THE colony has been agitated by the Lasker trouble. We have all been so indignant at Bismarck ! It may have been unwise in the United States to send the Lasker Resolutions, but that is no reason that Bismarck should treat our minister with indignity. We all like Mr. Sargent, and he has the interest of America at heart, so our sympathies are with him. Such a talk about Schweine-fleisch and Trichina and Lasker ! One little American at the Jerusalemer pension will not touch a bit of German pork, as they are so down on ours. So many times the prejudice against America makes itself felt that we look for causes. Can it be that Germany is jealous ? so young a country, and yet calling away the thou-sands annually from her midst ? There is a continual drifting toward America. We frequently see wagon-loads of these people, bound for America, crowded together on wagons, going through Berlin to take steamer at Hamburg or Bremen. The Berliners are sensitive on the subject, and when we first asked Who are all these people ? ”
we were told that they were farm-hands, going to work in another part of the land. It is a bitter thing to them that so many leave, that the population has a continual proportionate decrease. Passing the depot, we saw eighteen car-loads bound for the new country. They were in fourth-class cars, and, as there are no seats, they were crowded in, standing, and hanging out of the narrow windows, to catch a breath of air. It is strange, with all the gush over the Vaterland, that so many do leave it. Yet it is often the Verhaltnisse ; the parents see no hope for their children in a poor, over-crowded country. Sometimes we run across such pitiful tales ! Mrs. G. has been hunting for two good servant-girls, to take to America with her, and, when the fact became known, such applications ! One, however, appealed especially to our hearts.
An old lady, probably about sixty years of age, applied, and seemed so very, very anxious to go, promising to be faithful, to learn all American work, although we explained how very much harder labor is with us, yet she was eager to undertake all. We thought it strange that she would want to go, as she keeps a very respectable umbrella store, and seems to be doing a good business. So we went down and inquired about her in the neighborhood. Everybody spoke highly of her, as an honest, good-hearted, industrious woman. We then went in the store to talk over matters, and there the poor woman could no longer keep back her story, but burst into weeping as she told us. She said that this little store was all she had in the world, mein ganzes Vermogen, and her daughter must be married, but she had no dowry. The daughter is in love with a certain young man, who is ready to marry her if she has a dowry. So this mother is ready to give the store, as her daughter’s wedding portion. She has reasoned it out, and is ready to sacrifice herself. Her husband is an invalid, confined to his bed at a soldiers’ hospital ; and he has signed a paper giving up all claim to her, and declaring her free to go to America. In her old age, she is willing to leave husband, daughter, home, country, all her past life and precious associations, and to work her way among strangers, for the daughter she loves. She told us the story piteously, and begged us to help her get to America. She would not accept a place in Berlin, or even in Germany, as it might shame her daughter, who would move in a higher sphere. America seemed the only solution for the difficulty. The story made us all heart-sick ; Mrs. G. could not sleep, in her worry as to her duty in the matter. It makes the heart ache at a sudden insight into the misery and human suffering that underlies society. The next morning the daughter came and in short tones told us that the mother could not go to America as other provision had been made for her. We never heard anything more about the matter.
It is a serious thing to encourage these girls to go so far from home, yet they are all ready to seize an opportunity. Some of the trained nurses have a desire to go to America, and that would be of benefit to our country, for the training here is perfect. These Deaconesses, as they are called, are lovely, useful Christian women. They form a sisterhood, a Protestant sisterhood, distributed in several institutions or hospitals. A training-school is connected with each, and there are more applicants for places in the training school than can be accommodated. These young candidates Probeschwestern they are called receive a thorough education in general branches, and special lectures in anatomy, physiology, pharmacy, and the final practical work in the hospitals and schools connected with the Anstalt, which has many branches over the city. Many of the deaconesses are of noble families, yet they give their lives to this hard labor. The Probeschwestern, or young nurses in training, have a happy life ; at least, the older sisters refer to it as a ” selige Zeit,” “goldene Tagen.” The training is considered perfect, and several Americans have applied for admission. Where there is means, a large sum is always charged, and the Americans have offered this ; but the difficulty seems to be that the foreigners want to learn only the medical and hospital work, whereas no exception can be made, and all the sisters must perform the most menial and disagreeable duties. The hospitals of all classes are always full, and the sisters busy pre-paring food, portioning it, tending patients, cleaning house, mixing drugs, — each has her own special duties, and O, how they were working ! Yet this is chosen voluntarily, and it is a rebuke to the idle of the world, to see other women laying down their lives for the sick and helpless. There is a children’s department, another for cripples, a Kindergarten and day-school for the little ones, a seminary for the Probeschwestern, a recreation home for the nurses, a stopping place or home for the poor. The nurses are also sent out into families. Much embroidery and fancy-work is done for the decoration of churches. The pay department of the hospital is excellent, and one of the American ladies, who was here for six weeks, says there could not be more tender nursing, more loving care, or greater kindness. Here is a great field for women, this labor among the sick; but it calls for devotion, goodness, self-sacrifice. A company of nurses are in training to go to America, to work among the Germans. Altogether, this is the most philanthropic work among her women that Germany knows. Philanthropic work — indeed, any broad society work, such as the women of America find of interest is not a part of the sphere of the German woman.
