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a 'nasty divel it is! Well, well, I'mun bear my trials and my temptations, I reckon, like other folks ; and learn not to set my heart too much on the things of this world. And that 's what that dirty rogue of a husband o’mine is always telling me ; and it's true, but I know why he tells me that,-it's because he wants to find th' owd stocking-full o guineas." But I'll tak precious good care that he doesna. Oh! what a dirty rogue he 's bin to me,he has driven me to God!”
With this the old dame turned to march out, nodding significantly to my friend, but stopping suddenly, she looked at the two halfpenny-worths of red ochre which she held in her hands, and said, as to herself,—“Let me see, which is which ? Aye, this is for mysen, it's the biggest—tother 's for a neebor!”.
THE FATE OF CITIES. Reflections on coming in sight of “ New Portland Town," on the Finchley Road,
Nov. 9th, 1845.
The throbbings of the City's plethoric heart
To noon-tide greatness but to slope thro' crime
THE ENGLISHMAN IN PRUSSIA.-No. VI.
GENERAL OBSERVATIONS-CONCLUSION. GERMAN houses are generally built upon the principle of a thorough draught—that is, of obtaining, not avoiding, a thorough draught. Opposite a door, window, passage, or gate-way, there is usually another door, window, passage, or gate-way'; and by these means you continually find yourself in the centre of a strong current of air. It does not matter in the warm seasons of the year ; but in the winter or other cold windy months, and more particularly in Rhenish Prussia, it is dreadful. In addition to this, the doors and windows do not fit close, so that you may sit and roast your body close to your stove, with a draught cutting your ankles off, from a long gap underneath the door, and another draught cutting your throat from the sides and chinks of the window-frame. We have sat at dinner on a cold windy day in winter, in a room like an oven, but with our feet as cold as ice, from the wind of a great stone hall below, that had a wide staircase opposite the front door (continually opening), the head of which staircase was directly facing the diningroom door, the said door not touching the floor by at least half an inch all along. As there are no carpets or other impediments to the wind, we had it “ fresh and fresh" as any of the doors below
leading to street or garden were opened, to say nothing of open windows. Then, the method of warming the rooms in winter by the German stove, is detestable. You are either made hot to suffocation, the horrid thing becoming red-hot, or it does not give out half enough heat, and is often the only warm thing in the room. If the stove was alight and warm, we were never able to convince any host or hostess of any house, public or private, that this fact was not the principal consideration, and that it was the person occupying the room who ought chiefly to be consideredit was whether he was warm or cold, that was the point ; the stove being warm was, in itself, little or nothing to the purposethe stove was not lit to warm itself only. It was of no use ;—they smiled, or took it amies, and went away, saying, “Englanders were an original people !” Sometimes the stoves are lit by an aperture from the outside of the room, so that the regulation of the temperature being thus totally out of your hands, they either freeze you, or regularly bake you, just as the case may happen; and you have no remedy but to run out of the room. In the comforts and luxuries of social life, Germany is a hundred years behind England.
We should here observe that Germany is a nation of philosophers who do not understand ventilation. So much has habit the power to deaden perception, mental as well as bodily, that even men of science are confused, or do not distinguish the facts of the case. We have complained to German physicians of the dreadful oven which our apartment had become by means of the stove getting red-hot, and remarked that we could not set open a door or window, as the wind would rush coldly in, and hence there ought to be some method of ventilation adopted in their rooms ; but the gentlemen aforesaid have deliberately pointed to the iron fue of the stove, observing that there was the ventilation! Dr. Arnott ought to go to Germany, and deliver a lecture on his stove at all the principal towns.
