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sweet and plentiful music daily given grave, and reverend senior, the Profesto the public, and the frequent balls to We were dining al fresco on the which all visitors are freely invited. All fine portico attached to the Kurhaus, this, besides paying for the magnificent where one may listen to the music while Kurhaus, and giving the shareholders refreshing the inner man; or rather, we dividends of fifty, seventy-five, and a had dined. The fact of its being the hundred per cent. per annum! Yes, Professor's birthday suddenly occurred Homburg is a lovely place, and the Pri- to him, and he proposed a bottle of velegirte Bank has done every thing for Veuve Cliquot as the appropriate libaHomburg.
tion. No waiter being in sight, the (Apropos to this, we may recall the Professor himself disappeared withinfact that, according to Milton, hell has doors to give the order. Soon he refaultless and splendid architecture, and appeared, and sat down. The wine did the devil has spared no pains nor expense
• What can be the matter ? in its construction and decoration.) “I do not know. I paid the money."
Perhaps another class of visitors will Patient waiting brought no further come, who are now really kept away developments. “Shall I go, Professor, from here by the dissipation. It will and inquire ?" “Oh, no. It will be be a dull watering-place, instead of a all right; I paid the money.” More gay one.
A cheaper place, for visitors patience; more waiting; more surprise. who do not play, it can scarcely be. A “Where did you pay the money,
Profeslarge portion of their expenses are paid sor?” "I put it on the table with the by those who do play. The streets are green cloth, and the man raked it in." beautifully kept. One walks quite in- There was much laughter--whether differently on the carriage-way or the at our expense who went without our foot-way. They seem to be swept in champagne, or at that of the Professor the night, and often, in the early walk who so quietly gambled away four to and from the springs, one finds the forins, and also the good example streets so clean that a neat man, who which had previously reinforced his has so much as a cigar-end to throw precepts, it is difficult to say. away, will instinctively carry it some The great rock on which the gamdistance to find a corner where it will blers all split, is an illogical calculation not be a conspicuous blemish to the of chances. They start with the selfneatness around him. Who pays the evident proposition that it is not likely expense of an administration so efficient that the red (or the black, as the case as this good order indicates ? Nobody may be) will come up two, three, four, asks the visitor to pay any taxes, and or five times in succession.
But they no heavy assessments can be included fail to perceive, what is equally true, in the two dollars a day which his liv- that after the color has come up four ing (in lodgings) costs him. His taxes times in succession, the chances are are paid by his neighbors—our friends perfectly equal that it will come up the who walk up so generously, uninvited, fifth. And as the bank never bets that to the table of the green cloth with any color will come up twice or more cabalistic figures, and lay down their times in succession, but always simply money with such zeal and perseverance.
that it will not come up once (taking It is their sacrifices at the shrine of For- the odds, say, of 103 to 100), all calculatune which accrue to the benefit of tions are baseless and foolish; and, in those who know the fickle goddess too the long run, the bank makes just about well to join in the throng of her wor- 103 winnings to 100 losses. As my wise shippers.
American friend says,
" When a man How few are those who never pay any plays here and there, as the fancy strikes tribute at the insatiable shrine! Listen him, he will probably lose something, or to the case of our pious, praiseworthy, may possibly win something; but when exemplary friend, and most potent, you see any one to keep on a card a
That to be hated needs but to be seen."
record of the game, and play on a sys- keeps what has been earned by and tem accordingly, you may set him down belongs to another. Such a man is very as a ruined man. He is sure to go on likely to risk his easily-gotten gains at till his pocket is drained. The best the rouge-et-noir, while the “dun," the way, however, is not to play at all.” real owner, knows too well the value of Which good advice his sweet wife ear- money to so throw it away. nestly reëchoes.
