List Of Contents | Contents of Saunterings, by Charles Dudley Warner
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neither follow the fashions nor look round on them; respectable, neat
old ladies, in the faded and carefully preserved silk gowns, such as
the New England women wear to "meeting."

No one can help admiring the simplicity, kindliness, and honesty of
the Germans.  The universal courtesy and friendliness of manner have
a very different seeming from the politeness of the French.  At the
hotels in the country, the landlord and his wife and the servant join
in hoping you will sleep well when you go to bed.  The little maid at
Heidelberg who served our meals always went to the extent of wishing
us a good appetite when she had brought in the dinner.  Here in
Munich the people we have occasion to address in the street are
uniformly courteous.  The shop-keepers are obliging, and rarely
servile, like the English.  You are thanked, and punctiliously wished
the good-day, whether you purchase anything or not.  In shops tended
by women, gentlemen invariably remove their hats.  If you buy only a
kreuzer's worth of fruit of an old woman, she says words that would
be, literally translated, "I thank you beautifully."  With all this,
one looks kindly on the childish love the Germans have for titles.
It is, I believe, difficult for the German mind to comprehend that we
can be in good standing at home, unless we have some title prefixed
to our names, or some descriptive phrase added.  Our good landlord,
who waits at the table and answers our bell, one of whose tenants is
a living baron, having no title to put on his doorplate under that of
the baron, must needs dub himself "privatier;" and he insists upon
prefixing the name of this unambitious writer with the ennobling von;
and at the least he insists, in common with the tradespeople, that I
am a "Herr Doctor."  The bills of purchases by madame come made out
to "Frau----, well-born."  At a hotel in Heidelberg, where I had
registered my name with that distinctness of penmanship for which
newspaper men are justly conspicuous, and had added to my own name "&
wife," I was not a little flattered to appear in the reckoning as
"Herr Doctor Mamesweise."


To change the subject from gay to grave.  The Gottesacker of Munich
is called the finest cemetery in Germany; at least, it surpasses them
in the artistic taste of its monuments.  Natural beauty it has none:
it is simply a long, narrow strip of ground inclosed in walls, with
straight, parallel walks running the whole length, and narrow
cross-walks; and yet it is a lovely burial-ground.  There are but few
trees; but the whole inclosure is a conservatory of beautiful
flowers.  Every grave is covered with them, every monument is
surrounded with them.  The monuments are unpretending in size, but
there are many fine designs, and many finely executed busts and
statues and allegorical figures, in both marble and bronze.  The
place is full of sunlight and color.  I noticed that it was much
frequented.  In front of every place of sepulcher stands a small urn
for water, with a brush hanging by, with which to sprinkle the
flowers.  I saw, also, many women and children coming and going with
watering-pots, so that the flowers never droop for want of care.  At
the lower end of the old ground is an open arcade, wherein are some
effigies and busts, and many ancient tablets set into the wall.
Beyond this is the new cemetery, an inclosure surrounded by a high
wall of brick, and on the inside by an arcade.  The space within is
planted with flowers, and laid out for the burial of the people; the
arcades are devoted to the occupation of those who can afford costly
tombs.  Only a small number of them are yet occupied; there are some
good busts and monuments, and some frescoes on the panels rather more
striking for size and color than for beauty.

Between the two cemeteries is the house for the dead.  When I walked
down the long central all& of the old ground, I saw at the farther
end, beyond a fountain) twinkling lights.  Coming nearer, I found
that they proceeded from the large windows of a building, which was a
part of the arcade.  People were looking in at the windows, going and
coming to and from them continually; and I was prompted by curiosity
to look within.  A most unexpected sight met my eye.  In a long room,
upon elevated biers, lay people dead: they were so disposed that the
faces could be seen; and there they rested in a solemn repose.
Officers in uniform, citizens in plain dress, matrons and maids in
the habits that they wore when living, or in the white robes of the
grave.  About most of them were lighted candles.  About all of them
were flowers: some were almost covered with bouquets.  There were
rows of children, little ones scarce a span long,--in the white caps
and garments of innocence, as if asleep in beds of flowers.  How
naturally they all were lying, as if only waiting to be called!
Upon the thumb of every adult was a ring in which a string was tied
that went through a pulley above and communicated with a bell in the
attendant's room.  How frightened he would be if the bell should ever
sound, and he should go into that hall of the dead to see who rang!
And yet it is a most wise and humane provision; and many years ago,
there is a tradition, an entombment alive was prevented by it.  There
are three rooms in all; and all those who die in Munich must be
brought and laid in one of them, to be seen of all who care to look
therein.  I suppose that wealth and rank have some privileges; but it
is the law that the person having been pronounced dead by the
physician shall be the same day brought to the dead-house, and lie
there three whole days before interment.

