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habits. I should say they are not su- There is an impression somewhat perior or even equal to American stu- prevalent in America, that all German dents of the same age and rank in aver- students study very hard. If any one age native talent. I am persuaded that of my readers has that impression, I with the same advantages and a like beg him to efface it immediately. A careful preparatory training, American German university is a microcosm, concollegians would accomplish more in a taining every conceivable shade of chargiven time. Every German professor acter, disposition, and talent. Those who has had personal acquaintance with who study do so with every advantage ; Americans among his hearers, will read they work under a system which can ily acknowledge that they are brighter supply any thing but mind itself. The and learn faster than the others. The dissipated, however, have also free play. great difference, after all, is to be sought So long as they preserve outward order for in the peculiar nature of the gymna- and decorum, they may be said to live sial training, as contrasted with that of without restraint. One circumstance our preparatory schools. In nine cases must not be overlooked. A gymnasiast, out of ten, a German boy passes the having passed his examination abeundi, twelve years of his life, from eight to and being matriculated at the univertwenty, in the same school, under the sity, finds himself in a new world. No supervision of the same teachers, ade longer tied down to the strictest observvancing, from class to class, by a reg- ance of rules and lessons—I scarcely ular progression, from which there is need remark that the gymnasial course scarcely ever a deviation, using the same is what Kossuth would call a system of text-books until he has had time to learn cast-iron-he feels that he is his own them by heart through sheer repetition. master. The first consciousness of liberThere are schools in this country which ty comes over him with a certain burst, fully eqnal any German gymnasium, and which is strong enough to carry away which send forth young men to college, the best-balanced mind. There is nowho could enter upon a university ca- thing in an American college career reer in Germany under the most favora.. which resembles this experience; our ble auspices. The trouble is, that where school-life is more free, our college-life we have one such school, Germany has more restrained, and thus this novel a hundred. They are all alike, built experience is, so to speak, whittled at upon the same last, to use a German both ends. As a necessary result of idiom, so that a hundred or more young this transition which I bave attempted men may enter together the university to indicate, nine tenths of the new stuequally prepared. In short, Germany dents-all, in fact, except the prematurely has a system of higher schools, and we confirmed bookworms, and even not a have none.
I remember once asking a few of them-pass their first semester in student who was a notorious Bummler- idleness or positive dissipation. In the i. e., an “idler"-and who had all the second semester, however, differences of appearance of a man that never had character begin to show themselves. seriously studied, how he baypened to Those who are naturally prone to disbe so thoroughly posted in the classics, sipation keep on as they have begun. for be could translate with the greatest Those who are endowed with genuine iluency and repeat his grammar perfect- mental stamina shake off their temly, rules, exceptions, and notes. “To porary fit of self-indulgence, and comtell the truth,” he replied, “I never mence work in good earnest, all the studied out of school; but in school wo better, as the German proverb has it, were forced to go over the ground again for having ausgerast. and again, until we could not help learn- With respect to the social relations ing; old Kühner drilled his Greek into existing between professor and student, us youngsters, so that we had to know it may be said that they are reduced, in it, whether we intended to or not.” the cities, to a minimum, while even in
the small university-towns, such as ously. Each university has some seren Heidelberg or Göttingen, they are of or eight of these Corps, while the pumbut little moment in shaping the char- ber of members in any one Corps may acter of the students. Those who come vary from ten to fifty. Each Corps provided with good letters of introduc stands in what is called cartel with tion and are prone to society, will natu some corresponding Corps in another rally improve their opportunities for university. This means that wlien, for social intercourse. In the main, how- instance, a member of the Heidelberg ever, the students keep to themselves, Vandals leaves that university and and rather shun than seek personal con comes to Göttingen, he is entitled to all tact with their professors. They are in the privileges of the Göttingen BremenGermany, as everywhere, clannish be ser. He is treated as thongh originally yond measure, shy, self-satisfying. They a member of the latter Corps. This are not there to go into society. All cartel union resembles somewhat the the more do they associate with one chapter-system of our secret societies. another. It would be difficult to find a I have gone somewhat into the details student who is not a member of some of this phase of student-life in Germany, Corps, or Verbindung, or Burschenschaft, mainly for the purpose of better explainor Gesellschaft. They are continually ing another of its prominent features. I lounging about in one another's rooms allude to the practice of duelling. One or drinking beer together in some Kneipe. who has never been in Germany, or who The Corps might not inaptly be com is at least unacquainted with this ramified pared to the secret societies of American system of societies, will find it impossible colleges, in all but the secrecy. No se
