Title


CHAPTER IV.

HERMANNSTADT.

ON your very entrance to the town, as you come from the west, you are reminded of some old place other seen in Germany, and dating from the Middle Ages. The street is steep and narrow, and winds past ancient walls; and as the coach lumbers on to the Post-Office, yon might, for aught you see to the contrary, be entering Augsburg, or Nürnberg, or Ulm. This is just the old quarter; the principal street has less of such medieval character. But how neat it looks, and how quiet ! for it is yet early, and the burghers are only beginning to think of opening their shops. A good pavement is on both sides; and there are flowers at the windows, and green blinds, and the whole has a comfortable and tidy air. At the end of this street is the "Place," where stand some handsome mansions, and the principal church, and the Corps de Garde, with a green tree or two in front, flinging cool shadows over the groups assembled there. The inhabitants are Germans, Saxons as they call themselves, not coming however from Saxony,-and in dress, physiognomy, manner, and manner of life, pretty much like those of any small town in Germany. The shops are open now, and Street in Hermannstadt in them are the same wares and the same arrangement as we have often seen before on the Rhine or Danube. There are peasantry from the neighbouring villages, and Wallacks too with their sandalled feet, and Wallack girls, whose bright dress gives colour to the moving scene.

Here, however, they do not wear the obrescha ; but a piece of red stuff, called kretinsa, -also black sometimes, -like an apron, is worn over the shift in front, and the same behind. In the neighbourhood of Hermannstadt, over of the sides. Thus, the skirt looking as if in one piece, the whole has the appearance of an ordinary scanty dress. Towards the north of Transylvania it is otherwise : the two pieces do not meet, except above or on the hip ; and thus the white shift is seen from the waist downward on either side. Its snowy white sleeves are large as a bishop's, and here the garment is worn longer than elsewhere, and reaches quite to the ankles. On the head the girls wear a sort of shawl, either red or yellow ; it covers the forehead, and descending on either side the face, is tied under the chin. Some married women have an abundance of white drapery on their head, full, large, and loose and turban-like, just as we see it in the old German pictures representing Bible history : women going up to Temple of Jerusalem, or pressing forward with female curiosity to see the new-born babe in the stable at Bethlehem. The long ends of the gauzy veil or fine white cloth hang down behind, and the flowing folds and the fair purity of colour lend a graceful air even to the commonest wearer. Here and there is a girl with a blue cloth jacket, like that of the Saxon maidens. It is open in front, and the white shift is seen falling angularly over the magnificent full bosom. The Saxon peasant wears a broad-brimmed felt hat, and his long hair falls back to the nape.1 He has a decided taste for white, and his jacket and breeches are made of a thick white frieze, manufactured close by, in Heltau. Yonder villager comes from there. Large boots reach to the knee; a broad leathern girdle is strapped round his body, confining a short shirt of coarse homespun linen, the skirts of which appear below the jacket. This is the every-day costume; but on holidays he dons another of far more stately air, and goes to church like a patrician.

It was Sunday when I strolled over to the neighbouring village of Hammersdorf, so I had an opportunity of seeing the rich dress of the village lasses when going to church.

Over the blue woollen skirt they have a large white muslin apron, the border fancifully and deftly worked. But what is especially remarkable is a broad girdle of bronze, though sometimes, and more frequently, of silver gilt, dotted all round with high knobs or button set with turquoises, amethysts, garnets, and old pearls. Some are handsomely wrought with filigree-work in dead gold. At the house of a rich peasant, I had an opportunity of examining one more minutely. The clasp in front was embossed and massy; the whole was so handsome that an emperor might have worn it at his coronation, to belt on his sword.

