Germans. The dreariest and hardest of the common drudgery of the common lot is thrust on them. In fact, they are thrown into a different social caste from their manlymasters. You see that hale, plump, well-fed Herr, dressed in spotless black, with a well-brushed broad hat and shining boots, and exhibiting as a further type of his social eminence a large and gorgeous pipe, some four feet in length. A woman walks a little behind him she is dirty, illdressed, with care on her face, and a heavy burden on her back. The two are conversing together at their ease, and you set down the scene as a pleasant instance of that facility of communication throughout different social grades, which makes an agreeable contrast to home practice; but if you make inquiry, you will find that the poor drudge is the great man's wife; or if disparity of years speak otherwise, that she is his mother or his daughter.
It will probably be generally admitted that productive labour in
Germany is far from coming up to the British mark, and the admission may not always be accompanied with regret. In the eyes of some, Herman's is the wise moderation which despises ambition, contents the true practical philosopher with a limited portion of the gifts of fortune, and makes him say with Agur, "Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: lest I be full, and deny Thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal." Others again will assert that the intellect of the German is occupied with higher things than a contest with the mere materialities of life -that it is grasping at the infinite, or diving into the unfathomable depths of his own individuality. I am ready to admit that there are many scholars and thinkers in Germany whose minds are too much absorbed in higher pursuits to admit of their partaking widely in the sensual enjoyments of their fellowcountrymen. To Kant, Jean Paul, Fichte, and many others, the world owes a debt of gratitude, were it merely for the sort of balance-wheel with which they have steadied the rapid practical vitality of British and French thought. But these monarchs of the speculative are too far up in the clouds to do much for the purification of the common clay below. To this clay there is ground to suspect that the sensualism I have referred to-the continual ad
ministration to the mere animal propensities---communicates something worse than inertness, by throwing into it a stratum of brutality, which, when raised to action, develops itself in ferocity and cruelty.~ Europe has had a hint or two of such tendencies earlier than the latest instance. From the great European gathering at Paris in 1815, our officers brought back ugly stories about the way in which the Prussian soldiers had acted as an army marching through an undefended country. They could answer that it was all very well for
us, who had ever put the general oppressor at defiance, to do the magnanimous; but it was impossible to obliterate from the minds of Blucher's children the insults and oppressions which their countrymen had borne, and they had to avenge. It would be hardly fair, perhaps, to go back upon the Thirty Years' War, and charge to the account of any existing generation the horrors of cruelty and rapacity with which history burdens it. In the long war of the Spanish succession one does not infer that there was much licence or oppressioneverything seems to have been conducted under the pedantic rules of the art of war as then brought to perfection; and the Germans, if they were disposed to be oppressive and rapacious, had to deal with the chivalrous French on the one hand, and on the other with our own troops heavily responsible to a constitutional government and a critical parliament. German powers and German armies had the Seven Years' War much in their own hands; and while the usual histories tell us the great scenes in which now the Emperor and now Frederic the Great figures on the stage, the lesser annals of the times are ever turning up to light practices and incidents in that conflict which show excessive barbarism and cruelty. We all stood aghast here at the horrors of the German outbreaks in 1848; but we somehow forget them, as we generally forget Continental events after they are over, and cease to interrupt us in our attention to our own business. And then has come the last affair with Denmark, which has exasperated this country through and through exasperated individual feeling all the more sharply, perhaps, that there was no prospect of national action, as on the occasion when Russia was found pressing in upon Turkey.
Descending from wars and revolutions to the level of everyday life, it would be interesting to know more than the common opportuni
ties afford one about the specialties of crime in Germany. France gives us, occasionally, prodigious revelations of its eruption. For ourselves, we proclaim it all to the world, as we do everything that, were we sensitive or (as the phrenologists called it in their day) secretive, we might be expected to hide. There shall not be a pocket picked in London, or hen-roost robbed in the provinces, but every European who has the command of British newspapers may make himself acquainted with the full particulars of the affair.
My own belief is, that a full revelation of German criminality would be a very revolting record. As to the predatory crimes, the Germans at large have the reputation of being honest. So far as the experience of a traveller goes, I concede this with exceptions. There are districts where one finds associated with primitive simplicity of manners, a self-respect and loyal sense of hospitality, whereby the innkeeper or other person with whom the stranger has dealings is restrained from employing his skill
an adept in imposing on the stranger. I fear the regions most frequented by English tourists are those in which these honourable qualities are least observable; but not to throw on the tourist more than his own responsibility in the demoralising of primitive populations, I have found in places where he is little known, and where there is abundance of superficial simplicity, a continual shabby kind of gnawing at the purse - strings. Everything is very cheap; everybody is prepared to serve you for little; but somehow, expectations and claims mount up in a manner incapable of being defined or checked, and you find when you count up your responsibilities in that remote hof, with its ridiculously low rate of charges, that you lived, on the whole, more economically during your last sojourn at the Tavistock in Covent Garden.
However, such things are accidents and trifles that must not affect one's fair estimate of a people's character and worth: and, as I hope I shall have an opportunity of telling before I conclude, I carried away with my last trip a refreshing recollection of cheap abundant entertainment and disinterested kindness from innkeepers-a portion of the human race ever proverbially under ban for faithlessness and greediness.