A protracted life among the Germans reveals a difference between the character of the people of the nation and our people, as indeed each nation has its own peculiar characteristics. Naturally, then, one must observe the distinctive features of the women there, as in contrast to those of the American women. Even a short stay among them brings many circumstances and incidents to mark the difference.
A few years ago a German American returned to his old home in America, bringing with him a German wife. She was all devotion to him, as the women of Germany are to their husbands ; yet in America this was at times embarrassing to the gentleman, who found his own so comfortable relationship in Germany rather a contrast to the position of the American husbands. He was constantly being brought into awkward situations. Zum Beispiel (as the Germans say) : One day a party started to climb a mountain, and warmed by the exercise, the gentlemen removed their over-coats, when the German wife immediately stepped up to her husband, saying, “Give me yours; I will carry it !” ” Not here, not in America,” he quickly whispered, but the rest of the company noted the incident, and laughingly congratulated him on his wisdom in securing his wife in Germany, and thus having insured his own comfort and ease in married life. The little event is a good illustration of the relative position of a Ger-man woman and that more blessed creature an American woman !
The German by no means understands the American girl or woman. They have an idea that women are scarce in America, thinking of us as a new country still, forgetting that a hundred years of America means many hundred of Europe, and so they reason that the men are obliged to humor and pet the women as they are so rare. The fact that this was the case in early days may account for many of the privileges accorded her, but the increase of women has not changed her relation, and every year her world of usefulness, her interests, and labor in philanthropic work, in educational movements, and her participation in these broader spheres of life, increase. But to use the German himself as authority for his idea of the American women, and which, at the same time, bespeaks the opposite for the German woman, we translate from a Berlin daily paper. The article reveals how hardly can one nation know another, and warns us that our observations may be as superficial as these.
We quote in translation: ” According to my opinion, no land in the world has more charming young girls than America. The subtle influence of the climate, and the air of the new land of which so many and such great things are prophesied, must have their unseen influence. Even the first descendants of German emigrants have an altogether different appearance from those born on German soil. The physique is more slender, the carriage straighter and more elastic, the eyes become larger and brighter, and look out upon the world with an altogether different expression from the half-veiled glance of the German girl. The proportion and setting of the limbs and joints are more harmonious, the figure more delicate, yet, at the same time, more firm. The face loses its flabby red and assumes a browner tone. Most charming are these young Americans when in rainy weather, enveloped in a gossamer, the hood framing the round face, like nimble squirrels they trip through the streets. They seem like figures cut out of alabaster, only lacquered with black, all except the face. From their manners, so natural, one almost expects to catch the fresh fragrance of the heather, as in the German forester’s daughter. They are hearty, impulsive, and have a lovely, winning naivete. The lack of the higher, older, refined culture of Europe adds a charm to the American woman, for with higher culture a certain amount of deception is connected, which one would rather not find in the other sex. With all his observation, man returns to the opinion that the highest excellences of the other sex are those which come directly from the hand of Nature, and so what may be disadvantage to a man in the new world lack of extended education is directly to the advantage of woman. And what is the position of the charming sex in society ? It is told in a few words. Their position is a privileged one, and it is a rare and happy fortune to occupy a privileged position. The American woman is not a companion for her husband, with equal rights and duties, but she is an article of luxury, a play-thing, half compensation for all that the American life lacks in charms. That the American women are able to play, with skill, this highly dangerous rôle bespeaks in them much character.
