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pair I applied to a man sawing fire-wood before examining these, tho company invited for the evenan open door--and my hopes revived when, though ing arrived. I did not know her name, I found she had a town Everybody entered unannounced; for our maid, reputation, and the woodcutter laid down his Rosa, knew nothing about such ceremonies. The saw to point out her dwelling. Great was my company consisted of my father's sister and her astonishment when, instead of a pastry-cook's, I husband, Mr. Staatsrath Schindler, a worthy was directed to a barber's shop in quest of the man, and a state counsellor, with a salary of a favourite cakes. Undismayed, however, by the hundred a-year. The lady was a little, thin, image of the bewigged and mustachioed gentle- peevish woman, without a tooth in her head. My man in the window, I ventured to put my head in mother's brother, a president of some council or at the door, and pronounce the magic word hup- another, with his wife, Mrs. President Grossman, pli, which had so far proved my passport on this came next; and then a retired director of somevoyage of discovery. In answer to my inquiry, a thing and his lady, a first cousin of my grand. pretty Birnese maid, with two long tails like a mother's, whom we all called Frau Base, and Chinese, directed me to the third story of the everybody else honoured with the title of Frau mansion. I was forth with forwarded into a dark Alt Director. All the gentlemen wore their surpassage, from whence led a yet darker staircase. touts, except my father, who appeared in his At the summit of this almost perpendicular ascent, dressing-gown without any apology. The ladies after knocking at a door and repeating my pass had brought the stockings they were knitting, word, a little girl ushered me into a very gloomy, which, after carefully depositing their gloves in but remarkably clean kitchen ; a wood fire was their pockets, they had just produced, when Rosa blazing on the hearth-a most unusual sight in this made her appearance with a tea-kettle and a land of stoves—before which stood paste of vari- burning lamp under it. We displayed the luxury ous descriptions. In an inner room I found my of a silver tea-pot and sugar-basin on this occaworthy cake merchant, not behind a counter, sion, but sugar-tongs there were none. My mother bat seated at a round table with her sister and made the tea. It was very weak, and all green. her servant, with great cups of coffee before None of the gentlemen drank it ; and after a them, and a huge dish of fried potatoes in the little laughing about “ October tea," my mother middle of the uncovered table, from which they gave me a sign to follow her, and we both left were very amicably eating in concert with their the room. To my surprise, I found we were to respective iron spoons, which conveyed the ve- go down to the cellar, in search of wine, which, vegetable to their mouth without the interven- as my father liked it cool, he insisted should never tion of a plate.
be brought up till the last moment. This done, I was most joyfully received. A great tin box we re-entered the drawing-room in state with our full of huppli was quickly produced, and the por-bottles; the maid following with a basket of bread, tion I desired enveloped, with many pins and a dish of sliced Bologna sausage, and a tray of much difficulty, in two odd bits of paper. I then large glasses, which my mother went round and took my departure with my own parcel down the filled for each gentleman, not only at first, but mysterious labyrinth by which I had ascended, every time they were empty. no longer astonished at the cheapness of my cakes, Whilst my father and his friends were drink. when I found no money was to be added to their ing wine, and talking over the politics of the intrinsic value either for shop rent, or errand boy, Canton, at one side of the room, the ladies, when or paper, or twine-and thus, though there is no their tea was finished, sat, every one with a little want of elegant shops in 2-hundreds of plate of sweetmeats before her, discussing the honest people gain a livelihood by their industry, private affairs of the same community. To have without the risk of capital, or the necessity of judged by their comments, the morals of their making an appearance.