There is something peculiar in the obsequies of Munich, especially in
the Catholic portion of the population.  Shortly after the death,
there is a short service in the courtyard of the house, which, with
the entrance, is hung in costly mourning, if the deceased was rich.
The body is then carried in the car to the dead-house, attended by
the priests, the male members of the family, and a procession of
torch-bearers, if that can be afforded.  Three days after, the burial
takes place from the dead-house, only males attending.  The women
never go to the funeral; but some days after, of which public notice
is given by advertisement, a public service is held in church, at
which all the family are present, and to which the friends are
publicly invited.  Funeral obsequies are as costly here as in
America; but everything is here regulated and fixed by custom.  There
are as many as five or six classes of funerals recognized.  Those of
the first class, as to rank and expense, cost about a thousand
guldens.  The second class is divided into six subclasses.  The third
is divided into two.  The cost of the first of the third class is
about four hundred guldens.  The lowest class of those able to have a
funeral costs twenty-five guldens.  A gulden is about two francs.
There are no carriages used at the funerals of Catholics, only at
those of Protestants and Jews.

I spoke of the custom of advertising the deaths.  A considerable
portion of the daily newspapers is devoted to these announcements,
which are printed in display type, like the advertisements of
dry-goods sellers with you.  I will roughly translate one which I
happen to see just now.  It reads, "Death advertisement.  It has
pleased God the Almighty, in his inscrutable providence, to take away
our innermost loved, best husband, father, grandfather, uncle,
brother-in-law, and cousin, Herr---, dyer of cloth and silk,
yesterday night, at eleven o'clock, after three weeks of severe
suffering, having partaken of the holy sacrament, in his sixty-sixth
year, out of this earthly abode of calamity into the better Beyond.
Those who knew his good heart, his great honesty, as well as his
patience in suffering, will know how justly to estimate our grief."
This is signed by the "deep-grieving survivors,"--the widow, son,
daughter, and daughter-in-law, in the name of the absent relatives.
After the name of the son is written, "Dyer in cloth and silk."  The
notice closes with an announcement of the funeral at the cemetery,
and a service at the church the day after.  The advertisement I have
given is not uncommon either for quaintness or simplicity.  It is
common to engrave upon the monument the business as well as the title
of the departed.


On the 11th of October the sun came out, after a retirement of nearly
two weeks.  The cause of the appearance was the close of the October
Fest.  This great popular carnival has the same effect upon the
weather in Bavaria that the Yearly Meeting of Friends is known to
produce in Philadelphia, and the Great National Horse Fair in New
England.  It always rains during the October Fest. Having found this
out, I do not know why they do not change the time of it; but I
presume they are wise enough to feel that it would be useless.  A
similar attempt on the part of the Pennsylvania Quakers merely
disturbed the operations of nature, but did not save the drab bonnets
from the annual wetting.  There is a subtle connection between such
gatherings and the gathering of what are called the elements,--a
sympathetic connection, which we shall, no doubt, one day understand,
when we have collected facts enough on the subject to make a
comprehensive generalization, after Mr.  Buckle's method.

This fair, which is just concluded, is a true Folks-Fest, a season
especially for the Bavarian people, an agricultural fair and cattle
show, but a time of general jollity and amusement as well.  Indeed,
the main object of a German fair seems to be to have a good time and
in this it is in marked contrast with American fairs.  The October
Fest was instituted for the people by the old Ludwig I. on the
occasion of his marriage; and it has ever since retained its position
as the great festival of the Bavarian people, and particularly of the
peasants.  It offers a rare opportunity to the stranger to study the
costumes of the peasants, and to see how they amuse themselves.  One

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