“A glance behind the scenes reveals much misery. The American father cares for his daughter, from childhood, far more than for his son, surrounds her with the most tender care, and provides her abundantly with pocket-money. This is a noble and chivalrous feeling, for they are the weaker sex, and a boy can push his way through the world. What we especially understand in Germany as feminine duties troubles the young lady ‘ little, for the comfort of an American home is in its furniture, and an unlimited wash, whilst the kitchen is always ‘good enough !’ An American housekeeper, who devotes herself to duty, and there are such, has a much harder task than a German, as the latter has many competent servants.
“An American house has always two irrevocable duties, long abandoned by us, the home-baking, and the weekly wash. In this respect, however, the percent of women who trouble themselves about the matter is small, as the majority occupy themselves with dressing, painting, shopping, with educational plans of many kinds, and from girl-hood recognize two things; namely, that a husband should be the obedient servant of his wife, and, second, that the best servant is he who can be the most devoted and bring the most money. This wisdom impresses itself all the more readily, as there is little danger that some romantic or sentimental tendency can lead into any foolishness opposed to this dogma of society. The American husband is the true image of the poet as he writes :
Ein guter Mann, ein braver Mann, Ein Mann von Complaisance, Er wäscht das Kind, und kocht den Brei,’
and more than that : he rises early, while the servant still rests in the arms of Morpheus, starts the fire and goes to market and makes the family purchases. There travelled with me, on a Columbia steamer, a hard-worked farmer with his wife, three children, and nineteen head of cattle. From morning until evening, the lady reposed in a rocking-chair, in the ladies’ cabin, caring for nothing, while the poor husband busied himself, now with the cattle and then with his own three little worms. Another time, I saw a family on a Pull-man sleeper. The lady reclined languidly upon her pillow, while the man dressed the children, washed them, combed their hair, while the fair queen of his heart, upon her throne, scarcely deigned him a careless glance. It is a fact that our German emigrant women, unless driven by necessity to work, will adopt this American system, and follow it, if not with the same talent yet with equal zeal.”
We see from this how unable the writer is to enter into our national life. He observes from his experience as we do from ours, and observation is always limited and judgment difficult on such experience. This article seems as much a commentary on the German men as on the American women. It seems a shame to him that the American men must bring devotion and money, too, to the marriage. That is so noticeable because the contrary rule prevails in Germany. The women must always furnish the household, and, in the case of the marriage of officers, if the gentleman has not a certain sum, the lady must assure him of that much. He dare not marry a poor girl, as the Army must be kept up in style, and so the officers are on the lookout for rich girls. The long lists of advertisements for a wife with money show how largely this element enters into the marriage question, and reveals more than all the poetry and sentiment can confute. In German poetry the wife is an ideal creature, in actual life she is most prosy. Hers has been called a “cutting bread and butter career,” and when we consider that in Germany the men clamor for food five times a day, we may give “all honor to the bread and butter cutters of life.” The German women are satisfied, no one more contented with her lot. “The day of small things not only suffices for her, but is to her a crown of glory,” describes the German woman in her sphere. She scorns the peculiarities of other women, and is thankful she is not as they are. She fills her time with small things, as she does not trouble herself with the world at large. “Kingdoms may rise and fall ; they are of less concern to her than the rise and fall of the price of Kalbfleisch as discussed in the select circle of her own Kaffee Klatsch friends.” The man has discussed the affairs of the nations in the Garten, so he puffs his cigar in silence at home, and no element of the outside world intrudes itself among the stewing, weighing, sifting, concocting of the sphere of home. In this outside world she is interested in so far as it honors her husband. Her interests radiate from him. As he advances, her admiration grows, and, while he has the kingdoms of the world and the glory thereof, she plays her lowly part in caring for his-physical comfort. ” King of the house,” not ” queen of the home,” is the spirit in the house-hold. The husband watches the economy, knows the price of all articles and the quantities used, and sees generally that there is no carelessness in the home where the bride has furnished the plate, linen, and all necessaries. There is little mutual interest outside of the housekeeping, although it seems rather hard to put it as strong as Baring-Gould, who calls it a ” divorce of souls.” He is very strong on the situation, and adds : “The men have excluded them from their society. In their clubs and taverns they spend their leisure moments, and pour out their wealth of ideas among their fellow-men, but never in their homes. Both sexes suffer from the estrangement. The elimination of women from society has deteriorating effects upon men’s minds and manners. It is this which causes rudeness of exterior and coarseness of grit in German men, a rudeness and coarseness painfully ever present to the observation of a foreigner. Women do not use their education. Their heads are filled, but it is never used. It is a pity that German men should not submit themselves to be kneaded and rolled into shape and gentility by the tender finger’s of their wives and daughters. There can be no sweeter, tenderer refiners in the world than German ladies. They fret out their little lives because denied the right to execute their proper mission.”