to understand how and why so many cret societies—that is, such whose object duels can be fought. I am guilty of no and meeting place and proceedings are exaggeration in saying that
ring my unknown--would be tolerated in Ger- first semester in G-, in the winter of many, for more than one political rea 1861–1862, a Mensur or duelling reunion
But as regards social standing, came off nearly every day. A new collegiate influence, and unity of action, Verbindung had been started, called the the Corps-students are certainly the Normans, with an ex-Heidelberg student counterpart of the secret-society men of named Mendelssohn as its captain. The America. Inferior in point of numbers Normans were determined to fight their to the outsiders, the savages (Willen), way through, as the saying goes, and as they are called, the Corps-students Mendelssohn, who enjoyed the reputatake the lead in every thing, by force of tion of being the coollest Schläger in organization and pluck. The difference Germany, was determined to lead them between a Verbindung and a Corps in style. Report subsequently asserted varies with the several universities them that he himself had fought some thirtyselves. At some, indeed, the terms are odd duels in the course of that winter, almost .equivalent. It may, perhaps, without receiving a bart. The old give the clearest idea of the difference, established Corps were evidently putting to say that a Corps is an old-established the new-comers upon their mettle. Now student organization, which has regular it must be borne in mind that the chief officers, a fixed place of meeting, and a object of the Corps is to keep up a somebadge of colors, and which stands close- what vague ideal standard of student ly connected with the general Corps- excellence, physical and social. One of system throughout Germany. These the items of this excellence consists in Corps have a tolerably well-developed, the unwillingness to abide an insult and practical Corpus Juris of their own, the ability to punish it. The modern hold a general S. C., or Senior-Convent German student is only a descendant of for Germany, once a-year, to which the mediæval knight-errant. It is coneach university sends one or more dele- sidered ungentlemanly to resent an insult gates, and enforce their discipline rigor- from one's equal on the spot, especially
with such plebeian weapons as fists and inches from the end. The guard is a canes. Nothing but swords or pistols hanging one, the hand being held above are fit instruments of satisfaction for a and in front of the head and the sword gentleman and a student. With such suffered to hang down almost perpendicprinciples and such organization, what ularly. The chest and neck wonder, then, that the university life protected by padding; the right arm is appears at times to be made up of quar covered with a long fencing-glove, while rels? Certain words or phrases are laid the left is held behind the body. The down in the code of honor is unavoid
eyes are protected by heavy iron specably calling for a challenge. Prominent tacles. Thus accoutred, the two comamong them is the fearful insult, batants stand opposite to each other; “ dummer Junge," which means simply the floor between is chalked. Back of "" stupid fellow.” It is strange but each stands his second, to one side is the perfectly true, that it is a far less heinous umpire, holding a watch. The signal offence to call a man a liar than to say being given, the duellants take two steps to him “dummer Junge.” It is an enter forward, and come within sword-reach, tainment sui generis to witness a midnight and the work begins. As soon as the rencontre between two befuddled stu. umpire sees that the Schläger have dents of rival Corps. The one touches become caught, or that one of the comthe other slightly with his elbow in batants has been touched, he cries Halt, passing, or pretends to take off his cap and the two seconds separate the princito make a profound salutation, or does pals, and draw them back. The time something to call for an explanation. lost in these intervals between the passes Then the chafling begins. Herr Westphale is not counted in. The rule is that the congratulates Herr Teuton upon his fine combatants must fight fifteen minutes by complexion, to which the latter responds the watch, or until one receives a bail with an affectionate inquiry touching the wound, of which the surgeon in attendcondition of Herr Westphale's organs of ance is the judge. While the duel is locomotion. This is met by the request taking its course, the spectators are to count the number of stars in the Milky amusing themselves in varivus ways, Way. Thereupon Herr Teuton wishes to either in applauding some dexterous know who last called Herr Westphale a parry, or laughing at the flat strokes of beer boy. And thus the remarks grow a greenband, or quietly conversing upon more and more pointed, until lerr other matters. Smoking and beer-drinkWestphale calls Herr Tenton a “dommen ing are of course in full activity.
