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its institutions. Nay, its systems of police, and similar social and political organizations, have grown rapidly into imitative life amongst us. Now to copy and engraft on our own practices what is good in those of foreign nations is wise; but there is a danger that when a thing becomes fashionable, that we shall cherish an indiscriminating enthusiasm, and under its influence adopt not the good only but the bad. There is no question that this is our case just now, and the voice of warning shall not be wanting on my part to point out the perils which are from this quarter stealing silently but with firmest foot upon us. Mistaken notions of many German institutions prevail to a wonderful extent amongst our people at home, and none so mistaken or so imminently dangerous as those connected with popular education. Let us then endeavour, in the first place, to clear the course for those of our countrymen who are contemplating a residence in that country; and, in the second, by a more familiar view of the spirit and working of German institutions, to guard ourselves at home from the mischiefs with which their too easy adoption threatens us.


The most important point in setting out for any foreign country is to go with correct notions of what it is, and, therefore, what you have to expect. There is no country of the European continent where people are so apt to carry preconceived ideas of an erroneous, and therefore delusive and disappointing nature, as Germany. Those especially who are a little poetically inclined, are apt to entertain I know not what conceptions of a primitive, simple-hearted, intellectual, and kind nation. They imagine an old-world elysium, and a golden age of pastoral simplicity and poetry. This is the finest possible mood to go out with if you wish to become the prey of imposition, and to make a rapid transition to disgust and disappointment. It is true that the Germans are a people of a simpler and more economical style of living than we are; but they are by no means wanting in worldly shrewdness, and a sharp look-out after their own interests. Things are to a certain degree cheaper there, especially the farther eastward that you advance; but it is nevertheless true, that the English generally pay from twenty to forty per cent. more for every thing than they ought to do. Intellectual, and somewhat sentimental, the Germans as a nation may be considered; but human nature is pretty much the same everywhere, and the bulk of those amongst whom you are thrown in the concerns of daily life anywhere, are not those of the most exalted and romantic minds; on the contrary, they are the classes which look upon you as their natural

prey, and are as canny as any Scotchman in making the most of you. You are soon astonished to find how closely simplicity of manner, or mode of life, is connected with selfish exactness; with a want of the refinement, of delicacy of sentiment and action, that you are accustomed to at home; and how all that is really superior, be it in intellect or in heart, gradually draws back before you, and concentrates itself in the few shining exceptions.

That class of persons who have gone to Germany with the most enthusiastic ideas of simple grace, poetry, and warmheartedness, have always experienced the most bitter disappointment. They have generally commenced their study of the German language with Grimms Märchen; they have read the Life of Jung Stilling; they have then plunged into the noble poetry of Schiller, and the Faust, the Hermann and Dorothea of Goethe, the beautiful picture of country and domestic life in Voss's Louise. They have gazed with admiration at the designs of Retzsch; and have thus set forth with the ideal of a country in their heads compounded of those materials, forgetful that these are not the realities of life, but the golden embellishments of poets. Let all such enthusiasts get rid as fast as possible of these rainbow fancies. Let them expect that though they will find much to admire in the literature of Germany, they will also find that the literature is far more attractive than the life. Much too as there is in the life which will charm them, the open accessibility of fields and forests, the delightful public walks, the easy hours and easy prices of the finest concerts, operas, and galleries of art, much too in the ease and simplicity of domestic arrangements; they will find too many things which rub off dreadfully the poetry of illusion; much coarseness of manner and speech, many habits which astonish a refined people.

Let all such persons, therefore, as they wish to enjoy what is really satisfactory, cast away as fast as possible all Arcadian ideas. Let them prepare to find a people civil and friendly, but naturally much fonder of themselves and their own people than of foreigners; very glad to have you at their balls and parties, but not prone to rush into enthusiastic friendships with you. A people, in fact, much fonder of our money than of ourselves; who are jealous of our wealth and greatness, and hate us cordially because we were never beaten by Buonaparte like themselves. Above all, let them never forget that they are not going to exist entirely on the books and the poetry, in the woods or the public gardens; hut in houses, of which they will have real earthly rent to pay, and on the articles furnished by butchers, bakers, grocers, and such mortals, who are no more poetical or less attentive to number one than the very acute and practical fellows of their English experience. They will do well, instead of dreams of Werthers and Charlottes, of Retzsch’s graceful youths and maidens, or of Strauss and Lanners' bands, to possess themselves with the idea that there is a very large body of people who are expecting them, just as our fishermen expect the annual shoal of herrings, and are prepared to extract from them as much of their English gold as they can. The Germans travel from home only to gain; we travel to spend. The Germans go out in swarms to every

nation and city where money is to be earned, and they are not therefore likely to neglect the gathering of it at home. We conquer nations and plant colonies; but the Germans, like the Jews, insinuate themselves into the mass of the population of all known countries, from America to the East Indies, from Australia to Russia. They abound throughout Turkey, Wallachia, Syria, the United States, France, and England. In Germany we expect to win nothing but pleasure or accomplishment: it is too poor a country to offer any temptation to moneyed speculators-there is nothing of the sort to be got

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