The character of Eleanor of Este, in Goethe’s “Torquato Tasso,” is true German no other literature could create such a woman. Noble, womanly, yet held, ruled by custom, prejudice. Sitten rules the land. She rejects Tasso, although she loves him, because she is a princess, and he only a poet ! Our lecturer in the Lyceum extolled this Eleanor as the crown of womanhood this regard for Sitten, the sacrifice of her love to this ! If this Sitten were for a moment relaxed, society would fall asunder, and she sacrificed herself for the good of the world, is the argument. “Nach Freiheit strebt der Mann, das Weib nach Sitte,” is Eleanor’s speech, and borne out in her actions, and lauded by the Germans. Maria, in Gutz von Berlichingen,” is a character the nearest of all Goethe’s women to those of our own dramas : strong in conviction of duty to her brother, to her faithless lover, reliable, ready in trouble, strong in the hour of need, courageous yet tender. You seldom hear the Germans speak of this Maria. Clärchen, in “Egmont,” is a favorite, and a sweet, simple, attractive character, a young girl lost completely in her love for Egmont. Yet Goethe’s women are not ideal as Shakespeare’s not Cordelia, Imogen, Portia, naturally, the German ideal is different. The German men in the dramas are good. The Marquis von Posa, in ” Don Carlos,” is the ideal type of friendship, and Max Piccolomini, in ” Wallenstein,” rises to the nobility of the highest ideal in all its beauty.
The German endowed with steady endurance, genius, will, power, has in him the elements of the ideally perfect man, yet lacks the grace, sympathy, ready thoughtfulness, unselfishness. As diamond cuts diamond, so these two beings, the German man and woman, the Max Piccolomini and the Eleanor by mutual association, would bring out the true beauty of either character, the woman strengthened, the man polished. There are noble qualities in both ; the education of centuries has brought an unequal development. We believe that the position of American women does have its influence upon all the women of the world, and will yet bring a broader, better, more blessed life to the women of Germany. Let the German woman add to her love of home, of housekeeping, to her carefulness, devotion, industry, gentleness, let her add to these, broad ideas, wide interests, companionship with the outside world, a knowledge and participation in its advancement, and what nobler women can there be than those of the Father-land? Add to a Dorothea, a Lotta, a Clara, a Thusnelda, an Elizabeth Fry, a Lucretia Mott, a Frances Willard. In Berlin there are but two female physicians, lecturers, missionaries there are none. Even as girls, the American women know of such work, and grow up with an interest and a part in it. The girlhood in America is a training for a useful, independent life ; but the German girls feel that’ daily labor for your own maintenance is beneath them. We learn early the dignity of labor and self-support, and it is the secret of daily happiness. The women in Germany, even in their homes, do not work as we in America ; yet they speak of the idle American women ! The American girl is brought up to take care of herself, her belongings and surroundings, and the German servants are shocked when we make any attempt to do things for our-selves, even to brush our clothes. All this is delegated to the servants. We fancy the German men and women who have this idea of us, would be somewhat surprised to see the American woman in her own home, with all its cares and the duties that even the German woman never assumes.
However, much writing or speaking cannot ex-plain nations to each other. The American girl is considered ” fast ” a ” flirt.” European men do not understand her way ; so, on European soil, it is best to conform to European strictures. Our girls have been accustomed to gentlemen all their lives, and so, naturally, cannot have the timidity, embarassment, fear, seen in the German girl when in gentleman society. Fearless, self possessed, she nevertheless loses naught of modesty or womanliness. Here lies the difference not to be understood. How much the German girl misses that makes up much of the delight and pleasure of American girlhood ! no boating, no croquet, readings, sketchings, rambles, no interesting friendships in their young lives ! Our girls are accustomed to attentions, gallantries. The German girl knows only a form, and such a form as this ; the young officer at his post will salute her as she passes, thus : ” He draws himself up in strenge militairische Haltung, clicks his spurred heels together, brings his head to the level of his sword belt, and, if that is not devotion, chivalric behavior and splendid respect, the world has none to show, and you are an irrational and an exacting malcontent.” The same bowing and stiff air greets her at the party, and her idea of a man is this distant, awful being, before which her spirit bows. The American girl knows him bet-ter, and, naturally, has a different bearing to gentlemen, but she must reserve this for the American, as the European will always put a wrong construction on it.
