1880'erne besøgte amerikaneren Minerva Brace Norton Berlin og hun beskrev byen og hendes oplevelser i "In and Around Berlin", der udkom i Chicago i 1889. Hele bogen er indlæst af projekt Gutenberg, og er meget spændende læsning om det gamle Berlin. For lethedsskyld har vi gengivet hele teksten her. Altså hele bogen. Så god læse lyst. Du kan downloade en ebogs version her eller i lidt bedre layout for print. God Læselyst
Som kortet ovenfor viser, så var Berlin i 1880 langt fra så stor som den er i dag. Klik og se kortet i kæmpeformat. Men det var en by i hastig vækst. I 1880 var der 1,122,330 indbyggere. 20 år før var der 600.000 færre indbyggere - og 20 år senere var der 600.000 flere. Det har været en by rivende udvikling. Læs Minervas øjenvidenskildring. Det er ganske fasincerende. Har du tid, må du finde Georg Brandes bog frem om Berlin. Den er ca. samtidig med Minerva Nortons.
Se en lille film, der viser lidt om, hvilken by Minerva Brace Norton besøgte i 1880'erne
IN AND AROUND BERLIN
BY MINERVA BRACE NORTON
CHICAGO A.C. MCCLURG AND COMPANY 1889
COPYRIGHT BY A.C. MCCLURG AND COMPANY A.D. 1889
TO MY HUSBAND, WHOSE GENEROUS SYMPATHY MADE POSSIBLE THESE PAGES; To my Countrymen and Countrywomen WHO HAVE VISITED BERLIN; TO THOSE WHO HOPE TO GO THERE, AND TO THE LARGER NUMBER OF ARMCHAIR TRAVELLERS, I Dedicate this Book.
VII. PROMINENT PERSONAGES
XII. PHILANTHROPIC WORK
XIII. AROUND BERLIN
In and around Berlin
It was seven o'clock of a gray November morning when we arrived in Berlin for our first residence abroad. The approach to the city reminded us of the newer parts of New York, and we found that the population was about the same. But here the resemblance ceases. New York is the metropolis of a great nation,--the heart whence arterial supplies go forth, and to which all returning channels converge; the cosmopolitan centre of a New World. Berlin is the increasingly important capital of the German Empire,--growing rapidly, but still the royal impersonation of Prussia and the Hohenzollerns; seated in something of mediaeval costume and quiet beside the river Spree; as content to cast a satisfied glance backward to Frederick the Great and the Electors of Brandenburg as to look forward to imperial supremacy among the Great Powers, and the championship of continental Protestant Europe.
There is one continuous thread woven through the old history and the new, and this appeared in the first hour of our stay. Everywhere on the streets the one thing most strange to our American eyes was the number of striking military uniforms mingled with the more sober garb of civilians. Officers of fine form and gentlemanly bearing, in uniforms of dark blue with scarlet trimmings and long, dragging, rattling swords, were commanding the evolutions of infantry in the main streets; while frequent glimpses of gold-laced light blue or scarlet jackets or of plumed and helmeted hussars animated the scene on the crowded sidewalks. Germany is, as it has been from the beginning, a military power.
We drove first to the home of an American friend. We were not prepared for the four long flights of stairs up which we were directed by the porter on the ground floor. "What reverses of fortune have come to A.," thought we, "that she lives in an attic!" The tenement was a good one, to be sure, when we found it,--large and lofty apartments with many windows, commanding a fine view. But to one unused to many stairs, and weakened by continuous illness in a long sea-voyage, the exhaustion of that first ascent was something to be remembered. It was, however, but the precursor of hundreds of similar feats, which our residence involved, as nearly all families live up several flights of stairs. Only once did we see an elevator in Germany. In the elegant hotel known as the Kaiserhof, the sojourning-place of princes, diplomatists, and statesmen, we took our seats in a commodious elevator, rejoiced at the thought of such an American way of getting upstairs. It was fully five minutes before we reached the moderate elevation of the corridor on which our rooms opened; the liveried and intelligent official in charge, evidently a personage of importance, meanwhile replying to our queries and enjoying our evident surprise at the slow motion, until we forgot our annoyance in the interest of the conversation which ensued before we reached our destination. Once I was toiling up the four flights which led to the residence of a cultivated German lady, in company with the hostess. "Oh," I said breathlessly, "would there were elevators in Germany!"
"Yes," courteously responded the lady; adding, with a resigned sigh, the conclusive words which indicated contentment with her lot, "but it is not ze custom."
It was late in the season, and our lodgings were not engaged in advance. Americans in increasing numbers make Berlin a winter residence, and by October the most desirable _pensions_ generally have their rooms engaged. By the kind offices of our friend, our famishing party were provided with the rolls and coffee which compose the continental breakfast, and a fortunate entrance was, after much seeking, obtained for us to a most desirable boarding-house. Our own apartment was a large corner room, with immense windows looking north and east, and, like nearly all rooms in Berlin houses, connected by double doors with the apartments on either side. A fire was built before we took possession, but it was two days before we ceased to shiver. We looked for the stove of which we had heard. More than one of the five senses were called into requisition to determine which article of furniture was entitled to that designation. Across one corner of the room stood a tall white monument composed of glazed tiles laid in mortar, built into the room as a chimney might have been, with a hidden flue in the rear connecting it with the wall. A drab cornice and plaster ornaments of the same color set off the four or five feet above the mantel which surrounded it, and a brass door, about ten inches by twelve, was in the middle front of the part below. On the mantel were disposed sundry ornaments, including vases of dried grasses, and the hand could always be held upon the tiles against which they stood. In a small fireplace within this unique mass of tiles and mortar, the housemaid would place a dozen pieces of coal-cake once or at most twice a day, and after allowing a few minutes for the kindling to set it aglow, would close and lock the triple door, and the fire was made for twenty-four hours. In two or three hours after the lighting of the fire, the temperature of the room, if other conditions were favorable, might be slightly raised. To raise it five to ten degrees would require from six to ten hours.
In response to our request to the landlady for an addition of cold meat or steak to the coffee and rolls of the breakfast, and for more warmth in the room, accompanied by an expression of willingness to make additional payment for the same, the reply, given in a courteous manner, was that Americans lived in rooms much too warm, and ate too much meat, and that it would be for their health in Germany to conform to the German customs. However, some spasmodic efforts were made, for a season, to comply with the requests, which before long were wholly discontinued; and the strangers learned the wisdom of accommodating themselves "in Rome" to the ways of the Romans. This, however, was not accomplished without continued suffering. The meagre "first breakfast," served about half-past eight o'clock, was supplemented by a "second breakfast" of a cup of chocolate or beef tea, at about eleven, to those who were then in the house and made known their desire for it. But the days were short. Berlin is about six hundred miles nearer the north pole than New York, in the latitude of Labrador and the southern part of Hudson's Bay. The climate is milder only because the Gulf Stream kindly sends its warmth over all Europe, which lies in much higher latitudes than we are wont to think. Consequently the days in winter are much shorter than ours, as in summer they are longer. All the mid-winter daylight of Berlin is between the hours of eight A.M. and four P.M. With dinner at two o'clock, from which we rose about three, there was too little light remaining for visits to museums and other places of interest, so that the chief sightseeing of the day must be put into the hours between nine and two o'clock, often far from residence or restaurants; so the work of the day must be done on insufficient food, and the prevailing physical sensation was that of being an animated empty cask. We thus reached a settled conviction that however well the continental breakfast may serve the needs of Germans, with their slow ways of working, and their heavy suppers of sausage, black bread, and beer, late at night, an American home for Americans temporarily in Berlin is a consummation much to be wished.
It is almost with a feeling of despair that many a woman first unpacks her trunk in the Berlin apartment which, according to general custom, is to serve her for sleeping-room, breakfast-room, study, and reception-room. In a lengthened sojourn, in hotels, _pensions_, and private residences, I never saw a closet opening from such an apartment. Indeed, there were, in the houses I visited, no closets of any kind; unless an unlighted, unventilated cubic space in the middle of the house or near the kitchen--the upper half often devoted to sleeping room for domestics, and the lower to a general rendezvous of odds and ends--might be dignified with that name. A statement which I once ventured in conversation, as to the closets opening from nearly every room of an American house, was received with a look of incredulity and wonder. Neither did I see a real bureau in Berlin. A poor substitute was a portable piece of furniture, often quite ornamental, which opened by doors, exposing all the shelves whenever an article on any one of them was wanted. Here must be kept bonnets, hats, gloves, ribbons, laces, underwear, and all the thousand accumulations of the toilet; while a cramped "wardrobe" was the receptacle of shoes, cloaks, and dresses, hung perhaps three or four or five deep on the half-dozen wooden pegs within. Bathrooms were the rare exceptions. As a rule, bathing must be done with a sponge and cold water, in one's private apartment, where are no faucets, drains, or set bowls, but the ordinary wash-bowl, pitcher, and jar. Evidently German civilization does not rate the bath very high among the comforts of life.
An essential part of the furniture in the kind of apartment I am describing, is a screen to stand before each bed and wash-stand. The beds are invariably single, two or more being placed in a room when needed, the screens, by day, transforming the room into a parlor. There are no carpets. On the oiled or painted wooden floors rugs are placed before the beds, before the sofa, and under the table which always stands before it. One luxury is seldom wanting,--a good writing-desk, with pens and ink ready for use. It is no trouble to a German hostess to increase or diminish the number of beds in a room, the narrow bedsteads being carried with ease through the double doors, from room to room, as convenience requires.
Pictures are on the walls,--not often remarkable as works of art, but most frequently stimulants to love of country,--portraits of the Kaiser and the Crown Prince, and battle scenes in which glory is reflected on the Prussian arms. Every window is double; the two outer vertical halves opening on hinges outward, and the inner opening in the same manner into the room. Graceful lace drapery is the rule, over plain cotton hangings or Venetian blinds.
The arrangement of the bedding is peculiar. Over a set of wire springs is laid the mattress, in a closely fitting white case, buttoned, tied, or laced together at one end. This case takes the place of an under sheet. The feather pillow is in a plain slip of white cotton, similarly fastened. Over the whole a blanket or comfortable is laid, securely enfolded in another white case, which also serves instead of an upper sheet. Over this is the feather bed, usually encased in colored print, sometimes of bright colors. Under this one always sleeps. Over the bed, from low head-board to foot-board, is stretched by day the uppermost covering. Ours was of maroon cotton flannel, bordered in front by a flounce intended to be ornamental. The custom is to furnish clean cases and pillow-slips once a month, and it is difficult to secure more frequent changes of bed-linen.
Ventilation is something of which the Germans are particularly afraid. The impure air of schools, halls, churches, and other places of assemblage is dreadful, and a draught is regarded as the messenger of death. When our landlady found that we were in the habit of sleeping with our windows open, most emphatic remonstrance was made, with the assurance that this would never do in Berlin. However, like the drinking of water, against which also warnings are customary, the breathing of fresh air was to us followed by no harmful results.
These differences in habits and customs of household life, like the sounds of a strange language, affect the traveller unpleasantly at first. But differences in national customs are natural and inevitable, and one gradually becomes accustomed to them, and enabled to live a happy life in spite of them, as appreciation grows when acquaintance has made one familiar with many interesting and excellent aspects of existence here.
II.FAMILY AND SOCIAL LIFE.
Holidays and birthdays are more scrupulously and formally observed in Germany than with us. There are cakes and lighted candles and flowers for the one whose birthday makes him for the time the most important personage in the family, and who sits in holiday dress in the reception-room, to receive the calls and congratulations of friends. Those who cannot call send letters and presents, which are displayed, with those received from the family, on a table devoted to the purpose; and the array is often quite extensive. The presents are seldom extravagant, consisting largely of the ornamental handiwork of friends and of useful articles of clothing for common use.
A genuine German family festival on Christmas eve is a pleasant thing to see. We accepted with pleasure the invitation of Frau B---- and her family, to be present at theirs. In a large _salon_ adjoining that where the table was laid for supper, was another long table spread with a white cloth. Toward the farther end of the table stood a tall Christmas-tree, decked with various simple ornaments; and the candles on it were lighted with a little ceremony, the chubby granddaughter of three years pointing her bare arm and uplifted forefinger to the tree, and reciting a short poem appropriate to the occasion, as we entered the room, about half-past seven o'clock. Then the beautiful and winning child found her toys, her lovely wax doll and its cradle, and another doll of rubber, small and homely, on which, after the fashion of little mothers, she imprinted her most affectionate kisses. Suddenly the room was radiant with a contagious happiness. "The little Fraeulein," daughter of the hostess, just engaged by cable to a gentleman in America, had found his picture, wreathed with fresh and fragrant rosebuds, among her presents; and the smiles and blushes chased each other over her face, as the engagement was thus announced by her mother to the assembled guests. She answered her congratulations by more blushes and smiles, laying her hand on her heart, and saying with true German frankness, "Oh, I am so happy!" No presents hung on the tree, but those intended for each person were in a group beside a plate of cakes and bonbons, with a card bearing the name. Each of the company found his own, delicately assisted by the hostess and her daughters. Then the servants were called in, to find their presents on side tables, to receive and express good wishes and thanks, and to join in the general joy of the household over the engagement. After supper in the dining-room, we talked awhile, there was music from the piano, then the married daughter and her family withdrew with kind "good-nights;" and before a late hour all the other guests had done the same, not, however, until the national airs of America and of Scotland had been sung by all present, in honor of the guests from these countries.
Private hospitality is kind and open, but so far as our observation went, conducted within certain specified limits seldom overstepped. Order of precedence is carefully observed, and more honor is shown to age than with us. The best seat in the drawing-room is the sofa. A single guest would never be offered any other place, and among a number the eldest or the most honored would be invariably conducted there. Hence no one would venture to take this place of honor uninvited. Sometimes one is secretly glad of not being invited to crowd behind the table which usually stands, covered with a spread, inconveniently close before the sofa, and of having instead a chair, with a better support for the back.
One is expected to bow to the hostess and to each guest on coming to the table, and also on leaving it. Odd as this seems at first, it soon becomes a habit rather pleasant than burdensome, and one grows insensibly to admire the outward politeness of this German custom. Greetings and farewells are more ceremonious, even between intimate friends, than with us; and to omit a ceremonious leave-taking or to substitute a light bow and "good day" would not make a pleasant impression on a German hostess. Americans, especially young ladies, are much criticised for their independence and lack of courtesy. A German friend told me that a young American lady who had formerly been an inmate of her family called to bid her good-by before leaving Berlin. "I was amazed," she said, "at such politeness." It is not alone in matters of courtesy that young American ladies shock the Germans. Though a young lady has more freedom in Germany than in France and Italy, she is expected to conform carefully to the custom of going out in the evening or travelling only in company with a relative if a gentleman, or with an older lady. It is true that American girls are forgiven some liberties which no German girl would think of taking, on the ground of American customs; and a careful, well-bred young lady, from our side the water will seldom fall into serious trouble if she observes the rule of not going out unattended. But young ladies from America in Europe hold largely the honor of their country in their hands, and they ought to recognize this responsibility.
German politeness has also a reverse side. Perhaps the general absence of higher education among German women leaves them an especial prey to idle curiosity and gossip. Not only is one questioned freely as to the cost of any article of dress by comparative strangers, but questions as to one's family and private affairs are common, almost customary. Conversation which does not turn upon such things, or on others equally trivial and irrelevant, is the exception. The recital on their part, however, of personal and family history has a charming good-nature and simplicity, and often a touch of the homely and pathetic, which reach the heart of the listener. There were few tables where the conversation was not too loud for our comfort. No one seemed particularly to care for quiet talk with his neighbor, but the conversation at a long table was a rattling sharpshooting or a heavy cannonade from one end to the other, mingled with hearty laughter, while "Attic salt" was sparing. Table-manners, even among otherwise charming people, were often shocking to the taste of Americans. What we should call the first principles of good-breeding were freely contravened. The nicety and daintiness which in some favored American and English homes make of the family board a visible and tangible poem, were very rare in our German experience. And yet there are charming German tables and well-bred German ladies and gentlemen. One custom which we have been taught to regard as vulgar and profane is that of constantly using the names of the Deity by way of exclamation and emphasis in the most ordinary conversation. Being on sufficiently intimate terms with a German lady, we one day ventured to inquire deprecatingly about this habit. "Everybody does it," was her candid reply; and this was the only reason we ever heard.
"George Eliot" long ago complained of the inconvenience of perambulating Berlin streets, where you are pushed off the sidewalks and are in constant danger of involuntary surgical experience through contact with the military swords that clank and clatter in the crowd. There is still room for improvement in this respect. The owners of sabres often seem to take it for granted that the right of way belongs first of all to them and their weapons, and if any one is thus inconvenienced that is the business of the unlucky party. The streets and sidewalks are much wider and less crowded than those in Boston; but a collision on a Boston sidewalk is rare, while a half-dozen rude ones in an hour is a daily expectation in Berlin. A Berlin pedestrian "to the manner born," in blind momentum and disregard of all obstacles, has no equal in our experience.
It was told me that if you are run over by the swiftly driven horses in the streets, you must pay a fine for obstructing the way. Remembering that many regulations are relics of the times when laws were made for the good of the aristocracy who ride, and not for the vulgar crowd who walk, we did not try the experiment. Mounted policemen are to be seen, like equestrian statues, at the intersection of the more crowded thoroughfares, as Unter den Linden and Friedrich Strasse, and with a little care there is seldom need of delay in crossing. I heard of one poor cab-driver who was fined and cast into prison for injuring a lady who suddenly changed her mind and took a new tack while just in front of his horses. Regard for foot-passengers seems thus to have an existence in some cases.
Regard for women is not a thing to which German men are trained. A gentleman may not carry a small parcel through the street, but his delicate wife may take a heavier one to save the disgrace of her husband's bearing it. Among the middle classes, those couples who go out for a walk with the baby-carriage invariably regard the management of it as the wife's privilege, leaving to the father the custody of his pipe or cigar alone. If the baby is to be carried in arms, it is always the wife, not the husband, who bears the burden. Women in the humbler classes wear no bonnets in the street, although sometimes in cold weather they tie a little shawl or a handkerchief about the head. Their usual habit is, however, to go out in all weathers with the head as unprotected as the face, even for long distances. A maid follows her mistress to market, with a basket on her arm, often covered with an embroidered cloth, in which are placed the purchases of the careful housemother.
A huckster is frequently accompanied by a dog, both being harnessed to the little cart which holds the wares. Often the man will be free, while the woman and the dog side by side drag the cart to which they are tied, the woman usually knitting even when the air is cold enough to benumb her fingers. Women knit constantly in the streets about their other work, whether bowed down under huge bundles of fagots on their backs, serving milk at the houses, or doing many other things with which we should regard knitting as incompatible.
The best society is like the court, in being exclusive. It is difficult for strangers, in Germany as in America, easily to obtain desirable acquaintance, except by means of letters of introduction, and the friendship which comes with time and natural selection. Glimpses of home-life in cultivated circles are accordingly to be highly valued.
One delightful visit with supper, to which we were invited, began about six o'clock. That we might have more in common, the hostess, who herself spoke English with much intelligence, had invited a German lady who had resided in Boston to meet us. We were seated on the sofa and shown some of the many art treasures in the way of fine engravings which the home contained, the fancy-work of our hostess--a German lady seems never to be without it--lying neglected as the conversation rose in interest. Supper was served between eight and nine o'clock, at a round table accommodating the hostess and her three guests. Delicious tea, made from a burnished brass teakettle over an alcohol lamp on a stand beside the hostess, with white and black bread, five kinds of sausage, cold meat, and pickled fish, composed the first course. There was a second, composed of little cakes and apples.
Dinner, in our experience, was almost invariably good. First course, always soup and bread. Second, unless fish were served, some kind of meat, a variety of vegetables, among which green beans, spinach, and varieties of cabbage delicately cooked were prominent. This course was usually accompanied by cooked or preserved fruit. Third course, various puddings and cakes, all good, some delicious; never any pie. The luxury of dessert was sometimes omitted. It is not common in German families, except those frequented by American guests. Radishes and cheese form an extra course at some suppers. In hotels, of course, the simple family dinner of three or four courses is replaced by a more elaborate feast of many courses.
The anniversaries of the death of friends are remembered by dressing in black, burning candles before their portraits, and visiting their graves. There is also one day in spring which is celebrated as a kind of combination of All Saints Day and Decoration Day, when every one visits the cemeteries, leaving flowers and wreaths in memory of the loved and lost. Funeral services are held, both at the homes and in the churches, and are often accompanied by very impressive and majestic music. In at least one of the cemeteries there is a large and scientifically arranged crematory. A recent judicial decision, however, forbids cremation within the municipal jurisdiction.
Sundays, as is well known, are not observed in Germany as in England and Scotland. But in the parts of Berlin which we were accustomed to see on that day, including two miles or more between our residence and the central part of the city, the general sobriety and orderly appearance would compare favorably with that in the better parts of many American cities. We were asked on our first Sunday at the dinner-table if we would like to have seats secured for us at the opera that evening. Operatic performances and concerts are among the better entertainments offered on Sunday evenings. The laws are strict, however, regarding quiet in the streets and the closing of places of business until after Sunday morning service in the churches. In the finest residence portions of some American cities we have been frequently disturbed by the street-cries of hucksters during divine service on Sunday mornings, while the ear-piercing shouts of newspaper venders disturb all the peace of the early morning hours. Dime museums and other places flaunt their attractions in the faces of the crowd who gather at their doors, and many places of business seem to be always open. It was not our experience to see or hear anything like this in Germany. Even the law of despotic power is better than none at all,--often far better than enlightened law not enforced. Policemen in the streets of Berlin make short work with the luckless tradesman who leaves his blinds or doors open on Sunday before two o'clock P.M. Of course restaurants and places of food supply are open. To all outward appearance Berlin was a fairly well-ordered city on Sundays. One in search of evil, however, could doubtless find it, here as elsewhere.
Sunday afternoon is a favorite time for calls and family visits; and in the pleasant weather the genuine love for out-door life, which seems dormant in winter, blossoms out luxuriantly. Parents take their whole families to the numerous gardens in the suburbs for picnics on Sundays and the frequent holidays. Sunday hours at home are spent by most German ladies with the inevitable crochet-work or knitting,--even the most devout seeing no harm in this, nor in their little Sunday evening parties, with games and music.
One day in the year--Good Friday--is observed as scrupulously as was ever a Puritan Sunday. The organic Protestant Church of Germany--a union of the Lutheran and Reformed churches,--has small affiliation with the Church of Rome; but some observances which we have been accustomed to associate with so-called Catholicism have lingered with Protestantism in Germany. Good Friday was a solemn day in the family where we had our home. Bach's music, brought to light after a hundred years of deep obscurity by Felix Mendelssohn, and rendered, though at first with much opposition from musicians of the old school, in the Sing Akademie of Berlin, now lends every year, on the eve of Good Friday, its incomparable _Passion-Musik_ to the devotion of the occasion. "There are many things I must miss," said a cultivated German to me, "but the _Passion-Musik_ on the eve of Good Friday,--never! It makes me better. I cannot do without it." We found this music, at the time of which we speak, an occasion to be ever memorable for its wonderful power and pathos. The next morning we did not attend the service in the cathedral, where we wished to go, knowing that the crowd would be too great for comfort. On returning to our room from another service, a beautiful arrangement of cut flowers on the table greeted our senses as we opened the door. It was the thoughtful, affectionate, and devout offering of our hostess in reverent memory of the day. After dinner we entered the private parlor of the family for a friendly call and to express our thanks. No suggestion of knitting or fancy-work was to be seen. The hostess and her daughters, soberly dressed, were reading devotional books. "Do you not go out this afternoon?" I inquired. "No, one cannot go out," was the reply, indicating probably both lack of disposition and of places open for entertainment. Later, I ventured out for a walk. Only here and there could a team be seen, and the throng of pedestrians usually on the sidewalks in a bright spring afternoon seemed to have deserted the busy streets, in which comparative silence reigned.
"I am glad there is here _one_ sabbath in the year," was our inward comment, "even though it falls on a Friday." Easter was a day of gladness in the churches, though elaborate adornments of flowers and new spring bonnets were not so prominent as in American cities. The respectable church communicant, even if he goes to church on no other day in the year, usually takes the communion at Easter.
Easter Monday was one great gala-day. All Berlin seemed to be in the streets in holiday attire; and, to our eyes, no other day ever showed such universal gladness reflected in the faces and demeanor of the people. "Prayer Day," answering somewhat to the original New England Fast Day, was solemnly observed in May; and the holidays of Whitsuntide dress every house and market-stall and milk-cart with green boughs, and crowd the railways and the steamers with throngs of pleasure-seekers.
The few weeks before Easter is a favorite season for weddings, and these are invariably celebrated in church. Even people in moderate circumstances make much display at the church ceremony, with or without an additional celebration at home. We were invited to one at the Garrison Church, which the soldiers attend, and where most of the pews on the main floor are held by officers and their families. We entered the church fifteen minutes before the hour appointed,--four o'clock. An elderly usher in a fine suit, with swallow-tail coat and a decoration on his breast, politely gave us liberty to choose our seats, as the invitations were not numerous and the church is large. A few persons, mostly ladies, were there before us, and had already taken the best seats,--those running lengthwise of the church, and facing a wide central aisle. We joined them, and while waiting felt more at liberty to inspect the church than at the service on a previous Sunday. The Grecian interior was undecorated, except that a mass of green filled the space to the right and left of the altar, beginning on each side with tall oleanders succeeded by laurels and other evergreens, growing gradually less in height, until they reached the pews in the side aisles. A rich altar-cloth of purple velvet, embroidered with gold, fell below the crucifix and the massive candles on either side, which are always seen in the Lutheran churches; and in the aisle below the chancel stood a square altar, covered with another spread of purple velvet, heavy with gold fringe and embroidery. Two chairs were side by side just in front of the high altar, and facing it. Six chairs facing the audience were on the platform on each side of the altar, directly in front of the mass of green I have described. Below the steps to the chancel about twenty chairs were placed on each side of the central aisle, and facing the altar. In each chair was a printed slip containing a hymn to be sung after the ceremony. About four o'clock a maid came in with the little granddaughter who on Christmas eve had spoken the poem at the lighting of the family Christmas-tree. When they were seated, the handsome little face, with its white bonnet and cloak, was seen in a side pew very near the altar. It seemed so like a dream,--the announcement of the engagement of "the little Fraeulein" at that Christmas party; and now the time has come when the bride is to belong to her mother and her home no more!
