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time to six o'clock he has been incessantly occupied with affairssome of them complex and difficult -some of them mere matters of easy routine. He has been able to snatch five minutes for luncheon, and that has sufficed. Meanwhile Herman, besides absorbing a gal lon, or perhaps two, of beer, and exhaling half a pound of tobacco, has consumed no end of soup, sodden beef, roast veal, cutlets, ham, poultry, prawns, fermented cabbage, potatosalad, asparagus, stewed prunes, apple-tart, and every other kind of eatable he could get at. He has eaten out from one to two hours of the mid-day in which the Englishman has been at his hardest work. And if we follow our countryman home from his business, much as we hear of English luxury and high living, we shall probably find that he has made his dinner on a chop and a potato or two. In great houses there are several courses, more as matter of state than because the partakers indulge in long and varied meals. With those whose household establishment is not on a pompous model, but who can easily afford themselves luxuries, I am disposed to think that in England courses more than two are the exception rather than the rule. There are, no doubt, here and there full feeders and foul feeders; but they are the exception, and rather under discountenance, even should they only reach the ordinary average of gluttony which one sees every day in the German gasthauses.
By the way, I have an idea that travellers in Germany have been inclined to be charitable to German gluttony, on account of the convenience they have felt from it. Where food is thrown everywhere broadcast, the traveller, who may be ignorant of the language and the customs of the people he is among, gets some portions of it, and is tolerant, or perhaps laudatory, to the customs which have thrown it in his way. I remember when railways were in their infancy in
Germany how difficult it was to obtain a morsel of food in the midst of the journey. The correction of this deficiency, however, was a feat to which the national genius was quite equal, and it was speedily remedied. The feedingplaces on the German lines are, in better etymology than either ours or the French, called Restaurations. As an estimate or guess, which may be taken at its own value, I would say that on any ordinary hundred miles of German railway the eating and drinking facilities are five times those offered on an English line.
Here and there is an immense bouffet, where all the elements of an abundant and varied meal exist, and ample time is given for their consumption. Then there are numerous stoppages for tén minutes or so, where there is a counter well filled with slices of ham and cold veal, sausages, fruit, and liquors of all kinds. When the stoppages are short, men and women are in prompt attendance with sandwiches and glasses of beer; and I have noted it as an exception to the slovenly lazy way in which all business is transacted in Germany, that these ministers to the need or greed of the wayfarer are prompt, active, and remarkably intelligent; the exigency of their duty, which is to provide that their fellow-countrymen shall not be subject to the horror of remaining one half-hour without food and drink, having awakened within them a promptitude and efficiency which the less momentous functions of the rest of their countrymen have been insufficient to stimulate.
It is wonderful to contemplate the laborious accuracy with which every demand for needful sustentation is met by the necessary supply. What a contrast with wanderings in Kerry, or even in the Highlands of Scotland! There is no going to an eminent waterfall-to a mountain-pass-to a distingushed scene of any kind-without finding an abundantly stocked tavern spread
ing its hospitable board for you. Nay, if you take to one of those mountains which have an established repute in German scenery, you shall find a comfortable tavern on the top. The castle of the Wartburg, celebrated as Luther's hidingplace, is not half-an-hour's walk from Eisenach, full of taverns, and the railway station with an abundant restauration; yet at the great gate your eye is caught by an inscription informing you where the nearest Gasthaus is, so important is it to the German mind to provide that no son of Fatherland shall run the risk of being half-an-hour without eating and drinking, and how little is it supposed that the scenery or the historical and ecclesiastical associations of the place can compensate for so long a sus pension of the great functions of existence.
With us even the professed epicure or high liver-a person by no means treated with social deference-exercises a certain amount of restraint. He is generally a late diner, reserving his powers for the great occasion. He has traditions of the fastings and trainings which people with his propensities will endure for the purpose of bringing a sufficient appetite to bear upon a sumptuous meal. We are much laughed at for the solemnity with which we invest great dinners. If we want to celebrate a success or a calamity; if we have to inaugurate the majority of an illustrious person, or proclaim the distress of the manufacturing districts, or the failure of the potato crop, the ceremony must assume the aspect of a great feast. But even in this there is a testimony to abstinence or moderation, at all events as the rule of life. The German cannot come out in the same manner. Every day and all day long he eats as much rich food as he can, and therefore to him a special feast is a special practical absurdity.