Our American men, too, receive their share of criticism. In literature they caricature the American men because, seeing a few peculiarities of a few they have seen, they cling to these as representing the American character. In the German and French plays, the American man is represented with a loud voice, constantly spitting, in his shirt-sleeves, hat always on his head, speaking abruptly and interrupting conversation, coming and going without apology or ceremony. Putting the feet upon the window-sill, tipping the chair. back, or sitting with the back of the chair in front, is called “the American style.” This is unfair ; but, however much or however little truth there is in it, these things are far more easily endured than all the formal manners with the looser morals of the European men.
Richard Grant White, in his ” Fate of Mansfield Humphrey,” has an American represent the English idea of an American. It is a droll picture, combining in one person all the idiosyncrasies of many ; yet this, exaggerated as it seems, is pale in comparison with the German idea of the American, and Washington Adams, with all his absurd touches, needs a few Clore ” American traits ” in the eyes of the German.
Of one thing we American women are sincerely and firmly certain, that the European is unable to comprehend the higher qualities of the soul in the American which urges him to take a true position and a noble one toward many things in the world, not the least of which is his courtesy and chivalry toward women. Our women may seem peculiar to the German, the European ; but we, in the pride and happiness of our own broader life, are well able to endure the reproach cast upon us by nations unable to recognize or give a higher life to its women. tSOUTH GERMANY CHARACTER
THE Rohrpost, the quick delivery in Berlin, brought me a message from Mrs. M. asking me to dinner, after which we would go to hear Frommel lecture. The prospect was pleasant, and Professor Richter remarked in class that this was the first time he had seen me happy since the announcement of his new appointment, and was I reconciled at last? My response, that nothing could reconcile me to the loss of my anticipated study under him, was satisfactory. I believe it pleases him that I continually look sad at the thought of his going ; but he will remain until the Easter vacation. He has helped me in the Lyceum, for he must have spoken to the Directors, as, on the day I went to the office to arrange for the next term, I was told that the Lyceum is open to me to go to what classes and lectures I choose, and the money was refused even for the regular lessons that I had hitherto paid for. ” All is open, free of charge,” was the instruction given. I ought never mutter one word against Germany; for everywhere the path opens before me, and kindness seems as free and universal as air.
The Professor of Philosophy was ill, so I was liberated from the Lyceum early, and determined to take a long walk and go a roundabout way to Mrs. M.’s. I would take a thorough “constitutional.” I wandered on and on, into new quarter’s of the city, poor, narrow, ugly streets, you would scarcely believe Berlin had such streets. Turning a corner, I came upon Mrs. M. a surprise to both of us. She had been among her poor, and, as we walked along, told me of a new case that was then weighing upon her heart. Her sewing-girl told her of a poor woman, with a little baby, whose husband’s arm had just been taken off in the factory. The family was in great need ; so, without delay, she Mrs. M. had gone down to see them. She found the man alone, trying to peel potatoes, and vainly endeavoring to soothe the wailing infant his one arm not enough for the hour of need, and his pain forgotten in the general misery. Then that dear creature, who knows no labor in her own home, washed and dressed and fed the baby, and put it to sleep. It seems the wife had become worse and had been taken to the hospital, and there was that helpless man and baby ! What awful, awful, pitiable things in the world ! Such a gulf of misery down among the suffering poor ! and we so happy, so blessed, and yet so often discontented ! Mrs. M. was so touched, so anxious, and had only wished that her mother Mrs. A. had been there, to have done more, but she had promised that they would both see him in the morning.