Ladies had long ceased looking impatiently at their watches, and were perhaps busy with their thoughts, as I was, when from the "mittel" door Court-preacher Frommel entered, his long white hair thrown back, and crossed through the transverse aisle to the robing-room opposite. Soon a signal given by an usher to the organist was the prelude to solemn music, which filled the church; and a stout clerical assistant, with a book under his arm, appeared at the rear door. Then Pastor Frommel, in his black robe and simple white muslin bands, took his place before the high altar and bowed in prayer, the two immense candles in tall candlesticks on either side the altar, now lighted, throwing their radiance on his silver hair. Meantime the bridal procession slowly moved down the side aisle toward the middle of the church, turned at the transverse aisle, crossed to the centre, turned again, now toward the altar, passing to it up the central aisle. The clerical personage with the service-book under his arm passed first. Then came the bride on the arm of the groom. There were a few orange-buds hidden here and there in the fluffy mass of her front hair; a veil of tulle was fastened behind them in a gathered coronet, and fell down over the folds of her white silk dress, whose train swept along the aisle to the length of a yard and a half. I saw no ornaments, save a wreath below the high, full, white ruche at the throat, perhaps of geranium leaves, and a full bouquet of pink rosebuds in the right hand. From my glance at the train of the bridal dress, I looked up to see six bridesmaids coming after, each on the arm of a groomsman. The first bridesmaid was a lovely sister of the bride, in a dress of cream-white silk without train, pink flowers in her hair, and carrying a large bouquet of full-blown cream and crimson roses. The second bridesmaid wore a dress of silk,--not ecru and not palest olive, but a shade between the two,--with a perfectly fitting corsage, likewise _decollete_, and for ornaments a necklace of large pearls, a bouquet, and flowers in her hair. The first groomsman was in civilian's dress; but the second was in all the glory of full regimentals, with scarlet trimmings and showy buttons. The third bridesmaid wore pink silk, with a bouquet at the centre of the heart-shaped corsage; but unlike the others, she had no flowers in her hair. Of the following bridesmaids, one wore pink silk of a paler shade, one was in lemon-color, and the last in palest mauve, with trimmings of garnet velvet. The bridesmaids filed to the right, and the groomsmen to the left, as they reached the altar, before which Pastor Frommel now stood. As the bride and groom approached, they remained a moment standing with bowed heads in silent prayer, as the custom is on entering a German church, and then took the two chairs which had been placed for them, facing the minister. I had been struck by the beauty of the widowed mother, as she followed the bridesmaids, leaning on the arm of her brother,--a fine-looking, dignified officer from Potsdam, in full uniform, with broad silver epaulettes. The black hair of the mother--dressed high and gracefully on the crown of her uncovered head, set off by a fine white marguerite and a yellow one--and her dark eyes and complexion were in strong contrast to the fair hair and light German complexion of the younger ladies. She was in a dress of garnet silk, fitting perfectly her tall and graceful form. The bridesmaids took the six chairs on the right of the altar, facing the audience and before the mass of greenery, which made an effective background for so much youth, beauty, and elegance; and the groomsmen took the corresponding chairs on the left. The mother and uncle parted at the steps below the altar, she taking the first chair on the right, and he on the left, with the central aisle between them. Next came two elderly ladies, in dark silk with long trains, with uncovered and ornamented hair, and white shoulder-shawls of silk or wool, each with a gentleman; and they were seated to the right and left respectively. The bride's eldest married sister came next, in a splendid robe of blue satin, with a long train, looking very young and _distingue_. She and her husband filed to the right and left, as the others had done. The second married sister of the bride followed, in a similar dress of pink satin; and her very handsome husband, in his full military suit, was a decided addition to the courtly-looking assemblage. These five ladies filled the front row of chairs on one side, as did the gentlemen accompanying them on the other side. Eight other ladies, all in full dress,--one wearing an ermine cape,--followed, each with a gentleman; and these were seated in the second row.
When for a few brief moments I first caught sight of all this elegance, I felt as though I were in a dream; then came a rush of emotion, because I loved the fair young bride, and was touched at the thought of the solemn place in which she stood,--forsaking home and friends and native land to go to what seems to these home-dwelling Germans a far, strange country, all for the sake of a young man whom a year ago she had never seen. I was as sorry for the mother, too, as I could be for one so handsome and so dignified. How fast one feels and thinks in such a time! Before the hush which followed the procession and the temporary change while all were finding their appropriate seats, the feeling of sympathy had given place to one of stimulated imagination, and this dim old soldiers' church, with the majestic music filling all its spaces, seemed merely the setting for some scene at a royal court in the olden time, where beauty and brilliance and grandeur were a matter of course.
The music ceased, all present rose, while Pastor Frommel read a brief service from the book, and said "Amen." Then we sat down again, and the pastor preached the wedding sermon, which we were told is a matter of course at a German marriage. The sermon over, the bride and groom stood up before him, and he looked down with a fatherly glance upon the bride whom he took into his own house to prepare for confirmation only a few short years ago, and whom he is now to send with his marriage benediction across the sea. In a sweet, calm voice he addressed them; then the bride hands her bouquet to her sister bridesmaid sitting near, and removes her own glove; the groom takes from his pocket a ring, and gives it to the minister, who places it on the bride's finger, speaking a few solemn sentences, of which only the last reaches my ears: "What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." For the first time in the service, the bride and groom kneel before him who bends over them; then follows a prayer, and it is finished. They rise, and are seated an instant; then rise again as the pastor gives his hand in congratulation to the groom; and when he places his hand with a few words in that of the bride, she bends low over it and kisses it in a pathetic farewell. The pastor goes first. The bride and groom bow in silent devotion before the altar until the time seems a little long, then turn and come down the aisle, followed by their retinue as they went in, but twain no more. The mother wiped away a tear quietly once or twice during the service, the unmarried sister bridesmaid looked as sweet and calm as always she does at home, but the bride, silently taking farewell of friends and native land, was deeply moved. No one had any voice for the printed hymn, and the organ alone supplied its music. The newly married couple went in the first carriage which rolled homewards, the others followed without observing precedence, and a small and quiet home reception closed the day.
In a family where we found a home we were once asked, with other temporary residents, to attend a small evening gathering. At the usual hour of half-past eight we were led out to supper by the hostess. The table was very handsome with its fine linen and an elaborately embroidered lunch cloth extending through the whole length of a board at which fourteen were seated. I counted ten tall wine bottles, and at every plate except two, wine-glasses were standing. Several of the European ladies drank off three or four glasses as they might have done so much water. "You are temperance?" said a young lady from Stockholm at my left, in her broken English. I said, Yes; and on inquiry found she knew something of the great temperance movement in her own country, of which she told me over her wine. She said she thought a glass would do me good. I said, "No, it would flush my face and do me harm;" to which, without any intention of discourtesy, she replied simply, "I do not believe it." Five plates of various sizes were piled before each individual. The smallest was of glass, for preserved fruit and sweet pickles, four kinds of which were passed, all to be deposited, if one partook of all, on the same plate. The other plates and the whole service were of beautiful old Berlin china, white, with a line of dark blue and another of gilt around the edge of each piece, and the monogram of the grandmother to whom it originally belonged in the centre of each piece in blue letters. The first course was excellent chicken broth, served to each guest in a china cup, with a roll. The second course was cold roast beef and hot potatoes, served in three different ways, with rolls and plenty of wine. The third course was offered to me first by a handsome serving-maid lately from the country, with a clear face, bright dark eyes, dark hair, and rosy cheeks. Admiring her, I cast only a brief and doubtful glance on the large plate she bore, at one side of which were two lifelike sheep three or four inches high, with little red ribbons around their necks and standing in the midst of greenery. "This is confectionery," I thought, "and these are sugar sheep for ornament." Disposed on other parts of the plate were sundry rounds and triangles which looked peculiar; but my custom was, at German tables, "to prove all things" and "hold fast that which is good." So I decided on a creamy-looking segment, covered with silver-paper, and showing at the sides a half-inch thickness of what I hoped was custard-cake. The plate was next passed to a lady at my right, who cut a little piece off a white substance; and I thought, "She has ice-cream." Before I had touched my portion, a suspicious odor diverted my attention from the conversation. I found that the course was cheese and radishes, that my neighbor had "Dutch cheese," that the sheep were the butter and I had none for my roll, and that I had possessed myself of perhaps the whole of one variety of European cheese in tin-foil, the peculiar aroma of which was anything but agreeable to my cheese-hating sense. I begged a German Fraeulein who sat near and who was intensely enjoying the situation to relieve me, when she kindly took about one third of my delicacy, leaving the rest in solitary state until the end of that course. Fortunately, the non-winedrinkers were offered a cup of tea just here, and I ate my roll with it in thankfulness. My American friend laughingly made a remark to her German neighbor,--a tall and dignified lady, but very vivacious. She turned her head, saying in hesitating English, "Speak on this side; I am _dumb_ in that ear." Meanwhile the conversation, not as at American tables a low hum, but rather the rattle of artillery, fires away, across the table, along its whole length, anywhere and everywhere, much sounding, little meaning, amid infinite ado of demonstration and gesticulation. The next course was the nearest approach to pie I saw at any German table,--_apfeltochter_,--a browned and frosted crust, nearly eighteen inches in diameter, between the parts of which was cooked and sweetened apple.
I noted the different nationalities at the table,--the mother and her daughters, Germans of the Germans; a buxom young girl from the country, a fine singer; the tall German, and the young Swedish lady of whom I have spoken; another Swedish lady from Gothenburg, tall, very dignified, with gray eyes and dark hair, an exquisite singer. Then there was Herr G----, also from Sweden, and Fraeulein von K----, a young Polish lady, with striking black eyes and hair and a laughing face. Other guests were two Norwegian gentlemen. One of them, tall, dark, and with the dress and bearing of a gentleman, said to my American friend, "Yes, I speak English _very well_" which we found to be the case. As I had mentally completed this summary, my friend said to me in a low "aside," "The young lady at your left is a free-thinker, the Polish lady is a Roman Catholic, Herr G----is a Jew; the rest Lutherans, except you and me." And one of us at home was of "Andover," and the other "straight Orthodox"!
Later, we adjourned to the drawing-room, spacious and handsome after the German fashion. I asked one of the daughters of the house, who I knew had spent some years in Russia, if the portrait of a middle-aged gentleman hanging near me, much decorated and with a gilded crown at the top of the frame, were not that of the late Czar (Alexander II.), when she replied, "It is our Emperor!" And I had seen his Majesty at least half a dozen times! But he was a much older man now. One of the Norwegian gentlemen sat down at the piano and played portions of a recent opera, and a game of questions and answers followed. Oranges and little cakes were served before the company broke up at the early hour of half-past eleven.
Concerts and even the opera and theatre begin early in Germany. Doors are open usually about half-past five, and the performance seldom begins later than six or seven. This interferes with the time of the usual evening meal, so that refreshments at these places are always in order. One of the most characteristic evenings maybe spent at the Philharmonie, where the best music is given at popular prices several times each week. Tickets seldom cost more than fifteen or eighteen cents, and may be bought by the package for much less. This is a favorite place with the music-loving Germans, and for many Americans as well. Nearly all the German ladies take their knitting or fancy-work. The large and fine hall is filled on these occasions with chairs clustered around small tables accommodating from two to six. Here families and friends gather, chat in the intervals, and listen to the music, quietly sipping their beer or chocolate, and supper is served in the intermission to those who order it. Smoking is forbidden, but seldom is the hour after supper free from fumes of smokers who quietly venture to light their cigars unrebuked unless the room gets _too_ blue. Many entire families seem to make nightly rendezvous at these concerts, enjoying the music as only Germans do, and setting many a pretty picture in the minds of strangers. The concerts are over by nine or ten o'clock, but the performances at theatre and opera are frequently not concluded before half-past ten or eleven, and an after-supper at a _cafe_ or at home is a consequent necessity. In one aspect of behavior at concerts, American audiences may well imitate our German friends. The beginning of every piece of music is the signal for instantaneous cessation from conversation. I do not remember ever having been annoyed during the performance of music, either in public or private, while in Germany, by the talking of any except Americans or other foreigners. To the music-loving Germans this is among the greatest of social sins.
The buildings of the Berlin University are somewhat scattered, but the edifice known by this name is situated opposite the Imperial Palace, in the finest part of the city. The building was once the palace of Prince Henry, brother of Frederick the Great. It is built around three sides of a court open southward to the street, guarded by a high ornamental iron fence. Before it are the sitting statues of the brothers Humboldt, in fine white marble, on high pedestals. That of Alexander von Humboldt, in particular, inspired me with profound admiration often as I passed it. Few statues are more fortunate in subject, in execution, or in position. The former reception-room of the palace is now the great _aula_ of the University, and the old ball-room is transformed into a Museum. The Cabinet of Minerals and the Collections of the Zooelogical Museum are each among the most valuable of their kind in existence. The fine park to the north of the University is open to the public, and is best seen from the rear entrance in Dorotheen Strasse. Its quiet shades seem quite the ideal of an academic grove, if that can be in the middle of a great city. The Astronomical Observatory is upwards of half a mile south, in a park at the end of Charlotten Strasse; and the Medical Colleges are mostly to the northwest, near the great hospital.
This University, with its hundreds of professors, and nearly six thousand students annually in attendance, is now one of the foremost in Europe. Professors who, like Virchow, Helmholtz, and Mommsen, have a world-wide reputation, draw many to their classes; but there are other equally learned specialists with a more circumscribed reputation and influence. Hundreds of American students tarry each year for a longer or shorter term of study in Berlin, and it is rapidly gaining upon Leipsic as a centre for musical study also. No woman is allowed to matriculate in the University at present, although there are not wanting German women who, in advance of general public sentiment, affirm that this ought not so to be.
The Academy of Arts and the Academy of Science are housed in the conspicuous building opposite the palace of Emperor William I. and adjoining the University. The Science Academy is organized in four sections, physical, mathematical, philosophical, and historical, and has valuable endowments and scholarships. The Academy of Arts has one section devoted to higher instruction in painting, engraving, and sculpture, and one to music, eminent specialists in each branch composing the Board of Direction. The imposing building of the Institute of Technology, near the extremity of the Thiergarten, has a fine Technological Museum, and accommodation for two thousand students. Its organization grew out of the union of two previously existing institutions for the promotion of architecture and trade. It has now five sections, in which about one thousand students pursue the study of architecture, civil engineering, machinery, ship-building, mining, and chemistry.
Instruction in the science of war is given in all its departments, as might be expected. The War Office of the Government is in the Leipziger Strasse, adjoining the Reichstag, with one of the finest of ancient parks behind it, covering a space equal to several squares in the heart of the city. This park is elaborate and finely kept, but it is surrounded by high walls, within which the public is rarely admitted. Even its existence is unsuspected by most visitors. The large and elegant building of the War Academy in the Dorotheen Strasse has a war library of eight hundred thousand volumes and magnificent accessories. Its object is to educate army officers. There are three courses of study, promotion from which to the General Staff is made by examinations. The business of the General Staff is, in war, to regulate the movements of the army and to attend to the correct registration of material for war history. In peace, the time of the officers who compose it is devoted to a profound post-graduate study of the science and the art of warfare.
An important accessory to the privileges of the University is the Royal Library, opposite the main building and adjacent to the palace of Emperor William I. in the Opera Platz. It is possible, though not common, for ladies to be allowed the privileges of this library, consisting of over a million volumes and thousands of valuable and curious manuscripts. A card of introduction to the Director from an influential source gave me the great pleasure of the use both of the library and the fine reading-rooms. Considerable time was consumed in the preliminaries, and there was red tape to be untied, but in general no unnecessary obstacles were thrown in the way even of a woman. On my first visit, before the requisite permission to use the library had been obtained, I was treated as a visitor, and most politely shown the treasures of the institution by intelligent officials. A young man who spoke excellent English was given me as a guide by the distinguished Director-in-Chief. Classification of the books is carried to great minuteness, and it is but the work of a moment, to one familiar with its principles, to turn to any book of the million. The apartments are plain and crowded, although some of the rooms of the adjoining palace had recently been turned into the library, which is fast outgrowing its accommodations. The young librarian who acted as our guide was eager for information concerning American libraries, asking particularly about the size and classification of the Boston Public Library. It was a pleasure to respond to one so intelligent and interested, and I felt sure he would make good use of every scrap of trustworthy information. He showed us his books with pride, and gave many interesting particulars. He also displayed to us some of the treasures kept in glass cases and usually covered from the light. Here were Luther's manuscript translation of the Bible, Gutenberg's Bible, the first book printed on movable types, the ancient Codex of the time of Charlemagne, miniatures, illuminated missals, and other things of much interest. As my dinner-hour approached I begged off for that day from the cordially offered inspection of the celebrated Hamilton manuscripts. It is said that the highest-priced book ever sold was the vellum missal presented to King Henry VIII. by Pope Leo X., which brought $50,000. The missal was accompanied by a document conferring on the King the title of "Defender of the Faith." It is now in this collection, having been given by King Charles II. to an ancestor of the Duke of Hamilton, whose manuscripts were purchased by the German Government in 1882.
The tables of the reading-rooms for periodicals are well filled with magazines in all languages, and equal politeness is shown by officials. The apartments are in the second story, reached by a stairway ascending from a paved court off the Behren Strasse, in the rear of the Imperial Palace. No lovely spring-time memories are to us more vivid and attractive than those of the library reading-room, in the second story of the Library building, looking on the Opera Platz. Here, among many students of all nationalities from the University, I was wont to spend long delicious afternoons at a table of my own choosing, to which attentive officials brought the books of my selection, and where I was free to turn to books of reference on the shelves beside me. The room would accommodate perhaps two hundred, similarly employed. Among those I frequently met there were a German lady and an American gentleman whom I was so happy as to number among my friends. Intercourse between our tables was by smiles and nods, seldom crystallizing into words, but these were not wanted. Four centuries looked down upon us in portraits from the walls, and forty centuries were ours in the books below them. As the season advanced, the room was not full, and the long French windows stood open. Before them was a balcony facing the Platz, with its fountains, its shrubbery, and its flowers. The breath of spring and early summer was perfumed by mignonette and English violets, as it floated away from the murmur and the brightness of the brilliant scenes beyond up through every alcove of this quiet scholar's retreat.
Books in English, as in other languages, are many and finely selected, though some departments are incomplete. A month's preparation here for a trip to Russia and the far North was one of unalloyed pleasure; and many volumes from the library were, under the rules, kindly permitted to reach and remain on the study-table of my own room while I needed them. The department of Scandinavian travel was, however, much more scantily represented than Russia. Long shall I have reason to remember with gratitude the generous "open sesame" and the rich privileges of this library, which, more than most things that enjoy the epithet, truly deserves the name Royal.
As no woman can enter the Berlin University as a student, neither is it practicable for a lady, either as student or visitor, to find access to the _Gymnasia_, which, in the German sense of this term, are somewhat in the line of our American colleges. My windows looked into those of a fine new building across the street, devoted to the instruction of German youth. In through its doors there filed, every week-day morning, long lines of German boys and young men for the various grades of instruction; and a natural desire arose in the mind of an old teacher to "visit the school." But on application to an influential friend long resident in Germany, for a note of introduction to the Director of the _Gymnasium_, his hands were lifted in unaffected astonishment at the nature of the request, "A woman in a boys' school! oh, never! Ask me any other favor but that! Oh, it is _impossible_!" A German lady was more hopeful. She was intimate with the wife of the Director, and thought she could gain for me the coveted permission. But weeks lengthened into months, and still the right to enter even the enclosure sacred to the education of German boys was not obtained. So I studied the educational system at first on paper, and found many facts of interest. Attendance at the common schools is compulsory, all children of both sexes being required to attend, in separate buildings, from the ages of five to fourteen. Beyond this, the High School offers a training for practical life and business, and the _Gymnasium_ a classical and scientific training leading to the special studies of the University. The course of study in the _Gymnasia_ is similar to those of our colleges, some of the studies of the latter, however, being relegated to the University. A boy at nine years of age enters the _Gymnasium_ for a course of nine years, in which Latin and Greek receive the chief emphasis. The same great division of opinion as to the comparative merits of linguistic and scientific training which exists in the rest of the world, agitates the German mind. The _Gymnasium_ with its classical training is the child of the present century, and its growth all along has been disputed by those who claim greater advantages from a curriculum which lays chief stress on science, omitting the Greek and half the Latin, for a part of which modern languages are substituted. This has given rise to what are called the Real Schools, corresponding to our Scientific Schools. These receive their inspiration from the people rather than the learned classes, and are regarded as still on trial. Meantime, until quite recently, the graduates of the _Gymnasia_ have had a monopoly of competition for positions as teachers and opportunity to practise the learned professions. A recent change allows graduates of the Real Schools to compete for teacherships. The graduates of _Gymnasia_ only are allowed to enter the professions of Medicine and Law. The Prussian _Gymnasia_ are about two hundred and fifty in number, and the Real Schools somewhat over one hundred. In point of military service, these schools are all on an equal footing, a pupil who completes a course of six years in either being obliged to serve but one year with the colors. It is said that a large number of those who graduate in these schools do so for the sake of thus shortening their term of military service. I was present at an evening entertainment offered by the older students of one _Gymnasium_ to the friends of the school. It was a rendering, in Greek, of the Antigone of Sophocles, with considerable adjuncts of scenery, costume, and Greek chorus. A brief outline of the play in German was distributed to the audience. For the rest, a knowledge of Greek was the only key to what was said by experts to be well done.
But if this one personal glimpse of the scholarship of the higher schools for boys was all that could be obtained, I was more fortunate in finding access to the schools for girls. Not, however, without painstaking. It is by no means a matter of course for any visitor to knock at the door of a school-room for a call upon the school. The coming of visitors is uniformly discouraged; the teachers saying that the pupils are not used to it, and that their attention is thereby diverted from their studies. A lady of my acquaintance, resident for some years in Berlin, asked permission to visit the school which her little daughter attended, and was refused. A professional educator from abroad, especially a gentleman, if properly introduced, will find little difficulty in obtaining access to the schools; but a lady, who wishes to go unofficially, will need persistence and courage before she effects her object.
A friendly acquaintance with two German teachers smoothed the way, perhaps opened it, to a privilege I had hitherto sought in vain. At supper one evening I made an engagement to meet one of these ladies in the school to which she belonged, early the next morning. In the short Berlin days of mid-winter one must rise by candle-light to be in time for even the second hour of school, if living a half-hour distant. In one of the largest hotels of Berlin I saw, the week before Christmas, a little fellow, scarcely tall enough for seven years, departing for school in the morning, with his knapsack on his back, an hour before there would be daylight enough for him to study by. As he sturdily went forth from the elegant rooms and brilliantly lighted corridors into the cold gray dawn and the snowy streets towards the distant school, I said, "There is the way to train Spartans!" The schools begin at eight o'clock for girls, at seven for boys, though many go at later hours. Those who are not able to pay for instruction attend the "common schools," where tuition is free; but those who can must pay at the rate of from about five to seven dollars per quarter, in the schools denominated "public."
The school to which I went occupies a handsome modern brick edifice, and accommodates eight hundred girls. It was ten o'clock, when the recess which follows the stroke of each hour (ten minutes) is doubled, in order to give time for the "second breakfast"--bread and butter taken in basket or bag--by both teachers and pupils, to supplement the rolls and coffee partaken of by candle-light in winter, which form the first breakfast. The teacher whom I knew was waiting for me in the corridor, where the busy hum of hundreds of young voices filled the air. Handsome and substantial stone staircases fill the central portion of the edifice, lighted by a skylight, by windows where a transverse corridor reaches to the street, and by ground glass in the double doors leading to some of the class-rooms. It was a dark morning, and so the corridors were dim enough. Most of the pupils are in school from eight to one o'clock. Some of the younger ones come at nine, or even ten, and go home at twelve. I was told that instruction as to what to do in case of fire in the building is carefully given, but saw no fire-escapes, except the stairways. There was provision for ventilation in the class-rooms,--a register near the floor admitting pure warm air, and another near the ceiling giving exit to impure air. But this mode was quite insufficient to secure good air in most of the rooms. I was conducted to the Director of the school, without whose permission I could not enter. He was standing in the corridor on the third floor, surrounded by several girls, with whom he was talking in the manner of a _paterfamilias_,--an aged man, with a shrewd but kindly face. I was introduced, and the object of my visit stated. Bowing and leading the way to his office, he made a slight demurrer as to the profit I should reap, but freely accorded the permission, after making an entry, apparently from my visiting-card, in his register. My friend again took me in charge, and conducted me to another room, where I was introduced to the "first instructress," and to five or six other lady teachers, all of whom sat, in wooden chairs, around a plain wooden table, partaking of their luncheon. Two or three good photographs--one of the Roman forum--were in frames on the walls; a large mirror and a set of lock-boxes gave the teachers toilet accommodations; while baskets of knitting and other belongings bespoke this as the retiring-room of the lady teachers. The chief of these, a kind-faced matronly woman, spoke English imperfectly; but several of the younger ones spoke it very well, and one or two were of charming manners and appearance.
From a schedule hanging on the wall, I was shown the names and number of recitations for the day. "What would I like to see? How long can I remain? Will I come again to-morrow?" If the permission to visit a school be often difficult to gain, once received, it covers every recitation, and as many hours or days as the visitor chooses to devote to it. I was first conducted to a recitation in arithmetic. The room contained accommodations for fifty pupils, and the seats were filled by girls about thirteen or fourteen years of age. Wooden desks and seats (the outer row for three pupils each, the central for four each), a slightly raised platform for the teacher, with a plain desk and two chairs, several cases of butterflies and beetles, on the walls a map or two, a small blackboard behind the teacher's desk, in grooves, so that it may be elevated or lowered at pleasure, make up the furniture of the room. The light, as in every room I visited, was from one side, to the left of the pupils. The teacher--a man with gray hair and beard, but young enough as to vivacity and enthusiasm, and a gentleman in manners--bowed me to the chair he offered, and with a wave of the hand bade the children, who had risen on our entrance, be seated. The lesson was wholly oral and mental. Addition, subtraction, and multiplication were carried on by means of numbers, given out with so much vivacity and judgment that every eye was fastened on the teacher and every mind alert. Most of the right hands were raised for answer to every question, with the index finger extended; and the pupil selected was chosen now here, now there, to give it audibly. Rank was observed from left to right, the lower changing places with the higher whenever a failure above and a correct answer below paved the way. Large numbers were often used; for example, adding or subtracting by sixties, and multiplying far beyond twelve times twelve,--all apparently with equal facility. The second half of the hour was devoted to a visit to a class of younger girls. Another arithmetic class, taught by a younger gentleman; the pupils were in the eighth class, or second year at school,--age about seven. The room accommodated the same number, and was lighted and furnished in a similar way. Here figures were written on the blackboard by the teacher. The early part of the lesson had evidently been in addition; now it was subtraction, which was carefully explained by the pupils, and the hour closed by a few mental exercises in concert. In the ten minutes' recess which followed, I again chatted with the teachers in their private room. Thirty teachers are employed to teach these eight hundred girls,--twenty gentlemen and ten ladies. I said that in America the lady teachers largely outnumbered the gentlemen. The lady with whom I was conversing replied that the upper classes in girls' schools were all taught by gentlemen, as the ladies were not prepared to pass the required examinations for these positions. "The gentlemen have a course in the _Gymnasium_ about equal to that in your colleges," she said, "and then pursue a course in the University, in order to fit themselves for teachers." "The expense of this is too much for ladies?" I inquired. "Yes; and they have not the opportunity. They are not admitted to the University of Berlin, and then--women have not the strength for such hard studies"! "How many recitations do you hear?" I asked. "The lady teachers, twenty-two per week; the gentlemen, twenty-four." "The salaries of the gentlemen are higher?" "Oh yes, much higher. They have families to support; and then, the ladies are unsteady,--they often marry."
I was now conducted to the upper division of the first class; girls in the last of the nine years' course of study,--ages about fourteen to sixteen. This was the only class reciting in English, which within a few years has been made a part of the required course, as well as French. They were reading in little paper-covered books, in German text, the _Geisterseher_ of Schiller, and translating the same into English. The teacher was an English gentleman. He wrote occasionally a word on the blackboard, when he wished to explain or impress upon the memory a term or a synonym,--as, for instance, "temporarily," and the words "soften," "mitigate," "assuage,"--and corrected such mistakes in translation as "guess to" for "guess at," and "declaration" for "explanation."
The second division of this first class was in German history. Several of the pupils had historical atlases open before them, which covered the history of the world from the most ancient times to the present, prepared with that excellence which has made German maps famous. The compendium used for a class-book was a brief record of dates and events in Roman type, which is gradually but surely superseding the old German letters. The teacher talked of the quarrel between popes and emperors in the Middle Ages, and especially of the wars of the Investitures. Passing through the corridor after this recitation, I inquired the use of a library there, consisting of several hundred volumes, and was told it was for the use of the teachers; and that there was also one for the use of the pupils, from which they might draw books to read at home,--"some amusing and some instructive."
As "Religion" is marked in the schedule of instruction, and in the weekly, monthly, and quarterly reports sent to the parents, I asked to see the text-book, and was shown two or three. That for the younger pupils was simple, after the manner of our "Bible Stories," of the Creation, "Joseph and his Brethren," etc. That for the upper classes consisted of several catechisms bound in one, including "Luther's," and supplemented by a number of Psalms, as the 1st, 15th, 23d, 130th, to be committed to memory.