I am aware that in the midst of the wild outcry against stimulants and narcotics, it will be considered
a sort of blasphemy to hint that any evil can come of eating, since it is a solace largely indulged in by many of the professors of abstinI admit that turtle sausage
and roast-pig will not rouse a man to knock down a policeman or stab his wife; but neither will muchabused tobacco, for that matter. For influence, however, on the general condition, I am prepared to hold that there is more of health and life destroyed by over-eating than by stimulants and narcotics. Even in our own country one meets with too many members of the comfortable classes whose constitutions are palpably damaged by good living, and the mark of the internal enemy is visible in the countenance of the whole German family. I remember once imparting a terrible shock to the nerves of a lady belonging to the exceedingly comfortable classes. She had been denouncing that filthy and abominable practice of smoking, and boasted that she had just got the parent of a large family dismissed from his employment because she had caught him indulging in a furtive pipe. I asked her if she had ever herself committed the act of eating turbot with lobster sauce. The imputation was not to be denied, since the empty platter which had contained that attractive but pernicious mixture was just giving place to another laden with well-seasoned haunch; nor, to do her justice, did she seem desirous to evade any conclusions that might be drawn from such an act; when I amazed her by saying that, according to my experience, she might indulge herself with a cigar or a pipe of latakia with much less prejudice to the digestive functions.
But while naturally enough indisposed to quarrel with Herman about his good table, it surprises one that those who rave so against drinking in this country should never have a word to throw at him,nay, should sometimes adduce him as an example to be followed. What is set up as the master-vice among
ourselves is in him a sort of amiable weakness. He is like the husband who was pronounced "a good kind of a drunken body, with no harm in him." He does not take raw spirits like our wretched working classes," you say; but even that is not strictly true. The Schnaps is a considerable institution in Germany, and if you are an early riser, you will often see a glass of brandtwine, or kirschen-wasser, or bitters taken, to fortify the stomach for the heavy beer-drinking of the day. But let us look at fermented liquors alone. It will shock no German to impute to him the consumption of a couple of bottles of wine in any given day-not though you should make it out to be three or four. Now the sages in chemistry tell us that the mildest wine made has 8 per cent of alcohol in it-that without that it cannot be wine at all. Strong ports and sherries have 24 or 25 per cent. Take the average German vintage at half of this-12 per cent.
Well, in proof spirit, which is a good deal above the average of the gin - palace, the amount of alcohol is 50 per cent. It follows that in a couple of bottles of this very harmless stuff there is as much spirit as in half a bottle of good gin or brandy. Then we are told that the strength of the strongest malt liquors just comes up to 8 per cent-that of the weakest wines. If we suppose that excellent liquor, Bavarian beer, to be half as strong as this, there is room for it to communicate a good deal of fire when consumed on the enormous native scale. In any place of entertainment in Bavaria, if a Kelner sees your beer-flagon empty, he immediately fills it for you without request or hint. Bavarian nature abhors such a vacuum, and the nerves of a kindly Kelner will not permit him to behold such a type of misery as an empty beer-flagon. I was told in this region that the universal passion for beer was made a highly available instrument in the suppression of crime-seeing that in countries where nothing of the
kind prevailed, it is impossible to bring punishment up to so afflictive a height, consistent with the preservation of the criminal's health, as the stopping a Bavarian's beer; while, for the purposes of prison discipline, the power on some occasions slightly to relax the prohibition was a bribe to good conduct, so potent as to leave far behind anything we can accomplish through Our inferior social institutions. How much beer the inhabitants of this or any other part of Germany habitually consume, can only be matter of guess-work; but any one who knows the country will not denounce from one to two gallons per day as extravagant. Now, on the supposition of the 4 per cent, a gallon of beer is equivalent to half a bottle of spirits. In the novel by Freytag called 'Debit and Credit,' supposed to be so accurate a picture of German manners, we are told that the average allowance of beer to a packer-the allowance which it is not creditable to him to exceed-is forty pints a-day-more than three gallons, and certainly endowed with more alcohol than a bottle and a half of ordinary spirituous liquor.
"Oh, but for all that, the German does not get drunk in the degraded manner of our working classes, nor expose himself as some even of our better classes do after dinner." Suppose that there is more justice in this statement than there really is, I am prepared to try conclusions between the absolute perniciousness of a vice which is limited in its extent and operation on the one hand, and a received national practice which is prevalent and counted creditable on the other. With us the taking stimulants of any kind has become exceptional. A large number of our gentry take no wine, and a still greater proportion take nothing but the one glass of wine or the one tumbler of beer at dinner. The great bulk of our working men can only afford themselves a glass of gin or of porter on rare occasions. Even if you know a jolly fellow or two who takes his
pint or even his bottle of port after dinner, or his night-cap before going to bed, he has got through the business of the day first-he has not been indulging from morning to night. Nor is he prepared, perhaps, absolutely to justify his practice it is a weakness, and every man has some weakness. Indeed the great feature distinguishing us in this matter from the Germans is, that the use of stimulants in all forms is looked askance at, and connected more or less with disrepute. It is carried at once into the category of defects, if it do not go so far as to be an absolute vice. One man in a couple of hundred or so, it is true, takes to stimulants all day, and is a lost being; but with this exception, fortunately rare, even the hardest livers among us spend the greater part of the day in an abstinence and restraint unknown to the German.