In dimension they are generally larger than sufficient for the waist, and from the arrangement of the clasp were evidently intended to fall downwards from the hips in front, as we see in pictures of Venetian dames when Venice was still a queen. Indeed these girdles have so noble an air, and from the broad metal and the stones and the cunning workmanship look altogether so regal, that one cannot help wondering how such an ornament came to belong to the adorning of a peasant maiden. Some of these cost 250 florins and more. They have been since time immemorial in the different families, and descend as an heirloom from generation to generation. With the girdle is worn a brooch -a round gilded metal disk, variously ornamented ; and this, too, is studded with garnets and other stones. Sometimes these are massed together, which has a good effort. The whole is the size of a small plate, and being thus somewhat out of proportion to its purpose and to the wearer, this shield-like thing has rather a barbaric air. Its metal and jewels contrast strangely with the woollen web and other simpler ornaments of the dress. A small sheepskin jacket is worn either open in front or fastened at the side, and, when new, the bright red and blue embroidery shows on the white ground right gaily. A strange cylinder of pasteboard, covered with black velvet, is perched upon the head ; and from the plaited tresses a whole collection of tape bands-red and green and blue, -fall low down over the dress. This black cylinder is like our own black hats, without the brim, and is nearly as ugly. The married women also have-and they only-a cloak of black cloth, plaited together in innumerable folds, such as we see in old Flemish pictures. But this does not close round the neck, which it might be supposed a cloak was intended to do for warmth's sake. Through the collar is passed a strip of board, so that, when worn, the upper part forms a straight line from shoulder to shoulder. The whole garment is merely an ornament,-a sign of matron state,-and if warmth is needed, the large sheepskin coat is put on underneath. Immediately on returning from church, the cloak and girdle and brooch are taken off, and carefully laid aside in the large long locker, which forms part of the furniture of every peasant's house.

Saxon Peasant Girl in Sunday Dress
"Saxon Peasant Girl in Sunday Dress"

There is a vineyard on a gentle declivity, the distance of a pleasant walk from the town, and from here a good view is obtained of the surrounding country.

At Hammersdorf, I for the first time visited a Saxon village, and became acquainted with a Saxon clergyman. In his house there was the homely arrangement that one would find in the dwelling of a substantial farmer in the South of England, -everything simple, neat, and orderly, very plain, and without the least pretension. The pastor's wife soon brought in a plate of honeycomb, -but such honeycomb! -cakes, bread, grapes, and wine. "One must not leave a Saxon clergyman's house without some refreshment," said our host, on my remonstrating about the abundance of good things offered. And in truth it was all very enjoyable. Honey like that of Transylvania I have never yet tasted, -so pellucid and aromatic, so flowing, too, and delicately flavoured. This was indeed food for the fairies. The cells were of the finest consistence, the waxen walls being as transparent as the luscious amber-drops within.

In some parts of the country, honey is a great article of commerce, and at Rosenau, near Kronstadt, as well as in the Vale of Kockel, bees are kept on a considerable scale, and unless especial ill-luck attend the speculation, it generally turns out very profitable. Such honey as I have eaten here and at Rosenau is really delicious. A plate of the fresh comb is constantly offered you, with bread and wine, when you drop into a house in the country ; and I was always glad to see it appear, not only on account of the coming enjoyment which it promised, but also for the delight I take in the cunning architecture, and the colour of the pale dropping gold.

Both here and in the other Protestant villages, I was struck by the relation-that of a tried and valued friend- in which the clergyman and his parishioners stood to each other. In his manner was genuine kindness, in theirs perfect confidence. They showed him the deference due to a higher teacher and a man of education, but withal there was -not familiarity, for that implies something else, -but the tone of intimacy which esteem and long acquaintance will give, and which is most pleasant and gratifying to bear.

The predecessor of this village pastor was a diligent antiquarian, and had formed an important collection of Roman remains. Some of these, and a number of curious petrifactions he had left to the village, and for want of a better place, they were then in a little summer-house in the garden. The Saxon schoolmen and clergymen are undoubtedly the best-informed men in the country. Every one who studies for the church is obliged to pass two years at a German university, or three years at the Faculty of Protestant Theology at Vienna. Berlin and Tübingen, and in earlier days Wittemberg, were those most generally visited. He thus leaves the narrow sphere of thought and acquirement of home; he mixes with new men, who combat his opinions ; he gains more enlarged views of political and social life ; and what is of vast importance for his future mental progress and development, a link is formed which will not easily be broken, between himself and that great world of culture in Germany, to which he instinctively turns for his intellectual food. He has come in contact with minds whose influence on him is lasting. The power they once exercised remains. For even though he should become supine, wrapping his talent in a napkin, he still has known a better state, in which men are striving to solve great problems. And this knowledge and the old experience will and do make themselves felt, when their power of usefulness might be supposed to be long since gone. A most wise regulation, also, is that every candidate for a living should have passed so many years as professor of some branch of knowledge at a public school, before being elected pastor. One teaches chemistry, another mathematics, a third Greek, or he lectures on modern history, botany, or physic ; and thus not only is a proficiency in some other study besides theology ensured, but the great defect of one-sidedness, or narrow-mindedness, which is synonymous with it, is prevented. Moreover, a man who has obtained an insight into various departments of human knowledge will be less likely to estimate his own particular study of theology above all others. He will be freer from prejudice, and in every way be more fitted to fulfil the duties of his station.