neighbours were in a very lax condition. I found everything in order for our party when “Have you heard this terrible business of Mrs. I reached home. The drawing-room was opened Oberrichter Hotz? Everybody declares there on this extraordinary occasion. It was the largest must be a divorce," said Mrs. President Grosschamber in our suite of apartments. Its doors were of solid walnut tree ; its stuccoed ceiling, and the “ I always knew how it would be,” returned crimson satin damask on its walls, to match the Mrs. Staatsrath Schindler, with a malicious smile. stiff-backed sofa and chairs, were all in the old “She is an intimate friend of Mrs. Mang's, is French taste. Its boarded floor had no carpet, she not ?" inquired my mother. except a square piece under the table before the “Oh yes," returned Mrs. Staatsrath ; "they sofa ; but its white muslin curtains, a handsomo suit each other perfectly. They are both learned mirror, with a time-piece beneath it, and a few ladies--both so clever—they do nothing but spend pictures by the Swiss landscape painters, Gessner, their husbands' money for dress, and sit on a Wüest, and Hiss, now all dead, gave it an air of sofa and read all day long." gaiety and comfort. The tea things were placed “ Frau Mang wrote me some verses on my ready on the table, and a dumb waiter near was little dog that died, and they were very pretty well furnished with China plates and little dishes indeed," said the good-natured Frau Base; "they of sweetmeats. Several pretty presents, worked were all about moonshine and dew, and somefor my father on his name-day, by his female re- thing about angels and roses at the end, I could latires, lay on a little table; and, whilst we were not quite understand.”
“Indeed!" rejoined my mother; "she is a charm- then made its appearance, flanked by two dishes ing woman; and if she is cleverer than other of sweet cakes and pastry, which excited loud expeople, she has no pretension."
clamations of delight from my little sister, with"I beg your pardon, Frau Meyer," said the out her parents thinking it at all necessary to sour Mrs. Staatsrath ; “I quite forgot you were check her mirth; and finally, when all other eatan advocate for all the modern improvements in ables were removed, two plates of the Huppli, it female education, and schools where German had cost me so much trouble to find, and two professors give lectures on history, and young plates of segars, were placed on the table. ladies learn gymnastics, and everything but what The Staatsrath said something about hoping our mothers thought useful. For my part, I am smoking was not disagreeable to my mother, at sorry I cannot be of your opinion ; for I am sure which my father and all the ladies laughed, and the men don't like it. My husband would never then every gentleman lighted a segar, and comhave married a woman that was not a good cook menced puffing away in good earnest, till it was for all the gold in the Canton."
soon scarcely possible to see across the room. " And I never see much good in wasting money The company was then very merry, and began to for music masters,” said Mrs. Grossman, who drink toasts, the first of which was my father's could not distinguish a waltz from a dead march: health. At this everybody arose, and everybody “when the girls have nobody to play to but one knocked their glass against everybody else's glass; another. It is different in Paris and London, and as the tables were very long, there was a where they say men and women meet in large considerablo crowding, and stretching, and conparties; but with us, I am sure such accomplish- fusion, before it was perfectly accomplished. This, ments are all lost time, except a young woman however, was scarcely done, when the President means to give lessons at sovenpence an hour to thought it necessary to propose my mother's buy her own clothes."
health, in consequence of which my father had My mother made no reply, but took the first again to proceed to the drawing of corks, and the opportunity of leaving the room, when I had to same knocking of glasses ensued, only with more support a thorough cross-questioning from all noise and confusion than before. A good many the ladies present, as to all I had seen, done, bottles of wine were drank, and a considerable and heard, during my absence. I was at first number of segars disappeared in smoke, but I do somewhat disconcerted; but I soon learnt that it not remember that anything particularly witty is the universal practice to fill up all pauses in or amusing was said by anybody during the whole conversation by asking questions. In about ten evening. At eleven o'clock, the company arose minutes, this was put a stop to by my mother's to depart. The ladies being then duly enveloped returning and announcing supper.