I asked if sewing and knitting were taught, and was answered in the affirmative. "Is there a teacher for sewing only?" I asked. "No; formerly there was, but now the teaching of sewing and knitting is distributed among all the lady teachers. The teachers have more influence with the pupils in this way." A wise remark; as only a sewing-teacher of exceptional force and ability can have an influence with the pupils to be compared with that of those who teach them literature. Embroidery is taught, but only "useful embroidery," as the beautiful initial-work on all bed and table linen in Germany is called. Some of that shown me in the sewing-room I now visited was exquisite, but was outdone, if possible, by the darning. Over a small cushion, encased in white cotton cloth, a coarse fabric of stiff threads is pinned, after a square has been cut out from it. This hole the pupil is to replace by darning, composed of white and colored threads. In this instance blue and white threads were woven about the pin-heads inserted at some distance outside the edges of the hole, one for each thread. The darning replaces the fabric, not only with neatness and strength, but in ornamental patterns. Squares, plaids, herringbone and lozenge patterns were done by this process in such a manner as to be very handsome.
We now descended to the ground floor, where was a large gymnasium, fitted up simply, but with a variety of apparatus. A teacher is employed for gymnastics only, but for the reason that until recently the other teachers have not had opportunity to prepare for the examinations, so strict in Germany on every branch. The children here were among the youngest in the school, and were well taught by a lady, but with nothing in the method worthy of special note. The last half-hour, I listened to a recitation in geography. Girls of ten to twelve were numbering and naming the bridges of Berlin, as I entered, and the recitation continued for some time on the topography and boundaries of their own city. A few general questions were given on Germany and its boundaries, and the passes of the Alps, especially the Simplon; and the First Napoleon came in for a little discussion. The whole method and result in this class were admirable.
The teachers seemed to expect I would come again on the morrow, as I had not visited all the classes; and my thanks for the hospitality and full opportunity of inspection which I had so much enjoyed, were mingled with the apology I felt was needed, that my engagements would not permit another visit to the school.
I next sought and obtained an introduction to a Girls' High School. This was under the patronage of the Empress Augusta, and was said, in furnishing and equipment, to be the best in the city. The building is a good one, and the furniture more nearly approaching to that of the best schools in American cities. We went into two or three classes, but were not particularly impressed, favorably or unfavorably, with the methods of instruction. Not so in the gymnastic rooms, where we went to view the exercises of the Normal class, soon to be graduated. No courtesy was shown us by the master in charge, but we were tolerantly allowed to take seats. Here were young women about eighteen years of age, going through some of the more active exercises, in a large and well-fitted room, without a breath of outer air, in sleeves so close that their arms were partly raised with difficulty; so tightly laced about the waist that the blood rushed to their faces whenever they attempted the running exercise sometimes required, and with long skirts and the highest of French heels! And yet this is a country in which a woman is not considered capable of instructing the higher classes in gymnastics!
I now essayed to visit a representative girls' school carried on by private enterprise. The one to which I obtained introduction--and this was always a particular matter, the time of the visit being arranged some days previous by correspondence--was under the patronage of the then Crown Princess, Victoria, whose portrait hung in a conspicuous place in the elegantly furnished drawing-room into which I was first shown. Soon the principal appeared,--a lady, who from a small beginning about fifteen years before had brought the enterprise to its present successful stage, with several hundred pupils in annual attendance. There were a number of governesses, and about thirty pupils resident in the family, the remainder being day-pupils. When asked what I would like to see, as this was a private school, and I knew nothing of its methods, I replied that I would leave the particulars of my visit to the lady in charge. She still hesitated, when I suggested that I should feel interested to visit a class in mathematics. The lady lifted her hands in astonishment. "Mathematics! for girls? Never! We aim to fit girls to become good wives and mothers,--not to teach them mathematics!" "Do you have no classes in arithmetic?" I asked. "Yes, some arithmetic; but higher mathematics would only be hostile to their sphere,--it is not necessary." "Not necessary, possibly," I replied; "but in America we do not think higher study hostile to the preparation of girls for their duties as wives and mothers." "But it is," she replied. "When girls get their minds preoccupied with such things, it interferes with the true preparation for their life." As I had come to learn this lady's ideas of education for girls, not to vindicate mine, I turned the discussion into an inquiry as to the ideal of culture she set before her pupils. "Girls attempt too many things," was the reply. "They come here, some from England and other places, anxious to learn music and languages and what not. I tell them it is impossible to do so many things well. If they wish to learn music, this is not the place for them. They may practise a little,--an hour or two a day, if they wish,--but it is folly to attempt the study of music with other things. We aim to give a thorough training in language and literature; not a smattering, but such an acquaintance as will enable them to understand the people whose tongue they study,--to look at life through their eyes, and to be thoroughly familiar with the masterpieces of their literature. Of course, German holds the first place, but French and English are also taught." I was taken to a class in German literature. The plain and primitive furnishing of the class-rooms was in noticeable contrast to the elegance of the parlors. The girls sat on plain wooden benches, with desks before them on which their note-books lay open. They used these as those who had been trained to take notes and recite from them. I had been told that the teacher in charge of this class was one of the most excellent in the city. The hour was occupied by a lecture on Lessing, a poet whom the class were evidently studying with German minuteness.
I also visited a class in reading,--younger girls, about ten or twelve years of age. They were admirably taught, both in reading and memorizing, the latter chiefly of German ballads. I saw no better teaching done in Berlin than that of this class. Its enthusiastic lady teacher would be a treasure in any land. The last visit of the morning was to a class in vocal music, taught by a gentleman. It was interesting as affording a view of the methods in this music-loving country, but did not differ materially from what would be considered good instruction and drill on this side the water. The teacher himself played the piano, the pupils standing in rows on either side.
In the teachers' dressing-room, a comfortable apartment for the teachers who came from without the building, I chatted a few moments with two or three ladies. One spoke English so well that I asked if it were her vernacular. She appeared gratified by the compliment; said she had been much in other continental countries, and had spent three years in England, with eighteen months beside in the United States. She mistook me for an Englishwoman, and confidently informed me that she had feared her English accent was ruined by the time spent "in the States." "Did you find it so?" I inquired. "No," she said; "fortunately I was able to correct it by stopping in England on my way back." She had evidently not met the gentleman who informed his English friends that they must go to Boston, Massachusetts, if they would hear English spoken correctly. While in Berlin I heard of a young American who was accosted by an Englishman with a question as to what language she spoke. "I speak American," was the reply, "but I can understand English if it is spoken slowly."
The wish to learn English is almost universal among Germans, and the schools have not been before public opinion in making it a part of the curriculum. The result as yet, however, judging from our observation, will justify greater painstaking and more practice, before a high degree of accuracy is reached among the pupils.
The greatest Protestant power of Continental Europe has no Court-churches worthy in appearance of companionship with its palaces and public buildings. But there are those of much historical and other interest, and in some of them the living power of Christianity bears sway. The _Dom_, or Cathedral, dating from the time of Frederick the Great, is far inferior, within and without, to the magnificent buildings which surround it, facing the _Lustgarten_, or Esplanade. Long ago royal plans were made to replace it by an edifice more worthy, but these have not been carried out, though since the accession of Emperor William II. measures have been taken looking toward the erection of a new cathedral.
The usual hour for Sunday-morning service is ten o'clock. The latitude of Berlin is over ten degrees farther north than that of New York and Chicago, and the sun at ten o'clock in winter is about as high as at nine o'clock in the latter cities. So it is only by special effort that a midwinter sojourner in Berlin can be at morning service. Within three minutes of the time appointed, on my first visit, the aged Emperor William entered the _Dom_ and stood for a few minutes in the attitude of devotion, as did the other members of the Imperial household. The gallery on the left of the preacher was occupied by three boxes,--one for the Emperor, one for the Crown Prince and his family, and one for their retinues. The service proceeded in the language of the people,--that language created and preserved to Germany by Luther's translation of the Bible. A finely trained choir of some sixty singers led the music, all the people joining in the psalms and hymns; the Imperial family taking part in the service with simplicity and appearance of sincerity, as those who stood, with all present, in the presence of Him with whom is no respect of persons. The plain interior of the _Dom_ has a painting behind the altar, and the large candles in immense candlesticks on either side were burning before a crucifix throughout the entire service. This we found true also in most of the other churches,--a reminder that, wide as was the gulf between the Lutheran Church and that of Rome, the former retained some customs which Puritanism discarded. Pews fill the central part of this cathedral, and the broad aisle skirting the side at the left of the front entrance has a few seats for the delicate and infirm of the throng which always stands there at the time for the morning service.
It was in this church that the departed Emperor William I. lay in state for the great funeral pageant when his ninety-one years of life were over. Here in the vaults many members of Prussia's royal family repose, and here many stately ceremonies have taken place. At the door of this cathedral Emperor William I., then Prince Regent, stood with uncovered head to receive the remains of Alexander Von Humboldt, which here lay in state in May, 1859, after the great scholar "went forth" for the last time from his home in the Oranienburger Strasse.
We attended a service at the oldest of the Berlin churches, the Nicolai Kirche, and found the sparseness of the audience in striking contrast with the crowds which frequented most of the other churches where we went. Standing-room is usually at a premium in the Cathedral, the Garrison Church, and the place, wherever it may be, in which Dryander preaches; and in nearly all the churches unoccupied seats are hard to find. This is due, not to the large numbers of church-going people in Berlin, but to the comparatively limited church accommodations. It is not too soon that the present Emperor has given order that the number of churches and sittings be immediately increased. In this city of about a million and a half inhabitants, there are only about seventy-five churches and chapels, all told; none very large, and some quite small. It is said that Dryander's parish numbers forty thousand souls, and that there are other parishes including eighty thousand and one hundred and twenty thousand each. Only about two per cent of the population attend church. Ties to a particular church seem scarcely to exist in many cases; those who go to Divine service following their favorite preacher from place to place as he ministers now in one part, now in another, of his vast parish, or going to the Court Church to see the Imperial family, or to some other which happens to offer fine music or some special attraction for the day. Churches do not need, however, to offer special attractions nor to advertise sensational novelties in order to be filled, and of course there are many humble and devout Christians found in the same places from week to week.
The Nicolai Kirche dates from before 1250 A.D. and the great granite foundations of the towers were laid still earlier. At this period the savage Wends and the robber-castles of North Germany were yielding to the prowess of the Knights of the Teutonic Order, and the powerful Hanseatic League was uniting its free cities and cementing its commercial interests, of which Berlin was erelong to be a part,--a League which was to sweep the Baltic by its fleets, and to set up and dethrone kings by its armies. Already the Crusades had broken the long sleep of the Dark Ages, and stirred the people with that mighty impulse which brought the culmination, in the thirteenth century, of the great church-building epoch of Europe in the Middle Ages. No great churches which they could not live to finish were begun by he frugal burghers of Berlin; but they had a style of their own in the brick Gothic, which is the most truly national architecture of North Germany. The Nicolai Kirche is a representative of these early times and of this national architecture, but its interior decorations show every variety of adornment which prevailed during five centuries after its founding. Not alone the history of art is represented on the inner walls of this venerable and unique edifice, but the municipal history, and the history of the "Mark of Brandenburg," and the Kingdom of Prussia as well.
Almost as ancient as the Nicolai Kirche is the Heiliggeist Kirche, behind the Boerse. Near this is the Marien Kirche, with its high spire, its Abbot's Cross--the emblem of Old Berlin--before the entrance, and on the inner walls its frescos of the Dance of Death, painted to commemorate the plague which ravaged Berlin in 1460. Adjoining this church, in the Neue Markt, Berlin's statue of Luther is to be erected. Of the same old time, and in the same old heart of Berlin, is the fine Kloster Kirche of the Franciscan monks, who had once a monastery adjoining. A morning's stroll or two enables one to inspect all these interesting old churches,--passing first to the Nicolai Kirche from the end of the tramway in the Fisch Markt, and then, by a convenient circuit, to each of the others, returning by the Museums and the Lustgarten. The Jerusalems Kirche, about three quarters of a mile south, is said to have been founded by a citizen at the end of the Crusades as a memento of his journey to Palestine; but its present ornamented architecture belongs to a modern reconstruction. An effective architectural group is formed by the two churches in the Schiller Platz, with the great _Schauspielhaus_, or Royal Theatre, between them,--a view which soon becomes familiar to one passing often through the central part of the city. The French Church, on the north side of the Theatre, we did not enter, and of the "New Church"--a hundred years old and recently rejuvenated--our most abiding memories are of an exquisite sacred concert given there in aid of a local charity. We made a pilgrimage to see the effect of this group by moonlight, but, perhaps because it had been too highly praised, we found the view rather disappointing. But we shall long remember a walk at evening twilight through this place, when early dusk and gleaming gas-jets around and within the square had taken the place of departing sunlight, which still bathed in radiance the gilded figures surmounting the domes in the clear upper air. Few of the hurrying multitudes stopped to look upward, but those who did could hardly fail to gain an impressive lesson from the inspiring and suggestive sight.
Frommel, the good man and attractive preacher who usually officiates in the Garrison Church, is one of the four Court-preachers, each of whom is eminent in his way. We sat one morning, with many others, on the steps to the chancel in the Garrison Church, as the house was crowded in every part. The spacious galleries were filled with soldiers in Prussian uniform, and many also were in the pews below. The soldiers were not there merely in obedience to orders. They listened intently, for Court-preacher Frommel has a message to the minds and hearts of men. His oratory is eloquent, scintillating; from first to last it holds captive the crowded audience. Never have I witnessed gestures which were so essentially a part of the speaker; hands so incessantly assisting to convey subtle thought and feeling from the brain and heart of the orator to the magnetized audience, whose faces unconsciously testified to a mental and spiritual uplifting. It was told me that the aged Emperor never travelled from his capital without the attendance of this chaplain, as well known for his simple Christian integrity and his ceaseless good deeds as for his wonderful eloquence.
Trinity Church, where for a quarter of a century Schleiermacher preached and wrought, is now ministered to by the worthy Dryander and his colleagues, who faithfully do what they can for the spiritual welfare of the immense parish. The edifice, of a peculiar model, stands in a central portion of Berlin, almost under the shadow of the lofty and famous hotel known as the Kaiserhof. On the Sunday mornings when Dryander preaches here, aisles, vestibules, and stairways are crowded until there is no standing-room, much less a seat, within sight or hearing of the popular preacher. His manner is simple, but very forceful and sympathetic, his earnest face and voice holding the audience like a spell.
The finest religious music in Berlin is rendered on Friday evenings at sunset, in the great Jewish synagogue in the Oranienburger Strasse, built at a cost of six million marks, and said to be the best in Europe. The spacious interior seats nearly five thousand, with pews on the main floor for men only, and galleries for the women. Three thousand burning gas-jets above and behind the rich stained glass of the dome and side windows give an effect remarkable both for beauty and weirdness. The building without loses much by its close surroundings of ordinary houses, but the Moorish arches and decorations within are unique and effective. Over the sacred enclosure, where a red light always burns, and which contains the ark "of the law and the testimony," a gallery across the eastern end holds the fine organ, and accommodates the choir of eighty trained singers. Christmas eve happened in 1886 on a Friday; so, before the later German Christian home festival to which we were invited, we wended our way to the Jewish weekly sunset service. Neither among the men nor the women was there much outward evidence of devotion. In the female countenances around me in the gallery the well-known Jewish physiognomy was almost universal. While the rabbi read the service, with his back to the audience, most followed in their Hebrew books; but one by one many men slipped out, as though they were "on 'Change" and did not care to stay any longer to-day. The women remained, but with a slightly perfunctory air in most cases. One old crone before me seemed touched with the true pathos which belongs to her race and its history. She followed the service intently, swaying her body back and forth in time with the beautiful music, and ever and anon breaking forth in a low, sweet, plaintive strain with her own voice. Oh the longing of such lives, waiting to find through the centuries the realization of a hope never fulfilled and growing ever more and more dim! My Puritanism had been scarcely reconciled to the crucifix and the candles of the Protestant churches in Berlin, but now, if my life and hopes had depended on the religion of this Jewish ceremonial, I would have given worlds to find a crucifix in the vacant space above their Sacred Ark. These sweet strains of exquisite music seem to give voice without articulation to the unrevealed, imprisoned longing of the Jewish heart for something better than it knows. I could only compare the feeling, in this cold, mechanical worship of the Fatherhood of God, as it seemed to me, with the vague disappointment of climbing stairs in the dark, and stretching out foot and hand for another which is not there. The Christmas torches were burning in the Schloss-platz and the market-places without, crowded for days and nights past with a busy multitude, making ready for the Christ-festival which was to light a Christmas-tree that night in every home in Germany. Even Jews could not resist the gladness; and their homes, like the rest, had every one its Christmas-tree and its fill of cheer, paying their tribute to the world-wide joy, even though they would not. But as I sat among them and went forth with them, I thought also of their ancestral line stretching back to Abraham through centuries of the most wonderful history which belongs to any race. Beside these Israelites, how puerile the fame and deeds of the Hohenzollerns! The sixty or seventy thousand Jews of Berlin hold in their hands, it is said, a large part of the wealth of the city; but they are proscribed, and it is thought by many, unjustly treated before the law.
The one English church in Berlin rejoices in a new and beautiful though chaste and modest edifice in the gardens of Monbijou Palace. The site, presented by the Emperor William I., is in the heart of the city, surrounded, in this quiet and beautiful place, by many interesting historic associations. The edifice was built chiefly through the efforts of the Crown Princess Victoria, who raised in London in a few hours a large part of the necessary funds, and who also devoted to this object, so dear to her English heart, presents received at her silver wedding. The service attracts on Sunday mornings, of course, all adherents of the Church of England, as well as many Americans, to whom the magnet of an Episcopal service is greater than that of the association of Christians of all denominations in the devout and simple worship of the Chapel in Junker Strasse, where the Union American and British service is held. One of the first places we essayed to find in Berlin was the chapel at present used by this organization. Our German landlady had unwittingly misdirected us, and we insisted on her direction, to the bewilderment of our cabman. Up one strange street and down another he drove, with sundry protests and shakes of the head on our part. We insist on "Heulmann Strasse." He stops and inquires. "Nein! nein!" he says, "Junker Strasse." "No! no!" we reply. He holds a conference with two brother drosky-men. Three Germans "of the male persuasion" outside insist on "Junker Strasse." Three Americans "of the female persuasion" inside insist on "Heulmann Strasse." "Nein!" says the man, with a determined air, and takes the reins now as though he means business. We lean back in our seats, resigned to going wrong because we cannot help ourselves, when lo! we draw up at the door of the building used by the American church in Junker Strasse. Those barbarous men were right, after all! Late; but how our hearts were warmed and cheered by the sight of a plain audience-room, holding about two hundred English-speaking people; the pulpit draped in our dear old American flag, and another on the choir-gallery! How precious were the simple devout hymns and prayers in our own tongue wherein we were born! There was an American Thanksgiving sermon,--eloquent, earnest, magnetic. Strangers in a strange land, we felt that we could never be homesick in a city where was such a service. This Union Church service was established some twenty-five or thirty years ago, Governor Wright, then United States Minister to Germany, being prominently connected with its beginnings. There is now a regular church organization, with the Bible and the Apostles' Creed as its doctrinal basis. For eight or nine years past, the present pastor, the Rev. J.H.W. Stueckenberg, D.D., born in Germany, but a loyal and devoted soldier and citizen of the American Republic, has, with his accomplished wife, been indefatigable in caring for the services, and administering to the needs--physical, social, and religious--of Americans in Berlin. The first gathering which we attended in the city was an American Thanksgiving Banquet, under the auspices of the "Ladies' Social Union" connected with this "American Chapel." Invitations were issued to an "American Home Gathering," for Thanksgiving evening, to be held in the Architectenhaus at six o'clock. Greetings, witty and wise, were extended to the assembled company of some two hundred, by a lady from Boston; grace was said by Professor Mead, formerly of Andover, and the American Thanksgiving dinner was duly appreciated, though some of us had in part forestalled its appetizing pleasures by attendance at a delightful private afternoon dinner-party, where the true home flavors had been heightened by the shadow of the American flag which draped its silken folds above the table, depending from candelabra in which "red, white, and blue" wax lights were burning.
Only the initiated can know what such an American Thanksgiving dinner as that given in this public entertainment in Germany must mean to the painstaking ladies, who need to direct every detail in contravention of the established customs of the country. Turkey was forthcoming, but cranberries were sought far and wide in vain, until Dresden at last sent an imitation of the American berry, to keep it company. Mince pies were regarded as essential to the feast. As pies are here unknown, the pie-plates must be made to order after repeated and untold minuteness of direction to the astonished tinman. The ordinary kitchen ranges of Germany are without ovens, and all cake and pastry, as well as bread, must emerge from the baker's oven. So to the shop of the baker two ladies repaired, to mix with their own hands the pastry and to prepare the mince-meat, graciously declining the yeast and eggs offered them for the purpose. The delicious results justified in practical proof the tireless endeavor for a real home-like American dinner. Our German friends laughed at the "dry banquet" where only lemonade and coffee kept the viands company, but right good cheer was not wanting. Before the guests rose from table, the pastor read letters of regret from Minister Pendleton (absent in affliction) and others, and proposed the health of the President of the United States and of Mrs. Cleveland, who, as Miss Folsom, shared in the Berlin festivities of Americans at Thanksgiving the year before. The toast which followed--to the aged Emperor William--was most cordially responded to by a member of the Empress's household, Count Bernsdorff, endeared to many in both hemispheres by his active interest in whatsoever things are true and of good report. Rare music was discoursed at intervals, from a band in the gallery, alternating with amateur performers on the violin and piano, from under the German and American flags intertwined at the opposite end of the handsome hall. The good name of American students of music in Berlin was well deserved, judging from their contributions to the enjoyment of this occasion. The evening's programme closed with our national airs in grand chorus, cheering and inspiring all. To some hearts the dear melody of "The Suwanee River," which afterwards floated out on the evening air of the busy city, mingled a pathos before unsuspected with the good-nights and the adieus, and brought an undertone of sadness caused by the knowledge that we were far from home, and that our loved ones, from Atlantic to Pacific, were returning from their Thanksgiving sermon, or later gathering about the festal board, at the hour when we, wanderers, were clustered in the heart of the German Empire with like purpose and in like precious faith and memory.
The Sunday services of this enterprise are now held in an edifice belonging to a German Methodist church, which can be had for one service only, at an hour which will not interfere with the uses which have a prior claim. The Sunday evenings, when a goodly congregation might be gathered if a suitable audience-room could be had, are times of loneliness and homesickness to many American youth and others far from home and friends. Dr. and Mrs. Stueckenberg have generously opened their own pleasant home at 18 Buelow Strasse for Sunday-evening receptions to Americans. Their large and beautiful apartments were much too small to accommodate all who would gladly have gathered there. But in the course of the season there were few Americans attending the morning service who were not to be met, one Sunday evening or another, in the parlors of the pastor and his wife; and many others, students, were nearly always there. A half-hour was given on these occasions to social greetings; then followed familiar hymns, led by the piano and a volunteer choir of young people, after which an informal lecture was given by the pastor. Dr. Stueckenberg emigrated with his parents to America in early childhood, but has studied in the Universities of Halle, Goettingen, Berlin, and Tuebingen. His large acquaintance with German scholars enabled him to give most interesting reminiscences of the teaching and personality of some of these, his teachers and friends. Among the talks which we remember vividly were those on Tholuck, Doerner, and Von Ranke. At another time Dr. Stueckenberg gave a series of lectures on Socialism,--a theme whose manifold aspects he has studied profoundly, and which, in Germany as elsewhere, is the question of the hour, the day, and the century, and perhaps of the next century too. After the lecture there generally followed prayer and another hymn, and always slight refreshments,--tea and sandwiches, or little cakes,--over which all chatted and were free to go when they would. Many were the occasions when, in these gatherings, every heart seemed to partake of the gladness radiated by the magnetic host and hostess; and all Europe seemed brighter because of these homelike, social, Christian Sunday evenings which lighted up the sojourn in Berlin. The effort now being made to build a permanent and commodious church edifice for Americans in Berlin is a pressing necessity.
Dr. Christlieb, the eminent Professor of Theology and University Preacher in Bonn, asserts that the number of American students in Berlin is now by far the largest congregated in any one place in Germany. The number, as stated in 1888 by Rev. Dr. Philip Schaff, was about four hundred, besides the numerous American travellers there every year for a longer or shorter time. Seventeen denominations have been represented in this church in a single year, and any evangelical minister in good standing in his own church is eligible to election as its pastor. From the beginning these union services have been entirely harmonious; and Methodists, Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Lutherans, and Episcopalians have been chiefly active in promoting them.
The churches of the royal suburb of Potsdam possess an interest quite equal to that of those in Berlin. The Potsdam Garrison Church, in general interior outlines, reminds one of some quaint New England meeting-house of the early part of the eighteenth century. But here the resemblance ceases. The ancient arrangement of windows and galleries impresses one only at the moment of entering, attention being presently diverted to the flags clustered on the gallery pillars and on either side the pulpit, in two rows,--the lower captured from the French in the wars with the First Napoleon, the upper taken in the late contests with Austria and with Napoleon III. Altar-cloths and other furnishings are heavily embroidered with the handiwork of vanished queens. But the chief interest centres in the vault under the handsome marble pulpit. In this vault, on the left, are the mortal remains of the old Prussian King, Frederick William I.,--father of Frederick the Great,--a character hard to understand, and interpreted differently as one surveys him in the light of Macaulay's genius or that of Carlyle. But one cannot help hoping that the final verdict will be with the latter; and as we stand in this solemn place, memory recalls the day--the midnight, rather--when this same oak coffin, long before the death of the King made ready by his orders in the old Palace of Potsdam close at hand, at last received its burden, and was borne in Spartan simplicity to this place, the torch-lighted band playing his favorite dirge,--
"Oh, Sacred Head, now wounded!"
On the right, separated from the coffin of his father only by the short aisle, is that of Frederick the Great. Three wreaths were lying upon it,--placed there by the Emperor and by the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess on the hundredth anniversary of the death of this founder of Prussia's greatness, August 17, 1886. Fortunate is the visitor to Potsdam who does not altogether overlook this Garrison Church, misled by the brief mention usually accorded to it in the guide-books.
The Friedenskirche, near the entrance to the park of Sans Souci, has a detached high clock-tower adjoining, and cloisters beautiful, even in winter, with the myrtle and ivy and evergreens of the protected court which they surround. In the inner court is a copy of Thorwaldsen's celebrated statue of Christ (the original at Copenhagen); also, Rauch's original "Moses, supported by Aaron and Hur," and a beautiful _Pieta_ is in the opposite colonnade. The church is in the form of the ancient basilica, which is not favorable to much adornment. A crucifix of _lapis lazuli_ under a canopy resting on jasper columns--a present from the Czar Nicholas--stands on the marble altar. A beautiful angel in Carrara marble adorns the space before the chancel, above the burial-slabs of King Frederick William IV., founder of the church, and his queen; and the apse is lined with a rare old Venetian mosaic. But the chief interest of this "Church of Peace" will henceforth centre around it as the burial-place of the Emperor Frederick III. In an apartment not formerly shown to the public, his young son, Waldemar, was laid to rest at the age of eleven years, deeply mourned by the Crown Prince, the Crown Princess, and their family. Here in this church, beside his sons Waldemar and Sigismund, who died in infancy, it was the wish of the dying father to lie buried. Here the quiet military funeral service was held; here the last look of that noble face was taken amid the tears of those who loved him well, while the sunlight, suddenly streaming through an upper window, illuminated as with an electric light that face at rest, as the Court-preacher Koegel uttered the words of solemn trust,--
"What God doeth is well done."
Fitting it is that in this "Church of Peace" should rest all that was mortal of the immortal Prince who could say, as he entered Paris in the flush of victory: "Gentlemen, I do not like war. If I should reign, I would never make it."