Thus the house of the Saxon clergyman in Transylvania is-to me, at least, it always was so, like an oasis in the desert. I speak here of the villages, and of the impression made upon me when travelling on bye-roads and out-of-the-way places. You drive into the place, and all you see is in accordance with the social life of a remote hamlet. There is the inn, and the huckster's, the apothecary's shop, and maybe one of greater pretensions for haberdashery and the like. You cannot expect high culture here, nor have you a right to do so. And now you turn into a courtyard, and get out at the steps of the little parsonage. You are received with a friendly welcome, and led into the house. There are good prints on the walls, of foreign towns, portraits of literary celebrities, and books in various languages, and music, and other signs that the dwellers here, though separated from the great intellectual world by distance and mountains, are still linked to it mentally, and mentally also follow attentively the pioneers of knowledge out yonder. Later, when you stroll in the garden or sit with your host and talk about various matters, you discover how much is hidden of real brightness by that plain exterior. One is a close observer of nature, and in his travels through Germany, Russia, Italy, or Greece, has noted much that it is interesting for you to hear. Another is a profound historian, and has accurately traced the eventful career of his own nation, with all its many episodes. But he is no Dry-as-dust ; and though he may not possess the accomplishment of verse, there is poetry in all his feeling. And here one studies the customs and character of the peasantry, their rites and ceremonies and superstitions, and connects them with the myths which have come down to us of other people ; or he collects their songs and folk-lore, and gives us the results of his researchers in random papers, which are most pleasant reading. This man is a botanist, and that one makes daily meteorological observations, which he imparts to others in distant foreign lands, who are occupied with the same studies as himself. And so on throughout the country. Of course, I do not mean to assert that every clergyman you meet with is, without exception, of eminently superior ability. In England, neither, is every clergyman a White of Selborne, a Buckland, or an Arnold ; but in not one such little parsonage do you miss knowledge ; and men like those mentioned above are scattered, not thinly, over the whole Saxon land.

My host spoke about England and English customs with great admiration. The deep religious feeling which, he said, (but I do not know how far he is right,) was diffused throughout all classes of society, was the most admirable feature. The quiet of an English Sunday be greatly liked. He was the only foreigner I ever met who did so. It was right, he thought, to keep it in such a manner.

I found people here who were as familiar as myself with the names of our Members of Parliament, and our living authors. One, who spoke English, was expecting daily the arrival of the newest work form England, which was ordered but had not yet arrived. Being a Protestant village, I was surprised at sunset to hear the evening bell. It was rung in remembrance of the plague. At the end, three blows are given on the bell, and the peasant takes off his hat and remains for a moment silent and attentive.

Here, as indeed generally throughout the country, the farmer never knew how many acres he possessed. He reckoned by the number of measures of seed sown on the land. The answer to my question was invariably the same. "Das weiss ich nicht ; ich brauche aber so und so viel Kübol Aussaat."2 Later, on seeing the strips of land scattered in different places, a few roods here and few somewhere else, all belonging to the same proprietor, I comprehended the difficulty of stating the sum total in acres.

For some years, a considerable trade in silk has been carried on in Transylvania. Hence you generally find in the courtyards of the villagers' houses a mulberry-tree planted, which they let to the contractor for about two florins a year. He is in most cases an Italian; his agents, spread over the country, collect the cocoons at an appointed time, and pay for the food and tending of the worms. Several landed proprietors have lately begun to plant orchards of mulberries,-a proof, as it would seem, that the speculation pays.

I entered several houses, and found them neat and clean. Endless rows of small pitchers of coloured earthenware hung close together on pegs round the upper part of the principal room. The next also was adorned in like manner.3 Such cornice of pitchers, with occasionally large pewter tankards among them, forms the invariable ornament of every Saxon peasant's dwelling. Many of the better houses of the Wallacks have it too, but not in such profusion. A hundred pitchers may sometimes be seen ranged on the walls; and the greater the number, the prouder is the housewife of her household arrangement

One special difference between Saxon and Wallack villages is that the houses of the former are built of stone, of the latter, -with here and there an exception, -of wattles, or perhaps of wood. Those in Hammersdorf had mostly a portico, to which you ascended by four or five steps, and here or immediately beyond was the "Sommerküche," or kitchen used in summer. The winter one is inside the house.