As you approach the field of battle Now, shall I tell you what Rumor you begin meeting the “ killed and says of the practice of this sage precep wounded” returning from the fell contor? what disposition is made of the flict. The earliest exhausted get their great monthly American remittances he quietus in time to return to Frankfort receives? what tales of distress and by the 3 P. m. train, and from that time anxiety the mild-eyed wife could reveal ? till midnight the crest-fallen procession
No, I had better not; for it might of the unfortunates is continual. But suggest some unfounded suspicions as the next morning inevitably brings up to the experience of the very person fresh troops of victims to the great who has been volunteering so much of holocaust. The sight is grimly amusgood advice and information as this ing, but not, if you will credit the perarticle contains.
sonal experience of an American obWe have said nothing about the im- server, enticing or seductive. Beyond morality and impropriety of the system a few coins thrust laughingly on the of public gambling. It does not need tables with the positive expectation of preaching against-it preaches against seeing them raked in, we Yankees, in itself:
nine cases out of ten (or more), come " A creature of so foul a mien,
off scot-free. Where one is rather more
heavily bitten, it is usually in the insane It is only
pursuit of the phantom "to just make “ When seen too oft, familiar with the face, up losses.” This is a dangerous mirage,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.” but its victims, after all, are few, and, And it is our first impressions of the for the most part, easily cured. creature that we have presented. Ameri- It is with an effort that one recalls ca, though it furnishes a large part of the thought of the ruin, at those tables, the pleasure-travel of Europe, furnishes of countless thousands of fortunes great only a very small part of the gambling and small. When one gets any thing house gains. These come from persons like a realizing sense of them, then the who get their money more easily than lovely Kursaal seems like a great fatal do most Americans. Such a fat, dull, Upas-tree, with gorgeous foliage shadsensualist as Mustapha Pasha, who trav- ing heaps of bones. As I look now at its els openly with a shameless woman, and great roof looming through the night, who sold his right of succession to the above the trees opposite my window, its throne of Egypt for ten million francs, outline faintly shown by the light of is the very man to squander those mil- the gas burning in and around it, I can lions on the gaming-table; and what- fancy it to be like the horrible slaveever is natural to him is almost sure to ship, surrounded by its own phosphobe unnatural to an American-so dia- rescent atmosphere of decay, as if even metrically opposite and unlike are they darkness and fog avoided it as somein every particular of nature and char- thing too loathsome and repulsive to acter. As another instance: a man to touch. whom debt is a second nature, and But it is doubtful if this open play is “ duns" public nuisances and necessary worse than the private gambling of evils, excites no surprise or contempt in some other nations. England has no the artificial society of Europe, though public gambling-houses, but England is in America he would be considered a one great gambling-house! Every thing kind of thief, as he is—one who gets and is the subject of bets, from a parliamentary election to a rubber of whist in a that no money is well used except that clergyman's library ; from a horse-race which is well earned; and further, that or a yacht-race to the progress of two the financial virtue and honesty of Eurain-drops down a window-pane. Is rope and of the world exists among this worse, or better ? Each must judge the middle and lower classes—the infor himself.
dustrious—and not among the members Either is bad-bad as bad can be. of any hereditary aristocracy, whether The moral to be drawn from it all is, of rank or of wealth.
In speaking of Bohemia, I -have no ing the harness from the working horse, reference to that country whose capital and turning him out to gambol and is Prague; whose inhabitants use a graze in the green fields. It is slightly language closely resembling that of divorcing one's self from one's self. angry horses; where, it would seem Escaping into his own small nook of from all accounts, wounded prisoners fairy-land, the soldier ceases to be a of war do not find that their lines (of soldier; another inner self, as it were, battle) have fallen in pleasant places—à develops, and he becomes an artist, region of which I know little. Neither perhaps, with an eye for all lovely do I allude to that universal empire, color, or ear for all harmonious whose spiritual capital is supposed to sound. The lawyer, by the same probe Paris; whose law is liberty; whose cess, sloughs off the mortal coil to such inhabitants live by their wit or their à degree that he emerges for the mowits; whose moral code is scarcely the ment a poet, with only rhyme and Ten Commandments—an empire of rhythm swaying thought and word, which I know still less. My reference with memories of the sweet singers of is to private possessions, held by steady- every time and land returning to him going, proper, pious citizens, whose and flowing from his lips. The mersocial habits are modelled to a sufficient chant forgets his stocks, and the builder degree upon those of the lark and the his stones, becoming joyous and jovial, lamb; who pay their bakers' bills, and “good fellows" in the best sense of the whose washerwomen do not go away
words. Each one changes to something sorrowing; who are sometimes pillars which he apparently is not. of church and state, and who would The evidence furnished by history on generally be shocked by the bare sug- the subject of private Bohemias is very gestion of their ownership of such pro- full, and well worthy of consideration. perty.