The chief art treasures of Berlin are found in the Royal Museums, Old and New, and in the National Gallery. There are few more characteristic and inspiring sights in Europe than that which greets the eye in a walk on a sunny afternoon in winter from the palace of Kaiser Wilhelm I. through the Operahaus Platz and the Zeughaus Platz, across the Schloss Bruecke and the Lustgarten, to the peerless building of the Old Museum,--with the grand equipages, the brilliant uniforms, and the busy but not overcrowded life which throng the vast spaces of these handsome thoroughfares. The Old Museum is not so rich in masterpieces as some other and older art galleries, but there are many fine original works. The Friezes from the Altar of Zeus, excavated within a few years at Pergamus, are extremely interesting, and are exhibited with all the adjuncts which the most thorough German scholarship can supply for their elucidation. The celebrated Raphael tapestry, woven for Henry VIII. from the cartoons now in the South Kensington Museum, and long the foremost ornament of the palace of Whitehall, hangs in the great upper rotunda, which is a setting not unworthy of its fame. Michael Angelo's "John the Baptist as a Boy," one of his early works, is quite unlike most of this master's work, in conception and execution, and is interesting especially on this account. The "Altar-piece of the Mystic Lamb" is remarkable for its merits and because it is reputed to be the first picture ever painted in oils. Murillo's "Ecstasy of Saint Anthony" is a picture of rare sweetness and power. In one room are five of Raphael's Madonnas, but only one of them is in his better style. "The collection of pictures in the Old Museum," wrote George Eliot in 1855, "has three gems which remain in the imagination,--'Titian's Daughter,' Correggio's 'Jupiter and Io,' and his 'Head of Christ on a Handkerchief.' I was pleased, also, to recognize among the pictures the one by Jan Steem which Goethe describes in the 'Wahlverwandschaften' as the model of a _tableau vivant_ presented by Lucian and her friends. It is the daughter being reproved by her father, while the mother empties her wine-glass."
The department of the Museum known as the Antiquarium has its treasures. Here is the original silver table service, supposed to be that of a Roman General, dug up in 1868 near the old German mediaeval town of Hildesheim. A handsome copy of this service is among the beginnings of Chicago's Art collections. Here are the exquisite terra-cotta statuettes from the ancient Grecian Colony of Tanagra, which no modern work of plastic art can imitate in grace of form and delicacy of color,--dating three or four hundred years before the Christian era; and in other rooms, a fabulous collection of jewels, and numberless precious vases, illustrating especially the progress of Ancient Grecian Art.
The New Museum, connected by a colonnade with the Old, is not, like it, remarkable for architectural beauty; but its vast collections, especially in marble, already need and are to have a new building. The masterpieces of ancient sculpture gathered at Munich, Vienna, Paris, Rome, Naples, and elsewhere, are here reproduced in casts, making up a collection said to be, in its way, unrivalled in the world. The collection of originals in Renaissance sculpture is also extensive and valuable.
Referring to sculpture in Berlin, George Eliot wrote: "We went again and again to look at the Parthenon Sculptures, and registered a vow that we would go to feast on the originals [in the British Museum] the first day we could spare in London." At the date before mentioned, her opinion was that "the first work of art really worth looking at that one sees in Berlin is the 'Horse-Tamers' in front of the [Old] palace. It is by a sculptor [Baron Clodt, of St. Petersburg] who made horses his especial study; and certainly, to us, they eclipsed the famous Colossi at Monte Cavallo, casts of which are in [before] the New Museum."
The Department of Coins has 200,000 specimens, many very old and rare; and that of Northern Antiquities illustrates with great fulness the prehistoric and Roman periods. The Cabinet of Engravings is extremely interesting, and has some specimens of very great value; but it is open to the general public for a few hours on Sunday only, and even then the greater part of its collections is reserved to art students, who have the entire monopoly of its treasures on other days of the week. It well repays persistent effort, however, to make a few quiet visits to this rare cabinet. Some of the finest works are hung on the walls of the pleasant rooms.
The famous mural paintings by Kaulbach adorning the upper staircase walls of the New Museum are widely admired, but critics differ in the estimate of their place as works of art. The upper saloons reached by this staircase show the cartoons of Cornelius, and foreshadow a grandeur in German art not yet realized.
The third building in the group which holds the chief art treasures of Berlin is the National Gallery, its pictures partaking, as such a collection should, strongly of the German spirit as shown in modern German art. The paintings are of various degrees of merit, many being of value chiefly as reflecting the national life. A fine portrait of Mommsen arrested me, on one visit; a striking picture, "Christ healing a Sick Child in its Mother's Arms," by Gabriel Max, was a continual favorite; and many others were among those to which we went frequently and before which we lingered long.
The crowning excellence of all the Royal Art Collections is their singular method and completeness. The Old Museum, especially, in its arrangement and illustration of the history of painting in all schools, is without a peer, and it is particularly rich in the early Italian masters. The National Gallery in London has been compared in arrangement with the Berlin Museum, but our observation showed nowhere else in Europe so great facility for systematic study of art as here.
Quite recently, a writer in the "London Art Journal," in comparing European art galleries, characterizes the Italian galleries, except the Pitti, as mere storehouses of pictures, so great have been the accessions, in late years, of altar-pieces from suppressed convents; while, on the other hand, the Louvre, and the galleries of Munich, Dresden, Vienna, St. Petersburg, and Madrid still retain their original characteristics as collections made by persons of taste and discrimination. "The Berlin Gallery," says this writer, "is neither a storehouse nor a collection. It stands on a footing of its own. The studious and organizing Prussian mind soon handed over the management of all its collections to a body of specialists, trained to study the objects in their keeping and to arrange them not so much for the delight as for the information of a studious public. The Berlin Gallery has been thus arranged, and its additions have been purchased under the direction of scholars and historians rather than artists and _dilettanti_. Historical sequence and historical completeness have been aimed at. The collection is intended to exemplify the development of the art of painting in mediaeval and renascence Europe. It is impossible to enter the Museum gallery and not be struck with this fact. The visitor finds himself turned into a student of the history of painting, as he wanders from room to room. The ordering of the pictures, the information contained in the catalogue,--everything points in the same direction. So clearly has the Museum come to be understood at Berlin as a kind of art-history branch of a university, that a portion of the funds devoted to it is annually spent upon the publication of a periodical universally recognized as the leading magazine in the world devoted to the history of art. By means of it, students in all countries are informed from year to year of the new acquisitions and discoveries made by the staff of the Museum, or by the leading authors and students of the subject, of all nationalities. The Berlin collection has thus won for itself a place as the historical collection _par excellence_."
The Museums are under the care of a Director-General, with nine or more Directors of Departments. Dr. Julius Meyer, Director of the Picture-Gallery, is said to be probably unequalled by any living writer for a wide and philosophic grasp of the whole subject of Art History, to which his life has been devoted; while the names of distinguished scholars and professors at the head of the other departments are guaranties of similar excellence. A series of four illustrated volumes is now in process of publication, which will present, in photographs and engravings, large or small, every picture of importance in the gallery. The text of these volumes, by Drs. Meyer and Bode, will be extremely valuable, and the whole will doubtless stand foremost among publications designed as exponents of European galleries.
The fine and massive building of the Arsenal, opposite the palace of the late Crown Prince, dates from the time of Frederick I., last of the Electors and first of the Prussian Kings. The grand sculptures of the German artist Schlueter, who was afterwards called to the aid of Peter the Great in the creation of St. Petersburg, adorn the exterior of the edifice. Any chance walk along the Linden will arrest the attention to this building, with the remarkable heads of dying warriors carved in the keystones of its window arches. In the renovation of the Arsenal a few years since, no improvement was made on the exterior, except to remove the accumulations of smoke and dust which a hundred and seventy years had deposited there. After the close of the Franco-Prussian War, it was the thought of the aged Emperor to make this Arsenal, already crowded with an immense collection of arms, armor, and trophies, into a kind of Walhalla,--a National Hall of Fame. This was fully carried out. In rooms on the ground floor one may read the whole history of ordnance, old and new, including the famous Armstrong and Krupp guns. A portion of this floor is devoted to models of fortresses, plans of battles, and captured flags. There is a war library; and the celebrated pictures of the Giant Grenadiers, painted with his own hand by Frederick William I., father of Frederick the Great, are also to be seen.
A magnificent double staircase under a glass roof leads to the second floor (in Germany called the first), where one portion is devoted to an interesting collection of arms, which is, however, inferior to those of one or two other European cities. The chief attraction to the visitor, as well as a permanent magnet to the patriotic Berlinese, who come hither in whole families, is the "Hall of Fame," consisting of three sections, all splendid in mosaic floors and massive marble pillars, and adorned with sculpture and fine historical frescos. One of the latter represents the Coronation of the first King of Prussia at Koenigsberg, and another has for its subject the Proclamation of the German Empire at Versailles. The Central Hall is adorned with bronze statues of the Great Elector, of the Fredericks and Frederick-Williams of the Prussian royal line, and of the Emperor William I. The "Halls of the Generals," on either side of this "Hall of the Rulers," have busts of the military leaders, including a fine one of the Crown Prince. Here are also several historical paintings; prominent among which are "The Battle of Turin," "The Emperor William and the Crown Prince at Koeniggraetz," and "The Capitulation at Sedan."
Perhaps no collection, among many more which might be mentioned, better illustrates the practical working of the German mind than the Royal Post Museum in the Leipziger Strasse. Here is shown everything of interest connected with the transmission of intelligence, and poetry as well as prose has entered into the heart of this Government exhibit. On the walls of the first saloon entered by the visitor are copies in stone of Assyrian bas-reliefs showing a warrior with chariot and arrows. This suggests to us a scene in the lives of David and Jonathan; but communication by means of arrows is probably much older than the time of David. Earlier than even the Assyrian stone must have been the model for the Egyptian wicker and wooden post-chariot. In this room, under a glass case, is an exquisite marble statuette, found at Tanagra, of a Grecian girl seated, and writing on a tablet; and not far away is a Roman warrior, carrying his message. Entering the next hall, we pass a beautiful bronze statue of Philip, the Grecian soldier, bearing a laurel spray, stretching his athletic limbs in breathless strides as he goes toward the capital to announce the battle of Marathon, and to fall dead on his entrance to the city, with the single word "Victory!" on his lips. Here on the walls are four emblematic pictures: "The Land-Post," representing a knight with a sealed missive in his hand, standing beside and curbing his fiery steeds; "The Sea-Post," showing a mail-carrier on the back of a dolphin in the midst of stormy waves far out at sea; "The Telegraph," with Jove and his lightnings as its central figure: and "The _Rohrpost_,"--a maiden, blowing into an orifice with "the breath of all the winds." This last is emblematic of that postal arrangement in Berlin by which letters and postal cards are sent with great speed through pneumatic tubes from which the air is exhausted by means of pumps, and which makes it possible to receive a written message from a distant part of the city within a few minutes after it is written.
Among the ancient representations are models of the boats in which the old Norsemen sailed the seas, and of those by which our Anglo-Saxon ancestors invaded England from Germany. These are strikingly contrasted, in their simplicity and clumsiness, with a fully equipped model, from four to six feet long, of a modern North German Lloyd Atlantic mail steamship, than which no better equipped boat sails the main. One goes on, past a Gobelin tapestry representing a mail-scene at Nueremberg in the Middle Ages, through long halls and corridors where are hundreds of models of post-office buildings of the most convenient and approved plans, in all parts of the world. These are of every variety of architecture, from the great general post-office in London, the handsome Hanover post-office building, those of the central and district post-offices in Berlin, Dresden, Cologne, Heidelberg, and many others in South Germany, to the modern edifices which adorn, and yet seem strangely out of keeping with, the picturesque old North German towns. These models are miniature copies of the exteriors of post-office buildings, varying in length from one and a half to six or eight feet, and of corresponding height. One most interesting model shows the interior of a modern post-office, each floor showing an exact copy of its department of the service, with all appliances and conveniences.
In another room are miniature mail-coaches of different kinds. In the centre of this apartment stands a life-size figure of a mail-carrier in Germany of four hundred years ago. He is a wild-looking official, reminding one by his bronzed features and general appearance of some trusty Indian scout, as he holds his gun in an attitude of suspicion and menace, while a bear-cub opens a capacious mouth at his feet.
Model mail and post-office cars occupy the side of another large room; but this exhibit is so vast and varied that the memory refuses to retain its classification, and holds side by side Alaskan sledges drawn by dogs, Russian post-chaises with reindeer teams, mail-boats on Norwegian fiords, carrier-pigeons and balloons, camels and elephants, and the model mail-coach of the lightning express of the New York Central Railroad. The working appliance used in America for catching off a mail-bag without stopping the train attracts much attention. There is a complete set of the weights and measures used in British post-offices, and two glass cases show the forms of horseshoes best adapted to the speed of horses carrying mails. Tablets, pens, and pencils have cases to themselves, as well as parchments, ancient rolls and ink-horns, reeds and papyrus. Here are the primitive postal arrangements of some of the East Indies; there is the yellow satin missive with a scarlet seal which carries the royal mandates of Siam. Pictures and models of mail-carrying elephants come next, their gay saddle-cloths filled with pockets and parchment rolls. A model of a Japanese post-office is finished in all its interior with the perfection of detail and delicacy of execution which characterize the best Japanese work. A framed engraving of the International Postal Congress at Berne in 1874 hangs near one of the Congress at Paris in 1878. There is a room devoted to the exhibition of postal stamps, cards, and envelopes of every kind, and there are several rooms where models of the most approved kinds of telegraphic apparatus are shown. In a corridor are all varieties of submarine cables, with the ore and the Bessemer steel of which they are spun. In one of the rooms a small crowd is collected about an operator who speaks through a telephone, records the sound of his own voice on strips of foil, which he tears into fragments and distributes to those who eagerly reach for them. In the centre of this room there is a tiny circular railway, with a coach, but no locomotive, standing on the track. By turning the wheel of an electro-magnet the official produces an electric light at the extremity of a model burner; then, applying the same power to the little railway, propels the coach at a rapid rate by means of the invisible agent. One goes forth into the street, past wax figures of armed and mounted mail-messengers in the Middle Ages, past the model street mail-boxes and carriages which help to make so wonderful the Berlin postal arrangements, in a maze at what may here be seen in a single half-hour of the history of mail-carrying in all lands and ages. The originator of this "Post Museum" is Dr. Stephan, the inventor of the postal card and the chief promoter of the International Postal Union. His is the "power behind the throne" which has made the German postal system a marvel of efficiency, unsurpassed, if not unrivalled, in the world.
Less known to travellers than many others far inferior in interest, is the Hohenzollern Museum, occupying the Monbijou Palace in the heart of Berlin. This palace, of so much interest to the readers of Carlyle's "Frederick the Great," has been transformed into a repository for the personal belongings and memorials of the kings and queens of Prussia. One or more rooms devoted to each sovereign in historical succession make up a fascinating picture of the royal customs of the kingdom for two hundred years. Our attention was called to this museum by an English resident, but its interest far exceeded our expectations. Here are the laces, jewels, and often the entire wardrobes of the Hohenzollern queens, with their writing desks and tablets, jewel-cases, embroidery, work-baskets, mirrors, beds, and other furniture; and the kings have each their own apartment likewise, tenanted by their "counterfeit presentments" in wax, sitting or standing in the very clothes they wore, and surrounded by visible mementos of the life they used to live. The glittering eyes and mundane expression of Frederick William I., father of Frederick the Great, give one a strange feeling, and the chairs and table of his "Tobacco College" must have a vivid interest for every reader of Carlyle's "Frederick." But when we entered the rooms containing the many mementos of the Great Frederick himself, from his effigy in the cradle and his baby shoes, and threaded all the vicissitudes of that strangely fascinating life by the help of its visible surroundings, and finally stood before the glass case containing a mask of his dead face and hand surrounded by its laurel wreath, the spell of the past was at its height. It was a bright sunny afternoon, and the golden light came in long slanting lines through windows opening on Monbijou gardens, beautiful even in winter, and lay upon the tessellated floors of the corridors in patterns of shining glory. The chat and laughter of young companions floated from adjoining rooms, and the foot of the guard fell softly in the marble halls. But a kind of awe born of that wonderful past had taken possession of me. I was alone with the spirit of the Great Monarch, and it was more than could be borne. We hurried away from the spot, as when children we fled from fancied ghosts. To one in search of a genuine sensation, we recommend the reading (with judicious skipping) of Carlyle's "Frederick the Great," and a visit, alone or with a single companion, to the Hohenzollern Museum.
Upwards of twenty years ago, German trade was falling behind in the best markets of the world, because the products of German industry were largely poor in quality and deficient in artistic value. With the Duke of Ratisbon, President of the Herrenhaus, as chairman of a committee appointed to consider the subject, a few leading minds combined in a movement which issued in the establishment of the Industrial Art Museum. The Crown Prince and the Crown Princess were much interested in the subject, and gave the plan their hearty support. Less than ten years since, the fine new building in Zimmer Strasse near Koeniggraetzer was opened on the birthday of the Crown Princess, to receive the vast treasures accumulated, by gift, loan, and purchase, for the permanent exhibition. A cursory visit, though most interesting, is sometimes bewildering from the extent and variety of the collection. The centre of the edifice consists of a large court, roofed with glass and surrounded by two galleries. This is the place reserved for loan exhibitions, and several of importance have already been held here. One of the earlier was of some of the treasures of the South Kensington Museum, loaned by Queen Victoria. Opening upon these arcades are numerous halls on the lower floor, devoted to the permanent exhibition. The classification of the objects exhibited, if not loose, is very general, seeming to us inferior to the method which makes the South Kensington a delight, whether one has hours or months in which to visit it. On the ground floor of this Berlin Museum are "objects in the making of which fire is not used." This includes domestic and ecclesiastical furniture of different countries and historical periods, musical instruments, tapestries, carvings in ivory and wood, and many other objects widely separated in thought. A fine exhibit is made of articles in amber wrought by workmen of rich old Dantzic, for which Baltic Germany furnishes the raw material. The ancient Italian carved bridal-chests brought vividly to mind our childhood's favorite story of Ginevra, by chance imprisoned in such a chest on the day which was to have witnessed her marriage.
The upper floor, with an arrangement similar to that of the lower, shows "objects in the manufacture of which fire is necessary." The very extensive collection of pottery and porcelain was surpassed, in our observation, only by that at Sevres; and there are many rare and valuable specimens of work in glass and metals. The ancient municipal silver service of the city of Lueneberg, bought at a cost of $165,000, deserves the attention it attracts; and the work of German mediaeval goldsmiths--particularly of the famous Augsburg artisans--is a revelation of the possibilities of human handiwork. Stained glass, of much historic and artistic value, fills the windows of the entire building. The specimens of textile fabrics, in completeness and extent, are matchless, and are so arranged as to afford the utmost facility to students of the history of this important subject, as well as great pleasure to the favored visitor who has the opportunity to inspect them.
This "Kuenstgewerbe Museum" is open to the public without charge on three days of the week, and for a small fee on the remaining days; while its valuable industrial library may be freely consulted on four week-day evenings. Its influence is already strongly felt along the lines of trade and industry throughout the Empire.
The great Ethnographical Museum adjoining, on the corner of Koeniggraetzer Strasse, has the kind and variety of objects usually found in such exhibitions, including those connected with several races of American Indians. The other departments were, to us, eclipsed in interest by the Schliemann exhibition of Trojan remains on the ground floor. Here we found, on the walls, framed pencil or India ink sketches of the localities where the earlier excavations were made, plans of the work, sections of the unearthed portions, and the precious old Trojan antiquities themselves, deposited here for inspection and safe keeping.
The Maerkische Museum, in the Fisch Markt, a centre of Old Berlin, illustrates the history and the prehistoric times of the Mark of Brandenburg, including an interesting department of curiosities from the lake-dwellings and tumuli. There are also ancient coins and other objects picked up at different times within the province. One of the later treasures of this unique museum is the box from which the monk Tetzel sold the indulgences which fanned into a flame the rising fires of the Reformation.
The Reichstag, or Imperial Diet of the German Empire, was, during our stay in Berlin, a focus for the eyes of all Europe and America. The Government, professedly actuated by a fear of war, asked for an appropriation, largely to increase the army annually for a term of seven years. This House of Deputies, elected by the people and numbering nearly four hundred members, contained a considerable element of opposition to the Government. The debate over the Army Bill brought Chancellor Bismarck up from his distant country-seat, where he had spent several previous months, to a participation in the contest which was anticipated on both sides with eagerness and solicitude.
The building on Leipziger Strasse, as severe in inner details as in the sombre gray of its outer walls, was hastily constructed in 1871 for the accommodation of the newly consolidated German Empire, and has long been inadequate to the need. A single gallery surrounds three sides of the hall, and is occupied on the right by boxes for the Imperial household, the diplomatic corps, and high officials. The left is appropriated to English and American visitors; and the centre, immediately above the desk of the presiding officer and the elevated seats of the Chancellor and members of the Bundesrath, is alone left for the general public. When the new building near the Thiergarten shall be occupied, it is hoped that greatly improved acoustics and ventilation may be secured, and the accommodations for visitors such that it may not be said that there are Germans in Berlin who have for years desired visitors' tickets of admission without having been able to secure them.
By a singular good fortune, our tickets gave us seats for this debate in full view of the leaders of each of the great parties. On the first day the Prime Minister made his great speech, and on the second day thereafter, Richter, the leader of the progressive party, took up the speech point by point, and with bold and vigorous oratory for two hours held the attention of all to his own opposing views. A man of robust physique, still in the prime of life, Richter's dark complexion and facial expression give the impression of "staying qualities" formidable as lasting. The session opened at eleven o'clock A.M., and the veteran General and Field-Marshal Von Moltke was the first speaker. His rising was the signal for a general hush, and for about a quarter of an hour all listened in breathless silence. Half the width of the hall from the observer, his more than eighty years seemed to sit lightly on "the great taciturnist;" and his fair complexion, fine brow, thin face, and singular firmness of mouth have the fascination of genius. Later, during the long and sometimes denunciatory speech of Richter, he seemed wearied. Rising from his seat in the front rank of the Conservatives on the extreme right, he moved to the rear, stood in the aisle, took a vacant seat,--resting by various changes for fifteen or twenty minutes; but when, between one and two o'clock, the time for Bismarck's entrance approached, he returned to his own seat and thenceforth listened attentively. Like the aged Emperor, Von Moltke's age was most apparent in his movements. Sitting or standing, he was the graceful, well-bred gentleman, as well as the dignified chief of the German army. In walking, his movement is slow, and lacking vigor to a marked degree. The offer of the Opposition to vote for the bill with a term of one, two, or even three years, while declaring that they could not vote for seven, was haughtily received by the Prime Minister, who had already given his reasons, supported by the Emperor, by Von Moltke, and other eminent military authority, for adhering to the longer term. "I will not abate a hair's breadth of the septenate," said he. "If you do not vote it, I prefer to deal with another Reichstag." This on the second day of the debate. On the third day Bismarck replied to some of the positions of the Opposition, in a speech of three quarters of an hour, immediately following his opponent, Richter. The latter, and the members on the left included in the three great divisions of the Liberal party, retired from the hall at the conclusion of Richter's two hours' speech; but the centre, or Catholic party, among whom were several priests and a number of very keen and watchful physiognomies, remained in their seats, as well as the Conservatives of both grades. Soon Richter was back, though without his supporters. Fumbling a moment at his desk for pencil and paper, he stepped forward in the aisle, so as not to lose the sentences of Bismarck (occasionally somewhat indistinct), and refusing to be diverted for more than an instant by the communications of friends and officials. Cries of _Ja wohl! Ja wohl!_ and _Bravo!_ were heard from the right during the speech of Bismarck, with now and again a general ripple of laughter at some pleasantry accessible to the German mind; but these were much outdone in heartiness by the applause which frequently interrupted Richter when speaking. There is a massiveness about this scene which rises up in memory with a vividness greater, if possible, than the reality made on our excited and wearied endurance during the hours we spent there. Later, Windhorst, the leader of the Roman Catholic party, made a memorable speech. The dozen great electric lights depending from the ceiling were extinguished when the early afternoon sun faintly struggled with the clouds for entrance through the skylight which forms the entire roof of the room, except those left burning near the seats of Bismarck and Von Moltke, which brought these foremost figures into strong relief. Prince William--now Emperor--and the gentlemen of his party were in gay uniforms in the Imperial box, and the diplomatic box was lighted mainly by the diamonds of the ladies who sat there; while the crowded ranks of the other galleries were in dim twilight. It was a picture to remain in history. The bill was lost. In less than twenty-four hours after we left the Reichstag, Bismarck had read his summary dissolution of the Diet, and before another sunset the hall was closed and silent. The Iron Chancellor had made his appeal to the country. The war-cloud was heavy over Europe, and great was the excitement in Berlin. Under fear of a bolt which might strike at any moment, the elections for a new Chamber were held, and Bismarck had his will.
The Reichstag is the representative body of the whole German Empire, with its four kingdoms, six grand duchies, and sixteen lesser principalities and powers united under one emperor. Prussia is a kingdom which forms but one, though the most important, of these constituent parts. The Reichstag is a kind of Upper and Lower House in one; the Bundesrath or Federal Council, with somewhat arbitrary powers, has its private Council-room; but the Chancellor of the Empire is its presiding officer, and, with the members of this Council, occupies the elevated platform at the right of the President of the Reichstag. The chief function of the latter as a legal Chamber of Deputies is to check the power of the Bundesrath. It can thus reject bills and refuse appropriations, but has no power to bring about a change of administration.
The Prussian Diet is composed of two separate houses. The building of the Lower House--the Abgeordnetenhaus--is near the eastern extremity of the Leipziger Strasse, and the House of Lords--Herrenhaus--is adjacent to the Reichstag-Gebaude. The Prussian Lower House is somewhat larger in numbers than the Reichstag, and is of course an elective body. It contained a number of eminent men,--as Herr Windhorst, also the leader of the Catholic party in the Reichstag, and Professor Virchow. On the day of our visit no business of special importance was before the assembly, and visitors' tickets were obtained with an ease in pleasing contrast to the most difficult feat of obtaining entrance to the Reichstag on a great occasion.
The House of Lords is reputed a dull place, and is seldom visited. In a dwelling formerly occupying this site (No. 3 Leipziger Strasse), and of which some memorials remain, Felix Mendelssohn spent, with his parents and sister Fanny, several years of his wonderful youth; and the "Gartenhaus" of this estate witnessed the memorable private performance of the work which first revealed his greatness to the world,--the "Overture to the Midsummer Night's Dream."
"I love my Emperor," said "our little Fraeulein," laying her hand on her heart, one day when we were talking of him.
It was on our first day in Germany that we, returning from church a little after noon, were kindly greeted by an American lady who saw that we were strangers. "The Emperor lives on this street," she said; "and if we hasten, we may see him when he comes to the window to review his Guards." Soon we were before the palace on Unter den Linden, a substantial-looking building facing the north, with an eastern exposure. The Imperial standard was floating over the palace, denoting the presence of his Majesty. The room on the ground floor, northeast corner, of the palace is the one used by Emperor William I. as his study; and one back of this was his bedroom, containing the simple iron cot which was the companion of his soldier days, and which remained the couch of his choice to the end of life. At "the historic window" we often saw him. Every day at noon, and sometimes long before, the crowd began to gather in the street opposite this window, for a sight of his Majesty when he came for a moment to review his Guards at a quarter to one. It was touching to see the devotion of the people, standing patiently in all weathers; mothers and fathers holding up their children that they might catch a sight of the idolized Kaiser. Rarely did he disappoint them. As the military music of the guard drew near, and the tramp of the soldiers fell on the pavement before the palace, the aged man would appear at the window in full uniform of dark blue with scarlet trimmings and silver epaulettes, returning the salutations of the guard, and bowing and waving his white-gloved hand to the people, then retiring within the shadow of the lace curtains. Sometimes the cheering broke forth anew as he was lost to sight, and the welkin was made to ring with the Kaiser-song, or some hymn of Fatherland, until he indulgently appeared again, bowing his bald head, his kindly face lighted up with a smile. In full-front view he did not look like a man in his ninetieth year. Many a man of sixty-five or seventy looks older. When he turned, the side view revealed that his form was not erect; but only when he walked with a slow movement could one realize that this soldier of perfect drill--this courtly gentleman--was one who had seen almost a century of life. His earliest memories were of privation and hardship. In his young boyhood the First Napoleon held Berlin in his grasp, and the family of the King, Frederick William III., fled to Koenigsberg. The beautiful and noble Queen Louise and her two little boys, afterwards Frederick William IV. and William I., wandered at one time in the forests, and made their food of wild berries. They amused themselves by making wreaths of _cornblumen_,--blue flowers answering closely to our "bachelors' buttons,"--which grow wild everywhere in Germany. Thenceforward the _cornblumen_ were dear to the young princes, and they were "the Emperor's flowers" to the end of his Imperial life. So devoted was he to the memory of his mother, that when in his later years he saw a young girl whose striking beauty of face and form reminded him of Queen Louise, he persuaded her to allow her portrait to be taken, that it might remind him of the mother whom he remembered in her youth. This beautiful portrait is bought, by many Germans even, as that of Queen Louise, and may be known by a star over the forehead. The finest actual portrait of this Queen which we saw was, at the time of our visit, in the Old Schloss at Berlin, and showed a mature and lovely woman, every inch a queen. The exquisite reposing statue, by Rauch, in the Mausoleum at Charlottenburg, over her grave, is well known by copies.