In the common sitting-room stands the great chest used instead of drawers, where the clothes of the family are kept. This "Truhe," as they call it, is painted in bright colours ; light blue, with red and white flowers and scrolls and flourishes. The same with the shelf that goes round the room, a little below the ceiling ; and the doors of the cupboard let into the thick wall. The bedstead also is gaily adorned, and on it are piled up to the very ceiling bolsters and pillows in snowy-white linen covering ; all home-spun and home-woven, and having on the broadside presented to the spectator arabesque embroidery, with initial letters of the worker's name, prettily worked in blue or red. Thus there is no want of colour ; and this wall of ornament on a white ground in the one corner of the room looks cheerful and pretty. It gives, too, an air of plenty and of well-being. Then there are the tablecloths, also embroidered at the sides and in the middle, and these are hung up like arras on the walls. All this store is the daughter's wedding portion, and when she marries, which no doubt she soon will do, the next sister's outfit takes its place.

The Saxon peasant is fond of hoarding, -of having his property in kind rather than in money. In the bins within the surrounding wall of a church, I saw corn which had been thus in store for six years. "Money can be stolen, but corn not," is what was told me in answer to my remarks. The people like to be prepared for all possible contingencies. Though there is no probability of a famine in the land, they think it better to be safe -safe in case it might come. And so, year after year, corn is hoarded up. High prices even will not induce the villager to take it to market. "There is no knowing what may happen," he says to himself ; and looking towards the church, thinks that in a day of tribulation comfort is there in store for him. And just the same with his beds and household linen.

We met a troop of village maidens, in Sunday dress, on their way home. How bright they looked as the sunlight played around them, and fell on their gay paraphernalia, on their dazzlingly white muslin aprons, and on the sweet posies which, I suspect, the youths in their company had given them! All the ribbons, enough to make a dozen love-knots, fluttered in the breeze as they passed along ; and their hearts danced quite as lightly, to judge by the cheery laugh with which they answered my admiration.

The people and even the clergymen converse together in their peculiar patois, though all understand, and nearly all speak well High German. In reply to a remark of mine, the clergyman said he would not be thought well of, were he to speak High German at home with his wife and children. He meant that it would be considered an affectation, -just as if, in a plain citizen's family in Germany, French were to be the common tongue.4

The Saxon peasant learns German almost as a foreign tongue, and this accounts for the peculiar effect the conversation of the people always produced on me. The correct pronunciation, the clear utterance, the well-chosen -often too carefully chosen- words, all formed a striking contrast to the plain husbandman before you. It was as if a Somorsetshire peasant were to converse with you in English perfectly enunciated, and, quite naturally however, and thoroughly unconscious that he was doing so, in sentences resembling those of the 'Idler' or `Spectator.'

The circumstance that the language is learned, and that it is used only occasionally, and not for everyday life, is the cause of this. But, as I said before, it produces a peculiar effect, giving the speaker an air of refinement and education at variance with his garb and his position.

The sermon is preached, on alternate Sundays, in High German and in the popular dialect,- "for the sake of die alten Mütterchen, "5 as the pastor said, "who do not quite well understand every German expression, and to whom the language would sound foreign. The younger generation-as everywhere, more modernized -is nearly as much at home in one tongue as the other.

Occasionally, in the north, I found Saxons to whom certain commonplace German appellations were unintelligible. Those they used for the same thing were totally different from the written language, and hence, all resemblance failing, the difficulty of understanding them.

The dialects spoken in the various settlements also differ greatly; so much so, indeed, that expressions are used in one Saxon hamlet which in another, close by, will not be understood. But go to Cologne, or still lower down the Rhine, and you will find that the old fruit-woman in the street can tell their meaning ; for the words are of her own language, and the very ones she uses in her daily talk.

Near Hermannstadt, lies Heltau, a market-town, which should be visited on account of the beauty of its site. It lies nestled among wooded uplands and gentle slopes, covered with cherry orchards. When the fruit-trees are in blossom, nothing can be lovelier than the scene. Particularly from a turn in the road, which leads down into, the vale, the view before you is very beautiful. Were Hermannstadt more wealthy, the neighbourhood would be covered with villas and country-houses of the citizens, who would enjoy here a villeggiatura surrounded by vineyards and terraces of flowers, whence they could gaze on the "Happy Valley" lying at their feet. The trees and hedgerows are overrun with the wild hop, which grows here in profusion, and its graceful tendrils twine round the hawthorn and wild rose. Further on, and still more among the mountains, rises a conical mound, Michaelsberg, on which stands a ruin. It is the remains of a church, and is specially interesting because it is one of three such edifices built in the Romanesque style of architecture, which exist at present in Transylvania, in their original unchanged form. They are the church on the Michaelsberg, the cathedral of Karlsburg, and one at Urwegen. In many, it is true, distinct traces of this style are to be found but in portal or tower only, while all the rest is in another of a later date.