in bonnets and shawls, each gentleman slipped a My father immediately gave his arm to Mrs. shilling for himself and his wife into our maid Staatsrath, and the rest of the company followed Rosa's hand. If he had been a bachelor, he in due order. A prettily arranged glass basket would only have been expected to give sixpence. of fruit and flowers in the middle of the table, After which they all trotted off home-a maid and with plenty of silver spoons and forks, made all a lantern leading the way before each couple. look gay, though everything was served on com- After my residence in Germany, nothing apmon white ware. A light soup was first served peared to me so extraordinary during the whole round, and then a deep dish of stew, called Spanish evening, as the coarse old German dialect in which soup--composed of beef and cabbage, and sau- the conversation was carried on. I understood sages and ham
—was presented to everybody by it, because it was the language of my childhood ; the maid. It was the business of my little sister yet it grated with unpleasant harshness on my and myself to change the plates—it is not the But of this I dared not say a syllable ; for custom in our town to change the knives and forks. I well knew everybody was proud of it, and that Everybody wipes them on their bread. My mother the ladies would rather have spoken French than several times disappeared into the kitchen, which good German. nobody remarked, and when she had resumed her The ground floor of my father's house was ocplace, a large flat cold patty, of somewhat solid cupied by a certain Dr. Keller, a druggist. paste, filled with a cold savoury jelly, made its | Though a druggist cannot enter the first society appearance on one dish, and four roast ducks, | in our town, and holds a very inferior place in stuffed with potatoes, on another.
the scale of gentility compared to my father, still, My father cut up the birds on a pewter dish if he has good connexions and is rich, he is coubeside him, and they were then handed round. sidered in some measure as a gentleman. But Everybody eat as if it was the first meal in the day, Dr. Keller did not strive to make the most of his and drank in proportion. Each gentleman had position. His wife only associated with a few old a bottle of common wine beside him, but after the women of no particular class, and he kept no soroast, it was my father's duty to draw the corks ciety at all, except in a beer-house, or a caffé. of various superior sorts, such as fine Winterthur We saluted them when we met, and that was all; wine of 1834, wine from the Lake of Geneva, and but my brother had formed an intimacy with a lastly, Champagne, and then to go round and fill young student from the country, who boarded in the glasses of all the company as fast as they the family. were emptied. A great dish of whipped cream, One lovely summer evening, I walked with my fashioned into the form of a hen upon its nest, mother to a rustic tea garden, kept by a pleasant
innkeeper, on a beautiful point of the mountain last year's French beans dried in the oven for above the town, to drink our coffee, and eat a winter consumption, and which, when stewed in certain kind of cake made of fried butter. By grease, have all the appearance of half tanned accident, we found my brother already there with leather.” his friend, Ulmer, sitting under the trellised vines, We all laughed heartily at this description, where there were more than fifty other people and my mother declared she was astonished to assembled, enjoying the prospect, with each a hear that the Doctor, with his fortune, kept such segar in his mouth, and a large bottle of beer be- bad table, as many of our little shopkeepers tween them. They could not avoid making room lived much better. Out of compassion for Ulmer, for us at their table, as all the others were full. my brother frequently invited him for the future; Ulmer was then about seventeen, and one of the for, though we lived simply, our boiled beef, and handsomest, noblest looking youths I had ever bacon, and sour kraut, were all good of their kind, beheld. He entered at once without awkward and such fare was frequently varied by roast diffidence into an agreeable conversation with my meat, or delicate fried sausages. During many mother. I said little ; but I listened attentively, of his visits, he found me alone, for my mother and I soon discovered with delight that his mind had her society, or kind of club, which met once was amply stored with the knowledge of which I a-week, and the members of which had been sehad only caught glimpses during the last two lected by her parents in her childhood. My years of my life.
grandmother had also her society, on another He walked home with us by the clear light of day, and not only were all strangers excluded the moon that summer evening, and my mother from both assemblies, but no other member of was so pleased with the young man's company, the family was permitted to appear in them. So that she invited him to visit us sometimes with far is this division of society carried, that two
Two days afterwards, Albert brought sisters have never the same acquaintances. If him to breakfast. This meal with us was very a morning visiter came to me, or my grandsimple, consisting of nothing but good hot coffee mother, my mother left the room ; and we, in and boiling milk, with a loaf of bread, from which our turn, did the same. My father had his society, every one could cut at pleasure, all served in the or Gesellschaft, also, which met at a coffee-house, commonest utensils, without a table cloth ; but and though he sometimes invited one
or two Clmer declared it was quite a feast.
gentlemen to dinner, they never called afterwards. “I was always used to coffee at home,” he said My mother's Gesellschaft was what is called a laughing, “but Dr. Keller is not so extravagant.” mixed Gesellschaft—that is, the husbands of the
"What does he give you then ?" was my ladies formed a part of it; but I invariably remother's simple question.