whereupon Herr Teuton The general impression which one immediately demands his card, and the receives from these passages at arms is duel comes off in a few days or a few both disgusting and painful. There is a weeks. One half, yes, two thirds of the coarseness, a brutality about them which duels originate in mere trifles. It is not cannot but shock the stranger, whatever an uncommon incident, that a Corps. the Germans themselves may think. The captain, seeing his men become rusty in motives are so puerile, the disfigurement their sword-practice, sends a batch of of the human face so excessive, that we five or six challenges to some other Oorps, only wonder how such a system can picks out his own men, and thus gets up now-a-days be tolerated.
There are a fighting-match in cold blood. Pistol. symptoms, however, of a reform. Many duels occur very seldom; so also sabre of the worst features are being abolished, duels. They are brought about only by one by one, by the students themselves, the gravest bona fide insults. The usual while the faculties are much less tolerant weapon is the Sclıläger, a straight-bladed than they were thirty or fifty years ago, weapon about as long as a rapier and when the Jena students used to fight in three quarters of an inch in width. It broad daylight, upon a platform in front has no point, and has only one edge of the town-hall. Now, the meetings sharpened for a distance of some tweuty are at least kept secret, and nine out of
ten are harmless affairs. We must mapped out before him. In the firët remember that the German student is place, the eucouragements to idleners not a creation of yesterday; that his are unusually great, and are not at all manners, habits, and ideas have been diminished by the difficulty of learning handed down with true class-tenacity things in a foreign language. But what from a time when every body wore is still more decisive, the course of inshortswords and fought duels. Dueling struction is so radically different from at a German university is a relic of our own, that the stranger esperiences barbarism which will not stand many much difficulty in adapting liimself to it. years longer. Many of the outside Accustomed to working all liis life in a students—the Wilden—do not duel, and tread-mill curriculum of recitations, he even the Corps-students themselves are is bewildered by the number of lectures wearying of it.
and the variety of topics. There seems It is not
an easy undertakivg to to him to be a hopeless want of system characterize fairly and fully the merits in the whole. A little experience will or demerits of seven hundred young soon convince him that there is a plan, a men, gathered from all quarters of a vast very profound and thorough one too, unempire. Many of their customs and derlying this apparent confusion of lecideas are so novel to the American mind tures. One who las decided upon his voas to produce an impression of grotesque- cation, for instance medicine or theology, ness, even of absurdity. I have already will in a short time discover the best order briefly indicated what might be said of in which to hear lectures, and what lectheir intellectual capacity. It only tures he may omit without detriment. But remains to say a few words about their one who comes to the university with social qualities. German students, as a the notion of merely picking up a genclass of course, are somewhat free-and- eral education, will find himself at sea. easy in their manners, yet punctilious in There are, to be sure, courses upon every the forms of student-etiquette, given to conceivable subject, but they cannot all loud talking and deep potations, good- be heard at once, and there is no scheme natured, especially towards strangers, of study by which to obtain a general and deficient in real gentlemanly polish. survey. In a word, a German university Those who come from the upper classes, is a place for fitting one's self for a prothe nobility, are selfish and overbear- fession or for pursuing some special line ing; those froin the lower are rather un of investigation, and not a place for kempt, while there is almost no middle gaining mere so-called mental discipline. class to hold the balance. There are few Those Americans who derive substantial men in the universities who correspond, benefit from their student-life in Gerin the matter of personal independence mapy, are simply those who settle upon and refinement, to the sons of our well- their profession and give to it their undito-do doctors, lawyers, merchants, and vided energies. The others, who have no clergymen--men who have good social special aim, are only too apt to degenerinstincts and tastes, enough money to ate into idlers, although osten starting gratify them in moderation, and no class out with the best intentions and with dignity, as such, to sustain.