This style of architecture was predominant in the mother- country, when the German emigrants came hither, and in it, therefore, their earliest edifice were built. All the artist's skill seems here to have been devoted to the façade,6 the effect of which is most harmonious. It has little decoration, but its beauty consists in its simplicity and admirable proportions, being very like that of Santa Maria Toscanella, belonging to the thirteenth century.

The crypt, which in most churches built in this style was beneath the choir, is wanting here; but, in the present instance, its absence may be accounted for by the rocky nature of the foundation. It has been remarked, however, that in all the Romanesque churches of Transylvania of this period, no traces of such crypt are to be found.

Portal of Church at Michaelsberg

From here the landscape is most lovely. Heltau is a Saxon settlement. The inhabitants weave the thick white frieze (Heltauer Tuch), worn by the Wallack population, and export it in large quantities to Dalmatia, Slavonia, and the Banat. Formerly, the quantity annually exported amounted in value to 3,000,000 florins. The place was celebrated also for its sickles. In every house are looms, and the courtyard and garden show various stages of the staple manufacture.

The jurisdiction of the town over its neighbouring dependant villages was jealously maintained, and on no account was hamlet or market-town allowed to arrogate any outward symbol of authority not strictly its due. Thus, no village church tower was permitted to have four turrets at its corners, -this being a sign of civic authority, and belonging exclusively to towns and market-towns with an independent jurisdiction of their own. Heltau. however, has four such corner-turrets. When the village was destroyed by fire in 1590, the inhabitants restored their church, and begged permission of the Hermannstadt authorities to be allowed to erect a tower like that one in the town ; but the magistracy refused, and ordained that two turrets only should be built. The Heltauers, notwithstanding, placed four upon their tower, and a large gilded ball on the top into the bargain. Now, when the Hermannstadt council saw this, there was great wrath at such effrontery and disobedience, and an order was issued to diminish the height of the towers, and especially that the gilded ball was to be taken down; and it was only after long solicitation that the structure in its present form was allowed to stand. But to avoid any undue assumptions of privileges on account of such civic symbol, the Heltauers were obliged to sign a bond, acknowledging that the innovation gave them in nowise more freedom or privilege than they had before, or any right whatsoever to resist or do aught against Hermannstadt authority. On the contrary, they were, they said, mere humble villagers, and looked up to the sage burgomasters and town council and aldermen as their protectors and patrons, and were ready, as in duty bound, "to meet them with honour, fear, and friendship," Should they act otherwise, or have the audacity to arrogate to themselves any special privileges because of their four towers, or defy Hermannstadt on account of the same,-then, so they agreed, the worshipful magistrate should have full right to alter their edifice, as it seemed fit to him so to do, to punish their boldness and ill-behaviour, and put down their pride. As the bright gilded ball still shines in the sun, and the turrets rise from each corner of the square tower, it would seem that the Heltauer gave no cause of complaint to His Worship in Hermannstadt, but bore themselves with meekness, as beseems "humble village folk."

Saxon Peasantry
"Saxon Peasantry"

In Heltau, the married men and married women sit apart in the church ; the youths and maidens have also their appointed places. This, which I believe is general throughout the country, gives evidence of that old subordination and order, which prevailed in all the arrangements, social and municipal, of the original settlers. The married women do not wear the drum before described, but a head-gear of lawn, most nun-like in appearance. Here too I saw the girdles worn by the women as in the other village, and in a house belonging to one of the wealthier inhabitants, the handsome Sunday dress of the Saxon men. The leathern jerkin of exactly the same cut as in Cromwell's time, without sleeves and fastened with a belt, the iron-grey hair of its wearer, parted on the forehead, and falling in thick locks over the shoulders, gave the man before me quite a Puritan look. His calm thoughtful face, rendered somewhat sadder by a recent illness, his dark eyes and eyebrows, made him a remarkable figure. To the painter of some Cromwellian scene, that head world have been invaluable.