The life led by the aged Emperor was simple and methodical to the last. Rising at half-past seven, he breakfasted, looked over his letters and papers, and was ready by nine or half-past nine to begin his reception of officials or other callers, which lasted till after midday. After lunch, he usually drove for an hour or so in the afternoon, often accompanied by a single aid, bowing right and left to the populace, who thronged for a look and a smile. His plain military cloak enveloped him in cold or rainy weather, and his was often one of the plainest equipages on the brilliant street. "I do not think," said General Grant, after having visited the Emperor, "that I ever saw a more perfect type of a soldier and a man. His Majesty went off into military affairs. I was anxious to change the subject, as I had no interest in the technical matters of war. But the Emperor held me to the one theme, and we spoke of nothing else. I fancied Bismarck sympathized with me, and would have gladly gone off on other subjects, but it was of no use. The manner of Bismarck toward the Emperor was beautiful,--absolute devotion and respect. This was my one long talk with the Emperor. I should call him the embodiment of courage, candor, dignity, and simplicity; a strikingly handsome man."
Sometimes the Kaiser would hold up to the palace window his eldest great-grandson, now Crown Prince, then a beautiful child of four or five years; and the little fellow would go through his military salute of the passing guard with great gravity and propriety, while the huzzas of the crowd burst forth with renewed zeal. This child was the favorite of the aged Emperor, and sometimes took liberties with his great-grandsire which would hardly have been tolerated from any one else. If it was touching to see the devotion of the people to their Emperor, it was no less so to see how he trusted himself with them. He could remember when, with the revolutionary spirit of 1848, the mob in the streets of Berlin had so insulted him, a prince, that he had fled for a time from his country. But that he had forgiven and they had forgotten long ago. The times had "changed all that." Now he lived daily in sight of the people, with only a pane of glass for a shield. He loved his people, and they worshipped him with no temporary oblations. One of the last occasions in which we saw him in public was that of the spring manoeuvres in the last May-time of his long life.
Some distance south of the Halle gate, the large and finely situated "Tempelhofer Feld" extends to the suburban village of Tempelhof, which was once the property of the Knights of Malta, and which still bears their cross and inscription on its church bells. The intervening ground has been devoted to the annual parades of the Berlin garrison for more than a hundred years. It has ample room for evolutions of infantry, artillery, and cavalry, but a comparatively small space is devoted to the accommodation of spectators. Only about three hundred carriages can be admitted, and these are distributed among royal personages, officials, and a limited number of distinguished or fortunate visitors. Our application for a carriage place was duly filed with the chief of the Berlin police a month or six weeks in advance of the parade, but, after long waiting, word came that there was no room. By the courtesy and special thoughtfulness of Secretary Crosby, of the United States Legation, a carriage ticket was placed at our disposal, after all hope of obtaining the coveted privilege had been abandoned.
The German Emperor can place, if need be, nearly three million trained soldiers in the field. All able-bodied Germans are liable to service, with few exceptions, from the age of twenty to that of thirty-two, and can in exceptional circumstances be called out up to the age of forty-two. But the German youth spends only the first three years, of his twelve of liability, with the colors, the remaining nine being spent in different branches of the reserve forces. The effective force in time of peace is about half a million, which is distributed through the Empire in seventeen army corps, of which the Third has its headquarters at Berlin. The ordinary strength of an army corps is about thirty thousand, including infantry, cavalry, and artillery; but the garrison of Berlin and various extra and unattached troops bring the number up to fifty thousand or more, stationed mostly in Berlin and Potsdam. These have their spring manoeuvres at Berlin; and the special parade, for which every day for two months beforehand seemed parade-day in the streets of Berlin, was that for which we were so fortunate as to receive tickets. Nearly every day for a week previous, his Majesty was to be seen, in his low two-horse carriage, passing through the Unter den Linden and south through Friedrich Strasse, to the parade-ground. On this grand and final parade-day the three hundred carriages of the privileged spectators were in good time on the ground assigned them, prepared to welcome the Emperor and the Imperial party as loyally as the soldiers themselves. A deafening hurrah burst from the throats of all, as his Majesty appeared in a carriage and drove to his post of observation. Many of his princely retinue, both ladies and gentlemen, were on horseback; and it was formerly his custom to review the troops, mounted on his black war-horse. In spite of a piercing wind which swept over the wide Brandenburg plains, we hugged our warm wraps, and stood in our carriages, like all the rest, in eager watchfulness and admiration, as the evolutions of the most perfectly drilled troops in the world went forward. The infantry marched and countermarched; plumes of all colors waved in the sunlight and kept time to the music; uniforms and men seemed but part of one grand incomprehensible automatic movement; battle-flags scarred with the history of all the wars fluttered their tattered shreds in the wind, waking memories of irrepressible pathos and joy; the artillery rumbled and thundered; the evolutions of the cavalry were like systematic whirlwinds; and the scarlet Zouaves, the blue Dragoons, the white-uniformed and gilt-helmeted Cuirassiers, and the dark Uhlands with lances ten feet long poised in air above their prancing horses, commingled the "pomp and circumstance of war" without its pain. Now the infantry come on at double quick, in the step with which they entered Paris; now the artillery is lumbered across a vast stretch of the field with a rapidity and precision which almost take away one's breath; and anon the cavalry seem to burst in orderly confusion upon the scene, flying in competition, across, around, athwart, until the cheers and huzzas burst forth anew with, "Hail to the Kaiser!" "Long live the Fatherland!" It was with joy that the soldiers received the commendations of their Imperial chieftain on that field-day, and it was to us a fitting place and moment of farewell to the great military Emperor.
"King, the Saxon Konnig," says Carlyle,--"the man who CAN." And Emperor William I. was the man who _could_.
* * * * *
"Fritz, dear Fritz," were the last words of the aged Emperor. "Unser Fritz" was the well-beloved elder brother of the German people. If any doubt as to the real feeling among the South-Germans toward the Imperial house had existed in our minds, it was removed as we journeyed through Saxony, Bavaria, Wuertemberg, Darmstadt, Thuringia. Everywhere, in humble homes, in shops, hotels, and market-places, were the likenesses of the handsome Kaiser and the open, sincere, manly countenance of the Crown Prince to be seen. In Berlin the Crown Prince occupied the palace directly east of that of the Kaiser, separated from it only by the Operahaus Platz. We had heard him called "the handsomest man in Europe." Our study of his kindly face from photographs had revealed manliness enough, but nothing more to justify this epithet. But as one came to be familiar with his look, his figure, his bearing, there was full assent to his being called, in appearance, "the finest gentleman in Europe." The titles and tokens of honor that had been showered upon him, and which he wore so gracefully, were his least claims to distinction. He was as great in true nobility of soul as he was exalted in station, as symmetrical in character as he was regal in bearing. When he mated with the Princess Royal of England, he was not even Crown Prince of Prussia, and some of the English papers asserted that the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria had married beneath her. But this opinion was easily dissipated, as the years brought, with increasing honors, development of manly virtues and graces. A hero in the wars in which his country had engaged before he reached middle life, and with all the courage of his Hohenzollern blood, he yet delighted in peace, and was a most humane and liberal statesman. That thirst for liberty which is quenchless in the human breast, and which has had as yet small satisfaction in Teutonic lands, seemed to find sympathy in this enlightened Prince. At the age of thirty he became the heir apparent to the Prussian Crown, when the new king, his father, had reached the age of sixty-four. When he was forty, and his father was proclaimed Emperor of Germany at the age of seventy-four, Frederick became heir to the Imperial throne. A most careful and liberal education, grafted on a genial and wise character, had fitted him to watch the course of events in which, according to the course of nature, he might be expected so soon to take chief part. But the years which made his sire venerable passed, and still he had no opportunity to shape public affairs. Absolutism feared his influence and that of his liberal and strong-minded English wife. The prime of life was his; but his best years were behind and not before him as at the age of fifty-five he filially and devotedly filled his own place, the loved and loving son of his Imperial father, whose trusted representative he was on all courtly occasions, the model husband and father, the accomplished and interested patron of art and letters, the polished gentleman, the benevolent and devout Christian. During his last winter of health (1886-1887) he was often to be seen among the people. Accompanied by the Crown Princess and their three unmarried daughters, he walked out and in, along the Unter den Linden, an interested participator, like any other father of a family, in the Christmas shopping. On one of the culminating days of the great Reichstag debate, it was Prince William who was seen in the Imperial box in the Parliament House, while "Unser Fritz" with wife and daughters were skaters among the crowds on the ice-ponds of the Thiergarten. This by no means indicated indifference to great questions of public concern. None knew better the issue, the times, and the need. But, standing all his mature life with his foot on the threshold of a throne, with talents and training fitting him to do honor to his royal line, to his Fatherland, and to the brotherhood of kings in all lands and ages, he yet knew that while the father reigned, it was not for the son to reign. He was to bide his time. Alas! an inscrutable Providence made that time to be crowned only with the halo of a dawning immortality, a time in which strength and peace were to be radiated from one anointed by the chrism of pain, and whose diadem was to shine, not among the treasures of earth, but as the stars for ever and ever. When the messenger of the fallen Napoleon III. had brought his unexpected surrender after Sedan, and the flush of startling victory had mantled even the cheek of the pale and reticent Von Moltke, had shaken the leonine composure of Bismarck, and affected the heroic William I. almost to tears, the courtly Frederick forgot himself and the victory of the cause he had helped to win, in sympathy for the vanquished foe. The embarrassed general who brought the surrender of the French had Frederick's instant devotion, and those first moments of deep humiliation were soothed by the conversation of the Crown Prince and by kind attentions which all others forgot to render. With a truth and devotion to his country which could never be doubted or questioned, he yet had a heart "so much at leisure from itself" that in the supremest moments of life he sympathized with friend and foe, as only regal souls can do.
I saw this foremost prince of Europe in the nineteenth century always and increasingly to admire him, whether in the largest or the smallest relations of life; whether as royal host entertaining the sovereigns of Europe and their representatives when that magnificent assemblage came to greet the ninetieth birthday of his father; dashing on horseback through the streets of the capital and the riding-paths of the park; saluting with stately grace his Imperial sire, as he alone entered the place where the Emperor sat; handing the Crown Princess to her seat, or going down on his knees to find her Imperial Highness's misplaced footstool in her pew at church; accompanying his daughters to places of public amusement and looking upon them with manly tenderness; or standing with military helmet before his face in silent prayer, as he entered the house of God to worship before the King of kings.
My last sight of his Imperial Highness was on one of the latest occasions of his public appearance in Berlin while in health, in connection with one of those opportunities of hearing grand music in which this city excels the rest of the world. It was that most devotional music ever written,--Bach's Passion Music, rendered once a year, on the evening of Good Friday, in the Sing Akademie of Berlin. There was a trained chorus of about four hundred voices, with the best orchestra in the city, besides solo singers of repute,--one, a charming alto from Cologne. The simple and touching narrative of the Betrayal and the Crucifixion was sung as it is written in the twenty-sixth and twenty-seventh chapters of Matthew, certain phrases and sentences repeated and adapted to the music, but none of it essentially changed in form. One of the bass soloists took, with the tenor, the soprano and the alto alternating, most of the narrative; and another bass solo took the words of Jesus, whenever these occur in the sad story. The _arias_ and _recitatives_ were finely given, but no effect was comparable to that of the grand chorus. The single word "Barabbas!" sung, or rather shouted, by these hundreds of voices in perfect time and tune, was overwhelming. Another passage of most thrilling effect was that in which every instrument and every voice joined in the deafening but harmonious description of the multitude who went out with swords and staves in the midnight, to take the unoffending Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. And one could almost hear in the music the sobbing of Peter when, after his denial of the Lord, "he went out and wept bitterly." Another most touching passage was that representing the love of the woman who anointed the feet of Jesus. When the shout of the multitude arose in the words "Crucify Him!" the awfulness was intense. There were times when the audience scarcely seemed to breathe freely, so strong was the spell, so vivid the reality of this saddest and most touching of narratives, as interpreted by this wonderful music. Never but once have I heard the perfection of choral music. It was one of the grand and solemn ancient hymn-tunes which are introduced at certain stages of this composition. I closed my eyes to the brilliance of the scene before me, that the ear might be the sole avenue of impression. Not the slightest jar or dissonance revealed any difference in the four hundred voices speaking as one; there seemed but one great soul pouring forth the vast volume of the harmony. The mighty cadences rose and fell, breaking in waves of sound against walls and roof, and must have floated far out into the night, now soaring in triumph, now sweet and soft and low as the tones of an Eolian harp; but the voice of hundreds was only as the voice of one. Three hours and more, with one brief intermission, we listened, and lived as it were those last sad hours of the Life so sacred and so majestic, so unutterably full of love. The end came, when the stone was rolled against the sealed door of the sepulchre, and the Roman watch was set. No hint of a resurrection was in the music; but the singers sang, in closing, again and again, in varying strains, "Good-night, good-night, dear Jesus!"
The audience, moved as it seemed by a common impulse, joined in that last song. The Crown Prince, with the Crown Princess and their daughters, and the Princess Christian, then on a visit to Berlin, were in the royal box in the concert-room. With his family and his royal visitors, Frederick, his voice already in the penumbra of a dim, unknown, unforeseen, but fateful shadow, took up the strain. "He sang it through," said a friend to me, who knew him well, "and I could see that he was deeply touched." There we left the story, as almost nineteen hundred years ago it was left, on that Friday evening in Jerusalem, with the full light of the Paschal moon falling on the closed and silent tomb, in the garden of Joseph of Arimathea.
Two days later, on the evening of Easter Sunday, the Crown Prince united in the service of the English Church, with his family, in celebrating the joyous anniversary of a sure resurrection, and during the same week left Berlin in quest of rest and health. He came not back until, before another Good Friday, "Unser Fritz" was Emperor of Germany, and already walking through the Valley of that Shadow in which he sorrowfully sung of his "dear Jesus," one short year before.
* * * * *
Various estimates have been made of the talents and character of the third of the three German Emperors of the year 1888, but the record and the proof of all prophecies concerning William II. have yet to be made. As Prince William we saw him with best opportunity in the Imperial box at the Reichstag, where for three hours he listened intently to the speeches of Bismarck, Von Moltke, and others. A fair young man, in the heavily ornamented light blue uniform of his regiment, to a casual observer his countenance bore neither the marks of dissipation nor the signs of intellectual power and force of character. But he was only in the late twenties, and "there is time yet." He is the idol of the army, and the devoted friend of Bismarck. Not one of all the great concourse of dignitaries at the celebration of the ninetieth birthday of William I. received such shouts of adulation from the populace as those which rent the air when the State carriage passed which bore the Prince and Princess William and their three little sons. Of the Princess William, now Empress Augusta Victoria, there was but one opinion. "None will ever know the blessing which the Princess William has been to our family," once said her father-in-law, the Crown Prince Frederick. From the throne to the hut, blessings followed her, a Christian lady, in faithfulness as wife, mother, friend, and princess, worthy of her exalted place. At a lawn-party given for the benefit of the Young Men's Christian Association, in the magnificent old park of the War Department in the heart of Berlin, Prince and Princess William were present. The Princess walked up and down, chatting now with one lady, now with another, in attire so simple that the plainest there could feel no unpleasant contrast, and in manner so beautiful and genial that we could forget the princess in admiration of the unassuming lady.
* * * * *
Of the Empress Frederick much has been said, and much invented, since the days when she left England, a bride of seventeen, to make her home in a foreign land.
"Is the Crown Princess popular?" I said to a young German lady, in the early days of our residence in Berlin.
"She is strong-minded, is she not?"
"Yes, too strong," replied the lady.
Perhaps the Crown Princess Victoria did not sufficiently disguise the broad difference between her birthright as the heir of the thought and feeling of her distinguished father, "Prince Albert the Good," and the low plane still habitual to many German women. She has always been an Englishwoman; and this was the chief charge I ever heard against her, in my endeavor to reach the real statement of the case. And yet all agree that she has been devoted to the best interests of the German people. Everywhere in humane, benevolent, and educational work, we found the impress of her guiding hand. A German lady, of rare ability, sweetness, and culture, was one day giving me the pathetic story of her hopes and efforts for the elevation and education of her country-women. In the course of the conversation she was led to quote a remark made to her by the Crown Princess: "You must _form the character_ of the German women, before you can do much to elevate them." Is not this in keeping with the profound practical wisdom which, notwithstanding the puerilities and small femininities which abound in some of the published writings of England's royal family, makes their pages still worth the reading, and lets us into the secret of the true womanliness which, despite all blemishes and foibles, Victoria, Empress Queen of England, has instilled into the mind of her daughter Victoria, Empress Dowager of Germany. There is hope for womankind, when "the fierce light which beats upon a throne" shows naught to mar the purity of the home-life which has adorned the palaces and the courts of Germany and of England, so far as these have been under the influence of the two Victorias.
* * * * *
"When you say 'Germany,'" said our "little Fraeulein" to us one day, "nobody is afraid; when you say 'Bismarck,' everybody trembles." Reports about the ill health of the Iron Chancellor were, two or three years ago, possibly exaggerated, but doubtless they had some foundation in fact. Previous to the great debate on the Army Bill, it had been said that his physical health was a mere wreck. No sign of this appeared, however, when we saw the great Diplomatist in his seat in the Reichstag on that memorable occasion. His speech, though occasional cadences lapsed into indistinctness in that hall of poor acoustic properties, was in the main easily heard in all parts of the house. The yellow military collar of his dark blue coat showed his pallid face not to advantage, but that fierce look was unsubdued, the broad brow loomed above eyes before which one instinctively quails, and the pose and movements were those of vigorous health. Every afternoon in the ensuing spring, his stout square-shouldered figure might be seen, in military uniform and with sword rattling in its scabbard, accompanied by a single aid, on horseback, trotting through the shaded riding-paths of the Thiergarten,--for the sake of health, doubtless, but evidently with no little pleasure. On his birthday in April he received, at his palace in the Wilhelm Strasse, the greetings of his regiment, to whom he distributed wine and cake and mementos, and also saw many other friends. At his country-seats in Pomerania and Lauensburg most of his time is spent, divided between the cares of State and the enjoyments of a rustic life. On the occasion referred to in the Parliament, speaking of the Army Bill which the Opposition professed a willingness to grant for three years but not for seven, he said, "Three years hence, I may hope to be here; in seven, I shall be above all this misery." The three years have not yet passed. For the glory of Germany, many will hope that twice seven may find the name of Bismarck still inspiring with dread the enemies of his country.
* * * * *
General Von Moltke, the Grant of Germany, might often be seen, by those who knew when and where to look for him, in plain dress, walking along Unter den Linden, or through the city edge of the Thiergarten, near the building of the General Staff, of which he was long the Chief and where he lives. This most eminent student of the art of war lives a seemingly lonely life since the death of his wife, whose portrait is said to be the chief adornment of his private room. He is fond of music, and an open piano is his close companion in hours of leisure. His plain carriage is seen but seldom by sojourners in Berlin. His words need not to be many to be weighty, and his influence was great with Emperor William I. and Crown Prince Frederick, whose tutor he had been. No scene after the death of Frederick III. was more affecting than Von Moltke in tears over his bier. "Never before," said an officer who had long known the great general, "have I seen Von Moltke so broken up."
* * * * *
General Von Waldersee has, by the recent retirement of Von Moltke, become Chief of the German Army Staff. The Countess Von Waldersee, closely related by her first marriage to the present Empress, is a devout Christian lady, an American by birth, and has much influence in the German Court. Her most romantic history is known to many since, the daughter of a wealthy New York merchant, she went abroad some twenty-five years ago, met and married a wealthy Schleswig-Holstein baron, by which marriage she became related to more than one royal house in Europe; was soon left a youthful widow with great wealth, and after a few years, in which she maintained the estate and title of an Austrian Princess also bequeathed her by her first husband, married the German nobleman who is now the head of the German army. She is devoted to her home, her husband and children, and to quiet ways of doing good. Her dazzling history is her least claim on the interest of American women. A noble character, devoted consistently in her high station to the service of God and to even the humblest good of her fellow-creatures, gives regal lustre to her name, which is a synonym for goodness to all who know her.
VIII. THE NINETIETH BIRTHDAY OF EMPEROR WILLIAM.
To those who are fond of pageants and who linger lovingly with past ages, such a spectacle as Berlin witnessed on the 22d of March, 1887, must have extraordinary attractions. Never in the long life of the aged Emperor, whose ninetieth birthday it was, had there been in splendor a rival to that day, although his whole career was prolific of great scenes and dramatic situations. Eighty-five royal personages had accepted the invitation to visit the Emperor on that occasion; and they came in person, or sent special envoys, each accompanied by a more or less imposing retinue. As guests of the Imperial family, they were lodged in the various palaces of Berlin and Potsdam, and entertained with most thoughtful and sumptuous hospitality. The arrivals began on Friday, March 18, and continued through the three following days, until the list included the Prince of Wales; the Crown Prince of Austria; the Grand Duke and Duchess Vladimir and the Grand Duke Michel of Russia; the Crown Prince and Princess of Sweden; the King and Queen of Roumania; the King and Queen of Saxony; the Prince and Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein; the Grand Duke of Hesse and his daughter the Princess Irene; the Grand Duchess of Baden; the Duke of Saxe-Meiningen; the Hereditary Prince and Princess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; the Duke of Waldeck-Pyrmont, father of the Queen of the Netherlands and the Duchess of Albany; the Dowager Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin; the Grand Duchess Marie, and a host of other royal notables. Costly presents and beautiful flowers had been pouring in to the Emperor for days before, from the members of his own large family, the various diplomatic corps, from royal friends, from learned societies, industrial and philanthropic associations, with gifts from China, Turkey, and other distant countries. Many of the presents were arranged in a room in the Kaiser's palace, the centre-piece being a portrait of his favorite and eldest great-grandson painted by the Crown Princess, and surrounded by an elegant display of flowers. This palace was reserved for the calls of the distinguished guests, and for a State dinner of a hundred covers, given to the visiting royalties on the eve of the birthday by the Emperor and Empress. The palace of the Crown Prince was decorated about the entrance with palms and other exotics. Here the Crown Princess entertained the Prince of Wales and the Princess Christian with her family,--three children of Queen Victoria under the same roof. The Grand Duchess of Baden, only daughter of the Emperor, was entertained in the Dutch Palace, connected with the Emperor's by a corridor. One of those dramatic touches in real life of which Emperor William was fond, was the betrothal of the Princess Irene, daughter of the Grand Duke of Hesse and the late Princess Alice of England, to her cousin Prince Henry, second son of the Crown Prince. It was announced by the Emperor on his birthday, standing in the midst of the assembled family, with the foreign princes grouped in a semicircle around, the bride-elect leaning on her father's arm and blushingly receiving the congratulations of all present. In the two days preceding his birthday, the Emperor received not only his royal visitors, but the representatives of Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Servia, Japan, and China. The Old Schloss, with its six hundred apartments and reception-rooms, was used for the entertainment of royal guests. All the sunny south windows facing the Schloss Platz rejoiced for days beforehand in open draperies and freshly cleaned plate glass, giving an unwonted look of cheer and human habitableness to the majestic and venerable pile through which we had walked, a few weeks before, with hushed voices and muffled footsteps, gazing on the rich decorations of the public rooms, the glittering candelabra, the silver balustrades, the ancient plate, the historic paintings and monuments which recall past centuries and vanished sovereigns.
But the streets witnessed the most memorable scenes. On the eve of the birthday a torchlight procession of more than six thousand students represented the Universities of Berlin, Bonn, Heidelberg, Jena, Koenigsberg, Leipzig, Marburg, Munich, Strasburg, and others; the Polytechnic Schools of Berlin, Brunswick, Darmstadt, Dresden, Hanover, Karlsruhe, and Stuttgardt; the Mining Academies of Berlin, Clausthal, and Freiberg; and the Agricultural Schools of Berlin, Eberswalde, and Tharandt. Opposite the Imperial Palace stands the University,--formerly the palace of Prince Henry,--amid old trees and gardens, and with the fine colossal statues of the brothers Humboldt in white marble, sitting on massive pedestals on either side the main gateway. This was the starting-point of the great procession, which was led by two mounted students in the garb of Wallenstein's soldiers. Five abreast the torch-bearers approached the Emperor's palace, and before his windows the Ziethen Hussars wheeled in and out in mystic evolutions. A labyrinthine series of movements, marked in the darkness only by the flaming torches, was executed in perfect silence; then a simple hymn of the Middle Ages was sung with singular effect by these thousands of young and manly voices; and from the silence which succeeded, at the call of a student standing in the midst and waving his sword above his head, there arose a "Three cheers for the Emperor!" while six thousand torches swung to and fro, and hundreds of flags and ancient banners waved in the evening air. Again there was silence, when one struck the National Anthem, which was sung with all heads uncovered, the aged hero bowing low at his window in acknowledgment until emotion obliged him to withdraw. An incident soon on every tongue was the Emperor's sending for a deputation of the students to wait on him, his kind reception of and conversation with them, and their elation at the honor, notwithstanding their mortification at the contrast of the smoke-soiled hands and faces of the torch-bearers with the brilliance of the Imperial chamber and the full dress of distinguished visitors. Leaving the Emperor's palace, the procession passed through Unter den Linden and the Brandenburg Gate to the Thiergarten, where amid a dense and surging throng the students threw their burning torches in a heap and sang over the expiring flames, "Gaudeamus igitur juvenes dum sumus." Deputies from all the Universities, dressed in black velvet coats, high boots, and plumed hats, and bearing fine swords, brought up the rear of the procession in thirty carriages, with the flags of the old German towns and Universities floating above them. I watched this torchlight procession from a second-story window-seat on Unter den Linden, and was much impressed with the general view, extending from the equestrian statue of Frederick the Great before the Emperor's palace, where the entire area was filled with reflected light, for nearly a mile to the Brandenburg Gate, the various forms of the waving torches on the long line seeming the very apotheosis of flame. Many of the young men were dressed in the picturesque taste peculiar to German students. Gay feathers and unique caps set off to advantage the fine features and fair complexions which render some of the students remarkable, though the faces are too often disfigured by tell-tale sabre-cuts. After the passing of the procession, we drove through a portion of the Potsdamer Strasse where the lamps were rather infrequent and the overarching branches of the trees shut out the starlight from the handsome street. Crowds were hurrying to and fro,--but to this we had become accustomed,--when suddenly we met a company of mounted students returning from the park. In white wigs and high-peaked caps, close-fitting white suits embroidered with gold, brilliant sashes, and top-boots, they looked, in the dim light, like knights of the Middle Ages returning from some quest or tournament; and as they slowly filed by, bowing to the greetings of the passers, it was hard to believe for the moment that they were other than they seemed.
The morning of the birthday dawned bright and beautiful. "Emperor's weather this," the Germans fondly said. Before we left our breakfast-room the sound of chimes was calling all the children of the city to the churches for their share of the celebration. From my window I saw at one time three large processions of children passing in different directions through diverging streets. All were marshalled by teachers from the public schools in strictest order, and with fine brass bands playing choral music as they entered the church. Here the pastor, after prayer, addressed the children on the blessings of peace and the life of the good Emperor, and the children sang, as only German children can, the patriotic songs of their country. No more touching sight was seen that day than these thousands of boys and girls passing into the churches, with the sound of solemn music, to thank God for the blessings of Fatherland and Emperor,--a scene which caused tears to roll down the cheeks of many a spectator. It will be hard to uproot German patriotism while its future fathers and mothers are thus trained.