marked, these gentlemen never made their ap"Oh, you know he has a country house,” re- pearance in the weekly assemblies, except on the turned the young man,
“and he grows wild En- occasion of some fête, when they were sure of dive enough there, to make what he calls coffee getting a good solid supper, as they probably enough for a whole regiment; but we have that preferred their segar and their wine, in a coffeeonly as a treat in the afternoon. In the morning room, to the tea and sweetmeats with which their we have a soup of water thickened with flour ladies refreshed themselves. In fact, I heard burnt brown, with fat bacon, or onions fried in every one, young or old, who belonged to these grease, to give a relish to bread and hot water.” societies, complain of their stupidity. Those who
“I would protest against such treatment,” said are intimate cannot talk familiarly in the presence my brother impetuously.
of others, and the conversation is commonly con" It is no use ; it is the custom of the house,” fined to dress or scandal. As such a system exwas Ulmer's reply.
tends from the highest to the lowest classes, and “I hope your dinner is better than your break- most of our ladies have an absolute horror of fast," demanded my mother.
female strangers, it cannot be expected that so“Every day, since I have been there, we have ciety should make any progress. As I had full regularly had two pounds of beef, cooked three liberty to dispose of myself as I pleased, several hours in two gallons of water, which, when co- evenings in the week, I saw a great deal of Ulloured with bread crusts, is called soup; and as mer, and our acquaintance gradually ripened into the two servant maids and the farming lad dine love. One of my old schoolfellows, who lived at the same table with us, in the old Swiss style, opposite to us, was always ready to join me in a you may suppose the portion of meat that falls walk, and either she or my brother easily conto my share is not very large. Luckily, we have trived to let Ulmer know where he was to meet us. a great dish of potatoes and fried onions, and Our next step was to organise a Gesellschaft another of chopped spinach, swimming in black for ourselves. My mother made not the slightest looking grease, to make up for deficiences." objection to this, though it was composed of five
“ But, of course, on a Sunday,” said my mother, young gentlemen and five young ladies, all under "you have better fare ?"
eighteen, and some of the former were known to "Oh, the Doctor then regales us with a piece be the most dissipated in the town. But their of his country-fed pork, dried in the wood smoke families were of the same standing, or rather suof the kitchen chimney, till it is as black as a perior to my own ; and we had all been at the coal, with the addition of sour kraut, made from same town day-school, and had been partners at his own cabbages, and half decayed, or a dish of our juvenile balls. I was not yet fifteen ; but, if my parents considered me still a child, they entirely happy, as Ulmer and myself. He had were very much mistaken ! Oh, those were found an opportunity of openly declaring his athappy days, when, without fathers or mothers to tachment, and I, for my part, first knew what it restrain our mirth, we made an excursion to was to be thoroughly in love. dine, or pass the evening, at one of those inns My mother never sought my confidence ; her which, in every part of Switzerland, have pub- mind was fully occupied by her household conlic and private apartments ever ready for such cerns. She never seemed to remember that a parties. A betrothal, a wedding, or any family young daughter might have need of her guidanniversary, is generally celebrated by a dinner ance and her counsel. In fact, I was left enat a country inn; and to us such a festival was tirely to follow my own pleasure, when I had the summit of felicity. I shall never forget one fulfilled certain duties that were expected of me. party which was given by myself and my com- One of these was the boiling down about two panions in honour of a member of our society, hundred pounds of fine fresh butter, for winter who was about to leave us to join a Swiss mer- consumption in the cooking of vegetables, and cantile house in Milan. The expenses were the frying of all kinds of cakes, meat, and omeequally divided amongst our parents.