Passing out of this debatable ground of mere questionable morality to that of legitimate effective criminality, let us look at the frequent boast of the Germans that the professional thief is unknown among them-at least unknown as the member of a great institution, such as we find him in London and our secondary great towns. Admitted: and that although at the German railway stations you are warned of pickpockets and their devices perhaps more amply than at our own, where it may be said that people require no warning.
There go two correlative elements to the constitution of theft or thieving as a profession, and they are the same that the political economists have always told us to be necessary in commerce-supply and demand. A condition absolute to the driving of a brisk trade in theft, is the existence of a large portion of movable property not over well protected. To judge, therefore, of a nation's proneness to theft, we must apply the rule of three, and compare the amount stolen with the total amount available. One of the stalest articles in the stock-intrade of old humdrum moralists is the amount of fraud perpetrated in London. For my part, I think a far more wonderful phenomenon may be found in the great amount of honesty there. Of course it is the place to which all the knaves of the world gravitate; but it has become what it is, the virtual capital of the world, because the great bulk of its people find it
VOL. XCVI.-NO. DLXXXIX.
better to subsist by productive industry than by fraud. There is no part of the world so nervously frightened about crime, or so easily driven out of its senses by any panic outcry. It is there that we concentrate our outcries to the rest of Europe about our own vices and crimes. We must all remember too well the wild panic about garotting two years ago. It echoed over Europe, and will be fully recorded everywhere against us; but Europe has not heard the still small voice that told to the Commission of Inquiry about the punishment of convicts, the actual amount of violent robbery that caused the panic. It deserves that this should not be forgotten. It was attested by Sir Richard Mayne, the head of the metropolitan police, that in the six months containing that memorable winter, the number of robberies by violence-including of course garotting-reported to the police, was 82; and the property stated by the losers themselves to have been abstracted amounted to a total value of £269; and this sufficed to make mighty London yell out to all the world, as if one half of its three millions were throttling the other half.
The proper hunting-ground of the thief is a country with an affluent middle class—exactly such a country as Britain. To the houses of the great it is not easy to get access, and those of the very poor won't pay. Though Irish names are significantly numerous in our calendars of convictions, Ireland boasts that she has no trained society of thieves such as England has; and the reason is the same that exempts the sandy desert from wolves, who can find no food in it -the Irish hovels cannot afford a decent livelihood to a skilful operator, and the comfortable middle class there is thin and scattered. The Germans have more comfort throughout; but the silver spoons and the bag of sovereigns that reward the successful invasion of an
English grange or a small shopkeeper's abode, are wanting among them, and so naturally is the person who turns such rewards to account.
But we have not the less assurance in such books as Feuerbach's and others, that there is a deal of crime, and that of an extremely dark character, in Germany. Of the half-dozen or so of eminent murders which have frightened our own country within the past ten years, one was perpetrated by a German we shall soon know whether another also was. But the crimes daily committed among themselves are not blazoned in the face of the world as ours are. I remember once coming in Germany across a very startling phenomenon —one that would be made to ring throughout Europe if it occurred among ourselves. It was in the penitentiary for women at Prague. One of the Sisters of Mercy who tended it spoke much about the kinder morderinn, or child-murderess, as belonging to an important and conspicuous class, and was anxious to know if it was very numerous one in Britain. I found that, of the four hundred women under her charge, a hundred and thirty had been convicted of child-murder-thirty-two and a half per cent. If you told this to a German he would give a careless or incredulous shrug, but would make no inquiry into its truth. This penitentiary, by the way, I found wonderfully clean and well managed by the Sisters of Mercy in charge of it; while the male convict prison, separated from it by a street or two, was such a scene of horrors as one will not realise the existence of within civilised Europe without seeing it. Eleven hundred ruffians are there, under sentences of all periods, without ever getting into the open air. Whenever you enter, you hear the clanging of the fetters with which each man is chained ankle to ankle, and the stench comes upon you like a
poisonous tempest. The crowded hospitals, where filthy diseased creatures lay nearly naked in the stewing heat, might, I believe, have been used as ovens. Of that visit I carried away a very lively reminder in certain minute but very sanguinary animals, who, smelling, as the nursery tale says, "the blood of an Englishman," made a simultaneous rush to taste the refreshing liquid. But that this disgrace exists, and that close beside a model on which it might be improved, are of the class of things about which the German cares and knows nothing so long as he can boast of Duppel over his beer, and fill his shop-windows with glaring prints of big Fatherland extirpating poor little Denmark.
It is at the root of our own political freedom and our greatness that we have all cared for these things-cared more for them than for broad political questions or national triumphs. For the same reason it is that, by our endless talk about them, we permit the world to twit us with our dissipation and our criminality. Yet our volubility has not been without some practical results. There is a use in what seems useless talk. Perhaps if we had in our collection all that has been said and written at social science associations and elsewhere about repression and reformation, and had it analysed and appreciated by some competent critic placed in conditions so far apart from those of the disputants, as to be able to estimate their merits in the general balance of what the mind of man has accomplished, he would pronounce for verdict that he had no previous conception of the amount of twaddle that the human brain could supply or of the preposterousness of the projects it could entertain. But, between words and acts, if we have not exterminated crime we have got the mastery of it. We make it know its place in the presence of virtuous respectability. It is sub