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WILLIAM BLACKWOOD & SONS, EDINBURGH ;
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said, if one could believe that it a town or on a country and its inever had been said, or that, if it habitants, because he has seen a was said, the saying was deserved, good deal of them, and has formed that all its men were brave and his judgment from what he has all its women chaste. But if he observed, he should give as a title had to speak of the population of to his essay the unpretending Gera large city or a great country, man word Beitrag, -that is to say, no sensible man would venture to a fragment, a “contribution," pronounce a general judgment. To which may, to a certain degree, say, Dutchmen are slow, French serve to make a town, a country, or men witty, Englishmen practical, a people a little known to those Germans imaginative, Spaniards who know nothing about them, or rash and hot-blooded—is just as somewhat better known to those true as the reverse would be : for who have already acquired some there are thousands of choleric knowledge of the subject. Dutchmen; slow, stupid French Such a “contribution ” to a demen; Englishmen who have no scription of Berlin and its society more idea of business than a child in 1884 it is my wish to furnish in has; Germans as matter-of-fact the following fragmentary sketch. and gifted with as much sound I do not pretend to give anything common-sense as may be found in like a complete description of that any part of the world; and Span- town and its inhabitants. I caniards as slow, cool, and collected not tell the whole truth, for I do as the most phlegmatic of Dutch not claim to know it; but, as a peasants.
careful witness and a close obIf any one feels inclined, or is server, I promise to tell nothing called upon to give his opinion on but what I believe to be the truth.
The first thing which strikes an with articles for sale of every imEnglishman on his arrival at Ber-aginable description and quality. lin is the quiet of its streets. In But all this will not strike the the commercial part of this large foreign visitoras extraordinary town, with its 25,000 houses and when compared with the bewildermore than a million inhabitants, ing noise and activity which may he may observe a quick and lively be daily observed in London in current of business life, — fast the crowded streets of the city, or driven cabs, taking men with care with the constantly changing spec
countenances to the Ex- tacle offered to the tourist by the change or similar places ; heavily Parisian Boulevards. What will laden vans; omnibuses crammed seem strange to him is that the with passengers ; policemen keep- quiet place in which he finds himing careful watch ; postmen rush- self after having crossed King's ing about with letters and tele- Bridge, and left the eastern, comgrams; other pedestrians, whose mercial part of Berlin behind him, particular business no one could should be the very centre of the divine, but who are evidently in social, political, military, and scienthat peculiar state of excitement tific life of the metropolis of the and hurry caused by the fever of powerful German Empire.
He money-making; and lastly, shops may still pass through several
streets--such as “Unter den Lin- the evening one may walk through den," "Friedrichstrasse," "Leip- long streets in profound silence, ziger Strasse ”—where there is no without meeting any one, except, lack of noise and movement; but perhaps, a watchman, or a cabman the general character of the town driving his vehicle home. The fact he will find decidedly quiet. that most of the foreign visitors to Pedestrians and carriages Berlin are lodged in the western easily get along without being part of the town, and seldom have impeded by the crowd; and in cer occasion to go eastward of King's tain large streets, such as “Wil- Bridge to the really commercial helmstrasse," where the palaces of districts, is the reason why, on Prince Bismarck, Prince George, returning to London or Paris, Prince Frederic-Charles and Prince they generally carry away the Albrecht of Prussia, of the Minis- impression that Berlin, the capiters of the Royal House, of Jus- tal of the most powerful empire tice
, of the Interior, of Foreign of the Continent, is, if measured Affairs, of War and of Finance, by the same standard as the capiand also some of the best public tals of
tals of England and France, a hotels of Berlin are situated, there very quiet, rather dull place, with reigns, even in the middle of the nothing like the excitement of day, an almost solemn silence. London, or the gaieties of ParAfter seven or eight o'clock in the isian street life. " Where are evening the street becomes almost your million of inhabitants ? " deserted. Proceeding more west- they frequently ask. “ Your ward still, past the “ Brandenbur. streets are empty
Where do ger Thor" —Brandenburg Gate- your people hide away?”. one reaches the most pleasant part
There is no doubt that Germans of Berlin, which takes its name from stay a great deal more inside their a large, beautiful old park, called houses than either French or Engthe “ Thiergarten,” where quiet lish people. There are few idlers, peaceful walks through the woods, few sight-seeing provincials, few or clean well-kept roads may be foreign visitors in Berlin. Berlin enjoyed, as in some rural place, is on the road to nowhere except miles away from the din and tur to Russia, where few people go for moil of a large city. Fine old their pleasure. Strangers arriving trees are to be seen on every side; in Berlin generally have some numerous villas stand in the midst special purpose or business, and of beautiful gardens; shops have get into the way of living as the almost entirely disappeared ; and people of the place do. Nearly Inost of the people one meets seem
everybody in Berlin has to be quite at leisure. On a Sun- business which, during the day, day, when the weather is fine, keeps him at his office or in his thousands of men of business and house, and which, moreover, tires artisans may be found in the him a good deal; so that, when Thiergarten and the adjacent evening comes, he enjoys quiet streets, seeking relaxation, or per- rest in his own or in a friend's haps merely in quest of fresh air; family, or maybe in a club or but during the remainder of the public-house, more than the vaweek that fashionable quarter, ried pleasures which he would have with the exception of some streets, to seek out of doors. Berlin was where the local traffic goes on, will formerly poor, and the great always be very quiet; and late in wealth which is now agglomer