The two lettes. open carriages that were to convey us stood It is a dangerous operation, even above our ready before our doors at six o'clock on a bril-close kitchen fire-places, and is usually performliant sunny morning in August. Our mothers ed in enormous kettles over a fire in the open were up to give us our coffee before our depar- air, when it is necessary to ladle the liquid ture, and to be sure that we were nicely dressed ; butter perpetually up and down, to prevent its and that was all the care they took about us. boiling over. My grandmother and I were buI had been up at dawn, to arrange my hair in sily employed in this occupation, with each a the nicest order, and thought I was as elegant great pan before us, at separate fires in the as a Parisian belle, in a new white muslin dress, court-yard, on the morning after Ulmer had black silk scarf, and transparent straw bonnet. confessed his love, when I was suddenly startled Moreover, Ulmer sat opposite to me in the car- by his approaching us. My grandmother coldly riage ; and, though he never told me I was very returned his salutation ; and, though I blushed pretty, he looked as if he thought so.
redder than the fire had already made me, I We arrived at our place of destination about could scarcely answer his inquiries concerning nine o'clock. It was a large, old, gable-ended my health after the fatigues of the previous day. house, which, in the last century, had been the “ I am going to the theatre this evening,” he country residence of a burgomaster; but, at this whispered at length ; “ do contrive to come.” time, it belonged to a peasant, who used it as an I looked at my grandmother, to ascertain if inn. It stood on the banks of the Lake of she had heard his proposal : I looked at Ulmer, Zurich, in the midst of the most highly culti- whilst he pressed me to comply with his wishes. vated scenery, yet surrounded by old forests, It certainly was a most unlucky moment to that reached to the edge of its orchards, then choose for making love. I forgot my cauldron, laden with fruit, and from whence there was a the butter boiled over ; in one moment the flames superb view of the upper lake, and a long range sprang up like a burning mountain, and with a of Alps eternally covered with snow. We found scream I called to my grandmother to escape. an excellent breakfast of coffee, rich new milk, But she had the presence of mind to prevent furdelicious butter, bee and pear honey, and several ther mischief, by ladling away at her own kettle varieties of bread, awaiting us on a long table in as indefatigably as ever. Ulmer dragged me the garden, to which we did honour, with much back from the flames, which in another moment mirth and admirable appetites.
The sun was would have caught my dress ; and, seizing å very hot ; and, when our repast was finished, we bucket of water that stood near, he was about all agreed to wander in the neighbouring forest to empty it on the blazing butter, when my till dinner was ready at one o'clock. Sometimes grandmother screamed out, “No water, no water, we beguiled the time by singing in chorus, some- or it will fly out on all sides! Take your coat, times by different games, and, at last, we hap- or any thing else to smother the flames !" pily discovered a large bed of hurtle berries, and Ulmer probably did not admire this alternafound ample occupation in gathering the fruit for tive, but, tearing down from a neighbouring line one another. Yet this did not spoil our apre- an armful of my grandmother's winter quilted tites for dinner, which we ate in what had been petticoats, which, with fifty pairs of knit worsted the old burgomaster's best parlour. The young stockings, were hung out to take the air, he men drank, at least, a bottle of wine and a bottle threw the whole into the middle of the flames. of beer each ; yet, as both were very weak, their The fire was extinguished ; but the screams of spirits were only agreeably elevated. We then the old lady were more violent than ever. Poor had coffee, and the gentlemen smoked and play. Ulmer offered many apologies, till, perceiving ed at bowls without their coats, whilst the young they only made matters worse, he left me, with ladies admired their skill.
a malicious smile, to get out of my difficulties as It was near sunset when we re-entered the well as I could. All idea of escaping to the carriages to return home, and a merry drive we theatre for that night was at an end. had, for our esquires sang in chorus the whole I observed that, whenever Ulmer afterwards way. But I believe none had been so truly, so made his appearance in the house, my grand
mother regarded him with a very unfriendly eye. / and, had it not been for my grandmother, would She frequently, likewise, gave my mother hints at once have put an end to the nuisance, as he about the precocity of girls brought up in fo- always called it. But he had not courage to in. reign boarding schools. “ It was different in flict such a stroke upon her in her old age, and her days,” she said, “ when girls staid at home, he left matters to take their course, only keeping and learnt their duty, and nothing but their more than ever from home, and going more than duty."
usual to the wine houses. Young as I was, I Ah," answered my sweet mother, with a could not help remarking that such is an inesigh, “ it would have made me truly happy had vitable consequence of a man's not finding his I been taught music at least.”