The administration of the kingdom It is to these I wish to make known of Prussia under Frederic William the nature of their own rich estates; it would scarcely suggest that its monarch is to these, who seeing see not, I write. could possibly claim such a dominion Let me explain.
as I have described. In those days all A private Bohemia, I take to be that Prussian souls wore uniforms, physically small portion of time or space into or metaphorically; they walked between which a man may transfer himself from straight lines, generally of bayonets; out of his fixed relations with the they improved each shining hour to a external world, his habits and ordinary most painful degree; and the law of frame of mind. Entering it, is a mental the land was a mixture of the multipliprocess somewhat akin to Sydney cation table and the right-angled triSmith's idea of taking off your flesh angle. Yet the man who personified and sitting in your bones. It is remov- this whole system, from whom it was evolved, could only live under it by land where the sky is ever blue, where periodically escaping from it. He could the flowers ever bloom, and the waters not "polish his stanza,” as Mr. Carlyle murmur and sparkle in light. The has it, without constantly throwing musician's soul which slept within him, down his pen and rushing out to stretch which he carried about armored by the his limbs and draw a breath of fresh nature and habits of the hard-pressed, air. Hence his tobacco-college ; which practical soldier, then spread its wings impresses me as the natural and neces- and bore bim far away to another counsary Bohemia of this rough, if royal, try above the pain and shadow of that in member of the brotherhood.
which he usually lived and bad his being. hope that it was as peculiar to himself Louis XVI. of France was another as many of his habits and customs; let royal fugitive from himself and his us still more hope that his unfortunate surroundings; though his refuge in a subjects had likewise their own means locksmithy does not strike one at first of escaping from the yoke of such a sight as being a private Bohemia. Yet life-some little resting-plame for soul or such, I am sure, it was to him. It is body sacred from recollections of Pots- only another instance of extremes meetdam guards and uplifted walking-sticks. ing. In the surcharged atmosphere of Their continued existence is a guarantee a time and place which contained an that such must have been the case—that unborn French Revolution, one can imin this manner was the wind tempered agine that the perfectly prosaic would to these shorn Prussian lambs.
be a relief and comfort to a man who When Frederic the Great inherited felt himself totally unequal to that the crown, this portion of his father's which was present and that which was domain did not descend to him in form. to come. Under the circumstances, the But in a singularly different guise he exact reversal of all precedents was a still possessed it. There has always necessary result. I confess, also, that been, to me, something pathetic in his the possession of such a very superior lifelong exertions to share his private wife strikes me as, in itself, demanding Bohemia with kindred spirits, in his of Providence some special compensatundiminished faith and labors to estab- ing support and alleviation, Marie lish it as a visible kingdom. From Antoinette was undoubtedly a very those early days, when he sought to beautiful woman, who went to the guilenthrone Voltaire as its crowned head, lotine with uncommon grace and digto old age, he seems never to have sur- nity (that seeming to be what she was rendered this hope. Poet, philosopher, chiefly fitted for), but I suspect she and wit he wooed, but never perma- must have been a trial to ordinary nently won. They seemed divided by nerves, at ordinary times and seasons. some invisible barrier, which neither Thinking of this, as of many other could pass. The electric chord would phases in the unfortunate king's existnot bind them, the divine fire which ence, it has always been a great comfort each possessed failed to fuse their souls to me to remember the locksmithy. in one. My own supposition is, that he Americans, with their natures and did not recognize where alone his real habits as fluent and changeful as the kingdom lay, he did not realize that his sea itself, are such thorough Bohemians true Bohemia was secreted in a flute. in every sense, that it seems singular To him that hollow stick was the en- that the greatest of them is the very chanter's wand. Though fighting the man of all others with whom it is most whole world, though worn by sickness impossible to connect such an idea. and trouble, though overwhelming de- The most vigorous imagination must feat and national famine stared him in stand in confessed weakness before the the face-he had but to take out that effort to endow General Washington small instrument and breathe upon it, with a private Bohemia. I simply reand about him lay the fair and sunny commend the attempt, as a more con