While upon the subject of domestic economy, we have a few more uncomfortable observations to make. The beds are all too short. A short man can scarcely lie quite straight without his feet pressing against the foot-board. A tall man must either lie hunched up nose-and-knees, or his naked feet and ankles must stick out over the wooden barrier at the bed's foot, or else (as the pillows are generally higher than the head-board) his head must hang over the pillows, and dangle towards
the floor, an attitude in which, to our certain knowledge, several English travellers have awoke in the morning, to their momentary confusion and stultified astonishment. In winter and this is the trying period (few of our tourists know anything about the winter) --then comes a fresh discomfort. In the first place, the blankets are not made to “ tuck in ;” they are much too narrow; the part tucked in would be considered as wasted. For of what use is the part tucked in? they would ask. This would be foolishly extravagant; the blankets therefore are properly and wisely of the same width as the bed. The consequence is that half a dozen times in the night you are awoke by the cold coming in at one side or the other; in your efforts to repair the opening you make an opening at the other side, and by the morning your bed-clothes are huddled round you in no shape at all, and with no good success. So much for blankets; but very often your only bed-clothes is a sheet with a stuffed bag, in fact a small feather-bed laid over it. Now this puffed bag, which covers you, is just the width of the bed, or something less, and little more than two-thirds of its length ; and here is a scene of misery! You must inevitably lie in the shape of a frog, or your neck and shoulders would be quite uncovered, except by the mere sheet. A quarter of an hour of this, and you are sure to be in a vapour bath, the feather-bag is so excessively hot ; but every time you turn from one side to the other, the narrow fat covering jumps up somewhere, and lets in the freezing air of your wintry chamber. If you turn at all hastily, you raise the thing on both sides, and a thorough draught instantly passes through your hot vapour bed, and astonishes your poor legs and back. Sometimes in the night, and in the darkness, you have “a scene” with your feather bag, which can scarcely be described. You awake with a frozen limb, or side, or shoulder- endeavour to adjust the bag and cover yourself properly-find you have got the thing broad-ways over you instead of long-ways-try to put it right
-it gets corner-ways-then no-how- changes its shape so as utterly to baffle and confuse you in the dark, till you do not know, and find it impossible to discover, whether you are in a wrong position in your bed or have got the bag wrong ;—you are in a fever-it now gets hotter than ever, and less in size-becomes elastic, perverse, alive--has a will of its own and finally slips off upon the floor, either rolling underneath the bedstead, or getting itself involved with legs of chairs, so that you are compelled to get out in the frightfully cold air and grope about in the
darkness, upon the icy carpetless floor, to recover your detestable and accursed companion.
The furniture of the house is for the most part ill-made and badly put together, like the slop-work articles of our cheap upholsterers or furniture-brokers. Heads and points of nails and screws often project from chairs, tables, and sofas; as also splinters and sharp edges of badly-finished articles, to the frequent injury of the clothes, and the hands or other parts of the person. The sofas in the great majority of houses, and in all lodging-houses, are mani. festly not made to lie or loll upon, because if you do so, you are sure to “start a plank,” or knock out the back or sides. Twice have I had the upper half of me deposited upon the floor behind, in consequence of sinking back with misplaced confidence upon my sofa, on returning home fatigued. The sofa-back fell out in an instant.
The Germans pride themselves very much on their tailors, and of late years they have claimed the honour of making boots equal to the Parisian cordonniers. Their clothes are certainly well made, and the fit excellent. You purchase your own materials, cloth and silk, and the expense altogether, at the highest, is yet one-third cheaper than the same article in “quality and cut " can be obtained in England ; in some cases (such as silk, satin, velvet, and other fancy waistcoats) the price is less than half. The boots made by the best bootmakers are also about a third cheaper, well made and durable. The objection to the shape which an Englishman would always make is that adopted in the toes of the boots, which extend two inches and more beyond the actual toes, and speedily acquire an upward direction, as if intended to cover some withered excrescence at the end of the foot. German gentlemen dress well, with great care and neatness, and with good taste, even on the bright side of things ;'' a style which is always dangerous, and requires many additions to justify and carry off becomingly. Clean hands are an important addition, and certainly a very uncommon one. The ladies dress well ; but, considering their station, no young women dress so well as the bonnet-makers, sempstresses, shop-girls, and that class. The prevailing characteristic of good dressing among the younger women of all ranks is the arrangement of the hair. This is generally dark and profuse, and the great beauty of it is displayed in a variety of graceful plaits, bands, rolls, or shell-shaped designs at the back of the head ; and as they commonly have handsome necks and shoulders, the effect is quite beautiful, and