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sufficient precaution, unless your wife do' as the German ladies do, wear a great bunch of keys at her apron strings, lock every thing up, and get up at five o'clock too; without this your stores of all kinds will flow freely out of your house, and your very wood for fuel will be sold by these rapacious servants. You are, in fact, in the hands of the Philistines, and you must get rid of them as fast as you can. The same is the case with the trades
Your landlord will endeavour to keep you within a certain circle of them, who will charge you twenty or thirty per cent. more than is charged to German families. Washing will be charged the same.
It is useless to talk to your landlord or landlady, they will protest that they are paying the same as you, while the fact is they are receiving from these tradesmen a good premium on your custom.
The remedy is simple. You must boldly and coolly walk through the lines drawn around you. Betake yourselves to some of your countrymen who have lived long and learned much; if such there be; and avail yourselves of their experience. If there be not such, it is not of the least use to apply to any Germans, however friendly they may be, you will get no information from them which may reduce the profits of their townspeople. The best thing that you can do is to dismiss your English-speaking servants, and throw yourselves on some simple maiden who has never lived with the English, nor knows a word of the language. A few words of German will enable you to make her understand you,
will find that she will most probably turn out a most faithful and affectionate creature, who will not only serve you for a very small sum (four or five pounds a year) if you wish it, but will make all your household purchases at a rate which will astonish you. You may, if you please, dismiss your cook, for you can have your dinner' sent home from an hotel, or cooking-house, as is very common, and that of a much better quality, and at a much cheaper rate than can be got up in your own house. Yet, with the hotel, or the cook sending in your dinner, you must make a wise bargain, or you will probably pay cent. per cent. more than the Germans do. If you get a good honest German housemaid, she will manage this. The dinner is reckoned by portions, each portion about sufficient for two persons. So many portions then of so many courses, at such a price per portion; and you have a daily good dinner, of which you know the cost to a penny.
Wood for fuel is an important article, which strangers are often much imposed upon in. You should lay in this in August or September, for winter, or if you buy in the winter you will pay often enormously for it. Buy this for yourself in the wood market. There are public places in every town where wood for fuel is stacked, and the price
is chalked upon it. There can therefore be no deception in the price if you go and see this yourself, for at that price it is sold to the natives. The highest prized is generally the cheapest in the end, for it is the solid wood of the bole of the trees. Beech is the best, and most used. In various parts of Germany the price is various. But in most the price is yearly rising, in consequence of the growth of the forests not keeping pace with the demand of the increasing population, though onethird of the whole country is covered with them. In Heidelberg, the klafter or measure was generally about thirteen florins, or about a guinea. Your fuel in the whole Rhine country costs you, in fact, about as much as coal in London.
Before leaving a town, take care to have an account of every thing you owe, sent in at least a month before the time of your real departure; for nothing is more common than, at the last minute, to have a shower of fictitious, or already paid bills poured in, which, if your papers be packed up, or your passage taken, may occasion you much trouble. If you want anything from shoemakers, tailors, or such people, fix the time for your departure with them, at least a month before the actual time, for Germans are the most slow people in existence; and, though they will not come in with their articles till the last minute, they are sure to come then, to your excessive inconvenience. You will have, just as you are about to issue forth to the carriage or the railroad, your house besieged with these people, with shoes, or coats, and the bills for these, which you have no time to examine as to their correctness, Your luggage is packed and sent on, and you have now to send out and buy new boxes, and are thrown into the utmost perplexity. Strange as this may appear, I have witnessed it so often, and seen so much of inconvenience, loss of trains, and steam packets, etc., and so much imposition and worry, that there is nothing on which I would lay so much stress, as the complete arrangement of these matters a month before your
exit. A witty friend of ours used to say, if to have anything done in Germany immediately, you must order it six months beforehand. Locke the philosopher, who was some time in that country, says, that if you ordered a coat there for your wedding, you would probably have it sent in, in time for the christening of your first child. But if you happened to offend your tailor, and all Germans are most sensitive, you would not get it quite so soon as Locke imagines. A German is, of all men, the most sensitive; and, as is the case with people who are a censor-ridden and policeridden people, and habituated, by a despotic government, to conceal their sentiments, they do not speak out, but let their wrath, unknown to you, burn and gather within to a desperate heat. A common German takes fire at trifle, and never forgives the offence. The very bauers, or country fellows, when they quarrel with students, or people of a more refined class, take a particular pleasure in stamping on their faces. Of this trait, resulting in a great measure from the long operating effects of a silencing government, I shall have to speak in another part of this volume; but I may here give an instance of slowness in a tradesman, which must be very amusing to a Londoner, and which beats Locke's case all to nothing.
During the three years that we resided in Heidelberg, I bought, frequently, a great quantity of hooks from one Mohr. The father, who has always borne an honourable character amongst the trade houses, had given over his business to his son, who, to all the old-fashioned slowness of the old school, added the sullen closeness, and want of truth of too many of the present generation. Two years before I left, I purchased of this man an edition of Goethe in forty volumes; these he proposed to get bound, making that part of his business. When the books were sent home, it was found that nearly half of them were totally spoiled by the binder, having scattered his size amongst the leaves, so as to stick scores of leaves together, which, if you attempted to open, tore out whole words and patches of words. This being pointed out to him, he, of course, consented to replace the defective volumes which were sent to him for the purpose. Months however went on, and the