While the children were marching, another procession was also passing, composed of the magistrates and city officials, going to the Nicolai Kirche (the oldest church in Berlin) for a similar service. Every one was astir early, and before ten o'clock a dense crowd filled the streets. Horses, omnibuses, and tram-cars were garlanded and decorated with flags, and the house fronts were bewildering in color and decorations. The double-headed eagle, signifying in the heraldry of Germany the Empire of Charlemagne and that of the Caesars, was everywhere intermingled with the German tri-color of red, white, and black, with the black and white of Prussia, the green of Saxony, the blue of Bavaria, and the orange, purple, and other colors of the various principalities and powers of the German Empire; hardly a house lacking some brilliant flutter of symbolic colors. Only an American in a foreign land can know how welcome was the sight of "the stars and stripes" floating majestically from two or three points on the route; though in one case it was flanked by the crescent and star of the Turkish Empire, and in another contrasted with the blue dragon on a yellow ground which formed the triangular flag of China. Miles of business thoroughfares showed glittering and artistic arrangements in the shop windows; nearly every one having its picture, bust, or statue of the Emperor,--some with most elaborate and expensive designs. Between ten and eleven A.M. the deputations from the Universities passed through Unter den Linden, making a daylight parade but little inferior to that of the evening before. The dense throng immediately closed in after the procession, but by great efforts the mounted police cleared a passage for the State carriages to the palace of the Emperor. At eleven o'clock a magnificent royal carriage drew up at the palace of the Crown Prince, who entered it, accompanied by the Crown Princess and two daughters. They proceeded to the presence of the Emperor, to offer the first congratulations. Next came a carriage whose splendid accompaniments eclipsed all others. Preceded by a mounted herald in scarlet and silver, on a mettled and caparisoned steed, and by other outriders in the same glittering fashion, came the carriage, surmounted by silver crowns, drawn by six horses; carriage, steeds, coachman, and footmen in shining livery and flowing plumes. At the door of the Crown Prince's palace the stout figure of the Prince of Wales, in comparatively plain attire, stepped into this coach; a lady was handed in after him, and the splendid equipage rolled toward the Emperor's palace, amid the cheers of the multitude. From the Old Schloss, a succession of royal carriages passed in the same direction, all glittering in silver and gold and flowing with plumes, many with four or six horses; until fully fifty State carriages had deposited their occupants at the palace of the Kaiser, and awaited, in the fine open spaces around the famous equestrian statue of Frederick the Great, the return of royalty from its congratulations to the venerable object of all this attention. Many of the royal visitors were known by sight to the crowd, as Berlin sees much of royalty; but many were not. The cheering was not enthusiastic, except in special cases. "Who is that?" said one near me, as a splendid carriage passed. "I do not know," replied another man; "it is only one of those kings." But when the Crown Prince Frederick returned from his call, "This is something else," said the proud German heart; and the cheers were deafening. The greatest enthusiasm of the day was shown when Prince William and his family passed, in the most striking equipage of all, except that of the Prince of Wales. It was a State carriage of the time of Frederick the Great, its decorations of gold on a dark body; a large, low vehicle whose glass windows revealed the occupants on every side. Six Pomeranian brown steeds of high mettle were guided by the skilful driver, horses and outriders being splendidly caparisoned in light blue and silver. Rudolph, Crown Prince of Austria, solitary in his carriage, received his share of attention, as did the Russian Grand Dukes and Grand Duchess, the fine-looking King and Queen of Saxony, the Prince-Regent of Bavaria with his two sons of ten and twelve, and the Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, venerable sister of the Emperor. The Queen of Roumania bowed to the throng with utmost grace, smiling and showing her brilliant teeth; but whether the special huzzas were a tribute to the beauty of the Queen, or to the poetry of Carmen Sylva, we could not determine. All things have an end; and so did this dazzling State pageant, at which all Europe assisted and where all Europe was looking on; but not until Bismarck's carriage had conveyed the Chancellor to his chief, followed by General Von Moltke, who had the good taste to drive up simply, with two horses and an open carriage that interposed not even plate-glass between the great soldier and the loyal multitude. A few moments after their entrance, the Emperor appeared at the palace window, Bismarck on his right and Von Moltke on his left, and the hurrahs of the crowd burst forth anew.
Later in the day the Crown Prince and Crown Princess entertained the royal guests at dinner; and Prince Bismarck, as usual on the Emperor's birthday, gave a dinner to the Diplomatic Corps. A drizzling rain set in suddenly in the afternoon, sending dismay to the hearts of all; for the most brilliant part of the celebration was still in reserve for the evening. The rain fell in occasional light showers up to a late hour, but it dampened only the outer garb, not the hearts, of the undiminished multitude, which at night-fall, on foot or in carriages, thronged the streets of the brilliant capital, whose myriad lights showed to better advantage under the reflecting clouds than they would have done under starlight. The carriages numbered scores of thousands, and the people on foot hundreds of thousands; but so complete were the arrangements of the police and so obedient the concourse, that all proceeded in nearly perfect order. Our coachman fortunately drove through Old Berlin and Koeln, as a preliminary to the evening's sight-seeing. Long arcades filled with Jews' shops were worthy the pen of Dickens. This festal day made this most ancient portion of the city also one of the most picturesque. Houses with quaint dormer windows roofed by "eyelids," of an architecture dating back two or three hundred years, gleamed with candles in every window. Almost no house or shop was so poor as to dispense with its share of the universal illumination. At least three horizontal lines of lighted candles threaded both sides of every street of this city of a million and a half inhabitants. Many private as well as public buildings in the old part showed by colored lights the picturesque, quaint streets and nooks, as no light of day can ever do. We were passing the Rath-haus, or City Hall,--a modern and imposing edifice,--at the time when its great tower was being lighted up. Three hundred feet above the pavement floated the flags grouped in the centre and at the corners of the square tower. Invisible red fires illuminated them, the shafts of crimson light rising to the clouds above, the outlines of the remainder of the building dimly reposing in darkness. An immense electric light, guided by a reflector in another tower, shot a bridge of white light high in air across the river, and fell, like a circumscribed space of noonday amid black darkness, on the fine equestrian statue of the Great Elector by the bridge behind the Old Castle, with an effect almost indescribable. As we entered Unter den Linden by the Lustgarten, the beautiful square and its historic edifices, which form an ideal sight even by daylight, glowed and gleamed with jets of light from every point. The Old Schloss showed continuous lines of illumination in the windows of its four stories, along its front of six hundred and fifty feet, while the majestic dome caught and reflected rays of light from every point of the horizon. On the opposite side of the Lustgarten, the Doric portico of the National Gallery glowed with rose-colored light from massive Grecian lamps, while the arched entrance beneath its superb staircase gleamed with a pale sea-green radiance like the entrance to some ocean cave. The incomparable architecture of the Old Museum was set in strong relief by white light, which flooded its immense Ionic colonnade and brought out the high colors of the colossal frescos along the three hundred feet of its magnificent portico. The front of the palace of the Crown Prince was thrown, by innumerable jets, into a blaze of crimson. The Roman Catholic Church of St. Hedwig, with its dome in imitation of the Pantheon, its Latin cross and window arches beaming in pale yellow, made a fine background for the only unilluminated building, the palace of the Emperor. From the Opera House, the Arsenal, and the University, crowns and elaborate designs were burning, yet unconsumed. Most elaborately decorated of all Berlin buildings was the Academy of Arts and Sciences, opposite the Imperial Palace, with colossal warriors in bronze keeping guard at its portals, and the Angel of Peace laying a laurel wreath on the altar of Fatherland as its decorative centre-piece. No high meaning of all its symbols was more touching and significant than the appropriate texts of Scripture written for the Kaiser's eye, underneath its elaborate frescos. But of what avail would be an attempt to describe two miles of most beautiful decorations along Unter den Linden, each one a study in itself, and having nothing in common with the others, except the eagles and the Emperor's monogram; and the innumerable points of light, massed in a world of various forms, and in all the colors of the rainbow! This glow of splendor surrounded by the dense darkness covered the city, and the dazzling coronals of its lofty towers and domes and spires must have been visible to a great distance across the plains of Brandenburg.
Slowly the triple line of carriages and the surging throng pressed onward, past the palaces and diplomatic residences of the Pariser Platz; some diverging down the Wilhelm Strasse, where streaming flags and blazing illuminations made noonday brightness and gayety about the palace of the Chancellor, but most passing through the Brandenburg Gate. The massive Doric columns of this impressive structure were in darkness, but the Chariot of Victory with its fine bronze horses, surmounting the gate, was weird with the scarlet light of Bengal fires burning on the entablature.
As the artist rests his eyes by the spot of neutral gray which he keeps for the purpose on wall or palette, so brain and eye were prepared for sleep at the close of this long day, by sitting in our carriages, safe sheltered from the soft-falling rain, outside the great gate which divided the splendor from the darkness, for three quarters of an hour, in an inextricable tangle of carriages, until the perturbed coachmen and the sorely vexed police could evolve order from the temporary confusion, and set the hindered procession again on its homeward way.
Meantime the day was not over for the much-enduring Emperor and his royal guests. In the famous White Saloon of the Old Schloss an entertainment was going forward. Blinding coronets and necklaces on royal ladies made the interior of this ancient palace more brilliant than its shining exterior on this birth-night. The Empress Augusta, leaning on the arm of her grandson, Prince William, was attired in a lace-trimmed robe of pale green, her diamonds a mass of sparkling light; the Crown Princess was in silver-gray, the wife of the English Ambassador in pale mauve, the Princess Christian in turquoise blue; and the Grand Duchess Vladimir of Russia wore a magnificent robe of pink satin trimmed with sable, with a tiara of diamonds and a stomacher of diamonds and emeralds. From the neck and forehead of the Queen of Roumania flashed a thousand prismatic hues; and the Green Vault of Dresden sent some of its most precious treasures to keep company with the fair Queen of Saxony in adding brilliance to the scene.
Our reverie led from this starry point in history back to the time when, as on this memorable day, the royal salute of Berlin artillery shook the city, to announce the birth of a prince ninety years ago. A rapid, almost a chance recall of the years shows us Washington then living on his estate at Mount Vernon, Lafayette a young man of forty, Clay a stripling of twenty, Webster a boy of fifteen. The Directory in France had not yet made way for the First Republic; the younger Pitt and Canning held England; Metternich and O'Connell were in their youth, and Robert Peel was a child of nine. Napoleon Bonaparte was in the flush of youthful success, soon to become the idol of France and the terror of Europe, before whom the boy, now Kaiser Wilhelm, and his royal family fled to Koenigsberg by the Baltic, while the conqueror held Berlin and reduced Prussia to a second-rate province. To this boy the flames of burning Moscow were a transient aurora-borealis under the pole-star; and Nelson and Wellington were unknown to the stories of his childhood, for as yet their fame was not. Goethe and Schiller were in the prime of early manhood; Kant and Klopstock elderly, but with years yet to live; Scott was just laying down his poet's pen and preparing to take up the immortal quill with which he wrote his first "Waverley;" Moore was singing his sweet melodies; Wordsworth had yet to lay the foundations of the "Lake Poetry;" and the fair boy, Byron, was chanting his early songs, not yet for many a year to die at Missolonghi.
This wonderful old man of ninety, gayly stooping to kiss the hand of a lady to-night in his hospitable palace, like the young man that he is, has a memory stretching from the battle of Austerlitz across the gigantic struggles of the century to the battle of Sedan,--all of which he has seen, and a part of which he has been!
IX. STREETS, PARKS, CEMETERIES, AND PUBLIC BUILDINGS.
For a hundred years the picturesque Brandenburg Gate has guarded the entrance to Unter den Linden from the Thiergarten. It is a monument of the reversion of royal taste from the devotion to French style, which characterized Frederick the Great, to the purely classical. It is nearly two hundred feet in width, its five openings being guarded by six massive Doric columns about forty-five feet in height. To foot-passengers, riders, and ordinary vehicles the two outer spaces on each side are devoted respectively, while the wide central passage is traversed only by the royal carriages. The celebrated quadriga with the figure of Victory, on the entablature, was first placed with the face toward the Park. When the First Napoleon robbed Berlin, along with other cities, for the adornment of Paris, he carried off this masterpiece in bronze and set it up in the Place du Carrousel under the shadow of the Tuileries. Upon Napoleon's downfall in 1814, this group was restored to its original place, but was set facing the Unter den Linden, making of the Brandenburger Thor a triumphal arch marking the victory of Prussia in the long contest.
The famous Unter den Linden, nearly two hundred feet wide and three fourths of a mile in length, with a double line of lime-trees enclosing an area of greensward along the centre, would be accounted anywhere a handsome street, with the palaces of the Pariser Platz at one end, the Imperial palaces, the Arsenal, the Academy, and the University at the other, and brilliant shop-windows lining both sides of the whole length, while the Brandenburg Gate and the great equestrian statue of Frederick the Great at either extremity close the fine vista. Leaving out of view, however, these two noble features which mark its termini, the street seemed not handsome enough to justify its fame. Perhaps this was because we found the famous lime-trees, for which the street is named, quite ordinary young trees, not to be compared with the magnificent elms which line the streets of New Haven and the Mall of Boston Common.
The characteristic part of Berlin is, to our view, the great space east of Unter den Linden, surrounded by the palaces, the royal Guard House, the Arsenal, the University, and the Academy of Arts and Sciences. These fine buildings and the ornamented open spaces around and between them, on a sunny afternoon in midwinter, show a brilliant and unique scene which has hardly its parallel in Europe. The Champs Elysees is finer at night; Hyde Park, St. James, the Parliament buildings, and Westminster Abbey far finer on a sunny morning; but the third city in Europe has no need to be ashamed of its royal buildings and the scene before them, in the season when the Court is in Berlin, and the slant rays of an early afternoon sun light up the gay throng of soldiers in uniform, State carriages, pedestrians, and vehicles which surge to and fro without crowding the vast spaces.
The Lustgarten is fine; but of the buildings around it, the Old Museum alone meets the eye with architectural satisfaction. In all lights that building is beautiful in design and proportions. The Old Schloss is impressive mainly by its massiveness and its august dome. A most picturesque view by moonlight is to be had from the east end of the Lange or Kuerfuersten Bruecke, southeast of the old palace. Here the water-front of the old castle is in full view, with the fortified part unaltered since the early occupation by the Hohenzollerns. This mediaeval building, shaded by a few ancient trees, with here and there a light reflected from the upper windows at evening, and with tower and turret duplicated on the surface of the darkly flowing river at its foot, shares with one the feeling of ancient times, as no other place in Berlin can do. In the centre of this bridge is the equestrian statue of the Great Elector, superior as a work of art to any other of its date. This grand figure is fabled to descend from his horse and stalk through the streets on New Year's eve, for the chastisement of evil-doers.
The Wilhelm Strasse, running from a point near the Pariser Platz south from Unter den Linden, has many palaces and public buildings; but its chief interest centres about No. 77, the palace of Prince Bismarck. The front looks eastward, and is built around three sides of a garden filled with shrubbery and threaded by walks, and shut off from the street by great iron gates and a high open iron fence. The study, where the Chancellor spends much time when in Berlin, looks upon a garden, and is furnished with the same simplicity which characterizes the private apartments of General Von Moltke. Among the few pictures which adorn the study of Bismarck is one of General Grant. Here it was that the famous Berlin Congress met in 1878 for the settlement of the Eastern Question.
The palace of Prince Albert of Prussia, now Military Governor of Brunswick, is situated in a magnificent private park, acres in extent, in the heart of the city. It opens from the Wilhelm Strasse at the head of Koch. This palace was built in the early part of the eighteenth century by a French nobleman, with wealth gained in the great speculations of the Mississippi Scheme, upon which all France entered in hope of retrieving the bankruptcy entailed by Louis XIV. Its fine colonnade, its great park, and its position, adjoining the park of the War Department, between two great railroad stations and surrounded by tramways, render it one of the most prominent features of Central Berlin.
The small and elaborately laid-out square of the Wilhelm Strasse, known as the Wilhelms Platz, with its pretty fountains, shrubs, and flowers, has bronze statues of six generals of Frederick the Great,--heroes of the Seven Years' War. Here it is easy to sit and dream of the olden time, in reverie which not even the Kaiserhof diplomats nor the Wilhelm-Street autocrats, within a stone's-throw on either side, nor the throng and glitter of the Berlin of to-day, can disturb. Here, surrounded by the figures and the faces of the men with whom Carlyle has made us acquainted, we recall the wonderful story which he, as none other, has written. How masterly is the way in which he has portrayed for us this Prussian history whose memorials stand around us! With feeling how deep and true for the real and the eternal as against the false, the seeming, and the transient! What a picture is the history! What a poem is the picture!
At the northeast corner of the Wilhelms Platz is the palace of Prince Friedrich Karl, one of the leaders of the Franco-Prussian War. It was once the temple of the Order of the Knights of Malta, but its sumptuous interior has now for many years been devoted to residence on the upper floor, and to the famous art and _bric-a-brac_ collections of the late prince, on the ground floor. It is not difficult to gain, from the steward, the requisite permission to visit this interesting palace.
Many private houses, interesting for their associations, might be found by the sojourner in Berlin who cares to search them out; but intelligent residents only, and not the guide-books, can facilitate this search. In the Margrafen Strasse, near the Royal Library, is the house where Neander lived and studied and wrote. Near the Dreifaltische Kirche, behind the Kaiserhof, is the old-fashioned parsonage which was the home of Schleiermacher, and in the Oranienburger Strasse is the house in which lived Alexander von Humboldt.
Of the many beautiful parks, the Thiergarten overshadows all the rest, both because of its commanding location, close to Unter den Linden and other busy streets, and its great extent. A combination of park and wild forest, with streams, ponds, bridges, and miles of shaded avenues and riding-paths in perfect condition, its six hundred acres form one of the largest, most beautiful and useful parks in Europe. The elaborate and towering monument to commemorate the victories of recent Prussian and German wars is the centre of a system of grand avenues in the northeastern part. This monument was originally intended to commemorate the Schleswig-Holstein conquest; later, the victories over Austria in 1866 were to be included; and when the Franco-Prussian War was happily ended, it was decided to make of it also a fitting memorial of united Germany. On the third anniversary of the Capitulation of Sedan, Emperor William I. unveiled the colossal statue of Victory on the summit of the monument, which commemorates the chief events of his august reign.
Immense bas-reliefs on the pedestal represent, on one side, events in the Danish campaign; on another is shown the Decoration of the Crown Prince by the Emperor on the field of Sadowa, with Prince Friedrich Karl, Von Moltke, and Bismarck standing by; the third side shows the French General Reille, handing Louis Napoleon's letter of capitulation at Sedan; and the fourth, the triumphal entry of German soldiers into Paris through the Arc de Triomphe. There is also a representation of the scene, on that day when all Berlin went wild with joy and exultation over the return of the Kaiser and his troops from Paris, of their reception at the Brandenburg Gate.
Within the open colonnade of the substructure, a vast mosaic shows, in symbols, the history of the Franco-Prussian War, closing with a representation of Bavaria offering the German Crown to Prussia, and the proclamation of the Kaiser at Versailles. It was King William himself who refused to have his own image placed here as the Victor, and who substituted in the design of the artist the female figure of Borussia with the features of his mother, Queen Louise. The shaft, rising eighty-five feet above the substructure, has three divisions, with twenty perpendicular grooves in each. These grooves are filled with thrice twenty upright cannon, captured from the Danes, the Austrians, and the French, bound to the shaft by gilded wreaths of laurel. The Prussian Eagles surmount the column, forming a capital upwards of one hundred and fifty feet above the pavement; and the great statue soars nearly fifty feet still higher.
In the southeastern portion of the Thiergarten is a colossal statue of Goethe, which shows at its best in the twilight of an early summer evening, framed in the tender greens and browns of the bursting foliage behind it. Not far away are the statues of Queen Louise and King Frederick William III., parents of Emperor William I., surrounded by beautiful flowers, pools, and fountains; and the famous "Lion Group" marks the intersection of much-frequented avenues in the same neighborhood. A wide central avenue traversing the whole length of the Thiergarten from east to west allows space for the tramway to the imposing edifice of the Institute of Technology and to the Zooelogical Gardens, where is one of the largest and best collections of birds and animals in the world, each species with habitations suited to it, several built in showy Oriental style, amid concert-gardens where beautiful music may be heard every day.
A favorite walk of ours on sunny winter mornings was in the West End of Berlin, where are many of the finer aristocratic residences. No city can show, so far as we know, a handsomer residence quarter than portions of that which stretches between the Thiergarten on the north, the Zooelogical Gardens on the west, and the Botanical Garden on the south. The collections of the latter, like those of the Zooelogical Gardens, rank among the first of their kind. The great glass house which shelters the _Victoria Regia_ is attractive chiefly in the summer, when the plants are in blossom, but the cacti and the palm houses are interesting the year round. The palm-house is a Crystal Palace on a small scale. Entering, one finds a tropical atmosphere, hot and moist. All the larger palms and some of the smaller have each a furnace to themselves, from four to six feet in diameter and the same in height. Over this furnace the great tub is set which contains the roots of the tree, over which water is frequently sprinkled. The arrangement of the trees is graceful and beautiful. There are galleries and seats everywhere; and little imagination is required to transport one's self to Oriental and Biblical scenes, with these palm-trees towering overhead. A short walk east of these gardens is the Matthai Cemetery, where repose the brothers Grimm.
The Schiller Platz, so named from the statue before the Schauspielhaus, is fortunate--if not in the life-size statue of the poet--in the fine pedestal, with its allegorical figures of Poetry, History, and Philosophy, which were originally designed to adorn a fountain. In a still more crowded part of Berlin the Donhof Platz has recently been transformed, from a barren square surrounding the statue of that great Prussian, Baron von Stein, into a lovely garden-spot, with flowers and trees and birds for the cheer of the hurrying multitudes.
The old Halle Gate, where several streets converge to the southern extremity of the Friedrich Strasse, is reached through ornamental grounds known as the Belle-Alliance Platz, in the centre of which is a column erected to commemorate the peace which followed the wars of the First Napoleon. Not far to the southwest is the Kreuzberg, the only mountain in this part of Brandenburg,--a modest eminence about two hundred feet above the sea-level. It is crowned by an iron obelisk which affords a good view of the city.
Berlin has no cemetery comparable in extent or beauty to many in the environs of American cities. Three small burial-grounds, separate but adjoining, at the southern edge of the city contain the graves of Neander, with the memorable inscription,--his favorite motto,--"Pectus est quod theologum facit;" of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, his parents and his sister Fanny; of Schleiermacher, and of our countryman, the Rev. Dr. J.P. Thompson, long-beloved pastor of the Broadway Tabernacle Church, New York. Here, also, Bayard Taylor was for a time laid to rest, before being finally removed to his native land. Decorations are not so ostentatious as in Catholic countries; and quiet ivy, simple greensward, and the shadow of trees in which birds may sing, make the quaint Berlin cemeteries attractive places. This was to us especially true of the ancient cemetery connected with the Sophien Kirche and the old Dorotheen-Stadt cemetery, in the northern part of the city, where we went to look upon the graves of Fichte and Hegel, and of several artists famous in Berlin annals. In the Sophien Kirchof lies the philosopher, Moses Mendelssohn; and in that of the Garrison Church, De la Motte Fouque, the author of "Undine."
One of the most conspicuous public buildings is the Rath-haus, or Town Hall, erected at a cost of nearly two million dollars. Its lofty clock-tower with illuminated dial tells the time to all Berlin by night, and adds a charm to the group of royal palaces and museums on which it looks down. The ancient town-houses of North Germany most truly express the spirit of the old Hanse League; and the Rath-haus of Berlin, while keeping the spirit, adds the grand proportions and embellishments characteristic of the modern city. The interior apartments, including the Festival Hall, the Town Council-Room, and the Magistrates' Chamber, are elaborately adorned with historical frescos and statues, and the grand staircase has a finely vaulted ceiling and windows of stained glass filled with Prussian heraldry. A visit to this edifice by daylight gives one the fine view from the clock-tower; but to see the famous Raths-Keller underneath, with characteristic accompaniments, one must go after dark. One evening, after the adjournment, in an upper hall, of that rare thing in Berlin, a temperance meeting, a friend led our party through the elegant apartments of this place of popular refreshment. In the basement of this costly municipal building is a gilded saloon, upwards of three hundred feet long, divided into apartments. In some of these whole families were partaking of their evening "refreshments;" others were manifestly the appointed trysting-places of friends, while here and there, in sheltered nooks, the solitary ones sipped their wine or beer. Everything, so far as we could see, was orderly and quiet, and we were told that the place was one of eminent respectability. It is only after witnessing the habits of the people, in their homes and places of popular resort, that one is prepared to appreciate the enormous consumption of beer, averaging four glasses per day to every man, woman, and child in the kingdom, at an average annual cost to families greater than their house-rent.
The Exchange, or Boerse, on the east bank of the river, is a most imposing building. The excitements of this money-centre may be seen in a visit here any week-day at noon. There are galleries for visitors, over the Great Hall, which accommodates five thousand persons.
The Imperial Bank, like the Imperial Mint, is under State control; and both occupy buildings themselves worthy to be called Imperial.
The great City Prison, on a modern plan, is in Moabit, a northwestern suburb. This region received its name, "Pays de Moab," from French immigrants on account of its sterile soil; but a part of it is becoming an attractive and beautiful residence quarter. To the north of this is a model state-prison, accommodating twelve hundred prisoners.
The Insane Asylum is said also to be a model institution. It has accommodations for fifteen hundred patients; and its buildings are near Dalldorf, a short distance east of the route to the northwestern suburb of Tegel. The Medical Department of the University has large buildings in different parts of the city. Connected with these is the great Carite Hospital, founded a hundred years ago, and richly endowed by public and private funds. In its many wards more than fifteen hundred patients are constantly under treatment. Another interesting hospital is the Staedtische Krankenhaus, completed about fifteen years ago, on the "pavilion" plan, with the best modern appliances. This is situated in the beautiful park known as the Friedrichshain, in the northeastern part of the city. The Bethanien, in the southeastern quarter, is a large institution for the training of nurses, admirably managed, under the care of the deaconesses, or Protestant Sisters.
The palaces lately occupied by Emperor William I. and Crown Prince Frederick were formerly shown to the public during the absence of the occupants at their country residences; but as this was usually in the summer, when comparatively few strangers are in Berlin, they were not commonly included in a sight-seeing programme. They are pleasant homes, without great magnificence, but containing many interesting memorials of the lives of their Imperial masters. The palace of the Crown Prince was not used by him after he became Emperor Frederick III. The hundred days of pain which remained to him of life were spent at Charlottenburg and in the Castle of Friedrichskron at Potsdam.
The Old Schloss of Berlin, dating back in its foundation to the castle fortified on the river-side more than four hundred years ago by one of the early Electors of Brandenburg to maintain his rights of conquest, has received many later additions. It now has seven hundred apartments, and reached perhaps its greatest glory in the time of Frederick the Great, who was born here. It was then the central seat of the royal family; and here were deposited the records and treasures of the Government. It is now used only as the permanent residence of a few officials, but is the place of entertainment for many royal guests and their retinues when the great State pageants occur, of which Berlin has seen so many. It is popularly said to be haunted. There is a story that the Countess Agnes of Orlamuende, many, many years ago, murdered her two children in order that she might marry the man of her choice, and that in penance her ghost is condemned to haunt the Old Palace of Berlin and that of Bayreuth. It is believed by some that this apparition of "the White Lady" appears to a member of the Hohenzollern family as a sure forerunner of death; and Carlyle's picture of the causeless fright of one of the royal rulers when he thought he had seen this ghost, will recur to all who have read "Frederick the Great." We have heard of no visitor so fortunate as to get a sight of the apparition. One enters through an inner court; and parties who wish to see the interior are taken every half-hour, by an official in charge, for a tour of the palace. The waxed floors of inlaid wood are very handsome; and, as in other parts of Central Europe, they are protected from the tramp of visitors by immense felt slippers, into which all are required to thrust their shoes, and in which one goes gliding noiselessly over the polished surfaces in a way to save the floors, but not always to conserve the dignity or gravity of those unaccustomed to the process. Many of the rooms are highly decorated, and memorials of the history of Prussia abound. There are many paintings, of which most are portraits or battle scenes, the picture gallery proper containing the pictures connected with Prussian history, and the Kings' and Queens' chambers the portraits of all the sovereigns. The Chamber of the Cloth of Gold and the Old Throne Room are highly ornamented, and contain massive gold and silver mementos of former kings and of Emperor William's long career. Here also is the great crystal chandelier which once hung in the Hall of the Conclave at Worms, and under which Luther stood when he made the immortal declaration, "Hier stehe ich; ich kann nicht andere; helfe mir Gott. Amen." In the White Hall court balls are held, and here sometimes has gathered the Parliament to be opened by the Emperor. It is said that when lighted up by its nearly three thousand wax candles for a court festival, the scene in this hall is extremely brilliant.