home agreeable or amusing. My mother, who " And what good would it have done you ?" | had never been out of her native town, in spite inquired the old lady peevishly. “I am sure of her gentle character and natural talents, was your husband wanted nothing but a pretty, obe- incapable of rendering it so, She did not know dient housekeeper, and an honourable, well-born how to set about it, and could have found no aşmother for his children, when he married ; so sistance from her neighbours. In fact, the men music would have been quite thrown away.” find it irksomo, when not seeking to make love,
" It would have been a comfort to myself in to be obliged to make themselves agreeable in many sad and solitary hours," she returned gently. female society, and the women consider the pre
" And would have taken up time you might sence of men a disagreeable restraint. have employed much better,” said my grand- At first, after my return home, I. tried to mother, sharply. “I am sure a good mistress amuse my brother by music and singing, so as to of a family has enough to do, to wash and dress keep him at home in an evening; and Ulmer her children, and look after her maid, and keep came to practise trios; and I taught my little her silver and all her glass and china in order, sister to waltz with them ; and even my poor and attend to the cellar, and receive the interest mother, who was a delighted spectator, sometimes from the peasants who have borrowed her hus- joined in a chorus or dance with her son. But band's money, and keep the accounts, and see though all seemed delighted, it did not last long. to the cooking, and the linen, and the beds, to Albert's comrades laughed at him, when they say nothing of darning and knitting stockings, heard he spent his evenings with his mother and or of the great wash, which is a serious affair.” sister, and dragged him off, night after night, to
I soon learnt that, as my grandmother said, some coffee or beer house, till he gradually lost the great wash was indeed a very serious affair. the habit of returning at all to his house, in his Luckily, it happened only twice a year, for it oc- leisure hours, and his manners acquired a neglicupied at least a fortnight, and threw the whole gent rudeness, the consciousness of which made household into confusion, My father was the him shrink from entering all polished society. only one in the establishment who escaped with His absence likewise kept Ulmer much away; and out some share of the labour, but even he was as winter approached, I rarely saw him, except not allowed to receive a visiter during the pe- on Sunday evenings, in our Gesellschaft, or when riod it lasted. As there were often more than by accident he joined me in my box when I went two thousand articles in the wash, three washer- to the theatre with my friend Meena, whose comwomen and three ironing women were kept con- pany was thought sufficient protection. He never stantly busy. My grandmother, my mother, and failed on these occasions to walk home with me, myself laboured as if our bread depended upon when his attendance was sanctioned by the pregetting up fine linen, whilst my little sister, to sence of our maid Rosa, and her luminous lanher great delight, staid at home from school, to tern. hang up small articles to dry in the garret, But maids will make their observations; and which, in every Swiss house, is appropriated to moreover in our town, they are famous for an
nouncing such observations as soon as possible to Yet there can be no economy in such a prac- their acquaintance in general. Many a reputatice ; for, to say nothing of the large provision tion depends on their good word. In fact, a soof clothes and linen necessary for six months' litary servant, who with us is commonly on very use, the vast consumption of the helpers on these familiar terms with her mistress, and is too old to recasions must likewise be taken into account. hope to marry, has little to amuse her but the afEvery woman brings a huge bundle of her own fairs of the family where she serves, which it is clothes to wash at her employer's expense ; they her chief relaxation to recount to all the maids of have spirits and bread during the night, as much the neighbourhood, whom she meets when she as they please, and each woman has six meals goes to wash her salad or her linen, at the public and three bottles of wine a-day. In addition to fountain. The fountain, without exaggeration, all this, they steal without mercy; and one old may be called the maids' coffee-house, for there woman, in passing my father on the door step, the affairs of the whole town are discussed withhappening to slip her foot, the basket hidden out respect to persons, the most petty scandal is tinder her shawl came to the ground, and sundry eagerly recounted and greedily devoured, the bottles of wine, and soap, and candles, &c., rolled characters of all the masters and mistresses in far and wide.
the town decided, and their private weaknesses My father, who had long vowed vengeance and real qualities better understood, than by against the great wash, was in a terrible rage ; their most intimate friends of their own class,