Persons have been known to come home from their tour in Germany, and tell teetotal meetings that they have seen considerable towns there which did not contain a single shop for the retailing of spirits. But they have omitted to state that, in each of them, there are some ten or twenty huge taverns full of guests from dawn to midnight. The greatness and importance of The Tavern as a national institution-the persistency with which it has retained the predominance it held in the middle ages-is a significant type of the German social condition. With us the hotel and the inn have ceased to be what the tavern was in the days of Walter Mapes, in those of Shakespeare, and even in those of Hogarth. It is but scantily and occasionally frequented for purposes of pure dissipation. There are, indeed, a few people, chiefly ancient bachelors of peculiar habits, to whom the stir and excitement of the tavern are a necessity. They don't, however, meet there as their grandfathers
did, night after night, the same set of cronies, to pursue with them the same orgies. What they have got into the way of enjoying, or rather requiring, is the shifting scene that passes before them in the comers and the goers-it makes up to them in some measure for active life and family ties. With a very few such exceptions, the tavern now exists wholly for the purpose of the wayfarer, whether in business or pleasure.
In almost every age, and among almost every people, the tavern, or the institution substituted for it, has held an influence and character amply deserving commemoration. It received, however, little beyond what local antiquaries supplied about the places of entertainment in their own favourite districts, or the mere casual notices of authors with wider names, until two Frenchmen lately took up the institution as itself worthy of a history, and wrote it in a very commendable manner. From the names of the authors, we may infer that one of them supplied the archæological investigations, and the other did the brilliancy and French polish.* Between them they have produced a very curious book. It runs necessarily through deep and odious strata of vice; but that could not well be avoided, nor was it desirable that it should be avoided, if we wished to know what the human race has been doing here and there from time to time. Necessarily in such an inquiry there is brought out a great deal of the wickedness, tragic and comic, that is the staple material of the low popular romance. But the world ought to know all about such matters when they are realities that have existed, however valueless or worse may be their reflection in the pages of the sensational novelist. And since it should be uttered, it is better to have such matter committed to costly typography and paper, and clothed in
*Histoire des Hotelleries, Cabarets, Courtillés, et des anciennes Communautés et Confrériés, &c.' Par Francisque Michel et Edouard Fournier. 2 vols. 8vo. 1859.
such tooled Russia as will make you grudge lending it too amply, than to behold it in the common and unclean condition of circulating library literature, or hawked in halfpenny numbers. Anatomy is a noble study, but it is fitly pursued within the solemn precincts of universities, and under the direction of scholastic dignitaries. We have not yet got dissecting-rooms for the million.
It is easy to point to the specialties in the condition of the middle ages that made the European tavern. There were the Crusades, to begin with, the pouring in of students to the universities, the pilgrimages to shrines, and the passing to and fro of merchants. This last was something more extensive than we can easily conceive, especially along the Rhine and the Danube, before the discovery of the passage to Asia by the Cape of Good Hope. It gave an amount of vitality to the visits of travellers utterly disproportionate to what the same amount of commerce would supply in the present day to the chamber dedicated "to commercial gentlemen only," since the merchant generally accompanied his wares as they passed from Germany to distant Cathay, or in the opposite direction. The hospitality of the religious houses supplied to the well-behaved travellers of the time much of what the present inn supplies; but a large proportion of the travellers of the period were not of a kind to subject themselves to the restraints of these establishments, and thus the taverns had room to flourish. One must suppose that when virtuous women travelled, they must have always sought shelter in religious houses, since it is not easy to see how they could be safely lodged in such nests of ruffianism as the hostels were, without a special guard placed over them. This is a condition that would, of course, act and react, and the absence of all feminine respectability from them would help to make the tav
erns of the middle ages what we find them.
In them the vices seem to have been amply ministered to-drinking, gambling, "the social evil,” and all. It seems to have been a practice to wander from place to place for the purpose of variegating a dissipated life by taking advantage of the varieties in the method of administering to luxury and vice in different places. The social ancestor whence your bully and blackleg of the present day has degenerated, since he is not up to the same class of sanguinary tricks, was much given to change of tavern; but not as an admirer of scenery, an investigator of archæology, or an inquirer into the social condition of different regions of the earth. This last, indeed, he knew with exceeding accuracy up to a certain point, but he pursued his investigations no further than what served his own immediate practical purposes.
In places established for promoting the practice of the vices, the crimes naturally follow. Robbery and murder were rife in the taverns of old. The traveller of good repute had before him the unpleasant alternative, whether his throat ran more risk of being cut through connivance with the landlord, or the unsupported enterprise of some of the unknown guests around him. The laws were severe enough, but they seem to have been futile. The old Roman imperial edict, known to all tyros in the Justinian law by the title nautæ caupones, seemed at once made to conquer the difficulty. It made the keeper of a place of entertainment not merely liable for his own fraud or carelessness,—it counted him an insurer, bound to indemnify the guest for all losses within his house. The edict obtained a practical vitality in the middle ages which probably the philosophical jurist who prepared it did not contemplate; but nothing availed to mitigate the viciousness and criminality of the tavern of that time. In some of the German