Charlottenburg has been anew endeared to the public by the pathos of the home-coming of Emperor Frederick III., who took up his first Imperial residence in this suburban palace, and from an upper window of which he watched the funeral procession of his venerable sire as it passed to the mausoleum. This only son and heir to a great throne might not follow the bier of the father to its resting-place, but gazed alone from the palace at the mournful pageant, knowing that the time could not be far distant when the same sad ceremonials would be repeated for himself. Who shall say what were the thoughts of the manly Frederick III., as, when wife and children had joined the sad procession which wound its way northward through that grand but sombre avenue of stately pines which leads from the palace of Charlottenburg to the beautiful marble mausoleum where Kaiser Wilhelm was laid to rest beside his mother and his father, the sick man stood immovably at that upper window, following only with his eyes, and with no spoken word, the drama in which himself was the central and most pathetic figure!
Charlottenburg is a suburb some two or three miles southwest of Berlin, practically now a part of the capital, but with a corporation and a quiet life of its own. Sophia Charlotte, Queen of the first King of Prussia, founded for herself a country residence here at the village of Lietzow, nearly two hundred years ago; and this has given the palace and the present suburb its name. Here the idolized Queen Louise in the early part of this century lived much, and here are many portraits and marbles bearing her likeness. The palace and front garden are in unattractive "rococo" style, especially the rooms occupied by Frederick the Great; but the gardens in the rear of the palace are large and most attractive. The fame of the place arises chiefly from the beautiful Doric mausoleum to Frederick William III. and Queen Louise, created by the taste of their son, King Frederick William IV., brother and predecessor of the late Emperor William. The exquisite reposing figure of Queen Louise in Carrara marble lies under light falling through stained glass in the dome; and the tomb of the King (her husband) lying beside her is hardly less attractive. Both are surrounded by excellent accessories in marble and fresco, and it is a place where one gladly lingers long. The great avenue leading from the palace to the mausoleum has ivy-mantled trunks of giant trees for sentinels, and greensward and forest on either hand make a quiet which beseems one of the loveliest of resting-places for the dead. It was here that King William came to pray, beside the tomb of the mother who had suffered so much at the hands of the First Napoleon, on the eve of going out to the war with Napoleon III.; and here, when returning in the flush of victory as Emperor of United Germany, with Louis Napoleon a prisoner in the German castle of Wilhelmshoehe, the old man came again to kneel in silent prayer beside the form of that mother whom the fortunes of war had so signally avenged more than sixty years after her death. What wonder that in this sacred spot only did William I. wish to be laid, when death should gather him to his fathers!
Sixteen miles southwest of Berlin, "that amphibious Potsdam" of Carlyle holds out manifold attractions by land and water ways. It is a city of fifty thousand inhabitants, besides a garrison of soldiers which guard its royal palaces and their lovely grounds. There are many interesting public buildings and historical monuments. It was early in our Berlin residence that, taking advantage of a bright morning when bright mornings were not too frequent, two Americans were set down at the station in Potsdam, armed only with a well-studied guide-book and a few words of conversational German. We did not wish to be shown everything, and so, declining the offered services of guides, engaged a drosky by the hour, with a kindly-faced young man for driver. He took the greatest interest in us, and supplied us with such information as we wished. For the rest we were set down at Sans Souci, free to stroll through its rooms in charge of the palace official, with our freshly read Macaulay and Carlyle in mind, striking the balance for ourselves between these two differing estimates of Frederick the Great, with every particular standing out vividly in the light of the object-lessons from that monarch's life which crowded on every hand. It was fortunate for us that we were the only visitors that morning, for this was the first palace we had entered, and the dreams of childhood were realizing themselves like the lines of a remembered fairy poem. The sympathy which spoke or was silent at will, sure of being always understood, gave the final touch of perfection to a memorable day. Beautiful for situation, the long, domed, one-storied building, the favorite residence of Frederick the Great, is impressive because of its history. As we wandered through the suites of elegant rooms and heard the stories connected with Frederick and Voltaire, their shades seemed everywhere to flit before us. The first terrace leads to the spot where the King buried his favorite horses and dogs, and where, before the palace was built, he once expressed a wish to lie at the last. "When I am there I shall be without care," he said in French; and so the palace afterwards built for him here took the name "Sans Souci." The great iron gates at the north of the palace had been but twice opened, we were told,--once by the force of the First Napoleon, and once when the greater monarch, Death, had laid his hand on King Frederick William IV., who was carried hence to his last home. The great fountain was not playing that day; but the drive through the vast and famous park, with its enticing views and bewitching beauty, left nothing to be desired except a convenient place for physical refreshments. Past the orangery, with its wide views over land and lake, and Bornstedt (the favorite country home of the Crown Prince) to the north; past the "old windmill" known to history, to the New Palace, with its magnificence, its great extent, and its curious shell grotto,--we leave the simple charms of Charlottenhof and its neighborhood for another visit, and hasten to stand beside the coffin of Frederick the Great beneath the pulpit of the Potsdam Garrison Church.
Nearer to the station is the Old Schloss of Potsdam. An old lime-tree opposite the entrance is shown as the place where the petitioners for the favor of Frederick the Great used to station themselves, in order to attract his Majesty's attention from the window of his bedroom, or as he went in and out of the palace. Here we were almost bewildered by the number and extent of the rooms, and the multitude of historical associations connected with them. Here lived Frederick William I., father of Frederick the Great, in Carlyle's word-painting inferior to no other figure in that great composition. Here are the rolling chairs and the inclined planes along which that monarch was wheeled in the course of his long and painful illness; in his study are the pictures painted by him _in tormentis_, and looking forth from the south windows we see the parade-ground where he used to drill his giant soldiers. There stands a statue of this strange, eccentric monarch, who, notwithstanding all that was bad, had so much in him that was good and true. It was from this palace that his lifeless remains were carried forth to rest in the Garrison Church, not far away.
As at Sans Souci, remembrance of Frederick the Great crowds upon us in the Old Schloss also. Here is his round-corner room, with walls of famous thickness, and a dumb-waiter lifting up through the floor the table and all its viands, that here he might dine alone with his intimates and no tell-tale sounds escape. Here is the heavy solid-silver balustrade which separates his library from his sleeping-room. In this place, not long before our visit, Prince and Princess Wilhelm, whose winter residence was on an upper floor of this palace, had brought their youngest son for baptism. All the later sovereigns have occupied, at one time or another, apartments in this interesting old palace, and here many souvenirs of the present as well as former royal families are shown.
Charlottenhof, in the southern part of the grounds of Sans Souci, is an unpretending villa, beautiful in its simplicity, and with all its charms enhanced by its having been granted by the King as a summer residence to Alexander von Humboldt while working at his "Kosmos." Near this is the beautiful Roman Bath, adorned with fine works of art.
The New Palace, now known as Friedrichskron, built on a vast scale by Frederick the Great after the Seven Years' War, to show that he was not impoverished, has henceforth its immortality as the birthplace of Frederick III.; and here he expired, on the morning of a June day, scarce a twelvemonth after he had ridden among the foremost of that dazzling throng of potentates which graced the imperial progress of Queen Victoria to Westminster Abbey on the celebration of her regal Jubilee.
In the days of their happy summer life, lived in great simplicity and homelikeness, the Crown Princess once wrote, in a little pavilion here,--
"This plot of ground I call my own, Sweet with the breath of flowers, Of memories, of pure delights, And toil of summer hours."
Alas! henceforth these domestic memories have an element of unspeakable pathos added by the remembrance of the last fortnight of that devoted life which vanished in this memorable spot, whence the funeral procession went forth, through the park of Sans Souci, to lay all that was mortal of the beloved Frederick III. beside the graves of their young sons Waldemar and Sigismund, in the Peace Church of Potsdam.
Babelsburg, the summer home of Emperor William I., is to many visitors more charming than any of the historic castles and palaces of Potsdam. Distant two or three miles from these, it is in striking contrast with them all. It is a modern villa in the Norman style, in a beautiful and extensive park northeast of Potsdam. One does not wonder that it was dearest of all his residences to the heart of the aged Emperor. Here, more than elsewhere, are the evidences and atmosphere of a simple yet courtly home life. Babelsburg should be visited in the early summer, when the trees of its great forest are showing their first leaves, clothed, and yet not obstructing the unrivalled view by land and water, and when the sward is embroidered by daisies and buttercups. Here the private rooms of Emperor William I. and Empress Augusta were freely shown, with scattered papers, work-basket, fires laid in the grates ready to light for the cool mornings and evenings, halls, staircases, reception-rooms, library, study, and sleeping-rooms, as homelike and everyday-looking as though they were those of any happy family in any part of the land. Of special interest to English travellers is the suite of rooms fitted up for the reception of the Princess Royal when she came to Germany as a bride in 1858. The chambers are hung with chintz of pale pink and other delicate colors, such as one sees in England, and with the same dainty arrangements which make English bedrooms a synonym for spotless comfort the world around. Here were arranged the pictures of father and queen-mother and brothers and sisters, and the little souvenirs of home with which, as an English girl of seventeen, she fought the homesickness inevitable to a stranger in a foreign land; and here many of them remain, in the rooms still called by her name.
The "Marble Palace" is seen to fine advantage, in the midst of lovely waters, from the road which leads from Potsdam to Gleinicke. It was the summer home of the present Emperor, while Prince William, and is not open to visitors.
XI. THE HOMES OF THE HUMBOLDTS.
An hour by tramway, northwest of Berlin, lies Tegel, the hereditary estate of the Humboldt family. About two hundred years ago its hills and dales, pine forests and sandy plains, were the property of the Great Elector. Some eighty years later, a Pomeranian Major in the army of Frederick the Great was high in favor with the King on account of his distinguished service in the Seven Years' War, and was rewarded by gifts and promotions. To William von Humboldt, eldest son of this Major and Royal Chamberlain, descended the chateau and lands of the former royal hunting-lodge of Tegel. Though this was not, in strict sense, the home of the more famous younger brother, Alexander, these were his ancestral acres. Here he often came to this brother, whose death in his arms in 1835 cast a lasting shadow over his lonely life; and here, beside the brother and his family, his mortal part lies buried.
A bright April morning was the time of our visit. The outskirts of a great city are seldom more free from unpleasant sights than the northern suburb through which we passed. Here and there, in the plain which surrounds Berlin, sandy knolls appear; now and then the tall chimney of a manufactory or a brewery pierces the sky; but the city insensibly gives place to the country. Clean-swept garden paths, trim hedges of gooseberry bushes just bursting into leaf, and hens scratching the freshly turned furrows, brought back a childlike delight in the spring-time; while the antiquarian tastes of later years were fed by glimpses of delicious old houses which raised their drooping eyelids in quaint gable-windows looking forth over ivy-mantled walls, as if in sleepy surprise at all the bustle and stir of this work-a-day world.
One or two hamlets had been passed, and the camp, from which we had met a train of artillery and many companies of soldiers on their way to the city, when the tram-conductor announced the village of Tegel, the end of the route. A few rods, and a turn to the left past some mills brings us to the entrance of the castle park. An obelisk, battered and ancient-looking enough to belong to the age of Cleopatra, stands beside the modest iron gate of the entrance. An old peasant-woman passing with a pack on her back answers our question by saying that this is an ancient milestone which formerly stood a little above its present site; and we surmise that its mutilated condition is due to relic-hunters. Inside the gate we see a grassy plain with sandy patches; here and there are deep open ditches for drainage; and avenues stretch off in several directions, bounded by rows of great overarching trees. We follow one reaching toward higher ground and forest-covered hills. On an elevation a few rods farther on stands the chateau,--the old hunting-lodge no more, but a two-story Roman villa, rectangular, with square towers at the corners, on each face of which is a carved frieze with a Greek inscription. Back of this "Schloss," but not hidden by it, on a smooth slope, is a large ancient one-story dwelling with side front, in good preservation. Its ivy mantle does not conceal the frame, which is filled in with stuccoed brick, and which alone would proclaim the age of the building. The long slope of the mossy roof must hide a wonderful old attic, for it is full of tiled "eyes" to admit light and air, and two or three single panes of glass are inserted in different places for the same purpose. Three windows on each side the low doorway in the front look forth on the quiet scene, the lace curtains within revealing glimpses of a cosey, homelike interior. On one side are supplementary buildings fit for companionship with this quaint home, and a fenced garden and ancient orchard, beyond which five woodmen were leisurely sawing an old-fashioned woodpile of immense size;--only princely estates can supply such a luxury in these degenerate days.
The shadow of death was in the villa. Two days before, Frau von Buelow, the last of the Humboldts, had been carried forth, to rest beside her husband and children, her father William, and her uncle Alexander von Humboldt. The gnarled and twisted stem of a venerable ivy clasps with two arms one of the most majestic of the tall trees before the house, one branch bearing large leaves of a tender green, the other small and beautifully outlined leaves of dark maroon exquisitely veined. Beds bordered with box are bright with pansies. We wander onward, along the great shaded avenue, with level green fields on either side. An opening suddenly sets a study in color before our eyes. The unbroken stretch of sward southward is in most vivid spring green; there is a gleam of blue water beyond the tender purple of a distant forest, overhung by the fleecy cumuli of a perfect but constantly changing sky. It is simple and beautiful beyond description. We approach some wooded hills, well cared for, but lifting themselves upward in the beauty of Nature, not art. Buttercups and star-grass and chickweed arrest us occasionally by the roadside, until a wooded pathway brings us to a plot surrounded by an iron fence. Within, an old woman is trimming the ivy overspreading a grave, and there are eight or ten other mounds, all ivy or flower covered, and with low headstones. At the west end of the enclosure is a semicircular stone platform, with a stone seat skirting the circumference. From the centre rises a lofty shaft of polished granite, bearing on its summit a statue of Hope, by Thorwaldsen. On the pedestal are the names of William von Humboldt and his noble wife, and near it the newly closed grave of this daughter, who at the age of eighty-five, after a distinguished life, sleeps here beneath the funeral wreaths which hide the mound, and bear, on long black or white ribbons, the names of societies and eminent families who have sent these tributes of remembrance and affection. White hyacinths and lilies-of-the-valley perfume the air, and palm-branches lie on the new-made grave, above the flowers. I treasure an ivy leaf or two, given by the workwoman, and pick up a cone which has just fallen from a fir-tree upon the grave of Alexander, as I read the inscription on his headstone: "Thou too wilt at last come to the grave; how art thou preparing?" This simple epitaph, with name and age, is all, except his earthly work, that speaks for him who was once, after Napoleon Bonaparte, the most famous man in Europe, and who, in learning and in devotion to Nature, was as great as he was famous.
From the little burial-ground we took a hill-path, hoping for a more distant view than we had found but hardly expecting it. Ascending gradually, there were glimpses of forests and hills far to the northward; and a porter's lodge, and stables, in a vale amid the trees, revealed only by the distant baying of a hound, and the blue smoke curling upward. Still we wound along, over the hillsides and under the trees, pausing occasionally to rest on simple rustic seats, on which were carved the initials of former pilgrims to these scenes. Faring onward, there came a sudden burst of light and beauty.
"Far, far o'er hill and dale"
shines the blue expanse of the Tegeler See, with sunshine flooding all the broad acres between. The fortress spires of Spandau and the dome of the royal palace of Charlottenburg spring from the purple, forest-rimmed horizon; and beyond is a tangle of history written on the sky in domes and palaces and spires, I know not what, nor how many. To the delight of this sudden vision is added the thought of the generations of men and women who have trod this forest path, and whose eyes have been gladdened by this sight, until a file of mounted knights and nobles, from the Great Elector through a line of kings and emperors, of grand dames and fair princesses, has swept in stately procession down the hill-side to be followed in imagination by the footsteps of many of the greatest men in literature, science, and philosophy which Europe has brought forth, and by those of statesmen and diplomatists from every quarter of the globe.
Returning to the chateau, we passed between it and the ancient house, when lo! a glance at the rear of the modern villa toward a second-story bay window under the spreading shade of a venerable tree told a new tale. I did not then know the history of the buildings, and it had seemed that only the low cottage was ancient, and the Roman villa comparatively modern. But here was a tell-tale slope of ancient roof, with a square port-hole of a window just beneath it, peeping forth behind the modern bay-window under the tree-tops, all out of harmony with the lines of Roman towers and roofs; and so we knew that the chateau was only modern in appearance, but ancient in reality.
A day full of quiet beauty, not unmingled with delight, this had proved; worth to the heart, in some moods, acres of canvas and chiselled marble within the walls of royal museums. But we were not yet quite satisfied. In the Oranienburger Strasse in Berlin stands a city house of the last century. Here, with a serving-man as the real master of his house,--with no wife, no child,--the author of "Kosmos" did much of his best work.
"I was often with my father in Humboldt's house during his lifetime," said my German hostess to me, after my return from these visits. "He lived among his books, in his study in the back of the house,--the second story, looking into the court; for he could not bear the noise of the street in the front rooms."
To this place we found our way in returning from Tegel. We stood before it in the street, and read the inscription on the marble tablet in the front wall: "In this house lived Alexander von Humboldt from the year 1842 till _he went forth_, May 6, 1859."
Entering the street door, we inquired of the bright-eyed little daughter of the porter, who had been left in charge, if we could see the second floor, where Humboldt used to live. "No," said the child; "there is nothing to see. Others live there now. As for Humboldt, you can see his statue before the University!"
The privilege of looking upon the home surroundings of Humboldt in Berlin was accorded us later, by an American gentleman into whose possession they had come. His massive old writing-desk, with a great mirror behind it, and deep drawers,--each bearing his seal,--where he kept his most valued curiosities and correspondence, and where now repose many of his autograph papers, is worth going far to see. Here, too, are a smaller writing-desk, his champagne glasses, quill pens, lamp-screen, candlestick, snuffers, and the last candle which he used. These and other significant and home-like memorials belong not to Germany, but to America, unless Germany repurchase them, as she should. Only in the house so long the home of their master will they fittingly repose, as the memorials of Goethe and Schiller adorn the homes that were theirs at Weimar.
During the conversation with the child of the porter at the house in Oranienburger Strasse, I had looked into the large and pleasant court, and saw the great vine clambering up over the wall which must have been in sight from the study. Here doubtless it was that Bayard Taylor, the famous young traveller visiting the famous old traveller, had the interview which he described so vividly that at the distance of more than thirty years recorded bits of the conversation remain distinctly traced in our memory.
"Humboldt showed me a chameleon," wrote Taylor, "remarking on its curious habit of casting one eye upward and the other downward at the same time,--'a faculty possessed also by some clergymen,'" added the facetious old man, as though he had discovered a new fact in natural history. Turning to a map of the Holy Land, Humboldt gave the young guest minute directions for his contemplated journey, until the very stones by the wayside seemed to grow familiar to the listener. "When were you there?" asked Mr. Taylor. "I was never there," replied Humboldt. "I prepared to go in 18--," naming a date thirty or forty years before. In such preparation for work lies an open secret of greatness.
In the little cemetery at Tegel, which has now no vacant place, Humboldt's epitaph speaks to the living. His virtues and his faults are left to the judgment of the Omniscient. In the gallery of her great men Germany places the colossal figure of Humboldt beside that of Goethe. More than one century must pass before the place of either is finally determined in the perspective of history.
XII. PHILANTHROPIC WORK.
This has many departments,--educational, humane, and religious. Although the churches of Berlin are sufficient for only a very small per cent of the population, many private and semi-public enterprises carried on by Christian people show a true spirit of devotion to the good of humanity.
The "Pestalozzi-Froebel-Haues" was established some years ago by a grand-niece of Froebel, who endeavors thus to carry out the principles of her great-uncle, whose instruction and companionship she enjoyed in her youth. Still in the prime of life, of gracious and winning presence, full of noble enthusiasm in doing good and of love for children; a devoted student of the principles and philosophy of education, ably seconded by her husband, who is a member of the Imperial Diet, and by other gentlemen and ladies of position and influence, and with the faithful assistance of teachers trained under her own supervision,--this lady already sees the ripening fruit of this renowned system of education.
After struggling with obstacles at the outset, on account of limited means and lack of accommodations, the enterprise was finally established at No. 16 Steinmitz Strasse, by the generosity of two of the gentlemen referred to; and from the time it had a settled home, prosperity followed.
"We wish to show that all work is honorable," said the Directress to me, "and our teachers are all _ladies_." The aim of the institution is to develop healthfully and fully the children committed to its care, and to prepare girls to be good mothers, Kindergarten teachers, housekeepers, and servants. There is thus a Kindergarten proper, with several departments; and a training-school with two grades, in one of which young ladies are received who are preparing to be educators, and in the other, girls to be trained for household work.
No distinction is made in receiving rich and poor. Having learned by experience that the poor truly value only that for which they make some return, the managers set a price upon everything, except help in cases of sickness. In cases of extreme poverty some member of the committee pays the dues; and in illness, appliances and comforts, medicines, and the services of a trained nurse are furnished without charge whenever there is need.
The Kindergarten had, at the time of my visit, over one hundred children, between the ages of two and seven years. The price of tuition is about twelve cents a month to the poor, and seventy-five cents per month to those able to pay this larger sum. The children are brought in the morning by the mothers or nurses, and taken away early in the afternoon. They are divided into groups of about a dozen, under supervision of the heads of the different departments, assisted by those who are learning the system in the normal or training school. Each group has, alternating with the others, garden-play and work, and house-guidance and help.
We were first shown into a secluded walled garden-plot, covered only with clean sand. The children are disciplined by freedom, as well as healthful restraint. In this sand-garden they are free. With their little wooden shovels and spoons, and with their hands, they revel in the sand, as all healthy children do. They were no more abashed by our presence than tamed and petted birdlings would be to feed from the hand of those they had learned to love and trust.
In the next garden, radiant with spring sunshine, a lady was surrounded by a group who were digging, planting, watering,--veteran gardeners of three and a half years. They are not free, but must learn obedience as well as gardening during the hour they spend here. Pansies in bloom bordered the regular beds and trim walks, and some were watering them from little water-pots. The stone wall around the four sides of the enclosure was covered by a vine just bursting into leaf. This had been trained, twig by twig, against the wall, by tiny fingers under the guidance of the lady in charge. A rustic summer-house contained a table, and seats of different heights. Here were seeds and implements for immediate use. Every stray leaf and bit of waste was brought by the children to a corner appropriated to it, covered with earth, and left to become dressing for the beds; thus teaching at once the chemistry of Nature and the value of neatness and economy. To another corner the children were encouraged to bring all the stones and shells they could find; and thus a rock-grotto was growing.
From the gardens we went into the house. In the first room the two-year-olds were on low seats before a long table, where each had his six by ten inches of sand-plot, in which, with tiny wooden shovels and rakes, they were laying out garden beds and sticking in green leaves and cut pansies to make the wilderness blossom. Behind these were seats and tables for those who were a little older and could do real work. In a large tin dish-pan, two or three, under suitable supervision, were washing flower-pots with sponges and tepid water; others were filling the clean pots by taking spoonfuls of black loam from another pan; others, having been shown pansy plants with roots, and told that the plants took nourishment and drank water by means of these root-mouths, were pressing them carefully into the earth-filled pots and giving them water. In an anteroom two or three children were helping to wash the leaves of ivies and other plants, having had the office of the leaves simply explained. All was done with such care that the clean faces and garments of the children were not soiled, nor the floor and desks littered.
"We try to make one idea the centre of thought for the week,--not to confuse the minds of the children by too much at once," said the Directress. "This week it is pansies." In the garden children were watering pansies in bloom, and pansies were cut and dug for use in the house, where they were the materials for play and work. In one room the children had cards in their hands, in which they had pricked the outlines of pansies. Each had a needle threaded with a color selected by itself, with which to work this outline. In another room they were painting pansies. At Easter time the lesson was on eggs. We were shown eggs colored by the children in their own devices, birds' nests, feathers, etc. One treasure, I remember, was a blue card on which a barn was outlined by straws sewed to the surface, showing roof, hayloft, and stairs, mounting which was a lordly fowl cut from white paper.
One room is called "the baby room." At a long low table sat nearly twenty children, with dolls of every size and complexion, cradles, baby-wagons, changes of clothing for the dolls, beds, a tiny kitchen-range, with furniture, and every other accessory to doll life.
The bathing is a department by itself. Every child is bathed, as a rule, when it is received. Then in the afternoon, once a week, many are brought for the regular weekly bath, which is so conducted as to make the children like it. The cost of the weekly bath is two and a half cents, and the children who are old enough often remind their mothers to save the small coin for this purpose.
All the children are given a luncheon in the middle of the forenoon. Parents who desire it can have a dinner of good porridge also served to their children, about noon, at a cost of a little more than one cent.
As the children approach the age of six, they enter the elementary class, where they have slates and pencils and a blackboard, and are taught the elements of reading. This is the only school exercise, so called, connected with the institution, and is to prepare the children to enter the public schools. After they leave the Kindergarten, some are received in the afternoons,--the girls to be taught sewing, and the boys carpentering.
The last department shown to us was the music-room. Here the little ones stood, and counted, and beat double time, under the direction of a leader, to a slow, melodious air played on the piano. Then they marched, keeping step, and still counting the time. After this they took tambourines, triangles, drums, and clappers, and made a noise, in perfect time and tune.
"Children like a noise," said the Directress. "Here they have it, but under direction and limitation. Some of the boys, when they are received here," continued the lady, "are so very, very naughty; but when they come to the music-class and have this noise, then they grow quiet and good. If it is taken away, they get naughty again."
A religious atmosphere is sought, as the only one in which child-nature can normally develop. They have daily morning prayers and songs, religious books and pictures, such as "Christ blessing Little Children," and at Christmas time stories of the birth of Christ. Benevolence in their relations to one another is sedulously cultivated. The four-or-five-year-olds make little wooden spades and rakes for the two-or-three-year-olds, saying gravely, "We do it for the little ones."
Meetings are held by the Directress with the mothers, and in several parts of the city three or four mothers have united in supporting little Kindergartens for their own families. The teaching of the Directress is also put in practice by mothers in their own homes, where much more time is devoted to the children than formerly.
As applications are constantly on hand for more than can be received to this institution, I asked if the revenue from fees and gifts were devoted to the enlargement of the accommodations. "No; for _perfecting_ the system and its methods," was the reply. And this seemed to me to be the key to this most interesting undertaking. A perfect development of child-nature is sought; and a Kindergarten means here, "not several hours a day spent in much folding of papers and braiding of pretty things," said the Directress, but a many-sided and all-embracing culture of the whole being.
Having given this full account of the methods of the Kindergarten, the description of the department for the training of teachers may be omitted. Not so with the department devoted to the preparation of girls who have left school for the duties of wives, mothers, nurses, housekeepers, and servants. In this important department of the Pestalozzi-Froebel-Haues, over forty young women from the various ranks of life were gathered. It was under the special patronage of the Crown Princess, whose own daughters were its first pupils.
The lady who directed the teaching of washing and ironing kept a close eye to the perfection of the work, which is all classified. At one time table-linen is washed and ironed properly; at another, the best methods of treating dish-towels are taught; at another, the washing of flannels and the doing up of prints and ginghams; at another, clear-starching, the cleansing of laces and fine materials; and so on, until the whole round of a family laundry has been scientifically taught and enforced by practice.
In one room a girl of fourteen or fifteen, formerly a pupil in the Kindergarten, was washing windows and paint. Well dressed, she was poised on a step-ladder, polishing a large pane of glass with a chamois skin. Her pail of suds stood on the shining floor, with a bit of oil-cloth under it, that not a drop of water should touch the varnish. I involuntarily looked at the wall-paper along the edges of the window and door casings and baseboards, and saw that no careless washcloth had ever left its trail on a surface for which it was not designed. As I glanced back at the maiden, she was folding her towels and placing them in a covered basket, with a compartment for each.