Another case was on her mind, not to worry her, however. She told me the most touching story of two of her little hospital patients. This happened that morning. The two have beds next each other, and one of the little ones has been suffering with a diseased leg. Yesterday, the physician, who thought her asleep, said to the nurse, “To-morrow the limb must be amputated ; there is no other possibility of saving her life.” But the child had been awake, and, when the doctor had gone, she expressed her dread and terror to her little friend saying, that she could not bear it, and what was she to do ! The other child thought awhile, and said, ” Why, just tell Jesus about it ! beg him to make it so your leg will not have to be taken off, and I am sure he will find a way.” ” Yes, I will,” she answered, “but, there are so many little girls lying here, how will Jesus know which one it is that is praying about her leg?” ” Well, I’ll tell you. Just tell him you’ll lay your hands crosswise outside on the quilt, and then he’ll know you when he comes.” In perfect trust, the little sufferer laid her hands as a cross, and went to sleep. The next morning, they found her quite unchanged in her position, but her little spirit had fled to where no more suffering brings its sorrow. Such a case brings a sadness, but a happiness in it, whereas the continued misery of sufferers is hard to bear. There is so much how can all be reached ! Another new family had just sent for them. They went there : the man had no work, the woman was paralyzed, and six little children were sitting on the floor, around a common tin pail, feeding on rice and water everything around in corresponding wretchedness. And the favored of the earth know naught of its misery !
The cares and distresses of these poor are laid on the hearts of these Christian women, and in a quiet, obscure way, the world knowing naught of it, they go about doing good. Each day the care of their poor is considered, and, with a basket of necessaries, they go out to minister to them, and find what is needed and what must be done the next day. This really is the work of the Christian is it ignorance, or unfaithfulness, that makes it so rare ?
After dinner, which always seems like a home treat to me at Mrs. A.’s, we went to the lecture, and it was such a bright, witty, genial talk as only Frommel can give. Golden words come always for Frommel, every sentence precious. The Emperor loves him as well as the people. The poor go to him for counsel ; the Emperor waits on his wondrous thoughts. One Sabbath, in the midst of the sermon, the Emperor cried out, ” Say that again, my dear Frommel ; say that again ! ” Every time we hear him, we carry away gems that are priceless. As we listened to this lecture on Flattich, it seemed to us that Frommel himself must have drawn much of this spirit from another South Germany preacher of the early days of this century : Flattich, of the same land, the warm, genial, Southern country, a man with the same genius of humor, the same warmth of heart,: deep love of humanity, all ruled by a philosophic mind. As Frommel revealed the wisdom of this Suabian preacher from his own land of the South (whence come that geniality, humor, gentleness, and charm never found in the North German character), we felt that equal stories could be told of Frommel. But there was so much that was good, and so unique and worthy of record, that we made an outline of the Frommel lecture :
This Flattich was only a village preacher ; his name is not written where generals and princes and lords find place, but his influence is far more enduring than that of any of these petty authorities. It was a small village in which he first preached, and his salary was but eight groschen (about twenty cents) a day. He had fourteen children, there were usually twenty persons at his table, and on Sabbath frequently sixty. All were welcome. “Put a little more water on the tea,” he said ; “we greet them with love, and, where love is rich, the tea is a small matter.” After the Duke of the province heard him, he was given a better place, but the life of a village preacher is always humble. His sermons were rich with plain, simple illustrations of truth, and full of help to the people ; but his teaching was not limited to this office, his most forcible lessons were those taught “by the wayside.” One man in his congregation came regularly to church week in and week out for three years, but there was no change nor improvement in his life. Flattich sent him a new pair of boots. They were received with delight, and the man hastened to thank the pastor. “But,” said he, “why, Herr Pastor, why did you give me such a present?” ” Well,” Flattich replied, ” for three years you have come to hear me preach I desire that my hearers should be profited, if not, at least they shall lose nothing through me. I have done you no good, so you must not lose the boots you have worn out in coming to hear me.” It was a lesson to him, for he reflected and changed ; it is a lesson for all time. He had a servant that drank, and he was often advised to send her away. One day, in her presence, it was again urged. ” No,” said he, ” I must keep her. She could never find another home. Wherever she would go, the people would soon find it out and dismiss her, so she would wander about with no home. I must keep her.” The servant was cured. A woman, a great scold, came to him for advice, her husband was so cross. “Here is a small stone,” he said ; “to-night, when you see him coming from work, put it under your tongue. Try it a week ; then come to me again.” In a week she returned in glee. ” Herr Pastor, Herr Pastor, my man is reformed. We are happy again !” She begged for the magic stone, and the wise man willingly gave it. He was also willing to take advice, too. Many are more willing to give than receive, but he valued it from others. One day, while walking through the village, he heard two washerwomen discussing his manner of bringing up his children. He returned home, thoughtfully pondering the matter. Arriving there, he bade his daughter take a jug of milk and a loaf of bread to each of the women as their wages. (This was the wages for a day’s washing). The women came to him in great haste, saying : ” Herr Pastor, you owe us nothing; we have done no washing for you !” “Yes, you have,” he replied ; “a most thorough washing you have given me, and no one should go without the reward of his labor.”