vincing process than any argument on are few human souls who have been my part could be. Though regarding forced to choose this day whom they him as the noblest, simplest, wisest will serve; who have stood in that darkcharacter in our history, the feeling will ness the only light of which is honest arise that he must have found life rather conviction—in that silence through cool, and bleak, and dreary, standing which the only sound is the still small all by bimself, without this little back- voice; who have not in that darkness door by which sometimes to escape. and that silence groped, as it were, for But I do not think he was conscious of the hand of the man and brother who his loss; perhaps for the same reason so long ago stood in the same strait, for which, Horace Walpole said, country while to their lips rose involuntarily his life did not bore his father as it did him very words, “Here I stand; I cannot -" he had his dignity of character to do otherwise; God help me!” It is in occupy his mind.”
this aspect the generations have done To speak of Horace Walpole is to homage before his memory; but it is mention another eminent member of the another division of his nature for which, guild. He, too, possessed a private so long as human hearts beat with the Bohemia, but it was not Strawberry same emotions, men will love him, and Hill; neither did a visit to Madame du in right of which I claim him. The Deffand carry him thither. Perhaps, bright, warm inner soul of the man when delicious George Selwyn came to struck always like sunshine through dine with him, the feast was spread in the rists in the armor which the battle this semi-celestial region; but I fancy of life so seldom permitted him to cast he lived in it most perfectly and per- aside; but it only gave out its full light manently in those charming early days and cheer within his humble little when he travelled on the continent with home. We read of few pleasanter the poet Gray and pleasant Harry Con- things than that table at whose head way; when, he tells us, visitors used to sat“ my lord Katy," while Dr. Martin surprise them at breakfast in a
filled his glass, and trolled out, by room,” in trying to escape from Who loves not woman, wine, and song, which they would drop their slippers
He is a fool his whole life long; and be thereby ignominiously discover- of few more delightful scenes than those ed in cowardly flight. Perhaps this musical meetings “ where skilful musiblessing of his youth came back to him cians performed upon different instruas he neared his second childhood, when ments;" of nothing more charming than he loved and served so graciously those those Christmas-trees and festivals for sisters Berry, whose hands we heard Mr. his children, where we may be sure Dr. Thackeray boast of having touched. Luther himself was the youngest person
But perhaps the most enviable private present. In possession of such a BoBohemia on record was that of Martin hemia, how could he greatly disquiet Luther. He stands before the world as himself, though the heathen did rage the foremost figure in a grand historic and the people imagine a vain thing; period, as the mighty leader of a moral though it had literally “rained Duke revolution which changed the face of Georges,” and though “ the devils were Christendom : like his Master, he was a as many as the tiles upon the houseman of sorrows and acquainted with tops.” While ruling his own little kinggrief; he fought the Devil (as he be- dom, the mighty“powers that be" had lieved) in person, and closed in a life
not power to disturb him. long struggle with His ever-present Of all religious heroes, to him, I susrepresentatives, the World and the pect, alone belongs the honor that there Flesh; he faced death ceaselessly with is not one of us who would not gladly the splendid bravery of a soldier and have known him in the flesh. We may the enthusiastic faith of a martyr-yet remember Calvin in his skull-cap, and no truer Bohemian ever existed. There John Knox at his oar in the French