We were now conducted to the kitchen. It was a large and pleasant room, in the second or third story, with three double windows looking out on a beautiful garden, the floor a marble or tile mosaic, and the walls frescoed. Dainty curtains hung at the upper part of the windows, in such a way as not to exclude light or air. Opposite the windows was a large range, on which the dinner for the family and for various ladies who statedly dine in the institution was cooking. Two of the ten young ladies present were learning that difficult art,--the management of a fire so as to produce desired and exact results in cooking, themselves having the entire responsibility of feeding it and regulating the draughts. On a thin marble slab another was cutting fresh beef into bits, which she presently placed in a bottle for the purpose of preparing nourishment for a member of the family who was ill. The preparation of food for the sick is taught in all its branches with utmost care. Two had evidently reached that branch of the cooking art which involves the preparation of luxuries by delicate processes. They were seated apart, each stirring, drop by drop, oil or flavoring into a sauce.
One of the principles taught is that of the utmost economy of material. The teachers, with the young ladies under instruction who desire it, and the nurses, constitute the family, and have good and wholesome food, all prepared by those who are learning cookery. The making of delicacies and expensive dishes is also taught; and these are served to certain ladies, who dine at the house to test these dishes, for perhaps three months at a time, gladly paying for the privilege. Shining tin and other utensils, wooden and iron ware of the most approved patterns, in every size and variety, were systematically ranged about the kitchen in a way really ornamental. At one side were weights and measures, where everything brought in was tested. A map of the world, showing the productions of every zone and country, hung beside the sugar and spice table; and beside it was a glass cupboard, containing phials showing the analysis of every article of food. One small table was devoted to good and bad samples of household food supplies, the samples being in cubical boxes about an inch and a half each way, set into a large box with compartments, the whole so arranged as to show easily the qualities to be desired and those not to be desired by the purchaser. The book-keeper had her desk and account-books, where the amount of every article purchased and its cost were duly entered.
The superintendent of the kitchen, with fine and ladylike courtesy, showed us her book of written questions, which those under her charge were required to be able to answer both from a scientific and a practical standpoint.
One department of this domestic school is the supervision of a milk-route. The children of Berlin, like those of all large cities, especially among the poor, suffer for want of milk, or of that which is good. Here the milk of two or three large dairies in the country is bought by the Kindergarten committee. It costs them, by wholesale, much less than people in the city pay for poor milk. This good milk is supplied at a low price by an attendant, who is directed to carry the milk into the dwelling, instead of requiring the poor mother to leave her children and go to the wagon for it, as is the general custom.
In the sewing-room mending and darning alternate, on certain days, with the cutting and making of plain garments. This department supplements the teaching of sewing in the public schools by instruction in only the higher kinds of plain sewing, and the surgery required to make "old clothes almost as good as new."
Every part of the duty and work of an ordinary nurse is taught, like all the other departments, with the utmost faithfulness and excellence; and this department was supported by the Crown Princess. As we passed from the bathing-department, we met a sweet-faced nurse going out, who immediately returned with us, throwing off her alpaca duster, and showing, unasked, her private rooms to the unexpected American visitors with the greatest cordiality and the most ladylike grace. Refinement and perfect order characterized the rooms. There were closets with shelves filled with bed-linen and undergarments for the sick in every size. This bedding and clothing is loaned to the sick poor without charge, on the sole condition that they shall return it clean. The washed and ironed articles neatly piled and folded bespoke both gratitude and faithfulness on the part of beneficiaries. Water-beds and other appliances for the use and comfort of the sick were stored in another place, and in still another were garments kept for gifts to the convalescent and particularly needy. As the nurse kneeled to replace a water-bed she had been showing us, the Lady Director lifted an ornament which she wore about her neck on a silver chain. Her color deepened prettily, as we saw that it was the monogram of the Crown Princess in silver, bestowed only for brave and specially meritorious service in nursing.
If Germany is too slow, as we believe, in according to women the opportunity for higher education, surely this institution sets a noble example in that which to the world in general is of vast and incalculable importance.
A mission to the cabmen of Berlin is conducted by a benevolent lady with great modesty but with most eminent success. The Berlin cabman is a picturesque object In summer he wears a dark blue suit with silvered buttons, a vest and collar of scarlet, and a black hat with a cockade and a white or yellow band. In winter, a great Astrakhan cap with tassels surmounts his bronzed features, he is enveloped in a long blue great-coat with a cape, and his feet are encased in immense boots with soles often from one to two inches thick. The covered carriage known as a drosky is a rather lumbering vehicle on four wheels. Formerly every one rode in these droskies, the fares being very low. But within a few years the tram-car, which is increasingly popular, has diverted patronage from the cabs, and the times are hard for the cabman. He must pay a certain sum to the company which controls the cabs, for the use and keeping of the horse and vehicle; must purchase his uniform at his own expense; and if his receipts bring him anything over and above these outlays, he has the surplus for the support of himself and family. How the average cabman in Berlin manages in this way to live, is a mystery. His family must dwell in a cellar or attic, or eke out their subsistence by taking lodgers, washing, or by any other means which they can find. All must live on insufficient food; and this, with constant exposure to the weather and enforced idleness much of the time, is a constant temptation to drinking-habits. Beer-shops are numerous near the cab-stands; and the small change in the cabman's pocket often goes into their coffers, when it should be saved for the poor wife and children in his wretched home.
About twenty years ago a German lady of noble birth, an invalid, employed as her substitute in doing good among the poor a Christian widow, whom she instructed to go out among the cabmen and their families. This work is still under the supervision of the lady who began it, and, now restored to health, she gives a large part of her time and means to this mission, assisted by a deaconess and six Bible-women under her direction, who reach the families of about eight hundred cabmen. If possible, the cabman is won, often through his family; and sometimes the long idle hours on his drosky-box are beguiled by the memorizing of verses from the little Testament given him to carry in his pocket. Then a circulating library is kept constantly in use by the Bible-woman, who carries a book in her bag to each house which she visits, leaving it until her round again gives the opportunity of taking it up and putting another in its place. Best of all is the friendship which springs up between these poor people and their helpers. Doubt, anxiety, trouble, misfortune, all find loving sympathy; and when serious illness comes, especially in contagious and malignant diseases, when friends and neighbors flee, then this mission brings light into the darkness. The deaconess is also a trained nurse, to whom a yearly stipend is given, that she may devote her entire time to the work; and she is constantly going from one family to another, as scarlet-fever, diphtheria, and other diseases call for her help.
As a special favor, I was allowed, with a few other American friends, to be present at an evening tea-meeting, such as are held frequently for the cabmen and their wives. An opening hymn, in which all joined, was sung; a passage of Scripture was read, and prayer offered. A "Gospel song" was well sung by a German gentleman as a solo, and then there was a familiar address from the eloquent Court-preacher Frommel. Another prayer followed, another song, and then the tea was served.
In a side room, separated by sliding doors from the audience, I had noticed, when we entered, ladies flitting about long tables and hovering over white china. The Countess Waldersee was there, in simple apparel, helping to pass the tea and abundant cakes and sandwiches, as were also two granddaughters of Chevalier Bunsen, and other representatives of honorable and noble Christian families.
Meantime the Baroness who is the cherishing mother of this work was helping, as occasion required; both she and her deaconess going from one row of seats to another, speaking a friendly word here, bestowing a greeting or answering an inquiry there, and unconsciously followed by a wake of happiness everywhere. As the wounded soldiers in Crimean hospitals turned to kiss the shadow of Florence Nightingale passing them, there was surely gladness in hearts and on faces here that would have counted it a privilege to kiss the place hallowed by the footsteps of these Christian women.
About four hundred were present in the plain Moravian Chapel which is always used for these tea-meetings. Fewer men than women were present, as many of the cabmen must be at their posts until near midnight. From time to time the Bible-woman at the door softly opened it for the entrance of one who had thought it better to come late than not at all. As these men in their picturesque garb came, cold and hungry, into the warm and well-lighted room, I looked to see if their physical wants were supplied before they were asked to partake of the spiritual feast. To my great satisfaction I discerned that a well-filled table had been spread just inside the entrance-door, from which they were served as soon as chairs had been handed them; and from time to time great motherly tea-pots went the rounds, to fill all cups a second time. When they had been warmed and fed, they often moved forward to be nearer the speakers; and when the exercises were over, one and another found his wife in the audience, and together they went out. As this was going forward, a parting hymn was struck, which seemed to form no part of the programme. Inquiring, I was told that this was always sung in parting, in remembrance of an occasion very sad, but also very precious, to their benefactress.
The sullen roar of a great coming conflict of social elements breaks on the shore of every land, now rising, now lulling, but every day drawing nearer. The simple chapel of this scene is little more than a stone's-throw from the palace of the Chancellor of the German Empire. Here, in sympathy and helpfulness, and not there, in absolutism, will be heard the Voice which only can say, "Peace, be still!"--the Voice which says to-day, as of old, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto me."
The Young Men's Christian Association of Berlin has the hearty sympathy and assistance of Count Bernsdorff, lately an officer of the Empress Augusta's household and well known in diplomatic circles, of Court-preacher Frommel, and others widely known in other spheres of influence. Its intelligence-office has had nearly fifty thousand calls for advice and help in a single year, and twenty committees from its membership actively co-operate in different lines of work. Besides its various religious meetings, daily and weekly, at which there was an aggregate attendance of between fifteen and twenty thousand in one recent year, it maintains a well-equipped reading-room and library, a hall for gymnastic exercises, and fine reception-rooms. Tea-meetings are also frequently held here; and two courses of lectures in English and two courses in French are given, besides courses of instruction in stenography and book-keeping. A male quartette gives frequent musical entertainments, and in one winter thirteen "musical evenings" held forth manifold attractions to this music-loving people.
The Committee of Ladies co-operating in this work assists in obtaining positions, manages tea-meetings, etc.; and the management asserts that it increasingly realizes "how important is the eye and hand of woman in all its work." The magnificent gardens and park attached to the War Department were, during our visit to Berlin, opened on a beautiful May afternoon and evening, by the co-operation of the Countess Waldersee and under the patronage of the Prince and Princess William, to a promenade concert for the benefit of this Association. Two of the finest military bands alternated in rendering popular and classical music; and few who were present will ever forget the striking scene, where, amid the flower-bordered lawns, under sunset skies slowly fading through the long twilight into the gayly lighted evening, hundreds of ladies and gentlemen, some in bright military uniforms, some with the insignia of rank, and some with only the stamp of Nature's noblemen, gathered about the refreshment-tables, chatted in groups apart, or sauntered along the fine old avenues under the towering trees or beside the lakes and fountains, the hours seeming all too short under the inspiration of the place and the music. Prince William, always in uniform, and the charming Princess, on this occasion in the simplest and plainest dress, mingled quietly with the company. As we passed out through the great gateway between nine and ten o'clock, the steeds of their State carriage were champing, and pawing the pavement of the quadrangle, held in check by the officials who were awaiting their return.
The Crown Princess Frederick was the patroness of nearly every undertaking in Berlin for the good of women and children, and, with her noble husband, often visited among them. "On one occasion," said a German lady to me, "some one asked of the Crown Prince the particulars of a certain benevolent enterprise. 'Ask my wife,' replied the Prince; 'she knows everything,'" It is certain that, from Kindergarten and other schools, to cooking-schools, training-schools for nurses, hospitals, and a school for the daughters of officers who would be taught art, literature, science, as a practical help in the battle of self-support, there seemed to be no enterprise which could not count as its chief patron the Crown Princess Victoria. The aged Empress Augusta was also the patron of girls' schools and soup-kitchens, to the number of more than a dozen, and was counted by many the especial friend of the very poor.
One of the most interesting institutions to which we had access was founded upwards of twenty years ago by Dr. Adolph Lette, of Berlin, whose plans have since his death been faithfully carried out by his daughter, Frau Schepeler-Lette, who devotes nearly her entire time to its supervision. It was also under the patronage of the Crown Princess. Its object is to promote the higher education and practical industry of women, and to render single and friendless women the help and protection so much needed in all large cities. Many English and some American girls have reason to bless this institution, which knows no rank, no nationality, but only need, as the password to its gracious and abounding ministries.
One of its departments is the Charlotten-Stiftung, intended to help destitute daughters of German noblemen and military and civil officers to earn their own livelihood by giving them a practical education, especially in dress-making, cooking, and the management of a household. This department was founded and endowed by a noble German lady with property yielding an annual income of nearly twenty thousand dollars.
Another department is the Bank of Loans. Its object is to assist unmarried women in establishing and maintaining shops, especially those who wish to establish business in some art-industry. No individual loan is to exceed one hundred and fifty dollars, and each is to be repaid in small instalments at five per cent interest. One per cent of the loan is to be repaid within four weeks after it is made, and the remainder in small specified sums fortnightly. The annual income of the "Bank of Loans" is about two thousand dollars.
These departments, though most successful, are subordinate in interest to the main work of the Lette-Verein, as at present conducted, which has a commercial training-school, a school of industry and drawing, and a school of fine arts.
The commercial school offers two courses, of one and two years respectively. Girls and women, married or unmarried, are there offered the advantages of thorough instruction in writing and stenography, commercial reckoning and correspondence, book-keeping, knowledge of goods, commerce, banking affairs, and money matters in general. Lessons in French, English, and German, in Grammar, Geography, Correspondence, and Conversation, are also given. The fee for tuition is about forty dollars per annum.
We were much interested in the School of Industry. Here were girls and women, mostly young, in bright, cheery, and well-lighted rooms, going through all stages of graded and scientific instruction in the cutting and making of dresses, mantles, and underwear, plain needlework, and in all kinds of embroidery and lace-work. The use of a sewing-machine is taught in a term of two months, six lessons each week. Millinery in all branches, the making of the finest artificial flowers by French methods, glove-making by machinery, and hair-dressing are practically carried on for the instruction of those who wish to learn these industries.
A school of cookery, in which we were allowed to inspect the scientific classification and analysis of provisions and to test the appetizing results of numerous ladylike pupils in various stages of proficiency, impressed us with the inestimable value of its training.
In all these departments the pupils are expected to pay moderate fees, varying from twenty-five cents to one dollar per week; and entrance to any department can be made on the first of every month.
Two lessons per week are given in the science of teaching, for a term of six months.
The Employment Bureau has a vast correspondence, and is an agency of great good, as a medium of communication between women and girls in want of positions, and the employers of labor.
A school and lodging-house for the training of servant-girls has been much called for, and has lately been started.
The Drawing-School has a seminary for the training of teachers, and a school for teaching the different branches of industrial drawing. There are free-hand drawing from copies and plaster models, perspective and geometrical drawing, the drawing and painting of ornamental and practical designs, and flower-painting on wood, china, and paper, with thorough courses of one and two years in the History of Art. Modelling in clay, wax, and designs for gold and silver industry, bronzes, etc., are given eight hours in each week.
There is also a school of type-setting in connection with the Berlin Typographical Company, in which female compositors over the age of sixteen may be received, to the number of thirty-six, under the close supervision of the Lette-Verein, and at which, after an apprenticeship of six months, all pupils are paid for their work.
There is a boarding-house, called the Victoria-Stift, in connection with this institution, with a _cafe_ or refreshment-room, where the tables are supplied, to ladies, at economical prices, from the cooking-school. It has also a lending-library and a Victoria Bazar, where all kinds of needlework done by the pupils are offered for sale, and orders are taken for family sewing.
Berlin, on account of its general healthfulness and its combination of economical and other attractions, is esteemed by many experienced travellers as, on the whole, the continental city best adapted to an extended residence abroad. To the visitor with limited time, the city itself and Potsdam--"the Prussian Versailles"--monopolize the attention. But to those who can spend more time there, the attractive environs and places which may be seen within the limits of a day's excursion are many and varied.
Gruenewald, not far beyond Charlottenburg, is the seat of a royal hunting-lodge, and its fine old woods are most attractive. It may be reached by railway and steam-tram, and also, in summer, by water. The extensive forest occupies a great stretch of country below the junction of the Spree with the Havel, which here, on the west, loiters and meanders and turns upon itself; now spreading out into wide lakes, now narrowing to a thread, but finally reaching in its dubious course the wide-flowing Elbe. The great bay into which the Havel here expands has pretty islands and shores. Pichelsberg, at the northern extremity of the bay, is a place of popular resort, where observation of Nature is rather concentrated on that branch known as human nature. Wansee, at the southern extremity, is picturesque and rural,--a delightful place in which to spend a quiet day in early summer.
Spandau, eight miles west of Berlin, at the junction of the Spree with the Havel, has much historical and military interest. Here, surrounded by immense fortifications, is the workshop of the German army; and here in the citadel, or old "Julius tower," are kept "the sinews of war," in the form of a reserve military fund of from fifteen million to thirty million dollars.
The railway toward Hanover leads on from Spandau to the long-settled region near the crossing of the Elbe, which here flows northward between high banks. Not far from the Elbe is the railway station of Schoenhausen, some two hours' ride from Berlin. The estate of Schoenhausen had been in the Bismarck family two hundred and fifty years, when the Chancellor was born there in 1815. Later, this old family inheritance passed to other ownership; but the numerous friends and admirers of the great diplomatist repurchased it, and presented it to him on his seventieth birthday, April 1, 1885. The great gratification of possessing this ancient home hardly induces Prince von Bismarck to spend much time there. Possibly it is within too easy reach of his cares in the capital. The distant Friedrichsruh in the forest of Sachsenswald, within a dozen miles of Hamburg, and more than one hundred and fifty miles northwest of Berlin, is his favorite residence; and Varzin, upwards of two hundred miles to the northeast, in Baltic Pomerania, sometimes wins him to its still greater quiet and seclusion. Here Bismarck received our countryman, the historian Motley, and his daughter, with the delightful welcome to companionship and the simple and informal family life so charmingly portrayed in Motley's correspondence.
The whole region of Schoenhausen was as early settled as Berlin itself. Fine old churches, castles, and mediaeval town walls mark the neighboring towns of Stendal and Tangermuende, the latter the long-time seat of the Margraves of Brandenburg.
A short detour from the main line to the northwest of Berlin brings one to Fehrbellin, where the Great Elector defeated a Swedish army double the size of his own. In the same region are Neu Ruppin and Rheinsberg, each connected with many memories of the youth of Frederick the Great. At the Castle of Rheinsberg he spent the comparatively happy years of his unhappy married life. His neglected queen, who never saw his favorite palace at Sans Souci, and who was wife and queen only in name for many long years, said that the early days at Rheinsberg were her happiest. Though these places are hardly more than thirty miles northwest of Berlin, lack of railway connections renders it impracticable to visit them in a single day.
The most direct thoroughfare to Copenhagen, that by way of Rostock, passes, outside the elevated railway known as the Ringbahn, the village of Pankow, also reached by tramway, and also once the residence of the Queen of Frederick the Great. This road leads north from Berlin, at first through a country dotted with lakes. Our memory of these is of beautiful sheets of water, surrounded by the green of mid-June, and over-arched by the blue sky and the fleecy cumuli of a perfect summer day. The characteristic North German landscape was here seen to fine advantage. The color of the cottages and farm-houses harmonizes or contrasts beautifully with the landscape. Roofs of brown weather-beaten thatch or of dull red tiles, in the midst of embowering trees and shrubbery, formed for us pictures of beauty long to be remembered. Frienwalde, to the northeast, has mineral springs in the most attractive part of Brandenburg, and is growing as a place of summer resort. The fine old monastery, and the ruined early Gothic abbey-church of Chorin on the Stettin Railway, the burial-place of the Margraves of Brandenburg, are interesting to all students of architecture.
An eastern suburb of Berlin is Koepenick, in the chateau of which the youthful Frederick the Great was tried for his life by court-martial, by order of his tyrannical father; and in the same direction, an hour from Berlin by express-train, is Cuestrin, whose strong castle was the scene of his subsequent imprisonment, and where, in sight from his window, his noble friend, Lieutenant von Katte, was beheaded on the ramparts for no other crime than fidelity to his young master.
Another most interesting excursion is that to Frankfort-on-the-Oder, two hours eastward of Berlin. This largest city of Brandenburg outside the capital has a varied history, dating from before the time when this region was won from the heathen Slavs to Germany and Christianity. This old stronghold of the Wendish race saw many vicissitudes in the great wars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, being the last important place on the great trading-route from Poland to Berlin. It has annual fairs which are relics of these olden times, interesting mediaeval churches, and a town-house bearing on its gable the device of the Hanseatic League,--an oblique rod supported by a shorter perpendicular one.
To the southeast, a few miles out on the Goerlitz Railway, is Wusterhausen, in the picturesque region of the frequented Mueggelsberge,--itself made memorable by an episode in Carlyle's pages.
No more fascinating trip can be taken in summer, after Berlin and Potsdam have been visited, than to the wild and beautiful Spreewald,--a combination of forest and morass not yet wholly redeemed to the civilization of Europe, but holding in its remoter depths a genuine relic of the old barbarism. The Goerlitz Railway skirts this forest for twenty-five miles before reaching Luebben, some two hours from Berlin in a southerly direction. This is the best point of departure from the train for a visit to the forest, which is cut by more than two hundred arms of the Spree, some parts of the wood only to be reached by boats or skates. Here, in their villages reclaimed from the swamps, live the descendants of the aboriginal Wends, who have preserved intact their language, their manners, and their modes of dress. This Venice of North-central Germany has for streets the water-ways of the Spree, and for palaces the log huts of the aboriginal race; but no views of Nature are more exquisite than some of those in the Upper and Lower Spreewald.
Twenty-two miles west of Potsdam, on the Havel, is the city of Brandenburg,--the old Brennabor of the Slavic people who fortified it before the beginning of modern history. The Castle of Brandenburg may share with the celebrated and beautiful one of Meissen, near Dresden, the honor of being the oldest in Germany. Conquered from the original owners by the Emperor Henry I. in 927, it was by them retaken. More than two centuries afterwards, Albert the Bear captured and kept it, and thenceforth styled himself First Margrave of Brandenburg. For six hundred years this old town shared in all the strifes of that turbulent and passionate time between the midnight of the Dark Ages and the dawn of modern history, and its old buildings will tell much of its forgotten story to any one who lays his ear beside their ancient stones to hear.
At Steglitz, a southwest suburb, may be seen the mulberry plantation and the one silk manufactory of Berlin. It was not our lot to find the large nurseries and hot-houses which make the flower-shops and market-places of Berlin exquisitely radiant with blossoms at all seasons,--beyond even the famous Madeleine flower-market at Paris in the season when we visited it--and, if so, surpassing in this respect all other cities.
One of the two routes to Dresden and Leipsic passes Lichterfelde, five miles from Berlin, where conspicuous buildings are the seat of the chief cadet-school in Germany. Here are accommodations for eight or nine hundred cadets, the flower of German youth. Neither pains nor expense has been spared in the erection and embellishment of these extensive buildings. The "Flensburg Lion," erected by the Danes to commemorate a former victory in Schleswig-Holstein over the Prussians, and later captured by the latter, stands here before the house of the Commandant.
Five or six miles farther on is Gross-Beeren, a Napoleonic battlefield where Buelow won a victory over the French in 1813; and about an hour and a half from Berlin, in the same direction, is the little city of Jueterbok, with interesting old edifices. The student of the Reformation will feel most interest in this place as that where Tetzel was selling his famous "indulgences" when Luther, protesting in righteous wrath, nailed to the door of the Wittenberg Church the ninety-five theses which set all Germany ablaze. One of these "indulgences" is kept for inspection in the Nicolai Kirche of Jueterbok. Near by are the old Cistercian abbey of Zinna, and another battlefield, Dennewitz, an important strategic point in one of the campaigns against the First Napoleon, where the victory of Buelow over Ney and Oudinot saved Berlin from the hands of the enemy.
No student of history--especially no Protestant--can afford to visit Berlin without an excursion to Wittenberg, which may either be compressed into a single day, with a few hours in this old University town which was the cradle of the Reformation, or may be pleasantly prolonged to days full of musing on the manifold phases of that unparalleled movement in the history of religious thought, amid the very scenes with which they were most intimately associated. Not alone that Germany is to-day what Luther, more than any other man, has made it, but as heirs to the inheritance which he bequeathed to all lands and ages, are Americans called to the profound study of the epoch which Luther shaped, and of which our age is but a part. Of all intense pleasures, none to us was greater than a humble pilgrimage through Germany where our feet were set in the footprints of the Reformer.
Quaint Eisleben, with the house where he was born, and that in whose chamber he was suddenly stricken with mortal pain, while his companions watched with awe the passing to higher service of that valiant soul, we had visited before we looked upon Wittenberg. Mansfield, too, with its flaming forges and its vast cinder-heaps,--where Hans Luther, the miner, toiled to feed his wife and babes,--we had seen; and historic Erfurt, with memories of the University where he studied and the monastery into which he went, taking with him, of all his books, only his Plautus and his Virgil, to study the Latin Bible chained to its post, and to fight that mental battle which toughened his sinews for the world-conflicts awaiting him; and whence he emerged at the call of his Superior, a young priest of twenty-five years, to take the professorship offered him at the new University of Wittenberg. At lovely Eisenach we had tarried for days; had entered the door of the once grand house of the burgomaster Cotta, before which little Martin, with the other charity boys of the school near by, had sung Christmas carols for his bread, and where he had been taken to the heart and the home of Mother Ursula; had peeped into the room there that was his, and been driven up the mountain-side beyond the village whose crown is the fine old castle of the Wartburg; had stood at the solitary casement of the room where he fought with the devil, and looked out over the magnificent panorama of wooded mountains and beautiful valley where he looked forth day after day of those ten months of mysterious imprisonment, into which friendly hands had thrust him from the thick of the fight,--where he saw the miracle of spring-time creeping over the hills and waving trees far beneath him, and heard and felt the wintry winds howl around his solitude. He was only thirty-five, but he had already come into conflict with the mightiest power on earth, and his life was forfeited, when here he slowly came to know that God had thoughts of good and not of evil concerning him; and here he began another work,--the translation of the New Testament,--for which he never would have had time if left to himself. Eisenach, with its dramatic situation, perhaps lingers longest in the memory of men of any place connected with that great story. But if it bore a more poetic share, it was not the most important. It was neither at Leipsic nor at Heidelberg, at Nueremberg nor at Speyer, at Augsburg nor even at Worms, that the great drama had its chief location, though memories of Luther were to us among the conspicuous attractions of these places.
From the time when the young monk emerged from Erfurt, where his preparation for life was made, until at sixty-three he had "finished his course," Wittenberg was his only home. For thirty-eight long years here his heart was, and here, like the needle to the pole, the direction of his activities constantly turned. Here, in the old Augustinian monastery, is the lecture-room and the ancient "cathedra" from which he delivered those lectures which laid the foundation of his fame in the early years of his professorship. Here he quietly wrought at his translation of the Bible and discharged the duties of his position, while his voice shook the world, and all Europe was swaying in the storm, himself the calm centre of the whirlwind. Here, at the age of forty-two, he brought his bride, the nun Katherine von Bora; and in this monastery, presented to him by his friend the Elector, his six children were born. Hither, when his work was done, his lifeless form was borne, followed by a weeping funeral procession which stretched across Germany; and here in the church which had been the scene of so many great sermons, he was laid to rest, with room for Melanchthon beside him. Here one may enter that other church where he first administered the communion in both kinds to the laity; may read the immortal theses, now in enduring bronze on the doors of the castle church; may pluck a leaf from the oak-tree planted on the spot outside the city gate where he burned the papal bull; may sit in the window-seat of his family-room, surrounded by his table, his bench, and his stove, and listen where that family music seems still to echo; may wander in the old garden, amid the representatives of the trees which shaded him, and the flowers and birds he loved; may sit at the stone table in Melanchthon's garden where the names of the friends are inscribed; may stand before their statues in the market-place and hear his voice: "If it be God's work, it will endure; if man's, it will perish."
As we live over these days and realize afresh all that history can tell us of the wondrous story, we know that not the polish and the learning of its scientists, its philosophers, and its men of letters, not the prowess of its soldiers and its military leaders, have made United Germany possible, but that Bible which Luther translated for the German people,--that standard of the German tongue which through all the conflicts of three centuries and a half has defied the power of diverse interests, and cemented and preserved the integrity of the nation.