The Wallack villages around Kronstadt, live wholly from the produce of their sheep. In one near here, the inhabitants also drive their flocks across the frontier, to pasture them during the winter in Wallachia, for which, they pay a trifling sum. This nomad life is most congenial to the Wallack. He is a shepherd and herdsman by instinct ; and his cattle, and providing for them, are. what interest him more than all beside. Hence his wanton destruction of the finest forests; for in them he sees only a hindrance to his favourite occupation, as the ground on which they stand would, according to his view, be better employed for pasture ; therefore, when he can, he sets fire, to the trees ; and you will thus often chance upon a tract, where the magnificent stems are charred from top to bottom, their branches in black distortion ; showing, hideous against the sky, and the ground covered with ashes, as if' a charcoal-burner had there been following his trade. Indeed, it is a striking feature in all democratic minds, that they have no respect for forests. It may arise from their want of veneration for what is the growth of centuries; but, be it as it may, we find the feeling showing itself in popular movements, as well as in individuals whose political bias is anti-conservative. I have never known sucha one who loved a wood. A positive dislike to, a bent to annihilate, all and every forest, is strongly marked in the Wallack of Transylvania. And his political creed is communistic. Just before my arrival in Hermannstadt, a young female violin-player, a new Milanollo, had been there, astonishing all by her exquisite performance. Her father was a Wallachian7 cowherd, yet he had managed to give all his children a good education, one son being an officer in the Engineers.

1 The original reason for wearing it so long was in sign of being a free man. The younger generation, however, is beginning to crop its flowing locks. And as such flowing hair was a mark of freedom, a shorn head denoted servitude. Hence the newly-married Saxon wife has her hair cut off, like a nun that takes the veil, to indicate subjection to her husband. 2 "I can't say ; but I use so and so much seed-corn." This reminds one of the highland laird, who, as Landor relates, placed pipers at certain distances round his estate, and judged approximatively of its extent by the number so stationed, each being just within hearing of the other's pipes. 3 These pitchers are only used at weddings, when the number of guests always present calls for an abundant supply of wine-vessels. 4 I say "citizen's" family, because among the Germans nobility, it is not uncommon that French is the language in which mother and child familiarly converse. The father writes to his son in French, and the German husband to the German wife, interlarding the sentences with an occasional word borrowed from their own language, as though that were the foreign one. I know German who never read German books, but only French and English ones. This is one among many evidence of the dazzling influence of the French Court under Louis XIV. It flung its resplendence, blinding the inmates with its brightness. For this habit of looking to France for a language and a literature is the lingering remnant of that time - -happily now over- of mental servitude. It gives evidence, also, of the want of self-confidence inherent in the German -also now, happily for him, beginning to be replaced by greater self-reliance -which made him believe that other capacities and minds, and even another tongue, must be better than his own. 5 Old woman -old grannies. 6 It was built between 1175 and 1223. See an account of this church by L. Reissenberger, Keeper of the Imperial Collections at Hermannstadt. 7I use the word "Wallachian" to denote an inhabitant of Wallachia, in contradistinction to the descendants of the original dwellers in Transylvania, whom I designate Wallacks, or, as they now call themselves, Romanen (Roumains). When they first put themselves forward and demanded to be looked upon as a nation, they did what he does, who, having risen in the world, wants to ensure for himself henceforth a higher position in society. They looked about for a pedigree ; it was soon found, and they proved, to their own satisfaction at least, that they were descendants of the Romans. The appellation "Wallack" was to be discontinued ; and their Bishop demanded in the representative assembly, that in future they should be addressed as Rumänen. This was changed afterwards into Rumanen, and the last official version is Romanen. An acquaintance suggested that the next readings will undoubtedly be "Römer" (Romans). In their schools, so I was informed, the children are catechized thus:- "Of whom are we descendants?" - "Of Romulus." - "What were our progenitors?" - "Demigods." - "Name some of our great forefathers." - "Virgil, Cicero, Livy," etc. etc. During the revolution, the Wallack force was organized according to the Roman division of an army, with "phalanx" and "tribunes," just as their "ancestors" had. But why laugh, when your own armorial bearings were bought at Heralds' College, and your "ancestry" is - and you know it - a sham from beginning to end? A man who has made money by his industry, when he sets up a carriage, wants, of course, a crest or coat-of-arms to put on the panels. So the Roumains must needs have a national costume to parade in ; they soon composed one. The tunic is of white cloth with blue braid. On great occasions a mantle is worn, and a broad Roman looking sword. Boots too, Hessian boots as we call them, are also taken instead of the customary sandals encasing the feet and legs.

Chapters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38




Text Archive Home | Book Details | Table of Contents