He had many pupils in his home, all the “three-cornered, five-cornered, and many-cornered boys” of the region, whom no one else could master. He trained them carefully, and, of the two thousand that passed under his protection, many came to hold responsible and respected positions. He corrected them in unique ways. One night, returning home late, he saw a light in the boys’ room, and, entering, found them at cards. They were dismayed, but, with beaming face, he sat down in their midst, saying : ” Oh, cards, is it ? I can play cards, too.” The boys were delighted, and one game followed another. How jolly it was ! Twelve o’clock came, the boys a little tired. One o’clock: they suggest it is time to quit. ” Oh, no,” he ex-claims, ” cards are fine at night ! ” Two o’clock: the boys terribly sleepy. Three four ; nearly crazy for sleep ; five : crying, begging, despising cards. They were then released. He had no more trouble with card-playing. One of the boys annoyed him by continually cracking a whip under his window. One day he looked out, and asked the boy if he enjoyed it. The boy assented. ” Well,” said Flattich, “then I shall try to, also. Continue as long as I like it, and I will give you a groschen.” The first quarter of an hour was high enjoyment to the lad, the next he called out for release, but Flattich said : ” Go on, go on!” Finally, with aching arms, the boy cried out : “I don’t care for the groschen, Herr Pastor,” and walked away. It was enough.
Some of his lessons were beautiful. Oh, to convey the impression of the language itself ! A lady came in great distress, saying she had been seeking and longing for the Holy Spirit, but could not find it. It was her sincere, great desire, but she could not attain to it. “Ah, a little thing similar happened to me the other day,” said Flattich. ” I wanted to find my stocking. I searched all over, under the bed, in the drawer, and cupboard. I knew I had one, but I could not find it. All at once, I discovered that I had it on ! So, my dear lady, it is with you. You have what you desire. Your seeking and longing shows the presence of the Spirit working in you. Cease your search, accept it, receive it gladly, and be happy.” She went away at peace and satisfied. Oh, how much this may mean to many timid souls, whose desires are stronger than their faith !
It is impossible to give the strength of these as coming down the German idiom, but enough of power still breathes in them. So many signal thoughts were uttered rare jewels making rich the receiver. To his Duke he said ” Nobles should have noble thoughts.” Looking forward to old age he had no dread ; he said : “Man is happy only when he grows and receives. In old age we cannot grow in knowledge we grow back again in childhood. It seems a downward growth, but, remember, the deeper the roots strike into the the earth, the higher the summit reaches into the heavens.” He fed the flies at the table, saying, “They, too, need to live,” and, when asked if they did not annoy him, answered : “We must have patience with flies, they are such weak, silly little things. I would not have so much with an elephant, it has more understanding. With creatures of little reason and understanding, we must have much patience and tolerance.” What a truth, and how simply told ! Other sayings : ” One love plants another. Honey is better than vinegar.” ” Let people make failures. Let friends have faults. We all learn so.” ” Men desire three things : physical necessities, spiritual good, and temporal advancement. God has promised us the first two, let us not worry about them, the last, naturally, brings labor, trial, suffering.” ” Men are like clocks. Many a weight is hung upon them by the Master’s hand, to keep them right.” The gem of all, however, and worthy a place as a life principle, is this : ” We do not like all people, yet, as we must have them, it is better to have them kindly and with love.” Wir rnogen nicht alle Leute; doch, weil wir sie haben müssen, besser ist es dasz wir sie gern haben. Every one loved him. When he died, and much was spoken of his words, a peasant said, ” If we would know all the good in Flattich, we must look above, in the Book of Life ” (Das Buck des Lebens).