I have no
good abilities. I feel perfectly warranted hesitancy in saying that the great defect in asserting, that he who comes to the in the German university system, more university with a fair knowledge of the especially outside of Prussia, is precisely language, and then studies some one prethis want of a middle class, which may determined branch regularly and enerelevate the poorer students and hold the getically, at the same time sharing in the nobility in check.
thousand and one innocent diversions No one, particularly no American, and holidays of German life, will subseshould visit a German university for the quently revert to his university career as purpose of study, without having a clear, the best-spent, the cheeriest period of his definite plan of work, an aim of study student-life.
The Variałion of Animals and Plants dull understanding that does not care to note under Domestication. By CHARLES DARWIN, their orderly array. The wonder is that a M. A., F. R. S., &c. Authorized Edition, book of this sort can so draw us to its author. with a Preface by Professor Asa Gray. In In scientific works it is generally very little two volumes, with illustrations. (Orange that we "read between the lines.” But here Judd & Company, 245 Broadway.) Readers it is quite different, and from the perusal of of Darwin's "Origin of Species” will remem the book we have arisen with a sense that ber that that work only professed to be a very Darwin is one of those “persons one would general statement of a theory which needed wish to have seen," so deeply do his pages a great deal of elaboration and illustration; impress us with a sense of his perfect candor so much indeed that the author was in doubt and sincerity. He is never a partisan, never whether his life and health would serve him a special pleader. He states the objections long enough to carry out his plan, and there to his theory more strongly than they have fore gave us the outline of his theory, which, ever been stated by any body else. His sole if circumstances favored, he promised in time desire is evidently not to bolster up his theto fill out. The present work is the first in ory, but to find out what is true. The charstalment of the complete work. Consisting acter and spirit of such a man is a magnificent of two volumes of more than one thousand rebuke to those who prate of the demoralipages in all, it only covers the first chapter zing tendencies of science. of the original work, which treated of varia The first chapter in the first volume treats tion under Domestication. In a second work of the variations of domestic dogs and cats, he now proposes to treat of the variation of and brings to light great numbers of interPlants and Animals in a state of nature, i. e. esting facts showing the extent and nature of of natural selection. In a third work he will variability in these animals, which however, as apply the principles established in the second would naturally be expected from their wellto several large and independent classes of known habits of life, is much less noticeable facts, such as the geological succession of in the feline than in the canine race. The organic beings, their distribution in past and variations of the horse and ass under domespresent time, and their mutual affinities and tication, as reported in the second chapter, homologies. He has, indeed, set himself an are still more to the point. Pigs, cattle, almost endless task, and one that would cer. sheep, and goats are only briefly treated of; tainly discourage a less earnest and calmly rabbits receive rather more attention; but the enthusiastic man. All lovers of the truth emphasis of Mr. Darwin's investigation is on will pray that he may live to bring it to com. the fifth and sixth chapters, which are depletion ; for though the fairness of his deal voted entirely to the variability of pigeons. ings and the fasciuations of his theory have The attention which our author has bestowed drawn after him a host of followers, many upon this subject has been most unstinted in of whom are doubtless capable of carrying its quantity, and in its quality of the highest. on this work, even from this point, in a very The results are commensurate with the earncreditable manner, yet it is hardly to be estness and conscientiousness of his search. hoped that another could bring to it Darwin's From the common rock-pigeon it is plain that own peculiar fitness for the task.
there have descended varieties so unlike each The scope of the present work is so much other and so unlike their first progenitor, that, narrower than the last, that it will be found, in a state of nature, they would be classed at and especially the first volume, much less in. once as different species. In the seventh teresting. But the wonder is, that without and eighth chapters the variations of several the least apparent effort to make it interest races of birds are briefly indicated, also the ing, it is so to such an extent. The first vol variations of hive-bees and silk-moths. ume, in particular, is mainly a collection of Chapters nine, ten, and eleven are devoted to facts showing to what extent animals and the variations of different plants. From the plants vary under domestication. But let no nature of the first volume it will be seen that one think that these facts are such as none its worth must depend almost entirely on but men of science can comprehend and Darwin's qualities as an observer. It conenjoy, for it is not so. It must be a very tains very little theory. And if we are not